Monday, September 16, 2013

Workout Recap and Weekly Goals: Nearing the End of the Road Trip

Hi all!

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend. I got to see Glacier National Park, the park I'd been most excited to see, and it did not disappoint. We were just taking the Going-to-the-Sun Road through the park, rather than hiking, but that 50 mile drive was absolutely incredible.

Pictures simply don't capture the scale of these mountains. The drive was fantastic, and a great cap to the road trip. Today we're driving to Seattle, then tomorrow I'll drop Sourabh and Mason off at the airport and, later that day, pick up my parents who are returning from their vacation. So Tuesday night I'll be back at my parents' house! It's been nearly three weeks, and I am very excited to stay in one place for a while, but it's been an incredible trip. I'll keep recapping bit by bit!

Chicago Marathon Training Recap: Week 13

This past week was tough. I drove about 1,900 miles between Monday and Sunday. Since Sourabh doesn't drive manual and I borrowed my mom's manual car for this trip, I was doing the driving and definitely felt the tightness on my right side. Getting in to our destinations late at night also meant I didn't have much opportunity for strength training and, honestly, was just too tired to do much.

However, I'm entering this coming week feeling really excited to absolutely kill the next two weeks of marathon training! So, here's how things went.

Monday: Walked around Zion National Park a bit, but couldn't hike because of thunderstorms.

Tuesday: (1) 60 minutes "easy" run (5.41 miles) in Snow Canyon State Park, UT. (2) 3 miles hiking in Snow Canyon State Park, UT.

When Utahans classify a trail as "easy," I now know that means "moderate to difficult" by the standards of my New York runner legs! The altitude (2200 ft) didn't seem to affect me, but the trail had an overall 500 ft elevation gain, which I definitely felt. It rained on and off during this run, but nothing heavy -- just drizzling.

Splits: (1) 9:34 - mostly downhill, (2) 10:46 - partially downhill, (3) 11:16, (4) 11:12, (5) 12:38 - mostly uphill, (.41) 11:10 pace

Hiked three miles with Sourabh and Mason along a gentle trail. Dogs weren't allowed on the "fun" trails (those that go up mountains or that go far into the wilderness), so we were on a pretty basic trail, but the canyon was beautiful to walk through anyway.

Wednesday: 20 miles, split up due to weather, run in St. George, near Bryce Canyon, and Provo, UT.

Woke up Wednesday morning to surprise thunderstorms (forecast had been cloudy but no rain). Since there were flash flood warnings, running along the river pathway I'd planned to run my 20 miler on seemed like a bad idea, so I ran the first five miles on a treadmill in our hotel's fitness center starting at 7:30 AM.

Treadmill 5 miles at 2200 ft elev: (1) 10:42, (2) 10:42, (3) 10:31, (4) 10:31, (5) 10:51

I ate breakfast, then we checked out and drove toward Bryce Canyon. When we passed a series of dirt roads, I pulled over so I could fit in some more miles at around 11:00 AM.

I ate half a Honey Stinger waffle for extra fuel since I'd already run 5 miles and headed out along what turned out to be a fairly muddy and hilly road, but it had gorgeous views, so I was happy. Since the area was so isolated, I wanted to be within "shouting distance" of Sourabh and Mason, so I ran one mile out and one mile back twice, then half a mile out and back for five miles total. Mason joined me at one point, too :)

Mid-5 miles on muddy path at 6000 ft elev: (6) 11:16, (7) 10:58, (8) 10:58, (9) 10:44, (10) 10:10

I stopped because thunderstorms were rolling in to the area. Seriously, the storms refused to leave us alone. We ditched the Bryce Canyon plan after seeing how rough the thunderstorms were in that area. I've driven through several nasty storms on this trip and really didn't feel like driving through any more!

I ate lunch in between the earlier ten miles and the later ten miles. Around 4 PM we hit Provo, UT, which I figured would have some running trails. Turned out the city has a nice run path along the Provo River, so I ran my last 10 miles there.

Since I'd split up my twenty miler, I pushed the pace to tire out my legs and better replicate the late-miles feeling. Despite the elevation being the same as Sedona, I didn't feel it at all on these miles! Ate the second half of the Honey Stinger waffle as fuel.

Last 10 miles at 4500 ft elev: (11) 9:55, (12) 10:00, (13) 9:58, (14) 9:46, (15) 9:53, (16) 9:42, (17) 9:56, (18) 9:58, (19) 9:55, (20) 9:03 <-- I was ready to be done and ran super hard

Biggest problem on this run was my right hamstring. The same one that hurt two weeks ago and made me cancel my 18 miler at 12.75. It wasn't super painful, but it did not feel helpful, and I think I know why -- all the driving in between running. My hamstring felt fine on the treadmill, not okay in the next five miles, and hurt on the last ten miles.

Thankfully, I am nearly done with the intense driving! Today I'm driving four hours and tomorrow I'm driving 2.5 hours. After that, while I'll be heading over the mountains for a race this weekend, I don't have to drive and can sit in the back seat stretching out.

Thursday: Rest day. Stretched and foam rolled in hotel room after 9 hour drive to Yellowstone.

Friday: 4.2 mile hike up Bunsen Peak in Yellowstone National Park, WY.

Hiked 2.1 miles up mountain (1278 ft elevation gain, starting at 7000 ft high, so lungs were burning) then 2.1 down for 4.2 miles round trip. My legs felt strong, besides the aches in my hips and hamstrings from driving, but my lungs burned on the ascent.

Saturday: Rest day. Stretched and foam rolled after 12 hour drive through Glacier National Park.

Sunday: 2 sloooow miles in Spokane, WA + 5 minutes of core work.

Ran along the riverside pathway in downtown Spokane, near our hotel. This was probably the most uncomfortable I've ever felt on a run. The area I ran in had a lot of sketchy looking people, and quite a few men stared at me as I ran by. Since my legs also felt like rocks and my hips and hamstrings were hurting, I cut my planned 4 miles short and turned around at a mile, for two miles total. Adding two junk miles wasn't worth feeling uncomfortable or hurting myself!

In the afternoon, I got a 90 minute massage that made a world of difference for my legs. Looking forward to seeing how much better they feel tomorrow!

Total Mileage = 27.41

Next Week's Training Schedule

No more crazy schedule due to road tripping means I can be totally focused on training this week, while spending time with my family before I head back to NYC to start work!

Here's what Coach Jess has on deck for me:

• 10 mile mid-distance run (7 long run paced, 3 marathon goal paced)
• 1 spin class
• 2 yoga classes
• 1 tempo run
• 22 mile long run (including the Wenatchee River Run with my dad, his first half marathon!)
• 4 mile recovery run

Eek! Only one week of heavy training after this one, then it's two weeks of tapering.

I'm also focused on fueling myself with healthy foods. I definitely had a better week last week, but now that I'm going to be in Seattle for two days then home, I'll have access to more than the occasional Starbucks. (Shout out here to the Bozeman Community Food Co-Op -- delicious, healthy food options were an oasis last week!)

How was your weekend? Do you find lots of driving affects your muscles?


  1. Absolutely--spending time in the car definitely makes me feel stiff. Even just driving back to the city on Saturday (which was about an hour), my legs totally cramped up. Granted, I should've worn my compression sleeves, but still.

  2. I can't get enough of your road trip pictures! Between this and Breaking Bad I'm dying to take a road trip out West.