Tuesday, April 21, 2015

RnR San Diego Half Marathon Training Log: Weeks 5 and 6

Whew. The past week and a half (including weekends) was pretty insane at work so I just didn't have time to write my Week 5 training log. So here are two weeks at once!

RnR San Diego Half Marathon Training Log: Week 5

Monday: AM 6 easy progression miles on San Diego Creek Trail + PM upper body strength and plyo/form drills.

Since I hadn't run my cutback week long run over the weekend, I figured I'd just run a bit longer than a normal Monday recovery run and push a bit more towards the midway point. My pace dropped fairly naturally and it ended up being a pretty perfect progression run: (1) 10:)2, (2) 9:44, (3) 9:39, (4) 9:47, (5) 9:13, (6) 8:48.

After work, hit the gym for some upper body work and my weekly plyo/form drills:

  • Drills: high knees through net, lateral and forward movement high knees through mini hurdles, and medium box jumps.
  • Three sets of 15 reps of four exercises: (1) squat to bicep curl, (2) seated single arm row on exercise ball, (3) cable tricep press, and (4) chest press on exercise ball.
  • Two sets of 15 reps of two core exercises: (1) BOSU single leg bicycles, (2) BOSU toe taps

Tuesday: Off. 30 minutes stretching and foam rolling.

Unrelated cat picture. Just Bea perched in a box.

Wednesday: 4 easy miles on San Diego Creek Trail with 5x20 second strides.

Despite coming off a rest day (or maybe because of? For some reason my legs are the most lead-like the day after a rest day), my legs felt like tree stumps that did. not. want. to. move. I really wanted to get outside, though, after a stressful day at work and nearly getting mowed down in the crosswalk as I left the office. And I caught a gorgeous sunset, so all was right. Finished with 5 rounds of 20 second strides.

Thursday: AM 4x1600m at Back Bay + PM lower body strength workout.

Goal for mile repeats: sub-8:00 pace for each one.

  • 1 mile warm-up
  • Dynamic stretching
  • 4x1600m: (1) 7:50, (2) 7:44, (3) 7:48, (4) 7:50
  • 1 mile cool-down

Nailed it.

Then rocked my legs further with a post-work lower body workout:

  • Three sets of 15 reps of four exercises: (1) leg press, (2) weighted hip raises, (3) single leg deadlifts, and (4) hamstring curls
  • Two sets of 3 core exercises: (1) 15x hanging knee raises, (2) 30 second "Superman", (3) 1:30 plank

Friday-Saturday: Off/work.

Spent all day Saturday at the office. Hadn't realized I would be at the office all day or I would have run earlier...

Sunday: 10 mile long run with 6 mile tempo.

Not about to be thwarted both days, I started my 10 mile long run at 6:00 a.m. at Back Bay and did the full 10 mile loop, starting on the hillier side so that I could run 6 of the miles at closer-to-tempo paces and make up for missing Saturday's tempo run.

  • Dynamic stretching (always and forever)
  • 2 mile warm-up
  • 6 mile tempo: (1) 8:55 -- half the mile was uphill, (2) 8:17, (3) 8:04 -- quarter of the mile was downhill, (4) 8:21, (5) 8:18, (6) 7:55
  • 2 mile cool-down
I worked almost all day Sunday as well, and was so glad I didn't have miles hanging over me and had gotten outside before work. Also was thankful weekends are super casual so I could wear jeans and boots that hid my post-long run compression socks...

Total Mileage = 26 miles

RnR San Diego Half Marathon Training Log: Week 6

Monday: 5 easy miles at Back Bay.

Heading straight into another work week when you haven't had any time off is mentally draining. I knew I needed some early miles in a pretty place to start the week off right. Back Bay delivered, despite the marine layer of clouds trying to get me down.

Tuesday: Upper body strength + plyo/form drills.

Instead of a two-a-day of running + strength, I moved upper body strength to Tuesday so I could spend Monday evening with Sourabh since I'd worked all weekend. I regret nothing.

  • Plyo/form drills
  • Three sets of 12 reps of four exercises with heavier weights: (1) chest press on exercise ball, (2) one arm elevated plank-to-row, (3) "Arnold" presses (note -- watched this on mute to check that it was the right exercise, no clue what he's saying...), (4) lat pull-downs
  • Three sets of 15 reps of two core exercises: (1) BOSU single leg bicycles, (2) BOSU toe taps

Wednesday: Off.

Thursday: AM 8x200m hill repeats + PM lower body strength.

Huh. So I thought I took Thursday off. My dead legs this morning (Tuesday) after hills Thursday, 5 miles Friday, 10 miles of trails Saturday and 12 miles Sunday are starting to make sense...

Anyway, I headed to Quail Hill for hill repeats Thursday morning. 1 mile warm-up then 8x200m hills ranging from 0:53-0:59.

I had wanted to do 10 reps, but emails were flying on the deal I had closing, so I ran 3/4 of a mile cool-down then had to head home, shower, and head in to work.

Friday: approx. 5 miles around Yale Loop with Monica.

Five moderate paced miles around Irvine with Monica, chatting about everything from the donuts to Edward Snowden. We'd been trying to connect for a while but our running/life schedules never met up, so it was good to finally make it happen!

Also had a delicious dinner at Lola Gaspar in Santa Ana on Friday night.

I agree, Lola Gaspar. I agree.

Saturday: 10 hilly miles on Bommer Ridge Trail with Sheila and Kristina.

We met up at Coastal Peak Park to run Bommer Ridge Trail. It's not as hilly as some of the other trails in Crystal Cove (we covered somewhere between 800-900 ft, I think? Really need to connect my Garmin one of these days), so it allowed us to pick up a bit of speed, but also got some good hill work in.

Oh also, it was GORGEOUS. Crystal clear day so we could see the San Gabriel and Santa Ana Mountains, and saw down into Laguna Beach at our turnaround point. It was also just a really fun run because of the company. Can't beat gorgeous views and fun run buddies.

And we're pretty sure we saw David Hasselhoff hiking with his trainer so... clearly an amazing day.

Made more amazing by a trip to Sidecar Doughnuts with Sourabh.

I jokingly referred to this on Twitter as Sourabh and my monthly pilgrimage to Sidecar Doughnuts to taste that month's special flavors, but I think we do go at least once a month... This place is just SO GOOD. That cinnamon roll was incredible. Possibly the best cinnamon roll I've ever had? I mean, combine cinnamon roll with doughnut and how could it not be good.

Sunday: 12 mile long run with 6 mile progression.

I feel like in every training cycle, there are certain tough runs that you mentally log away for race day, so that you can pull them out when that "I can't go on" feeling starts to settle in. Sunday's long run was totally that kind of a run.

I felt awful Sunday morning so opted for more sleep before heading in to work for several hours. Once I got home around 4pm, I took an hour to allow my late lunch (tuna sandwich at 2:30pm) to digest before heading to Huntington Beach.

I parked on a side street to avoid the $15 beach parking / $6 town parking, then jogged down the sidewalk toward the bike path. First thought: "what the hell, how is it so windy?" There was a sustained 10ish mph wind with gusts of up to 20mph.

I had headed to Huntington Beach thinking it would be fun to get some beachside miles in, not realizing that it was a windy day and I'd be running straight into the wind.

Evidence of the aforementioned wind.
First six into the wind, second six with wind at my back (but it had died down a bit by then), salted caramel Gu at mile 4.

Splits: (1) 10:05, (2) 9:51, (3) 10:00, (4) 9:52, (5) 9:20, (6) 9:01, (7) 8:49, (8) 8:32, (9) 8:19, (10) 7:48, 2 mile cool down

The paces actually felt pretty easy and sustainable until mile 10's sub-8 pace. I was happy to finish that one.

By the way, I checked to see if I was right that the wind died down right around when I turned back, and sure enough, it dropped to more like 6-7 mph with much smaller gusts according to weather.com. That makes me feel a lot better about the ease of the faster miles since my feeling that the wind had died down was correct and I didn't have the same strong wind I'd been running into at my back for the second half, pushing me along.

These kinds of runs are tough but they also are so important for race day. Every race reminds me of the importance of the mental game, and the more you can draw on pushing through discomfort or the fact that you didn't give up, the stronger you can run come race day.

Total Mileage = 35.5

Highest mileage week so far this year and, I'm pretty sure, highest mileage week since I was marathon training in 2013. I am shocked by how good I have been feeling. I truly think my commitment to strength training has paid dividends in my general health as a runner, as well as how much I'm embracing hill work (in the form of trails and running hills in general, therefore utilizing different muscles from regular flat runs).

This week's focus is going to be more on speed, I think, followed by a cutback week the following week.

Shout out to Michelle for not only running Boston in nasty weather conditions but BQ'ing the course (yet again -- this girl is ON FIRE) and to Carrie who just ran her first triathlon in a new, tougher age group and podiumed, coming in second. BOOM. Way to be inspirational badasses.


  1. Yay to feeling so good! And also, you have gotten so speedy! Love seeing your training progress!

  2. Great job rockstar! Love the views and I really enjoy these recaps!

    1. Thanks, Ash :) Excited for you to rock Geneva's half!

  3. Hey, that's me! :) Super impressed you got everything done with your crazy work schedule.

    1. Sometimes I think the busier we are, the easier it is to plan things? Until you hit that sleep deprivation / stress wall...

      And hell yes it's you, still so hyped about your tri!

  4. Nice work! I love your photos. I want donuts. That is all.

    1. Come down here and we will run and eat donuts. That is all. NO WAIT, you have to bring your puppy. Now that's all.

  5. gahhh- these pictures make me miss living in CA!!!


    1. I swear my phone's photo album became 10x prettier after moving here!