Thursday, May 7, 2015

RnR San Diego Half Marathon Training Log: Weeks 7 and 8

Oy, another crazy couple of weeks at work has meant that when I do have free time, I'm not spending it blogging. Sorry...?

BUT I have 30 free minutes right now so let's see if I can't bang out a training log for the past two weeks... Just kidding, I'm now finishing this on Wednesday, 36 hours later. Nope, kidding again. It's Thursday. This is my life right now.

RnR San Diego Half Marathon Training Log: Week 7

Monday: Off. Stretched and foam rolled.

Tuesday: Upper body strength workout.

After the previous weekend's one-two combination of 10 fast paced miles on trails and a 12 miler with 6 progression miles, my legs were shot. I started an easy run and they felt like lead.

Now, I realize there are gains to be made from these kinds of runs. I also realize that running on lead legs for 5 miles would have been akin to mental torture, and given how busy and stressful work has been lately with a huge deal happening, in addition to other projects, I just did not feel like slogging through five miles.

So I hit the gym instead for an upper body workout:
  • Dynamic stretching
  • 3x15: (1) plan to row, (2) skuill crushers, (3) high row, (4) chest press on exercise ball
  • 2x15: (1) single leg bicycles on BOSU, (2) BOSU ball toe taps

Wednesday: Off. Fail. Tried to go to track, spent 30 minutes trying to figure out how to get in, and when I finally figured it out, realized it was closed for a private event. And it was dark out. ARGH.

Thursday: (1) Ladder workout on the track + (2) lower body strength workout

200m - 0:42, 400m - 1:29, 800m - 3:16, 1600m - 7:09, 1600m - 7:00, 800m - 3:31, 400m - 1:30, 200m - 0:44

Didn't love the positive splits on the shorter distances, but in more important news, I ran my fastest mile ever! And then... I ran a faster one! Boom.

Also, I ran this on a high school track, and I forgot how young high schoolers look. I would have guessed most of the students who passed me were in middle school.

After work, hit up the gym for a quick lower body strength workout:

  • 3x12: (1) single leg deadlifts, (2) goblet squat, (3) weighted single leg jumping lunges
  • 2x15: (1) one legged BOSU bridge, (2) BODU bridge with foot tilts back and forth, (3) hanging knee-ups, (4) 1 minute plank

Side note: I'm really excited about my progress with single leg deadlifts. These used to be close to impossible for me and now I can bust them out using a 55 lb. bar.

Friday: Off. I was sore. It was rainy and cold. I felt "off". But at least I foam rolled and stretched?

Saturday: (1) 10 mile tempo run on San Diego Creek Trail with Kristina + (2) training with Melanie.

Met up with Kristina for a 10 mile loop. Yes, I am taking full advantage of having made friends with speedy people!

  • You know the drill -- dynamic stretching
  • 2 mile warm-up
  • (1) 8:51, (2) 8:39, (3) 8:34, (4) 8:14, (5) 8:04, (6) 8:03
  • 2 mile cool-down
Partway through mile 3, Kristina asked if I wanted to speed up since I'd mentioned I wanted to keep the pace fast. I said that would be great but she'd have to do most of the talking... Thanks for keeping up the conversation, Kristina!

I actually felt a bit nauseous on this run because I had more of a substantial breakfast than I normally do before a run (piece of toast with almond butter and a banana). I thought fueling a bit more might help hit the faster paces in the latter half of the tempo portion, but I think I need to stick with lighter fueling pre-run and then just fuel more on the run.

Saturday afternoon walk at the beach. It actually rained while we were there!
After the run, I headed to the gym for my last training session with my trainer here, Melanie. She and her boyfriend are moving to NYC! I'll miss her but I feel like I'm in a great place in terms of understanding weight lifting for running.

Sunday: 4 miles easy on trails.

I had already decided I was feeling rough and it'd be a cutback week, but then  I rolled my ankle around mile 3 and messed it up for almost a week. No bueno. Especially a bummer because it was a gorgeous day after a week of clouds.

In retrospect, running on single track after it had rained might not have been the best idea since it was completely rutted...
It didn't hurt at all at the time, but I was still a bit concerned, so I jogged back. It didn't hurt the rest of the day either, so I thought it was fine. Little did I know...

Total Mileage = 20 miles

RnR San Diego Half Marathon Training Log: Week 8

Monday-Wednesday: Off.

I woke up Monday morning and my ankle hurt. It wasn't exactly throbbing, but if I moved it much at all I felt a bruised-like pain. I iced it on and off both Monday and Tuesday.

Also, remember when I wrote that I felt "off" on Friday? That sensation of "off" developed into a nasty headache that lasted most of the week, along with some weird gums-swelling-up thing. The headache and mouth malady both mysteriously went away by Friday, but I just wasn't up for any form of exercise that wasn't running, and with my ankle, that was decisively out until Thursday.

Thursday: 5 miles easy at Back Bay.

Funny story. Turns out that I go kind of crazy without exercise. By the end of the day on Thursday, I knew I had to fit in a run for my mental health, regardless of what time I left the office. Thankfully I made it to Back Bay just in time for a gorgeous sunset.

Seriously, look at how gorgeous it was. The run was actually pretty shit, with my legs feeling tighter than they have in a long time, but the view more than made up for it.

Friday: Off.

Had to work late Thursday after my run so couldn't get up early and had Avengers: Age of Ultron tickets for after work. Which I was not missing for a run and/or workout, sorry. (In case you're curious, I thought it was great! But I demand a Black Widow movie...)

Saturday: (1) Tempo run on the Santa Monica Bike Path + (2) upper body strength workout.

Due to some travel craziness, I was hanging around the LAX general vicinity as the designated chauffeur. I got my tempo run in on the Santa Monica Bike Path before a delicious brunch at Urrth Cafe with my cousin. It was so great to see her, and she didn't even mind that I was a disgustingly sweaty mess. True familial love.

  • 1 mile warm-up
  • (1) 8:35, (2) 8:28, (3) 8:21, (4) 8:14, (5) 8:06
  • 1 mile cool-down

I hadn't slept enough (waking up at 5am to drive to LAX will do that to you) and because of the travel mishaps, I started this run an hour later than intended so was underfueled. It never felt great, so I focused on effort and making each mile faster than the last.

That evening, I fit in a quick upper body workout:

  • 3x10 at heavier weights: (1) squat to curl, (2) tricep cable press, (3) lat pull-down, (4) shoulder press, (5) chest press
  • 2x15: (1) decline sit-ups, (2) weighted reverse sit-ups

Sunday: 10 mile long run at Back Bay.

My phone was dying and work emails were coming in at a steady pace so I couldn't waste any battery on photos. But it was beautiful!

I forgot my Garmin, and as I mentioned, my phone was dying so a running app wasn't an option. Instead, I focused on feel. Thankfully I was running the Back Bay loop, so I knew the approximate mileage. Ran 2 miles easy, 6 miles medium hard effort, 2 miles easy.

Recovery post-long run. Mason kept demanding I pet him, so I decided to show him the wonders of legs up the wall.

Total Mileage = 22 miles

Not the best two weeks in the history of training. I feel like I have no idea where I'm at fitness-wise, so I'm hoping to do a longer tempo effort this week or next that will give me some indication of what I can aim for at RnR San Diego at the end of this month.


  1. Friend, your fast stuff is fast! You're getting it done on the track and during your tempo runs! There's definitely something to be said for running on feel. When I turn my brain "off" and sort of ignore the Garmin/numbers, I'm able to maintain faster paces. Like when I ran off the bike today, I settled into cruise control and thought, "I could run this all day!" And it *blew* my mind to see my target off-the-bike pace--and associate the number with how sustainable it felt.

    1. Yes! I wish I'd had my watch just so I could know exactly what paces I was hitting there because I think they might have been faster than I thought. It's amazing what not having a number to freak us out can do.

  2. I was at the high school track last weekend and thought the same thing- these kids are in high school? They are so little!!!

    1. I think TV/movies have conditioned us to thinking high schoolers look like thirty year-olds...

  3. Totally agree about those high schoolers looking so young! I always think the same thing. I'm excited for you to race, you are throwing down some seriously speedy miles - just think with some rested legs how they will feel on race day. Putting in some fantastic training!

    1. Thanks, Gianna. I hope so! I feel like my training has been so up and down that I can't really predict anything but I'm hoping to at least PR :)