Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pre-Marathon Strength Training: Week 3 Workout Log

As I've been focusing on building a strong base for marathon training, I've been trying to figure out exactly what caused my previous training cycle to go off the rails. I've never felt like my legs were so completely dead before. As I mentioned in last week's post, my symptoms were somewhat similar to overtraining syndrome, but I clearly hadn't been putting in the mileage to suffer from that.

The only conclusion I can really come to is that a heavy work schedule in April and May coupled with personal stress resulted in body breakdown. I think that in stressful situations, there's always something that has to give, and I think it was my body.

I didn't go into much detail about the personal aspects at the time because I didn't know what the outcome would be. I spent Mother's Day in Urgent Care and then the ER with my mom, who had started having intense pain in her abdomen. Urgent Care thought it was a gall bladder issue and wanted scans, so we were sent to the ER. There, they did an ultrasound, and they found stones and an unidentified mass.

This was where things got scary. I can't hear "mass" without thinking cancer, and given the past five years, during which I watched my best friend battle and eventually die of cancer, any suggestion of my mom having an unidentified mass was terrifying. No subsequent scan in the coming weeks could get a clear enough image to rule out cancer, although we were told it was extremely unlikely (like, a one in 1,000 chance), which helped, but I was still worried. Without a doubt, I think this was part of whatever happened in those last few weeks of training. I was able to remain calm on the outside, because I didn't want my mom to bear the burden of comforting those around her, but I was awfully tense worrying about the outcome.

I'm writing about it now because I am thankful to report that my mom just had surgery to have her gall bladder removed, and there was nothing inside the gall bladder but stones. In fact, after a couple weeks of antibiotics, the inflammation had died down enough that they could remove it laparoscopically, so she can go home tonight.  I am so incredibly relieved that she will be okay. I'll be going up to WA to visit for July 4th, and I can't wait to see her and give her a huge hug!

Love you, Mom!

Pre-Marathon Strength Training: Week 3 Workout Log

Last week, I got back up to about the same weights I was using prior to my time off from lifting. I'm excited that my strength came back so quickly! It was also a busy weekend, since my sister and brother-in-law are currently visiting.

Monday: 20 minutes intervals (3.56 miles total, incl. w/u and c/d) + lower body lifting workout.

Tuesday: Chest/back lifting workout + 20 minutes swimming.

Wednesday: Off.

Thursday: 20 minutes intervals (3.58 miles total, incl. w/u and c/d) + lower body lifting workout.

Friday: Off.

Saturday: 10 miles around Back Bay with Kristina.

After dropping Sourabh off at LAX, I headed back to Orange County to meet Kristina for 10 miles around the Back Bay. The marine layer burned off pretty quickly, so it was a gorgeous (and sweaty) run.

It was also awesome to run outside after my runs all week being on the treadmill. I could take those interval runs outside, but it would add a good 20-30 minutes to the workout, so since it's just 30 minutes on the treadmill, I prefer to do them inside. Plus, I can really track my progress with the speed and intensity on a treadmill.

I had a gloriously lazy afternoon post-run then picked up my sister, Priyanka, and her husband, Jason, from the local airport and we headed to one of my favorite local restaurants, Eat Chow, for dinner. Next up: sunset at Inspiration Point in Corona del Mar.

Sunday: 5 mile hike + biceps/triceps lifting workout.

We started Sunday off with a hike at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. I hadn't hiked there before, but will definitely be back! It was gorgeous.

Next, we hit up the Farmer's Market in the Great Park to pick up fruits and veggies for the week. And quickly succumbed to all the delicious specialty items that vendors had, like fresh small-batch salsa (I'm such a sucker for those kinds of things).

We brunched at SOCIAL in Costa Mesa (the bacon... so thick, so crispy, so good), I showed them Fashion Island (an upscale outdoor mall, not actually an island, always good for people watching), we did some grocery shopping for the week and I showed them my fancy work-subsidized gym while I fit in my biceps/triceps workout.

Total Mileage = 17 miles (22 with hiking)


  1. I'm so glad your mom is doing OK! That's some scary and stressful stuff, and you handled it really well--and that can definitely affect training. (We talked a lot about that at work today, actually.)

    1. Thanks, Carrie :) I would love to learn more about what they said at work about stress and training! It's a tricky balance between exercise as stress relief and causing more stress when you're training for something.

  2. Glad your mom is doing well and that you're back to normal!! Great week of training!

  3. So glad that your mom is doing so well! Hugs to you for having to go through that scary time.

  4. Enjoy your trip home! You should stop by Portland on your way back to CA.... ;)

    1. Haha I would if we were driving! But for a 3 day weekend we are just flying up.