Monday, September 28, 2015

CIM Training Log: Week 8

I'm inching closer and closer to the marathon (10 weeks left!), and I'm getting to that point where I mainly want to talk to everyone about training, especially the day after a long run. I have figured out every single coworker who runs so I can feel less guilty in regaling them with tales of my mileage. Clearly I need a(nother) hobby. Or for Game of Thrones to come back so I can talk about that instead. Ice zombies > running, at least in terms of conversation topics.

Speaking -- or rather, writing -- of conversation topics, have I mentioned I'm concerned about El Nino? Because I'm concerned. El Nino = increased rain in California. Great! California needs it badly. Especially in the mountains because increased snowpack is the most important cure to a drought. However... this was CIM in 2012:

Photo Credit: HMGiraffy
[Insert biblical joke about Noah and boat and/or Jesus and walking on water.]

Rainy winter? AWESOME. Rainy December 6? Please no.

Do I win an award for the earliest someone has ever worried about race day weather?

In more practical and less worrying-about-the-weather-10-weeks-away news, it was another busy week at work. There was a major project I was brought in on, but thankfully it was mostly done by Friday, so I only had to work a few hours over the weekend. Unfortunately those hours were 9pm Saturday evening to just past midnight, which messed with my long run a bit. Work doesn't seem to understand the importance of running. Rude.

In non-running news, Sourabh and I went to dinner at Provenance Friday night (second time in two weeks, you could say I'm a fan) and it was just as good as the first time we went there. The Greek yogurt biscuits are SO GODDAMN DELICIOUS. I direct you to their Instagram for photographic evidence:

I'm seriously contemplating ordering a bag of these for the drive up to Sacramento in December. Perfect carb-loading, right??

We've now eaten twice at Provenance, and both times our meals have been delicious. They grow almost all of their vegetables in the garden located by the restaurant, and they're all about seasonal, local, fresh ingredients. Also, they serve my favorite prosecco at a relatively affordable $10/glass, so there's that. And I love that you can almost always get a table there day-of, which isn't always the case at the tastiest OC restaurants. Clearly I'm a fan. (No, I'm not being paid to shill for this restaurant, but if they want to give me free biscuits, I will gladly name drop them constantly. Did I mention I like their biscuits?)

Saturday I met up with Laura, who was in OC to meet with a sports chiropractor, and we had a great time chatting about running, food, TV, Hillary and the current Republican circus primary candidates. No photographic evidence because I just don't take that many people pictures. Sorry?

Sunday was spent with my legs up the wall post-run, more eating (obviously), and the typical food prep. I'm currently obsessed with Trader Joe's turkey and wild rice-stuffed bell peppers. I tried them last week and decided I loved them, so I got enough for every lunch this week (minus the office-wide lunch on Thursday). We'll see if I still like them on Friday...

Anyway, on to the training log!

CIM Training Log: Week 8

Monday: Off.

Worked till 11pm on Sunday so gladly slept in till 7:30 and took a rest day.

Tuesday: AM Yoga + PM Strength.

20 minutes of lower body yoga in the morning. Lots of hip/quad/hamstring loosening.

PM Strength -- 3x15:
(1) single leg deadlifts
(2) chest press
(3) squats
(4) elevated plank to row

4 x 1 minute plank

Wednesday: AM 6 miles easy around the neighborhood and Bommer Meadow.

Cooler than it had been in a while, but humid (high 60s, 87% humidity).

6.01 miles in 1:01:55 for 10:19 average pace; 134 avg HR; 363 ft. elev. gain.

I felt pretty good, especially given that a fair amount of the run was climbing (and by fair amount I mean half since there's very little flat -- it's mostly up on the way out, down on the way back, then up the hill back to my place). My legs were a bit sore from strength the night before. 

I was happy with the pace given the hills and the low heart rate. And I didn't look at my watch/pace much. I was just trying to run what felt easy. Focusing on running by effort as much as possible.

Thursday: PM 6x400m at Back Bay.

I was bummed at how much slower these 400m repeats were than the last time I did this workout, but then I compared the heat to the last time (86 degrees versus low 60s), and it made a lot more sense. This is why I keep track of the weather in these logs -- it can make a big difference in the run, especially for tougher workouts.

2 mile warm up nice and slow.

6x400m: (1) 1:51, (2) 1:46, (3) 1:46, (4) 1:46, (5) 1:43, (6) 1:44

1 mile cool down

Worked until midnight, so I replaced the typical 15 minute core workout with four 1 minute planks. Not as good, but everything counts.

Friday: PM Spin + Strength. 

45 minutes on the bike, 130 avg HR using the spin playlist I put together a couple weeks ago:

I'm really loving "If I Go" by Ella Eyre and "Clap Snap" by Icona Pop lately. Also, I beg forgiveness for the Pitbull and Jason Derulo on my playlists. I just love trashy pop music...

(1) tricep press on cables
(2) squat to bicep curl on cables
(3) "Arnold" shoulder presses
(4) one legged squat w/ weights

(1) single leg bicycles on BOSU (each leg)
(2) toe taps on BOSU

Saturday: 45 minutes easy at Back Bay.

81 degrees, "feels like 90". Ran without a watch but had a pretty good idea of the mileage since I know Back Bay so well (also, there are mile markers). About 4.6 miles, so roughly 9:50 pace.

4x20 seconds strides. Dripped all the sweat everywhere.

Sunday: 14 mile long run from hell (12 easy, 2 miles fast finish), through Shady Canyon, William Mason Park and Back Bay.

ARGH this run was insanely frustrating. I was running alone, which was fine, but I had to work until past midnight the night before (urgent work came in at 9pm) so didn't sleep until around 1am. If I'd been meeting someone I would have gotten up, but I opted for more than 7 hours of sleep instead of less than 6. Coach Jess said she thought this was the right decision, despite the heat, since it was a long week of work.

I had a Picky Bar, glass of Nuun (extra electrolytes were necessary) and a few bites of a banana before I headed out. My handheld water bottle was half Gatorade and half water, which got more diluted each time I refilled it at the occasional water fountains. I took 1/3 of a Gu at mile 6 and had the rest at mile 8.

When I started it was high 70s and it just kept climbing, going from feels like 89 degrees to feels like 91 by the end, and almost my entire route was in the sun. I thought I had drunk enough water on Saturday, but from miles 7-9 I had side stitches that I'm guessing were from dehydration. (For context on heat/sweating: 
I weighed two pounds less when I got home, and I'd drunk at least three handhelds on the run and chugged a Camelbak and 1/4 of a Gatorade bottle on the ride back, so I'm guessing I sweated 4-5 pounds of body weight.)

All of this was not great, obviously, but it was hardly a run from hell. However. Around mile 9, my Garmin started showing much slower splits than I'd been seeing. I had my Garmin set to display only mileage and heart rate, no pace, so I would run by effort. As my miles clicked by, the splits had consistently dropped, from 10:40 down to high 9s as I left the hills.

At the first slower mile, I thought I was just slowing down, even though I didn't feel like I was, so I switched to view pace so I could push myself a bit more and make sure this wasn't just me mentally giving up. Only the next mile clocked in at 12:00+! It felt soul-crushing when I felt like I was putting in the right amount of effort, yet my pace was dropping so substantially. It made me question my ability to gauge my effort, and of course I was questioning my fitness level, especially after running a relatively strong 14 miler the previous week.  I put more effort into speeding up, and my heart rate increased, but the pace wasn't dropping -- it was only increasing.

It dawned on me that it wasn't me breaking down; it was my Garmin. I realized I was at the 11.5 mile mark of the route (based on when I had run the exact same route with Kristina two weeks prior), yet my Garmin was registering 10.5 miles. I used Google Maps when I got home, and yes, my Garmin was about 0.75-0.80 miles off. As I finished the 12 miles, my Garmin suddenly started showing a 6:45/7:15 pace. Not quite the pace I was running. 

It's you, Garmin. It's you.

After those demoralizing last three miles of the easy miles portion, I tried to use my phone's stopwatch for the last two miles, using the Back Bay mile markers. However, I had long run brain and instead of hitting stop when I finished, I hit reset. I believe it was 16 something, and that sounds right effort-wise, but I honestly cannot remember. I was a mess. 

I believe my pace for the first 12 miles was ~10:00 (Garmin recorded two hours flat before I stopped it at what I believe was the accurate 12 mile mark, and I'm hoping that was correct). It wasn't a bad run effort-wise or even pace-wise (at least I think?), but goddamn, those three miles from 9-12 where I felt like I was utterly failing at producing any kind of a consistent effort sucked. I was melting in 90 degree temps and questioning how I could possibly run 26 miles when I was falling apart after 9 miles. 

But as I keep reminding myself about the run (and each day it's humid or hot or I run up a steep hill): it all makes me a stronger runner who will be more prepared on race day.

Total Mileage = ~31 miles


  1. hahahaha that picture always makes me laugh.

    That is a hard route to long run if it's hot. Great job!

    1. Thank you! And thanks for that picture... it's both hilarious and horrifying. The fact that you and so many people finished a marathon in those conditions is nothing short of amazing to me!

  2. Don't forget 2013 when it was approximately -27F at the start! :D
    (No but really, the rain is unusual, & it'll probably just be, like, moderately freezing. And then perfect by the end.)
    Good luck with the rest of your training! (I am hoping to, y'know, start mine soon......)

    1. My East Coast friend who ran in 2013 was like, "What's the big deal? It's not THAT cold!" I've completely lost any of that East Coast resiliency I picked up in eight years, though, and I'm pretty sure I would end up looking like Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining.

      Anyway, thank you!! Hope you are able to run the fantastic race that you deserve after all your hard training this year.

  3. Fellow trashy pop music fan right here!
    I worry about weather BEFORE I commit. I take race day conditions very seriously.
    Garmins = the devil. I only use mine half the time ie. long/tempo/intervals it has been 60 degrees in the mornings yet 90+% humidity and I don't need a watch to tell me I am on the struggle bus :) But seriously it will say I am running 11+ then click off the mile sub 10 WHY GARMIN, WHY??

    1. Trashy pop music lovers UNITE! Although we already have, judging by what's on the radio haha. I just want to be able to groove to my terrible music without feeling judged.

      Our Garmins are clearly out to get our Type A runner brains!

  4. Wowza--don't know whether to mention the race-day tsunami, delicious looking biscuits, or killer long run first. But the bottom line, you got *everything* done (training, working, and being a real person) so major kudos. Whenever my Garmin displays an obscene pace (I've seen 4:50 before, bahaha!), I just shake my head and laugh.

    1. Haha 4:50, that run training is paying off! ;) If I'd seen those paces I would have been like "nope, obviously incorrect". When it's a 11-12 pace, though, it's not outside the realm of possibility, so I just thought my gauge of effort was totally out of whack!

  5. Wow, that is some crazy water in that picture. Here's hoping you don't have a rainy race day!

    1. Thanks! I am crossing all of my fingers :)