Monday, September 14, 2015

CIM Training Log: Weeks 4-6

For some reason I thought I was one week behind in training logs, not two. Imagine my surprise when I realized I hadn't updated in three weeks. Eep!

I have a good reason, though. Work was hectic, and the ten days ending last Friday were insanely busy (I billed 63 hours from Labor Day to Friday, and you work more than you bill). Training definitely suffered last week, but weeks 4 and 5 were actually pretty decent.

In the interest of getting my training logs up, you're getting my notes pretty much straight from my training log, minus the notes to Coach Jess and plus accompanying pictures. 

CIM Training Log: Week 4
Monday: Strength workout.

(1) squat to shoulder press
(2) lat pulldown
(3) hamstring curl on machine
(4) single leg deadlift w/ dumbbells

2x15 overhead tilts w/ med ball (obliques); 2x1 min plank

Tuesday: 60 minute easy run in neighborhood.

60 minutes, 6.03 miles, 9:58 avg pace, 138 avg HR, ~300 ft elev gain, 70 degrees overcast and 79% humidity (SO SWEATY).

Felt creaky in first mile, especially since it was sliiiiightly uphill, but felt good by end of mile 2. Ran on the sidewalks near me, which actually have some pretty decent hills. Approximately 300 ft elevation gain over 6 miles, so basically Central Park, but more sustained and fewer steep climbs (minus the .3 miles up to my new place which is OMG SO STEEP -- 80 ft in .2 miles).

Wednesday: Tempo run (7 miles total) at Back Bay.

Felt like this run went really well! I stayed strong mentally, which is a challenge for sustained threshold runs.

Stats: 6:30pm, 7 miles, 9:00 avg pace, 150 avg HR, 85 ft elev gain (one big hill in cool down mile), 77 degrees, 60% humidity (WHAT is with the humidity lately), slight headwind with gusts up to 10 mph for first half.

2 mile w/u and 1 mile c/d.

Tempo Miles (pace/HR): (1) 8:47/152, (2) 8:26/161, (3) 8:11/164, (4) 7:47/170

The first tempo mile was rough because I was running into a headwind. However, in the next mile, when I turned around especially, I felt like I was settling into the speed better. Third mile felt the best. I wouldn't say it felt effortless, but I kept looking at my watch thinking, "this pace feels that good? I'm not slowing down??"

I had to work for the fourth mile, but my legs still felt good -- it was more my cardio that felt like it was working hard. All in all, felt really happy with this run.

Thursday: Restorative yoga for total body for 30 minutes.

Friday: 40 minutes indoor cycling. 

Finished a closing call at 7:45 than hit the gym for a quick spin workout. 5 minute w/u on bike, 30 minutes bouncing between sprints and out-of-saddle with 138 average HR, 5 minute c/d on bike + quick stretching.

Saturday: 10 mile long run with last two miles at tempo pace at Back Bay. 

My speedy friends, Megan and Kristina.
I felt like Goldilocks... the previous week's run was too slow and this run was too fast. Ran with two speedy friends and felt comfortable asking them to slow down but nonetheless I feel like the pace was a bit fast for a long run. I could talk in full sentences but it wasn't a "I could run forever at this rate" pace. It was hard to drop all that much for the last two miles (although the heat was definitely part of that). 

Fueled with coffee, a glass of nuun and 1/2 a picky bar. Carried a handheld water bottle. Warmed up with foam rolling at home then a 5 minute walk uphill to meet friends.

Ran at Back Bay at 7:30am (elev gain 317 ft, mostly over first 6 miles), sunny and mid to high 70s, "feels like" temperature in the 80s. It was HOT. 

Total time: 1:31, 9:11 avg pace. HR monitor was definitely messing up -- randomly dropped to 110 or so (no way that was real). I think it would have been low 150s based on the numbers I was seeing.

Splits: (1) 9:08, (2) 9:05, (3) 8:55, (4) 9:59, (5) 9:25, (6) 9:09, (7) 9:23, (8) 9:14, (9) 8:52, (10) 8:39

Strength in afternoon - 3x15:
(1) bicep curls
(2) tricep dips
(3) chest press
(4) seated row
(5) weighted hip lift
(6) fire hydrant leg lifts (each side)

Finished with 1 minute plank.

Sunday: 30 minute recovery run along nearby trails + core workout.

Warmed up with dynamic stretches. Explored some trails within walking distance of my new place. Probably a bit more elevation than ideal so I'll save for non-recovery runs in the future, but I took the uphills easy. 

2.76 miles over 30 minutes, 10:52 avg pace. No HR monitor -- I was trying to be relatively light on technology but wanted to see have a gauge of how the long run affected me at the end so used my Garmin.

Completed core workout before bed.

Total Mileage = 25.75

CIM Training Log: Week 5

Monday: 30 minutes restorative yoga.

30 minutes of hip openers and leg stretches + some back and shoulder opening work.

Tuesday: 5 miles easy run + 5x20 second strides around neighborhood.

Warmed up with dynamic stretches.

Overcast and low 70s with 66% humidity. Ran on the route near my townhouse -- 300 ft elevation gain over 5 miles. 51:23 for 10:16 average pace, 136 average HR. Felt pretty leaden for the first two miles, especially since they're mainly uphill, but felt good after that.

5x20 second strides: covered 0.28 miles in the five strides, 6:15 avg pace.

Wednesday: 6x400m repeats on track. 

Another strong speed workout in the books. I ran in the evening, which is my preferred time for speedwork. My body feels more warmed up and the humidity SoCal has been dealing with lately is lower. 

Started with dynamic stretches then two very easy miles. The high school track near me is basically on one big one mile block, so doing a loop of it is a mile, which is nice since I hate just looping around the track on repeat.

400m repeats: (1) 1:38, (2) 1:40, (3) 1:35, (4) 1:40, (5) 1:32, (6) 1:29

Cooled down with 1.25 miles around the track for 6 miles total.

Thursday: 60 minutes easy at Crystal Cove.

Ran in the evening -- mid 60s, cool breeze up at Coastal Peak Park. Great running conditions! Ran on my favorite trail, lots of ups and downs rather than up one way and down coming back or vice versa.

60 minutes easy: 9:48 avg pace, 6.13 miles, 142 avg HR, ~600 ft elevation gain (double a loop of Central Park -- I like to compare elevation gain/loss to Central Park because it's a good reference point for Coach Jess and my other NYC runner friends, and it helps me keep training/paces in perspective).

Felt really good, although my left calf was a little tight. Foam rolled afterwards to help that.

Friday: Off.
Saturday: Spin + Strength.

7 minute warm-up on bike (answering work emails = longer warm-up) then 30 minutes at 136 avg HR, then 5 minute cool-down on bike (where I had to make a work call... Labor Day Weekend was crazy).

Fit in a quick upper body workout in the evening.

(1) lat pulldowns
(2) seated rows
(3) shoulder presses
(4) chest presses
(5) bicep curls
(6) tricep extensions

2x15 overhead tilts w/ med ball (obliques)
2x1 min plank

Sunday: Long run at Laguna Coast Wilderness. 

ARGH. I picked a terrible route for this run, and it was just a bad running day. I was running with my friend Allie, and while it was great to catch up and chat (I hadn't seen her since the Surf City Half), the run was rough. We cut it at 5.15 "out" for 10.25 total on an out-and-back route. We hiked a lot of the steepest uphills, so it was 11 miles total -- after the first two miles I was too demoralized by our pace on the uphills to time them. I felt like throwing up several times, I couldn't get into a rhythm, my legs felt like lead -- it was just a bad day. 

However, this run led to a great story: I had gone through my entire handheld in 5 miles. It was so hot, and I had just mentioned to Allie how I'd just had a vision of her holding an ice cold seltzer water, when a police officer drove up next to us on the trail. I guess they do patrols on weekends when there are more hikers and it's hot out to ensure people are fine. The police officer asked us if we were okay, and when we told him we were fine, he offered us bottles of water. I'm not sure I can convey how incredible this moment was if you've never been 5 miles away from your car on a hot, dusty trail, and been offered water. It was amazing.

We took this picture AFTER the water bottle incident. We definitely would have been less smiley before it.

79 degrees, 85 "real feel", 10.25 miles, 1:47 total, 143 avg HR, 10:30 avg pace, 1700 ft elev gain.

Strength in the evening - 2x15:
(1) plie squat w/ dumbbell
(2) single leg deadlift
(3) walking lunges (total, not each side)
(4) weighted hip raises

2x15: pikes on med ball + spider-mans (each side)

Total Mileage = 27.63

CIM Training Log: Week 6

Monday: Off.

Tuesday: 5 miles easy around neighborhood, 5x20 second strides.

Felt awful for the first half of the run, but the second half felt a lot better. I was running off 5 hours of sleep (worked till midnight), but I was awake and stressed about work, so I figured running couldn't hurt. 

It was pretty hot already (high 70s). 5 miles for 50:40 total (10:08 avg pace, 137 avg HR, ~300 ft elevation gain, i.e. about a loop of Central Park), followed by 5x20 second strides (6:45 avg pace).

Wednesday: Unplanned off day. Billed 15 hours. It was rough.

Thursday: 50 minute pick-ups run (basically a structured fartlek) around the neighborhood.

I was running on my third night of <6 hours of sleep, but I ended up feeling good after my 2 mile warm-up. The run wasn't ideal as I had to stop three times during the course of the main workout to answer urgent work emails, but I think I showed some good progress from last time -- 8:29 average pace for the workout portion and it was very hot and humid. 

Finished up with 5.45 miles, ~300 ft elevation gain.

There was some gorgeous sunset action that night, which I caught by taking a slight work detour:

You can just see Catalina Island on the far left, and that's Palos Verdes in Long Beach to the center right of the photo.

Friday-Saturday: Off. 

I had a long day Friday and by the time I left the office, just could not face a workout, I was way too exhausted from barely sleeping all week. Saturday, I woke up feeling under the weather, and felt worse as the day progressed, even with a nap. I texted Jess and she agreed that the best course of action was to rest and gear up for the long run, if I was up to it. 

Sunday: 12 mile long run loop through Newport Beach and Irvine.

Thankfully, resting paid off, and this was a strong run! 

I ran with Kristina and we did a partial loop that had 500 ft elevation gain (rolling hills, almost entirely in the first 5 miles) and a slight downhill after that for 700 feet lost (good CIM course simulation). 

Weather was hot -- 74 degrees, "feels like" 84 with 84% humidity at 7:15, and 78 degrees, "feels like" 82 with 60% humidity at finish. I sweat a LOT. I was experimenting with new fueling, and had 20 ml of Gatorade between miles 6-9, which seemed to work well. Also drank two handhelds of water (refilled when I bought Gatorade at mile 5.5). No other fuel. 

Avg HR of 149 (definitely inflated by hills, heat and last two tempo miles). Avg pace: 9:40. 

Splits: (1) 10:17, (2) 10:04, (3) 9:37, (4) 9:42, (5) 9:52, (6) 10:03, (7) 10:05, (8) 9:52, (9) 9:41, (10) 9:48, (11) 8:30, (12) 8:29. 

Total Mileage = 22.7 

Not an ideal week of training, but this is why Coach Jess and I decided to do an 18 week training plan. With my job, weeks like this happen. Having that cushion means I can focus more on rest and recovery during the rough weeks without totally sacrificing my training and without marathon training becoming an additional source of stress.


  1. Dude, we will have to meet one day where I can tell you the story about the time I tried to do a long run through Laguna Coast and ran out of water and ended up on a closed access trail, jumped a fence, and walked through a golf course. O.o.

    1. I totally forgot to mention that we hit a closed access trail and that was part of our decision to turn around... were you at Bommer Canyon??

      I'm not 100% sure the police officer existed and that we didn't hallucinate the whole thing haha.

    2. Oh and yes, a meet-up sometime would be great! :)

  2. That work/life balance thing can be really tough when the work part gets crazy hectic, but you got a lot of good runs/training in!

  3. Friend, you're alive! ;) As you know it's all about consistent training, so at the end of the cycle, one "off" week won't be the end of the world. I have a feeling the work/live/training balance is going to kick into high gear for me soon--fingers crossed I can handle it as well as you do!

    1. Haha, I'm here! I have a feeling that you'll be able to balance it, but that's because I'm already amazed at how much training you fit in constantly!