Training Recap – Week of July 7, 2014

Just passed 14 weeks to Baystate, and just inside 9 weeks until I register for Boston 2015. Week 2 of 4 of my speedwork module, then we start the 12 week training plan for Baystate.

Run: 46.12 miles. Glad it’s above 45, bummed it’s below 50 again. I can see it’s from shorter runs during the week than I’d prefer, but still, something I need to work on.

  • T – 8mi, speedwork. 2mi w/u, 6 x (0.5mi at 30s faster than MGP, 0.25 recovery), 1.5mi cool. Nothing before or during except water, Energy Surge tablets. Had both my regular gel and UCAN “gel” handy, thought about taking the regular but went with the Energy Surge tabs instead. This was a workout I approached with a little trepidation given that it was taking the same pace as last Th’s 0.1mi intervals and doing it for 0.5mi at a time – on top of last week, and longer runs back-to-back Sat and Sun. Legs were a bit heavy during the warmup. Rep 1 was hard, reps 2&3 were the best (3 actually felt decent), 4 was ok, had to push to 5 and really push to 6. I noticed that when I go faster, I feel like I’m striking more on the outside of my foot – I feel that on the whole foot and even the front part. I wonder if my form gets better as I go faster (less pronation). I think I am somewhere between a heel and midfoot striker, have moved more into midfoot as mileage and pace has increased without doing anything particular to change gait. Strengthening may be helping also. I’m particularly proud of this day as I didn’t really feel like doing this workout (or any workout) but I pushed myself through it physically and mentally…and then I did my chiro exercises (which I’ve not been doing) and my first day of Coach Jay Johnson’s GSM and Myrtl sequences, plus a few regular stretches and calf stretches. I can tell I’m going to be feeling this day for a bit. Glad I have a chiro appointment today.

Thought about a 2nd run Tuesday, but didn’t really feel the energy at 445. This may be a case where UCAN 30-60 before would help. Did 2mi walk on the treadmill instead (would have done a 15min warmup for a run anyway), figuring that would flush the legs a little and hopefully make tomorrow’s run better but not put too much stress on them post-speedwork/strength. (did feel a little low blood sugar 2nd mile and after) Trying to be smart, ramp up carefully & always look to stay on the good side of that fine/red line (which is not always linked to mileage numbers, one of my past gotchas). Steady as we go! Decided to do my core work after the walk instead of tomorrow morning (hey, let’s throw some more strength work at my glutes!) on the “hard days hard, easy days easy” concept – plus that means I might be able to run a little longer in the morning and maybe get my Whartons in before work so I can run errands after.

  • W – 4.5 recovery miles. Glad I did my core workout last night! Slept like a rock and really didn’t want to get up. Poked along, legs sore and stiff…didn’t go as long as I wanted due to that and time. No time for Whartons in the morning, did them before dinner. Didn’t get down to the gym at work. Probably better for my legs anyway. Speedwork again tomorrow, long run Saturday. Gotta remember the goal isn’t total miles (grumble) or total workout time with XT, it’s being able to run the race I want at Baystate and races after.
  • Th – 8.32mi. Ez pace miles + strides. No gel or UCAN, just an Energy Surge tab mi 1 & mi 4. 2mi w/u, 2mi 20s faster, 2mi 20s faster then 15 x (10sec on, 1min recover) with 1st 10 being at GMP, last 5 at 30s faster than GMP. Strangely, the strides felt the best of any part of the run – maybe because it was only 10 seconds at a time. Sometimes faster running feels better, and I know sometimes I underestimate how fast I can go. Lower back/R hip feels a little tweaky. Slept ok, not as well as Tues night (a dream or two, a 330 wakeup). However, still didn’t want to get up. Glad it was a telework day. Legs less sore (except hams – both sore but cranky L more so) but sort of “dead” feeling. No energy there or anywhere else. Did manage to make myself do GSM, Myrtl & bow pose after a protein drink and some tea. Finished up the day with another 2mile tmill walk after work, then my core routine (so I don’t have to do it Friday AM – in theory I can then do Whartons after bike) and Whartons before dinner.
  • Sat – 18.3mi: 4mi w/u, 3mi 20s faster, 4.3mi 20s faster, 5mi marathon goal pace (yes!), 2mi c/d. Was the distance and target for run (5 at MGP) I’d wanted and planned – and only 2nd 18miler since Shamrock in March, last one in mid-May, so that’s good, right? Took 1/2 serving of my EFS Liquid shot gel mixed with water at mi 11.3, other 1/2 at mi 14.3, along with ice water (well, it was ice water at the start) at Baystate water stop points. Nothing before. After, 3 SportLeg capsules and 1 scoop of chocolate UCAN+1/2 scoop of Ultragen in ice water while riding 40min on the bike to spin legs out. Pretty trashed. Was tired when I started this, tired the whole way through. Started with pain in/below L knee (on and off, but seemed a little swollen), soreness in arches, and a worrisome pain on inside of L ankle that seems to indicate m my PTT is not happy. Trigger point on calf makes it better temporarily, but may mean I’m overpronating more than I should, thus making me worry about shoes/orthotics and such. Will mention to chiro. As I ran, got rid of some of that and moved my pain into outer hips, glutes, hip flexors and upper hams (oh boy!). After bike, got myself to do the mobility exercises in Myrtl routine (yay me!) skipping clams and leg lifts as they are strength and my legs were quite done. I feel like I should be more pleased with this run than I am. It certainly was a test of mental strength and willpower. I’d like to get my energy level a bit higher, but could be just one of those days, though I’m having a lot of them….and I gutted through it anyway. No “feel good” after, just wiped and sore. Wore my compression shorts and knee sleeves (no ice) for a couple hours afterward. Couldn’t face the ice as I make the house so cold for my runs that after I freeze. Did ice my ankle while on the porch this afternoon. Whartons before dinner. Legs hurt in evening.
  • Sun – 7 miles, recovery pace on the treadmill. Legs somewhat better than yesterday, but still feeling that long run. Noticed that I felt better in last mile when I focused on lengthening my stride. That may be the flip side of shorter stride length and higher cadence that I think I’ve gotten from being a treadmill runner – my hip extension needs work. Gotta keep an eye on L PTT/ankle. Did the mobility part of Myrtl, bow pose and down dog post-run as well as calf stretches. Sleep has been getting more broken and more bizarre-dream-filled as the week went on. Not good.

After breakfast and some house stuff on Sunday, I headed to a bike shop to do a test ride on an Elliptigo set up on a trainer. Yes, I finally found a place that would do it, with a nice, knowledgeable mechanic/bike guy! (talked to a different guy, same shop, never called me back – this guy helped me at light speed) He was somewhat mystified that I didn’t WANT to ride it outside, but got onboard with my program, answered lots of questions, even took one out to my car to see if we could fit. My sense is, if I want it, he’ll make it fit, get me in touch with Elliptigo’s east coast rep who lives nearby, and provide help as he can.

So how did I like it? Well, he set up the 11 (the lightest and highest priced model – no way I’m buying that one) so it wasn’t a completely perfect test as I’m vacillating between the 8 and 3 (numbers are gears, and lowest is cheapest, go figure). There was more side-to-side movement than I’d expected or probably would want, though he pointed out it’s less than you’d get on the road, and it’s helpful for strengthening core stability muscles. True. Checked with my twitter bud who’s used it on a trainer and he said it does rock a little, but he could still manage to do hands-free. (impressive!) I could definitely feel the effects of the elliptical motion in quads and hip flexors (learned I would probably want the toe cage accessories) and felt like the rear part of the stride was less than I expected.

It was hard especially at first, but I went a minute or two, stopped and talk, went a minute or two, and the “intervals” got my heart rate up, which doesn’t happen on the bike. It would be very different from my minimal resistance, high spin bike (with iPad and hot tea) sessions – can’t see a way to use the iPad during it for one.  But it would certainly mimic the motion of running with much higher fidelity and help me develop muscles that I think need it (quads for hills) with low/no impact “miles”. It would take me quite a while to work up to a continuous hour or more, I think, but maybe intervals spaced out over that time would be a good enough start.

At some point, it’d be interesting to see if I could perhaps do second “runs” on the Elliptigo most run days, and longer sessions on XT days. I need to do a little more research on the gearing ratios and such….the bike guy suggested the 8 ($700 more than the 3!!) because not only does it have more gears, the gearing ratio means that the lowest gear on the 8 is easier than the lowest gear on the 3. And I’d surely need easy to start. There’s a lot I could do with that money, so it’s going to be a tough decision. If you want to know what it looks like to use one on a trainer,  watch this.

Bike: 2 – 1h (M/F), 40 min after Saturday’s LR 
Core: 3 (M/Tues/Th)  
Wharton flex: Mon, Tues, Wed, Th, Fri (AM), Sat, Sun
Yoga: None. Unless you count bow pose and my core routine. 
Chiro exercises: Tues, yesss! Decided against it on Th, legs pretty dead. 
Myrtl routine: 2 full (T/Th), 2 partial (Sat & Sun – only mobility work)
Calf stretches: T, Th, Sat, Sun
Elliptical: nope
Walk: pre-run 15 min warmups, 2mi on Tues after work, 2mi on Th after work
Drills: before every run – lunge matrix, high knees, skips, butt kicks, butt kicks moving in reverse, karaoke
Other: weekly chiro visit

Have a great week!