Training Recap – Wk of Oct. 20, 2014 – and thoughts stuck in a loop

Here’s last week’s training recap. Recovery week post-Baystate! Slightly even more “recovery” than useful due to fighting off either allergies or DH’s cold. Actually took a sick day from work Wed and didn’t work out at all. I did not run for 5 days after the race, per past experience and suggestions from coaches. Never did get to the pool.

Run 10.02 miles 

  • Sat – 2.42 mile shakeout run with the Runner’s World Marine Corps Marathon Challenge group (kind of them to let me participate). More on that run in my Weekend Update post.
  • Sun – 7.6 mile recovery run on my treadmill, catching up on part of the Marathon Talk podcast from this week and the Another Mother Runner podcast ep detailing Sarah’s BQ at Victoria Marathon.

Bike: 1h Monday in hotel, 30 min Tues, 1hr Th, 1h Fri
Core: F AM 
Wharton flex: 6 (skipped Tues post-chiro)
Chiro exercisesWas able to do Ohnos Thursday, 4 days post-race! Full 6 set, jumping – not huge wide leaps, but real jumps nonetheless!
Coach Jay GSM routine: Thursday, LC #1 fine. Laterals a bit clumsy. Pedestals w leg raises! Laterals and front fine, back as usual tougher. L ham complaining a little, did Myrtls.
Calf stretches: Didn’t actually count it – did them  most days
Walk: Sunday, walked 15 min before run.
Drills: Didn’t wind up doing much in the way of drills Sat outside with other runners. Sunday, did normal drills but forgot my lunge matrix.
Other: Chiro Tues, massage Sat
Nutrition: Gave myself M/T to have extra treats at dinner/evening, then tried to get back to “normal” eating (vaguely controlled/regimented with uncontrolled periods). Ate like a weekday on Sat/Sun since I didn’t run much. Much nutrition stuff to figure out.

Looking forward:

I’m trying to figure out how to approach Richmond. Originally it was to be an “easy” (as in take it easy, not it will be easy!) training run for my ultra in Dec. per Coaches Tawnee and Lucho at Endurance Planet. Then, I started thinking that really, everything after Baystate is actually training for Boston, and less important on its own than for what it gives me in that regard. (I want to finish Richmond and the 50k well and may have a goal time for each – and then will submit Maniac forms.) Richmond has a good stretch of downhill around mile 6-7 and a good/nasty stretch of uphill around mile 16. Great Boston training.

THEN, my DH (as he is wont to do) put a bug in my ear, thought in my brain, etc….of wondering if I could do even better at Richmond than I did at Baystate. He suggested I go out with a faster pace group and see how it felt, see how long I could hold it. If I feel good, maybe I do better. If I’m not feeling it, drop back and finish. He tends to be more of the “go hard, see what you can do” type in races, where I will go hard, but I want to have a fair amount of confidence and training to back up the goal I’m after – and I try to want to stay even pace, not blow up. I guess I set goals that aren’t gimmes, but that I think I might be able to reach. (unless you count my super-ambitious goal for Baystate that I backed away from during training) On the other hand, he has always had more confidence than I have in my abilities, and so far, he’s been proven right. I’ve been able to do things I thought were only dreams, and I’m dreaming bigger (well, faster) now. Why NOT go for it, being willing to pull the plug at the first sign of any physical discomfort that might cause me problems in maintaining consistent, healthy training for Boston?

OR, I could just run however I feel, go with podcasts, start with a slower pace group or maybe find a tweep to hang with and take it very easy for those 26.2 miles……I don’t know what I want to do or what the “right” thing is to do – quite often that’s only clear in retrospect once you’ve done something that went well or awry.

And so my brain spins on the hamster wheel. I may only decide day of race or as I start the race – and may even change my mind then!


The other main hamster wheel topic is my nutrition, diet, food, whatever you want to call it.

I still need to decide whether I’ll go back to gluten-free grain (and possibly goat cheese!) for a while to see if I note a performance improvement. (and if so, when) It’s an experiment I’m leery of, because I did well last year and at Shamrock and Baystate with the paleo-ish non-grain diet.

Looking at what I could eat before a late start race and still follow my current constraints leads me to maybe a cranberry Hammer bar but it’s pretty high fat and high sugar. Obviously, a GF bagel or oatmeal would be easier.

One part of me is really tempted to try GF grains again – the part that misses options and yumminess,and eating out with DH would be SO much easier if GF were the “only” constraint. It’s darned near impossible now, quite stressful except for one restaurant that’s a bit pricey for a regular visit and one where I have one or two things I can get but it’s limited. (ignoring our Chinese and BBQ takeout joints)

I almost think “keep the diet till after the ultra, then go wild in Arizona with GF and see what happens”. I would love to eat GF pizza, GF chocolate chip cookie and GF treats from some places there. (sadly one fave closed in Scottsdale but is open in Gilbert… and Tammie Coe still wouldn’t be an option) And would I dive into dairy? (goat cheese on pizza or maybe Sweet Republic, which didn’t make me sick the last time I ate it some years ago, maybe no additives is key?)  Do I want to get sick in Arizona and on the way home, and start the new year that way? Would i get sick? (wow, I’m really obsessing about food lately – and missing certain things, obviously…it’s hard because you have to eat, and it’s all choices, all the time)

My sister suggested I try going back to GF grain as an experiment, see how it goes, and that I didn’t have to eat everything all the time. My MT suggested maybe try 2 days a week of GF grain and see how that went. But it’s often easier for me to be an abstainer rather than a moderator, maybe because I’m so rule- and routine-oriented. (I think my sister is a moderator – she can eat a small bowl of something and stop. Sometimes I can do that, more often I get a second bowl! I envy moderators…..)

I just started reading Older, Faster, Stronger by Margaret Webb last week, and am finding it interesting. Trying to read a chapter a night. (keep reading, I do have a point here)

Description from her web site: Older, Faster, Stronger: What Women Runners Can Teach Us All About Living Younger, Longer (Rodale Books, 2014) grew out of my midlife crisis. Forget the sports car, I wanted to achieve the seeming impossible: To enjoy the wisdom of a 50 year old but inside the body of a very fit 20 year old. So I set out on a quest to shake off my midlife malaise and get fitter after 50 than I was as a varsity athlete at university. My journey took me across North America to run with pioneers of the women’s running boom and uncover secrets as to how they manage to run well into their 70s, 80s and even 90s; to Africa to train with elite marathoners and reach back to the dawn of the human race to explore why women can live so strong and for so long; and, finally, to Europe where I tested myself in a race against some of the fittest 50 year olds on the planet. Along the way, I consulted with a team of experts, tapped the minds of leading researchers and delved into physiology and aging labs, all in my quest to understand how to live longer, younger and enter a glorious second act to my life.

Part of the advice she gets is on eating….and she winds up going essentially Paleo (she calls it “Cavemam”) with timed carbs/high carb before, during, and after races and specific runs. The book argues well for staying the course i’m on.

And then there’s dairy (goat cheese! whey protein! Arctic Zero!) and things to address my GERD like not eating after dinner, eating dinner really early and trying to get to bed by say 8:30. I don’t know which of these changes I *should* make for improved performance and recovery, which I can tolerate in my life – although I can pretty much do anything if I want it bad enough….but Boston is 6 months away (only or a long time depending on what I’m thinking of).

So many decisions! Almost too many, decision fatigue. And all I really want is to get back to training. I need to put my plan together for Boston. I need some hours to focus on that, figure out goals and work through my trusty YOU again to come up with the plan. I’m thinking hill and speed modules first, along with Richmond and the ultra, then the regular 12 week module starts in January. Need to figure out what additional core and strength work to do, and other tweaks (mostly adds, I think) to my training so I can give it my absolute best on April 20th. Also need to figure out if I’m going to Greg McMillan’s Boston training retreat in February – Valentine’s Day weekend – in Phoenix. Would be the first time I’ve run a half in training for a full. Would also be first V-Day away from DH since we got together many years ago….

And in random running/racing thoughts…I was having race envy with all the MCM vibe this past weekend, and that really hasn’t happened before. I like training more than I like racing, generally. I’m sort of thinking about a 10k on Sunday (someone reminded me that post-marathon or in marathon training, one can often set 5k/10k PRs, and my 10k is really old) and some 5ks in Nov/Dec. But Sunday is the NCYM (I plan to watch Deena and Meb after my run is over) and it’s also fall-back day….that extra hour of sleep is something I prize. Is a 10k – driving into DC early, walking a mile plus each way to and from my car, etc. worth it? I’d like a better PR, sure, but marathons are really my thing.

Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts on any or all of the above.

Note: I wrote this post Monday night. Tuesday morning, I was adding a few links when I got a (much-needed?) dose of perspective. Michael Csapo just posted an update on his fight with pancreatic cancer. He’s been having a very, very difficult time. Perhaps you could read his post and offer some words of support to him via twitter (or if you’re on tumblr maybe you can comment). Thanks!