Training Recap – Week of March 9, 2015

Less than 5 weeks to go.

Thursday night, our bib number and start times (wave) and corral info was released. I’ll start at 10:50 AM ET, wave 3, corral 6. Knowing this enabled me to start my Saturday long run at that time to try to get my body a little more accustomed to later starts. More on that below.

Not a great training week. Very low energy, sore legs, very cranky glute mins and hams (esp the L). Kept backing off planned workouts trying to give my body more time to recover, but not sure how much recovery is happening. DST is not my friend, messing with my already troublesome sleep patterns and amounts. (I know, people like it light later, but for me, it’s harder to get to sleep as early as I need and harder to get up in the AM.) My allergies may also be kicking in. Trying not to let this all mess with my head, but struggling with it. Let’s hope next week is much better!

Run: 48.75 miles (below 50, not happy about that, but trying to remember priority not mpw, but consistency, quality and getting to the start healthy)

  • T – 11mi. This is usually my tempo/goal pace run day. Not this week. 4×0.5mi at lower speeds to warm up, increased pace 0.1 for each of next 2 miles, then cut it back 0.1 to finish the rest. HR up to 140. Much more humid even though the room didn’t hit 60. Hams did improve on run. At mile 6, I got a brief energy spike, felt good. Maybe switching to fat burning? Did feel lower energy by about 6.5 but took no gel.
  • W – 5mi: 3 speeds in recovery/ez pace zone. Left ham not good then got better – depends on gait or where I push from? Still too sting-y. Very low energy day.
  • Th – 7mi moving through ez pace zone. Was to be either 90-105 min in ez zone or 50-60min steady state. Turned out to be a shorter run in ez pace. Felt glutes, fatigue, flat legs. No point in pushing distance or pace today. Apparently body has decided this is a cutback week in terms of miles & speedwork. Boo. Hope being smart now gets me something in the end. Slept really poorly last night. First run of year with a/c on and windows open. Still too warm though it helped.
  • Sat – 21mi: 1st mile w/u, then increased pace 0.1 every 3mi, up until mile 19, when I got a horrible stitch in my upper right abdomen. I decided to cut back the pace a little while I tried to work through it by exhaling when my left foot hit – which eventually worked – but it hurt so badly that at 19.75 I cut back even further, to my recovery pace, for the last 1.25 miles. Still got to mile 21 (past Heartbreak Hill). Frustrated as I wanted 23 miles. Probably could have continued but my legs were hurting when I started (not much worse when I finished) and I decided I knew I could run those miles, so there was no point pushing it further. Save the miles for another day (preserve my ability to do future training and get to the start line healthy). This was the warmest run I’ve had this year/training cycle certainly, and the warmest in a very long time. I had the window open, 4 fans blowing right on me AND the a/c on. Whether it was from the outside temp, the increased humidity (it rained) or the time of day, by the time I was done, the room temp was 66 degrees (across the room from the treadmill so probably warmer where I was) and 50% humidity. So it felt like 86+….I was hot and poured water on my head, down my front and back, and splashed my face. Not more than I drank but more than usual. I think I got somewhat dehydrated though.

Schedule: I “slept in” – which is not the schedule for race day – though I slept poorly and was just laying there awake for quite a while. Ate half a Hammer bar with my BeetElite at 8:45 or so, 2 hours before running. This may have been poor timing and could have caused my stitch. I’ve read that eating 3+ hour before is best. I’ll have to try that next week. Alternatively, I may just have to go from wakeup (probably 5am) through getting to the buses, out to Hopkinton and through the wait to the start without fuel. Yesterday I felt like I could have done it, and race day adrenaline might help. Not sure it’s a great idea, but it might beat the stitch. I’ve only had a stitch once before in recent years, a few weeks ago in a 14 miler, after a 3x3mile goal pace workout, and it was much milder. (no commonality between the two runs or eating before/during that I can find) I took Vespa at 10am and my FRS chews just before I started (another difference, but doubt that’s problematic). GU: Vanilla Bean mi 4, then Salted Caramel mi 8, Vanilla Bean mi 12, Straw-Kiwi Roctane mi 15.5. Need to start practicing taking a Vanilla or my EFS at the start.

The theme for my podcast listening turned out to be mental health, struggling and balancing running with life.

Listened to:

  • Marathon Talk – the latest episode has an interview with Rohan Kallicharan, who talked very frankly and openly about his bipolar disorder and how running has helped him. When he started running, he was quite overweight and never trained outside because of it. He’s now not only in shape and chasing a sub 3:15 marathon, he’s running races to support mental health charities in the UK and training others. It’s well worth listening to. In the Training Talk segment, Tom Williams, one of the two hosts of the podcasts, talked about his struggles in training for the Comrades Marathon, which he’ll be running with his wife Helen (his dad was to run with them also, but has been injured). Tom’s kids have had chicken pox and he’s been working a lot of hours. He talked about how little mileage he’s been running, and how the life demands on his time and energy cause less/poor sleep, poorer nutrition choices, and how that sort of spirals and feeds on itself. He considers pulling out of Comrades and gets support and suggestions from others. I won’t spoil his decision, listen for yourself. I found it nice to hear about someone else’s difficulties – not that I want anyone else to have difficulties! – as I can relate and it made me feel a little better.
  • UltraRunner Podcast – Eric Schranz talks to addiction specialist (and runner) Dr. Drew Mikita about ultrarunning/running and addiction. Eric also shares that he’s recently had to make some fairly major changes with respect to his running and racing due to some stress in his family. Again, very candid and talking about issues many of us may face.

We’re up to 4 weeks of poor sleep on long run nights now. Last night was a tossing/turning kind of night, just couldn’t fall asleep and then stay asleep. I feel like I was awake more than asleep, and was REALLY awake 3-4:30 or so. Got some decent sleep between 4:30 and 6:30, though a bunch of strange dreams.

  • Sun – 4.75 mi: 1.5mi inside on the treadmill to warm up. This run – even getting dressed for it – was mind over matter. Almost bagged it during the treadmill run. Hams and glutes cranky, but left ITB pretty loud. Then walked outside to Shamrock-like wind gusts, almost turned around again. Got halfway down the block and the ITB really cranked and I almost stopped, thinking “no one would blame me”. But somehow I convinced myself to keep going. There were probably 3 more points during the run where I thought “I could just go home now” but I did the run I planned. It starts with a short very steep uphill, to a block of flat, then a gentle half mile downhill I really like (less fond of coming back uphill), then a shorter steeper downhill for two blocks (where for the first time, wind took my hat off my head and I had to stop to go get it) and return back up that hill for a block of flat then ending with the very steep downhill I’d run up at the start, plus another half or 3/4 mile of flat around the neighborhood. The pace was a few seconds slower than my slowest recovery pace should be, but I decided that was fine. I didn’t really hurt any more after than before (not really any less either), so probably okay that I did it and good that I stopped when I did.

Bike: 30 min M, 30min F, 25min Sat
Core: M & F
Arms: just what I get via core (plank) work, arms are totally wimpy again
Wharton flex: M-F, a little better getting 5 out of 7 days
Chiro exercises: Tues 2 wimpy Ohnos instead of 6. Some single and double leg squats, some deadlifts. Too sore Th.
Coach Jay GSM routine:  Tues LC #1, Myrtls after. Also did Myrtls after run Sat.
Other leg/body strength: none
Calf stretches: doing most days, but trigger point seems to help more than stretches
Walk: 15 min before runs plus an extra 1.75mi to break in the new treadmill belt on Monday and a walk to/from library on Thursday.
Drills: before runs
Other: Chiro Tues, massage Sunday, trigger point and rolling during the week, plenty of e-stim Friday, Saturday and Sunday

How long till your next race? How’s your training going?