Weekend Update March 14-15, 2015

I’m again joining Tara’s Weekend Update linkup. Hop on over to the linkup page and check out how everyone spent their weekends.

5 weeks to Boston. 35 days. One year ago today (3/16 by date, yesterday by “day”) was my very first BQ! So it’s my BQ-iversary. Amazing.

Thursday night, bib number, 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.

I’m a little concerned – my left ear canal seems to be a little swollen, noticed this on Friday. Doesn’t bother me too much, I notice it most when I have my earbuds in or shift my jaw. It doesn’t really seem to be bothered by eating or drinking. Dr. Google tells me it could be an infection of some type, could be related to reflux and TMJ (known problems) or many other things. The most concerning would be something related to thyroid cancer or some other cancer. I’m going to give it a bit to settle down on its own. If it’s something that could be allergy-related, then our changing weather may have set it off. The last couple years, I’ve had some serious allergy problems in April, but not with this presentation. If you’re in NoVa and have a good ENT, I may need a recommendation.


These lovelies showed their faces this week! As the week went on, more of them popped up, and the bees came out too.

crocus - first sign of spring

crocus – first sign of spring


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. 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.


Sat  – Because I had so much time in the morning, I managed to read all the blogs I was behind on and get my browser tabs down to a manageable level. I got done with my run SO late. Mimicking the Boston schedule just threw me off for the rest of the day/night. Going to be that way for the rest of the cycle. 25 minutes on the bike with some Ultragen (and lots of ice) and the decaf tea I’d made before my run. Forced myself to do my Myrtl stretches. By then it was after 3pm, and while my stomach was empty, I wasn’t particularly hungry. I decided not to snack knowing we’d be eating by 6. I couldn’t settle down post-run, doing food prep for dinner, puttering and doing I don’t even remember what. Took a quick Epsom salt bath and shower before dinner.

I made “summer rolls” with my tapioca paper (going to need to order more) and lettuce, carrots, zucchini and some leftover chicken from Friday’s Chinese and cold shrimp halves from the Chinese’ places summer rolls. I make these while we’re watching TV, so that takes some time. (not a bad thing to slow me down) The rolls are topped with or dipped in a mix of almond or sunflower seed butter and coconut aminos. This is now my standard weekend dinner, both Saturday and Sunday, with most of the same veggies (maybe mushrooms and avocado too) and whatever meat is around. It’s light and kind of fun, and gets me some veggies. I didn’t really feel like snacking. No chips, and though I made my frozen bananas and nut butter, I didn’t eat them. Did have some chocolate Arctic Zero with frozen cherries.

We watched only a couple of shows – Arrow and Madam Secretary. I e-stim’d my hams and glute mins for about an hour while watching TV.

Sun – Got up and watched the NYC Half online while writing this post. (e’stim’d my glute mins and ITBs while watching, my left one had been complaining last night) Loved watching Molly Huddle win – 1st American women’s winner of this race! Decided I’d run between watching NYC and the LA Marathon. DH switched his long run to Sunday due to yesterday’s rain (those poor Rock-n-Roll DC runners!) so I was solo. Roasted kabocha and did food prep for Monday. Excited to see Blake Russell (age 39!) win the US Marathon Championships in LA! After that, ate some kabocha (hadn’t had any breakfast) and read a little of my new issue of Marathon & Beyond before heading to massage. Then cleanup, dinner prep and regular Sunday evening.

Work schedule this week will be a little different. I will be in the office M, W, Th as I have all day meetings W/Th, and was going to have them Friday but that got changed. However, I may not wind up being in the meeting, which I was supposed to help facilitate (my newer colleague will take over if so) as I got assigned a high priority editing job that – once I get it – will push everything else to the back burner. I don’t love having to be in the office on Th as it will significantly constrain one of my “quality” runs, and I really can’t move it. But, sometimes that happens. I’m hoping to telework on Friday.

How was your weekend? Did you race?

Did you watch the NYC Half or LA Marathon? Do you watch races online or on TV? (I love it, plus chatting on twitter while I watch.)