Weekly training recap: CIM Week 15

T minus 2 weeks to CIM!

Mon: Rest.

Tues: Medium effort, fartlek-ish run around Lake Merritt. Skipped my usual pre-run banana and ate 1 Clif Blok instead — worked like a charm for my GI issues.
Stats: 6.1 miles @ 9:29/mile

Wed: Gym workout: 20 min bike + 20 min rowing machine + 20 min weights and core. Nothing exciting, but I was glad to get it done.
Stats: 60 min cross-training

Thurs: Chilly morning! Took me about 3 miles to warm up. I tried a new route around the neighborhood that, with some tweaking, will probably become one of my regular routes.
Stats: 5.9 miles @ 10:19/mile (370′ elevation gain)

Fri: Rest.

Sat: KP, bt, and I had originally planned on running 20 miles together, but with the rain storm that blew in on Friday, we decided to postpone until Sunday morning. Unfortunately, that meant KP couldn’t join us.
Anyway, it was a wet, dreary day, so I opted for one hour of the P90X yoga workout.
Stats: 60 min cross-training

Sun: Second and last 20 mile run of this training cycle! This 20-mile run was logistically a little more difficult, since it was a point-to-point run on the Iron Horse Trail (formerly a Southern Pacific train right-of-way) from Pleasant Hill to Dublin. I parked my car at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART and met up with bt, who drove us up to Pleasant Hill. Let’s recap this run in 5-mile increments, shall we?

Miles 1-5 (10:06, 10:16, 10:00, 10:37, 10:49): We started off with a fast-ish start, considering that our overall target pace was ~10:30-11:00. Right before the end of the 2nd mile, we pulled off the trail to find a bathroom at a nearby park, only to get there and realize that they were locked. D’oh! We ended up taking a 1.75 mile detour to and from the restrooms at Heather Farms Park.

Miles 6-10 (11:51, 11:09, 10:44, 10:48, 11:04): We slowed down, but in our defense, there was a “false flat” situation, where we were climbing slightly but steadily uphill for the first 15 miles. Despite the slower pace, everything still felt good at this point.

One of the pretty parts of the Iron Horse Trail. I think I took this somewhere between miles 5-6 (Walnut Creek?).

Miles 11-15 (11:15, 11:26, 11:00, 11:07, 10:44): Mile 13 was when mental fatigue started to settle in for me. Once we hit 14, however, I started doing the “only 10K to go” countdown, which helped tremendously.

Miles 16-20 (10:11, 10:24, 10:34, 10:44, 10:28): With 5.1 miles to go, bt suggested that we do 3 x 1.7 mile intervals at 10:00-10:30/mile pace with walk breaks in between. This would accomplish several things: it would break up the monotony, we’d finish the run faster, and we’d get some speed work on tired legs. I thought this idea was brilliant. We did the first interval just fine. Things didn’t work out so well during the second interval when we ended up taking several breaks to search for water and a bathroom. By the time that was done, we were at 18 miles and it seemed silly to stick to the original plan, with all of the breaks we had taken. We ended up finishing the last mile with a 10:28 pace. Yay us!

The less scenic part of Iron Horse Trail, around San Ramon. My handheld water bottle totally photobombed this picture.

Cool-down (1.8 miles of slow walking): With that detour early on to find a bathroom, we ended up having a LONG walk back to my car in Dublin. I usually like to walk during cool-downs, but this was a bit much for my left foot and my right hip, which were both pretty bothersome at this point.

How do I feel about it: I feel good! I think it was a strong run overall. I will save my musings about pacing for the marathon for another post. Physically, I am sore and will probably be doing my weird “zombie walk” due to foot and hip pain. I’m hopeful that it will be gone by Tuesday. Logistically, some of the water and restroom breaks didn’t work out, resulting in the long walk in the end, but everything else went well. I really enjoyed running with bt — it seems like having a running buddy on these long runs makes all the difference in the world. A big shout-out to bt for making the trip out to the East Bay to run with me today!

Misc: Breakfast: half of PB&J. Handheld with Cytomax. One Clif Blok right before the run, and at miles 2.5, 7.5, 12.5, and 17.5. Gu at miles 5, 10, 15. Some GI issues at the beginning due to a late dinner the night before for a friend’s birthday, but otherwise OK. The weather was great in the beginning of the run — low 50’s and cloudy — but the sun eventually came out, making it quite warm. At least there was a breeze to cool things down, even if it was a bit of a headwind.

Stats: 20 miles @ 10:46/mile (~500′ elevation gain)

WEEKLY TOTAL: Target 32 miles/ Actual 32 miles + 120 min cross training
How I feel about it: Another great week. I’m pleased with the paces of my runs this week. Cross-training could’ve been better, but at least I did it. I’m ready for the taper! A


Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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Posted in CIM, Training
16 comments on “Weekly training recap: CIM Week 15
  1. aewills says:

    Hey awesome job! I am really impressed with the strong finish of your long run–I don’t think I ever ever had a 15+ mile training run where the last few miles were faster than the middle. It’s definitely a reminder to be smart about pacing–something I struggled with at Big Sur today. Yay taper!!

    • Jen says:

      Thanks A! I have to credit bt for the faster pace in those later miles — she definitely pushed me harder than I would’ve on my own. It was really good practice for race day. We also had a slight downhill in the last 2-3 miles which helped to push things along. 🙂

  2. Cathryn says:

    That trail looks fab, what a great place to run. Good week training, nice work. Bet you’re so excited about tapering…I would be!!

    • Jen says:

      Yes, I’m very excited about tapering… not just decreasing mileage or increasing carbs, but also just knowing that this is the home stretch.

  3. Laura says:

    Great job, girl! You are SO ready for CIM! Watch out for those taper crazies!!!

  4. Nicole says:

    Impressive times on your long run! Looks like you’re really ready for race day.

  5. bt says:

    I agree with everyone who says you are ready for race day! I’m feeling pretty ecstatic as this was one of my *best* 20-milers ever, and I’ve had 7 previous marathon training cycles to get to this point — you’re a rock star to bust this out during your first cycle. Enjoy your taper, take care of your foot and hip, and see you at CIM!

  6. Dominick S. says:

    I am exhausted just reading that! Sheesh, great job and it looks like you are primed for the marathon, your body will love the taper by the sounds of it!

    • Jen says:

      Thanks Dominick! Yes, I’m definitely ready for a taper. My body is worn out… definitely making an appointment with the physical therapist when this is all done.

  7. Amy says:

    TAPER TIME! Way to finish out strong! I’m sending you anti-anxious thoughts for the next couple of weeks! Very interesting that your banana seems to be the cause of some GI distress. Glad you figured that out!

    I’ve been hearing so much about all this rain you guys are having. I remember one year it rained from November to April and I was so excited to leave for spring break because I couldn’t handle another day of it! Meanwhile over here we just last week broke our 55 day streak of no moisture with an itty bitty rain storm.

    • Jen says:

      Thanks, Amy! Actually, it’s not so much the banana that’s the culprit, as much as eating right before my run. I think I overestimated my body’s ability to digest food before running.

      As for the rain — it’s really alternated ever since I’ve been in California. Last year, it was so dry. I didn’t even go to Tahoe to ski because there was no snow! This is year is supposed to be an El Nino (or La Nina) year, so they’re calling for a lot of precipitation. As long as it’s not raining on December 2nd, I’ll be happy!

  8. Angela says:

    False flats are a bitch. On the other hand, two 20 milers is hard core! (I have never managed more than one in a cycle.) You are ready to rock it!!!

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4/28/19: London Marathon

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