Happy Labor Day! Hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend. 🙂
Last week’s training started off with a minor funk. I don’t know if it was a continuation of the “I’m so bored with running around Lake Merritt” feeling from a couple of weeks ago, or whether a tiny bit of overtraining was settling in, but a negative vibe was definitely in the air. I was even feeling annoyed that because my job is so flexible, I don’t have any semi-legitimate excuses to talk myself out of a run. (I know, pretty lame.) Instead of dwelling on these negative feelings, I tried to focus on being positive. First, I concentrated on being grateful that I’m healthy enough to run and train for a marathon. Related to that, I’m also very glad that I haven’t suffered any injuries or setbacks so far (knock on wood!). Second, I started focusing on all of the great things about Lake Merritt — the lack of stop lights, the nice scenery, the abundance of bathrooms and water fountains, and the diversity of people milling about. It’s a great and convenient place to run, and I’m lucky to have it “in my backyard.” I think being positive helped. I also know I need to continue to be positive, especially in the upcoming 5 weeks — i.e., the most intense weeks of this training cycle.
Anyway! Here’s what happened this week in MCM training (“planned” workout in green/“actual” in bold):
Monday: Rest or cross-training/rest.
Tues: 4/4. In light of the fact that I overindulged Monday night at a friend’s going away dinner and stayed up past my bedtime, this run wasn’t too bad. The worst part – my new Skullycandy Ink’d earbuds. They might be good for non-active pursuits, but they were terrible for running. First, they go fully into your ear canal, but in that way that amplifies sound within your body and with the headphones. Basically, every time the wires bounced (like, with every step), it was so loud that it overwhelmed the sound coming out of the earbuds. I didn’t want to turn the volume up further because I prefer to hear some of what’s going on around me for safety reasons. Second, I couldn’t just listen with one earbud because it kept falling out. Finally, the sound quality was really poor. I’m no audiophile, but it would be nice to be able to hear what was coming out of my headphones. I don’t think Target will take them back, now that I’ve opened and used them, but there’s a possibility that they could be good for some situations (e.g., while riding the BART), so I’ll just hold onto them as a backup. I ordered a new pair of Apple earbuds immediately.
Wed: 9/9. These midweek medium-long runs are the toughest for me mentally. I had to drag myself out the door… but as usual, once I started running, things were fine. I listened to some good podcasts and also saw the cutest group of silver-haired ladies rowing a boat in matching sailor outfits.
Thurs: 4/4. With the Skirt n’ Dirt 25K approaching on Saturday, I decided to save my energy and skip speed work. I focused instead on staying in the moderate aerobic zone.
Oh, and there was this:
Fri: Rest or cross-training/rest. Carb loaded like a champ! Bring on the noodles!! And the slurpees!
9 @ marathon pace/Skirt n’ Dirt 25K: 15.54 trail miles with 2900′ elevation gain. Recap coming soon! Here are the stats:
time: 3:33:02 (13:40/mile)
17/30 age group, 39/73 overall
I celebrated by pigging out on Korean food, bowling, drinking, and staying up past my bedtime (2nd time this week!).
19/8 recovery. The 25K threw a curve ball into my scheduled weekend mileage. Even though I could rationalize that the 25K was just as tough as a 19 mile road run (actually, tougher IMHO), I didn’t know what to do with the remaining 9-12 miles on my schedule. In the end, I decided that time on my feet was more important than mileage. So, I calculated the amount of time I would’ve spent running 28 miles over the weekend, which was 5 hours. Then I subtracted the 3:30 I spent at Skirt n’ Dirt to get 90 minutes. To further motivate me to get out the door, I promised myself walk/run intervals of 9 min jogging to 1 min walking. This helped tremendously, since I wasn’t feeling great after an overly indulgent Saturday night, not to mention the sore muscles from Skirt n’ Dirt. It worked out great — I’ve noticed that whenever I’m tired, my form starts suffering, so having short walk breaks helped to reset my form and made the run really doable.
Wrap-Up: 45 miles/40.5 total. I came up short on mileage this week, but I’m not too concerned. I think that Skirt n’ Dirt will probably be the most challenging run (both physically and mentally) that I’ll have this whole training cycle, and that is more important than completing the scheduled mileage. Speaking of mileage, I wrapped up August with 170 miles for the month, and 850 for the year! For the record, I ran 830 miles in 2012, so I’ve already surpassed my previous annual mileage record — WOOT!!
On tap next week: Biggest. Week. Ever. The first of three 50 mile weeks!! And the first of three 20 mile runs! Eeeek! I’m simultaneously excited and nervous with anticipation. Wish me luck!