If CIM Training Week 4 was all rainbows and unicorns, then Week 5 was a whole load of the opposite. Here’s what went down:
Tuesday: 90 minutes easy. OOF. This one was a slog, partially due to beat-up legs from Healdsburg, and partially due to having to run endless, mind-numbing loops around my neighborhood. ~8.2 miles (all distances for this week are approximate, given my Garmin woes. See below.)
Wednesday: 60 minutes easy. Another slog. Seems like I might have pushed too hard at Healdsburg! ~5.5 miles
Thursday: Yasso 800s — 7 x (800 m, 4 min 10 sec recovery). OMG. So tough. For those who don’t know, Yasso 800s are a famous marathon predictor workout. You’re supposed to run 10 sets of 800 m with an equal amount of recovery, time-wise. The average for the set of 800s is supposedly a good indicator of your marathon finish time. So, for example, if you can run all 10 with an average of 4:00 minutes per 800, then your marathon finish time should be around 4 hours. I confess that, after a great race at Healdsburg, I started dreaming about a marathon time of 4:00-4:10. So, I ran my Yassos with high hopes… and unfortunately, my splits averaged 4:20. However! I ran these on sidewalk as opposed to the track *and* (as I found out later) my Garmin’s GPS was compromised. Regardless, it was a great workout and I can’t believe I have to do the full set (10 reps) in a couple of weeks. *GULP* ~7.9 miles
Friday: Rest. And my birthday! WOOT.
Saturday: 20 mile long run. So, I had a feeling that this one was going to be tough. Not only was this going to be the first 20-miler of this training cycle, but it was also my first solo long run in many weeks. Oh, and I was going to attempt to get by with as little fuel as possible. (Some of the rationale for fasted, or glycogen-depleted, runs is explained here. Maybe I’ll write a separate post about that at some point.) On top of that, I had indulged in a lot of rich food and wine the day before. It was my birthday after all! The run started off fine, though I could tell early on that my heart rate was very high and my effort level seemed too intense for the pace. It was also really humid and I was sweating a lot (for me). Normally, I can my handheld water bottle and not have to refill for 16-18 mile runs. This time, I finished all of my water by mile 10.
I managed to get through 16 miles on water only, but started bonking pretty badly, so I ate a couple of Clif Bloks at mile 16 and 18. It was still quite a struggle, but at that point, I was very close to finishing, so I tried my best to push forward, no matter how slowly. I also started thinking about it in terms of mental training. I’ve had this same exact feeling many times before, sometimes during races (see MCM, Big Basin 50K), where I feel like I can’t breathe. I don’t think it’s asthma as much as I’m hyperventilating from a psychosomatic stress response. It’s really hard for me to recover once I get in that state. In those last miles on Saturday, I tried to imagine what I might do if this happened to me on race day. I still couldn’t quite manage to calm down or run at an easy pace (I was jogging very, very slowly at this point), but I did commit mentally to moving forward and not taking any more walk breaks. This was probably the hardest run I’ve had in months and left me quite shattered, but at least I did it.
60-75 minutes easy recovery Rest. I woke up to run and decided: NOPE. It was raining, I had to get ready to host a party, and I just didn’t feel like it. So, for the first time in 5 weeks of CIM training, I decided to skip a run. I think it was the right decision!
Total mileage: ~41.6 miles
How I’m feeling: This was a ROUGH week, running-wise. Between recovering from Healdsburg, my Garmin not working, and a tough 20-miler, I feel like this week was definitely a challenge. The highlight was celebrating my birthday and feeling the love from so many people.
Oh, so this issue with the Garmin: the one time I that I was really on top of updating my Garmin to the latest software, it totally screwed up the GPS functionality. First, I noticed that my Strava updates weren’t showing any map data. That was weird. Then, both Garmin Connect and Strava were reporting crazy elevation gains in my otherwise flat neighborhood. It wasn’t until my fartlek run yesterday morning that I decided to investigate this further, because no matter how slow I might be running, I’m pretty sure I was running faster than 9:30/mile pace for 1 minute fartlek segments! So, a quick Google search came up with this enlightening thread about the latest software update…and I was definitely not the only one with this problem. (I love the internet!) A soft reset has fixed the problem for now, just in time for my tempo run tomorrow morning. But the other weird thing that I noticed is how dependent I am on my Garmin for pace/distance information. It’s sad, really. For now, I’m blaming my slow Yasso 800 splits on the Garmin error. 😉
Looking ahead to next (this) week: Speed! Fartleks on Tuesday, tempo run on Thursday, and fast finish long run on Saturday!