With Thanksgiving upon us, I can’t help but get in the mindset of feeling grateful for a lot of things in my life. In terms of running, I was thinking this week about how I’ve been a whiny little b* this whole training cycle, complaining about how tired I am and how everything sucks, etc. etc. But the reality is that there are so many positive things that I feel thankful for, such as:
- Having a job/supervisor flexible enough to allow me to come in later two days a week, so I can fit in 90+ minute workouts on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings.
- Having the financial resources to buy (pricey) wholesome groceries at the beginning of the cycle to cook, as well as the takeout from restaurants when I got lazy in the second half of training.
- Having friends and running groups for company on long runs. This was a huge help mentally.
- Having the resources to afford half marathon race entries to “practice” racing. This was a real luxury, especially my weekend away in Healdsburg.
- Having a spouse who puts up with my early bedtimes, even earlier wake ups, and weekend mornings devoted to running instead of brunch.
- Living in an area which, despite not being a fantastic/scenic/ideal place to run, still has reasonable sidewalks and is flat enough to do interval workouts without me having to trudge to a track.
- Mostly decent weather. With a few exceptions, the weather has been fairly ideal.
- Surviving the bulk of this training cycle with nothing more injurious than a few episodes of chafing and one minor head cold. (*knock on wood*)
(Aside: for a more thoughtful, eloquent discussion about privilege and endurance running, I urge you to head over to Angela’s blog, where she wrote about this recently.)
Despite my generally bad attitude throughout this training cycle, I think it’s actually been one of my strongest to date. I think that my attitude problem came from feeling burned out after a full year devoted to a series of PR races. Ironically, I hope to use this to my advantage on race day – i.e., “I’ve worked hard ALL YEAR and it’s time to make it count.”
Anyway! Here’s what happened this past week in CIM training:
Tuesday: Fartleks! 15 x 1 min on/off. 15 reps of anything feels like a lot, even if the intervals are only a minute long. 6 miles @ 9:46/mile
Wednesday: Easy 55 minutes. It’s finally getting colder here, so I broke out the long sleeve tees for the first time this season. 5 miles @ 10:56/mile
Thursday: 6 x 2 min w/ 1 min jog. Even colder than Wednesday! When I woke up, it was 44 degrees F. It’s amazing how quickly this “workout” went by. I even lost track of the number of intervals at some point. 5.7 miles @ 9:52/mile
Saturday: 65 min. Easy miles and managed to finish right before it rained. 6 miles @ 10:47/mile
Sunday: 3 mile warm-up + Berkeley Half Marathon (fast finish long run, FFLR). A full race recap will be coming shortly, but as far as the “marathon long run” part of this run went, I’d say it was only moderately successful.
Pros: I ran with Angela and KH the whole time (yay), it was a serious strength workout for my legs (holy hills!), I managed to get my time goal (sort of – see below), and the heavy rain didn’t arrive until 2-3 miles from the finish. Oh, and NO chafing, thanks to TRISLIDE (thanks Angela for the recommendation!).
Cons: I only managed 2.5 miles instead of 3 before the race, I pushed a bit too hard on the hills and had nothing left for the FFLR, the course was short (so I didn’t actually get my time goal), and it started coming down hard with 2-3 miles to go.
I’ll talk a bit more about my goals in my recap, but basically I had hoped to run strong and see how well I recovered, in order to gauge what pace I should target at CIM. Unfortunately, I don’t think it was the best course for target setting because of the elevation gain. Also, while I’d much rather run in rain than wind or full sun, the weather was definitely less than optimal. Hopefully, we’ll have better conditions at CIM? (*knock on wood, again*)
Stats for Sunday: 2.5 miles @ 10:40/mile (warm-up) + 13 miles @ 9:40 (race)
Total mileage: 38.2 miles
How I feel about it: It was nice to have shorter weekday runs this past week. I wish that I felt stronger at the end of the Berkeley Half Marathon, but the truth is that I was tired at the end and glad to be finished. I’ll have to see how my legs feel during tomorrow’s run. I’m wondering whether I should reassess my CIM goals or if I should just chalk Sunday’s race to a tough course in tough conditions.
Looking ahead to next week: I’m trying not to underestimate this week’s workouts, but it seems so easy compared to a few weeks ago. Fartleks on Tuesday, 3 x 2000 m on Thursday, and a 12 miler on Sunday with the last 6 at MGP. Less than 2 weeks until CIM!!