Monday, August 17, 2015

Marine Corps Marathon Training - Week 6

Lacking in general updates and slow to even post a recap this week.  I'm trying to acclimate to a major shift in schedule and trying to live out of two residences (or at least sleep at one, and work at/gradually move into another).  So I really do apologize if I'm not up on responses anywhere on social media and for my just lack of being with it.  I promise once things settle down I'll be more with it.  Right now I'm looking longingly at my bed and it's just 7 pm...

So, this week in training went really well for me.  It was what I believed to be the first "hard" week of my training plan - long tempo, more 800s, and a long run over the half marathon distance.  Here's what I did!

Monday: Super easy and just awesome recovery run.  Beautiful sunrise.  One of those mornings you're just thankful to be alive and part of the world.  After I ran outside I went to the gym and did my upper body and core workout.

Tuesday:  Tempo.  It sprinkled a bit for maybe a minute but then it was just humid and gnarly.  However, I was able to pace myself pretty well this week so I guess it didn't bother me as much as I thought.

Wednesday:  Lower Body and core lift session at the gym.

Thursday:  5x800m repeats.  I did a 1 mile warmup, equal recoveries for time, and a cooldown for a little over 7 miles total.  It was fall-like cool out this particular morning (48 degrees when I got up!) and with that my legs seemed to want to run like the wind!  When I felt like I was going slow, I was still going faster than intended!  It always cracks me up the first couple of times I run in cool weather because the effort/pace thing just doesn't line up! haha  So, I guess some people would say I "failed" my intervals since I ran a few too fast, but you know what... these days when I feel this awesome are a blessing to me so I'm not gonna feel bad for it!

Friday: 30 minutes on the treadmill turned into a nice little 5K (3.15 miles, actually).  I felt really good!  Afterward I did 30 minutes of core work.

Saturday:  Long run - 14 miles.  I was a little nervous in the days before this run because I haven't really ran long in a few months.  But the morning of the run I woke up excited and positive and set out to have a good time.  My plan this week was to slow down my run a bit because just running by a straight set heart rate was freaking me out because my pace was consistently faster than I expect.  And I'm not sure that running all my long runs at a pace that would automatically give me a marathon PR if I held that is a good thing.  So what my plan included starting slow - at the very bottom of my heart rate range, barely above even a recovery run.  I ran at that effort for a few miles, then increased a few bpm to a more moderate/easy effort.. then the last few miles I ran at what I may normally try to hold right out of the gate.  This worked really well!  While my first couple of miles were slower than I'd normally run them, I didn't have any major crashes or slowdowns and I felt very strong the last few miles like I could go much farther and faster.  I think I'm going to do my long runs this way more often.  Maybe on the cutback weeks I'll do them the old way, but for now I feel better doing this.  Could I run all of them as hard as before?  Yes.  Absolutely.  But I don't think there's any benefit to it, really, when time on my feet - especially with a newly remodeled bone is important.  And also I do 2 hard speedwork runs a week.  I don't think pushing pace any more than that is healthy for me, either.

I wore my daughter's flower power Bondi Band to give me a boost!

I do want to mention that I tried 2 new gels during this run.. Yes, I like to live dangerously... lol  At mile 5 I took a Lemonade Roctane.  It was probably the most fake thing I've ever tasted.  It was gross.  At mile 10 I had a Double Expresso (and yes, they spell it like that...) Clif shot.  I've never had this flavor before and I love my Espresso Love GU AND this stuff said it had a whopping 100mg of caffeine in it, so I figured I'd give it a whirl...  First of all, the taste could be best described as the thick, strong, old ass coffee at the bottom of a pot at a 7-11 that's been sitting there for like 6 hours.  Way bitter and strong and thick...  BUT - if you can get past that taste, OMG this stuff is a kick in the pants!  I felt like someone lit a fire under my ass and I kid you not I looked down at my watch and realized I was running a 7:11 pace... over a bridge near the end of a long run.  LOL talk about having to put the brakes on!  Just wow... even though it tastes like crap I kind of want to try it again to see if it has the same effect.  :P  It might be a while though because I just stocked up on a whole bunch of gels at REI... we'll see.

Sunday: Rest.  But I walked 7 miles.  Here's another "thing" you should know about me.  When I get stressed out and pissed off I walk.  I literally just like to walk... and walk and walk and walk.  I got really pissy and frustrated Sunday afternoon while working on the new place and went out for a walk.  I walked all over the place from Troy Hill to the North Shore, the stadiums, casino, etc.  I even did Rialto, since I'll be living right by it and wanted to see what it was like on foot rather than car.  I don't think I'll be running Rialto on the regular, I'll tell you that.. lol  Anyway, I really didn't time/pace the walk and I did stop several times, including a run into a store for water, but according to my activity tracker I went 7 miles while I was out.  haha.  Don't worry, I won't add it to the weekly total, but it does amuse me what I'm capable of when I'm really not thinking about it.

Really cool squirrel that came near me on my walk.  He just seemed to have an attitude and I liked that.

This week I ran 35.41 miles, so you see just barely even half a mile more than last week.  I'm still happy with the slow buildup right now, because of the increase of speed training.  In fact, this week that just started is another cutback week already.  I'll have a shorter tempo and shorter long run, but I am adding another 800 to my interval day.  Everything in moderation, right? :)


  1. Even though your miles are close to last week it's about quality and not quantity. You still had some really great workouts. I can't believe you actually walked 7 miles on Sunday, that is nuts... When I get pissed I may walk to the end of the driveway and realize I already walked more than I would of liked too, anyway just keep up the good work and this marathon is going to have a good outcome for you

    1. That's one of the reasons I love being on the north side - it's so accessible to everything and it's easy to just walk everywhere. I don't even realize how far I walk some days because I just want to walk everywhere. I get annoyed when people want to drive downtown.. I'm just like for what? Just walk over the bridge! At least walk to the T station and go from there. If I didn't have a few things that I need to get to that require transportation out of the area I'd totally go carless and save the money.

  2. I tried the expresso gel before, and I agree that it helped a lot. However, it was so freaking thick that I actually had to CHEW IT to get it down! WTF?! That's one main reason that I switched to honey stinger..they're much runnier and thinner so it sits in my stomach a lot better. I think you still had a great week, especially in the midst of change. Hope things go a bit smoother and less hectic this week!

    1. Yes! It was so thick I had to squeeze it out of the packet kind of like toothpaste to get it all out! I can't imagine taking more than one during a run either - what a rush!

  3. I have only ever had the Clif gels because they're the cheapest, easiest vegan gels I can find. I never realized they were thicker than others! No wonder it takes me so long to eat them! I actually love the espresso (ok, I can't misspell it like they do!) flavor even though I'm not a big coffee drinker. I actually love all their flavors and frequently have to stop myself from eating the chocolate & vanilla ones just as a treat!

    Anyway, another strong week with you rockin' it, for sure! As for the long run pace, I remember reading something somewhere that said the HR range is designed so that you start at the lower end, given that HR will increase the longer you run, so that you end up at the higher part of the range. I'm not sure if that was a guideline for a particular training plan, but it sounds like you did something similar & it worked well for you!

    Also, you will be living very close to me! I live right by the brewery at the bottom of the hill.

    1. There are some really runny gels out there... too runny, even. The runniest I've had are Accelgel and while I think they work great because they have protein in them as well as carbs I always end up with it all over me because it's so watery so I rarely use it anymore.

      Yeah, I think this long run method works better... I was doing the "sliding scale" thing before but I didn't give myself enough time to allow for the ramp up in HR. In my head I'd be like "welp, warmup mile is done, time to get movin'" and take off... as usual. I'm such a sucky pacer. Anyway, yes - it sounds like we'll be kinda neighbors. I'm at the top of the hill! No excuse for lack of hill work now... lol.