An alternative name for this post might be “Wasabi’s Surviving Snowpocalypse Training Log”. The weather certainly threw a big icy, slippery wrench into my running plans for last week, but it also saved me from what was shaping up to be the most hellish work week of my life, so I can’t complain too much. Through it all, I somehow managed to log 50 miles across 5 runs. Check out all the juicy details in this week’s edition of my Salty Running training log!
Monday, 2/10, Rest Day, FTW! I was feeling a little beat up from Sunday’s epic marathon relay victory/ long run combo, so I opted for a little rest day. Nothing like a little listening to your body to kick off the week!
Tuesday, 2/11, 7.5 Easy Miles, Plus Few Hill Sprints: Guys, I am staring down the barrel of the week from hell . The open at one job/ close at the other shifts are RELENTLESS this week, and I seriously don’t know if I’m going to make it. Struggling to find a way to fit the miles in nonetheless.
Today was a just an easy hour, plus a few little hill sprints with awesome run buds Kara and Amy. I felt pretty drag-assy and underwater, but I was also very grateful to get a little physical activity in my day, and for the support of awesome friends. Just taking it one day at a time this week. I can do this!
Wednesday, 2/12, THE REAL SNOWPOCALYPSE 2014 paralyzes The Triangle and thwarts my workout efforts! Unplanned rest day.
Thursday, 2/13, Snow Day Dreadmill Grind, 8.01 Miles: After missing yesterday’s run thanks to the insanity that came with The Real Snowpocalypse Durham, I knew I couldn’t make any excuses today. The fitness center opened at 10 so I dragged myself on over for some work (and by “work” I mostly mean catching up on social media), some coffee, and some running on the treadmill. I tried to take the lessons I had learned from my recent treadmill speed workout suck-fest (ICYMI, you can check it out here,) and apply them to you know, making this time on the treadmill a little sucky.
My plan was to do something interval-ish to keep my mind engaged as much as possible, but not something so hard that it broke me mental and physically like last time. I settled on 6x 1 min at 10K pace (6:40)/ 1 min at 8:00 min pace, a 4 min break at 8:00 min pace, and then 6x 1 min at 5K pace (6:18)/ 1 min at 8:00 min pace. There isn’t any science or coaching expertise of any kind behind this workout. I was just going for something that would vary frequently to keep me entertained with bouts short enough that they wouldn’t kill me but intense enough that they still might give me some sort of aerobic fitness benefit. Who knows if this was a good choice from a physiology standpoint, but it worked pretty well as far as keeping my treadmill suicidal thoughts to a minimum. The 1 min intervals were completely attainable at both paces and the 2 sets of 6 ate up six miles, so I just had to slog through a 2 mile cool down to get the 8 miles I was after. The cool down may have been the most excruciating part of the whole workout, but in the end it was still a vast improvement over my last treadmill experience. I immediately negated any caloric expenditure benefits of this run by consuming approximately 7 Thin Mint girl scout cookies upon returning to my desk (I swear they should rename those things “Fat-Ass Mints”), but hopefully I still reaped some marathon training benefits. Cheers to getting it done, even on snow days!
Friday, 2/14, Braving the Snowpocalypse Aftermath, 7.26 Miles: Today I just couldn’t bring myself to run on the treadmill again, so I set out to survey the carnage of Snowpocalypse 2014. The temperature was actually quite fabulous for running, somewhere in the mid to high 40’s, but the little trails and parking lots that make up the first part of my little around-the-work-campus loop were still quite treacherous indeed. I clocked an 11:06 split for mile 1 as I teetered, skated, slid, and swore my way across the first shady, glacial abandoned parking lot. It was on the road to melting, but still mostly a sheet of ice and slippery as crap. I was really glad to put that part behind me and proud of myself for busting neither ass nor face.
Mile 2 of my campus route goes up a little wooded trail to a substation and back. This part was less icy, but still very much covered in deep, crunchy snow. I was genuinely surprised by how far I sunk down into it with each step. Like 3 or 4 inches, probably! Guys, Snowpocalypse 2014 was actually kind of legit! (You know, by North Carolina standards.) 10:05 split for my second mile. OMG, kill me now.
By mile 3 I had cleared the sketchy, snowy parts of the route and was on to nice, plowed, paved roads. I thought I might try to get a few MGP miles out there but it didn’t really work out that way. Completely unable to settle into a rhythm and find my mojo, I ran 3 more struggle bus miles at 9:15, 8:26, and 8:12, respectively. (At least they were progressively less struggle bus-ish each time.) And finally, by mile 6 I was able to access one laborious little 7:30 split, plus at 7:57 for the final mile cool down. At least it wasn’t the treadmill. Although my last run there was much faster.
Ah well, cheers to getting it done and to remaining injury-free despite icy conditions.
Saturday, 2/15, Rainy Slush-fest, 10.01 Miles: I kind of can’t believe I actually went on this run, y’all. It was totes disgusting out there… Cold, rainy (and I’m talking real rain, not just a little drizzle), with slushy snow and black ice all over the place. But youngsters Emma and Liz were there to keep me company so off we went.
Since Snowpocalypse 2014 kind of effed up my training calendar for the week, causing me to miss, you know, all of my workouts, and some mileage altogether, I really wanted to get 10 in today to sort of make up for it. As we set out into the yuck I couldn’t help but wonder if 10 was really worth it.
The slippery conditions on the trail definitely slowed us down, but we progressed along in the rain without too much misery, until about mile 8 until I reached the point of complete and utter saturation through and through. My “water resistance” vest was drenched and my no-longer dri-fit shirt clung to me in an unpleasant fashion and I dreamed of stripping all those wet layers off in favor of a warm shower. But I was this-close to getting to 10, so eff it. Hooray for getting it done, maintaining my zero-face plants in the ice streak, and for the weekend!
Sunday, 2/16, Hilly, Slippery, but Still Good Long Run, 17.21 miles w/ last 4 at MGP: This was a really good long run, despite the fact that the route essentially visited the courses of all of the various races on my list of local events that I never want to do again. It was quite hilly indeed and many an icy spot/ bridge kept us slow and (at times not so) steady for the first part of the run. This probably really came in handy at mile 13 when it was time to pick it up for 4 miles at MGP. I was feeling a little beat up and lethargic from the hills by the time go-time rolled around, but I was really pleasantly surprised at how strong I felt once we got rolling with the working effort part. I had vowed to really stick to the plan of truly running marathon goal pace (7:30). No more of this ridiculous too fast shit. I mean what is the point of that anyway? But alas, the thrill of speed got the best of me once again, and my alleged marathon goal pace splits looked like this: 7:01, 7:03, 7:10, 6:58. These were miles 14 through 17 of today’s 17.21 mile run. Probably inappropriately fast, but I was happy to finish strong and comfortably, even after 13 hilly, slippery greenway miles! Week 7 of the Boston training cycle is officially in the books, friends!
And so goes my tale of yet another week of Boston Marathon training. Looking forward to reaching the half-way mark next week! Until then, happy trails Salty readers!
Have you had to modify your training plan on account of winter weather? How do you manage getting your miles in when mother nature is being an inhospitable punk? Tell me all about it!