Mango’s training logs 8.20.17 and 8.27.17

When I was just a regular Salty Running reader, I used to skip entire weeks of training logs, marking them as read on my feed-reader, and went straight to the ‘informative’ content. What could I possibly learn from workouts and training volumes designed for people who ran marathons entire hours faster than I could? And likewise, what could anyone else possibly have to learn from reading my training logs? Sure, we’re all runners. We all face the same struggles – stagnation, setbacks, injuries, and disappointments. It was just that…some of the training bore zero resemblance to my training reality. And some of the successes bore so little resemblance to mine.
And yet people (you!) do read them, and are kind enough to respond and comment and suggest and empathise. Thank you. I appreciate it.

The theme of this set of training logs is ‘curveball’. There’s always one, every marathon training cycle. This year’s curveball is microbes.

Week ending August 20

Monday – AM: 1 mile to and from pool, 30:00 pool run. PM: Track workout with group: 2 miles warmup, 3x (1600m with each lap faster, 2x 100m strides, 400m shuffle jog), 1 mile cooldown.
Tuesday – 5 miles easy
Wednesday – AM: 4 miles with mid 2 @ tempo. PM: 1 mile to and from pool, 30:00 pool run.
Thursday – Travel day (we went to Chicago for a friend’s wedding). No run.
Friday – Kid comes down with sinus infection, springs high fever. No run. We head to wedding; I take kid back to hotel (he spent the wedding on meds, listless and grumpy) after the ceremony so he can get some rest.
Saturday – I’d planned to do my first 20-miler of the training cycle with a Chicago-based friend. He, too, was sick earlier in the week, and I’m inexorably falling sick with kid microbes, so we trim it down to 16 miles.

from the turnaround point: the Palace of Fine Arts, built for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, now the Museum of Science and Industry

Sunday – Travel day. No run.

Total: 34 miles run, 60:00 pool run, lots of kid-snuggling.

Week ending August 27: Cutback week – Xtreme Edition

Monday – Wrangling sick kid and work. (He can’t go to daycare with a fever, obviously, and we have zero family nearby, so my husband and I tag-team; I work in the morning and take the afternoon off, he takes the morning off and works in the afternoon, we both work through naptime and in the evening.) Falling sick and feeling crappy. No run.
Tuesday – Wrangling sick kid and work. Falling sicker. No run.
Wednesday – Wrangling sick kid and work. Definitely sick. No run.
Thursday – Kid well enough to go back to daycare. Took myself and my above-the-neck cold out for 4 really, really easy miles to get some sunshine.
Friday – Cold subsiding. 3 miles. My yardstick for whether I’m getting better is: am I excited to go for a run? If the answer is yes, I’m definitely getting better. The answer was yes.
Saturday – Cold subsiding. Mini long run, 8 miles. Then we packed up basically our entire house and went camping with friends – two other families and their kids. It was dry and clear, but the temperature got down to about 45F at night – brr! Otherwise, our perfect overnight involved lots of food, enough s’mores to feed a small army, and chasing three skinny-dipping toddlers around a lake beach.

A view of the pond


shortly before all three toddlers stripped off their clothes and began splashing madly

Sunday – Came home, ate some more, ran 4 miles to/ from playground with stroller.

Total: I don’t think this is what my coach had in mind when she wrote a cutback week into my plan, but it was what I needed.

Currently reading: Shaun Assael, Steroid Nation. It’s an entertaining look at the colourful characters who dominated the underground steroid world from the 1980s to the 2000s, but barely scratches the surface to explore the why of steroids. Terrifyingly, a ‘related searches’ list when I Googled Steroid Nation included ‘medicine for bodybuilding without side effects’ and ‘how much testosterone should I inject’. Ah, instant gratification without consequences. (GUYS, THERE IS NO SUCH THING. MAY YOU GET WHAT YOU DESERVE.)

Currently eating: Smitten Kitchen’s zucchini rice gratin, except I subbed a cup of cooked quinoa for 1/2 cup uncooked rice. What do you do when your garden produces a zucchini bounty?

Tropical transplant to the chilly Northeast. Professional writer and researcher, cantankerous editor, mom to two! inquisitive children, asker of inconvenient questions.

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  1. I used to scroll or mark training logs read a lot more. But I have found I can find some great new workout ideas, motivation and also I enjoy reading how other runners fit their training in. We all have different things going on- but it’s helpful for me to see that and how we all “make it work”.

    No fun on microbes and sickness going around- but a solid cutback week can do so much good for training as well.

    Zucchini bread is always a good idea since you can freeze it too. Tis the season for gigantic and excessive squash!

    1. Agreed. That’s actually where I got the idea to pool-run even while healthy – Pesto does it a lot, and now Parsley’s doing it too. If it works for them…! The other thing I take from logs and race reports is racing strategy – how you tackle a 10K (how DO you tackle a 10K? that’s an impossible distance to race) or a marathon. I feel like I’ve run a number of marathons but I don’t know how to *race* one.

  2. I agree with Barley- I really do enjoy knowing how everyone works running in to their schedules! As for the zucchini, I like to grill it with a TON of olive oil and garlic/salt/pepper. I can eat large quantities of it that way. The zucchini bread is a great idea, but for my recipe it simply didn’t use up enough of it!
    As for the microbes, think of all the time you’ll save once your lil’ guy is in elementary school- I promise, the incidence will go way, way down….

  3. In all my gardening years, we have never successfully grown a zucchini. The squirrels always eat the blossoms first. So every smitten kitchen blog post fills me with zucchini-green envy! (but I did just make her zucchini pizza- so good!)