As I write this post, I am a mere five working days from taper, with only two key workouts left. It’s true. I can’t believe I’m this close to the taper (and race day) – but then again, it’s been such a long, hot road that I believe every bit of it. And then some. The idea that I’m going to get up on Saturday morning and have nothing more required than an easy 5 seems the most luxurious thought imaginable. But until then, there has been and will be lots more work! Read more >>
It is strange, a bit, to post training logs in arrears. Since I am feeling the present (rainy, again) day, I will start by speaking of today. I am exhausted. Just completely worn out. Still not overtraining, which is almost disappointing, because then I’d get to back off before the taper. But I’ve come this far, and with only 12 working days before the taper starts, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. My morning resting heart rate remains in the low 40’s; consistently between 41 – 43, with lows of 39 and 40 the past week. While I have specific aches and tweaks on certain days, I don’t have lingering, chronic or all-over soreness. I do have a lingering, chronic sense of boredom sometimes, but we’ll get through that. That’s today, after big workouts this weekend not covered in this specific log.
Here’s last week: Read more >>
There were six weeks to go at the start of this one; my heaviest four-week build followed by a severe taper. Coming off of my rest week did nothing good for me, but I wasn’t surprised. Much like DOMS, I often find that it’s your workout from two days prior that affects your performance on a long run; in a similar fashion, I usually struggle the week immediately after a rest week, and don’t hit my stride again until the second week. The work was done; the a$$ was kicked; reality was continually checked. And onward!
Saturday, June 13: 30 ridiculously hot, even more ridiculously humid miles. I started with my long-run group, planning to run the first 6.5 miles with them out to a very steep hill for some repeats. Attire was shorts (because it was a long run), a tank and a long-sleeve half-zip. While I had a full 50-ounce Camelbak and planned re-fill stops, the drenching humidity had me concerned. After 6.5 miles, I stopped at an outdoor café and begged for water so I could conserve the Camelbak fluids. I then began five miles worth of up/downhill repeats, running the quarter mile 10% grade on repeats 1, 3 and 5 and practicing my uphill hiking on repeats 2 and 4. Stopped at a Subway to ask for ice for my Camelbak, then took the long way home (to prevent cutting the run short). Stopped to chug a Coke and eat a popsicle at mile 22, and then began the last eight mile loop. My pace had been dropping earlier in the run, but recovered nicely to 9:15-ish for the last lap, keeping the average pace for the 30 miles at 9:19. Bonus: DB returned from his trip to Florida that morning, and managed to meet me for the last 2 miles.
Sunday, June 14: 12 miles of uphill circuits on the treadmill; recall that I do this workout on a treadmill because I don’t have long enough/steep enough hills here in Ohio. Attire was shorts, winter running pants, tank, long sleeve shirt and orange fleece jacket. Here’s the run-down; note that the entire workout, including cool-down, is still on a minimum 7% grade.
- .5 mile warmup at 11:30 pace, gradually increasing uphill grade to 7%
- 1 mile at 11:30 pace, 7% grade
- .5 mile at 11:30 pace, 7.5% grade
- .5 mile at 11:30 pace, 8% grade
- 1 mile at 7% grade, alternating 2 minutes running at 11:30 pace with 1 minute walking at 18:10 pace
- 1 mile (walking) at 18:10 pace, 10% grade
- Repeat 4-mile cycle above
- Take off pants, which are now flinging sweat-water all over the treadmill and starting to make me cold
- 1 mile at 11:30 pace, 7% grade
- .5 mile at 11:30 pace, 7.5% grade
- .5 mile at 11:30 pace, 8% grade
- 1 mile at 8% grade, alternating 2 minutes running at 11:30 pace with 1 minute walking at 18:10 pace
- .5 mile cooldown, gradually decreasing grade
Followed this with a 50-minute sauna session. It felt extremely difficult very early on; the heat was not bothering me, but I simply couldn’t drink enough and was worried I’d run out of fluids. Had to go to the (slightly) cooler lower bench for the last 15 minutes, but got it done. Went to bed early and was thoroughly trashed.
Monday, June 15: Easy five miles of half-mile hill repeats. Monday is normally my no-running day, but due to work travel I needed to front-load a few miles. Followed this with two hours of heat spinning. Tired during final hour.
Tuesday, June 16: Eight morning miles with the morning run group in long pants and long-sleeve, immediately followed by a 50-minute sauna session. Big sauna news; this was the day I decreased my drinking intervals to three minutes from four; I am now able to process two liters of fluids in 50 minutes without getting bloated or having to run to the bathroom. Go regulatory system!
Later in the day, an evil 5-mile downhill run on the treadmill. Warmed up on the treadmill at the standard 1.0, then dropped it to 0 for a mile, -1% for a mile, -2% for a mile, -3% for a mile and then a half-mile cool-down. Once shredded, began my hour of uphill walking. Up, down. Down, up. So it goes …
Wednesday, June 17: 12 miles of one-mile hill repeats, staying relaxed on the uphills and pushing the downs. While I was not sore on this run, my legs felt tired and trashed. In other news, I simply got bored. Bored with the whole, hot production. Followed later in the afternoon with a 50-minute sauna session and one hour of uphill walking, plus packing and preparation for work event/travel.
Thursday, June 18: I only had to get in 5 easy miles, but a two-hour travel delay (with poor airport internet) crunched my whole day up. Got in the easy 5 and one mile of outdoor walking on a nice grade, but had to kill the hour of walking to catch up on work matters. Still felt tired and trashed, plus stressed out by work.
Friday, June 19: Easy three miles in the morning; a simple shakeout with a 50-mile day planned for Saturday. Managed to get in my hour of uphill walking later in the day; I had also been beyond enthused to find that a little old over-priced Radisson in Duluth, MN actually had a sauna. A SAUNA!!! Enthusiastically turned it on midway through my walk, and returned to find it at all of … hmmmm. Maybe 90 degrees? Compared to my normal exertions, I would call this a “kitten sauna.” In fact, my drinks only went from ice-cold to chilled. Nevertheless, figured something was better than nothing, so left my hooded sweatshirt on, stretched out on a bench, and almost fell asleep in the sweet beachy heat. I finally started sweating after about 35 minutes. Didn’t bother with heart rate data. Another week down, three hard ones, five total to go.
Weekly totals: 80 running miles, 9 miles uphill walking, 2 hours of heat spinning, three 50-minute sauna sessions, one rest session in the “kitten sauna”.
Badwater. Where even the rest weeks are brutal.
Admittedly, I spent less total time training; at the same time, when you realize you spent three hours training on a single day of a “rest” week, you get a little overwhelmed. The temperatures finally got into the high 80’s as well, adding a special challenge. Read on to learn how Clove’s been “resting” lately.
Saturday, June 6: The North Face Whistler Half Marathon in B.C. Gorgeous, hilly and hot. Paced the 2:30 group for Clif Bar, so the pace itself was no concern. I stopped immediately at 13.1 miles and didn’t run another step. Then I drank a mimosa. And ate gelato. The end.
Sunday, June 7: Flew home from Whistler, which took the better part of a day. Unpacked. Prepared for the work and training weeks. Complete rest day.
Monday, June 8: Double heat spin in the capri/spin shorts/long sleeve half-zip/winter jacket get-up. In other notice, I notice something bizarre. When I get out of bed in the morning, my legs work properly immediately. I don’t have to “break them in” or figure out which parts of my legs or feet to “work around” for my first few steps. Rest! It works!
Tuesday, June 9: Back at it. Eight morning miles with the neighborhood group in long pants and a long-sleeve, immediately followed by a 50-minute sauna sessions. They are definitely getting easier. I’m still ridiculously uncomfortable the last 15 – 20 minutes, but I’m completely lucid. (Definition: instead of thinking “am I doing okay, am I in any kind of trouble, should I consider getting out of here?” I’m merely thinking “holy cr@p this sucks, man I am so flippin’ hot, please is it time for the ice-water face towel yet?”) In the afternoon, five miles of hill repeats on the Glenmont hill in long pants and a cotton hooded sweatshirt, followed by 2.5 miles of uphill walking on the treadmill. Second run was not my best showing; I wasn’t careful enough about re-hydrating after the sauna and was a little under-fueled.
Wednesday, June 10: The day that Badwater training b*tch-slapped me. I was due for “only” ten miles of hill repeats, not my normal 13. I waited to go later in the day because it was going to be 88(!) degrees. And humid, but nevertheless. So DB and I did our 50-minute sauna session early in the morning, and then I waited about seven hours to run. I suited up as usual: tights, a tank, and a long sleeve half-zip over that. I grabbed my water bottle and I felt fierce. The first five miles were soooo easy. Yes, I was hot. Freaking HOT. But I felt strong and was actually running too quickly, trying to slow my pace more and more on the uphills.
And then it happened.
BOOM. My body was done with that. Most of us know that your body registers a temperature 10 – 15 degrees warmer than the air temperature when you’re running; in addition to that, I was pretty overdressed for the conditions. Somewhere between miles 5 and 6, I became very aware of the fact that my body was not happy. My pace remained consistent, but I didn’t have enough to drink and my effort level was steadily increasing. No mind! I began guzzling the fluid I had left, realizing that I could refill at the water fountain at the library just a bit after mile 8.
Except that we’re having issues with high nitrate levels in the water here in Columbus … so nope. No water.
I was in bad shape when I got home. Light-headed and overheated. It did not abate quickly; in fact, I actually had to cancel the hour of uphill walking I had planned following the run so I could eat kalamata olives and drink massive amounts of water instead.
Reality check complete.
Thursday, June 11: Slept in since I was still drained from my experiment the day before. 8 miles of hills with DB in the early afternoon, followed by a single heat spin and an hour of uphill walking. It was still in the high 80’s and I was dressed the same, but we kept the pace conservative and carried much more water. Felt light years better (and considerably relieved) than the previous workout.
Friday, June 12: Easy five miles in just shorts and a t-shirt as I had a 30-miler on tap for Saturday. The exciting news was a *breakthrough* sauna session! My heartrate coming out was the lowest it’s ever been at 90 bpm’s, but even more exciting was the fact that I felt awesome the entire time. Yes, it was hot, but it felt easy. Almost too easy. The time flew by, I never got overwhelmed, I felt perfectly comfortable the entire time. Honestly, it was awesome.
Ended the day with an outdoor uphill walk to test the pacing on a real road instead of a forced-pace treadmill. And with that, “rest” week was over!
Weekly totals: 49 miles running, 8 miles uphill walking, three hours of heat spinning, three 50-minute sauna sessions.
Back to the nitty-gritty of the training posts, so Salty figured we should put this on the front page and catch everyone up on my shenanigans. And yes when I say nitty-gritty, I mean it: things are most definitely getting gritty. This was week three of a heavy push, but I knew I just had to make it through this third week to get to my step-back week. Continuing to feel strong but exhausted; the exhausted, however, isn’t one of overtraining. It’s a heavy workload to be sure, but so far, I seem to be fueling it well. Read more >>
I’m here! I’m here!
I’ve already referenced a few times in my training posts what a time-consuming undertaking this is, and while it’s so exciting, it’s also exhausting. Keeping work-life-training (and laundry!) balance in check, in addition to work travel, really caught up to me in May. I’m going to keep the catch up post brief so you know that I got the work done, and return to giving more of the nitty-gritty details in the last five weeks of training plus two of taper.
Week of 5.2.2015 – 5.8.2015: Still a “base-building” week (for me), with the Flying Pig Marathon thrown in for an over-distance heat run (I wore shorts but had to endure a long sleeve shirt over a tank in temperatures in the 70’s).
Weekly totals: 70 miles running, 9 miles uphill walking, three 45-minute sauna sessions
Week of 5.9.2015 – 5.15.2015: Another base-building week, with some major travel delays thrown in to make it especially challenging. Ten mile reduction in weekly mileage as I was in CA for work and had limited time on Saturday, plus paced (only) a half-marathon on Sunday, limiting the big mileage, because I had to rush to the airport for the flight that got cancelled. Also a somewhat snotty spa manager wouldn’t let me use the sauna at Disneyland because day passes aren’t allowed when they’re sold out. It was the attitude that upset me, not the rule!
Weekly totals: 60 miles running, 9 miles uphill walking, two 45-minute sauna sessions
***Now things start to get very serious. Beginning on 5.16.2015, I entered the final ten (10) weeks leading up to Badwater. This means eight high mileage, heavy workload weeks with a single stepback week mid-way through, followed by an aggressive two week taper. Read on, friends!
Week of 5.16.2015 – 5.22.2015: I begin to morph into a zombie!
Saturday: Ogden Marathon, 26.2 miles. Just under 40 degrees and pouring rain. Was lucky to have a great and spirited group (I was pacing), because this was sheer misery otherwise. Somehow, this amazing group of people made miserable conditions a beautiful day.
Sunday: OFF. I had taken an unexpected beating at Ogden (the five-pound shoes soaked with rain were probably part of it), and decided to shift my recovery run to ensure I went into the week fresh.
Monday: 5 easy miles, followed by a 2-hour heat spin. This was the week that the jacket was added to the mix, so I am now attending spin classes in capris with spin shorts on top of them (for the padding, kids), a tank, a long sleeve shirt, and a heavy winter running jacket. No one told me the toughest part of Badwater training is the laundry.
Tuesday: 8 mid-morning miles with DB, followed by a sauna session, followed by one hour of uphill walking. Four hours of recovery followed by 5 miles of half-mile hill repeats.
Wednesday: 13 miles on what I call the “double noodle” loop. We have an eight mile neighborhood route that has six solid hills, ranging in distance from half a mile to a full mile. So for “double noodle,” I go up them, turn around, run back down them, and run up them a second time. A good time is had by all. 45-minute sauna session followed by one hour of uphill walking. “Real work” (i.e., professional work) from 2 pm – 8 pm.
Thursday: 13 mile loop of moderate difficulty in the morning. Regular workday. One hour of uphill walking followed by single heat spin in the evening.
Friday: Ten relaxed miles with DB in the am, followed by a 45-minute sauna session. Relaxed uphill walk later in the day, stuck to 19 minute pace due to long run on Saturday.
Weekly totals: 80 miles running, 12 miles uphill walking, three 45-minute sauna sessions
Week of 5.23.2015 – 5.29.2015: I start feeling incredibly strong, yet incredibly exhausted at the same time.
Saturday: 30 miles running. I run out about 6.5 with my regular group, then dial back to 9’s with my friend and crew member George. We continue on a longer loop, ending at his house where he has 21 for the day. I run a downhill mile home, chug an icy coke and candy, and head back out. In spite of being hot as he*l due to the sleeves, I only have to complete my “morning loop” of eight miles now, which seems approachable. 9:07 average pace.
Sunday: 5.5 miles on varying grades (7, 7.5, 8 and 10) on the treadmill. I had an eight mile workout scheduled, but time constraints overruled it. 45-minute sauna session followed by a cookout – yay!
Monday: It was the holiday weekend so I had Monday off to put in some miles. 20.5 miles on a hot and hilly route; outfit included shorts, knee-high socks, tank and long-sleeve shirt. So at least my knees were cool. I was not recovered from Saturday which was precisely the goal; managed just under 10’s but got in plenty of those hills.
Tuesday: Single 8 mile loop in the morning; still not recovered so had to drop back from the 8:15 average pace. My running cronies were kind and noted that if I weren’t wearing long pants and long sleeves I’d probably be fine. Probably not, but the gesture was kind. 45-minute sauna session, work for two hours followed by an hour of uphill walking. Late day working until 8 pm.
Wednesday: 13 miles of early morning hill repeats with George, followed by 45-minute sauna session. After 3 hours of work, one hour of uphill walking followed by a return to the “office.”
Thursday: 13 early morning miles on a slightly less hilly route, followed by a completely normal work day! In the evening, one hour of uphill walking followed by a single heat spin.
Friday: OFF from running!!! Hallelujah! One hour of uphill walking at the crack of dawn, followed by a massage, followed by a 45-minute sauna session. That was a nice day.
Weekly totals: 90 miles running, 12 miles uphill walking, four 45-minute sauna sessions.
This entry shall otherwise be titled “My Twisted Spine.”
My twisted spine put a dent in things this week. Some people would say, “Star. It was the very low mileage first week of a 15-week training plan, coming off of the training that got you to a PR 100-miler.” Those people would be correct, but I would remind them that I am a super Type-A perfectionist, and that even though I know I made the best long-term choices for my body, I feel like I’m wearing a scratchy wool sweater when I don’t properly ace the week’s appointed workouts. It just bothers me. Read more >>
This week was still a no-running/recovery week from Umstead, but it involved more active recovery and less sheer gluttony and laziness. The biggest news is that I began my sauna sessions; I’ll be going on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and working my way up to a full hour between 180 and 200 degrees. I also started my uphill walking workouts in preparation for Badwater’s longest and steepest hills, combining a relatively dull activity with one of my guiltiest pleasures: Days of our Lives. Read more >>
We’re a little under two weeks from a big sea change here; I’ll either be miraculously pregnant, or I’ll be training for Burning River. The biggest change this week has been the shift in my mindset; I feel as if I’ve turned the corner from hoping and praying and moved on to envisioning a day at Burning River. In many ways, I feel as if I’m just waiting out these last two weeks so I can get started on my training, and I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. Read more >>
This week was still a mixed bag in Clove-land. I had some really fantastic experiences that I’m fired up about, but I also had some difficult stuff going on that really caused some emotional turmoil. The treatment cycle has kind of gotten buried beneath all of that, but perhaps that’s a mixed blessing too.I was due to pace the 5:00 group at the Eugene Marathon, and it ended up fitting into my cycle. 5:00 is pretty much zero-stress on my body, and since we haven’t done the IUI yet, there was no chance whatsoever that I was pregnant. To be honest, the timing couldn’t have been better. Since I was pacing so slowly, I didn’t have to taper or reduce mileage at all, which was also nice because it allowed me to at least keep the limited mileage I’m on. At the same time, I found that I just wasn’t able to shake the Boston blues, and I’ve been embroiled in an ongoing and rather painful fight with a good friend at the same time.
So throw a traumatic experience, a solid dose of synthetic hormones and some emotional turmoil into a blender, put that sucker on high, and you’ve got my week. In a word: ugh. Here’s hoping to warmer, calmer days ahead. Read more >>
I can’t bring myself to any build-up or false expressions of hope right now. Cycle Two was unsuccessful and we are not pregnant. In light of the events I witnessed in Boston this week, this is the least of my concerns. I would love to tell our readers, and perhaps even myself, that I am still disappointed, but in the more than three years we have been trying to conceive, I have never cared less.
I just can’t seem to care right now. Read more >>
This particular week started icky, got way better, and then went back down the tubes with a wicked bout of PMS on Friday. And when I say wicked, I mean wicked. It was the kind of PMS where you know you’re being a (rhymes with witch), but no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to stop yourself. And the carbs – oh, the carbs. When I wasn’t thinking about cheesecake, all I wanted was bread. Or as I kept telling DB, “just a big hunk of bread!” Read more >>
I realize that my week 3 log and report is coming directly on the heels of week two, but there was a lot going on in week two – and immediately thereafter, when I should have been doing my report.
So this week was a bit less eventful – eventually. It got off to a rough, then rougher start before fading into a more even keel by week’s end. Running itself pretty much blew chunks, but not a whole lot I can do about that right now. Read more >>
Sheer and utter frustration. That would sum up this one.
Saturday, March 23: 19 easy road miles. I actually meant to run with my neighborhood group, but was having misgivings since the follicles were growing so slowly. Kind of felt like I should just be lying on the couch growing follicles. But then my friend Scott said he was only doing part of the hard run, so that sounded like a good compromise. Unfortunately, I ended up setting the alarm for 6 PM instead of 6 am. Did my Pilates/core class at 11 am, then ran after that. Felt great at first but run slowly went downhill from there. Got a sore throat later that night and thought I was sick again. 100 iu’s of Follistim. Read more >>
This week was a mixed bag. Amazing running in the Death Valley desert, but disappointment at last week’s events and the way cycle two is going. Just like we promised ourselves that we would treat the first month as a “practice round” so we didn’t get too disappointed, we are now reminding ourselves of how incredibly unlikely it is that we’ll get pregnant two months in a row. This is definitely as emotional a journey as a physical one; not emotional in the terms of crying and nail-biting, but just in having so many different emotions to manage. Read more >>
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