Training Purgatory Week 3: Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch

And don’t count on timely blog posts from me, ever.

This week, that metaphor became literal as one of our hen’s hard work of sitting on a clutch of eggs was rewarded. We don’t have a rooster, so when the bird turned broody (for the un-chickened, that just means every now and then a hen will decide it’s time to incubate some eggs and be a mama) we quickly swapped out her unfertilized eggs with five fertilized eggs from my sister’s flock. Of the five eggs however, only three hatched out. Unfortunately, the last chick to hatch was obviously unwell and didn’t make it past the first day. That’s just the nature of…well, nature. We now have two healthy baby chicks running around as an adorable addition to the chicken party happening in our backyard. I spend an inordinate amount of time sitting outside and just watching them all run around and do chicken things. Not even a little sorry, because it’s so damn cute and funny!

Anyway, now that I’ve bored you with poultry-talk, let’s get to last week’s running, shall we? In actuality, the running stuff was significantly more boring than the chicks hatching, but that’s what you’re here for, so…

 

Sun  5/14: 10 miles. Like last week.

Mon 5/15: 13 miles. Also, like last week…are you sensing a theme here yet?

Tue  5/16: 10 miles with 2 sets of 8xhill repeats in Cleveland Park with Hannah. Then we went to trivia after and WON! Okay, fine, it was entirely due to the fact that my husband came with us and knew the final question to double our points. But still.

Wed 5/17: 13 miles.

Thu 5/18: 10 miles. I genuinely don’t remember a thing about these two days of running at all. I think that’s a good thing, actually. If I remembered too much about all these miles I’d probably realize how insane I am.

Fri 5/19: 16 miles. This run was a lot warmer than last week’s, but I still felt pretty decent. I’m not sure when I want to start stretching out my long runs, but I guess it’ll be about the same time I find the motivation to wake up early enough to not be out running in 88°F with 88% humidity. So, it might be a few more weeks.

Sat 5/20: 8 miles. Oh hey! The struggle bus! I wondered when it was going to come by. I was expecting some fatigue to catch up to me this week, as the third week of higher miles and hotter weather, so even though I mentally wanted to get in a few more miles to bump my weekly total I could tell I was pushing the limit a bit physically.

Total: 80 miles. One less than last week, and about four less than I was aiming for, but I can’t be mad at an 80 mile week, y’know? And I am happy to report that I lifted weights TWO times and did core work THREE times! It is almost enough!

Looking ahead to next week, methinks that my grand delusion of continuing to add miles indefinitely might not work. Turns out, my body does need a bit of a rest every now and then, despite my best recovery methods and trying to tell myself “it’s mostly slow miles anyway, it’s not that taxing”. Thus, I’m allowing for a bit of a cutback week, but just a little bit! The weather is getting more brutal (because duh, South Carolina in the summer), so I know I’m going to have to be more vigilant about hydration and continue my streak of paying zero attention to pace at all right now. All in all, I’m feeling good, healthy, motivated, and excited about the fitness gains, so that’s where I’ll leave you this week!

Happy Running!

Training Purgatory Week 2: One is the Loneliest Number

This week featured far too much “me-time” for this extrovert, an odd number of miles, and a fail. Let’s just get right to it, shall we?

Sun  5/7: 10 miles. Nothing fancy.

Mon 5/8: 13 miles. Trying to step up a few mid-week runs right now. My husband left for a couple of days to work in Columbia which isn’t my favorite. I’ve grown accustomed to [his] face, to paraphrase Prof. Higgins.

Tue  5/9: 10 miles with 10xhill repeats in Cleveland Park. Not enough repeats if I’m honest, and definitely not fast enough. All my training partners have abandoned me this week because they have lives and things to do like actual adult humans, so I was feeling very lonely.

Wed 5/10: 12 miles. It finally started to feel a bit like summer! Today, those extra two miles more than my “usual” 10 seemed extra long. I also got word today that the summer course I was scheduled to teach didn’t have enough enrollment so it was cancelled. This isn’t too surprising as summer enrollment is always low, but that does leave me without a guaranteed paycheck this summer and needing to be somewhere with human interaction. Super.

Thu 5/11: 10 miles super slow. I tested out a new pair of shoes (the Brooks Asteria–should I do some shoe reviews? what do the people want?) which may not have been a fair shake in the middle of a long mileage stretch, but I liked them well enough.

Fri 5/12: 16 miles out-and-back on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. For those of you local, from my house 8 miles out puts me a little bit past Furman Univ, but not quite to Travelers Rest. It’s a nice flat run which is great when I need to hit specific times, but means I probably ran too fast today (I didn’t time it; I know my exact turn around spot because I use the trail markers, and I’ve been trying to run by feel for the most part). I felt unexpectedly excellent and the weather was quite cool, so I rolled with it anyway.

Sat 5/13: 10 miles. SLOW. Unsurprisingly, I felt less-than-spry for today’s run. I wore the Brooks Asteria again though, and they felt even better today, so they are getting a permanent spot in the rotation.

Total: 81 miles. That extra (or missing, depending on your perspective) mile[s] to make this week odd is annoying! As you may have noticed, I didn’t mention any weight-training…because I failed. I did do some core work on Tuesday, but that hardly counts. I recognize the irony in saying that I was lazy during an 80-mile week, but that’s the truth of it. I have the time, I know I need to do it, but it’s so easy to just let the day slip by without going near the weights. I’m determined to do better next week!

Speaking of next week, aside from actually lifting weights and doing core, my goal is to keep the mileage in the 80s and stick to single runs for now. I’m not sure what else the week will bring, but I know I’m likely to be more fatigued from the mileage accumulation, so I am going to attempt to be more diligent about best recovery practices and hydration/nutrition. I’ll probably just end up eating another entire box of Cheez-its like I did this week, though.

Training Purgatory Week 1: The Blogining

I got the itch to write about running again and I was assured by a couple of my running partners that people do in fact, still read running blogs. So welcome! or welcome back! if you have been around for awhile.

While I’d love to bore you with an overly long recap of the last, um..year! of running since I last blogged, I’ll try to keep it brief: I spent most of 2016 working on my non-existent speed which netted a few short distance PRs. Ironically, even though my focus was on speed and I never ran a marathon (or any single run over 18 miles), I also had my highest ever year at just over 3000 miles! 2014/2015 were 2600-2700+ miles each, so I was really happy to bump things up a bit.

The beginning of 2017 brought a shift in focus. As a plodder, I was decidedly OVER IT with all the speed work. But, I also didn’t want to waste the little bit of quickness in my legs, so we opted to get ready for the Myrtle Beach half marathon on March 4th. I really only spent about 8 weeks getting specifically ready for this race, but it worked out well. I had something of a breakthrough, running 1:26:11 for 2nd place female. I was admittedly upset that I didn’t dip under 1:26, but this was the first half where I went sub-90 so I tried not to dwell on what I did poorly and focus on what this meant for my future running.

And that future is a fall marathon.

I’m a little nervous since I haven’t raced a marathon since Fall 2015, and two years suddenly seems like a LONG TIME. But it’s not like I took two years off. It’s been, marathon excepted, the best two running years of my life. And according to the various equivalency charts (which I know all have their faults), my 1:26 half puts me right at or under the 3:00 mark for the full. Eeeek! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet, though…

As for Training Purgatory, I couldn’t think of a better thing to call this in-between time. After the half in March, I was excited to use that race as a springboard into a couple of fast 10ks. My body and mind were not as on board as I thought. I struggled to recover from the race, unable to hit easy times on the track, and I was feeling a bit burnt out. On the upside, I think this shows I peaked really well for Myrtle Beach, but what goes up must come down, after all. After a little break in April, I put in a couple of easy running weeks while trying to decide what next. It was obvious to me that a fall marathon needed to be the overall goal. But it’s now the beginning of May, wayyyyyy too soon to start a proper marathon cycle. The idea of doing a spring/summer of 5-10ks again gives me an eye twitch, so that’s out. I don’t want to take any more of a break, and I’m excited to be running again, so the only choice I see is to go back to doing the thing I do best:

All. The. Miles. (For the next 8-10 weeks, until we narrow down exactly which full.)

Training Purgatory isn’t going to be just jogging around however; my fitness and goals are too evolved for that now. Sure sure, there will be plenty of days that aren’t much more than a jog, but that’s the nature of recovery miles. I’ll write more about these in specifics later since this post is getting obnoxiously long (I tried!), but I’ve revisited a lot of training literature in the last few weeks and what I’m doing is best categorized as a hybrid of Lydiard Base (which I’m convinced most people interpret incorrectly, and I’ll get into that), and the Summer of Malmo (don’t worry if you’ve never heard of that; it’s relatively obscure). It’s all pretty simple really: lots of miles, some of them fast, even more miles, add some strength work.

This first week was straightforward and unexciting, which is exactly what I hope for the rest of Training Purgatory:

Sun 4/30: 8 miles easy. *iron supplement*

Mon  5/1: AM- lifted upper body PM- 10 slowww miles

Tue  5/2: 10 miles with 10 sets of 2min on/1min off with Hannah and Porter. *iron*

Wed 5/3: 12 miles. Rolled out my left plantar fascia. It is unamused by the mileage jump.

Thu  5/4: 5 miles. A wee bit overzealous with the beer last night plus a rainy dreary day means I was a lump.

Fri  5/5: AM- Weighted core work while watching the first Diamond League meet of the year in Doha. PM- 15 miles with a little progression at the end. It was rainy and grey, and everyone else in Greenville was either at the Swamp Rabbit 5k, already drinking for Cinco de Mayo, or just avoiding the weather because I had the downtown SRT area and Cleveland Park almost entirely to myself at 6pm on a Friday. It was glorious. And I felt really good, so that helped. *iron*

Sat  5/6: 10 miles in the morning. Not an ideal turnaround from a long run the evening before, but I had plans, so early was the only time I had to get these miles in.

 

Total: 70 miles…time to do this again 8-10 times, but more! Also, kudos if you made it this far!