Week 16 in review

Week 16 before NYC:
Goal:
81 miles (down week)
One hard workout: 6×1 mile at tempo
One long run: 20 miles
One day off
2 strength workouts

Actual:
81 miles
One hard workout: completely fell apart
One 20 mile long run
One day off
One strength workout

What a week!  I traveled to Chicago for work Monday morning for a week long training program.  It was great, but it definitely tested my dedication, as we usually started the work day around 7:30-8 and ended our group dinner around 10.  BUT, I am very proud to say that I didn’t miss a mile, even though that meant waking up at 4:45 on TWO different occasions.  That’s unheard of for me.

Having to wake up so early meant that I was out before it was unbearable, but I still managed to completely fall apart during my one hard workout for the week.  I started around 6 (day didn’t start until 9 that day, YEAH!), but it was already very humid.  Once the sun came out, it was absolutely miserable.  I tried the first mile repeat.  6:03.  Not bad, but not great, either (and I was driving so hard to try to get it under 6!)  1 minute shuffle jog.  Next mile: 6:30ish.  I couldn’t do anything about my pace, I tried.  Another minute shuffle and I started my 3rd rep.  6:30 again.  I could feel my body shutting down a little so decided to take a longer rest and find water.  The minute I stopped running, my body poured sweat.  I furiously pumped water from a “pump your own” faucet (10 pumps = 4 slurps of water).  I squeegeed myself off and started a fourth.  My legs felt really funny, and I looked down at my watch part way through to see 7:40.  SEVEN FOURTY???? That can’t be right.  I gave the watch a few seconds to catch a new GPS signal, but no avail.  I thought about it… keep going at this pace? Is this beneficial?  Then I thought to myself… this is TWO MINUTES slower than my goal tempo pace.  This cannot be beneficial.  I stopped.  Perhaps it was just that my legs had seized up after the brief break and water.  I started again.  7:40 pace AGAIN.  I stopped after a tenth of a mile.

I shuffled back to the hotel, finishing 3.5 miles early.  I was going 8:40 or slower pace, sometimes even 9 minute pace.

I have not fallen apart that badly during a workout in ages.  I thought about it for the rest of the day… hopefully this isn’t indicative of my fitness?  It can’t be – I just did a good 2×3 mile tempo workout last week at sub-6, so I know it’s there.  It’s either the heat (mostly), lack of sleep, or… just a bad day.

The rest of the week went well. I got up as early as I needed to to get the workout done (meant doing all of the mileage in the morning instead of doing doubles).  I was thankful that this week was my recovery week.

My 20 miler went great.  After 10 miles I did 1/10 of a mile as fast as I could every time my watch clicked off another mile.  I felt like it was good to get the legs moving a little faster.  My hamstring/glute were a little taxed after about 5 reps (need to see Jim!), so it was a good way to add a little intensity to mileage.  Plus, I just feel like my footspeed/VO2 max is a little lacking.  The funny thing?  I hardly noticed the 20 miles.  Later that night I found myself wondering if I had a second run.  Guess that’s a good thing… since if I want to race a marathon, running 20 miles at an easy pace better feel like a walk in the park.

Now… time to rest up, enjoy the recovery week, because August is going to be a challenge.  I’ll average 100 miles/week through the entire month (103, 103, 80, 115).  The amazing thing is that I look at these numbers and I know that I can handle them.  Such a cool feeling 🙂

P.S. This may have to do with my “I know I can handle them feeling”, but I honestly feel like I’m recovering faster and better now that I’m following Camille’s advice on post-run nutrition.  If you haven’t seen it, check it out.  Very informational and gives great examples of recovery foods to seek out.  My go to recovery foods are Bob’s 7 grain cereal (perfect ratio of carbs/protein, and no unnecessary fat), chocolate milk, or a bagel with 1 Tbsp PB and 1 Tbsp organic jam.  If I’m running on-the-go, I’ll throw a bar in my bag.  If I can time the run to end around a meal time, that’s even better.
I’m trying to adhere to her .5g carbohydrate/lb recommendation, as well as a 3:1-5:1 ratio of carbs to protein diet after every run.  I’ll have to do a little more research to figure out if that’s the correct ratio and if it needs to be adjusted if the run is shorter.  It took a little adjusting of my diet (i.e. this is ~300 calories, so if I’m running 2x/day, I need to plan my meals/these recovery meals appropriately!), but honestly, I have recovered SO much more quickly than in the past.  I didn’t even notice my last mid 90’s week, and there was a 7 day total of 103 in the midst of the last 2 weeks – which I handled without a problem.  I know I’m stronger than ever before, but I honestly think my nutrition post-workout is the biggest contributor to this breakthrough.  So – give Camille’s blog a read & try it out.  Let me know if you see the same thing I’m seeing!

P.P.S.  I’m adding a “recipe tab” to my blog to capture the best recipes I come across.  I hope to categorize them by meals (post-run “meals” included).  I am admittedly not a great cook (I am learning!), and have no photography skills, so beware :).  If nothing else, it makes my life easier… I often think “remember that healthy bean quinoa recipe we tried 2 weeks ago?  where is that?” – and to have the calories and nutrient breakdown right there – I think it’ll be really handy to have everything in online here. Feel free to link me to recipes to try!!

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