Week 9 Update

Week 9 was a sad, sad training week.

A quick recap:
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 5.25, 8x hills
Wednesday: 6, trail
Thursday: 5.3, road
Friday: 4.8, road, 2 miles @ medium pace
Saturday: 4.9, road, ugh
Sunday: 3.4, road, even more ugh
Total: 29.6 (planned: 38)

Well, ew. What started off as a great training week crashed and burned on the weekend.

Saturday started out fine and then my GI system revolted and I ended up walking quite a bit and making an emergency stop at a gas station. I still got the mileage I needed done, and was on track to have a great week. All I had left was the long run.

Sunday I was supposed to do 14 miles. I got up, did a little homework, ate a plain bagel with no cream cheese (wary of stomach issues, since Saturday I’d eaten a bagel & cream cheese and then had a latte a couple hours before running… apparently my coffee worked too well and for longer than I thought), and walked to the convenience store by my house to get some sports drinks and some candy for the long run. I planned on using my house as an aid station of sorts and run some shorter loops, since I was so concerned about my GI system. I figured I’d do a 4-mile or so loop, drink some water/Powerade, refill my candy supplies, and head out for a 6 mile loop, then another stop, and then a 4 mile loop.

After 1 mile I knew I couldn’t do it. My stomach was fine (I know this after the fact), although I was still nervous about it, but I had absolutely no drive to put one foot in front of the other. It was raining/misting and only in the high 30s. I was feeling horribly guilty about the homework (actually a take-home test) I still had to complete (due today!) I mentally did not have it, and after a mile I turned around, intending to go home. I decided to push myself a little bit more, because I couldn’t have a 2-mile run on the books for the day. It might as well have been a rest day at that point. I was right at the bridge over Chester Creek on 9th/8th street, so I went down to the trail and hiked up to the Skyline bridge, then jogged back down to 9th/8th on the road. I’d already mentally quit, so I headed back home at that point.

From my splits, it’s clear I was dragging and nothing was working: 15:51, 20:08 (uphill on the trail), 16:06, and a 16:52 pace for the last 0.4 miles, with an overall heart rate of 142 bpm. Even last Tuesday, when I quit after 2.6 miles because of cramps and terrible weather, I still managed a 14:41 pace and 147 bpm (yes I realize I was zipping up the hills, but I was practically walking at other points, and I was still only 5 bpm above Sunday’s heart rate.) I made the right choice to throw in the towel, come home, and work on my homework instead. (Or, write this blog post, do my core work, and then work on homework.)

Just because it was the right choice doesn’t mean I was happy about it. The long run to me is the highest priority workout. I rank them as follows:
1. Sat/Sun long run
2. Tuesday hills
3. Friday “speed” workout
4. Wednesday medium run
5. Thursday and Sun/Sat short runs

14 miles was a huge deal for me. I was really looking forward to seeing where I was at with this run, and I guess I’m… totally not ready to run a marathon. Depressing. I can think of a couple contributing factors to my poor performance. Running in my old shoes has worn my legs out; I’m more sore after workouts than I have been in awhile. Last week’s cutback from a cutback is also a problem. I ramped back up too quickly, although if I hadn’t cut back so much, it wouldn’t have been a problem.

I’m going to try to repeat Week 9’s training plan instead of doing Week 10’s plan. Both call for 38 miles, but week 10 has a couple miles added to the weekday runs and then a 5-10K on Sunday instead of a long run. Since I raced a 5K last weekend, I would rather put in the 14 miles than another speed workout. The weather forecast is crummy all week, but the highs are all still in the 40s so it should be manageable.

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