Two weeks out – week ten – week of March 3, 2014
Closer and closer to race week! And so begins the taper.
Earlier in the week, I wrote a rare mid-week post about how I was finally all kum-bah-yah about pretty much all the big stuff in my life right now–moving to California, how my training has progressed, and where my fitness is, relative to my goals/where I want it to be, as I prepare to toe the line in a couple weeks–and I think finally putting everything down on paper (screen) really made some type of indescribable-yet-indelible impression on me. It is a bit strange to describe, but I think that the taper cutback is also giving me a chance to metaphorically step back and look at my training this cycle, concurrent with our cross-country move, and see everything from a greater vantage point than before. I’ll write a separate post reflecting exclusively on my training, but suffice it to say for now that I’m happy how things have gone.
Of course, life can and does happen sometimes. I wasn’t planning to fall ill this week–really, who plans to, ever?–but when the week began with the scratchy/burning feeling in my throat, I knew it was just a matter of a few days before I’d get hit with a sinus infection or a cold. I made the executive decision to forego my last LR, 17 miles, on Sunday morning after feeling kinda bleh on Saturday. It’s a hard decision to make when I thought about it like a runner, but once I stepped outside that mould, it was a no-brainer.
At any rate, I guess if there’s ever a good time to get ill during training, it’s during taper, when you’re already at a reduced volume or intensity and slowly awaiting your body to rebuild and repair itself after weeks and weeks of working hard and haulin’ ass. I really do not want to be the fittest spectator on the sidelines at Oakland, so I’ll do whatever I need to do between now and then to ensure that I’m on the other side of the barricades. 🙂
This week’s training!
Monday, March 3
Gotta love the Monday rest days.
Tuesday, March 4
p: VO2 max 9 mi w 5x600m @ 5kRP, jog 90 sec between
a: recovery + speed: 6 w 6x100m strides: 6.02 miles
In the interests of observing the purpose of the taper, I wasn’t super keen to start the week with a VO2 max workout that came shortly after an 8k, that came right after a 20 miler. Instead, I thought it’d make more sense to have a nice recovery with some strides thrown in for variation. The recovery felt really good, the strides were comfortable, so I was happy that I seemed to be holding everything together post-final peak week. For little runs like this, I’ve finally figured out that it makes the most sense to just run tedious laps around my ‘hood. I don’t lose any time to stoplights or much vehicular traffic that way.
Wednesday, March 5
p: MLR 11
a: altered VO2 max workout: 9 miles with 8x800m repeats, 3 min RI — 9.64 miles, avg. for 800: 3:16
Pfitz had the 5x600m repeat workout on the books a couple weeks ago, and I didn’t do it then because I wanted to do 800s instead. With that in mind, I thought it’d make the most sense to do the 800s again for comparative purposes, so off I went to the PCP track in the pre-dawn darkness for my repeats. I was convinced that this run would go poorly due to life interruptions, but it did just the opposite; in fact, I’m positive I’ve not run such consistent 800s before, and especially when doing them by myself:
3:16, 3:15, 3:14, 3:15, 3:15, 3:16, 3:17, 3:16
For the first five repeats, my first 400m was on pace for a 3:05/3:08, but I intentionally slowed down on the second loop because I knew that I am not yet quite able to hold that pace for the entirety of this workout… and especially doing it sola. (Note to self: I desperately need to find fast pre-dawn runners here). On the last two sets, however, my splits for each 400 were perfectly even. I was really thrilled about how these 800s felt and, when I finished, felt like I still had some more left in the tank. It was a really encouraging workout for sure.
Thursday, March 6
p: recovery + speed: 6 w 6x100m strides
a: recovery 5.02
Another switch this morning. Everything was in working order when I awoke, but given how the week had progressed, a recovery seemed to be reasonable. Super chill, super humid, pretty cathartic run, and immediately after I finished running, I walked straight into a parked pick-up truck. Yup, I was that relaxed, folks.
Friday, March 7
p: recovery 5
a: MLR 11 mi, 8:23 average
Final midweek (kinda) MLR in the books for this cycle, “just” 11 miles.
I mostly just stuck to running laps around the cemetery that’s about a mile away from home. Like running around my ‘hood, it’s tedious, but I don’t lose a ton of time to vehicles, stoplights, and the like as I do running pretty much anywhere else in my immediate vicinity. Plus, the cemetery has a nice descent and ascent. Anyway, the run was really nice and comfortable, and I felt super spring-y. I’m simultaneously chill/kum-ba-ya and HYPER as all hell, and I told myself a couple times to calm down on this run. 842, 29, 18, 19, 23
826, 31, 21, 14, 15, 18
Saturday, March 8
p: 8-10k tune-up race
LR 17 GA 6.02 miles, 8:09 average
Well, I knew I wasn’t going to race on Saturday since I just did on Sunday, so originally, I planned for my 17 mile LR. After doing the typical pre-LR dance with my tea and breakfast, I was literally on my front porch warming up when I decided I’d be better off doing the GA run I was going to do on Sunday. I wasn’t feeling 100%–by now, that cold/sinus thing I had been nursing all week was really making itself known–and while I knew I could, was able, to run 17 miles, I didn’t think it’d be wise. Oh, and shortly before I left to run, I had a lovely nosebleed. It’s pretty hard to snotrocket on your runs when you’re worried that your nose is going to flow red again at any second… just sayin’. Also, during the short little GA run, I experienced some of the seasonal vertigo stuff I get–also not fun. I typically don’t feel it when I’m running, but Saturday must have been my lucky day! At any rate, the actual run itself, through the west side of PCP and over my highway hill, was quite nice. I just felt like I had a bunch of sinus/allergy/cold nonsense in my head and promptly went back to bed once I returned home.
Sunday, March 9
p: LR 17
LR 17 “being smart 0 miles day”
I spent most of Saturday in bed and super-medicated to clear this shit outta my head, and come Saturday night, I actually felt pretty great; I was pretty confident I’d be ready to do my 17 miler in the morning. When I awoke at 4 to start my usual pre-LR dance, basically, I just had a moment with myself (I do this often) and asked myself what was more important: running a 17 mile training run on sub-par health, just to say that I did it, or taking a true rest day so that I’d be ready to run well, strong, and healthy two weeks from today (race day!!!)? The answer was a no-brainer.
As much as I didn’t want to miss my LR, I knew it was the right decision to make, and in the big picture, really, really important. I can’t remember the last time I skipped a LR, so while I felt a bit guilty about it, once I stopped thinking about this like a runner, I knew I was 100% making the right call. I really don’t want to be the fittest spectator in Oakland.
Missing the long run, combined with this being a taper week anyway, made my weekly mileage tank, but big picture, it’s inconsequential. Rationally, I know that a LR today isn’t going to affect my race performance in two weeks, but having a lingering cold that I was too
stubborn dumb to mind early on surely will. It’s funny; a couple years ago, I would have surely (and stubbornly) run through this in an effort to hit all my prescribed mileage for the week. The things that experience can teach you…
Next week will be amazing, and we’ll be ONE WEEK CLOSER to race day!!
Let’s hear it. What do you do when you fall ill during a training cycle?