Marathon Training Week 11

Another week down, another 100+ mile month.  This is the first time I’ve ever done this much mileage two months in a row.  I’ve never had more than one 100+ mile month in a year prior to this year.  I’m happy to report that I’ve managed to do this high mileage while avoiding any major injuries.  I’ve had a few days of some soreness in my right knee and also left calf, but overall nothing that doesn’t go away after a day of rest.  So I’m pretty happy with how my training is going thus far.

Now for the not so great news.  My longest run (20 miles) was set for this past Friday.  Of course Friday was the one day we were supposed to get rain for most of the day.  I also altered my plan during the early part of the week and ran Tues-Wed instead of Mon-Wed.  Seemed to work out okay.

Here’s a summary of last week’s running.

( ) = # of miles on my plan

Tuesday – 2.5 (3)

Wednesday – 4.5 (9)

Friday – 16.07 (20)

Saturday – 3.2 (4)

Sunday – 3.0  (3) – treadmill, walking.

Weekly Total – 29.27 miles (39)

I woke up on Friday and wasn’t really feeling all that motivated.  The weather wasn’t helping matters that much.  Normally I’ve been starting my long runs around 9 am so that takes me anywhere to 12 or 1 pm usually for anything over 16 miles.  The morning started kinda hazy with a very fine mist sprinkles while I was having breakfast and coffee.  I continued to kinda of mozy around and get myself psyched up to go on my long run.  I stepped out of the door around 9:30 into some light rain but with some decent winds that were quite chilling.

Luckily for me I have a loop in my neighborhood that is almost exactly 1 mile (slightly over 1 mile) from my house.  With the way the weather was, I decided I’d just run this 1 mile loop for as long as I could so that I had somewhere to take shelter if the rain got really bad.  I also like it because that means I have bathroom access (not just at my house but there’s a park about 1/2 mile into the loop as well).  The only downside with loop running is that it can get boring and you want a new view of things.  I made it to 3 miles and then took off on another path to do 2.5 additional miles.  My tummy had not been feeling the greatest before I started running and I ended up having to make a pit stop at the house.  Soon I started to bargain with myself.  I told myself I could stay out in the cold rain for 10 miles and then do the last 10 miles on the treadmill.  I also didn’t want to spend too much time on the dreadmill because it too can also be boring for too long.

I knew it was also good for me to be out in the rain because it is a possibility for my race in about 6 weeks.  I need to learn to run in different types of temperature and weather.  This year has been especially wet in California so who knows if it may be raining on race day.

I ended up making it to 8.75 miles out in the rain when I called it quits (had to make another pit stop) and switched over to the treadmill.  I started my run there and soon realized I’d rather be out in the rain.  I made it about 3.25 miles on the treadmill and then decided to go out into the rain again (the rain was heavier than it was during my first 8 miles). I pushed and persevered and hit 4 miles (I had told myself that 4 miles was my minimum up to the 8 miles to complete the 20 miles).  I had recently read that one theory for marathon long run training is not to exceed 3 hours because beyond that the benefits do not outweigh the risks (i.e. injury).  So that’s where I came up with 4 miles minimum on my 3rd leg to have a final of 16 miles.

So the end result was just a tad over 16 miles.  I’m happy with it, especially given my lack of motivation and the rain.

No pictures on my runs this week with the rains.

Sunday morning I woke up with a lot of sneezing and a constantly dripping right nose.  I do have pretty bad allergies in the springtime but this felt more like maybe I was getting sick.  Even though I thought maybe I was getting sick I still wanted to get some miles in.  So I compromised with myself and did 3 miles of walking on the treadmill (~3.5 mph so I still broke a sweat).

Overall I’m still happy with my training thus far and hope to keep it up and be ready for the race in Big Sur.

We also went to a pizza joint we used to go to a lot (Hot Italian).  Since I’ve been making pizza myself we haven’t gone in awhile.  I do like their cocktails though, and Saturday was decently warm so I had a Negroni.

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Negroni

-StewsCat

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Marathon Training Week 10

I got back on track with my running in week 10.  I also changed up my training schedule to try to make it better with my new work schedule.  Rather than running Tuesday/Thursday, I switched it up to Monday/Wednesday.  This also allows me to have a rest day before my long run day (Friday).  This week was a drop-back week for my long run.  I again did a mixed effort run where I did the middle 4 miles of the 10 miler at a quicker pace.  Sadly my “quicker” pace these days is actually not all that fast.  I’m not sure if it is due to the high mileage I’ve been putting in causing me to be more fatigued and slower or if it is age-related (diet-related, weight-related, etc).  I definitely feel okay though know that with the increased days and miles, I’m putting a lot more stress on my body than I have before.  I certainly am quite cognizant of how my body is feeling because I have much experience with injuries in the past.  I definitely do NOT want to hurt myself before this marathon like I did with the last one (that was not a fun experience).   Wednesday’s treadmill run happened after I had dinner and surprisingly wasn’t too bad – considering I did it about 30 minutes after finishing my dinner.  Saturday’s 7 miler also was on the treadmill and I did some long incline walks/runs to try to build some hill mileage into my training.  I probably should be doing more hill type stuff but we’ll see what happens.

Here’s a summary of last week’s running.

( ) = # of miles on my plan

Monday – 4.5 (3)

Wednesday – 4.1 (6)

Friday – 10.03 (10)

Saturday – 7 (8)

Sunday –  4.25 (5)

Weekly Total – 29.88 miles (32)

We’ve not had any rain for a while so things have dried out a bit and all the previous wet weather has caused a lot of plants to blossom early.  It is quite pretty out although my allergies have been driving me nuts as of late.

 

 

My long run also took me through some interesting neighborhoods along with a small park that I like because they have an actual restroom (yes I do plan many runs around where I can make pit stops).

Other fun things that happened this week included making some bread for a work potluck.  One of my coworkers has some health issues so we were all trying to come up with low-fat recipes to bring.  I figured I could just make some bread since I already had some dough sitting in the fridge just waiting for me.  I had made the dough for sandwiches but decided to switch it up and use it for dinner rolls.

I really find it fascinating how yeast works.  I just love watching how bread rises and gets so big!

For this recipe, I did an egg wash on the dough and baked it for ~23 minutes (internal temp hit around 205F).  The small cast iron was a tester for my wife to make sure it tasted okay.

I got her approval and took it to work and it was a big hit.

This past week we also hit up one of the local Korean BBQ places, Blue House Restaurant.  We had been once not too long after they opened last year.  They have an “All-You-Can-Eat” option.  I noticed they added a lot more cuts of meat to their selection and as they started bringing meat out I realized they changed up how they were serving it.  When we first came, each meat order came as a large plate of meat.  This time they only brought out essentially a one to two person portion.  This is smart because it allows us as patrons to try more types of meats rather than getting full on just one type.  I definitely went to town and had the Kalbi, Bulgogi, octopus, pork bulgogi, shrimp, chicken.  It was all very good and we cooked it up right at the table.  I’m always a fan of Korean BBQ.  The banchan (“side dishes”) were only okay at this place and not as plentiful as it is at other Korean establishments we’ve visited.

Since it was St. Patrick’s Day, we had stopped by a local micro brew, Sactown Union Brewery, for a few beers before dinner.  I had a Nitro Stout that they just released on that very day called Big Fella and then the Carpe Noctem (a coffee oatmeal stout).  At Blue House, we shared an OB (Korean beer) and a bottle of their Pomegranate soju.   The soju was a bit too sweet for our tastes.

Overall a pretty good week for both running and eating.

-StewsCat

Marathon Training Week 9

Marathon Training Week 9

Week 9 had some highs and a lot of lows.  As you’ll see below, I ended up only doing 2 runs the entire week.  For my scheduled Tuesday and Thursday runs I can blame work for not getting them in.  Normally I get off work around 6 but due to various circumstances on both those days I had to stay late and was just too tired to get a run in when I got home.  I’m not sweating it too much.

The high of the week was actually hitting the 18 mile distance and feeling somewhat okay afterwards.  I keep telling myself that for the actual race I’ll be doing an additional 8.2 miles so I better feel “okay” after an 18-miler.

Here’s a summary of last week’s running.

( ) = # of miles on my plan

Tuesday – 0.00 (3)

Thursday – 0.00 (8) – in reality, 8 miles was a bit ambitious considering 18 the following day.

Friday – 18 (18)

Saturday – 4.05 (5)

Sunday –  0.00 (4)

Weekly Total – 22.05 miles (37)

My long run was taken along the American River Trail again.  This time I went further and traversed the bridge past William Pond Park.  I ran over this bridge when I did the Run The Parkway Half.  There were tons of Canadian Geese out.  They were just all over the place.

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It is amazing how quickly the water level drops after no rain for a few weeks.  Not sure when we’re going to get more rain but I feel like we need some more over the next 1-2 months to feel okay with being out of the drought.

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My last run I ran past this tree with these bright vibrant yellow flowers.  Now, 2 weeks later the flowers are still there but they appear so much more dull.

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So I crossed the bridge and explored some new territory.  I stopped at a bathroom/water fountain area that was cool but a bit isolated.  I pictured a horror movie where I was being chased by some masked villain.  Luckily this was only about a 1/4 mile detour.

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Even though my 18 miler was slower than my 16 miler, I think it is good progress.  It is amazing how I slowed so much on the 18 miler even though for the 16 miler, I had put in some tough fast hill miles the night before the 16 miler.  Strange how the body works.

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Sunday I woke up in a funk and just wasn’t feeling it (it = life).

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The dog had the right idea

So rather than get a run in that may have helped my mood, I went out to dinner for some cocktails and pizza.  I had the notion of doing a few night miles after dinner but when I ordered that second cocktail, I knew that running was out of the question.  I also had a baking fail.  I decided to make some bread but was too cocky and didn’t check the temperature of the bread when I finished and of course the center of the loaf wasn’t cooked.  It was just gummy paste.  Fail.  But at least the cocktail and pizza look delish!

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Negroni
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Three types of pepperoni!!  And prosciutto with arugula

-StewsCat

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Marathon Training Week 8

I made it through the halfway mark of my training plan.  This week was a step down week in terms of mileage and long run distance.  I did read a Runner’s World article about improving your marathon finish time.  One of the points was to not run all your long runs as an LSD (“Long Slow Distance”).  In the past, many of the training protocols I would peruse talked about doing all your long runs at a slow conversational pace.  I guess there has been some changes to this thought.  I decided to do my long run this week as more of a training run.  So for the 10 miles I broke it up into: first 3 miles easy, middle 4 miles at moderate pace and last 3 miles at slightly moderate to easy pace.  I definitely felt it more in my legs by doing this.  I am hoping this will help build up my endurance better.

Here’s a summary of last week’s running.

( ) = # of miles on my plan

Tuesday – 3.25 (3)

Thursday – 3.1 (7) – treadmill, incline, intervals

Friday – 10 (10)

Saturday – 4.05 (4)

Sunday –  5.5 (5)

Weekly Total – 25.9 miles (29)

My Thursday run ended up being quite shorter than what is on my plan.  A lot of this is due to my work schedule.  After arriving home on Thursday from work, I helped to put dinner together and while it was cooking I hopped on the treadmill.  I still feel good about the workout because I did various intervals and different inclines to get some “hill” training.  Saturday’s run was truly a drag and I just wasn’t feeling it.  Grinded out the 4 but it was slow and tough.  The last run on Sunday was after working and I did a tempo run.  Maintained around a 10 min/mile pace.  Overall felt pretty good about it though my right knee was complaining some.  Overall I thought the week went well.

This week’s long run I took along the river trail but towards downtown Sac and got some cool pictures.  The trail runs under the Business 80 freeway and then under some train tracks.

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The graffiti actually shows a fair amount of talent.  I can’t help but think these guys/gals could have a future in some sort of graphic design.

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I also like that you can run on the lower part of the trail with the berm on the side.  It makes you feel like you’re in nature.

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I eventually made my way over to Sutter’s Landing park and had a view of the somewhat sad-looking Sacramento skyline.

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I do like the architecture in Midtown Sacramento.  There are lots of neat looking homes.  I didn’t snap too many but just have this one.

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And then I passed through McKinley Park.  They are redoing the pond there and it is currently empty. They had to delay work on it due to the massive amounts of rain we had been getting.

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And I’ll leave you with this lovely maintained yard (not mine).

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-StewsCat