Week 8 update

Getting a strange itch to run the LA marathon. I am saying no to this bizarre idea, secretly hoping that the fucking thing would just sell out and end this delusion. No need. Seriously, what am I getting out of it? I doubt that I am in shape to even attempt a BQ, and my corral placement will be crap. Please go away!

By the way, it is getting easier. To the point of me pondering additional mileage. But I doubt that there is a need for that. Once the speed work will end, it will get more painful with the strength workouts - as they are essentially mini-tempo sessions.

Oh and also the work is sending me to NY for 3.5 days. Which means that I won't be able to run on Monday as I am flying in. So I am adding 8 miles to the Sunday run. I am badass like that. It is supposed to rain though so might be a bit nasty. Oh and it is like 20 degrees in NY, so running outside is not going to happen. I am planning to abuse the treadmill at the hotel.

Week 7 in the bag

Completed week 7. Was probably the best week so far. One thing I have to say about the training plan is that it is relentless but not designed to kill you. It is definitely pushing me, making me to watch the pace, the way I run, the way I recover, the way I sleep. I now see how the relationship between cadence and fatigue works after years of simply capturing my cadence metrics without doing anything about it.

Another thing about running 6 days a week is that you cannot afford to be reckless. I raced in old shoes with the history of giving me blisters... sure enough I get blisters and for 2 weeks I had to train with it. At times it was bad enough to make it feel like I was stepping on a razor.

But this also taught me to be optimistic. I now know that I just have to see things through. And be patient. Human body is amazingly resilient, being built for running. This video has some great answers - well worth watching.

Some logistical challenges ahead - have to travel for work soon, then going on a week long vacation in March, another work trip in April. Will try my best to stick with the schedule.

About 30% complete

Mid week 7, looking at the results so far:

1. Aerobic capacity seems to be improving - zone 2 training helps.
2. Speedwork feels more snappy - the dreaded 12x400 workout is still hard but not killer hard.
3. Injury wise - not too bad. The blistered left foot seems to be getting better and the right knee appears to be on the mend.

This is definitely a workout routine that's designed to fatigue you half to death, but not quite kill you. It's the easy runs, not the SOS ones that grind you down. Also attempting to race that Surf City half was a dumb move and should not have been even attempted. Lesson learnt hopefully.

Tempo 7

It only occurred to me yesterday morning, but the training plan had quietly upped the miles for the tempo run from 6 to 7. I had to move the tempo run from Thursday to Friday since I had only 45 minutes to do the workout yesterday - so did a 6 mile easy run instead. This morning left early and banged out a 7 mile run. I have realized that you can run a 2.3 mile loop off the horse trails looping around the northern portion of the trails.

Tons more fun than the track. The trail is mostly flat with a couple of very gentle rollers. I should have found this years ago! Somehow I ended up running it faster than intended for the first 2 loops, so I kind of slowed the last loop down a bit. Still ended up with a good pace, and had a quiet cooldown running through the parking lot of the zoo.

Surf City Half

Ran the Surf City half marathon yesterday. 2 other buddies came along, so we all carpooled. Took about an hour, and parking was relatively painless despite the horrors that I have read about in the reviews. We got there at 6:20 and it took no time to find parking in a structure ($12 though).

The pre-race went as expected. Line up at a portapotty, do the deed, mill around, hit the portapotty again, off to the starting line. This time I took a bit longer than usual and had to push through a densely packed crowd to get to the starting line.

So the plan was to run the first 7 miles or so at a 6:45 pace, and then slow it down for the last 6 miles, to end up with the average of about 7:15. The first 5 miles went great, but by the end of mile 5 I felt like I was developing major blisters on the balls of my feet. Both of them. I was running in my Saucony Guide shoes with about 230 miles on them, and I have been doing all of my speedwork in them... no real issues in training, logged 12 miles in them just last week... perplexing. By mile 6 I had to make a decision to slow down to get to the nearest aid station and get some Vaseline. Found it at the mile 8 or so. From there I ran the rest of the course very leisurely, stopped at a portapotty, since a bunch of time was wasted anyways.

Finished with the feet absolutely searing. Finish time was pretty irrelevant by that point (1:58). Had a couple of beers in the garden, waited for my friends to finish... enjoyed the sun and the chatter around me. Will need a few days to let the feet heal and maybe find another half to do in mid February to test the fitness. This said, week 5 is over just like that!