Monday, September 21, 2015

{week 8} Making it through a tough week

Up until this past week, I've had a good string of training runs and weeks. I suppose I was due a not-so-good one. I never expected it to be the week after a recovery week. I thought because I was training in San Diego and my route was relatively flat (I usually train with hills), my planned tempo while challenging would not be impossible. 

Feeling minor twinges in my right quad, I started my run along the San Diego Bay on a warm and humid Tuesday morning. I felt off right from the start, but you know what they say: never trust your first mile. My first 2 warm-up miles felt tough. Tougher than they should: my heart rate was high (much higher than normal) and my right leg felt "off". I continued on and sped up to my tempo speed. Yeah, not so good. I ran 3 miles at tempo and decided that was enough. I finished my run with a 2 mile cool-down, but had to keep stopping because my heart rate was high. 

After the day's meetings were finished, I hopped on the hotel treadmill to finish my tempo work: 1/2 mile warm-up--2 miles at tempo--1/2 mile cool-down. I don't know if this is right or appropriate, but I wanted to finish my aborted run. I know missing ONE or even not completing ONE run will not affect my training. In my head, I should have known this is my body telling me I need more rest and recovery

Especially true in light of Wednesday's recovery run: 4 miles along the relatively flat San Diego Bay. It was drizzling a bit, but not warm like the day before. On my recovery runs, I like to keep my heart rate below 143 bpm. This was not happening. Again, my heart rate was higher than expected. I ran the 4 miles at a slow recovery pace, but my average heart rate was 152 bpm. Clearly I needed more rest. Right? Back home, I ran my scheduled 11 mile regular run on Thursday morning. Again, it felt harder than it should. 

I took Friday off completely (no cross-training) and decided not to drive out to Los Angeles on Saturday for a Oiselle VolĂ©e meet-up (too much driving hurts my legs--it's a 3 hour round trip) and we were going to Orange County (2 hour round trip) for a birthday party later that day. 

Weekends get overbooked with different activities and before I know it, Monday happens and I haven't rested properly. I think I was tired from travel, dehydrated, still recovering from the weekend before and the HEAT. 

Bad runs happen. Unfortunately, they brought out my self-doubt thoughts that cycle through my mind: Am I good enough? Can I even do this? Why am I doing this? and all of the other discouraging and depressing thoughts that plague my mind. I started to fear doing my planned weekend runs...

....Saturday morning I ran my 18-mile long run. After the first couple miles, my right quad didn't bother me. I kept an eye on my heart rate. It stayed within my normal run range. It was a great run! I was able to get in my run zone and the miles melted away. Up until the last two miles, which were a struggle. Reflecting back on my run, I realized I did not have any water since mile 12 and it was HOT. A simple solution to make my next run better. 

In summary: my tough week has reminded me to (1)recover like a champ; (2) dust myself off and learn from my mistakes but don't dwell on them; (3) ask for help; and (4) re-focus on mental toughness training

Week 8 (10 weeks until CIM)

Goal Mileage: 54 miles

Monday: Rest or cross-training (tabata)
Tuesday: Recovery run + speed - 7 miles with 6 x 100m strides
Wednesday: Medium-long run - 12 miles
Thursday: Rest or cross-training
Friday: Lactate threshold run - 10 miles with 6 miles at tempo, speed play on treadmill (am) + 3 miles recovery run (pm)
Saturday: Recovery run - 5 miles
Sunday: Long run - 20 miles


  1. Lots of good lessons learned! Don't let a bad week get you down, you have lots of great training weeks ahead. Good luck!

  2. Sorry you had an off week in your training! Unfortunately it happens to all of us. It sounds like you've learned some good lessons. Be sure to stay well hydrated and recover well!

  3. I hear you on the overbooked weekends. You know yourself best so be sure to schedule in that rest! And best of luck :)