Monday, November 28, 2016

CIM Race Week

My overall goal for CIM is to run a strong and consistent race. In order to do that, I need to reign in my speed in the early part of the race so I can avoid the marathon death march at the end of the race. Pacing is not my strong point (and why I've hired a coach for 2017). My plan is to tuck in with the 3:53 (~8:53/mi) pace group leaders and let them do the thinking for at least the first half, if not more. I don't want to run faster than 8:35 (unless it is the last couple miles-- and if that's the case, at the end of the marathon, it will be an early Christmas miracle). I want to stay in the 8:45-9:00/mi pace range for 90% of the race. 

  • 'A' Goal -->Finish 3:50 or faster
  • 'B' Goal -->PR (sub 3:52:14)
  • 'C' Goal -->Finish strong and have fun
I feel as if I will still be chasing my 'A' goal next year--never felt fully recovered from St. George 26.2--and that's okay. Part of me is hoping for race magic to kick in and for miracles to happen. The realist in me knows I already drank from that well for St. George, but as the great Kara Goucher says, Always believe.

In addition to the race, I'm super excited that Oiselle Volée will have large presence. Twenty-seven of us are racing and a bunch more will be at mile 22 for cowbell corner. There will be other team activities, such as shakeout runs, Friday night dinner and post-race brunch. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

If I'm going to walk on thin ice...

As the November 13th deadline for deferring CIM came and went I wondered if I have what it takes to run race another marathon. Week after week, I've been grinding out double digit runs before work and increasingly longer runs on the weekends. I'm tired. I know that's the point of marathon training. Although CIM will be my 5th marathon, it's my first time following a marathon-specific plan to completion (although, not exactly because I had a taper and recovery for St. George).

Since St. George, my legs don't have speed, but they certainly have stamina and I have no doubt that I will be able to cross the finish line in Sacramento.

I'm 17 days out from the marathon I've worked all year for. The marathon that I have spent hours in physical therapy, strength training, yoga/pilates not to mention hours and hours running. I have one 20 mile run this weekend and then my taper starts. I'm looking forward to the 3 weeks of rest/recovery post-CIM.

CIM Training Week 14 & 15 Recap: Lots and lots of miles with some trail racing thrown in. Week 14 included my second 20 mile run of this training cycle (not counting St. George 26.2) and Week 15 included 22+ miles on trails as part of the Oiselle Trail Birds Ragnar Los Coyotes team. Week 15 was also my second 50 mile week. I never quite reached the 55 mile week as designed with the plan but I think for my current state of fitness and my goal to not get injured, 50 miles is good. 

Ragnar Trail Los Coyotes was an insanely difficult course and we came in 2nd for our division (female/open) and 4th female team overall, making it in the top 50 teams. If you are not familiar with Ragnar Trail, the race consists of 3 loops (green, yellow, red) and each runner on an 8-person team runs each loop once. This was Ragnar's first year at this location and I don't think the organizers realized how long it would take participants to finish the course. A lot of teams either had to double up runs or didn't complete by the 6pm cut off time. We were down a runner (some of us ran a 4th loop) and we finished the race in 27h:41m:03s

Week 16:

Monday, November 14: Rest/XT
Tuesday, November 15: 9 miles, general aerobic
Wednesday, November 16: 5 miles, recovery
Thursday, November 17: 11 miles, medium-long
Friday, November 18: Rest/XT
Saturday, November 19: 5 miles, recovery
Sunday, November 20: 20 miles, long

Goal Mileage: 50 miles 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Seriously?! I'm running another marathon next month?!

I'm currently in the throes of my peak mileage weeks of CIM training, which means I alternate between feeling overwhelmed/exhausted and exhilarated/strong. It means one day I'm checking when the deferral period ends (November 13) and the next day, feeling super strong, I'm registering for future marathons (2017 LA Marathon-3rd time's a charm!). It means counting down the days until Monday, December 5th which marks the start of my planned 3-week running break/recovery (very excited). 

CIM Training Week 13 Recap:
  • Monday, 10/24 - Rest or XT day. 30 minutes cycle class + weight-lifting (upper body)
  • Tuesday, 10/25 - 12.6 miles, general aerobic run. There's something empowering about busting out a 12 mile run before work. Felt good throughout the run. A little tired towards the end, but no bonking. 9:13/mile avg pace
  • Wednesday, 10/26 - 5.1 miles, recovery run. Legs felt a lot better than last week's recovery run. I've also been working on getting more sleep. I'm now consistently getting 6 1/2 hours of sleep (sometimes more!). As someone who was generally getting only 5 hours, this is a big improvement. 9:25/mile avg pace.
  • Thursday, 10/27 - 9.5 miles with 5 miles tempo run. This run was horrible, horribly hard. It wore me out for the whole day and wore out my hips and glutes. This run motivated me to finally hire a running coach to help me with pacing. My avg pace for the 5 miles at tempo was 7:57/mile (target pace 7:55-8:11/mile). Although I hit my goal pace, it sucked. 8:41/mile avg pace.
    my watch now thinks I can run
    a fast marathon; new BHAG-->
    run what my watch thinks I can
    (all other times spot on)
  • Friday, 10/28 - 3.2 miles, recovery run. Left hip/side pain from the tempo run the day before. 9:50/mile avg pace
  • Saturday, 10/29 - 8 miles with speed (10 x 100 meters) My left hip/hip flexor was still bothering me from Thursday's run so I {smartly} opted out of Saturday's scheduled run. It was a hard decision. I kept changing my mind. I even got dressed, laced up my shoes and started running. Before I reached the end of the block, I knew it would be best not to run that day. Instead I went back to my basic PT prescribed glute exercises, Oiselle's Dozen, and walked the dog to coffee. 
  • Sunday, 10/30 - 17.0 miles, long run. It was a great decision to not run the day before, because I woke up feeling great. So much so, that I ran hills. Lots of hills! My run was point to point and pretty much all up hill. Felt strong throughout and pretty happy with my pace. 10:01/mile avg pace.
Goal Mileage: 55 miles
Total Mileage: 47.5 miles

Week 14 (or the week it peaks!):
  • Monday, 10/31 - Rest or XT
  • Tuesday, 11/1 - 14 miles, general aerobic run
  • Wednesday, 11/2 - 5 miles, recovery run
  • Thursday, 11/3 - 11 miles with 4 x1200 intervals, VO2 max
  • Friday, 11/4 - Rest or XT
  • Saturday, 11/5 - 20 miles, long run
  • Sunday, 11/6 - 5 miles, recovery run
Goal Mileage: 55 miles