Monday, July 19, 2010

My (Chicago Marathon) Training Update

So enough about lil'l bro (even if he did a fine job for his first race in Central Park...), let's talk about me and MY running! Not to be outdone by my old fresh and blood (yet), I actually had a very productive week on the roads last week. Those who follow me on DailyMile may already know this, but I did a total of 7 workouts with 3 "quality" sessions and one rest day for a total of 67.0 miles - my highest weekly mileage total EVER! If you are wondering about details, it went a little something like this.

Monday - 9.2 miles with 4x1200m at interval pace(5:53 min/mi)
Tuesday - 8.7 miles at general aerobic pace (7:12 min/mi)
Wednesday - 8.1 miles at recovery pace (7:50 min/mi)
Thursday (AM) - 8.9 miles with 6 miles at tempo (6:32 min/mi)
Thursday (PM) - 6.1 miles at slow pace (8:53 min/mi) with friend
Friday - 5.7 miles at recovery pace (7:52 min/mi)
Saturday - Off

So this brings us to Sunday, which by far, was the most interesting yet toughest run of the week in so many ways. As summarized on DailyMile:

Sunday Mega Run (Part I – The Tempo Miles - 10.21 Miles)
The assignment (courtesy of Daniel's Phase II) is 2 miles easy, 5 x Mile at tempo (6:24 min/mi) with 1min rests, and 1 hour easy. Because this workout translated to roughly 15-16 miles of running, I wanted to add a few extra miles at the end and do this quality workout as my weekend 20 miler

I decided to do the first portion of workout at my local park, so I got up early, had some breakfast and headed out. Because this was essentially a speed workout, I opted to wear my Kinvaras today over my usual long run trainers. The weather was already started to get warm and humid but there was a cool breeze so I thought I'd be okay. I started by running my warmup real easy, just planning out my route around the park, when suddenly, I tripped on a bump in the uneven pavement and fell! I wasn't running very fast so luckily the scrapes were minimal. But my kneecap was bleeding a little and it took me a few minutes to dust myself off and reorient myself. I took some water, shook myself off, finished my warmup and started my tempo mile intervals.

As usual, it took about a couple of these to get my pacing just right. I kept running too hard at the start and then readjusting by slowing down a tad in the middle of the mile. The pace was quite challenging to maintain and by the 3 and 4th one, I kept feeling I had to run faster than tempo effort just to make my time. I also thought the 1:00 rests between the miles came and went so quickly that I kept thinking I wasn't recovered enough to start the next set! I had done 4 of these and was about to start the 5th one when I tripped and fell again on the uneven gravel. This one shook me up. Although I hadn't started the tempo mile yet, I was getting ready to which meant the force of the fall was a little greater than the first. Now my knee was bleeding pretty bad and I scraped a bit of my left shoulder as well. I sat on the ground for 10-15 seconds trying to figure out how I could have been such a klutz to fall twice!

After using some of the water from my water bottle, I irrigated the wounds and walked around a little to make sure I didn't sustain any muscular or skeletal injury (which thank god, I didn't). Then I debated calling off my last tempo mile having blown off a few minutes of recovery since the last mile. But I knew I'd feel terrible about it after anyway, so despite my bleeding knee, I ran my last tempo mile (probably a little too fast) before jogging over to the next water fountain to clean myself off some more and collect my thoughts.

I was so traumatized by my falls and exhausted by these tempo miles that I didn't know whether I'd have the energy to do the next half of the run. Besides, it was getting sunnier and hotter now, so another ten or so miles wasn't going to be pretty. But I also promised some friends I'd spectate the NYC Triathlon in Central park and I seriously did not want to miss that. I decided to just jog home, tape up my knee, refill my water bottle and reassess whether I had it in me to run another ten miles.

Part I Statistics
Warmup - 2.0 miles in 15:31 (7:46 pace); Avg HR - 134
Tempo Miles (5) - 6:22; 6:22; 6:22; 6:22; 6:20; Avg HR - 163
Cooldown - 2.72 miles in 22:29 (8:15 pace); Avg HR - 150

Maybe I should have stopped after that. Maybe that would have been the smart thing to do. Battered by the ground, punished by gravel, my confidence shaken to the core, I seriously thought about quitting at the point – for the day, for the week, and maybe forever. I was bleeding, upset and not sure whether I could handle any more miles at that time. But luckily, I didn’t let myself think. I was too smart for that too. I just went…

Sunday Mega Run (Part II – Run to Central Park for NYC Tri - 10.17 Miles)
On my way home, a constant cool breeze magically appeared which made it seem as if the weather wouldn't be all that bad for running the 10 miles into the city. So after my own "transition" of sorts at home - change into new clothes and long run shoes, grabbing new water bottle and GU, and taping up my nasty scrapes - I decided I needed to just go out and attempt this, even if I'm exhausted and tired, and rattled from my 2 falls. After all, I have friends who are just now getting onto their bikes for the NYC Triathlon, expecting me to be there for the run!

So I willed myself and got out the door, not knowing if I had enough energy to run all the way into the city. "Try the best you can and run as far as your body can handle." I had told my brother the day before, so how can I not heed those words now.

The trip was hard for me, harder than I could remember for a long time. I had to stop two times for more water and GU at mile 6. At a few traffic light stops (I was running in bike lane on a wide avenue) at mile 5 and 7, I asked myself if I had gone far enough and should just stop. Each time, I would beg for just one more mile and then stopping, and each time, I'd convince myself to just run on. While I was running, I kept trying to figure out why I was having such difficulty on this long run. Maybe my tempo miles were too fast? Maybe I did too many? Was my high mileage week finally catching up to me? Maybe I was overtraining? I don’t know. All I wanted was to be done! Finally I saw the gigantic Queensboro Bridge separating me from my friends (at mile 8) and once I decided to take the plunge to scale this huge monstrosity, I knew I'd make it after all.

After finishing up on East 72nd St at exactly 10 miles, I rested by the side of the road and spectated the final run portion of the NYC Tri for an hour and a half. It was so awesome to see all these amazing athletes all running strong with smiles on their faces pouring it on towards the finish. All their friends and families were so very proud of them. Reflecting on my klutziness and tough 20 miles to get there made me realize just how unathletic I really am.

I was really happy and proud for all of those who swam, biked, and ran today. Those are the real athletes. Those are the people I aspire to be. Until then, I will just have to stick with what I can be. I have to stick with what I know.

Part II: Distance - 10.17 Miles; Time - 1:18:46; Pace - 7:45)

67 total Miles. Chicago Marathon Training Week 4 complete. My highest mileage training week ever. All done.


Teamarcia said...

Way to HTFU out there despite the falls. Cannot believe it's already been a year since the last NYC tri. Time flies. VERY nice training week. Congrats on some awesome mileage. See you in Chicago! : )

Anonymous said...

nice job gutting it definitely has not been easy training for a fall marathon these days!!

With regards to this comment though "...all of those who swam, biked, and ran today. Those are the real athletes."

People who do single sports are also "real athletes." Would you say that Usain Bolt or Allyson Felix (i.e., sprinters) are not real athletes? Just saying...

Anonymous said...

Are you using Daniels? That workout looks very Jack-esque! Great job gettin' er done!

Brian Morrissey said...

yeah, don't sell yourself short. no offense at all to tri folks, but doing a half-decent olympic distance tri is certainly not harder than a quality marathon. i found it easier, mostly b/c the variety builds in recovery. mileage will vary depending on how comfortable you are swimming. one question: do you crosstrain? it might not hurt to replace an easy day w a low-impact activity.

Lisa said...

Wow, impressive week! Do you have many more like that on tap for your training?

The Laminator said...

Thanks for the feedback! My turn -

@Teamarcia - Yeah, time flies! Speaking of which, only 13 more weeks 'til Chicago. Yikes! See ya there!

@nyflygirl - I knew you'd take offense at that comment, but it really is just what I felt about ME while watching all the triathletes, not really about anyone else. Besides, in my view, anyone who competes in three sports is by definition more "athletic" than those who does only one.

@runningcommmentaries - I'm incorporating some of Jack's workouts into my training program. We'll see how that goes.

@Brian - maybe that's true, but from the perspective of a guy who can't's still pretty amazing to see the people who can do all three! I will definitely learn though later in the year after this marathon season, and incorporate some of that next year as cross-training!

Julie said...

Hi Lam,
Way to go on your are busting out the miles and getting some great training in:) I would love to be able to run the Chicago marathon....maybe next year! I hope that you have an awesome week Lam!

runner26 said...

i think you are right up there with the "real athletes", mr. saucony.. especially with all this training you're doing ;)

The Laminator said...

@Julie - Thank you! I hope to have as much fun in my half this weekend as you did in yours. Probably not even possible...haha!

@runner26 - I think I'm just pretending to be a "real athlete" way I can ever be like them for real though.

sRod said...

Each part of this Saturday run would be a hard workout on its own--can't believe you did them back to back!

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