Sunday, August 7, 2011

Training log - Week ending 8/07/11

This week was 40 miles of “real running” and 30 “miles” pool running plus 2000m of swimming -- training log is here.

This was a rough week. I struggled for reasons that I don’t believe are related to my fitness, and so I decided to back way the heck off. My target peak racing season is October to December, and so it made absolutely no sense to run myself into the ground fighting to complete workouts that were tougher than they should have been, or to hit a certain mileage this week.

The first part of the week, I was on antibiotics (Bactrim) for my blister infection, and they knocked me for a loop. Bactrim’s side effects include “shortness of breath” -- it’s actually contradicted for people with asthma, but I’m assuming that precaution is meant for people with more serious problems, not my mild need-an-inhaler-before-track issues.

Well, “shortness of breath” just about describes it. My strength was very clearly fine; it was just that my aerobic capacity was about half the norm (noted in running, swimming, and pool-running). I stopped my track workout after the first set of three planned – I felt as tired after the first set as I normally do after the final set, and I thought that was sufficient reason to make the first set my last. I tried to do 20 minutes of swimming breathing drills afterwards, but struggled there too. I can normally work up to 13 strokes (very easy, with pull buoy) between breaths; I couldn’t do more than 7 on Tuesday. Without the pull buoy? It was very hard not to breathe every two strokes.

So, contacted my doctor and described the trouble I was having, and she agreed I could stop the antibiotics before the full 10 day cycle was done, due to the side effects (I was having a few others not directly running-related).

I stopped the Bactrim after Tuesday afternoon, and had a pretty good run on Wednesday. Of course, I then had a long and somewhat stressful day at work on Thursday, followed by a rare bout of insomnia (I don’t think the two were related) on Thursday night, resulting in 4 hours of lousy sleep. I debated skipping tempo on Friday, but the weather was so nice that I couldn’t resist. So, I showed up (acting like a space cadet) and ran a short 5K tempo at a slower pace. Not ideal, but I got something done, and I didn’t dig myself into a hole. Even after that shortened workout, I was totally beat with symptoms that felt like a cold might be coming on, so I skipped Pilates.

Tons of sleep (9.5 hours on Friday night!) later and I felt like myself for Sunday’s long run. I played Sunday’s run pretty carefully though – running out and back with a friend for 10 easy miles. After the 10 miles, I felt OK, so I went ahead and turned it into a progression long run that went pretty well, given the bad conditions (temps in upper 70s, dewpoint in mid 70s). Hopefully this is an indication that I’ve got all of these frustrations behind me – I really dislike not finishing workouts.

(aside - Elizabeth was nice enough to grab my running gait evaluation videos from a few weeks back and post them on Youtube at my request.  I've updated the log entry discussing that gait analysis to show the videos)


Monday: 60 minutes of easy pool-running for “6 miles,” and then some injury prevention work . Stretching and foam-rolling at night.

Tuesday: In the morning, 7 miles on the track. Prescribed workout was 2-3x1600, 800 – half-distance recoveries between intervals. I ran 6:17, 2:56 for the first set, and then called it a day – I was pretty clearly not myself, and no reason to dig myself into a hole. So jogged easy while cheering my teammates, and then hit the pool for 30 minutes of pool-running (“3 miles”) and 1000m of swimming breathing drills. Upper body strength-training at night.

Wednesday: 10 miles easy outside (8:22 pace) on a hilly route. Followed with 40 minutes pool-running for “4 miles” and then 1000m of swimming breathing drills.

Thursday: In the morning, 50 minutes of easy pool-running for “5 miles” plus upper body strengthtraining. Injury prevention exercises, foam rolling, and stretching at night.

Friday: In the morning, 8 miles on the track, including an abbreviated tempo 5K workout on the track (6:52 pace – splits of 6:56, 6:49, 6:43, and 50 second (6:40 pace) for final 200m). Followed with 20 minutes of pool-running (“2 miles”) but skipped my scheduled evening Pilates class.

Saturday: In the morning, 70 minutes easy pool-running for “7 miles.” In the afternoon, light upper body strength training plus foam-rolling, injury prevention exercises, and stretching.

Sunday: In the morning, a long run of 15.5 averaging 8:00 pace – the first 5 miles (uphill) were 8:37 pace, followed by 6.5 miles at 7:52 pace (downhill+flat) and 4 miles at 7:23 pace (flat - including the final mile at 7:00 pace and then a 6:00 pace 400m kick). Pretty happy with this one.

I followed this up with some injury prevention exercises, and then 30 minutes very easy pool-running for “3 miles” to shake things out. Yoga and foam rolling tonight.


  1. Sorry you had problems this week but glad you were able to stop the drugs early. This weather is beating so many of us down, too. I've read a few blogs today of people saying "I don't know why I felt like crud this week" when the one through thread is horrible dewpoints across the board. So I can only imagine the addition of antibiotics to that. May next week see you doing everything up to speed and with full energy.

  2. Glad you're off the antibiotics! Too funny I've been so happy I am with my workout on Tuesday but my kicking finish is so much slower than your "clearly not myself"!!

    The mile was fun with a large CAR group and I think most of us said we were going to do it again on the 27th! I'm glad you think you'll be able to fit it in! It'll be fun!

  3. Thanks guys -- it's amazing how much better I feel.

    Flo -- the sad thing was that my lousy workouts happened on some of the best days that we've had this summer. That's what made it so frustrating -- we finally had good weather, and I couldn't make use of it. And of course I'm now feeling better just in time for the temperatures to return :)

    Cheryl -- I think doing the mile with a group of us would be really fun!

  4. Antibiotics can really de-rail your training if you are on the pill and don't use backup BC. :-) Anyway, sorry you had a tough week but you made the sensible choice by backing off the miles. I sooo want to do that mile, but I have a 20-miler planned for that weekend and can't afford to have that interfere. Boo.

  5. sorry you had a rough week, but I'm glad it meant that I got to hang out with you at the pool!

  6. stumbled across your blog recently and i'm so glad i did! i'm also recovering from a running-induced metatarsal fracture, and your workouts have been super helpful in planning my recovery training!

    just wondering a bit about your "injury prevention exercises". if you want to email me, feel free! I'm laurenalyssereid at gmail dot com

    thanks!! :)

  7. Hey Lauren - here's a list of my injury prevention exercises. Keep in mind that they are the ones that have been suggested to me by my physical therapists/doctors based on my weak areas, so they may not be the most appropriate for you.

    I have a very strong core, shortened hip flexors, weak feet, lower leg muscles and glutes medius, and over lengthened hamstrings paired with glutes maximus that don't always fire right. My biggest issues are "lordosis" in my lower back, and some limited rotation in my hips.

    "hip hikes" while balancing on one foot (no shoe) for 60 seconds. Focus is on engaging the glutes of the standing leg.

    balancing on one foot on the flat side of a bosu (no shoe) while swinging my other leg around, as if I was running. Again, focus is on engaging the glutes of the standing leg.

    A variant on side planks where the bottom knee is bent, and the top leg is lifted - Making sure to engage the glutes medius and max

    the "dead bug" exercise, focusing on keeping small of back on the ground

    marching glute bridges -

    picking up rocks with my feet.

    scrunching towels with my feet.

    ankle eversion/inversion with a theraband -

    eccentric calf dips

    balancing on one leg while swinging the other over a foam roller balanced on its end (sort of like hurdle stepovers, except that I use the foam roller)

    I also do barbell squats and barbell "good mornings" - the goal of those is not to address running weaknesses and potential injuries, but rather to place significant weighted stress directly on my spine. I have osteopenia bordering on osteoporosis in my spine, and need to apply significant heavy weighted stress to that area several times a week to combat that. Fortunately my legs and hips don't have the same issue (minor osteopenia in my femoral neck, hips are in the normal range).

  8. What a difference the antibiotics make. Last week even in the pool, I could see you seemed tired and yesterday, SMOKIN the TRACK! Glad you're off them and feeling so much better!