Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Training log - Week ending 6/20/2021

This week was 41 miles of running, 500 yards of swimming, and 12 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Just a placeholder for my final week before Grandma's.  


Dailies


Monday: 6 "miles" of pool-running and DIY yoga.  Foam rolling at night.

Tuesday: 8 miles, including a track workout of 400, 3x800, 400 in 88, 3:01, 3:02, 3:01, 85.  Followed with light injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday: 4 miles very easy (9:10) plus light upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling in evening.

Thursday
 Travel in the morning.  DIY yoga and some tennis-balling/use of the stick in the evening.

Friday: 2 miles very easy (9:22, plus DIY yoga and some tennis-balling/use of the stick.

Saturday: 1200m warm-up and then a marathon in 3:18:56.  Fly home that night.

Sunday:  6 "miles" pool-running and foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Race report: Grandma's Marathon, June 19, 2021

I ran Grandma's Marathon yesterday, finishing in 3:18:54.  Which was a bit (about 15 minutes) off what I thought I was in shape to run.  But it was still great to be able to run a "real" marathon.

***

The trip up to Duluth on Thursday was much less eventful than I thought.  I was prepared for difficult passengers on my flight, but there were none. I was prepared for issues and delays in getting a rental car, but there were none (other than the exorbitant price).  By 10 am local I was on the road, first stopping at a Minneapolis Target, then a Minneapolis Chipotle, before heading up to Duluth.

[A side note:  Minnesota gave me some Covid culture shock, as compared to Northern Virginia/DC.  In NoVa/DC, though mask mandates have been lifted, many stores are still requiring them or strongly recommending them.  And even in stores where they are not requested, many people still wear them, and you may feel a bit self-conscious without one.  It's not rare to see people wear masks outside.  Even while exercising.  In contrast - very few people were wearing masks anywhere in either Duluth or Minneapolis.  Not at Target, not at the grocery store, not at the race expo, not in the dorms, not anywhere.  No social distancing; not much plexiglass either.

[I'm noting this without judgment (there's been WAY too much judgment about anything related to Covid).  It made no difference to me, it was just different - first jarring, and then relaxing.

[also worth noting - both Minneapolis and Duluth are about as politically blue as Northern Virginia, so this wasn't a matter of political tendencies.  Just cultural differences.]

***

Like always, I stayed in the University of Minnesota dorms.  I like the location, and $360 for 3 nights beats the heck out of several hundred dollars per night for a lousy Super 8 motel further from the start/finish.  The dorms do have several downsides, though - shared bathrooms (fine); no televisions (fine); no tiny shampoo bottles (fine); and no air conditioning.  

The lack of air conditioning was NOT so fine, given how hot it was on Thursday and Friday in Duluth, including overnight.  I bought a fan at Target on Thursday; after a lousy night's sleep on Thursday, I bought a cooling blanket from Target.  However I still slept lousy on Friday night.  The room was just way too hot.  Regretfully, I may need to splurge on a hotel room from now on whenever I do the full marathon at Grandma's.

***

Friday morning, I headed down to the expo - my first indoor race expo since Covid.  The only real difference was that the area had been expanded to use more space, so that the vendor booths were much further apart.  In years past, there was one big room that hosted the pre-race pasta dinner, and another just beyond for the expo.  This year, the expo had the same # of vendors, but spread out over both rooms, with the pasta dinner somewhere else.

There were two other changes - this year bag check was done at the expo rather than at the start of the race.  (in practicality this meant no checking your dorm room key at the start of the race to collect at the end).  Grandma's also broke from its tradition of handing out finisher t-shirts at the finish line, instead giving them when you collected your number.  Since most races give shirts at the expo, I didn't find this change strange at all.

After the expo and a short shakeout jog, I headed to Chipotle (of course).  Then back to my dorm to rest up for the next day.    The Chipotle did not sit at all well, and I had some bad bouts of nausea in the evening and overnight.  The last time I got nauseous the day before Grandma's, I set a 6 minute marathon PR the next morning.  So I decided not to worry about it.  I had consumed enough calories/carbs/salt/water, and I hadn't puked anything back up, so I'd be fine.

***

Race morning was done slightly differently this year.  It was advertised as a rolling start - 8 athletes at a time - you cross the start line when you are ready after arriving in the start area.  No bag check, no warming up.  You just get there, use the portajohns, and start when you feel like it.  With "faster athletes" requested to get on the earlier buses.  The buses started leaving at 6:30 am for the 7:45 marathon start.

Since I need a (very slight) warm-up before even a marathon, I left my dorm-room at 6 am for a quick shakeout of less than a mile.  Then back to my room, where I grabbed a stroopwafel to snack on and a water bottle, before heading down to get onto a bus to the start.

When I got to the start, I noted a few things.  a) There was indeed enough space to do a bit of jogging plus some strides.  (since I had already done a shakeout, I settled for a few strides plus some pre-planned glute activation stuff).  b) the sun was out and bright.  It wasn't necessarily hot, but it was warm enough to hang out comfortably in a t-shirt - not a great sign for a marathon.  Oh well.

I also noted the start line, with an array of cones.  The idea was that instead of starting the race as one unit, the elite field would start, and then runners could follow the cones when they felt ready to start.  However, that's not how it worked in practice.  Instead, with about 5 minutes to race start, crowds started gathering behind the start line. 

***

I had been wondering how and when exactly to start this race.  It's hard to know where to place yourself when a) you're not going to be one of the top finishers, b) people are starting at all different times, and c) there are no pace signs or other guidance.  

I know from past experience that starting ahead of faster people is demoralizing - you are literally passed from behind the entire race.  So I didn't want to do that.  At the same time, I didn't want to start behind tons of slower people.  Ideally I'd start with people slightly slower than I planned to run.  I would ease into the race, and then start chasing people down.

[I think this staggered start would have worked much better if they had given some basic guidance - i.e "sub-2:40 runners - plan to start asap after the gun goes off; sub-3 hour runners- plan to start around 7:47; etc.]

But without any such guidance, I just had to go off of my best instinct.   I decided that older men wearing Vaporflies would probably be reliable peers or close-to peers.  So I entered the crowd and worked my way up toward the front, stopping when I hit an acceptable concentration of older men in Vaporflies.

***

At 7:45, the elite race started and the corral started moving up towards the start.  The announcer reminded people to only start 8 at a time and to walk until they hit the start line, but by the time I reached the start nobody was listening.  It was a normal race start, just with cones in the way.  So I followed the crowd, started jogging, and then clicked my watch and started running as I crossed the mats.

Immediately I was presented with a large crowd of slower people to navigate through.  Oops.  The good news was that this was a marathon and I had plenty of time to navigate, so I weaved my way through (running a lot on the shoulder) for the first 2 miles before things cleared up.  

Mile marker 3 passed and with it the first water stop - a reminder to drink even though I wasn't thirsty.  I also pulled out my first gel (when marathoning I generally go through 9-10 gels - motto "always be slurping.").  I slurped and focused on my own effort - not too hard, not too easy.

Generally in marathons I like to ease into the pace over the first 3-6 miles.  But when it's warm or has the potential to get warm, I prefer to stay conservative for the first 16-20 miles, and then race the last 6-10.  Since this felt like it could be a hot day, I went with the latter plan.

But by mile 5-6, I was already starting to feel like I was going out a bit too hot.  One of the golden rules in marathoning is that you need to hit the half-marathon mark feeling in control and good.  I wasn't on schedule to do that, so I eased off slightly.  I was also getting thirsty, so I drained my water bottle so I could refill it at mile 7.  I decided that refilling it every 4 miles wouldn't be overkill today. ( At Grandma's the water stations are at every odd number mile from 3 to 19, and then every mile from 20-25.).  The good news was that the clouds had decided to move in, and we were no longer in bright sunshine.  There was also a slight cooling breeze.  All good things.

***

I cruised that way for the next miles.  There is a point where the marathon shuffle gait becomes mandatory and not optional, and it seemed like I hit that point very early in this race, before the half-marathon.  But hey, I was still moving, so whatever.  It never seemed like it got super hot, and yet I kept draining my water bottle.  I readjusted my plan to refilling my bottle every two miles.  After mile 19, water stations were every mile, and I decided that sounded great, since that was about the rate I was draining my bottle by then.

(I should mention that I don't stop or walk at water stations - I carry a handheld, and remove the top as I approach the water station and tuck it into my sports bra.  Then I slow my run to a jog, grab a cup of water and pour it into the bottle.  Repeat with a second cup, and then screw the cap back on and resume running.  I lose very little time this way while also getting a lot more fluids in.)

The last 5 miles were just mind over matter - trying to stay positive and stay in the present, rather then letting my mind go bad places.  The nice thing about racing without checking splits or pace on my watch is that it's much easier to stay positive and give my best effort since I'm not getting demoralizing information - it would have been very hard for me to finish my race yesterday if I had known just how slow I was running.  But since I didn't know, I kept on chugging.  Emptying the tank, which was now on its fumes.  

Finally, mercifully, we weaved our way through the waterfront and I counted down the turns of the last mile.  I had really just nothing left in my legs when I finished.  Which was comforting when I checked my watch and saw my time.  Not at all what I had thought I would run.  Very far from it in fact.  But at the same time, it was all I had to give today.

***

Splits were:

Mile 1: 7:32
Mile 2: 7:18
Mile 3: 7:17
Mile 4: 7:23
Mile 5: 7:18
Mile 6: 7:27
Mile 7-8: 14:52 (7:26 pace)
Mile 9: 7:44
Mile 10: 7:00
Mile 11: 7:39
Mile 12: 7:31
Mile 13: 7:58
Mile 14: 7:31
Mile 15: 7:39
Mile 16: 7:40
Mile 17: 7:43
Mile 18: 7:45
Mile 19: 7:24
Mile 20: 7:52
Mile 21: 7:53
Mile 22: 7:45
Mile 23: 7:41
Mile 24: 7:50
Mile 25: 7:45
Mile 26: 7:50
last bit: 1:36

***

Oddly, (or maybe not) I'm not that upset about the time.  For myself, when evaluating my running, I tend to focus first on execution, then on competitive placing, then on time (I think most runners put time at the top of the list).  I've run much faster marathons (I think this is one of my slowest marathons ever) where I was upset post-race because I screwed up somewhere.  This time, I think I honestly ran the best race I had in me today - a good balance of patience, smart choices, and staying positive and tough when things got hard.  I just didn't run very well. 

So...equally oddly, in many ways this race was a confidence boost.  I haven't finished a marathon since late 2019, and that one (Richmond) went poorly for reasons both in my control (bad pacing choices) and out of control (that whole being hit-by-a-truck thing).  And heck, though I was really happy with my time at CIM 2018, I also made some pacing mistakes there (too fast in the middle) that I was annoyed about after.

In contrast, this race reassured me that I still know how to get the best of myself out of 26.2 miles.  I just need to have more to offer than what I had yesterday.

As for why I had such an off day?  The whole nausea and lack of sleep thing could be an excuse.  Except that I've run great races in the past after such.  So I don't think those are good explanations.  

Nor is weather the explanation.  It was definitely warmer than optimal for marathoning (according to Weather Underground - it was 64 degrees/60 degrees dew point when I started in Two Harbors, and just about the same when I finished in Canal Park).  But that's "adjust your expectations by a few minutes" weather; not "congratulations for finishing" weather.

A better explanation might be how I've felt over the past two weeks - consistently warm and flushed, whether I'm indoors or outside.  Water and electrolyte consumption make no difference.  Something's been ever so slightly off, and my heat tolerance while running outside has been ridiculously poor.  (and no, I don't have a fever.)  I just haven't felt quite right.

Maybe it's just in my mind, maybe it's menopause kicking in (though menopause hot flashes are usually 3-5 minutes in duration, not two plus weeks).  Or it could be yet another malabsorption issue popping up to match the trouble I already have with absorbing folate, iron, and magnesium.  Because of the malabsorption issues I've had in the past year, my GI doctor suspects that what was diagnosed as ulcerative colitis may actually be Crohn's disease (while UC is limited to the large intestine, Crohn's affects the small intestine, where nutrients are absorbed).  Lucky me has an appointment in the next few weeks to get all that checked out (for obvious reasons, I scheduled all the scoping for post-marathon).

One way or another, I'll figure it out.  In the meantime, I'm going to take my end of season break.

Other notes:

  • At the expo, there was a booth promoting pork, with a sign for "Pork Power."  In light of the recent Shelby Houlihan doping bust (she attributes her positive test to pork being included in her burrito) I found this hysterical.
  • My rental car ended up being a Buick Encore.  I am not a car person, and I don't generally advertise cars in my blog but wow - I really enjoyed driving that thing.  Of course it could also be that I've only owned three cars in my over three decades of driving, and my current car is a 2012 model.  I'm still awed by rear view cameras, so having little lights flash when I get too close to the car ahead is amazing.
  • I just got an email from MarathonFoto that included the link to my race photos and the statement "you crushed it."  It would be really nice if MarathonFoto first polled runners "how exactly did you feel about your race" and then structured the email with the photo links accordingly.  
  • On the flight home, I saw the coolest thing ever.  We flew just to the side of a massive active anvil thunderhead.  The cloud pulsed continually with active lightning inside - as good as any light show I've ever seen at a concert or club.  It's killing me that I couldn't access my cell phone to get a good video.  I'm really hoping someone else did, and it makes its way onto Youtube.
  • Post race, pretty much everyone I spoke to had the same impression about their race - not as fast as they had hoped to run, but wow it just felt so good to be running a real marathon again. Appreciate what you have.






Friday, June 18, 2021

Training log - Week ending 6/13/2021

This week was 47 miles of running, 12 "miles" of pool-running, and 1500 yards of swimming -- training log is here. 

(whoops - I never hit publish).

Second to last week of taper for Grandma's.  It's been fairly warm and humid here for the last week (of course, recognizing that all weather is relative).  I struggled some on Tuesday's workout (temp/dew point both were 75 degrees) - the workout was supposed to be five 800s and then some 400s; I dropped out of the fifth 800 and made up the difference with 400s and 200s to get something out of the workout.

Friday's tempo was memorable as well.  It started as a warm and humid tempo, with a light refreshing rain.  Sometime in the second mile, the rain turned heavy, and it was a deluge by the third mile.  Comical.  There was a part of me that wanted to bail on the workout, but....I was already soaked, so quitting wouldn't have made any difference.

Fortunately, as of now the forecast for Duluth is looking much better than the weather down here.  Let's hope it stays that way.

Monday: Upper body weights/core, DIY yoga, and 6 "miles" of pool-running. Foam rolling at night.

Tuesday: 9 miles, including a track workout of 4x800, 2x400, 2x200 in 3:04, 3:03, 3:01, 3:03, 90, 86, 41, and 41.  Recoveries of 2:35-2:43 between the 800s; full recovery for all else.   Also leg strength work and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night. 

Wednesday: 8 miles very easy (9:20), upper body weights/core and 2 miles very easy (9:05). Foam rolling at night. 

Thursday: 6 "miles" of pool-running and DIY yoga; foam rolling at night.

Friday: 10 miles, including a 3 mile tempo in 19:51 (6:36/6:36/6:39).  Followed with light injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming.

Saturday: 8 miles very easy (9:21) plus drills and 6 hill strides, followed by light upper body weights/core and foam rolling.

Sunday: 10 miles aerobic, split as the first 3 miles averaging 8:40 pace and the next 7 averaging 7:44 pace. Followed with light injury prevention work, 500 yards recovery swimming, and foam rolling.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Training log - Week ending 6/6/2021

This week was 63 miles of running, 1000 yards of swimming and 12 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

This was either my first or second week of taper, depending on how you look at it (and whether you consider the 10 mile and marathon tapers to be separate or merged).  I took the first few days easy, and then started ramping things back up. 

It has gotten fairly warm and humid around here - daytime temperatures peaking in the 90s (with my weekend runs finishing in the 80s).  No complaint here - since I'm tapering I'll happily accept the opportunity to get some heat acclimation in.  That being said, Sunday's long run totally sucked.  It was really just a matter of trying not to do much damage.

Separately, I checked my iron and folate levels again, and they've improved.  My folate (which hadn't dropped out of the reference range this time) is rising again, and my transferrin saturation increased to 26% from 15% - meaning that it's now in the normal range.  And all of this correlates with me feeling a bit better, so yay.

Monday: 6 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga. Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 5 miles very easy (9:15), upper body weights/core, and 3.5 miles very easy (9:09) followed by drills.   Foam rolling in evening.

Wednesday: 11.5 miles very easy (9:03), drills and two hill strides, and streaming yoga.  Foam rolling at night.

Thursday: 4 miles very easy on treadmill (9:47), 6 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 12 miles including a track workout of 3200, 1600 in 13:08 (6:36/6:32) and 6:24; 5:22 jog in between. Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 10.5 miles very easy (9:12), plus drills and 6 steep hill sprints, and then streaming yoga. Foam rolling in the evening. 

Sunday: 16.5 miles progressive, split as the first 5 miles averaging 8:49, the next 6.5 miles averaging 8:02, and the next 5 miles averaging 7:46.  Later did leg strength work and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling in afternoon.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Training log - Week ending 5/30/2021

This week was 39 miles of running, 500 yards of swimming and 12 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

No much to report, other than what was in the race report.  Looking back on my week, I think I may have over-tapered slightly for Sunday's race.  Wednesday was quite muggy and humid, so I pulled back on the paces and the number of reps.  But I think I might have felt a little sharper if I had added in a 1 mile pick-up on Friday.  Or maybe not - who knows.

Monday: 6 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga. Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 9 miles very easy (9:01) plus drills and two hill strides, and then upper body weights/core.

Wednesday: 10 miles including a track workout of 3x800, 4x200 in 3:04, 3:04, 3:03, 42, 43, 43, 42;  2:30 and 2:27 recovery between the 800s; full recovery for the 200s.  Followed with 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling in evening.

Thursday: 6 "miles" of pool-running and DIY yoga. Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 6 miles very easy (9:02) plus drills and four strides, followed by light upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling in the afternoon.

Saturday: Off.  Just travel and some DIY yoga. 

Sunday: 3.5 mile warm-up, 10 mile race in 66:57, 0.5 mile cooldown.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Race Report: Miles on the Mohawk 10 Miler; May 30, 2021

I ran the "Miles on the Mohawk" 10 Miler yesterday in Schenectady, New York, finishing in a time of 1:06:57, which was good enough for top master female and 11th woman overall.

The trip up to Albany/Schenectady started off with a minor headache when I realized on Thursday that I hadn't received the normal "we look forward to welcoming you" email from the Courtyard Marriott, where I had booked a room.  A search of my email could not find any confirmation message, and a call to the hotel confirmed that a) I had no reservation and b) the Courtyard was sold out.  Ooops.

Fortunately the other hotel at the finish line - the Landing Inn - was still available.   Unfortunately it was both more expensive and had a non-negotiable 11 am checkout.  But at least it was right by the finish line - my room overlooked the finish.  With my race starting at 9 am, time would be a bit tight after the finish, but doable.  So I booked a room, with relief.

For the next few days I was repeatedly taunted by internet ads reminding me that I had not yet booked my room at the Courtyard Marriot - Schenectady.   Our internet overlords can be cruel indeed.

I flew from Baltimore to Albany on Saturday - my first flight since the pandemic.  I flew Southwest, like I usually do.  I'm a fan of Southwest's irreverent approach to pre-flight briefings, communications from the pilot, etc - any flight you can start with a grin is a good flight (assuming you don't crash - that's my biggest requirement for a good flight).   

But sadly that was absent on both my flights this weekend - replaced by entreaties to be kind to each other and to please wear our masks at all times and we would be wearing our seatbelts the whole flight and there would be no inflight service.  After my first flight I learned of the Southwest Flight Attendant who had her teeth knocked out by a passenger, and the other recent issues with abusive passengers.  I guess that explains it.  

***

Race morning dawned as forecast - cool and overcast.  At 7:05 I left my hotel so that I could be on the first bus to the start, leaving at 7:15 (which turned out to be 7:25).  It was both very odd and very normal to be on a bus to a race start surrounded by fellow runners (this time masked) chatting about the current course and past races.  

Once again, I was on a bus with a confused driver, who made two wrong turns (but did execute an impressive three point turnaround in a tight residential neighborhood).  It reminded me that one of the secrets for a successful race morning is to ensure that at least one person on your bus is local and knows where the start is.  (How you actually accomplish that is beyond me - consider this an aspirational goal).

Once there, I used the portajohns and then headed out to warm up.  The best (and really only option) to warm-up was on the half-mile of the course on the road.  Unfortunately, the road would not be closed to traffic until the start of the race, which meant that I and others were sharing the road with various trucks and cars.  

To be honest, I found it nervewracking, and had to pause my warm-up a few times to step off of the road until a car/truck had passed by.  Granted, most of this is my own emotional baggage and I'm guessing the other runners didn't find this situation as stressful.  At the same time, I think this race would benefit from closing off this section of the road (or at least coning half of it off) about an hour before the race, so that there would be some place for runners to warm-up without dodging trucks and cars adhering to a 35 MPH speed limit.

Unfortunately, during the warm-up it also started to drizzle - the forecast had been for the rain to hold off until around 11 or so, but oh well.  Fortunately it was very light - just enough to wet the roads and make me wish I had worn a hat.  (had I worn a hat, I'm sure it wouldn't have rained).

My Running Ahead forums friend Jon was also running this race, and he and I managed to meet up before the start, which was great.    We chatted as we waited for the start of the race, which would be done with the now-almost-normal staggered start.  There were several lines of 8 dots before the start line - when you were ready to start, you'd step onto one of the 8 dots furthest from the start to join that line.  Then, as each row of 8 runners started the race, the runners behind would advance one row closer to the start.  There was a 10 second interval between starts, with a 5 second countdown before each (which must have been tiring for the announcer, but was nice for us).  So...."5, 4, 3, 2, 1, go"  then the rows behind would advance and the cycle would repeat.  About 9:01 am Jon and I started.  We wore masks until we crossed the line, and pulled them as we began the race.

***

The race started in the parking lot of historic Mabee Farm, before exiting onto State Road 5S.  We'd run north on that road for about 2/3 of a mile before making a left onto a side road and then a left again onto the multiuse paved trail that would be most of the course.  The parking lot of Mabee farm was slick with the rain, making for a slippery start, but fortunately that was only about 10 seconds of running, and then we were on the road with much better traction. 

From a social distancing perspective, this set-up worked great - even though they were only starting 8 people at a time, people were still close enough at the start that the trail would have been a bit crowded.  However, 2/3s of a mile was enough distance for people to sort themselves out into smaller packs that worked well when we entered the trail.  

We hit our first bit of rough pavement when we made the left turn on to the side road and then the side road was broken up in spots - I struggled some navigating both of these areas, but was able to pick up speed again once on the trail.  From there, it was mostly smooth sailing.  There were a few rough patches where I'd have to slow up, but most of the trail was conducive to a nice steady hard rhythm.  

Example of a rough patch. I struggled a bit here. 
I'm guessing most people were fine.

There was also a short section where the marathoners and the 10 mile course intersected with the marathoners running in the opposite direction and crossing paths with us.  However, the marathoners were very few and spread out, and this ended up being less of an issue than having an oncoming runner approach during a normal tempo on a bike path.

For the first 6 miles I had groups to chase down, but then there was nothing but open trail ahead of me (and one other runner behind me).  By this time we were facing a mild headwind, and so I encouraged him to share the work with me.  I had to do it a few times, but finally he caught on and pulled up ahead so I could tuck in for a mile before he slowed and I took the lead again.

Mile 8 had the one notable climb of the race, which was notable because it was the only one - not because it was especially imposing, steep, long, or anything like that.  Also notable because it was about this time that the on-and-off light rain turned more steady.  At least I was almost done.

Soon after that, we were directed off of the trail and onto a set of sidewalks and streets, where I once again struggled with my balance - I let my impromptu running/racing partner pull ahead as I slowed to navigate this section, before catching up to him once we were on the paved trail again and then passing him on the final stretch past my hotel and to the finish.

***

After crossing the finish, I stopped my watch and checked the time - 66:57, which was about 30-60 seconds slower than I had expected to run.  Oh well - it had felt like a good effort and a well executed race, and both those were good things.  If you can just consistently execute a good race every time, you'll run fast when everything else falls into place (fitness, etc).  And I really wanted a good all-out run at 10-13 miles to give me a fitness boost, and I got that.

My splits ended up being:

  • Mile 1: 6:52
  • Mile 2: 6:52
  • Mile 3: 6:40
  • Mile 4: 6:37
  • Mile 5: 6:38
  • Mile 6: 6:32
  • Mile 7: 6:36
  • Mile 8: 6:40
  • Miles 9-10: 13:28 (6:45)
Miles 1-2 and Miles 9-10 were my slowest, and also where I felt there was the most issue with uneven footing, turns, etc. So I guess that makes sense.  

If you're noting a tone of frustration, you would be correct.  My right ankle has improved dramatically since I got my PRP injections in it last fall, and my standing balance is immensely improved.  But I'm still struggling with things like tight turns onto bike trails or navigating uneven pavement or curbs when I run.  

I honestly haven't focused on this that much, since the ankle wasn't limiting me when I was doing fast running on well maintained pavement, and the fast running is what I most care about.  But this race really showed me that I'm not done rehabbing that ankle - I need to get it to the point where I can run confidently at speed on uneven pavement, rather than slowing down and picking my way through like grandma while others pull ahead.

Fortunately, my next race, Grandma's Marathon, should have consistently stable footing.  But I need to get this fixed.

(obligatory note - I haven't been ignoring the ankle altogether - I do 15+ minutes of ankle exercises daily - single legged balance on the floor and on a wobble board, plus sets of calf raises.  But I've gotten complacent in my ability to do these exercises well.  Clearly I need to revise this routine to get to the next level - I've got good stationary balance, but lousy dynamic balance.)

Other notes:
  • The weather for this race ended up being 50 degrees, light to steady rain, and wind of 7 mph from the east (so a light headwind that we were mostly shielded from).
  • I got to see Jon again at the finish and do a short and very soggy cooldown. It was great to finally meet him after so many years.
  • I wore my Vaporflies for this race, with my ankles taped instead of using my braces.  This was because I've been planning to race in this combination.  I discovered during my first 20 miler that the ankle braces I normally wear for hard runs become too tight and painful during longer runs, due to foot swelling.  Hence my swap back to tape, since I can't really race the marathon in ankle braces.  But I don't think my current taping job is supporting the ankle enough - I need to do some work on that the next few weeks, and get some professional advice.
  • I ended winning my age group.  Awards were given out based on chip time, but due to the staggered start, you couldn't grab your award until 30 minutes after your finish time (to ensure nobody starting behind you ran faster).  So I went back to my hotel, checked out, and then back to the finish line to pick up a nice water bottle that perfectly fit into my back pack.
  • This was a really well managed race, and I recommend this race org (AREEP) to everyone.  I wouldn't hesitate to fly up again for another one of their races.
  • I did successfully make my 11 am checkout post-race (and even managed to get a good shower in).
  • Flying to and from Albany reminded me of how much I enjoy the actual flying aspect of airplane travel.  The acceleration of the takeoff, the sensations as the plane banks, the views of the clouds or ground, and the satisfaction of a solid touchdown.  I just loathe every other aspect of airplane travel (security, boarding, deplaning, reclining seats, navigating airport bathrooms).

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Training log - week ending 5/23/2021

This week was 83 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 8 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

And yay, this training cycle is done.  This week felt much better than even two weeks ago, which is a great sign (always good when you feel better, not worse, as the cycle progresses).  My Sunday long run was technically slightly slower than that of two weeks ago, but I consider it a much better performance - it was pretty warm this morning (in the low 80s by the time I finished the run) and my legs felt much better than they did two weeks ago.

I race a 10 miler as a tune-up next Sunday, and then taper for the marathon.

Monday: 8 miles very easy (9:02), drills and four hill strides, and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 12.5 miles, including a track workout of 2000, 1200, 2x800 in 7:49, 4:33, 3:01, 2:59.  4:53 recovery after the 2000, 2:54 recovery after the 1200, 3:06 recovery between the 800s due to track traffic.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in evening.

Wednesday: 6.5 miles very easy (9:36) on the treadmill and then streaming yoga, followed by 6 miles easy  (8:49) plus drills and two strides.  Foam rolling at night.

Thursday: 3.5 miles very easy on treadmill (9:39), 6 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 12.5 miles, including a 4 mile tempo in 25:52 (6:24/6:33/6:31/6:25). Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 12.5 miles very easy (9:14) plus four hill sprints and drills; followed with streaming yoga.  Foam rolling in the afternoon. 

Sunday:  21.5 miles, split as the first 7 averaging 9:14 pace, the next 7 averaging 8:00 pace, and then final 7 averaging 7:10.  Followed with 500 yards recovery swimming and 2 "miles" pool-running.  Foam rolling in afternoon.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Training log - Week ending 5/16/2021

This week was 60 miles of running, 1000 yards of swimming and 19 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Just a steady week of training, with just two workouts.  Things are feeling good - I'm not in shape to break 3 hours, but I should be good for something between 3:00 and 3:05.

One more week of training, and then I taper.    It is supposed to warm up this coming week, which I'm actually pretty happy about - it will give me some heat acclimation in case Grandma's ends up being a warm race.

Monday: 5 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga. Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 9 miles very easy outside (8:56) plus drills and two hill strides, followed by upper body weights/core and then 3.5 miles very easy (8:53). Foam rolling at night. 

Wednesday: 14 miles, including 3x3 miles in 13:17 (6:41/6:34), 12:57(6:24/6:33) and 12:58 (6:28/6:29) with ~4:30 jog in between. Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in evening.

Thursday: 4 miles very easy on treadmill (9:42), 5 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga. Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 9.5 miles very easy outside (9:02) plus drills and 4 hill sprints, followed by upper body weights/core and then 3 miles very easy outside (8:42). Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 17 miles, including a marathon pace workout of 2x5 miles at marathon effort with 1 mile float in between. Split as:
5 miles in 34:58 (7:02/7:03/7:01/6:54/6:58); 
1 mile float in 7:49;
5 miles in 34:47 (6:57/6:59/7:04/6:55/6:52).
Followed with leg strengthwork, 500 yards recovery swimming and 2 "miles" pool-running.  Foam rolling in the afternoon. 

Sunday: Streaming yoga and 6 "miles" pool-running. Foam rolling in afternoon.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Training log - Week ending May 9, 2021

This week was 82 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 6 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

On paper this one of my heaviest weeks, with 3 workouts and pretty much my peak weekly running mileage for this cycle.  Of course, weekly mileage isn't a great metric in my case, since I'm basically on a 14 day training cycle, with my rest days falling sometimes on Sunday and sometimes on Monday.  

Sunday's long run was a bit unsatisfying, as my legs were pretty dead the last few milers (those miles were still my fastest - in the high 6:5x range - but that's because they were downhill.  I'm guessing some of it is accumulated fatigue and some iron levels.  Plus the fact that I haven't run a marathon in 18 months.  Hopefully the next 21 mile long run will feel a bit better.

Monday: 8 miles very easy (9:05), drills and two strides, and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 11.5 miles, including a track workout of 2x800, 1600, 2x800 in 3:03, 3:02, 6:20, 3:00, 3:01; recoveries between 2:34-2:46 after the 800s; 5:20 after the 1600.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in evening.

Wednesday: 6.5 miles very easy (9:30) plus drills and then streaming yoga, followed by 6 miles easy on the treadmill (9:32).  Foam rolling at night.

Thursday: 3.5 miles very easy on treadmill (9:37), 5 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 12.5 miles, including a 4 mile tempo in 26:34 (6:41/6:42/6:42/6:29). Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 12.5 miles very easy (8:58) plus four hill sprints and drills; followed with streaming yoga.  Foam rolling in the afternoon. 

Sunday:  21.5 miles, split as the first 7 averaging 9:05 pace, the next 7 averaging 7:46 pace, and then final 7 averaging 7:07.  Followed with 500 yards recovery swimming and 1 "mile" pool-running.  Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Training log - Week ending 5/2/2021

This week was 58 miles of running, 1000 yards of swimming and 18 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Just two workouts this week.  Wednesday's workout was 2-3 by 2 miles.  I almost always do three sets when I do this workout in the middle of the week.  However, I didn't sleep well the night before, and unseasonably warm conditions plus high pollen didn't make me feel better.  I was straining at the end of the second set, so I shut things down then and called it good enough.  Workouts are not all or nothing in terms of benefits.

Saturday morning ended up pretty windy (sustained winds of 20 MPH with gusts higher) as the final bits of a big Friday windstorm left the area.  It was tempting to push this workout to Sunday, but there's something to be said for the opportunity to train in less than ideal conditions.  How are you going to handle challenging weather on marathon day if you avoid it in training?  So I just sucked it up and ran the workout on effort, knowing that some splits would be faster, and some slower.

It ended up being surprisingly mentally easy.  I was running this workout on a ~3 mile loop, so it was a bit more than 10 minutes of more or less suck as I ran into the headwind, and then 10 minutes of just chilling as I rode the tailwind.  Wash, rinse, repeat, eat a gel, I was done.  And marathon paces were consistent with what I had been running before, not slower (as one would expect from the wind).  So perhaps a bit of increased fitness.

I was particularly happy with how much in the way of reserves I had at the conclusion of the workout - better than I've felt recently.  As I noted last week, recent bloodwork had indicated that my folate was dropping again, so I restarted those supplements.  After talking with my doctor this week, I also started iron supplements (he recommended Vitron-C, taken every other day).  

My bloodwork didn't show really low iron, but most of my values were on the low side of normal, while my "transferrin saturation" (a measure of how much iron my blood is delivering to my body) was ever so slightly low (15% where the reference range is 16-45%).   My ferritin was 79 ng/ml, which sounds good until you realize that people with ulcerative colitis have inflated ferritin readings due to inflammation - according to many sources, anything below 100 is low for those with Crohn's Disease or UC.  

Net conclusion - there was a possible need to start iron supplements, and it definitely wouldn't hurt.  So I started them this week.  It will be interesting to see how things progress over the next few weeks.

Monday: 5 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 9 miles very easy outside (9:05) plus drills and four hill strides, followed by upper body weights/core and then 3 miles very easy on the treadmill (9:33). Foam rolling at night. 

Wednesday: 12.5 miles, including 2x2 miles in 13:06 (6:36/6:30) and 13:07 (6:37/6:30) with ~4:30 jog in between. Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in evening.

Thursday: 3.5 miles very easy on treadmill (9:47), 5 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga. Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 9 miles very easy outside (9:01) plus drills, two hill strides, two flat strides, followed by upper body weights/core and then 3 miles very easy outside (8:49). Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 17 miles, including a marathon pace workout of 2x5 miles at marathon effort with 1 mile float in between in fairly strong winds. Split as:
5 miles in 35:24 (7:04/7:06/7:10/6:57/7:07); 
1 mile float into headwind in 8:08;
5 miles in 34:47 (6:54/7:03/7:11/6:48/6:51).
Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in the afternoon. 

Sunday: 6 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga. Foam rolling in afternoon.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Training log - week ending 4/25/2021

This week was 78 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 7 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

The week didn't get off to the greatest start on Tuesday when I pulled out of the track workout after doing two sets of a planned 3-4x(1200, 400).  I started the third set, but then started feeling a bit stiff and dizzy - like I was drained and straining too hard.  I've pushed through that feeling before, and have ended up pulling something(usually a hamstring), so I just pulled the plug this time.  This workout was not that important to marathon training, while staying uninjured is essential.

On a hunch, I got some bloodwork done.  When I got the results back, my folate levels had dropped considerably.  For folate, according to the lab I use, under 5.4 ng/ml is "borderline" and under 3 is deficient.  When I was struggling last year, I was at 1.7 which apparently is ridiculously scary low.  Prescription supplements got me back to 15 and change, which is normal for me, based on my test records from several years ago.

At that point, my doctor and I decided to reduce the folic acid supplements to see if I could keep a good level on a lower dose while also working to increase my dietary intake of folate-rich foods like orange juice and avocados.  (heavy folic acid supplementation may be associated with increased cancer risk, though the connection hasn't been established).  But...it's looking like I can't keep my folic acid up on this regiment, as this week's results showed me at 5.7 - still technically OK, but a big drop.  So it was back on the full dose (1mg a day).

I also swapped daily asthma meds from Breo back to Advair.  Breo seems to work better for me for cold dry air, but with the uptick in pollen in this area, I've been having to use my rescue inhaler regularly before workouts.  Within a day or two, I was feeling much better, with no need for the rescue, so I think that was the right change.  (My asthma doctor has prescribed both, and told me I could use either as a daily med, just not both on the same day.)

Who knows if it was the changes in folic acid and asthma meds, or just luck, but by the weekend I was feeling better.  I had a good conservative tempo on Friday, and then a good long run on Sunday.  So things are looking up.  I'm also feeling much more rested after a night of sleep, which is another indication that something was a bit off, but is now better.

Monday: 9 miles (9:10) very easy with drills and 6 hill sprints, followed by upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 12 miles including a track workout of 2x(1200, 400) in 4:36, 89, 4:33, 87.; ~2:40 recovery after the 1200s and ~1:40 after the 400.   Was going to do a third set, but felt off so pulled up.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling in evening.

Wednesday: 8 miles very easy (9:05) plus drills and 2 strides, followed by streaming yoga and then 4 miles very easy on treadmill (9:20).  Foam rolling at night.

Thursday: 3.5 miles very easy on treadmill (9:33), 5 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 12 miles including a tempo workout of 4 miles in 26:49 (6:48/6:41/6:41/6:39). Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 11 miles very easy (9:05), plus drills, 6 steep hill sprints, and streaming yoga. Foam rolling in the afternoon. 

Sunday: 16 miles progressive split as the first 5 miles averaging 9:01, the next 4 miles averaging 7:44, and the next 7 miles averaging 6:56, followed with a 1.5 mile cooldown.  Later did leg strength work, 500 yards recovery swimming and 2 "miles" pool-running. Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Training log - Week ending 4/18/2021

This week was 57 miles of running, 1000 yards of swimming and 19 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

First of six weeks of marathon training.  My weekly mileage is low this week, but that's not representative of my total workload - since I did my long run on Saturday, I took Sunday as my easy day (instead of Monday).  For the same reason, next week's mileage will likely be inflated.

I ran both workouts by effort - Tuesday's 800s were intended to be slightly slower so that I could do more while also keeping the recoveries pretty short.  They were a little slower than I intended, but it seemed that most people were a few seconds off of their planned paces.

Based on Saturday's workout, it looks like my marathon pace is about 7:00 flat right now.  Which is consistent with my half-marathon performance two weeks ago.   I'm hoping that will improve with a few weeks of marathon specific training. But not an awful place to be.  Certainly far better than where I was 6 months ago.

Monday: 5 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 


Tuesday: 12 miles, including a track workout of 7x800 in 3:07, 3:09, 3:09, 3:10, 3:07, 3:07, 3:06, with recoveries between 2:17-2:20.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in evening.

Wednesday: 6.5 miles very easy on treadmill (9:39), streaming yoga, and then 5.5 miles very easy outside (8:59) plus drills and four strides.  Foam rolling at night.

Thursday: 3.5 miles very easy on treadmill (9:38), 5 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga. Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 9 miles very easy outside (9:00) plus drills and four hill strides, followed by upper body weights/core and then 3 miles very easy on the treadmill (9:26). Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 17.5 miles, including a marathon pace workout of 4, 3, 2, 1, miles at marathon effort with 1 mile float in between. Split as:
4 miles in 28:01 (7:07/6:58/7:00/6:56) (mixed headwind/tailwind); 1 mile float in 7:56;
3 miles in 21:00 (6:54/7:02/7:04) (mixed headwind/tailwind); 1 mile float in 7:59;
2 miles in 13:46 (6:54/6:52) (tailwind); 1 mile float in 7:45;
1 mile in 6:50 (tailwind).
Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in the afternoon. 

Sunday: 7.5 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga. Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Training log - Week ending 4/11/2021

This week was 58 miles of running, 1000 yards of swimming and 12 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Not too much to talk about here - just recovery from last Saturday's half-marathon and last Sunday's Moderna shot (the much hyped second dose).  My heart rate was definitely jacked up at the beginning of the week, but then settled nicely, and by Sunday I was feeling normal.  The only remaining indication of the vaccination is a sunburn like rash on my right arm about 1.5 inches below the injection site.  I don't mind this at all - I see it as validation that the vaccine is at least doing SOMETHING.

Grandma's Marathon training starts on Monday.

Monday: 5 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga. Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 7 miles very easy (8:51).   Foam rolling in evening.

Wednesday: 7 miles very easy (8:54), upper body weights/core, and then 3 miles very easy (8:51).  Foam rolling at night.

Thursday: 3 miles very easy on treadmill (9:36), 5 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga. Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 11 miles  including a track workout of 3200, 1600 in 12:56 (6:31/6:25) and 6:18; 5 minutes jog in between. Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 9 miles very easy on treadmill (9:26), upper body weights/core, and then 3 miles very easy outside (8:53) plus drills and 6 steep hill sprints. Foam rolling in the afternoon. 

Sunday: 14 miles progressive, split as the first 5 miles averaging 9:25, the next 4 miles averaging 7:51, and the next 5 miles averaging 7:03, plus a half-mile cooldown jog. Later did leg strength work, 500 yards recovery swimming and 2 "miles" pool-running. Foam rolling in afternoon.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Training log - Week ending 4/4/2021

This week was 36 miles of running, 500 yards of swimming and 17 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

I ran the Salisbury Half-Marathon on Saturday.  It was within the time range I thought I would run, but on the slower side of that range.  But even so, I was pretty happy.  It was great to race again, and this race definitely showed that my fitness is trending in the right direction.

Additionally, it was good to once again simply practice the skill of racing (to race well, you need to be fit AND to execute the race well - neither one is sufficient on its own).  And, as I'm sure I've commented before, I find that I get a big fitness boost from specifically racing half-marathons that makes them particularly worthwhile.

This upcoming week is a planned down week, as I recover from the race and also my second Moderna vaccine.  Then from there I'll go into 6 weeks of training for Grandma's Marathon.

 

Monday: 5 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 10 miles including a track workout of 4x800 in 3:03, 3:03, 3:02, 3:00;  2:23-2:32 recovery after each.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling in evening.

Wednesday: 7 miles very easy (8:54), followed by streaming yoga.  Foam rolling at night.

Thursday: 5 "miles" of pool-running and light upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 2 miles very easy (9:09) plus foam rolling.

Saturday: 3 mile warm-up, half-marathon in 87:52, 1 mile jog after. Foam rolling in the afternoon. 

Sunday: Second Moderna shot in morning; 7 "miles" pool-running and foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Race Report: Salisbury Half-Marathon, April 3, 2021

 I ran the Salisbury Half-Marathon yesterday, finishing in a time of 87:52, which was good enough for top master female and 7th female overall.

This wasn't the first year for this race, but it was the first year I had really paid it any attention, though I'm familiar with the race management, having run the St. Michaels Half-Marathon a few years ago.  Both the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler and the Monument Avenue 10K fall in early April each year, and I've always chosen to do one of those.

But not this year.  Both Monument Avenue and Cherry Blossom went virtual, while Salisbury decided to take a stab at hosting a live race with Covid protocols.  So....Salisbury it was.

The race was split into multiple waves, with my wave starting at 7:30 am - way too early to drive that morning (especially since I'd have to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge - a noted bottleneck).    So I drove over Friday morning and checked into the local Marriott where I worked all day.  I was amused when packing my travel back-pack to pull out old receipts from January and March 2020 - that sounded about right.

***

Race morning was another reminder that I hadn't done an overnight travel race in a very long time.  Essentially:

  • Leave hotel.
  • Realize in parking lot that I have forgotten the stroopwafel I wanted to snack on before the start, so return to room to retrieve stroopwafel.
  • In possession of stroopwafel, attempt to leave hotel parking lot.  Only to realize that my vision is horrible.  Look at prescription driving glasses, realize that one lens has fallen out of frame.
  • Grab prescription sunglasses.  Confirm that even though it's pre-dawn, I can see well enough out of them to safely drive.  
  • Drive to race. 
  • Park.  Put on racing shoes.  Leave car to start warming up.
  • Realize that the air is REALLY cold and dry, which aggravates both my asthma and my vocal chord dysfunction.  
  • Return to car to gulp Pepto-Bismol (it coats my throat and helps with the VCD; the asthma requires my rescue inhaler).
  • Finally, about 15 minutes behind schedule, I start warming up.
From there, things went a bit more smoothly.  I found my way to the start, saw some friends (recognized by their running gait and their singlets, since everyone was wearing masks), and found a place to warm up.  

***

I've run a few races since Covid started, each with their own protocols.  One race in Pennsylvania last summer ran as an individual time trial, with runners starting on their own whenever they wanted within an hour window.  In Virginia and DC, most races have been running waves of 25 runners, masks on before start and after finish.

This race was a bit different.  The Covid protocols started a few days early, when each runner had to return an online survey confirming they were free of Covid symptoms.  Bib pick-up was done not in an expo but by drive through - you drove into the parking lot with your bib number displayed on your dashboard and rolled down your window to be handed your bib.  (I opted to pay and have my bib mailed instead).

On race morning each wave was 200 people, pre-loaded into a corral with 200 cones spaced in rows of 4, with 6 feet between each cone.  We entered the corral from the rear, with a temperature check required.  Then you found a cone and stood by it.

Each row of runners started 4 seconds apart.  There was a countdown of "3-2-1-Go" and then you would advance 6 feet forward to your equivalent cone in the next row.  "3-2-1-Go" and another set of runners would start, with each row behind advancing another 6 feet towards the start line.  This video gives a sense of how the start worked.

We were required to cover our mouths and noses all the way until we crossed the start line.  I wore a face mask for most of the wait, but with about 2 rows (8 seconds) to go I swapped to my buff and held it against my face while tucking my mask into my bra.   I held it there until it was my time to start, letting go of the buff with my hand as I crossed the start mat.

***

I'm used to entering a corral shortly before race start and working my way up to the front so I can start with those at similar pace.  However, this format didn't work that way - had I wanted to start at the front, I would have needed to enter the corral much earlier, so I could have gotten to one of the first rows of cones.  

The end result was that I ended up starting fairly far back in the corral - behind the 2:30 half-marathon pace group.  Next to me were some guys who were talking about wanting to run 1:15 for the half.  

The pace group leader ahead yelled back - "'shouldn't you guys be further up front?" and the two men responded that it was fine - they wanted to ease into the race.

And then I realized that I had mis-heard, and they were targeting 1:50, not 1:15.    And I realized I was really in the wrong row.  

Oops.

***

Starting way too far back meant that I was passing a LOT of people in the first miles of the race.  The course was wide and people were spread out (I think the largest pack was 5 people) so there was no traffic issue whatsoever.  But it did feel odd.  

I think there was a part of me that subconciously panicked a bit (OMG I can't believe I'm this far behind) and overcorrected as a result.  I was also cold and that may have contributed.  But in any event I didn't ease into the race as much as I normally would have.  By about mile 4 I could tell that I was a bit too hot, and eased back slightly to something more sustainable aerobically.

From then, I just tried to hold a steady hard rhythm as I reeled in slower runners.  The course reminded me a lot of Grandma's Marathon.  It wasn't pancake flat (contrary to my assumption) but instead was gently undulating.  There was one section that was a little awkward, when we ran through the campus of Salisbury University.    There, we had to duck into a little pedestrian tunnel under US Route 13, followed by some weaving on campus sidewalks.  The whole thing was very well marked and marshalled, though, and I never felt lost.

I never found anyone near my speed to run with - I was just passing slower half-marathoners and then slower marathoners (the marathon waves started 30 and 15 minutes ahead of the half).  As I got deeper and deeper into the race, my legs got heavier and even a bit clumsy.  Aerobically I was fine - my breathing had been slightly tight in the first miles but was better now but my legs felt awful - like mile 22 of a marathon legs.  

It was what it was, and so I just grinded on.  At least I had slower marathoners to keep reeling in.  Until we hit the split for the half and full courses, and then I was totally alone.   No one else in sight, just me and a road and some cones that reassured me I was going the right direction.

It sucked.  But I could either give up or keep on, so I kept on. 

***

The marathon course essentially split from the half, did a 13.1 mile loop on its own, and then rejoined the half course, which meant that in the final miles I had two sets of mile markers to work from --- markers 11, 12, and 13 for the half, which were preceded by markers 24, 25, and 26 for the full.  I love it when that happens, because it makes the final miles seem to flow just a bit faster.

I had measured the course, so I knew that when I hit a certain intersection I was 400m from the finish.  I tried to push, but my legs were just gone.  With 200m to go the course took a hard right.  I knew from mapping that the finish was uphill, but I was surprised by just how steep it was - it felt like climbing stairs, with the finish line so high above me.  But I made it up on shaky legs and then I was done.  

As I crossed the finish, I glanced at the timer out of curiosity but saw a number that made no sense - 1:5x:xx. (which, despite making no sense, also made perfect sense - since my start time had no correlation to when they started the clock).

I stopped my Garmin, pulled up my buff, and checked the time - 1:27:53.  Which was in the range I had hoped to run, if not on the fast end of that range.  I was satisfied with the race - it indicated good progress in my fitness - and I was also elated just to have been able to race.    Seeing several masked friends post race just made the morning even better.

***

Splits ended up being:

Mile 1: 6:52
Mile 2: 6:40
Mile 3: 6:28 (this was dumb)
Mile 4: 6:41
Mile 5: 6:40
Mile 6: 6:39
Mile 7: 6:42
Mile 8: 6:41
Mile 9: 6:45
Mile 10: 6:52
Mile 11: 6:48
Mile 12: 6:46 
Last 1.11 miles - 7:22 (6:38 pace)

So a slight fade at the end.  Not awful - I managed to hang on pretty well, but not ideal.

Other notes:
  • This was a cold race - it started at 28 degrees but warmed up nicely to 39 degrees by the time I finished.  I debated what to wear before going with singlet, arm-warmers, light tights, and a buff.  I've found that running with a buff tends to change the whole clothing equation - buffs are the worst of both worlds as they do nothing to keep you warm when standing around, but block heat from escaping when you run.   But they're what we wear right now, so a singlet top seemed a good pairing.  I also wore a plastic poncho to trap a bit of heat while I was standing in the corral. 

    These clothing choices worked out well - I wasn't TOO cold at the start, but I was never uncomfortably warm at any point during the race.

  • I decided to test out the Adidas Adios Pro shoe in this race - Adidas' answer to the Vaporfly.  I had worn it in a tempo workout that went surprisingly well a few weeks ago, so why not try it here and see how I liked it in a race.  Whelp - I didn't like it at all.  That shoe seems to work best with a foot strike biased more towards the forefoot.  For me, in half and full marathons I strike further back on my foot - not quite a heel strike but not too far from one. 

    Early in the race I was running more on my forefoot since that's how the shoe felt best, but as I got tired I reverted to my normal gait and the shoe felt utterly awful.  Like a wobbly clog.  Like I was fighting it.  The best shoe for any race distance is the shoe that feels good at the start and finish - that wasn't the Adios Pro for me at this distance, and no way I'd use this for a full marathon.  No question that for the half or full I'll stick with a) the Vaporfly or b) the older Adios Boost line.

    I noted that it was my hamstrings and feet (especially the arches) that got very sore and tight during this race - not my glutes or quads.  And I felt like I wasn't using my glutes much despite trying to.  I think this shoe is just not a good fit for my gait for the longer distances.  Perhaps it would work for me for a 10K?  (not that I get to race that distance very often).

  • Post-race, I stopped by Cambridge, Maryland (about 40 minutes away from Salisbury) to visit my parents.  I haven't seen them in person since early last summer, when I did a socially distanced (i.e. 10 feet) outside visit.   My parents aren't quite fully vaccinated yet - Dad is done but Mom only had her second shot this week.   But, they are doctors and better qualified than I am to evaluate the risks - I asked them whether I should stop by now for an inside visit or wait another 10 days. 

    They both felt that an inside unmasked visit was totally fine and worth it, given that Mom and I were both several weeks past our first shots (I get my second shot on Easter Sunday).  So I stopped by and caught up for about 3 hours, complete with hugs at the end.  It was a great way to end the day.  (And far better than the traffic jam I had to deal with afterwards).

  • When I got back to my hotel post-race, I found my missing lens from my driving glasses on the floor of my room.  Whew - that was a chunk of money saved.

  • I get my second Moderna shot this morning.  Then I'll combine shot recovery and race recovery this coming week, before shifting into training for Grandma's Marathon.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Training log - week ending 3/28/2021

This week was 60 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 12 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

This was my last week before tapering down for next Saturday's half-marathon.  After the half, I'll take a down week (which will coincide with receiving my second dose of the Moderna vaccine on Sunday) and then jump into training for Grandma's Marathon.

I was pretty happy with this week - my fitness is continuing to progress.  I have noted that my paces on the treadmill are consistently slower for the same effort than outside - by between 15 and 30 seconds per mile.  It's not because my treadmill speed is inaccurate (I've calibrated it, and it's dead on) but rather because I'm running at between a 1-2% incline and my treadmill room also gets quite warm.   I'm not terribly worried about it - effort is what matters, not pace.  

Monday: 5 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 12 miles including a track workout of 2x1200, 3x800, 400, 2x200 in 4:39, 4:39, 3:07, 3:01, 3:01, 43, and 42;  2:2x-2:4x recovery after each.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling in evening.

Wednesday: 11 miles very easy (9:33) on treadmill, followed by streaming yoga.  Foam rolling at night.

Thursday: 3 miles very easy on treadmill (9:33), 5 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 12 miles on treadmill including a tempo workout of 4 miles in 27:22 (6:56/6:49/6:49/6:48) and six 30 second hill repeats on a 5% slope with 90 seconds jog in between. Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 10 miles very easy (8:51), plus drills, 6 steep hill sprints, and streaming yoga. Foam rolling in the afternoon. 

Sunday: 12 miles easy to moderate, split as the first 4 miles averaging 9:04 and the next 8 miles averaging 7:27. Later did leg strength work, 500 yards recovery swimming and 2 "miles" pool-running. Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Training log - Week ending 3/21/2021

This week was 64 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 12 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

I was pretty happy with this week, and pleasantly surprised by the pace I hit for the marathon effort segment at the end of the run.  It was particularly amusing because marathon effort last week yielded 7:18 pace.  But I guess that's the difference between the perfect weather we had today and the 15-20 MPH headwind I was running straight into last Sunday.

The only hiccup to the week was Friday's tempo on the treadmill, where I misguessed the proper speed to set for the workout.

By way of background - I prefer to run with an incline on my treadmill - I find that when I'm running on a flat treadmill my gait gets quad dominant; an incline forces me to use my posterior chain and push-up.   

But the incline does mean that the same effort results in a slightly slower pace.  And the fact that our home "studio" is about 70 degrees also slows down my pace for the same effort.  

I usually run by effort outside, and on the treadmill it's fairly easy to run by effort when doing easy runs or progressive long runs.  I just start very slow and then inch up the speed as I feel like it.  But....when I'm doing treadmill tempos, I have to guess at what the right pace would be.  

On Friday, I thought setting the treadmill at 9.1 MPH (6:36 pace) would be pretty conservative for a tempo workout of 5x1 mile tempo with 60 second jog.  I'd start at that speed and then up it as seemed right.   But it turned out to be too aggressive a speed.  So I cut off the workout at 3x1 mile, which ended up being roughly equivalent to a 5K tempo in effort (I usually don't do 5K tempos because I find they're a bit short and fast to elicit the best response).  I jogged for a bit, and then eased into what felt like marathon effort and did 2 more miles at that speed (which was 7:08 pace) just to get a little more high level aerobic work in.

Ultimately, not the workout I wanted to do, but I still got some good work in at near the targeted effort level, and I didn't dig a hole by forcing things.  And interestingly enough - the effort and HR that got me 7:08 pace on Friday was the same that yielded 6:48 pace on Sunday.   

It's always interesting to me how pace can be affected by so many things outside of the effort one is currently expending.

Monday: 5 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 12 miles including a track workout of 1600, 4x800, 2x200 in 6:22, 3:05, 3:03, 3:01, 3:01, 42, and 42;  4:50 recovery after the 1600 and 2:2x-2:3x recovery between the 800s.  Full recovery for 200s  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling in evening.

Wednesday: 11 miles very easy (9:17), plus drills, 6 hill sprints and 2 strides, followed by streaming yoga.  Foam rolling at night.

Thursday: 3 miles very easy on treadmill (9:33), 5 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 12 miles on the treadmill including a tempo workout of 3x1 mile in 6:36 with 1 minute jog in between, followed by 2 miles at 7:08 pace. Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 10 miles very easy (8:58), plus drills, 6 steep hill sprints, and streaming yoga. Foam rolling in the afternoon. 

Sunday: 14 miles progressive, split as first 5 miles averaging 9:06, next 5 miles averaging 7:46, next 5 averaging 6:48, and then a 1.5 mile cooldown. Later did leg strength work, 500 yards recovery swimming and 2 "miles" pool-running. Foam rolling in afternoon.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Training log - Week ending 3/14/2021

This week was 63 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 12 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Just a routine week (and it's nice to be in a routine).  I was pretty happy with my workouts, as they seem to indicate an improvement in fitness.

One change I did make was adding in a very short jog before my Thursday pool-run.  In pre-Covid 19 times, I would do a shorter pool-run on Mondays and a longer one on Thursday.  But now I'm limited to 45 minutes each day (which I stretch to 50 minutes).  I think my fitness has suffered from the decrease in volume, and I'm hoping that adding a short very slow jog on Thursdays will add a slight bit of volume while still maintaining the balance of training that works best for me.

Monday: 5 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 12 miles including a track workout of 2x1600, 2x800m in 6:24, 6:14, 3:02, 3:00; 5 minute recoveries after the 1600s and 2:30 recovery between the 800s.   Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling in evening.

Wednesday: 10.5 miles very easy on treadmill (9:11), plus drills, followed by streaming yoga.  Foam rolling at night.

Thursday: 3 miles very easy on treadmill (9:33), 5 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 12 miles including a 4 mile tempo in 25:42 (6:25/6:32/6:22/6:23). Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 11 miles very easy (8:46), plus drills, 6 steep hill sprints, and streaming yoga. Foam rolling in the afternoon. 

Sunday: 14 miles progressive, split as first 5 averaging 8:44, next 5 averaging 7:44, next 4 averaging 7:18, and then half mile cooldown. Later did leg injury prevention work, 500 yards recovery swimming and 2 "miles" pool-running. Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Training log - Week ending 3/07/2021

This week was 60 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 12 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Tuesday was my first team track workout in several months (we were shut down due to Covid 19 but are now ramping things back up).  It felt really good to be back out there.  I was curious to see how my paces outside would map against my treadmill workouts - even with less than ideal weather on Tuesday (sub-freezing and a 15 MPH headwind) my splits were a bit faster than they are inside (and the workout felt easier).  I'll be curious to see how things are in better weather.

Wednesday was my first dose of the Moderna vaccine.  No serious side effects - I was a little headachy the afternoon after (could have been work and not the shot) and had a sore arm for a few days.  I did have to back off of Friday's tempo workout (not quite 48 hours post-shot), swapping it from 4 miles straight to 2 miles and then 1 mile.  I felt totally fine when not running, but definitely a bit off when running, especially when trying to run faster.  Very similar to how you think you're recovered from a race and then you start a workout and realize you weren't.  By Sunday I was feeling back to normal.;

Monday: 5 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 12 miles including a track workout of 6x800m in 3:07, 3:08, 3:07, 3:08, 3:02, 3:03 (several of these might have been a second or two faster - I kept fumbling the lap button due to my mittens and or my sleeve getting in the way); recoveries between 2:21 and 2:34.   Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling in evening.

Wednesday: 10.5 miles very easy outside (9:02), plus drills and 4 steep hill sprints, followed by streaming yoga.  Got my first shot of Moderna midday; foam rolling at night.

Thursday: 5 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga. Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 11 miles on the treadmill, including a tempo workout of 2 miles, 1 mile in 13:20 (6:40/6:40) and 6:32 with 4:40 jog in between. Followed leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 11 miles very easy (8:55), plus drills, 6 steep hill sprints, and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling in the afternoon. 

Sunday: 14 miles progressive, split as first 5 averaging 9:07, next 5 averaging 7:51, next 4 averaging 6:56, and then 1.5 miles cooldown. Later did leg strengthwork, 500 yards recovery swimming and 2 "miles" pool-running. Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Training log - Week ending 2/28/2021

This week was 45 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 12 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Pulled back this week to race a 5K on Sunday.  I was a bit surprised at the time, as I had estimated I was in 19:30 shape.  But....it's still a starting point and something to build on.  And...when I think about it, I have always raced very poorly coming immediately off of the hill workouts.  So why would I expect any different here?

The good news is that I feel fresh and healthy and ready for a new training cycle, which is a really good place to be, I think.  And the good news about a slower than expected race is that it adds some fire for training.

This week my team is starting track workouts again, which I'm looking forward to.  My plan is to jump back into mileage.  However, I am getting my first dose of the vaccine on Wednesday, so I'll have to see how that affects training for the rest of the week.

Monday: 5 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 12 miles on the treadmill, including 6x0.5 miles with 2:30 jog in 3:09, 3:08, 3:07, 3:09, 3:07, 3:06. Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling in evening.

Wednesday: 10 miles very easy outside (9:09), followed by drills and 6 flat strides; foam rolling at night.

Thursday: 5 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga. Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 7 miles, including an uptempo 1600 on the track in 6:30. Followed with 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 4 miles very easy (9:04). Foam rolling in the afternoon. 

Sunday: 4 mile warm-up, 5K in 20:06, and then 5 miles after (8:50). Later did 500 yards recovery swimming and 2 "miles" pool-running. Foam rolling in afternoon.

Race Report: Dash Around the Point 5K, February 28, 2021

I ran the "Dash Around the Point 5K" this morning finishing in a time of 20:06 by my watch, which was good enough for the female win.

I signed up for this race as a rust-buster of sorts - my first race back after taking a (not a) season break and then doing some hills/tempo work.  It was on Hains Point, which is a nice flat route with a well marked, certified out and back course for the 5K distance.  Interestingly, the course posted on the website was NOT the certified course.  But it was pretty similar, and I'm not currently fit enough to care whether a course is certified.

I got to the parking lot around 6:50 for the 8 am race, which was the perfect amount of time to grab my bib and warm-up.  I noted them laying a mat in the parking lot very close to my car as I grabbed my bib - I couldn't figure out why they needed a mat there since it wasn't anywhere near the start/finish.  

But after I finished, as I saw the racers lining up for the 10K (which preceded the 5K), I realized that they were not going with the course on the website.  Rather, we'd start right next to my car (which fortunately was not in the way) run about 10m one direction, then around a median and double back on ourselves.  From there, we'd exit the parking lot, make a right turn to go through a gap about 10 feet wide between a police car and a curb, and then we'd be on Hains Point.  From there, we'd do an out and back before doing the reverse curly-Q to get back to the finish.


The pre-race email had included the statement: 

"Masks are also required on NPS-managed lands when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including narrow or busy trails, overlooks and historic homes."  There are a few sections of the trail in the race that could be fairly busy and very difficult to stay 6+ feet away from others. We understand no one wants to wear a mask when running, but please abide by this new ruling when you near other runners, bicyclists, and other members of the public.

which had made no sense to me at the time - Hains Point has plenty of room for spacing/social distancing.  I assumed the statement was boilerplate for all their races.  But....in light of the new course, this made much more sense. 

Per their Covid protocols, we were sent off in waves of about 15 each.  We did not start at the start line, but rather some distance back, so we could be spaced out, with masks on.  Then, when the race was started, everyone ran to the start line and we were off.

As is normal for me, I got dropped by everyone at the start.  Which meant that I was at the back of the group for the tight turns and the police car gap.  (I guess this is where the fact that I never raced cross country shows - I'm one of those people that would totally get trapped behind a pack the whole race).  After we made it past the police car, space opened up and I was able to start working my way past others.  I was fifth woman when I passed the police car and turned onto Hains Point, but was able to pass women 4, 3, and 2 fairly easily as soon as I had room to do so.

There was a woman from Georgetown Running Club (one of my running team's friendly rivals) ahead of me, so I kept my eye on her, gently working my way towards her and a man  Once I bridged up to them, I sat there for a bit.  But the pace didn't feel right for a 5K, so I picked it up.  

There wasn't much except open road ahead of me at that point.  I could see a figure in the far distance, so I focused on him, trying to reel him in (surprisingly, I almost did catch him by the end).   

That was pretty much the rest of the race - the most exciting thing was the turnaround cone, which I executed poorly.  (note to self - remember that you run turnarounds much faster when you swing wide so you don't slow down too much).

The return to the start/finish area was much easier than the departure since I didn't have anyone blocking me.  I kicked as best I could though the turns and then I was done.  With my car nicely right there to grab my rain coat (it was gently raining during the race).

Splits by Garmin autolap (no mile markers) were:

Mile 1: 6:42

Mile 2: 6:30

Mile 3: 6:17

last bit: 37 seconds.

***

I have to admit, I ran a lot slower today than I was expecting to.  So that was disappointing.  On the other hand, my splits are lopsided, indicating that I likely left time on the table.  I think some of that is getting stuck behind others at the start, and some is that I was too conservative in the first half of the race.  I didn't feel like I was working hard until the last mile - not ideal in a 5K.    

I'm not too worried about all of this.  Since my break I haven't been doing the types of workouts that would lead to a good 5K, save the one set of half-mile repeats I did this past Tuesday.  I'm just not calloused to that type of effort.  My team is restarting track workouts this week, and I think I'm in a good place right now to respond quickly to those.  In the meantime, I got a race in, and all races are good practice.

Other notes:

  • Weather was 46 degrees and light rain, with not much wind.  Which is some of my favorite weather to run in.  My breathing was great.
  • When chatting with one of the race managers, I asked afterwards why they hadn't gone with the posted course.  He didn't offer an answer, just chatted about something else . I honestly can't figure out why - Hains Point was completely closed to traffic anyways, so it would have just been a matter of putting the timing mat and the turnaround cone in a different place.  Huh.
  • In retrospect, I wonder how the race would have gone if I had deliberately sat at the back of my group of 15, let them go for 5-10 seconds at the start to give some space and then crossed the starting line.  Maybe something to try if I do this course in this set of circumstances again.
  • Any time you get to race in the time of Covid is a good race.



Sunday, February 21, 2021

Training log - Week ending 2/21/2021

This week was 64 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 6 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.  

We got hit by more winter weather the second half of this week. Not a lot of snow, just a "wintry mix" that iced everything up and then kept melting, seeping, and refreezing. If I hadn't had a treadmill, I would have searched for a cleared low traffic road and done loops there. But since I had a treadmill, I used it and conserved winter laundry. 

Before the weather hit, I fit in another set of Iwo Jima hill repeats. These felt really solid, so I think I'm done with them. 

The Iwo Jima hills are fantastic for improving one's running gait and developing some muscle, but they come at a cost - since the recovery duration matches or slightly exceeds the fast running duration, they're not an aerobic workout and you sacrifice a bit of fitness there. 

(of course, one could counter that by running the recoveries faster, but then you miss the entire point of the workout, and might as well just do a tempo on rolling terrain somewhere). 

As I've mentioned before, the incline motor on my treadmill has failed, and it's going to be another week at least before I can get it repaired due to various delays (some but not all Covid-related). Since I prefer to run at a slight angle, I inserted a piece of plywood under the front of my treadmill to elevate it slightly. 

Doing some very basic math (the width of the plywood was the rise and the length of the treadmill was the run) I guesstimated a 1% incline. However, as I thought about it more, I realized that the proper "run" to be measured was not the overall length of the treadmill, but rather the distance between the front feet (where the plywood was) and the back feet. That distance is shorter than the overall length of the treadmill, with the result that my calculated "plywood incline" is just under 2%. 

Of course, all of this is assuming that the treadmill is perfectly level without the plywood, which may or may not be true. So who knows. But in any event, the incline is a little steeper than I thought it was.

Monday: 5 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 12 miles, including 8 Iwo Jima hill repeats (~2:00 uphill, 90 second jog, ~25-30 second downhill stride, 70 seconds jog to bottom). Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling in evening. 

Wednesday: 10.5 miles very easy outside (9:11), followed by drills, 2 flat strides and streaming yoga in the morning; foam rolling at night.
 

Thursday: Upper body weights/core and 5 miles very easy on treadmill (9:15) (subbing for a 50 minute pool-run, since pool was closed due to snow/ice). Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 12 miles on the treadmill, including a workout of 6x1K in 4 minutes each with 75 seconds jogging recovery, full recovery, and then 6x45 seconds at 6:00 pace with 75 seconds jog. Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 10 miles very easy on the treadmill (9:10), followed by streaming yoga. Foam rolling in the afternoon. 

Sunday: 14 miles progressive on treadmill, split as first 4 miles averaging 9:12 pace, next 5 averaging 7:48, next 5 averaging 7:08, and then a half-mile cooldown. Followed with streaming yoga, some injury prevention work, and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling in afternoon.