The day after Saturday's LR, my leg felt surprisingly good. I attribute that to good sleep (well, 6 hours at night + a 2 hr nap) and lots and lots of produce and some quality grains. My inner upper top quads were a bit sore, but that was the only evidence of the previous day's run. It felt great walking around, so I decided to try an easy run on the treadmill at night. I considered going all out with a 7.7 miler to reach marathon distance over 2 days (18.5 yesterday + potentially 7.7), but that would've been over-reaching, so I settled with 5.5, which brought me to 35.1 miles for the week, which is something I've done maybe only once or twice before. (For reference, during non-marathon training seasons, I have trouble getting 15 miles per week done. During marathon training season, I tend to do about 25-30 per week.)
I hoped it wasn't dumb to push as much as I did, but I felt good. 5.5 in 44:32, 8:06 ave... went pretty quick, even. Splits> 8:35, 8:16, 8:01, 7:59, 7:53, 3:46 for 0.5.
Monday, Sep 10:
My bones had felt a bit pounded during the da, but after doing some stretching and foam rolling in the evenng, they felt fresh again! Only a 3 miler was scheduled, and I didn't want to do a speed session, for sure, because that added stress would've been risky after the past two days' runs. I felt like putting on the Newtons and doing hills again. For some reason, my legs kind of like the idea of that combo... works the calves in a delicious way or something. It ended up being a challenging session. 1 mile warmup at 1 degree in 8:25, then 3x[ 1/2 mi @ 5 degrees, 0.3 mi @ 7 degrees, 0.2 mi @ 1 degree] @ 7.2mph = 8:18 pace. There's a 0.3ish mile stretch of 7 degree incline (and an accompanying decline later on) during the Philadelphia marathon, so I want to get my body used ot it a bit. I didn't think I'd make it through the last rep at 7 degrees and figured that I'd stop after the 5 degree section, but once it was time, I pushed on and made it! 4.0 in 33:29, 8:22 ave.
Wednesday, Sep 12:
This was an odd run. I was rushing, like I usually do in the evenings, so make it to the gym after dinner and sometimes a nap. I quickly looked at the training schedule and saw 6 mi, with 4 at 7:07 pace. Went to the gym, where there was a group was holding a get-together in the table section of the gym. I considered not going, to not disturb their party, but I figured that they could've had the party in someone's apartment (this space is smaller than a 1 BR apartment's living/dining area anyway), and they chose to have it in the fitness/laundry building, and I gotta get this done, so I went with it. The room smelled heavily of ethnic food, so I ended up cutting the run shorter than I would've normally done it. Anyway, I started doing the run, and I was wondering if I had read the plan wrong... was it really 4 at 7:07, or was it 4x 7:07, with 800 jogs after each mile rep? 4 at 7:07 is probably near my race pace for a 4 miler. I kept wondering, and I figured that I'd find out soon enough, as I attempted it. I went through 3.5 before calling it. I stopped without a cooldown, to get out of there and the awkwardness of crashing the party and the food smells and my desire to see what the real workout was.
I actually have 2 sheets where I have plans and my actuals listed. 1 plan was from Runner's World Smart Coach last year (where I ignored the required paces and only worried about hitting total mileage), and 1 was from this year. For some reason, this year's includes an extra run and has slower paces across the board. I don't know whether I chnaged a setting, or if they updated their formulas. 6 with 4 @ 7:07 was correct... but for the old plan. The new plan that I've been going on, with the extra run, which I hadn't checked (b/c I thought it was the same pace-wise), was 6 with 4 @ 7:37... big difference! I guess going 4.5 with 3.5 @ 7:07 is somewhere in between the two, so good enough. 4 @ 7:07 would'v been a bit crazy. 4.5 in 32:59, 7:20 ave.
Thursday, Sep 13:
Another interesting run. It was midnight by the time I woke up from my post-work/dinner nap and did some chores. I had woken up stiff and tired in the legs, but the chores loosened them up, so I wanted to get some blood pumping. At that time, there was no choice but an outside run. A 6 miler was scheduled. I thought I'd go on my fartlek route, but going at a slow pace. I could use the opportunity to get my legs used to running on pavement in my race-day shoes (Saucony Kinvaras), since I usually stick to grass and soft surfaces as much as possible. I decided to run all the way to the park where I normally do my grassy loop weekday runs (when there's enough sunlight time), which meant having a 7.1 mile run. It was worth it, though. It felt so odd to be running where I normally drive, and it felt odd to be there at night, without my car. I typically do looped courses, wherever I run... at least here in the city where I live now. So I normally don't have to worry about being stuck somewhere without a way to get home. Not so at Princeton, where I'd go as far as 8 miles one way and come back the same way. I'd bring a phone in case something happened, so that I could get someone to pick me up. 3.5 miles isn't too far, but it's just something I haven't felt in a while, especially at midnight.
I really noticed the car fumes today... don't know why. Even though there weren't too many cars (and less than normal on my other midnight runs on the same road), it was worse today, and it always made me feel like choking a bit. Yuck. 7.1 in 1:03:57, 8:59 ave... a very slow run, although it was a progressive run. Splits> 10:00, 9:19, 9:11, 9:24, 9:33, 8:17, 7:40, 0:38 for 0.1. There were hills, so the splits don't exactly match the effort.
Saturday, Sep 15:
60 min strength session.
I had planned to do the long run this morning, but I was probably still recoverng a bit from the midnight run on pavement, and I was tired from the week, so I ended up sleeping a lot. Wasn't motivated to do much else. Saturday night church, and restocking on groceries.
Sunday, Sep 16:
Slept 4 hours. Had enough extra from the previous day, but I was still tired. Woke at 5am so that I could drink up and let my legs wake up. I hoped to get out at around sunrise to hit the coolest parts of the day. It was supposed to be mostly cloudy all morning anyway, which was good. I did consider delaying the run until later in the morning or until the evening because I was tired and just wanted to crawl back into bed. I managed to convince myself to get out, though. Morning runs are easier to time than evening runs, where, if you go too late, you will be running in the dark, which is tough for footing. It's hotter in the evening, too.
I filled a soft flask with Hammer brand Sustained Energy that I had opened probably a year ago. It also expired 8 months ago, but I'm happy to report, no issues. It was good, too. It's normally used as a drink mix (with 7:1 carbs:protein), but I prefer to concoct a concentrated gel-form so that I can get the quick hit of energy without having to lug around water. The extra pounds of water weight feels like a big burden to my legs and form, so when I bring water, I put it somewhere on the course and just pick it up for a little bit while I drink, then I stash it somewhere else along the course until I pick it up again later. That's another reason why the looped course works out well, despite the monotony factor. I also brought two vanilla Gus (non-caf... don't want to become reliant on it during trainng runs... save the effect for race day).
I started with a standard lap on my looped course. Because it was still early and cloudy, I decided to go over to another section of the trail, which was also foamy. It requires doing a section on concrete first, which is why I don't normally go there. The foam there is actually very cushiony compared ot the foamy section I normally do. It's the same distance of foam... 0.9 mi, but it's all flat. I ended up doing 3 laps of that part, bringing my total up to about 10 miles, before I headed back to my usual course. Up until then, I didn't have any water, but the Sustained Energy concoction (like 2 oz of water + about 150 cal of Sustained Energy powder) was sufficient.
I had 2 bottles of plainwater and a gel as I finished the remainer of the run with 2.5 laps on the usual course. It was a negative split run. I had started out really slowly, but that allowed me to feel pretty good the entire run... probably the best I've ever felt on a 20 miler. Afterwards, my heart maybe felt a little bit tired, and my legs were a little bit stiff, but the rest of my body felt fairly normal! I was eager to refuel, though, and was glad for the nice spread that I had prepared in the morning:
I ran out of clean Oxysocks (compression socks), so I wore cotton soccer socks instead. Both socks get wet in the dew, I supposed, but it was a bit more uncomfortable in the cotton socks. Last week, I brought my wet shoes and socks and Nathan Shadowpak and visor into my shoe area just inside my door... I can still smell it, haha, even after opening my widow a couple of nights. Oh, man. I left the shoes and socks outside this time. I love the cotton Adidas visor that I've had since early high school, but it really needs to be retired soon... or else, it needs to be washed every time I wear it. I think it cost me $4 originally, and I guess it's been about 10 years now that I've used it!!!
Here's a picture of me with the visor in Junior year of HS:
My Garmin had an odd malfunctioning where it went from being 6.99 miles to 6.00 miles instead of 7.00 miles (happens a couple times a year), so I used mapmyrun.com later to confirm the distance. It was only that 1 mile off overall.
Here's me recounting my route to understand my splits. The green path is what I usually run.
Good day! Not tired at all! In the process of trying to re-fuel.
> Cheerios + Organic Chocolate Cheerios + Skim Milk
> bit of Almond butter
> bit of Almond butter
> 2 bottles of water
> 1 scoop of Sustained Energy 7:1 carb:protein powder + 2 oz water
> 1 vanilla GuImmediately post-run:
> Whole Wheat Pretzel sticks
> Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese Wedge
> Raspberries (once spelled this wrong in a 3rd grade spelling bee, just within my class, not in front of a huge audience)
> Slim Carrot
> Whey Protein + Cocoa + Decaf Powder + Water
After a shower:
> Pickle (my favorite post-LR / post long race food)
> Cheerios + Organic Chocolate Cheerios + Skim Milk, a few peanuts
> Sauteed Onion + some of tomato sauce + bit of feta and tofu and garlic
> Green Tea
I'm really interested in what other runners and elites eat to fuel themselves. Elites fuel for optimal performance, where every 0.01% of better performance is critical to their careers and their ability to put their stamp in history. Plus, for everyone, we only get 1 body, and with this body, we serve others, move about on this earth, explore the world, and do things that make us feel alive like running. I understand the enjoyment factor, too, and I enjoy some snacks with questionable nutritional value, like Whole Grain goldfish and chips and Slim-a-bear ice cream sandwiches, though. There are many, many schools of thought about what kinds of food are optimal, though, so I'm not saying that my current way is better than any other way. That's why I'm interested to learn about what others like to do. I was in a vegetarian co-op in college for the last 2 years, and even within that group, there were many different reasons people chose to join: ethical for animals, environmentally responsible, health (me), cheap (me). Health and the cost were the biggest attractions for me, but I also very much like the environmental part, and I do have some desire to not hurt animals. If the meat is already prepared, I don't think much of eating it, but if I had to kill the animal myself, that might change things. I don't know. Maybe my thinking about that will continue to change over time. Today, I have chicken or fish only a few times per month, mostly out of laziness, because of having to cook and make sure to clean up well afterwards to avoid germs. I mostly have dairy and soy products. I had a strange dream one night while I was traveling in China with a group that included 2 vegetarians, and in that dream, I was holding a tiny baby piglet and a baby duck in my hands, and I decided to become a vegetarian. They were too cute. Strange, huh? I like animals a lot.
Other strange dreams lately:
In 1 week a couple of weeks ago, I had two sports dreams. In one, I was doing my weekly strenght session, pushing through the usual tough spots to get it done. Then, I woke up from my nap, only to realize that I hadn't done the workout for real, and that it was time to do it for real now... it was like having to do the workout twice, it seemed so real! In the other dream, I was racing in a triathalon for the very first time. I was using really bad equipment that I scrounged up to do the race, and the race course was really poorly marked.
Ok, enough rambling for now.