Monday: Swim—Masters swim team (2550 yds)
I finally caught up on some sleep Sunday night and woke up feeling relatively refreshed in the morning. I had cookies instead of a banana for breakfast. When I got to the pool, we did the same workout we had done a few weeks earlier which ended up being good because I was able to see some improvement between how I was swimming a few weeks ago and how I’m swimming now.
4 x 225 (150 build, 75 fast kick with :45 rest)
20 x 25 @ :25
Last time I did this workout, I did the 25s at thirty seconds instead of twenty-five. I didn’t really do the 25s any faster this time around (still around :20 – :23), but my rest was more than cut in half, and I was still able to keep the pace up. It’s nice that I’ve seen some improvement over the past few weeks, but I think at this point, my progress is slowing down (which is understandable). To pick it up and start progressing faster again, I’d probably have to start attending Masters 2-3 times a week regularly instead of 1-2 times a week. I don’t think that will happen while I’m training for the marathon, but it might in the interim between the marathon and the start of my “official” Ironman training plan.
Tuesday: Run—1200m, 4 x 1600, 800m; 8-minute abs
I didn’t want to repeat the mistake I made last week by going to a high school track completely covered in snow, so I planned to run on the treadmill in the office gym. The Olympic Oval doesn’t have a start line for the 1600 (if it does, I haven’t seen it), so the treadmill was my only real option. I decided to something completely new to me and listen to music while running. I realize I’m about 20 years behind the times, but I prefer to work out sans music when I’m not running in place, so I never really cultivated the habit of listening to anything while working out. I have literally no music on my phone, so I just turned on the classic rock station on Pandora. It didn’t make the workout fun, but I think it did make it a little more bearable. I did the mile repeats at 8.8 mph, or at a 6:49/mile pace, and I set the incline to 1% (except for the first part of the first repeat where I forgot). Between each mile, I rested for a quarter mile. Because it’s impossible to slow your pace on a treadmill without hurting yourself, it’s hard for me to judge effort. The last 800 of the final two mile repeats were definitely though, though, and I could feel the fatigue. Still, during the last quarter mile of the last repeat I was able to up the pace some and was running pretty fast by the time I finished that final mile. I felt my sore knee a little bit, but it wasn’t bad. It didn’t stiffen up at all during my rest periods between miles, and it actually hurt most (but still not much) during my cool down. I’m wondering if it’s something about my stride or running mechanics when I’m running at a slower pace. Oh, and during lunch I headed back down to the gym and did some core work. I don’t like to do it immediately after a hard workout because I feel like the quality of the work goes down.
Wednesday: Bike—15.1 miles (54:30)
This was supposed to be the last nice day before a storm (and more snow… does it ever end?!) rolled into the Salt Lake area, so I wanted to get out on my bike. Riding during lunch is kind of a pain because of how long it takes to get dressed, put my bike together, etc., but it’s pretty much the only option if I want to ride in the daylight on a weekday. Plus, there’s a nice path near my office that makes for a great 10-20 mile ride. It was cold out (32°), but it actually felt nice to be out in the sun going fast (at least compared to running) again. The mountains were covered in snow, and I was alone on the roads. And I remembered again why I love cycling even though I’m a far better runner than cyclist. I got back to the office just as my toes started to get uncomfortably cold. I’m looking forward to some warmer temperatures and longer rides soon. It was hard not to realize that, come August, I need to ride about seven and a half times further than I rode today, at about the same pace.
Thursday: Run—8 miles (1:01:53); 7-minute abs
This was my second-to-last long tempo run in my marathon training plan. Realizing that made me realize how quickly the marathon is approaching. I’ve been feeling strong and surprisingly rested since I started focusing on sleep this week. However, when I started my run, my legs unexpectedly felt pretty heavy. Typically, my weekday bike rides have been shorter than Wednesday’s, so my legs may have been fatigued from that. I also may not have fueled enough. I didn’t want to take this tempo run too hard because I knew I had a tough long run coming up on Saturday, but I ended up really pushing the last couple of miles. It’s a good thing I’m not following a training plan with easy run days because I’m not good at taking things easy. As I said, my legs felt heavy to begin with, but they loosened up, and I felt fairly strong throughout the middle miles. However, the last two miles are slightly uphill and against the wind. I probably managed to stick to an 8:00/mile pace during this section, but I felt like I was standing still. As much as I tried to pick up the tempo, shorten my stride, and be small in the wind (I’m 5’10” and shaped like a paper doll), it felt like I was moving through molasses. Still, I kept my pace up throughout the run and managed to finish with a 7:45/mile pace, which is still quite fast for me. As a bonus, while my knee hurt a bit in the first few miles, it loosened up and I didn’t feel it at all for most of the run. It was a little stiff and sore after, so I iced it just to be safe. In the evening, I did some core work as well.
Friday: REST; 7-minute abs
I needed a rest day. I was getting free bagels for breakfast at work, free lunch, and was going to have some pie, so I was pretty much stoked for the day in general. I tried to stay off my legs and give them some time to recover. I ate a bunch of food on Friday and had an abnormally large lunch and dinner. I kind of hoped it would help me during my long run. I also did some core work in the evening.
Saturday: Run—20 miles (2:43:34)
My first 20 miler is in the books! I woke up around 7:00am and over the course of the morning ate two bananas, a bowl of cereal, a small egg burrito, some chocolate milk, and a little box of candy. I also drank a bottle and a half of water. I had been weirdly thirsty the night before, so I was worried about getting dehydrated on the run. I set out around 11:00am, with the weather cloudy and in the mid-30s. I was very concerned about starting out too fast, so I held back during the initial climb. When I hit the three mile point at the crest of the first uphill segment, I was averaging an 8:32/mile pace. I naturally sped up as my route headed back downhill. The next few miles were over the part of my route that consistently feels the best, mostly because it’s not an uphill grind and it’s still the first half of the run. I hit the 8 mile mark in around an 8:10/mile pace, and I managed to keep that average up for the rest of the run. I felt really good until around mile 11. After eating some gummies and drinking some water, my stomach started to feel a bit upset. Looking back, I think I was drinking too much water. It was cold, and I was well-hydrated, so the water was just sloshing around in my stomach. After mile 11, it became a game of just getting to the next checkpoint. Around mile 14, I took in some more nutrition and still felt nauseated. My legs were starting to ache as well, just from being out on my feet for so long. It was a race to mile 17, which has become the “almost home” point for me on my long runs. My pace was in a solid groove during these miles, so I wasn’t really slowing down. I just wanted to be done. I finally hit mile 17 and enjoyed a nice downhill cruise for about a mile before turning onto my last (sort of) uphill stretch. I counted down the street numbers as I passed them, knowing that Yale was 1065 South. Soon enough, I turned on Yale, and it was all downhill. I picked it up a bit, but not too much. I knew I was probably on pace to hit an 8:15/mile pace overall. I finished in 2:43:34 just four seconds faster than my dad’s twenty mile run the day before and with an 8:11/mile pace overall. I took my pulse right after finishing, and it was only around 120. Score! I was still a couple blocks from Rob’s place. That short walk back doesn’t usually bother me, but it destroyed me this time around. It’s perfectly normal for an adult to sit down on the sidewalk while waiting for the light to change, right? And my knee that has been hurting didn’t hurt at all, even after having time to cool down and stiffen up.
Sunday: Bike—30 minutes
Between church, football, and the cold morning, I had some difficulty fitting in my recovery bike ride. I finally decided to do my ride after church but before the Broncos game. The timing was a little tight, but I wanted to get on my bike to work out some of the kinks after my long run on Saturday. The weather was in the low 40s for the first time in a long time. If I hadn’t been rushed for time and pretty drained from my 20 miler, it would have been a great day to get out for a longer ride again. As it was, I just went out for a half an hour, but I was able to wear far less clothing than I have been recently. It was beautiful out, and my legs felt much better after I got back.