When the training weeks enter the double digits, you know it’s time to narrow your focus and work hard. Week 10 of training for the California International Marathon was an exception, however.
After running a hilly half marathon (and while I didn’t race it, running a fast finish over the last 4.1 miles) and flying back from Vermont immediately afterward, my mind and body craved an easy week. This week was not the week to bump up mileage and crank up the intensity. Recovery is just as important as running; and even more so, one week of hard training is never worth overtraining or injury later on.
And I am certainly not implying that this week was a phone-it-in, lazy week. Not in the least. I still ran 45 miles and got one workout in there. What I am saying is that I cut back from my original plan of 50 miles and a harder workout – and that I am glad I made that decision.
Ultimately, I don’t just want to run CIM – I want to run marathons, half marathons, and any distance of race, hike mountains, and live a generally active life with family and friends for years and years to come. The amazing women of the Rise.Run.Retreat reminded me of this. I admire how many of those women are in their 40s and running/triathlon-ing impressive times – that’s the type of athlete I want to be. What’s the point of pushing myself too hard for any ONE race in my late 20s? I want to be out there training, competing, and adventuring through my 40s, 50s, and beyond.
So here’s week 10 of CIM training, by the numbers:
Monday: Complete rest
No Pilates, no hiking – just rest. The most I did was take Ollie and Charlie on a long walk. Instead of training, I slept in (which I needed – I didn’t get home from the airport until almost 11 PM), had breakfast with Ryan, and caught up on work and blogging.
Tuesday: AM: 8 miles easy run; PM: 25 minutes Pilates
I split my run into 7 miles on my own and 1 mile with Ollie. Ollie is doing very well in running with Ryan, but I am still working on training him to run with me (not drag me with him).
I know this sounds like a running blogger cliche, but I adore fall weather. The darker mornings don’t bother me too much and I love running through the leaves, with the colorful trees lining my path. I do wish it was a little bit colder – I’m ready for temperatures in the low to mid 40s!
Wednesday: AM: 9 miles with 6 miles at goal marathon pace; PM: 20 minute resistance band workout
I decided 6 miles at marathon pace was a good workout for this week: not too hard to dampen recovery but hard enough to prepare my body for longer, harder runs over the next few weeks.
At the Rise.Run.Retreat, our guest speak Crystal Seaver demonstrated several resistance band exercises and emphasized training across all planes. I slighly modified a sample workout she gave us and enjoyed it. The workout included lateral band walks, squats with the band, push up/mountain climber combos, core work, and several other exercises.
Thursday: 7 mile easy run
I sort of just zone out on these easy runs. I don’t run with any audio or headphones, and my thoughts just wander freely until I reach the turn around point, and then again until I’m back at where I started. I’m aware of everything around me – that’s a key point of running safety – but I love the time to decompress, foster creativity, and just let my brain be since I can have the tendency to overthink.
Friday: 16 mile long run
A nice person would call me stubborn; an honest person would call be a stubborn, single-minded marathoner. The forecast predicted 25-35 mph winds and the “whooshing” sound of the gusts through the trees indicated the forecast was likely accurate.
Nonetheless, I bundled up in a long sleeve shirt instead of a tank top (which I later regretted – too warm!) and braved the elements for 16 miles. The first 8 were into a headwind and made me feel like I was back in Valparaiso with its lake effect winds. But since this is Seattle and people out here train hard, I wasn’t alone on the trail and definitely felt an extra boost of motivation whenever I saw another runner.
I know I could have run on Saturday, but I just wanted to get this run done so I could enjoy Friday night with Ryan. Yes, training is important, but so is time with family – and I enjoy our Saturday morning runs together. Besides – a little wind is only good for mental toughness, right?
Saturday: 5 mile recovery run
Ryan, Ollie, Charlie and I all ran along rolling hills in a light drizzling rain for our morning family run. This was Ollie’s personal distance record and Charlie’s farthest run in over a year!
Ryan and I both crave a balance of time at home with time outdoors, so we spent the remainder of the day binge-watching new seasons of some of our favorite shows on Netflix and relaxing.
Sunday: 4.5 mile hike
We tried to hike Source Lake, which is an off-shoot trail from the popular Snow Lake. The trail was narrower, rockier, and less clearly marked than we anticipated and Ollie was not having an easy hike. The poor guy is on medication for giardia. He also was nervous about water crossings and frequently was distracted by any noises. It took Charlie a while to adapt to hiking, so we know that Ollie will eventually adapt as well.
The fall foliage was stunning on this hike! Even though we didn’t make it to either lake with the dogs, this hike was well worth the views and the relaxation of being back in the mountains.
Remember how I mentioned turmeric in Friday’s post on nutrition takeaway from the Rise.Run.Retreat? I made a chicken tikka curry in the crockpot on Saturday night and it was delicious – especially with the addition of turmeric. I served it along with butternut squash, broccoli, and quinoa (brown rice for Ryan).
I forget how much I enjoy crockpot meals until fall arrives again and I’m making curries, soups, chilis, roasted meats, everything I can in the crockpot.
You can catch up on the past weeks of my marathon training here!
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How was your week in running? Did anyone race? Congrats to everyone who ran the Portland, Chicago, Steamtown, and other marathons!
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