California International Marathon Training Week 5

California International Marathon Training Week 5

Hi there! How was your Labor Day weekend?

Last week I had some excellent, confidence-building workouts, although I missed my mileage goal and strength training for the week due to not feeling well. 

Nature brought its best training tools to the game this week: fog, wind, and rain (and of course hills). My preferred trail for speed work and tempo runs is flat, free of cars and intersections, and scenic – but it can turn into a wind tunnel during fall and spring. You never know what conditions you’ll encounter on race day – so it’s best to train through all of them, in my opinion. 

California International Marathon Training Week 5

Monday: AM: 8 miles with 15 x 1 minute hard fartlek; PM: Core work

This workout was challenging in a good way. I started later than I would have preferred due to construction on the trail and detours on the nearby roads, but I didn’t want to miss my run. 

California International Marathon Training Week 5

The first 10 intervals feel like a normal fartlek run: hard but manageable. The last 5 are tough because fatigue sets in, but that’s why I like speed workouts like this for marathon training. This workout trains the legs and mind to accelerate even when tired. 

In the evening, I did Sarah’s core workout from the August workout round up. I substituted kettlebell swings in place of farmer’s carries and added push ups as well. Overall a hard but quick workout! 

Tuesday: 45 minute easy walk + 30 minutes Pilates

Charlie and I started the morning with a 2 mile walk, which involved several stops to carefully sniff each and every tree on the forested trail. 

California International Marathon Training Week 5

Wednesday: 9 miles with 2 x 2 miles at tempo pace

I relished returning to my favorite type of workout after focusing on base and then speed for several weeks. Tempo runs are my absolute favorite type of running workout. 

I focused on my effort and breathing and was thrilled at my splits after the run: 7:28 and 7:25 for the first set, and 7:22 and 7:22 for the second set. 

I started feeling a little off in the evening – a bit crampy and fatigued – so I skipped strength training. I honestly just didn’t feel up to it. Plus, Ryan surprised me with a fancy bottle of sloe gin and I couldn’t pass up indulging in a drink instead and resting. 

Thursday: 3 miles easy + 20 minutes yoga

I woke up and still didn’t feel quite well. I figured I go for a run and feel better, since that’s normally the solution. But on the run, I experienced cramping bad enough that I cut my run short. I was also a bit worried – that sort of cramping is neither normal nor desirable.

As I’ve mentioned here and there, I have been diagnosed with both lean PCOS and endometriosis symptoms. I medicate it to keep it under control, so normally it’s not an issue anymore. However, apparently some things like doctor’s exams can trigger a flare or a bout of cramping. My doctor reassured me I was okay and prescribed a decent dose of Advil for pain and inflammation.

 Yeah, it was frustrating, but there are far worse things that can happen. It’s not worth getting upset over one bad run. I get so frustrated with my body when these issues emerge, and I have to take a step back and be gracious: overall, I am healthy. I can run.

And, on the bright side, this was  my first run in my new Saucony Kinvara 7s!

California International Marathon Training Week 5

I’m glad I didn’t push myself on this run. A few extra miles isn’t worth it when rest will clearly do the body better, especially when the issue is due to inflammation. Charlie knows when I don’t feel well, so he snuggled me all day while I worked. 

Friday: 15 mile long run

I ran this run without any fuel during the run and felt energized by the end. My body is doing really well in learning to tap into its glycogen stores and burn fat. I brought a Hammer gel with me on this run, just in case I needed one since I had felt sluggish and crampy the previous day, but I didn’t need it. 

It rained during the second half of my run. I think my mind and body were craving a rainy run, because all the rain did was improve my pace while lowering my perception of effort. I had started the run all stiff and anxious, but the rain melted that right away. I averaged an 8:48/mile pace for the run and felt as if I could have kept going. 

Saturday: 5 mile easy run 

Ryan was cleared to run again after his doctor’s appointments all went smoothly this week, so we were both excited to run together again. We did 3 miles together and then I did 2 on my own. Ryan surprised me with coffee as soon as I got back to the car, which was perfect after a recovery run in the rain. 

California International Marathon Training Week 5

Ryan gave me a new Garmin (Forerunner 230) for my birthday! Even though my birthday wasn’t until Sunday, I had to try it out that morning. I’m already obsessed with it and all the fun features that my FR 10 didn’t have. 

Sunday: ~5 miles of walking/gentle hiking

I turned 27 on Sunday, so to celebrate we took a road trip to Portland. 

California International Marathon Training Week 5

We went on a short hike to Forest Park, walked around downtown, and did another short hike at Multnomah Falls (along with everyone else in Portland). The drive around the Portland area is gorgeous – the Columbia River is a brilliant and sparkling shade of blue. The falls were my favorite – they were absolutely spectacular!

California International Marathon Training Week 5


As I mentioned above, I’m having a good experience with low carb easy paced long runs. During training for my first marathon, I would eat a fairly light pre-run breakfast (banana and maybe a handful of dry Chex cereal, which I haven’t eaten since the Portland Marathon) and then rely on fuels.

I feel more energized during my long runs, avoid stomach issues, pace myself more consistently on easy paced long runs when I eat a bigger snack before (one thick slice of whole wheat bread with honey and a banana). When my long runs get truly marathon training long (16 miles and longer), I’ll start trying out plain oatmeal and a banana before a run. 

Linking up with Weekly Wrap

How was your week in running?
What did you do this Labor Day weekend?
When’s your birthday?

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23 Responses

  1. I have a friend who just got the 230. She was testing it out at the track with a programmed workout and was loving it. I didn’t think I was in the market for a new GPS but now…It’s funny how that happens! My week in running was good. Time on the trails and road was just what I needed!

    1. The programmed workouts are great – they make doing a speed workout so much easier because there’s no staring at the watch or anything. I used that feature yesterday for mile repeats and I already love it. That and the fact I can program reminders for fuel and water on long runs makes me so happy that Ryan got it for me. Glad you enjoyed a great weekend of running – loved your photos! 🙂

  2. Sounds like this training is really agreeing with you! I considered upgrading my forerunner to the 230 but then we decided to just get Alex a basic one and I would keep mine (mostly because I’m not really training for anything right now). I’ll be looking forward to hearing what you think! Happy birthday (again)!

    1. Thank you! It is going really well so far, fingers crossed that it continues to go well! I’m still playing around with all of the features on the 230 but I really enjoy the programmed workout feature, activity tracker, and reminders feature. I didn’t give my old one to Ryan though because it’s bright pink and too small for male wrists.

  3. I’m glad your training went well and despite your sickness, you got a LOT of quality in and a good long run.

    Question… with eating a bigger snack before long runs, are you still fueling during them? Or do you just eat more before and avoid fueling? I ran 14 on Saturday and ate a hammer gel during the run because I want to try a few out before the marathon (which isn’t until January), although I couldn’t tell if it did any good. I guess I’m just curious as to what a low-carb long run is- one where you’re fasted or one where you just don’t eat a fuel during the run? I would be scared to run more than say, 10 miles, without anything in my system… but I know people who manage it.

    1. Thank you! For easy paced long runs under a certain distance (probably 15 or 16 top for this cycle, just over 2 hours) I have my snack and avoid the fuel during them. I do carry a gel just in case and make sure to eat well afterwards as well.
      There’s lots of different semantics out there, but a low-carb run as I define it is with a pre-run snack but no fuel during – so your low on carbs and your body has to learn to burn fat and tap into glycogen effectively. These are different than a glycogen depletion run which is completely fasted, no snack before. I couldn’t do that – nor would I recommend it because of how it can negatively affect your immune system.
      But for long runs with harder running or 17+ miles, I use fuel on top of my larger snack. So even with my 12 mile last week, since it was close to marathon pace I took fuel to work on learning to digest at that pace – and because running at marathon pace or faster burns up carbs more quickly.
      Shoot me an email if you have more question on it! I could talk about it for days lol.

  4. Such a young spring chicken! I turn 39 in January. So, I was loosely diagnosed with PCOS and endometriosis years ago. I’m not sure if this has anything to do with it but my ovulation cramps are THROUGH THE ROOF. They don’t even touch my period cramps. I see the doctor this morning so I am going to ask her about it again.

    Great job on your training last week and I hope you had a really good birthday! I love Portland.

    1. So you know the pain of those, unfortunately! Ugh it’s a dreadful combo. I’m sorry to hear that you have cramps like that – they downright suck. It’s awful when cramps are so bad that they interfere with daily life. I do think it’s good to talk to doctors about them – mine was so helpful in finding a way to manage the ones I’d get every month. I hope your appointment goes well! Thank you – I did have a great birthday!

  5. Great job this week! And happy belated birthday!! Glad to hear you like the Kinvara 7s. I haven’t been running in the 6s as much as I would like because I think my feet just need a little more support right now, but they are definitely my favorite option. I have been back to the Launchs and they feel so heavy to me, even though compared to most shoes they are pretty light!

    1. Thank you! Yeah the Kinvara 7s are great – I find them actually slightly more cushioned than the 6s, but in a good way. There’s not more cushion underneath them, but the new foam they use provides more cushion if that makes sense. The only downside is they aren’t as water-resistant, but they still hold up to rain well!

  6. Hope your feelings of “not well” have subsided! From reading sounds like you still had a great week of training. You always amaze me with what you do! Someday, I want to be like you. 😉

    Our long weekend was pretty calm. My son came home from his week at “dad camp”. I ran for the first time since 8/20 (other than soccer games). Been nursing some “injuries” (I really do not want to say there is any injury). School started back up today….

    Reading your weekly recap today provides me with some motivation to (gently) work hard this month and finish the last 2 races on my schedule!

    Happy Monday to you, Laura!

    1. Thank you, Aimee! It’s really not anything special that I do, just hard work accumulated over time 🙂 Be sure to take care of your injuries! If it’s anything, I find admitting that it’s an injury helps – because then there’s a reason to figure out how to fix it and an idea of the timeline and steps to take. Good luck with your training!

  7. Happy birthday and hooray for the early birthday treat. I am having my eye on a Forerunner myself 🙂 I am curious to hear how you like it!

    Sounds like you’re doing well with your training.

    1. I know on the 230 I can write up workouts on Garmin Connect (on the computer, not the app) and upload them to the watch. Then there’s an intervals function that lets you program in speed workouts including warm up and cool down, and then it buzzes and vibrates for each interval – so useful!

  8. I know you are enjoying your sweet birthday present. I have the Garmin 225 and recently began using the interval training function as well. I hope you are feeling better now. It must be frustrating to have a flare up while marathon training. The waterfall picture it stunning! My birthday? A few days before Christmas. Thanks for linking, Laura!

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