California International Marathon Training Week 6

California International Marathon Training Week 6

Hi! How was your weekend?

I’m six weeks deep into training for the California International Marathon training, with 12 weeks left – one-third of the way there! (New? Catch up on past training here!) So far, I am thoroughly enjoying this training cycle and I feel very good – strong and energized, although my appetite has certainly increased. 

California International Marathon Training Week 6

Monday: 8 miles with 3 x 1 mile repeats

Mile repeats intimidate me. As I mentioned in Thursday’s post, they’re not a pleasant workout. Mile repeats are a huffing, puffing, burning workout. Although I prefer them to half mile repeats or 1K repeats, because at least they’re over with after just a few repeats. 

I was eager to see what these mile repeats would reveal. I hoped to hit somewhere in the ballpark of 6:50-7:10 based off of how my other runs have gone recently. I focused on my breathing – 2 counts inhale, 1 count exhale and aimed for consistent pacing on each intervals.

My miles were 6:56, 6:53, and 6:51. I am very pleased with those repeats, especially since the first repeat was run into a headwind. That’s my fastest set of mile repeats yet! 

California International Marathon Training Week 6

Tuesday: 40 minutes Pilates

My parents gave me a year’s subscription to Pilatesology for my birthday (thank you again, Mom and Dad!) and I was extra excited to start using it. I did a 40 minute sculpting Pilates workout that included plenty of hamstring, back, and glute exercises. One thing I love about Pilates is how it focuses on muscles that we runners need to be strong but often neglect. 

Wednesday: AM: 9 miles with 5 miles at half marathon pace; PM: 20 minutes strength training

I know I said this last week, but I am so excited to have tempo runs back in my training. As my introductory speed segment gradually transitions into a fundamental phase, I’ll be doing more and more longer tempo runs rather than shorter fartleks and hill repeats. 

Rain drizzled for the first few miles and I contended with some wind again, but I was again proud of my splits for this workout. I averaged just under 7:30 for each mile, which is what I was running these workouts at in the spring right before my half marathon PR. 

Neither Ryan nor I were in the mood to strength train, so we compromised. We set a timer for 20 minutes once we got to the gym and did just a few exercises each. Inspired by Susie’s post on unilateral exercises for runners, I did goblet squats, weighted curtsey lunges, single leg Romanian deadlifts, and Pallof presses plus a round of Myrtls

Thursday: AM: 7 mile easy run; PM: 25 minutes Pilates

My run was comfortable and easy, highlighted by the fact that the clouds finally gave way to blue skies for the first morning that week. 

California International Marathon Training Week 6

On Thursday evening, Ryan and I went downtown to meet up with a close friend and her fiance who were visiting. Most of our college and high school friends live back in the Midwest, so it’s always a joy to get to see them! We enjoyed German food, beer, and conversation. I love Seattle in the evening – once all of the commuters have returned to the suburbs, the city is quieter and less-crowded. 

Friday: 16 mile long run 

I ran this run along a rolling hills to flat to rolling hills route again to practice for CIM’s hills. Although right now I’m a bit more nervous about the hills at the Leaf Peeper Half Marathon in Vermont, but I figured every bit of hill running helps. I think throwing in some hills makes long runs go by more quickly also and keeps my muscles feeling fresher. 

I fueled on this run, since my approach this training cycle is to do some runs without mid-run fuel and some runs with fuel. I think this approach will balance out teaching my body to burn both fat and glycogen better while also teaching my stomach to handle fuel on the run. I used Hammer Peanut Butter gel, which is my favorite for easy paced long runs since it tastes like peanut butter (not too sweet) and has a bit of fat in it as well as carbohydrates. 

California International Marathon Training Week 6

Instead of carrying my gel in packets, I’m using a reusable, sealable gel pouch to hold my fuel so I can easily take what I need at any given moment and close it back up. This worked well – I slowly sipped at about 1.5 gels throughout this run, which was better than having to suck down an entire gel at once or (as I normally do) awkwardly carrying a gel packet for several miles as I sip away at it. (In the photo the pouch is holding twice as much gel as I actually took – I was curious to see how many packets the pouch held!). 

Saturday: 5 mile easy run

Ryan, Charlie, and I ran three miles together and then I finished up with two on my own. Running with my two boys fills my heart with more joy than any PR ever will. 

Meanwhile, my core was the most sore it had been in a long time. All that Pilates plus a hilly long run really worked it! My tranverse literally ached as how I would imagine wearing a corset would feel. Which is good! I think the new Pilates videos with more complex routines and advanced moves will help my core strength significantly. 

Ryan and I went to Seattle Humane to submit an application and look at dogs in the evening. We did not find the right second dog for us yet (we saw plenty of cute ones, but our apartment has some breed restrictions), but now that our application is on file we can quickly adopt if the right dog for us arrives. I want a pup that can run for an hour or longer. 

Sunday: 8 mile hike/2000 feet gain

Pratt Lake Trail had long topped our list of hikes to try, but thanks to winter and a long series of injuries, illnesses, and special weekend plans (and the occasional laziness on my part), we had put it off for months. With cool, sunny weather this weekend, we finally decided to hike it! We didn’t do the full 11-mile hike up to the lake, but we did hike 8 miles – our longest hike (not split up by backpacking) in a while. 

California International Marathon Training Week 6

What a fun hike! The trail included a bit of gentle to moderate climbing but no significantly steep inclines, it was quiet and peaceful, and so beautiful. We plan on backpacking the whole thing next weekend. 

Afterward, Ryan and I relaxed by the fire pit with a couple of Redhook beers. I enjoy the balance of long endurance activities like running and hiking with kicking back, relaxing, and having a beer. 

California International Marathon Training Week 6

Linking up with Weekly Wrap

[Tweet “California International Marathon Training Week 6 #runcim #marathon #redhook #hiking #running via @thisrunrecipes”]

What run(s) were you proud of this week? 
What workout has made you sore recently?



Sign Up for My Newsletter for More Running Tips

* indicates required

Share this post

25 Responses

  1. Mile repeats are definitely killer! I think just the length of them is the hardest for me, especially mentally. Nice job on getting them done! That refillable gel pouch is so handy, I’ve never seen that before. This week of workouts was actually really good! I was also proud of getting my mile repeats done on Friday and I had a good 20 miler today. Woohoo!

    1. Thank you! Great job on your mile repeats and 20 miler! The refillable gel pouch is so useful, it’s actually from a line of gear for running and hiking (Gear Well) that my husband sells. He thought of the idea after listening to me complain about carrying fuel on runs!

    1. Thank you! It could be a few weeks or a few months but we’ve been wanting one for a while now. I love rescue dogs also! Charlie was a rescue and we love him to pieces. Rescues have such sweet hearts and so much love!

  2. I haven’t had any workouts make me too sore lately, but I started doing decline sit-ups on my strength days a few weeks ago and those worked my abs/core pretty hard. It looks like you had an awesome week of training with a great mile repeat workout, great pilates workout, and great long run! I’ll have to try the PB hammer gel now; I had the espresso one on Saturday and it was great. I too like to take 1/2 at a time instead of the whole thing and glad there’s a solution rather than carrying sticky gels or wasting half of it.

    1. Thank you! Decline sit ups sound challenging! I haven’t tried the Hammer espresso but I really like the peanut butter – it doesn’t have that typical gel taste to it which I appreciate. You should give it a try!

  3. I can’t believe you are 6 weeks in already! time really flies by. I am ready for it to get a little cooler here as my runs are best when the humid and temps are lower. it’s been warm here still but today should be only around 70 when I go out for my run.

  4. I’m so glad that you tried the unilateral exercises! I will have to look into pilatesology. I need something to tell me what to do right now, lol. Though it might be a little difficult with the puppy, haha. GREAT job on your workouts!

    1. Thank you! I really enjoyed them – going to keep doing them! Pilatesology would actually be great for you! At home strength workouts were what I stuck to when Charlie was a baby puppy, since he needed me home a lot (as most young puppies do!).

  5. Sounds like another great week and some great fast miles for you!! I also love that you were able to hike and then kick back around a fire pit with a good beer. I mean, is there nothing better than that??
    As for the hills of VT, I think you will defeat them with ease!!
    Looking forward to meeting you soon 🙂

    1. Thank you! There really isn’t anything better than a cold beer and a fire after a hard hike or run. And thank you- I need your vote of confidence – somehow the hills in VT seem so much more intimidating that those we have in East Seattle (all the nasty ones are downtown). I look forward to meeting you soon as well! 🙂

  6. Looks like a great week of training! How high will your mileage get per week? I’m mentally psyched out by mile repeats but have them on the agenda this week. That refillable gel pack is a great idea. Oh my gosh – I want nothing more than a cold beer after long, tough workouts.

    1. Thank you! My mileage will probably get around 55-59 miles at the peak but I’ll be holding 50+ for several weeks starting soon. I’m very much a moderate mileage/high quality workouts trainer when it comes to running. I hope your training is going well – you are going to crush those mile repeats! They’re intimidating but never as hard as they seem.

    1. Thank you! I take about 3 minutes of very, very easy jogging between mile repeats (so about 0.30 mile) and that works for me, but when I did them for Hansons I did 1/4 mile recoveries. Not much difference but having the break in terms of time rather than distance ensures that I don’t rush the recovery intervals.

  7. Awesome work on the mile repeats!! I was feeling it a little after the hills in the 5k last week… but I like when I feel sore, as it doesn’t happen that often. It reminds me how rarely I’m challenging my muscles in new ways. I can’t believe you’re 1/3 of the way through training already!!

    1. Thank you, Laura! You did so well on that 5K on the hills that being sore would be worth it! It is nice to challenge muscles in a new way as well, especially with running or Pilates workouts where there can be a lot of routine.

  8. Fantastic job on the mile repeats. I can’t say I’m particularly proud of any training run because our heat/humidity is relentless. My paces just aren’t there. The weather will probably moderate during my taper. Can you tell I’ve reached my breaking point? LOL. I have not seen a reusable gel pouch. That’s an excellent idea! Thanks for linking. Laura!

    1. Thank you! I wanted something like it, and Ryan made it happen – he’ll be selling them soon on his gear website! Focusing on breathing is tough, but it is less stressful than staring at a GPS watch.

  9. Great week for you. I’m just starting a “real” training session with “real” speed work and I did 4×400. I was so not looking forward to this but I met my paces and I was shocked!
    This week we did a lot of weighted squats, deadlifts and leg raises and it has left me very sore!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *