CIM Training Week 3

CIM Training Week 3

Hi there! I’m back from a brief blogging break. Monday was my birthday and I decided to take a complete break from any work, including blogging. So even though it’s almost halfway through this training week, here are my workouts from the third week of training for this year’s California International Marathon. 

The weather was unseasonably hot this week. There is an odd sense of disconnect – the sun rises much later than it did during summer, but the weather is hotter. Even with the heat, I had a solid week of training with two hard workouts, a really good long run, and 40 miles total for the week. 

CIM Training Week 3

Monday: 8 x 2 minute fartlek (7 miles total)

I went into this run with two workout options: 10 x 2 minutes at 10K pace if my legs weren’t feeling fast or it was too hot, and 8 x 2 minutes at 5K pace if I felt good. After the second interval, I decided to go for the faster option with fewer repeats, since my first two reps were closer to 5K pace than 10K pace. I ran between 6:43-6:59/mile for the repeats. Considering the hike the day before and a real feel around 70, I was really pleased with this run. 

Looking over my run data after the workout, I saw that my paces were around 6:20-6:30 for the second half of the intervals. I take a long time to speed up on short repeats, although I really do enjoy shorter intervals in the early weeks of training to inject some speed back into my legs. 

CIM Training Week 3

I did a quick strength workout at home: offset kettlebell reverse lunges, kettlebell push press, kettlebell single leg deadlifts, kettlebell bent over rows, and planks. 

Tuesday: 6 mile easy run

The sun didn’t rise until 6 AM and I lazily decided we would all run later in the day (except Charlie, who got an extra rest day). Ollie and I headed out around 7 AM for our easy run While we were waiting for the crosswalk, two sprinklers doused us – so I had a soaking wet, panicking lab on my hands as rush hour traffic drove by. Thankfully, Ollie soon dried off and the sights of ducks, rabbits, and squirrels made him forget the trucks. 

CIM Training Week 3

I am teaching one of our friend’s German Shephard to run, so after running with Ollie, I took the other pup on a short jog with run/walk intervals. After the run, he collapsed into his water dish with a grin of joy on his face. 

Wednesday: 2 x 2 miles tempo (8 miles total) & Pilates

My legs felt a little heavy, probably from an accumulation of fatigue from the past several days, and the air felt warm and muggy. My splits were all in the 7:20s, and while at first I was disappointed this run wasn’t as fast as the last time I did this workout, I am overall pleased with it. This has been a warm week, and not being careful about rest in the past 10 days played a factor as well. A good reminder to take those complete rest days – no strength training on them! 

I did a Pilates workout in the evening.  Pilates is a decent core workout, but it also seems to help with recovery after a hard workout. I feel realigned and looser after a good Pilates session. 

Thursday: Rest Day

I had a doctor’s appointment with fasted blood work bright and early – which meant no hard exercise 12 hours before the test. Instead of worrying about squeezing a run in after the test, I scheduled my week to have a rest day today. After the appointment, Ryan and I grabbed coffee and some treats (vegan oat bar for me, chocolate espresso coffee cake for Ryan) from a local coffee shop. 

CIM Training Week 3

Maybe it was the lack of my normal amount of coffee or maybe it was the fact that I had not had a complete rest day in 10 days, but I felt a bit sluggish and achy for the remainder of the day. 

Friday: 15 mile long run

With the exception of running in Vermont, I think this run was my hilliest long run to date. I began on one of my favorite hilly routes, which features 4 miles of rolling hills and then flattens out until the turnaround point. I had my Nathan waist pack on and could not stand how it seemed to bounce with every step, especially on the hills. I was feeling too good to let a bouncy hydration pack ruin the run.  I turned around at 4 miles, deposited it back at my car, and ran the remaining 3.5 miles out and back over those same hills. According to Strava, I climbed 525 feet over 15 miles – more than the total elevation gain of CIM over 26.2 miles! I felt strong over the hills and held an even, easy pace throughout the entire run. 

CIM Training Week 3

My blood tests came back perfectly healthy except my ferritin levels. While I am not anemic, I am lower than my doctor wants to my activity level. I’ve dealt with low iron levels for years, despite eating iron-rich foods. So, it’s time to start supplementing, especially as my mileage will increase. I’m nervous about supplementing since I have some minor GI issues. My doctor recommended slow-release iron, so fingers crossed it works!

Saturday: 4 mile run

Ryan had one last 8-mile run on his plan before the half marathon. I planned on doing at least 5 miles, possibly more if I felt good. Ryan leashed up Ollie and I took Charlie. I was feeling really good, but I could tell that Charlie was not having a good run. He kept stopping for the bathroom, panting, and then started to slow down. Charlie and I turned around at 2.5 miles and ran very slowly until mile 4, then walked the final mile back home. I actually carried Charlie at one point on the walk, only to look at him and see the most self-satisfied grin on his face. Anyone who owns a puggle knows just how manipulative they can be. 

Sunday: Core work

I squeezed in a short core workout while Ryan and Ollie were on a run. We scrapped our hiking plans are soon as we saw the forecast for the day – temperatures in the 90s in the mountains – and enjoyed a rest day. With my birthday on the next day (Monday), we celebrated 

With my birthday on the next day (Monday), we celebrated with a nice dinner out (McMenamin’s Tavern on the Square, for locals). The meal was incredibly delicious. We split steak frites (truffle fries) with caramelized mushrooms and a creole gumbo, followed by whiskey bread pudding for dessert. I drank a prosecco and a few sips of Ryan’s Lagaluvin 16, which is possibly the most amazing Scotch we have ever tasted. I didn’t take a single photo of the meal, which enhanced the dinner experience. 

[Tweet “A week of marathon training and birthday celebrations via @thisrunrecipes #running #runCIM”]


Do you take iron supplements? What has worked for you?
How was your week in running?

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5 Responses

  1. Happy belated birthday! I cant believe its been so hot there when its finally starting to cool off around here. I remember one time my blood work showed low iron levels, probably about 10 years ago or so. I was told to take iron supplements but I stopped taking them after a few months because they bothered my stomach. However, I haven’t had issues with my iron levels since then so maybe it was just a fluke. I hope you figure something out!

  2. I do take iron supplements. I have had anemia and very low hemoglobin as well as low ferritin. It took a few tries for me to find an iron supplement that worked, but thankfully I did and my numbers are now normal (and high enough in the normal range that it doesn’t affect my running so much). I feel like almost every female distance runners deal with this at some point, and it’s hard to get docs to take us seriously with it. The problem is that our ferritin may be normal, but it is still too low for someone running 40mpw (might be fine for someone who runs 3x a week for 30 minutes)… BUT since it is normal it’s hard to get insurance to cover any sort of treatment, and the normal range is so large.

    Glad you had a good week of running! I would LOVE a real feel of 70 right now. I can’t remember the last time the feels like has been below 90 (well, we did have a cooler snap a few weeks ago). Unfortunately now we’re dealing with the impending hurricane and I’d rather have the 100% humidity back…

  3. I’m so glad you took the day off for your birthday. You deserve it! I’ve never taken iron before just because I always hear horror stories about the supplements and because I’ve never been low. Good luck in finding the right one for you!

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