It’s been a while since I’ve put together an update on my training, but if you follow along on Instagram you’ll know that there was a trip out to Arizona and getting sick and then trying to hit peak week healthy and strong.
Early in February I made a trip out to visit my grandparents in Arizona. When we lived out there we used to see them on a regular basis and I miss our monthly dinners, sipping Gin and Tonic next to the cactus on their patio. Quite a bit has changed since then and now my grandfather has a hard time getting around now. It hard to watch the people you love age, it also puts a lot of things into perspective.
I came home and just wanted to be with my family-not blog, not post on social media, not coach, not organize retreats, just be present. Which is why there weren’t any blog posts for a while. In fact I even thought about quitting all of it. Just pull the plug and abandon ship. After several conversations with my hubby (who encouraged me to pursue the things that bring me joy) I decided that perhaps that wasn’t the best move.
While I was in Arizona I also had the chance to crew and pace my friend Liz during her first 100K at the Black Canyon Trails 100K. It was so fun! Everyone has said that I’ll catch the Ultra bug someday, but I was perfectly happy not to be running 62 miles and instead making sure that Liz had everything she needed at each check point and a friend to talk to and run with in the last 11 miles of the race. We ran through the dark in the desert, which would normally freak me out had I been alone. But somehow I was strangely calm and level-headed.
When I got home the whole family was sick with the exception of my hubby, knocked down with thankfully the non-puking version of the flu. Everyone was just fatigued and tired. It took a few rest days knowing that between the time difference and a late night running through the desert and a red-eye flight that my immune system would be down. I desperately wanted to avoid getting sick, but on Thursday after a abysmal 6x1K on the track I knew I was coming down with something. That night I went to bed early and woke up Friday with what I knew was bronchitis. The last time I had bronchitis it went undiagnosed for three weeks before I finally got the medication to clear it up.
On Friday night I went to bed early, I was having trouble breathing and thought “this must be what an asthma attack is like.” I was gasping for air. Saturday morning I went straight to Urgent Care where I was mis-diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection. They also told me I probably had the flu, even though my flu swab tested negative. I left feeling pissed off. No one would listen to me or take into consideration how I was feeling or my past experiences. We went home and I rested for a bit and then my husband suggested I go to a different Urgent Care. So I drove myself to another urgent care where I found a doctor who listened to me. She wanted to try a nebulizer treatment to see if that cleared up my lungs and improved my air exchange and sure enough it did and I instantly felt improvement. Within a few days I was feeling back to normal.
I only took three days off (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) after first feeling sick on Thursday. I know it probably wasn’t ideal, but I didn’t want to miss one of the two peak weeks I had planned (in prep for my half marathon at the end of the month). I know that I was pushing it between potentially prolonging my recovery (and getting sick again) and benefiting from the training load of a peak week. I wasn’t exactly 100% when I ran on the treadmill on Monday, but I felt well enough to do an easy run and some strength training afterwards. By the time I got to the weekend I was feeling back to normal and was able to pretty much nail my long run workout, I feel like that was the real test of whether or not I was recovered. I took a gamble with taking minimal recovery, but I think it worked in my favor.
Here’s the breakdown of the last two weeks leading into this week as far as training:
My plan for this week was to hit 50-55 miles but that didn’t happen…
Monday 2/19 REST: Red-Eye flight home
Tuesday 2/20 10.0 miles treadmill run + quick body weight workout
Wednesday 2/21 8 miles (1:11:46, 8:52/mi) Easy run outside
Thursday 2/22 Track Workout. 2 mile warm-up & 1mi cool down; 6x1K on track with detour across football field because one turn on the track was still snow-covered. From the first 1K I felt like something was off, chest felt heavy and I felt overall fatigued, like there was no power in my legs.
Splits: 4:01; 4:01; 4:00; 4:03; 4:09; 4:04 (because of the detour the distances ranged from .66-.70)
Friday 2/23 OFF-SICK
Saturday 2/24 OFF-SICK
Sunday 2/25 OFF-SICK but feeling so much better!
Week totals: 26 miles
Peak Week #1 Heading into this week my goal was to hit 50-55 miles
Monday 2/26 8.0 mile treadmill run (1:20:30; 8:48/mi) + Strength Workout
Tuesday 2/27 10.0 miles outside (1:27:10; 8:41/mi) felt surprisingly good on this run
Wednesday 2/28 Track Ladder Workout (400, 800, 1000, 1600, 1600, 1000, 800, 400)
2 mile warm-up & 1 mi cool-down
Did this on a clear track. Definitely could feel that I wasn’t getting the air exchange of healthy lungs, coughed up a bunch of crap. But didn’t feel that fatigue I’d felt a week earlier. Splits were off of target, but I felt OK about that. (1:32; 3:15; 4:04; 6:38; 6:39; 4:08; 3:15; 1:31)
Thursday 3/1 6.0 miles recovery run (50:50)
Friday 3/2 6.0 miles on treadmill (58:50)
Saturday 3/3 Long Run Workout (4 miles warm-up; 8 miles over/under (7:00/6:40); cool down)
I was a bit worried about this run because I wasn’t sure if a) I was healthy enough to hit the goal paces and b) it was so windy that I knew it would be tough to hit the goal paces even if I was healthy. I was pleasantly surprised by how well it went. Check out this IG post for the details:
Put a fork in me. Ahhh! I was anxious about this workout for a couple reasons: a) I wasn’t sure I’m completely recovered from bronchitis and ready for a hard effort b) the WIND 💨(15-20mph and gusts up to 40) . Started the workout and said to myself, “the wind is not an excuse” and “I have everything I need to succeed.” Workout was an “over/under:” 8 miles at 10 seconds over race pace followed by a mile at 10 seconds under. Goal paces were 7:00/6:40. . After the first mile I felt really discouraged and thought the workout was a loss, but the the second mile happened and it was all back on! Stayed confident until mile 6 by repeating positive mantras. But then holy moly HEADWIND! Not sure how accurate my HR is but it definitely jumped up on this lap! And then did my best to finish strong. The final three miles felt like 5k effort going into the wind 😳💨. 7:12 (headwind) 6:26 (tailwind) 6:55 (tailwind) 6:37 (tailwind) 7:01 (mix) 6:52 (holy headwind) Mini-temper tantrum about the wind. 7:06 (headwind) 6:46 (headwind) Overall average 6:52. . Running into the wind can be incredibly frustrating, but I’m building fitness even if I’m not nailing paces and my overall workout average (6:52) was pretty close to my goal (6:50). You never know what race day will bring so IMO, it’s better to be outside and potentially fall short of your goal paces than to be inside where you can control the conditions. . 14.5 miles AND 1362 ft of gain! Embrace the wind and the hills! Haha! #runanddone #longrunworkout #longrun #runfarrunstrong #perseverance #headwind #halfmarathontraining #nhrunner #running #onrunning #womensrunning
Sunday 3/4 3.75 mile recovery run. Easy pace nice and slow.
Week Totals: 56.25 miles and 3351 feet in elevation gain
Peak Week #2 Goal this Week is to hit 55-60 miles (I think I’ll be on the lower end of this range.)
Monday 3/5 10.0 mile treadmill run along the 1/2 marathon course using my new NordicTrack Incline Trainer
This afternoon I ran 10 miles along the course of the half marathon I’ll be running at the end of March…all without leaving my house. I mapped out the run with @ifit and hopped on my @nordictrack Incline Trainer and had street views and elevation changes that matched the course. I was a little nervous about some of the hills on this course, but now that I’ve got a feel for them I feel way more confident. This treadmill is a game changer! . We originally got the #peloton but returned it and opted for the @nordictrack instead and I’m so glad we did! So many possibilities for running race courses before hand! #nordicktrack #treadmill #ifit #treadmillrun #halfmarathontraining #runfar #runstrong #homegym #notanad
Tuesday 3/6 10.3 miles outside (1:30:24; 8:46/mi; 1545 feet in elevation gain…this one was HILLY!)
Wednesday 3/7 Track Workout (35 minutes of continuous 400’s with 200 jog recovery). 2 mile warm-up and cool-down.
I’ve done this workout before and it is tough. I felt really good going to to the track (as good as you can feel at 5:30am) and was ready to nail this. Didn’t quite hit my goal paces, but the effort was there.
Splits: 132; 132; 129;130; 131; 129; 130; 129; 1:30; 131; 130; 129; 131
Thursday 3/8 TODAY! I’ve got 6 miles planned
Friday 3/9 4-5 miles planned
Saturday 3/10 Snowshoe National Championships!! (with the warm up and cool down I hope to get 10 miles)
Sunday 3/11 We’ll see how I feel…
This weekend is the Snowshoe National Championships, so I’ll be headed to Vermont to run that on Saturday. We’ll see how I feel with a solid 40 miles on my legs going into the race. I didn’t plan a taper for this race and have it sort of as a race-effort workout. Based on how I felt last week doing my long run effort with 39 miles in my legs I think I’ll be OK for a solid effort. With all the snow we got this week the conditions should be amazing!
My bigger goal race is in a few weeks, the Citizen’s Bank Shamrock Half Marathon in Manchester, New Hampshire on March 24th. I’m looking forward to getting back on the roads. My big goal for that race is to focus on pacing and effort and get back into the practice or road racing since I had so few road races last year. Fingers crossed we have favorable weather!
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Email: RunFarGirl [at] gmail [dot] com
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