Ventura Marathon Training Week 10: Living Like a Type-B

Weekly Summary 8/24/15 to 8/30/15

Thank jeebus taper has begun because I think I’ve just about reached my limit with the structure of training. If this week was anything it was Not the Usual.

I am definitely someone who thrives on a particular routine…until I don’t. Then the fucking lid blows, and I’ll do something completely contrary. I’ve mentioned it here before, but for two years I ate the same lunch Monday-Friday until one day I couldn’t eat One.More.Jennie-O.Turkey.Burger. This love for sameness bleeds out into my running as well. I run pretty much the same route on my mid-week runs, and it follows a pretty standard schedule: Tuesday (mid-mileage)-Wednesday (short mileage)-Thursday (tempo). It’s comforting knowing how long it will take and what I will see, and I can pretty much zone out on my mid-week runs.

Four ounces of ground turkey with broccoli. Every day. For two years.
Four ounces of ground turkey with broccoli. Every day. For two years.

But this Tuesday I just couldn’t cross Woodley Ave. to run at Balboa Park AGAIN, friends. Nay, I pushed aside that turkey burger and decided to go to the cricket fields instead and headed south. Then, as I got to the entrance to the cricket fields, I glanced to my left, spotted an opening up the driveway, thought “Fuck it” and …ended up at The Japanese Gardens! So that was pretty cool.

My running can sometimes mirror other areas of my life, and this week I found myself eager to change up a non-running routine. I’ve had a steady commitment where I meet up with a group on Tuesday nights, but it hasn’t been the same in a while and has actually left me feeling frustrated of late. The idea to change things up has been building, and this past Tuesday I left the gathering so irritated that my car drove itself to Sweet Lady Jane’s where I bought two – yes, TWO – slabs of cake.

My 6'5" husband only got one piece.
My 6’5″ husband only got one piece.

Like the turkey burger — dear lord have I made this wholly pedestrian food the symbol for change in my life? – I’m wondering if it’s time to thank the bird for a great couple years and do something else on Tuesday night, like maybe go back to track. For purposes of this blog entry, the thing to take note of is that I never eat cake, much less two pieces, in the middle of the week. My diet has been pretty healthy (keeping it real and keeping it vague), so this cake thing was a bit of an anomaly and a good indication that I’m reaching my limit of eating clean-ish.

Having woken up with a sugar hangover, I slept in on Wednesday and then started the bullshit merry-go-round in my head of trying to figure out a way to fit in a long run, tempo run, plus two easy runs into the remaining days. I came up with the plan, supposedly set in stone, to do my long run on Saturday, my tempo run on Monday and run an extra day. I don’t know; it made sense in my head. But, come Friday morning, I shot up in bed and decided that THIS was the morning to run my tempo run…even though in an effort to curtail the effects of the Cake Debacle I hadn’t had any carbs for lunch or dinner the day before. Who cares, let’s do an 11-mile tempo run! Strangely it went well, and I hit all my miles in the sub-9:10 pace: 9:09; 8:55; 9:05; 9:02; 8:49; 9:02; 9:10; 9:09; 8:41. I’m not one who’s known for spontaneity, but, um, OK.

So happy to have that tempo run done!
So happy to have that last tempo run done!

Woke up Saturday and, still not in the mood to face Balboa Park or any other regular route, I remembered that someone had posted on Instagram a cool place to run that was not too far from my house. WTH, this seemed to be the week to try out new stuff, so I drove 20 minutes to Chatsworth and excitedly embarked on a new trail.

Yeah, so the trail stopped about 100 yards in. Turns out that park is more of a climbing rocks kind of place. (I was also later reminded by my husband that that park was rumored to be a place for ill-intentioned LARPers. Eeks!) I tooled around and ended up at what I thought was a golf course. “Hey, that place looks pretty!” It was a memorial park.


Anyway, my last run of the week and my last longish run of the training cycle took place yesterday, but it was not looking good for your girl at the beginning, folks. The night before I had not had my regular pre-long run meal. We were celebrating a milestone for my hubby, so we went out to one of his favorite restaurants, The Bazaar by José Andrés in Beverly Hills. This place is known for its molecular gastronomy. Meaning, it was going to be expensive, and I was going to end up hungry. I did end up feeling satiated, but I don’t usually eat potato foam and “Philly Cheesesteak” made from waygu beef and air bread before a long run. If you’ve never had it, air bread is a pricey over-sized oyster cracker. The meal was yummy, but I’m not sure it’s the best fuel for a 16-mile run. On top of the wonky nutrition, I woke up too late to beat the sun. I was hoping to end my training cycle with a strong 11-MP mile long run, but between the heat and my logy legs, I ended up doing just three MP miles. I still managed a decent overall pace of 10:41, but — not gonna lie — after the first five mile loop, dripping sweat and running on beat-up legs, I actually got in my car, said “Screw this,” and started the car up to bail on the run. Obvi, I got back on the path, but coming thisclose to calling it a day so early into my long run was just not like me, and another sign of training fatigue.


Running new routes, doing spur-of-the-moment tempo days, and eating cakes on a Tuesday night might not be red flags for those spontaneous-types, but these little Type-B acts of rebellion are signs that I could use a little break from the routine. I’ve switched my November race to a half marathon and have a couple other things in mind to recharge. From experience, I know that a short rest and some minor tweaking to my schedule will lift this Over It stage fairly quickly. I mean, now that I’ve entered taper, it’s already different. Soon I’ll be craving routine and, in the interest of full disclosure blog family, I must confess that there’s some Jennie-O in my fridge right now. Ha.

Hope everyone has a great running week!

Total weekly mileage: 41
Long run: 16 miles (3 MP)
Cross-training: This was the only routine part of my week. I did “a little bit.”

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