Training Week: October 14 to October 21

Never mind what I said about last week. This week was the hardest running week of the cycle. I survived. Barely.

Track Tuesday! One of the mindset hurdles my coach has been pushing me to overcome is to run fearlessly — like all-out from the start. As a marathoner/distance runner, this is a scary proposition, and my natural inclination is to hold back and save some for the end. But he is insistent on pushing the pace from the beginning, and then trusting not only in my fitness, but that mentally I will be able to figure it out when it gets hard. Today’s workout was 2 sets of 350-50; 250-50; 150-50; 50-50, which I was happy about ‘cuz it was gonna get easier at the end…Nope. The second set was in reverse order. So I had a choice: chill on the earlier distances and save some for that last brutal 350 – or go for it. Today I chose the latter. And on that last 350, the lactic acid hit at 150m, and I spent the next 200m running through quicksand and wanting to puke, stop, and cry. He hasn’t sent me my official times, but he said I was faster on my second set. Either way, it was a huge mental boost to know that this morning I went for it and ran without fear. Yay.

Two things Eliud Kipchoge added more of into his training routine in preparation for his history-making run on Saturday: Core and Strength Training. In a NYT article, it was noted that “To his normal preparations he added workouts focused on core strength in order to lessen the strain on his hamstrings.” In another article, his coach Patrick Sang stated that he also incorporated more strength sessions which he saw as essential to improve running form and help to “sustain running economy” to assist in the latter stages when Kipchoge would begin to tire. Basically there’s a lot of non-running stuff that helps the running stuff. Before Trainer I only gave these a cursory nod — I just wanted to run — but now a lot of my training time is spent on these two aspects of running, keeping me healthy and competitive in my age group!

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I ended up doing this long run on a Monday because I didn’t feel so well on Sunday, and let me just say it was a real Strugggllle Run. Not the pace I wanted and not how I wanted to feel for sure. But it’s important to show the hard days as well as the good ones. The thing is to just show up.

Also, a really awesome thing happened on my run! So I’m doing my long runs around UCLA because it has rolling hills sort of like the half I’m doing, and as I came up on a stoplight, there’s a group of female student runners – most likely the cross-country team – and at the back is one runner who is a little taller and a little older. She looks familiar…it’s Olympian Colleen Quigley!!! I stared and, OK, I think my jaw dropped. She smiled and waved. So I followed them for a bit, and I had the great honor of eating their dust. Literally – they were a big group and kicked up some dirt – and when they made the turn to come back, I was struck by how awesome female runners are. These young women looked so strong and confident and worked together as a team. Gave me a little boost for a few miles. Even in a struggle run, I got some good feels.

Total Miles: 27
Long Mile: 13 miles

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