Bloop: Three Training Weeks, Two Upended Training Plans

So I had A Plan. Actually I had two plans…then COVID-19 happened; hence, no plans. Grateful to be healthy and safe and still able to run. I have tentatively made a third plan, but honestly, like everyone else, I’m just winging it. Below are notes from my training journal in real time. Hope everyone is staying well and at home! We got this.

March 9 to March 15
Plan No. 1: Ragnar Relay Race

Several years ago I worked the mile 83 aid station for the Angeles Crest 100 mile ultra race, and what I remember most about the runners who shot out from the dark into our station was how strong they were. They looked like gladiators. So in preparation for the Ragnar (Ultra) Relay, I will be increasing my overall strength and conditioning so my body can withstand running 32.5 miles in 28½ hours. That is A LOT. I had hoped to never run a marathon again, and here I am running 6 miles over — albeit broken up over time. The last photo is the epitome of type-A behavior. The team leader sent out a chart with the estimated start and end times of each of the 36 legs, adjusted for elevation, difficulty, and even stop lights. I thought I was a maniac. Sheesh. Lol.

RMR-1

 

RMR-2

“We run!” My running buddy and I took advantage of the break in rain to do a quick loop. We kept some space from each other, but it was still nice to be with someone. Even though I’m an introvert, I still thrive in community and am used to being out and about, and so it’s been weird with these past few days really focused on isolation. When I pulled up to meet her, I saw two other ladies from my track group, and we all looked at each other and smiled, shrugged, and said “We run!” ‘Cuz that’s what runners do, right? I ran with them for a bit, as well as my friend, never saying a word to any of them; yet there is togetherness in silence, too. And it seems like this is a time when we’re all in it together, right?

img_5975

I’m a v. scheduled person. So on the one hand, I’m super focused and productive — on the other hand, there’s not much time to breathe and allow for surprises. Well, this time we’re in now has certainly thrown out all schedules and plans. But what I got today instead was a totally unexpected meetup and surprise run with Trainer! I told him I was at Trader Joe’s down the street and was about to run on the track, and wouldn’t you know it, he was about to go for a run too! So we ran on the track, did some strides on the grass, then a few stair repeats, and ended up with a hill run. The sun was out strong for a couple hours today (it is rainy here in SoCal) and when we got to the top we were rewarded with great views. We didn’t get to have live church service today, so it was good to be with my fellow and share in feeling gratitude and hope and peace. I guess today “church” was outdoors on a dirt hill.

Total Weekly Mileage: 30
Long Run: 10 miles

March 16 to March 22
Plan No. 2: Mountains2Beach Half Marathon

6 miles. I am someone who thrives on routine, so to the extent I can keep it during this uncertain time, it is a comfort. I am still running, working (from home), and having (online) contact with many of the people I would normally see throughout the week.

RMR-4

Since social distancing — and now for CA, a stay-at-home order — the air in LA has been so clean. As someone with low grade asthma, it has been amazing to take in deep gulps of fresh air while running. Another unexpected result of this strange time is seeing all the kids out. As I drove to the trailhead, I saw kids walking and running(ish) with their parents on sidewalks and bike paths. I don’t remember seeing this many kids out since the ‘70s and ‘80s when I was growing up. Anyway did a 4.5 mile trail run and got some great views of the Santa Monica Mountains, the Sepulveda Dam, and the Nike missile tower site which is a Cold War relic. Glad I got out there before the rain.

RMR-A

RMR-B

RMR-C

RMR-D

Total Weekly Mileage: 28
Long Run: 6

miles

March 23 to March 29
Plan No. 3: 10K/10000m Race in July

Hill sprints! (Video from a different location/time.) I have no idea what race I’m training for, but I stay training! I had five races scheduled from March-May, and four of them are canceled (even if the fifth one isn’t, I won’t run it – too soon). I am in Week 3 of a training plan aimed at running a 10K in the summer and hopefully that sets me up well for a fall half marathon.

Here’s the workout:

1.5-mile warm-up at recovery pace
7x 45-second hill repeats at 1-mile pace w/2 min. active recoveries
1.5-mile cool0down at recovery pace

I didn’t even come close to hitting mile pace. I think I picked a really hard hill. No matter, I like a challenge. I will try again next week.

Flashback Friday to my last sessions in the gym with Trainer. We had spent a little time working on acceleration/half kneeling starts. V. interesting technical stuff as I was able to reduce my time by simply adjusting how I positioned my first step and the angle I shot off the ground. So those were doable, but after a few sessions we graduated to pop-up starts (swipe): start on both knees, and then somehow get your hips to generate enough power to pop up, bound out, and Go!…Yeah I couldn’t do it. Through repetition my muscles in the last video were at least figuring out what was necessary, and I can’t wait to try again (and again and again) to nail these. Trainer can do them really well. Too bad I don’t have a video of that so you can see what it’s supposed to look like lol. Google 🤷🏽‍♀️

RMR-A

This is my long run for now. Just don’t have the bandwidth for more. For now running is less about training for a specific race and more about just keeping my sanity, so I’m running about 6 days a week. I don’t know what people who don’t run/have a physical outlet do. One speaker I heard called exercise a spiritual tool, and I totally subscribe to that. It is a time to contemplate — or to clear my head. A time to exert — and to rest (from the world). So grateful that I have the gift of running. Hope everyone is hanging in there!s is my long run for now. Just don’t have the bandwidth for more. For now running is less about training for a specific race and more about just keeping my sanity, so I’m running about 6 days a week. I don’t know what people who don’t run/have a physical outlet do. One speaker I heard called exercise a spiritual tool, and I totally subscribe to that. It is a time to contemplate — or to clear my head. A time to exert — and to rest (from the world). So grateful that I have the gift of running. Hope everyone is hanging in there!

X

Total Weekly Mileage: 30
Long Run: 7 miles

 

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