The first week of training for the California International is complete! Overall, the first week of training was good, although there’s always an odd feeling during the first week – it does not quite feel like marathon training yet.
The heat wave ended and by Monday, temperatures were crisp and in the low to mid 50s during the mornings, which made for ideal running weather. I am in denial about the shortening daylight, however. We enjoy long daylight hours in summer, with sunrise before 5 AM and sunset well after 9 PM, both further drawn out by long dawns and twilights. When fall comes, the daylight rapidly decreases. At the start of August, sunrise was at 5:45 AM; by the end of August, the sun will not rise until 6:30 AM. By the end of September, we only have daylight from 7 AM to 7 PM. I’ve become quite fond of doing most of my runs before 6:30 AM, but I just don’t know how long that can continue (in Seattle, you take all the vitamin D you can get). For now, I’m savoring those early morning runs!
Monday: 7 mile progression run
Ollie and I started our run shortly before dawn. Before adopting Ollie, I was so hesitant to run alone in the dark, but Ollie’s company and his minorly intimidating presence made me feel comfortable with an early run. We ran 4 miles at an easy effort, up and down 250 feet of elevation gain, and then did a progression run on flat and slightly downhill for the last 3 miles. Our splits were 8:11, 7:39, and 7:21 for those 3 miles.
Tuesday: 6 mile easy run
I savor those easy runs that fly by because of company and conversation. Ryan and I chatted away during the entire run while Ollie attempted to indulge his hunting dog fantasies. He has not caught anything yet (thank goodness!), but his eyes twinkle whenever a rabbit crosses our path.
After the run, I did a quick core workout: planks with leg lifts, side planks, banded clamshells, single leg bridges, and dead bugs.
Wednesday: 7 mile fartlek
The first speed workout back is one of the hardest parts of marathon training, even with some workouts during the base building period. It feels like pulling off a band-aid – uncomfortable and you just want to get it over with. During the run, the hard intervals felt simultaneously so hard, as if I didn’t have another gear, and not hard enough, as if I knew I could push harder but something was blocking me.
15 minutes easy running
5 x 3 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy
4 x 1 minute very hard, 1 minute easy
Easy running until 7 miles
I could not reach my goal paces, which I had hit in a similar workout back in April. My paces were probably only 10 or 15 seconds per mile off, but we know how big a gap those few seconds can be. These workouts happen – if they happen consistently, it indicates a loss of fitness, but for my first time hard interval workout in months, I’ll take it.
Thursday: 35 minutes strength training
Ryan and I dragged our groggy selves to the gym at 5:30 AM. Usually, I am wide awake and chipper by 5:30 AM, but Ollie vomited in the middle of the night and it took me a while to fall back asleep. I warmed up with 5 minutes of walking on the treadmill and a quick series of mobility drills (clamshells, side lying leg lifts, fire hydrants, donkey kicks), before completing the following workout:
8 per leg offset kettlebell reverse lunges
35 m bear crawl
8 per leg kettlebell single leg deadlifts
8 triceps pulldowns
8 stability ball ab tucks
8 stability ball hamstring curls
5 assisted pull-ups
10 lateral band walks
Friday: 6 mile easy run
Ryan and I took both pups out on an easy 6 mile run. Runs with both dogs have to be easy runs, since we stop at least once per mile for a puppy potty break.
Saturday: 13 mile long run
Ryan and I tackled a hilly route for his first 13 mile long run. He ran strong throughout the entire run and finished under two hours – a 9:00/mile flat pace! We both had to hold back on the pace throughout the middle of the run, when we kept settling into an 8:30/mile and then having to rein it back in.
Since doing some low carb training runs (a snack before but nothing except water during the run) worked so well for me when training for last year’s CIM, I opted to not take any type of fuel on this run. I finished feeling really strong, although I will say the bagel was had after the run tasted even better than usual.
Sunday: 30 minutes Pilates
I spent a few minutes in the morning focusing on recovery, with some foam rolling and a Pilates workout focused on core strength and alignment.
We took Ollie and Charlie on a play date to Marymoor with some friends and their dog. We spent a few hours chasing around the dogs and walking a couple miles around the park. Per usual, Ollie swam until he was quaking from either endorphins or fatigue.
How was your week in running?
What’s the hardest part about starting up a new training cycle for you?