TCM Training: Week 9



Week’s Theme: {Insert Poop Emoji}

Every training cycle has one; this was mine. This week was a flaming dumpster fire of fail, but I’m surprised by my ability to take it in stride. A bad training run/week is bound to happen. If it doesn’t, then I would wonder more about whether the reach was far enough. I think one of the reasons that I’m feeling OK about having a shitty week is that my body/brain were begging for a break at different points. This week I felt super low on energy and GAFs, and when my brain DID switch back on, my body gave out. So it goes. At the end of the day, it’s not what happens, but how you react to what happens, and I’m trying to view this week as a necessary cutback and move forward wiser and more eager to kick some butt.

Day Planned Actual
Monday: 6 + plyos  0
Tuesday: 1-2 U/D + 3 x 1600 [6]  6.25
Wednesday: Rest Rest
Thursday:  8 MP  0
Friday:  6 + strength  6
Saturday: 18  14.3
Sunday: 7  0
Total Mileage  51  26.5

New This Week: Mile Repeats!

Planned: 3×1600 @ 7:15-30
Actual: 8:18 (oops), 7:24, 7:23

I was strangely excited about running mile repeats for the first time this cycle (and first time in years). They scared me, but in a way that felt closer to thrill than actual fear.  I intended on doing this workout outside (which is always nicer than on a treadmill – especially for these longer repeats that feel more like a normal run), but I did about mile of my warm-up and felt as if my calf wanted to seize up. Instead of bagging the workout completely, I circled back to the gym and figured that I’d continue to try and ease into my warm-up/repeats. If things got bad, at least I was closer to home. As always, I based my treadmill repeats on the treadmill’s distance and my watch’s lap time.

d9c44b00c9fd33d9e2c8b7d188cf64f4My calf loosened up on the treadmill and my legs felt pretty good after another 1/2mi or so, but I quickly realized that I couldn’t remember how fast to set the treadmill for my desired pace (these machines don’t have a mph-to-pace read-out), but I set it somewhere near where I thought it should be and took off on my first repeat. It turns out that I was nowhere near where I needed to be (oops), which I started to realize about halfway through and tried to correct a bit, so my first split was way slow. Thankfully, I was able to dial into the correct pace for the final two, and while they felt fast, my legs (and calf!) held up. To get myself out of the stagnant air of the gym, I decided to do my cool down back outside. Between the change in surface and lighting, it took almost 1/2mi to get my sea legs back under me – wobble city!

Long Run: Easy 18

Actual:  1-3 (~10), 4-5 (~9:2X), 6-9 (9:1X), 10-11 (9:2X), 11:15 (short walk/stretch break), 9:50, 14-15 (jog/walk) — average: 10:25
I was all ready and set to crush this run after feeling back on track mentally and physically, but the morning started off a little rough. Some mild stomach weirdness meant getting breakfast down felt harder than I wanted and I started this run feeling just a little uncomfortable. My Achilles felt a little tighter than usual, but both issues resolved themselves pretty quickly (first mile) and I started feeling really good and excited about knocking out a big, hairy run. T peeled off around mile 3, and almost immediately I got a weird cramp-like feeling in my left hip flexor (something I’ve never experienced). Some light stretching helped with the tightness, and while the feeling still lingered a bit like a ghost, the first half flew by pretty quickly and easily. I felt good.

Until I didn’t. I had a hard time getting my brain/stomach to agree to my second gel around mile 9, and a stop for water around this point caused my hip to lock up again (worse than before). The next few miles included more stretching, then more nausea, and more stretching + a little walking  — which seemed to help both issues momentarily. The lake water was pretty high and active, and I got totally smacked by a wave just south of Fullerton where the running path is built out onto the breakwall. I let out a surprised yelp, but it felt kind of nice and for a minute I thought I was back on track. And then I wasn’t. I finally called a T.O.D. around mile 14 as I passed my normal path exit, and ended up limping for a few blocks before T came and got me in the car. Oh well.

giphy I tried doing some foam rolling post-run, and everything actually felt… fine? I woke up the next morning beyond the normal stiff and sore for what was essentially a 14mi run, so that was a bummer. I took Sunday off in an attempt to let things calm down; we walked around a ton running errands, and that seemed to help.

Final Thoughts: {Insert Toilet Emoji}

I mean, if you don’t have a shit long run/training week in the midst of a training cycle, did it really ever happen? While I’m taking this week and flushing it, I’m trying to carry over some things that will hopefully help me to avoid some of this shit in the future (like, oh, I don’t know, stretching). I also finally have a massage lined up this week, so I’m hoping to get some relief for my Achilles, calves, and hip flexor. You don’t have to be a genius to link all those those body parts together. {hand-to-face emoji} On to the next one.


What’s the worst long-run/workout implosion you’ve ever had? My worst by FAR was passing out cold in front of hundreds of Air and Water show attendees, but runner up is the panic attack I had about halfway through an 18mi run right before the Bar exam.


Add yours →

  1. Coming from a low-mileage person, I think this is still a totally fine week of training. Your original plan was super intense, peaking at more than 60mpw! Anyway, aren’t we supposed to be “listening to our bodies” or whatever?


    • Totally true – I had what I felt was a decent 6mo of half marathon/base training under my belt when I started this plan, and it was definitely a little more aggressive because of that. I’ve since taken more of a “shoot for the moon, land in the stars” mentality with some of the paces and mileage as I’ve gotten further into it, and have really worked at not beating myself up when I fall short of lofty expectations! One big adjustment this training cycle that I didn’t really expect was my recent choice to go off of hormonal birth control for the first time since college. While it’s been fascinating to track what my body does naturally, it’s also negatively impacted my training in both mental and physical ways that I wasn’t expecting. (I can only imagine how much more true that is for you in you post-partum journey!)


  2. My worst run was when I was training for my first half marathon and had little more than the outline of a Hal Higdon plan to guide me (not for lack of resources being available, I just didn’t consult them), and I attempted to do my first 11-mile run. I started mid-morning, failing to realize that the temps on that day were much warmer than every other long run day, and I didn’t bring water with me. (I did leave some in my car to drink on the ride home.) And the trail I was running on didn’t have much shade (it was still early in the spring, so not much in the way of leaves on the trees, plus the trail was east-west). I planned to do an out-and-back from my car, and when I got to the turn around point … I realized I was pretty damn thirsty and there were no drinking fountains on the trail. And I wasn’t familiar with anywhere near the trail that might have water – like a park or library. I had no cash to run to a drugstore. So I kept running toward my car. Eventually, I started looking at the puddles of muddy water on the side of the trail and debating drinking from them. I thought about asking people passing on bikes if I could have some of their water, but I didn’t have the guts to ask, plus there weren’t a ton of people out. So I finally broke down and called my husband and asked him to bring me water. But I still walked the rest of the way to my car, so I could still feel like I finished my planned “run.” I’m not sure what I would have done had he not answered his phone. I guess kept going, or maybe passed out.


  3. Taking it in stride is right–I feel like this is what training–and LIFE, is all about! Shit is not going to look pretty all the time but you’re continuing to move forward. I’m pretty sure that means you’ve got the goods 😉.
    Enjoy that massage–I’m gonna get one soon too, my calves and hammies can’t wait!!


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