I’ve been referring to this week as “lucky number 13” for a few reasons: First, and most obviously, it’s week no. 13 of the training plan; second, it contained the final looong run before the taper; and third, if I made it this far without major injury, I would consider myself fortunate.
So far, so good. Fingers crossed, but the marathon gods seem to be smiling down this time around, and aside from a few proverbial bumps in the road this week, here’s what the schedule looked like:
- Tempo run – 5 mi
- Track workout – 6 x 1200s
- Long run – 20 mi
If last week’s weather didn’t signal the start of a new season, Tuesday’s packed track certainly did. The kiddos are back in school, and training for fall sports is now in full swing.
It’s also starting to get darker earlier (and lighter later), which is probably part of the reason fall races are so popular. We love to take advantage of the extra-long summer days for training!
Aside from dodging munchkins and steering clear of sprinters, my speed workout went smoothly. The goal was to keep each 1200 in the 5:42-5:45 range, which I did pretty well (5:41, 5:43, 5:47, 5:41, 5:40, 5:35)…and I even had a little left in the tank to kick it up a notch on the last one.
The only real hiccup was that my Nike GPS Sportwatch, which has been sputtering lately, looks like it has finally gone on the fritz. It skipped a few sections of the track, so my recorded distance was off, and now it won’t sync to my computer, so I’m in the process of troubleshooting with Nike support (fingers crossed).
Side note: I may have found a new favorite workout headband in the process, as well. Bic Bands sent me two of their Minnie Sparkle Bands ($12) to test, one in Gunmetal and another in Ocean Ombre.
As you can tell from my hair in the shot, there was some wind on the track that evening, but the Bic Band didn’t budge…
I’m a fan, not only because they’re snazzy (not scratchy) and snug (not strangling), but because there’s also a great story behind the product. The name, Bic, stands for “Because I can,” and the owner, Sandy, originally came up with the idea as a way to raise funds for her first Team in Training half marathon.
After she met her fundraising goal, demand for the bands continued, so she decided to keep making and selling them, donating a portion of each hand-made band to a different charity each month. Visit BicBands.com to learn more and check out the other styles, sizes and colors.
But back to the schedule…because we were headed out of town for the weekend, I moved my long run to Thursday again. This time, thank goodness, I had had a full week of recovery between runs. It was a dark start, though, as I made my way into the Marina.
I hit the water just as the sun started to rise, and the weather was that perfect not-too-hot-not-too-cold temperature for running, so it was shaping up to be a beautiful morning.
As I made my way through Fisherman’s Wharf, I did get momentarily sidetracked by the smell of freshly-baked bread from Boudin Bakery. It took a massive amount of willpower not to tear into one of the arms of this sourdough ‘gator.
The game plan was to meet up with @PavementRunner a few miles into my 20 and run 90 minutes of the midsection together before I finished up on my own. We both had number goals for the morning (me for training, him toward a 200-mile challenge for the month), so we were aiming for an out-and-back nine.
That was before the dreaded GI issues hit about 12 miles in, however. Don’t let the smile above fool you – although the company, the scenery and the weather were all truly awesome that day, my stomach wasn’t cooperating at ALL for the second half of the run.
Like any great running buddy, @PavementRunner reminded me of the bright side, which was that I could use the experience as a learning opportunity for race day in case a similar situation occurs. Well, three pit stops later, there was finally a light at the end of the long-run tunnel.
The final result? Not terrible in terms of timing, considering, but definitely not on pace for the four(ish)-hour goal with which I’ve been toying. And, needless to say, I’ll be re-evaluating my pre-run nutrition routine. I thought I had it figured out, but the last thing I want is to get thrown for a loop like this on race day.
And since we were traveling later that day, hubby was on ice duty and tripled the amount from last time for the post-run soak.
A 20-minute phone call to Mom helped pass the time (and take my mind off the searing pain!).
And although all I wanted to do was crash on the couch and take a nap, this was our view just a few hours later as we headed to the Great Northwest…Portland!
Powered by Stumptown coffee and VooDoo Doughnuts, I squeezed in a rainy five-mile tempo run on Saturday. Of course, it helped that we stopped by Nike Portland the night before to pick up some new gear, including these super-techy Luxe Running Tights.
I’m a tad obsessed with them – they look cool, fit like a glove and wicked well in the wet weather – but as you can see, the back zipper has a tendency to rub on the Achilles, so next time I’ll try keeping them slightly unzipped. Just another good reminder of why it’s smart to do a trial run with new gear before race day!
Stay tuned for next week – the taper has started, but the excitement continues: Hubby and I will be running the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon on Oct. 6.
I’ll be at @PavementRunner’s Tweet Up at the expo; hope to see some of you there!
Love to read “your” running process, Jen–it’s like I’m right there–love the pics too! Hugs, mom H.
Thanks for following along…just excited to be in the home stretch! xoxo
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