Training: July 4-17

Yes, there’s a big gap in training logs. About a month. That’s because June was not a serious month for training. It was all about the Mini 10K, the Green Mountain Relay, and quitting my FT day gig. So I can train seriously again, among other reasons.

I was also in transition, checking out the new coach and the new training that comes with her. I officially started training with Sandra on Saturday, July 3, which is not shown on these schedules (I should note that now the training week runs from Sunday to Saturday, unlike my previous Monday to Sunday structure).

On that first day, Sandra sent me off to do a fartlek workout. I was way out on Eastern Long Island over that weekend, so I ended up doing the run (about 6 miles total) along a lonely, relatively flat stretch of road at about 7:30 in the morning. It was just me, a family of wild turkeys and the rare service truck.

This run was a challenging introduction into the new training regimen. But I got through it and found it a strangely satisfying workout, probably because of its novelty. I haven’t done much fartlek running. I’ll be doing lots more of it, though.

A few days later I had my first speed session. This was on the worst day of the heatwave, a day we hit a real temperature of 103F. We were also having an air quality alert. The air literally stank that morning. I ran at 6AM, but it was nevertheless already in the upper 80s at that hour. The heat has been insane these past few weeks, with temperatures around 10-15 degrees above average most days.

That weekend I did a long run. It’s weird to think that 12 miles is a “long” run now. That was shorter than my “midlength” run of 14-16 miles just 9 months ago. But, okay. 12 miles is long now.

Here’s another new aspect to this training: every long run is a progression run. I get to run the first 3-4 miles at a very easy pace, but then I have to pick things up. And I must be racing the last 2 miles.

It was again incredibly hot. I lost 3 lbs on this run, and cut it short, walking the last half mile because I could feel the heat’s effects creeping up on me. Then I crashed for two hours.

For the second week I went on the “pre-race” schedule, which features just one hard workout (but it is indeed hard). Overall, the mileage is cut back and I do a mini-taper to get ready for a race. In this case, it was a 4 miler on Saturday. I also started adding in some bike time, which I’ll do 2-3x a week from here on out.

Wednesday was track session #2, this time with some longer repeats. Again, the heat and humidity were brutal that day and it was a struggle to run fast. Then I got very busy with work that day and had to skip the 4 mile recovery run in the evening.

Wednesday overnight into Thursday I had terrible DOMS. That brought back some memories of last year. I took Thursday off (as scheduled, but whaled away on the bike for an hour). Then a little token run on Friday and the race on Saturday.

I know I’m just getting into this new plan, but I have noted that I have been rested and ready for all of the harder sessions. And while they are certainly challenging from both a mental and physical standpoint, I am able to handle them without fading in either respect. So far, so good.