Sunday, February 19, 2012

Napa Valley Marathon Training Week #3

Week #3  The Taper Period
Monday Rest
Tuesday 6 5.70 mi
Wednesday 6xhill  4xhill
Thursday 5 Rest
Friday  Rest 5.76
Saturday 4
Sunday 12 13.36 mi

Total Mileage for Week 3: 34
% Change from Prior Week:-36%

Tuesday Cal Poly Pick-Ups - 9:16
I ran to Cal Poly for a quick 5.70 mi with an overall pace of 9:16 min/mile.  I started out pretty conservatively, them picked up the pace with each subsequent miles (10:28 / 10:09 / 8:53 / 8:26 / 8: 12). I'm liking this route a lot.  The hills are challenging and it gives me satisfaction that each time I run this course, I get better at it. What motivates me is when I think about just a year and a half ago when I couldn't run these hills as fast as I am running them now, I would walk them and dream of the day I can run it without coughing up a lung.

Wednesday Hill Workout - 10:03 pace (hill pace 8:15)
I don't know why, but all day I was dreading running my hill repeats. I just didn't have the same head on motivation as I did the last time I ran them. Work was pretty busy and I had planned to leave early so that I can squeeze in as much daylight as I could for the workout.  It was hard last time with the oncoming headlights facing me and it was blindingly difficult to keep running fast at the same time while trying to be careful.  Well, I was so busy, that I couldn't leave, in fact, I left work a lot later than I should have.  It was already getting dark while I was driving home so I just had to deal.

Got home, slapped my clothes on and I didn't even had a chance to eat a little something. I knew this was not going to be a good workout.  But I had to get it done somehow, no matter how pathetic my performance was.  I could only muster 4 hills repeats because it got dark fast. Maybe it was good, that I stopped at that number, because for some reason, my legs felt super tired after the second repeat. Uh-oh.  I thought maybe I overtrained this weekend, that would explain the timber legs.  My first thought was to back off. This is not what I want for Napa.  So four had to do tonight. Although tired, the splits I posted tonight was not bad.  At first when I reviewed my Garmin, I was dissappointed. Maybe I've hit my plataeu and this was it finally. So I drew my old logs and compared the last three times, I've ran this 0.20 mile long hill. Then I felt a lot better. 

3 weeks out from Napa Valley Marathon:
W/U: 2.07 mi @ 9:25 pace 19:30
1:34 / 1:39 / 1:38 / 1:44
7:53 / 8:16 / 8:13 / 8:43
C/D: 1.75mi @ 8:55 pace 15:38
Average per repeat: 8:15 pace
Prior week mileage: 53

6 weeks out from Napa Valley Marathon:
W/U: 1.97mi @ 9:08 pace 17:59
1:39 / 1:35 / 1:36 / 1:38 / 1:40 / 1:39
7:50 / 7:55 / 8:00 / 8:10 / 8:20 / 8:15
C/D: 1.75mi @ 8:35 pace 15:01
Average per repeat: 8:05 pace
Prior week mileage: 30

I like to compare my past workouts to see how much I may/may not progressed.
Last year's hill work-outs revealed:

3 weeks out from NYC Marathon:
W/U: 1.84mi @ 9:40 pace 17:49
1:43 / 1:42 / 1:38 / 1:35 / 1:36
8:39 / 8:32 / 8:15 / 7:57 / 8:01
C/D: 1.60mi @ 9:13 pace 14:47
Average per repeat: 8:15 pace
Prior week mileage: 40

6 weeks out from NYC Marathon:
W/U: 2.05mi @ 9:31 pace 19:28
1:32 / 1:35 / 1:39 / 1:43 / 1:46
7:41 / 7:55 / 8:15 / 8:35 / 8:51
C/D: 1.75mi @ 9:02 pace 15:47
Average per repeat: 8:15 pace
Prior week mileage: 28

Clearly my splits 3 weeks ago was the best and the fastest I ran the repeats. When I asked myself, what was different this time? I looked at my prior week's mileage heading into the hill repeats.
My legs were a lot fresher 3 weeks ago. I only ran a 12 miler for long run that week.  Compared to this week, I ran a 10 and a 20 miler behind this workout. Let me not forget the Power I threw in as a bonus after the 20 miler. It's no wonder my legs were shot. Compared this week to 53 miles and only 30 miles for week 6, it was no wonder I felt tired only halfway through the repeats. I'm giving myself some slack, Jack!

So my hill repeats tonight were almost identical to the last 2 hill workouts I performed while training for NYC Marathon. I should be happy about that since I had 18 weeks to prepare back then, this time because of CIM in December, I only had 12 weeks to train for Napa.  All else being equal, this has to be a good workout.

On Thursday I was tired so, I decided to switch it up and go for a rest day.  I post-poned my 5 miler to Friday. 

Friday Cal Poly Pick-Ups - 8:48 pace
I felt great from having rested the day before that my legs were somewhat springy today.  I set out to do a relaxed pace and go from there.  Anytime, I think about running relaxed with no added pressure on myself to hit a certain pace I end up doing much better. (9:29 / 9:06 / 8:42 / 8:20 / 7: 58). My average pace was 8:48 min/mile.  

Saturday Easy 4 - 9:12 pace
I am still smiling about my pace from the day before so I was feeling lazy today.  Four miles seemed so short.  I got to get dressed up only to be back in less than 40 minutes.  But I have to do it.  I should have ran this slower because my legs were still feeling yesterday's pick ups. I tried to run faster but my watch told me, "no way". I picked up the pace in the half.  So first half was 9:28 pace and the other was 8:57.  But that 8:57 felt like a huge effort. Overall pace was 9:12.  I hope tomorrow's long run won't feel like this or I'd be in trouble.

Sunday - Two weeks to Napa - 9:51 pace
Checked out the weather last night and it was going to be beautiful.  By that I don't mean sunny.  I mean  cloudy and cold as in 41 degrees.  That's my ideal weather. Bring in the fog, yes. Humidity was 73%, so okay I can deal with that.

Fuel before the long run
Fuel during the long run

Had my breakfast of champions: Oatmeal with raisins, coffee, toast with PB, browning banana (left it too long in my lunch bag), and protein powder with vanilla Silk milk and plain yogurt. Sounds like as if I'm going for a 20 miler huh?  I really planned on running just 12, but I was feeling groovey so I decided I would run 15 today.

I was going for the flatter route on LOVR, but right after I passed Turri Road, I made a u-turn.
The rolling hills appear like ribbons

Been there...ran that...

I decided to go for the hills. I thought, just go easy and I would be fine.  Everything was going great.  On my way home, with 2 miles to go, I felt a weird sensation on my foot, right around mile 13. I have a habit of curling my toes. If you know me, you'd know that I can pick up a pencil with my toes and other such objects.  It's part of my weirdness my Hubby finds amusing. Anyway, back to the weird tightness of my foot.  It was as if the top of my foot had trouble "clawing".  I do this often to stretch out the tendons on top of my foot. It's just habit.  Today, it won't relax.  The scary part is and first thought that came to my head was "What if this was a stress fracture?"  Damn!  I run for at least a third of a mile more to see if the foot would relax.  Nothing. So I picked up my phone and called Hubby to come get me. It's better to cut the run short rather than risk it with 2 more weeks left before the marathon. I'm now in a slight panic, is this actually happening?

As soon as I got home, I submerged the foot in a bathtub full of ice. Foot felt better afterwards and I gave myself self diagnosis. What I have is Extensor Tendonitis. It's the extensor tendons that has to work to dorsi-flex the toes on the uphills. This was probably due to all the hill work I've done this week: the two pick ups at Cal Poly, the hill repeats Wednesday night and today Turri Road.  My foot must have been tired of being overused.   "Sorry tendons, I didn't mean to abuse you."  Another contributing factor to my foot problem could be my shoes. My blue Nike Air Pegasus posted 375 miles today.  My pink Nike Air Pegasus has 676 miles on them already.  But the blue ones feels less cushiony than the pink ones. Should I use the pink for Napa then?  I'm in a quandary here. It's too late to buy new shoes. I would want to at least put on 150 miles on them before the marathon.  Argh!

So what's the plan? Ice, Ibuprofen and ahhh...stop the offending activity. The first two I can deal with, but the last one, I have slight trouble.

I'll have to deal with improving my situation, til next time...Happy trails.

Have you ever had the same foot issue I am having?  How did you deal with it?


  1. Good luck in Napa! I think friends and I will actually be there to cheer on friends. We are making a weekend out of it; a run on the Lake Sonoma 50 course on Saturday, perhaps some wine tasting if we have time, sleepover some cheap motel/hotel, cheer folks at Napa.

    So do you really need 150 miles on a new pair of shoes before racing on them? I've used shoes I bought the week before. I would rather use new ones than old worn ones. Depends on the model of course, some do need a break in period. I've found that the shoes I use these days are flexible enough to begin with there is hardly any break in time. If it was me I would rush out and buy a new pair of shoes, run/walk in them during the week. If on race day I'm still not sure about wearing them I can always go back to my old shoes.

    If hubby is coming to support and watch maybe he can be on station at certain points on the course with a change of shoes ready in case you change your mind; blue to pink, pink to blue.

  2. Hi Rick! Wished I read your reply before Napa! I didn't check this post until now, the day after! That would have been doable to switch off shoes halfway. I stuck with my blue Nikes and they were shot. I felt every crack and gravel on the road. Right after the race, it felt as if the bottom of my feet were bruised from the pounding and hardly any cushioning. Yeah 150 miles if you're racing a marathon, especially on roads, but not necessary for shorter distances or trails. Wished I saw you on the course. Thanks for the tip! Hopefully I won't ever be in this predicament.
    How was the run in Lake Sonoma? Did you get to wine tasting?