week 5: i'm all drunk on it

This might be one of the best training weeks I've had in a long time.  I feel like I locked into almost every workout I did, and finished each feeling like I had achieved exactly what I set out to do.  This was also my first - but certainly not last - 15+ hour week of half IM training.  The last 4 weeks have all been in the 10-13 hour range, but this is the first time I've gone over 15 since last summer, and guess what, players, I'm here to stay.

Following the 5K last Sunday, I launched straight back into training, headfirst, mouth open.  I got in 3 swims this week, one of which is my highest yardage swim since I pulled my intercostal.  I've been really frustrated with my short pool workouts, but now I'm almost to the point where I feel like it's worth it to go to the pool, especially when combined with pool running.  I took it easy ("easy" being a relative term here) at the track on Tuesday night in the 2x800, 1x1600, 2x800 workout, but smashed my last 800 for yet another confidence-building session.  I attended the extra-credit tempo session with Amy on Thursday morning and ran a totally respectable 2M tempo with heavy and tired legs.  Friday dawned gorgeous and explosive with sunshine, so I got back on the bike for a windy and wild ride with Emily that had to include a cupcake refueling stop. 
Yes, I have a cupcake problem.
The wind was ridiculous coming around the south side, but in our last lap, I had the brilliant idea to draft off a car to avoid the winds that were almost unridable.  I'm sure he was thrilled about the cycling parasite in his blind spot.
All this adds up to a pretty stellar week of training, right?

But the key workout for me this week was the long run.  This week included my first double-digit run of this training cycle, but even more importantly, my first double-digit run since the run that signaled the beginning of the end, way back in early 2008.  This one.
Walking back through my exercise log, I can tell you that it was Sunday, March 1, 2008, exactly 3 weeks out from the Shamrock Half.  I can tell you that we put off the run all day, so we started somewhere around 7:30pm.  I can tell you that it was snowing like crazy, and we had to make bathroom pit stops in Chipotle not once but twice, once headed into Georgetown, once headed back out.  I can tell you that as we chatted and I checked my Garmin, I unabashedly lied to Rudi about how far we had already run, because I wanted to run 10-11 and she was only in for 7-8.  I ran 11 miles that night, and I'm sure it took me at least 2 hours, and after I had gotten home and ice bathed and showered and changed and eaten dinner, I can tell you that I stood up from the couch and felt something in my right foot snap.  It was a small snap and I shook it off, but 2 days later I had to cut my 4 mile run short to limp home, and 8 days later I was handed an air cast and a death warrant for the Shamrock Half.  

Those days are gone, bitches.  This may be a small milestone on paper, but it's a huge mental breakthrough and I'm going to celebrate every last second of it.

My schedule had me running 10, but I've been slightly ahead and was saying "10-12" all week.  I had planned on taking this run very easy, and when I woke up Saturday morning to bright sunshine and 40+ mph winds, I was really excited to bust this one out.  I had a terrible time deciding what to wear, what to carry, and how and when to fuel, and ended up changing my clothes for the tenth time in the parking lot of Fletcher's and making a last-minute decision to carry the small water bottle.  We headed out, uphill towards Bethesda and directly into the wind.  The first 2 felt awful, which is normal, but after a few I just felt like things settled in and were easy.  We weren't chatting all that much, just ticking away.  A teammate and I stopped at the 5-mile mark to take a Gu and head back down the trail.  She had been having some knee issues, and after a short conversation, she decided to walk for a bit and made me leave her.  I plugged in my Akon song on repeat shuffle and took off.  When I hit the 9-mile mark, I realized that I still had a tankful, so I turned around and headed back up the trail to find her.  We met up at 10, but she was still doing the walk/run to protect her knees.  We chatted for a moment and I headed back.  I picked up the pace a bit at this point but still felt comfortable, and when my Garmin beeped 11, I picked it up just a bit more to finish out 12.  TWELVE.  Did you see that?  I RAN TWELVE MILES.
I spent the rest of the day being obnoxiously drunk on how amazing I felt.  My legs felt tired but fantastically happy.  None of my injury locations hurt or ached or twinged at any point during this run. I ran out of water towards the end, but that's fixable.  And the thing that I'm continuing not to think about is, I finished my slow and easy 12 at almost the exact time I think might be possible to finish my 13.1 next month.  I don't want to talk about it.  I know that a training cycle immediately following a major injury - or a series of major injuries - will generally be filled with moments of confidence and moments of relief, and this one was both.  Not only can I do this, but I am going to smash the shit out of doing this.  I am so overwhelmed and grateful to be running again.

Monday: 60 minutes lifting (L), 28 minutes/1500 yard swim, 1:20/8M pool run
Tuesday: 45 minutes lifting (A), 53 minutes/6.18M track workout
Wednesday: 50 minutes/5M pool run, 27 minutes/1550 yard swim, 60 minutes lifting (L)
Thursday: 41 minutes/4.66M tempo run, 45 minutes lifting (A)
Friday: 2:10, 35M ride
Saturday: 1:52/12M long run
Sunday: 38 minutes/3.75M recovery run, 75 minutes yoga, 40 minutes/2200 yard swim, 55 minutes/5.5M pool run

How was your week of training?  What builds confidence in your training cycle?  What races are coming up for you guys?


  1. LOVE IT. SO SO SO proud and happy for you! Cupcakes are made with joy. Did you know that? And a little pixie dust. Makes you run faster.

  2. Hell yeah! What a great week.

    I'm training for the GW Parkway Classic, but I'm trying to decide what half to do this fall . . . or maybe a marathon.

  3. Great week!! Glad you are feeling so good.

  4. I'm drunk off your training too. And also your sliders. Seriously stellar training, woman. Especially that 12 miler. I've said it before and I'll say it again: you are going to surprise yourself with some majorly rockstar running this season.

  5. That was a serious kickass week! I'm super excited about your long run too. YAY!!

  6. SUCH! WONDERFUL! NEWS! Seeing you over the hump of your injuries reminds me that it IS possible to get over the hump ... and to be stronger and better on the other side!

  7. Training for life. Only one "race" considered in October (1/2 mary) and dreaming of an ultra next June.

    Last two weeks of training have been regrouping, and changing plans. A lot of shifting work outs, shifting focus, and finding balance.

    The pendulum is not so extreme now, and I've gotten in 4 runs in 5 days. Gasp! Oh, short, sweet, happy runs, but still....runs!

    Even better, I'm excited to run again! Those two weeks off were needed, and I'm grateful that when I stepped out onto the trail today my body rejoiced! My legs pepped up! I kept running in the rain! Smiling and laughing, and doing stair repeats on leaf-covered hills in the woods!

  8. "This may be a small milestone on paper, but it's a huge mental breakthrough and I'm going to celebrate every last second of it."

    Damn straight. And I can SO identify with this statement.

  9. You know what motivates me for long runs? Beer. Nothing better than stopping on the way home from a long run (especially when it's warm out) and enjoying (more than) a few cold ones. Then again, I'm a drinker with a running problem.

  10. I am so, so ecstatic that you are killing your runs!!! (Not to mention all the rest of your workouts.) You have earned your place in the sun. Keep up the outstanding work. Talk about inspiring - you are motivating us all to go out and GET. IT. DONE!

  11. Congrats on the great training week and amazing long run!

  12. The Long-Run-High/Drunk definitely slaps all other tops of intoxication in the face. It is THE Best feeling. SO happy for you/to see you back in the game and going strong!

  13. There is no better feeling in the world than a run like that. Enjoy it girl!

  14. What an awesome week. Congrats! You earned every one of those cupcakes.

  15. Awesome week and AWESOME 12 miler! :) You are going to ROCK National!

  16. Great week of training! Can't wait for the roads to clear so I can get on the bike as well. Currently training for Martian Invasion Half-Marathon (Detroit) followed by 8-week training for the Ann Arbor Duathlon.

  17. I'm sorry, WHO just ran 12 miles? The same girl that just a few months ago couldn't run down the front path without pain? WOO HOO!
    What an exciting milestone to cross - you had a big weekend girl! Heres to many, many more miles!

  18. Such a great week! Hope you could hear my excitement over text on Saturday :)


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