This year’s training

What a difference a year makes.

I know my body did not go into an irrevocable downhill slope

in just a year but sometimes I wondered what the switch was that turned off last year’s relatively gloriously perfect training stretch and turned on this year’s debacle. Hindsight can really do a number and paint things rosy, huh?

* “Injury”. I blame three long and continuous days of wearing heels to the first problem in my ankle (jammed it). Running on a locked ankle, the pain traveled to my calf and finally my knee. I thought I would topple over if I picked up my pace and the rest of my body was compensating this way and that, like popping my hip out with every arduous step. Fortunately, I did not have to spend a great deal of money on chiro and physio sessions (who agreed that my radish calves are actually pretty weak) as I took some time off and was pretty much good as new. Yay.

(The one part of me that is worse this year than last is my bunion. Oh boy, I don’t remember it getting as inflamed/sore as it did this year. =( )

* I did very few tempo (quick) runs. At the beginning of the season, a veteran marathoner emphasized the importance of my weekly fast runs but I was so discouraged logging runs that were too slow. Blame it on a few hot days where you melt after being out 15 minutes and just being plain tired by 6PM when you set out. I missed sooooo many of these fast runs. I’m really worried about that.

* The second year of training means knowing I can finish a marathon (especially when I made it to nearly all the Sunday long training runs) but with newly directed energy and anxiety towards getting results. I fared good-to-well in my speed and strength workouts but missed those medium-to-high intensity weekly 10Ks.

* Better hydrated and more fueled. To “make up” for the discouraging feelings of being slow and under-trained, I drank more Gatorade on all my training runs. Thus, I have to do the same at the race. Last year, I brought 18 oz. Gatorade, 6oz. water, 1 bag of Sharkies (equivalent to 1.5 gels), and paused for water at every station. I didn’t bonk, but kilometers 35-41 really sucked. This year, I’m bringing:
* 473 mL Gleukos drink
* 4-5 gels (Gu Espresso Love is like a liquidized mocha truffle. I lick my lips at the thought of having 2-3 of those and 2 Vanilla Bean gels!)
* water at every 1 or 2 water stations (this year’s race has more stations than last year’s race)

* A GPS-enabled Garmin watch. This year I’m the proud owner of a Forerunner 201. You can’t count on it to read the correct instantaneous pace at all times so I hope not to get discouraged when it’s mysteriously lodged at 8:30 minutes/kilometer when I’m actually running 5:45 minutes/kilometer. (However, I do believe that a relative change in an erroneous pace is a true change in your pace. Who knows?)

With that, I’m off to Kelowna for race weekend. Good luck to fellow racers in Kelowna, Victoria, Portland, and Chicago!

On this day..

One Comment

  1. Henry Chan says:

    Hey, congrats on the end of a macrocycle. Kick some MAJOR ass this Sunday. Carrot on a stick: I’ll buy you a drink if you break 4hr. Good luck!

    Cheers,
    Henry

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