Training Week: From the L.A. Marathon to May

I stopped posting my weekly training logs not because I wasn’t training (or because I got too busy, though I did that too). Instead, I thought maybe I’d try something else: not really laying it all down in writing. At first, I thought maybe I’d just stop writing down my weekly workouts on the internets. But, then, I sort of stopped writing them down at all. I picked up my training calendar the other day and realized I hadn’t filled in a square on it in two weeks.

This wasn’t a deliberate decision exactly. It’s more that I knew I just wanted to get in three hard weeks between the LA Marathon and collegiate nationals. I also knew, generally, what I wanted to do: work on my Olympic-pace biking. So I decided it might be good, for a change, not to sweat the details too much. Or, at least not to do so publicly, in a concrete way.

Not that worrying about details isn’t a good idea. Because it is. And, obviously, there are a lot of details I’m still concerning myself with. But this is just sort of an experiment to see if maybe keeping things a little looser and just in my head helps at all with whatever. Plus, extra bonus, it means that I’m sticking to The Kids’ training plan slightly more, with changes to approximately reflect my own life schedule (because workouts can only be two of the three: social, convenient, or good for your training) and my own strengths/weaknesses.

I love The Kids. They are fun and fast and a little bit nutty. And we have definitely been hitting on some of my weakness, like, um, speed. So, we’ll see how it all works out.

Here’s my rough training weeks since the marathon:

Less running. But a long trail run in Marin, naturally. And weekly track workouts, which just further confirm speed is not my strong point, but at least I’m getting better. Maybe. I’m not sure, actually.

Two or three Olympic-distance pace workouts on my bike to fine-tune the pace. And two harder workouts to push a pace slightly past that a little bit. These I feel good about. I think.

Swimming some, whatever. And a little strength work, but not much.

And that’s that. Two more workouts planned then pretty much resting/tapering into nationals. (Which I know is not really a For Real taper, but I’m doing Wildflower the week after and Alcatraz three or four weeks after that, so it’s what makes sense for me, in my head.)

Training Week 18: March 2-8

The main focus right now is not getting sick, hurt, or overly-exhausted. There’s not much else to do for a marathon this Sunday. Then next week is mostly recovery. Then three weeks of hard training, then taper for nationals.

I did want to work some on my Olympic pace biking, which sort of happened, but also I’m sort of too tired and booked for much to happen. I had actually planned on doing more this week, but erred on the side of letting my body recover and my body decided this was what it was going to do. Sometimes my body’s pretty smart. It’s my brain that sucks.

Monday

Rode 10 miles easy on my time trial bike. I almost never ride my TT in the rain, at least not deliberately, because it is an expensive bike and I have an older road bike, so might as well keep the nice one nice. Since it wasn’t raining anymore Monday morning, I thought it’d be fine. I didn’t think about all the sand on the bike path turning into piles of wet sand from the storm the night before. By the time I got home, my bike was the dirtiest it has ever been. There was sand in everything. And, naturally, the brakes on the TT are underneath the frame, so they were filled with wet clumps of sand. God, I hate the beach.

Swam 1,450 yards with some band swimming and pulling and stuff.

Tuesday

OFF, in all caps

Wednesday

Ran 7 miles in the morning, which was supposed to include a decent amount of Goal Marathon Pace and slightly faster miles. I did 3 miles at 7:01, 7:04, 6:57 and it felt shockingly hard, which was concerning and also a sign that it was time to end the workout.

Swam 2,900 yards with The Kids in the evening, which was also shockingly hard. Basically, everything felt disgustingly difficult on Wednesday and my legs hurt and the cut on the back of my leg was still all raw and gross.

Thursday

Swam 2,000 meters. (Turns out the Westwood Community Pool is meters, not yards, who knew.) Did not get up to ride in the morning because I was tired, but didn’t sleep great that extra hour either, so probably wasn’t worth it.

Friday

Ran in Topanga State Park. My plan, initially, had been to do 10-12 miles easy as my last longish run. Typically, this would take about 1 hour, 20-30 minutes or something. Since I ended up picking a route that had 1,800 feet of elevation gain in 3 miles, it didn’t quite work out that way. I ended up doing a lot of hiking up and a lot of trying not to break my ankle down. I only got a bit over 7 miles done in 1 hour, 15 minutes, but I was really over the stupidity of it all.

20 minutes of quick and dirty strength work: TRX, deadlifts, back squats, box jumps, four pull-ups (except technically I think they’re like chin-ups, I don’t know, I can never do them with my hands in the “right” position), and a couple other things and I was out.

Saturday

This weekend was not one of my finest weekends. This weekend and last were supposed to be moderately big training weekends to work on my weaknesses for triathlon nationals. But, school keeps getting in the way. Saturday morning I had to interview someone at a 5K they were doing at the Rose Bowl at 8 a.m. for my documentary. I got there at 7:30 a.m. By 7:50 a.m. it was clear that I had mixed up my days and was supposed to be there on Sunday, not Saturday. By 8:05 a.m. it was also clear that the super unnecessarily mean police officer wasn’t going to let me leave the parking lot, because they had closed it off for a triathlon/duathlon/5K. Goddamn triathletes!

Fine. I’ll just do my workout here. So, I rode about 16 miles in the neighborhood and then around the Rose Bowl. The goal had been to do a few hard laps at race pace around the Rose Bowl, which I thought wouldn’t be a problem, since there was an actual race going on. I mean, my hard training pace should fit right in with a race, right? Nope. I managed to get stuck right in the mix of all the people coasting their way through the triathlon and my hard laps turned into hard efforts + stopping and braking and coasting. Oh well.

Then, Justin met me and we ran 4.5 miles around the outer perimeter, during which it became clear that maybe my Garmin isn’t the most accurate ever. The plan had been to start easy and build to marathon, then faster pace. As I was running pretty hard towards the end, he asked what my watch said I was running. 7:10, why? Because we were definitely running 6:30s, which actually is what it felt like.

Sunday

Back at the Rose Bowl at 7:30 a.m., with the time change. (Did I mention the Rose Bowl is not near my house?) Finally, after wrapping up around 10, I headed out on my ride. I originally wanted to ride about 3 hours, but since I was falling asleep on the drive and felt the worse I’ve felt in a long time, I ended up just riding 2 hours instead. Up Angeles Crest, back, around the Rose Bowl again, and then home to do all of the work.

TOTAL: 9:05

Time to go.

Training Week 17: Feb. 23-March 1

Ah, shit, the marathon is almost here! And also triathlon!

I had to cut back on some things in my life schedule, because I had simply completely overbooked myself and could not physically be in multiple places at the same time. (Seriously, whenever I end up listing all the stuff I’m doing, people always get really worried that I’m going to make it. So, I stopped telling people all of it, because it just stressed me out.) The two little changes seem to be helping, though. I’m actually almost feeling like a person again.

Of course, on the other hand, I started Googling some of my symptoms today and it turns out even my vague paranoia could be the result of a vitamin deficiency.

So, there’s that.

Monday

Biked the 12 miles to school easy.

Tuesday

So tired from UCSD still. Got home so late the night before. Must sleep so much.

Wednesday

The Very LA Training Day: Ran 18-something hilly a.f. miles. Yet, I held up surprisingly well for having no water and trying to swallow my own spit for the last hour.

Swam 2,600 yards with The Kids, hard. I’m not sure it was fast, but it was definitely hard.

Thursday

Swam 1,000 yards easy. Yoga’d and rolled when I got home.

Friday

I told myself this was my last for-real-hard workout that counts before the marathon. You don’t get fit in the last two weeks, you just cash it in. So, my plan was to run two-mile repeats between half-marathon and marathon goal pace. Typically, one runs these starting at marathon pace and descending down to half-marathon pace, but not me. I decided I was actually curious what ascending intervals would feel like instead. In case you were wondering: they suck in a different way. I wasn’t 100 percent sure how many I was going to do either, so I figured I might as well start with the hard ones. And, since I have never run a negative split in a race ever, it seems like I ought to (realistically) work on hanging on to the pace I need once I’m already tired. I did 3 x two-miles at [6:24/6:31, 6:42/6:45, 6:55/6:55]. The astute observer might notice that 6:55 is not my marathon pace, but since I got them under 7:00 I called it a workout. Also: I ran them on the track. This is insane. I do not recommend it.

Did some TRX and light strength at the gym. Then, swam 1,000 yards easy.

Saturday

Obstacle Course Race. I did this pretty casually because I was GoPro-ing it for my short documentary about obstacle course racing. And, by casually, I mean I took a detour in the middle of the race to jog to my car, change the GoPro battery, and then jog back to where I had gone off course. I also walked some. So, no, it was not a race.

However. I still ended up 2nd out of all the non-elite women. This has prompted me to decide 1. that I need to actually race an actual elite heat, so I can see how I stack up and 2. that I am going to become a professional OCR athlete. After I work on my monkey bar skills. Obviously.

For all that it wasn’t a race, though, it’s not hard to see from this photo how I ended up with huge nasty rope burn down the back of my right leg that isn’t healing super well:

atlasrace1

Sunday

Along with the rope burn, I had random other cuts and a couple bruises and was tired and sore from the Friday-Saturday combo. Rode just over two hours relatively moderately in Malibu, finishing right before it started to pour rain. Did not swim.

TOTAL: 10:05

Alright, alright, alright. I am not unfit right now. I am also not in a super ideal spot health-, life- or stress-wise either. I am not sure which of these things is going to win out in two weeks. I think it’s going to all come down to a mental battle, because I’m pretty positive that physically I can run my goal time. I’m just not sure if mentally I can. So, if you see me on the LA Marathon course, you have to yell at me to get my shit together and pick it the fuck up. Those words exactly, please.

Training Week 16: Feb. 16-22

This is the week I both realized the L.A. Marathon is less than three weeks away and I haven’t run enough for it, and also that I need to work on my biking short-course speed because collegiate triathlon is fast. Oh, and also, sleep, tired, breakdown, crying, etc, etc.

In case you were wondering: the end of this story is that those things don’t all go together really.

Monday

Ran 2 hours, 40 minutes up in Marin, on a variation of my favorite loop. Exactly how far it was is currently a topic of debate between my Garmin and I. But, the one thing we can agree on is that it was really hilly and debilitating.

Tuesday

I was really messed up from that run. Maybe it was longer or harder than either the Garmin or I think. Maybe I’m really not ready for this marathon. Swam 1,400 meters (ew, meters) and struggled through the day.

Wednesday

Rode 25 miles on the TT with 4 x 3 minutes at “hard” pace. Because I haven’t had time to put the Power Tap on my TT bike yet (which is going to happen this weekend!) and because I was riding on the beach bike path (which is not ideal for, well, anything), this was possibly stupid. I don’t actually know.

Crossfitted. Weirdly, the gym I randomly ended up going to down here turns out to be one of the legit Crossfit gyms and one of the girls in the story I wrote about Grid trains there. So, that was sort of like ‘ohhh, heeeeeey, just ignore me over here doing my weakass deadlifts.’

Thursday

Rest. I was messed up this week. Yoga’d and rolled and called it.

Friday

Ran 6.5ish miles in the morning with a few 1 minute pick-ups, because racing Sunday.

Swam 1,750 yards with a few pick-ups. Felt ok about all this.

Saturday

Rode 10 miles with the pre-race standard: a few hard sprints and a bit at race pace. Skipped swimming, for life reasons. Felt semi-ok about all this.

Sunday

UCSD Tri: Did the UC San Diego sprint race and, wow, I almost had a total mental breakdown in the middle of this. The summary is: I couldn’t figure out why so many people were ahead of me. (The answer—that they’re going faster—should have been obvious.)

I swam great, for me, but came out far enough back that spectators stop counting at that point. When you’re the third woman, they tell you you’re the third woman. When you’re 17th, they’re like ‘yay, Kelly, you can do it.’ Collegiate triathletes are fast swimmers; there are a number of reasons for this, which can be discussed at some other point, but the end result is that my actually-pretty-ok swimming lands me pretty far back. I, then, started to pass people on the bike and thought I was killing it until two people passed me at the end of the first lap and another at the start of the second. That motivated me enough to try to pick it up, but then I had a lap-and-a-half long meltdown, where I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me and why I wasn’t biking faster. I did catch one of the girls, but then another (really annoyingly drafting) girl re-caught me, and I couldn’t drop her and my legs were killing me and I suck and I should probably just quit and it’s clearly not my day and, oh my god, how am I so far back.

By the time I started the run, I was very discouraged and maybe 15 seconds back of annoying drafting girl. I spent most of the first lap of the run feeling bad about and sorry for myself. But, I still managed to pass one person and I was kind of getting a tempo going. At the start of the second lap, I caught the annoying girl and from there I actually raced a race. I spent the second and third laps trying to reel people in and finally feeling like I was moving. Towards the end, I almost had another meltdown when I realized a group of girls was ahead of me that I did not expect to be ahead of me. I mean, man, I just kept passing people and there just kept being more people. BUT—and this is a big but—instead of crying, I picked it up, passed them, slipped and half-fell, and got right back up to kick hard to the finish.

I ended up 7th. I was not thrilled about this. In retrospect, though, I knew it was a very competitive race. Colleges had come from far away and all the good people out here on the West Coast were there. I had expected it to be tough and it was. I was also really proud of myself for not entirely falling apart and coming back from the near brink. What is most interesting, though, is that when I looked at the results later it became clear that my biking didn’t suck as much as I thought it did (especially if I had actually not had the meltdown in the middle) and my running wasn’t as great as I felt like it was. Really, it was all mostly in my head.

TOTAL: 9:25

I don’t know. I’m having panic attacks and if I had the time I’d be panic training, but I don’t have the time, so instead I’m like panic not training? I don’t know. I need to work on my biking and my running and my swimming and my not having weird breakdowns.

Training Week 15: Feb. 9 – 15

I might have broken. The biggest liability for me right now—in training, life, whatever—is if all the stress and deadlines and lack of sleep breaks me. And, it’s getting damn close.

That’s even with last week being the first week in a few that I got real training in again, so that doesn’t bode great.

Monday

Biked the 12 miles easy to school to recover from the Aquathlon.

Swam 2,000 yards slow. I wasn’t deliberately swimming slow, but I was definitely not fast.

Tuesday

Ran track with The Kids: 6 x 800 meters. We were doing them as in-and-out intervals, basically alternating 10K pace and fast pace, which also prompted a lot of ‘that’s what she said’ type of jokes. I ran 3:03, 2:55, 3:04, 2:48, 3:02, 2:49. That’s the fastest I’ve run 800s in years. If I don’t have endurance and general health going for me, at least I sort of got some speed right now.

Did 20 minutes of TRX and strength work after shooting some TV footage of the real track team.

Wednesday

Biked 44 miles down the bike path, out Palos Verdes some, and back. I had intended to do some tempo or hard work, but my derailleur snapped off at the start of the ride. See, that is not what a derailleur is supposed to look like:

Also, my photo skills, impressive, no?
Also, my photo skills, impressive, no?


That meant I did the whole ride in the little ring, which isn’t great for pushing power, especially on a bike path with the wind at my back. And, I had a weird freakout about potentially crashing over a rollerblader or a speed bump or into a parked car. So, I mostly just did a steady moderately hard ride, pushing it more on the way back (into the wind).

Swam 3,050 yards in the evening with The Kids, though I am 98% convinced that the PED pool on campus is not actually 25 yards long. We swim too fast in it. I’m not accidentally dropping 2:30 200s in other pools. Multiple times in a row.

Thursday

Swam 1,250 yards easy in the evening, on the way home from work.

Friday

The Run That Wasn’t: Was aiming to run about 12 miles with 4 x 2-miles descending from Goal Marathon Pace to Goal Half-Marathon Pace. I barely made it out of bed to the bike path, but in the spirit of “the hardest steps are the first ones” I thought it’d get better. Spoiler alert: They lied; the hardest steps are the hard ones. This random guy ran the first two repeats with me, which we did ok on. (7:04s for the first one, which felt fine. 6:58s for the second one, which felt like I was going to die.) Then, I had to take a long bathroom break, which used up most of my allotted time, so I thought I’d just do one more repeat in the 6:40s. I made it about three minutes and I stopped. I don’t know why. I was struggling. A lot. But, it might have been in my head. I don’t know. I’m too tired to think about it anymore. Jogged back home.

Saturday

Cross-country skied a bit over 11 miles with Steve, during which he let me know that his heartrate was lower than the last time we went skiing. I wasn’t wearing a heartrate monitor, because mine (naturally) has torn a huge cut across my chest and I’m currently avoiding it, but the day felt pretty hard to me and I was pretty wiped out. We were out for over three hours and skiing pretty consistently in that time, though there were plenty of stopping breaks and fueling breaks, etc. So, who knows.

Sunday

Swam 2,000 yards at the Truckee High School pool. I was going to swim more. I was going to run after too. But, I could barely move. Instead, I took a two hour nap.

TOTAL: 11:30

Yeah, I don’t know. No more self-evaluation, introspection, whatever. Clearly, I’m tired. I need to sleep and I need to get through things and, hopefully, it’ll sort itself out.

Training Week 14: Feb. 2 – 8

Last week was all about getting un-sick. And, it mostly worked. Fingers crossed, but this may be the first time I’ve gotten a cold and not also gotten a debilitating cough for weeks after.

The frustrating half of that was, obviously, the fact that I basically can’t seem to get back into a training groove since school started. I spend all my time, instead, having mild panic attacks about how many things are due and how I may have overbooked myself but it’s too late to cut anything loose.

But—and it’s a big but—I’m changing my peak focus for the spring, so I have a few more weeks to get ready.

It’s official, now: I’m going to race collegiate triathlon nationals at the end of April with The Kids. It’ll be fun and fast, hopefully, and it means that I’m not going to focus as much on the L.A. Marathon. I’m still planning to run it, but I’m spending more of my training re-learning Olympic distance race pace. I hope. And, anyway, I was doing a heavy cross-training marathon plan, so it should all work out. You know, hopefully.

Monday

Swam 1,000 yards after the Race That Sucked.

Tuesday

God, I still felt awful. Nothing.

Wednesday

Woke up with a cold, so didn’t do the long ride I was planning. Alternatively, just rode 20 miles easy on the bike path.

Swam about 1,500 yards with The Kids in the evening. I was going to do the whole practice, but I felt pretty awful, so I went home and coughed myself awake all night instead.

Thursday

Ran a bit over 5 miles easy with Natalie in the morning. It felt like death.

Friday

Since I felt like death, I slept 11 hours Thursday night and did nothing Friday.

Saturday

Rode 24 hilly-ish miles in Palos Verdes with The Kids. I was going to run after, because I was going to try to get back on schedule and test my legs. But, we started from this house on top of a hill, so I didn’t really feel like running downhill and then back up. Oh well.

Sunday

UCLA Aquathlon. Given what the rest of my week looked like, in retrospect, I’m surprised I kept it together for this actually at all. Plus a couple miles running before and after, and a few minutes of swimming warm-up.

TOTAL: 5:15

Haha. Yeah.

Training Week 13: Jan. 26 – Feb. 1

Oh, right, what I did last last week. Sorry, I know so many of you care about my training. What I’ve done this week is try to not be sick and not have a mental breakdown. What I did last week was try to get my training block started again. Last week, I came back from my first real rest week in a long time, which somehow led to a semi-sprained ankle, a night of throwing up, and strange bouts of vertigo. Oh, and now a cold. Lesson here: don’t rest.

(No, actually, this week has been nothing but rest. But, last week I tried to train.)

Monday

Rode 13 miles. With the messed-up ankle, I didn’t want to run my hard intervals, so I did hard cycling hill repeats instead. This made sense to me. I did 5 x Baldwin Hill, which was about 5 minutes long and was full of people lunging backwards uphill with ankle weights. Seriously, it was a mad circus. I was going to do the first one moderately easy and then build for five repeats from there, but it turns out it was too steep for any kind of easy. So the first one was slightly easier, then three more of varying levels of harder and one “easy-ish”. Then, I did the last one all-out-ish. I’m pretty sure, if I was on Strava, that I would have taken the QOM, so I’m totally counting that in my mind, since it’s all made up anyway.

Swam 1,100 yards easy. It turns out really hard hill repeats are, well, hard. I was pretty tired.

Tuesday

Rode 12 miles easy to school.

Light strength work in the evening. Some TRX, some core, some screw-it-it’s-too-crowded.

Wednesday

Rode 32 miles up the Malibu hills. I did not pick an amazing route. Some of it was nice, but some of it involved a busy road with a tunnel. On one of the completely not busy roads, though, where there almost no cars, I actually almost got totally taken out by someone driving fast and cutting into the turn, and into me. It was one of those times where you can see how close the car is as the front passes you and you brace yourself for the back to just take you down.

Swam 2,800 yards with The Kids in the evening. 500s and stuff.

Thursday

Ran 5 1/2 miles with 4 x 2 minutes at 5K pace, just to remember how to run fast again. And, to run for the first time in 10 days. Stupid ankle. This also made me surprisingly sore and tired. Ugh.

Friday

Off.

Saturday

Rode about 30 miles with The Kids in the morning, again the Malibu hills. Not my ideal pre-race prep, but whatever.

Sunday

The Race That Sucked.

TOTAL: 11:00

Training Week 12: Jan. 19-25

So, here’s the thing. I took a rest week last week and I got more tired. I basically spent the whole week in a smashed, tired little ball, lying on my bed. I am not even making that up. There’s something about as soon as you give your body a break, it’s all: ‘Ohh, this is what that’s like?! Well, screw it, I’m out, bitches!’

On the other hand, I’ve been feeling (maybe) better this week. And, hopefully, I’ll be faster for the half-marathon this weekend.

Monday

Ran a hard 12 1/2 miles on trails with my brother-in-law. It wasn’t that hard—most of it was chill and moderately easy—but there were parts that I was pretty sure we were running fast, which my Garmin totally later confirmed we were.

Nate’s strength class after. By that night, oh man, my legs physically hurt so much that I was actually positive the bones inside them were hurting.

Tuesday

Swam 1,000 yards. And, you’re lucky I even got that much done. Everything still hurt so much.

Wednesday

Swam 2,700 yards with The Kids. This included an 800 straight. See, the thing about swimming with The Kids is that pretty much everyone on the faster half of the pool could beat me at a 100-yard race. But, almost none of them could beat me at ten of those in a row. I got stamina. So, this was my kind of night.

Thursday

Oh god. My body just like quit on me overnight. I started throwing up. When I woke up in the morning to shower and get dressed, it was. not. happening. Not even a little bit. I ended up sleeping about 15 hours.

Friday

20 minutes of yoga and rolling.

Saturday

In the morning—and I mean 4 a.m. morning—I had to drive out to Temecula to film a Spartan Race for a documentary I’m working on about obstacle course racing. Running around the obstacles with a camera made me realize that my ankle, which had been sore for a few days after Monday’s trail/strength extravaganza, was still really hurting.

Rode 10 miles easy on the beach path (with three 1 minute pick-ups) just to shake it out and make sure I could get back to training soon.

Sunday

Went to Long Beach with The Kids for some open water practice. We did one 1,000-meter(ish) loop moderately hard as race practice and then The Kids ran, but as soon as I took a few steps in the sand it was clear my ankle was not up for running. Why? Because my body quit on me. So, I swam another loop.

TOTAL: 5:35

Hopefully, now, I am rested?

Training Week 11: Jan. 12 – 18

I’m in that rut where you wonder how you manage to fill so much time every day and what did you do exactly and weren’t there important work things you had on your agenda? And, then, you realize that all your time is getting used up with being tired from training, and driving to and from training, and switching parts on your bikes, and actually training. It’s exhausting.

Monday

Rode 23 miles moderately easy/medium along the beach. I was going to do some short efforts, but was pretty wiped out from coming back down to L.A., starting classes, and hard workouts over the weekend. So, no.

Swam 1,400 yards easy.

Tuesday

Ran track with The Kids, which I was primarily doing just to hang out, check in with the team, etc. After my hard track workout on Sunday, I wasn’t eager to do another, so I was sort of just tempo-ing the 2 x [1200 meters – 800 meters – 400 meters]. Also, I took one of the 400s off to go to the bathroom. But, what was impressive to me was that I was running a pace that felt good and sustainable and fast but not too fast, yet I was knocking out like 3:05 half-miles. Bam. And, yeah, I did end up running a couple laps hard-ish then, because, you know, when you’re feeling it you’re feeling it.

Did some TRX and strength work at the gym before showering to eat a quick breakfast, send some emails, and head to class.

Wednesday

Ran 1:56 (a bit over 14 miles I think). And, yay, I finally found a trail I like in L.A.! I started on the trail at the Rose Bowl, went up to JPL, and then into the Angeles National Forest. It’s insane that you start down by the Rose Bowl, where there are probably close to 100 people jogging and pushing strollers. Then, by the time I turned around an hour in, way back into the national forest, there was no one on the rocky trail and I had stuffed my headphones in my bra so that I could hear any mountain lions coming—which I’m 100 percent sure were lurking in the scrub. Ran fast and hard towards the end on the way back just for fun and just to prove to myself that I could. FYI, I can.

Swam 3,000 yards with The Kids in the evening. Lots of 100s and long efforts of 300 to 500 yards.

Thursday

Easy 14 mile bike around the coast in the morning.

Friday

Sometimes you got to do the hard workout even when you’re not feeling like the hard workout, because that’s the day it has to be done. Ran a tad over 10 miles with 20 minutes at Goal Marathon Pace and then 20 minutes at around half marathon pace, with five minutes jogging in between. The GMP part was surprisingly not bad. I ran 7:02, 6:58, and then 7:06 pace for the last not-quite-a-full-mile. The half-ish marathon pace part was nasty. I ran 6:33, 6:36, and 6:46, and called it immediately when the buzzer beeped for the third mile. And, then, I started walking to the mini-mart to use the bathroom, but I ended up having to run there or risk disaster. Extra speed work.

Light yoga, PT, and rolling when I got back.

Saturday

Cross-country skied. About 12 miles for the day, which was not quick, but was fun.

Sunday

Swam 4,500 yards at Masters. There are two practices on weekends, at 7:15 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Or, you can opt to do the double. I sort of did the double—as in I got out early. It was me and five fast guys doing it, so we all got our own lane and they basically just went on a totally different interval than I did. And, here’s a fun fact: I was swimming faster after an hour than I was at the start.

TOTAL: 13:00

You guys better watch out. If I can manage another two to three months without injury or freak accident, I might start having dreams of seeing just how good I can get.

Training Week 10: Jan 5 – 11

It seems like I’ve leveled off at my natural training point of 12-14 hours/week. When I’m super focused and build up appropriately, I can push my standard leveling off up to about 14-17 hours/week, but it’s not my natural state of being. And, that’s fine for now, particularly as I’m doing most of my hard stuff running — because running is generally lower volume and because you want to factor in recovery and stretching time and all that stuff that comes with running.

I am about to shift, though, since we’re two months out from the marathon and since I’m getting ready to lean in to a triathlon season. That means fewer long rides, but more intensity on the bike. Slightly more run volume with slightly more speed work. And, seriously, up the swim frequency already.

But, I actually feel pretty good about all this. So far.

Monday

Swam 2,400 yards. I was still very weirdly tired in weird places from cross-country skiing, so I almost nixed the swimming, but I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to do anything after classes started, for a variety of reasons, so got to get it in while you can.

Tuesday

Rode about 50 miles, some with Steve, and then some on my own up Alpine Dam and back down. I was going to do the whole loop, but it was getting dark and cold and I was tired still.

Wednesday

Ran about 8.5 miles before I drove down to L.A. Included in that were descending hard efforts of 6 minutes, 5 minutes, 4, 3, 2, 1. It was supposed to descend from half-marathon pace for the 6 minutes to 5,000-meter pace for the 1 minute. I went 6:39 pace, 6:34, 6:21, 6:14, 6:03, 5:41. There is no universe in which 5:41 is actually my 5,000m pace. So, that was either a mistake or wildly optimistic.

Did some light core and then yoga and rolling out my legs before getting in the car. Sigh, the car.

Thursday

Nothing.

Friday

Ran a bit over 5 miles easy, with drills, in a sad, sad park after work on my way home. A thought: if a large park with a lake and walking trails, etc, is the only really good and safe place for people to walk or jog after work, then why would you lock the gates and turn off the lights at 5 p.m. That seems counterproductive.

Saturday

Rode from Pasadena up Mt. Wilson with Justin. It’s 6,000 feet and about 18 miles up (and not warm at the top). And, naturally, it started raining on us as we descended. I was promised this wouldn’t happen in L.A.

Sunday

Ran about 7 miles on the track (which was rough and sucked, because it was just one of those days where the first track and pool I went to was totally closed, the second one was in the heart of Santa Monica, so I had to park at a public lot and pay, and then the pay machine broke, right at the same time I got done and a Christian youth group event got out, so no one could leave). But, I finished the workout: 1 mile at 6:52, six 800s descending at [3:09, 3:09, 3:07, 3:06, 3:00, 2:59], 1 mile at 6:44. Yes, it was ugly, but it got done. And, then, I finally got home after the parking gate finally opened, and yoga’d and rolled and laid on the floor.

TOTAL: 12:05

Oops with the not swimming.

I’m actually getting pretty fit. Sometimes, I can tell that. Justin told me I’m biking much stronger than I was back in that hole of miserableness in the fall. And, I’m running reasonably fast for me. I’m definitely getting fitter. What I’m not sure about is how fit — both in comparison to recently but also in terms of all-time. I signed up for a half-marathon in two weeks, so I guess we’ll see.