Good running week…mostly

I think that this was the first week since I started my half marathon training that I have been able to get all the runs in. I did not do the full workout on a couple of days, but I did get to run each scheduled workout. I should be able to complete my training schedule over the next few weeks as I don’t have any conflicts currently scheduled.

Last week’s long run
This week I had to make up my long run from last week. I was not able to do it Saturday because of camp, but got it squeezed in on Sunday. It was supposed to be 5.5 miles and I got just under 5 miles in. I hated that it was short, but I was just running out of time. And, furthermore, I was running out of steam (details to follow).

Speed work
Monday is my speed work day. I was scheduled for a 1 mile speed session. I was going to do 2 X 800 meters, but, just like last week, the track was closed. I had to run my mile on the street. For my warm up I trotted back home and then gave myself a bit more time between my warm up and the 1 mile run. I spent more time stretching too than last week. When I took off, I felt much better than before and completed the mile in 8:08. My schedule called for an 8:36 – 8:55 pace. I don’t know how bad it is to go much faster than the workout calls for, but it felt good at the time. It may have contributed to my struggles later in the week, but I really don’t think so.

Tempo run
On Wednesday my strength was starting to fade by this time in the week and it showed on this run. Mentally I was incapable of finishing the run. It was scheduled to be a 4 mile tempo run with a 1 mile warm up to start. What I ended up with was a 4 mile run total (including warm up) at a pace of 9:47. That is just a bit slower than the workout called for. But, I mentally could not go on. Maybe my body could have done it but not my mind.

The problem here is that we have gone on a diet (we=my wife and I). This is a low glycemic index diet. Basically you want to avoid foods that quickly get turned to sugar by your body. The first 2 weeks of it are more extreme in that you cut out anything over a certain level on the index (this includes lots of fruits). After that you start adding things back in that are healthy sugars. It is not a “no carb” diet, but it is very low carb for the first 2 weeks.

This week we ended that 2 week period. I was depleted both mentally and physically. It is not a good idea for athletes to drastically cut back on carbs, but in support of our family getting on track with eating more healthily, I am doing the diet. Now we are past that stage and things are much better.

I bonked
Bonking is what happens to marathoners between miles 20 and 22. Basically your body uses up all the instant fuel that it has (carbs and sugars) and starts eating itself. Not to worry, you probably have plenty of fat stores. The problem though is that fat does not deliver the needed energy quickly enough for sustaining a good running pace.

Thursday I was to do a 4 mile recovery run. Very easy and slow. I had started the morning with some sugary yogurt and peanut butter on a celery stick. So I was getting some carbs back in me. Mentally I was all fired up about the run. Physically I struggled to get the 4 miles under my shoes. When I got home I did some basic stretching (maybe not as much as normal) and then jumped into the shower for a nice long cool down.At the end of a hard run

While in the shower I had a physical breakdown. I started getting all weak and felt sick. I was able to get down onto the floor before I fell down. My wife got me a bottle of Gatorade and snapped this picture. Yes, I shower with my running clothes on. It helps to de-stinkify them.

I believe that I did the same thing as a marathoner. I finally used up all my stored quick energy and started eating myself. I bonked. However, I finally recovered enough to get the day going.

This week’s long run
Friday is an off day and it is also the day that we started eating more carbs as per the schedule (Thursday was a pretty sugary day since we went and celebrated a friend’s birthday with cake, cookies and ice cream, but that was not planned).

Today I got up mentally and physically feeling great. I shoved some food down my throat and got ready for my 6 mile long run. I don’t really have a 6 mile course worked out, so towards the end of my 8 mile course I started running down unfamiliar streets trying to make my way back home a bit more quickly. The total run was 6.22 miles at a pace of 10:50 a mile–right exactly where my training plan says I need to be.

I feel like I am on top of the world after today’s run. I struggled a lot this week but I capped it off well. I am eating better in general and am off the restrictive part of this diet.

The good thing about the diet is that I have lost about 8 lbs. in the 2+ weeks. I am only 4 lbs. away from my goal and I will be able to run my half marathon at 20 lbs. less than my previous halves. I am eager to see how the lower weight and, hopefully, the better training will do to my time.

Totals running: Week=22 miles, Month=52, Year=326.

2 thoughts on “Good running week…mostly”

  1. As a runner, you have to be careful with that Low-Carb (even if temporary) approach. I did the low-carb diet in 2003 for a month and it was 4-6 weeks after I went back onto regular diet that my running (fatigue and pacing) went back to normal.

  2. I am glad to know your experience. For me, after pulling off the restrictive phase, I felt wonderful and full of energy again. I did not realize that I was struggling those two weeks, but now that I am not, I can see it.

    I take a nap every day (usually 10-30 minutes). During that 2 week period I HAD to have my nap. The last several days I have been able to go without my nap. It could also have to do with the cooler weather we are having right now too. It is only getting into the low 90s each day. That is a relief.

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