CIM Training: Weeks 2-5

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Best run I've had in a while...

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The second to the last post I left off with two months ago was a recap of week one of training for the California International Marathon (CIM). I’m now (about) 11 weeks in and feel obligated to provide some sort of update of how its been going. But instead of a typical weekly workout recap I’ll share a summary of highlights and takeaways.

Here’s a recap of Weeks 2-5:

CIM Week 2, Aug 11-17: Started wearing a heart rate monitor (HRM)

I haven’t worn a heart rate monitor in years. I could never get it to work and it always chafed me. But I've been intrigued about HR training since getting a VO2 Max test done a couple of years ago at the UCSF Run Clinic.

I read about Scosche RHYTHM+ Armband Heart Rate Monitor on DC Rainmakers blog. It wraps around your forearm vs chest so I thought I’d make the investment and give it a try.

I programmed the HR Zones from my VO2 Max test. They’re probably outdated but I went with it anyway. I found that I consistently went from Zone 1 to Zone 5 in minutes. So basically I was running too fast and out of shape.

Fascinating. From this week on I purposefully worked on dialing my pace back on easy and long runs. Essentially, if my coach didn’t prescribe specific paces, I worked on staying in a lower zone vs trying to speed up my pace.

CIM Week 3, Aug 18-24: Relearning how to fuel for long runs

I missed a good chunk of training this week due to work travel back east. I did my long run that weekend when I got back. Its been so many months since I’ve consistently ran “long” runs that I sort of forgot how to fuel for them.

I took the fuel that I planned on using to Dr Ponce, my functional medicine doctor who I’ve been working with for the past year. She did a muscle response test to see my my body responded to them:

* Honey Stinger gels: approved * Nuun: approved * Lara Bars (chocolate flavor): not approved. My body did not respond well to them so she suggested trying another flavor, perhaps fruit. I've since started eating the apple

CIM Week 4, Aug 25-31: Dealing with plantar fasciitis

After months of walking my dog wearing slippers (flip flops), my fear of plantar fasciitis came to fruition. I could feel it coming on for days but ignored it. And now I was at the point where I couldn’t even walk Coco without limping.

I had plantar fasciitis back in 2008 so I knew exactly what the pain in my foot was, how I caused it and what I needed to do to treat it.

I ordered a night splint from Amazon (with my Prime membership I got same-day delivery!). I also started wearing shoes, even when just at home. The only time I didn’t wear them was when I slept. I also rolled my calves and foot at every available moment. Oh and got a massage.

CIM Week 5, Sept 1-7: The Giant Race - Half Marathon #22

My triage on my foot worked and I was able to run the Giant Race half marathon. It was half marathon #22 and my first double digit run since the Big Sur Half Marathon last November - 10 months!

In all honesty, I’m not sure if I’ll write a full race recap of it. So the highlights were:

* I was undertrained and the struggle in the later miles was real but felt a weight off my shoulders when my Garmin read double digits. * And it wasn’t a personal worst (PW)! * My foot held up! Miraculously, it was a non-issue and hasn’t caused too much trouble since.