Category Archives: Running

CIM Training: Weeks 2-5


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 They’re probably outdated but I went with it anyway.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.

CIM Training Week 1: Aug 4-10

Now that its time to start training, I’m going to recap my Weekly Workout Recaps marking the number of weeks of CIM training:

Mon, 8/4: Rest Day
Tues, 8/5: 50-min Run of 4-minute intervals
Wed, 8/6: Strength Training with Trainer Dave
Thurs, 8/7: 50-min Run of 1-min sprints
Fri, 8/8: Rest Day
Sat, 8/9: VeganRunning Spin class at Equinox
Sun, 8/10: 90-min 70-min Run

My typical routine on days that I run is:

– Wake up
– Take Coco out for a 20-30 min walk
– Come home and eat half a banana and do some dynamic stretches
– Put Coco in her crate
– Leave for run
– Come home and feed Coco (and myself!) breakfast

Except I overslept on Sunday morning. We didn’t get out for our walk until almost 9 am which left me with a scheduling dilemma. I didn’t want to leave for a 90-min run and not feed her breakfast until after 11 am.

I ended up feeding her when we got home, which then meant that I had to wait for her to do her poop business after she ate. By then I was starving myself so I ended up eating breakfast too…

I have been struggling with figuring out a routine for her when I need to run longer miles. I have NEVER done a long run in the afternoon/evening but it was an idea I’d been toying with. What a better time to give it a try!

It would have been ideal to start my run at 6:30-7:00 pm, but I decided to start earlier because:

1. Evening running gives me insomnia

2. Coco eats dinner at 6 pm. She has an extremely sensitive stomach so I don’t like to deviate too much from her normal routine. When I have in the past there were consequences for the both of us.

3. I didn’t want to eat dinner late either.

So even though it was a hot (for me) day, I started my run at 4 pm. Whenever I’ve see people running during this time-of-day I’ve always thought to myself, “Why???” Now I know…

The first couple of miles felt tolerable and then around Mile 3 I crumbled. Had there been some shade I could have managed but it was 95% exposed and well, I don’t do well when the sun is beating straight down on me.

{So pretty to look at, so awfully hot to run in..}

It was so warm that the small water bottle I carried was emptied by Mile 4. I was slowing melting away.

Around the 45-min mark I ran under a tree for shade. I pulled out my phone and send my coach a text message asking him when an acceptable time to cut the run short would be. He told me to cut it the run down by 20-min. I was thrilled but barely made it to 70-min (and was so happy to be done!).

That evening it took hours to wind down from the run – and heat. And as expected, insomnia hit me hard that night. I still felt wired past midnight.

Clearly afternoon/evening running doesn’t work for me. Not only did it throw off my sleeping schedule, it also messed up my digestive system. Even though I didn’t eat anything for at least 2+ hrs before my run, the Vietnamese food that I ate for lunch did not sit will in my belly during the run.

It was a good experiment for me to try as now I can eliminate it from my options (or suffer the consequences again).

Moving forward I need to make a better effort at going to bed early the night before my long runs. And I need to stick to my proven early morning long run routine.

As for Coco, I’m considering having someone watch her (or sending her to doggie day care). That way, I won’t have to worry if she’s been in her crate too long. And I could run long runs elsewhere – like in the cool, foggy (and hilly) City!

“Its About That Time” – Weekly Workout Recap: July 28 – August 3, 2014

{I wish I could run like Coco!}

I haven’t been posting my Weekly Workout Recaps because they’ve been non-existent. I spent the past few weeks focused on strengthening my knees and hips which has been successful – all pain gone! *knocks on wood*

My running coach said, “It’s about that time…” so I guess I can say that CIM marathon training has officially begun.


A couple of weeks ago I went into my new gym for my free fitness assessment. It included a V02 max test. To quote the trainer who did my test, “So you plan to run a marathon this year? I suggest you start swimming and running hills because you’re going to need more endurance than this…”

With that in mind, here’s how the week went:

– Mon, 7/28: 30-min Swim

– Tues, 7/29: 4.03 miles Intervals Run

– Wed, 7/30: Strength Training with Dave (my first workout with him since he came back from a month-long vacation)

– Thurs, 7/31: 2.81 miles Stair Intervals

– Fri, 8/1: Attempted Strength Training session with Dave (but the DOMS from Wednesday was too intense and I couldn’t even do a single TRX Atomic Push-up.

– Sat, 8/2: Spin class with Meghan

- Sun, 8/3: 80-min Run in Golden Gate Park

The highlight of this week was the run in Golden Gate Park.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’ve limited myself to running around my neighborhood so it was more than a treat to be back in foggy GGP.

It wasn’t an easy run by any means, especially up those hills, but I didn’t hate it!

It sucks is humbling to have to rebuild my running fitness from scratch but this run felt so good! It’s one of the best runs that I’ve had in a long time!

And it left me feeling excited to start training “for real” this time!