PGH Marathon Training – Peak weeks – Weeks 13 and 14 of 16

This is it folks. Only two taper weeks remaining before the Pittsburgh Marathon. Other than a week I got the flu, and a week I had a lot of business related travel, I was very faithful to my planned schedule. I hope it was enough. Two things I know for sure: (1) it has been fun, but (2) I am so ready to take a little marathon-training break and switch to not having to do a super long run every weekend, at least for a little while.

I feel proud of my effort, but I don’t think it will be enough to qualify to Boston. I would have to run at a 7:00 pace, and I think 7:10 is a much more realistic expectation. We’ll see. I will wait until next week when my legs aren’t this sore to make a pace plan for race day.

Week 13

Originally, it was supposed to be peak week. But, as usual, I had to make some adjustments along the way. With longer runs and bike rides, I haven’t had time to do as much strength work and swimming as before, which I guess it is ok at this point. Instead, I totalled close to 40 running miles, which is a lot for me. Also, I’m riding my bike everywhere now that the weather allows it.

Week 14

I planned a half marathon for Tuesday and a 20+ miler for Sunday. In the end, I cut the half marathon short, and I dropped the + of my twenty miler stopping exactly when my Garmin read 20.00.  As a result, I was half a mile short from doing my first ever 40 mile week. Still, I had some seriously good runs, and I am satisfied with my performance and proud of my effort.

19 miles before dawn

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Safety before fashion

Week 13 was as busy as it can be.  But, at this point, cancelling my long run would have amounted to giving up a lot of my expectations and ruining a lot of my effort. So, I scheduled the run for the only time I could fit in in my schedule. I set up my alarm for 3:00, put on a reflective vest my wife got in Ikea, and I managed to finish my 19 miles before dawn. To be honest, I really enjoyed the last part of the run. As the sun was coming out and I was pushing the last two miles I felt like a breathing walking (running?) inspirational quote 🙂

1 year of progress

This is it, the longest run and the last really tough workout of the cycle. I’m happy I started early, because Spring suddenly arrived and the temperature was already in the high 70s by the end of my run. I felt strong for most of the run and I almost met my target time of 2 hours 30 minutes (I was short by less than 2 minutes).

The last two miles were extremely hard. So hard that I almost want to wonder whether I am ready to do 26 miles in two weeks. But I know I am, because this is not my first time around. Last year, two weeks before Pittsburgh, I did a 20 miler, almost like this one but with a couple of differences. Last year, my pace was 8:52 min/mile and not 7:32, and it was the last 4 miles that I struggled and not just the last 2.  So, I know I’m ready ad excited to run Pittsburgh once again!!

#GameonPGH

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What a wonderful run!! — It was my last long run in preparation for the @pghmarathon 20miles @ 7:34 pace #GameOnPGH — I did three 6-8 mile loops around my place. The last one was really hot and my legs were really tired, but it was also the best because my wonderful wife @kibilds escorted me with her bike 🏃🏻🚴🏼❤️❤️ — Now I'm ready for a 2-week taper and then my second marathon!! — Also good luck to everyone running the Boston Marathon today!!! #runbold If I do well in Pittsburgh maybe I'll get to run it next year #bostoninmymind — #longrunsunday #hellobetter #beatyesterday #fitcouple #newtonrunning #marathonrunner #marathontraining #runloud #riseandrun #roadtoironman #trilife #runnershigh #runnerspace #runnerscommunity #runnersofinstagram #runchat #outsideisfree #runnershoutouts #runnerofsteel #furtherfasterstronger #happyrun #runeatsleeprepeat #swimbikerun #runitfast #20miles #longrun

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Bunion Surgery Recovery: Week 12

Yesterday marked 12 weeks post bunion surgery. It’s incredible how easy it is to fall back into a normal routine and forget the recovery journey, and I find myself randomly longing for the early Netflix-and-napping-all-day days. I’m stuck between “still recovering” and “almost okay” which is a bit awkward.

Photo Feb 13, 10 57 08
12 weeks after bunion surgery

These are the things that remind me that I’m still recovering:

  • I cannot drive yet
  • I cannot wear regular shoes
  • No exercise using my feet
  • I still have to wear a toe separator
  • My foot swells and tingles after being at the office all day
  • I have a limp when I walk

This are the things that make me feel almost okay:

  • I can spend 8 hours at the office with only some discomfort
  • I CAN SWIM (provided I am not barefoot around the pool)
  • I’ve been killing my upper body weight training
  • I can sleep normally
  • I can wear regular shoes (if they have thick, sturdy soles — so not my regular shoes)
  • I can paint my toe nails 😉

My next recovery milestone is driving and doing some form of exercise that involves using my foot. I am very happy with the pace of my recovery and the surgery results. My right foot does not hurt at all, and now I am noticing the bunion pain in my left foot (which was shadowed by the severe pain in the right foot).

I can’t yet say whether this will make running or cycling better for me in the end, but I can’t imagine how it could not!

PGH Marathon training – Week 1/16

The first week of a training cycle is always exciting. This is week 1 of my 16-week training plan for the 2016 Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, and it is a specially exciting cycle for me.

Last fall I was training for my first Boston qualifying attempt, but then work got in the way. From mid October to mid December, I was barely sleeping, had no time to cook or train properly, and some weeks I didn’t even run at all! So, I backed out from the Philly marathon and only did the half instead.

Now, things are back to normal and I feel ready to go. Something tells this next cycle will be full of excitement and good news.

The day by day workout breakdown was as follows:

  • Monday Morning: 1 mile swim including 10 x 25m @ 19 sec. Afternoon: Les Mills Grit™ 30:00 min HIIT class
  • Tuesday Morning: 6.29 miles run @ 7:59 min/mile on fresh slippery snow. Afternoon: upper body lifting workout
  • Wednesday — Easy swim for a semi-rest day
  • Thursday Morning: 4.92 miles run @ 6:47 min miles average (random pickups since the track was closed). Afternoon: full body lifting workout
  • Friday — Fitology Studio 3 class combo (30 min indoor cycling +  30 min lifting + 30 min core)
  • Saturday — Full body lifting workout
  • Sunday — 10.01 miles run @ 7:17 min/mile

Continue reading “PGH Marathon training – Week 1/16”