The past few weeks have been a blur of deadlines, lots of training, and totally inadequate sleep. By last Wednesday the cracks were starting to appear and I was starting to feel the warning signs of overtraining. We were headed to Balitmore on Thursday to spend Passover with the Caveboy’s family, so I was looking forward to catching up on some sleep and having a good excuse to back off the 2-a-days. We had a lovely holiday, but between the cooking and Seders I’m pretty sure I ended up more sleep-deprived that before. I did manage to get some good runs, though possibly a little too good.
I’ve nearly eliminated easy runs from my schedule to make room for the biking and swimming, and the result has been that I’m now finding pacing much more difficult when I do have an easy day. I went out for a 6-miler on Friday and a 7 on Saturday with the intention of keeping my heart rate down and running 9:30-10 minute pace. The neighborhood around the Caveboy’s home is relentlessly rolling, though, and I found myself continually charging up hills, realizing it, and then trying to bring the pace down on the downhills, which never works. On Sunday I had semi-tired legs and 12 miles at 8:13 pace on the schedule. It was one of those days where I really wanted to have done my run, but not to actually do it. For starters, nutrition was a challenge since most of my usual pre-run foods were not kosher for Passover. While avoiding leavened bread and corn syrup has never been a major issue for me, we also further distinguish Passover meals from the rest of the year by preparing food with separate dishes and utensils. That means no blender for smoothies, no GU’s, and no Accelerade. I was hoping to scrounge up some honey packets, but had no success, so I ended up slicing up an orange, putting it in a zip-loc, and smooshing it into my running belt. To quote Eric Cartman, “Now that’s what I call a sticky situation.” I didn’t want to stray too far from the Caveboy’s, so I mapped out an annoying multi-loop neighborhood route which would at least avoid any major traffic. It was overcast and windy and the loop turned out to be even hillier than I’d imagined. According to the Garmin data, I had two climbs at 5%, and 1,100 feet of gain. I had to do one section of it three times, which was demoralizing since I knew after the first one exactly how much it sucked. Since the route was continuously up and down I tried not to look at the Garmin pace too much and just go by feel. I spent most of the last loop telling myself to pull up my big girl tights and just get it done, which I eventually did. The verdict was an average 8:14 split, with which I was pretty damn pleased.
I had noticed a weird sensation in the tendon in my big toe the day before, and after the long run I tried to figure out what was going on. It didn’t hurt, but it felt like the tendon was sliding against something. When I moved it I could feel friction and it was actually making a squeaking sound. A visit to Dr. Google determined that this is actually a thing—it’s likely a form of tendonitis in which the sheath rather than the tendon itself is inflamed. Dr. Google further recommended RICE, which was fine since I wasn’t planning to run on Monday anyway. By Tuesday morning it was no longer squeaky, so I went ahead with my 5x1K intervals as planned. Sure enough, post-run the squeak was back. My initial instinct was to push through the rest of the week’s runs as scheduled since next week will be a taper before the More Women’s Half, but I may actually be getting smarter, because I reconsidered. The half next week is not an A race, or really even a B race. It’s too close to the NYC half to be much of a data point, and I’m doing it solely to get my 9 NYRR races in this year. Risking injury to get a few more training runs in for a race that doesn’t matter is stupid. I scrapped my Thursday tempo run in favor of a bike tempo, and may skip the 8-mile “long” run this weekend too. I have a 4-mile race (again for my NYRR 9) on Sunday, but I will probably avoid additional running unless all systems are go.
On the Passover fueling front, when we got back from Baltimore this weekend I made a batch of my Passover-approved Caffeinated Quinoa, which has been my pre-workout breakfast all week.
1 cup water
1 cup strong black coffee
1 cup quinoa
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cocoa
½ tsp salt
- Combine water, coffee, salt, and quinoa in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Cover and simmer until all water is absorbed. (The quinoa is ready when the curlicues are visible.)
- Stir in cinnamon and cocoa.
Serve, or refrigerate for later. Stir in milk, almond butter, nuts, dried fruit, etc if desired.