Week 3 Training Recap: Training Pays Off at the End of a Busy Month
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Week 3 Training Recap: Training Pays Off at the End of a Busy Month

August has been the busiest month of *daily life* since I started dealing with Crohn's disease over a decade ago. This week, despite ending with a race, felt *relatively easy*.

Catch up with my half-marathon training and mentoring: read week 1 & week 2.

Coros Half Marathon Training

Training this week went a bit smoother with the other obligations of the market and mentoring. I opted to run on Monday (avoiding a double-stacked Thursday strength workout) to keep my fatigue in check going into the race weekend. Overall mileage was about the same as last week ~22 miles, and I opted for a walk again on Sunday rather than an easy run. Looking at my dashboard shows my running performance at 110% this week — still in optimized range for my training load. My total load was still way over the scheduled training even without the Sunday run. Next week will be a lower volume week as this week wraps up a three week block. The most significant improvement was a much smoother integration of my own workout with the mid-week track workout for the Fleet Feet Half Marathon group I’m mentoring.

Fleet Feet Half Marathon Training

My mentoring this week was limited to the track as I would be racing during the Saturday long run. We did a pyramid workout that built up a bit of distance at race goal pace (400 & 800m sets) with a final set at a faster pace. My pace group ran 10:20 to start and finished with a set of 400’s at 9:45. It seemed like the workout was a big confidence booster for my group who found that they could run at their goal, as well as faster and modulate their heart rate. Building the two gears of slow and long with the ability to burst was just as valuable for my own training as it was hopefully for theirs — and I’d need it for Saturday.

The Santa Cruz Trail 10k

When I set out from the starting line Saturday in the redwoods at Henry Cowell, I didn't feel great — my energy was low and legs a bit heavy. I wasn't surprised, my nutrition the night before was off and I ended up not eating dinner, meaning I was at a deficit on the line, despite being in a ketogenic state. The race has a tough profile at near 1000 feet of vertical with two half-mile sections over 8% grade and an opening 2.25 miles over 4% average grade. To top it off, when you arrive at the top of the climb, you are greeted with beach-depth sand. I compensated by starting my run fueling with carbs rather than ketones as is my normal pattern. It worked, and I was able to open it up after the first half and finished right in line with my goal at 1:10:07.

The course was significantly harder than the Golden State 10k I ran in July, with about twice the amount of vertical. My run data showed significantly more power sustained for a longer period of time, but what stood out the most to me was how consistent my heart rate was over the race — most of the time was at threshold and aerobic endurance, peaking in the last two miles of the race.

Reaching my goal finish time at the Santa Cruz Trail 10k was a great confirmation of the kind of resiliency and strength I've been able to build since my full colectomy, abdominal reconstruction, and ileostemy surgery in December. But this is just the next stop toward my big goals which kick off in September.

At the finish of the Santa Cruz Trail 10k