Week 5 Training Recap: Sometimes the Bar Eats You
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Week 5 Training Recap: Sometimes the Bar Eats You

“A wiser fella once said, sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes, well, the bar eats you” - The Stranger, Big Lebowski

My week started with a Remicade infusion — a medication called a TNFa inhibitor that blocks my body from responding to the tumor necrosis factor alpha protein that is used to affect inflammation events — and was poorly timed with having spent the weekend taking care of one of my adult daughters with a flu. Immune blocking is the primary medication strategy for people with IBD, there are several types, but I’ve had a number of side effects to many of them. The infusions are inconvenient and certainly create challenges to athletic pursuits, where healthy inflammation is how our bodies grow and progress. This is one reason consistency is perhaps the primary variable in my control to reach the goals I’ve set for myself
By Wednesday I wasn’t feeling very hot. Thursday morning, I was actually hot and achy to boot and was certainly getting eaten by the bar. Needless to say, my training plan and mentoring got shook up, but it is important to remember that missing a few days of training doesn’t mess up a well programmed plan.

Take a look at my base fitness, training load, and running performance over the last six weeks. You can see that despite the training load shifts and well timed peaks of more intense running, my base fitness is on a steady climb and up somewhere around 90 points.

Coros Half Marathon Training

Despite missing several days of running this week, my overall miles for the week were pretty close to where I have been at 17.5 miles, even though my week was supposed to ramp up to 30 miles. I didn’t make it to the track for Wednesday’s workout and even though I wasn’t feeling 100%, I decided to go for a night run, which I’ve never done before. I put on my head lamp and hit the rec trail for about an hour. Running at night removes so much information coming in from the outside world, and taps into some primal part of our brain that is on high alert. While running at night isn’t ideal for me, there was something really special about how I felt chugging through the dark. When I got home and promptly realized I was on the downhill slide from the flu.
I was bummed to miss a planned run on the Big Sur trail course today, the race is only 3 weeks away! I was able to get out for a 6 mile long run and despite it having a lot of vertical, I was able to keep the effort low. I didn’t feel abnormally fatigued after, so I think that I’m about out the woods. 
A long slow ride on a stationary bike is a great way to keep fitness up while keeping impact down — yes, running is an impact sport (legs vs. the ground). I was able to jump on the Peloton on Saturday and do a 45 minute, 13+ mile zone 1 ride on the Stage 12 route https://my.rouvy.com/virtual-routes/detail/95415 of the Vuelta a España on Rouvy.
One great thing about slowing down was I made some amazing, nutrient dense food like this Kimchi Jjigae (kimchi stew). My go-to comfort food is Thai Hot and Sour Soup (Tom Yum), but I had some turkey bone broth in the fridge and had made kimchi a couple of months ago and everything about this combo lends itself to healing the gut and enhancing immunity. Kimchi is high in minerals and vitamin K, turkey broth has a great amino acid profile, and eggs (used in place of the traditional tofu) are one of the best foods on the planet.
I may have to make some adjustments this week and will probably slot in the Peloton to get in some more low-impact workout time. It will also be interesting to see how my strength workouts feel, but hopefully, having spent several days taking good care of myself, I can get back on track next week.
Homemade Kimchi Jjigae

Catch up with my half-marathon training and mentoring: read weeks 1, 2, 3 & 4.