CIM Week Five–Stepback

I’m feeling the need to disclaim this weekly recap – even though I think I’ve said it in the past – that I’m using a made-up training plan.

Yes, I have 16 weeks of workouts mapped out.  Yes, there was some level of thought and strategy when putting it together, but the fact is that I made it up.  Based on what I’ve done in the past, what I like find tolerable, and what I’ve read are “key” to successful training (step back weeks, 10% rule, recovery days, etc).

No coaches, no Higdon, nothing but me on a plane one day with a spreadsheet and no wifi.

So each week, please keep that in mind.  I’m not big on myself enough to think anybody’s reading OUaL for a miracle marathon training plan, but just in case… Grain of salt. Consult a doctor. Don’t follow me to the bridge.

Where’s this sudden public training self-consciousness coming from?

  1. Peak week high mileage is affecting my brain in weird ways
  2. A few “that many miles, already??” comments I shouldn’t have taken to heart but sort of did
  3. Worrying that there are more bodies at stake than mine (namely, Kristina, marathon virgin, who’s been CIM Long Running with me)
    • update : just talked to K and she pinky promised to tell me if things are too much. I’m not “coaching” her – she’s got her plan and I’ve got mine – we’re just company for boring long runs

I’m pretty in tune with my body – I can tell when something’s off or I need to reign it in.  But the thought that there might be others following along, or feeling pressured to keep up (term used loosely as literally keeping up would not be that difficult), has me feeling nervous about the quick-out-of-the-gate peak week.

Because that’s what we did this week.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

CIM Training – Week #4

Su – 30 min easy bike, abs

M – 4mi easy, paddleboard, bike, vball – Labor Day smorgasbord


yes, those are violet rogas SUP’ing

T –  7mi Track  – ladder-type interval. 1200 – 1000 – 800 – 400 (x2) with 200m walk/jog recovery.  Ball buster but it was good to get away from repeats for a second .

W – 6mi easy

Th – 7mi fartlek’y mile repeats – 4x1mi (7, 7, 6:59, 6:44) with .25 recovery (9-10 min/mi). Lost the pace screen for 3 & 4 (stupid garmin), and was WAY surprised to see how spot-on my paces were. Confidence boost – check.

F – Rest

Sa – 20 mi Long Run ~2:52  ** NO DATA, SEE BELOW

    = 44 miles – highest week since Ragnar week in April, and highest (ever?) without double long runs (Sun one week Sat next so they both fall in same 7-day span)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

When making long run plans with a friend, and they say “let’s meet here, it’s perfectly equidistance for both of us!”, and that spot is <1mi from your place, assume the plan is to run there.

I kept telling myself this AM how stupid it was to drive .87mi to Starbucks, but when it comes to 20milers I applied the ‘spend as little extra time on your feet as possible’ principle.

So I’m sitting in my car waiting for K to pull in, and suddenly she knocks on the window.  She’s sweaty.

OF COURSE it made sense to run there.

Anyway, no big, I’d just tack on the extra mile solo at the end. Let’s get going!


WTF Garmin. What have I done this week to earn such spiteful hate from you??!

Kristina talked me off the ledge – once upon a time people ran without instant feedback on pace and distance and splits and all those other things we obsess over!  We can just go off total time!  It’ll be nice!

I called her stupid and sat on the curb and cried.

Not really.  But I did say our first 20 miler wasn’t the ideal time to be trying out these fandangled hippie running theories.  Damnit I want my data.

Truthfully, if I’d been solo I would have put off the run.  But I sacked up and we took off.

We ran to Back Bay (2mi), around (10mi), tacked on a quick out-and-back (4mi), ran to K’s (3mi), and then I ran the final mile back to Sbux solo to finish off a no-garmin-required 20.

Turns out : It was kind of calming to just run and not stress over pace or distance or “OMG 7.19 MILES LEFT TO GO BLARARAHGHHH!”  I mean, once the withdrawal symptoms and hysterical crying ended that is.  I won’t be purposefully running without it anytime soon, but I’m (reluctantly) happy to report that the run world still spins without the aid of Garmin satellites.

Peak week – COMPLETE.


this pic (from susan) has nothing to do with this post, I just thought maybe you were missing HTC talk and would want to see it

*  Would you consider a data detox?  Have you had a (forced or willing) break up with your watch??  I hear chirping about unplugging improving people’s times, but not sure I want to test it…

Sarah OUaL


25 thoughts on “CIM Week Five–Stepback

  1. I only just got a GPS watch, so I’m quite used to naked running.

    I’m trying really hard to not become dependent on it now – I’m only going to wear it for long runs, tempos, and races (well that’s what I keep telling myself…)


  2. My Garmin died and I decided not to replace it. I have been running solely on TIME for about two months now. Never thought I would say this, but it is surprisingly liberating…..


  3. I sometimes run without my Ipod, and in some races I do the first half with no music so that the second half seems better and I can run it faster!

    But yeah, the first time, I drove to my route and realised it was out of battery, so I just knuckled under and went without.


  4. I just got back from a Garmin-less 22 miler (my first) and it was pretty good. Without the gps I did end up having to run a loop I knew the distance of twice which turned out way better than I feared then a little bit extra to get the distance. In prep for Marine Corps I’ve been more attentive to total time on my long runs because a great pace isn’t so great if you don’t count the ten minutes of trail side vomiting that accompanies it (mostly joking) so I was pretty prepared to just check my time a different points along the way on my phone. That said, isn’t a long run better when you have a little documentation to back it up.


  5. My coach started making me run without my garmin once a week because not looking at it compulsively every minute or so drove me nuts. It was nerve wracking at first, then I fell in love with just running again. My next race I barely looked at it and ran by feel and it was the best race I’d felt and a definite PR under bad weather conditions. I’d say go garmin-free once a week or so and just enjoy how it feels to run.


  6. i’ll occasionally do a mid week run with no watch (for the same reason as you). and honestly, it’s kinda nice to not be able to look down and see how fast i am going-but i often look down and stare at my empty wrist. problem? perhaps a little obsessed too.


  7. I have a general sense of pacing so I can pretty much tell how fast I am going. That said I wouldn’t want to run a long run without data! I like my data too! I do some easy runs without my watch though.


  8. I forgot my Garmin today for my 16 miler… I thought of turning on one of my iPhone pace keepers but decided to “just run.” I looked at the time when I started, when I was half way, and when I finished. Running on feel felt so good. I was super happy with my finishing time and that I have an honest “total time” instead of calculating how much time to take off when I stopped to “x,y, or z.” I miss not being able to over analyze every step of the run, and that I won’t be able to compare it to when I do the same run in the future, but just relaxing on the run was worth it! Good luck with your training and any future Garminless runs!


  9. You’re still cracking me up. That last picture caption? KILLING ME. I’m going to try that interval workout (was it 2x’s through, or just 2x’s 400 at the end?) Also…I sometimes love love NOT having data because it really stresses me out, and sometimes makes me run faster than I want to.


  10. I don’t have a Garmin yet. Not for lack of begging. Fundage is mega low and the Hubs thinks things like groceries and feeding our pets are more important than me having nifty running gadgetry. He’s so needy! So projections for getting this running revolution of awesometastity: Christmas. Thanks for rubbing it it OUaL! :P


  11. I’m 50-50 on the Garmin. If I’m running a regular route I often skip it. But for long runs, esp PDRs (when I was training for my first 26.2) I HAD to have it there.

    One thing I almost never (like 99% never) run with is music. I ran a 23-miler ALONE with NO MUSIC. I feel that that is hard core. Almost (almost!) prouder of that than my marathon time.


  12. My Garmin is dead (and still no reply from the company. pretty poor) so as of now I am running GPS free. Used Lane’s watch on Saturday and after it lost sat for the second time it was useless. At least it told time so I knew when to gel, lol. Great week my friend!


  13. I have a Garmin but I haven’t used it in a while…I actually really like being unplugged and running for time/feel. If it’s important to me to know distance or splits I’ll either map it beforehand, run a route I know, or run at a local park that has markers every quarter mile.


  14. I have never run with a GPS, don’t plan on buying one. I turn on my stopwatch on my iPod when I go running and just enjoy the process. It’s fun to see how I did afterwards when my run is complete


  15. Pingback: The Last 13 Hours – A Binge | Once Upon a (L)ime


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