CIM Week Seven–Brain Training

Holy crap, single digit weeks left til CIM. It feels equal parts forever away and like tomorrow. This whole full-length training cycle is really messing with my head.

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CIM Training – Week #7

Su – Rest day in San Diego. Long walk + cardiac therapy watching our Brownies come almostthisclose to winning/looking like a proper football team (against the *other* worst team in the league) ((minor, insignificant detail))


M – 6 easy

T – 7mi w off-track speedwork (6×800) – 3:08-:13. This was meant to be 8 sets a little slower, but I was on a bike path next to a new-to-me laundromat, which I failed to realize was not in the best part of town. So instead of exposing myself to dirty catcalls, dodging packs of Spanish-screaming kids on scooters, and leaving my laundry unattended after its spin cycle, I made it shorter and faster.

And then I ran two more miles during dry time just so I didn’t have to hang around and get peddled for quarters.

(I’ll stick to our reg laundry spot from now on)

W – RestGirls Night Out went a little later than I expected, and the 6-7E I planned to run fueled on cupcakes and champagne didn’t happen. Dangit.


orig from Sheila

Th – 11mi total – first Double in a while. 4 easy AM (yes really I got up on my own) and a two-lap trek on my “big hill” loop after work for 7mi. I wanted a good ass-kicking (literally, buns were BURNING) and made it my mission to negative split the second lap. 25flat, 24:09, BOOYAH.



btw, the Distance shorts? pocket heaven. even my giant clunky keys fit and stayed put – no bothers.

F – Rest. Thought about some shakeout miles (greedily bc I wanted 50 for the week, not bc I “needed” them) but opted out.

Sa – 21 miler, solo, music-free. Yes, you read that right, and yes, I’m still here to talk about it.


Since I’ve been doing most of my long runs with friends, I felt like I needed to get through one on my own since race day isn’t going to be filled with distracting chit-chat.

My weekday runs have been going really well and I always sit down afterwards feeling GOOD and STRONG, confident about CIM. But never fail that weekend long run comes and my brain is suddenly full of nerves and polluted self-doubt. I need to sort out this dang mental game to avoid yet another late-miles meltdown on race day.

While I still battled some of thoselet’s just slow down, it’s fine (running slower doesn’t feel any easier),ugh isn’t it over yet?” (look how many you’ve already run, not how many are left), and this hurts and is stupid. why are we doing this?” (it’s supposed to hurt! be ok with it. think of the finish Dec 2nd!) thoughts, I can happily say that I finished this run feeling strong physically AND mentally.

I started conservatively, checked in with Garmin occasionally but didn’t obsess, stayed hydrated and fueled (3 refill stops), and had enough at the end to kick the last 3 miles.



Ok really the promise of champagne brunch at SR’s is what got me through. Thanks for feeding the hungry long runners, friend.

= 45 miles

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With the start of the new month, a race on the horizon (hello LB half in 7 days) I’m really excited to dive into my new Believe I Am training journal to start recording some of these running thoughts completely un-censored. My spreadsheet log is great and a TypeA dream for analyzing quantitative data, but I think writing honestly about the emotional side of running is going to improve my game big time.



Embracing visual cues, addressing mental barriers, and building a path towards my goals – could this be the missing piece to take my training to the next level?

Along with BIA’s other “Sisters in Sport” I’ll be sharing bits from the journal periodically – like raw, un-edited, terribly handwritten feelings and things.

Be ready.

  * Do you log your training? Is it numbers-heavy? Diary-like? Has anyone else’s handwriting deteriorated a billion points since school?

Sarah OUaL

20 thoughts on “CIM Week Seven–Brain Training

  1. When I read the headline quickly, I thought you were BRIAN training and was about to ask for hints on husband husbandry!

    Yes, my handwriting is horrific these days. I can’t write at all by hand now.


  2. I started using the Believe I Am training journal about a month ago. I love it! I used to log my workouts in excel – but I would slack because editing the cells is cumbersome. I often didn’t want to fire up the laptop and do it. But logging in the journal is so easy! Makes blogging easier too. Amazing long run!! Good job!!


  3. I finally spent some time to make a well though out training plan for the next 12 weeks. It’s in Excel and in Dropbox and Google Docs so I can access it anywhere and make edits on the fly. I’ve never really thought about journaling training thoughts and feelings… curious to see how that turns out! I like the multitasking of running and laundry. Might have to do that in a few days!


  4. Haha, yes and yes. I usually just log distance, because almost without fail I start to get those “Ohmigosh-I’m-gonna-die-no-way-can-I-finish-this” thoughts, so basically that’s all the diary journal would consist of :) And handwriting? Try chicken-scratch. Hence the keyboard!


  5. I got a BIA journal back in July and have really liked using it. It’s super motivating! Plus I can pretend my BFF Lauren Fleshman is personally invested in my training, haha.

    Nice pace on the long run, and congrats on facing down the demons.


  6. Ok… I know you’re like crazy cool at multi-tasking and being type A but did you manage to do a champagne brunch thing AND attend beer social hour at YardHouse? If so, you’re amaze.


  7. Wow you had a pretty great week of running – good job. Is that hill loop the Polaris loop I told you about? You must have been pretty far off the peninsula to be in a bad neighborhood – stick close to the point! ; ) There is a laundry mat down by the library, nice and quiet.


  8. I too feel like I have been super dependent on training with people for my upcoming race, very smart of you to get a run in by yourself! Even with company I still get doubts and those voices, those damn voices!! (j/k) I mean the negative thoughts that come up about it being hard, you can stop, etc…

    I don’t journal about my running….but I would be interested to hear if you find it beneficial.


  9. Congrats on the 21 miler, and without music too! Great pace. So much of a marathon is mental so it is great that you felt good mentally during the run too. Progress!!

    I always create a spreadsheet for my training and then print it out. I get a lot of satisfaction from putting a big X across each run when I complete it!

    I just ran the Wineglass Marathon in NY this weekend and I was lucky enough to begin chatting with two people around mile 5. We stayed together until the end- it was fantastic. Hope the same happens to you at CIM!


  10. Kinda random but when i was training for my first marathon everyone said “you can’t train for one on your own”. So I trained completely solo for it. I even did all of my long runs without music….and lived to tell about it.


  11. I’ve just started running with a club (meet people, get used to running in close vicinty to others!). It’s great but the thing is I’ve started getting really angsty about not being able to keep up. It hasn’t happened yet but it’s stressnig me out! Has thins ever happened to you when you run in company? Especially longer runs? p.s. wish I had your speed.


  12. I’m so grateful for today. When I woke up it didn’t look good. For the first time this training period, my legs were sore and knees felt off because I messed up yesterday. Instead of taking a rest day before this long run, I did 8 miles of intervals. Not sure what got into me, the run felt so good yesterday, I pushed – and felt it this am. Tired, sore and it was going to rain. Not good.


  13. Pingback: Sisters in Sport–When (surprise) Success Isn’t a Measurable Goal | Once Upon a (L)ime


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