CHM Training update: T-16 weeks – What a week!

I don’t have much in the way of introduction this week, let’s just jump right in, shall we?

Sunday 9-29: Long run – 85-95 min @ 9:18/mi, 9.5 mi // 1:45:00 @ 9:45/mi, 10.75 mi (more or less)The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the Name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21) We had overcast skies and a breeze, for a nice change…until the thunderstorms made my GPS lose tracking. It showed me instantly teleporting clear across the park several times (wish that would work in a race!), so I had to estimate…that’s why I ran “over”, just did enough laps to be sure I had my distance. The humidity was rough, too; SO ready for this “cooler weather” I keep hearing about!

Monday 9-30: Rest day – I was really glad this was a “rest day”, because I started a new temp job with a company that installs office furniture. (I’m on indefinite layoff from my regular job, hoping to be back before end of year.) Since I have no experience in furniture, I got to break down about a zillion boxes and load trash in the truck – for ten hours, in a warehouse with no A/C. I am calling this a blessing, since temp work pays way more than no work, right? On a brighter note, I received the news that I had been selected as one of ten Ambassadors to the 2014 Chevron Houston Marathon! (Like my shiny new badge up on top?) We are scheduled to meet next week to learn the details, but whatever – I’m STOKED! Stay tuned for updates on this as I learn more.

Tuesday 10-1: TM intervals – 1.25 mi walk/easy run warm-up; 6×400 @ 1 mi pace (7:20/mi), 1:30 rest; 1.25 mi easy run cool down //  50:40, 5 mi total  It really makes me smile to reflect on my progress in just a few months- this workout would have killed me in April! Also I added on to the cool down to use this run as my #fall5and10 entry for October – thanks again, Laura, for setting this up! I’m having fun checking out some of the other participants as well.

Wednesday 10-2: Cross training  //  Stretching and foam rolling  Nothing has changed; nothing else to say.

Thursday 10-3: Maintenance – 55-60 min @ 9:18/mi, 6 mi //  56:11 @ 9:21/mi, 6 mi  Since my work schedule has changed, my running schedule has too; I’m doing more TM work because it gets dark by the time I get home, and I have learned this ‘hood ain’t safe after dark. But I’m trying to make the best of it; now I start off slow(er) than usual, and increase the speed every mile – and I kind of like seeing the pace track on my Nike+ page look like it’s going upstairs – guaranteed negative splits! 🙂

Friday 10-4: Maintenance – 65-70 min @ 9:18/mi, 7 mi  // Zero Long, busy day, dealing with a different temp job (gotta keep that hustle going, the bills don’t pay themselves) so I declared a rest day and moved on. Later that night I took the opportunity to visit one of the best haunted houses in Houston, Phobia, where I ran into another of the Ambassadors, Sarah, who is a DJ on a local radio station. If you follow me on Twitter, you also saw my “near-death experience“…hee hee hee!

Saturday 10-5: Cross training //  Maintenance 1:03:52 @ 9:07/mi, 7 mi Another day like Thursday, with pace progression at each mile; also a chance to practice fuel and hydration during the run – I’m getting better at holding my tempo while sucking down a gel or pulling a water bottle off my belt, instead of walking through it.  Let’s see how this works out on tomorrow’s long run!

Total for this week: 4 runs, 28.8 miles

Total for September: 16 runs, 75.5 miles (highest one-month total since I was training for the S. Padre Half)

Total for October: 3 runs, 18 miles – a good start on a 100+ mile month 🙂

So, my training is going well, I believe. I feel confident going into my double races next weekend (5K on Saturday, 10-mile on Sunday, did that on purpose). It’s other issues that have me twitchy, mostly diet and nutrition. It’s been 5 weeks since I had my remaining teeth cut out, and in that time I have lost 12 pounds. I still have 3 more weeks of healing before I get fitted for dentures, and probably another 1-2 weeks after that before I actually have them…so you can imagine the difficulties I have had trying to get enough calories into my body. Add in the financial impact of losing half (or more) of my salary, and I am becoming concerned about being able to last the distance – I just don’t know if it is possible to consume enough fuel during a race to offset going in with a glycogen deficit. The constant gnawing of hunger is also a huge distraction – I am eating as much as I can while I’m at work, but this new job does not take breaks; they expect us to work pretty much nonstop from start to lunch, and then from lunch to quitting time – whatever time that is. While I have endured these conditions before, I wasn’t an athlete in training back then. Add in the challenges of no refrigeration or microwaves where I’m working – I’m getting through the days on whatever will survive in a cooler with a blue ice pack – peanut butter, salami and cheese, or tuna sandwiches pretty much, supplemented with a couple of Ensure Plus.


Bob the Builder might get off to this crap, but me, not so much.

I can only hope things will improve…but I have my doubts. I hate to complain when so many people struggle with weight issues, but the “hummingbird metabolism” isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be.

I know this is sort of a strange “problem”, but have any of you ever had to work this hard to maintain – or even gain – weight during training? What worked, what didn’t?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments!


  1. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    Awesome job on your training! Isn’t it so encouraging to see progress? Hope you can figure out the nutrition piece… I’ve never had issues losing weight while training, if anything I usually gain a few pounds! But I’m sure others can relate.

    • Nick

      Thanks for that! I may be getting the hang of it; now I just have to get used to people staring at me because I eat portions that would feed two or three “normal” people 🙂

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