Runner’s Diary : Cesar Gamez

Trips offer new scenery, diversions

In my last diary on July 30, I wrote about how I was struggling with the heat and humidity during my training. At this moment, it seems that my body has adapted to the new weather, and thus I have been able to keep up with my training schedule with only some minor issues.

July 24, I had scheduled my race simulation. That weekend, we traveled to Chicago, and since my wife’s family lives close to downtown, I decided to do my run around Lake Michigan. I decided to enjoy the first part of my run with my wife Magda along the lakefront. For the first eight miles, we ran together at an easy pace, and then I went back on race pace, where I was able to run five more miles.

During the run, I experienced some right knee pain (Level 3 on pain scale), so I had to walk for about two minutes and finish at an easy pace. The next day, I did not have any pain, and I was able to do my easy run following my speedwork where I felt good and had no issue whatsoever doing my repetitions.

During these days, I have been paying more attention to my food. My wife has tried some new recipes, including salmon, fish and lots of veggies. Other days, she cooks chicken, and we have been avoiding red meat. Sometimes, is not easy to have the right proteins and vitamins we need for the type of effort we are doing. Work takes most of the time of the day. Weekends, we are just trying to take a break. I admire my wife for having the food ready and still have time for her running schedule. She is also training for the marathon.

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July 29, I was able to run my 20 miles. I had some struggles during Mile 14, but decided to keep going and finished strong in 2 hours, 42 minutes. After that run, I feel confident that I can finish the marathon. The next part of the training will focus on speed so I can finish in the time I want.

Sometimes we forget that we do not only have work and running, but we have daily chores at home. July 30, a day after my long run, I was mowing the lawn when suddenly I twisted my left knee, and it started hurting. Due to this pain, I decided to change my training program for the following week and the next day, I ran only three miles at an easy pace, I did the same for Aug. 1 and made sure to ice my knee every day. Finally, on Aug. 2, the pain was gone, and I was ready to resume my training.

One thing I have learned from reading and experience during all these years of running is that when you are injured, it is very important to keep the optimism high to help the healing. Every time I have a pain, I remember that thought and say to myself that the pain should last only for a week maximum to avoid frustration. However, this time, it is a little different because writing my diary adds more pressure on myself since I do not want to fail.

The next two weeks, I will be in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, on a work trip. I will try to keep my training going. However, I know there will be some situations where I might not be able to do that. My family lives in San Luis, and I have not seen them in over a year, so I know they will try to feed me everything, and I will probably spend most of my free time with them. While spending time with family might cause me to miss some of my training, I am not that worried because when I run, I will be running in high altitude. San Luis is around 6,000 feet above sea level and has nice parks and running trails on the mountains where many people train.

At a glance

Cesar Gamez’ training program for this week:

Monday: Easy run, 45 minutes

Tuesday: Six 3/4-mile reps at 6:30 pace

Wednesday: Cross training

Thursday: Tempo run, hard 25 minutes at 7:15 pace

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Race simulation, five miles at 8:00 pace and nine miles at 7:30 pace

Sunday: Cross training