Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sprinkling on my speedwork

4.0 miles/30:59/7:45 average pace

Got up this morning despite the RAIN and had a nice run. Warmed up with half mile (kinda fast but felt easy) then did 3x 1 mile:

1 7:28
2 7:42
3 7:33

Was feeling pretty tired by the end! I don't know exactly how the recovery periods are supposed to work, so I just stopped my watch and walked for a few seconds. I think I should jog for a couple minutes, but at the same time I don't want to become too dependent on the breaks! That's what happens to me in every race- I have to walk. So I'm thinking a good workout for me would be a tempo run- 3 or 4 miles straight (no recoveries) at 10k pace or so. Actually I was kinda planning on doing that today but I did my first mile too fast and needed a break. :D

Felt kinda sick at the very end, don't know what's up with that. Jogged the half-mile home. :)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Thanksgiving Weekend

Well I only have two runs to report for the past six days, but they are two good ones!

Thursday 3.1 miles/22:28/7:15 average pace

First, the Thanksgiving Day 5k went really great! :) I met my goal of 22:something, with a time of 22:28. That is the EXACT time from last year! Except last year the course was much easier, so I consider this an improvement. My official time was 14 seconds slower, which was good enough for 9th place in my age group of 287. Not bad! I felt really good about my race- I was certainly tired toward the end but at no point did I want to fall over and die (which was the case in that last 10k race!). I started off really strong, and ran my FASTEST mile ever: 6:56!!!!!!!! Holy crap! I knew that would catch up with me, so I backed off a bit and even walked for a few seconds in the second mile, for a split of 7:35. The final mile was better even though I was getting tired: 7:14- right on pace. The last tenth of a mile took me 41 seconds. I was really happy with my performance! I knew I probably couldn't get a new PR since my time is pretty fast and I've done very little speed training, but I'm super happy with my consistancy! That is my third 5k just over 22:00 (actually my watch time on one was just below that) in a year. :)

Sunday 11.50 miles/1:47:14/9:20 average pace

So anyway, I rested Friday and Saturday (and by rested I mean ate and drank and shopped!) while on my fun Thanksgiving vacation. Sunday morning I got up and went for a long run in the FREEZING cold (I had to scrape the frost off my windows!). It was awesome. It was frosty and I had Christmas music on my iPod and I just had a great run overall. I did 11.50 miles out and back on a really nice trail. The pace felt nice and easy up until mile 9 or so, then I had to work harder to get done. Actually, by the end I was pretty beat! But I recovered nicely and am not sore today at all. I think I will post my splits from my long runs on my blog, so I guess I'll start with this:

1 9:49
2 9:40
3 7:50 (wha?)
4 10:31 (huh?)
5 9:12
6 9:27
7 9:24
8 9:21
9 9:32
10 9:02
11 8:48
11.5 4:33 (9:10 pace)

very consistant!

23.6 miles total for last week. Excellent! I have a similar mileage goal for this week (don't want to ramp up too fast!)

The plan:

mon: rest (done)
tues: 4 tempo or something
wed: 6 group
thurs: 4 easy
fri: rest
sat: 10? long
sun: rest

total 24 ish.

Still undecided on the 10k race next weekend. And by that I mean I haven't registered yet. :D I "think" I'll do it though, and try to meet my previously established goal of 46:xx. It's a real small race too, so hopefully I can get an AG award!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Thanksgiving eve eve!

4.00 miles/36:03/9:01 average pace

I got up this morning and did a fun speed workout at the track again. I ran 3x fast half-miles. So, I warmed up with 1 mile at 10:00 pace, then ran hard for half mile. Then 1 lap recovery, then two laps (half mile) hard, then half mile recovery (1 lap then headed back) then a final hard half mile, then .75 miles recovery back home.

So, my goal for the half-mile repeats was 3:30, which is a 7:00 pace. I really don't know how to properly gauge my pace at that speed, so I just ran hard. Pretty complex. Well, the first repeat was 3:43. Oops- 7:26 pace, but it was really hard! oh well. The second repeat was 3:38. Better, but still only like 7:16 pace. Finally, the last repeat was 3:25! Sweet- 6:50 pace! And it wasn't even as difficult as the previous two. It was a fun workout and breaking it up into pieces like that made it go by really fast. I am really excited to do this again and see if I can get more conisistant with my pace, and eventually faster.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Long run, I missed you!

Saturday I went on my first "long" run since the marathon and it felt great! I did 9.65 miles/1:27:21/9:03 average pace on one of my favorite trails with Zach. It was so pretty out- lots of leaves on the ground and good smells everywhere. We ran a strong pace too- I sped up gradually over the run from just under 10:00 pace at first to nearly 8:00 for the last mile. Ha! This route is up hill for the first half and down for the second half, so the pace difference makes sense... plus my natural inclination to speed up (PLUS I let Zach set the pace for a couple miles- he got kinda excited). It felt great though- no soreness or anything during OR after.

Rested Sunday (actually, we went for a walk and threw in two hard sprints - racing each other, then I did a quarter-mile jog or so at the end).

Today I decided to stay home from work, so I got up and ran a bit longer then I originally planned, so a total of 5.0 miles/45:37/9:07 ave pace. It was freezing cold outside and my legs were so cold and stiff! I guess they warmed up a bit toward the end but hardly. I also felt kinda winded and generally blah. But it felt good to get out there and done for the day. I might go for a walk later.

I will get up and do a short run before work tomorrow, then we are headed out of town for the holiday. I am doing a 5k race on Thanksgiving which I'm really excited about! Then when we get home I hope to go for a nice long run to round off the week.

My goals for the Thanksgiving race: 22:xx would be fine, but I want to run it feeling OK. Not great, but not dying- I want to run a smart race. I have done a few speed workouts and more running in general, so I think I will feel fast that day (versus the Stanford 10k suckeroo). I forgot last time to run a smart race. I ran a stupid race, my time sucked, and I re-learned that lesson which I will apply this week. Fingers crossed!


gobble gobble

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Fun on the track

Ok, first: last night I got new shoes and then had a great run with the group. 4.35 miles/38:17/8:48 average pace.

This morning I got up (whoo-hoo!) and ran 4.15 miles/34:30/8:19 average pace. I just went on the trail, but decided to cut over to this High School sports field that I go by and run on the track! It was way fun. It's just a dirt track, so not rubberized with lane markings or anything, but I still pretended I was in the Olympics. :P JK. Anyway, it was about 1.5 miles to the track, so I ran 1 mile (4 times around) and then ran home. My run started off easy, then I started a little fartlecking. I can't say I've really done that before! It was fun. First, I ran hard to the tree (maybe .25 miles), then ran one time hard around the track (the second of four laps), then I did a hard sprint on the straight away the last time around. Then I ran easy home. My first and last miles felt pretty easy but were about 8:30 pace. The fartlecky two miles in between felt a little harder and were 8:10 ave pace.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The world's shortest run

Last night I did 20 minutes total on the eliptical machine, and a 1 mile run. :D I set the TM at 8.0 mph and increased it toward the end, getting up to 8.6 mph. Yowza! With the slow-starting TM (takes several seconds to get up to "pace") the 1 mile run took me 7:20.

Getting NEW SHOES tonight. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Avenue of the Giants Marathon

Reconsidering Napa has done wonders for my outlook. I have still not made a definite decision either way, but knowing that I don't *have* to do a March marathon takes an enormous amount of pressure off of me.

Of course, the relief comes mainly from the fact that I found a good alternate race (hehe): Avenue of the Giants in northern CA May 7. I originally liked this race but got a little excited and thought sooner-the-better (hence, Napa). But this might be a better option. First, and most importantly, it is two whole months later than Napa. Which gives me more time to recover/rebuild, and longer to TRAIN. The Napa sched. was only 12 weeks and for the Ave I could easily set up a 16 week schedule (and by that I mean I already have). It starts January 16 and the first 5 weeks are a gradual build-up, followed by 8 weeks peak training and then 3 weeks taper. Sooooooooooooo much better.

Of course, there are cons: Ave is an overnight stay required and a long drive for which I will have to recruit a buddy (Zach? MaryT?). Also, the Hawaii trip would fall smakeroo dabbeleedoo right in the middle of the training cycle. Oh well. It will just be a very scenic and chill "recovery" week. Probably better than going to HI a week post-marathon when I may or not be able to walk.

The race website is down, but I will fix the link when it's back up.

I wish

I want to run, but I feel obligated to let my body rest. I want to increase my mileage this week and get back in a groove, but my stupid toe is black and I need new shoes before I run again. So I plan to get new shoes tomorrow, then I can run 6 miles with the group. I am going to get bigger shoes I guess... that should relieve the toe issue. Then I will start running more. :) I can't wait!

I did some cross-training last night which was a good compromise. I didn't run, but I also didn't sit on my ass. I did 20 minutes on the eliptical and 5 on the bike, then I did strength-training at home. I am going to do the ST routine twice per week.

So here's my plan for the week:

mon: rest/XT+ST
tues: XT/1-mile speed run on TM (in 7:00-7:30, so 8.0-8.5 mph)
wed: 6 mile run with group in new shoes
thur: 3 mile easy run in morning + ST
fri: rest
sat: 8 or 9 miles if feeling good (5-6 if not)
sun: rest

total: 15-19

While I'm at it, here's next week. (preliminary, pending toe/shoe issues)

mon: 4 miles speedwork in morning
tues: 3 miles easy in morning + ST
wed: rest
thurs: 5k race + eat giant turkey dinner
fri: rest
sat: 8 or 9 (see last sat. note)
sun: rest

total: 15-19 again. Blah.

Then the following week is a non-race week so I will hopefully get in a good groove and run 5 days for a total of at least 22 miles, hopefully more like 25.

I really want to be feeling better. The stupid marathon training schedule starts in like 3 weeks now. Maybe I'm not ready. That really pisses me off. I really don't want to go through training injured and pissed and unmotivated. That is a recipe for a shit marathon. :(

Monday, November 14, 2005

A good workout

The 10k race was Saturday and it was really fun! Even though I didn't meet any of my time goals, it was a good hard run and I did allright! My finish time was 48:2x which is nearly a minute slower than my old PR. It just was NOT my day. I was feeling really winded and tired- I walked about 5 or 6 times during the race. I basically gave up by the half way point. I knew I was behind pace and I KNEW my body was not going to push as hard as I wanted, so I cut myself a break and ran it "easy." Actually I was running hard and fast, but I couldn't maintain the pace- hence the walking. Honestly, it sucked. I felt terrible and so dissapointed in myself. I hated being passed by all those people. I felt like such a wuss. BUT I understand that everyone has days like this and I'm no different. I know it wasn't my day for a variety of reasons, the main on being that I ran a marathon 3 weeks ago. Also, it was warm, and the start was kind of late (9:30), and even though I trained a lot for endurance I haven't done ANY speed work for months. So considering those factors, I did pretty well! I *know* I could have done much better. And I'm glad I didn't push any harder than I did because I could have injured myself. As it is, my foot and knee were reallllly sore yesterday and I have a honkin blood blister on the end of my toe. But today I'm feeling a lot better- physically and mentally. I know this was just a bump in the road.

So, I am already registered for that 5k on Thanksgiving. So I will do my best there (22:00? I don't expect to see much improvement there). And I'm considering taking another stab at the 10k in 4 weeks. We'll see.

Another thought that has been allowed in my brain is to re-consider the Napa Marathon. Now, I'm still really leaning toward doing it, I just have realized that I shouldn't run it if I'm really not into it. So I will re-assess my situation in a few weeks. So that's a 5% maybe.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

misty morning

3.1 miles/26:35/8:35 ave pace

I got up again this morning and had a great run! I felt 100 times better than I did yesterday- no tightness/soreness in my legs and I just felt generally strong and fast. I was going to run a speed workout but decided that my body isn't quite ready. I am definitely still in recovery mode, I think that explains why I feel so different from day to day. I just need to take it easy and give myself time. Also, I want to enjoy a little break for the next few weeks. I'm doing good with that so far- my first post-marathon week was 0 miles, last week was 15 miles, this week will be 15-16 miles or so too.

It was cool and drizzly outside, and I ran up the path to the park. I ran again with no music (since I'm a nice wife and let Zach borrow my iPod) but enjoyed listening to the birds and stuff. Oh, and yesterday and today I saw several big birds! Yesterday I saw 1 big yellow-foot egret, and 2 smaller black-foot egrets. (I'm not sure that's what they are called?) And a big blue crane (I forget what that one's called too!) Anyway, today I saw one white egret and a blue crane. So beautiful!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Weekend + Monday

Ran 6.25 miles Saturday morning w/ Zach. It was slow and easy (hilly though) and felt good. I felt way better than I did on Wednesday doing basically the same route. My ave pace was 9:44 or so and on Wed. it was 9:20, so a harder effort. Not sore after this run either.

Rested Sunday

Monday- got up this morning and ran 2.65 miles. My shins were so tight and my foot was sore. Just wasn't feeling it. BUT at least I got up and did my morning run as planned! And on a Monday no less. Go me! Anyway, I was thinking I"m still technically recovering so I don't want to push too hard when my body is sore. :)

Friday, November 04, 2005

Napa Valley Marathon

Allright here's the thing.

I'm planning on runing NVM March 5. I have a 12 week program that I will start the second week of December.

I don't want to improve remarkabely on my marathon time; I realize there is not enough time to train for that. I basically want to train a *little* more and correct some of the mistakes I made, and just generally run a smarter race on an easier course. I know I can easily knock a few minutes off my time. I guess my goal would be 3:49:xx. Maybe faster. We'll see.

Then I am going to take a few months off of marathon training to build mileage and run shorter races. Ya, I said that about after this marathon, but I take it back. And anyway, I AM taking a few weeks off and running a couple short races.

After Napa, I am GOING TO HAWAII!!!!!!!!!! Ok, sorry. I just booked the trip today so I'm kindof excited. :) Anyway, I am going to build up my mileage over the spring/summer and then focus on a LONG and specific training program (Pfitz 18/55, I already got my book) for CIM 2006. Where I will qualify for Boston.

There you go.

What now?

Well, of course I am going to do it again. I am so eager to improve and to challenge myself further. BUT, I want to take a little break too. It won't be the super-loose, no schedule, hey-you-wanna-run-Sure!, spontanious schedule I imagined. Ya, that's just not me. In fact I think I mostly like running because it is an outlet for my hyper-organizationalitis. Yes, inflamation of the organization. What?

Here's what is on the recovery menu:

Recover and Rebuild - took one week off, followed by one easy week, and from here I will build mileage slowly. I figure it will be 20-25 mpw for the next few weeks. I'm throwing in a couple shorter races to take advantage of my marathon fitness before I turn into a walking pumpkin pie.

10k race- Stanford Habitat for Humanity "Home Run"
Dream Goal : 44:59 or better (7:14 pace)
Main Goal: 45:59 or better (7:24 pace)
Acceptable Goal: beat current PR of 47:3x

5k race- Thanksgiving Day Run, San Diego
Dream Goal: 21:30 (6:55 pace)
Main Goal: 21:59 or better (7:05 pace)
Acceptable Goal: 22:xx
(current PR is 21:56 which is pretty fast, so I might not improve much on that. We'll see.)

And there's another goal race which I'm not sure I'm ready to share.

Recovery time

After the marathon, I took an entire week off. I was SO sore the first day, pretty sore the second day, and about 80% fine the third day. But my foot hurt a little and I also just wanted to enjoy a little break. Zach and I went for a little hike Sunday - a week post-marathon- and that felt good.

Monday of this week (Halloween)I thought I"d do a little cross training, so I went to the apt. gym and did 10 minutes on the bike. I was going to do the eliptical trainer for a few minutes next, but I got excited and hopped on the treadmill. Weeeeeeeeeee! I ran 2 miles. :)

Wednesday I stayed home from work because I had a stomach ache and another crappy night's sleep. But after my mom called with some really good news from her doctor, I felt 100000000 times better! I went out and had what felt like the BEST run of my life. I ran 6.75 miles but I wanted to go forever. It was perfect in so many ways. For one, the weather: party cloudy, breezy, cool, and just perfectly fall-y. Also, it just felt SO good to be out running again! Plus, I had my iPod loaded up with my mellow mix of my favorite Ben Harper, Norah Jones, David Gray, and Jack Johnson songs which really relaxed me. And on top of all that I had some time to reflect on the past few weeks and months. I am so proud of myself for setting a goal and accomplishing it. I put in a lot of work and never gave up. My training really taught me how strong I am! Also I had been so worried about my mom, but I was strong through that too. I also suddenly feel so grateful for the health and happiness of my family and friends. And the last thing that made me smile-- I saw a little spider and I realized that I'm not afraid of them any more!! I think I have really grown in a lot of ways.

Anyway, back to running! I am only going to run once more this week - 6-ish miles Saturday morning w/ Zach. That will be 3x this week for a total of like 14-15 miles. I really want to ease back into it. My wednesday run actually left me kinda sore so I need to be careful.

Race Report

Race Report- My First Marathon

posted on Runner's World 10/25/05
(click "Race Report" above for link to the post and lots of super nice feedback!)

I ran my first marathon Sunday- the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. What an incredible experience.

Background/Training: I ran off and on through high school and college, then picked it up again seriously last year. Through the year I build up to 15-20 miles per week and ran several short races and trail races I also joined a weekly running group. I loved running, especially the long runs, which I built up to 10 miles by spring. In the spring, a friend and I decided we both wanted to do a marathon so we signed up for this October race, mainly because it was local and many months away. I set up a 20-week training schedule following Hal Higdon’s Intermediate I. First I focused on a half-marathon, which I ran in July in 1:49:36. At this point I had ramped up to 30 miles per week and I was doing weekly long runs of 10-12 miles. This increase and a hard race, together with NO recovery time after the race (stupid!) left me with an injury. I had to take two weeks almost completely off, then build up basically from scratch. My solution was creating a modified 10-week schedule that would get me to the race. My friend and I completed long runs of 16, 18, and 20 miles (one of each) - they went great. We also did mid-week longer runs with the group. My mileage was in the upper 30’s and peaked at 42. I felt good (the knee was completely healed) and I was ready as I was going to get.

Goal/Strategy: Picking a goal for my first race was tough. I could just “try to finish” but what does that even mean? I need to have a pace in mind. I took into account all the race time predictors and my moderate training and came up with a nice, round number, 3:55:XX. This was 9:00 miles, which I felt I could do. Plus, that makes for some easy mid-race math. I knew I would need to reach the 10 mile mark in 1:30:00, and the 20 mark in 3:00:00, then I figured I would give it all I have for the last 10k. I thought more about it, and I realized it would be smart to run the first 10 miles a bit slower than that, and the second 10 a bit faster, then just try and hang on till the end. I went ahead and set up my “acceptable” and “dream” goals, just in case (under 4:00:00, and under 3:55:00, respectively).

The Race: The weather was perfect, which I knew it would be in San Francisco. Foggy and cool. It remained this way through the race. I was so excited to line up with all these other women, all with the same crazy intentions.

The course first winds through the streets of the Financial District, which was cool. We hit the waterfront after a mile.

1- 10:36
2- 10:04
3- 8:28
4- 9:29

My pace was all over the place. I started too slow, which I knew I could deal with, but the inconsistency made me nervous. I wasn’t feeling my pace.

5- 8:33
6- 8:33 (average of 2 miles, marker was off)
7- 9:29 (Hill!)
8- 8:12 (Downhill)
9- 9:18
10- 8:40

I was settling in. The hills were harder then I predicted! But they were mostly out of the way. I was making an effort to enjoy the scenery and the crowds and my fellow runners. I hit the 10 mile mark in 1:31:27. Perfect. We head into Golden Gate Park.

11- 8:36
12- 8:43
13- 9:09
14- 8:44
15- 8:40
16- 8:15

My pace is good and I’m feeling good at this point. We exit the park and start our stroll down the coast.

17- 8:27
18- 8:34

This is about when I stopped feeling good. I took my first non-aid-station walking break when I saw my husband at 18.5. These mini (20-30 second) breaks would become more popular with me in the coming miles. We start our loop around Lake Merced.

19- 9:04
20- 8:54
21- 9:01
22- 8:52
23- 9:16

I’m fading. I’m not hurting exactly, but I’m exhausted. I see a friend who is an experienced and boston-qualifiying marathoner having a bad day. I tell her “This f-ing sucks,” and she says, “I told you.” We finish our lake loop and hit the coast highway again for the final stretch.

24- 9:14
25- 9:22
26- 8:59
0.2- 1:44 (8:28 pace)

Those last miles did me in. I was feeling dizzy toward the end, and at the finish line I fell into the arms of a lovely first-aid volunteer. She brought me to the med-tent and told them I was “acute.” I felt dizzy, drunk. They laid me down and wrapped me in blankets and as my head cleared, it hit me- I did it! I ran a marathon!!

Results: 3:55:10 (8:58 average pace)
First half: 1:58:51
Second half: 1:56:19
Finished 306 of 4,688 overall, and 71 of 1,011 in my AG (F 25-29).

The Afterthon: It hurts!! But SO worth it. I can’t believe I am a marathoner. I am so proud of my accomplishment, and so proud of my training partner and good friend for finishing her first marathon too! I am going to relax and recover and not think about running for a while, especially marathons. But I know I’ll do it again. As those brutal last miles fade from my memory, I KNOW I’ll do it again. I have learned what I need to do: more everything. More miles, more long runs, more hills, more speedwork, more fuel and water during the race. I know for my first marathon I did good, but I can do better.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 03, 2005


I originally created an 18 week program based on Hal Higdon's Intermediate training program (click "training" above for the link). Peaked at 40 and had 2 20 milers and 2 17-18.

I ran a half marathon in July (Wine Country Half) in 1:49xx (8:22 pace). Pretty happy with that! Except that the hard race, increased training, and NO recovery time post-race kind of injured my knee. Doh! Lesson learned. Took about 2 weeks off.

So I created a 10 week truncated version of the training sched. It built the mileage back gently and included 1 20 and 18. So 16,18,20 were basically my long runs. I did several in the 12-15 mile range including a half-marathon in October during the taper. It went well, knee felt better, yada yada yada, I kicked ass.

Also- May I ran a 10k (47:3x). June, Zach and I ran a trail race. We went backpacking in July. Also I'm walking for about an hour most days of the week.

Nike Marathon

I completed my first marathon October 23, so this journal starts there. I am looking forward to bigger and better things but I should get you caught up.

You can click on "Nike Marathon" above to visit the race website.

I will post a summary of my training schedule and my huge-long race report.