Monday, July 31, 2006

Post-Race thoughts

I had an excellent time yesterday! I thought the course was beautiful and exciting, the shirts and medals were cool, and the whole race atmosphere was just really positive and fun. I would really like to do this race again, perhaps even the full marathon.

I'm really pleased with my performance overall, even though it was pretty far off my PR. I want to explore a few reasons for this, but I want to emphasize that these are not excuses!! I'm not really sure what the difference is between reasons and excuses... but I think it's got something to do with sounding like a crybaby. So let the record show I'm happy with the outcome of the race!

First, I have been running a lot lately. The previous week was 40 miles during a big heat wave, and I was pretty tired. Not necessarily over-trained, but a little tired going into the race. I didn't think too much of it until I read back in my Log... lots of "allright, tired" and "good but tired" and "ok, hot" lots and lots of HOT. Very little "Great!!!"

Next, let's address the stomach cramp. This was one of those deep, central, painful cramps that I used to get when I started running. It hurt pretty bad, and I am actually sore today from it. I was really relieved when it went away, but by then my pace groove was blown, and I had residual stomach pain for the rest of the race. I think the cramp was caused by a combonation of 2 things:

1) partying a little too hard Friday night. On my feet, dancing, drinking, etc for hours. Saturday I was sick and sore, and my stomach felt terrible. Even though I ate a good dinner and got to bed early-ish Saturday night, I don't think I was really recovered. My stomach wasn't ready for Sunday's run. I was probably pretty dehydrated.

2) I didn't warm up AT ALL before the race. We got dropped off, walked 5 minutes to the porta-potty line, waited 30 minutes or more for my turn, then walked 2 minutes over to the starting line, stood there for 10 minutes, then started running. I had hardly moved since I woke up and I think my body was a little stressed when I immedately assumed race pace.

After the stomach crap went away, I still wasn't feeling great. My legs felt fine but I was really thirsty and a little tired. I drank at the water stops, but I think it was too late. I consumed a LOT of water in the hours following the race, so I'm pretty sure I went in dehydrated.

I also wish I had worn my visor. The sun was out for once in the city, and it was in my face the entire time. Booooo. I kinda "chased" the shade, but it was pretty bright. I had sunglasses but needed the visor.

I think what I've realized is that the difference between a good race and a bad race is this: some days you can push through it, some days you cannot. Yesterday I just didn't have the motivation nor the desire to push my limits. I feel like I could have run better, I know I"m in better shape then ever. But I just didn't have it in me. I've seen this happen when I am not super focused on a goal time... I tend to kind of give up when I know a PR is out of reach. But yesterday I didn't give up! I'm actually really proud of myself for continuing to press on toward whatever finish time was in the cards for me that day. Sure, I walked some, but I started running again. And I was, AM, proud of myself. :)

The rest of the day was great as I refueled and recovered. Watched some TV, read on the porch, and ate and ate some more: a BLT from a fancy sandwich shop after the race, sushi in the afternoon, and delicious lamb chops Zach's dad fixed for dinner. I'm a little sore today but not bad. I plan on taking today and tomorrow off for sure, the rest of the week's schedule is TBD.

PS TOTAL miles for last week: 30.1

SF Marathon Half Race Report

(This is my post from forums, with original commentary to follow)

I participated in the San Francisco Marathon this weekend by running the Second Half Marathon. This is a pretty unique set up where you get to choose which half to run- so I chose the later start time (8:20 versus 5:50... ugh) and the easier half. It was pretty interesting joining up with a marathon in progress. I admit it was tough watching the suffering of some of the full marathoners the entire time. Plenty of people walking, stretching, crying, puking, etc. When we started at 8:20 we were running with the 4:30-ish marathoners, so there was a lot of passing going on. Then again, it was pretty cool to see other full marathoners looking really strong toward the end. Some of their excitement rubbed off on me (for example, two girls running together saying "we're there... we did it!" as they approached the finish)

The race was really well organized with a big expo, great shirts, medals for full and half marathoners, and an organized finish area. Not too much post-race grub, but lots of restaurants nearby. I can't comment on the first half of the marathon, although I'm pretty familiar w/ the scenic and often hilly territory. However the second half was not terribly hilly and also not terribly scenic. The park is lovely, the Haight is allright, but the industrial district was pretty lame. But it got pretty again toward the end when you hit the waterfront, circled round AT&T Park, under the Bay Bridge and finished along the Embarcadero.

My race goals were pretty relaxed, as I have been building my mileage quite a bit lately and didn't put a lot of importance on this race. I was pretty worn out the week before and didn't exactly taper or rest up for the half. My Half Marathon PR is 1:44:56 from February, which I didn't expect to beat. I tried to focus on running my best and having a good time.

Unfortunately I do not have any splits, which does lead me to one complaint about this race: the mile markers were for the full marathoners, and only noted on the side where the 2nd-halfers were, which was always one-tenth short of the mile split. For example: "Mile 25! (second half: 11.9)" I could have used these to get mile splits, but I just wasn't into it. Also, not knowing my pace helped me not stress and just enjoy myself.

I got off to a rough start with a serious stomach cramp in the first mile. It worked itself out by mile 4 or so, but my pace was slow (I even stopped to stretch a couple of times) and I missed my chance to get in any kind of groove. The 1:50 pace-group passed me and I never saw them again (although I heard that a lot of pace groups came in way fast). Next thing I knew we were out of the park and FLYING down these steep stretches of city streets. You could really pick out the full runners from the halfers on those hills- several of the full runners were kind of shuffling down in pain while us fresh-legged halfers just flew down. I was feeling better and had picked up the pace, but was feeling dehydrated and fatigued. The rest of the race went by pretty fast, and suddenly we were near the finish.

I came through the final stretch with a good kick and stopped my watch at 1:50:38. I got a medal and my chip removed, and went back to watch my friend finish in an awesome 2:16. We hung out downtown for a bit and headed home. What a fun race, I really recommend it!

offical result: 1:50:36 8:27 average pace 29 of 344 in AG (F 20-29)/ 104 of 1191 of Women/ 362 of 2059 overall

Next up: more base building Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Fünf on Freitag

Freitag 5.00 miles/46:44/9:21 average pace

Ahhhhh... It was so nice this morning! 59 degrees outside according to the weather channel and foggy according to my eyes. Dang it felt good. It is supposed to stay cool for a few days, which I love.

Well I suppose I could throw out some goals for this weekend's half marathon! I'm honestly not too hung up on any particular number, I just want to do my best and run a smart race. I feel that my February Half was a super performance on a fast course, so I don't think I will be able to improve upon that time much, if at all. I would be very pleased to match that time, or come close. I'd be blown away if I PR. I am not sure how tough the course is. I'm guessing pretty to quite.

So, I guess

A goal "pleased" = 1:45 ish, (near my current PR 1:44:56)
B goal "whatever" = whatever

Dream goal: PR


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Uugh Wednesday

Wednesday 8.0 miles/1:14:38/9:20 average pace

Group run with myself... in the heat. Oh, but I finally got new shoes!! And they are purdy too. :) I like how they change the colors so often. It is the new model too, but seems to fit the same.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Treadmill Tempo Tuesday

Tuesday 4.0 miles/34:00/8:30 average pace

Mile 1 warm up @ 6.0 mph (10:00 pace)

Mile 2 @ 7.5 mph (8:00 pace)

Mile 3 @ 8.0 mph (7:30 pace)

first half mile 4 @ 8.6 mph (7:00 pace)

second half mile 4 cool down @ 6.0 mph (10:00 pace)

It was hard. Felt like I was going to be flung into the recumbant bike behind me. PLEASE someone make this heat let up! I wanna run outside!!!

I will be running outside tonight, 8 miles, and it will be 100 degrees. Booooo.


Monday, July 24, 2006

Oooh Melty!

Saturday 14.00/2:13:55/9:34 average pace

This was by far the hottest weekend of the year, with high temps at my house reaching 110 on Saturday and 112 on Sunday. Very hot. So, I did a few things to survive my scheduled long run. First, I got up pretty early and was running by about 7:30 am. Second, I drove about 25 miles to a creekside trail near the bay, where temperatures were 10 degrees cooler than at home throughout the day and there is some shade. Third, I brought my water bottle and refilled it 3 times. And fouth, I kept my pace slow and walked when I needed to. Amazingly, all these things resulted in a pretty good run! It was certainly warm (76 at the start and 88 at the end) but I felt fine the whole time. I rehydrated and refueled immediately after and then rested all day. I am feeling great today (Monday) so I think I did well with the post-run routine. :)

TOTAL miles for the week: 40 !! :)

My plan for this week:

mon: 3-4 treadmill
tues: 3-4 treadmill (speed workout either Mon or Tues)
wed: 8 group
thurs: off
fri: 4-5 easy
sat: off
sun: San Francisco Half Marathon!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Praise the Lord it's FRIDAY

Friday 6.0 miles/55:04/9:11 average pace

Seriously, I'm so tired. sooooo tiiiiiired.

But, I will run 14 miles tomorrow morning. I'm hitting 40 miles this week if it kills me, and that's looking increasingly likely.

Next week I'm resting and regaining my strength and racing the half marathon on Sunday the 30th. I can't imagine it right now, but hopefully I'll feel stronger in a week.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Wednesday Ocho

Wednesday 8.0 miles/1:14:21/9:18 average pace

Crystal springs reservoir w/ Zach. It was hot and I was tired. In fact, after the run last night I was downright exhausted. Today is a much needed rest day and I plan to spend the entire night on the couch drinking iced tea with the AC pumping.

Hey, I just noticed that I am running all my miles at this same pace again. And again, I wonder: is that ok? I'm thinking yes, since all the 9:00-9:20 paced runs have been "easy" and my main goal right now is mileage, not speed. Plus I guess I have proof that I can actually run faster when I try, like the 10k race and this week's tempo run. Ok, I feel better. Actually, I'm very happy that 9:00-9:20 or whatever is officially my easy pace! It leads me to believe that with tons o' mileage I will chip away at that until 8:40-9:00 is my easy pace. :)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Treadmill Tempo Toosday

Tuesday 6.00 miles/51:00/8:30 average pace

Here's the workout that made this treadmill run significantly more exciting than Monday's.

1 mile warm up: 6.0 mph (10:00 pace)

3 miles tempo: 7.5 mph (8:00 pace)

1 mile speed: 8.6 mph (7:00 pace)

1 mile cool down: 6.0 mph (10:00 pace)

The faster miles were tough, I felt like I was going to go flying off the treadmill. The fast-fast mile was really tough, and I REALLY thought I was going to get flung off the treadmill. But turns out my fear of being ejected from the machine was just the motivation I needed. Sort of like having a rabid dog nipping at your heels.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Monday night treadmill

Monday 6.0 miles/58:00/9:40 average pace (6.2 mph)

This is gonna be a treadmill week. 100+ degrees for the last few days, and more of the same predicted. And I'm clearly too lazy to get up and run in the cool of the early day. Whatever. The best part of the apartment gym is throwing on my suit and jumping in the pool. Aaahhhh.

Here's my plan for the week- I'll cut back if I feel like it, but I think I can handle it knowing that a few easy weeks are coming up.

Mon: 6 easy TM
Tues: 6 Tempo TM
Wed: 8 w/ Zach
Thurs: off
Fri: 6
Saturday: 14
Sun: off

total: 40 :)

Long run and weekly wrap up

Saturday 12 miles/1:51:xx/9:1x average pace

To avoid the heat out here in the east bay, Zach and I headed into SF for a foggy cool run by the bay. He ran w/ me for 8 miles, and for the first time we ran over the Golden Gate Bridge! It was really cool, even though it was so foggy you couldn't see the water below. My favorite part was the fog horn blowing. Besides the bridge, the waterfront run was really fun and scenic.

TOTAL miles for the week: 38.5 :)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Award Winner

I forgot to mention that I was VERY surprised and excited to recieve a full-on medal for my 2nd place AG finish at the 4th of July Race! I didn't stick around for the awards but I did see the results online. I just didn't excpect to actually get anything! Those people are way too nice. :) :)

This also helps mitigate my dissapointment and frusteration with the slackers who run Avenue of the Giants who totally shafted me on my 3rd place AG medal. (where I DID stick around for the awards, but there was an issue w/ the results. and Yes I've made several attempts to contact them with no response) But that's in the past.

The wonderful folks at the City of San Ramon made me happy. :)

Friday Tired-day

Friday 6.00 miles/55:17/9:13 average pace

Oh man. I was so sleepy when I got up! And somehow, hours later I do not feel any more awake. But I got in my 6 miles and that's good. I think I've just been so busy lately that I haven't had much time to relax besides when I sleep (if that counts). Even last night, I didn't run but I did clean the apartment and do a short strength training workout then made dinner. So tonight's goal is to lounge like it's going out of style.

Tomorrow I'm very excited for Zach to join me on a long run in the city! We are planning on going to the Marina and over the Golden Gate, which I've never done before. Weeee!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

More running on Wednesday

Wednesday 8.0 miles/1:14:12/9:17 average pace

Wonderful group run with my 2 favorite runners (and a bunch of people I don't know, but god bless 'em!).

I thought a lot about stuff yesterday and today, and I think I'm going to be allright. I think I am just not going to do any more marathons or big races this year, and just run. I think it's pretty liberating, actually, to not have a goal. I think it is going to be great. When I look at the big picture, I see that I am still a new runner, really. And I did 2 marathons pretty early in my running career, and I know there will be plenty more. But right now what I need is just to run and discover more about myself as a runner. And I don't need to do that in races, I need to do it every day. So, that's my new thing. Kind of a one-with-the-world, thank God for blessing me with this running thing. Now let's just run.


Oh man. I'm having a running identity crisis. I don't even know what I want to do. I guess I'm just so goal oriented that it really trips me up when I lose sight of a goal. I HAD a goal, to run CIM and try to qualify for boston, then run Boston in the spring. But you know what? Maybe that's not what I want to do. Basically I am just not that excited for CIM. It sounds boring. I want to run a fun and interesting marathon. Maybe it won't be the "fastest course in the west" like it says on CIM's website, but does that really matter? I really don't want to get burnt out. Especially by following through on an OLD goal that I don't feel passionate about anymore. I don't feel like following a strict schedule (YES I just said that!) and I don't feel like dealing with the pressure I am bound to put on myself. I think I'm going to burn out unless I get a new perspective. Because the thing is- I feel more confident about my running then ever. I know I'm a good runner and I know I can improve, and I want that. I want to run more and do more races and meet more runners and all that! I even want to do marathons! I want to try some trail running and one day I want to do an ultra marathon. I don't want to run Boston in the spring, because I want to go to Europe in the spring! And I want Eurpoe 1000 times more than Boston right now. I have so much time to go to Boston and run, I am in no rush.

So that feels good, to admit all that stuff. I don't want to run CIM. I don't care about Boston. I want to have fun running.

But what does that MEAN??? WTF do I do now? I mean, that's all well and good, but now I just have NO GOAL!? That's not going to do. So of course I tried looking online at trail races and interesting marathons and nothing is jumping out at me. I feel so confused! I want to try trail running and maybe do a trail marathon, but they all sound so hard!! LOL! Maybe that's not what I want. You're supposed to have special shoes for that and, you know, experience running trails might help too. But I do all my training on roads and that is fine with me. I can't very well go running in the forest by myself! Plus, once again, it sounds hard. I like it for a fun run every great once in a while, but I don't think I'd really like it all the time. So I'm not feeling the competitive, train hard, road racing thing. But I'm not feeling the hard core, break your ankle, ultra runner thing either. I don't belong!!! I am the ugly duckling... or something.

You know what I want to do? Run. I don't want to be training for anything, but I want to run and run. I want to do 20+ milers on the weekend and long weekday runs and just run and run. But I don't know if I can do that. It's not concrete enough for me. I need something on my calendar. I need to see real concrete numbers that make my efforts feel legitimate. I need a goal? Do I need a goal? Can I get by without one? Is that something I need to work on- reigning in my control issues? Do I have control issues? WTF is wrong with me?!?!?!??

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tempo-ish Tuesday

Tuesday 4.0 miles/33:51/8:28 average pace

Ran at Crystal Springs after work with Zach and it turned into an impromptu tempo-type workout. I always tend to run faster there because I swear there is the illusion of downhill BOTH ways! Anyway, our pace got progressively faster with mile 3 at 8:04 and mile 4 at 7:35. So not really long enough or fast enough to be a real tempo run, but a good workout nonetheless.

Just read that Paula Radcliff is pregnant! Wow! She is so awesome, I really admire her. Congrats to her!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Quite Random Indeed!

Monday 8.5 miles/1:16:01/8:57 average pace

Random because: Mondays I usually bitch about how tired and sucky I feel on my 4 mile recovery runs. If there ever was a day I could legitimately complain about feeling tired and sucky, it would be this week, after last week's kick-ass week that included a 10k race and a 15 mile long run in the heat. But, for some reason I recovered well and had tons of energy yesterday and ran somewhat fast, although it felt easy.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Long run: 15 miles

Saturday 15.00 miles/2:18:xx/9:14 average pace

Another hot day, but I was out there early enough to beat the heat for the most part. This run felt much better than last week's 10 miles, even though my pace was faster and the weather was equally hot. I guess I just had an off day last time! Anyway, this week's long run comprised 50% of my weekly mileage. 20% of my week's miles were raced on Tuesday, and the other 30% were regular miles. Pretty random week.

TOTAL miles for the week: 30

Plan for the fine week ahead:

Mon: 4
Tues: 4 intervals or tempo
Wed: 8 group
Th: off
Fri: 4
Sat: 12 w/ Zach hopefully
Sun: off

total 32 planned

Also- goal of strength training 2x and eating well all week.

Just under 3 weeks till half marathon! :)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Friday 6 miles

Friday 6.00 miles/54:29/9:05 average pace

Still hating getting up early, but I'm always glad once I'm out there. My legs were a little sore but ok. I forgot to turn my auto-lap back on (and at that hour I completely lacked the mental focus to lap every mile myself), so I didn't get my splits, but I did manage to hit it at the 3 mile mark at the turnaround. I also picked up the pace at that point, so it was neat to compare the first and second halves: 1st half pace 9:33, second half pace 8:38. :)

Planning a long run tomorrow, but how far is TBD. 14 miles? 12? 15? We shall see.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Catch up- Long holiday weekend

Saturday 10.00 miles/1:xx:xx/9:31? average pace

Zach went with me down to San Jose where we had a great run. It was pretty warm, but not hot. However I still managed to overheat and that resulted in stomach cramps. yuck! It was overall a pretty tough run but I 'm not quite sure why. I did speed up a little for the 4 miles after Zach finished his 6 miles with me, but I don't think that was the cause. Weird!

TOTAL miles for the week: 30.5 miles

TOTAL miles for June: ??? I don't remember, I'll edit later.

THEN, Tuesday July 4th I ran a 10k!

Race results: 47:26/7:38 average pace

13th female overall of 128, and

2nd PLACE AGE GROUP!!! out of 10. he he.

This was not a PR, but really close. I have run 3 10k races within 20 seconds of Tuesday's time, so at least I'm consistant! I did not train for this race specifically, I'd just been running moderate easy mileage. But this was a great workout and I'm pleased with the results. I am thinking of doing another short race before my marathon training starts, and seeing how well I can do if I do really train. :)