Thursday, June 28, 2007

run swim run run swim

From the top!

Monday 8.0 miles/1:06:08/8:16 average pace

2 miles warm up, then 4 miles Tempo pace, then 2 miles cool down. It was HOT, and I was working very hard during the tempo portion of the run. I got a really bad side stitch halfway through, so I had to take a pretty long break to be able to continue, but I finished. My 4 Tempo miles averaged 7:34. I think that's a bit fast to be a proper tempo run, maybe closer to mile repeats, but oh well. Zach is fast and I'm not about to fall behind. :P

Tuesday morning: 500 meter swim in 12 minutes. Had to get to work early so I didn't have enough time for 1000. Also the pool was packed and I was not really feeling it.

Tuesday 3.0 miles/26:53/8:58 average pace

It was much cooler out, but I took it easy since my side was still a little sore from the previous day's cramp. Kinda weird, but not really. Anyone else ever have a side cramp that you could kinda feel for a couple days? This wasn't the first time it's happened to me.

Wednesday 8.0 miles/1:16:42/9:36 average pace

Group run with Zach and Maritza, plus all those other random people. :) Maritza and I ran together till the last couple miles and got all caught up. I miss running with her! She's doing the half marathon in a couple weeks too, then running the NYC Marathon in November. I loaned her my Pfitzinger book last night- she's thinking of using the training plan for NY. Go Mitzi! Check out her blog at She rocks :)

Thursday morning (goodness it's already Thursday?!?!) I went to the pool EARLY and swam 1500 meters!! WHOO HOO! It took me 35 minutes, which isn't bad considering that's only the second time I have ever swam that distance. That's nearly a mile! Yay me.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mission Bay Swim

My first open water swim was a success!! It was completely weird, and I learned a LOT in those 20 or so minutes yesterday morning. My first impression: salt water tastes nasty. Plechsppppth. (that's me spitting out disgusting salt water taste all day yesterday). Besides that, a completely awesome experience.

My mother-in-law Melanie has done several triathlons in San Diego and around southern California (plus lots of road races, including a marathon) and has always been my mentor for running and now triathlons. She is amazing. She was very patient with me and offered me a ton of great advice, as always, and made the experience very fun. She has loaned me her tri suit, since she might not be doing many tris for a while due to a back/neck injury, which sucks. :( For those who don't know (I only learned about it this weekend), the tri suit is basically a swimsuit with bike shorts attached. You wear it through the whole tri, so you don't have to change at all. It's sweet! She also found me a wetsuit to use for the day- it was a sleeveless Quintana Roo one. The night before we talked a lot about running and biking and transitioning techniques, then Sunday morning I got an immersion course (ha ha, pun!) in open water swimming. She had me wade out and float, since apparently that's how tris start (at least the San Diego one). I always though you all ran into the water at the beginning! Anyway, we floated for a bit (which took no effort due to floaty wet suit and salt water!) then we were off.

In the picture above, you can see our course. We started on the shore on the right of the pic, and swam to the boats on the left. We stopped just short of the boats, and Melanie (who has done this swim several times) estimates the distance at about 400 meters to there. Sighting is hard. Eventually I was swimming in a pretty straight line, but it took a few corrections at first. I was sighting on the sails of the boat, and a couple times when I looked up I didn't even see the boats! Ooops. But I got my bearings and swam and swam. It was weird not stopping every 25 meters!! I couldn't really see anything in the water, just my arms. I never got panicky or anything, but once I did feel really tired and did a couple breast strokes to get a few continuous breaths. I have no idea how fast I was going, but I felt fast and strong! I didn't even have to use my legs- the wetsuit kept them at the surface of water and I was just moving them out of habit. Melanie told me not to kick hard because in the tri you need to save your legs for biking and running. The whole thing was over pretty fast, and I was back on solid ground and feeling like a friggin pro. Oh, and having really random tricep cramps! Ha ha, weird.

Melanie gave me a few more tips- swim until it's too shallow to swim anymore, because that is more efficient than standing up and running in the water. Smart! She also had me practice running out of the water and peeling off the wetsuit to the waist while running, then explained about the transition. It was all so helpful! I am so pumped for the triathlon now, this was a total confidence-builder. :) Here's a few more pics:

Before the swim, looking simultaneously cool and dorky:

After the swim, feeling very cool, looking very dorky:

Allright, I do have runs to report too.
Zach and I did our long run Friday night, since I had to leave early Saturday for San Diego. That kind of schedule-swap usually causes me a lot of stress, but I am proud to say I handled it well.
Friday 14.0 miles/2:05:46/8:59 average pace
We did 12 miles together, taking it kinda easy since it was pretty warm (80s). I finished very strong- miles 10-13 were around 8:30-8:45, and my last mile was 7:56. I hadn't ran farther than 12 miles since Boston, so it was nice to get to real LONG run territory. I felt great.
Saturday 3.0 miles/28:30/9:30 average pace

I hit up the treadmill at the hotel Saturday afternoon, just because. Why not.
TOTAL miles for the week: 33.0
PLUS approx. 2750 meters swimming - including super awesome open water swim
PLUS uh, no biking. :( Well, I did ride to work three days, and last night we went out for a little short ride, but nothing that could count as training. Oh well. No strength training either.
Feeling really good with my Half Marathon coming up in 3 weeks. Feeling very confident in my ability to run a strong race, feeling a bit unsure about getting a PR (which stands at 1:44:54, an 8:00 pace). Gonna work on speed this week, and do some visualization and stuff.. try and get my mind ready. I think my body's good to go.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

8 & 8

Tuesday 8.0 miles/1:12:16/9:02 average pace

I took Monday off because my foot was still sore from "stubbing my toe" (that phrase isn't nearly as awful-sounding as it should be!) on the vacuum Sunday. But I made up for it by running 8 miles Tuesday. The run felt pretty easy and relaxed. It was a little warm -not bad though- so I stopped for water a couple times. Foot felt fine.

Wednesday 8.0 miles/1:09:28/8:41 average pace

This was the best run I've had in a while! First of all, Zach was awarded his "100 mile club" t-shirt for logging that many miles on Wednesday nights with the group. Yay Zach! (I have 266 miles, in case you were wondering, but I've been going a lot longer than him. Unfortunately the next milestone that you get a prize for is 500 miles.) Riding the high of Zach's achievement (hee hee) we took off at a strong pace and I was on CRUISE CONTROL baby! I felt like I was floating, exerting very little energy at all. I didn't want to or need to stop for a break the entire time- I usually will stop and walk at least once on a longer run like this, to get a drink or cross a street, or something. Not this time! I was flying. Love, love, love that feeling. That feeling is why I run. :)

Got up this morning and went to the pool where I was also feeling very efficient and strong. I thought I might get a personal training record for my 1000 meters, but ended up just tying it with a time of 22 minutes. My stroke count was good and my reaching and rolling was good. Fun stuff.

I have decided to do my long run tomorrow (Friday) night rather than trying to fit it in before I leave for San Diego Saturday. My flexibility this week is unprecedented. Unprecedented!! I am planning on doing 14 miles tomorrow night (Zach will do 12) after work. Should be interesting. As long as I make wise food choices for the day and hydrate well it should be fine. And having the weekend off (except swimming in Mission bay!) will be cool.

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, June 18, 2007


Saturday 12.0 miles/1:45:01/8:45 average pace

We squeezed in a great run in Tiburon during a window of freakishly mild weather. It was only in the upper 50's when we started, maybe inching into the low 60's by the end. This is compared to 100 degrees a few days before. Weird! Of course Tiburon is right on the water so it's always a bit cooler, but it has been hot on past runs. Anyway, it was pretty fun! Zach and I did the 9 mile hilly loop together, then he finished up with 10 miles for the day and I went on to do 12. I felt very fresh at the end, and for the first time in a while, felt like I could have kept going. :)

I did develop a nasty blood blister on my pinky toe. It's just chillin for now, I'm not going to lance it or anything, just see how it goes. It might be getting smaller. I am going to make a game-time decision about running tonight. I don't think a blister is a reason to miss a run.

However, I hurt the same foot yesterday pretty bad by kicking the vacuum. No, I did not kick it intentionally. Things got a little messy and I got a little crazy as I was reorganizing my closet, and let's just say we're lucky no one was killed. In fact, the day was a super success. Death count: 0, squeaky clean apartment: 1. I did the spring cleaning in lieu of cross training.

Friday night we got out for a 7.5 mile bike ride. That would be all the cycling I did for the week, besides riding my bike to work 3 days. Here's the rest of the numbers:

TOTAL miles: 35.1
PLUS 2750 meters swimming
and 7.5 miles biking
and 1 time at-home strength training

My schedule for this coming week will be the same, depending on how my foot feels later today. I am heading to San Diego next weekend. I'll do my run long run before I leave, but I will be going for my first ever open water swim in Mission Bay with my triathlete mother-in-law. Yay!

Monday: (run? bike? not sure yet)
Tuesday: swim in a.m., (run in pm?)
Wednesday: run 8 miles group
Thursday: swim in a.m., lift weights p.m.
Friday: run 6 miles in a.m.
Saturday: run 12 miles (leave for San Diego)
Sunday: Swim in bay!

total miles planned: 30-35? plus swimming, and some biking

Friday, June 15, 2007

And a happy Friday to you, sir!

Friday 6.0 miles/56:05/9:21 average pace

I'm already getting sick of the heat. Not a good sign, considering it's not even officially summer yet. This morning I got up and had a very warm run. It was probably in the low 70's but there was no wind at all and I was just dripping sweat. I took a quick shower and jumped on my bike to go to work, thereby sweating more. Once at work, I poured myself a hot cup of coffee and toasted a bagel. :D That reminds me of the Seinfeld where George is sweating because the shower "didn't take" - that's just so true! Anyway, it's almost 10:00 and I'm finally dry and comfortable. Until I step outside at lunch!

Last night we couldn't bear going outside even just to drive to the gym, so we cranked the A/C and did an at-home weights workout. I'm pretty sore, but I know Zach doesn't get much from these workouts since the heaviest weights we have are 25 lbs. But it was a fun workout anyway.

Tomorrow morning I think we're going to drive up to Tiburon and run the hilly 9 mile loop. This is one of my favorite runs. I especially like the little restaurant that we'll go to after, where we can sit on the deck with a view of the city and eat omelets. :)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

this is why I'm hot

Tuesday 3.1 miles/26:37/8:36 average pace

I wasn't even scheduled to run, but after work I was bored and so I threw on my shoes and stuff and had a nice run. It was pretty warm- maybe 90.

Wednesday 8.0 miles/1:13:20/9:10 average pace

The weather really settled in and man it's hot. Last night Zach and I went to the group run in Danville and ran our 8 miles in about 97 degrees. I took the opportunity to talk to Zach about the risks of running in hot weather and how to adjust to stay safe. As a new-ish runner, he really didn't know about the stages of heat exhaustion and how to avoid it. We did everything right - kept our pace easy, drank a lot of water, took a couple walking breaks, and really monitored how we were feeling. I sorta dragged through the middle miles but felt pretty good at the end. I'd like to make the 8 miles on Wednesday a habit for the few weeks left before the Half Marathon.

This morning I was *this close* to turning my alarm off, but I got up and went to the pool. I swam 750 meters in about 18 minutes.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Spreading the love

Monday 6.0 miles/47:58/7:59 average pace

After reading gb's blog yesterday about how she found her mojo on an awesome tempo run (despite a scary dog!) I was super inspired to go out and find mine. So, last night Zach joined me for a 4 mile tempo run. We warmed up with one loop around the park (2 miles) then picked it up for the next four miles. Here's our splits:


Wow, smokin! I admit that's a little too fast for a tempo run for me- as usual Zach's speed was motivating me/inspiring me/pissing me off, so I pushed the pace. We did the tempo miles as intervals, meaning we took a few seconds break between each one. If I ran them continuously, I would have slowed down a bit. But it was fun, and I felt great. The hard run really boosted my confidence and got me pumped up to really train hard for my upcoming races. I have a few weeks left before the Wine Country Half (a little over 4, to be exact) so I'll put in lots of miles (hopefully hit 40 one week) and more hard runs, then kick butt up in Napa. :)

This morning I got up and went swimming. I did 1000 meters in 22 minutes and felt fantastic. There's a girl who is often there at the same time as me and she's very good. She's got great form and can do all the strokes. She also seems to swim forever, as she's already going when I get there and shows no sign of stopping after I leave. Totally inspiring.

So I definitely found my running and swimming mojo, and I"m feeling really positive about my training. I hope this post spreads the love a little and you all have a great next workout! :)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Weekend Roundup

Saturday 11.0 miles/1:36:15/8:45 average pace

This was a really nice long run with Zach. I felt pretty good the whole time, just maybe kinda hot at times. We finished strong but cut the run a little short (12 was the plan) because we had to pick up Zach's dad.

Besides the long run, I actually got in some miles on my bike this weekend!

Friday night we went out for a fun little ride on my favorite running path- we did about 4 miles, and not fast, but we did ride up a big hill.

Sunday however I got in 16.25 miles! I did 5 on my own while Zach was out with his dad, which took about 25 minutes (12 mph) then I met him at the house and together we rode 11.25 miles in about 1 hour 5 minutes (10 mph). We were just cruising around, not really pushing it, although we rode up a couple really big hills. I know I bike nice and slow, and I know that's not really training for a race, but at this point it is very valuable as I still feel like a beginner on the bike. The more I just ride around, the more comfortable I get. Even things like changing gears, turning corners, riding up (ugh!), and down (dear god!!) hills are somewhat intimidating to me. I need a little more skill, and confidence in my skill, to actually do some road biking. Shouldn't be too long! I figure I'll stick with easy "base" riding until after the half marathon in July, then try a few long, hard rides to prepare for the triathlons.

Also, Sunday I had a sweet day at the pool. I swam 1000 meters (actually, I lost count, so I may have done a couple extra since I'd rather go over than under!). The sweet part is that I had Zach time me on my final two laps. I was blown away that the first 50 took me 48 seconds! My previous best time was 52. Then I swam the second in 47 seconds! Whoa! So I figured I'd go for broke and tried one more, which I swam in 44 seconds! Yes!! Zach timed himself for one lap and he took 35 seconds. I bet he could have gone even faster, but we'll have to wait till next time since we were in a bit of a hurry. We rushed home and changed and took Zach's dad out to a delicious brunch in Pleasanton. We sat outside on the shady patio and ate a lot of really good food. Gotta love a breakfast that includes champagne and dessert. :)

TOTAL miles for the week: 32.2
PLUS 2750 meters swimming
PLUS 20.25 miles biking (not bad!)
PLUS weight training at home 1 day.

Here's my plan for this week:

Mon: 6 miles (4 miles LT pace)
Tue: swim
Wed: 8 miles
Thu: swim/weights
Fri: 6 miles
Sat: 12 miles
Sun: swim

plus, some biking sometime. :)

Friday, June 08, 2007

Happy Friday 10k

Friday 6.2 miles/54:51/8:51 average pace

Really nice run this morning. I felt really good and the run was easy, the temp was cool and I had good music on my iPod. Yay friday.

Zach's dad is coming to town for a few days, so we will be doing some fun things while he's here. For one, going to a fabulous Champagne brunch in a historic hotel on Sunday. Also maybe going out in the city or eating at home (Zach's dad is a chef) and just visiting. :) We're getting lots of guests lately!

We'll get our long run in tomorrow morning before his plane arrives, and we'll go for an early swim before brunch on Sunday. Still slacking on the bike (thanks for reminding me Chad! hehe). I know I'll focus on that after the half marathon, but that won't be enough, so I have to get cracking. Starting next week I suppose. :P

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Really it was another run swimwich, but I used that one already. First the run:

Wednesday 7.0 miles/1:00:45/8:41 average pace

I ran alone right after work, rather than drive up to the group, because that was the only way I could motivate myself (just get it done asap). I loaded up my iPod with Steve Runner's 100th episode of Phedippidations! Congrats Steve! The podcast is great and Steve is a very nice guy. I always think of him as a running buddy, since he joins me via iPod on lots of runs, and I have actually ran with him in person once- at the Boston Marathon. He puts together a very entertaining and informative podcast- I hope everyone gives it a listen at least once!

Anyway, the run felt great. Here are my splits:


Pretty consistent! It's a given my first mile is slow as I warm up, and I usually try to crank out the last mile, so I really am looking for consistency in those middle miles. Consistency check!

This was my third run in as many days. That is huge for me! I have not run three days in a row this year. :O Seriously! This will be my first week of running 5 days as well since CIM. After my knee injury in December, I trained for Boston on a 4 days a week schedule and I have stuck to that since Boston. I don't plan on running 5 days a week regularly, but it is good to know it can be done. :) After the run I was quite sore, but I feel great today.

Now, for the Kersploosh I mentioned above:

Yesterday I swam 750 meters in 16 minutes. Wow, that's fast for me! I was pretty tired and pressed for time so I just stuck with the 15 laps.

But then today, I had the same pace going and finished with 1000 meters in 22 minutes!! That's 2 full minutes off my best time!! Holy exclamation point usage!!!!! I felt fast and comfortable and didn't need to take any breaks. Yay me.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

All over the place

I have three runs to log, and none of them took place near my home!

Saturday 10.5 miles/1:31:54/8:45 average pace

This run started off our super-fun weekend up in Mendocino County. We actually ran in Santa Rosa, near Annadel State Park and around Spring Lake. I would love to post some pictures but we (ahem, Zach) forgot the camera. :P So just take my word for it, it was pretty. The run was hilly and we ran fast, so it was a tough one. Although Zach was setting the pace and kicking my butt the whole time, I had a bit more gas in the tank at the end and left him (nearly) in the dust with a 7:40 pace for the last half mile. Ok, he was only a second or two behind me, but still. I'll take it. We continued north on 101 after refueling at a yummy brunch spot in Santa Rosa's historic railroad square to Ukiah. After checking into the hotel, we spent the rest of the day at Lake Mendocino. It was late in the day so the beach was empty, and we enjoyed the solitude. The water was actually pretty warm and we spent a lot of time swimming around. I probably spent about a half hour in the water total, so not really training, but it was very fun. It would be a great place to do some open water training- there's a long stretch of beach marked off. Sunday we drove home along highway 1, which took forever but was beautiful. It was really nice up there. We're going to go back sometime this summer. Next time we'll bring the camera. :)

TOTAL miles for the week: 30 yay!
Plus 2000 meters swimming
and 2x strength training
(0 bike)

I spent the last two days in LA for work, and I tweaked my schedule for the week to accommodate the trip.

Monday 4.0 miles/35:36/8:54 average pace

I had my first interval workout in like FOREVER scheduled, and I did it on the treadmill at the gym (I love that "all club" 24 hr. fitness membership). Here's how it went:

0.5 miles warm up at 6.0 mph (10:00 pace)

.25 mile speed interval at 8.0 mph (7:30 pace)
followed by .25 mile recovery at 6.0 mph (10:00 pace)

repeated 6 times, all at the same pace, except the last speed interval which I did at 8.5 mph (7:06 mph).

0.5 mile cool down at 6.5 mph (9:13 pace)

It wasn't that hard, those super short intervals usually aren't. It will be interesting to see how I do next time when I'm not helped out my the trusty treadmill.

Then, finally

Tuesday 4.0 miles/35:40/8:55 average pace

This time I braved the rugged outdoors (ha!) of Hermosa Beach and ran along a dirt path which follows a few miles long green belt. I also did a bit on the beach boardwalk and finished with a climb back up to my hotel. My Garmin actually kinda crapped out on me, hopefully a rare and never-repeated fluke, so I had to gmap-pedometer my distance. I actually think I ran a little farther but oh well.

The week ahead:

Monday: 4 miles (speed intervals) done
Tuesday: 4 miles done
Wednesday: swim in am, 8 miles group in pm
Thursday: swim in am, weights in pm
Friday: 6 miles
Saturday: 12 miles
Sunday: swim

plus, bike sometime hopefully

TOTAL miles planned: 34 ish

Friday, June 01, 2007

Progression Run and May totals

Friday 6.0 miles/52:34/8:46 average pace

I got out of the warm bed to run this morning and was rewarded with a nice, cool morning and fresh legs.

Somewhat humorous are my splits. I didn't really try to speed up, but the splits show the range from 'Groggy, 6:45 am, Leave me alone Jen' to 'Warmed up, Chatting with fellow runner who is actually quite fast, Feeling super Jen'


Pretty freaky. I thinky I have multiple runner personalities.

Oh, so I had fun skating yesterday, and it was pretty hard just like Fran said. I felt it especially in my hips. I think it's good for my balance though! I would like to go again sometime.

Last night I hit the gym with Zach and we lifted. Also feeling that today.

I'm really looking forward to our weekend up in Mendocino county - especially the run in Santa Rosa. :) I'll take some pictures, and post them next week. I am heading down to LA Monday for work, and I'll get to run at another of my favorite running spots- the Strand in Hermosa Beach. :)

Almost forgot! Upon realizing it's June 1st, I added up my May totals this morning and we get:

96.7 miles running

11,700 meters swimming (holy mother! That seems wrong, I'll re-add tonight)

46.4 miles biking (some of you do twice that in a day!?!?)

Go me!

Have a great weekend kids!