Thursday, July 26, 2007

Training Updates and a discussion on Asthma

Monday 4.0 miles/33:20/8:20 average pace

Zach and I drove up to Lake Chabot for a hilly run around the lake. We pushed the pace from the start and my the second mile I was breathing really hard. Specifically, I was wheezing. Ugh! I have this problem occasionally, like in the Half marathon last week, and it's starting to bother me. Please check out this LINK to a discussion on the topic on the Runango Running Forum. If you don't read it, here's the summary: I asked if it is normal to wheeze sometimes, and several people responded saying I should check with a doctor because no, that is not normal. Several people had this problem and now use an inhaler and have no breathing issues. It's a relief to know I could be wheeze-free sometime! I'm going to make an appointment and I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday morning: Swim 1000 m. in 20:53 !!! This is a PR time for me by over a minutes. Sweeeet. I think swimming in the lake has made me a stronger swimmer! Even though I feel like I'm flailing around when I'm in the lake... it makes the pool seem easy as pie! Is that a saying? I think it is.

Tuesday evening: Bike 8.0 miles/31:38/15.2 MPH We cranked out this ride after work then did a core/abs workout at home after. I was not too sore after this ride like last time, but I decided I won't ride again till Saturday (was going to go tonight- Thursday).

Wednesday 6.0 miles/53:52/8:59 average pace

I made sure to set an easy pace since I've been pushing it every time I run lately, and that's getting old! We ran a new route and got kinda lost, but it was a fun adventure.

Thursday morning: Swim 500 m in about 10 minutes (forgot my watch). Didn't have time for more but I did manage to sit in the hot tub for 10 minutes. :D Don't question my logic!!

I'm taking this evening off to do stuff around the house, but then I'm cramming a few hard workouts into Friday and Saturday because we are leaving early Sunday morning for VEGAS!! :) We got a sweet deal on plane tickets ($29 one-way on Southwest!) and a good rate at New York New York hotel, so we're going Sun-Tues. Our 4th wedding anniversary is Wednesday August 1st, so we're celebrating in style. :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tagged: Rockin Girl Bloggers

I was tagged by Miss Petite America as a Rockin Girl Blogger (awwww!) and now I shall tag these lovely ladies whose blogs I obsess over, I mean, read.

Maritza, of course, because she's a sweeheart and a devoted runner and even has a cooking-show thing going on on her blog right now. Can't beat that!

JKRunning if she hasn't been tagged already. She is very smart and inspiring.

Michele is a super rockin' triathlete blogger.

Jessica has a great website for her trail running group in Southern California- I need to get down there and meet her!

GB (aka Silly Lillie) is an incredible runner who has run several of the same races as me (boston and CIM) and I hope to meet her someday too!

Ladies, you all rock. :)

Triathlon Training

I am feeling recovered from the half marathon, so that means that now I'm officially training for the triathlon! Last week we took it pretty easy, but we'll be more serious starting this week. There are now 10 weeks until the Mission Bay Triathlon on September 30. Our "Tri for Fun" is in 4 weeks- we're going to "train though" it and use it mostly as a practice for Mission Bay.

I did my first ever "real" bike ride last weekend, followed by my first ever transition run! Here are the stats:

Saturday's bike: 16.0 miles/1:03:49/15 MPH average pace

followed immediately by:

1.0 mile/8:28

First of all, that bike ride was tough! My bum was on fire, and every other muscle was working hard too. But mostly, my bum. :D Not saddle-sore (I have proper bike shorts and was really pretty comfy) but muscle-burn. Youch! We kept a good cadence and I only fell behind Zach a couple of times, otherwise I kept a good pace. I wore my Garmin so I have good data on the ride- I don't think we had any mile slower than 14 mph average, and our best mile was over 17 mph! This was really encouraging for our first real ride. Somewhat humbling was the transition run...

We hopped off our bikes and just propped them against the car, took a swig of water, and jogged around the parking lot. Weird!! My legs were tight and a little numb-feeling (not actually numb, just weird-feeling) but running actually felt ok! Zach only jogged a minute or two then decided that was enough for our first excursion, but I ran back and forth for a total of one mile. It was weird. As the tightness/numbness went away, I got a little calf cramp, which luckily didn't stick around. I slowly re-gained feeling and control of my legs, and running felt fine. I did feel like I was a few miles into a run, rather than only a few minutes, so that was odd. It was fun though, and I can see that transition runs will be very valuable for training!

The next day my lower back was a little sore, and my neck too. That bike position takes some getting used to.

So a pretty mild week overall:

TOTAL miles run: 4 (how cute!), biked 25 (sweet!), total yards swam: 1120 (just one day last week- open water).

So that was kind of a warm-up to our real training, which starts this week. I managed to come up with a training schedule that works for both Zach and I - please give me your feed back on this!

Monday: pm: Run 4-6 (speedwork, hills, etc)

Tuesday: am: swim 500-1000 m
pm: bike ride and weight training

Wednesday: pm: Run 6-8 (Group)

Thursday: am: swim 500-1000 m
pm: bike ride and weight training

Friday: am: longer run 8+

Saturday: longer bike ride (15+) with transition run (1-3)

Sunday: longer swim or Open Water Swim

So that is 3x swimming, 3x cycling, and 4x running if you count the brick. I will be doing the swims in the morning by myself (Zach will do his swim Friday evening), and I'll be running solo on Friday mornings too. I know bike is my weakness, and I love to swim and obviously run, so I think I have a good balance of the three. I don't plan on any rest days but will take them as needed. Zach and I will work together to come up with specific workouts each week but this will be the general plan for the next 10 weeks. Should be interesting.

Finally, I have to mention that I did finish the final book in the Harry Potter series this weekend. :) It was very, very good. I want everyone to go read it now so we can discuss. Just kidding, but not really!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Recovery Week, reflections on the race, and more pics

Thanks so much for all the replies on the race report! I always get such good feedback from fellow athletes and the support from friends and family means so much to me too. :) Thank you! Zach read the comments too and is feeling really good about his performace. He is really looking forward to the Tri now and is getting to be quite the endurance athlete. I'm also looking forward to the Tri and then to my next marathon, California International Marathon in early December (same race I BQ'd at last year).

I got some great feedback from you guys and had a chance to think about my race some more, and I think I made a couple text book mistakes. First, I could have trained harder. Specifically more Lactate Threshold/Tempo runs. The half marathon is run right at your LT basically, so I should have focused more on that. Second, I should have started off slower and saved my energy for the latter half. Yes, this is Racing 101 and yet I make this mistake often. It's the simplest rule yet it is almost impossible to execute. Finally, I should have stuck to my nutrition schedule of eating Clif Blocks throughout the run. I only ate one (which is 1/3 of a serving) at like mile 5 then totally blew the rest off. I guess I thought my problem was mostly breathing-related and not energy-related, but I think I could have used the calories. All in all, it was a learning experience and a heckofa workout as well. :)

Well I have been doing plenty of stuff this week, just not running, as I recovery from the half.

Monday Zach and I took the day off work and while we were a little sore, we got out for a really easy, slow bike ride to the library and to lunch. Did 9 miles total.

Tuesday we went swimming in the lake after work. I swam approximately 1120 yards non-stop (where you gonna stop in a lake??) in about 28 minutes.

Wednesday I did nothing :)

Thursday I got up and went to the gym in the morning. (The pool is CLOSED temporarily :( jerks) I rode the stationary bike for 20 minutes and got a great workout! I might do this more often- it's a little easier to actually DO than riding outside. After the bike I did 10 minutes of weight training- wow that's been a while!! I got a nice upper body/core workout in before hitting the shower. In the evening I got together with Maritza for dinner where we got all excited for her New York City marathon training, which starts soon. Oooh that is going to be SO cool! Check out her blog as she trains using Pete Pfitzinger's program for the first time. You rock Maritza! :)

And then finally!

Friday 3.0 miles/25:04/8:21 average pace

Yay! I missed running so much. :P My legs felt good, but the run wasn't easy since I randomly decided to run a kick-ass pace. Whatever. :)

Tonight I'm going to see Harry Potter the movie, then I'm going to get my book at midnight! YES I'm a huge nerd. We're going for a long bike ride in the morning (officially starting "real" triathlon training) then a bbq and later a party. That's if I can tear myself away from Harry Potter...

Here's a few good pics of the half marathon that I found online. Enjoy!

First, the good luck bouquet from Mom and Dad in Montana :)

Maritza looking strong:

Zach running to the finish line:

Early on I'm feeling great:
I managed a smile, but I'm tired here:

Going for broke:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Close, but no PR: Wine Country Half Marathon

Sunday 13.1 miles/1:46:33/8:08 average pace

It was a gorgeous day, a beautiful course, a hard race, and a solid "B" goal success!

I am really happy with the outcome- I gave it my best effort and learned a few lessons. Zach and Maritza also ran well and we all enjoyed the event. We started the day reeeeeally early with a 4:00 am wake up call. We picked up Martiza and drove the hour or so up to Sonoma where we parked and picked up the shuttle bus to the start (note: Fancy wine-country tour buses, not school buses! Score!) We arrived at the staging area which is in the midst of a winery- very pretty! We hit up the porto potties first thing, then hung out for a while chatting and checking out the other runners. We made another stop at the porto potties and then headed to the starting line down the hill. I jogged a little stretch of dirt between rows of vines to warm up, then I said goodbye to my buddies and squeezed up closer to the starting line.

At just a few minutes past 7:15 we were off! The course is generally flat with some rolling hills. The scenery is all rural wine country. Gorgeous. There were virtually no spectators, but I was feeling the energy of the other runners and had no problem getting into a groove. I started off very strong:

mile 1: 8:02
mile 2: 7:49 (missed split- ave)
mile 3: 7:49 (ave)
mile 4: 8:04
mile 5: 7:56

Right on my goal pace, feeling good. I was with a pack of runners that were carrying me right along. But about mile 6, way too soon, I started feeling tired. I pushed through, hoping I would settle down and relax.

mile 6: 8:17
mile 7: 7:50

That last mile was really forced, and I was working really hard at this point. My legs felt a bit heavy but ok. It was my breathing that was holding me back- I was sucking wind. Wheezing and it sounded horrible! I felt bad for the people around me, since I hate having to listen to people huffing and puffing. Sorry people!! I started taking walking breaks - just a few seconds at a time- and tried to get my breathing under control. I slowed way down in the next few miles as I was at my limit. I tried to pep-talk myself but it was all I could do to keep running.

mile 8: 8:37
mile 9: 8:20
mile 10: 8:08

When I got to mile 10 I told myself, only a 5k to go, no walking!! But, I had to walk. Ugh! I knew I couldn't pull of the PR finish, so I just focused on making forward progress. I really wanted to give up and just walk but I pushed on.

mile 11: 8:29
mile 12: 8:43

I was completely at my limit, still wheezing and really struggling. I was trying to hang onto the pack of runners I'd been with this whole time but they were slipping away. I finally got some focus when I saw that mile 12 marker and did some math in my head. I had long-since given up on my goal of PR, but I realized I could actually finish in a decent time if I sucked it up and finished strong. I sped up, passing all those runners I'd been pacing with the whole time. Determination alone drove me to the finish.
mile 13: 7:37
13.1: 0:44 (that's 1 second faster than the final .1 of my 5k last week)

Watch time: 1:46:30 (official chip time 1:46:33) 8:08 average pace

So, I obviously had something left in the tank to finish that strong, but I couldn't tap into it for some reason. I don't know exactly where I went wrong with my pacing, besides obviously starting off too fast. My mile splits were all over the place and I ran a big positive split, which is so not me. I ran the first 7 miles in 55:48- 7:58 average pace. I ran the last 6.1 miles in 50:12- 8:14 average pace, that final mile brought my average pace way down. It was not a very well-paced race, and I am not sure I ran my best. But I'm extremely proud of a couple things:

My overall time is just one minute and 39 seconds slower than my PR. That's actually pretty close, and I'm proud of my very solid run.

I didn't give up and throw in the towel when it got hard. I have done this in the past (SF Half Marathon last summer, I finished in 1:50) and I felt terrible about it, like, to this day. So I'm proud of myself for pushing on even when I knew I wouldn't get a PR.

I cranked out that last mile. I know this means I really messed up my pacing somewhere, but that fact aside, wow! :D

I finished 191st overall, out of 1,511 half marathon runners. I was the 71st female finisher, out of 1,012. I placed 13th out of 203 girls in my 25-29 Age Group.

I got my chip removed and received my finisher's medal, then walked over to start watching for Zach to come in- and saw him right away! I was so proud, I screamed and cheered for him and got a little teary when he got his finisher's medal.

I encouraged him to write up his own race summary, which is at the bottom of this post. :)

Maritza charged in not far behind, we were waiting and gave her a roaring cheer as she passed (and I got a high-five!) and went and found her at the finish line. She did great!! GO Maritza!! She hadn't done many long training runs due to knee/shin issues and cranked out this half marathon on pure will. Not too shabby! Girl's got endurance.

We picked up our souvenir wine glasses and sampled some local wine, then got lunch at a local bakery. It was a long drive home, we were all totally beat! I'm so proud of Maritza and Zach, and of myself. What a team. :) Thanks for reading!

Here is Zach's First Race Report!


The race began at a steady uphill walk as the crowd approached the start line. I was alone at the start of a long run for the first time ever; Jen had started working her way up in the pack and I watched her as she jockeyed for position about 150 feet ahead of me. I crossed the start line, started the timer on my watch, took a deep breath, and started off on my first half Marathon. As I crested the hill at the start I saw the crowd ahead of me cruising downhill for the first half mile or so of the course. As I watched the different colored shirts, hats, shorts, and bandannas moving down the road it made me think of gasoline spreading out on a puddle of water (you know what I am talking about if you have ever seen it). My first mile came in at 8:45; I was on pace and felt good – 12 more miles like this and I would be good to go. Fast forward to mile 4; my pace had decreased and now I was hovering right around an 8:00 mile. I watched my next two miles come in around 8:00 and knew I was running a bit fast but figured it was a race and I was feeling good; when I hit my lap and noticed I had just done a 7:40 mile I knew I had to make myself slow down. My next mile came in at around 8:21 and there was a soreness creeping up through my hamstrings but now I only had five miles to go so I told myself to suck it up and keep on moving. When I got to the 10 mile marker I knew that a much deserved walking break was coming my way. I waited until about 45 seconds into the mile then pulled out my last two cliff blocks, threw them in my mouth (two eaten at miles 4 and 7 as well), then washed them down with a big drink of water. I now had about 10 seconds left in my allotted 30 second water break so I stretched my arms and shoulders before taking off again. I now knew that there was only a 5k between me and the finish line and I knew I could make it. I had expected to slow down quite a bit but miles 11 and 12 came in at 8:31 and 8:35; my mind was saying sweet while my legs were saying you have got to be kidding me, we did that?!!. I decided that a 15 second walking break was in the cards at the start of mile 13 which gave me time to get another big drink of water and prepare myself for the last mile. As I started running again I thought holy crap this is going to be tough but suddenly I realized I was running the last mile of my first half marathon!! I knew I had to stop whining about the pain and bask in what I was about to accomplish. I relaxed a bit and had a smile on my face as I pushed through the last mile. Once I passed the 13 mile market I picked up the pace as much as I could and headed toward the finish line. The crowd was cheering, I was feeling good, and best of all I saw Jen as I crossed the finish line! 1:47:48, an average pace of 8:14, some pain, some pleasure, some laughing, some cursing, but all in all it was a great experience and I am looking forward to my next race!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A couple easy workouts and Race Goals

Thursday after work we drove down to the lake again to go swimming. As I said before, it's basically "open water" swimming lane, which follows the outside boundary of the designated swimming area. The lane is approximately 140 yards long, and actually really wide- about 15-20 feet at the widest- so you have to sight and watch for other swimmers. Thursday we saw some of the real open water swimmers going across the lake- you have to be a paying member of this group and can only swim at certain times- we might consider joining. But for now we're getting used to swimming in the lake without stopping. We did about 900 yards total. It took me about 23 minutes.

Friday 5.0 miles/45:14/9:04 average pace

Easy run before work, I made a point to not even look at my watch and just run at a relaxed pace. It was nice and cool out, only about 60. That will hopefully be the case tomorrow morning for the race (plus, God willing, some fog!).

SO, my goals for the Wine Country Half Marathon!

A Goal: PR (sub 1:44:54) I think I can beat my PR by over a minute, which will require me to run an average pace of about 7:55. Although beating my PR by even a second would bring me great joy also. That's anything under an 8:00 pace.

B Goal: Come in near by PR (like 1:47 or better- under 8:10 pace).

C Goal: Run my best and finish strong (under 1:50 is certainly doable).

Pie in the sky/secret dream goal: Huge PR -let's say sub 1:43 (7:52 pace).

Wheels fall off/not my day backup goal: suck it up and finish

I am feeling really confident and excited for the race! It is going to be really beautiful course and my two best friends will be out there running it too- what more could I ask for. Can't wait to post my race report, plus of course we'll hear about Zach's day too- his first long distance road race! I'll have some pictures too, although not many since my photographer will be busy running. :)

Thanks for the well wishes everyone as always!

Whoo hoo!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Under the Tucson Sun

That post title was too easy!

First some catch up:

After my last post about getting in some hard rides on the bike, Zach and I followed up with a nice hard ride Sunday night. We did 9.5 miles total, with 7.75 miles at an average of 15 mph! It was tough, but I focused on keeping my peddling cadence up (one of many good tips from the Triathlon book I checked out at the library) and we traded drafting responsibilities. We did an out-and-back ride that had big headwinds on the way up and (weeeeeeeee!) super tailwinds on the way back. Although our average was 15 mph, I think we probably did closer to 12 on the out and 18 on the back. Wow that wind makes all the difference.

So I finished off last week with a TOTAL of 28.1 miles, including a 5k race :)

PLUS 14.5 miles on the bike

and 3620 meters swimming- a weekly record!

This week:

Monday 6.0 miles/50:52/8:29 average pace

Zach and I went out after work and ended up with a pretty hard run. We ran a loop with a big half-mile long hill which we charged up and back down. Our last three miles were 8:16,8:08, and 7:49. Speedsters!

Then I was off to sunny Tucson, Arizona. It was HOT! No surprise there. Tuesday afternoon I took a dip in the (very warm) pool and swam "laps" for about 10-15 minutes. I'll call it 500 m just for fun.

Wednesday morning I got up and went for a run in the beautiful Sabino Canyon. I had met a kid on the airplane a couple of weeks ago who was from Tucson, and he tipped me off on this great place to run there. I tried to get an early start, but didn't start running until 8:00 and it was already over 90 degrees! The overnight low wasn't much cooler than that, so I don't think I missed out on much. Here's the stats and a pic from the web:

Wednesday 6.0 miles/54:10/9:02 average pace

Not only was it hot, but that paved path works its way UP into that canyon. So hot and hilly. Oh, and there were warnings all around about High Mountain Lion Danger! Factor in the informative signs and pictures of tarantulas and venemous snakes, and I was in for an adventure.

I had a water bottle and knowlege of where to refill, I was sunscreened up and ready to go. I huffed and puffed for 2 and a half miles up that road, seeing fewer and fewer people as I climbed. I originally planned to run to the end of the trail at 3.7 miles, but I was ready to throw in the towel at 2.5. I was standing in the shade, chugging my water, when I fellow runner came up behind me. At the last second, instead of just saying hello, I asked "Is it ok if I run along with you?" She said Sure, come on! So we started up the hill together. She was a local Tucson girl about my age and she runs this canyon often. So I shook off my worries and enjoyed her company. We ran to the 3 mile point, refilled our waters, and headed back down the hills. Now that was fun!! I really enjoyed chatting with her and flying down those hills. We were doing about 8:30 pace until the last mile, which flattens out and even has a final hill, but we finished strong. I was so grateful to meet her- I wouldn't have even done 6 miles, and I also would have done a lot of walking and whining. Just goes to show that runners (and other athletes!) are such kind and helpful people. Thanks Tucson runner girl!! :)

Oh, and finally an update on the 5k results!

I finished in 4th place in my AG out of 49 girls age 25-29. Nice! (but no shiny medal. Poop!) I was 22nd woman overall out of 430.

The surprise of the day is that Zach is 38 years old! Ha ha!! Well that's what the results say. That put him in 16th place in that AG, but once the results get corrected (and I get my 28 year old husband back) he got 3rd place in his AG!!!! GO ZACH!!! Only 16 guys in that AG but he smoked most of them. Way to go babe! He was 70th man out of 325. I'm so proud- his first AG medal!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Last Long Run before the Half, and some OWS-ing

Friday 7.0 miles/1:00:11/8:36 average pace

It's been really hot lately and on Friday it was already pretty warm at 6:30 am. I found a route that was shaded and had a good run. Purposefully ran a quick pace with the last mile at just over 8:00.

Saturday 11.5 miles/1:41:59/8:52 average pace

Then suddenly yesterday it was very cool out. Okaaay! So we took our sweet time and started running about 10:00 and enjoyed great temps with a nice breeze the whole time. I think it was only about 70 by the time we finished. The high (low) light of the run was when I thought my water tasted weird, and discovered it was kinda soapy towards the bottom and all frothy. Dumped it out and rinsed it real good at a fountain, then refilled, trying not to vomit at the thought of drinking all that soap. It was in my head though, I felt fine and pretty much forgot about it right away. Note to self: rinse the freaking dishes better (I wouldn't even pretend to blame Zach, that was fully a Jen move). Anyway, I struggled a little through the early miles and just felt generally tired. But I got a second wind, well really it was my first wind, about mile 8 and cruised to the end. This has happened with my past few long runs. Something to look forward to at the half marathon!

Later in the afternoon I was bored of sitting around, so went out for a short bike ride. I wore my Garmin to track my speed and distance, and made a point to ride hard. I ended up riding 5 miles in 21:17 which is 14.1 mph average. The only obstacles I faced were a strong headwind at times and, well, running 11 miles earlier that day. It was hard, but it boosted my confidence to ride a somewhat good "race pace" (for a beginner!) for more than a short stretch. The Tri is 11 miles so I will work on getting in some hard rides up to that distance.

This morning (Sunday) Zach and I woke up to a warm day (wtf!) and finally got down to the little lake for an Open Water Swim (OWS). It would be Zach's first ever and only my second after last month's Mission Bay adventure. We went to the lake where our Tri for Fun Triathlon will be held August 19.

The lake is a little slimy, but the water was comfortably warm (the race website says around 75) and there is actually a swimming lane marked off, you weren't allowed to swim outside of the designated area. It followed the "deep end" boundary of the swimming area and was 140 yards long according to the Park Ranger. So technically not open water really. I'm not sure how strictly that is defined, but it was a lake and the lane was at least 15 feet across, so you still had to sight. There were a couple people swimming and quite a few people were just hanging out at the park already. I liked it- since I wasn't wearing a wet suit I might have been nervous, but I felt very safe due to the proximity of people (drinking and non-English speaking, but potential life-savers all the same).

We waded in and swam up to the lane, then we started swimming. I wore my new watch (I got my own Timex watch and we threw out the old one which literally fell apart on me) and timed my splits. It took me about an average of 3:30 ish to swim the 140 distance each time. Took Zach about 2:45 average, so he did quite a bit of waiting. At first we stopped after each 140 yard length, but finished with three lengths straight - 420 yards straight. Cool that means I am ready for the triathlon, which has a 400 meter swim. :) In total I swam approximately 1120 yards in 28:15 and was probably in the water about 30-35 minutes. It flew by and I was never too tired. Very fun! For the 6 dollar parking fee it was a pretty sweet deal- they have showers and changing rooms and everything. There is another lake where we can do a real OWS, or there is a group you can join at this lake that does long swims across the whole lake, so we are going to check out those options. But we'll definitely come back and do the lane thing again soon.
Here's a backlit pic of me after we're done. You can see the buoys that mark the lane behind me. It was pretty much the distance of what you can see in the picture.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

4th of July 5k!

First, let me catch up:

Monday 5.0 miles/43:34/8:43 average pace

Easy run in the heat. It was really only in the high 80's but it has gotten much hotter in the last few days, up to 104 yesterday!

Tuesday 1500 meters swimming in 33:37.

Yes, that's right, I got a watch. (ok, Zach got a new watch and I got his old one) Whoo hoo! Look at me with my minutes and seconds. :P Nice long swim and felt comfortable.

Then... this week's MAIN EVENT:

The Run San Ramon 5k Race!

Well, I admit I was anxious, even though it wasn't a goal race at all. Despite all my understanding of mental training- visualization, positive thinking, etc.. and I usually am very good about this stuff, but I just can't help but psych myself out sometimes. I honestly didn't think there was any way I'd come even close to my PR of 22:08. Who is that fast runner, I wondered! Plus I also admit I was worried Zach would beat me, and then I felt guilty about worrying about that. Ugh! In summary, I was not confident.

But I did give myself a little pep talk before bed, and I slept really good. I woke up feeling energized and excited! I wasn't really confident, but I wasn't down on myself either. I knew I'd try my best, and Zach would too, and it would be fun. I was ready to race!

We drove down and registered before the crowds got there, about 7:15. Then we did a 1.5 mile warm up jog around the park as more people started arriving. It was already pretty warm, about 70 degrees at 8:00. Finally, after the standard delay, we were off!

I went out fast, too fast actually, as I was swept up in the fast pace of the crowd. Felt great for about a quarter of a mile, ha ha. After that it became more and more difficult to maintain a fast pace. First mile: a smokin' fast 6:58!

The course is just a big loop around this big park and the surrounding office park. So we made a couple of turns, I was tucking behind random people trying to get some pace help from them without their knowing it. I slowed down a little, which was inevitable, but kept on running. Second mile 7:28

Now I'm really panting, and my legs are heavy! We're out in the sun again too and man I want this to be over. About mile 2.5 I am trying to find a pace buddy to help me along, when I hear a loud throat-clearing behind me. I turn around and who do I see but my surprisingly speedy husband! Drafting off me this whole time without my knowing it! Ha ha!! My brow furrows and I laugh simultaneously. Before I can stop myself I yell at him " YOU F#%&-ER! What are you doing?!" Ha ha. He pants "Just trying to hang in there." Pretty cool. Now I am NOT letting him beat me, after trailing my like a sucker this whole time. I didn't realize it at the time, but he told me later- I sped up right away. How - I do not know. Competitive nature I guess!! We blow by the mile 3 marker with a 7:12 split, and sprint to the finish.

Last .1 miles: 45 seconds.

My finish time: 22:25!

Zach's finish time: 22:27!!

What a race! I was soooo pumped that I came so close to my PR, I did great! I was sooooooo impressed and proud of Zach for hanging in there, and he saved himself a painful existence by not passing me at the end (he insists he couldn't have if he wanted to, which I want to believe). We might have even got a picture together from the official race photographers. How cool! I know I am competitive with him, but I don't think there's anything wrong with it. We spent the whole day telling each other how awesome the other did, and how proud we are of each other. I had a fantastic time at this race, and I'm so grateful for my lifelong running buddy. :)

Well we stuck around and ate Popsicles and cheered on other runners for a good half hour. I had one lady who was nearing the finish offer me 100 dollars for my Popsicle. :D Hilarious. We left before results were posted, and they are not online yet, but I'll update when I see them.

We had a great rest of the holiday. I jumped in the pool when we got back to the apartment (did I mention it was 104 degrees??) and then later we rode our bikes up to watch the fireworks in San Ramon- got about 8 miles in (half in the pitch dark!). So I ended up doing a triathlon yesterday! ha ha.

Got up this morning and went to the pool. I swam 1000 meters in 22:34.

Hope everyone had a great 4th!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Long Run and Weekly Summary


Friday 6.0 miles/54:xx/9:xx average pace

Easy run in the morning on Friday, felt really good.


Saturday 15.0 miles/2:12:08/8:49 average pace

Zach and I went for a long run looping through Golden Gate Park, with couple hilly miles on the streets of the city, then up the big hill past the Cliff House. Zach finished at 12.5 miles and I continued out and back on a path along the Great Highway (the road that parallels the beach) for a total of 15 miles. It was a really exciting run- I forgot how much can happen when you are out on these long running adventures. In the park we saw turtles and a waterfall (oh, and don't forget the buffalo), then we climbed up a long hill to a gorgeous view of the coast and the city, and then I ran along a busy beach path with tons of other runners, some were cheering for each other (training groups are common there, and they cheer and yell for all runners!). We were consistent with our pace, even on the hills. There were lots of street crossings and other obstacles, which made it hard to get into a groove, but oh well. There was so much going on around us, the run flew by. :)

I went for a short, easy bike ride yesterday - about 6 miles including one stop at the library and another at the park. Otherwise, took the day off.

TOTAL miles for the week: 40!! This was my goal so I'm very happy. I've never hit 40 miles a week when not in Marathon training. Cool.

PLUS: 2000 meters swimming, and just 6 miles on the bike. (I know, I know).

Here's my plan for this week:

Monday: 7 miles

Tuesday: swim, 3 miles easy

Wednesday: 5k Race!

Thursday: swim

Friday: 5 miles

Saturday: 11 miles

Sunday: swim, bike

The 5k race should be fun. I did the 10k event in 2005 and placed 2nd in my age group! My PR for the 5k is pretty fast for me- 22:08, so I don't know if I'll beat it. But if anything it's replacing my speedwork this week. I don't think it's too close to my half to cause any problems. Weeee!