Friday, November 30, 2007
My last run before the marathon was perfect. My parents have been staying with me and this morning my dad rode his bike along with me on my usual Iron Horse Trail run. It was very fun, we always have a good time together and he's very encouraging! My legs felt really good- definitely the best they have felt in a while. I wasn't even really sore at the beginning of the run like I have been (maybe just a 1 on a scale of 1-10). I had plenty of energy and the run felt easy. I know it was short, but still a confidence-booster. :) I iced my shins for a while and we watched that PBS Nova "Marathon Challenge" program (I had recorded it for my folks to watch) which was really motivating. It made me remember that running is more than the numbers on the clock, but a way of life. I would run if I never did another race or never got another PR. It's my favorite thing in the world and it's who I am. Somehow this fact had gotten away from me, and I'm very grateful that I was reminded before what I'm sure will be a very difficult 26.2 mile race.
So, here are my goals for the California International Marathon!
A goal: 3:35
B goal: PR (sub 3:39:22)
C goal: BQ (sub 3:40:59)
Most importantly, my goal is to do my best, give it my all, and have fun!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Nothing exciting to report today but I had to post so I could use the word penultimate. Ain't I fancy!
Legs were a little stiff and sore but nothing specific or bad. I am not too surprised since this is the first time I've run two days in a row since... (checking log) November 12 and 13th. I think all the rest has been worth it though- I'm a lot better off than I was when this injury first popped up. It's hard to call it an injury cause it's so dang vague... it is not like my knee thing last year which was VERY specific. It's basically my shins and calves on both legs, but more so my left leg. Lame. It's a lame, nameless injury. But I know I can make it through the marathon and then I will rest until the lame, nameless injury is no more! :) Oh man am I looking forward to that break. I've got big plans, as usual (you all know what I mean) like swimming more, lifting weights, etc. But now I need to focus on the present. I've got a marathon to run! Bring it on!!!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Here's my splits- I'm sharing them because I have reclaimed my title of the Queen of the Negative Split!
Monday, November 26, 2007
We drove back from San Diego on Saturday, so I waited until Sunday to do my "long" run. That gave me two days off after the 5k and my legs were feeling very good! The run felt pretty good- I wouldn't say it was hard, but it certainly wasn't easy either. My pace was allright- some miles around 8:35 and some around 8:55 and everything in between. The cool thing is that I ran every step of the way! No street crossings, water-fountains (I was carrying a bottle in my fuel belt), bathroom stops, shoe-tying, nothing! :) That was cool. My legs felt good and afterward I only had general soreness, nothing shin-specific. Yay! I would say I felt a little sluggish and heavy, but I'm guessing that has something to do with all the overeating and boozing I did for 3 days straight.
Total miles for last week: 24.4 miles
(oh ya and official time for my 5k was 22:42. wtf?? 30 seconds off seems like a lot. I definitely started my watch at the "gun" and I saw the clock when I finished, so whatever. Still 4th place AG though out of 300!)
This week is all about detoxing my body (nothing freaky, just eating healthy and no alcohol) and staying relaxed. My parents are in town for the week and will be staying with us for a couple nights later this week so that will be a nice distraction. Here is my running schedule:
Tuesday: 7 miles (2 Goal Pace)
Wednesday: 5 miles Easy + Strides
Friday: 4 miles Easy
Saturday: off (drive to Sacramento)
Sunday: CALIFORNIA INTERNATIONAL MARATHON
Thursday, November 22, 2007
7:09 average pace
4th in Age Group
It was a very tough run but I'm happy with the result! I ran only 5 seconds slower than last year's time, which stands as my PR. So not bad! I ran mile one in a smokin' 6:50, then slowed way down for a 7:28 mile 2, then finished strong with the last 1.1 miles in 7:53 (7:09 pace). This is EXACTLY how I have run the previous two years' 5k- super (too) fast first mile, slowed way down for the second mile, finished the race exactly on pace. Weird! The course does affect my splits in a logical way though- the first mile includes a nice downhill stretch, and the second mile is just slightly uphill for the entire way. Mile three is basically flat.
Seriously though, 5ks are so hard. I'm glad I did this race right before my marathon because no matter how difficult that will be, it will not be difficult in the same way as today's race. Not even close. I was panting, my stomach was in a knot, I wanted to puke, and I about passed out after I finished. I used my new favorite phrase "suck it up, princess" several times. But I did great and am very happy with my time! I wasn't really expecting a PR and was pumped to see how close I got to it. Official results should be up tonight. The overall winner was in my age group, so I might get bumped up to 3rd, but I think they let them "double dip" at this race.
I ran 1 and a quarter miles for a warm up and my leg was feeling good. No problems through the race but both calves really tightened up right after I was done. I stretched out good, then hit up the beer garden. Back at my in-laws' house I iced my legs in the cold pool then took a soak in the hot tub and stretched some more. Feeling allright now. :)
Well the company is about to arrive and I will be chowing down soon! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! :)
Today also happens to be the 10th anniversary of me and Zach's first date. :) Actually we had been friends for a few months, but on November 22nd, 1997 we went to see Starship Troopers and held hands, then he kissed me when he dropped me off. Awwwwww. 10 years, crazy. I love him more than ever. :)
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
We're leaving bright and early for San Diego to celebrate one of my favorite holidays with Zach's parents. I like it because it involves running (Thanksgiving Day 5k), eating and drinking (Zach's dad is a chef and they also have great taste in wine), and shopping (yes, Mother-in-law and I get up at 5:00 and hit up the crazy sales!). Should be a great trip. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!
Monday, November 19, 2007
Here's the plan for this week- it will not resemble Pfitz as written because I'm playing it super safe and running conservative mileage, and I'm also doing a Thanksgiving Day 5k. :)
Monday: rest (done!)
Tuesday: 8 miles GA
Wednesday: rest (drive down to San Diego)
Thursday: Thanksgiving Day 5k
Saturday: rest (drive home)
Sunday: 12 miles Medium-Long
Total miles planned: 23.1
Petra tagged me, so here goes- 5 facts about myself, some random, some weird:
- I was born in Montana and lived there until I was 21 (5 + years ago). I don't really feel like a Californian but I feel weird when I go back to MT for a visit. I like to remember how wonderful small (ish) town life was and how fun winter was, and forget about the lack of shopping & culture and how depressing February-April is there. :) I also like to complain about sunshine and heat. Basically, I can't accept my situation, which is weird.
- I've never had a pet dog. I want one (when we get a house/move back to Montana). I have always had at least one pet cat.
- I always fall asleep when watching movies at home. I've never seen the last 1/2 of most movies.
- I started college wanting to be a writer. I didn't work very hard and along with some poor social choices (ahem), nearly got kicked out of school for failing several courses in my first year. In my sophomore year I became a Geography major in college and graduated with Honors and a President's Award for my grades in my field.
- I have always wanted to be hit in the face with a pie, like in the movies. People around me know this, yet it still hasn't happened. :(
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I'm really glad I took Friday off, my legs were pretty sore all day. Saturday morning I was pretty stiff still, but after walking for several minutes was ready to face my last long run. The first hundred yards or so were pretty uncomfortable, especially my lower left leg, and I know I was kind of hobbling. But my leg warmed up and within a 1/4 mile I was running normally. The rest of the run went pretty good! No leg pain and my energy was good. My legs felt really good all afternoon as I was cooking my bonus Thanksgiving dinner (which was delicious!), but when I woke up this morning both my calves were really tight and my shins were sore. However, we went for a walk (bonus pictures at end) and everything loosened up and I've felt great all day. Such a freaking roller coaster. :D I'm still going to play it safe but I think I'm fine. I'm mainly focusing on not going crazy.
Zach was along on his bike for the long run so I had company and he took a bunch of cool pictures. I run this trail all the time, so I get pretty bored of it. But Zach's pictures make it look pretty! It's an old rail path so it's perfectly flat. The main path is asphalt but there is a dirt trail paralleling it for most of the way. The trail is like 20 miles long and I am pretty sure I've run every foot of it (I used to live up near the northern end, now I'm at the southern end).
Iron Horse Trail:
My friend, the ice bucket:
Ended up feeling really good today (sunday)- after our walk, Zach and I went up to the gym and lifted weights then sat in the steam room for a loooong time. Even went for a little bike ride this afternoon. I'm going to play it by ear this coming week and take extra recovery days as needed. I'm going to San Diego for thanksgiving and will run the Thanksgiving Day 5k with my mother-in-law for the 4th year in a row. :)
Here are the pictures from our Los Angeles trip last week:
Hermosa Beach Pier near sunset
The Strand - a very cool place to run, bra.
Finally, here are some pictures we took this morning on our walk. It was very foggy and chilly out and felt very fall-y. :) We walked up this little trail by our house (not the Iron Horse). There is a creek that runs up a canyon to a park- it's only about 3 miles round trip from home but it is my favorite place to run.
Friday, November 16, 2007
We had a really fun trip to LA- got a lot of work stuff done but had plenty of time for beers on the beach at sunset and a nice run along the boardwalk in the morning. I'll post pictures this weekend when I get them loaded.
My shins were hurting pretty good again this week- I toughed it out during the run yesterday but I decided to take today off. My lower shins were sore during the run, and throughout the day I developed an ache in my left leg up to the knee. I had that before Boston too, and it worried me then. It didn't bother me in the marathon though and didn't come back until just this week, so I don't know what to think. Taking a day off was not an easy decision, pretty stressful to be honest. I am sure a lot of you can relate to how I'm feeling- worrying myself sick thinking the worst about my leg (s), trying to calm myself down but not buying it, stressing out about missing important Goal-Pace run, wondering if I'll be ok to run the marathon, wondering if the marathon will suck, and wondering why the hell I ever got myself into this. You know you're getting taper-madness when your line of thinking goes from "My shin hurts" to "What the hell am I thinking" in 10 seconds flat. Sigh.
My leg (s) feel allright today, and I'm going to ice tonight. I also got new shoes today (I didn't realize mine were nearly worn out already!) and will continue to rest/ice/stretch as much as possible. It's taper time which means resting and being healthy is #1 priority, and training is #2. I will try not to obsess too much.
I am planning on running my 16 miler tomorrow, but I will be very smart and listen to my body. I will be running on the Iron Horse trail which has a dirt path the whole way and will be easier on my legs. Zach will be with me on his bike so worst-case-scenario I will ride home and he can run- hehe. I'm making a Bonus Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow night just for fun so I will be distracted from taper-madness by cooking all afternoon. :)
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday 5.0 miles/44:17/8:51 average pace
Easy run in the morning with Zach. My legs were pretty stiff and sore but nothing too worrisome.
Tuesday 8.5 miles/1:14:01/8:42 average pace
Another interval workout- I wasn't as anxious about it but I was still really NOT looking forward to it. Lately my lower legs (shins and calves and ankles too) have been feeling really tight and sore and today was no different. I just have NO "spring" in my step, and I feel really inflexible and uncomfortable. I hobbled through the first couple of miles to warm up and still wasn't feeling great but decided to get it over with. Zach was with me again today, this time on his bike and that really helped motivate me. I did 4 1/2 mile repeats with 1/4 mile recoveries and was very surprised at my speed!
I 3:18 (6:36 pace)
II 3:27 (6:54 pace)
III 3:20 (6:40 pace)
IV 3:20 (6:40 pace)
Actually once I got going I felt allright, but as soon as the intervals were over my legs felt even worse than before. I hobbled home and then stretched out really good and stuck my lower legs in the ice bucket for a while too. I will repeat the stretch and ice tonight. I am not too worried since I'm pretty prone to shin pain, and I know it tends to "spread" to my calves and ankles, but it's really just stupid shin splints or whatever. I shall deal with it!
Oh ya, rest of the week:
Wednesday: rest/cross training
Thursday: 4 miles easy + Strides
Friday: 10 miles Goal Pace (Pfitz has tune up race scheduled, but I'm subbing a goal pace run)
Saturday: 16 miles Long
Sunday: rest/cross training
TOTAL miles scheduled: 43
Tomorrow Zach and I are going to LA - I have to go for work and he gets to come with, yay! We'll go to my favorite dinner spot on Pier Ave in Hermosa Beach and go run along The Strand, all my usual LA stuff. :) I'll get some pics and post them when I return. Have a great week everyone and thank you so much for all the comments on my awesome 20 miler! :)
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I drove into San Francisco about 8:00 am and started my run shortly after 9:00. It was really foggy but that quickly turned into drizzle- and it continued to drizzle/rain for most the run. However, I had a fantastic run!
I ran the 8.5 miles or so loop through Golden Gate Park which has some long but slight hills to climb and a lot of interesting things and people to look at. Then I exited the park and headed south along the Great Highway which parallels the coast at Ocean Beach. I ate three Luna Moons, which are the new gummy snack from Luna and they were delicious! I watched the huge waves and saw lots of runners. At about 12 miles I began my loop around Lake Merced, which also has some gradual inclines but I felt very strong. I felt like the miles were zooming by and I wasn't tired in the slightest. I was about out of water at this point and was really hoping to find a fountain- sure enough I did about at 14.5 miles. I took a short break to refill- and I ate 5 more of the Moons and drank a bunch of water and called Zach to update him. It was really raining at this point and I was soaked! I was feeling great though and knew I was nearly done. I finished my loop around the lake and at about 16 miles headed back up the coast toward my finish line. Still feeling good- I had to double past my car just a bit to get in the distance, and I really powered through the last half mile or so at a tempo pace. Whoo hoo! What a great run. I stretched out briefly (it was pouring now!) while watching waves crashing on the beach. I changed into a dry shirt and went to a little cafe for a hot breakfast and some coffee.
I felt good after- my calves are a little tight but that's it. Zach and I soaked in the hot tub at the apartment complex pool (I soaked my legs in the freezing swimming pool for a few minutes too) and have had a pretty relaxing weekend. I just got back from an hour or so walk and my legs are feeling good, just a little tight.
Here's my 5 mile splits like last time- I was faster overall this time by about a minute and a half. I was more consistent overall but I did gradually speed up:
First 5: 45:10 (9:02 average pace)
Second 5: 44:29 (8:54 ave)
Third 5: 43:54 (8:47 ave)
Last 5: 42:49 (8:34 ave)
Total miles for the week: 50
Friday, November 09, 2007
Join the Complete Running Network and dedicate your own 5.5 mile run next Saturday, November 17th in memory of Ryan. Run the exact distance, or dedicate a 5.5 mile portion of a longer run in his memory.
Click here for a very touching article on Ryan's sudden death at the Olympic Trials last weekend and the effect it has had on his family, his hometown, the running community, and beyond.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
This morning I wasn't nearly as grumpy and was actually kind of looking forward to my run- what a difference from earlier this week/last week. I did sleep in a little though since Zach decided to skip his run due to a headache- he's worked hard this week so probably a good decision. So I hit the trail (yay soft dirt trail) solo in the light (yay time change!). I started off at an easy pace and ran the first 5 miles at an average pace of 8:59. Then I picked it up a bit on the way back and averaged 8:06 for the last 5 miles. My very last mile was 7:50 but the others were all like 8:09-8:15 and felt pretty comfortable. I think if I am feeling great on race day I will be able to maintain that pace for a long time.
I did notice my breathing felt a little bit heavy even though my body felt light and the pace wasn't hard- which I think means I could have used a puff on the inhaler. I haven't been using it too much but I'll definitely be using it on race day. I've only used it on races and a few tempo runs, so I will use it on my 20 miler this weekend to make sure it's not a problem for a long run. Don't see why it would be though.
So glad to have my mojo back! I appreciate all the nice comments from everyone. :)
Oh ya, yesterday on my rest day I got to the pool and did 1000 m and that was very fun and not too hard. Then of course I soaked in the hot tub- ahhh.
Another big motivator has been hearing about and reading about Maritza's awesome run in New York City. Check out the epic race report on her blog. :)
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I was really not looking forward to running the 4 x 1200 meter repeats that were scheduled for today. Since I haven't been feeling super pumped about running, I couldn't imagine pushing myself at 5k pace for those long intervals. In fact, I was so anxious about the workout that I kept having really weird stressful dreams like I have the night before a big race. I kept waking up and then couldn't fall back to sleep... ugh. At some point in the night my head started hurting so I took an Aleve and finally fell asleep about 3:45, only to wake up to Zach's alarm at 5:00. UGH. I was going to get up and run with him- he's one speedy dude and I knew it would help to have him pace me for the speed intervals. But I chose an extra hour of sleep instead. Which of course didn't really happen, I just laid there, knowing I was going to be late for work today. Finally I heard Zach come home and I got up and was out the door at like 6:20. The good news is it was light out! I was even feeling ok at my easy pace. But the bad news was I did NOT want to push myself. But as I was jogging along, I was listening to a post-race interview with Ryan Hall and he was saying how he really enjoyed his race on Saturday and that it wasn't that hard because he had really pushed himself in training. He said that's what is so great about racing- you train really hard and then can enjoy the race. UGH- FINE Ryan Hall. So ya, in summary, Ugh.
So I lapped my watch at 2 miles and started running faster. I'd say it felt more like tempo pace, but I'll take it. Only a minute or so into my run a friendly face appears along side me- it's Mark! A local runner buddy who I see all the time on the trail and is an excellent runner, with several sub-3 marathons in his records. He's 52 years old and really chatty and nice. He appeared like an angel from above and showered me with compliments and ran along with me for my entire interval workout. He told me how strong I looked and that I've got great form, then told me all about his training (he's running CIM also) and his family and stuff. We talked about Zach's cycling and local race clubs and all kinds of stuff. Before I knew it, the intervals were over! :)
I changed my plan a bit but ended up with the correct total time of fast running. We did 3 1-mile intervals with a 1/4 mile recovery after the first and a 1/2 mile after the second. This guy just doesn't do 9:00 + miles (let alone my trademark "bend over and heave" recoveries) so the "recoveries" were like 8:30 pace and not really much of a break. My splits were: 7:29, 7:26, and 7:10. Yay!! Thank you Mark!
My mojo was definitely present today and I'm hoping it sticks around. I'm really happy that I pulled this off today after feeling so blah lately. Things are looking up!
Monday, November 05, 2007
Easy run with Strides at the end- felt good today. It's so nice not having to run in the dark.
Tuesday: 10 miles w/ VO2 Intervals 4 x 1200
Wednesday: rest/cross training
Thursday: 10 miles General Aerobic
Friday: 5 miles Easy
Saturday: 20 miles Long
Sunday: rest/cross training
TOTAL miles scheduled: 50
So I'm feeling physically very good- the shins/calves thing seems to have passed with the help of buckets of ice water and lots of stretching. However, the past week my enthusiasm has been ZERO. I was bored as hell on Saturday's long run, and just generally haven't been excited about running. I am allright with this- I don't care how unmotivated I am today, tomorrow, or for the next 26 days. I only need to be motivated on December 2nd and I'm sure I will be. For now I will just keep on keepin' on and try not to complain too much. In fact, I am very grateful I'm not having any real aches or pains, so I'll take it. I admit I am looking forward to a running break after CIM and possibly a longer one after Boston... maybe it's time to focus on cycling and triathlon for a few months? Of course I say that now and yet I know I'll sign up for another fall marathon next year. Sigh.
Congratulations to the wonderful Miss Marathon Maritza on completing her 3rd marathon in New York City this weekend!! I'll let her share the details but I will say that I'm very proud of her (of course) and that she finished somewhere ahead of Katie Holmes and somewhere behind Lance Armstrong. :)
Saturday, November 03, 2007
I put this run off until after work so that I could run on the soft dirt trail instead of the sidewalk that I'm forced to run on in the pre-dawn morning hours. I felt a bit rushed after getting out of a meeting a few minutes after 5:00, but I was on the trail running by 5:30. I doubled back to the house and met Zach who rode his bike along side me with his bright headlight and I was able to complete the 10 miles mostly all on the dirt. I ice-bucketed my lower legs again and they are still feeling allright. I'm going to continue to baby my legs though... I really don't want to have to miss any runs.
Saturday 17.0 miles/2:31:16/8:54 average pace
So just over 12 hours later I was back out on the Iron Horse Trail for my long run. I chose to run there again because of the soft dirt trail that parallels most of the paved path. I ran from Dublin up to Walnut Creek where Zach met me for a breakfast feast at our favorite crepes place. The run was good- no major complaints. I guess I would say it was pretty boring, and I was a bit tired, but mostly just bored. It's not just that I run this trail all the time, but I just couldn't manage to "zone out" for any length of time. I was constantly looking at my watch and counting down the miles. Legs felt good though and I"m feeling fine post-run. I am glad to report my body is feeling good although I admit my motivation and energy is lagging a bit. Oh well, I will push on and not stress out. I've got four weeks to get excited about running the marathon. :)
(TOTAL miles for week 8: 50 on the nose!)
I got home and watched my recording of the Men's Olympic Qualifying Marathon in New York City, and was horrified to hear that runner Ryan Shay had died during the event. Here's a link to the news article. He was only 28 years old. :( I'm just heartbroken to hear about that and my thoughts and prayers are with his family. I did manage to enjoy the race recap though and although my favorite Meb Keflezighi faded to 8th place, it was pretty exciting to see Ryan Hall cruise to a huge victory followed by Dathan Ritzenheim and Brian Sell for third. Everyone that competed out there is an amazing athlete and I'm sure they were all very saddened to hear about Shay. What a rollercoaster day.
The main event in NYC is tomorrow, which is of course MARITZA'S goal race of the year! She and her bf flew out last night and I know she's probably anxious and excited right now, with only hours left before her race. I might be as excited :D She's worked very hard and I hope she has the race she deserves. I'll be following her progress online so I'll probably post about it- I am sure she wont' mind. :) GO MARITZA!!!!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Got up early and drove up to Maritza's for a short easy run. It was cool and very dark outside and really foggy too. I can't wait for the time change and a little more morning light! We had a really good run and it was neat to see her usual morning route. My shins (and calves? It's hard to tell exactly) have been sore lately but after a lot of icing and stretching yesterday (my rest day) I felt ok today. I iced and stretched again after the run and will repeat that tonight too.
I can't believe that Maritza leaves for New York tomorrow! She is going to have such a good marathon, I can't wait to hear how it goes.
So last night I got into the Halloween spirit and decided to make a costume for my cat. He really enjoys it I'm sure. In previous years he's been a wizard and a clown. This year he was a RUNNER!
LOL! Hope everyone had a fun holiday.