December 26, 2010

There's something about running in the snow

My running has been excellent while out east for the holidays!  Today, we're being treated to snow---and lots of it.  There's a magical feeling in the air when snowflakes start falling, blanketing the streets and sidewalks, and making the world quieter and softer.  And my body was content out there.

December 12, 2010

Angel Island Race

I had a blast running Enviroport's 12K yesterday! The morning began with coffee, breakfast, and driving over to Tiburon. After finding parking and meeting up with a couple running buddies, it was time to get on the ferry.  The boat ride to Angel Island took only 15 minutes, and then we waited at the starting area. It was damp and gray---with tons of fog hanging around.

The first couple of miles involved a lot of uphill.  I felt pretty good and just let my pace vary according to the terrain & the pace of people in front of me :) Part of racing on singletrack trails is dealing with being 'trapped' behind other runners. Due to the fog, our views of the SF Bay were extremely limited :(  But the trees and birds and ups and downs of the course kept it interesting!

Around mile 3, there was some flatter ground, since we were running on a ridge, and I let myself pick up the pace a bit.  But when the course threw in some more uphills around mile 4, I could feel my heartrate shooting up and had to back off a bit.  I reminded myself that there would eventually be some downhill, and when I got to the flatter and downhill segments, I let myself cruise.....That meant relaxing my body, concentrating on the trail and my footing, and just running. I worked hard on the last 1.5 miles, including kicking it in near the finish :)  My finishing time was 1:12, and I finished in the top 25% of women.  I think I'll be doing more trail races in the future!

I learned a few lessons from this race:
1) Trail running is very peaceful
2) Trail races also give me post-race glow
3) It can be tricky to figure out an appropriate racing pace/effort when the terrain varies
4) Extended uphills are tough on your lungs and heart
5) Racing with friends is the BEST way to kick off the holidays!!!

December 9, 2010

It's December

Training has been good, but not great this month.  My easy pace is getting a bit faster. I've done some yoga. But I haven't tested my endurance in a while, and I think it's gonna take some effort to get set for a February half marathon.  Holiday treats & drinks are also not so helpful for running :O

BUT- I'm really looking forward to this weekend's trail race. My plan is to start strong, have fun, enjoy the scenery, and finish hard---yeehaw!

December 5, 2010

Pouring

I did a hilly 75 minute run in the rain this afternoon. And, it ended up being a fun, though soaking workout. It was totally my fault for not capitalizing on the clear skies first thing this morning, but I knew I needed to crank out some work.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've squeezed in runs on a hotel treadmill, in the late afternoon, and on Thanksgiving morning!! I know that the next couple of weeks will be very busy and will continue to challenge myself to get in my training time :)

November 23, 2010

Yo, Yoga

To get back on the strong & happy runner bandwagon, I've been doing some yoga.  I think that cross training on rest days will help my body and keep me excited about training.

This afternoon, I did a nice yoga routine that involved some great stretches for my hips.  As a result, my body feels tired in a good--and different--way.....I'm really tempted to try a bikram yoga class because I think the heat could help me get into poses ;)

November 20, 2010

The Hubby

He fully understands my addiction to getting out there for a run and accumulating running shoes and clothes and gear galore. He refills my water bottle and deals with my stinky running clothes. He encourages me to run faster and participates in carbo loading with me :P

Happy birthday, Jeff!  Thank you for being an amazing husband to a crazed runner :)

November 14, 2010

Roughing It

This morning, I headed out to Redwood Regional Park, which includes the hills above Oakland.  I did 60 minutes of trail running and had a BLAST!

I tried to maintain an even effort- relatively easy on the uphills plus moderate pace on downhill/level ground. I flew down some of the downhills but had to take a couple downhills really slow since I didn't want to fall/hurt my knees! I will continue working on gaining confidence on those downhills.  This picture shows some of the steepness in the park:


It was a lovely day for running---felt cool in the shade but nice and sunny with warmth on the ridge :) There were a few other trail runners out, as well as hikers, bikers, and even a woman on horseback! And this picture shows the glorious view of the SF Bay:

This run was so much fun, and I really didn't want to turn around after 30 minutes!! I noticed that I was using my core and arms more for balance than regular running, and I expect to be a tad sore tomorrow.

November 11, 2010

Take Two

When my coach, Mary, ordered that I take a week off of running, I thought I would lose it.  But, somehow, the week did me a lot of good.  It gave me a few more minutes for taking care of overall life stuff, and I didn't go completely berzerk! I did a ton of walking and a yoga workout (which fried my abs!). Now I'm back to running, and, ahhh, I've had a nice couple of runs. Today's zone 2 run went really well.

I've set two goals for this training cycle: 1) get stronger AND 2) tackle the zone 2 run.  To get stronger, I'm raising my commitment to doing arm weights and crunches and even crosstraining :O  I'm also going to work on learning what zone 2 (moderate effort) feels like and train my body to deal with working a tad harder on my everyday runs.  I think it'll make a difference!!

October 31, 2010

Halloween Highway

This morning's 4 mile race went great! I woke up early to head to San Francisco for another DSE race.  The route was an out and back--down the Great Highway and then back up to Sloat. At the start, I went out pretty hard because I didn't want to be trapped behind people on the narrow path.  I felt awesome during the first mile and had to reel myself in to run a 7:21 mile. Of course, this meant that I wasn't listening my coach, who'd suggested that I start at 7:40 pace and then go-negative ;O

I felt good on the second mile (7:35) and tried to enjoy the gentle, rolling hills along the Great Highway. At this point, I realized that a few women were running right around my pace.  But mile 3 felt harder, and I was huffing and puffing. I eeked out a 7:46 mile and could tell that my legs weren't too happy with me....On the 4th and last mile, I just hung on--7:50--and worked on pulling myself closer to the women in front of me.  It felt like a lonnnnng mile, and I was very ready for this Halloween "trick" to be finished!!  I kicked it in just a bit at the end, finishing in 30:40 & getting 5th place overall woman.  I think I'm getting addicted to the finisher's ribbons ;)  Now it's time for treats & more treats, as I am a pumpkin & candy addict  :P 

A couple reflections:  My average pace was 7:39, and now I should work on starting smarter in races....the going out fast probably hurt me a tad in this race. If I'd started under control, I may have been less of a pumpkin in the last 1.5 miles. Going to races with friends & meeting other runners at races is very, very motivating. So, I'm happy that I'm now in the habit of racing every month or so, instead of just a couple times a year.





October 24, 2010

Rainy day

According to the calendar, it's been fall for about a month.  But we've only experienced a few days of fall thus far. And today's a rainy, fall day.  I went out for a 30 minute recovery run in the rain, and it was quite soothing.  The Bay Area feels quieter when it's raining, and I only crossed paths with a few people on the sidewalks of Oakland. I appreciated the fresh smell of rain and paid a bit of extra attention to the fallen leaves.  With my rain jacket on, there was no need to chase the rain away!

October 18, 2010

Someday races

The Boston Marathon filled up in one day, and it made me think about races that I really, truly want to run....
**Garden of the Gods 10 miler in Colorado
**Cherry Blossom 10 miler in Washington, DC
**Beach to Beacon 10K in Maine
**Knoxville half marathon

Oh, and the Boston Marathon  :)

October 17, 2010

Piriformis

Piriformis is a total pain in the butt.....It aches & has been bugging me :(  I had a bad case in the spring, pre-Avenue of the Giants.  And it's come back this fall.

Yesterday, I ignored the pain and ran a terrific long pace run (with 7 miles sub 8:45).  But it's really not a healthy strategy to run through pain. So now I'm antsy to get my body to feel well :O

October 9, 2010

Run by me

If you go for a long run with someone, you end up talking a lot about running socks, fueling, future races, and life :) There's something about running that gives you space and time to share and reflect, which are pretty important things.

Today, I ran 20 miles with Tamara. We soaked up the California sunshine and took in some lovely views of the Cliff House, Pacific Ocean and Golden Gate Park.  It felt good to get into endurance mode and just let my legs tick off the miles. That meant no stressing over pace! And, I'm pleased to say that, although the last 3 miles took some extra determination, I managed the jump in mileage up to 20 quite well.

October 6, 2010

Watch out, track

Yay for acing another track workout! This ladder workout only had a 400 meter jog for recoveries.  I concentrated and really dug deep on the last couple intervals.

400---1:42  Feeling strong & in control
800----3:44   Hmm, this almost feels too easy, but my coach wouldn't give me an easy workout ;O
1200---5:35  I realized that I could have pushed harder and was peeved
800---3:32  No holds barred :-)  Definitely one of my speediest 800s!!
400---1:40  Keep on speedin'!!

October 2, 2010

Long run Saturday

I just realized that I hadn't run over 10 miles in training since mid-August  :O  That makes me feel like today's long run was a serious success. I ran the 12 miler on the Iron Horse Trail and averaged 9:34 pace (with 5 miles at 8:30 pace and 2 miles at sub 8:20 pace)....By the way, a year ago--when I was in revving up for the NYC Marathon-- I ran my long runs at 10:30-10:50 pace.  


I still wonder about my strengths and limitations as a runner.  I am curious whether the marathon or half marathon is my "best" distance.  I know I'd like to try racing 5Ks and 10Ks, and it could be cool to find larger ones with some more hype and schwag ;)  At the same time, I also think another Ultra would be a blast (especially due to the M and Ms at the aid stations!!).  All in all, I think I've progressed as a runner over the past couple of years. More importantly, I've stayed healthy and in adoration of running!



September 29, 2010

Terry Fox's story

Last night, my hubby and I watched ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary about Terry Fox.  It was a powerful film that captured Terry Fox's dedication to fighting cancer and living strongly.  I recommend this film to runners and non-runners.



Today, I feel a great deal of gratitude for my health, legs, and running and believe that we CAN beat cancer.

September 26, 2010

Fierce

I had a blast running the DSE 5 miler at Oyster Point.  It was cool to really, truly race today.  That meant that I focused on passing people--instead of just considering my pace and time.  The nice & flat course traced around the San Francisco Bay near the SF Airport.  Though it was a glaringly sunny and hot day, I warmed up well, paced myself, and pushed myself to a strong finish.  And, guess what, I was the 2nd place woman!! My race time was 39:02 (7:44 pace). I need to thank my coach, Mary,  for encouraging me to do hard workouts, dig deep, and believe that I can run fast.

As usual, I woke up early and enjoyed my coffee, peanut butter toast, and banana :P  Then I picked up Jenica, and we headed down to South San Francisco and had a fantastic warm up jog.  I felt calm and ready to rock the 5 miler.  I lined up close to the start and noticed a few speedy looking women.

I started strong (7:37 pace) but was careful to keep in control, especially due to the heat. Then I just kept working my legs and tried to catch the runners ahead of me :)  At the halfway point, I heard that I was the 4th woman, but I knew I wanted to place.....And I saw women up ahead, so I knew I had work to do! I passed one woman & then another woman---yeehaw!  My breathing got tougher, but my legs still felt strong.  At points, I had to convince myself to push, and I tried some different mantras to maintain a speedy rhythm. With less than a mile to go, I heard footsteps and was certain that one of the women was going to pass me back.  But then I saw that it was an older man, and he helped push me to the finish. Whew!  I finished with a kick but had definitely left my energy out on the course. 
This race taught me a few things. First, heck yeah, I have the fierceness for racing. Second, even if your training runs are dragging, you can have a great race. And, third, it's just plain ole FUN to get out there, try your best, and kick some tail in the process ;)

September 23, 2010

Happy Fall!

Yesterday I noticed that the leaves were changing colors, and it was lovely to see some red and golden foliage on my recovery run :)  Today is a gloriously sunny day, but fall is in the air!  I had a great, confidence boosting interval workout today--with 90 second bursts at 5K pace (7:44, 7:26, 7:12).  They felt great, and my legs truly felt "in the flow."  I'm looking forward to this weekend's 5 miler and just want to have fun at the race, and, well, feel some pain while pushing myself!!

September 19, 2010

Simplification

Running, like almost anything in life, can get pretty complicated. Training can get confusing by involving juggling different routes and paces and drills and techniques. And recently, I've just wanted and, ultimately, needed my training and running to feel simpler. Thank goodness my coach assigned a simple long run for this weekend.

So, this morning, I tackled the nice and simple long run. It wasn't totally easy or lazy, but it was simple....I headed out the door, up the hill, back down the hill, around another neighborhood (Trestle Glen), out to Lake Merritt, and then I trotted right back home. All in all, a 10 mile tour of our 'hood. I saw plenty of folks out with their dogs and grabbing coffee and several other runners and bikers. Best of all, I ended up running the last 2.5 miles at 8:30 pace! The workout felt like an honest effort because I didn't strain myself or freak out over paces. Instead, I just worked, and then returned home for a chocolate milk protein shake and plenty 'o' football :)

September 17, 2010

Friday Fun

I've been thinking a bit about what's fun and what's pleasurable- in life, work, and running. My definition of fun includes running in the rain, shopping for running shoes, debriefing a hardcore workout or race over brunch, and celebrating with a beer, ice cream, and some smiles :P

Happy Friday!!

September 12, 2010

Still goin'

In the midst of another hectic week, I had a great medium long run on Thursday and enjoyed my College Avenue route. Yesterday, I ran 8 1/2 miles in Alameda, and that was another solid workout. It's been two weeks since the race in Santa Rosa, so my body and legs should start feeling ready to work hard again :)

September 8, 2010

Sweet running

According to the Jewish calendar, it's a new year. I wish you all a very sweet year ahead! And, I'm wishing myself some sweet running.

To keep my training fresh and fun, I'd like to:
  1. Run races of different distances (there's a 5 miler in a couple weeks, and it would be cool to run a 5K this year, too)
  2. Return to trail running (the Bay Area is loaded with cool trails)
  3. Complete more fartlek workouts (they challenge me in a fun way)
  4. Cook & bake more with fresh produce (should make blue cheese mac and cheese soon for my hubby & me)
  5. Try out some different kinds of ice cream & gelato

September 5, 2010

ZING is Z-licious

Sometimes, we runners need a bar (shakes and gels, too, but shakes are a pain to carry around and gels taste nasty). I was stoked to discover Zing bars at Whole Foods.


Zing bars are packed with natural ingredients, include over 10 grams of protein to support muscles :> They've been kind to my tummy, and they taste really good :>

The chocolate coconut Zing bar tastes SO much like an almond joy bar, except it has even better tasting chocolate!! There are other flavors, too. Another favorite of mine is the peanut butter chocolate chip bar.

I realize this sounds like an advertisement, but I've been looking for something good to help with fueling and recovery for a while, and these are working well.

August 30, 2010

Santa Rosa race report

My pre-race week was extremely hectic, but the day before the race was chill. On race morning, I woke up super early, took a quick shower, and had a nice breakfast of toast with peanut butter and banana. Of course, I drank coffee :P

We drove up in the pitch-black darkness, and I felt pretty calm. We found rockstar parking in a garage close to the start/finish of the race. Score for free parking! The start area was pretty calm at 6am, and the portapotty lines were fairly short, too. I checked in, but they'd run out of bibs. So, I got a timing chip but no bib :( I was bummed about not getting a bib but went about my pre-race business. As per my coach's raceplan, I did a solid one mile warmup with three speedy bursts. At one point, I wondered if I should save more energy for the race :O I hugged my hubby, and then I took a gel about 10 minutes before the start.

The start was on the road, and I couldn't really hear the announcements. So, I got freaked that I wouldn't notice when the start happened. Fortunately, I heard the gun & started...I was weaving a bunch at the start, and people were clumped together on the road and sidewalk. I made to sure to average around 8:10, which felt fine. Then we were on a fairly narrow path, and I could tell that I was slowing down behind people and had to accelerate around them. The first few miles on the path were uneventful. I felt in control when running around 8:10 pace. I noticed some hardcore runners around me, which made me wonder if I belonged up there. And then I'd remind myself to just stick to the race plan :)

I took my first gel at mile 4.5. I grabbed a cup of water at the next aid station and probably only got in a gulp or two. Around mile 5, I challenged myself to speed up a bit. It kept me focused, and I could tell that I was working harder at 8:07 pace. I still felt strong. A few miles of the path were gravel---rather than paved; this made the running tougher.

Around mile 8, I started feeling tired. I think I got a side stitch. I tried concentrating on my breathing. But Garmalade was letting me know that I wasn't quite on track for a 1:47 halfie. I told myself to buck up and keep going & keep pushing my legs. I was running next to a man who was extremely encouraging and knew the route very well. He was giving me tips about where the aid stations were, etc. I took another gel at mile 8.5. My tummy wans't too happy after that gel, but I reminded myself that I needed the energy. I grabbed water & electrolyte drink at aid stations and even walked through one station to get some extra fluids. During mile 9, the doubts got louder, telling me that I lacked the endurance to do this. I forced myself to stay present and somewhat positive. At the same time, I felt like I wanted someone to scream at me to run faster!

When mile 10 hit, my legs were mad, or sad, or something :O I tried convincing myself that I was starting a 5K, and then spent a lot of time convincing myself that I just had to run one more mile, another mile, etc. Every little, tiny uphill felt insurmountable. And there were these tiny hills up to bridges that went across the creek/river. Yikes, I even groaned (moaned?) while running this segment of the race. Several other runners encouraged me by cheering me on, and the volunteers told me I looked great (I'm certain they were lying!). When mile 12 hit, I just concentrated on driving my legs, but they felt SO weak and eeked out a 9 minute mile. I wanted to race to be done, with a capital D. When mile 12.5 arrived, I attempted to trick myself into thinking I was on the track. When I saw the finish line, I kicked and ran the last .2 miles in 7:48 pace!

According to the race results, I finished in 1:50:48, which was 38/289 women!!

August 29, 2010

Santa Rosa

Today was a PR-day! I ran the Santa Rosa half marathon in 1:50....
That's a 40 second PR :)

Huge thanks to my hubby who woke up at 4am and entertained me on the drive up to Santa Rosa, carried my gear around, and then cheered me on at the finish. He reports that I had a particularly pained expression while approaching the finish line. Oh, and after the race we chowed down at IHOP. Yum!


August 28, 2010

Gettin' set

Tomorrow's my goal half marathon....I've re-read my race plan. I've visualized racing. I've been drinking green tea and water and sparkling cherry water. Garmalade is charging. I've laid out my gels & race outfit---blue running skirt & hot pink Nike tank top. I'm taking it easy today and will enjoy some carbs this afternoon with a tasty Zing bar. Of course, I'll be eating pasta tonight.

And tomorrow morning, I get to GO---fast, strong, and always trying my best :)

August 26, 2010

Wrapping my brain around it

My goal half marathon is less than three days away. In fact, in two days, I'll be getting to bed extra early, hoping for sweet, overhydrated dreams ;) And currently my belly's full of Thai food.

Today's sharpening workout went well. My legs are starting to feel like they WANT to go fast!! Thanks to my coach, I have a race plan with pacing goals and fueling tips, but I still need to spend some time psyching myself up that a) pain is okay, b) I want it BAD, and C) Yes, I CAN and WILL do it. Part of me feels like it's been forever since I've raced. But another part of me feels quite relaxed about the whole affair. It's true that it's been awhile since I've raced a halfie (February '09!). But I've run a bunch of other races since then, including a marathon in May, a 5K in June, and a 4 miler in July. Right now, 13 miles sounds like a ton of miles to race.....eeeek :>


August 24, 2010

Sharpening

Today was a bright, hot, summery day. I had a sharpening workout on tap, so I geared up around 6pm and braved the 90+ degree weather.

After a nice warmup, I did three 1 mile repeats. The first couple felt great at sub 8:10 pace. I felt strong and in total control.....But on the last one, I was, quite literally, cooked. Baked. Roasted. Toasted. Broiled. I'm stoked that I completed this workout because it's a jam packed week. I'm also crossing my fingers and toes that the Bay Area cools down before my race weekend :>

August 21, 2010

Ain't it good to know

I loved running my last "sharpening" long run with my friend, Jenica. It was summer in San Francisco, which meant overcast skies, some drizzle, and cool winds blowing by Chrissy Field. I absorbed some terrific views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the SF skyline...wow! And meeting up with a friend makes workouts SO, SO much better & easier. It was a good, strong 10 miler-- with 5 speedier miles thrown in by my coach (who's doing a half Ironman tomorrow!!). The current goal is to teach my legs and body what goal half marathon pace (8:06-8:10) feels like.

It's good to have running friends and also great to know that a goal-race is around the corner.....

August 18, 2010

More quality time at the track

With the half marathon about ten days away, I did my final pre-race track workout this overcast morning. I woke up a bit tired but forced myself to eat part of a granola bar and actually felt pretty good on my warmup. Then it was time for intervals- 800s and mile repeats at goal pace! My fantastic track was hopping; there were some speedy runners and morning walkers and everything in between. A couple people failed to follow track etiquette and were doing recovery work in the inside lane---Boo :(

The 800s (3:40; 3:43) felt really good, and my legs felt strong. I was able to keep my breathing under control at the sub-7:15 pace. I definitely rely on my Garmin during track workouts to hit the goal paces from my coach :O By the way, at some point, I feel like I should go to the track and bust out intervals without the information from my Garmin.

Then it was time for mile repeats at my goal half marathon pace (8:10, yeehaw!!). I wasn't sure if these would feel really easy or boring or what....And, the first 1600 felt a bit too easy--8:07 pace. But on the second 1600, my legs felt a bit heavier, but I worked hard, reminded myself to breathe and did it at 8:02 pace :) Whew-- the best part of a track workout is completing it & knowing that it made you stronger AND faster!

August 17, 2010

Tasty Tuesday

Oh, food....How I love thee!

As a runner, I know I need carbs and protein and try to eat plenty of veggies and fruit, too. Here are some of my favorite meals that fuel me:

Breakfast: "Elvis" oatmeal with sliced banana and peanut (or almond) butter
Lunch: Egg sandwich with tabasco and ketchup on whole wheat bread (I scramble an egg + an egg white with a splash of milk in the microwave)
Snack: Cereal and milk; fruit--yesterday I downed a big bowl of fresh cherries
Dinner: Super salad with tomatoes and beets from our CSA box and cheese & PASTA- almost any which way....

August 14, 2010

Who's the boss

I AM :)

And who rocked the weekend's long run....I DID :)

Bragging aside, I had a few moments of looking down at Garmalade and thinking---woh, is my GPS device broken, because I don't feel like I'm running 8:30 pace. But, guess what?? I was. For a variety of reasons, I needed this boost in confidence and am stoked that I nailed my progression paces in the 12 mile long run.....I did 7 miles starting at 8:48 and ending at 8:15. And, my body was happier running in the 8:30s than at 8:50 pace. With a goal-race in just over two weeks, this means that my legs have gained plenty of strength and speed.

I credit this run to a couple things....First, I ate a lighter breakfast and didn't overhydrate (which upsets my tummy). Second, I didn't run with my ipod/music, and this helped me just concentrate on my form, cadence, breathing, and get into the "flow." Third, I think the past few weeks of speedwork have popped some sense into my legs.

August 11, 2010

Winter in August

It was so chilly that I almost dug out my capris for today's 40 minute recovery run!

I ended up wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and my new SmartWool running socks. I loved the way these socks felt---they fit nice & snug and really hug your foot. And I think they kept my feet warm and dry on *another* gray Bay Area day :O

August 10, 2010

800 Zone

Today was all about half-mile intervals up at the track. The 800 is a tough distance for speedwork. Yes, you have to run them hard and get out of the running-zone, but it's not pure speed and burn like 400s (which have become my friend). I knew that I needed some more bonding time with 800s ;) My two mile warmup was fine, and I threw in a few hard bursts to wake up the legs. Then I tackled the 5 X 800s :O

Once again, my strategy was to divide and conquer--so, one set of three. And then another set of two. The first couple 800s felt great at sub 7:20/mile pace. I was pretty relaxed at that pace. But by the fourth one....watch out, I was huffing and panting and literally running on fumes 'o' anger!!! I gave 100% effort on the final 800, and kicked it in to run a 3:38. I think I was gutsy on this training run, and I'm stoked that I have a few days of easier running coming up :)

August 8, 2010

Nope

Yesterday's long run was TOUGH. I got out there and ran 15 miles at an average pace of 9:20....It was my fastest training run in months and most likely my fastest long run EVER. But, it was ROUGH. I couldn't complete my coach's pace goals for the progression part of the run. For whatever reason, I wasn't able to sustain 8:30 pace :( At a few points, I tried changing the music on my ipod and really willed my legs to go, but they said no way!

After the rough workout, I dusted myself off (chocolate milk aided my recovery) and reminded myself that I can try again. My hubby and I drove down to Pescadero and enjoyed the dramatic coastline of Northern California. The scenery really tempted me to run the Big Sur Marathon :) I have a couple days of easy running and then another track workout to push my legs once again!!

August 4, 2010

These legs

Dear Legs,

Thanks for powering me around the track this morning! You seemed to enjoy the workout (1600/800/400/400), and I appreciate the way you beat my target-times! I sincerely hope you soaked up the carbs and protein from the bowl of oatmeal with almond butter, banana, and blueberries (sounds strange yet totally delish).

I know that sometimes I abuse you and force you to endure long runs, big hills, plus squat jumps (ouch with a capital O). But, deep down, I love you. After all, you've helped me walk around France, Greece, and Mexico; you've helped me dance at weddings, at raves, and around my living room; and you've supported me through highs-and-lows. For all that, I know I need to care for you with nutrition and hydration. I'm trying to eat more fruit and protein while holding onto my obsession with ice cream and chocolate :P

XOXO,
Moi

August 2, 2010

August

It's the end of summer, and I want to squeeze in some good times---with family & friends, food, and running! From head to toe, I have a few FUN goals for the month of August....

Family & Friends: Celebrate my hubby's graduation from his MFA program; Skype with family on the east coast; Visit friends around the Bay Area

Food: Enjoy cooking with ingredients from our Eatwell CSA box, including goodies like strawberries, summer squash, and farm fresh eggs; Do some baking (perhaps a pie!); Get Thai food- just because :)

Running: Try a different running route; Keep up with core workouts; Get fired up for the Santa Rosa half marathon!!

July 30, 2010

Racin' Lake Merced

I think this was one of the coldest races that I've ever run....and, yes, it was in San Francisco in July :) But, I never complain about running in cool weather!! My coach wanted me to treat this as a tune-up for the half marathon. So, I got a tiny-taper and made sure to gel-up, etc. I ran the 4.5 mile race around Lake Merced in 34:47 (7:46 pace). Here's the beef on my race:

7:43-- I started out with the speedy peeps, felt strong, and held myself back to not be a jackrabbit...

7:31--There was a rad downhill, I relaxed, and I passed a couple strong women runners. I was concerned that they'd pass-me-back, but....I got 'em!!

7:55--Midway through this mile, I thought I was toast. My legs felt like jello, my breathing was off, there was a gradual uphill. I kept truckin' away and tried looking ahead to pull myself forward.

7:49--I'm really proud of this mile (even though it's slower than my goal 7:45 pace) because I convinced myself I was almost done. So, I pushed through some pain--with plenty of arm swinging and wheezing. My breathing felt a bit off by this point. Oh, and I was feeling pukey, too, which is GREAT sign that you're racin' and not just out for a run :O

7:57 (final 0.48)-- Oh, boy, I was giving it my all just reminding myself to move my legs. I lacked a kick. Near the finish, we had to run across a patch of grass, and I really had to concentrate to maintain my balance. My vision was wonky, too-- like I couldn't really focus. But, hey, I made it across the finish!

Post-race, there were plenty of refreshments (the chocolate cookies were delish), and I chatted with a few runners. Kudos again to the Dolphin South End running club because they put on really nice & low key races...this race had about 70 runners and the entry fee was $1! I'll be running more DSE races in the future.

July 27, 2010

End 'o' July

I'm not sure how to feel about the fact that this month is slipping away! I've had a few strong runs recently, and my coach thinks that things are coming together---and lord knows, I'm a sucker for positive appreciation :) At the same time, I know that the next few weeks of training are going to be strenuous--with peak workouts before my race on August 29th.

I raced a 5K in the beginning of June, and get to race again on Thursday in San Francisco!! It'll be another low-key DSE race. This time it's a relatively flat 4.5 mile race. In fact, it's so low key, that they asked runners to bring snacks to share. I bought a bag of cookies and hope to run fast enough that the good snacks are still available :P I'm also debating what to wear and need to make sure the outfit matches my Lunarglides....Ah, the frivolous details of running and racing! Seriously, I do plan on pushing hard during this race and testing my fitness.

July 25, 2010

What you can do

The truth is, we can all do more than where we draw our limits and boundaries. We are able to rise up (even after hitting the snooze button) and work harder, dig deeper, or run harder. Our minds think we can only do this or that. But, step by step, I'm figuring out that we can do more than those silly (and sometimes sad) limits. I give thanks to running for teaching me this lesson.

And I surprised myself today. I ran 12 miles- with 2 miles sub 8:29, 2 miles sub 8:24, and a give-it-all-you-got mile in 8:00. So, yes, I could do it.

July 24, 2010

Deep thoughts

Ruminations while consuming peanut butter (post-run, of course!)

Do I love peanut butter because I'm a runner?
Or am I runner because I love peanut butter so damn much?



July 21, 2010

400s

I went up to the track again this morning. It was extremely overcast, and I eased my legs into the 20 minute warmup. Then it was time for six 400s at my interval pace (sub 1:46).

I tricked myself by doing two sets of three 400s, and that really broke up the monotony of all those laps on the track! The truth is that when I'm pumping through an interval, I don't have the time or energy to get bored or feel much of anything. On the 5th and 6th 400, I just kept telling myself to run faster and NOT back off the pace or intensity.

By the way, my run streak is 7 days, and that means that tomorrow's a luscious rest day :)

July 20, 2010

Check

Yup, I did my functional-core routine this afternoon...The push ups and crunches were A-okay, and I also used my Bosu ball.

So, this blog is a great accountability system!!

July 18, 2010

Going longer

It's another sunny Sunday, and I nailed another long run- 13.8 miles! I knew that this would be a jump up in mileage, so the plan was to start at an easy pace. Even though it had been an up-and-down week for training, my legs felt fairly fresh for the first few miles. I'd gotten plenty of rest, but had Mexican food for dinner, which doesn't always lead to a happy runner's tummy! I cruised in zone from miles 3-8. Around mile 5 or 6, I got a bit tired/bored, but I think taking a gel (orange-vanilla Rocatane, which tastes narnar but propels me like jet fuel!) and relaxing helped that pass, which let me get back into a long run groove.

At mile 8, the *FUN* part of the workout began. With four repeats of 3 minutes hard (sub 8:05), followed by 3 minutes easy. I wasn't sure how this would feel, but it ended up being kinda easy ;) I think it's a sign that I'm getting stronger AND more comfortable with speedier paces, even during long runs or on tired legs!! I finished the run with 3+ miles in Zone 2 at around 9:30 pace, which was speedier than my warmup.

For the next week or so, I have the goal of running a couple different routes, and I also want to try a new electrolyte drink....Finally, I need to get back into the routine of doing two functional/core routines per week.

July 15, 2010

Track workout

Initially, I'd been scheduled to do a track workout on Wednesday, but my legs and body had lacked pep this week. So, I took a rest day on Wednesday and planned to go up to the track this morning, which would be the first one with my coach.

I woke up bright and early, dressed, and headed out for a 2 mile warm up with a few pick ups. My legs still felt a little tight, but I knew I should try my best on this track workout. The 400s were speedy & fun (1:41 & 1:44). The 800s hurt more, and I really had to convince myself that I had an extra gear and could ace the final 800 (3:36 & 3:41).....By the way, I definitely was in zone 4 to hit these interval paces! The 2 mile cooldown dragged a bit, and I took it quite easy.

All in all, this track workout went well, and I hope I'm getting stronger and faster, bit by bit.

July 11, 2010

No sun Sunday

Today, I am grateful for the Bay Area's fog! I had a strong 11 mile run in Alameda--with obscured views of SF ;)

I ran most of the workout in zone 2 and am finally learning how zone 2 feels. Zone 2 is the Goldilocks pace, which is not too easy & not too hard. I ran the last 2+ miles in zone 3, which meant that my endurance muscles had to kick it up a couple notches, and, you know what?? It was fun!

This coming week's training plan includes a track workout and a couple longer runs, which should be challenging. I think it'll be key to take good care of myself, including a bit of post-vacation detox.

July 6, 2010

Heap of heat

Running on the east coast in July requires, well, huevos!!

To get in a 10 miler, I got on the road at 5:45 am and still encountered humidity & heat. On the bright side, I got to explore a lovely neighborhood in Philadelphia. And, the greenery and wildlife (deer, bunnies, and squirrels) are precious :)

June 29, 2010

Happy birthday

Last week, my hubby gave me an early birthday present....a Bosu ball! I've been learning how to do fun arm & core work, such as push ups and planks on the ball. It's a good kind of ouch ;)

Today, which is my actual birthday, I woke up early to do a base run with 5 hill sprints. I felt strong in Zone 2 and concentrated on my sprinting form during the hill sprints. And, my copy of the Hudson training book arrived in the mail this afternoon! I can't wait to read it to learn more about the importance of hill sprints and the method behind the madness of Fartleks! Apparently, my coach's training philosophy is aligned with Hudson's....

Tonight, I'll be celebrating AND making a running-related wish!!!

June 27, 2010

Ten miler

For this week's long run, I did a 10 mile progression run. I went back to Alameda since I can do a flat route on a nice (and safe) path/trail without dealing with cars or traffic lights!

I started out really easy and let myself ease into the run. By mile 3, I ready to work a little harder but kept running at a pretty easy pace. For miles 4-7, I ran just under 10 minute pace. At mile 7, I picked it up to Zone 3, so my last 3 miles were the fastest. At one point, my legs wanted to go faster, but my heart rate was already high enough, which cued me to back off a little bit to conserve energy for a good finish. It was getting hot, but I kept telling myself to run strong and finished with some speed :) Once I cooled down, stretched, and drank some water, I really didn't feel like I'd run 10 miles....I suppose that's a sign that I'm getting in shape ;P

Next week will be nutsarella, so I'll be cramming in a few workouts, including hill repeats and fab fartleks!

June 23, 2010

Champions

First off---congrats to the USA soccer team for a legendary goal this morning. WOW!!

Cookies and red wine is not a dinner of champions....and maybe I learned my lesson about doing a hard workout after a not so ideal dinner! Today's fartlek workout was tough, and I did the four repeats. But after cooling down, my tummy let me know that it wasn't too happy with me :(

June 20, 2010

This week

I've been following my coach's lower mileage philosophy but ran 32 miles this week. My legs are feeling stronger, and I think my running form is improving, too! It seems like every workout includes some type of 'quality' OR is an easy-paced recovery run.

Today's workout was an 8 mile progression run. I drove out to Walnut Creek for a flat running route---even though the temperature is higher out there. The first few miles were at a really easy pace, but I started working around mile 4 (Zone 2). BTW- I'm learning that the high end of Zone 2 is still fairly easy but requires me to concentrate and not just jog around ;O

Then, for miles 6-8, I maintained a medium-hard pace (Zone 3), which was about 8:30 pace. At the end of the run, I felt like I'd worked hard but wasn't completely wiped out, which is a good thing :)

June 18, 2010

Love at first step

My new running shoes are.....

Nikes! They just felt oh-so-right at the running store (Transports in Oakland). I've had a few couple great workouts in them and now need to deal with the accumulation of beat up running shoes floating around our place!


June 15, 2010

Ace of Base

This is my base training period, and I'm enjoying (and acing, if I do say so myself!) my base runs. These workouts are meant to be strong and steady, with my heart rate in zones 1 &2, so not too easy OR too hard :)

Today's just-right run was 6.8 miles at 10:10 pace with a few hills (thanks to Oakland's up and down terrain).


June 13, 2010

Progression run

I woke up too early (after not enough sleep) to get my workout in before the heat arrived. I drove out to Alameda and started the run at a nice & easy pace (zone 1-2). At mile 3, I picked it up to 8:50 pace, which felt really good. That pace, on the flat waterfront trail, made my legs happy :) At mile 5, the real work began......So, I pretended like I was running another 5K and dropped to 7:54 pace. At that point, I could feel a bit of tiredness in my legs, and I was breathing very hard (zone 4). I jogged for a couple minutes and then walked for a few minutes to cooldown. Best part of the cooldown---getting an iced latte!

June 8, 2010

Five hills, five things about me

Today's workout include five, 20-second hill sprints. My legs burned as I pumped my arms and huffed and puffed up the hill! Here are five things about me:

1) My favorite birthday cake had pink buttercream frosting and a ballerina cake topper on it
2) I used to sort and analyze my Halloween candy
3) In high school, I was obsessed with the Velvet Underground
4) Seeing the gray whale migration in Baja was incredible
5) My favorite cocktail is either an Old Fashioned or a caipirinha

June 6, 2010

Polo Field 5K

My coach encouraged me to race a 5K because racing helps you gauge your fitness/heart rate zones and gives you practice in pacing, racing, and dealing with pain :> So, I found a DSE 5K (3.1 miles) race in Golden Gate Park. This morning, I had a good breakfast (1/2 bagel w/ peanut butter & coffee) and sipped gatorade while driving over to SF. Then I jogged two warm up miles with Jenica and threw in three strides. I got nervous and took a gel about 10 minutes before the start.

Mile 1 included a fun downhill and my pace (7:22) felt too easy--probably thanks to adrenaline. But the second mile had a serious, neverending uphill (earned an 8:14 pace). I reminded myself that I run lots of hills where I live and kept working up the hill. It really helped me to focus on a man just in front of me, and then I passed him on a flatter section. Next, I targeted a woman in front of me.....I really worked to gain on the woman and was close behind her at the very top of the hill. My legs burned (third mile @ 7:52), and I kept checking that I was in zone 4, which is sub-threshold....Translation?? Painful!!

With about half a mile to go, I tried convincing myself that I was just doing an 800 interval on the track and really worked my legs. This part was downhill (final .14 @ 7:00 pace), but by the finish, I was pretty out of it. I finished in 24:26 and felt totally woozy & pukey in the finish chute. Later, I found out that I was the 6th overall woman!! This race was a successful 5K experience, and I'm happy with my new speed & strength training.

June 4, 2010

Wish list

Something about summertime and perhaps my upcoming birthday (32!!) is causing me to have a serious hankering for some new running gear:

1) Snazzy running skirt
2) Bosu for functional training (ie- core & arms)
3) Yummy socks
4) Black running hat
5) Oh, and I need new shoes (I think I'll reconvert to Brooks), too :)

I tend to purchase my running gear from a variety of places....Online, I've found great deals at runningwarehouse.com. So, my hubby is well-accustomed to packages arriving in the mail with squeaky running shoes!! But I like shopping locally at Transports in Oakland and Berkeley or Sports Basement (with megastores in SF).

June 2, 2010

Swim on

Happy National Running Day! Whether you're running a mile or a marathon, playing tag, ORsetting records, you ARE a runner. I truly believe that us humans are designed to run.

I celebrated my runner-dom by going for a swim at a public pool in Oakland :) Today was a rest day, so I took it easy and enjoyed swimming some laps of breaststroke . In the water, I could feel my arms, chest, and back working, and now my triceps and back are sore, but in a good way.Tomorrow's coach-prescribed workout includes a ladder at 5K pace....should cause some pain!


Yup, this is my swimsuit, cap, and goggles!
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May 30, 2010

Grapevine and more!

My "long" run for the week was today's 6 miler, and I enjoyed a lovely route in North Berkeley with a few hills plus solid amounts of sweat. I have to admit that I miss my 10+ mile runss, though I'm certain they'll be back soon enough.

After the run, I did a set of drills which had been prescribed by my coach. They included high skips, butt kicks, strides, and the grapevine, so I was basically dancing the horah up and down the sidewalk in a lovely North Berkeley neighborhood :> Ah, the silly things us runners do! And, my legs feel nicely stretched out after engaging alternative muscles during those drills.

May 28, 2010

Testing

Today's 20 minute fitness test was a beastly way to start a Friday. I warmed up and incorporated three 20 second sprints/strides. I had to stop and re-position my heart rate monitor due to a SNAFU :O Then the fun began with the first mile at 7:47, then 8:06--at which point my legs felt like jello!! But, truckin' onwards, I hit sub 8:00 pace for the last half mile.

When I finished the 20 minute interval, I felt downright woozy, and my system did not know which way was up....Overall, I ran just over 2.5 miles in 20 minutes and gave it my all. Now I'm curled up with coffee, a blueberry muffin, and some good music.

May 25, 2010

What's new

This weekend, I got to do a couple short runs (3 miles and 5 miles) up at Stinson Beach. The roads were flat, and I ended up running at a speedy clip. Maybe the ocean air, hot tubbing, and beer galore inspired my legs ;)

This week, I'm beginning my coached training plan. This morning I did a functional workout with weights, lunges, and core exercises, while this afternoon I ran 4 miles in the rain. And, on Friday, I'm running a 20 minute fitness test. Yowzers!!

May 18, 2010

Summer routes

For the past month or so, I've been doing most of my training around my neighborhood. That means plenty of runs up Pleasant Valley and Wildwood, loops around Lake Merritt and its beloved menagerie of wildlife, and cruises around Trestle Glen....I'd love to get out there to do some different routes. So, here are a few running routes that I'd like to hit over the course of the summer:
  • Inspiration Point in Tilden
  • Tiburon
  • Over the Golden Gate Bridge & Sausalito
  • Ohlone Greenway in North Berkeley
  • Alameda

May 17, 2010

Coach me this

I'm working toward my PhD in Education Policy and am studying instructional coaches. Coaching is really interesting because, in schools, it potentially pushes and supports teachers at the same time. In other words, coaching challenges AND helps, or even nurtures. Right now, you're probably thinking---how in the world this could connect to running (except for the fact that my 4+ year grad school venture has gifted me with an odd schedule that permits running and more running)?

Well, guess what?!?! I feel very, very fortunate to say that I'm getting a running coach, Mary! I think Mary will focus on my running, rather than my capacity to teach phonics or manage munchkins. I'm looking forward to getting my tail kicked AND my hand held for my next training cycle. And, who knows, maybe I'll even get some ideas about coaches' work for my dissertation ;)

May 15, 2010

Something new

For the past couple runs, I've been wearing my heartrate monitor.

On Friday, it was an epic fail because, according to the monitor, I took a nap a few minutes into the tempo run....In other words, the monitor's band failed to get accurate readings from my heart. Oops. Today, I do think that I got clear data from my 7 mile run, and I learned that big hills definitely pushes up my heartrate!! So, I'd like to keep tracking my heartrate to figure out more about my pacing.


May 11, 2010

Speed in Sunny SF

Today's totally fun fartlek workout was 3 minutes-2 minutes-1 minutes speedy with 2 minutes easy in-between. My legs were happy to be working, and I loved cruising down and up Lake Street in San Francisco (thanks, Jenica, for sharing that route with me!). It was a lovely afternoon, with plenty of sunshine :)

The next couple weeks will still technically be recovery time from the marathon, but I do want to incorporate speedwork into my low-mileage training plus some swimming. as summer is just around the corner....

May 8, 2010

Woe is me-ing

During this morning's recovery run, a bug flew into my mouth AND I somehow ended up running at a speedier pace than portions of last week's marathon :O Before getting fully back into running and returning to my perky & positive self (me, really?!?!??!), I'd like to take a moment to vent....I'm going to get the monkey off my back by listing all the excuses for why last weekend's race didn't produce a PR:
  • The Avenue of the Giants course was WAY hillier than I'd expected. It was never flat.
  • It was hot. I was hot.
  • I didn't drink any electrolyte beverages/gatorade/salt tabs.
  • I paid too much attention to Garmalade and not enough to how I was feeling.
  • My right leg was acting up---something strange popped in my quad around mile 4.
  • I'd had a crazed week of data collection leading up to the race.
  • I may have over-tapered.
  • I may have overtrained by running 18 & 20 milers in February.
*** Please excuse my excuse-making, and I swear that I'll do some peppy and zany bloggin' next week!!!***

May 5, 2010

Avenue Race Report

You take the good, you take the bad,
you take them both and there you have

A fact of running is that you take the good AND you take the bad.

I did not PR at the Avenue of the Giants, but that doesn't mean it was bad, either! I could share several theories for why I didn't PR (e.g., not adequately rested vs. peaked early & over-tapered, or some kind of intestinal and/or electrolyte issue), but I'd rather embrace what was good---or even great---about the race. The trees were beautiful. It was a new experience to run such a TINY marathon. I liked seeing other runners on the out and backs. I didn't go out too fast. I enjoyed listening to my playlist. The roadtrip to and from the Humboldt area was fun & chill.

Here's how the race played out.....

Miles 1-6 (Surprised by the lack 'o' flatness)
The start was uneventful, and I found my appropriate starting pace quite easily (8:56-9:05). Then I noticed hills, and more hills. Very few sections of this marathon were flat. Plus, potholes and more potholes. I really had to concentrate on my footing and found myself dodging around a bunch on the course (which helps explain why I ran an EXTRA 1/2 mile in this race).


A couple stretches of the course were very exposed and sunny, and I felt really hot. So, I dumped water on my head and hoped for the best...

Miles 7-13 (Attempting to stick to my plan and follow Garmlade's orders)
I tried taking advantage of the downhills, but--dang--there were still uphills. It was fun seeing Jenica after I turned around. The trees continued to amaze me, and I got a chance to do some moving meditation on this segment of the course. In this part of the race, I ran several miles in the low 8:50s but a couple miles around 9:20, which led me to believe that 3:54 wasn't gonna happen at the Avenue. But at the half, I thought sub-4 was possible if the card aligned on the second half of the course.

Miles 14-20 (Yes, more trees)
I was feeling decent when starting the second out-and-back. I tried talking myself into believing that this segment would be flat. But I think the ups and downs from the first out and back had already done me in, and I was working very, very hard to eek out 9:10-9:20 miles. I ran and chatted for awhile with a woman who was running this race with her niece. She helped me pick up the pace for a couple miles, and I think it was a good strategy to stick with her while I could. But after miles 17-18, I just didn't have any poof in my leggies.

Miles 21-26.7 (Aargh for running over 26.2!)
I definitely hit the wall, and my legs paid zero respect to orders from my brain to move. Specifically, I ran 11+ minute miles and needed walk breaks. I saw some giant, grody slugs (perhaps banana slugs?!?!) on the course. A couple were smooshed---aka slugkill. I felt a little slugkill-like myself :( At an aid station, I grabbed a few orange segments and hoped that the sugar would kick in. I had a tiny kick at the end of the race, finishing in 4:17:59!!





May 2, 2010

Not quite my day

I ran Avenue of the Giants in 4:17:59---so snuck in under 4:18 ;O I'm sure I can learn a lot from this experience, and, don't worry, I'm still celebrating & know that killer races are in my future.....

The course was humbling on many levels, and the Redwoods were gorgeous. I will post a real race report with pictures later in the week.

Big congratulations to Jenica for PRing & for Dan's rad half marathon time!!

May 1, 2010

Race day is tomorrow


Run strong, like the wind.
Just do it.
Make yourself proud.




April 29, 2010

Ten Steps

Yes, a marathon takes more than ten steps. With three days till Avenue, this nearly four month long training cycle--with a 15 miler in mid-January--is oh so close to the finish line. So, I'd like to share gratitudes for the things that will power me through the 26.2 mile race:

1) Higher mileage training---with midweek medium long runs of 10, 12, and 14 miles
2) Speedier paces for tempo & steady state runs
3) Hilly (and gorgeous) long runs in Tiburon and Sausalito
4) Long runs with sets of goal marathon pace miles---to learn how 8:55 min. per mile feels
5) Sports massage (Thanks, Y!)
6) Fab race day outfit plus LunarGlide shoes ;)
7) Excellent playlist on the iPod shuffle (can't wait to listen to Bruce, Coldplay, and JayZ!)
8) Serious carbo loading & hydration
9) Won't stop believin' :>
10) Rockstar support from hubby, friends from the real + blog worlds, and family! Merci!


I'm deeply grateful for these 10!


April 26, 2010

Almost time to go

Yesterday, I did laundry, and my race day clothes are ready. This morning, I did my final "real" workout with three speedy 400s (1:44, 1:44, 1:42) in the rain. And, tomorrow, I'll stock up on some high-carb snacks like fruity cereal bars plus juice and sparkling water to ramp up my hydration :P

Avenue of the Giants marathon still feels far away--maybe it's because we need to drive up on Saturday. I'm assuming that, by Sunday morning, it'll feel close enough so that when I cross the starting line, my body and mind will know that it's time to GO, GO!!

April 24, 2010

8

Final long run of the training cycle---8 flat miles at Crissy Field in the lovely San Francisco sunshine--is done. Jenica and I talked about how the training flew by and felt easy--even though it was most definitely our longest and toughest training plan yet, so it'll be interesting to see what our results are. We celebrated with delectable waffles & some sunning :) I should take care of some house and work stuff this weekend but also want to spend some time relaxing, thinking about my race, and breathing.....

April 23, 2010

Taper away

Somehow, the marathon taper is long enough so you start questioning if you've stopped being a runner! When tapering, I find myself looking at the clock and calendar, reviewing my running log, doing body checks to conjure up strange pains, and checking the weather A LOT (more on that later). Oh, and sometimes there's some dangerous online shopping, too ;)

Yesterday's taper-pampering involved a sport massage plus tasty treats! My brilliant massage therapist did some excellent, deep kneading of my legs and glutes; let's just say that my quads, the backs of my thighs, and my calves all had some serious issues. Now I'm sitting on an ice pack---good times, good times.

Afterwards, I picked up burritos & feasted with my hubby because marathoners need the potent fuel of guacamole, beans, and carne asada. Oh, and then I baked brownies (Totally not sure if Kara Goucher or Deena Kastor have ever even smelled a brownie. And, by the looks of their arms and legs, my answer is NO!). Of course, I not only smelled the brownies, but ate 'em....delish :P

I think part of the tapering process is getting to know who you are and figuring out your limits. And, I'm most definitely not a professional marathoner. But I have put in the time and sweat, as well as the energy to train hard and try my very, very best. I'm hoping for a delish marathon and will work during the race to make myself proud.

ps- Current weather forecast is cool with some showers on May 2nd.....

April 21, 2010

Lust

After a couple long and odd days, I dealt with the weird weather to crank through a tempo run around Laker Merritt. I wore my Nike Lunar Glides, which I wear as my racing shoes, as a dress rehearsal.

This Iggy Pop song came on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQvUBf5l7Vw....It incited me to run 8:09, 7:58, and 7:43 for the tempo section!! This was the final hard workout of the marathon training cycle, and I've got a lust for life, running, and marathons :)

Soon I will be posting about my favorite ways to pamper myself during the marathon-taper.....


April 18, 2010

Dear Boston Runners

Tomorrow is the Super Bowl of running because it's the Boston Marathon! I'll be cheering on the thousands of runners from afar, including a few of my blogger-buddies AND Meb & Ryan Hall :)

So go run down that dream, chase those unicorns, kiss the Wellesley girls, keep an eye out for the Citgo sign, and have an awesome race!


ps- Yes, I want to qualify for & RUN the Boston Marathon!

April 15, 2010

Three things about tapering

1) I'm always crazy, but taper-time makes me extra crazy (thanks, Runnersrambles, for also confessing to taper-mania)! I can't stop feeling these nutty niggles--from creaky toes to strange aches in my hip....But it's really nothing that rest, foam rolling, some icing & advil can't fix!

2) I need to schedule a pedicure because I've got to get my feetsies presentable. I want to paint my toes green in honor of the GIANT trees :) I already can't wait to put on flip flops after the marathon!!

3) Strangely, I'm craving pasta. I guess my body wants to get this show on the road with some carbo-loading!

April 14, 2010

Intervals

This marathon training cycle has focused on building higher weekly mileage. And I really paid little attention to speedwork. Of course, I did tempo or steady state runs almost every week. And I did do a few hill workouts. But, tracky time has been minimal.

I really wanted to crank out a few 800s because they seem to work your legs and lungs in a different way (e.g.- legs get numb & lots of panting/wheezing while breathing). Unfortunately, I did not manage to get up to the high school track this morning, but I DID get out to Lake Merritt. I've gotta say that I'm pleased with my effort and paces for the 5 X 800! I felt strong through the first four 800s, and the last one was a battle but ended up in my pace zone--whew :) Maybe intervals are my friend.....

Intervals (GPS Interval)
TypeDistanceTimeTotal TimePaceAvg HRMax HRNotes
Interval1 Mi11:08.1911:08.1911:09
Interval0.04 Mi0:3011:38.1912:30
Interval0.51 Mi3:42.915:21.097:18
Interval0.21 Mi2:15.0717:36.1610:44
Interval0.51 Mi3:42.821:18.967:17
Interval0.21 Mi2:30.5123:49.4711:57
Interval0.5 Mi3:37.5427:27.017:16
Interval0.21 Mi2:25.129:52.1111:31
Interval0.51 Mi3:4033:32.117:12
Interval0.24 Mi3:04.836:36.9112:50
Interval0.51 Mi3:45.9240:22.837:23
Interval1 Mi11:51.4352:14.2611:52
Interval0.11 Mi1:37.0353:51.2914:43



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