January 30, 2010

Still counts as a long run

This week was a cutback week to make sure that I don't overtrain my legs and to conserve energy for the Kaiser half marathon. So, I ran 13.5 miles with Jenica on the Iron Horse Trail and we chatted the entire way! I believe that every city/town should have a greenway or trail system so that people can enjoy the outdoors and exercise in a safe and convenient way.

In gear related news....Now I'm really enjoying my new Saucony running shoes because they provide my feet with some nice cushioning, and they fit well. And, you know how they say that great marathons come from happy feet :)

January 29, 2010

Sunrise

Running in the morning lets me see how the neighborhood wakes up. Inhaling fresh air and seeing the sun peeking through the clouds is an awesome way to greet the new day. Today's 70 minute run included one hill, some misty fog, plus lovely polka dot clouds. I really love running because it gives me the precious time to enjoy my environment.

January 27, 2010

A few cobwebs

Several weeks of ramping up mileage made this morning's speed workout a toughie. Intervals on the track are a test of your fitness, focus, and guts.

In terms of fitness, most of the intervals were in my pace zone (800s around 3:47). At times, I lost my focus and could feel myself accelerating and decelerating during the laps around the track--even though my pace should have been fairly constant. My final two intervals were my fastest, so that means I had the guts to work harder and tough it out. And, of course, the gutsiest thing is getting out there because waking up, lacing up, and running up to the track takes, well, huevos!

January 25, 2010

Week of January 25

It's nutty that it's already January's final week of training, but I'm feeling good about my progress this month. As the mileage has ramped up, my legs have gotten some strength (and definition) back!

On tap for this week:
-medium long run- 7 miles
-track- 800s- they'll hurt, but such a great test of fitness
-long run- 13 miles, which is a cutback week

Since it's a cutback week, I'll try to walk to/from BART once this week (as very mellow crosstraining) and keep up my arm weights routine.

January 23, 2010

Terrific Tiburon

Running 17 miles in Tiburon was a great way to tour the SF Bay. There were cool views of the Richmond Bridge, Angel Island, and the Golden Gate Bridge. At times, it felt like running through a rain forest or imaginary world because of the odd weather--cloudy, misty, and interspersed sun-showers!! It was weird at mile 8 to realize that there were STILL 9 miles left to run, but all in all my body felt fine throughout the long run.

Now it's time for some professional grade recovery before the next week of training :>

January 22, 2010

DYWM

My new slogan is: Drink Yo Water, Missy! It might not be as institutionalized as TGIF, but, during marathon training season, Fridays are ALL about hydration, carbs, and prepping for long run Saturday.

Today's steady state run went great and felt good with 25 minutes of running at the low end of my steady-zone :)

January 20, 2010

Didn't melt, but

I ran in moderately unsafe conditions today and should be more cautious in the future!! It was cloudy when I left the house, then it started raining (pouring, actually). Next, I heard thunder and there was some hail up in the Oakland Hills :O At that point, I was a couple miles away from home so it made sense to stick it out (maybe).

I managed to run toward lower ground, and the storm passed through. Then I did the hill repeats and felt strong (much better than last week).

Thanks to google, I found some lightning safety tips and learned that when you hear thunder, you could be within striking distance of lightning (scary!).

I definitely need a cup of hot tea :P

January 19, 2010

Week of January 18

It's rainy season in the Bay Area, so that means rain, wet sidewalks, some flooding, wind, broken branches, and rainbows!

Marathon training is in full gear, and I've already completed a medium long run of 8 miles. Tomorrow will be a hill workout, and we'll see if I can manage to avoid torrential rain. I also have a steady state run on tap for Friday (before heading back to class at Berkeley). And, Jenica and I will be running 17 miles (already!) this weekend which should be a satisfying workout and provide us with plenty of time to chat!

January 18, 2010

Have a nice jog

During today's medium long run (8 miles between rain storms), a dude told me to have a nice jog. But, but, I'm a runner and that's different--very different--than being a jogger. Aargh.

Perhaps I don't seem speedy or strong when I'm running down the street....

When I enter stores that sell running gear, the employees are kinda surprised when I say that I'm training for a marathon or that I need shoes that'll hold up to 40+ miles per week of training.

Perhaps I don't have the body type of serious runners....

Those self doubts are totally uncool in my book. Of course I get intimidated by the lithe runners at the start of races or folks sporting their Boston marathon race jackets and shirts. But the reality is that I *AM* a runner, and, if I do say so myself, a hardcore one!


January 15, 2010

Privileged to Run

Thank you, MarathonMama, for expressing that us runners should count our blessings with each step, each mile, each workout. I'm running with Haiti in my mind, breath, and prayers.

Please consider supporting earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.

January 13, 2010

Effort

All runs involve some effort- heck, on some days it seems strenuous just to put on running shoes and get out the door! At the same time, most of my runs do not hurt at all. Really.

But today's hill workout involved some serious effort- with arm pumping and grunting :) I think it's a sign that different muscles were being used, getting engaged, and waking up. And that can only make me stronger!

January 12, 2010

Bout time

Sometimes I run by mileage and other times by time. In the dark-ages prior to adopting Garmalade, I ran 40 or 60 or 120 minutes, and most of my routes were out & back. So, I'd guestimate my mileage (around 10 min per mile). But now I love using Garmalade to track the distance of my workouts, especially for long and medium long runs. However, on occasion, I still run 'by time'; today was one of those days. The 70 minute run felt great, and I felt much more runnerly (letting the run just naturally happen/getting in the groove/FLOW) than I had been feeling recently. Between the holidays, traveling, and illness, I was stuck feeling a bit creaky but--just in the nick of time--my body's getting there. It's about time :)

January 11, 2010

Monday medium long

One principle of marathon training is that higher mileage leads to faster running on race day. So, in an attempt to boost weekly mileage, today's business involved an 8 mile run. I ran with my ipod and zoned out after a few miles. The last couple miles of this route were downhill, and it was quite nice to cruise back home. These medium long runs take more time than the normal 40-60 minutes long runs, but we're hoping that logging these miles will contribute to getting in shape & nabbing PRs!!

January 10, 2010

Week of January 11

The second week of marathon training will provide us with a good dose of endurance AND speedwork training. On y va!

On tap for this week:
  • medium long run- 8 miles
  • hill repeats
  • tempo run (8:09-29 pace)- will do this at Lake Merritt
  • long run- 15 miles in Alameda

January 9, 2010

Runnin' the bay

For our first long run of the Avenue training cycle, Jenica and I ran 13 miles from Crissy Field to the base of the Golden Gate bridge, and then to the Pac Bell baseball park and back to Crissy Field. Some sights, sounds, and smells of the run included odd waves below the bridge, the sound of tourists finding their bearing around Fisherman's Wharf & the Ferry Building's farmers market, and the smell of crabs and sourdough bread (the Boudin factory always smells yummy).

It was an especially San Francisco-esque run because we saw the city's bridges, special skyline, and bay environment. And sometimes you can't help but love the places you run around!

January 8, 2010

Friday gratitude

This afternoon, I enjoyed an easy 50 minute run on one of my favorite Oakland routes and realized that I should be grateful. While rushing around and complaining and sickness, I'm guilty of not expressing my gratitude.

It's a treat to run in short and a shirt in early January, so I'm grateful for this mild weather which makes the training miles much easier to manage. I've managed to run three times during our sick week and am very grateful that we're feeling much better. I'm looking forward to running tomorrow with Jenica because we have plenty of stuff to talk about, so I'm sure the 13 miles will fly on by :) In other words, I'm grateful for running buddies!

January 6, 2010

Beginning the marathon journey

I'm extremely happy to report that good health has returned to the W's of Otown (yes, that would be my hubby & me). L'chaim!

And, as January 4th was the planned start date for Avenue of the Giants training, today's 5 mile run around Lake Merritt (which was packed with post New Year's resolutioners) counts as the beginning of my training journey.

Like all serious things, the journey is longer and tougher than the destination; I consider race day to be the destination. The journey is guaranteed to include rainy runs and super hilly runs plus runs where you get lost or lose something or are tired or hungry or thirsty or just need to find a bathroom. The journey always throws in some unexpected twists, turns, falls, bumps, bruises, and ice packs to boot. The journey necessitates trips to the grocery store for pasta, peanut butter, and bananas. During the journey, your feet beg for multiple pairs of running shoes (and pedicures & burritos & Arizmendi muffins & Fenton's ice cream sundaes - ohhlala).

And the destination? One morning, lots of people, a few trips to port-a-potties, the starting gun, run, run, mile markers, drinking out of paper cups, several gus, run more and more, sore feet, sweat, more sweat, getting tired, pushing, kicking, and the finish. A medal. Time to celebrate the destination & the journey!

It feels great to start the journey toward the May marathon, and I know the destination will rock, too.

January 5, 2010

Flucation

There are many kinds of vacations, and most of them permit some form of working out....But when my hubby and I got hit by a stomach virus, there was no choice but to log some unscheduled rest days from running. In other words, I've spent the past several days on flucation (Ha! I didn't even make that word up!) involving the hospital (for Hubby--who needed numerous bags of IV fluids, antibiotics, and blood tests galore to combat the grody virus), the bathroom floor (for me), and lots of TV watching (while both of us recuperate).

Thanks goodness Jenica is running for all of us, and I'm very proud of the way she's prepping for our spring marathon: Avenue of the Giants. I hope to join her in training quite soon, and I think I'll be able to do an easy run tomorrow afternoon. And, yes, that run would count as workout #1 for the Avenue training cycle! I think this training cycle will be a blast because we have long runs planned for January through April plus medium long runs of up to 14 miles---watch out, Redwoods :>


January 1, 2010

Twenty Ten

Happy New Year! To usher in this new decade, I ran a mellow 50 minutes up in Piedmont, but the leggies were still jet lagged.

Reflecting back on 2009, I can confidently say that running helped me stay sane and happy by strengthening my body, mind, and friendships (aww). Also, I began this blog in 2009 :)

I'm resolving to run two marathons plus a few other races. In honor of twenty-ten, another goal is to complete 10 runs of 20+ miles.

Best wishes for a happy, peaceful, and speedy new year!
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