February 27, 2010

On the Contra Costa Canal

Hip, hip, hooray for completing the first 20 miler of twenty-ten!

Today's run featured wandering up and down the Contra Costa Canal trail all the way to Concord! It was our first time running on that particular trail, definitely providing a nice change of scenery.

Speaking of change, Jenica and I tried a new type of long run workout in which from at each mile from 8-18, we did 1 minute at tempo pace. That means that we squeezed in about 10 minutes of tempo running into the big ole 20 miler :> It made the miles zip by, so I liked the change of pace!




February 26, 2010

Control

Running involves a hearty jig around the fine line of control.

It's well known that us runners, especially us marathoners, have type-A/control freak tendencies. Yes, oftentimes, you can control when & where you run or how far you. On good days and great days, you can even control how fast you run. But there's plenty of stuff that you can't control--illness, poor sleep, evil injuries, unfortunate tummy incidents, weather & headwinds, and on so on and so forth.

So, running's not so different than life. And this week had a few downs (as well as some ups, including Girl Scout cookies, steak taco night with my Hubby, and some positive conversations!). I'm pleased to report that I was able to control today's steady state run. During a tough period, I reminded myself that THIS was my hard workout of the week, so it should feel hard and that I would do it. I averaged sub 8:34 for the 35 min. steady state.

February 24, 2010

Orange, orange

I realize I'm obsessed with the color orange....There's something very cheery and energetic about this color, and I think it makes me zoomier :)

I now have a couple orange running tops & an orange GPS (the Garmin 310xt), which is appropriately named Garmalade. Maybe it's because I'm from Tennessee, the volunteer state, and cheer for the VOLS, aka big orange!!


February 23, 2010

Sopping

I ran this week's medium long run of 10 miles in the rain. Well, the first few miles were just grey and humid, then it was sprinkling, and then I could hear the pitter-patter of rain over my ipod's music ;) By the end of the run, I was a little chilly and every part of my body--from the rain gliding over the brim of my hat to my puddle drenched Sauconys--were soaked. I was definitely inspired to remain positive and keep my grumbling to a minimum about the rain because I'm aware that many of my running-buddies from the internets (e.g., http://mile-posts.blogspot.com/ & http://tri-ingtodoitall.blogspot.com/) are dealing with snowy and icy conditions.

All in all, it was a good run to Berkeley. Now I'm warming up my core by refueling with a hot mug of green tea and a scrambled egg sandwich :P

February 22, 2010

Week of 2-22

With just over two months until the marathon, there are a few major workouts scheduled for this week:
  • 10 mile medium-long run
  • Steady state run with 35 minutes at SS pace
  • 20 mile long run this weekend
Today's recovery run was delightful, thanks to fantastic East Bay, early-springtime weather! I'm getting excited for my first 20 miler of twenty-ten :)

February 20, 2010

Getting tougher

Everyone's heard the saying that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. As a marathoner, when the running gets hard, the runner gets stronger. If the miles take a bit more concentration or a few more stretches, then so be it.

And I'm getting there--tougher, fitter, and perhaps even faster. Today's long run was 18 miles with 2.5 pace miles to practice the routine of the beloved fast finish run. My legs were tired yet somehow felt invigorated by the sub 8:47 pace portion (speedier than my goal marathon pace!). Signs are pointing to a PR, sub-4 marathon, and that means I need to keep going :)

February 19, 2010

Did it

Sometimes you ace a workout or rock a long run, and other times, well, you just do it. That doesn't make it bad....In fact, I'm trying to tell myself that it's a good thing :) That's because some struggle means that your training is actually moving you beyond your limits and out of your comfort zone, so you can improve.

I didn't sleep very well last night and woke up feeling uber-groggy. But I drank some water, laced up, strapped on Garmalade, and headed out for a 30+ minute warm up. Then I did 20 minutes in my tempo zone (sub 8:18) around Lake Merritt. I felt fine but when I tried kicking it up a notch for the last 5 minutes, my legs said--no thanks. It made me aware of my tough training, and I've checked off the key workout and will now gather strength for tomorrow's long run of 18 miles!!

February 17, 2010

I need a slogan

Jenica and I want to design our own race day singlets for Avenue of the Giants. This is because she'll be a blushing bride-to be runner, and I'll be.....

Yeah, I need a slogan. Here are some possibilities, and I'd love to hear your suggestions!!

Believin' in Boston
Otter
Will run for chocolate
Dude, where's the finish line
I heart 26.2
Run for the stars

February 16, 2010

Food, schmood

During today's run, I started thinking about my dinner o' champions: a calzone with italian sausage and veggies. Yes, it was tasty last night, but in the morning I was feeling a bit guilty and/or worried about my nutrition as runner :(

On the one hand, here are some foods that I know are healthful AND that I love:
  • oatmeal (SO comforting)
  • bananas
  • peanut butter (my fuel of choice)
  • turkey (deli meat for sandwiches)
  • tuna (lots of protein)
On the other hand, here are some foods that I also love:
  • burgers (protein, eh?!)
  • fries ('nuff said)
  • pizza/calzone (e.g., last night)
  • ice cream
  • beer/red wine (aiming for moderation while training)
I'm aware that I shouldn't label foods as good or bad, and I also know that there are times when fries and a big ole beer are needed ASAP. I'm not giving up my also-loves, and I should be happy that I dig many types of healthy fruits and veggies and protein-packed foods. But it's still a challenge, so I'm going to be open about it.

February 15, 2010

The new medium

Back in the day, 12 miles counted as a weekend long run. Now it's just a medium long run to check off during the week! Today's 12 miler was fun, and I enjoyed my time in the sunshine, while working up a good sweat :)

Key workouts for this week are: hill repeats, a tempo run, and an 18 miler with a couple goal marathon pace miles.

February 13, 2010

16 miler

Jenica and I had a glorious run from San Francisco to Sausalito and back over the Golden Gate Bridge. A few pictures are worth three thousand words, right?!?




February 12, 2010

Going steady

Considering that Valentine's Day is around the corner, it's quite fitting that this week included a heart pounding steady state run. After a creaky warm up in which my legs searched for excuses to avoid the late afternoon workout, I did 30 minutes in my steady state zone. I felt strong and in control while cruising around Lake Merritt at an 8:30ish pace. But, by the last 10ish minutes, I was doing my fair share of huffing and nose-blowing (in other words, I probably looked like a crazed runner-cat-lady).

Yeah, I heart running!

February 11, 2010

Confidence run

I just let myself run today--for 80 minutes. I ignored Garmalade and just kept running. It felt great to wake up early, get moving, admire the views, and gain some confidence that it was gonna be an alright day :) I'm grateful that running gives me the deep gift of confidence--with the cherry on top of funs runs with buddies, exciting races, cute running skirts, and plenty of geekiness about pace zones & hydration!

February 9, 2010

Clarity, thanks to running

Some days, running gives me the gift of clarity.

I put in the effort to feel real, grounded. The run is a dance with just enough blue sky and fresh air for my body and spirit....I get back a kind of strength and freshness that helps me power through everything else.

February 8, 2010

Frontloading

After two luscious cutback weeks with lower mileage, it's time to ramp up the mileage---again. This time, the goal is to gradually (& hopefully without too many aches & pains) work up to running 55-60 miles per week. That means a couple medium long runs of 10+ miles and long runs of around 20 miles. That also means plenty of medium paced running to just cram in the miles :)

What's on tap for this week?
  • 80 minute run
  • Steady state run with 30 at SS pace
  • Long run- 16 miles

February 7, 2010

High fives

I had a blast pacing my running buddy, J-chica, to a ginormous PR of 2:10 at the Kaiser Half Marathon in San Francisco! So, congratulations to J, and this experience made me think more about how cool it is to coach runners :)

It was great running weather with some fantastic views of the Pacific's mean, winter waves. I felt like I did good job with hydration (lots of water yesterday afternoon & evening plus a bottle with Nuun during the race) and fueling (1 gel around mile 6.5). Garmalade was extremely helpful for maintaining an even pace over the 13 miles, and it was useful to think of each mile as a new lap to run at a certain speed.


February 4, 2010

Thursday

I think that the cutback week is completely spoiling my legs, and the training felt great this week. On Wednesday, I enjoyed a sunny run with a running-study buddy that started from campus. And, today I ran in the late afternoon rain showers, which was totally refreshing!

Yes! I bit the bullet and registered for Avenue of the Giants...There's something about registering that makes the training feel more concrete!!

February 2, 2010

Three months from now

I confess that, as a woman, grad student, and runner, many things are up in the air...Fluctuations and change are the rule, not the exception. But there's something about a marathon that you can plan for, chart out, and check off. And THAT is so, so satisfying!

In a few months I'll be running amidst the redwoods of Northern California in the Avenue of the Giants marathon! I might just register tonight & check it off the to-do list :)

February 1, 2010

February fun

Happy February, y'all! I'm delighted to have survived the month of January and am looking forward to funtimes in February :)

What sort of fun? Well, new running gear (another running skirt), a trial goal marathon pace run (to test out my fitness), and building up the mileage of my medium long runs. So, I started the week off with a 10 mile run that incorporated Lake Merritt's flat path with a climb up into Piedmont.

Finally, I'd like to set an 'F' goal for the month of February:
  • Fruit--Eat more fruit as snacks. Bananas and apples are perfect to bring to campus, and blueberries are delish in my oatmeal :P I'd also like to try to carve a fresh pineapple....
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