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


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


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


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

April 13, 2010

Brain Strategies

Us marathoners are crazy, and this article has terrific mental tips for before, during, and after racing: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-winners-brain/201004/8-can-t-miss-boston-marathon-brain-strategies

April 12, 2010

April showers

The Bay Area's had an extremely rainy spring, but that's kept the temperatures relatively cool. I'm definitely hoping for cool running weather on May 2nd up in the Redwoods!!

Today, I ran 6 miles at a nice, moderate pace. I think tomorrow will be a rest day before doing this week's track workout (THIS time I WILL get out there and crank out some 800s) and tempo run (I WILL aim for the speedy end of my tempo zone). Yup, a couple more workouts to just do :)

April 10, 2010

The Big Two-Two

With 22 days till the marathon (yes, I'm counting!!), I ran 22 miles this morning on the Iron Horse Trail. I did two 4 mile pace segments--the first one from 8-12 miles and the second from 15-19 miles. My legs felt heavy on the first pace segment, but I ran those miles around 8:46 pace. Somehow, my legs felt better at mile 15, and I really pushed through miles 17 & 18 (I ran the last pace mile in 8:21). Overall, I felt strong during the run, even after a tough week of juggling school, work, and life! So, the workout was a success, and that means I've graduated onto taper-dom....I will definitely be writing more about the ups and downs of tapering. Hint: an "up" is that you don't have to pack gels for your 2+ hour long medium long runs, but a "down" is that you don't get to eat oodles of peanut butter or loads of pasta....

April 9, 2010

Glamour Shots

I crammed in my fourth weekday run with a nice 60 minute run in the Lake Merritt Area. And, unexplicably, there were several people taking posed photographs with vistas of Oakland as the backdrop....I think my glamour shot would be a pic of me, post-marathon, with a shiny medal, a big smile, and an even bigger PR :P

Tomorrow's a mega workout--22 miles with 2 X 4 miles at goal marathon pace!!

April 8, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful that I have a hubby and family who support my running. BIG thanks to my amazing running buddies and can't wait to run more races and explore more routes with them. I am thankful that my legs, knees, and feet let me run this morning. I am thankful that my running routes are scenic and safe.

I'm thankful for getting to run consistently for over 3 years and today, too! Thanks.

April 6, 2010

RIP, Raccoon

Sadly, I ran by raccoon roadkill on Pleasant Valley today. I said a little prayer for it. You definitely see an assortment of things when out on runs--dead, alive, pretty, and not-so-cute. There are big and small dogs, as well as cats wandering about (plus wild dogs in my home state of TN!!). Sometimes I see cool birds in addition to the feared and ubiquitous pigeons :O I've seen cute babies (awww) and the infirm out and about. I've seen overflowing stinky garbage cans, condoms, and general litter (PEOPLE! Dispose of your waste properly!).

All in all, this is shaping up to be a good training week!

April 5, 2010


I ran 10 miles this morning before the April showers rolled in! My legs were happy to be running, which always makes training easier and more fun. This will be another high mileage week, so I'll try to eat and drink and rest appropriately :)

On tap:
-Another medium long run of 13 miles
-22 miler with some goal marathon pace miles....Yeehaw!

April 2, 2010

We all have marathons

With precisely one month until Avenue, I had a deep thought during my steady state run this morning....We all have marathons. Everybody's marathon is different. Maybe your marathon is to cope with your job, or to take care of child or aging parents, or to jump through the hoops of graduate school, or to figure out your place in our wide world....

Marathon training is cool because you set goals and make plans and see what the day brings. Just like all those other marathons, in which you're never totally sure what will happen till it happens! Ah, can you tell that I'm trying to embrace uncertainty ;)

Happy Friday, folks! And keep striving toward your marathon.
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