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


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.

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