Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Why I'm Bailing on Ventura, Three Months Out

I think I can say that this is the sickest I've been in my life (I'm leaving out appendicitis in this comparison because that isn't a cold/flu; and appendicitis is life threatening, so it trumps everything thus far). I've had more acute illnesses where a single day felt worse. Like when I had the flu in 2004 and sat on the floor in front of the TV shivering under a pile of blankets. But in a few days I was almost back to normal. Today is day 17 of walking pneumonia. Seven-fucking-teen.

About 10 days before the day this saga began, my husband and I split the day to stay home with Elise who had come down with a cold. No fever, just lots of nasal gunk and whininess/fitful sleep because she didn't feel good. The next day she was mostly better and continued to have a minor cough. I didn't think anything of it and after a week where I didn't have any symptoms, I thought I had dodged a bullet! Yeah, fat chance. After 2 days of 101.5F fever, I went to a Minute Clinic; she checked me out and told me a I had pneumonia, but seemed to think it was minor. I came home with an inhaler and 5-day Azithromycin pack (z-pak). By day 3 of the meds, I was feeling pretty good! Day 4, I took a slow recovery pace run that felt fine. No coughing fits, etc. I continued doing just easy paced runs for another week, and 12 days after I got sick did 10 miler with some steady state work. I was still feeling mostly OK until two days later. Got home from work Friday night and the fever was back. Got as high as 101F before decided to I take an ibuprofen. The next morning I went to Scripps Urgent Care since I figured going to an urgent care that was attached to a hospital was about as legit as urgent care was going to get.

I had a lung x-ray done and it was clear, though there was one spot on the image obscured by my heart that seemed like it might have some fluid (and that is also where I sometimes feel a twinge of pain when I have a coughing fit with this latest relapse). The diagnosis is walking pneumonia (which I guess is the same as two weeks ago except she didn't use the "walking" term). It has an incubation period of 10-14 days which lines right up with the timeline of when Elise got sick. But she didn't get knocked on her ass like I did. He explained that some people get it and are totally asymptomatic, some just get a minor cough for 6-8 weeks (Elise), and some are like me and get their asses kicked with fever and the works. I explained how I had gone back to running and maybe that's why it relapsed, he said that didn't cause it. Apparently this same thing had happened to him and his wife when his kids were little. After a z-pak, his wife got sick again. It just wasn't enough antibiotics to fully kill everything off. When I told him I was going to take a full week off of running, he seemed to think that was unnecessary, though if I did activity, to keep is very low aerobic effort and avoid doing it in heat.

Still, I am taking a week off. This resurrection of the bacteria has given me a cough that is the gnarliest I've had in years. Like 30 years. The round of treatment I'm on now is 9 days of Azithromycin with the first two days of 500 mg, followed by 7 days of 250mg. Before I had 500mg on day 1, then 250mg for 4 more days. After 3 days, I'm feeling like maybe 60% better. On the first z-pak I felt about 80% better on day 3. I sure hope this works because I am tired of this thing. I feel like I'll be lucky at this point if I'm feeling good by next week. And I don't think I'll be 100% next week. I'm just hoping to be 80-90% and not coughing like a life-long smoker every morning. Or having a coughing fit where I almost puke.

I also miss beer and wine. The first week I didn't care too much. And I don't necessarily want to drink at this point (and now I definitely shouldn't because I've been prescribed codeine cough syrup - woo hoo, controlled substance! Actually, it freaked me out and I googled it a bunch before I took the first dose. Apparently it's an opiate, but it's gotta be pretty low dosage because I don't feel much of anything when I take it), but I miss just having a meal with a glass of wine. Just normal shit. I miss just having a normal day.

OK, OK, But What About Running?

I've been averaging in the 20s for weekly mileage the last 5 weeks. And it's going to stay this way for another 2 weeks if I'm lucky. If I'm not lucky, it'll be longer. So, I've given up on Ventura. It is 15 weeks out from the Ventura Marathon (October 22). I don't think  12-13 weeks is an adequate build up. Sure, I could probably have a decent race, but I'm not interested in half-assing marathons, especially ones that require travel. The recovery time from marathons is long. It leaves me with no time to attempt another until Boston. If I have only once chance before Boston 2018, then I want to set myself up a little better than 12 weeks to build up from 25 mpw. On Friday night, after seeing 101F pop up on the thermometer, I knew I was done. So I checked on CIM and saw that it was still open! Part of me is annoyed I didn't re-up at the $99 price they offered the 2016 finishers the week after race day but hindsight is 20-20.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Fontana Days Run 2017: Was Worth a Try!

I ran this race in 2011 and while it was a little warmer than I was used to, I had a 6+ minute PR thanks to the ridiculous downhill is has (~2000 ft over 13 miles). There are no uphills. Just a couple flat spots and maybe the smallest of incline. I ran 1:41 something back then, when I hadn't yet run a marathon (other than my first 2 in 2003) and my 5K PR was something like 23:xx. Since then, I'm considerably fast in all distances so I figured I could probably do better than 1:37:00 for an NYCM qualification. TL;DR: I didn't even get a course PR yesterday.

The morning started at 4am, and I hydrated like a champ. I ended up drinking about a liter of water pre-race. The forecast was not looking great - high of 93F, and strangely high humidity for the inland empire. I was expecting my "monthly bill" to come due (if you catch my drift, but it can vary +/- 1 day) so I was checking, checking, checking all morning before I left the hotel. No sign. I take one regular Tampax with me just in case. In the 15 minute drive from the hotel to parking, guess what? It showed up. And I could tell that my one "regular" provision was not going to cover me for 4+ hours.

I had about 50 minutes before the last bus load to the start, so I started jogging around to find that Stater Bros wasn't yet open. The crossing signals are disabled because the road was closing, yet there are cops everywhere so the only way I can get across is essentially to break the law and jaywalk. I finally just say "f**k it" and jay "run" across the street. First Mobil I go into is the smallest shop ever - has nothing. I see a Circle K across the street so I run across the street again and finally procure an exorbitantly priced mini pack of tampons. Sorry if you're a dude reading this but this is just one extra complication you don't have to worry about - consider yourself lucky!

At this point, its already warm. I get on a bus and get to the top about 50 minutes before the start. 20 minutes of porta potty line, I go warm up for a mile, do some strides/dynamic stretches. And it is hot. I remember in 2011 I was cold enough to keep my long sleeve on until the start. Not today. I look at the porta potty lines and they are long and decide to find a spot to pop a quick squat. Everyone is doing the same thing! I end up finding a dirt hole that was sunk down enough that you would only see my head - another girl is doing the same thing as me in another hole 30 feet away.

I peel off my tee shirt to my crop and shorts. It's 69F and 70% humidity, not much wind. At 7:30am we are off. By mile 2, I am sweating fairly heavily. I get through mile 5 around goal pace of 7:25. During the 6th mile is when I knew my goal was not going to happen. It was already hot, I had started dumping water on myself from the 2nd aid station. But in mile 6, you leave the shade of the mountains and the course becomes more and more exposed. I think mile 6 I was over 7:30 and knew that getting the next 7 miles near 7:20 was going to be impossible for me with the heat.

So I dialed it back because I didn't see a good reason to risk heat exhaustion for not even a PR. There will be other opportunities. There always are. I slowed down to miles ranging from 7:55 to 8:30. Mile 11, I was so hot, I let myself walk through the aid station. Mile 12, an Islamic center had set up an aid station and they were handing out ice cold mini-bottles of water. I downed it and immediately felt better. The cold water cooled my core temperature enough that I felt good enough to finish the last bit of the race in the low 7:00s. Looked at my phone after I crossed and Wunderground said it was 84F. It really was miserably hot.

Now, here is where it's even funnier with this day. I only have my Garmin time. I crossed 1:44:03 on my watch but when I went to go find my time, online, I'm not listed! My chip didn't register. So, perhaps it all kind of worked out in a weird way? Because how pissed would I have been if I had actually ran my goal and then had no official time?!

Completely drenched from pouring water on myself with my janky malfunctioning bib/chip

I don't know if I'll run Fontana again. The heat is too much of a risk - it seems like some years you get good weather but often you don't. Rock n Roll San Diego is today and it's overcast 60s - I'm pretty sure I would have run a faster time today at home than dragging my ass 2 hours north to Fontana. Probably not the 1:37 but not a 1:44. And I wouldn't still have a headache lingering the day after from the heat an dehydration.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Boston 2017 Race Recap

I'm really hoping third time's a charm with Boston 2018 because, so far, it been hot and then hotter again this year.

My training cycle for Boston went really well, and my tune-up 10K (that was short so I had to extrapolate from 5.9 to 6.2) predicted around 3:27:30. What didn't go so well is the usual winter taper cold turned sinus infection. Oh, and the weather.

Every time I go into taper, my body decides to let down it's defenses and succumb to the latest germs my toddler has brought home from day care. So, just like CIM, come Marathon Monday, I was finishing up a course of antibiotics for a sinus infection. The night before the race, I had sinus pressure strong enough to keep me awake for 2 hours. In desperation, I decided to take a decongestant just to get some sleep. For CIM, I was nearly 100% for the race; Boston, I felt like maybe 80% better (the post-nasal drip continued until about the Thursday after so, clearly, not "all better" on race day).

Race Morning

After about 5-6 hours of sleep, I got up and ate an exorbitantly priced bagel from the hotel breakfast ($6.25! WTF. Last time I do that), and about half a cup of hotel room Keurig coffee. Got all my stuff together and headed out to meet my friend from Advanced Running sub-Reddit. About half way to Boston Common I realized I had forgotten my iPod shuffle. If there was ever a race to run sans-music, this is the one, so I was only mildly annoyed. We boarded around 8:15am after hitting up the porta-potties. The bus was stuffy and warm. Not a good sign. Race morning 2016, I was still cold and had on two layers when I got on the bus. Not this year. I could have shed my long sleeve right there but I didn't feel like walking around in a crop top for 2.5 hours before the start.

We arrived with only enough time to go to the porta-potties one time, sit down and apply sunscreen and eat a bit more before it was time to go to the corrals for one more potty stop. Into the corrals we went and hung out in the only shady spot in corral 2.

My original internet running buddies Margot (@fasterbunny) and Madison (@madisond77) found me (yay!) and we chatted before the start and ran maybe the first mile together, if that. I figured I would try to go out 8:00 pace and see how it felt.

It's Go Time

Mile 1 was super crowded. Mile 2 started to clear up and I was able to pick it up. By mile 5 (splits had been 8:11, 7:58, 7:58, 7:45), I was hot and feeling weird. I touched my face and it was dry which freaked me out. Shouldn't I be sweating? My face felt like it was on fire and I had this feeling that my choice was binary: (a) slow way down right then, or (b) pass out and end up in a med tent.

It was weird, but this is the first time in a race where my body gave me such clear warning alarms. I think the fact that it was so dry (the day before it had been 85F and 26% humidity in Wellesley - super dry even by my San Diego standards) made me -- and everyone else that had this feeling because it was a common theme in race recaps -- dehydrated and overheated faster than I could figure out and attempt to mitigate.

I made the common sense choice of (a) slow way down. I kept thinking what a shit-show it would be if I ended up in a med tent and my husband and daughter had to deal with that situation. I started dumping water on myself at every aid station and drinking more water than I ever have in a race (aside from the Harding Hustle 50K which was in July in Orange County and included 6-7K of climbing or more? I can't remember. It was freaking hot).

Mile 5 split was 8:11. And it just got slower from there.

By mile 8, I had emptied my 20 ounce handheld and refilled at water stop. At 13, I got totally energized by the Wellesley Scream Tunnel - my arm was ready to fall off from holding it up to slap hands! I was able to stop briefly in Wellesley to say hi to my brother-in-law and his wife, and friends that used to live in LA they were visiting. Just like last year! Wondering if 2018 will make it a tradition :)

And guess what? My handheld was again empty. Seriously. Still dumping water on myself, running through sprinklers, fire hydrants, and stuffing ice in my sports bra whenever I could get my hands on it. Refilled the handheld and kept on truckin'. Hit the half at 1:50 or so. At this point, I knew it was going to be Positive Split City.

Maybe it was all the water on me and in me that made me stop feeling so much like death, but, strangely, I started feeling a little better. My feet on the other hand, were feeling worse because I made a rookie mistake of wearing shoes that I had only tested out 3 times. My big toes are still suffering a week later - I wouldn't be surprised if I lose my left big toenail at some point in the near future. I have always had pretty good luck shoes so I took it for granted these would just work. And they mostly did except that the toe box wasn't tall enough to deal with my big toes that like to curl up before my foot plants. So I have two under-the-nail blisters that I can't drain. Lesson (re)learned.

I hit the Newton Hills and didn't walk any of them(!). But they really are pretty tame as far as hills go. I did get slower but the sun was still out and it was still hot, so, not surprising.

Mile 18 rolls around and my handheld is empty again! Yep. About 20 ounces every 5 miles/45 minutes. Refilled a third time. And I never had to pee. It was nuts. Somewhere around here I took an ice pop from a spectator (actually, it was being held out by his toddler which was too cute) - it was the best damn grape ice pop I've ever eaten.

I get to Heartbreak and I had been telling myself I would walk if I wanted to. But I didn't! I found another Instagram buddy, Katie (@phxrunnergirl), who gave me a lift with her enthusiastic cheering! I kept plugging along. Somewhere in mile 21, the sky started to cloud over some. Last year, we got relief from the heat at mile 13-14. This year, no relief until mile 21.

My toes were still pissed off and I kept looking down to see if maybe they were bleeding or something. I don't know why I thought that, but they just hurt. But not so bad as to make me walk or slow down a lot. I managed to finish the last 5 miles faster and faster with the last two miles 8:29 and 8:28. Just like last year, I got totally swept up in the finish - it is just the best feeling to hit Hereford and then Boyleston.

I plan on buying these photos when they go on
sale like last year (usually takes a couple weeks).

I finished 3:47:17. Almost 4 minutes slower than last year, 16 minutes slower than my PR, and 18 minutes or so off my goal.

Bye Bye, iPhone

Aside from my sub 3:30 goal, the other unfortunate casualty of this race was my iPhone 6. My desire not to pass out from overheating overwhelmed worrying about the state of my phone sitting in my short's side pocket. Had I expected to be dousing myself every 8-10 minutes, I would have put my phone in a baggie. Unfortunately, the iPhone 6 is a delicate flower and even though it was mostly just getting moisture not direct water exposure, it still couldn't handle it. About 2 hours post race the touch screen stopped working (I didn't realize there was a water damage issue until this point). I couldn't power it off. Tried to put it in rice, but it never came back. So we switched to Google Fi and Android phones a bit earlier than I had initially planned.

Final Thoughts

Could I have run this race faster? Possibly. Maybe had I realized earlier how quickly I was getting dehydrated in those early miles and started drinking like crazy from mile 1, I might have finished a bit faster. But I don't think I was going to hit my goal in that weather. Drinking nearly 80 ounces of fluid in a marathon is crazy for me. By contrast, I drank maybe 24 ounces at CIM. I never refilled my handheld. This race, I refilled 3 times, poured water all over myself every station, stuffed ice in my sports bra, had an ice pop, etc and I never once had to pee (in fact, I didn't pee until about 2 hours post-finish). If that doesn't explain the conditions we were running under, I don't know what does.

When we got back to the hotel, we watched some of the live broadcast and they said that they had to submerge about the same number of runners for dangerously high body temperatures that they did in 2012 (the year it was diabolically hot). I'm not saying it was 2012 hot, but there's a lot of data to support that it was worse than last year.

While I am, obviously, disappointed with my time, I still feel like I ran decently under difficult conditions. I didn't totally fall apart, I managed not to pass out and DNF, and had a fairly strong final push. The training cycle miles are still in the bank and will count towards future races. I plan on running another fall marathon for a 2019 BQ (because no way in hell I'm relying on Boston 2018 to have good weather) and am leaning heavily on Ventura which moved to late October and looks very similar to the Mountains 2 Beach course.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Week 5 Boston Training: Hard Days Hard, Easy Days Easy?

This week was an interesting one. On Monday night, I got some kind of one-day stomach bug that kept me up all night and home from work on Tuesday. But by the morning, it was stable. I was able to get my Tuesday workout in and not yak anything up!

This was the first week back into a WCRR training plan. The paces and mileage are up for this plan compared to CIM and I'm definitely finding it a bit more challenging. By the end of this week, I realized I really need to get a strength training routine down.

Monday: 8 miles @ 9:02

Ran my usual work route which is hilly (though not as hilly as the Thursday's route). Not much to say about this one other than I was really happy to see how low my HR was for 8 miles with 446 feet of climbing. Only 139 bpm average. 

Tuesday: 10 x 400 meters

After maybe getting a couple hours of sleep from the stomach bug, in the late afternoon once my husband got home I went down to the bay to do my "track" workout. The goal pace was 1:30 - 1:35 per repeat. I could not get my legs to run that fast. My HR never got extremely high. I hit 181 bpm but my max is 195-200. I managed one repeat at 1:35. Five of them at 1:37. The rest ranged from 1:38-1:42. I came to the realization that I probably need some kind of strength training, notably in my upper body. I feel like that could help me cover more distance because cadence is definitely not my problem (I was hitting more than 200 steps per minute for the repeats).

Wednesday: 8 @ 8:51

Uneventful 8 easy miles. Was again pleased to see only 140 average HR for this pace on hills.

Snagged this lulu skirt NWT on eBay - love the print!

Thursday: Tempo Intervals

I knew that I wasn't ready to hammer out 5 tempo miles from 7:10-7:30 on Aviara and Poinsettia (Aviara is ~180 feet of climbing over a mile). So I looked at the BAA plan which had tempo intervals and I did that instead, with a minute less of rest after the first chunk. I did 3 miles, 3 mins rest, then 2 x 1 mile with 90 seconds rest.

3 miles: 7:26, 8:19 (up the hill: +178 feet), 7:35
2 x 1 miles: 7:07 (down the hill: -169 feet), 7:29 (this one had +67 feet, so I was pretty happy with this)

I'm really digging tempo intervals because it lets you get more time at LT than you normally would. Five straight miles at 15K pace is a lot of effort and can be pretty taxing. Having short rests lets me get in 5 miles without it being too close to a race effort.

After the run, I did some strength stuff, including single leg deadlifts with weights, squats, etc.
At this point, I realized that I don't necessarily agree with the hard days hard, easy days easy. 

Friday: Rest!

Thank God because my left hamstring was none too happy with me.

Saturday: 15 @ 8:30

Started at 6:40am with a WCRR buddy and it was cold - 39! For the first time I wished I had gloves. We did almost 6 miles at a brisk pace (~8:20). She had to run off for family stuff so I ran another 1.5 or so and then met up with the larger WCRR crew. Since it was the beginning of the season, I knew it was going to be quick, we were under 8:30, easily for 6 miles. I finished up with ~1.5 miles at a considerably easier pace. By the end of this run the left hamstring hip was pretty much done with me.

Here is my awkward run selfie

Sunday: 4 @ 9:16

Went down to the bay for recovery miles and decided to try working on form a bit, adding a slight lean forward. Felt pretty good, but form is a tricky thing. When you're tired, you revert to whatever form feels natural, whatever your body finds is the best use of energy. In my opinion, form in that situation will always revert to the less ideal one unless you do other work to train your body into feeling that the "new" form is more efficient. I don't know exactly how to get there, but that is my theory. I'm thinking it has to do with strength and where you body is carrying said strength. If your arms are weak, well, not likely when you're tired, your arms are going to be of much use to keeping your form together. So I've started working on doing at least pushups and tricep work because I can see that I'm weak there. I have good core strength, but arms and upper boy: fuggedaboutit.

iPhone in dark conditions: bad picture

The rest of the afternoon was centered mostly around attending Disney On Ice at the Sports Arena which, holy crap, is that place old. San Diego has some old sporting complexes - this is where the Clippers used to play (when they were the San Diego Clippers in their first season). It's now where the minor league hockey team plays. Elise loved the event because it had most of her favorites: Cars, Little Mermaid, and Frozen. The first part was Toy Story which was probably the worst of it. It was just hard to follow with far too many props.

I think the most ridiculous thing I saw at this even was the venue selling a Bud Light for $11.50. I feel like this is worse than what I've seen at an MLB game. Maybe they figured parents were so unenthused and bored by the event that they would be willing for fork over that absurd price for an alcoholic diversion. IDK, but a 12 pack of Bud is barely worth that much.

Hard Days, Easy Days

I've seen this sentiment quite a bit, that you should do strength work on hard days so that you can truly recover on easy days. After Thursday, I can say that I don't agree with this.

What I noticed was that after a taxing workout of tempo intervals, my ability to (a) maintain proper form in strength repetitions, and (b) discern the appropriate effort level, was totally wack. What ended up happening was that I had subpar form on my single leg deadlifts and I wasn't sure how hard I was actually working because I was fairly gassed from my running workout. This resulted in tweaking my left hamstring and it is only now (one week later) starting to feel normal-ish again.

Now, perhaps if you have lots of time and can do an AM hard running workout and PM strength work, then you may be able to safely get the two done. But if you only have time to do them back-to-back without some rest in between, I think it's safer to do strength on your easy days (and obviously, not an overly crazy routine where you completely trash your body because you will definitely be sacrificing very important recovery time). 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Thinking Aloud Dump of Political Feels

The current political environment has me ping-ponging around trying to figure out how not to feel this low-level dread about the repercussions of what President Trump is trying to push onto our country. I've been listening to NPR, reading tweets and blog posts, articles. I came across a post on Running off the Reeses where she linked to an article about a women who carried a White Women Elected Trump sign at one of the the Womens' Marches.

While I agree that white women voted in greater proportion for Trump than they did for McCain or Romney in 2008 and 2012, there were things in that article that I think are not leading us to productive conclusions. She wrote about owning this fact. That, we as white women need to own that we elected Trump. I'm white and I'm a woman. But I can't own the fact that there are groups of Americans that seemed to believe in Trump's platform. This isn't a gender thing. This goes beyond gender. We have a polarized situation between large metropolitan areas and more rural, suburban areas. If you look at the map, you don't say: "Well, in California there must not have been any white women." Same goes for Massachusetts, Oregon, Illinois, etc.

It's great that she made people think, but it doesn't get us to the root of our problem: we have a divide where many of our core values are not lining up,* and we have become increasingly resistant to consider viewpoints that differ from our own.

Do these groups of people believe that banning Muslims is what is good for the country to keep us safe? Is this how they rationalize not being outraged by this latest executive order? (the alternative is that they are religious bigots and I'm trying to err on giving the benefit of the doubt here).

Do they seek out information or opinions about the other side of these actions? And I'm not talking about seeking out someone flaming the president. I have no desire to seek out an opposing opinion that is just a flame war intended to rile me up. I'm talking about civilized discourse, usually involving facts (not "alternative facts").

Is there some satisfaction with standing behind one's initial assessment as the true/righteous one vs seeking out another view point? Humans don't like to be wrong or even admit they made a mistake. I get that. But that doesn't make it a behavior to cultivate and propagate.

I think Obama alluded to this in several of his last speeches/press releases. That we need to rediscover our ability to really listen to the other side. Rediscover a passion for seeking information, on both sides.

The ability to admit that what you may have thought/felt before is no longer "right" with you is such an underrated quality. I know that our current President has a very hard time with that. The ability to put your ego on the shelf for a few minutes is a leadership quality we need. But I would hazard to say that these are things we as American citizens desperately need to cultivate. The man we elected is the personification of our recent behavior. Listening to each other and having genuine curiosity is the only way we're going to be able to find common ground and understand each other in a way that is productive.

Who knows, maybe at the end of this all we will have been forced to get to the point where we listen to each other again. I can only hope.

*that's not to say that we don't agree on basic principles of being a good human being, because I think we do.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Boston Marathon Training Week 4: Mystery Explained

I've got a plan from my group. Boiled down to the coach having a completed registration form for me, and subsequently not remembering that I had paid by check like a month ago (I did that to avoid paying Active an additional $8). Membership fees for this group is so reasonable that I suppose these hiccups are to be expected. If I were paying > $100 a month, I would be more annoyed. Anyway, his plan mileage is lining up exactly to where I'm at so I'm shifting over as of Saturday of this week. I had good success with is at CIM and it's a solid plan. I may consider changing the straight tempos to cruise intervals if I feel like I'm having a hard time doing 5 straight tempo miles at like 7:30.

We're having the rainiest winter since 2005-2006. As I write this we're in day 3 of forecasted 6 days of rain. Seems like next week it'll clear up but at the rate we're going, I'm pretty sure we'll get another storm in the next two weeks. This year I think we'll finally kick the drought. Years like this remind me that maybe I can't live in Seattle because I'm getting a little tired of so many days of rain this last month. The sump pumps under our house have been on a lot, even when it isn't raining. The ground is just saturated. And our grapefruit tree apparently doesn't love the additional rain last season and this season because the fruit is like maybe 40% of the volume of last year, and they are all over the place: some are green, some look like they might be ripe. Nothing like the first two years we lived here where we have huge, sweet grapefruits all ripening at the same time, in late December.

This week, somehow, I managed to avoid running in the rain, though I think next week I won't be so lucky.

Monday: 6 miles @ 9:18

Elise was sick and awake a lot during the night so I was super tired for this run. It still felt OK, and HR data looks good. 

Tuesday: 5 x 1200m

These felt much easier than last week but I had 400 meter recoveries (~2:20-2:30) which is a totally different ball game than 90 second recovery. Goal paces were 5:23 - 5:37.

5:27, 5:18, 5:25, 5:21, 5:25

Only 158 average HR.

Wednesday: 6 @ 9:13

Easy run with some plyometric exercises. 

Thursday: LT Intervals

I tend to feel guilty taking too long of a lunch break to get my run in so when I saw LT work, I knew that it was either treadmill, hills, or drive 10 minutes to somewhere flatter. I'm not a treadmill fan so I decided to suck it up and do the hills. It was rough. The plan was 2 x 2 miles at HMP (7:30-7:50), 3 minute recovery, then 1 x 1 mile at HMP. First two miles were mostly up. In fact, the pace on my first mile was 8:28 and a Strava grade adjusted pace of 7:19. 178 feet of climbing. Then it went down and also up and then again down and I hit 7:40. Turned around, and more up, 7:58. Then I got back the down from the first mile 7:14. Last interval mile, 7:32 with more up.

Basically, I felt like I got my ass kicked good. Average was 7:46, but grade adjusted pace was 7:31. Average HR of 156 - actually thought it was going to be higher with all the hard running up hill.

Friday: Rest!

At this point I realized that I had run 15 days straight with no rest days. I think that might be the longest streak for me ever. And I had no desire to continue it. Also, it was raining cats and dogs with winds gusting over 50 mph. No thanks.

Saturday: 16 @ 8:46

The group was running 5-6 miles today since the San Diego Rock n Roll season started. I arrived just before the run was up, and ran a little more than 8 miles before meeting up with the group. As expected, when we're at the beginning of the season, it's full-steam ahead, near 8:00. I was happy that I ran my first 8 miles in the 8:50-9:30 range. Ended up with a fairly low average HR, 149 bpm. Legs felt pretty pooped at the end of it though. At least we didn't get any rain!

Sunday: 5 @ 9:34

Picked up a pair of Mizuno Wave Creation 17 (last season model) for $59.99 which is like $100 under retail and I figured I would take them for a test run and figure out if I should get another pair. I will say that I'm totally not used to running in higher end cushion shoes. I liked it, though! I mean, I can feel why they are $160 vs the others at $120 (though, retail prices of running shoes are absurd but that's another argument entirely).

Monday, January 16, 2017

Boston Marathon Training Week 3: Legs are getting used to this

Still plugging away at the BAA plan. Not sure if I'm going to leave the plan, though I did ping the coach again as a last ditch effort. The end of this week was the Carlsbad Half Marathon and I had been trying to figure out what to do with it. It's fairly early in the ramping up of mileage and quality work that I didn't think I was in shape to PR and wasn't sure it was worth diverting Boston workout efforts that were just starting up again for the sake of tapering. Spoiler: I ended up running MP, a decision that was make within the first mile of the race.

Monday: 5 easy @ 9:16

Thanks to splitting a liter bottle (not your standard 750ml) of Barolo from Costco (good shit, like 93 points, $34) with my husband on Sunday evening, I had a lingering headache through the late afternoon. Did not make for the most comfortable run, but my legs felt good and HR was low (average 134) so I just had to deal with my head! Ran in my Under Armour Drift shoes - I was on the fence with them but the more I use them, the more I'm kinda digging them.

Tuesday: Intervals/track work

I think this workout is intended to be for VO2Max - it doesn't specify but just the nature of the second half of it leads me to believe that's the intent. Goal pace chart is outlined on the BAA site - I picked the 3:30 finish time goal as it's closest to my last marathon time, and the goal paces are also where I'm at recent races.

2 mile warm up
4 x 800 @ 10K pace with 90 second recovery jogs (7:10 - 7:30 pace = 3:35 - 3:45)
4 x 400 @ 5K pace with 90 second recovery jogs (6:50 - 7:00 pace = 1:42 - 1:45)
2 mile cool down

When I first looked at this workout, I was like: "Well this shouldn't be too bad." Famous Last Words.

It was rough and I'm fairly certain it was thanks to the scant 90 second recoveries (though the fact that it was sunny and 65F - warmer than what we've been seeing recently - didn't help). The shortest recoveries I've had in recent memory have been 2:00. If you jog a 400m at 9:00 pace (which is faster than I usually run my recoveries) that's 2:15: 45 seconds more recovery time. It catches up with you after about 2-3 repeats. By the fourth 800m repeat, I was just praying that the 400s would feel easier because it was half the distance. Even if I had to run them faster.

In reality they felt worse than the 800s.

I ran it on the road so there were some small hills to deal with. Ended up with around 200 feet of climbing.

Splits for 800s: 3:44, 3:34, 3:33, 3:36
Splits for 400s: 1:39, 1:42, 1:45, 1:42

Was a salty, red-faced mess at the end. Hit a high of 183 HR (not that close to my max, but 10 beats higher than my LT HR), average of 161 over 8.05 miles.

Wednesday: 6 easy @ 9:14 

Used my new rain jacket, Pearl Izumi Pursuit Barrier LT Hoody. It works way better than my other jacket. Acutally kept the water out (my other jacket was a complete failure). Legs recovered fairly well from the beating the day before, and I felt like I had to hold back a bit.

Thursday: 5 aerobic @ 8:37

Managed to get this run in right before the rain started. Did I mention we're getting a lot of rain? Haven't seen this much rain since 2005. Dialed in the goal 8:30-8:50 pace. Felt like work, but just a bit harder than easy - only 147 bpm average.

Friday: 9 @ 8:34

LT work this morning - started this just after the downpour was done. Possibly, the aerobic run the day before made this run feel harder than it should have. The goal was 7:30-7:50 (half marathon pace) for the intervals.

2 warm up: 9:52, 9:34
2 x 2 miles @ HMP: 7:53, 7:46 (right at 7:50 avg)
3 min recovery jog (9:37)
3 x 1 mile @ HMP: 7:43, 7:31, 7:34
90 second recoveries in between (around 10:00 pace)
1.4 mile cool down @ 9:17

So, I hit the paces but they were mostly on the upper end of the range. So I guess it was still successful but it felt fairly hard. Remembered my HR strap this time and the average was only 157 for the whole workout so IDK, felt harder than my HR data reflects.

Saturday: 4 easy @ 9:00

Ran Mission Bay and basically had someone on my tail the whole time. I was waiting for her to pass me but she never did. I started out 9:25 and first mile split at 9:02. Still the footsteps continued and seems like this made me subconciously speed up - yet she was still the same distance behind me. Mile 2 at 8:39. I don't know, seems to me like she was pacing off me. I was happy to turn around at mile 2 so I could be without someone 10 steps behind me. Ended with 9:04 and 9:13. Was aiming more for the 9:15 range so this was a little fast for easy. But HR stayed in (Strava) zone 1 and 2.

Sunday: Carlsbad Half Marathon 13.1?

Question mark on the distance because I was so not in the racing mindset that when I stopped to loosen my shoe (which, if I were really "racing" I would have just sucked it up and dealt with the it; not wasted precious seconds on a slightly uncomfortable shoe), I stopped my watch? I've never done that in a race. Then proceeded to forget that I had stopped it until mile 2 when I checked my watch. So from 1.34 until the 2 mile marker, no GPS data.

Anyway, Pam and I started with the 1:40 group but right away, I knew (a) even if I managed to pull 1:39:xx out of my ass it was going to be very ugly, (b) I was not interested in working that hard. I had the two hard workouts this week (so, no tapering for this). My mind just wasn't into it. So I (and Pam) pulled back. I ran the first 9-10 with Pam, and then did a little drop-down/progression for the last bit, hitting 7:40s for the last 3 miles. I have a feeling my Garmin overall pace was probably under 8:00 but since I spaced during mile 1, not sure on that data. Official finish time was 1:45:23, average of 8:02. I was having a full on conversation with the WCRR coach in the last stretch when he ran next to me. I had lots left. But happy to say as I write this on the following day, I have no soreness. So, I think I'm good to do the other hard workouts this week other than shifting it a day forward (taking today easy). It's also nice to see that a 1:45 half felt fairly easy; I think that MP of 8:00 is still where I'm at (i.e. I haven't lost much since CIM).