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).

Monday, January 9, 2017

Boston Marathon Training Week 2: Let's See if Legs Can Still Do Fast (ish)

This week got hard towards the end. I think the too fast miles on Saturday after Friday's harder workout led to Sunday being a slog. I seem to remember feeling like I was getting my ass kicked the first few weeks of my CIM cycle so this isn't necessarily new. It's just not as fun as when your body is more of a well-oiled machine in the middle/end of a training cycle.

(Strava linked on day headings)

Monday: 6.05 @ 9:10

This morning I got a group email from my run group coach about training plans coming this week. Interested to see what he provides though I'm glad I've started my backup plan using the BAA plan. I thought about doing Pfitzinger but I feel like I want more than the 55 mile plan, and it's late in the game to do the 18/70 (and the 12/70 kind of freaks me out). The BAA level 4 plan fits well in that is goes up to 64 miles (with a range of 58-64). A little more mileage than 18/55 and I also am intrigued by the LT interval work (I've only ever done continuous tempos which are about as fun to me as getting a tooth scaling from the dental hygienist).

We also were one of the only companies working today. We had all last week off so I can't complain (much) but it does feel kinda poopy to be working when everyone else is not.

Also I got sucked into reading about Bullet Journals and now I want to start one. Like I don't have enough hobbies (because I know I will get very much into the doodling/artistic part of it).

Tuesday: 4 x 1200 meters

Still no questionnaire. Ah well, that's what the BAA plan is for at this point. On deck today was:

2 mile warm up
4 x 1200 meters with 400 meter jog rests
2 mile cool down. 

In the morning when I was picking out my running clothes, I figured I needed something that would hold my phone in well and I wasn't feeling any kind of pants because 60F is warm enough. So I grabbed my Lululemon Fast Lane shorts which are a tad bit shorter on the sides than the speed shorts so sometimes they make me self conscious. But I figured I wasn't going to be quite a few miles away from the office, so what the heck.

They were like Magic Shorts today. From the moment I started running, my legs felt very "weee!" and almost made me wonder if maybe I need to get back to the old school 80s split leg shorts. Until I remember how kinda frumpy looking they generally are. Anyway. Warm up went a big fast: 8:49 pace. Towards the end I was trying to slow myself down and I did, but then it was time for the repeats. Goal pace per the 3:30 marathon goal was 10K which they stipulated as 7:10-7:30. The Garmin pace of my last 10K was 7:11 so it's in that range.

Split 1: Wind at my back, 5:23 (7:11 pace)
Split 2: Running into wind, 5:27 (7:16 pace)
Split 3: Feeling the cumulative effort more but I had the wind to help me, 5:21 (7:08)
Split 4: Last one into the wind where I had to work a bit harder to get the pace down in the last half, 5:26 (7:15).

Magic Shorts! Also, lots of pink

Finished up with 2 cool down miles @ 8:59. HR was pretty good too at 159 average, hitting around 177 for the intervals. 175 was my lactate threshold per the Garmin fancy caculator so seems like it was more of an LT workout for me. Not sure if that was the goal of the plan (it doesn't mention if it's intended to be VO2Max or LT).



Thursday (Noon): 6 miles Aerobic @ 8:53

Ran in the rain, varying from misting to moderate and some wind here and there. Actually didn't mind the rain though my the only light rain jacket I had was a Hind model I picked up at TJ Maxx a few years ago. It is fairly useless if you have anything more than mist. My arms were soaked through at the half way point - basically when the rain moved from misting to actual rain. Thankfully, I have a new one on the way (on the delivery truck, so too late for this run, unfortunately) and this just confirms that I didn't make a frivolous purchase. This one sucks. 

Craptastic "Rain" Jacket

I was supposed to hit 8:30-8:50 pace but this is No Man's Land pace for me. It's slower than marathon pace but faster than easy. I rarely run in this range (unless I'm running with WCRR and they are pulling me along) so it's going to take me some attempts to dial it in. I almost hit it - maybe if I didn't have the 400+ feet of climbing it might have happened (in fact, GAP on Strava was 8:44).

Friday AM: 5 x 1 mile @ half marathon pace

2 mile warm up
5 x 1 mile at half marathon pace, 2:00 jog rest
1 mile cool down.

Split 1: Running uphill a bit, feels kinda hard, 7:37
Split 2: Down a bridge, then up the other bridge, 7:36
Split 3: Ok, this isn't much fun anymore, 7:35
Split 4: Don't remember much other than I was surprised when I saw the split time, 7:25
Split 5: Happy it's the last one, 7:27

Total 8.84 @ 8:19

I forgot my HR strap which annoys me just because I like to see where the effort level is. Hitting the paces but working way too hard is not my end goal. It felt pretty hard, but I felt like I could have probably done one more (though it would have been hard - like when I ran too many tempo miles because I misinterpreted the plan). My IT band feels a little angry now so rolling needs to happen.

Saturday: 4 @ 8:17

I rolled on Friday night and things were feeling better. It was opening day for WCRR at Road Runner Sports so I ran 4 and change with the group, kinda too fast per usual. Sometimes I wonder if I should drop down into the next pace group (but everyone tells me they are closer to 10:00 pace. I just need 8:45-9:00!). Stuck around longer than I was planning because there was supposed to be a potential member who had questions around breastfeeding and running (which was like all of 2014 for me) but by 9:30am she still hadn't showed and I was about to eat my run club shirt out of hunger. Ah well, I tried.

Sunday: 13:09 @ 9:24

Solana into Del Mar
I had legs of stone. I started at 6:35am to do 5 miles solo, and then met up with my best running buddy, Nicole. Lots of hills around Solana Beach and Del Mar and I was happy to have company. I hope I didn't slow her down much, my legs were just not interested in running anything but easy pace. The weather was great and the beach views, fantastic. For fuel at mile 5, I had a fruit rollup stick thingy that my daughter doesn't seem to care for. The rest of the day was grocery shopping, laundry, cooking and drinking too much Barolo (but it's so good). Which I then paid for today (it's Monday as I write this).

Total for the Week: 46.5 miles

Friday, January 6, 2017

We Own Four Cars Right Now. For Two People.

It's ridiculous and I'm almost embarassed that my neighbors probably think we're crazy. Four cars, and only one fits in the garage; we've got three cars parked on the street in an area where street parking seems more in demand than any suburban neighborhood where I've lived. I can just feel the hairy eyeballs pointed at our parking space stealing household.

Why do we have an absurd number of cars? VW Deiselgate.

Since October we've been in the process of getting the buyback completed (and it is not a fast process - I submitted my initial documentation October 25th). I got my confirmation to my my apopointment on Christmas (Merry Christmas to me!). New car search time!

Except we were really good at finding our next cars. Also we apparently couldn't wait to buy them (though no one wants to be dealing with a rental or lots of ubering because you don't already have your new one - I have a 30 mile commute and a toddler to shuttle to daycare. Public transportation is not a viable option - would be faster for me to walk her the 3 miles to daycare). We didn't actually get new cars, we got new-to-us cars. Both are used 2014 BMW X1s; this time my husband copied me! We apparently like to make a habit of getting matching cars (going on 4 years now). I think that makes us uber dorks.

Just 4 more weeks to go as a quadruple car owner.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Kind of Started Boston Training this Week

I can't believe how often I used to blog and now I'm a total blogging slacker. Two weeks after CIM (sorr, no recap... but I posted a short recap on Instagram!), I ran the SD Holiday Half Marathon and got a new PR (1:39:26) that was probably the most painful half marathon I have ever run thanks to not being fully recovered from CIM. I was sore for 5 days afterwards. Ouch. At this point, I have about fifteen weeks until Boston and it's time to get back on the wagon.

For CIM, I followed my running group (West Coast Road Runners) coach's plan but he hasn't provided me one yet for Boston and, well, if it's going to be something canned/templated/one-size-fits-all, then I can follow Pfitzinger or the BAA plan. If he ever comes back with one, maybe I'll follow it, I don't know. I'm never on the group's schedule since they train for Carlsbad and Rock 'n Roll San Diego. I'm going to start with the BAA plan, with the days shifted a bit since the long runs with WCRR are on Saturday as opposed to Sunday.

This week, I tried to squeeze more miles out of a pair of Mizuno Sayonara 3 and that ended up backfiring a bit. In general, the Mizuno shoes I've had have gone at least 250 miles, usually over 300. But these just felt dead at 200. I ran 8 miles on them in that state; the next day ran 8 miles on my Nike Lunar Tempos which I love but only have 8mm heel/toe drop. My shin was pissed after that run and has only started feeling a little better after running the last 3 runs 10-12mm drop shoes. The Lunar Tempos are the last shoe I have in my stash at 8mm and as of this week, I decided they are retiring to casual use only.

Week 1

(days are linked to my Strava activities)


Rest because my shin was angry from Sunday's 8 miles with the Lunar Tempos

Tuesday AM: 8 easy @ 9:25, 75% MHR 

Did a loop around Mission Bay, it was 55F and sunny, i.e. perfect. Shin was cranky post run. Later in the evening, Elise made me chase after her in circles around the couch. For some reason, after doing this for like 10 minutes or so, the ball of my right foot got painful under the 4th toe. Really bizarre. I iced it. Next morning, it was still sore.

Wednesday PM: 3.26 @ 10:06, 67% MHR

Because I woke up with my foot still hurting I wasn't planning on running but by noon it was gone. I ran an easy, hilly 3 miles around my neighborhood ending in the dark. 3 miles with 236 feet of climbing. It's why I avoid running a lot in my immediate neighborhood - really steep hills. I hit my Garmin daily climbing goal before the first mile split. -_-

Thursday AM: 8 @ 9:12 

Sunny and warm! 75F. I threw some green Superfeet insoles into my Adidas Boost Glide 8 and they felt good! I am digging Adidas. I bet I'd love the Adidas Ultra Boost but the price is insane ($180) and they aren't actually that easy to find.

View from the bridge at Crown Point Shores

Friday AM: 4 @ 9:39

Decided to run my neighborhood again because the rain was coming and in case I got caught in a total downpour, I'd be close to home. Managed to only catch some at the end of my run. Still my shin is not thrilled. I ran in my Mizuno Wave Riders, IDK is my legs are needing more cushion right now and the Wave Riders are too firm.

Saturday AM: 14 @ 8:37

Ran with the WCRR crew and, I don't know, I really like the group but I find that people run their long runs too fast? Not everyone, but the majority of the people in the pace group I run with are running their long runs faster than me, and their marathon performances are a good bit worse. My heart rate was higher than I would have liked but this is what happens when you get pulled along with the group at a faster pace than you would have liked. Though, I will say that the BAA marathon plan does have some marathon pace miles thrown into long runs so I think, in general, my long runs will have heart rates that are a little more elevated.

Sunday AM: 5 @ 8:59

Went down to Mission Bay for an easy-ish 5 miles. Apparently there was either an early morning New Years party or one that was still going from the night before. But it was really bizarre to run by loud party music and people in costume at 8am.

CWX compression capris and test run with Under Armour Drift!

Total Miles for the Week: 42.3

What I learned this week, the mostly hard way, is that I can't do low drop shoes. And by low I mean under 10mm. I just can't. After a week of running in regular drop shoes, my shin is approaching normal again. Thank God that the trendy thing of barefoot/low drop shoes has swung back. I was getting concerned that shoe companies were going to shift everything to like 6-8mm. Which, really, Saucony and New Balance have kind of done that. Which is why I have none of their shoes.

Anyway, after this first week, I'm going to start doing some tempo/speed stuff. I'm feeling pretty recovered from everything, including the shoe debacle so I think I'm ready!