February 28, 2011

AR 50 Week Eight + February


This ended up being one of my best weeks yet, and just happened to be my highest weekly mileage ever, too. Got in some solid runs, including a speedy midweek medium-long run, a crazy little jaunt in the pouring rain, and a kick butt trail race in beautiful Redwood Park. Things are starting to look up! Fingers crossed I don't get sick again : /

4 miles, 9:30 avg pace. Nice and easy recovery run before work. Still quite sore from the 20 miles on the trails, but even more tired from lack of sleep. Meant to do 5, but settled for 4.


10 miles, 9:05 avg pace. Wasn't having a very good day personally and went into this run looking to just clear my head. I usually do these midweek medium-long runs on a day off so I have more time, but it's always funny how my day ends up revolving around them. I started out faster than usual and felt good so I continued to push the pace and not surprisingly, felt much better afterword. I even finished off the run with the two fastest splits! Thank goodness for the cheap therapy of running!


4.5 miles, 9:51 avg pace. Woke up to the sounds of heavy rain and wind and would have loved to go back to sleep, but I had plans to meet up with my coworkers for our weekly run. Driving to the store was crazy enough and the whole time I kept asking myself what the hell I was doing. Only a few others were crazy enough to show up, all of us decked out in our free Nike rain slickers. We set out for McKinley Park, about a mile away, and almost immediately I was soaked and fighting against powerful gusts of wind.

The other guys are much faster than me so it didn't take long before I was all by my lonesome, looking like a crazy fool running in monsoon-like weather. When we got to McKinley we ran a few laps around the park, attempting to dodge massive puddles at first, then finally giving up and ending up with soaking wet feet. I had planned on doing 5 miles but it was all I could do to squeak out 4.5, and they sucked. It wasn't even one of those runs where after, you feel good and are glad you did it. I was just left with sopping wet clothes, looking and feeling like a drowned cat, and wondering, for the second time that morning, what the hell I'd been thinking.

18 miles, 13:27 avg pace, PCTR Redwood Park 30k. Much more to be said about this one, will have a race report coming soon!

6 miles, 9:34 avg pace. I had tentatively planned to meet Diane for a recovery run on the trails but realized I wouldn't have time before work, especially with the commute to Auburn, so instead I decided to run on the bike trail per usual. I really wanted to get in a run following my race the previous day, both for recovery purposes and to get used to running on tired legs. I had toyed with getting up early and doing 10, but it wasn't long before that turned into 8 miles, and before I knew it I had pressed snooze a few too many times and I only had time for 6. Whoops : / Gorgeous morning with a ton of folks running and cycling on the parkway. Took my pup along and felt much better than expected, only noticing a little tightness in my quads. Great way to finish off the week!

Total: 44.5 miles



Week Eight

Total: 135.8 miles

Well, we're two months in and 2011 is moving right along, as is my training! Although February is one of the shortest months I managed to fit in quite a bit. I raced a half marathon on the fly and ended up not only setting a new PR but also finally getting a sub-2 hour finish. That's one goal I can cross off my list! I signed up for my next marathon, Chicago, which I'm already crazy excited about. And then, just as things were looking good, I got sick again. I took nearly an entire week off, both from running and from work. When I started feeling better I decided to finally set up the bike trainer I got for Christmas and got in a nice sweaty workout while it poured outside. 

The running community was thrown for a loop when the B.A.A. announced their new regulations for the Boston Marathon, so of course I had to voice my opinion as well. I jumped right back into training with a looong (and snowy!) training run along the last 20 miles of the Western States 100 course. Rounding out the month was the PCTR Redwood Park 30k along some beautiful trails in the bay area. Bring on March and my first ultra!

February 22, 2011

"Runners. Yeah, We're Different"

Last week I came across some great photos from an ad campaign launched by Adidas back in 1999/2000. They all have the tagline, "Runners. Yeah, We're Different", and I think we can all relate to a few! You can see them all here. Enjoy!
did this for the first time on Saturday!
Quick anecdote: For the longest time I refused to blow a snot rocket, and then I finally did and it was like a switch was flipped - not only do I do them constantly when I'm running now, but I even catch myself about to do them in non-running situations. Wait, that's not normal?

February 21, 2011

AR 50 Week Seven


After having a great week of training, things all went downhill for week seven. Once again I found myself sick, only this time I was feverish and ended up taking several days off from work. This meant three unplanned rest days with no running whatsoever. I managed to get in a sweat sesh on the bike trainer, and finished the week off with an awesome 20 miler on the Western States 100 course, which also ended up being my only mileage for the week. Whoops : /


Rest. Sick again, resulting in three unplanned days off from work and running.

Rest. See above. Come on, immune system!

15 miles on bike trainer, avg 15 mph. My first time using my bike trainer, did an hour-long session that left me a sweaty mess. Much harder than cycling outside!

Rest. Relaxed and rested in preparation for a long day on the trails and in bed early for a pre-dawn wake up call.

20 miles, 13:43 avg pace. An epic run on the snowy trails as a participant in the Western States 100 February Training Run. My calves are still killing me!
 last 20 miles of the WS 100 course

Rest. Woke up quite sore and congested with a scratchy throat, and decided that since the week was already a flop I'd give myself a day to recover from my 20 miler and this damn cold.

Total: 20 miles

February 20, 2011

Western States 100 February Training Run Recap

No, I am not running the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. I did, however, have the opportunity to participate in the official February training run yesterday. It ended up being a wonderful day on the trails with great weather, fun people, and stunning views. I got in a solid training run and had a blast, too!

Every year the directors of the WS100 put together a series of training runs covering various legs of the course and offer them to those training for the race as well as any other interested runners. For a small fee you get a fully marked course, transportation, aid stations, volunteers, and a hot breakfast afterward. My coworker Diane mentioned this particular run a while ago, and the timing made it a valuable long training run on some technical trails before Way Too Cool 50k and AR 50.

Considering how my week went (staying home sick for 4 days and not running) I wasn't sure what would happen Saturday, but I had paid for the run and taken the day off so I was at least gonna give it a shot. I did feel better, so I was cautiously optimistic. I met up with Diane and a few friends in Sac and we carpooled up to Placer High School in Auburn. Much to our surprise, we found the little town, just 40 minutes from Sacramento, covered in snow!! It was beautiful, but I was so glad I had layered as I knew it would only be colder further up at the start. We gathered at the high school, signed a waiver and got our numbers on our hands, and tried to stay warm. Our group had planned on heading up to the start a bit early to get a head start (since we'd be running slower than many other runners) so we piled into two cars and made our way up the windy road to the start, the snow growing heavier with each passing minute.
snow day!

It was a total shock to the system to leave the warm car, but we figured the sooner we got going the sooner we'd warm up. The run would cover the last 20 miles of the WS100 course, point-to-point, finishing at Placer High School. We started off in a residential area which we were warned ahead of time was a "no pee zone" - in fact they had actually marked off the point when it was finally ok to pee! As soon as we passed this all seven women dropped trough on the side of the trail - it was a long car ride! Immediately we were treated to gorgeous views of the canyons, covered in a white blanket. It was my first time running in the snow and I absolutely loved it! Everything was just so beautiful.
 just beautiful
the start of the trail
 photo op
 did i mention the views?
the girls

As we ran along I slowly warmed up and was comfortable. I had on a long sleeve shirt, a Breath Thermo half zip, a jacket, capri tights, an ear warmer, and gloves and kept everything on the entire run. The weather started to warm and the sun peeked out as the morning wore on, and soon we couldn't tell if the water falling on us was rain or snow melting from the trees! It was the weirdest thing, one minute it would be sunny and things were green, and then we'd round a corner and it there was mist and snow! We kept the pace easy and conversational and in true ultra fashion we walked the hills. I felt really good and was just enjoying the adventure. Soon we approached our first of many stream crossings of the day, which would eventually be one of my favorite parts of the run. None were super deep, up to the thighs at most, but you basically just walk right through them - it was great! I was afraid my feet would freeze after but the water actually wasn't bad and instead it felt kind of refreshing, almost like a mini ice bath every couple miles : ) Around mile 8 we were passed by our first runner from the buses who was absolutely flying. Eventually others followed and for a while there was a constant chorus of "runner back!"
 watching my step mid-stream!
the only guy in our group, such a gentleman : )
 one of many lovely waterfalls

As we descended we saw less and less snow and instead had amazing views of the lush green canyons and the blue American River snaking it's way through the canyon bed. Around mile 10 we splashed downhill through a stream of water colored red by the mud and emerged on the Quarry Road that runs along the American River. Around mile 12 my hip flexors started to give me some trouble, probably from all the climbing and downhills, but other than that I felt pretty good. Another rolling mile brought us to our first aid station at mile 13. Having never experienced an ultra aid station I was a little taken aback. Instead of just the Gu and electrolytes you find on the roads, you have real food. We're talking fresh fruit, chips, nuts, goldfish, pretzels, pb & j sandwiches, soda, and my favorite, boiled potatoes dipped in salt. Mmmmm : )
 hello, gorgeous
mmm food!

While stuffing our faces at the aid station we were passed by a big group of hikers with several dogs in tow, and not long after we'd continued on we realized one of the dogs had followed us! It seemed that his people didn't notice his disappearance because no one had followed, and so for the next couple mile we were accompanied by the little pooch he just seemed delighted to be running with us. Soon, though we started to worry because we were approaching the Highway 49 crossing and we didn't want the pup to run in the road. Finally we managed to grab her at a parking lot and some passing runners said the owners were looking for her a couple miles back. Diane recognized a friend int he parking lot who offered to watch little Cleo til she was reunited, and so we ran along, our minds at ease.
 the "red river"
American River

At this point we learned that the course had been changed a tad, cutting off a mile from the planned distance, but we followed the route which eventually took us past the Foresthill Suspension Bridge, up to No Hands Bridge and the second and final aid station (mile 15.5). From there it was all familiar territory for me as we made our way up toward the overlook. We passed the waterfall that was absolutely gushing, causing a hell of an uproar and spraying you with mist as you crossed. We climbed up my least favorite, seemingly never-ending hill to Robie Point, but instead of continuing on the trail toward the overlook we emerged on the roads and made our way up a mile long hill that wound through the neighborhood. As I walked during this stretch I could feel my legs tightening up and when I slowly began jogging again it was painful. As we neared Placer High School I couldn't help but think about those runners doing Western States and what it would mean to be running that stretch of road, so close to finishing 100 miles. Imagine!
 Foresthill Suspension Bridge
my attempt to capture how loud the waterfall was!
The finish, at least for this training run, was actually pretty anticlimactic. In fact, all I could focus on was the fact that my Garmin only showed 18.5 miles. I had had my mind set on 20, and all be damned if I wasn't going to get it, so I made my way to the track and set out for 6 more laps until, after nearly 4.5 hours, my watch beeped 20 miles. I know, I have issues. I grabbed a couple pancakes and then met up with my group at the car where I changed into dry clothes. When I stripped off my wet shoes and socks to assess the damage, I was surprised to find that not only were my socks totally dry, but I didn't have one single blister! Just soggy feet and dirty toenails : ) I tried out drymax socks for the first time on this run and only have great things to say. Within minutes of walking through a stream my feet felt completely dry and even in the cold weather they were comfortable. And again, no blisters. Win, win!

On our way out of Auburn we stopped for coffee and as I sat I could feel my muscles start to stiffen. My feet felt pretty beat up and my calves were really unhappy and tight. I started to feel really tired and fatigued, too, but seeing as it was after 2pm and we'd started so early it had been a long day. When I finally got home later, it was all I could do to shower and put my stuff away before I collapsed on the couch. I spent the rest of the day eating, resting, and watching old Friends episodes. While I felt great during the run I think the stress of it aggravated my cold symptoms as I once again have a scratchy throat and stuffy nose, but it was absolutely worth  it. Despite the rest of the week being a total flop, I got in an awesome training run on the trails and was lucky enough to experience the final 20 miles of the legendary WS100 course. It was a day of many firsts, and it certainly won't be my last - one day I hope to cover the other 80 miles of the course and finish the Western States in it's entirety!

February 19, 2011

Boston & Bike Trainers

We all knew it was coming, and this past Wednesday the B.A.A. finally announced the changes it will be making to the prestigious Boston Marathon. While I wasn't anywhere close to qualifying for Boston anytime soon, this is a big issue in the running world and I wanted to share my two cents. Thanks to registration for the 2011 race selling out in a  record 8-hours, many began to consider whether it was time for more stringent qualifying standards and a more structured registration process. So what do the new changes have in store for runners?
While the qualifying standards will remain the same for the 2012 Boston Marathon, the B.A.A. will be instituting a new rolling registration process. Starting in September, registration will open on a "rolling admission" schedule which is as follows:
•  Sep 12: runners with a BQ -20 minutes
•  Sep 14: runners with a BQ -10 minutes
•  Sep 16: runners with a BQ -5 minutes
If additional space remains...
•  Sep 19: all runners with a BQ (the fastest among this pool of applicants will be chosen)

So what does this new registration mean? Well, unlike in the past, it may not be enough to simply BQ. Unless you run a marathon significantly faster than your BQ time, there is a good chance Boston will fill up with faster runners before you have a chance to register. I agree that this will undoubtedly make the field of the Boston Marathon more competitive, but at the same time it leaves so much uncertainty and takes away the joy of that BQ moment so many work their butts off for. Now, you have to settle for a "tentative BQ".

The following year even more changes will take effect. In addition to the rolling registration, the B.A.A. has also lowered the qualifying times for both genders and all age groups. The new qualifying times have been lowered by 5 minutes and unlike previous years, an additional 59 seconds will not be accepted. The new qualifying times, as of September 24, 2011, are as follows:
I know that many runners have complained for a while that Boston needed tougher qualifying times, especially since the number of marathoners continues to grow and more and more of these "average" runners BQ. Many have also questioned the 30 minute discrepancy between male and female qualifying standards, particularly that the women have it too easy. Honestly, I can't really speak on just how challenging any of these times are as I am not even close to qualifying, even with the old standards. However, I will say that when you take into consideration the rolling registration, it's gonna make it a hell of a lot harder to run Boston than just shaving off 5 more minutes. For example, if an 18-34 year old male wants to have guaranteed entry on the first day of registration, he would need to run a 2:45 marathon! I don't know about you, but I don't know very many guys that will be running that anytime soon.

It logically makes sense that as more people run marathons, more people will qualify for and want to run Boston, but that doesn't necessarily make the old standards any easier to reach. I would be willing to bet that it wasn't a giant increase in qualifiers from 2009 to 2010 that flooded the registration for the 2011 race; it was our own forecasting, spreading the rumor that it was going to sell out quickly, causing thousands of runners to freak out and register immediately. So are either of these solutions going to be effective? I guess only time will tell, but I certainly see some flaws in the new system.

And while Boston is certainly a prestigious and historic race, it is not a race for elite runners. It's a marathon for the everyday runner that works hard and achieves a goal that for many is the ultimate running achievement. Even a former Boston Marathon winner isn't on board with the new changes, instead proclaiming that Boston "should be the ultimate annual celebration of running." So yes, maybe things did need to change. But I can only hope that the B.A.A. doesn't forget that it's those regular runners and their dreams that make the Boston Marathon what it is.


Moving on.... Since I was sick this past week I didn't get much running in. I was planning to go out on Thursday, but Mother Nature had other plans and I was not about to go run in a storm. So instead, I spent an entire hour trying to set up my bike trainer (oh ya know, the one I got for Christmas and had yet to use?), watching this YouTube video over and over. Just as I was reduced to yells of frustration I figured it out, and after a few tweaks courtesy of my dad I was ready to go! It was a lot more challenging than I expected (ummm maybe because I haven't rode since summer?). Actually though, with a fluid trainer, the harder you pedal the more resistance you get, so it's not quite the same as riding out doors. I managed to get through a few episodes of Friends for a total of 15 miles before collapsing in a sweaty heap. And in case you forgot, because I seemed to, the bike seat is just as uncomfortable as before and will leave you with a sore tush long after the workout is over!
all set up and ready for a spin!

What do you guys think about the changes to Boston? Was it about time or are you bummed?

February 14, 2011

AR 50 Week Six


I'm gonna make this brief, because once again, I'm sick : / It seems that just as training starts really going well my immune system decides to rebel. Yesterday evening I started feeling a little feverish and my throat was swollen, and later that night I felt absolutely awful. Things were even worse when I woke up this morning so I called in sick for work and spent the day in bed with a throbbing head, alternating between being too hot or too cold. Ugh.

5 miles, 10:07 avg pace + 90 min hot yoga. This was one of the most beautiful days we've had in a while, complete with temps in the low 70s. My dad and I headed out for a run which was fun since we haven't run together in a while. It also helped me to reign in my pace since this was supposed to be a recovery run from my half marathon the day before. Yoga was a little more tough than usual. Not the poses, but the heat really got to me (maybe because it was so warm outside?). I stepped out of the room twice and left immediately after the last pose.


5 miles, 9:19 avg pace. Nothing special here, another early morning run before heading to work.


14 miles, 9:57 avg pace. My sucky long run of the week, which I documented here. Glad that one's over.

5 miles, 9:27 avg pace. Dragged myself out of bed for this one, hoping to get in 6 miles, but settled for 5 so I could make it to work on time.

10 miles, 9:20 avg pace. Since my schedule this week was a little different than usual, I had to move my midweek medium-long run to the weekend. To ensure that I got the miles in, I did something new: I ran to work! On the shortest route it's only about 6 miles from my house to work, but I added on a few detours to add on the extra mileage. It actually worked out great, and I'll definitely be doing it again. I left my stuff at work the day before so I couldn't back out, and the next morning I headed out. It was one of those runs where I felt better with every mile and my pace steadily dropped. I negative split the run and my fastest mile was also my last : ) I finished at a coffee shop, got breakfast, then walked the few blocks back to work to get ready. It was great! But then I got sick : (

Total: 39 miles
Happy Valentine's Day!!

February 11, 2011

Choosing Chicago

After being on the fence for the past few days, I finally made up my mind and.....registered for the 2011 Chicago Marathon!! I hesitated for a while because I wasn't sure about New York. I was hoping NY would be my big fall marathon, and I've only been dying to run it since I started running. But there's a chance I won't get in through the lottery this year, and Chicago was a very tempting Plan B. The dilemma, however, was that if I waited to hear about New York (mid-March), Chicago would probably be sold out. I would love to do both, but unfortunately 2 trips to the east coast within a one month span is just not going to happen financially. I checked the NYC Marathon website and found out that if I get in this year, I can basically save it and get a guaranteed entry for the following year. So, with this bit of info and the fact that a few awesome folks I know will also be running Chicago, I took the plunge and registered, and I couldn't be more excited! The Chicago Marathon has been on my wish list for a while, and it has some other advantages, too, like checking off another state, a pancake flat PR-worthy course, and a mini-vacation in an awesome city. I can't wait to see the bean!
Lately we've been treated to some wonderfully sunny weather and warm temps, spurring me to break out my good 'ol Nike tempo shorts. Unfortunately, my legs weren't quite ready to go bare and after two runs in shorts I have some nasty and very painful chafing!! I swiped on BodyGlide both times but to no avail - I just sweat that stuff off. Maybe I need to apply it more liberally? Or maybe my skin just needs to toughen up? I've worn tempo shorts in multiple marathons and on endless training runs, so I don't know what gives. But man, I forgot how painful it can be! And how I walk like someone fresh off a horse saddle : /

This week kicked off a busy schedule of events at work over the next several weeks, wreaking havoc on the training routine I'd comfortably settled into. Instead of doing my midweek medium-long run on Tuesday following my volunteer shift in the morning (one of my usual days off), I went straight to work and didn't leave til 10pm resulting in a rest day. Instead, my second day off this week was today, which meant I had to do some schedule rearranging to fit in the runs I wanted to do. Since, once again, I won't be able to make it to the trails this weekend, I decided to hit the roads for a long run this afternoon. I decided to run along the river as usual, but this time I spent the first few miles on the horse trails. They certainly aren't very technical, but they are still good practice for trail running, and the change of scenery was wonderful. To think that all this time I've been running on the bike trail I never knew that just feet away there are these awesome trails!

While things started out great, just a few miles in I could tell it wasn't going to be a good one. Around mile 4 I started to feel like I had heartburn and my stomach started to feel off. My whole abdomen was cramping, I had some intense pressure in my chest, and I had trouble catching my breath. I don't know if it was something I ate earlier in the day (doubtful, nothing weird or different), a fueling issue (did my usual Gu every 45 min, salt cap every hour + water), or something else. As I ran on it only got worse, and I found myself forced to take a few breaks, completely stopping for several minutes at a time when the pain got so bad I couldn't run. I seriously considered cutting the run short and asking someone to borrow their phone to call someone for a ride home, but I pushed on. I had planned on 15 miles, but decided to just stop at 13, which would get me back to my house. With just a couple miles to go the sun started to go down and I was treated to the most gorgeous sunset I've ever seen in Sacramento. Running across the river with the fiery colors reflecting off the water, I completely forgot about the pain, or even that I was running at all. It was beautiful, and that moment alone made my struggles during the run worth it. When I got to my house I felt a little better, so I tacked on one more mile around my neighborhood to finish with 14 miles. I still have a couple more (shorter) runs to do this weekend to round out the week, but I'm glad I got this one out of the way and I'm just putting it behind me.

Anyone else running Chicago? Have a race or long run this weekend?

February 8, 2011

Davis Stampede Half Marathon (Race Report)

Reflecting on this race, I think there is some serious truth to the idea that we perform much better than expected when we remove all expectations to begin with. As I mentioned, I signed up for this half at the last minute as an impromptu way to get a long run in for the weekend. I didn't have any concrete goals other than to finish and get to work on time. One of my goals for 2011, however, was to run a sub-2 hour half marathon at some point. I haven't been training specifically for this goal lately as my focus has been on longer, slower runs. I haven't done any speedwork and honestly I just didn't feel like I could hold a 9:09 pace for 13.1 miles.

So when I arrived in Davis Sunday morning, I had few expectations for myself. At the Urban Cow Half, where I set my previous PR, I did so by hanging on to the 2:05 pacer for dear life because I suck at pacing myself. The Davis Stampede had no pacers to speak of, so I took that as a sign that this would not be the day to hit my goal. Anyway, I made it to the start with just enough time to pick up my bib and use the bathroom before heading into the crowd of runners at the start line. A few minutes later we were off, meandering through the streets of downtown Davis. Despite living so close, I had actually never been to Davis before, so it was kind of fun to get a mini tour of it during the race. The first couple miles went by pretty fast and were just run on feel. But when I looked at my Garmin I saw that mile 1 clocked in at a 9:10 pace. The next couple miles were a bit faster, so I thought what the hell, let's see how long this can last!
The course had lots of turns and little loops which I actually really liked since it kept things interesting. Not a ton of crowd support, but everything was very organized and consistent. It was also extremely flat, which certainly was a big factor in my performance. We totally lucked out on the weather, too. It was a beautiful day, if not a tad warm and windy. I kept cruising along, zoning out to my music, and the miles ticked by one after another. In fact, I noticed that my average pace was actually dropping! I tried to stay as consistent as possible, but I only allowed myself to look at my Garmin at each mile marker because I didn't want to be compulsively checking my pace and stressing about it. Amazingly my splits were pretty consistent despite running mostly on feel...imagine that : ) When I got to mile 7 on target to a sub-2 hour finish, I knew I had to go for it. I still felt pretty good, kind of like I was running on autopilot.
During the second half of the race there were a couple stretches where it was a bit of a struggle to keep pushing, but for the most part it felt easier than it should have for some reason. I kept expecting to blow up in the later miles, but it never happened and the miles seemed to fly by. Once I got to mile 10 I did some quick calculations in my head and realized that even if I slowed to a 10 minute pace I was still going to come in under 2 hours. This made the last 3 miles much easier to handle : ) I felt strong all the way til the end, and when my Garmin beeped 13 miles and I rounded the corner and saw the finish, I gave it one last kick and sprinted across the line! I looked down at my watch and saw a lovely number one staring back at me : ) Official finish time was 1:58:12, a 6 minute PR!!
I don't really know what happened out there. I think a combination of good conditions and no expectations played a big role, and maybe my higher mileage, trail running, and ultra training have actually made me a stronger runner. Or maybe it was using Trigger Point on my tight and achey calves the night before. Whatever the reason, I'm excited to check this goal off my list, especially so much earlier than expected. It's also got me thinking about my goals for my next marathon, which I may have to adjust in light of recent events : ) For now, I'm just enjoying the fact that I'm now a member of the elusive sub-2 hour half marathon club!

February 7, 2011

AR 50 Week Five


After coming off a few unplanned rest days thanks to a lovely cold, I wasn't sure how this week would go, but I managed to hit all my workouts and hit another 40 mile week. At the last minute I also signed up for a half marathon to stand in for my usual long run on the trails and set a 6 minute PR : )

6 miles, 9:07 avg pace + 90 min hot yoga. I wasn't sure how my run would go since I was coming off a weekend of being sick, but I felt decent and even went a little longer than usual. I probably ran faster than I should've, but I was testing out my new Scott T2 shoes for the first time and I swear they made me speedier! I'll have a review of them as soon as I get some more mileage on them, hopefully by the end of the month. I did feel a bit tired and my breathing was a little more labored than usual, but I finished feeling pretty good. I'm finding that I really look forward to my Monday yoga class, both for the yoga itself and for the regularity of it. I've been going for almost 2 months now and can really feel the effects. The 26 poses are becoming second nature!
10 miles, 9:29 avg pace. Same as last week, I went out for 8 on the bike trail, running along the levy, and then stopped back at home to pick up my pup for the last 2. I felt pretty good and even wore my Scotts again. So far, so good!


5 miles, 9:18 avg pace. Dragged my butt out of bed for this one, and for some reason it ended up being a real struggle the last couple miles. Maybe I was just tired, but I was glad to have it done and move on with my day.

6 miles, 9:32 avg pace. As some of you may know, I work at a running store (Fleet Feet Sacramento to be exact) and one of my coworkers decided to start up a casual weekly run for all employees Friday mornings. This week was the first one and since I was planning on running anyway it was a great motivator to get me out of bed. There were only about 7 of us, and of course they were all pretty speedy runners (besides me, of course). We started out relatively easy though so I was able to hang and chat with one of my coworkers about my training, etc. We ran on a new (to me) route along the river that was pretty quiet in the early morning. The only thing I didn't like about it was that it was unpaved and I'm not a huge fan of running on rocks : / When we hit 2 miles everyone turned around and headed back while I went on solo for another mile.
When I got to 3 miles I stopped to stretch. I was a little tired from the first couple fast(er) miles, so on my way back I slowed down to a comfortable pace. I didn't have my music either, which made the run feel a little more tedious than usual. I finished up my 6 miles back at the store and had plenty of time to shower, get breakfast and coffee, and relax before starting my shift. I definitely see this becoming a weekly routine for me!


13.1 miles, 9:00 avg pace, Davis Stampede Half Marathon. Ok, I won't leave you guys hanging.... I FINALLY GOT MY SUB-2 HOUR HALF MARATHON!!! I'll have a race report up for you asap : ) Congrats to everyone else who raced this weekend!!

Total: 40 miles 

February 3, 2011

Impromptu Racing!

I'm one of those people who puts together a race schedule early on and signs up for races almost as soon as they open (Type A, anyone?). So you could say my behavior this week is a bit uncharacteristic, but the opportunity presented itself and an impromptu decision was made! This Sunday I'll be running the semi-local Davis Stampede half marathon : ) While my goal has been to get my long runs in on the trails to prep for Cool and AR, unfortunately I couldn't find anyone to run with on Sunday, and Lord knows I couldn't navigate those trails all by myself. Although running on the pavement instead isn't ideal, at least I'll get the miles in. And one upside to running on the road is that the miles won't take as long, so I'll be able to get to work in time afterward. I am getting so tired of running on the same stretch of the parkway lately that I'm really looking forward to a change of scenery. Plus, it's been a while since my last road race and I'll admit I love the atmosphere (and the swag, who are we kidding?).

As far as goals, I don't really have any set in stone. My ultimate goal this year for the half marathon distance is to break 2 hours (current PR is 2:04), but I'm not sure if I'm quite ready, or if I even want to push it. I haven't been doing any speedwork, but my mileage has increased significantly and overall I'm feeling stronger. At the same time, I know I shouldn't risk things with two huge races coming up in the next few months. And honestly, I'm hesitant because I don't want to be disappointed. So after typing this out, I've developed a game plan. If there's a 2 hour pacer, I will start with them and see how I feel - if things are good, I'll just hang on for dear life! If I'm not feeling so hot, I'll simply drop back. If no pacer, I'll revert back to my main goal of a sub 2:10 finish. Regardless of finishing time, I'm looking forward to this race!