October 4, 2011

Chicago Week Ten + September


Another week of taper in the books! My overall mileage was cut back significantly and I got 3 rest days instead of 2. It was a hot week weather-wise, and I suffered accordingly when I decided to do mile repeats on a 95 degree afternoon : / The weekend was one of our busiest of the year at the store due to packet pick-up for the Urban Cow Half Marathon, leaving me drained at the end of each day. At the last minute I decided to sign up for the race myself instead of running my planned 12 miles solo. It was fun to run the race again, on a slightly new (and improved!) course, and compare my experience this year to last year's. I made sure not to get overzealous and kept it nice and easy since I'm just one week out from Chicago. Yikes!



run: 5 mi, 9:19 avg pace.
Took advantage of my day off and waited til the evening to run when it had cooled off. Still it was a warm one! I started off a bit too fast for a recovery pace but slowed it down for the rest of the run.

run: 8 mi, 8:38 avg pace.
I totally shot myself in the foot on this one. I should have got up early to do this when it was cool, but I have a weird thing about speedwork in the mornings...I don't do it. So instead I waited til later, but I had dinner plans so instead of going in the evening when it had cooled off, I was running at 4:30 in the afternoon. Doing mile repeats in 95 degree weather? Ummm yea, not one of my best decisions : / I was determined to get it done though, so I set up my Garmin for an interval workout and set off for a warm-up.

The plan called for 3x1600 at 5k pace (approx. 7:30-7:45/mi). I told myself in advance to cut myself some slack on the workout since it was hotter than hell and I was in taper mode, but I also kept telling myself I only had to do 3 (conveniently ignoring that they were a mile long). Right away, knew it was going to be ugly and miserable. I felt like I was moving through sludge, my legs heavy, I could hardly breath, and I was already soaked with sweat. I stopped halfway through the first one for a breather then took another short break when I finally finished it. I timed each repeat to finish at a water fountain, but I couldn't seem to quench my thirst. It was just so dang hot!

I had no idea how fast I was running because on the interval setting my Garmin doesn't show the interval time or pace, but I felt so sloooow. I did an easy quarter mile jog between repeats, and I somehow managed to muster up some energy for the last two, taking halfway breaks during both and stopping for more water after each one. Looking at my data after, I was shocked to see that I had actually hit within my goal range for the repeats (7:15, 7:42, 7:49), even though I felt like I was dragging. Just shows you what the heat can do to you! When I finally finished the last one I had a few miles back home to cool down (except there was nothing "cool" about it). I finished feeling absolutely thrashed and probably a little dehydrated, too (I really have been having problems in this are lately, haven't I?). It was my last speedwork session before Chicago, and while I'm glad I did it, I don't think it was a very wise choice. I'm certainly not going to miss these ridiculous temps!

run: 4 mi, 9:14 avg pace.
I didn't have to go in to work til the afternoon so I slept in a bit then did an easy 4 with my pup.


run: 13.2 mi, 9:21 avg pace.
On a last minute whim I ran the Urban Cow Half Marathon for the second year in a row instead of my long run for the week. I took it nice and easy and stuck with the 2:05 pacer (the same group I set a PR with at last year's race), consistently running about 20 seconds slower than marathon goal pace. It felt pretty easy and allowed me to just enjoy the day and the awesome (slightly new) course. I saw a ton of familiar faces and the race was so much better than logging the miles alone!

run - 30.2 miles



Week Ten

Total: 151.3 miles
run - 131.3 miles
hike - 20 miles

I know everyone says it, but seriously, where did the month go?! It was another busy month with lots of training and even a little traveling to mix things up. I kicked off the month with a roadtrip down to Santa Barbara, my old college stomping grounds, for a little race called the Pier to Peak Half Marathon (for which I still owe you a race report, a month later). The race itself was a doozy, climbing from the pier at 0' to 4,000' at the top of La Cumbre Peak. So literally the entire race was uphill...no wait, up a mountain. It took me almost an hour longer than my PR time, and much of it was more "hike" than "run", but the views along the way and at the top made the effort (mostly) worth it. Oh, and I also brought along a couple of my coworkers, who proceeded to win the entire race and place second overall woman. Yeah, I have fast friends, but don't worry they waited for me : )

I also got to spend some time with my old running mentor, Tom, who is partly responsible for making me the runner I am today. Since it was my first time back since I graduated I took a little stroll down memory lane, but our time was limited so I didn't get to do or see everything I wanted. Just means another trip is necessary!
Tom & I
 sb sunset

I, along with the rest of America, spent 9/11 remembering and reflecting on that day ten years ago and honoring those that were lost. It's hard to believe so much time has passed, but amazing to see how much time has healed.

As seems to be inevitable in any training cycle I got sick, derailing my training a bit. After a few days I was feeling better and the timing couldn't have been better because then I was off to Yosemite! I spent a couple days in the park with my coworkers, the highlight being our epic 17 mile hike of Half Dome. It was one of the hardest but most rewarding things I've ever done, and something that should be on everyone's bucket list! The views were amazing, and totally worth busting my butt for 9 long hours. Our second day was more relaxed with a little swimming at the base of Yosemite Falls and wandering through picturesque meadows. I can't wait to go back!
Vernal Falls
the cables on Half Dome
 at the top!
  on the edge : )
 swimming at the base of Yosemite Falls!
 Half Dome
 Merced River

The end of the month brought with it slightly cooler temps and taper, two of my favorite things. September was awesome, but I have to say October is looking to be an exciting month!


  1. Ugh, speed workouts in the heat SUCK. I feel crappy when it's even 75 -- I can't imagine trying to run in 95 degree heat! Good work!

  2. Ah! You did Pier to Peek! I did that last year (not knowing what I was getting into) and HOLY HELL! It was the most difficult race ever because you literally are climbing up the frickin mountain. Glad you got to experience it though because the views ARE amazing.

    And good luck at Chicago! I'll be there working for VW at the Expo and then cheering at mile 8. Hope to see you!