After (reluctantly) returning from a wonderful vacation in Santa Cruz, I headed to the city to check out a potential apartment. I'll admit I was getting a little nervous about finding a place since I had less than a month til school starts, and after sending out dozens of emails I'd only heard back from a few people. The place turned out to be amazing with two great people living there, so I crossed my fingers and headed back to Sac.
Meanwhile I was trying to get in some running, but with the crazy heat wave we were hit with it just wasn't appealing. I did partake in my local Color Run, but even that wasn't enough to light a spark. I took the opportunity to switch things up a bit and went for my first ride post-Ironman, had a little reunion sesh with Jillian, and got my namaste on at bikram yoga (I know hot yoga seems unappealing in the heat but it actually felt amazing!). I also managed to spend multiple hours watching the Olympics. While there were certainly specific highlights for me (hello women's triathlon finish and gymnastics gold!) anything Olympic was good for me. I couldn't get enough! While in Santa Cruz I got in a 12 mile long run, so I was hoping to keep building my long run from there and just run what I can/feel like during the week. My pace is still slower than usual and I fatigue much sooner than I'd like, but I'm still trying!
12 miles on the Santa Cruz coastWith that said, I've come to some decisions regarding the Portland Marathon this October. Originally my plan was to make it a PR attempt, specifically aiming to finally go sub-4 hours. I figured post-Ironman I'd have a great fitness base and be ready for a hard, mileage-heavy training cycle to get me ready, but alas, that has not been the case. My body has taken much longer to recover than I expected, and honestly, my heart just isn't in it. Don't get me wrong, I still desperately want that 3:xx (my 4:01 PR haunts me!!), but I know it's not wise to push yourself when your whole heart isn't into it. I'm a little disappointed and frustrated, but I've mostly come to terms with my decision. I'm ok with this year being "the year of the Ironman", because that's pretty freaking huge! I have time; there will be (many more) marathons in the future. I'm still planning on running Portland, but without the pressure of a big time goal. I'm looking forward to the exploring the city, visiting some friends, and just enjoying the experience stress-free.
This decision has actually taken a lot of weight off my shoulders. I know once school starts (next week!) I'll be pretty busy, and trying to fit in a strict training plan would be challenging. Instead I'll be sort of "winging" my training. I plan on gradually increasing my long runs up to 20 miles, and then do whatever I can/want during the week, hopefully running at least a 3-4 times on weekdays. I also love that this gives me the freedom to do other workouts, too. I always feel guilty doing something else - like yoga or strength training - when I'm training for a race since I could be using that time to run, but I'm enjoying switching things up lately. I do hope to also start spending some time on the trails since I'm signed up for the North Face 50k in December; and that's also not conducive to training for a fast marathon. I'm especially looking forward to exploring the trails with this local trail enthusiast!
So getting back on track, I found out a few days after applying that I got the place in SF (!!!) and thus the whirlwind began. I wouldn't be moving in until the 15th, but I had tickets to the Outside Lands Music Festival in Golden Gate Park that weekend so I headed back to the city for that. My bff came with me and I met up with a couple other friends and had an amazing time. Incredible music (including the one and only Stevie Wonder!), great food, and an awesome atmosphere made for a very memorable weekend.
While there I attempted another long run, but without knowing a route I ended up all over the place - on trails in Lands End, running up hills in the Presidio, and eventually found my way to the Golden Gate Bridge. The run took for-e-ver because I had to stop so many times to check the map (and take pics) and I only ended up with 11 miles, but it was a great run nonetheless. It was a lovely, cool morning with plenty of fog, and I discovered some really great places to come back to. And holy hills - my quads and buns were burning by the end!
I spy the Golden Gate!
With Outside Lands over I headed back to Sac and had two days to pack up all my shit. We somehow managed to get it done and after a super loooong day Wednesday I was all moved in! So far my impressions are: shit it's cold here! and parking really sucks! Seriously though, I'm loving it so far. It's different, and I know there will be a lot to get used to, but I know with time I'll fall into a routine and things will be familiar. I'm still exploring my 'hood, and yesterday evening went out for my first run as an SF resident. I'd heard about a nice running route around a nearby lake, so I ran the mile and a half to Lake Merced. I wasn't planning on going all the way around it (a 4.5 mile loop), but as I went I was feeling pretty good and like the idea of seeing the whole thing. It was a nice little route, although the fog was super dense, and I know I'll definitely be back. I finished up with 7.5 miles and just a wee bit proud of myself since I only intended to do about 5.
keys to my new place!
little jaunt around Lake Merced
Now that I'm here and fairly settled I hope to get back to more regular posting. I wouldn't expect any weekly training recaps for right now, but I do hope to write more as I explore my new city on foot and navigate the many adventures I'm sure I'll encounter in the coming months. Also, I know many of you are bay area residents yourselves, so if you're ever up for a run (or coffee or lunch or whatever) let me know! I'd love to meet you - even though I feel like I already know so many of you : )