Sunday, October 31, 2010

Week Thirteen Summary

Stats at the end of week thirteen:

Miles run this week: 32
Total marathon training miles: 295
Total Miles in 2010: 597

Our longest run of the program is next Sunday: 22 miles.

Five weeks until the CIM...

Easy Week...Hard Weekend

This week's workouts were pretty easy. Three miles on Monday, followed by an easy run from Fleet Feet to McKinley, around four times and back (about six miles), and an easy three on Friday. Spin was not too bad this week either- Chuck just got back from vacation and was too tired to work us too hard, I guess. I guess I needed all the rest, because today's run was pretty tough.

Once again, today's long run was my longest run ever. Twenty miles. Twenty. Two zero. It took three hours and five minutes.

I did pretty well, but I could have done better. I did 9:13 overall pace (including bathroom break and aid station stop). I would have liked it to be an even 9:00. I did miles 16 through 19 closer to 9:45 than 9, and sped back up a bit in the last mile. The good thing is my body handled it relatively well. The bottoms of my feet hurt, and my knees hurt a bit, but not in a way that made me want to stop. I definitely didn't want to do more, but I could have if I had to.

Here is the summary:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Week Twelve Summary

Stats at the end of week twelve:

Miles run this week: 33
Total marathon training miles: 263
Total Miles in 2010: 565

I did all that, plus spin on Thursday. I'm anxiously awaiting our 20 mile run at the end of week 13.

Longest run ever

Our long run this Sunday was 17 miles. Not much longer than 15, but still very, very long. Maybe it was the rain, or the 20 mile an hour winds, or the heartburn I had from spicy pasta sauce, but after about 8 miles, I really wanted this run to be done.

Despite my feeling of being "over it" during this, my longest long run ever, I still helped keep the group on pace at 9:04 overall for the 17 miles. I tried not to whine too much, even when the wind pushed the rain sideways into my ear on the foot bridge. It felt good to finish such a grueling run, in the weather, and have accomplished more miles than I've ever finished before.

Lessons from this week's run include:

1. Shorts and a technical shirt are the most comfortable in 60 degree weather, but won't keep the water from soaking through to my sports bra.

2. Shoes and socks soak through in the rain. I will need to figure out how to keep my feet comfortable when wet.

3. Spicy pasta sauce is bad the night before a long run.

Here is the run:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Long run tomorrow- 17 miles- oh no!

Tomorrow we are doing 17 miles, and I'm a bit anxious about it. I know that I've done 15, at marathon pace, so 17 should not be a problem. It just seems so much closer to the full marathon than 15 miles, and much more of a challenge than 2 miles more than a half marathon.

On top of the mileage for tomorrow, it will likely be raining. I don't mind the rain, and I'll probably still wear shorts and a t-shirt, but it just feels like I need to prepare more than usual.

Either way, I should be done by 10 or so, and I have waffles waiting in the fridge!

Weeknight workouts- its dark out!

This Wednesday's speed workout was tough. Party because it was 800s, on a curvy, hilly loop. Partly because I ate a burrito for lunch and not healthy food. And partly because by the time the 800s started, it was dark out. I'm glad one person in my group has a headlamp, because at times I couldn't see the ground in front of me!

Goal for this weekend: buy a headlamp, or find one in the garage.

Here is the Garmin summary of the workout:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Week Eleven Summary

Week eleven is done, and here are my stats for the week:

Miles run this week: 31
Total marathon training miles: 230
Total Miles in 2010: 532

This week, I did spin on Thursday in addition to my four runs. 

Marathon Pace Run

Today was our first of two marathon pace runs. The schedule said 2.5 mile warm up, 10 miles at marathon goal pace (8:19 for me), and 2.5 mile cool down. Pretty straight forward. What I realized on Wednesday was that the workout would be in Folsom. Which is full of hills. Oh no! Marathon pace plus hills equals eek!

The first 2.5 miles were easy, of course. Right around the time we put on the speed, the hills started. Miles 3 through 6 or 7 were all hills, but I managed to keep my average pace slightly above my goal. I was close to 9:00 or 8:40 for a lot of the hills, but faster on the slight downhills. I did my best, and that is what counts. Even after those tough first hills, it didn't really get any better. It was flat for a bit, but overall, still hilly. I managed to stay ahead of my group (which meant I was alone for the run, not as fun), and a lot of the people that are in the faster segment of the program. That was nice. Overall, I maintained about 8:30 or so for the marathon pace miles, which is about ten seconds off per mile of where I want to be. That is disappointing, but it was hilly, so I can't be too discouraged by it. We will just have to see how the next marathon pace run goes (the Clarksburg half on Nov. 14).

Here is the Garmin summary:

Friday, October 15, 2010

American River Parkway

I just saw this awesome map of the American River parkway and its amenities on The Sacramento Bee website.

The full map is available here and includes clickable links for photos and other information. They also have a PDF guide of the parkway here.

Morning Lessons

I learned two things this morning, when I went for a run at 5:45, instead of my usual 6:45 start time.

1. When the streetlights are off at 5:45, you can't see anything, because it is still 100% dark. It isn't like when it is starting to get light at 6:45, and the areas without streetlights are only a tiny bit darker than the lit areas.

2. 13% batter life on the Garmin is good for about 3.75 miles. Not 4 miles. Notes for next time: charge your watch more often!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Seven miles is longer than six

During yesterday's Wednesday speed workout, I learned that seven miles is longer than six. You might wonder, why didn't she already know this- it is obvious! But, let me tell you, seven miles seemed so much longer than six that I had to write about it.

The workout was one and a half mile warm up, then four miles of one minute on (speed) one minute off. We averaged maybe 7:00 to 7:30 for most of the speed sessions. I don't know if it was the heat (about 95 degrees and humid, despite the near dusk), but the extra mile of speed work really made seven miles seem much longer than the usual six.

I don't do well with heat, as evidenced by my performance in this early September workout.But I made it through, and still stayed at the front of the group for most of the run. Okay, I was lagging a little over the last mile of speed. But overall, a good workout for a hot Wednesday.

Here is the Garmin summary:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Crack, in a box

I am addicted to Special K, the Vanilla Almond variety that is sweeter than normal Special K, crunchier, and just tastes like candy. I won't eat candy for the most part during training, but I will eat Special K. And pretend it is part of my diet.

I don't eat it for breakfast (I almost always have Old Fashioned oatmeal), but I do manage to somehow eat almost a box of this cereal a week. When, you might ask? Well, when I get home from work and have a few handfulls while cooking dinner. After the gym. Even if I don't go to the gym. Pretty much anytime I can justify it.

Is this yummy cereal breaking my diet? Making me unable to drop the extra 5 pounds I know I should be able to drop? Maybe, maybe not. All I know is I love it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Week Ten Summary

We are over halfway done! Here are my stats for this week:

Miles run this week: 27
Total marathon training miles: 199
Total Miles in 2010: 501

This week, I did a weight workout (40 mins.) on Tuesday and spin on Thursday in addition to my four runs. 

Longest Sunday Yet- 12 miles

After the half marathon last weekend, we are really ramping up the Sunday mileage. Today was 12 miles- the longest yet. From there, we do 15, 17, then 20 I think!

Twelve miles doesn't seem like much after doing a fast half marathon last weekend. It is easy to forget that long/easy pace means taking longer to do 12 miles than it does to do 13.1. I did fine though, with only a bit of tiredness in my legs. Stretching was a bit of a challenge, though.

The highlight of the run was jumping over a snake. I was running in the dirt off the bike path (we were three wide today), and I saw a snake early enough to jump over it and screech. The guys thought I was injured. No, just a snake. A snake about the diameter of a pencil, and it may or may not have been alive.

I'm a bit scared about the workout next Sunday- 15 miles, 10 of which will be marathon pace. Since we did today's run around 9 minutes per mile, next Sunday will be at least 40 seconds faster per mile...

Here is our course and my stats for today:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New and Improved Pace Chart!

This morning I got my revised pace chart, which reflects last weekend's half marathon assessment. My new projected finish time for the marathon is 3:37:47, a 8:19 minute per mile pace. This is an improvement of over six minutes from the previous pace chart, and would qualify me for Boston if I achieve this time.

I am excited to try to qualify for Boston, and to have my pace chart actually tell me they think I should be able to achieve this goal. The fact that the pace for the marathon is about 30 seconds slower than the half seems good, as long as I can stick to the pace and not try to go out faster.

We have a marathon pace workout at the Clarksburg Half Marathon in November, so I will be using that race to test running my goal pace in a race environment. I'm so excited!

Wednesday Speed!

I went to the weekly speed workout excited, and wasn't phased when the workout was announced: 2 minutes on, 30 seconds off, for three miles in the middle of a six mile run.

We finished our warm up mile and a half, and two of my running group asked what our pace was going to be. For the first time, I actually ran in front and paced the group. It was a very strange experience, but a good one. We stayed between 7:20 and 7:40 for the most part during the speed sections, and not above 8:30 or so for the recovery. It was difficult toward the end, but I felt great. I never feel great during the speed workouts, but I did yesterday.

I think my performance on the half marathon is motivating me to do better in my workouts. I am really excited to run!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Recovery run

I never run the day after a race. Or, I never have before this week. My training schedule told me to keep up with my usual Monday-Wednesday-Friday routine, even after the half marathon on Sunday. Since I am in the training program so someone else can tell me how to train, I decided to abandon my no-running-after-a-race habit and run on Monday.

I set out at 6:20 AM for a six mile run, cutting my usual seven mile course short. I ran maybe a mile before my legs really got tired. I guess going all-out for 13.1 miles less than 24 hours before will do that. I got through the first two miles mostly running under 10 minute miles, but walking a bit. I slogged through the two miles back from the end of Stonegate the same way.

So I finished four miles (of a prescribed six mile run) in 45 minutes. Not too bad for the day after a race. Not what I wanted (since I want to do all my miles), but not so bad that I feel I have miles to make up.

Hopefully my legs feel more rested for my group speed workout tomorrow.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week Nine Summary

Nine weeks complete, and a half marathon PR to boot! Here are my stats for the week:

Miles run this week: 27
Total marathon training miles: 172
Total Miles in 2010: 474

Urban Cow Half Marthon!

Our Sunday long run this morning was assessment number two- the Urban Cow Half Marathon. After we did our initial assessment, the coaches gave us expected finish times and paces for all race distances. Mine was 1:46 for a half marathon, about 8:10 per mile. That would be a five minute PR for me, but I thought I could do a bit better. I've been training faster than my pace sheet they gave me, and I wanted to go for 1:45. So I decided that I would try to beat or at least keep a 8 minute per mile pace.

I set my Garmin "virtual partner" for the 8 minute pace, so I could check how far ahead/behind I was. The Garmin is fantastic. I set two of the training screen to show me the current pace, time elapsed, distance, average pace, last lap time, and lap pace. Lots of useful information to keep me on track!

I started out a but in front of the 1:45 pace group. I did the first two miles around 7:50, and worried that I was going a bit too fast. But I felt great, so I kept going. I sped up a bit for the next two miles, because the 1:45 pace group was next to me. They were going about a minute ahead of the speed they should have been going, and it bugged me, so I sped up. I did 7:40 to 7:45 for the next three miles, and still felt great. Gu around mile 4, and water at the aid stations at mile 2 and 4.

Miles 6 and 7 I kept about a 7:50, then slowed a bit for the next two miles, to about 7:56. Mile 10 was a slow one, and the only one over 8:00- we ran this mile on the levee, and there was a headwind. I had a Gu around this time, and Cytomax at the remaining aid stations (every even mile).

Around mile 11 I started to feel tired, especially in the legs. But I didn't let it get to me because I was doing so well. I have never felt better during a half marathon- or any other distance for that matter. The training is really paying off. I didn't feel really tired until well into the last two miles, and by then I had enough left in the tank to speed up still.

I think without the Garmin I would have slowed down for the last two miles. I was tired, and it is really easy to slow down without noticing. I did a few times, but I checked the Garmin frequently to make sure I was on pace. The last three miles I kept between 7:55 and 7:58, and I really sped up at the half mile from finish sign. My pace for the final segment (0.1) was under 7:00 per mile.

The best part of the race- aside from how great I felt- was seeing John at the finish! It was really nice to have him there. I'm always excited at the end of a race, but it isn't as fun without someone to share it with.

Here is my Garmin summary of the race:

By the way, my time was 1:43:13. This is a PR of over 8 minutes. My overall pace was 7:51 minutes per mile.

My 10k time was 48:13, a PR of 1 minute and 20 seconds. my 10 mile time was 1:18:23, a PR of 5 minutes and 20 seconds. My 5k time was probably a PR also, but the Garmin didn't make a datapoint at 3.1 miles.

Saturday, October 2, 2010