Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Last Week of Workouts (Week 18 Summary)

Tuesday, I ran with the trusty Buffalo Chips. Our workout was 15 min easy, 4 x 20 sec strides, 8 x 300 min fast/1 min easy, 15 min slow jog to cooldown.

Thursday, John and I ran 3 miles slow down Stonegate, after a large pasta dinner.

Friday, John and I ran 3 miles slow down Stonegate, before breakfast. Only one person tried to run us over!

Saturday, I'll practice sitting on my butt and watching TV/reading, in anticipation of Sunday afternoon's grueling program of recovery.

Before CIM, here are my totals:
Miles this week: 10
Miles in 2011: 957 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Begin the Carb-Load: Apple Hill

John and I took a trip up to Apple Hill yesterday, and unofficially began my carb-loading for CIM. Now, we didn't plan the trip for this purpose, but it worked out very well.

We started with an 11AM stop at Boeger Winery. Tasty wines created warm holiday cheer, and we even bought some to enjoy after our pre-race alcohol fast ends.

Next, we stopped at Abel's Apple Acres, a huge facility featuring fresh-baked apple treats (pie, turnovers, fritters, etc.), apple products (jams, sauces, butter, etc.), as well as crafty gift shopping and a barbeque stand for lunch. They had pony rides and games for the little ones as well. We started our day of sugar carb-loading with a fritter and a slice of strudel. Delicious!

Next, it was on to the highly-acclaimed Fudge Factory Farm, amidst the many attractions of High Hill: more apple and apple-product vendors, apple wine and beer, crafts, and even a fishing hole! We had some tasty fudge (double chocolate and mocha cappuchino), as well as an apple donut. Yum times two!

Our next stop was for lunch, and a cold brewed beverage at the Jack Russell Brewing Company. We shared a tri-tip sandwich, and each had a pint (IPA for me, Scottish Ale for John) and a 4 ounce sample (Blueberry Ale for me, Belgifornia for John). The Brewery has a nice outdoor seating area and a fresh kettle corn vendor (too bad we ran out of cash before I bought some).

We stopped by Denver Dan's to pet the Alpacas (yes, really), then made our last stop at Grandpa's Cellar for a slice of apple pie to share, and the obligatory purchase of apple-products.

I was so stuffed full of sweets that I had trouble eating dinner (well, almost), and had a bit of a rough time on the first few miles of our run this morning. But the trip was great! Apple Hill was beautiful, and the goods were tasty. I will be glad to go back next year!

My next carb-loading splurge may just be this:
Photo credit: IcingOnTheCupcake.com

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Week 17 Summary

Monday: off
Tuesday: 6+ with Buffalo Chips (strides, 2x1000 hard, 2 miles MP)
Wednesday: off
Thursday: 4 on Stonegate with John (pre-eating, of course)
Friday: 5 fast on Stonegate
Saturday: off
Sunday: 7 with the Fleet Feet Group

Miles this week: 22
Miles in 2011: 947        

I have one week to go until CIM, and I think I'm getting excited. I bought my race-day Gu and Gu Chomps today, and I think I have my outfit picked out!

I'll miss 1000 miles completed for the year pre-CIM, but I'll get that done by the Sunday after the race.


I'm officially in full-taper-mode, but for some reason, I just feel like I'm taking a break from running. Sure, I went to Buffalo Chips yesterday and did six miles (strides, 2-1000s hard, and 2 miles at Marathon Pace), but with the shorter weekday runs, and very short "long" Sunday runs, I just feel like I'm not training.

I have almost forgotten that CIM is the Sunday after this one. Yikes! I have to remind myself of it constantly. Maybe it is my hectic schedule at work, or the fact that I'm not going for a PR this time, just trying to finish under four hours. I don't know what it is, but I am having trouble thinking of this as a taper- it feel more like a break.

In other news, I'm in full holiday baking mode. Good thing I have a carb-load week coming up!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hilarious Runner's World Cover!

I remember seeing an issue of Runner's World in Bookshop Santa Cruz in college. As a non-runner, I only noticed the magazine because Will Ferrell was on the cover. Looking ridiculous. I figured it must be a joke. I've been telling John about it for years, and finally saw it posted. I had to share:

Photo credit: Runner's World Training Daily Blog (http://trainingdaily.runnersworld.com)

Week 16 Summary: Begin the Taper

Monday: off
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: 3 on Stonegate with John
Thursday: off
Friday: 6 on Stonegate
Saturday: off
Sunday: 10 with Fleet Feet Group

Miles this week: 19
Miles in 2011: 925

The race is in two weeks!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Congratulations John!

The two of us before the race

My fantastic husband John finished his first half marathon at the Clarksburg Country Run on Sunday. He has been running longer than I have, but just started running regularly late last year. He has been sweet enough to accompany me on a few of my medium long runs this fall (including a 15 miler a month or so back), even though he wasn't training for a race himself.

John and I decided to do the Rome Marathon next March, so he had planned to do the Davis Stampede in February. After a weekend trail race he wanted to do filled up before he signed up, John decided to run Clarksburg on Thursday. Three days before the race!

All smiles before the race.
Of course, John runs a few times a week, placed in his last 5k, and is generally a fantastic athlete. But signing up for a half marathon on a whim is always a gamble. Knowing this, John set his sites low: finish under 2 hours.

I was thinking about John and his race during my 20 mile race, which started 25 minutes before his. I knew he would do well. After I crossed the finish line, I found out that he did better than well.

John, the overachiever, finished his first half marathon, without specifically training, in 1:43:08! That is a full 8 seconds faster than my PR! I'm so happy for him, and happy that now if I want to set a new PR, I just have to ask John to pace me.

Of course, I have to include a photo of what John looked like after the race:

Race Report: Clarksburg Country Run 20 Miler

Yesterday, I did my last 20 mile run of 2011 CIM training, and finished my first 20 mile race. It was the Clarksburg Country Run 20 Miler, and it went very well!

I started out a few days before the race, thinking about what my goals should be. I have been struggling a bit with my training this season, and didn't do as well in the Urban Cow half as I had wanted. My speed training hasn't been as solid as it was last year, and my long runs have been a bit more leisurely than they have been in the past. I decided that I should go for a pace at the Clarksburg run that would get me in at CIM in around my time for Napa: 8:58 per mile, or 3:55 for a full marathon.

I started the race with 8:58 per mile or better in mind. If course, at the start it was difficult to go that slowly. I was being passed left and right by people who started at the same place in the start, then sped up after a half mile or so. But that was fine. I kept my pace between 8:35 to 8:45 for the most part, careful not to go too fast, but not making myself stay to 8:58 exactly.

The first ten miles or so were easy. I enjoyed the scenery, and I was very comfortable. It was easy to keep the pace under 9, despite the fact that I've been trying for that in my 20s in previous weeks, and haven't been able to. I guess a race will do that. It was really nice to have a pace that was really comfortable, and that allowed me to stay solid. I wasn't struggling, or taking it easy.

Around the half marathon mark, I had to check my watch more often to stay on pace. A tailwind made it a bit more difficult to stay on target, but I managed. Around 15, the fun started. I started passing the folks who went out fast and were gradually slowing down. Unlike most of my races, I passed a good number of people, and only got passed by two people in the last few miles.

Adding to my solid last few miles, I had the unique pleasure and confidence booster of passing the back of the pack half-marathoners who were still on the course. Most were run-walking or running at a pretty slow pace. It is always nice to zoom past people.

I didn't keep my goal pace in miles 17 and 18, when my pace crept just above 9 minutes. The headwind was strong, and I think I kept the same level of effort but didn't manage to keep my speed consistent. I sped up in the last mile, and finished very strong.

I was a little sad that I came in 4th in my age group (20-29) by only 40 seconds. I think it was one of the two women who passed me in the last two miles. It is a bit of a consolation that if the age brackets had been in five year increments, I would have been 2nd in 25-29 (to the person who beat me by 40 seconds).

Overall, it was a great race. I ran my fist really consistent race ever, keeping my goal pace throughout. I think 8:58 or faster is a good goal for CIM, and it would put me in around 3:55. I think I have a plan!

Here are my Garmin results:

Detroit: A Surprisingly Beautiful Run

I was in Detroit for a conference last week, and had been apprehensive to run outside. Mostly, I was afraid it would be too cold. I was also worried that there wouldn't be anywhere good to run downtown near the hotel. My fears were unfounded.

Photo credit: Marriott.com
The Detroit Riverwalk is located directly outside the Renaissance Center, where I stayed. It goes about a half mile east, and 3 miles west down the Detroit River, which separates Detroit from Windsor, Canada. The Riverwalk is relatively new, well paved and lighted, and has plenty of amenities like benches, trash cans, and interactive signage. From a planning perspective, it is very well done.

From a running perspective, the Riverwalk is only slightly less spectacular. The Riverwalk doesn't go continuously west; in a few places, you have to go to the next street and back to the river. This is fine, but the first time I ran it is got a bit frustrating to go a quarter mile out to the water and then hit a dead end.

The weather was great- not any colder than it has been in Sacramento (maybe 40 degrees). On Tuesday, it was foggy and I couldn't see more than five feet across the water. I ran all the way to Belle Isle, a huge park in the middle of the river. The fog cleared by the time I got back to the hotel, and it was a nice view. Friday, I went out later, and had a great view the whole time.

Detroit, even in early November, gets an A+ as a running location!

Here is my long run on Garmin:

Week 15 Summary

Monday: travel day
Tuesday: 8 miles on Detroit waterfront
Wednesday: off
Thursday:5 miles on treadmill
Friday: 5 miles on Detroit waterfront
Saturday: off
Sunday: Clarksburg Country Run 20 miler- 2:55:59

Miles this week: 38
Miles in 2011: 906  

Now, time to taper! 3 weeks until CIM!

Time to retire my nasty shoes

After 500 miles, these shoes are toast!
I waited until after Clarksburg to retire my shoes, so I would have well under 100 miles on my new shoes when I run CIM. It was difficult to hold off on wearing the new shoes, because they have been in my closet for well over a month. The time has come, and now I get to break out my new shoes!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Week 14 Summary

Monday: plyometrics
Tuesday: 6 miles speedwork with the Chips
Wednesday: off
Thursday: off
Friday: 7 miles on the Parkway (from H Street Bridge)
Saturday: 20 miles on the Parkway starting at Howe
Sunday: 7 miles with Fleet Feet Group

Miles this week: 40
Miles in 2011: 868 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

So far this week...

...I've only run once!And it is already Thursday!

I did a great job last week of getting all my runs in. This week, I'm not off to a fantastic start, but I hope to make up for it.

I did go to Buffalo Chips on Tuesday, but was late and missed half the warmup (minus one mile from my total goal). I did the workout, and it left me exhausted, which is fantastic (see this post for why).

Here was the workout:  Tuesday Night Speedwork - Warm up 15 min, 3 x 400 hard (200 recovery), 3 min jog, [1 mile @ gmp, 800 @10k pace (2 min recovery)] x 2, cool down. 

I took yesterday off completely due to an early morning meeting and an evening event. This morning's early meeting prevented me from doing my customary Thursday AM run, and I doubt I'll have the energy for 8 after work. But, I have a half day tomorrow, so I should be able to get in a good quality medium long run after lunch!

This weekend, I plan to do my long run (20 miles) on Saturday, then a recovery run of 8 or so miles Sunday. Then I'll prepare for my week of running in Detroit!