Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekly Summary

Monday: off
Tuesday: 7 with Buffalo Chips: warm, 3x2k at half marathon pace with 1k jog, cool
Wednesday: off
Thursday: 7 in the 20mph wind around the neighborhood
Friday: off
Saturday: Hilly 18 from Beals Point
Sunday: 10 with FF group

Miles this week: 42
Miles in 2012:  243

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekly Summary

This week went pretty well. I'm feeling good, a bit lazy, but good. John is still having IT band issues, so he isn't running at all. I hope he feels better soon.

Monday: off
Tuesday: 7 with Buffalo Chips: warm, strides, 12x200 with 200 jog, 1 mile at MP, cool
Wednesday: strength circuit
Thursday: 8 on the Parkway from H Street
Friday: off
Saturday: off
Sunday: 14 miles- 4 before FF group, 10 with

Miles this week: 29
Miles in 2012: 201

Monday, February 13, 2012

Race Report: Valentine Run

Ah, the Valentine Run. A nice, 4 mile race in an out-of-the-way corner of Sacramento County, all to benefit our friends at Legal Services. This race clashes somewhat with my marathon training, but I went anyway to help raise funds for LSNC and represent the Buffalo Chips in a local race.

Since I am more accustomed to longer-distance races (I hardly did anything less than a half last year), I find it challenging to set goals for a 4 mile race. My last 5k was last June, and I did it in 7:20 per mile. I'm speed training now (wasn't then), so I should be faster, even over the longer distance. Accordingly, I decided to go for about 7:15 per mile, or under 29 minutes.

I started out well, hitting 7:08 and 7:09 for the first two. I was struggling, but keeping up. I did the third mile in 7:19, but picked it back up for a while at around 7:10. I even saw on my Garmin that I hit a bit more than 5k (3.17) in a bit under my current 5k PR (22:40), so that was a bonus.


The dreaded right-side cramp. I've been having these pains under my right lower ribs since our mile repeats at Chips two Tuesdays ago. Maybe I pulled something? This could have also been a cramp from not breathing correctly, due to over-exertion. Either way, for the last half mile, I was struggling to breathe. I slowed down. That mile took 7:35 overall.

Overall, I'm happy with my 29:20 finish. It is at my 7:20 pace from my 5k PR, which bodes well for my next 5k. I would have liked to stick with 7:10 to 7:15, but it didn't happen. It wouldn't have been good enough for 3rd in my age group anyway (that person came in just under 7:10 average, I think). Fourth in my age group is good enough.

Weekly Summary

I took an easy week this week. John and I were both too tired on Tuesday to do the speed work out at Chips, which was not surprising considering our efforts in the half two days before. I took my Thursday medium run off due to what might be a cold, or maybe allergies? We did the Valentine Race Saturday, then went out to do 18 Sunday. We did a quick 4 before the group started, then John had trouble and turned back about 3.5 into the group run (which would have been 14). I ended up doing 10 with the group, and calling it a day.

Monday: off
Tuesday: 4 miles, Buffalo Chips speed workout (warm, strides, 2x1000 w/400 jog, cool). We quit after 2 of the 5 reps- too tired from the Davis Stampede.
Wednesday: off
Thursday: off
Friday: off
Saturday: Valentine Run- 4 mile race
Sunday: 14 miles- 4 before FF groug, 10 with

Miles this week: 22
Miles in 2012: 172

Friday, February 10, 2012

Multiple Marathoning

Between now and August, John and I are planning to do two marathons. We have a decent 18 weeks between them, but will be filling that time with shorter distance races. After August, we've been throwing around the idea of running CIM, because it is the local race and it will be the 30th anniversary event. We've also talked about a fall marathon, perhaps Portland. Every time we have these exciting conversations, I think to myself that I'm likely to over-do it if I'm not careful.

I was intrigued to see a Runner's World blog post this morning on racing in multiple marathons. The subject of the post is multiple marathons close together in time, which is what we seem to be flirting with. In it, the blogger discusses treating the sequential races as one race in several parts, and outline strategies for rest, recovery, and maintenance after the first race is completed.

We have our first marathon of the year (and John's first, ever), in just over a month. After that, when we start to plan our training for marathon number two in 2012, I'll think about what we could do to enable ourselves to do both a fall marathon and CIM. We'll see.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Race Report: Davis Stampede

The Course
Last year, I did the half marathon at the Davis Stampede, and thoroughly disliked the course. While much of it wound through the Davis Greenbelt, a good portion followed the freeway, which meant less than ideal scenery and no wind (or sun) protection during the race. Because the date makes sense in my training, I signed up to try again this year.

Lucky for me, the Davis Stampede offered a new course for its' 30th anniversary run. The course started out the same, going east out of downtown Davis along 2nd Street, veering sharply to go into the northern neighborhoods. This year, runners enjoyed a more meandering tour of the north east side of Davis, going through a park and neighborhoods, then around the Wildhorse Golf Course. I could gripe about the gravel trail (I prefer paved ground for a road race), but I'll let it be.

Back south through Mace Ranch Park, the course crosses I-80 after the nine mile mark this year, when it previously covered this landmark much earlier. A quick jaunt through Willow Creek Park, and the course goes onto the Greenbelt, enjoying its' scenery (and some underpass hills) until it hits Research Park Drive around 11.5 miles. Then, it is a quick sprint by the Commons, skirting the University, and on to the finish line.

The new course is a big improvement on the previous course. I would still prefer not to go over the killer pedestrian overpass, but otherwise the course is relatively flat. The course support is decent, though the race does suffer from the common ailment of high schooler-staffed aid stations- inattentive beverage handlers all having the same drink or not paying attention to passing runners. I'd recommend it as a first of the season half marathon, or a marathon tune up run.

My Race
Now that I've given my two cents on the course, what do I have to say about my race performance? Well, I had a fantastic race, to be honest. I have struggled for the past year to live up to my 1:43:16 PR at the 2010 Urban Cow, and had started to think the race was a fluke and I wouldn't make it to that speed again. I hadn't even made it under 1:45 since that race, with my 1:46 at the 2011 Davis Stampede being the closest.

My lack of achievement in the past year was due to several factors. When I ran the Urban Cow in 2010, I had recently started speed training with my Fleet Feet CIM group, and reaped the reward at that race. After CIM, I slacked a bit. I went to Buffalo Chips workouts leading up to the Napa Marathon, but didn't stick with it for long. Then I tried to go for 1:40 at Urban Cow this year, burned out and got a 1:49.

Coming in to the Davis Stampede, I wanted to get back under 1:45. I've been diligently doing speedwork with the Chips on Tuesdays for months, though I have been a bit slow on my long runs until a few weeks ago. I figured I could do 1:45, so I started out with a goal of running miles between 7:40 (a bit over 1:40 pace) and 8:00 (1:45 pace).

I ran the first five miles between 7:43 and 7:46. Then came the gravel (I think), and I slowed a bit to 7:53 to 7:54 for miles six through eight. On mile nine I did 7:57, and during 10 I crossed the pedestrian overpass, slowing me to 8:05. I struggled to stay on target for a bit, going from 7:56 on mile 11, to 8:02 for mile 12. Then, for mile 13 I got back down to 7:44, and sprinted to the finish at a 6:32 average for the final 0.1.

Throughout the race, I was behind the 1:40 pace group, but far ahead of the 1:45. I felt strong, though I did struggle a bit after about halfway through. I was mostly able to keep on pace, though I did run a positive split for the last half.

I experienced something during this race that I rarely experience. In the last four or five miles, I actually passed  quite a few people. Usually, I am the one getting passed while I curse myself for going out too fast. Sure, I was still passed by maybe five people during that time, but that is a huge improvement over previous performances.

Overall, I am so happy to have been able to sprint to the finish with all I had left, and PR by 45 seconds!

My new half marathon PR: 1:42:31!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Weekly Summary

This week, I did a decent job with my running and eating while away in San Diego for a conference. I walked about 4 miles or so sightseeing at Balboa Park, then ran 5 miles along the harbor on Harbor Island. Beautiful!

I felt some weird pains, which I attributed to too much lunch, but I think may have had more to do with the all-out Chips speed workout on Tuesday. 

I ran again on Harbor Island on Friday, just a quick 3 since I was feeling a few weird pains.

Today, John and I both did the Davis Stampede Half Marathon. More on that in another post later.

Monday: off
Tuesday: 7miles, Buffalo Chips speed workout (warm, strides, 4x mile at half marathon pace w/400 jog, cool). This was more like 5k pace for me (7:15 or so), but who's counting.
Wednesday: 5 miles on Harbor Island
Thursday: off
Friday: 3 miles on Harbor Island
Saturday: off
Sunday: Davis Stampede Half Marathon

Miles this week: 28
Miles in 2012: 150

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hello San Diego!

I had the great pleasure of visiting Balboa Park this afternoon. I walked around the park, seeing sculptures, fancy buildings, and then took the full bus tour of the park. I must have walked four miles with getting to and from the bus to get there!

After, I went for an easy five mile run along Harbor Island, overlooking the bat and Coronado. My knee hurt and my large lunch was a bit unsettled, but it was beautiful.

Day one of this conference is a success!