Tuesday, May 21, 2019

One More Gear

It's cut back week over here, so today's track workout was a luxurious six miles, just a handful of 400m's at increasingly faster paces to work on turnover and I guess the neuromuscular stuff:

    1.5 warm up

    2 x 400m @ 10K pace / 1:00 jog
    400m jog
    2 x 400m @ 5K pace / 1:00 jog
    400m jog
    2 x 400m @ 3K pace / 1:00 jog
    400m jog
    2 x 400m @ mile race pace

    1.5 cool down

Really, not bad at all. A quarter mile at 5 or 10K pace is not a big deal. 3K pace is pretty fast but still shouldn't be TOO awful for just a 400m. But man, I'd be lying if part of me wasn't a *little* nervous about those last two 400ms.

I haven't raced a mile all-out since high school but, extrapolating a bit, my (very) theoretical mile race pace is probably somewhere in 6:10ish range. AKA, a pace I haven't seen in my workouts in quite a while. Every now and then 300m repeats show up at 6:11-6:14ish, and on a good day my 200m repeats are usually in the low 0:40s / ~5:30ish pace, but what I'm saying is IT'S BEEN A WHILE and I was curious what it would feel like (if it were even possible).

I became even more curious when I found myself struggling more than I would have expected to run even a 400m at 10K pace. I mean, like, I could do it, but part of me was definitely going, "Wow, I feel like this should be easy and it is definitely kind of work, I am so confused." I also kind of felt like I wasn't even sure I could run any faster than 10K pace that day for whatever reason, but hey, I was there to try, so.

And, funny thing, if this workout had a theme, that theme was called, "Surprise! You always have just one more gear." After the two 10K pace laps (7:01 & 7:03 pace, OK FINE NOT 10K PACE), I hit the 5K pace laps just fine (6:50 & 6:45 pace) but definitely was thinking "Well, that's it; no way I can run any faster than that." Yet a 400m jog later, I hit those two laps at 6:31 & 6:28 pace. "OK fine, but that was *definitely* the top speed I'm capable of today," I thought, before running the last two at 6:10 and 6:02 (!) pace.

Honestly, at the beginning I was thinking that if somehow magic happened, *maybe* I'd eek out a couple of 6:15 pace laps.

So, yeah. Apparently there's always one more gear, so don't count yourself out til you're out.

"What just happened. You know what, who even cares, someone just get me some better sunglasses."

Monday, May 20, 2019

W2W Week 3 of 13: Do People Still Wear Newtons?

This was a tough week for us for reasons I won't go into detail about; just, know that things were very hard for a few days and I missed one of my easy runs. Otherwise it was a solid training week, though, and one of the nice things about running is that it can serve as reasonably effective therapy in the immediate wake of a tragedy.


In other news, I switched into a new pair of long run shoes. The background is, for anything over about 12 miles I prefer something with a little more cushion like a Brooks Launch or Saucony Kinvara (as opposed to say my Altras or Brooks Pure Drifts), but I also find that for me, once a pair reaches about 200 miles they're not as comfortable for long runs anymore.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

W2W Week 2 of 13: First Pancake Workouts

So here we are in week 2 of 13 and my body is like

For most of March & April it was a few easy miles here & there, karate when I felt like it & wasn't too busy with work (read: almost never), & I hadn't touched a dumbbell since nigh on February (maybe? Let's go with February). Now here we are in Week 2 & it's back to semi-real mileage, karate twice a week, & regular weight training, & my body has no idea what is going on.

Monday, May 6, 2019

W2W Week 1 of 13: Training Cycle Reboot

Okay, universe....let's try this again.

To recap: I am definitely going to run an 8K in SF in a month, and I am definitely going to run Wharf 2 Wharf 6-miler in 2.5ish months. If I can manage to actually-for-real train between now and then, so much the better!

After a pretty packed and stressful late winter/early spring, my days have freed up a bit latelt, my weekend travel commitments have abated, and I have been in SUCH a better place psychologically now that there is more light and warmer weather and it's not pouring rain every day. A girl could actually-maybe enjoy getting a workout done in this?

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Off to the Races

HEY HEY! Me again.

Let's get the preliminaries out of the way. I am a) still running, and b) still blogging. (At least, when time allows.) Since Hellyer 5K the rule has been "do some running when possible, if you feel like it," with the intent of following a real training plan starting in May. My next goal race is Wharf to Wharf 6 miler, and while my original goal of finishing in the top 100 women is almost certainly out the window, I am still planning to train hard (read: whatever life & work allows) & do my best.

(I mean, like. It *could* feasibly still happen, but going by recent years' results, I'd have to have one HELL of a three-month training cycle with no interruptions & basically turn my recent best 5K pace into my 6-mile pace, and then I MIGHT squeak into spot 100. So. Not impossible, but if I were you I reaaaaalllllly would not put money on it!)

From a running perspective, April really was lovely. All in all I wrapped up the month with 120 mellow miles, no workouts and nothing over 10 miles, just a bit of easy jogging here & there to keep the cobwebs clear. Sure, there were days when I would have preferred to get a few miles in & didn't; such is life. There was also a lot of travel, especially on the weekends, and although I did get a little running in in exotic locales, I didn't push it. The weather has been beautiful and I am digging on the extra daylight both in the morning & evening.

Monday, April 15, 2019

My First Boston-niversary

Ah! Boston! I have been reading the interwebs & it seems that on Boston Marathon day, all running bloggers and/or social media runners are REQUIRED BY CUSTOM to post Boston Marathon related photos if they have them. #tbm #orsomething

This is the first Marathon Monday that I've had anything to contribute so please enjoy some of the insanity if you missed it the first time around (or even if you didn't):

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Race Report: Hellyer 5K

If you caught this post, you know I've been feeling overwhelmed at work and also a bit burned out on running and especially hard training lately, so I've been giving myself a little break from the pressure of sticking to a training plan. I decided not to run Stowe Lake since I am now in terrible (or at least far from great) shape and had not actually registered for it yet. However, since I'd paid for this race and it was just a low-key community 5K, I decided to go ahead and do it.

Originally this was supposed to be an all-out race pace effort, sort of a dress rehearsal for Stowe Lake in two weeks. But given the burnout situation I told myself that the point was now just to have fun and enjoy running (remember how you LIKE running and it's actually FUN when you don't put tons of pressure on yourself???). All I had to do was show up, run whatever pace felt good, and if it was slow and bad, oh well, at least I got out of the house & got a workout in and an Alice in Wonderland medal & had fun.

(Now, here is some honest talk that I don't know how I feel about. I think I've always placed in my age group at Brazen 10Ks and sometimes been top three overall, but I took a peek at last year's Hellyer 5K results and, based on the times, saw that if I ran it with any amount of speed, even way off my recent 5K times, I actually had a shot at winning overall. And I would be lying a little bit if I didn't think to myself, "You know, San Jose is a long way to go for a 5K, but if you have a chance at actually winning..."