5 Weeks to Oakland Half Marathon
Grand Total: 34.2 miles
* 19.5 easy
* 4 speed work
* 4.5 HM pace
* 6.2 race (10K)
Monday: 7 miles easy + karate + (mini) strength work. One of the biggest obstacles for me when it comes to getting out the door for my runs is the monotonous nature of the scenery. When you take into account traffic, lights, pedestrians, giant hills, etc., reasonable running in SF can be scarce, particularly if I just want to put on my shoes & run out the door (vs. driving to GG Park or the Embarcadero). I had a meeting at Stanford Monday, and although I've thought several times about going for a run when I'm down there, this was the first time this year it's actually worked out.
I ran most of the campus loop twice (skipping the section on Junipero Serra), one of my regular routes from my student days. It was SO refreshing to have some variety! Hopefully I'll be able to do this more often.
Tuesday: 2 wu + 5 x .8 mi @ (fastish????) pace, 2 mt recovery + 3 easy = 9 total. I left the house thinking I was supposed to run at 10K pace minus 10-12 seconds per mile, but when I got to the track I was like, "Wait. Was it 10K pace? But .8 mi seems too short for 10K pace repeats. Should I just do, like, 5K pace?"
Racked by indecision, I just kind of started running at a fast-ish pace & figured I'd try to split the difference. (This might be one of those situations where you try to do a little bit of two different things and actually end up not doing anything useful at all.) My .8 mi splits went 5:43, 5:41, 5:40, 5:39, 5:34 (or 7:09, 7:07, 7:06, 7:04, 6:58 in pace terms). So I guess I started out closer to 10K pace & then ended up closer to 5K pace. These felt really easy, even with longer intervals & less recovery time than I'm used to (when I do 5:00 intervals at 5K pace I usually take 3 minutes). Also, no soreness in the balls of my feet! YAY. (If you are like Don, you are probably snickering at the phrase 'balls of feet.' That one never gets old.)
Unfortunately, the easy three down MLK Drive afterward kind of sucked & some of the ball-of-foot pain came back. Hindsight suggests that running on the track after noticing this type of pain was #smart and taking it to the concrete after was #dumb. In an effort to be #smart, I decided to do the rest of my runs for the week on the track (even if the monotony killed me).
(Also, I got home & checked & it was supposed to be 10K pace. Oops.)
Wednesday: No running; karate + strength work.
Thursday: 2 easy + 3 x 1.5 @ HM pace, 2 mt recovery = 6.5. Trying very hard to stick to my resolution to run half marathon (goal) pace miles every week. Each week, I try to increase either the length or number of intervals. For the past two weeks I've run 3 x 1 mile, so today either 3 x 1.5 or 4 x 1 would've worked. I know these are important runs for me because I'm scared of them and also a little intimidated by the fitness I've lost around this pace, but I can't ever afford to let that stop me from doing them. So the protocol has become 1) gradually increase number/length of intervals, 2) shoot for < 7:40 pace with 7/10 effort, & 3) if that doesn't work, do as much as I can at that pace & effort, then finish the scheduled intervals at 7/10 effort at whatever pace I can. It was hot and windy today, so I was really pleased to be able to finish all 3 at 7:39, 7:37, & 7:35 at what I *think* is about the right level of effort. The challenge now is getting strong enough to do that for 13.1 miles. Right now I think I could probably run 8:00-8:10's & I'll be happy if by Oakland Half I can run 7:59s (which would still be a PR!).
Friday: No running; rest up for Bay Breeze 10K.
Saturday: 1.5 easy + 6.2 race = 7.7 total. A great race and a shockingly good time, given only seven weeks of running since my month of post-CIM sloth! Good enough for 3rd in A/G, even. Kind of hard to complain about that. :) (Race report soon.)
The ball of my left foot has been bugging me on and off since I started running again in January, and in the last week or two it's been especially bad. I did most of my running this week on the track for that reason, knowing I'd be running on pavement Saturday, which helped, and it was also for that reason that I decided to race in my big cushy Adrenalines rather than my flats. Still, within ten minutes of finishing I couldn't really put any weight on that foot at all. It got a little better over the course of the day (though, to be honest, I was probably on it for the rest of the day more than I should have been), but if it's not a LOT better within a few days, I'm probably going back to the podiatrist. Also, my right Achilles bugged me pretty much the whole way. Not really sure what's up with that.
Sunday: 4 easy. Sunday was two firsts for me. 1) As far as I can remember, going back even to high school, I've never run the day after a race, and 2) I've never literally "run" an errand. I'd added some miles to this week to make up for the bustedness of last week a little, including a short recovery run the day after the 10K. Long story short, I hadn't slept well for the last two nights & was still feeling a little sore / blah-ish after the race & very nearly just called it a rest day. Then I remembered that I had a close-by errand I needed to run & that I really, really didn't want to risk losing my parking spot (parking SUCKS around here on weekends), so I decided to just try & jog it.
Bodies are funny things. I've had so many sucky runs two days post-race, including a rest day, where my legs have felt like lead and my cardiovascular system like that of an emphysema patient. This run, on the other hand, felt ridiculously easy. I floated effortlessly to my destination & back, then decided to go just a bit farther to make it a nice even 4 round trip. Why can't ALL post-race runs be this awesome?
Overall, a pretty encouraging week. For the next few, my focus will be continuing to build mileage & getting in those half marathon (goal) pace miles. :D