4 Weeks to Oakland Half Marathon
Good morning/afternoon/evening! (It is morning for me.) I have been in Tahoe for the last three days, without my computer. And let me just tell you how lovely it was to go 72 full hours (a little more, actually, now that I think about it) without once looking at email, Facebook, Google Reader, the blog, etc. etc. A girl could get used to that.
(Well....for a little while.)
I'm not even going to try to catch up, so if something momentous happened in your life between Friday afternoon & now & we don't see each other IRL (that means "in real life"), I probably didn't hear about it.
But I should catch up on this. Without further ado, eh?
Grand Total: 32 miles
* 23 easy
* 3 speed work
* 6 HM pace
Not ideal, but okay under the circumstances. I'm a little bit annoyed that I haven't been able to get a long run in in three weeks, for reasons various & sundry. With the exception of the week when I was working all weekend, my February mileage has been okay, but still short of the consistent 40 / week average that's been my goal, and the missing long runs have been the main reason why.
Monday: Complete rest.
Tuesday: Strength work + 2 wu + 3 x 2 mi @ HM pace, 2 mt recovery = 8 total. This day was scheduled for some really FAST speed work, but post-race weekend I decided it was better to put that off & ease into the week. HM pace miles are not easy, but I figured my body would probably deal with that a little better right now. Keeping up the pace, which is good.
Wednesday: Karate + strength work. I'd originally also scheduled to run an easy 8 as well, but something very strange & concerning was going on with my left knee. I had a sharp stabbing pain inside of it for most of the morning, and then at several points in the day I would take a step with my left leg and feel my knee start to collapse as I went to put weight on it. This happened a few times toward the end of CIM, and I had some dull, aching pain in that knee for the rest of the December (when I wasn't running at all), but this is the first time it's come up in 2012. I hate skipping a run when I'm actually feeling pretty good and motivated, but when even a few easy strides down the hallway didn't feel right, skipping it seemed like a better idea. (We were also having a previous sensei back for karate that night, and I didn't want to be too broken to participate.)
Thursday: 2 wu + 6 x 800 @ 5K pace minus 10-12 sec/mile + 4 easy = 9. So I don't actually even know what my 5K pace is right now, let alone 10-12 seconds faster than that. I kind of thought, "Oh, 7:00 / mile sounds about right. Sooooo...6:50? 6:48?" I had no idea what that pace felt like running, but it sounded, you know, fast, so I kind of just started running fast. (I had my Garmin set to auto lap each .25 mile & show me average lap pace -- with paces I (should) know I've been trying to get away from relying on it so much, but for this I figured it was okay.)
I basically went into it shooting for 800s in the 3:24-5ish range.
Riiiight. (3:21 & 3:24 may not sound all that different, but remember that that's a 6:42 mile vs a 6:48 mile over a very short distance, and six seconds per mile is the difference between a 20:46 5K and a 21:04 5K.) Still, this pace actually felt pretty reasonable for what I was doing -- not easy, but not exhausting, even sticking to the prescribed 2 minutes of rest in between, and I finished feeling like I had maybe a couple more left in me.
I consulted Coach McMillan when I got home, & according to him, my recent 44:49 10K predicts a 6:57 / mile 5K pace. So realistically, my target for these guys should've been 6:45-7, or 3:22-4ish per 800, so I wasn't actually that far off.
Friday: 8 "easy." Knowing I'd be in Tahoe all weekend and unlikely to get my scheduled 13 miler in on Sunday, I figured Friday was a good day to do it. But no. This was one of those days when, for whatever reason, I just physically felt like shit. Really bad shin splints. Bad pain in the ball of my left foot. Exhausted after 2 miles. Nausea. Weird chest pain. The running commentary in my brain went something like, "Okay, twelve. Twelve miles. Twelve is doable. Or ten. Nice ten mile loop. Am I going to vomit? I think I might vomit. Okay, just get to three. Three and turn around. Six is okay. Alright, three down. This isn't so bad! Maybe we can get to four and turn around? A solid eight? Maybe by the time we get to four, the ten mile loop will seem pretty doable? Yay, four down! OhgodohgodI'mgoingtodie." So I turned around at four and by 4.5 I legitimately felt as if I couldn't keep my legs moving forward. I felt sick. I had chest pain. If I'd been on a treadmill I would've quit then. But, since home was still 3.5 miles away, I ended up with eight. Eight bitter, painful miles.
Saturday: Skiing / "rest." I left Saturday open for an apres-ski run if I felt like it but didn't specifically plan anything. Which was good, since I was having ski boot issues in addition to the foot pain issues I've been dealing with for several weeks now. Post skiing, even just putting weight on my feet felt iffy, so rye & ginger in the hot tub it was.
Sunday: 7 miles easy. The snow was pretty shitty on Saturday so I skipped skiing altogether on Sunday & instead just went for a run. (Fortunately, shitty skiing conditions = sweet running conditions. The roads were bone-dry.) I didn't know the area very well & also didn't know what my busted-ass feet were going to feel like, so I figured I'd just run until I got to 13 miles or it started seeming like a bad idea to keep going. My feet started to give out at around six & change, so I called it good (or at least adequate) at seven.
I did not choose to run ridiculous hills that day, but ridiculous hills was what there were, so I did. And by the way, if you've never run ridiculous hills at altitude, you should give it a try sometime. Part of me really wants to believe that it provides a little extra cardiovascular benefit per mile than running flat/moderate hills at sea level, ie, so that 1 hilly mile at altitude = 1.2 reasonably miles at sea level or some such. Alas, I can find nothing on the interwebz to support this hypothesis. :P