This week in "Breathtaking Places to Run in San Francisco": Ocean Beach
On Sunday I needed to run 16-17 miles. Considering that I didn't run my scheduled 15 last Sunday, I decided that 16 was plenty to be getting on with.
Some things I have learned about myself over the years are that 1) I don't like running in the morning, 2) I hate long runs, and 3) I am really, REALLY good at procrastinating. Basically what this means is that I often have to trick or goad myself into getting the long runs done. One of the best tricks I know is committing to run with another person at a specific time, so I made a date to run with Kimra that morning around 7:30. (This was also awesome because I've been reading her blog for a while now but never actually met her. So yay!)
Despite the fact that I was at a ridiculous dinner party Saturday night & didn't get in bed until 12:30, I woke up at 7 feeling surprisingly alert and rested. Which lasted right up until I left the house & started jogging towards Kimra's place. My legs felt totally dead and incapable of holding anything like good form. After a rather trying 9:49 first mile, I was not certain how I was going to make it to 16, but I was pretty sure I could get to Kimra's plus the eight or so that she was planning on. So I figured I'd just focus on that for a while. (Another good trick I've learned for when I feel shitty at the start of a run is to say, Why don't you just run x miles & we'll re-evaluate then. By the time I get to mile x, I usually feel a lot better & have no problem finishing the rest.)
We ran through Golden Gate Park down to Ocean Beach, chatting about the intricacies of San Francisco real estate & tenant law & the challenges of international racing. (She's running the Berlin Marathon this Sunday.) This was one of those runs where the miles just seemed to tick away without my even noticing. Every time my Garmin beeped, I was like, "Already? Didn't we just finish a mile?" By the time we were on our way back through the park uphill, my legs had warmed up and I was feeling as if I could've run for miles and miles. I couldn't believe I was already over halfway done.
When Kimra hit her eight I dropped her off at a Muni stop and headed back towards home, throwing in one more short loop of the east end of the park. My legs still felt good, so I decided to experiment with a few miles at what I am kinda-sorta-vaguely trying to halfway convince myself should be my marathon goal pace.
While yes, it took effort, and I was kind of tired, I was still pretty surprised at how (relatively) easy it was to hold that pace. I'm not 100% positive I could've done it for 10 more miles, but it still felt really good to get a feel for that pace on tired(ish) legs.
Sunday's long run topped off a fantastic week, running wise:
Grand Total: 40.8 miles
- * 35.3 easy
* 4 tempo
* 1.5 speed
Monday: 5 easy. This run was not planned, but after not getting to run the previous Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, I really needed to get a few in for the sake of
the safety & well-being of those around me my mental health.
Tuesday: Track workout - 6 x 400m repeats w/ 1:40 jog recovery (5.5 including warm up & cool down). A little embarrassing, perhaps, but done, consistent, and even slightly under pace.
Wednesday: Went to another karate testing, but was kind of feeling sick at my stomach so didn't actually participate. So for all intents & purposes this ended up being a rest day.
Thursday: 6.3 easy. Five on the schedule, but I felt good & wanted to take a crack at my usual loop to the Panhandle & back. Again, not feeling epically trashed after = a good run.
Friday: 2 wu + 2 @ 7:30, 2:00 jog recovery, 2 @ 7:30 + 1.8 cd = 8 total. Given how I've been feeling lately, I was just happy to get all the miles in & hit the right paces. No, those 7:30s don't feel as easy as they should yet, but they didn't kill me either, and my legs held up through the whole run & I didn't feel like death after, so win.
Saturday: Five easy scheduled, but my hip flexor was feeling a bit tweaky & I really didn't want to risk aggravating it before my long run. Since I'd banked an unscheduled easy five on Monday, I called this a fair trade.
Sunday: 16 long.
And week 5 is already moving right along. I wasn't sore on Monday despite Sunday being the farthest I've run since CIM '11, but my lower legs have been kind of achey, so I'm trying to just be kind to them & not demand too much as I'm getting back into "serious" (for me) mileage, outside of running & karate.