Tuesday, October 9, 2012

CIM Week 6 of 14: In Which I Survive Event-ageddon

So in case you don't live here, this is what was happening in San Francisco this past weekend:

Local media christened this perfect storm of cultural/sports/badass plane events "Event-ageddon" & warned that over a million additional people were expected to be in the city on Saturday & Sunday (particularly Sunday). Marathon training schedules yield to no wo/man(s), though except when they totally do, and I had 18 miles to run on Sunday.

I kind of waffled a lot about where/when I would do this run. Theoretically I could've gotten up super-early & beaten the crowds, but as worn out as I felt on Saturday evening after the Stanford game, I figured I probably really needed the extra sleep if I was going to have a good run. I couldn't think of anywhere to go that didn't involve a) driving, b) fighting massive crowds, or c) being ass-bored for three hours, so when I found I was out of gels & would need to swing by the Sports Basement early-on anyway, I figured I might as well at least make things interesting & see how much of this craziness I could get myself to.

In the end, I got to the Giants game (well, AT&T Park as it was starting) on the Embarcadero, a bit of the air show further down the Embarcadero (though I'd been hearing them all over the city all week), America's Cup at the Marina, & a bit of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in Golden Gate Park.

Not my fastest long run ever (you can definitely tell where the crowds were mile-by-mile), but it was pretty entertaining, & I feel like any day you can call a long run entertaining is a good day.

Also, I can't tell you how amazing it felt to finish this run & still feel strong & comfortable & like I would have had no problem running farther. For whatever reason, the jump from 16 miles to 18 always feels to me like the line between moderately-long-but-reasonable runs and *serious* long runs that demand respect & preparation. This is probably related in no small part to the fact that I only did one 18 miler training for CIM '11 last year & it was BY FAR the hardest, most unpleasant run I have ever done in terms of how I felt after, even worse than the subsequent 20 miler & the marathon itself. I was able to hold a good pace, but the last few miles were incredibly tough & I felt utterly inhuman for hours afterward. This time the last few miles were among my fastest, and I wasn't even sore.

AND--as if I needed another cherry on top of this running sundae of awesomeness--I wore the same shorts as for the previous Sunday's 16-miler, and once again came away 100% chafe-free. The identity of these magical shorts will be revealed in another post once I have time to write it. Because really. They've earned that.

Week 6 Overall:

Grand Total: 36 miles

* 27.75 easy
* 5.25 speed/intervals
* 3 tempo

Monday: Karate + strength work

Tuesday: 1.75 warm up + 4 x (5:00 @ 5K pace + 3:00 jog recovery) + 1.25 cool down Pack my track bag, get to work, check my calendar, & remember that we had tickets to Peter Gabriel in San Jose that night. Oops. But on the other hand, yay! Peter Gabriel! He super rocked it. Also, there was some VERY entertaining dancing by a few middle aged hippies.

Wednesday: Skip karate & run 4 easy miles instead. I wanted to get at least some kind of exercise for the day & figured this was fine since I didn't run Tuesday.

Thursday: 1.75 warm up + 5 x (5:00 @ 5K pace + 3:00 jog recovery). So I kinda sorta remembered this workout wrong & accidentally did 5 repeats instead of 4. Another oops. I knew I was only supposed to run 7 miles max, which was what tipped me off, so I just cut out the cool down. Meh. No one likes cool downs anyway.

My bar for this workout is generally how close I can consistently get to .75 miles with each 5:00 interval, and I was pretty close to that every time, which I took as a good sign.

Friday: 2 warm up + 2 @ 8:15 + 1 @ 7:30 + 2 cool down. In general I can't recommend running track workouts & tempo runs back to back, but this one seemed pretty tame as tempo runs go so I figured I'd give it a try. This run got me thinking about something I'll probably write a full post on at some point, but that clearly didn't happen this week, so let me just say that I felt like ass warming up & was almost ready to just put in some easy miles & call it good, but decided I'd at least try to run a faster mile or two before giving up.

Lo & behold, although I felt like I was running 8:15's, every time I glanced at my watch I was in the 8:00 range. So technically I ran those two miles a little too fast, but they felt really good & fairly easy, so I was still happy with it. The 7:30 mile clicked off in 7:21, but since I was running slightly downhill I figured that was probably about right. Glad I gave this one a try & pretty happy with how it went.

Saturday: 4 easy. Un-shockingly, my legs felt rather on the trashed side Saturday morning, & given that my farthest run of 2012 thus far was scheduled for the next day, I decided it was smarter to just skip this one. Which worked out well, because after an emotional roller coaster of an afternoon football game at Stanford, I was pretty much wrecked for the rest of the day & spend most of it browsing Pinterest half-awake on the couch with a giant headache.

Sunday: 18 long.

Sure, it would've been nice to actually hit 40, but I think I really was better off skipping the 4 on Saturday. & now I have this awesome 18 miler to show for it. :)


  1. I would take 18 miles over 4 miles any day- good decision.
    I can't believe how much SF had going on over the weekend. I would probably have stayed home to avoid the crowds.

  2. Nice week! And glad the crowds were entertaining, not merely annoying.