..."These" being my first set of non-generic sai. The ones I've been learning on for the past few years have been functional, but stamped from a pretty standard one-size-kinda-sorta-fits all mold that's really too long, heavy, & wide for me. (Also, there is a lot to be said for real, actual cotton cord grips, as opposed to the layers & layers of athletic tape I've wrapped around the butt ends of my old ones.) With my testing coming up I decided I should finally upgrade to a custom-fitted set as soon as possible so I have time to get comfortable with them, and I am SUPER super psyched about getting some time in with them in the next few weeks.
(Fun fact: In addition to martial arts training, sai are also good for grilling kababs & roasting marshmallows. How are there no pictures of this on the internet???)
Other new toys I have recently (or soon to have recently) acquired include this...
So stay tuned for some sweet gear reviews in the not-too-distant-future
unless I get distracted by something shiny. Huzzah for huge clearance sales!!
Overall, I had a pretty good week, though I am not too proud to admit that suddenly jumping up 130% in mileage & adding in a bunch of strength / cross training stuff all at once may have caught up with me just a little. For that reason this ended up being a little bit of a cut-back week, which I think is MORE than totally fine. What with all the New Year's momentum, it's really tempting to push myself to do more miles / more speed work / more strength work because hey, it's not killing me yet!
There is a lot of year left to go, though, and there are still many many weeks to go before
the Ojai Marathon Mountains 2 Ocean Mountains 2 Beach in May. (Seriously, could someone just pick a name for this race? I feel like it's changed like 3 times since I first heard about it.) I'd rather be a little slower at the shorter races I have between now & then & have a good marathon than muscle out PRs at those & end up getting hurt, peaking too soon, or overtrained come Memorial Day weekend.
Grand Total: 31.2 miles
- * 16 easy
* 3.2 threshold / tempo
* 12 long
5 mile speed session 4 easy. Thursday's yoga was super hip / thigh focused, which maybe wasn't so great after just running 6 miles. I think I over-worked them a little, because they were absolutely KILLING me all day Friday, even just walking around the office. I didn't have time to go to the track on Tuesday so I was really looking forward to it Friday afternoon, but part of me felt like running 300s near-all-out was probably not the best choice. To be honest I didn't really feel much like running at all, but I made a compromise with myself wherein some amount of running should happen, as long as it was easy & didn't bug my hip flexors. I turned around while I was still feeling good & got in about 4 miles. Zero day averted.
Saturday 2/9: My hip flexors were still not feeling much better after taking it easy Friday, so I decided to take Saturday completely off. I'm pretty sure I could've slogged through a track workout or a few more easy miles, but I thought it was probably more important not to risk making the hip flexors worse & instead invest in a good, strong, pain-free long run on Sunday.
Sunday 2/10: 12 long. It seems like the extra rest day Saturday was the right choice. Hip flexors felt great, & except for a little weirdness in my right knee & some cramping in my right calf (which almost never happens), I had a good, strong run & felt better all the way through than I did on my previous two. It also felt good to finish at a decent pace & knowing I could've gone further with no problem.
Next weekend I may or may not be racing a track 3200m at a Cal Berkeley all-comers track meet. Originally I wanted to do a 5K around this time as a fitness gauge, but although I'm making progress & slowly but surely getting the lead out, I frankly don't need a race right now to tell me that I am a lo-o-o-ong way from racing shape, particularly when it comes to speed. And I'm not sure how much fun it will really be if I end up going & just feeling like crap. But who knows -- maybe I'll wake up Saturday morning and say to myself, "You know, running two miles all-out on a track is EXACTLY what I want to do today."
Or I might just go to spectate, to scope out the scene & get a sense of how things work in case I get another chance sometime. We'll see.