Monday, March 11, 2013

Return of the Long Runs

Or, what I tend to think of as long runs. "Long" is of course completely relative, something I'm reminded of every time I talk to or read posts from some of the very studly ultra-runners I happen to know. (Congrats, all of you, on killing it at Way Too Cool!)

But for me, for whatever reason, 14 is the number where I start to feel like I'm officially "Going Long," where a bit of advance planning & thought is required as opposed to just throwing on some running clothes, grabbing my Garmin, & heading out the door.

It's been, like, two weeks since we had a fancy wine event to attend, so obviously it was important to start the day off right by driving down to Ridge in Mountain View for the Montebello cab first assemblage tasting.

True story. I've seen them.

The minimalist shoe movement is alive & well in the Bay Area
fancy pants wine scene. I included the boots for contrast.

Although I've been doing a lot of running around the east end of Golden Gate Park lately, I haven't gone all the way down to the coast in a while, so I thought that might be nice since I had a good number of miles to cover anyway and I miss the scenery. It had been a while since I'd seen this...

...or this,

...which both made me very happy.

With this being my longest run and highest mileage week so far this year and coming on the heels of another not-so-high mileage but weirdly exhausting week as well as a race, I was fully prepared for this run to be a tough one.

Which it was. Most of the time I feel like long run miles just kind of roll by once I get warmed up, and the whole thing is over before I know it. Not so with this one. I felt every single mile, every step, and the rolling hills of GG Park that I normally don't mind all that much made me dig pretty deep at times. So, while it was very good to get all the way to the coast & pound some pavement I haven't seen in a while, I was very very VERY glad when I returned to my neighborhood & my watch ticked off that last mile.

So yeah, longest run AND highest mileage week of 2013 so far! :)

Grand Total: 43 miles

    * 20.3 easy
    * 4 threshold / tempo
    * 4.7 speed / intervals
    * 14 long

Monday 3/4:

  • Lunch time - Yoga.
  • Evening - Karate. Karate. And more karate.

Tuesday 3/5:

  • Lunch time - Strength work. I took it very slightly easier in the name of recovery (look at me being such a good runner) but still a solid 40:00 of stuff.
  • Evening - 6.5 speed / intervals. 1.5 warm up; 1600m @ 10K pace / 1:30 rec; 2 x 800m @ 5K pace / 1:00 rec; 1600m @ 10K pace; 1.5 cool down.

    Some day I will learn my lesson and write my freaking track assignments down. After the 800m's & recovery jogs, I was like, "WOW, this seems a little harder than it should be." Well, yes. That's what happens when you recovery jog for 1:00 instead of 2:00 like the plan said. Oops. Whatever.

    Some day I will also maybe possibly get over my bitterness towards children's sportsball.*

    *Not actually likely.

Wednesday 3/6: Just karate this Wednesday, which felt kind of weird after my past few weeks of triple days. I had an all-day work meeting that didn't give me a long enough lunch break to get away for Pilates, and I had enough mileage scheduled already this week without needing to add extra miles on karate days.

Thursday 3/7:

  • Lunch time - Strength work.
  • Evening - 7 easy. Legs were definitely not 100% yet and felt kind of tired all around, but I was able to keep up a good pace all the same, which is I think the whole idea behind marathon training.

Friday 3/8: 8.5 tempo / other stuff. 1.5 warm up; 4 @ 7:25; 10 x (100m @ 5:50 / 100m jog); 1.8 cool down. It's been a long time since I really, truly felt like I might not be able to complete a workout, but ultimately I just keep doing the next thing, and the next thing, and the next thing, and by some miracle (and a couple of extra rest breaks), I got it done. Seriously, though. This one was a BITCH and a half.

Saturday 3/9: 7 easy. So this was a pretty good run in lovely weather -- I'd just gotten a bunch of tank tops on sale at the local Sports Authority but was worried it was a little too cool out by 5:30 to wear them so went with a T-shirt instead, & ended up feeling a little regretful because I *totally* could've worn a tank top. Things were going pretty well until around maybe mile 5 when I thought to myself, "What's that wet, sticky feeling in my shoe?"

I noticed a faint discoloration on said shoe, though it was getting dark out at that point, and the shoes in question were kind of neon-iridescent pink and orange, so I couldn't really tell what was going on. When I got home & into proper light, though....

This is now the third time this has happened to me.

Today's PSA is keep your toenails trimmed. Maybe a little more than you think you need to. Because on the run, you probably won't feel it, and blood stains are (not unlike combination tempo / interval runs) kind of a bitch.

Sunday 3/10: 14 long.

So tonight I'm sitting couch, tired but pleased with how the week went, and also eating coconut cream pie because. You know. Coconut cream pie.

Next week we'll be here:

Doing a bunch of this:

And some of this:

In addition to the skiing & hot tubbing, my plan is to make sure I get in a bunch of karate practice (because otherwise I will be in big trouble when I get back), a not-insignificant amount of strength work (abs, hip stuff, squats, lunges, etc. etc. etc.), & however much running is feasible (which will totally depend on weather & road / sidewalk conditions). Because I'm not assuming I'll have access to anything other than roads & sidewalks, I'm only planning on easy miles, and while I have a vague idea of how much I'd like to get in on which days, the only real pressure I'm putting on myself is to run whenever I can, however much I can. Basically, the goal is just not to backslide. (Skiing should also help with the cardio part of that.)

Have a great week, everyone!!



  1. I have had that happen to my foot before too. However, my shoes were super light and almost see through on the top. When I got done with my run you could tell the entire top of my shoe was red with blood. Awesome. Luckily I was able to wash it out when I got home, but it freaking hurt!

  2. Gah, not at all jealous of the skiing! Actually, the skiing I can take or leave, but the being in the mountains is my favourite thing ever so I am seriously jealous there!!

    My Long Run threshold is 9 miles...I think it's because when I started running it took me roughly 1.5 hours. Anything over that was a Big Deal.Now, normally, I can do 10 miles in that time but 9 miles is still the benchmark for me!!! I love how it differs for different people! But there will be no 50k in my world!!!!

    Have a great trip!

    1. Yeah, I'm with 50Ks for me. ;)

  3. Yikes re: the bloody toes!! At first I thought your shoe dye had stained your socks (or at least that's what I hoped had happened)...

    Hope you're having a great time in CO -- great altitude training just before Oakland!!