Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Week of Pretty Pictures

So I just have to say, my friends are baddasses. By the time I got out of bed on Sunday morning, five--count 'em, FIVE--of my friends had set new PRs. Layla, Sesa, Dave, Jess, & Ilana -- you all rock so hard. Clearly the first Sunday in October is an auspicious day for road racing!

For me, this week had a lot of ups and down, thankfully more of the "downs" early in the week and the "ups" later on. Spoiler alert: by & large, things ended on a good note.

Grand Total: 20 miles, all easy. Still not quite what I'd planned on, but I was damn glad to have them.


Lunchtime yoga / p.m. karate + strength. Our regular yoga teacher is on vacation, so we had a sub, who made it all weird & confusing. I might not go back until the regular teacher is back. Also, my right hip flexor (the one that I originally injured) was bothering me a little in class, especially on lunges or any other position that involved holding tension in that muscle. That did not bode well.

I was teaching again at karate, so as promised I made an effort to take things a bit easier. I thought I'd succeeded, but as soon as we got home, both my hip flexors were sore and unhappy. I tried my best to stretch them out, but that only seemed to make it worse. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why.


6 miles easy. I came soooooo close to not running on Tuesday. Both hip flexors were still super sore all day, to the point where lifting them up to put pants on was deeply unpleasant. I'd tried to take it easy the rest of the day & was almost to the point of taking another full rest day when I decided, "Ah, what the hell. I'll put on running clothes & see how bad it really is." If at any point I had more than the tiniest bit of discomfort, even just a couple of blocks in, I'd turn around and jog / walk back home.

WELL, amazingly, running didn't bother my hip flexors at all. Walking did, a bit, but it seems I was back to being able to use my glutes & hamstrings enough that I could leave the hip flexors alone. A couple of miles in I felt better than I had on any easy run in the last week or two, so I pushed it all the way out to three & then came back. This made me *ridiculously* happy.

I am still doing my easy runs too fast (8:07 pace this time, which is marathon/sub-marathon pace for me), and having some trouble figuring out how to run at an easier pace without reverting to bad form or slowing my cadence down by some ridiculous amount. This is one of the things I want to check in with my PT about.

Also, Slanted Door. GET THERE!!

The view of the Bay Bridge from our table. Not too shabby!

OK fine, the view from the pier was *slightly* better....


Karate / strength only. I'd kinda-sorta-half-heartedly planned on getting in a proper strength workout at the gym Wednesday morning, but we had dinner at Slanted Door Tuesday night which ran pretty late, & given how little sleep I've been getting lately, I decided an extra hour of it would probably do me more good than a bunch of squats and whatnot.

Also I skipped scary-weird-sub-yoga, which was a bummer because I actually could have probably done with some good stretching. On the other hand, I took it pretty easy at karate & was rewarded with hip flexors that didn't hate me the next morning.


a.m. strength work / p.m. run fail. Coach Nate is out this week, but another of the PT-turned-coaches took good care of us. BOY do I have some killer strength moves for you to try. Remind me to talk about running & torso rotation sometime.

& as for Thursday evening -- My co-workers occasionally go out for happy hour at a nearby restaurant, & because I am a creature of extreme habit that doesn't do well with having my routine messed with, I almost never go. This last Thursday they were starting earlier, though, so I figured I'd drop by right at 4:30, have a glass of wine & a few bites, socialize for ~45 minutes or so like a normal person, then make the hour drive home & get in my tempo run.

Except not. People didn't really arrive until five, and food took longer to come out than expected (I was STARVING), so I ended up leaving closer to 6 than 5:15, hitting bad traffic (which is why I always try to leave early) & not getting home until almost 7:30, & at that point I really only had time for some tailgate grocery shopping & prep. For some reason missing that run left me more of an emotional wreck than usual. (Routine = messed with.)

OK it wasn't quite that bad. But almost.

In fact I was so frustrated & depressed about it that I went to bed at 10:00pm, determined to get up early & get it in before work.


...Which I *totally* did, bitches. a.m. 6 miles easy / p.m. strength work. At 6:00 am I threw on running clothes, packed a bag, & drove down to work early to run on the Bay Shore trails (which are actually sidewalks) near my office. I really regret that running down there isn't more convenient more often, as it beats the hell out of my day-in-day-out route through my neighborhood anytime.


My hip didn't really hurt per se, but the whole joint just felt kind of tight. Without race day adrenaline I'm usually pretty sluggish in the morning running-wise, so when I tried pushing the pace a little on my second mile to see if making up the tempo run (2 x [2 miles @ HM pace / 2:00 jog]) might be in the cards, I wasn't surprised to find that the answer seemed to be no. Or, not 'no,' exactly, but a pretty clear "this probably isn't the greatest time."

8:10ish pace felt good, & so I decided to try running a comfortably fast 5th mile without looking at my watch or aiming for any particular pace, just to see how my legs felt now that they were warmed up. That mile averaged ~7:17, which felt not bad, but also not like something I could hold for 6 miles in a row yet. (My PR 10K pace is 7:09, so I obviously have a long way to go before I'm back in PR shape. Which, duh.)

Also, House of Prime Rib. Unless you are just dead-set against red meat, you really should go at least once.

#lowlight #shittycameraphone #sorry

I think I've had more red meat in the last three weeks than in any single
month in the last decade. Let's not tell my cardiologist, maybe.


Rest. I'd originally planned on running Saturday morning before we left for tailgating, but by Friday afternoon my hip was *terribly* unhappy & while I *might* have been able to pull it off, the name of the game right now is playing things conservatively, so I took a rest day instead & just enjoyed football. (By which I mean I suffered a near coronary as the Stanford / U Dub game came down to a booth review of the absolute last play of the game. Yikes.)


8 easy. OMG, what a cluster of an afternoon. I tried to get my run done around 2:30, but due to my own lack of planning & awareness of what is going on in my city, that attempt instead turned into roughly an hour & a half of driving aimlessly around San Francisco wanting to kill things & people. Maybe that was for the best, though, since it was about 80F at that point.

Don came home from a gig & I told him my tale of woe, & while I made dinner he went to pick up a fancy pants tequila & also came home with what he termed "girlfriend-happy-making things," ie nearly a case worth of seasonal beer.


And then he made me a margarita.

Once it had cooled off & my murderous rage had abated, I went out for an easy run of indeterminant length.

Running through San Francisco at sunset

I made it out four miles still feeling good & back home feeling not too bad, though I think right now eight miles is about the limit of the endurance of the posterior muscles I'm still working on re-strengthening. After that they start to feel a bit worn out, & I can feel myself beginning to over-recruit my hip flexors. So I think for at least a few more weeks I'll probably keep my Sunday runs in that neighborhood.

In the mean time I'm continuing to roll, stretch, & strength train like it's my job. (Seriously....sometimes it seems like I'm spending more time grinding Lacrosse balls into my muscles than I am running. :P ) Lately I'm doing better when I run higher mileage but take more rest days; hopefully I'll be able to get back in with my PT next week, & until then I'm hoping I'll just be able to keep my weekly mileage in the low 20s on 3 running days (possibly including short doubles) & 4 cross training / rest days.


  1. Don wins. Definitely.
    And aww, thanks for the mention -- I only dream of being as fast as you even when you're recovering from injury.
    Question: If the "easy" pace feels ok and your form is better when you run "too fast," is that really a bad thing? I'm trying to figure out new target paces, and it's been a couple years since I last tried to go by the book and do long runs at a truly slower pace. Instead, my 18- and 20-milers have only wound up being 10-20 seconds slower than marathon pace, and that's worked out so far. I see these plans that call for 60+ seconds slower than MP, and that just feels sooooo slooooow so I just "accidentally" forget to look at my watch.

    1. Yeah...This is a good question. It's partly why I want to see my PT again. Mainly I just feel like my effort level is too high & I'm working way harder than I'd want to on say a 15-20 mile long run. I'm still working on getting my old 305 heart monitor to sync up with my new watch, just to see what it is. Definitely a full minute slower would be waaaaay too slow, but right now I'm pretty sure I'm not in the aerobic zone at that pace. :P

  2. Don gets boyfriend of the year award for bringing home all of that delicious looking beer. I am missing out on my pumpkin beer this year. Boo hoo to me!

    1. Ah, so sad! I look forward to it every year. :)

  3. Beautiful neighbourhood!!! Then the beer and that meat!!! mmmm Great pics this week!

  4. I love prime rib! That looks amazing!

  5. I want to drink ALL of those beers. Your boyfriend did good.

    Bay Shore is gorgeous. I ran there recently with some girlfriends during the sunset and I swear it was of the dreamiest runs ever. I can't wait to go back.

    Thank you for the shout out -- I see you are also going to do the Berkeley half. Meetup? All of this weird, warmish Bay Area weather is going to propel us to the P.R. zone in late November. :)

    1. Yes, let's definitely meet up! I will be very very far from PR shape & honestly lucky just to finish, but I think it should still be a fun time. :)