Friday, July 25, 2014

"Easy" Runs & SF Marathon 2nd Half

Sometime not long after what I think of as my return to "serious" (y'know, for me) distance running in 2008, I ran across a quote by some popular-slash-important running person (Bart Yasso? Meb? Who knows) about how when training for something you care about it's important to keep your easy days truly easy so that you can kill it on the hard days & get as much benefit from them as possible. It didn't resonate with me much at the time because I had a reasonably good fitness base & wasn't running that much mileage. I ran pretty much all my runs hard & it was never a problem.

Once I found myself deep in the trenches of training for my first marathon, though, it was a different story. The day after a hard track or tempo workout, believe me--there was no risk whatever of my running an easy run too hard. Were the miles accomplished? Good enough. The end.

Which is basically where I am now. Six weeks or so ago I didn't have a ton of endurance, but most runs still felt pretty easy, so occasionally I would let myself get a bit carried away on easy days (because for me running fast is fun and awesome & running slow is boring torture) & it really didn't have any noticeable effect at all on subsequent harder workouts. These days, although I still finish my hard workouts feeling not like death (which I think is a good thing), the lingering effects + the cumulative effect of just plain running more mileage means that when it's time for an easy run the next day, I have precisely enough energy & brain space to care about three things:

    1) Git 'er done

    2) Keep good form

    3) Listen for pain (as distinct from "I'm uncomfortable because I'm running & would just rather be done.")

That's it. Speed? Chicking annoying dudes? Looking hella cool/baddass?

Just don't care.

On Sunday I'm running the San Francisco Marathon 2nd Half, which is exciting because when, after years of bad timing, the scheduling finally worked out for me last year, I ended up unable run thanks to the Hip Strain from Hell. Originally I'd intended to actually train for and RACE-race it, partly because I haven't run a serious, balls-out half in a while and partly because I got a sub-seeded invitation, which for some reason makes me feel kind of bad about slummin' it & running just to finish & get a medal. But that was before my December stress fracture bumped my 2014 marathon from March to August, so sorry, SFM; as fond as I am of you, I care about not screwing up my marathon a whole lot more.

So, I'm resigned to jogging the five miles from my house to the start & then running the race at probably around an 8:20ish pace or so and, as at Berkeley, likely being the slowest person there with a sub-seed bib. OTOH, it turns out that some cool & fun girls I know (you may know these three in particular) will apparently also be around, and also this guy, so it should be a good time.

Anyone else planning to be at SFM or SF2HM in particular? Come say hi!!


  1. This regular reader of your very entertaining blog is running SF2HM this year. Having run it as part of the full for the past 2 years I am looking forward to actually enjoying it this year. Y'all are clearly going to be in the beer tent, showers, whatever well before this plodder gets to the finish line but if I recognize any famous faces from the interwebz at the start waves I'll come and say hi. Have a great run and stay injury free.

    1. Aw thanks! Definitely come say hi if we cross paths. Hope you have a fantastic race!

  2. Go have fun at SFM! Don't get carried away - a little race atmosphere is a dangerous thing! And...yup, ramping up mileage will do that to you. Just watch out for that damaged feeling (vs merely uncomfortable and sore).

    1. Heh, I'll try. I'm pretty sore in the quads today so I doubt I'll get too carried away....

  3. So what if you've got a sub-seeded bib. What's most important is keeping yourself injury-free. Go out and just have some fun - good hot, sweaty, panty fun.

  4. I actually think doing the race as part of a long run sounds way more fun than actually racing it. Racing's hard! Hopefully everything went according to plan.