Monday, November 3, 2014

i have signed up for races.


I got enthusiastic last week & signed up for some races. What's more, I totally did that thing I absolutely refuse to do so much of the time & signed up for races that are a geological epoch away because of a sweet early bird discount.

The reason I (almost) never do this is because it seems to me that if you consider the two most extreme outcomes of this decision, they are:

1) Best case, I run the race, mostly forget how much I paid because it was so long ago, and if I do happen to remember that I got a sweet deal on it, feel vaguely pleased with myself for a moment.

2) Worst case, I don't or can't run the race & spend a month castigating myself every other day for wasting the money instead of sucking up the extra $20 or whatever to sign up when it was closer and I had a better idea whether I'd be able to run it. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A GOOD DEAL ON A DNS.

But anyway, the money is spent, I'm now registered for two races, and we'll see just how much good/bad karma I've accrued by next summer, I suppose.

The first one is Bay to Breakers on May 17, thanks to a $39 one-day-only Halloween special. $39 may not sound THAT cheap for a 12K, but when you consider that B2B tends to run ~$70ish at full price thanks to its insane popularity, I basically can't afford NOT to sign up.

The second is Santa Rosa Marathon on Aug 23. I was already leaning towards giving SRM another shot next year & had been thinking about registering while it's still in the early bird phase, and then last week they sent out an extra $20 coupon. It's hard to pass up a $105 marathon less than two hours from home when you already know from experience that it's well-organized, a good course, etc. (See: Reasons I am bummed that the timing didn't work out this year for CIM.)

So, there are now three races on my 2015 calendar; it remains to be seen which ones I'll actually feel excited about targeting & racing hard.

There's one thing missing right now that I would really like to have on the calendar, and that's a solid, low-stakes half. I know I won't be in PR shape for a while yet, but I would still really like to get one under my belt between now and NVM. Unfortunately, the two best candidates don't fall on the greatest of dates for me. Walnut Creek is the day after Don's company holiday party and also a solid hour of driving away and a 7am start, and Kaiser Permanente falls on the weekend I'll be in Mexico for a friend's birthday. Pretty much every other half marathon between 11/22 and 1/25 (because I wouldn't want to do it any closer to NVM than that) seems to be either a trail race or farther than I want to travel. Boo.


You are welcome for the extremely untimely Pure Flow 2 review.

Though it will be a while before I'm doing much running in the 10K/half marathon/tempo range, I have long been on the lookout for a shoe to fill the Wave Musha-shaped hole that Mizuno left in my heart when they discontinued that shoe last year. I have a couple of candidates that I picked up pre-stress fracture, but those didn't see much mileage this spring & summer given that I spent most of it recovering and then marathon training/fretting constantly about potential calf/tibia/fibula injuries. Then just recently, I got a couple of sweet deals on two other lightweight performance shoes that have been on my radar for a while. Now that I'm not imminently training for something or worried about calf/shin bone issues, I'm hoping I'll have some additional reviews up for you soon.

One of the shoes I picked up earlier this year is the Mizuno Ekiden, the second lightest shoe that Mizuno makes. (The Hitogami is slightly heavier/more cushioned & the Universe is like running in huaraches.)

Because of its lack of cushioning and support, I hadn't run in this shoe since March, but for some reason on Halloween afternoon I felt inspired to throw them on for a drizzly 7 miler before heading over to do spooooky things at a friend's place.

We have now reached the point in the evening where
everyone is wearing pieces of everyone else's costume.

I had never run more than about three miles in them before (this was when I was coming back from the stress fracture) and I didn't know whether I'd be okay in them for the entire seven miles or not, so I figured I'd run maybe two in them and see how they felt, and if I needed to switch into something else I could just head back home & then tack on the last three miles in a different shoe.

And damned if I didn't go on & have my best run in MONTHS. It took a mile or so to adjust to the harder, lower-slung feel of the Ekidens, but once I settled into them, they felt so great. My legs felt light and springy, and while the shoes may have been a coincidence, I ended this run with my fastest average pace in two months AND my lowest average heart rate. Although I can feel that my legs and feet were using some muscles more than usual, the Ekidens felt completely comfortable for the entire run. I doubt I would go much farther in them right now or run in them more than say once or twice a week, but over time I could totally see working up to wearing them for a half marathon or longer tempo runs. I promise write up a detailed review once I've gotten some more miles on them.

WEEK OF 10/27-11/2

Grand Total: 38.5 miles

    * 26 easy
    * 12.5 long
    * 2 x 45:00 strength workouts

Monday: a.m. strength work / p.m. karate

    I didn't expect to feel as good as I did the day after a 2+ hour long run, and part of me kind of really did want to get out for a few easy miles for class. Figuring my body would appreciate the recovery day regardless of how enthusiastic my brain felt, though, I managed to distract myself between getting home from work & karate with annoying household chores.

Tuesday: 8 easy

    Not much to say about this run except that it was lovely.

Wednesday: a.m. strength work / afternoon 4 easy / p.m. karate

    I actually went to bed at a reasonable hour on Tuesday, but for whatever reason, woke up at 6:00 still feeling exhausted. I forced myself out of bed, stumbled around for a while getting ready, then finally got myself in the car on the way to the gym by 6:30 (which is significantly later than usual). Unfortunately after a bit of driving I realized I was kind of weaving all over the lane & blinking frantically in an effort to keep my eyes open, so I ended up pulling off the freeway into a parking lot & napping for an hour instead. I did make it to the gym, but only to shower and change, which is kind of the saddest gym visit there is.

    I didn't need to run before karate that day, but after missing my strength work & being cooped up inside inactive all day, I really just wanted to go outside & move & get some fresh air. It was also kind of cool to be out in the crazy pre-Game 7 energy.

Thursday: 7 easy

    I'd been kinda-sorta thinking on Wednesday that I might go to the gym Thursday morning & make up the workout I slept through Wednesday morning.


    Police, Surly From Having Broken Bottles Hurled At Them For Hours On End: HAVE SOME MORE HELICOPTERS & SIRENS, MOTHEREFFERS!!!!

    So it was like that until about 1am. BUT, the next afternoon, I had a lovely, very San Francisco-esque run amidst light fog and a light breeze & basically perfectly temps. So there was that.

Friday: a.m. strength work / p.m. 7 easy

    Halloween. Ekidens. Awesome.

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 12.5 long

    I got up early(ish) to do this run since we had plans to spend the afternoon looking at houses & now that the time has changed I have that much less daylight in the afternoon/evening. Thanks to the time change, though, getting up early was actually pretty easy and I was happy to have running out of the way first thing. The run itself was okay, although it was warm out and I was getting a few hints here & there of the stupid right hip/thigh issues. I'm guessing that had to do with two higher volume weeks in a row and potentially the Friday run in the Ekidens.

So, it kind of works out that next week is going to be lower mileage by necessity thanks to weekend travel plans. I am going to try to get in some *slightly* longer runs during the week, but there will be no Sunday long run. Speaking of the cursed right hip/thigh issue, I've been talking with a local strength trainer who has a lot of experience working with distance runners (and is a pretty darn impressive one herself, which is always a good sign), and I'm hopeful that doing some really targeted individual work with her will help me suss out just exactly what the problem is & deal with it before I try to run another goal race.


  1. Funny you registered for races a long time from now - I did the same thing on Bay to Breakers. Though I couldn't believe that it cost $20 to mail a race number packet to me, wow. This alone almost stopped me from registering. In the past it cost $10 or $15 I think. Even though $20 is insane, it still is a better deal than me driving up to SF for the packet, since the gas costs are probably almost $20 alone. Races know they have you, and charge you up the nose for everything.

    Despite likely my better judgement, I also signed up for the 49ers race next Sat - despite the course map still not being on the website yet, and race day is this Saturday lol. I mainly thought that I would regret not doing those obstacles if I didn't register for it, even though I'm totally in the dark about what we are taking on.

    1. Guh, I know. Even living in SF, getting to Fort Mason is a huuuuuuge pain in the ass, but I decided to suck it up rather than spend $20 on having it mailed.

      Will be very curious to hear all about the mysterious obstacles!!

  2. It's really hard to pass up a good deal on a race entry but I've lost a lot of money this year doing just that and not being able to run so next year I'm just going to swallow the extra fee and pay for late entries. Unless of course the deal is really too good to pass up.

    1. Totally - in the grand scheme of things, the extra $20 or whatever is just not that much, compared the risk of not running it. But I couldn't pass up 45% Bay to Breakers!

  3. Those are good deals on race entries! Extra motivation to get your legs in working order. (Barring which I try to go for smaller races with sympathetic race directors. Sadly race entries close so early here that there's no such thing as a last-minute signup, let along day-of signup.)

    1. Here, it really depends on the race. There are some great, no-frills local series of races where you can sometimes sign up last-minute, but I just can't get myself excited about races that sell out in 20 minutes a year ahead of time.

  4. Hmm, I tried to comment and I'm not sure where it went. But, it'll work out! Races are fun!

  5. Yay, I registered for Bay to Breakers too! And so did Jess! We're going as cartoon/video game characters - i.e., I'm too lazy to get a new costume for the race, so I'm just running in my Halloween costume.

    1. Heh, I have no idea what I'm going to wear. I suppose I should be non-lame & wear at least SOME kind of costume??

  6. I used to be queen of early registration, before my string of injuries. Now I have to physically restrain my fingers near the keyboard!
    Please let me know if you find a Musha substitute :( That and the Kinvara were my two faves.

    1. Yup, me too. These days I'm too paranoid (usually). :-/

      I really do like the Ekidens a lot, but they definitely don't have the extra bit of stability that the Mushas have. I have a couple of other pairs I'm trying out, so we'll see how they work out.

  7. Don't forget...the Bay Area's best FREE donut run is only a month and a half away! We are expecting you at Jingle Bell Hell this year!