Monday, August 28, 2017

SJRNRHM Week 9 of 14: Heyyyy I'm running a race next week......

You guys, I feel like I have to acknowledge the lack of interesting posts lately. Honest, I've started like three real, actual blog posts that are not just semi-coherent rambling followed by a training log but it seems like I never have the time or energy to finish any of them. We have no kitchen and are about to have no bathroom. We're moving out of our house today for probably the next three or four months (basically, until our bathroom is done and can functionally go back to living there) and still have about ten thousand decisions to make, which will be closely followed by at least ten thousand tasks that go along with those decisions (ie, make a final decision on the bathroom tile, then deal with ordering and storing the bathroom tile). I looked at about seven hundred bathroom faucets on Saturday and nearly had a nervous breakdown after. My living room is a nightmare of hastily stuffed cardboard boxes and tile samples. I can't even think about the eight different rooms we have to choose paint colors for.

This is how I feel some days.

So, yeah. As much as I'd rather be writing clever blog posts, it's not where my head's been lately.

On the other hand, want to run the Monterey Bay Half on Nov. 12? Have $15 off with code ACT15 ! It expires September 6 so get on it.


This was a good week in some ways (did all the runs & hit the mileage goal, first decent-feeling long run in a while) and frustrating in others (I can't remember the last time so many of my running parts have felt so beat up, nor the last time I had such an awful threshold run). Next Sunday is Race to the End of Summer 10K, so I'm resting up for that this week. A bunch of friends are running as well and we are 100% brunching after (woohoo!), but I must say I'm not sure how to feel about the race itself.

I ran this race last year and finished 17 seconds off my PR, coming in 2nd OA and 1st in my AG, which was a big deal to me at the time because it was really the first time I'd managed to kinda-sorta train for something and finish with a time I felt proud of since circa 2013.

It did not suck.

Theoretically, I've trained more and better this time around (averaging 40+ weeks, 7 weeks of speed work instead of 3), so I feel like it's not unreasonable to hope for a personal course record. In fact I've done significantly more and better training than when I ran my (five-year-old) PR, so you'd think that wouldn't be out of the question, either. Then again, I've felt pretty darn crappy lately, so I don't want to get my hopes up too much.

(Bonus to re-reading old race reports: Apparently last year I had a shitty week AND a shitty warm-up, so maybe there's still hope?)

In the past, my strategy in the 10K has usually been to go out in the 7:15-7:20 range, then ratchet down if I can. (For reference, my PR pace was ~7:09.) That's the safe thing to do. To be honest though I feel kind of done running "safe" 10Ks. Running close to my PR was a huge confidence boost last year, but this year I know I won't be happy with that.

So screw safe. At this point, I think it's highly, highly unlikely that I'll have the training under my belt in October to run a 1:35 half (ugh, life), but if I was ever going to have a shot, that really means I need to be running pretty close to a 43:00 (~6:56/mile) 10K. I don't feel super confident I can do it, but at this point I would rather go out at ~7:00ish and try and fail than run another nice, safe, pretty-good not-quite-PR. Yes, it's going to hurt like balls, but honestly, what is the point otherwise?


* * * Rock 'N Roll San Jose Half: Week 9 of 14 * * *

Grand Total: 51 miles

    * 26.79 easy
    * 5.05 speed
    * 5.16 tempo/threshold
    * 14 long

Monday 8/22: 6 easy

    Tuesday 8/23: 2 warm up, 4 x (7:00 @ 10K pace / 3:00 @ MP + 0:20), 1.95 cool down = 9 total

      Building on two weeks ago's workout, 5 x 5:00 @ 8K pace / 3:00 jog -- The same amount of time (40:00), but 28:00 spent running fast vs. 25:00, and in slightly bigger chunks. Friends, I would be lying if I said I didn't spend all day worrying about this workout. I kept thinking about how two weeks ago I saw that 5 x 5:00 @ 8K pace / 3:00 jog and thought "Eh, no big deal," and it turned out to be pretty hard actually, and how these intervals were even a bit longer (though there was one fewer, and I had permission to go just a bit slower). I kept trying to tell myself, "No sweat, it's basically just mile repeats," except I usually do those at more like 7:15 pace, although 7:00-7:05 isn't realistically that much faster, it sure sounded a lot faster in my head.

      I won't say they were easy, but they were not as hard as I'd been dreading. I feel like I was having a pretty easy time doing that pain-dissociation thing runners are known for, where you sort of take the discomfort and set it off in the corner outside of your body; you're aware of it, but in kind of a clinical, sanitized way. Ie, "Hello, discomfort, I see that you are in the room but I'm mostly focused on other things right now." I also had some really effective lies going on--"The first lap is always easy"; "The first half is the harder half"; "After three laps you're basically done, just cruise it in." As we all know, lying to oneself is an integral part of getting through workouts and races, as is the ability to simultaneously hold in your mind the lie that you are choosing to believe as well as the actual truth.

      I'm sure this is all perfectly healthy, btw.

    Wednesday 8/24: 4 easy

      No karate so I figured I'd get in a short little easy run. Which, btw, hahaha, was not actually even remotely easy. Like. I just could not get my legs to move very fast, at all. Which is fine. Post-speed work "easy" runs almost always suck, a lot more than the speed work does in fact. Usually on easy runs my heart rate is in the mid-140s to low-150s so I found it kind of hilarious that on Wednesday I couldn't even move my legs fast enough to get it above 130 most of the time. (Which begs the question, did this run actually accomplish anything or was I better off taking a rest day?)

      In other news, the GPS on my Garmin seems to be getting worse and worse, and the thing's less than two years old. I ran this four-miler on the same good old reliable four-mile loop I've run for years, but Garmin thinks it was only 3.8.

      Sure, I was going pretty slow, but it wasn't THAT slow!

    Thursday 8/25: 8 easy. Clearly still not fully recovered. Better than Wednesdays run, but man, I cannot believe how run-down I've felt this cycle given the relatively low mileage.

    Friday 8/26: 2 warm up, 40:00 @ HMP, 10 x 100m sprint / 100m jog, 2.92 cool down = 10 total

      Ugggghhhh worst threshold in recent memory. Yet another Friday pace run that started with 11:00+ miles and me internally laughing/crying at the thought of running 7:30s. But unlike most of those runs where I somehow magically manage to pull it off and end up hitting the tempo/threshold pace just fine, this time I could barely even get close to the right pace. I felt like I was running pretty fast, 7:25 maybe, but Garmin very much disagreed. The first couple miles were 15-25 seconds off the target pace even though I felt like I was running faster than that.

      Of course, it did occur to me that given all the GPS issues with my watch lately, it could also be that, and who knows, maybe I was running 7:25s. Ah well. I was supposed to finish this workout off with 10 x 100m / 100m jog and even timed the pace miles to end at the track, but curses, it was closed for some stupid semi-pro soccer game. Since you really can't do 100m sprints on a concrete trail weaving through pets and pedestrians and baby strollers and stoplights, I ended up just skipping them.

    Saturday 8/27: Rest

    Sunday 8/28: 14 long

      I tried to get a lot of sleep Friday and Saturday nights, so maybe that helped. Most of my longer runs lately have felt like poop so this made for a nice change (in spite of the 85-90F temps).

    So, yeah. One big workout on Tuesday, then just a few short, easy runs before Sunday's race. Wish me luck!


    1. Seriously, what is up with the Garmins? Mine has been remarkably unreliable on the track even when friends' Garmins have been accurate, so now I'm looking askance at all of my data. Yeah, I know they're not reliable when you're running in small circles, but still...

      Hope you're getting some rest this week! Good luck for the 10K.

      1. Mine is usually decent at the track, but today it accumulated nearly a tenth of a mile of error (which I only knew since I was running in lane one). Seriously, they're too expensive for this!!

    2. Yay 10k and bRUNch!! See you Sunday.