Thursday, September 27, 2018

Boston Standards Slashed Again

News & current events this week are pretty much hell and I keep thinking that if I go on the internet too much actual bees might come flying out of my mouth (and maybe the mouth of every other half-woke woman on earth). So forgive me if I pay a little attention to Other Things, things that maybe might NOT make bees fly out of my mouth.

If you're a distance runner, then you're almost certainly aware that it's That Week of the year, the one people wait all year for, wait multiple years for even, or just try to stay off the internet and pretend it's not happening. I'm still in a few online groups and it's been both exciting and gut wrenching to watch people waiting on tenterhooks for good or bad news.

And as of today, the news it out, and we've now seen, as many predicted, the widest margin yet between the BAA's established qualification times and the cutoff time for actually being accepted into the field. Last year it was 3:23 which a lot of people already thought was kind of batshit, and now for 2019 it's 4:52.

You might be thinking, "Well shit, at this point they should just lower the qualification standards again." And as it turns out, the BAA agrees with you. In the same post, they announced that the qualification standards for 2020 will drop another five minutes. (The last time they were dropped was in 2013, also by five minutes.)

So, yeah. If you were one of the lucky ones, all the congrats to you; I wish you the most excellent (and DRY) Boston experience. If you're dealing with the other side of the coin, hang in there and try again; you're clearly super, super close.

(Annnnd, I made it all the way through with no bees. #smallvictories)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Fall Speedfest, Week 6 of 18: Deals With the Devil (and by "Devil" I mean "my own psyche")

Could it really be that Fall Speedfest is one-third over??? I feel like I haven't raced nearly enough for that.

This past week wasn't a particularly high mileage week since I was traveling, but it was okay, and I'm pleased with myself for getting a couple runs in when I didn't really feel like it & it would have been way easier to just skip it.

Let us talk today about Stuff We Don't Want To Do (running or otherwise) & the sneaky little deals we make with ourselves to get it done.

Because we all have it, right? The stuff that HAS to get done (and/or really really *should* get done if you know what's good for you) but we just absolutely would rather have a root canal than do it.


I'm not usually like this with running. And to be honest, I don't think most people really can be that way with running TOO-too much or they just quit. (As they should; there are no prizes for forcing yourself to do 'recreational' things you hate on principle.) But I'm sure we all have the odd workouts where you just. Do. NOT. Wanna.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Rolling Into Fall: Mini Pumpkin Pie Bites

You guys. I can't believe it but our renovations--which began in February 2017--are almost DONE.

There are still tiny things left to do. A few light fixtures to choose, an intercom system to install, a few missing cabinet doors, a few places where the paint needs touched up. But the big stuff is done. We have a working kitchen and bathrooms, and a fully completed media room & guest suite/laundry area. (Now...there is no 'media' or anything else, really, in the media room yet, but the ROOM is done.)

We don't really have much furniture yet but that will come. In the mean time, we're getting ready to throw a little shindig in October, where I am letting my love of all things fall run wild. (I know it's kind of #basic to love fall, but...well...sorry not sorry.) In the past few weeks I've been trying stuff out, recipes & cocktails & decor ideas, and I'm getting too excited about it not to share.

Today, let me tell you about my mini pumpkin bites.

I love a good pumpkin pie in the fall, but pies aren't super-conducive to the kind of shindig we're throwing, an all-day, come-and-go affair where folks can grab a few snacks & drinks with minimal dishes & utensils involved. What DOES play well with this sort of thing are finger foods--little snackies that you can just grab and pop into your mouth, or your kid's mouth, without the rigamarole of slicing and serving and how-big-a-piece-do-I-want & finding half-eaten slices of whatever all over the house.

Hence pumpkin bites.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Fall Speedfest, Week 5 of 18 #notracing

When I go on long runs, I get to see windmills. #goldengatepark #oceanbeach
I know my training journals as of late are boring and lame and I am sorry. It's been busy lately & it's all I can do to even pay attention to what my workouts are & note that I did them.

I was supposed to run a 5K this past Sunday & even went online to finally sign up for it last Wednesday. But then I noticed that between the internet service fee & $10 to have my bib mailed (sooooo not driving to Alameda from SF to attend an "expo" for a 5K), it would actually be cheaper to just sign up the morning of, in spite of the fact that the race price would have gone up by $5.

For better or worse, that meant that when I ended up feeling kind of sick & exhausted Saturday night, I was waaaaaay less motivated to still go run it. I laid in bed feeling like I was maybe coming down with something, going back and forth as to whether I should set my alarm for 5:30am & just go suck it up for 20-22 minutes. In the end it just didn't seem worth it (particularly the $55 for a 5K part) & instead I pulled the blankets over my head & opted for some extra sleep.

I didn't feel great in the morning but at least no longer felt like I was getting sick. So instead of a 5K race it was 14 easy miles through Golden Gate Park (as per usual). Ah well; another long run in the bank for RNR San Jose Half, which I kind of keep forgetting I'm running in a couple weeks.

On the other hand, my speed workouts have been pretty decent from a sheer speed standpoint. I am running 200m's faster and with less effort than in the past, if only by a bit. The one real downside of not racing the 5K this past weekend was that I don't have a benchmark for how things were going to compare to RTTEOS. I might run another XC race this weekend, but while those are fun, they're not really great for fitness benchmarks unless you have a mark on the same course to compare it to.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Fall Speedfest, Week 4 of 18

This was a little bit of a weird week, being both a recovery week but also kind-of, sort-of a race week as well. I have to say that the 10K on Sept. 2 trashed my legs more than I'd expected; in the past I feel like I've bounced back from short (ie, not double-digits) races fairly quickly, easily back to easy runs after a day of rest, & feeling fairly normal by the end of the week. Definitely not the case this time, for whatever reason. I was sore and my legs were achey for a few days, actually, and in fact it was serious enough that I skipped my Tuesday easy run for another rest day. Although the XC race wasn't a "real" race, I wanted to be fresh enough to at least enjoy it, and when I didn't feel that's the road I was headed towards, I took rest days on Friday and Saturday as well.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Race Report: PA XC Golden Gate Open 6K

Well, I went back and forth about it, but as last weekend approached, I actually found myself getting kind of excited about playing in the dirt in Golden Gate Park with some really (really, *really*) fast people. Sure, my legs were still heavy and whiney after last weekend's all-out effort 10K, but I really wanted to dip my toe into one of these races & see how I liked it, and I knew I wouldn't get a good chance for a few more weeks. Since I'm super super out of practice in cross country and would be one of the slowest people there, though, there was no pressure to run a certain time or place; all I had to do was show up, run hard, & have fun!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Fall Speedfest, Week 3 of 18: Crazy Race Anxiety Dreams!

Oops, running a bit behind with this week's training journal. It was a race week so pretty low mileage.

But before we get to that, gather round, for it is time for Angela's Anxiety Dream Story Hour. Friday night was just two days before Race to the End of Summer, and what better time for a crazy anxiety race dream.

Apparently, I had realized that through some kind of calendar magic, I somehow had a BQ that made me eligible to run in the 2019 race (I don't), and though I had kind of sworn off marathons for a while, I thought, "Well, you never know what could happen, I might never qualify again, I should take advantage of it! And maybe it won't be an arctic flood of Biblical proportions this time!"

In my dream this all happened like two weeks before the race, so I just kind of showed up, with no particular marathon training under my belt, figuring I can probably always *finish* a marathon, even if it's not particularly fast. Then as I was heading to the Athlete's Village, it occurred to me that sure, I could probably *finish*, but I'd probably fuck up my skin and toenails again and be in serious pain for a week, and then Don would be mad at me because I didn't tell him ("You said you were going to stop breaking yourself!"), and for a moment I considered whether this was really the best choice. But hey, I figured, why have ONE Boston Marathon medal when you can have TWO Boston Marathon medals.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Race Report: Race to the End of Summer 10K 2018

And #fallspeedfest2018 is off and running!

Race to the End of Summer was my first race since Big Sur Marathon over 4 months ago and it felt good to pin on a bib. I'd run this race twice before, in both 2016 and 2017; it's a solid local event, small and low-key but well organized, so it had been on my calendar since last year. I ran it in 2016 as my first tune up for CIM & shocked myself by running just 17 seconds off my PR & snagging 2nd overall & 1st in my age group (it's a small race) after just a few weeks of training (mostly lots of easy jogging) & only three speed workouts. Then last year (during the Bay Area's record-setting heatwave, after two days of moving & a night of basically no sleep) I completely fell apart & ran by far the worst 10K of my life. Clearly I had unfinished business with this race!

This year, as in 2016, I was only a few weeks back into running, almost all slow easy miles, & just three workouts (& oh yeah those eight weeks I took completely off from running after Boston 2 Big Sur). In a way, this took some of the pressure off--this was just my first race of an 18 week #fallspeedfest season, so all I really wanted to do was go in as fresh as possible, run hard, and not wimp out in order to get a baseline for the rest of the fall.