Monday, September 25, 2017


Hi hi,

Some people asked me lately if I'd been so demoralized by my recent 10K that I just gave up running all together, what with the lack of blog posts and Strava data & general radio silence.

No way, dude! But I have had an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances that kind of makes it look that way, namely

    1) I've got some really big work projects lately that involve a lot of time and particularly a lot of writing, so I've been trying to be a responsible grown up & devote my spare writing spoons to the stuff that actually pays the bills, and

    2) My (1.5 year old) Garmin may or may not have just bit the dust last week. When it's charged it works fine, but it's been getting harder and harder to wiggle it just right so that it will make contact with the charger pins enough to actually connect, and I guess a couple of weeks ago was the week it finally went NOPE! So I've been slowly watching the juice drain out of it, and a couple of days ago it went dead at long last. I've been in touch with Garmin support & tried all their suggestions but nothing works, to which their response was, "Sorry, only 1 year warranty, but we'll totally send you a refurbished one for like $150." Which I guess is better than dropping another $300+ on a new one, but I'm going to try one last Hail Mary & see if REI (where I bought it) will see it as a manufacturer's defect (since it's only 1.5 years old it hardly seems fair to call this normal wear & tear) & replace it. We shall see. In any case, that's why there's been no Strava data. Lately it's been all treadmills & running in lane 1 or on a known route with an old school stopwatch.

As far as the shitty 10K goes, I've appreciated all the advice I've gotten from people more experienced at racing than me who've been like a) seriously, you had a lot of crap going on that weekend, of course you had a shit race, and b) sometimes we just have shit races no matter how fit we are, who knows why, it doesn't really matter, move along, nothing to see here. So that's the attitude I've been trying to take.

Who even cares, though, because last week this happened.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Race Report: Race to the End of Summer 10K

Every now and then, you have a race that leaves you staring breathlessly at your watch going, "Holy f***ing shit!! How the hell did THAT happen?"

Well, I had one of those races on Sunday. Except not in the way that you generally hope for.

I ran this race last year as an early tune-up for CIM. It was cheap and reasonably close to home and looked fairly flat and fast, except for maybe the fact that it's in San Jose during the summer and thus likely to be hot. Let me also say that I didn't have the highest of expectations last year because after running possibly my slowest marathon ever (or pretty close, anyway) at the end of April, I took May more or less off, spent most of June consuming LOTS of dairy, whisky, & other not-particularly-healthy things & getting basically zero physical activity, and returned at the end of the month pretty darn out of shape and unable to fit comfortably into most of my clothes.

Knowing I had just two months to prep for a 10K and five for CIM, I got straight to work running 40+ easy miles a week & lifting three times a week. I didn't have much hope that I'd get very far in eight weeks (including only three not-that-intense speed workouts), so I was utterly stunned to run 44:38, just 17 seconds off my PR, and come in 1st in my age group and 2nd overall. I think I spent a solid five minutes staring at the official results going "HOW?????" But hey, I'll take it! And when the race organizers sent out a $25 re-run offer for next year, I figured, why not?

So, here we are, next year. I'm certainly no longer in the shape I was in for CIM, but for the last few months my mileage has been in the 40+ range and pretty darn consistent, including reasonably intense speed and tempo/threshold workouts twice weekly. I haven't been in the gym three days a week without fail, but I've been making it twice a week pretty regularly (and I can squat and deadlift a LOT more than I could last summer, which should at least theoretically translate into power). So part of me felt like, "Surely I should be in the same ballpark as last year, and maybe even faster."

On the other hand, I've mentioned many times lately just how exhausted these 40+ weeks have left me, which seems silly. I can't ever remember feeling so worn out, even running 50+ miles a week. My speed workouts have been fine but my last two threshold workouts were the worst I can ever remember in terms of just plain not being able to run the target paces, by more than a little. So another part of me has not felt that confident about this 10K at all.