Monday, February 25, 2019

Racking Up Small Victories

Slow working my way back up towards what feels like "real" mileage. I think in my schedule this was supposed to be a cut-back week, but because of all the little physical niggles I've had in the last couple of weeks that resulted in missed runs, this actually ended up being the highest mileage week I've run so far this year. Which is fine. Progress is progress.

Also, hey! Not only attempted but COMPLETED all my runs this week!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Cocktails: How to make a reeeaaaalllllly good gin & tonic (even if you don't like them)

(If you are only interested in running stuff, or actively NOT interested in alcohol stuff, feel free to skip this one & come back next time.)


Friends. A word about gin & tonics. It seems they've been gaining popularity amongst the non-cocktail crowd as of late, so I feel the need to share, & this is my platform.

What is a gin & tonic? This seems obvious, but I keep seeing internet recipes that get it really really objectively wrong, so.

A gin & tonic has at least two ingredients: 1) gin & 2) tonic water. The biggest mistake I keep seeing on the internet is using gin & soda water (ie, ordinary carbonated water), which is not right. If you want to have a gin & soda, cool! But that's different from a gin & tonic.

For the history buffs in the room, we got gin & tonics from British India. A substance called quinine was found to prevent & treat malaria, & the easiest way to deliver the stuff was by dissolving it in soda water. Thus tonic water was born!

Alas, tonic water on its own was quite bitter, so British officers took to mixing it with their military gin ration, sometimes with a bit of sugar & lime. The molecular structure of gin & quinine, happily enough, bond to each other in a way that greatly reduces the bitterness, though today tonic water also contains less quinine & usually a little sugar as well (meaning you don't have to add sugar anymore).

So on the one hand, G&Ts are quite simple: Get some gin, get some real tonic water, mix em up over ice, add a little lime or something else flavorful if you want, & you're good.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Tell Me It's Just Stress

This week wasn't perfect, but, hey! It makes one more where I've had the time & bandwidth to at least ATTEMPT every run on the schedule, and it also included two double-digit workouts. Honestly I'm kind of amazed at how beat up my legs feel after this 33+ mile week (they feel like it was at least 50), but I think that's at least partly still working back up to higher mileage & longer/harder workouts after a bit of a holiday break.

(I've also had a lot of work stress recently, and I think we all know that mental/emotional stress slows healing/recovery, so that could also be part of it.)

~*~*~ STOW LAKE STAMPEDE: Week 6 of 14 ~*~*~

Grand Total: 33.15 miles

    * 7.5 easy
    * 6.65 speed
    * 6 threshold
    * 13 long

Thursday, February 14, 2019

6 x mile @ 10K pace

Tuesday's track workout: 2 warm up, 6 x mile @ 10K pace (7:09) / 1:30 jog, 1.5 cool down

Guys, two things. 1) I was absolutely quaking in my boots about this workout for DAYS beforehand. I literally cannot remember the last time I did SIX mile repeats (possibly, never), and 2) I do not not NOT believe that 7:09 is my current 10K pace, even fresh & tapered. At first when I saw this workout, I was like, "RunCoach, you are smokin' some crack."

But then I put my recent 5K time into a (non-RunCoach) race pace predictor and guess what:

Ugh, fine, whatever.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Stow Lake Stampede: A Bumpy Start...

Sooo a few weeks back I was emailing with the erstwhile Faster Bunny about 5K training plans and how most of the ones on the internet are of the Couch-to-5K or otherwise rank beginner variety, for good reason; when most people are just getting started with running or coming back after a break, 5K is the logical place to start and a kind and gentle plan is called for. Hence lots of nice, mellow 5K plans that are light on workouts and low on mileage.

But, sometimes, people with lots of experience and a reasonable amount of fitness and tolerance for discomfort also want to run a 5K, not just to finish but to utterly destroy it, and those folks also need a solid training plan that meets their particular needs and goals. That's part of what I've really liked about RunCoach--you tell the system what and when your goal race is and how you want to organize your week, and it takes into account your entire history (particularly training volume and performance) and uses the algorithm to generate a plan that in my experience has been pretty darn solid. (I give RunCoach a lot of the credit for going from a 3:47 marathon to a 3:36 and then 3:31.)

Before these last couple of 5K-focused cycles, I had personally never seen a 5K training program aimed at a more experienced, competitive-but-still-recreational runner vs. a more beginner plan. (I'd seen excerpts from a few pro 5K runners' training logs but those were hardly relevant to me either.) It's been cool to see 10-12 mile speed-focused workouts on the plan regularly, though, as I told Faster Bunny, it also kind of scares the shit out of me a bit.

Though, if we're honest, I have yet to follow it consistently in 2019. Which I guess makes it both less and more scary.

Which is all a roundabout way of saying I've been meaning to train my butt off for a wicked fast 5K in April, but the universe and my body have just not been very cooperative over the last couple of months, which is frustrating when you're PAYING for that sweet-but-utterly-terriying training plan. There's not really been enough to make it worth (in my opinion) writing entire weekly logs, but here's a quick overview:

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

"Race" Report: Kaiser Permanente 10K 2019

So, first, a little background. I ran this half marathon in 2010 and the 5K in 2011, and registered for the half on two other occasions where I was unable to run because of an injury. Last year while training for Boston I signed up for the half *again*, super excited to run it when I felt like I was in pretty good shape, but alas a couple of weeks beforehand I did something terrible to my hip and couldn't run for a week. It was on the upswing so I decided I'd go ahead and start but fully expected it would still hurt too much to run 13 miles when I'd only gotten back to running 2-3 easy miles at a stretch, and sure enough, I had to drop out at mile 4. Feeling like I had unfinished business, I immediately took advantage of the cheap "re-run" registration.

Then Boston happened, and Big Sur, and a two-month break from running, and deciding to target Wharf-to-Wharf six-miler in summer 2019 as my next big A race. So when Kaiser announced that they would now be adding a 10K distance, I jumped at the chance to practice running sixish miles in my backyard.

Imagine my confusion when I got TWO different-colored bibs in the mail! I completely forgot that I'd registered for the half already when I registered for the 10K, kind of a bummer since I probably could have just dropped down in distance for free. Ah well!