Tuesday, May 15, 2007


A running update on several fronts.

1) The hill running is starting to pay off. My run up Park Blvd, 1.5 miles straight uphill followed by a steep drop into and out of a canyon, then a downhill return, has gotten noticeably faster and at a lower HR. Last week's pace was 11:51 (avg HR=158). A month ago the pace was 12:16 (avg HR=162). Back in November last year, the first time I ran this route, my pace was 14:00!

2) Last week was my longest week ever: 24 miles (5:00 hours). On top of that I got in some stretching and strength training and went for a Sunday morning hike. Sure, the theory is that my marathon training will peak at a 40 mile week, and the marathon, at 26.2 miles, is longer even by itself, but this is still progress. Last time I ventured over 20 miles (much faster build up than this time), I self-destructed. This time I'm ready to run some more.

3) Longest ever training run: 12 miles. Yes, I've gone 13.1 in a race, but this was the longest self motivated run. It was also a trail run, with climb/loss 1750 ft so it felt like an epic.

We spent the weekend camped in San Mateo Memorial Park, which is between Silicon Valley and the coast in surprisingly beautiful coastal mountains filled with windy roads and redwood groves and misty open space ridge tops.

On Saturday, our long run day, we drove up to one of these ridge tops to run 6 miles each way from Russian Ridge to Horseshoe Lake in Skyline Ridge Open Space and back.

It was a tough run with almost none of it being flat. The first mile of the trail was tight single track which had been cut into a V shape by the mountain bikers, surrounded on both sides by waist-high grass. This made for terrible running and during this section we were imagining that 12 miles was going to take all day.

Fortunately the rest of the trail was either more standard gauge single track or wide fire roads. The return trip after the lake was much faster; we knew how far we had to go and could moderate our energy usage appropriately. That makes a big difference. Patty took the lead in powering up most of the hills and we both put in a fast final quarter mile to cap it off.

In three weeks we are scheduled to do the Lake Chabot Trail Challenge, a half marathon, so this was perfect practice for that. That promises lots of elevation gain. But before that, this weekend, is the infamous Bay to Breakers which we plan to run double (out and back).

No comments: