Monday, October 29, 2007

Two weeks to go

Week mileage: 22.3 Miles (4hrs 4min)

Another pretty good week, although there's signs of overtraining.

It's been a pretty fast climb back up to decent miles, both for our long runs and total miles. Because of this we've now peaked for our half marathon and will hold at this level with some easy running this week and then taper down the following week so we're fresh at the start line.

This weekend I did my first real race since the marathon three months ago! We did the 15km race at Lake Merritt. Both of us were pretty happy with our run. My time was just over 90 minutes, which was my goal.

According to the GPS we ran quite a bit over 15km, probably because of poor tangents at the beginning (and maybe GPS error). Apart from the first two miles, which were fast, we basically negative split each mile until the end, with the slowest being 10:00 mins (actually our goal pace) for mile 3, and just under 9:00 mins for my final mile. It was good to be able to finish strong like that. Patty finished so strong in fact that she kicked my butt by 30 seconds.

From this race I'm supposed to draw conclusions on how fast to run the half marathon. I feel like 9:30ish pace is probably doable now, with 10:00 being pretty easy and 9:00 being probably too hard for that distance at this point. That puts our goal between 2:05 and 2:10.

We'll see.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Taco Tuesday

Weekly mileage: 25.1 Mi (4 hrs 56 min)

Running has come completely around in the past month and I'm back to enjoying it. Mostly. Last week I hit my target of 25 miles a week which I hope to more or less sustain until the beginning of next year.

On Wednesday morning we headed out to Tilden, a local regional park, in pouring rain to run five miles on a trail there. It turned out to be one of the hardest runs in a long time. With the rain the trail turned to sticky slippery mud. How can something be sticky and slippery at once? Somehow this mud was. Running was something like running on sand dunes, two steps up, one slide back with the bonus of extra pounds of mud caking our shoes and rain pelting our faces. Afterwards I was beat for the rest of the day.

During the week I also put in a couple of good runs at work. I have a new Garmin Forerunner which I got to test out for the first time. It's pretty cool, but I have the same feeling I had when I first got a HRM. That it will initially just show me how slow I really am. But in the long run, that's probably a good thing.

On Sunday we headed out for our long run. The morning started with a flat tire on our car, followed by a flat battery on the forerunner, and plus, I felt terrible and in completely the wrong place for the run mentally. After about three miles the run came round and we ran a little over 12 miles in total. I've been having some kind of cramping and/or early onset fatigue on the outside of my right shin. Not pain, like shin splints, but something else. It usually subsides after a while. No idea what that's about, but it doesn't help!

Our goal is a half marathon in three weeks called the Big Sur Half Marathon. Rather than actually being in Big Sur, it's in Monterey and runs by the aquarium and out to near Pebble Beach and back. The course is actually pretty stunning as it runs right along the coast.

I'm really looking forward to it, although I don't have the best sense of how my body will respond to a race that length or even what an good pace is for me right now. I'm surely fitter than the first and only time I've run a half marathon that wasn't a mountainous trail run and that time was 2:18. To help figure this out, and kick ourselves into the racing mood, we're running a local 15km race this weekend. Three laps around the lake. I'm mostly hoping to not DNF like the last time I raced there, but the goal is tentatively 90 minutes.

Well, it's Tuesday. And that means track workout and Baja fish tacos!