Tuesday, May 29, 2012


It’s been a while since I’ve posted, in fact, not since the SLO marathon.  Life’s been busy and challenges to juggle work and family has taken precedence. On top of that my beloved uncle Ernie Chan, a retired Marvel Comics artist (The Incredible Hulk, Amazing Spiderman and Conan the Barbarian fame, etc.) succumb to pancreatic cancer. RIP Uncle “Pops”.
SLO marathon was seven weeks ago. In between that and now, I’ve continued to maintain my base, taking care of my old legs and making sure they got the rest they needed while at the same time trying to also maintain fitness the best I know how.
I’ve secretly signed up to my third marathon this year: Ojai 2 Ocean Marathon (http://ojai2oceanmarathon.com/).  I know, I know--I’m going back on my word that SLO would be my last one for milking the training.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.  It was a sold out race and was just trying to help another girl out who couldn’t do the marathon for whatever reason.  She transferred her bib number to me with the race director’s approval and I was on my way. I figured it was meant to be.  There is not a whole lot of marathons out there that allow bib transfers.  We’ll see how it goes. The marathon is in 5 days.
Let’s talk about my training—or lack thereof.   After SLO marathon, I felt like I was a little beat up. I rested for 4 days then ran two days of back to back pace and long runs.  That first weekend back I felt good, but on my rest day, I felt a pain that could have turned out an injury had I not paid attention.  It was a pull on my left groin. I was vigilant about resting and icing and massaging the area. After several days and easy runs thereafter, I was back in good health.  I even went to two rounds of acupuncture for good measure.  After this episode, I realized that seven weeks into another marathon would not be smart/enough to do speed workouts.  The name of the game is to stay healthy, recover and maintain whatever fitness I have left.    I would have wanted to complete at least one 20-miler. But that would be risky.  I had to think hard whether to insert one or just completely recover and I decided to scrap the 20.
For the long runs, I only ran 14, 16, and 12. That was it.  I had pre-empted the long runs with a pace run and or 10K races the day before. Those are my speed workouts.   On the other days for shorter runs earlier in the week, I tried to hit it nice and easy.  I am happy with my decision.  I’m feeling rejuvenated especially with my last long run this weekend for 12.  I paced it at a conversational pace at 10:18.  I realized what I was doing wrong in the past two marathons:  The last week of running long, I’ve been running much too fast leaving my legs tired and flat on race day.
Three weeks and two weeks out from Ojai marathon, I ran two 10Ks (Miracle Miles and Bull Canyon Run) — a beach/sand course and a hilly course.  It was a chance for me to practice running hard on two different surfaces with varying degrees of challenges since these two races turned out to be my only two speed work outs in a way.  I am so not a fan of 10Ks, but I know it’s good for me. It’s a challenge to be “on” the whole time. It’s an awful long time to run fast and hold that pace for almost an hour. But just like medicine, it tastes bad, but you and I know it will make us better. Glad that’s over with. I was happy with my performance. I held back a bit knowing that I had to reserve some for the long run the next day. I don’t know when there will be another 10k where I can push hard without holding back. Usually there’s a marathon I am training for. It would be nice just to train for a simple 5k or 10k and really see what I am capable of.  That’s in my bucket list of things to do.

The plan is to take it easy this next four days. I have a 3 miler tomorrow, rest on Thursday and Friday, and a two miler on Saturday before we leave for Ventura.   I still have to think about my outfit with reference to the weather.  Lows are expected to be 53 and highs of 75 for Sunday. Race starts at 6 am, so that would be a tremendous help. Usually it is warm in Ojai and cooler on the coast of Ventura.  
I am excited. This will be a new course for me. I have never been in Ojai.  The first six mile of the course weaves around Ojai. After the sixth mile it heads on a gentle downhill to Ventura.  This is what I am looking forward to: the downhill portion. The last 6 miles (flat) is in old Ventura, finishing at Promenade Park (last year’s finish was at the Pier). Even with minimal training, I am hoping to see how the downhill course would affect my time. Next year, if I like the course, I’ll devote an honest, 16-week training for it. Guess there’s only one way to find out…

Happy Trails!