Sunday, September 30, 2012

CIM 2012: Week 8

(Sorry folks, I'm still catching up...this is a week late.)

Monday – A.M.Yoga
Tuesday – Power
Wednesday – Pilates, speed work  (6 miles)
Thursday – REST
Friday – Cardio + hill sprints (2 miles)
Saturday – Alternating tempo 9 miles + (3 mi) walk
Sunday – Long run – 18 miles @ 9:18 pace
Total Miles Week 8 – 38 Miles

Coach Nancy said that we're going to move more into longer intervals. Last week was the last week of short repeats.  I am excited and at the same time, I feel "rusty" about anything longer than 800m. I have to gain a bit more confidence in maintaining that speed for longer intervals.

The workout assigned tonight was: 1600/1200/800/600/400. (4-3-2-1 1/2, 1 laps) with 400m lap recovery.

On the 1600m, for some reason, (and I do this all the time), I miscounted the laps. I was trying to avoid looking at my Garmin as much as possible and go by effort. I thought I was wrapping up the last lap, but when I saw the people ahead of me and, not stopping where they should be–that was my first clue. I finally glanced at my watch and the distance read, "0.77". Son of  #$#@%7!!!  I've gotten into the habit of sprinting the last 200 meters of whatever repeat I'm in. It was no different tonight. What I thought was my last 200 meters, I pressed on the gas. Reality sunk in when I still have to go around 1 more lap and maintain that speed.  For a split moment, I had a 10 second tantrum. Screw this!!! I'm only going to do 3 laps, that's good enough! I started walking and was disgusted at myself for ruining a what could have been my fastest mile. At 0.77, I was on 7:20 pace! I kissed my fast mile goodbye.  But after catching my breath for 10 seconds, now my watch is showing 8:49 min/mile pace (because of the walk break), I gathered myself up and started running again. By this time the people I was hoping to be right behind of, were now half a lap away. I managed to pick up the pace a bit more and I was surprised that I was not as far back as I thought I would be because of the mistake I made. In the end, my pace for the mile was 7:40. It wasn't all that bad.

What I learned from this is: when things go awry, it's not as bad as I think. When unexpected things go wrong, next time, I wont think of the worse. It's best to move forward and not dwell on the previous lap.  I should keep going because it is still salvageable!  The other thing I learned, pay attention to the mile I'm in. I didn't have any music on and I still screwed up.  

With the exception of the 1600m, the rest of the workout went well.  Three positive things came out of the workout tonight. I'm getting consistent with longer warm-ups and getting the body gradually primed for  the speedier workouts. I dedicated about 50 lunges before the actual workouts to fire my leg muscles to move. Lastly, I only walked 50m on the intervals then jogged for the rest of the way.  This is progress: the shorter the "off" interval is, the less colder and stiffer the body gets for the next "on" interval.

Friday was a sad, sad day. I was in mourning for my gym announced that they are closing their doors next Wednesday. I can't even begin to tell you how much this affects my schedule for the whole training cycle.  As you may know, I have cut down my running tremendously to capitalize on yoga, power and Pilates and the cardio machines in an effort to become a much more well-rounded runner.  In the past three months that I have diligently gone to cross training workouts, I can tell you that it has made huge impact in my performance. My overall flexibility has increased, my core is a lot stronger, and my legs can generate more power than I can ever hope for. Now with the gym gone, I have to figure out a way to continue doing my cross training. I've come too far to give up something good. Anyhow enough of my soapbox. Today's schedule called for 25 minutes of cardio then off to my hill sprints.  I performed 7 repeats and I was off to yoga to catch the end of the stretching routine.

Saturday was a great day for Tempo. I wanted to be on the dirt track today so that I can really hone in on the paces I assigned myself. Trouble is I had to get there relatively early so that I wouldn't be in the way of the soccer games.  I was kind of wistful when I got there. This day was picture day and I saw kids getting ready for their pictures and games. My 12YO didn't want to do soccer this year anymore. It's too bad because she's got her daddy's quickness and if I say so myself, she is an excellent forward who could use both her left and right foot when necessary.  Oh well, on to newer interests.  I hope she finds running in Jr. High exciting.

So I got to the track just as the hustle and bustle were about to begin.  I got plenty of warm-up as the track sits about 2.25 miles from my house. I got there and got right down to business. 4 miles of  9:10 pace alternated 8:20 paces. Once I was done, I jogged backed home with 2.25 miles.  Odd thing is, I dread this one hill going back. I don't know why, but it always is on my mind every time I pass it, there goes that tough hill again! It's not steep, but it is enough to give the quads the lactic acid burn. This time, I stayed relaxed and reassured my paranoid self that it's just a cool down, there's no pacing involved. So off I went.  To my surprise, I was running the hill about 5 seconds slower than my goal pace. As I neared my house, I realized that my pace was not my typical cool-down pace. The hill didn't take no more than 5 seconds. The entire work-out turned out to be a pace run for 9 miles. This was a good day at the office. Now my only worry was the workout tomorrow. Hopefully the legs won't be too fatigue to do the biggest workout ever yet.   I keep vacillating back and forth whether I should keep it less intense for the 10K race next week or keep it hard. In the end, my head said the big picture is the marathon, not the 10K, so everything should be geared towards the marathon.

First thing I checked upon waking up on Sunday was my resting heart rate which will give me an indication if was too fatigue. The kind of workout I was going to do hinged upon my HR this morning. If it was 5 beats too high, I would do a long run with a pace run inserted in the end. If it was just a couple beats faster than my normal HR, then the harder workout awaited me.  My HR was 57, only two beats higher! It's was a green light for my progression long run.  
Cloudy and misty for my Sunday long run...perfect.

56 degrees  with 98% to 100% relative humidity

Did a quick 4 miler jaunt to Baywood while my ipod recharged...

...went back home to pick it up, but didn't need to use it after my warm up. 

The finish winds up here for the Baywood Oktoberfest and June Fest 4 miler.

Quite a tranquil scene.

On Turri Road: What Mr. Turkey vulture? You gonna let me take your picture?

Or not. He flew away. Within yards, a sad, sad scene of a dog, that was the object of Mr. Turkey Vulture's desire...

I've been dabbing at trying out different paces for my long runs. In the past few weeks, I've used the 3-1 method and the fast finish long runs.  Today was no different. I had a good warm up of 4 miles then I slowly and gradually picked up my pace. Once I reached the 10th mile, I picked it up some more until to my pleasant surprise, I was down to 8:33 pace (for 8 miles).  I was drenched in sweat by the time I finished.  It was no wonder because posted the relative humidity was 100% by 9:30am. I was not sure at first how this would affect my run, how it might slow me down. It didn't seem to bother me this time.

Week 8 has been a very good confidence builder kind of week with the tempo run that turned into a pace run on Saturday behind the wonderful progressive 18-miler on Sunday. It was a back to back hard days and (I'm knocking on wood): no injuries so far.
I'm off to face week 9 which will place me in the halfway point of my training plan.  I've got a time trial scheduled on Sunday which is the Heritage Oaks Family Fun Run 10K race. Daughter is interested in doing the 1/2 mile race so we'll nourish that interest.  Until then, happy running!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

CIM 2012: Week 7

Monday – Yoga
Tuesday – Hill Sprints + Cross Train
Wednesday – Pilates, Speed Work (pyramids)
Thursday – Power
Friday – Pace run Yoga
Saturday – REST
Sunday – Long Run – 18 miles including 5K race, warm-up and cool down
Total Miles – 27.31M

Coach Nancy assigned a pyramid workout on Wednesday. We had  to do 300-400-600-400-300 two times with equal recovery. My first set was (6:22/6:36/7:07/6:57/644) and second was (6:51/7:03/7:22/7:01/6:09). I was not listening carefully because at the end of the first set, I thought I was done.  I started doing strides on my own, when in the corner of my eye, I saw my track mates, running again. Then it dawned on me. $hit! That's why Nancy said the total volume was 4000m! Duh!  So I hustled back to get myself together and restarted my watch. It could have gone worse.

I was running a 5K team relay on Sunday so I did Yoga on Friday and rested Saturday to keep my legs fresh for the run. I scrubbed my 5 mile pace workout for Friday since I think I did too much power on Thursday. Legs were  a little sore the day after. On top of that, I don't know what the course was going to be like. I only know that it going to be held in the vineyards, so I assumed dirt.

Sunday was a total fun day at the same time it was a pressure filled day.  I was asked to join an all-girl 5K relay team with super fast ladies and I was sure I was not in their league.  They've all been to Boston at one point or another. Me? That's still in the bucket list. I'm working up to it. It may take me five more years, but that's soon enough.

Our Team, The Hashemites ended up finishing in 2:01, first place. We beat another all-gal team by 2 hours. So it's not an exaggeration when I said my teammates were fast.

It turned out to be a very warm day. I was so glad that I was only doing a 5K. I felt compassion for some of the 1/2 marathoners who don't do so well in the heat. I was in awe of them for gutting it out to the finish. It was in the hundreds. The sun was beating down and this vineyard had no shades at all, just a bunch of rolling hills with soft dirt. It may be a while when I decide to do this again. Maybe if and when they move it back to November when it's cooler or they go back to the original venue, I may be tempted to run it. I said maybe, because I am not a fan of cross-county style courses.  It is a challenge to get some kind of rhythm going.

We're coming down from the first hill.

Still trying to get my bearings, while I pondered whether I would be able to take this kid (well, okay...yes I did).

My thoughts: The lung-busting pain will soon be over in a couple of miles.

Easing off the gas pedal after I finally passed Ms. Turquoise, who was ahead of me with 800m to go.

After the 5K race, my original plan was to run the rest of my long run and use the 1/2 marathon course. But after feeling the temperature rise by the minute, it was not a good idea. I decided to do a few miles of cool-down with my teammates before going home to foggy Los Osos. I was hungry when I got home and was worried about the 2nd workout. I knew after I ate, I would be tired and tempted to nix the run. I had 12 miles left to finish and being cold and stiff, it was extremely hard to get started again.  I rested a bit after lunch and took the opportunity re-charge my Garmin. Five hours after I ran the 5K, I got dressed, filled up my water vest and headed out to Turri Road.

I decided this would be a slow, easy run. No tempo or fast finishes because I was afraid that I could strain my already tired muscles. I just needed to complete the mileage. Turri Road was an added challenge because of the 1.25 mile of steady uphill. I took a 30-second walk break on the steepest part. The rest of the way was flat, however, on South Bay Blvd., there was another set of rolling hills. Once I was back on the main drag, I was glad it was over. Two more miles and I was done.

Marathon Simulator
I may be on to something here. I completed a total of 18 miles today. Granted it was broken up, but having that huge five-hour break in between the 5K race and the 12-miler, made it extremely hard. It felt like the last leg of a marathon.  I'll keep this in my back pocket because it seems like it is a good marathon simulator (as far as late stage fatigue is concerned) if you don't have the luxury of running 20+ miles at once, you can break the workout into two. The trick is to get the muscles cold and stiff, then run the second workout.  You still get the fatigue feeling in your legs. However, one must be careful about doing this, because you can get injured with cold muscles and pushing it.  It's just good to know for the future.

Anyway, the week ended with 27 miles! I am happy with my longest run this training cycle.  All is well, no injuries to report. 

Week #7 in the books, happy running!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

CIM 2012: Week 6

(Sorry for slacking again on this post.)

Monday – Yoga  (Labor Day Gym closed! Bah!) Rest Day
Tuesday – Power
Wednesday – Pilates at noon + Evening speed work 10 x 400s
Thursday – Rest 
Friday –  Hills x 4
Saturday –  Tempo
Sunday – Long Run – 12 miles
Total Miles– 33.11M

This week marks the end of the first six weeks of my training–I'm a third of the way done! I can't believe that essentially I only have 12 weeks left to do the hard work. Well, not really because 3 of those weeks is set aside for the taper period, so really I only have 9 weeks left for the nitty gritty! I am feeling stressed out already! Somebody S-L-O-W- down time for me please!

Since Monday was Labor Day, the gym was closed, therefore my yoga class was cancelled. However our running club had a Club Workout/Breakfast Run that I was invited to which was the highlight of the day.  There was a 8, 6, and 4 mile hilly run that went on before breakfast that I would have been interested in partaking had I not ran the previous day.  Well that's the story I shared, when asked why I was not running.  Any other day I would have been tempted to run, but I'm staying true to my running schedule and take Monday as a rest day.

Wednesday Speed 
The Workout: 400x4 with 1/2 lap recovery between quarters. Plus, 400x6 with full lap recovery between quarters. My results: (6:59/6:46/7:02/6:42) + (6:59/6:27/6:43/6:52/7:02/6:50)
Notice anything different? Yeah! I'm loving it too. 80% of the laps were done under 7-minute/mile pace quarters. I couldn't be any happier. If this improvement translates over to the 10K at the end of September, that would be key that my training is working.

I'm doing everything right espectially by warming up properly. I've discovered that I do better with speed workouts if I warm up thoroughly. What a concept! I thought before that one mile warm up was sufficient. It was by accident that I learned this one day. I didn't want to be rude to a fellow runner so I kept going long after my mile was up. To my surprise, I did better on that night's workout. I did an experiment and the next week I tried it again and I performed better. The other thing I started doing differently was to slow the pace of the warm up itself. I started out at 11 minute miles and let the body gradually increase the pace. (Before I jumped right in the 9:30 range.)  I used to tire myself out right in the beginning, even before I started the actual workouts. With this slower pace, after the end of 20 or 21 minutes, I would only be at 10:38ish pace.

Friday Hill Work-Long Hill Repeats 4x
In order for me to take account of whether I am improving or not, the best way I thought would be to stay consistent and use the same hill for all of my long hill repeats. Bay Oaks has been my hill of choice because it is 2 miles from my house and that for me is my sweet spot for warm up. Any less is not sufficient. For optimum effort I don't mind the distance.  This is my second long hill repeat. Last month, I had great results and I was surprised to see the numbers I posted in Week #2, which is still early on in the training.

On Week #6, my 4x hill repeats results are (10:35/8:11/7:59/7:49/7:59). I ran a 2-mile warm up toward my hill. Notice that there are five repeats and the first one, 10:25 is crossed off?
There is a story to that. Let me explain what happened.

I got to my hill fully warmed up. I did my final stretches and gulped one final ounce of water, set my watch and turned off my ipod.  Just as I was getting ready for my repeats, I spotted a guy coming up the hill. He was going slow as he was probably near the end of his run. I thought, he was going to be in my way. Should I wait and let him clear out or do I just go along the side? I didn't want him to think I was racing him because I will actually be whizzing by him. I didn't want to get cold either by standing around, so I decided to go. In thinking all these out, I didn't even think about the pace I'm supposed to run my repeats. I got sidetracked and since I've been running short hills where I run them all out, well, this turned out to be just that. Halfway through the hill, I puttered out and my quads felt the searing lactic acid creep up fast. I started to slow down even though I was trying my hardest to run hard.  Why isn't my watch beeping to stop yet? By now for sure I've reached the two tenths of a mile. I got near the top and had to stop when I still had 0.02 miles left to go. I ended up walking to finish the first repeat. What did I do this week to be this tired? While I recovered for five minutes, the thought of putting this hill workout off for one more week crossed my mind.  But my schedule is full, I don't know where else I would squeeze this in. My mind still flooded with questions. Was this fatigue?  Could all those fast 400s done me in? I was so mad. I must have pushed the envelope finally.

After five minutes of recovery, I felt better. It must have been around this time when I realized that I could have ran the wrong pace for the long hill, not that I was fatigue. I thought, I would do a "do-over" and pretend this next hill was my first repeat. If my results were better then I would continue. I restarted my watch and put the bad repeat behind me. When I posted the next repeat at 8:10, I knew exactly what I did and got my confidence back to finish the workout.

The next few repeats, I consciously paid attention to the pace and even effort up the incline. I told myself this was not a sprint, but a controlled effort.  I was proud of the result because I managed to bring down the pace as the repeats progressed, with the exception of the last one. I was tired.
I was proud of myself for not giving up due to the bad first repeat.  I regrouped, did a fantastic effort coming back and  learned a good lesson. When I ran this same hill repeats while training for NY 2012 marathon, my results were: 9:09/ 9:37/9:17/9:51.   That's a big difference this time around with 8:11/7:59/7:49/7:59. I'm happy with the results. (By the way, I'm comparing my results with NY because that's the only marathon I've done that I've devoted a complete 18-weeks of training as well as it is the race that gave me a huge PR.)

Saturday Tempo
I wanted to hit my paces so I decided that for this workout, I will need all the help I can get. If it means suffering around the oval so be it. The track is quickly becoming my friend. Well, that was my initial plan. After more thought, running 36 laps around the track would be inhumane. I decided against it. Another option was to find a fairly long road, preferably no stop lights or traffic, where I can do my 6 mile tempo.  Turri Road came to my mind.

My Tempo Spot

It's almost long enough, I just have to add a quarter more to make a complete mile. The trouble was that last quarter had a little bit of a hill. It could be good because then I could recruit other muscle for the tempo.  That would prove a welcome change of pace.

The tempo run I planned is a 6-mile cut down where I would start at 9:45 pace and incrementally lower the pace each mile by 10 seconds. So by the time I get to the sixth mile, my pace would be at 8:55.  I was a little worried because I ran a great hill workout the night before, meaning I wondered how tired my legs would be upon waking up. Luckily, they were good, no soreness at all which meant I got the green light to run as planned. I don't have to think about revising the plan, or cut down on the mileage. Turri is not totally flat, even the 3/4 mile has some slight gradual incline where it is more noticeable as you are running it fast.  The first two miles were easy warm up pace from 11:00 to 10:23 pace. I picked up the pace as I near the end of the two miles including two 30-second strides. Before I started the repeat, I looked at the terrain and I knew that going up would be tougher and coming back would be easier since the downhills.   I told myself to take it easy on the return since I'd have to come back on an uphill. It's nice that I'm paying attention finally and giving this more thought, rather than just running like Forrest Gump as before.

For the most part I hit the paces right on: 9:41/9:34/9:20/9:12/9:04/8:38 and loving the results. I was glad my legs could do this today considering I had a tough hill repeat last night. Now for tomorrow's long run, that's another story. Two hard workouts back to back was a success.

Sunday Long Run

Thirds!  This kind of progression run, I performed 2 weeks ago for the first time.  I was hesitant and approached it cautiously. I was very nervous because I don't know if I was good enough to run it in 3 different paces. I've sort of run "uni-pace" all  my life. I ran one pace from the beginning to end. Well let me explain, I tried my hardest to maintain a pace, but I would eventually slow down and hit positive splits.  (That's when you run the first half faster than the second half.) In a race, if you can do the opposite, run the second half faster than the first would be the most ideal. You save your best effort for the finish and end strong.

The 12 miles today on paper is harder than two weeks ago since I assigned myself a hard back to back workout. It was going to be a test to see if I can handle it. I always approach these kinds of workout with some form of humility.  I find that when I do that, I am able to perform better.

First of all I decided to go back to Turri. I love the fact that I can use my car as an aide station.  I have all my nutrition in the trunk and I go for loops and come back knowing I have something cool waiting for me. Next time I will an ice chest and keep chilled bottles of water. Nothing tastes better than an ice cold water after running.

The first 4 miles was an easy pace. I decided to not shy away from the the little bit of hill while my legs are still fairly fresh, so I ran it nice and steady.  When I got back to my car,  my watch read exactly 10:30 pace for 4 miles. I was happy with that because I had that 1 mile of a steady uphill. I concentrated on the next 4 miles which turned out to be 9:18.  I was shooting for 9:25, so this was okay. The last 4 miles I dreaded. I knew it was going to give me trouble. It was the fastest of the set and I was aiming for 9:00 pace.  It always happens that the second to the last mile I end  up slowing down, I was at 9:18.  I thought I lost the pace, but I pulled it together in the last mile to run faster and finally I whittle it down to 8:59–mission accomplished! I am slowly learning the art of pacing and I can now speed up and slow down without thinking I will blow up in the end.

I've had a tremendous workout this week starting from Wednesday with the 400s. The Friday hill work turned out to be cool, when I almost lost it. Saturday was my first attempt to teach my legs pacing as well as the progression run on Sunday where I hit all my paces. I can't complain.  I am curious though to see how my legs will feel tomorrow upon waking up. They've been put through the ringer. I'll let you know.

'Til then, happy running!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

CIM 2012: Week 5

Week 5

MondayNoontime Yoga
Tuesday– Cross Train  Power
WednesdayPilates, Speed work 3 sets of 4 x 400s
Thursday– Power Rest
Friday–  Cross Train with short hills repeats 8x
SaturdayCambria Pine Dorado 5K
SundayLong Run16  14 miles
Total MilesM

Wednesday (7:27/7:28/7:20/7:10/6:51/6:45/6:58/7:06/6:55/7:19/7:21/6:38)
The workout was 3 sets of 4 x 400 with 1/2 lap recovery in between the quarters and full lap recovery between the sets. I was glad to see that I managed 5 quarters (out of 12) in the 6-something-minute/mile pace range. That's something new!  I never expect to see those paces this early in the game. I'm going to hold my breath about this. We'll see how it goes. There's more work to be done.

On Thursday, I  rewarded myself with a rest day, for having worked so hard with the 400s the night before.  My legs became stiffer as the day wore on. A 1.25-mile walk in the afternoon was a welcome break to stretch them out. It helped quite a bit.

On Friday  I was a tad worried that my legs would not be ready for today's cross training.  Again I performed the usual 25 minutes that consisted of 10 on the bike, 10 min on the elliptical and 5 minutes on the stair stepper. After that I ran some short 8-hill repeats. Legs should be wide awake for tomorrow's race.

Saturday Pine Dorado 5K (24:43)

OMG Elena's getting taller than me!

I was surprised my daughter decided to come along with me.  The night before she informed me that she will run the 5K. I wasn't going to force the issue and I thought to myself, if she gets up (5am) then we'll go. I didn't even need to wake her up. She woke up on her own. She set up her own alarm clock. (Thank goodness for the ipod touch!) We had oatmeal for breakfast and we were off to a less than 40 minute drive to Cambria. Elena did fantastic and shaved more than 2 1/2 minutes off her personal best. She ran a 33:33 for her second 5k ever! I couldn't be any more proud of her.  How many 12-year-olds do you know got up at 5 am in the morning, on their own, to run a gut-busting 5K on a Saturday morning, one week after the school year began? Not very many I can tell you that.
As for me, I was able to run another sub 25-minute 5K. I was 18 seconds slower than last year finishing this year at  24:43.  I was the second woman until the very last 1/2 mile when two passed me, engaging me to stay with them. I was grateful, but I couldn't sacrifice my long run the next day. I didn't glance at my time, but I felt that my effort was strong enough to break 25 and that's all that mattered. I earned  the 1st place in my age group category, so I was triple happy: my kid PR'd, I got my sub 25 and my age win. It was a great day!

Sunday MDO Trails (14 @ 11:21)

The plan was to run at 6:30am so that I can get back to the family and spend the rest of the day just chillin'. I didn't get out on the road until almost 7 am! But I was still the first one on the trail. I knew it because all the fresh spider webs still had the dew on it were in tacked and I was the one trail blazing it! Yuck! Really it was a beautiful morning. There the occasional white cotton tail rabbits scurrying about. It was a misty run, the morning was cool and the air was so fresh.

The trail I am supposed to come out of after the East Boundary climb

Doesn't look much, but my legs say this is a climb.

Bikers love this. There's a complimentary bell inside the bin, to alert runners or horses on trail. You return the bell when you're done.

More climbs, but gradual.
Misty morning, fresh air.

Took a picture, in case i don't remember which way to go.

This way to the switchbacks then back to Manzanita Trail.

I don't know why but this flower just popped and grabbed my attention.

I decided to run the same trail two weeks ago. I ran up to Horse Camp Trail, then to East Boundary Trail, then back down to Manzanita Trail, then back to Horse Camp again. I closed the loop on Manzanita trail--was curious to see the gnarly downhill. I felt my knee tweak a little because it of the steepness and I didn't want to slip. I was hesitant on my commitment to my foot landing and that made it even more difficult to maintain a downhill pace. Once I told myself to relax it became somewhat easier on the knees. It's going to take a few more sessions of this downhill running before I can let myself go. As soon as I came out of Manzanita trail and on to Horse Camp, I was greeted by a big dog staring up at me! He had on a choker and looked mean, he didn't growl or anything. I thought this is the day I get bit. I moved slowly and saw that his momma was just up ahead the trail. I called out to her, "Is your dog okay?" What I wanted to say was "Your dog is looking at me like I'm his meal!"  She called him and he was fine. Whew!
A little bit of uphill

This is a good place to rest after the climb you might want to stretch and refuel.

I kinda of missed this sign two weeks ago. I made a wrong turn. Not today.

Poison Oak: Leaves of three, let them be! 

I love the moss hanging from the trees. Or are they?

I've reached the top...

Nice view, but the fog is covering most of it.

The start of the downhill back to Manzanita Trail

Where I came from

I decided to stay on East Boundary... that I can shoot out of Islay Trail...

Finally on Islay Trail, but I had 3 more miles to get back to Pecho Road.

I went up the East Boundary switchbacks a second time and felt strong. I am digging this trail. After the switchbacks I ran continued up East Boundary until  I was back down to Islay Trail. I contemplated going back to Horse Camp and one more time on Manzanita Trail.  After a few minutes on  Horse Camp, reality set in. I turned around; time to head home. I realized that I would have to come back the same way and the other way is uphill. I just didn't have enough to go one more round since I was running on empty.  I could do one more loop, but that would mean fueling up; and this is not what I wanted to do. 

Let me explain. This type of run today was a carb-depleted run, meaning I had no breakfast before the run and all I had with me was 40 ounces of water. I am trying to train my body to run efficiently and use fat as fuel, instead of carbs. Mind you, the body has enough glycogen in the liver, which is about two hours worth. So beyond two hours is when it kicks in. I had Gels with me in case of emergency if ever I get into trouble or something. I just didn't want to pop a GU gel just to get home. That would defeat my purpose. I called it a day and came back down from the trail and ran two easy miles as a cool-down.  Running on empty sure felt like the last leg of a marathon. I was glad that it was over and I didn't need to Gu afterall. But as soon as I got home, I downed my muscle milk, which contains about 20 grams of protein to replenish my glycogen stores. Met up with two running buddies while I ate a banana and bagel with cream cheese and my first cup of coffee for the day. This was another successful run.

I like alternating the long run with trail and road running. It keeps it interesting and I finding that more and more that there is no need for music.  I ran up the trail and realized only at the end, that I was unplugged. That showed me I must have truly enjoyed the trail run.

Week 5 is done and in the books! Another great week.  I'm looking forward to next week which means I am a third of the way with the program. I can't believe it is humming along so fast.

Happy trails!