Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Good-Bye My Garmin 405

Good-bye my dear friend. You and I had our ups and downs.  We've had our share of laughter and tears, through triumphs and disappointments.  We traveled to NYC together and twice you accompanied me to two PRs.  I cannot forget that.  Sometimes you came up short, but I still relied on you. There had been times at the track when you blinked out, like you ran out of juice or something. I ran my fastest splits only to find out, you weren't even recording it.  But I forgave you for that--It was probably my fault not yours. I took a risk in hoping you had one power for one more night; let's face it you can't go on ticking forever. But each time I gave you rest, you recharge like new. I will always be grateful for our times together.  I can't stay with you forever. I have to move on, if I am going to progress. I have to make room for someone new. But I am not abandoning you just like that. Linda promised to take good care of you. However, you also have to take good care of her. She wants you. So I bid you good-bye. I will see you from time to time.   

Good-Bye my dear friend, you're going to a good home. Linda will take care of you. I promise.

Boxed up like new again...

Oh hello there...What's your number? 610?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

CIM 2012: Week #10

Monday - Yoga 
Tuesday - Power
Wednesday - Pilates / Speedwork (7.05 miles)
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Hills 5x (5.84 miles)
Saturday - Tempo (11.91 miles)
Sunday - Long Run (14.74 miles)
Total Mileage for Week = 39.54 miles

Week #10 marks the beginning of the second half of my training. I can feel this is going to go by so quickly and before I know it, race day will be upon me. The first half of my training went well. I can feel that the incorporation of the yoga, pilates and the power classes boosted my overall strength.  With the gym closing in the last week of September, that was the wrench that put a crinkle in my plans.  However, I'm not going to dwell on it. I have moved on and adapted to the change. It's just one of those things life throws at us. It's up to us to go with it and find the positive in it. We can't let something like that ruin the plan, right?  As runners we have to be tough and keep on going.

Monday -Yoga
Somehow, I tweaked my neck/shoulder region by doing the 'up-dog' from my yoga video. It hurts to raise my arms above my head to do down-dog, overhead presses or do triceps dips.  I have to be careful with Yoga now. I didn't realize that as gentle as it is, I can still hurt myself. So, I will probably take a week break from doing the x-training next week to let this heal a bit.

Wednesday - 6x Yassos (3:33/3:37/3:38/3:41/3:44/3:42)
Coach Nancy announced that every other Wednesday from here to December will be devoted to Yasso 800s.  This will help tremendously for those doing marathons this fall, especially me. I love Yassos. This is the kind of workout that may predict my marathon time. The goal is to be able to run ten 800s, each in a minute-and-second time that matches your expected hour-and-minute marathon time. So, if you want to run a marathon in 4 hours and 15 minutes, you start with four or five 800-meter repeats and gradually work up to 10, running each in 4 minutes and 15 seconds.
The recovery time has to also match the goal minutes and seconds as in 4:15.
This is our first Yasso workout for this training and it went above and beyond my expectations.  Before we got started, I had it drilled in my head that I would be happy with a 3:48 and ecstatic with a 3:45 if I can even achieve it. Well, to my surprise, slowest one was the 2nd to the last one (never fails, it always is that third lap) with a 3:44.   I felt comfortable with each one of them. Of course it would have been even sweeter if I had the repeats reversed: where the slowest ones were in the front and the fastest laps at the end. That's what I'll strive for next time.

Friday - Hill Repeats 5x (7:35/8:06/7:49/7:35/7:59)
I took a full day of rest on Thursday to prepare for Friday night's 5x hill repeats. This was to be my second to the last hill repeat before CIM. I went used my trusted Bay Oaks Hill and it was another great effort night. I started with 2 mile warm up and performed my stretches along with lunge matrix stretching I learned from Coach Jay Johnson. After this, I ran my repeats and cooled down with a 2 mile run home.  I did a silly little experiment on the side here. As you can tell from second repeat, my pace was off.  That was due to the fact that instead of walking down the hill for the recovery, I jogged down slashing the recovery time to half.  I was not ready to go for the next repeat but I ran it anyway. The results were telling. For this kind of workout, a full recovery is a must. I knew that, but I just wanted to see how much it would affect my performance. So the next few repeats, I rested and recovered until I was ready. Now I know.

Saturday Pace (8:51)
I was a little worried that my legs would be too tired for a pace run effort today.  I only had 7 miles to run at pace plus 5 miles of warm up and cool down. It turned out all right. I was right on pace and everything went as planned.

Sunday Trail Run - (Long Slow Distance 11:54 pace)
I ran with two friends who are also signed up for the Cal Int'l Marathon in December. This was also their recovery week, so we decided to run together along the Bluffs trail and Point Buchon in Montana De Oro State Park. It was a beautiful and clear day.  The Pacific Ocean had its beautiful hues of blue green and all shades of blue in between. Our run was truly a recovery run.  I expected my legs to be particularly fatigue from yesterday's pace effort but I was okay. I would have been in trouble if we pushed the pace, thankfully, we adhered to our goal today. Another good week: until next time, happy running.

My friends Myrna & Linda

Me with my tall friend Linda

Me with my other tall friend Myrna...
Didn't know there were goats up at Point Buchon.

...Hello friends...

Monday, October 8, 2012

CIM 2012: Week 9

Monday – Yoga
Tuesday – Power
Wednesday – Pilates, Speed work 7.19 miles
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 4.42 miles (hill repeats+pace+tempo)
Saturday – 2 miles strides
Sunday – Heritage Oaks Fun Run 10K  – 7.34 miles
Total Miles – 20 Miles drop back week

Sunday's Heritage Oak's Bank Family Fun Run
This was a huge week in terms of my dropping back a few miles in an effort to do my best with the upcoming 10K. The race will serve to be my time trial for the 2nd half of my marathon training. I always read about applying my "10k pace" for such and such workout. Well it's good to know exactly what that is. Up until now, I've been using a rough pace – a recent 10K race, which was hilly, and the course not accurately measured. This weekend's 10k race fit perfectly well into my schedule. It was in the middle of the 18 weeks, which meant it gave me a chance to work on some speed development prior to race day.  This course was accurately measured (it was once used as the USA T&F championship course) so I feel good about using this as my benchmark for the next 9 weeks of training where I can base all my future training paces. So now I am confident that my 10K pace is 8:25.

I felt good coming into this race. I was rested and my legs were surprisingly not fatigue from the training, even with the abbreviated hill repeats two days prior to race day. I did some strides the day before with my daughter on the track. She was so concerned that her race was just half a mile and thought that she didn't need to warm up.  I showed her the importance of a proper warm up. We ran around the track twice, after much belly-aching. After she eased into the middle of her first stride, I prompted her when she could let the dogs out. "You mean like this?" She took off like a bullet. I was impressed! She didn't fully realized that what little warm up she did primed her body to run even faster. I know she didn't want to admit it, but I think that warm up made an impression on her.

My plan for Sunday's race was to hold back at least for the first mile. I hung back until the first hill rolled around, then went for my pace and held it strong. This was the first 10K where I was not gasping for air and gone into oxygen debt in the first mile. I rounded the corner for the second loop and I was still reeling people slowly – mainly those who ran too fast in the first go around – by the way, that was me last year. However, the last three people I was able to catch, caught back up to me and they would not relent. I was in a happy "pace" and I didn't want to go into the "uncomfortable" place until I needed to.  It was easy to give into that slower pace.  Near the last turn, I noticed the last lady who tried to overtake me looked like she was fading. Her partner left her and took off.  She was hanging her head too far back which gave me an indication that I can take her at the last turn.  I picked it up but she turned and saw me gaining up on her. She reacted with a second gear. I tried to match her stride.  At the mat, I thought she beat me. However, it was chip timed, so I got her by 3 seconds. That was fun. Anytime, I can sprint for the last quarter of a mile or so (my Garmin read 7:32 min/pace for 0.20), is a great racing day!  I can't tell you the number of ugly finishes I've had looking like death at the end.  This one is for the books.  I only shaved 16 seconds from last year, but the way I ran this race is the way I want to race from here on out: finish strong. By the way, my daughter finished her half mile race strongly too.

Doing my warm up drill...

Pictures taken by Elena
Photo by Elena Cota...between mile 1 and 2

On to the 2nd loop...

Final turn to the finish...sensing the lady's tiredness, I try to pass one last time...
darn, she hears my footsteps...and she widens her gait...

...I tried to match her stride for the end, I nipped her by 3 seconds...great photos taken by my 12YO!

Photo courtesy of Brian Lawler: Elena waiting for her 1/2 mile race along with eager kids under 12 years old...

Photo by Brian Lawler: Elena's 3:46 half mile finish. Looking Strong!

Week #9 is done and another successful training week gone by. Until next time, happy running!