Thursday, November 29, 2012

Race Week To Do List

Race Week #18 (4 days of running)

• Mon: Yoga 30 min + 2.5 mi w/ 6x8-sec hill sprints REST  Massage
• Tues: Pilates 10 min gentle REST
• Wed: 5 w/ 2 @MP REST
• Thurs: 2.5 mi w/ 6x8-sec hill sprints 4 miles EZ
• Fri: REST
• Sat: 2-4 mi @ 11:00 pace
(Total 6-8 miles)

The list below is my to do list for race week. Hopefully this will help me do all the right things to increase my chances of performing my best come race day.
1. Drink more water – I will start hydrating on Monday rather than the day before a race. I'm going to keep my bottle of water handy at work and remember to drink throughout the day. Experts say keep urine light yellow in color. Otherwise if your pee is colorless, then you're drinking too much. 

2. Eat carbohydrate rich foods – Start increasing the amount of carbohydrates at the beginning of the week, but not overheat. I'm going to avoid sweets and fatty food. 

3. Limit my caffeine intake – In the days before the race, I will limit my coffee to one cup a day. No more afternoon and after dinner mugs of coffee. 

4. Get more beauty rest – I will retire an hour early every night in the last week to rest up. I'm typically very restless the night before the race, so this way, I can offset that imbalance. 

5. I may get a foot massage – A foot massage on the Wednesday or Thursday might be due. That will relax me and loosen me up. Time to pamper the feet, because they will be working hard soon. 
6. Focus on pace work and short speed – No big miles this week, just keep the workouts short and sweet. 
7. Take rest days – Rest means rest! Not going to be lifting any heavy boxes at work. (Sorry Tina, I hope you don't have any files shipping in this week.) 

8. Try to relax – Focus on all of the preparations that made me get ready for my race by reading my running log which shows how far I've come in 18 weeks. That usually relaxes me and makes me confident and believe in my training. 

9. Have all of my gear prepared a week before the race – I don’t have to worry about it at the last minute. I put all of my gear in a laundry basket. As I remember them, I throw it in the basket. 

10. Chillax – The bottom-line is to chill and relax both mentally and physically in the week before the race.

11. No rushing allowed on race morning – Get up at 3 am, to allow plenty of time  to wake-up, eat, and get my pre-race bathroom trips (#2) out of the way.

What does your race week comprise of?

Happy running!

CIM Training 2012: Thanksgiving Taper

Week #17 (4 days of running)

• Mon: Yoga 1 hr

• Tues: 6 mi (3x1600@5K effort 50-90% interval rest) w/10x100m strides

• Wed: Pilates 10 min gentle REST

• Thurs: Hunger Race: 8 mi REST (2 mile walk in the evening) 
• Fri: REST 3 mi EZ w/6x hill sprints 
• Sat: 3 mi EZ 5 mi (2x2.5 MP)
• Sun: 5 mi MP 8 mi EZ
(Total 22 miles)

This week is coming at me very fast.  Tuesday was a fast workout. I joined my fella CIM'ers at the track to run some 10 x 100m after some two mile warm up. It took some getting used to, to run a speed workout first thing in the morning when the body is still cold. I ran the 100s faster than normal. As the day wore on, I realized this was the case. I was lucky I didn't injure myself. Especially having done no drills to start off the fast running.  Luckily the next day was a rest day. 

Thursday was The Hunger Run for 8 miles.  I was prepared to run it. I even got dressed for it, but after discussing it with my Mom, it became clear to me that I shouldn't run it. I am much too close to race day, and if I know myself, I would race this and would not be able to hold myself back. Mothers know best!  (Thank you Mom for steering me right!) Case in point last year, I PR'ed on the course and fell consequently flat for the marathon at CIM. I'm not going to make that same mistake two years in a  row. I cheered my friends on and was happy to be on the sidelines helping out my running club, the San Luis Distance Club. We had 412 participants, raised $4,585 and 1,624 pounds of food for the local food bank. Awesome work!  
Friday I got back to work to clear my desk, my computer and wrap up stuff I'm in the middle of. After I come back from the marathon, I will only have two days left before I start my new job. It will be here before I know it. It was a quiet Friday as I anticipated and a perfect day to clean house. The best part is, I got my run out of the way first thing in the morning. I had four easy miles with 3 hill sprints. Had to remember to take it easy. I kept reminding myself, 'Not too hard, it's too close to be injured right now.' The sprints felt great, even though I was holding back my effort felt effortless. Compared the same pace I ran earlier in the training, that felt like a challenge. This is a definite sign that I am ready and peaking at the right time. 

Saturday was also another easy day of running 5.5 miles with 2 miles of tempoish/MP pace run. Well okay, you got me. I planned on doing an easier goal pace run, but went a little faster which ended up as tempo. I slept in and headed out at 9 am. It was sunny and I immediately felt hot. I don't like hot weather running. But it turned out okay since it was a short run.  I should really be more positive and not carry on this kind of negative thinking. It can carry on to the marathon. It's not allowed.

So Sunday, I planned to run with Linda and Myrna. Nothing fast, we just want to get our legs moving for 8 miles. This is it.  The final week is upon us. I still have to figure out what I'm going to wear. Look at me, I sound like I'm going to a party or something! 

Here's to a healthy week ahead! Thanks for reading.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

CIM Traning 2012: Week #16

Whoa! I'm here already? I can hardly believe it. In the beginning of the training cycle as I read through 18 weeks of workouts that I've laid out, I wonderered if I would survive it. And now here I am still standing and without any injuries. I must say that I credit the cross training combination to a healthy training. Yoga, Power and Pilates certainly strengthened my running. 

This week marks the beginning of my 3-week taper period. Mileage is cut back from my high of 40 miles a week to 20-45-65% (weeks 16, 17, and 18).  I am looking forward to the restful 3 weeks.  The gameplan  is to keep runs short while keeping the intensity at the same time.

Week #16 (4 days of running)
• Mon: Yoga 1 hr
• Tues: Power 1 hr + 2 mi (w/ hill sprints)
• Wed: Pilates 10 min + 6 mi (5x600 with 50-90% of interval for rest)
• Thurs: REST
• Fri: REST
• Sat: 8 mi w/6@MP   10 mi MP+30-sec
• Sun: 14 mi EZ
(Total 32 miles)

Week #17 (3 days of running)
• Mon: Yoga 1 hr
• Tues: 6 mi (3x1600@5K effort 50-90% interval rest)
• Wed: Pilates 10 min gentle
• Thurs: Hunger Race: 8 mi (2 mi @ 9:30; 4 mi @8:50; 2 mi @ 8:40-8:45 pace: 1:11 finish)
• Fri: REST
• Sat: 3 mi @ 11:00 pace 3-4 pick ups
• Sun: 5 mi MP
(Total 22 miles)

Race Week #18 (4 days of running)
• Mon: Yoga 30 min + 2.5 mi (hill sprints)
• Tues: Pilates 10 min gentle
• Wed: 5 mi (2 @MP)
• Thurs: 2.5 mi (hill sprints)
• Fri: REST
• Sat: 4 mi @ 11:00 pace 3-4 pick ups
(Total 14 miles)

• Sun: CIM-26.2 mi

Week #16 
Wednesday was all about keeping the intensity at the same time reducing the volume of the workout. With that, I opted to run 5x600s with 90% of the interval for recovery. The group ran 3x1600s with 100m recovery.  This very workout is on  my schedule for next Tuesday. Tonight I needed something much shorter since I was sore from Power. 

The 600s tonight were short and tiring. Because I did my power routine late in the day on Tuesday, instead of the usual 7 am time. Consequently, I had shortened my recovery leading to the Wednesday night speed work.  Hence my quads were a bit sore. It worked out that I was sore otherwise I would have pushed it on the 1600s and I could have hurt myself.  It crossed my mind to swap this week to next week since the group was doing the 1600s. Things have a way of working itself out. 

On  Saturday I originally planned to do pace work. However since it was raining, my muscles took  a long  time to  warm up. In fact,  it was  close to the end before I got in the groove.  I already had the mileage in and didn't want to add anymore.  I ended up running 8 miles at MP +20 seconds after my 2 mile warm up. I couldn't hit my pace so I didn't sweat it. I was not worried since I have next week to work on it some more.

Sunday was pretty much like the day before: rainy.  I ran with fellow CIMer buddies and completed about 14 miles on Turri Road. It was a leisurely pace of 10:45 and we paid attention to the hills and how it compares to the CIM course. I was glad the girls were with me. Last year  around  this time, I was running this mileage at a faster pace two weeks out from race day.  I was glad Linda and Myrna were with me to watch my pace. I have to remember the plan is to stray relaxed. I think we achieved that.  After shivering in the rain, we stopped by Starbucks for some much needed hot coffee.  Brrrr!

The hard work is done. I have a final long run of 8 miles next Thursday on Thanksgiving Day.  Originally I planned to run this sort of a relaxed pace. But since I am cutting out the 10-mile long run for next Sunday, this 8-mile race will take its place instead. Then on Sunday I will run a 5-mile pace run.
I think it's going to work and I'll be tapered and ready to go. Here's to a fabulous Week  #16!
Happy running! 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

CIM Training 2012: Week #15

CIM 2012: Week #15
Monday - Yoga
Tuesday - Power
Wednesday - Pilates / Speedwork (6.56 miles)
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Hills 8x (2.40 miles)
Saturday - Tempo (12.34 miles)
Sunday - Long Run (19.90 miles)
Total Mileage for Week =41.20  miles

The highlight of this week was the Saturday pace run.  I ran a comfortable 12 miler which included 8 miles at 8:45 pace. It was better than my MP.  With this, I was willing to run the next day's long run at an easier pace. 

My favorite part of the training cycle hands down is right after finishing the last 20 miles. Why? Because it signals the taper period. All the hard work is done, the proverbial "the hay is in the barn" rings true. Now I didn't say the taper period is easy. Actually it is hard. Because now I have to make sure that I don't do too much.

I say that because, I tend to fall victim to the taper madness. Since the mileage is cut back way down, there's an over supply of energy. I start reading up on the marathon training and sometimes I get overzealous with what I can add. Not falling for that one this time. I've learned that trying to attain a new level of fitness or squeeze in that last magical workout in the taper period could only lead to a flat performance come race day.

I learned today, which happened to be my last long run, that easy does it. All week I've been pondering about what intensity my final 20 miler should be. I thought about inserting a goal paced run in the last third of the run to simulate the marathon. This would have been good if I were five weeks out from race day where there would be cushion to recover. With three weeks out, it's much too close for comfort. (This idea was further enforced by my fellow CIM running buddy, Linda.) This final long run should signal the taper period, not a last ditch effort to crank out a fast paced finish long run.  There's a place for that in the marathon training puzzle; certainly does not fit in the taper phase. Man, can you say, I almost sabotaged my 4-month training? 

For my last long run, I said I was going to only run 18 miles. I went back on that and ended up with 20. I thought since I was not adding a fast paced-portion to this run, I could just go the distance. If I were adding a pace run it would be a different story.  For the 20 I ran an easy 10:12 pace using the hilly SLO course. 

Here's to the three week taper period! Happy running!

CIM Training 2012: Week #14

CIM 2012: Week #14

Monday - Yoga
Tuesday - Power
Wednesday - Pilates / Speedwork (6.77 miles)
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Hills 5x (6.18 miles)
Saturday - Tempo (9.96 miles)
Sunday - Long Run (16.01 miles)
Total Mileage for Week =38.92 miles

On Wednesday, since it was Halloween, I thought I was going to have to take my kid out for trick or treating. Instead, she decided to go out with our neighbor and her family. That meant I was free to do my workout. I decided to run to LOMS track and do some speedwork in the dark. I ran 4x 800s with just my head lamp on. It takes a lot of getting used to running in the dark. I was trying to run as fast as I could, but at the same time was very careful on where I landed. It seemed pretty easy to twist a foot. So yes, my paces for these 800s (4:01/3:59/4:00/4:04) are a bit slow compared to three weeks ago. However, these paces are pretty consistent than in my previous sets, so this can't be all that bad.

Friday was my last sets of long hill repeats. My paces were pretty consistent  (7:39/7:48/7:54/7:36/7:55/7:55). I was glad that I was able to get to this point without injuries.

Saturday was my Hammer workout. I ran 2mi @MP/1mi @5k/1mi @MP/800 for a total workout of 10 miles including warm up and cool down.  My paces were: 8:41/7:47/8:23/7:53. My 800 should have been the fastest, but I was tired and this was a very challenging workout. I was glad it was over. I will definitely keep this for future training plans I do.  I made sure I ate breakfast for this workout. You can run on a depleted state and expect great times.

What weird weather we're having here locally and across the nation.   I can't help but feel so sad for the people of NYC. I cannot imagine the ruins and the magnitude of what folks have lost.  At the aftermath of the storm, a run/race seems so inconsequential to what others have lost: lives, homes, loved ones. The whole NYC marathon that wasn't, have left a lot of emotions stirring on both sides. I hope that NYRR can find some resolution to this mess. We all knew that no matter what decision was made, there would always be unhappy folks on either side.

Sunday was incredibly hot for a long run. It was also daylight savings time, so I opted to take advantage of the extra hour and slept it. Big mistake. It was already warm when I got out. To make things worse, I ran with no breakfast. There was a little part of me that said be smart and bring some gels "just in case".  That 'just in case' time came at about mile four.  I had 12 to go. I kept thinking that I should just bag the run and try again next week. But I played mind games, telling myself, "just two more miles, then if you still feel bad, call hubby." It went on like that until I was within steps to home. Thank God! It was done and I didn't give up. 

Those bad runs still happens to me. It's not always easy. I'm just glad I came on top and Week #14 is in the books!  Happy Running!

CIM Training 2012: Week #13

CIM 2012: Week #13

Monday - Yoga
Tuesday - Power
Wednesday - Pilates / Speedwork (3.95 miles)
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Tempo ( 8.69 miles)
Sunday - Long Run (17.95 miles including 4 mile race 34:01 at 8:30 pace)
Total Mileage for Week = 30.59 miles

I have been without my Garmin and I am anxiously waiting for the pre-order to begin. Everyday I check the RW website, hoping that red warning sign would turn into blue! So the waiting goes on...For now I have to be satisfied with looking at the picture, turning it sideways, backwards and forwards, zooming it so large I can see the screws on the band. Hah! It's a well made Garmin! I can't wait to get my hands on it.

Speedwork on Wednesday was about 3x 1600s with lap rest. My splits went well with 7:46/7:56/7:50. Surprisingly it went as well as it did, because I got to the track rather late. I was so late that I had no time to even get a lap of warm up. I usually do 2 miles of warm up or 8 laps around the track. I ran my miles without my iPod.

On Thursday I got a bit of good news.  RW emailed me with a response that I could go ahead an pre order the Garmin even though the website said it's not ready yet. They took my information down and was reassured that they would call me as soon as the watch came in. (Not so, as I would find out the next on.)

Friday was a rest day.  I got back on the RW site to do my usual twirling and spinning of this Garmin. I just wanted to see how it looks for the umpteenth time. Obssessed much?  Well, imagine my surprise when the warning about the preorder was removed. My head was spinning so fast, I immediately thought that it could only mean one thing: that the watch must be here. I got on the phone and told them that I would be down there in 5 minutes! I was so  excited!

Saturday was my maiden run with my Garmin 610! I was so impressed with my new watch. I love the color, the feminine appeal of it and best yet all the features. Watch out for my future post on the review.  Back to my run. I ran 2x2 miles which essentially fell into my training tempo pace of 8:18. I love the way it vibrates for every lap. That's just one of the features I was looking forward to try. Sometimes in a race, it is so loud, you can't hear the watch beep especially if you have your iPod turned on. So the vibration helps quite a bit. Anyway, I can't wait to write the review on it. I just need a couple of more weeks to put it to use before I can sit down and give it an honest and thorough review. But let me tell you right now, it had me at "hello".

Sunday was my maiden race with my Forerunner 610.  I had a 4 miler race scheduled after my 12-mile long run. After the race, I ran a 2 mile cool down which rounded out my 18 miles for today.
Pace for the 12 mile run was 10:02. The pace for the race was 8:38 and the cool down was 10:13. Overall my pace was 9:44.

Week 13 was done! I was happy that the watch came early and that I was able to use it on a race. I love my gadgets, can't you tell?

Happy running! I am!

CIM Training 2012: Week #12

CIM 2012: Week #12. (Trying to catch you up on my training. This was from the week of  10/15)

Monday - Yoga
Tuesday - Power
Wednesday - Pilates / Speedwork (5.13 miles)
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Pace (8.56 miles) in the dark
Saturday - Rest
Sunday - Long Run (20.01 miles)
Total Mileage for Week = 33.70 miles

OnWednesday because of the heat, Coach Nancy modified our Yasso workout by doing 3 x (400-200 recov-800-200 recov) instead.  It turned out well because it gave me more chance to rest and not push it so fast since City to the Sea 1/2 Marathon.  Tonight was the first night also for me to be without my Garmin for a while, until the new one arrives. I had an old Timex Iron man watch that had 30 laps. I ended up just replacing the battery and I had to go the old school way.  No pace, just time. It was easy on the track since it is measured. It will be a problem when I run on the roads. I'll have to figure out the distance, the old way I used to do it: drive the route and use my odometer. It should work.   

On Thursday I took a rest day.  Even with the modified speedwork plan, I felt my body could use this day to recover.

Friday was a glorious day.  A lovely running buddy of mine let me borrow her Garmin 405CX until I get my new watch. There is a God. I love you Myrna! Thank you! Incidentally she is training for her 3rd Marathon which is also CIM.  She's poised to earn her BQ at CIM.

I had a pace run scheduled this weekend and I was a little worried about how I was going to be able to hit my paces without the Garmin. Since Myrna allowed me to use hers, I was so excited that I decided to move the pace run to Friday and rest Saturday instead. After work I hurried home as the light was getting shorter nowadays.  I decided to use my Turri course again since I was happy with my previous results. This weather has been erratic this past few days.  Tonight was very cold and windy--not complaining. This is my ideal kind of weather. 

Half a mile into my warm-up, I was chased by 8 turkeys.  Out of nowhere they chased me with their gobbling noises.  I tried to out run them but they were relentless. It dawned on me that if i continued running, I could possibly outpace them but I still had to pass this way again to go home. If I didn't turn around soon I would be on tired legs. If they were still here, possibly I wouldn't be able to outrun them on fatigued legs. So I sucked it up and yelled to startle them so that I could make my getaway. The leader kept chasing me.  Only when I feigned kicking him did he back off, while yelling at him to go home. Then I thought, "Do turkeys even have ears?" 

After this scary episode, I decided, the rush hour LOVR would have to do--I was running out of light but I persevered.   I was wishing I had my headlamp with me, but then again the  only one I had is busted. so I really need to get a new one soon.  This run made me realize that I need one badly for safety reasons.  It was hard to run fast in the dark. I was relying on the headlights of oncoming cars to light my path. 

My run was cut short by 1/2 mile, due to the darkness.  I wanted to do 9 miles of pace, but I ended up with 8.56 miles at 8:54 pace. It was windy on the way back and I was fighting to keep my form.  My eyeglasses were fogging up and I had to do frequent stops to wipe it dry because I couldn't see. Yes, there were a host of issues that should have kept me from running but this is the kind of effort I live for. I'll say this was a successful effort.  

Considering I had such a good run on Friday night, Saturday was a rest day. I took this day to make sure I was recovered from my 1/2 marathon race 6 days ago.  Afterall, Sunday is going to be a big day.  My first 20 miler of the training cycle.

I met my fellow CIM runnng buddies, Myrna, Linda and Dave for the Sunday long run. We decided to run the San Luis Obispo Marathon course.  It has some hills that would be good practice for CIM.  We started out close to 6:45am. It was still dark. I had somewhat of a restless night, as we experienced a little earthquake in the middle of the night. Nothing big, but enough to rattle my cages. I woke up at 4:30 and had my usual breakfast of oatmeal with banana with raisin and coffee. I took my 20 oz of water and 2 water flasks of 8 oz each.  So about 36 oz of water, which turned out to be not enough.  Note for next time, bring more.

I was intending to do 18 miles as my longest mileage for this training cycle.  However, I wavered and gave into adding 2 more to make 20 since I was running with others. Upon finishing, I was reminded of why I wanted to run just 18. It seems adding two last miles should be easy. What's 2 more miles, right? The body starts to fatigue after 3 hours of running. I've read that the risk for injury becomes exponential after the 3rd hour and that running beyond the 3rd hour offers little benefit--the law of diminishing returns comes into play. Also, the fatigue you feel after the run can linger on for 2 days,so you are forced to recover and sacrifice quality runs for the rest of the week. With 18, you can bounce back by Tuesday and go for speed workouts by Wednesday.  So for the next 2 long runs, I will stick to my 18 that I have originally planned. I don't regret doing the 20. In fact, I'm glad I did. It was a good reminder why I wont want to do it for next time.  I have 6 weeks left so there's plenty of recovery time.
Can you see him?

Don't move buddy, I'm just going to take your picture...

Okay, is it a llama or what?

In the end, I completed 20 miles at 9:36 pace with 18 miles at 9:31 pace.  Not a shabby effort. I like the fact that we started at 11:00 pace for the first mile and gradually picked it up until we were averaging 9:44 pace by the halfway mark.  Closer to the end, I whittled the pace down some more with a  negative split long run.

It was a great week of training.  Happy Running!

CIM Training 2012: Week #11

CIM 2012: Week #11
Monday - Yoga
Tuesday - Power
Wednesday - Pilates / Speedwork (5.5miles)
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Rest  (Good bye Garmin 405)
Saturday - Yoga 90 mins (1.5 miles)
Sunday - City to the Sea 1/2 ( 13.1 miles)
Total Mileage for Week =  20miles

Anne and I at the start of City to the Sea 1/2 Marathon

Oh my! It has been a while since I posted my training results. Life has been busy and full of surprises which I won't bore you with, but let me catch you up on the five weeks of training that has gone by.

Monday was my Yoga day. My right shoulder was bothering me in the previous week. I know it must have been due to my poor form of "up-dog".  I'll have to remember to drop my knees instead of straight up planking prior to getting into the up dog position. That should relieve the pressure from my shoulders. That seemed to help.

Tuesday was another day of cross training where I did Power. However, my right shoulder was still mad so I lightened up the load on the weights a little. I managed to complete the full hour.  

Wednesday was Pilates.  My shoulder was starting to feel better. I am trying to be careful with some of the moves. I found this great Pilates instructor on You Tube and she posts her routine regularly. It's great because you can pick and choose how much you want to do or how so inclined you would be to work hard. She focuses on different muscles, not just the core.  The variety keeps me motivated to follow her moves. Check it out: enter Pop Pilates on the You Tube search channel. (I would have linked it here but my iPad won't allow me.) This may not be for everyone. At times, she's a little too chirpy for me, but you just have to get past that and you'll get an awesome workout. Heck, even with one of her 10minute routine, I felt it the next day!

Wednesday night at the track was uneventful. I ran pyramid of 800/1200/800. There was supposed to be another 1200 in there, but I knocked it to one since I had a 1/2 marathon coming up towards the end of the week and I didn't want to push it.  Instead I added some 4x  20 sec strides in the end of my workout.

Thursday was a rest day. Oh yes! Thank you!

Friday was the day I decided to let my Garmin 405 go. I've had my eyes on the 610 ever since the touchscreen model  came out in 2011. And since I have all kinds of gift cards for my birthday, all I would really need is to sell my current watch to shore up my shortfall with my gifcards.  Luckily, my fellow CIM'er, Linda was in the market for a Garmin. She was interested and therefore we made the exchange. It was a win-win!   The only caveat was, I won't be able to have my new one until I can pre-order it which may be end of October.  Then  there would be another week of waiting for it to be shipped. I only hoped it would arrive before CIM!

Well, let me back up a bit. Just before I were to pull the trigger on the Garmin Forerunner 610, I ran into a picture of a white version of the watch. There was no description whatsoever, I thought " hmm, that's odd, could this be an old picture?  Where's the black one?"

So I waited one day! The next day, Garmin announced the multi color version, marketed especially for women.  It's about time Garmin! I was saved by the bell! I was so glad I waited. I had no idea. Again,  the only caveat was,  it was only available by pre-order through Garmin. All my gift cards  were from the Running  Warehouse, so I had to wait until the RW could order them. In the meantime, I hunted down my old Timex Ironman watch and replaced the battery.  It was a big change. I cant calculate my paces while on the run, I had to wait until I got home to figure it out. Oh how I missed my Garmin! 

Saturday was 90 minutes of Yoga. I decided not to run since the race was  tomorrow. I could benefit more  from stretching than a run.

Sunday race day!  This was the only 1/2 marathon I have planned for the year. It was crucial to my training plan as this would indicate my fitness level at this juncture. The only things was, I had to borrow a watch with a GPS so that I can monitor my pace. Thankfully Jenifer at work,  had the same model Garmin as the one I sold. I was able to arrange the fields as I had on  my previous one.  

Onto the race. The race started in downtown San Luis Obispo and wound its way to Pismo Beach any the Dinosaur Caves.  Even though we had an early start of 7am, it soon got  hot as we got only  into the 3rd mile. I kept a good pace until mile 8 when my overall pace was 8:39.  I can't explain it other than the heat got to me. I slowed down dramatically because between mile 8-13, my pace increased to 9:27! Cramps  came on mile 10 and 11. They were a different kind of cramps from before. These were sharp shooting pains in my calves. someone told me I may be in need of electrolytes. Salt was not  enough. In the end, I was happy with my finish of 
1:58:26.  One of the changes that I was happy about was that I forgot to put my iPod on. I ran without music the entire time. I was surprised. That I didn't even miss it. 

Well there goes my week of training. Overall it went well but I still have a ways to go. My half marathon finish  reminded me that I need to pay attention to my electrolyte consumption. I can't have cramps foiling my plans at CIM.  This race offered a good lesson to remember.  Until next time, happy running! 

The first and only downhill I remember...

The heat taking its toll; me panting near the finish line.
My hard earned medal.