Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Stephanie tagged me on her blog, and although I'm doing most of my blogging at Cate's World Kitchen instead of here, I thought it would be fun to answer these questions

1) What are you most fond of accomplishing in 2010?
The two biggest accomplishments are qualifying for Boston and running my first Ultra (a 50K).

2) What are your running goals for 2011?
I'm not sure yet... I know I want to PR at a couple different distances and run another trail race, but 2010 was the most successful running year of my life so it will be tough to beat.

3) What is your favorite race?
The San Francisco marathon. The weather is perfect, it's not too big, it's well-organized, and you get to run over the Golden Gate Bridge! The fact that I had a huge PR there doesn't hurt either.

4) What is your favorite holiday guilty pleasure?

5) What was your most embarrassing running moment?
Hmmm. I'm not sure that I have a really embarassing moment.

I'm not going to tag anyone because I don't even know if anyone still reads this blog, but feel free to answer the questions!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's been a little quiet around here

When I wasn't gainfully employed, it was totally doable (and kind of helped me keep my sanity) writing on two blogs.

But now, with a real job (and a husband with a real job!) I've decided to streamline and combine both blogs. If you haven't checked out my food blog, it's now (typically healthy vegetarian) food PLUS training and races. I may still update this blog from time to time, but if you want to stay up to date with my training for my first ultra (and beyond!) I'll see you over there!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Unpopular (or Popular?) Opinions

Because it's cold and rainy and yes I will go run 20 miles, but indulge me first:

1. Tweeting/talking on your cell phone during a marathon is just weird to me.  I thought the whole point of running a marathon was pushing yourself

2. I will probably own a running skirt in the near future (what? I can't rule out the possibility and everyone keeps telling me how comfortable they are) but I just cannot get behind those matchy-matchy running outfits where everything from hat to shoes is perfectly coordinated

3. If you take a gu during a race, don't drop the packet on the ground unless you're in the middle of an aid station.  The Nike Women's Marathon went along my usual running route and after that weekend there was gel-packet litter EVERYWHERE. Just carry it to a trash can!

4. Running without socks is just better

5. I don't understand the concept of running a race just to finish.  I guess a fun run every now and then can be fun, but if I'm going to the expense of registering for a race, I want to push my hardest, not just finish.  Why settle for being mediocre?  Why not see what you're really capable of?

6. I love race volunteers. Love them.

7. I always complain about how ridiculous it is to get a medal after every marathon and triathlon I do...and yet I just can't bear to get rid of them.

8. I don't think I'll ever buy myself a Garmin (I've run just fine without one for 13 years) but if one happened to be under the Christmas tree this year, I wouldn't be sad.

I'm sure you have unpopular opinions/vents/confessions....Please spill! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My weekend

I DID bake over 120 cupcakes for a wedding on Saturday night. (Really! You can read about it here)  I DID NOT have very much self-control when surrounded by frosting for said cupcakes.

I DID manage to squeeze in a 5 mile run on Saturday before heading to the wedding.  I DID NOT stop at 2 glasses of wine at the wedding like I told myself I should.

Wedding reception with all 80s music + a bunch of friends from college = not the healthiest weekend

I DID have a teeny little hangover on Sunday morning.  I DID NOT run my scheduled 12 miles.  Ooops.

I DID eat donuts (plural) on Sunday morning.  I DID NOT feel guilty about it...until my Boston confirmation popped up in my Inbox on Monday!

In college weekends like this were the norm...and it makes me really happy that they aren't usually like that anymore.   My mileage has been around 30-35 miles a week lately, which I really need to step up so I'm ready for the Pfitz 12/70 plan (which starts at 55 mpw) in January.  I'm also trying to cook more vegan meals because I've found that the fewer animal products I eat, the better I feel.  (I don't think I'll be going completely vegan anytime soon though...give up cheese?  Probably not possible)

Friday, October 22, 2010

50K, here I come

After talking about doing an ultra for months, I took the plunge last night and signed up for my first 50K on December 18.  I'm ridiculously excited!

It won't be easy...there's a total of 5,900 feet of elevation gain
 but it's going to be beautiful running through the Marin Headlands!

Last week my long run was 18 miles, and this week I did back-to-back 10 and 11 miles because I'm trying to get my legs used to running while I'm tired.

A month after the race, I start the Pfitz 12/70 plan for Boston!

What's your next big race?

Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm in!

After a VERY stressful 50 minutes, filling out the same form dozens of times only to click submit and end up back on the same page, I received this BEAUTIFUL email

Hard to believe it sold out in less than a day... I have a feeling qualifying is about to get a lot tougher, so I'm glad I made it in when I did!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A running kind of weekend

This weekend has been alllll about the running.

Friday after work Mike and I set off for an 18 mile run.  I've never attempted a long run like that after work, but it went really well, plus it was the longest he's ever run!

Saturday we got up bright and early to volunteer at a trail race in Clayton (Mt. Diablo State Park).  The company that put it on gives you FREE race entry when you volunteer for 5 hours, so it was definitely a good deal.  They're putting on the 50K I'm doing in December so I wanted to check out their operation and I was super impressed!  Everyone was friendly and very into Ultras so it was a cool group of people to be around (and get some great tips on loooong trail runs!)  I was glad I wasn't running that particular race, though...over 8,900 feet of elevation gain over the 50K course sounded intense!

Today we drove down to Pacifica for a 5K with the Dolphin South End Runners.  I LOVE their races because they're so small and laid back!  It was a little rainy but the temperature was perfect for running.  Another club member got this photo of me mid-race... I was feeling good!

The course was out and back on a bike path that went over a big hill and had a ton of switchbacks, so I knew I was probably not going to PR...but Mike did!  He ran 20:33 and I ran 22:31...good for 5th male and 2nd female overall! (Have I mentioned how much I love SMALL races?)

I was pretty excited about my red 2nd place ribbon!  I love that our weekends revolve around running now.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

For real this time?

I have to confess...I did not run the last 2 days, and I at a whole bunch of crap.  As a a result, I now feel like total garbage.  The 4 mile run I just slogged through was also total garbage.  But in some way, I'm kind of glad I had that major slack session.

I think the best part of not training for anything is just being able to do what I feel like, and if that means lying on the couch eating handfuls of white chocolate chips (pshh who would do that?!), then that's what I'll do.  And inevitably, a day or two later I feel absolutely disgusting and it helps jolt me back to the reality that I actually do LOVE running, being active, having goals, and eating well.  So what does this mean now?

I have my sights set on a 50 K in the Marin headlands on December 18.  It's probably not in my best interest to attempt my first Ultra a few weeks before kicking off my training for Boston, but I didn't get to do that 50K I wanted to in August, and I think it would be a perfect way to round out what has definitely been the best running year of my life.  It also means I'm going to run 18 miles after work tomorrow. YIPEEE!!!

Friday afternoons have become "find a new trail" time for Mike and me.  Last week we drove down to Millbrae and ran 8 glorious miles on the Sawyer Camp Trail.  It was BEAUTIFUL and I loved that every half mile was marked!  Definitely not the last time we do that...

Very peaceful and relaxing.  Apparently it's a crazy mad house on weekends, so it was nice to run it at such a perfect time.

AND...some big news in the family: my dad qualified for Boston on Sunday (at the Portland Marathon) so we will be running it together in April!  We've talked about this since I first started running marathons 5 years ago, so I'm more than a little excited!  Congratulations, Dad!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


My husband has gotten so into running lately that not only will he get up and run with me at 5 AM and accompany me on mid-week, after-work 10-milers, but he's now beginning to train for an ultra!  Obviously this requires additional distance, so week by week we've been stepping up.  Last Saturday, we ran 16.2 miles, which was the farthest he's ever run!  It was a great run that included the Lake Merced path, Great Highway, and a GIANT set of stairs on the trail from Sutro heights park to Sea Cliff.

When we got home we celebrated with Green Monsters!

My usual recipe is:
1 frozen banana
1 cup almond milk
2 tbsp carob powder
2 tsp flax seeds
2 tsp chia seeds
a few handfuls of spinach


Another milestone happened the weekend before last.... I won a race!

OK, so it was a tiny race with only 89 people, but I've NEVER been first overall female before, and this time I was!  I ran 5 miles in 36:31 (7:18 min/mile) which was good for a 9-second PR and that pretty blue ribbon.

I love the Dolphin South End Running Club...they put on this race and the half marathon a couple weeks ago (and have $5 races pretty much every weekend).  If you're ever in San Francisco, definitely try out one of their events!  Everyone is super friendly and you can't beat the price.
The Finish Line

I have been really loving just kind of doing my own thing with regards to running.  I hate to say it, but I don't really miss tempo runs or track workouts (mainly because I haven't found a track close to my house yet).  I'm still figuring out which plan I'm going to use for Boston, but until Dec/Jan, I'm winging it and loving it!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Trails are my drug

For some reason I was kind of a giant stress-ball yesterday, which makes no sense because who gets stressed out on a Friday afternoon!?! I knew I needed to run, but the idea of doing our usual loop for the millionth time kind of made me feel like cracking open a beer instead.

So Mike and I jumped in the car and headed south to San Pedro Valley County Park in Pacifica. We didn't really know where we were going, but we were definitely climbing! We ended up on the Montara Mountain trail, and reached the summit 3.5 miles and at least 1700 feet of elevation gain later. The visibility was PERFECT!  This is looking north over Pacifica and towards San Francisco.  We could see the Golden Gate Bridge, which always makes me abnormally happy.

This is looking across the bay towards Oakland:

And here are my beautifully clean legs/shoes at the end of the run:

It's not very often it takes over 80 minutes to go 7 miles, but I seriously enjoyed every single mile.  Then we came home and had pizza and beer, which obviously tastes a whole lot better after a good sweaty, dirty trail run!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lake Merced Half Marathon (and checking in with my goals)

Rocking my 2nd place (age group) medal and participant ribbon
This was just a test.

To say running hasn't been highest on my priority list might be a little bit of an understatement.  A new apartment and a new job kind of edged out speedwork in the "important life things" category, so for the past month or so I've been running a maximum of 35 miles a week, with long runs up to 13 miles. 

Then Mike found this race, which is a mile from our house and on the loop we run all the time, so we both decided to sign up and use it to gague our fitness levels.  Anything faster than my half split from San Francisco (about 1:46) would be a PR, but I honestly wasn't expecting to run anything faster than 1:50 because my runs have been so inconsistent.

The course was 2 4.5 mile loops plus a 4.1 mile loop.  Mike stayed with me for the first loop and a half but I could tell I was totally slowing him down.  I was feeling OK but not great, and was not totally thrilled about having to do roughly the same thing 3 times.  I finished the first loop in 34:58 and started in on the second just kind of going through the motions.  Halfway through the second lap Mike took off, which was fine with me because I didn't want to keep slowing him down.

I spent the rest of that loop passing then being passed by the same girl, and felt like I was slowing down. Sure enough, my second lap was 35:47.  By this point I had passed the girl from lap 2 for good and was just ready to be done.  I was coming up on another girl (who looked about my age), and for about a mile or so we were running right next to each other.  I caught myself thinking "this sucks, obviously she's just going to beat me," but then I realized that attitude was ridiculous.  I could tell she was working harder than I was, so I just relaxed and decided I'd wear her down and take off....which I kind of did (although I wouldn't call it taking was more of just a slight pickup).

The rest of the third loop went by pretty quickly.  I was passing a lot of people doing the shorter race, which is always a big mental boost even if I'm not in direct competition with them.  I rounded the last corner into the parking lot well below my goal of 1:46, and crossed the line at 1:42:30.  I was the third female, and 2nd in my age group!  (Mike ran a huge PR too...1:38:59!!)

Going up to collect my medal:

I got some pretty sweet stuff in the goodie bag, too

So now that we're nearing the end of 2010 (holy crap how did that happen), I wanted to take a look at the goals I set back in January:

Goals for 2010:
1. Qualify for Boston (hopefully at the LA Marathon) - DONE (San Francisco Marathon)
2. Run at least two full marathons - DONE (LA and SF)
3. Set PRs at 2 or more different distances - DONE (5K, Half Marathon, and Marathon!)
4. Run at least one trail race - hopefully in October or November

Whew, it's been a pretty awesome year!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Perks of the Job

I've now completed 2 weeks as a PE teacher, and I am pretty stoked on the job. I have 4 periods of PE, which means plenty of opportunities to be active with the kids (my PE teacher in Middle school was a short, pudgy, obnoxious guy who just yelled at us and never did any physical activity himself).  Yesterday, I ran with the girls in each class for a total of 3.2 miles, and also did 40 pushups over the course of the day.  The girls were pretty excited that I was running with them, and of course an extra opportunity to run (while on the job) is pretty nice.

My own running has been up and down.  Fortunately there are TONS of amazing places to run around here.  Last week I managed to get 35 miles in, and on the weekend we did an awesome run along the coast with beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Having Lake Merced about a mile away (a 4.5 mile paved loop with no stoplights!) has been pretty nice, and today we're going to run up to Golden Gate Park for a total of 13 miles.  I'm not surprised at all that San Francisco is consistently ranked in the top 10 cities for running by Runners World. I love it!

There are races all.the.time up here, so hopefully I'll get back into that and train more consistently so this blog will see some action again.  In the meantime, happy running!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I'm still alive, and I'm still running (kind of).  It's been a CRAZY couple of weeks.  Within 10 days, I interviewed for a teaching job, got the job, packed up our house, and moved 3 1/2 hours away (to the San Francisco Bay Area!)

I've managed to squeeze a few runs in, but nothing impressive - just a few 45 minute 5-mile runs here and there that felt a LOT harder than they should have.  I'm starting my new job Monday and will be able to bike to work most days (up a GIANT hill), plus I'm teaching a few periods of PE, which I think will be really fun.

At this point, I'm just incredibly relieved I BQd in SF so I don't have to train for CIM right now, because I have so much going on - teaching for the first time, and living in a new place.  I'll get into a routine soon, I'm sure, and there are TONS of races up here, so stay tuned and happy running!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Now What?

I guess it's normal to have a little bit of a post-race let-down period.  I'm in the middle of one.

My right knee is having issues.

I'm not sure what I'm training for.

It's weird!

I definitely think I need a few days off to deal with this right knee issue.  I'm going to do some spin classes, bike rides, yoga, and weights and hopefully be back to normal running in the next few weeks.  I'm still tentatively planning to do a half marathon in October, but we'll see.

Also, I didn't gain any weight in New Zealand! That was definitely a pleasant surprise because I definitely indulged more than a little.  Now that I'm home I'm focusing on a clean diet and enjoying some cross-training. I think this little break is actually kind of nice!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Recovering in NZ

My parents are living in New Zealand for the year, so I'm doing a few recovery runs in the Southern Hemisphere over the next few days while I visit them.

It was a perfect 60 and raining this morning.  I LOVE running in the rain!
and I love it even more when I see cute little sheep!
This was supposed to be a 13 mile run with my dad, who's now training for the Portland Marathon.  Unfortunately, we had to turn back early because my right IT band was having major issues. We ended up running about 7 miles.

Amazingly, I was barely sore after the marathon... Monday night I went to yoga and was able to do everything, even lots of low lunges!  I ran 4 miles Wednesday morning, went to yoga again Wednesday night, and then ran 4 miles when I landed in New Zealand last night, bringing my week total to a very impressive 15.  Yayyyy recovery week!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dear Body

Dear Body,

You are amazing.  I never thought we'd get along as well as we are now, and I'm so, so sorry for all those years I took you for granted. 

Thank you for not giving up on me when I starved you to the point of hospitalization.

Thank you for not giving up on me through the relapses in the years that followed that hospitalization.

Thank you for all the miles since those three screws went into my hip.

Thank you, IT band, for calming down these past few months.

Thank you, body, for staying strong through all the triathlons, marathons, shorter races, spin classes, bike rides, hikes, rock climbing, and yoga classes.  I know I haven't always appreciated you, but now I do more than ever. 

Stomach, I'm cool with the fact that you're not as flat as I used to want you to be.  Legs, your strength amazed me this weekend. 

I promise to feed you right, treat you well, and not put you down.  You continually amaze me, and I'm so grateful for everything you help me do.

Love, Cate

Sunday, July 25, 2010

2010 San Francisco Marathon Race Report

Without a doubt, this was the best race of my entire life.  This was basically a complete opposite of my experience in LA!  The weather was perfect, the course was awesome (the hills were tough, but kept it interesting), and I loved all the signs with fun facts about San Francisco.  Starting at the beginning...

The alarm went of at 4 AM.  I'd actually slept pretty well so I popped out of bed, got dressed, and had my usual breakfast (soy milk, rice chex, and raisins. Mmm).  We started walking to get a cab when I realized I didn't have the timing tag on my shoe.  Oops!  I ran back to the room, put on the tag, and we were off in a cab.

It was dark and cold at the start, and at this point I wasn't really nervous or excited.  I was kind of dreading having a repeat of LA, and I wasn't sure what to expect.

It was EARLY!

I headed into the 3rd corral for my 5:42 AM start.  The waves before me went off and I was still kind of out of it.  Then before I knew it we were on our way...

The first mile was not awesome.  My stomach was bugging me, my pants felt like they were falling down, and when I went through the first mile in 8:38 I was worried I would have a long, slow race.

Things got better as we worked our way past Fisherman's Wharf and up into Fort Mason.  There was a pretty steep hill at mile 3 but it was short.  At this point the bridge still looked really far away, but I was starting to feel good.  I went through mile 4 in about 32:20 and was concerned it might be a little too fast, but I tried not to worry about it.

The bridge was awesome!  It was foggy and seeing the elites coming back the other way was really inspiring.  The hill up to the bridge wasn't as bad as I remembered, and I felt strong and relaxed.  I had a Gu at the turn-around, and on the way back ended up chatting a little with another runner.  We'd been near each other most of the way so far, and she asked what pace I was trying to run.  I said I was running 8:10s but was worried it was a little fast.  We talked about qualifying for Boston, which she had done before.  I admitted that was my goal, but wasn't sure if I'd make it.

There were some hills I wasn't quite ready for going from the bridge to Golden Gate park.  At the halfway point I was still feeling strong, and went through at around 1:46.  That was about when I started thinking I had a decent chance of running a BQ time, but I knew there was still a long way to go.

The next 6 miles were up and down hills in Golden Gate park.  It was beautiful, but I kept kind of expecting to hit the wall.  I remembered how dead my legs started to feel around mile 15 or 16 in LA.  When we left the park at Mile 19 I was still feeling really good.  There was a steep downhill at about mile 20 and at that point my legs were starting to feel kind of tired.  I was still taking Cytomax and water at every aid station, but realizing that I could slow down to almost 10-minute miles and still BQ was a really comforting thought. 

The last few miles were L O N G but at that point I was just in shock about my time.  I couldn't believe I would finish in under 3:35, and I still hadn't hit the wall.  I kept thinking a mile marker was wrong or I had taken a shortcut on accident!

I crossed the finish line in 3:32:46, which was a 14 minute PR! (12/428 in my age group!)

I was not feeling like eating AT ALL, but grabbed some Pirate's Booty for later.  The finishers medal doubled as a coaster, which I put to good use at brunch.
I think I'm still in shock that I actually qualified for Boston and PRd by so much, especially on such a tough course!

So...what was so different about this race?

Weather: The conditions were absolutely PERFECT.  It was cool and not too windy, even on the bridge

Training: I pretty much followed the Pfitz 12/55 plan to the letter, only skipping 2 or 3 runs over the whole 12 weeks.  With the base I built up training for LA, I think I was just in MUCH better shape than back in March.  Also, that 5K PR on the 4th of July definitely didn't hurt my confidence!

Fueling and Hydration: I got REALLY dehydrated in LA, but this time I walked through every water station so I could drink the whole cup without spilling.  I grabbed a Cytomax, then a water, and drank them both.  I really didn't feel like I lost any time, and I know I took in a LOT more fluid and electrolytes

Nerves: They were OUT OF CONTROL before LA, probably because I didn't prepare enough.  This time around, I was relaxed and confident because I knew I'd put in a lot of effort training.  I wasn't fully convinced I'd BQ and my attitude the first mile was actually kind of crappy, but overall I was just a lot calmer about the whole race.

So now I'm not sure if I'll run CIM in December...I got my BQ and I kind of want to focus on half marathons and 5/10Ks through the fall, keeping my base up until I start training for Boston sometime in the winter.  I'm not sure what plan I'll use yet, but I'm doing some research.


I PRd by 13 minutes this morning at the San Francisco marathon...Boston here I come!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Should I Be Afraid?

One of my friends recently sent me a link to this article, published last week by the Wall Street Journal: The Race Even Marathoners Fear

I've run the first half of the course before (you can race either the first or second half, or the full), and yeah that hill leading up to the bridge is kind of a pain, but I really don't think the hills are that bad (and I think it helps that I've been training on hills).  I realize it may be stupid to think I can run faster now than I did in LA, which had a pretty big net elevation loss, but I'm pretty sure it will be a lot cooler, and I've put in a ton more miles and quality workouts leading up to this race.

Last week was a good one.  My foot seems totally fine, and I can't believe how comfortable I feel running mile repeats around 6:43.  I am kind of excited to focus on more speedwork once this race is over so I can do some shorter races through the fall (maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.

Summary of the week:

Monday - 90 minute Vinyasa yoga class
Tuesday - 7 @ 7:38 min/mile
Wednesday - 8 miles w/ 3 x 1 mile (6:43, 6:45, 6:41)
Thursday - Rest
Friday - 5 miles @ 7:23 min/mile
Saturday - rest
Sunday - 12 miles @ 8:35 min/mile

Total: 32 miles

Saturday, July 10, 2010

RICE-ing it

It's 15 days from the San Francisco marathon and I'm sitting on my couch, icing my foot, and planning to sit tomorrow's 16-miler out.  I'm trying not to stress myself out about this foot situation, but I'm kind of freaking out.

(Image from

It all started on a 4 mile run yesterday.  I felt a sudden, cramp-like pain around the base of my big toe.  I ran home, but it was definitely pretty sore.

This morning it felt fine, so I went to the track for 4 x 800.  My 2 mile warm-up and 800s were pain-free, but as soon as I started my 3 mile run home, I felt the pain coming back.  It's been hurting ever since then, particularly when I flex and extend my toes.  It's also tender between my first and second metatarsals.

I'm guessing it's not a stress fracture just based on the location and fact that I can't exactly pinpoint the pain, so I'm doing RICE-ing and will take the next day or two off.  I really REALLY hope I'm feeling better in a few days!

This week was kind of a weird one.  After my 5K on Sunday I had a horrible headache and decided to push my 20 miler to Monday.  The rest of the week was pretty easy.  I was supposed to have a track workout Monday and a 8K or 10K race today, but instead I moved my track workout to today.  It wasn't a fabulous workout - I never really felt in the zone, but my times were OK.

Summary of the week:
Monday - 20.1 miles (8:56 min/mile)
Tuesday - Cross train (22 min stationary bike, abs, lifted for upper body)
Wednesday - 6.5 miles (8:31 min/mile)
Thursday - Rest
Friday - 4.4 miles (7:31 min/mile)
Saturday - 8 miles w/ 4 x800 (3:14, 3:14, 3:17, 3:12)
Sunday - resting my poor little foot :(

Total: 39 miles

Sunday, July 4, 2010

New 5K PR!

My old 5K PR was set in September, 2001.  I was in really good shape, running high school cross country, and spent a week during the summer at Steens Mountain Running Camp.  After getting pretty out of shape in college I was sure there was no way I'd ever come close to 21:28 again.  Even when I started to get back into shape, it seemed like I could never crack 22:00.  Until today!!!

We made the long trek out to the middle of nowhere, also known as Pozo, California.
The 5K was a flat out and back through beautiful rolling hills covered with oak trees ("classic California landscape" as my dad would say).  We got there early and ran a 2 mile warm up.  It was starting to warm up, but it wasn't hot.  I went through the first mile in 6:50 and everything felt perfect.  I knew I was pushing hard, but I felt like I could maintain it.  I wasn't sure of my pace after that, but after the turn-around, I started to pass people here and there.

The last 1/3 of a mile was a long, straight stretch I thought would never end.  I was running as hard as I could, and I crossed the line in 21:19!!!  I beat my old PR by 9 seconds.  Mike was far more impressive.  He's only been running about 20 miles a week and he doesn't do speedwork, but he ran 20:55!  We ran a 3 mile cooldown, bringing the day's total mileage to 8.

Afterwards, they had breakfast and awards at the Pozo Saloon.

Waiting in line for breakfast...
Mmmm breakfast!
3rd in my age group (20-29). Going up to collect my prize.

I scored this awesome outfit!

They were giving away TONS of stuff! Mike got a running hat, we both got water bottles, and some new plants for the front porch.

I was supposed to run a total of 20 today, but I have a really bad headache, so I think I'm just going to do it tomorrow morning, then start the taper! 

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My love-hate relationship

A little peek into my brain today:

4:00 PM - Ugh why did I eat that pizza for lunch?  I'm not going to feel like a track workout when I get home

5:00 PM - Huh, I should probably start that run.  But maybe I'll just sit here and stress out about my life for an hour or two

6:00 PM - I'm so over this stupid marathon.  Why did I think it was a good idea?  I think I'm over-trained.  I'm tired. 

6:30 PM - Okay, I'll force myself to go a mile, just so I can get my mileage up to 200 for this month

6:40 PM - Woah, I'm actually kind of feeling okay.  Maybe I'll go to the track and run one mile

6:50 PM [lap 2 of mile] - MY LEGS ARE DEEEAAAADDD.  I'm not even going to look at my watch, holy crap this sucks.  I bet this will be like an 8 minute mile

6:53 PM [end of mile] - What? 6:51? How did I do that?  Maybe I'll try one more

7:00 PM [end of mile 2] - Seriously? 6:43? Is my watch broken?  My legs are almost feeling good.  I guess I'll do the third one.

7:07 [end of mile 3] - 6:29? AWESOME!!!! I LOVE RUNNING!!! I can't wait for the marathon.  Running is my favorite. YAYYYYYYY!!!!!

And there's the roller coaster ride that takes place inside my brain on a daily basis.  Good times.

Monday, June 28, 2010

One week closer

Not too much to say other than I'm now under 4 weeks away from the marathon! 

I got some great workouts in this week but also had some pretty big mental struggles.  There were a couple days in there I just did not feel like hitting the road.  Of course, I know that's not an option, and the fact that I refuse to run when it's dark usually sets a deadline for me that I HAVE to start running before.

I was supposed to do a 8K-15K race on Saturday but couldn't find one near me, so I headed to an 8 mile loop (no stoplights!) that is used as the course for a race every Thanksgiving.  When I last ran the actual race, I ran just under 64 minutes, so my goal was to beat that, and I did! I pushed myself pretty hard and ran it in 1 hour and 13 seconds.  Of course, I was pretty tired on Sunday, but my husband agreed to run the last 10 of my scheduled 17 miles with me, and that made it a lot more fun.

Summary of the week:
Monday - 90 minute Vinyasa yoga class
Tuesday - 8 miles w/ 4 x 800 (3:11, 3:13, 3:12, 3:11)
Wednesday - 11 miles @ 8:19 min/mile
Thursday - REST!
Friday - 5 miles (8:23 min/mile) + 6 x 100 M strides
Saturday - 10 miles w/ 8 @ 7:31 min/mile
Sunday - 17.1 miles @ 8:47 min/mile

Total - 51.1 miles

Monday, June 21, 2010

I survived 55!

My highest volume training week (55 miles!!) is over, and it went amazingly well!  I have SO much more confidence leading up to this marathon than I have for any other.  I also can't believe I'll be tapering in just 2 weeks. 

How the week shaped up:
Monday - 20 minute yoga podcast + abs
Tuesday - 6.5 miles recovery (9:12 min/mile)
Wednesday - 12.3 miles (8:38 min/mile)
Thursday - 20 minute yoga podcast
Friday - 12 miles w/ 7 LT (5 @ 8:15 min/mile; 7 @ 7:35 min/mile)
Saturday - 5 miles recovery (9:17 min/mile)
Sunday - 20 miles (8:46 min/mile)

Total: 55.8 miles 

I've noticed my recovery runs have been getting slower, but my long runs and LT workouts are feeling a LOT better, and I'm able to keep a better pace than I used to.  I think I used to push too hard in recovery runs, which kind of defeats the whole purpose!

And now I'm off to bed...800s in the morning!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My new best friend

Mike was browsing the bulk bins at our natural food co-op the other day, when he came across a bin labeled "jogger's friend."  Apparently it's just a sugar and electrolyte drink similar to Gatorade, but with no artificial colors or flavors.  He bought a bag of it, and I've been using it on my longer runs recently. 

Oh. My. Goodness.  Where has this stuff been for all the years I've been running?  I trained with sports drink for a couple marathons, but it always gave me a stomach ache.  I definitely need to investigate what this stuff is, because I absolutely LOVE what it does for my running, especially on hot days.  I also love that I can control how strong it is, so it's not overly sweet or concentrated.

I got bad news on Friday morning - apparently it was a really tough decision (don't they always say that?), but I didn't get the job I was hoping for.  I took it pretty hard, but things are looking a lot better now.  I'm going back to school in the fall for the one class I need to get a single subject credential.  After that, I'll be able to teach K-12, which opens up my options (and apparently science teachers are in demand in quite a few places).   Plus, like Ali pointed out in her comment, subbing leaves a whole lot more time open for training!

After last week's crappy runs, this week felt like a breakthrough.  I felt strong on pretty much every run, and today's was the icing on the cake.  I had 15 miles w/ 12 at marathon goal pace.  I was hoping I'd be able to hold an 8:15 pace, which would give me a 3:36 marathon (the McMillan race calculator thinks I can do that based on my last 10K time).  I was definitely pushing it a little, but not killing myself, and I did the 12 at 7:54 pace!  What a HUGE confidence booster.  I passed the 13.1 mile mark around 1:44, which is faster than my PR, so I REALLY need to find a half marathon to do one of these days!

Summary of the week:
Monday - 45 minutes stationary bike, plus some abs
Tuesday - 10 miles w/ 5x1000m (4:09, 4:10, 4:06, 4:05, 4:02)
Wednesday - 5 miles @ 8:01 pace
Thursday - 12 miles @ 8:24 pace
Friday - rest
Saturday - 6.5 miles @ 8:20 pace, plus 6 100m strides
Sunday - 15.1 miles w/ 3 @ 8:14 pace followed by 12 @ 7:54 pace

Total - 48.6 miles

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I hope good things come in 3s

Friday I got some disappointing news.  I didn't get the summer school teaching position I was hoping for, and it really bummed me out.  I knew going in that it was pretty unlikely, because all the full time teachers in the district had priority...I'm just a sub.

But then yesterday I got some good news.  I passed 3 tests I needed to add a single subject biology credential to the multiple subject credential I already have.  That was a huge relief.

Then there was this morning's track workout: purely AMAZING.  The weather was perfect (60, cloudy, no wind) and I felt SO GOOD! The plan was 10 miles with 5 x 1000 at 5K race pace.  My last 5K wasn't an accurate picture of my true 5K race pace, so I decided to shoot for 21:00 5K pace, which meant 4:12 for each 1000.

I ran 2 miles to the track and got going on the first one.  I felt strong, and came in at 4:09.  The second was 4:10, then 4:06, 4:05, and 4:02.  They were hard, but in a good way, and it definitely felt like a pace I could hold for longer.  This workout was a MAJOR confidence booster.

So good things in far we've got my test results and this track workout.  Wednesday I have an interview for a full-time junior high science teaching position for next year.  I've been subbing at the school a lot, talked with the principal and a bunch of the teachers, and feel like the school is a perfect fit for me.  I will be absolutely ecstatic if I get this job (and if I don't, I actually like substitute teaching and it wouldn't kill me to do it again next year).

Sunday, June 6, 2010

In a funk

This week I kind of fell off the training wagon.  Fortunately,  this was the week with lower mileage, so I didn't miss out on any totally crucial workouts, but I still feel kind of defeated.

Here's a little look at what the training plan said vs. what really happened:
Monday - Pfitz: Rest or Cross train (I rested)
Tuesday - Pfitz: Rest or Cross train (I rode the stationary bike for 45 minutes, followed by 25 minutes of lifting)
Wednesday -  Pfitz: 12 miles (I had a REALLY packed day and had to cut this run down to 9.3 miles.  I felt okay and ran it at 8:28 min/mile)
Thursday - Pfitz: Rest or Cross Train (I rested. Again.  Not proud of that, but it happens)
Friday - Pfitz: 9 miles w/ 4 at LT pace (I woke up and felt really stick to my stomach, but wanted to try and tough it out.  I only made it 4 miles because I was feeling so nauseated.  I planned to do the rest of the workout after work, but I was still feeling pretty crappy, so I took it as a sign that my body would rather rest)
Saturday - Pfitz: 5 miles (I bumped this up to 7 miles because I was really low on miles for the week.  It felt good, and I ran it at 8:18 min/mile)
Sunday - Pfitz: 16 miles (I actually did what he said! I ran a 9 mile loop and a 7 mile loop from my house so I could refill my water bottle.  I did the 9 mile loop at 8:51 min/mile and the 7 mile loop at 7:59 pace.)

Total: 36.3 miles

I am glad the weekend seemed to turn things around.  Next week is pretty intense, but I'm feeling a lot better about it now that I've had a couple good runs this weekend.  It's kind of funny that this seems like a really low mileage week, but it's still more than my highest mileage week before LA. I'm definitely in better shape and I'm getting really excited...7 weeks til the San Francisco marathon! 

Monday, May 31, 2010

The week's workouts

Another week closer to the San Francisco Marathon!  None of my runs this week were anything special...but I guess it's good I'm building mileage without any IT band issues at all

Monday - 45 minutes stationary bike
Tuesday - easy 5
Wednesday - 10 miles with 5 at LT pace
   The plan was to run 1.5 miles to the gym, do my 5 LT on the treadmill, then run the long way (3.5 miles home).  The gym was really hot and I felt like I was going to pass out after 2.5 miles, so I slowed down, finished my 5, then ran 2.5 outside at what felt like LT effort -- not sure of my pace -- then a mile easy.  Not ideal, but at least I did get some faster miles in.
Thursday - 11 miles (9:06 pace) - my legs just weren't feeling it
Friday - REST
Saturday - 5 miles (8:57 pace)
Sunday -  10K race in 45:57 (7:24 pace) followed by 11 miles (without my watch...but SLOW)
Total - 48 miles

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Strawberry Stampede 10K

I just ran my 3rd race of 2010...and it was finally a race I was happy with.

This was the 24th Annual Strawberry Stampde held in a town not far from where we live.  Apparently the race had twice as many participants this year as last year (there's a 5K run and walk too) so they weren't totally prepared and we started about 15 minutes late (which I feel like happens with every race I've ever run).

It was a BEAUTIFUL morning, sunny and about 80, with hardly any wind.  The course is mostly flat, with a gradual rise between miles 1 and 2.  I had a secret goal of running sub-45, but I know my legs are tired and I haven't been doing much speedwork, so I decided I'd be happy with anything under 46.

I went out a little fast...mile 1 was 6:58, but I was feeling really good.  Then just before mile 2 I got a pretty bad cramping pain in my lower abs that slowed me down a little.  I get these randomly during training runs's always after I've been running for about 15 minutes, and it usually goes away within half a mile, so I just kept pushing because I knew it would probably subside.  By mile 3, I was fine and feeling good (22:30 at 3 miles).  I thought I had a chance at being under 45, but I just focused on staying relaxed and moving up gradually.

The last half mile felt like an ETERNITY! We were back in town after being out in farmland, and we made 3 or 4 turns.  I thought I'd never see the finish!  At one point my watch said 44:48 and I realized I wouldn't get a PR today.  I came in at 45:55 on my watch, 45:57 officially (7:24 min/mile).  My husband was exactly a minute behind me.

I got a medal for placing 2nd in my age group!

I can honestly say I did my best and other than that first mile, I think I ran a pretty smart race.  I'm definitely happy with how I did, and I had a ton of fun out there on such a beautiful day.

Since the hubs and I planned on doing this race way before I decided to start training for the SF Marathon, it didn't fit into my training plan too well.  As soon as we got home, I grabbed a water bottle, threw on my hat, ditched my watch (I knew I'd be reeeally slow), and headed out for 11 miles.  It was's a lot hotter today than it's been in months, and my legs weren't exactly fresh.  But I did it, and that brings my total miles for the week to 48, a new record for me!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wish they all ended up like this

Allergies have been completely kicking my ass.  I'm a stuffed-up, sneezing, coughing, weezing, itchy-eyed mess and it's not fun.  I dragged my sniffly self out of bed to run the prescribed 16 miles with 10 at goal pace today and I had exceedingly low expectations.  I was tired and groggy, and the first 6 miles were a real struggle.  But something happened when it was time to pick up the pace.  It was like my body woke up and got its act together, and the last 10 miles, I felt really strong. 

For once in my life I think I hydrated enough...I ran 2 8 mile loops and grabbed a water bottle for the second loop, which I drank all of by the time I was done.  There was a nasty headwind the last three miles that was a giant pain, but I just kept pushing and felt pretty amazing and relaxed running 8 minute miles.

The rest of the week was pretty good too.  I felt like crap on Wednesday, so I made that my rest day and ran 4 miles recovery on Friday.  I followed it up with 10x100 m strides, which I haven't done since high school.  They're fun!

Summary of the week:
M- 45 minutes stationary bike (13 miles)
Tu - 8 miles @ 8:29 pace
W - rest
Th - 11 miles @ 8:36 pace
F - 4 miles @ 8:20 pace, 10 x 100 m strides
Sa - 4 miles
Su - 16 miles (6 @ 8:48 pace, 10 @ 8:01 pace)

Total - 43 miles

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mid-week med-long

Honestly, when I saw that the Pfitz plan included 11 and 12 mile runs in the middle of the week, I was a little intimidated.  Not only was I worried about finding time when it was light out to run for that long, I wasn't sure how I would handle it mentally or physically.

But now that I've done a couple of those mid-week 11-milers, I've come to LOVE them.  It's nice to get a longer run in on a non-weekend day, and I can tell it's helping my endurance.  Plus it's another opportunity to add to my ridiculously attractive running-shorts-and-socks tan, which is totally awesome for swimsuit season [sarcasm]

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sticking to it

I've never stuck to a marathon training plan for more than about 3 weeks, but this time I'm DETERMINED.  One week down, 10 to go (I started a week late)...and so far, so good. 

I ended up taking Monday AND Wednesday as rest days (probably should have cross trained, but oh well).  I've been loving my 5 AM treadmill runs at the gym...the day feels like it has so many more hours in it when you work out before work!

Summary of the week:
M - Rest
T - 11 @ 8:12 pace
W - Rest
Th - 8 mi w/ 3.5 @ 7.24 pace (should have been 4 but the treadmill was having issues)
F - 45 min stationary bike, upper body weights
Sa - 5 miles @ 9:01 pace
Su  - 15 miles @ 8:58 pace

Total: 39 miles

Monday, May 10, 2010

Changing my plans

Sooo, it's looking like that 50K in August may not happen after all.  There's an out-of-town wedding that weekend that we really can't miss, and getting back in time for the run Sunday morning just isn't going to happen.  I'm a little bummed, but I'm also excited because it means I'll be running the San Francisco marathon at the end of July! 

Since I've been running 30-40 mpw the last month, I think I'm ready to jump into the Pfitz 12/55 plan, but knowing me I won't be following exactly.  I'm just excited to keep piling on the miles and hopefully have a better race than I did in LA.

Summary of the week:

Monday - 6 mile run on the treadmill (8:33 pace)
Tuesday - XT (45 min exercise bike)
Wednesday - 6.25 mile trail run
Thursday - 5.4 miles on the treadmill (8:26 pace)
Friday - Track workout (2 mile warm up, 1 mile @6:37, 8 x 400 @ 1:38 (avg), 2 mile cool down)
Saturday - 3.6 miles
Sunday - 10 miles with my sister (9:12 pace)

Total: 39 miles

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Trail running > Tempo running

I ditched my tempo run yesterday. It was just way too nice a day to run on the treadmill, and I know it's perfectly possible to do tempo runs outside, but the mountain was calling my name.

OK, it's more of a hill. But it's 1200 feet tall, and it's a ton of fun to run up. Plus with that trail 50K coming up in August, I definitely need to practice running on trails. Particularly trails that gain a ton of elevation, because over the course of that race I will be climbing 6,400 feet. YIKES.

The views at the top are pretty amazing:

...and that's one of the 2049380238 reasons I will never live in Florida. Or Delaware. Or any other flat state.

It's only about 2 miles from the start of the trail to the top, so I added a few miles around downtown to make a total run of 6.25 miles. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Does it count as a PR if it's in training and part of a longer run?

If it does, I just beat my previous half marathon PR by a minute and 10 part of a 13.4 mile training run - and it definitely didn't feel like a racing effort! This definitely gives me hope that my speed and fitness are improving, especially since I was taking it really easy the first 7 miles, and just picked it up slightly for the last few.

This was an AWESOME week of training... great mile intervals and a tempo run on the treadmill, a nice relaxing 5 mile run with the hubs last night, and then this perfect run this morning!

Summary of the week:
M - 4.25 miles recovery (8:33 pace)
T - 7 miles w/ 3 1-mile repeats at 6:58 pace
W - 60 minute spin class
Th - 6 miles w/ 4 tempo at 7:24 pace
Sa - 5.2 miles easy (8:15 pace)
Su - 13.4 miles (8:07 pace)

TOTAL: 35.85 miles

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

LOVE that treadmill

Not being sarcastic.

It was cold, rainy, and generally unpleasant last night, and after working a 10 hour day, the last thing I wanted to do was hit the track in the pouring rain. Fortunately, we re-joined our gym this week, so I took my interval workout to the treadmill, and it was awesome (in an "I'm totally getting my ass kicked" kind of way).

I warmed up for 1 mile (about 9 minute pace), then did 3 1-mile repeats at 6:58 min/mile, with a mile recovery after each one. Then I cooled down for a mile at the end.

The whole workout ended up being 7 miles in 58:08. It would have been a little faster, but I got HORRIBLE stomach pains after the first interval, so I walked for a little while. Fortunately that cleared them right up and I finished the workout with no problems!

I can't say the last one didn't hurt (I think it was more mental than anything). It took everything I had not to slow it down early, but I made it through, and even bumped it up to 8.8 (6:49 pace) for the last minute!

Tonight I'm excited to go to spin class for the first time in over a year. I'm going to be super sore tomorrow but I LOVE spin and have missed it like crazy!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I think I came about as close to sleeping while running as possible today. I had a REALLY hard time dragging myself out of bed, and was absolutely exhausted for my whole 12 mile run (which shows, because I ran it at 9:23 min/mil. 9:23! That is slower than any long run I've done in months, and it was only 12 miles!)

I don't know if it was the heat, or the fact that I was sick yesterday, but it was a very unpleasant hour and 52 minutes. At least I got a decent tan out of it.

Other than that and the fact that I missed my 5 mile run yesterday because I was sick (I feel like you can't really run after you go home sick from work, even if you start to feel a little bit better), it was a pretty good week.

Summary of the week:
M - 30 Day Shred Level 2
Tu - 5 miles easy
W - 2 mile warm-up, 3.35 mile race (7:12 pace), 2 mile cool down
Th - rest
F - 2 mile warm up, 4 x 800 (400 m recovery after each), 2 mile cool down
Sa - sick
Su - 12 miles (9:23 pace. yikes.)

Total: 31 miles

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thank you, running gods

Today's track workout pretty much erased my doubts about my fitness that arose from that crappy 5K the other night.

The plan was to run up to the track (2 miles), run 4 800s at about 3:20, and run home (2 miles...obviously)

It was a PERFECT morning - sunny, cool, no wind. My legs felt surprisingly springy and fresh (I took a rest day yesterday and usually that makes them feel pretty dead). I busted out those 800s in 3:18, 3:15, 3:12, and 3:15. I can run at 6:30 pace and not die! I actually felt pretty good running at that pace. Huge confidence boost that leads me to believe that someday in the near future I may be able to set a new 5K PR. AWESOME.

I am just going to make sure the track workouts happen once a week, because they totally make a difference!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Run to Rember 5K race report (or, Proof the Track and I Haven't Seen Enough of Each Other Lately)

One word for last night's 5K: disappointing.

I came in at 24:09, but everyone said the course was long. I went home and checked it out on Map My Run, and it was somewhere in the vicinity of a quarter of a mile long, which puts my pace at about 7:12 (which would translate to a 22:23 5K). I REALLY wanted to be under 22, but it just wasn't my night.

This was a TINY race...maybe 50 people. I've done it in the past and there have been a few hundred, but with temperatures in the low 50s, an ominous gray sky, and crazy wind gusts, I'm not surprised a lot of people chose to skip it.

The course starts off right in the middle of campus, goes out around the sports fields and crop science unit, and comes back up a long steady hill back to where it started. There were lots of turns, including one that I missed, and the guy who was supposed to tell me to turn had to yell after me. Apparently that happened to quite a few of the other runners too.

So, I got a nice little reminder that I'm not in fact as in shape as I was hoping I was, and I need more quality track time. It wasn't a total loss though - I got a nice T Shirt and reflective arm band, and it was a decent workout too.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Ugh, I totally forgot how much harder it is to run when it's hot. This morning wasn't even that hot, I'm just totally acclimated to perfect 60 and partly cloudy, so the sun this morning made it a little tougher than usual.

I'm really proud of this week's training. I had a good track workout Tuesday, and good tempo run Thursday, and a pretty hard 11.3 mile "long" run today. Mike and I sat down the other day and put together a race schedule for the summer, so I'm hoping my speedwork will help me PR.

Summary of the week:

Mon - 3 miles easy
Tues - 1 mile @ 6:34, 4 x 400 (1:32, 1:30, 1:30, 1:28) - 7 miles total
Wed - 30 Day Shred Level 1 (this is still hard with 5 lb weights!)
Thurs - 6 mile run with 4 @ 7:23 pace
Fri - REST!
Sat - 4 miles (8:22 min/mile)
Sun - 11.3 miles (8:03 min/mile)

Total: 31.3 miles

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I forgot how much fun track workouts can be, especially 400s. You get to run fast, and it feels amazing...then right when you feel like you're going to die, you get to stop!

My mile wasn't great - 6:34, but I can't really complain. My 400s were a little better: 1:32, 1:30, 1:30, and 1:28. I walked 100m in between each.

I'll be back at the track next week for some 800s, and I'm honestly looking forward to it. I am dying to PR in the 5K sometime this summer, so I'm prepared to work my bum off in order to do so.

Summary of the week

I just realized I completely forgot to do a re-cap of last weeks workouts. I only ran 4 times, but got in 26 miles, and did 30 Day Shred twice. Love that workout.

Monday - 30 Day Shred Level 2
Tuesday - 5 miles (8:19 pace)
Wednesday - 5 miles (8:07 pace)
Thursday - rest
Friday - 7.1 miles (8:52 pace)
Saturday - 30 Day Shred Level 2
Sunday - 9 miles (7:58 pace) horribly windy, but a great run!

Week total: 26.1 miles

Monday, April 12, 2010

Back to the track

In 7 weeks, I'll be running a 10K. I would LOVE to PR, but since I've done almost no speedwork at all in the last 6 months, I realize it's not likely. So I'm doing what I really don't feel like doing but know I should, and heading to the track tomorrow after work.

Just because I'm curious, I'm going to run a mile as fast as I can. I'm hoping it's under 7 minutes, but in all honesty, I have no idea whether it will be or not. Then I'll do a few 400s. If I survive, there will be another post up in about 24 hours telling you how it went. I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Checking in: My 2010 Goals

Back at the beginning of the year, I posted these:

Goals for 2010:
1. Qualify for Boston (hopefully at the LA Marathon CIM?)
2. Run at least two full marathons
3. Set PRs at 2 or more different distances
4. Run at least one trail race

So how are things going?

1. I missed a BQ in LA by 14 minutes. It was not a great race, and I know I didn't train enough. I am still hoping to BQ at CIM in December

2. I've run one, and will run another in December, so I should meet that goal if I can stay healthy

3. We'll see... I'm planning on running a half marathon in October (the same race I set a PR in 2 years ago) and I think I'll be able to do it a few minutes faster. I'm also signing up for my first 50K in August!!! so I'll have an instant PR there

4. The 50K is a trail race, so that should be taken care of.

As long as I can keep my IT band in check and avoid any other injuries, I think I should be able to meet all my goals!

I'm beyond excited about training for my first Ultra. I decided not to run marathons in San Francisco and Portland. With the 50K in August, a half marathon in October, CIM in December, and a few shorter races thrown in here and there, I think I have a good schedule set for the rest of the year!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Post-run refueling

So who doesn't come directly inside after a 7 mile run and devour a few Cadbury creme eggs? I may not celebrate Easter in the religious sense, but I definitely celebrate candy. Particularly candy shaped like eggs (or bunnies).

I'm following a 5-week recovery plan that will gradually step my miles up to 35 per week, and although it feels like I'm hardly running at all right now, I think this will really help me avoid more IT band issues. It's also leaving some days open for 30 Day Shred, which I hadn't done in a few weeks. It is reaaaallly sad how quickly my muscles turn into little bands of jello. I did Level 1 last Sunday (with 5 pound weights) and it made my arms incredibly sore. I'm trying to get back on the wagon though...I'd rather not let my arms turn to complete mush.

If you're in parts of the world other than California, are you running outside and LOVING it? I seriously don't know how people live in places where you can't run outside all winter, but I guess if you're chained to your treadmill for a few months, it makes you appreciate running outside a whole lot more.

Anyway, here's how my week looked:
Monday - 45 minutes power yoga
Tuesday - 5 miles (8:22 min/mile)
Wednesday - 5 miles (8:12 min/mile)
Thursday - 30 Day Shred Level 3
Friday - 4 miles (9:09 min/mile)
Saturday - REST
Sunday - 7 miles (8:42 min/mile)

Total: 21 miles

Sunday, March 28, 2010


It was a SUPER easy week and my legs are feeling recovered from LA, but I know I need to be careful about getting back into intense running too quickly.  I really want to keep my IT band in shape and avoid any injuries!

I'm currently trying to figure out if I want to use the Pfitz plan that tops out at 55 mpw for SF.  I'm HORRIBLE at sticking with training plans...I always just do my own thing, but clearly that hasn't been working out so well for me so I think I might attempt it.  First I'm going to take a few recovery weeks and build back up to marathon training.

Here's how the week ended up:
Monday - rest
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday - 3 miles
Thursday - 4 miles, yoga
Friday - core strengthening
Saturday - 6 miles @ 8:50 min/mile
Sunday - 30 Day Shred Level 1

Total - 13 miles

Monday, March 22, 2010

LA Marathon Race Report

I'm not thrilled with the fact that I was about 7 minutes slower than my PR in LA, but I'm definitely grateful for the learning experience that the race provided. To sum up:
1. Drink early, drink often, and it's warmer than you think
2. Do more than 1 20+ mile run when training. And run more than 35 miles a week.
3. Don't let negative thoughts take over. You're stronger than you think.

Now for the details:

I was abnormally nervous for this race, and I slept horribly the night before. The alarm went off at 4:15, I ate my usual breakfast, and tried to drink some water, but I felt pretty sick to my stomach because of my crazy nerves.

We left the hotel at about 5:40 and got stuck in horrible traffic on the 110. Even the race shuttles were clearly going to be late for the 7:30 start. The longer we sat in traffic, the more nervous I got.

I got out of the car right as the gun went off, which meant I started behind EVERYONE. The whole first mile I wasted tons of energy trying to weave around people. Once we were out of the stadium I got into a rhythm and was feeling great. The first 10 miles flew by, and I went through the half at about 1:49, which was right where I wanted to be.

Then everything basically went to crap.

There was a dull ache in my quads and I could feel myself slowing slightly, but I kept pushing. Mike took my picture around mile 16, and within half a mile of this, I was falling of pace fast. My legs were getting heavier and I was starting to feel like I was going to faint. I started to walk. Miles 18 and 19 felt like they were never going to end. 20 and 21 were worse. I drank as much water as I could get my hands on, and then switched to PowerAde. While I was walking, I was basically just writing off the whole race, assuming I'd finish somewhere around 4:15. My legs were so heavy and dead I didn't see how I was going to run another step.

I don't know what happened once I saw the 23 mile marker in the distance, but somehow I forced myself to start running again, and actually began to feel a little better.  Chugging 2 cups of water per aid station probably had something to do with it, but I was happy with how fast I seemed to get to the 25 mile marker.  I told myself I just had 10 minutes to go, and tried to focus on anything but my legs, which were incredibly tired.  My IT band was also starting to hurt at this point.

I crossed the finish line at 3:54:00.  After being sure I would finish well past 4 hours, I was pleasantly surprised and  just SO happy to be done!

I definitely didn't train enough for this race.  I let myself get way too nervous, and I didn't drink enough in the early miles (it was a lot warmer than I was expecting).  I know San Francisco is a really tough course, but I'm just excited to run another marathon.  I'm going to take it easy this week and next, then start training to have a great race in SF!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Off day

I did not have a great race...finished the LA Marathon in 3:54 and had to walk a lot. I think I just didn't train enough, but I learned a LOT and I'm excited to start training for San Francisco in July!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

So ready!


It's kind of ridiculous how excited I am for the know, the one I'm probably grossly under-prepared for.  The one with 25,000 people and I'm stuck starting in the open start corral because my last (ok, only) sub-4 marathon was over a year ago (I PROMISE I'm still in shape!) The one where a tiny little piece of me thinks "this could be a BQ!" and the other 95% of me says "shut up and just enjoy it...don't set yourself up for disappointment."

Watching this certainly didn't lessen my excitement:

This morning was such an unbelievably perfect morning for running...clear, sunny, and cool.  I was bummed I only got to run 10 miles, and things just felt so right I probably ran those 10 miles a little too fast (7:58 min/mile...ooops).  But I just wanted to enjoy it because I'll probably only run 2 or 3 more times between now and the start of the race.

I ended up taking 2 rest days this week...all of the sudden life is a whole lot busier than it's been in awhile and I just wasn't able to squeeze workouts in on Wednesday or Friday.  Since I'm tapering, it doesn't really bother me.

Summary of the week:
Mon - 3 mile run
Tues - 45 minutes yoga (strength and core)
Wed - rest
Thurs - 6.6 mile run (8:33 min/mile)
Fri - rest
Sat - 4 mile run (7:43 min/mile)
Sun - 10.25 mile run (7:58 min/mile)

Total: 23.85 miles

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Taper Time

My last long run is DONE and there are just two weeks til the marathon.  I can't wait!

Training was great this week... I had a fabulous 6.6 mile run with 4 miles at a decently hard effort (7:10 min/miles - I really surprised myself!)...I did lots of yoga (forgot how GREAT it makes me feel when I do yoga consistently...and then got sick Friday night.

I wasn't sure if I was sick or it was allergies, so I went for my planned 4 mile run, but after that it was pretty clear I was sick.  I spent all of Saturday on the couch with a very sore throat and general fatigue and achiness.  Around 6 PM I decided to try a little yoga and it actually helped me feel better.
I pretty much wrote off my Sunday long run but when I woke up this morning, I was feeling better and decided to give it a go.  I went to a 7.8 mile loop near my house and the only goal was to run the second lap faster than the first (in all honesty I really wanted to keep my pace under 9:00/mile, but I didn't want to push myself too hard).  It turned out to be a really great run...first lap in about 1:06 and second lap in about 1:03.

I know there is a chance I could BQ, but I don't want to think about it.  I'm just happy my IT band has been cooperating and my runs have felt pretty good.  I'm giving myself 3 more chances after LA to try and cut 6 minutes off my marathon PR, so I want to just enjoy this marathon and do the best I can.

Summary of the week:
Monday - easy 4 miles
Tuesday - 30 day shred level 2, 20 minute yoga podcast (core strengthening)
Wedensday - 6.6. miles w/ 4 at 7:10 pace (7:50 pace overall)
Thursday:  - rest
Friday - 4 miles at 7:52 pace
Saturday - 60 minute yoga podcast (asymmetrical backbends)
Sunday - 15.6 miles, avg 8:21 pace

Total -  30.2 miles

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Another solid week

It was a GREAT week for running and working out...still nowhere near the volume I used to do when I was in full triathlon mode, but I'm feeling strong, my IT band is cooperating, and I think I'm just about ready to rock LA!

I was a little sore from my 19 mile run last Sunday, so Monday night I went for an easy 3 mile run with my husband and it really helped my legs stretch out and feel better.  I ended up taking an unplanned rest day Wednesday because I had to work late and just really didn't feel like working out, but I think my body was happy with the break.  Thursday I had a great 6.5 mile run with some pickups and a mile at half marathon pace (I think...that's what it felt like, and I didn't have my watch).  I have been doing more yoga here and there, and I'm up to 5 pound weights for 30 Day Shred...all good things.

My long run (21.7 miles) was a little slower than I was hoping for, but I think part of that may have been due to dehydration (do I EVER learn???) I was 4 pounds lighter after the run, all fluid loss, which is pretty bad.
My goal was to run about 12 miles easy and about 10 miles at marathon goal pace.  The 12 miles easy were great, and the 10 at goal pace started off great, but then I started getting a little lightheaded and was already out of water.  It wasn't pleasant, but I managed to average 8:50 pace for the first 11.8 miles, and 8:38 pace for the last 9.9 miles...for an average of 8:44 (definitely slower than I want to run in LA).  Oh feels good knowing that my longest run is done. BRING IT, LA!! Can't wait.

Summary of the week:
Monday - 3 mile run
Tuesday - 30 Day Shred Level 3
Wedensday - rest
Thursday - 6.5 mile run with some fartlek
Friday - 30 Day Shred Level 1 and 40 minutes of yoga
Saturday  - 4 miles and 20 minutes of yoga
Sunday - 21.7 miles, 3:09:49, 8:44 avg pace per mile

Total: 35.2 miles

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ohhh hills

Why am I incapable of mapping out a long run without putting all the hills at the end?  It's not fun to cruise along the flats for 16 miles only to hit 3 miles of steep hills right when my legs are starting to die.  Not fun at all.

I used my Powerbar gel chewies from last week and they were once again divine.  I definitely didn't feel that strong when I finished, and I was a little disappointed in my pace, but that's life.  The ice bath aftwerards really seemed to help. Next week is 21 miles then it's taper time (but I'm not tapering much because my weekly mileage never got very high).  I'm getting so stoked for the marathon!

This was a good week for working out.  I tried 30 Day Shred Level 3 for the first time, and did levels 1 and 2 back to back another day, which was pretty killer (I'm kind of weak...working on that).

 Monday - 30 DS Level 3
Tuesday - 4 mile run
Wednesday - 30 DS Level 1 & 2
Thursday - 4 mile run
Friday - rest
Saturday - 3 mile run
Sunday 19.5 miles in 2:47.26 (8:35 min/mile)

Total: 30.5 miles

Sunday, February 14, 2010


The first 10 miles of my run this morning were a dream.  Cruising at just under 8 minute mile pace, I felt absolutely amazing.  Fluid, strong, and relaxed.  Then right around mile 10, I started fading fast.  I was getting really thirsty and my legs started to feel really heavy.  My head was feeling heavy too, and no matter how hard I tried to push myself, I just kept slowing down.  Definitely not a pleasant feeling, especially after the euphoria of the first 10 miles.

Fortunately, I know why it got so crappy at the end, or at least I have a pretty good idea:
1. My dinner wasn't exactly loaded with good carbs: roasted broccoli and spinach frittata.  Plus a few bites of brownie, which isn't exactly great running fuel.
2. My breakfast was smaller than usual, and I didn't drink much water with it
3. I didn't bring a water bottle, even though it was sunny and much warmer than it has been for any of my other runs lately.

So of course I realize all this after the fact, but it was a really good reminder that I need my water bottle on runs over 10 miles, espcially when it's warm.

Anyway, the rest of the week...didn't get off to a great start.  I had a fever Tuesday and called in sick to work, and still felt pretty crappy on Wednesday.  My first workout of the week wasn't until Thursday!

LA is approaching fast, and my long runs for the next 5 weeks will be 19, 21, 15, 10, then MARATHON!  I'll only have 3 16+ mile runs, but I don't think I did much more than that for CIM in 2008 and I still managed to PR by 27 minutes, so we'll see!

Thursday - 6.5 miles
Friday - 30 Day Shred Level 2
Saturday - 3 miles
Sunday - 12.35 miles (8:27/mile)

Total - 21.85 miles

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This is what I was waiting for

I think this morning's run could crack the top 10 Best Runs of My Life. Maybe it's because the weather was perfect - cool and partly cloudy. Maybe it's because my runs this week were really crappy and I was long overdue for a run in which I actually felt good. Or maybe it was because my husband bought me some PowerBar Energy Gel Blasts (MIRACLE IN A POUCH. Seriously)...but whatever it was, I'm VERY grateful.

No knee issues
No stomach issues
Just an incredibly satisfying 16 mile run at 8:24 min/miles, which, if my calculations are correct, would qualify me for Boston if I could maintain it for 26 miles. Honestly at the end of the run I felt like I could keep going for awhile, so that possibility is definitely in the back of my mind, but given my lack of training, I'm not going to hold my breath.

Anyway. Awesome run. Just what I needed. Followed it up with an ice bath, which is always kind of unpleasant at the time but so worth it.

The rest of the week? Pretty crappy. I was a total slacker on my non-run days and didn't do 30 Day Shred once all week (and this was going to be the week I attempted Level 3...oops). I did do my usual runs on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, but they all pretty much felt like crap. My legs felt dead, my stomach was bugging me... I was definitely not optimistic for this week's long run. But then it was perfect, so I guess I shouldn't give up on anything too soon.

Tuesday - 3 miles
Thursday - 4 miles
Saturday - 3 miles
Sunday 16 miles/2:14:31/8:24 min/mile (Goal pace!)

Total: 26 miles