Saturday, April 26, 2008

Week Recap (20 Apr 2008 - 26 Apr 2008) - 65 Miles

This week started out well, I ran a decent 5K on Sunday and put in some good mileage for the first couple of days. I was feeling sick for the rest of the week, though, and inevitably my training took a a hit. I tried running a workout on Wednesday and probably shouldn't have since it was hard to run anything decent in my condition. I did feel better by the end of the week but I took things easy to aid in my recovery and didn't quite put in the mileage I was hoping for.

Saturday, April 26, 2008 [5M]

Lately I have been looking for some road races to get myself in, since I think that's a good way to get into shape. The Big Sur 5K this coming Sunday was one of the races I was considering and I knew there would be good competition since it was part of the PAUSATF road racing circuit. I had been debating for a few days about racing and was leaning against it since I was sick for most of the week and was also a bit concerned about the effect of running two 5Ks on back to back weekends. Ordinarily I would have probably opted against racing but eventually I decided to sign up for reasons that were not so much relating to racing itself. We were supposed to get some beautiful weather this weekend, Sunday is the Greek Easter and I had plans to spend the day in Santa Cruz and with the race taking place in Carmel I thought I had a good excuse to spend my entire weekend in the area and just get in the race to get a good workout. I drove down this morning with Rachel, spent the day around Monterrey and Carmel and went for a short run on the course around 5. The course is pretty scenic but I'm sure times tomorrow will be slow. There's a fairly big hill in the first mile then almost the entire second mile is on a narrow dirt/sand path along the ocean, which will make it hard to run very fast. I'm only concerned about putting in a hard effort and don't care at all about times so I definitely don't mind if the course is slow. We wound up back at the car after 40 minutes, which is probably a long 5 but I don't think I can round up. I wasn't really trying to save my legs for tomorrow or anything but since this week ended up being short anyway I couldn't find any motivation to add on a few more miles.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008 [7M]

Alameda - Brittan Ave. I opted to run from home today and was back from work and out the door by 6. I was feeling better than the last couple of days but opted to keep this a short and easy run to help myself fully recover from whatever was bothering me. I was around 6:35 for the most part, running fairly comfortably.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday, Apri 24, 2008 [7M]

Redwood Shores. I was still somewhat sick today but at least good enough to go to work. I wasn't expecting to feel good on the run, though, and my expectations were fully met. I hadn't settled on what mileage I'd try to put in and figured I'd go by how I felt. I was hoping to go at least 10 but a couple of miles in it became apparent that I would have to cut the run short. I convinced myself to go past the 4,5 and 6 mile turn points but eventually made the turn for 7. Towards the end I was wishing that I had turned earlier but of course it was too late to do anything about it. The last half of the run was pretty much a death march. Didn't even bother to run strides afterwards and just headed back home to get some rest.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 [9M]

Attempted an AT run and went 3 miles at 5:20, 5:23, 5:33. I woke up yesterday with a sore throat and a bit of headache/fever and I had been feeling a bit sick since. I went to work in the morning but decided to go back home after an hour. I ended up spending the rest of the day in bed with my laptop, trying to get some work done but being remarkably unproductive. I started feeling better as the day progressed and by 5:30PM I decided to get out for my run. I had been planning to do an AT run and after debating about it for a while I opted to give it a shot. I kind of knew that I would have a hard time running anything decent but I reasoned that an AT run would be a good option since I would run for as long as I could maintain the goal pace. Of course the flaw in that reasoning was that I was giving myself an easy way out of the workout and not really commiting myself to putting in a hard effort. I also had a fairly loose goal pace, shooting to start at something close to 5:10 but being content with running somewhat slower. I ran over to Carlmont high school and ran a couple of strides before starting the workout. I got out way too slow and was 82-83 for the first lap. At that point I decided that shooting for 5:20s would more reasonable and picked the pace enough to hit the goal for the first mile. Even though the pace was slow I wasn't feeling very comfortable and had some trouble breathing. After the first mile I started thinking of calling it a day at the end of mile 2 but I was more or less able to hold on to the pace so I figured I should try to add on another mile. For the 3rd mile I only managed to come through the half in 2:50 and settled at that point with finishing after 3. I was able to pick it up for the last couple of laps and ran the last half in a more decent 2:43. I was thinking originally of adding on a longer cool-down but after the workout I knew that any mileage I would add would be slow and painful and really not worth the effort. It was definitely a good call since for the last mile or so I was just dragging myself to finish the run. I probably should have avoided the workout all together today but I guess I've always been too stuborn to do something like that.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 [9M]

Run with the Road Runner Club. I went back to RoadRunner Sports in San Carlos for the weekly Tuesday night run. We are actually starting to gather a pretty good group on these runs. Tonight, besides myself, we had Brad, who used to run for University of Vermont and has recently ran a 1:10 half, Justin, a former 4:00 miler and another high school senior who's ran 1:52 and 4:10 in the 800 and the mile respectively. There's also another former 4:06 miler and currently triathlete, who is a regular but didn't make it this time. For today's run we did the usual route out to Redwood Shores and back. We were running at an easy pace, pretty much chatting the whole way. I would have liked to add on at least a couple more miles but everyone else was going to dinner right after and I opted against it so I could join them. Overall, this turned out to be a pretty fun evening. I definitely appreciate having someone to run with more than ever. I'm gonna try to make this
Tuesday run a regular thing and we might even start getting together on weekends for some long runs.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008 PM [5M]

Foster City. I was planning to start my second run of the day from home but on my way to the car I decided to go back to Club O so I could do some lifting afterwards. I ran a casual 5 mile loop in Foster City and added strides, stretching and lifting to finish up a pretty solid day.

Monday, April 21, 2008 AM [8M]

Redwood Shores. I thought it was about time to start adding some doubles and went back to my old habit of running at noon. Things were quiet enough at work so I opted to go for my longer run first. My legs were a bit tired from yesterday's race, nothing too bad but enough to make want to take things easy. Not much excitement in the run, just putting in the miles at 7:00 pace.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Zippy 5K

20th place in 15:34.
Splits: 4:50, 10:00 (5:10), 15:04 (5:04)

I wasn't sure what to expect out of this race for many different reasons. Since coming back from my last injury I've had a hard time gaging my fitness and one thing I wanted to get out of this was a better sense of where I stand. Obviously I didn't have any race sharpness, I haven't done any fast workouts in a long time and considering that my last race was a half marathon I had to convince myself that this race would perhaps feel uncomfortably fast. I hadn't seen the course before the race but it was a fairly simple loop in Golden Gate Park. We started in front of the conservatory of flowers, went out for about a mile along JKF Dr, looped around Stow Lake and headed back along JFK again. I can't say that the course was particularly hilly but it didn't seem that fast either. The first mile was a gradual incline (and obviously the last mile was a gradual decline), and there were a couple of short, steeper hills on the second mile. Looking at past results it seemed like the race was won each year in some time in the 14:40s-14:50s by guys who have track PRs in the low 14s. With all these in mind, I was content with finishing somewhere in the mid 15s. Before the race I was thinking of going out somewhat conservatively, maybe around 5:00 for the first mile, but I once the gun went off my racing instincts took over and I went out with the lead pack. I was expecting the field to be competitive but I was a bit surprised to see around 15 guys in the lead group. The early pace didn't feel too fast and aerobically at least I was feeling fairly comfortable. I was still in the lead group coming through the mile in 4:50 but got gapped right after. I wasn't really focused and aggressive enough to make an effort to stay close. As soon as the gap developed my legs started feeling a bit tired and I could tell that I had slowed down a lot. Going into the 3rd mile I made an effort to pick up the pace, trying to take advantage of the gradual downhill part. I had a hard time getting my legs moving much faster, though, and was only marginally faster than the 2nd mile. I lost a few more places in the last mile, which is not something I'm used to. The low point of my race was getting passed by a guy in long shorts and a wife beater but despite feeling the need to pass him for pride reasons I simply couldn't react. I had a decent kick in the last 200m, trying to run down one guy and coming really close but he managed to summon enough kick to hold me off. I wasn't too excited at the finish, looking at how many people beat me, but after thinking about it for a while I was satisfied with the outcome. There were definitely a lot of things I could do better from a racing standpoint but I know that it takes a few races to get the mental part right. I could have probably run faster if I had gone out closer to 5:00 for the first mile but I can't blame myself for getting a bit too aggressive. Finishing in 20th place was kind of tough to swallow, even though the field was pretty competitive, but I guess getting a good ass-kicking every now and then is good motivation to keep training hard.

Sunday, April 20, 2008 [15M]

Zippy 5K. 20th place in 15:34. I was up at 5 this morning, grabbed a bite to eat and stayed in bed for another half hour. I watched the US Women's Olympic Marathon trials for about an hour before driving out to Golden Gate Park for the race. I was there with a little over an hour before the start so I had enough time to pick up my number and chill for a while before heading out on my warm-up. I did an out and back on the first mile of the course, which was also the last mile in reverse. The gun went off on time and I got out with the leaders in a big group. Came through the mile in 4:50 and started falling back as we went around Stow Lake, coming through the 2 mile in 10:00. I tried to pick it up a bit on the 3rd mile but couldn't get the legs moving much faster and only managed to split a 5:04. I finished with a decent kick and almost caught a guy at the line but he managed to barely hold me off. After the race I went out on a long and slow cool down around the park. I was shooting for 7 or 8 miles but I let myself wander around without looking at my watch and by the time I decided to head back I was pretty far out so I ended up putting in about 10. Not a bad day overall, had a decent race and managed to get a good start to the week mileage-wise.