Saturday, September 27, 2008

Week Recap (21 September 2008 - 27 September 2008) - 102 Miles

According to the books this is my highest mileage week ever although it's not really close to my highest rolling week total of 118. Starting the week with a solid 22-miler helped take a big chunk of mileage out of the way and made things somewhat easier for the rest of the week. Still not doing a great job at putting in doubles, as I only put in 2 morning runs and ran 92 miles in singles. By adding more doubles I could either add on some more mileage or keep the legs somewhat fresher for my workouts. I can't complain of course for Tuesday's workout, that was as good as I could expect a workout to be right now, but Friday's attempt to run a tempo was rather disappointing. I'm not gonna look into it too much, though, I know it's not surprising for my legs to feel beat on some days and I don't think that workout reflects my fitness in any way. Overall a pretty solid week. Next week will be a recovery week so I'm only gonna shoot for about 70 miles. After posting 6 90+ mile weeks I think an easy week is in order to help keep me healthy and also give me a mental break. I'm running the San Jose half next Sunday so hopefully I'll be well rested for that. 

Saturday, September 27, 2008 [8M]

One more weekend in Vegas. I know this wasn't the best time for a Vegas vacation, with the San Jose half coming up next weekend, but I couldn't pass on Pete's bachelor party. At least this time I was determined not to let the festivities interfere with my training and got out this afternoon for an easy run. I already put in enough mileage this week so I didn't need much to round off the week. I was  out from the Mirage, headed north on Industrial Rd and came back up on Las Vegas Blvd. Pretty boring run, the only interesting thing about it was getting to see some part of Vegas that you don't normally get to see. It's somewhat amazing that a few miles away from all the flashy lights you get the feeling that you are in a small town in the middle of the desert. 

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008 [14M]

Foster City. I stayed at work rather late for a Friday and didn't get started until 7PM. I headed over to Foster City planning to run a long tempo. I had been feeling tired all day and wasn't really excited about running a workout at the end of a long day. I was dragging on my warm-up but was hoping that once I got started I would feel better. That didn't happen and I could tell that I would have trouble running anything fast from mile one. My original plan was to run 5:40 pace for at least 8 miles but I revised the plan once I started, deciding start with something close to 6:00 and try to get progressively faster. I was in the low 5:50s for the first mile but was working a lot harder than I should have been at that pace. After a couple of miles I gave up on trying to run anything fast and settled with putting in just a hard run. I was only running sub 6 pace for 5 miles and slowed down to a 6:20 when I turned into a strong headwind near the San Mateo bridge. I put in a couple more miles at 6:20-6:30 but even that felt like I was forcing the pace so I just shut it down for the rest of the run. I was slower than 7:00 pace for my last 5 miles and felt like I was running on empty. I was glad to get this over with and headed straight home without running any strides or stretching much. I don't know what the deal was today, my legs were really beat and I don't think there's much I could have done about it. I haven't really felt the mileage catching up to me so far so I guess it was bound to happen. 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008 [13M]

Redwood Shores. Don't recall anything exciting happening today. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wednesday PM, September 24, 2008 [12M]

Edgewood to Huddart. I left work early to go for a haircut and since I was out by 5PM I thought it was a good chance to head over for a run at Huddart. Pretty standard route, straight to Huddart and up to Toyon Camp and back. Not the greatest of runs, my legs were feeling a bit tired and my hill climbing was far from impressive. 

Wednesday AM, September 24, 2008 [5M]

Chula Vista - Alameda - San Carlos.  I managed to get myself up early enough to be out of the door by 9AM for a true morning run. I run a short version of my usual Alameda - San Carlos loop by cutting through to Alameda down Chula Vista Dr. Pretty typical morning run, feeling sluggish and running slow. At least I didn't have to worry about squeezing in a run in the middle of the day. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday PM, September 23, 2008 [11M]

5x1600. 4:57, 4:52, 4:50, 4:52, 4:44

I left work at 5PM and drove over to Sequoia high school for some good old-fashioned mile repeats. The weather was in the 90s earlier in the day but by the time I finished my warm-up it didn't feel like it was that hot. My legs were feeling decent on the warm-up and strides so I was confident this would turn out to be a good workout. Perhaps I had unreasonably low expectations and thought I'd be satisfied with running some 5:00 miles. I started out a bit slow on the first interval and came through the first lap in 76. That lap didn't feel so smooth and seeing how it was slow I was worried a bit that I would have to work hard to run 5:00 pace. Turns out one lap was all my legs needed to loosen up and I was able to pick up the pace and feel more comfortable. I was 2:30-3:43 at the end of the next two laps and held on to that pace until the end of the interval. I took a 400m jog between intervals and did a good job at keeping the rest relatively short. I was getting right into a jog at the end of my intervals and took between 3:05-3:20 to cover my rest lap. I made a slight effort to get out faster in the second interval and came through in 73, somewhat surprised since it felt really comfortable. I ran even 73s the rest of the way and felt in control the whole time. On the 3rd interval I ran 72s for the first two laps and 73s for the last two. I got out in 71 on the 4th but slowed down too much on the 2nd lap and came through the 800 in 2:25. I worked the 3rd lap some more to come through in 3:48 and ended up with a low 4:52. I felt almost completely recovered as I was getting ready to start my last interval and figured I could push the pace some more. I got out in 70-2:21-3:33 and closed decently with another 71. I felt like I could have blown away that last lap but reminded myself that this was just a workout and kept it under control. I put in about 4 miles around Redwood City for my cool-down and called it a day with some strides on the infield. I was very happy with how things turned out today, I haven't looked back at past workouts but I'm pretty sure this must be my best mile repeat workout ever. It was one of those workouts you dream of having, when you step on the track with some goal pace in mind and are able to destroy that window and feel very comfortable doing it. You can definitely argue that I should have had a more aggressive goal but
seeing how much I've struggled running hard workouts on my own over the last year and with my legs tired from all the mileage, it's hard to blame myself for not hammering a workout from the gun. The times by themselves might not be that impressive but the way the workout progressed was  the big confidence booster. I wasn't really working hard until the last interval and even in that there was a lot more left in the tank. I was able to get the legs moving fast and felt like I was smoothly flowing around the track. One of those rare days when everything is clicking, hopefully there's more like this to come. 

Tuesday AM, September 23, 2008 [5M]

Foster City. 

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008 [12M]

Foster City. Easy run this afternoon, running around 7:00 for the most part and only getting down to 6:35-6:40 for the last 3 miles down Marina Lagoon. I was expecting my legs to be somewhat tired after yesterday's 22-miler but that wasn't really the case. There was some minor soreness but nothing that affected my running much. 

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008 [22M]

Bay Trail to Burlingame. I really needed some sleep today and slept in until noon. I didn't get out until 2PM but it was a rather cool day so I didn't have any issues going long at that time. I started from home and crossed over 101 to the trail along Marina Lagoon down Hillsdale Blvd. The plan was to head north on the bay trail and do an 11 mile out and back, basically a slightly extended version of the 21 miler I had run a couple of weeks ago. For the first time I experimented with eating some gels along the way since I'll need to get used to those as part of my marathon preparation. I had no idea how many and how often I should take them and figured I'd start with a couple of gels and take one every 50 minutes. My plan as far as pace was to get out at whatever pace felt comfortable and progressively run faster on the way back, getting close to marathon pace by the end. I made the turn after 1:16:35, so I averaged just under 7:00 pace on the way out. I wasn't feeling that great at the start and was a bit worried that this could end up being a rough day but after 4 or 5 miles my legs loosened up and I was comfortably covering mile after mile. It was a bit windy on the way out so I had the wind on my back as I turned around, which made it easier to pick up the pace. I wasn't trying to force the pace at all but I was getting more into it as the run progressed and didn't have much trouble getting my legs to move faster. I only made a concious effort to run faster in the last 3 miles and was running low 6s, with the last mile or so somewhere close to 5:40 - 5:50 pace. I wound up back in 2:25:45, so 69:10 for the way back, averaging under 6:20 pace. My legs were obviously tired by the end but I wasn't completely spent. The last half of the run was pretty solid and I wasn't dying at the end, instead I was able to get down to a brisk pace. I don't know what effect the gels had but I think at least they helped a bit mentally. This was my longest run ever and it's really encouraging that I made it through without any problems. I'll probaly try to get up to 23-24 before CIM and I'm getting more confident that I can handle the marathon distance. The only question is how fast can I get myself to run it.