Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Shorter Days

Already I can tell the days are getting shorter which is kind of depressing.  I've been enjoying the 5.30 run and track work as it is so peaceful at that time and I love the sun just coming up.  I also really like getting the run in before work -- starts the day off nice (once I manage to actually get out of bed!) so I'm trying to figure out what to do in the fall and winter.  Last year I went to the track but that is fine for interval work but boring as heck for just running.  I may break down and join a gym to use the treadmill but me and treadmills have never had successful relationships in the past and not sure how I'll manage that (I can hardly stay on -- balance issues I guess).

Also, I think that running in the dark at 5.30 am is less scary than running in the dark at 7 or 8pm. Not scary like people are going to attack me but scary like I might get hit by a car.  No one is really out at 5.30 so it does seem doable.  And I did run into a woman at the track this morning who said she runs there throughout the winter.  It is the high school track so no lights but she says they all manage.  So that is cool.

I'm already starting to miss the sun though.  Pathetic.

I switched out Tempo Tuesday for Track Tuesday this week since I'm headed down to San Diego tomorrow and figured it would be more fun to find a 6 mi run to do down there instead of just finding a track somewhere.  It went fine but I was a bit sluggish today.  The schedule said 3x1600 which just sounded long and dreadful.  I have decided that I need to take a full 20 min warm up -- I've usually been just warming up for 10 mins and roughly one mile.  But that just isn't enough -- on the first set I was way off the target time, second got a bit better and I hit it on the third.  So clearly it takes this creaky body a bit to warm up.  I almost did a 4th set just to make the time twice but I had to get back -- darn job expects me to show up every day.

A little trick that I just figured out with Map My Run is the search feature which is super useful when travelling to another area.  I just put in San Diego, CA and then looked through all the runs to find one close where I was staying and around 6 miles.  I think I've settled on this one.  I'll have to check it out when I get down there - but it might be fun to even go out to Harbor Island. So we'll see.

One day I'll actually add pictures.  I love it when everyone else does.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wharf to Wharf and Weekly Recap

So I'm sitting here watching Ironman finishers crossing the finish line.  Not that I ever have a desire to do something like, I can only imagine how wonderful it feels.  One guy just skipped and danced across -- go him!

So today I ran Wharf to Wharf which likes to bill itself as the 'best little road race in California' and runs from Santa Cruz boardwalk to Capitola a nice little 6 mile jaunt. Lot of live music (some sponsored, most not), decent temps, the ocean, great setting -- what's not to like?

Well a lot for me. Apparently along with learning more than I thought possible about my body, I'm also learning the types of races I can tolerate.  And this one wasn't it.  The biggest thing is that there were over 11,000 runners in a very small area (though they said they cut it off at 13,000) but a race that likes to think of itself as small town so is kind of geared towards that.  To give the organizers credit, they manage the it all as well as they can -- tons of porta potties and all that.  The problem is, there is just too many people in what is a pretty small area.  The entire race.

I knew this would be a bit of a zoo so I wasn't going to worry about time.  I'd also run 10 miles yesterday so just wanted to see how my legs would do being a bit tired.  So I thought I had the right attitude but apparently I didn't.

The race was self seeding (which I think is it's main fault really) so my friend and I lined up near the 9min/mil sign as that seemed to be a middle ground on what we would do.  It took us 5 minutes to get to the start line but by then, people had stepped up the pace to jogging.  The first thing I do is get completely stopped by a mom walking along with her three kids -- all hanging onto each other's hands.  I get it -- she didn't want to loose her kids (they were pretty young) but really?  And it went downhill from there.  Apparently not all the walkers felt they should have lined up at the Walkers sign.  It would have been difficult and tricky start under the best of conditions just because of sheer number of people but having walkers who had obviously lined up in the earlier pace groups, made it so much worse.

My friend and I quickly got separated because she'd go through an open spot in the crowd which would close  and I'd have to find another way around.  So I just tried to settle in and kept telling myself to relax.  But another thing I learned today was that running slower than your normal pace by a lot is just about as painful as running too fast.  At mile 2.5, we were still running a 10:30 pace (I was passing and going around people constantly but that's as fast as I could go) and I was miserable.  It wasn't about the time I'd have at the end of the race, it was just about my body hurting.  Long about mile three I got the pace down to 9ish and that was fine.  Miles 4 and 5 were better and by the end of the race I was at a pleasant 8.40 pace and could have run along a lot longer.

Here's the overall results, which are fine.  But not what I could run -- these aren't my results -- this was the fact that the "race is so crowded" results.

6 Mile
Runner DetailsRace Results
Name:Tricia D
Hometown:San Jose, CA
Overall:2461 out of 11013
Women:916 out of 6727
F 45-49:107 out of 757
Finish:57:01 Pace: 9:31
Tag Time:57:01
Gun Time:1:04:01

But now for the good -- because there was a lot of good.  The route was just lovely and reminded me that I do live in a fantastic place.  The race was amazingly spectated -- I don't think there was a spot on the run that didn't have spectators.  Tons of live music -- the non sponsored stuff (in people's driveways) was the most awesome.  The day was lovely and my friend and I (and her hubs (who played sherpa) and kid then spent the rest of the morning on the patio of a pub overlooking the small bay and drinking beers (because what is it about the finish of a race that makes me want to drink beer) and eating breakfast burritos.  Life did not suck.

Past Week in Running

Tempo Tuesday -- successfully completed.  Paces were a bit slower than I was shooting for but I'm starting to think that it is because I'm running so early.  My body just doesn't work at 5.30.  Oh yeah, and the fact that I forgot inhaler again.  DUH!

Track Thursday - very successfully completed.  1x1000, 1x2000, 1x1000, 1x1000 with 400 RI -- only seconds slower on the times so was super pleased. I'm loving the early morning runs -- just not sure how I'll do then when the sun goes away again.  The high school track isn't lit -- a bit of a bummer but I'll deal.  I do think running in the morning in the dark is safer than at night as there are really no cars.  

Sat long run -- did 10 miles.  Spiffy on the times (avg pace was faster than avg pace in 6 miler -- ha ha) so feeling pretty good about things. 

With being able to do 16 miles this weekend -- after 14 in a row last week give me the confidence that I will be able to attempt the marathon thingie.  It won't be until next year -- but that was by design.  I needed another year to feel confident enough in what my body will do and all that (since I have absolutely zero experience in this and I do everything very slowly).  Anyhow, the three halfs this fall should go just fine.

Other Miscellany

I got to see Chris Isaak and The Mountain Winery on Friday night. Seriously awesome - he can certainly put on a show.  And under the catagor of 'I'm so glad my kids know all kinds of music', when I got home and the girl wonders who Chris Isaak was and I just sang the "Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii......don't want to fall in love" verse she quickly knew it was Wicked Game (which I didn't even know).  That is, after she stopped laughing at me at my pathetic singing attempt.  Anyway good show.

Last week was just miserable at work and when things go off at work (become stressful) first thing I loose is sleep. I HATE that.  So that put a damper on my cross training efforts because when I'm awake for 2 hours in the middle of the night, the early mornings just don't work.  I've never been good about separating the work stress from my sleep -- just can't seem to do it.

This week is exciting.  Boy graduates from boot camp -- so off to San Diego on Wed for me.  Need to find a 6mile route there so I can do Tempo Thursday.

And that's the highlights.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Ugh.  I think I'm getting sick.  I'd been a bit 'off' all week and then woke with a sore throat and sniffles yesterday morning.  I went and ran 14 miles still (at pretty good paces too!) but then was just beat the rest of the day.  Rallied to spend the later afternoon and evening drinking with with a friend only to wake this morning with my throat hurting more than Saturday.  And I've been sneezy all day.  I don't want to be sick.  :(

I have been taking all the precautions -- overloading on all the stuff to ward it away.  We'll see what works.  I have a very low tolerance to being sick.

Last week was just crazy work wise and I was so tired -- so it made runs and workouts hard to get up for.  But I did okay once I started.  Tuesday Tempo was really a progression run but the paces were good and I got in the 6 miles.  Track Interval Thursday was later in the day and I didn't meet the time goals but I still did fairly well so I was happy.  And then yesterday's 14 miler.  Since I've not actually done the whole marathon thing yet, this was my longest run ever.  And it was fine -- I was tired at the end but am totally fine today and when I was trucking along at about 13.5 miles, I knew that for sure I could do a marathon.  I have such an issue with confidence with this running thing but now I know I'll manage.  A year off -- and I'm glad to go this slower route.  Suites my style just fine.

I've decided I love out and backs for training runs.  For races, I do like the circular routes but for a training run, the out and back works fantastic.  Like with the 14 miler -- that really was just a 7 mile run that I had to get home from.  And 7 miles is nothing, right.  So it all works out.

And I've learned it is 7 miles from my front door to the top of Vasona Dam -- which I will provide a picture of next time I'm there as it really is pretty.  I was thinking on this past run, that I really do live in a fantastic place.  The weather, while not quite as perfect as say San Diego, is pretty darned close.  The sky is so blue up here (vs. LA/OC area) and the temps are mostly nice.  Hills in the background and tons of nice places to do outdoor things and lots of people doing them.  I did this run by myself -- which really just meant I wasn't with my usual Saturday morning running girls -- but there were tons of people out running, walking and bike riding so I wasn't by myself at all.

Anyway, I was grateful -- which is so much better than fussy.

Here's to NOT getting sick -- I can't be sick.  I can't be sick.  I can't be sick.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Jungle Run

What a week !  I started this post on Sunday (before the week even started really) but then got distracted by having to go to the Monkee's concert.  It wasn't bad -- and kind of fun.  The Monkees were really a bit before my time but I watched the t.v. show in the afternoons after school.  I actually didn't know that many of their songs but we had a good time.  

Here they are -- can't really see their faces but you get the idea:

So on to Sunday's 10k.  It wasn't quite the time I hoped and no PR, but the course was definitely a bit harder than I thought it would be (those reviews I read were right !  amazingly enough) so I'm please with the times.  And the places -- me and my little slow self is gaining on age group placing.  

So first, the race.  The Los Gatos Jungle Run is a Half Marathon and 10K on a well designed course (just enough overlap of the two races to make it fun but not confusing!).  They start the Half Marathoners about 15 mins before the 10kers which also makes for some easy running.  Nice sized race with 740 10kers and 840 Half Marathoners.  

The run is deceptively difficult.  I run on part of the course all the time so knew what that part would be like and didn't think that much of it.  I looked at the elevation and didn't think too much of it either.  Heck, I run on much bigger hills all the time.  But these little suckers were deadly, sneaky little things that made up in steepness what they lacked in length.  

Elevation Profile
500 ft.
416 ft.
333 ft.
250 ft.
Total climb: 272 feet / 83 m
Total elevation change: 549 feet / 167 m
This really doesn't look like all that difficult of a run.  But notice that little hill right off the bat -- it is only 40ft elevation change (Garmin said) but it was straight up right away.  So that sets the tone for the race...every little hill was a straight up incline (see miles 2.5 and 3.8) and then the race finished with this gradual incline that was actually difficult (and I run that part of the run all the time - but it got me (so maybe it wasn't difficult, maybe I was off -- but I didn't feel off)).  

So anyway, after wishing I was dead 1/4 of a mile into the race, things calmed down and I was just running along.  The runners self seeded really well at the beginning so within the first half mile, I was running with the folks I'd run the entire race with for the most part.  I was sort of chatting a bit with this one guy and then we came to the hill at mile 2.5 -- I thought I could just run right up it with my new friend but I just couldn't so slowed off a bit (in order to catch my breath at the top-- HATE when I do that).  I caught back up to my new friend who seemed to be running pretty much what I was able to do so mostly just stayed behind him. I really like running behind someone, it helps keep me focused and I just let them do the pacing.  I fell behind again at mile 3.8 but caught back up and then towards the end he got a bit ahead of me but not too much.  

The race finish at the high school track so about a second after I hit the track, one of my running mates comes up from behind (she's awesome at picking up the pace at the end) so she hollars at me to pick it up.  And being someone who apparently just does what she's told, I managed to speed it up a bit and finished just a second a head of her (but I started a second ahead of her as we had the same time -- and this was weird, they gave me the higher ranking.  I wonder if they do that because I crossed the finish line first?? Not really sure and it doesn't really matter).  Anyway, it was nice to get a measurement of where I am currently and all.  Probably not going to make my dream half goal right away -- but I'm on track to make a PR (fingers crossed nothing goes wrong) at Disneyland on Labor Day weekend. 

And I love the time keeping company....this cute little presentation is nice: 

Tricia D

San Jose, CA
Age: 46 Gender: F
Clock Time53:32
Chip Time53:26
Overall Place133 / 740
Gender Place30 / 470
Age Grade61.9%
Bib #1576
Age Group Place7
Time Back13:32
Tot Div740
Tot Gend470
Tot Ag134