ilanarama: profile of me backpacking.  Woo. (hiking)
Chesler Park camp area

As you may remember, in mid-March I ran the Canyonlands Half Marathon in Moab, Utah, and Britt came out as well and ran the associated 5-miler. We'd arranged to keep our hotel room for the night after the race, and on Sunday we headed home by way of the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, along with my online friend Mike from Reno, who'd also run, and his wife Dorothy. Britt was the only of us who'd been to this part of Canyonlands before, and that a long time ago; after a too-short hike into the Chesler Park area, we all agreed that it was worth a much longer visit.

So as soon as I got home, I got online and applied for a backpacking permit. Pretty much all spring dates were full up, but I snagged the only consecutive days at one of the Chesler Park campsites (backcountry camping is by permit only at assigned sites), Sunday and Monday April 6th and 7th. Our plan was to head out at midday Saturday in our Sportsmobile, camp on public land nearby, then hike in on Sunday morning. Our assigned campsite would be only a bit more than four miles in, so we would have time for a dayhike that afternoon and a longer one on Monday before hiking out on Tuesday morning. To our delight, our friend (and frequent backpacking companion, most recently on last summer's Weminuche Wilderness trip) Shan would come with us, though alas his wife, also a fun person to have along on a hike, was out of town.

Read more, and look at way too many photos... )

These and more photos (57 pictures plus a video which...sometimes works?) at Flickr
ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
Canyonlands 2014

I hardly need to post a report; basically everything I said in my pre-race assessment came to pass just as I predicted. I came in second in AG to a ridiculously-fast 53-year-old (she ran 1:32), in 1:38:28, my second-best time on this course by only three seconds and my fourth-fastest half marathon overall.

But just in case that's not enough for you, more nattering and a few more photos. )

I think my pre-race assessment was right on: I probably could have knocked off ~30-60 seconds if it hadn't been windy, but I was not in PR shape. My execution was solid, with my heart rate over time pretty much identical to that in my PR race (and oddly, quite a bit under what it was at Canyonlands 2013, and above what it was at The Other Half 2013, both races in which I ran 1:38:3x).

I have to reluctantly admit that miles matter. The difference between 50 and 59mpw doesn't look like much, but 9 mpw over 10 weeks is 90 more miles I ran last fall than this spring. I also think the greater number of trail miles made a difference; maybe because trail running is slow and means even more time on my feet, maybe because of the strength developed from climbing and descending. This cycle I had attempted to make up for slightly lower mileage with more intensity, but it didn't work well for me. I couldn't really handle two quality workouts per week plus a long run, with one or two slow hilly trail runs. Maybe I needed to slow my easy runs down even more, but as it was they tend to be on the slow side for people with my race times.

If I want to break 1:35 in the half, and 3:20 in the marathon, I'm going to have to step up my miles even more. I'm not sure I have room in my life for 70+mpw, though. (I'd enjoy it, I think! But Britt wouldn't.) But neither am I ready to give up on my goals. Well, I've got another half in June, and the Lakefront 10-miler in five weeks.

Speaking of, I haven't raced a 10-miler since I was a whole lot slower, and it was on a course that ran up and over the mesa, super hilly. So this half gives me a pacing gauge; using a pace calculator and making a possible allowance for the elevation in Chicago vs Moab, I figure I should be able to run something between 1:11:30 and 1:13:45, or roughly a pace of 7:10-7:20. Yikes!
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
As many of you know, I have a race tomorrow: the Canyonlands Half Marathon, which I'm running for the fifth time. The first time, I PRed with a 1:37:01, a time I not only failed to beat but also failed to come within two minutes of at subsequent half marathons, until just this past October when I ran 1:35:55 at The Other Half. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure I will fall well short of both marks this year.

Comparisons, projections, weather and weight. )

So, adding it all up, I'm thinking that I will try to aim at 1:38-1:40. The trick will be to not burn out going into the wind, as that's what got me before. If I can run in a group so we can draft off each other, it will help. And then if the wind really is a tailwind towards the end, I'll have the energy to take advantage of it.

I had been hoping that I would have a good shot at first place in my AG - I've come in third every year but the dismal 2012 - since most of my rivals have been left behind in 45-49, and there haven't been any stellar showings in the 50-54 lately. Alas, when I checked registration status I saw that the woman who came in first in my AG in 2010 is registered, and she's three years older than me - and she blew away the AG at age 49 with a time fully NINE MINUTES faster than mine. So, maybe second place, if I'm lucky.

Ah, well. Britt's coming out again, to run the 5-mile, and we've got some hikes planned for the rest of the weekend. Also a whole lot of my running-forum and Facebook friends who I see only at races (or have never met in person!) will be there. I predict that whatever happens, lots of margaritas and beers will be consumed, lots of conversation will be conversed, and lots of lovely places will be viewed. No matter how the race goes, the weekend overall will be a win.

movies!

Mar. 12th, 2014 08:06 pm
ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
I wrote elsewhere that I only read "running" blogs that were actually not entirely about running - that were my friends' journals with stories about their lives, running and otherwise - and then I looked at my own journal and um, all about running. Which is probably why I have neglected to update in a month - it's even boring ME.

So, how about a mini-review of the Durango Independent Film Festival that was last weekend?

Mostly environmental and adventure-themed documentaries. )

Anyway, such fun, many movies, wow.

ETA review of People of a Feather, because, how could I have forgotten that? It was really good.
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
It was an okay week, considering that I had to work around various medical appointments (nothing major, just 50-year checkups for various body parts).

Monday - 9.7 with 6x0.5 mile intervals with 2 minute jog recoveries. The first three went great: 6:47, 6:47, 6:52. Then about halfway through the fourth I started feeling like I needed an emergency bathroom break, and I had to slow down; that interval came in at 7:12, and fortunately ended near the Doubletree Hotel, where I used the facilities. But after that, I couldn't get it together for the last two intervals. They were too slow, and I couldn't get my HR up. Final average pace 8:27.

Tuesday - off

Wednesday - I had an appointment in the morning so I couldn't run until afternoon, which usually I don't like doing. But it went well, 7.2 miles, 8:58 average pace

Thursday - 10.5 miles with 5@HMP, which went a little more slowly than I'd hoped but not too bad. Tempo miles: 7:29, 7:27, 7:36, 7:32, 7:29 for an average of 7:31. Overall average 8:10.

Friday - skiing on another glorious powder day!

Saturday - 8 miles super easy, 9:06 pace. (What made it super easy was not so much the pace as my HR, which was way lower than normal.)

Sunday - 15 miles with 1-minute 5K-paced surges at the start of miles 5-14. At first this really dropped my pace per mile, but toward the end they were more 5K effort than 5K pace, and the rest of the mile got slower for recovery, and overall my pace was a typical 8:59.

50.4 miles total for the week. This week I'm going to try to up that a little. I've also got a 5K (bleah) planned for Saturday. Five more weeks until the Canyonlands Half!
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Another 51 miles, woohoo.

Monday - 8.2 miles with a 'ladder' of intervals: 0.25 mile, 0.5, 0.75, 1 mile, and then back down again, all with 2 minute jog recoveries in between. Paces for the intervals as usual were all over the map: 6.49, 7:06, 7:29, 7:21, 7:12, 7:10, 7:21.

Tuesday - 8.1 miles trail running at a relatively peppy average pace of 10:47.

Wednesday - 6.6 easy with strides, which made it faster at 8:38 average pace, followed by 6x10 sec hill sprints.

Thursday - 9.6 miles with the full workout that I curtailed last week: 2 w/u, 7 miles alternating 0.35@HMP with 0.65@HMP+35sec. Last week I did 5 miles and averaged 7:16/7:50; this week I averaged 7:16/7:54 for all 7, but the first 5 miles averaged 7:11/7:47, and my HR overall was slightly lower than the previous week, so I think (hope!) this is an indication of improved fitness.

Friday - ski day! And it had snowed overnight (and was still snowing) so it was an excellent powder day and a very good workout. My quads and calves ached when I got out of the car after we got home!

Saturday - 12 miles easy, 9:12 average pace.

Sunday - 6.7 miles easy, 9:20 average pace, with 8x10 sec hill sprints at the end.

I also signed up yesterday for the Steamworks Half Marathon at the beginning of June, one of my favorite races. The course is along a rolling country road where I do a lot of my long runs, and there's free beer and burgers at the end. It's a small race with 10-year age groups, and two years ago, the most recent time I ran it, I came in second to a woman who'd just turned 40; this year, unless disaster strikes, I should be a lock for the 50-59 win.

There is a 5K in two weeks I might run as well. It's an annual fundraiser, no prizes other than random draws at the end, but it would push me to do a hard workout and it might be a decent fitness gauge.
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
Got up to 50 miles last week, as planned! While all my Facebook running friends were grousing about the snow and/or their treadmills, we had another week of beautiful blue skies.

Monday - 7.3 miles with 5 half mile repeats with 2 min jog recoveries. Not great, not horrible. Definitely slower than they were in autumn, though; the first 4 averaged 7:02 pace and I kinda blew the last one, 7:23.

Tuesday - 4.4 miles trail running with Britt in the afternoon, as I spent the morning judging a middle school science fair. 11:17 pace.

Wednesday - Easy 10.5 up a canyon road and back down, 9:15 average pace.

Thursday - Another of the alternation workouts I linked in my previous post: this one was 2 miles of warm-up followed by 5 miles alternating 0.35M HMP (7:16) and 0.65M HMP+35 (7:50) and then easy running home for a total of 9.7. It was supposed to be 7 but I knew I couldn't do that; this Thursday I'll extend the same workout. Overall average 8:17 pace.

Friday - normally ski day, but we haven't had snow in two weeks, so instead Britt and I took off early from work and bicycled down the Animas River Trail all the way to the southern end, then back up the frontage road to Ska Brewing and had pints of stout. :-) About 12 miles total (which I know because this is one of my running routes - minus the beer).

Saturday - Long easy run, 14 miles at 9:03 pace.

Sunday - Another trail run with Britt, 5.4 miles, average pace 11:32. We stopped at the top of our little in-town ski hill to watch a couple of pairs of racers in a freestyle (moguls and jumps) competition. Weird to see the snow formed on the run with bare hillside all around it!
ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
It's been gorgeous weather here - sunny, dry, and (relatively) warm. Not good news for the ski areas, agriculture, the spring rafting season, or the summer fire season, but it makes for nice running. (Um, apologies to all my friends in the midwest and northeast?)

Monday - 9.7 miles with 12x(90sec hard, 90sec jog). The hard bits averaged 6:44 pace, overall avg 8:30 pace.

Tuesday - 5.3 trail run, slow and creaky. Avg pace 12:30 which is about 75sec slower than usual!

Wednesday - 8 miles at 9:08 pace. Felt achy; I think I was still not yet recovered from Monday's hard workout, which is why:

Thursday - 7.2 miles, failed tempo. First three miles were with Britt, comfortable, starting at 9:12 pace and getting slightly faster each mile. Next half mile I did strides, bringing my pace to 8:23. The plan was 4 miles @7:15-7:25, but after just a few tenths of a mile my stomach started cramping. I slowed down and folded the waist of my running tights down, to not press on my stomach, and eventually it went away, but that mile averaged 8:04, way off plan. I started to accelerate again, and this time my legs started hurting. After half a mile I gave up and slowed again...and I kept slowing. I just hurt all over, from my toes to my hips. I cut my run short and even walked up a hill on the way home - my pace in the last 2 miles of my run was almost 10:30 on average! Overall pace of 9:17 hides a multitude of sins...

Friday - skiing! Sunny warm day, conditions not all that great but adequate.

Saturday - 9.1 miles trail running. I decided to check out 'Snakecharmer', a new mountain bike trail running down from Raider Ridge; my plan was to run up it, with it hopefully being a better route than climbing 'Babyhead Hill' which is so steep I have to walk most of it. It was still quite steep, but more pleasant, and then I was up on the beautiful ridge.

As many of you know, on Saturday runners were asked to participate in 'Meg's Miles' (#megsmiles, https://www.facebook.com/events/489458451159627/) in honor of Meg Menzies, a Virginia runner who was struck and killed by a (possibly drunk) driver while running last week. Runners were encouraged to log miles on a Googledocs spreadsheet, mark their locations on a map, and take photos of their run and post them to the Facebook event or the Twitter hashtag. I took my new smartphone (I have a smartphone now! It's a Nexus 5! I am still figuring it out!) and took a couple of shots:

IMG_20140118_120047 IMG_20140118_121329

Yes, it's the dorkiest selfie ever. Look at the mountains, not at me!

I don't yet have an armband for carrying the phone - I'm not planning on carrying it on most runs, anyway - but it was a perfect opportunity to test the Gregory Pace 3 hydration pack I got as an award for being the female masters winner at The Other Half. I was dubious about the way it strapped high across the chest with no waistband (though waistbands tend to be uncomfortable while running) but it was awesome - fit tight to my back and didn't bounce even as I ran on rough trails. The only thing I didn't like was that the bite valve tasted icky, but I'm sure that will go away with time.

Anyway, my average pace was almost 13 minute miles, but according to my mapping software the total elevation gain and loss was almost 1100 feet (the biggest part of which was 665 feet in 1.5 miles!), so.

Sunday - 7 miles easy with a few strides in the middle and 8x12sec hill sprints at the end. 9:00 average pace.

Total was 46.4 miles, a little less than last week but I got two trail runs in. Next week I'll try to push closer to 50, though I won't be able to run Tuesday morning as I'm judging a middle school science fair.
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
I'm fully recovered from CIM and looking ahead to my next goal race, the Canyonlands half marathon in ten weeks. I kind of liked the exercise of writing out my running weeks leading up to CIM, so I'm going to get back at it.

Between CIM (December 8th) and now I took off one week entirely, ran 12 miles the next week and 34 the following, all easy. Then last week I started throwing in strides and progressions (running faster at the end of a run), and got up to 45.6 miles. My plan is to nudge up to around 50mpw and hold that until Canyonlands. With the lower mpw I think I can handle two formal quality days, so I'm going to try to run speed on Mondays, tempo runs on Thursdays. And also, ski on Fridays. :-)

Monday - 8.5 miles with 15x (1 min hard, 1.5 min easy). The work intervals averaged 6:41 but varied widely. Overall average pace 8:38.

Tuesday - 5.3 easy, 9:15 average pace.

Wednesday - 7.5 trail! Yes, trail running in January! I have found if I go early enough in the day, the mud is still frozen, but the packed snow has enough dirt on it now that it's not too icy. Ended with 6x10 sec hill sprints. Avg pace 11:34.

Thursday - 10.4 miles; the first 3.6 were with Britt, so easy warm-up, though I got him to do strides with me toward the end. Then I did the first of the half-marathon alternation workouts from this article by Steve Magness: Workouts to Improve Lactate Clearing Rates, 6 miles alternating 0.25m at HMP+5 sec/mile with 0.75m at HMP+40 sec/mile. I converted from metric since I did these on the path rather than on a track; I also used my current rather than goal HMP, more or less. The 'on' intervals averaged 7:19 pace, the 'off' 7:56. Average overall pace was 8:20.

Friday - skiing! It was a lovely snowy day at Purgatory with the first new snow in about a month.

Saturday - 12.4 miles on a hilly route, 8:47 avg pace. In shorts and short sleeves. :-)

Sunday - 4.3 miles easy, average pace 9:04, 8x12 sec hill sprints at the end.

Total 48.5.
ilanarama: profile of me backpacking.  Woo. (hiking)
(Look! A post that's not about running!)

Britt had driven our Sportsmobile camper van out to Bakersfield CA just after Thanksgiving, to do some work on a solar project his company has out there, so our plan after CIM was to road-trip home over the next week and a half. As it happened, both of us came down with bad colds in Death Valley, so we high-tailed it directly home from there after only a half-day of exploring. But we had a lovely micro-vacation up until then!

Lots of photos, some text )

Zabriskie Point view
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
My year can mostly be summed up in this image:

2013 in pictorial review

Left to right, that's my Canyonlands Half 3rd AG medal, my The Other Half female masters' trophy, and my CIM 3rd AG plaque. I didn't get an award for coming in second in the Journey of Hope 5K, and the bottle of wine I got for winning my AG in the Run for the Wine has already been consumed. :-)

It was a good year awards-wise, and also PR-wise, as I FINALLY broke my 2010 half marathon PR, and set a new personal best in the marathon which is now my best age-graded race. Mileage-wise, it was also a personal best with 2080 miles in the year - and one more run planned for tomorrow.

I didn't write down my goals for the year anywhere, but I mentioned here that I wanted to run a sub-1:36 half, which I did, and a sub-21 5K, which I did not. I also mentioned wanting to run a 50K, which I did not.

So, what's planned for this year? I've already registered for the Canyonlands half (I got a free entry along with the trophy!) and I would like to get under 1:35 - if not then, then at the Steamworks half in June. I'll be going to a conference in Chicago in April coincidentally timed just before the Lakefront 10-miler there, which will certainly be a PR if I can do it, since I've only run massively hilly 10-milers, and nothing recently. I'd like to beat my 3:35 from two years ago at the Imogene Pass Run. And I would really like to run a sub-45 10K that's not downhill (as is my PR) and break 21 minutes in the 5K.

I don't actually have any marathon plans before Boston 2015, but I'm not ruling one out. And I'm still toying with the idea of a 50K. Finally, as usual, my major goal is to remain uninjured.

I hope the rest of you had good years, too!
ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
Here it is, the much-belated (due to roadtrip vacation home) CIM race report. To compensate for its lateness, it is ludicrously long. Grab something to drink, put your feet up, clear your calendar and dive in. Or alternatively, scroll through to the summary and look at the pictures. :-)

Training )

Pre-race )

Actually running the darn thing )


Post-race )

Hardware!

And DONE!

Dec. 8th, 2013 05:48 pm
ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
Just a quick update to let everyone know - I finished in 3:23:31 which was good enough for third place in my new age group! Cold and a little icy but sunny, a fast course, saw friends cheering which pushed me on. Pretty even splits with a slight fade. Now I hurt everywhere...
ilanarama: Mountain can has santa hat! (mountain santa)
December 1st, so I'm using my Santa-hatted mountain icon (made for me by [personal profile] skuf). And also, ONE WEEK TO CIM! Yay! Yikes!

The first thing I want to say is to reassure those of you who read my most recent post that after several days of rest and aggressive self-massage/foam rolling/icing, my mysterious calf injury seems to have retreated. I'm pretty sure it's related to my ongoing peroneal tendon issues (the ankle bone's connected to the knee bone, as it were) and possibly even to the iliac crest pain I've been having lately. I'm also pretty sure it's not going to be a problem for the race, hooray. And three days of rest during taper is not going to destroy all the training I've put in. (However, the three pounds of fat I have put on...maybe!)

Okay, on to the (abbreviated) week:

Monday - 6 miles easy (9:07 avg pace) with 8x10sec hill sprints. I think this is where I did whatever bad thing I did to my calf, because it was tight that night and the next morning.

Tuesday - 9.9 miles with 3GMP, 3 min easy, 3HMP. Looked like this: 8:53, 8:24, 7:43, 7:44, 7:39, 8:14 (3 minutes), 7:18, 7:21, 7:20, 9:07, 9:15 (.5 mile). Overall pace 8:01, a real solid workout. (This is partly to brag, and partly to remind myself that see? I'm in great shape for my race! No excuses! I can do it!)

Wednesday through Friday - no running. I walked 3 miles on Wednesday and I did my core exercises on Wednesday and Friday, and foam-rolled and massaged my calf twice a day.

Saturday - 4.2 miles easy at 8:30 pace. Yeah, when you take 3 days off, you can run faster. I was tempted to keep going but this was a test. The peroneal tendon at my ankle hurt when I started but loosened up with the run.

Sunday - 10.4 miles easy but hilly, 8:36 average pace. Felt fine other than the same initial pain in the PT, hooray.

Total 30.5 miles, about 2/3 of what I'd planned for the week but it's really no biggie at this point.

While I was sitting on my butt not running, I indulged in a bit of retail therapy and ordered a new Garmin 610 to replace my 305, which has experienced a recent dramatic decline in battery life. Possibly wearing it while hiking all day in England contributed, but anyway, it's three years old and I bought it when it was already nearly obsolete. In fact, I bought my 305 almost exactly three years ago, when retailers were deeply discounting older GPS watches as the new ones were being rolled out for the Christmas shopping season, and that's why I got the 610 - the 620 is now the hottest newest, and so the 610 is on sale all over the net (as is the 210 in the wake of the 220, and so on). I even splurged for 2-day shipping, so it is supposed to arrive Tuesday - good thing, as I got low-battery warnings from the 305 today on my run only an hour in! I just hope I can figure out how to use it before the race.

But even if I can't keep track of out how fast I'm going, you guys can. Online tracking for CIM is up and available at http://rtrt.me/cim - my bib number is 7873. You can set up alerts or just check the website periodically. There will be timing at 5.9M, 13.1M, 20M, and the finish. Also, I've set it up (I think!) so that my splits will automatically post to Facebook.

One week! Aie!
ilanarama: my footies in my finnies (snorkeling)
It's unsurprising that the last few weeks before a race tend to be filled with disaster and depression, and most especially the phenomenon known by runners as 'taper madness' or 'taper tantrums'. My training has come to a peak, which is very hard on the body. Everything has been working toward the point which is now less than two weeks from now - so naturally, everything is going wrong.

The biggest problem, at the moment, is that I seem to have strained my soleus (the deep calf muscle). On Monday I ran an easy 6 miles with hill sprints, felt fine, though my peroneal tendinitis was bothering me a bit more than usual. In the evening when I did my core routine I noticed my calves, especially my right calf (the one with tendinitis) were tight, so I made sure to do a little stretching (which I don't do often enough) along with my exercises. But on Tuesday morning my calves still felt tight, and when I headed out on my run, my right calf felt like a block of wood, unresponsive and stiff.

Despite the odd feeling in my calf, I had a great workout. My run was 2 miles easy, 3MP (which averaged 7:42), 3 minutes easy (which was not particularly slow, 8:15 pace), 3HMP (which averaged 7:19), and then easy home, which was another mile and a half, for a total of just under 10 miles. Except as I headed home I felt like my calf was even tighter - usually it loosens up as I run - and after I went upstairs and took my shower, I found it hurt to go down the stairs!

I didn't run yesterday (Wednesday), and I bailed on my planned Turkey Trot today. I have been self massaging and foam rolling (using the excellent resources at http://www.athletestreatingathletes.com/self-muscle-massage/self-muscle-massage-pt-1-the-calf/). I don't think it's a tear, or something severe enough that I'll have to cancel the marathon - at least, I hope not. No idea how many days I'm going to need to take off; as they say, 'the hay is in the barn' and I don't need to do more workouts, but hope I can get a run or two in before the marathon.

You'd think that this would be enough for the vengeful gods to throw at me, but, no. My husband's had some sort of respiratory ick for the past two weeks - I've been sleeping in the guest room, washing my hands fifty times daily, and taking vitamin C / echinacea / zinc supplements. So far, so good, but I'm terrified I'm going to come down with it.

Of course I'm stressing about the weather, too. We're just getting into that timeframe where forecasts are possible and...they're not that great. It's looking like wind and rain, bleah.

I'm not in the best of moods, as you can imagine. So, naturally...I get my period! I'm at that stage in my life where it's so irregular as to be random, and it's also become heavier than it used to be, and lasts longer. If I was in a normal state of mind I would probably rejoice, since this means I'm unlikely to be having it during the race, but after reading horror stories of perimenopausal women with month-long periods, I'm just hoping it GOES AWAY NOW PLEASE.

Ah, well. Taper tantrums. I'm self-medicating with alcohol and chocolate, and crossing my fingers, and hoping for the best, because there is nothing else I CAN do.
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
Last big training week, last long run. Now I just need to keep from getting injured, not catch Britt's cold, and avoid eating ALL THE PIE at Thanksgiving.

Monday - 5.4 recovery at 9:33 average pace and a nice low heart rate.

Tuesday - 8.2 miles trail running at 11:13, felt slow and creaky at first but loosened up. 8x10 sec hill sprints at end.

Wednesday - 12.3 with 8 at GMP which averaged 7:42 (7:48, 7:47, 7:39, 7:42, 7:41, 7:39, 7:38, 7:45). Felt really good, HR where I wanted it. Overall pace was 8:03.

Thursday - 6.5 easy in drizzle, 8:53 pace.

Friday - 10.7 in rain. Started out easy but then I threw some strides in, and it just got me going faster, ending with 8:30 average pace.

Saturday - 6.6 hilly (over the mesa) avg 9:03, which I managed to time during a lull in the day's drizzle.

Sunday - I woke up and it looked like this:



Wet snow on the ground, light snow falling. I headed out ready to turn back if it was miserable, but it was surprisingly pleasant. It was just warm enough that the snow on the paved surfaces melted immediately (except for on bridges, which were slushy). I did have a sinking spell during miles 6-8 (my slowest), during which I decided several times to turn around early, and then talked myself out of it. At the turn-around, I realized I'd made the tactical error of running with the wind at my back on the way out, meaning that the wind was in my face on the way back...but somehow I actually felt better, and ran faster in the second half, and really enjoyed the rest of the run. Total 16 miles, 8:41 avg pace (8:51 out, 8:32 back).

Total of 65.7 miles. I really do feel like I'm peaking and ready for the race. Even though my mileage has been consistent - I haven't yet really dropped into a taper - my paces have been noticeably zippier recently, at no higher heart rates than usual. Cross your fingers that nothing horrible happens to me in the next two weeks!
ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
Apologies to my friends who read this for other topics (I will be doing a vacation road-trip in mid-December, and promise lots of photos of the Big Sur coast and Death Valley!) but this journal is pretty much all running all the time now, and it will be until CIM which is OMG JUST TWO WEEKS FROM TOMORROW!!!1!one!

Anyway, I mentioned a while back that I was thinking about the topic of racing weight )
ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
Or, miles what I have run lately. A lot of them. I am...really looking forward to taper.

Monday - 9 miles trail running averaging 11:16 pace. I felt slow and creaky, but that's actually a fairly typical pace for this route, only slightly slower than usual.

Tuesday - 9.9 miles as 2 easy, 3x (2GMP, 2 min easy-but-not-too-easy), then easy home. I faded a little toward the end but overall it was a good run: 9:00, 8:37, 7:45, 7:43, 8:24 (2 min), 7:42, 7:45, 8:32 (2 min), 7:47, 7:48, 9:28 (2 min), 8:59. It's pretty hard for me to maintain MP outside of a race, particularly while my mileage is high, so I'm not too worried. The one thing that did worry me was my HR seemed on the high side for these paces.

Wednesday - 8.3 miles easy-ish. Or rather, I started easy, but as I got into the groove I allowed myself to speed up, as long as my HR stayed in the easy range. 9:28, 9:11, 9:02, 8:52, 8:32, 8:27, 8:28, 8:31, 9:11 (.3). Overall average pace 8:50.

Thursday - 9.1 miles on the trail, with 6x10 sec hill sprints near the end on the community ski hill (where I have never actually skied). Avg pace 11:01.

Friday - 6.4 easy with strides, avg pace 8:50.

Saturday - 6.8 easy-ish, or what I call the hard end of easy; avg pace 8:33. Ended with 6x10 sec hill sprints on the last hill home. I have slacked on my hill sprints in the last few weeks and so I did two easy sets this week, but wow, I shouldn't slack, they are fun!

Sunday - My last 20-miler of the cycle! Well, to be honest I haven't actually done ANY 20-milers, and this one wasn't 20, either; it makes a very nice 19.3 mile loop to run up one side of the Animas Valley, cross at Trimble road, and run back down the other (I try to alternate clockwise and counterclockwise) so that is what I do. And did. This was a 'hard long run' aiming at 2 miles warm-up and the rest between 8:10 and 8:30 pace (that is, my GMP+5-10%). (For me, this is a hard long run! But a lot of my friends with similar PRs run that kind of pace all the time.)


Anyway, this was a solid workout for me to cap a solid week of 68.8 miles, again (barely) setting a new mileage high. Next week will have more MP miles, a shorter LR, and a slightly lighter mileage load; I'm going to aim at 60+ but not many +, as it were. Then 40-45 the following week, and 20ish the week before the marathon.
ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
This week I ran 67.9 miles, which beats out last week's 66.7 as my new biggest mileage week! I may or may not exceed it this week, but if I do it won't be by much. And then comes taper. HOORAY.

Some good runs, some bad ones, some shoe talk, and second-guessing my marathon goal pace. )
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
The California International Marathon (CIM) is five weeks away now, so it's time I start thinking about a marathon goal. I'm not a fan of starting out with a goal (other than a vague one like 'New PR', which coincidentally has been my vague goal from the beginning) but I like to start running some goal marathon pace (GMP) miles as the race approaches, and I want to have a pace plan heading into the race.

A little under two years ago, I ran the Houston Marathon in 3:29:13 on about 49mpw. Six weeks before, I ran the Winter Sun 10K in 43:06, which sounds really fast except that it's a downhill course, with 58ft gain and 375ft elevation loss. Converting to a flat course (using the Runworks calculator) suggests that without the downhill advantage, I would have run about 44:02. (The Winter Sun is also at a lower elevation than here - and at a higher elevation than Houston, which is at sea level, but I'm discounting altitude effects because both this race and my recent half marathon, which I'm using as a tune-up, were in Moab at roughly the same altitude; and CIM is only a few hundred feet above sea level.)

Runworks will calculate a predicted marathon finish time based on a shorter race, but I don't like most online calculators for this as they tend to be quite optimistic. (When I was a newer runner, I matched these calculators pretty well, but I think that has changed now that I've become better at running faster - and running shorter races. Just by way of example, plugging 44:02 back into the calculator suggests I should have run Houston at 3:23. Which - I might have been capable of a slightly faster finish than I ran, but not that much faster!)

I prefer the calculator spreadsheet made by Greg Maclin (who incidentally is the guy I ran most of Houston with) that can be downloaded from his website at http://mymarathonpace.com. This has a tweakable setting for 'aggressiveness', and by putting in the 44:02 and selecting the 'Moderate' setting, I get a 3:29:47 prediction - just a tad slower than what I actually ran. (If I don't tweak for the downhill and just put in my time directly, my time comes in about 80% of the way to 'Fairly Conservative'. But I believe that the downhill-corrected time more accurately represents my ability at that distance, at the time.)

So, that was not quite two years ago. Now I'm running about 60mpw, and I ran a half marathon at 1:35:55. Plugging that into Maclin's calculator, on the 'Moderate' setting, I get just under 3:25. On the 'Fairly Aggressive' setting, I get just under 3:22. If my endurance has improved (and it should have, with the additional mileage) maybe I can split the difference here and make 3:23.

But wait, there's more! The Other Half was kinda hilly, right? In fact it climbed about 350 feet and descended about 450 feet. Runworks tells me I would have run a 1:35:07 on a flat course, which, maybe. When I plug that in to Maclin's calculator, I get 3:20:15 to 3:23:15 depending on setting.

My 'BQ Babes' - the virtual running partners I've had since I first signed up on the Runner's World Online forum back in 2008, who I now mostly interact with on Facebook, tell me I should go for sub-3:20. I...don't think so. It would be awesome, but I think it would be a stretch. But I do think 3:23 is a reasonable goal. (At least I think so until I do the math and realize that's 7:45 pace! Yikes!)

Today's workout was a bit of a test of that goal: 12 miles with 7 miles at GMP. And it wasn't bad, despite the rather hilly route (I don't have much of a choice on this unless I want to do short laps on the river rec path) and the gusty wind: my first 5 GMP miles averaged 7:43 pace, and even with two more slower miles (due to hills and wind, not due to me being tired, I think) my overall average was 7:46, perfectly acceptable as a test. My HR was pretty stable, around where it belonged. So a 3:23-ish is feasible.

So. A goal is sub-3:23, B goal is sub-3:25, C goal is a PR (sub-3:29:13). Now I just have to get to the start line uninjured and in the best running shape I can be.

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ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Ilana

April 2014

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