ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
Last week I was in Boulder to take a class on the climate model we use. I didn't think I'd be able to get a lot of running in while there, since I would have to catch a shuttle bus at 7:45 each morning, but it turns out that when I'm on my own I am pretty good at waking up early early, rolling out of bed and into my running clothes, and hitting the path. I ran between 5-8 miles each morning, got in another 4-miler on Wednesday evening (I ran to West Flanders Brewery on the Pearl Street Mall for beers and dinner, then took a bus back to my hotel), and did 11.5 miles on Saturday morning since I didn't have to go to a class that day. I wasn't much of a runner when I lived in Boulder, but it was nice to run on the creek path where I used to ride my bike.

Britt drove up in the Sportsmobile on Thursday, carrying our bikes on the back rack, and on Friday after my class we biked up the path to our old house at the mouth of Boulder Canyon, where we lived from 1987 (well, Britt did; I moved there in 1990) until 1999. It broke our hearts a bit to see that it's now a rental, and the guy who lives there now didn't want us to go inside or even walk around the yard, but he moved in three weeks before the Great Flood of 2013, and he told us all about the damage the house and yard sustained when the irrigation ditch at the top of the hill behind the house failed.

We got together with old friends on Friday night and Saturday morning, then headed out of town to take the long way back home. Where US285 turns south, near Buena Vista, normally we head south for Poncha Pass and the San Luis Valley; instead we went north and then west toward Cottonwood Pass. For our first night of camping we took the side road to Cottonwood Lake, but we had not realized it was a major 4WD/ATV camping destination and pretty much every spot that could be camped in, WAS camped in. We finally found a tiny but acceptable pull-out spot four miles past the lake. Fortunately we'd bought a bottle of wine in Buena Vista, and could drown our sorrows as we ate dinner. (And yes, we DID remember the lighter this time!)

In the morning we returned to the main road and drove to just short of Cottonwood Pass, where there is a trailhead for Brown's Pass and Mt. Yale. As Yale is one of Colorado's Fourteeners (mountains 14,000 ft high or taller) and it was Sunday morning, the trailhead was, predictably, very crowded. But we turned off at the junction for the pass, and saw only a few people.

It was a lovely hike. After having lunch at the pass, we followed a trail to the ridge above, and when the trail crossed to contour around the side, we left it to strike out straight up toward the nearest high point. This turned out to be the cleverly-named Point 12,955 (wanna guess how high it is?) which gave us excellent views of Mt. Yale and the surrounding peaks.

Mt. Yale from Point 12,955 cool rocks above Brown's Pass

Britt atop Point 12,955 Ilana on the rocks

We also saw a whole family of ptarmigan (including adorable chicks!) but unfortunately their gray-and-white color scheme blends into gray-and-white rocks so well that I couldn't actually find any birds to point out in any of my or Britt's photos!

A lot of thunderbooming accompanied us on the way back down, but we didn't get rained on, and we stopped here and there to pick some mushrooms we'd seen on the way up (boletes and hawkswings). Then we drove over Cottonwood Pass and down past Taylor reservoir, camping for the night off a dirt road close to the intersection with the road that continues on to Crested Butte. The next day we continued south through Gunnison, then veered off onto the road to Cochetopa Pass, which rejoined our usual route between the Front Range and Durango in the San Luis Valley. And now we are home again, home again....but Labor Day Weekend's coming up soon - which means, time for another road trip!
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
Ten years ago, I ran the Steamworks Half Marathon - my first race of that distance - in 2:01:30. On Saturday, I ran it for the fifth time, in 1:36:28, which though not a PR is my second fastest half time and my fastest on this course, and won my age group.

The gory details )

Here I am after the race with my friend Kevin, who took 1st in his AG and 3rd OA:
Steamworks Half Marathon 2014

And here we are after getting cleaned up a little, with our well-earned post-race libations:
Steamworks Half Marathon 2014

ETA: Also, you can see me crossing the finish line at 1:21 of this video which is also on the website version of the newspaper article about the race): http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20140607/NEWS01/140609615/Fourteen-years-of-13-miles-

Today I didn't hurt at all (other than some epic sportsbra chafing /o\) and I ran a 4-mile recovery run at around 9:30 pace - I felt fatigued, but not sore. Which suggests to me that maybe I didn't run 'all out', perhaps because of the heat. I think I could have run substantially faster in cooler weather. Time to scope out some winter half marathons!

race math

Jun. 4th, 2014 04:49 pm
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
I'm running the Steamworks Half Marathon on Saturday, which was actually the first half marathon I ever ran (back in 2004); since then, I've run it three more times and volunteered at it twice (when I was injured and couldn't run). The course is rolling, generally downhill but with an uphill finish (grr). My best time was 1:38:10, the last time I ran it, which was two years ago.

Key workouts and numbers )

So, that's the plan. My A goal is a PR, or sub-1:35:55. My fallback goal is to beat my 1:38:10 from two years ago. My super-stretch goal is sub-1:35, which would be a 7:15 pace and is probably out of reach on this course at this time.
ilanarama: my footies in my finnies (snorkeling)
mudder's day

We went out for our town's Gallery Walk on Friday night, and the running store was open as well, so when we passed by I went in to sign up for the Mother's Day Telegraph Trail 10K, an annual event which is a charity fundraiser. Oddly, I've only run it once before, in 2009. It was a warm, sunny day and the race started at 10am; I almost passed out a few times, but ran the 5 miles (by my old Garmin) in 58:07.

But on Sunday morning, I woke to the rumble of thunder and the spatter of rain. Getting out the door was more a matter of proving something to myself than anything else - the race was only $20, not a big goal or anything - but I swapped my shorts for capris and put a wool singlet on under my short-sleeved shirt, then put on my rain jacket for the short run over to the start. Which turned out to be even shorter than I'd thought, as the start had been moved down the jeep road to the parking lot, which made a lot of sense (but added some elevation). To compensate, an extra loop was eliminated, though as the organizer said, "We call this a 5K and 10K, but really it's a short course and a long course."

It was the most miserable race of my life. Pouring rain, thunder and lightning, sucking mud, 800 ft elevation gain in the first 2.6 miles. I ended up leaving the jacket on - I'd planned on taking it off for the race, but the cold rain changed my mind. So I froze in the first mile and a half, overheated in the next, almost lost my shoes to the mud several times, and was passed by four people and only passed one. No awards other than random draw and I didn't get ANY. 1:00:24 for the 5.3 miles by Garmin. UGH UGH UGH.

A lot of my friends are 'real' trail racers, who have laughed at my distaste for less than perfect conditions, who have assured me that there is nothing so fun as trail running in the rain through thick mud. I want what you're smoking, is all I can say. Because UGH UGH UGH.
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
A few months ago I received a notice of a conference to be held at the Argonne National Laboratories, near Chicago. The first thing I thought was, "Hmm, this might be useful and interesting." The second thing I thought was, "Hmm, I wonder if there's a race I could run there?"

IMG_20140418_150307

Indeed there was: the First Merit Bank Lakefront 10 Miler, a race put on by CARA (Chicago Area Runners Association). My online friend [blogspot.com profile] justrunjim belongs to CARA, and had run the race before and said it was a good one. I decided that it would be a fine way to update my very old (2009) 10-mile PR with a nearly-sea-level race, and made arrangements to stay after the conference with Jim (who'd be running it with me) and his wife (who'd be running a 5K instead).

I had a good time at the conference, getting in three nice runs around the Argonne campus and the lovely crushed-limestone path which encircles it, but my stomach did not handle the conference-catering food well, and I was also not feeling any faster at Chicago's elevation than I am at home. In addition, I had not managed to run as much as I had wanted in the five weeks since running the Canyonlands Half Marathon, averaging only 40mpw rather than the 55-60 I had hoped for. Still, it was a perfect day for me, cold, sunny, and a little breezy, and I thought a target of about 7:20 pace (the slow end of my original goal, also Jim's goal) would be reasonable.

Jim and I lined up fairly close to the front; our friend Scott, a Chicagoan who has several children living in Durango and who I'd met running there, was coming back from injury and placed himself a ways behind us. After too much speechifying and the National Anthem, we were off!

The course begins with a loop to the north on a closed section of road, then hits the bike path and goes south to loop around a small-boat harbor before heading back north again. Along the way it stays on the path except for one short section routed over a grassy knoll, which I think is just the race organizers' way of trying to get a little more elevation change in there than Chicago normally provides. The path was open to other users - walkers, runners, cyclists - and it astonished me to see just how many people were out there. I think I saw as many runners just out for their Saturday morning run as I did actually in the race, and there were nearly 1400 racers!

There was a timing clock at each mile mark, a very nice feature. The first mile seemed awfully long, though, both by comparison to my Garmin (which had beeped some time back) and in absolute terms, and I suspect it was not quite where it should have been. However, it was easy enough to check my own time at each clock, and my total Garmin distance of 10.08 was reasonable for typical Garmin error/tangent issues.

I lost Jim pretty quickly, then caught him again at the grassy knoll around mile 2.7 - then lost him again as my stomach started to complain and my pace slowed. As I approached mile marker 4 I was thinking I might have to duck into a porta-potty, but I held it together and eventually the sensation passed and I felt good enough to accelerate again. I spotted Jim again around mile 7 - he was wearing a black shirt with a distinctive greeny-yellow neon hourglass shape on the back - but although I closed the distance bit by bit, I never could quite catch him. I crossed the line exactly 20 seconds behind him, in 1:12:59 - a 7:18 average pace (7:14 by Garmin) and good enough for 2nd in my age group.

(Also, a woman fell almost directly in front of me about a mile in. The guy who was directly in front of me stopped to help her up, and I zigged around them - but this is the second time in three races someone has fallen right in my path!)

Splits (note that I didn't stop my Garmin immediately; and the HR for the first 3 miles is artificial and should be ignored):
Dist	Pace	Elev chg   Avg HR      	Max HR          Elapsed
1.00	7:20	  -11	  157 (83%)	165 (90%)	0:07:19.69   
2.00	7:14	  +7	  166 (91%)	166 (91%)	0:14:33.68   
3.00	7:12	  +1	  166 (91%)	167 (92%)	0:21:45.57   
4.00	7:22	  +3	  152 (79%)	161 (86%)	0:29:07.29   
5.00	7:17	  -20	  152 (79%)	159 (84%)	0:36:24.72   
6.00	7:09	  +12	  162 (87%)	166 (90%)	0:43:33.64   
7.00	7:14	  -7	  165 (90%)	167 (92%)	0:50:47.71   
8.00	7:07	  +1	  165 (90%)	166 (91%)	0:57:55.18   
9.00	7:12	  +14	  165 (90%)	168 (92%)	1:05:07.49   
10.00	7:07	  -2	  166 (90%)	168 (92%)	1:12:14.00   
10.12	6:52	  -1	  168 (92%)	169 (93%)	1:13:05.26  

I put in a few fields I don't normally post, just to point out that 1) HAHA those elevation numbers! They are NEVER that small around here! and 2) you can see where I wasn't feeling so hot, the slowest miles other than the crowded first. Also my heart rate is interesting because it got right up there to what is basically my 10K HR - yet I didn't feel as though I was (aerobically) particularly working hard. My legs, on the other hand, could simply not go any faster. I was entirely limited by my legs, not my lungs.

This makes me wonder about how I can overcome the limitation of not being able to train my legs to the same level as my lungs, running at altitude. I mean, I can't maintain these 7:07-7:14 paces for longer than a mile at a time, at home; yet here I was, reeling them off if not with ease, at least without too much trouble. Maybe I need to run lots of mile repeats (and half-miles), and run downhill repeats, to get my legs used to rapid turnover.

Anyway, it was a good race (other than the gut issues early), and I'm very pleased with my final stats: 1:12:59, 2/61 AG, 24/742 women, 129/1351 OA. Here's a photo Jim took of the awards ceremony; the woman to my left (on the right) ran 1:06:10, which is like a 6:38 pace - I can't imagine!

lakefront awards
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.
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: 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!
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] blnchflr). 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: 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.
ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
Okay, recovery week is over! Time to start focusing on that little 26.2 race coming up in December.

Monday - I still felt tired and creaky from the hard 17.5 I did on Saturday, so I ran my 7.8 trail miles easy-peasy.

Tuesday - 11.8 as a progression: first 6 miles averaged 9:06, next 3 8:50, next 2 8:15, and then I tried to run half a mile at MP-ish (7:45) but only managed 7:51. Average overall 8:53.

Wednesday - 10.5 miles on a hilly route (up/down) with strides. Felt pretty good, 8:32 average pace.

Thursday - finally got to my tempo run, and it went well! 10 miles with 5 at HMP-ish averaging 7:22, overall average 7:56.

Friday - 7.1 miles on the trails at 11:10 pace, plus 4 10-sec hill sprints. I woke up with some iliac crest pain (that's the pointy part of the hipbone) and didn't want to push the sprints, since I was planning a long run the next day.

Saturday - 19.5 miles in the Animas Valley on a beautiful day! This was a great and confidence-building run. The plan was to go easy early and try for a mild progression toward about MP+10%; I set an early floor of 8:50 pace and it was surprisingly hard to go slower than that! Then I allowed myself to go as fast as 8:40 through mile 10, then 8:30-8:40, and trying to run around 8:30 or faster for the last 3 miles. It worked great: 1-4 averaged 8:53, 5-10 8:44, 11-16 8:37, and miles 17-19 8:30. (The last half mile was at 9:30 pace. Hey, cool-down, right?) Total average pace was 8:42, which - okay, I don't place much weight on training run pace, but this run was not just faster but ended stronger than the same run I did four weeks before my 3:29 at Houston, which was 19.3 miles at 8:58 average pace, and I slowed to ~9:15 in the last several miles. So I'm thinking this is a good sign.

Sunday - 'rest' day. And by the quotes I mean that actually I need to rake leaves today, and then go to the in-laws' and cut firewood. So, not all that restful. But no running.

Total for the week 66.7, booyah!
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
It was so much work writing up my Other Half race report that I never got around to writing up my week's runs! So you get two for the price of one this week. :-)

Taper week plus recovery week equals fewer miles, but that's okay. I wanted to be sufficiently rested going into the race, but I also didn't want to stint on miles since my ultimate goal is my December marathon, and that means keeping my mileage relatively high and relatively consistent. So I 'front-loaded' my week, running more early in the week and less later.

October 14-20: 57.7 miles )

October 21-27: 55.2 miles )

Coming next week: 65-ish miles ending with a 20-ish mile run, and also, cutting firewood. Also, rain/snow is forecast for midweek. Happy Halloween!

Profile

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

March 2017

S M T W T F S
   123 4
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 

My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

Tags

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags