Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Running Journal Month 7 (July 2008)

Week 30 (7/21-7/27)
Weekly mileage: 35.3
Mileage to date: 749

This week I incorporated one of DSE's Thursday night summer series races into the mix. The Thursday night race was a very low key 4.5 mile loop around Lake Merced in SF. For some reason, I felt like I was going slow, but I ended up doing around my usual race pace. Now that I know the course, I'm tempted to go again, even though it's hard to get there by 6:30. It also felt different racing in the evening as I'm used to morning conclusion: don't have four ice creams (work event) right before a race! The Sunday race was fine, but again, the same thing happened where I felt really slow, but ended up getting close to my PR time. I guess no matter how slow I might feel, I should just watch the mile markers and pay attention to my watch - the numbers are way more reliable than my head! I should also remember that the Windmill race is all downhill on the way back for next time because it was not as obvious as you'd think. I like the DSE races like this Windmill one where we contribute to this Sri Lankan runner's fund so that a particular talented group of runners in Sri Lanka can get things like racing shoes - I like that the donation makes a big difference to a small group, rather than a small difference to a big group (like usual charitable donations) and that it's directly related to running. Next week's race will be interesting as it will be the longest I've gone on pavement. I hope my knee handles it okay. Also, it starts insanely early in the morning, which I'm not looking forward to at all! I hope I have fun anyway though.

Race Stats:

DSE Summer Evening Series 7/24 (4.5M) - 34:10; 7:35/M; 2nd Age

DSE Windmill 10k - 47:31; 7:38/M; 52/201 overall; 6th F; 3rd Age

Week 29 (7/14-7/20)
Weekly mileage: 22
Mileage to date: 713.7

I finished this week off with two PRs - one, a repeat of the first race I ever did at Joaquin Miller State Park (20k), the other, a 5K in the Marina. I know at some point it will start getting harder to get PRs, so I'm trying to enjoy it now. The Joaquin Miller run was special for me, as it was my 25th race since I began racing (on February 16, 2008) and I had fun thinking about how different I felt during the race while I was running. I didn't go much faster as I forgot how technical the trail was, but I didn't have any music playing and I took the time to enjoy the deep forest trail and also to have some fun bounding down the steep downhill at the end. I've learned a lot from my race experience thus far, and I know there's still some more to learn, but I feel much more confident in myself as a runner now. I know that I'll keep going with it because I've been through so much already that could have derailed me but didn't. I also believe I will continue to get faster and stronger during the next few years and I'm excited to see how far I can go.

Race Stats:
PCT Sequoia 20k - 2:00:33; 9:53/M; 5th Age; 42/100 overall; 1960' elevation gain - PR
DSE Marina Green 5k - 22:55; 7:23/M; 4th Age; 8th F; 52/179 overall - PR

Week 28 (7/7-7/13)
Weekly mileage: 16.2
Mileage to date: 691.7

Was able to get in a couple of runs during the weekdays again as the knee felt better and I loved the DSE race on Sunday! It's probably the third best DSE race (1st is the Double Dipsea, 2nd is the Practice Dipsea) I've done so far. My friend came in from Michigan and ran the race with me - kudos to her as she's not used to hills! And hills and sand there were, in abundance. More than I was expecting from the usually flat, paved DSE races. I loved it! Now I just want keep training so I can get in shape for the Golden Gate Headlands race in August. If my body cooperates, I definitely want to do it.

Race Stats:

DSE Golden Gate Bridge Vista 10k - 51:19; 4th Female; 37th overall (dont know age group place) - sounds slow but the course was hilly and sandy!

Week 27 (6/30-7/6)
Weekly mileage: 12.4
Mileage to date: 675.5

This week I traveled to Florida for some races, warm, sunny beach and ocean and Universal Studios. My plan was to do five races, three on the night of the third, one on July 4th and one on July 6th; however, due to the knee issue, when I tried to run the midnight race, my knee just wasn't working right. I ended up just walking the 5k with my friend Heather (who wore flipflops), but I still had fun. It would have been a great course to run as it was lined with candlelight and I liked that it was dark out - very different. Maybe next year! The next day, I decided to do the same thing with the 5k race, but after about a half mile of walking, I started jogging, then running, and finished with a relatively slow time, but I was so happy that my knee felt okay to run on that I didn't care. I managed to get 4th in my age group even with the slow time, so that was unexpected and nice. By Sunday, I was able to run the trail 5k without too much concern about the knee, and I really liked the course - it was a flat trail that wove in and out of forest through the very damp, humid Florida heat! It was fun, and my favorite race of the trip (even though they just gave the winners hats). I finished that race only 10 secs slower than the July 4th 5k, and pulled off second in my age group (thanks to the new 30-34 age group, which is much less competitive on these shorter distance races). I also went kayaking in the ocean there, and think I might like to try that out here in California - maybe some adventure racing or something...

Race Stats:

Lutz Independence Day Run 5k - 24:56 - 4th Age

Tampa Run Through Hell Trail 5k - 25:12 - 2nd Age

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