Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Running Journal Month 9 (September 2008)

Week 39 (9/22-9/28)
Weekly mileage: 18.1
Mileage to date: 1035.9
Race miles to date: 380.15

Well, this week I learned the meaning of recovery. I felt fine after the 50k except for extremely sore - no, not really sore, more like totally disfunctional - quads. I wasn't really able to walk quite right until maybe Thursday night when I went on a long night walk (with a tiny bit of jogging). Other than yoga and some arm weights like usual, I didn't run at all, and wasn't sure I'd be able to do the Santa Cruz PCTR race on Saturday. Somehow I did manage to do that race, and I'm pretty happy my quads complied because it was a great race - I especially liked making my way through the waist level river on the way out (taking off my shoes and socks) and on the way back (running through it w/shoes and all). Despite the loss of time, I think taking off my shoes was worth it as they really absorbed a lot of water weight when I kept them on. Sunday's race was satisfying because it was five flat paved miles and I tied my PR pace. I have no idea how fast I could have gone if I hadn't race the day before or done the 50k, but it'd be interesting to find out. Looking forward to the bridge to bridge race.

Race Stats:
PCTR Santa Cruz 21k - 2:20:41; 10:35/M; 30/100; 6th F; 3rd Age; 2175'
DSE Oyster Point 5M - 37:25; 7:29/M; 1st Age; 2nd W;
tied PR

Week 38 (9/15-9/21)
Weekly mileage: 38.7
Mileage to date: 1017.8 - 1000 MILES! 1st ULTRA!

This was obviously a week replete with achievements. During the week leading up to the 50k, I did yoga on Monday, a track meet on Tuesday, yoga Wednesday and an easy 5 miles on the treadmill on Thursday, but not weights and no running outside, so I was well rested. The track meet gave me my first timed mile on a track, and I know I can go faster next time so I'm pretty excited - the cool thing was how fast the mile went by in a race compared to track workouts where I can't barely stand to do a whole mile. I was worried that my legs would still be tired from the track meet by the time the 50k rolled around since I'm not used to that kind of work out, but I had mostly recovered by Friday. Although my feet didn't feel perfect and I felt like I hadn't done enough good quality long runs prior to Saturday, I was more excited than worried going into the 50k. I expected it to feel much worse than it did. I didn't start with the gun as I was taking care of some business in the portapotty and I'm glad I did; luckily, I didn't seem to have my usual stomach problems during this run, which was a huge relief, especially after being stung by the swarm of bees 4 times (once in the head) and dealing with a blister from a rock in my shoe, which required me to sit down at the 1st and 2nd aid stations to tape up my foot. I was on a first-timer's high, the course was beautiful (and I was going slow enough to enjoy it), the weather was perfect, and I felt great during the last 10 miles. I ran extremely slowly during the first 30k and much faster for the last 20k, which was a great plan, though it didn't result in an awesome time. I'd say it was a good strategy for my first ultra, especially considering I'd never run more than around 19 miles at once before. My quads started to have little pains in them near the end and now they are extremely sore, but nothing else is. I hope they recover by Thursday or Friday as I'm preregistered for a race next Saturday. My main concern now is that I'll never enjoy an ultra as much as this one!

Race Stats:
Tamalpa Track Meet: 1 Mile: 6:29 - 1st F; [other stats to come]
PCTR Skyline to the Sea 50k - 6:05:25; 71/178 overall; 13th F; 4th Age - 1st ULTRA

Week 37 (9/8-9/14)
Weekly mileage: 33.8
Mileage to date: 979.1

Another triple race weekend. Friday night at the Moonlight Run there was little wind and it was fairly mild, but my legs felt a little heavy I think from the tail end of the cold I had during the week. Next time I'll bring a headlamp as the dark slowed me down a bit. Saturday's race was...not fun. I fell, felt crappy, and when I took off my shoe my entire sock was soaked in blood from the blood blister under my toenail that popped. It hurt on and off, but not as bad as it should have for the way it looked. Anyway, Sunday's Stern Grove race was fun and unexpectedly hilly for DSE. All I can think of now is that the 50k is this Saturday. I'm excited but also scared I'm not really ready. I'll just try to make it through and have fun with it. Appropriately, the 50k will put me across the 1,000 mile threshold and my goal of doing ultras.

Race Stats:
Palo Alto Moonlight Run 10k - 47:54; 121/920 overall; 1th F; 5/168 Age
Mt. Tam 18k - 1:38:27; 32/69 overall; 12/26 F; 2nd Age
DSE Stern Grove 4M - 31:02; 32/103 overall; 1st F

Week 36 (9/1-9/7)
Weekly mileage: 25.6
Mileage to date: 945.3

After the Mt. Tam Hill Climb on Monday (Labor Day), I came home with a big head cold that lasted 'til the end of the week. I wasn't sure I would be able to do the 30k on Saturday, but with Skyline to the Sea in mind, I thought I needed the long distance, so even though I didn't feel close to 100% and hadn't run from Tuesday through Friday, I did the race anyway. The first 10k felt like a warmup to loosen my stale legs, the second 10k felt normal and okay, and the third stretch was a bit painful and hot. There were a lot of steep uphills in the last 10k and it was slow going. Nevertheless, I made it through, and decided not to run the DSE 5k the next day (opting instead to gormandize on sweets at the Chocolate Festival in San Fran). I still don't feel 100%, but hopefully I will by mid-week. This coming weekend will be another triple race, including Friday's moonlight palo alto run, which I'm pretty excited about since it's nearby.

Race Stats:
PCT Redwood Park 30k - 3:25.50; 32/86 overall; 4th F; 2nd Age; ~2780' elevation gain

Week 35 (8/25 - 8/31) + Labor Day (9/1)
Weekly mileage: 38.2 (excluding Labor Day)
Mileage to date: 919.7 (excluding Labor Day)

I'll dub this week Mountain Madness -haha. It ended with a triple race weekend and a crazy hike up Mt. Diablo (finally)! Before I get to that, I'll mention quickly that I signed up for the Palo Alto Running Club (PARC) on the offchance that I'll feel like mixing up my training routine every now and then and I know some people in it; realistically, though, I doubt I'll train very frequently with them as their runs don't really fit in my schedule and I think I get a better quality run when I'm on my own. Sometimes, though, I think it's nice to run with other people, especially when I'm not feeling up to it. Anyway, three races in a row meant that the middle race suffered a bit, but it was a fun weekend! Saturday was a 10k race on flat gravelly trails in Hayward followed by a hike up (and down) Mt. Diablo. Diablo is visible from almost everywhere in the Bay Area, so I was glad to finally do it. It was hot, dry and pretty steep for the first third, a bit gentler for the second third, and then steep uphill again, though not as extreme as in the beginning, for the last third. I kept thinking about the 25k on Diablo and how I wouldn't be able to go much faster than when I hiked! Hiking, it took 3 hours up and 2.5 down. Curious what my race time will be when I do that race next June. Sunday was DSE's Potrero Hill - 4 miles around SOMA with a hill climb from mile 2-3ish. I actually really liked this race, but my legs were tired and I couldn't go very fast. Didn't do much the rest of Saturday, but Sunday was an absolutely awesome race: the Mt. Tam Hill Climb! Mt. Tam is the other mountain (other than Diablo) that you can see from many places in the Bay Area. This race is somewhere around 3 miles long, from the base of Mt. Tam to the summit, any way you want to go! The first mile or so is runnable, and after that, for me, it was mostly power hiking up the steep rocky terrain, with a bit of running where the switchbacks flattened out. There were shortcuts I know I didn't take and even better paths I think I missed, so I'll need to do some hiking or running reconnaissance there to figure it out. I finished in less than an hour, and felt pretty good, so I ran back down the mountain with some other runners. I liked this run down almost as much as the race, just because it was nice to hear an older, very good runner tell us all about his past while we ran down the mountain. Can't wait to do this Mt. Tam race again next year - I know I'll go much faster.

Race Stats:
10k on the Bay - 47:47.40; 41/146; 3rd F; 1st Age
DSE Potrero Hill 4M - 31:47; 41/114 overall; 5th F; 2nd Age
Mt. Tam Hill Climb (3M?) - 58:15; 14/24 F; 8th Age 79/110

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