Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Week 7, Feeling Off

Saturday: 12 miles including 6 miles @ 9:12 pace; It was cool and foggy and I totally made the right call to cut the run short the day before.

Monday: 5.6 miles including 6x 800m @ 8:39, 8:36, 8:36, 8:25, 8:31, 8:24 pace (goal 8:40); What I've learned from the weeks of speed work is that it takes a few miles or intervals for my body to warm up. The last few intervals felt much easier and were faster than the first ones.

Tuesday: 4 mi @ 10:06 pace

Friday: 8 miles including 6 mi @ 9:17 pace; The numbers may not look so terrible from this run but what they don't include are the 6 or so walking breaks in shade to bring down my heart rate while Garmin was paused. My goal for this run was something close to 8:55 pace. I'm not sure what the problem was today. It was a little sunny & warm but nothing I can blame. My legs felt like heavy bricks. I considered just finishing the 8 miles at an easy pace. I also considered stopping at mile 3 and going home. I figured even if I couldn't get the speed, I could get the effort in this run. This is the last extended goal pace run of the training plan and it doesn't make me feel very confident for the race.

One thing I hate doing when I'm on a training plan is to rearrange runs. I did that twice this week which mentally throws me off a bit. And these rearranged runs carried on into the next week, too. Between the postponed runs, forfeited work-outs mid-run, and just plain crappy runs I am not feeling very great. I am halfway through Week 8 now and will get a post up shortly about my race goals.

In regards to the recent Monday Mario post, he sticks his nose out like that if you come up to his cage and he wants you to pet him. If you do he'll close his eyes and look utterly content. It doesn't look comfortable, but the way he acts it must be nice. The hind feet through the pen thing did concern me. I was worried he would get startled and not be able to jump up quickly enough. After I took the photo I tickled his feet to get him to pull them back through. I haven't seen it happen a second time!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Mario

Mario lives on the edge.

He is always sticking various body parts outside of the pen...




And Tails! Oh, My!!

p.s. Not sure if everyone has already read this, but it is SO true!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday Wabbit

Didn't your mom ever tell you not to stick your tail out of the cage?


Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Mario

As a peace offering for being left behind from the Hawaii vacation I gave Mario a bunch of strawberry tops. Organic strawberry tops!! And maybe I snuck in a whole strawberry as a treat, too.

Mario is a sloppy eater so lot of strawberry juice was on his pen floor after he attacked the full strawberry.

When I took a closer look at him later, I noticed this...

It is a little hard to see in the photo, but up at the crown of his head. STRAWBERRY HEAD!

Okay, Carrot Mouth I can understand, but Strawberry Head?! How did that even happen?

Mario got a little self conscious as I kept taking close-up photos of his Strawberry Head. So he started cleaning himself off. Of course, he wasn't trying to clean the top of his head. I almost felt like he was trying to figure out what spot was dirty as I kept chuckling at him.

Is it on the toesies?

Utterly fatal disapproval for the mockery.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Week 6, Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!

First off, a few more anonymous Hawaii pics:

My new indestructible camera is verifiably waterproof! I was scared to dunk it, but it didn't break! Here I am ducking under a wave at Three Tables. Sadly, we didn't go snorkeling for some really great underwater photos. Next time...

Driving out to the North Shore. Pineapple fields!

Ali'i Beach. That umbrella was the best $10 ever spent. I am very anti-tanning nowadays (vs. the sun worshipping of my teens) so loved getting out of the sun. BTW, I LOVE the clouds in Hawaii. Fluffy, low, and white.

On to the running:

Sunday: 6.14 miles including 6x 1000m @ 8:39, 8:45, 8:36, 8:35, 8:34, 8:38 pace (goal 8:40); Not an easy run and I let myself walk the recoveries what with the Hawaii heat/humidity. But I am pretty pleased with the end results.

Monday: 4 miles @ 10:26 pace; My body was definitely tired from yesterday's run.

Tuesday: 6 miles including 35 min (3.97 mi) @ 8:49 pace; I had to work for this one but am really happy I was able to maintain a sub-goal pace. I find it interesting how much harder these 4 miles were today vs. the 6 miles I ran at a 8:54 pace last week. I felt loads better during the 6 at a pretty equivalent pace. I'm not sure if it was just a really on-day vs. an off-day or more of a mental perception. I go into these timed tempo runs thinking I have to run "fast" the whole time, vs. the goal-pace pick-up runs I feel like I just have to push the pace a bit to get down to goal-zone.

Friday: 3 miles @ 10:14 pace; First run back in SF! This was supposed to be a 12 miler but I jumped ship at 3 miles. I started running at 10:30 am. I didn't realize that SF is having a "heat wave" and it was already pretty warm and sunny. Maybe my week+ worth of Hawaii running would help me out? Umm... Not so much. It wasn't THAT hot, but I was definitely baking. I even saw three guys running without shirts which rarely happens in SF. I think 3 is 200% more shirtless runners than I've seen the whole 2 years running here. So yeah, I wimped out and decided I'd rather wake up before sunrise tomorrow and get the miles in before the heat and work. So all that worry about being a walking, sweaty, blubbering mess in Hawaii?? Not so much. I saved all that for my supposedly cool SF.

The above is a snippet from weather.com today which states: "Excessive heat outlook for the San Francisco Bay Area...for Sunday through Wednesday." Wah? It is going to get HOTTER?? Well, the good news is that if things turn warm in San Jose I'll be better prepared. I even told my parents I wish my trip had been a week later so that I would be more heat acclimated in case race day was warm. Guess I'm getting my wish. I now also feel guilty for knocking Hawaii's heat. Karma sucks.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Week 5, Holy Humdity! Calcium Crushing Concrete!

Saturday: 7.5 miles including 6x 1200m @ 8:47, 8:52, 8:50, 8:52, 8:53, 8:50 pace (goal 9:00); Did this run one day early so I wouldn't have to run at dark o'clock before getting on a plane to HAWAII!!! Yes, that is where I flittered off to the last week and change :) This run went totally awesome. Not easy but very fulfilling.

Monday: 4 miles @ 10:25 pace; This was the first of seven scheduled runs in Hawaii that I was absolutely dreading. Heat? Humidity? Bleh & Ugh! I envisioned myself tanking into a walking, sweaty, blubbering mess every run while back home. This first run didn't disappoint because you could cut the humidity with a knife. I was very worried about the rest of the week.

Tuesday: 4 miles @ 10:24 pace

Wednesday: 8 miles including 6 mi @ 8:54 pace; I have to take a moment and love this run because for the first time in my training cycle, I actually thought a sub-2 hour half might be possible. The 6 mi pick-up wasn't easy but it felt doable and I felt like I could have gone on a few more miles. A lot of times I'll credit cool weather for a good performance but that definitely wasn't the case this day.

Friday: 16 miles @ 10:26 pace; Pat on the back for me because I got up at 4:00 am during my Hawaiian vacation to run 16 miles before the sun got too strong. It was worth it, though, because I finally got the successful long run I've been craving down in the books. The last few miles I had some aches in my knees I usually don't get during runs. I'm figuring that it was all the miles on concrete (usually do most of my runs on asphalt). Boo suburbia! I have a horrible confession, too... I didn't do any ice packs or Homer soaks the entire time in Hawaii. The fact I still have usable shins mystifies me.

Flew home for my friend's beautiful wedding

I apologize for my silence! Week 6's recap is already just one run away from completion! A friend even emailed upset that "Monday Marios" came and went uncelebrated. Mario COMPLETELY disapproves of his lack of blog coverage. He is lobbying for a "Monday Mario" and "Wednesday Wabbit" post next week.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Week 4, Almost Halfway!

Sunday: 8.1 miles including 2 mi @ 9:02 pace, 2x 1600 @ 8:36, 8:34, 2x 800m @ 8:17, 8:21; I did this same workout 2 weeks ago and I think it is fair to say I have definitely gotten stronger. I did every pick-up 10-15 seconds or so faster per mile pace. I also kept running during all of the recoveries (2 weeks ago I had to walk in between most of the intervals). And the icing on the cake is that I felt stronger this week than the other week. My delicious SF fog returned today and I am so happy to be running again in misty, shady, coolness!

Monday: 4 miles @ 10:13 pace

Tuesday: 5.4 miles including 30 minutes (3.3 miles) @ 8:59 pace; Okay, this felt ridonkulously hard today compared to my Sunday run. Might have been the direct sunlight and possibly a little bit the footing (started off on trails then went to asphalt). Was averaging a 9:11 for the first 2 miles before switching to asphalt and making it my goal to bring the avg. pace down to below 9:00. My goal was an 8:50 pace. If this is what goal pace feels like I'll be lucky to hold it for a 10K much less a half marathon. But at least I kept running!

Thursday: 12 miles including 5 miles @ 9:16; This was supposed to be an 11 miler, but due to the failure of the 14 miler last week decided to bump up the mileage a teensy bit. Was really dragging the first 6 "easy" miles before the pick-up and am pretty surprised I was able to hold a 9:16 pace.

Friday: 3 miles @ 10:19 pace

I lightly twisted my ankle about a week ago. I twisted the same ankle again this Thursday. Two light twists = one moderately bad twist. I am one light twist away from a bum ankle. I always only misstep with left foot which I think is odd. Clumsy left foot. Once I get to "moderate twist" stages it takes about 4 weeks before I am able to just easily shake off a bad step. Hopefully nothing else happens the next month. I'll have to be a little more coordinated and vigilant (twist one happened while I turned my head to look for cars to cross a street, twist two was some sort of acorn thing on the sidewalk).

My energy level has been a little down the latter half of this week. Hopefully that picks up next week since it is peak week in my little half marathon training plan.