Sunday, February 24, 2013

Exit trial, Kristen (sniff!) and base training...enter hard running and pain

So trial is over. We joke that January 2013 was just one long day. Or just never really happened... lost in the black hole of nothingness. Another murder victim of trial.

However having the ole bestie with me 24/7 pretty well rocked. K and I spent our last day together getting coffee (naturally):

And checking out the Chelsea Markets where we ate some ridiculously good crepes full of cheese and other delicious morsels.

Its always very important to carb-load. You know, for running and stuff. And you need cheese for all its dairy and calcium for the bones.  Moving on.

Last week was the first week out of base training, and into speed and tempo work for my May 5 marathon.

I realized very quickly how much I miiiiiiissed easy running. Running all my miles at 7:50 was intoxicating. You get a real runners high, but you're never tired/sore like you are with hard training. You don't have those first ginger steps out of bed to go to the loo, or the awkward quad-sore waddle, going down stairs.

During my dreamy easy running days, I ran lots of easy miles in Central Park with some lovely snow scenes:

Now Ive added back in speed and tempo (and aforementioned awkward waddling), those "easy" runs more closely approximate recovery runs and edge towards 8:30 avg pace, to give my legs a break.

The week of 2nd-9th of Feb I took off completely from running. I had a few niggles that just needed a couple of days to heal up, which all that dreamy easy running wasn't quite allowing.

Then 10th-16th Feb, 2013 looked like this:
Sunday: 8 easy
Monday: Off
Tuesday: 12x400 at 6:18 with 400 recoveries on 1.5% incline (treadmill). (8 miles)
Wednesday: 8 miles easy
 Thursday: Off
Friday: 4 easy
Saturday: 2 easy, 5 mile tempo (Splits of 7:30, 7:13, 7:06, 6:50, 6:55, 2 easy (9 miles)

Total: 37 miles

Obviously the first thing that sticks out is my complete inability to figure out where my "tempo" marathon place is. HM pace is easy, as its just below that lactate threshold. Marathon pace needs to be below that, but still a concerted effort. Also made harder because I am up in the air about what my marathon pace should be. I feel like my fitness exceeds my current race times, so they are not a good indication of what I should aim for. But even if they were, its my first marathon. So many unknowns. Such a huge possibility of getting dehydrated, hitting the wall or shitting myself.  Frankly, the latter is my major concern.

So the plan is to just test out paces between 7:15-7:30 in my long tempos (8-10 miles) and see what feels manageable and least likely to make me want to puke. Likely scenario is that I'll have a finish time range that I want to be in; run the first half in accordance with the slower end of the range, see how Im feeling then see if I can run a negative split the second half.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

All Easy is All Good

two little runners ~ Kristen 

Ahhh! I have been blissfully running sweet, easy miles. Spending some time in the gym to get leg and core strength back to where it was. And stretching out with daily yoga.

Base building has been treating me right! I love running without worrying about pace or distance. I've been heading out the door with just a time frame in mind. 

I'm finding that base building is also a healing time. All those little eeks and creaks from my intense fall half marathon training have cleared up. I haven't worn my compression socks since December! Habitual stiffness and knots in the calves - gone! What tiny strain in the piriformis from speed work on treadmill?

And I'm using this time to focus on some little niggles in my feet that I have been managing for awhile. I occasionally experience a sharp pain in my left foot where my arch meets the ball of my foot. Toward the end of long runs on pavement, it would manifest as feeling like there was a pebble in the arch of my shoe.  And I have some joint stiffness, from an old tennis injury, near my right arch as well. It is clearing up with what I can only describe as "plantar fascia scraping." Other people call it massage. 

The base building will continue for one more week while I am vacationing in Maui!! And then it will be time to pick a race, a pace, and get serious once again!

For now, I'm running to be happy, have fun, and explore new places and routes.

...and take pictures...

In New York:

Obsessed with the Brooklyn Bridge. I ran over it once and
under it as many times as I could!
 In Santa Barbara:

Quick weekend vacation. One of the most beautiful stretches
of California coast.
And at home in San Diego:

A friendly humming bird let me shoot a closeup!
Even through trial, looking over my training log, I was fairly consistent with volume during my 6 week base building period.

Setting aside the two weeks of January. 
A dark period, never to be spoken of again.  

January week 3 – 30 miles

January week 4 – 30 miles

February week 1 – 40 miles

February week 2 – 30 miles

February week 3 – 40 miles

February week 4 – will end up being about 50 miles

two little runners ~ Kristen

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Home Sweet Home

two little runners ~ Kristen

I’ve completed the progression from SoCalifornian to New Yorker. I’ve screamed at people on the sidewalk before 8 a.m. I’m not afraid to throw an elbow on the subway. And I ran a 10 miler outside when it was 25 degrees! Just in time to go home. Today is my last day in New York!

Goodbye New York! 

I’ll miss your bagels.

Pumpernickel with tofu veggie cream cheese.
That's my bagel.
I’ll miss your desserts and pastry.

New York cheesecake - the original. 
I’ll miss your macchiato.

Approximately 1/25 of the coffees Penny and I
drank to fuel us through 40 days of trial. 
But most of all, I’ll miss 24/7 with Penny.

And hhheeellllllooo life!

It's San Diego. 70 and gorgeous again!
On the running front, this week I continued to build aerobic base for my forthcoming marathon training. I ran 38 easy miles with some strides, progressions, and fartleks thrown in. I’m feeling more positive about my fitness this week. It’s amazing what a week without a sick day will do for the confidence barometer.

But I still have a lot to work on when I get home. My legs are bound up and tight from sitting in court all day and in front of a computer all night. I did not keep up with my daily yoga practice. I can feel tightness in my hip flexors when I run. I recall the same sensation before I started with yoga, so I anticipate the tightness going away in a few weeks of regular stretching.

I also want to spend some time in the gym building back all around strength, especially leg and core strength. My legs don’t feel as strong when I am running these days, and I feel instability in my core when I am running at fast paces – in strides, fartleks, and towards the end of progressions.

But first, some R&R in Santa Barbara for the weekend! 

two little runners ~ Kristen