31 March 2010

Monthly Recap/Busy Week

First, today's stats:

Distance: 6miles
Time: 46:11
Pace: 7:41

We actually had a sun break this morning so I did my run along the river instead of the treadmill at the gym. I ran faster than I wanted to but I'm glad I did it. The run was much better than any treadmill run. Since I'm back to building a base for the next 9 weeks, I'm trying to slow down a bit.

This month was my shortest one of the year. I only got in 112 miles. I'll tack it up to my mini taper for the half and missing 8 days from being sick (two different occasions). Hopefully I'll be back in the 160-180 range next month. For the year I'm around 440 miles. That's a little short of being on track of my goal (2000 miles) but I'm not worried since I still have a marathon training cycle to go through.

This week has been crazy. Monday morning I had my comp exam in Algebra. I met with my advisor Tuesday about narrowing down my research topic. I've also been studying like crazy for my Diff Eq comp exam on Friday. Plus my usual class and homework. And today I found out I needed to sign up for another class to keep my financial aid (I was at 8 credits, needed 9 to be a full time grad student). So, I signed up for yoga :) Oh, the one thing that is really bugging me is my grade for abstract algebra last quarter. Its bugging me because I DON'T have it. We have started the spring quarter and my prof hasn't submitted his grades from winter quarter yet!

Well, back to the books!

25 March 2010

Race Pics

I've been sick for a few days so no running :(

Its my second to last day of Spring Break. I was lucky enough to be able to travel and visit my fiance at her grad school. So far we've been able to see each other once a month while we get our master's degrees at different schools.

Anywho, got some official pics from the race last weekend. There were about a dozen of me but these three were my favorites.

22 March 2010

Only those who risk going too far...

...can possibly find out how far one can go.

Yesterday was my first race of the year and a goal race. I ran the Mercer Island Half Marathon. I was a little worried about hitting my goal, a PR (previously 1:36:58), because I was sick and missed 3 days of running the week before race week.

Logistics were a little crazy too. The race is only about an hour from my house. But...it is on an island big enough for 1 lap to be 13.1 miles long. Take that size and add spectators, volunteers and 4500 runners...yeah...traffic nightmare. A gal on rwol told me she had to get out of her car on the freeway exit ramp to make it to the starting line on time! That being said, I left my house at 6am for the 9am start. My little sister and mom came to watch me run. We got there around 7 and were able to park in the main lot, less than a quarter mile from the start. We then sat in the car for an hour since it was windy/rainy outside (luckily the rain stopped for the race). I happened to glance at the car next to us and noticed its sole occupant was none other than Maniac #1! I thought it would be cool to race against him. More on that in a bit.

I was excited to see what I could do. I wore my favorite Nike running shorts, a long sleeve shirt (bad idea) and my new LunarRacer2's. I decided against a watch. Ususally I love having a watch during a race, especially my forerunner. It really helped my pacing during my first marathon. However, I thought it would hinder me at this race. I wasn't sure what kind of shape I was in. True, I had ran 20 miles in a week where I should have ran 40 but I had also pulled out some awesome training runs. I had a hunch I was in a bit better shape than my goal pace, 7:20. Had I worn the forerunner, I would have slowed when I saw any pace faster than 7:20.

Feeling a little ambitious, I lined up at the front of the 7:01-8:00 pace group. I cruised through the first few miles. Somewhere between mile 2 and 3 (I think, didn't see a mile marker until mile 5) I heard a few women talking about expected/goal times. One of them said something about 1:40. What? Guess I'm in the wrong group. I kicked it up a notch for a few miles. I moved from group to group, drafting where I could and pushing to close gaps to faster groups. I did this with a few other runners until about mile 8. That's when I saw Maniac #1. "Man, it would be sweet to beat him" I thought. I was a little tired from my tactics up to that point. The rolling hills and cambered roads had taken some toll on my legs.

Around mile 12 (or maybe it was 11), there was a nasty uphill. It wasn't too steep or anything, but after 10+ miles of rolling hills it seemed more daunting. I felt like I was crawiling up it! The nice part was the long downhill afterwards. I used it to catch, and pass Maniac #1! After that I tried to hold my pace on a short flat section before the final uphill, which peaked about <200 meters from the finish. I was shocked when I saw the clock as I came over the hill, 1:32:xx! What?!? Where did that come from? I didn't care, I was excited to PR. My last half PR was my first one back in 2005.

Today I saw the official results:

Time: 1:31:52
129th of 2137 overall
8th of 47 age group

I was/am super happy with the results. Who wouldn't be happy with a 5:06 PR? I'm going to attribute the race success to higher mileage and more speedwork/tempo runs. I'm definitely ready to start training for Portland, a much flatter course. I think I might need to change my goal from sub-3:45 to sub-3:25.

17 March 2010

Finals Week Roller Coaster

This has been one hell of a week...and its only half over. Monday I had a nice rest day. The majority of it was spent studying for my abstract algebra final and putting the finishing touches on my paper on "The Classification of Groups of Order 2p". Somewhere in there I managed to get in a little yoga.

Tuesday I got in a decent 5 mile run somewhere around 8:00 pace. Then I got my ass handed to me (well, half handed to me) on my abstract final. Then I had a great time at my favorite bar, the Cheerful Tortoise.

I spent this morning working on my presentation that goes along with the paper. Then I studied for about 3 hours for my linear algebra final. I felt really good while I was studying. I was able to make connections to other classes and see a few results that were not written out in the text.

My run this afternoon was freakin' awesome! The skies were and still are clear. It was in the mid 50's during the run. I did about a mile warm up before hitting my tempo. I clocked a 6:24 for the first mile. I thought that would be a little bit too fast. I was wrong. Somehow, I managed to hold 6:37 pace for the tempo portion, 5 miles (5.12 to be specific). I ended with a mile cool down, bringing my total to 7 miles. It was almost perfectly even pace, 16:58 for the first half and 16:59 for the second half.

After being sick last week, only getting in 20 miles...I was really questioning my PR attempt this weekend. I thought I'd lost too much fitness. I really needed today's run to boost my confidence back up. For now its back to studying.

13 March 2010

Semi-Epic Fail?

Distance: 4 miles
Time: 31:xx

Here's the breakdown of what the workout should have been.
1mi warm up @8:xx
5 mi @7:30-8:00
1 mi cool down @8:xx

Here's the actual breakdown
1mi warm up @8:xx
3 miles @7:30

I felt really good after my warm up so I kicked it up to 7:30 pace on the TM. A mile later I still felt good so I kept at it. By the time I hit the 4 mile marker, I felt really sick to my stomach. So, I opted for cutting my run short...

It was really hard for me to do that. I feel much better than I did Wed-Fri when I was sick and didn't/couldn't run. I guess my body is just not 100% healthy yet. With my half marathon coming up in a week, I don't want to miss or cut short any more runs. I feel like I put in a lot of hard work. I mean, the three weeks prior to sick week were all mileage PR's with some great quality runs in them. I just have this (somewhat unreasonable) fear that all that work will be for nothing. I just hope that in dropping from 52 miles last week to <20 this week that I don't loose all the gain from my training.

07 March 2010

Weekend Update: Flyby


Distance: 10 miles
Time: 1:22:44
Pace:  8:16


Distance: 15 miles
Time: 2:01:52
Pace: 8:07


Distance: 5 miles
Time: 50:00
Pace: 10:00

In all, I would say I had a great running weekend. I'm especially happy with Saturday's LR. Like the title says, this is a flyby post. I've got some studying to do and a paper to finish. Back to the grind!

05 March 2010

Solid 10

Distance: 10 miles
Time: 1:22:44
Pace: 8:16

I was hoping to run a little bit closer to 8:00 pace, I'm happy with this run. My legs still feel a little tired. Probably a combination of my great workout on Tuesday and running my recovery run too quickly yesterday.

The effort was fairly evenly paced, 41:10 for the first 5, 41:34 for the second 5. My legs decided to tag team in pain today. While I was running, my calves were sore. When I was walking before/after the run, my calves were fine but my quads were sore.

This weekend is going to be crazy busy with homework. I have about 3 sections of algebra problems do to (linear & abstract combined), 3 diff eq assignments and I need to finish my paper on group theory! My 15 miler tomorrow is going to be a nice break from that.

03 March 2010

Inadvertent Timetrial

Distance: 10 miles
Time: 1:12:40
Pace: 7:15

Today has been an interesting but awesome day. First, I woke up at 7. Odd, since my alarm goes off at 6. Turns out I didn't set it last night. So my run was getting pushed to the afternoon yet again. The forecast had rain in the afternoon...great. Turns out, it didn't rain. When I got out of class, I checked my email while getting ready for my run. I had a message that I got a package. Knowing what it was I went to get it before my run. My Nike LunaRacer+ 2's came in! They were much lighter than I thought. It almost felt like I was wearing track spikes! I decided to take them on a 10 miler right out of the box.

I'm not sure if it was because the first .75 miles of the run were downhill or the adrenaline of getting new kicks, but my first mile split was 6:36! Now, I wanted to run fast today but not that fast. I was going to shoot for sub 7:20's, a little quicker than GHMP. I tried to settle into a comfortable rythm, thinking that would be the right pace. Mile 2 went in 6:39! "Ok, I can't do this for another 8 miles" I thought. I decided to just drop the hammer and see what kind of 5k time I could pull out of this. Sort of turning the run into a time trial. The third mile was a 6:16 giving me a 5k time of 20:04! I was super stoked! One of my goals for this year is a sub-20 5k. I think I may have to change that to a sub-19, which would be a PR.

I still wanted to get in 10 miles so I trotted a few at 8:00 pace before picking it up a little. So the second half of the run was 6.9miles @ 7:37 pace.

As far as the shoes go, I love them. They felt great. Only one small blister and a scrapped heal, nothing that can't be fixed by wearing socks next time :p I was like a kid at Christmas, just wanting to play with my new toys and forgot to put socks on. I'll do a more extensive review of them after I've run the half in them later this month.

02 March 2010

Peak Week: Day 1

Distance: 6 miles
Time: 46:19
Pace: 7:43

Just a quick post today. As the headline says, this is day one of my peak week. I'll hit 52 miles this week, then do a mini taper for my half marathon on the 21st. I went to the gym between classes to bang out my run. Since last week was my first 50 mile week and I had two great speed workouts, I think I'm going to forgo tomorrow's intervals and focus on getting in a solid tempo on Friday and hitting some goal pace miles in my long run this weekend. The run felt ok. The pace felt easy. Toward the end of the run, my right knee started to ache a little. I'm hoping that will dissappear soon. Now its off to take my abstract algebra midterm and then get some drinks!