Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Today's run brought me past an important milestone. For five years I've had a goal of 1200 miles for the year (averaging 100 per month). It's not a huge amount, but for various reasons I've never been able to hit it; my previous highest year was 2006, with 1041 miles.

But today I hit 1200 miles for 2010! And there are still two months left in the year. Considering that on January 1 I was still injured and starting from zero, I am pretty happy about this!

With that said, today's run sucked. I would have bailed early had I not been looking for that 1200 mark. I've been feeling rather drained lately and hadn't run since last Wednesday. Hopefully will be feeling better soon (physically and mentally!). Next week I start back on a training schedule; I can't say that I'm really excited about that, but I am excited about my spring races so I need to get in gear. Three months of slacking is enough! :)

In other news, I ran my first night trail run last week. It was really fun, just a short run with a few other people, to get the feel of the trails at night. It wasn't as difficult as I expected it to be (I joked to a friend that hills are easier in the dark because you can't see them!). I want to do more night trail running through the winter.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"Recovery" Week

I felt pretty good after last week's marathon, so even though I only ran three times, I didn't go out of my way to take it easy.

First post-marathon run, and I didn't want to miss another weekly LT workout (since I'd missed the week before due to "taper"), so I did a short one: 1 mile warm-up, 2 miles at LT, 1 mile cool-down. It felt good, though there was still a tiny bit of fatigue from the marathon.

14 miles on the trails with the puppy! This felt great. My legs still felt a bit tired, particularly on the climbs, but overall I was really happy to be out there and had lots of fun romping in the forest with Sammy. He is always energetic, but I recently switched his food to a higher-quality, fish-based, grain-free food and now his energy is boundless! Even at the end of the run he was bouncing around all over the place. This is good, but I'm going to have to work harder now to wear him out!

Today was 10 miles, paved, at marathon pace (I didn't plan to go that pace; that's just what felt good!). It felt really great, and really strong. It started to hurt at the end, but not until the last km, so no worries! :)

Total 28 miles, which is just fine for the week after the marathon. :)

I don't really have a plan for the rest of October, except to do some more LT/V02max workouts and just kick back a bit more until November, when Chuckanut training will start!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Victoria Marathon

It had been over three years since my last road marathon, and my old pb (4:56:20) was looking pretty soft, so I thought Victoria would be a good place to make a new pb! After all my hard training for White River, though, I slacked quite a bit in August and September, so I wasn't sure how well I would do in the marathon.

Arrived in Victoria on Saturday morning, after having met up with some friends on the ferry. I was met by my mom's cousin, with whom I was staying for the weekend. She was awesome, driving me everywhere I needed to go (including a tour of the course), and getting me to the race, cheering, and taking photos. I felt like I was being waited on hand and foot all weekend, which was nice. :)

Race morning I saw a few friends at the start line and wished them luck. I looked for my friend Mary since we were predicting similar times, but didn't see her until we were on the course. I ran with Mary's group for a bit in the first half (on and off, since they were doing walk breaks and I wasn't, so there was some leap-frogging).

I was exactly on pace throughout the first half, crossing the half mat at 2:17:41. And I felt great. The course is really nice, sometimes along the water and sometimes through pretty neighbourhoods. There was lots of crowd support the entire way, which was really helpful. It's very flat, just the odd small hill here or there. The weather was good, except for the wind when we were facing certain directions. And was really fun to see all the elites and leaders and some of my friends coming back in the out-back sections.

At 26km I thought, "only 10 miles left... and I have done 10 mile MP runs on tired legs, so I can do this no problem." I felt great through 30k, crossing the 30k mat at 3:15:11. But it wasn't too long after that that I started slowing down. All of my joints were aching (first time since 2007 that I've run that distance on hard pavement!) and I started losing time and taking walk breaks--until then I had only walked through aid stations. Kept plugging on, running as much as I could and accepting that I wouldn't make 4:35 but would still have a nice pb. :)

The last stretch along Dallas was the toughest because we were tired, had to go up a gentle but long hill, and had the wind blowing right into us. And the last 5k was a bit of a slog, but I was able to pick it up just a bit towards the end.

Chip time 4:42:10, which was not my goal but still a 14 minute pb. So I am happy with that!

Great race; I definitely recommend it.

Feeling pretty good today! Just tired, with a few sore spots, but overall not bad. :)

Next up: Fall Classic 10k in six weeks.

ps: they had SPRINKLE DONUTS at the finish. And not regular donuts... you know those little sugar/cake donuts? These were like that, but bigger and with sprinkles! this should be required at EVERY race.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tapering, slacker style!

A number of times over the past week or two, various people have asked me, "aren't you supposed to be tapering?". My usual response is, "Tapers are for people who actually train." The truth is that my mileage lately has been too low to deserve a proper pre-marathon taper (105 miles in September?!) so I've kinda been winging it. I attempted my last long run on Thursday and totally bombed it... barely got 15 miles out of the planned 20. Then on both Saturday and Sunday I did the Grouse Grind (neither was planned). Monday was a 15k run with a friend from out of town. That leaves me 5 days to "taper". I guess it'll be more of a rest week instead.

I'm not worried about the distance; what I'm unsure of is whether I can maintain my planned pace over the distance. My goal is 4:35, which is not unreasonable, but given my low mileage I have no idea what will happen. There is only one way to find out! :)

I will start on pace for 4:35 and then see how I feel in the second half. Even if I fade in the second half, I should still PB (old best is 4:56 so there's lots of wiggle room!).

There will be online tracking at www.raceheadquarters.com (Bib #2470) if anyone would like to follow! Race starts at 9am PST.