Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Race countdown

Well, the San Jose Rock & Roll half marathon has really crept up on me. Just 5 days to go and I'm in the taper zone and trying not to be really concerned that I don't feel fitter and more ready.

The good news is, I know I can trot 13.1 miles. It's just I was hoping to go considerably faster than 11 minutes per mile and ideally beat my previous half marathon time. But I still don't feel like that silly cough has left me, and the last couple of times I've been out, running "pace" (10 minute miles) has been really hard.

So the plan this week is for early nights, better eating, and lots and lots of water!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Who stole the sunrise?

This is the time of year when we seem to be losing daylight the fastest - almost my entire run this morning was in the dark.

However, that wasn't the part that bothered me. Since the half marathon is now less than 2 weeks away, I'm supposed to be gently tapering the training and running no faster than 10 minute miles. In reality, I found I was running at 10.5 minute pace and it felt like hard work.

I'm praying it's because the cold isn't quite gone and that I'm feeling a bit tired from our (lovely but taxing) house guests. It looks like some seriously early nights, healthy eating, and general relaxation will be needed if I stand any chance of doing OK on October 4th.

Photo thanks: Carlos del Arco

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trotting at Tahoe

The climb from zero feet above sea level in the San Francisco Bay Area, to 6000 feet at Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe, usually leaves me feeling cranky and listless for a day or two. In addition to that I was still fighting off a cold and my lungs had enough to keep them busy.

However, it's not every day you wake up in the scenery of Lake Tahoe so I hauled myself out of bed for a trot beside the Truckee River. We found a lovely bike path that runs close to Highway 89 and I covered a respectable distance before we admitted we probably couldn't make it to Tahoe City and back.

My Dad later pointed out that taking the bus from Squaw Valley to Tahoe City, and running back, would make a nice 7 mile outing. We'll save that for another time.

Photo thanks: Marici Marchini

Friday, September 11, 2009

(Slightly) sick, now what?

I woke up feeling horrible on Wednesday and for the first time since July, really had to drag myself out of bed to run. Happily I achieved 5 x 10 minute miles so that was a good thing.

"Horribleness" (cold is brewing, nothing serious I'm sure) has continued through the week and Beloved Husband decreed I shouldn't run this morning. I might do a bit tomorrow hopefully... it's hard to know whether to rest or grit my teeth and keep going.

We are then driving up to Tahoe for the weekend and I'm hopeful we'll find somewhere reasonable for a running outing. Usually the change in altitude bothers me for the first day or so, after that, some mountain air would be a nice change.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Maximum heart rate?

Well, I finally got those pesky intervals licked, although I'm not at all confident I can do it again.

Five half miles were duly covered at 8.5 minute pace, with another 5 at 10.5 minute pace for recovery. According to Beloved Husband (who kindly accompanied me as my wingman), I may well have reached maximum heart rate, but we'll have to check the watch to confirm that.

I'm absolutely mortified that I can barely keep my act together to do short distances at that pace, when there are thousands of women who run entire marathons at a quicker rate. But it will have to do for now.

Photo thanks: Sanja Gjenero

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Darn, missed again

These pesky speed intervals are giving me the runaround (no pun intended).

Once again this morning I hoped to do half a mile at 10.5 minute pace, half at 8.5 minute pace, and repeat for a total 5 miles. Again, I was slow for the first fast bit- although hopefully I hit the others (watch will confirm later). Excuses? Couldn't see the watch in the dark... had to cross a road... 2 walkers in the way. Darn.

The good news is, I think it's getting easier to hit my intended pace when I get daylight and a path free of obstacles. And I'm finding the recovery pace of 10.5 minutes just fine, which is great news because I think that's the speed I need to do for the San Jose half marathon on October 4th, if I'm to equal or beat my previous half marathon time of 2:21:58 (call it 2:19 as it wasn't chip timed).

Next week's plan is to do these intervals in the daylight on Labor Day - I'm going to hit all 5 of those 8.5s or die trying!!

Photo thanks: Lysanne Ooteman
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