Run!

Tempo Troubles

Year of Challenge, right?

Training for Destination Races Santa Barbara started Monday.   After much deliberation and a little reworking, I am using a combo plan.  Primarily Run Less Run Faster with a little Jeff Galloway thrown in.  Kind of an oxymoron but I was hoping it would work for me.    The plan means 3 key running workouts a week, 1 tempo- 1 interval workout- 1 long run.

Sounds great, right?  Except it’s day 3 and I am already having troubles.

Monday opened with a tempo.  Probably not the best idea (also against the plan) considering I had run the previous 2 days but unfortunately that was how my schedule worked out this week.   That wasn’t the only trouble.   I suddenly realized I had no where to run said tempo.    I have no access to a track.   The treadmill tries to break me, even the idea of attempting a 5-6 mile made my calves seize up in imagined pain.  I haven’t been on a treadmill since the nightmare fiasco back in October.    Normally I run my tempo runs at the lake path…except thanks to the mudslides not only is my commute 15 miles longer each way due to the road closure but I can’t get to the lake.   A fact that did not occur to me until Sunday night.  Oops.

So now what?

Monday’s run called for a 1-2 mile warmup followed by 3 miles at short tempo pace with a 1 mile cooldown.  What was my tempo pace?  Well according to my last 5K- it should be 9:02.  Trouble.   Let’s all start laughing now.   People, I’m not in 9:02 shape not even close.  I would need a downhill with an 8% grade, a strong tailwind and maybe even skates to pull that off.   I went back to the pace chart.   Could I even maintain a sub 10?  Honestly, I wasn’t sure.  Ouch.

Next trouble.  I was running this in work town.  After work.   In the dark.  On the streets.  With cars.   Yeah, this was going to be very abbreviated and interesting.    What really happened?

.75 mile warm up
1 mile tempo
.2 mile gasp for air
.7 mile tempo
.5 mile cooldown

Holy crap, I was sucking wind.  My legs were so confused.  They were like, wait, fast running?  I thought we didn’t do that anymore, who agreed to this?    As for the paces?  Haha.    Tempo mile 1- 9:55.  Ouch.   I had hoped it would be a little better than that.  Except let’s be real, there was a 30 second walk break in there.  Ok, there was also a break.   Because when you come around a corner and see this sunset, you stop and stare a bit.


And try to stop panting.

That last tempo portion wasn’t a full mile partly because I decided it was too dark to run safely and if I stopped it there, I had a half mile cool down jog to my car.  That .7 mile of tempo came in at a 9:27 pace.   Somehow I improved going uphill, wonder if I could have held it.

So yeah, ouch.  I cut my 6 mile run in half.  Ran hard into the reality of how much work I need to do get faster.  I felt like toast just after those 3 miles.


However I still have the problem of where to run.   Until the highway opens back up, I can’t get to the lake path.     I could try the treadmill but I fear it would cause more harm than good.   I could keep running them at work until the lake path is available, they would just be way shorter than the plan says.  Something is better than nothing right?   The days are getting longer so I could the push the tempo portion to be a little longer each week.   I was looking forward to working on my training plan and now I just feel foiled.  Grrr.

What would do?

Where would you run?

 

Race Day, Recap, Run!

Carlsbad Half Marathon Recap

I put this race on my calendar back in November.  Something about it just looked awesome.  Then the December of flu happened and I ran a whopping 14 miles.   Well crap.   I took time off in November intentionally so that meant a long break with very little running.  Well, crap, what now?  Cue freak out.  I seriously debated a DNS but I couldn’t start the year like that right?   Right.


I was doing this but I was under trained, out of shape and freaking out.    I had no idea how this was going to go.   I was too tired to even pull off a flat runner, how about a pile?  ๐Ÿ˜›  The longest run I had done in months was 7 miles.  The farthest I had run in my Sayonara’s was also 7 miles.  This was going to be interesting.    I told my mother I was going to take awhile, how long I wasn’t sure but that she shouldn’t even start looking for me until the 2:30 mark.


Race morning dawned all too early and a little cold while standing around in the corrals.  I knew it would feel good when we started running though.   The race had a wave start and the announcers were upbeat and trying to keep the crowds entertained while we waited.   Which I appreciated until the man introduced corral 4 as the “back of the packers”.  Corral 4 contained the 2:00 hour pace group.   WTH? I was in corral 5 in between the 2:20 and 2:30 pace groups.  His comment did not go over well with the runners around me.  Grrr.

Mile 1- 11:05

The plan was to run the first 2 miles and then go to a run/ walk of 3/1.    Mile 1 had a pretty decent uphill and I was pretty proud of myself for almost running the whole thing until I remembered that I had another 12 miles to go after this and probably shouldn’t flame out after mile 1 just due to stupid pride.  So I forced myself to walk that last part of the hill.


Miles 2-5- 10:30, 11:18, 10:37, 11:17

The course has 2 decent inclines (mile 1 and 7) but otherwise it’s a nice rolling course, which is kind of my jam.   My plan of 3/1 was kind of thrown to the wind and I was just running when it felt good and walking when I needed to.  The views of the ocean to the right were pretty awesome and the village of Carlsbad was pretty cute.  Aid stations were on point and there were surprisingly more people out cheering than I thought.   There were also bands playing music along the way.  I was warming up too but it felt good to be running in a tank top though.

Miles 6-7- 10:49, 11:41

Well crap, I can see that hill coming, sure looks fun.   At least it has a decent downhill leading up to it.     I also had a moment where I mentally checked out.   Not in a bad way but in a nostalgic, spiritual way.  The 15th was my grandmother’s birthday and there was something about the way the sun was peaking through the clouds that gave me pause.  And peace.   Then it was on to the hill… and a fair amount of walking.  Well, until Last Resort by Papa Roach started playing on my phone and then I randomly started bounding down the course.


Miles 8-11- 11:21, 11:22, 11:42, 11:37

Know what I forgot?  Humidity.  Yeah, silly, you’re running next to the ocean, it’s going to be humid.   My lungs let me know they weren’t happy.  Inhaler time!  I was feeling surprisingly ok though.   I was tiring but that was to be expected but I didn’t feel bad.    I knew there weren’t any hills (by my definition, only rollers) ahead and I had a good downhill towards the finish.   I had no idea what my time was, I had my watch face on my intervals.  I just knew that the 2:30 pacer was still behind me.  But they had also started behind me so that didn’t necessarily mean anything.    My 3/1’s had never fully formed and I was still running whatever I felt like.

Miles 12-13- 11:29, 10:45

Damn, my toes were kind of hurting, boo.   Well, it could be worse.  I was so close!  And a downhill was coming!   Just as I was coming up on mile 12 I noticed the 2:30 pacer coming up on my left. No!!!  I bolted.  It helped that we were coming up on the downhill section even if it seemed shorted than I thought.  Alright, I got this, lift and coast.  Weee……Baaaaam!!!    Halfway down the hill, someone came to a complete stop right in front of me. I couldn’t stop, I slammed into them.  How neither of us hit the ground, I have no idea.  I went pinwheeling while colorful words spilled out of my mouth.     We briefly checked on each other before moving on.  I kept running towards the finish.   I ended up taking a walk break not too long later, I felt like I had wrenched my right leg in the collision.  Boo.    I tried to shake it off so I could run it in to the finish.  Except I had to dodge a woman with a giant purse meandering through the course!  What?!   Finally around her and to the finish.

Finish- 2:27:49


Sub 2:30? Where the hell did that come from?!  I mean it’s miles from my PR but it’s also a helluva a lot better than I thought I was going to pull off going into this race.    I know I have a lot of work ahead of me this year but maybe this was the race I needed start the year with.     ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ˜€   I can do this.

 

Race Day, Recap, Run!

Castle to the Coast Recap

First race of the year is in the books!

Castle to Coast is an 8.2 mile road race that starts at WR Hearst State Beach and runs along the highway to Moonstone Beach. It’s a no frills race with scenic views.  It starts across from Hearst Castle.   Granted the Castle is way up on the hill but on a clear day you can see it.  I have wanted to run it for the past few years but they cap it around 300 runners each time and it always sold out before I registered.   This year, well last November, I literally registered at 2 minutes past midnight the day registration opened.   I was looking forward to finally running it but then slacker December happened followed by sick January.    Oh and let’s not forget the sudden blister issue.

As I laid out my clothes on Friday night I was feeling very “meh” about it all.  Between my blister issues and the fact that I have put on a few pounds, I knew my usual race outfit of knee high Pro Compression socks and a skirt was off the table.  With temps predicted in the high 50’s I figured a tank and capris would be fine.  Just in case, I added my arm warmers.   Race morning dawned way too early but with one last weather check, I was out the door.   I had already mentally moved this from a “race” to a very public long run.   8 miles with ocean views- piece of cake right?

  

   
Pre-race-

Rain!!! That was not in the forecast.  I kept hoping it would clear up as we drove but no luck.   It was so foggy and overcast I started to wonder if I had driven past the starting point.   Then I saw a pack of Aggies warming up along the highway- we must be close.    Once parked I headed to the epically long bathroom line and my mom headed to check me in.  Benefits of small races right?  She was back with my shirt and wristband and I still hadn’t moved forward in the bathroom line.  ๐Ÿ˜‚  I struck up a conversation with the women behind me.  She is my new favorite person- she said I looked 24!   I also saw Ashley before the race start.  ๐Ÿ˜ƒ   I grabbed my rain jacket from my gym bag at the last minute, it wasn’t raining hard but it was enough to get you wet and cold.   The start line was about 1/4 up the road so we all headed that way.   This is very low key event- no bibs, no timing chips, just a starter pistol at the start.  I started towards the back of pack which might not be the best idea for a gun timed race but I was just aiming for a steady run.

Miles 1-4  9:54, 10:06, 10:03, 10:08

And we were off!  We ran past the cutest little general store right at the start.  It was so overcast that the castle was completely covered up.   We went up a side street and then we were on the highway.  I should mention that the roads were not closed so we were running along the highway.  In the rain.  With cars.   My hood fell back by mile .5 and I decided to just leave it down.  I was about a mile in when I noticed something odd with my right foot.  The Vaseline was doing its job but my toes felt weird.  My shoe was full of water!  I could literally scrunch my toes and it felt like I was wringing out a towel and not my sock.  My watch was covered by my jacket sleeve so I just tried to keep what felt like a steady pace.    I started to get hot so I unzipped my jacket.  Miles 2 and 3 felt rougher than I would have liked and are kind of a blur.  I just kept my eyes forward and kept putting one foot in front of the other.   I knew there was a water station at mile 4 so seeing that meant I was halfway there.  Woo hoo!

   

 Miles 4-8-  10:15, 10:09, 10:06, 9:56

By now I was super warm and there was a small hill in sight.  I knew I was going to slow down running up it so I used that mile to take off my jacket and tie it around my waist.  Which meant I could now see my watch and my pace.   I did my best to ignore it and just kept running.   Left foot then right, then curl my toes to try and move the water around.   A little past mile 6 we turned off the highway onto a side street and headed for the finish.  This street was longer than I thought and I started to worry that my mom might not have found the finish line.  I hadn’t really given her directions and while running I realized I had given her the wrong street name.  Oops!   I was tiring and just wanted to be done.  I was so happy to see the finish line.  First race done!

Finish-  8.28 miles- 1:23:11

   

 So yeah, that was about 7 minutes slower than my last 8 mile race.  But 8.2 mile races are an automatic PR right?   Official results aren’t posted yet but I think my Garmin is pretty accurate.    I started way back in the pack and it was gun timed.    This was not the race I would have liked to run but in reality it went exactly like I expected.  I know I am out of shape right now but haven’t done a whole lot to fix it.  I think the reality of this race will give me the kick in the ass I needed.    As far as long runs go, it was a great pace.  As for race pace?  Umm, not so much.  However I am pretty impressed with the consistency of my splits.  I don’t think I’ve ever run a steadier race.   I love how you can tell the hill was in mile 5.  ๐Ÿ˜   Something else that I am happy about?  I did not take a single walk break, I ran the entire damn thing.  I can’t even tell you the last time that happened.

The finish line area was a little disorganized.  There were giveaways but I’m not sure how it was working.  I met up with my mom and then later Ashley and we chatted a bit before heading out.  Not only had my mother found the park but she beat everyone else there.  She literally parked my car next to the finish line.   ๐Ÿ˜

The ocean view was pretty in a stormy, cloudy kind of way but I wish I could have run this race in the sun.  And not just because I was soaking wet.  I may consider running it again next year but not sure.  The cost is great-$30- but I am still on the fence.  We’ll see.

Ever run on an open highway?

Race in the rain?