I did something last week I haven’t done since my first few half marathons.
I took the week off.
Well mostly, I jogged a short 2.5 mile run, did 5 Morning Meltdown workouts and took the puppy on a walk.
So not completely lazy.
I planned on running more but then I started to think about it. I used to take time after a race, then as I started running more and spending time on social, I started taking less time off post race. Even of after my first and second marathons, I was running by day 2 or 3. Why?
And I’ve been in a constant cycle ever since. So last week, I said Nah.
Don’t get me wrong- I still have 3 half marathons in October and I realize that I need to train for them. But one week wasn’t going to hurt me. Well, at least I hope so. If not, I’ll let you know in a few months.
So I was completely lazy but I did manage to catch up on some things on my DVR. Is it weird that I felt like it was cluttered?
On Sunday, I toed the start line for my 5th SLO Half Marathon.
I have mixed feelings about this race. There was a time I loved it. Then it drove me batty. I’ve run it 5 times but only paid for it once. I was a race ambassador for the first few years but then I just couldn’t. Not to say I would have made the cut had I applied, I just stopped. This most recent trip down memory lane was sponsored by my work.
In the 5 times I’ve run it, I’ve run 3 different courses. I get that the city and the county dictate what roads could be closed and when but that’s a lot of change. The first course I ran was my favorite. I ran that one 3 times. Also, I seem to get slower every time I run SLO.
I headed into this race with no goal other than finishing. The preceding week and a half had wrung me out and I was hanging on by a thread. I was wondering why I hadn’t signed up for the 3 person relay. Oh yeah, needed 2 other people.
Unlike the last time I ran it, we made it into the parking lot before I jumped out of the car.
Then it became the “what pace is this?” game.
Mile 1- 10:10 Who starts a race uphill? I mean a short hill but still. Also I had to stop and tie my shoe so I don’t know where that pace came from.
Mile 2-10:35 Oh crap, I am already exhausted. This isn’t good. Oh, look another hill.
Mile 3- 11:00 Oh thank goodness, a water stop. Another reason to walk. More hill.
Miles 4- 11:13 More walking but a little bit of downhill. Also I know SLO pretty well but we’ve turned so damn many times I am so confused.
Mile 5- 11:42 Another hill, more walking and I must lose this long sleeve shirt before I melt. Oh crap, it’s under my pack. Why?! Oh and the work water station. Anyone want to tap in for me???? Please?
Mile 6- 12:44 Ok, I’m toast. Did I say I missed the Johnson hill stretch? I take it all back. Or as the pacer in front of me said- “Welcome to the hospital hills”.
Mile 7- 11:07 The climb is never ending. My brain broke. I had no sense of pace. I just remember walking. BUT I didn’t eat asphalt here like I did my 2nd time running it.
Mile 8-12:23 I’m done. Why do I do this to myself? Oh, Orcutt road is pretty, damn forgot about the hill. Not really, just lied to myself.
Mile 9-11:11 Tiny downhill, weeee! Also lost the 2:30 pacer, like they were miles ahead. Totally realizing this could very well be my slowest half marathon.
Mile 10-11:59 So much walking. Just keep moving, just keep moving. Oh look, it’s the railroad path.
Mile 11- 12:13 At this point I actually comprehend the numbers on my watch but they make no sense. Wait, if I drop 2 sub 10 miles, I’ll be around 2:25? Did I stop my watch somewhere?
Mile 12-12:30 Stupid, you don’t have sub 10 in you. Oh, hey it’s the criss cross bridge to run up to cross the railroad. Can’t we just run across? How much more is there?
Mile 13-11:14 I see the freeway overpass- run! The finish line is on the other side. I hate this last hill right before the finish- weeee! Downhill to the finish.
Wait, what? I started walking in mile 2 for crying out loud. I was ballparking a 2:45 finish, how the hell did I cut 10 minutes off of Oakland? I mean, yeah I was sick at Oakland but I was in a fog during SLO. I had no idea what pace I was running for 90% of the race. Or walking. So somehow I inadvertently proved I do better with hills. I’m not crazy!
That means 2 things- Super Bowl and Surf City. Now I could care less about the Super Bowl but Surf City is always the same day so I just pretend the excitement is for the race not the game.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am no where near race ready. When I toe the line on Sunday I will be fully prepared to take it easy and take my time. I have run/walk intervals set on my watch and ready to go. But I am looking forward to revisiting the race that started me down the path of (longer) distance running. The crowds are awesome, the beach view is great, I get to (hopefully) see a bunch of other BibRave Pros.
Now if the weather will cooperate. Granted, it is absolutely nothing compared to what is happening in most of the country but a rain filled Saturday and Sunday wasn’t exactly what I was looking forward to. I can roll with it though and have just changed most of everything I was going to pack and wear.
So, fingers crossed for a fun filled weekend that’s only slightly wet.
Disclaimer: Do I even need this? I won entry into this race via a Facebook contest. I would have registered for it anyways but winning is better. 😛
I love this race but it also stresses me out. Why? This race is still my half marathon PR…from 2013. Sometimes I feel like I am getting farther and farther away from that race. I knew going in this year that I was no where near PR shape and that was fine, I was just hoping for a solid race. Coach Jenny with Ekiden Coaching and I had discussed using the race as a training run for the Harvest Marathon half and we were both on the same page of aiming for a 2:10. It sounded a little ambitious as most of my 13.1’s this year have been plagued by a variety of issues but I was hopeful. While my marathon training had little speed work I was hopeful the distance training would help.
Then HOB Fun Run happened and I hurt like hell after. Missed 2 runs due to leg pain, stopped sleeping because well, life and received bad family news. I chucked all time thoughts out the window and just hoped to finish. When my mom dropped me off at the race start I told her to not even look for me before the 2:30 point. City to the Sea is a point to point so logistics can be a little tricky. This year my mom decided she would just drop me off, kill time, pick me up and then we would go to lunch. Thanks mom!
Pet peeve- the race had a 7AM start time. I got like 2 hours of sleep the night before and was feeling a little nauseous. The dang thing started 10 minutes late!
Miles 1-5- 10:04, 10:40, 10:23, 10:00, 10:19
And we were off! I had placed myself near the 2:30 pace group but I lost them fairly quickly. Oops. I tried to just keep it steady but it was only mile 1! Miles 1-5 are fairly flat to downhill so I tried to not be crazy. I felt something flapping about .75 in and looked down to see my left shoelace was undone. Again?! I pulled off to the side to tie and once again it was like I forgot how to tie my shoes. Once fixed I ran on. Damn, my calves were getting super tight. Just keep running…wait, now my other shoe was untied. What?!! Again, I pulled to the side to tie my shoes. Then I ran on. Until I pulled to the side to stretch out my calves. Less than 2.5 miles in and I had stopped 3 times. Probably not a good sign. 😞 I kept going but my lower legs were getting super tight. I hate flat routes. I took my first walk break at 3.5 miles trying to shake the tightness out. Between the slight downhill and the slant of the road, my legs were screaming. I knew there was a hill coming soon and I needed it.
Miles 6-10- 10:05, 11:01, 9:58, 10:26, 11:53
We were off the main strip in SLO, under the freeway and onto a side road. Hills!! I never thought I would be so excited to hit the hilly portion. But the first hill did exactly what I wanted it to do- the calf tightness loosened almost completely and I didn’t really notice it the rest of the race. Woo hoo! My stomach cramped in a very bad way partway through mile 7- walk break! Bummer was the slant- the road was super slanted and something about it aggravated a muscle high up in my right butt. I have no other way to describe it. That in turn tweaked my right knee. While things didn’t hurt, they sure didn’t feel comfortable.
There was a decent downhill in mile 8 as we ran into Avila and I was feeling good so I picked up a tiny bit of pace. Then we rounded onto the Bob Jones trail and I just told myself to enjoy running through the trees. I also ran in the dirt alongside the path to take some of the pounding off my legs. I had felt a slight twinge from the troublesome left shin area and the butt issue was still around. 😛 Once out the trail we headed for Avila Bay drive which thanks to last year I knew to expect a good size hill. I told myself I could take a walk break if I ran halfway up. Success! So much better than last year. Rounded to the corner to another hill and we were into Pismo! And the temp jumped about 20 degrees. Ouch.
Miles 11-13- 11:11, 10:58, 11:33
I wanted to be singing the I’m almost done song but instead I was having some GI issues. My stomach had decided to be pissed off- seriously?! From then on it was run until I cramped then walk until it eased. Grrr. During one of my walk breaks I noticed someone familiar pass me. I wasn’t sure but I hollered Bix anyways- it was! Bix was my very first race buddy- we ran a few races together years ago. Until I convinced her to run Firehouse 5K with me without knowing how brutal it was- she never ran with me again. 😛 This was her fist half marathon! We chatted a bit, discussed how the slanted roads were killing us and I warned her another hill was coming around mile 12. We separated then but it was cool seeing her. I did my run/ walk thing until the very end. I swear this race has the longest last .25 mile. Every single time I run it, it drags on forever! But finally, the finish line was in sight!
Well, that’s not too bad! Actually it is my fastest half marathon finish this year! There are a couple of points where I know I lost time but who’s to say I wouldn’t have lost it somewhere else. The shoelaces thing drives me crazy though. I never have that problem but now I have at the last two races! Grrr.
Once I crossed the finish I was given my medal and then a tumbler and then a sticker. Hey, that’s new! Kind of helps make up for the tiny shirt. 😛 I got out of the chute but hung around as I wanted to see Bix finish. Woo hoo!
I was still feeling a little green so I met up with my mom and we just got ourselves out of everyone’s way. I got myself under control and we headed out to find a yummy lunch.
All in all, I would say this was a solid race. I was way more consistent than I thought I would be. I won’t complain about being faster than I figured- neither would my mom- she’d waited long enough. That said, I believe I ran the best I could for where I was at the time- both mentally and physically. I wanted to run a good race, one to clear away the lingering issues with my other halves this year. I wanted to run a race that would help me dust the cobwebs in my head.
So, I think I have been a little too hard on myself. Maybe. It’s been 50 days since I ran a marathon and I’ve been over sitting over here pissed that my long runs haven’t hit 16 yet. This coming from the person who took 3 months off after her first half marathon years ago. I think I momentarily lost my mind. So, I am trying to get it back. My legs are achy and I am more tired now than I was during marathon training. I also have 6 races in the next 8 weeks. Oops. I have the opportunity to work with Ekiden Coaching though, so I am hoping that having someone to report to will reign in my craziness. Fingers crossed!
City to the Sea 13.1
Harvest Marathon 13.1
Golden Gate Half
So let’s get to last week!
Monday- 2.34 milesAnother short Monday. Not entirely my fault though. You can read all about the creep fest here.
Tuesday- 8 miles bike, plank, pushups, bridges. I had an appointment with my gastro and it was more of the same old, same old. Decent cross training after though.
Wednesday- Rest. I had planned on running but I fell off/ on my stool at work and it felt like I broke my foot. The top swelled and turned purple. Destructo girl, that’s me. My planks had to be broken into 30 second sections- it hurt to bend my foot.
Thursday- 4.25 miles Not the best but could have been worse. I determine my last pair of PureFlow 4’s were dead dead though. Calf pain, shin pain, foot pain, you name it this run had it. I changed into my Nike’s for the last 1/2 mile or so. I just really wanted to hit 4 miles!
Friday- Rest First early shift Friday in over a month- it was awesome. Except the computers were down for the first 6 hours. Oof.
Saturday- Rest Well, does shopping and trying on shoes count as exercise? I did clear 10, 000 steps without running though. Woo hoo! The PureFlow 5’s went back to the store. I hate returning shoes! I went in with an open mind and asked for help. I tired on 10 pairs of shoes!!! 10! I was torn between a pair of Nike’s, New Balance and Hoka’s. I left with the Hoka’s. Fingers crossed!
Sunday- 10 miles In my original schedule for myself, I really wanted to run 16 miles today. But since I didn’t pull off 14 last week or 12 the week before, I decided to be smart. After last week’s tunnel of dark and pain 8 miles, I headed out early and with a full Camelbak. It wasn’t early enough. The predicted high for the day was 102. Ouch. I optimistically hoped for 12 but knew 10 was more likely. Especially since I was running this in my Nike’s. I didn’t want to test the Hoka’s on a long run. My Nike’s may be the least painful pair of shoes I own but they are not a distance shoe. 10 miles is their limit. Truthfully, today I wanted them off my feet by mile 9. The run was hot and long and I was tired. I found a lone shady spot at the end and sat down. Cool concrete post run feels kind of amazing. 😛
Rookie moment- My mom had planned on meeting me halfway so she could walk some miles but had texted that she wasn’t feeling well. Which I got because I was thisclose to saying screw it when my alarm went off. Anyways, while I was waiting for her to pick me up so we could do lunch I drank more water from my Camelbak then part of water bottle when she picked me up. Too much water, too quickly. I got so nauseated I thought I was going to lose my cookies. Guess it’s a good thing I don’t eat breakfast before running right? I know better!
16.6 miles for the week. It is what it is. There was a time when I would have called this a very solid week. That was also the time when I lied to myself and said I ran long runs but rarely did. I was also faster than so hmmm…..