Saturday, August 25, 2012

What’s next?

So I was pretty pleased with my mid-June half marathon and figured I’d just relax for a bit after. On July 4th I ran my first 10k, then the next day a local Cross Country Summer Series began that lasted 7 weeks…and then I blinked and somehow summer was over.

If you run at least 3 of the 6 weeks of the summer series, you’re eligible for awards in the 7th week Finals race.  I ran 3 of the races and the Finals.  It’s a 3 mile long hilly course; part-road, part-sand/dirt.  I ran the first three in 25:14, 24:16 (a freak cooler week in the mid 70s), and 25:16.  For every race except the one I labeled as “freak cooler weak,” it was in the 90s still at 7pm… including the Finals, which I ran in 24:21. 

It was good enough to get me 3rd place in my age group!


Why there aren’t more female runners here in the 25-29 age group, I don’t know.  I would guess part of it is that it’s the baby-making years; a friend thinks it’s such a big running community that the serious runners are burnt out by 25 after running through high school and college and take some time off.

Here’s the beginning of “Killer Hill,” somewhere around mile 1.5 on the course, as seen from the freeway.  I will admit, it doesn’t actually look that impressive in this picture.


So, what do I do now? I’ve mentioned before that I won an entry to the Griffith Park Trail Half Marathon on November 17th.  I’ve also been thinking of signing up for the local half marathon 2 weeks before.  It’s mostly flat and will be a good PR course.  Good or bad, the course also consists of paths I run or bike on all the time.  Home field advantage?

Somehow that half marathon has snuck up on me and is only 9 weeks away, so I guess I better get my act together with a training plan.  While I didn’t write out a plan yet, I at least tried to get back in the swing of things this week with a tempo run on first since the end of June.  I did a 5 mile hilly tempo run at an average pace of 8:38 which is where I should be based on the training paces I was using to train for my June half.  

I’ve been a little unfocused the last 8ish weeks. I have run those XC races, a few weeks of track work, some hill runs, and the rest have been long runs ranging from 9-12 miles at an easy pace, or shorter easy runs. And some hiking and biking.  I may have improved a little at shorter distances, and I’ve at least maintained my long run base, but I am sure I have done nothing to improve my pace for longer runs.

Pictures make a post more interesting.   I don’t know why my calves look plastic.
And these new Adidas Adizero Tempos will help me run a fast half; I’m sure of it.  [Coming home with new shoes—and these were not handouts from the brand rep—is one side effect of working in a running store…]

I may do another little nearby 5k at the end of September to see if I need to update my training paces.  I guess I could also plot out 3.1 miles on my own (for free) and run it hard…

Anyfart, I need to figure out a good time goal for this early November half.

Once upon a time a read you could expect 3-5% improvement with strictly following a training plan. A 3% improvement over my 1:57 would be a 1:53:30 (8:39 pace); 5% would be 1:51 (ambitious?)  Runner’s World’s Smart Coach says I could get to a 1:52 (8:33 pace) with training hard for the next 10 weeks. Anyway, let’s see if I can get somewhere in that range.  If you think I might be wrong, please feel free to share what you think would be a more appropriate time goal :)

What fall races are you running?


  1. Congrats on 3rd...that medal is nice too! It seems you've been doing great w keeping your running up...and you even did several races! Around here there are a lot of 5k's in the summer but that's about it. As far as your time goal...since you were a 1:57 before and have a couple months yet....I'd say 1:52-1:53 is realistic. :)

    1. Thanks! It was nice to mix things up with some shorter distance races and see what I was capable of, but I feel like longer distances are easier, somehow :) Looking forward to seeing how much more I can improve with 13.1.

  2. you have been consistently improving so if you continue to work hard, a 3 to 4 min PR is not unreasonable.

    i have the philly RnR and philly half (my favorite!) this fall. pretty low-key :)

    1. I hope so..I guess we'll see how training goes this fall! I loved the November Philly half last year!!

  3. Nice bling!

    I love the shoes and your plastic calves. :)

  4. Nice work on the age group win! Working at a running store is so dangerous. It's really hard to make more than you spend, I've been doing pretty good but I have had moments of weakness! Here's a brilliant idea - come run with me in San Francisco next weekend! That's only like 8 hours from LA, right?


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