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?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


This post took me forever to write because I wrote it last week, thought I had saved it, but lost it. I got really annoyed and couldn’t gather the motivation to re-write it, so this is a truncated version of the original.

We had a nice week back East visiting family and friends, but I must say, I am happy to return to this:


It did surprise me how much this place so unlike western NY or NJ now feels like our “home” after living here for just under 6 months.

Back to last week, we enjoyed some Rochester, NY delicacies:

Abbott’s frozen custard


Genesee Cream Ale


We ate at my sister’s restaurant one night where she surprised me with a  belated birthday dessert:


We also visited Letchworth Park, “the Grand Canyon of the East.”

Apparently NY is more restrictive than CA, “banning” the public from the dangerous riverbed. [Meanwhile, here in CA, back in June we hiked 2 miles to a creek/swimming holes in the middle of the mountains where it was totally legal to dive/swim/walk around.  Oh and another time we hiked along the San Gabriel river, subject to flashfloods, where people were camping along the riverbed).

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You can see Dan was thrilled to pose for this picture, one of many taken by my parents.

I don’t know why this large chair was at one of the scenic overlooks, and I don’t know why I’m looking confused by Dan taking a picture of me.

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Even though NY was in a “drought” it was much wetter and greener than the opposite corner of the country:

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I’ve been out on that railroad bridge before back in high school when I was younger and braver.  It turns out the park also made it much more difficult to get to that bridge than it was 10+ years ago, and I didn’t feel like doing an army crawl under a boarded up chain link fence to walk out there again just for a picture for the blog.


Later in the week we met up with several high school friends at one friend’s family cottage in the Finger Lakes for a couple days.

This included floating on tubes in the lake, leisurely boat rides on the “party barge,” playing games like Settlers of Catan and Cards Against Humanity (my first time playing; best way to describe it R-rated, non-PC Apples to Apples), icing (though, tamer than previous years), and on Saturday morning running what a friend estimated to be “about a 10k” around the little lake we were staying on – but we were without watches and later, mapmyrun informed us it was more like 10 miles.


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And finally, we stopped by Dunkin Donuts at the airport after finding out our departing flight was delayed only moments after we checked our bags.  It was only the beginning of an exhilarating day of travel which included missing our connecting flight and getting bumped to another flight 6 hours later, impatiently staring at the clock waiting for our plane to taxi to a gate, running through the Chicago airport, lucking out and getting two highly coveted standby seats when on a waitlist of 56 people, our luggage not arriving in LAX with us, then sitting in traffic for 2 hours to get from the airport to home when it should have taken less than an hour.

Reading about someone hiking the Pacific Crest Trail reverses the donut’s damage, I’m sure.


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