Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Completed my 22 mile run; now time for the San Jose Rock 'n' Roll half

This past Sat I completed my 22 mile long run.  The longest run of the training schedule and last long run!  It felt great to complete it.  And, so far my knee is holding up.  Still painful at times, but not worse.  I was so unsure if I could make it through the training schedule many months ago when I started it.  Yet, I completed all of the long runs.

Unfortunately my Garmin was not charged so I could not record my times.  We were going about a 9:45-9:50 pace.  For the long runs we go a bit slower because we throw in 30 second walks.  I felt good during the run.  It was dreadfully hot, but I kept up my energy with gel packs at miles 6, 12 and 18.  I also used salt tablets at miles 12 and 19.

The good part about the run is that I was able to pick up my pace the last two and a half miles and finished strong.  I think (no garmin) I ran the last two and 1/2 miles about a 8-8:30 pace.

Now it is on the the rock 'n' roll half marathon in San Jose. Hopefully, it will go a lot better than the Mountain View Half last month.  I'm still learning how my body works in races so I'm going to try not to go out too fast.  Keep a good pace and if I feel good then pick it up in the second half.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

9 mile Canadian long run

This Sat. I did my first Canadian long run.  I am in Canada for the weekend and did my run in Brampton (the Brampton etobicoke creek trail)  It was suppose to be only an 8 mile run, but I took a left when I should have taken a right and ended up going 9 miles.  It was a good run.  My avg pace was 8:33.

The trail was nice.  It was paved and not crowed.  A handful of other runners, some walkers, and a few people biking.  I went out a little stronger than a normally do and then just decided to keep a bit faster pace.  I was planning on only running a 9 min a mile pace, but I am so bad at keeping the proper pace.  Yet, I felt good with the pace.

The interesting part is how easy 8/9 miles feels right now.  Especially mentally.  The entire week when I thought about the run I just thought "it's only 8 miles."  And, on the run, I kept thinking only 6 miles left, 4 miles . . . and so on.

I also really enjoyed getting out of the heat.  In the bay area, the past month it has been hot and the long runs.  Today it was cold out (maybe 50 degrees) . . . but that was nice (maybe why it was so easy to keep a faster pace).

Now I have to travel to Houston on Monday, get in a short Texas run.  Then fly back to CA on Wed and start getting ready for my 22 mile long run. "22 miles" sure does not sound easy like 8 miles.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

20 mile run done

This past Sat.  I finished my 20 mile run!  It had been nearly a year since I ran that far and it felt good after going through many months without being able to run.  It was a very good run.  I ran with the 9:20 group.  We actually all ran in one group this week (rather than split to a 9 min group).  For the really long runs, we keep a bit slower pace, about 9:40.

I wanted to go faster at times, but stayed with the group.  I did not have any stomach issues which was good and did not have any major downs.  I used two powerbar gels and had some red beans.  I did have to stop to use the restroom once . . . I hate that.  But, no stomach cramps.  I think I have a solid routine down for these long runs.  Powerbar gels, some red beans, nuun, a peaunt butter sandwish on wheat bread before the run, and pasta the night before.  On the next long run I might want to try salt tables.

So the run went well.  Maintained a solid pace and was able to finish the last three miles stronger.  A few additional thoughts:

(1)  It is fun running with a group.  Last year I trained by myself.  That does have some benefits.  Yet, I'm very appreciative of the group. It adds an extra enjoyment to running and really helps you get through these long runs.

(2)  We ran into a large organization doing some walk.  I'm sure it was for a good cause, but let's not block off the walkway.  When you hear a group of runners behind you, try to make some room so that they can pass. While it can be somewhat frustrating . . . it is a little fun to dodge people.

(3)  My left knee is sore.  The good thing is that I cannot tell if its more sore than it used to be (a few months ago) or is better than what it used to be.  I guess after living with a bum left knee for nearly 11 months now, I don't know what's normal soreness.  I just hope it feels better over the coming days.  I'm planning to do a Yasso 800 in about 20 hours so I hope my left knee holds up.

(4)  I officially think my left knee is jealous of my right knee.  I know it questions why does it have to remain sore.  Why does it have to wear a brace?  Why does it have to be taped and not the left knee?  It's not fair.  Well, the left knee needs to just suck it up.

In less than two weeks will be the 22 mile run.  I can't wait.  It will be great to complete it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What a difference a week makes

On August 29, 2009, I ran the Sankara iWalk 2009 1/2 marathon.  I did not sign up for it until Thursday.  My training schedule called for a 11 mile run so I thought this might be fun and different.

The 1/2 marathon started at 8am.  And, it was hot!  I heard that it hit mid-90s during the run. It was painful.  The course was flat, but there was no shade.  Since it was a training run, I thought I would run at a 9 min a mile pace and try to come in under 2 hours.  For whatever reason, I started off fast (well fast for me).  The first mile I did about 7 min a mile.  The second mile I was about 8 min a mile.  As I stated it was very hot.  So I made a big mistake by starting off fast.  Between mile 4 and 5, I lost all my energy and I had to start walking.  I just felt beat and dizzy.  It was a tough run.  I'm not a big fan of running in the heat to begin with, but without shade and no wind, it was difficult to hit your timing goals.  The next 4 or 5 miles were a struggle for me.  My avg pace quickly increased (as in slower and slower).  8:30, then 9:00 min a mile.  Soon I was at 9:10 am at the halfway point.  When I ran I was doing okay.  At the halfway point, if I could keep pace then I could fight to come in under 2 hours.  However, it was just getting hotter and by mile 7, I knew I had to walk again.  So the rest of the race, I ran when I could and walked when I lost energy.  Generally, I would go about a mile to a mile and a half running and then walk a little.  It was a very disappointing run because I expected to come in under 2 hours.  I finished at 2:08:37.

I was glad that I finished strong.  The last two-three miles I pushed to maintain a good pace.  Here is a picture of me after the race.  One other note, I was very happy that someone that I run with when I run in the 9 min pace group came in first in her age group.  That was exciting.

Well this past Sat., the training program called for 13 miles.  It was a training day so I was not going to push myself too hard.  Yet, it was important to me that I did not feel the strong urge to walk and that I felt good at the end (unlike the prior Sat).  I was intending to run with the 9 min pace group, but they were starting at 6:30 am (anticipating that it would be a hot day).  That would mean I would have to get up around 5 am and after  a long week, I passed.  I decided to meet the 9:20 pace group at 8am.  It was a very good run.  I felt fine at 9:20 pace.  About the last two-three miles, I picked up the pace and ending up coming in at 1:59 for 13 miles.  The key is that I felt good during and after the run.

A bad run (even if you have an excuse) just beats away at your confidence so it's nice to come back with a good run.  I feel that if I'm smart about not starting too fast, in my next 1/2 marathon I should be able to break the 2 hr mark.  Hopefully, I can do that at the R&R San Jose 1/2 marathon so that I could feel that I have some glimer of hope of running a sub 4 at the SV marathon.