Sunday, April 15, 2012

Boston Is So Hot Right Now

Gracie won the Caffeine giveaway, I e-mailed her Friday.  If only caffeine GU helped make hot weather bearable...she is running Boston tomorrow, and as everyone else, is probably really stoked about the whole 80+ degrees thing.  Sounds cruel.  But now maybe I won't be the only one who thinks Boston isn't better than any other well-organized marathon...


Here's some running-related stuff I have done in the past few days.

On Thursday morning, I showed up to the high school track where the Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders do a workout every Thursday.  I ran there (2.5-3.0 miles I think?) and arrived when other runners were finishing up their workout.  I got wind from Merilee that the workout was 10x 400m at faster than 5k pace, with a half-lap recovery in between.

FASTER than 5k pace?!?  I've never participated in a 5k, but I figured that if I did, I would be running as fast as I possibly could.  I can't run faster than the fastest that I possibly can!

Regardless of the workout, I had decided not to participate, and to just run a few laps around the track and head home.  The rain was starting to pound.  So I ran a couple laps, and the rain started really pounding, and indeed I left the track and began heading home.

Then, suddenly, the rain completely ceased.  And I was like, "eff it.  I'm not going home.  Back to the track."  And then I did my first real, true, track workout as an adult.

I started the workout that everyone had already completed.  I thought I'd do maybe 3, 4, or 5 of the 400m repeats instead of 10, expecting my buttcrease to be unhappy.  By repeat number 5, I realized these weren't so bad and pretty fun even, so I did all 10.  With my wet shorts feeling like a saggy diaper.

I think that these are probably not much faster than my theoretical 5k pace.  Maybe just a tiny smidgen faster.  The 400m repeats, in seconds, were:

89; 87; 88; 86; 86; 86; 86; 86; 85; 83.

For reference, an 89 second 400m is a 5:56 pace; an 85 second 400m is a 5:40 pace. 

In my last post, I wrote about how in high school I could run 400m in 60 seconds.  So really, it kind of depressed me that running 400m at 23-to-29 seconds slower than my old stellar best felt pretty challenging. By the tenth one, I was tired enough that running the 2.5 miles home sounded brutal.

My butt was sore the next day, which reminds me that sprinters like Alenka Bikar need good butt muscles.

Same girl as last time.  Still impressed.

Here's another thing I tried this week that was brand new.  Once a week or so, I will plank for 60 seconds.  Just for good times.

Then I kept reading about how Ali was busting out 5-MINUTE planks, which.....blew my mind.  There are so many reasons that I can't even imagine doing a plank that long -- obviously, first, my abs start to burn.  And then, my back starts to ache.  And my elbows get angry.  And then my neck.  And then my toes.  And thighs.  Everything hurts!

Well, I tried my best.  I got to 2 minutes 5 seconds, and that was a victory for me.  I'll keep doubling my time planking for the next few weeks until I am at a 30 minute plank.  That will be cool.  I'll just write up an entire blog post while planking.

blog blog blog.  Other kind of planking.

Lastly, I ran long today, and something happened that hasn't in a long while--I found $$MONEY$$.  Three fivers off to the side of the sidewalk, for a total of $15.

Always the best reward, even though sometimes I stop and wonder who lost it and it makes me sad.  What if it was two 12-year old boys who were out for a good day, and their mom gave them this allowance to buy lunch?  Judging by the neighborhood I was in, I hope and think the person who lost this likely has money to spare.  haha wealthy Oakland hills, I have $15 of your wealth!

This $15 is one of my top 5 running finds, I think.  The best cash find for me while running was $40 (in Bel-Air, Los Angeles).  Once I found a wallet, with over $120 in it, which I was able to return to the owner.  And once I found a small purse, with an iphone and wallet with some cash and a dozen gift cards.  Also returned, although it would have been much quicker and easier for me to find the owner if she hadn't remotely locked her iphone (so I could search in her contacts for "home" or "mom/dad" etc.)


The Gentleman and I went on a City walk yesterday (we have a history of loving hiking, but not liking to drive to trailheads, so we often start a "city" hike from our front door).  We "hiked" to BART, barted to San Francisco, and then "hiked" to the Presidio from Embarcadero to check out the Walt Disney Family Museum.

Miniature things make my brain excited
Disneyland, 2007.  I asked Jack Sparrow to run with me, arms up and flailing every which way like he is known to do.  He obliged, and then we posed. 

Swooooooooon.  The museum was so cool, so well executed.  If I could give any advice for someone planning to go to this museum, it would be: that the exhibits getter better and better, so don't spend all your energy slowly reading the stuff in the first few rooms about Walt Disney ages 0 through 20.  Like I did.  Quiz me on his 13th year, I've got it all in here.

Walking all day is the best.  I can't wait for Zion....all the tips everyone has shared has been super helpful, and I am stoked.  Countdown is 6 days!


What is your favorite track workout?  What's the biggest bucks you have found while running?


  1. No cash but a Baume & Mercier watch worth over a grand. I still have doesn't work right now...probably needs a new battery.

    I used to like doing mile-repeats. But now...ehhh... track ... bleh. Give me a good hill :)

  2. Nice 400s!!! I did 11 X 400 last week and my fastest one (final 400) was :94. I thought my legs were going to fucking fly off of my body. I can't imagine running a :60!!!

    Planks kick my ass too. I haven't been doing them, as well as any strength training, and I am paying for it now. More on that in another blog post. Boo.

    That sprinter does have a fantastic rump.

  3. I found $10 under a bridge while running in the rain. Normally I space out, but I was looking for a plastic bag to wrap around my husband's ipod. I eventually found a bag, too, but the $10 was pretty awesome.

    I have just started doing track workouts. It's all 400s. They are rough.

  4. Once when I was in college I found 3 $100 bills. I was good and brought it to the police station. No one claimed it in 6 months and I got to keep it. Bought a semester of books.

  5. I love 400's, they make me dream that one day I could hold that quick pace for an entire mile! Yours were awfully speedy, and I bet that you would run in the low 18's for a 5k.

    A 5 minute plank doesn't sound realistic...I mean if you are doing it right then there is no way you would be able to hold it for 5 minutes! Maybe I'm wrong, and Ali is just has super core strength.

  6. I've done the track twice this spring, we did a 1600 followed by two 800's and four 400's. It was pretty fun to go down the pyramid like that.

  7. I'll teach you to plank for a lifetime if you teach me how to run fast. I think it's an even trade. Seriously though, you can run an entire mile in the time I do a plank. You're my hero. And I want to run on a track.

  8. That Disney museum looks like so much fun!


  9. Yasso 800s - 800 repeats in minutes and seconds equivalent to the hours and minutes of goal marathon pace. So, if you're training for a 3:05 marathon, 3:05 800s with equal rest. Starting with a 2 mi warm up, we'd do 8x800 then eventually we'll go up to 12X800 AND THEN if we're crazy go do hills. Writing that out makes it seem terrible. And once, I found a wallet with like $240 dollars in it, so I gave it to a cop. In cynical retrospect, I wondered if I shouldn't have just found the owner myself.

  10. Congrats on your 1st "track workout" You are a speed demon. Any chance you are going to pass through Las Vegas on your tirp to Zion?

  11. Awesome workout. It pains me to think of how long it would take me to run the exact same thing. I actually like track workouts (and treadmills) because of the ability to run without getting lost.

  12. Dang, track workout? I usually go early morning, and run the opposite way of the old folks. You know...the ones that walk 5 abreast and act like you're crazy. When all along, THEY'RE the crazy ones. Yep. But I don't do anything too crazy. 4x800, 4x400 and then 2x200. Just to see if I can die spontaneously. Also, I think I've found a dime. And usually just pennies. Iowans don't lose money, yo. And yes, I still get excited about pennies.


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