Thursday, July 12, 2012

On to the Next One

I've been getting in a lot of miles this week, not particularly quality ones, mostly easy with two semi-attempts at a track workout.  Monday was 10x400m with 1/2 lap jog, at 82; 82; 80; 80; 80; 81; 82; 81; 83; 82 (a sleepwalk compared to the speed my fellow Rose has been whipping out). Wednesday I went for 5x1 mile, but I stopped at 3, for 5:49; 6:02; 6:05.

On my Wednesday visit to the track, I saw two men as I arrived that made me certain I was in the wrong place.  Where is my normal track, with those two gossipy women who walk on the outside lanes, and the older man in the sweatsuit that jogs clockwise, and the two young girls who sit on the grass inside the track and stretch for 40 minutes? And why are these two elite Olympian-esque guys sprinting up a storm?

I don't actually know if they were Olympians, but they looked to me like very important Ethiopian/Kenyan racers (I admit to having zero skill in identifying the country of origin of someone based on their appearance, so I don't know whether they were born in Oakland or Africa or South America but let it be known I COULD tell by their 0% body fat, their sinewy skinny runner muscles, and their floating sprint across the track, that they were elite runners).
I stared in intimidation.  Halt! How can I join thine glorious elite runners on this simple track, which turns to gold upon their light-footed prances?  It was a Shakespeare moment.

Then I knew without a doubt that my true calling as a blogger had finally arrived.  My job, in this moment, was to spy on these elites, and then pass on to all of us hobby joggers  (whatever "jog" means) what their highly confidential workouts are.  Here's what I got:

A lot, lot, lot of 400m repeats, with about a 30-45 second walk/standing break in between.

They must have been running the repeats under 70 seconds.  I was in the middle of running a 5:49 mile around the track on the 2nd lane when they came speeding by on the inside lane.  So I'm thinking a low to mid 4:00 minute pace.  Yuck.


It's been hard for me to get super excited about a marathon this year.  I love not worrying about tapering.  And I love not hobbling for 3 days from sore marathon legs.   I know I read a common sentiment on other running blogs about how NECESSARY it is to take breaks--as in, one or more weeks off of running, to recharge etc etc and everyone comments, "yes, me too, I totally need breaks every once in a while," but I have virtually.....never craved a running break.  In 10 years.  Maybe 1-3 days max?  So to that extent, marathon training and tapering is a big ole burden and interruption in my enjoyment of just running to run.

However, I do want my 2:59 marathon, and I do enjoy many aspects of running a marathon, so I guess out of default convenience it is looking more and more certain that I will just run the California International Marathon (CIM) in Sacramento, CA again, and call it a year.  Making it exactly 1 year since my last marathon.

The convenience factor of this race for me = excellent organization, cool weather, wonderful course, and the most important factor of all, it is within 2 hours of my home.  Chicago would be wonderful, Grandma's marathon in Minnesota is on my list, I love the idea of running a marathon in Ireland, or Greece....but.....I'm not going to steal our shared vacation funds so that we can get on a plane to Chicago, have the Gentleman watch me run by him for 11 seconds, and then fly home.

Marathons close to home it shall be.

CIM YesterYear

Seems like everyone is running CIM this year.  I expect to see some blogger faces, yes?  If you will be there, I hope to meet everyone!  We can all join hands in the expo and walk up and down the aisles, taking over with our advice and running stories, throwing frozen yogurt at non-bloggers, it will be soooo blogger cool!

Besides CIM, I also have at least 2 half marathons on my horizon.

Water-to-Wine half-marathon in Sonoma, and a trail marathon in Santa Cruz.  Both are in August.  Some other half-marathons that I ran last year in the fall will be approaching too, and because many of those are small, cheap,  less than 1 hour away, and earned me free running shoes, I may join some of those again too.  I can consider it my training for CIM, since I know I won't stick to any other marathon training plan.

My number one goal between now and early December for CIM, is to find my perfect pair of marathon running shoes.  My Goldilocks pair.  Not too thin, not too cushiony.  Last year I wore the Asics Gel Nimbus, which I like, but a tad too thick and cushiony.

I'm running dry on thoughts to share right now.  Miss my car.  Thanks for validating my anger/sadness, and thank you BRITTANI for always knowing how to cheer me up....came home tonight to a box delivery of See's Butterscotch pops.  :)


  1. I run in the Asics Nimbus shoes as well - they're great for training, but I agree that for racing they're a bit on the heavy and overly cushioned side. I keep eyeing the Asics SkySpeed racers but I'm always cautious because it's so difficult to get shoes to fit my orthotics.

    Those potential-olympians sound imtimidating and inspiring in equal measure. I think you'll get your sub 3-hour marathon though, and to me that's equally worthy of praise :)

  2. You are so fast woman...I am beyond impressed by you. Tapering is tough for me too and I am not that great at it! I train in Asics Gel-Kayano 18's but my last marathon I raced in the Asics Gel-DS Racer 9's and I loved them! You're totally going to get that sub-3 by the way! Happy Friday! :)

  3. How you felt next to them on the track is how I felt running next to the five and dimers that run on the inside lane of our middle school track. However, now that I know even elites walk between 400s, my guilt for that is gone. At least we have one thing in common.

    Good luck with sub-3 training. I have faith you'll get it.

  4. Yay CIM! I can't wait to walk through the expo with you and throw fro-yo (maybe sample gu packets too?) at the non-bloggers. See you there!

  5. I hope you smash it at CIM this year!

  6. GAH! I'm so jealous that you are running Water to Wine! My bff just moved to SF so I'm hoping to run one in wine country someday! You are so speedy!

  7. I hope you do really well at Chicago. I can't wait to read about it. I don't run marathons (have only worked my way to halves) but I have yet to find the perfect pair of day...maybe...I'm losing faith haha.

  8. I think I am out on CIM again this year. We will see. I'll be in Santa Cruz in August for my cousin's wedding so if you happen to be there at the same time lets Pizza My Heart or something.

  9. I need to figure out how to translate my new found track speed (thank you) into distance speed. I assume one will follow the other, but I want it NOW.

  10. Im thinking of CIM too. But like you Im LOVING running to just run. No goal, just a half in what November? So just running slow or fast to a podcast or a book or some music- what eves. I HATE cutting mileage, eating all crazy, recovering- I like to just run, feel clean/renewed and living my day all run-washed. ya feel me? The day of the race is fun, looking back on the day is fun but there is also so much fun in just freakin' running. Would be cool to be the tortise to your hare in Sac town though.

  11. So glad you got them! Isn't it fun to be like blogging pen pals but still get stuff in the mail occasionally? You are too sweet. wont it be fun the day we are totally rich and famous (well, i don't really want to be famous) but really rich so that when one of us has a bad day we can just hop on an airplane and meet somewhere to go watch a movie together? or go to target and try on lots of clothes and take pictures? oh wait, we are rich, we will go to saks 5th ave and try on lots of clothes. hehe. go hiking this weekend will ya!? I will be hiking, so I will take a picture of something awesome for you.

    miss you

  12. Hi, it won't let me use my real name--Jessica. Your warm up paces are my goal race paces, damn girl!! None the less, as a 22 year old CPA hopeful (taking my exams at the end of the summer), you are a serious inspiration. Lawyers and CPAs work similar hours, and your ability to balance life, running, and work is too exciting for words.

    I have deleted a fair ton of running/healthy living blogs off my to read list because many of them are not at all inspirational and feature women who obsess over what they eat (measly slices of processed deli cheese on crap-tastic tasting bagel things) and run for vanity (despite what claim over and over again yet post their weights and heights constantly).

    You're on my to-read list!! Now just impart some speed onto me!! 8:xx KILLLL ME, I am a slow and it is embarrassing mostly because I am 5'9 and skinny (116lbs), people assume I am speedy white kenyan. uhm, no I am not. :)

    Btw, run a race abroad...I lived in France for a while and my best runs were along the Cote d'Azur looking at the alps and crystal aqua water.

    1. Jessica, thank you! My boyfriend works in tax so I know what lifestyle you are headed towards, and I promise running will always fit into your life if you love it enough. One of the leading partners at his firm is a marathoner (he is the one who got me interested in the Ireland marathon!) and even in the busy season, his colleagues will take breaks in the afternoon/evening for exercise.

      I don't think 8:xx is slow at all--if that's your fast speed, then it's your fast speed! The key to getting faster seems to just be....running faster ;) Put some uncomfortable sprints or pick-ups into the middle of your run every few runs. And since you're such a tiny thing, maybe it is a matter of building more muscle or getting more iron.

      Good luck on your exams! Keep me updated

  13. I see some super speedy guys (typically) on the UCLA track. One even helped me and some friends learn to pass a baton properly. Thanks for spying!

  14. I miss you and your posts. I just started blogging again and I was going through my old blog posts and you were one of my first ever followers. Your words are always so sweet and encouraging. Anyway, you have gotten so fast since I've been away!! I'm sure those super fast runners were thinking that YOU are a beast for running such long distances! Anyway, hope all is well, and i know you'll break 3:00 soon!

  15. I love your description of those two runners: "turns to gold upon their light-footed prances" Love it!

    Exciting marathon news! Can't wait to hear the recaps! :)


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