Tues: 6 tempo miles on the calendar, but since my foot was still bugging me, I kept it to 6 miles at medium effort. It was an OK run pace-wise, but I felt kinda blah. Maybe it was my foot, maybe I was still getting over my terrible 12 mile run from Saturday, maybe it was hormones, maybe it was because I was tired of running around the Lake at medium to slow speeds… in any case, I just wasn’t feeling it. But still, I got it done. Yay for that.
Stats: 6 miles @ 10:04/mile
Wed: Cross-training day! I had to save my legs for the 22 miles coming up on Saturday, so I skipped spin and did some light cardio – 15 minutes of stationary bike plus 15 minutes of rowing machine, followed by 30 minutes of weights and core work.
Stats: 60 min cross-training
Thurs: I forgot my Garmin, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It was nice not to look down at my watch and be annoyed/frustrated at how slow I was running.
Stats: 5 miles @ 10:24/mile (approximately)
Fri: Decided to do light cross-training so that I could rest on Sunday. Rode my bike to and from work, which is about 3 miles each way. It’s pretty much all downhill on the way there and uphill on the way back, which is how I prefer it (so I don’t show up to work all sweaty).
Stats: 40 minutes biking (6 miles)
Sat: So you might be asking yourself, why would Jen want to run a hilly, trail run for her first 20+ mile run ever? Good question! This is what happened: I planned out my marathon training and had a 20+ mile run scheduled for this weekend (11/3). Then, the Gypsy Runner noticed that Coastal Trail Runs was holding a race at Lake Chabot, where the half marathon route would include the Columbine Trail — basically, his favorite trail in the whole wide world. At first, I wasn’t onboard with running the half at all, and I certainly was not going to run the marathon. But then, it hit me one day (I think it was in the shower — the site of so many great ideas), why not run the half marathon, then run another lap around the lake for a total of ~ 22 miles? Even though it would be the toughest run of my training cycle, it would also be well-supported and on familiar terrain. (Some of you might remember that I ran my 16 mile run here, which had gone quite well.) In addition, I have to admit that some part of me wanted to make up for that horrible experience at the Lake Chabot Trail Challenge in June.
This won’t be a traditional race recap — I’ll try to keep it brief. Serendipitously, I met KP, a potential running partner for the race, at Laura‘s birthday party on Thursday. She is a fellow runner who was also using this race as a training run for the North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon. Since we had similar target paces (between 11-12 minute/mile), we decided to start the race together and see how that went. I’m very pleased to say that we got along great; KP made those first 13 miles so much easier! We spent the first 3-4 miles chatting effortlessly, then fell into a comfortable silence during the single track between miles 4-7, then back to conversing for the rest of the race. Actually, I’d say the last few miles consisted mostly of her encouraging me, and me grumbling about wanting to walk more. While everyone around us was walking up one of the last hills of the course, I saw KP bound ahead with a spring in her step. I was convinced it was the last time I’d see her, until I came around the corner and saw her waiting to the side of the path, taking a picture of me. I encouraged her to go ahead and that I’d meet her at the finish, but she adamantly refused. I joked with her later that she had a “No Runner Left Behind” policy. Together, we ran the last half a mile to the finish, with KP finishing 7 seconds ahead of me. I was pretty pleased with our time, especially considering that we took several breaks (one bathroom break and 2 aid stations breaks) for a total of ~12 minutes (!!).
Race stats (official): 2:28:59 (13 miles @ 11:28/mile); 13/18 AG, 111/158 overall
After KP and I said our good-byes, I grabbed an orange slice and called the Gypsy Runner to update him on my status (he had finished in 1:42:09 — 4th in his age group and 17th overall!). I knew the next 9 miles would be tough, so I estimated it would take me 2 hours to finish. Getting started again after taking that brief break was SO tough. My legs were like, “Really? Are you kidding us? I thought we were done.” In the first 13 miles, I had had mini-cramps in my left foot, but they always went away very quickly. However, the cramps got worse, to the point where I had to stop and stretch a few times. I was also walking way more than I had been. During the half marathon, I saved the walking for the uphills, but now I was taking 10 second walk breaks every couple of minutes. It was pitiful, but I just kept thinking: forward motion. I knew this wouldn’t be easy, and as long as I wasn’t critically injured, I would soldier on, no matter how long it took me. Once I surmounted the huge hill and got to the aid station at Honker Bay, I was confident that I’d finish the 22 miles. It also helped that there was an extended downhill portion here, but my feet and legs were having almost as much trouble going down steep downhills as they were going uphill. I suffered a few more episodes of cramping in my feet, but besides that, there was just fatigue. I kept alternating between short spurts of running and walking and somehow made it back to the Lake Chabot Marina.
I went to the restroom to wash off my face and hands, then called the Gypsy Runner for a ride (he had been waiting patiently at his parents house, nearby). I went to the race finish area to refill my handheld with electrolyte drink and grabbed a few slices of watermelon. I asked the Gypsy Runner to bring me a bag of ice, which I used for my left foot (top of the foot pain again). Unfortunately, I think that elevating my foot also triggered cramps – first in my foot, then in my calf. It was painful to the point where I couldn’t even move it for about 60 seconds, but I guess it could’ve been worse — I could’ve been driving while this happened. Anyway, fast forward to today — I’m having some aches and pains, but nothing too crazy. I rested today and I’m taking another rest day tomorrow to make sure I let my body recover from everything I put it through yesterday.
I had originally planned to do a 25 mile run in 2 weeks, but I think I will keep it to 20 to save my foot from further injury. Having run (almost) 22 hilly miles on trails over 4.5 hours is enough to prove to myself that I can run a marathon.
Stats: ~22 miles @ 12:21/mile (2141′ elevation gain – I suspect it’s probably more like 1500′)
– Garmin stats: 20.78 miles @ 13:05/mile (My Garmin always loses some miles at Lake Chabot; when I finished the half marathon, it read 12.46 miles.)
– Adjusted for moving time and approximate distance: 21.5 miles @ 12:07/mile
Sun: REST. We went to Target today. I decided to get some knee-high socks as arm warmers for CIM, since it’s likely that I’ll just want to toss them a few miles into the race. Here are some photos of me modeling them, for your enjoyment:
WEEKLY TOTAL: Target 34 miles/ Actual 33 miles + 100 min cross training
How I feel about it: One mile short of my target, but I got my 20+ miler done, so I’m not complaining. A-