Weekly training recap: 1/28/13

Mon: 60 min strengthening/stretching/rolling.

Tues: Every once in a while, I have a truly terrible run. Tuesday was one of those days. I had to go to the gym to change my billing information, thanks to some jerks who stole my credit card last week. While I was there, I figured I might as well run on the treadmill instead of doing my usual lap around the lake. I won’t get into the gory details of why this run just didn’t work for me; it just didn’t. Moving on…
Stats: 2 miles @ 10:00/mile + 30 min stretching/rolling

Wed: 60 min strengthening/stretching/rolling.

Thurs: I wanted to do some speedwork, but was too scared didn’t want to commit to intervals. My solution: fartlek run! My workout consisted of:
– warm up 1 mile
– fartlek 4 miles (random intervals at 8:35-9:07 pace followed by rest intervals)
– cool down 1 mile
It went pretty well except my left hip ache came back at the end. I’m starting to wonder if I should hold off on speedwork until I’m stronger and my ankle is more or less healed.
Stats: 6 miles @ 10:02/mile + 30 min stretching/rolling

Fri: REST.

Sat: I woke up bright and early for a volunteer run with Running for a Better Oakland (RBO), a non-profit organization focused on helping Oakland youths develop healthy lifestyles through running. They are currently in the midst of a training program for the Oakland Running Festival, preparing kids to run the 5K, marathon relay, and half marathon on March 24th. A friend of a friend told me about RBO a couple of weeks ago, and I was really excited to volunteer with them.

RBO volunteer shirt (please ignore the sweat stain)

RBO volunteer shirt (please ignore the sweat stain)

Coming into the process about a month late, I wasn’t paired with a specific running buddy, so I assigned myself to half marathon training group #4. Group #4’s target average pace was ~11:00 min/mile. It’s on the slower side for me — i.e., perfect for comfortable conversation. We started out as a group of ~15-20 runners, but each student quickly paired off with a volunteer mentor. Almost immediately, I was running side by side with Alejandro, a high school senior from East Oakland. Prior to joining RBO’s training program, the most Alejandro had ever run was 2 miles! And in 7 weeks, he’ll be running a half marathon. Amazing stuff. We spent 7 miles together talking easily and actually running a negative split, which was great given that 7 miles was his distance record (2 more than last week). He was super proud that he ran the whole way (as he should be!), and thanked me profusely afterwards. It was a really rewarding experience and I’m looking forward to what the next 7 weeks will bring.
Stats: 8.6 miles @ 11:02/mile (7 miles + the ~0.8 miles there and back) + 30 min stretching/rolling

Me and my new buddy Alejandro!

Me and my new buddy Alejandro! Not sure why I have the zombie runner expression on my face… (Photo courtesy of Andrew Hao and RBO)

Sun: I was originally going to do some cross-training at the gym, but the Gypsy Runner was hankering for a trail run (he’s been sidelined for most of 2013 with various ailments), so we decided to head to Joaquin Miller Park for a short run before Super Bowl festivities. I was a little sore and tired from the week’s running, so I took it easy, while the Gypsy Runner ran ahead. It was a really gorgeous day on the Sequoia Bayview Trail, one of my favorites. I always feel so speedy on this trail, regardless of what my Garmin says. I was afraid that my legs would be trashed after this run, but this is a case where active recovery worked in my favor. This run was definitely the polar opposite of Tuesday’s treadmill run from hell. Yay!
Stats: 3.4 miles @ 12:21/mile + 30 min stretching/rolling

There he goes...

There he goes…

Peaceful trails

Peaceful trails

WEEKLY TOTAL: 20 miles + 4 hours cross training/stretching
How I felt about it: It started out kinda rough, but ended up being a great week of running! Stuck to my stretching/PT routine pretty well too. B+.


Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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Posted in Training
10 comments on “Weekly training recap: 1/28/13
  1. bt says:

    What a cool organization! RBO sounds great. Sounds like you are making great progress.

  2. Dominick S. says:

    Great week overall and as runners we know those ugly ones are coming, but we also remember that those great ones come along because of them. The mentor program looks AMAZING, I just did my first mentor day a couple of weeks back (snowboarding) and it was incredibly fulfilling. I will look in to see if there is a program like this in LA, I would love to be a part of this!

    • Jen says:

      Yeah, it really is a lot of fun. I think I probably got just as much out of it as Alejandro did, if not more. Girls on the Run is a similar running/mentorship program, and it’s a national, but I’m not sure that they allow dudes to mentor? Another way to check for a program like this is to look up the L.A. Marathon and see if they are working with community groups. Hope you find something good!

  3. Amy says:

    Good for you for joining that organization! Sounds like you partnered up with a great kid too. It’s always annoying when the kid turns out to be a jerk. And sorry about your miserable Tuesday run, but it sounds like you’re already over it, so no use dwelling!

    • Jen says:

      I really did luck out with Alejandro, but I think most of the kids doing this program are pretty good kids. My impression (so far) is that these kids are self-motivated and weren’t pressured to do this by their parents, teachers, etc. They’re also what you might call “underserved” and so they don’t have the sense of entitlement that rich, spoiled kids might have.

  4. Mike says:

    Great way to spend a Saturday morning… sounds like Alejandro will be ready to light it up come March 24. And while RBO is certainly all about the kids, good for you for taking the time and making the effort to help out. As easy and comfortable as it is to sit back and THINK about helping others, it’s actually getting out there and doing it that makes the difference.

    • Jen says:

      Thanks, Mike. You give me too much credit. It’s something that I’d be doing anyway (running) and just down the road too. Can’t really ask for a more convenient volunteer opportunity than this.

  5. Cathryn says:

    Well done on the volunteering, I really love that you did this! And a great week’s running!!

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