Mon: President’s Day! The Gypsy Runner and I went rock climbing. As if that wasn’t enough of an upper body workout, I decided to go to yoga too, which turned out to be pretty intense.
Stats: 2 hours cross-training (rock climbing + yoga)
Tues: OMG, I was so sore! Took the whole day off. REST.
Wed: Track workout – finally! The Gypsy Runner and I made a track date — I know what you’re thinking: SO romantic. He did sprints while I focused on mile repeats. I figured it would be a good indicator run going into Sunday’s 5K.
– 1 mile warm-up
– 3 x [1 mile + 0.25 mile rest]. Mile splits: 8:47, 8:50, 8:47
– 0.7 mile cool-down
I recently realized that I’ve never done a “real” track workout (i.e. intervals on a track) — I’ve only ever done timed miles. So now that I’ve run intervals on a track, does that make me a real runner??
Stats: 5.4 miles @ 9:44/mile + 30 min stretching/rolling
Thurs: Easy recovery run. I started out feeling surprisingly strong, but that faded away by the end of the first mile. From there, it was tired legs all the way.
Stats: 3.8 miles @ 10:55/mile + 30 min stretching/rolling
Fri: Rock climbing + 30 min stretching/rolling
Sat: Run #4 with Running for a Better Oakland (RBO). Our assignment: 10 miles! I had my motivational hat on and was ready to push Alejandro to his distance PR. All was going well until about 7.8 miles into the run, when low back pain got the best of him. As we discussed causes of back pain (strength imbalances, flexibility, posture, etc.), he revealed to me that: 1. he had been jumping up and down a lot the night before at his high school’s Winter Ball; 2. he didn’t eat dinner (or maybe all day) the day before. After a lighthearted “lecture” on what NOT to do the day before a big run, we walked the rest of the way back to the RBO tent. It ended up being a good opportunity to get to know Alejandro better, as well as giving my legs a respite, in preparation for Sunday’s 5K.
Stats: 9.4 miles @ 12:58/mile + 30 min stretching/rolling
Sun: LMJS Couples Relay! This was my 2nd time running this race, and the Gypsy Runner’s 3rd. Each member of a 2-person team runs 5K (i.e., 1 lap around Lake Merritt). The slower person of the team runs first, then tags the other member at the “hand-off” area. Last year, we ran the race in 48:39, and my 5K time was 27:42 (8:56/mile). My only goal for this race was to run it faster than last year. With my sluggish return to speed work and my tired legs, I didn’t think there was any chance for me to beat my previous 5K PR of 26:25. However, I remained slightly optimistic, telling the Gypsy Runner to look for me after 25 minutes.
We got there with plenty of time to spare. After checking in, getting our bibs, and picking up our goodie bag, I warmed-up by jogging the goodie bag back to the car. I actually did a real warm-up for this race, complete with striders and everything. (Real runner cred #2?) There was a chill in the air, but luckily the wind had died down and it was gloriously warm in the sunshine.
Shortly after 9am, they sounded the horn to start the race. Everyone took off SO fast; this race attracts a lot of local running teams and competitive runners. I immediately identified a few runners to pace me so that I wouldn’t go out too fast. Specifically, there was an older lady in a long-sleeve salmon colored top who kept a nice pace. In fact, I never caught up with her for the entire race, but she kept me pushing hard through the end.
I tried not to look at my Garmin in order to just concentrate on effort. About halfway through the race, I noticed that I was on pace to PR. I started to feel very tired and out of breath. I asked myself if I wanted to PR, and (of course) the answer was a resounding “YES!” So I kept pushing even though I wanted to stop so badly. In the last half mile or so, I actually passed a few people, which was a real confidence booster. Coming into the final stretch, though, I didn’t think I was going to PR. I had resigned myself to either a tie or missing the PR by a few seconds.
As I saw the “hand-off” chute, I glanced over at the clock to the left. It read “26:12” as I crossed it. Yes! I PR’ed by 13 seconds!! I high-fived the Gypsy Runner (or was it a low-five?) to start him on his leg of the race. He came in at 46:25, which made his split 20:13. Together, we ran the relay more than 2 minutes faster than last year. Woohoo! My splits were: 8:22, 8:28, 8:24, 7:42 (for 0.13 mi). As I said earlier, there were some really speedy people out there today.
I think the The first team came in at 37:33.
UPDATE: The official results are in! Our team time was 46:25. My split is listed as 26:16, which I’m pretty sure is wrong because I remember crossing the line around 26:12 and stopping my Garmin at 26:13, but whatevs. Guess I gotta be official or something…at least it’s still a PR. We came in 52nd out of 155 teams overall, and 15 out of 57 in our age group. The funny thing is that we came in 52nd last year too (out of 146 teams). We’re #52! We’re #52!
Anyway, I’m quite happy with how we did and with the very unexpected PR. Of course, I’ve considered how much better I could’ve done with rested legs, but that only makes me realize (and thankful!) how much my mind was able to take control and get the job done. Mind over matter, FTW.
Stats: 3.13 miles @ 8:24/mile + 30 min stretching/rolling (still to do)
WEEKLY TOTAL: 22 miles + 5+ hours cross training/stretching
How I felt about it: Any week with a PR is an automatic A+.