Start Me Up! (Kaiser Week 1)

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Last Monday, I bit the bullet and registered for the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon.  I wanted to run a half marathon in February and had been waffling between Kaiser and Brazen’s Bay Breeze.  Both are fairly reasonable price-wise and have fast courses.  Even though Bay Breeze would have been easier logistically and more familiar (I had set a 10K PR there in August), I ended up choosing Kaiser because the course is point-to-point (vs. out and back), and will hopefully be more interesting and scenic.  Not to mention that a couple of friends have registered too, which always makes races more fun and memorable.

It’s amazing how quickly a race registration can put a fire under you.  I went from totally relaxed to “OMG, race day is in 7 weeks! LET’S DO THIS!!”  If it’s one thing I’ve learned from this year’s races, it’s this: don’t set time goals until the week before, and only with actual workout data in hand.  However, I already know that my main goal isn’t time-related at all, but to try to pace the half marathon distance better.  I have a tendency to bonk at mile 11 and I’m going to try my best NOT to do that at Kaiser.

Timing-wise, it’s great that the Foster City 10-miler is 3 weeks before Kaiser.  It will give me a chance to practice pacing, as well as give me a good indication of my fitness level.  Speaking of the Foster City race — Oakland Running Festival is offering a great deal:  if you register for Foster City by 11:59 p.m. on 12/24, you’ll get a $20 off coupon code towards the Oakland Half Marathon or Full Marathon.  Not to mention that you can still use the discount code JLEE (expires 1/1/14) to save 10% off the Foster City 10-miler or 5K.   Just wanted to pass that on, in case you’re thinking of running both races.

So far, my Spring 2014 race calendar looks like this:

  • Jan 12th: Foster City 10-miler
  • Feb 2nd: Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon
  • Feb 22nd: ITR Chabot Trail Half or 30K? (Tentative)
  • March 23rd: Oakland Half or Full (undecided re: distance; if I run the full marathon, it would probably be as a training run for Big Sur. Any thoughts or advice on this?)
  • April 27th: Big Sur International Marathon!!

It’s a full schedule, but I’m quite excited!  Can’t believe that Big Sur is only 18 weeks away! 🙂

**

I treated this past week as the first official week of Kaiser training (out of 7 weeks).  It’s a short cycle, for sure, so it’ll be interesting to see how it goes.  One thing I just realized recently is that I’ve never really trained for a half marathon.  What I mean is — yes, I’ve ramped up total mileage to make sure I can cover the distance, but I’ve never done half marathon-specific speed work.  So I went to the all-knowing Google and searched for workouts and found this helpful guide — giving me exactly 6 weeks of workouts!  What a happy coincidence!

My plan is to follow the “beginner” set of workouts (threshold run every week, speed-endurance run every other week) while following my own long run schedule.  What I like about the prescribed workouts is that they are focused on sustaining race pace or faster, which is definitely my weak spot.  I actually appreciate the fact that they make me slightly uneasy — I think it’s a good indication that this is an area I need to work on and that doing these workouts will increase my confidence.  As far as mileage, I plan on continuing to hold steady at 20-30 miles/week, focusing on quality instead of quantity.  I also plan on running the Cleveland Cascade, a set of stairs by Lake Merritt, every Tuesday as strength training.  Tomorrow, I’m starting what I hope will be a regular Monday yoga routine.

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The central portion of the Cleveland Cascade. Small sets of steps at the very bottom and top not pictured.

So, that’s the plan!  Here’s what actually happened this past week:

Tues: Easy run with short pick-ups (about 5-7).  3 runs up the Cleveland Cascade with a 30 second rest in between each climb.  I’m working my way up to 10 full climbs.
3.8 miles @ 10:11/mile

Wed: Easy run, no Garmin.  Pretty sluggish and tired.
3.8 miles (no pace stats)

Thurs: Threshold run.
Planned: 2 x 2 mi at half marathon goal pace (9:00-9:09) w/ 4 min rest interval.  1 mile warm-up and 1 mile cool-down on either side.
Actual: 8:54, 8:58
I have to admit I was a little scared going into this, as I was feeling really tired and bloated.  Once I warmed up, I felt good and actually found it difficult to hold back pace-wise.  By the last mile, though, I found myself having to push a lot harder to sustain the pace.
6.4 miles @ 9:26/mile

Sat: Jingle Bell Hell 2013!
I showed up at Inspiration Point thinking that I might be the only runner and I was right.  However, race organizer XLMIC was there and the promise of post-run donuts kept me going.  It was really beautiful – I haven’t run on Nimitz Way in over a year.  The scenery was the opposite of “hell” so I tried to include some hellish bits, like running every hill, listening to a very boring podcast, and only stopping once to take photos (I had wanted to take more).  There was also an aggressive cow who was a bit scary, so that was hellish too, I suppose.

Beautiful hills of Tilden Park

Beautiful hills of Tilden Park

With 2 miles to go, I saw Roserunner and her gentleman, who got there late and were turning around due to the gentlemen’s bad knee.  The 3 of us ended up running together for the rest of the “race”.  This was great because their company made the time go a lot faster, but it was also at a faster pace and therefore, slightly more hellish.  As we approached the finish line, XLMIC was waiting with “chip” timing: potato chips on the ground- HA! Roserunner and the gentleman graciously let me sprint ahead for the win.  We celebrated with donuts and as the winner, I received a tube of grape Nuun and a box of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered peppermint Joe Joe’s!  It was lots of fun and I hope more people make it out next year! Thanks to XLMIC for organizing! (Find her recap here.)
8.1 miles @ 9:45/mile, ~650′ elevation gain

To the winner goes the spoils!! ;)

To the winner goes the spoils!! 😉

Total mileage for the week: 22.1

Plan for the coming week:
Mon:  Yoga
Tues:  Speed-endurance run + stairs
Wed:  Rest
Thurs:  Threshold run
Fri:  Easy/recovery run (or rest)
Sat:  Briones Reservoir trail run
Sun: Rest (or easy/recovery)

And because I can’t resist a good YouTube video:

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About

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 Goals, Training
13 comments on “Start Me Up! (Kaiser Week 1)
  1. Dominick S. says:

    Nice job on the victory and signing up for a half! Its almost time for me to start focusing on the Rock N Roll!

    As for the video…Charlie Watts (drummer) is like…this is absurd the entire time. I also now know where my drunk dance moves come from…thanks Mick.

  2. Cathryn says:

    Love the new look on the blog, especially the header photo, it’s a cracker!

    Really excited for Kaiser for you – it’s def PR territory if you throw some speed workouts into the mix!

    Yay for Briones this weekend – so excited. So determined to not eat all the mince pies!

  3. BT says:

    Looking forward to seeing you at Kaiser!

  4. aewills says:

    Love love the Kaiser half! I will live vicariously through you :). Great start to the training plan!

  5. Angela says:

    Yeahhhhh, Kaiser party!! Looking forward to it!! 🙂

  6. Tammy says:

    Congratulations on registering for the run! I like the new look of your blog also. I’m going to be looking to lose some weight in 2014 and need to establish a similar schedule. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. […] feeling great, so I bailed on JT at 2.5 miles and turned around.  I definitely didn’t defend my title like I wanted to, but it was still a good to go for the group run.  Plus, there were donuts and […]

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On the docket…

9/17/17 – Alameda Half Marathon
10/1/17 – Tiburon Half (2:20 pacer)

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