Kaiser Weeks 6 & 6.5 PLUS Kaiser Race Preview!

Oh hi!  I made it through a big work project today, so I’m celebrating by drinking a glass of red wine and…blogging! I’m going to try to sum up very quickly the last 10 days or so of half marathon training, and then write down some thoughts regarding this Sunday’s race – the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon.

Tuesday (1/20): 3.65 mi @ 11:33 pace.  Tired, slow, and still a little sore from Sunday’s race.  Avg HR 127.

Thursday (1/22): 5.2 mi @ 10:55 pace.  Easy run around the neighborhood. Still in recovery mode. Avg HR 129.

Saturday (1/24): 8.3 mi @ 10:21 pace
I changed the plan for this run about 10 times. I was scheduled to do 6 easy, but I didn’t do my mile repeats during the week (in the name of recovery), so I switched the workouts around. That meant that today’s plan was 6 x 1 mile at 8:40 pace with 60 seconds recovery. I woke up this morning thinking that there was no way that was going to happen, because I was still feeling tired and a little achey from Foster City. I didn’t want to push myself too hard just to complete a workout, so I went back and forth on how to change the plan — everything from going completely easy, to reducing the number of repeats, to increasing recovery time.

In the end, I decided to do 8 x 0.5 mile (@8:40/pace or 4:20 per 0.5 miles) with 0.25 mile recovery. It was tough, but I got it done. I think it was a good idea to cut back because I think 6 x 1 mile would have definitely been too much. As it was, I was thinking that maybe I should’ve stopped at 6 half-mile intervals instead of 8, but oh well.

splits: 4:41, 4:21, 4:17, 4:27, 4:16, 4:20, 4:17, 4:20
avg HR 147

Sunday (1/25): 50 minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym to give my (still achy) left foot a break.  Plus, I haven’t been to the gym at all this month so I felt a bit guilty.

Tuesday (1/27): 3 mi @ 11:00 pace. It sucks to get up at 5:40a.m. to get at least 4 miles done before work, only to have your gut be a supreme jerk and screw up your plan.  I am seriously thinking about switching to running in the afternoons, even though it’s more logistically difficult in some ways.  If you have any tips about running towards the end of your workday — especially if you then get on public transit — I’d love to hear them.

Thursday (1/29 – today!): 3.33 mi @ 11:04 pace.  Much better than Tuesday’s run.  Avg HR 128.

How I’m feelingThe Foster City 10-miler took way more out of me than I expected.  I think I might have raced it too hard, because I feel like I’ve spent the last 12 days recovering.  I’m especially worried about my left foot, which still has a lingering, dull ache.  It started in the ball of my foot after the race, like a bruised feeling, but recently had morphed into more of a tightness in the arch.  I finally consulted Dr. Google, M.D. today and based on what I’ve read, I don’t think it’s a stress fracture, because of the location, it’s not tender to the touch, and it’s not swollen.  Moreover, the pain is only 2 or 3 on a scale of 10.  If anyone out there has any experience with a stress fracture in their foot (or other foot pain with similar symptoms to mine), please let me know!  In hindsight, I probably should’ve skipped Saturday’s intervals, as they aggravated the symptoms and most likely didn’t help me gain any fitness (physically anyway).  Oh well.


Kaiser Half Race Preview

2015-KPSFHM-T-shirt-226x300Why I wanted to run this race:  Three main reasons: (1) it’s Cathryn‘s birthday and a big group of us are running it with her (well, not really with her, but you know what I mean) and then eating brunch afterwards; (2) I really liked this course when I ran it last year, and I think it’s a well-organized, not-that-expensive race; and (3) it’s a fast course, and it’s nice (though painful) to run as fast as you can.

Race day forecast: According to my Accuweather app, Sunday will be partly sunny with 5 mph winds/7 mph gusts. High of 62/ low of 47.  Let’s hope this holds!  Actually, I’m just glad that it won’t be cold, windy, and rainy like last year (even though I seem to thrive in terrible race conditions, oddly enough).

Goals: Despite signing up for this race with the intent to PR, or at the very least running a sub-2 hour half marathon, I’m finding myself in a state of apathy.  Maybe it’s because I’m worried about my foot, or perhaps it’s due to being generally stressed out and tired from work, but I haven’t gotten myself into that zone of really wanting to go for it.  I do intend to go after my baseline goals for every race, which are: (1) try my best (foot willing), (2) finish, (3) enjoy myself, even if it’s only during the first couple of miles, and (4) not injure myself, even if it means a DNF (countering baseline goal #2).

Strategy: Without a specific time goal, and the possibility of foot problems, I plan on covering the pace display on my Garmin and running by feel.  There’s no point in running completely watchless for this race, since there’s a volunteer at every mile marker yelling out the elapsed time.  Like at Foster City, I intend on starting out slow for the first 2-3 miles, then keeping pace for miles 4-12, then trying to finish as fast as I can — which will be difficult given the big hill at the very end of the race.  Ideally, if everything goes to plan, I will finish in under 2 hours and maybe even PR (1:58:51).  I also hope to run something closer to 13.1 miles instead of the 13.2 that I ran last year, which will also shave off some time.

So, there you have it.  The most ambiguous race plan/strategy there ever was.  Maybe I’ll get some race mojo back by Sunday morning… but it won’t be the end of the world if I don’t.  😉


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 Race Preview, Training
7 comments on “Kaiser Weeks 6 & 6.5 PLUS Kaiser Race Preview!
  1. dlubi says:

    Good luck Sunday & have fun out there!

    Evening running is great – definitely give it a try! During the week, I usually run in the evenings (8-10pm) & mostly on treadmills, due to my work schedule / commute. Staying hydrated and fueled throughout the day is the biggest challenge for me (packing enough snacks & drinks, eating them all, etc.). I actually like the evening workouts for many reasons: good way to end the day on a positive note & relieve some stress.

    If the foot is still bugging you next week, maybe substitute a few runs with swim workouts! 🙂

    • Jen says:

      Haha, I can always count on you to be the swim evangelist. 🙂 Thanks for the good wishes and the tips on evening running — though what I’m thinking is closer to afternoon running than evening, mostly because I find that I have a really hard time going to sleep after evening workouts. I’m too amped up from runner’s high (or whatever it is). Also, I usually eat dinner too late to make this feasible. But thanks anyway! I think the fueling tip is true regardless of whether I’m running in the afternoon or evening.

  2. Sherry says:

    I hope your foot behaves Jen, and best of luck for your race!

    • Jen says:

      Thanks, Sherry! I ended up wearing thicker socks and more cushioned shoes than I usually do, as a precautionary measure. My foot was pretty quiet until about mile 12, and by then I knew I had to finish! It feels OK now — not worse than before, so good news!

  3. Jan says:

    Looks like a fun race! It’s always more fun w/ you have a group of friends sharing the pain, I mean fun. Hope your food starts to improve ASAP!

    • Jen says:

      Thanks, Jan! My foot held up during the race. I’m going to give it a week’s rest from running, just to play it safe. (It works out really well with my work schedule, as I won’t be able to run anyway this week!)

  4. […] I wanted to run this race, goals, and strategy: Previously discussed here, but in […]

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