Musings from a Seattle personal chef
Archive for the 'Training' Category
Last Sunday’s long run was SOOOOO tough… (all of you, in unison):
“How tough was it, Betsy?”
I had to call on Helen TWICE just to make it through.
Normally I do my long runs on Saturday, but after consulting the forecast, I decided Sunday would be much more desirable. Besides, I was preparing a make-ahead service Saturday morning for a dinner party that evening and wouldn’t finish up until early afternoon. As I dipped the asparagus and Asiago-stuffed chicken breasts in Parmesan-panko breading the pounding rain outside the client’s kitchen window confirmed I made the right choice to postpone. (Call me a wuss, but if I have to run 12-13 miles, I want to be relatively comfortable).
Sunday morning dawned, and while it was still cold and overcast, at least the rain had stopped. Perfect day for a long run! But as with all Sunday mornings, I lounged on the couch with the Seattle Times and coffee in hand; I felt no need to rush. Eventually I made my way to the stove to prepare my steel-cut oats, loaded up the iPod and did a bit of stretching. By the time I was dressed and ready to go I looked out the window to see steady droplets falling from the sky. DARNITALLTOHELL.
My darling’s foot was bothering him, so not only would I be running in the rain, I’d be going solo for much of the run (he would join me for the first 2 miles, then meet me for a burger & beer lunch at the Red Door in Fremont). As we started out Dylan forewarned me to “accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone.” Thanks a lot, Bob. Rub it in. Fortunately I was bundled up and we began a pleasant meander through our neighborhood. I kept the sound down so I could converse with my darling and allowed him to choose the street on which to turn. As I kissed him adieu in Ballard the rain started pelting with increasing intensity. But I was a woman determined; I jacked up the volume and continued at a steady 7 minute run/1 minute walk pace.
My darling has had a love affair with Paris ever since his 6-month stay in college. He’s vowed to take his lovely bride to the City of Light someday, so when we heard about the Marathon du Medoc, we were captivated. Running+drinking+France: now THAT’S a winning combination. That the race is held the weekend before our 7-year wedding anniversary was the cerise sur le gÃ¢teau.
“How perfect,” we thought. We’d begin our journey in Paris, strolling hand-in-hand along the banks of the Seine nibbling on a crusty baguette and wedge of brie. We’d meander down to Bordeaux for the race and accompanying festivities, then head to Provence to savor the sights and smells of the countryside. I envisioned a romantic 2-week celebration of our love where we affirm the endurance of our adoration and faithfulness while testing the stamina of our bodies.
That is, of course, if my darling doesn’t divorce me first.
Just ran a marathon ba DA da dum
(Or rather a half) ba DA da dum
Ain’t sore in my ankle ba DA da dum
Ain’t sore in my calf ba DA da dum
But I got the BLUUUUESSSS,
Yeah the in-between racinâ€™ blues
Traininâ€™ steady since March ba DA da dum
For race after race ba DA da dum
Now time to recover ba DA da dum
Should slow down the pace ba DA da dum
But I got the BLUUUUESSSS,
Yeah the in-between racinâ€™ blues
Feel I have no purpose ba DA da dum
Feel I have no goal ba DA da dum
See, running sustains me ba DA da dum
It strengthens my soul ba DA da dum
So I got the BLUUUUESSSS,
Those in-between racin’ blues
Need the motivation ba DA da dum
That a race provides ba DA da dum
Couch potato habits ba DA da dum
Will fatten my hide ba DA da dum
Yeah I got the BLUUUUESSSS,
Those in-between racinâ€™ blues
Now itâ€™s Christmas season ba DA da dum
Fear my fitness will stall ba DA da dum
With holiday goodies ba DA da dum
And their cruel siren call ba DA da dum
Thatâ€™s why I got the BLUUUUESSSS,
Yeah the in-between racinâ€™ blues
The weather ainâ€™t helpinâ€™ ba DA da dum
Wind, rain, snow and sleet ba DA da dum
And darkness falls early ba DA da dum
Canâ€™t get no relief ba DA da dum
So Iâ€™ve got the BLUUUUESSSS,
Yeah those in-between racinâ€™ blues
Must look on the bright side ba DA da dum
Just four weeks and then ba DA da dum
My next race is coming ba DA da dum
Iâ€™ll be traininâ€™ again ba DA da dum
But â€˜til then I got BLUUUUESSS,
The in-between racinâ€™ blues
Yeah I got the in-between, weatherâ€™s obscene, gotta stay lean, need a routine, ainâ€™t digginâ€™ this scene, BLUUUUESSS!
Next Sunday is the Seattle half marathon, so today I ran my last long run before the race (7 miles). Given we ran 15 miles last Saturday, today’s run seemed like a jog in the park. Actually, it WAS a jog in the park — Woodland Park, to be precise. We started with a few hills through the park and ended up at Greenlake where we ran twice along the inside loop. Although Greenlake can get a bit boring (we live just 2 blocks from there, so we run it a LOT), it’s also nice to run a trail you do know so well. My darling’s ankle was bothering him at the beginning of the run, so we figured if it got too bad, he could easily bail halfway through. However, he was a trooper and finished with me.
I was a bit of a slacker this past week, as I didn’t do any running whatsoever (although I did do some cross training). I figure if I can run 15 miles, I’m ready for the half. Besides, I need to give my body a bit of a break. I made the mistake of going to spinning class the day before the 15-mile run and found my IT band calling out to me that evening. Our spinning instructor likes to do a lot of stabilization exercises on the bike (where you’re not holding on to the handlebars), and I believe that’s what aggravated it. I’m not really good at stabilizing, so I was making a major effort to do so. Lesson learned — no spinning class before a race!
The weather report for tomorrow:
Rain likely. High around 55F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph. Rainfall may reach one inch.
And here I have to run 12-13 miles. sigh. At least I have my new LL Bean jacket to keep me warm and dry!
I’ve never been, nor will I ever be, a fast runner. There were races in my early 30s where I averaged 8 1/4 to 8 1/2 minute miles, but the timing is suspect as it was before chip technology. These days I’m lucky if I can average 8 3/4 minute miles; 9+ minute miles are more the norm. However, even though I’m running slower than I did a decade ago, afterwards my body feels like it’s been run over by a truck, especially on my long runs. So it was with great anticipation that I try Jeff Galloway’s run/walk training program as it promises a more enjoyable run with a faster recovery.
Last week was my first on the new program, but I didn’t feel it was a true test as my long run was only 6 miles. But this week it increased to 12 miles — a much better indicator of whether the program will work for me. As an even greater test, I ran the same trail as my 12-mile training run for the Seafair half this summer: the Snoqualmie Valley trail starting in Duvall. It’s a wonderfully flat, soft and wide trail that winds through some beautiful countryside. At one point during our summer run we stopped for a water break, only to see a couple of deer scamper across the trail.
I did it — I’m now officially entered into the Seattle Half Marathon (I’d have taken a picture of my number but we don’t get that until the expo. The receipt from Super Jock ‘n Jill just didn’t seem like it would be the same).
I was SUPPOSED to do a 6-mile long run on Saturday, but we went out with friends to Brouwer’s for Belgian beer and I spent most of the day on the couch nursing the effects of said beer. But the day wasn’t all for naught: I read several chapters in Jeff Galloway’s “New Marathon” book. That counts for something, doesn’t it?
I kept my word and just finished my 6-mile tempo run. My darling joined me, and I may actually convince him to enter the half with me. He’s planning on joining some friends in Whistler for Thanksgiving (I have a gig the day after so I won’t be going), but they’ll be back in time for the half. He’s basically training with me, so why not?
I started the morning with a half hour of laps in the pool. It’s been great cross training, and I actually feel I’m getting stronger in my shoulders (I can even see a smidgen of definition!). I’m still rather slow — I alternate between the “easy” and “medium” lap lanes — but I think my form is pretty good. I’ll going to check out Mary Meyers pool clinic soon to make sure I’m not developing poor habits. With twice-a-week lap sessions I should be in prime shape for next tri season!
I’m kinda, sorta, somewhat committed to doing the Seattle half marathon in November. I’ve been telling people I’ll be doing it, I’ve blogged about it, and most importantly, I’m in the full throes of training for it. But I haven’t yet registered for it. You see, I’m all gung-ho when the weather is beautiful, but when it turns nasty, I’m a wuss. Fortunately we’ve only had a couple of really pissy days; although it’s indeed colder the weather continues to be glorious. As I write this there’s nary a cloud in the sky. But this IS Seattle after all, and the rain will be a comin’.
I just finished a half-hour of speed work and am feeling really good. Last Friday my darling and I ran my 10-mile long run together. While this distance normally makes me want to collapse on the couch afterwards, I had to gather the strength to cater a dinner for two that evening. But after a hearty sushi lunch I was up for the task. The couple was an absolute blast, and they were impressed with my accomplishments.
Although I’ve run the Seattle half marathon before, the course has changed (apparently they made it more difficult since it’s now a qualifying race for the Boston marathon). The race I ran was a nice flat one along the Burke-Gilman trail; it now starts in downtown Seattle and winds up and down along Lake Washington. The website claims it’s “moderately hilly,” but I intend to do a drive-through to see what I’m getting myself in to. Last week’s tempo run included some wicked hills; although my lungs felt like they were going to burst while in the midst of the hills, I was able to recover fairly quickly. But I know I need more practice if I want to reach my goal of finishing in under 2 hours.
So, do I just bite the bullet and sign up? If I register on or before October 15 it’ll be $70. After that it’s $75. Just a $5 savings, but I could buy 2-3 Clif ShotBlox for that! (Or a package of my favorite imported pasta). With my luck the weather will turn the moment my credit card is swiped.
I think I can… I think I can… I think I can…
Last week was SUPPOSED to be a rather rigorous one for training, but my body decided otherwise.Â I came down with a nasty cold on the 25th and am just now able to shake it.Â I managed to summon enough strength for the Chateau Ste. Michelle ride (which thankfully was cut down to a 16-miler), but collapsed on the couch immediately after.Â I also was able to do my 1/2 mile swim on the 28th (forgot my watch YET AGAIN — double D’oh!), but my cold took a turn for the worse and I was couch-bound for the next three days.Â