I've been somewhat preparing for the Bayshore
marathon through the winter and into
the spring. Realistically, my workouts have been more suited for 5k to
half-marathon training but since I was coming off of injury, I think any
workouts were better than no workouts.
As a result, I've had to scale back my goal expectations. Various
calculators like the Daniels VDot and McMillan estimate I should be able
to run under 2:50 even off of some of my more average 5k and 10k times,
and something like 2:55 based off of last year's Bayshore half time. I
know I haven't done equivalent marathon training to last year's 5k and
half marathon training so I'm hoping that I can run sub-3:05 to qualify
for Boston, and would like to run 2:59 or so. I tell myself that if I
qualify for Boston, that will be my first marathon on a 'real' training
I'm still not sure sub-3 is realistic. My long runs haven't been long
enough or frequent enough and I haven't done enough marathon pace work
or tempo runs. My longest run was 16
past weekend. Tomorrow, I'll do my last tempo run of 5-6 miles, probably
around half marathon pace or just under it. After that there is nothing
left to do. We'll just have to find out what happens.
I could take the easy route out and just run this thing for fun but I've
already done that for too many races this year. My fitness and weekly
mileage may not be where I think they should be but that isn't an excuse
to shy away from running what I'm capable of for where I'm at now.
I'm going to shoot for a sub 3 hour time anyway, it could be a
hilariously bad experience or it could go really well. If I don't try,
I'll never know.
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Hopefully this is the last catch-up post I have to write!
I left off the last post talking about how I was recovering from injury.
While this is true, I wasn't able to quite make it back into full shape
in time for indoor or outdoor track season.
I was able to start doing some track workouts and long runs again after
the beginning of 2014 with minor soreness in my foot resulting from
them. I got more diligent than ever in stretching and rehab exercises
and continued to make slow but distinct progress in the healing of my
plantar fasciitis. I was extremely out of shape when I started doing
workouts but they soon got at least a little better. I began thinking
that maybe I could run a decent mile on the track before refocusing my
efforts on training for the Bayshore full marathon that I happened to
sign up for early in the year.
While I never quite ran what I would call a decent mile, I was able to
run a 5:11 at an indoor meet at MSU. This isn't close to my PR at all
but at least I was able to start racing again! I also raced a 3k that
went very poorly at Illinois - 10:49 for that. I later ran 18:10 for 5k
at the NIRCA outdoor track nationals meet without pushing all out during
the race. That's one recent race that I can be happy with. Still not
near my PR but it's beginning to show some fitness - especially given
the limited mileage I've been able to run.
Ultramarathon?! I guess so.
Somewhere between signing up for Bayshore and the end of the track
season, I got the crazy idea to sign up for a 50k trail
race. Over distance training for the
A little over a week ago I completed this race. I ran 5:15 for the 50k,
it was a trail race so the distance wasn't exact. I enjoyed this race a
lot - the trails were great! It was very painful after 20 miles - for
context, I crossed 20 miles at just under 3 hours. I'd love to do this
race again - but better trained. I knew going in that it would be rough
given my little winter training. My longest run was something like 14
miles and I hadn't done many trail runs because of the harsh Michigan
winter. Despite that I still gave it a go! I ended up 30th overall
which wasn't quite what I was looking for but was still good enough to
win a cool clear-glass mug!Me,
26 miles down.
And another photo of the medal and the mug:
Onward to a Full Marathon!
My racing for the spring season doesn't end at that 50k. Just 4 weeks
after my first ultra, I'm still scheduled to run the Bayshore full!
I've been focusing on trying to recover quickly enough from the 50k to
get one more long run in before it's time to taper for the marathon.
That's a tight schedule and I'm hoping it gives enough time.
My goal is to run a sub-3 hour time and qualify for Boston. We'll see
how that works but I'm telling myself that 20 miles in 3 hours on the
Poto trails last weekend were pretty darn close to 26.2 in 3 hours on a
flat road course. Only time will.
After Bayshore I think I'll take a little time away from long distance
running and focus on building mileage again with some 5-10k races. And
GLR, can't forget that!
Then I'll be moving to SF soon after that for a new job! Exciting!
Maybe I'll return to the trails when I get back to California.
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This post has been a long time coming... and has morphed into a recap
of all running I did between summer and the end of the year in December
Summer 2013: In which I learn about trail running, run more miles per
week and per day than ever before, have some crazy trail running
adventures, and become injured.
I'll start with my summer training. I picked my training back up after
taking a little time easy after the Bayshore
began to ramp up the mileage again. It was a little more difficult to do
this than expected: I had a few nagging aches and pains despite the time
off and moving to San Francisco for the summer on a new work schedule
disrupted my running a bit, but overall, I was pleased with the ramp up
I was able to start hitting 40-60 mile weeks again fairly quickly. My
goal for the summer was to ramp up to consistently higher weekly mileage
than I had done before - I wanted to run 80 mile weeks. By the end of
July, I had run my first 80 mile week. That was exciting! More on that
week in a bit.
Training was going well. I was enjoying my internship and enjoying my
running. I was hittings the mileage hard to have a great last
NIRCA cross country season. What happened?
At the beginning of the summer training cycle I started using new shoes
for some of my runs. The Saucony Mirage 2, I actually really love that
shoe and it took a beating this summer and was still in great shape.
There were a few problems though, mostly my fault. The first was that I
probably ramped up the amount of mileage I was doing in the new shoe too
quickly, especially since it's way less of a shoe than my normal super
supportive Asics. Next, while I wasn't doing a lot of running on the San
Francisco hills, I WAS walking up and down an extremely steep hill to
get to the bus each day. One of the steepest in the city, I'm told.
While this isn't really a big deal, it probably didn't help my already
too-tight calves. Lastly, I started playing weekly games of Ultimate
after work with some other interns. While that was a lot of fun, I
played barefoot much of the time and I think that also contributed to my
In the end, it all culminated into an injury. It was relatively minor at
first but progressed to the point where I couldn't put any weight on my
foot in the morning before I finally accepted that I needed to stop
running. Plantar Fasciitis. Fun times. I've learned my lesson as I'm
still dealing with it.
Summer Races and Adventures
Over the course of my summer in California I met some great people and
had some fantastic adventures, all thanks to running!
I was convinced to go race Table
new friends who were into trail running. I did the 10k while they ran
the 27k. This just happened to be at the end of my first 80 mile week.
It was a great race and I had a lot of fun. Going in I knew that there
was a crazy hill at the beginning of the race but I was confident that I
could compete for the win - and the possibility of a course record. For
context, nobody has gone under 60 minutes on the 10k course. The winner
was able to set a new record of 60:07 which was a few minutes faster
than the previous record. I didn't really know what I was getting into
but still managed to eek out a 68:26 which was good enough for 4th place
after I took two wrong turns. What an introduction to trail racing that
As far as racing goes, that was the only serious race of the summer for
me - and turned out to be one of the few races I ran seriously for
Ultras and Mountains and Glaciers, oh my!
I did manage to have a few other running related adventures. On a whim,
I agreed to pace and crew for my friend Lucas for part of his first 100
miler since one of his other pacers had to back out last minute. This
was an interesting experience for me and Lucas ran a great race (and
won)! I had a lot of fun and this was my first introduction to ultras.
I could write much more about that day but I'll just say that running on
the trails in the Marin headlands was simply fantastic and running
through those hills with no light but a headlamp was both eery and
peaceful at the same
of the fantastic views during the SF 100 miler
Later in the summer that same group of us went to Alaska and did some
running. Through the woods and in the mountains and even up Exit
This trip was essentially the end of my summer running adventures. After
this point I started trying to rehab my foot a bit because I realized
that I would have not even a small part of my cross country season if I
didn't attempt to take care of it.
I started taking days off and biking instead. I started stretching more.
However when I got back to Ann Arbor I got caught up in getting in shape
for cross country again. I began running higher mileage again, did a
trail half marathon for fun, and did the first track workout of the
year. The next day I couldn't put weight on my foot - I had to accept
that it was time to take more drastic measures.
I eventually started going to physical therapy. Through I wasn't told I
had to take off completely, I took about 3 weeks off and then began
running maybe 20 miles a week again. This didn't completely heal my foot
but I was able to run. It wouldn't hurt while running but still got
rather tight after runs. Uneven ground such as trails and grass was even
worse than flat pavement.
In the end, my lesson was that I didn't listen to my body when it was
hurting and then was too stubborn to do what was right. As a result I
missed out on both cross country and track. I ran some races but was
doing them non-competitively. Thankfully, now I'm well on my way to
All said, by the end of 2013 I had run 2246.9 miles. To reflect a bit on
2013 and some of my running goals for the
The only main goal that I achieved was to complete my first (and second,
trail) half marathon. I did that at Bayshore. The other two goals of
sub-17 and of running a 100 week didn't happen partially due to my
inability to train.
Some of my secondary goals were a sub-36 10k, 3000 miles for the year,
and to finish a marathon. None of these were completed either. I was on
pace for 3000 miles until I had to reduce training volume in the late
summer. Hopefully in 2014 I can run a few more total miles for the year
than in 2013!
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This week when I was
at Sweetwaters (a common
occurrence), I tried some Sencha tea as it was their tea of the day. I
liked it. I looked up more information about it and apparently the taste
varies based on the temperature of water used to steep it which is
really amazing to me.
P.S. I've been really busy with school but I have some running related
posts from my adventures this summer queued up to go out soon!
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