Monday was a recovery day in LA. Even though I didn't do the full marathon, I was very sore from the effort. E and I did an easy 3 miles in Santa Monica on the beach path @ 10:23 pace and I walked another mile or so to get a pedicure. I managed not to work at all, which was awesome, and very necessary.
Tuesday was the typical "now you pay for the day (and weekend) you took off from work" day. D was visiting from NYC, so I stopped working when he arrived and we enjoyed a great meal and some wine to catch up.
Wednesday, the work chaos continued with an unscheduled on-site day at a client, additional client emergencies plus all the normal stuff, but I managed to fit in an easy 3 @ 10:19 pace, and afterwards, my legs finally started to feel normal. S came over and we went out for Italian for dinner and then we stayed up late talking and catching up.
Thursday, F, D and I headed out for a weekly track day at Foothill College. I'm very much enjoying this weekly work-out. My legs were still a bit shot from the effort in LA, but I managed to partially complete the assigned ladder:
400 @ 1:49; 800 @ 4:03; 800 @ 4:11 (with 60 seconds walk/rest recovery -- the last 800 should have been a 1200, but I didn't have it in me). 3 minute walk/rest. 1000 @ 5:06; 800 @ 4:14; 400 @ 1:49. 1.1 slow jog cool down. Not great, but not terrible, either. I didn't want to push it too much given that I'd decided to incorporate the Oakland Running Festival into my long run on Sunday.
Thursday night, my mom came into town and we went out to Turkish food.
Friday, mom and I had a girls' day. We walked to coffee and back, went to Santana Row, got massages, and had lunch. After lunch, I worked a bit, then headed to the San Francisco Home and Garden show. I must have been the only person there under the age of 50. It was $10 to park and $15 for a half day ticket - quite pricey. I thought it was cool to see all the entrants into the designed garden and back-yard competitions, and just generally loved walking around looking at all the plants, but I can't imagine most people would get $25 worth of enjoyment out of it. I splurged on a huge rotating compost bin that will be delivered this week. I'm super excited.
Saturday, I did an easy 2.5 with E @ 10:17. I was exhausted and my legs were tired -- I was relieved when I remembered that I'd had an intense shiatsu massage the day before and the masseuse had done a great job of beating me up, so it made sense that my legs were without their usual pep. I potted up about half of the tomatoes and I'm getting *very* excited for peak gardening season. I met up with the Mandarin Ladies for brunch at F's, and then E and I headed over to some friends for dinner and to meet their 4 month old baby. I got to bed a little later than planned, but we'd brought mediterranean food, so I'd eaten a decent healthy pre-race meal and E was happy to have the designated driver.
Sunday, I drove out to the Oakland Running Festival. My coach had told me to just repeat the last 3 weeks of the training schedule to prep for SLO, so I needed to do somewhere in the range of 14-18 miles this weekend. When Jen offered to register me at the expo, I was completely committed. I'd had a blast at this one last year so I was excited to return.
The weather prediction was a bit hot -- highs in the low 70s with clear bright sun. The start for the half marathon is a double-edged sword of 9:15 AM. It's late enough that I could sleep in and the finish is late enough that the beer tent actually seems like a reasonable idea. But, it's also late enough that it could get quite hot on the course. Sure enough, it did get hot.
Even so, my goals were pretty modest and I hit them, more or less. I just wanted to get in a good few miles as a warm-up, do the first 10K at target race pace, and then run the remainder of the race at a good effort without stopping. I did 2.5 around Lake Merrit, met up with Jen, ran to my car and ditched the long sleeve shirt and compression socks, pinned on my number, hit the porta-potties and got into the corral.
In the corral, Jen introduced me to many of her fellow running bloggers and friends. It was fun to meet so many new people. My watch was synched with the satellites from my warm-up and the others seemed to be having trouble getting signals, so I offered to be a pacer 'til their watches caught signals. However, after we went through the start, I slipped to the left, where it was more open, and assumed they'd follow. I looked back after about 1/10 mile and they were nowhere to be found... Oops. Sorry ladies!
The first mile is decent downhill and in the shade, so running by effort put me at an easy 8:42. From there, I executed roughly according to plan and hit the 10K at a 9:11 average pace. During the first few miles, K said hi, and we ran together for a few minutes. She's doing the full marathon in SLO, so it'll be nice to have a friendly face there. She was too speedy for me, though, so I let her go. Then Jen caught up to me, but same story, she was taking a downhill at 8:27 pace and I was feeling lazy, so I let her go as well.
After the 10K, I tried to maintain a good effort and didn't let myself walk, except through the aid stations, where I dumped water on my head. I drank my electrolyte drink from my water bottle and took 2 Gus.
I finished in 2:09:20, for an average pace of 9:52. The Garmin claims it was 13.33 in 2:09:24 for an average pace of 9:43. Either way, it surprised me a bit, as the "run at an even effort" miles were much slower than I expected. But, the goal wasn't to race this one. It was to get in a good training run, and I'm glad it was. The heat kept climbing, and I think it would have been a difficult one to try to race, even if my legs weren't beat up from last week's effort in LA. The best part was the lack of coughing compared to last week.
After the race, I met up with Jen and her SO. We had our beers from the beer tent, congratulated her Running For a Better Oakland buddy on his finish, and went out to delicious (if delayed) Mexican food with two of their friends. The post-race walk was about 1 mile or so, which felt great. Total mileage for the long run according to the Garmin was 16.8 (including the walking ), which I'll take as a decent last long run before SLO. Total weekly mileage was 32 and now it's time to taper!
After Oakland, I picked E up at the Caltrain station in SF and we went to visit yet another set of friends and their new baby and then we came home. The planned dinner was leftovers, but our neighbor dropped off Korean food as a gift and it was *very* much appreciated.
In hindsight, this was a crazy week. In addition to all the normal life stuff, we hosted 3 dinners with guests, I made four separate visits to friends' homes plus all the running and race-related socializing and travel from LA and Oakland. I'm exhausted, and looking forward to a day of "just work" today.