You read that correctly. A couple of hours.
The primary reason for finally buckling down and doing this task that I only manage to complete a few times per year (hence how the pile gets to be so large and unwieldy)?
Well, kids. The tax deadline is fast approaching.
Now, I have a folder with all of the tax documentation. And, I've got the latest version of the tax prep software updated.
So, of course, I'm going to update my blog...
This week was a bit of a miss in terms of my running goals. I didn't get in any good strength work at all, and my mileage was only 29.83 total.
My two good workouts weren't too bad, it was just the rest of the week that was tough. The washing machine died on me, the kitchen remodel needed time with professionals on-site, and work picked up too -- which made committing to the scheduled mileage and/or workouts difficult. I'm happy to say I made myself get on my feet and do *something* on every day but 1 day. But the quality and time of those efforts was somewhat sub-par. Oh well. Some weeks I just have to tell myself that something is better than nothing. And it is.
Despite the decreased mileage and crazy schedule, we ate quite healthy and I managed to drop another pound, so that's continued progress in that direction.
Speed -- track day: This week's workout was a bit more difficult for me than normal because the track coach wasn't doing the workout. When she's not also running, she tends to be much more strict about enforcing the recovery intervals. My legs were still a bit heavy from the 10K last Sunday, but I just told myself to do my best. I ran 2.21 miles warm-up to go get my car (which I'd left onsite at a client), drove the 7 minutes to the track, did another 0.18 mile jog/walk w/u at track and jumped in to the workout; 3 X (2 X 600 R/I:60) 400 R/I jogging between sets (splits: 3:00; 3:01; 3:05; 3:02; 3:05; 3:10), then I slapped on another 1.10 miles jog/walking c/d. This pushed the mileage up to 6.41 miles, which is a great mid-week mileage day. But, this week, it was my only mid-week day even remotely longer than 3 miles.
Long -- beautiful run in San Francisco with Jen today.
(Stolen Photos from Jen below.)
|One of the amazing views from the Lands End Trails|
|These stairs are why I didn't stress about the paces... no joke!|
I had 14 on the calendar and Jen had 20, so we agreed to meet up at mile 6 of her run and do the last bit together. I woke with a bit of a funky stomach, skipped the coffee as a result, and headed up to the meet-up place. On the drive I got a text from Jen indicating that she may also have a bit of a funky belly, and that she would be 5 minutes later than expected due to a detour. I walked a bit to warmup and placed myself at the intersection we'd agreed upon. I waited several minutes longer than I expected and started to worry that it may have been a mistake to leave my phone back at my car (0.25 miles away at this point). Just as I was deciding whether I should run back to my car, Jen came into sight -- turns out the map she'd used was short, the meetup point was at 6.6 miles instead of 6 miles! Delay explained.
After this auspicious start, we decided to modify the route on the fly. I was happy to write off the extra 0.6 miles, I just needed to get in a good long run. Jen wanted to avoid the loop through the Sunset she'd originally planned because it had street intersection with traffic, so we headed down Sloat and along the Great Highway's trail.
Immediately, it became clear that my stomach was not happy with me and that I would need a restroom in the first couple of miles. I considered hopping into a porta potty that was at someone's home for construction, but managed to preserve a small bit of dignity and held on for a public restroom. And voila -- there it was -- the most glorious public bathroom I've ever used. This building was my savior sent to me via time machine, complete with marble, tile, numerous stalls, molding at the ceiling -- all clean! The world was a much better place after this gift from the past.
From there, Jen and I gamely ran slowly but steadily, out the Great Highway, up past the Cliff House, up into Lands End and up a million stairs to the top of the trail. Jen gave me a high-five when we reached the Lands End trail entrance and I smiled. Nothing like another runner to know the internal pride you feel when you finish a climb like that one (169 feet in mile 4, plus another 108 feet in mile 5).
The Lands End trail system is gorgeous. While I'd been going to the Cliff House and the Sutro Baths off and on since childhood, I'd never been out to the trails. They are recently expanded, very well maintained and the views are some of the best in the world. I think I may need to arrange a hike with a group of friends.
At mile 7 or so, I apologized to Jen for holding her back. I was pokier than I'd planned and I knew she had some pace goals I may be keeping her from hitting. She surprised me by saying that she was struggling (this was on the climb back into the city through Golden Gate park) and was thinking about cutting back the mileage. In hindsight, it shouldn't have surprised me. We were gamely doing our best, but the whole day hadn't really gone according to plan for either of us.
From here, I decided just to play it by ear. We considered adding a loop around Stow lake, got lost on our way there, finally made it there and after about half a mile, decided to head back out to the main road and just run to the car and let the mileage land where it did.
Towards the end, since I knew I'd be a little shorter than my planned 14, I threw in 4 HIIT intervals, all under 1 minute. I was pretty tired, and the paces I hit showed it: 7:52; 8:18; 8:48; 9:07. But, there's something about throwing in a hard effort at the end of a long run that fills me with a sense of accomplishment. For me, since pushing myself on pace is one of my weaknesses, I think hard efforts at the end of long runs are actually much more difficult than slogging through the extra miles. After the intervals, I jogged and walked back to the car with Jen after we left the main part of the park. Total miles: 12. Average Pace: 12:00/mile including all the walk breaks and the hiking up and down the stairs.
Overall, I'm very happy with this run. It was great to catch up with Jen, and it's the first time in a long time that 12 miles felt "easy". While it was slower, given the hills, I think it was comparable to the last 12 miler I did with F. The difference is, after that one I was completely done, as were my legs, whereas this time, I definitely had more than enough energy left. Bonus, my legs feel relatively fresh right now a few hours later, which is the first time that's happened after a long run in quite a while (probably partially due to my accidental step-back week).
So that's the week in a nutshell. Off to get Guito some much-needed sunshine (I'll get to those taxes, I swear...).