June 24, 2018

Heat Training (Peachtree Week -1.5)

Gorgeous Views from Coyote Hills Park
First, TMI, but seriously, artichokes apparently have enough soluble fiber as well as other natural digestive properties that they should come with a gastric warning.  I do not recommend them as a treat for dinner the night before a long run in the heat (Even if they are in season and look delicious at the farmer's market!).  If you do make this mistake, I hope you are lucky like me, and there are many bathrooms and patient friends with you on your long run...

The plan was 10 miles.  The actuality was 1 mile, then a bathroom stop, 3 more miles to the next bathroom, then some walking in the opposite direction while your running buddy keeps running, then more running, then (unfortunately) another bathroom stop, eventually 8 miles total with 6 running and 2 walking.  Not the planned for 10 miles long running -- 2 miles short, including an extra 2 miles walked, not run. Not the workout I'd hoped for.  But possibly the same time in the heat on my feet as I'd originally planned, and at a minimum a very decent heat workout to prep for Peachtree, particularly given the gastric details.

After the run Jen and I went for delicious spicy beef noodle soup and it was amazing!

I ate as much as I could for lunch.
I had leftovers for E & me to 
have noodle soup dinner with a vegetable side the next night!

The week was great -- 20ish miles.  Plus also another 30 minutes of insane jumprope 1:30/1:30 calisthenics workout and 4+ gardening hours in 90F+ heat.

Leftover sausage and ribeye makes amazing Bolognese...

Also, I sincerely enjoyed cooking healthy meals at home.

Fergola salad with homemade hummus and spicy sauce.
I took a solid walking photo break in Fremont on my long-run when I was wrecked. And it was gorgeous.

Back-side of the Fremont loop...gorgeous.
And finally, Rotelle -- you know, the wheel pasta, adults (and children) can enjoy it, and it's delicious!

Rotelle with Bolognese.

June 18, 2018

Peachtree Week -2.5

The garden is in great shape and I'm excited for the first ripe tomatoes, which I assume will arrive in a couple of weeks.

I'd been going with a week-based countdown for Peachtree.  But, July 4 is on a Wednesday.  Which means, my Monday start of the week leaves me with less than half a week for the final one.  So, I'll call this check-in Week -2.5.

Also, it just feels like we're getting closer to the 4th of July at a faster rate than I can describe and I think that's because the seasonal change makes everything Summer feel much more imminent.

I had a great week.  23.87 miles of walking/hiking/running with 67% running including a nice solid 9 miler at 11:56, some speedwork in the 8s & 9s, and 2 strength mile intervals between biking to the trail and back with E in the mid 10s.  The hiking was unplanned, but a friend texted me the night before and asked if I wanted to go hike the Stanford Dish the next morning while she was unexpectedly in town.   YES!  I love combining my workouts with catching up with friends.

Cross-training is an area of improvement -- I'm making the time and effort to do some stretching and rolling to try to avoid returning to my left leg hamstring/glute insertion issue.  I also ramped up to a very hardcore (for me) 30 minutes of 1:30/1:30 jumprope with calisthenics (pushups, scissor kicks/crunches, side lunges, knee thrust planks, dips, front & back lunge leg extensions, side plank leglifts, deep squats/cross knee to elbow, jab-jab-cross; pelvic bridge) -- my goodness does this workout kill me.  Plus, I fit in a bonus 12 miles of random biking (I owe E for this one, he prefers to bike as his transit and so I opted in a few times when we were going somewhere together).

On the food side of things, last week was the second week in a row where we slept at home all week.  This means I can cook dinner every night and do bulk food prep for freezing, which is something I love to do.  I absolutely love having frozen pinto beans, hummus, and other healthy home-made treats available for defrosted use.

Yellow squash noodles
Saturday night, we had a typical "let's eat the random stuff left in the fridge" before we go to the Farmer's market meal.  The ingredient that needed to be used before it went bad?  Yellow summer squash.  Examining our other ingredients, I decided to go with a carbonara-inspired dish that wasn't really carbonara at all.

Yellow squash noodles with a carbonara-inspired preparation 
of ground turkey, garlic, eggs, milk, and pepperjack cheese 
topped with fresh-grated SarVecchio (parmigiana-style hard cheese from Wisconsin) 

Like many of my food experiments, it was... good.  Not great.  Definitely not carbonara.  But a good meal that used up the ingredients we had lying around in a warm and yummy way.  It had been a while since I'd cooked with squash noodles and I'd forgotten that even if you salt them and let them drain, they do continue to give off more water when heated.  Perhaps next time I'll bake them before tossing them in the saucepan.

June 11, 2018

Peachtree week -4

It's getting hotter.

And I'm not slowing down!  Woot!

Last week was 19.6 miles including an 8 mile long run in the low 12s, 3 miles tempo at 10:28, and 4X800; 3X400 (9:02 or faster; and mid 8s).

I also finally got back to my jumprope cross-training routine.

Jumping rope is SO HARD.  But I do love how quickly it kicks my butt and how easy it is to construct a very demanding cross-training workout of 1:30 rope/1:30 calisthenics (For starters, I went with 5 exercises and 15 total minutes -- pushups, scissor kicks, plank knee drives to elbows (cross and exterior), dips, side lunges).

I followed this up with an easy mile jog followed by a walking cooldown and was pleased with the quality of the workout as well as how little time it took.  I was sore for 2 days, which is simultaneously encouraging (yay! getting stronger) and depressing (seriously? 5 exercises plus jumping rope can make me that sore?).

With 3.5 weeks left, I am hopeful that I can continue to improve fitness and finish the Peachtree Road Race comfortably.  In terms of time goals, I'm going to have to wait to see the weather.  The heat and humidity can be brutal and I'm very susceptible to both.

The racing schedule is starting to shape up nicely for the rest of the year (and E's actually on board for quite a few of the events as well, which is a nice benefit due to the shorter races):

7/4/2018 Peachtree Road Race (10K) (With E)
7/28/2018 Crissy Field Parkrun (5K) -- (With E) Happy to make post-race brunch plans!
August -- looking for bay area suggestions if you have them
9/2/2018 Race To The End Of Summer (5K) -- (With E) Happy to host or make post-race brunch! (Thanks to Angela for the discount code)
9/9/2018 SF Giants' Race (10K) -- Happy to make post-race brunch plans!
October/Early November - evaluating options but considering Folsom Blues Half (or 5K) and Run The Parkway Half
Thanksgiving:  Atlanta Track Club Half Marathon (E may do the 5K)
12/2/2018 CIM relay (one or more legs)

June 4, 2018

Summer is Almost Here (Peachtree Week -5)

E and I visited my hometown last weekend and built rockets with the kids at my mom's party. The next day, we set them off.

The kids are almost out of school.

BBQ season has started.

The tomatoes are growing like crazy and have officially overtaken the kale as the tallest plants in the garden.

My todo list for this week includes planting cucumbers, squash, eggplants & peppers.

I am happy, happy, happy.  I love everything about Summer *except* running in the heat.

And, running is definitely getting harder for this high-heat-generating human as the bay area temperatures start to rise.  Being near Sacramento just made it even more difficult.

Last week's hardest effort by far was 2 miles @ 10:52/mile pace, uphill back home from the rocket launch with my (much) younger sister in the 90F heat of my hometown.

Weekly mileage was less than 20, but I fit in a 7 miler followed by some decent strides as well as 2 other easy runs at paces that used to be a little harder, so I'm feeling pretty good.

I'm very much enjoying the scheduled workouts for the 10Ks.  They are easier to fit in, and I'm focused more on improving my speed than I have been in several years, which is a nice change.  Fitness comes in many forms, but being able to hold faster paces is a type of fitness I'd let go over the last few years.  My mantra had become "just get the miles done" because I found that if I had the added stress of a distance and a pace, if I didn't hit both I didn't get the feeling of satisfaction that I craved from my running hobby.

Being able to focus on racing 6.2 miles means more speed and strength work, and all of the results that come from that.  I'd been struggling with whether I was better off registering for the half or the 10K for RNR San Jose, but when I started plotting what the training cycle would look like I did not like the idea of double digit long runs in August or September, so I'll be doing the 10K and decided to pick one or more half-marathons later in the fall.