Week 11: 8/20 - 8/26

Weekly Summary
This was supposed to be a "recovery week" for me, but I still ended up finally breaking 100 miles, thanks to the 31 mile "long run" on Sunday. Other than the ultramarathon, the week was pretty boring -- a lot of slow mileage and one easy speed workout on the track that made my calves hurt for a few days. As long as I am able to recover quickly, I think the ultramarathon will make me stronger. I'm a little bit worried that my resting HR has been increasing over the past two weeks, but I don't think it's at a level yet where I need to start worrying about over-training.
Resting HR: 66
Total Weekly Mileage: 101

Sunday 8/26
AM - Golden Gate Headlands: USATF National 50K Trail Championship. 4:04:43, 4th place. Here is a map of the 31-mile course. Here is the brutal elevation. And here are the results on Scott Dunlap's Blog.

This race killed me, but not until the last 3 miles. The race started at 7am, so I woke up around 4:30am and drove up to San Francisco. The temperature was very cool, and I felt pretty good at the start. After about 1 mile, three of us had already gapped most of the other people. One of the guys fell off after about 10 miles, and I stayed right behind Bryan Dayton (the guy from Colorado who won the race last year) until about mile 22, at which point I decided to pass him and pick up the pace (Bryan had almost lost me several times during some of the more technical downhill terrain, so I figured I'd pick up the pace during the flatter stuff). I stayed in first place for the next 6 miles and was able to gap him by a couple of minutes, I think, after running a few miles at ~5:15 pace. However, at around mile 28, during the last killer hill, I blew up (Bryan had told me during the race that the last part was especially steep, and he wasn't joking!). I started to see stars and my arms started to tingle. I was tempted to just lie down on the ground and rest. It's weird, I had never felt like this before. So I walked most of the rest of the way to the finish, during which Brian passed me as well as two other guys at the very end. I lost all sense of competition during this time, and just wanted to get to the finish line alive. The two guys passed me at the end with less than a mile to go, but I didn't even feel like trying to beat them.

I think the main problem was that I didn't stay hydrated during the race. The other guys all ran with their own water bottles, which seemed kind of silly to me at first, but towards the end of the race, I sure was wishing I had had my own water bottle (I should have taken the advice that I got from Scott Dunlap). The aid stations were about 5 miles apart, which seemed close at the beginning, but far at the end. I didn't have any gu during the race b/c I was afraid it would upset my stomach, but I tried eating half a balance bar at one point, which was probably a bad idea. Since I didn't have any liquids to wash it down, I wasn't able to swallow the balance bar, and it just stayed dry in my mouth and made it more difficult to breathe.

Anyway, I now have more respect for these races, and next time I do one, I'll be more careful, and stay more hydrated. I was a bit disappointed with the way the race ended today, but at least it was a good workout, if nothing else. I drove back to Palo Alto after the race, sat in the cold whirlpool at 46 degrees for 15 minutes, and then went to have dim sum with Sarah at Ming's. For some reason, I tend to crave greasy Chinese food after long races.
31 miles

Saturday 8/25
AM - Menlo Park. I went on an easy run with the Palo Alto High School team today. It was fun to meet them, and reminded me of what running was like back when I was in high school. I think I had more fun running in high school than just about anywhere else.
5 miles

Friday 8/24
AM - Atherton. I haven't run this route in a while. I ran along the train tracks and then along Middlefield into Atherton and back. When I got back, I got my cold whirlpool out of the closet, which I actually haven't used since I've moved out to California. I filled it with water and put about 30 pounds of ice in it to get the temperature down to 48 degrees. Then I sat in it for 15 minutes, which felt cold, but good. I'm not sure if I'll do an afternoon run today. I might just do an easy run tomorrow before the 50K on Sunday.
10 miles

Thursday 8/23
AM - Windy Hill. This morning I drove over to Windy Hill and ran a 10-mile loop up Hamms Gulch trail and back down Razorback Ridge trail. It was a really nice run, and didn't seem as steep as I had remembered it. There was lots of wildlife out this morning. I saw several rabbits and I also saw what I think was a fox in the trail right ahead of me in the middle of the run. The fox made eye contact with me and then started running away from me down the trail. I took it pretty easy this morning.

PM - Baylands. This evening, I jogged from my apartment to the Baylands and back. It was a pretty slow and boring run. The Baylands were especially windy today, so when I turned around, it was not very pleasant. I got a sports massage earlier today, and as a result my legs kind of feel like a wreck now. I'm thinking of running in the Golden Gate Headlands 50K trail race on Sunday morning. The course elevation looks pretty intense!
20 miles

Wednesday 8/22
AM - Track workout @ Stanford. 10 x 400m with 200m jog (65, 67, 63, 66, 65, 65, 66, 65, 66, 64). Met up with the guys at 6:15am this morning. Since this week is officially a "recovery week", we just did an easy 10x400m workout on the track with the usual 3 mile warm-up, and a 2-mile cool-down barefoot on the grass. I haven't run up on my toes like this in a while. At the time, it felt fairly easy, and I was even tempted to do more than 10, but afterwards, my arches were pretty sore from being on my toes.

PM - Arastradero. I got in an 80 minute run in Arastradero today. I like running there in the late afternoon because that's when I tend to see the most wildlife. Today I saw a few deer. I felt pretty sluggish at the beginning of the run, but by the end of the run, I felt much better. However, I once again kind of felt like I was going to puke during this run. I feel like I might be missing something in my diet right now, but I'm not sure what...
20 miles

Tuesday 8/21
AM - Wunderlich Park. I went on a very slow run in Wunderlich Park today. For some reason, I was pretty tired and I kind of felt like I was going to puke during the run, even though I was going really slow. I ran towards Huddart Park, but didn't make it all the way. This was the second run I've done in my new orthotics, and I think they still need to get worn in.
15 miles

Monday 8/20
Another day of rest. I needed it today. I was hung-over from Sarah's party last night, and then I flew back to California from Boston in the afternoon.
0 miles

Week 10: 8/13 - 8/19

Weekly Summary
I'm pretty happy with this week. This week made me realize I've gotten into decent shape. The 12-mile tempo at 5:15 pace, the 5K race at 4:55 pace, and the 23-mile long run at 6:30 pace all in a week where I ran 99 miles in 6 days makes me feel really good about my progress so far. I hope that I can keep it up. My hip was also feeling better this week. I still notice it a bit, but it's not nearly as bad. I think that taking a rest day on Monday helped quite a bit.
Resting HR: 56
Total Weekly Mileage: 99

Sunday 8/19
PM - Boston Marathon course long run. Sarah and I drove down to Boston today so that we could celebrate her birthday with some friends on the East Coast. She dropped me off at mile 3 of the Boston Marathon course (in Hopkington/Framingham), and I ran all the way back to Boston along the marathon course. I averaged a little bit below 6:30 pace for the run (slowest mile was about 6:50 and fastest was about 6:04). My stomach was kind of bothering me in the morning, so I was afraid that it would get upset during the run, but it was actually not that bad. I was planning to run 24 miles today (to make it a 100-mile week) and end at the Ritz by the Boston Common, where we were staying tonight, but instead I stopped a mile early in front of the old Bain Capital offices to meet Sarah.
23 miles

Saturday 8/18
AM - Breakaway 5K Road Race, Old Orchard, ME. 1st place, 15:15 (4:56 + 4:57 + 4:53 + 29). Sarah's dad and brother and I got up at 4:30am this morning to drive up to Maine for this race. 4:30am EST is 1:30am PST for me, so my internal clock must have been really confused, especially after going to bed the day before at 5am. Anyway, when we got there, I warmed up for 3 miles, ran the race, and then did a 10-mile run as a cool down. Some people started the race out fast, so I was probably in 10th place for the first 800m. But after the first mile, I was in first place, and I think I won by 30 seconds or so. I though I broke the course record when I crossed the finish line (which would have earned me $100), but they claimed I tied it, and in the official results, it looked like I missed it by 1 second. So I guess I'm not getting any prize money other than $75 for winning the race. But it was good to run something a bit faster than what I'm used to. I think I probably could have gone faster b/c I wasn't that tired at the end, but I'm just not used to running that fast, I guess.
16 miles

Friday 8/17
AM - Brookline, NH. Sarah and I flew into New Hampshire last night. Our plane was delayed in Chicago for about 4 hours, so we didn't get to Sarah's house until about 5am. I woke up at 1pm and went on a very, very easy 12 mile run. I ran in my new orthotics for the first time today. Tomorrow morning, I'm getting up at 4:30am to drive to Maine and run in the Breakaway 5K. I don't think I'm in shape to run a fast 5K right now, but at least it should be a good workout...
12 miles

Thursday 8/16
AM - Los Trancos Loop, Foothills Park. I got up this morning and did an MLR from Arastradero Park to Foothills Park. I actually felt pretty good this morning, considering yesterday's workout. I finished the run in about 1:49, which is a few minutes slower than I normally run that loop. But I still think I must have been averaging somewhere around 7:00 pace. I got back home with about 30 minutes to pack before heading to the airport with Sarah to fly to New Hampshire. We're celebrating her birthday this weekend in NH/ME. I think I might run in a 5K race in Maine on Saturday morning.
15 miles

Wednesday 8/13
AM - 12-mile Tempo Run @ Stanford. 62:59 (5:15/mile pace). Splits: 5:22*, 5:20*, 5:15, 5:18, 5:18, 5:25, 5:05*, 5:06*, 5:14*, 5:10*, 5:07, 5:07. (* = estimate because I didn't get the exact mile splits). So today's tempo run went much better than I was expecting it to. I was super tired when my alarm went off at 5:45am this morning, after having a late dinner with Sarah and my mom the night before. In fact, I almost skipped practice this morning because I was feeling so crappy. I did a slow 3-mile warmup, and then had to stop in the bathroom twice before the tempo run, probably because of the dinner I had last night at Buca di Beppo. I did a few strides before we started, and still felt crappy -- my left hip and left knee were bothering me (they were especially sore after getting beaten up in a sports massage from Greg yesterday). So I stayed in the back of the pack for the first 4 miles of the run, and surprisingly started to feel much better. I ran the next 4 miles next to Beast, and then the last 4 miles about 10 seconds behind Beast. It's kind of funny to think that if I had done 1.1 miles more this morning at the same pace, I would have effectively run a half-marathon in under 69 minutes, which is over 2 minutes faster than I ran the SF Half Marathon a few weeks ago. Afterwards, Beast and I did 2 miles barefoot on the grass, and then I got a big smoothie from Jamba Juice on my way home.

PM - Aquajogging @ Stanford Pool. I went in the pool for 30 minutes this evening, and it felt good. I haven't acqujogged since I started running again a couple of months ago. After this morning's workout, I didn't want to put my legs through any more pounding, but I think that getting in the pool can actually help speed my recovery. I used to count cross-training miles in my log, but this time around, I think I'll only count running miles.
17 miles

Tuesday 8/14
AM - Baylands. I ran over to the Baylands from my house today, and decided to turn it into a 12 mile run. I probably averaged 6:45 pace for most of the run (at least that's around what the mile splits were at the Baylands). It was sunny and windy at the Baylands today, but it's almost always sunny and windy there.

PM - Mitchell Park. I did an easy 4 miles this evening to loosen up after my afternoon sports massage from Greg. I felt pretty sluggish and decided not to do any strides today since my legs felt tired and I have a workout in the morning.
16 miles

Monday 8/13
Rest. I decided to take today off. This is the first day I've taken off in a while, but I think my body needed it because it's been feeling a bit broken recently (mainly my left hip and right toe).
0 miles

Week 9: 8/6 - 8/12

Weekly Summary
This was a good, tough week. I still didn't break 100 miles, but at least I got in 2 good workouts and a good long run. The workout on Friday morning was especially tough, and doing a long run 2 days later was not easy. My left hip and right toe have been bothering me the entire week. They aren't getting worse, but they're also not getting better. I'm debating whether or not I should take it easy for a few days until everything heals, but I don't want to take off too much time. I should probably get another sports massage soon.
Resting HR: 46
Total Weekly Mileage: 98

Sunday 8/12
AM - Russian Ridge. Beast decided he wanted to see what all of this talk about Russian Ridge was all about, so we decided to meet there this morning. I drove up with Friedman, and we met Beast and Silver. We decided to go out for 11 miles and then turn around, which is farther than any of the other times we have run out here. It was a beautiful day, and once again, a beautiful run. Silver asked a biker for some water around mile 11, and fortunately we were all able to take a few sips before turning around. Friedman said he'd send a link to the route of this run from his GPS watch, so when I get it, I'll post a link here. Apparently the ridge trail that we were on goes all the way to Santa Cruz. It would be cool to run all the way over there sometime. Beast and I picked up the pace a bit during the second half of the run. I was pretty tired by the end, but felt good about the run. My left hip and right toe are still bothering me a bit, but they actually felt better towards the end of the run than they did at the beginning.
22 miles

Saturday 8/11
PM - Gunn High School. I was over at the house doing wiring again today, and didn't get out on a run until the evening. I had some trouble running today after yesterday's workout. I must have been going close to 8:00/mile pace. Given that I'm running long tomorrow, I wanted to make today an easy day anyway.
7 miles

Friday 8/10
AM - Workout @ Stanford. 2 x 2 mile (10:01, 10:01), 10 miles (59:42), 2 x 1 mile (4:48, 5:11). 3 mile w/u, 2 mile c/d. Man this was one long workout! I was afraid of this workout before it started. I had never done one of these before, and it was kind of weird. The 2-mile repeats felt steady, and I was holding myself back a bit because I knew I had a lot more ahead of me. Beast, Silver, and I kept the pace pretty honest during the 10-miler. We started out at 6:30's probably and finished closer to 5:30's, I think. At times during the 10-mile, I started to feel light-headed. Then, the 2x1 mile at the end was the weirdest part. James and I started the first one, and since I felt kind of light-headed, I did the first mile in 4:48, and it felt pretty easy. But then I fell back an did the second one in 5:11.
21 miles

Thursday 8/9
PM - Mitchell Park. I went over to the house this morning to do low-voltage wiring, so I didn't have time to get a run in until the evening. So I did an easy 4-miler before dinner. I've got a big workout tomorrow, so I wanted to take it easy.
4 miles

Wednesday 8/8
AM - MLR @ Baylands. This morning, I ran over to the Baylands. It was sunny and windy. As I ran by the mile markers, I was going about 6:45 pace or so. Anyway, it was good to get a longer run in today.
16 miles

Tuesday 8/7
AM - Workout @ The Dish. 4 x Hilly Mile (5:22, 5:18, 5:20, 5:19) with 2 min rest. 2 mile w/u, 5 mile c/d. We went over to the Dish today for a workout. James had mapped out a one-mile route. It was pretty hilly, and the downhills were actually the worst. Some of the guys did 6 repeats, but I stopped after 4 because I was afraid that I was going to mess myself up pounding those downhills. Beast was several seconds ahead of me on each of them.
PM - Arastradero.
18 miles

Monday 8/6
AM - Belmont, MA. I gave Friedman a call last night since I knew he was on the East Coast. So we went on a nice 10-mile run in the morning before my appointment with the podiatrist. I saw Dr. Cullen, and he made me a new pair of orthotics that he is going to mail to me.
10 miles

Week 8: 7/30 - 8/5

Weekly Summary
Not a bad week. I was kind of hoping to break 100 miles, but I guess 94 is close enough. My legs were pretty tired this week -- probably a combination of recovering from the half marathon and doing lots of hiking and hill runs in the Catskills. I only got one workout in this week (a fartlek of 20 x 1/1), but I was pretty happy with it. The long run at Walden didn't feel that great, but at least I also got a 15-mile MLR on Wednesday.
Resting HR: 50
Total Weekly Mileage: 94

Sunday 8/5
PM - Walden Pond. We drove back to Boston from the Catskills this morning. On the way back, we stopped at Walden Pond, and I went on my long-run for the week. Johann ran the first hour with me, and then I did the rest on my own. It was nice to be back at Walden Pond after running on the West Coast for the past year. I should have called some of my running buddies from the B.A.A. to see if they would have been up for joining me, but they probably got their longs runs over with early in the day anyway. I had to take a couple of bathroom breaks on the run today. Must have eaten something weird. Maybe is was the mushrooms that Adam picked while we were hiking in the Catskills and put in our tomato sauce last night. I had been hoping to go 20+ miles today, but after 19 miles, I was ready to stop.
19 miles

Saturday 8/4
AM - Adam's House, Catskills, NY. I woke up this morning kind of sore and tired from yesterday's runs, so I decided to go on a short run in the morning to loosen up. I started off very slow and finished not quite as slow, but still pretty slow. My legs are getting tired from all of the miles that I've been putting them through recently.

PM - Minnewaska State Park. Adam, Johann, Lucas and I drove out to Lake Minnewaska today. It was almost an hour drive from Adam's house. We decided to jog from the parking lot to Lake Awosting, go for a swim, and then jog back to the car. It was a beautiful day, the views at the lake were amazing, and the water was perfectly refreshing. We swam around for about 20 minutes before jogging back. The lake was only three miles away from the parking lot, but Johann and I took a 5-mile route back, so we got in a total of 8 miles (the last 3 miles of which were below 6 minute pace).
13 miles

Friday 8/3
AM - Fartlek @ Catskills. This morning, I decided to do a Fartlek workout since I haven't done a workout all week. I did the same 12 mile route as last night, but this time I could actually see where I was going, which was nice. I jogged for 3 miles, did 20 x (1 min hard, 1 min easy), and then jogged 3 miles back to the house. It was really, really hot today, and I was super dehydrated by the end of the run. But overall, it was a good workout.

PM - Adam's House, Catskills, NY. We went on a pretty intense bushwhacking-style hike today, right after I got back from my morning workout. I think we were hiking for at least 4 hours on some fairly steep terrain through the woods. By the time we got back, it was starting to get dark and I was tired and hungry. But Johann and I talked each other into going on a run. So we went on a 7 mile run that started off really easy, and finished at a moderate pace. My legs were tired, but I'm glad that I got the extra mileage in. I'd like to get close to 100 miles this week, if possible.
19 miles

Thursday 8/2
AM - Catskills. Last night, I took the red-eye from San Jose to Boston. I didn't end up sleeping at all on the plane, so when I arrived in Boston at 6am, I went over to Lucas's place to crash for a few hours before Lucas, Adam, Johann and I all drove up to Adam's house in the Catskills. It was about a 4 hour drive to get there. When we arrived, we went on a short hike, and then I went on a run while they started preparing dinner. It was getting dark by the time I started my run, and by the end, it was pitch black. A few times I accidentally ran off the road into the woods because I couldn't even see where the road was. I'm surprised I actually found my way back to the house.
12 miles

Wednesday 8/1
AM - Arastradero to Los Trancos. This morning, I went over to Arastradero Park and went on a 15 mile run around the Los Trancos trail in Foothill Park. I felt pretty good on the run today, and it went by pretty quickly. Toward the end as I was going downhill, I tripped on a rock and cut myself up pretty badly. But fortunately the injury seemed to be limited to surface cuts.
15 miles

Tuesday 7/31
AM - Mitchell Park. I did Mitchell Park again this morning, but this time I did two loops around the park instead of one to add on an extra mile. It was, once again, a really short run. My legs were still tired today. After the morning run, I got a sports massage from Greg, and then took the rest of the day off.
5 miles

Monday 7/30
AM - Mitchell Park. This morning, I did a very slow run around Mitchell Park. My legs were feeling pretty tired after yesterday's race.

PM - Gunn High School. In the afternoon, I did the Gunn High School loop at an easy pace. Felt better than in the morning, but still not great.
11 miles