Monday, January 19, 2015

Training Log: Surf City Half - Week 10

I'm still recovering from the multiple heart attacks today's Seahawks game gave me. It was apparently the largest comeback in NFC championship history.

Saw this on Reddit and had to share. If you've seen any of Marshawn Lynch's interviews, you'll get why this is hilarious. (Taciturn is probably the best way to describe them... he's a man of few words.)
Also, if you haven't seen this .gif yet, you need to see Michael Bennett take a police bike and ride it around the stadium after the Seahawks won.

For the non-football-inclined, I also have pretty pictures to share! I took Mason on a mini hike Saturday evening to watch the sun set from Quail Hill. Everything in Orange County is green right now thanks to a few days of rain we've had over the past month, and the surrounding hillsides are stunningly lush, considering OC is basically a desert environment.

Every time I get out onto the trails I feel so grateful to live here. As exciting a city as New York was to live in, it makes me a lot happier to climb up a hill and watch the sun set over mountains than it does to be surrounded by the fast pace of New York. Getting outside makes me feel grounded (yes, despite the dyed blonde hair and fake boobs that are plentiful in Orange County).

So now on to training...

Training Log: Surf City Half - Week 10

Monday: Rest day.

Tuesday: 6x800m on San Diego Creek Trail.

  • 1 mile warm-up
  • Dynamic stretching routine
  • 6x800m: (1) 3:42, (2) 3:31, (3) 3:40, (4) 3:35, (5) 3:42, (6) 3:48 with 2 minutes recovery in between
  • 1 mile cool-down
I went out for this workout ready to convert it to five easy miles if my hamstring twinged in the slightest, but it actually felt fine the entire workout. My legs felt like lead from the previous week's Friday night tempo, Saturday morning strength and Sunday afternoon long run combination... but the hamstring was fine! 

Wednesday: 5 easy around neighborhood + core.

After a long day at work due to a deal closing, I was able to fit in five very easy miles with Sourabh then two sets of four core exercises (single leg bicycles, spider-man planks, lateral scissors and a one minute plank). Hamstring unfortunately did not feel good starting at mile two, the earliest it hurt all week.

Thursday: Rest day.

I had to be up for a 5 a.m. closing call that lasted till 6:15 a.m. The night before I'd thought I would just blithely run over to the gym for some strength, but I was utterly exhausted and instead opted for an hour of dozing before I headed to work for real. Given my tender hamstring the previous night, I wasn't sure if I should work out anyway, so I opted to rest the hamstring and didn't go to the gym that evening.

Friday: Rest day.

Knowing my weekend schedule, it seemed best not to push my hamstring three days in a row, so I rested again. Also I was able to leave early and since Sourabh was going to be gone for a week, I kind of just wanted to hang out with him. At the time I felt guilty, but in retrospect I'm glad I took the time off. 

Saturday: Progression tempo run along San Diego Creek Trail + strength training with Melanie.
  • 1 mile warm-up
  • (1) 8:42, (2) 8:32, (3) 9:20, (4) 8:13, (5) 7:58
  • 1 mile cool-down
I was feeling guilty about the two rest days but that was (mostly) cured by a fantastic tempo run with Sheila. She helped set the pace and we clocked a nice progression. I mean, look at those splits, right? My right hamstring started to ache a bit around mile 5, but it was fine till then. It was a nice confidence booster because we talked the whole time, and while the paces didn't feel conversational, it also wasn't extremely difficult to talk during them. Really happy with the run and thankful to Sheila for the excellent pacing! 

After breakfast with Sheila, I headed to the gym for strength training with Melanie. I am not happy that I only got in one strength session this past week, but in retrospect it might be for the best, for the hamstring at least.
  • Two sets of 15 reps of three core exercises
  • Three sets of 20 reps of lightly weighted total body exercises (lower body portions were more PT style exercises for the hamstring)
  • Quality stretching time

Just one more from my gorgeous sunset hike up Quail Hill. Don't worry, no hamstrings were harmed in the hiking of this hill.

Sunday: Long run from Cedar Grove Park to Back Bay (13 miles).

It's the middle of January and it's in the 70s!

Last week was one large 12 mile loop and this week was a 13 mile point-to-point course with a friend from New York, Allie, who was in town. Previously I've done a lot of out and backs, oftentimes multiples so it would be 2 miles one direction, 2 miles back, then repeated. I've loved starting my long run with a sense of adventure. 

Today, half the route was brand new to me and it was neat to think we'd be running 13 miles from the base of the foothills in Tustin to the Back Bay in Newport Beach. After leaving my car at our destination, we drove up to Cedar Grove Park in Allie's car. Her car was left there, so at the end of the run, I dropped Allie off at her car. 

We saw a coyote on our run! He was utterly uninterested in the humans pointing at him and taking pictures, and was much more interested in whatever food he could find in the creek bed.

Pacing plan: 4 miles easy, 4 miles up-tempo (whatever that felt like), 3 miles easy, 2 mile fast finish

Splits: (1) 10:02, (2) 9:49, (3) 9:20, (4) 9:51, (5) 9:21, (6) 8:56, (7) 8:40, (8) 8:40, (9) 9:44, (10) 9:56, (11) 9:56, (2) 8:49, (13) 8:25

Some notes: 
  • Right hamstring started aching around mile 6. Never escalated to pain, but I avoided underpasses and opted to cross roads to avoid hills, just to try to prevent any potential tweakage. 
  • I ran with a handheld water bottle and didn't mind the weight but probably won't run with one on race day
  • I fueled with a Picky Bar (that new Cookie Doughpness flavor is tasty) and coffee before the run and a salted caramel Gu and a half (one at 4 miles and half at 8 miles) and never felt fatigued. I'm pleased with how minimal fueling has made me feel fairly comfortable running without much fuel and I'm hoping I'll get a bump in energy from taking 2-3 Gu's on race day. 
  •  I am really liking Oiselle's distance shorts for longer runs since I can keep my phone, car keys and fuel in the pockets. My one problem? They're not available in green and I want to wear green and blue on race day since it's on Super Bowl Sunday. 
  • I wore my Seahawks cap both Saturday and Sunday and ended up preferring it to sunglasses for keeping the sun out of my eyes. I may wear a cap instead of sunglasses on race day. 
Our final destination: the ocean! Or at least, an estuary

I got home and parked myself on the couch for the Seahawks - Packers game. Well, put my legs up the wall and iced my hamstring then parked myself on the couch. I'm taking the recovery game seriously, guys.

Total Mileage = 30 miles
Speed Mileage = 14 miles

After texting with my trainer, Melanie, she emphasized the importance of resting my hamstring over the next two weeks and making sure not to strain it further. 

Regarding the hamstring situation, I have the feeling I'm going to pull it on race day since it's felt a bit twingey on almost every run longer than five miles. So, the goal is to keep it as healthy as possible in the lead up to race day, then see what I've got on the morning of February 1. Only two weeks of training left!


  1. I hope that pesky hamstring gets under control so you can have a comfortable race and focus on racing vs any pain. SO jealous of how warm it is. I am hating hating hating winter. Especially when I had to ice skate to the gym to run 9 miles on the treadmill yesterday morning. Want a roommate? :)

    1. Our office / guest room is open! ;) You just might not want to be around me while I'm studying for the CA bar....

  2. 1. I'm (conveniently) a Seahawks fan now too! haha
    2. You're getting so fast!
    3. I saw coyotes on the trail once, but instead of taking pictures I froze, waited, and then sprinted away after they went back into the woods. I was terrified. I've been thinking about running with mace.
    4. Thanks for inspiring me for tomorrow's speed workout!
    5. I don't miss endless loops of Central Park either. ;)

    1. Who else are you supposed to root for in Oregon??? The coyote was about 100 ft away, in a 25 ft deep creekbed, so that contributed to the excitement. If it had been close I'd have run away, too!

  3. Hey, I'm about to do 6x800s now too! #CrossCountryFire Be careful with that hamstring, friend--rest, ice, foam roll, you know the drill. I want to see a big PR in two weeks! :)

    1. I do know the drill, as tough as it is. I just want race day to get here already!

  4. Hi Jen, I'm so glad you commented on my blog because now I've found your blog. And I love it! I'm excited to find another lawyer-runner-blogger from SoCal! Looks like you've had a fantastic block of training leading up to your goal race. You're only two weeks out, so "the hay is in the barn," and "it's better to be underbaked than overbaked at the start line," as the sayings go... A couple of missed workouts near the end won't hurt you! Easier said than done, I know. I've had to learn this lesson over and over again the hard way! I read a great book recently on the importance of rest/recovery. It altered my perspective on rest, and I try to give rest as much priority as key workouts. Again, easier said than done. :) The book is Athlete's Guide to Recovery by Sage Roundtree. Can't wait to read all about your new PR in a few weeks!!! Kristen

    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Kristen, and for the support! I just moved to Orange County in September and am so in love with SoCal running already. I just added Athlete's Guide to Recovery to my Kindle booklist and am definitely going to read it! I have definitely shown up to start lines overbaked (ahem, training-wise, to be clear...) and want to be sure I am fresh and ready to go come training day. :)