Monday, August 15, 2011

Tapering early?

I meant to write a post earlier, but it got sidetracked by thinking about the approach of my final year at college. I am reluctant to leave the ivory tower, because as long as I had school, there was something to do. Now, I can't help but dread my final year mainly because I really want to get a job right out of college so that I can finance my running habit. Races are quite expensive. So between planning for next year's classes, and dreading the job search, I haven't thought about a post. I also don't have a phone that connects to the computer hence it's hard for me to get interesting photos related to running.

But running wise, last week was great. Sort of. . . But I'll talk about the good news first.

Thursday: I meant to go for easy 3 miles, but my cousin convinced me to go to the local track to see how fast we can do a mile. So for the first time in about four years, I ran on a track. Now, to give a bit of background, a seven minute mile has been like the four minute mile for me. Whenever we did the mile in high school, I could not run faster than 7 minutes. So after picking up running during this summer, I was afraid to try. We decided to run half a mile for warm up, then the mile, then the rest of 1.5 miles as cool down. During the half mile warm up, I felt as nervous as I had before my first 5K. But I did it! I did a mile in 6:26 min. Oh yeah, Go me! (Insert my embarrassing success dance). So now, I can chance the elusive five minute something mile.

Friday: Much needed recovery.

Saturday: My first 12 miler. *Fist Pump* So being the klutz that I am, I twisted my ankle two miles into the run.
Documented clumsy moment from the winter. 

Luckily, I was not too much worse for wear and continued on. There were also tons of bikers and other runners who witnessed my moment of weakness. I was too embarrassed to stop for long. I ran 9:39/min for the whole thing. And to celebrate the tremendous burning of calories, I then proceeded to consume a whole chipotle burrito. And this is why the week was sort of good. I had a long week of chugging along and started feeling twinges of pain.

So Sunday was a rest day.

And now on Monday, on a day that I was supposed to do speedwork, I opted for easy 4 miler. Even though my taper officially starts next week, I figured it's better to be safe than sorry. Not to mention I forked over 40 whole dollars for the half. It's not exorbitant price for a half, in face it's really well priced, but for a college student, it's a treat.

Here's a photo I found hilarious on I <3 to run page on facebook. I liked it, and now I have reminders to run instead of wasting time on facebook.
Not me yet. But it will be. However I will say that one who runs 12 miles for fun is scary too. 

Now I hope everyone's week started off right and with a run! Now I have to finalize my schedule and wake up at 4AM for add drop thanks to the time difference between east coast and pacific coast. 

Here's a question: Should I opt to take a technical chemical engineering course which might help me on the job hunt or should I take an intermediate Spanish course? Or I could just take less courses and keep up with running. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reading Instructions

For some reason, I have never been the one for reading directions. Oddly enough, I am the kind of reader who reads anything whenever I am doing any activity that permits me to multitask. During breakfast, I usually read the back of the cereal box enough to memorize all the words on it. I dutifully read through my town's newsletter. I even struggle through scientific articles that my mentor gives me. But for some reason, I never read the things that would actually help me through life. One relevant running example is with my GPS watch. After having my garmin 305 for more than two years, I recently read through some of the directions for it about two weeks ago. So now, I can actually use the auto lap function and the interval options correctly. I can't believe I haven't been using my garmin to its full potential. The workout setting is amazing! Also, I didn't bother checking my running schedule. I just assumed that it followed a linear increase. This led me to run 4 tempo miles today. Later, when I went to the schedule to check a run for next week, I realized that the schedule actually only called for 3 miles of tempo same as last week. Maybe that's why it felt hard. Anyways, this blog post came about because my handheld water bottle finally came in the mail. No more waterless long runs! This time, my eyes caught the picture on the tag of the water bottle and learned that what I thought was a stylistic hole is actually a thumb hole.

Because I am obsessed with anything running, I was way more excited about getting a water bottle than a normal person should be. I actually ran around the house for ten minutes with the empty water bottle with the tag still on. 

Now for the boring part.
Monday: Speedwork. Even though I used to dread them, now I can tolerate them. It's nice to know that I will eventually get faster. I had a mile warm up and a mile cool down. They were ladder style.
1mile: 8:27/mile
0.75 mile: 8:14/mile
0.5 mile: 7:57/mile
0.5mile: 7:44/mile
0.25 mile: 6:29/mile
The intervals were broken up by 3 minutes of light jogging. The miles all totaled up to a satisfying 6 miles.

Tuesday: 3 miles easy

Wednesday: 6 miles with 4 miles at tempo with a pace of 8:11/min.

These were all run at the beach. And I thought I'd take a picture of the place I've been running at for more than a week now.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

On Being a Badass

For the first time in my running career, I have completed a double digit run. After my last post, on Friday, I went for a short and easy 3 mile run in preparation for the day. And yesterday, I cranked out 10 miles on the beach. Granted, it was all flat, but now I feel like a real runner. Before whenever people asked me what sport I played, I would squirm and say that I used to run a bit. But now, no more of that. I can proudly say that I am a runner. Last two miles were torturous and agonizingly long, but I made good time. My overall pace for the whole run was 9:47/mile. I don't understand how I am supposed to be able to run faster than that for the half. I thought I was going to drop dead somewhere.

I wonder what the etiquette is when you're running and you hear someone talk about you loudly. When I ran past a couple, the guy was talking about how fast I was. Even though he wasn't talking directly to me, he was saying it loudly and repeatedly. I just ran by unsure of what to do. Normally, you're not supposed to comment on other people's conversations. Despite the fact that I'm super proud of my run during the weekend, I am glad that today is a rest day. I'm just going ice skating with a friend later. Can't wait!

Now, here's an obligatory picture of my garmin.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sea Tempo

I finally had the run that I've been waiting for all summer. I set out early this morning with my cousin to get my tempo miles in at the beach. I love inhaling the salty beach breeze with every step. Since I don't run with music, the sound of the waves pounding the shore also calms me. For the first time ever, I completed a three mile tempo run. I was able to do mile warm up at 9:58 pace, the three tempo miles at 8:20, and the last cool down mile at 10:11. Even though the thought of doing a three mile tempo was intimidating, I just kept on reminding myself that I ran a 5K at a faster pace than my tempo pace.

I think signing up for the half marathon for labor day weekend was the trick to getting me motivated to do my workouts. I know that with every workout I miss, I'm going to have a harder time at the half. I already have a goal time in mind. I want my first half marathon to be sub 2 hours. I hope I can achieve it.

Since I don't have a smartphone or a cable to connect my phone to my computer, I can never take a photo on a run no matter how pretty it looks. So here are some photos of my parents' new dog, Dante.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

California Living

Finally, I am back home in sunny California with its dry heat and ocean breezes. It's nice to be warm in the sun and cool in the shade, none of the sticky humidity that plagues me in New York. As an added bonus, there are hardly any hills in any of my runs so far. Since my last post, I did do a two mile tempo run and an 8 mile long run in New York.

Yesterday, when I landed in LAX, my brother picked me up and we were able to do an easy 3.3 miles. Since my family had just moved and I hadn't seen the neighborhood, it was nice to go for an easy run. Today, at a nearby park, while my mom shopped for groceries, I also got in this week's interval run. Technically, I was supposed to go for a hill workout, but I couldn't find any suitable ones. So, I opted to repeat last week's speed intervals slightly faster. My interval splits were 1mile: 8:26/mile 0.75 mile: 8:13/mile  0.5 mile: 7:56/mile  0.25mile: 6:48/mile. The last 0.25 mile felt really fast. I don't understand how others can run mile repeats at that pace. I wonder if I'll ever be that fast. I hope so. People say that runners peak at around age 29. Here's to 8 more years of improvement. Hopefully.