Sunday, January 24, 2016

January Review

The first weeks of January have gone well.  This runner-blogger ran in three races, all of them 5Ks.  However, it was a fartlek workout this past Sunday that really got me back into gear.

Speaking of gear,  I don't know what it is about having a Garmin watch on but it seems to be a good feeling.  During the three races in January, I wore the regular Timex watch during the races.  Though they were okay, it wasn't a great jump in time from the first 5K to the last one.

On Sunday, I decided to forego the Rainbow Falls 5K, one of my favorite 5Ks in Golden Gate Park.  Instead, I did a 5K as part of a nine to ten mile run.  The 5K is a measured course along the Embarcadero right along San Francisco Bay and it is mostly flat.

The weather was ideal, partly cloudy with no wind.  There's a little excitement going on in San Francisco right now with Super Bowl City, an area near the Ferry Building being constructed with the Super Bowl coming up in a couple of weeks.  

That meant possibly a little less traffic on Sunday morning than normal.  Other than a little detour near the Ferry Building, the 5K went really well.  Unlike what's been happening in the last year, the leg turnover was as good as I've seen in a long, long time.

The 5K mark was right near the Orlando Cepeda statue at AT&T Park and the Garmin watch read 27:26!  It hurt a little bit but an unbelievable feeling, it was.  It was a struggle two weeks ago to break 31 minutes in a 5K at the Dolphin Club.

Three weeks away is the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon.  The base mileage is there and now some speed training.  Obviously, I cannot wait for the day!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The First Ten Days

It's been awhile since there's been a year that I've raced twice in the first 10 days.  It's actually been good because this runner-blogger realizes that he has a long ways to go.

The first Sunday of the month was the Marina Green 5K, an out-and-back twice but flat course.  I wasn't sure of my race conditioning, so I ran towards the back of the back for the first two miles.  After running the first two miles in 24 miles, it was decided to run hard for the last portion.  Finishing in 33:45, it was the second slowest 5K ever.  It was 1972 when I ran a slower 5K.

This past Sunday was the Fort Mason 5K.  The course is an out-and-back with a climb up on Fort Mason twice.

The first half mile was fine but going up the Fort Mason hill the first time was a struggle.  I was having a tough time breathing with a slight chest cold picked up a couple of days ago.  However, that wasn't an excuse as II continued on the back side and out to the Marina area.

The first half (1.55 miles) was a slow 15:59.  After the turnaround, it continued to be a struggle as it was mostly running but a little walking, especially when hitting the Fort Mason hill the second and final time.

The final half mile along Aquatic Park seemed like an eternity.  However, I did finish in 30:58.  Yes, it was an improvement on the week before (2:47 faster on a tougher course).  Ironically, it was only 20 seconds slower than the same race last year.  The good news was the final split (negative splits) took 14:59, a full minute faster.

With the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon five weeks from now, I have a long ways to go.  Yes, the base training is good right now, but I'm wondering about the leg turnover. Six days a week, I'm training alone.  Maybe, I need to do one group training run during the week.  There are plenty of opportunities here in the San Francisco area.

Well, next week, there's the Waterfront Five and 10 miler outside San Francisco.  I've done well in both of the events over the years.  We'll see what happens this week! 


Sunday, January 3, 2016

First Weekend Of 2016

The first weekend of 2016 is just about history.  It all started on Thursday (New Year's Eve).  After getting in a workout, I headed over to Crissy Field to watch the Coastal Trail Runs six, 12 and 24 hour runs.  I've done the event once, in 2010, and was there to root on a few local runners that I knew and to take some photos.  It was a beautiful, but chilly day in the San Francisco Bay Area.  From talking with several runners afterwards, the daylight was great but it got very cold for them that night.  Now that the organizers allow runners to start the six hour run at 9:00 a.m., I may run it this coming New Year's Eve.  When doing it in 2010, we were to run it beginning at 6:00 p.m.  That year, it was cold and it rained on top of it.

After a nice New Year's Eve dinner with some friends, it was off to bed early and to get up early for the Hangover New Year's Day run with the Dolphin South End Runners. Roughly 40 runners met at the south parking lot near the bridge.  It was great to see the group again.  I hadn't seen them in quite awhile but that will change in 2016!  Around 9:00 a.m., we walked, ran or both across the bridge to Vista Point on the north side and back.

Awaiting afterwards was a group photo, a lot of storytelling of years past.  Also, Bill made certain that I got a glass of champagne before the nearly five mile run back to my apartment.  It was definitely a fun day with the group.

Sunday morning, the Dolphin South End Runners had their first of roughly 40 races in 2016.  The Marina Green 5K run was the first time I had actually run this race.  Though my training has gone well, I didn't feel ready to race the complete 5K distance.  What I ended up doing was to warmup three miles from my apartment to the start.  Then, I met up with several veteran (70 years old and up) runners and ran the first two miles of the course with them.  The final 1.1 miles would be a pickup just to see where the conditioning was this year.

After running two back-to-back 12 minute miles, I did pick up the pace.  Definitely, the legs felt a lot better than expected.   The mile three split was roughly 8:48 and I eventually finished in 33:46.  Checking back at all my races, it was the second slowest all time.  Yet, since I hadn't done this course before, I guess I have a personal course best!

After getting some bananas and water, it was three miles easy home.  Career race number 1117 is in the books.  The week ahead will be a little more intense, believe me!