February training and such

February training and such

Rationally, I know February is a short month and therefore, would understandably seem to pass by more quickly than any of the other months in the year, but wow. It really seemed to fly by. In a short month’s timeframe, my in-laws were here, my parents were here,  we took a quick trip to Disneyland over “president’s day week” (which apparently is a thing in California … in addition to spring break later [yeah, I know!]), and I ran just over 205 miles, a lot of them with one or both kids. It was a good month.

Shamelessly screenshot from Marc’s Strava. This was a fun morning that basically amounted to a LR a la Uber, as we collectively picked up and dropped off everyone as they completed their LR distances. (Hi to Levi’s Stadium in the background). L-R Marc, Aditya, Ajit, Chaitanya, and Saurabh

 

yay for longtime Fleet Feet Chicago Boston Bound friend John coming down to SJ during a weekend  visit in SF. Nothing like running 10+ miles in pouring rain, in arguably the worst weather we’ve seen all year in SJ so far. We haven’t run together since well before I moved.

I concentrated most of my February to more of the same “getting ready to get gritty” mileage that January shared. I didn’t have any races — that’ll all come beginning in March — and it’s too early to begin training for SF, so the miles continued to be pretty carefree and fun. I ran whatever long run distance everyone else was doing on Sunday mornings; I continued to bump my tempo runs up to about 12-13 miles with up to 6 at tempo pace (which remains something of a mystery still; I’m a fan of the “make this comfortably hard” formula); and more often than not, I ran 6-7 days a week and with my kids on every run except the tempo or LR stuff. I absolutely love the structure that you get from marathon training, but it is also really nice to just run without much of a plan. At any rate, it seems to be a good match for the stage that I’m in right now.

right before she decides to drop the hammer and dust us

Unfortunately, I got a nasty flu + sinus thing + stomach flu and/or colitis flare and/or food poisoning (yea, super fun) simultaneously during the first week of March, and it ultimately resulted in me having to miss the Redding 10 mile PA race and San Jose’s 408k (the latter being my favorite race in SJ … and the second time I’ve had to miss it in as many years thanks to random sickness. Last year, it was strep >:/ ) It sucks getting sick any time of the year, but falling ill during race week (and then the girls getting some semblance of the nastiness) is like an especially wicked blow. Fortunately — newsflash — there will be (there are!) other races. You heard it here first. There aren’t an abundance of 10 miler or 8k races in these parts that I’m aware of, so I guess I’ll just have to hold my horses for those distances until next year. 

I know it doesn’t make for interesting blog reading when all I’ve got to say is “I ran, I am running, it was and remains good,” but there you have it. Hopefully this nasty ish from two weeks ago is behind me, and before too long now, it’ll be go time (again … and again … and again) this month with a couple upcoming 10ks and 5ks and the officially-unofficial beginning to SF training. I’m pretty stoked.

I’ve so often run a spring marathon that I haven’t routinely raced 5ks and 10ks in a very long time, so all this stuff I’m doing now is a real kick in the pants. Suffice it to say that I’m so outside my comfort zone with these distances and these speeds that I’m basically waving to my comfort zone from the other side of town. It’s bizarre to think that I (like many other marathoners) find safety and comfort in 26.2 miles over 3.1 or 6.2, but I think there’s real value to shaking things up from time to time. It’s how we get better at what we do; it’s how we get mentally resilient; and realistically, it helps prevent things from getting stale. Being able to do any of this stuff is a privilege and gift that most definitely isn’t lost on me, and for as tough as this can be, god is it ever a rush to run hard and to run fast.

(…remind me I said that.)

 

Reading: I started Nick Kristoff and Cheryl WuDunn’s A Path Appears after loving Half the Sky (natch). I couldn’t get through that Carrie Fisher book, though I gave it a decent go. Daniel Lieberman’s book about the story of the human body was also not what I was expecting, interesting as it was, so I also cut that one off. Elon Musk’s bio is also waiting for me on my kitchen table these days.

Watching: When I was sick and couch-ridden, I watched more of Captive, a Netflix documentary series. It’s basically what the name implies: a series about people all over the world who have been kidnapped or taken hostage. It’s fascinating, horrible, and at times, hopeful. I haven’t finished the entire series yet (there’s only 1 season, I believe), but what I’ve seen is really good … again, in that “god, how are some humans so horrible?” type of way.

Listening to: More of the same as January.

Doing (that’s not running): Starting a troop of Daisy Girl Scouts 🙂 

Eating: so much carrot ginger soup. I’ve been making it for a while now, and nary a week goes by that there isn’t a huge pot of it on my stove.

Appreciating: my health. Feeling like ass with the aforementioned flu et al. will do that to you.

6 thoughts on “February training and such

  1. Hi there! Glad to hear that switching it up and focusing on the shorter distances has been fun for you so far! Not that you need more books to read (or maybe you’ve already read this one), but if you want a running-related book to read, “Shoedog” has been pretty good. (High-level synopsis: It’s Phil Knight’s memoir about creating Nike.)

    Looking forward to seeing you next month!

    1. hey buddy! I’m always looking for books. I’ll put it on my list; I appreciate the rec. And yes, totally stoked to see you in a month 🙂 Looks like your training is going well so far, too! Thanks (as usual) for your encouragement. This short stuff is like going to the Dark Side.

  2. Sorry to hear about the flu et al., and missing those races, but you are correct: There are other races out there! I think you will crush your 5k and 10ks. With all of the base mileage you’ve been doing, you will easily be able to hold pace. For your first “shorter race”, just zero in on the pace you think you’re capable of sustaining and go out say 10 seconds slower than that. Knowing that you’ll be (somewhat) comfortable for the first mile will help calm the nerves. Once you are past mile one and grooving, speed up to race pace and it will feel surprisingly comfortable. You shouldn’t feel like you’re dying in these short things (well maybe at the end just a little). Anyway, it IS a rush to run hard and fast and after you do, you’ll have those post-race endorphins to look forward to! 🙂

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