Saturday, September 17, 2011

Long Run: Wk9 {Fall Race Training}

We’ve added another race to our plans for the fall and today was suppose to be another 14 miler {we did a 14 miler three weeks ago}.  But since we added a race I needed to make some changes to my training plan and we changed today’s 14 miler to a 16 miler. 

We made plans to meet up with some running buddies on Folsom to run the super hilly course {we ran this course a few weeks ago when we did 12 miles}.  There ended up being 8 of us, including the SIL and a couple of the husband’s co-workers {most, if not all of us, planning to do the Urban Cow Half and some even planning CIM too} --- everyone doing different distances.  We got to Folsom at 5:30am and did a warm-up walk/jog, stretching, and plyos before the rest of the group got there. 

Warm-up:  1.0 / 13:44

We hit the trails at 6:05am and got to see the beautiful sunrise over Folsom Lake.  It was a gorgeous morning and perfect running weather --- cool but not brisk and not too hot when the sun came up.  It was dark for the first couple of miles so I wore my hat clip light but the sun rose quickly.


The first few miles of this run are mostly uphill.  At mile 3 we saw a baby coyote that scampered off {thank goodness the mama was not around} as we approached.  By the time we reached the lake around mile 4 the sun was just cresting over the mountains. 


Some of the runners ran the fire roads below the levee {for even more hills} but I stayed up on the levee to enjoy the flatness and the beautiful view as the sun continued to rise.

CIMG7154 Some of the runners, including the husband, on the fire roads

CIMG7153 The levee road above the fire roads and along the lake {with some blurry camera shake since I was running while I took it}

CIMG7163 CIMG7169 The husband and fellow running buddy {and co-worker} powering up a big hill from the second fire road

After three levee’s, around mile 5, we hit the dirt trails.  The hills on these trails are crazy.  Some at a 15% grade. 

At this point two runners had turned around already {less mileage then the rest of us crazies} and two runners went ahead while the rest of us waited while the husband backtracked to exchange phone numbers with one of the girls that had turned around --- just in case.  Then we started on the trails.  

CIMG7173 Running the trails


CIMG7174 Me powering my super short legs up the 15% grade dirt trail hill --- ugggghhhhhh!  I loathe this hill but didn’t have to walk it this time!

CIMG7181 The husband expressing his thoughts on the hills

At mile 7 we reached Granite Bay and stopped for a bathroom break before turning around.

CIMG7183 The view from the parking lot at Granite Bay

At this point the two runners we were with picked up their pace to finish the rest of their run a bit faster.  The husband and I continued to run an steady relaxed pace.  By mile 9 we were back at the levee’s.  At the 10 miles split I was only two minutes slower than my 10 mile race last weekend.  Mile 10 to 13ish were mostly downhill.  A few weeks ago when we ran 14 miles I made sure to slow my pace as I approached the half marathon split because I didn’t want to surpass my goal on a training run then not be able to do it on race day.  Today I didn’t really pay attention to my paces at all.  I just ran comfortably the whole time even though there were a few walk breaks, nothing very specific or timed.  {I’ve kind of  ditched my pace goals for my long runs.  My focus is to finish the upcoming half marathon in 2:30 or less so some of my long runs have been aimed at keeping an overall pace that will get me to my goal.  My “projected” HMP is slower than what I’ve been running and too slow to get me to that goal.  I’m feeling strong and the faster paces are getting easier for me.  Running a 10:30ish pace is becoming my norm and I’m enjoying it.  This is super speedy for me.}  So as we got close to the half marathon split today I realized I was going to surpass it and actually got excited --- I was also cruising down a long hill and there was no way I was stopping to “slow down my pace”.  With two weeks to race day its nice to know that I can beat my goal time on such a hard and hilly course since the half marathon course will be flat and fast. 


CIMG7187 Happy?!?  Sure :)  We were just past being 1/2 way done!

CIMG7193 The husbands excellent photography skills

At mile 13.5ish we crossed over the river and ran our last two miles on the other side of the bike trail.  We picked up the pace for the last mile and finished it as our fastest mile split. 

  • Mile 1 - 11:33
  • Mile 2 - 11:48
  • Mile 3 - 10:53
  • Mile 4 - 11:06
  • Mile 5 - 11:04
  • Mile 6 - 10:43
  • Mile 7 - 11:30
  • Mile 8 - 11:27
  • Mile 9 - 11:34
  • Mile 10 - 11:44
  • Mile 11 - 10:56
  • Mile 12 - 11:10
  • Mile 13 - 11:09
  • Mile 14 - 11:03
  • Mile 15 - 11:29
  • Mile 16 - 10:23

Overall:  16.0 / 2:59:42 / 11:13 avg

First 8 miles = 1:30:04
Last 8 miles = 1:29:28
Half marathon split = 2:27:46
{goal for Urban Cow Half = 2:30}


We walked a cool down back to our car then dropped off our gear and headed into the bakery across the street to meet up with a few of our running buddies who hung around to wait for us.  We did the highest mileage today so we were the last ones to finish.  All in all it was a great run!  And another great confidence boost for the upcoming half marathon.  Next week we’ve got a step back week and two weeks till race day :)

Cool down = 0.84 / 15:46

CIMG7205Done and really happy this time :)


Pre-run breakfast – 1/2 bagel thin with butter
Powerbar Gel {tangerine} at start of run
Powerbar Gel {raspberry cream} at mile 8
Clif Shot Bloks {tropical punch} as needed every 20-30 mins between gels
1 Gu Chomp {blueberry pomegranate} that the husband wanted me to try
Water + Nuun in Camelbak
Half a Chocolate Chip Clif Bar split with the husband and 1 pkg of Welch’s Fruit Snacks after cool down

Calories burned = WU 92, RUN 1712, CD 65 = 1869 / WW activity points earned = WU 1, RUN 29, CD, 1 = 31

My right quad/groin/piriformis are driving me crazy right now.  I took an espom salt bath on Friday night right before bed and my muscles felt nice and relaxed.  Today my right hip felt tight as well as my groin muscle but never too bad to slow me down or cause any real “pain”.  However, my left shin felt great.  No pain, no tenderness, no tightness, no twinges, no nothing.  I took a full ice bath when we got home and I’m wearing my Zensah compression sleeves.  I plan to take the dog for a walk later this afternoon, to loosen up the legs, and also plan another epsom salt bath for tonight.  I’m 90% convinced that my quad/groin muscle issue is sciatica/piriformis related again.  I’ve been foam rolling every day, as well as stretching, and using my tennis ball on my piriformis.  Its definitely improved over the last week and I hope it continues to do so.


P said...

You are going to CRUSH the Urban Cow!! I can't wait!! And I'm excited that you've added the Four Bridges, I've been wanting to do that one for the last few years and still haven't. Boo. I'm doing the Rock'n River Half on the 15th as my CIM tune-up.

Maureen said...

Looks like a beautiful area to run in!