Saturday, October 9, 2010

Not Running and Running

I realize now that another fun part of living in a destination city is that people actually want to come visit you there. I'm coming off of two straight weeks of visitors, and not only has my blogging taken a hit, so has my running.

My second visitor left earlier this week, and while she and I were able to fit in a few hikes and I did get in some short runs while she was asleep, I was no where near running all my training miles. Last weekend called for a long run of 1:45 hours at 3/1 difficulty, and I managed to squeak out a 7-mile tempo run in 58 minutes before feeling bad for keeping her waiting.

Aside from not doing enough running, I also ate way too much junk. Normally I'm not too picky about what I eat as long as it's vegan and I'm getting all my food group servings, but when this girlfriend and I are together, we become an unstoppable team of gluttonous vegan cupcakes, doughnuts, cookies, and candy eaters. It was amazing.

Right after my friend left, Fleet Week popped into town. Downtown has been packed with Giants hooligans and tons of adorable Navy hotties. Everyone who knows me even the slightest knows that I hate flying, yet I love airplanes and the idea of flight -- so the past few days have been awesome. However, again, I spent less time running, and more time watching the Blue Angels.

The view from the office.
The view from Pier 39.
I'm still learning my new phone's video recorder, so apologies for not holding this the right way.

This morning I headed out for the second 1:45-hour long run my training program requires of me, and as I started, I felt insanely guilty that the whole time I've been in the city, I haven't actually finished many long runs successfully. The hills have killed my endurance and I have barely fit in a handful of 10-milers. Since moving here, I find myself needing to stop and walk much more than I'm used to. I knew I'd probably cover 11 miles on my route today if I stuck to a flat course, and I told myself if I were dying at the end of it, I would stop ... but I had to get to 1:45 first. If I still felt good at that time marker, I was going to make myself do the full 13.1 to prove I can still cover the half-marathon distance. To make this more clear: I have been doubting my ability to run the U.S. Half Marathon well, simply because of the hills.

I planned out a tentative route that had plenty of water stops, and I also made my route include a couple long, gradual uphills, but nothing too steep. Of course, in this city, steep hills are still inevitable, and I had planned most of them to be in the first half of my run. Once I hit the slow and sluggish 1-hour mark (just a hair over 6 miles), I felt much stronger than when I started.

I finished a full 13.1 today -- the first time since the July 4th Red, White & Boom half marathon I did with my friends Julie and Pablo, and after some semi-serious health issues I had earlier this summer -- and I did so just 6 minutes shy of my personal best. I did this while taking two walk breaks, two picture breaks, and a number of stops at water fountains. I finally feel like if I get in some more solid steep hill practice before next month's race, I might be able to match, if not beat, my PR in the distance. Maybe I need to have more visitors, cupcakes, and Blue Angels to distract me...

Tai Chi-ers in Golden Gate Park.
Hello gorgeous. Nope, still not tired of you.

13.1-mile splits (2:01:37)
1: 9:32
2: 8:48
3: 9:05
4: 9:21
5: 9:52
6: 9:30
7: 9:19
8: 9:16
9: 8:51
10: 9:52
11: 9:21
12: 9:02
13: 8:51
.1: :52
Air Temp: 75F


  1. You have some beautiful shots! Nice job on the recent run. Cupcakes always help anything!

  2. You have to savor cupcakes and friends while they are at hand - the runs can always come later!! And you could never tire of the views in SF!

  3. Thanks for all the pics, I haven't been to the city in a while. I agree with ajh and HappyTrails - enjoy your cupcakes while you can!!

  4. Wow, that is an amazing view from your office A! Running in SF has got to be more challenging because of the don't be so hard on yourself! You just wait and see, you will come back to Minnesota and kick all of our butts because you are such a super stud:) Keep running, take care and enjoy the week!

  5. Wow, great job with the 13.1! I am also jealous of your office view :o) It's interesting to read about you transitioning your runs to a new environment, since I'll be going through that myself probably at some point in the next year. So many things to think about... hills, altitude differences, etc. In some ways the flat midwest has spoiled me :)

  6. So if I’m reading this correctly, you have not been training and/or eating properly and still managed to run 7-miles in 58-minutes and knocked out 13.1 in just over 2-hours? This means that running that 5K with me must have seemed like walking and my life long dream of running the entire US Half with you might have to be revised to trying to keep up with you through 6-miles (at which time I will pretend to be hurt and tell you to go on without me). Even with the hills, I would not be surprised if you run a PR in November.

    Great post!


  7. Thanks for the link/comment :o) Yeah I'll be moving probably by August of next year...while that sounds really far away, in my field the job searching starts NOW. So I'm doing a national search and will see what offers turn up, if any. If I have any say in it, I want to move to: anywhere in California, anywhere near portland or seattle, or somewhere in Arizona/the southwest. So I might focus a little extra energy on looking for jobs in those areas :) I could have interviews as soon as January, but I also might not hear anything until like May/June. A lot is up in the air!

  8. Great run! I'm also a big fan of the Blue Angels! I love watching them when they come over to DMAFB in Tucson.

  9. You're going to do great at the US half. It's not really that bad of a course in terms of hills. Keep on doing what you're doing because it's working!

  10. Running in SF is on my bucket list. Want to visit Zombie Runner store there as well. So when I get there one day it will be to run. Friends, cupcakes...the best!

  11. did someone say cupcakes? mmmmmmmm