Monday, April 30, 2012

Countdown to Ogden: Week 9

Thanks to a multi-day trip back to the Midwest for my brother's wedding + nonstop family time for both me & my handsome gentleman, week 9 was the peak week that wasn't.

Ogden Marathon training, week 9


11 mi. @ 8:30-9:00
Actual: 11.13 mi. @ 8:27

I am a lazy asshole. All of the crap I needed to get done in preparation for my brother's wedding didn't happen until the week of. Thanks to a late-night text message from Courtney asking if I wanted to meet her for an early-morning run, I knew if I met up with her I'd have an evening free to get some errands done. We convened in Golden Gate Park for a few miles together, and were cheered on by these sweet little babes. Running with Courtney is always a treat, and seeing her so early was a great way to start the week. 

Goal: 7 mi. w/ 4 x 1200m @ 7:25-7:35 pace
Actual: 7.5 mi. @ 8:23

Totally missing the part of my training plan that asked me to do speedwork during Monday's 11-miler, I decided to work it into Tuesday's run. I fudged up my Garmin screens so I couldn't tell what pace I was hitting during my 1200m sprints, so I did it purely on feel. While the last one was slightly fast, the others were right on. What a great feeling!

1-mile warm-up (8:45), 4 x 1200m w/ 4 min. rec. (7:35, 7:30, 7:25, 7:10), 2 mile cool-down (8:31, 8:29)
The best part of this workout was that I got it done before work, leaving me with another evening to get stupid crap done!

Goal: 11 mi. @ 8:30-9:00
Actual: 11.25 mi. @ 8:37

Courtney was kind enough to meet me for another run before work which leaves me at a new morning run streak: 3 days! It'll never happen again -- I was wayyyy too tired and my legs were so dead by the third day to have any drive to keep this habit up. Thanks, Courtney, for keeping me company for so many miles this week! We definitely need to make a habit of it.

Goal: Rest
Actual: Rest
Goal: 5-10 miles, if I had time
Actual: 3 mi. @ 8:26

The view of my hotel's treadmill overlooked the pool, and while I was in there early enough to not have anyone stare at me, not looking at anything wasn't very exciting either. The room was muggy, there was no cooling or ventilation, and I called it quits at 3 miles. Ah well.

Goal: 20 mi. @ 8:30-9:00
Actual: Rest

Goal: 10 mi. @ 9:00+
Actual: Rest

That's right, folks! Overall, I finished week 9 with 32.88 miles of running. An impressive peak week, huh?! ;) Instead, I've decided to make this week my second official peak week, leaving myself with 2 weeks to taper for Ogden instead of 3. I'm totally okay with this, and all the time I got to spend with friends, family, new in-laws, and the handsome man's family made the time off running so well worth it. 

3 more weeks -- eeeek!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Countdown to Ogden: Week 8

And now comes the time in my training cycle where motivation wanes and even short, easy runs seem too long and much too hard. Add in an unusual springtime San Francisco heat wave to run through, and I'm glad all these conditions fell during a step-back week.

Ogden Marathon training, week 8


11 mi. @ 8:30-9:00
Actual: 7.6 mi @ 8:41

Met up with the beautiful Kristin for a few miles after work. This was supposed to be my rest day, but knowing I was going to be doing a lot of alterations to my workouts this week, I wanted to squeeze in a run with Kristin as she tapered for the inaugural San Luis Obispo marathon. I just love Kristin's company and we chatted nonstop the entire time.

Goal: Rest
Actual: Rest

I took this day off in favor of hitting up the Giants game with Layla, Jana, and Kristin. :)

Go Giants!

Goal: 8 mi. w/ 5 x 600m sprints @ 7:25-7:35
Actual: 4.14 mi. @ 8:00

Time was of the essence this day, and I simply couldn't get the miles in. All I had time for was a loop around the neighborhood (which I successfully did at MGP, at least) & called it a day.

Goal: 11 mi. @ 8:30-9:00
Actual: 4.5 mi. @ 8:28

The Great San Francisco Heat Wave started this day, and knowing I had time to kill between work and an evening concert, I wanted to fit in my miles down by the water. Once it came time to run, though, my motivation was seriously lacking. I came up with a hundred billion excuses as to why I should take a rest day, and ended up deciding to go for a short jaunt out & back and pick up some dinner along the way. Not exactly the mileage I needed, but something is better than nothing, right?

Bay Bridge sweltering in the heat

Goal: 10 mi. @ 8:30-9:00
Actual: 17 mi. @ 8:19

Day 2 of The Great Heat Wave. I set out in the high afternoon to get some heat training in (who knows what Ogden could be like in the middle of May, anyway?!) and surprisingly felt really good! I set out for 10 but found the slight breeze and bits of shade to be nice, and ended up finishing my long run before the weekend even started. Perfection.

Splits: 8:24, 8:38, 8:17, 8:21, 8:22, 8:25, 8:14, 8:07, 8:07, 8:03, 8:39, 8:23, 8:14, 8:20, 8:20, 8:20, 8:19


Goal: 8.5 mi. @ 9:00+
Actual: 8.5 mi. @ 8:41

Headed out for a recovery run in Day 3 of The Great Heat Wave. This time, I could actually feel the heat taking its toll on me. I was drinking an unusual amount of water and I could feel my legs getting very sluggish. Somewhere in the back of my head I convinced myself to try for 10 miles, but the mirage of a Frappuccino called my name at mile 8.5 instead. I never started running again after my Starbucks stop, but I did get in my minimum mileage. Good enough.

Goal: 8.2 mi. @ 8:30-9:00
Actual: 4.2 mi. @

I wanted to make up my lost weekday miles by heading back out on what should have been a rest day. The fog is back, the heat is gone, and I had no excuse to not log 8 miles -- except the fact that once I hit the road, I didn't want to be running. Some miles are better than no miles, especially when I was hitting my MGP, but I just wasn't feeling it again today.

Overall, I finished week 8 with 45.94 miles of running. I really wanted 50 miles, but this is fine and I know 4 miles won't make a difference at this point. Regardless, I'm disappointed in my motivation this week, but my paces were fine and that has to count for something.

Next week is my final peak week for Ogden, but it's going to be a little crazy. I'm traveling & will be out of town for 4 days, and I have even more shifting around of my workouts to do. Knowing I won't get in a 20-miler while I'm away, I've decided to move my final long run to when I get back to San Francisco the following week ... I am actually looking forward to starting my taper later rather than sooner. It's going to make for an interesting "peak" week knowing my mileage will be even less than this step-back week, but I'm thinking ahead to my upcoming taper instead. After how unmotivated I've felt lately, the thought of toning things down soon is very appealing. :)

Happy Earth Day!

Friday, April 20, 2012

ProFoot Shoe Insert Giveaway WINNERS!

Oh goodness... so many entries for these sweet little inserts. Through their Facebook page, retweeting my giveaway on Twitter, and a bunch of comments on why you should try these gems, there are so many people I wish I could just give these to!

But, I must uphold my end of the deal and pick 4 lucky people to get a pair of inserts & moleskin pads courtesy of ProFoot.

Step 1.) All your efforts get a number.

Step 2.) I pick 4 numbers.

Step 3.) You see if you're a lucky winner!

Yo Momma Runs, Pavement Runner, Alisen A., and Nancy E. P-C!! Please shoot me an email at diaryofanaveragerunner [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll get the information I need to be able to pass along your sweet prize.

Thanks for playing!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Countdown to Ogden: Week 7

First things first! Don't forget to enter the ProFoot Miracle shoe insert & moleskin giveaway! I will contact/announce the four winners on Friday.

And now... recapping my first peak week for Ogden.

Ogden Marathon training, week 7


Goal: Rest
Actual: Rest

Leave me alone, I ran 17 miles the day before. I also really needed to spend the evening with my former Nuun Hood to Coast teammate, XLMIC. We had some last-minute business to take care of. ;)

XL, me & late-night shenanigans


Goal: 12 mi. w/ 7 mi. @ 7:25-7:35
Actual: 12 mi. @ 8:15

I couldn't do this workout. I don't know if it was too close to running hard on Sunday, but my legs wouldn't turn over. Instead I ended cruising at a casual speed and picked it up at the end, finishing my last few miles a hair under my MGP of 8:00.


Goal: 12 mi. @ 8:30-9:00
Actual: 12 mi. @ 7:46

I did it! I switched a bunch of workouts around this week to accommodate social activities, and I knew that attempting back-to-back 12 milers would take a toll on me, if not just mentally. In the back of my head I wanted to re-try Tuesday's speed workout, but I also would be satisfied if I did the back-to-back double-digit days. Instead of starting with a couple warm-up miles, I tried starting fast to get the 7 miles @ 7:25-7:35 out of the way, and then end with a 5-mile cool down, so to speak. This ended up working out for me, and I cannot believe this workout happened.

7:29, 7:21, 7:25, 7:23, 7:27, 7:06, 7:26, 8:19, 8:31, 8:26, 8:13, 8:00

Goal: 5 mi. @ 9:00+
Actual: 5 mi. @ 8:56

I met up for a casual lunchtime run along the Embarcadero with PavementRunner, who just happened to set a MASSIVE PR at the U.S. Half Marathon last Sunday! He kept pushing the pace at lunch (okay, so it might have been me talking too much & not keeping an eye on my watch), despite me telling him I needed a recovery run... Thanks a lot, Pavey.

Goal: 6 mi. @ 9:00+ pace w/ 6 x 100m sprints
Actual: 4.17 @ 8:37

I moved Monday's workout to Friday... and holy angry lead legs. Thursday's recovery run didn't seem to do much for me, as I could barely move my legs or motivate myself to run this. I ended cutting my run short to foam roll & chug a bunch of water instead. I had a long run with high hopes in store for the next morning, and that was more important to me. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.


Goal: 20 mi. @ 8:30-9:00
Actual: 20 mi. @ 8:06


A 20-mile PR!!!

I started off somewhat casually, but knew in the back of my head I wanted to hit some pace miles during this run. After two "off days" this week, I knew for my own sanity I had to push this run a little bit. I stuck to mostly flat terrain and tried to keep my pace hovering between 8:15-8:30 for the first half of my run. Once I hit the halfway mark, I tried picking it up a little more and move into the 8:10-8:20 range. With 5 miles left, I attempted to hit pace miles. I am not quite sure what Coach Z-Bar is going to say about incorporating some speed in this run, but it felt AWESOME. My legs felt a little tired but not defeated!

This was a very confidence-boosting run for me -- it makes me think that holding an 8:00 pace at Ogden will be a huge challenge, but perhaps not entirely impossible.

8:16, 8:14, 8:10, 8:22, 8:19, 8:14, 8:06, 8:01, 8:12, 8:13, 8:07, 8:20, 8:16, 8:11, 8:07, 7:54, 7:56, 7:59, 7:37, 7:40

Goal: 10 mi. @ 9:00+
Actual: 10.03 mi. @ 9:16

Nothing to this -- just a nice recovery run on a beautifully cloudy San Francisco day.

Overall, I finished week 7 with 63.20 miles of running. This week definitely had some low & high points, but overall I'm feeling good about it. I wanted 65 miles but I'll absolutely take this -- I do believe this is a new record-high mileage week for me, too. :) I'm going to be cutting the miles down next week to ramp up for peak week #2 right after that.

Just 5 more weeks until Ogden... and one more day until Boston! Good luck to everyone running! :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Product Review & GIVEAWAY!! ProFoot Shoe Inserts

If I can take a timeout from writing a really boring post about my Ogden marathon training, I'd like to do that now.

Let's take a look under my desk at work.

And now let's take a look under my desk at home.

Right next to my bed?

Ahhh, the night boot of shame.
Inside my shoes?

Inserts galore!

Foot Pains

Some of you are probably thinking I keep random crap in all the hidden corners of my life, but I am sure some of you see what's going on here.

For basically as long as I've been running seriously, I've developed some form of plantar fasciitis. I'm not here to get sympathy or offer any advice on how to get rid of it, because I'm lucky in that by keeping these things near all of my smelly kicks, I'm able to keep most of my pain at bay. I've known people who've needed cortisone shots, of people who've had surgery, of people who've gone through therapies just to treat PF, and I'm pretty happy mine's never advanced to that point.

But, I also do a lot of work to keep it manageable. My plantar fasciitis is decidedly more pronounced in my right heel. My left heel feels similar on occasion, but really only after long runs. And I (obviously) do whatever I can to keep it from getting any worse, including rolling my feet on almost any round, hard surface I can find.

For the past year, the moment I stopped rolling my feet out, the day I took out my shoe inserts, the night I stopped wearing that silly boot, I felt it creeping back. The first step I took every morning was the worst, and I spent a good portion of the morning hobbling around.

Not fun a fun way to live.

So when a kind and generous contact from ProFoot contacted me about trying their 2 oz. Miracle Custom Molding Insoles, I seriously jumped alllllll over that email. I am all for trying easy, everyday things to keep heel pain away.

The review:
  • These nifty ProFoot Miracle inserts don't smell. (Not any worse than a shoe, anyway.) I have had my share of pretty gross inserts, and these do way better. Awesome. 
  • They don't fall apart, rub away, peel off, and they are so easy to switch from one pair of shoes to the next. They have an adhesive option to keep them in a single pair, but I find they stay put in whichever shoe I place them in. I also wear a lot of different shoes and like to keep my insert options open. Score.
  • And here is where you aren't going to believe me -- but I started using a very specific ProFoot Plantar Fasciitis insert this Ogden marathon training cycle, and I have had NO HEEL PAIN. (Wait, did I mention Ogden -- oops?) I'm not even kidding and no one is paying me to say that. In my eyes, this product has worked wonders. 

My contact at ProFoot is letting me giveaway 4 -- COUNT THEM, 4! -- goodie bags to four lucky readers. FOUR!!! Each winner will receive two (2) pairs of Miracle Insole inserts as well as a package of Moleskin second skins.


Ok, so there's no catch! To enter this giveaway, just one thing is asked:

1. Please go "like" their Facebook page, and let them know Diary of an Average Runner sent you! Then, leave me a comment here telling me you did that.

Want some additional easy entries?

2. Tweet about my giveaway -- feel free to wax some creativity; just be sure to tag me (@DiaryAvgRunner) so I can count your entry.

3. Leave me a comment here telling me WHY you want to try ProFoot shoe inserts. Do you suffer from plantar fasciitis or other foot/heel ailments? How do you treat your injuries or keep them away?

I will randomly pick FOUR winners next Friday, April 20th.

Good luck!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Countdown to Ogden: Week 6 & Yet Another Race Recap

Before I bore you all with my week of training, allow me to point out that Monday, April 9th is the LAST DAY you can submit your application for Nuun's Hood to Coast relay team. They are sponsoring three female blogger teams this year instead of two, so get on it!

Behold! The beauties of 2011.

With a few lingering flu-like symptoms from last week, I mostly felt recovered this week. I got back into my more serious training for Ogden, and for not feeling *completely* back on my game the entire time, I'd say it went well.

Ogden Marathon training, week 6


Goal: 10 mi. with 5 x 1000m sprints @ super scary 6:55-7:10 (!!) pace
Actual: 10.1 mi @ 8:27

I don't really know how to write these interval paces out, but they were right on and much less scary as they were happening. Granted I picked a route that was conducive to letting me run flat & fast without a lot of breaks for traffic and maybe even a bit of downhill incline, but who's even reading this silly blog and my run-on sentences anyway? Yeah, that's right.
  • 2-mile warm up (16:53, 8:27 pace)
  • First set: 1000m @ 7:02 pace/600m rec (9:40 pace)
  • Second set: 1000m @ 7:04 pace/600m rec (9:49 pace)
  • Third set: 1000m @ 6:54 pace/600m rec (10:18 pace)
  • Fourth set: 1000m @ 6:48 pace/600m rec (10:18 pace)
  • Fifth set: 1000m @ 7:00 pace/600m rec (10:21 pace)
  • 3-mile cool down (27:46, 8:58 pace)
Goal: 5 mi. recovery

Actual: 5 mi. @ 8:32

Nothing to this -- just went out for a little cruise to shake out the legs.


Goal: Rest
Actual: Rest

Goal: 12 mi. @ 8:30-9:00 pace
Actual: Double day: 5.2 mi. @ 9:03 & 7 mi. @ 9:21

I met up for a casual lunchtime run along the Embarcadero with PavementRunner and Renee. We chatted about crunchy salads and other miscellaneous & very important items, and I have to say that -- despite not eating -- this was a very enjoyable lunch.

Photo courtesy of Pavey
After work, Jana, Sesa, Jojo & I met up with the fine folks at Strava to accompany them on some hilly trails in the Presidio. This double day was a nice way to break up an otherwise intimidating weekday run and seriously work my tush off on some hills. And in some major wind.

Photo courtesy of Jana

Goal: 6 mi. @ 9:00+ pace w/ 6 x 100m sprints
Actual: 6 mi. @ 7:53 pace

Perhaps a bit fast, but I was feeling good and went with it.


Goal: Rest
Actual: Rest

Goal: 17 mi. @ 8:30-9:00
Actual: 17.24 mi. @ 8:30, including the U.S. "Other" Half Marathon, my 13th half marathon?!

Back in 2010, I ran the U.S. Half Marathon as my first half as an official San Franciscan. To say it downpoured would be an understatement -- I am pretty sure I saw Noah leaving as I was crossing the finish line. The race was less than well-organized, the bag check was a total cluster, and I vowed that I wouldn't run it again.

And so far I haven't. But I ran the identical U.S. "Other" Half Marathon Sunday morning as part of my long run. While I learned my lesson and didn't check a bag or leave anything behind, I forgot how miserable the race was. The course really couldn't be hillier, the pedestrian sidewalk on the bridge gets overcrowded, and while there was no rain this time, the parts of the race that were muddy back in 2010 were loosely packed dirt, which I suck at running.

I tried to keep my pace steady and controlled on the uphills, did my best to cruise the downhills, and mostly just tried not to hate the way I chose to spend my Sunday morning.

2.5-mile warm-up (8:38 pace)
Race (8:19 pace): 8:49, 8:20, 8:20, 8:40, 8:58, 8:39, 8:27, 8:35, 8:02, 8:01, 8:08, 8:23, 8:02
1.64-mile cool down (9:11 pace)

I had some Garmin error in the tunnel under the bridge, but I've been assured the race was indeed 13.1 miles.

Official time: 13.1 miles, 1:49:08 (8:19 pace)
Overall place: 522 out of 2,866 (Heyyyy, I was the 522nd finisher back in 2010, too! Creepy.)
Gender place: 120 out of 1,512
A/G place: 69 out of 744

Overall, I finished week 6 with 50.54 miles of running. I feel like it was a good week & this coming week will be the "peakest" of my peak weeks -- I'm excited to trash my legs!

Just 6 more short weeks until race day!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Countdown to Ogden: Week 5

Week 5 of Ogden training, which I am counting as starting a day after my PR at the Oakland Half Marathon, ended up being a total flop. Just hours after the race, my body completely revolted and I ended up coming down with a pretty gory illness. At first I thought maybe I was having a reaction of sorts to GU Roctane, or maybe I was dehydrated, or maybe I even had food poisoning from lunch after the race. But once the chills and the aches settled into my back & shoulders -- and I took my first official sicks days at work since I started at my company -- I knew I caught the spring flu that's been going around. This week was spent resting, recovering, and fitting in what I could when I was feeling up to it. Wah wah.

Ogden Marathon training, week 5


Goal: Rest
Actual: Rest

ALRIGHT! I actually followed one of my scheduled days this week.

Goal: 12 mi. @
MGP + 30 sec.-1 min. (8:30-9:00)
Actual: Rest

I technically was feeling a bit better this day, but decided to stay home & stay in. I knew an extra day of rest was more beneficial than anything.


Goal: Rest
Actual: 9 mi. @ 8:21

This was perhaps a bit much for a post-flu test run, because once I was home, I was not feeling so well again.

Goal: 9 mi. w/
4 mi. @ LT (7:23-7:35)
Actual: 4.15 mi. @ 8:00

My stomach was still settling on Thursday, and I ended up setting out for some downhill miles where I worked on my form. The pace looks a bit fast here, but there was very little effort to this run since it was downhill.

Goal: 5 mi. @ rec. pace (9:00+)
Actual: 16 mi. @ 8:29

Wanting to get my long run out of the way so I could have the weekend to concentrate on other things, I set out Friday afternoon for my 16-miler. Holllly cow, worst 16-miler ever. It was unusually muggy in SF on Friday, and after the first 4 miles, I realized I was overdressed. I headed home to change, and then set back out. Once I got back out on the roads, I developed a nasty side stitch that never went away, the wind was so strong I was hunching over to fight it, my knee started hurting, and to top it all off, my blood sugar plummeted at mile 11. (I guess that's what a week of eating only soup & crackers when you can will do to you.) This run was so miserable, but I got it done and out of the way.

Once I got home, I realized that run put me over my first official 200-mile month of running! So at least there was that.


Goal: 16 mi. @
MGP + 30 sec. to 1 min. (8:30-9:00)
Actual: 6 mi. @ 8:44

It was raining pretty hard on Saturday morning, and I set out for a shorter recovery run, rather than spending any large amounts of time in the cold.

Goal: 8 mi. @ rec. (9:00+)
Actual: Rest

Yup. Pretty slack-ass.

Overall, I finished week 5 with 35.15 miles of running (and concluded March with 209.41!!). I'm happy to have done what I could when I could, and since the race is still a good deal away, I'm not panicking about losing any sort of fitness or anything. :) I'm looking forward to being done with this crazy illness & getting into the thick of my more serious training.

7 more weeks until marathon #7!