Saturday, September 22, 2012

The End of CIM Training

When you're unemployed, what else is there to do but run? Surprisingly, a lot. 

CIM Training: Week 6 (week of Sept. 17)

Goal: 11 mi. easy
Actual: 8.25 mi. trail

The first thing I joked about when my job ended is that I no longer needed to get up before sunrise to run before work. And what did I do on my first day of run-employment? 

I got up at 5:30a.m. to run trails with Aron.

I spent a few days in the East Bay dogsitting on my break from working, and sure enough, Aron was up for some trail miles before her workday. Luckily, I got to go right back to sleep once we were done.

The trails were a little dark when we first started,
but the park brightened up in no time.

Goal: Rest
Actual: Rest

I may not have worked on this day & I may not have run on this day, but I spent the entire day emailing people, calling contacts, filling out agency forms, wearing out a dog, and it ended up being a very busy day.

Jana's fun-loving pup, Leonard.

Leonard & my cat, Chachi, are good buddies.

Goal: 8 mi. w/ 4 @ LT
Actual: Rest

I had another insanely busy day -- one that ended with a trip to the emergency vet because Chachi's face swelled up. Another rest day when I fantasized I'd be doing more running.

Goal: Rest
Actual: 10 mi. easy

Nothing to this run. After some meetings with a new agency in the morning, I headed out in the afternoon sun for some easy miles to think and reflect. I'm really worried about my cat.

Goal: 5 mi. easy
Actual: Rest

I brought my cat into a specialty vet on Friday morning, and I got the most heartbreaking news I could have heard. Chachi has aggressive cancer in his mouth, it's spread to his naval cavity, and is on the way to his brain. There's nothing that can be done. The vet estimates he has 4 to 6 more weeks to live.

I broke down. And sobbed. And sobbed some more.

When I moved to California 2 years ago, my mom asked me if I wanted to leave my 12-year-old cat behind until I settled in. No way, I said. He is the only thing I want to bring with me. So that's what we did. I packed everything I could fit into my car, but not until I made sure there was space for Chachi.

Now, at a spry 14 years and change, he's going to be leaving. I made the decision to adopt him as a kitten, and now I need to make the decision on when he'll go.

If the vet is correct, Chachi will start his decline very rapidly -- something I don't think I'll ever be prepared to see. Four to 6 weeks from now is right around the time of the Humboldt marathon. I don't want to speak too soon, but there's no way I can leave my sick cat for a weekend to run a selfish (birthday) marathon knowing my roommate would have to give him his medication. I would never forgive myself if anything happened to him while I was gone. Taking this long of a break isn't entirely conducive to running CIM either, so for now I'm not planning on running that as well.

So for the duration of Chachi's life, I am going to be here for him; I'm going to spoil him, hug him, kiss him, play with him, cuddle him, feed him ice cream, tell him I love him so often that he thinks it's his new name, and I'm not going to leave him. Perhaps this break from work was exactly what I needed to be around him & comfort him during the last miles of his life.

I am so devastated, and a marathon seems pointless to me right now. I'm going to shelf all training for the time being, take the break from heavy mileage I've been wanting, and make the remainder of Chachi's life as awesome as I humanly can.

Thanks in advance for all your thoughts and prayers. I can't say I'll be online much in the immediate future, but please know your support is appreciated.


Lil Chachi

Sunday, September 9, 2012

CIM Training: Week 4 of 16


CIM Training: Week 4 (week of Sept. 3)

Goal: 5 mi. recovery
Actual: 10 mi. trails

Monday was Labor Day, and Jojo, Courtney & I headed for the hills on our day off. Coming off of a 21-miler the day before, this hilly Headland run (including 2,057' of climbing in just 10 miles!) felt strangely good.

The bridge came out of the fog for a second while we were spanning it.

 How cool is this? (Photo courtesy of Courtney.)

Happy Labor Day!

Goal: 10 mi. w/ 5 mi. @ LT
Actual: 5 mi. recovery

Nothing to this, just switching around my Monday & Tuesday workouts.

Goal: 11 mi.
Actual: 8.04 mi.

I was feeling a bit tired on this morning so I chopped off a few miles knowing that I'd make them up over the weekend.

Goal: Rest
Actual: 3.5 mi.

My new company puts on unofficial 5ks once a month, and this month we ran along the Embarcadero where the America's Cup boats are practicing. I traded out my day of rest for a day of celebrating fitness in the workplace. (Or something like that.)

Goal: 5 mi. recovery
Actual: Rest

Goal: 10 mi.
Actual: 17 mi. trails

On Friday night I headed out to Aron's house to have another dinner party/sleepover with her, Page (whom I haven't seen in FOREVERRRRR!) and Cate. Early Saturday morning, I followed Aron on her first of 2 long runs this weekend, where she showed me around her stomping grounds. I've been drooling over some of the pictures on her blog and this weekend I got to see them for myself! 

I covered 17 miles in the East Bay, including 2,474' of elevation gain. She lives in a breathtakingly beautiful part of California, and I can't help but be a little envious of these glorious golden hills. 

Not a bad way to start a weekend.

Sunrise over California.

Aron and her mountain!

 Me doing the Monkey Dance. Or running. I can't really tell the difference.


Aron charging up the final climb.
Goal: 5 mi. recovery
Actual: 6.5 mi. recovery 

All in all, I finished week 4 with 50.04 miles of running. Finally, a 50-mile week, and more than half of those miles were on trails! Here is where my 12-week training plan that I am re-using from Ogden starts, so these first 4 weeks were more or less a build-up that I'm repeating for the next 4 weeks going into more serious training. I have done all morning runs, I've gotten in plenty of runs with friends, I completed more trail miles than ever before, and I have a solid foundation under my belt. I'm in a good place to start these last 12 weeks, and from here until Humboldt (6 weeks away), I'm going to be thinking more seriously about my goal for CIM.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

CIM Training: Week 3 of 16

A week of moving everything around. As long as it gets done!

CIM training: Week 3 (week of Aug. 27) 

Goal: 8 mi. easy w/ 10 x 100m
Actual: Rest

After the long trail run on Saturday and the recovery miles Sunday, I actually woke up Monday morning feeling sorer than I'd felt the entire weekend. I decided to take my rest day a day early and slept another hour instead. My muscles seriously appreciated the break.

Goal: Rest
Actual: 8 mi. easy w/ 10 x 100m


Courtney sent me a message late Monday afternoon asking if I wanted to join her for her run the next morning. Of course I said yes -- I know it'd get me out of bed! And that's exactly what we did: I ran 2 on my own, met her for 5, then did my pick ups on my mile home. For once, I had a morning run that didn't feel *too* miserable. (Note the word "too". And note that it was more than likely because I was greeting by a smiling friend.)

Goal: 11 mi. easy
Actual: 11.1 mi. @ ass-kicking pace

I got up dark & early Wednesday morning determined to get my 11 miles in. My first 4 miles were slow as it was nearly pitch-black, but once the sun came up my legs started turning over & I was feeling awesome. I ended up finishing 11.1 miles, showered, made my lunch, AND hopped on the bus heading downtown before 8a.m. This is something I am definitely proud of. 

And there was a beautiful sunrise to boot, but my years-old camera phone does it no justice.
Goal: Rest
Actual: 4.08 miles recovery

Shifting some workouts around, as I knew I wouldn't be running on Friday morning...

Goal: 4 mi. recovery
Actual: Rest

...As suspected, this workout couldn't have happened.

Goal: 13 mi.
Actual: Rest

Unplanned rest day after a long Friday night & a major desire to sleep in Saturday morning before a bunch of activities. :(

Goal: 7 mi. recovery
Actual: 21 mi.!!

I wanted to make up some of the miles I missed the day before, but the weather was so perfect & I was feeling good so I just kept going. I kept this entire long run easy... I have another big run planned for Monday since I have the day off, and I want to make sure my legs are functioning.

Perfect running weather -- soupy fog so thick you can barely see a block ahead.
The most active (and close!) I've seen the buffalo in Golden Gate Park.

All in all, I finished week 3 with 44.18 miles of running. I feel slightly let down because of this low number despite getting a decent long run in... but the consolation I feel with this is that I'm not logging junk miles. At one point I became very satisfied with daily 3- and 4-milers. There's nothing wrong with this, but I like that my average runs have become more like 7 or 8 miles, even though they aren't happening every day. Yet.

That said, I'm happy my workouts aren't junk & I'd rather continue to get quality miles in. I've been keeping it easy since CIM is still a long 13 weeks away & I don't want to burn out, but I can't overlook the fact I'm still running a for-fun marathon in 7 weeks. I feel like I should at least be hitting 45- to 50-mile weeks during these weeks & it's time to get serious about that.