Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Silver Strider

Week 12 - Phase I - Build up - Core Workout: Hills
 07/16/12 - 07/22/12
 Week Total: 48.5

It was an honor for me to be selected as the "covergirl” for a Washington State running magazine in its July-August 2012 edition. Jerry and Betty Dietrich are the publisher/editor of this magazine which conveys the voice of runners and walkers above 50.

And some youngsters would say... "Fifty+? That's old."


Nowadays, runners older than 50 are running amazing distances, amazing mileage, and amazing times. As a fact of life, we are born, we age, and we die. As we age, our health deteriorates. This deterioration, depending on many variables, can be fast or slow.  There are variables that we can’t control, but this community of runners knows that for the variables that we can control, we control them with grace, discipline and perseverance... and a few running gadgets.

In many cases speed and level of fitness are not lost because of aging, but for lack of training, and for many of us old runners, racing long distances, running high mileage and/or running fast is not impossible, but a time-after-time accomplishment.

I am more than impressed and proud for what we "old" people are able to do, whether we run fast or slow, whether we have a 20-min or a 2-hour run, whether we run a 5K, a marathon, a 24-endurance run, or a 100-mile race. 

Running keeps us alive, gives us fuel, mental health, physical fitness, courage, satisfaction, and pride. The pride of being nothing but A Silver Strider. 

The Silver Strider - July-Aug 2012
Betty Dietrich (Left), The Silver Strider Editor - Judy Fisher (Center) - Lizzie Lee (Right)
Week 12 - Phase I - Build up - Core Workout: Hills
 07/16/12 - 07/22/12
 Week Total: 48.5

Week Races:
Wed 07/18/12 - IRC Summer Series
5K Personal Record by 52 seconds. 23:08 - 7:27 min/mile. That puts me 35 seconds away of National Level. I went tonight to race the race with all my heart and I did. I got 1st place in the division and 3rd female overall. I was on the toes of a High School girl for the whole 2nd mile. She knew I was breathing on her neck. At mile 2.6 she sped up, I couldn't get her. At the finish line we shook hands and she said: You pushed me. I told her: You pulled me!

Mile 1 - 7:10 min/mile - HR 96%
Mile 2 - 7:41 min/mile - HR 97%
Mile 3.1 - 7:31 min/mile - HR 99%

Interurban Running Club Summer 5K - Age group winners
Sat 07/21/12 Lakefair Olympia Half Marathon
I went for a PR, and I got it (not by much), 14 seconds for a 1:52:23 (8:35 pace). I ran hard. Perfect strategy, perfect course, decent weather (a bit warm/muggy – 59F). Great negative splits (next time 1st mile won't be 79%). Won the division, a nice beer mug.

Strategy Mile 1 – 80% / 2-6 - 80% – 85% / 7-10 – 86% – 90% / 11-12 – 90%-95% / Mile 13.1 – All out
1- 79% - 9:10
2- 85% - 8:56
3- 84% - 9:02
4- 85% - 8:59
5- 86% - 8:55
6- 86% - 8:40
7- 91% - 8:30
8- 92% - 8:30
9- 93% - 8:25
10- 91% - 8:37
11- 95% - 8:01
12- 95% - 8:00
13- 98% - 7:47
13.1- 99% - 0.47 (7:49)

Sun 07/22/12 SummeRun 5K

My third race of the week. 5K SummeRun benefiting Marsha Rivkin Foundation for Ovarian Cancer. Race founded 18 years ago by my Doctor Saul Rivkin, the best oncologist and the most amazing doctor in Washington State, in memory of his wife Marsha and to fund-raise for the cause.

I ran strong, 23:32 - 7:35 min/mile pace. The race is run on one of Seattle's hills: First Hill. I got 2nd place in the division.

Mile 1- 93% - 7:39
Mile 2 - 95% - 7:40
Mile 3 -96% - 7:29
3.1 - 97% - 0:44 (7:29)

Dr. Saul Rivkin. The best oncologist in Washington State

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Running For Champagne

 Week 13 - Phase I - Build up - Core Workout: Hills
 07/09/12 - 07/15/12
 Week Total: 53.2

I added a new twist to my training plan. It’s ambitious. Let’s see how the execution goes. I am running to/from work three days a week. Yes, I am commuting by foot. These additional miles will be above and beyond my regular plan, so I hope to be peaking at very high mileage. Mondays are used to take a week's worth of clothes and food to the office, and Friday to bring back the clothes and empty lunch box.

I am using the same plan I used for Big Sur, based on David Holt’s but extensively modified according to my needs, my schedule, and what my body says. The plan is super flexible. For example, if I run longer in the mornings just because is a good morning, I may cancel my afternoon run. I am including hills in one of these runs; I will combine track work in my way home, as I have conveniently 2 tracks one mile from work. Tempo will be done in races; I will throw to the mix 5Ks for faster/shorter workouts. I am also doing core workout when I get to the gym after my morning run and before starting my workday. Yes, I am lucky, I have a small gym with lockers and showers at the work place. So not to take advantage of all the things I have at hand would be stupid.

So far, I feel fantastic. I am starting building up my base, and hope to finish the training season stronger and not pathetically crumbled.

The race of the week was See Jane Run. The race not only had rivers of champagne at the end of the race, but all 1st  place winners, in all age categories, received a pair of Newton Running shoes.

Last year’s Teresa Sato won my division with 1:46:36. She was running it again this year, so I knew I didn’t stand a chance. I would run for a second place. Then, I saw Olympian Regina Joyce at the start line. The best I could place now was 3rd  place. My legs weren’t fresh. They had run 40 miles already during the week, but I still went for the best run I could run. Weather was great (beyond ridiculous for summer – overcast, misty, windy and low 50’s at the start). I did good but lost some ground from mile 9 to 11. Still tried to push it fighting for the 3rd place, but didn’t get it. I lost the spot by about 30 seconds and got 4th place, clocking 1:56:12 for 8:53 pace. I had fun (not as much as I had with my friend Susanne Mooney last year). I got a nice massage and got really spoiled. That’s the best part when you are Running For Champagne. 

Mile – Pace - HR
1-     9:06 – 84%
2-     8:52 – 83%
3-     8:20 – 86%
4-     8:15 – 86%
5-     8:53 – 81%
6-     8:54 – 87%
7-     8:36 – 91%
8-     9:02 – 93%
9-     8:42 – 91%
10- 9:05 – 93%
11- 9:05 – 93%
12- 8:54 – 91%
13- 8:42 – 96%
13.1 – 0:51 – 97%

Friday, July 13, 2012

Utah Countdown Has Started

 Week 15 - Phase I - Build up - Core Workout: Hills
 07/02/12 - 07/08/12
 Week Total: 39.3

The week was still a "playful" week. I had three Half Marathons scheduled in the chase of Mercury. So the only way to add the required workouts was embedding them in the races.

The Half Marathon on the Fourth, Firecracker Half, was going to be a simple out and back without any work out added. The course was a screwed up course. A handful of runners, including myself got wrong directions. I got my HR all messed up as I was going back and forth trying to make sense of the race course. When we were supposed to have half of the run we already had about 8 miles. I went back and completed the distance to finish it in 1:57:42.

On Saturday 07/07 I ran the Moon Half Marathon organized by Guerrilla Running. The race was scheduled at the hottest time of day, 4pm. Temperature was 82F. For us, that is HOT. I don't think I have ever ran a Half Marathon at that temperature, not even Miami. Strategy was to go slow, and as my daughter in law suggested "Don't try to break any records". I calculated that at mile one I had 50 women ahead of me. Following good running advices, I had a damped bandana around my neck and poured water on my head every time I could. I drank water very often and to avoid my "sodium wash" I had a salt stick with me. At mile 4 some women started walking, some pulled on the side, some were dizzy. I started passing. My game plan was how many road kills I would have. I started counting: 1, 2, 6, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 27, 30, and 32. I was feeling so good that I knew it was going to be a heck of a race. I was ripping the benefits of my initial slow golden miles. When I saw the first runner after the turn around, I counted now how many did the TA ahead of me: 25. After I turned around my count down started: 24, 21, 18, 15, 14. About mile 12 I passed #12, and saw the other runners out of my reach. I settled in being in 12th place, not bad at all. ½ mile to go and # 11 started walking. I moved to 11. I finished super strong with 2:06:12. Best run I've ever run, not in clocked time, but strategically speaking! Without knowing I had a great tempo workout.
Mile - Pace - HR
1- 10:15 - 79%
2- 9:43 - 80%
3- 10:07 - 83%
4- 10:13 - 84%
5- 10:06 - 84%
6- 9:42 - 83%
7- 9:14 - 87%
8- 9:37 - 86%
9- 9:36 - 86%
10- 9:04 - 90%
11- 9:13- 90%
12- 9:38- 90%
13-9:40 - 95%

On Sunday 07/08 the race ahead of me, Langley, was on a very respectable hilly course. I know and love this course (I dislike flats). During the whole race my heart was saying like "common I am only at 64%"... but the legs said "no way". They were definitely TIRED!!! I couldn't do much in this very hilly course after a hot race ran only 14 hours ago and another Half on Wed. I ran the uphills the best I could and blasted the downhills. I did 2:08. Got 2nd in the division, and shared podium with my good buddy Bob who also won 2nd Masters overall. This was the hills' workout of the week. 
I am very excited with the training ahead of me. More excited that Utah Countdown Has Started.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Con Todos Los Hierros

For English-speaking people: wait until you read this short post to understand the meaning of the title because it can’t be literally translated. It would not make any sense.

The countdown for Utah has started, so is the training. 15 weeks. And friends, I don’t usually share my big goals because I like to keep them private, but this time I am going to share this one.

It’s my first attempt for this goal, and it’s a big one. I am going for Boston. This means that what is coming is hard. If Big Sur, California, was hard training, it will pale in comparison to what is coming.

I am a very serious, committed, and disciplined runner. I have a good base, 15 weeks to work, and I believe I can make it. Therefore I am going for it. I will rip my body for this one, I will train more miles, I will train core, and I will train like never before. I will train with all my power and my will power. I am going with all I have. I am going Con Todos Los Hierros.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Simply Nothing

After Toronto, I kept the training break. Again, this didn’t mean that I didn’t run, it meant I didn’t train for hills, speed, track, tempo, not organized routine whatsoever. I only did my nice 5 miles with Michelle and my Half Marathon races.

A week after I arrived from Toronto I had back to back Half Marathons: June 16 Berry Dairy in Burlington, and June 17, Vancouver USA. My beloved daughter accompanied me to both of them making the trips much easier. Berry Dairy was a completely wet run, from start to finish. We had a lovely constant rain with temperature of 52F. Perfect for me. I loved it. I went out of my comfort zone running with a young kid for a couple of miles from 5 to 7, and of course, the price was paid. I felt heavy afterwards, not to mention there were a couple of miles ran over rocks, no paved road. Guess what? I am not really good at this. Other than these rocks in my way, I had a good run. I clocked 1:55:29 and got 4th in the division.

Following day I drove to Vancouver, WA, 3 ½ hours away from home. As there was no packet pickup on race day, Bart made me the huge favor to pick it up for me the day before. We met at the lobby of the hotel and had a good and long chat. We parted our ways, he to work, me to run, and with beautiful Ale on my side I left for my second run of the weekend. While I ran, the only thing that came to my mind where the memories from last year race which I ran with my good friend Chris from Florida. The race was hard as it was hot and sunny, nothing to do with the mist and 50’s from the day before. It was mid 60’s and I fried. I clocked 1:58:08 and got again 4th in the division.

Following week I had the Seattle Rock & Roll, a big race in the PNW with 20,000+ runners. I liked the course, which was changed from last year. It was low 50’s overcast and not as muggy as the year before, so the long I-90 0.8-mile tunnel was breathable this time. I clocked 1:57:26 and got 14th place in a field of 428 females in the division.

To finish my period of NOT training I did nothing during the following weekend June 30/July 1. I did that because my marathon training for Utah would start right away.

My training break was nice, very nice. I slept in, I rested, and I feel I did nothing, Simply Nothing.

Berry Dairy Half Marathon - Burlington, WA
Berry Dairy Half Marathon - Burlington, WA
With Bart, Vancouver, USA
Vancouver, USA
Seattle Rock&Roll
Seattle Rock&Roll

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Running Honeymoon With Toronto

I’ve been absent. A trip to Toronto for family matters and my daughter’s one-month visit changed my days’ activities. I didn’t train at all, but not training didn’t mean not running. What it means is that there were no hills’ workout, no track, no tempo. There were simply “runs”, absent of any training qualitative, runs done just for the pleasure of running. Ah, and of course there were races (A 5K at High Park where I won the division and beat the guys as well!!!) .

I was at my niece’s home during my stay offering the help I could give and enjoying the opportunity to be with family, but at 5 am, every other day I’d go running, from 5 to 12 miles. I ran wandering throughout the city, which I got to know well. I ran north, east, south, west. I ran at 90F and at 50's (Yes, very hot when I arrived, to fortunately dropping to more comfortable temperatures). I ran mostly under the rain (what's new). I ran in a monsoon day. That particular day on June 1st, it rained like hell with winds of 40mph. I ran 12 miles that day, and while running by Lake Ontario I thought the wind was going to throw me at it. Rain was so bad that water gushed into Union Station flooding it. It was insane. But I am used to rain. I loved it all. 

Some runs were done with an absolute purpose where I used my legs as a means of transportation; like going to the kosher store 3 miles away to buy kosher stuff. Run out, shop, and run back; packed the products in a fanny pack or on my back.

After these fabulous runs I asked myself, why don’t I run like that in my own place? What is the difference? Why a long run in a new place is done freely with the sensation of being in heaven and, why long runs at home feel sometimes like a burden? Why do I drive to the grocery store one mile away? Why do I drive to work just four miles from my doorstep?

Was it because it was a new thing, a new affair? Am I missing something? Was it a Running Honeymoon With Toronto?

Charlitos, the reason of my visit
5K @ High Park
I got first place