Ye Ole Tread Mill

I am officially in pre-marathon mode (I can't honestly call it "training") with exactly 10 weeks until the California International Marathon.

I got on the treadmill this past Wednesday for the first time since....April?  Well aware that it is the only way to get me to run hard, I showed up at my stinky gym and made up the following workout:

Incline: 1.0

Minutes          MPH
1-5                  7.5
5-10                9.5-to-10.0
10-15              7.2
15-20              9.5-to-10.0
20-25              7.2
25-30              9.5-to-10.0
etc. etc. until 60 minute mark.

Followed by an easy 25 minutes between 7.5 and 8.0 mph.

I turned the incline down to 0.5 around the 40 minute point.  Yeah, so what?

total: 8.42 miles in one hour.  Plus another 3+ miles.

9.5 is a 6:18 minute mile pace (I think) and 10.0 is of course a 6:00 min mile pace.  It certainly wasn't a cake-walk to sustain that for 5 minutes while watching traffic updates on the news (my gym is not hip; we have about 5 channels).  There were certainly times where I grunted to myself "3 more minutes at this speed.  Come on.  You can do anything for just 3 minutes."

And although there were those dramatic moments, I was generally relieved to find that the pace felt nice -- smooth, easy breathing.  That might be a treadmill trick.  Sometimes I feel like I'm standing still on the treadmill even when I'm flying at a 6:00 min/mile pace.

My unplanned plan is to repeat something like this once a week, and then come December 4th, I will magically PR.  3:05-ish.

I hate writing that goal down, I feel like it makes it much less likely to come true.

Other than the usual running (topped 80 miles this week thanks to a 17-miler on Saturday and an 18-miler on Sunday), I experienced a lot of loveliness this week.

Unfortunately, I don't document anything with a camera (and if I do, it is done very poorly), so I try to spare you from picture-less stories.

Nonetheless, I share the following, accompanied by $hit pictures:

We watched Moneyball Friday night, in our beautiful and historic neighborhood movie theater in Oakland.  Oakland, of course, is the hometown of the baseball team that the movie is based on: the Oakland A's.

Movie still.  Mr. Brad Pitt.

The movie was fabulous.  The crowd was behaving as if we were actually at a ball-game.  Cheering, clapping, stomping, leaving peanut-shells in the hair of the girl in front of you (I have done this, accidentally, more than once).

At an Oakland A's game 2-3 weeks ago.  I warned you the picture would suck

Saturday, we went to the Eat Real Fest in Oakland's Jack London Square.  It is your dream event, if you are a human and you like to eat food.

Ignore the "Eat Real" part of the title; it's not about any sort of slow-organic movement.  It mostly promotes local deliciousness, all types of cuisines, and especially food trucks. 

We had: Chinese buns; calamari; flat-bread; empanadas; sliders; tamales; grilled cheese sandwich; Afghan bolani; kombucha; a salted caramel and peanut butter bar....etc. 

Oh and an apple.  Guess what we got a picture of, out of all those stellar bites?

I have never, ever seen a bigger dork.

 The hat I am wearing was yet another freebie sent to me for placing in the Giant's Half Marathon.

After the free Sketcher shoes and all the Chocolate Milk gear, I was also sent the hat and a Safeway gift card.  Keep it coming...

I hung out with a lot of babies this weekend.

The Gentleman and his nephew, Robert, at the food fest
 You like those bright green sunglasses?  No, I know you don't.  We share them (we actually share all our sunglasses) and got them for free in San Diego from some meathead promoting Midori Sours.

Despite their somewhat-ridiculousness, I am saddened to say that Robert suddenly whipped out his super-strength and broke them.  The sunglasses are now dead.

Robert was so unadventurous.  He only ate milk.

Sunday, I visited my niece Gemma in Napa.  We are best buds.

that face means she is farting.  (seriously).

Now you have seen my weekend through the eyes of a horrible photographer.

*Note: I will be signing up for either:
The Livermore Grape Stomp half marathon on October 23, or
The CA Wine Country half marathon in Healdsburg on October 16.
last chance to share your advice!  They are both smaller races, so if you have run them please share your experience with me.