Apartment Runner

Hey let's talk about running! Whose running!? My running. Sorry if you came here looking for something else....

A couple things.

First, lately my "easy/normal" runs have been kind of a lot slower than they were at about this time one year ago.  My classic "normal" run is 4 laps around Lake Merritt in the morning before work, which adds up to 12-14 miles depending on which sidewalks and short-or-long cuts I take.

Back when I started blogging last year, with a running watch in tow for the first time in my running life, these runs were usually in the 7:45 min/mile range.  This became my "comfortable" pace.

Right now, my normal lake run pace is closer to 8:10, on average.  The miles that I dip below 8:00 are pretty few.

This is not a concern to me at all.  I think the most likely reason for this, is that ever since adding one-to-two track workouts per week to the mix, I have needed to take my normal runs at a slower pace and at less miles (haven't hit over 18 miles in at least a couple months I think).   It's also possible I am mis-remembering those 7:45 paced runs, and I was working for it rather than taking the run "easy".   So in sum: slowing down, but not worried about it.

Running in March 2011....faster on normal runs, slower in races

Second, I usually don't hit the track until I have "warmed up" for about 6 miles.  Does anyone else shove a track workout into the middle of a normal run?  I wonder if this is a bad move.

It usually plays out like this: run one lap around the lake with the Gentleman, see him home (4 miles), then run from our place to the high school track in the hills (about 2 miles), hang out at the water fountain for a couple minutes, and then start a 30-45 minute track workout.  Afterwards, I run the 2 downhill miles home.  Usually comes out to 13-14 miles total.


This week, it didn't seem likely I was going to get a track workout in.  I was wiped from lack of sleep.  Moms out there: I hear the rumor that you don't get much sleep.  I don't know how you ever get a quality run in.  I need a solid 7-8 hours of sleep, and if I sleep less than 5, I swear I cannot stand the sight of the sun.  It feels like it is burning holes in my brain.

For about 4 nights in a row (starting Saturday night) I was pushing 5 hours of sleep each night, tops.  Very tops.  BECAUSE APARTMENT LIFE IS HELL.  It is SUCH EXTREME hell.  I could write 25 blog posts, each devoted to one fucking terrible apartment neighbor.  I would devote one to the jackass girls who live above me who would come home, trotting around in high heels every night at 2:00 a.m., when I was sleeping while studying for the Bar exam.  I would devote another to the terror below me who goes on 2-hour yelling rampages in the wee nighttime hours (and in the day...) at his adolescent sons (and since I can hear everything, one example of his tirades? It was about one of the sons moving his batteries.  Don't touch his batteries!).  I would devote one to the dickwad who rode his low-rider into the parking lot at 1:00 a.m., and turned his high-bass volume ALL THE WAY UP to blast his apology song to some woman who was probably trying to sleep, and not in an apology-accepting mood.

And on and on.  This week, (and the last few months, truly) my sleep was interrupted by the cigarette smoke of a neighbor who puffs out his window in all hours of the night, and it wafts right into our bedroom.  We can't sleep with the window shut in these warm nights; we've tried, and the stuffiness is just as impossible to bear as the smoke.

Apartment life (circa 7 months ago).  I dress down while heading out for errands.

So I've been tired. Sorry for the rant.  Maybe some of you can relate to apartment living hell and we can feel better about sharing this misery (come to think of it I feel like we have done this together before at some point....but I'm not touching the archives to search for it, for fear of gagging at my writing).

Tuesday: way too damn tired to hit the track.  Run normal, take a couple walk breaks and almost fall asleep.

Wednesday: repeat

Thursday: slightly better night.  I had some energy, so I hit the track and decided to do mile repeats.  I planned to do 3, 4, or 5 depending on how I managed.

Feeling 85% like myself, I managed 5 mile repeats, with a one-lap jog recovery (and a bathroom/water fountain stop in between miles 3 and 4).  I hoped for 6:00 minutes for each repeat.  I was either close, or very far, depending on whether you think 7 seconds is a lot or a little.

6:02; 5:53; 6:04; 6:07; 6:02

One thing I noticed that I really liked: my recovery was very quick.  Within 1/2 a lap of jogging, I felt good to go again.

One thing I noticed that I didn't really like: my legs tended to burn up right at the end of the first lap of each mile repeat, making for 3 kind of torturous last laps.  What is that, lactic acid?  Get outta here lactic acid!

When I feel 95% (I mean 'cause cummon, when does anyone feel 100%?), I will hit 5 repeats in the 5:50-6:00 range.  Maybe. Hopefully.

I have a wedding and a barbecue to go to this weekend--two of my very favorite things in the world--so despite my very cranky/zombie state, I'm in a great mood and reminded how much I LOVE summer.  So many friendship events! So much eating outside!

Summertime happy! In the bathroom!

And who isn't stoked about taking next Wednesday off work to watch fireworks and eat some extra barbeque?  I was thinking either hike up a hill in Napa and watch them from there, or go to Six Flags Marine World in Vallejo.  If you can recommend any good fireworks/parades/events in the Bay Area, please do!