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Catch Up

A lot of blog-worthy material has fallen between the cracks in the last few weeks, as our attention was focused on Boston, and before that my attention was devoted to reading the many, many contributions to our roast of blog product-placement.  I spent the evening time that I would normally devote to tossing up a blog post to reading and replying to all of your contributions, which in turn made me realize how HARD it must be to blog full time.  Not.

Also, there were many, many words in defense of having a running coach.  It sounds like it is purely a personality thing.  Some personalities love or need that extra push.  For others, the joy of running is lost when you are following orders.

Ever since my dreadful Oakland half marathon performance, I have listened to my coach (me) and got my bad self on the treadmill for various workouts, all of which I really enjoyed, all of which I feel do help me as a runner.

I know there is a lot of debate about the laziness of choosing the treadmill over the open roads.  I would say 24 out of 25 of my runs are normally outside, the remaining one on the treadmill, and usually because of rain or darkness.

However, right now I have been choosing the treadmill once or twice a week, despite the gorgeous California weather, because my coach (...still me) is kind of a pushover, and lets me compromise between my desires to work hard and my desires to "check out" mentally when I am running.  The treadmill lets me work hard and check out.  6:30 pace? Sure, plug that pace it, turn brain off, go.

The famous "is the treadmill easier or harder debate."  Whatever the answer, which for me is often that the treadmill feels harder just because of the freaking hot sweaty smelly factor of the gym (and the headache I get from staring at the news), I always set the treadmill to a 1.0% incline to supposedly level the playing field a little bit.

The following were all done at 1.0% incline, in 60 minutes on the treadmill, in this chronological order, over the last three weeks, all but the last two workouts made up on the fly for the most part.

*(I know I'm about to lose many of you here who do not care about the technicalities of a running workout, or who don't care for treadmills, but many of these would easily translate to the road or track.  Meet you on the other side to those of you who don't care)*

Workout # 1:

PLAN:
Start at 7.0 mph
Bump up 0.1 mph every minute
at 30 minutes (10 mph, or 6:00 minute pace), start bumping down 0.1 mph every minute.

ACTUAL:
This workout did not go as planned.
I got to the 30th minute, ran my 10.0 mph minute, and then had to take a break.  I finished the remaining 30 minutes by hanging around an 8.8-9.0 mph pace.

Workout # 2

PLAN/ACTUAL:
Start at 7.5 mph
Bump up by 0.1 mph every two minutes.
at 40 minutes, (9.5 mph, or 6:18 minute pace), start bumping down by 0.1 every 2-3 minutes.

Workout # 3:

PLAN:
One mile warm up.
6 mile repeats at 9.5 mph (6:18 minute pace) with a quarter mile recovery (7.0 mph) in between each.

ACTUAL:
This worked for the first 3 repeats; then I started taking a half mile recovery in between each.  Like I said, my coach is a pushover.

Workout # 4: 

PLAN:
Ten 800m repeats
quarter mile recovery in between each
at 2:59 each (10.1 mph speed mixed with 10.0 mph speed).

ACTUAL:
This worked out fine (for each repeat I started at 10.1 mph (5:56 pace), then after 2 minutes of grunting I would bump it down to 10.0 mph (6:00 pace) and figured that made for a 2:59 repeat).  After the first 6 or 7 repeats, I started giving myself a longer recovery (0.30-0.40 mile recovery).

Workout # 5:

PLAN:
A lactate threshold wave tempo workout that I learned by following a coach's Facebook tips.

5 mile tempo where each mile is divided in half by 9.1 mph (6:35 pace) for the first half mile, 9.8 mph (6:07 pace) for the second half mile.  I picked these paces based on a 6:20ish "threshold" pace.

ACTUAL:
This went well, except I did have to stretch out my leg-lock issue a couple times, but at least waited until the 6:35 pace portion to do that and tried to keep the stretch to 10 seconds.  Finished the hour at 8.8 to 9.2 mph paces.

Workout # 6

PLAN:
Full hour aerobic wave tempo workout, also found by the Facebook coach.
Hour tempo run alternating one mile at 8.5 mph (7:03 pace) with the next mile at 9.3 mph (6:27 pace).

ACTUAL:
This one also went well, except for some leg-lock stretching.

Leg-lock: I could use your help.

I've often associated this feeling with the buttcrease pain, but lately, I haven't really had buttcrease pain at all.  Just the leg-lock.  While trying to really pay attention to the source of the locking sensation (it is very hard to even recall the pain/sensation when it is not happening, making it hard for physical therapists to help me out), I have noted that it now feels like the locking happens around my knee.  The outer knee, inner knee, upper knee--like the whole thing kind of seizes up, and that sensation sometimes spasms down to my calf, making my calf cramp.

Any similar experiences? Cures? Your advice will be useful in the meantime, before I visit a new PT.  I've been trying to meet her but she is in San Francisco, which basically requires I miss a half-day of work to make an appointment (my office is 45 minutes away).  It's not easy to do that.

**Other Stuff That Happened** 

Oakland Runners for Boston

Thursday evening I ran 3 miles to our local See Jane Run running store with the Gentleman, because that was the headquarters for a 3 mile run in honor of the victims of the Boston bombings and in support of Boston.  The lovely and always amazing Oakland police came out to escort us as we took over College ave, and the long trail of runners (I would guess about 300 runners?) got solid attention which was a nice visual reminder to Oakland residents and to myself that runners are indeed so crazy that running is the least they can do to show their support for people hundreds of miles away.

6.6 miles total with this stud, which is the most I have ever seen him do!

Beth was also there, and we ended with a candlelit moment of silence in Snow Park. It was great to see so many local runners for the impromptu event, and thank you to See Jane Run for organizing!

In other news, Oakland has been both beautiful:

Lake Merritt's Dr. Suess pink cottonball trees

Let's get a closer look

Just napping in the park.  But since it is still Oakland...clutching my iphone while I sleep...

And hipster weird to a ridiculous degree:

Drive-by photo of a literal circus in my neighborhood.  Tightrope walking (rope tied between trees) is a daily staple in my neighborhood.  And now, juggling.  Strange.

I've spent some time with family in Napa, dancing and running as always with lil Gemma.

She takes after me, always topless (ahem, when I was that age)

While digging through one of my old jewelry boxes at my parents' home, we found a pile of fake tattoos.  I was really into the whole fake butterfly tattoo on my midriff with the low-slung jeans look in high school.  We went to town with them (and for some reason, there were many that were not butterfly-esque).

Mine--Justin Timberlake circa 1999, with sparkles

The Gentleman went with a ninja turtle on one arm (flexing, nice touch)

Aaaaannnd...Nelly on the other arm.  Definitely hot in herrr

This past weekend included a hot city hike through Alameda, that unintentionally involved falling for a lot of cold, liquid sugar.  I stopped first for a jamba juice smoothie; then a beer; then a push-pop; then a foster-freeze dipped cone.  A little different than our normal GORP hiking food.

In a desolate docking area for retired navy ships.

At the prettiest little front yard of Alameda.  Yeeeeah, I hiked in a dress.

mid-hike pit-stop

Sufficiently caught up.