On Saturday night Rod and I played board game called Stratego, which he brought from his parents' "old stuff" stash. It is the type of game that I absolutely do not like,* involving planning (how you set up your gamepieces), strategy (where you make your moves), and memory (about the value and location of opposing pieces as they are occasionally revealed). Needless to say, my performance sucked and I lost badly. My game playing was very random. Seriously, I do not have the strategical skills, memory, or concentration needed for this type of game!**
That's how I feel writing this post today, very scattered and A.D.D. I have lots of things I'd like to write about, but nothing I feel like hanging my hat on long enough to write a whole post. Somewhat like my Stratego experience, I guess I'll just throw things out there and then move on.
Week one of spring training 2010 went well. I followed through on all my planned runs and workouts, and did pretty much okay with my ban on sweets (with one or two tiny exceptions).
I am quite pleased with my return to yoga. My legs and hips have been feeling achy these days, and the yoga poses and stretches on Thursday night were quite a panacea. I am lucky that the instructor I like most seems to do a lot of hip openers and twists...maybe that is why I like her! I even did a small routine of stretches (plus some pushups) on my own after working out at the Y on Saturday. I think I got back to yoga just in time!
Friday was a "pace" run on my training schedule: 5 miles at marathon pace tucked into a medium long run. I started with three miles to warm up and then met Arjin at the office to do five miles with him. Obviously I needed to start those pace miles during those next five miles because I'm not crazy enough to run eight miles and then start a five-mile speed workout! So I told Arjin that our plan was to do one mile at 10:00, then next at 9:30, and the remaining three at 9:00 or below; then I would drop him as we passed by office and finish my final two sub-nine miles. I hoped.
Our warm-up miles were actually a lot quicker than I planned, 9:16 and 9:13, but that was okay because it meant that we didn't have to pick it up too much to get on pace for the next three. We did those in 8:52, 8:59, and 8:52. Then I left Arjin at 12th and Broadway and continued onward.
I was quite lucky that I completed the additional two miles just as I reached a long hill up Everett Avenue. Coincidentally, those miles were each 8:56! For the entire seven miles, including the two warm-up miles with Arjin, my average pace was exactly 9:00 (63 minutes total). I restarted my watch so as not to mess with that number, and jogged in the remaining mile to Starbucks and QFC (I actually had to go around the block a couple of times to bring it up to a mile). That gave me a total of 11 miles for my Friday morning run.
Earlier in the week, my aching legs had inspired me to call for a massage appointment on Friday morning. So I rushed home to shower and change and make my way to the massage. Aaaah...I need to do this more often.
After the massage I completely forgot that I wasn't eating sweets (it was not in my head at all!), and grabbed a tootsie pop from a jar. I figured that I could indulge a teeny bit after the run, and it did not even occur to me that this was "candy"! I was "punished," though, when the red candy crumbled a little bit and left teeny tiny stains on my white shirt. (Luckily they were teeny tiny enough that they didn't really show when I went on to work.) After court I flew home to change into ski clothes and we headed up to Stevens for some night skiing.
Saturday was a running rest day, so I went to the Y for a long stint on the elliptical and some stretching. It turned out to be a beautiful sunny day (nice for people who did get out to run). I just did my time at the Y and then went home and did some laundry and housecleaning and dinner prep work.
(Confession: I also FAILED again on my no-sweets-pledge, when I was about to throw away two old mini-brownies and decided to take just a bite—turns out stale brownies are quite good, chewy on the edges and soft in the middle. I hang my head in shame again!)
Sunday was my long run day, and as fate would have it, I woke up to rain, drizzle, mist, and fog. I wasn't particularly thrilled to go run, but I knew I had to go at a reasonable hour (though not too early) in order to finish making my Hoppin' John Salad*** and get over to my parents' house for the Super Bowl (which was earlier in the afternoon on the West Coast).
In order to kick myself out the door, I thought of Lisa running the Surf City marathon and all the other runners doing the marathon and half marathon. If they were working that hard, surely I could force myself into an easy run! My (self-imposed) schedule called for 10-12 miles, but I really wanted to do twelve because of all the food consumption ahead (and the type of food).
I had originally intended to take another stab at the waterfront running trail, now that I think I've located it, but the weather was dreary enough that I didn't think there was any point in going down there. It's not like I could see far enough to appreciate the view! Instead I just stuck with my usual stomping grounds, where I know all the bathroom locations. :)
Despite my qualms over the weather, by the time I got out the door the rain had changed to drizzle, which soon changed to mist, and it wasn't long before it was just foggy but otherwise dry. So not as bad as I'd feared. What I really didn't want was enough rain that my jacket would get drenched from the outside as well as the inside!
I was pretty sloggish**** but after the first couple miles (10:26 and 10:00) I bounced around in the mid to high nines (average for twelve miles 9:47), until my final full mile at 8:55. (It took a bit of concentrated effort to pick up the pace by almost a minute per mile!) But after all, this was "long run" pace, not race pace or anything. I was feeling a little short on time, so I cut my route a little bit to limit myself to the planned twelve miles, and not go over by too much (my total distance was 12.21 miles).
Lucky thing I went the full twelve, though. Here's our Super Bowl menu (a New Orleans-inspired menu):
Shrimp and Oyster Po' Boys
Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Hoppin' John Salad (as above)
Plus Frank's Hot Sauce! I went to bed feeling quite full, and still wasn't hungry when I woke up this morning. (I managed to work up an appetite running, though.)
I ran this morning with Arjin again, and today Luke (a very tall, young attorney with long legs) joined us. I warned them before we started that I do not have long legs (Arjin is young and tall also), but apparently they did not understand my message of "Don't run too fast!" I did my usual three miles before meeting up, so at least my legs were warmed up when we started. This was also a Monday, and the day after a long run; in other words, a historically slow day of the week for me.
Clearly my legs were a little tired, because the first few miles, which I felt were about a 9:30 pace (meaning quick but not trying too hard) turned out to be 9:48, 9:42, and 9:38. Then the boys started showing off and picking up the pace. I followed along, though dropped to about half a block behind them. I saw a few 8:15's on my Garmin, off and on, but I guess we weren't going all that fast overall, as mile 4 turned out to be 8:46 and the final half mile was at 8:41 pace (which included a semi-sprint downhill, but also a fairly significant uphill as well). I will say that this pace felt like less work than on Friday when we were trying for the sub-9's. A lot of this running stuff is a mind game!
I left Arjin and Luke by the office and continued running home. Another mile and a half gave me nine miles total for the morning. The average pace for 4.49 miles with the boys was 9:23, and my average for the last 1.53 was 9:31. (The first 3.01 miles were, I admit, 10:15 average—I had a slow start!)
And that's about it for the random report. Pilates again on Monday night. Oh, hurrah. My abs just stopped being sore from last week.... :)
*Do well at.
**I much prefer games that are verbal, like Scrabble (though I've lost at that plenty), Pictionary (yes it is all about the words and communication, not your drawing skills), and Taboo, for example. And Trivial Pursuit! Strangely, even though I can't remember anything past one move in a game like Stratego, I have a great memory for historical facts and trivia.
***I made it pretty much according to the recipe, except that I used apple cider vinegar instead of red wine vinegar, and I soaked the onions in a vinegar solution for a while to pickle them a little. Also I didn't bother to put in the parsley...I had it, I just didn't put it in. Oh, and I used Frank's Hot Sauce instead of the Boars Head sauce.
****Obviously, a combination of "sluggish" and "slog."
*****I, of course, did not eat pecan pie. I had strawberries with Oikos vanilla Greek yogurt (they were out of the plain yogurt, which is really my favorite).