Sunday, May 29, 2011

Long weekend

I've been reading about everyone's Memorial Day races (except for the ones on Monday), and kind of wish I had a race this weekend. But not too much. I've done races every weekend in May (Bloomsday 12K, Heroes Half Marathon, Have a Heart 10K, and Seattle's Best 15K). The only race I could find for Memorial Day is about an hour away from here, and I really don't feel like making the effort. There's a local 5K in mid-June which seems a lot more appealing. Mostly because of the location.

I decided to do my "long" run on Friday so as not to suck up too much weekend time. (Yeah, better to suck up work time instead.) My planned length fluctuated along with my willingness to get out of bed Friday morning. When I finally got myself dressed and out the door I tentatively planned on twelve miles, which seemed doable, time wise.

But I was a little dissatisfied with the idea of twelve miles, as that had been the distance of my long run two weeks ago, plus the total miles I had run last Saturday with the 15K. It didn't seem like progress, for distance at least. (I do feel like I have been making progress with speed.) My only longer run since Boston had been the half marathon plus warm-up.

My current "plan" is training only for half marathons through the end of June. Obviously long distances aren't necessary. But I do want to work up to 15-16 miles by that point, both to help my half marathon performance and to be ready to launch into twelve weeks of marathon training (for Portland).

So, taking into consideration the amount of time I had available without being desperately late, I decided to up the distance to 13.1, with the ability to cut back if necessary. Actually my whole route allowed me to cut the distance short at any time if needed.

Friday morning was cloudy and cool but not cold. I wore my Boston shirt quite comfortably, plus gloves which I removed after about three miles.

At my 3.25 mile potty stop my average pace was just slightly over ten minutes. It took me much of the run to get to a 10-minute average pace, although I finished a little under, at about 9:56. (Total running time 2:10.) Of course it took a few miles to overcome my slow starting mile, but what really happened was that most miles in my first half were under ten minutes, but then most miles in the second half were a bit over ten minutes. Until the final couple miles.

I have an unsubstantiated theory that my "easy pace" was faster when I was listening to music on my iPod, and a bit slower when I switched to a podcast at about 6.5 miles. Of course the relative up and down hill terrain might have played a role as well! But since it was all easy, I was just happy to average under ten.

On Thursday I had read in another blog about "funfetti cookies" made with cake mix. They caught my fancy, and one google search and quick trip to the store later, and I had a batch of fun(fetti) cookies to bring to work and give away. Here is a plate of cookies wrapped for delivery! No, I am not a professional photographer.

One box funfetti cake mix
1/3 cup oil
Two eggs
Frosting-- I used a can of whipped funfetti vanilla frosting, but you could use regular funfetti frosting or make your own
Extra jar of sprinkles (I got stars--if you are not using funfetti frosting I would get two jars of sprinkles)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour cake mix into a bowl and stir in some of the extra sprinkles if you would like. Mix in the eggs and oil until blended. Form dough into one-inch or smaller balls and place on ungreased baking sheet (I put a baking mat on mine). Flatten balls with a glass dipped in flour. Bake 6-8 minutes until lightly browned around edges.

Cool on baking sheet for two minutes then remove to rack. Frost and decorate with sprinkles (this is why you need extra, there is not enough with the frosting). Makes 36 or more cookies depending on size (I had 42).

I gave away most of the cookies but have had a few as post-run treats!

My second run of the weekend was today, Sunday. Since I did the long run on Friday I wanted to do a "pace" run today. I was a little nervous but told myself that if I couldn't hit the paces of course I could just run.

The plan: 8 miles progressive pace run
2 miles WU
2 miles @ 9:00 (MP)
2 miles @ 8:45 (HMP currently)
2 miles @ 8:30 (HMP goal)

It went amazingly well! Even the warm-up miles went well. Mile 1 was 10-something (like :09) and mile 2 was 9:20 (even with a long uphill in it). I was doing a loop that was just shy of four miles, and I planned so that I'd start my first pace mile on a downhill for a boost.

Mile 3 - 8:50
Mile 4 - 8:57

So that was good, so far, but I wasn't sure about picking up the pace...

Mile 5 - 8:45
Mile 6 - 8:43 (this had that same long uphill)

There's a reason why 8:45 is my go-to half marathon pace!

I got to start my final pace miles on a downhill, and it shows.

Mile 7 - 8:15
Mile 8 - 8:25

I wanted to make it a 10K, so...

.2 at 8:18 pace (1:40). I think that adds up to 53:35 for the 10K.

I felt like going a little further so I did two more miles recovery.

Mile 9.2 - 9:10
Mile 10.2 - 9:30

Plus .05 more to make a total of 10.25 miles with an overall average of exactly 9:00 per mile.

On the walk back from Starbucks I saw these cool trees planted along the sidewalk. This is a close-up, they are actually tree-like in shape.

In the afternoon Rod spent three interminable hours assembling a new barbecue. Painful, but the end result got us delicious ribeye steaks for dinner!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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