Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The week of a runner: a true blog post

A short post tonight, no race report, no pictures, but a come back to the original concept of "blog", a "web log" of my week with a couple of running-related anecdotes (for the ones who didn't know, blog is the contraction or blend of web log, that is diary or a series of ideas, news and comments posted over the web).

Monday. No running, still too much soared from yesterday's great race to run, or even walk without pain... Still hard to believe I got faster on this course and that fast on a 50K despite the hills, and savoring this feeling of accomplishment. I'm usually considering that it's reasonable to lose 1 minute/age year on the marathon distance so I was really glad to be that close to Tom Johnson's course record he set up at 39 (3:32) and his 3:36-performance at 41. Some time spent before going to bed to respond to messages on Facebook related to our Quicksilver race and the recent 3 IronWomen we got in the Striders Club in July at the Vineman (Penny, Peggy and Christina). Way to go gals!

Tuesday. Still quite soared with painful quads going downstairs. Surprise, my Brooks order arrived today including 2 new pairs of the Green Silence! I love this catchy and comfy shoe so much... Got my first pair the month they were released, in February of this year, and have run 700 miles in them since. I owe you (and them!) a dedicated post in this super innovative and eco-friendly shoe from Brooks.

Wednesday. Third day commuting to work this week to make up for all the time I was away in July. Nobody to run with at the office and I enjoyed a slow 7:50 min/mile run at the nearby Alviso Marina Park (7.2 flat miles). Saw many birds including white pelicans and egrets. I even crossed the rail track this time and ventured into the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge where I got attacked by low-flying birds protecting their precious nests. Impressive and scary, it made me think of Hitchcock... In the evening, I registered for the San Jose Half Marathon, the first weekend of October (complimentary entry from Brooks) and to FireTrails 50-mile the following week (thanking the ultra legends Ann Trason and Carl Anderson who still direct this race after more than 10 years in a row). The ultra running season is far from being over...

Thursday. I was looking forward to meeting again with Bob at the track and get Max to join us for some speed training before our half-marathon of August 15 at Donner Pass but no luck, not this time again... First, and that's really a bummer, Max has been injured since we ran a half-marathon together in Paris (inflammation of the outside of his right foot). Not sure how our first race together is going to turn to knowing that he goes for a hike the following week with other Yalees as a way to bond. And, of course, being a Pommier, he selected the most strenuous of the hikes... The second reason I didn't go the track this morning is that I went to bed way too late to work on two presentations, one for work (Friday morning), one for my Toastmasters Club, the Orbiters. My speech was titled "You can do it" and the goal was to inspire the audience. As you can guess, I used some of my running history to illustrate the power of setting incremental goals and getting the appropriate support structure in reaching new goals and heights. And you, blog readers, are part of my support structure!

Friday. Working calls from 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM with a short break to run 10K in the neighborhood. Plus one hour with the surgeon who is going to replace Agnès' hip as the pain has become unbearable again. Despite me running for two... Agnès is postponing the procedure so she can still crew me at Rio Del Lago, what a dedicated supporter!

Saturday. Some catch-up work and a 7 min/mile half-marathon in the neighborhood. Then, in the evening, all the boys were out (Alex is in New York for a 2-week internship by the way) so Agnès and I watched two documentaries on running. The first one called "Running to the Limits" which is mostly about Alex Vera's story transforming himself from not being able to run at all to deciding to qualify for the Olympic Marathon for the UK, that is to run a marathon under 2:20! After 2 years of very hard training including the support of renowned coaches, he ended up running a half-marathon in 1:14 (a few seconds faster than my PR) and running a marathon under 3 hours. Unfortunately, as he was back from training in Ethiopia and benefiting from a great boost from the altitude training, he injured his ankle and couldn't run the London Marathon who was supposed to be his qualifying race. Now, the interesting part is that, while in Ethiopia, he met the same runner I ran into there last December, by luck, Mengsitu Abebe. Not without trouble, Alex got Mengsitu a visa so he could compete in the UK and build his international notoriety. The second documentary was called "Vidéo UTMB 2005: code FINISHER" and about UTMB (Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc), a place familiar to both of us that we enjoy so much. I even have more respect for this race, definitely much harder than Western States with much more cumulative elevation in particular. Thinking of teammate Jim who is on his way to Chamonix this month.

Sunday. More catch-up work to prepare for the week in Austin but a great run to the top of Black Mountain (23 miles, 3,000 ft cumulative elevation, 3 hours and 3 minutes). It was reasonably hot and I started conservatively to then push after the Pichettis'. The views at the top of Black Mountain were magnificient, it felt like I was in the air, on my way to landing at SFO, or like I could grab/touch the City, Bay Bridge, Treasure Island, Oakland as they seemed so close. There were clouds over the Ocean but you could still see the sea underneath. And then Mount Diablo and all the summits around the Bay. Sorry, no picture, just words, you have to trust me on this one...

Monday. A quick 6-mile run before getting on the plane to Austin. Probably not much running while being there, but more miles in Tahoe over the coming weekend then. It feels strange that I will be running a "short" half-marathon on Sunday while my next goal is a 100-mile in 5 weeks. I am a generalist...

Well, here are a few notes about my second job, a normal runner week, you can imagine what the first job is like... ;-)

Run Happy and have a great week, all!


Toshi Moshi said...

Thanks for sharing, Jean! I like the daily log... your training secrets revealed! I was really impressed by your performance at Skyline 50. May be the vacation helped? Good luck at Rio del Lago. I'm pacing Sean there and we'll be chasing you!

Anonymous said...

Semaine bien remplie!
Penserons fort à vous deux ce week-end

zbsports said...

This is awesome post. Keep up the good post there.

Sree said...

Only knowing about your demanding, "first job", it is impressive how you manage to carve out time on a consistent basis for running! It's inspiring to people like me who are trying to carve time out from demanding schedules for fitness.