Tag Archives: Running

Training paces and random thoughts

Since procrastination is my last name, I will do my weekly summary for weeks 5 and 6 together after tomorrow… What a lazy chick.

I want to talk about training paces today. How many of you read other people's blog and compare to your own and wondered, why in the hell am I running so slow?? From all the articles, running forums that I read, the cumulative information is that THOU SHALL RUN SLOW in most of your runs to gain the most benefit. While I am a scientist by training, I seriously do not understand the physiological benefit of training slow. Reasons for the benefit I read and remember but do not understand including-

  • Building aerobic base
  • Growing mitochondria in your legs or something like that
  • Allowing speed workout to hit paces because you're not going crazy on easy days

Should we be running the majority of our runs slow, and sprinkle in some speed session manifest as painful tempos or killer intervals? Are we guilty of running our easy runs too fast?? I read on forums that people who are way fast, do their easy runs in the mid 9s, and I've been doing mine in the low 9s, apparently, I have no business in running my easy runs this fast. However, I must admit, I read blogs, and bloggers post their training time, and most of them run their daily training run very fast. Why?? They race and their results are still good. I'm just very confused.

Do you run your easy runs slow? Or too fast?

Tempo runs

I literally have this image in my head on my tempo run, trying to feel badass.

I have a love hate relationship with tempo runs. I love it that I know that this makes me stronger. Again, I do not understand the physiological effect it brings me, somewhere along the line about some lactate level will increase. Or whatever. I just know that tempo run hurts like a mofo. I adjusted my training paces based on my shiny 5k or, and it gave me a predicted HM of 1:51:xx<—- WTF?! Well, shock aside, I am hoping I can attempt to train my speed session base on this, and OMG.

The truth to it is I do not know how to do them, I don't know how I am suppose to feel. Comfortably hard was what I was told to do, but I don't comprehend how hard can be comfortable. I call my tempo run uneasy, but not yet dying, and if someone wants to say hi to me during a run I can only wave back, smiling was stretching it type of feeling. The warm up mile is always tricky. I don't want to run it too fast in fear it will ruin the run, but if I start out too slow, the drastic difference between easy pace and tempo pace will shock me to death. Easier to go from 9:15 to 8:30 vs 10 to 8:30.

I also literally have to take a deep breath and freak out every single time I have a tempo scheduled. It's a very tough mental game. I usually make all sorts of excuse to try to avoid it, but I usually get them done. Was it fun? Absolutely not. The only great thing is how I feel afterwards.

I tackled my last tempo run at 8:30 pace. I just ran 3.1 miles at 7:45, this shouldn't be too bad<—- WRONG

It was indeed very difficult. I already failed the first 2 miles and believe me, I was trying very hard, 8:37-8:39, a good song must have came on my playlist that got me into 8:10 for the 3rd mile, then I maintain my oace for 8:27ish. If I tell you this was easy and relax it was a big lie. 6 miles at 8:30 was as much as I can handle right now at my current fitness level.

Long runs:

Does anyone worry about their pace for their long runs? I usually run mine painfully slow, maybe because I run with a friend and a dog and we tend to chat non stop and let's be honest, I am not one of those people who can chat the whole time they are running while maintaining a 9min mile pace. So we ran at 10:30 or slower, depending on how many times said dog decide to pee. I don't know if I believe in super slow long runs anymore. My marathon I ran in July, the pace was exactly like my long runs… Which is NOT GOOD. This training cycle, I added what Ryan hall calls race simulation long runs. 6 miles easy pace, plus 5-7 miles at 20sec slower than race pace. Reasoning was somewhere long the line of running faster on tired legs but not killing yourself, I buy that. Except that I don't know what my race pace should be.


Wow,,, such long rambles.

Do you believe in slogging your long runs? Do you hate tempo like I do?




My SUB25 5K race report

5Ks are never my thing, it's the hardest shit ever, the entire 3.1 miles is painful. My niece is a Giants fan and we ran this last year together and thought it was a fun fun thing to do, so I did it again this year, we literally have friends all doing this together, and it was a fun fest. My niece, her friend, my husband, my friend Susan, her two brats, I mean kids, all did the 5k, and my other two friends Stephen and Jinny did the half marathon.

It was perfect weather, not too cold or not too warm. I do not know how to run a 5k period. I want to get it under 25 minutes, but I didn't even know what pace needed to be run in order to achieve that goal, failed.


My husband and I at start line, we are such cute couple.

I didnt want to be near my husband or my nieces friend because I hate having someone I know running next to me, peer pressure. So soon after the gun start, I took off like a jack rabbit, but having to dodge the gazillion people running 13 min mile pace staring in the 8 min mile coral,I was pretty annoyed.



Mile 1: 8:06- shit, will this be good enough? Should I run faster? Where the hell is the turn around point??

Mile 2: 7:38 – people say that mile 2 is the hardest, why am I not hurting yet, wow, I must be a super star… Ummm no. I just die later. I saw this yellow tank girl that is running slightly faster than me, but I wanted to hang on to her, at this point, I can still see her, but she is moving faster and faster..lost her eventually

Mile 3: 7:46- clearly I started to die here. Not dead, but dying. But granted its only one more mile, in my head, I stay, 10 more min, just like a tempo run, push it through. I did.

Of course I fail at running tangent even for a 5k race, total miles ran, 3.16, not too bad. Last 0.16 miles ran at 7:06. Not too shabby for a slow person!!

Official Time: 24:07

6/250 in my age group

Very happy with the result!!! Hopefully I can get it sub23 next year!!


Nike women’s marathon training week 5

This program is eating me alive!!!!

Monday: Easy run @8:50 5 miles

Tuesday: 6×1000 (4:50 each), 2 min recovery jog

Wed: easy run 5 miles @9:00

Thur: Tempo run 5 miles 8:30 (no warm up or cool down,no time) plus the wind at crissy field = near death

Friday: rest day

Saturday: drag and die fly 5k race

Sunday: long run 13.1 miles @8:55<—- I took a realy long break like 10 min at my friends house eating watermelon,,,




5K really is not my thing

This is my race report from a trail race put on by the amazing race org- Brazen!!

Drag N Fly- love the name. Drag your ass up the hill, and fly down the other side. (not)

Great things about this race??

  • Race day exactly on my birthday Sept, 8th. Brazen gives out medals to all distance finishers, so it's extra special for me to have a medal with my birth date engraved!!
  • I placed first in my age group! For the first time, holy cow. This may be a norm for a lot of people, but rare for me, I'm always #4. My secret goal for this race was to get an AG place, so I opted for the 5k because I do not have hill endurance for 10k, and this gives me the best odds! 1/20 in my age group, not too shabby. But wait, what's my time?
  • 29:51, avg pace: 9:08 —- no, my math is not wrong, brazen calculated the pace based on the actual length of the course, which was 3.25.


Running on these dirt pack road with holes all over… Since I don't have my right ACL, I gotta be extra careful.

Nearly fainted when I saw this, little did I know this was not the only one,

Who in the hell place first with a 29:51 time on a 5K?? I know 5k is not my strong suit, since I do not like the near death feeling, but this is a minute and 21 seconds slower than my very first 5k when I did not even know what pace was.

Anyhow… The race, let me just repeat, I do not like hills, I hate hills, I die on hills and it's not fun. After running on grass with holes for 100m, I met hill number 1 and I wanted to walk already. Let just say, that was a baby hill.

Mile 1: 8:27- pretty good considering the hills

Mile 2: 10:45 – cannot effing deal with those hills, even with the downhills, the rocks and sand..omg (NEAR DEATH)

Mile 3: 8:50- too tired to run after the hills tired me

Mile 4 (0.27)- 8:30


After the race, I stick around because I was pretty sure I was able to place , since I looked around I didn't see any older looking woman (my age) was around. Yep, first place. Very happy getting this, albeit a little bit embarassed.


Greet birthdy gift!!

However, this stressed me out a bit. Will the hills at Nike do this to me? Throw me off so bad that I cannot continue with my pace even on downhills and flats?


How do y'all deal with hilly races?






I love tempo run

Did I just say that?? The reality is that I'm afraid of them, like very afraid. I get nervous the day before and stress about it all day till its done. You see, unlike most dedicated, disciplined runners, I do not run in the morning, except on weekends. I cannot get up in the morning, period. That means, I get to worry about this tempo run all day till 7pm.


This week, I think I've done something I've never done in my entire life, that is running 5 days in a roll. Granted most of them are short runs, still. Give me the credit!! Yesterday I ran 3 easy miles with the hubs and the dog.


Today, hard tempo run a la Ryan hall's plan. Again, Ryan Hall's half marathon training plan has some very complicated pace, if I don't look at them before I leave, I'm deemed to do them wrong. So for the hard tempo run, I'm suppo to run at half marathon goal pace minus 10-15 second, so, my goal is to run them around 8:35-40.


I did a 1.3 mile warm up, yeah, I had to get to a place where I don't get interrupted by traffic lights etc. He are the splits. I'm pretty darn proud of myself since I've always been kinda slow.







Well deserved day tomorrow!!

Nike women’s marathon training week 3

Ryan Hall is kicking my ass. This training plan is leaving me near death exhausted. Total miles of week 3: 37 miles

Monday– Planned: rest

Actual: track workout 7×800 (3:45 each) 1 mile warm up and 1.5 mile cool down -7 miles total

This interval workout was alot better than the 5×1000 I did last week which tells me that I may have endurance issues… Another thing is mental. 800 sounds much better than 1000, in reality it's only 200m longer. I also think that another important factor was that it was done on a track, so I have an idea of when the torture will end.


Tuesday: track (above workout)

Actual: recovery run with Max to the dog park and back (2.5 miles)


Wednesday: Easy run 30-45 min

Actual: 7 miles run in seal point with the hubs @9:15 pace

This was a very fun run, I ran it a bit faster than what I intended to, but I no longer worry about this if my body is not dying during the run. We ran along the flat area, and once we get to that hilly thing across from the golf course, we head up and back down, then reverse, to get a bit of hill work in. I was surprised that I was able to power up those hills without whining. I'm hoping all these little hill workout will make the Nike hills less scary.


Thursday: cross train/ easy 30-45 min

Actual: REST


Friday: 5 miles tempo run (med) @ goal pace with 2 miles warmup/coolmdown

Actual: Le sigh. 1.5 plus 5 miles @8:45 ish

This was run from hell. I am deathly afraid of tempo runs. Like nervous about them. Nightmare worthwhile afraid. I am taking Friday off because I'm working Saturday, but my day was actually very busy. I have a meeting I had to attend till 11am, then I have to rush home to practice violin for my lesson. You see, I have this awesome violin teacher that probably thinks that I'm a genius that wasn't discovered, and every lesson is at least 2.5hrs for me (not that I'm complaining!) I have a dinner date with a friend that I haven't seen for awhile around 6:30 that means I can either do my run right after lesson or right before lesson. Due to the fact that this is a very stressful run for me, I opted to get it over with. At noon. Who the fack does their hardest workout of the week under the blazing noon sun? Obviously, idiots.

I started my warm up, still okay. Getting hot. Yikes. I know I'm not suppose to stop in the middle of a tempo run, but due to the heat, I will allow myself to take some water at the library which was about 2.5 miles into the tempo run. I reached there at a near death state, marched right to the door to find the library closed. I panicked, after a minute break, I continued, very dissapointed. 1/2 mile later, I stopped again, I was very thirsty and I'm sure my heart rate was at its max, I sat down on the curb feeling really frustrated and mad that I cannot do this most important workout of the week. Maybe I'm not at this fitness level to do it at this pace? I texted my friend to tell her. I continue to run to the next avail water fountain about a mile away. I got there. Feeling completely defeated. My friend called me right at this point and told me to stop the tempo run and just slowly jog home. I told her, I only have 1.3 miles left at this point, and since I already took a break, it's okay, but I am not sure after that 1.3 miles, how much more I could run. I finished that at avg 8:50 including warmup slower mile. But this is with massive amount of breaks, in another word, epic failure. I walked for 1/3 mile and slowly jogged home.


No I did not peed in my pants, sweat soaked through my pants. Embarrassing.


Saturday: rest of easy run 30-45 minutes

Actual: what do you think after the epic failure – rest.


Sunday: long run 12 miles

Actual: long run 14 miles (~10min mile)- left my garmin at home but my friends garmin read that pace.

Weirdest elevation chart ever, with the middle part as climb climb climb!!!


I have a love hate relationship with the Stanford Dish. I hate hills but I know it can make me stronger, and I must train some hills if I don't want the death march I encountered at Nike last year. Luisa, my running partner for some wicked reason I do not comprehend loves hills, so she proposed us to do double dish.

DOUBLE DISH?? Wtf??? Well, we did it. First round counter clockwise (hell), followed by counterclockwise. Surprisingly, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but she suggest us to park closer next time and do quadruple dish. I am secretly thinking that she has self destruction behavior. We parked at Nordstrom and warm up 3 miles to the dish. Did our 2 loops then jogged back. After getting lost going back, we ended with 14 sweaty miles.

That's all for this week. I collapsed in bed after I got home from our orchestra gathering and this evening will be foam rolling and icing party!!


How was your training week? Did you make your goal?


Fallen off the face of the earth

OMG…. I have not updated my blog since January. Lots have happened, I wish I have an excuse like some life changing experience happened, but not really, mainly due to laziness. So let me just summarize what are some running related awesomeness and not so awesome event that happened:

SUB-2 Half Marathon –CHECKED

Guys- this is HUGE, as in GINORMOUS. I wish i had written the race recap for this, maybe I'll add it later, but it this was accomplished at Kaiser Half Marathon, San Francisco.

Diablo Half Marathon Challenge— PW 3:30

I know… its trail, its tough, it has 8 miles uphill, but dude…. 3:30??? I'm so embarrassed. But this really really taught me that I am NOT a good hill runner, at all. My friend Luisa cannot stand my slowness and left me at like mile one, no i'm not bitter. No, i didn't feel like a total loser, thank you very much.


I went temporarily INSANE and signed up for my first full marathon- San Francisco Marathon

The Wall Street Journal had labeled this The Race Even Marathoners Fear. Great. I was talking to my customer/friend Michelle excitedly that I signed up for my first marathon. She is a great runner and BQed and all that glory stuff.

Michelle: Great!!! Which one?

Me: San Francisco!!

Michelle: ……quiet…. with a blank face, hint of worried

Me: Oh no… what?

Michelle: This is not appropriate for your first marathon if you want a good experience

I already paid like $100 to experience this torture, it's too late. As usual, I have no training plan, nothing.

Pacing Luisa for her last 13 miles of Miwok 100K race

No, I don't know tthis runner, but I know his name is Willy, I'm very good at eavesdropping. No, he wasn't peeing down his pants, it was very hot that day and he poured 36 bottles of ice cold water over his head and requested the aid station volunteer to give him 3 cans of coke, no, I am not kidding.

I continue to run anywhere from 0 miles a week to 20 miles a week. Until April…. I started to freak out. Actually I freaked out because I have to pace said friend that left me being fried by the sun at Mt Diablo for her first 100K race, Miwok 100. I ramped up my weekly mileage from teens to like 35 in a week (thank goodness I am still healthy), and ran some hills in San Carlos by my neighborhood and pretend that I will be able to run the hills in Marin Headland. Long story short. After some crazy climbs, gorgeous views, getting lost in Dipsea trail with a very DIM headlamp, we made it to the finish line. She ran for 17 hours. OMG. Superwoman indeed. She asked if i would consider doing a 50K sometime. No, thank you very much.


Marathon Training

I still don't have a definitive plan. I looked up Hal Hidgon's Intermediate 2, and did not like having a goal Marathon Pace run (like 10 miles, wtf??) the day before my long run. This back to back hard workout IMO is not cool. I did tried it for one week, while I did not died, it left me very tired. So I revert to the San Francisco Marathon Training plan Sesa sent me. Followed it for another week and looked forward to the future long run weeks… hmmmm too much. I am still not sure what to do. So far, roughly, this is what I'm planning to do for the remainder of the 10 weeks.

Mon: Rest

Tue: Track

Wed: Easy (mid week med long run 8-10 miles—these are truely bitches)

Thur: Easy on hills or Tempo/GMP (I seriously don't know what the difference is)

Friday: Rest

Sat: Easy

Sunday: LR (somehow fit in another 18, and 2-3 more 20 miles)


What I've accomplished so far…

Finished my 16 miler by myself (5/13)

Luisa got the runs, so this is my first time in many many months running long runs on my own. I was very nervous because i read on the internet that you are suppose to be nervous for your furthest distance long runs. Woke up at 6:30, left around 7am and off I went!! I ran to Luisa's house to visit her and Marco (the dog) and pretend it's an AID STATION, that was mile 6ish. Had another Clif Bloks and burped, YUCK. I tasted the milk from my cereal in the morning and I continued to taste it in my throat. That's it. NEVER again I can eat these shot bloks. I continue forward till the trail end and turn around. Finished my run. 16 miles, no more, no less. Uneventful.


FINISHED my 19 miler with my husband, Stephen, Luisa and Marco (5/19)

I was again very nervous for my long run. It was suppose to be 18 miles, but the route workout to be 19, its all good. This is the first time I brought along a small water bottle (ifitness clip on) with me since I freakn hate carrying anything with me on my runs, except my iphone. But since last weeks nasty milk regurgitation, I am scared to eat the bloks, plus I really do have a hard time chewing these ginormous gels, so I reverted back to some Expresso Love and Chocolate Gu Gel. I would be lieing if i tell you they are yummy, but I tolerated them ok. I ran to Oracle alone (3 miles), my husband drove there to meet me. Luisa ran from her house to meet met there, and Stephen drove from his house to meet us. Complicated, huh? We took off and ran to foster city. At mile 4, Stephen turned around to go home, he doesn't really run that far. Edwin, Luisa and Marco continued with me, we stopped by Luisa's house to drop off Marco and had some gatorade. The 2 miles leading to her house was the toughest. I must be running at like 11 min/mile and dying. I had a piece of sausage at her house and all of a sudden got the 2nd wind. We all ran back to oracle, and Luisa ran another 1 mile to the park to meet her husband and daughter, my husband went to his car, had a can of iced cold diet coke, while his poor wife continues to run another 2.5 miles. I was feeling strong, so I finished the last 2 miles faster than the previous 17. Uneventful.


5/20 Bay to Breaker-

In case you don't notice, that was my attempt to dress like Audrey Hepburn… Epic fail.

I'm surprised after 19 miles of running, I was able to run another 12K the next day, faster than the year before where I actually ran it. (This year, the first 3 miles I wasn't really running).

Until I can really sit down and write out my plan, I'll roughly follow the SFM plan. Time to start worry about my track workout.

Okay. I just fitted 5 months worth of crap in one post.