Saturday, September 8, 2007

Nice work!

so to piggy-back off of liz' entry...nice work today at ollie everyone!!! i can't believe how freaking deep our team is right now. we had alison and emily up front and then 7 women within like a minute of each other. we must have had 11 or 12 strong women out there today. that's so kick-ass!

it was a yucky, hot day...but in terms of place, i think we should all be proud. we won the women's division and i think so much of it has to do with the depth of our group and working with (and against) each other. i have a feeling that, as a team and as individuals, we're just going to keep getting better and better.

so well done ladies!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Ollie Excitement!!!


We have a very impressive group:

Emily Raymond
Allison McCabe
Sloan Siegrist
Kate Famous
Laura Hayden
Gretchen Chick
Elizabeth Eisman
Marian Bihrle
Liz Kelly

I am so excited! I've been hydrating all day (something that usually proves difficult as there is no food/drink allowed in the lab) and I can't wait to go home and do my little shake out "jog" (the barely justifiable time to use that word haha). Then some serious stretching, some healthy eating and a good nights sleep. I have to say I love racing in a field that is so deep. I was very blessed in high school to join a deep team. We rocked our conference. For example, often our coach sent out the JV team to win the race against a less competative team when we had several dual meets in one week. Additionally, once a season we would pair up with faster runners and race together such that the faster runner would mentor the younger, less experienced runner. I remember the first XC race at our home course and watching all of the fast upperclasswomen pack up in front simultaneously challenging each other as individuals and working together as a team. I was also reminded of this race in a mini-discussion with Laura and Elizabeth yesterday during a jog after our 200s. We were talking about being competitive and how on a team it becomes a balance between wanting to make goals for yourself (for example, I hope I can beat certain people by the end of this year) and hoping everyone else (as in the people I want to beat) has really good races so that everyone races better. This brings me to yet another thought. In high school and at Smith, my coaches always talked about how important the 6th and 7th runners were in XC even though they did not contribute point-wise to the team. With hard training, the 6th and 7th runners could challenge the 5th runner who would challenge the 4th runner and so on. I have watched this scenario happen over many seasons and its true...everyone benefits.

Anyway, while my thoughts may not necessarily be organized, I hope they provide a moment of reflection as we head into Ollie with an amazing group of talented and motivated women. I can't wait to see our pack leap off the line tomorrow!

Liz :-)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Awesome marathon workout

I have been running marathons since 2001. Over the years, I have read in countless books and magazines and online marathon training programs that you should integrate some miles at goal marathon pace into your runs. Some programs advocate fast-finish long runs, and others have you do the middle chunk of the run at a faster clip. Pretty intuitive, right? If you want to run a certain time for the marathon, it makes sense that you should practice that pace, especially during a long run.

Despite all I've read about advanced marathon training, I have never worked on marathon pace during my long runs. My goal during a long run is generally just to finish -- pace is an afterthought! But today I did the best marathon workout ever.

I met with a bunch of the Impalas and our coach at 7:30am at the Sawyer Camp Trail in San Mateo, about 40 minutes south of San Francisco. It's a 6-mile paved path that's pretty shaded with some rolling hills and a decent climb for the last two miles. Each half-mile and mile is marked, so it's easy to keep track of pace and effort. At least a couple dozen women on the team are training for fall marathons, so the workout was well-attended.

The workout was as follows:

Miles 0-9: normal long run pace
Miles 9-14: goal marathon pace
Mile 15: lactate threshold pace (a teeny bit slower than 10K pace)
Miles 16-17: normal long run pace
Miles 18-21: goal marathon pace
Mile 22: normal long run pace

So there you have it. A 22-mile marathon workout with 10 miles at marathon pace or faster. It went surprisingly well for me, and I think I needed the extra little boost of confidence since my training for the Chicago Marathon has been sub-par. For all your fall marathoners, I highly recommend that you try this workout or even an abbreviated version of it. Good luck!