These were the last two weeks before taper begins for the Water to Wine Half Marathon at Kendall-Jackson Winery on August 9. I modified my training, as my right hamstring/gluts are still a bit twitchy after longer runs and interval training. Very frustrated because this may be a repeat of having to forestall the May Windsor Green Half Marathon because of similar issues. I know I can run, slowly, 13.1 miles; the problem is I’d like to run them at a decent pace and of that I am not so certain.
The training was similar both weeks: intervals at the local track (yes, I did jot down the splits in my notebook as my Garmin is not synching well with my Mac these days) went well, tempo runs morphed into five to seven mile “general” runs, meaning without specific pace in mind, and long runs of ten and eleven miles. I tried to slow down the pace for the long runs, following all the recent running press, but concerned about being able to amp the pace during the race. We spent two days at The Sea Ranch, a ten-mile long, very rural but architecturally-unique group of homes along the northern Sonoma coast. The last time I ran along the bluff trail was in fall 2009 before the California International Marathon (where I BQ’d then became injured). Lots of memories of family vacations here with the boys when they were young.
The highlight of the two weeks was being a volunteer at the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon [http://destinationraces.com/runn2s] in support of Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance. Saturday we attended presentations by Magdalena Boulet, the 2015 Western States women’s winner [www.wser.org] and Ryan and Sara Hall (2014 women’s winner of the half marathon). Ryan entertained the audience with tales of his Houston debut half marathon, where he broke—and still holds—the American men’s half marathon record, as well as stressing the importance of rest and recovery. Sara spoke of her disappointment and recovery from the LA Marathon this past spring, as well as their nutritional program (with an emphasis on eating for “performance”). Magdalena regaled us in her sweet way about the Western States win and what compels her to run after experiencing injury that prevented her from running the marathon at the 2012 Beijing Olympics. They were all inspirational, to say the least. Sunday, we helped at the finish line bag check, enjoying all the finishers, listening to their tales of joy. The Sonoma Plaza was decked out with flags, tents, wine and beer and buzzing with Team Challenge (www.ccfa.org) runners across the nation. Such a great sport!
Running: About 23 miles each week
Swimming: Four swims at 1 mile each
Bicycling: Four rides at 20-30 miles each
Massage: Two sessions of heavy-duty work!
My taper will be slightly modified from the training plan to protect my hamstring/glut areas from further stress. I don’t think running intervals at this point will increase my race day speed so I don’t plan to go to the track. I will likely alternate cross-training (mostly swimming) with 4-5 mile runs and maybe one 8-mile run next weekend.