This week's stats:
- 81 Miles with 2 days of doubles
- 12M with 40 minutes of 1 min on/off with splits of 615/604/600/551/552/556/601 for 6.7M + 4 x 200m Hill Sprints
- 12M MLR
- 10M with 10 x short hill sprints
- 10M with 4 x 200m, 2M @ 540/533, 1M slow, 4x200m, 1M cool down
- 12KM Race: 1st overall, 43:11 with splits of 521/633/546/512/538/548/545/550 for 13M Total
What a big week. Without any work travel, it's time to put in (running) work. I was able to hit my highest mileage in who knows how long, while also competing in a race on Sunday. While I felt really good about my minuters workout on Monday with Jay, I went into Thursday's workout feeling tired and emotionally zapped. Last week was a pretty big week in terms of quality, and I felt the effects of that on my legs this week. So, by Thursday, I wasn't fully in to the workout, but wanted to still try it out with Job. I was supposed to do a 4 mile tempo progressing from 540-532, but I ended it after 2 miles and figured that I'll try again another time. After all, I'm still 17 weeks out from the Rock n Roll San Jose Half Marathon, so now isn't the time to push my body to the well. From an emotional standpoint, it's really difficult to keep up with a full-time job, 2 workouts during the week, plus a long run on the weekend. I feel like I'm constantly texting friends to see if they want to play pacemaker for me. It's like there's no downtime from planning; right after I finish one workout, I'm already on to the next one, planning it out with my other friends who work full time. For me, I've learned that what's most manageable is doing 2 workouts every other week. This way I'll still be able to get in more sustained efforts, but also get a break every other week when I can just focus on one hard workout during that time.
Fortunately, the lackluster performance on Thursday morning didn't deter me from going into the Across the Bay 12KM with the intention to win. I figured the race wouldn't be too competitive since most people were racing at Portland, or moving on to other target races in the summer. I was right about the competition - or so I thought until about mile 2. On Sunday morning, Peter drove Max, Michael and I up to Vista Point at Golden Gate Bridge, where we ran off to warmup to the start line together. Peter eventually made his way back to the finish line at Fort Mason.
At the start of the race, the familiar faces from Wolfpack, Aggies and Impala track clubs all made their way to the front of the line. I didn't see any familiar faces from the SacTown 10 miler, or Bay to Breakers. My prospect of winning looked good. The gun went off, and I took off with Michael, and situated myself behind some other men. The first mile was downhill flat, and I tried not to go too crazy since a huge uphill climb to the bridge would greet us in mile 2. During mile 2, I ran back and forth on the switchbacks up to the bridge. I passed a few guys, and a few passed me. After I peaked the crest of the hill, no one else would pass me for the rest of the race.
In the middle of the bridge, I heard what was definitely female breathing behind me. I glanced to my right, and sure enough, a woman was giving me a run for my money. Crap, I thought. I'm going to have to push harder on this part. It was still slightly uphill and I didn't feel like going faster yet, so I let her take the lead for a bit, until a slight downhill began. At that point, I decided I had no reason not to push harder now, and picked up the pace. During that time, I passed one guy and for the remainder of the race, would be staring at the back of the singlet of a man about 30-40 meters ahed of me.
Mile 3 was almost all downhill, as we snaked our way down along the water, to Chrissy Field. The next 3 miles can be summarized the same: I was running scared, unsure of where the woman was behind me. I listened for people cheering, and deduced that she probably was pretty far back from me, but I still couldn't be 100% certain. These miles were flat, along the bay, overlooking Alcatraz Island. The sun was shining directly into my eyes and I tried to focus on the man in front of me because my legs were starting to feel pretty tired. By mile 7, I had caught the guy in front of me, but on the steep 400m climb, he passed me right back. On the downhill into the finish, I wasn't able to catch him, and lost motivation to kick it in any harder. I was pretty tired.
I got to break the finish line tape, which is a first for me in a California race. Even though I won the 2016 Pride Run and the 2016 San Francisco Half, they didn't have tape at the finish lines. So, it was pretty special to win! My goal for this year is to win the PA USATF Long Distance Grand Prix, and this win helps secure my #1 position.
At the end of the race, Max, Michael and I very slowly cooled down before the awards and then walked to a cute neighborhood brunch spot. All in all, everyone was pleased with their performance!