Well, here we are in August, and another week of training is in the books.
Does anyone else feel like summer is flying by?
Here’s what the schedule looked like for Week 5:
- Tempo run – 5 mi
- Track workout – 10 x 400s
- Long run – 14 mi
Rather than getting fancy with a new route for Tuesday morning’s tempo, I decided to just extend my usual out-and-back three-miler.
The strategy? Look for the flattest street possible to add the extra two miles, which ended up taking me into a new part of town.
And lo and behold, I stumbled onto this:
It just so happens to be the city’s smallest “sand park,” all of about four square feet on the side of the road.
And, shhh, it’s a secret! Gotta love the creative spirit (and sense of humor) here in San Francisco.
By the time Thursday rolled around, I had prepared myself for another foggy evening track workout, but was pleasantly surprised to find the opposite once I arrived at Kezar Stadium.
Between juggling my stopwatch app and workout playlist, I forgot to turn on my GPS watch for the first two 400-meter laps, but the remaining eight flew by.
I also took the opportunity to test out a new headband from Violet Love ($17), which helped keep flyaways at bay.
The signature “no headache, no slip fabric” strikes the perfect balance of staying put without being painfully tight.
On a side note, I’m really enjoying these weekly track workouts.
It’s easy to slip into a mental monotony with longer runs because progress is slow, so the quick bursts help infuse some feelings of accomplishment into training.
Of course, it also helped that there were a few super-speedy sprinters making the rounds.
I wasn’t even going to try to keep up with them, but I hate getting lapped, so I stepped up my pace to a range of 1:39-1:46 instead of the 1:50-1:52 target.
Oh, and another benefit of the track? It’s flat! As my long runs get longer, there’s no avoiding the inevitable elevation changes that come with traversing the city.
Case in point: Saturday’s 14-miler.
The route looped downtown, through Chinatown, which is always bustling and full of good window shopping and people watching.
I wove my way through the financial district and onto Market Street before heading over to the infamous stretch that is Haight Street.
Despite Haight’s hills, I had plenty to look at to distract me – like this pigeon-stalking cat on one corner.
He drew quite the crowd, although we humans seemed a lot more impressed by his antics than any of the birds.
The route then took me around Golden Gate Park to Ocean Beach, which is on the westernmost border of San Francisco.
Between the clouds and the wind, it was pretty chilly, so aside from a few brave runners, the only action on the beach was from people huddled around bonfires.
I had to stop and walk along shore for a minute to take in the view…which, of course, meant carrying some of the beach back with me (in the form of sand-filled socks) for the remainder of the run.
Ben joined me a few miles from home for moral support during the home stretch.
Aside from a tender right knee around mile five, some stiffening joints around mile 11 and an odd soreness on the top of my left foot around mile 13, we made pretty good time.
The rest of the day was dedicated to rest and recovery before we restocked our carb stores at Kevin’s on some of his “loaded baked potato pizza.”
Yes, it’s a delicious as it sounds. And yes, I’ll see if I can get the recipe and share it here.
Stay tuned for week six!
Thanks to the folks at Violet Love for providing a sample for review; all opinions are my own.