Big Sur

Following last week’s sung confession of Not Much Running, you’ll be delighted to hear that there was a decent amount of running this weekend!

On Friday, I was up and out by 6am for 5 easy miles. EVERY time the alarm goes off at 5.30am I want to go back to sleep, and generally I have to admit I do so. But this time, I managed to get myself up and out. Once I’m out, I LOVE those early morning runs in the dark, I really relish them and the endorphin rush when I got home was awesome. I was fearsomely productive!

Seen on my run

Seen on my run

Then on Saturday, we all piled in the car and headed off for our long weekend down Big Sur. The Dude had Monday off school for teacher training, so we had an extra day. On Saturday, we headed to Pacific Grove – the poor relation to famous Monterey and swanky Carmel. We loved Pacific Grove, it was a really nice little town, with wonderful rocky coastline. On Saturday morning, the Husband and I took advantage of willing Grandparent Babysitters and headed out for a run together – we can’t remember the last time we ran together without the Dude. It was bright sunshine and a little chilly but I was fine in a t-shirt once we were moving.  We ran down the coastal path, stopping at Lovers Point for photos (natch) and then veered into the town itself. 6.3 miles of early morning goodness.

Pacific Grove Ocean

Lovers Point

Lovers Point

me Pacific Grove

Later that day, we drove down the spectacular Big Sur Coast, stopping at the lovely restaurant Nepenthe for drinks on the terrace.

The view from the Nepenthe terrace is pretty wonderful

The view from the Nepenthe terrace is pretty wonderful

Big Sur coastline

Big Sur coastline

We stayed the night at Moonstone Beach in Cambria and visited Hearst Castle on Monday morning before coming home. Such a great weekend away.

Sunset in Cambria

Sunset in Cambria

 

Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle

This week’s Running Plans

My official 12-week Kaiser Half training kicks off next Monday, the 10th. As such, this week I’m ramping it up a little – aiming to run 5 times with some ‘speed work’ thrown in.  After four weeks of running at about 11-minute miles, I can’t really imagine speed work. Suddenly 9.30s feel like quite the fabulous running achievement and I am actually marvelling at my 8.25 average 10k from February. On the positive side, my legs feel considerably better than they did at the start of October, when they were constantly drained and tired. It’s definitely been a good thing for me to do.

I shall also be aiming to run more – four times at least. Once official training kicks in next week, I shall be running probably five times a week – although I’ll be careful not to do too much and drain my legs or get injured. And I shall also be playing around with the Husband’s Heart Rate Monitor to try and gauge the various thresholds I need to know for 80/20 training.

However…I have to be honest, I am VERY dubious about how this slow running will translate into a PR come February. A big part of me wants to ditch this 80/20 scheme and RUN RUN RUN but I’m determined to give it a go. I’ve decided to give myself a couple of ‘out-clauses’ due to my trepidation. I have a trail half in December and I’m going to do a 10k in January…if I’m not seeing any speed improvements for that 10k in particular, I’ll reconsider my training plan.

In the meantime, I have three more days with my favourite people, so excuse me if I head off now.

About Cathryn

I'm from Wiltshire, a beautiful rural county in the south of England. My husband, son and I moved to California in August 2010 with my husband's job, whilst I stay at home with The Dude, our gorgeous five year old son. I love running and cycling. I'm a Christian. I am finally learning to cook (about time too). I'm loving exploring this new part of the world and meeting its wonderful people.
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12 Responses to Big Sur

  1. Grace says:

    MAF training seems to be working for Jen, but it also seems to take a tremendous amount of patience! Anyway, I’m a big proponent of ‘if what you’ve always done isn’t working any more, try something new’. You haven’t got anything to lose anyway! Hope it works out.

    • Cathryn says:

      Yeah, patience is not something I’m blessed with. Also I have to be honest – I’ve kind of got my heart set on PRing come February. But we’ll def give it a good shot for at least 8 weeks and see how I feel at the end.

  2. Bean says:

    D and I got engaged at Lover’s Point! I love that area. Looks like a great time!!! I am trying a bit of the 80/20. Less mileage overall but harder workouts that are fast and long runs that are slooowwww it seems to be going okay. The running faster for sure is helping though it hurts ;). I hope it works for you!

    • Cathryn says:

      I didn’t know about you guys and Lovers Point, I wish I’d known. We did some kissing anyway for you!

      Glad you’re 80/20ing a bit too – looks like everyone’s giving it a go!

  3. Can you believe we never went to Big Sur yet?? Everytime I looked, the hotels, or B&B’s were all booked so long in advance! Anyway, now I see your pictures and I NEED to go see that by myself! 😉

    GO GO GO, to enjoy your last days with your parents here.

    • Cathryn says:

      Yeah, you DO need to go! We stayed at the top (Pacific Grove) and the bottom (Cambria) which is much cheaper than staying on the actual coast although not as nice, obviously! And do stop at Nepenthe, it’s amazing.

  4. Jen says:

    I love Big Sur! Looks like you all had a fabulous time.

    I’m wondering if you’ll have enough time to reap the benefits of 80/20. For example, MAF base building is supposed to take 3-6 months before speed work. If you’re set on PRing, this might not be the time to try 80/20? Also, not sure about 80/20, but MAF is geared toward longer endurance events – and since you’ve been able to do several sub-2 half marathons (i.e., where you can rely on both your aerobic and anaerobic systems to get you through), I’m wondering if slow runs will help you PR. Anyway just thinking aloud, so to speak. I really liked the 6-week plan I used last year for kaiser so I think I’ll just do the same one again!

    • Cathryn says:

      You sum up my concerns perfectly. I can’t speak for MAF but 80/20 does seem to imply that 12 weeks is long enough to turn things around and there are 12-week plans for every distance, and throughout the book he talks about this three month period. There’s no mention of needing to spend a significant period building up that base fitness. However I am more and more sold on the idea of racing a 10k at the end Dec/start Jan with the express purpose of ‘checking’ my speed so that I can rework the plan if necessary. I know I can’t guarantee a PR but I want to do my best. Hopefully as I work through the plan, I’ll start to get a sense of how this is suiting me. If nothing else, it should stop me burning my legs out like I did recently.

  5. Angela says:

    Ahhhhh I want to go to Big Sur! Still never been!

  6. padraigjapan says:

    Well done on your morning run. I have reset the alarm so many times in recent months I am embarrassed to set it for 5:30 anymore. Regarding reaping the rewards of running at an aerobic level, i.e. slowly, I think that it takes lots of time and I think that you need to increase your volume. Good luck in your race.

    • Cathryn says:

      Yes, definitely need to increase volume and I start to do that today! I share your concerns!

      Glad I’m not the only one to struggle with the mornings. I need to buckle down and do it now – early mornings will be my only chance to run for the next few weeks.

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