Kaiser Half Training: Week 8

Happy Christmas Week everyone. I hope you all had a lovely week and enjoyed the holidays.

In Blogland, there’s always that question about how much to share, and it’s tempting to gloss over dark times and make out that we had a wonderful, Instagrammable Christmas. And our Christmas was very Instagrammable. See?

Our annual Christmas Tree photo with the resentful cat
Our annual Christmas Tree photo with the resentful cat

(Yes I wish I’d tidied up the Mac cables).

However, my Grandad passed away on Christmas Eve. It wasn’t unexpected but still heartbreaking and it added both poignancy and preciousness to our Christmas. ‘Sleeping in Heavenly Peace’ took on a whole new meaning. Having said that, it’s impossible to be sad on Christmas Day when you have a 5-year-old. It’s literally impossible, so we are grateful to the Dude for keeping Christmas special.

LOOK at all the presents!
LOOK at all the presents!

My running was fairly poor this week.


Monday: Rest

After Sunday’s beast of a tempo run, my legs were so tired that I rested them.

Tuesday: Foundation Run

Six easy early-morning miles. The first three somewhat faster than the second three because I was desperately seeking a loo. Thank you PJCC for always letting me use your bathroom. 6 miles at 9.37 pace.

Then, an easy hike with the Dude and some friends at Rancho San Antonio. Lots of mud, lots of stroking of farm animals, surprisingly little moaning. 3.7 miles of fun.

Rancho trails
Rancho trails

Wednesday: Intervals

I got up at 6am to run intervals…but then decided to make my Christmas lasagne instead because I could always run later. I didn’t run later. Kind of annoyed at myself.

Thursday: Christmas Day!

Some people run on Christmas Day. I don’t. Too many other lovely things to do. In the afternoon, we joined our neighbours and hiked 2.7 sunny, warm miles at Pulgas Ridge park. It was so nice to get outside and breathe the fresh air. And then we came home and ate our body weight in lasagne, cannoli and Christmas Pudding. Also Kir Royales.

Christmas trails and sunshine
Christmas trails and sunshine

Friday: Tempo Run

I planned to do my interval run today so set out with that intention. My Garmin was uncharged (due to a small person using it to run laps of the hallway and not turning it off properly) so I used my basic old stopwatch which would do perfectly well for intervals. However, during my warm-up, I realized that I actually had to do a tempo run today to fit in with next Thursday’s race. I tried talking myself out of it but as I hit the first mile marker on the Bay Trail, I realized it was now or never.

So…mile 1 warm up and then 5 miles at tempo. I don’t have split times due to me using my basic old watch but I estimate the tempo miles were about 8.28. This is slower than I would have liked for my last tempo run before my NY Day race but bearing in mind my bulging Christmas belly, I’ll take it. I have a week to lose 4 lbs. Oh Christmas food, how I love you. 6 miles at 8.45 pace. 

Then a Boxing Day hike with friends along the Ridge Trail on San Bruno Mountain. 3.5 miles in all. I had moderate knee pain for the rest of the day. Nothing agonizing but definitely noticeable. I’d had it before my tempo run and it was worse throughout the day. The views and the bracing wind definitely blew the cobwebs out of my hair and made it worthwhile.

san bruno mountain
Cold sunshine and great views
san bruno mountain ocean farallon islands
The first time I’ve ever see the Farallon Islands, 30 miles off the coast. I thought they were made up!


Saturday: Rest.  I wanted to get rid of that knee pain. Pretty much succeeded.

Sunday: Long Run

I planned to do 12 miles here as per my plan. But late last night the Husband informed me that he was leaving at 7.40 to go cycling, so I needed to be home for 7.30. So I got up at 5.30, was out the door at 6am and ran 9 miles. One mile warm up and then 8 miles of 0.25M tempo, 0.75M recovery. I wish I’d done the extra 3 miles but there was no way I was getting up any earlier. 9 miles at 9.29 pace

Then…we planned to skate on Union Square but it was fully booked so we headed to Golden Gate Park to rent surreys!

Surrey with a fringe on the top
Surrey without a fringe on the top

This beast weighed a TON! Literally killed us. The flat was okay, the downhill was hilarious but the uphill killed us. The Husband actually had to get out and push us up hills. Brutal. We were sweaty betties at the end so it definitely counts as cross training!


This was clearly not an awesome week’s training. I ran three times which is definitely not enough, especially when one was cut short in terms of miles. I’ve been working through the next four weeks’ training plans and the mileage definitely ramps up. I think I can handle it, assuming my knee doesn’t get any worse.

The knee concerns me a little. Not so much painful as aching. I think some stretching and massaging and rolling the whole leg will make a difference. I hope so.

I did really enjoy the hiking this week. We’re trying to gently ease the Dude back into hiking and it’s been loads of fun.

Next Thursday is my 10k race – it’s a barometer of where I am with my training and how realistic a PR at Kaiser is likely to be. It’s the Race To End World Hunger in Mountain View on New Year’s Day. I have high hopes for it. I want to run my socks off and I’d like to PR but we’ll see. The Dude will be running the 5k. This was his idea and he’s determined to do it, despite my reminding him of quite how far three miles is. The Husband is dropping down from the 10k to run it with him – he’s taking snacks and drinks and extra clothing and probably a couple of books! It should be fun. I am so proud of him for even giving it a shot!

So my focus for this week is to sort my diet out (i.e. eat less, eat better), to do all my planned runs, to race my heart out and to PR. Voila!

Let’s make the most of the rest of 2014. Cherish your people, everyone.

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Grace says:

    So, so sorry to hear about your granddad; my deepest condolences to you and your family.

    That said, the Dude’s expressions in all your photos are quite priceless. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks for your sweet words. Yes, the Dude has reached the stage where photos are all about expressions 🙂 It’s quite fun.

      Happy New Year…your 2015 is going to be so amazing.

  2. Jen says:

    I’m so very sorry to hear about your granddad. Virtual hugs to you and your family during this time.

    Maybe you didn’t run as much as you had hoped this week, but it was Christmas, and you got a lot of walking and surrey-pedaling in, so that’s got to count for something! 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks for the hugs! And I agree…bearing in mind it was Christmas week, I to some decent miles in. The surrey pedaling definitely counted as cross training!

  3. Bean says:

    So sorry to hear about your loss. 😦 Look at all those presents!!! The Dude is the best!!! Even for what you say is not a lot of running you were very active on a week where I spent most of my time consuming chocolate!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks for the sweet words…and yes, we had way too many presents, mainly for the smallest member of the family! And I consumed SO MUCH CHOCOLATE too!

  4. Angela says:

    So sorry for your loss. We lost a cousin I grew up with in July & Christmas just wasn’t the same without him around.

    How exciting that the little guy is attempting to tackle a 5K!! Hope things go well for both of you!!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks for your words. I know so many people this year who were sending their first Christmas without someone they loved, it was kind of weird! I hope your Christmas was lovely, if different.

      The Dude has persuaded his dad to give him a Gu half way round. We’ll see how many hours it takes to come off the sugar high 🙂

  5. So sorry for you loss of your grandad. Looks like you had a good week even if it was not what you had planned.

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks for your kind words. We did have a good week and a good Christmas, despite it all. Kids are amazing at not letting you wallow. It was impossible to be sad on Christmas Day!

  6. Nic J says:

    Glad you had a good Christmas, despite the loss of your Grandad – that’s never easy to cope with, even if anticipated. You’re all in my thoughts for Christmas. xx

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks, gorgeous x

  7. Sorry to hear about your grandfather. It’s a difficult time and it’s hard knowing you’re far from your family during those times. We can totally relate as Mathieu lost his grandfather, the day after Christmas. He was buried today. Mathieu is not the kind of persons to show his emotions but I know he is affected and even more knowing he is not there with his family. Anyway, we are thinking of you too 🙂

    On another note, my little Lucky Charms will run a race??!! That’s awesome. Be sure I’ll think about him. And, also, I’ll think about you too for your 10K. Go for it!!

  8. Cathryn says:

    I’m so sorry about Mathieu…how awful. Hugs.

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