Kaiser Half Training: Week 12

Before I start, thanks for all your sweet comments about Wednesday’s CT scan. Got the results and all is GOOD! No real change in four years, which is a totally brilliant result!

Anyway…we’re just one week out from Kaiser, it’s this coming Sunday! Despite 12 weeks of training, I am not feeling at all ready. I know I have the endurance but the speed? I’m not feeling the speed.

A quick rundown on what happened this week


Monday: Rest Day

I was mildly jet lagged and just not in the mood to exercise, so I didn’t.

Tuesday: 6 miles of long intervals

I really liked this early morning run. Ten minutes warm up and then 13 repetitions of 2 minutes ‘fast’ and one minute recovery. That recovery minute goes SO fast. 8.52 pace overall. 

Wednesday: Rest. 

Should have run today but I had my CT scan whilst the Dude was at school and the Husband was away with work so I didn’t get to run.

Thursday: 6 mile tempo.

One mile warm up and 5 miles at tempo. The tempo miles averaged about 8.28 but the latter miles were in the 8.30s and it felt HARD. I honestly don’t see how I can hold this pace or anything like it for 13 miles next week. Race Day Magic may be the only answer. 8.38 overall pace. 

Friday: LOOOONG run

My massive, long, crazy run. 16 miles!! My longest run since I was 29 (which wasn’t recently). I was supposed to run the last 1.5 miles faster but really didn’t have it in me but I managed to run all those miles fairly comfortably. It was WARM…I ended up running in a sleeveless top and being pretty comfortable! And I listened to ‘This American Life’ which basically sounds like Serial! I was really happy to finish this run though. Didn’t have much more in me.

I saw Jess on Saturday and she queried such a long run so soon before the race. She’s right – the 80/20 plan allows for a 2 week taper which I shortened due to me missing the first few weeks of the plan by accident. So I should have run this long run two weeks before the race, not one week. Ooops. I’m going to rework the last week’s taper plan based on how my legs feel on Monday and hope I didn’t overcook them.  10.16 pace overall.

  Saturday: Rest I really wanted (and planned) to run the inaugural Crissy Field parkrun this morning but my legs told me in no uncertain terms that they would cry if I tried that. So I made flapjack and went to a book exchange! And then we went to see Paddington and it was so good.

If this doesn’t win Oscars for utter perfection, there will be no justice in the world

Sunday: Easy Run

4 very easy, slow miles in the gorgeous sunshine. Tested out my new arm warmers for Kaiser – I like them. Mainly because they’re neon. My legs were definitely still tired. Aaaagh. 4 miles at 10.21 pace.


Lots of musings this week. Overall, this was a good week. Plenty of distance (32 miles) and good amounts of speed, if not as fast as I would like. Next week, I taper and next Sunday I race.

Being honest with myself (and you guys), I don’t have 1.49 in me. I might just squeak a PR (1.52 or less) as it’s a very PR friendly course but I don’t feel in PR shape. Or is that just the inner voice draining away my confidence before the race? I’ve trained long and hard, I’m proud of the training I’ve done. But is it enough?

Kaiser 2012!
Kaiser 2012!

Having said that, I am SO ready to not be training for this raceMy college courses started this week – one online course started and I had one lecture. My third course starts next week. So far, so super-exciting. The class had me totally geeking out – the lecture theatre, the new stationery, the awesome professor. I am so hugely excited about this new chapter of my life. But the workload is daunting me a little and I am hugely relieved not to be doing such long runs in the future. I am really excited to run Kaiser, hopefully crush it and then to focus on 10ks and shorter distances for the next four or five months whilst I’m a student! I think the change will be really good for me.

And a quick note on my Hokas. I love them. Initially, I loved them but had some concerns – my knees ached after every run. Not knee pain (ever) but a muscular ache. I think it is because the heel-toe drop is less than I was used to and my muscles were working differently. But now I’m used to them, I REALLY love them. No shin pain. No ITB pain. And they’re really cute. I’m definitely becoming a Hoka girl although I will not risk such stack height on the trails!!

Bright, beautiful, bouncy and beloved
Bright, beautiful, bouncy and beloved

So this coming week is Taper Week and Sunday is Race Day! Let’s do this.

23 Comments Add yours

  1. First, great news for the CT scan 🙂
    Then, OMG, I HAVE to try to make flapjack!
    Then, good luck for your college courses. It IS exciting!
    Finally, don’t be negative about your race. Let the week go and see how you feel. I know, and you should know too, that you did the best you could during the training. You knew it was an experiment. So, you’ll give all you have on Sunday and that’s the most important thing. But, really, don’t think you won’t be able to PR because it would be just as if you already prepared yourself for failure. (I know it’s easier said than done…)

    1. Cathryn says:

      Once again, the hardest battle will be inside my head – you’re totally right. I’ve got some work to do this week!!! And YES, make flapjack, it’s amazing stuff. Good for hiking and cycling and running if you can stop to eat it.

      1. Nic J says:

        My top tip for flapjack – use baking parchment NOT greaseproof paper. I thought they were the same thing. they are not. Greaseproof paper results in solid, welded in flapjack around the edges, and then a middle of crumbs. Not good, although easy enough to eat with a spoon! Baking parchment by contrast was fabulous – just peeled off, leaving flapjack perfection… Took about 5 batches of disasters before I finally learned this…

      2. Cathryn says:

        I thought they were the same too – thanks for the tip.

  2. Jen says:

    I agree with the above comment – no use being negative about the race. Don’t think about what you can’t do and don’t be afraid. Just go out and try your best – what have you got to lose? You’ve worked really hard over the last 11 weeks! (which by the way, seems super long for half marathon training. My Kaiser plan was only 7 weeks and I’m more than ready to be done!) I do think there will be race day magic for you if you take taper very seriously. I mean, before Foster City I hadn’t run more than 6 miles at 9:00 pace, and then on race day I was able to crank out 10 at 8:48/mile! So just go out and celebrate the fabulous, fit, healthy body that you have as you become a MASTER runner!

    1. Cathryn says:

      You’re totally right – I remember I had the same mental battle at my last PR attempt half-marathon. The self-belief is always the hardest thing, isn’t it!! Good point about your FC results too. Thanks, lady x

  3. Nic J says:

    Agree with the above – your training has been fascinating to follow, and good prep for you I think – the race day will tell (fingers crossed and a fair wind).
    And just to throw down the gauntlet slightly…. BABY?….or WARRIOR!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      I think warrior? 🙂

      1. Nic J says:

        Absolutely WARRIOR!!!! Will be thinking of you over the weekend, and willing you to put in your best performance (PR or not PR). Am fully expecting to be getting a write up of your triumph, and you singing your way over the finish line! If you need an additional mantra…. #THISGIRLCAN 🙂

  4. kimretta says:

    I’ll be cheering by Lincoln and Great Highway on Sunday — look for the Golden Gate Triathlon Club tent (red/black) and the girl with the crazy plastic clapping hands!

    And, I’ll take your word for it on Paddington. I grew up reading and loving the books but man, the movie Paddington just does not look like the bear in my head! But with this legit British endorsement, maybe I’ll give it a shot.

    1. Cathryn says:

      That would be so cool, thank you. I’ll let you know my super-hot outfit nearer the time 😉

      Ref Paddington, I was nervous too because Paddington is basically a childhood hero and they could have mucked it up but it was honestly perfect. There’s an additional storyline with Nicole Kidman which is totally unnecessary (and freaked my little man out so much he had to be taken out crying). It bugged me because there are so many great stories that could have been incorporated. But the actual Paddington bit is perfect. The story where he meets the Browns in the station actually made me cry. (Hormones).

  5. Brianna says:

    First off sorry I have been MIA from blog commenting – Work and wedding planning have been crazy! I’ve been “binge” blog reading, if that’s even a thing 😉 so I think I am all caught up now. Secondly, wonderful news about the CT scan! Thirdly, You’ll do great on Sunday! You have put in a lot of work these past 12 weeks and I know it will pay off. I’m running the 5k and plan on hanging out a bit so if you or any other ladies running the half need some crowd support or a cheering squad, I volunteer my services 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      Welcome back, stranger!! Thanks for the cheering, both online and maybe on the day? Is the 5k after the half starts? Would be great to wave at you!

      1. Brianna says:

        Yes, the 5k and 1/2 start at the same time. I plan on doing a cool down (I always say this, but have never really end up following through) and maybe get one of those massages they have at the finish line (5k perk – finishing before the crowds) but will plan on walking out to great highway and watch some of the half so I will defiantly be on the lookout for ya! Before the race, I will get there early and do a warm up (a lot more likely scenario then a cool down) and otherwise hanging out near startline if you are also getting there early.

  6. Mike says:

    First and foremost, great to hear your CT scan came up roses… here’s to many more years of brilliant results!

    You’re going to be (better than) fine at Kaiser… trust your training and yourself, and know you’re going to kill it on Sunday. By doubting yourself now, you’ll only create excuses for when the going gets tough (e.g. “I KNEW I didn’t train enough, so it’s ok to slow down a bit here…”). All you can do is put yourself in a position to succeed, and you’ve done that admirably. As Jen alluded to, you never know what race-day adrenaline will do for you until you’re in the moment. So I’d say your best taper strategy is to keep envisioning positive outcomes, see yourself blasting across that finish line with neon arms raised and fists clenched at 1.48.59, and go with the flow on race day. And most importantly, enjoy the ride!

    1. Cathryn says:

      1.48!! You’re knocking a minute off me! I like you.
      You’re right – I have to spend some time this week working on my head and getting myself pumped for the race. This is a common issue for me for goal races! I’ve done all the running I can do now, so i’ll try and spend the time THINKING and planning.

  7. padraigjapan says:

    Good luck with your race on Sunday any remember to trust yourself. I am sure you will have a great run.

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thank you!! We’ll see soon enough.

  8. I know you are going to do great. You have trained hard and really isn’t it just about going out there and doing our best on the day of the race. It may not be a PR but really you are still PRing yourself by continuing to train and focus on your health. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  9. bt says:

    Your training looks so strong. Believe! Also, despite your diagnosis (or perhaps because of it), I love that you have the CT scan updates to confirm that you are a classically healthy and well-balanced individual. Well done! How wonderful is that?

    You are more fit than most without your situation. Impressive! Assuming the weather holds, I predict you’ll surprise yourself on Sunday…

    Also, Flapjack was a resounding hit. So many of the book exchange attendees commented on how awesome it was. Thank you!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thank you!! Glad they liked the flapjack, I have to limit how often I make that stuff as it’s too good!

  10. Grace says:

    Gosh, where did the entire month just go?! Good luck on Sunday!

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