The UC Santa Cruz campus is hilly...understatement of the year. It is not a college on a hill, it is a hill. Where I am staying is at the top, so, whenever you go down for a run, you always have to remember to save enough energy to come back up again! Last year, when I first arrived to Santa Cruz, I struggled to adjust to the hills. And I had done hill training before, but this was something new. And I found an excerpt from a post I wrote last year:
This year, things have been a bit different. While the hills presented some challenges in the beginning, it took much less time time to adapt to the hills. I never needed to walk, and some of the long climbs have not proved to be as debilitating as last year. The last year must've really helped condition me, because I thought I would need to re-learn how to train/run in Santa Cruz. I really surprised myself - I did not expect that I would feel this good already.
I have been having some really good weekend runs. As per usual, I do some sort of tempo run on Saturday and then a long run on Sunday. On Saturday, I had a 10 mile run of 5 miles easy (8:30 pace), followed by 5 miles moderate (7:30ish). Overall, I was pleased with the run - I felt like I was able to do the steep climbs with relative ease. Last week, I had a good fartlek run when I was running close to 6:00 pace for 10 x 90 second bursts. And likewise, this one felt strong as well. While these paces, in terms of numbers, are nothing to write about, but the feelings of strength and power that accompany them do feel significant.
In terms of my summer camp, our first session ended on Friday and our second session began on Sunday. The interim period, known as intersession, is really busy because within 48 hours, one session ends and another begins. Nonetheless, the 10 mile run made it in (even after a late night showing of Dark Knight Rises), and I was hoping that on Sunday morning, I would be able to get in my 12 mile long run - the longest run I've done since April. Saturday night workwise picked up considerably, and I kept looking at that 12 mile run on Sunday with some doubt and trepidation. After all, I had to be at work for Opening Day at 9AM, could I really fit the long run in before then? I was chatting about it with a friend/colleague, and was saying that I might just cut it down to 10 miles. Her response: "What is the difference, really? You just need another 15 minutes or so to get it done." After all, I don't really ever chicken out on runs. And while I knew I was going to be cutting sleep in place of the run, I didn’t want to chicken out. I left my office at midnight, slept for about 5.5 hours, and then got up for the 12 mile run before Opening Day of Session 2. 6AM in Santa Cruz in not necessarily dark, but it is foggy. It certainly made things feel extra quiet. As I started to trot out, I felt tired and a little sore, and 12 miles seemed like a long way to go. I got through my warm-up, running through the woods for 2.5 miles. I then turned onto this really steep road – I tried to take a picture to show how steep it was, but it didn’t do justice. I was really just hoping my quads would carry me through this part. Parts were slow-going – I was not concerned about pace, but I was getting through it. And I got so lost in the run tht in this stretch of the run (my long runs are run on a few parts of Santa Cruz: trails, roads, and the perimeter road of UCSC), that I added on a little bit extra. I headed back to the woods for the 2.5 back, and felt like I was finally starting to wake up.
|This was while kayaking in Santa Cruz|
|Me and my friend Katie on our day off|