Sunday, August 29, 2010

Crim Recap

I like goals when I run.  Even if I don't make any them, trying to do them helps me run a more intelligent race.  Occasionally I overdo it and have a half a dozen different hopes floating around of how the day will go, but for the most part things have gone well with this philosophy.  Guess that's why I stick with it.

Anyway, this is the third Crim I've run, and the first since '06.  '07 was a huge year for me, when my running ability improved by leaps and bounds. I was curious to see how I could do even coming off an injury and six weeks of recovery and gaining 10 pounds.

Trust me, by the end of the race I think I could feel every ounce of that extra weight dragging on me like dozens of tiny anchors.  But I digress.

the day was as perfect as the Crim gives- middle 60s at the start, windy and not overly humid.  I've had runs in the mid 60s feel like hell because of high humidity conditions, but luckily the race managed to dodge that bullet this year.  I got in early, got my race stuff and put it all together- number pinned, D-tag attached, the usual.

My goals were as follows: a PR (<1:37:08), sub 9 min/pace (1:30) sub 8:30 (1:25). Secondary goal is to run the last three miles faster than the first three.  I also had in the back of my head the idea of negative splitting, but I wasn't certain I was up for that.

I started off the race feeling pretty good, enjoying the relative cool and the flatness of the roads.  I knew it wasn't going to keep up- temps were scheduled to go up to 75 or so by 10AM, and the hills aren't anything to sneeze at.  I was a little bit worried when I noted my mile splits were right around 8 minutes, though.  I told myself I could take it easier during the middle third of the race and run hard for the final third and it would be fine.  It would give me an easier time doing the hilly part of the course.

Right around mile three, I linked up with a couple of friends from the running group; both of them were doing their long run for their training program as part of the race.  They'd met early to do five miles, run the Crim, and then do another five after the race.  Personally, since they're trying to run a 3:30, I figure they did a good marathon pace run in the middle of their 20, although I have no idea how much they rested between runs.

It was really helpful having them to talk to, though.  Kept me from taking the hills too seriously, and I did let my pace fall off like I wanted to.  I passed the half in 41:01.  I think mile five was my slowest, but also with my highest heart rate average (171) until I hit my last mile.  I also think the hills at mile five were also the hardest.

One word about pacing- at least, according to my garmin, I'm pretty good at it in the beginning of a race.  My first three mile splits were 7:56, 7:57 and 7:57.  Not too shabby!  heart rate was in the 160's, too.  I'm pretty happy about that.  

Anyway, final time was 1:20:33, five minutes faster than my stretch goal of 1:25, and 16:35 faster than '06.  My first three miles were at an average of pace of 7:56; my final three miles were done at an average pace of 7:45, so i got that goal too.  And since I passed the midpoint in 41:01, I managed to drop about a minute thirty from the first half to the second.

All in all, I call it a win.  :)

Week in review...

Happy with this week: Did some easy runs, some speed work, and a race which gave me a little confidence back as a runner.

Total miles: 35.8
Time: 5:13:19
Average pace: 8:45

Mon: 6 miles WB trail with the Monday morning group
Tues: 6.1 miles WBHS track speed work.  Quarters.
Wed: 4.1 at Pontiac- five finger run, 6.1 WB group run with K.
Thur: off
Fri: 3.5 on WB trail.  Supposed to be easy. 
Sat: Crim- 1:20:33.  16:35 PR. 8:04 pace.
Sun: off

A week to be happy about, I think.  :)

Next week, 37-42 miles!  Many of them with come from the Labor Day 30K, I think.  Not one I'm going to race- it's almost double the length of my longest run since May.  Rolling the dice, but I've gone without running this race for so long that I really *don't* want to miss it again.

That being said, I also really don't want to get injured.  Maybe I'll go heart rate mediated...

Anyway, tentative plan-

Mon- 5-6 group run
Tues- 5-6 speed work
Wed- 5-6 group run
Thurs- off
Fri- 3-6 shake out run
Sat- 18.6 Labor Day 30K
Sun- off

Total Planned miles are 37-42.  I hope it goes well!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Crim

Here's where I speculate on what the Crim is going to be like. 

First off, I haven't run it since '06, and my time was 1:37.  Which i really think i should be able to beat, although I'm not certain by how much- doing a nine minute pace today wasn't "easy" and it's a much easier course.  But here's how I see a couple of different ways to run the race going...

Run it easy; probably just shy of a 10 minute pace.  Don't work hard, enjoy the experience, wave to the crowds and people watch.  Hit the end and not feel tired, winded, or in any way overly stressed.  Predicted time: 1:36

Run it moderate: this would probably start off trying to be easy, but then ramping up the effort until I fall into something approaching marathon effort.  Possibly climbing to Half marathon effort.  On this course I could figure that to be probably 8:30-45 pace, averaging in the race something just over a nine minute mile.  At a guess, 9:15-30.  Predicted time 1:33

Run it moderate-hard:  if the race day feels really good, and the temps are low, I'd probably start off trying to run easy but really running moderate, and after the first couple of miles going into half marathon effort pretty quickly.  If the Bradly's go well, and I'm feeling good through mile seven, perhaps even seeing what I've got left.  Predicted time: 1:30

If things go extraordinarily well, somewhere in the 1:20s.  I don't think it's impossible, considering my marathon pace in April put me below 1:20.  But it's not April, and I'm not in that shape anymore, sadly.

Running it smart would be much happier.  I can leave fast for another year.

Weekly recap

last week- a step down week, and the last free weekend from races for the next couple.  I'm pretty excited about the Crim this Saturday, but even moreso for the Labor day 30K the week after.  But I digress...

Monday's run was with the group, mostly with L, and it was good.  I reflected on the fact that maintaining a nine minute pace wasn't nearly as easy as it used to be.

Tuesday I got up, thought about going to speed work, and skipped it.  My body felt a little to tired from four days straight of running, and I was feeling like I was coming down with something.  I think it might be allergies, though, so I could be wrong.

Wednesday was group run, and it was good!  Mostly let... um... I forgot who set the pace, but it was relatively brisk.

Friday was a not-so-fun run at Kensington.  I don't know if it was the extra weight from the backpack, the fact that the water made me feel sick, or just the heat that killed me, but it was *not* a fun run.  Walked a good chunk of it, doing 10 miles in 2:09 or so, if I remember right.  13 min/mile... I did better four years ago when i was training for Detroit on my own.  Bah.

Sunday was the exact opposite- trails with five fingers, only four miles, no extra weight, and it was significantly cooler.  So, ya'know.  That was better.  :)

I really don't know whether I'm going to be able to do well for the Labor Day 30K; it'll be going from a max run of 10 miles to one of 18.6, which is a huge step up.  If I'm smart, I'll run it with L and W (different L), take it easy, walk the hills, and have a good time.  Without any danger of injuring myself.

Perhaps I'll be able to do that for the first 10 miles, and then for the last half of it see where my body wants to take me.  I do wish I had gotten a 12, 14, and 16 mile runs in prior.  But such is life.  Hopefully I won't hurt myself too badly...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rest Heart Rate

Woke up today and my heart was beating at about 72 bpm. Normal, but it felt fast to me for some reason. After seven hours, eating (which boosts the metabolism), drinking coffee (which also boosts metabolism), and the like, my heart rate is 63 bpm.

Could be a sign of overtraining. To be paranoid, I'm taking the day off from running, especially since it's speedwork. Besides, my body feels pretty tired and my throat feels scratchy. Though they sound like excuses, they really are reasons, and I'd love to go to speedwork today if I really felt like it were a good idea.

But it doesn't, and I can live with that. :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The week in running...

Not displeased; the rebuilding continues.

total miles- 30.8
time- 5:37:35
average pace- 10:59
number of runs- 6

Monday group run.  It's been a while since I've run with the Monday morning group.  It was always a nice, relaxed, and comfortable atmosphere.  Nice to have the direct invite from Bill... I've missed that group's connection.

Tuesday speedwork.  A mix of 100 and 200 meters runs, done at a moderate to hard effort.  With the sun and the heat and everything, I think I'm playing it smart by not trying to go overboard.  This upcoming week, though, I'm thinking of doing a ladder of effort consisting of 400s; after a warm up, do a 400 at marathon pace, then half marathon, 10K and then 5K, then lower the effort back down to marathon pace again.

The nice thing is that I'll be able to see if my pace and heart rate will be something consistent from one 400 to the next.  Still, that's only two miles; perhaps I'll have to do a few more things to make it a bit more distance; I'd like to get in at least five miles.

Group run on Wednesday; we'll see how that goes.  Part of me really wants to go farther than six miles, but another part of me knows that it might not be the best idea.  Oh well, I'll burn the bridge as I cross it.

Thursday- probably a rest day.  It's so cool to think that I'm back on a five or six day per week running schedule, even if most of those runs are a lot shorter than they used to be.  I've missed this part of the game, too.  :)

Friday appears to be off, so I'll probably do something interesting then- perhaps travel a bit to Island lake and do some running there, or perhaps Kensington.  Perhaps I'll do Pontiac- that kind of calls to me now, too.

Probably another rest day Saturday, since I'm working again.  And then run on Sunday, either with RUT or doing the Kirk in the Hills.  I miss doing the Kirk.  It was a splendid challenge, but I don't feel safe doing it without others there.  *sigh* dislike road running.  except when the roads are clear of everything except runners.  :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The thing I hate about my lack of fitness...

.. there are a lot of things I dislike about having lost a lot of fitness over the past two months.

I'm about 10 pounds heavier than I was and 15 pounds over where I want to be.
I can't run as far or as fast.
annoying habits of overindulgence at the table.
weakness for ice cream.
eating for fun.
eating out of boredom.

But the thing that annoys me the most is the stress relief I'm denied by not being able to cut loose.  There's something awfully freeing about hammering away at the miles at something close to "hard."  It's a stress relief that feels like no other I've experienced.  when the whole body is working together like a machine- it's beautiful.

And if feels good.  Like an accomplishment, like acing a test in a hard class because you know the material back on forward, like a pay off for having done work of quality.

Of course, since I haven't done any quality training, the lack of that feeling should come as no surprise.  And getting it back will feel pretty wonderful.

I maintained a sub-8 minute pace for 26.2 miles; three hours, twenty seven minutes and some odd number of seconds that was in the forties somewhere.  Three-Twenty something is a pretty big accomplishment from starting in the four-forties four years ago.

With the right amount of work, and the right inspiration, I can do it again.  Better, even.  All I have to do is play it smart, and do it right, and have a bit of luck on my side.

But more than anything else, i think I'm looking forward to feeling that feeling again.  :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010


running wise, everything fell apart in June.  Bad combo of being unlucky and unwise.  For all intents and purposes, I had about eight weeks off of running, and I didn't do anything to pick up the slack.

last week, I did a series of tests.  Six mile run.  Speedwork.  Lots of stretching and even a bit of warming up to boot.  No problems, really, except for the normal "I've lost a hell of a lot of fitness dammit!" type issues.  All part of the game.  Ran 18 miles total, which wasn't bad when all is said and done.

This week will be 24; I subscribe to Daniels (or maybe it's Pfitzinger's... I forget) idea of adding in mileage in a week the sum of the number of runs you did in the last week- thus, since I did 18 miles in six runs last, this week I'm up to 24.  This week, since i did the 24 in five runs, I'll shoot for 29 (or so).  Not nearly so conservative as the 10% rule, but I'll throw in a rest week after next just because it's probably the smart thing to do anyway.

And I think i'll keep to that schedule, adding four to six miles per week every three weeks with a rest week thrown in.  Comes to 12-18 miles per month.  At the end of August I should be up around 36 miles per week.  40-50s for September, and hitting the 60s in October if everything goes well.

I may even be in a place to be able to run a decent race sometime in October.  It's a pleasant thought, at least.  :)

So, for next week:
Goal distance: 30 miles
Number of runs: 6.  Or so.

... of course, it occurs to me that if I were to break up my runs into short, three to four mile type things I could add nine to ten miles per week if I really add miles more quickly.  But that might be counter productive...