Saturday, February 26, 2011

20 Miler

I have a love/hate relationship with 20 milers, like most marathoners. There's a sort of mystique about them, where the number in a particular training schedule is like a badge of honor. A few plans have runs going longer, some shorter, and I understand the rationale behind both.

Some say that the gains to the body aren't worth the risks; that once you go above 20 miles or a certain amount of time on your feet chances of injury go way up. I don't know if those who argue this point have any good research to back it up, but I can get their meaning.

The Hansons, I've heard, generally don't have their runners go much above 16 miles for the long run- and for them, that would take about two hours. I would think that the majority of their group's run easy pace is ~6:30, maybe 6:45. Since the Hansons have their runners up around 90-120 miles/week, it kind of makes sense.

But for many, 20 miles is a kind of bell weather; if you can do 20, you can do a marathon. Building up to 20 can be tough, especially if you do it slow and sure, only adding a mile or so to the long run every other week. That's the smart way of doing it.

Me, I went from 12 to 17 to 20 in three weeks. Not as smart, but as an experienced runner I can honestly say that I've done things more stupid. I'll take it easy for a week or so, and then go up to another 20, possibly more. I don't know- I'll leave it for the coach to decide.

I'm happy that my 20 miler today went well. My legs are a little tired, but it's that pleasantly fatigued feeling that comes from a job well done. They sort of tingle, which could either be due to the strain of the run today or the cold water spray down I gave them after my shower. Or both.

I'm not sure it matters. I do know that I'm pretty excited about going for a long trainer ride tomorrow at the Novi Running Fit; I'm hoping to bike as long as I ran today, time wise. I'm also looking forward to getting in a good amount of time stretching tonight, because I figure my body really needs it.

But mostly, I'm getting excited about the training. If I did the counting right, Bayshore is 13 weeks away. Means 11 weeks of some hard training and the a two week taper, which will also be hard, but in a different way.

And yeah, I'm pretty excited to see how it'll go. :)

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

speed work

I hate it when I can't remember simple instructions. Or when I try to remember them, and even though they don't jive with simple math, by the time I think of it it's far too late for adjustment.

Anyway, the scheduled run today looked like this: 8 miles total; 2 warm up, 4 at 7:20-30, 2 cool down.

What I read was: 8 miles total; 2 warm up, 6 at 7:20-30, 2 cool down. It didn't even occur to me that 2+6+2 doesn't equal 8. At least, it didn't occur to me until mile four of the workout. Life is like that.

So I compromised by running five at 7:20-7:35, the extra mile coming out of the cool down. It was a fairly tough run. Nothing felt quite right for the first three miles. Things did click in for the next mile, but then I started thinking about how I didn't know what I was doing for the workout, and that really kept me from running quite so fluidly.

Oh well; tomorrow's another day. Rest day, to be exact. I'm almost certain to eat more than I should, and that might make the 16 I'm planning to do on Saturday harder, but I'm okay with that. I like my rest days, and I think that I've earned it.

As for the new BQ times, I'm still working up a reaction to it...

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Race Report: super 5K

Time 21:44
Pace 6:59
Place 18th AG, 122 Gender, 144 OA

5Ks aren't my strong suit. I'm not sure what my strong suit is, or if I have one, but no matter what, 5Ks aren't it.

That being said, I kind of enjoyed this one. I got in early (like I like to do) and spent some time going to packet pick up, getting my gear together, and finding my running buddy to do the warm up.

Warm ups are important when I do a 5K. I really don't feel like I get relaxed when I run until I hit mile four or five.

We slogged through the slushy roads figuring out the lay of the land, waving to the other runners out on the street. Most of us were playing 'dodge the car' with people coming in for the race. Humidity made me worry a bit, but it turned out to be a non-factor, as far as I could tell.

Finished the warm up, switched over to race gear, and went into the building to chat with friends until race start.

For non-goal races, I'm almost always taken off guard by the start of the race. I'm both nervous and unfocused, and so I'm chatting with friends when the "go" is given. So people start surging around me and I'm surprised when I have to start moving. Hopefully it doesn't annoy people too much.

Anyway, I ran fairly easy for the first mile, and though there was a bit of weaving in and out of people, it wasn't bad. I do realize, though, that the Saucony Fastwitch, though a wonderful racing flat, isn't the best shoe for slushy conditions. The first bit I stepped in gave me instantly wet socks, and I forgot to pack spares. Oops.

First mile- 7:04

Second mile is a straight shot east on 11 mile road, hit the turn around, and start heading back. I like this part of the race, because you get to see the front runners coming at you, and can both cheer and be cheered. Sometimes I see people, sometimes I don't. But it's always a psychological boost to me.

Of course, I can get a little distracted by trying to find people to cheer for, and feel a little dizzy as the people zip by. But that's just part of the fun!

Second mile- 6:59

The third mile has a small down hill that's relatively steep, and a nice, gradual uphill that lasts until the final tenth of a mile. I dug a little deeper for the uphill, concentrated on my form and turn over, and just thought that it'll all be over fairly soon. Timed my breaths, timed my cadence. Every little distraction helps.

Third mile- 6:58

Last tenth I stepped on the gas to what extent I had left, and ran it at about a 6:17 pace. Not bad, though for a tenth of a mile it's not so hard. I'd love to be able to hold that for say, a marathon. But a tenth of a mile is a start. :)

Had a great time, and really enjoyed getting to know some of the great SE michigan folk from the Daily Mile afterward. Wide range of experiences, but all happily into the running thing.

Also got some Mizuno Swag, which is kind of nice. Their new tag line is "be yourself, only better" Not sure I'm completely happy with that motto, but I'll certainly wear the shirt. Ya'know. I like free shirts. :)

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