Friday, August 1, 2014

A Couple Weeks of Running

I haven't blogged in almost 3 weeks! So I'd better catch you up.

After a disappointing Pikermi in the heat in Ventura, I was feeling a little down. Had a sluggish recovery week and did 13 the following weekend, which went OK. I had a few good miles at 8:05 pace, but I bonked toward the end. I guess I was still tired. That week I officially pulled out of the Erie Marathon and gave up the dream of Boston 2015. I am pretty sure I was not going to make it anyway, and my schedule is full of lots of other fun stuff this Fall that I don't want to mess up by chasing an impossible goal. Still doing the Half though, and enjoying Loopfestivities!

So I cut back the schedule, and re focused it on New York City 7 weeks later. With less pressure. I don't have a hard time goal for NYC. Just want to enjoy it. Maybe see if I can go out slower and not bonk for once. (still, sub-4 for sure, right? )

Last week I had a 7-day business trip. I flew out Tuesday afternoon, but first I made time for an 8.3 mile run in the morning. And I felt great! I did the full wood chip trail near my house, which normally adds 15 seconds/mile due to the loose footing. But I managed a solid progression run!
 A little mojo coming back.

Then I was off to Arkansas for a few days. Wednesday evening I had time for a run, so I went out after a thunderstorm rolled through and caught some decent weather. Really humid, but not too hot. There is a little park near the hotel with a 0.9 mile loop running track (asphalt) around some playing fields. So I did 5 loops of that, and had a surprisingly good pace. Last year at this same park I about died in the heat, so this was also a nice confidence booster.

Thursday night I flew to Indianapolis, for a weekend of hanging out at the racetrack. My business contact had a suite on the track, so we went on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the NASCAR Brickyard 400, plus various other races going on. Open bar and lots of food. But I set aside Saturday morning for a long run, and found a nice long trail along the White River.

Again it was warm and humid, but not too bad for July. I went out with no water and one GU, assuming I would find some water on such a nice public trail in the heart of a city. Well, no. Not one water fountain to be found. Or bathroom. Or nearby restaurant or gas station. I guess I could have found one if I went off trail for a few blocks. But I just plugged along and did 11.4 miles with no water. And skipped the GU.


I was trying to take it easy, and I settled into 8:30 pace pretty well. No bonking. Just a good run. Especially considering the 6 drinks and massive amounts of food the night before. It made me feel better about indulging myself the next few days...

So I got home Monday morning, and took a recovery day. Tuesday I went out with my LRS group. As usual, it turned into a tempo, as I started talking with and running with a guy who was kind of fast. We dropped under 8 minute pace. Eventually he faded, but I kept it up. Felt great!

Mile 2 was actually more like 7:55. Garmin gets messed up when I go through a parking garage.

Then I came back Wednesday with my track group. I was ready to work it hard. And coach was ready for me.

After 6 laps of warming up with some strides and fast 100s, we started with 3 400s. Two at 5K pace and 1 at mile pace.  I did 96, 95, and 83!

Then we did an 800 at 5K pace, and I was steady with 97/97 - 3:14.

Next a full 1600 at 5K pace, with the last lap faster. 98/97/95/90 - 6:20 !

I should probably note that my 5K pace should be more like 6:45, not 6:30 or 6:20. But I like to work hard at intervals, so I am always over-achieving. Still, I try to always do negative splits anyway.

I was pretty well shot after that mile, but we weren't done. He told us to do another mile, same pace. Oh boy. No way. I thought about bailing. then I thought maybe I could do a half. But I just started at a slower pace and got into it, and then just pushed through and embraced the suck. 105/105/98/95 - 6:43
Not too bad for dead legs. I shuffled through 5 more laps to cool down and get some lactic acid out of my legs, and drove home a happy guy. (Except for the feet, which still hurt after workouts, but that's another blog) So now I am taking two days off, and plan to do 16 on Saturday. Because I am still on a marathon schedule after all. Even as I do speed work and trail runs....

Next week is a 1-mile time trial on the track. I am going to shoot for 5:59. It seems impossible, but if I can do 6:20 for a workout, I can definitely go faster in a race. And I may have the company of RunDanRun who will be in town. Oh, and there is also a Beer Mile going on. I won't be partaking, but it will be fun to watch! Dan and I are definitely doing a 10K next Saturday together. Well, he will be battling for a win, and I will be 5-10 minutes back.

Oh, and I have a colonoscopy on Monday. I will be live tweeting from the toilet on Sunday night.

Meanwhile Hood to Coast is only 3 weeks away. But we can talk about that later.

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