Wednesday, May 7, 2008

One Day at a Time

After three days of tapering, I'm still considering it to be a happy state. Yesterday, the plan called for 8 miles with 5x600 repeats at 5K (6:20/mile) pace. I chose to skip that, and figured I would do 8 miles with 3 or so at tempo pace. I ran 3 miles on the trails and worked my way back to the track (yes, the place where I live is glorious in that way) and started the tempo stage. It took only 400m to realize that I wasn't going to be able to run 3 miles at a 7:20 pace without seriously straining my hips. So, I tried a second lap around the track just to be sure, then I scrapped the tempo segment and ran another couple of easy miles on the trails. They were 5 "vanilla" miles, though I hope they helped with recovery from Sunday's monster run (as an aside, the total for that run turned out to be 23.1 miles).

Today I had hoped to get up early and do 5-6 in the woods, but I'm tired of running when it's in the 30's, knowing it'll be close to 70 by mid-day. So I ran at lunchtime, and though my heart rate seemed little high for the pace I was running (about 8:50+/mile), I'm guessing that the heat was a factor, since it was about 70, and I've been running in much cooler temps since last November. After last year's Chicago debacle, I do need to get more runs in during the warmer part of the day, since there's no way to know what Memorial Day Weekend in Burlington, VT will bring. If it's warm, I'll be glad I did. If it's cool, it'll feel even better to have run in warmer temps.

So, I ventured out with two office mates: one a casual fitness runner out for 4 easy miles; the other my 2:55 Philly friend who's gunning for a sub-2:50 marathon at New York this year. Fitness Runner peeled off after a mile, choosing a different route. Mr. 2:55 ambled with me for 2 miles, until we reached a nice park in the middle of town, leading him to the wooded lake which almost exactly 1 mile around. When I oriented him and told him to go, it was like letting a dog off a leash. Almost instantly, he was gone, and I looked for him across the lake, but suspect that he was well ahead of where I searched. I did two laps of the lake, listening for the first time to the podcast "Confessions of a Runner". It was okay, though I'm personally less interested in a beginner discussing Jeff Galloway's run-walk training/racing methods than I am hearing about more experienced runners, elites, big races, running history, etc. I then ran the 2 miles back to the gym, stretched, showered and went back to work. The good news was that the last miles were the fastest, yet my HR settled down to the low 150's.

As I type this tonight (kids are down and my wife is away on business), I am a bit sore/tight, but will go foam roll for a while in front of the TV. I'll take tomorrow completely off, unless I get motivated and do some stretching and core work before waking the kids. Friday I'll take a very easy 4-5-mile run through the trails and Saturday I'll drive to Woodstock, Vermont for the 10K race. I have convinced myself (I think) that it will not be an "A race" effort, but will be a fun run at a pace faster than I'd run on my own, in a scenic place, with a t-shirt at the end.

17 days and counting . . . what a messy cauldron of mixed feelings a tapering marathoner is.


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