Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Week in Review & Running Outside the Box

Haven't been on in over a week, because there's been lots going on in my NRL (non-running life).


Last week, I ran a large area corporate 5K where I truly had no idea what my time would/should be. After the disappointment of a 48:xx Beach to Beacon, I knew that I wouldn't be running a PR last Thursday, but I wanted to give my best effort and get a sense of where I stand right now.

I decided to run the first mile in 6:30 and see how I felt. Given the crowd, I put forward a little more effort than I would have liked, and split the mile at 6:34. However, I didn't feel like I had much by way of reserves and simply tried to hang on. Though the weather was nice by prior years' standards (it was 96+ when I first ran it in 2001), it was still in the low 80's, and my mouth got very dry after the first mile mark. I took a cup of water at the aid station at about the half-way point and I lost my momentum. At that point, it was a struggle to maintain the intensity I wanted, and my pace dropped to around 6:45-6:55/mile. I pushed as hard as I could, past people who were slowing, walking and even one guy who vomited. I tried to stay with the attractive women who seemed to have some reserves (with mixed success). In the end, I finished in over 21:00, which is disappointing from a historical PR perspective, but encouraging in terms of comparing the time to that of a 10K just 12 days before. So, I take from this that things are at least progressing positively.

After the race, I got to cool-down with my fast colleague (Mr. sub-2:55 Philly) and some of his running pals. They'd all run sub-18:00 (one ran around 17:00) , and it was a treat to hang with them at a 10:00 =/- pace. We did about 2 miles, with those guys showering before heading off for some beers. I went back to the office (the difference between being in your 20's and nearing 40) and got home pretty late.

I was only slightly sore/stiff on Friday, but decided not to start adding a sixth weekly run (which will be a an easy 5-miler) on Friday morning, lest I risk getting hurt again. I did 5 easy at the in-laws on Saturday, and had to turn my planned 17-miler into a 15-miler (but a very pretty, hilly one) on Sunday in order to avoid screwing up the family's plans for the day.

So I put up about 42 miles last week, with a race effort and no injuries to show for it. Solid.


With the notion of qualifying for Boston (with a sub-3:20 marathon) at this year's Chicago Marathon no longer within the realm of realism, I have turned my focus to having some fun with my running. I've spent too long now worrying about every last tenth of a mile, wondering whether the fact that my heart rate was 2 beats per minute higher at the same pace was a sign of massive training regression, agonizing about running a PR in every stinkin' race. I want to have some fun with my fitness. Maybe I'm not that fast (yet!), but I have a heck of lot of endurance which I have spent 2 years developing. I am going to channel that endurance into what I think are two pretty cool running adventures before this year is over.

First, I will run in the Reach the Beach Relay, over 200 miles from the White Mountains to the New Hampshire seacoast. I will be part of a 12-member coed team and will run three tough legs totaling about 21 miles (with a 4-5 hour break between each). We had a team meeting last night, and it appears to be a great bunch of folks, most of whom have done it before and all of whom confirm that it's a wonderful experience.

The other undertaking is more of a personal quest. I plan to run 40 miles on my 40th birthday in early December. This seems like a worthy thing to which I can aspire without worrying about time, qualification standards, travel, etc. I am also pondering tying this run into a fundraising effort to benefit brain cancer research. This would honor a cousin of mine who died in 2005 of glioblastoma at age 36, a tragic end to the life of a wonderful spirit. This is all pretty fresh still, but I like the sense of of doing something for a greater purpose, not to mention the feeling of accomplishment when it's all done.

So, with that I'm off to run a 5K cross-country race, more so as a tempo run than an all-out 5K effort, supporting one of the local high school cross-country programs.



trainingforsub3 said...

Hope your cross country went well and the injuries you are dealing with are getting better. Are you doing anything different with your training to prepare for you relay? Have a great weekend!


Progman2000 said...

Even if you not having a good race, there's just something about passing someone else who's puking that makes you feel like an ironman. Reach the Beach sounds very cool, I'm jealous.