Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fifty Days Running

As I type this, I have run 50 days in a row. I did not specifically set out to run any given number of days, but instead did a bit self-experimentation. Since I am in a more modest mileage mode than I was (and will be) during marathon training, I figured I could spread the joy of running around and try 7 days a week. I'd say that on balance, the experiment has been a success, in that I've generally gotten in 8 runs per week (with doubles on Thursday's) while averaging about 54 weekly miles. Now, when I start training for Boston on January 1, 2010, my body will know how to handle running every day, though the current plan is to work on a 13-day cycle, with a non-running day every other week.

Last week, I hit 60 miles for the first time since before Sugarloaf. It went like this:
  • Monday - 5 miles easy
  • Tuesday - 8 miles
  • Wednesday - 9 miles, with an adjusted-on-the-fly workout (due to a twinge in my right groin and imminent thunderstorms) of 2+-mile warm-up 2x2K at 10K pace, 400 meters, 2x800 meters at 5K pace and a 2-mile cool-down
  • Thursday - 6 easy trail miles in the morning; 4 easy miles with the lunchtime training group
  • Friday - 8 miles, including 2x1.5-miles at tempo pace (just under 7:00/mile)
  • Saturday - 8 miles on the trails
  • Sunday - 12 miles easy, on a very hilly route
Many of last week's runs were in very muggy conditions, so at least I'll be acclimated if that's what we get on Saturday on the coast of Maine. So far, I've run Beach to Beacon twice, and have yet to see the Portland Head Light thanks to the fog. Frankly, I care much more about seeing the number "3" as the first digit on the clock when I'm nearing the finish line than anything else.

I plan to get in one last track workout today in advance of Saturday's race. I'm looking at something along the lines of doing a 2-mile warm-up, drills and strides, 1 mile at 5K race pace (6:00/mile), 3-4-minute recovery, 4x400 meters at 3K pace (about 5:50/mile) with a 1-minute recovery, then 4x200 with 200-meter recovery and a 2-mile cool-down. Then, I will kill the streak by taking a non-running day on Wednesday, looking at some time on the elliptical trainer, light weights, stretching and core work. With the streak monkey off my back, I will taper for Saturday with three runs of 4 miles, two on Thursday (early AM and lunchtime) and a slow 4-miler with 3-4 100-meter strides on Friday.

With the work done, I'll try to run a 6:20 pace for Beach to Beacon. I hope to line up closer to the front, since people rarely seem to honor the self-seeding pace signs, requiring one to waste a lot of early race energy weaving around people who are either extremely inconsiderate, or completely oblivious about their own abilities (not to mention road racing decorum). I'm also trying to decide between the Mizuno Wave Ronin 2 (7.5 ounces) and the Nike LunaRacers (5.5 ounces). I prefer the feel of the Ronins, but the LunaRacers are just so friggin' light. It may be a last-minute decision.

If I average 6:20 (on relatively even pacing) for the first 5 miles, I hope the race splits look like this:
  1. 6:20
  2. 12:40
  3. 19:00
  4. 25:20 (which would be a new 4-mile PR, incidentally)
  5. 31:40
  6. 37:50 (6:10 for this mile), plus a tad under 70 seconds for the final 0.2-mile

That would get me not only my goal of sub-40:00, but would put me in position to attain the more pie-in-the-sky time of sub-39:00. Of course, race-day plans rarely go exactly how we hope they will, but I think I should be in shape to put myself in position to do this, assuming good weather conditions and smart execution on my part.

Stay tuned . . . . -ESG


The Puerto Rican Kenyan said...

Congratulations on your streak, and good luck this weekend. Get that sub 40!!

screaminzab said...

I vote for the LunaRacers. I just feel faster in them. Good luck. Great move to start as close as you can the starting line too. Much easier to get passed than have to pass.

Progman2000 said...

Good luck with Beach to Beacon - still think you should be coming to the City of Brotherly Love in November!

Girl In Motion said...

Another Good Luck post! Wishing you a fine, fantastic and fast race tomorrow. I'll echo Progman too, wish you'd come to Philly this Fall. Rest well today and may tomorrow be a blast!