Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Short & Sweet - Chicago & My Next PR Attempt

A brief entry this week. First of all, a HUGE congrats and shout-out to my friend Paul (a.k.a., screaminzab) for an astonishing performance at the 2009 BoA Chicago Marathon. He PRed by 24 minutes, running a seemingly effortless 3:05 to qualify for Boston 2010. Congratulations to him and the rest of my friends (real and virtual) who ran in Chicago. On balance, there was far more joy than heartbreak, and it was inspiring to watch them from afar.

Otherwise, all systems seem to be a "go" for my sub-1:30 attempt on Sunday at the Bay State Half-Marathon in Lowell, Massachusetts. By all accounts, it's the flattest course in New England, and the weather is usually good. Temps look favorable (high in the 40's), but it may or may not rain (and, if it does, how heavily is not clear) on Sunday. Attempting the previously unaccomplished always causes me to think that my goal is too ambitious, but I am reasonably confident that I can dial in a 6:45/mile pace for the first 10 miles (again, not worrying about hills makes it possible to go on "cruise control" for a while). Whether I can hold it - or even accelerate a tad - is the big question, but I don't think I'm risking much beyond a fade by going out at that pace. With sub-3:10 shaping up as my early goal for Boston, Bay State could give me some serious confidence that I'm on the right track.

Last week, I ran a total of about 62 miles, including Tuesday's pretty tough track workout and a modified 10/10/10 Hudson workout on Friday (early, and on the TM - yuck!). That was 10 minutes at MP (7:20-ish), 8 at HMP (6:55-ish) and 8 at 10K pace (6:30-ish). I cut the last two short because I was struggling to get my legs moving that fast that early and my hips felt a tad tight. As an aside, my iPod is dying, and while I can get by outside without it, I NEED it to drown out the numbing sound of the TM motor. Time for a new one, I suppose.

On Sunday, I ran 15 miles at an average pace of 8:24, with the last 3 as a progression. Splits for those last three miles were 8:03 (uphill), 7:35 and 6:58. Got home in time to check Chicago finishing times and begin celebrating.

So, this week is shaping up like this:
  • Monday - 5.5M easy, with 5x10 seconds hill sprints
  • Tuesday - 8M, with 3 @ goal HMP; splits were 6:43/6:45/6:40 all at sub 170 heart rate(goal is 6:45, so we seem to be on track)
  • Wednesday - 6M easy
  • Thursday - 6M easy
  • Friday - 4-5M easy
  • Saturday - 4M easy, with 4x100-meter strides
  • Sunday - 1M warm-up/13.1M at sub-6:52/mile/3-4M cool-down

Somewhere over 50 for the week, with hopefully a great race thrown in there for good measure. Not sure how to handle the two weeks before the pacing/ultra gig, but we'll have to see how it shapes up. I will likely do no "quality" workouts between Bay State and Manchester, just logging easy miles, with the longer runs being focused on holding an 8:45 pace. Should be interesting, if nothing else.



screaminzab said...

Wow, thanks for the lead-off comment! I am honored. I know I have said it before, but thank you for all or your knowledge, support and friendship over the past year and some change. You've really helped me become a better runner.

As for Bay State, as long as the weather isn't absolutely terrible (i.e. sideways rain and wicked wind), I think a 1:30 is definitely going to happen. The 6:45 for the first 10 is a solid strategy. Just take it easy, focus on your breathing and have some fun. No pressure - just go out and run it.

Unknown said...

GOOD LUCK going for the sub-1:30!