Friday, June 29, 2012

The First Half of 2012

So one might expect a race report for Grandmas marathon in this space, but I really don't have that much to say about the race.  I went out like I though I should, crashed embarrassingly early, and struggled most of the way to finish in 4:15.  It could have been an issue with my training or with the conditions.  Or it could have been that unexplainable 'bad day.'  Probably a combination of all three.  In the end, I now stand with 2 out of 3 marathons over 4 hours.  At least this time I know I won't quit competitive running for 8 years.

I went with what is known as the WTF plan for my training, which means not following any specific plan.  I knew I needed to up the miles from the previous cycle and I was pretty successful with that (peak week was 55, although there was a stretch of 7 days where I did 63 miles in April).  I had two interruptions: the first in March when I was sick, the second when I had some random knee pain in early May.  I hit my races just about each month--Club Challenge, Shamrock 5k, Cherry Blossom, and Frederick Half.  And they were all a 'success.'  Frederick mostly cause I did still PR, but I did not consider it an A race at the time. I did let the track workouts get away for a while. 

I am considering this period my break after the race, but honestly I am going to keep running.  I am not feeling like it would be a good thing to obsess about weekly mile totals, so I am not going to let myself worry about that.  I do have a bunch of races scheduled, but I am not going to beat myself up if I don't run a bunch of recent bests (Quadzilla should be faster than last year, but much slower than any other 15k purely by the nature of that fiendish race).  Also, I signed up for the 50k fully aware that it was probably a 50/50 proposition.  If I decide to bail it's a nice (little) donation to the trails up there.  And I am going to do a few track races to see what I can do at the shorter distances.  Probably can't crack 2:25 for 800 these days. 

In non-running news, I bought a bike.  Should arrive next week, cause I bought it online.  Probably made a mistake going the online route, but the price was right.

I don't feel like even posting these, but I guess I should:

LocationRace TimeTime of DayPace BetweenOverall PlaceDivision PlaceSex Place

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I jumped in two races after the slight disappointment I felt in Frederick.  One was another Half which didn't go so well.  The other was the Bel Air Town Run.  A 5k two weeks before the big race seemed fine.  Three consecutive weeks of racing might not have been so fine.  I did a full track workout (10 minute tempo, 1600 in 6:31, and then 2 800s in 3:10 and 3:05) and ran the rest of the week except for Friday (played a show).

The course had a nice downhill at the start, but made up for it with uphill near the end.  Overall, mapmyrun says 20 feet net loss from start to finish, but maybe it was a little more.  I had trouble finding where to pick up my number and once I did there was 15 minutes to finish warming up.  I jogged out and did strides and returned to the start where 1500 people were crammed into the street.  Not one to push my way through (or go around to the front that way) I wound up starting 20 rows back behind some pretty dubious people.  But that's pretty much expected.  I don't think it cost me more that 5 seconds, although being 6 seconds faster would have been nice. 

I was passing people left and right and by a mile I was up some people I recognized.  The split was somewhere around 5:50 by my watch.  I think it matched the clock so the distance may have been proper, but the clock was off for others.  I was not feeling too bad and still pushing ahead.  I think I settled at 1.5 and at this point I was actually racing the people around me, which is something I haven't felt in a while.  I put a move on a couple people and they came right back.  It was real racing.

Through two miles at 12:00 on my watch and I knew I could get low 19 at the very worst.  Maybe had a chance to go under.  I could see 3rd place woman (my friend) up ahead and continued up the smallish hills near the finish without losing much steam.  Remus passed me somewhere in the last .1, on his feet not on his hands this time.  I wound up ahead of him on chip time, though.  Finally the finish came and I was pretty happy with 19:06 by my watch.  It was almost a full 40 seconds faster than Shamrock in March, which was a faster course with that big downhill at the start.  Of course, I calculated and it was 550 miles in between the two races.  That kind of work will lead to some improvement almost every time.

By the numbers it's somewhere around 6:10 per mile for the race.  Perhaps it was the shorter distance after a half and a 10k, but I just felt better when out there.  The temperature was quite nice as well, but I was soaked with sweat at the end.  Age-graded is somewhere in the 67% range, a jump up from the low 60s and even high 50s that I had been turning in for the last year.  Not that those mean all that much, I know what a 19 minute 5k means since I ran 3 miles so often in high school (and much faster for most of the time). 

And the taper began at 8:19.07 Sunday morning when I decided I didn't need to run after the race.  I think I can stay sane since I am a bit sick of the training.  I basically started in the middle of January to get my miles to 40 to start my own custom 15 week plan going.  And I managed a couple of weeks below 40 in May after racing, and just busy with life.