Sunday, April 26, 2009

April racing, racing schedule, training

I'm going to start putting weekly training up again since I'm upping my mileage again this coming week for the fairly difficult summer racing schedule I've decided on:
1.Mohican Trail 100 Mile Run, mid-late June
2. Around the Lake 12 hour run, mid-late July (hoping for at least 75 miles, but the 78.6 mile triple-marathon would be really nice)
3. Cascade Crest Classic 100 Mile Run, late-August
I'm debating which marathon I'm going to run in the fall, but I'm leaning towards anything in late-October into any time in November. NYC is fairly appealing, especially since my 2:53 at Boston automatically qualifies me without making me sit through the lottery, but the price-tag on that one (including airfare from Salt Lake to NYC) is pretty ridiculous, so I'm still not sure. I have to decide within a few days since registration closes on May 1st.

As for a summary of my April racing, I had:
American River 50 Mile Run: 7:44:57 (9:17/mile). My goal was really just to break 8, though I secretly kind of wanted to be under 9/mile. I was pretty happy with my time since the course wasn't quite as easy as I expected, though. I'm pretty sure I have a lot more potential waiting to be tapped in the 50 and I think that in a good fast 50 mile road race (this was half fast roads, half slow trails), I might eventually be able to drop to mid 6's or even faster.

Boston Marathon: 2:53:46 (6:37/mile). My goal was officially to break 2:55, so I was pretty happy. I also wanted negative splits, but I didn't quite hit that. My 2nd half running pace was slightly faster, but I ended up going 86:33, 87:13, only because I lost 80 seconds in the bathroom at mile 16. Overall, I'm still happy with it, though I'm sure the time will continue to fall. My semi-long term goal will be to get this down to sub-6/mile, hopefully by 2011 and I think it should definitely be doable.

Pike's Peek 10k: 35:29 (5:42/mile). I thought this was pretty horrible performance for me... I was shooting for mid-33's, but everything went wrong. I wanted to do a 17-minute first 5k and speed up to a mid-16s 5k in the 2nd half, but I ended up doing 17:10, 18:19. My quads are apparently not 100% after Boston yet and I think I now realize why a fair number of more experienced runners were telling me this was a terrible idea. I mentally wasn't in this one at all; I accidentally got directions to the finish rather than the start, so I ended up making it to the start about a minute before the race started (having to run the last 3/4 of a mile in 4 minutes due to closed roads), giving me just enough time to sprint to packet pickup, pin on my bib with a single pin, and jam my chip in my shoe without tying it down. I was still winded as the gun went off and I never felt good throughout the race. The first 5k in 17:10 was only 10 seconds off what I wanted, but I knew pretty much from a mile in that things didn't feel as good as they should've. I guess this is a lesson learned about racing anything, especially speedy stuff, the same week as a big important marathon... On the up side, I have a lot of room to improve, but this was a pretty disappointing 10k debut for me...

As for my near future training, I'm going to be upping the mileage a lot in the next week or 2 and trying to run as much as possible over the next 6 or 7 weeks. I'm going to try to get one really massive run in most weekends since I've found those trainers to be the best for ultras.

My training ought to set me up very well for a late-fall marathon since I'll have about 4 months of huge base training before focusing on speed for about 2 months before running a marathon. I'll definitely be shooting for a sub 2:50 in the fall and if my training goes well, I might even shoot for a 2:45, which I think could be possible given very good training.

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Marathon PR at Boston

So let me start by waying that I apologize for apparently being too lazy to write a report for AR50. If you want to know anything about it, just post about it. If you're considering doing it next year, do it, it's a great race, one of my favorites I've ever done.

As for Boston, I hit a 2:53:46 today. My first half was a 1:26:35 and my second half was 1:27:11, so it was pretty even splits. My pace in the 2nd half was actually a bit faster, but I took a huge crap at mile 16 and lost 70-some seconds as a result, putting my 2nd half split a bit slower. My overall pace amounted to 6:37 or 6:38 per mile. I saw it reported both ways and I'm apparently too lazy to figure out what it actually is. I felt pretty good the whole way through and definitely felt like I dropped the hammer throughout the newton hills. I maybe should've gone out a minute or so faster, I think it would've been tolerable. My 2nd half might have been a bit faster, but I felt so good coming out of Heartbreak that I hit mile 22 in 6:02, which definitely caused me to have to slow down a bit from about 22 to 25 until running from 25.2 to 26.2 in 6:10 or something relatively fast. I was pretty happy with my performance, given that it was a bit over a 5 minute PR, though I realized near the end that if I could've shaved less than 2 minutes and gone under 2:52, I would've hit the women's olympic qualifying time for the marathon, which sounds pretty cool, so I'll have to keep that in mind the next time I race. I'm debating racing a marathon next month in May now that I've run a relatively big PR, just to see if I can go faster at this point (I really want to break 2:50 this year and I think it might be possible now given ideal conditions), but I'd have to find a pretty fast course to be willing to commit to doing it since it would interfere with my buildup for summer ultras.

I'll be racing a 10k on Sunday, so it's fortunate that I don't feel beat up whatsoever. After that 10k, if I don't find a marathon for May, I won't be racing again until late June, so I'll be working on hitting pretty high mileage to buildup my endurance again.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

American River 50

Race report coming soon, but I had a pretty darn good race at AR50, running 7:44:57, 57 1/2 minutes faster than my previous PR of 8:42:25. The first half of AR50 was pretty fast, with me splitting the marathon in 3:26, but the 2nd half was considerably more technical and hilly, so while I was considerably slower in the 2nd half, I didn't really feel that I ran poorly in the 2nd half. I was in 46th out of 650 starters after 26.77 miles and somehow finished in the exact same place. I was worried I had gone out a bit fast after hitting the marathon in 3:26, but I guess my placing shows that I ran pretty similarly to the other runners in terms of first vs second half pacing. Apparently, only 510 people finished, which was a bit of a surprise, since I didn't think it was incredibly terrible other than the last 3.5 miles, which were straight up a mountain (to get from the bottom of the valley to the top of Auburn). Anyway, I'll post a full report in the next day or 2...