Friday, May 22, 2009

Week of 5-11-09, week of 5-18-09 (through Friday), Thoughts about TWSS running

I forgot to post this at the end of the week, so this is a bit late and I decided to just throw together 2 weeks... I'm running the Stillwater Marathon on Sunday, so I'm pretty much just resting yesterday, today, and tomorrow to ensure a proper taper.

Anyway, I took it very easy last week as well as the first half of this week. I was going to do about 10/day all 7 days last week, and I ended up averaging 10/day for 5 days with 2 off days for a total of exactly 50 miles, a very easy taper compared to the last few weeks. I don't like to hit weeks this low, especially right after running so much for a few weeks (it makes me feel quite lazy), but I know that I need to be fresh for Stillwater on Sunday or I will have sacrificed a few more days of hanging out with college friends for the last time for nothing.

Monday 5-11-09: 6 miles: Federal Hill run, harbor loop, somewhere around 6:30/mile, maybe a little faster due to a very fast finish (forgot my watch).

Tuesday 5-12-09: 9 miles: 2.5 there, 2.5 back, 4 on track, broken miles.
Mile 1: 1600 in 5:21, 2-3 min rest,
Mile 2: 1200 in 3:53, 60-90 s rest, 400 in 69, 2-3 min rest
Mile 3: 800 in 2:30, 90 ish rest, 800 in 2:30, 2-3 min rest
Mile 4: 400 in 76, 75 rest, 400 in 73, 75 rest, 400 in 71, 75 rest, 400 in 63
4 miles total of 20:06. I finished this feeling pretty strong still. I was joking that we should've done a 5th and 6th mile comprised of 200s and 100s, which would've been stupid, but I definitely could've kept the pace for a few more miles of longer repeats like the ones in previous miles, as evidenced by my very fast finishing 400. In the future when I have more time before a race, I would like to try a 7 mile version of this, hopefully around the same pace, of 1600, 1200/400, 800/800, 4x400, 800/800, 1200/400, 1600 (ie decrease the intervals the same way and then re-increase them). Workouts like this will definitely help build the type of enduring speed I need for an exceptionally fast fall marathon.

Wednesday 5-13-09: 12 miles: Typical 7 miles in Canton with a 5 mile roundtrip warmup and cooldown. I don't remember the time, but it was probably somewhere around 6:40s to 6:50s. We started somewhere around 7s and a few of us rocked the last couple miles a little faster.

Thursday 5-14-09: 14 miles: Last trail run (perhaps ever? maybe not, but at least in the near future) in Loch Raven. :( I rode out with Dave and we had a nice relatively fast (roughly marathon pace) run somewhere around 6:30s/mile. Somewhere around 10 miles was on trail and the last 4 was on road. I think we started probably more in the range of 6:40s, but we absolutely killed the road section, especially the last 2 miles. By the time we got to the road, it was starting to rain and it was really pretty epic. I definitely had some room to speed up, but it was very slick and dark, so pushing something like 5:30s along the winding and fairly dangerous Seminary Road felt crazy enough. I think both Dave and I were trying to test each other at this point (well, at least I was trying to test him... haha...) and we both held on really well.

Friday 5-15-09: Rest. Legs felt good, but I realized that nothing I could do at this point could really benefit my race that much, so I took an easy day.

Saturday 5-16-09: Rest again. Decided the same thing. :P

Sunday 5-17-09: 9 miles: 8 miles of tempo, relatively fast, around 5:50s, but not fast enough to make it hurt. Finished at campus and just jogged home the mile from there.

Monday 5-18-09: 6 miles: Fed Hill harbor loop for the last time, around 6:30s.

Tuesday 5-19-09: 6 miles: 3 mile warmup, 3 miles on track of 4 x (800, 100 jog rest, 300) on the 7 to 7:30 depending on the set, IE a fairly generous amount of rest, probably more than we needed:
Set 1: 2:34, 54
Set 2: 2:32, 52
Set 3: 2:30, 50
Set 4: 2:28, 49
I ran pretty decent times here, pretty comparable to other track workouts recently, but I honestly just didn't feel that great and it taxed me a bit more than normal. I hadn't eaten since lunch and my lunch was pretty small, so I felt like I was pretty low on energy and that was probably the reason why. The one excellent thing with this workout was that every single split was faster than the previous. I was hoping to line up the 4,4,2,2,0,0,8,8, but I ended up missing the last 300 by 1 second. One interesting note is that the time between sets decreased with every set, but the 100 meter jog was slightly slower each set, so I had less time before the 800s but more time before the 300s as time went on.

Wednesday 5-20-09: 7 miles: Biked to Canton, 7 mile canton run in 6:30s (almost on the nose), biked back. I had previously said I was going to by everyone a beer afterwards but ended up having to jet out to meet my parents back at my apartment, so I fully expect people to hold me to this obligation in the future when we meet up at Boston or some other race. :) This was sadly my last team run with Team TWSS and I'll definitely miss training with them.

Thursday 5-21-09: Graduation! Took the day off on the advice of Ryan who said I should just rest a few days before the marathon due to too much mileage (in his opinion) so far this week. I wouldn't have had time to run anyway, so it all worked out.

Friday: 5-22-09: Traveling all day in the car from Baltimore to Chicago (2/3 of the way back to MN), rest again.

Tomorrow, Saturday 5-23-09, I'll probably just run a few miles to make sure everything's still feeling good and stretch out really well.

Sunday is the big race day...

I could talk about race strategy and all, but it's the same as Boston, just at a pace to go under 2:50. Instead, I should mention how grateful I am to have been able to train with TWSS over the last year or 2. This is a great group of runners with some really inspirationally fast folks and a very large amount of wisdom to go around, so I think I really prospered lately with their help and camaraderie. Over the past 6 months or so, I've been considerably more open to other peoples' advice and I think my Boston time reflects that. I think the speedwork lately ought to help me a lot at Stillwater and I think that Ryan, etc, did an excellent job designing workouts which ought to benefit me very well in the near and distant future. The past month or 2 has honestly been the first time in my life that I have legitimately enjoyed track workouts and I blame/attribute that (whether you consider that to be a good or bad thing) on my much higher mileage base than I've ever had in the past when doing track work. I never did any consistently within the last 2 years, so being much faster on the track and having the endurance to do the workouts and do them well is literally exciting. Anyway, back to the point... Not to sound cheesy, but I really appreciate having been able to run with TWSS and I'm quite convinced that, while I'll have more fun terrain to run on in Utah, I won't have nearly as varied and fun a group of runners to train with.

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