Saturday, May 4, 2013

Week of 4-28-13: 73 miles (Provo City Half Marathon race week and Utah Valley Marathon Training Week 5 of 9)

Sunday: 14 miles of mostly singletrack trails with Chuck Konopa in ~2:15 (watch died with 2 miles to go).  We took it easy and hiked all of the steep uphills, which there were a lot of.  My place to his house to City Creek to Dude Peak Trail (.6 miles at a 40% average grade) to the ridgeline, most of the way up, down the 2nd to last offshoot, down into Bountiful, back through NSL to Bosho, up to the towers, down the front side gravel road, through the neighborhood, and back to my place through memory grove.  My garmin won't connect to my computer anymore (actually, it won't even charge properly half the time), so I can't get its reading for altitude, but Chuck's altimeter put the peak of the run at 63xx' atop a massively rolling ridgeline, with a low point of 43xx' at the bottom of Memory Grove and another pretty big climb out of North Salt Lake to the towers, not to mention all sorts of other rolls and ups and downs elsewhere.  Just counting point to point major climbs, it's high 3000s for vert, with all the rolls, it's got to be at least 4500'.  Not bad for someone who is basically a road dude at this point. :)  In any case, the pace was anywhere from 6:40 on a downhill mile to 16-ish on the mile that included the Dude Peak Climb, and actually that 16-ish mile was tough, while the 6:40 was conversational. Hah.

Monday: 6 miles, to liberty park, 1.25 laps (looped one quarter of it after the full lap), back to the aves, up to smith's, and back home.  Very lazy effort, barely under 8:00 pace.  Haven't had a day this short and easy in 2 weeks (since the recovery from BOSHO), so it seemed smart to allow some recovery.

Tuesday: 10 miles. Lunchtime: 4.5 miles. Drove to work in the morning, realized that if I gave up my parking spot to go home for lunch, there probably wouldn't be one when I got back (tons of closed spots... ugh...), so I jogged home and back to work to eat and let Holly outside.  Pm: Another 5.5 miles with Holly.  To, in, and from City Creek on roads.  Easy pace.

Wednesday: 10 miles @ MP, treadmill, 62:40 total.  Actually felt terrible for the first 4 miles or so.  It wasn't that the pace was too hot, but I got some weird sort of motion sickness from watching TV or something.  Fortunately, it went away and the last 6 miles just felt super relaxed and easy.  I could tell that I was moving fast, but it just felt effortless today.  I guess 2 short easy days in a row really makes a difference.  Did the first 9.7 at 6:18 pace and then couldn't resist the temptation of kicking the last .3 at 5:00 pace.  I finally signed up for Provo City half the day before, so this was really encouraging given a race coming up.

Thursday: 11 miles, 79 minutes, easy.  Aves to Liberty, most of a loop, then out the other side, down a ways into south salt lake, back, back around liberty, and back home (slightly more complicated to end at an even mileage, but no-one really cares, myself included. hah...)

Friday: 4 miles, 3.5 miles with Holly at very easy (8:00 pace) and then some pre-race strides.

Saturday: 18 miles.  Warmup + cooldown + Provo City Half Marathon in 1:15:33.  Massive PR (previous PR was 1:22:06 from SLC half in 2010), felt extremely smooth and just all around fantastic today, with energy left in the tank at the end.  Race is 900' net downhill (about 100' worth of roll), so it's not downhill enough to make up for the elevation (average right on 5000').  Flat at sea level for this performance would be worth low to mid 1:14, which still sounds absolutely ridiculous to me.

Got up at 4:00, had two bananas, a capri sun, and some powerade.  After letting Holly out and using the bathroom twice myself, I drove down to Provo around 4:30, getting there at 5:20, with just enough time to get my packet and get on a bus.  We got up to the start line an hour early, despite being one of the last couple buses, so I got to hang out in the cold for what felt like forever.  I used the bathroom two more times (that Cafe Rio from last night apparently didn't mix well with my lactose intolerance), warmed up by lightly jogging about 2 miles (estimate, no Garmin), and then finally got started.
My Garmin won't connect to my computer anymore for some stupid reason, so I don't have every single mile split, but I remember quite a few of them.

1: 5:46 - Really comfortable, the most downhill mile.
2: 5:47 - Once again, really comfortable, also quite downhill.
3: 5:49-ish - No longer quite so downhill, but still really comfortable.
4: 5:42 - Not as downhill as the first 2 miles, but I guess I had started to pick it up. 
4 - 6.2 - Still comfortable.  Had planned on just ensuring that everything was below 6, but everything stayed in the 5:40s rather comfortably.
6.21 Split - 35:48.  My PR is 35:07 from Des News '09, so this made me nervous.  Still, felt totally fine.
7 & 8 - Still in the 5:40s, surprisingly still not really hurting at all.
8 Split - 46:12, as I recall.
9 & 10, still in the 5:40s, starting to realize that I could hang onto this pace the entire time, which was really exciting.
10 Split - 57:48.  4-ish minute PR en route?  Even if I haven't run a 10 miler since 2008, wow.  Super stoked.
11: 5:52.  This mile had tons of roll and a really long climb, so I was OK with this being my slowest mile by 3 seconds.  Calves were just starting to feel slightly sore, but everything was very rhythmic and smooth.  Still felt totally relaxed.
12: 5:39.  Lots of juice left, time to hammer.  Basically almost net flat, but cranked out my fastest mile.
13: 5:40. Pushing it in.  Really excited about the prospect of sub-76.
Last .13 (Garmin had 13.13): 34 seconds, massive kick.  4:22 pace.  So much energy left.  Ridiculous.  Could've hammered out another 5 miles at sub-5:50 if I had to.

Finished feeling absolutely elated to have run a massive PR and faster than expected (anything under 1:18 would've been a good sign for Utah Valley Marathon in 5 weeks IMO, and my goal was sub 1:17).  Not only was it faster than expected, but it was a lot easier than expected.  If I had known that I was capable of this fast and willing to push it from the gun (ie, been willing to wreck myself), I could've probably taken a minute off, but for now, I'm very happy to be a 1:15 half marathoner.

Cooldown - 3-ish miles, some with James, and then some more by myself.  Didn't wear Garmin, so estimate.  I'm calling the total of 5-ish between the up and down 4.9 miles so my week won't end on a fraction of a mile (I hate this. hah.)

Total: 73 miles, with a huge PR.  I'm going to take this next week easy-ish to ensure a full recovery, even though my legs feel no different after the half than after a typical hard workout.  This next week will be in the 70s and I am not going to let myself push it past that, because I want to be extra fresh to hammer out another high 80s / low 90s mile week for week 7.