Monday, March 3, 2014

Piecing It Together


I am coming off an easy (unplanned) week of training. I ran the NYCRUNS marathon in Central Park for a training run and tacked on about 6 extra miles making for a strong 32 mile run day. My intentions were to run 7:15/mi for the marathon. Nothing crazy but nothing lazy. I did not want to hurt myself too badly for the next week. I needed to get this long run in for May and June…start making the legs understand we got some heavy racing miles ahead of us. I didn’t want to put this long run too close to NYC half as I have intentions to run speedy maybe 1:16-17 range. Well, my best intentions were spoiled. I met Daniel at the start line from CPTC and really didn’t want to run the marathon solo so asked his pace and he told me in a very confident non-conforming way, 7:30/mi. I thought – hmm, I could go slower and save my legs, I’m in!

So, off we go, not at 7:30 pace, not at 7:15 pace and not at 7:00 pace. You see where I am going with this? Yay, we ran a 2:58. I will say it was the easiest most enjoyable race I have ever run BUT it hurt me. Definitely not slow enough. It is really really hard to pull back once you are cruising and chatting. I mean, we were honestly cruising and chatting. I swear there was no major effort put in so I put my hands up and swear it was by complete accident we ran that fast. Ah yes, I wish I could say my legs weren’t sore and I crushed out another 90 mile week. Alas, that absolutely did not occur. I managed 52 running miles. That may not sound like a small number but the fact is I have been banging out consistent 90 mile weeks for almost 8 weeks now and this past 52 mile week was pretty much a struggle until Saturday (and Saturday was still very ugly). I took Friday completely off succumbing to the fate of my legs and body and said fine, you win, here’s a complete day off, enjoy…you lazy pieces of sh*t. I was not happy to take a day off but the body demanded rest if I had any hope of seeing some 5:45-50 miles. So, Saturday I wake up and put my speed shoes on. I was determined to run 6miles at 5:50 pace…ideal half marathon pace. I thought it wouldn’t be too much of a problem especially coming off a complete rest day. Ha, wrong! It went horribly, HORRIBLY. Yep, I left the Vermont house with the number 7 reading on the thermostat and failed to take in account the wind factor (I was doing a point-to-point so headwind was my fate) and the ice factor. Ohhh brrr. Ohhh slippery, ohhh legs. I kept changing the workout in my head. Maybe 4mile tempo run? Maybe 5 x 1 miles? I mustered everything I had and eked out a 6:21 mile then with all my effort in my body – a 5:52 mile. That’s when I shut it down and decided that I should just run a consistent quality paced 12 miler regardless of time. Ugh. Sunday was another easy day and today I am determined to run something worth noting on the treadmill because I am angry with outside. I think everyone has had enough of the snow, wet, cold, wind. I mean, how much can we take?!

While above may seem I am angry with my running, I am certainly not! My knee has healed itself without me taking days off so that was nice. I have ran some very fast, week-after-week workouts. My mileage has been in the 85-90 mile range all through January and February. I’ve avoided getting sick and feel very happy about my progression. The biggest struggle is managing race goals and expectations. I joined Central Park Track Club and they have extended a helping hands in terms of support and sponsorship from New Balance. It is always very nice to know someone believes in your ability BUT my main goals for this year is Western States and a low 2:40 marathon come fall though I think the team would love to see asub-1:16 half plus the aforementioned goals. Hmm, that can be tough because once you get into the 1:16 range for a half…the legs need to be dialed in. I am attempting to balance everything but I am still sticking hardfast to my first MAJOR goal and that’s Western States. My heart beats a bit faster even when I whisper those words. I am so excited for not only the race but the adventure and training involved getting to that start line.

I will give an update and all things Mike and Anders soon. I have so much to write! Mike’s next big race is the Umstead 100-miler. He’s looking to break 17-hours!