First thing, why do women (and men I guess) wear perfume (or cologne) when they go out to run? Ran by several women on the trail this week and it was overpowering. Not helpful when you’re striding by, gulping for air, and you get a mouthful of CASUAL by Paul Sebastian. Geez, it’s almost like bringing lipstick to a race or something?!
Anywho, solid week of training last week. Notched miles down a smidgen to 65, with no doubles, and I felt pretty strong. Monday ran 7 (+2 on my own) with Michelle a little bit too fast, though she was apologizing for going too slow. Since I’m doing more miles, I run my recovery days a lot slower than I used to. Tuesday was a tough Zilker ladder workout of 1x3k/2x2k/3x1k, with times of 12.06,7.29,7.17,3.29, 3.30, 3.26. Nothing remarkable, other than I felt strong at the end of each repeat. Blah blah yada on Wednesday and Thursday, then Fila Relays on Friday.
I really hadn’t planned on running Fila this year, since I didn’t really feel like I was in any shape to “go fast”, and I’m still scarred from last year’s debacle. Gilbert was trying to put me on a team with super-fast guys, and other people were asking, but I just didn’t want to do it. Then Andre’s corporate team lost it’s fourth runner so I agreed to fill in. Ran 5 miles of warm-up since I was just going to use this as a workout to get some miles in, and when my 3rd leg started I felt like I was jogging. But at the .5 mile marker I looked at my watch: 2:40. Whoa there big boy. Ended up going through the first mile in 5:37, second in 5:42 and last .44 in 2:33 for 13:52 and a 5:41 average pace. Well beyond my expectations. I mean well beyond. I was thinking 6:15s or so. And the thing is that it didn’t feel that tough, certainly not like last year which was moving death. The whole first mile and into the second I kept waiting for it to really hurt, for me to die and fade and struggle, but it never happened so I just kept pushing, trying to catch people in front of me. Granted, the weather was more cooperative this year, but I was pretty ecstatic afterwards, more so with what that effort meant mentally than with the time itself. A few seconds after I finished I was fully recovered and I said to Andre, “this has made me a believer of higher miles.”
So Saturday morning I ran 17 miles on Lady Bird in 2hrs and 11min (7.42 avg). My longest run ever and probably too fast. Ran the first 7 around the Longhorn Dam loop with “Rogers”, Clint, CRains and they kept picking up the pace, like they were trying to hold off the other when they surged. Then I met Andre at RunTex and did the whole 10 mile loop. Don’t know if I could have done it without him to run with. I definitely struggled in the middle, but we threw in a sub-7 mile once or twice I think. I was pretty play-doh’d afterwards, but did manage to buy two new pair of the Nimbus IX, which I loved as soon as I tried them on. Oh goodness, running shoe talk, this blog has jumped the shark.
So today the marathon group was doing a 10-mile time trial (G called it a “race, not a pace run”), so I decided to jump in. Gilbert told me I wasn’t ready, but I took off anyway. The plan was 6:40s on the way out and then re-assess on the way back. Lisa and Rich were strong going out and I felt unsure if I could hang so the first mile I kind of hung back. The second mile we kind of unconsciously jogged so I was able to go along for the ride. Then coming back (was an out and back from mile 1 to mile 6 on the north side of the trail) I started picking it up and was able to hold it from there to the finish, running alone most of the way back. 65:25 for a smidgen under 10 miles. The last couple of miles were tough, the middle was pretty fast (I think I saw a 3:03 half-mile split at the beginning of mile 6, though I may have been delirious), and I was thinking of pancakes and Gallowalkers around mile 7, thinking how it’d be ok to just stop at 8 miles. It felt like I was getting slower, it was definitely getting much tougher, but my splits show pretty good consistency and even some giddyup. I guess it just felt tougher to maintain the same pace: 6.32, 6.55, 6.40, 6.41, 6.32, 6.23, 6.23, 6.26, 6.32, 6.18. Gilbert didn’t believe me when I told him 1:05 and asked to see my watch. Nothing like the faith of your coach. Anyway, the run was another big confidence booster. Thanks to Rich and Lisa for pulling me through that first half.
Now then, why do I say “don’t jinx it”? Because I’m really having a lot of fun with this training, it’s going really well, and almost every day I can’t wait to wake up, get out there and see what happens. My tune may change in a month or two, and certainly at mile XX of the actual race, but right now I’m genuinely curious how this is all going to turn out. Will I blow up or will I blow it up?
So I hear Shannon has a blog. Will have to track that down.
Question of the week: The Dallas Half-Marathon is November 4th on a portion of the marathon course, but that’s also the weekend of my last long run (22 I think), so I don’t know what to do. Should I skip the half and just do the long run, work the half in as part of the long run, do the long run and the half? I’d love to see the course, but I don’t know what the wise thing to do is.
Sorry for the length, will need to write more during the week. Or not at all. ;)