Sunday, February 12, 2012
I ran an indoor 5k yesterday in Winston-Salem. I ran 14:41, which was not as fast as I would have liked. I led from about 200m in and felt pretty good through the first mile and a half. There was one guy hanging on for the first half of the race, but he was never able to help out in the pace making. My 1600 and 3200 splits were 4:38 and 4:40 and then it kind of went downhill from there. I think my 3rd 1600 split was somewhere around 4:48. Not what I wanted to have happen. I felt tired and lapsed, both mentally and physically. I let myself get out of it and stopped really pushing. I think part of it was due to the fact that it was at the very end of 110 miles in 6 days. My legs were feeling that a bit. Another part of it was that I lapped everyone except the guy who finished 2nd. That meant that later in the race I was forced to go around a couple of bigger packs of guys that took a lot more out of me than I anticipated. It wasn’t as much of an issue in the 3k a couple of weeks ago because people were more spread out but yesterday had a couple of bigger groups (2-3-4) guys and they were moving pretty quickly so I had to work to get past them, both on straights and turns. So I come away from the meet with my 2nd fastest 5k time ever, a time which I would have killed to run a year ago. To be slightly disappointed with a 14:41 indoors is honestly somewhere I really didn’t think I’d be. Of course I had dreams of it but to see it really become a reality puts things in perspective.
Last year at this time, I was hoping to get in shape to run sub-15:00 again. Now I’ve got my sights set on running sub-14:00. To see how far my legs have taken me in the last year is humbling. I knew I could be faster but I didn’t know I could be this fast. And it’s great. To be in 14:40 shape during indoors in mid-February, at the end of a 110 mile week no less, makes me ecstatic. I can’t wait to see what outdoor brings, when the workouts I’m running have truly kicked in and when I’m able to drop my mileage a bit in anticipation of the bigger meets and run with some good competition around me.
Right now, I’m planning on running another indoor meet next weekend and then probably taking a week off of racing in preparation for the NorCal 10 Miler followed by the Angel Island 25k. I think those two longer races will be great strength builders for when I get on the track in late March and early April and am really trying to run fast. All it will take is a little speedwork and I’ll be ready to roll.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
I ran the mile and the 3k this past Saturday in Winston-Salem. I PR’d in both. For the mile, I ran 4:20 which was a 5-second improvement over the Magnificent Mile in the fall and in the 3k, I ran 8:33, a 4-second improvement over the Liberty meet a few weeks ago. The mile came first at about 1:15pm and the 3k was run around 3:30pm. I was feeling a little tired heading into the meet, with it being my 3rd week in a row of 100+ miles, but managed to run well despite that. The mile felt hard the whole time, which was how I hoped it would feel. I really pushed myself and am very pleased with the result. I cared less about the 3k, but thought I had a good chance to PR again if the race went out relatively quickly. I was in the lead at the 1600 (after David Roche took it out pretty quickly for the first 800-1000m) and we came through in 4:33, and I closed in 3:59, taking first by 20+ seconds. The biggest issue I have right now is that I know I can run faster, but it’s hard to do so without anyone pushing me, or pulling me for that matter. All of my track races have ended up with me winning by a good margin, and that means that I’ve had no one to key off of, or do some of the work up front. So while I’m pleased with the times, I feel like I have been underperforming a bit relative to my workouts, and I’m just taking it to mean that I’ll be able to go faster when I find some people to run with.
My workouts continue to go well. Last week, Devon and I ran 10 x 600 with 200m jog + 30sec rest. The goal was to run the first 400 at 5k pace and then kick the last 200 down to 3k pace. I started out around 1:43-44 and cut it down to 1:36 on the last one, closing in 30. I managed to run most of them on the pace I wanted and didn’t feel too taxed at all at the end. This past Tuesday we ran 3 x 800 with 60 sec rest, 6 x 400 with 400m jog rest, 3 x 800 with 60 sec rest. The first set of 800s went fine (2:27, 2:20, 2:18) and we got down from 67 to 62 on the 400s which meant that the 2nd set of 800s was run with lactic acid in my legs. This was the first workout to simulate that sort of fatigued running and it was really good to be able to hit my times after those 400s (2:20, 2:17, 2:15). The workout really simulated what it’s going to feel like in a race when I’ve got 3 or 4 laps to go and have to dig deep and block out that fatigue and pain.
This morning I went over to the track and ran a 5 mile tempo. 1600 splits were: 5:03, 5:01, 5:01, 5:00, 4:57. I ran the 8k in 25:05 and 5 miles in 25:19. My legs felt a little sluggish on the warm up, but once they got going, I was able to tick off 75s without much trouble. I’m quite happy with this workout because I was really tired yesterday and was able to recover and still run the fastest tempo I’ve ever run this morning.
This afternoon it was 70+ degrees and I wore short shorts and short sleeves for the first time in a while. It felt great and my legs weren’t too tired, either, which was an added bonus seeing as I gave myself only 4.5 hours between runs.
Monday, March 5, 2012
I’m home for spring break right now. I got a job offer from Main, which makes me really, really happy. I accepted and will be consulting for them until December and then, barring something weird, I’ll be a true employee. It’s a huge weight off my shoulders. I can really enjoy these last couple months of school and running.
I ran a 10 mile race up in Redding on Saturday. I ran a new PR of 51:25 which was slower than I was hoping, but the course was tougher than anticipated. It was 2-3 miles flat into the wind, then a couple of miles with some rolling hills into the wind, those same rolling miles with the wind and finally 2-3 miles flat with the wind. I was running with a WVTC guy until mile 7 when I faded a bit. But the line didn’t snap and I was able to maintain contact and stay close enough to kick him down at the finish. I closed in 4:53 so while I’m not terribly pleased with the time, I know the effort was strong.
The only problem is that my foot has been sore for the past week or so. Specifically, it’s the ball of my right foot. I think it’s coming from the 4 workouts in 7 days in flats and all the pounding that came with those miles. It was getting better on Friday but the race on Saturday aggravated it a bit I believe. So I took Sunday off as planned and am taking today off as well. It was really sore on Saturday afternoon, better yesterday, and better still today. I’m not happy about taking time off, but a day or two now will nip this in the bud hopefully and prevent me taking a week or two off later this season. The pain is really generalized so that makes me less worried about it being a stress reaction or something more serious. Well that and the fact that I could race 10 miles on it and it’s already feeling better. I’ve been icing and taking ibuprofen and I think those have been helping as well. I’m planning on running a bit tomorrow and then going back to my normal schedule on Wednesday. I think it’s one of those things that will go away even if I’m running as long as I’m careful with it and don’t do anything stupid. So fingers crossed and here’s hoping I’ll be back to normal shortly.