Wednesday, February 22, 2006

No Watch, No Key, No Brain

My friend Scott, who is training for Boston, asked for some company on a 12 mile run with 7 miles of "tempo" at 5:45-5:50 or so. These are tough runs to do alone, so Lucas and I agreed to be his training hacks. We met on the Rillito river path at 6:30, and while driving there with Lucas I realized I had forgotten my Garmin Forerunner (I am a techno geek), which is awfully nice to have when you are trying to run a given distance at a specific pace. Mistake number one. We met up and headed off, after I tucked my car key in the gel pocket of my shorts. Mistake number two. Since it was Scott's run we let him set the pace, and after about four miles we eased into the effort. Without any watch I was running purely by feel, which is something I should do more often. Unfortunately, this wasn't my workout, so when I started feeling good I think I inadvertently dropped the pace a bit too much. When you are a guest on a run, it's my opinion that you should act like it and follow the workout without jamming anyone else.

The truth was, Scott really wasn't feeling the love of the run today (probably due to some serious mountain running on a Sunday long run followed by serious weight-lifting yesterday). By the time we had turned around and finished a little more than half of the effort, we were definitely slowing down. We finished the effort and Scott's watch had us at 6:08 pace for the seven miles, which is respectable but falls more into the "marathon pace" category than a true threshold lifting tempo run.

When we finished I noticed I had dropped my key somewhere on the course, which stretched six miles. This meant a ride to Scott's house and a call home for Kiera to bring me an extra key. Want to tick off your spouse? Ask him/her to drive 10 miles during rush hour with two kids (one of whom should be napping) to bring your sorry butt a spare key.

In spite of my stupidity and Scott's fatigue, it was good to spend a fair amount of time at a faster pace. One reason I went back to base-building before my June marathon is to try to do more pace or tempo efforts while running a fair amount of miles. My goal for the next few weeks of conditioning is to run at least two days a week at significantly faster paces than my standard 7 minute endurance pace, and to run one day of fairly serious hills. So far so good this week.

Training: 12 miles, around 1:21 (no watch), w/7 miles at 6:07 pace. Overall pace around 6:45


Scooter said...

"with a finger and a thumb in the shape of an "L" on the forehead"

It's good to know I'm not alone.

Duncan Larkin said...

I may be in the satrical Lydiard penalty box for my controversial ramblings, but I do retain the right to comment that I got you on stupidity. It entails not bringing my key on the run and having Jean Valjean go on a Macys and Lowes shopping extravaganza (buying Valjean essentials such as fur coats and plasma TVs)while I was running.

angie's pink fuzzy said...


poor kiera!

Anonymous said...


Tie it to your shoes. Just pull out the last lace and run it through the key hole at the top of the key. Then slide it (the key) under several laces and tie your shoe like normal.

Joe said...

The Garmin is a gem, isn't it?? I know what you mean, feeling a bit disoriented without it.

On shorts...I bought a pair last fall from Best shorts I've ever had. Of the seven pockets on the outside, four are meshed for gels, one bigger mesh for gloves or towlette and two enclosed with velcro, big enough for a credit card hotel-type key or to secure your car key. The best fitting, most comfortable running shorts I've ever had.

Shoot, maybe if you leave a hint, you wife will get you a pair for some event...just so she can get the baby down for a nap.

Evan said...

no fun. I lost a car key as a kid on a 10 mile run, while my dad was out doing the 20 mile race on a cold day. some guy helped me open the car with a coathanger.

a key ring looped through the [tightly tied] drawstring on your shorts is another place to put the key. if you are carrying two keys for whatever reason, a rubber band is good for stopping that jingle-jangle morning sound.

if you have to put the key in the pocket in the shorts, then stuffing some toilet paper over the top of it is a good way of keeping the key in place. of course, if you have to take a pitstop and 'lose' your toilet paper ...