Sunday, October 29, 2006

Home Field Advantage

After yesterday's debacle it was with some trepidation that I approached today's long run. The script read 10 miles at 6:45 pace followed by 6 miles at 6:10, less if I felt bad and more if I felt good. Since the 7 miles at 6:08 felt like a bit of a chore yesterday, I didn't expect to fare much better today.

My last four runs with pace work towards the end have been a bit disappointing, and most of them have been done on the Rillito River path because of the relatively flat terrain and long, straight stretches. This time I decided a change of scenery might help matters (it certainly couldn't hurt at this point), so I decided to plod my well-worn routes around my neighborhood. Lucas was also kind enough to keep me company for the first 12 miles, and having a friend along always makes things easier.

The planned one mile warm up became two when my legs simply weren't ready to move after a mile at 8 minute pace or so. After two we were off, and while Lucas seemed fine at 6:45 I was a bit ticked off that things didn't feel easier. By five miles in I was starting to relax though, and after that point it didn't really seem to take that much effort to stay on pace. We finished the ten mile stretch (12 with warm up) by spending a minute in my driveway, and here I took a big swig of gatorade to steel myself for the pace effort ahead. At this point Lucas and I separated so he could finish with an easy mile to conclude his scheduled 90 minutes. As I started the watch and surged ahead, I definitely wished I was in his shoes instead. Still, the first mile went by quickly, and I decided I would just do multiple loops on my one mile time trial course. While it's a bit boring, it does afford some shade and the streets are fairly quiet.

As I rounded five miles I saw that my average was down around 6:01 pace for the effort, and I was now past the sticking point in previous attempts at this workout. I still wasn't feeling anaerobic, and I was happy to know I could finish the workout and at least make it to 6 miles of work. The next time around I still felt pretty much the same except for a little heavier breathing, so I decided to go for 8 miles. Here I forced myself to do the two mile loop instead, as I had a feeling that the temptation would be too great to stop at 7 miles (about 1/4 mile from my house). By 7.5 miles this proved to be a good decision, as this is where someone let the air out of all four tires at once. The breathing spiked and I knew that 8 would be it.

All in all I ran the 18 miles portion of the workout at 6:23 pace, which was a nice surprise. With the slow warm up and short cool down I made it 21 miles total, and while the lower abs and adductors are sore I'm feeling pretty good otherwise. Now please excuse me while I empty the fridge. Have a nice weekend.

Training: 21 miles, 2:18:11, 6:35 pace, w/10 miles at 6:43 pace followed by 8 miles at 6:00 pace. While there's still a ways to go, I feel like a champion today.


Wayne said...

Looks like training is going very well for you. Keep up the hard work.

Andrew said...

That's tough long run. You're work will pay off.

Eric said...

F-in-A, bro. That is some good work. These kinds of workouts will put you squarely into the sub-2:35 range. Four weeks to're making them count.

Blaxabbath said...

Yeah baby! That's what I'm talking about!!!

And that pulling the 2-mile loop at the -- frickin' genius!

D said...

incredibly smart (and tough) run Mike!

Lawrence said...

great training run! You're putting in the hard work.