Saturday, October 07, 2006

Look on the Bright Side

When a workout quickly goes from good to bad I often drive myself crazy trying to figure out why it happened. However, it's certainly no mystery this week, as the weight from Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday's runs pulled at me like a giant magnet under the Rillito River path. The plan was for 17 miles with the first 10 at 6:45 pace. The second half of the run was to be determined at that point; 7 miles around marathon pace if I felt great, 3-6 miles if I felt good, or just another 10 or so at 6:45 pace if I just wasn't up to it. After 1.5 miles easy I ran the first 10, and as I got further and further away from my starting point (it's mostly an out and back) I started to get nervous. 6:45 pace didn't feel terrible, but I doubted I could just drop the pace 40 seconds or so without really feeling the effects of yesterday's workout.

I decided to give it a go after the 10 miles had elapsed, and for the first mile I thought I might be able to manage it. Unfortunately, soon after the legs started to feel very heavy, and the lungs started drifting into the "tempo-run" atmosphere. It was getting ugly. I made a fresh deal with myself with each mile, but during the fifth mile I really had to work to keep the pace from slipping down to an average 6:05 from the planned 6:04. I was cooked, and the last quarter to get to five felt much harder than it should have.

I jogged in the rest of the distance, which gave me 19.25 for the day. Yes, I was too much of a sissy to get to 20 even. I stopped for a drink at a fountain by the Swan underpass, where I'd parked my car, and just didn't feel like doing an out and back for the last .75. Imagine that, me too tired to indulge in my most basic anal-retentive running habit (ending on an even mile).

Looking at the watch afterwards I tried to find the silver lining of the workout, and here's what I came up with. My blow-up shuffle-in pace has dropped to 6:44 per mile. I know it isn't much to brag about, but it's nice to know those workhorse, strictly slow-twitch fibers are still firing after two hours in the sun.

Training: 19.25 miles, 2:07:30, 6:37 pace, with 10 miles at 6:43, 5 miles at 6:04, and 2.5 miles at 6:44


Andrew said...

I had a similar thought when I shuffled mile 25 last Sunday - 7:30. While the fact remained I was struggling, I was happy to see it under 8 minutes.

Be sure to recover from today's workout. (I just had to say it).

the wife said...

What? Nothing about the deliciously huge scones that were awaiting you upon your arrival home, despite your sorry state? Dis. It's all about the running, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

wow you are so fast i can't even process it all right now..... mmmmm scones :p

Omniscient said...

Yeah, Mike...Kiera is right. Its not all about the running. Deliciously huge scones or any baked good coming out of the kitchen at the Salkowski home trumps any run in my book.

Oh, thanks for the brownie and the cookie, Kiera. They were outstanding as usual.

Dusty said...

Good job on getting through the run and even better job on not overanalyzing! :)

Awesome to see the slow pace increase!

Phil said...

Mike ... I just can't get my head around "My blow-up shuffle-in pace has dropped to 6:44 per mile". The day I get my all-out 5K pace down to 6:44 you'll be able to hear me whooping it up all the way in Tucson. Great run! and don't hoard the scones.

Anonymous said...

Are scones availible via mail order?