Thursday, January 11, 2007

Old Habits, Old Landmarks

While I missed our son Finn throwing up three times while I was working, running and eating away from home yesterday, Kiera and I shared the burden of him waking up several times last night. We did get a nice, quiet stretch between about 11 and 4:30 though, so it could have been much worse. Our daughter Haiden also seems to be fighting something, though in her case it's an infection while Finn most likely has a virus. Both of these kids should have pretty tough immune systems if they ever make it to age 5.

Between the rough night, the 18 miles run yesterday (6 in the rainy evening), and the fact that my Garmin was out of juice I had a litany of excuses to skip or delay the 45 minutes scheduled today at 6:18 pace. Instead, I brought out the stopwatch and headed to my (just over) one mile course. After jogging for about two miles I found the spot where the porta-potty was (pity, it's gone now). Lucas and I ran one mile repeats here back in November, and we had marked the quarter miles at that time. I knew the driveway 30 meters back from the old bathroom was the one mile mark, and while I had a general idea where the quarters were, I was sure the markings were long gone. Since I had a late start I headed off and hit the watch, trying to remember what 6:18 pace felt like. I rounded the first corner and was approaching the driveway I remembered being around 400 meters when I saw the old folded up styrofoam plate we'd used to mark the quarter mile. 1:30 on the nose. I rounded the second turn and approached where I remembered the half mile mark falling, and sure enough I could still make out the deep line carved in the dirt by Lucas's toe. 3:01, close enough. Another turn found me in the middle of the uphill section, and while the aluminum can from November was MIA I picked a sign pounded into the dirt that I figured was in the same place. 4:35, not bad considering the uphill. When I hit the final driveway to mark a mile the watch read 6:07. I continued on and re-started the watch when I hit the porta-potty spot again.

This went on for 7 miles, with the next six in 6:05, 6:06, 6:08, 6:07, 6:06, 6:07, then a final quarter in 1:29 to get close to the scheduled 45 minutes. After jogging 30 seconds the pulse was 142, then down to 120 after 1:30. I only felt the effort on the uphill second half of the 6th mile, then again at the same point on the last mile. After a short cool-down it was back to the house where I had to race to make it to work.

I know 6:18 was the plan, but I guess wearing a groove in the pavement around this course by spending 8 weeks or so running 6-7 miles around 6:04 pace made an impression on the neuromuscular system. I found myself putting the brakes on towards the end of each mile to keep from dropping under 6:05, and for most of the workout I had the same feeling in the body and lungs that I had throughout my fall training: steady, uptempo, but controlled. I knew I was fatiguing a bit, but I had no doubts about being able to hold the same pace.

Tomorrow I have "easier long recovery, 60-90 minutes", and I plan on going on the slower and shorter side of this. While the body is starting to hum, I know the last two days have taken a toll, and running faster than I should have will most likely catch up to me. That being said, I trust the body at this point when it wants to go a little fast. The flip side to this is to trust it when things go the other way and I find myself behind the clock by a similar amount. I'll fall off that bridge when I come to it.

Training: 9.5 miles, w/7.25 mile effort


Josh said...

wow... great workout.

Mark said...

your moving right along and keeping in tune, I like it!

Anonymous said...

I have raised two kids to adulthood and never were they as sick as your kids are.

It seems like every week it's "Finn is throwing up". Now it just seems that way. I could be crazy or insensitive. Probably both.

Anyway, I don't mean that as you are bad parents because it is obvious you are not. What amazes me is that you can actually train given all of this. Sorry I can't give you the vanilla "wow, keep on going" stuff that everyone else does. It amazes me that you have run the times you have given the circumstances. You might want to change your blog to Running With Illness.

I can only say, I am not worthy! I am not worthy!

I am a 2:28 marathoner.

I will see you when you get down under 2:30. I wouldn't bet against you.

Mike said...

Anonymous, it does seem that the kids are sick quite a bit. I think our daughter starting preschool this past year has really increased the amount of germs brought into the house. We do what we can and probably even take them to the doctor too much. Maybe I need to make a point and write about when they're not sick for a change! Congrats on your 2:28, you must know something about training to have gotten there. I sure hope to come over to your side of 2:30 someday.

Anonymous said...

i'm a 2:12 marathoner so listen to me. . . hehehe

Abadabajev said...

On dec 29th, you wrote

At 9 miles in I tried one mile at 6 minute pace just to test the waters, and the resulting 6:05 had me puffing a little for the last 400 or so.

Just 13 days later, today, you do 6:05, 6:06, 6:08, 6:07, 6:06, 6:07

You see what your body and mind can do when appropriate planned recovery is scheduled after your marathon.

Imagine what you could do with some decent sleep. You are a very good runner.

Phil said...

I think you need to give the Garmin a rest more often. Rounding the corner at 1/2 mile and seeing 3:00 on your watch and thinking "... close eneough .." is just remarkable. Great workout. Remember a few short weeks ago when you were concerned with the rate of your recovery? Look at you now.

Certainly hope Finn get's better soon. It's been a tough winter for the kids.

Marc said...

I enjoyed reading about this lo-tech workout "...the old folded up styrofoam plate we'd used to mark the quarter mile." Reminds me of an old Bill Cosby routine about playing street football "Now Shorty, you're the bottle cap...But I don't wanna be the bottle cap...Filbert, you go down and cut left behind the black Chevy."

Hope the kids get well soon and you and Kiera get some sleep.