Friday, June 15, 2007

Believe What You're Saying

You're never too old to make a rookie mistake...again. When I attended a send-off party for my pal Dan, who is running his first marathon, we spent a few minutes going around the group relaying our favorite bits of running advice. This was somewhat humorous, since Dan has more running experience (though not at the marathon) than most of the people espousing wisdom out on the patio. When eyes turned to me I mentioned a tried and true refrain: "If you're on pace and feeling good at mile ten and you feel like turning it on and dropping the hammer, wait until mile 15. If at mile 15 you are still feeling good, wait until mile 20. If you're at mile 20 and you're still feeling good, wait until mile 23."

I should have followed my own regurgitated advice this morning, as for some reason I took off like I was shot out of a canon. The goal was 10 miles at a steady pace (I take this as 6:35-6:45 for now), then 4 miles at 6:12 pace. Within a mile I was at 6:30 pace, and I started to worry a bit about going too hard early given the workout yesterday and the faster pace scheduled for the last 4 miles. To fight this I turned on to the Slow Down Loop, but after bisecting Sabino Canyon on the paved road and following the dirt trail out I was down to 6:27 pace. I was 5 miles in now, and instead of slowing down to regroup for the last push of the day I just settled into the pace and continued. After a drink and a head-dousing at just shy of 10 miles (I got started after 7 so it was already in the 80's), I hit the lap button and accelerated. The quicker pace was felt fairly quickly, and while things were good for about 2.5 miles, I started to drag soon after. The final mile probably found me closer to 6:15 than 6:12, but starting a little quickly got me a 6:07 average for the four miles.

Standing and panting in the driveway (thankfully in the shade), I realized I had done this before. Back then I blamed going too fast for the first 10 miles of the day, but the coach reminded me in an email that I probably did more damage (and made the workout tougher or too tough) by running the 7 miles the day before too fast and as a result putting myself above my "redline" for too long. Not optimal. I think I made the same mistake here by running yesterday's planned 6:12's at 6:03, but running the first 10 today in the heat at 6:27 pace certainly didn't help.

I still need to learn patience, and I need to get better at respecting what running faster than optimal does to me. Hear that Eric?

Easy tomorrow.

Training: 14 miles, 1:29:01, 6:21 pace, w/first 10 at 6:27 pace and the last 4 at 6:07 pace. Tired and hot.


eric said...

Yes, I've been listening for it. I really hope you're able to sort out whatever it is that is making you half-step yourself.

I'm excited to see what you can do following *your* optimal plan. Not the plan you'd like, not the plan that makes you feel fast or good or happy after every run--the optimal plan for right now.

I swear that if you get through even *one cycle* of optimized training, you're going to shock yourself with the results.

Dusty said...

Figuring out what you are doing wrong is half the problem - and then realizing that it isn't helping - when you realize what you did in the driveway while you are running - that is when you'll be able to fix it. Don't beat yourself up - just know you are figuring your body out.

Thanks for all the great tips on my blog!! I just bought some Grape Nuts (well, the Trail Mix Crunch - I'm not brave enough for true Grape Nuts). haha! :)

Phil said...

Listening to your own advice is always difficult. At least the rest of us benefit.