Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"This is a Happy Place"

Our 4-year-old daughter smiled and said this after performing one of about 100 "mermaid jumps" into the water at the Edith Ball Aquatic Center here in town. This is the pool I mentioned taking her to last week, and with temperatures at 104 or so we returned yesterday for a few more hours in the water under the giant sun-shade.

This morning I remembered this and smiled, as I found myself feeling the same way mid-way through mile 7 of the 10 mile effort as I headed down the main road in Sabino Canyon. Brow-crinkling worry lifted as I moved past the walkers squinting into the sun while heading in the opposite direction. Maybe this is what 10 easy miles yesterday and 7 full hours of sleep gets me.

The run clicked today, and I enjoyed it much more than when I did the same workout last week. The plan was the same: 10 miles at 6:08-6:12, but instead of wearing out my one mile loop I did a few out-and-back trips along Sunrise, up into a neighborhood north of the canyon, then back down past the old shooting range and down through the bottom portion of the canyon. Two of these trips left me with only 1.5 miles on my usual loop. I could feel the redline a bit on the steeper uphill sections, but it only seemed to affect my breathing as the legs were able to keep turning over. I'm looking forward to the days ahead where these uphill sections hopefully won't even register as a blip on the exertion scale.

Arthur Lydiard's conditioning phase is sneaky this way, creating incremental gains in general endurance and stamina that don't even seem apparent until they are tested. My condition seems to be improving after several weeks of staying under the maximum. The good days are getting better and the bad days aren't so bad. Mystery Coach is good at keeping the efforts from getting ahead of my fitness, and I'm finding that I'm starting to feel refreshed by the evening before a key workout.

Yesterday Lucas came by for an easy 10 miles, and it was actually nice when the Garmin ran out of juice after only one mile.

Training: Today, 13 miles, 1:22:09, 6:19 pace, w/10 mile effort-6:07, 6:13, 6:09, 6:06, 6:10, 6:04, 6:10, 6:02 (happy place mile), 6:03, 6:04 (6:07 avg.)
Yesterday, 10-ish miles around 6:50 pace (dead Garmin)


Lawrence said...

What a great line from your daughter! I love the comments kids can come up with.

Sempre Libera said...

Nice that you're seeing results. And finding the "happy place" - isn't that why we all run, after all? :-)

Dallen said...

I may have missed this earlier, but why are you doing these runs done at a pace a little slower than marathon pace? Are you going to up the pace closer to the marathon?

Dallen said...

With a little searching I found the explanation from mystery coach, but I'm still not sure why 6:12 is better than a race specific pace.

Mike said...

Dallen, my short answer would be that 6:08-6:12 per mile probably is my current marathon pace at the end of a 90+ mile week if I'm going to be able to run either 2h 40m (like the schedule has me down for tomorrow) or a 16 miler finishing with 4 miles of 6:08-6:12 pace (the week before). At this point it's more about recovering and supercompensating for me rather than pace recognition and rhythm.

The tests to determine just what marathon pace will be come later in Lydiard's training, usually at the end of the anaerobic training and the beginning of the coordination phase. The volume will be down then, and hopefully I'll have the benefit of stamina/endurance gains from conditioning, strength from the hill phase, and lactate tolerance and some economy from the anaerobic phase in the legs and lungs by then. With some luck and planning, true marathon pace will reveal itself as I'm getting ready to peak.

Hmmm, some short answer, eh? All this being said, I am amazed at your comfortable 20+ milers at 6:20 pace or so, which is within about 20 seconds of your marathon PR pace if I'm not mistaken. Those are strong runs.

Bruce said...

Looks like the training for October's going well, keep it going.