Yeah, it's just been that sort of week with the morning runs. Five days at 10 miles through the week, plus a slow six miles with the Running Shop group Wednesday evening and a very slow four miles this morning to loosen me up for the leg-breaking 6.4 mile race this evening in Sabino Canyon. I've watched this race a few times, but this is the first time I've raced it. I run through parts of this canyon at least six days a week, so I'm pretty familiar with the route. It's an out and back race up the paved road into the canyon, almost all uphill for the first half and the opposite for the return home. I've only been tracing the first mile and a half out though, since going any further requires running through ankle-deep water crossings where the road's "bridges" cross Sabino Creek. Our bridges actually dip instead of rise for some reason, so even a small rain (when combined with the recent build-up of silt in the creek beds) makes for soggy shoes. I'm guessing we'll cross the creek and get wet three to four times on the way up and the same on the way down, which will be a good test for the racing flats.
This race is included in our club's grand prix series, which I'm trying to win this year. My steady decline over the years is unsettling though, as I went from first in '05 to second in '06, then finished last season in third. As you can see here, this unfortunate trend seems to be continuing even as I run the same speeds or faster.
The race plan is to run aggressively but not stupid. I think my strength certainly trumps my speed, and my final leg of the relay last week showed me that if can concentrate and use my strength to keep my body in the right position, running quickly downhill is still a possibility even when I'm fairly fatigued. I don't think I'll gain ground during the second half, but I should be able to maintain my position. This of course means I need to run with enough courage to put myself into a good spot by the turnaround half-way. We'll see.
As far as the training goes, I've spent the week trying to stay out of trouble while rebuilding from the relay.
Mo: 10 miles, 1h9m, 6:52 pace
Tu: 10 miles, 1h9m, 6:54 pace
We: 10 miles, 1h10m, 7:00 pace
We: 6.2 miles, 45:24
Th: 10 miles, 1h13m, 7:14 pace
Fr: 10 miles, 1h12m, 7:08 pace
Sa: 4 miles, 30m, 7:29 pace
I felt quite good Monday and Tuesday, but I really found my legs tired and dragging on Wednesday. I'm guessing I overestimated my recover and went too fast on those first two days, but by Thursday I started feeling good again. Next week is the first of three weeks of higher mileage during a break from racing, and I'm looking forward to putting the time in.
Have a good weekend, and don't forget to get your training questions to Mystery Coach at: mysterycoach AT gmail DOT com
Thanks for all the recent comments, and special thanks to the Fast Running Blog gang for their sportsmanship and friendship. Hopefully I'll see some of you later on in the fall or winter for a marathon.
As far as the training