Wednesday, April 22, 2009


The recovery paces seem to indicate I didn't throw enough of myself into the last 5K, which is somewhat disappointing. Still, it's always good to feel good.

am., 7 miles, 45m, 6:37 pace
Sleep: 6h 5/10 (see Finn for details)
Legs: 8/10 weightless
Weather: 66 degrees
Notes: Felt very easy the whole way.

10 miles, 1h09m, 6:53 pace
Sleep: 7.5h 7/10
Legs: 7/10
Weather: 63 degrees (warming up quickly)
Notes: Felt fresh at the get-go, felt it a little at 8 miles until the end.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Slow Motion

Just not my day at the races. I think being consumed by a goal time instead of just focusing on running my best race worked against me, as once I hit the one mile mark at 5:21 I couldn't help mulling over the math in my head. Two miles at 5:02 pace were not going to happen, and the small lead pack in front of me seemed both out of my reach and out of my league, even though they hit the first mile in 5 minutes flat.

I haven't looked at a race split while racing since the New York marathon in November, and I shouldn't have made an exception on Sunday. Instead of making the most of the race and possibly turning a day when I didn't feel spectacular into a good performance, I seemed to settle in and accept my fate with a second and third mile around 5:30 pace for a finishing time of 16:50 or so.

I'm going to just put this race behind me and look forward to a 10K two weeks down the road and another 5K four weeks out.

Congratulations to Mike, Thomas and Micheal on their Boston Marathon performances. I know from experience that things don't always go exactly to plan, but I applaud all three of them for their efforts yesterday.

8 miles, 55m, 6:53 pace
Sleep: 7h 7/10
Legs: 7/10
Weather: very nice
Notes: Felt too good for having a race yesterday. Somehow I didn't leave enough out there.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Closing in on it

It's all about 76's and 77's, and 5:08's instead of 5:11's.

Yes, I'm still trying to limbo under 16 minutes for 5K, and tomorrow's Race for the Cure is my next shot. It's an arbitrary goal based on a near-by even number (16:06 is my P.R.), and with each passing year my two standard attempts (this race and the Tucson 5000 a month later) seem more and more daunting.

Still, this year seems to hold more promise, as I'm doing a better job of trying to nail the coach's paces instead of trying to surpass them. We've also spent more time going back and forth about recovery, and how as I,(ahem), mature, it seems that recovery seems to be of more importance.

Mystery Coach seems to following a Lydiard model of speed-work and sharpening, which started after spending some time on lower-end tempo runs to both build and measure my maximum steady state. This week has included lower-volume repeats of 200-400 meters within a few seconds either way of goal pace, which seems to be doing the job of getting the legs and brain used to the turnover, pace-monitoring and recognition, and the mental work involved in holding faster paces. Today was 6x200 at 36-37 seconds (400 recoveries), while earlier in the week it was 1x400, 2x200, 1x400, 2x200 (all with 400 recoveries) at faster than race pace.

Last week the volume was higher with a 6x800 workout at 2:35, again with 400 recoveries. We followed that a few days later with a 2400M time trial, which unfortunately found me at 5:11-5:12 pace and gasping. This would put me right at my current P.R., butthere was no way I could have held on for double the volume.

As usual, this put me in a bit of a funk for a few days, but after looking over both my sleep schedule and the volume of the workouts it doesn't seem as bad as the results indicate on their own. It's funny how a good week of running (like this week) can make the results of a single workout seem less important.

The plan for tomorrow will be a conservative start and a strong second half. While sub-16 might not be in the cards this time, I'd really like to run the third mile at 5:10 or better. My best on this course is 16:23, and I don't see any reason I shouldn't be able to equal or better that number.

Finally, best of luck to the Boston crowd on Monday.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Still running.
I've taken a leave of absence from the blogging world, though I plod on. Mystery Coach keeps coaching and putting up with my constant badgering, though now we're doing it through the calendar feature on Gmail to keep the comments tied to the specific dates where they apply.

I ran a disappointing 5K in late March, then I had a good race earlier this month at the Sabino Canyon Sunset Run, where I placed fourth on a course that pretty much leads you 3.7 miles uphill before turning around and running the reverse.

I'm continuing to struggle a bit with finding my 5-10K speed, though I am making some progress. The mileage has dropped to between 60 and 75 a week as the workouts ramp up, and I'm usually taking two easy days between hard sessions.

All in all, things are about the same, with the only difference being my reluctance to chronicle each day. It started with me spending less time following other blogs, but eventually I realized I didn't really feel like spending as much time on my own blog. If I'm not contributing and commenting to others' writings, I feel a bit strange expecting others to keep commenting on my own running saga.

Also, it seems I've come to the point where I don't find anything remotely remarkable about my running. Yes, I still enjoy it immensely (some days more immensely than others, haha), but to go on posting "was tired, kids woke me up, had to X,Y,Z in order to get the run in" just seems repetitive and boring given everything else going on in the world.

I'll still try to post from time to time, but for now I'm taking a bit of a break from the day to day chronicling of my runs. Thanks to all for reading, and for all the comments and emails. For correspondence, you can always track me down easily on Facebook, and the brevity of that medium seems to be something I have more luck with these days.

Thanks also to Mystery Coach for all the wisdom he's doled out here. If I hadn't started this blog I never would have been fortunate enough for him to take up my training as a cause.