Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Two Good Runs

Leaving just 3 days of rest before the upcoming marathon, I have had the opportunity to test the legs for elasticity by putting in a couple of good runs. Yesterday's run on the Sipayik Indian Reservation at Pleasant Point was a lot of fun. Flat and along some beautiful Maine coastline, Eric and I ran 7.2 while the sun rose over Passamaquoddy Bay and Canada's Deer Island. Today, I put in 10.4 comprised of 2 x 5.2 mile loops. The first around 8min/mile and the 2nd loop @ 7min/mile. Felt good. Now I will rest for 2 days and possibly a third so as to feel fresh on race day.

As I type, the timing chip from Boston is staring at me. I need to mail it back. It looks like a little bug, spider-like. Made in Holland. There, chip fully examined. Need to mail it back. I will feel much better when, as I lean on the postal counter addressing the envelope back to the BAA, I have to keep moving my new finisher's medal out of the way so I can write. Someone's not dealing well with his DNF ha ha!

Monday, April 25, 2005

No crowds, no goal, no pressure

Going to go for a finisher's medal this coming Sunday at the Race of Champions Marathon in West Springfield (or thereabouts), MA. My legs feel recovered enough for a finish which is what I crave most after Boston's DNF. So I thought that I'd try to find a marathon without the hoopla and go and enjoy myself. Perhaps this one is the ticket. It looks small, fun, and I can register on race day at the start which is a real bonus. Temp's are forecasted to be lower 60's so I hope the 10 degrees makes a positive difference. But most of all, no pressure. I'll go out with no goal and no plan. Just run within myself and have fun.

To go with this, I am still doing recovery training. Yesterday did a great 15 miles with Marc at the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. Then this morning ran a rainy (and I mean rainy) 10 with Eric around Eastport. Plan to do 5 tomorrow, perhaps 10 on Wednesday then take a few days off.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Day 2 (after the storm)

Day 1 not being worthy of mention, today I hobbled out for an easy 5k (25:36) to give life back to my aching legs. After my overthrow at Boston I am anxious to start anew, again, away, anything. The next two weeks will be unstructured running for recovery purposes. Then beginning 5/2, I will follow Lydiard's plan for aerobic conditioning & development. I will post all the horrible details of my slog toward Boston as all the pieces finally settle in my mind. Until then, I urge everyone to move to cooler climates.

The 5k this morning felt good after 1642 painful steps. Then it felt like a massage - so I know it was the right thing to do. In fact, I wanted to go longer but I fear an after marathon injury if I push it to much. Might run tonight.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Taper Town

10 Weeks of Aerobic miles in the dark: check
4 Weeks of Hills in blizzards & -30F temps: check
4 Weeks of Speed on ice: check
4 Weeks of Tempo in the rain: check
2 Weeks Taper: ahhhhhh.

One week of taper is officially closed. Mileage: 25 miles. I spent most of the week recovering from quick speed session that made the legs sore. That was Tuesday, now it's Sunday and I am feeling good. Legs have almost rid themselves of all the creaks and groans accumulated from months of training. The soreness from daily training seems to have masked other pains that now are speaking up. The good news: one by one they are all disappearing. Now the butterflies have arrived. Mileage this week will be very low. I will most likely limit my daily mileage to 3 miles when I run. More to be gained from rested legs than from any structured workout.

When I started this process I declared a 2:45:00 goal for Boston. During the 1st weeks of tempo, I had decided to change the goal to 2:55:00 based on times and effort. As the temperatures warmed the times got a little faster and the effort a little easier. This has built up my confidence. I will officially keep the goal at 2:55 which is a 6:40 pace but I will leave the option open for a faster race should conditions warrant. Unfortunately, nothing in my training has indicated to me that I could maintain a 6:18 pace to accomplish the 2:45. Disappointed I may be, I feel much better attempting a revised goal than blindly shoot for an arbitrary number with no supporting evidence. The unknown factor is the final miles. My long runs have capped out at 22 miles. The good news is that these runs have ended with strong speeds and no exhaustion.

My personal best recorded at the '04 MDI marathon is 3:05:19. Prior to that my PB was 3:25 at the '03 MDI marathon. My plan for Boston will be a slow 3 miles (6:45-7:00) with an increase to 6:25 - 6:40 through mile 20. After this point I will either a) hammer down, b) maintain or c) crawl. Maybe all three. I have been reading accounts of peoples' experiences with Boston trying to glean good advice from their experiences. I have learned that the beginning is downhill causing overly fast times if one isn't careful, miles 3 to 16 fairly flat with a few ups and downs, 16 - 20 is up and 20 - 26 is down. I will need to concentrate if I am to maintain a good pace without wasting energy. I was able to do this at MDI but there the crowds were few and far between. I will need to use the crowds of Boston to my advantage without being distracted. I wonder if this is possible.

Winter training wasn't as consistent as I would have liked but that was to be expected. Two 80+ mile weeks in December brought two weeks of injury recovery. This was followed by a good week then two weak training weeks: 1 for the blues, the other due to the extreme winter conditions. Finally things perked up when I went into the Hill phase. Eric & I doing hills in wind chills around -30F remains vivid. We kept the car running through the entire workout as we took a 5 minute break between each hill repeat. The speed phase was difficult but oddly fun as it was different from anything I had done before. Well, it was fun until we tried the 3/4 mile repeats. That was murder. Tempo was enlightening. Here is where I found my limitations (at first) and then broke those limitations all in the 4 weeks. What started out as a disappointment turned into confidence as all the pieces finally came together in a coherent form. All throughout the process, Marc & I hammered out the long runs of 20+ miles in the freezing cold. My last long was on 3/27 for 21.7 miles in 2:40. Felt good throughout as I ran easily (relatively) throughout. Slight fatigue at 18 miles but overcome. Each successive 5k was faster than the one before. Course = hilly. From prior experience I find I run my long runs at 45 - 90 seconds slower than race pace so.....

We shall see. This just in: race day temps to be 55 -60 degrees and overcast   Let's hope this remains the case.

Off to rest some more.