Saturday, March 25, 2006

Resting on a Saturday Morning

Decided to not roll out of bed today and do an easy 3, but defer it until later on in the morning. Then after some Skywarn training for the NWS with my 8 year old daughter, I'll do some sort of LT workout at the airport this afternoon. No need to jump right into it after all - it's Saturday. A day of lax routines, unstructured loafing, and long bouts of reading. Even an hour walk in the Moosehorn with the family is on tap. Love weekends!

I have just come off of two hard days of running. But they weren't both "hard" in terms of effort. Just the completion of them was difficult.

Thursday I did a 3.4 miler in the morning to shake out the legs. 30:09. Then on the way to work, I realized I had forgotten my sneakers. This changed my schedule so that I had to come home from work early in order to get the workout in. I am lucky that this option was open to me. The run turned out to be very difficult to accomplish. The plan called for 60 minutes in the high aerobic zone (or MP) after a short warmup followed by a short cooldown. The course was out the highway in Eastport to the Passamaquoddy Indian Reservation and back. Just as the core part of the run got started, a north wind started to blow and squalls were crossing the bay. Thus the snow and rain came in sideways at me but luckily the squalls were short in duration.

From the start I had such difficulty getting the heart rate up into the proper zone. The legs would have none of it. They were tight and were rebelling against any sort of increased turnover. This was very frustrating and made the first few miles very labored and uncomfortable. However, I kept going because I figured at the lower heart rate, I was in no danger of working beyond my aerobic capability. The head wind kept at me as I struggled across the causeways to the turn around point.

Then at 4 miles (and about 1/2 mile before the turnaround) the legs suddenly loosened up allowing for increased turnover and the heart rate jumped up 3 - 6 - 9 beats per minute within seconds. The tempo was up and game was on! No idea why it took 4 miles to have the engine catch or why it caught at all but this lifted my spirits considerably. I mean, if I was going to feel bad, I wanted at least to have some decent splits to go with it!

I turned around at 30:30 (4.5 miles) and the headwind turned into a nice tailwind. The legs were turning and now the feet added to the list of bodily complainers. The nice thing about repeating this type of workout is once you've done it, you realize that you can always do it. So, no matter the legs are complaining, you know the lungs will take you in to the finish. This is important because in the past when the legs started to hurt I'd start to wonder if I could make it to the finish at the pace. Now I have much more faith in lung capacity to drag me through to the end and I let the muscles slow me down on their own accord - but I try not to willingly notch it down aerobically if I don't have to.

With all that said, wasn't I glad when the workout was done! The last mile is uphill and it was hard to keep the pace. In the end I completed 9 miles in 59:51 with an average heart rate just under MP. So I was pleased. This is where I need to have faith in the training as I couldn't imagine keeping up this tempo for a marathon with the legs feeling like they were. But with rest the muscles should feel fine and the lungs are doing great.

Then Friday - ugh. Fridays are just hard. Two hours of "low aerobic" always morphs into two hours "slow slog". This is the "no sugar" run. The only place a two hour workout will fit is in the wee morning hours and that means rolling out of bed and onto road without the benefit of tea or bread. But it is done - 13.4 miles in 2:02:44.

Sore is where this left me and the only cure is..... more running! I popped over to the Moosehorn for 30 minutes of easy recovery and didn't my legs complain! For the first miles is was tough but things loosened up a little by the end. I'll call it 3 miles.

Next week will be a "drop" week by dropping the time on course to 50 - 75% but running the same efforts. I'll still put in the long run at scheduled on Sunday. The following Sunday is a half marathon in St. John, NB that Mike & I are running. I want to be somewhat fresh for this race as I'll practice some race strategy. Following this race, I'll move my training to focus on longer MP runs and less "low aerobic" running. This should have the result of lowering my weekly mileage but increasing the proper focus on race strategy and race preparedness.

Only 3 weeks of training left before the taper: 1 drop week with same hard/easy pattern just reduced time on course, 2 weeks of "coordination" training focusing on MP running longer distances (12 - 15 -18 perhaps). Then 2 weeks taper.

Training so far this week: 103.7 miles.


Blogger Mike said...

Gotta love that "cure". Tough conditions for marathon pace work, but when you drop the miles I'm guessing it will become easier. I'm looking forward to your results during the coordination phase. Enjoy your weekend, sounds like you've earned it with 93 miles already.

3/25/2006 12:54 PM  

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