Running quote of the week

“It’s an honor to hit the wall… If you hit the wall you know you gave it everything.” – Lauren Fleshman

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Steep road to the Brooklyn Half

Scene of the crime
Today's run (Bethpage Bike Trail): 5.25 miles

Have you ever had one of those long runs that felt so effortless that it seemed you could run all day? If that's the case, I am extremely envious, because today's kick-off to my Brooklyn half marathon training was the opposite of that. The one positive that came out of today's workout was that I planned to run five and I did it. However, the experience itself was not good and it raised some questions about my fitness.

I had every reason to think today's run would go well. Yesterday's race was only a two mile leg. Although it was a tough two, it wasn't an endurance challenge. I wasn't pleased with my lack of stamina that caused me to slow considerably a couple of times, but my Garmin showed I'd averaged under 9:00 for a good part of the time. I figured an easy run on the paved Bethpage trail would be a nice recovery.

It was much colder this morning compared to yesterday's race conditions. The temperature display in my car showed 28° and it was breezy outside. I had dressed for the cold, but the wind made it feel far more uncomfortable. But that was an irritant, not an obstacle. I felt fine for the first few minutes and it helped that my route went downhill for much of the first mile. By the time I reached the wooded section, just east of the park drive, I started feeling an energy debt. I made my way up some short but somewhat steep sections and realized this was not going to go well.

I often hit a wall around 30 minutes into a run, but I can usually manage through that. Today that wall came at the 10 minute mark and it never went away. Even at a 10+ minute pace, I felt weighted down. I think I'm starting to react to tree pollen that was released with the spring-like weather we had earlier this week. It may just be that all the indoor training on the treadmill at easy paces has softened me up for cold weather endurance running.

The tough running continued and I considered truncating today's distance to 4 miles. I decided to stick to the script and adjusted my speed to maintain forward motion. I wasn't happy to be running so slow, but I reminded myself that this was supposed to be a recovery run and I'd committed to this schedule. All the indoor training and the lack of real elevation on my neighborhood roads were working against me. The hills really took a toll on me today.

One down, nine to go
But this is why we train, right? I remember going from middle distance to double digit mileage the last time I did half marathon training. In a way it was tougher to get through a hilly six miles those first weeks than to double that distance after many weeks of base runs.  Next weekend I go for six. I'm thinking about resting Monday and Tuesday and then going for another four or five miles on Wednesday. Perhaps I'll run 80% of my previous weekend's distance on each mid-week run. I may use Tuesdays for weekly speed work. But not this week. At this point I need a couple of days of rest.

7 comments:

  1. It was still too cold today. I still think the first nice day we have things are all going to come together.

    I think I'll have to do speed work on my street (it's 400m) if I'm going to do it during the week before work. I'm sure they won't let me onto the track.

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    1. I hope your'e right about the weather TPP!

      I don't have any obvious stretches in the neighborhood that I could use for speed training so it's great that you do. I'd rather run intervals on the track or street then on the treadmill, despite the convenience of doing that.

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  2. You got it done! That's what counts. It will get easier. Promise!

    Are you doing an NCAA pool? Billion dollar kitty!

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    Replies
    1. I'll hold you to that promise : )

      The odds of winning the NCAA pool is like a jazillion to one. Over the years I've stopped participating in Superbowl and NCAA pools. mostly because I haven't got a clue about the teams. But if you are going for it, best of luck!

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  3. Oh, I do my 100m strides on the roads all the time! 400m is a little harder to calculate on the streets. I have an idea of how long it takes me to do a lap, so I will run by time rather than distance.

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    Replies
    1. I do have one road very close to my house that's a straight quarter. I measured it with Gmaps and It's almost a perfect 400. The only issue is that it has about a 1 to 2% grade. Does that matter?

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