Monday, March 22, 2010

The deets

I'm a big numbers person, they just appeal to me in the way some other details cannot. So here's a recap of yesterday's HM in numbers.

m1: 7:50
m2: 7:33
m3: 7:39
m4: 7:48
m5: 7:30
m6: 7:49
m7: 7:37
m8: 7:43
m9: 7:39
m10: 7:29
m11: 7:37
m12: 7:44
m13: 7:31
m.1: :47

More splits, recorded by NYRR timing mats
Location: 5 Kilometers
Time of day: 7:59:27 AM
Elapsed time: 0:23:53.33
Pace/mile: 07:40.87
Location: 10 Kilometers
Time of day: 8:23:24 AM
Elapsed time: 0:47:50.67
Pace/mile: 07:42.26
Location: 15 Kilometers
Time of day: 8:47:02 AM
Elapsed time: 1:11:28.59
Pace/mile: 07:40.14
Location: 20 Kilometers
Time of day: 9:11:18 AM
Elapsed time: 1:35:44.66
Pace/mile: 07:42.16
Location: Finish
Time of day: 9:15:54 AM
Elapsed time: 1:40:22.00
Pace/mile: 07:39.62

Temperature at race time

Men - 5420
Women - 6073 (woot!)
Total - 11493

1 permi-smile on my face, still present today!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

1, 2, 3, 4 - 4!!!!

That's right folks, 4 old PRs fell today in the span of a single race. Needless to say, it was a GOOD day! And a reminder that hard work really is rewarded, you need only to see my face and the permi-smile to know this. Today it all came together, the weather, my fueling, my mindset and a course I know very well. I am beyond happy for this check-in as to how my training is going, the boost of confidence and as Cindi noted, the fueling for the remainder of my IL training. 5 weeks and 6 days to go!

I am also forever grateful to my running buddy Missy for her optimism, inspiration and encouraging words. Her little heirloom tomato in utero has one hell of a momma!

15K - previous PR: 1:14:46 (8:02/mi), new PR: 1:11:28 (7:41/mi)
10 mile - previous PR: 1:19:50 (7:59/mi), new PR: 1:16:40 (7:40/mi)
20K - previous PR: 1:40:59 (8:08/mi), new PR: 1:35:44 (7:43/mi)
HM - previous PR: 1:50:04 (8:25/mi), new PR: 1:40:21 (7:40/mi)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pimp my track

When I first really got into running and needed to locate a track around Manhattan I felt certain I'd come up empty handed. After all, where is there really enough room to locate a 400m length track in this over populated and dense city of ours? I inquired with people on several message boards and was surprised to find there were actually quite a few. Of course they're all located on the peripherals of our fair island and none are right in my backyard but the choices are good. When I was working on Wall St. I made it a regular habit to change at the NYSC location next door to my office, leave my belongings behind and run over to the track located in East River park. It was a great distance for a warm-up to whatever interval workout lay ahead and made for easy planning. And even when I changed jobs and was located in SoHo that track was still my best bet, again changing at yet another NYSC location near the office, leaving my goods all locked up there, and taking off.

Since then I've been relocated to another office, this time in Dumbo, and while the East River track would still be a viable option I've also converted (mostly) to being a morning runner. That makes for more complicated planning and something I'd prefer to avoid, i.e. lugging all my stuff in a backpack while running to the track. Luckily for me there's another sweet track facility on the West side; one that I've run at from time to time when I needed another option. Riverbank State Park is an easy 5 mile run away and is perched atop a structure overlooking the Hudson River. It's a beautiful park with a spectacular vantage of the city and river and open to the public with generous hours.

I like it not only for the good quality of the track itself but because it's a neighborhood fixture. Last night I ran up for some more cruise intervals and was not surprised to find it completely jam packed. Now it wasn't overcrowded with runners although there were a few others going round and round. It was all about soccer and fans of the soccer players and basketball and hockey and I think there was even some baseball practice going on. And the kiddos... tons of kiddos running around like it was a playground, which essentially it is. It's safe, well lit, has a snack bar and for someone living in the neighborhood, probably a good number of your neighbor friends.

Of course it can get a little hairy when you're trying to stay on pace for a given interval set but I like to think the added obstacle course elements make me a stronger runner. Rogue soccer and footballs coming at my noggin' and in front of me on the track, teenagers making googly eyes at one another in lane 1 and last night even a 5 yr old carrying much too large of a stick chasing his buddy.

Here she is at the right ...a beauty, no?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tears from the skies, tears from my eyes

I like to consider myself an equal opportunity weather runner. Sure I savor those ideal conditions... light breeze, sunshine (but not too much) & 50 degree temps but I'll take whatever I can get and will run in anything. So when this past weekend's forecast reared it's ugly head I knew my choices for an "ideal" LR day would be limited. Saturday showed up looking like a day severely beaten with the ugly stick and Sunday showed little promise for more attractiveness. I then resorted to these sorta-kinda rules I have in my mind with regard to running. The one in particular, it's better to just suck it up and make it happen in whatever the current conditions are - tomorrow could be better but it could also be worse. With that in mind and a number of hours already spent delaying the inevitable I set out for my 2nd 20 miler in the plan.

It was rainy, it was 40*, it was windy with 25 MPH steady winds and gusts of up to 50 MPH and it was gray. Despite that all, I didn't feel bad those first several miles and in fact took off way too fast for the day's work. I recalled the words I exchanged with J right before I left... "man this is gonna suck" and then a pause and a quick recant ", no it's not, it's gonna be awesome". No way was I gonna break another of my rules regarding negative thoughts at the start of a LR. And he responded something like "this will be your best run yet", of course saying it to simply get my butt out the door. But it left a mark and when I recalled the words I asked myself, why shouldn't this be my best run yet? Why couldn't this be my best run yet? So those words marinated there for quite a bit.

And the run got a bit tougher as the miles went on but never real bad. My nutrition was spot on, my energy was high and my headphones were pumping out the tunes. My pace stayed steady and true and my heart rate stayed low. I turned around heading north now and ran all of the middle miles directly in to the wind and rain and at several points, small hail. Mommy! IT SUCKED. Now it didn't suck all at once. I checked in with myself and allowed the wind to be acknowledged, allowed the rain to be noted and decided that it shouldn't matter. I was running well, it's not ideal but I'm running well. I had to stay running in this direction until at least mile 15 and then I could turn back around and finish with the crap to my back.

And then somewhere after mile 14 it got to be reckoning time.

I was barely moving forward, the wind was so strong and so severe that I could not feel movement whatsoever. I was also thoroughly soaked by this point, the last time I attempted to eat a shot block I had to spend way too much time pawing open my hand held, the digits simply did not work, they were frozen solid. My playlist had also since finished but I had no way to make my hands work the iPod.

But I H.A.D. to get to at least mile 15. HAD to.

At one point I felt like tears were imminent and honestly I could have been crying. There was absolutely no differentiation between my rain soaked face and water of the saltier variety. And then after glancing down at the Garmin and seeing 14.87 just a bit ago, it was here. It was there. Glorious mile 15.

I turned around and instantly felt just how much of a wind I'd been running in to, now I was actually scared of being blown over. No joke. It was craziness. But it was behind me.

The wind.

The rain in my face.

The hugest of huge mental hurdles.

I finished the run without incident, without any excuses, without any walking, without any regret.

And without any doubt that if I could run 20 miles in those conditions at a still respectable clip, I could truly run in anything.

And J was right, it was the best run yet!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Twice as nice

2 weeks seemed to have buzzed by without me realizing it. Maybe it was Olympics-effect? Not sure but looking over my last entry it feels like a lot of running has occurred in that time. The highlights and low lights:

  • last interval workout on the plan was notsogreat; I was cold and wet upon arriving at the track and my performance was less than stellar
  • I decided to not stay down for long and logged my first 21 miler of the season the Sunday immediately following that workout. It was awesomeness!
  • coach found some time in the plan and had me repeat that interval workout, after all, no one wants that taste to be left in their mouth
  • second time around was a huge success! Of course it was also probably one of the most beautiful and ideal type of running days that you could score so that helped.
  • I've had a bunch of phenomenal running mornings with Missy and Meredith, it feels like those days are pure running joy and completely effortless
  • I ended February right on track with mileage to get me over the 2000 mile mark for 2010 (226 miles), not bad for a shorty, down mileage month
And now with just about a week and a half until my next race, the tempo paced stuff is coming out to play. Wheee! I'll be heading back up to the track for the first set of cruise intervals, which should feel like a cake walk after interval work.

With just 8 weeks until Illinois I'm getting very excited! This weekend brings another 20 miler but this time with a fast finish and a return back to up mileage weeks.

How's everyone's training going?