Monday, July 21, 2008

Training week 7/14-7/20

This was a pretty solid training week, in stark contrast to the prior week when I was struggling and fighting off something nasty (which, unfortunately, Anne and Noah now have....). I was able to get in some halfway decent mileage (73.0), a quality workout on Wednesday and a long run on Saturday. My knee is much, much better, though still not 100%, and I think I'm definitely on the up and up.

Until Noah is able to sleep through the night, or at least consistently give us 6-7 hours of uninterrupted sleep, 70-75 miles is going to be on the high end of my weekly mileage. Honestly, it's hard to imagine running more mileage with his sleeping being the way it is right now. It requires a tag-team effort among Anne and me, and this certainly takes a toll on you as far as sleep-deprivation. Right now, many days start at 4 a.m. with wake-ups around 1 or 2 in the morning. But we're having the time of our lives!

I still feel kind of aimless in my training. What's my next race? My gut instinct says to focus on my fall marathon and go for a sub-3 there, which will be very challenging given my current life circumstances. If my fall marathon is indeed my next key event, maybe then I should run some 5Ks and 10Ks coming up, and the Perfect 10 Miler in a few weeks, as preparation. I really need to set a new 5K PR (my current 5K PR was "set" in the spring of 2005 and is pretty soft)--maybe now's the opportunity.

All of that said, I'm still considering the Youngstown 50K in September and the Hellgate 100K in December. I want and need to do another ultra this year.

Here's how the week went:

PM: 4.25 miles
I felt very strong and fresh, and my knee was pain-free, which was encouraging given that I'd tested it the day before by going 12 miles in Solon.

AM: 8.25 miles at 7:25 pace
I logged sub-7:00 miles for miles 5 and 6 and again felt fresh and strong, especially compared to how I felt this time last week. No knee pain.

AM: 8.05 miles--street intervals
I went to the track to do my first interval workout in many weeks, only to find that it was closed for resurfacing. Needless to say, I was disappointed. Rather than throw in the towel, I decided to do an interval session on the streets, which I knew would be difficult because there are so many hills in Chagrin Falls. I was originally aiming for three mile repeats on the track of sub-5:50 each. The following times were logged on hilly stretches: 6:10, 6:05 and 6:42 (going up a big-ass hill in Bentleyville). I look forward to the track re-opening....

AM: 7.25 miles at 6:55 pace
I was not expecting to feel so strong and light on my feel. Took advantage of it and ran at an up-tempo pace.

PM: 9 miles in South Chagrin Reservation
I had decided to take the day off to spend time with my mom, who was visiting us. The day ended up sucking badly. I wasn't able to run in the morning because Noah was sick, I was tired from 4 terrible hours of sleep the night before, and I was either on the phone with the doctor or going to the drug store to get his medicine.

When finally I was able to go for a run, which was at 3:30 in the afternoon, the temperature was 91 degrees. I took a water bottle, went shirtless held a steady pace. Despite being really tired, this was a solid run. The heat didn't affect me much at all.

AM: 22 miles in Brecksville Reservation and Cuyahoga Valley National Park, sites of the Buckeye Trail 50K
In lieu of racing the Buckeye Trail 50K and risking a set-back with my knee, I decided to pace my friend, Ted, who was going for his first ultra and paced me at both the Burning River 100 and Mohican 100. I can't fun-run an event, so I knew with my less-than-100% knee I should cancel my participation in the BT50K.

I showed up at Oak Grove (start/finish) at 8:15--an hour and 15 minutes after the gun went off--and began making my way to Boston Store, stopping briefly to talk with Lloyd, the folks at the Snowville Road aid station, and Paul R., who unfortunately had to drop due to his hamstring/glute injury.

I saw Ted coming down from the Pine Lane section and then ran behind him from Boston Store to Snowville (wasn't pacing him yet because pacing was to start at Snowville), and then I officially started pacing him at Snowville, with about 6 miles to go. Ted held up great, battled through the heat and humidity, and finished in 5:53--a very solid time. He showed a lot of strength and I'm amazed at how well he held up given that he had just one marathon under his belt going into Saturday. His family was there cheering him on at each aid station--great motivation.

I have to say--pacing Ted to his first ultra finish was one of the most rewarding experiences of my running life. It was great being out there for someone else--to use my experience to help another person achieve their goal. From Snowville on, the goal was to finish in under 6 hours. Along the way, we passed, I think, seven runners. With his first 50K now history, Ted's looking at BQ'ing this fall, running Boston next April and then completing his first 50 miler next summer. We all celebrated at his house later that night.

I had many SERC friends who did very well at the Buckeye 50K, including Kam who won outright (again!) with a time of 4:10. Kam would once again have broken 4 hours were it not for the crazy humidity. Jeff U. also did exceptionally well, placing 4th overall with a time of 4:41 and setting a new masters record.

Saturday marked my longest run since Mohican. I felt a little achiness in my knee the last 5 miles with Ted, but overall this run was very encouraging.

AM: 10 miles at easy pace
I wasn't able to go to Solon as Anne was sick and I had to do Noah's feedings. I was able to get these 10 miles in between his feedings. Man, it was so humid. I can't imagine much worse humidity. When I got back home I was literally dripping wet. No knee pain.
PM: 4.2 miles at easy pace
I wanted to get in some respectable mileage for the day so I got on the treadmill in the afternoon.
Total miles for day: 14.2

Total miles for week: 73

My goal next week is anything over 50. Anne has a weekend horse show--her first since she became pregnant with Noah--and I'll be spending a lot of time there and at home watching Noah. If I can get in more than 50 miles, I'll be happy.

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