Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Big Miles and Time Trial

Last week was a big mile week for me. From Saturday to Saturday, I logged 36 miles! That's quite a lot for me. That's the mid to upper range for me even when I'm heavily training for a marathon - and I'm not really training for anything right now! It wasn't planned, it just happened. As I talked about in my previous post, I did 10 miles two Saturday's ago. Last Tuesday, I ran 8 with my pal, Mallika. I had originally wanted to run only 6 with 2-3 at tempo pace (8-8:30's), but it came to 8 after our long 2 mile cool down. We did end up running 3 at tempo pace and I'm happy that each mile got a little faster. Mile 4 - 8:32, Mile 5 - 8:15, Mile 6 - 8:03. TWM met Thursday morning and I got in 6 easy miles (still around 9 min pace). On Saturday, I ran 12 with the Runner's Edge. It was nice to join the group again and run through some beautiful neighborhoods around Mission Hills and Loose Park. I had a tough time though staying with the 9:30 group and holding the mid 8's pace they settled into after a couple miles of warm up. I definitely think I need a longer and slower warm up before getting to that pace. Heck, my tempo pace isn't too far from that and I was just shooting for an easy long run. The last couple of miles were hilly and tough for me. I fell considerably behind my pace group and did my best to finish strong. Evidence of "big miles" for me that week. My legs were tired.

Today, marks the beginning of my winter training. I've been talking about it for weeks and today I finally did it - my 2 mile time trial. Anyone who lives in KC and is reading this right now knows that our weather here is not that great. Temps in the 30's and 40's and cold rain, some sleet, and light snow in the past 24 hours. Our TWM group agreed not to meet this morning to torture ourselves. I still wanted to get in my time trial, but wasn't sure about doing it on a potentially slippery track. I opted to go later today and used the half mile loop in my neighborhood instead. I set out at 1:45 this afternoon with rain coming down lightly. Did a couple easy miles for my warm up and four striders to get my legs ready. Took a few drinks of water and stood at my imposed starting line trying to talk myself into going. I was feeling tired, unmotivated, and was fighting a headache - probably from not eating and drinking that much this morning. Knowing I wasn't going to feel any better just standing around, I took a few deep breaths and took off. The first lap (1/2 mile) was pretty tough. I looked down at my watch and saw that I was doing the same pace as my 800 repeats last spring on this same course. I avoided doing the math and just kept running and breathing hard. Finally, after I finished the second lap, I gained some confidence. I started to believe I could finish all four laps and not die from oxygen depletion. My breathing got under control and my legs had found their rhythm. Third lap felt pretty good and the fourth lap, I just went for it. I looked down at my watch with a couple little turns left and saw that my total time was 13:30 and I still had .2 to go. I started pumping my arms more and breathing as hard as I could. I thought, one corner down, just a little more to go. Here it is, last corner, when is my stupid Garmin going to beep and let me know I'm done!! Finally, it beeped. Finish time - 14:32! Not bad for not doing speed work in 2 months and having done some "big miles" last week.

Now I'm setting my sights on finishing at or very close to 23 minutes for the Sprint Thanksgiving Day 5K next week. Let's hope today helped!!

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