Monday, August 29, 2011

Week in review

Well last week’s training ended up being a complete bust! I had to take one day off because of illness and the rest of the week I felt either hung over from NYC or just not very well. I fully intended to run long on Sunday and got up in time but was feeling tired from Saturday and still had residue from my cold so decided to put it off until Monday and drew up a plan for the next couple of weeks through Blue Ridge instead.

That plan called for my planned long run to be done today and again I woke up ready to go and was actually feeling decent for the first couple of miles before deciding that two hours on my own on a Monday morning was going to be pretty lonely and miserable, let's do tomorrow's run today and run long on Miners day where at least I can guarantee company for 90 minutes!!

Having said that, today's run was good and as I was up so early I had plenty of time to do some barefoot strides, drills and stretching at CCS as well. Let's see what excuse I can come up with tomorrow for not doing the long run!

Need my mojo back! Excitement and anticipation leading into Blue Ridge next week should see to that….


So I guess Saturday went about as well as could be expected and I’ll mark it in the ‘average’ category

I woke up feeling a lot better than I had done Friday morning but could still tell during my warm up that my heart rate was far more elevated than usual and that the race was going to be a real struggle towards the end.

I planned to head out as conservatively as possible but a couple of things scuppered that idea immediately. Firstly I found myself positioned away from my rivals on the left hand side of the two starting locations. After the ‘gun’ went off I shot down the left side of the median and was having to shout ahead to the race director to ask him when I needed to break over to the right and join the rest of the race. Not an ideal start.

Once I did get across and join the rest of the field I found myself in the lead but immediately joined by Chris. He was hammering it so of course I just tried to settle in with him. I was feeling pretty decent at this point so just went with it. That meant I was probably 5-10 seconds ahead of where I needed to be at the mile. We ran side by side for the second mile too but our pace had dropped significantly as we climbed the toughest section of the course and I was paying attention to Chris rather than the pace. Chris dropped back and I was joined instead by Richard, who had run a much more even paced race and was having a great day. We ran stride for stride for the next half mile and I could tell that Billy wasn’t far back either at this point as I could hear his name being cheered a few seconds after mine as we passed people!

As we approached East for the final time and the long slog up to the finish my pace started dropping and Richard got a gap. His motivation to win his first race, get a pr and get some decent points ahead of Chad and Billy in the GP series was clearly going to trump my general feeling of blah and so it proved, Richard being able to cruise to victory with little fight put up by me. It was a highly impressive performance from Richard and a significant moment in his running career. Big PR and a GP race victory. Not to be sniffed at, great job Richard! I held on to second ahead of Billy and collapsed in a suitable heap at the finish line. My time of 16:24 was my 2nd slowest on that course but probably about as fast as could have been expected.

Immediately after the race I went over to congratulate Richard and headed out for a cool down with a big group of people, licking my wounds but at the same time contemplating the bigger picture. Also Saturday underlined again how great the Charlotte running community currently is. So many friends to race hard against and so many people who weren't racing out there supporting (rumour has it there were three Olympic Trials qualifiers cheering us on). Good stuff.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Time to get back in shape

Tomorrow will be my 5th race on successive weekends. That is ridiculous! Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets about that situation, I train to race and love racing so I’m fine with it. The first of those 5 was my goal race of the Summer, which I won, 2, including the one tomorrow, were GP races, which I have to race in if I’m going to win the Series and the other 2 were rare opportunities to try a new race and snag a bit of cash (I ended up getting $100 which is better than nothing). Add that to the fact that my entry fee is already covered in the GP races and my Company is still covering entry fees for any races employees enter and perhaps you can understand some method in my madness?

Having said all that there is no doubt that it’s put a dent in my overall level of fitness. If I race on a Saturday rarely will I do a decent long run on the Sunday (the cornerstone of any training program). Also I always take it easy a couple of days before a race and my other workout that week will generally be quite a light one. So my training load the past few weeks has been pretty light. I’m currently averaging less than 60 miles a week and my long run rarely gets into double figures in terms of mileage. That coupled with feeling sick and tired this week has left me feeling pretty unfit at the moment.

So after tomorrow it’s time to get back to basics, get the mileage up again, two workouts a week, long run on Sunday, start feeling better about myself. After all I train to race, so let’s get back to training so I can race better at the end of it all when my Fall goal races come around.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Greek Fest GP Race 9 looms

So Saturday I will be running Greek Fest for a 6th time (check out last year's preview for a bit of background). My race there last year was 'average' so I'm 2-2-1 in terms of good, bad and average performances there. If I had to hazard a guess at how Saturday is going to go I'd have to admit that I could be 2-3-1 after this one!

Last Saturday I ran a pretty desperate 10k effort. The course and weather were horrible but my collapse in the last couple of miles was worrying! The only upside of the race was the $50 I received for third place, enough to buy 2 beers in NYC and have some change for a sandwich.

Which brings me on to the post race activities in the Big Apple. Had a great time but the combination of bad drinking and eating and lack of sleep knocked me for 6 and I've been sick since I came home! I didn't run at all yesterday and dragged myself around for an hour this morning. Hopefully two more nights of good sleep will sort me out and I can at least give the race my usual 100% effort!

Should be a big turnout for this one and I'm looking forward to seeing how the usual Harris, Crockford, Shue tear up pans out and seeing if friends can meet their sub 17,18,19 goals!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Week in review

I ran 55 miles last week including the race. My long run was 12 miles including 8 at around 6:35 pace helping out friends doing a workout. Other than that it was all nice easy miles and the legs and mind are feeling ready for the harder work I am going to demand of them over the next few weeks.

This week I'm shooting for 60 miles and am doing a workout with the Miners tomorrow and have pretty much decided I'm going to jump into a 10k on Saturday for my second workout of the week.

Fun weekend ahead with the race on Saturday morning followed by my Soph's 5 year birthday party and then off to the Big Apple to help Jay celebrate his penultimate weekend of bachelorhood. Oh boy!

Not so Rock n' Run

Well it was nice to get a W on Saturday but I didn't run as fast as I wanted to. I ran 16:14 and was wanting to run much closer to 16. The first mile of 5:05 necessary for a sub 16 felt a lot harder than it should have and as I took the lead at this point I ran the last two miles solo and couldn't quite hold pace in spite of my best efforts. The strength is definitely there just not the speed. Hopefully with more competition guaranteed at Greek Fest in a couple of weeks I can run faster there. I would definitely recommend this race for next year though. Cool location, definitely a fair course and just a good vibe surrounding the whole event. Check it out next year!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Week in review

5 runs, 35 miles, one sweaty 5k race

This was the first of my 2 weeks I've deemed necessary to recharge the batteries a little. I was meant to do 6 runs and 40 miles but I wasn't able to run on Sunday. So four enjoyable runs with friends Tuesday to Friday followed by a 5th place at Blue Points in my slowest ever time on that course on Saturday (16:31) and I was done for the week. Although a disappointing race, this wasn't unexpected and I still managed to consolidate my position as GP leader as the 4 guys who beat me were all college studs who haven't done any of the other races. In fact with 8 events gone and only 8 counting towards the final points total I think in golfing terms I'm 'dormie' and will win as long as I complete the last three races to get the bonus points.

Similar fare on the menu this week although looking to hit 50 miles for the week and run substantially faster in a 5k I have lined up on Saturday for which the current weather forecast is promising considerably better conditions than last Saturday's swamp fest.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

10k splits

Tim was kind enough to take all my splits at the race on Saturday.....

80, 79, 81, 81 (5:22)
80, 81, 79, 81 (5:22)
80, 79, 80, 81 (5:21)
40 -- 16:46 (5k)

81, 81, 80, 81 (5:24)
80, 79, 80, 80 (5:20)
81, 79, 80, 76 (5:17)
38 -- 16:41 / 33:28 (10k)

Happy with those!

Didn't run a step Sunday or Monday. Ran 8 yesterday and 9 today. Legs felt very heavy today haha! Plenty of recovery needed