Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2/29: To Hell and Back

Workouts are hard.  That's definitely something we can all say.  But every now and then, you get a workout that truly tests who you are.  Every now and then, you get a workout that sticks out and is remembered forever.  Tonight I had one such workout.  I was to do a critical half marathon simulation workout as one of the big final workouts for the 13.1 on the 18th.  I designed it myself and it is a killer.  You think you are done.  And then you go again.  And again.  And again.  By the end you forget about pacing and you just run.  Run to the end.  You dig and dig until you've stripped down every layer down to your very core... 
WARNING: please do not do this workout unless you are ready to and even then this is NOT for every runner.
Ok, having said that..

The task: 6x2400m, 1x1600m, 1x800m, all done at LT-Half Marathon race pace.  On the track.  The workout was designed to mimic a half marathon race as closely as possible.  The recovery was not much, ranging anywhere from 2-4 minute recoveries between each.  So, the pace needed to be accurate-not too slow, but certainly not too fast.  Even, even, even.
2400 is a mentally challenging interval and the way I broke it up was into 800s.  That really helped me focus on pacing and just hitting 230s.  1st interval, done, not bad.  2nd, faster, felt good!  3rd, same pace, still feeling good.  After 4 intervals, it got tough... 

My legs only had so much in them at that point and I began feeling the fatigue.  The rain began to pour harder as I dove into the 5th interval.  My shirt was now beginning to get drenched, and the pain had set in.  I was in hell.  I went through thoughts like, Come on.  Are you going to wimp out?  What is this going to get you?  How BAD do you want this?  You gotta break it down to the core.  Scratching the surface wasn't enough.  I had to dig all the way down to the very last layer and peel myself to the bone.  5th interval done.  On to the 6th.  Then the 7th.  Finally, the 8th.  Rain POURED and I saw a flash of lightning in the distance.  You've made a choice, now DO IT!!!  I yelled out in pain.  My body begged for mercy.  No more No more.  God, NO MORE...

If you really want something, you have to go through pain.  There is no way around it.  You have to already make that choice.  And that is what this workout was truly designed to do, besides me technically saying it was physically to "simulate the half marathon race".  The physical part, yes got my body to do what it needed to do, but it also was a very mentally challenging workout.  And that, is also a very large part of being a successful distance runner.  Even though my mind and body were constantly fighting during the workout, by the end, I felt like I had achieved a sense of nirvana.  And afterwards, I feel like a new runner.  During an extra day during the year, on 2/29/2012, I can happily say, I really lived.

2400: 7:31 (5:00 pace)
2400: 7:28 (4:59 pace)
2400: 7:28 (4:59 pace)
2400: 7:32 (5:01 pace)
2400: 7:35 (5:03 pace)
2400: 7:38 (5:05 pace)
1600: 5:06 (5:06 pace)
800: 2:32 (5:04 pace)

Total Miles: 10.5 miles(52:50), average 5:02 pace

I think the last 3 intervals are my half marathon race pace(5:05).  That pace equates to 1:06:00 for 13.1.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2/20-2/26: 106 Miles/Week

Monday: AM: 6 Miles EZ slow run with Mickey
PM: 10 Miles Progression started 6:30 pace worked down to 5:40 pace, total time 61:00

Tuesday: AM: 13 Miles easy 7:00-7:30 pace

Wednesday: AM: Fartlek Workout: 20 minutes + 2 x 90 sec on/90 sec off, 4 x 60 sec on/60 sec off, 4 x 30 sec on/30 sec off, 4 x 15 sec on/ 15 sec off, + 26 minutes: 10 Miles total
PM: 12 Miles easy 7:00 pace

Thursday: AM: 12 Miles easy 7:00 pace

Friday: AM: 10 miles easy 7:00-7:30 pace

Saturday: AM: Duel Ferries Run: Brisk 20 Miles(1st 10 Miles 61:00(6:06 pace), 2nd 10 Miles 58:00(5:48 pace)), got the "duel ferries record"-a record previously owned by the GRC runners in 2:02 or something, the total time of my run was 1:59:00.  The GRC is now ever so focused on claiming the record again. 

Sunday: AM: 12 Miles very easy-8:00 pace.  Ran some miles with Maria who is training very well for her half marathon in 3 weeks

TOTAL: 106

This week was focused on final endurance work.  The brisk 20 miler really helped give my endurance that extra confidence.  The next few weeks will be sharpening towards the half and the pace will drop.  Also next week I will get back on the track again and do an important LT/Half Marathon workout-designed specifically to simulate a half marathon race.  It's time to begin dropping the hammer.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

2/13-2/19: 92 Miles/Week

Very good week of training. A little less miles than last week goes a long way. I felt fresher on my runs, and was ready to attack a demanding track session on Wednesday. I also felt good on my long run.

Mon: PM: easy slow run with Mickey 8.5 miles

Tues: AM: 8.5 miles, PM: 6 miles

Wed: PM: TRACK LT WORKOUT: 4 mile warm up, 4800(15:10), 3200(9:59), 1600(4:55), 1600(5:05), 2.5 mile cool down, 13.5 miles total

Thurs: AM: easy 7 miles

Fri: AM: easy 13 miles

Sat: AM: LONG RUN 21 MILES moderate, met with Matt at Pennyfield Lock, starting out at 7:00 pace and ran up the towpath to Sycamore Landing which brought us out to hilly River Road/Seneca Road. By then we were running 6:30s with the hills and turned back onto Riley's Lock Road and got back onto the towpath, dipping furthur into 6:15s, heading again back to Pennyfield. Matt finished once we got back to Pennyfield(about 17 miles) and I added on 4 more miles. I dipped into the 5:50s the last few miles and felt great. Total time 2:20, averaged 6:40 pace

Sun: AM: easy slow 14 miles

Total: 92 Miles

Next week will be around 100 miles with another demanding workout and a faster long run. In all honesty I'm looking foward to it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

2/15: 4800m, 3200m, 2 x 1600m

Lactate Threshold.  For me, the half marathon is becoming closer and closer to this pace(a pace one maintains for 1 hour.  A high Lactate Threshold is important for distances between 10K all the way up to the marathon.  But perhaps the most defining distances for LT workouts for me are 10 Miles and 13.1 Miles.  10 Miles is a little bit faster, 13.1 Miles a little bit slower.

The workout I did today was focused primarily on Lactate Threshold pace.  I did it all on the track, and though the first 3 miles was not so fun, the next intervals got better.  The workout was a cutdown: 3 mile, 2 mile, and then 2 x 1 mile.  These were right around my LT pace.  The 4:55 mile afterwards surprisingly felt "easy."  The last interval I ran at what felt very close to half marathon race pace felt rather comfortable.  This is my most impressive workout yet.  I am looking good for where I am 4.5 weeks out from Shamrock.  Did this workout in the Brooks T7s again.  I have gotten pretty comfortable in this racing shoe and am excited to make a debut in it next month. 


4800m: 15:10, (5:03 pace)
3200m: 9:59, (4:59 pace)
1600m: 4:55
1600m: 5:05

Total Miles: 13.5: 4 mile warm up, 7 miles (workout), 2.5 mile cooldown
Should be around 90-100 miles this week.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

2/6-2/12: 111 Miles/Week

Great week of mileage training.  I didn't do any intensity though.  I will begin to tap back into that this coming week.  Most runs 6:00-7:00 pace.  The breakdown:

Monday: AM: 7 miles with Mickey, PM: 10 mile Edward's Ferry/White's Ferry Loop
Tuesday: AM: 10 miles
Wednesday: PM: 15 miles
Thursday: AM: 16 miles
Friday: AM: 16 miles
Saturday: AM: Long Run 22 miles: duration: 2:30:00.  Met Matt at riley's Lock and ran together for 13 miles before adding on my own.
Sunday: AM: 15 miles

Sunday, February 5, 2012

1/30-2/5: 99 Miles/Week

99 Miles for the week.  Ramping it up in distance.  My legs are a little beat up.  I decided to not do a track workout this week since I sensed my legs needed less intensity to compensate for the higher mileage.  Sometimes it's really important to NOT do a workout, instead of vice versa.  It's hard to do this if you get in a routine, but if it doesn't feel right to run fast, don't.  It is tricky, and for me, I have learned that no matter what training plan/workout I have or follow, the best answer ends up being listening to my gut feeling-no matter what.  By doing this, it helps me scale back if I need to, but it also is a fierce weapon for me to push myself when I'm ready. 

But back to my plan.  The month of February will be the highest in mileage with emphasis on longer intervals as key workouts for the Half Marathon/10 Mile distances.  Once March comes around the mileage will be somewhat lower all the way through April.  April will be more focused workouts for the 5k-10k, and pure speed.

Overall, I'm excited for some awesome training this month.  It is tough though-as I get faster I realize it ain't easier-that's for sure.