Saturday, April 11, 2015

50 Minutes

My current best time at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler is from last year's race, in 50:57.  I was strong last year. but I feel stronger this year.  After the USA Cross Country Championships last December, I got to work.  I ran that race off of low mileage, a bit out of shape, and frankly, I got my ass kicked.  Roland and I got to work during the winter, doing the endurance segment he has been trying to get me to do for quite some time now.  To my own stubbornness, I declined the chance to do it last spring.  When I first started with him, it was May 2014, after a very successful spring season, and I had already decided to extend my season and do the Gary Bjorklund Half in June.  Roland didn't want me to do it, but I had committed to the race and the plane ticket was booked.  Ironically this is when I had approached him as if my subconsciousness knew I needed his help(and I did!).  He would have much rather me do an endurance segment, and it is not until I actually did it this past winter that I see why(I also didn't run that fast in the race anyway).  After that race, it was too late to do much of a segment, and we had to go into specific marathon training(keep in mind to not confuse this with high mileage, the endurance segment is more about getting more comfortable at running faster for longer periods of time, instead of sharpening).  Nonetheless, I knew I was strong and I attempted to do the Chicago Marathon but dropped out due to illness, but I think the illness was a sign of weakness, that something was missing.  This winter was the first time I did the Arthur Lydiard-style endurance segment.  Roland coaches me much like the Lydiard style, which I really do well under physically.  I trained myself during the winter to physically and mentally learn how to get comfortable running faster for a long time, off of high mileage and no track workouts.  Saturdays, I would run 12 miles pretty quick.  On Sunday, I would run 20 miles at the same pace or faster.  Much of my paces during these runs this winter were around 5:40 pace, and the pace started to feel sort of comfortable if that makes any sense.  I also noticed that I really enjoyed this phase.  "This is the hardest type of training you will ever do." Roland said as I talked to him over the phone.  "You may have never done this before."  I felt like I hadn't, though it gave me a sense of familiarity to a time when I trained for my debut marathon in 2005, which at the time was a breakthrough race for me.

For the past 4 months, I have run about 1,600 miles, averaging 100 miles/week, and have done it completely healthy.  In March I started track workouts and the sharpening of my speed has gone well.  My mileage went down once I started track stuff, and now it's time for competition.  I feel like I am in shape to break 50:00, but I'll certainly take beating my time from last year.  In order to do this, I need to run even, and really aim to attack the 2nd half of the race well.  I've never been able to negative split this race-last year I went through the first 5 miles in 25:15, and finished the 2nd 5 in 25:42.  My plan is to get to 10K in under 31:00(and feeling strong is key), if I can do that I know I'll be ready to break 50:00.  The later parts of the race I feel sharp enough to unleash my speed with 2 miles to go.  I know I have that sharpness that I didn't have last year.  I want to run the last 2 miles very, very fast.  I've tapered well going into this, this week below:

M- 2 x 1600m of 50s(50m sprint, 50m float): total times were 5:30, 5:15, 7 miles total
T-AM: 5 miles/PM: 6 miles
W-AM: strength training + 2 x 800m @ close to race pace: 2:30, 2:29, 5 miles total
PM: 4 miles
Th-AM: pool run 35-40 minutes
F-AM: easy 45 min
S-easy 3-4 miles + strides(this afternoon)

Some race press below on page 2, thanks to Jake Klim and Cherry Blossom:

Good luck to all running tomorrow!

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