Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Battles in Racing Conditions

Jacksonville Half Marathon
January 3, 2016
Conditions: 48-50 degrees, cold rain, but no wind
Result: PR- 1:06:50

USATF 15K Championships
March 12, 2016
Conditions: 80-85 degrees, 90-100% humidity
Result: very slow time, 26th place

So far this year, each race I have run has been a wild card in terms of conditions.  On January 3, I ran a PR in the half marathon of 1:06:50 in Jacksonville.  It was cold rain, which was annoying, but there was no wind.  And the temperature was near perfect.  Then, on March 12, I did the USATF 15K Championships, also in Jacksonville(the race is also known as the Gate River Run).  It was hot, and humid as hell.  It was hard because I wasn't used to the conditions.  When you aren't used to those conditions(especially training all winter), they can really give you a good ass-whooping!  I placed 26th in the USATF 15K Championship.  I have gotten to the point where I am not satisfied with that, and I think that is a good thing because I know I can run with that front pack once I am ready, place in the top 15.  But moving on now to Cherry Blossom...

I have trained well the past few months.  I have done some workouts that indicate I am fitter than before I ran 1:06 for the half marathon in January.  What I have noticed in my training is that it seems I am just a little bit more comfortable at quicker paces now.  Things started to click really well after I returned from the Gate River Run 15K.  Sometimes a race in really rough conditions does wonders later on.  Below are my most recent weeks leading up to Cherry Blossom this Sunday.  Of course, now on my 3rd road race into 2016, there are more conditions to conquer.  This time the temperature will be good(maybe a bit brisk, but I will take ANYTHING over the conditions I dealt with at Gate River).  When it's humid there really isn't much you can do.  When it's cooler you can always layer up a bit.  This time, the challenge will be the wind.

First rain but great temperatures, then hot/humid, now cool/windy.  There's always something.  But it can bring opportunity.  I think for tomorrow, I could place really well.  I have a shot at sticking with the lead pack.  If it makes sense, I will go for it.  The leaders may not be able to run as fast, and if I can draft off of them I will be able to do well.  I will run this race to place well.  I know I am very fit, the workouts below speak for themselves.  I should be able to summon a very good kick too, as I have worked on my foot speed as well.  Last year, I was just behind the top pack.  Maybe this time I can hang with them for a while.        

Mon- 10 miles
Tues- 6 miles
Wed- AM: 9 miles
PM: Track: 4 x 1600m: 4:48, 4:45, 4:48, 4:49, all with 400m jogs between, 9.5 miles total
Thurs- 10 miles
Fri- AM: 5 miles/PM: 5 miles
Sat- Track: 8 x 800m: 2:22, 2:22, 2:21, 2:21, 2:21, 2:20, 2:21, 2:19, all with 400m jogs between, 
11 miles total
Sun- 2 hour run w/ Conrad

Mileage: 85 Miles


Mon- AM: 5 miles/ PM: 5 miles
Tues- Track: 8 x 300m: 49-51 each, 6 x 400m: 67-69 each, 9.5 miles total
Wed- 11 miles
Thurs- 10 miles
Fri- 10 miles
Sat- Drills + 8 x 100m strides, 2 x 1600m: 5:02, 5:01
Sun- 15 mile run

Mileage: 75 miles


This week I did a light 4 x 800m on Wednesday in 2:31, 2:29, 2:28, 2:27.  It was enough just to get my racing gears going for Sunday, and felt relaxed doing those paces, which is a good sign.

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