In this case there is no Wal-Mart and no one has ever heard of Arby’s. Nope. It was like driving to Wyoming where all the landscape offered was open space between where the land met the sky.
That emptiness is me just running miles. Sometimes that style works if one puts in enough miles and carries the proper weight, but other times, well… let’s just say it ain’t too pretty.
Anyway, I’m conflicted. My favorite thing to do is to target a race, train like hell and then see how close to my goal I can get. Sometimes it works out, other times it doesn’t. But it’s always fun and rewarding in its own way. Nevertheless, the training is the best part. When the target race is over I always feel a little sad that the training is over. It really is that much fun.
But at the same time, the point of training is to race and the point of racing is to go fast and to compete. If all a person does is train, does that really test them? Maybe. Maybe not. Certainly there a merits to staying away from races in order to train harder and run well in the target race, but at the same time there is a lot to learn from racing, too.
The thing I hate (and by hate I mean the fourth-grade meaning of the word) is training through a race. But it can be beneficial – I’m certain there are many good runners who used a races as speed workouts or really hard tempo runs. As someone who always preferred to stay on the field to crank out the miles in order to get ready for that one race, maybe it’s time to try a different tact? Maybe it’s time to (oh no!) race more often?
I think it is.
So here’s the deal: I’m going to target the Steamtown Marathon on Oct. 7 as my race. Marathon training is something I just really enjoy to do and since all of my “speed” is going to be gone very soon anyway, and the inevitableness of ultra-marathoning is inching closer, it works out.
But in the meantime, I’m going to see if I can run fast(er). What the hell? All I’ll have to do is fugure out how to wake up early.
Here’s the week of May 28 to June 3:
Monday – 18 miles in 2:00:53
Started out slow and a little sore in my hamstrings. I think it came from jumping on a trampoline yesterday. Either way, I settled in to a steady pace and finished strong. As always, I definitely could have added a few more miles.
1st 5: 33:12
2nd 5: 33:16
Final 7.2: 48:42
I got hot again after a storm cooled things off. Hopefully some of the humidity goes for a little while, but I guess that's wishful thinking.
Tuesday – 16 miles in 1:45:22
Strong as a bleeping horse today. For some reason I locked into a solid pace and didn't tire -- I even did a little fartlek to make it interesting. Perhaps the strength came from the cooler temps (it was 75-78) and slightly drier air? Either way, if I can continue to run like this I will definitely race this weekend.
1st 5: 32:44
2nd 5: 32:56
3rd 5: 32:04
Man, was it ever fun running today.
Wednesday – 13 miles in 1:27:17
Went for some ART in the morning and then sweated and faded in the heat during the afternoon. Actually, it wasn't all that bad... I was pretty solid through the first 10, but just barely. I was pretty much done over the final two miles.
Thursday – 17 miles total
1st run: 7 miles in 44:19
2nd run: 10 miles in 65:29
Ran pretty steady despite the heat in my first run. I would have liked to go longer, but parental duty calls from time to time.
Added a second run after hanging out with the boy during the afternoon at Dutch Wonderland. After that we went out for Chinese and I felt some of the broccoli and greasy garlic sauce repeating a bit on the late run. Nonetheless, I felt strong and had some decent turnover.
Friday – 12 miles in 1:20:39
Another hot and humid one, plus, I started to bonk about 5 to 6 miles into the run. After getting a drink and a banana at home I felt pretty good for the rest of the run.
1st 5: 33:06
1st 10k: 41:49
last 5.8ish: 38:50
I think I'm going to try and race tomorrow. I don't know if I'm up for it, but we'll see how it goes.
Saturday – 9 miles warm up/warm down + 5 miles workout
14 miles total
Did 9 miles wrapped around a 5-mile race/workout session. To call it a race means that one actually races and runs fast. I didn't do that. Nonetheless, despite not having any speed work, hill work, or proper rest, I ran two miles fairly well. Actually, the first two miles felt easy, but then something happened and I don’t know what the hell it was… was it the humidity and heat? No speed or hill work?
I doubt it.
mile 1: 5:36
mile 2: 5:41
mile 3: 6:54
mile 4: 6:55
mile 5: 6:32
The ever astute baseball writer for the Delaware County Daily Times has a flag on his Google Talk instant messenger that reads: “Don’t be a pussy, Finger.” It’s his way of greeting people. But sadly, based on the showing from miles 3 to 5, I’m afraid I didn’t follow the advice.
So much for that 27:50 that I thought I could do in my sleep... I guess I should have stayed in bed.
Fortunately there will be many chances for me to redeem myself this summer. Since I have been so reluctant to get on the track or to do harder speed sessions, perhaps it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to work myself into race shape by gasp! racing. Sounds like it could be worth a shot…
Anyway, there were a lot of people at the race and it was fun to see some faces I hadn’t seen in far too long. Unfortunately I don’t get out much, though I hope that changes. There are a lot of good people who get out on the running scene.
Sunday – 4 miles in 27:21
Got up early to squeeze in a run before going to Hershey Park. I was tight and tired at the beginning, but quickly warmed up and felt OK. Still, an easy, easy day is exactly what I need once a week.
That’s 94 miles for the week with some decent workouts and one not-so good one.