Wednesday, September 28, 2011

4 x Mile @ HM Pace w/ 400m rest

I treated tonight's workout as a pacing workout for the Applefest Half Marathon this weekend. I felt pretty good going into the workout and just wanted to nail down the feel of running goal pace, which is about 5:30 pace. Splits and rests were:

5:30 (1:46)
5:22 (1:52)
5:26 (1:55)

The recoveries were pretty brisk, but I was completely recovered halfway around the track and just wanted to bang this thing out. I do not think that I did a great job of hitting pace, which is usually my strong suit. I can generally hit lap splits within a second of goal pace but tonight my quarter splits were all over the place, ranging from 78 seconds to 84 seconds. On top of that I was too fast on the last three. Rest up for this weekend and hope for cool, dry weather. Total = 10 miles.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

2 Mile / 1 Mile / 2 Mile

Tonight Dave Dunham served up an interesting workout - 2 mile / 1 mile / 2 mile with 800m rest between sets. The 2 mile efforts were at HM pace and the 1 mile was at 10km pace. My legs were still a bit tired from the weekend but I definitely felt better than I did on a daily basis just a month ago. I started with a 2.5 mile warm up and some strides. Times and splits were:

2 mile: 5:20/5:17 = 10:37 (5:05 rest)
1 mile: 4:58 (5:02 rest)
2 mile: 5:20/5:25 = 10:45

I felt good for the first two efforts (the mile was surprisingly easy) and the first 1.5 miles of the last effort but had to scale back a bit for the last 800m because I was getting dehydrated and my arms were tying up a bit. Overall it was a really good workout. I wrapped up with a 1.5 mile cool down and 4 barefoot strides on the grass. Total = 10 miles.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekend of Racing

I have not posted in a while because things are so busy - if something has to go it is blogging about running rather than the running it self. Any way, my confidence has been shaken a bit over the summer because of some pretty poor race performances and I wanted to take advantage of the nice weather this weekend. I am pretty sure that my poor performances were due to the heat and humidity over the summer and we got a taste of fall this weekend with lows in the 30s and temperatures around 50 at race time.

Salem Fest 5k (results)

I started the weekend off by heading over to the Salem Fest 5k (Salem, NH). I guess that I would not have picked this race other than for Jim Johnson's account of it last year as well as the fast times it produced. When I headed out the door it was a crisp 40 degrees so I was excited to run a quick time. After registering I headed out on the course for a warm up so that I could wrap my head around all the turns on the course. This is one of the most confusing courses I have ever run with about 30 turns in the 5km (a track 5k only has 25 turns!). I was feeling alright but my legs did not feel particularly fresh. I did not see any of the big guns I knew, but there was a guy with a Whirlaway singlet on that looked quick (after the race I found out it was Patrick Ard). When the gun went off I immediately went to the front, where I would stay until just before the three mile mark. By just 1/2 mile into the race Pat and I were alone. I was pretty glad that Pat was there because I do not think that I would have pushed as hard otherwise and I had to ask him which way to go at three of the turns (he ran the race last year). Unfortunately my watch did not start so I did not get any splits but after the race Pat told me we went through mile 1 in 5:00. It was probably just after this that I started trying to pull away from Pat with little success - he matched every move that I threw at him. Based on the finishing times we must have split about 4:54 for each of the next two miles, which is faster than anything I have run in workouts. In the last mile I was working pretty hard but I tried to prepare myself for the finish by letting up a tab bit to catch my breath. I did not see the three mile marker but this is about where Pat made his move to pass me. This is the only part of the race that I am upset about - Pat looked so smooth going by me I figured that I could not match his move and really did not but up much of a fight. I did not know how far it was to the finish until it was too late. When I rounded the last turn the finish was only about 50-100m ahead and I had no chance of catching Pat. However, I ran 15:20 so I can not be too upset with the race. Normally I would be suspicious of the course, but Jim Johnson measured the course 3 times last year and concluded that it is a legit 5km. I am not really sure why the course is so fast but this was a big confidence booster for me.

Lone Gull 10k (results)

Following my plan to capitalize on the cooler weather I headed down to Gloucester, MA to run the Lone Gull 10km. I did not really know anything about the course or who would be running it but I wanted to take a shot at running a quick 10km. Like yesterday, after registering I headed out on what I thought was the course for a warm up. They only provided a hand drawn map so I was really confused about where the course was. I got a little nervous that I did not see the start, finish or any mile markers on my warmup. It turns out that the start is about a half mile from the registration at Good Harbor beach and the race heads out on a side street along the coast. I felt about the same as yesterday so I was hoping that once I found the course and got running I would be able to roll. However, once the gun went off I could tell that my legs were pretty tired and that this was going to be a tough race. The weather was not quite a nice as the day before either - it was probably 55 degrees at the start but it felt pretty sticky. Also, the course was out and back and we had a pretty stiff head-wind the whole way back along the water. Right from the start Brennan Bonner took off and ran alone the whole race. I ran with Brian Deal and Mark Mayall for most of the first mile to mile and a half but by two miles we strung out in single file and stayed in the same order for the rest of the race. I kept trying to pull them in but my legs would not respond and once we turned at 5km the wind was tough. My splits were 5:16, 10:33 (5:17), 15:52 (5:18), 21:28 (5:35), 27:02 (5:34), 32:30 (5:31), 33:36 (62). I split 16:27 at 5km, which is pretty good since my first 5km race this year at Rhody was about 16:24. Ironically, after the race I met Joe Donnelly, who now runs for Whirlaway but used to run for Gate City. I am not sure why I had never met him since I have run for Gate City for 5+ years and he was a member for a year or two. In hindsight I probably should not have raced twice but I wanted to find out what my body was capable of. I think that doubling up races in the weekend is a game for the young.

The only other down side to the weekend is that I missed money at the Salem Fest 5k by 5 seconds (only pays for first) and at the Lone Gull by 6 seconds (pays 1-3). Maybe my days of getting cash in open races are over but in 13 months from today I will be a Masters runner!