Monday, July 07, 2008
Alright already Chad…
I ran a 5 Mile race in Apple Valley on Friday and ran it pretty well—nearly 2 minutes faster than last year. The start of the race was total mayhem, with a cross country style start that combined the fields of both the 2 mile and the 5 mile race. The result is that you have no idea as to where you are in the race until the race breaks up at the 1 mile mark, where the 2 milers hang a U-turn. I went out in a somewhat conservative pace and found myself way back in the field with about 8 guys in front of me (and none were that close). I had my work cut out for me. Luckily, I've run enough races to know that patience can be a virtue. After climbing the ridiculous hill that is cruelly scheduled in the race after the first mile, I began to pick runners off, one by one. I had all but the top two pulled in by the time I hit mile 4 with only one runner hanging on to me. Somehow, I held off the 16 year old kid (that’s 20 years my junior-dang I’m getting old) and crossed the line in 28:26. Not a great time for a flat course, but this isn’t a flat course.
My secret? I pre-planned and built in a great alibi the night before. Nathan and I did a 90 minute progression run (30 easy, 30 medium, 30 hard) and ran the last few miles in sub 6. That took off all the pressure of running fast! Could I have run faster had I not done this workout? Sure. Did I have a great Alibi? You bet! And nothing beats a great alibi heading into a race.
Truthfully, I believe I’m having a great early season because of the consistency of training over the winter that I had. Training for the Boston Marathon by only running base mileage built my strength up and made sure that I didn’t burn out after running a marathon like I normally do. I didn’t start doing any real speedwork until a few weeks ago and most of that has been oriented around sprint leg turnover (strides) and speed (short fartleks). I still haven’t run a track workout and I have no idea how fast I’m running during my workouts—I’ll take care of that later in the year when it is time to sharpen. Nor do I know what % of my HR I’m running. I know I’m breathing hard and that is good enough for me. Sure my Boston time suffered, but that wasn’t the goal. Running fast at Chicago was. And I believe I’m on my way. I’m looking forward to it already.