"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Monday, March 22, 2010

20 Miles and a Change in Direction

I felt I needed to get in a real long run to assess what condition my condition was in (and great, now that song'll be stuck in my head). Unfortunately, the temperature dropped 30 degrees after I decided to do it and I railed at the weather gods for 60 degree weekdays and 25 degree weekends.

I managed 20 miles in just under 3 hours and did not enjoy it. It was a slap in the face which has me rethinking my plans for the year yet again. Beating Helen at the Superior 50K might not be possible, even if she has a great (or terrible) day at Miwok just before it. I'm going to struggle to break 5 hours - which, given it took me 7 last year, is quite respectable - but Helen could've run 4:40 last year in the bad weather and she's undoubtedly in better shape this year (or at least more experienced on trails). She recently wrote about starting to do hill workouts and intervals, so she's getting serious just as I'm starting to question myself.

I'd hoped to get in better shape as the year progressed and take a shot at a very fast time at the Superior 50 Mile in the fall, but I'm not getting there. There's something about my advanced decrepitude that just makes it harder to run fast...

I'm thinking about doing the Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile instead. I need to get that monkey off my back. And I've thought about how I'd do it, with 4 basic workouts per week:

Tuesday: 18-19 miles in 2:40, with 10x3 minutes fast (about 5K pace)
Thursday: 13-14 miles of hills at the Brickyard
Saturday: 7-8 miles at marathon pace, plus 10-12 easy miles
Sunday: 23-27 miles, preferably on trails.

That gives me enough miles, back-to-back long runs and adequate hills.

Now I just have to actually do it.


Colin said...

What I don't get is this: you've been unhappy with how your longer runs have been going, so as a result you're thinking of running the 100 miler this fall rather than 50?

It seems like your speed is still there, based on some of your recent shorter workouts. September's a long way off; there's plenty of time to build up endurance for those longer runs.

If I were you I'd just stick with your original goals and roll with the inevitable disappointing runs you're bound to have. With consistent training I have no doubt you'll be ready come race day.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

It's clear to me this Helen thing is weighing heavily on you. It tears me up to see you this way. I'm from Joisey. Just sayin'. That means I know how people - maybe even this Helen person - can have an "accident". You know, the way Nancy Kerrigan had an "accident". These things happen, sometimes at discount rates* for friends.

A nod is as good as a wink is all I'm saying.

Okay, then, consider it done.
* How can I afford to be practically GIVING these hobblings away? VOLUME, VOLUME, VOLUME!1!

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

In other news, it looks as though I may win your contest by default.

The two sweetest words in the English language:

De Fault!

Scientist: [resigned] Well, Homer, I guess you're the winner by default.

Homer: Default? Woo hoo! The two sweetest words in the English language: de-fault! De-fault! De-fault!

Joe said...


I'm sure you know this but "very fast time" and "Superior 50M" is a contradiction in terms!

Steve said...

Steve, stop flip-flopping and just stick with the original plan. Be a man and take your medicine at Superior. There's no shame in being beaten by a talented runner like Helen. However, there is shame in wussing out of your original goal and challenge. But, whatever, do what you want. I just think you're making a huge mistake...........again. Maybe if you'd actually stick to a plan and follow it all of the way through you'd find some success. As long as you continue this haphazard and unfocused racing and training, you're going to find nothing but disappointment and failure. Trust me, I speaking from my own experience on this one.

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

Do you train only 4 days a week? (granted those 4 workouts are tough!) I seem to be moving backwards or holding my ground at best in terms of speed and fitness (and recovering from injury) and wonder if I'm going at it all wrong. I try to run every day, even if just a short one (today was a short warmup then some fast (Ha!) 400s at the track), and even a walk aggravates my injury (PF). I hate doing nothing though... Any suggestions?



Anonymous said...

I agree with Steve G. on this one. You've been talking about kicking Helen's ass at Superior for months. You need to go up there and take your whuppin' like a man.

Cynthia, your comment was a joke right? You're injured, and even walking aggravates your injury, yet you run every day. I wonder why you can't shake your injury problems. I'm no expert but I'd recommend taking a day or two off.

SteveQ said...

I felt I needed to respond with a full post, rather than just comment here.

@Joe - of course, I meant fast relative to the course.

@Cynthia - I'm running every day; those workouts were just a thought. As for advice, I'd have to know more about you and your goals, but I run with plantar fasciitis too, as not much seems to help - do what you can up to the point of discomfort (which sounds like not much at present), then ice massage. It'll take forever, I'm afarid.

Anonymous said...


you are a whiney little bitch. poor you. you might have trouble breaking 5 hours at superior 50k. you need to get your head screwed on straight. if all you are going to do is bitch and be ungrateful for the ability you have, then stay home. i for one don't want your bad energy on the trails.

The Trail Vigilante

Helen said...

Jeepers. All I did was sign up for the darn race...

Steve - you running Chippewa? Early test race?? I'm supposed to be running a 50 miler in VA but work likely to get in the way of that plan so I'm thinking of Chippewa instead. Weather-permitting... I do not want a repeat of 08.

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

Don't you just love anonymous commenters that take potshots then run away to hide?

The PF is highly variable. Hurts one day after walking, next day after sprints at the track - strangely fine. It mostly went away a couple months ago, then I ran a couple trail marathons, still ok, then suddenly came back a few weeks later (too much road running I think). So anon, if you're still reading, yeah I'm addicted to running, but not quite as stupid as you think. Laying off injuries doesn't necessarily solve anything, since the problem may still be there, only now untreated and you're even weaker.

Thanks for your comments Steve.


Scream'n Turtle said...

anouymous -grow a set of balls and at least fess up like a man with a blog name instead of yelling from behind the wall .