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

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Crunch time: a gamble

Eleven weeks until the goal race and I wasn't able to run a step. After things started to mend, I just had to get used to the idea that there'd be days (and sometimes weeks) when I wouldn't be able to run - I just have to hope that race day isn't included. The weather's gone from 15 degrees to 40 degrees and my average pace sped up as well; I have to hope that the temperature goes up more and that Superior won't be 30 degrees, windy and raining (which it always is).

The numbers for March
Monday: 6 in 52, pain starting
Tuesday: 0
Wednesday: 0
Friday: walked 3
Saturday: 6 in 45. Felt way harder than it should.
Sunday: 4 in 34. Planned to go long, but felt drained.
Monday: 4 in 32
Tuesday: 9 in 75
Wednesday: 12 in 107 with a dozen times up the Ohio Street hill.

Fool on the hill

Wednesday, it was 40 degrees, rainy and windy and I decided it was time for a hill run. The Brickyard hill would be too slick in the rain (still covered in ice), so I went to the nearby Ohio Street hill. It has one advantage: it has exactly the same amount of climb as the Superior 50K: 190 feet in each trip up; thus, a goal of 4:40 at Superior means 9 minute miles on both.

I wanted to really push early and see how long I could hang on. The first mile was about 7:30 and I hit 4 in 32 before I had to stop charging the downhills. I managed the next 4 at 9 min./mile with a heart rate of 145-148 (I'd hoped for 135-138) and then it got hard. I was close to 10 minutes by the end, but I survived the 9 min/mile average. I ran into the first skunk of the year, so spring is here.

At the bottom of the hill the tenth time, a truck honked at me and slowed to a stop. I figured it was probably someone wanting directions. "You running Zumbro this year?" the driver asked. It took me a while to realize it was Dan M. I told him I wasn't, but I might go down there that day to spectate. He then asked if I lived nearby (no) and if I went all the way to the top of the hill, to Smith Ave. I told him I did, 12 times that day. "Good boy," he responded. Guess I'll take that as a compliment.

Game plan gamble

The hill run is just doing what I can do well - I need to be able to run long and I haven't done that yet this year. I started the year running much too slow and am still 30 seconds per mile slower than I need to be for my goal; I figure I can do Superior in 5:00-5:05 right now. Good, but not what I want. I'm going to have to push myself. I don't think I can magically get my easy days faster (perhaps once the sweatsuit's off, it might happen), so I'm going to have to make my hard days REALLY hard and risk blowing up bfore the race.

Just noticed

On the list of entrants for the Superior 50K, my name is just above Helen's - just like it will be when the results get posted.


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

I think perhaps nothing speaks more eloquently to the issue of What It Means To Be SteveQ than the fact that you mark the beginning of Spring not by your Sighting of the First Flower or Noting That Teh Swallows Have Come Back To Capistrano, but rather by your stumbling upon the First Skunk of the season.

N.B. If the skunk was wearing Ladies' Evening Gloves, it may have been Pepé Le Chiropractor and he probably just made a wrong turn somewhere near Sheboygan, is all.

Re: Your comment at ToyBuN's blog about your future honey:

Not if I see her first because HUBBA!1!

nwgdc said...

I find it very easy to adjust skunks, as the lines on their back point me right to the spine.

'round these parts it's easy to know spring is near because the deer/roadkill from snowplows begin appearing along highways.

Helen said...

wow - you ARE doing race-specific training! so I am running 5:06? crap...