This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Week of Runs In Review

I still had a lot of running to do this week, despite having my Neuse River Bridge race the previous Saturday.

First run was Monday -- an easy three miler. Well, easy it did not feel. I felt like my legs were lead into the first mile and it really didn't improve afterwards. I kept the momentum going for 3.39 miles (we runners like our precision) but had to keep thinking 'this is what it feels like at the end of my race...get used to it'.

Second run came along the very next day: Tuesday Track Workout. I knew I had four 800s to do at 3:50 each. I didn't try to calculate what that pace was. For some reason, I felt like I had done these before. I checked my running logs and didn't see it (after my run) so that may explain why it felt so hard.

Well, it felt hard because my legs were still pretty tired from the race and now, Monday's run. But unbelievably, I was able to keep my times close. The only one that went over (3:57) was the first run, which didn't feel easy but certainly didn't feel as tough as the next three.

BTW, those times: 3:57, 3:49, 3:48 and 3:39, are in the sevens. For the non-runners in ya: seven minute miles. I was sooooo impressed with myself when I figured the math out...

Wednesday - I did not run but I did Back to the Core, which is a class devoted to core workouts. Not just sit-ups or crunches, but moves to strengthen the back and the abs, for core strength and great balance. It was not an easy workout this week.

Thursday was an easy four mile run. This was great, as I was able to run with $Bill, Vivian and Frank, so we had a nice group of us to chat during the run. This always makes the run feel easy. This was my best run of the week physically.

Friday was my swim day but I was sooooo tired that I gave myself a day off.

Saturday was a six miler. This one I would do solo. The forecast for the morning was supposed to be dreary but it really turned out okay for me. I didn't run until 11AM and just went to the lake by my house. I decided to shoot for a 10K run and see how it felt compared to last week's race.

I can tell you how it felt: very similar to my race at six minutes slower than my race pace. I felt tired and pushed myself to keep a quick pace, despite having it listed as an 'easy' day. The last mile was tough and I decided to make myself think that I was at the end of my 13 mile race and try to mentally keep going to finish. Actually, the last 0.2 was hardest...the ticks on my GPS were soooo slow. I did run it in 59:52, which isn't too bad for a training run. I stopped half way around the lake, which is a bit of a walk back to my house. So my cool down was nearly 1 1/2 miles...

Sunday was race day for Tim and the girls. They were running the Second Empire 5K in downtown Raleigh. This was a race I PR'd in, in 2004. It is a fast race but one has to run fast to make it a fast race. Tim did that: he beat his PR for a 5K by over 2:30, which is incredible in that short of a race. I didn't think he could do it but I wanted him to do it...and boy, I was ecstatic that he did. He had challenged me to beat me in a 5K this year, which I quickly dropped from this challenge after his time. I can get faster, but not _THAT_ fast...this year. :-)

Tim and Mi-Mi did the 100 yard dash. That is always so cute to watch because it's all these itty-bitty creatures running with smiles and grins on their faces as they cross the finish. No where near what us big people look like when we finish!

And was CJ's turn at the one mile fun run. She did this with Tim in July and did it in ~9 minutes. I was sooooooo happy then and I was going to pace her for this one. I had no expectation until this morning, when she actually had a goal: to beat her friend's time. I asked what that time was and she said "seven minutes". Um...I told her...I might be running behind you for that one.

And behind her I did run. We took off and then she took off. I told her that I was right behind her and to keep going. She did. She looked great. Very athletic and comfortable. My girl has some long, lithe and limber legs. Perfect for running. She slowed down just a hair around Saint Mary's Street (if you are a Raleigh-ite, you'd know this one), which was just about a block and a half from the turn-around. I caught up with her and told her to inch closer to the turn around and not take it wide. After the turn-around, she took off again.

The whole time I am running, I am thinking "why am I doing this on my day off?" And "why does this hurt so much?" I was trying to figure out why my legs were feeling the way they patterned breathing...and how I would love to just walk right about now. But as soon as we were within feet of the finish, I knew why. The clock said "7:21". Holy crap! She has me running fast too!

She crossed at 7:53, but I think even earlier than that because I veered off the finish (I didn't register, so I didn't cross) at 7:57 and there's no way I was only four seconds behind her.

Incredible. I was sooooooooooo happy for her again. Tim was happier for her than his phenomenal time and it made me so proud. I told her that I could NOT keep up with way. So she was really in that speed zone and I am really hoping I have a track star waiting to come out of her shell.

Now it's a taper week for me. No run tomorrow and a few shorter ones in the week. My big race, the crux of my running year, is Sunday. My half marathon. And yes, I'm anxious. I have no idea how I'll do. And I am getting a lot of advice. I'm trying to play it cool and just adopt my goal, believe in it, know it will be hard, and do it. Just do it! Oh wait...that's what Nike says...

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