Saturday, June 01, 2013
Week 16 of 16
Taper Week #2
Total Miles: 8-9 + race
Distance: 4 miles
Location: Gym Track
Mile Splits: 10:29 / 10:36 / 9:48 / 9:42
Notes: I decided on a whim to try 1:00/:20 for the two race pace miles. Same ratio as :45/:15, basically same pace, but I think :45/:15 is a little more comfortable.
I like the way this plan does the taper, by cutting mileage significantly, but still having me run 5 days last week and 4 days this week (including the race). Of course very little mileage this week. With the frequent (short) runs, I haven't felt any "taper madness" at all. And being able to do a few race pace miles in every run has settled me down, mentally.
I had a bit of an "oh, no" experience before this run. I noticed a few weeks ago that my shoes were getting worn down, so planned to get a new pair for the race. I usually buy my Merrill's at the local REI, but I was ordering some other stuff from Zappos a couple of week ago, so went ahead and included the new Merrill's in the order. When it arrived, my current shoes still had some miles on them, so I didn't open the new box, since I knew the shoes would fit. I did try on everything else in the order.
Well, since it usually takes me a couple of runs with a new pair of shoes to get the lacing right, I decided I'd better start running in the new shoes this week and got out the box before today's run. When I opened it, the first thing I saw was blue shoes (they should have been black). I thought they had just sent the wrong color until I pulled them out and realized they were the totally wrong shoe!!
I called Zappos and they are drop shipping the right pair, but it won't get here in time since today is a holiday and we are leaving at 8:30 am on Wednesday. I did get a $30 credit out of the deal. Fortunately, I had a %20 off coupon for REI and they had my size in the correct shoe, so all is well for the race and now I will have PLENTY of shoes.
Marathon Tempo Run
Distance: 3.25 miles, 5' at MP in middle
Mile Splits: 10:01 / 10:01 / 10:45 / 14:22
Notes: I certainly felt sluggish this evening and can't say that I ever really settled comfortably into this run. Not too surprising, given that I spent 6 hours on a plane and then another 2.5 hours in the car, followed by a fairly large meal. Or so I reassured myself.
Tune Up Run
Distance: 2.17 miles
Mile Splits: 9:06 / 9:28
Notes: Whoops, going to have to be careful at the start of the race. My brain was clearly worried about Wednesday's sluggish 3 miles. I ran really easy during the run segments in the second mile, so I think I've calmed myself back down. I was using :40/:10 today. I'll go back to :45/:15 for the race.
5-10' Easy running
Newport Marathon, close but no cigar
Time: 4:36:57 (PR)
Ave Pace: 10:30
Mile Splits: 9:34 / 9:50 / 9:52 / 9:49 / 10:00 / 9:22 / 9:47 / 9:46 / 9:51 / 9:51 / 9:51 / 9:49 / 10:03 / 9:48 / 10:03 / 9:48 / 10:07 / 10:07 / 10:14 / 10:53 / 12:11 / 12:26 / 13:58 / 10:36 / 10:53 / 11:20 / 11:29 / 11:34 / 10:19 / 9:41
Notes: I woke up this morning with a stiff back, always a risk for me with hotel beds. I did some rolling with my trigger point balls and stretched my glutes. The back loosened up and I thought it would be ok. And it was for the first part of the run. It started to bother me in mile 16 and by mid way through mile 17, it was a real problem. You can see from the splits where the wheels sort of came off for a while. I had to do a lot of walking to get it to relax. It did calm down, but never really was "OK" for the rest of the run. Up until mile 19, a BQ was still theoretically possible, but that 13:58 in mile 20 put it out of reach. I was able, however, to resume running more than walking in mile 21, and my goal became to hang on to my PR.
Up until the back problems asserted themselves, I was pacing my run exactly as I had planned. It was going very well and I was feeling cautiously optimistic. Just shows you how quickly things can change when you are running 26 miles.
The challenge of the last 4, really the last 6, miles was that the clouds were gone and it was getting warm (not Texas warm, but warm enough). The water stops in this race are spaced every 2 miles. That wasn't enough for the conditions in the last hour. I was desperately thirsty through those last miles and that was almost all I could think about. That, and not stopping. Fortunately I had an 8 oz water bottle with me that I refilled at each water stop. It wasn't really enough, I could easily have drunk twice that had I had it, but it was enough to keep me going.
The irony is that last year I carried a 20 oz water bottle in this race, but I never used it because it was so cool and cloudy (how I wished it was raining this year like it did in 2012). So I carried the smaller bottle this year (in my belt) rather than the larger hand held. Just goes to show, again, how hard it is to predict just the right combination for a race. Each race is different in some way. You can only do your best to deal with what the race throws at you.
But even though I didn't BQ, I am still proud of this race. It was a tough one.