ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
[personal profile] ilanarama
I ran 64.8 miles last week, a new high for the cycle (though not an all-time high), including the Journey of Hope 5K which...did not go as planned.

I had thought I might manage something between 21:30 and 21:40 but it was not to be. First of all, the race was a charity event mostly catering to walkers, and the walkers' start was fifteen minutes before the runners' start, "so the runners aren't standing around in the cold waiting for everyone to get in," the race director told me. Despite the pre-start announcement that walkers should "watch for runners" it was still an obstacle course in places, and I had to weave like a drunken taxi driver to get through the crowds. Secondly - perhaps as a corollary - there were not a lot of fast runners, so I didn't have people to key off or feel competitive with. I started out just behind a clump of girls with shirts identifying them as on the college XC team, but it must have been the B-team, because after the first hundred yards they were moving quite a bit slower than my pace target - my Garmin said 7:20 pace, and I had wanted to be running about 6:50 - and I ended up passing them all at about the half mile mark. Only one of them eventually passed me - and she "won". I put that in quotes because there was no race timing, and no awards. I came in "second", with 22:01 on my Garmin.

But really, I didn't have what it took that day. I was wheezing hard by the half-way point, perhaps because the day was quite cold, and I just didn't feel like my legs could move much faster. My heart rate was lower than it had been on my tempo run earlier in the week, and my pace wasn't much faster. Maybe it was the race coming near the end of another 60+ mile week, or maybe it was the dispiriting and non-competitive environment. Oh, well. At least it was a moderately hard workout, and I got BBQ sliders and cookies at the end.

And even though it wasn't a PR or a flattish-course-PR, it was a 43-second improvement over the last time I'd run that course (more or less - there was one minor change) - though that was over three years ago, so I would hope I've become faster!

Recap of the rest of the week:

Monday - Easy 8.3 on the trails, 11:28 pace. Remember I'd fallen hard the day before - everything ached but nothing hurt too badly.

Tuesday - Easy 7 on the paved path, 9:01 pace. I tried to do hill sprints at the end but my chest hurt when I pumped my arms.

Wednesday - A decent tempo, 10.7 with 6 miles at tempo pace averaging 7:29. I've been doing tempos on loops on our river path such that my warm-up is slightly uphill and then the first 4-5 miles of the tempo are net slightly downhill, but then I turn around and go uphill and usually into the wind. Thus my tendency to go out too fast and have a tough finish. So today I planned to rejigger my loop to start with a downhill warm-up, the first 2.5 tempo miles uphill and then the rest downhill.

The problem was that I had forgotten that today was the second annual "Durango Connect" - where people, including large masses of schoolkids, would join hands along the river path at a given time. And my run was timed such that just as I started looping back to begin the tempo, the hordes began to mass. My first mile wasn't bad but the second I had to weave through so many people that I realized my plan wasn't going to work. So I kept going straight when the path crossed the river, and headed to an out-and-back on a quiet road I use sometimes.

The thing about this alternate route is that it's hilly, and it made my entire tempo uphill except for one mile. But hey, my half marathon (in two weeks!) is hilly, too. My splits were 7:27, 7:37 (weaving through the crowd), 7:34 (this mile ended with a steep hill, 45 vertical feet in 1/4 mile, and I was honestly amazed it wasn't slower), 7:22 (the only downhill mile), 7:27, and 7:26, for an average of 7:29 for the 6 tempo miles. HR right where it should be. Ran home a little on the fast side for an overall average 7:58 pace.

Thursday - 8 miles on the trails, 11:15 average pace.

Friday - 6.5 easy with strides, 8:45 average pace (strides make it faster!)

Saturday - THAT STUPID RACE plus 2 miles of warm-up.

Sunday - 19.3 miles LSD (long steady distance) averaging 8:58. The odd distance is because it's a loop up the east side of the valley, across (stopping at the grocery store for more water) and then back down the west side, and I didn't feel like tacking on an extra bit to make it 20 even. The wind had picked up pretty good from the south so it was a bit of a slog coming back but I mostly kept my speed up - faded a little but no slower than my warm-up miles. And I didn't fall! \o/

Interestingly (to me, at least) that pace - and the pattern of starting slow, running the middle parts a bit faster and then fading slightly - is identical to the same run I did a month before my Houston PR not quite 2 years ago. Except I have two months to CIM, and my HR was considerably lower this run. However I'm not sure if the lower HR is a good thing - I think my HR in general is lower now, and my max HR has decreased as well, because I can't seem to get it as high as I used to. It's not like I felt like I was running at a lower level of effort, or anything. I might have to do a little analysis on this.

Actually, I have a lot of things I want to post about. In addition to heart rate nattering, I want to talk about racing weight (and why some people gain weight when they run, and others lose it, and what my weight has been doing this year), and about my core routine and hip strengthening exercises, and of course about race strategies and goals for my upcoming half marathon. So, um, watch this space!
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ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)

August 2017

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My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

You can reach me by email at heyheyilana @


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