ilanarama: my footies in my finnies (snorkeling)
[personal profile] ilanarama
Like I did last year, I signed up for the Narrow Gauge 10 Mile at nearly the last minute, when it was clear we'd be spending Memorial Day weekend in town. I figured that I'd be able to improve a lot on my time of 1:21:44, since last year we had been on vacation a lot and I was biking more than I was running, in preparation for our epic Purgatory-to-Moab ride. This year I've been gradually increasing my mileage since my long string of illness in February, averaging over 36mpw, as compared to last year's 23mpw over the same period. I've also been riding, though not nearly as much.

Spoiler alert: I ran 1:22 flat, 16 seconds slower this year. (I still would have come in first in my age group, if there had been age groups. Also I'm pleased to see in the results that my "age percentage" of 71.0, which I assume is some form of age/sex grading, puts me in 10th place by age percentage!)

Why did this happen? Am I in worse shape now than I was then? Was all that riding actually more beneficial than running more miles?

Long answer: I don't think so. I compared my performance mile-by-mile, and I noticed that in the first six miles my HR was roughly similar in both years, but my pace was better. However, I think I pushed too hard the first two (uphill) miles, which I completed 30 seconds faster this year than last. The next three miles were only slightly faster than they were last year, but I pushed a bit on mile 6 - a screaming downhill - which put me 46 seconds ahead of last year's pace. My HR on this mile was 153, as compared to 150 the previous year. Not a big difference on the surface.

I can't draw any conclusion from mile 7, which I ran at basically the same pace as last year (7:44 vs 7:45), because last year my HRM glitched and read unreasonably low. But in the last three miles this year, my HR pretty much leveled off and only climbed at the very end, while last year my HR continued to climb as I continued to push hard. And this year, my paces absolutely fell apart. Last year, I ended this race with 8:01, 8:09, 8:04 and 12 seconds for the round-off 0.03 by Garmin (6:56 pace). This year, I ran 8:15, 8:26, 8:13, and 35 seconds for 0.08 by Garmin (7:01 pace). (Which evidently suggests I did worse at the tangents this year, or maybe my Garmin was off by more. Both years my Garmin and the mile markers failed to match up most of the time.) My legs felt entirely dead after mile 8 - it was like I was moving through molasses.

Maybe I pushed too hard early, though I think that if I did it was only a small amount, since my HR was in the right range for the early part of the race. I think the real culprit was my complete lack of taper. I've been building mileage for the Steamworks Half Marathon (which is in two weeks), and the only concession I made to running the Narrow Gauge was that I did an easy run, rather than a tempo, on Thursday. By race day I had run 35.5 miles, including a VO2max track workout on Tuesday night that totaled a bit more than 3 miles of hard running. I also rode 22 mtb miles this week.

Now, I don't ordinarily taper much for races shorter than the marathon distance, but I do front-load my miles, and ease off late in the week. For this race I...did not do that. I ran 8 miles on both Thursday and Friday, and Saturday's mtb was a hard ride, 14 miles with 1300' climb.

By contrast, in 2016 I ran only 16.7 miles the week of the race: 8 Tu, 4.6 W, and 3.9 F, and though I also did 24 miles on the mtb, the hardest ride was on Thursday (the same climb I did this Saturday, only up-and-back instead of a loop, so shorter). Though I rode the day before, it was only a 6-miler.

So I think that what happened is that I just had too much residual fatigue to sustain a hard 10M race, and ran out of energy. Which is an object lesson for me with Steamworks coming up, especially since...I'm doing another White Rim trip the week of the race, unless the weather is too hot (which it might be, Moab in June). I knew it wasn't going to be a goal race anyway, and some old friends invited us on the trip, and even though we just did it last month we would like to spend time with them, and hey, White Rim's pretty awesome. Hopefully if I do a very short run on Friday when we're back home, just to remind myself how to run, I will be okay for the race on Saturday. Because even if it's not a goal race, I would like to finish strong!

Anyway, it wasn't really a failure. I enjoyed myself, I had a good workout, and when I finished, I had beer AND ice cream - for breakfast!
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ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)

August 2017

131415 16171819
20212223 242526

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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