Friday, April 13, 2007

Staying On That Horse

Thurs: 6 miles- 50min with 8 x striders of 80-300m
Friday- 16miles- 2:00 - 60min at 8:00, 60min at 7:00 pace

Ugh! Let me tell you runs like today are interesting. I feel simultaneously happy and sad. Happy that I continue to tough out sensible (but TOUGH) workouts that are going to make me faster, stronger, and a better runner. But also sad because that 2nd hour of running on the treadmill today was tough. And it is hard for me mentally to think that an hour at 7:00 mile pace can be that difficult. Am I not the guy that could run 20 miles at 6:05 pace?.......yes, I am, but that WAS 10 years ago. Damn! Aging and slowing is hard to accept sometimes.

Going back to the positive:
Yesterday's run... I really felt fast. First time in a long long time that I can honestly say that. Now I have no track here and no real way of measuring my speed. I'm sure I am not breaking 30 sec for 200m, but I am now running smoothly, fluidly, and with a feeling of control. It has only been two months since I really started any speedwork so I am very encouraged. The striders did NOT feel like this a month ago.

Today"s Run: Now it might have only been 16 miles in 2 hours, but I did run the last hour at 7 min pace (my calculated marathon pace at my current fitness level)...and although my mind still remembers 10 years ago when I pretty much never ran SLOWER than 7 min miles... it is still 7 min miles. Three Months ago I could not have done today's workout. And looking ahead, if I keep banging out runs like this one, the improvement curve will have to continue to slope upwards. Now I am not deluding myself thinking that come July I'll be cracking 16 min 5k's and running tempo runs under 6min mile pace again. But, I should be a heck of a lot closer to that than I am today.

I just like the way I am feeling and the direction I am heading.

Hey good luck shout out to all those running in two of the biggest and best 50 milers tomorrow: the Bull Run Run in my beloved VA, and the American River 50 in CA.


Addy said...

Great job on toughing it out on the run today. 16 miles in 2 hours is pretty awesome from the perspective of mere mortals (who consider 12 miles in 2 hours fairly dandy ;))

Sounds like you've been putting in lots of work on speed and have been improving, so there will hopefully be lots of good reprecussions to come for you, in terms of running pace

Ellie said...

There's nothing like liking the way you're feeling and the direction you're heading. Keep it up!!

Dave said...

Agree... you're back on the right track; just don't rush it!

And, hey, a lot of the big names will be at McNaughton by now - gotta wish 'em luck too!

olga said...

I really like your thoughts on long run. I had a post recently on Van Aaken method, and a bit to compare to Lidiyard. Overall, I think it worked for me when I raced myself in shape. It was 2005, when I did 24 ultras. Although my Slam was over with LT DNF, the rest of the year was great. Ling runs are needed, indeed, both for phisical and mental training, but fast long runs are better - and personally I can't run fast (or even somewhat fast) unless I am pushed by a clock at the finish line. Or a fast running partner, who in real life I don't have (I really wish I did, I would do tempo runs, I promise!), and who's role plays a competitor (and a friend) at the race.

Loomdog said...

Thanks all,
The plan is to definately continue with the speed and threshold running. I like where I already am after just 2 months in terms of feeling fluid and smooth while trying to run fast again, and I like how the threshold and marathon pace runs REALLY work me during them, yet don't kill me afterwards and the next day. My schedule has generally been two easy days and then a hard. Its working and I hope it will eventually lead to me being strong enough to do 3 hard days a week. But, I don't want to get greedy and over-extend myself like I have generally done in the past. I want to be as fast as possible come mid-May when I wil begin doing some LONG runs!

Dave said...

Olga -

The VanAaken method is great for building the endurance for UltraRunning. Does it faster and cleaner than any other I know. I cherish his book from 30 years ago.

Geoff said...

i'll be looking to begin some speed and tempo running in a couple weeks in preperation for several late summer races. (currently focusing on more of a cross training schedule). I like the specificity in which you talk about some of these workouts you've been doing. i'm very new to ultra events (done one 50k and one 100M) so even though i've done speed training in the past it's only been in preparation for short racing. it's nice to see how someone else is using speed to train for longer events and take some tips from your success' and failures.