Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Seemingly Inevitability of Judgment

It's been a while! I know!

It seems that I have so much to say and little time to say it. Every day I have a thought that I want to share here and then that thought runs away, probably forever, by the time I can write it down.

I am in my 17th 18th week of Marathon training. 24 weeks of training means that there is only 7 6 weeks left until May 24th.

It's going pretty well.

It is still pretty obvious that I am inexperienced but the improvements are amazing. When I look back at last year my long runs would be at close to or greater than an 11 minute pace. If I was doing really good my long run would be  10:15 pace. This would not include stops that I would turn off my timer but would include walking which was sometimes all too often needed when my run was greater than 12 miles.

This year! What a difference. My 16 and 15 mile runs were a little more difficult than they should have been but still the pace was 9:17 including all stops for lights, traffic, etc. If I have to pee, I'll stop the time, but that's it!

Yesterday, my training plan was to run recovery for 1.5 miles then, 1/2 marathon pace for 5.5 and finally cool down for the last 1.5. I achieved my 5.5 miles at a 8:12 pace, which is cool because if I was able to extend that pace to 13.1 miles I would have a 1/2 mary pr of less than than 1:50, an 11+ minute improvement of my current pr. Next week I increase the 1/2 marathon pace to 6.5 miles and the following week 7.5. Despite this good run (especially good due to 800 feet of ascent as opposed to indoor or treadmill 1% grade running), it's this "steady state" pace that has been my biggest question mark. According to my pace chart, when I started training for Stillwater, my 1/2 marathon pace was 8:27. I have increased the goal to 8:17 and am trying to move it up to 8:07?

That just hasn't been happening! I have been able to increase my interval speed at a faster pace than my steady state speed. For example my 5K pace for this training started at 7:56 but has increased to 7:18 and sometimes faster. According to my pace chart, this is a "4" step improvement in speed versus my "2" step improvement in my steady state!

Why? I wish I knew!
(but yet, trust me, I'm NOT losing sleep about it)

Here are some possible explanations.

1) Intervals are on Wednesday, Steady State Friday! I'm simply more tired on Friday!????
2) Mental. With intervals I know I get a break after 1k or 1 mile or whatever. Steady state is obviously different.
3) I'm harming my steady state run with my harder than planned intervals?
4) I suck!
5) Give it some time, last week was better and wait and see what happens next week.

3 is a likely option, but I'm doing 5 for now.


Ok, I started this post a couple days ago! I haven't even made it to the "title" subject. I think I'll just publish and continue on the next post. I'm still thinking about it anyway.

BTW. I had a really hard run on Sunday. Didn't get to it until Sunday afternoon with church, snow, whatever. It was windy! 19 mph with 25+ gusts. It wasn't often enough that the wind was at my back either. Regardless I felt pretty decent. I ran it at an overall 9:43 pace. Anytime that the wind was gone (due to me being in a "little valley" or in the trees) I would notice a pace improvement to 9:05 to 9:15, which would be perfect for my long runs right now.

I thought I would be too sore to run today (4/7) but felt awesome for my 9 mile base run.

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