Thursday, December 21, 2006

This Run Goes to 11

Ran 11.o miles @ 7:39/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Weather: Temps in upper 40s, sunny and windy.

Today was just one of those days where all cylinders are firing. I came out feeling very energetic and raring to go, and the Achilles behaved very nicely. I tried holding back, but it went something like this:

The first three miles climb a moderately steep hill. I zip up it at a 7:40/mile pace while feeling incredibly strong. My legs begin to seemingly talk to me.

"Can we go faster?" asks Engine #1, my left leg, in a sweet voice.

"Yes, can we please?" pleads Engine #2, my right leg with the sore Achilles.

"Now, now guys, we have to take it easy," I explain to them. "Engine #2, you should know better. You've been hurting a little and we're probably already going too fast up these hills."

"But we feel fine!" they cry in unison. Engine #2 adds "And the Achilles isn't an issue!"

"Not now it's not," I explain, my tone becoming stern. "But it could. Better to just maintain this pace for a while."

They reluctantly agree and we cruise along miles four through seven together, which follows the top of a ridge and take some steep dives and climbs.

"How about now?" Engine #2 asks. "See? This is going okay."

"Yeah, c'mon, I want to go faster," pouts Engine #1.

"No guys," I reply, somewhat angrily. "C'mon, give me a break. We really need to chill out. Sure, everything is fine now, but remember what happened yesterday? That Achilles got a little mad at us for picking up the pace. We're going to hold. End of story."

Mile eight rolls along and the road becomes flatter with a slight downhill. My Garmin beeps at me, telling me I hit the split in 7:36.

"We're going faster, aren't we?" asks Engine #2.

"See? We can do it," says Engine #1. "If there's any trouble we'll slow down immediately. What do you say? Pleeeeeeeease?!?!"

"Alright! Fine!" I exclaim, fed up with the whining and mad at myself for caving in. But together we push forward. Mile 9 clocks in at 7:17, the very upper edge of my marathon pace. Mile 10 clocks in at 7:06. It felt easy. It felt great. I wanted more. But...

"Guys, I gave you two at MP. This was good. The Achilles didn't make a peep, but let's not push it."

The engines agree and we do the last mile as a cooldown.

Good day. Very good day.


Andrew said...

A good run indeed. It is,however, getting nearer the time to start mixing up the training. Your paces have a pretty tight grouping it appears. You may want to consider running 10 miles @ MP on one day, and running nearer 9:00 per mile the next (for whatever your mileage calls for).

Varying the pace like this will bring significant improvement along with more accurate self assessment.

Your last marathon showed that you have great fuel economy at the top end of 7's per mile. How's the fuel economy near the low end? Big question on race day. Try to get a handle on it over the next 7 weeks. I suggest 2 MP runs per week - longer efforts 7 - 10 miles - and 1 x 20+ miler per week. Get these three core workouts in for the next 7 weeks consistently and you will be golden.

The other 4 days are for recovery, balance, and total rest. You decide the mix depending on how you're feeling.

Unsolicited advice, but I thought I'd throw a suggestion at you to help with the 3:10 quest. There is more than one way to accomplish your goal so take the above with a grain of salt (I'm biased towards my own way of training).

You're doing great and I am impressed with the 'ease' your running takes on. You've got some good speed lurking there.

Bapp said...

I have similar conversations with my legs but it goes a little different:

Me: "can we go any faster?"

Engine 1 and 2 (in harmony): "Are you kidding. No way, my friend. Not today, not tomorrow, maybe next year if you are lucky, ha ha ha."

Me: "well ok then."

Nice run.

Jamie said...

Andrew - thanks for the tips. I was thinking of something along those lines. The MP runs are crucial and I need to start upping the ante.

Bapp - You'll get there soon enough. Keep up the training, you're doing great.