Sunday, July 12, 2009

Best Week So Far (Or: Craig Invites a Karmic Ass-Kicking Later On)

Hey, everybody- last cross country season, when I was busting balls all the time and seeing very little benefit during races, I related my frustrations to a much faster friend in an email. He reminded me of a passage from Once A Runner, where Bruce Denton compares training to a geometric spiral. It goes something like "Sometimes you'll work very hard and see nothing, other times you'll surprise yourself with the big jumps you make for no reason at all." I think I've been in one of those "momentum gathering swings" for a while as my body adjusted to the new mileage demands, coaching expectations, work schedule, etc. This week saw what I hope will be only the beginning of the fruits of that momentum-gathering.

Monday- 8:30AM- 3mi easy 21:43 6:30PM- 10 easy with Geoff, 67min, plus 6x150 barefoot on the grass.

Tuesday- 1PM- 4 easy from work to work 27:30 7pm- 9 easy on the R/R beds 62min- kinda my farewell run on 'em, as they're getting paved. 11:30- Very light core/strengt session. I've been really lazy about doing these lately.

Wednesday- 12pm- 13 easy/moderate 83:26, hilly course. Felt pretty good, didn't feel much different than running 7min pace.

Thursday- 8:00am- 4 easy, 28min. 6:30pm- Went to Hood Field, my grass 880y loop, for a barefoot tempo. 3 miles warmup (19:45) right into 7miles tempo in 37:00 (5:33, 5:25 (10:58), 5:20 (16:18), 5:17 (21:35), 5:14 (26:49), 5:09 (31:58), 5:02. When I saw the split at 6mi, I debated going for sub-37 then reminded myself that I was trying that "patience" thing and backed off- with about 600 to go I decided to pick it back up a little and ran about 4:40/mile for the last minute or two. Regardless, I was very gratified with how easy it felt- 5:33 and 5:02 felt more or less identical, and my pulse stayed constant throughout the tempo. A two-mile cooldown brought me to 12 miles in 1:09:02, averaging 5:45s including the easy warmup and cooldown, and a new PR for the farthest distance I have ever run barefoot.

Friday- 9am- mile jog to the Dr's office, had my physical for BU but the forms aren't done because I had to get a TB test. 2mi jog home (my Dr's office is conveniently located at the mile mark of my easy 3mi loop). 7:30PM- 9 easy, 63:30, plus 10xhill sprints. Sluggish for run, felt great on the hill sprints. 11:30- Did my poor excuse for core work- 2x20 pushups was HARD, my high school days of being able to bang out 50 perfect ones without breaking a sweat are long gone. The good news is that 2x20 is 20 more than I managed on Tuesday :p

Saturday- 12pm- 12 easy, 81 min, hot out, didn't feel great. Hilly course but still- one of those blech days.

Sunday- 9AM- 4 easy, 29:02, rolled out of bed and went running after sleeping so hard I barely remembered my name. Spent a good chunk of the day with the family at the beach- sitting out in the sun and searing my Irish behind might not be the best pre-workout time-killer, but it was nice to smell salt air and sit in the ocean. 6:30PM- Back to Hood Field for a barefoot 10x880y. Had another fantastic workout with little effort for no reason- which means, I'm sure, I'm due for a session of hard mile repeats averaging 5:30 pace or something, haha. 3miles up in 19:40, then right into 10x880 off a 4min cycle (so a 2:30 880 = 90 seconds rest). Went 2:37, 2:27, 2:26, 2:26, 2:24, 2:24, 2:22, 2:22, 2:20, 2:19 feeling smooth and unpressed. Ended up passing 7miles in 37:32, which is pretty darned satisfying. Jogged a little, then had some serious intestinal distress (which made me very glad for the portable toilet at Hood Field). Tot workout was 11 in 64:14, 5:50 pace (including about a 3:40 last half mile while I valiantly tried to stave off the skitters).

Tot- 95 miles, two great workouts and one solid moderate run. I want to be really excited about the fantastic workouts I did, but I know as well as anyone that good workouts and bad workouts all come out in the wash. 5:17 pace on a tempo or 5:30 pace, so much of it depends on the day, the weather, etc- especially when you're not running with teammates. I know that my effort level for both workouts were appropriate for the time in my training and what my body was telling me- the watch said they were fast workouts; my body said they were moderate efforts.

Next will be a tough one to get in the quality- I have a few days where I work from 8am-6pm and I'll probably limit myself to doing some easy 150s on the track and maybe one run a little longer than I've been doing (I'm thinking 17miles or so). The volume will be about the same but the lighter quality workload will be good to allow me to consolidate my gains a little and go into August without feeling too sluggish or dead.

All in all, it's a satisfied guy writing this blog right now- a few more months of this and I'll be ready to take a few scalps.

Have a nice week, everyone

PS- I've been told the comments function is all messed up. While I try to figure out what I did to screw it up, feel free to email me at with any comments/questions/angry jeers/bogus internet scams/underwater real estate offers.

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