Sunday, January 31, 2010

By the Slimmest of Margins

Hello, all. This week was marked early on by lethargy and frustration, got stressful towards the middle, then ended on a pretty darn promising note. Since I have no advice this week nor philosophy to natter about, here's what I did this week:

Monday- 3:30PM- 50 degrees out, downpour. Ran a very easy, regenerative 5mi with Madeleine, a miler on the women team and my roommate Sean's girlfriend, 40min. Good set of strides and a couple minutes of jogging to make it 6mi on the day.

Tuesday- AM- solo River Loop from the house, 4mi, felt good- it was 40deg and sunny out! 8PM- Long day of trying to figure out class schedule/degree requirements/class. 3 up, 3x(500, 400, 300) in (1:19, 62, 46) (1:19, 62, 47) (1:22, 64, 45) with about 90sec jog rest. Felt terrible, hit the times (barely) then couldn't maintain the pace at the requisite effort. Huge hit to the confidence for Saturday. 1mi down, too hungry and tired to care about doing more.

Wednesday- OFF- workouts weren't clicking, I wasn't sleeping well, and I was feverish for a couple days. I hadn't taken a day off in about 30 days, so I figured, ah, what the hell.

Thursday- 3:30PM- 3 up, 8x150 in victories with a minute jog rest. Felt good and ran fast! 19.9, 19.9, 19.1, 19.4, 19.5, 19.5, 19.4, 18.7- all hand timed, standing start, rounded up to the nearest tenth. 3mi down. It felt GREAT to run quick but easy. This made me think I was coming out of my funk, just in time to toe the line at Terrier.
10PM- 38min shakeout after work indoors, definitely feeling stronger/less feverish/excited to race.

Friday- 5mi easy indoors with a big group (ok, it was like 0 deg out and windy and we all wussed out. Sue us!) then a bunch of strides in victories, then a 10min cooldown for 7mi on the day.

Saturday- 12:45PM- 3 up, 1mi race- 4:08.61 PR by 1/100th of a second- which is the reasoning behind this entry's title- ~7mi down with the Gilmore twins. Bruce thought I was ready for the fast heat, which was encouraging, because he doesn't believe in putting runners way over their ability level and hoping for the best. I decided before the race that there was really only one way to approach a race like this: I was going to commit to the pace and just try to ride the train as long as possible, get dragged to a PR, and try my best to relax at a much faster clip than I was used to. Given that my workouts had gone very poorly (that 64 last 400 I ran on Tuesday was about as tough a 400 as I have run lately) I could have probably asked Bruce to move me down a heat, go through 1200 in 3:08 and kick to run 4:07 or so. However, I saw that as counterproductive. Terrier isn't a scored meet, I didn't have anything to lose by taking a risk, so I committed aggressively. My splits, courtesy of Eric, were 60.5, 2:01.4, 3:03.7, then 4:08.61- yes, that's a 64.9 second last 400.

However, I'm encouraged by the result instead of dissatisfied. I've never run quite that fast a pace in the mile before. I essentially just attached myself to the back of the pack and made several moves to go around fading runners and keep myself tethered to the group. Bruce had some encouraging observations as well- he said I displayed good instincts in making the moves to get around faders, that I made the most out of my last 400 even though I was clearly drained, and that while I went out a little too aggressively for my fitness at the moment, it was good to make the commitment, experience the pace, stay up as long as I could, and fight hard the last quarter without flailing and slowing myself down. I think I'm about 2-3 weeks away from the fitness to tolerate a 3:03 1200 and have enough left to close it down.

The race actually reminded me of one Eric ran last year. In the first mile he committed to a fast pace, he went through the 1200 in about 3:03-3:04 and ran 4:10. 6 days later, he went through 1200 in 3:03-3:04 and ran 59.x to set his PR of 4:03.0x. Obviously, not much changed in those 6 days in terms of his fitness- but the 2nd time around, he was better prepared to handle the pace. Eric and I tend to be fairly similar runners in terms of our racing results, and so I take encouragement from the fact that he was able to rebound from a rough last quarter off a 3:03 pace with a large PR not long after that. I'm confident I am physically capable of a 4:03ish mile in the next month or so. My task in the next month, then, is to stay on top of things like sleep and schoolwork so I can continue working hard and recovering.

Sunday- 12:30PM- 90min easy up around Fresh Pond with a huge group including guest star and BU alum Dave Proctor, fresh off his 8:03 PR in the 3k the night before. Always nice to have Dave visit!

Tot- 62

Adieu, for the week- there were a lot of great results from Terrier- check 'em out! I'm off to get started on the massive pile of homework I put off til after Terrier.


  1. c mac on the track when is the next race my man?

  2. Does running in place count as miles? It feels kind of like treadmill running. Could you call 30 min of running in place = 4 miles?

  3. 1) Citing me as a source on letsrun is only going to get you ridiculed.

    2) I would say no, but Zatopek once put his laundry in the bathtub, poured a bunch of soap and water in it, then ran in place on it in his combat boots for 2 hours. I think that counted.