Sunday, June 14, 2009

Good Run. Bad Run. Good Race?

Well, after a good run last Thursday along old Hwy 61 I was feeling all confident about Grandma's and was even harbouring dreams of a 3:10 (one of my 'lifetime' goals). I was all ready for taper and figured I'd just run a few miles twice before the race. Originally I'd planned an easy 6-8 miles today and then a few fast miles on Tuesday. But then last night I decided to consult "Run Less. Run Faster." Even though I am a strong advocate of this approach I have only vaguely followed the training plans laid out in the book - going between the 3:10 and 3:15 plans to figure out what I should be aiming for with my goal of 3:12.

So I opened the book to the 3:10 plan to see what was suggested for the final week. Two "key runs" - the first being speed and the second an easy run. Since the were so neatly laid out at #1 and #2 I decided I'd do them in that order. Note to self - stick with your original plan and not what it says in the book. Even though I think the book tells you to do the weekly workouts in whatever order you want...

Anyway, the speed workout plan was as follows:

10-20 min warm-up, 6 x 400m @ 1:24 (400m RI), 10 min cool-down.

Helen's "speed" workout went as follows:

15 min warm-up, 6 x 400m @ 1:50, 1:36, 1:46, 1:58, 2:05, 1:59, the RI were mostly walking (and sulking), and the cool-down was in the St. Croix. For reference, 1:57 is the 400m interval time for the 4:15 marathon training plan. Excellent.

I decided to run at Afton (along the river path) since I was going as far as St. Paul to climb and I figured it would be a nice flat surface and softer than the road or track. Which if course it was - and I suppose I can attribute a few seconds of each interval to the surface. But not forty. Oh well, maybe it's a good thing to have a crap run right before a big race. Keeps me grounded.

I worked off some frustration at the climbing gym on my way home. Actually had a great climb getting a few 5.8's that I've been working on. Slow progress - especially when you see 4ft nothing 10 year olds doing it in half the time - but fun and rewarding all the same!

Rather than accept tired legs and take the rest of the day off I wanted to be outside enjoying the sunshine so I biked 25M with Pam, Susan and Nic - hadn't been on the bike for a month so it was never going to feel great even with fresh legs... and of course our great intentions for a 'casual' ride went out the window almost immediately! And this after Pam's stellar 5:00:00 half IM at Liberty yesterday - awesome job. She came in 3rd female. And it was a "B" race for her with no taper!! Despite my legs it was a good ride and great to catch up with everyone.

Afterwards I decided to go to the track to calibrate my Suunto. I have this watch a long time but never got around to calibrating it and I knew it was slightly off (there's another 2-3 seconds I can take off the morning run... I'm down to a 4:05). I wouldn't be using this watch at all only I managed to LOSE my beautiful shiny relatively new garmin 405 sometime 8pm at FANS last weekend. I remember having it at the end of the 12hr race but no idea what I did with it after that. It was in my pocket as I'd taken it off when I'd got done running earlier in the day. Have searched the car and house several times but no joy. And nothing turned in after the race. So, it's back to the foot pod Suunto. Anyway, the calibration involved running 2 laps at 'marathon' pace - even on more tired legs this felt comfortable at 3:30 for 800m.

Moving on.

Weather for next weekend keeps changing - 2 days ago it said a high of 69. Perfect. Then it was predicting 75. OK. And now rain is forecast. Bummer. Hopefully it changes just as quickly again.