Saturday, September 22, 2007

20k Walking PR (and negative split)

Today was the Tour des Fleurs out at White Rock Lake. This was planned as a test/practice race for our Team in Training group so I wanted to walk the race to show the team that walkers can race and compete just like runners.

I haven't done any racewalking since May so I really didn't know what to expect. I wanted to maintain around an 11:00 pace for the first half to 2/3 (there are some hills between the halfway point and 2/3 point) and then see how fast I could finish.

The result: My 10k split was 1:08:16, exactly 11:00 per mile. The second 10k split was 1:05:28, 10:33 per mile. Final time was 2:13:45. I felt good at the end and my final mile was around 9:11. I've never had a very good 20k race so this was a PR for me even though it was far from my best walking performance (that would be my 2:13:55 half marathon in 2005). But still I was happy with the results given my lack of recent racewalking training and my lack of focus on racewalking speedwork.

Everyone on the team seemed to finish well; there were some tired people but no injuries or DNFs that I'm aware of. After I finished I walked back on the course and cheered on some of the last finishers, and then I walked in with the last two. It was great to see so many people of all abilities and speeds pushing themselves toward an accomplishment. It reminded why I enjoy racing so much.

Tomorrow I'm planning to run 15 miles on the trails at Arbor Hills. I'll probably be slow and tired, but what better way to train for ultras?

But before that, tonight is the Deerhoof concert at the House of Blues. They are weird, really weird, and that's why I love them. Unfortunately my family just loathes them so I'll be attending the concert alone. I hope it's as good as I think it will be. For a little taste of Deerhoof, see below.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Good Day/Bad Day

Good Day:
I had a great day of workouts. I did my own personal training this morning at the local high school track. Here is my current training schedule:

Monday - Rest
Tuesday - Speedwork (alternate intervals one week, tempo the next)
Wednesday - easy 5 miles
Thursday - easy 6 miles
Friday - Rest
Saturday - tempo/pace run (4 miles); walking miles with team in training (from 0 to 20)
Sunday - long (longest has been 12 miles on the trails at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve)

Today was intervals. I did ten 400 meter intervals at 5k pace with 200 meter recoveries. I chose my goal pace of 7:25 which equates to a 1:51 400. I accidentally deleted my splits instead of saving them so I don't have them all, but I'm happy to say I only had one split over 1:51 (a 1:52 toward the middle of the intervals). Most were between 1:45 and 1:48, and I did the last 400 in 1:31 (a 6:07 per mile pace). Everything felt good.

Tonight was our usual Tuesday night training with Team in Training. Tonight we did a cool track workout that the other coach made up. He calls it 800 meter relays. Here's how it works:
  1. Identify three runners of approximately equal speed, A, B, and C.
  2. A starts and runs 400 meters alone.
  3. After the first lap, B joins A and they run 400 meters.
  4. After the second lap A takes a one lap break and C joins B for 400 meters.
  5. After the third lap B takes a break and A joins C for 400 meters.
  6. Repeat five times (each runner does five 800 meter repeats).
It's a hard workout because you don't get a lengthy recovery. You only rest for 400 meters and the other runners are running hard so the rest time is brief. I walked a few steps on my fourth repeat and was tired on my last one, but I got a nice kick at the end and finished strong. Our fastest 800 was 3:15 (6:15 per mile) and our slowest was 3:49 (7:41 per mile). Considering I did track work this morning I felt like this was a pretty good workout.

Bad Day
My car is dead. Actually, it runs, but not well, and it's not worth fixing (the repairs would be more than the value of the car). So it looks like I'll be buying a car this weekend. I'm thinking of this.

Have a great evening.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Where I am

Hi, faithful readers (Ha!). I haven't posted in a while. I'm still running, still coaching for TNT, and things have been going well. A while back I posted my intention to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but I realize now that what really interests me is getting back into ultras. So I'll be doing a road 20k with TNT next weekend, then a half marathon with family in late October, a half marathon with my TNT crew in early November, then it's back to trail races and ultras. My plan is to do my first ultra in January 2008 (probably Bandera 50k, although I know that is a tough race so I may change my plans). My tentative plan is a couple of 50ks, a couple of 50 milers, then Laurel Highlands 70 mile in June, then the Heartland 100 next October. I've trained for Heartland several times but never actually started the 100 (the 50 miler was my first ultra back in 2005). Of course any of these plans could change, but this is my current plan.

So I'll post more in the future about my training. My longest run to date has been 12 miles so I have a way to go, but I've been feeling good and feel like I can steadily improve if I continue consistent training.

If you're still out there, thanks for reading!