Sunday, March 29, 2009

I am a PR MACHINE!!!

Just when I think I can't run any faster, I go out and do something like this. My time for the ING Half Marathon was 1:26:51 (6:38 min/mile), a new PR by 6 minutes and 7 minutes faster than last year on this course. When I got to the starting line and in the preceeding days I didn't feel like this would be a PR race, honestly in the days leading up to the race I wasn't 100% sure that I was going to run at all. My back has been really sore and stiff for the last week or so, and my legs just didn't have any "pop" in them at all. By the time we got over to Corral 1 it was almost time to go so no real warm up other than climbing fences and a light jog over to the start. The gun went off and I took off with a group and settled into a good (or so I thought) pace. Mile 1 is mostly down hill and we hit the marker at 5:58 min/mi, which is waaaaay to fast. Mile 2 had a few bumps and was run at a more sensible 6:26 min/mi, I felt settled and my HR was in a good place. Mile 3 had a long gradual climb into the Auburn/King Center area, this was a bit of a leg sapper and was run at a 6:35 min/mi. At 5 k -ish I was about 19:30 which is not far off of my PR, I knew that I was probably running to fast but I was happy to be banking time on the (relative) flat portion of the course because I knew the last 5k was super hilly. I don't remember a hill during Mile 4, but there must have been one since it was a 6:48 min/mi. This was the only mile above 6:40 until the last 5k of the race. I started to worry a bit here, things were starting to hurt and I was afraid that I had gone out too hard and was going to continue to fade the rest of the race, I mentally refocused for Mile 5 and ripped off a 6:26 min/mi. Mile 6 has that awful climb up Freedom Parkway at the end and so I dropped a little time here clocking a 6:36 min/mi, however I did hit 10k at 40:30 which is :45 seconds off of my PR. Again this worried me a bit and I was hoping not to fade the last half of the race. Turning right off of Freedom Parkway brought (another) leg sapping hill and so Mile 7 was a 6:40 min/mi. Here is where the Half and the Full split, after seeing my 10k split I got greedy and was thinking of a sub 1:25 being possible. I knew that I had to pick things up and the net downhill of the next mile obliged me with a Mile 8 split of 6:28 min/mi. The next mile was pretty much the last flat one of the entire race so I really concentrated on holding pace and was able to hit Mile 9 in 6:26 min/mi. The Mile 9 sign was right inside of Piedmont Park and there is a nasty little uphill (that coincidentally is a downhill for the Peachtree finish) and then a bit of a dip through Midtown before the left on Juniper. Juniper has to be the most horrid road on the entire course! It's a gradual leg sapping, uphill grind that just takes the wind out of your sails, Mile 10 was a disappointing 6:55 min/mi. Turning right off Juniper is yet another uphill across Peachtree and then a somewhat flat/downhill section into Ga Tech. I was really starting to feel it here and Mile 11 was 6:53 min/mi. That is the last real mile marker that was on the course (that I saw anyway). There was a One Mile To Go sign (that I think was mismarked) but that was it. The last 2.1 were run in 14:31 which if my math is correct averages out to 6:45-ish with 1 min for the last .1 mile. I was very, very pleased with this considering the primary goal was sub-1:30 and I honestly thought 1:28 was doable, never did I think that I could or would run this fast. Just goes to show that just when you think you are at your limit you can push through it and reach new heights.

Thanks for reading and Happy Training!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Getting Old Sucks.....

So here it is 4 days before the ING Half Marathon and both of my calves are tight and my back hurts. Not an encouraging sign to say the least! I slept in my compression sleeves last night but had to take them off in the middle of the night, way to hot!!

I have been avoiding Dr Baker but I may have to take a trip to the torture chamber in order to get this back muscle to loosen up before the race on Sunday.

I just signed up for a Twitter account so you can follow me on there if you want, although I will warn you I am not all that interesting.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A NEW PR!!!!

This mornings 10k turned out to be a wet and sloppy affair, but it also turned into what might possibly be my best race to date.

I woke up to pouring rain outside my window and cold temperatures, it was a struggle just to figure out how to dress. Initially I thought that it would be a shorts and long sleeve Under Armour type shirt under my tri singlet, but then I thought I might get hot, so I went with a short sleeve UA shirt and my tri singlet and shorts. After arriving at the race site it became apparent that it wasn't going to warm up or stop raining before or during the race so I switched to my 2XU Compression Tights and kept the short sleeve shirt, tri singlet and added mittens that I had in my bag from the Red Top Rumble. This turned out to be a PERFECT combination, at no point did I feel too cold or too hot. The compression tights also helped to keep my legs fresh on the second loop of the course.

After a brief warm up jog with my buddy Natalie (whose entertaining blog you can read here) it was time to line up for the race. My legs were still feeling a bit heavy from my brick workout on Thursday so I wasn't really sure what was about to happen. The ususal "world beaters" took off at a dead sprint so I made a conscious effort to hold back and run easier than I thought I should. After passing a group of HS kids at the half mile mark (see World Beaters) I settled into a comfortable pace and hit Mile 1 @ 6:15, the next mile has a turn and then a little down hill before another turn and a bit of an uphill, Mile 2 @6:28. Mile 3 was a small hill and then a long downhill to end the first lap Mile 3 @ 6:24. At the 5k turn off I was at 19:24 which is a new 5k PR but I am not going to claim it since it was a split and not a hard time. The two guys in front of me peeled off and went to the finish so for a minute I thought I was in 1st Overall. I asked one of the policemen at the next intersection if there was anyone ahead of me and he said two guys were way ahead. They ended up running 34:xx so I literally didn't see them at all. I knew I had 3rd Overall so I pushed to keep that and to try to go under 40 minutes. Mile 4 @ 6:35 . Miles 5 and 6 saw me running into the 5k walkers but to their credit they got out of my way. Mile 5 @ 6:23 and Mile 6 @ 6:37 . When I rounded the curve to the finish I could see the clock and it was still about 30 seconds under 40 minutes so I kicked hard for the finish and made it in 39:49.

Overall I couldn't be more pleased with this race, it seemed out of body at certain times when I was mentally fatiguing but my legs just kept turning over at a good clip. I hope that this is a harbinger of good things to come for the 2009 season.

Thanks for reading and Happy Training.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Catching Up

I originally intended to update my blog every other day and at the least once a week. Unfortunately due to my job and training requirements this has turned into "update when I have a spare minute" which isn't often.

Over the past few weeks I have been putting in 12-16 hours a week training, coaching 11 athletes, teaching a clinic for collegiate triathletes at UGA, and speaking at MPCS's Career Day. Needless to say I have been busy. Tomorrow is the Jog for a Cause 10k at Northpoint Mall area and I am shooting for a sub 40 time. I'll update tomorrow with results.

Happy Training!