Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Marathon Pace Miles

This morning's plan was 3 easy, 6 MP, and a cooldown. It was a pleasant morning outside when I left for work, where I was going to start and finish my run. I was listening to the weather forecast on the way to the office and they said the first band of thunderstorms for today would hit about 8:00 a.m. in central Vermont. I had thought the weather front was going to go through this afternoon, but it had apparently sped up overnight.

I started running just before 6:30 and it was cool (50F) and foggy, but nice. I did my 3 warm-up miles and the third mile inconveniently ended at the start of a tough hill. My goal was 7:50 pace for 6 miles, but I wanted to do it without looking at my Forerunner every few minutes (or seconds). I knew I had some downhills coming later, so I didn't worry about pace on that first hill.

Overall, the miles felt good and I was enjoying the run, just cruising along. The first mile was a bit slower than 8, and the next 2 were a bit faster than 8 minutes. I was about halfway through the fourth mile when I noticed it was looking kind of dark. I started to wonder why the fog was getting thicker rather than clearing, and then I heard thunder. I had forgotten all about the weather forecast.

I still had about 2.5 miles to go and it was just one crack of thunder. I kept running. Then, I heard another crack. And another. And then a flash of lightning. At this point in time, I had two options - turn around and run about 3/4 of a mile to my office, or continue straight ahead on a loop that I run a lot, and be out there for about 2.5 more miles.

I turned around quickly and headed back to my office. Before I could cover that 3/4 of a mile, the storm really closed in, with thunder and lightning ever few seconds, and it started to rain just as I got to the hospital. So, I only did 7.25 miles, with 4.25 at MP. But, the last 0.75 was some very high quality running. I may go out tonight for a couple more miles, or with Reach the Beach on Friday, I may just call it a day.


Speed Racer said...

I'm reading Lance Armstrong's book right now, and he says that he was such a champion because he was out training in the weather that no one else would train in. Lance would have kept running... carrying a metal umbrella! Then again, Lance doesn't even pace his own marathons, and I continue to be fascinated by your ability to pace.

I'm still plugging through the Daniels book (which is a marathon effort in and of itself), and it's SO technical and intricate, and you have to be SO accurate, down to a second. I find it dizzying. The fact that you're even smart enough to follow a confusing training plan like that is pretty fascinating to me.

Tania said...

I bet he can recite the book after a pitcher of beer too!!!!

Damon said...

I train a lot in bad weather and I often revel in it, realizing that I'm training when other competitors are not. But, when it comes to lightning, I'm either smart and cautious, or a big baby. I've come close enough to being hit a few times in the Sierra Nevada and I don't really want the "full" experience.

The Daniels book is complicated, but it holds a lot of wisdom. I don't do every single type of workout that he has in there. For marathons, I use repeat 800s, marathon pace, tempo, long, recovery, and race as my techniques. I don't do cruise intervals, I don't do his R type workouts, etc.

Every week, I pick out 2 or 3 key running workouts and then put the rest of my schedule together around that. An example might be 800s on Tuesday, MP miles on Thursday, and then long on Saturday. After that, everything else is just filler.

This week, with a Friday/Saturday race, I did only one quality workout on Tuesday, so I'd hopefully be recovered for the race.