Road To Chicago in Search of a PR #8
Post #8 | Monday, Week of May 4th – May 10th
This week needed to be a recharge. Last week I was feeling pretty broken down, so all I cared about was getting to neutral and feeling healthy; mileage goals be damned.
I started by taking Monday off. That was great. I needed it physically and mentally. Followed that up with an easy double on Tuesday – 5.1 in the AM, 5.5 in the PM. Legs felt pretty crappy, but whatever, that’s pretty common after a rest day.
Wednesday was workout day, so I choose to do a short, speed Fartlek, to spice up my legs and get them feeling peppy. Didn’t want the physical demand of doing hard repetitions, just wanted to go on feel, keep it short, fast, and controlled. I was also planning on running my first short road race in 4 years on Saturday, so wanted to set that up nicely and make sure my legs weren’t comprised by going too hard. The active recovery and relatively high rep count ensured that.
I did 2 loops of the Rez with 5-lamppost sprint pickups off a 3-lamppost jog. This works out to be 24 pickups at about 21-25 secs of sprinting off 25secs of jogging. It felt good and it hurt and I knew I needed to work on this type of speed while doing it. Afterwards, I cooled down with Stuart Calderwood and John Roberts and Stuart mentioned that he had mistaken me for a Columbia runner while I was finishing up. I guess I’ll take that as I compliment.
Thursday was a very easy (and slow: 9:11/mile) 7.6 miles with Joe Eagan and Chris Solarz. Enjoyable pace and company.
Friday: another rest day.
Saturday was a 4-mile pre-race shakeout plus 4 strides.
Sunday I raced the 4 mile Japan Run in CP. Aside from last year’s NYCM & Grete’s HM, this was my first race in 4 years. I was somewhat nervous about it as a 4 miler is pretty much like a 5k and completely different on the body than a HM or Full. Since it had been so long, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I have done enough of these to be able run it with my eyes closed. But, “would I run it relatively fast?!” That’s the question I asked myself that made me nervous. I knew to run fast I was going to have to hurt. Was I up for the challenge...
M – OFF rest day
T – AM Easy 5.1 miles PM Easy 5.5 miles Total – 10.6 miles
W – Sprint Fartlek – 3.5m w/u plus strides | 2 lap of Rez – 5 LPs ON, 3 LPs OFF | 3m C/D Total – 10 miles
T – Easy 7.6 miles 9:11/mile avg.
F – OFF rest day
S – Pre-race Shakeout & Strides – 4 miles
S – 4m race in CP 22:46 | 5:42/mile | 12th place - 8.5 miles
What do I say about my race… I don’t know. I’m disappointed, slightly embarrassed. I unbelievably split a 6:03 mile. Splits were: 5:40, 5:29, 6:03, and 5:39. I did the best I could on the day.
But, I’m very happy I finally got one in, it had been so long since racing anything shorter than a stupid HM or ‘thon. It's good for me to think of myself as a 'racer' again.
Here are some other random thoughts on the day:
- The humidity definitely played a role in going slower.
- I wore a fresh pair of racing flats and they felt tight in the toe box causing slight numbness/tingling/discomfort in my right foot. Rookie mistake.
- Stephan Bois from Warren Street basically called me huge after the race, and that he enjoyed drafting off of my big body before he dropped out around mile 2.
- As a base line, it’s always a win to line up and race and finish healthy. I’m very, very grateful for that, and admire anyone who takes up that challenge.
- It was fun racing again. It’s really hard but very gratifying. I want to do it again.