I still feel pretty good about my Turkey Trot time last week. Now that I'm back at work after 3 days off from any exercise at all I got back into the swing of things with another tempo run around my rectangular work loop. Last week I went CCW, so this week it's CW. I felt pretty rested and the conditions were favorable (49F, almost no wind and not raining) so I took off fast. Going CW, the first mile is at a slight downhill followed by a steep downhill. Going by my odd pacing system I was checking my watch every 5 minutes to see if I'd been able to cover another 0.7 miles. I was putting a good bit of time into the bank on the descents. After the steep downhill there's a short flat followed by the steepest hill on the route followed by a mile and a half of steady slight uphill. This is where I lose that time I put in the bank. I made it to the flat section of the backstretch about even 25 min, and 3.52 miles. (shooting for 5 x 0.7 or 3.5 miles)
I figured that I had a chance to hit my short term goal of 42 minutes as long as I could keep a good pace and really push hard along the last mile and a half which is mostly flat. First I had to get over a short steep hill and a few shallow rollers. I got over the rollers but had to stop and pull over for a pair of horses to walk by. This gave me a short rest to catch my breath for maybe 30 seconds. I'm sure it helped when I took off again. I was at the edge of being out of control on the dirt path descents, just trying to get my feet in front of me for a solid landing. I kept the pace and my 5 min. splits were just barely holding on to my 0.7mi goal. The last part of the rectangle is back onto sidewalk. I took one last drink of water and sprayed the rest out to get rid of the weight and sloshing. Luckily there was another jogger about 1/4 of a mile ahead for me to focus on. It took me almost a mile to catch him but I did right before reaching the gym parking lot and hitting my timing mark. I stopped the clock at:
Exactly meeting my goal. Of course my mind instantly thought: "Why couldn't I just have saved one second!" When I take the stop into account, who knows what I could have done. Maybe more, maybe less. I'm very happy that I managed to hit my 42 min so soon. It's a minute and a half better than my previous best. Of course now I'll want to break 40 min. as my next goal.
Pace: 7:00 (Love the easy math)
On the way home from work I hit a massive traffic jam on Hwy 16. I'd heard that something was partially blocking the bridge that I have to cross to get home. I looked at Google Maps on my iPhone for the traffic and saw that not only was the freeway red from where I was all the way to the bridge (6 miles) but most of the side streets that I'd use to avoid the bridge were jammed up as well.
I took the opportunity to hit the local Borders and look at running books. Chris mentioned a book called Running Formula by Jack Daniels (unfortunate name) so I thought I'd skim it with the intention of buying it. I sat down and thumbed through the book to get a feel for it and while it's highly reviewed on Amazon, it looked way too complicated for me. The book was full of acronyms, math, and symbols representing different paces and types of training. I'm sure I could sit down and figure it out but it just didn't look like it'd be that fun to figure out the training principles, schedules and paces that I'd have to train at.
I remembered another book that was mentioned on a few of the Amazon reviews of Daniels' book called: Run Less Run Faster. I glanced through this book up and saw that it was a much simplified approach that followed some of the same core principles as Running Formula though not in nearly the amount of detail. Knowing that I don't have a lot of time to train each week and that my bad knee is a little sore the day after a fast / long run, I bought the book with "Run Less" in the title. I'm doing about 25 - 30 miles a week as it is and I'm very time limited with my training. Time will tell if I experience the 4 - 8% gains that the published study participants did on average. Looking at my past, I made the best gains in speed and form when I was running one day a week all-out and using a HRM to keep my HR below 70% on my recovery days. I'll give it a try for the winter, especially the cross training part and see how I'm doing come spring.