Sunday, July 27, 2014

Philadelphia Half Marathon Training : Week 2 & Introducing The Beer of the Week

I had forgotten what it felt like to feel good about running. Despite the inescapable humidity of New York City in July, I'm enjoying running more than I have in nearly two years.  Granted, it's only the second week of training for the Philly Half.  But, I'm experiencing an renewed sense of confidence. Instead of being so nervous I can't sleep the night before a tough workout what keeps me up now is excitement.  It's a good problem to have.

Monday - Rest Day (30 minutes of core).  I've been taking one day off every two weeks for several months now.  That will continue during this cycle.  I crave the restoration, but always end the day wishing I had run.  I think that's a good balance. This worked well because it was also a travel day back from visiting family in Virginia.

Tuesday - 8 miles easy in Central Park.  I thought yesterday's rest would mean I wouldn't feel Sunday's hills today, but I was wrong.  It took me at least 30 minutes to loosen up.

Wednesday - 5x1600m (60 second/200m jog rest) repeats at Harlem Riverbanks Track.  The goal was to do these at half-marathon pace (5:30) and add one second for every degree the dew point was over 64.  The dew point was 67 when I left the house.  Based on that, I should have been running 5:33s.  When I ran the first one in 5:13, I knew I was in trouble.  The workout spiraled out of control after that and I ended up doing the perfect ascension.  Looking back, I could have taken a longer rest after the first one to completely recover and start from scratch, but I decided to keep trucking on with diminishing results.  I also may have been more successful had I not been doing this on my own.  I almost quit 200 meters into the last one, but knew I would regret that for the rest of the week if I had.  The repeats were: 5:13, 5:18, 5:20, 5:23, 5:28. 

Thursday - 6.5 miles easy in Central Park.  This was the first time in 10 days I ran with someone.  I met Allie at the top of the park for a lap.  We were both coming off very similar workouts (her's more successful than mine) so we started slow and eased into it. 30 minutes of core.

Friday - 8 miles easy in Central Park.  This was the typical two-day workout hangover.  I did 7x20 second strides mid-run.

Saturday - Prescribed was a long run with 7m @ 630,20,10,00,550, 40, 30.  It ended up going perfectly.  I met a group at UA at 9:40 and together we did 4 miles easy starting at 8:00 minute pace and working down to 7:00 minute pace. As we rolled into the progression, my goal was to stick to the prescribed paces no matter how easy they felt with hopes of still feeling strong when the pace got quick at the end.  We decided to only cut out the Harlem Hills and only do this on the 5 mile loop.  As we neared the final two miles, Jason and I stuck to the park's lower loop to avoid having to do the final mile climbing up Cat Hill.  The progression went as follows:

6:26, 6:07, 6:07 (west side hills), 5:49, 5:40, 5:30, 5:22

There was an option for an eighth mile but I was pretty satisfied with the workout at seven. The last mile certainly wasn't easy, but holding back in the initial miles was key to making it even possible.

Sunday - 12.5 miles easy in Central Park.  Today was one of those days where it was so humid that I was sweating before the run started.  There wasn't much residual soreness from yesterday's workout, just some tightness. I was glad to have Tom, Jason and Allie for company on this run as the conditions were very uncomfortable.  I ended the week with an hour-long, incredibly over-due massage and 30 minutes of core.

Total Weekly Mileage: 63.5

Next Week: Seven days of running, a workout I've never done before and a race!

One of my training secrets is a healthy dose of carbs in the form of beer.  Each week, I'll highlight a beer I tried to "recover" from a workout or "prepare" for a long run.

This week's Beer of the Week:

40 Mile IPA, Three Notch'd Brewing Company, Charlottesville, VA:

This was a six-pack left as a gift from a house guest who was staying at our apartment while we were actually in the Charlottesville area.  40 Mile is the flagship beer of the Three Notch'd Brewery.  40 miles is how long a fellow by the name of Jack Jouett rode to warn Thomas Jefferson and his family that their capture had been ordered.  Jefferson of course, lived in Charlottesville.  The beer named for this chapter in Jefferson's history is a crisp and clean IPA.  It's hoppy obviously, but also has a nice citrus taste to it that offsets some of the bitterness.

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