Monday, August 4, 2014

Philadelphia Half Marathon Training: Week 3

At dinner last night I told Lauren how nice it felt to be “in a good place” for the first time in a long time.  I am not sure what exactly triggered the change; the move, weather that is neither oppressively hot or dangerously cold, finally finding a routine...who knows?  And who cares?  I’ll stop beating this drum, but hope it reverberates.  With three solid weeks of training for Philly in the books, the doubts I had about being able to run a respectable time are starting to fade, and I am even targeting a four-mile PR in early September.  More on that later.  For now, week 3.

Monday – 6 miles easy in Central Park before a 12 mile ElliptiGO ride.  The legs were definitely feeling the high-mileage of the weekend and yesterday’s massage.

Tuesday – 90 minute run with 6400 meters of alternating 200s (37/47).  I had never done anything like this before and while the times looked simple on paper, the thought of four miles alone and continuous on the track was a bit daunting.  I had trouble dialing in the paces for the first mile and ran the “off” 200s too quickly, but once I was able to find the right speed this workout flew by.  Unfortunately, every child in Harlem was playing in the infield of the track this morning so a couple of the laps included unexpected obstacles in the form of soccer balls and small clusters of kids wandering out into lane one (adult supervisors paying no attention).  The entire 90 minutes ended up being 13.2 miles with the 6400 meters in 22:08 (5:32/mile).

Wednesday – 8 miles easy on the Central Park Bridle Path.  This was a slow recovery run.  I tried to avoid turning left as much as I could since I hit my left turn quota yesterday.  30 minutes of core.

Thursday – 7 miles easy in Central Park.  Allie and I kept our weekly Thursday run at a very easy 8:00 pace as she had a cold and I had the two-day workout hangover. 

Friday – 7 miles easy on the Central Park Bridle Path.  In the middle of the run, I did 7x20 second pre-race strides.

Saturday NYRR Team Championship 5 Mile Race in Central Park. For the first time in more than a year, I was actually pretty excited about lining up for a race.  I was feeling relatively fit and rested, but mostly was curious to see what I was capable of running.  My goal going into the race was 26:30 which is not my PR, but is faster than I had run since late 2012.  In fact, I hadn’t cracked 27:00 since this same race last year.  Yeah, things have been rough.  I never get much sleep the night before a Saturday race.  I woke up at 7:45 and had two chia waffles with peanut butter and grabbed a small cup of coffee before hopping in a cab to the east side of the park.  There was a light rain when the women’s race went off, but by the time we started warming up it was just plain soupy.  I felt terrible during the two mile warm-up, which is a good thing (I’m always suspect of feeling loose and springy during a warm-up jog.  It usually means the race will be the opposite).  When the horn sounded, I tucked into a pretty big group of guys that I knew to be around my goal speed and let them set the early pace.  I realized early on that I had forgotten to turn on the GPS function on my watch which after a brief moment of panic, wound up being a blessing in disguise.  The first mile of the course consists of all three of the West Side Hills. There is really no better place for them because it gets my least favorite stretch of the park out of the way early. I was feeling very good the first two miles and split much faster on the hills than I have in the past.  The second mile of the race was my fastest.  By mile three our group had dwindled to two or three familiar faces and I decided to take the lead. I held on until the base of Cat Hill where a guy from NYAC passed me and opened a pretty big gap.  I never caught back up to him.  Cat Hill was my slowest mile, but I recovered decently and pulled away from two of the others guys in my group, beating them to the finish line and finishing in 26:21 (5:17/mile).  Splits: 5:11 (West Side Hills), 5:07, 5:15, 5:29 (Cat Hill -- Yikes!), 5:18.  With seven combined miles before and after the race and a 2.5 mile shakeout in the evening, total mileage for the day was 14.5

Sunday – 16 miles in Central Park with a big group.  Despite two or three too many glasses of sangria last night, I felt fine until mile 14 of this run. The last two miles were a death march.  I would have cut it short but I had to get home.  20 minutes of core in the evening.

Total Weekly Mileage: 72.7

Next Week: A rest day, long intervals and a classic go-to workout.

Beer of the Week:

Dogfish Head Namaste

The internet is full of odes to Dogfish Head and rightfully so.  Still, when Lauren brought this beer home, I wanted to like it not love it so I could chose a more unknown brewery.  I loved it.  This year, Namaste made the leap from seasonal champagne-size bottles to year-round six packs. I had a bottle with Lauren's homemade banana, peanut butter ice cream before bed Friday night (pre-race carbs).  It’s a really refreshing, easy-to-drink beer without sacrificing too much flavor.  I actually had trouble not downing it in one swig.  It’s made with orange slices and coriander (I’m not actually sure what coriander is, but I like it in beer.)

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