August 23, 2006

catching up

As you can see, it's been awhile since I updated on my runs. First, let's look at 8/15's chart:

This was the 5-miler I ran in Chicago. You can clearly see the dip in pace where I was at the halfway point and trying to turn around, but getting a little lost. I am pleased with the end of the run, right at a 10:00 pace.

The next run, the one where I had such abdominal pain, looks like this:

The parts where I had to slow and walk for awhile are painfully evident. It was a crappy run and it shows in the jaggedness of the chart.

The next run is also a little jagged, but it was much more pleasant. I did it last Saturday and it was with Lora of LoraRuns blog. Lora is an east-coaster-turned-Chicagoan and it was great to meet her and run with her and her crowd of runners-in-training. It was a slow run, but I think I needed it, since it was the most pain-free run I've had in a while. I also appreciated being picked up and dropped off at my hotel. I'll be glad to run with Lora anytime.

Unfortunately, there is then a lag of four days with no running. Once I got back to NY, my body just crashed. I slept fourteen hours on Sunday, due partly to getting in at after midnight and partly just needing the deep sleep. Monday was little better but things were getting busy again at my house and I literally could not leave because I was waiting for several packages. Tuesday morning was scrubbed when I woke up with terrible abdominal and kidney pains on the right side. I took some Aleve and tried to sleep, but that wasn't any use, so I tried to get some work done and that wasn't happening either. Finally, around 1, the pain went away, but then it was too warm to go run, not to mention that I was once again stuck waiting for a package I couldn't afford to miss. (This is a recurring theme in my life, in case you haven't noticed.)

But TODAY was different! I got up a little early and got out the door at my usual pace - about an hour from waking to running. I stood at my gate looking in both directions. Which would it be? the flat 5-miler I haven't run in a couple of months? Or the hilly 3-miler? Come on, Mr. marathaner, do the right thing. The 5-miler it was.

I was pleased that the route I'd mapped out months ago with my GPS matches right up with my Nike thing. AND I'm even further pleased that it didn't take three miles to get into the groove today - only two. It was a good, solid run, with only a couple of hunched-over coughing breaks. You can see the pauses in the dips in the chart.

Overall, it was a good pace and I'm plenty happy with today's run. I have questions as to why I have these coughing fits that slow or stop me when in training, but can run through them in a race. I haven't figured it out. But then, a 10:00/mile pace is often a challenge in training... but I seem to complete most races at a significantly better pace with, I feel, a non-commensurate increase in effort. I don't get it.

Well, we'll see what the next couple of months bring. I'm signed up for six different NYRR events, each for different reasons. At some level, anything that gets me out early and in the park along with other people running long distances is a good thing. Some of the races are short, including the Fifth Avenue Mile, so I'll have to plan the long run for either before or after the race.

My next step is to take an hour and seriously re-examine my training schedule after this weekend's NY Half Marathon. I feel I'm on the right track as far as distance long runs goes, but need to get my overall mileage up - that seems to be the real challenge this time around. I am also going back to the sports doc and therapy after the half marathon - that will help. I so want to do this right and get to the starting line Nov 5 in good shape, ready to run a good race, but my training isn't panning out the way I'd hoped.

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