August 6, 2006

I am getting there. Hope & Possibility 5 miler

One step at a time. One thing, one item at a time. It is such a long process and I have so little energy to spare.

That's how I feel about moving. (Special thanks to Charles, Wayne, & Melissa who helped with the big furniture today.) I'm almost done; just some leftover stuff to sort out. I'm not moving anything I'm going to sell or discard.

One step at a time - the long long road to fitness - it's all about training. And apparantly I AM getting there, much to my surprise. Having foregone the marathon long training run #1 yesterday, I opted to go run the Hope & Possibility 5 miler today. I'd moved to my new digs Friday night and had been feeling bad for the last several days. Saturday morning, I felt good for the first time in a while, but not 100% And, somehow, I felt a lot more motivated by the thought of a more democratic run - and one that I could finish - rather than a bunch of elitist marathon trainees all running 20 miles while I'd be dropping out at 11 or 12. Turns out it was a good decision.

I put in a 6-mile loop as a warmup before the race. The six miles were good - damn good. Steady, even pacing except for a handful of coughing fit slowdowns, but picked up easily. Legs were good to go, even eager, from the very first step. No pain. Lungs cooperated nicely. Weather was also cooperating. In fact, I could hardly believe how well the run was going. I wound up the loop arriving at the race start line a full ten minutes earlier than I'd planned. That was a surprise in itself, since I didn't feel like I was pushing it that hard.

Unfortunately, that left a good 20 minutes before the start of the race - time to cool down too much in the legs. I'd ended the loop drenched in sweat and made sure to ditch my shirt and pin my race bib to my shorts. It was quite refreshing breezing through the park shirtless. I saw one other runner I'd classify as shirtless - a woman. But while other women were wearing sports bras at least, she was her bra. Not the same woman from a few months back, believe me. How odd.

Anyway, the race started well and I had time to take in the sights of all the Achilles participants, which included a heavy contigent of Iraq vets whose limbs were exploded off in the war, and the vets' supporters and families. In fact, a number of people wearing the olive drab t-shirts were kids - running the whole 5 miler! And man those little humans are fast. Anyway, I was amazed at how many guys run on prosthetics, especially those large hook-shaped spring ones built specifically for running. One vet, as a matter of fact, was on TWO of them. It took me some time to catch him; I was deeply impressed.

The race went on and all I'd had to eat so far was some yogurt in the morning and a whole bunch of HEED, of which I was now out. With a mile and half left, I believe I hit the wall, for the first time ever. It was as if Obi-Wan Kenobi had suddenly managed to disconnec the power couplings. I think I even heard that distinctive, falling BWOOOOooooooop sound. And just like that, I was running on empty. My pace fell off, though I managed to keep going without having to walk. And, too, I picked it up a little bit in the last quarter mile. But still, my last mile split was atrocious. I should have brought my Hammer gel!

Results: 631st out of 1289, 48:23 net time, 9:41 pace. Not too many other races in my record with a pace that good (Last one was my awesome Staten Island Half) and my age graded percentile was 44.8%, my third-highest ranking ever. In short, this was a DAMN fine performance and though I wonder how it would have turned out had I run the five-miler first and the six-miles last, I don't regret my decision - it shows me what I can manage even after an hour of running already completed.

So. I need to get more disciplined about my running schedule...but I'm realizing that running six days a week just isn't possible, maybe not even five days a week. I can only handle so much mileage. But if I can keep up six-mile runs during the week and keep lengthening the long runs on schedule, I'm going to have a fine experience at la marathone.


Lora said...

Great job on the race!! You didn't abandon Brooklyn with your move did ya????? I like knowing I have someone still watching over the 'hood.

Steve said...

Let me get this str8 , you did a 6 mile warm up run for a 5 mile race?
wow...maybe I'm doing something wrong.
Anyway, glad to hear that you were happy with your performance. I think your training is beginning to pay off.

You're not moving out of NY are you?

nyflygirl said...

nice job-way to smash that PR!!

and you should have done the LTR on Saturday-at this point in the training cycle, there were a lot of people who were not doing the full 20 (who dropped off at either 11 or 16.) but I guess your victory yesterday was sweeter :)