Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I Could Use A Nap

Rough couple of days. Work required a long day Tuesday, first in the office all day, then driving on treacherous icy roads to get to another office, and another five hours of work, followed up with driving back home for almost two hours on the same nasty roads. To top it all off, our seven week-old gassy little guy had his worst night so far, which agitates the two year-old, and makes for a very tough time for mom.

Normally, I'm in bed by 9:00pm so I can get up by 4:00am for my workout, so when I have to work from 8:00am to 12:30am the next day, and I know I'm going to miss my workout and have to spend my post-work family time doing the running that should have been done early in the morning, when it doesn't adversely affect everyone else in the house...that's a long clause. Allow me to restate. When I am put in a position to have to make those kinds of sacrifices for work, the kind that completely fuck up my family's life and my personal ambitions, I get annoyed.

Anyway, that's where I'm coming from this week. I'm at 68 miles for the week so far (Sun-Wed), which probably explains why I'm tired, irritable, and using the f-word in my blog. If the week continues to go well, I expect to end up with 110-115 miles in singles. In terms of running, it's fantastic! I've been able to comfortably drop the pace a bit over the last two weeks, and I don't appear to be breaking down in any way. I can't wait for spring and clear roads!

Based on the changes I can see and feel, both objectively and subjectively, things will get really interesting when I can get out and start some strides, hills, tempo runs, and marathon pace work. My treadmill only goes to six minute pace, so it will barely cover marathon pace, and fail completely for anything faster. It will be useful even into the spring and summer for hill work though, as there are no hills within 20 miles of here. I guess I'm starting to get the itch to speed up...

Also, I wanted to say Hello to those of you who have been checking in on my blog. Most of my referrals come from Mike's blog, which is very nice of him. I've seen hits coming from South Africa (how do you say hello in Swahili?), the Netherlands, the UK, and of course from all over the US. It's very motivational to know you all are looking in the windows. Hopefully I can keep things interesting for you one way or another. Cheers!

3 Comments:

Blogger Mike

115 in singles? Crap, I was just starting to feel good about my mileage and you have to go and say that! Glad to see some more folks are finding you. I'm also excited to hear what will happen once you get out on the roads this spring.

2/22/2006 09:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Sasha Pachev

Eric:

Do not be fooled by the ease of the easy pace to determine what is happening. Feeling excited at 6:30-6:40 pace make make it look like no work, but in fact you may be overtrained. I have a friend/training partner/ fierce competitor. I almost always know he is not going to do well in the race during a warmup if he wants to run it faster than I do.

Consider yourself recovered if you can do a good tempo on a trusted course, or if you race well. I have had many days when 6:30 pace felt like I was not even working, but I struggled with 5:40s in the tempo run. At the same time, I have had days when 7:20 required effort, but once I started running fast, I could do 5:30 without slowing down.

I believe the ease of a slower than marathon race pace is more of an indicator of your adrenaline level than your fitness. The fitness will shine at a half-marathon or 10 K race pace sustained for 3 miles or more.

If you have a crazy schedule, do not push the mileage unless you have done it before and you know it works for you. Also, 115 in singles may not be smart idea unless you are absolutely sure your body can stand it. What I found works for me is one 10 mile run + jogging a mile or so during the day in my street clothes at every opportunity. I call it "always on the run".

2/23/2006 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Eric

Thanks for the comments, Sasha. I should clarify the 'drop the pace comment'. I'm dropping down to 7:05-7:15 pace for an average two hour run versus the 7:30-7:40 pace I would do for the same run on a recovery day. My heart rates are very consistent on a day to day basis against the paces, so I'm comfortable that I'm not going overboard with my training. I have not done any tempo or marathon pace work since I started the buildup in November, and I've done this purposely in order to focus on the mileage buildup.

As far as the mileage buildup, I did 114 in singles about a month ago, and have averaged about 95 miles a week over the past 14 weeks, so I'm feeling very capable. The lack of sleep over a couple of days is more an annoyance than anything.

I don't know yet whether this level of mileage works for me, because I have no experience racing following this kind of buildup. I will find out in a few months if it was worth the effort. I don't get concerned about injury due to too much mileage, because I am being so conservative with the pace. Even on an adrenaline fueled feel good day, the fastest I will go is 6:40 pace for a couple of miles. I'm really reigning in the horses because I know there will be a time for fast running. Now is the time for toughening up the structure I'm building.

I will keep your advice in mind for later this spring when I am able to do some faster running. It sounds like you have been there before! Those are some quick paces you mentioned.

Mike, I have to ramp up my mileage to feel better about myself. I'm jealous as hell about how fast you are training now! I'm getting itchy...

2/23/2006 02:15:00 PM  

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