Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Down Days

The last two days have been solid, but have left me feeling a bit disappointed. I think it's time to lower my expectations a little bit and settle down. It's pretty apparent that the 22 miler took more out of me than I thought it did. I'm sure I'm getting a great training effect out of the last two weeks of workouts, and they have been very strong overall, so to be disappointed after a couple of 'off' days is kind of ridiculous.

The tempo run this morning didn't go as well as I would have liked. The warmup mile went down in 7:06, which gave me pause. I added another mile to the warmup and a couple of strides to get things moving, and set off. The first two miles went down in 5:37 each, then a 5:35 feeling a bit uncomfortable, with the last quarter turning into the wind. Mile four was entirely into the wind, and the pace increased along with the effort for a 5:45.

Mentally, my run got totally messed up at this point. My f-ing Garmin 201 started dropping signal in the trees. The next mile showed up as a 5:23, which was not accurate. Then the next mile showed a 5:50, which was also not accurate. Continuing on for a short distance, the average lap pace showed 5:36, which was about correct. Two mile warmup, six mile tempo in 33:51, about 5:39 pace, and two mile cooldown, 10 miles in 1:01:24.

Based on the effort compared to the last tempo, this one was too hard for a seven miler. I realized that around mile four, and decided to cut the tempo to six miles, which would bring the average 5:39 pace into line with the Daniels pace charts and the Pfitzinger 1/2 marathon pace recommendation.

The temperature made things interesting as well. It wasn't overly humid, but at 68 degrees, it was about 10 degrees warmer than I'm used to for these efforts. It may have been a factor in feeling a little off.

There are lots of little reasons why this run didn't feel easier, but at the end of the day, I got a longer tempo done at the correct pace on a day that I wasn't feeling so good. I'll take it.


Blogger Zeke

I don't know how people run with those GPS things. Every time I read about them it's about their signal dropping. They seem to cause more problems than they solve.

7/12/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Eric

Most of the time I love it. It gives you a lot of freedom to roam and still get an accurate measurement of distance. It can be maddening when one expects accurate distances and splits out of it, which is the fault of the user. I need to take my bike out and mark out a tempo course or just do these on the track.

Don't hate the tool, hate the tool using the tool.

The data you get out of them is phenomenal, though, which makes up for a lot. I'd rather have 98% accurate data than no data at all.

7/12/2006 01:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Fatboy

Throw that crap away and listen to your body. You can't (or sure as hell shoudn't) bring that thing to the race.

7/12/2006 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Eric

Oh, come on you old goat! I can understand the feedback I'm getting from my body just as well as anyone. Using a GPS or a heart rate monitor isn't a replacement for that skill, just an enhancement.

I use my GPS everyday so that I don't have to adhere to a certain course, and it logs my run, and takes splits every mile automatically. I enjoy looking at the data, sometimes during, and always after the run because it is interesting.

As far as racing with it, why not!? It's not going to stop me from racing well. It's not going to make me run faster, either. It's just collecting information that is interesting to look at, and that is beneficial for post-race analysis.

You've taught me a lot of good things (see if you remember these): don't spit while running, don't let anyone half-step you, and don't complain about things you can't control. I agree with all of those. Don't use tools? That's a bit much.

7/13/2006 12:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Fatboy

I think the tool is fine. Living or dying by it mile by mile, day by day is a little excessive, and probably a little counter-productive.

There's no school like the old school!

7/13/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Eric

You wanna settle this over a game of Monopoly, bitch?!

I agree, if I lived and died by every mile split that it would be a problem. I don't live or die by any of my mile splits though, not even the good ones.

I do get pissed off when the GPS works fine on an easy run but not on a tempo run on the same course. Irony sucks.

7/13/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Mike

Are you two married or something?

Eric, how about setting the Forerunner up to show "average lap pace" on these tempo runs and turning the auto-lap off? You won't get your mile splits on the nose, but it shows how your pace develops over the course of the effort. It would also give the unit more time to track and make up for any goofs if you give it 6 miles. I use it this way for marathon pace runs too, which works well when you're on a course with lots of ups and downs.

As far as racing with it, I did bring it to one marathon, where it kept me from running the first mile 30 seconds faster than I wanted to. This ended up being my best executed marathon. It was useless after the first mile though, since after settling in the body pretty much just takes over and does what it can regardless of the little numbers flashing on the screen.

7/14/2006 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger Eric

Not anymore. We got divorced a long time ago.

I use the average lap and average pace features quite a bit, but I also have the autolap set up just so I can flip through at the end of the run and look at the splits. Otherwise I have to load the run into SportTracks and look at splits that way.

I'll definitely be wearing it during the marathon, because I want the data. I certainly won't be setting my effort based on what the watch says.

7/14/2006 07:36:00 AM  

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