Sunday, July 23, 2006


Yesterday was a forgettable four mile tempo run at 5:30 pace. Didn't feel good at all, and was surprised at how hard 5:30 pace was. I guess that means my aerobic system is VERY highly developed. Ha. Totalled nine miles with another four later in the day with my daughter in the stroller, very slowwww. That was actually a lot of fun.

And another long run in the books today. This one was very tough, but despite the mental bargains I tried to make with myself, I stuck it out and did the workout as planned. Twenty-two miles comprised of ten laps around a park, including a 50 meter long grassy hill that rises about 30 feet, an 18% grade, and a 15 meter downhill of the same grade. I was able to incorporate my house into the loop as well, and had my family manning a water station for me, which was a lot of fun.

The first few laps were really good. The hill section would get me out of my comfort zone for a quarter mile or so, and then I was recovered. As the run went on, the recoveries would take longer and longer, until they were taking almost half a mile. By the last two laps, the up and down was kicking my ass.

I practiced taking water and gatorade every lap, and I was surprised how difficult it is to get a good amount of fluid and to maintain breathing. I was able to pick up the cup without spilling a drop, but as soon as I tried to drink it was all over. Pinching the top of the cup closed quickly turned a nine ounce cup into a four ounce cup, and the extra couple of ounces to go sloshing out the gaps. I did manage to get several ounces each time, but it probably only amounted to 35-40 ounces total, which wasn't enough. Also, drinking requires that you stop breathing long enough to get everything swallowed. Basically, every drink was like another hill. I would finish my cup within 100-150 meters of picking it up, then require another 200 or so to feel recovered. More practice is needed.

So, another 22 mile run, out in 1:10:15, back in 1:10:00, about 6:22 pace. This was the hardest of the three I have done over the last three weeks. I didn't bonk like last week, I was just exhausted at the end. I probably ended up a little bit dehydrated again, but at least I was sweating all the way through the finish this time. The hills definitely hit me in a different way later in the run, so I think today was a really key workout.

The next several weeks I will be incorporating a sort of 'hill phase' which will be tricky considering there are precious few hills around. The idea will be to add some anaerobic power to the miles in the form of hills, and beginning to tolerate some heavy breathing and lactate baths. Fun.


Blogger Greg

A ten lap longrun that goes by your house each time? If that doesn't test your mental fortitude, nothing will. I do most of my longruns as a point to point run just so I have no temptation to cut it short.

Nice job.

7/24/2006 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger Mike

I was starting to get worried about how the long runs seem to be kicking your ass, then I remembered the 6:25 pace last week and saw the pace for this week. If you can recover from these I'd be comfortable saying you're probably at 5:50 pace for the distance now with a real chance of progressing to that 5:43. Seriously.

The first part (recovery and supercompensation) is critical though, take it from me. At some point I left my marathon out on the roads I trained on, probably during a long run.

7/24/2006 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Dallen

Looking at your last few workouts I would agree with mike that you are at least in 2:35 shape right now and getting close to 2:30.

7/24/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Eric

I started running past my house on loops a few years ago just because I was always tempted to bag runs early. I'm just used to it now. On these kinds of efforts being close to home has been more of a security blanket than a temptation. One less thing to worry about.

Mike and Dallen, I hope you're right. The heat and the mileage seem to be having some effect right now, but I should adapt to that over the next couple of weeks. I'm seriously considering turning Japanese and taking the distance out to 26-28 miles on one or two of these. Just an idea at this point. These 22s are tough, but maybe mixing up the stimulus would be good as well. I don't know. Too many cooks in the kitchen.

Recovery is a big focus for me right now. It takes me about three days to get back to full strength from these long runs. Hopefully holding off on the anaerobic until six weeks out will see me still coming up on October 1. I don't think you can peak on aerobic training alone, and that's all I got right now.

7/24/2006 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Mark

From what I read you are starting to come into your element. Your conditioning seems to keep your recovery time down and your showing some good speed in training; that is for a comfortable sub 2:40.

I am not confident in saying you are in 2:29-2:35 shape now. That's putting the cart before the horse. IF that's the case, stay home, you already ran your are right to respect the distance; just don't fear it.

How is the mental training coming along? That's real cool you can do those ten loops. You see when it gets to the dark miles of 18-22 you can think about how you nailed these loop miles in the sweaty heat.

what tuneup race\distances are you planning?

7/24/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Eric

If I was in goal shape right now, I would find a race tomorrow. I'm not. Don't misunderstand, I'm just asking whether it's reasonable to prepare myself as if I can run a 2:29 or faster based on my position right now, or if it's wiser to prepare for a 2:33-2:35.

I seem to hold my own with the mental game. The marathon will likely be unique though, so I'll just have to see what comes and deal with it.

I'm doing a 5k this weekend and a 10k two weeks after that. After that I don't know. Probably another 10k in mid-September.

7/25/2006 04:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Paulie

Sundog, I'm getting exicited for you. Those "old man" legs are very wise for recovering quickly after great efforts to sway the fidgety brain from tricking you into worrying.

As far as hills in Grand Forks, have you ever tried 'ending' your runs downtown by running up the parking ramp? GFC team does that every year the state meet is in the west.

Also, the Beardsley half or 10 miler is in early-mid September and would be a day trip to Detroit Lakes. Minor rolling hills and usually someone out to haunt that 55-56 minute range? just a thought...

miles and trials,


7/26/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Duncan Larkin

Brilliant running. No other words to describe it. You are well on your way, Eric.

7/26/2006 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger Benny

I wish you luck on your training it looks solid.

7/29/2006 11:12:00 PM  

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