Friday, March 08, 2013

Short "drop down" week prior to SD Half

Just when I was stressing about nagging injuries-in-the-making, we have a drop down week.

This week after we did the 20 mile preview run I had a few pains:

- my right hamstring was mildly painful from about the 10 mile to the 15 mile part of the run on Saturday last week.  When we slowed down a bit it felt a little better.

- my right knee has pains (still) from time to time when I'm going down stairs. strange. It was also twinging from time to time prior the run Saturday, but then went away.

- then there's the chronic (since 1985) left Achilles tendon pain.  I've iced that tendon with the Styrofoam cup/direct method soooo many times that the skin is perpetually fried off back there.  I'm doing it still.  It worries me much more than the new pain above, and was so sore after the run Saturday that I skipped the 5 mile run on Sunday.

Monday I ran 8 miles by going up/down the coast from Del Mar until restaurant row in Cardiff and back.  That is, I did not do any hill running - again - due to the potential of injury.  I did it at 8:41/mile and had no real pain, just some twinges (all three above).  HR was mostly low and this was the cruise it was meant to be.

Tuesday evening we did track again.  I like the track with this SDTC group, but my God, there are like a 100 people at this track event and it's a real circus.  We did the "prefontaine lite" workout.  I say "lite" as it was not, of course, Pre Speed, and it was only 5 miles and not 7.  Tempo mile/Tempo+1 min mile.  Five continuous miles on the track. My splits are below by 400, but the mile pace averaged 6:31/mile.  I felt great the first mile, and OK the last mile. 

Paul Greer, who is one half the coaching team along with our coach, Dave "Hutch" Hutchison, set up the lane assingments and the front group was called "6 min to 6:30 pace".  Right.  I was at the back of this pace group and the first lap was at 86 seconds. This group was actually the "5:30 - 6:00" group.  Not knowing how fast to run, I had planned on 6:15/7:15 or maybe 6:30/7:30, but just went with how I felt.  My heart rate during the first mile was about 150 and for the last mile was 165 which is about the upper end of my threshold pace (164), so I think what I learned was my tempo speed is about 6:10 or so. Frankly, it's changing so I don't really know.

  1. Mile 1 - 6:06
  2. Mile 2 - 7:08
  3. Mile 3 - 6:05
  4. Mile 4 - 7:01
  5. Mile 5 - 6:17

    I think I could run a 6:20/mile 10K (39 min)  on a flat course currently, maybe a bit faster, or slower - I just don't know.  That puts my VDOT somewhere in the 52-54 range which puts my marathon time around 3 hours flat, assuming I've got the endurance in me, and 1:25 for a half. 

    I realize that my fitness is really improving now as the workouts since I joined the RNR_Boston group have been so incredibly helpful to me.  The problem is that my fitness is a moving target and so I don't know what my speeds should be now from Tempo to a goal pace for the SD Half Marathon this weekend. As of writing this, I'm going to just run with the 1:30 group (6:52/mile)  for the first 10K and see how i'm holding up and then speed up or slow down accordingly.