Oct 22, 2008

October Project: week 3

There were 8 updates last week, so 6 this time.

10p16 - asphalt - 1.52 miles in 15:16, 10:03 pace. Lamest run ever. Went to Costco with my wife, she had to pick up a pair of eyeglasses. I decided that the only chance I would get to run all day would be then. Parked the car, gave her the keys, said "pick me up at target." 15 minutes later, I was at Target and she was picking me up. This was nighttime, through parking lots.

10p17 - asphalt - 3.09 miles in 32:07, 10:24 pace. 281ft of climbing This was a nighttime mixed bag. I ran to a small park in Suffern where there are a couple of short trails, then on the way back I decided to run up a hill, only because I've not done any hill work in a while. It was surprisingly hard, and I felt dehydrated.

10p18 - trails - 3.12 miles 33:27, 10:43 pace. 375ft of climbing Saturday morning before breakfast run. Had a very busy day ahead of me, and it was great to start it with a short, brisk trail run at Ramapo Reservation.

10p19 - track - 1.05 miles in 10:21, 09:53 pace legs felt tired and wanted a day off. An easy mile at the track seemed like a good compromise.

10p20 - track - 1.11 miles in 10:01, 09:01 pace legs still felt tired, and the day was kind of crazy. so I put in my mile, but went harder than the previous day so I could feel like I actually worked at this. Lap 4 was run in 1:56, my fastest 400 ever. My wife saw me on the final turn and described me as "intensely focused," which made me think of David Goggins (people describe him that way.) I then hit myself in the head with a hammer for having the nerve to compare my fat, wuss ass to David Goggins.

10p21 - trails - 3.39 miles in 39:29, 11:39 pace. 527ft of climbing It actually got very dark on this run, and the fallen leaves covering the rocky trail made it a twisted-ankle mine field in the low light. I need to get some more night-time trail running in, as it still freaks me out and I need to sack up and get over it. The deer really come out on this normally-crowded trail at night!

Thoughts on the October Project

At times it seems so pointless. I'm running every day just to run every day. I like that I have a streak, but then I'm having a streak just to have a streak. Some days seem like I didn't train at all, some days I train despite my body telling me, "take a rest day." As of today, I'm run 21 days in a row and that ties a personal record - by tonight I'll be working on a new PR. I often figure I'll probably try to continue running every day in November, just to keep the streak alive, but probably give it up the first day the weather is truly nasty this winter. My legs feel tired all the time now and I hope, perhaps incorrectly, that they'll adapt to the running everyday thing. They don't seem to have adapted yet. Also, my miles seem low, so far I've run only 65 miles all month, including the Chicago Marathon, my only run over 5 miles in three weeks. I'm compromising quality distance running for this idea of daily running.

At other times I feel like a million bucks and running seems effortless despite the tired legs. I know this is a direct result of three weeks of consistent training, something that I normally struggle with. I figure that the daily mileage will go up in time, as the speed has already gone up noticeably. If I can keep up the consistent training and make a habit out of it, such that I run 5-6 days per week every week all year, I know I will find success in my races and in my fitness. I love running fast as much as I love running distance - both are extremely hard, and both are extremely rewarding.

General Update

Weight is stagnating. I tend to lose about 4lbs during the week and gain it back on the weekend. Looking at the calendar, this cycle has been happening for about four weeks now. I'm still in the low 290s, and it feels like a plateau, even though it's really just non-discipline and inconsistency.

I'm finding it easier and easier to maintain a 10-minute pace without getting too winded, and even though at this point I wouldn't attempt it on distances longer than about 4 miles, I am curious as to whether I can realistically run a sub-1hr 10k right now. Probably not, but perhaps 1:02 is possible.. and 2 minutes really isn't much to make up over that distance.

Fun fact of the day: I've run in probably two-dozen races in my lifetime, including 5 marathons, 3 half-marathons, 3 ultras, god-knows-how-many 5ks, and several "strange" distances (my personal favorite: 4.01K at the wall street rat race) but I have never run a 10K race. Weird, eh? of course, I've done 6 miles numerous times in training, and I've always tipped a hat when I passed the 10K mark at longer races that point it out, but never a 10K race.

My first 50-mile race that I finish.

With the JFK50 31 days away, I'd like to get long runs in this weekend and next, and really put forth a big effort in the race. I've been advised to go hard in the first ten miles, which goes against every instinct in my body. But the adviser knows more about this particular race, and racing in general, than I do, so I'm seriously considering it. My goal is just to finish, and with the last 35 miles being relatively flat, it might be good to get to them sooner rather than later. Not sure. The field will be very sparse with the 5am start, and it'll be dark for the first hour or two of the race. So we'll see. I am committed to finishing this race, and the only way I won't is either injury or if I miss the cutoffs, like Vermont. I don't expect either.

My first 100-mile race.

Rocky Raccoon is 108 days away and, just so there's no confusion, I am extremely freaked out about it. I think about it on each of my training runs, and it has basically become an 800-lb gorilla on the horizon. I don't know how I'm going to properly train in the dead of winter. I don't know how much weight I can lose. I feel like I have wasted a month in terms of weight loss, because today I am a mere 3 lbs lighter than I was a month ago, and I expected to be 15-20. OTOH, I appreciate so much the encouragement that ultrarunning friends are giving me, it's really helping. So, yeah. Look for a post next week with more details on this..