RACE WEEK!!! (Thoughts on the TC 10 Mile)

>> Monday, September 26, 2011

As I mentioned last week, I've been following Coach Jen's workouts from my TC 10 Mile training last year. But I've missed pretty much ALL of my cross-training workouts, and I've missed about half of my runs. But, as I mentioned in my "Tip of the Week" post a few days ago, I've been making sure to try to get some "race pace" miles incorporated into my long runs.

This post will be split into 5 small sections:

A. Year-to-year comparison
B. Splits from the last 2 years at the TC 10 Mile
C. Predictions for this years TC 10 Mile
D. Other race-day thoughts
E. Why I haven't been training as consistently this year

Part A: Year-to-year comparison:

Here's how some recent "important" runs went (comparing last year to this year but without the full notes as to not give away all of Jen's coaching secrets), and then my thoughts on my current level of fitness:

- Wed Aug 31: Medium distance run with last 2 miles at sub 6:05 pace.
2010: 2 miles in 12:00.
2011: 2 miles in 12:01.
"Holy hell. I might be in better shape than I think this year!"

- Sat Sept 3: Long with with Ross. I briefly posted about this 3 weeks ago. I crashed at the end of this run. Walked twice.
"I'm no where near the shape I was in last year. Poop."

- Thurs Sept 8: Long run: 2 miles easy, 1 mile building, 5 miles FASTER than race pace.
2010: 29:26 for the 5 miles.
2011: 31:44 for the 5 miles.
"I'm depressed. Shoot." But, for what it's worth, I did this in the heat of the day between class and a school ceremony and on a course with slight more hills than I'm used to.

- Sun Sept 11: Long descending run: warm up for 2, then descend for 5.
Descend miles in 2010: 6:22, 6:25, 6:12, 5:52, 5:47 for a total of 30:38.
Descend miles in 2011: 6:59, 6:29, 6:14, 6:01, 5:41 for a total of 31:23.
"Slower than last year, sure. But that's the FIRST sub-6 I saw in a LONG time! Yay!!"

- Tues Sept 13: All-out descending tempo. After a WU and before a CD, descend 4 tempo miles.
2010: 6:03, 5:55, 5:42, 5:45 for a total of 23:25.
2011: 5:52, 6:02, 5:45, 5:45 for a total of 23:24!
"ONE second FASTER than last year! YA-HOOOOO!!!" Sure, it's not a perfect "descend," but I was working my ASS off for the run. And I KNOW this 1 run doesn't mean I'm in better shape than last year at this time. Duh. Still... I'm happy.

- Sun Sept 18: Long run: 2 miles WU with 5 miles at race pace, then long cool-down.
2010: 29:26 for the 5 miles.
2011: 30:00 for the 5 miles.
"This is AWESOME!! Yes, it's still 34 seconds slower, but this was a killer run! Confidence booster!"

Part B: Splits from the last 2 years at the TC 10 Mile:

Here are my splits from the last 2 years of running the TC 10 Mile superimposed over the elevation chart:

1:02:43 in 2009
59:05 in 2010

Part C: Predictions for this years TC 10 Mile:

I don't have the endurance this year that I had last year. At this point in Sept in 2010, I'd ran 97 miles. This year I'm 21 miles shy of that (76 miles), and I haven't swam or biked in the past 5 weeks! Last year, I swam 20,000 yards in Sept and biked (and hit the trainer) a bit. All of this will hurt me around mile 6-8 of the race. I'll be H.U.R.T.I.N.G. at that point, and I'll have little to pull me through.

If I had to give my prediction of my finishing time, I'd have to break it down like this:

- 10 Mile PR (sub-59:05): 0.00% chance. Nope. Not happening. Never in a million years. Don't call me negative. Call me realistic.

- Sub-60:00: 10% chance. This MIGHT be possible this year. One fact that needs to be thrown into the mix is that I've gone sub-60 before; my body knows how to do it. Now, WILL I be able to do it on less training? Doubtful. But if the morning is perfect, my legs are light, and there's a hurricane-force wind from the west... it's possible. (It's a point-to-point run with the final 4.5 miles heading straight east down Summit Ave.)

- "Pre-coached" 10 Mile PR (sub-1:02:19): 65% chance. I think this is what will happen. Using what Coach Jen gave me last year will keep me working hard. I've been doing many of the "important" run workouts this year from my training log last year. She taught me how to suffer, but I don't think I can "suffer my way" to a sub-60 finish. But I THINK I can keep it under 1:02:19.

- 10 Mile PW (1:02:44 or slower): 25% chance. This is quite possible. My SPEED is there, but my ENDURANCE is not. So I could really die in the closing miles.

And all of this could be thrown out the door on race day. This is all just a crap shoot. We'll see what this weekend brings.

Part D: Other race-day thoughts:

- I'll probably go out somewhere between my slower start in 2009 and my faster start last year. I bet I'll hit mile 5 in under 31:00. (Heck, it could be close to 30:00). But the true test will come at mile 6, 7, 8, and 9...

- I might walk. I've come to terms with that. My SPEED will tell me to keep up the pace, but my ENDURANCE will be cursing my mother under it's breath. I will try to keep from doing this, but I just might have to take a walk break through an aid station or 2 around mile 7 - 9.

- My closing miles will be fast. When I question my endurance, I usually ease up too much in the middle, and then have a lot to use in the final mile or 2. So no matter how I finish, mile 10 should look good on paper. This isn't a good thing.

- Here's what I'm worried about: If I realize I'm going to finish at some random 1:01:XX time, I'll need to fight off the urge to walk. My mind will be saying "But it's not a PR. It's not sub-60. If you finish 20 seconds slower, it really won't make a difference. Come on... just take a short rest." I do NOT want to give-in to that voice. IF I stop to walk, I want to make sure it's because I'm truly hashed; NOT because I don't feel like I have anything specific to shoot for.

Part E: Why I haven't been training as consistently this year:

I don't always want to be away from my little guy, Henry. And those of you close to Pharmie and I know the truth in this statement: he's been a LOT of work. (He's officially colicky, he has some intestinal issues, and he's still eating like a 1 month old even though he's 3.5 months.)

Saturday morning, Henry and I hung out for most of the day:

Cozy and sleepy while Pharmie went for a run

Smily after his nap

Rolling around with Ella in the guestroom

Sat night giggling in the kitchen. Direct link: http://youtu.be/TzCdkggX8Gg

Back with a bit more on my thoughts on SPEED vs ENDURANCE in run training soon.

Happy Monday!


TriMOEngr 8:08 AM, September 26, 2011  

Seriously? Henry is SO worth it all! You still have laid down some serious miles at a serious pace. Don't give in to the quit trying demons and I'm sure next weekend's race will be fantastic. On the off chance it isn't, come home and watch those giggle videos again and it won't matter. Just want to bottle those up and keep them forever. Too sweet.

Jennifer Harrison 9:50 AM, September 26, 2011  

Steve, I think this is a great overview and honest! YOU are right, short end speed is still there..but that muscular endurance probably is not like it was last year - but that is OK - priorities!!! Little Henry!

Just take the first mile out a little more conservatively than last year for sure - and have a great race and HAVE some fun while suffering! GOOD LUCK!

GoBigGreen 10:52 AM, September 26, 2011  

Steve I am glad you are healthy and ready to go at the start line. think of the injuries and of course Henry and i know once you are running you are going to have a blast out there ! no matter your time. Good luck!

Carolina John 12:54 PM, September 26, 2011  

Good luck this weekend. I think you're right on. Tough to pull out that many sub 6 min miles with the current state of muscular endurance you get having a newborn. Go have some fun.

Laura Wheatley 5:56 PM, September 26, 2011  

OK Steve I thought I would have something insightful to say about your training/racing...but that giggly video at the end just killed me!! HE IS SO CUTE!!

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