10 Mile Run

>> Thursday, September 24, 2009

Yesterday morning, I got up at 4:45 am for an early morning run. It was going to be my last long run before the TC 10 Mile in 10 days. Some of my longer runs have been rough lately, so I was trying to figure out if I had been doing something wrong. So in this run, I changed a few factors:

- Cool early morning run vs. warm mid-day runs.
- Older Nikes vs. newer New Balance shoes.
- Gels prior to the run vs. Sharkies
- Start off easy vs. possibly going out too hard.

Long story short: none of those things worked. Again, like 2 posts ago, I’m NOT trying to sound depressed by having these not-so-great runs lately; I just know that my crazy goal of sub-60 in the TC 10 Mile ISN’T going to happen in 10 days.

My 9 miler 2 weeks ago ended with a 5:48 mile (uphill too!). Last week, my 9.5 miler ended with about a 5:55 mile (again, uphill). Yesterday, my 10 miler ended with a 6:06 mile that was mostly level. D’oh. As I’ve been adding a LITTLE distance to my long runs, I’ve been losing A LOT of speed.

Again, I’m not NOT going to shoot for the best possible race. I just want to make sure I go into it with realistic expectations. In my mind, I can still have a PERFECT day and get close to 60:00. That “perfect day” would also require a 20 mph wind out of the west (the race is point-to-point that heads mostly straight east). Maybe after a taper, my legs will feel “fresher.” Maybe with the race day excitement, I’ll be able to take 0:XX off each mile. I’m not throwing in the towel all together.

Oh yeah, my time.... I went out easy, and hit mile 1 in 7:15. I haven’t been that slow in a training run in a year or 2. I REALLY had trouble picking up the pace - most of the miles in the first half of the run were between 6:45 and 7:00. I hit the 5 mile turn-around in 34:51. I WAS able to pick it up on the way back, but not nearly enough. I made it back in 31:59 for a total of 1:06:50. It was a hard run, and I don’t know how much I can take off of that on race-day. I think sub-63 will be tough. Regardless, I don’t want to seem like I’m bitching about this. At the end of the day, if I can run a 65:00 10 mile, that’s still pretty darn good, and I’ll be happy with that.

BONUS: Here’s a pleasant little photo. What could this be?...

Yep, that’s my swass mark on the sidewalk just as the sun was coming up after my run. I stretched for a few minutes afterwards, and that was the little ass print that I left behind. A morning that ends in a “swass print” can’t be ALL that bad! ;)


Coach Liz 8:26 AM, September 24, 2009  

Hmm, that is a choice Swass photo there.

I think that you need to get off your feet and rest. No more long runs and keep your speedwork to no more than 20 minutes. REST and then REST SOME MORE.

You are going to do great.

Nicole 8:41 AM, September 24, 2009  

...yeah gotta agree with Coach Liz, you need to rest your body...you can't push push push without recovery...10 days out I would be tapering...taking it easy...week of the rest really easy with just some strides/pick ups to remind my legs what faster felt like! You're still a machine to be able to run a 6min/mile pace at 4:45...I can hardly walk at that time of the morning! :)

X-Country2 8:57 AM, September 24, 2009  

Coach Liz is very wise. Taper time.

Kim 9:04 AM, September 24, 2009  

take some time off for crying out loud. play with pharmie and the kitties. drink a beer. eat some tacos. rest those hurtin legs my friend!

Ian Simon 9:14 AM, September 24, 2009  

Don't worry about the first mile or two with timing - that'll be your warm-up run when you come to your race. If you're doing a hard 6-miler in training, say, you're only really interested in miles 3, 4 & 5 - the rest should be warm-up / cool-down. If you're slowing down over weeks, that's just fatigue building - as long as you shed it before your race, you'll be fine. Anything you do now should be quality (including recovery!).

Christi 9:19 AM, September 24, 2009  

I am going to side with everyone else. Take some time off!!!

Unknown 9:38 AM, September 24, 2009  

HAHAH! You had "swass"! :)

Kris 9:38 AM, September 24, 2009  

OK, superstar, no more feeling bad about anything sub-8:00. Why? Because that's about as fast as this body can do for anything beyond 2 miles and you're making me feel slow. LOL You are a fantastic runner, take a break recover and you'll do awesome at the TC-10. Just make sure to yell as you go flying by me at the start ;)

E-Speed 9:57 AM, September 24, 2009  

I have been feeling very much the same lately. I think as you increase the mileage and do those track workouts there is some sort of "breaking" point, but it isn't really breaking, it is just getting a bit sluggish and feeling a bit run down compared to how you were earlier in the training season doing the same thing.

Here's hoping the taper revives us both!

Unknown 9:59 AM, September 24, 2009  

It's rare that I get to talk about the best high school wrestling movie ever made - Visionquest! Basically, when athletes start to obsess about a goal and become so solitary focused on a time or performance rather than the overarching journey, performance can suffer (kind of a Native American ideal).

Take a step back, watch Visionquest and learn how to release yoursef from the "perfect race." You pointed to that in the post, but until you can just enjoy the journey that perfect race becomes almost unattainable. You'll get there!

Iron Girl Nyhus 10:13 AM, September 24, 2009  

I still think you can do it. And... I'm not just saying that :) Taper time and those legs will be super fresh. Get a massage too.

Anonymous,  10:15 AM, September 24, 2009  

Maybe something in the air, I have the ARMY 10 miler coming up and my runs have been HORRIBLE.

speaking of horrible, have you checked out Dr. Horrible's sing along blog? - Travis

NJ 10:23 AM, September 24, 2009  

Good luck in the TC 10. Get some rest thrown in there and your legs will feel fresh on the day of the race. Who knows, the cards may be in your favor and you could end up smoking the race.

Nice swass!

Aron 10:28 AM, September 24, 2009  

I bet after a little taper your legs will be fresh and you will be able to hit your goal... plus it will be in a race, that always helps the motivation :) good luck!!

Jennifer Harrison 10:49 AM, September 24, 2009  

Um, did you just take a picture of your butt juice? Eew. HA
ANYWAY, good luck at your 10 miler!!! You have been running well, so keep it up! (no pressure) and I get $5.00 if anyone sees you warming up.

Ulyana 12:50 PM, September 24, 2009  

I'm crossing fingers you get your wind! you are doing great!

Anonymous,  3:29 PM, September 24, 2009  

Everyone's sh-t smells the same, unless they're on meds. Ditto swass. I'd recognize YOURS in a swass FOREST. How come?

Chris Jones 4:41 PM, September 24, 2009  

I'm not a coach or anything, so it probably isn't my place, but I wonder if your training plan is all that wise. Long runs should be run at significantly slower than race pace. You'll wear your body down trying to achieve a "race" performance before the race itself. You need to optimize your training so that you arrive at the starting line in peak form, meaning that you achieve a performance faster than any workout you have completed in preparation for the event.

Were your faster times from afternoon runs? I find that I run faster in the evening, because my legs are already warmed up and stretched out through normal life activities. In the morning, my legs are stiff, and I have difficulty picking up the pace, just like you described in this run.

My advice, even though I am not a coach (and even though you're a much more talented runner than I am) would be to rest, continue doing relatively easy speed work, and then rest some more. You'll arrive at the starting line feeling a lot different than you did this morning. Just make sure to warm up the morning of the race. Frankly, I'll be shocked if you don't break 60.

Either way, good luck, and sorry I'm such a pedantic douche. I'm not normally like this. You'll do great.

Kristin Bradfield 9:41 PM, September 24, 2009  

Sometimes we surprise ourselves on race day. I'd take it easy until then and see how it goes.

Nice swass ;)

GoBigGreen 10:23 PM, September 24, 2009  

I get $5 too if you warm up. and I get $5 if i can keep you in my sights for more than the 1st mile:)
You will do great. and how did you get that picture???

Calyx Meredith 9:38 AM, September 25, 2009  

Swass? Yet another new word added to the lexicon. Quite the edublog you've got going on here! :D

Missy 11:30 AM, September 25, 2009  

I was eating...thanka a lot!

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