Leading Up To My Last Long Run

>> Monday, September 20, 2010

This is a “week in review” post about the last 10 days or so of training. I don’t want to post all of my coach’s secrets, so I’ll give just a few of her goals for each workout. I’m now on a downslide for the TC 10 Mile in just under 2 weeks!!

• Thursday, 9/9: 4x1600 on the track. Coach's quote: "4 x 1600m - yes....but with less rest today....but here are the times I want you to hit - NO FASTER - #1: 5.45, #2: 5.40, #3: 5.30-5:35. #4: MAX EFFORT - what can you do here? REST is 2 - 2:30."

I nailed this workout, as I mentioned in the “mental” running post from this weekend. I gave myself 2:15 rest, and I did 5:44, 5:41, 5:30, and 5:15. Nice.

• Friday, 9/10: skipped an easy swim. Yes, yes, I know. I skipped 2 workouts this weekend. Bad Steve. But I just missed an easy(ish) swim and a super easy spin on the bike. I made sure to fit in my long run (Saturday). This was when Pharmie and I were in Ohio for the Rev3 Half Iron race.

• Saturday, 9/11: 75:00 run with hard finish: Coach's quote: "WU 2miles easy.....then, here we go....I want you to start at 6.35-40 pace and descend for 5 miles down below 6 min....you can do this.....THIS may be only 5-10" per mile and that is OK.....the key is to drive yourself sooo hard for the last 2 miles of these 5.. so you finish TOTALLY 100% done."

I ended up running 10.84 miles out around Cedar Point Amusement Park. Those hard 5 miles were 6:22, 6:25, 6:12, 5:52, 5:47. I was done. Good workout.

• Sunday, 9/12: skipped an easy bike. Cheered for Pharmie’s team at Rev3, and took 600+ photos. That counts for something. ;)

• Monday, 9/13: longer interval swim, and some core work.

• Tuesday, 9/14: key tempo run. Coach's quote: "Wu 2 miles easy...then, we are going to progressively work on speed... I want miles 3, 4, 5, 6 ALL getting progressively faster. THE goal is that each mile gets faster and you need to control that - last mile, #6 is all out - I mean ALL OUT - how fast can you do that one? Should be suffering. OK? Mile #7 is cd easy. Ok to crawl."

Suffering and crawling. OK. Got it. (Yikes.) Those hard miles were 6:03, 5:55, 5:42, and 5:45. That last mile was up a hill, so I think it WAS a harder effort, and if on the flat, maybe would have been like 5:40. Regardless, I finished this run TOASTED. I walked for 4:00 and even then, when I started jogging, my core was ON FIRE. Good news: my heel was still cooperating with me.

• Wednesday, 9/15: a bunch of 100s in the pool, and some core work.

• Thursday, 9/16: easy(ish) 7 mile run. Legs still felt grand.

• Friday, 9/17: easy spin. Coach's quote: "60 min easy spin - just FOR FUN....if you have a MTB that is super too....enjoy!"

I Facebooked a high school buddy who lives near some MTB trails and asked if he wanted to go for a quick ride. I met at his house and we headed out on the trails:

The main trails were closed because it had been rainy for the last couple of days, so I just followed Aaron as we looked for other trails to ride. I took this photo just as he hopped off his bike and said, “Uhh, I think we need to turn around.”

What? You can’t jump a 40 foot downed oak tree?

Aaron had to get to class, but I stayed out for another half hour or so. Once Aaron had left me, I had a pretty sweet wipeout. The trail suddenly turned sharply, headed down a steep hill, and got all “rooty.” My bike slid out from under me, and I bailed out right into a tree. Just got a few scrapes on one shin and some scratches from my pedal inside the other leg. As Aaron said earlier in the day: “It’s not a good day of riding unless you break skin.”

I finished up a little muddy:

Yeah, I know my helmet strap is loose, but I just wiped out. Everything got shifted.

Slightly muddy bike

Nothing a little “hose down” couldn’t handle back at home

• Saturday, 9/18: LONGEST RUN BEFORE THE RACE. Coach's quote: "80 min run, after the 2 mile warm up easyyyy, then run 1 mile moderate to get the body warmed up.... THEN... I want you to run 5 miles sub 6. CD easy rest of time. NAIL IT."

This was the test. This is where I tried to keep in mind a lot of Jen’s pointers from our “mental” running conversation that I posted about on Saturday. Here’s what I said when I logged my workout:

Started the first hard mile. Lots of people on the trail, but tried to focus on MY pace. Nearing the end of this mile, without looking at my watch, I felt like I had MAYBE ran this mile a bit too slow. Sure enough: 6:10

Tried to up the pace a little right away. Needed to be sub-6 for the next mile. 5:55

Tried to keep it strong. Thought I ran it a LITTLE harder than this: 5:58

Was hurting, but not bad. Tried to keep it strong. Felt like I had a decent amount left, so I tried to start upping the pace. 5:55

Starting the last hard mile, I realized I was hurting, but not too bad. Figured I'd just go hard. I knew this would be a fast mile, and that was maybe NOT a good thing - I should have been able to go harder in the first few miles. 5:28

Recap of the hard 5 miles: 6:10, 5:55, 5:58, 5:55, 5:28. 29:26 total.

Walked for 2:00 and realized I didn't hurt NEARLY as much as after my hard 4 miles earlier this week! And I realized that during this run, my mental state was better than earlier this week. Earlier this week, I didn't want to finish my hard 4 miles - I thought I'd have to start walking early. During these hard 5 miles, it was never an issue of wanting to stop - it was just about how hard I could go. Minor victory. (It'd be a major victory if I had lowered my mile 1-4 times more so I didn't have so much left for mile 5.)

All-in-all, it was around 11.5 miles of running. As soon as I had updated my workout, I got this not from Jen:

NOW THIS IS PERFECT!!!!!!!!!! IF you went out harder then you would not have been able to run a 5.28. I am OVER JOYED with that 5.28 and you feeling like you could go harder and had more. THAT is why I have you do these runs....so you know how hard hard really is! MOST people think they know what hard is - MOST do not. PERFECTLY done. This should give you confidence for that 10 miler. AWESOME! rest up!

Oh, and I had JUST picked up some Zoot Compression Calf Sleeves the day before (for cheap!), so I tried them out for the run:

Post run

They stayed put and were comfortable to run in. If it’s not too warm of a day, I’ll wear these for the TC 10 Mile. (I wore them the rest of the day for recovery [which included 2 weddings] as you can see in the previous post.)

That got me thinking. Now I’m one step closer to looking like my archenemy racing buddy, Jenny Wilcox. She can ALWAYS be seen in calf sleeves:

Thankfully, I still have the better legs

• Sunday, 9/19: easy 5 mile run. Coach Jen wanted me to get in 4 runs this week IF my heel was feeling OK. And it was. It got a little sore during this run, but not bad.

So I think I'm on track for my sub-60 goal at the TC 10 Mile. It's going to be far from easy, but it IS in the realm of possibilities. I'll be back to over analyze the race next week when it's closer to "go" time. Have a great week everyone!


Kim 9:17 AM, September 20, 2010  

Just finding your blog from Beth's! Very cool! Sounds like we were both at Rev 3 together as well!! LOVE those spandex and I'm a runner by nature so I can't wait to see you kick this 10 miler in the pants!

Kim 9:17 AM, September 20, 2010  

Just finding your blog from Beth's! Very cool! Sounds like we were both at Rev 3 together as well!! LOVE those spandex and I'm a runner by nature so I can't wait to see you kick this 10 miler in the pants!

zbsports 8:20 PM, September 20, 2010  

Congratulation, you are doing good, nice run there. I love the post so cool, it detailed every moment of the run. Nice!!!

Beth 7:03 AM, September 21, 2010  

Awesome training Steve!! You are so ready. I think you will surprise yourself big in 2 weeks time! :)

Jennifer Harrison 7:53 AM, September 21, 2010  

AWESOME STEVE is right...!!! Time to keep your eyes on the prize - and finish the last few key workouts and then rest!

Thomas 10:07 AM, September 23, 2010  

On what planet do you have better legs than her? You're fast, you're funny but your legs don't qualify as better. (And she has better abs...)

Good luck with your PR on the 10 miler - relax and let your work payoff.

Steve Stenzel 10:15 AM, September 23, 2010  

Thomas, THAT'S the joke... ;) She has great legs! Mine are hairy, frail, and gross! Ha!

Thomas 1:26 PM, September 24, 2010  

You only need to explain every other joke...I was fun'in ya as well...

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