3.1, 6.2, 12.4, 13.1, 26.2

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Speed, Tempo and the Loop of Coin

It freaking snowed last night. Snowed! And not just a dusting mind you; it snowed like 4 inches. What the hell??? I was hoping we were past all the snow and drifting. I ran a couple days ago in shorts and a short-sleeve shirt – it was 65 degrees. And now, 36 hours later, it’s 28 degrees with snow on the ground. Over the past week and a half, the temps have been close to normal for this time of year and all the snow had melted. So it’s been nice to see my yard again lately. But thanks to the latest, seemingly never ending round of snow, I think I’ll move this weekend’s long run from Saturday to Sunday so I don’t have to contend with all the snow. I’m hoping the temps will raise enough to melt away some of the snow on the paths/sidewalks.

Running Route:
My long run last week was 15 miles at an 8:06 overall pace. At a couple times I was down around the 7:45 range, but for the most part I was disciplined enough to stay up around 8:00. According to the FIRST training guide, I was supposed to run an overall pace of 8:11, but I just can’t seem to get myself to go that “slow”. Not to sound like an asshole or anything, but it’s the truth. I’m finding out that for my long runs I only have one gear. And the speed of that gear depends on a variety of things: my body (breathing, stride, comfort, and fatigue), the pace, the elements, and the route. I suppose having just one gear is OK, as long as that gear becomes faster over time. Hence the new training regime.

For this long run, I started out from my house, ran to the southwest side of town, then over to the south east side, then north to Briarwood Golf Course and back. It was a good run. I was in shorts for the second long run in a row and the sun even managed to peek out a couple of times. I took my running gloves just to be sure my hands stayed warm, but I ended up carrying them most of the way.

Tuesday was speed work. I met LL at Saydel High School over my lunch hour and jammed out the following speed work out:

2 mile warm up
1200M @ 4:33
1000M @ 3:44
800M @2:58
600M @ 2:13
400M @ 1:27
(all with 200M rest in between)
10 min cool down

The whole workout only took a half hour, but holy shit did it kick my ass! Speed work is something new to my training routine this year and let me tell ya, it sucks balls. But, I know it’s what I need to help get my pace times down to BQ range. It’s one of those ‘glad you did it’ things when you’re done, but you really don’t enjoy it while you’re doing it. Know what I mean?

Thursday was supposed to be a tempo run of 1 mile easy, 5 miles at 7:15 and 1 mile easy (total of 7 miles), but instead of running on my own, I ran with my normal crew and they decided to run Loop of Coin. This route is definitely NOT conducive to tempo work. Its 6.7 miles of rolling and steep hills south of Grand in Des Moines. While the quaint roads and houses make for great scenery on the route, the course itself is too hilly to accomplish what I wanted. After taking the first mile easy, I tried to push pace in hopes to get down to the 7:15 pace range, but the hills were working against me. It was a forced pace that just wasn’t going to happen. So after about a mile of trying, I gave up and just let my body dictate how fast it wanted to go. Stride and breathing felt OK, but pace wasn’t what I was hoping for. In the end, I was probably around 7:50 – 8:00 for pace on a very hilly route, so I’m hoping that equates to 7:30ish on a flat route. Probably not, so that will put more focus on next week’s tempo run.
 Tomorrow will be a long run of 17 miles. Thanks to Shan, I’ve mapped out a new route around Ankeny that doesn’t have me backtracking and doing multiple loops. More on that in my next entry.

Training Update:
More of the same on the training front: squats, lunges, core work and shoulder strengthening. So not a whole lot going on there.

For those of you who watch WHO news in the evening, you might have seen GimpyRunning on TV Thursday night. TV-13 was filming a segment on weight loss at my gym (Gym F/X) downtown. The film crew, interviewer and the trainer being interviewed were camped out right in the middle of the open area where I do all of my workouts with the free weights, Bosu balls and yoga mats. I did a fairly good job of staying discreetly out of the way, behind the camera crew. A couple times I had to walk around them to get weights, so I tried to look as manly and “in-shape” as I could knowing that I might be in the shot. After they were done with the interview, I heard the reporter tell the camera guy to film footage for filler usage during the segment. So off went the camera man around the corner and I got some room back to finish my workout. I did a few leg exercises, then settled onto a yoga mat for some side planks rotations. So there I am, cranking away when all of a sudden I have that ‘someone is watching me’ feeling. I glance up and sure as shit, there’s the camera, camped out right next to me, filming away. In the end only a few seconds of me doing side planks and shoulder presses was in the segment, but the camera was close enough there’s no mistaking that is was my ugly mug front-and-center on the screen. I watched the segment online and had to chuckle at myself for being pretty much the only guy they show actually working out in the gym. What can I say, I guess they needed a pretty face for the camera to fall in love with. LOL. OK, maybe not. The link to the story is below. Check it out; I’m not currently charging for autographs and I’d be happy to sign some chests.

Link: http://www.whotv.com/news/who-story-diet-weight-loss-031810,0,730111.story

Non-Running Thoughts of the Week:
Here are a few non-running thoughts swirling around my melon these days:

- As reported in my last entry, I tried to watch The Informant! last week but just couldn’t get into it. Shan watched it a couple days later and said I should stick it out (I only got 20 minutes into it before turning it off) because it’s actually a really good flick. So, I’ll try to watch it again this weekend. I’ll let you know what I think in my next entry.

- I wonder if I’m bad luck to David Beckham. The guy hasn’t missed a soccer game due to injury since his career began and the day after I bought his Adidas indoor soccer shoe, he blows out his Achilles tendon. Sorry David, my bad. They’re pretty sweet shoes though.

- This last round of snow is just stupid. Stupid and it serves no purpose to keep snowing.

- I’m typing this blog entry using my 55” LED TV as the monitor. Our laptop has an HDMI port that connects to the TV. The other day I bought a wireless keyboard and mouse so I can do exactly what I’m doing now: sitting my lazy butt on the couch and typing this entry. As soon as I’m done with this, I’m going to watch David After Dentist and other random junk on YouTube for about an hour.

- How cool would it be if we could all be a super hero? What would your super power be? Mine would be the ability to refrain from saying stupid shit out loud. There’s just no telling how powerful I could be with that ability.

Running Rant of the Week
Old Man Winter, why are you being so mean? First we endure the worst winter we’ve had in a decade, pounding us with record-breaking cold temperatures, then you ease-up and let it be nice (seasonal) out for a couple weeks and now there’s four inches of snow on the ground again. And most recently, the idea of flooding went from a possibility to a reality. What the hell? Did Mother Nature piss you off somehow and this is how you’re getting back at her; creeping your crappy season into spring? I mean, come on, if you don’t let up soon, Father Time is going to be pissed that you’re messing with his woman (oh you know they’re an item). In the last seven days of running I’ve worn just shorts and s short-sleeve shirt on a Tuesday and then been in full winter gear on a Saturday. I dedicate this running rant to you, Old Man Winter. You annoy me and I can’t wait for you to go on your summer vacation.

Until next time. Remember, you’re not running until you’re GimpyRunning

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