Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nine and a Half Weeks

No, gentle readers, we are not talking about some sexually explicit, sadomasochistic movie. We are talking the amount of time left until the Seattle Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon. And I am starting to get pumped up about it!

My running has started to pick up a bit these last few weeks. This week, I have only done two running workouts, and my hamstrings are just a bit sore, so I stuck to cross training and a short walk today instead of running. This upcoming Saturday, we have an eight miler, which will be my longest distance since participating in the Country Music Half Marathon nearly a year ago. So I want my legs to recover in time for that.

Tuesday, I did speed work. Well, I call it speed work – you might not. Using my trusty Ironman watch, I set 30 second run intervals and 60 second walk intervals. Then I ran the 30 second intervals at about as fast a pace as I could maintain for that length of time, which is probably about a six minute mile. I planned on doing this for two miles, but after just one mile I was getting really tired and cut back some during the return mile. Even so, it was a really good workout. It did leave my hamstrings sore, though. From there, I went and spoke at a fall team recruitment meeting.

Yesterday, I ran after work with Chuck, head coach for our team. It was my second after work Wednesday “group” workout, and felt really good. We started out in a cool, moderate rain, and were soaked to the skin within minutes. We could see the sharp line between rain and sun just to our right as the rain and wind pounded us. After about a mile and a half, the rain stopped, and after about two miles, we were casting shadows as the sun attempted in vain to dry us. I put on a dry shirt back at the car, which helped, and did stretching. That was a four mile run, and it took 42 minutes. Hopefully, we start getting additional teammates to come out during the Wednesday runs.

For yesterday’s run, I changed my run interval to 4.5 minutes and the walk interval to 2.25 minutes by adding 15 seconds to the run and subtracting 15 seconds from the walk. When I first started training this winter, I was walking 3 minutes and running 2, so this is a nice improvement. I’ve seen a corresponding change in speed from about a 12 minute mile average to about 10.5. I am also beginning to find a run pace that feels comfortable, although it still seems to vary all over the place. When we started yesterday, we were running at 9.75 minutes per mile, according to Chuck’s GPS. But the last couple of miles were at an 8.5 pace. My walking pace is somewhere between 13 and 14 minutes, depending on how my legs feel. Using the new watch makes doing the intervals so much easier. I love it, and consider it $50 well spent.

It is pretty cool to think that I am just over nine weeks away from another Team in Training event, and my first time in Seattle. My goal – and we will see if I get there – is to be doing six minute run and one minute walk intervals by the time of the race. If I can do that, I’ll cover about 4,000 feet with every seven minute cycle, or a mile every 9.25 minutes on average. That would mean a half marathon of just over two hours, although with a porta potty break or two and time to snag a few photos, would probably take it up to 2:05 or 2:10. Now frankly, that time just is not likely, but my original goal of under 2:30 seems very doable right now. More importantly, where running seemed like a struggle a few months ago, I am actually starting to enjoy it right now.


TNTcoach Ken said...

Enjoying running??? You must be doing it wrong! Hey, I remember that movie, does that make us old????? Keep up the great work young man.

Elayne said...

Can't wait to see pictures and hear all about it! Good luck with these next 9 weeks of your training!
Cheering from Texas :)

donate a car said...

Doing good! Keep it up! Although I'm pretty sure you've improved dramatically since it's been 2 years!