Friday, July 27, 2007

Since Last Saturday

Well, I cannot take credit for the race the Winking Lizard has given me: I’m listed as finishing in 30:06 at 7:32/mile. I wish that were true, but it can’t possibly be true! I’ve sent them another message (wow, they’re going to hate me and ban me from all Hermes races) to explain their, umm, re-mistake… but we’ll see how that turns out.

My biggest quip is that at this point I don’t know where I finished! I don’t really have an idea how far behind the gun I started—but I know it wasn’t more than 4:00. And I think that the people who did run some really great times should have their due credit.

I may never know what my real time was for this race. And it figures that the one race in which I went tech-free (no iPod, no HRM, no watch; I wore my armband to carry my ID), the coordinators dorked up the times.

For the sake of my own progress, however, I’m going to stick to my originally assumed time of 34:06, 8:31/mile. Or something like that.

And I would like to improve that pace this Sunday at the Pro Football Hall of Fame 5-mile Race. I'm still getting a grip of my racing capabilities, so suffice it to say that my goal for this run is simple improvement. So, even 8:30/mile will do. Once I get a few more races under my belt, I'll understand how to up my own... ante.

In preparation for Sunday, I've had the following physical week:
  • Monday: 1-mile walk, 3-mile neighborhood run at 9:16/mile
  • Tuesday: super yoga (right side)
  • Wednesday: swam 2,200 yards; super yoga (left side)
  • Thursday: 7.11-mile Stow-area run at 9:25/mile
After my one-month back rehab, I felt like weekend races were cutting into my long runs. But then I realized it was just an excuse. So, I headed out after work today and took a longish run: 7.11 miles around Stow.

It's been over a month since I've trolled the streets of Stow. Ever since my back injury in June, I've walked/run pretty short distances around my own neighborhood. But my route boredom finally overtook my fear of something bad happening today.

While it was nice to get back to "distance" running, I was exhausted by miles 5-6! Granted, I took off at 5:30 p.m. after another draining workday and a few days of bad-sleep exhaustion, but I just felt like I was sputtering out in ways I didn't a couple months ago. At least I didn't stop.

My first four miles were semi-strong (9:00, 9:17, 9:17, 9:06) and more than semi-hilly. Somewhere between miles two and three, I was crawling up one of those endless grades and reminding myself that pushing myself here would help me in the next Cleveland race covered in other endless grades. Remind me I said that when I'm crawling up and down the near west side of Cleveland again!

Once I crossed mile four, however, I appeared to have lost my calories from the Greens+ chocolate energy bar I ate before my run, the Greek salad pita I had for lunch, the apple I had for an afternoon snack, the flax and oats I ate for breakfast. My energy was sapped. So, I closed the run with 9:35, 9:39 and 9:28 miles. It was a difficult hike up the final hill to my car, but (while I'm talking food) it was worth it to make my way home to orange roughy with piquant peppers and garlicky potatoes. Mmmm...

The only downside to the longish post-work run is that my lower back is a little sore now. At least it's a generalize lower back pain, and nothing particularly sciatica. Whew! And I'm hoping that it gives me a good night's sleep because it's been a rough week in that area. Neil and I went to a concert on Tuesday night... and we're still recovering. We tried to get to bed by 10 p.m. last night, but the sleep was still crap. You know, they say you can't catch up on your sleep in one night. Why is it, then, that you can dork it up all in one night? Oh well...

So, what do I mean by "super yoga"? It's Pablo Domene Lee yoga. As you know, I've been into yoga for a few years and have gotten more yogified since my June back injury. Nevertheless, Pablo always kicks my butt. This week was no different.

I've been plugging away at the same vinyasa yoga podcast for over a year, and I'm still not able to complete the entire workout! In fact, I finished sun salutations and flow for my right side on Tuesday, but I was so exhausted at that point that I had to wait until Wednesday to repeat the sun salutations and continue the flow for my left side.

So, I was sore on my right side Tuesday and then evened out the soreness on Wednesday. Today, I was pretty whipped on both sides. No wonder it was a difficult run! But one of these days, I will complete the entire workout. If you'd like a challenge, check out this yoga podcast.

In light of that soreness, I took to the pool on Wednesday (and I have my sights set on Friday swimming so I can finally get in two swims a week!) for 2,200 yards, including:

  • 1,000 yards free
  • 500 yards one-arm butterfly
  • 500 yards free
  • 200 yards IM

I've only been swimming once each week, but I'm still feeling strong in the pool. Strong, but not too fast. There were a few faster swimmers in the pool on Wednesday, however. And I happily outswam them. In fact, I kept ahead of an above-average swimmer over my first 1,000 yards as she did a set of ten 50-yard sprints. Not bad.

Now, if only I could get the Kent State rec. center to turn the lap pool into a sometimes-wave pool to simulate open-water swimming, that would be great. It's been a while since I've done any kind of group swimming or open-water... but I'll have to figure it out by Aug. 12!


B Bop said...

Monroe Falls is a nice place to train. There is no current or chop obviously, but the lap lane is approx. 200 yards and is good for practicing navigating murky waters. There are also trails/roads to run there and it is right off the bike & hike trail. It is only $30 for a season pass. CTC has a group swim there on Monday nights @ 6:00. Let me know if you need directions :-)

Jim said...

Such a bummer about the messed up timing. I mean sheesh, that's why we pay good money to enter races - to get an accurate course and an accurate time. You're a trooper for how well you're handling it. Good luck at the NFL 5-Miler. Just don't get in the way of any linebackers. CRUNCH! (And wear your watch!)

The Salty One said...

Stupid, Hermes! Don't feel bad about nagging them. Race after race they botch this stuff, so they deserve it! They used to be good and just in the past couple of years are just concerned with staging an event and not with staging a race. If you're looking for a serious race, avoid hermes for the most part (hopefully, the River Run will be an exception!)

That's so great your going to enter a tri! I am so excited to see how you do. Also, good luck in Canton. It's supposed to be a great race!