Sunday, March 22, 2009

Road to May 17

Next time I plan a run in the afternoon, I’ll have to consider the aromatic spots along the way. Talk about distracting! I took a 15-miler today – four warm-up, 10 miles at 8:29/mile and 1+ cool down – to wrap up a 48-mile training week, which almost ended with more than one bucket of fried chicken.

And I don’t generally meat! (Unless, of course, you give me $2 burger night, or even dollar dogs.)

By noonish it was 20 degrees warmer than my typical 8-9 a.m. start. I was also more than 20 times hungrier by that time. Tour de Lakeshore makes for a mostly think-free run, but wouldn’t you know that it’s blocked up with wafty food joints—a couple Italian restaurants, several grills and burger joints, Wendy’s, Burger King and more than a few KFCs. Torture. Pure torture.

The run marked another solid week of training for the Cleveland Marathon – 9 miles around 8:45/mile on Tuesday, 18 with E on Wednesday around 9+/mile, 6 trail miles with E and Salty, and 15 mile today – and the beginning of figuring out what I’d like to do in that race.

When I decided to run Cleveland, I had hoped to just break four hours. Seriously: 3:59:59.99 would have been OK for me. But then I started picking up pace in my runs and feeling more confident with distance. Then I had all these fast birdies chirping in my ear. All this made me start to wonder: what could I do?

After last week’s PR at St. Malachi, I started adjusting my training paces (i.e., my “base” pace inched from 9:18-10:14 to 8:47-9:43) and reminding myself during long runs not to relax into something more like recovery pace. I’d like to incorporate a few more tempo runs—I’ve been touch-and-go on any speed-work lately—over the next several weeks, work on my distance pace, get in more progression runs and take the Hermes 10-miler at a serious pace.

By early May, then, I should begin to understand what I can do on May 17. Do I join the 3:50 pace group or dare I so much as think about 3:45… 3:40, even? Obviously, it’s easy to say, sitting on the couch and feeling fine, that I’d like to push for 3:40. Only the coming weeks will tell, though.

So, let’s see what they’ll say.


Mnowac said...

ooooh I can't wait to read your race report. I think you could totally do 3:45!

Kate said...

I think 3:50 is safest. It's still a big PR, and better to run with 3:50 and streak ahead at the end than runnning with 3:45 and blowing out.