Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sept 13 - Tough 4x1 milers at tracks

The last time 4x1 mile repeats were held, I did 7:47, 7:30, 7:20 and 7:02. The relative speed in the last couple of miles was satisfying, but the large spread was indicative of the fact that I should have pushed more in the first couple. So, this time I was determined to do close to 7:30 repeats right from the start.

I made a mistake, and did not do that. Instead, I went overboard and did the first mile in 7:20 (I was feeling good). And the second one in 7:18. But the third mile brought out the consequences. I had aimed to hold 7:20 in the last two miles. That means a 1:50 400m lap. However, after the first lap (1:50) in the third mile, I was barely able to do a 1:52 in the 2nd lap, and while consciously trying to catch up in the 3rd lap I was still able to manage only a 1:55 in the 3rd (so 7 seconds behind for a 7:20 mile by now). Thanks to Rajeev who pushed me in the last lap I was able to do a 1:53 in the last lap to finish with a 7:25. But I was pretty spent by that time. The story was pretty similar in the last mile where the fast last lap helped counteract the time deficits of laps 2 and 3. I ended the last mile in 7:24.

Clearly, I pushed the limit here. Now that I know what it is, next time I do mile repeats, I will try a 7:30 in the first two miles and then see how I am feeling.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sept 9th - 22 miler at Sawyer Camp. Fun!

Yep, it was a lot of fun. The weather was excellent (about 60F) and I felt good throughout the run. I was late in the morning (started at about 7.45am) but kudos to Abheek, Pramod and Chakri for coming back for me after doing 1.5 miles one way. So, they were always 3 miles ahead of me in the run. As we were all doing 22 miles, I had finished 19 when they finished their 22. Anil Rao (who has graduated from marathons to 50 milers and 100 milers) was volunteering at a water stop and decided to give us his precious company as well. With music blaring out from the speakers of my Palm Treo, Abheek giving out puzzles, Anil telling us about his practice runs, and we talking about whether to sign up for the Big Sur marathon next year or a 50K, miles were, if not flying, passing by comfortably.

I finished in 4:01:40, which corresponds to 11 minute/mile pace. But I think I felt good and that makes all the difference in my confidence for the marathons ahead. I know that we took several ~2 minute breaks for either Gu or restroom or stretching and we were really running at an average of ~10.30 minute pace. The 1 minute walk after each mile is helping a great deal as well by letting us conserve our energies for the last few miles of the run. Bottomline, my morale is high going into October!

6-7 mile run at Rancho, Sept 4, morning

Ahh, I am blogging after such a long time. In the meantime, I have finished Napa half and San Francisco half, and the long runs have reached 20 miles. As the meat of the training is almost behind us, it will now be hard for me to even say that I blogged this year's run at all.

Anyhow, I have a new camera, and with it comes a new resolve to carry it along with me on the runs. That means getting comfortable to be able to carry a fuel belt. Thankfully, I can now say that I am now comfortable enough with a belt and some pouches bouncing slightly from my waistline....

Another reason to blog now is that this was my first (and I think last) morning run of the year :-) Why? Well, it was the first because I am not a morning person, and I always feel a bit tired and drowsy for the rest of the day if I run in the morning. Truthfully, it is not that bad, but I have just never tried it long enough for my body to get used to it. However, this was a labor day holiday and what better day to experiment (esp. if this was being followed by three social engagements back to back!)

I guess I should write a bit about the run itself. We started at about 6.45am and were back by 8am. Did the usual deer hollow route to fallen leaf and then up and down the wildcat trail (I think). There were 6 of us, five in the picture and one taking the picture. I would classify the run as easy because we mostly walked the uphill portions.

I did find that my sleep patterns got a bit messed up and as I did not follow up with the same ~5.30am rise every morning, somehow I found myself groggy for most of the next two days as well. So, I have decided that this will be my last morning run of this season. Mornings are beautiful, but I have to be willing to be consistent. So far, it is the evenings I can be consistent in. So, evenings it will be.