Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I'm Ready (Am I really?)!

This weekend is relay number 2 in my Summer Relay Double Slam!

Or as the locals like to call it, The Mother of all Relays (Clearly those people never ran Cascade Lakes. Mother is only half the word to describe that thing. But I love you Cascade Lakes, and I will be back next year). 

Yes; the great white whale that is Hood to Coast is upon us. I have mixed feelings about my readiness for this run; I feel generally fit(ter) and strong(er) as the summer has progressed, which is a great thing. But, my training runs since Cascade Lakes have been less than stellar. My paces have been slower than I wanted and I didn't get in the long runs I was hoping to. I think my longest run in the last 3 weeks was 6.5 miles. My paces were all over as well. i could knock out a 4 miler in the high 8's to very low 9's, but anything longer and I suffered, hanging in the 9:30 to 10+ mpm range. NOT what I was hoping for. 

Of course, I'm feeling pressure (self-induced pressure) because i'm in a van full of fasties. Aside from the guy who had pneumonia for most of the summer (which is a pretty legitimate excuse for running slower) I am the slowest guy in the van. Slower than all the ladies, too, since we're keeping things straight. I know they don't care. We're all friends and they're super supportive; but, it's all in my head that if I hit a rough patch on my longer leg I can shake up the whole team pace, letting a whole bunch of people down. Yes, I am totally neurotic like that.

Here's the good news. I did my last "real" run before the relay this morning, and it was pretty awesome. My favorite structured workout is a progression run, where I try to get faster with each mile split. I have troubles with pacing myself effectively, and it's gotten worse as I've gotten fitter. I have no feel for my pace and have to rely on my watch to give me an idea of how I'm doing (I am getting a little better with attention to it, though). I have had several runs that I started out at what felt like a really (RRREEEEAAALLYY) easy pace, only to look down at mile one to see mid 8's showing in my current pace window. Yeah. That's way too fast of a first mile for this guy and I subsequently flame out in epic fashion. Today, though, I made a plan before I left on my run and, more importantly, I stuck with it. Miles one and two had to be closer to 10 minutes than 9; miles 3 and four needed to be 9:20-9:30's; then, 5 and 6 were to see what I had left in the tank. It wasn't a TRUE progression, and my splits showed it. I was a second or two slower on 2 than 1 and 4 than 3. 5 and 6 were stellar, though and i finished out strong. Plan good. Following plan better (say that in a caveman voice, so you'll know how my brain is processing the thought).
If I can learn to stick to a plan I might actually begin to improve as a runner and, dare I say it, get fast(er). This could bode well for my fall half marathon (or lead to delusional failures of spectacular proportions. You'll have to keep following to see!)...

So how about you? Do you run with a plan or just wing it? what works for you?


  1. You are ready and will rock H2C!

  2. You will do GREAT!! I never had a plan for my runs until I started training for a half-marathon with a friend. Doing that has really helped my running a lot as we have certain distances to accomplish each week.