Thursday, February 9, 2012

Napa Valley Marathon Training Week #5

Week #5

Monday  Power
Tuesday  6 3.92
Wednesday 45 min tempo (10 min warm+5 min cool) 5.1
Thursday 5 Rest
Friday  Rest
Saturday 6 6.2 YMCA Fun Run
Sunday 12 long run

Weekly Mileage 28.04 miles
Change from last week -41%

As you can see I dropped my mileage 41% from week #6. This was my pull-back week so I felt good about the rest that I got. The highlight of the week was the tempo, the 10K race that I originally didn't schedule and finally the 12 mile long run.  These three quality workouts showed me that I am near my peak.

Let's talk about the tempo workout.  I've been reading a lot about how this is supposed to be done. Basically it's between 20-40 minutes of your tempo pace.  What is tempo pace? Tempo is a pace you could comfortable hold while running for an hour. So just under your 10K pace. For me, it's between 8:20 and 8:40 pace. Ideally you would run to warm up, hold the tempo pace for 20 minutes, slow jog for three to five minutes, then go tempo again, then cool down.  I planned to run on the road, but was so busy during the day that my lunch hour got away from me. My only window left was during track after work. I decided to chunk it up and do 3 sets of 10 minutes with 1 minute recovery jog. In that 10 minutes I planned to run 5 laps around the track which equates to 1 mile and 1/4.  So basically 2000 meters.  Psychologically it's easier to perform three sets of 2000 with 1 minute break rather than completing 30 minutes of tempo pace. Physiologically it has the same effect, so it's a win-win.

What the end results were for the 2000s: 7:58/7:56/8:00.  Because I had the full 1 minute of recovery jogs, I was able to bring it up a notch. This is the only way I could explain why it was run much faster. This was way above my tempo pace. This was more like my 5K pace, and honestly I don't know if I screwed it up here. I ran it much faster than what I was supposed to.  However it didn't feel like it was a 5K effort.  It was manageable. For each lap my average was 1:59.  The best tempo I completed was in Weeks 11 and 14 while training for NYC marathon.  My average lap then was 2:05, but I ran straight 15 laps with no recovery, no chunking it in 3 parts like this time.  I guess I can conclude that with the minute recovery, it allowed the legs to go much faster after that brief period of rest. I'm all for chunking it because it serves as a mental break as well. And why not if it holds the same effect?

Getting ready to run...

The second highlight of the week was the super hilly 10K that my friend Liz "comp" me on. As the race director, Liz hooked me up with a free registration. Thanks Liz!  My daughter decided to run her first 5K race with her friend at school so it was double the fun.  I knew the area and anticipated that the hills would require me to work harder, maybe even require me to take more rest day after. I decided to take a rest day both Thursday and Friday so I would have fresh legs for the race on Saturday.  It was a great tune up race.  I found out that I was able to hold on to a relaxed pace with no sucking air this time.  The hills were punishing, and I decided to walk parts of the steepest ones to preserve my Achilles from overworking.  Afterall, I still had a long 12 miler the next day. Turned out that I placed 2nd in my age group.  My time was 54:27, that's a 8:46 pace for a hilly course.  Two years ago that would have been my normal 10K time for a super flat 10K, sucking air and all. The difference this time, was I ran relaxed and even walked the hilly sections. I think that's progress.  The icing on the cake was my daughter finishing her 5K in 36:21.  She also had a gigantic hill that she had to walk.  Funny thing, she literally rolled out of bed with no training. I wish I could do that and still post an awesome finish time.

Elena getting close to the finish...

...closer...great mid-foot landing!
She's smiling 'cuz the end is near...both feet off the ground!

My girl in her first 5K! Good form baby!
Me and my girl after the race. She's almost as tall as me!
There's Heidi on her way to a 1st Place finish
First things first--Starbucks Cheers! See Hubby behind me with his cup of Java?
My long run turned out amazing.  Feeling my sore quads the night after the 10K, I was prepared to accept a 10:17 pace and be happy with it. I thought no way I would be able to hit 9:45.  My first six miles were at 9:54 pace and the last six was done at 8:59 pace.  That was a full 55 seconds faster in the second half. I couldn't believe it. Don't get me wrong, at the start of the run, I felt the soreness and the heavy timber legs, but I just eased into the run. After the warm-up, I loosened up and forgot about it.  I didn't even realize that I was dropping the pace until I was close to home. I'm shying away from watching my Garmin too much. I'm trying to learn pace and effort based on my breathing and my cadence. I'm getting there. However, I don't think I'll ever be without my Garmin.  I like analyzing my numbers afterwards.

I've also been running without music.  Well okay, I do wear my ipod shuffle. I have the ear pods on, but it's not turned on.  I've been trying to run and listen to my breathing. I wear it for the just in case moments where I hit a rough spot and need some inspiration.  This is my way of weaning myself from it, can't go cold turkey you know.  I feel the music slows me down sometimes. Well, I am the experiment, so we'll see how this running "unplugged" goes.

Happy trails!

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