Monday, October 8, 2012

CIM 2012: Week 9

Monday – Yoga
Tuesday – Power
Wednesday – Pilates, Speed work 7.19 miles
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 4.42 miles (hill repeats+pace+tempo)
Saturday – 2 miles strides
Sunday – Heritage Oaks Fun Run 10K  – 7.34 miles
Total Miles – 20 Miles drop back week

Sunday's Heritage Oak's Bank Family Fun Run
This was a huge week in terms of my dropping back a few miles in an effort to do my best with the upcoming 10K. The race will serve to be my time trial for the 2nd half of my marathon training. I always read about applying my "10k pace" for such and such workout. Well it's good to know exactly what that is. Up until now, I've been using a rough pace – a recent 10K race, which was hilly, and the course not accurately measured. This weekend's 10k race fit perfectly well into my schedule. It was in the middle of the 18 weeks, which meant it gave me a chance to work on some speed development prior to race day.  This course was accurately measured (it was once used as the USA T&F championship course) so I feel good about using this as my benchmark for the next 9 weeks of training where I can base all my future training paces. So now I am confident that my 10K pace is 8:25.

I felt good coming into this race. I was rested and my legs were surprisingly not fatigue from the training, even with the abbreviated hill repeats two days prior to race day. I did some strides the day before with my daughter on the track. She was so concerned that her race was just half a mile and thought that she didn't need to warm up.  I showed her the importance of a proper warm up. We ran around the track twice, after much belly-aching. After she eased into the middle of her first stride, I prompted her when she could let the dogs out. "You mean like this?" She took off like a bullet. I was impressed! She didn't fully realized that what little warm up she did primed her body to run even faster. I know she didn't want to admit it, but I think that warm up made an impression on her.

My plan for Sunday's race was to hold back at least for the first mile. I hung back until the first hill rolled around, then went for my pace and held it strong. This was the first 10K where I was not gasping for air and gone into oxygen debt in the first mile. I rounded the corner for the second loop and I was still reeling people slowly – mainly those who ran too fast in the first go around – by the way, that was me last year. However, the last three people I was able to catch, caught back up to me and they would not relent. I was in a happy "pace" and I didn't want to go into the "uncomfortable" place until I needed to.  It was easy to give into that slower pace.  Near the last turn, I noticed the last lady who tried to overtake me looked like she was fading. Her partner left her and took off.  She was hanging her head too far back which gave me an indication that I can take her at the last turn.  I picked it up but she turned and saw me gaining up on her. She reacted with a second gear. I tried to match her stride.  At the mat, I thought she beat me. However, it was chip timed, so I got her by 3 seconds. That was fun. Anytime, I can sprint for the last quarter of a mile or so (my Garmin read 7:32 min/pace for 0.20), is a great racing day!  I can't tell you the number of ugly finishes I've had looking like death at the end.  This one is for the books.  I only shaved 16 seconds from last year, but the way I ran this race is the way I want to race from here on out: finish strong. By the way, my daughter finished her half mile race strongly too.

Doing my warm up drill...

Pictures taken by Elena
Photo by Elena Cota...between mile 1 and 2

On to the 2nd loop...

Final turn to the finish...sensing the lady's tiredness, I try to pass one last time...
darn, she hears my footsteps...and she widens her gait...

...I tried to match her stride for the end, I nipped her by 3 seconds...great photos taken by my 12YO!

Photo courtesy of Brian Lawler: Elena waiting for her 1/2 mile race along with eager kids under 12 years old...

Photo by Brian Lawler: Elena's 3:46 half mile finish. Looking Strong!

Week #9 is done and another successful training week gone by. Until next time, happy running!

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