What came first, the win streak or the egg?
I'm still not sure what to make of the last couple weeks. I've suddenly added about 10 seconds per mile to my average run (and last two races) but am also enjoying a 4-race win streak. Any of you who know me (yes, all 3.7 of you who read this drivel) know I'd trade the wins in a heartbeat to see my times start to drop, but as it is, the streak makes it a little easier to take. A little. I am a realist. I know when, say, No Excuses comes around in 4 weeks that a high 16 just ain't gonna cut it. I was in the thick of it last year, holding on for 3rd in 15:51...or 66 seconds faster than last week!
In 2008, I was in mid-16 shape (but a decent climber) and ran a 35:50 at the Spring Run 10k. I'd only paid attention to the mile split, turn, and final time. So, as I passed mile one (big downhill, and a little off road with more to come) in 5:09, I was relatively happy. Only 3 seconds or so slower than 2008. Miles 2 & 3 were not so kind, though. By the turn, I was exactly 30 seconds off the pace, and to be fair, my A goal had been to actually run 20 seconds faster than 2008. I'd just added 27 seconds in just two miles. I didn't have too big of a lead, either. Bjorn and Larry passed in the opposite direction 22 seconds later, meaning I had a 45 second buffer, which can shrink quick on the climb back up. Peter GPSd the course at 1821 feet of change, with the finish being a little higher than the start, thanks to a cruel little 15% grade at the end.
I was able to run decent back up, though. Still adding time, but not at a 13 second per mile clip, like miles 2 & 3. My uphill 5k+ (3.1 down, 3.15 up) was 8 seconds per mile slower than 2008, but I was able to add to my lead and win by a couple minutes in 36:44. Larry made a late move into 2nd and held on by a couple seconds at the end, with Bjorn (the 2011 Daffodil 10k champ) in 3rd. Consequently, we're all in the same AG, so GP points were slim. I'll be missing from the next couple races, though, so those guys are going to blow right by me. Jeff Boute (2nd at the Daffodil 5k) took home the 5k crown, and can be seen running up said cruel little hill.
It was great to see you guys again (yes, even Gary) after not running in NC last year.
Sunday rolls around and the major muscle groups are not sore at all. Of course, the Achilles and knee are pissed, but that's nothing new. So, I decided to run a little more of the Rock N River half than originally planned. I parked under the Keystone Bridge at Riverside (mile 0.9) in time to see the marathoners go by around 6:35, and got out to stretch at 7. Turi would come up the river about a minute after Jeff, who ran away with the half in 1:13, and we were on our way. Fred Z, still doing long runs fresh off Boston, joined us a half mile later. Turi had completed, rather religiously, two 12-week training programs and it was paying off. We'd ran together to a 1:32 in Davis, and were hoping to get under 1:30 here. I knew, barring catastrophe, that the 1:32 pr would fall. His training has just been too good for that not to happen. The only question was by how much. He'd gone out pretty fast, and our pace barely ever crept above 6:50. The course was ever so slightly uphill and into a weak headwind on the way out, so when we got to mile 7 at 6:50 pace, 90 minutes wasn't looking so tough. But we'd faded late at Davis. Not to worry this time, though. With Fred keeping the pace honest, and me farting on both Fred and Turi without their apparent knowledge, most of the return miles were in the 6:40's, including the last three. Turi hit the last 100 and I peeled off. He ended up SMASHING his old PR by close to 4 minutes and came in with an official 1:28:14 (6:44 per mile!). If I'm not going to be running any PRs this year, this is the next best thing. What a blast being able to be part of a little personal history being made. For the record, Turi's 10k pr also fell during this race. TWICE. And by default, new standards were set at any number of distances...12k, 15k, 10 mile, etc...
Thanks Fred and Turi for the great Sunday run!
Dave and Amber (the rest of Team Library Dork) ran the 10k and 5k, respectively, and we got to spend the morning together.
For me, my lack of quality over the past two weeks hasn't effected my mileage. 140 miles over 2 weeks, including my first 70 mile week of the year. I'd been responding very well to high miles, running my best two races during what had been my highest mileage weeks, but something needs to be tweaked...I just don't know what. So...the plan is to run high miles this week (71-72), cut my weight lifting by 30-50%, and no race. Next week, I'll cut the mileage by 30-50%, but I'd like it to be of the high quality variety, add back the weights, and hopefully run a decent 5k at Avenue of the Vines. I set the bar high for myself last year...this is one race where I'd be happy to "only" add 8-10 seconds per mile.