Saturday, June 17, 2006

CARA Super Clinic - DG 10-mile RACE tomorrow

Friday morning – I had a productive 5 mile run. I noticed my heart rate was more elevated than usual. The heat was definitely a factor. The sun was beating down and it was high 80’s by 7:30 AM.

The proof is in the numbers. A steady 7:50 pace yielded at 167 AVG HR?? That is abnormal. HR is not usually that high.

Sat 6/17 -- All of my prior six marathons were done with solo training on intermediate mileage. I made a commitment to kick it up a notch for Chicago and give my best effort to improve and hopefully qualify for Boston.

The Chicago Area Runners Assoc (CARA) is the city’s running organization that helps promote running by organizing races, events, training, etc. I joined CARA because I decided I needed some help to achieve my goal. Plus, I decided I would try to socialize more than I had in the past.

I must admit that the $177 for an annual membership and the 18-week training program felt a bit steep, but I knew I needed some more structure and people support to reach my goal. In reflection, I amazed that I’ve done 6 marathons and a PR of 3:23:55 with really no one else to push me. The training programs has organized runs with pace leaders, hydration on the course. Most of all it has peer pressure. Can't put a price tag on that.

Today, CARA hosted what they called a “super clinic” at the Univ Illiniois-Chicago. This was a series of lecturers who gave us tips for training, nutrition, shoes, gear and basic info about Chicago’s marathon.

For those who don’t know, Chicago’s cap is 40,000 runners – and it sold out on May 26. That’s amazing considering the event is on Oct 22.

The most valuable discussion was on running form and posture; and nutrition. The most famed speaker was Hal Higdon ( himself, the marathon training guru. Most of the speeches were pseudo-commercials for their stores, services or products, but it was worth going. I guess I need to decide if I want to run for charity after the dozens that were there looking for candidates.

The temp’s were in the mid-90’s in the Chicago area today. On my way home from the super clinic, I stopped off at our gym to knock out 3.7 on the treadmill to get me to an even 20 miles for the week. I did this at a very slow recovery pace so as to not drain the legs for tomorrow morning’s 10-mile race.

3.7 miles – 32:25 – 8:45 pace -- EASY

When I arrived home at 3PM, I was faced with a perturbed wife who had been working hard planting/landscaping and digging holes in the heat – while was off feeding my running habit. So I spent a couple hours mowing the lawn and planting flowers. This did not seem like a good idea with a 10-mile race in the morning, but it was not an option according to my wife.

I will run the Downers Grove 10 mile race ( tomorrow morning, which begins at 7:30 AM. I’m a little leery about pushing myself for 10 miles at this point in my training, but I need a fitness test. I’m going to try for a 1:15 .

Wish me luck and I’ll give the report.

With two solid 29-30 mile weeks, I should be ready to kick it into gear on Monday, which is OFFICIALLY the first day of the 18-week training program.


Theoutofshapeguy said...

Good luck on the DG 10.

Full Metal Lunchbox said...

It's nice to see that an experienced marathoner was also at the CARA Clinic.

As a first-timer, I find that reassuring.

Good luck in your next race.