Sunday, August 12, 2007

Should anyone be disappointed with a P.R. in hot conditions?

That's the question I have been asking myself since finishing the CDC at 8:00 AM this morning. Here is today's result:

6:38 - Mile 1
6:47 - 2
6:45 - 3
6:41 - 4
6:41 - 5
6:43 - 6
6:49 - 7
13:43 - 8+9 combined
6:53 - 10
7:02 - 11
6:56 - 12
7:51 - 13 + 0.1
Finish time: 1:29:30

You could probably guess I'm a bit disappointed. It seems silly, really, to be down about today's result, which was a 54 second P.R. from last year. After all, the heat and humidity slowed all of us down.

Most runners I talked to afterward struggled. The winning Men's time was 8 min slower than last year. The women's was 10 minutes slower.

I knew it was going to be really warm - and it was - but part of me feels like it also had to do with my training. Mileage volume has been decent - but I know that I need more tempo/L.T. training. This much is clear.

The plan was to be at mile 10 at 1:06:xx - then see if I could knock out something close to a 20 min 5k. Well, as I soon found out, this plan was not feasible today.

I was pleased with a 6:38 first mile. From there on though, I found that I wasn't hitting the 6:38-6:40 splits the way I had hoped. After mile 7, I did not hit another split under 6:50. I hit 10 at 1:07:41 -- and my final 5k was a 21:49 - not the way I wanted finish.

Last year's CDC was enjoyable. I loved that last 5k and finished strong. Today I was a train off the tracks losing power slowly as the sun beamed on my overheating engine. I was spent late miles and I knew it. It was not fun. I couldn't wait today finish.

I am thinking the heat is worth at least two minutes improvement (I hope) . However, the scary thing is today's result matches up perfect with my 5k time of exactly 1 month ago. This is a disappointment because I was counting on tremendous progress.

I was targeting a 1:26:30 in good conditions. I'm not sure the heat added 3 minutes - but maybe it did. Two minutes at least.

Being honest w/myself, right now, I feel like I am progressing toward a 3:03-3:05 marathon time. This is a very admirable time and one that I would be proud of. But unfortunately, this is a long way off from the 2:59:59 target that I had set. I don't like falling short of my goals.

Afterward, Jayhawk and OOSG were kind enough to invite Jen & I, as well as J&L to her stellar apt to clean up and then head to brunch at RockIt. It was AWESOME. Thanx, guys!

Right now, it's back to the drawing board. Chalk this one up a good workout in hard race conditions. I'm not giving up on my goal of 2:59:59. I just need to work harder. Now I have to figure out how I am going to knock out 70 miles this week.

Week recap - 52 miles total. Hot/humid temps all week. Half marathon PR. Good speed work on Tuesday.


yumke said...

I don't think you should be disappointed. Weather is a huge factor -- the PR itself is quite an accomplishment.

Running Jayhawk said...

Mother Nature is a bitch.

Let's just leave it at that.

I'm so impressed with your work ethic in training and candor. Keep it up, Ryan. Don't let this one get you too frustrated.

Anonymous said...

Nice job on the race.

Fran said...

a pr is still a pr. Weather looks like it was tough.

wayfool said...

dude.... PR is a PR! You're still on track. I know your a numbers kind of guy, so this website might help.

Put in your time, and then scroll down and put down the average temperature for the race, and it will calculate your race time at other temps. In ideal conditions, that time is at least a sub 1:27. Great job! Looking forward to hearing about your 70 mile week.

Nitmos said...

Training involves some natural's not a linear graph straight up (or down). Step back and look at the entire picture and you'll see you're heading in the right direction. Congratulations on the PR.

Firefly's Running said...

Great job, Ryan. You are awesome! The heat was awful, but you overcame it.

Bob said...

That seems to be a common theme in regards to this race. Chalk it up to the heat you ran really strong, very impressive.

Jim said...

You should also consider the effects of doing a mini-taper. Pete Pfitzinger wrote this article for Running Times on the benefits of a complete taper. (

A full taper plus better weather will probably make a big impact on your time.

robtherunner said...

No doubt your 2:59:59 goal is lofty, but keep striving towards it. Congrats on the PR even though it was not all that you wanted. You have a fighters spirit, Ryan. Keep on fighting!

Darrell said...

Congrats on the PR and sticking with it in the heat. The heat is a huge component to performance. The weather in 53 days is likely to be more favorable for your 2:59:59. Keep chugging away and don't let the mental part of this sport get to you (easy for me to say).

jen said...

Congrats on the PR and an awesome race. You held a strong pace given the conditions- you're going to fly in cool weather.