Sunday, September 09, 2007

Charity Drive Update / IKEA Half report

Phew, I’ve been busy. First and foremost, here is an important update on my American Cancer Society Charity Runner Drive.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! On Thursday this week, I raised $880 at my company’s happy hour for the American Cancer Society. This means I have raised $1550 in total – and this does not count the match that my company will provide on the donations from my co-workers. This puts the total over $2400 for the American Cancer Society. Thank you, donors! Your support is greatly appreciated!

Secondly, my departure date for China has been moved up a day. I now leave on Saturday 9/15, which means I need to get my final 20-miler in all by myself on Friday.

Here is my training update for this past week, including a half marathon race report in Pittsburgh.

Mon 9/3 – 10 miles – 7:48 average – not too bad considering a hard race on Saturday
Tue 9/4 – 11 miles w/Yasso 800m repeats – didn’t think I had it in me, but I hit all 10 repeats at around 2:57 – on track for sub-3???
Wed 9/5 – 5 miles recovery – 8:43 avg pace
Thu 9/6 – 13 miles – 7:50 avg – Struggled – got it all in, but was fairly fatigued.
Fri 9/7 - REST
Sat 9/8IKEA HALF MARATHON (report below)

Total: 52 - below target of 58 - needed a cutback week with all the intense mileage

It was convenient that I had a visit with the in-laws in Pittsburgh this weekend, since I was able to run the Ikea Half Marathon on the Montour Trail with my friends, Steve and Aaron. Both of these guys put up sweet times here last year: Steve, a 1:25 and Aaron, a 1:26.

We all had hopes of putting up a decent half marathon time as our final race for our Chicago training. I wanted a PR at worst (i.e. besting my 1:29 from the CDC in Aug), hoping more so to put up a time in line with my 30k, which would be 1:26 or better.

This course is interesting. You start up in the parking lot of an Ikea and run down a monster hill toward the Montour Trail. Basically, the first 0.7 miles are solid downhill. Then you hit the crush limestone path and begin a steady, slight uphill for six miles to a turnaround point - at which point you run a slight descent on the way back.

48 hours earlier, I was struggled to complete a 13-mile training run at 7:50’s. And here I was ready to chase another PR.

Aaron and ran the first mile in 6:07, while Steve had to have been at least 10-15 secs ahead of us. Now, I know what you’re thinking… TOO fast. But, the hill is very steep. In retrospect, I think it would have been smart to run about 10 seconds faster than goal pace (maybe about 6:25).

Humidity levels were high. Quite simply, after mile 1, I couldn’t get in a rhythm. The steady incline for miles 2-7, modest fatigue and the humidity kept my heart rate abnormally elevated. I felt myself in trouble in the early going.

Check the numbers and compare vs. last week’s race (prior post). You would have thought I had a cardiac meltdown. On the 7th mile, I averaged 179 bpm – this would mean trouble. I was tired entering this race, is what this tells me.

Unfortunately, none of us were pleased with our results. Aaron and I ran 1:30 – and Steve a 1:29. We all know we’re in better shape than this. We all took solace in each other’s struggles and chalked it up to a workout. All three of us have been training pretty hard. I had a hard hill 30k race last week. Steve and Aaron banged out 2000m repeats earlier in the week.

We need to trust our training – and not let this race affect us mentally. Last week, I ran a 3:02-3:03 marathon equivalent on a hilly terrain 30k. I checked last year’s results and the average top 5 times were 2-3 minutes faster than this year so everyone was affected. It wasn't worth running a recovery after the race, I was spent. I needed to rest.

I still believe with a strong last week of training before taper, healthy diet, solid rest and care during my taper, good weather conditions on race day – with all of these things and the stars aligning – a 2:59 is within reach. I will not give up trying. Time to right the ship...

Plan for 9/10 week – my final week of solid training

Mon 9/10 – AM: 6 recovery – PM: 4 recovery – 10 total
Tue 9/11 – 12 miles w/ 6x1000m repeats
Wed 9/12 - 10 miles
Thu 9/13 – 6 recovery
Fri 9/14 – 20 miler – Fast finish
Sat 9/15 – Recovery 6 miles – Fly to Shanghai, China – 10:35 AM flight from O’Hare

Goal: 64 miles


yumke said...

I believe sub 3 is within reach :) then again, i'll be cheering you on, not running the race.. good luck with the training and half a good trip to China.

Firefly's Running said...

Great job. Good luck this week and have a safe trip.

Running Jayhawk said...

All these numbers make me dizzy, but impresses me regardless! Have a good business trip to China...we should talk concerts...there are some awesome shows coming. :)

jen said...

Good job on the race! Sounds like you realize the conditions and your hard training are what slowed you down (Ha! I use the word "slow" very loosely here) and that you are so going sub-3 still. :)

I think these tough workouts and races are part of your mental training. Your body is ready, but is your mind? Focus, think positive, visualize success. You can do it!

Have a good pre-China week!