Monday, September 15, 2008

Final 20-miler of cycle - 20 days til TCM

Last night was rough for a strange reason. I'm resigned to the fact that I desperately need a root canal. The pain was substantial enough that I was sleepless most of the night. Dental woes aside, I am determined to put up a PR in the Twin Cities on October 5th.

I have officially entered the three-week taper period for the TCM. This weekend, a significant portion of the country was feeling the effects of Hurricane Ike, as it broke down and made its way north to the Midwest. Chicago was hammered hard with rains over the weekend, which put my Sunday 20-miler in serious doubt.

At about 4pm, I saw the rains subside and decided to have a go at my most important training run of this cycle. I wanted run 7:20's most of the way and finish strong.

As I headed south in my town toward the river, I witnessed flooding all around the downtown Plainfield vicinity. I passed a great number of onlookers who were marveling at the flood damage and the terrible impact it had on a number of houses.

The run went pretty much as planned and I felt reasonably strong. However, I could not have predicted how I would finish.

I absolutely blazed my final three miles at paces that I could not believe. Clearly, the speed work has begun to pay dividends. I banged out a 6:53, 6:40 and 6:18 in miles 18-20. This is a great sign. If I can run 7:15-7:20 solo for 15 and nail the final three with such intensity, I know I can put up 3:05-3:07.

This training cycle has been an interesting one. I tried out the FIRST program - and abandoned it. I have slept less and worked more. I have been a Dad.

I nailed my 50-week plan. I ran an even 150 miles over the past three weeks.

Tonight, with limited food in the house and no desire to grocery shop, we celebrated with Chili’s take-out. Man, did I crush a mushroom & Swiss burger -- AND the fries. And maybe a couple of beers. Now, if I could only get my eating habits under control…


Darrell said...

What a nice way to begin the taper.

yumke said...

As usual, nice work. You train the way I should race :) Curious, what do you fuel with during your training runs?1

Arcane said...

Enjoy the taper!

wayfool said...

dude... nice way to crush the finish of that run. While i was reading your description, I had this whole cinematic scene going through my head of a hardcore runner blazing through a rain-washed neighborhood, soaking up the clean air and getting stronger with every stride.

Kevin said...

Just a stranger passing by, but nice run. Ive got another 9 weeks before i start tapering for a dallas marathon. Good luck in yours.

Steve said...

Hi Ryan-
Looking at your splits and HR that late miles...I am willing to bet your marathon pace is somewhere between 6:50 and 7. If the race day conditions are good, you should consider sub 7 pace. I really believe that. Good luck.

jen said...

Hope your taper is going good Ryan! Good luck on your upcoming race and think positive- you have a great race ahead of you!