Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Back on the Train (thankfully not splattered on it)

I bit the bullet and contacted my old coach about training. Once you develop a good relationship with a coach, it's really hard to train on your own. But even more importantly, I'm trying to do something I have no familiarity with: train for something other than a marathon. And I honestly really miss working with him. So, I'm happy to back on the old coach train.

Although he says I won't run the fastest possible times for myself off of 40-50 miles per week, I should still be able to make some big dents in my shorter race pr's. I'd love to get under 18 for the 5k, under 30 for the 5 mile and under 37:30 for the 10k, but that might be crazy talk. My goal race is the Rite Aid 10k and it's the farthest out (and on my birthday this year!) so I have the best chance of meeting my 10k goal I think. I was tempted to either not articulate goals or to give myself some softballs, but why not be a little ambitious. For whatever reason, the stakes feel lower for 5-10k's than for a marathon so what do I have to lose?

In other news, running continues to get better. On Sunday I ran long(ish) with my friend *E* all around a hilly neighborhood. By about mile 11 I was really feeling it! But we finished strong and even ran an extra 1/2 mile for the heck of it for 12.5 giving me a solid 44.5 miles on the week. I always like running with *E* because she's very experienced and very level-headed about running. She isn't overly competitive, yet she's very focused and motivated to improve. I always feel like I learn a lot when I run with her and I always leave feeling inspired to aim higher with my training.

Then today I did another fartlek with mrp. After a 16:00 warm up with mrp, which means I ran it at least 30 seconds per mile faster than I would have on my own, we made it to the infamous Hustler loop and proceeded to do a 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, 4:00, 3:00, 2:00, 1:00 fartlek with 1/2 time rests. This was the best workout this year, yet. There is a long slight incline on this loop followed by a big dip back down over some rapid transit tracks and then it's flat past Hustler and then goes back up gradually. Today, there was a stiff headwind as we ran up, so it made the workout even harder than usual. But I tackled it no problem, never whined about the wind, and really just attacked each rep. Sometime in the middle of the first 2:00 rep, we had to cross the rapid tracks. Mrp was ahead of me a bit and dashed across just as the red lights started to blink signalling a train was coming. Of course, I was motivated to pick the pace up to try to make it too, but as I approached the gates were lower than my head so I had to duck as I was running hard and I looked over and I didn't have a whole lot of time to spare. That was probably stupid, but no harm no foul right?

Anyway, I was worried the 4 minute reps were going to be tough, and they were but I really found a groove in each and was able to relax and just cruise. I actually looked forward to the second and I mentally challenged myself to make it farther around the loop than the previous one. For the last one minute rep, mrp decided to make me finish up a hill. I was up for the challenge, so I pressed on the gas and flew around the corner and charged up a small hill to finish. Then I said what the heck and joined mrp for my cool down so again I ran that quite a bit faster than I would have on my own, even charging up a nasty hill. I haven't felt this motivated in a long long time. It feels good!


Joseph P. Wood said...

Those goals are very doable if you're putting in the training, and your current volume really should get you there. I honestly believe it. Also, I think it's good to give yourself some time to get some quality back up and get rolling. All-in-all, it seems like a great, reasonable goal.

Honestly, I don't know why more runners don't target a variety of races, for marathoner will be helped by working on speed--and vice versa.

Quinto Sol said...

Lofty goals... but if anyone can attain them is you.

The Salty One said...

Just to clarify, I'll be happy to cut my times half that much: 18:30, 30:30, 38:15. Those would all be pretty cool. I just figure I might as well set the bar high and just see what happens!

mainers said...

nothing wrong with setting the bar high. good luck!

glad you're rolling again and out of that little funk you were going through

Mindi said...

Nice! Setting lofty goals is a little scary, yes, but I personally am always happiest when I am working toward something significant. I agree with quinto sol that if anyone can do, it is you.

Nice runs! I am envious! I am off to hit the treadmill and hope my knee cooperates. It is -25 to -35 outside today! ACK!

keith said...

You have an awesome blog. I am glad you commented on mine & led me here.

No shortage of inspiration. Thanks!

DaisyDuc said...

It is really awesome you and MRP can get those runs in together!

Cleveland 10K-ers look out!!!

Meghan said...

Heh, back on the Tinman train, huh? That's cute. Seems many people are on the same train. I might be horribly uneducated, but who's Tinman, anyways?

Good luck with this new round of training, sounds like a ton of good goal to work towards!


Chelle said...

I'm really glad you didn't get squooshed by the train. That would have totally ruined my weekend.

- chelle