Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday Mischung

St. Pat's 5K Run/Walk 

Yes, I did.  Injury and all.  I wasn't planning on it.  Truly.  But when you wake up in the morning and find yourself overwhelmed with the desire to do a race (after months of indifference), you just go with it. At least I did.

Yesterday was the local St. Pat's 10-Miler and 5K. Last year, because it was on St. Patrick's Day, it was a 17K, which I ran.  You can see my race report here.  It wasn't the best day, and - as with so many races that don't go well - I swore I would never do it again.  Well, I lied to myself apparently, because yesterday I did it again, albeit the short version.

Waking up in the morning, I had no intention of doing a 5K.  In fact, my schedule had a one-hour run/walk planned for me.  This is my down week, as I am trying valiantly to build up time on my feet during my weekend long "efforts" while recovering (hopefully) from this IT band injury.  I am using Galloway's run/walk method to slowly get myself running more, and right now I am at a 1:30 run to 3:30 walk interval.  I am being VERY conservative getting back into this.  Why?  Well, that is the topic of another post, but in short the ITB is still bugging me a bit and I don't ever, ever, ever want to piss it off again.  

Anyway, like I said, I had no intention of doing any sort of race, but while getting the kids ready to join my parents for church I saw the local news guys at the start of the St. Pat's run/walk.  All of the sudden, without any explanation, I got really excited about the idea of replacing my one hour run/walk with this 5K.  Since the folks in the background didn't look like they were about ready to head out (it was 7:30 a.m.), I told myself that if I looked online and the race didn't start until 9, then I would do it.  Seeing as the course wasn't that far from me made this doable.  So, I looked and the decision was made.

Next began a mad rush to choke down some oatmeal and get dressed in the multiple layers required for 6 degrees (thankfully, above zero).  I tried to take special care of how I dressed since I am getting over a head cold.  I certainly didn't want this madness to result in making the cold worse.  

The race itself was just what I needed. I got there, registered, stuffed the shirt they gave me in my puffy jacket pocket, and then found some friends from the local running community to chat with.  It was a great morning of nominal anonymity as I made this first foray into running events this year.  (I don't count the Samson Stomp in January, as I wasn't excited about that one really.)

Starting out the event, I had every intention of sticking to my 1:30/3:30 interval split, but one gets caught up in the crowd and the first time I actually looked down at my watch, I was already approaching 4 minutes of running.  It did flit through my mind to just go with it, but then my head overtook my heart and I decided to drop back to a walk and do the rest of the 5K at my modest run/walk intervals.  

So, how did I do?  Well, given that the walk interval is two minutes longer than the running one, I would have expected finishing somewhere north of 40 minutes.  However, according to my watch, I finished 3.11 miles in 35:31.  That's better than some 5Ks I have run with slower friends, and not much slower than some I have just run on my own.  Woot!  And that leads me to my next Mischung topic....namely....


In all honesty, I can say that if there is one thing I am pleased with - as a result of this injury - is my walking.  I set out to use this time, inasmuch as I could, to teach myself how to walk quickly, as I have always been a dawdle walker.  And, I think I have succeeded.  During the race yesterday, I walked fast, at times 13:30 pace or faster.  But, the most amazing thing, is I was quite comfortable doing so.  I wasn't huffing and puffing.  During these fast walk breaks, I was quite capable of catching my breath.  Now, this tells me a couple of things: first, that with proper technique I am sure I could walk much faster, and, second, that I am ready to take on some longer trail ultras (at least mentally).  I am not that fast of a runner, but I always figured that more than anything it was the walking that slowed me down.  Not because of the walking itself (because a lot of folks do that on trail ultras), but rather because I walk so slowly.  I think that has changed now, and I am excited by that.

heart-rate-monitor training

It sucks. I have given up.  It's hopeless.  Okay. That's the short story.  The long story is - in brief - that I was getting seriously frustrated by the fact that I wasn't seeing any results big enough to record.  There may have been micro-gains here and there but it wasn't enough to keep me motivated.  I think if I were to try this again (which I probably will at some point), I would need to be in a better place to start with. I know, that is probably cheating somehow.  But, when I do this I want to be able to run...not be in that no-man's land of the run/walk.  Also, it would help to have a coach (or cheerleader) to jolly me along when the going got tough.  I know, I am high-maintenance like that. Anyway, I am sure there is something to it, but I just wasn't ready to take the time to figure it out yet.

vo2 testing

At our running club's volunteer appreciation dinner recently, I actually won a free session of VO2 testing.  I don't have too much to say about this yet, but I am excited about it and will write it up once I have done it.

So, that's all... for today.  Happy St. Patrick's Day!