Sunday, September 11, 2011

Marathon Training & Cross Country (Week 9)

A little over due, but nevertheless, it's here... cross country season that is. Well, at least college cross country, the "real" cross country season doesn't start until the winter. So, to clarify some things, our Dukes Track Club put together a pretty solid cross country team to go up against some local colleges including the UNM Lobos. The Lobo Invitational, as it is rightly named, was held on Saturday. Before that, I had only one workout leading up to the race. The rest of the days were just easy miles and some strides here and there.

The workout was conveniently held around the Lobo cross country course, which is held on the UNM North gold course. The cross country course is a nice well groomed grass golf course with many angulating hills and quite a few turns. But, the tempo workout we planned was not on the course, but rather around it on a 2 mile dirt perimeter loop with some hills. The plan was a simple 20 minute tempo, then 10 minutes jogging rest, then another 20 minute tempo. I wore a garmin to get some mile splits, which were: 5:51, 5:26, 5:43, and 5:45 pace for the remaining half mile in the 20 minute segment. After that, we had a nice 10 minute rest and hit the 20 minute tempo again, with mile splits of: 5:46, 5:26, 5:41, and 5:32 pace for a little more than half a mile. It wasn't that fast, but a good workout over some different terrain.

The rest of the week leading up to the 8k cross country race consisted of easy runs and some strides. Once race day came on that Saturday, the Dukes Track Club had a full team, along with a few more guys totaling 10 guys. The meet wasn't scored, but we knew were going to score it once the carnage subsided. In my opinion, this was one of the best teams I've ever been on for a cross country team! The team consisted of the following with times and placing:

4th - Jesse Armijo 25:20
11th - Allen Wagner 25:47
12th - Neal Holtschulte 25:50
14th - Kris Houghton 25:56
17th - Soloman Kandie 26:04
37th - Chris Peverada 26:56
51st - Loren Wholetz 27:57
52nd - Mark Pepple 28:02
76th - Trevor Manzanares 31:05
79th - Dana Patton 33:58

With a 1st man to 5th man spread of only 44 seconds, this team beat out: Utep, New Mexico State, UNM and a few other's that aren't that significant... The race itself was pretty sweet, since out track club is a bunch of rag-tag road racers that don't give a crap of what other people think! So, as the race started, Kris took the lead with about 800m into the start. Allen and I crept up to make it a Dukes TC 1 through 3 through the mile. But after that, I got a little excited and took over for about a mile and got taken over to settle in 4th place. Most of the hilly and tangly course I remained in 4th, while getting past by some guys here and there. Towards the end, I was in 6th and was kicking with about 800m to go. At that point, I managed to take over 3 guys and found myself in 3rd place, yet once I got to that point another Kenyan/Utep runner flew by all of us to take 3rd; leaving me in 4th place. Nevertheless, after crossing the line in a time faster than my previous attempt on this course, I watched as more and more Dukes TC guys came barreling down the straightaway! After everyone came in, we tallied up the score and figured out we won... unofficially, since the meet isn't scored. Oh well, we had our glory. The next day was just an easy 22 miler, which felt hard as I was very tired.

Week 9

Mon - am. easy 10 miles / pm. easy 4 miles w/3x hill strides
Tue - am. easy 4 miles
Wed - am. tempo workout, total 12 miles / pm. easy 8 miles
Thur - am. easy 8 miles / pm. med 12 miles w/some strides
Fri - pm. easy 8 miles
Sat - 8k xc race, total 10 miles / pm. easy 8 miles
Sun - med/easy 22 miles

Total: 106

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