Thursday, May 31, 2012

25k Reflection and Update

Well, the USA 25k Championships was over a week ago, and I have already thought and forgot most tangible reflections from that race...  I have circled that race date on my calendar since the marathon trials, and have been aiming to do well there, yet I have little to write about once the dust has settled.  I wouldn't say it was one of my greatest accomplishments, but in this sport of running; and all the ups and downs that occur, I can proudly say that finishing in the top 10 has been an up for me.  PR's don't come very often, and in a new distance; no matter how obscure it may be, it comes as a default.

So, a 1:19:17 finish and a 10th place spot are written in black and white, yet the course and the people that came from this race are great gifts to remember.  The race catered to my marathon fitness, as it was just the right distance to mix strength and a dash of speed all rolled into one event.  The hills towards the end of the race helped change things up as well, and the great downtown finish are a perfect mix for an incredibly well organized race!

Now, it's time to just cap off the training and rest up for Grandma's Marathon in 2 weeks.  This has been my last real week of training, and then the peaking phase begins.  It will be nice to see the same guys at Bloomsday and the 25k at Grandma's, and if things go well, I should see a brand new PR on the clock.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bloomsday 12k (Week 9)

The most exciting thing about this week is being in Washington and racing the Bloomsday 12k road race in Spokane.  This was a great week in preparation for an even longer race next week - the USA 25k Championships.

Although the Bloomsday race was excellent, I knew I wasn't quite as sharp for this distance as I could've been.  In the past, I've felt that this distance would be right up my alley for fast times and bumping elbows with the competition.  Yet, with my training geared for the marathon, a 12k race would be great for some "speed" work.  Which is exactly what happened after the first two miles were clicked off at under 4:50 pace, something I rarely do in workouts back at home.  Now, the course isn't the best course to run fast times on, as there's a large hill in the 2nd mile, rolling hills leading up to mile 5, with a 1000m climb up what is called, "Doomsday Hill", and then it levels off to the finish.  I was happy to hit off [4:42, 4:46, 9:58(2 miles), 5:25, 5:09, 5:01] for the race to finish in 37:11.  It's about 4:59/mile average, so that's comforting...

The race itself is amazing.  The beautiful course rolls around Spokane, and gives you a feeling that spring is definitely in the air, as the wintery white spectators are lined along the course in shorts and T-shirts.  It's a happy feeling, even though it's tough to catch your breath over the rolling hills.  Another exciting part of this race, was the fact that many Americans come out to vive for the prize money being offered to both American's and Washington residence.  I got to meet up with a couple old buddies and meet some new running competitors.  All-in-all it was a good week, as I prepare to peak for the 25k Championships in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The race should be live at: It should be a good one!

Week 9

Mon - am. 8 miles
Tue - am. 10 miles / pm. 10 miles
Wed - am. 5x1000m on the track w/200m jog recovery [2:55, 2:55, 2:55, 2:57, 2:54] total: 7.5 miles / pm. 6 miles
Thur - am. Travel to Spokane, WA. / pm. 8 miles
Fri - am. 9 miles
Sat - am. 8 miles / pm. 3 miles
Sun - am. Bloomsday 12k Race - 37:11 total: 13 miles

Total: 81.5 miles

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Bell Mile (Week 8)

Well, as my urge to transform my marathon training onto the track will never come true, I can still fantasize.  And in all reality, I do fantasize a lot when I'm out on the roads pounding away at the pavement, and especially on my last repeat of my workouts.  They remind me of the bell lap in a track race...

It's the void of running a track race and being in the lead group with one lap to go that I will always remember.  Just as the curve approaches and the excitement of the runners, as they get ready to unleash a fearful kick; that you hear the loud sound of the bell, indicating one lap left.  The echo of this bell is repeated in your brain, and before you know it you have about 300 meters to go.  The group starts to lengthen their strides, and you have no choice but to increase your pace.  The sound of that bell, the bronze piece of metal that was forged with molten Copper and Tin to create it's own age in Human History, bring out the viciousness amongst these humans on the track.  It becomes clear that the violence that erupted during the Bronze Age is translated onto the track for one last lap.  Some start to "kick" too early, but others cherish this last lap and wait for the the next curve to strike, the last 200 meters.  Just as swift as the bell is rung, it is dissipated on the back stretch, and those runners who started too fast, are commenced to their fate of being beaten.  With no chance at all, the final curve of the race is upon you, and you search for another ounce of strength to pump more blood and oxygen into your muscles.  The end approaches, but the joyous pain is still there.  Only when the end is seemingly near, that I feel an urge to exert even more energy and lunge towards the Finish Line, or the invisible indicator that tells us all to stop fighting.  Once the carnage is over, an anti-climatic pause awaits and then I search for a time, and hope that I will be satisfied with it.  In most cases, you can't help but be satisfied, knowing that you committed yourself to Race.  Although its been about 2 years now since my last bell lap, I can't help but think about all those emotions as I start and finish my last mile repeat...

It's not quite the same, but it can be as emotional in it's own way.  It's a lot more lonelier on the roads now, compared to a track race, but I expect 26.2 miles of the same type of carnage to occur in a small Minnesota town in June.  And when the last mile marker comes, I'll be thinking of something to get me to the Finish Line, my very own Bell Mile.        

Week 8

Mon - pm. 10 miles
Tue - am. 10 miles / pm. 8 miles
Wed - am. 3 mile tempo, 3 mile tempo, 2 mile tempo [5:41, 5:28, 5:15] [5:15, 5:18, 5:14] [5:11, 5:07] Avg. 5:18 total: 13 miles / pm. 8 miles
Thur - Off
Fri - am. 12 miles / pm. 10 miles
Sat - am. 11 miles / pm. 10 miles
Sun - am. 24 miles w/ 3x1 miles @ tempo, 10 miles easy, 2x1 miles @ tempo.  [5:18, 5:14, 5:01] [5:06, 5:10]

Total: 116 miles in 6 days