Monday, February 23, 2009

Gettin' my ass handed to me

Here's the truth: I've been running with guys who are faster than me on my long runs - and they've been kicking my ass. I haven't pushed like this for several years. Mark and Alberto are 3 hour guys, and they're in that kind of shape. Ian and Ethan aren't there yet with their P.R.s but I think Ethan at least is primed for a breakthrough run - Ian has been travelling a bunch, interviewing for a job at a university, and so he might not be primed. I met these guys through San Jose Fit, and since I was joining so I could run with faster people, I hung with them as best I could, and it's been rewarding and enjoyable. It will also be really interesting to see how the training translates into race times since we'll all be doing Napa. Mark and Alberto are going to try to duck under 3, and Ethan is going for 3:30. He is quite capable of that, but had a bad blow up in his first race - he has problems drinking on the course and I suspect he dehydrated.

Anyway, I thought I'd mention this, since I don't think I've mentioned it in my previous blog posts.

Here's how the long runs go: if it's flat, we run together for first 5 or so. I remind them of the intended pace. They agree, yup we should slow down. We go faster. After 5 miles I slow back to a reasonable pace, the field scatters. They wait for me at the turn. We go again, and we meet up at the end.

If it's hilly, we run the beginning together, I fall back on the ascents, and I chase and try to catch them on the downhill. Then we repeat.

I start feeling slow, but I'm probably getting faster; if I run with the next group the pace is too slow for what the book tells me to run. So I suck it up. The only run I think this may have back-fired was the 23-miler. I was coming into very good form, but running the half marathon and then running a 23-miler was too much. I may not have maximized the benefit of the 23-miler.

Because of the Furman program, I haven't had a relaxing run in probably 6 weeks. It's been interesting. This race is a bit of an experiment so I'm open-minded and I don't mind running hard. Let's see how it feels.

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