Monday, February 13, 2006

8 Mile Road

I had an 8 mile run yesterday, one more mile than last week's long run. I'm not sure what to attribute it to, but things are going exceedingly well right now. Yesterday's breakdown went like this:

Mile 1: 8:58 pace, HR N/A (was having problems with the effing monitor...)
Mile 2: 9:03 pace, HR 155
Mile 3 (drinking): 9:59 pace, HR 148
Mile 4: 8:55 pace, HR 160
Mile 5 (drinking): 10:03 pace, HR 153
Mile 6: 8:53 pace, HR 162
Mile 7 (drinking): 10:13 pace, HR 151
Mile 8: 8:55 pace, HR 163

Total averages: 9:22 pace, HR 157

So many things to be encouraged about: My average pace is actually 2 seconds faster than last week's pace of 9:24. My non-drinking miles were all - except for mile 2 (which might not be accurate, I was having technology issues the first 2 miles. God's way of reminding me that all the gadgets don't mean a damn thing) under 9:00 pace. And again I was really, really consistent - all my running miles are freakishly consistent, and this has always been a real issue with me. And I never went anaerobic, so I had room to move.

Consider that I suffered through the 2004 Twin Cities 10 Mile for a pace of 8:58, and that I'm doing 30 seconds slower that than, this early in the season but comfortably, and I feel really good. But I'm both encouraged and a little nervous - I don't want to marry myself to this kind of progress, so that if it slows or peaks or plateus that I'll feel like I'm failing. I also don't want to peak too early, and while I don't think that's happening - I'm still very much in base training - I'm really kind of floored by these numbers, which I don't normally put up in the middle of July, much less February. For training I'm apparently supposed to find a 10k race this weekend...I don't know if that will happen, but either way I'll go back to 6 miles, so this is a good week for a breather from the long distance. It's great that this is coming this easily to me right now.

Of course, none of this will translate 1:1 to triathlon or marathon distances - after swimming and then biking, I won't be fresh like this to start the run. So I'm not looking to be going 9:00 pace in every race this season, or through the Ironman marathon - but the faster I can go at a lower heartrate, the more efficient I'm being, and the stronger run I'll have. I'm trying to develop strength in my running so I don't blow up like I did last year at Lifetime and the Half Ironman. Again - it's not about going fast, it's about slowing down least.

Also fun was, after yesterday's run, Amy wanted to learn how to swim Freestyle. She, like the rest of us, was taught when she was a youngin' (at the Crosby Pool, shout out to the homecountry) by the American Red Cross, who taught us all wrong so that nothing is sensible. I spent all of last winter throwing my swim stroke entirely out and relearning my front crawl from jumpstreet so it was triathlon specific, which mostly just means much better and more efficient - it's not about triathlon, just correct swimming. I learned something called the Total Immersion method, so last night I tried teaching her some of the initial drills and basic fundamentals. She had a lot of problems at first exhaling in the water without getting water up her nose, but she caught on really quickly. She got the hang of the initial drills WAY faster than I did when I was learning, and she's naturally A LOT more buoyant than am. I honestly think she could be a really good swimmer, much more natural than I, I think. We had fun. A good way to round out a good day.


Todd said...

Good song, did you listen to it while runnin your 8 miles? That one is definitely in my workout playlist.

xt4 said...

I don't usually listen to my iPod when I run outside, since I can't have it during a race. But on the treadmill and pre-race, it's definitely in my playlist. Renegade from Em and Jay-Z (from Curtain Call) is another masterpiece. Anything from Lincoln Park. Maybe I'll post up some playlists sometime, too. What else you listening to when you workout, 'zilla? Diddy, we know you have The Sound of Music in yours...

Todd said...

Nice! Um, I listen to pretty much anything upbeat and more on the hard side. Lots of Em, Linkin Park, Incubus, Limp Bizkit, Metallica, Tool, Staind, Nickelback, Sum 41, Blink 182 and so on. And believe it or not, my favorite to listen to while running is Coldplay. For some odd reason, a lot of their songs have a perfect beat/pace to run to, it's incredibly easy to fall into a trance listening, next thing I know, 5 miles have gone by.

xt4 said...

I hear 'dat yo. I tend (cuz that's the kind of cat I am) to have more pop than hard stuff, but I have two playlists - one that's aggressive, and one that's more relaxed without being too mellow. And ColdPlay is cool - so is, surprisingly, David Gray. In the same vein as CP, but not boring or elevator music-ish. Anyway, it's less about a tempo with me as a feeling - there's some music that just gets me fired up, and there's some that gets me more focused. There's NOTHING in the world like being in the transition area hours before the gun, setting up your stuff with your music in your ears. Michael Jordan called it The Tunnel - that place he went with his headphones on while there was all this activity around him before a game, solitary, in his own world, getting ready to go to work. It's good for the soul, I think.

Patric said...

I swear by the Sound of Music soundtrack for all my pregame warmups. When I am in the heat of the battle though its a whole nother ball game with music, usually the WestSide Story soundtrack is a good one to keep me going through those hard times in my races. Finally for the post battle tunes I tend to find the Grease soundtrack a great one to relax to and come back to reality with after a hard days Ironman race!

Patric said...

P.S. everyone should check out my new favorite band, The Fray, absolutly amazing, here is their Myspace site, check it out.