"It's a little self indulgent..." - My mom
"After I read a sentence, I get mad at myself for caring what you're doing." -Karl Dusen

Friday, January 14, 2011

Scheduling, distracted film criticism

I'm more than two months away from my first race, which is great, because I certainly don't have the speed endurance to run an actual race any time soon. Aerobically, I'm doing pretty well. I went out Monday night and did a 10 mile Presidents' loop and kept a consistent 6:28 pace at 4.5, 8.25 and 10 miles.

In terms of racing, I don't see that happening anytime soon. That said, it's never too early to spend time hypothetically looking at a racing schedule. I have a few races nailed down- the Fred Hardy Invitational 5k, Cherry Blossom and the BAA 5k and the Pittsburgh Half Marathon before finishing up the spring at the Laywers Have Heart 10k. I started to think about where I really want to go this year, and doing a bunch of 5ks then a half marathon seems a little unwise now. So I cut Pittsburgh, first to the relay and now possibly entirely, so I can justify traveling back instead on Memorial Day weekend and running the Kevin Gatons 5k instead. Cherry Blossom even seems a little out of place, but at least I have two weeks before the BAA 5k. So, I will still do Cherry Blossom, but as a 5k runner trying something longer, not a half marathoner running something shorter.

The Pikes Peek 10k ended up to be the same day as the BAA 5k, but I don't have a problem with that. Racing in suburban Maryland doesn't strike me as gangs of fun, anyway.

Then the Pittsburgh Marathon published its new course and I'm finding it hard to stay away for one silly reason. Although my suggestions were afterthoughts in 2009 when changing the course meant little, I still tossed out a loop through the West End, and that is what happened. Unless there's some other interest in a Pittsburgh relay, I'll probably skip this year's race. It never was kind to me, anyway.

The Swathmore Last Chance meet seems like a great opportunity for a fast 5k, after a few races to get me back into "short" distances this spring.

Though Jake and Ernst have promoted the Falmouth Road Race, Towpath tells me it can be brutally hot, and my thoughts wander to Jonny Wilson's encouragement to run the Beach to Beacon 10k in Maine a week earlier. I am open to that, if for no other reason to run a cool race and visit Maine.

I did a bit of a fartlek on Tuesday afternoon on a shortened (7.5 miles) Hains Point loop. It was windy.

I saw the Hood to Coast documentary Tuesday night and though I enjoyed the cinematography and the fact that there was the option to see a running movie in the theater, I wasn't exactly floored. It was entertaining if you kept your expectations within the event's parameters.

Many people were disappointed elite teams didn't get much attention, but the truth is it really isn't an elite race. You get three or four highly-competitive teams to show up, but after that it's an orgy of age-group competitive teams. What do you expect when Google is among the top teams? Personally, I would have liked to have seen the Bucknell Alumni team featured, probably at the expense of the Dead Jocks in a Box, but that is more of a matter of personal preference having heard their legends from Scott Sehon over the years. the Ryan Bowe team hit some of the college cross country team marks by bringing in a few Washington and Lee guys, some of whom I raced my freshman year.
I actually enjoyed the group of non-runners, a the dude's obnoxious pink hair got old immediately, but his insight was refreshing, and his effort-laced kick to the finish was inspiring, insofar as it makes me want to follow a decent diet.
Although the older woman who had the heart attack the year before was pretty narcissistic and grating, I guess including her and her gang was representative of the mid-pack teams in the race.
Ultimately, the interest in elite runners would not have supported the majority of people who would have paid to see the movie in a one-night engagement. It took forever to get home from Chevy Chase, but I guess I am glad I saw the movie in the theater, rather than wait for it to come out on Netflix -- which currently is streaming the Spirit of the Marathon (good enough, I guess) and Run for Your Life (great enough that it made me want to run the New York Marathon, and I hate New York, and marathons).
But again, the cinematography, wow... Good God, I can't wait until I get to spend nine days in Oregon this summer.

I ran at lunch Wednesday again, adding to my Catholic University loop. It's now 10 miles. I averaged 6:49 for it.

Thursday night, I eventually got going for my road workout, one which I had planned for a while and ended up coinciding with what Jerry's kids were doing- 5x mile. Unfortunately, some work got in the way Wednesday, so I did it alone after all, on the Greenwich mile loop. I tried out a new three-mile warmup loop that turned out to be perfect, then got to work. I was initially planning to average 5:30, running somewhere within five seconds. I ended up outperforming that comfortably. Though I love the Greenwich mile because it's not a track, it's exactly a mile and it has varying topography, it's hard to gauge your effort, because the first quarter is the only flat stretch, but I somehow managed to run very evenly- 5:21, 5:23, 5:21, 5:21. I hit the same splits throughout, with a slight slowdown in the second quarter of number two when a car forced me onto some ice. I didn't feel the cumulative loss of breath that had had recently at the end of longer intervals, either a result of better rest or easier breathing, but I think that had a lot to do with my consistent running. After my first mile, I thought I would plummet back down and run 5:3x, but I just ran a hard effort and came up with the same splits. I'd like to keep that going...
I started the last mile over-my-head fast, though, hoping to blow away what I had done in my previous miles. I disregarded my rationality telling me to save it for the uphills in the second half, especially the turn at the end, and instead went out in 72 seconds for the first quarter, I eased up, possibly taking myself out of it, but finished the half at 2:30, which was slow, given the downhill in the second quarter, then jogged a quarter and finished up in 76. It was a good workout and has me ready to start speeding up my work once I get back on a track with people.

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