Saturday, August 27, 2011

The 10K That Was Not, and Irene Ruining the Best Laid Plans

Since my 5K race, I've put some more running and cycling mileage in, getting closer to where I need to be.  For the week ending on the 21st (my training schedules run Monday-Sunday), I ran a total of 60 miles and biked 130.  I ran a 10K race that ended up being closer to 6 miles but regardless of the distance, the race was quite even with splits of 5:41, 5:35, 5:40, 5:47, 5:37, and 5:40 for a 5:40 average.  I would have been very close to a PR, finishing just a few seconds off.  Of course, my current 10K PR was on a relatively hilly course while this race was flat.  Regardless, it is certainly a step in the right direction, and not too bad the day after a 14 mile run.  Immediately after the race, I rode 20 miles on my bike with someone else.  Drafting off a tri bike and using aero bars in tight quarters can be...exciting.

I decided to bump my mileage up for this coming week.  With the tempo run and two races the previous week, I figured I could get away with one workout and one race this week.  I hit another good tempo run on Tuesday morning, running 9 miles total with 4.5 at tempo pace, once again 5:40/mile.  My 3 1.5 mile loops were: 8:36, 8:19, 8:37.  I'm finally over the sluggish 8:50+ starts and that second loop was quite strong.  I'll be adding a 4th loop once September rolls around but it's good to see the times approaching sub-8:30 slowly but surely.

The rest of my runs during the week were just easy runs for distance.  I also rode 40 miles on Tuesday (after the east coast earthquake) and 50 on Wednesday.  That 50 miler was the longest I've ridden in a couple of months and the first time I did that much back to back.  I managed 20.8mph for the 40 and 20.4mph for the 50 on a somewhat hilly ride with decent flats and no climbs.  My right knee bothered me a bit during the 50 and didn't feel right Thursday.  By Friday though it was fine.  I may have to tweak my seat height just a tad, but we'll see how I handle more of those back-to-back style days.

Friday afternoon I did a run-bike-run brick workout.  To be honest, I have not been doing enough of these and am trying hard to get at least one in a week.  The problem is just how long they take.  This particular one, a 2 mile run, 31 mile bike, and 6.3 mile run took me around 2.5 hours with "transition time" to pull my bike out of my car and put it back when I was done.  Between my longer rides and my long run, it's certainly a lot of time out there.  I certainly don't mind it, but it just takes some getting used to!  I managed 21mph for the bike ride, my first ever ride with an average speed over 20.  I'm really starting to get a good groove going on the bike.  My cadence is pretty locked in and I can tell when I'm not riding in the optimum gear.  Between my new wheels and just practicing, I get more out of standing in the saddle to power over hills and keep that speed up.  In general, I'm just getting better at being able to apply my strong aerobic base to the bike now that my bike legs and technique are catching up to my other abilities.

I then went off the beaten path Friday night which unfortunately made for a rather hellacious 18 mile run.  In my best impression of a collegiate runner (I've heard rumors...), I stayed out rather late Friday night and had quite a few more drinks than I've had in a long time!  It was certainly worth a night out in Baltimore's Harbor East/Fells Point, but when I finally got myself home and went to sleep at 1:30AM, I knew that 18 miler was going to be painful!

With no substantial dinner after that brick workout, too much alcohol, and 4 hours of sleep, I stumbled to my car at 5:45AM to meet up with a running group to get a 6AM start on 18 before hurricane Irene reared her ugly head.  Though it was cloudy and there was a cool breeze, it was humid as crap, and I felt like crap!  I ended up doing nearly the entire run with someone else back from a year long injury who has been struggling badly to get her times back down (including going back under 3 hours for the marathon).  I've run with her a couple of times now, just to give that slight extra push on the pace to nudge those times down.  It also gives me an opportunity to get in slightly more relaxed long runs, rather than banging them all out at sub-7 minute pace as I usually do.  Of course, we're still talking anywhere from ~7 minutes to 7:45, so its not like I'm slacking!

Today though, I think I was the one getting dragged along.  Somehow I survived though I felt pretty awful most of the way and at the end.  I was quite dizzy too thanks to my clinic of what not to do before a long run: drink alcohol, and don't eat a lot.  However, it certainly counts for fighting through rough times!

I was supposed to run the Annapolis 10 Miler tomorrow, but unfortunately, it got cancelled now that hurricane Irene is pummeling Maryland.  Regardless, I will still attempt a 10 mile run tomorrow (yes outside) when I see some "reasonable" conditions.  I've already run through a tropical storm once and my share of snow storms so this won't be anything new.  If I manage that 10, I will have run 70 miles for the week and biked 121.

My next race will be a 20 miler next Sunday, which has just become much more important.  Of course, I was doing a lot of tempo work in preparation for the 10 miler that never was, but this 20 miler should also give me a decent evaluation of how close I am to a sub-2:40.  I just need to decide on my starting pace, either 6:00/mile or 6:20/mile.  6 flat would certainly be aggressive, but it should be doable for at least 10-15 miles (I hope).  There is really only one way to find out...

Run and Bike More!


  1. What race are you training for with all your biking miles?

  2. Nothing in particular. I've got a few more duathlons between now and November. I'm mainly just trying to get my bike skills on par with my running skills which is going to take some time for sure!

    I also want to be able to keep up with Adventures for the Cure's "A" group when they resume road riding next spring.