Sunday, March 16, 2014

Boston Training Week 13, Spring Races

Saturday morning I drove over the UNC to hammer out some laps around the track before a day of beer, BBQ and basketball watching.  Usually I try to put in an interval workout mid-week, but the time change ruined any chance of getting runs in early this week.  And then a work meeting running late combined with a monsoon on Wednesday evening pushed me out to the weekend.  It was that kind of unpredictable week where I had to throw my original plans out the window and improvise.  I think I recovered well.

After Friday's run in the bitter cold (mid-twenties, again... really?), the temps Saturday AM felt near perfect.

The sun was shining out over the track and the sky was cloudless.

The empty campus had a peaceful calmness as the college kids were still on spring break.

With the exception of some crew men setting up for a lacrosse game, I was pretty much on my own out there.

Interval after interval under an empty Carmichael dorm, finishing without fanfare, but only the personal satisfaction of another week down.  My times were no better than the fall where I qualified for Boston, but I was more consistent than fall 2012 - and ran those same times on much more tired legs.

I jogged around campus afterward, down to Franklin and back across Cameron crossing through the quad.  I went to Duke undergrad, so I felt sacrilegious in a sense looking over the empty campus on this perfect late winter morning and admiring the architecture.  It was just one of those runs where I felt "good" - dialed in, listening to music from the 90s and my college years, glad to be outside, glad to be healthy.  So thank you UNC for giving me free access to your facilities... even if I did go to the "hated" rival.

Tobacco Trail, Duke Forest, Duke campus, Umstead Park, Mountains-To-Sea trail, Eno River, UNC, greenways and smaller parks all throughout Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, Cary... we are lucky here.  I almost never have to run on the roads and fight traffic.

I spend very little time on Facebook these days, but today my feed was filled with news of various friends and local running partners' successes at the first wave of spring races.  First time Boston qualifiers, new Half Marathon PRs at Wrightsville, Shamrock and Tobacco Road (Kevin Nickodem running a 1:23 at age 57... wow).  Shannon Johnstone making the US 24 hour running team (who knew there was such a thing?) by running 123 miles around a track this weekend.  Forget my legs... I think my mind would explode trying to do that.  When the people I know run well, it inspires me to raise my game, and today was filled with all sorts of good news to feed off of.  

I love the places I run around here, but the community and people here are even better.

This winter the training has almost become a goal unto itself, but at the end of the day, it comes down to the races.  I am eager for this coming weekend's Merge 25K and sharing that experience with others.

Monday:  6 at Brixx at 6, but a change of plan after redirected me to Al's Burger Shack and Beer Study for some NoDa brews... because sometimes it's that kind of Monday.

Tuesday:  ~8 miles at Duke with my friend Neil - from West to East and around East twice and back to West.  This was the nearly 80 degree day.  My calves felt a bit tight with still 60+ miles over the last week on them.  I guess maybe they were also used to running with compression sleeves on a 30 degree morning and were revolting against this sudden warm weather...

Wednesday:  an unanticipated rest day

Thursday:  ~12 miles on the ATT, some with CGTC friends, followed by the last roughly 6 on my own, dipping down below 7 minute pace down to the 6:40s before closing the last one in 6:20.  A mid week 'longish' run + progression pace is a bit unusual for me, but I had that rush of energy so I ran with it.  If Boston goes well, I'll look to these runs as the difference maker.  If Boston goes spectacularly poorly I'll blame these runs as the ones that wore me out.

Friday:  4 miles easy on ATT.  Freezing again

Saturday:  10 miles at UNC with 4 miles of intervals (400-800-1200-1600-1200-800-400 ladder workout).  Target was sub 6 minute mile pace on each of the intervals.  Ended up hitting that fairly easy, closing in 78 for last 400m.  Picture perfect morning.

Sunday:  12 miles all around the ATT - down to Scott King to catch the marathon, back up through some of the neighborhoods, then across the bridge, and back over and through Southpoint.  I ran by Target to pick up a cabbage for our family St.Pat's day feast.  So yes, I was that guy running on the ATT with a cabbage tucked under arm (don't worry, it was wrapped up and tied tight in a plastic bag).  I couldn't think of another way to end this wacky week of training.  Hard to believe there are only two left before tapering - 5 in total.

Total weekly:  52 miles

No comments:

Post a Comment