Monday, February 16, 2009

One Good Run

I have been hesitant to post a goal for Boston. And my ol' legs just don't seem to have the same pizazz they once seemed to have. I went so far as to join the Boston sub-3:10 thread at runners world. But then the sysop changed the look and feel of their forums. And magically, there was no record that I had ever boasted I could run sun 3:10; I mean, I had a hard time running a sub 3:18 in 2006 on much younger and readier legs; what on earth was I thinking? On top of that I am not following ANY structured plan; I am just trying to get at least two quality runs and sustain the weekly [read weakly] mileage in the 50s.

Fast forward to Saturday afternoon. I had 15 on the menu. 8 mpm seemed about right, but I would not worry too much if I ended up 20-30 seconds per mile slower. I started a bit fast [for me] as it was a bit cool and windy. I had a tailwind for the first 1.7 miles, then as I entered the man-made channel the wind was suddenly on my face. Not too strong but it kept me honest [whatever that means]. My stride felt fluid and quick. I hit the three mile mark in 24:15. Can I sustain this pace? Even with a headwind?

The bike trail is clearly marked every quarter-mile. And I notice that the pace is getting a tiny bit faster. Next three mile segment is completed in 23:28, or 7:52 pace. WTF? I am dreaming or what? I also feel really strong. I kept on wishing I felt like this during race efforts.

On the next quarter I check my watch and I am now running 7:40 pace. And this with a headwind. That means that I should be able to run 7:20s on the way back. I hit the hairpin turn and now the headwind is a tailwind. Nice. In an effort to drop the pace to 7:20s I notice I am working a bit harder. This three-mile segment is run at 7:30 average pace, 22:30.

Then the unthinkable happened. The notion of working harder went away and my breathing was as relaxed and even as it has ever been. My pace dropped to 7:10s. It was short of amazing. Where was this coming from? Two days earlier I had to cut a tempo run short as I could barely survive three miles in just under 21 minutes. Penultimate three-mile segment, 21:34 [7:11 pace]. The runner's high was just beginning. I exit the bike trail with a low 7 mpm pace. And I hit a headwind. No matter. I am on a natural high. One mile to go. My left knee ached a bit but not enough to slow down. I finished the last segment in 21:05, almost the same pace as my tempo run two days ago. 1:52.52, roughly 7:31 pace. Needless to say I was on cloud nine :-)

So what? I had ONE great run... what does this mean in the bigger scheme of life? It means I will go for a sub 3:15, which would qualify me for London 2010. Incidently, I signed up for Berlin 2009 and will sign up for NYCM 2009 [as I already have a qualifier].

I leave you all with a picture from the Surf City Marathon. Happy running.


Arcane said...

Those kind of runs come every once in a while. They're great when they happen.Did you check out the htfu shirts in the Boston forum on runners world? I think they're the coolest thing.

Quinto Sol said...

I had not seen them... they're cool; I just don't know about the other races listed on the back.

It took me a while to get the Harden the F up acronym :-)