Stinking weather forecast…

Since I have a race on Saturday, I’ve been compulsively checking the weather forecast. In the last two days, it’s gone from low 80s and overcast to mid 90s and partly sunny. With high humidity to boot.

June is usually fairly safe, especially early June.

But not this year.

I’m trying to have a positive attitude, though. I’m hoping that a short race in miserable summer weather will jumpstart the acclimatization process, thereby setting me up for a fabulous (relatively speaking, of course) half marathon later in the month.

Fall Training: Week 2

This, week two of my eight week basebuilding experiment, proved a tough one. I ratcheted up the mileage another 10%. In two weeks, I’ve gone from 50 miles to 88 miles. This is bearing in mind that I averaged 76 mpw during training for the spring race. Still, I felt those extra miles by the weekend, and had to make some compromises as a result.

I kept most of the miles as recovery miles — nearly 60% of them. But that wasn’t enough. Read on.

Today starts a much-needed recovery week. No running today and lots of slow running. Then a race on Saturday — so much for recovery…

A look back at the week:

  • Monday: 6.1 miles recovery pace (AM); 5.1 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Tuesday: 5.1 miles recovery pace (AM); 5 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Wednesday: 9.9 miles tempo with 2×2 at 15K-half marathon pace (AM); 4.2 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Thursday: 6 miles recovery pace (AM); 6.1 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Friday: 7 miles easy pace (AM); 4 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Saturday: 6 miles recovery pace (AM); 4 miles recovery pace (PM)
  • Sunday: 19.8 mile long run (steady pace)

Total mileage: 88.3 miles

Paces this week:

  • Recovery: 9:50 – 11:20
  • Tempo: 6:59 – 7:13
  • Easy: 7:55
  • Long: 8:57

Things were going well until Saturday. I had a really good tempo run earlier in the week, then felt so good on Friday morning that I raced through seven miles at under 8:00 minutes per mile. And that turned out to be a big mistake.

I was tired on Saturday during both my runs. Then I didn’t get to bed until well after midnight since the Reebok meet ran late. Got seven hours of sleep Saturday night, woke up exhausted. And it was hot and humid.

I had one of the worst runs I’ve had in awhile on Sunday. I couldn’t drag myself out until after 9AM on Sunday (I usually start much earlier). I knew by mile five that it was going to be a tough run. I was tired, my legs hurt and it was 85 degrees and humid, with me sweating up a storm at high noon.

I must have been on crack when I thought I could run 20 with the last five at marathon pace at the end of this particular week. I gave up on that idea early on and engaged in a process of lowering my expectations with every mile. Finally settling on trying to keep the average pace under a 9:00 mile (just made it).

Anyway, I beat myself up over it and then realized that this is basebuilding, after all. I got my mileage in and there’s plenty of time for fast long runs later on. Things should get easier as I get more acclimatized to the heat and humidity too.

I registered for the NYRR Mini 10K on Saturday. It’s probably going to be hot and humid, but I’m still excited to run it. The olympic marathon team will be running it, as well as some big name international elites. They will, of course, be too far ahead of me to see, but I’ll know they’re there nevertheless.

This will also be the first NYRR race I’ll run since they instituted their seeded corrals policy. I wondered how they would figure my pace. It turns out they take the fastest per mile pace you’ve run in a NYRR race. It works to your advantage if you run shorter NYRR races, but it’s not so great if all you run are the longer ones. It seems like it would be easy enough to seed runners based on their best paces relative to other distance/pace equivalents. But them’s the rules and I shall not argue with the NYRR gods.

I don’t have a hard time goal, since the weather will be a factor. I just want to run as fast as I can. Wish me luck!

Coming up in Fall Training Week 3 (which started today): A day off, lots of slowpoke miles, a race and a long run on Sunday. All adding up to a mere 61 miles.

Meet Report: Reebok Grand Prix

I took some really awful photos and even worse video. The video is boring and the photos are blurred. I suppose I should read the manual before being allowed out of the house with my camera.

Anyway, here’s a report on the Reebok event last night. Sure, you can read all about the results on some of those other sites. I’ll give you information about the things you really wanted to know about.

For instance, who knew Jamaicans were so nuts for track and field? We arrived to discover that the audience was basically 8,000 Jamaicans and us. They were an ebullient crowd — cheering for the high schoolers (who seemed well-represented by family and friends in the crowd, many of whom were dressed to the nines) and the elites alike.

And there were many, many Jamaican elites running, especially in the shorter events. They received enormous support, although the crowd was great in acknowledging pretty much everyone. And I do mean everyone

We had lots of thunderstorms moving through last night and at one point the events were delayed for about 45 minutes. The MC, Lewis Johnson, did a good job of keeping us all entertained by asking people to come volunteer to sing their national anthem in a “sing your national anthem” competition. We were treated to the U.S. anthem, the Jamaican anthem (of course), the Trinidad-Tobago anthem and China’s anthem.

Not surprisingly, Jamaica’s got the best response, although not the least of which was because the song sounds like a song you’d hear sung at a Dartmouth football game in 1936. It’s very much a “rah! rah! rah!” song that you’re supposed to sing along to. Much better than Trinidad-Tobago’s, which was more like a funeral durge. Who writes a national anthem in a minor key?

Once the novelty of that wore off, we all just sat there looking at the rain. But then, the announcer screamed, “Ladies and gentlemen! Lane six!”

And, lo, there was a squirrel running in lane six. Right toward the finish line. The squirrel bolted forward, then stopped just short. The crowd applauded. The squirrel reversed. The crowed applauded more. The squirrel turned around and raced across the finish line. The crowd went completely batshit, like the squirrel had just broken a world record! It was hilarious.

In short, it was more fun than I’ve had for $36 in a long while. I’m definitely in for more of these, especially if the crowd’s Jamaican again.

It’s hard to know what to highlight because there was so much talent out there and some very exciting races. Some of the best races were the high schoolers, especially the relays. Other notable events were the men’s 3000m steeplechase, the men’s 800m, the women’s 5000m, the men’s 5000m, the women’s 100m and, of course, the sub-10 second battle between Gay and Bolt.

Some good reports and photos, plus results:
RunBlogRun’s report
USATF News
Selective recap on LetsRun.com
Some good quotes from the athletes
Prettier pictures than mine
NY Times on Bolt’s new world record
Complete results

Like a horse race…but with people

We spent a little over five hours last night watching some of the best track and field athletes in the world run, vault and throw heavy objects last night at the Reebok Grand Prix on Randall’s Island.

Full report later, but the best was saved for last: the men’s 100 metres, in which Jamaica’s Usain Bolt broke the world record. So we saw the fastest man ever recorded, running about fifty feet in front of us. Very exciting stuff. I’m hooked on track meets now.

I’m off for a 20 miler with 5 at race pace. Ugh.

More later, after pancakes.

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