Spring Training: Week Nine

Although the workouts went well this week, this was the first week since I started up training again where recovering properly felt like a struggle. Although I was able to rally for the harder days, I felt the previous days’ effort accumulating on the easy days, as if I had a slow leak in recovery during the week. Yesterday I was exhausted and forced myself to go out and run, nevertheless cutting the planned nine mile recovery run short at 7.1, as the slog got harder and harder rather than easier. Then I fell asleep for two hours.

But my hard days went well. I was only trapped on the treadmill for three evening runs, all of them mercifully short. Everything else was done outside, mostly along my new route in Scarsdale. It’s also finally starting to warm up, and the snow is melting. The running path is still snowy, but I think it should be clear by end of day tomorrow or early Tuesday at the latest. As should be the track in Bronxville. It’s not quite warm enough for shorts, but I think it will be next week.

I’ve covered the tempo and speed sessions in a previous post. The other highlight was my tour of the Scarsdale 15K course this morning. I had a 15 mile run scheduled, the first 9 of which followed the race course. I haven’t run that particular race since 2006, when I ran a time of 1:25:30. I expect to do much better this year.

But, boy, is that a hilly course! I’d forgotten how cruel its design is, as well as how much it varies between two extremes: several miles of it consist of sneakily slight, but very long uphill grades, punctuated with the occasional short, very steep climb up. There are lots of downhills as well, of course, but they didn’t seem to offer much relief. The worst of it is mostly over by the 6.5 mile mark, but there is a very steep uphill just before the finish. I will have to remember to pace myself so I don’t die in the last mile.

Since after the nine mile mark I was winging it in terms of the course for today’s run, I guessed at distances. I got back to my car a bit short of 15 miles, but I was done for the day, ready for some water, a sandwich and the foam roller. Along with my more casual attitude toward paces, I’m also dropping the obsession with hitting nice, round numbers every week.

Next weekend the calvacade of races continues, with the NYRR 8000 in Central Park on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, if my legs aren’t fried I’ll do a 2 mile road race in Yorktown Heights, as Jonathan’s doing a 10K up there that day. Or I’ll just go be his cheering section if my legs aren’t willing. See Races for all the dirt.

One kudos to a fellow runner: Andrea broke 3:22 today at Napa. It was good for fifth in her AG. I don’t know what her goals were, but I’m hoping she was happy with that time, because she sure was nervous yesterday!

6 Responses

  1. 8k/2 mile is a tough double, but I think you should do the 2, even if the legs are slightly overcooked — the intensity of such a short race is quite different to what you’re used to.

  2. Quick note. B’ville track is clear. Ran BRP from B’ville to Crestwood this morning. Clear all the way except stay to west of lake at southern end, some ice briefly at little downhill south of Scarsdale Road, and bad stretch south of Crestwood. Otherwise perfect.

    • Excellent, Joe! To add to your survey: Jonathan reported that the bit between Leewood and Harney was still pretty messy yesterday. But with a predicted high of around 60 today, the rest should be gone by tomorrow, I’d think. Can’t wait to get to the track again.

  3. Looking very good – particularly the last paragraph of the tempo post. I may have said it before, the sometimes you’ve got to figure out how to NOT care to…care about the right things? Run comfortably? One of those. My sage wisdom isn’t nearly as sage as I thought. 😉

  4. My lord, aren’t you a sweetie for the shout out!? 🙂

    THANKS! I am still a bit sore and went for a surreal little jog on Tuesday which I will repeat tomorrow. Other than that I am doing 90min of yoga daily and I think that will do the recovery trick pretty nicely with some lowish mileage on top of it.

    Places don’t matter to me (yet), since I’m not fast enough to win age groups, but I’ll confess that I was expecting to be further up – until I found this on the website:
    “The 2010 NVM served as the Road Runners Club of America’s Western Regional Marathon Championship race.”

    So, there were LOTS of extra 2:45-3:25ish runners out there (30 more finished under 3:20 this year compared to last). That was GOOD for me – I had more people to run with and chase down (or try to draft behind). *grin*

    • Yes, that’s not the race to run if you’re trying to place high. It’s a popular one for getting an Olympic Trials qualifying time, because the course is a downhill, the weather temperate, and if you catch it on the right day you’ll get a tailwind.

      Glad you had a good race! Run easy for the next few weeks…

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