Friday, August 1, 2008

Pre Race Thoughts


Well the 10K is tomorrow. I am going over things in my mind. I think back of my plans to prep for this race at what I figured to be my training peak. Somethings just did not materialize like I planned.

I planned on getting a good solid base this year and to work on core strength. Both I thought I could accomplish by plenty of winter snowshoeing, trail running and trail racing. I entered the Pineland 25K, The Bradbury Scuffle 6 miler and scheduled a lot of runs on trails.

I also decided to increase the length of my long runs to include some 10 and 12 milers. I figured the weekly track workouts and scheduled 5K races would take care of my speed requirements and at least three 10Ks during the season. I thought I would run a bunch of the Wednesday back bay races to help gauge my progress without actually racing. I wanted at least one race a month.

An increase of monthly milage would help sustain my base and increase endurance. I planned a steady incline right up to this race. A change in eating habits and some weight workouts was the plan to get down to the racing weight I wanted. Ideal weight is 165 lbs. All of this had to be accomplished and not get injured at the same time.

If I mastered this plan, I could possibly obtain a PR in the Beach To Beacon.
My PR set in 2003 was also a PR for a 10K race. My best, 44:06 (7:04p) seems unreachable now as I look back at the imperfections of my plan.

I started well with the winter training. The out door and treadmill combined gave me a pretty good base. I ran a half marathon in January, a 10 miler in February and once the snow melted, I was running weekly on trails and pulling off some fairly long trail runs. The longest being 15 miles. I was watching my weight which started out at 178 lbs.

I had two spring 5k races that I felt showed good progress in the speed department. One being the Safe Passage where I ran a 7:19 pace. I used the next three weeks after that race to gear up for the 25K trail race.

I felt very comfortable going into the 25k that I trained well enough for any 1/2 marathon (though this was on trails and 15.5 miles long) I registered many of my miles on trails and felt confident enough to plan on around 9:30-10 minute pace.

I found out some things at the 25K. One being the fact that a 15 mile trail race is much more difficult than a half marathon. Two, that my training did not insure me a good race as in trail races there are no flats to rest the muscles. My quads became fatigued in the last 5 miles and I was actually in jepardy of not finishing at all.

I did finish and was happy with my race considering the difficulty. I decided to spend a little more time on technical trails and had three weeks to gear up for the 6 mile scuffle race. The Scuffle was on a rainy day which actually helped me. I felt strong running it and was quite pleased with that race.

One thing I noticed, is that it was already June and I was not on track for my plan. I did not end up increasing my milage and actually slid backwards a bit. I started the winter with an average of 88 miles a month and in May had fallen back to 83 miles. My weight started at 178 and I had only dropped to 176. I was not feeling the strength during track to concentrate on speed and missed a bunch of Tuesday workouts.

I have been having quite a few scheduling problems this year and couldn't quite get the runs in that I wanted. I didn't make it to any Back bay races yet and very little crosstraining like biking and swimming. I didn't plan well at the Pat's 5 miler and only managed to beat my slowest time there (over two minutes slower than 2003). I should have run at least 10-12 seconds faster a mile than the L L Bean 10k but merely pulled off 4 seconds faster.

So that brings me to today....the day before the race.....My weight is 174 lbs. A full nine pounds heavier than my goal. That is a huge difference. My monthly milage is still hugging mid 80s instead of 90s-100s. I missed three of the last four speed workouts.

I do have two positive points, I have no major injuries besides the normal aches and pains of running and I have a good base to help with endurance. If I run smart tomorrow, I have a chance of running a decent time or at least beating last year.

I am not complainning here, I am just being realistic. It was up to me to follow my plan and I failed. I have to take responsibilty for that. My performance in the race will show my true condition.

So I will regroup and work on having a positive attitude. I can't change the training of the past only plan on what I feel I can accomplish from this platform.
I will start semi fast because it is a downhill and try to settle into a comfortably hard pace.

This probably should be around 7:20 for the first mile,7:30-7:40 pace for the next two miles then try to weather the hills to maintain at least 7:40-7:50 for mile 4 and 5 hills. If I have done things right and have something in the tank at this point, I would like to turn mile 6 to match my first mile of 7:20 or so. Then what ever kick I have for the last 2 tenths.

If I acconplish this, I will run in the low 47s. So my goals are: 1. everything falls into place and I beat 47 to run 46 something, 2. My reachable goal if I pay attention, 47:20 or so. 3. Things do not go as well as planned but I still run a good race 48 something. 4. Everything falls apart but I still manage to beat my hugely disapointing 50 minute run from last year, 49 something. 5. I am not planning to fall into number 5 I will beat last years time at least.

2003's 5 miler compared to this year.

In 2003 I ran what I thought was a disapointing time in the Pat's 5 miler. It was my pre-race race to see where I was at for the B to B. I trained very hard and ended up with a very sore right hamstring for the 5 miler. I took it easy the first two miles then as it warmed up, I picked things up well but still not the time I wanted. I ended up with a 36:12 which put my mile pace at 7:15. A mere two weeks later, I pulled off 7:04 pace for the 10K.

Compared to this year where I felt comfortable, strong and prepared as I ran many double Pats loops in preparation. I felt I would do well in the trail section as I spent so much time trail running. I was not nervous and I started fairly fast but not too fast. I had a plan using heart rate which I followed well for the first 3 miles.

I passed many runners in the woods and still was passing throughout the last mile. In my kick I trumped four runners and crossed the finish line feeling pretty good. That is until I saw my time. For some reason I thought I ran late 37s but ended up mid 38s. If this is any indication of my results for the B to B, I think I will struggle to get the time I want.

So here it is, my thoughts,goals, worries and plan for the race tomorrow...I will read this after the race and see how well I the mean time, Good Luck to ME!

1 comment:

Blaine Moore said...

Just a few things to remember about tomorrow...

1. The beginning of the race is downhill, so be smart. Use it to your advantage, but not to go out so hard that you are dead by mile 3.

2. The mile from 3.5 to 4.5 is the fastest mile on the course. Take advantage of it to build up some momentum heading down Shore Road to the coast.

3. From 5 to 5.7 you'll have to deal with 3 hills, but each one of them has a nice dip where you can regain your composure and your momentum. Remember, it's less than 3/4 of a mile of uphill, and it's not even all uphill, it just seems that way.

4. Once you get past that one steep but short (50 feet) bump as soon as you turn into the park, you have a nice shallow downhill finish for the last half of a mile. Take advantage of it!

Good luck tomorrow, I hope that you make your goals despite not having gotten to where you want to be in your training.