Thursday, August 12, 2010

Broken Plans...Confusing Results

One would think, upon reading my title, that I had an undesirable experience with my training. Of course that is exactly what we humans normally write about, it is in our nature to complain and I know I have done my fair share.

I plan a run, it doesn't go as planned, I complain and ramble on for ever it seems and then I find a way to rationalize my experience into some type of good training thing. Perhaps everyone does that, but they leave out the complaining part so it sounds more positive than whining.

My plan was to do an easy run on Bradbury East side trails last night.......well let me backtrack a bit, Saturday I ran the Beach to Beacon 10k, then Sunday I raced the Bradbury Mountain Breaker 9 miler.

Now I do not normally run back to back races and even though I didn't all out race the Beacon, I did run the race when I should have been resting for my mountain race. All in all I had a plan for the Breaker and I followed it quite well.

In the end I had a respectable time that gave me PR of about three minutes and though I felt sluggish during most of it, I think I accomplished a pretty good race. I suspect this whole piece is getting a bit boring as I already wrote about my race.....but the background is important as it leads up to my latest run.

Sunday afternoon I was dead tired and decided to take at least one maybe two days off before I ran again. For sure my Achilles needed to calm down after the hills of the 9 miler.

I spent Monday and Tuesday just swimming laps and water running. It actually felt good and it didn't allow my muscles to get too stiff. At the same time my brain wasn't thinking that I was lazing it.

I knew Wednesdays run would feel sluggish and decided to just hit Bradbury and do an easy three or fours miles on the Bruiser course just to work the body back into running trails. It was quite hot out when I left work and I almost canned the whole idea of running and hit the pool again instead.

For some reason I did end up at Bradbury but assured myself I would take it real easy and felt my body would demand it anyway, so I actually had no say in the matter.
When I first started running down the link trail, I felt tired and sluggish and my legs were not too solid......every thing I expected.

Once I turned onto the single track of the Lanzo trail, I just kept running faster and faster. Suddenly I was breathing near the top of my capability, hitting extremely high heart rate numbers that averaging up to 154(89%HR) with peaks at 162(93%hr) for the first three miles...... surprising because these are my normal racing numbers.

Funny thing is, I didn't feel like I was racing, I felt more like I was running comfortably hard and it actually felt extremely fast and doable. Usually when racing hard I feel like I can't go on and have to convince myself not to quit.

I stopped at the 5k mark just to double check my watch and my monitor to be sure I was reading it right. After 20 or 30 seconds I continued at what was going to be a cooldown pace, but before long I was running fast again...OK..well fast for me anyway.

I ran the next two miles faster than the first three and topped it off with a great kick. Though my average heart rate was a bit lower because of the slower start, my kick peaked my hear rate up to 173.......I haven't reach the 170s since last year.

What the hell happened? I somehow flicked some hidden switch and now I want to know how to do it slight disbelief, I rechecked my stats on both the Garmen and the Nano to be sure there was not something wrong and I found everything to be normal.

I wish I could put this run in the bank and make a withdrawal for my next race. It sure is funny how perceived effort and condition is totally relative to factors that seem way beyond our comprehension and control.

5.2 miles @49:07(running time)9:30 pace


8:24...173 (for .2 miles)

1 comment:

John said...

I think our limits are often way beyond where we believe them to be. Conditioning helps us with glimpses beyond what we've thought of as our limits.