Tuesday, November 6, 2012

October 28-November 4: Almost Half Marathon Time

After getting home from spending most of the last full week of October in Florida, a hurricane hit. Fortunately for me, I was on one of the last flights allowed to land at National Airport, and found my way inside just as the rain was starting to fall and the wind was starting to pick up. DC wasn’t hit nearly as hard as many areas in New York and New Jersey, as few people lost power and our mass transit systems were back up and running within 24 hours of the storm passing. The strong winds were still a little scary sounding  from 12 stories up, but I was fortunate that I didn't lose power and that I had access to my bike trainer to keep aerobic base while running outside was just not a safe option.

Once all returned to normal, I was able to get in a few more quality runs before the real taper for the Richmond Half Marathon started. Wednesday included a track workout, Friday offered up a tempo run, and Sunday was time for the final long run.

And for all those runs, I went faster than I should have for my goal time of 1:55. Observe data from the long run.

I can either chastise myself for going too fast, or entertain the idea of a slightly faster goal time.

We’ll see how Saturday goes.

Monday: One hour spin on the trainer, watching nonstop hurricane coverage. Six two-minute lactate threshold efforts made this less boring and took my mind off the wind that seemed like it was about to break my windows.

Tuesday: Relegated indoors again; an eighty minute bike trainer workout, with several higher-effort intervals, followed by 45 minutes of strength training after my gym reopened in the afternoon.

Wednesday: Back at work, and back outdoors for workouts. A six mile track workout of 800 (4:09)-1200 (6:00)-1600 (7:41) - 2000 (9:39). The instructions were to build the pace on each one, my error here was picking up too much speed between the 1200 and the 1600, leaving me little room to move faster on the 2000. However, I’m happy with the paces I registered on both the 1600 and 2000 and left the track excited about the prospects for a sizable PR in Richmond.

Thursday: Life in DC almost entirely returned to normal, including all pools in the area operating on normal schedules. 4300 yards of swimming with DCRP Masters in the evening.

Friday: A hilly 7.23 mile tempo run in the afternoon, with 30 minutes at 8:36 pace in the middle.

Saturday: 30 minutes of biking, mostly with Nikki and Coach T, in chilly, windy conditions. We biked up MacArthur, and knowing that I’m relatively weak at climbing, I moved ahead a little bit on the flat part in Potomac as we approached Angler’s Hill so that I wouldn’t get dropped. Then I climbed the hill at my usual pathetic pace, waiting for Nikki and Coach T to pass me, and finally made it to the top to find a text message saying that they were skipping the hill and turning around.

For real?

I suppose that is what I get for trying to cover up my embarrassingly poor climbing skills.

Sunday: An 8 mile long run with Rachel and Mia, prescribed as miles 1-4 easy and miles 5-8 building to half marathon pace. This should have meant hanging out somewhere in the 9:20s or 9:30s for four miles and then gradually speeding up to finish at an 8:40-8:45 pace for mile 8. Here’s what our braintrust pulled out instead.

Followed up that nonsense with 1500 yards of easy swimming to loosen up my legs and get ready for the last 5 days before the race.


  1. It may not have been necessary, but it was a hell of a lot of fun.

    1. Do you know what was really fun? Stopping when my watch said 8.0 and Rachel's said 7.96, leaving her to keep running on her own.

  2. Where is your 7 minute mile? Are you saving that for mile 13 this sat?

  3. LOL at your comment to Mia. Glad everything is going somewhat back to normal. Here is my question of the day to you...did you know there is a half marathon in DC May 4th? I'm debating doing it.

    1. Yeah, it's the Nike Women's Half...it's new and sounds like a frou-frou type race.

  4. Good luck this weekend! Hope that it's a fun frou-frou type race. Maybe you should pull out a tu-tu? (Sorry, couldn't resist, I know some people wear them.)

  5. Yeah....you are going to go sub 1:55 easy! But good luck regardless!! :)

  6. I smell a nice shiny new PR!!