Another Bloomsday and sub 60
Wow! Who would-a-thunk-it?
Yup, another Bloomsday and another sub 60 minute race! Can’t believe it!
I was ‘supposed’ to just jog this and use it as a recovery run from my 28 mile training run from yesterday, (Supposed to be a 30 miler but I felt TERRIBLE! More on that later), but when I got up today my legs felt pretty good. In fact they felt great! (Another thanks to Jeff Galloway’s (JG) method of running!) But, I had told everyone I was just going to walk/jog this, and use it as a recovery run and really enjoy it. You know, eat ice cream sandwiches, joke around with everyone, just really relax. So I gathered up my camera, and my phone and the more I moved around at home, the more I realized how good my legs felt and I thought, well, maybe I’ll jog/run for a little bit.
Well, by the time I pulled out my bike and got ready to ride down to the start, I realized I had already made up my mind to RUN. I wasn’t sure how hard I’d run, but I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to just lallygag around. So I thought I would start by running a 7:30 pace and then see how far I got.
Well I parked my bike, worked my way up to the front of the yellow group and started looking around for some friends. Sure enough I spotted Susie who had earned the 2nd seeding by running a 21:21 at the Susan G. Komen race. That time was good enough for 2nd place in her age division of 20 – 24 (such a young age…sigh) Oh and by the way that’s a 6:52 pace per mile, YIKES! That’s SMOKIN! Here’s a picture of her smokin finish: (here) (She’s the one in the cool shades)
Then I spotted my Saturday morning running buddy; Speedster, “Steve-don’t follow me or you’ll get lost-Warrington” and he looked fit and ready to rock-n-roll! He was running for the Spoksman Review Corporate Cup which has placed 1st in their division for the last 3 years (I think), and you can see his stats here. He was attempting to do a PR today and had run the course numerous times in the last few weeks in preparation for getting just the right strategy. I’m not sure what his time was but knowing Steve it’s a good one!
Another friend was Vern “Ironman” Newby who has done the Coeur d’Alene Ironman Triathlon numerous times and looked scary good today! I mean he looked ripped and ready to set another PR. I’ll have to wait to see what his time was. All I can say is, don’t get in his way!
Last by not least was Russ Johnson another Saturday morning running buddy who also looked ready to tear up the course. I would see him later in the race, but wow, he’s been putting in the miles you could see that.
Well, finally we were all set to go and I still hadn’t decided how hard I was going to go. I mean I was still a little stiff from yesterdays long run but I felt good enough to at least go for a little while at a 7:30 pace, so that’s what I decided after the gun went off.
As usually EVERYONE took off out of the starting gate like they were shot out of a cannon! I on the other hand, being of sound mind and sore legs just kept a close watch on my Garmin to make sure I didn’t exceed a 7:30 pace, which is hard to do when everyone is flying by you so fast. In fact one of those folks was Russ Johnson. As we were heading down the hill by Peaceful Valley he came up to me and looked like he was out for a relaxing jog, tipped his hat and was gone! The next thing I saw was his jacket flying off and thrown to the side quickly followed by his hat. I was like, “Wait! That wa a nice hat!”. But he was gone and I never saw him the rest of the way. Whew…glad I wasn’t trying to keep up with him!
One of the things I promised myself this time around was to try and enjoy the race rather than concentrating so hard on my pace. So I endeavored to do that as the miles rolled by, and for the most part I did. As usual the people were loud and encouraging and bands bumped us full of great rhythm and inspiration. One of the most endearing ‘bands’ was a couple sitting under the covering of their truck canopy who were performing something that sounded like a polka. She was playing an accordion and he was playing a stand-up bass. Everyone that ran by later commented on how cute they were. Although I had a hard time trying to run to the beat of a polka. Heck, I have a hard time even trying to DO the poka. (Is that the one where you put one foot in and one foot out?)
So I made sure I was looking around, and enjoying the sights and sounds and even was able to encourage a few people by yelling at them. Well, I mean it in an encouraging way, like, “Come on! Let’s get up this hill!”. At least I hope they thought I was encouraging them.
Well as the miles went by I remembered that Steve mentioned he was going to take his sports gel around the 3 to 3.5 mile marker so that’s what I did. Knowing that “Doomsday Hill” was approaching I figured I would need all the help I could get. So I downed that, and then at the 4 mile aid station I took my 1st water to help wash down the gel. (Mine was a GU orange burst and Mmm Mmm good! You know it had to be good as I had just used about 8 of them yesterday on my 5 hour training run and I was still able to choke it down.)
Well as everyone who has ever done Bloomsday knows, after passing SFCC and starting the downhill run to the base of “Doomsday” you get the full view of that intimidating hill. But I was feeling pretty good and just tucked my head down, started into my “glide” per JG’s instructions, and concentrated on my form and breathing. The next thing I knew, I was at the top and not even out of breath! Well, not completely out, just about 90%! That’s also another spot where I “encouraged” everyone by yelling, “LET’S GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”. I’m not sure if it really helps anyone else but it certainly does me some good!
Once at the top of the hill I continued doing the glide to let my lungs catch up with my heart and pretty soon I was right back into my stride and back on my 7:30 pace. (No, I wasn’t able to keep up the 7:30 pace up the hill, but I was able to dip under an 8:00 pace for the hill)
I was still feeling the affect of the gel and seems like I was just cruising along when I turned onto Broadway. Now normally this stretch I’m pretty exhausted and seem to struggle and although my legs were warning me to slow down or else, my lungs felt pretty good and my heart rate wasn’t in the scary zone yet so I just kept plugging along.
Finally around the 6 or 6.5 mile mark I was looking for a friend of my who always mans the aid station, Todd Caddy, and sure enough there he was handing out high fives, so I took one as I went by and that seemed to help spur me on.
So by now I knew I wasn’t going to do a PR, (last year I was able to make a 55:22 for the 7.46 distance) so I concentrated on trying to at least get a sub 60. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to as I was beginning to feel a little tired and actually went into oxygen debt. You know what that’s like, right? It’s like having asthma and every time you try and get a breath it feels like your throat is closed off. Not one of those feelings you want to have when your heart is beating like a race horse! So once again I did the glide routine. ( I know, I’ve mentioned this numerous times and the best way to describe it is you really concentrate on your form, keep you feet low to the ground, shorten your stride and quicken your turnover. It’s a great little trick that allows your legs to rest and your lungs to regroup and grab some air while maintaining a pretty good pace. All I can say, “It works!”.) Sure enough by the 7th mile I was all recovered and ready to push on in for a fast finish. (My last mile was at a 7:15 pace, YIKES!)
So as we all turned the corner onto Monroe street you could see the finish line less than a 1/4 mile away, and there was a gal next to me who said, “Let’s go get our T-Shirts!” and took off like a shot! So I agreed and took off after her, and actually managed to pass her (I think the speed work on the track is helping!) and tore across the finish line in 56:44. It wasn’t a PR but I was sooooo happy to have another sub 1 hour Bloomsday that I shouted at the top of my lungs like a wild man! YAHOO!!!!!
I love this race and each year it just seems to get better and better and is run so smoothly. I talked with a couple from Seattle who ran this for the 1st time and they were so impressed on how friendly everyone was, and by all the volunteers and all of the people on the course who supported all the runners. Yup, I said, that’s Spokane!
Well, I mentioned at the top of the “short” blog that I would talk more about my “30 miler” that I ran yesterday.
You see, one of my goals this year is to qualify for the Boston Marathon 2010 and I’ve been following a Jeff Galloway program and it called for a 30 miler on Saturday. Well, I knew I had Bloomsday coming up but since my #1 goal this year is Boston I decided I would just walk/run Bloomsday (HA!) and concentrate on the 30 miler.
Now before you go, “Oh wow, dude!” let me explain the Jeff Galloway method and program. On all the long runs you always run it 2 minutes slower than your race pace. So my goal race pace for Boston is 8:30 so I should be running my long runs at a 10:30 pace, but I just can’t do it. That just seems way to slow, so I shoot for a 10 minute pace, and so far it’s been working like a charm. But that’s not all, not only do you run at a slow pace you run it using an interval of a 4 minute run followed by a 30 second walk. That’s right, you get to walk! And you know what? It works! It’s amazing!
The idea behind Jeff’s method is the 30 second walk is just a long enough rest that it allows your running muscles to recover so when you start your run again your legs feel fresher. So if you start this from the very 1st mile, by the time you get to the higher miles, say 20 or 21, you’re going to be able to finish whatever distance your doing with fresh legs and the big bonus is, you haven’t beat your legs up so that with just a one day rest you can go out and run again.
I know you’re probably thinking, “yeah, right”. BUT IT’S TRUE!
Steve and I have been doing this for the last few weeks and it is truly amazing! Last weekend we ran a 25 miler and averaged a 9:57 per mile pace for all 25 miles. Sure, right after, our legs were tired and sore and even our ankles felt sore, but the very next day Steve went out for a run and felt great. I waited until Monday, went out for an easy 6 and wound up doing 8 miles at a 8:15ish pace and it felt great! No kidding!
However, since I didn’t start this JG method until about 2 months ago, I had to sort of ‘adjust’ his program to fit my condensed schedule. So I bunched together some of the long weekend runs and instead of doing a 20 miler one weekend and follow it the next weekend with some mile repeats I bunched all the long weekend runs together so we’ve done something like: 12, 15, 18, 21, 25, & 30 for the last 6 weeks. That’s not a good thing to do.
Most programs follow a 3 week schedule with the 4th week designated as a recovery week. You still run and do speed work but everything is backed off a notch or two. Volume is the same, but effort is reduced. This allows your body to rebuild and repair itself rather than always tearing it down week after week.
Well I KNEW I should be backing off this weekend, but I have the Windermere marathon in a couple of weeks and I felt I needed to get that 30 miler in so that I wouldn’t hit the wall so soon in the marathon or perhaps even at all. (You’ll have to read Jeff Galloway’s book to find out more about that). So suffice to say, I had a TERRIBLE run yesterday.
I was supposed to do a 30, but as soon as I took the 1st step I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do all 30.
I woke up on Saturday morning about 5;15 and I felt lousy. I had a sore throat and I felt like I had just finished swimming and had that nasal feeling in my sinuses. I was soooo bummed! So I went back to sleep until 6:15 and finally got up but I still didn’t feel very well.
Sure enough as I was starting the 1st 11.2 mile loop (I have a B.E.A. UUUUUtiful route out west of town), about halfway into it I knew this was going to be a rough run. It’s too bad, because all week long I was looking forward to doing this run. I know 30 miles sounds like a ridiculous amount of miles but when you run it at a slow pace it’s absolutely fun!
I had picked out a good story to listen to on my MP3 player (Invasion of the body snatchers by Jack Finney) and I had eaten tons of pasta all week long so I was mentally and I thought, physically ready to go out and have a 5 hour fun fest! (By the way, did you know you can now download MP3 books from your local library? It’s awesome!!!)
Anyway, long story short, (well, maybe not short but I won’t go on and make it longer…OKAY, I’ll SHUT UP!) I had a very difficult run. When I finished my 2nd loop and had only 22.6 miles completed I was sooo depressed and I felt VERY fatigued, but I just didn’t want to stop at that short distance. (Perhaps it’s one of those times I should have listened to my body..duh!) So I pushed myself back onto the road for a 4 mile out and back to finish up, but about 2 1/2 miles out I knew I just couldn’t do it, and if I pushed anymore I might regret it. So I turned around and slogged back to the truck.
I still did a 5 hour run but it was a 28 miler instead of a 30 so that tells you what kind of pace I had..ugh.
BUT…this was a great weekend. I’m thrilled to have been able to get under 60 minutes again for Bloomsday, and I think I’m going to take Monday as a rest day. Whew!