November 26, 2005
the virtues of restraint
Since I have to work overnight tonight, I did my long run today instead of tomorrow. It was just barely a long run - 17 miles - but the longest run I've done since Baltimore. The plan was 8:15s going down to 7:45s, and to make the math easier I amended this to 2 @whatever, 5@8:15, 5@8:00, 5@7:45.
The weather was everything I'd hoped for the past two race days, 50s and still. Usually it takes a couple miles for me to get the legs going, but I only needed a mile today and then I was off at a much faster clip than I was supposed to go, and not feeling it at all. I decided, though, to try my best to hit the paces and hold them rather than let things wander all over the place. I checked the GPS every block and tried not to let the lap pace vary more than a few seconds.
It didn't really work; either the GPS was horribly off or I was having a really great day. Checking the pace fairly often didn't get me to slow down that much, but it did keep me focused on the relationship between pace and effort (when the GPS is horribly off or I'm having a very good day). Even though I was going faster than planned, I still broke the last 15 miles into 5-mile chunks and tried to pick it up each chunk. I started to get tired with 3 miles left, so I pushed the last 2 into the low 7s just to get it over with.
So it was a good fun run and all, but rather than thinking about it as a thing in the past that's now over with, I'm sort of interested in what it will bring in the future. Will it give me a plus-or-minus XXX time in that half-marathon two weeks from now? Did it cause a tiny hairline crack in some bone that I won't notice until next month? Did I grow a couple of capillaries? Will I fall asleep in the middle of database maintenance tonight and not be there to stop the transaction log from growing out of control and killing replication and then the whole half-terabyte will have to be restored from backup and replication rebuilt, which will take much longer than a day, probably into the start of the business week and then some rich white guy will earn a couple fewer pennies than expected on his retirement account and I'll get fired, giving me lots more time to run? That's one thing about running: you do the work, and then later something happens. Something always happens.
Posted by joe positive at November 26, 2005 4:12 PM
I am guessing that your coach intended those pacing guidelines to be general and not specific, considering you've been racing a fair amount and did a marathon only 1 1/2 months ago, and that had he known it was going to be 50 and calm he would probably have approved of seizing the day and stretching things out a bit if you felt good. But that's between you and him. I'm not gonna get involved any more than to say that if you keep improving as much as you have in the past few months, you might actually be able to justify constinuing to do the training that got you there. It works the same way with diabetics, who get the thumbs-up to take appropriate amounts of insulin and frequent glucose readings once their sugars are well-controlled and they're feeling good. But I am just rambling now so I'm going to visit Cool Running, which always shuts me up quick because my mouth is agape and my fingers frozen at some of the hairbrained bullshit that encrusts that hangout for pretenders and dullards. Oops! Can I say "bullshit" in here? I'm sorry. I'll stop rambling now. But I should probably use paragraph breaks. Also, I consider it bad etiqutte to post comments that rival the length of the blog entries they address. My God, I am really just blabbering, aren't I? Damn.
Posted by: Beaming Visionary at November 27, 2005 1:28 PM