Thursday, July 9, 2009

Confidence Boosting Tempo

It's no secret to the runners in my world that I am frustrated with my training. I can't pinpoint exactly why but it's a combination of several things but mostly it's just #'s that not adding up to get me the 3:40 marathon I am training for. This is mostly due to a poor 10K performance in Boulder which if I slide my 49:08 time (okay, I forget the exact seconds here and too lazy to go look it up but it was below 15 so I'll split the difference) down the column of my Team Oregon Training Guide, I'll be lucky to run a 3:49:48 marathon. And I generally do not run the marathon as fast as these little guide things predict as I am NOT a natural marathoner - my body type is built more for speed, despite how much I hate speed work. Add to a crappy Boulder time and the fact my tempo runs have been pathetic, at best.... my confidence going into Portland and landing myself at that magic PR number is, let me just say it out loud, sucks! Add this whole mess with my trainer and lack of any specific plans and well, I'm just not a fun person to be around.

I need to turn that around.

Brian, the CC coach told me last week: You need to be prepared that if Portland does not work the way you want it, be prepared for plan B. He suggested plan B was to PR at Boston in April. My suggestion for plan B was to PR in Austin in February. I'm thinking maybe he's right. I'm not sure and I really don't want to think about it; I want to train hard and get that in Portland!! It's not that he doesn't have confidence in my abilities, he does, he just wants me to fight like heck for it now. And so I'm trying.

Left to my own devices yet again for my training this week, I am doing what I preach over and over to clients not to do: over run. I am building my mileage this week to a level I never have; I want to overload my body and then rest it. I'm also going to be on vacation here soon so want to ramp up the long runs and get a couple under my belt before I leave because when I return, time will be zipping by, especially since I start back to school almost instantly. Anyway, my friend that I used to run with in Alabama, whom now lives in Kansas was reading my blog and said, "Sounds like you've taken my general philosophy of marathon training to heart: if you don't constantly feel like your just one day away from an overtraining injury, you're not training hard enough." Jeff, I still have the email you sent me post-Big Sur where you discussed this philosophy...along with some very kind words about Big Sur. I reread it from time to time :).

So with extremely tired legs this morning, I bopped over to the Highline Canal because the surface there is dirt and this was going to fare better on my legs. Plus it's shady, and since summer instantaneously hit Denver after a prolonged spring, this is crucial. But it's also a little hilly. Not bad but definitely not flat. Anyway, I wanted 10 miles and I wanted the middle part at tempo. "A tempo run teaches your body to adapt to an increased intensity. By tempo running, you can accumulate a fairly high volume of relatively intense work that improves both the aerobic and lactate-threshold systems." I pulled that quote off some website, not sure which. But that's the culprit that's been hounding my mind: teaching my body to adapt to increased intensity.

I started my run with two miles easy. And I made sure it really WAS easy - at about 9:20 pace. Picked up the next 2.75 miles at an avg of 7:52. Not exactly 7:45 like I wanted but it was a lot closer than it's been in past tempo attempts. Had to stop and tie my shoe (great excuse) got some water and sport beans and set off again. Ran next mile at 7:58 but it was kinda hilly and then the following mile at 7:46 - which is where I had hoped all miles were. Ran the last 4 miles at a very slow pace - something around 10:00. And that was okay with me. I felt a lot better today about my tempo run than I have since my Boston return, even though I didn't hit the target exactly, it was close and that has lifted my confidence with my abilities..... slightly. Hey, I'll take all steps, baby or not, to feel better about this little crusade I'm on.

I'm suppose to meet Rob at 5:30 a.m. tomorrow to attempt to do yet another timed mile. I think I need to get there at 5:10 and run and stretch so my legs are tight as cello strings like they currently are.

9.75 miles run

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