Sunday, July 23, 2006

What Did I Do Now?

I don’t know what made me do it, but what’s done is done. Once again I turned what should have been a nice and easy training run into some race against myself, and I didn’t even plan it.

Friday didn’t start too well. I had gone to bed quite early, but woke at 3 am and spent the best part of the next two hours trying to go back to sleep again. When the alarm when off at 5:40, I was less than rested. I fact I was sorely tempted to turn around and go back to sleep, but managed to heave myself out of bed. Once I was out on the road, I felt better and quickly got into the groove. I checked my time after 3.5 miles and was surprised to see that I was doing nearly 8:00 pace. I did slow down for a bit, but my internal pace control unit must have shut down, because within two minutes I was running just as fast again. In fact, I must have gotten faster with each mile, because the next time I checked my watch was at mile 9, and by now it was clear that I was going well below 8:00 pace. I passed our driveway where I had deposited a water bottle, but mindful of what happened two weeks ago, I decided to go on without drinking. Since the legs seemed incapable of going at easy pace, I decided to turn it into a progression run and run the last 5 miles at fairly hard pace. This worked ok until about mile 12, when fatigue finally caught up with me, and from then on I had to push myself to keep the pace going. When I passed the half-marathon mark I checked my time again. The watch said 1:40, which is actually faster than my best racing time, not that I count training runs as an official PR. When I got home one mile later I felt both great for having done such a great run and bad about pushing myself hard when I should have been cruising at an easy aerobic level instead.

Saturday was a rest day, and I finished the week on Sunday with 9 miles, including 10x100 strides. For the first two or three miles my calf muscles felt rather stiff, but they loosened up as the run progressed. The sky was very cloudy, and I felt a few raindrops initially, but half an hour later the sun was blazing down once again and I felt uncomfortably hot. I took off my t-shirt for the last two miles because I felt like I was baking underneath a layer of cotton. I hope none of the neighbours minded. It was also my first run in my new pair of Asics Nimbus. They had felt incredibly comfortable in the shop, so why did they feel like I was accidentally wearing somebody else’s pair as soon as I hit the road? In fact, I felt a blister developing on my right heel towards the end of the run. I might just about have gotten away with it, but it might still come out tomorrow. For the time being, the shoes are in disgrace at the back of the cabinet. I’ll probably use them again for a shorter run next week and hope that they magically start fitting my feet.

Weekly mileage: 55 miles (not 56 as mistakenly stated two posts ago)

21 Jul: 14 miles, 1:47, 7:38 pace
23 Jul: 9 miles, 1:12, 8:00 pace


  1. You are putting in some miles, Thomas. Do you think you ran too far the first time in the new shoes? I've always heard it's better to break them in slowly...just a thought.

  2. Take the good days when they come Thomas! I buy the exact same model of shoes year after year but they keep making little alterations that cause new blisters and hurts in new places. Try different thickness socks, powder, shoe lacing and different length runs.

  3. Ya know Thomas, I was having trouble sleeping but since we started soaking in the hottub well no problem. *grin*

  4. "I checked my time after 3.5 miles and was surprised to see that I was doing nearly 8:00 pace"

    Some days just go very well, with no real increase in effort. It's fantastic when it happens; roll with it. You can always treat your next tempo run as an 'easy.' Or, if there's no lasting fatigue, then bonus -- your body's awarded you an extra quality day. It sounds like the training's a big success so far.

  5. A good run is always good. I think effort is important so if it felt good then go with it.

  6. Thomas, bummer on the shoes. Hopefully Susie's and love2run's suggestions will help. Also, I'm with Rob on the effort thing - if it's feeling good just go with it. No reason you can't mix up the training a little.

  7. I've had a lot of trouble sleeping since the heat rolled in about 2 weeks ago - it is really starting to wear me down.

    Fantastic training pace, I just imagine what you could have done if it was a race!

  8. Nice! I also go with the feelings. For shoes - I rarely break them in, so I can't advice on it.
    Heat equals no sleep! I can hardly drive without my eyes closing...

  9. I've noticed it takes a good couple of weeks for new shoes to feel 'right'. There always seems to be a hot spot or blister or something until they're broken in a bit.

    Sometimes, the weather can affect your shoes too. Obviously, the rain is a factor...but heat can cause your feet to swell up more than they might on a cooler day.

    I read somewhere that you should always shop for shoes in the evening when your feet are at their biggest. Take it from a guy with size 15's.

  10. Thomas
    I have a lot of trouble sleeping and when I exercise hard, I have the most trouble. the heat also affects my sleep but at least here in NJ we can put air conditioning units in the windows. I am sure it is not comfortable right now with the amazing weather you are having.

    But, that run sounds wonderful - and you did something cool by listening to your inner pacer...neat. I love when those zen type moments happen!

  11. You are really getting the mileage in. Bummer on the shoes...we all know how frustrating that is. It's amazing how good some shoes feel in the store but the minute we run in them we know they are not working....frustrating!

  12. the shoe saga continues... :)

    it happens-something that feels sooo good when you first try them on just aren't "right" when doing an actual run in them-thats why if i have to try a new model (looks like i might have to soon, as the cumulus 7's are finito and i will have to "upgrade" to the 8's)...i make sure to get them from a store that has a great return policy-that will let you give them back even after 1 run (well, as long as they are not dirty) and i agree with all the others who said to try new shoes first on a short run (not that there are many while marathon training!) and congrats on a great long run.