Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Base racing

My running goals this spring were to do 40-45 miles per week (over 5 runs) at a mostly easy pace. Since I run routes that are hilly and I tend to speed up on climbs, I would get some strength work in just as part of these runs. And the occasional short race, like Blackstrap Heaven, thrown in to get some neuromuscular training at speed seemed like it couldn't hurt.

Then I decided to race Muddy Moose. OK not in the schedule but we can adapt. Then I met Ian, Erik, Jim, Chuck, and James "man are you sucking wind too" Demer for the regular TNR at Twin Brook.

We started at a slow pace but my HR already seemed high and my breathing was heavy. James noticed. I lost my shoe in the first mud hole just before the jump across the creek. Everyone stopped to watch me jump it but I didn't give them a show. But I heard Ian made it. The pace stayed relatively slow for the first half but I wasn't feeling very perky.

Apparrently, we've now instituted sprints into the TNR and the first (and only tonight) sprint ended at the entrance into the A loop. Jim took off before we even got to the big bridge crossing one of the twin brooks - he wanted to take advantage of the downhill. I took off just after the bridge, which meant I had about 300 yards maybe, mostly uphill, to the finish line. I actually felt pretty good, which surprised me given how lethargic I was up 'till then. I got a good jump on James and Ian and I'm not sure if Chuck took the bait and entered the fray. Regardless, I couldn't hold off James, who blew past me with maybe 50 to go.

It's good to throw fartlek style stuff into a run like this, so we don't forget how to run fast (really, that neuromuscular training at speed is important). But James used the sprint to push the pace for the rest of the run. At this point I should have just let him go and returned to a sane pace, especially since I just had a hard run 2 days ago in Sunday muddy Sunday. But no one wanted to crack and we followed James like a pack of hounds after the fox. The HR graph pretty much says it all.

For whole 2nd half of the run, I had an ache about mid-tibia that I thought might be either shin splints or a stress fracture. When we finished the run, I looked at my shin and was instantly reminded that I have a bruise/cut from the log that jumped up and hit me during my sprint down big sandy hill at the muddy moose. I guess I forget about these things but was relieved none-the-less.

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