Sunday, July 29, 2012

B2B training & Baldface

In May I was 100% convinced that I would not be writing this post because of writing off 2012 racing due to my RCB. Perhaps paradoxically this led to my decision to jump into the Pineland 10K for fun since any damage from the race wouldn't matter. While that race completely sucked, it did give me confidence that I could train a little harder without aggravating my RCB to an unrunnable state. I set a pretty conservative goal - a workout (interval, tempo, or long run) every 4 days or so instead of the more typical every-other day. My intervals and tempos have also been conservative - My tempos have been at something between MP and 1/2MP while my intervals have been 1/3 - 1/2 mile hill repeats at a hard effort. No track work. Only one Daniel's 20 minute tempo at 15K pace. I also entered a few road races and counted these as workouts. In the end, I'm extremely happy with my buildup for B2B considering that I thought I would still be running 10 min/mile trail runs at this point.

I was hoping to get a few solid 60 mile weeks in but that didn't happen. Here is my mileage compared to the last two years.

I'm averaging just shy of 50 mpw, which is the same mileage as 2010 when I set my 10K PR and 5 miles/week less than last year. Not really high mileage for my time goals but I cannot seem to find the mojo to train more. I do feel like I'm only a bit short of 2010 fitness but the early forecast for B2B is high humidity (dew point of 66F) so I'm expecting a slogfest like 2011 instead of a PR day like 2010.

Today I celebrated my buildup with a sweet Baldface Loop with Don, Tom Hoag, and Susannah. We had cool temps but 100% humidity, which meant wet rocks and bodies. I went at a steady-moderate pace (about 53 min) to the first false summit (at the top of the ledges below South Baldface) but took it easy after that. We descended the Bicknell trail which has very spectacular views of the cirque and loop. Then we took the Eagle Cascade link over to the Baldface Circle trail. The link trail was through really, really beautiful forest. Emerald Pool was the perrrrrrrrfect temperature. My total run was about .4 miles long because I did a down and back from the false summit to allow the others to catch up : ). After the run we stopped at the Stow Corner Store, which was recommended by Ian and Emma. I had a large slice of pizza and gIANt cinnamon roll topped with a secret recipe crumble and whipped cream.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

racing, heat, humidity, sun energy

In preparation for the B2B next week, I've looked a little more into climate factors that affect pace. A very nice explanation of humidity and dew point is here. Dew point is the better guide to comfort level. Kristin Barry sums it up with this chart:

50–54Very comfortable PR conditions
55–59ComfortableHard efforts likely not affected
60–64Uncomfortable for some peopleExpect race times to be slower than in optimal conditions
65–69Uncomfortable for most peopleEasy training runs might feel OK but difficult to race well or do hard efforts
70–74Very humid and uncomfortableExpect pace to suffer greatly
75 or greaterExtremely oppressiveSkip it or dramatically alter goal
I've roughly estimated the mid-point T and dew point for my summer races for the past 3 years using the climate history data at weather underground.

Year Race                          T    Dew Point   Result
2012 Bridge of Lions (Florida)     78F     73F    18:32
2012 LL Bean 10K                   66      63     38:06
2012 Fathers Day 5K                61      48     18:12
2011 B2B 10K                       68      64     38:00
2011 LL Bean 10K                   65      65     38:30
2011 Mothers Day 5K                58      49     17:52 PR
2011 Clam Festival 5Mile           70      58     30:0x PR
2010 B2B 10K                       58      48     37:24 PR

I also think the directness of the sun matters (so the sun temp and not shade temp) since most of these races are run in direct sun and not shade but I don't have any historical record of sun temp.

What amazes me is the actual temperature of the maine races is generally very cool but comparing the dew temp with the chart shows that some of the races will suffer, such as both LL Bean's and the 2011 B2B. B2B 2010 was really perfect. And againmale runners over 35 y.o. and in top 400 who competed in 2010 and 2011 were, on average, exactly 1.0 minute slower in 2011 than 2010 (N=61).  In this light, I guess my Bridge of Lions 5K isn't too bad but it's really hard to compare since that is my only race in that kind of temp/dew point.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Florida Five

My speedwork for this week was the Bridge of Lions 5K in St. Augustine Fl. My goal for the race was to go out a little slower than 18 min. pace and see if I could hang on in the heat and humidity and maybe even break 18. My first mile was 5:50, so right on target. And I was feeling shockingly good. Mile two was 5:49. Now I started to think about breaking 18 with a fast 3rd mile. I had started to feel a little pain a little after the 1/2way mark, which is pretty typical in a 5K for me. By mile 2 I was still ok. Finished mile 3 in 5:53. Hmm - definitely a slow down there and not a speed up but still looking at very low 18s. I crossed the finish line in 18:32 - so a good 20-25s slower than where I thought I was. What happened? Did I walk the last .1 mile? What happened was a major mismatch between my watch and the official distance, which is USATF certified. My final pace according to my watch was 5:50 but my pace according to a 5K distance was 5:58, an 8 sec/mile difference (the race results say 5:59 pace). My watch has never been more than 2s/mile off on a road race. Maybe I failed to run tangents although I was thinking about these. Look at the course:

That's a lot of turns. I gmap-pedometered the course using the automatic route finder and got 3.21 miles. I then did the manual gmap pedometer making sure to mark the tangents and got 3.15 miles. This all points to the importance of tangents on a turny course. Ah well. It's a race and we all ran the same course. I finished 14th T13th overall (thanks mom for noticing this) and 2nd master.

The course itself is ok. It starts at the very cool fort (the Castillo de San Marcos), crosses the Bridge of Lions, and then turns into the old Davis Shores neighborhood, which is a nice old neighborhood. The turns in the neighborhood are a bit excessive. And running a race in Florida in the summer is kinda stupid. Other than that, it was quite nice and I'll run it again if I happend to visit the padres in mid-July again.

Which reminds me, I'm in St. Augustine visiting my parents and sisters and their familias. My parents moved to St. Augustine Beach after my dad retired from UF in Gainesville. Here are my other runs from the week. No hill repeats this week!

All on the beach except my 14 mile concrete sidewalk run on Sunday.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

LL Bean 10K

LL Bean in 38:06 this morning in cool but very humid weather. Race analysis paralysis to follow.

  • The Good - won my AG
  • The Bad - as Ryan noted, my AG is certainly less competitive TO WIN then either M40-44 or M50-54
  • The Bad - My 5K conversion time was 8s slower than FD5K last month and my FD5K was 22s slower than my 2011 MD5K on the same course
  • The Good - I was 25s faster than last year's LL Bean 10K.
  • The Bad - I ran this race last year at the end of a 60 mile week. This year was a 50 mile week with a rest day 2 days before the race.  The weather this year was maybe slightly cooler and slightly less humid (last year's humidity was about 150%)
  • The Good - I have done zero running faster than 1/2MP since last October?November? other than FD5K and the 1st half of the Pineland 10K.

I'm happy with the result because 1) I'm focussing on the 25s faster than last year's race AND 2) the fact that I really haven't taken my workouts down to even 10K pace AND 3) I raced so poorly last summer/fall so I need to be happy about something