Friday, November 9, 2007

In which I am thwarted

I went just now for one last pre-lesson butterfly practice session--but when I asked the young fellow at the front desk for a towel and pool locker key, he sadly informed me that there are no pool hours this evening because of a meet! I was crushed--the most annoying thing is that they've had some sort of sign on the locker room door for weeks with miscellaneous closing dates, only I did not pay attention, so it is my own fault...

If I were a truly virtuous and self-disciplined exerciser, I would now change out of my bathing suit (yep, I'd put it on at home beforehand, most trying) and into biking clothes and do an hour on the trainer, but I am feeling lazy and hungry and am instead going to eat dinner and read a book! I'm a little worried now about whether I'll be able to go to sleep--I took a nap this afternoon that I assumed would be counteracted by swimming. On the other hand, this week was so short on sleep that perhaps it will be OK... (I will let the bedroom get very cold, and also try and stay out of bed for reading-related purposes in the meantime.)

Resolution: if I want to run the race I intend to in Philadelphia on Sunday the 18th, I must sleep properly this week. I can't guarantee great sleep or quite enough of it, but I must not have any four-hour nights like I did this week. I felt totally wrecked today, it was not very productive--I used up three days' worth of energy on Wednesday and Thursday and had none left for today!

I have a firm intention of making a good stab at a 1:56:5X time in the half-marathon next weekend. It's flat, the temperature should be civilized and since I've already made my sub-2:00 goal there's no reason to be super-conservative, that was the cut-off point that mattered to me. I feel it is mildly hubristic to plan on taking a little more than two minutes off my previous time of 1:59:07, but the conditions in that last race were awful--it was amazingly humid, and the course is really quite hilly--so that I really should be able to do considerably better. And when Coach Mindy gave me my goal paces for the half-marathon in August, the range was 1:56-2:02, so if Mindy thought I could do it then and I've since done quite a lot more longish runs and improved fitness generally through lots of swimming, then there's a very good chance it's attainable...

(Sleep matters a lot, though: if I turn up at the start pretty run-down from a long week, I will be struggling a lot sooner and a lot less likely to make my time.)

So: pacing. Let us assume the Device is reasonably accurate--I think it's quite close, at any rate. If I hold 8:55 mile pace for the first eleven miles, I can then see how I feel and even pick it up a tad for the last couple--in the last few I've done, I've definitely been working as hard as I could (and walking during water stations, too), but I've also still picked up the pace for the last couple miles, and I am imagining some combination of (psychologically necessary) short walk breaks in miles 8-10.5 or so and then really speeding up again just for the last few when the end is mentally near.

It will be interesting to see how it goes! I've got a ten-miler tomorrow morning in the park, that is a nice thing to look forward to--should be very enjoyable. I like racing, but I love training...

1 comment:

Wendy said...

I think it should simply be construed (much like pool shocking on Tuesday) as a "not meant to be" session. No guilt, no repercussions.