Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just a quick one

to say that the marathon was mentally and physically arduous, a singular example of poor pacing on my part, but ultimately satisfying.

I had significant mental self-laceration from miles 8-16 or so, but talked myself out of it and in fact ran myself back into a genuinely good mood in miles 23-26 (as I passed - I was holding onto about 10:00 miles - a good number of those who paced even more unwisely than I did!).

Final time: 4:27, more than ten minutes slower than my time from last year in Philadelphia.

I am frustrated with myself because it was a very similar race to last year's in terms of pacing errors - however, I believe I have now learned my lesson! Aspirational pacing is not wise at the marathon distance - I need to have more miles under my belt before it is realistic to aim for a 4-hour marathon. Patience, patience, patience...

Detailed post-mortem to follow on Monday night once I get home and acquit myself of that day's teaching responsibilities!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In other news

Triathlete L.'s Cranksgiving win!

2 miles


I trained more/harder last year, but I trained smarter this year - I felt pretty fast and strong, and I think I should be able to have a decent race...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Blissful Saturday long run

The weather is uncannily beautiful today - upper 50s, crisp and clear and sunny with a hint of coolness in the air. I ditched the heart-rate monitor, the wrist unit and the pod and ran data-free - it was quite lovely.

10 miles

Friday frazzle

The psychic significance of long-distance running.

Wasn't able to get out this afternoon for my last ten-miler before next week's race, but will hope to do it tomorrow late morning/early afternoon.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday swim practice

Well, it was good, I was feeling very lethargic and gloomy all afternoon and was slightly late getting over there (or, rather, didn't leave enough time for logistical arrangements re: procuring new "splash card"!), but it was a very enjoyable swim - I feel I am swimming noticeably better than I was in the middle of the summer, so this is satisfying to contemplate, and of course my aerobic fitness is currently very good due to MARATHON TRAINING!

It was not quite as good a workout as the other day, but this was for the very good reason that we spent the last part of the hour practicing DIVE STARTS! The first one I had to do off the pool deck rather than the blocks (Coach Conrad basically had to sort of tip me in as I wavered!), but I went several times off the blocks after that, and it seems entirely manageable to me. That is good!

Only had time for 100 warmup


6 x 100 free on 1:55

4 x 150 swim-kick-swim by 50, IM order, on 3:30

3 x 150 pull on (?) (I skipped a 50, had to get out and change my moldy rice-cake-cylinder pull buoy for one of the more hourglass shaped ones, I could not hold the first one in place and it was making my legs and hips go in an impractical position!)

Then: a bunch of dives and 25s!

2 x 50 free on 1:00

Call it 2000 yards total

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Unfortunate postscript

My eyes and nose are utterly streaming in aftermath of full-on pool chemicals at the Columbia pool - it is four hours post-swim and it truly is as though as I have had an awful cold all evening, though I know it is just chemical irritation! I forgot how acute it was - it lasted more than 12 hours after that early-morning swim at John Jay (where chemicals are notoriously even stronger), and knocked out a whole work day. This is impossible!

Tuesday swim practice

It is way too long since I last went to a real practice! It's not that I don't love it, I do, but between work conflicts, other training commitments and general tiredness, it has been pretty much impossible to get to TNYA this semester. Fortunately because I only ran 4 rather than 8 miles this morning, I had much more vim left by the end of the day than I have had in previous weeks - I got there early (having realized at some point that a full stretch of warm-up swimming is the difference between a truly enjoyable swim practice and one where I am slightly discombobulated and scrambling to catch up), had time even to do a bit of extra, and then had a very enjoyable swim.

- I am now doing flip turns on ALL my freestyle, without disaster or undue discomfort
- I am slower than the fastest couple guys, but I am a good pacer and I am 'less slower' by the end of the workout than at the beginning!
- I got some very nice compliments on the current state of my fly, including the observation "You really are skimming over the water!"

400 free without stopping plus 2 x 50 drill-swim stroke by 25 (fly, back)

4 x 50 free on :55

2 x through of (2 x 200 free on 3:55 + 1 x 200 kick-swim by 25 on 4:30) (I only did 150 of the kick-swim each time - partly I am slower - partly I am not sure everyone is so scrupulous as I am about only kicking!)

Then a TRULY DELIGHTFUL IM set, with enough rest to really maintain form:

6 x 100 IM as 2 x 100 IM on 2:20, 2 x IM medley order on 2:25, 2 x reverse IM on 2:50

then 3 x 50 stroke on 1:20 (I did all fly, I am loving that stroke right now!) plus 3 x 50 free on :50

2800 yards total

Quick Tuesday run

Only time for a quick four miles (down to the Boat Basin and back), but it is a most beautiful day for it, clear and crisp and sunny - best time of year in this part of the world, that's for sure. I am having that very strong marathon taper feeling of NOT HAVING RUN NEARLY ENOUGH - it is true, more's the pity - but certainly I have run enough to have a strong and enjoyable race, even if it is not as fast as I would like.

I am going to endeavor to go to TNYA practice this evening - I have been missing it the whole semester, I am usually too tired, but I think the shorter run earlier in the day makes it a more feasible possibility!

(Oh, it is absurd, how can I even still be thinking about it - I got really excited about the possibility of doing my first swim meet, on Dec. 5 - for a few days I really thought I would do it - then I realized that not only am I not getting home from Thanksgiving till Monday at midday, I am also going to be away from the 10th to the 13th - I am sure that on the actual day, I will have a much stronger impulse to stay at home and do work than to go to Queens on the quixotic mission of swimming in a meet! And yet you can tell from the way I am writing about it that I still have a bit of a yen - Liz is going to do it - hmmm...)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Speed Reading

(Picture courtesy of Shelley Jackson.)


Felt like I had a much better feel this week in the cycling class for how hard to work - avg HR 140, avg watts 230 - will continue to ponder these questions, though...

Sunday things

Well, it was a very good afternoon - I met up with Liz (Liz and Lauren must henceforth be denominated by their real names here, as the former distinction between Original Training Partner Liz and Triathlete Lauren is now complicated by the fact that Liz has REGISTERED FOR THE NYC TRIATHLON IN JULY, to my very great satisfaction), we went to the 11:15 spinning class and had a short swim thereafter. Then brunch, and then we had an extremely useful trip to Sid's Bikes - Liz is on the verge of buying her first road bike...

(200 free warmup, then 5 x 100 "rolling IM" [25 fly, 75 free; 25 free, 25 back, 50 free; etc.], then a little backstroke coaching - I would not venture to give advice on the short-axis strokes, but I have at least a good theoretical understanding of the long-axis ones, with a special fondness for backstroke)

Now I will continue to have self-laceration at having let the whole weekend pass by without doing any work - and it is not as though I feel at all mentally restored or well-rested, just incredibly stressed out that somehow I have not made even the smallest dent in the huge pile of work that awaits me! Must go to the office now and pick up a few things I left there, then dig in for what I devoutly hope will be a long and productive evening of reading, lecture-writing and paper-marking. I have this essay to write, but still cannot at all see when I will be able to fit it in, though I will try and get as much done this week as I can - oh dear!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday run

Hot-weather folks will be rolling their eyes, but it is nearly sixty degrees here again and quite rainy/humid - I overheat pretty easily when I run in that kind of weather!

My day got off to a very late start, and I realized that it was foolish to try for a long run at midday on an empty stomach/no caffeine; I had a late breakfast and coffee, waited for some digestion to happen and set out around 2.

At that point I really didn't have time to do the full twelve miles on the schedule (I need to head downtown around 4:30 for Speed Reading!); I thought I might do ten or so, but once I was actually setting out, I impulsively decided to have a pace-experimentation run instead, and just do 6 or so at or close to marathon pace.


- Pretty much every night this week, I've spent some time lying in bed and concentrating on what it will feel like to see the numbers "3:58:59" on my watch for my finish time!

- There's something new-agey about this sort of visualization exercise, but experience tells me that having a very concrete vision of what one would like to have happen is always more conducive to accomplishing it than having only a quite vague notion

- I believe that if things go well on race day, I am just about capable of a sub-4:00 marathon right now, but it is also plausible that I could have a great day out there, run as fast as is feasible and still only clock a time more in the 4:08-4:10 - I simply won't know until after I've done it!

- It happens that my ambitious goal times/paces are quite easy to count/track: 9:00 miles comes in at 3:56; a 4-hour marathon means 9:09/mile

- If I hit the sweet spot between 9:00 and 9:09 right away and can hold it, I meet my goal - and as I say, I think this is attainable (with proviso that I was ten pounds lighter when I ran my fastest race times a couple years ago, and I don't have recent half-marathon or even 10K times to tally - running is a merciless sport as far as weight goes, but on the other hand several years of additional experience in endurance sport is a serious benefit nonetheless, so I hope the two factors somewhat cancel each other out)

- Marathon pace is not nearly so intuitively easy to feel as half-marathon or 10K race pace

- Let's contemplate the McMillan numbers for a 3:58 marathon, which is what I will aim for (to give myself leeway for walking through aid stations and up a hill or two!): corresponding 10K time is 50:43 (8:09/mi.), half-marathon is 1:52:51 (8:37/mi.), marathon is (obviously) 3:58:00 (9:06/mi.)

- When I try and do a shorter workout at marathon pace, I am really gravitating to something a bit faster, close to half-marathon pace, and then have to slow myself down and check myself

- Marathon pace is faster than an easy long run pace, but it has to be really comfortable

- HR guidelines will serve me better on race day than trying to hold an over-ambitious pace in opening miles despite high HR - I think I must stay c. 158 for first 6 miles, stay at or under 160 till miles 12, hold low 160s till mile 20 and then just assess what I think I can manage for the final six based on feel and stop looking at the numbers!

(- Half-marathon race HR has traditionally averaged 165-66 - I am certain that my marathon HR, tallied up afterwards, should not exceed 162, and 160 would be a more conservative choice)

- The footpod is measuring a bit short - I should recalibrate it before the race, or else I am making too many mental allowances when I look at the numbers - that said, if I don't recalibrate and I try and hold very strictly between 9:00 and 9:10, I will be in reasonable shape, because the real numbers should be a bit faster than that

- How much is "a bit"? Well, the 12 miles I did on Mindy's course counted as 11.79 on the pod - I know that she measures her courses very carefully with one of those little wheelie devices, not just with an electronic one like a Garmin - so I could just use that to get the conversion factor for the Polar

- Today's run, by pod measurement: 5.60 miles, 52:04 (9:18 pace - if I adjust distance to 5.7, which I think is more accurate, I get 9:08 pace, which is pretty much exactly where I was trying to be); avg HR 152 (but in fact for the last 3-4 miles it was looking more like 155-158 - the opening miles are unduly low in a way that is not relevant for marathoning!)

- I had better stop musing on these matters, get in the shower and get dressed in more running clothes for this evening's activity!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday swim/yoga

A very good swim earlier, only it now so long ago that I can hardly remember what it was! There might have been one other bit, I cannot say...

50 free
500 kick with board as 100 flutter, 25 whip or dolphin
4 x 75 alternating drill ([1] right arm, left arm, catch-up; [2] 6-3-6), free
6 x 75 alternating free build by 25, IM no free steady (10 seconds rest)
6 x 50 drill-swim by 25 (running through some standards: fists, front scull, thumbs-and-salute, catch-up, 6-3-6, perhaps 1 other)
50 all-out fly down, easy free back

1650 yards total

1.25hr. yoga

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pace questions

Pondering paces: 6.1 mile loop at 52:02 (with a couple short water breaks off the clock), c. 8:30 pace - it is hilly, first bit was quite hard effort, avg HR 165 is basically half-marathon race pace...

(I want someone to offer magical divination techniques to tell me I am not overreaching to aim for a four-hour marathon!)

(My sprint times from the running class last week are commensurate with that sort of time goal, I think, and I believe that another year of experience in endurance sport is probably the biggest boost from last year's time...)



(I wouldn't mind if it were SOONER, though!)

Tuesday run

It was a good one, in the end. I felt quite tired, both in terms of legs and in terms of huffing and puffing, as it was underway; but I finished strong.

(This is really the zenith of the semester as far as mental insanity goes - on Sunday and Monday, my stress levels were through the roof - but I think this was a hard enough effort that it will temporarily quiet the buzzing! No knee problems, but some slight tension in the right thigh muscle - clearly this is taper-related and MENTAL as much as physical.)

I measured segments separately. Ran 1 mile over to 110th St. to meet J.; then we had an UNDULY hard effort (it was my fault, I am the slowest but I am also usually the one who escalates the pace) up Harlem Hill to meet C. at 86th St. My pod distances are running a little short, I should recalibrate before my race - 1.4 + 4.42 = 5.86 and real distance is 6.1, just making a note for later use...

Segment 1 (very hilly!):

12:29 (1.4 miles)
avg HR 165, max HR 173
max pace 8:10, avg pace 8:55

Segment 2 (the rest of the loop, slightly more moderate effort):

39:33 (4.42 miles)
avg HR 165, max HR 173
max pace 7:22, avg pace 8:56

Walked the last mile home - it is in the mid-60s, I was wearing short sleeves! Now must hastily suck down the rest of this cup of coffee, REALLY hastily shower and try not to be late to the lecture I am attending at noon!

7 miles

Monday, November 9, 2009

"If you got really lazy..."

I am set on reading my way through all of the classics of endurance sport training, at least the ones I can get my hands on, and it was in that spirit that I gulped down Running With Lydiard. It is an interesting and enjoyable read, but what I liked most (shades of Counsilman!) was the inimitable style and flavor - we are living in different times now, though the training principles remain in many cases the same:
Your running shorts should fit comfortably and not drag on your legs when your knees come up. If they do, you can expect problems on wet days when the drag is accentuated. For men, athletic supports seem to be a thing of the past; they can cause chafing. It is much better, if you do not have shorts with a sewn-in support, to use women's cotton briefs.

I was in a training camp in Woodville, north-east Texas, in 1970 when about 30 of us when for a 22-mile (34-kilometre) run on a hot and humid day. The American boys wore broad smiles of amusement when they saw me changing into cotton briefs which were obviously designed for a woman; but at the end of the run I was the only one not complaining of chafing. The next day, about 30 runners trooped into the local drapery and asked the woman behind the counter to fit them out in women's briefs. She looked rather alarmed until it was explained to her why so many men wanted feminine underwear. She did great business.

Running without some kind of support under your running shorts is cool and comfortable - but the continual strain imposed could cause problems
Advice for ball games and team training, especially for run conditioning in the off season:
You can do too little or too much, you can do it too intensively or too casually - and you could be wasting a lot of time and effort. Think about it carefully and get an even balance and stick with that and you should be all right.

Even if you cut the schedule in half, you will be working along the right lines. If you got really lazy and jogged only fifteen minutes every other day until you began normal team training, you would still benefit. It just depends, does not it, on how good you want to be.
And, finally, on facilities:
Many football clubs now have weights-training equipment or have linked up with a gymnasium. Those that have not would be making a better investment of club funds in providing gym facilities rather than a plush bar for members, supporters and free-loaders.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Question time

From Harry Mathews, The Orchard: A Remembrance of Georges Perec:
I remember asking Georges Perec, who had been a bicycle-racing fan, why it was so much easier to maintain speed when following another cyclist. Was the explanation mechanical, psychological, or both? He answered that there was nothing to explain--either I understood or I didn't.

High Sunday irk factor

Hmmm, it might be partly that I was annoyed with myself for not staying at home and working, which might have been the more mature choice - but in fact I was in an EXTRAORDINARILY GRUMPY MOOD by the time I reached Chelsea Piers.

I set out feeling extremely sunny, and it was truly and literally an uncannily beautiful day - but in fact an unseasonally beautiful weekend day (it is in the mid-60s, with clear air and bright sunlight!) is an UNALLOYED EVIL from the point of view of one who wishes to ride the bike path down the west side...

Before I even GOT on the path, I was already irked to find HUNDREDS OF FDNY MOTORCYCLISTS milling around across BOTH lanes of Riverside Drive - THEY WERE WAYWARD! (This was their event.) In fact this was only a matter of a moment's annoyance - but then in the next bit of Riverside Park I was extremely further irked to be confronted by a SWARMING THRONG OF WAYWARD HUMANITY (like farmed fish in tanks - it was awful, they were packed virtually solid!) - they were there for a good cause - but STILL! And I already knew I was going to face serious congestion around the docks in midtown, having had to run through crowds there yesterday (but there were cool jets and helicopters flying above) - and again, it is churlish to complain - but the USS New York's weekend of activities for Veterans Day is drawing unprecedented throngs - basically by the time I got to Chelsea Piers, I was ready to move to a LARGELY UNPOPULATED part of the planet - Alaska - Nova Scotia - Antarctica?...

Anyway the spin class was very good. At the end, in an effort to get my HR higher (I think I spent much of the class at too low an effort level - avg HR 125!), I went into a super-high gear that twanged something in my knee - I guess I really just have to stick with not-quite-that-hard gears and higher cadence (the cue was for cadence between 50 and 60 - if I want my HR to get into the 150s, I have to be in a really high gear for that).

So I just had a very short swim (having prudently worn Triathlon Garb), just 200 yards, a dunk in the hot tub and a bag of ice from the snack bar - in fact it now feels as good as new, but it was still twanging a bit on my bike ride home, so I must be careful of that. It is a spot of knee pain that I first felt in August, and in retrospect I am very certain it has to do with running gait - I upped mileage that month (and it was treadmill mileage, which for me I think increases the effect of instabilities) - I blamed it at the time on increasing cycling hours, but it really is exactly the spot that I saw in that gait analysis taking all the pressure. Spin teacher guesses it is tendonitis & was stern on the heat/ice instructions...

ANYWAY I am not really mentally prepared for a taper, I am finding exercise sort of my only outlet right now for STRESS! I do have a lot of work to get done in the next week and a half or so - if I can stay offline more of the time (my main distraction), perhaps I can channel obsessiveness back in that direction instead of so much towards fitness-related activities...


Had a productive evening offline, but grew impatient with the battle to fall asleep and fired up the computer again - I forgot to link to the hilariously apt event I am participating in next weekend - I do not keep my lives excessively compartmentalized, but this is definitely a full-on collision!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ten things about today's run

1. I had the most extraordinarily beautiful day for my last long run - it was mid-40s when I went out, now about 50, sunny and clear and hardly windy at all. Beautiful!

2. I ran up to the Little Red Lighthouse, then back down along the west side. Had intended to go all the way to Chambers, but turned around at Houston instead, having realized that it was the difference between 21 and 19 and that given even the shorter distance was going to clock in around 3:15, there was no reason to go longer.

3. c. 19 miles, c. 3:15, avg HR 144. Polar device says avg pace 10:30, max pace 8:08.

4. Marathon training really works!

5. That gait analysis was extraordinarily well-timed. I was concentrating on "running tall" (chest out, head high) and also on not having excessive arm movement (keep arms fairly close to chest - interestingly the spin teacher the other day was also cautioning against excessive upper body moment with the mental cue "Hold that cup of hot coffee on your head!" - notional equivalent of cup-of-water-on-forehead backstroke drill!). But perhaps most of all to the point, the new shoes are definitely incredibly helpful. (I switched to the Mizuno Wave Inspire from the Wave Elixir - the new one has much more of a stability component, and I think it makes a huge difference.) There is nothing like seeing a freeze-frame series that shows you exactly how strongly your left knee buckles after your left foot rolls over to prompt a shoe switch!

6. Incomparably easier than my 18-miler two weeks ago - hard to say exactly what factors made the most difference, good weather and shorter work week certainly figure into it, but I think the shoes helped make this one easier...

7. Gravitated to my natural 9:30ish pace in the last little bit of park close to home - it felt really easy. I don't know - I am still undecided about race pacing - prudence would dictate a 4:08 goal, with even or slight negative splits - but I think I may well decide to make a real stab at 4:00. Run the first half as close to 2:00 even as I can manage, then assess and slow down slightly or hold pace depending on how I feel. The constraint for me is always the huffing and puffing system rather than the legs - we will see, it will be interesting...

8. When, oh when will I learn to apply the BodyGlide with a more lavish hand?!? I put a few dainty dabs on here and there, but entirely omitted to coat the area the heart rate monitor strap covers - definitely a racing stripe...

9. It is too soon to assess how this year's training stacks up compared to last. But I guess I am pretty pleased, all things told, with how it's gone. I have done my long runs at a much more strongly aerobic (i.e. easier) pace, and I can feel the difference in terms of ease at a range of paces. If I could do one thing differently, I'd have had one more one-hour easy run every week. But I made triathlon a priority, it was a very busy work spell for me and (this is perhaps the clincher - I hesitate to mention it, might jinx it!) I seem to have made it all the way to November from September without getting a cold - so perhaps it really was worth it. Definitely the tactic of not writing up any mid-week schedule and just putting the long runs straight into my appointment book as a weekly obligation was a good move - I should remember this for Ironman training. My mind is always so full of plans and systems, I do not really need it to be written down on paper - if I have the whole week planned out, it's very hard for me (mental insanity!) to skip a workout, and that's how injuries arise. In September 2008, I had a slight hamstring tear that was the pure result of not being able to skip runs and modify the training plan appropriately depending on circumstances, and it dogged me all season - as I get more experienced, I guess I may be slightly better at making these choices off a written plan, but I like the approach of just scheduling the "breakthrough" workouts and then working other stuff in as it suits.

10. It really was a lovely run!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Short Friday run

Have postponed speed workout - I was too lazy! I just went out and did four miles in what is really the most beautiful running weather - sunny, windy, low 40s. Brisk! The call of coffee and breakfast was too strong for me to think six would be better than four, and that is the call I will now heed...

I would prefer to do my long run tomorrow rather than Sunday, but I'm not sure how sore my legs will be tomorrow morning from yesterday evening's workouts, so I will keep an open mind about whether this is a good idea.

(More pressingly, I have a lot of work to do in the next two weeks, including massive paper-grading and an essay to write - I need a plan!)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thursday weights, spinning

I will continue to have unseemly gloating about HOW MUCH I LOVE MY NEW GYM MEMBERSHIP. Really it is ridiculous - I would basically just be there all the time if I could...

I had the last of my four free sessions with trainer A. It was very good - we did an hour of weights, triathlon-specific. Really the problem with strength training for me is that while I enjoy it as I am actually doing it, it does not mentally have me in any kind of thrall - I would always rather have a spin [ED. Correction - that was meant to say SWIM!] or a run or go to a good yoga class or what have you. But I am fully persuaded of the benefits, and I think that it would be wise to make strength training a priority in December and January. They have these Freemotion machines I have not used before, certainly not necessary but useful - we did a bunch of stuff I know I should do a lot more regularly, like one-legged squats and reverse lunges, but there was also a very interesting hamstring exercise (using one of these Freemotion machines) where you rotate the leg as though you were cycling...

Then I went to a really fantastic spinning class! Lauren had told me Dolores was very good, and I thoroughly see it - it's a great workout, and so much lower-impact than running, too. There were only eight or nine people in the class, so we got a ton of individual attention - she gave me some very useful coaching on form stuff (body position, that thing I am always needing to work on of really pulling up on the upstroke as well as pushing on the downstroke with the quads). The Keiser bike is very nice indeed, but especially cool is the plethora of data on the computer! You get watts and mileage as well as RPM; and best of all, though I was not wearing my HR monitor strap, she said that if I would wear it next time she would help me work out my proper Friel HR zones so that I can just 'dial in' (as they say) my Ironman training - this will be incredibly helpful. The whole class was very specifically oriented in terms of cadence, gear, watts, etc. - it really was excellent, I've got to go to a lot more of these classes as soon as my time gets a bit more flexible again!

1 hr. strength
1 hr. spin (24 miles)
9 miles bike to and from gym

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday swim

A long and tiring but on the whole quite satisfactory day. I didn't have time to fit in a run before class, but I had a very good swim just now with Lauren - good for morale and variety to share a lane with a friend!

Warmup: 100 free, 100 drill-swim by 25 (6-3-6)

6 x 50 free descending by pairs (1:00, :55, :50)

300 pace set - check clock every 50 to try and hold :55/50 (this is an appropriate pace for me, but I 'lost' five seconds on one of the middle ones due to mild confusion!)

4 x 100 as 25 stroke, 75 free on 2:10 (2 fly, 2 back)

2 x 75 kick-drill-swim (fly, back)

4 x 50 free starting in middle of lane and working exclusively on turns (accelerate into the wall, good streamline off wall)

c. 1550 yards total

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


No swimming for me tonight - too tired, and I have a massive heap of work that I can't seem to settle down to!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday intervals

The running class at Chelsea Piers was amazingly good! I am truly delighted, though the fact that makes me want to weep is that it is on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7pm and I literally cannot go again until December (well, there is something I can try to reschedule on Wednesday the 18th, then I could go one more time pre-marathon). ARGHHHHHHH! I should not schedule my teaching for Monday nights, that's the long and the short of it...

C. and J. came as my guests, and we really had a lovely time. The fellow who does the class is quite inspiring (he is obviously a very fast runner and an experienced coach, I am really looking forward to going to that class quite regularly as soon as my schedule opens up a bit).

I consulted him in a quiet moment as to my mile repeat plans for Friday - I had been thinking of doing 3 miles at 7:45 with 4-5 minutes jogging between each one for recovery. He suggested I would get better bang for the buck by walking my recovery rather than running it, and that though 7:45 should be OK, on the principle of ending strong & still able to do more I could try it as a descending set: 8:00, 7:50, 7:45. This seems to me like excellent advice, and C. and J. have been enlisted for some Friday-morning reservoir pacing!

We started with 15 mins. of core and plyometrics, nothing out of hand but a nice way of getting some of that stuff in. Then we did (not sure if I am remembering this correctly)

3 x 200m with two minutes of rest between

3 minutes rest

200m, 400m, 200m with two minutes of rest between

3 minutes rest

3 x 200m with :30 rest

It was a great workout! My fastest 200s were :46, and I was still at :47 on the final one, so that is good. 1:50 on the 400. I think the class tends to do longer repeats on Wednesdays (up to half-mile); I really want to go to these!

(Hmmm, tomorrow I have to get up early and buckle down and get a lot of work done - it is another day 'off,' but having solely pleased myself today, I must acquit myself of various obligations tomorrow! Will go to TNYA practice in the evening, though - it has been hard for me to get there this semester.)

Monday miscellany

Interesting NYT bit on the fluid stations for elite marathoners:
Athletes can fill up to seven bottles with any legal substance and hand them to Tringali the day before the race. On Saturday afternoon, in a suite at the Hilton New York that overlooks Central Park, athletes took turns taking part in a combination chemistry/arts-and-crafts session.

Some brought their own bottles, preferring sizes that fit their hands well or easy-to-open lids. Some used green Gatorade bottles supplied by the race. All added personal touches to make their bottles easily identified.

Some athletes carefully scooped powdered mixes into the bottles. Other poured various ratios of liquids. Several altered the mix for different stations.

Brian Sell combined red Gatorade and Red Bull. Abdi Abdirahman used fruit-punch-flavored sports drink except for the last bottle, which he filled with Coke.
My favorite piece of marathon coverage this year, though, is definitely still the story Liz Robbins wrote on the 8- and 9-year-olds who ran the marathon in the 1970s before an age limit was imposed! Great pictures...

My thoughts are very full of marathoning but also of triathlon - in large part I put aside ambitious running goals this year for the sake of longer-term triathlon development, and I think it was a good choice, but just now is about when I start worrying that I haven't run nearly enough miles to run the race I want!

Shaking out the cobwebs

It is clearly mental rather than physical fatigue - I have the day off from teaching, but found myself utterly unable to do anything useful!

Rode down to Chelsea Piers and had a very lovely swim:

500 warmup as 75 free, 50 stroke (alternating back, breast by 50)

600 kick as 150 flutter, 50 non-flutter (whip, dolphin, whip)

2 x (100 right-arm, left-arm, catch-up, free, then 50 free hard)

2 x (50 6-3-6, then 50 free hard)

2 75 fly as kick-drill-swim

5 x 50 fly-free on 1:15

100 easy back

2100 yards total
9 bike miles