Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Back to Speedwork....finally

After swearing that I was going to do it for weeks now, I finally got back to speedwork, joining SpeedySasquatch and the Tues night NYC Twitter Crew. We did 6 x 800 with a 90 sec RI between each. Did my intervals with Lady_Southpaw, who seemed to be about even paced with me. We finished each of the 6 within 3:50 - 4:00 range (with the first interval at 3:38, thanks to Erika, who later dropped us).

Speedwork felt great - I haven't challenged myself in that way in a long time. It wasn't the hardest effort I ever put out - but it was good for my first time back. I know it's critical to my continued improvement as a runner, as is the core work that we do after the speedwork. I just have to buckle down and stick with it.

In looking at my recent times (4M 32:04, Half Marathon: 1:56:52) and the 800's last night - plugging that into McMillan, it seems that I should be on target for a 4 hour marathon. Seems a bit daunting, considering that my last one was 4:22:00 - but the data speaks for itself.

I have renewed enthusiasm putting these recent races into the context of the marathon, and I have a framework for my goals for NYC this fall.

Thanks again to all the runners that come to the Tues night group - you are an awesome, supportive bunch - and it's great working out with all of you.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Last few races + spring slump

Since I haven't posted in a while - thought I'd recap on the last couple of races, plus the Passover holiday. I ran the NYC Half Marathon on March 21, and achieved a new PR of 1:56:52 (nearly a 3 minute PR over the Manhattan Half Marathon back in January). I was a little disappointed because I had my heart set on a 1:55:00 (or better) finish, but my legs + the hills in Central Park just had other plans. My training buddy Mark achieved an astounding 9 minute PR, to finish in 1:49:59 - hitting his goal of a sub 1:50 finish. About a week later, I raced the New York Colon Cancer Challenge. Having just raced a half the week before, I opted for the 4 Mi rather than the 15K. I didn't have high hopes for this race, as I haven't been to speedy on the short distances lately, but I let my fellow NY Flyer Mark talk me into trying to PR again. I ran the first two miles at a 7:30 pace, but once again, the hills in mile 3 took their toll on me, and I wound up with a 32:12 finish (only :12 slower than my 4 mi PR). Fortunate for me, another Flyer caught up with me in the last 1/2 mile, and encouraged me to finish strong.

The bottom line is that I really need to recommit myself to speedwork, which I have really been neglecting lately. Granted, my half marathon time continues to improve, but I feel like I'm not racing as smart, or as hard as I know I'm capable of.

Finally, we'll talk a bit about Passover. Unfortunately, all talk of good nutrition goes out the window. The additional dietary restrictions on Passover, coupled with the holidays themselves just set you up for bad eating. I feel like I can eat and eat and eat and just not feel satisfied.

The good news is that after Passover, I hope to make some dietary modifications - eliminating the morning bagel (substitute oatmeal with fresh fruit) and substituting yogurt and fruit smoothies (fruit, skim milk and ice) for other, less healthy snacks. Those two small things should help get me back on track. Between eating better and speedwork, I hope to have some of my pep back before I start training for the fall marathon season (starting in late June/July).