Friday, January 20, 2012

Today: not as cold as previous days. Perhaps we've turned, and are now slogging back to summer, no? Well, perhaps. But somehow I doubt it.

Got out and ran again this morning, the last few miles before the race on Sunday. I'd intended to take it easy and not push myself, but I found myself going fast again, against the cold. I don't notice the increase in speed when it's cold like this, but I notice the the slow burning pain in my shins, which is my legs telling me they don't normally run this way. Eventually I'll get tired and reel myself in, slowing to my more average speed, and then the shin pain will quietly go away. Right there in the middle of the run: Leg pain? Gone. It's odd. Then I just tire out and slow down, like everyone else.

Now I will reveal my race day strategy, so that all of blogdom can hold me accountable to it, since I never stick to a strategy, and just blow it all out at the starter's gun.

My strategy for Sunday is an 8:00 minute pace to the ten mile mark at the top of that hill, and then speed down at about a 7:30 mile, and then try and hold at 7:40, or so, for as long as I can. The only thing unrealistic about the strategy is that I've never intentionally gone out so slow. I can't pace myself. I can't pace myself! I've been running 7:00 minute miles all week, and can do it without too much trouble, but running 7:00 minute miles after you've already run fifteen miles is really the trick.

So you go
out slow, gradually pick up the pace, perhaps, and not wear yourself out. It's simple, of course. But when you get faster you get over-confident, and the whole idea of going slower is counter-intuitive. I have to remind myself constantly: We're not going faster. We're going longer. I say "we" because that's me lecturing all of my faculties, who refuse to work in concert. I use my inside voice, but have been known to shout out loud at myself after 17 miles or so.

Did not write or run yesterday, as I was overwhelmed with work tasks and seemed to have fallen behind. It's hard trying to do everything. I have no strategy! I can't pace myself! With all these lessons, there is crossover, so it's good to diversify.