Tuesday, September 2, 2008

You know you're a nerd when....

Is it wrong that one of the highlights of my labour day weekend was getting new socks? Bought my first couple of pairs of Balega Enduros and they are plush. Put some miles on in them this morning and I already feel a little faster. I'm pretty sure it's the socks that make this guy such a beast!
This morning was a scheduled recovery day with an easy 6 miler at HR less than 150. The idea was to just get the legs moving and allow them to soak up some of the heavier training from the weekend(which I'll cover in a bit. Be patient!) Walked from the townhouse to the road and fired up the trusty ole 305. I know that elsewhere on the interweb there is a lively debate raging about the necessity of 'gadgets' in running, but for me buying a Garmin with HR resurrected me (for better or worse) as a goal oriented runner. Again, is it a bad sign that the more numbers I can look at at the end of a run, the happier I am? I feel like if I go to the bike rack after school someone might shake me down for my lunch money.
Anyways, the 305 found the satellites and the HR monitor fired up and showed 57 BPM, which is about 10 beats lower than normal. Didn't think too much of it, just chalked it up to being well hydrated and rested. Shuffled down the street for half a block, and when I looked again the HR read 159 AND CLIMBING!!! By the time I was 1/2 mile from my house, the Garmin said 192 and I was toddling along at about 12 minute miles trying to get the HR to drop. At that point, I actually wondered if I might be having a heart attack. Ok, not really, but what the ???? If I stopped to walk, it would plummet to about 100 BMP but as soon as I started to jog again, BANG back up through the roof! I told myself that I would run another mile or two and if it didn't settle down, I'd call it a morning. Sure enough, another 1/2 mile later I'm bumping up against 8 minute miles at 140BPM. Weird. If any of you have experienced something like this I'd love to hear about it.
Overall, training is cranking along and the body is holding up well under the added stress of increased intensity. No lingering pains, no missed workouts, no sleeping in. Still hovering around 50 miles per week and feeling good. One thing is for sure: having a schedule that doesn't just include more long miles at 135 BPM sure helps to get me up and out the door.
This week had two pretty tough workouts back to back on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was an eight mile progression run laid out as:
2 miles @ 8 min/mi.
2 miles @ 7:45
2 @ 7:15
2 @ 7:00.
Hit the paces right on the money and felt good about the effort. This is the first time I've run guided by pace rather than HR in a progression run and the difference was noticeable. I had the Garmin setup to only display pace and distance so I wouldn't be distracted by HR data while I was running. I really felt a jump in perceived exertion when I crossed below 7:30/mile and looking at the HR graph later, there was an uptick in BPM at that pace. And truth be told, the 7:00 pace felt hard. But hey, if it was easy it wouldn't be worth doing!
Sunday was 2:20 at somewhere between 8:00 and 8:40 without the HR monitor. Started off slowly and built towards that pace range. Ended up averaging around 8:20/mi overall with the later miles being closer to 8:00. Total distance about 16 miles and with some more water and a couple more gels could have carried that pace for another 10 miles no worries. If I ever figure out how to do it, I'll throw some workout graphs from the Garmin software up here. There's a good one from last week's track session!

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