Wednesday, October 13

Let the Beast Out

First I need to take care of some old business – the Pumpkinman Challenge mug.  I failed to include a picture in my race report, oops!  So here it is in all its glory.

It's a really is a nice mug.  Somebody went to great lengths in making these things.  It’s huge!  I didn’t actually measure it but I think is will hold 18 to 20 oz of your favorite grog. 

For me, the kewlest part was the total surprise to be one of the recipients.  I had no idea they had a category for Challenge finishers.  Best part for me was I only had to finish and not actually beat anyone to get the award.  Sweet!

The Taper

With only a few more days and 2 planned runs to go before the MDI Marathon, I knew I had to be cautious.  Most of my reading says to cut the volume but not the intensity.  The thing is, just about everyone says you have to take it easy on your taper to be fully recovered on race day.  It just isn’t possible to do both.  Me, I like the feeling I get in the last few weeks of training.  My long runs have morphed from easy paced zone 1 runs to near marathon pace zone 3 efforts.  And my mid distance runs are always tempo efforts.

During my taper, the long miles go from 24 to 20 and down to 16 miles two weeks before the race.  The Sunday 16 miler this year went perfectly as a race simulation.  The first 2 miles I wanted to keep my heart rate as low as possible, preferably in zone 1.   Miles 3 to 6 or so I focused on finding my comfort zone.  The one were I can go all day without any real effort.  In a marathon the next ten miles would be pushing but not hard – somewhere between the top of zone 2 and the middle of zone 3 – but for this race-sim, it was hard running from 6 to 16.  I worked to get my HR in the upper zone 3 and lower zone 4 and did a good job keeping it there.  The run went well, I nailed it.  I hit my targets at 2 miles, 6 miles and finished averaging just over 8 minute miles and no soreness.  It was a real confidence builder for the race next week.

Monday was a rest day and yesterday was my last strong effort.  I actually had planned it to be a recovery run after the race-sim, thinking I would need the rest.  But I reconsidered my plan since I wasn’t sore and I had that warm fuzzy feeling in my calves and thighs.  You know the tight fullness you get after a good hard run?  I really love that feeling.

The sun was down and it was fully dark when I went to get dressed to run.  Looking at the thermometer I realized that the night was going to be a brisk one.  Just before dark the temp was in the upper 50’s, now it was 43 and still dropping.  Better have long sleeves, gloves and a hat tonight I thought.

Out the door at 7:50, temp down to 42* with a 10 mph breeze from the NW.  The sky is crystal clear and the stars are brilliant.  Wow, what a nice night for a run.  I start easy knowing I have the big hill ( Island Ave
up to the Big Apple) as my first real warmup.  My feet feel light and legs are moving quick and effortless.  First mile at 8:45.   By mile 3.5 (turn-around) my average pace was down to 8:15 and I was ready to push hard all the way home.  Finished 7 miles in 56 minutes – a  cool 8:00 minute mile average.  Got to love that!

Run Strong

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