Monday, September 1, 2008

Monday 12 miles with a 10 mile "race".

First mile in 5:20 which put me 30" off the lead group. It was completely unrealistic in thinking I could run with them. I am not at their level yet and obviously have a lot more work to do. I was able to hover at 5:40-5:45 pace for the rest of the race. I felt like I was on my single speed mountain bike!! Just one gear. I didn't have the ability to push and run fast at the same time. I thought I felt good while warming up, and I didn't feel terrible during the race. I just didn't have anything in my legs that would allow me to hold a faster pace. The effort on the day was great for me and I think that I only had one lapse in mental strength in the last 800 meters when I was catching a runner in front of me.. until he heard me coming and kicked. Then I eased up as there was no one behind me and no one else in front of me. No HR monitor- I wanted to just run on my "edge" by feel. Which I did.
An anonymous commenter said that I need to race to truly test my fitness.. if that is true then I am in very poor condition. Which I do not believe. The problem that I see with racing often is that in order to train for your "A" race then your other races are never done while rested. I think that aerobic tests with a HR monitor (this is specific for the marathon) are far superior tests than races of relatively short distances. At the elite end of the running spectrum (of which I am not even close), the best guys do not race often. I have a definitive weakness when it comes to racing that I am having a hard time figuring out. I think I do need to race more often, but I need to be realistic in my expected results as I won't taper for a workout. Which really is what a race without a taper is.
I feel good about the effort today but am disappointed in my placing and time. I was 14th in 57:33. The winner went in 51:00. I got crushed!


RunColo said...


Sorry the race didn't go as planned. I was there as well, you were actually right in front of me at the start, I was going to introduce myself but there was only a minute to the start of the race and didn't want to bother you.

Anyway, it was a "tough course", harder than I thought it would be. My time was 1:03 and some change. Not sure until I see the race results as I fumbled with my watch at the start and missed the start button.

Good race for me though. But I had way too much left in the tank, my last mile was my fastest at around 6:04 and when I started picking it up, I realized that I should have been pushing it harder those last few miles.

Oh well, continue to learn. Peace

C Brad Poppele said...

Nice race! I think you did awesome. You had a tough field this year last year with your time you would have been second overall. Plus remember you are coming off a high mileage week and not tapering. The other competitors I'm sure took off some days and rested leading into this race.

Uli said...


Ever thought of dropping some of the gimmicks you are carrying? Do you really need more than a simple watch?
I read e.g. "7 miles. 47:02."
Dude, you are a RACER not a fuckin' JOGGER. Stop worrying about certain paces. Go by effort.

I am sure you already read "Brain training for runners" by Matt Fitzgerald.

Thanks for your blog, it is an inspiration for my marathon goal (sub100 in NYC). Keep it up!


Lucho said...

RunColo- You certainly should have introduced yourself. I'm not a tunnel vision focus guy, I try to stay relaxed. Great job for you though.. not pushing and running well can be a good thing.

Thanks for the good word C Brad..

Uli- I was thinking after the race that it is somewhat evident that I can train high volume at a simply moderate pace. I do need to get the racer mindset and get out of my comfort zone more often and just go by how I feel. I think I strike a balance with my desire to run high mileage and intensity.. Brad Hudson talks about not sacrificing quality training for the sake of high mileage. Not sure what I need to do. You have a good point in using less 'gimmicks' though, and I assume you're talking about a HR monitor? I still have a lot to learn, this is all just part of the process. Thanks Uli.

Uli said...

"I think I strike a balance with my desire to run high mileage and intensity.. Brad Hudson talks about not sacrificing quality training for the sake of high mileage."

As usual it is at the same time both and neither. I value high mileage because it improves efficency. However, do not let it compromise your key workouts. Honestly, to me you seem to get the balance spot on.

However, a 57min. 10miler - come on, that is not you that is more like me! And I am one full level slower than you (2:37 marathoner). Either you need to readjust that Garmin or stop lying about your training runs. ;)

Yes, I am talking HRM. Your heart is neither the limiting factor nor a good indicator for performance. I know that this is very controversial but Matt Fitzgerald (Brain training for runners) outlines what I always thought to be the case (the Central Governor theory developed by Noakes). A definite must-read.

Also, you appear to be way too worried about objective paces in your workouts.

Run by perceived effort. I am sure you can judge your intensity very precise after all these years of running. Run "half marathon pace" by effort not by a gadget.

Enjoy your running, do not let the races become a too big deal. Do not be too hard on yourself. Noone cares anyway. With your blog you already do more for other people than you would with a sub 2:20 marathon.


Lucho said...

Uli- "However, a 57min. 10miler - come on"... Your honesty is very much appreciated! You are now my favorite commenter. I do not appreciate friends blowing sunshine up my ass, my ego doesn't need stroking. So thank you.
I have never needed to lie about my training logs (my tone right now is shameless defensiveness). And that is my problem. I can train like an elite but race far below my potential. It's infuriating. I love training. I love just letting my legs do what they want to do.. but when I ask them to perform they seem to shut down.
I have thought in the past that my own 'central governor' is quite strong. I think my survival instinct is quite strong and when I sense myself nearing my intensity limits I do experience a 'mental block' in pushing harder. I know from reading about Golgi Tendons that this mechanism can be over ridden. The way to over ride it is to force your mind to push beyond the governor's limit. In this regard- you may be spot on in my losing the HR monitor (oh my God.. I can't believe I just said that) and simply run.
I may disagree with your statement that I may be "way too worried about objective paces in your workouts". This is something that I firmly believe needs to be monitored regularly. Fartleks do have huge value though, and I love them, so this would be a compromise.
Thanks again Uli.

GZ said...

Uli - are you local? I'd love a seat at a run on this. Not bitchin' at TL about his pace or his logs (althought it might be fun but I'd take a drubbin on that) but the central governor stuff. I have been reading that stuff in Noakes 'lore of runnin' and while it is interesting - I read it as a hypothesis. There appears to be no proof of it (although there are 900+ pages in Noakes' text I need to wade through).

TL ... could you have kept rolling? In other words, would a 58 ten miler have meant 20 in 1:56? And about a sub 2:30 marathon? Yeah, I know talk is cheap but when you wrote the stuck in one gear thing I could relate on some level. Salazar had similar feelings when he trained for the marathon. But when he trained for the 10K and then did the marathon, he felt he could really roll.

Lucho said...

GZ- I remember giving you shit on the fast 10k = fast marathon idea.. and I may need to eat my words. I can see the point now. I do think I could have kept my pace.. and I have- at all of my previous marathons. Phoenix, Denver, Austin.. all 2:30 (5:40 pace which is slower than today's race). I was rested at all of those races though. I can see your point now in developing a good 10k fitness and training to allow that fitness to filter down to the marathon. I think I am doing that now with my track workouts and my tempo runs.
And as for my training logs.. I hope that someday it becomes evident, in my race results, as to how hard I work every day. I waste myself in training and push through- every day more than I say in my logs. I've run 530 miles in the last 35 days.. to expect good results off that (for me) with no rest is ok I think. Today I just felt flat. If I had, and I could have, put that time up in a workout then it would have been great.

Brett said...

I've seen the Uli monkiker around before, and it may be Uli Steidl.

Uli's Home Page

Here is his Training Log.

And a pretty cool Bio/Summary.


Lucho said...

Uli Steidl... is that right?

GZ said...

I don't think so. Uli S is a lot faster than 2:37 if memory serves me right.

Lucho said...

Good call. You're right GZ... I think he's run 2:14? His 50k record is astonishing.

GZ said...

look for a good showdown between Mr. Steidl and Mr. Carpenter at the NorthFace 50 miler in early December. While Matt beat Uli at Pikes (um, Matt beats everyone at Pikes), Uli cracked him in the last six miles of this race. I know Matt is gearing up for this - it is not clear to me if Uli S is or not yet.

TL - let me know when would be good for some easy miles this week.

kerrie said...

ha, ha. i like that uli guy - this is my favourite line: "Dude, you are a RACER not a fuckin' JOGGER".

anywho, you should read back over some of the stuff you have written and consider what your goals were going in - you write that you were crushed and can't get 'racing' down but then you say you were pleased with the effort and as of the day before, with your 103 mile week, you weren't even planning on 'racing' it.
you can't have it both ways ;) can't truly evaluate this as a race when you didn't go in with the intention to race it til you bleed. Likewise, you don't give yourself the chance to get into the 'racer mindset' if you set the day up to be some kind of a fitness test.
allright, back to my armchair...

Lucho said...

Kerrie- If you're confused.. consider what I go through. I'm training hard and putting in huge workouts.. then I race like a jogger. You make spot on points but solving my problems aren't something I can easily do. I believe that I run too much.. but I'm ok with that. In order for me to race well though- I will need to back off in mileage. I think my problem is that I look at 'elite' runners, try to mimic their training plans, then I can't race well because I'm in over my head. What the hell do I know though! And once I think I have figured it out I'll just change my mind and end up confused again. Such is the roller coaster of my mind.
How are you doing? Any chance you can come out for Friday's group run?

kerrie said...

yeah - i think you may need to back off on the mileage a little to give yourself a chance to perform and race how you want to...i think that sometimes we sabotage our own best efforts by doing things that won't allow the result we want in the end!

i would like to be there on friday - same place, same time? i won't be running but i will be walking and heckling!

GZ said...

Your walking at MAF is still probably faster than my running. But the heckling would be worth hearing in any case. TL - if it is open, let me know and if the schedule works I'd like to be there.

Lucho said...

Kerrie and GZ- The plan was a long (~10 mile) tempo effort. I'll be running in support of BJ to help him through the effort.
GZ- you'll be able to hang, the pace should be ~6:30 or so, please join us. It'll be Friday @ 6:00-6:30, which ever works better for you. Kerrie- can you ride a mountain bike with us?