Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday marathon effort run 16 miles.

Davidson Mesa rematch. Today was all about learning how my brain works. I went in to this run with almost zero expectations. I was tired from moving but not feeling bad. I warmed up 3 miles and pushed a bit towards the end. Then: 4 X a 3 mile loop. At altitude (~5500ft) on loose gravel. Same course with the 1.5 mile uphill. I ran this completely by feel and only recalled the splits after the run. My thoughts during all of this were focused on simply staying very much within myself and NEVER pushing. This entire run with the exception of the last 3 miles.... was simple jogging.
3 miles- 17:01 (5:40 pace)
3 miles- 17:00 (5:40 pace)
3 miles- 16:51 (5:37 pace)
3 miles- 16:15 (5:25 pace). This would have been a 16:45 5k with a very relaxed effort.

12 miles in 1:07:12. As I said, this was a very easy run for me in less than ideal conditions. A simple 6:00 mile (+.1) at the end would have given me a ~1:13:45 half marathon with out pushing. The idea of this run bolsters my confidence for my future as a runner. There has been a huge shift from my thinking of running as a numbers game and thinking of running as a simple perception game. Running doesn't need to be chess... it's not that complicated. Running actually is checkers! My problems with running have been based on preconceived ideas of what certain paces should feel like. If you threw a party and secretly bought a non-alcoholic keg of beer, how many people would still get drunk? Anorexics think they're fat.. the power of perception is profound.
I've taught myself to FEEL based on my pace which was measured by my watch or HR monitor. Your perception should not be dictated by a number but by what you are feeling. I've also found that running with out music has helped me a ton in terms of listening to my body. Music has always been a distraction from the task at hand and I can tune in far better with out it. It feels good to learn and change. Reading back just one month I was a completely different athlete... until some guy named Uli left a comment and started my mental ball rolling. Thanks for questioning me Uli!


Matt said...

Huge change, Lucho. I've been running w/o HRM since about mid July and am having a lot more fun/success; however, come Dec./Jan, I will start over and strap the HRM back on and "force" the moderation.

When I was researching Maffetone and HR training, etc., besides the diversity of views (it's like religion!), I encountered my own thought of how even if one were to begin running, from scratch, his/her body would "let" them go only so fast. If one, in base, were to rip off a hard tempo, he'd probably be wasted for a few days/weeks. I know I'm over-simplifying, but the body (the perceived exertion) will let one know how fit he/she is.

The numbers, on the other hand, are an external perception determinant. That's what you seem to be saying, no?

In other words, one can only go so hard, but we also know that the phase/period of a given program dictates certain efforts too. It's not rocket science. It's running.

Good luck on the move!

cdnhollywood said...

It's very cool to see how you have progressed in such a short time. It inspires me to do the same.

Now if I was only as disciplined as you....


Great work - can't wait to see the race results!

GZ said...

Excellent. I am sure you have thought about it ... coming through at 74 and then getting down to business ...

I just listened to the interview with Bobby McGee at Endurance Corner. In this interview (with Gordo B) he talks about the perception of pain ... and how he has observed it is different with east Africans. You might find this interview interesting on several fronts, but it seems to play into your "perception" theme in a timely manner.

Bidou said...

Very funny Lucho, I ran the same exact time as you today, but not as many miles.
I aslo ran without looing at my pace, and actually like it, I was very suprise at the end of the workout.

McDuff said...

Cool stuff, Lucho. I like the way you think.

Guess our bodies do have a strange way of letting us know when to back off.... only to come back and be strong again!

Nice work (both in running and at home).

uli said...

"I've taught myself to FEEL based on my pace which was measured by my watch or HR monitor. Your perception should not be dictated by a number but by what you are feeling."

Well said Lucho.


ace said...

There are a couple of cool things in this post that I really like (probably because they sort of feel like confirmation). But the running without music has been a long time favorite of mine, that and doing my longer runs alone, because of the feel you get for your own body.

I've noticed for me a heart rate monitor is great for keeping easy workouts easy, but I've marveled at the sense a workout was easy or hard, only to have a monitor tell me otherwise and have the whole enterprise called into some serious jeopardy. But I've come around to the idea of learning to relax no matter how hard I may be working. Sort of finding the "Peace inside the Pain."

At any rate great post as usual.

Lucho said...

Thanks Ace. I think I read before on your blog that you don't prefer music. You're right! It's been much better with out it.
The HR thing is also right. I used to judge a session based on my average HR, regardless of whether or not it really felt good or not. I think we under estimate out senses. Sort of like a blind person who's hearing is better? Once you loose one sense (HR monitor) the others become stronger..