Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Back to Pack

This past weekend I ran a 1:24:08 at the Pack Monadnock 10m. That time was good enough for
51st place overall and 11th in my age group. And, beyond that, there really isn’t a whole lot more to say about my race. I never really felt all that great and I never really felt awful. I was just sort of …meh.  I was definitely at my limit in terms of overall effort, but never felt comfortable during any of the climbs and never really managed to clock any fast miles, or gain any significant ground.

Going in, I had hoped to get a bit closer to (or even dip under) 1:20, but since I’ve done no speed or hill-specific workouts all year, it’s not terribly surprising that I didn’t meet that goal. I did this race partly because it was in the NH Grand Prix, but mostly because I deferred last years refunded entry fee to this year. So basically, I ran because I paid for it and not because I trained for it. And it showed in the results.

After I got home, I leafed through my training logs and was surprised to find out that my PR for Pack is a speedy 1:15:53. A time that I ran in back 2009. At that race I finished in 26th place (25 spots better than this year) with an average pace of 7:35 (49 seconds per mile better than this year).

Here are the splits for both races:

2014                2009                Diff.7:46                 7:10                 :36
7:12                 6:37                 :35
7:00                6:21                 :39
7:46                 7:12                 :38
7:04                6:29                 :35
8:21                 7:22                 :59
7:27                 6:47                 :34
8:57                 7:46                 1:11
9:50                 8:42                1:08
12:40               11:21                1:19            
1:24:08           1:15:53            8:15

So, what’s changed in the last 5 years? Other than just getting 5 years older?

Averaging 52 mpw. With tempo, track or hill workouts during the week. And racing 5k’s &

10k’s every other weekend.  It was during this 6 month stretch that I did my one and only full season of snowshoe racing AND set my current 5k, 5m, ½ marathon and marathon PR’s. So, it was a pretty good year.

Averaging 70 mpw. With no speedwork, hill repeats, tempo runs or short races. Focusing on the big mileage and low-heart rate training in order to race well at longer distances. I'm still setting PR’s, except now they are in the 50k & 50m range. 10x longer than 5 years ago!

I suppose the bottom line is that (for right now at least) there is a price to be paid for switching over entirely to the “Ultra Mindset” and that price is speed. However, when I finished my run back to the car (giving me 20 miles total and 80 for the week) I felt better on the last mile of the day than I did on the first. So, I guess I must be doing something right and the price I’m paying now will hopefully be worth it in the end!

The other bit of good news is the my running club - The Gate City Striders - had a tremendous showing and took home the NHGP team title for Pack, by virtue of a 30 point advantage over Greater Derry. Yay Team!

Next Up:
5/25 - Pineland Farms 25k – To exorcise last year’s muddy demons.
6/7 - TARC 50m – Because 10m and 15.5m races are just too damn short!

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