Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Well, it’s been awhile. I’ll blame it on springing forward for Daylight Savings.  I'm just now adjusting.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t frustrated with my running. I’ve talked about losing a lot of fitness last year. With that in mind, I just assume I’ll be improving by leaps and bounds this spring. But so far that isn’t happening.

A week and a half ago I ran my second indoor 5,000m race this year. After running 19:57 at the first one, I looked at Daniels’ VDOT charts and noticed that the next step in the chart corresponded with a 19:36. Again, I’m thinking I’ve got 3 solid months under my belt, I should be able to drop my times like a rock, especially now that I know what to expect with an indoor 5K. Well things were going okay for 4K. I wasn’t on 19:36 pace, but I was about 10 seconds ahead of my first race. Then I started to freak out and worry more about my finish time than focusing on just running. I blew up and my last K ended up being my slowest of the day by 10 seconds. “Sprinting” the lap was enough to keep my sub-20 string intact. I believe my final time was like 19:19.56. Hell, I still had four-tenths of a second to play with.

The weird thing with these indoor meets is that there are not a lot of people to run with. There were only 8 people at that meet. So that was my alibi for that race.

Last Sunday was the Human Race 8K. It’s my official kickoff to the spring racing season. Weather for this race can be all over the board. This year, with a start time of 1:20, it was in the mid-70s with a pretty stiff breeze. Given all the VDOT charts and WAVA calculators, I was thinking somewhere around 32:30 would be a reasonable goal. Unfortunately, none of the charts or calculators factor in the difference between an indoor 5K and a road 8K in un-acclimated conditions.

Since I was really frustrated with my last race and how much attention I placed on the finish time, I decided to run this race without my watch. Instead, I wanted to focus on just running, competing, and listening to my body. In the end, I was much more happy with the process, but not so much the results. I ran 33:27, which isn’t much faster than what I’ve been running for my tempo pace.

Because I’m following a new training plan and because of last year’s injury, I’m really not sure what to blame. Part of me says to keep the faith and continue doing what I’m doing, while another part says to scrap everything and go back to what I know works for me.

The Endless Season approach is designed to race a little slower, but for a longer period of time. That sounds great on paper, but I’m not sure I can handle a whole year of mediocre results.

I guess I have some things to think about.

Quote of the Day;

"My daughters do not care about gold medals, they want me to bring an ice cream." - Chaunte Howard after being asked what the gold medal means to her daughters


Thomas said...

Don't read this the wrong way.

You used to run marathons an hour faster than me. Now you're running way slower. What happened?

Chad said...

Thomas, that's the $64,000 question. I think I took for granted the kind of times I was running and the effort it took to run them.

There was a 5 month stretch last year where I only ran about 200 miles. Partially due to taking a break and then partially due to an injury where I couldn't run for 6 weeks.

I think that downtime took more out of me than I expected and now I'm paying the price.

SteveQ said...

The first decade of mediocre results is the hardest...

A number of people had slow times due to weather at the Human Race; I wouldn't put too much value on that result.