09 February 2008

The Big Guy's Training Plan

Last time I posted, I think you could tell I was getting a bit frustrated with the weather and its impact on my training. I should have known better.
This morning I woke up and headed to a 15K race with the expectations of running fast, setting a PR, and having a great time. Then I looked outside, and once again, it had snowed--"only" about 4 inches this time. God had "blessed" me once again with less than ideal running conditions. Nonetheless, out the door I went to make the 45 minute drive to the race.
My original goals for the 9.3 miles was a 6:50 pace, which would set a PR. On the drive up, I decided that if it didn't happen, I wouldn't get mad. After all, I'd be once again running in slush, slipping with every heelstrike. But hey, God had given me some opportunities to run in these conditions recently, so maybe it wouldn't be that bad. Thanks, Big Guy!
After arriving, I grabbed a small cup of coffee (tasted great) and jogged a bit over to the start line. This wasn't a chip-timed event, so I wanted to be near the start line. At the gun off I went and found myself in what was the lead pack! My head was saying "slow down..." and my legs were saying "nahh, let's just see here..." and being the typical male, I listened to my legs. Mile 1: 6:24.
Eventually the fast guys strung out ahead and I settled in to a nice rhythm with 3 other runners, in a single file line, running in the tire tracks on the road, looking for any traction we could find. This continued for the next 3 (ish) miles, when I heard my legs again speaking up. "Come on...we can do a little more!"
After passing the 4 mile mark in 28:10, I finally gave in and, over the course of about a quarter mile (literally...it was that tough to pass when you weren't in the tire tracks!) I passed the other 3 in my group and kept going. I really did feel good!
I slowly stretched away from them, taking a couple sips of gatorade at each aid station and trying to hold on to my pace. Mile 7: 45:35.
Mile 8 and 9 were downhill, and I switched up my stride to accomodate, stretching for that finish line. I was getting to be spent: It felt like my entire diaphragm had spasmed and also frozen--I had a sideache in my spine. But I held on to the pace, passing mile 9 (and completing 9 on the 9th in 59:29--almost nipping Doug at the tape...but not quite.
I had a great kick, surprising myself for the last .3 miles and broke the tape in 1:02:08, for a 2+ minute PR! Woo Hoo! It was also such a confidence booster, as on that slow track, I may have had 2 more minutes in me!
Nancy really did a great job with the post-race, too. Among the loot, I got chocolate, cheese (duh, it's Wisconsin), an age group trophy (Nancy apparently modeled for it), a had from a race I didn't take part in but they had extras for, and some more of that great coffee!
Pictures to follow...


Reid said...

Nice job!! I can't believe anyone can run that fast with the kind of weather you've been dealing with. I can't wait till I'm completely recovered so I can run with you. Congrats on a great race!

Doug said...

Man, I can't believe how close we were to each other considering we weren't even running in the same state!

If we keep this up, we'll be running together in Chicago even if we don't plan on it.

Nice run, Nic!

Shilingi-Moja said...

Sheesh. That's some run -- a 2 minute PR in snow and slush. I'm impressed. No chocolate or cheese for the Richmond 9 on the 9th runners, but I did have a huge hot cup of chai when I got out of the shower. That works for me.

Marcy said...

I don't know homie, Doug better watch out if you run like that in those conditions. I can only imagine how you'll roll in ideal weather! Total sweetness!! ;D ;D

You freekin r.o.c.k! ;-)

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Yah, the cheese is just for the people who have to run in crap weather. :D

WAY TO GO. My land, you are speedy. You and Doug were neck and neck. Photo finish.

Thank you so much for participating!!


Non-Runner Nancy said...

I'm anxious to see this trophy!!??

aharmer said...

Nice work on the PR!! My friend coach Daniels puts your VDOT at 55.1, or 2:55 marathon shape.

When you have a moment shoot me a comment or email with details on that cleanse you mentioned. Thanks!

keith said...

That is a fantastic achievement! Congrats on your PR!

Nitmos said...

Nice run. Not much of a stretch to think you could have broken 60 minutes in more ideal conditions! BQ, here you come.

Grellan said...

Great run and PR especially given the poor footing. You're certain to break it with the right course conditions.

Triseverance said...

Impressive run, that is no doubt a confidence builder. Revover well my guess is you are a bit sore today.

The Laminator said...

Great job on your run dude. Amazing speed for that kind of weather. Gosh, I have a lot of catching up to do once I get back on the roads.