Sunday, April 08, 2007

Pace Adjustments

Running too fast is how I injured myself, so it would seem logical to slow down. For a few weeks I barely ran at all, then I only allowed myself to run on the track or the treadmill. The treadmill was safe - I could set the pace and not cheat. The track . . . well, that just got me excited. Running on a brand new track in the springtime . . . the smell of it warming up after a light rain . . . coming around the last corner and down the straightaway. I just couldn't hold it in. And then sometimes other people show up at the track - and I just can't help myself and pretend it's a race. I don't think they ever know the difference - I just look like the average runner with headphones, but inside I'm scheming and unintentionally getting in interval workouts. Then I go back to the treadmill so I can slow down, and I find myself looking in the mirror for other people on treadmills to race. I know, I'm sick. I've just gotten really bored and antsy. I actually allowed myself to incline the treadmill once to feel a hill, and I've allowed myself to go downhill a few times. I figure that's good training for the first 5 miles of Boston. I often wonder if other people at the gym think I'm cheating my run and making it easy by going downhill. Maybe they don't notice.

I attempted to create some ways to slow down my pace last week. I had two very exciting training days. First, I now have an adjustment on my cell phone plan that will allow me to email my photos. So I took my phone to the track to practice taking pictures with it while I was running. I mean, why have it be a new thing out on the marathon course, and have it be impactive? I had to practice, right? But it didn't slow me down. Instinctively, I knew I had slowed down to take a picture, so I'd speed up again. My laps were on pace like clockwork - one 400 after another. And I'm proud to say that I'm up to 7 miles at a time. :) I haven't actually looked at my photos, but I know how many I can take so I can pace my camera-taking during the marathon.

But I found another way to slow myself down. I know it was naughty. My IT bands would probably be much safer on flat surfaces. But what would you do on a day like this?

Initially I was just sneakin' out to run in the sunshine - the mountains and the water were calling to me. I figured the concrete bike path is pancake flat and the dirt path is nice and soft, so I'd be just fine. Then I discovered it was low tide and I couldn't resist the beach - that soft sand and the waves breaking and the seagull cries . . .

So it was a little slanted, but if I came back the same way I got the slant on both sides, right? And I had my camera to slow me down - that's supposed to be a good thing - not going too fast. And then my terrain changed a little bit - that's where the naughty part comes in. Sometimes a week before an important race you shouldn't take risks, but sometimes you just have to live a little.

I was able to slow down that too fast pace by a whole two minutes! And I had a most excellent and uplifting run. Then I went back to the track and I'm still stuck on that quicker pace. But the way I figure, with lifting three days a week, yoga, massive stretching, water running and swimming - I've only gotten stronger and I haven't lost any conditioning - endurance, maybe - but my strength feels really great when I'm out running. So that's my excuse for not slowing down.

And??? I have NO PAIN when I'm running! I know it might come back at any moment but it's still exciting. I'm sorta looking forward to 'post-race' training because I do feel really strong and I can't wait to restructure my training and set some goals for what I want to do next. My swim coach has been a huge help and I'm feeling really comfortable with my stroke - thinking about all of those summer triathlons looming out there . . . but I gotta wait. It's like I have BB time and AB time. Before Boston and After Boston. I gotta reign myself in and do one thing at a time.

Happy Easter!

My fascinating fact about these Easter Eggs:
We died them with three things: purple cabbage, beets, and turmeric. (and vinegar and water)
Turmeric dye is yellow, beet dye is deep pink, and purple cabbage dye looks plum purple but the eggs come out blue. You mix colors like you learned when you were in preschool and you get new colors. The really odd thing, though - when you mix the cabbage dye (purple) and the turmeric dye (yellow) you get this glass of orange liquid. When you put an egg in it, it comes out green. This was truly the highlight of my Easter.


13akbal said...

Will the cracked eggs taste like cabbage? I think we need to test ...

JustRun said...

Sometimes you DO just have to live a little. Nothing else feels like running, I'm glad you took the risk and went out a little- even if most logical people would say otherwise (I have never been accused of being too logical anyway).

Very cool with the egg dye- I had no idea.

Bob said...

I am happy to hear you are felling better. This is so uplifting for me. I am getting excited for you!

Joe said...

> I just look like the average runner
> with headphones, but inside
> I'm scheming and unintentionally
> getting in interval workouts.

Hehe, me too!

One week to go until Boston, right? How do you feel? What are your training and resting plans for this week? What is your target time?

Danielle said...

No Paas color dyes...that sounds very interesting actually.

I am so jealous of where you get to run!!

E-Speed said...

Happy Easter!

Good luck in Beantown. You might get lucky like I did at my first Boston and your ITB won't make a peep. Just don't go out too fast!

And I would go for the spicy garlic chicken wings ;)

The Salty One said...

When I was a kid we'd use onion skins to dye eggs--we'd get orange, yellow, green, and pink (from red onions). Cool!

Awesome run! Those pictures are gorgeous. You wouldn't want to see pictures from my runs recently--SNOW STINKS!!!

Anyway, hang in there and no more risk taking! Just a few more days and BB will be over!!!

Sarah said...

Yay to no pain! Good luck at Boston. : )

stephruns said...

good to hear you are pain free.
good luck in boston.

Kurt said...

It is tough to learn to slow down. A HRM monitor might also help.

Hope you enjoyed the Easter. I think I know where those pics were taken. Looks like right off Bainbridge Island to me.

Josh said...

Run well in Beantown Monday!

The Salty One said...

Ha! Thanks for cracking me up! I love the idea of those crazy rolly shoes--especially on the down hills. WEEEEEEEE!

I'm not that worried about it either. I looked at last year's results for my goal time and decided I am going to focus on getting that place instead of my time if the weather is as bad as some are saying.

Good luck!! That IT band better behave! I'll be looking our for your race report next week!!!

D said...

I just have to laugh while reading this post. If you are sick - I am too! I race people on the track (of course they are unaware) and I even race kids - I know - pathetic! What a fun post to read. You seem to have maintained your strength and conditioning. I can't wait to track you on Monday! Have you posted your NUmber. If you haven't, will you send me an email with it. Thx.

Robin said...

With a day that gorgeous and a beach to run on, no wonder you couldn't resist! Glad to hear you're feeling fine and enjoying your runs. I had to LOL over racing people on the track, that sounds a little familiar...
All the best in Beantown!