Sunday, March 16, 2008

Week 11 – Training Report

Finally, back to normal! After lots of snow, tapering for the first race of the season, over-eating and under-running, things are getting back to normal. Hopefully the weather will improve too soon, so we can all enjoy running outdoors a bit more.

S: The week started with the Shamrock 15K race, so 10 very fast miles.
M: 1 mi up and down the street, recovering.
T: 1 mi with Liz, then to Columbia road and back, 7 mi. Fitness in the evening.
W: Run with Dan, the old “around the Rec Center route” in reverse. Go through Brecksville, then 82, get into Metroparks, and back to Brecksville road (21) via Parkway. Total 6.4 miles.
T: Rest, rain, lousy day. I was tired, skipped fitness.
F: Rest, in anticipation of tomorrow’s “aided” training run.
S: Vertical runner organized 14 mi. “aided” run. The alarm went on at 6:00 am (unexpectedly) so I decided to show up and run with the 6:30am group. Surprisingly, there were about 15 runners at 6:30. It was very dark, thanks to the time change. The temperature was around freezing. Did 2.5 miles with this group and back to Peninsula for the 7:00am regular group.

An amazing high number of 35 runners showed up for the "aided run". “Aided run” means that there are planned water/food stops during the run. This was a very challenging route (see map): Riverview to Boston (not exactly easy, a big hill early on) and then a loop taking the left road up (Hines Hill Road, huge hills there), then Bike & Hike trail (icy, aid station #1 in the entry) and back to Boson through Boston Mills road (mostly downhill). Then Riverview to Stine Road. Aid station #2 was there. Until this point I was doing great. My pace was 8 min miles or faster, and I was leading the pack at some point, ahead of “Vertical Vince”. But at Stine Road, at mile 10, I collapsed, so to speak. Going up Stine was slow for me, icy, and I even walked a bit. Another loop and back through Major road, to Riverview road and Peninsula. At some point, Rose and her running partner passed me, so I started running fast again, behind them. I made it to Peninsula, tired but happy. My mile splits for the 14 mile part of the run were: 8:52, 7:35, 7:56, 8:21 (hills in this and next mile), 8:15, 7:57, 7:59, 7:45 (downhill!), 8:37, 9:13 (Stein road struggle starts here), 9:35, 9:29, 7:31 (fast downhill, trying to keep up with Rose etc), 8:05, 8:03. This kind of “training run” is almost a tempo run for me. It not comfortable, easy running. It is tough!

Total for the week: 42 miles, 171 lbs.

A note about my weight: I managed to do fine all winter, maintaining my weight around 166-168 lbs, but things broke loose 2 weeks ago. I have gained about 3 lbs, which are now well-settled in (see graph on the right). I weigh myself every morning, but these daily numbers do not mean much, so I average my weight for the week and I pay attention to this number, which I plot on a graph. Talking about being obsessed with weight!

Well, yes, I am. I was 225 lbs when I started running. I have been hovering around 175 lbs since 2002. Last year I followed a diet, supervised by my wife, and dropped to 165 lbs. My running and running times improved quite a bit. There is a clear relationship between running performance and weight. The less the weight, the better the performance. (Yes, there is a limit to this, but this statement applies to 90% of all recreational runners.) I would like to drop to 160 lbs and eventually to 150 lbs, to optimize my race times/ performance. This is my long term goal, and that’s why I am paying close attention to my weight.

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