Sunday, November 05, 2006

Pfitz gets serious

For an inexplicable reason, the fire alarm in my house went off last night at 2:15 AM. That’s one sound that will really get your heart pumping fast. After checking every room in the house and verifying that every smoke detector was still showing green, I turned the darn alarm off and went back to bed and actually managed to get back to sleep after tossing around for 20 minutes.

I had to get up at 6:15 this morning because to give me time to get my 19 year-old to the Phoenix-Tucson shuttle (at the Phoenix Airport) by 7:15. Once I got her dropped off safely, I raced back home changed into my running gear, put all the dogs outside, scarfed down a quick breakfast and got back in the car to pick up my 14 year-old at a sleep over. She had to be at soccer clinic by 8:45. Her club team was acting as the example team during a coaches clinic our soccer club hosted this morning. Since the clinic was 3 hours, I had a perfect opportunity to run my 18 miler.

I ran the first 9.5 miles as an out and back heading north on the bike path that runs along the 51 Freeway from Cactus Road past Union Hills. The bike path is really nice and usually deserted. And although the total elevation rise on the north bound section is only 200’, I got a chance to kick it into high gear to make it up and over the bridges that cross each of the major surface streets. My average pace for the first 9.5 miles was right at 9:00/mi.

I stuck close to the park where my daughter was practicing for the second half of the run. The temperature was well over 80 by the time I got back to my car to pick up a Gatorade bottle. Since I needed to be back at the park no later than noon, the last thing I wanted to have happened was to have a complete melt down 4 or 5 miles away and have to walk all the way back. Fortunately, there are a number of streets in the area with bike lanes and low traffic volume.

Although the first 1/2 of the run went well, I had my first pangs of doubt as to why I was doing this at all on mile 11. I’d picked up the pace a little on the 2nd half, running mile 10 in 9:50/mi. On mile 11, my breathing got irregular and all of a sudden 7 more miles just seemed to be oh soooooo far down the road. I gutted it out and got things back under control on mile 12. Miles 13, 14, 15 and 16 sailed by without issue, but once again on mile 17 my breathing got irregular and for the first time, my legs started feeling heavy and my right foot started to hurt. Nothing serious, just one of those pains that comes and goes. But I wasn’t about to stop at this point and continued stumbling down the road until the Garmin beep at 18 miles.

Total average pace for the 2nd half was 8:52/mi

All in all, I had a pretty good week. This was the first week on the Pfitzinger Plan were things actually got tough. I hit my highest ever weekly mileage (55.5 miles); had my first mid-week medium long run (11.0 miles & MP) and ran my first long run under 9:00/mi (18 miles @ 8:52/mi). Tomorrow is a rest day and I will be doing just that. I hope your week went as well.

Total Training for the week:

Mon – Rest Day
Tue – 10.3 miles, w/ 5 miles @ 7:41/mi, 8:41/mi avg pace
Wed – 4.1 miles, recovery, 9:18/mi avg pace
Thr – 11.0 miles, medium-long, 8:28/mi avg
Fri – 5.1 miles, recovery, 8:54/mi avg pace
Sat – 7.2 miles, easy w/8 strides, 8:40 avg pace
Sun – 18.0 miles, long, 8:56/mi avg pace

Total mileage for the week: 55.5


Anonymous said...

hmmmmmm a 2:15am fire alarm and tp-ing the other night? sounds like you may have upset someone.

Mike said...

I have to think the temperature was working against you today. Phil, that's a great week to have in the books, with good quality and speed. Enjoy that rest day. I don't remember the next week being much easier except for perhaps the absence of the marathon pace day. Keep it up, the taper isn't too far off and I remember the interval days feeling much easier than those damn tempo runs.

Anonymous said...

Great job of pushing through the discomfort. It's exactly those kind of runs that give you the most benefit for the marathon. Not only do you get the fitness boost, the psychological gain is at least as important. If you can overcome those pains and doubts in training, you can do it in a race as well.

Hilda said...

Good it was only a false alarm!

Those three long runs a week sound incredible!
I like the way you talk about pain, it becomes something so natural that ends meaning only running or not, you don't care about nothing else.

Love2Run said...

Good week Phil. Keep taking it one day at a time and you'll be fine!

D said...

I am in total agreement with Thomas. These runs are the most rewarding. You dug in deep and managed to finish with a speedy average. Nice job.

(Not a cool way to wake up - I would've had a heart attack!)