Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Neither Rain nor Snow nor Dark of Night ...

OK sports fans. I’m starting to appreciate (just a little) what folks like Deene and Thomas have to put up with on a daily basis. I got off work late this afternoon with a significant cold front rolling through Seattle. It had rained most of the afternoon and the weather outlook for Wednesday morning was 31F (-1C) with snow showers. The current temperature was 38F (3C) and very wet, but the rain had more or less stopped. I didn’t relish the idea of rolling out of bed and driving down (read down hill) to the Sammamish River at my usual ungodly running time and slip and slide through the snow with no running tights (left them at home) in less than optimal running conditions. On the other hand, the hotel I’m staying at had a “happy hour” going on until 6:30 PM, so if I could only drag my butt out of bed in the morning, I could take Tuesday as a rest day and grab a couple glasses of wine and some free eats at the hotel.

The temptation of free foot and drink won me over and I took a book down to the lobby and had a semi-healthy dinner with two glasses of wine and enjoyed reading for an hour. Once I got back up to my room, I fiddled around for another hour, answered some eMail and posted a few comments on your blogs. All through this however, the Sammamish River Trail kept calling me. (Phil … It’s not raining … come out and run … you’ll like it … damn river). So I gave into the siren’s call, slipped into my running gear, took my gloves and head lamp and drove down to the river for a casual 8 miler w/ 3x1 mile intervals.

The first two miles were something straight out of a movie. It started to lightly snow just as I hit the trail and everything got real quiet. All l I could hear was my foot falls and the condensation from my breath combined with the snow flakes and shined brightly in my head lamp as I ran north on the trail. Unfortunately, the weather gods were having a jolly good time tonight and decided to turn the soft gentle snow into rain on mile 3. The rain kept getting heavier as I continued north and I finally had to take off my glasses and hook them over the band on my head lamp, trading off my ability to see clearly in the dark without my glasses with my total inability to see anything through the haze on the lens. And whereas the dry snow didn’t seem cold at all on my bare legs, the near freezing rain was not all comfortable.

I finally got out to 4 miles and turn around and started the first 1 mile interval. My game plan had been to take the pace down to 7:00/mi and see how long I could hold on. After a quarter mile I was booking along at 6:35 avg so I knew I needed to slow down. By the end of the first mile, my average pace had decreased to something closer 7:20. Following a two minute jog, I took off on the 2nd interval. It was still raining hard and I could now feel my socks soaking through, but at least my legs were completely numb so they weren’t bothering me anymore. Somewhere around the 1/2 mile point, my left show became untied, but fortunately, the shoe stayed on my foot and other than the annoyance of my shoe lace slapping my ankles, the shoe didn’t really slow me down.

By the time I got to the 3rd interval, the rain let up and I was just running through the cold night air with numb legs and wet feet. As hard as I’d tried on the last interval, I just couldn’t generate much power; although, in the end, I did about as well as the other intervals.

Mile splits: 7:21, 7:16, 7:21

Now I’ve got another quandary. In the last 3 days I’ve run 16 miles (at 8:56/mi), 7 miles (at 8:15/mi) and 8 miles (at 8:23/mi). I'm suppose to be in my taper, but I’ve been running hard and didn’t take a rest day on Monday as usual. Now it’s Tuesday and I only have two more workouts for the week: a 5 mile recovery and a 12 mile medium-long. Any suggestions as to when and how I should run these?

Hope your week is going great. I'll be happy to get back down into warmer weather on Wednesday (although I have really enjoyed Seattle on this trip)

Training for the week:


Mon: 7.0 miles, recovery w/10x100m strides; 8:15/mi avg pace
Tue: 8.0 miles, easy w/3x1 mile @7:20/mi; 8:23/mi avg pac

14 comments:

Jim said...

Nice splits on the intervals, especially considering the conditions. Looking over your training, it looks like you are ready to race. There is nothing to be accomplished by piling on any extra, but you know that. I would stick to my taper schedule, no matter how badly you want to get out there. How about 5 mile run on Thursday and your 12 miler on Saturday? That spaces out your remaining two runs and that may be enough to keep you from going nuts.

Sorry about the crappy weather is Seattle. It is a nice place to visit-if the conditions are right.

Dusty said...

Wow, now that is dedication! I love the silence of runing in the snow - too bad it didn't say nice snow for you!

I'm not up on that training, so I'll differ to others - but if it says taper - I highly recommend tapering. :)

Always wanted to go to Seattle! Glad you are having a godo time

Mike said...

Hmmm, I guess wine CAN be considered a sportsdrink. Nice miles, Phil. While I'm not a fan of putting in extra miles during the taper (but I have done it), I don't see anything wrong with keeping the body "regulated" by adding an easy 4 miler or so if you feel like running on a day off. However, as your paces have been getting faster I would suggest if you do add a run or two to keep the pace a minute per mile slower than marathon pace. This isn't at all about gaining fitness, it's just about maintaining the rhythm.

Feminist Runner said...

You drank wine and then ran? You are my hero! I am starting every run off with a beer from here on out!

Nice job -- I love running in crapass weather. Brings out the rugged in all of us.

Deene said...

the run gods were calling you even after the vino. running in rain and snow is good for the spirit.

J~Mom said...

I have tried coffee before a run but not wine, LOL. Great intervals.

olga said...

Welcome to our world of PNW.

Thursday - 5, Saturday - 12.

Hilda said...

The way you describe your run let us know how much you could enjoy it as a new scenery weather... great run!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

oh my word, i loved this post. the scenery, the weather, the "casual 8 miler" that kept calling to you. i wanna get back to that point! where 8 miles is casual, not a long run!

Pat said...

Can you get jail time for an RUI, Running Under the Influence?

Just don't forget that small little hill they have in the Carlsbad Marathon.

Pat
Arizona, USA

Chris Stroud said...

Hey Phil! good luck on the upcoming Marathon. If you happen to see big 941 say hi.

Josh said...

I agree with Mike and Jim. Can't underestimate the power of a couple of good rest/easy days.

Awesome run in the rain and snow. That is hero material for sure. and after drinks too...!

Anne said...

Every plan I've used says to take it very very easy that final week. The idea of the taper is to build up energy, so you're bursting to go at the race. Whatever mileage you chose -- don't waste it. Take your time, imagine the Carlsbad course and stay away from the chalupas.

Amy said...

Nice description...I even felt like I might be there with you...but I wasn't...I was back at the bar still sipping on my wine :)

As far as taper goes, no advice here...I've never met a taper that I liked or followed...