Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Run as You Feel, But...

"Run as you feel" is a great mantra. I use it a lot (sometimes to justify my lazy ass slow pace). It tends to keep me injury-free and stress-free. I've now revised my mantra: "Run as you feel, but if you feel good, run faster!" If you are running nice and easy, feeling great, why not pick up the pace? Doesn't have to be a sprint, but slowly pick it up. You'll get an increased training stimulus and likely still feel great at the end of the run. Maybe better than if you stayed at your "comfortable, feel-good" pace. You still need to work yourself into that faster pace. Start slow and easy ("run as you feel"), but eventually you'll feel pretty darn good...then pick up the pace! If you never feel that great, keep at your comfortable easy pace for the whole run.

Easy, eh? Run as you feel, but if you feel good, run faster.

I was looking at running posters the other day and found one that said "Run until you feel your lungs bleeding." That seems a bit extreme. I'll just stick with running a little faster when I feel good. Maybe I'm just soft, but I like to keep my lungs from bleeding.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Half at Fort Ben: Personal Worst

Ran the half-marathon at Fort Ben yesterday in Indianapolis. Finish time of 1:53:10 (205/1609 total finishers, 17/94 in age group). My personal worst for a half-marathon. Funny, last year at this same race was my personal worst (1:51:30). This is not my race! Hills with hot and humid weather both years. Sunny too. Not a good combination. I won't be back for round three next year. Too risky with the weather. They start the race at 8:30am. Why not 7am or 7:30am? An earlier start would keep temperatures down and probably be welcomed in terms of traffic control (less cars out at 7am than 9am). Oh well, this race is not for me. Pretty course and well-organized race (nice shirt too), but still not for me.

I ran this race mostly under control based on heart rate (average HR = 161). As I got hotter and tired, my HR stayed high while I slowed down. That's to be expected. I'm not a good hot weather runner. Or warm weather. Or humid. Just give me cool and crisp weather and I'll perform! Maybe in 4 weeks at the Indy Monumental half-marathon.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Aruna 5K Race Report

Ran my first 5km race of the year yesterday at the University of Illinois arboretum. I've never run this specific Aruna 5K race before, but I've run several races that use the same arboretum course. It's 100% grass with one big hill (encountered twice). Not fast, but not the hardest course either. This run was to support the Aruna project that helps free and empower sex slaves around the world. Good cause. For me, in addition to supporting a great cause, it was an opportunity for a speed check before my half-marathon in one week.

The weather was good, the course was good, and the race support was good. I ran a 22:13. It was fast enough for first in age group (40-55) and 6th overall. About 200 registered for the race, but more than half were walking. It was a very family-friendly casual run/walk. I tried to stay with the leaders for as long as I could--about one mile. I was breathing pretty hard and my heart rate was at the top of lactate threshold (average HR=168). Probably could have pushed a little harder, but this was a solid effort. I'm happy. I also know what I need to change so I can perform better--more regular speed work. I think 1-mile repeats and 3-mile tempo runs would work perfectly. Next time I'll be ready.

Now I need to rest and taper for the Half at Fort Ben (Indianapolis) next weekend. Slower pace, longer distance. Another test--this time of stamina. It's a stepping stone to the Monumental Half-Marathon in early November.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

4 Races, 5 Weeks

After giving up on my formal training plan for the two half-marathons I have coming up this fall, I decided to throw in a couple of 5K races! What better way to motivate a runner than upcoming races? It sure gets me out of bed in the morning. Still no systematic training plan, just a "run as I please" effort with a few pick-ups when I feel like running faster. Instead of just the two half marathons, now I have 4 races in a period of 5 weeks. Here they are:

Sept 29: 5K Aruna Run
A 5km race for a good cause (help free and empower sex slaves). The race is on grass at the University of Illinois arboretum. I've done runs and races there before--it's a hilly course used by the UI cross country team. Should be a great speed workout. No 5K PR due to the grass and hills. But this will be my first Aruna 5k race--so a race-specific PR is guaranteed.

Oct 6: Fort Ben Half-Marathon
Very nice race through and around Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis. All roads and paved bike paths, but a pretty course with a few hills. It kicked my butt last year. I went out way too fast (first 2 miles are slight downhill). I'll be more disciplined this year and use it as a tune-up race for the Monumental half-marathon in early November. My race report from last year's Fort Ben Half is here.

Oct 20: Illini Mentor Program 5K
I do this race almost every year. It's a student group at Illinois that uses the University Quad as its race course. Three loops up and down the quad sidewalks. Not the most imaginative course, but still nice with all the big trees and old university buildings. Over the last 6 years, I have 2 of the top 10 all-time fastest finishes! Maybe I'll make that 3 of the top 10 results. I think these college kids push me too hard. My IMP 5km race report from last year is here.

Nov 3: Indy Monumental Half-Marathon
Was injured last year when I ran this race (not an over-use injury, but rather "fall and bust my knee" injury). Plan on being fit and injury-free when I do it this year! And I'll have all of these tune-up races too. Probably not a new PR, but I hope to run a few minutes faster than last time (1:41 in 2017). Last year's race report is here.