Monday, May 23, 2011

The taper is here

Last Saturday was supposed to be my final 20 miler of this training cycle, but I've been still struggling a bit with my shin splints (or whatever they are) so I was very cautious.  I ended up running 13 and then biked another 30, which got me to the right amount of time and calorie burn anyway.  I have two actual 20 milers and an 18 under my belt as it is, so I'm thinking I'm okay.

I took yesterday off (still wary about the ankle) but today I headed down to the track at my local high school to do one last final hard workout.  One of the editors at Runner's World - Bart Yasso - came up with a workout that has come to be known as "Yasso 800s".  The idea is that you run 10x800m intervals, with your slowest interval's pace in minutes and seconds being a great predictor of your marathon ability in hours and seconds.  That is to say, if you can run all 10 800m intervals in 4 minutes (4:00) or less, you should in theory be able to run a marathon in 4 hours (4:00:00) or less.

It was a windy, hot and humid evening tonight, and I was feeling sluggish after eating a bunch of crap for lunch (I lied to a number of coworkers and told them that I was just doing it to start off my taper; the truth is that I can't pass up fajitas and cookies and birthday cake sometimes).  So not ideal for my intervals.  But I still managed to get in an awesome set - my slowest interval was done in 3:26.  That means that (in theory) I can run a 3:26 marathon.  That's a 7:51 mile pace the entire way, which is actually something I think I could do on a perfect day right now.

So that's a good mental boost going into the taper.  And the other set of good news is that my ankle/shin - the one I've been nursing along - is also feeling incredible.  I'm excited and ready for this race.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cycling, and other things

So as I mentioned before, I've been using this break from running (and a little bit of leftover bonus money!) to get into cycling.  Wow.  I had no idea it was this much fun or I would have done it a few years ago.  My new bike (named Lola, at the request of my life - I'm unsure if this is a Copacabana thing or a Kinks thing, but I'm assuming the former).  Cycling combines all the awesomeness of motorcycling and most of what I love about running.  Running will always be my first love, but it now has a mistress to deal with.

In other news, my Garmin 305 bit the dust this morning.  Dead.  Won't turn on at all, won't charge, no nothing.  I certainly got my use out of it (over 2000 miles of running and 100+ cycling).

I've always said that if it ever died I'd replace it same-day, so I did.  The newest Garmin model, the 610, is well reviewed and has a nifty touch screen, but it's impossible to find.  Everybody is backordered for 3-5 weeks, including online shops.  Or so I thought.  I called up Luke's Locker, a favorite local running store of mine, and it turns out they got six this morning.  Off my son and I went to buy it.  The employees at the store were openly jealous.  Here's hoping for at least another few thousand miles on this baby.

Love the sleek lines

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Things are healing up nicely

or at least it feels that way.  I ran a mile the other night on a treadmill - just enough to get warm.  Still some soreness there, but nothing worse than I've dealt with already.

In the meantime, I've spent a lot of time swimming.  And cycling.  I managed to talk my wife (thanks dear!) into not complaining too loudly about a new bike (actually, a bike, period, since I didn't have one until now).  It's a great workout and is filling in nicely as far as cardio is concerned.