Saturday, December 19, 2015

What I Brag About When I Brag About Running: Weeks 4 and 5

I fell behind on my chronicling of my quest to complete THE GREATEST PHYSICAL FEAT KNOWN TO MAN, so this week I'm doubling up.

Day 22
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
4 miles - 3 miles easy comfortable, 1 mile faster

I ran around the CUA campus to get some hill work in, then finished on Garbage Road. I found out that, after you finish a run, the Nike App lets you check your pace at any moment during the run. I found this because for the last mile I was booking it, going hard, maxing my zone! and it took me 9'41". It felt like I was near my top speed, so how could that be? Luckily, by turning my phone sideways, selecting a different display mode, and running my finger along a graph (so intuitive!) I was able to learn that, for that mile, my pace fluctuated between 8'14" and 10'58". Though I had to turn around twice, so that would explain the dips in pace.

Day 23
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
3.8 miles - 1 mile warm up, .75 mile interval (fast), .25 mile slower, .75 fast, 1 mile light cool down.

Geez, Nike Running App, I didn't start running to do math. I just want to run. Not wanting to do math is also why I haven't altered my diet since beginning this. I hear tell of people doing meal plans, tracking caloric and protein intake in relation to their body weight. That sounds boring as hell. Scheduling and math are my least favorite activities. I want no part of that.

Speaking of food, tonight I ran on the track at Turkey Thicket, a rec center near my old apartment. Across the street a new wings take-out place had opened. Running on a track engulfed by the wafts of delicious chicken wing smell is not an activity that I recommend.

Day 24
Thursday, December 3, 2015
4 miles - easy comfortable pace

I hate running. Not really, I just hate running in the morning. It's mostly the waking up early part to get in a morning run, but morning is the only time to do it without wasting quality winter dusk time. Maybe it's winter that I hate.

Ran out and back on the MBT.

Day 25
Friday, December 4, 2015

Finally, the App and I are on the same page in terms of what Fridays are for.

Day 26
Saturday, December 5, 2015
2 miles - 1 mile warm up, 1 mile with 3 20-second strides (bursts of speed, faster than 5k pace)

I skipped today. The wheels are coming off! Can you feel it?
I didn't run in the morning, because, duh, waking up early to run before work on a Saturday is stupid. I didn't run in the evening, because video games and a party called to me. Also, two miles is stupid. I'm way too advanced for that.

Day 27
Sunday, Decebmer 6, 2015
3 miles - 2 miles at controlled Race Pace, 1 mile faster challenging pace.

According to the App this is my 5k milestone. The intention is probably for me to sign up for a race. I did not. But I did run very fast on Garbage Road without listening to any music or podcasts. Just me and the road. I know that running a marathon any aural assistance (like they did in ancient times) will be mentally tougher than running a 26.2 miles with the aid of Simon and Garfunkle's entire catalogue (my Power Song is Bridge Over Troubled Water), so I'm starting to mix in some runs sans audio. This one wasn't bad because I could focus on how my blazing speed made my thighs feel. My three miles were 9'28", 8'58", and 8'41". In the biz we call that running a negative split.

I've seen articles and blogs discussing pacing strategies for Race Day. Everone has decided that the obviously bad technique of banking time (running extra fast at the start to make use of energy while you still have it) doesn't work. Instead it's best to aim for negative splits, running each mile a little faster than the previous one. I understand the point of not coming out of the gate like a crazy person, but running 26 miles incrementally faster seems like a poor use of mental energy. Surely a general increase in speed/effort throughout the race works just as well. I suppose trying to rune the next mile 2 to 4 seconds faster than the previous, so as to leave enough room for improvement over the next dozen increases, could be a nice way to pass the hours.

Day 28
Monday, December 7, 2015

I just realized that each week on the Nike Running App Marathon Coach Training Plan(tm) has a motivational title. Week 1 was Warm-Up, week 2 Fundamentals, week 3 Build a Base, and week 4 (the week I just completed) is Build Strenght. I'll start adding those to the beginning of each post so we all know what exactly I'm supposed to be doing.

Week 5 Build Endurance
Day 29
Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Holy crap! Two days of rest. I earned it by killing it so hard on my 5k.

Day 30
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
5 miles - easy comfortable pace

I ran on the Turkey Thicket track. The wing place, America's Best Wings, still smells great.

Day 31
Thursday, December 10, 2015
4 miles - 3 easy comfortable, 1 mile faster

Ran a new route! 7th to Franklin to Michigan to 7th. It's a triangle! It's about a 2 mile loop with a massive decline with an immediate massive incline. I got nothing else. Not every day comes with a nugget of wisdom.

Day 32
Friday, December 11, 2015


Day 33
Saturday, December 12, 2015
4 miles - 3 miles easy comfortable, 1 mile faster

A lot going on for this run. I had a headache when I started, possibly from not drinking enough water. I ran at Turkey Thicket, and it was late enough that the track was empty. That meant I got to run clockwise, the opposite direction as usual. It's a big deal. I was in a whole new world. Plus, one of the street lamps along the track would turn on and off. Or my eyesight was just going in and out. I may have been having a stroke.

Tonight was also a lesson in "perceived effort." It felt like I was running at a quick pace, and on the last mile I was near sprinting. My times did not reflect this. But if I'd tried to keep up with some ideal pace, then I would have blown out a buttock.

Day 34
Sunday, December 13, 2015
6 miles - easy comfortable pace

Did an out and back on the MBT at an extremely easy and comfortable pace. My legs are sore, my joints and muscles hurt, and it feels like I'm running through honey. It will be interesting to see how many "My legs are filled with" X or "I'm running through" X comparisons I eventually come up with. In seven weeks I'll be saying "It feels like my legs have been replaced with dead hookers."

Day 35
Monday, December 14, 2015

Seriously, my legs are tired.
On the plus side, I bought new running shoes today. Now I can rotate between pairs, which I guess is a thing you're supposed to do. Saucony Guide 8s! Last years model for half the price. They are black and green, and look like something the Riddler from Batman Forever might wear.

Edward Nigma likes to exercise his body as well as his mind.

Hip replacement. Don't all runners have to get at least one later in life? It's like I'm sprinting towards major surgery!

Career Nike Running Stats
Runs - 135
Miles - 462.7
Avg. Pace - 10'05"
MPR - 3.42

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