Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Heat

I skipped running a couple of days last week because it was just too damn hot.  Now that I am older and hopefully wiser, and the fact that I have several training mesocycles under my belt I have a new philosophy.  "It isn't about the single workout or single effort, but is the culmination of all of the workouts or efforts that creates the summation of the improvement."  This is my creed for this training session.

So what does that mean to me you ask?  Well, let's say the boys head down to the ole high school track for a session of mile repeats.  You know the boys, your usual training buddies that like to run their big mouths.  You have a plan and you are going to stick to that plan.  You know your pace, you figured it out last night.  You memorized your splits, you even wrote them on your arm so that you would nail them.

Your off and there you are hanging right there with the boys.  I mean you have too, you don't want to be the wimp of the group.  You round the last turn of the first quarter and hit the straight away.  You feel your legs getting tight and you know your breathing is just too fast.  As you cross the 1/4 mark you glance at your watch, whoa! way too fast.  But do you slow down?  Hell no, your not gonna be that guy.  You finish the first mile 35 seconds faster than planned.  The tall guy says "How was the pace?"  Everybody in the group is bending over trying to find their left ventricle.  Everybody says, "Pace is fine, no problem."

What a bunch of idiots we are.  Cause next week we are so burnt out that I end up skipping a few days and the rest of my week is shot because I had to keep of with the fellows.  Not this season no way.  If I have to run on my own with my buddies this whole season, so be it.  I'm older, wiser and more disciplined and I'm not gonna get sucked into that whole Saturday morning macho vortex.  What is important is looking at the whole week as one long workout.  Put enough effort into todays workout to get a good training effect but you have to leave enough in the tank so that you can hit all of your workouts for the entire week.  Recover on the recovery days.  Rest on the rest days.  And push it on the hard days, but not race effort.  One days effort doesn't make us 3:00 marathoners.  One years steady efforts will make us a 3:30 or less marathoner.

So, I have really been trying to watch my paces and hit the goals but honestly, it just ain't happening.  I don't know if I'm just slow or if I have too many miles on my legs, but I want to think it's the heat.  The Pftitz plan that I am using this cycle calls for 18 miles w/ 12 at marathon pace.  Sorry Pete but it's not gonna happen.  I mean there isn't any way I can run 4 miles at marathon pace in this heat and humidity.  Does that mean that I am be too aggressive with my attempted marthon pace?  Don't know but I guess we'll find out soon enough.

I ran 17 miles the other day and the start temp was 74 and the ending temp was 82.  I thought I was gonna die.  I mean it was really tough.  2 weeks earlier I ran 21 with a starting temp of 67 and an ending temp of 72.  Great run, great day, great recovery.  Can 7 or 8 degrees really make that big of a difference?  What about 30 degrees?  What can I really expect if marathon day is in the high 40's or low 50's?

You know what?  There isn't anything that I can do about any of it except get out there and run today and tomorrow and the next day after that.  So, I'll just stay out there and keep hitting the pavement and and lying to the guys about how great the pace is and keep smiling.  Cause I can run and that's all I need.