Report of Stolen Thunder

This was my first thought Saturday when I saw dre whiz past us for the finish chute to PR a half marathon by 9 minutes, breaking the 2hr barrier.  If I’m an optimist, I think it is only because I am a reformed pessimist.

Really, I should be happy to have an additional form of inspiration in my life.  But at the same time, a 3 second PR sounds like monkey poo compared a 9 minute PR . . . just as much as when she cut 16 minutes from her half marathon time the same day I cut 16 minutes from my marathon time, making her feat seem twice as awesome.

I’ll get over it, and I really am happy for dre, as well as myself.  Besides, it’s not always about the bragging rights.

Now, back to the focus of this blog, narcissism.

In my mind, my one year goal seemed to mentally register as more of a journey.  That is I see remarkable progress, in only three months so far; progress I was not expecting so fast into the training.

The last time I placed a PR for a 5k was during a running phase where I was enamored with the 10k race.  My training was much different.  I was probably running 15 to 25 mile weeks.  In hindsight, I was going about the training somewhat ineffectively, with only one track workout per week accompanied with exploratory urban runs in anticipation to set awesome hash courses.

This past Saturday when I laced up for the SoCal Half Marathon 5k, my goal was to run under 20 minutes.  As far as my performance goes it felt good, but not great.  That is, I can tell that my training focus is not the 5k distance, nor was I set to peak (which is good for my goals).

I was proud that during the race I looked at my Garmin 4 times, only.  jeff called me out on a tempo run recently, which helped me realize that I was not using my Garmin correctly as a tool but rather crutching on it.  His terse “Stop looking at it!” comment made sense right away.  A tempo run should focus on perceived exertion.

The Garmin was nice to look at after the first quarter mile, during the excitement that follows the gun.  It felt like a hard pace, but a 5k isn’t meant to be a stroll.  My Garmin let me know that I was on a bonk-promising, pack-excited 5:00/mi pace.  My second look at it during the half mile confirmed I was in a better spot, 6:20/pace.

It also boosted my pace after the 2.5 mile mark when the pack I was in slowed to a 6:40/mi pace.  I don’t know if I would have set a PR without my Garmin, and I will never know because of the flux of time.  I was happy for my progress in this state of time, regardless of my personal records.

Extrapolating my races in my most recent roadie era with a McMillian Calculator and then extrapolating even more with an exponential regression, we get this fun graph, which implies a slight ridiculous amount of assumptions, but showing that my chances for qualifying for Boston aren’t as much of a dream as they somewhat appeared to me a few months ago.

The major assumptions in the model that I think are ridiculous is that once you start building mileage, you leave behind the same potential for aerobic improvement.  Trade-off’s.  Also, I want to stop the intensity of training after the OC half in lieu of some summer ultra running and/or something more like this:

Thunderclap, jeff's son, playing in the street while anticipating dre's finish.

Another victory for my progress in fitness, learning about building speed in the roadie world, and claiming my own damn piece of thunder.

rumble rumble crack ga-BOOOOOOOOOOM


4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    jeff said,

    i had to re-read the paragraph above thunderclap’s photo seven times before i understood it. i was too distracted and giggling from the photo.

    you need to plug in your 1600 pace runs and look at the progression over the past few months. when we started speedwork at uci, your 1600’s were in the mid sevens. now they’re in the mid/high 6’s. that’s a huge improvement. i think the focus you’re putting on your training is going to reap you huge dividends.

    hey, if dre gets out of line with her pr’s, just say the word. i am your bearded tonya harding.

  2. 2

    Rooster said,

    Wow, your posts are starting to resemble this guys:

    You have a lot in common. You should date.

  3. 3

    aquadump said,

    Rooster, I can’t believe how much your blog looks like this one:

  4. 4

    dre said,

    the key to awesome prs is leaving yourself lots of room for improvement 🙂

    and, i can sympathize with rooster’s g/f…


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