Thursday, April 24, 2008

Went to California (again)

After doing my 18 in the rain with 10 at marathon pace on Sunday, I was packing my bags to head out to the California desert again. Sitting on a plane for 6+ hours (laying over in Atlanta) is great right after a hard long run!

I did an easy 5 on Monday. Just an out and back along the road my hotel was on. Later in the day, I discovered a bike path that runs along a train track and decided to do my Tuesday run there. The plan was to do the Benji Durden tempo -- 28 minute wup, 3 x (9 minutes tempo/2 minutes easy), 28 minute cdn.

On Tuesday, I ran east the bike path and then turned north onto the bike path. It's generally windy as the sun rises in the desert and especially so in the spring. I looked at the garmin at saw low 8 minute pace and a low heart rate and knew the wind was at my back. At 28 minutes, I turned back south and into the wind for my first 9 minute tempo section.

I was running what I thought was tempo effort but only saw ~7:10 on the garmin and knew I ran 6:53 pace at the 10-miler, so I picked it up some. I looked to my left at the rising sun while I was running and authored this bit of doggerel:

The wind rises with the spring desert sun and I rise with it.

Pride being what it is I worked down to 6:58 pace for the interval and my heart rate hit 176 bpm -- not really that high. My heart rate recovered nicely to 145 before I started the next tempo section. Four minutes into the next section, I turned around and the wind was now at my back and I was flying. My 7 minute pace dropped to 6:43 for the interval. This interval was also a lot easier. The next one started with the wind, and was easily under my 6:50 pace with my HR only at 170. I increase the effort and got my heart rate up to 179 and pace down to 6:32(!) before turning into the wind after seven minutes. The next two minutes, I kept my HR at 179 and my average lap pace dropped to 6:40! They should run a point-to-point marathon on this bike path! The downwind legs were like doing downhill turnover work without the pounding -- very nice.

I did an easy 5 before driving to the airport. Got in late last night, so only did an easy 5 this morning. I'm planning to do a workout tomorrow -- probably 6-8 x 800 @5K w/ 400m rest. That will be my last workout except maybe 2 marathon pace miles next week. Not sure 800's are the best though. Maybe 1200's @5K? Or should I repeat last Friday w/1600's @ 10K pace? Any advice out there in blog land? I don't think it makes a big difference anyway at this point. My other thought was to do 14 @ 8:00 min/mi (MP + 30 secs).

I've begun my weather obsession. Even the little bit of heat this morning (just above 60 and high humidity) affected me. I looked at accuweather a couple days ago and the prediction was a high of 80 for marathon day. Of course, this far out, tea leaves might be more accurate, but if it's a high of 80, then I have zero chance. Who decided to run a hilly marathon in May? I guess that was me. (By the way, this hills aren't really my fault. They didn't announce the new course until a month or two ago after I'd already signed up. Last year, the course was pretty fair -- about like Marine Corps.)

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