Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tough Decision (and) Need Some Help

Wow. It's been a week and a half since I posted. You'll see why as you read.

Life happens sometimes. Things come up that even the best planning cannot avoid. This is one of those things. No, it's not terrible news. But there was a little grieving. And it was a tough decision to make.

Things became very intense at work (read that as - we are under a LOT of pressure). As a result, I am currently in the middle of an 80-hour work week. Next week will be almost as bad. In order to spend what little spare time I have left over with my wife, something had to give.

I am not running the marathon this weekend.

Yes, it is disappointing to be this close and not do it. I really was (am) ready to run a marathon. But it became "not the right thing to do". I'm still sort of getting over it.

I will stand in solidarity with Lara - who exercised great patience in not running a race she really wanted to run, but knew was not in her best interest for her longer range plans. With me as well, this marathon would not have been a fast one. Too hot. And not doing this marathon gives me more flexibility and control in planning for my next one (in the Fall/early Winter). And so I can take a long range view of things. So I lost my entry fee. I'm saving the hotel and gas expenses. [Also, as a very nice bonus, my company is sending my wife and I to a Red Sox game on Sunday afternoon. Not complaining one bit. Go Red Sox!]

So why do I need help? Glad you asked.

Here I am in the last week of the taper for a marathon I'm not going to do. What do I do now? I want to spend the next two weeks sharpening my speed as much as possible, and then race 1 mile on a track. I want to see how fast I can run 1 mile. Two weeks from tonight. The problem is, how do I prepare for it?

I was up to 50 miles in a week and then tapered. I've done intervals once a week, none shorter than 600 meters, and as long as 1 mile intervals (3 X 1m). I want to work on speed for the next two weeks, and then run a 1 mile time trial on a track. And I need your help. The help of all you bloggers and lurkers.

I don't have time to devise a plan. So how about a contest?!

I need you to come up with a running plan for the next two weeks, culminating in the 1 mile time trial. I could spend time researching and trying to figure it out, but I don't have time. I want you to come up with a two week plan and leave it in the comments for this post.

I got the idea this evening. I ran 10 miles Sunday night and then missed Monday and Tuesday -- I was planning a recovery run, but it didn't happen. So today I needed to do something more intense.

I saw what Elizabeth just ran: 1 mile warmup, 6 X 800m intervals/3 min recovery, 1 mile cooldown. So I just decided to do the same workout -- and I didn't have to think about it! I did the 800's at the pace of her slowest one -- about 3:20, and used 2 minute recoveries. It felt great. (Thanks, Elizabeth!)

So here are the parameters for the "contest":

1. I just ran 6 X 800m intervals today, so tomorrow will be an easy day -- 4 or 5 miles on the trails.

2. Workouts, except for maybe a long run on Sunday, need to be less than an hour, at least for the next week and a half. Short, but intense.

3. You know the general guideline: alternate hard and easy.

4. I have access to some cross-training equipment: rowing machine, cycling, some weights.

5. The max speed on the treadmill is 9.0 mph (6:40/mile pace). I discovered that tonight.

6. A week from Friday, will probably have to be a day off -- I work until 4:00 and then I have a flight from Boston to Phoenix. Once in Arizona, I am on vacation, but the heat will require early morning workouts -- and the next morning (Saturday) would be questionable. I'll be recovering from all the work hours.

7. I ran a 6:53 mile last year. I should be able to beat that. But I haven't gone under 6:30 in 10 years.

8. The goal is a 1 mile time trial two weeks from tonight.

9. Leave a 2-week schedule in the comments -- I'll choose one and we'll see what happens in 2 weeks.

10. I'll make the final determination on Sunday (even though I will be a few days into the schedule).

And what is the incentive? What will the submitter of the winning workout schedule receive?

A personalized HAIKU written just for you.

5 Comments:

Anonymous turnip said...

The June issue of Runners world had a whole feature on how to train for a mile - race or just for yourself. It had a lot of helpful hints (sorry, at work and don't have it in front of me right now) Sounds like a good decision to not run that marathon, sometimes there are more important things then running (even though we whine about it!)

7/13/2006 2:55 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

This is a complete stab in the dark for me, but looking at the online options, this one might be possible if you trim it to two weeks. Maybe settle on the first two, middle two, or last two weeks? What I like about it for your situation is there are no long runs, really, and there are three rest days for recovery (for an old fart with a busy work schedule).

Remember, you get out of it what you put into it.

The Treat-Me-Gently Mile

7/13/2006 7:51 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Start with the day of your 'event' and work backwards. Event day is 7/26. On 7/25 do a "ramp up" workout consisting of strides at the track... I'd say based on your fitness, do a 1 mile easy warmup, followed by 4 strides (100-meter start slow, to peak at middle, taper down to slow again around corner). Then 1 mile slow cooldown. 7/24 I'd take as a rest/recovery day. So on the 23rd, do a long-ish, moderate run (whatever that is for you).

Boy, this could be a long post. If you want me to continue, email me. I'd love a haiku :)

7/15/2006 5:22 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

It certainly sounds like life converged in such a way that it was pretty clear to you that this marathon wasn't the right move at this time and you followed your instinct. So good for you! 80 hour work weeks bite in a real big way.

As for your mile training - I got nothin' - but then, I've yet to do speed work that didn't result in some foolish debilitation or another so you wouldn't want to listen to me anyway.

7/18/2006 9:22 PM  
Blogger E-Speed said...

wow I am missing so much. Finally getting a chance to go through my list of blogs I love to read, and you manage to get to them on an 80 hour work week. I feel like scum of the earth!

My two cents on a good track workout if you have time to throw it in!

1 mile warm up
1600 build up (get faster each 400)
4*400 (all slightly faster than the 1600 pace)
4*200 (faster each one)
800 hard (should feel easy compared to 200 pace)
1 mile cool down

sorry you missed the marathon but have fun racing 1 mile all out! Should be exciting!

7/23/2006 9:51 PM  

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