Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Month in Running

September was a touch month. The training got much more serious, the mileage piled up. I ended up running 26 out of 30 days in the month, covering 261 miles. I'm entering the last month of hard training before tapering for the race begins in early November. So where am I? Well, I think I'm in alright shape. Physically, I'm hanging in there, dealing with an assortment of injuries, including the Achilles problem, a touch of plantar fasciitis and, oddest of all, a slightly strained abdominal muscle. It sounds worse than it is.

Still, maybe I shouldn't be complacent. I ended Sunday pleased with how I did. I finished the race in 2:03, running the last 12 miles at an average pace of 6:47. (That's 2:58 marathon pace.) Alas, Barney of 2:35 fame piped up on Facebook that my overall race time actually nets out to a 3:04 marathon. Technically, yes, but I really didn't run all out on Sunday, particularly in the first five miles. It was also humid and a hilly course, not to make tons of excuses. I came away happy with how I felt at the end, finishing with a 6:41 18th mile and hardly gutted, and placed: 72nd overall (out of 3,900) and 14th in my division. The guys I finished with were guys running under three hours -- many of them are farther into their training. This is all to say that I believe I'm on track. Yes, I need to improve my speed, probably eat, sleep and recover better, but I'm getting there. I'd rather it not be close. Race day, I want to be between 6:40 and 6:45. A taper, flatter course, cooler weather, and I'd have run those easily on Sunday for all 18. Maybe I'm overly optimistic.

10 miles, 1:13:37


The Laminator said...

I think you're well on your way. Injuries are a part of life at this late stage of training. The fact that you did so well in the race on a tough course under not-so-ideal conditions bodes well for you. I think you'll be more than ready come November. Keep up the good work. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Hey Bri,

Nice run on Sun! I think you will be fine in Philly.

Not sure I 100% agree with lam that injuries are a part of life at this point. Minor aches and pains, maybe, but outright injuries? Not so sure.

I would caution you to be extra vigilant about recovery this week. Whether you realize it or not, the 18 at pace with no taper with heat and hills was very stressful on your body. Your 10 today was only 40 seconds slower than your 18. WAY too hard on yourself so soon after a race. If you're battling injuries, I'd take lam's advice and run without a watch on those recovery days and just "rediscover the simple joy of running" (from his blog). Google Adam Goucher. His entire career is a cautionary tale in overtraining.

Brian Morrissey said...

Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated. This week is very much recovery. Yesterday's run did get a little out of hand. it was supposed to be 10 at aerobic. for me, that tends to fall around 7:30 I've found. That's the pace I'd go out for a nice run. Maybe that's too quick? Anyway, I'm taking an extra day off this week and dialing down the mileage quite a bit to get ready for the last five weeks of pre-taper running.

Anon, re Goucher: I know him from Running with the Buffaloes. I think it comes down to how you define "injury." My Achilles is the only one I'd consider an injury right now. I feel like I'm getting it under control.