Monday, November 8, 2010

Marge Simpson: My quads! My quads!

I'm not seriously hurting from yesterday's half, but I felt it this morning at boot camp.  Adam and I spent most of yesterday afternoon post-brunch lounging.  Reading, napping, playing on the computer.  When hubby got home from work, we decided take-out would be best for dinner, and I was excited about having reserved my last 2 caramel brownies for Adam and me to celebrate our great half-marathons. 

Adam clearly lacks the discipline I have to plow through a large piece of chocolate goodness in front of him.  He was all "oh, that's too much," "oh I could never eat such a big brownie," "it's just so rich," "I think I've had enough," etc.  While I'm chowing down on mine!  It was thick and about the size of my hand but all ended up happily in my belly!  I was appalled he couldn't finish his, but I was polite enough not to scrape it off his plate...

I've had some time now to go back and look at my half splits.  If I exclude mile 1 and mile 13 from my calculations, miles 2-12 were all within 15 seconds of each other.  If I throw mile 1 into the mix, they were all within 31 seconds of each other. 

I really don't count mile 13 because, loving the negative split as I do, I'm always happy to throw out a crazy fast mile at the end.  Though if I had a real running coach right now, I'm sure he or she would say that if my last mile could be about 45-50 seconds faster than my average and slowest miles, that meant I was holding back too much and should have expended more energy in miles 11 and 12 to pick up the pace of those a bit. 

But I'm someone who has crashed and burned multiple times in races when I try to hit the gas too hard in the later stages, so now I'm exceedingly cautious.  At mile marker 12, Adam was probably 1 minute in front of me, and I narrowed that to 8 seconds over the next 1.1 miles.  So even if I could have pushed a bit harder a bit sooner, I'm still happy with my effort. 

I felt like I was flying past people in the last mile.  There was one guy who stayed with me for much of it, but no one actually passed me. 

McMillan, my favorite pace predictor, says that my new half PR predicts a marathon time about 6.5 minutes faster than my current PR, and even deeper into BQ territory.  I love it! 

Unfortunately, this now makes it appear that I'm underperforming at pretty much every other distance I've raced except 5k (I seriously don't know how I busted out my unexpected 5k PR in September, particularly on a sunny and warm day with some serious (albeit Dallas) hills).

But I love the confidence I get now in knowing that I should be able to beat down my current PRs at the mile, 4m, 5m, 10k, and 15k.  I have an 8k PR but it's actually my longest-standing PR because I have raced exactly one 8k in my entire running career and it was a few years ago, before I started to seriously improve at my running.  And actually, I still like my 8k PR -- it was the very first race where I'd moved into a new minute for pace per mile, and I wasn't on the cusp either.  That was such an exciting day for me (and it was in July in Dallas, so a feat there as well). 

Speaking of improving at my running, I have run the same half that I did yesterday 4 times now.  Though the course has changed slightly over the years, much of it is the same (including the hills in the middle while you're in the neighborhood, as opposed to on the lake).  I have PRed at this race on every single occasion. 

I'm shocked at how I've improved.  Year 2 beat Year 1 by about 31 minutes.  Year 3 beat Year 2 by about 13 minutes.  And this Year 4 beat Year 3 by about 9 minutes.  That means I have now run basically the same course and have improved by 53 minutes over the 13.1 miles.  My pace has improved by almost exactly 4 minutes per mile. 

Wow.  I'm actually proud of myself!  I still have a long way to go before I'm running with people like my cousin (by the way, I added his age group photo to yesterday's post this morning).  But realistically, my cousin is only going a couple minutes per mile faster than I am right now.  I know that the faster you get, the harder it is to chip away at your time, and I don't think it's even conceivable I'd ever get that fast, but it's fun to see how much I've improved and I'm curious to see what more I can do.

At yesterday's race, my most recent speed coach set his first post-collegiate half PR.  Very exciting for him, but his mom also set a PR.  And she was way in front of me (30 secs per mile or so) and only about 30 seconds per mile behind her son.  She's smoking fast and she's 54!!!  

Wonder how she felt this morning.  My quads were surprisingly sore, but not killer.  Makes me think of that Simpsons where Marge has to run but doesn't have time to stretch before she starts, then she starts going and she's yelling "My quads!  My quads!  Each stride is a nightmare!"  I guess it could be worse!  Adam and I went to boot camp and he did NOT love it.  He thought he would have been better served taking a rest day, but I was happy to have him there with me.  Tons of cherry pickers, which was bad, but not much running, which was good. 

Anyway, here's my bling from yesterday (not sure how to rotate that bottom pic):

1 comment:

  1. Improving by 53 minutes is incredible! Congrats. I hope I can do the same thing someday. ;-)