Monday, November 18, 2013

In Case You Don’t Follow Me on Daily Mile

Pardon me while I regurgitate some runs from the past few weeks.

October stats: 114 miles of running, 83 miles of cycling

I got in some good track workouts and had some solid 8-12 mile runs.  I think I was most proud of a 8x800m workout averaging 3:30. Also had two 10x400s two weeks apart averaging 1:42 and 1:41.  These paces are at the low end or below my target training paces based on my summer 10k.

November so far:

Nov 1-10: After 5 consecutive days of exercise, I took off the 1st & 2nd before pacing a half marathon on the 3rd. Would have felt really dumb if squeezing in one more run meant not pacing well. 
4: I was surprisingly sore the day after the half marathon.  Maybe because I tacked on 2+ extra miles after, after standing around for 80 minutes, or maybe my gait was off in running a pace slower than I’m used to. I took that Monday off from running/biking and got a massage for the first time in over a year.
5: Easy 2 mile run
6: Easy intervals… 2 mile warm up, 6x[3 min @ 7:30-7:40 pace, 2 min recovery], 2 mile cool down
7: Forced rest. Arrived in NY at 9am for a wedding.
8: Cold 8 mile run. 1.5 mi with my husband then headed back out on my own.  It was in the 30s but once I warmed up I felt great and ran some faster miles: 8:25, 7:46, 7:45, 7:51, 9:00, 8:11.  That’s an unofficial 5k PR in there.
9: Forced rest, friend’s wedding
10: Forced rest, morning after friend’s wedding then flight back to CA.

2013-11-09 10.38.34-1

Nov 11-17
11: 4 mile trail run (+368’)
12: Ugh, foiled track workout; we were kicked off the track due to a community college soccer game. Got in a 2:33 600m and a 1:40 400m. Followed by slow running around the campus in pitch black. Total of 5.6 miles.
13: Rest
14: 8.4 miles, just under a 9 min/mi average pace with a few consecutive faster miles thrown in (7:50, 7:46, 8:21)
15: Rest to save up energy for the next day’s trail run adventure
16: Just under 13 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail (+2134’)
17: 22 mile bike ride with Dan

Pictures from the PCT:

2013-11-16 09.21.31

465 Miles from Mexico

2013-11-16 09.42.50

Nearby reservoir; Looked prettier through my own eyes.

2013-11-16 10.10.26
There was a lot of this

2013-11-16 10.28.50Water stop courtesy of the Andersons who run Casa de Luna for through-hikers

2013-11-16 10.42.58
The only time I expect to be on the LD 50 mile course unless I volunteer again.  Didn’t realize Scott Jurek had run (and won!) LD50.

2013-11-16 10.49.33

2013-11-16 10.54.22

2013-11-16 11.02.50

2013-11-16 11.56.52

Finished my run that started at Bouquet Canyon (too bad about that typo).

This elevation map doesn’t do that thousand foot climb justice.  Run was pretty awesome after mile 4, though the climb was still noticeable from 10-11.5.

pct map

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pacing Success!

Sunday I was tasked with pacing the 2:10 group for our local half marathon.  My running group provided pacers for the half from 1:30-2:10 and for the full from 3:30-4:20. 

My duties included running close to-- but not over-- a 2:10 half marathon based on my chip time, and carrying this sign:

Since my PR from last year is a 1:54, I think the 2:10 was a good choice.  I probably could have done 2:05 if we offered it, but 2:00 was too close to my PR that if I had been feeling off on race day it could have been tough, especially since I was pacing alone.  On the plus side, pacing the 2:10 left me with enough energy to spectate at the finish line for a while then run back out on the course to find a friend running the marathon.

For being my first time pacing, I'm glad I was familiar with the course from running this race last year, running parts of the course in my daily running and when we featured a "preview run" of the course a few weeks ago.

Prior to the race, I played around with this pace calculator.  If I ran the course exactly and my Garmin read 13.1 miles, my pace on my Garmin should read 9:50-9:54 to finish in 2:09-2:10.

Looking at my Garmin data from running this race last year, I had about 13.19 miles.  To run that slightly longer distance between a 2:09 and 2:10 would mean more like a 9:46-9:51 average pace.

I decided to go with 9:50, right in the middle, so that I'd still be under 2:10 with a slightly long course.  I printed up a pace band from the pace calculator site, made it sweat/Gatorade-proof with clear packing tape, and pinned it behind my bib for backup.

I very much worried about running the "right" pace. I remembered hearing Kari's horror story with a pace group for her first marathon where the pacer ran :20+ below goal pace and last month a friend started a half with a 2 hour pace group (9:01) but found they ran the first mile in 7:45.  I did not want to be that kind of pacer!

I placed myself at the starting line-up based on the other pacers, but I think I could have started a little further up because it took me 1 minute and 40 seconds after the gun to cross the timing mats and there were people ahead of me who were walking by the quarter mile mark.  Maybe if the race continues to grow, there should be mini corrals to guide the line up.  Regardless, I planned to be slower on the first mile since there's a bit of an uphill and I knew it would be crowded.

It was difficult not to pick up the pace during the second mile while we were heading downhill.  Still, the first two miles averaged out to my goal pace.  After that point, I was able to keep my pace fairly steady for the rest of the race.

The other challenge was having people I knew in my group.  A couple friends started with me and it was hard to not slow down or speed up with them because that's what I'd typically do when running with them.  I just had to remind myself to keep my pace.

Here are my splits and the course elevation:

While I am used to running with a handheld water bottle, running with a sign for 2 hours was a first.  I had been advised by previous pacers not to grip the thin dowel too tightly to prevent fatigue.  If I had more time, I might have wrapped tape around the part of the stick I would carry to allow a more comfortable grip.  I just switched hands often so that I wasn't tensing up, sometimes carrying it with the same hand that was holding my water bottle which prevented a tight grip. 

Also, it turns out there's more wind two feet above my head.  The sign whipped around less if I kept it closer to my head.

I didn't so much have a solid group the entire time as I had people who came and went.  People would check in on my pace then say they would try to keep up with me or tell me they wanted to try to stay ahead of me.  A couple people approached me at the finish and thanked me and I didn't realize they had been running with me.

My chip time was 2:09:16.  In the end, my watch showed 13.15 miles, and since I was relying on my Garmin, I'm glad I did use a slightly faster average pace to be sure I erred on the faster side of 2:10.

I really enjoyed pacing and would do it again.  It was a different kind of challenge and hopefully I helped some people along the way.

PS, While googling tips for pacing, I found this wiki helpful.

Have you ever paced a race?
Ever run a race with a pace group?
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