Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Hard and Early

I was afraid of doing this run. Afraid of what it would take to get out the door by 5:15 and afraid of the never ending task of chipping away at my tempo pace time. Its been a tough week... tough all around save the weather. Fortunately today was yet one more mild day.

This morning's course was my nemesis, the BN loop. I modified today's original goal time for running the four river miles from 24 to 25 minutes, and was unsure of whether I could keep that, and then sought to run anything faster than last Friday on the stretch from Falls Bridge to the Plateau.

On the bike path, about two miles in, I felt sharp pains in my right knee. 99 times out of 100 such pains go away pretty quickly but I had similar pains at the end of yesterday morning's run, and the pain lingered this morning. Lingered enough to where I prepped contingency plans. Contingency plans should I have to cut the run short as well as contingency plans should I be laid low by an overuse injury.

This thinking led me to appreciate the fine line between training hard and training stupid. Often that line is clear only in retrospect. Have I been training hard or training stupid? This morning I could not answer that question. But I also concluded that I don't think I would cut back in my training unless circumstances required it. For while overtraining only becomes apparent after the body shuts down in one way or another, conservative training always leaves the question of what might have been. This morning I reaffirmed my choice for training at this intensity and live with the risk that comes with it.

What happened next is what runners dream of. When I picked up the pace, the knee pain went away. Mile 1 came in at 6:12 and I knew I wasn't going to get any faster. A moderate headwind didn't help things either. Pace stayed steady; at times I thought I should be pushing more. But the 4 miles came in at 24:49, and I'm happy with that.

The beauty of the BN loop is as soon as this tempo portion is done the hill portion starts, forcing me to recover on the run. But today a pit stop interrupted that segue. I tried to figure out if the advantage in recovery outweighed the difficulty in recouping momentum. It looks to be about a wash, as I trucked up to the BN summit with a split of 9:06 on my way to reaching the Belmont Plateau in 16:43. The former was a little faster than last week, the latter was a bunch faster.

Total was 13.5 miles in 1:40:28. All in all a solid, though not spectacular, improvement on last week. At lunchtime I am now tired and have really beat up legs. And I'll keep doing it, unless it does me in.


Blogger Reba said...

May your super-human powers continue to shield you from injury and illness. Onward to Boston!

1:37 PM  

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