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, March 13, 2008

BN Primer

If baseball is a game of inches, then distance running is a game of seconds.

Tempo day. Same route as I have been running. Goal was to do the first four, marked MLK miles at 5:55 pace (about my Cesar Rodney pace) and then beat last week's BN/Belmont Plateau times.

But running on a dark Thursday morning is not the same as running a half-marathon. First mile was 6:07, and I readjusted my goal to just beating last week's MLK time of 24:01, even if its by a second or two. I resolved to do it patiently, cutting off a surplus second or two with each marked half-mile. This worked well, and by mile 3.5 my time was 20:59, meaning I just needed to hold pace for the final half mile. I was confident I would, and thought I did, until the split time read 24:04. Totally took me by surprise.

Now this is a nicely marked, fairly flat 4 miles that lends itself well to running tempo. The next portion, about 2.6 miles, requires a much different type of running. First it requires a quick transition. The previous 4 tempo miles end and then, inevitably slowing down a bit but not breaking stride, it requires an abrupt left turn up a hill - part recovery, part hill-climb, and part awareness that the clock is still ticking.

I gmapped just the BN-Belmont Plateau part of this course here, complete with the elevation map. The first 1.3 miles, up to the Bloody Nipple summit, is about a 200 foot climb, with most of this elevation coming in the first 3/4 mile. The idea here is to keep tempo effort. Having missed my time goal for the MLK segment, it was hard to get in a competitive frame of mind for this part. I resolved to be happy with anything under 9 minutes. As luck would have it I crested the summit in 9:01 (8:54 last week).

The last part is a fairly protracted downhill and then about an equal uphill for another 1.3 miles. Here there is true recovery on the downhill, all while reverting to tempo pace, and then just going as fast as I can at the end. By this point I said I'd be happy with sub 17 (inclusive of the BN portion), and I finished in 16:46 (compare to last week's 16:24).

Disappointing but, in the big picture, about the same effort this week, on tired legs, as last week on much fresher legs. My tempo pace looks to have plateaued here, so to speak, we'll see what happens next week.

Did much of this in the dark again. Its hard to adjust to this, as all winter it feels like I've been working for this extra daylight, and now its taken away again. Temps were in the 30s, and unlikely to get much colder anymore; I guess that is something the Man can't take away from us like he does the early sunlight.

13.5 in 1:42:21. Now excuse me while I go stretch.


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