TITLE: The Last Monday in June
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: June 30, 2009 2:12 PM
... is -- since 2003 -- the traditional kick-off to
my fall marathon season. In this short-lived tradition,
I run the half-marathon at our annual city festival
on the last Sunday in June (*), then sit down on Monday
and plan my training schedule for an October marathon.
Last year interrupted the tradition with its months
of whatever is wrong with me physically, but my mind
is tuned to the rhythm.
This year, I ran a half marathon that went
better than expected
in early May. But I have not been able to raise my
weekly mileage beyond 28-30 or so since then, due
to fatigue, and so opted for the 5K at the city
festival. I had run a 5K three months ago, on very
little base mileage, and done
better than expected.
That race led me to have higher hopes this time out.
Not so. The conditions were different, though.
First, I had unwisely run hard on Friday morning,
PRing my usual 5-mile route (such as that is in
these days of low mileage and slower paces).
Second, this is a much bigger race, and I got caught
in the crowd for half a mile and only felt free at
about the first mile marker. I ended up running a
faster time, but not by much, though my last 2.1
miles took only 15:25 or so. (In the previous 5K,
I had faded badly in the last mile after running
the first two miles in 14:43...)
Where does that leave me? All I know is that when
it came time on Sunday for the half-marathoners
to turn left and the 5Kers to go straight, I really
wanted to turn -- tired legs and no preparation
notwithstanding. Mentally, I would like to give
a fall race a try. Will my body let me?
I took today off to let my quads rest. I think
that I will try to finish out the rest of the week
with a no-frills running schedule: 5 miles on each
of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and then 12
miles on Sunday. If next Monday finds me well
enough to contemplate more, I will treat this week
as Week One in low-mileage, low-pressure training
plan. I'll design something that gets me ready
for a marathon in late October or early November.
Then I'll see where it takes me.
If not, then maybe I'll shoot for a couple of fall
halfs and see whet my body allows me. My mind is
(*) Of course, if June 30 is the last Sunday in June,
then my training season starts on the first Monday in
July. This hasn't happened to me yet, only because
2008 was a leap year! The contingency may have
occurred to you if you have ever tried to write code
that manages all of the complexity of dates correctly.
Or perhaps you have given students programming
assignments that bump into such rules. Writing test
cases for code exposes all of the nooks and crannies
of aan algorithm.