TITLE: Running Experiences, Old and New
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: May 27, 2010 4:57 PM
Teaching class two-plus hours every day has been keeping
me busy and, on some days, wearing me out, but I have
maintained a decent running regimen nonetheless. Last
weekend I ran my first 5K race in
over a year.
I have done no speed training since before my marathon
and no training for a race this short in a couple of years.
But I have been running approximately 30 miles a week and
so had a decent aerobic base to work from. My splits were
7:17, 7:13, and 7:20, with a finish time of 22:26. I
finished strong; the second half of the third mile was much
faster than the first, which was much the slowest half-mile
I ran that morning.
The race was put on by my daughter's high school student
government as a fundraiser for a school in Cambodia.
There were a lot of HS kids running the race, including
several of their best cross-country athletes. Not too
surprisingly, those guys smoked all of us duffers from
the starting gun. Still, I did all right, quickly jumping
to the top fifth of the pack and then picking off runners
one by one over the next fifteen minutes. Conservatively,
I estimate that I finished in the top fifteen of the 100+
runners. I wouldn't be surprised if I made the top ten.
In any case, I cut over a minute off of the time I ran in
my first 5K last year and felt good doing it.
The next week, though, I struggled with fatigue, which is
pretty typical for the last few months. I seem just fine
running 30 or so miles a week without much speed, but
every few weeks I hit a trough. I am hoping that some
slow and steady training for longer distances will yank
me out of that pattern.
5Ks are old news for me. What's new? I was planning to
run an 8-mile race the week before the 5K, but heavy rain
and local flooding of our trails forced race organizers
to postpone that event until late July. Eight miles
would be something quite new for me; I've never even run
a 10K. That new experience will have to wait.
For something really new, I am talking with a
friend about putting together a six-man team to run the
Great River Relay,
one of the races in the Ragnar Relay Series. The event
is open to teams of six or twelve, but my buddy and I
agree that it would be much cooler to run 50K or so
each in twenty-four hours. (Not to mention how much
easier it is to find four more crazy runners than to
find ten!) I have certainly never run an "ulra" race
distance, usually defined as anything more than the
marathon's 26.2 miles. As a relay, this isn't really
an ultra, because I would be able to rest for a couple
of hours between legs. It would be a new experience,
Training for this will also be a new challenge. I am
sure that it requires marathon-like mileage and workouts.
But it probably also demands some days running two,
three, or more times, to acclimate the body to running
marginally fast for 4-8 miles six times in a day --
and overnight. I'm starting to get excited about this
I am also thinking of a fall marathon. That goal, and
how training for it fits with the relay, is currently
TBA. One big challenge at a time...