Today I ran the Royal Air Force Half-Marathon as a pace bunny. I hadn’t planned on running this one but they needed a 2:30 pace bunny so I figured why not.
Being a pace bunny is fun! Although I didn’t have many customers. I ran with a couple of people who had ran the full in Fargo last weekend, someone who had an injury and a fellow from 14 Wing Greenwood who had been sort of volun-told to come out to Winnipeg and run. He’d been training for a 10k so this was surprise half-marathon for him :P
The first five km were hilarious and miserable. It started raining hard just before we started and the winds must have been gusting to 70km/h. At one point I had to stop and tie my shoe and the wind knocked me over. And when we were running on the tarmac I was having considerable trouble just moving forward into it.
The “To Finish” bunny caught up to us and joined our group, although there were probably still 5 or 6 people stretch out behind.
Once we got onto Ness and Hamilton things were much better and the rain mostly stopped. At about the half-way point, most of my group pulled ahead (including the To Finish Bunny) and then it was just me and the fellow from 14 Wing.
The turn around point was in front of my high school! John Taylor Collegiate represent!
At mile 10, my running companion had to drop back (he eventually finished around 2:40).
I finished a bit slow (2:31:47) because we’d been running too fast most of the race so I slowed down for the last three miles. I guess my GPS was a bit out because when I got to 2 miles left, I checked my time and then set a pace to finish at more or less 2:30 on the nose. I didn’t feel too bad, though, since there was no one following me :P
I was thoroughly soaked and as soon as I stopped moving I began to shiver. Today felt much colder than the Hypo Half :P
Today is my anniversary! Two years ago I took up running, starting with the Couch to 5k program.
Two years, just under 3000km, seven pairs of shoes, about 63 pounds, one full marathon and six half-marathons ago!
Read this over the long weekend. The premise behind the training program is that runners who do 5 or 6 runs per week, with 4 or 5 of them being easy, medium-distance runs are logging a lot of “junk” miles that don’t really benefit their training and just exhaust your body.
The authors are all long-time coaches and sports scientists. They apparently stumbled across the idea for the program when they switched from training for marathons to triathlons, cut back on their running and were surprised to find their running improved. (Conventional training plans are usually based around the idea of logging as much mileage as your body can handle without falling apart)
Instead, they suggest a plan of three core runs per week: one interval training, one tempo run and one long run. As you go through the plan toward a race, the intensity of the workouts increase. To keep you rested while still building your aerobic fitness they have you do two (optionally three) cross training workouts per week. Cross training must be something aerobic (biking, swimming, elliptical or stair machines, etc).
One thing I like is that the book gives you guidance on what would be realistic goals to train for, via a bunch of pace prediction tables. For example, based on my last half-marathon, 4:05 would be my target for my fall full-marathon.
I’m tempted to try their plan for the Victoria marathon. I did really enjoy the speedwork I did this spring prepping for the WPS.
It contained a lot of testimonials from people who’d followed the program. I felt like there was too much of that, and that it was filler to puff a magazine article up to book length.
This weekend, the runners on reddit were doing “Anywhere 5k”, a virtual race and since I hadn’t tried to run a really fast (for me) 5k in ages, I took part.
New fastest 5k at 25:28!!!
My previous PB at that distance was 26:37. I’d secretly been hoping to crack 25 minutes but oh well.
Some facts about Dana and the 5k:
When I completed Couch to 5k in August 2010, my first 5k took me about 37 minutes to run.
The first time I cracked 5k was on September 30th, 2010. I ran it in 29:27
When I finished that day, I was gasping for air, a little nauseous and my legs were sore for a couple of days.
I’m probably about 30 pounds lighter now than when I ran that one, which probably accounts for some of my improvement.
A decent 5k time for a high school athlete is probably 16 or 17 minutes.
These days 5k in 30 minutes is a brisk but still pretty easy run.
If I could maintain the pace I ran yesterday’s 5k at for an entire marathon (which I absolutely cannot), my time would still be almost 30 minutes too slow to qualify me to run the Boston Marathon. It will be sufficiently fast when I’m 55 though :P
Most of my speed improvements have been due to just running a lot (and weight loss to some degree). Before the WPS Half-Marathon last weekend, I’d never done any specific speedwork and have never really trained for 5000 metres.
Scott Jurek from his forthcoming book.
I’m not sure this selling me on ever stepping up to ultra-marathons…
Here’s my training plan for the Victoria Marathon in the fall. Runs with a “p” after them are pace runs. For cross training I’ll mostly bike, or even take long walks. The action begins June 5th!
It’s essentially Hal Higdon’s intermediate plan with a couple of minor tweaks. The half-marathon is a week offset because I wanted to do lululemon’s SeaWheeze half. It was a good excuse to visit a close friend who moved to Vancouver a couple years ago. For the second 32k run, I was thinking of doing a time-on-feet (with 5k pace at the end) run instead. And maybe replacing some of the early 5k runs with the occasional tempo run. I really enjoyed the tempo runs I did in my recent half-marathon training cycle and I think I’ll miss them. There’s also a 10-mile race in September I’d like to do, so I might swap out one of my long runs for it. However, that would be the 20k run sandwiched between the two 32s, so it might be wiser to do the longer, but slower, run.
I had set 4:15 as my goal, based on my performance at the Waterfront last fall, but from my WPS time I miiiight shoot for 4:10. The only real difference would be how fast I do my pace runs.
This time around I won’t slack on my yoga and stretching!
tamlane is totally going to run the SeaWheeze with me! Right Val?
Cute Nike ad :) I have a soft spot for free runs because they’re the shoes I trained for and ran my first marathon in!
So this weekend I came down with a flu (I’m assuming it’s a flu because it came along with a fever). I had a scratchy throat Friday night, felt worse Saturday morning and — perhaps foolishly — went to a vinyasa class in the morning. After a family event in the afternoon, I went home and basically dozed and napped until Sunday morning.
Sunday I lay around all day and stayed home from work today.
What really annoys me is having to skip two runs this week — my Saturday pace run and my Sunday long run. I am hoping this won’t have much of an impact on the WPS Half-Marathon. It’s only two runs (I hope I’m feeling good enough to run tomorrow) but beating two hours was rather ambitious to begin with.
In the meantime, I’ve got many hours of daytime television to watch!