Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Back at the Track

Tonight I did a track workout with the fast group of my club's Half-Marathon Training Program, which I direct. The group (of two) is in the capable hands of Matt, who is fast. I like him very much because he is so accomplished yet unassuming, and he is also a volunteer-type guy (he was my club's Volunteer of the Year in 2002). Plus he brews beer and he gave me four bottles of home brew recently.

The program's target race is this Saturday. I'm running it and I'm so not ready. In January I did a 20K (12.4 miles) in 1:42, an 8:15 pace. That's pretty much only my silver standard because it's not sub-eight miles. But I would take it now! My club's 10K Training Program, which I also direct, started last month and for the last five weeks I have been checking in on Saturday morning at 8 o'clock with the HM Group and then rushing off to run with the 10K Group at 9 o'clock. The 10K group is comprised of more incipient runners so my long runs have been on the order of four miles in forty-five minutes. That program's fast group (of one) is handled very capably by Bob, my club's Most Improved Male Runner of the Year for 2007, so I run with the novices. One weekend my long run consisted of two miles of repetitions of walking for two minutes and running for one minute. (I know, I could run earlier or later as well, but I do have a non-running life on weekends also.) (Left: Coach Bob of the 10K Program, center in white shirt, with the fast group (the runner against the railing) at Fletchers Boathouse earlier this month.)

So anyway, tonight at the club's track workout the three in the HM fast group (Matt and his two students) were tapering down for the big race three days hence and they still left me DFL 40 yards back, sucking wind with my chest pounding. The workout consisted of ten reps of one minute on and 30 seconds off at a "moderately" fast pace after a two mile warmup.

But I finished it, and caught up with them when "we" were done (we weren't actually on the track, which was being used, we were on the nearby hilly Custis Trail). The four of us went out for pizza afterwards. At the Lost Dog Cafe in Arlington, running bridged the differences in our ages (30 years-I skew it upwards), college backgrounds (University of Colorado for me, MIT for Rita) and where we grew up (Staten Island, New York for me, Homer, Alaska for Gene).

The workout, food and company were great, but I am a little worried. I'm dreaming of breaking 1:50 (eighteen months ago I was hoping to break 1:40 although I never got there) but I hope I can do at least a 1:55 on Saturday.


Anonymous said...

Good luck with your goal. You are putting in some great training, so I think you will do well!!

Running, pizza and good company sounds nice :)

CewTwo said...

What? A non-running life on weekends? How can this be?

From what I have seen, you'll make it!

Go, Peter, go!

CewTwo said...

Quick question, though... In the picture, what is the partially seen object to the left?

akshaye said...

Good luck with the 1:50! The home brewed beer sounds splendid.

peter said...

Cindy, the pizza was superb. We had the Caribbean, with tomatoes, pesto, broccoli and basil on whole wheat dough.

CewTwo, the picture shows where the C&O Canal Towpath (the dirt trail) comes together with the Capital Crescent Trail (blacktop) for a short while. The Canal is to the left, and the overturned objects are rental canoes. The Potomac River would be 100 yards to the right (down the stairs). Funny thing about the stairs. Last summer I set down an open backpack with water bottles and cups spilling out the top on the platform by the stairs. The group ran for 40 minutes. Upon our return, a suspicious backpack report had been called in to the bomb squad! Terrorists targeting the wooden stairs where two pastoral running trails come together!

Akshaye, the home brews were, besides being good for training, very robust and hoppy and bitter with a high IBU number (Int'l Bitterness Unit), the way I like beer. Thanks Matt!

Sunshine said...

Lost Dog Cafe... impressive work.

All your work with newer runners: impressive impressive!!!

Good luck .. surely you will do well.

And then enjoy the home brew .. if there is any left!

jeanne said...

I hope I can do sub-3 this weekend! I'm not prepared either, but I don't have your stellar excuse of being the volunteer of the year.

Just remember: There are plenty more 1/2 marathons. But I bet you pull it off anyway.

(Great use of DFL by the way. My teaching pays off!)

ShirleyPerly said...

Great that you're working with novices. Our walk-run program is incredibly popular, much more popular than the 5k/10k group for those who are experienced runners seeking faster times.

Good luck on Saturday!

Jade Lady said...

To me, you're unbelievably fast - you 'd put me in the dust! Good luck in meeting your goal! I'll be looking for your race report!