March 8, 2010

Pieces Falling Into Place at Seaside

It's been over a month since my last post. I apologize for the rare sightings, life, and better distractions have kept me from writing as much as I like.

Since my ankle troubles at Hog Wild, I've had a few other "setbacks" which have seemed to work out for my benefit. I've had days when the ankle hurt so bad, I couldn't manage to get going unless I downed some painkillers before running. It has taken three weeks of daily ice therapy to mend the ankle, and it has finally quit being a problem last week. Still sore at times, but not as bad as before.

On February 21, some running buddies and myself went and enjoyed a awesome running event in Jacksonville Florida at the 26.2 with Donna. Team Shakespeare relayed our awesome running buddy Dave (The one with a the bright yellow shirt) while he completed the full marathon. It was a fun time, and I think I benefited greatly by having a slower pace that weekend, I came back and feeling "light and bouncy" (Kym's phrase) the day after the trip and ran 10 miles, super easy.

What happened next, I was not ready for. Upper respiratory infection. I don't get them, and I don't know if that's what is was. I've always heard about others getting them, but I've managed to avoid them. The Tuesday after returning from Jacksonville I did 1 mile intervals and it felt like someone was sitting on my chest, I could not breathe, I was up all night trying to force air into my lungs and breathing so labored it hurt my back. All the doctor said it was probably a chest cold or an upper respiratory infection, gave me some meds and sent me to bed. When I was finally breathing again later that afternoon, I slept for 10 hours straight, which is very unusual for me. I had to take three days off of running, but came back that weekend to run a 10K and took first overall male Masters (40+) award, even though my time wasn't great.

After that 10K, I only had a week to prepare for Seaside Half-Marathon. I tried to do 10 miles the Sunday after the 10K, but I only made it nine. It was weak and I felt exhausted. I was not fully recovered from whatever illness had knocked me down and the 10K from the day before. It took all I had to complete those nine mile. I was bummed, thinking Seaside would be "just another" race. My depressed mood was soon lifted away on my next interval training day. I did four half mile sprints, and they were easy and fast. WOO-HOO. I think the time I took off by being sick actually forced me to rest my overtaxed muscles and improved my fitness.

I went into to Seaside feeling great and optimistic. I was not only prepared physically, I had the mental part whipped. My goal was to come in at 8:00 min pace or better. My result was about 7:54 pace. I accomplished that goal and set a new PR for myself to beat. Another thing I noticed right away, I'm also not as sore as I was after the last two Half-Marathons I've done, Chickamauga and Auburn.

Here are my Seaside splits:
1 - 8:00
2 - 15:43
3 - 23:23
4 - 30:20
5 - 38:05
6 - 46:15
6.5 turnaround 50:22
7 - 54:12
8 - 1:02:18
9 - 1:10:05
10 - 1:18:16
11 - 1:25:52
12 - 1:34:12
13.1 - 1:43:27

We could have not asked for better weather for the race, upper 30's to start, making way for sunny 60's with calm winds. It totally makes up for the miserable weather we had at this race last year. Although I had a great time, I will not be doing this race again. There are too many other races, in other places, that I want to do.

In the next week I will post more about the things I did this week and the days before the race which I think helped me accomplish my goals.

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