MarathonMaiden's Blog

November 2, 2010

Math and Pacing and Tempos. Oh My.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:02

First off: I’m glad you guys enjoyed my Halloween cookies. I certainly did.  Decorating with frosting was the best part. I recommend it highly 🙂

I was going to post some numbers here today but I noticed a discrepancy between the running total that I use week-by-week vs month by month.  Not a lot, but enough to make me wonder and re-calculate the numbers.  I actually LIKE adding numbers by hand so to me it’s not as bad as it sounds. Yes I know I’ve just outed myself as a numbers nerd.

Thanks google images

But I’ve admitted it before.  So it’ll be another day-ish before I feel comfy sharing the month of October as well as YTD miles (plus I’m holding off of this review of October until I perfect the format. I’m trying to make it a “Very Best Of’ deal)

As tedious as it could be I’ve actually enjoyed recounting the runs of this past year.  Some of them I DEFINITELY still remember.  Plus it was cool to see the trends in how my miles have flowed: the highs of training for Boston, to the lows of shin splints and hitting the elliptical then the highs of the beginning of the summer (HELLO JUNE) to the lower mileage after my trips to Philly and Texas and then building back up this fall.

Nostalgic much? HA! But moving onto the HERE and NOW.

And cooler more exciting things.  Like running.  And TRAINING.  I can’t believe it was only one week ago that I registered for WR.  Thus making 4 full weeks of training left before race week.  AKA 32 days?! (Plus some hours of course)

I’ve been doing some thinking about training (and listening to the Peanut Gallery) and figured that the most beneficial workouts for my speed work are going to be: Tempos, Tempo intervals and Long Runs, with some fast miles thrown in.  I do want to get some mile repeats in there, just because I love them so, but getting my body used to RACE PACE is where it’s at. So I need some miles between HP and GMP.

And if I’m shooting for 3:18:08 (thank you McMillian for that time with my HP of 7:10) then GMP = 7:34.

Which feels slow for a tempo, for me.  I always go out too fast on tempos and intervals.  While this doesn’t exactly hurt me (I do complete the workouts without feeling like I’m going to die) it isn’t telling my body what the pace I should be running at is.


Maybe I think I'm traing with the elites or something hahah! Courtesy of google images


The Plan

  • Warm up
  • 5 mile tempo @ 7:15 . Let’s face it: I’m always going to be going on the faster side of GMP anyway.  Plus McMillian says tempo for me is 6:537:11So 7:15 splits the difference and is also really close to HP.  And last week my tempo for 4.3 miles was at 7:04 pace.
  • Warm down

Sounds easy, right?

How’d I do?

  • Easy peasy warm up.
  • 5.3 miles @ 7:16 pace
  • Easy, peasy but draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagging out warm down

How do I feel about it?

I have mixed feeling about this workout. I definitely see it as a good solid workout though.  I just don’t know where it falls in terms of telling me info about my upcoming race!

  • While the overall pace was nearly dead on with respect to what I thought I would do the way I got my overall pace was annoying, or rather not quite what I wanted.  I had wanted an even tempo pace but I got more of a progression run as the first two miles were very slow compared to how I ended.
  • I did better than last week in overall pace and kept it slower (last week’s tempo was 7:04 and last week tempo intervals were on the fast side too!).  Ideally I think I would be going for another mile or two at GMP but it’s hard to ask of my mind and body to jump right into that.  It’s a learning curve. So while the pace was a bit faster than I probably should have gone, it’s an improvement over last week. Maybe next week I’ll go longer and at GMP
  • I am pretty pleased with seeing a pace faster than GMP though.  I can’t lie about that.  It’s just in my blood to want to PUSH and GO AT IT.
  • That said, the whole time when I *thought* I was at GMP I was like “How on Earth can I run this for 26.2 miles?!”Luckily I don’t have to.  Because GMP is slower than what I was running hahahh.
  • My legs don’t feel as dead as they did after my tempo last week.  Yes they felt the workout but my legs felt SHOT after the last time.  A learning curve I tell you 🙂

Check out this giveaway from Amy (Second City Randomness) and Julie (Hotlegs Runner)

September 29, 2010

Scared Screaming Person

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:16

Yet another search term that someone used to find me. Holler? Hahah 

Apparently I lied and that hill workout I did on Tuesday? Yeah, Hill 1 is actually 26% grade! I was correct in saying that Hill 2 is 15% though.  Oops. No wonder the workout hurt so badly! Like I said in my edit yesterday, the funny thing is that the second hill is the one that hurt the most! 

Also a note on hills: I found out yesterday that a 100% grade hill is a 45* angle (not the straight up like I would intuitively think).  Thinking about it I’ve decided that the math (aka trigonometry) does, in fact, work out that way.  But I never would have intuitively realized it and this means that my 26% grade hill is actually twice as steep as I would have thought a 26% grade hill to be. And I thought it was pretty darn steep! 😛 If any of that made sense that’d be awesome because it’s hard to wrap my head about it hahah. 

A couple of people asked me how to calculate percent grade. So I’ll nerd out a bit 🙂  It’s trig and the formula for percent grade is your slope formula: rise over run 

goooooooooooooogle images (as are all images in this post)

Of course the “run” part of the equation is not the exact portion you are running (the hypotenuse is) and the more complicated equation becomes if you don’t know the “run”.  So you can use the actual distance traveled (the hypotenuse) with the equation (and feel free to use a calculator!): 

100*tan[arcsin(rise/distance you run)] 

Enjoy that math lesson? Don’t lie because of course you did. 

And I bet you’ll also enjoy the fact that my body is feeling the workout today as well.  At least I am. Sure it made the actual run today total suckage but that’s okay.  Surprisingly my legs have reacted pretty well to being hammered and beaten on those hills.  But I’m not feeling crippled.  It’s more of a tightness and lead feeling rather than OUCH. 

Doesn’t change the end result that I felt like I was running through molasses this morning. 

The Great Molasses Flood of Boston. No joke.

In all fairness I don’t think it was entirely my legs’ fault.  It was 69* and 93% humidity. 

And this was at 0500. Which means is was PITCH BLACK the entire run.  Well maybe by the end there was pre-dawn light but ugh. I know most of you know what I’m talking about. 

So I’m sure my legs LOVED that as well.  Especially since I couldn’t see the path I was running on.  The areas that are tree covered made me really unsure of where I was stepping.  Luckily I came out unscathed 🙂 

I can go either way with loving or hating 0500 and so can my runs.  Either  I just GO without thinking or my legs don’t want to wake up.  Secretly I think it’s more love with that wake up because, oddly enough, I feel like a real adult.  Like I have to get up this early because I have to be at work on time. 

But my legs did feel sloooooooooooooooow.  In fact I checked my watch at a place where I knew how far I’d run, saw the time and then didn’t look at my watch for the rest of the run.  Because it was THAT slow.  I’d have loved to have turned off the watch completely but, hey, at the end of the day I’m a numbers junkie and my log book and stats would not have liked that. Suffice it to say I haven’t yet looked at the overall time because I want it to sting less if I look at it later! 

I can say that it was between 6 and 7 miles.  Maybe close to 8 if I’m being overly pessimistic right now on the pace.  I doubt it though.  I’d say a solid 6.5.  Once I saw how slow I was and knew that I wasn’t going to care about pace (at least in terms of seeing the time during the run) I kind of wandered a bit on my route. 

Very unlike me. 

A recovery run itself isn’t really like me either.  If you remember, after both my recent half and 5, none of the runs were slow or short enough to be classified as recovery.  Damn you hills 😉

I’ll wrap up there.  It’s been a long day at work already.  I’ve been in meetings from 0800 until abut 1330.  So the time has flown by but I’ve gotten nothing accomplished that I wanted to.  So what am I doing? Finishing a post then heading to DD.  Because it’s a coffee day! And I’ll be walking down gang street to do so. Wish me luck! 

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