Thursday, July 19, 2012

No Rest For the Wicked, Round 2

AM: 70 mins. easy (9+ miles)
PM: 2.5 mile w/u
Target: 5k tempo @goal MP (18:30-18:45)
Actual: 4.99k @17:20
1/2 mile c/d
Daily total: 15 miles

A few weeks after my first appearance at the No Rest For the Wicked Weekly 5k, I was excited to return with Jordan in tow. As I decided after that initial outing, my goal for the workout tonight and going forward was/is to run at or slightly faster than my goal marathon pace, or somewhere in the 5:55-6:00 range. It's never too early to start getting comfortable at a clip I'm allegedly going to maintain for 26 miles.

For some reason, however, Jordan failed to get this pacing memo (or simply didn't care), because less than five minutes into the run I could tell (or at least hoped!) we were running quite a bit ahead of schedule. My legs felt fine, but my breathing was already noticeably quicker than the previous time when I'd been able to engage in some light banter with the  lead guys. This time, Jordan and I were well off the front but trailed closely by a bespectacled young gentleman whose name I would later learn was Billy. With no reliable distance markers (I glanced at my watch when passing a prominently spray-painted "1 mile" scrawl to see 5:05, which was clearly wrong), I had nothing to rely on but effort and Jordan's lead. But so far, despite the quick pace, all was going well. 

About halfway through the run, however, I became suddenly aware of what can delicately be referred to as alarming gastrointestinal discomfort. For the remainder of the run, as the minutes ticked agonizingly by, this situation became increasingly dire. Perversely, this could be described in some ways as beneficial, as I was so laser focused on keeping my dignity intact that any fatiguing of my legs or lungs barely registered. I suspected I was slowing considerably--a reality compounded by the fact that we had to come to a screeching halt at one busy intersection, costing us at least five seconds with the clock still running--but that was quite honestly the least of my concerns. Imagine my surprise, then, when I saw the decidedly not-slow numbers flashing on my watch as I crossed the imaginary finish line. (And, for the record, I was able to hold things together without resorting to an Allen Strickland-like x-rated maneuver--which, I must add in fairness to Allen, is not to say that I haven't done so before.)

I'm not going to lie; I'm pretty pumped about the implications of this run. Namely, that despite not doing a real "workout" for almost two months, I'm actually in pretty decent shape. Jordan's Garmin measured the course a hair short, 3.09 miles as opposed to a true 3.1, but that was largely offset by the aforementioned unplanned intersection stop. To run ~15 seconds off my road PR at a summer fun run in the middle of another 100-mile week indicates that my Summer of Malmo training regimen is working splendidly. For now, time to keep on keepin' on!