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"We talkin' 'bout practice...."




I like (auto) biographies. I remember as a kid checking out the biography on Helen Keller and Betsy Ross. Lately I've read biographies about Steve Jobs (one weird dude -- fruititarian -- never even knew that was a thing!), John DuPont in Foxcatcher (my brother was a wrestler so I found that somewhat interesting with all of the big wrestling names).

So with the Covid-19 quarantine we've been catching some biographies on Netflix and/or Amazon Prime. We watched the Elton John movie, one on ZZ Top and one on Allen Iverson. A.I. when he played for the Philadelphia 76ers came off as super arrogant and unapproachable. His famous quote:  "We talkin' 'bout practice...." made him look like he thought he was such a great player that he didn't need practice. In reality what had happened was that his best friend had just died and even though the 76ers had won the game the press was harping on A.I. about missing a practice or 2. The scene in the movie really made you understand that you can't possibly know what someone is going through and why we need to be slower to judge one another.

Anyway I'm here to talk about practice! because apparently that's all I've got for the present moment.

3/22 Shamrock Half Marathon 

4/4 Revel Mt Charleston Marathon

5/17 Sugarloaf Marathon ..... R.D.s have not yet made decision

I switched my training mid cycle due to some calf issues. I thought maybe if I didn't try to back to back a long run and semi long run together it might help. At this point it is debatable, but I've got to say I really really like the speed work/ intervals in the RunCoach plan.

The one I did this past week was a 2 mile warm up with 6 x 200 @ 7:02 with 200 m jogs; 2 miles @ 9:14; 1:30 jog; 6 x 200 @ 7:02; cool down of 1.5 miles. So flipping fun! The interval diversity keeps my brain engaged the whole time. It also helps that I'm crushing the paces: 200s - 6:20, 6:45, 6:44, 6:26, 6:28, 6:37;  2 miles - 8:57, 9:04;  200s - 6:32, 6:35, 6:38, 6:22, 6:32, 6:42. I didn't even realize that I was running into the wind until like the 7th 200. LOL

Another one of the interval workouts included 800s. WU 2, 3 x 800 at 7:44 with 2:00 jogs; 30:00 minutes @ 9:14; 3 x 800 at 7:44; 1.5 CD. I did this workout at a school complex that has a lot of recreation fields and portapotties (very important! LOL). It was super windy but I managed the paces 800s @ 7:32, 7:27, 7:32; 3.3 miles @ 8:57, 9:03, 9:07; 800s @ 7:43, 7:26, 7:30. I'm curious about the purpose of the middle miles. (The 9:14  pace is approximately my everyday pace.) I'm going to guess that it is to teach you to keep running even when you feel fatigued.

This past weekend my motivation for getting out and completing a long run was almost zilch. It was cold and windy. Mt Charleston had just been canceled a few days prior. I headed to a park that I could make a 2.5 mile loop with 1/2 being road and the other 1/2 being a trail. I had exactly 1 gel and 1 Honey Stinger waffle and 1 bottle of water. I set out with low expectations. Running out of the park and west on the road was nice, but the turn to head back to the park was brutal. Full on into the wind! Back into the park and a quick left onto the trail that goes around the lake. The trail is the same trail that my summer XC series runs on. Lots of little ups and downs. I ran relaxed and easy. Quick stop at the portapotty. 

After the 2nd loop I stopped at my car to eat 1/2 of the H.S. waffle and sip some water. After the 4th time around (10 miles) fatigue was setting in. Ate the other 1/2 of the waffle and a little bit of the gel. I told myself to get to 15 and I could stop -- after all all of those trail miles are harder than road miles.... At 15 I finished the rest of the gel and of course kicked my self back out and completed 2 more laps. The final lap on the trail went by so fast! I couldn't believe I had completed 20. Stoked (<== do people say that anymore??) beyond belief. When I checked my average time I was super happy! Thought for sure I had averaged 10:00s with all of the trail miles. Average = 9:39, 400' elevation gain (a lot for me! LOL)

Yesterday I went for an "easy" 6 miles which of course somehow I managed to turn into a progression. It started out nice enough. I ran from our local park out onto the main road to a dirt road. I had trouble getting warmed up and feeling comfortable until all of a sudden a switch flipped. The first 3 miles were 9:13, 8:55, 8:56. When I turned around everything just started flowing -- 8:48, 8:39. I had 1 mile left back to my car which was blacktop (not dirt) so I decided to fartlek it. Run 2 poles or to a sign and then cruise, repeat for the final mile. The final mile came in at 8:05 and I felt phenomenal!

A few of us are going to get together this Saturday (while social distancing) for a make up 13.1. ( We will have no problem social distancing -- one girl runs 13:00s, I run 8:45s- 9:15s, and the other guy I definitely know that is running is hoping to run 7:00s.) Shamrock is mailing everyone their swag so if I'm going to wear the shirt I'm at least going to run a virtual 13.1. Maybe I'll go for GMP? I'm not sure yet and there is no portapotty on the designed 13.1! Ugh!

So that's all I've got -- a whole lot of practice!


House of Stark



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No, no one says "stoked" anymore.

Just checked Sugarloaf and still no decision. Makes it hard to push through these long tough weeks - for me anyway.

I'm doing a 13.1 tomorrow, too. I vote for a GMP run (also my plan), to see where you are.

Stay safe!

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What is your GMP?  The 9:14 might be MGP + a certain %, or it might be to "trick" your body into thinking it's finished and then running hard again, which can produce greater training adaptation.  Hope you had a fun 13.1!

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