Week of Training June 1-7
||Long Run, Light surges, 8 x 20 sec
||Drills and Strides, Core
||4 x 200m
||Drills and Strides
Since I raced this week and have been feeling pretty tired, I took a pretty big down week. Actually I looked back at my log, and this is the first time I have run under 80 miles in a week while fully training in nearly a year. While I usually scoff at such low mileage, I know that this week has helped give my legs much needed rest. My legs will need fresh in the upcoming weeks, as this week kicks off a four week tour that will include at least 3 races, maybe one more if I qualify for USAs. One thing that has helped me this week was that every run was much shorter and easier than previous weeks. Also, also only had one double besides some short shakeouts. Usually I do three to four doubles a week, as they are a good way to get some extra time on your feet, but do take a toll on your legs.
For Sunday’s long run we headed off of the mountain to Mulberry Road. Mulberry is a dirt road with little traffic. It has rolling hills and you can get in a good rhythm. Cole, Joe, and I did a moderate 1:40 minutes with some light 1 minute surges, and finished with 8 x 20 seconds. Getting out of the Park for our long run was great in two ways. The first is that we have been doing quite a few of our runs there and even with the 25 miles of trails you can get a bit tired of the repetition. Also getting off the hills of the Park helped all of us feel better coming into this week.
My workout for the week was pushed until Wednesday, so I took Monday and Tuesday to get my legs feeling better and ready to run fast this weekend. These days are important to run relaxed, because you can dig yourself a hole by running too hard. I think that I ran a bit too fast on Tuesday as my legs were not feeling great for the workout on Wednesday.
Pete had my workout scheduled to be on the track, but it was one that could really be done anywhere. I opened with a 3200m (just short of 2 miles) ins and outs, with the emphasis on the straights. This was followed by a Fartlek of 3 x (3, 2, 1 min). Once I began, I did not feel great even though I ran faster on the 3200m than what Pete had expected. Since I had an odd combination of running fast and not feeling good, Pete changed the Fartlek part to: 2 x (3 min, 90, 45 sec). I ran the rest of the Fartlek relaxed and not worrying about what pace I was running, knowing that anything I did now would not help my race for the weekend; it could only hurt it. Once again it I walked away feeling that it was just another mediocre workout, but knowing that I ran it looking forward to the race.
3200m ins and outs, 5 min rest;
2 x (3 min, 90, 45 sec), half float, 3 min between sets
Since I was not feeling great about my workout on Wednesday, I really tried to make a conscious effort to stay relaxed and not push the next few runs at all. I think that I did a good job of this as I started to feel pretty good and noticed that I was starting to pick up the pace without trying. I knew that I felt very good when my typical pre race ritual of 4 x 200 meters felt very relaxed even though I was running under 30 seconds (sub 4 pace!).
I came into Saturday very confident that I was going to run as fast time. I really wanted a sub 4, but I knew that it would be tough to do from the second heat, as I would most likely be out front on my own after the rabbit dropped out, but I was feeling up to the challenge. Unfortunately, Aeolus had different plans. Around 6pm there was a tornado warning in Nashville and it persisted until well after midnight, so the meet was postponed until the morning. It was unfortunate turn of events, and as we went out for a short run around 9, the weather was ideal for a race, but safety first as they say. Having been focused and ready to run at a certain time makes it difficult to rewire your thoughts and get energized again. First, I had to wind down and get a good nights rest before I hit the track in the morning.
I woke up and did a typical pre race routine of getting the right amount of breakfast, stretching out, and relaxing. We headed to the track early so that Mary and Moen would have plenty of time to warm up for their races. It would have been nice to stay a bit longer at the hotel, but have always enjoyed hanging out at the track and watching races, it must be a running nerd thing. I watched a few races, cheering on friends and competitors, before I started my warm up. After my warm up I was feeling pretty good, and since I had been feeling better later in my workouts, Pete had me do a good 400m to “wake” my legs up. I ended up running right around 4 minute pace feeling very relaxed. As I was waiting around for my race to start, doing strides and drills, the meet officials were busy trying to fix computer issues related to the timing system. This took them around 30 minutes, so I had been warmed up and ready to run and standing on the track for 30 minutes before my race started. This was frustrating, and I was trying to not let it get to me, but it was hard. I noticed that my legs were beginning to get a little rigid as time ticked on. Eventually I found myself on the line with the race about to start.
One my way to victory!
Photo Credit: Shane Sullivan
The gun went off and I noticed right away that my legs were pretty stiff and I felt a little sluggish, but I think that everyone else felt very similar because only a few went with the rabbit. Due to stiff legs and the fact that I am not the best at a fast start (I like road races where it is less important to get in good position with in the first 100m), I found myself in the middle of the pack and boxed in. I tried in vain to get out and up towards the front and eventually I found that opening, but was second to last and far from the rabbit. I made a big surge at 300m to get around the pack and near the front, and by 700m I had reached it. Rather than settling in, I knew that my best chance to win the race was to go for it from the front, the only way a soon to be marathoner knows. So I stepped on the gas and developed a gap from the field over the next lap. I held on to the gap and broke the tape in 4:06. It was a far cry from my goal of breaking 4 minutes, but I gave a good effort and won the race.
I do not want to make excuses for my time, as there is one thing that tends to hold true for racing: If you are ready to run fast, you will. It often does not matter what the conditions are or who the competition is. I think that this is true and looking back, given near ideal conditions of the race being on Saturday night I do not think I would have reached my goal of breaking 4 minutes, but I do think that I would have run closer to my PR of 4:01. Even disappointed with my time, I know that this race will give me some benefit to my upcoming races, so the effort was not wasted. I now get to focus on my next race in a week’s time, with hopes that I will only have to struggle with my competitors and not extraneous conditions.
Event 14 Men 1 Mile Run Invitational =================================================================== Meet: M 3:57.16 6/1/2013 Matthew Elliott, Brooks Name Year Team Finals H# =================================================================== Finals 1 Brannen, Nate Canada 3:55.65M 1 3:38.16 2 Leslie, Cory Furman Elite 3:57.20 1 3:39.09 3 Stillin, Joe Zap Fitness 3:59.95 1 3:42.20 4 Graves, Kyle Wake Forest Univ 4:00.39 1 3:42.71 5 Finnerty, Robert Furman Elite 4:01.45 1 3:43.66 6 Edwards, Dave Adidas Rogue AC 4:04.80 1 3:45.92 7 Jordanek, Tony Brooks Team Ohio 4:06.06 1 3:47.32 8 Pennel, Tyler Zap Fitness 4:06.24 2 3:47.89 9 Hammond, Michael Furman Elite 4:07.48 1 3:49.26 10 Rhodes, Jeff unattached 4:07.82 2 3:49.26 11 Saunders, Philo Australia 4:07.92 1 3:49.82 12 Furst, Stephen Adidas 4:09.21 2 3:50.61 13 Elliott, Matt Brooks 4:10.10 1 3:51.58 14 McDougal, Josh unattached 4:10.83 2 3:51.97 15 Baum, Brian Ashland U 4:12.64 2 3:53.82 16 Rono, Hilary Kenya 4:15.29 2 3:56.20 17 LeBlanc, Jarrett Adidas 4:15.30 1 3:56.14 18 Schulist, Chris unattached 4:15.93 2 3:57.00 19 Edwards, Jake Columbus RC 4:18.02 1 3:58.97 20 Roeger, Michael Australia 4:20.29 2 4:01.01 21 Schmitz, Tommy Speed Factory 4:20.37 1 4:01.03 22 Sabo, Josh unattached 4:22.03 2 4:02.63 — Hasley, Michael unattached DNF 2 — Windle, drew Ashland U DNF 2