Today was my first day back at running since running the Half on Sunday. According to my training program, I was supposed to run a nice easy 2 miler. I was eager to get back to running, and decided that running along the trail at Crystal Cove State Park along the ocean would provide some good scenery. I started work pretty early this morning, so decided to shut things down in the late afternoon and headed over to Reef Point. I strapped on my GPS, put on my new Sauconys and did my little jog.
I have purchased another Hal Higdon training plan - a five week marathon recovery program. I have found that his programs are pretty reasonable from a physical perspective. The one thing that know with the last program, in 12 weeks my times and physical condition seemed to improve quite a bit. In fact, today I ran the 2 miles without my heart rate going over 150, and did it at less than 10 minutes per mile. Compared to where I started back last July, I think that is progress.
In fact, one of the problems that I am running into now is that 10 minute easy mile seems soooo ssssllllloooowwww. Every time I run now, I have an urge to go faster. That was my problem this past weekend. The one thing I learned this past weekend in the Half is best summed up in an old adage I learned in my days with Andersen Consulting, "Plan the work and then work the plan." My plan this past weekend was to run 10 minute miles. This would have put me at 2:10 for my first half marathon. Instead - what did I do? How about 8:42 a mile for three miles. I slowed to 10 for the next three, but it was downhill from there. By the time I got to mile 11, my legs felt like they were full of lead. In fact, the thing that was amazing at mile 12 was even though my heart rate was a steady 160, my legs did not want to move! I was really shocked that I needed to almost tell them to pump to get me to the finish. That is what I was alluding to in yesterday's blog entry. If you stuck to your plan then you most certainly passed me in the last mile and a half. I was the guy in the long sleeved blue shirt barely moving. The result was a 2:24 instead of my target 2:10. I had read about this happening, but I felt so good at the start, I really thought I was in much better shape that I was in. Thank God I didn't run the marathon!
Speaking of the marathon, I am committed at this point. For all of the grief that the OC Marathon gets, it was a great experience! There is no way that I would have run 13 miles six months ago! I now have a total of four races under my belt - the Harbor Heritage 5K, Tustin Dinosaur Dash 5K, Dana Point Turkey Trot 10K and the OC Half Marathon. Next stop - the San Diego Rock N' Roll Marathon in June! Right now I am searching for a good training program to get me there. More about that tomorrow....