The week is over and I am now qualified for the 200, 400, 800, 1500 and 5k races at the Senior Olympics in Roswell. I am happy the formalities are over, I feel pretty tired. I did not taper or cut any hard workouts prior to the 5k run. It was slow, but even. I just have to accept, for now, that my 5k times above 6500 ft are alway 2-2.5 minutes slower than sea level. That is a lot!
After looking at my 400 time (1:24) and my mile time (6:58 while running easy-not racing but effortful) that speed is not an issue. I would be happy to run my 5k at 7:00 pace. At sea level my 5k is about 7:05 on hilly cross country courses. But on Saturday my pace was, 7:56, 8:04, 8:00 and 7:25 for the last .1. I could not run faster. My leg was acting up as well, my quad freezing up which hurts like mad, but it was all I had. Then today, Sunday, my new friend Michelle and I ran 8 miles. I thought, “oh this will be nice” but holy cow it was HARD. It was a 4 mile out and back, with 1,000 ft of elevation gain in the first 4 miles, plus it was super soft sand. I was dying. But here is the thing. My HR was low, 145, my breathing hardly noticeable, but I still had to have several walk breaks on the way up. I was so happy once we finished, it took 1:45 to run 8 miles! So what’s up?
I consulted Heart Rate Training by Roy Benson (my former coach) and Declan Connolly and got an answer. page 35….”You go out for a run, you perceive the effort as pretty hard, you check your HR for validation expecting your HR to be high, but it is surprisingly low and your pace is slow.” Problem? Have not properly recovered from previous runs or worst, you are starting to become overtrained. Well I know my problem, not recovering properly = not eating. After racing on Saturday, then running some recovery miles I ate huevos ranchero, then never ate again that day. Running takes away my appetite and unless I plan and bring food to stuff in my mouth after a run, I may not eat for hours. This is a consistent problem that I often overlook, especially when I am trying to lower my body fat %.
So my plan. I have 10 weeks before state games. 1. Always have a good variety of food in the house. 2. Take banana or other high quality carb with me to eat post run. 3. If I am too lazy to eat, get some Endurox R4, it is great recovery drink. 4. Two race pace workouts a week, intervals and stamina runs. And lastly to just have fun! Today, post run, I had fun with my two new burro friends seen at the top.
On Good Friday, Michelle and I will run to the El Santuario de Chimayo.El Santuario receives almost 300,000 visitors per year and has been called ” the most important Catholic pilgrimage center in the United States. During holy week the road is jammed packed with pilgrims, entire families will be making the walk from far away places. We will probably run about 10 miles not the 200, 300, 400 mile walks that the deeply devoted make. I have never been there during holy week and I am not religious, but I think it will be extraordinary.