Week 45, 2012: Black Mountain

Nice, busy week. Three times in the gym (as planned), 5 runs (as planned), a Sunday hike and squash on Friday.

Both on Tuesday and Thursday I did what becomes my signature training: fast 12k; both times tiny bit faster than 4:30min/km. Next Sunday I'll be running the Big Sur half-marathon in Monterey and my hope is to go 15sec per kilometer faster there. Could be doable. For once I'm running my fast runs on a trail; sure, it's flat and easy but road should give me a bit of extra kick, I guess. And hopefully adrenaline will chip in the rest. What is more scary is that I'll have to sustain this pace for 21k, not 12k. And that certainly will be trickier. On all my fast runs my heart rate steadily climbs up and averages above 160bpm, so not much margin there.

In any case time to lay down goals for the race.

  • Golden: 1:29:00, that would be an improvement of my PB dating back to 2005 (!), so I don't think one can ask for more. Not likely to happen, though. I don't think I'm quite there, especially that I wasn't training specifically for a half-marathon.
  • Silver: 1:31:00, as it turns out that would still be my second best time ever (ok, true, I only run 7 half-marathons ever, but still). This is the goal I'll be concentrating on. If I can pull it off, I'll be satisfied.
  • Brown: 1:33:00, 3rd best time ever and a fall back goal; if I don't make it, I won't be too happy...

The remaining week runs were just thread-mill fillers, although my improving pace-heart-rate ratio is a nice signal that my form is slowly improving. On Saturday I was fairly tired and decided to break with the tradition of doing long weekend runs in national parks and instead did a completely flat run on the same course where I do my fast runs. The difference was remarkable: I did 29k in 2:34, whereas last weekend I did 21k in 3:21. Wow. I guess I should count all the trail runs double or something ;). In any case that gave me a nice rest (of sorts, 29k of continuous running at 5:20min/km is not exactly a rest...).

On Sunday I joined a group outing for a hike to Black Mountain. It was a very pleasant hike with a merry bunch of people (see photo) and all the photos in this post are from this hike.

In fact I miscounted and thought that I'd "have to" go for another run in the evening (I was planning to give a test to my headlamp that I bought the day before) to make up my weekly dose of 5 runs, but then I realized that I already had 5 runs and 83km under my belt this week and decided to pass, as I didn't feel much like going for a run after the hike. In fact counting the hike, I almost did 100k this week; now, I do not count hiking towards my total weekly mileage, but I guess that's an indication that I did enough this week :)

Next week should be a bit easier to allow some recovery before the half-marathon (although I'm not planning on any serious tapering). And then I have biiig plans for the week afterwards... but let me tell you about them in the next post ;)

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