Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wile E. Coyote or the Road Runner

Some days when you get up and run, it feels like the legs just GO. They are a machine; they turn over effortlessly, and you want to run forever. And when I look at my Garmin, my pace is always too quick and I have to remind myself to slow down. Pace yourself. It is a marathon, not a sprint (that is the cliche anyway, even if it is only a 6 mile run.) I picture like the the Road runner cartoons, where his legs move in wheel-like circles, like a locomotive, with puffs of dust coming up:

But sometimes, not so good. Feel like legs are made of lead, and how on earth am I going to make it through this? And, the heart rate is always too high, the pace too slow, and I just hope I don't feel like this on marathon day. Feeling like this:

That was this morning. I actually got up and ran before work, with the idea I would run a relatively fast tempo run. I know that I ran 15 miles on Monday at 8:06 average pace; I figured I could run 7 miles at 7:30 pace, no problem. I signed up for a half marathon this weekend, and NYRR proudly displayed my best per mile time in a long race 7:06 per mile. This morning I felt "How on earth did I ever do that?"  And, the outside of my right shin and knee has been stiff (not sore like joint pain, just weirdly stiff), and it hurt too.

One mile into the run, I never hit the rhythm. It never felt right, and I never hit the groove. This run was a constant push for me. My normal running route has a bunch of hills, with a 250 foot hill at mile 5.5. Today, cruising up that hill, my heart rate hit 174 (at least that is what I saw when I was running -- I haven't reviewed all the Garmy data yet). That is high -- nearly 95% of max. I know the point of a tempo run is to push yourself, but when I made it to the top of that hill, I was done. Not sure how I made it all the way home, because I had no energy at all.

I ended up running 7.2 miles at 7:31 pace, with a 6:59 mile thrown in there for mile 4-5, running down a gentle slope.  I hope this makes me stronger come race day.  And I have to admit I feel pretty great right now at work, having my workout out of the way.


  1. I think that is pretty freaking fast Mr. Wolf.

    You are going to have those hard runs and you are aware of that. Glad you feel good today. The hard work always pays off.

  2. I totally have those days when my legs feel like dead weights and draggggggggg. But seriously, like B.o.B said, you are freaking fast! I can't run that fast on a fast day :) I know this run will pay off for you come race day!

  3. The very reason why I always work out in the morning, you have no excuses and you're already done for the day! Good job Mister!!!

  4. First, thanks for your kind comments on my blog. It was a disappointing day, but I'm over it and plotting my revenge on the marathon. Which will probably be its revenge on me!

    There is no doubt in my mind that your fast Monday 15 miler probably effected you a bit today.

    Take care of that knee and shin and it will be race time before you know it.

  5. Your pace sounds fast to me but I get it about the "lead" legs. Keep working on it!

  6. I've had SO many of those days in both situations. I like the analogy too! It seems though that I get the dead 'this run really sucks' kind of runs more than the 'I love my life and I'm going to run like Forest Gump' kind of runs. Bummer. I do envy your speed though and wish my 'bad' run ended at a 7:31 pace!

  7. Hard runs turned easy; easy runs turned hard...sigh, I wish there are ways to predict which it will be before you start!

    Good luck on your weekend race...I surmise you're doing Grete's on Sat? I'm doing it too as my MP run.

    Let's hope for a good day!


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