Busy Writing and Running Summer

http://greglsblog.blogspot.com/2016/08/busy-writing-and-running-summer.html

Well, it's been a busy summer writing-wise.  I'm letting a draft of a middle grade sci-fi adventure cure for a bit and also completed a work-for-hire project, and two-and-a-half nonfiction projects. (The half is still in-progress :-)).

Circa 1995.  No hills :-).
After the Cap Tex Tri weather debacle, I reconsidered my original plan to try the Austin Half-Ironman (or Ironman 70.3 as they're calling the things these days).   I'd wanted to do a couple Olympic distance races this summer (the other would've been the Tri Rock Austin Triathlon over Labor Day weekend) to get the kinks out before going for the longer distance.

Unfortunately, the schedule didn't quite work out (and I'm going to be doing some school and bookstore visits in October, prime training time :-)).  Also, this allows me to delay buying a new bike -- my current one is a 1989 Trek that is fine, but riding 50+ miles around the Hill Country, I can see where handlebar shifters would be useful :-).

So I decided to dive back in to the Austin Distance Challenge and take up the Austin Runners Club on the marathon training (which would also help with next year's triathlons).  My goal is a personal best or possibly Boston Marathon qualifying. (With the age-group corrections, BM qualifying has finally caught up with my PB :-)).

The ARC program is based on the Runner's World "Run Less, Run Faster" program, which has you run three days a week and do other cardio work two days a week.  One of the days is a track workout, one is a tempo run and the third is a long run, with pace times based on a one mile time trial we did a couple weeks ago. I have no idea if it will work, but I like it because I want to keep up the biking and running as well.

After the long run
I just completed the first week of the program and didn't actually hit any of my goal times, but I've never actually tried running for time, so at least the effort is interesting.  I ran a trial mile of 7:10, slightly slower than my 6:50 from last spring and a lot slower than my PB of 5:55 (granted, twenty years ago :-)).

From this, the track workout was supposed to be 4x1000 m at 4:09; my times were 4:20; 4:14; 4:15; and 4:22, so not terrible.  The tempo workout was supposed to be 4 miles at a 7:38 pace and my actual pace was 7:46. I figured it would be a challenge to hit those marks but was glad to have been close.  

The long run was supposed to be 11 miles at 8:57, which I though I could do, no problem, since I'd done my half marathons last year at around 8:24.  But with the humidity and heat (in August, hydration tends to be my biggest problem) and having only three hours of sleep (due to small feline mammals), I only did seven miles at a 9:07 pace.

Based on limited data, I like the program because it's not just about racking up mileage, which was getting a bit old. Also, the track workouts are not far from where I live :-). 

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the challenge of a new marathon best time, at the 2017 Austin Marathon!


Setting my PB on a wintry spring day