Sunday, March 6, 2011

Yoda and the Central Governor

Today's workout was tough. The plan was to run 23 miles, 7 at an easy pace and 16 at marathon pace. I struck for laps in my neighborhood around 0645 and got 7 miles in before the sometimes heavy rain drove me inside. I put a load in the dryer and began the marathon pace workout on my treadmill.

The outdoor portion of my run was 7 miles in 1:02:53 (8:57/mile), which was a bit faster than I intended. I think I picked up the pace just to get back inside when the rain became too heavy. Once I go back indoors I knew that there would be distractions aplenty. My first item on the agenda was to let my wife know that I was back indoors and bring her a cup of coffee (aside: Keurigs are nice, no wasted cup for me because I would not get to drink some for hours yet). Downstairs, I dried off a bit a and got out of my outdoor clothes, set the TV to ESPN SportsCenter and began to run on the treadmill. This 10 minute break was something I wouldn't be getting in the Marathon.

My fuel strategy was already blown to smithereens by the fact of not having enough gels for my planned eat every 30 - 40 minutes. I downed 4 gels and a pack of fruit snacks while running, slowing the 'mill down to walk while I ate and drank every 3 or so miles. Two hours twenty five minutes later I had finished, with one interruption of a loud bang upstairs that turned out to be my middle son pushing his sister off the coach over some mishap with a Nintendo DS. I maintained a bit slower pace mostly running a 6.7 and 6.8 mph. By mile 21 I started to flag a bit, but got it together while dropping down to a 6 mph pace (10 min/mi). I was firmly in the "hurt box" by mile 22 and had to remember that though it hurt I wasn't going to die or be injured if I kept running a my planned pace and dropped down to 7.5 mph (8 min/mi) for the last 800m.

Overall, my 23 mile run was 3:28:24 this averages out to a 9:03 min/mi pace. Not too shabby, but I showed a lack of commitment to my goal pace in the second run. The one takeaway that I see as a huge win is my familiarity with the "hurt box" is re-established. I have been giving way to muscle fatigue pain in my marathons. The term I am using comes from the blokes at the Marathon Talks podcast. They interviewed Dr. Tim Noakes of the Lore of Running fame and I found his "central governor" premise intriguing. I must write about this more later, however in short we are just talking about the phenomena of trying hard.

There is no if. When the SunTrust National Marathon requires me to dig deep and challenge my "central governor" I will answer the bell and start throwing down. As Yoda said, "Do or do not do. There is no try."

Tapering begins next week.

1 comment:

2 Slow 4 Boston said...

Yoda also said, "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering". Uh, I guess I'm trying to say, don't fear the SunTrust marathon.

23 miles = good marathon prep as long as it's not run too fast.