Sunday, May 19, 2013

After Action Report: Spring

My spring season is (obviously) over. Below are the goods, the bads, what I learned and where I plan to go from here...

The Good:
- I rarely, if ever, felt any lingering tweaks from my old injury.
- I also didn't get any new injuries.
- I set a personal best for 10k - 30:52 - and, in doing so, ran very good marks (PRs?) in 4-miles and 5-miles.
- I had fun.

The Bad:
- I never really got "5k fast", but this was a result of my own doing. In all honesty, I was scared of hurting myself again.
- I didn't set a personal best for ten miles, which was a secret goal I had at the beginning of the season.

Lessons Learned/Reiterated:
- If you want to race fast, run fast races.
- More often than not, it doesn't matter what track workout you do, as long as you're doing it with a group.
- Running bad workouts is okay.
- Running slow on non-workout days is okay. In fact, it is preferred.
- Run routes with hills as often as possible.
- Run with as many different people as possible.
- Run strides everyday.
- Practice running hard on surfaces you plan to race on (i.e. - 3 mile tempos on Hains Point...not the track)
- Attack your weakness. Mine is my speed. 

The most important thing I've learned, and executed, is to not get down on myself for running a bad race. Well, I still do, but certainly not as much as I use to. Running isn't everything. For me, it's just one third of my life. The other two thirds are: job and social life. Be well balanced in all three and you will succeed in all three.

A friend wrote me an e-mail and underscored this point and made a few others:

"At least from my perspective, it's been great to see your balance this past year. It seems that you aren't letting "bad" performances get to you like they may have years ago..." and added  "As we get older, the idea of chasing PRs can cloud what may otherwise be a spectacular performance. I know you know it, but we can only run as fast as we can on that day...Of course, even "nailing" the taper, and doing everything right, there's still the human element. How much can we get from our bodies on a given day...As we get older we move further away from times. Time will always be an element to our running, and we can gauge ourselves on courses, age groups, whatever. But what will never go away are the man to man battles of every day running."

What's Next:
- I am traveling back and forth to Maine to work on a TV series for Animal Planet. Naturally, my training will take a hit, but I'm sort of in an "active rest" phase right now. I hope to be back training hard by early July.

- Falmouth Road Race (Aug) - I'm entered.
- RnR Philadelphia Half (Sept) - PR time.
- Twin Cities Marathon (Oct) - I'm due.
- Break
- USATF 12k Champs in NoVA (Nov)
- USATF Club XC Champs in Bend, OR (Dec)

And finally, below is a brief training recap:

After Broad Street, I took 6 days off from running.
Last Sunday I ran an easy 7 miles with Luff in Cabin John.
On Tuesday, I ran 7 with Jordan at Lake Frank.
On Wednesday, I ran about 8.5 with Karl Dusen, who is returning from injury.
On Saturday, I ran 10.5 with Luff, Dusen and Colin from The Line.
On Sunday (today), I ran 10-miles hard in Patapsco State Park*

*Patapsco always kicks my butt. I've been running there now for close to 15 years and unless I run there often, I always have a rude awakening. I ran a loop I use to time trial with my teammates back in the day and while I was finishing up I ran into Falls Road Running''s Ed and Brennan, who must have thunk me a half-crazed lunatic. With endorphins pouring off my brow I explained to them that I was seeing how fast I could run an old loop. Their expressions were priceless.


RM said...

I'm guessing that our main loop at Patapsco is a derivation of yours - shoot it may very well be the same as it was passed to me via Mike Prada by way of Doug Allen.

When I was originally taught the loop it was thought to be 11 miles. Over time it was clear that it wasn't. I've felt that 10.5 is a much more accurate distance. I used to run it in the 1:11-1:15 range on a comfortable day, and have run as fast as 1:06. Ed and Brennan said you told them you guys would break an hour? That's gnarly.

KLIM said...

I ran 59:51 once, but I was flat out the entire time. Last Sunday I ran 64:30 and was huffing.

We should have a joint-team run there sometime...

Steve said...

Nice recap Jake and congrats on a solid Spring Season. In regards to your "workouts" which do you feel help you out/improve you the most, shorter intervals (with a high number of them) or higher distance intervals (like 4 or 5 mile intervals)?

KLIM said...

Steve - if we're talking track, definitely the shorter stuff. I hate running anything longer than 2k repeats. I love miles simply because their easy to grasp/compare.

I run my long runs pretty hard (or at least finish them hard) so I *get* that endurance/speed in while doing that.