Sunday, August 12, 2012

Virtual Games and Marathon Thoughts

I participated in the Virtual Games hosted by Run With Jess. The goal was to do the 8 Olympic running events over the course of 10 days. (The marathon could be split into multiple increments.)

Although I've done some speedwork in the past, I've never recorded my times before so it's great to have this scorecard as a baseline now. I hope it encourages me to get back to the track more often.

Does anyone else think that 1500m is an odd race distance? Why not just bump it up to four full laps? When I did my run, I hit the lap button on my Garmin at 1500m, then kept going because I wanted to check my mile time. The bad news is that even though I knew I had to tack on the extra 10m to make it a full mile, I wasn't thinking straight at that point and stopped at 1600m. The good news is that based on my calculations, I was at a 7:04 pace. That would have been a five second improvement over my last timed mile a little over a year ago.

Someday I want to get to under a seven minute mile. I know it's achievable because when I did the 1600m yesterday, it was with eight miles already under my belt. I really wanted to get in a long 15 miler, but also needed to wrap up the last three events, so I just threw them into the mix. I started with a 5.1 mile warm up. Then I did a couple tries of the 200m and one 800m, followed by an easy 2.2 mile interlude. And then it was time for the 1600m. Running fast is hard! I tacked on another 6.1 miles to finish out the morning and I was so wiped at the end. I haven't been that physically exhausted since RnR Seattle. At least it didn't take my legs long to recover... no issues with stairs yesterday or today.

Have I mentioned before that I've been using a great iPhone app called Runner's Log? It's super simple and I love being able to look back at my stats. Last week I ran a total of 33.7 miles. This week I ran 32.4. I'm trying to build my mileage back up because I want to run a fall marathon. I just haven't decided which one yet. I've got it basically narrowed down to two:

Seattle Marathon - 11/25/2012
Pros - Closer to home (about two hour drive), no need to spend money on a hotel, an extra month to train
Cons - Higher registration fee ($110), parts of the course are the same as RnR Seattle, hilly
Other - Larger event (17,000 people expected between full and half marathon)

Tri-Cities Marathon - 10/28/2012
Pros - Lower registration fee ($70), mainly flat course except for bridge crossings, convenient race start right outside hotel (no need to wake up super early, drive downtown, deal with crowds, etc.)
Cons - Farther away (about five hour drive), gas/hotel/food expenses, less time to train, no fuel on course
Other - Smaller event (222 finishers last year)

I'm not entirely sure that being a hilly course is a con, because I like having variety on the course to work different muscles. At least that's what I tell myself...

Variety is also why I'm leaning away from the Seattle Marathon. I have this mental image that it's going to be really similar to RnR Seattle and I don't want to do two similar events in the same year. The main thing that's preventing me from picking the Tri-Cities Marathon is that I'm concerned about having enough time to train. Luckily I have some time with both events before making a final decision so I'm going to wait and see how my long runs go. Either way, I'm excited to have another race to look forward to!

Which marathon do you think you'd choose? What factors influence your marathon decisions?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Single-leg running?

I was just reading an article on about anaerobic training and came across this gem:
Few runners care to make time to add plyometrics workouts to their training regimen. But you don’t have to. As an alternative, incorporate some single-leg running into one or two of the runs you’re already doing every week. Start by running on just your right leg for 10 strides and then on just your left leg for 10 strides. Gradually increase the number of strides you do on each leg until you reach 30 strides per leg. You will notice that it gets easier to go longer on one leg, which is a sign that your legs are adapting to the stress and your stride is becoming more efficient. Source
What the heck is single-leg running? Am I the only one puzzled by this? I'm picturing someone running on the track then throwing all their momentum to one side and sort of hopping on one leg until they fall over.