Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Past Week, and I Need Your Opinions

Ran 5 of 7 days; 25.7 miles total; average temperature 74 degrees; average pace 8:36.

My creative brain cells have taken a hiatus, so I'm just going to type whatever pops into my mind. I do want to start by saying that I'm so BUSY that I never find the time lately to post, or read your posts. That stinks! I so miss you guys. Tomorrow's a "free" day for me, so I plan on catching up on what's been happening with you guys the past week.
Marathon training continues to go very well. The 15 degree drop in temperatures with no humidity has resulted in me running sans tool (aka hydration) belt. The belt and water bottles add between 2 1/2 and 3 lbs. of weight whenever I run with them. My per mile pace has decreased from 8:45 to an 8:34 to an 8:21 the past three days runs. I feel lighter than ever on my feet, and the past two days runs I've had negative splits. Another good sign is that my left knee hasn't bothered me lately. There's 25 days to go until the Hartford (CT) Marathon, and at this point I'm leaning towards running it, even though it's 3 weeks before the N.Y. City Marathon. As I stated in another post, I'm scheduled to run-walk-run 28 (yes, 28) miles the next day anyhow. So why not run-walk-run the Hartford Marathon and take advantage of the water stops, test the run-walk-run, and also get some cool bling for finishing? It's a half an hour away from my home, so the overall cost won't be a factor. Plus a friend of my son has signed up to run it. She's 24, it will be her first marathon, and she's scared to death! I offered to run it with her, and she seems open to the idea. If she decides to have me as a running companion, then I'll definitely enter. If not, then it's still better than 50-50 that I'll run it anyhow.
I'm at a weird point in my training. I'm having trouble deciding what training schedule to follow. The Jeff Galloway training schedule has me doing a 26 mile run-walk-run this weekend. If I switch training schedules and follow my Hartford Marathon training schedule from last year, then I would be scheduled to run a 20 miler this weekend. The Hartford Marathon training schedule involves running more frequently but less mileage per run compared to the Galloway schedule. I'm starting to think "stupid" lately. Do I still have the stamina to run an entire marathon without taking any walk breaks? The "stupid" part of my brain thinks I can. I completed the Fairfield Half Marathon on June 29 in just under 2 hours, without taking any walk breaks. My pace per mile was a 9:06. Last Tuesday I completed the New Haven Road Race (12.4 miles) in just under 1 hour, 50 minutes, again without taking any walk breaks. That's an 8:50 per mile pace. My original strategy when I registered for the New York City Marathon was to complete it in 4 hours or less. Reality set in, and now I'd like to complete it in under 4 1/2 hours. That's a 10:18 or better per mile pace. Problem is, My last two run-walk-run 20 and 23 milers have averaged a 10:34 and a 10:38 pace respectively. For those two runs I ran for 4 minutes and then walked for 1 minute the entire distance. So in order to complete Hartford and/or NY in 4 1/2 hours or less, I either have to run a longer amount of time before taking walk breaks, or run as long as I can without planning on taking any walk breaks, except at water stations. However I'm afraid of hitting the wall at some point and being forced to take lots of walk breaks in order to survive/finish, and then overall not doing any better than if I had taken walk breaks the entire run. I need to make up my mind in the next week what training plan I'm going to continue to follow. Decisions, decisions. Comments and suggestions please.
Fundraising update: I'm approximately $600 away from reaching my $2600 goal for Autism Speaks. I have 32 days left to raise the money. My big fundraising event is on October 2nd. I'm having a bowling event for the school I work at, along with raffle prizes that have been donated, including a grand prize of a $100 custom drilled bowling ball that my school is paying for. There's also a 50-50 raffle. If all goes well, that event combined with the pizza sales that I'm doing every Monday and Friday will bring me to my goal. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Lastly, thank-you to everyone who has donated so far. If anyone else would like to donate, please click on the link to the right. Thanks!


Anais said...

Well that is a tough choice... I don't know how much wisdom I can bring to your decision, but personally, I'm all about the walk breaks :) I think it's the very reason why I have been injury-free for so long (the ankle sprain doesn't count :P ).

Good luck with the fund-raising!!! I would totally donate more but I am super broke. :(

Melanie Tait (Mel Tries to Run) said...

Rick - am LOVING your new look blog - it looks terrific!

Good luck getting to that fundraising goal. You'll get there.

lindsay said...

hope the oct 2nd fundraiser goes extra well!

i'm not sure what to say about your decision-making needs... maybe try for the 26 mile run/walk this weekend per your galloway plan and use it pretty much as a race simulation? i mean it's practically a full marathon anyway. obviously you can expect to be a little off your 10:18 goal, but maybe you can aim to get 10:30 or better? then you should hopefully have a better idea/feeling for how your body feels and how you think you can do. it's hard to say as someone who is not-you. i know that i run faster and it feels easier in a race environment, so you might get that boost too from the crowd and other runners in the actual races.

did you select the galloway plan for any reason? (injury, etc?) if so, i'd probably continue to stick with it and push yourself a little harder to get those splits down.

cami said...

Rick, I'm in no position to give you advice, as I've never done a marathon. Running the full course without any walking breaks sounds incredibly tough to me.

Anais and Lindsay are making some excellent points.

Oh, and love your blog! :)

Irish Cream said...

In the interest of full disclosure, I don't know anything about how Galloway translates to other training plans. However, I do think--especially given that you have had some knee troubles recently--that it would be pretty risky to change things up at this point in time. You're getting pretty close to race day, and I just don't know if it the potential pros outweigh the cons.

That being said, you know better than anyone what you can handle. Ultimately, you have to decide what you think is best for you. Good luck with the decision-making!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Wow 2 Marathons so close together...FUN!!!