Playing catch up

I'm taking this morning to be a good blogger: I'm going to get through at least 50 posts on my reader (prepare for an onslaught of comments) and am current writing a post (this one).

Once again life has intervened and blogging has taken a back seat.  I launched a massive project at work this past Monday and was supposed to be in Memphis for a week's worth of meetings--but that was canceled since some of my clients are European based and couldn't get on an airplane due to volcanic ash (when am I ever going to get to say that again?).  On top of that it's been the three hardest weeks on the training plan all with mileage in the 40s range.

Training in general has been on a huge upswing.  The warmer weather and the sun coming up earlier have really helped with my morale.  And I have successfully completed two (!) 20 miles runs this training cycle, which have been gigantic confidence boosters.  However, I still don't feel like I'm back in top form.  Looking back at my times from this point in training for the NYCM I'm not as fast as I was then and I don't remember being as tired: whereas I remember constantly waking up before my alarm, now I hit snooze before I can convince myself out of bed.  I guess this is what happens when you start training in the dead of winter and move apartments one-month into the training cycle.  This makes me really looks forward to summer training and thoroughly convinces me that I need to join a gym next winter.

Speaking of completing two 20 miles runs this training cycle, I noticed something last night while discussing them with Wifey.  The 20 miler I did on April 10 was very hilly: rollers up the west side to the GWB, the big descent and then climb in Palisades Park, and then rollers all the way back to 59th Street (via Central Park).  Yesterday's 20-miler was very flat--actually the only hilly portion was the first couple of miles in Central Park, otherwise it was basically flat running along the Hudson down to Battery Park (and doubling back at some points to get to 20 miles).

You would think the former would have been slower and the latter would have been faster.  But no, it turned out to be the opposite: the hilly run I finished at an 8:54 pace and the flat one I finished at 9:01.  Granted, there isn't that much difference between the two (it translates into about a two minute difference for total time), but you also have to consider that I felt more beat up after the flat run than the hilly run.  My theory is that the hilly run I alternated using different parts of my legs while with the flat run I was using the same parts over and over.  Just a thought.  It's such a small difference over 20 miles that it also could be nothing.

Now that peak week is over I can start focusing on the race in Delaware--I can already feel Marathon Fever begin to set in.


Adam said...

Mmmmm, good 'ol taper madness. Is there anything better?

That is awesome that you were able to crank out 2 20 milers. I'm sure that you'll be much more ready than you think.

Nitmos said...

I've been teeerrrribbbbllle about commenting. I don't have a "reader" to catch up on. Try it!

Good luck in Delaware!

Psyche said...

I found out about the flat vs. hilly thing up close and personal recently. I was excited to be running a flat-as-a pancake marathon, only to end up cursing it. Total flat is way, way harder on the legs than rolling hills. Go figure.

Nice job on your ramp up:). Can't wait to read your posts once Maraathon Fever is in full swing!!