Sunday, August 15, 2010

MIA: Long Run Endurance

Yesterday I ran 15 miles in 2:04:39 which was a 8:18 pace.  The first 10 or 12 miles went by just fine, but the last few were a total slugfest.  I felt like I had been punched in the face by some sort of cruel Japanese reality TV show....or the hilarious show Wipeout.

Around mile 13, as I was panting like a dog in heat.....waiting for the green light to turn red so I didn't feel bad for standing there...I got to thinking about the last time that I had ran over 10 or 12 miles.  I knew it had been a while, probably too  long.  When I got back home, I dug out my running excel "log" and verified what I feared: Since June 26, I've ran over 12 miles a paltry 2 times. Opps!

To be fair and not send myself into a self deprecating shame spiral**, over that time I have ran mostly 35+ mile weeks. The focus of the summer was to increase my speed and pull back the long runs - even if that cost me a bit of the long distance endurance.  In the back of my mind I was hoping that I would be able to keep up the speed AND the endurance, but I think that I was lying to myself.

Honestly, I can't help but feel I'm a bit like those competitive hotdog eaters on ESPN - hyper-focusing on a goal.  They are the ones who eat 40 hotdogs in 30 seconds or something crazy.  Their trick of massive mystery meat consumption is to dip each of the hotdogs in water to help them slide down their gullet faster.  They focus entirely on one goal - eat meat "product" FAST.  I can only assume that they will sit down to a fancy dinner and have to consciously force themselves to not start dipping their steak in their wine and not chewing their baked potato.

Runners, myself specifically, focus entirely on one goal or another.  Go long....go fast...break a time goal...break a distance goal.  While I can have multiple distance races on the calendar, I always have "THE RACE" I'm training for.  All of my effort goes towards that one goal.  This summer it was a sub 19 5K, this winter, it will be a sub 3:20 marathon.

This means I'm in a transition period.  I'm still focusing on speed, but I need to start getting the long runs in.  Honestly, I'm going to try to do both for a while, but eventually I will make the transition.  Hopefully my body will hold up.  But, if it doesn't, at least I can switch to dunking my morning FrootLoops in water...helps them slide down the gullet.

Do you ever feel guilty about focusing on one thing or goal so much *cough cough* running that you let other priorities slip *cough cough* personal hygiene?

**Happens every time wine goes off sale



15 comments:

TRI-james said...

To achieve the ‘hard’ goals you have to focus. I always want to be able to run my 5K PR, while running my marathon PR, while getting an ironman PR – all the while being my leanest and strongest.

I wish – however, simply not possible. But if you focus you can have them all – just at different times.

FYI – If you are running a sub-19 5k than a sub 3:20 marathon should be cake!

Anne said...

Sounds smart to me...focus - achieve; change focus - achieve!

Andrew Opala said...

you are a multi-tasker (in no order): travel, work, family, running, podcast, blogs, travel, family, running

to say that the running is a little screwy ... well have you seen your blog ... you keep crossing out sentences that seem perfectly fine to me! ;)

Throw out the chaos and focus more on one goal and then do things for the secondary goal once you achieve and maintain the first.

However, if you were perfect what would you blog about? huh?

kilax said...

Ha ha. I hyper focus on things too. I try not to now since I am still in recovery, but I think I still do... I am aiming for some endurance.

I bet you will be back up to snuff with your long runs in no time :)

Leah B. said...

This is so discusting and funny! I'm personally not a very good multitasker. I argue with myself on when to work hard (or too hard) and when to rest. I'm not good at backing off!!
Personally, no one should ever eat hotdogs...nasty!!

Adrienne said...

I hear you. I'm sort of doing the same thing although I'm way more beginner than you. Rather than running long distances at a slow and steady I'm trying to run shorter distances faster. It feels weird but so far I can see some improvement in my speed and I've only been trying this for a few weeks. Hopefully it will pay off in both distances if I'm consistent. Good luck with your plan.

Barefoot Neil Z said...

Heh, My goal is met as soon as I get my flabby @ss out the door, so.. there.

Johann said...

Agree 100% on the goals. That’s why I always have a long term plan. Funny, I thought about wipeout yesterday when I wiped out on the trails…

Jamoosh said...

What is this personal hygiene hyou speak of?

gene said...

i love me some wipeout.

BrianFlash said...

Focus is nice, but setting PRs at every distance you run during the course of one calendar year is uber.

I've got everything from 12K to 89K in the bank. Now, I just need to churn those legs a little bit and get the 5K and 10K done!

RunningLaur said...

Goals. Hmm, for some reason I think a 5k / 50k training plan is completely unreasonable, BUT whatever. I DO WHAT I WANT.

and personal hygiene? I've found it's just a lot easier to not shower at all, and then I don't have to worry about getting sweaty in an additional workout....

Vincent said...

I love wipeout!

and thats the story of my life, trying to do too many goals at once.

You mean I can't break my mile time AND a pb marathon the same week?

Christy said...

I feel guilty all.the.time. about focusing so much of my time and energy on running when I'm in training mode for "the race". Everything slips, especially house work. I don't know what I'm gonna do when I have kids....yikes.

Glenn Jones said...

A least you're out there doing it. I'm still trying to work my way back up to 9 miles on a consistent basis.