1/10- Snow day in Alabama. The gym was closed so I went to Vestavia to run my 10K. I waited until the afternoon when the temps were above freezing. The track was simply wet but the football field was solid ice. Temp was 34 with a 10-15 mph wind. I ran in cotton sweats because I had shorts underneath and had been planning to run at the gym. Obviously, not the best conditions so I'll cut myself a little slack. My time was a weak 49:51 (7:58 pace). Best time of the year and my first sub-50 but it was a near all out effort to run an "easy pace" when healthy. Even pace after the 1st 2 laps and a hard fought 1:46 last go round to secure that sub-50. The goal is not a sub-50. It's a sub-40.
1/11- Weather was not much better today and this time I chose not to subject myself to the conditions after finding that once again, the gym was closed. Instead, I opted for the 'mill. 2.5 at about 8:30 pace. Felt comfortable at that pace but discomfort came when I increased it to 8:15. I followed this with a pickup in the last .25 in which I could not hold 6 minute pace. I've had no noticeable improvement in the last 5 days and must do better tomorrow. I've been performing well below my standard for almost 4 weeks now. I have not been THIS BAD for THIS LONG since 2007.
1/12- Another shot at the 10K time trial, this time indoors with temps in the 20s and a wind chill around 10. Much improved but I've still got a LONG way to go. Smashed my previous best time of the year with a 45:55 performance (7:20 pace). Almost 4 minutes better than last time but I need to chop off almost 6 minutes to hit my goal and 4:41 (45 sec/mile) to match my PR. Pretty even splits and I was pleased that my pace never went over 7:30 but I still felt like my top gear just wasn't there. Splits were 7:17-7:19-7:24-7:25-7:28-7:21-1:41.
1/13- Easy 7 in 57:28 (8:13 pace) plus a cool down. Performance was fair. That pace is within the acceptable range for an easy day but I was not real pleased with how I felt. I was sluggish most of the way and could not hold 8:00 pace without a lot of strain. Last Fall, I could have cruised this one under 7:45. This pace should be effortless and it was far from it.
1/14- Planned rest day. Again, not pleased with how I feel.
1/15- Lakeshore 13.11 course in 1:46:48 (8:08 pace) plus cool down. Best time of the year. That's a modest 2:10 improvement over the previous week or roughly 10 seconds per mile. The story is much the same as most of my runs this year. I was never uncomfortable during the run but no matter what I did, I could not pick up the pace. Once again, my top gear simply was not available. On the positive side, so far this year, there have been no wild ups and downs. I feel pretty much the same every day but it feels like I'm operating at 85% efficiency and I'm still unsure of the effectiveness my treatment. I did run a more even pace and my last mile in 7:50 was my fastest. I am still a distressing 14 minutes from a PR so I can't be happy about that. The grade is the same because I've toughened the standards since my recovery from the sinus infection and those standards will toughen further next week.
1/16- Vestavia 400 in 77.12 (best time of the year). I felt about the same at the shorter distances. No top gear. I am a discouraging 15 seconds or a full minute per mile slower than my average. Struggled through an untimed 10 lap cool down to finish the week with a round number. I think I am close to 6 minute mile shape.
A little better than last week but that is faint praise. It's looking like I won't see any improvements from day to day but maybe from week to week, I will. I'm still not sold on these new supplements but I really don't have any alternatives. In order to be convinced, I've got to run the following times:
400 under 70, Mile in 5:45, 5K under 21, 10 K under 44:30, Half mary below 1:40. All of these times are about 30 sec/mile shy of my best and if I can't do that, this ain't working.
I am not even close at any of those 5 distances. 4 weeks until Mercedes and I remain questionable. If I can have fun at the race and think I can get near 1:40, I'll do it. Otherwise, not. My next option is Scenic City 2 weeks later in Chattanooga.
Distance=40.0/ GPA= 18.3/10= 1.83