Thursday, November 29, 2012

Forced off the pills again. Test results coming.

Those of you who read this blog with any regularity have a basic idea of what it's like to be chemically unstable.  As evidenced by my 10K PR in a solo time trial that was sandwiched in between 2 rather mediocre race efforts, even 1/2 of 1 Thym-Adren pill for even 1-2 days can impact my performance by 20-30 seconds per mile. That would not be so bad if I took the same thing every day with an adjustment every month or so but when you're shooting at a moving target, it's very difficult.   If I remain at a dosage that is too high or too low, I will barely be able to run at all.  Remember my 3 @ 8:09 pace that got slower and slower as it progressed.  You might think that I would be super excited to be off those suckers but I am not.  I'm more worried than excited and based on my history, that emotion is totally appropriate.  What makes me so uneasy is that I was not merely freed from dependence on them, I was forced off.  Even small amounts of what was previously the magic bullet pill will make me sick.  I sent in my hair sample just before Thanksgiving and expect to get the results in about 10 more days.  If my medical report shows that I am in relative balance, I will know that I have won the war!!  If not, I have to find yet another piece of the puzzle that explains why I cannot tolerate pills that should be working to get me towards balance.  It could be another enzyme issue.  What will happen if I don't take the pills when I am out of balance?  I'll have several weeks of very good health followed by a HARD crash in which the emotional pain of a relapse after false hope is much tougher than the physical pain.

As I've stated previously, I really wish that I had started this blog when began my comeback in October 2006 by doing more walking than jogging.  I had no idea that I would progress so far.  Back in 2007, I was diagnosed with deficiencies in adrenaline, dopamine, serotonin and GABA in addition to thyroid problems, blood sugar issues and full blown adrenal exhaustion.  At one point, I was taking 10 different pills.  How many of them did I need to take every day or else?  At least 5.  In addition to pills to get my body chemistry in balance, I needed to take tyrosine+C for adrenaline and dopamine as well as 5HTP+taurine for GABA and serotonin.  Thus, I was shooting at 4 different moving targets so you can guess the results.  Every week, I usually had 2-3 days in which I could barely run at all but my patience and persistence paid off.  In 2007, my half marathon time improved from a 1:59 in March (Seaside) to a 1:48 in Memphis (St. Jude).  In 2008, I was able to gradually wean myself off the neurotransmitter support and YES, I was forced off that stuff too but I got a medical report at the end of 2008 that showed that I was producing the right amount of adrenaline.  Thus, I knew that I had won that battle.  Most patients have to take small amounts for maintenance but I do not and would get sick if I did take any.  4 years later, I still don't need it.  Taurine gave me fits for another year and a half.  I usually needed exactly 1,000 mg (neither more nor less) but I was forced off that stuff too in mid-2010.  Again, I still do not need it and would get sick if I took too much of it.

My doctor warned me that it is common to see a patient who escaped adrenal burnout go into hyperdrive shortly thereafter.  That's exactly what happened to me.  For a time, I had to take Lithium to slow my system down but when I was forced off it in Fall 2010, I believed that I was healed even though the medical report told a different story about my chemistry.  I trained my heart out for Huntsville Rocket City but crashed hard with a nasty knee injury and worsening imbalances.  I tried 2 other pills to get the job done before eventually settling back to Thym-Adren in mid-2011.  At the end of the year, I was forced off and had a great 1st quarter of 2012.  Gradually, my sugar intolerance worsened but after a prolonged slump, I discovered fructosin which had the effect of forcing me back on Thym-Adren. Perhaps, it was only a temporary reaction.  Now, I have been forced off again.  Can I stay off like what happend with the neurotransmitters?  The answer will come with the medical report.  It's all in God's hands.  I've fought this with all my mind, body and spirit and there is nothing more that I can do.

If I have a take fructosin long term for preventative maintenance, I'm fine with that because I know that I will not have a reaction if I miss a dose every now and then.  I will not tolerate instabilty and moving targets and nobody who lives with me will either.  That's why I don't have a girlfriend.  On a somewhat selfish note, what if I run a 5:00 mile or 17:50 5K? I really believe that I am capable of it if I am balanced and can train at a high level for about a year.   Everyone in the track club will want to know what I have been doing and there will be much more interest in my story.  Of course, my motive is not personal glory but to help others with chemical imbalances and yes, glorify God in doing so.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Training 11/26-12/2

With Meb on 11/26. Visibly unwell.
11/26- Lame indoor 4 in 31:51 (7:58 pace).  Poor performance but I knew it was coming.  Took 2 pills in the morning and my body immediately tightened up and I felt lousy most of the day.  I did get a little better by late afternoon, which enabled me to do the workout.  Passed 1850 on the year and clinched a 2.75.  I need 30 MPW and a 2.5 GPA over the remaining 5 weeks.  Highlight of the day was getting to meet Meb Keflezighi at a book signing.  This is the 2nd time that I have met an Olympic medalist.  I met Roger Kingdom ('80s hurdler) at a HS invitational.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=4.5

11/27- Cut the dose down to 1.5 and should have cut it further.  Modest improvement over yesterday.   Workout was still quite lame.  5 miles in 38:39 (7:44 pace) and I was working for it.  Miles 1,2 and 5 were pretty good.  3 and 4 sucked.  The latter was over 8:00.  I will attempt to cut it down to 1 tomorrow.  This was disappointing.  I really was expecting better based on how I felt during the day.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=5.5

11/28- MUCH BETTER!  Same 5 miler indoors but my time was down to 33:58 (6:47 pace).  This one required no more effort than yesterday.  This pace is not real strong for a tempo but I still get a good grade because of the improvement.  Took only 1/2 of 1 pill this morning and it still made me too tight.  It's official.  I've been forced off the pills again.  The medical report will reveal the reason.  More about this development will come in a separate post.
Grade:B/2 credits/distance=5.5

11/29- As expected, my first day off the Thym-Adren went very well.  Lakeshore 8 plus a cool down tribute.  Goal was a steady GMP run and I came through 7 right on target then threw down a 6:11 last Mile (just shy of 5K race pace) to finish in 56:46 (7:06 pace).  I may challenge my 5K PR next week. There is no guarantee that I will get another chance.  Signed up for 13.1 Los Angeles.
Grade:A+/1 credit/distance=8.5

11/30-  Trying not to worry but I'm scared and paranoid.  Slight knee soreness but I was appropriately sore everywhere.  Every little ache and pain will be analyzed.  I feel like I should go fully to minimalist shoes.  I think I'm ready for it.  It is very unlikely that Fructosin will ever give me problems.  If Paramin (Cal/Mag) gives me problems, I am in most likely in trouble.  Today was a planned rest day but I decided to do a junk run instead.  2 miles in 15:who cares.
Grade:Pass/0 credit/distance=2.0

12/1- Long run with the big boys.  Hung on for 11 miles then backed off but I may have made it another 3.  Hit 13.1 right at 1:35 then went easy for the next .14 then slammed a 6:22 to finish in about 1:42:30 (7:11 pace) on a moderate course that featured more hills in the first half.  Again, give me level terrain and a 2 day rest, I think I can do 20@7:15, in which case I can ATTEMPT a 3:10 marathon.  This was a good confidence booster.
Grade:A/2 credits/distance=15.0

PM- 2 mile junk run on Wisteria.  Naked!
Grade:Pass/0 credit/distance=2.0

12/2- Noon run on Lakeshore.  It's December and I ran shirtless (70 and sunny).  Went 6.5 miles plus a warm and cool.  Got off to a good start and held it for about 4.5 then struggled pretty badly in the last 2.  Finished in 48:37 (7:29 pace) and had to fight for the sub-7:30.  It seems that Paramin is indeed making me feel a bit tight and that is not a good sign.  At least I know that 1 of those won't hurt me.  Even with Fructosin, I still need to watch my sugar intake.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=7.0

Weekly summary:
Doing my best not to worry about the medical report.  I did manage to finish in the win column for the first time in 3 weeks despite a slow start. YTD: 1,896 miles.  Barring injury, the 2K is mine for the 2nd straight year.  My mileage PR of 2,092, set last year, is unlikely.
Distance=50.0/ GPA= 25.0/8=3.13

Monday, November 19, 2012

Training 11/19-11/25

11/19- Lakeshore 6.5 in 48:13 (7:25 pace).  Comfortable effort.  Still a bit of residual soreness in the legs but my engine was strong.  Even pace with comfortable 55 degree temps.  Only gripe was a bit of stomach cramps.  Half mile cool.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=7.0

11/20- Terrible performance!  3 miles in 24:26 (8:09 pace) with splits of 7:45-8:05-8:36.  Not quite sure what to make of this but the smart money is on cheating with the diet too much after Charlotte after I tried to reduce the Fructosin.  I will try to regroup tomorrow.
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=3.0

11/21- Lame interval workout at Vestavia.  1600-1200-800-400 plus a warm and cool.  Times were 6:26-4:55-3:16-85.  Very poor performance and YES, I slowed down yesterday so my training style is not the problem.  5K would have been high 21-low 22 which is an improvement over yesterday.  Tried some manganese afterward, which made things worse.  Oh well, at least I know it's not the answer.  I sent the hair sample today and should get the results in 2-3 weeks.  I don't expect to be much better tomorrow.
Grade:D/2 credits/distance=3.0

11/22- Thanksgiving run on Jefferson Trail.  Fast finish easy 5 in 34:57 (6:59 pace).  Last 1/2 mile in 3:02.  Last mile in 6:24.   Body is still too tight but I am clearly improving.  I will try to take 2 Thym Adren in the morning then none for the rest of the day.  We'll see what that does.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.0

11/23- So far, so good.  Another low-key 5 miler on Jefferson trail in windy, dreary conditions.  Finished with a time of 35:20 (7:04 pace) with a gradual unconscious pick up.  2 pills worked okay but the foot was sore in the arch area.  Put forth far less effort overall than yesterday.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=5.0

11/24- Travel day.  Planning to go long tomorrow.  Able to squeeze in a 3 mile junk run on Wisteria.  I ran it naked but felt fine which is a good sign considering that I stuck with 2 pills in the morning only.
Grade:Pass/0 credit/distance=3.0

11/25- Lakeshore 15 in 1:52:20 (7:29 pace).  Pretty solid on the surface but if you look deeper, it sucks.  My heart was just not into it and it was one of the few days that I would have preferred to stay in bed.  I got off to a good start and was doing pretty well up until Mile 13.  Mile 14 was a 7:53 and Mile 15 was an 8:12.  Decent workout overall but if this had been a race, I would have been worse than Charlotte.  Took 2 pills in the morning then a 1/4 after the run.  The 1/4 made me feel worse so the dosage must be cut again soon.
Grade:B/2 credits/distance=15.0

Weekly summary:
A pretty decent mileage total considering that it was a holiday week.  This was my 2nd losing week in a row and this one was not even close.  Let's hope that this will not be another prolonged slump.  I should get the medical report in about 2 weeks.  I've done all that I can.  It's in God's hands.  YTD stands at 1,846.  5 weeks and 1 day to go and I only need 30 MPW for the remainder of 2012.
Distance=41.0/GPA= 18.4/8= 2.30

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Charlotte Thunder Road RR

   It was a very good cycle up until about a week ago.  I had 2 hiccups during the week that related to my Thym-Adren and Cal/Mag issues.  Once again, I trained hard during the cycle but tapered properly and was plenty fresh enough on race morning.  There was little-no stress about this event.  I didn't care about this one nearly as much as my 10K attempt 2 weeks earlier.  I knew that it was NOT a PR course and I chose this event because I did not expect to be in PR shape after my debacle in Denver less than 2 months earlier. Moreover,  I have already achieved my lifetime goal for this distance. Charlotte and Asheville are the only 2 NC races that are comfortably within a days drive and Thunder Road certainly seemed to be the one with the most prestige so that's why I chose it.  I am now at State # 15 (60% done) with the Half 2 Run Challenge.

I took the whole day off work on Friday and drove up.  It's about 6.5 hours going straight through but I took 2 detours through my old stomping grounds in Clemson and Greenville, South Carolina.  I still like the area but I am not leaving Birmingham.  I am where I belong.  I finally arrived in Charlotte just before rush hour.  Fortunately, I was staying in the host hotel and certainly was not up for getting back in the car after such a long trip.  Dinner was a very tasty burger in the hotel lounge and I enjoyed a good conversation with a nice girl from Asheville.  Race morning went without a hitch and I felt pretty good warming up.  I decided that the all out attempt was on. Conditions were not the best but I've run in worse.  It was just below 40 degrees at the start with a 15 mph wind so the chill factor was sub-freezing.  I went with long sleeves and shorts and I was fine.  If anything, it may have been a touch warm towards the end.

I've run 17 half marathons and I would rate this one as the toughest of all.  The only other one that is comparable is ING Georgia in Atlanta (now Publix).  I don't think that there was a single spot on the course that was flat.  That's not an exaggeration.  I figured that I would have to add at least 2 minutes so in order to finish below 1:30, I would need to run the equivalent of a sub-1:28 on flat course.  Considering some of my recent workouts, it seemed to be within the realm of possibilities but realistically, it was unlikely.  A 1:31:xx or even a 1:32 would be a strong performance.

The start was in the heart of downtown but most of the course was through upscale neighborhoods with tree lined streets.  After a short incline, we turned to a steady downhill for the rest of the first Mile.  I hoped to bank some time and energy here.  The former held true.  I felt strong early and was confident that I would do well.  I hit the Mile marker just a bit ahead of schedule.  Mile 2 was almost all uphill but I was very pleased by how well I was holding the pace.  In Miles 3-4, it was net downhill but there were several rollers thrown in.  That's basically how it went for the whole course.  The miles that did not appear to be so bad based on the elevation chart probably had little net elevation change but it doesn't mean it's flat.  I was really trying to conserve energy here because I knew that Mile 5 looked tough.  Here are the early splits:
6:30 (6:30) all downhill
6:57 (13:27) mostly uphill
6:44 (20:11) looking good
6:50 (27:01) still near PR pace

In Miles 3-4, I felt a little more sore than I should have been but kept a good pace.  I had hoped to go relatively easy over the next 1.25 miles, which were all uphill.  My strength was slowly fading.  I kept hoping to get a break in the hill even if it was just for a tenth of a mile but it never came.  To make matters worse, we got near the top then had to turn off on another road which revealed even more uphill.  It didn't go back down until 5.25 miles.  As expected, Mile 5 was a little slow but I hoped to get back on pace over the next 2 miles, which contained more down than up.  When I could not get back under 7:00 pace in Mile 6, I knew that was in trouble.  I was aware that Miles 8, 12 and 13 were also almost all uphill.  Yes, there were some nice gradual downhill stretches but it seemed like every uphill was much steeper and on every climb, my pace fell off dramatically and left my body more and more beat up.  I was already in survival mode and barely more than halfway there.  It looked like I was headed for 1:32ish, which would still be quite respectable on this course.
7:15 (34:16) uphill, fell off 1:30 pace
7:04 (41:20) in trouble now
7:04 (48:24) bravely hanging on but can't handle more hills
7:23 (55:47) survival mode uphill.

I tried to regroup in Mile 9 and began feeling a bit better on a long gradual downhill straightaway but it would not be long before we went back up and the last 5K would be brutal.  I was thinking that I would be lucky to hold a 7:30 pace for the remaining 5K, which would get me to the finish at 1:33 and change.  Still not horrible but it's looking worse and worse.  In the middle of Mile 12, the course went back uphill and would continue all the way to finish line.  By this point, I basically resigned.  My body was shot and I was not risking injury by pushing it when there was nothing there.  We turned on to a street which revealed a steeper incline.  At this point, I was just jogging it in.  Finally, we had a brief downhill for about a tenth of a mile before a final slight incline for the last half mile to finish back downtown.  When I saw my split at 13 Miles, I knew that I would need to put some effort into the finish just to get under 1:35.  I lengthened my stride and managed to pick up the pace just enough.  I knew that I had it so I did not go nuts in the last 100.  I finished with legs that felt like steel beams in an official chip time of 1:34:55.  BAD!
7:20 (63:07) trying to regroup
7:23 (70:30) epic fade coming
7:34 (78:04) OUCH!
7:46 (85:50) it's almost over.
8:05 (1:33:55) I've quit.
1:00 (1:34:55) just enough (7:20ish pace for .14)

Final thought:
  Despite the weak effort, I really don't feel too bad about this one.  This was certainly not a good race by any stretch but on a level course with a more conservative early pace, I think I could have done a low-mid 1:32.  I went for the sub-1:30 but it just wasn't the course to do it even if I had my best stuff.   I'll consider it a pretty solid 10 Miler with a long cool down.  My body was clearly out of whack too but I got through it unscathed and live to fight another day.  In past years, I've had incredibly good luck on race day.  This year, not so much but here comes some heresy for my readers: I would rather feel good during training and not perform as well on race day than the other way around.  A race is only once a month while the rest of my life goes on in the other 30 days.  If I get lucky and pull out 1 good day after feeling lousy more often than not, it won't make me happy long-term.  I do not get depressed because of a bad run, I get depressed because my body chemistry is out of balance!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Training 11/12-11/18 (race week)

11/12- Day off work but conditions were dreary so it was an easy 8 indoors plus a tribute to the man formerly known as Ochocinco.  Finished in 59:55 (7:29 pace).  Pride got the best of me and I would not allow myself to finish over 60.  Fairly even pace (29:52-30:03).  Solid but unspectacular.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=8.5

11/13- Johnny's workout.  It's not easy to run speed with temps in the 40s.  Workout was 4x400, 800, 1600, 400.  1st 4 400s averaged a 75.x.  800 was decent at 2:47 but the Mile sucked.  I needed an 85 last laps just to get under 6:00 so I went for it then totally tied up and finished at 6:09.  Then Johnny made us run a 400 after only a 10 second rest.  I jogged the first 200 then sprinted home hard to finish in 86.  Average overall.  It feels like my dosage may be trending back up.  I don't know what to make of that but I don't like it.  This is ridiculous that 1/4 of a pill can make a significant difference but it's true.
Grade:B-/2 credits/distance=4.5

11/14- Planned rest day.  In full taper mode now.  Looking at my history, a hiccup during race week often bodes well for the big day.

11/15- AM.  2.5 mile progression run indoors.  Finished in 17:21 (6:56 pace).  Splits were 7:06-6:56-3:19 then added a cool down for another 0.5 miles.  Pace was fast on purpose because I really needed to test myself after the hiccup.  My body felt too tight.  Since it is a morning race, I must err on the low side with the pills.  I researched some on health forums and learned that extreme sensitivity is rare but not unheard of.  What I didn't find was what to do about it.  I've got to do something but not until after the race.  I will have 48 hours of rest until race time.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=3.0

11/16- Planned rest day.  Drive to Charlotte.  I had another hiccup yesterday that related to Cal/Mag issues.  Expectations are running pretty low for tomorrow.

11/17- Charlotte Thunder Road Half Marathon in 1:34:55 (7:14 pace).  Not a very good time but it wasn't as bad as it looks on the surface.  This course was murder!  More details to come later.
Grade:B-/4 credits/distance=14.0

11/18- Slow 3.5 indoors in 27:49 (7:57 pace).  Appropriately sore.  This is just about how I should feel after a half mary race effort.  Added a half mile cool at a pace barely faster than a walk.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=4.0

Weekly summary:
This ends my winning streak.  I had gone 7 straight weeks above 3.0, which is a new personal record.  It was a nice run but it's over now.  The lesson learned is that I need 2 fructosin pills per day long-term.  If I miss a dose every now and then, no big deal.  If I take the fructosin, I do not need extra magnesium and the Cal/Mag issue appears to be okay.  What to do about the Thym-Adren sensitivity?  Perhaps there's another enzyme that could help.  YTD: 1,805
Distance=34.0/ GPA= 25.5/9= 2.83

Monday, November 5, 2012

Training 11/5-11/11

11/5- 2nd day on only 2 pills.  7.5 miles near GMP.  Time was 54:40 (7:17 pace) with even splits.  I was still sore in the quads but as soon as I started, I knew that I was back and it sure feels good.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=8.0

11/6-  Easy 6 in 45:00 (7:30 pace). (22:22-22:38).  Standard issue workout with a discouraging development.  It is becoming apparent that 2 pills are not enough and 3 are too many.  Once again, I will be forced to cut pills in half.  Prediction:  I will be sensational tomorrow on 2.5 pills.  Maybe a time trial to test it.  Prediction:  2.5 pills will not remain the optimal dose indefinitely.  I was fine in an easy workout today but would have struggled in a tempo/interval or race.  I'm headed out now to what I hope will be a victory party for my guy in the election.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=7.0

11/7- Prediction was dead on accurate.  10K time trial in 39:44 (6:22 pace).  Here is a mini report:
Got to the track just after 5 PM after an uneventful day at work and got in a hasty 1/4 mile warm up and a few strides.  The plan was to go out at 95 seconds per lap and hold it as long as I could.  That would work out to a cushion of 1 second per lap in the bank.  I did not expect to lose it in the first 5K and I knew that I would be able to find it if I had a chance in the final lap.  Mile 4 and 5 would be key.  Stay at or at least close to a 6:30.  If I got to 8K at below 32:00, I knew it was mine.

First lap came through free and easy at 93.  Just a hair fast but nothing to worry about.  Just keep the effort even through the first Mile.  I continued clicking off laps in 94-95 and came through the first 4 at 6:16 still feeling quite comfortable.  Another 94 lap brought me to 2K in 7:50.  10 second cushion with 20 to go and it doesn't feel like I'm going to fade any time soon.  Again, nothing too exciting to report over the next 3 laps either as I came through 3K in 11:48 and lap 8 in 12:35.  Looking better and better.  All I have to do is run the next 3 in 6:30 each and I should have enough left at the end if it comes down to a final sprint.

By Mile 3, it finally began to hurt.  The pace was slowing just a tad but at the end of the lap, I was still doing 95-96s.  Just hold it right there.  Halfway home and the watch read 19:45.  Still looking good.  Another 5K in 20:15?  That's almost a 10 second slower pace.  By the end of lap 15, I felt my first trace of doubt as the previous kilometer was a 4:01 but it sure helped to see a 6:23 split for Mile 4.  Just hang on.  One more mile to hold this pace and you've got it.  No way that I'll lose it in the last 5 laps.  In Mile 5, I may have lost focus a bit but comfortably ahead of pace, it was beginning to feel a bit surreal.  Nobody else was out except for a few stray walkers and slow joggers and with each passing lap, I still had nearly a 10 second cushion.  8K came in 31:52.  8 ticks up and I could probably even go 5 in the red before the last lap.  I pushed as hard as I could but it was not a significant change in pace.  1 lap to go and the watch read 38:17.  It's in the bag now but keep pushing.  I crossed the line in 39:44 and did not realize until after the cool down that I had completed the last 5K in 19:59.  Amazing but not really a surprise.  I knew I was in balance and I've shown before what I am capable of when that happens.
Splits: 6:16-6:19-6:23-6:23-6:31-6:25-87= 39:44 (unofficial PR by :30).
Sure, I still want to get it done in an official road race but it counts in my book.  Mission accomplished.
Grade:A+/3 credits/distance=7.0

11/8- Easy 8 on Lakeshore in 59:20 (7:25 pace).  Felt strong. Hit 1750 on the year.  Good job.  Very few ill-effects from yesterday.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=8.0

11/9- Planned rest day.  FYI: I am 30 seconds faster over 10K than I was in January leading up to my great effort in Austin.  Does that mean that I could go sub-1:27 in the half?  Maybe so on the 3M course but it won't happen in Charlotte.  Anything below 1:30 would be outstanding on that course.
A 39:44 10K predicts a 19:08 5K and I am historically better at short distances.  I think that I am very close to sub-19 shape for 5K.

11/10- Gnome run with the big boys.  15 miles in 1:49:55 (7:20 pace).  Not a particularly hilly route but I don't think it's too much a stretch that with an even pace and pancake flat route, I can run 20@7:15. Must go easy tomorrow.
Grade:A/2 credits/distance=15.0

11/11- I planned on going slower today but my body did not want to.  Lakeshore 5 in 35:41 (7:08 pace) plus a mile cool.  Because this was such a short distance, it should not hurt me but I have to be careful not to do this very often.  This pace was "no man's land" as in too slow for tempo, too fast to be considered a MP run.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=6.0

Weekly summary:
One of my best weeks on record but can I hold it?  When will I have to adjust my dosage again?  The medical report should answer that soon.  In the meantime, I will continue to celebrate that 10K accomplishment. Charlotte is next week.  YTD: 1,771.  Should pass 1,800 next week.
 Distance=51.0/ GPA= 34.6/9= 3.84

Saturday, November 3, 2012

2012 Vulcan 10K RR

   I really felt like I did everything right.  I averaged 50 MPW for the previous 5 weeks since the debacle in Denver and squeezed in plenty of quality as well including a 4 Mile tempo faster than race pace.  Yes, I pushed myself to the limit but I tapered properly and felt plenty fresh on race day.

Race morning:
  Again, I woke up feeling fine (after taking 2 pills) and felt strong on the warm up.  I really believed that this was my day.  The weather was perfect (50s, sunny with no wind) so I went with a tank top and shorts.  As planned, I met up with Rebecca and we chatted a bit before the start.

Good clean start and settled into a solid pace early.  Slightly over 6, which was a hair fast but much of the first half mile was slightly downhill.  A couple of slower buddies were out there ahead of me but I would pass them just before the mile marker, which I hit just ahead of schedule.  We turned up a slight uphill early in Mile 2 and I was still holding the pace well but later in the Mile, things began to go downhill.  Sub-40 was starting to slip away and I knew that I would fall off pace on the hills ahead but if I could avoid a meltdown, sub-41 was looking like a good bet, which actually was the realistic goal coming in.  This course seemed tougher than I remembered.  Mile 3 began with a very slight uphill that was barely noticeable before we made the turn into Highland Park.  I still felt okay here (maybe 6:30s pace) but after about a quarter mile, running up that steady climb, I was shot. Unofficially, I was still under 20:30 at 5K but fading fast.  With the worst of the hills over, I expected my pace to improve a bit in Mile 4 but it actually got slightly worse.  Normally, I make my move on the steep downhill near the end of Mile 5 but that didn't happen today.  I was merely struggling to stay with my pack.  Ed passed me and Rebecca soon followed.  She encouraged me to keep pushing and stay on her shoulder.  If not for her support, I would have probably just jogged it in.  In the end, I managed a semi-respectable finish and I believe that I managed to CR (course PR from '09).  Gun time was 41:44.  Watch time was 41:42.  Chip was 41:32, not sure why.
Course was measured at 6.32 so I'll add 4 ticks to each mile and cut off 24 from the last:
6:15- 6:15  feel pretty good
6:28- 12:43  I won't break 40
6:56- 19:39 -uphill. won't break 41.
7:00- 26:39- may be over 42
6:47- 33:26- downhill, not much of a recovery
6:41- 40:07- should be done by now.
1:35- 41:42.

Final thought:
CHOKED!  No other word.  4 shots at the sub-40 barrier this year and I did not even come close despite the fact that BOTH my half marathon and 5K times predict it according to McMillan.  True, it was not realistic to expect to do on this course but I certainly was not expecting this either.  Even on a track, I don't think I could have done 41:15.  I was clearly off form with the pills and I knew it after the race (not before).  The tell tale sign is lack of flexibility when touching my toes.  I was about 3 inches above my shoe top when I normally can hit my toes.  I also got diarrhea and had to cut short my cool down.  At least I avoided it during the race so it could have been worse. I've been nailing my workouts in the evenings but often do not feel my best until afternoon.  I need to divide the doses differently if I want to run well in the mornings.  Let's hope that this was merely a 1 day hiccup and not another relapse.

A time between 41:30-41:59 for a 10K goes in the books as a "B" grade, which seems too lenient.  This was not an "above average" performance but it stands.  Perhaps I should tighten the scale to increments of 20 seconds.