It has been an awesome week for several reasons. (No, I did not win a lottery.) One reason is the 160K training per week is not elusive anymore. Second, both high volume and speed were successfully incorporated into my training with positive results and thirdly, winning two (2) events in a race last Friday.
I remember taking a mental note during my last post on my desire/wish to reach a high mileage the week before tapering. Last week was rather uneventful as it was a rest cycle after 2 weeks of priority training. That is not to say I did not run. Rather, my mileage did not reach a triple digit. The priority was rest after all. It worked. You break down your body but make sure you rebuild it again. Rest is an indispensable part of training.
To reach my goal mileage (I did run more than 160K this week), I had to run almost everyday. That meant running a minimum of 10K in the morning after I sent off my two (2) kids to school and at least another 10K after office. The goal was to reach a minimum of 20K per day. So I started Monday (even as I ran last Sunday) all the way up to Thursday morning. Thursday PM was spent resting since there was a race the next day. Friday.
I fully understand now the sacrifice by elite or competitive runners in training to win their goal races. (This is not to say I am one of them. Far from it.) Obviously their training has to be structured but not to the point of boring. I learned to say NO to invitations which would eat up my sleep time. No time for extracurricular activities. I avoided watching UFC as well :) After running in the PM, gym and taking a bath, I had to make sure my kids had done their assignments. I hit the sack around 9PM just so I would be able to wake up at 5AM and be able to hit the road before 6AM and be back around 7AM to prepare for work. If you are like me, I hate routine but somehow you have to learn to put up with it. After all, if you want something you simply have to work for it. One thing I noticed is that I was not sleepy after running in the morning. Perhaps, my body had adjusted to it for the past few weeks. Suprisingly, there were mornings that I felt good and it was normally expressed in speed sessions. What years have taught me is to listen to my body and let it dictate the quality of my run for the day.
The highlight of the week is winning two (2) events last Friday. A 3k sprint and 400 meter track run both of which I never trained for. I won both overall. A least, the cash prizes would help defray the costs involved for BDM160 and 102 :). Man, both events could make one puke (not that I did) after running it. The intense pressure was something I have not experienced before. Yes, it was short but it could make you faint if you overdid it. 300 meters into the 3K sprint, my Garmin registred a pace of 3:30 and I knew I had to accelerate just to reel in the lead runner who was 200 meters ahead. If I was hurting, I knew he was hurting too. It showed when he grabbed a cup of water at the turn around point. I did not. That gave me confidence to surge and overtook him in the last 1KM. If you overtake someone, make a strong statement by not looking back to demoralize your competitor. It was funny that I even had this mantra of "pain, pain, pain". Sort of reminding me that it would be painful. It was obviously. The next event for top management - 400 meters, I barely won it as my legs were fried after the 3K:). Recovery run of 11K in the afternoon. The run was organized by the government's Department of Health for Central Luzon in celebration of the heart's month. There were 22 agencies that participated. Pictures later on. What an experience for one morning alone! :)
Just like life, schedules sometimes do not go as planned. My Saturday was pathetic as I spent the whole day nursing two very sore calves and all I could do was walking to loosen up in lieu of running (the schedule was 30K). Obviously this was due to lack of specific training for the Friday's event which is something I would never do again :) My dilemma then was how I would manage to run 70K (already ran more than 90K during weekdays) to meet my quota for the week. There was clearly no point in forcing my body to run yesterday and I doubted it very much whether it would be fruitful or of quality. The only day left is apparently Sunday. I just hoped that when I woke up my calves would be okay to run the 70K. My sleep was not without slight trepidation.
The alarm set off at 4:40AM. My calves were still sore but not like yesterday. Just for a good measure, I checked my heartbeat to see whether I was well rested. It registered 40 beats per minute. So I rechecked. Same thing. That was good. My lowest bpm was 37 a few years ago. I was to meet some runners at around 5:30AM. Not one of them though was scheduled to do 70K. The longest was 32K by my teammate Precy. A cousin of Patrick (Clark Road Runners) who came from California and training for a marathon this March, asked me to join her for 21K. After a few kilometers, I knew then the pace and the hilly route were not what I planned for the day. The pace was faster than I anticipated. It was okay though. No worries.
After 21K, I rejoined my teammates Precy and Bles. Precy had to do another 11K. We just cruised until it was over. My typical long run metamorphosed into something I did not plan. So the next 38K or so was done accidentally in intervals of 18 x 2.2K around the Clark Parade Ground (venue of Fat Ass) at race pace (for BDM160K) under the heat of the sun with average 2-minute breaks. No walking. This was my best pre-taper week so far even as my calves cooperated beyond my expectation. It crossed my mind to do a 50 miler but I wanted to end my run feeling good.
It seemed everything worked out fine this week despite some unexpected turn of events. My energy this week was higher than usual and remained constant even for today's 70K. I just hoped the same conditions for BDM 160 and thereafter BDM102. Yes, one can mix both volume and speed. The next 2 weeks will be alloted to fine tune some things.
Jon (feeling confident than last year's BDM102 and now looking for the TV remote control :)