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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Middendorf's Manchac ten mile race recap

This race last year was the first time I ran sub 8's in any race except 5k's. It felt amazing! This year...not so much. This is my third under-performance in a row, which sure sounds like I'm doing something wrong.
And I am. Last week I ran a half, followed by two speedwork sessions this week in an attempt to get faster (still sucking at them, by the way). The result? I had lead legs from mile one. I could barely lift them!
The race is about 45 minutes away in Manchac, Louisiana, so far in the middle of nowhere that doesn't think it exists. Hence my choice of a my warmest, thickest T - the kind you never wear because by the time it's cold enough for the thickness, you need long sleeves - for a race that was in the 80's and full sun. The drive over was nice, and not too early since the race started at 8. I tried to document the sunrise on the drive across the spillway. Look how bright blue the sky was by 7:15 am!

Lake Ponchartrain
Sun peaking through the cypress swamps
Close to Manchac

They couldn't find my registration.
We started a little late and since the race starts straight up a hill (bridge, I mean, we just don't have hills in Louisiana), I shrugged off my slow pace. But by the end of the first mile I realized that I wasn't getting any speedier. I decided that was OK; I'd run about 7:15's and try to pick up the pace at the turn around. I reasoned that it might just be that I needed to warm up. The course is completely in the sun and my head started baking a little. I knew at mile 3 this was a throw-away race: I just could not get into it. Luckily just then a fellow ran up to me and said, "Hi, I'm Kenny, I'm going to run with you and chat awhile, and I'm not going to hit on y'all because I'm gay."
Kenny is the camera-ham in green. Nice legs, Gracie.
So! Kenny and I ran together for most of the remainder of the race. I lost him between miles 6 and 7, but he was entertaining company although his pace slowed and held me back a little. I didn't mind because I thought we'd probably both speed up at the turn around.
Hello, headwind! I guess I didn't realize we'd had a brisk tail-wind the entire first 5 miles, so the last 5 were straight into the wind. I increased my effort, but I only barely held the same pace. I was by myself for most of the second half, and kept basically the same position the whole way. I finished in 1:12:18 by Garmin estimate, 6th female and far slower than I intended to run.
I suck.
I think I will have a few easy weeks (including the Jazz Half Marathon, but I'm running that in costume so it's no pressure! It's Halloween weekend) then buckle down to a training plan.
Any training plan suggestions? I think my goal race will be the Louisiana Marathon in mid-January, but the plan has to incorporate two marathons as long runs because I already have two on my plate.  I like plans with running every day or almost every day because when I take days off my legs get oddly sore in the front (no idea why this happens).


  1. I would dump the twice a week speed work. Perhaps this might work:
    MON: Easy
    TUE: Speed work
    WED: Easy
    THU: Medium run (9-14 miles) @ marathon pace (use first two miles for warm-up)
    FRI: Easy
    SAT: Long Run
    SUN: Off

    The easy days give you a chance to recover. You can also substitute some other cross-training (cycling perhaps) on an easy day.

  2. I've typically created my own running plans, but this go around I'm using the "Advanced Marathoning" 55-70 mile plan, 12 wk plan.
    (The book offers "up to 55 miles, 12 wk or 18 wk plans, and also a 55-70 mile, 18 wk plan)

    Have you tried it before? It's 6 days of running each week.

  3. Kenny sure looks like a happy fellow! I'm sure you'll get your training figured out for your upcoming races!

  4. Kenny sounds like fun, but a little odd...I guess I never really thought of a road race as a meat market!

    I agree with happy feet...the Advanced Marathoning plans are very solid.
    You can also look up Pfitzinger on line.

    I really want to Start to consistently run like 40-50 MPW, when I am able to run at all... I have such grand plans!

  5. Kenny is funny! How random! It seems like you have a pretty full plate! You already have two marathons before January!?

    I am only training 4 days a week right now, but am doing hiking or other cross training on two of the other days and it seems to be working out good for me!