A.M. Finally I got around to doing a scheduled speed workout. It did help that Jeff wanted to do a tempo. I decided I was going to become a boltun, which is the masculine form of boltushka. Both words mean a talkative person in Russian. For me, being a boltun means I am not going to schedule any speed work unless somebody is doing it with me, and even then, go his pace even if he is slower. The rationale behind it is that even though my muscles and cardio can handle pushing the pace every other day fine, my nervous system subtly becomes worn out. The lack of muscular fatigue does not help, either, because it tricks me into thinking I am good to go for another workout too soon. With a partner, the nervous system will get taxed less. If he is slower, I can move up front and pull him and still be OK. If he is faster, I can draft - the muscles will work harder, but the brain will not. If he is an equal match, then we'll trade quarters, and the brain will be working half the time.
After yesterday's experience I was confident the crocs were good enough for a 15 mile run. Jeff's first question when he saw them was if they stay on your feet. They actually do quite well. We warmed up a few miles, then started the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo. The plan was to run side by side for about 0.5, then I would move up front and pull Jeff at whatever pace he thought was right the rest of the way. Jeff is still not quite in his top shape after his injury, normally we just trade quarters. So we did the first two quarters in 1:24. After that I accelerated to move up, but forgot to ease off once I was there. So the next quarter was 1:20. Then I eased off to 1:24, 5:32 for the mile. Jeff seemed to be doing OK, so I ran the next mile in 5:30 at a steady pace hoping that maybe we could beat the 5:30 guy. But then Jeff started struggling and we backed off some. 13:51 at the turnaround, we lost quite a bit hitting both quarters before and after in 1:26. Doing a 180 in the dark over by that gate is a bit tricky.
16:40 at 3 miles. 22:17 at 4. Then Jeff struggled on the micro-hill - quarters of 1:27 and 1:26, then I told him we needed to run sub-5:40 to break 28:00, so he sped up a bit, and we closed with 1:24 and 1:23 to finish the 5 miles in 27:57.
Ran back with Jeff to his house, then the additional distance to make the total of 15.
More notes on the crocks - the pluses are that the form feels great, the foot comes off the ground quickly, the fatigue is less noticeable, the foot lands on the toe, and the shin muscles are working very well, better than in any other shoe I have ever worn. The minuses are that my big toes do not like the feeling of rubber pressing against them, The side of my foot hits the side attachment clip of the back strap on the sharp turns at fast speeds, and the extra rotation of my right foot causes it to rub against the top edge of the shoe which resulted in a minor blister. Plus their durability is not that great. After only 25 miles I am already seeing wear marks in the toe area. No wear marks on the heel, a very good sign. So far, I am encouraged to try Vibram Five Fingers, which should have all of the advantages of crocs but would hopefully address the disadvantages. Plus, being able to use the toes more freely should help.
P.M. Crocs again. 1 with Julia in 10:27, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:10. She said: "There is no way I can catch the 9:00 girl" as she closed 10 seconds on her in a quarter. She repeated that half-way through the next quarter in which she closed the remaining 10, and added another 3 seconds on top of it. Afterwards, she was finally convinced that the 9:00 girl was not that hard to beat, and put another 17 seconds on her in the next quarter closing in 1:58. Sometimes our perception of reality is not correct.
Another 2 with Benjamin in 17:39. He is racing on Saturday, and he said before the run that he did not want to run faster than 8:50 pace. He ended up being right on, which took a lot of self-restraint. Added another 0.5 by myself.