Let's start with the blog campaign message for Devine Racing - pay your runners! Any ideas of the most effective way to get the money out of them? I find this feet dragging on the pay check particularly upsetting. It is not just a matter of a few hundred or a thousand dollars to feed the starving runner ( neither Nick, nor Steve, or Hobbie are rolling in dough), it is a matter of respect. We talk about The Zone referring to the last 6 miles of a marathon. Those guys quietly put themselves in The Zone every day to run as well as they do except there is no marching band to cheer them up or volunteers handing out drinks. They come home, they are still in The Zone and they have to do what everybody else does. The pay check for this is very minimal, losing the kick cuts it in half, hitting the wall with a mile to go can mean no paycheck that day after all the work. Sometimes it is 5 really good runners, the money goes 3 deep, and someone will have to go home empty handed. So when it comes, it is a hard earned treasure. I personally value the paycheck a lot more than a trophy. If I want a trophy, all I have to do is find a race that is sufficiently non-competitive. With the paycheck, there is no cheating - you have to be good to get it. And you bring something home, it helps pay the bills. I cannot quite put it in words, but I feel there is something morally wrong in intentionally taking your time to pay the runners while the money earns interest in the bank for you instead of your runners.
As for the training, Ted is alive again, and we able to lure Nick McCoombs into coming to run with us. Ted ran easy, Nick and I did 6x1 mile on the trail alternating directions with 200 meter recovery in between - very slow jog, about 1:40 or so. The target pace was 5:20. I got the inspiration for this from analyzing the training of Chris Rogers. I noticed that while not being fit to do so, he would run at 6:29 pace on a hard course, and call it easy. I wondered why, then realized this is probably how fast he ran in college on on his easy runs, and the memory of that was driving him. In this case, it was doing him harm, but I was inspired by the idea of building a muscle memory to trick the body into thinking 5:20 is threshold.
We did 5:16.7 - 5:17.1 - 5:17.9 - 5:19.2 - 5:21.2 - 5:19.2. The pace kept getting more and more uncomfortable for me, Nick was fine. After 4, I decided to run the 5th one a bit easier. We hit the half in 2:42. I felt so much better. Then I was able to push in on the second half in 2:39. On the last one, I decided to follow the same approach. We hit the first quarter in 1:22, then 1:21, that felt so much more comfortable. Then the final 0.5 hard. Steady pace - 1:18, 1:18. That felt like a near death experience (as opposed to just very hard). Afterwards, I told Nick and Ted the workout overall was comfortably painful. Nick remarked than only an endurance athlete would know what that means.
Ran with the kids in the evening + another 1.5 with the double stroller. Benjamin went through all 18 gears of a semi truck starting out at 9:30 pace and finishing at 6:40. His last mile was 7:16, and his last 0.5 was 3:25.