And should we die before our journey's through, happy day all is well. We then our free from toil and sorrow too, with the just we shall dwell...
My legs were still sore today, but not as sore as yesterday. I could walk down the stairs without the urge to scream. My intuition told me they will not get any worse from running 15 miles with a 5 mile tempo in the middle. I thought it would give me a nice "big workout" (term borrowed from Tinman). I think he is on to something with that. Best marathoners train in a number of different ways. But one thing in common is that they frequently run for 90+ minutes at once. It could be Zatopek's 40x400, or it could be Viren's 50 mile jog around a big lake, or it could be something more conventional - 20 miles with 10 hard at the end. There is a common theme around my good marathons - frequent and properly balanced runs of 90 minutes or more.
So I ran with Jeff to the end of my 10.04 course, then back to the start of the 5 mile tempo. It started to get warm. My legs were feeling the pain. Jeff noticed that my stride was shorter than his. Normally it is longer. I did not have my normal quad power, so I had to compensate with higher turnover. Nevertheless, we managed about 7:00 average for the first 8.7 miles of our run. I had second thoughts about the tempo, but figured I could slow down to whatever I needed to be able to finish it, and whatever I got would be a benchmark of my current level of recovery.
Splits by the mile - 5:51 - 5:47 (11:38) - turnaround 14:33 (2:55) - 3 miles 17:25 (2:52, 5:47) - 5:47 (23:12) - 5:46 (28:58). Jeff was running strong around 3, and I thought he might drop me, but then he ran out of gas and fell back a bit on the last mile. The run fell tough. I think there were several things that made it so:
- pain in the quads - every step hurt, not much, like a mosquito bite maybe, but this makes it hard to concentrate
- loss of power in the quads - this a big deal for me. I have thought about this issue for a while. My opinion is that one's ability to balance the quad and the hamstring well is a function of the condition of the lower back. A more biomechanically talented runner (minority of the runners) will have the lower back in proper balance and will use quads and hamstrings in a more effective proportion. A less biomechanically talented runner (majority of the runners) will have issues in the lower back that will force him to rely on the quads more. Thus he will never negative or even -split a marathon without running below his potential because even though he may have the fuel reserves left in the second half, his quads are partially disabled due to the cumulative pounding impact in the first half, quads being the primary shock absorber, and he cannot do much without them. Whereas the other type of runner does not suffer as much from the loss of quad power because his hamstrings are better utilized, and they are not a major shock absorber, so if they have the fuel in the second half, they can go.
- having run 8.7 miles earlier
- lack of glycogen from the marathon 4 days ago
So I was pleased with the run. Finished the rest barely fast enough to keep the 6:40 guy off our backs - 1:39:41 for 15.04.
Ran with the kids in the evening - total of 2.5.