The weather was beautiful after the race. There was a pancake machine – one of those round automated contractions that you see at Kiwanis Clubs and Rotary Clubs when they have the all you can eat pancake breakfasts. They also had krispy crème donuts and the other usual fare. I was good – no donuts – but I did have a large stack of pancakes. There was also the beer truck. A lot of Louisiana races have Abita beer but this was Budweiser. I had a small cup of the new Bud ‘Golden Wheat’ – it is okay.
We sat around on the tuff in the infield of the track stadium and swapped race stories. The camaraderie was great. After the race Terry and Eric were going their separate ways. Charles, Jim and I made it back to the house to shower up and then it was lunch time. We met Jim’s wife at the ‘New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood something or other’ and I had a shrimp po-boy. They also had the best soft serve ice cream that I have had in forever. I caught a lot of jabs from the crew as I went back for seconds.
Charles, Scott (Charles’s step son) and I made it down to the French Quarter. We checked into the hotel and Charles and I took a nap – yes we are old -while Scott went out to the quarter. I did not get too much of a nap – maybe an hour – but I felt so much better. I made my way to the quarter and found Scott at a club on Bourbon Street. There was so much Black and Gold. The Saints had lost on Saturday night and Southern Miss was playing in just a few hours. Charles met up with Scott and me about an hour later. We had a couple of drinks but nothing major.
We did the Bourbon Street thing for a few hours including dinner.
I took Monday as an entire day off for recovery. My legs were tired and my feet and Achilles tendon was sore – nothing major but I took the day off. On Tuesday I tried to run a fast 5 miler. I really wanted to see what my heart rate and perceived exertion would have been like if I would have followed my game plan on race day. I set the virtual training partner for 7 minute miles and I hit the trace with zero warm-up. The conditions were just about the same as race day and I pushed the pace. I only lasted one and a half miles at that pace and I cut the run short. I slowed and even walked for a few feet. There was no way that I could hold the 7 minute pace. I was amazed at what a difference a race makes. I can push myself so much harder on race day – but during training I just gave up – I threw in the towel. I clocked only 3 miles in somewhere around 24 minutes. I was a little frustrated but I knew that my legs were just tired. They hurt! They hurt in my calves and the bottom of my feet. My calves are almost never sore…
Being off from work I showered up and took a short nap during the afternoon. I got a text from Jim saying that he and Charles were going to meet up at the track just after 5 PM. I was feeling a bit more rested and decided to get a few miles in – I did not have a plan.
When I got to the track I saw Jim and Steve (the postman – he just finished up IM Arizona) running easily around the track. I joined them and they joked that they were not sure who I was and they were not going to let me run with them - Ironmen only – but then they saw it was me. Ha-ha. So us ironmen ran slow around the track devising our track workout. Charles showed up soon enough. I mentioned that many of the training plans that I have looked at call for Yasso 800’s. Last year I had also talked to Robin (the track coach) about these. Yasso 800’s are ½ mile repeats at your estimated marathon time – for example I would like to qualify for Boston with a 3:15. That would mean that I need to run the ½ mile repeats at 3 minutes and 15 seconds (a 6:30 minute pace). Jim said we need to work up to 10 repeats with a quarter mile easy lap in between. 10 repeats were not going to happen tonight but we gave it a shot.
Jim and I cranked out 3 good sets and then Jim had to leave. I got one more on my own. Jim said that we should be able to work down to 2:5X in just a few weeks – we will have to see about that! With the warm up and cool down I ended up with 7.75 miles (Charles’s knee was hurting him so we nixed the last lap) plus the 3 miles earlier in the day I got a total of 10.75 miles.
Lots of WU / CD with 4 x 800
On Wednesday I jumped on the bike trainer. I did not have any DVD’s but I was able to watch some television on the internet. This was more base building at a moderate pace – 45 minutes later I was covered in sweat. Not too much of a work out but I was meeting Jim later in the day for a run.
I arrived at Jim’s house and we had a choice of running the Billboards or the Power lines. Both of these are trail runs that are very hilly. I have not run either of these so we picked the Power lines – not because they are easier but because they are closer. We ran along the streets for just under a mile before we tackled the trail.
The Power lines are a swath of clear cut land next to the highway – obviously this was cut for the large telephone and power lines running north and south. Unfortunately this has become somewhat of a dumping ground and it was littered with all kinds of trash. It was not so much that you had to run on it or around it – it was just an eye sore. We started off and immediately had to secure our footing. The undulating hills were a challenge – both going up and down. And the down parts were criss crossed with streams of mud. Most of the crossings were hard packed sand and did not pose much of a problem. I soon found out that the ugly gray / black soil was the most hard packed and I started to pick these places for footing. However, there was one area that this was deceptive. I leaped a small stream and my right foot sank until about mid-calf – the other foot had no place to go and also went in deep. I managed to power myself out of the mud suck but I was now wearing black shoes and socks. It took us 30 minutes to complete the first 3 mile loop. This was challenging!
Jim and I completed one additional 3 mile loop – we were careful to avoid the known pitfalls. I still almost lost my shoes again but we wrapped up the hilly trail workout with 8 miles under our belts. I had actually run / walked 2 miles earlier in the day so I ended up with exactly 10 miles.
My next race is on New Year’s Day – the Steam Whistle 12k and it is right outside my back door!