Sunday, August 1, 2010

Technical Runs - it's like "sight fishing"

Ok ladies, sorry for the fishing analogy, but for my male friends.... A technical run that is planned, implemented, and run "to a T", is like "sight fishing" and catching that redfish when everything went as planned.  The other part of the analogy that occured to me on the run today,  for me, running a technical runs is what I love to do.  Back to the fishermen... once you learn to "sight fish" it's hard to go back to just casting for fish.  For me, although, I do some runs of "just running", the technical runs really get me excited about running.  Can't run these all of the time, because as you will see later in this post, my brain would explode.

In case you do not know, "sight fishing" is when you look into the water to see the fish.  When you see one, you have to plan your cast with the movement of the fish to get the bait in front of the fish, not hit him on the head with the bait, not cast behind him, etc.  You have to "present" the bait to him, and if you do it right ( I rarely do), you get to see him attack the bait.  This is where your skills continue, because you then have to "set the hook" at just the right time, to be able to "boat the fish."  While I am not very good at it, I do enjoy and appreciate the challenge of it.  My husband is a fishing guide ( - he can teach you, or it makes an EXCELLENT gift for your hubby for Christmas...just sayin).  He learned this technique many years ago, and taught me how to do it.  Since learning how to fish this way, I rarely want to go out and just fish.  I would rather go out and enjoy the challenge of making all of these things come together.  This is the same thing for a technical run.  I love to go out with a plan, and I really enjoy the challenge of trying to achieve the goal.  Today the plan came together and it made for a great day on the roads.

The plan - an 8 mile run with a little progression in pace.
1st 2 miles - just run, but planned around 9:30 pace, but "run by feel" the first 2 miles.
2nd 2 miles - pick up the pace to 9:20
3rd 2 miles - pick up the pace to 9:10
last w miles - pick up the pace to 9:00 or just under

The RUN:
1st 2 miles - mile 1 - 9:13 - thought - are you crazy - you know you can't "run by feel."  2nd thought - that would be a brutal progression run if I pick up the pace from here (started at 7:00am - it's 81 degrees with heat index of 92 degrees in South Louisiana).  So mile 2 was a "concentrated" "get on pace" mile.  Slowed it down - 9:45, for a perfect 2 mile split - 18:58 - remember the goal was 19:00.  Oh how sweet!
2nd 2 miles - 9:26 - ok...need to pick it up just a little - 9:22  - ok, a little over the goal, but in the ballpark.
3rd 2 miles - 9:10 and 9:10 PERFECT!  - I love it when a plan comes together.  During this 2 miles I remember how much I love a technical run.  I'm already on the 3rd set.  Wow - this run is flying by.  You see, I'm not great at math, so during these runs, much of the time, I am calculating my time.
It goes something like this:
*1st set - ok 9:30 and 9:30 ok this one is easy 19:00 min @ 2 miles
*2nd set - 9:20 and 9:20 = 18:40 not too hard, but now you have to add 19:00 and 18:40 to see where you need to be at 4 miles.  This one takes me a while, because I can't keep all of these numbers in my head.  Ok, finally get it, 37:40 at 4 miles, I was 37:48.
*Now, I have to add the 3rd set on to see where i need to be at mile 6.  37:40 plus 9:10 & 9:10.  Ok - 9:10 plus 9:10 is 18:20 add that to 37:40 and you get 56:00, if my math is right.  I get to this point at 56:08, I love this, can't believe it... just 2 more miles...I can do this, no problem.
*4th 2 miles - 9:00 and 9:00 or under - check my pace several times.  It's around 8:44.  Thoughts -  slow it down....well maybe I should just go with stick with the plan... you have a race next Sat....stick with the plan...8:52.  1 mile left - 8:53.  As I continue with my math, we were at 56:00 and I need to add the last 2 miles on....9:00 plus 9:00 or under, yay, another easy one...18:00 or under.  56:00 plus 18:00 = 74 = 1:14 total, for the progression run.  What did I do.....1:13:55!  This is why I love a progression run.  It goes by super fast.  When I'm not calculating, I'm enjoying my tunes, or working on keeping my pace right, but for me, most of the time I'm calculating the next 2 miles because when I get it figured out, then I forget it, and have to calculate again. 

Other thoughts during the run:
*Fri. - was a bad tempo run effort -6.5 miles total, but called it a day for the tempo,  after 3 miles of a 5 mile tempo run (8:21 for the 3 miles), really need a good run today.
*why is it that some days my "ear buds" stay in through the entire run, and other days they are constantly falling out? 
*I have really missed technical runs.  Haven't done much "concentrated running" since Boston training.
*Apple - I LOVE my nano, but you need to make the "touch adjustment" work while sweating profusely.  While you are at it, fix those ear buds so they don't fall out too.  Maybe you should send some researchers to the South to test the products while running here.  That testing in the west is not holding up to the Southern humidity.  Maybe send some of your "freshmen" researchers to the South for July and Aug.  Or, you could send some researchers that you want to "get rid of."  In the first week here, they will send you some great ideas of how to improve the product because they want to get out of the humidity in a hurry.  In the 2nd week, they will quit because it's too damn hot here.  So maybe you will get a solution to our problem, and you can get rid of the employee all within a 2 week period of time.  Just thinking.....
*Can anyone recommend ideas for me to learn to keep my hips tilted the correct way, correct alignment?  I have been working on posture - shoulders back and hips tilted forward,  for a long time, but it never seems to become a habit.
*progression runs reminds me of yoga and being/running "in the moment"  
*hubby surprised me with a Nike vest.  Wow!   that was exciting... it's kind of rare for him to do that.  Sweet!

This week - 40.5 miles running, 3 miles walking, a yoga class, 2 days of arm weights,  and several days of 10-17 min yoga stretching.
This Sat., I will be running the Burn Your Buns 5 mile race on a rolling hills course.  It will be HOT, hilly, and HUMID.  The good news....I'm pretty sure it will be a PR because I don't think I have ever run a 5 mile race.
Julie  has a nice giveaway going on - check it out.


Meg said...

Hi Ginny! One picture in the book, CHI Running, really helped me see how to move my legs and arms while running and this just put my hips, legs and feet into the right positions. It's worked for me ever since!

Jennifer said...

Great post Ginny. Love to hear you talk about fishing and technical running. You are so jazzed about it all it has a way of rubbing off on folks! Cheers!

HappyTrails said...

You are awesome, Ginny! Loved hearing about the fishing and the technical running - great work.
I always marvel at how you girls get out for good workouts in the incredible humidity and heat. WOW!
Have a great week!

Johann said...

Very nice post! Great way of describing everything. I love technical runs but also enjoy the "just runs".

Robbie said...

Loved your post!! I think I can stop laughing long enough to write this *big huge grin* here. I love reading articles of people who write exactly what they think or how they are definitely one of them!

Totally agree with Jen about your enthusiasm rubbing off on others. That's a definite for me! Good luck this weekend. Hope to "connect" sometime in August...I'm dying to!

Petraruns said...

Good work on the progression run - without my Garmin I just can't cope mentally with the maths so well done there.

Nice training week btw - am jealous!

Scarlett Elliewood said...

Loved this technical run report! I think it's humid here in Spain, but I'm getting nervous about spending the last week of August in Oxford, MS!

Julie said...

Hi Ginny,
I need to do more technical running! This was a great post and reminds me of a few more ways to spice up my limited training:)

You are a rock star for living in the south and training in the hot and humid summers! It has been pretty hot and humid here too! I know that you have it hotter in the south...I don't know how you do it!?! Keep it up:)

Also, thanks for the giveaway mention!

Scott Keeps Running said...

I love it when I KNOW I'm going to PR. ;)

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

seriously why do headphones only stay in some days?!

way to go on really following your splits, I've never done that and I am trying to start working on it for this next 1/2 marathon

Jill said...

I had to get over-the-ear headphones, those ones from Apple are not built for sweaty runners and about drove me to a mental institution! Way to get that great run, and I love the anology to fishing. I bet your husband has a blast with his biz...hoping that oil stops soon!!!!!!

Iron Mike said...

Yeah, pretty much any form of moisture cripples "touch" such a PIA.

Keeping track of miles and pace in a progression run does sound interesting and keeps you thinking. Nice pace on those last 2 miles.