Sunday, November 5, 2006

Exceeded Yet Another Goal

On Thursday I passed my goal pace of 12 minutes per mile for the 3-mile daily walk, today on the long day I bettered my 11:33 pace by 33 seconds. In addition I also bettered 12 minutes per mile on the whole 8-mile long walk.

I didn't start out the day with these goals in mind. In fact I wasn't feeling up to doing the walk at all when I started. That fast 3-mile walk on Thursday got my knees aching and since I have had knee problems before I didn't want to push it so I took Friday off. On Saturday I went to Cal Tech with my wife, Rosie, and worked out with the Southern Cal Walkers. There weren't many people there because they were staging a one-hour postal on Sunday. I wasn't up to competing and wanted to stay on a marathon schedule. In any case, doing some accelerations on the track gave me confidence that I could do a long walk. In addition, I changed the lacing on my shoes to snug up the heel now that I don't have blisters to deal with. This morning I couldn't make up my mind if I wanted to do a full 8-miles or cut it short. My nephew, Joshua, is back to running after his shin accident and he was up to doing 8-miles. Anyway, I took off fast figuring that I'd stop when I felt like it.

Here's how it went:
Mile 1 - 11:06
Mile 2 - 10:55
Mile 3 - 10:58 * New PR for 3 miles 33:00 minutes, Average Pace - 11:00 Minutes per Mile
Mile 4 - 12:28
Mile 5 - 12:26
Mile 6 - 12:51
Mile 7 - 12:42
Mile 8 - 12:16
Average Pace - 11:58 Minutes per Mile * New PR for 8 miles
Total Workout - 1:35:46

I knew I started too fast and was pleased with the time on the first mile. The second and third mile surprised me, I didn't feel like I was pushing that hard. On the fourth mile the heart rate monitor got up to 180 bpm and the it the weather was really warming up. Hot and dry, great. I was also walking with the breeze so it seemed even hotter. I decided to slow down, maybe four miles would be enough for today. However, that slightly slower pace was enough to recover. At one point on mile four a great looking blond woman smiled at me and yelled out that I walked like a woman. "Oh yeah?" I yelled back, "try to keep up with me." I'm glad she didn't take me on on it because I was getting really tired at that point. The next game I decided to play was to see how far I can go in an hour, just to see what would have happened if I had entered the Southern Cal Walkers' event. By the hour mark I was at around 5.25 miles--good, but not great. Uh oh--with the hot dry weather and the extra effort I was putting into this walk I ran out of Gateraid. I only filled up two 8-ounce bottles and that was obviously not enough. At that point I figured that even if I crawled the rest of way I'd still have a pretty good time so I relaxed on miles six and seven, yet still did better than the 13 minute per mile pace that was my goal pace just a few weeks ago. Finally I gave it one more push on the last mile, just enough to finish strong but not exactly a 100% effort.

So what's up next? If things go as planned my nephew and I will do a slow 26 miles next week--just to get a feel for going the distance and to make up for lost workouts. My goal is to finish it without blisters and feel good when it is over.