Saturday, March 19, 2011

Winter Pickle #3 and Training Update

I ran the third and final Winter Pickle this morning and somehow pulled off another PR. The weather was perfect--51F and sunny. I was able to wear shorts for the first time this year (with a long sleeve tech shirt and short sleeve t-shirt on top). I also wore my Zensah compression sleeves and used my Vibram KSO Trek's.

Just like last time, I ended up at the starting line again and was the 4th person across the line. However, unlike last time, I held myself back and just ran my own run. There was a 10 year old boy who I remembered from last time who was the first across the start, and he stayed in first for about 1/2 mile when he finally lost his breath. He was my pacer for a good bit of the last pickle because once he runs out of steam, he's at just about my perfect casual pace, but this time, he fell back. At least he was having fun and was he was definitely excited to have first place for a short time. It's fun stuff like this that makes these runs more interesting. Most people at the Pickle runs are just there for a good time. The people who win the prizes are not whom you would expect and they are of varying ages and abilities. You just need to be good at predicting how long you will take and after the third pickle, you should have a pretty good idea. Well, not me. I still predicted high. My prediction for this one was 44 minutes and 56 seconds, but my finishing time ended up at 38 minutes 58 seconds, almost 6 minutes faster, and 3 minutes and 16 seconds faster than my second Pickle.

One of my personal highlights for this run was when I realized I had energy left in the tank at about the 3 mile mark. I kicked it up a gear and took off and had the next mile and a half of trail all to myself, just the way I like it. Go figure, the photographer was hiding back here, below a short ledge, and I had fun showing off as I jumped off the ledge and put my arms in the air. Hopefully he got the picture, but either way, it was fun.

This past week was a pretty light training week. I only ran on Sunday (with the trail runners from Fast Tracks) and Wednesday (my morning off of work, where I ran the Valley Forge River Trail and its side trails.) I had a strength workout on the calendar for Monday but I had to skip that as I had some sort of sinus pain that had me off balance and light-headed. At least I got the Abs and Core workout in on Friday. My next two weeks will also need to be pretty light, as I have the Global 10K on Saturday, and then the Tyler Trail 10K the following week. I did not realize all 3 of these events would be back-to-back and my coach is not all that thrilled about that either. Tomorrow, my coach has me scheduled for a 1 hour free run--no GPS, no heart-rate monitor, and he wants me to run somewhere I've never been before. I've never really done this before, but I look forward to it. After next week, the training plan will officially be over and I will be back to doing my own thing. I am still trying to decide if I want to continue with the coach for a few more months since I have a lot of things coming up, but I am in no rush to make a decision. I think I want to enjoy a few weeks without a schedule and just see where I go from there.

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