Tuesday, December 18, 2007

As Maverick said to Goose...

So it rained here yesterday…a lot. The are two fundamental problems with rain in Southern California; the first is that the roads have little or no drainage so the water tends to sit in large puddles by the side of the road; where I run and the second is that the typical LA driver who is typing on their Blackberry, while sipping on a decaf chai skimmed extra hot with no foam latte, while tuning in the GPS, shouting at the kids in the back and not actually being able to see anything that is less than 7’ tall in their ‘lifted’ Escalade, likes to go into a complete state of panic when it rains. I am really not sure if this is because they seriously do not know how to drive in the wet or it’s because their car is getting dirty after spending $150 having it detailed...it's probably both!

Anyway what this meant was I was relegated to the treadmill. No problem thought I, my schedule called for 7 miles so it was going to be around an hour. I stretched and strapped on the usual gizmos; Garmin 305 and footpod and iPod/Nike+ and got going. Now during the last 5 months I have noticed that my pace has gotten slower and despite my gizmos I guess it had just not sunk in how slow I had actually become, it wasn’t until I glanced down at the dashboard that I realized I was plodding along at around a 9:30 mile! This is terrible I thought to myself, I increased the speed to 7mph or an 8:30 mile and to my surprise actually found that I had to work at it. I was shocked. The rest of the run I ran mile intervals between 8:30 and 9:30 with a penultimate mile of 7:41, with some aural support from the The Prodigy, until I had reached the target 7 miles, although my Garmin conked out at the 6.4 mark, I think I have a dicky USB port and it’s not charging it properly.

I checked back through my training log and specifically at the Santa Monica Classic 5k and The Wine Country Half Marathon I ran in May and the San Diego Marathon I ran in June; now while these were obviously at race pace I was shocked to see that the average pace for each of these races was: 6:38, 7:32 and 8:30 respectively and here I was struggling to maintain an 8:30 pace every other mile on a treadmill for only seven miles!

I really have no idea where this drop in pace has come from; maybe it’s the longer distances I am covering, maybe it’s the fact that I never got fast again after my injury or maybe it's something else but one thing is for sure if I want to complete the Leona Divide in under 10 hours I’ll need to work on my speed!

Tomorrow calls for mile intervals which really should be run on a track, the problem is the local High School track is being resurfaced so I think I will run hills instead and see what I can make of it…boy do I have some work to do!

I feel the need! Do you?


  1. holler! sooo...do you use a treadmill in your house (so that it's always calibrated the same) or one at a gym? b/c i've found that the treadmills are pretty much all off as far as pace goes. the one in my parents house is too slow-the one i was on yesterday at the gym was too fast. etc. anyway, just one possibility. enjoy!

  2. You rock! There is nothing I hate more than speedwork :-( Rock out!

  3. The only way to run (race) fast is to run (train) fast!

  4. Running outside in Seattle is similarly challenging. Even though it rains here on a regular basis, local drivers haven't learned how to deal with it. As an added benefit, it doesn't get light until almost 8 in the morning, and it is dark again by 4:30. No wonder I log so many miles on the treadmill.

    As soon as I return to running, I hope to feel the need...


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