Friday, October 23, 2009

Summer of Speed II Post Mortem

Seeing as the fall leaves are committing suicide by the handfuls outside my window leaving my lawn looking like a scene from Jonestown, I guess I should take the time to wrap up my Summer of Speed 2 (SOS2). At least, before it snows.

Now I have an awful habit of making fun of things that should not be made fun of. This might explain why I’m sitting in my home working by myself in a job that requires very little actual human interaction. Isolation! Maybe it’s not a coincidence. So, before we go any further, I promise not to fill this post full of off color Jonestown references. Not Guyana do it.

I am here to review my Summer of Speed 2 goals set back in May when a big, wide, never-ending world of summer was at my doorstep. The summer was my fartlek. I’d pet it and feed it and dress it up in funny sailor outfits and walk it around with a big red balloon and an ice cream cone. You know, normal stuff.

Now, as I look back at my goals and results, I have a sweet but slightly acrid and burning taste in my mouth. Like I just drank some Cherry Kool-Aid with….never mind.

Results? Mixed.

Rhetorical questions? At least one more.

Numbers? Of course, numbers:

SOS2 Goals:

5k goal: 18:00
10k goal: 40:00 (and run my first one ever!)
Half-Marathon goal: 1:29 (and competitively race my first one ever!)

Recorded Times:

5k result: 18:22 (new PR but goal not met) FAIL
10k result: 40:24 (auto PR but goal not met) FAIL
Half-Marathon result: 1:28:53 (auto PR) PASS!

I realize those big red FAILs make the results look very Viperian in nature. But, I have to be honest. I set a PR in all three distances (two are auto PR’s though) but did not meet my goal in 2 of the 3. If I’m allowed one more rhetorical question, why?

[Serious paragraph portion of this post]
FAILure resulted from trying to reach two many disparate goals all at the same time. My training got a bit muddled as one run I was working on my 5k speed, the next run had me focused on the half-marathon, and a third run had me fartleking like a motherfartleker for no obvious reason. I think I stretched myself too thin (something that, if you knew me, would seem impossible) trying to obtain three unique goals all at once. My half-marathon goal was met. I believe my 10k goal would be in serious jeopardy if I ran one again tomorrow (the only result was from May just after announcing the SOS2) judging by leg #2 (6.2 miles) of the Detroit Marathon relay which saw me finish in 39:55 after a 6 mile “warm-up.” However, can’t count it. The point is, the only goal I still don’t feel good about is the 5k goal of sub 18 minutes. Attempting to go from 18:30 to below 18 minutes on only one day of speed work a week was a bit unrealistic. I’m smack dab in the middle of the Laws of Diminishing Returns when it comes to running. I don’t see big improvement gains any more. Instead, the time rock moves only a small amount and only after much straining and grunting and 2-4 sports hernias. I’ll take the PR and keep working at it with the realization that, for a 38+ year old dude with a full time job, two kids, and the weight of being Handsome in America weighing on his shoulders, it may take awhile to get there.
[/End serious paragraph portion of this post]

I’ll spend the winter going over my SOS2 strategy detailed in my patented 22 step process LQ8TMLRARMEMCATMGFMRRK. Maybe I missed a step? I don’t remember fighting a bear (step #18) but I did get into a slap fight with an ornery blue jay. Could that be it?

It’s grade time. Last year I received Pi. This year, a Lethal Weapon 2.

Mildly successful but ultimately forgettable

Until next year, consider the SOS complete. I may still jump into a race before the end of the year (I got my eye on a pretty little 10k in early December, for example.) In 2010, I may need to mix up my training regimen to re-energize my summer. A whole new paradigm to inject some life in this stale format. Something like…SOS3???

Yes, I’ll keep drinking the Kool-Aid until F.M.S. is stiff as a board.

Happy trails


Meg Runs said...

Thanks for this and sorry about your summer goals but at least you two spent some quality time together, right? Sailor suit?

Jamoosh said...

I can tell you from experience it is very hard to have training goals in two significantly different distances at the same time. That said - "one minute" - you were less than 60 seconds from meeting all your goals. That's got to count for something.

Jess said...

Hmm I think your serious paragraph hit on something important. Training for a 5K and half marathon PR are two totally different beasts. Interested to see how you'll switch things up for SOS3

Ace said...

I like the big impossible ridiculous goals. PRs and goal times in every race distance imaginable, why not? I say go with the Leo Getz model of goal setting. Whatever goal you want Leo (SOS III) Gets.

RazZDoodle said...

The 3rd sequel always sucks. See Godfather 3.

Just sayin'...

BrianFlash said...

Impressive times all the same. Obviously SOS2 worked.

Why focus on one particular race? Keep running them all! You probably need to throw in an oddball race too - like a seven miler or something crazy like that.

Spike said...

F irst off, nice job w/ 3 PRs
A lways remember the good times
I ts not just about the time
L east you forget.

that said, are we going to do some Boston training together? I mean, I've practically moved into your garage.

Adam said...

[serious part of comment] Yeah, while I still am 10 years younger than you, I sometimes wonder when I will no longer be able to crank away at PRs. I wonder if it will be as much 'fun' to know that my faster years are behind me. Hrmmm. Makes me want to BQ more than ever [/serious part of comment]

Maybe you could look into some sort of age grading for PRs / every day life events. "Well, I pee'd my pants today, but didn't poop them. I'm a winner!"

Chad Sayban said...

A well put together review of SOS2. However, I'm forced to agree with RazZDoodle, the third of a trilogy usually leaves an unfortunate stain.

Katie A. said...

Wow! I am going to have to agree with Jamoosh on this one! You did alright this summer! And I think you should count that 10K during last weekend, weren't you running through Detroit? That should count for something!
Forgettabout the others, I am a sucker for trilogies..can't wait for SOS III!

B.o.B. said...

Rolling on the floor with the "Not Guyana do it" remark. Ahhh poking fun at mass suicides is always classy and comical.

I think you did great over all and you can get em next summer.

X-Country2 said...

Mel Gibson used to be smokin'! Too bad the crazy took over.

Viper said...

You wear those FAILs quite well. Great job in the summer of speed. Cheers!

Kristina said...

If you do a prequel next summer, does that make it okay to get slower?

Running and living said...

Hey, I thought the goals for the 5K and 10K were to run 18 and 40, which you did. It's PASS and PASS in my book!

sRod said...

Congrats on those speedy times! Nothing to be not proud of.

SOS3? Is this going to become like the Saw series? Because that series should have ended a long time ago. just saying.

Stuart said...

Interesting post...yes I am still lurking!

I have just put together a 6 month race shedule based on speed. Is there any correlation you see between distances i.e a 10k and a marathon, I am trying to not fall into the same trap of aiming for too many targets at once

Here ends the seriousness!