Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Father's Day 5 Mile Race for Prostate Cancer

On Sunday June 20, 2010, I ran the 5 mile Father's Day Race in Central Park.  It was hot, humid, and muggy 75 degrees and 80% humidity at the 8:30 A.M. start time.  My plan was to use this race as my "long run" for the week, as my Chicago Marathon training started this week and my marathon training schedule showed a 7 mile long run.  Given that I just started running regularly again last week, I decided that a 5 mile run would be enough (I had run 3, 3, 3.5 (JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge) earlier in the week).

My plan was to run easy, going for a pace of around 8:00 per mile (and go slower if tired or any knee pain).  I ended up feeling comfortable at a pace of 7:44 per mile for the 5 mile run (my Garmin watch showed me running 5.07 miles for the race while the New York Road Runner's website showed me at a pace of 7:50 per mile for exactly 5 miles.  See my Garmin splits here.  The Garmin watch is usually almost exactly accurate, so I wondered if anybody else's watch showed 5.07 miles?).  This was my 6th New York Road Runner's race in 2010 on my quest to meet the 9+1 requirement to gain automatic entry into the 2011 New York City Marathon (that's run 9 races in 2010 and volunteer for 1).  I have 3 races scheduled over the next month, which will complete my 9 races.  I felt very good during the 5 mile race today.  No knee pain at all (although, like everybody else running, I was extremely hot!).

The day before the race, I rode 41 miles on my new bike out to New Jersey with my friend MH.   We rode over the George Washington Bridge and then went north on highway 9W in New Jersey.  It was awesome.  We took it easy until we got to New Jersey, rode hard for a while, and took it easy coming back.  Check out the map of our ride here. There is a very wide shoulder (around 6 feet wide) for cyclists to ride on and there are hundreds of cyclists out on the road (so many that it feels like the road is actually a gym).  It took us 2 hours and 37 minutes in total.  We met at 5:50 A.M. and was home by 8:34 A.M.  The weather was perfect at 66 degrees and 65% humidity.   A great way to start the day!  I love cycling and am looking forward to doing much more of it in the future as I prepare to do my first triathlon sometime late this summer or early fall.  Cycling is so different than running.  I find it to be much, much easier than running.

My goal for my 2010 marathon training is to run 4 days a week, cycle once, and swim once (workouts 6 days a week).  If I had more time I would add an additional swim and cycling day (requiring some two a day workouts, done very early in the morning and late at night after my kids are in bed).  I am really trying to minimize my running and am trying to go slower on my long runs (unlike when I trained for the Wisconsin Marathon on May 1st and ran my long runs in the 8:30 per mile pace range, which looking back now, I think was too fast).

On Monday 6/20, I swam 1 mile in the pool.  It was the longest I have ever swam.  My feet cramped up for the last 10 lengths or so, but other than that I felt good.  I had no problems with my endurance and I can swim faster, but if I swim much faster then I am completely exhausted when I get out of the pool.  I am still just trying to swim easy and long....I will add some speed workouts in once I have more experience, but for now, I'm happy just swimming a little longer each time I go out.  My form is poor, I have a big bruise on my my wrist from swimming next to the rope (trying to avoid the other swimmer in my lane).  I also tried to swim close to the hard rope to force my elbow to go up high on each stroke.   I enjoy swimming, but I think that I am very, very slow (it took me 40:56 to complete the mile swim, average heart rate 137).  I usually stop at each end and push off for the next length, as I don't know how to do the flip turn.  My friends tell me that I will be faster in the water with a wetsuit on.  For the second straight swim workout, I got water stuck in my ear which stayed plugged up all day.  I think that I need to get some ear plugs.  Anybody have any recommendations?

My next race is this Saturday in Central Park, the 5 mile Gay Pride race.  I ran this race last year and it is a blast.  I am looking forward to it.  I am hoping to cycle 50 miles on Sunday.

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