Tuesday, December 9, 2008

LT workout, first double, and six words you don't want to hear on a run alone, at night, in Baltimore

I'm not going to detail every hard workout between now and Boston - but, I'll probably write at least one post on every type of run - how the experts suggest approaching it and how it worked out for me.

As I wrote in a post last week - lactate threshold is somewhat of a misnomer, but I'm going to use it for these kinds of workouts because everybody else does. Regardless of what you call it the point of these runs is to increase the percent of V02 max, and more importantly the pace, at which bad stuff like acidosis and reduced muscle contraction takes place. To do this most experts suggest running at 15k-half-marathon pace for 20-40 minutes. You can also do LT repeats (usually 1-2 miles) with short rest.

Daniels has a more exact way of determining LT pace by what he calls your V-DOT score (I'll get into that in another post). Using Daniels method and what I thought I was capable of currently running for a half-marathon, I thought 5:35 pace would be about right. But, LT runs you want to do more on feel than anything - it should be "comfortably hard" and you shouldn't have much muscle soreness during or after. You're not looking to smash the wall with a sledge hammer, but rather use the Andy Dufrain principle of "pressure and time."

Luckily I was able to find some other members of TWSS who didn't mind running a difficult workout at 7am this morning. Arjun, Brennan, Zero, and Eileen showed up on time and ready to go - unfortunately, I didn't leave myself enough time - so I was late. They were about a quarter mile into the run when we passed each other. So, I ran it alone - which wasn't really all that bad.

There isn't a whole lot to say about the workout. I may have run a little too fast in sections and too slow in others - but I ended up at 22:30 (~5:37 pace). So, not so bad.

Today was also my first double in awhile. I try to limit doubles - but, when you get around 70 miles a week it's hard to avoid them. I prefer to run doubles on days when I have a hard run - it helps to warm up the muscles and gives you a chance to run less miles on recovery days. Although usually I run easy in the morning and hard in the evening -but, today we ran hard in the morning to get a little daylight. I'm not going to kid you - it was tough getting out the door tonight. But, after about 10 minutes I felt a little less of the aches & pains. I think that it will overall help me recover from this morning.

As I was trying to pry myself off the couch - I made a choice about which 4 mile route I'd take. My "usual" 4 mile route goes north-west through Mt. Vernon to Bolton Hill to Reservoir Hill(between North Ave and Druid Hill Park) and back - my other route is down to Riverside Park in Fed Hill and back. I had never run my usual route at night - and Reservoir Hill is a little sketchy - but, I had run in Fed Hill this morning. Plus I reasoned that I always run on Monument between Johns Hopkins Hospital and the JFX expressway at night, which has a bad reputation, and never have any problems. Well, the difference is that Monument is very well traveled, exposed, and you see cops pretty frequently.

About 2 blocks north of North Ave. on Park Ave. I passed some kids on who were on the other side of the street. There was some commotion and I didn't really pay attention until I heard a kid clearly say "shoot the dumbass in the back." Now, he could have been talking about some other dumbass - but, I was the only dumbass in their immediate vicinity. Going to college in Chicago I have some street smarts (although obviously not enough to stay out of this neighborhood at night) which told me I should just keep looking ahead and run at the same pace. Look back and they might think you're confronting them - run away fast and they might think you have a reason to run. The point is to communicate "I'm just a guy going about my business - I'm not going to cause any trouble." They most definitely could have been screwing with me. But, I'm guessing that they were doing something illegal, didn't want to get caught, and so one of the kids said something they thought would scare me off. It worked and next time I need to run 4 miles at night I'll be running down to the Inner Harbor and Fed Hill.


THE KRIS said...

i know you like running in the hood, but i would recommend heading up to charles village for your easy days. i mean the ones on which you don't want to get shot.

Ben said...

the neighborhood between mt. vernon and charles village isn't exactly candyland either.

RM said...

It's Baltimore, there is no such thing as a good neighborhood unless you want to run 10 mile runs in small concentric circles through Harbor East!

Now somebody needs to tell this story to DIANE, who, because we ended TNT, runs at the track on Monument St, BY HERSELF, AT NIGHT. This is the definition of not smart.

Ben said...

i meant monument not centre - i need to change that. That is pretty crazy running at that track alone at night. I've done some strides there - but, only in the morning.