Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

NSP Community Center track, 12 miles in 1:40:31, pace 8:23. Plenty good enough and better than planned. Raining hard, 38 degrees, which is why we ran indoors. I felt pretty strong all the way; this wasn’t an easy pace to maintain today but it never has been. I had enough left for a good last mile. Mostly four footfalls per full breath, splits 8:18, 8:07, 8:35, 8:10, 8:44, 8:19, 8:48, 8:19, 8:35, 8:17, 8:36, 7:43. Water after the even miles, gels after 2 and 6. This was the maiden voyage for the brand new Brooks Burn 3 shoes. I never once thought about them during the run, so they must be fine.

I notice that my body seems to get adjusted to a particular pace, and wants to maintain that pace; it gets in a groove. If I start out at 9:00, my body is happy to keep that up. Similarly, if I start at 8:00, my body will try to maintain that pace, until it just runs out of gas somewhere around 20 miles. It’s as if the systems (cardio-pulmonary & others) get accustomed to supplying oxygen and nutrients (energy) to the leg muscles at a particular rate. I also notice that if I run up a big hill in a long race, my body may get accustomed to providing energy at a higher rate than before the hill, and I will tend to go faster after the hill than before it. Practical implications: I should start at the pace I want to maintain throughout the race, not slower or faster, and deliberately watch speed after hills.

Some year-end statistics:
• 1592 miles of running, averaging not quite 31 miles/week
• 399 hours of aerobic exercise
• 48 average waking heart rate
• 151 average weight, down two from last year
• 4695 Weight Watchers activity points, average 12.9/day
• 36 races
• 6 marathons, all under 3:50
• 2 marathon first-place finishes age-group 65-69
• 12 personal records at nine distances

It was easily my best year of running thus far. Mileage and WW points are down a little from previous years. Oddly, this is because I ran six marathons, therefore spending a lot of time either tapering or recovering. Also, I took three weeks off from running in November, to mend a hamstring.

Thalidomide: I got a really good, long sleep last night, thanks no doubt to the thalidomide. Waking HR was 42 this morning, compared with a normal waking HR of 48. No rash! On balance, the thalidomide is barely an inconvenience thus far.

I wish you a very happy and prosperous 2007, especially anyone who has read this far!


Dori said...

Wow, 6 marathons and 12 PRs in one year. Congratulations! Happy New Year to you. Run strong.

walchka said...

Congrats on a great year Don!

Danielle said...

Wow, 6 marathons under 3:50...I'm so jealous!! Just goes to show age does not mean anything when it comes to running!!

I appreciate the invite to come run with the St. Croix runners and I'd love to, unfortunately live in Edina and it's quite a trek to get there, but I might attempt it some morning...that means getting up before 6...sigh...