Training Check with Thanksgiving in Austin

By: Laura Mitchell

Thanksgiving in Austin, TX was great.  It was good to have a few days off from work to spend with family and friends.  While I have plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving 2013, as most people in our Rogue community did, running in this weather can be tricky.  The cold fronts that have come in Austin this November were a nice welcome to kick off the holiday season.  But, seriously this Austin weather is straight crazy unpredictable, right?

The picture below describes it best.

December in Ausin

I have been training pretty hard in this “base phase” of the season, and when I’m in this phase, I have a tendency to “itch” for a race.  You know, I want to break up the monotony of just running miles and workouts.  I’m also wondering where I am at with regard to fitness.  So, I decided to race a 5k and a Turkey Trot 5miler.  This seemed a happy medium between short and long for me.  The 5k, which is the distance of my goal race in April didn’t go as well as I’d hoped.  What better race to do on Thanksgiving than a Turkey Trot, right?  The 5 miler, (which was about 2 weeks later) went well and was better than I had planned.  So I pose this question to you:  Do you ever wonder why some race distances feel “easier” than others?  Or do you ever think about why the longer races feel easier? Or why shorter distances feel easier?

When I refer to “feel”, I mean not because you go slower on average, for example in the longer distances, but that the overall effort feels more comfortable?  Say you still go out hard, at the pace that you have designated for your race plan yet afterward you feel tired but not exhausted?  Like you couldn’t even run an extra step?  Here’s how it goes in my mind:  You worked hard.  You mentally fight against wanting to stop or slow down.  You kicked at the end.  You get the “runner’s high” at with end but without the “I’m exhausted!”

It’s funny.  It makes me think:  Did I really run fast as I could?  Was it a mental thing?  Did it feel easier due to placing well in the race versus not?  Or is the distance just better suited for my body right now?  I guess the correct answer just depends.  For me, it may be a bit of both.  The pace I ran the longer distance was most probably just under lactate threshold or “Boiling Point,” therefore I could run that pace for ages in the 5miler.  When I had ran that 5K, I had probably run just over lactate threshold.   So perhaps that is the reason I “really” felt the exhaustion feeling afterward.  These are just some of the thoughts that I wanted to share with you all in case these questions come up in your mind.  Maybe it can be the next topic of discussion for your long run! I will continue to move that boiling point lower, try to get fast and see where I can get come April.

Happy Holidays everyone!

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