I’m going to be a pace bunny!

I have a friend who is going to try for a PR at a 7.5 mile race tomorrow. I don’t like running in the cold particularly. But I thought it could be fun. If I ran it as a race, I would probably try to run it at a 7:30 pace. Maybe even faster if I did walk breaks each mile. But my friend is going to try to run it at a 10:00 pace. She says she would be happy with a 10:30 pace.
I think in past races, she has started too fast. So I am going to try to slow her down at the beginning. Then I think she has slowed down in the middle, and not had a lot at the end. So hopefully I will be able to encourage her to keep going and push. If she starts to slow down, maybe I can convince he to take a short walk break for a minute, then start running again. I have another friend named Al who I know from the Las Vegas Marathon board, who is probably going to be joining us. It will be fun.
The hardest part is going to be figuring out how to dress for the cold. The weather forecast says a high of 34 degrees and snow. Yuck! But I do have some Under Armour Cold Gear, and some nylon shells. I may also wear a fleece jacket or something. I will dress in layers and see how it goes. It will only be for a little over an hour. I can manage. It will be fun.

I used the FIRST 3:30 schedule when training for the Las Vegas Marathon. It radically increased my speed, and I finished in 3:36:30. That’s just 5 1/2 minutes short of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I am going to try again in 2 1/2 months at the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, VA. But I want to hedge my bets a little bit. So I decided to use a more aggressive training schedule. The Furman FIRST schedule worked vey well for me. But I decided to use the 3:15 schedule. I don’t plan to run the marathon in 3:15, or even attempt to. I will probably run again at 8:00 pace, and try to hold it, and maybe finish with a little bit of a kick. Or I maybe target a 3:25 marathon. But I figure the faster training my give me a little more room to finish the marathon, and hit my 3:30 goal time.
Anyway, the intervals are faster, the tempo runs are faster, and the long runs are faster too. I have to look, but I think the long runs are longer. I think I have five 20 milers. Ack.
Back to what I was starting to talk about. The intervals are faster. As part of the schedule I ran a mile in 6:12. Actually, I ran three of them with a short rest between them. I am pretty sure I can run a mile at a sub 6 minute pace, but I haven’t tried it yet. Maybe next time I am schedule to run a mile repeat, I might try it.
Running that fast is not that hard. Running that fast for that long is tough. At first it is just running. But after a bit, my breathing increases. My throat starts to get dried out. My brain is telling me that it is okay to slow up, maybe take a short break. But I have to override that and keep going. I just keep looking at the timer and think only 3 minutes to go, only 2 minutes to go, etc. I also watch the distance. As I get closer to the end, I start counting down the hundreths of miles. Then I am done. I just have to push for 6 minutes. I can always rest afterwards.

Having missed qualifying for the Boston Marathon, I looked hard for my next race. I originally started looking for something around May/June. I ran the Buffalo Marathon this year, and it was a good bet, though the course is relatively uninteresting. But it is flat and probably would be a fast course.
But in my searching I found the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, VA. I had heard of it from seeing ads, and cards in my goody bags from other races. I even got a Shamrock Marathon plastic cup at the expo for the Las Vegas Marathon. The Shamrock Marathon takes place in mid-March (March 16th). The course is supposed to be VERY flat and fast. One concern is wind. I have read reports of wind. But any course can have wind. The Las Vegas Marathon had a strong head wind last year, but nothing this year.
But since the race is in March, I will have three months to train for it. And if I don’t qualify for Boston there, I can try again in May or June at another race.
And the course looks interesting, running near the ocean. So I signed up for the race. I still need to book a hotel room.
We are looking at maybe making a short vacation out of it, and maybe visit North Carolina or Georgia and do one of those treasure hunting things that we have seen on TV.

I bought a Horizon T900 treadmill at Dick’s Sporting Goods on black friday. I got it for about $1000, and paid an extra $200 for extended warranty. I also paid to have it delivered and assembled.
I wored out the used Proform in less than a year and a half. So I wanted something sturdier. I also wanted something that would go in excess of 10mph, since my newer faster training schedules have me doing intervals faster than 6:00 minute/mile pace.
The Horizon seems to be built sturdier than the proform. Probably not as stury as a gym quality machine. But it seems to be a higher end home machine. It goes to 12mph, so it will allow me to do intervals to 5:00 minute/mile pace. There are a bunch of programs on it, but I don’t use them. Since I am using a training schedule, I use the basic mode.

Now some of the things that I don’t like about the Horizon.

The cup holders suck. Actually they are not cupholders so much as bottle rests. They are angled, and the bottle rests in it. A cup or can would be likely to spill, since the holder is angled.

The treadmill comes up to speed too slowly. If I am going to run a quarter mile repeat at around 5:48 pace, the treadmill takes about the first 1/10th of a mile to reach full speed. So the first .10 miles is run slower than 5:48 pace, and only the the last .15 miles is actually run at 5:48 pace. The Proform which had a smaller motor, came up to speed faster.

The treadmill resets after 5 minutes of inactivity. If I am doing a long training run, I might take a break to go to the restroom, or whatever. By the time I get back, the Horizon has reset, and lost all the info about how many miles I have already ran. This is annoying. The Proform waited for 30 minutes or more before resetting.

The Horizon displays pace as minutes. Not minutes and seconds, only minutes. So if I am running as a 7:30 pace, it will display pace as 7.50. This is a pain since my training schedules have me running at paces like 6:20, 7:26, 5:48. So I have to pull out a calculator to do the conversions. The lower end Profrom displayed pace as minutes and seconds as would make sense. Horizon was just stupid on this point.

I emailed Horizon to find out if I could tweak a setting and maybe fix some of these issues. I go an email saying they would respond in 2 business days. They didn’t. I called them, and asked them directly. The guy told me no, that I couldn’t change any of these.

I find it hard to believe that the higher end Horizon treadmill is inferior in these functions to the lower end Proform!

Last night I ran my toughest intervals yet! I switched from the FIRST 3:30 schedule, to the FIRST 3:15 schedule. I had to cheat to get through them. Instead of doing a 200m rest interval, I took a 2-3 minute rest between each one to catch my breath!!! And I was literally gasping for breath! My throat is still a little sore as it dried out on the first interval.

I warmed up with an easy mile at 10:00 pace.
The first interval was .75 miles @ 6:04 pace. This was the toughest to keep going on!
2-3 minute rest.
Then I did .63 miles @ 5:56 pace (closest to 5:58 pace TM can do).
2-3 minute rest.
Next was .50 miles @ 5:56 pace.
2-3 minute rest.
Then came .38 miles @ 5:53 pace.
2-3 minute rest.
Lastly I did .25 miles @ 5:46 pace.
2-3 minute rest.
Then I did a 10 minute cool down at easy 10:00 pace.

All but one of these intervals were done at a faster pace than my old treadmill would even do!

I am pretty sure I could run a mile at 6:00 pace though.

I would like to run a 5 minute mile some day just to say I did it.

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