Friday, April 08, 2005

Spinning to a sub-4

Kurt is officially chronic with another bout of shin splints, and heading to a sports physician next week, probably ending up with a new pair of $300 custom orthotics—but in the meantime, more downtime. So now what? Kidney stones, shin splints, he can’t get out of the blocks. Schedule is going to hell. Well, he’s hitting the weights and took his first spinning class. Can you get there with X-training? Consider

Back in 1996, the year Roy and I ran the 100th Boston, his knee was acting up badly during training and he headed into the gym and skipped a bunch of running, focusing instead on strengthening the knee with weights and increasing aerobic capacity on the bike. I did my normal running, building longs, up to 24 miles for the first and only time in training. No speed work to speak of, just racking up miles.

Flash forward to race day: After a few jammed up miles early, we settled into running 9s, threw in a couple 8s to make up some time, and kept the pace until mile 21, Heartbreak Hill, the fourth of the Newton hills. Lots of people were walking, but Roy and I ran up it. About two-thirds the way, however, I began to lose it. After 4 hills, I just didn’t have the strength to maintain that pace, and Roy shot ahead. His weights work and biking obviously gave him an edge that I couldn’t match. So I fell behind, finishing at 4:05, short of our goal for a sub-4. At the finish line, Roy was waiting. I looked at his watch. 3:59:52.

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