Friday, January 9, 2009

Flashback Friday: Bringing Up Old Shit

It's been a slow week, and I don't just mean my pacing. HEY-OH!

Weather, demotivation and other interests have kept me from running this week. Yeah, there has been some beer, but nothing too notable (except Bell's Special Double Cream Stout). I have had nothing worthy enough to bother myself with wasting your time. But then something happened.

I received a comment.

I know, I get a brazilian comments, but this one was special, namely because it ripped on Nitmos. And I love when people rip on Nitmos.

However, this particular comment was posted to a blog from Oct. 8, 2008, as I was preparing for the Towpath Marathon and contemplating a negative split approach, after Vanilla had sent me this link to the WebZealot. The topic seemed kind of old. But what else is Flashback Friday for, if not to rehash something from last year?

It seems the WebZealot was doing some rehashing of his own yesterday and came across my ever insightful post, and he took exception to Nitmos's comment.

As a refresher, here's what Nitmos said:
"Have you practiced negative splits? It's a discipline more than a strategy in my opinion. As long as your body is trained to accelerate at maximum fatigue, more power to you!

Good luck. I think you'll succeed because you sound extra motivated (or extra drunk ... hard to decipher).

Either way, you're still a fool. That's what we all appreciate about you.

Go get that PR!
And now, WebZealot:
"Nitmos- So because the negative split is a discipline, it should be disregarded as something for the elite runner? Did training for your marathon not take discipline? Does your running in general not take discipline?

I certainly think it does. So why should you toe the line on race day and suddenly throw discipline out the window? Going negative doesn't take practice so much as it takes common sense and patience. It's not like your suddenly being asked at the 16 mile mark to start laying down five minute miles. All it's asking is that you use the first half of the race to set up the second half so that you can run at a pace (albeit a quick pace) that is within your ability level.

Look, I'm not trying to be hard on you or anyone else ... But I think the negative is a good approach for ANYONE regardless of ability. Sure, it is not without its downside ... You MAY finish feeling like you left too much on the road. But personally, I would rather finish that way than straggling across the line after walking the last four miles, feeling like I had just been run over by a truck.

Most folks who poo-poo negative splits have either never given them a real honest try, or can't come to grips with the notion that their target time is simply out of their ability range. There is no shame in that. On paper, negatives can seem daunting.

Kudos to Vanilla [Drunkard's note: This is how you know I didn't make this up] for being able to burn it up out of the gate the way he does and still hang on ... But I'd be willing to bet running negative would net him an even better time.

Viper, I'd be curious to know what you end up pulling off...
Let the bickering begin!

Of course, most of you know that I pulled off a double negative, which in mathematical and linguistic terms means, basically, FAIL.

My own take on the negative split argument is that WebZealot and Nitmos are both right idiots.

The strategy didn't work for me at the Towpath Marathon, but I learned a few things:
  • Negative splitting is hard
  • Though my second half was a positive split, I still PR-ed
  • I felt better at the end than I did in my previous two marathons
  • My four-hour goal may have been too ambitious, especially given that it was my second marathon in two weeks
  • The negative split merits a second try
  • But I need to practice the discipline throughout my training.

Back Talk
Wherein even though I just posted two tldr comments, I'm going to post another one because that's the kind of regurgitation you've come to expect every Friday.

After I mentioned I had ice in my beard when I finished my 1,000-mile journey, joyRuN, tfh, X-Country2, Ms. V and MCM Mama expressed concern about my facial growth. Thankfully, my shift-button challenged friend, the erratic epicurean, came to my rescue: "hear this blog readers, the viper looks very nice with a beard. it hides his ugly mug!" [sic]

Answer: See? What were you all worried about?

And Xenia asked if the picture from that post was the infamous Towpath.

Answer: Nope.

Happy Hour is nearly upon us. I hope you have a fine weekend brewing. Run well and drink well. Cheers!

22 comments:

Nitmos said...

Sorry, you will not draw me in. I've learned never to argue with overly serious folks...especially since I'm typically underly serious. As should be obvious.

Drink up!

Marcy said...

Dayum and I wanted to see some man fighting. I popped this popcorn for nothing. BAH! ;-)

Vanilla said...

"Kudos to Vanilla"

I just wanted to make sure everyone caught that, it was the most important thing that's been written here in months.

Enjoy the weekend!

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

This post was long.

Jess said...

I've gotta agree with Nitmos...that guy sounds far too serious...

Only a few hours til the weekend!

audgepodge said...

"...a brazilian comments..."

That cracks me up. I think I'm going to start adopting that...

Al's CL Reviews said...

No fight! Damn!

Good choice on the Bell's!

Viper said...

@ Glaven - touche.

@ Jess - his name is WebZealot.

Kaytie said...

Let's not forget the TWO marathons in TWO weeks. I'm at a loss for words, but my tongue wants to form "How?" and "Why?!"

webzealot said...

Jess... Never said I wasn't serious! Most certainly am! But just trying to make a point, and I think my being serious or not doesn't change that. For what it's worth, no need to wait for a marathon to go negative... Same ideas can be applied to shorter stuff too. Whaddya got to lose?

I do tell people I am a drinker with a running problem. Does that give me more street cred with you guys now?

...And just to plug my latest negative split blog posting since Viper didn't. Oh, and Viper, congrats on the PR either way...

Viper said...

@ WebZealot - see sixth paragraph, link from "rehashing" ... sheesh!

And if you're looking for street cred from this bunch, well, good luck. They don't have any either.

Viper said...

Oh, and thanks for the belated congrats.

chia said...

That was a rather epic exchange... wowsers! WebZealot's a bit of a bully ;-). Fits right in with the BHI crowd!

Sarah said...

Boy, and I thought Glaven Q. Heisenberg and I were the champions of the tl;dr comment.

I happen to enjoy and strive for negative splits. Sometimes I am successful; sometimes I am not.

The snowstorm has descended with full fury. I anticipate a near hour of driving tonight on my normally 23-minute commute. Never fear, though; our house is well-stocked with warmth in liquid form. I have been saving my last bottle of Black Chocolate Stout for just such an occasion.

tfh said...

Negative splits take common sense and patience?

Well, that's no fun. That's no fun at all. I think I even prefer practice to THAT.

webzealot said...

@Viper my bust... I stand corrected... Thanks for the link...

@chia I'm done bullying... I'm really quite a pushover.

Xenia said...

Yeah. That was helpful.

joyRuN said...

Marcy was right. I was looking for a fight, & was disappointed in the post.

BUT, I'm glad to see the limp-wristed bitch slapping going on in the comments.

Jess said...

LOL at JoyRun's "limp-wristed bitch slapping" comment! C'mon! I wanna fisticuffs!

X-Country2 said...

I'm with Jess. Pull some hair boys!

MCM Mama said...

So glad I read the comments. JoyRuN's comment was the best part of this post. LOL

the erratic epicurean said...

all this over negative splits? good lord.