Tuesday, April 5, 2016

MCM 2016 - Day 1 - 3m Easy + Strength

I'm back. To running and blogging again. I took almost two years off of running for any races (AFCEA 5K - 5/8/2014 - time: 22:26) and I haven't run a marathon since the Marine Corps Marathon 2013. Well I have registered for and received a lottery entry for the MCM 2016 race and I don't plan on wasting it. Yesterday I scraped together a 30 week training plan that will be mostly based on Hal Higdon's Personal Best Training Plan. I am 40+ now and haven't been training to run hard for quite some time. I will need to assess my fitness over a longer period of time. I hope for an improvement on my last marathon's personal best time of 3:33:5, but my 'A goal' is to run that elusive Boston Qualifier of 3:15:00. Definitely a stretch but I am aiming for it.

So... today's run was scheduled for an easy pace workout. Three miles at a little bit over 9 min/mi pace.  I hit my marks: 3 miles exactly in 26:59, I wore my heart rate monitor and foot pod so I had my HR (avg 155 bpm) and Cadence (89 spm) data. I set out at around 5:30 AM with no breakfast or snack just about 8 oz of water and had to spend a good 15 minutes acquiring a satellite signal for my Garmin. Good run. I intentionally worked on my running form to have a fairly high cadence and upright, balanced running form. I noticed that I had a tendency to land heavy on my left leg and flare my right knee. When I ran lighter (read: more rapid cadence with a more elongated spine) this straighten out, but I did feel a bit of weirdness in my right hip. Probably nothing, but I'll watch it. I didn't stretch after the run - I forgot to do it. I'll stretch after weight lifting tonight.

Interesting story of this morning. While pacing to get a Garmin signal and looking up at the sky a lady jogger passed by me removed her  headphone and said Good Morning. I greeted her back but honestly I felt awkward because I didn't want to scare her or make her uncomfortable. See encountering an unfamiliar 6'4" black man in dark clothing (with a hoodie) in the pre-morning light while running alone as a petite white lady must be scary if you are worried about such things. I assume she wasn't because she just kept running and minding her business, but I thought it was wise of her to remove her headphones until she had gotten well away from me. Obviously I have no ill intentions, but the optics on the scenario wasn't good. I had not yet started running and was pacing in the neck of my cul-de-sac wearing  a dark blue cotton sweatsuit which doesn't say runner at all. I didn't want to make her nervous so I walked to the street-lighted area across the street rather than walk down the street as I intended because it would've meant following her down her running path that was a kind of dead end. I would've thought that was creepy. No worries though, she probably didn't think more than a second about it I probably overthinking how I was perceived. If she's a regular runner we'll see each other regularly on the streets of the neighborhood.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Different Wheels

So... this has been a different year. I don't plan on running a marathon for the first time in 5 years. I ran a mile race and biked the distance of a half Ironman bike segment, completed T25 and started lifting weights again. I also restored my Dad's guitar and am teaching myself to play it. Now something completely different... I bought a motorcycle and LOVE IT!

I owe a blog entry on everything it took to get started, but today was my first day on my own personal motorcycle and wow I am stoked.

I don't plan on completely leaving endurance sport, but there's a lot more competing for my time now.

Friday, May 2, 2014

AFCEA 5k Pre-race ramblings

What a weird training year I've had so far. I have run very infrequently and not very far this year. I ran a one mile indoor track race on February 1st, which is my first indoor track race of any kind. I clocked 6:17 and finished in the middle of the pack, which I think is fine for someone who had not trained very much. Since then I have taken an endurance swim class and am presently in week 6 of the T25 interval training program. I feel very fit, but I have no idea of my run fitness. I presently run 2 to 3 times a week, normally a track workout on Tuesday and Thursday with a treadmill interval session on Sunday or any other time I can fit it in. I've biked to work a few times since the weather has started to perk up.

So, I am going to take on the AFCEA 5k again this Sunday and am not sure what I am capable of. I want to perform well, but did not train like I did for the same race last year. I scanned my previous 5k race and know that I ofter start out the first mile around 20 secs faster than my average pace. Dare I tweak the formula? What if I forbid myself from running the first mile faster than 6:55 and try to negative split? We'll see. I am at a great weight right now only weighing 185 - 189. I think I may surprise myself.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

MCM 2013 - Race Result - 3:33:51

Race result = 20 minute PB (3:33:51)!!!

Race Report coming...

Friday, October 25, 2013

MCM 13 Race Friday

Hi! I have had writer’s block for most of this year, but since I have been scouring the InterWebs for blog entries about the Marine Corps Marathon I  thought I should contribute to the pages out there. Blog entries give me a virtual community to relate to when I need a little extra support.
I took today off to rest, relax, get my race bib without having to face rush hour traffic and to take care little chores. This week was my taper week. It looked like this:
  • Monday: no activity
  • Tuesday: 10 x 400m repeats at 10k pace with 200m rest (includes 1 mi warmup and cool down)
  • Wednesday: 4 mi easy pace
  • Thursday: no activity
    Friday: swimming – 10 x 50m
  • Saturday: 2 mi easy pace
  • Sunday: RACE!
My goal race pace will be 8:11 to 7:51 per mi for a hopeful 3:30:00 finish.
This is what my build up to the marathon looked like by week.

Training went really well. I hit every workout I planned to. I had planned four 20 mile training runs but had to cut one of them short (19.23 mi). I also did hill repeats, tempo runs, fartleks, intervals and race efforts (the Annapolis 10 miler and a self supported half marathon). Though I did more miles and faster paces running in my MCM 10 build up, I did do a fair amount of cross training in my 18 week build (bike riding, swimming and one gym/weight workout). I feel like I am ready.
I am going to try and avoid the pacing mistakes I made for MCM 10 and run at the 8:11 pace up to mile 18 and try to hold the sub-eight minute paces from then on. I will take a gel while walking through every rest stop around my 45 minute mark and every 30 minutes after. I will walk and drink my water through the stop so that I can get my nutrition in and hopefully avoid the debilitating cramping that plague my marathon races. I trained this way and feel like I can return to race pace without sacrificing too much time.
Well I am going to head off to the expo now. Have a great race. I be back to write the race report.
UPDATE: The expo and packet pickup was absolutely packed Friday. I went down at around 11:00 and had to wait in serpentine lines for about a half an hour in the pavilion across the street from the armory to get my bib. I was drinking water constantly and there were no port-a-potties. I just had to tough it out. Once I got my bib I had to go to the Armory to enter the expo and get my tech shirt. The security had a line and another 20 minute wait prevented me from bladder relief. I did however have a nice conversation with a sweet couple from Michigan. So, my warning to marathon packet pickup people is to not bring a bag going to the Expo, it will cause you to wait in an extra line. Don't drink water while in line you may not have time to get to the rest rooms past security in the Armory. And, the bags for your bib and the tech shirt pick up is in the left rear corner once you enter. Good Luck!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

MCM13 - w3d3 - 5m easy

Planned workout: 5 miles at Easy pace (between 9:23/mi and 9:03/mi). Goal accomplished 5 miles at 9:02/mi pace on the treadmill. 

My treadmill running inspiration was a Watch ESPN replay of the 2012 Women's Crossfit Games. Those women were getting their work in so how could I do less. I think that I want to add CrossFit to my bucket list of fitness goals, which currently include the Boston Marathon, Ironman Triathlon, and the JFK 50-mile run. 

This concludes my week of treadmill downtime. I did all of my workouts this week on the treadmill in order to recover from a dreadful 14 mile run attempt last Sunday where the heat nearly overcame me and I quit at the half marathon distance (it was 90+ degrees Fahrenheit and humid). 

Tomorrow I plan on being a bit counter productive by cycling with the Turtles and running about 3 miles when I am actually supposed to be running a slow 10 miles.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Marine Corps Marathon 2013 and Training Plans

It's been another long break from blogging about running for me. I have been running fairly consistently and I've raced two 5Ks since my last post. I have also registered for the Marine Corps Marathon and have been given a slot in the Annapolis 10-miler by a friend. Things are going pretty well and I am planning to train hard for a new personal best in the marathon.

This morning I had some time to think about my training and I was reconsidering my training plan and started to realize why it is important for a runner like myself to keep an active blog. You need to have some space to plan and review your training.

I was doing some heart rate based training for 5K racing earlier this year and I did not remember where I got my ideas from. If I had been blogging, I think that I may be able to look it up, but now I have to rely on my spotty memory. Oh well...

So, in my attempt to keep a record of what this current phase of training has been coming from I am capturing the Marine Corps Marathon plan I started the week of June 24th up to today where I changing it to a Runner's World training plan that looks promising.

Note: I saw a neat way of representing a training day in your log that never occurred to me in the Active.com community forum. Instead of writing "MCM 2013 - Week 1 - Tues Easy Run" as I have I could write: "w1d1 - 9 miles easy."

I had been using the Runner's World Smart Coach application's suggested plan for the following settings:

  • Recent Race Time - 00:20:38
  • Race Distance - 5K
  • Goal Race Distance - Marathon
  • Weekly Distance - 36-40 Miles
  • Training Level - Hard
  • Starting Week - 6/24
  • Schedule Length - 16 Weeks (this was a mistake, this would've had me racing 10/13 with the MCM on 10/27)

My training went as follows:

  • w1d1 - (plan) 9m easy, (actual) 9m broken into two runs with a 10 min rest in between
  • w1d2 - (plan) 7m - 4m @ tempo, (actual) target distance tempo at 7:44/m
  • w1d3 - (plan) 8m easy, (actual) hit target - on the treadmill
  • w1d4 - (plan) 12m long run, (actual) skipped run for 30m bike ride
  • w2d1 - (plan) 9m easy, (actual) 9.56m easy - hot and humid
  • rest/ct - Bike ride 34m (commute)
  • w2d2 - (plan) 8m - 2x1m @ 6:49 pace, (actual) 7.4m - mile 1 @ 6:57, mile 2 @ 7:20
  • w2d3 - (plan) 8m easy, (actual) 6.5m easy
  • w2d4 - (plan) 14m easy, (actual) 13.1m slow - crazy hot and humid
  • w3d1 - (plan) 9m easy, (actual) 7.1m easy - on the treadmill
  • w3d2 - (plan) 8m - 5m @ tempo, (actual) 6.5m - 5m @ 7:16 - on the treadmill

I would be doing an 8m easy pace run, but I changed my training plan to one I liked from Runner's World UK titled RW's Garmin-Ready Marthon Schedule: Sub-3:30. The plan can output a Garmin workout schedule that can sync workouts to my Garmin 405 training watch and I can have pace or heart rate workouts queued up for the particular day. The plan peaks with a 48 mile week and includes races, hill repeats, and 5 20+ mile long runs. I hope that I can fit all of the running in, but it seems to be a really good template.

Good luck and happy running.