Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Running Report

2009 Running Report

Good year in running for me. I had no injuries, save the current chaffing episode (see previous blog entry). I completed my first two marathons on very hilly and challenging conditions. I completed 1,136.7 miles in 171 runs. I ran in Australia, the UK, Orlando, and all over Bowie. The vast majority of my runs were outside and I think I am still getting faster. I hope 2010 brings good runs and a few new PRs in more different types of races. I still hope to get a BQ (Boston Qualifier - 3:15), but that is a bit of a stretch in the next year.

Total Runs Recorded in 2009

Runs: 171
Avg. Time: 00:57:35
Total Time: 164:09:08
Avg. Speed: 6.9 MPH
Avg. Mi Pace: 8:39
Avg. Dist.: 6.6 Mi
Total Dist.: 1136.7 Mi
Avg. Cal. Burned: 987.7 C
Total Cal. Burned: 166,926 C

Outdoor Runs in 2009

Count: 106 Activities
Distance: 767.44 mi
Time: 111:44:19 h:m:s
Elevation Gain: 95,334 ft
Avg Speed: 6.9 mph
Calories: 108,138 C
Avg Elevation Gain: 973 ft

Races in 2009

Baltimore Marathon 10/10/2009
Dist: 26.45 Mi
Time: 03:58:23
Pace: 09:00 min/mi

Frederick Marathon 05/30/2009
Dist: 26.20 Mi
Time: 04:03:27
Pace: 9:17 min/mi

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday Speedwork

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Tuesday Speedwork

The Run

Standard warmup, run 2 sets of 2400m (1.5 miles) at 10K pace followed by 800m rest laps, then run 4 miles at goal marathon pace followed by 800m rest laps.

I ran this run during lunch and boy was it cold out there today. It was about 30 degrees Fahrenheit and blustery with I'd guess 30 mph wind gusts. I didn't anticipate getting ridiculous chaffing from wearing my cheesy, non-sports sweatpants and no Body Glide.

Mileage and time: 9.5 miles in 1:17:54
Route/terrain: Mullins Field in Fort Meade

Interval/race time:
  • Mile 1 - warm up mile in 8:46
  • First set of 2400m - 7:37 min/mi pace
  • Second set of 2400m - 7:33 min/mi pace
  • 4 miles - 8:12 min/mi pace
Temperature/time of day: 30 degrees/1:17 pm

How I felt
The wind in my face caused some slowdown, plus I failed to try hard on the 4 mile marathon pace segment. It was really cold and I limped around the office with horrible chaffing on my inner thighs from the cold weather (which caused me not to sweat) and bad sweatpants. I'll be surprised if I can run again for a few days. I'll just call it a break and pick it up again on Friday.

Morning weight: 193.6 lbs

Day 2 of the first week of the one hundred push-ups challenge.
  • Set 1 - 10
  • Set 2 - 12
  • Set 3 - 8
  • Set 4 - 8
  • Set 5 - 16 (as many as possible with good form, at least 12)
I bailed at 16 with a couple still in me. I have a pain in my left bicep. I don't know why.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Marathon Pace Run

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Sunday

The Run
Standard warm up. Run 6 miles at goal marathon race pace.

Mileage and time: 6.22 miles in 49:15
Route/terrain: WB&A Trail/paved trail (there was still some snow and slush around that I had to tread carefully on)

Interval/race time:
  • Mile 1 - warm up mile in 9:32
  • Miles 2 through 6.22 - average pace of 7:32 min/mi
Temperature/time of day: 50 degrees/2:37 pm

How I felt
Felt pretty good. First outside run in quite some time.

Morning weight: 193.6 lbs
Aches and pains: some quad soreness after the run, but this subsided soon after I showered and rested.

Did the first week of the one hundred push-ups challenge.
  • Set 1 - 10
  • Set 2 - 12
  • Set 3 - 7
  • Set 4 - 7
  • Set 5 - 12 (as many as possible with good form)
The sets were harder than I would've thought. I did hold good form though. It will be really impressive to see what my body will look like when I can do 100 consecutive push ups.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Saturday 5 mile easy run

I am beginning to set up next year's running goals. I am going to join the Running Planet's Marathon Training Program for Intermediate Level Competitive Runners program at week 8 of their 20 week program. I would like to run the GW Birthday Marathon next year if it will be held, primarily because it is in my backyard.

The Run
The plan is to run 5 miles easy with 4 acceleration strides.

Mileage and time: 5 miles in 43:35
Route/terrain: treadmill
Interval/race time:
  • Mile 1 - warm up at 6 mph (10:00 min/mi)
  • Mile 2 - run at 7 mph; last lap at 2% incline
  • Mile 3 - 7 mph; lap 1 at 2.5% incline, then 3.0%, 3.5%, 3.0% inclines each lap
  • Mile 4 - 7 mph; lap 1 at 2.5% incline, then 2.0%, 1.5%, 1.0% inclines each lap
  • Mile 5 - 7 mph for laps 1 and 2; lap 1 at 5% incline, lap 2 at 2.5% incline; lap 3 at 8 mph; lap 4 at 9 mph
Temperature/time of day: indoors/3:15 pm

How I felt

Feeling good good rest last night. Diet was not too good though.

Morning weight: 195.2 lbs
Aches and pains: no pain

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thursday 4 mile run (10 x 30 secs Fartleks)

The run

No warm-up, run four miles at an easy pace. The goal here is to intersperse 10 accelerations of pace into the run and hold it for 30 seconds. These accelerations are called Fartleks.

Mileage and time: 4 miles in 33:30
Route/terrain: treadmill
Interval/race time: Ran first mile in 8:34 (7mph), then picked it up to 8mph for 30 seconds and slowed down to 7mph for the rest of the lap. I repeated this for 10 sets and finished the last half mile at 7mph.
Temperature/time of day: indoors/10:30am

How I felt

Felt good. First run in almost two weeks. I only did two elliptical workouts

Morning weight: 199.6 lbs
Mood (before/during/after): hey I'm running
Aches and pains: feeling good. The right calf tightness that I've had since last Saturday was gone when I woke this morning.
Goals: Focusing on the Cherry Blossom 10 miler - its the only race I've signed up for so far. I plan on running it in 1:20 or faster (8 min/mi). I still plan on running the SunTrust National Marathon in March, but until I sign up I gotta stay focused.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Elliptical Workout - Snowed In

Once again weather has not permitted my flag football tournament to resume. I decided to jump on the elliptical trainer again to put in a workout to aleve some of my boredom. I did the 5000 revolution program, which works out to 4.46 miles using my calculation from last post:

(((18 * 3.14159265) / 12) * 5 000) / 5 280 = 4.46248956

You know the elliptical training may prove useful if I have to cross country ski to the grocery store because this Winter storm here in MD is getting serious.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Elliptical workout

I have been unmotivated to run this week. I am not burnt out on running, I just have been coming home to darkness, coldness and a busy home life. Not to mention the regular chaos of the end of the quarter reporting at work.

I jumped on the elliptical trainer we just bought for the upstairs and did a 30 minute hills workout program. I did 1,760 revolutions on a varying resistance level from 3 to 8.5. A little math says that the 18" stride length times PI times the revolutions divided by 12 divided by 5,280 equal 1.57 miles.

(((18 * 3.14159265) / 12) * 1 760) / 5 280 = 1.57079632

The feel of this workout is slightly different from running. It was definitely not as cardio intense, my lungs and heart did not feel as taxed. However, my quadriceps felt more maxed out than it would from running, maybe if the run was up a serious hill for the entire length.

Anywho, I'll get it together and start my marathon training plan in earnest next week. I guess I just needed a break, but to not run during this week of holiday parties would be a diet disaster. I am already looking at a 15 lb weight loss between now and the marathon. Let's not make it worse.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday Speedwork (Intervals, 2 X 1600 @ 7:03 min/mi)

The Run
Standard warm up. Run 2 x 1600 meter repeats at 10K pace. Cool down with 800 meters at an easy pace.

Mileage and time
4 miles in 35:03


Interval/race time
  • Mile 1 @ 6mph
  • Mile Interval #1 @ 8.5mph (7:03 min/mi)
  • 800m @ mix 6 and 7mph
  • Mile Interval #2 @ 8.5mph (7:03 min/mi)
  • 800m @ mix 6 and 7mph
Temperature/time of day
Indoors/9:15 PM

How I felt
First mile interval felt pretty challenging, but I was able to manage it. The second interval went very well. Longer strides, more bounce made the same pace work very well.

Morning weight
I did not weigh myself this morning. My after run weight was 195.6 lbs.

Mood (before/during/after)
I was sleepy and didn't want to run/just getting it on/I did it, what more can I say

Aches and pains
No pain

I will run my own 10k probably this Monday.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday Easy Run (3 miles @ 8:30 min/mi)

The Run
Run 3 miles easy. Run 4 acceleration strides.

Mileage and time
3 miles in 25:30


Interval/race time
  • Mile 1 @ 7mph (with one acceleration to 8mph for 100m)
  • Mile 2 @ 7mph (with one acceleration to 8mph for 100m)
  • Mile 3 @ 7mph (with two accelerations to 8mph for 100m each)
Temperature/time of day
Indoors/9:15 PM

How I felt
Did not have my recover chocolate milk because my stomach feels really full from the foot long Subway sub I ate about a half an hour before my run. Note to self: give yourself more time to digest your food before running.

Morning weight
196.6 lbs

Mood (before/during/after)
Resolute but not excited/couldn't wait to get it over with/satisfied

Aches and pains
Slight knee pain on the out left kneecap, no big deal

I may have to run my own 10k race sometime soon. I think my flag football tournament will cause me to miss the Jingle Bell 10k this Sunday.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday Speedwork - 2 x 800/1600 meter supersets

The Run
Standard warm up of 10 minutes at 10 min/mi pace followed by running 2 x 800/1600 meter supersets. Run 800 meters at 5K pace, then slow down to 10K pace for 1600 meters. Recover between the sets with 800 meters at an easy pace. Cool down with 800 meters at an easy pace.

Mileage and time

5 miles in 42 minutes


Interval/race time
  • 1600 meters @ 10 min/mi pace
  • 800 meters @ 6:40 min/mi pace
  • 1600 meters @ 7:30 min/mi pace
  • 800 meters @ 10 min/mi
  • 800 meters @ 7:03 min/mi pace
  • 1600 meters @ 7:30 min/mi pace
  • 800 meters @ 10 min/mi pace
Temperature/time of day
Indoor/8:30 PM

How I felt

Morning weight

I don't know I didn't weigh myself this morning. After my run I weighed 196.6 lbs.

Mood (before/during/after)
I felt anxious about running this superset. I am not sure that my 5K pace is really 6:40 min/min and my 10K is 7:00 min/mi. During the run I felt that I need more aerobic strength, but I can run the paces I just gave up before trying the second set at the expected paces. After the run I feel strong a little disappointed I didn't try to maintain the pace, but accomplished that I did the superset at all.

Aches and pains
I started the run with sore calves. I assume that this is from "cold stretching" on Sunday. During the run my left hip had some pain during some strides, but that pain went away.

Well, the 10K race I wanted to run this Sunday may not be in the cards. I have my flag football tournament as my first priority, it was delayed due to the snow this past weekend and I expect to win through Saturday into the Sunday games. I have to find a replacement race that will allow me to exercise this training. I would like to get 45 minutes or less in the 10K.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Long Run (12 miles @ 9:28 min/mi)

Due to yesterday's snow I did this run on the basement treadmill. I was supposed to do an easy pace for 10 miles then speed up to my 10K pace for the last two. I attempted the speed up during mile 10 running at an 8.4 MPH (7:08 min/mi) pace for a half mile when my treadmill flipped the time counter and the belt stopped (exceeded 99:59). I reset the program and kept running, but lost the will to go fast - it was hard enough to psych myself up to run fast when I was tired, much less after I've had to do an abrupt stop.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Easy Run (8 miles @ 8:35 min/mi)

Just another late Friday treadmill run. I did 8 miles in 1:08:38. Not really much to say beyond that. I was gonna do my pushup test to see where I should start out on my 100 push ups training program, I don't really feel like it. If the weather holds up I'll be playing in the first round of the CAN Flag Football tournament at Anacostia Park tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday Speed Work (Pyramid Intervals)

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Thursday Speedwork

Today I got out to the W B&A Trail to put in a "pyramid" set of intervals, a 400/800/2400/800/400 superset.

The goal was to run 400 meters at 10 seconds per mile faster than 5K pace, 800 meters at 5K pace, 2400 meters at 10K pace, 800 meters at 5K pace and 400 meters at 10 seconds per mile faster than 5K pace. Do not rest between the distances. Cool down with 800 meters at an easy pace.

I warmed up with a 1 mile jog done in 10 minutes and immediate began what I thought was 5K pace, something fast but not all out. It appears that I was going roughly a 6:20 min/mi pace for this quarter mile phase. I then let down a little to go what probably was a 7 min/mi pace with a few spikes of slower and faster paces over 800 meters. I then got to the 10K pace phase which was probably a 7:15 min/mi pace for a mile and a half. This began the tough phase of picking up the pace when I was a bit tired. I turned it up for the next 800 meters keeping it down to around a 6:45 min/mi pace. Then I pushed it for the final quarter mile and found that I could go below 6 min/mi pace, actually bottoming out at 5:20 min/mi.

I found that at my current level of fitness is fine with such running, I could gone harder or longer at anytime during the run. I can keep my legs interested in the fast paces by stretching out my stride when my turnover become too tiring. I am good with continuing to strive for this 45 minute 10K goal.

The mile segments don't match up with the interval efforts I described above, but the following are my splits:
- Mile 1, 9:56 (warm up)
- Mile 2, 7:06
- Mile 3, 7:16
- Mile 4, 6:58
- Mile 4.5, 9:36 (cool down)
Total: 4.49 miles, 36:03, 8:01 min/mi avg pace

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday 10K Pace Intervals (3 x 1600m @ 6:58 min/mi)

Tonight I searched for a good 10K race training program as I really plan on running a strong race on 13 December at the Jingle All the Way 10K in DC. I think I found one at Running Planet. I fast-forwarded to through the plan to week 10 because the race is 3 weeks out and I have been training somewhat.

Today's workout involves the following:
  • Tuesday - Standard warm up. Run 3 x 1600 meter repeats at 10K pace. After finishing the third 1600 meter repeat, immediately speed up to 5K pace for 800 meters. Do not rest between the third 1600 meter repeat and the 800 meters. Cool down with 800 meters at an easy pace.
The standard warm up is a really mild 10 minute jog. I am still thinking that I can beat my Jug Bay 10K time of 46:21 so I decided that my pace will be 7 min/mi, but my treadmill only increases by tenths of a mile so I ran at a 8.6 mph pace (6:58 min/mi). I was able to hold the paces without a lot of discomfort until the plan called for me to run a final half mile at a 5K pace. Given that I suspect I can run a 21 minute 5K I ratcheted it up to 9 mph (6:40 min/mi pace), but gave up after a quarter mile and jogged out the last 400m. Cooldown involved walking laps around my hot water heater.

Total workout: 5 miles, 44:23 (includes warmup, cooldown, and recovery jogs between intervals)

Recovery: I had one of my wife's L.A. Lite nutrition bars and a glass of water. I plan on sleeping well after the Ultimate Fighter is over.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Long Run (9.29 miles @ 8:13 min/mi)

Garmin Connect - Activity Details

I just ran how I felt today. I find that maintaining a low 8-minute per mile pace for long distances is not as challenging as it used to be. I need to find a race.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Long Run (8 miles - 8:02 min/mi)

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Friday Long Run

Joyous long run the day after Thanksgiving. I have been treadmill bound for more than two weeks with short days and rain making running outside nearly impossible. I took advantage of taking the day off to enjoy a midday run through one of my favorite running courses.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday Long Run (8 miles @ 8:51 min/mi)

Workout details: Treadmill run, 8 miles in 1:10:48, alternate 4 min @ 7.0 mph/45 sec @ 5 mph for 7 miles, last mile at 8 mph (7:30 min/mi).

Training recovery: poor sleep, poor hydration, poor diet. Drank 6 oz of water during run

Notes: once again running at a not ideal time due to regular life schedule conflicts, which also is the reason why I am running on the treadmill again.

Miscellaneous: read an article from the article by Greg MacMillan discussing the what went wrong log that can be used to dissect your running performance. Saw the Runner's World video about the JFK 50 miler ultra marathon and have decided that I must run this before my 40th birthday maybe after running Boston (still have to qualify for that).

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Easy Run (4 miles @ 8:18 min/mi)

After work treadmill run. Ran 4 miles in 33:14. Began with 3 miles at 7 mph (8:34 min/mi pace). Finished running with 7.3 mph for 0.75 miles and a last lap at 7.6 mph.

I didn't eat lunch today. I wasn't hurt by running on an empty stomach, but I need to fuel properly before running when the training get harder.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday speedwork - a 3 mile tempo run @ 7:30 min/mi

Five miles run on the treadmill in 42:07 (8:25 min/mi pace). The plan was to run a three mile tempo at 7:30 min/mi with a warmup and cooldown mile.

1.0 mile warmup at 10:00 min/mi pace
3.0 miles tempo pace at 7:30 min/mi pace
0.1 miles at 6:40 min/mi pace (to complete the middle 5k strong)
0.9 miles at 10:00 min/mi pace

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Easy Run (5 miles, 8:47 min/mi)

Just another evening run on the treadmill. Five miles in 43:55. I am using a periodization method in my training. Two easy runs, one speedwork session (interval or tempo run), and a long run a week in this phase. This phase is called the "base building" phase that is intended to strengthen muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues. I'll be in this phase throughout the rest of the year, probably until February then I will begin the preparation phase.

The preparation phase is largely endurance and strength runs like hill repeats. I need to improve this in order to get through the hard late miles in the marathon. The last phase is the peak phase where I will focus on speed.

I have not ever trained specifically like this before and I am not sure what results it will get me, but we shall see. More info on this method of training can be found at Runner's World.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday Long Run (8 miles @ 8:38 min/mi)

Another evening treadmill run. I put my 8 miles in using the "Galloway method" in the second half because I didn't have a lot of gas to maintain a steady pace. The Galloway method is a way of running that incorporates periodic walk breaks to keep your legs fresh.

I don't like to walk in my runs, but around mile 4 I started to take the treadmill down from 7 mph to 5 mph for around 45 seconds then running at a 7.3 mph pace for 4 minutes - rinse repeat. I actually used this in my most recent marathon out of necessity after mile 18. It helped because I walked through the water stops so I was able to take in my fluids and gels efficiently as opposed to sloshing my cup about and every so often choking on water going down the wrong pipe.

So, even though I am not sure about the strategy yet, I can see how using this intentionally in my next marathon could help. We'll see. I am going to experiment with this a bit.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Easy Run 4 Miles (expected - 9:53 min/mi; actual - 8:26)

I really did not feel like running today, but I found the will to do it anyways. I put in 33:45 on the treadmill watching the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks stink it up for the first quarter - man, early season basketball is pretty bad.

I have got to start practicing myself as I plan on starting intramural hoops in early January and I haven't played since our loss in the semi-final last April. I'd like to come in a little more game ready this year so I can have little more offense.

Anyways, flag football's last regular season game is this Sunday so I can focus on the 5K and try to put in a good time there before the playoffs begin in December.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

5 mile Tempo Run (expected: 3 mi @ 8:20, actual: 3 mi @ 7:30)

Today's training was a 3 mile tempo run with a 1 mile warm-up and a 1 mile cool-down. I had to do this run on the treadmill due to a miserable, wet, and cold day that had me busy visiting my children's teachers throughout the midday. I had just finished helping my oldest with his science project and went downstairs to run.

I knew I could run a good pace because I was well rested so I pushed the pace way beyond this crazy plan from the Runner's World Smart Coach. I ran my tempo run at 8:20 min/mi and ran the next .10 mile at an 9 mph pace for a 23:34 5K in the middle of a 5 mile run. The total time for this run was 41:37, an average pace of 8:19 min/mi.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Easy Run (expected: 9:53 min/mi, actual: 9:00 min/mi)

Training journals are going to be boring every once in a while. I just jumped on the treadmill for 5 miles after working late, eating dinner in the car and coming home to do the dishes. I am training way above the pace my plan has for me, but I actually think my race will be faster than the predicted 24 min 5K. I really feel fit enough for a 21:30.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Saturday long run (expected 8 mi @ 9:53, actual 8 mi @ 8:11)

Garmin Connect - Activity Details

I decided to run on Saturday evening instead of Sunday, due to my 7:30 am flag football game on Sunday. I got to run in the early dusk and finish in full dark after running 1:05:34, which is a 8:11 min/mi pace. I didn't struggle with the speed, but might've run a bit faster in order to not run for too long on the roads when it was dark.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Marathoning is expanding my cultural awareness

My interest in marathoning has introduced me to a very international awareness since the majority of the sport's stars are not from the US. One of the sport's best is Sammy Wanjiru the 2008 Olympic marathon champion from Kenya. I recently read an interesting article about him in the Saturday Nation a Kenyan news website.

In this article Wanjiru fears for his safety as his sports popularity and earnings have made him a target of armed thugs who have been attacking his home. As is common, the comments section offers an interesting extension on the conversation. A few comments offer that Sammy is much like America's own sports stars in that he is "keeping it real" by continuing to live amongst his childhood friends even though his new income makes him very wealthy.

A provincial upbringing that many of Americans have would lead one to think that the problems of star athletes is an local phenomena. Now, I guess I might be a little wiser.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Easy Run (target: 9:53 min/mi, actual: 9:07 min/mi)

I got at 5AM today to run on the treadmill. I didn't mind it so much as I got to watch some really good NBA highlights on ESPN SportCenter while I put in a quality easy run of four miles. I ran the four in 36:35, which is an average of 9:07 min/mi. And guess what?

I just completed more than 1000 miles in 2009!

That 149 runs, including 2 marathons!
Avg. Time: 00:58:20
Total Time: 144:53:57
Avg. Speed: 6.9 MPH
Avg. Mi Pace: 8:41
Avg. Dist.: 6.7 Mi
Total Dist.: 1001.2 Mi

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Speedwork 3x800m with 400m

The plan today was to run three 800m sprints in 3:44 minutes each. I succeeded in doing this by running during lunch at the track:

  • Interval one: 3:19
  • Interval two: 3:24
  • Interval three: 3:26

The total mileage with warm-up, cool down, and interval rests of 400m was a total of 4.75 miles.

Good times!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Beginning my comeback

I have finally decided to resume my training in earnest. I want to run a 5K around the Thanksgiving holiday and have not run in the three weeks since my marathon, though I did play three flag football games. I used the Runner's World Smart Coach to sketch a training plan for me.

The plan today was to run four miles at slow 9:53 min/mi pace. I could not contain myself though and just ran finishing my neighborhood loop of 3.89 miles in 30:26, a 7:49 min/mi pace. I really don't like running on the roads at night because I don't have much shoulder to run on and am too tall to run for long stretches on the sidewalk because a branch will whack me in the face for sure. My wife bought me a reflective vest that should at least warn drivers that someone is on the road, but I think it may be too dangerous to keep this up and I must look for alternatives like running during the lunch hour at work. I don't plan on doing any more running on my treadmill than necessary.

Anyways, I plan on running at least a couple of 5Ks to prove to myself what kind of speed I have. I plan on getting my marathon time down to 3:30 next year and given my performances this year I have a lot of work to do. I'll be looking to run at least two marathons in 2010 and want to break 20 minutes in a 5K, 40 minutes in a 10K, and 1:40 in a half marathon. My current times are 46:21 in the 10K, 1:49:59 in the half-marathon, and 3:58:19 marathon. I have not raced a 5K in an organized race, but I have run 3.13 miles in 22:57 and 23:26 during training.

Overall the body feels good. My left knee felt a touch tight after the run and my lungs definitely felt the burn of the effort, but this went away shortly during and after the run.

The NYC Marathon this weekend was awesome. Congratulations to Meb and Tulu they really showed the class of great winners - supreme effort and respect for their sport and fellow competitors. Also inspirational is the book I am reading now The Perfect Mile the story of the three men who challenged themselves to break the four minute mile barrier in middle of the 20th century.

Happy running!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Planning the next training season

I have enjoyed my post-marathon rest, but am getting restless and need to put together the next training plan. I am targeting another marathon in mid-May 2010. I am going to try the Hal Higdon 30-week Novice Supreme training plan again. Now I have to schedule the following:
  • 5-K race 6 weeks from now (December 6 - Columbia Metric Marathon and 5K)
  • 8-K race 9 weeks from now (December 26)
  • 10-K race 12 weeks from now (January 16)
  • 15-K race 18 weeks from now (February 27)
  • Half-Marathon 24 weeks from now (April 10)
  • Marathon 30 weeks from now (May 22)
And, no, I am not worried about running in the wake of the recent marathon deaths.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Baltimore 2009 Race Report

Very satisfying race yesterday. I am proud of myself for improving on my previous time by more than five minutes and humbled again by miles 18 through 26. I ran a sub four hour marathon, which is always considered respectable, but I had some nervous moments trying to get there. I was coming down the home stretch during the time when the announce was goading those of us in the chute to watch the clock and get in under four hours. Cramps in my hamstrings taunted me just as I passed the mile 26 marker. It was as if my legs had listened to my Garmin watch alarm tell me that I had actually already finished the actual marathon distance (according to my watch we really had run 26.41 miles) I just made with a 3:58.19 chip time, but the clock time said 3:58:59 (chip time acknowledges the fact that it takes time for those of us who are elites must run a bit before crossing the starting line).

Baltimore yesterday was the tail of two races. I ran with the 3:40 pace group and kept up with them until mile 16. This caused me to beat my Baltimore Half Marathon time from last year (I ran 1:49:59 for the half marathon portion of this marathon - last year, I ran 1:51:57 and didn't have to run another 13.1 afterwords). I started struggling around Patterson Park and tried a couple of surges to keep up, but I lost them at E. Madison Street.

The trouble really began midway through mile 17 as I hit the downhill on N. Washington Street. My quadriceps seized up with cramps and I actually had to walk to get them back under control. I ambled along and held off the 3:50 pace group until for a long time even though I was losing over minute a mile from my goal pace. They caught me around Charles Village. I tried to run with them, but their pace dropped me like a Snoop song. It was then that I really started to fear for my goal to PR (break my personal record). I had gotten a diaphragm cramp (you know, a side stitch) from the bridge at Falls Expressway and held my guts in until Eutaw Street. Then the strangest cramp of all happened, I had simultaneous cramps in the muscles around my elbows. Finally, I found enough within to pick up the pace during the last mile stretch downtown to Camden Yards finishing with a 9:44 minute mile, which was my only single digit (minute hand) mile in the last eight.

In retrospect, I can say that I did well despite the physical ailments, I actually took time to take a potty break, and I held a low 8 minute mile pace for 17 miles. My average pace for 26.2 miles was 9:06 min/mi and I think that there is nothing to sneeze at there. I actually PR'ed in both my marathon and half marathon in the same race. I know that before my next marathon I must do a lot more endurance runs - going over 20 miles in more than a few long runs and I need to add hill work to develop strength as I found my legs not up to the hills like I thought they were.

First and foremost God, my wife, and family. Without them I would have nothing to be proud of and could not have done what I needed to do for this race. For the friends and family I lost recently, Granddad Wheeler, Grandma Stella, Ryan Trotman, Marcia Plater, and Ollie. For Gail who continues to recover from a stroke around Christmas. She's up and walking again being braver than I had to be to run the marathon. I ran for them, I thought of them as it got hard, they watched over me. For the friends who encouraged me and wished me well. I hope I did not annoy my Facebook network too badly with my constant training reports - it helped me.

I'll be doing this again soon. I will qualify for Boston.

Friday, October 9, 2009

It's time...

It's time to run my goal race of the year - the Under Armor Baltimore Marathon 2009! Since my last marathon i've run 75 times, covered 501.6 miles, one 20-mile run, and averaged 8:36 min/miles over all my runs. Unlike the training for the Frederick Marathon, I did no weight lifting and don't remember doing much core training. I ran during my vacation, on my 10th wedding anniversary, on my birthday, and during an overseas business trip. I believe my dedication is really strong. Now I've got to go out there and show some guts an run as strong as I can. My weak goal is 3:50 and my strong goal is 3:40. I do not want to speak of my secret goal.

This training has been fun and I think that I could have only improved it with more speed work and hill training. I'd like to run with a running group in the future - hopefully one with fast people who will get me motivated. I plan on keeping this running thing up for a while. So, stay tuned, I will write a detailed race report for those who'll be interested.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Reflecting on training thus far

I have just been skimming my marathon training logs and saw that amazingly I should hit 1000 miles this year right on my marathon this October 10th. I believe this Summer has been some of my best training yet in my short (1.25 years) running career. I am 2 weeks away from my second marathon ever. My goal is 3:50, but my "not-so-secret" hope is to run a 3:40.

So, the training plans I have utilized were Hal Higdon's Novice supreme and the Runner's World Smart Coach plans. I liked the RW plan because it got me used to planning the time to run frequent longish runs (mostly 7-8 miles) during the week. I believe that this will allow me to get used to higher mileage training programs as I try to improve. I haven't been doing so much speed work and I have a feeling that this must change to qualify me for Boston.

I have just gotten comfortable with running at a low 8-minute mile pace for 5-8 mile spans, but I have only run low 9-minute paces for my long runs. I feel like I did C-level work on my aerobic base building. I gave myself the C-grade because I felt very fatigued during my 20-mile run this past week, I only did one twenty miler, I quit during a 16 miler (finishing only 14 miles), and I did not train with proper fuel but for my last two long runs. I did C+ work for speed training. This grade because I actually did some speed work on the track, but I only did a 2 interval training runs and I did not enter any 5Ks or 10Ks. My strength hills and stamina work was a C. I did a few marathon pace and tempo runs, but I did not intentionally run any hills. However, my running locations tend to be very hilly on the geography side - the average elevation gain of all my outdoor runs this Summer is 1225 feet. On dedication and effort I definitely give myself an A-, because I didn't miss any workouts (though I am in danger, because I am going on an out of country business trip this Saturday and will not be able to run this Sunday) and I challenged myself to a psuedo 10K race where I clocked a time less than 45 seconds slower than my PB.

In all, I give myself a C+ training grade this season, which if scored on a curve with other rookie marathoners might eke out a B+ grade. I made it past my first marathon and trained for my second that makes me sure I am not a fly-by-night runner. I kept a fairly decent training log; annoying my Facebook friends with daily updates i'm afraid. I expect to PR in at least one race per year let's hope that I do not disappoint.

Happy running!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday Tempo Run

8.0 miles - 1:05:48 - 8:13 min/mi average pace

Treadmill tempo run today. 1 mile warm up and cool down. 6 miles in 46:41 for an average pace of 7:46 min/mi. Good stuff, now for some football :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Tuesday Easy Run

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Tuesday Easy Run

8.01 miles - 1:03:31 - 7:55 min/mi

I didn't read my training plan today and ran 8 miles instead of 7. I also let my competitive juices get to me because I was running on a track instead the road and ran almost a minute and a half faster than my target pace. Since my tempo run on Thursday was 6 miles at a 7:57 min/mi I could swap this workout for that one.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Keep rising to the top

7.02 - 57:06 - 8:08 min/mi - 1,350 ft elevation gain

I ran a rare after work run today. It was hot relative to my regular early morning runs. I looked up a 7 miler from about a month ago to run. I forgot how hilly it was. An old Dougie Fresh song made me smile while climbing one of the hills.

"Keep rising to the top... Give it all you got, give it all you got!"

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Friday Easy Run

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Nothing great is easy

I wanted to quit during my long run today. I had a scheduled 16 miler today. At mile 15 I stopped and walked, at mile 12 I made my plans to stop two miles short when my route passed my house again, at mile 1 I asked myself if I could execute this run at all.

Yesterday was the CAN DC Alumni Flag Football tournament and I found out that my anaerobic muscle fibers were not properly prepared for the effort. I woke for my run hobbled with stiff muscles and a sore left big toe.

After I decided to get the run over with, I worked hard to maintain the goal pace. I succeed for 12 miles then I thought I had had enough and wanted to go home. Soon I remembered that I had already been through worse physical exertion and that I need to push through this for the marathon. I passed my house at mile 14 and kept trudging along forgetting my goal pace and finally slowed to determined walk at mile 15. With 400 meters to go I picked it up to finish strong and learned my lesson of the day - nothing great is ever easy.

Weekly stats:
  • Tues: 7 miles - 57:33 - 8:13 min/mi
  • Thurs: 6.8 miles - 55:19 - 8:08 min/mi (5 mile tempo run at 7:41 min/mi)
  • Fri: 6 miles - 54:24 - 9:04 min/mi
  • Sun: 16.05 miles - 2:35:10 - 9:40 min/mi
  • Totals: 35.85 miles

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Making Progess

Week two of the new marathon training plan brought four quality runs. In this plan I run Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Thursday was a speed work day and my birthday. I capped the week off with a 14 mile run that really gave me a gauge of my fitness.
  • Tues (8/18) - 1:07:35, 7.86 miles, 8:35 min/mi
  • Thurs (8/20) - 53:17, 6.00 miles, 8:35 min/mi
    • Speed work: 2x1600 - target 7:22 each, actual 7:14 and 7:38
  • Fri (8/21) - 1:04:26, 7.22 miles, 8:55 min/mi
  • Sun (8/23) - 2:05:15, 14.01 miles, 8:56 min/mi
This Tuesday's easy run showed me a glimpse of what I hope to train at for my next marathon.
  • Tues (8/25) - 00:57:33, 7.00 miles, 8:13 min/mi
I found that I could run 7 miles at 8:13 min/mile pace with very little problem. Maybe this is a new easy pace for me, which might mean we can see a Boston qualifier in 2010!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My birthday gift to myself... speedwork on a 90 F day

I spent my second birthday in a row challenging myself with a tough run. Unlike last year it wasn't just a random long run that brought me my first real "bonk" due to not eating before going on a 12 mile run. (Note: this would not happen today, but then it was only my first month running.) No, today's run was just some speedwork and it wasn't too bad.

When I got to the track there were birds circling above me. What was that about? It was a little hot, about 90 degrees Fahrenheit. I normally run in the early AM, but today I had to go to court to contest a traffic ticket (I did not have to pay - the police officer didn't show up). Instead of going to work when I was finished I just decided to spend some quality time running since I had already cleared my schedule due to the traffic court.

So I set out to due two one mile sprint at 7:22 min/mi pace with 800 meter rest intervals and a warmup/cooldown that covered 3 miles total.
Injury report: the ankle is still painful, but I plan on icing it and staying off it as much as possible. It is not a sideliner.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Week 1 of my new 9 week marathon training plan

This Sunday marks the end of my first week after changing my training plan. I feel good about the decision. Each run has been strong and I think that it has to do with the additional day of rest the plan allows. Not having to run hard on Saturday prior to running my LSD on Sunday made a huge difference in how strong I felt doing that distance.

Monday - rest
Tuesday - 7 miles for 1:04:39 @9:14 min/mi - I did this on my basement treadmill because I needed to run early in the morning to go to work on time.
Wednesday - rest
Thursday - 6 mile tempo, 1 mile warmup, two miles at a 7:50 min/mi pace with a 1 mile cooldown
Friday - another treadmill run, 6 miles 55:25 @9:14 min/mi
Saturday - rest
Sunday - 12 miles in 1:44:31 @8:42 min/mi. Ran this faster than I was supposed to because I felt so good. I ran the last mile in 7:44 to emphasize how much better I was feeling

So, in all I think that I've found that the new plan emphasizing the speed workout in Thursday is very agreeable. My left ankle is bothering me. I iced it for a few hours and feel that it might not be "injured" but I should keep off of it .

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday Tempo Run

I planned a 6 mile run today. A one mile warm up, 4 miles run at tempo pace (7:53), and a one mile cool down. My battery ran out on my watch before run was finished, but before it did it showed that my average pace through 3.62 miles of the tempo run was 7:50 min/mi.

I walked around today at work feeling the effort in my buns. The faster pace felt anaerobic like I had done a good set of lunges or squat. I am really happy with the decision to switch to program that includes speedwork.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Change of Training Plan

A brief history

I started off my running career a little over a year ago training for the Nike+ Human Race 2008. This was a 10K "virtual race" that peaked my interest by using the Nike+iPod technology to track my progress in running. I ran this race in 00:54:02 - not impressive, but solid. I signed up for the half-marathon in the 2008 Baltimore Running Festival and did okay with a 1:51:57. My next race was the Jug Bay 10K in November 2008 where I posted a 00:46:21, which was good enough in that small race to garner a second place finish in the 30 - 35 age group though technically the first and second overall for men were in this group so I was really fourth.

My first marathon

For my first marathon, the Frederick Running Festival, I somewhat religiously followed Hal Higdon's Novice 1 training program. I finished that marathon in 4:03:27 after running a race where I felt incredibly strong for 16 miles and proceeded to fall apart for the next 10 miles.

My goal marathon

I took a few weeks off, then slowly got back into running in order to prepare for my goal marathon, the Baltimore Running Festival, in October. I started off just putting together a Summer training program from and then went back to Higgy using the second half of his Novice Supreme plan. I started at week 11 of this plan and this week would've been in week 23 of this 30 week plan. However, I recently decided to change plans. Here's why.

I have been piling on the miles in this running plan, but rarely have been feeling fast. Strong, yes, but fast no. I ran a test mile of 6:22 in the middle of a 3 mile run and a 46:54 in a 10K (really 6.22 miles) which left me encouraged because I had plenty in the tank in both cases. Yet, I have been uncomfortably mediocre since. Fact is, I haven't tested myself and haven't pushed my efforts. Since July I have been averaging 32 miles per week so my base is up - its time for some speedwork.

The new plan

I am switching over from Higgy's Novice Supreme to a plan customized to my inputs on Runner's World's Smart Coach. This plan has me running one less day a week and emphasizes two easy runs and one long run per week. What attracted me was the once a week tempo run or speedwork session. I am going to run the same type of mileage per week, but I will give my body a little more time to recover. This is important because I am feeling some pain in the high ankle area and I think this is due to overdoing it just a touch with long runs on Saturday and Sunday. Plus I am starting flag football and the end of the month.

The following is a snapshot of the plan.

I also need to treat this training seriously, which would involve sleeping earlier, eating well, and being careful what I put in my body. We'll see if I can do that. I'll try to keep posting. Stay tuned...

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Summer has been good so far...

I am getting a lot of good runs in recently. I wake up and do my run. That is something I can't normally do because my wife has to leave for work so early during the school year and I have got to get the kids ready for school before going to work myself. But, recently I just wake up grab my shoes and get out there.

The weather around the country has been hot in some places, but mostly the DC Metro area has been cool for July. So good weather and a less constrictive schedule have really had an effect on my treadmill. I haven't used it since I don't know when.

My paces are pretty steady, I see that I need to focus in order to keep my speed up when running more than seven miles. Not a whole lot of time left until the next marathon, but I expect to start peaking soon. I am running 5 days a week and averaging about 7.0 mph. I've put in 95 miles in the last 30 days. This weekend is an 8 mile marathon pace run followed by an 11 mile "long slow distance" run. I'm putting it together.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Game face on (today's run 7.33 miles - 1:01:47 - 8:25 min/mi average pace)

Today I thought occasionally about not doing my run. I had a hard time trying to imagine getting in a 7 mile run, working almost ten hours at work, and supporting my children's swim team "loads of laps" challenge. Determined not to disappoint myself, I got to the pool, cheered the kids on and ran off into the sunset.

At mile 6 I got a painful stitch in my side. That familiar diaphragm cramp. I tried to keep running and put pressure on my side and took deep breaths, but I had to slow down to a walk. As soon as I could I got back to my running pace and finished the last mile at about a 7:15 mi/min pace.

I am not where I want to be. I skipped a few runs in late June to take care of some important family business, but I stay resolute. I ran on my vacation last week. I knew I was going to have a hard week back at work and I am keeping the faith. My training needs to pickup, but I am still at it. My game face is on.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Laying down on the job (Today's run: 4.01 Miles - 30:58 - 7:43 Avg)

I have been running. But, I have recently been bringing no enthusiasm to the job. Today's run was a fairly vigorous 4.01 miles in 30:56 with an average pace of 7:43 mi/min. I have run 13 times since my last blog and averaged roughly this same pace over distances from 3 to 7 miles except for my abysmal 15K this weekend that I can only explain as a result of my first 90+ degree F day run of the summer.

I think I need a race. I also want to order the heart rate monitor that I did not get with my Garmin Forerunner 405. I feel like I need something to make me push my intensity. I have roughly 13 weeks until my next marathon, but the efforts I have been giving in my workouts are not indicative of the kinds of changes I want to make. I am gonna try to step it up. :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

12x200 fail

I ran a 12x200 interval workout on the base today at lunch. I've run only three track workouts since I've started marathon training. I didn't know what I was doing. I did a 1 mile warm-up and proceeded to do the intervals. I ran one 200 pretty fast but didn't time it because I programmed my Garmin interval workout for 400s instead of 200s. Also I am not sure Garmin measures in track lengths. I put my interval distances in at 0.13 miles, which is 209 meters. So after reprogramming, I ran the 12x200s. Now for the fail.

I made the recovery period 100 meters, well actually 0.06 miles (96.6 meters). My 12x200s averaged 48 seconds each, which is pretty slow I think. I did not realize it until after the workout, but I conserved my energy because this recovery was not long enough.

I have been pretty fast in my brief high school track career. I have run fast 200 meters before. So after reconciling this with my McMillan predicted 38 second 200m I found that I was supposed to make my recovery roughly three times the length of my interval time in other words 1:10 minutes of rest. If I want to call this speedwork, I need to shoot for 30 second 200m interval times with one minute recovery jogs. I'll do better next time.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Novice Supreme

This is my third day of running in a row. I am definitely faster than before the marathon having posted a 4.02 in 30:50, 3.13 in 23:26, and today 5.03 in 39:22.

I am beginning my 18 week training program for my next marathon a week early. I went all last week without running and did not go to the gym either. My body has begun to crave working out. So I found myself bored on a Sunday afternoon and decided to go for a run. Monday I seized another opportunity to run and finally decided that I will not wait until next week to begin training I am now following Hal Higdon's Novice Supreme training plan.

Tomorrow, I have a date at the track for 12 x 200s. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Four weeks of cross-training

I have been taking my time getting back to running since the marathon. I have run only nine miles since the race in four separate workouts. I started a four week muscle-building workout this past Saturday thanks to my friends at

So far, I have suffered through two one-and-a-half hours weight training workouts and did a track workout of 3.5 miles that was composed of a 10 minute warm-up and cool-down with a fast steady-state mile in the middle. My steady-state mile was an 85% effort and ended up being a 6:33 time. That's about what I expect at my current level of fitness and the fact that my right calf is still really sore due to the marathon.

Today, I am really sore but I feel good. I am seven pounds heavier than I was at the marathon. I expect that my natural weight is 190 pounds and that I'll lose weight as my marathon training resumes in June. For now I am just going to focus on doing something to stay fit.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Changes are coming - a new entry in the Run-Net DNS table

I will be rearranging my blog soon. I started this blog to put some of my draft ideas in grad school on the web. It then became my running journal and has been best used as that. Now I am becoming energized to journal my thoughts on information technology.

I have recently been enamored by Tim Berners-Lee Linked Data project and the Wolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine. I think these efforts will be big, really big, but I am not sure that I should mix the posts in a single blog?

No. I just finished Steve Runner's latest podcast on the "Run-Net" community on Phedippidations and understand that I am a node to this community and I prefer to have a more consistent and understandable directory.

So, I will be doing some information architecture and most likely producing two blogs in the near future: one for my running journal and another for my Semantic Web/software interests. Please follow me if you are interested. It keeps me energized.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Post marathon blues...

I was on top of the world for a day and a half after running my first marathon this Sunday, but now I am analyzing and eager to get out and run again. I think the post-marathon blues is setting in.

I did not meet my goal for my first marathon. Don't get me wrong. I think its great to join the 26.2 club and plan on putting my first car sticker on my car EVER because of it, but I wanted to prove I was faster. I ran 4:03:27. Not bad by my peers opinions, but I actually don't personally know any other marathoners. My forum friends are encouraging, but some of them are so fast. I thought I was one of them.

I am fit, I am 6'4" and 184 lbs. I can run fast. My fastest mile was 5:20. I have run a lot of miles, well at least I ran all but a few of the workouts in Hal Higdon's Novice I marathon training program. Why couldn't I get the predicted 3:30:00 marathon?

Well, to be honest I told myself that I would be happy with under 4 hours, and that is why I am not happy. I trained like a mad man and felt awesome going into the marathon. I found myself well ahead of the 3:40 marathon pace group with only 12 K left, but I hit the wall and it took an hour for me to cover the last 5 miles. I tried to gut out mile 21 and hit an 8:44 pace for it, but slammed down hard afterward.

Oh well, I am waiting for the tenderness to leave my right calf and plan on a 3 mile recovery run tomorrow. After that few low mileage weeks, while I look for a good training plan to get me at least a 3:50 marathon. I have changed my expectations because I feel that if I had merely run the more conservative pace at the beginning I would've had more to give at the end. I will focus on negative splits because I almost never can do them.

I have got another marathon October 10th and I expect to improve.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My First Marathon Race Report

My First Marathon Race Report

It was a cool Spring day about 55 degrees dark clouds in the sky hinted that we would have a long drenching day about an hour into the race. I arrived about 50 minutes early and after catching up with a few friends I ran into by chance and doing my bag check I got in line for the porta-potty with about 30 minutes until the start time. The line moved slow and I was nervous that I would not make it in time in both cases. So, the moral of the story kids is give yourself plenty of time to get to the bathroom when you arrive at a race.

I found my 3:50 pace group and quickly got claustrophobic with all of the people running near me so I broke away and found myself near the 3:40 pace group. A few miles in I got a little annoyed with conversation the women around me were having and my legs wanted to run faster show I got about 5 minutes ahead of the 3:40 pace group. I heard quite a lot about my pace group bib being so far behind and got into a conversation with a lady, her friend and her husband who hadn't trained but was fit enough and kind enough to pace his wife to the half marathon mark. By the time Bobby left us for the finish line I had run my fastest half-marathon by about one minute 1:50:33.

The guys kept me company from mile 8 to mile 16 or so. The conversation was good though I felt like a little bit of a braggart with my marathon expectations. I remember once saying, "what if I qualify for Boston in my first marathon?" Susan and Jeanne have already run Boston and trained to qualify this race. They let me in on this little secret while hearing my speed fancies in the coolest way. At one point the pace was putting a cramp in Jeanne's style and she gave me the most awesome (and polite) brush off so she could run her own race. Jeanne said to me, "Can I bore you with my fastest marathon ever? It was 2:58..." then she took off to find the pace she was looking for. Mind you we had maintained an 8:23 min/mi pace up to mile 14.

Susan stayed with me until mile 16 when it looked like Jeanne was getting almost a half mile ahead and bid her adieu to me saying that she'll be back to check on me. I said I hope you don't have to. I have to say I love runners. In my experience the average runner is polite, thankful for the fans and peace officers that made our race safe and possible and we genuinely look out for each other.

Since this is a long post I will say how the tough parts began. Mile 18 began the two largest hills I have had to run - 142 feet of incline over one mile followed by 147 feet in the next. It was brutal but I maintained a fair pace. By the end of mile 19 the 3:50 group had caught me. Pacer Josh remembered me from my forum posts and our meeting at the expo on Saturday and he reminded me to glide or bounce down the hill we descended. He was a great motivator asking us to give a little something to finish the last 10-K I kept up for another mile putting in an 8:44 at mile 21 but by mile 22 and the return of the hills I was spent.

I never walked, but I was never the same from mile 22 until the finish. My legs tried to cramp, but a little sprint pushed those back. My diaphram felt that familiar stitch, but I wouldn't let it get me and I tried to put down more water at every rest stop. I ran double digit miles all the way to the end taking an hour to complete the last 5 miles.

I must give a shout out to the car full of the cutest kids ever who cheered me and other struggling runners on as we closed in on mile 25. They kept saying, "Go Kris!" and "Keep going Kris!" I actually saw them at the finish line and they said to me great job and I was very touched. I would thank them personally for what that meant to me if I could, but I'll pay it forward instead. Another shout out goes to my big brother who showed up to the race just in time to see me finish and helped me to my car as I was in bad shape at the end and to my wife and kids who met me at my hotel room with an old favorite - Fox's pizza.

I finished in 4:03:27. I did not meet my goal, but I tried to sprint to the finish line and I will be more smart about keeping a conservative pace all the way up to mile 20 and try to make up no more than 10 or 12 minutes at the end. Hey, its my first marathon I had a great time and met cool people. I am going to learn from this race and try to be better for my next marathon at Baltimore October 10.

Happy running and thanks for reading. I'll be back.

Split, Total Time, Elevation Gain, Elevation Loss
* 1, 08:18, 142, 62
* 2, 08:06, 63, 131
* 3, 08:22, 102, 79
* 4, 08:12, 57, 77
* 5, 08:37, 240, 224
* 6, 08:16, 101, 102
* 7, 08:10, 13, 54
* 8, 08:19, 68, 88
* 9, 08:19, 62, 52
* 10, 08:13, 65, 41
* 11, 08:11, 41, 85
* 12, 07:58, 41, 33
* 13, 08:13, 62, 33
* 14, 08:14, 177, 169
* 15, 08:32, 84, 137
* 16, 08:59, 87, 22
* 17, 09:04, 33, 58
* 18, 09:27, 142, 60
* 19, 10:18, 147, 33
* 20, 09:58, 52, 79
* 21, 08:44, 65, 185
* 22, 11:21, 95, 47
* 23, 11:46, 114, 80
* 24, 11:41, 58, 129
* 25, 12:24, 82, 73
* 26, 12:30, 52, 73
* .2, ???

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

If you are what you say you are, then have no fear the camera's here...

I spent a lot of time talking about how I won't run the 5K race next week at work if my legs are all beat up after my marathon on Sunday. I know I was bragging and probably was obnoxious, but I starting to feel my improvement and want to show it with good times. Does this get in the way of having fun?
If you are what you say you are, then have no fear the camera's here...
I planned on just running a good pace for four miles with a negative split tonight. A slow first mile followed by progressively faster miles until I finish, but alas it was not to be. I galloped out of my cul-de-sac and found myself stretching out down the hill. At this point I just straightened up and worked on my form and just held the tempo. The hills caused me to vary my splits between 7:42 and 7:19 for the first three miles. I decided that my last mile will be my fastest and by gosh I did it. My final mile was 7:17. I am geniunely stronger and when I start training for speed after this marathon I will really see what my potential will be.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pace groups - to fall back or sprint ahead

The Marathon Movie preview I just saw puts the DVD on my short list for Father's Day gifts.

I have been chatting with the members of the 3:50 Geico pace group on the Frederick Marathon forum. I think that I am going to start my race with them to ensure that I maintain the right pace up to mile 16 and test myself based on my strength at that point. The pacers have given me great food for thought that make me comfortable with the decision. Miles 16 - 22 of the Frederick marathon are really challenging according to the elevation chart, but I think that I've prepared myself well since I have often run elevation gains of 1000+ feet.

Tonight was beautiful weather in my town so I could not help but run outside and accidentally found myself trying to prove something about my 5K abilities. I ran 3.13 miles in 22:57 because my job is having a 5K the Wednesday after the marathon and I have not yet decided whether I want to run it. You see, alot of people at work know I am training for the marathon and I would not like it at all if I could not post a good 5K time. However, I am not sure my legs will permit me to impress if they've been zapped by the 26.2 I am going to race (not run) only 3 days earlier. Pride has got me twisted. If I don't run some people may not understand if I do run I may not look like a superstar (forget the fact that I may hurt myself - can you say stress fracture?). Seems like a simple problem, but I still don't know what to do.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What the treadmill has taught me

I started my running doing late nights on the treadmill after getting inspired by Runner's World Half-Marathon Challenge. I set myself goal paces for certain amounts of time and I went from DNF to slowly accomplishing each workout. The treadmill was integral to my training because I used it like free weights - the speed was my weight the time my set. I knew how much improvement I was making by setting the weight/speed higher and and doing more sets (read: running for a longer time).

Running outside (on my own) can do the same thing, it keeps you honest - but honesty is not always what you need. Sometimes you need that prop, that assist, that helps you trying harder than you normally would. Sometimes you need to run on the back of the treadmill or cheat on a rep.

However, you always need to translate this training to the field, out of the weight room. That will be shown a week from now on the hills of Frederick, MD.

Training note: Sunday, 8 miles, 66 minutes

Thursday, April 23, 2009

3 miles -- 25:43 -- 8:34 min/mi

Short post today. My legs feel fresh. 3 miles at an easy pace. I gotta go do some push-ups and an ab workout.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Twighlight loop around the hood

I never knew that socks could make such a difference. I bought a pair of Balega Enduro socks for my upcoming marathon and gave them a trial run this evening. OMG the words fail me they felt so good. They even have a cool website.

Short summary of the run. I ran well, I am finding that I can fairly easily run 8 minute miles, even when I am not trying to go fast. I got chased by the largest German Sheppard ever, interrupted dinner for a family of deer, and got cheered on my neighborhood kids. Not bad.

  • 6.01 miles
  • 48:09
  • 8:00 min/mi
P.S. I had done my 100 push-up and 8-minute ab workouts on Monday and Tuesday, but I skipped it tonight. I'll get back to it tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Taper, taper, taper... I am trying to be disciplined and make today an easy run. I used the McMillan Running Calculator to determine what an easy run pace is and the result came back with 8:49 min/mi or 6.8 mph. So, I got on the treadmill and that is what I did. I could not resist spiking the run with a mile at 3.5% incline.

I have a couple of other thoughts that have been on my mind...

Yesterday's Boston Marathon appeared to be really good. I had to watch the finishes online because I was at work, but once again the women's final had plenty of drama and once again the finish race featured Dire Tune of Ethiopia. Unlike last year Ms. Tune failed to overcome the kick of Salina Kosegi and this time she fell over from exhaustion at the finish line. I saw her carried out on a stretcher and that was it. She is an amazing athlete she is the former Boston champion and there have been no front page reports on her health. In fact, I am no web research rookie and I can find no reports of her well-being on the Web.

This disappoints me.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Negative splits are for rock stars

Saturday mornings. My Saturday mornings are the days I relish most because it is the one time in a week where I have an hour or two to myself to see what I am all about. I am in my taper so today's long run is only 12 miles. I am trying to find my marathon pace so I set out to go out at a pace a bit above my goal time and come back at running my goal pace with increasingly stronger paces. Fat chance.

I still don't know my goal time. I felt good the whole time, but when I looked at my Garmin around mile 5 I realized that I was going too fast and had little hope of returning at a faster rate. I gave the negative split attempt a go, but I could not seem to match my effort at the start - I was tired. I did, however, push myself to my second fastest mile for my last and am grateful for that. Now I know what it takes to be an elite. I will have to train to my highest ability and have the confidence in myself to push beyond when the effort is required.

Total Time
Total Distance
Elevation Gain
Elevation Loss
Average Speed
Max Speed
100:08:10 1.00 150 128 08:10 06:59
200:07:50 1.00 159 170 07:50 06:44
300:08:05 1.00 76 129 08:05 06:49
400:08:11 1.00 238 243 08:11 06:10
500:07:54 1.00 453 464 07:54 03:09
600:07:59 1.00 326 361 07:59 05:09
700:08:56 1.00 121 73 08:56 07:16
800:08:21 1.00 207 202 08:21 05:16
900:08:11 1.00 91 98 08:11 06:50
1000:08:30 1.00 159 71 08:30 07:36
1100:08:52 1.00 155 161 08:52 07:26
1200:07:52 1.00 84 120 07:52 05:56
1300:00:04 0.01

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Good weather arrives!

I could not wait to get outside. Prior to today I have had three consecutive runs on a treadmill. The temperature, breeze and hills felt good. I just felt the joy of running today nevermind that it was getting dark before I got home. I just ran and maintained a good pace of 7:43 min/miles over 4.21 miles.

I just saw the new Nike Zoom Vomero+ 4 today. They look so awesome and I love almost every mile I ran in my Vomero+ 3's. I cannot believe that I let the fact that my running shoe store didn't have them in my size make me switch to my Saucony Triumph 6 shoe, which isn't bad its just I don't yet love them like the Vomeros. Oh well, I will not let that rain on my parade.