Sunday, November 28, 2010

Week 2 of 19 - Spring 2011 Marathon Campaign

Beginning to get the intensity up for another marathon campaign. The National Marathon in Washington, DC will be my next target marathon. I am going to base my training on the Running Planet website's Marathon Training Program for Advanced Competitive Runners.

It is now 17 weeks until the marathon and I've got to start this plan at week 3, although I actually just completed the week 4 workout sans the hill sprints that I would've done on Thanksgiving. This week included the following:
  • Monday - rest
  • Tuesday - 1 mile at an easy 10 min/mi pace, 6 miles at my goal marathon pace (8 min/mi, for now), followed by a cooldown of 1 mile. 8 miles in 1:07:58
  • Wednesday - 6 miles easy was planned, but since I was outside I ran a bit longer and faster than I probably should've. 6.74 miles in 54:25
  • Thursday - I took Thanksgiving day off
  • Friday - Another beautiful day outside for an easy 7 miles. 7.01 miles in 56:29
  • Saturday - Back on the treadmill for an easy run. 5 miles in 42:26
  • Sunday - Treadmill again for a 1 hour threshold pace run with a half mile warm up and cool down of a half mile each. 8.56 miles in 1:10:30
Week totals
  • 35.31 miles
  • 4:51:48 duration
  • 8:15 min/mi average pace

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Early best laid plans

My treadmill has been taking a beating for the past week or so as I have begun training again, but have been unable to get up early enough to run in the mornings since the marathon. I put in 25 miles last week and eight miles today. I have got the George Washington Birthday and SunTrust National Marathon in my sights for early 2011 and plan to get at least 12 weeks of training in before I throw down again.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Raw capture race report

Just jotting down what happened in the race. This is a raw capture a better race report will follow.

The race began on an uphill that I didn't feel due to the adrenaline of starting the race. I had a lot of frustration with the paces of the others I was corralled with and the tension of the first 30 minutes until the Key Bridge was palpable. Around Key Bridge I felt the group loosen up a bit. I think I felt great going up the Reservoir Road hill and when we crested the hill I started to act up for the crowd whooping and slapping hands.

I ran through Georgetown feeding off of the energy of the crowd. I flew through the gauntlet that funneled us towards the Kennedy Center and Tidal Basin. I think the first signs of fatigue started to show going down Hains Point. I walked through water station at the half marathon point. It was then I broke contact with the 3:30 pace group. I gave a good chase for another mile and a half, but I broke then. I took a bathroom pit stop and resumed chase, but at 30 seconds a mile slower a pace. Then the cramps began. From mile 16 on I started having hamstring cramps that caused me to stop and walk every other quarter mile.

The Fourteenth Street bridge was littered with bodies. Many people had to stretch out cramps or walk. Some sat on the side and in the middle of the road, others were slumped again median barriers. Overall, this bridge is when the negative splitters caught and began to lap those who like me "blew up" in the latter miles.

I was in full retreat going back to the finish point. I powered through cramps that I walked from before, but I couldn't fight the pain any longer and walked again within a half mile of the finish line. The cruelest thing of all was the sharp 65 foot vertical climb over the last .2 mile of the course. I got it together enough to pretend to run the last of it out, but the hill made me feel I was moving in slow motion.

The clock read 3:56 (my chip adjusted time was 3:54:48). I had struggled to PR (personal record) by about 4 minutes. I planned to get 3:45 at minimum and thought 3:22 was within reach in training. I was exactly on pace through the half marathon point. I got through half at 1:44:14. It was a tale of two half marathons the first an ideal one for my goal that I didn't think took everything out of me and a second where I struggled mightily to fall off pace by almost 30 minutes.

I don't want to be a bummer. I PR'd. I conquered some mighty hills, but I want to do more. I will be looking for some answers. I am not finished running marathons.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Running with music

I was running my last Sunday before the marathon and on the last mile before I wrap up the workout and the worst song comes up on my random playlist. Have you ever heard the statement, "I love all the songs I put on my iPod except when they are on random." Well, that's how I felt all run. In eight miles, I heard Sade, Anthony Hamilton, and R. Kelly. I could've used Biggie, N.E.R.D., or anything up-tempo, but I kept getting slow songs and emo crap.

Check this. I finally got lucky with Public Enemy's Night of the Living Baseheads and it followed me up with Sade's Babyfather - WTF? So, back to the last song. I was heading up the hill my neighbors call Mt. Tendonitus and what do I hear? That Hump by Erykah Badu. If you've never heard it before, I'll tell you my impression of what you should be doing when it comes on - picking cotton in your fourteenth hour of work on a plantation. This dirge/blues song is not suited for running. I nearly clawed my iPod arm sleeve off my arm trying to get this most inappropriate song out of my head.
If I could get over that HUMP (mmmmm) Then maybe I will feel better Maybe I wont FALL If I could get...
You get the point. I was running up a hill for Pete's sake!

So, this is all to say that I am considering whether I should where my iPod at the marathon this weekend or not. I haven't worn my iPod at my other marathons. The only race wore my iPod was the Jug Bay 10K when I finished 2nd in my age group. I carefully selected my playlist that day to include some serious tempo songs like, DMX's Intro, Jay-Z's Say Hello, and my all-time favorite running song Outkast's B.O.B. I'm thinking that if I can put together 3 and a half hours of music. The only thing I am worried about is whether I want to create a score that fits the phases and scenery of the race or just put a bunch of head bangers on the mix.

Maybe, I'd be better just listening to my heart, footfalls and cheers from the spectators.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Taper madness

I am scared. I am healthy, strong, and feel like I could do something awesome at the Marine Corps Marathon. I also have doubts, am worried that I won't be able to live up to my VERY public expectations and want to show how much potential I have in this race.

Training has gone so well, but did I run enough at my goal marathon pace? Whatever, I am so ready. So the current draft of my expectations is as follows:
  • (perfect day) goal - 3:22, 7:42/mile - I do not expect to hit this goal as I have never trained at this pace I have only come to this goal by my Cherry Blossom 10 mile result.
  • A goal - 3:27, 7:55/mile - I trained to do this, spent little time directly on this but I think I know what it feels like. I need guts to do this, but this is what I want.
  • B goal - 3:32, 8:05/mile - I have done two 20 milers near this pace and think that I can handle this based on training results.
  • C goal - 3:45, 8:35/mile - I would've normally decided that any PR is acceptable, but I have trained too hard to accept that 8:35/mile pace is my best. Only a meltdown will let my pride deliver this result.
So, a blowhard has blown hard. I have told many people who have no choice, but to listen to my marathon dreams that I would beat 3:3o. I am pretty much committed to giving my all. Race strategies are scary. I really want to deliver a negative split, but I have to set the first few miles at the 8:35/mile pace and then ramp up. This will set me in a very difficult pace cut from miles 4 to 26.2.

What-ev. I will try or go out on my shield I have done too many pace workouts where I recovered after tough paces. I have to try.

As you might say, I am suffering from "taper madness," I will second guess, doubt and brag about my marathon goals over the next few days. I will write a full race report, but I am gonna go off the deep end for the next 8 days.

Cheers =)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tough guy, huh?

I ran 7 mile in 56:16 this morning after fighting myself to wake up and run. Tapering feels good, but it reminds you of how much rest one's body really can enjoy.

I did my 5 mile tempo run at 7:24/mile (8.1 mph) with a warm-up and cool down mile. I did this on my treadmill with a 2% grade. Getting to mile 5 felt a bit tough and I had to repeat my self over and over "I am tough, I am tough!" Then magically, mile 5 was easy. I threw in a surge at the end of each lap for 100m (.06 mile) 8.2 mph, 8.3 mph, 9 mph.

I was inspired to keep going by a NY Times article titled, "The Secrets of Elite Athletes" ( that suggested that they simply endure pain better. Well masochism may not be my thing, but I am tough!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Over analyzing...

Now that the hard part is over. Now that the mileage has added up and I have done the speedwork and long runs is the time where I get sneaky. How can I creep over the finish line without hurting? How can I meet my expectations and show the promise to get my BQ in 2011? Do I have the guts and fitness to break 3:30 at the MCM?

In 2010 I ran the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in 1:12:57 and the Armed Forces 5k in 21:06. These times suggest that I can run between 3:22 and 3:24 according to the Runner's World Training Calculator. In my previous two marathons I ran only one twenty mile training run each. For this marathon I have attempted four 20-milers (with on 19.28 mile DNF). I trained 17 weeks/424.01 miles for my first marathon (Frederick 2009), 15 weeks/468.11 miles for my second (Baltimore 2009), and Marine Corps Marathon 2010 will end after 17 weeks/568.31 miles.

Weeks 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Total
Fred2009 16.23 19.05 22.91 19.02 25.82 27.42 22.38 7.61 32 29.4 39.26 38.77 33.14 31.63 29.22 21.01 9.14 424.01
Balt2009 24.01 36.37 37.83 30.31 38.51 31.01 35.09 35.09 35.85 29.84 41.04 41.01 27.01 17.09 8.05

MCM2010 21.04 8.02 24.06 19.21 25.32 41 41.2 46.08 47.6 48.06 35.35 35.87 57.2 37.66 43.64 25* 12* 568.31

I weigh about the same as last year when I ran Baltimore (approximately 185 lbs). I guess that the only thing I can say is that I am still training hard. I have more race experience and I have been running one year longer than the last marathon. I gave myself 3 years to qualify for Boston (3:15:59). I want to get this marathon under 3:30, I'll take a PR of 3:45, but I must that that would be disappointing. I've got two weeks of tapering left and I plan on keeping sharp with two tempo sessions: first a 5 miles at 7:23, second 4 miles at 7:28.

More ruminations to come...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I am on a weird pre-taper taper. I ran a crazy race this weekend, the Warrior Dash where I ran very well (204/5111, 18th in AG).

I then proceeded to run 12 miles on the Marine Corps Marathon course. I planned on doing 20 miles, but my legs were tight and it was too hot (+80 degrees F). I ran from the Arlington Cemetery to the Key Bridge to the National Mall to the Capital and back to the Memorial Bridge. When I got home I was beat.

I have less than three weeks to go to my marathon. I skipped the planned runs for Tuesday and Wednesday. Tomorrow I've got to do some speed work. I have two plans I can execute now. One is a taper plan: run 6 mi, inc Warm; 4 mi @ 7:28; Cool. The other is a brutal 2-week taper that has me running a 7 mile tempo run.

I may be selling my fast marathon up the river, but I am opting for the three week taper. I feel so good just chilling and resting the last two days. I am soaking in Chicago Marathon race reports and thinking fast thoughts.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursday quality workout (4 x 1600 in 6:39, 6:50, 6:53, 6:49)

I only do two hard workouts a week. Thursday is quality/speedwork day and Sunday is long run day. The rest are "easy" runs, which at this phase of my training are 9 miles at 8:40/mile pace. I always dread the speedwork especially fast interval training. I am afraid that I won't hit the times. It takes a lot to run until you feel you can do no more. Weight lifting is easier. If you max out on the bench press you just have your spotter put the bar on the rack for you, but running is different you don't want to collapse to the ground because you can't do anymore (or do you?).

Today I went to the track with the intention of doing 4 by 1 mile intervals at 6:50/mile pace. I have to say that I don't feel very fast right now because all I seem to do is run long distances. I went to Bowie State University after work today to put in the workout. This was first for me and I was very pleased to run on a well cared-for collegiate track. The campus was fairly empty and I had only one runner with me who left after my first mile.

I warmed up one mile and started my intervals. Each mile hurt a little bit and I took my time during my 800m rest laps in between. I made good use of my arms when I wanted to finish the laps strong. The best part was that I had the marching band practicing and stomping by the track on my last interval. They were playing "Cold-hearted Snake" by Paula Abdul and "Yea Ya Know" by T.I. and the drum lines were rocking. I used their tempos to push me through to the end of my workout.

7.85 miles in 1:05:34 (4 x 1600 in 6:39, 6:50, 6:53, 6:49)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Perfect training week (57.20 miles)

Everything just clicked today. I had a challenging 20-mile training run with a projected 8:40 pace scheduled for Sunday. I have had three scheduled 20-milers thus far in my build-up to MCM and it was my fifth 20-mile training run of my young running career. This one was by far my best. My average pace was under my target (8:38/mile) and I negative split.

Splits - 9:23, 9:02, 8:49, 9:20, 8:46, 8:32, 8:36, 8:36, 8:32, 8:53, 8:34, 9:16, 8:12, 8:35, 8:58, 8:01, 8:07, 7:39, 8:07, 8:30

What did I do right? I woke up early enough to have cup of coffee and some peanut butter toast and then sit around a while to let that "soak in." Next I drove to a spot in the middle of the WB&A trail where I placed my spare energy gels and water bottles. I did not carry them. I planned to run a 10k then have a gel then have a gel every 5k from them on. I also started off slow and gradually picked up the pace. I planned to run the final 5 miles at marathon pace (~7:50/mile).

Things went really except for the running jump roper who nonchalantly skipped down the trail with her dog off the leash I encountered at mile 17. Though the dog did not appear aggressive it did pay too much attention to me so I had to really slow down so I could be sure I would not be attacked. I then ran into two dogs and their owners on leash but on a narrow bridge at mile 19. Again I was attempting to run a fast closing pace and had to slow down so I wouldn't get bit.

In looking back on the run I find that I can will myself to run fairly fast over a long distance. I also did get to know what marathon effort will feel like after running 20 miles this year. During the Baltimore Marathon last year I went through 20 miles in 2:52:19, but that was in a race, after a taper, and with full training. I am still four weeks away and this run came at the end of my heaviest running week ever:
  • Tuesday - 9.11 miles in 1:18:04 (8:34/mile)
  • Wednesday - 9:08 miles in 1:18:28 (8:38/mile)
  • Thursday - 10 miles in 1:22 (8 miles tempo at 7:41/mile)
  • Friday - 9 miles in 1:17:36 (8:37/mile)
  • Sunday - 20 miles in 2:52:44 (8:38/mile)
Total - 57.20 miles

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Iron Man training (not really, but I do stick to my training)

This week's runs took place mostly along the piers and boardwalks of The Embarcadaro in San Francisco. I had to maintain my training regimen even though I was completely out of my normal environment, diet, and time zone. I have to say that the flat bayside running had me feeling like an Ironman.

Running on a steady diet of free beer and free concerts by the Black-Eyed Peas when you're given free carnival food and staying up 20 hours on West coast time is not the Spartan existance of a marathoner.

All I can say is distractions aside I ran 4 times for 27 miles while I was away and had some decent splits:

Day 1: 7:52, 7:48, 7:52 - 3.02 miles @ 7:52/mile
Day 2: 8:31, 8:16, 8:13, 8:08, 8:10, 8:37, 8:15, 7:46 - 8.05 miles @ 8:15/mile
Day 3: 9:11, 8:38, 8:12, 8:15, 8:27, 8:07, 8:27, 7:32 - 8.09 miles @ 8:21/mile
Day 4: 8:41, 8:05, 8:02, 7:57, 8:14, 8:18, 8:28, 8:18 - 8:01 miles @ 8:15/mile

I gained less than 50 feet of elevation running while San Fran, though I probably gained more than a thousand walking the hills, like all the way up Powell Street. But, when I came home I gave my regular home run an easy 8 mile run on Sunday and gained 301 feet of elevation over 8.7 miles. The good news I still was able to crank out 8:23/mile without spiking over an 160 bpm heart rate. Progress is being made.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Week 17 recap - Schedule change leads to dead legs on the 20 mile slogfest

Schedule change have me seriously altering my training plan for the first time in the MCM build-up. I will have my lowest mileage week in quite some time, but I went out yesterday to keep the long run streak alive. My training 6 weeks out from the marathon went like this:
  • Monday: rest
  • Tuesday: 8 miles at easy run pace 8:34/mile
  • Wednesday: Speedwork - 7 mile tempo run at 8:04/mile (off my goal of 7:36/mile)
  • Thursday: rest
  • Friday: Long run - 19.28 at 9:49/mile (way off my goal of 8:46/mile)
  • Saturday: rest
  • Sunday: rest
Weekly total: 35.35 miles

I tried to run a new route on at a different time than my normal long run time (11:30 am as opposed to 6:00 am) on a different day - too much change. I had to move my long run or likely not do it at all, which would've probably been a worse choice. Because of the time I ended up running it was full 85 F degrees so a slower than expected time was already expected. However, I was unprepared for the complete deadness of legs I developed around mile 14.

Mile 1 - 8:10, Mile 2 - 8:34, Mile 3 - 8:36, Mile 4 - 9:20, Mile 5 - 9:03, Mile 6 - 8:45, Mile 7 - 9:13, Mile 8 - 08:54, Mile 9 - 08:55, Mile 10 - 08:42, Mile 11 - 09:18, Mile 12 - 10:10, Mile 13 - 09:35, Mile 14 - 10:59, Mile 15 - 11:53, Mile 16 - 11:33, Mile 17 - 10:54, Mile 18 - 11:02, Mile 19 - 12:58, Mile 20 - 09:20

My back was a little unhappy with the amount of sidewalk running I did. Believe it or not the concrete sidewalk is a lot more hard to run on than asphalt. Other than that my slow down was merely a lack of energy. I willed myself to go faster several time from mile 16 on, but I couldn't go more than a few steps before I slowed to walking again. This kind of positive split cannot happen on marathon day. I will have to learn to conserve more energy at the beginning.

I did two laps of Lake Artemesia and College Park, which caused me to run through the Greenbelt Metro station twice. I guarantee the people there saw more strange things than a sweaty, salt-caked, shirtless man wandering around the train station, but I few crazy looks.

Oh well... not the performance I was looking for, but I learned a few lessons. One, if it is hot when the marathon is going on I will have to adjust my expectations. Two, NEGATIVE SPLITS! I have to save the energy to have more left in the second half than the first half.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Talking marathons

Training is going well. This week I ran 48.06 miles broken down as follows:
  • Monday - rest
  • Tuesday - 9 miles
  • Wednesday - 9 miles
  • Thursday - 6 miles, 3 x 1600m intervals @ 6:38, 6:37, 6:57
  • Friday - 8 miles
  • Saturday - rest
  • Sunday - 16 miles, progression run last 5 miles approx 7:53/mile

I have been listening to a new running podcast that may just be my favorite. The Marathon Talk podcast is a well organized and entertaining running podcast, but what distinguishes this one from my other long form podcasts is that it is more focused on accomplished marathoners either still competing professionally or just really good. There is nothing wrong with the back-of-the pace or beginner running focus, but I am looking for advance techniques. The hosts are two British gents who are sub-3 hour marathoners and because one of them is married to a UK Olympian marathoner they get access to luminaries like: Ryan Hall, Sammy Wanjiru, and Catherine Ndereba.

One of the things I have gleaned so far from them is that I need to get a hill workout in every so often, With 7 weeks until the MCM I am looking for workouts that will give me confidence and strength for a serious hard effort. I know just the hill I want to hit up. I just have to pick a day.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Finally fast...

I hit the track this morning to put in this week's quality workout: 1 mile intervals. I hadn't hit the track since training for my May 5k and it felt good. I found it easy to hit my target paces due to the flat surface and the presence (at least for one interval) of another fast runner who I used as a rabbit without their knowledge. I also think the hours of base mileage I am working on are beginning to payoff in the delay of fatigue. Amazingly my heart rate was well under 90% of my max even at 11 mph!

Thursday quality workout:
  • plan: warm; 3x1600 in 6:54w/800 jogs; Cool - 7 miles
  • actual: 1 mile warm; 6:38/6:36/6:55, 1 mile cool - 6.01 miles

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Week 15 Recap (August 30 - September 5)

Weekly mileage: 47.60 (long run: 20 miles)

This was a good week of running. No knee pain that lasted and I can only credit my new shoes. I did my second 20 mile run of the year, though it was the first of this training cycle.

I don't intend to sell myself short, but I am going to set my marathon goal by targeting my heart rate at least through the final mile or so kick. I plan to just run at 150 bpm effort. Since my averaged maximum heart rate is 210 (I threw out my high value of 223) 150 represents 71% of my max heart rate. I'll go for between 65 and 75% and leave my kick for miles 25, 26, and 0.2.

At this point, it is impossible to predict how fast this will be, but I can say I averaged 150 bpm for my 20 mile effort this Sunday at a 9:21/mile pace. The reason this is incalculable is because I get more fit and the same effort measured by heart rate can be a faster pace. For example I ran 18 miles the week before at a 9:25, but was a 155 bpm effort.

This week I ramp up to 49 miles while stepping back the long run to 16 miles.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thursday quality workout

Training: 7.56 miles, 6 mile tempo pace @ 8:11/mile, 1:06:31

I love working to accomplish something hard to do. I also dread and doubt whether I will be able to do it until it is done. I knew this morning's tempo workout was going to be hard. I had a scheduled 8 mile run - one mile warmup, six mile tempo at 7:31/mile pace, and one mile cooldown. I have gotten out of the habit of running fast. Six miles at that pace is really hard for me right now. I've run faster for longer before, but I am out of practice.

I deliberately struck out slow and hit mile one in about 10 minutes. At that point I started my tempo. I did the first mile of the tempo on pace about 7:28, the next mile in 7:35 with a walk break, 8:45 was the next mile because I was beat and that's where I had to climb my big hill twice. Mile 4 was in 7:56, followed by another in 7:57, the last mile came in 8:24. I cooled down and went home to stretch.

As I was midway through the last tempo mile I was listening to a Tupac song. I don't think I often draw inspiration from Pac, but he happened to say "even in the dark of night, you know there's a brighter day" and it struck me that I started this arduous run with the stars shining and no sunshine on the horizon and am finishing as the dawn broke. I had to struggle through the hard beginning miles of a high velocity run in the dark not know if I could, but I kept running until the break-a-dawn and achieved my goals. I know, sappy, but I can draw inspiration from anything when I've only got 1.5 miles to go before I rest.

Blah, blah, blah... g'nite

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wednesday easy pace run (7 miles @ 8:43 per)

Today's run: 7 miles in 1:01:09

As I write this there is a hostage negotiation going on in downtown Silver Spring at the Discovery Channel building. One of my neighbors works there, I used to hang out down there in my teenage years and I really hope that it ends peacefully. The media is salivating over having something exciting to do - its really weird.

I got today and was famished. I had to take a gel before even leaving the house or I wouldn't have had energy to complete the run. I've been tired. I tried to stay awake to watch the Daily Show last night but I am officially going to DVR it from now on because I have to get some rest. Being tired at work just won't do.

Tomorrow is my dreaded "quality run" day. I've got to run 8 miles in the morning, 6 miles at my tempo pace of 7:31/mile. Maybe my recollection is flawed, but this would've been easy in March, April or May. I really need a running log program that would allow me to query, "when was the last time I ran 6 miles at or around a 7:31/mile pace?" I guess I could write it.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Daily run logging has resumed... August reflection

Today's run: 7 miles @ 8:34/mile in 1:00:08, outdoors - elevation 234 ft

Rolling, rolling, rolling... I am rolling along toward my goal marathon of the year - the Marine Corps Marathon. I put in 160 miles in August, my highest mileage month of this year (maybe ever). I've tracked my heart rate and my efficiency at 150 beats per minute is presently at around 8:45/mile pace when run at my 7 mile baseline.

Tomorrow begins September. The mileage will continue to rise. Probably to 200 or more miles. I hope to watch the heart rate bpm drop. I still need to know how to analyze this heart rate data, but I do use the info on the run. When I feel I need a break, I break until my heart rate is in the 120s range.

My painful right knee is occasionally bugging me, but it isn't hurting me like an injury. I bought new shoes and know that I should never let so many miles go by in a pair of shoes without replacing them. Well, more to come.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Getting ready to race

I am still plugging away at this running thing. August marked my second year training at running distance races. I am happy that my first running injury suffered this June has not completely sabotaged my Fall marathon plans, but my hopes for an early Boston qualifier is almost assuredly off. I gave myself 3 years to run a Boston qualifying race. For me, on the cusp of age 35 that means that I must run 3:15:59 to qualify. That's averaging 7:28/mile for 26.2 miles.

What makes me think I can get to Boston soon? I ran a 5K race in May in 21:06 with a fever. I ran the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in 1:12:57 without gasping, which is an average pace of 7:17/mile. I think that if I didn't injure myself running 50 miles/week I would've been able to post the sub-20 minute 5K and 1:30 half marathon I'd feel gives me the best indicator of my 3:15 potential.

What do I need now? Speed. I will have to ask myself to race 10K every three weeks until MCM to break 3:30. I want to put up at least 2 sub-45 minute 10K (my best race time is 46:21). There are 11 weeks to go until the Marine Corp Marathon. It is time to put up or cruise to the finish line. I prefer to race.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Back in the saddle once again

I am running again. I don't know if my knee is right just yet, but I am running. I did 2 miles on Monday to test things out and 3 yesterday to get back in the swing of things. Today, I played basketball and won two games of one-on-one and a game of 21 and had no problem playing above the rim, so I know that P90X is working (plyometrics, baby).

I am wearing a knee brace during every physical activity (except swimming). It is a bit uncomfortable, but keeps my knee from yelling at me so I'll wear it. I am also swimming more than ever before. I can only go 50 meters at a time, but I rack up some reps while the kids are in swim practice. Breath control in swimming is serious business.

P90X has put a few pounds on me, but I think that 190 lbs looks good on me. It funny how I used to think I couldn't get down to 192 and now I have to put on weight to get to 190.

The Summer's good. Life is good. I just celebrated my eleven year anniversary with a beautiful wife and happy, healthy, and awesome children. I couldn't be happier.

Monday, June 28, 2010

One more week to go

I have been "resting" my knee for more than two weeks now. One run in almost a month. The runner's knee scare had me see an orthopedist who had recommended I perform inner quad strengthening exercises since he suspected the reason to be a muscle imbalance pulling my patella off center. I've been doing these straight leg quad contractions 50 reps twice a day for a week now and have been given instruction to test out running again in a week. I have a knee brace to use when I do, but it will feel good to get back out and run again. I gotta train again and revise the plan to fit a new time goal.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

MCM Training - Week 2 (5/31 - 6/6)

A hard head makes for soft tissue damage. I ran only once this past week, on Monday for four miles. The previous week left me with an acute pain in my right outer knee so I decided to rest by not running. Instead I began the P90X program.

P90X is not the ideal way to rest, but it did not stress my knee (even the plyometrics) like running did. I did get a good cardio workout doing the PlyometricsX and I am getting some much needed strength training and stretching via Yoga X. I am even doing the dieting, which has caused me to cook some pretty tasty meals that I would have otherwise not done.

I plan on doing some light running in the mornings next week and plan on keeping the P90X thing going. I will restart marathon training in late June or the beginning of July with a different 16 week training plan for MCM. I am going to scale back my marathon goal at MCM to 3:25:00. We'll see...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

MCM Training - Week 1

This week was an adventure in running too much. I ran 6 days this week and covered 49.5 miles for an average of 8.25 miles per day this week with a long run of 12 miles. I did my first two double run days of 4 miles in the morning and 4 miles in the evening. These were not too bad I had much more trouble with my 8 miles straight days on Tuesday and Thursday. I had to remember to slow down when the temperature is too hot and really need to relearn how to refuel on the run.

I say that this was a trial of running too much because I have probably given myself a bit of ITB soreness (aka, runner's knee) and this is most likely due to trying to run too much too soon. I have no swelling, just tenderness, so I do not think it is serious. I probably need to follow the RICE principle (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). I plan to rest today and maybe even tomorrow if the pain is consistent with yesterday and today then I'll resume the training.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Road to Boston Qualifier at MCM

I have completed another race - my sixth since picking up running in Summer 2008. Since my body has transformed from my 6'4" 211 lbs frame to 185 lbs over nearly 2 years and I've covered more than 1,640 miles in that time. I feel my potential to become pretty good at this running thing so I am assessing my goals. The only goal I have that is somewhat long term is to "Boston Qualify." I turn 35 this year, which requires that I cover the 26.2 mile distance in a certified race in 3 hours 15 minutes. Where do I stand with regard to this goal? Well I decided to look at the age graded score for this race time compared to my current race times.

Race #1 - Baltimore Half Marathon 1:51:57 - Age Graded Percentile 33 (52.98%)
Race #2 - Jug Bay 10K 00:46:21- Age Graded Percentile 33 (58.6%)
Race #3 - Frederick Running Festival Marathon 4:03:27 - Age Graded Percentile 33 (51.31%)
Race #4 - Baltimore Running Festival Marathon 3:58:19 - Age Graded Percentile 34 (52.42%)
Race #5 - Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run 1:12:57 - Age Graded Percentile 34 (61.33%)
Race #6 - Armed Forces 5K 21:07 - Age Graded Percentile 34 (62.08%)

I have definitely gotten better with more training and base mileage. It may appear that I do better in the shorter races, but since I have been perfecting my training regimen and getting more base mileage in I should be able to do better in all race lengths.

So, the age graded percentile for a male of 35 years running a 3:15:59 marathon is 63.74%, which is an entirely feasible goal if I train hard through the Summer. I will set up some benchmark races this Summer to see if I can really do it at MCM this year. I think that I'll need to get the following:
  • Race A - 10K - 42:00:00
  • Race B - Half-Marathon - 1:33:00
  • Race C - 5K - 00:20:00
I've got the training plan to do it (see here) now for the work. Progress will be logged.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Armed Forces Week 5K Race Report

Armed Forces Week brings an annual 5K to my workplace and I never noticed it before I started running. I used to sit in the traffic jam that is our parking lot wondering why am I seeing a stream of people prancing by my car and why I can't drive over them so I can get to work. Last year I sat enviously on the sidelines while I watch the winners, some of whom I knew quite well, finish strong in quite impressive times (like 17 minutes). I was on the sideline last year because I had just finished my first marathon 2 days earlier and didn't feel like I could run without pain (a good thing too). I promised myself I would get out there in 2010 and show some guys a thing or two about how seriously I am taking this running hobby.

So, this year the day finally came where I registered for this event and I put together a training plan to help me get it together so I could run well. I took my finish time from the Cherry Blossom 10-mile run and set my sights on a 21 minute or better finish time base on the results of the McMillan Running Calculator. I scraped a plan from the last 5 weeks Running Planet's 5K Program for Advanced Competitive runners and set out on at least 150 miles of training with twice weekly speedwork, the most significant about of speedwork I have ever done.

I had been really suffering from allergies in the week prior to the race and had been so busy and sick that I skipped the last 3 runs I had scheduled before the race. No excuses. I figured that I would be fresh, but I had to take an extra strength Benedryl and Tylenol before the race.

I signed up with a team of guys and gals that I work directly with. We called ourselves the Running Problems. Our senior management had a group of run/walkers called Problem Runners. There was one guy, Scott, that I decided to run with on our team. He had claimed that he will get sub-20 minutes in this race and I let you know he got close or surpassed that goal in this race.

When the gun sounded we took off. Scott and I were near the front. We barreled down the street and up the hill. I looked at my Garmin and yelled to Scott, "we are going too fast!" My watch showed us pacing at 5:20/mile. I planned on making the first mile 6:30, but Scott's response was, "we've gotta drop the riff raff," which I assume were the jokers who didn't know how to race and would eventually come back down to earth. We slowed too as we went through some uphill stretched and finished the first mile at 6:19. That was my fastest one mile since 1992 when I ran a 5:20 mile to show a very fast offensive lineman that he could not beat me in a race. I decided to settle back but Scott was pushing ahead. I surged a bit to try to stay with him, but was not comfortable and decided to let him go. I saw my goal second mile time slipping away as I did mile two in 7:10.

I was now past midway and had entered the "go zone" according to Greg McMillan's race planning newsletter topic that came to me very conveniently the day earlier. I was supposed to run out the first mile in a pace about 10% faster than my goal race pace (6:30). I was then supposed to settle back into a fast rhythm pace until midway and then begin to try and pick off people or have personal fartlek run. I stayed close to an older guy with a smooth stride, but wasn't interested in catching, much less passing people in front of me. I was beginning to hurt and was looking for a soft landing even though I knew there was none. I had 800 meters to go and I just could not fall apart that close. I was supposed to kick then. I had plenty of kick to close in what McMillan says is the "get time zone." I was explicitly told not to wait until I see the clock because you cannot make up that much time when you wait that long. But, as expected I got to watch the clock count up 20:56, 20:57, 20:58, ..., 21:06. I sprinted the last 400 meters using my long strides that look impressive, but do little to give the speed of a sprint.

I barely missed my goal, but I am now hungry for more. I liked the race. I liked that I saw so many friendly, familiar faces and I like the 5K distance. To me it will hurt more than the longer distances, but it feels anaerobic like you are lifting weights. Short controlled, movement that when you do it right you will get more strength and endurance. I will race more 5Ks this Summer. If I break 20 this year I am going to try for a BQ at the MCM.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Return from Daily Mile

This blog is a training journal. I have been writing my distance running training notes in here for more than a year since I took the sport seriously about a year ago. I use the Buckeye Outdoors Training Log to hold all my daily miles, but this blog is where the workout specifics have been kept. I use Garmin Connect to sync the miles, pace, and distances from outdoor workouts, but I run on a treadmill often so Buckeye captures the totality of the miles I've run.

Recently, I have dabbled in the Daily Mile website, which is essentially Facebook for runners. It captures your workouts, syncs from you Garmin, and has a good deal of fields for additional running metadata like temperature outside, how do you feel, intensity of the workout, etc. Its a nice idea but I don't think that I will abandon this blog to tracking my training for it.

I've run a lot since my last blog entry 36.53 miles over 7 runs, in fact. I am less than a week away from my first 5K race. I think that I'll hit sub-21 for this. Training has been tough, but I think that I have learned a bit about myself through this training. I plan to run at least one more 5K and return to the Jug Bay 10K after the MCM this year to beat my 10K PR (46:27).

I'm back from not blogging for a bit, more to come...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Speedwork - Acquire the confidence

Speedwork is serious business. I set out today for some punishment, 5 x 1600m (1 mile) intervals at 5 seconds faster than 5K pace, followed immediately by 4 x 400m at 15 seconds faster than 5K pace. My planned for pace for the 5K will be 6:45/mile. The results now, analysis later:

Mile 1 - 6:34 (-11)
Mile 2 - 7:02 (+17)
Mile 3 - 7:00 (+15)
Mile 4 - 7:05 (+20)
Mile 5 - 7:11 (+26)

Average - 6:56/mile

400m intervals (paces in min/mi)
Interval 1 - 6:11
Interval 2 - 6:25
Interval 3 - 6:35
Interval 4 - 6:36

This workout was really anaerobic. I could feel the strain in muscles as if I were doing heavy squats or lunges. I believe that I held my form well: back straight, head held high, knees lifting, etc. I spent a lot of time trying to judge my pace. If I just take off thinking that I'll hold the pace for a mile I almost always am faster than a 6:40/mile pace, but I often need to rely on stride lengthening to rest mid-mile. I have always left myself with a considerable reserve of "kick" left to finish a mile, but have never used it (this should be a note for future workouts).

I wonder if these speed workouts for my 5K and the 10-miler have taught me to handle a faster pace for the mile. I have never done so much speedwork. If I train this Summer for a few 5Ks along with some marathon-specific training I am hopeful for a 3:20 marathon at MCM this Fall. The McMillan Running Calculator predicts a 3:19:51 marathon for me if I can get a 20:30 5K, which seems entirely possible given my current abilities.

I have two weeks until the Armed Forces 5K. I have 3 more speed sessions. I want to hit the mark in one of them. I have got to stop being afraid of working too hard to last the distance - I have enough training and strength. As I was told today in my mid-cycle review at my job. I have been selected to be senior leader I must acquire the confidence, no one can teach me to go to the next level, I am on my own.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Long Run (8 mi - 1:04:17 - 8:01/mile)

Short Beaver Dam Road Loop 8.01 mi / 01:04 08:01 pace

Today's workout was to run 8 miles with the first 6 miles at an easy pace. I was supposed to speed up to 15 seconds per mile less than 10K pace for mile 7 and then speed up again to 5K pace for mile 8. I couldn't do it, but I did push the pace up to 7:16/mile for the last two.

On another note, I am slowly going on social media overload, but pretty much saying the same thing on each of them. I am on Facebook, Twitter, Blogger (here) and some running sites, Runner's World the Loop, and the Daily Mile. I really have a one track mind. I am always writing about running. I guess this is because it is my hobby and I started this to track my workouts.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday Easy Run by lkwheel at Garmin Connect - Details

Today I dropped the boys off at First Tee golf class and went for a run on the Paint Branch Trail, which had me winding around the perimeter of my first Bachelors Alma Mater University of Maryland College Park. It was Maryland Day on the campus so I could hear the music and people as I scampered past the Comcast Center. I had never run this path before and I will now add it to my rotation of running paths.

I was supposed to do an easy five miles today, but my breathing and effort level was probably a bit above the easy pace. I did the five miles in 37:40 a 7:32/mile average pace. While running I saw a couple jogging and the man was doing so barefoot. His steps appeared so light and easy I can now see why many in the running community advocate for barefoot running. I personally don't think I'll be doing it, but sometime this year I'd like to transition to less shoe. Though I love my Vomero's I can see that they are a bit heavy and control my foot motion more than I want them to. I think I'll get some Nike Frees to start my transition down to less shoe.

Saturday Easy Run by lkwheel at Garmin Connect - Details

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday Speed Workout (3 min fast, 3 min jog)

Speedwork is hard, but sometimes enjoyable. My buns and calves are feeling the workout even now 3 hours after the run. I ran 5 repeats of 3 minutes at a pace 20 seconds faster than your 5K pace, jogging for 3 minutes between each interval.

  • 0.47 mi - 6:22/mile
  • 0.48 mi - 6:18/mile
  • 0.45 mi - 6:36/mile
  • 0.45 mi - 6:35/mile
  • 0.45 mi - 6:36/mile
Total - 6.02 mi in 48.19

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Quality Workout (Ladder Workout)

Today's workout: Standard one mile warm up, ran 1 x 400/800/1600/800/400 super sets. Run 400 meters at 15 seconds per mile faster than 5K pace, 800 meters at 5K pace, 1600 meters at 10K pace, 800 meters at 5K pace and 400 meters at 15 seconds per mile faster than 5K pace with no rest in between. Jogged 800 meters to cool down.

I put the effort in on this workout during lunch at work. This was not your run of the mill lap around the track. I really felt tired at the end of the workout and had to put my hands on my knees and catch my breath. That to me is success. I don't often run to exhaustion and I recovered really quickly.

I need to learn my watch a little better. I don't have good data for the accuracy of my paces on the stages of the run, but the pace is a slight curve in the general range of my goal paces. The first 400 meters was definitely too fast - the first mile was in 6:37. The 10K pace (middle mile) was too slow and the final 1200 meters was also probably too slow, but the last 400 was right on the 6:30-ish pace I was going for.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Test 5K in 21:51 (7:01/mile)

Today's workout was a test 5K race to be run at my 10K pace. I plan to run the Armed Forces Week 5K in 4 weeks at a sub-21 minute goal time, which is a 6:45/mile pace. Most predictors think you lose 15 seconds off of your pace when going from 5K to 10K, so the goal pace today was 7:00/mile.

I decided to do this run on the treadmill and set the pace to 8.5 mph (7:03/mile). I ran a slow 1 mile warm-up and then started in. I actually thought of quitting on the run several times starting around 1200m. I was glad that I was on the treadmill because I had the visual stimuli to keep telling myself I just need to hold on for one more mile, or you can do another lap, or even you can manage any pain for 800m. The bottomline is that I made it and feel like I am on pace to get the time I was looking for. I let the last 0.1 mile go at 9.5 mph with plenty of kick left in my legs.

Good luck to everyone tomorrow running Boston. Hopefully I can join the qualifiers by 2012.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday Speed Workout (600/1200s)

The plan today was to do the standard one mile warm up, then run 3 x 600/1200 meter repeats. I had to run the 600 meters at 20 seconds per mile faster than 5K pace, then slow down to 5K pace for 1200 meters.

This workout was done on the treadmill because I had to get my daughter to ballet practice. It was a challenging workout. The 600 meter pace was run at 9 mph (6:40/mile) the 1200 meter was at 8.5 mph (7:03/mile). I think the 600 meter run was a tease to get me used to the surges that a 5K run may require out of my pace comfort zone in order to achieve my goal time. The 1200 meter portion is intended to teach me to recover at the pace I want to run at. It is funny how a quick pace can be recovered from at a pace only 20 seconds per mile slower.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday Easy Run

Today's workout was to run 5 miles easy with 5 acceleration strides. My legs felt really dead due to last night's track workout, but I have to put in the work. I have talked a lot of junk about running sub-21 in the office 5K on May 12th. I plan on living up to this big talk so I am following an advanced training plan on the running planet website.

5.02 miles in 39:18, a 7:49/mile pace

Mile 1 - 8:08
Mile 2 - 7:46
Mile 3 - 7:40
Mile 4 - 7:37
Mile 5 - 7:48

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday Quality Workout (5 x 1600m: avg pace 7:04)

The Cherry Blossom Race has been completed and I am now preparing for my next race - the Armed Forces Week 5K. Today's workout was run at the local track:

Standard warm up. Run 5 x 1600 meter repeats at 5K pace. Jog for 400 meters between repeats. Cool down with 800 meters of jogging.

The total mileage was 7.75 miles in 1:02:21.

Mile 1 - 6:45
Mile 2 - 7:03
Mile 3 - 7:10
Mile 4 - 7:08
Mile 5 - 7:17

It was a miserable rainy day at the track at DuVal High School. I shared the track the DuVal track team. Since I arrived before them and was putting in the work the coach used my effort to shame them into trying harder. It was nice to have the company. I found myself wondering what kind of short distance wheels I have. They must've done a dozen 200 meter sprints. Maybe one day I'll see if I can run with them.

My workout on the other hand was not exactly as planned. I hit the first mile interval in 6:45, which is right where I planned to be, but I did not hold the pace through the remaining intervals. Nevertheless, I am satisfied that I did the workout in spite of being in a cold rain the whole time and struggling with a stiff neck from a bad previous night sleep.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cherry Blossom Race Report

The Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run was a complete success for me. I love setting a goal and then hitting it on the nose. I told myself for weeks that I'd run 1:13, but in the last few days I started to change my goal to 1:16 because I didn't feel confident.

When the race started I lined up in the red corral with the other mid-packers. When they finally let us go (3 minutes behind the lead pack) I ran with my natural projected pace. I dodged around a few people who were taking it pretty slow, but who knows if they were the ones passing me late in the race. I looked at my Garmin often to ensure that I wasn't going out too fast. I maintained very even splits for the entire race and the first two miles were my slowest as I planned.

My declared plan was 2 miles 7:40, 4 miles 7:30, 2 miles 7:20, last 2 miles give it all I've got. I stuck to the general structure of this plan, but actually felt really fresh. Running the mostly flat course in the great weather must have really had an effect on me. I kind of felt mile 9 on the way back from Hains Point, but I focused on a person I wanted to beat who was picking up the pace.

This girl in pink shorts passed me and I decided that she would not beat me, but slowly she left me behind as we approached the end so I found another target. A man and his son were ahead of me. His nine year old must have joined him from the sidelines and was keeping pace with him for at least a quarter mile. Worse yet, they both stayed ahead of me! I had enough, I picked up the pace with about a half mile to go and said, "Way to go, kid" as I passed them both. Then I stretched out for an almost all out dash. I hit a 4:50 pace for the last 100 meters or so and finished with my best mile of the race. I ran a negative split and hit my goal time with the unofficial 01:12:57 (Garmin said I did better). Good enough for 935 out of 6,881 men and 211 out of 1,402 men in my age group.

I feel very accomplished and that I have quite a bit of improvement in my racing skills to go. I know that I can close better than I did - I should've left a bit more on the course.

Mile 01 - 00:07:33
Mile 02 - 00:07:22
Mile 03 - 00:07:03
Mile 04 - 00:07:20
Mile 05 - 00:07:19
Mile 06 - 00:07:13
Mile 07 - 00:07:21
Mile 08 - 00:07:16
Mile 09 - 00:07:08
Mile 10 - 00:06:57

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Last run before Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race by lkwheel at Garmin Connect - Details

Last run before Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race by lkwheel at Garmin Connect - Details

Simple run trying to focus on striding with full range of motion. I put down 3.58 miles in 27:12 for an average pace of 7:35/mile. I haven't hydrated very well during this taper and need to really focus on getting a lot more water down before the race. This was the last scheduled run before the race. I feel good and am now going to rest and hope for the best.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tuesday Easy Run (4.70 mi - 35:59 - 7:38/mile)

I hated every minute of training, but I said, "Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion." ~ Muhammed Al

Heatwave today. I ran after cooking dinner in the dark of night, but it was still hot. It made a fairly brisk run a little more challenging. I ran wearing my reflective vest through just about every street and cul-de-sac in my neighborhood to total about 4.7 miles int 36 minutes a 7:38/mile pace. I feel that the 7:24/mile pace I predict for the Cherry Blossom will be tough, but I have trained and should be able to do it if I have the guts.

Tuesday Easy Run by lkwheel at Garmin Connect - Details

Friday, April 2, 2010

Tapering toward Race Day and Vacation

I have been putting together a series of race pace runs that are actually fairly easy to maintain from 3 miles to 6 miles. I feel like I can run the 7:30-ish pace for the full 10 miles no problem. This becoming more apparent as I am getting more rest and can run with energy. I was on vacation this week and ran only one time while relaxing at the beach, but the 7:00/mile pace over 2.61 miles I maintained was pretty easy. I have a little over one week left until this race and am feeling strong.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday 5K tempo run (1 mile warmup, 5K in 21:56, .9 mile cooldown)

Today's run was a test of my fitness. I wanted to run a fast-ish 5K race as the tempo phase of my 5 mile run. I ran a real leisurely mile at 9:13/mile pace then I set the treadmill for 8.5 mph (7:03/mile pace) and ran 3.1 miles (5K). I held the pace the whole time and had to fight myself not to "kick" the last half mile since this workout was supposed to be my easy run I missed on Thursday. I finished the remainder of the fifth mile with 6.5 mph setting to about 800 meters and 7 mph for the last half mile. Total: 5 miles - 39:08 - 7:50/mile pace.

This was nice confidence boost because I have rarely tried to run that fast for a sustained period and it actually felt kind of easy after my system stopped freaking out at 1 mile. Its funny that this speed thing really is about guts IMO. I have not been used to overcoming the freak out thing your body goes through when it is testing its thresholds, I suspect this is the same for everybody. Let me try an analogy with skiing. If you are a relatively new skier and you go to the top of your first blue square slope you'll see a hill that you can't walk up and would have to slide down. You would think, "I am going to fall if I ski that thing and it's going to hurt," but if you are prepared you won't fall. You will start to go fast down the hill and be scared. You will "freak out" but when it's time to make that first turn, you just make it like you did on the bunny slopes. Then you make the next turn and the next. Sometimes you will decide to slow down, but you realize that if you are in control at the higher rate of speed why should you slow down. It doesn't even feel appropriate. So, my point is that I have trained to be faster, I have done the work I can run faster if I choose to I just have to not let the freak out win.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday Interval Run (6:52, 7:21, 7:07)

I ran three 1 mile repeats at my 10K pace today in and around my neighborhood. I don't remember if I have ever run intervals on a true street run before, it is quite a challenge. When running in the street you can let your mind drift or focus narrowly on your run. You have to see the road. You have to dodge parked cars and wave to your neighbors. It is not an ideal place to struggle to maintain your pace and that is what I did today. Even though my elevation gain according to Garmin was a measly 301 ft, running around my neighborhood calls for tackling some serious hills.

Struggle aside, I am encouraged that I can challenge myself week in and week out with a hard workout like this an complete them. The Wednesday interval training may be just what I needed to prove that I can run faster than before.

Garmin Connect -
Activity Details for Wednesday Interval Run (6:52, 7:21, 7:07)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday Easy Run (4.02 mi - 31:03 - 7:43/mile)

Since I stayed late at work last night, decided to run before work. I went to the WB&A trail and pounded out a simple four mile run. I knew that I want to negative split and would've been fine with an 8:30/mile pace, but I ended up running - 8:15, 7:50, 7:40, 7:05 splits.

Garmin Connect -
Activity Details for Tuesday Easy Run (4.02 mi - 31:03 - 7:43/mile)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Long Run (11 mi - 1:33:03 - 8:27/mile)

The long run today felt hard. I did my around the towns of GlennDale and Bowie route for 11 miles with the intent of getting the last four miles in at my goal 10 mile race pace, but it was not to be. I stepped it up at mile 6 and my 7 never quite achieving the 7:15/mile pace, but I did have the energy to push mile 8 and died on the 177 ft climb at mile 9. It was 9:00/mile time from then until I arrived back at the house.

Nice thing that happened was the many familiar faces I saw as I ran, especially when I saw my family driving to the dog park when I was coming down 197. I've got to get dressed and join them now.

Garmin Connect -
Activity Details for Sunday Long Run (11 mi - 1:33:03 - 8:27/mile)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday Easy Run (8.01 mi - 1:05:15 - 8:08/mile)

Some workouts are just not too good. I sprinted out the door today and didn't know what I would focus on. Should I do a 5K tempo after a mile warm up or should I do an 8 mile progression run. I threw on my new "easy" run pace for a few miles (7:45-ish) and felt fine. I cruised along sub-8/mile paces for 5 miles then I had to back off because a pain in my abdomen. My horrible lunch of microwaved, frozen Mexican food warned me that it was not going to give me much in the way of nutrients and that I could take some gas for my troubles.

Also the weather today was definitely in the upper 70s and my water bottle was used for a quick shower rather than a drink. So, I basically didn't have anything in the tank to make the run a negative split.

Mile 1 - 7:57
Mile 2 - 7:43
Mile 3 - 7:36
Mile 4 - 7:52
Mile 5 - 7:59
Mile 6 - 8:15
Mile 7 - 9:04
Mile 8 - 8:39

Total - 8:01 mi - 1:05:15 - 8:08/mile
Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Saturday Easy Run (8.01 mi - 1:05:15 - 8:08/mile)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday Easy Run (5 miles - 39:19 - 7.51 min/mi)

I was treadmill bound today even though it was a beautiful day outside. I have been training recently to increase my threshold paces. I have imagined my 10K pace to be 7 min/mi and easy run pace at 8 min/mi. So far so good. I am able to complete each workout.

Reading back in my log I remember being fearful that I could maintain an 8 min/mi for the 10-mile race. During training I have twice beaten that time goal over the distance, most recently on Sunday. Now I want to accomplish 7:21 min/mi pace (1:13:27) for the 10-mile race. In order to get that I plan to 40 minute tempo next Tuesday and 50 minute tempo run on Saturday the 27th at my tempo run pace 7:08 to 7:27 min/mi.