Friday, March 31, 2006

Recovery 5 miles

Today's training: 5.05 miles nbrhd loop, 51:12 (10:10 min/mi), 139 bpm avg/154 max/2:30 abov 150

Took it very easy today to rest up the knee, walking lots of downhills and whenever there was a hint of a problem. There were only a couple of ever-so-slight tweaks of the knee and it got very slightly swollen (barely puffy) by the end. I think I'll be fine.

The watch distance is obviously well off now in distance now (3% high) , so it looks I should recalibrate at the track tomorrow before the race on Sunday. The only real value I see in the foot pod for the race is in the first half mile. I usually start out, look at my watch and see I'm going too fast. I could probably just use a guy to yell, "hey, you're running too fast!"

With the correct distance, 4.90 miles, my pace was

Last 4.9-mile recovery runs: 48:26/142, 50:14/144, 49:11/142, 51:12/139

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Today's training: ice

The knee was pretty bad yesterday, and I'm still cautious when I plant it getting out of a chair, going down stairs, etc. The swelling seems to have gone down though. No running today. If I run tomorrow it will be flat -- track or treadmill.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

knee -- Recovery 3 miles

Today's training: 3.04 miles, neighborhood, 31:43 (10:26 min/mi), avg 136/max 151/0:10 over 150

When I started out I felt a little pain below my knee that I wasn't familiar with. I decide to take it very slow and see if it loosened up. It did and I thought things were going well. I had the idea that maybe my recovery days between the longer runs were still too fast to be true recovery days and I'd knock my heart rate down another 5 beats or so (didn't adjust the alarm though). I was pretty pleased with my low heart rate and decent speed until I crested the hill at 3 miles and on the way down my knee really started to bother me. It was the usual inside of the knee pain where it doesn't seem to "groove" right and pushing off when it's bent hurts, but this time it feels much worse. I walked home with a semi-limp. I guess running in to work is out for tomorrow and I'm hoping to get better by the 10 mile race on Sunday.

I need to rethink my schedule some. I believe the "true" recovery days will help me keep the mileage (particulary running in twice), but I'm not sure.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

ran into work -- Recovery 10 miles

Today's training: 10.54 miles, home to work, 1:50:24 (10:29 min/mi) 144 avg/159 max/10:30 over 150bpm

Almost identical to last week except my foot pod didn't die. The stats for last thursday were 1:49:53, avg 144/max 160/10:40. Pretty remarkable considering I stopped for lights, etc.

Running in to work is a great deal. I only get up about 20 minutes earlier than my daily 5 mile runs and manage to run an hour longer and get to work about 20 minutes earlier. When I finish my run, I'm at work and all I have to do is shower and take the elevator upstairs instead of sitting in 45+ minutes of traffic.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Recovery 5 miles

Today's training: 4.81 miles (per t6), neighborhood loop, 48:26 (10:05 min/mi), 142 bpm avg/152 max/1:20 over 150
Weight: 169

The T6 (as reported by STraM) distance was off again. 4.81 versus "google distance" of 4.90. This is 1.9% low, which is consistent with the 1.6% low I experienced yesterday. Is it possible, breaking in new shoes causes this? I'll readjust based on today since I had such a slow pace yesterday. Today's cal factor was 1.029. I've reset it to 4.90*1.029/4.81 = 1.048.

Time average for last three 5-mile recovery runs: 49:11/142, 50:14/144, 48:26/142. All pretty much in line. I'm hoping yesterday was just a bad day and not an indication of just how tough the course is. My neighborhood loop isn't a complete cake walk either though. STram reported about 12 minutes uphill (260 feet total), 24 minutes flat, and 12 minutes downhill (275 feet total). For the marathon course, STraM reported 35 minutes uphill (341 feet), 89 minutes flat, and 27 minutes downhill (348 feet), so the course should be a little easier. I did run farther, but I ran 10+ into work without my pace falling off. I only ran 10:30 miles, but the route to work is considerably steeper (630 feet in 10.5 miles with basically equal ascent and flat time). Here's a theory for Sunday. I was very hungry. I didn't eat that morning and went to bed hungry the night before. Maybe I just ran out of gas and that drove my heart rate up. Let's hope. OK, enough overanalyzing.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Recovery 13 miles

Today's training: 12.86 mile, marathon course, 2:22:23 (11:05 min/mi), avg 146 bpm/max 159/23:50 over 150

I went and ran the marathon course today. It's a double out and back plus a little bit (2x2x10.5km + 195 meters). I ran one out and back which should be 21 km or 13.05 miles. STraM said 12.86 miles (1.5% error). Cal factor was 1.029. I should consider adjusting it. Pace was so awful though that I'll hold off for now.

As you can see from the graph, it was a dreadful day. First, the course is quite hilly (the "this is not a flat course" advertisement isn't a lie). I kept it under 150 bpm as best I could, but by the end, I couldn't jog more than a minute (even on the flat part) before I got above 150 and had to walk. I don't see how I'll ever break 4 hours on that.

I had looked forward to the 10-mile race on Sunday, but now I'm not even sure I'll break 1:20. I'm sure I could have done it very easily when I ran the 10K in February. Has my lactate threshold slid from all this slow running? Maybe I should thrown in a short tempo run on Tuesday. Would that help? Oh well, I think I'll take a nap.

Week's mileage: 37
shoes: WC4 56 miles

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Recovery 5 miles

Yesterday's training: Rest
Today's training: 4.89 miles, 50:14 (10:17 min/mi), avg 144 bpm/max 155 bpm/5:20 above 150bpm

I was a minute slower and heart rate 2 bpm higher than my last five mile recovery run. Looking more closely I was at the same time at 3 miles, so the 1 minute difference is all in the last two miles.

Probably not worth reading anything into it, but I did wonder if my fitness is slipping from the taper plus recovery. I've been debating what pace to do mid-week medium long runs at. Last go around, I did them at <160 bpm, but I was considering lowering that to <150 to make sure I got up to 60-65 peak mpw without injury since I'm assuming volume is more important than intensity since I'm short on endurance. I'm also uncertain of the long-run pace. Following Daniels/Pfitz would I base it on my 10K time or my marathon time. I believe Daniels would say the 10K time, but does that make sense?

I'll try under 150 again tomorrow for my ~10 mile run. I have a 10-mile race a week from tomorrow, so that will be a nice 10 mile tempo run.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

ran into work -- Recovery 10 miles

Today's training: 10.4 miles (using gmap-pedometer), 1:49:53 (10:33 min/mi), avg 144/max 160/10:40 over 150
Note the problem with the speed. Despite having changed the battery, the foot pod spontaneously stopped working again. I restarted it twice and had it stop again. If it does it again, I guess I'll have to contact Suunto.

My heart rate is pretty high for the pace, but I always find this a pretty challenging route (it's pretty hilly) and the time includes stopping to cross streets, etc. and it's pretty hilly.

I found a log from when I ran to work at the beginning of January. I got there 2:45 sooner today and my heart rate was 8 bpm lower on average! The graph is below. January is in red and the last lap is some extra I tacked on after getting to work.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Rest (sort of)

Today training: 500 feet, ??:?? (??:?? min/mi)

I got about 500 feet before I decided my hamstring was bad enough I couldn't run on it. Hopefully, I'll be able to run into work tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

the mid-foot shuffle, rough weekly schedule -- recovery 4 miles

Today's training: 3.86 miles, 38:42 (10:03 min/mi), avg 141 bpm/max 153/2:10 >150

I was planning to run 5 today, but my left hamstring started hurting around mile 3.5. I should have stopped right there, but kept going to get to 4.

the mid-foot shuffle. I again tried to run taller and focus on moving forward. I'm calling this the "the mid-foot shuffle." Instinctively, I ran with my arm lower and more to the side, moving back and forth more along my line of motion (like pulling myself along on nearly parallel bars). At one point at the top of a hill, I was "walking" with the same form to try and get my heart rate below fifty. The mid-foot shuffle walk registered about 10 min/mi on my foot pod. I could be fooling it with my gait or it might be real. The 10:03 min/mi average includes a fair bit of walking (to get under heart rate or save the knees).

I cut my run short when my left hamstring began to bother me. Maybe a sign I shouldn't run 6 days in a row or that I need to figure out some stretches or strength exercises.

The distance from the foot pod is a little off (3.90 versus 3.86). That could be my change in stride. It's still close, but not as close as usual.

rough weekly schedule. Week 1 is in the books (4+4+5+7 = 20 miles). Now the notional, I'll do what I feel like schedule. This is based loosely on Pfitzinger's 8-weeks between marathon schedule, but scaled back a bit. I don't talk at all about tempo runs or intervals. I probably won't do them. If I do it'll just be incorporated in the run.

Fill-in 5 mile recovery runs plus
  • week 2: ~35 miles -- run to work (10.5 miles), and 2 lake loops (9.2 miles), two rest days
  • week 3: ~45 miles -- 2 x run to work, 10-mile race, one rest day
  • week 4: ~55 miles -- 2 x run to work, 17 LR, one rest day (after race)
  • week 5: ~55-60 miles -- 2-3 x run to work(can I do 3?), 20 LR, one rest day
  • week 6: ~60 miles -- 3 x run to work(can I do 3?), 20-22 LR, one rest day
  • week 7: ~43 miles -- 2 x run to work, 13 MLR, two rest days
  • week 8: 20 miles+ marathon -- marathon, 3 rest days
I kind of like the symmetry there. I'm not sure I'll be able to run to work three times in a week and I might extend some of the runs to work to make them a little longer. The 10-mile race in place of the 13 MLR has me jumping from 10 to 17 which I guess isn't a big deal since I'll have run a marathon 4 weeks earlier, but I might extend a run earlier in the week just to get my 13 MLR. Except for the race and the long runs, none of this is set in stone.

Monday, March 20, 2006

a little experiment with form -- Recovery 5 miles

Today's training: 4.87 miles, neighborhood loop, 49:11 (10:07 min/mi), avg 142/max 153/2:20 above 150

I put fresh batteries in my footpod and it worked fine. With the alarm functioning, I did a better job at keeping my heart rate under the 150 limit.

With my mind wandering, I started thinking about my form. I tried running tall and straight imagining I was being pulled along perpendicular to my body. It felt good and I'd say it "better" but who knows. I felt like I was striking more towards the midfoot and sort of squatting (body lower to the ground) while I was running. Form is an odd thing. I believe good form is sub-conscious and you can't consiously tell yourself to have it. Somehow you need to find the right exercises to develop it. I'm not marathon-fit right now anyway, so I might as well not worry about it.

The back of my right knew is a little sore and feels somewhat weak (like it's too easy to extend it). It's felt like this for a few days. I'm going to stick with running everyday, but I'll keep a close eye on it and not hesitate to cut a run short.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Recovery 7 miles

Today's training: 6.83 miles, neighborhood loop, 1:08:39 (10:02 min/mi), avg 145 bpm

Footpood gave out during the run (hopefully just the battery) and as the watch went into its powersaving search mode, the heart rate alarm stopped beeping. I watched my heart rate frequently and tried to get keep the average heart rate about 145. Distance above is good, since it's the usual known route.

Heart rate/pace looks good. It was 42 degrees outside, which is the same as when I did my staircase intervals. The closest pace from that day was 9:51 min/mi @ 147 bpm.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Getting things done

Since I was about 12 years old, I've had this notion that if I could just get organized, I'd be able to accomplish all these great things. This has never quite worked the way I planned it. I'm generally one of those guys who has stuff piled all over his desk, but at least I feel guilty about it.

I've been playing around with different systems for about a year and a half since I read David Allen's Getting Things Done. Being a geek, I resurrected the palm my wife gave me but I never really used and tried to use it as my list manager, but it never seemed quite right. I couldn't tie actions to projects among other things. I tried going beyond the default software and used a product called Life Balance. I liked it enough to pay for it after the trial, but stopped using it at some point. Tasks usually come in through my email and the effort to open LB, cut and paste, and also figure out just where in the hierarchy of my life this tasked belong became too much. I also didn't like the fact it was window-only when I was running linux at home and using palm graffiti to enter stuff at home didn't seem right. I've since moved to windows at home after using linux as my desktop for over 11 years, but that's another post -- the t6 software is largely to blame and I have a notion to replace it.

The experimentation continues... I tried Remember the Milk and like it very much. The best part of it was the natural integration with e-mail. You forward items to a special address and add some text with meta-data (due date, which list, etc.) in a very natural way (dates like "tomorrow" or "tuesday"). I'm not sure exactly why I abandoned it, but one of the problems was I couldn't figure out how to link projects in a natural way. I started to format the titles in such a way that projects would be grouped since it displays in alphabetical order.

Since then, I've been using a personal wiki (TiddlyWiki) but haven't quite made it work. I used the tagging, but it didn't seem to work as I'd hoped. Using plain text for project notes is nice, but there's lots of manual manipulation to work appts, etc. Using a new wiki page (tiddler) for each task is too cumbersome and a plain text editor isn't really a list manager.

I'll goof around with Remember the Milk some more since they've improved it (adding the long sought after tagging!). I have the feeling that the right system will seem obvious and simple once I've found it, but for some reason I also think I need to go through the "journey" of finding it before I'll be satisfied.

4 miles recovery

Today's training: 4.87 miles, 51:08 (10:31 min/mi), avg 148 bpm

I'm not sure if it was the low batteries in my suunto or just me, but look at the heart rate versus pace. It's 10 bpm higher for the same pace as Thursday. I stopped and check my pulse on my neck and it seemed close. Wonder what's going on. Am I tired? I hit 168 going slowly up a hill. It was an extremely frustrating run. I'm planning to run somewhere between 7 and 9 miles tomorrow (9.2 is two lake loops).

Friday, March 17, 2006

Some notion of a schedule -- 4 mile recovery

Today's training: 3.91 mi, 39:59 (10:14/mi), avg 140

Before the run today, I adjusted the calibration factor based on yesterday's run. The google earth distance was 3.90 and STraM reported 3.99. The cal factor in the watch was 1.053, so now I'm using 1.053*3.90/3.99 = 1.029. Looks like it worked.

Some notion of a schedule. I'm sure I can't muster the full 10-week between marathon schedule in the Pfitz book which was obviously intended for those who've come off the less than 70 mpw program. I haven't commited to this, but I thinking of deviating a little from the Pfitzinger approach. My problem with the marathon is obviously not VO2max. My 47:21 10K equates to about a 3:45 marathon and I don't think the VO2max intervals are helping me much, if any (they are fun though). Lactate treshold wasn't really the limiting factor either. 95 percent of my lactate treshold pace was 8:41 according to my previous post. If the temps were low, could I have run 26.2 8:41 miles? I doubt it.

I believe my problem is endurance. I did all the miles in the program. Why didn't I have the endurance to finish well at a pace well below my lactate treshold? Well, it's only a twelve week program and I've only been running for 15 months. Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning says it's for someone who's run a marathon before and wants to improve their time. I believe Pfitzinger assumes that before you were fool enough to run that first marathon you had good endurance built up from years of running and racing shorter distances.

The Pfitz schedule for 55 mpw is basically 2 runs during the week (either Tu/Th or Wed/Fri) of 8-12 miles with one of them a tempo or VO2max run, depending on how close you are to race day. There's a long run on Sunday that grows to 20 miles. Two other days are recovery runs of about 4-6 miles and there are two rest or cross-training days. The two 8-12 mile runs move between Tu/Th and We/Fr depending on rest considerations (don't want quality and long run too close together). What I'm considering doing is simplifying this and reducing the intensity, but increasing the volume a little.

Sunday stays the same with the long run, so no need to mess with that. Where do the 8-12 mile runs go? Let's say Tuesday/Thursday. Cut out all the VO2max stuff at the track. Too constraining. It means I have to go to the track. What about tempo runs? I might throw these in just to make sure my lactate threshold heart rate doesn't drop too much, but I'm not going to do the 7 mile tempo run Pfitz had me do last time. Maybe I'll do some cruise intervals (which are like intervals, but at threshold pace -- 3 to 15 minutes at threshold pace with 1 to 5 minute rest) during one of my runs during the week (either Tuesday or Thursday). I won't do them if I don't feel like it and I won't do too many.

OK, I took away, now to get to add some. Rather than two recovery runs and two total rest days, I could increase the volume by adding another recovery run or some cross-training. I can make sure I do them at recovery heart rates with my handy heart rate monitor. I might also tack a few miles on the long run. This sound like junk mileage, but I believe as Napolean said, "quantity has a quality all its own." I'll try and keep the peak week around 60 and not do any tempo or speed that week - 1x20-22, 2x12 miles, and 3x5.

Now to the real reason I'm planning this -- I love running to work. My office is about 10.5 miles from my house and when I run: I get to have a little early-morning journey; I save a 45-minute drive in traffic; I don't to get up insanely early (just ridiculously early); and I get the self-righteous feeling of having arrived under my own power. If I can somehow run to work on Tuesday and Thursday, then fitting in the 5 milers before driving isn't too hard. I could even drive in before traffic and run on the treadmill in the gym at work. The problem with running in is the logistics - mainly finding a ride home. Without the high intensity stuff, this plan lets me shift Tue/Th to We/Fr if that's when a ride is available. I still need a public transporation backup. Better check that bus schedule....

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I'll do it -- Recovery 4 miles

Today's training: 3.99 miles, 41:02 (10:19 min/mi), avg 137 bpm
Weight: 168
Shoes: WC4 (4 miles)

Brand new pair of shoes today (same model though) and I believe the suunto calibration is off. My nominal 4 mile run is really less than that. Google earth calls it 3.90, which would make this 10:31 min/mi.

Everything felt pretty good, considering. I feel oddly out of shape though, but I can't I haven't run all that much except the marathon in the last couple of weeks. 10:31 min/mi @ 137 bpm. It doesn't look too good compared to the 10:09 min/mi @ 139 bpm on this run though, but I've found that for anything less than 10 min/mi the heart rate/pace correlation isn't great (low enought that other variables become relatively more important?).

I don't really have a schedule yet. The Pfitz multiple marathon plan had me running 5 yesterday, but I didn't feel like it. I might or might not run tomorrow. I'll run 4 or 5 on Saturday and something like the 7 on Sunday Pfitz calls for. Well, there's a schedule I suppose. I'm still considering some adjustments to the multiple marathoning schedule. I'm not sure how much the intervals do for me at the end, and I felt the tempo runs were more valuable. I'll scale back the mileage to avoid overuse, but should I add cross-training to get the volume up? Does doing the medium long runs during the week at long run intensity add too many miles at too high an intensity (>75% MHR)? I felt like I got much faster by the end of the 12-week program, but I didn't feel I increased my endurance enough (kind of obvious now with my slow marathon versus 10K time). Did I just not have enough time given my initial condition or could I have done something to improve endurance more?

I'll do it. I'm commited to run the full marathon on 7 May. If everything goes perfect there's a slim chance I'll make 4 hours. I need to hold in the reins better early. This is going to be a "price is right" approach -- as close to 4 hours without going over. Purposely trying for negative splits might be a way to stave off exuberance, but I haven't commited to this. Since it's two loops, the first and second half should be equal efforts (except perhaps for higher temperatures).

The course is fairly near my house, so I could do my long runs there. I believe that would be a big psychological advantage. It's basically a double out-and-back, so I'd get to cover the whole course on any runs greater than 13 miles.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

marathon report

Today's training: 26.2 miles, 4:16:56 (9:48 min/mi), avg 172 bpm

Well, I didn't make my goal of 4 hours. 4:16:56. I'm embarrased to say I hit the wall hard and did a lot of walking the last 3.2 miles. I was trying to keep 9 minute pace (a 4 hour marathon is 9:09). At 19 miles I was at 2:50:20 - 40 secs ahead of schedule. The next mile was 9:57 (including a big hill and a bathroom break). At that point, I knew I couldn't run any more 9:09 miles and I had some hills in front of me, so I was doing the calculation on how much time I could bleed. Next miles were 9:38, 9:45, 9:47.5. Then at the water stop shortly after mile 23 I decide I'm going to walk an extra 20 yards or so after getting my water to gather myself. A lady up the line of volunteers shakes her head and say's "just too hot today." After that I was pretty much done. 11:52, 12:53, 18:08 (yes I walked the whole mile), 4:34 (walked half, jogged half -- could the 26 mile marker might have been misplaced?). I was overheated at mile 25 and the idea of trying to run was a little unsettling.

Some excuse making... I had the misfortune of encountering a freakish heat wave. The start was predicted to be 60 degrees and 80 percent humidty and finish at 70 degrees. It seems like it ended up a little warmer than that. The high was 79 degrees, which seems a little hotter than I'd have guessed, but it was probably in the low 70s at the finish. Anyway, the historical average for today is a low of 36 and a high of 54, so I'm feeling a little snakebit. The wind was also 10+ miles an hour and coming from the south. Since the course mostly consisted of north-south out and backs, you ended up running a lot (including the last 8 miles) with the wind straight in you face.

All that said, my big mistake in the race was going out too fast. However, since my goal was 4 hours or bust, I don't think my strategy was horrible. I knew the hills were at the end and 4 minutes (9min/mi = 3:56) wasn't a huge cushion to go into them with.

I don't have the "base" to run a full marathon at a speed that equates with my shorter race times yet, so that's what I need to work on I suppose. I peaked at 55 mpw, which is plenty I think, but I don't have the years of adaptation built up, so it might take some "exposure" time for me to adapt.

I had already signed up for a half/full marathon 10 weeks from now (you can actually decide which you want to do during the race -- it's two loops). It's supposed to be a pretty hilly race though and it's May 7, which has about the same average temps I saw today (low 56, high 73). I haven't decided which I'll do (half or full). I'll suppose I'll train for the full (same training anyway?) and if the weather is great, I'll think about running it.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

marathon strategy -- Rest

Today's training: Rest

Only 11 miles this week. The lack of running is making me itchy. Hopefully, my fitness hasn't suffered too much, but I know running today can't possibly help me for tomorrow, so I'm resting.

Race-day nutrition. I realized that I haven't worked out my nutrition strategy the day of the race. I also have never tried Ultima replinisher, which is what they'll have at the race. I looked it up and it only has 6 grams of carbs per 16-20 oz. (depending on how they mix it). If I have one 4 oz cup every two miles, that's maybe 2 g per hour. Ugh. Supposedly you can absorb 30-60 g per hour. The Gu package suggests one every 45 minutes, which is 4*25/3 = ~33 g per hour. Add the paltry 2 g and we're at 35 g. I've also seen .5 g per pound per hour with a max of 60-75g. I weigh 170, which equates to 85 g per hour, making me think I should be shooting for 60g, but I don't see how I get there. If we had gatorade, it would be pretty easy. 7 g per 4 oz waterstop times ~3 .3 stops per hour is ~23 g per hour. With gels every 45 minutes and 4oz of gatorade per 2-mile stop you get ~56 g. Very nice. Without gatorade...

So what's the plan, already? Gel every 45 minutes. One cup of ultima every stop. I finished my long runs pretty strong with one or fewer gels and water, so we'll just call this a bonus.

Before the race? Bob Glover recommends a light, high-carb breakfast 2 to 4 hours before racing of 500 to 1000 calories (light?), an energy bar or bagel an hour before the race, 8 to 16 ounces of a sports drink (with 6-8 percent carbohydrates -- read gatorade) and a gel pack 5 to 15 minutes before. My plan:
  • Make some rice the night before and eat what I can that morning before leaving on my two-hour drive.
  • Bring a Clif Bar to try and eat when I get there, which will probably be early, ~6:30.
  • Suck down a gel and drink what I feel like of 16 oz of gatorade as close to 5 minutes as I can get (will I have to go to the bathroom?). One advantage of a small marathon are that the logistics are easy and I can probably do this at my car.
I really doubt I can ingest all of this since 1) it's a lot and 2) I'll be nervous. Today I need to buy some gatorade and make some rice.

Weather. Currently the start is predicted to be 56 and 86% humidity warming to 64 and 72% humidity. The temps have come done some, but the humidity has gone up. Disconcerting though are the winds from the south at 10mph.

Pacing. The basic plan is to look at my watch and keep the needle under 9 min/mi. There's an out and back and miles 18 on are now into the wind. I need to make sure I there with plenty of cushion but not push it too much. If it's feeling easy on the way north, it's probably because the wind is at my back. I need to take those seconds when I get them and not ease up to feel more comfortable. I'll also need a little pad for the short walk at the water station every two miles (I'll try to keep this at a minimum but make sure I drink my full cup) and a possible bathroom break. There's the plan -- keep the needle under nine.

Friday, March 10, 2006

carbo-loading, marathon weather -- Rest

Today's training: Rest

Carbo-loading. Here's all I'm doing. Drink a lot of water. Don't anything with a lot of fat (don't eat anything with more then 20% fat by calories). Avoid sugar. Eat when I'm hungry. This means I'm eating sandwiches with lots of bread and no cheese/no mayo. Eating pita chips. Clif bars. Pancakes and eggs. Pasta, etc. I've been trying not to overeat, but not letting my stomach growl either. I'm also eating breakfast (Cheerios hardly have any sugar), which I don't normally do. I've actually gained 4 pounds since Monday. Whether it's true or not, for the sake of my psyche, I'm just going to assume it's all water and glycogen in my muscles.

Marathon weather. The predictions just keep getting warm. Now they're predicting a low of 59 and a high of 73. The averages for the day are 36/54. Ugh. They're also predicting scattered showers in the morning, which I suppose means it's humid, but also means it's probably cloudy. Weather is just another reason to be cautious.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

What my max hr?, shoes -- Recovery 4 miles

Today's training: recovery 3.97 miles, 40:55 (10:18 min/mi), avg 141 bpm

The hamstring felt pretty good. I'd say 95% whatever that means. Took it very easy. Walked lots of uphills. I felt kind of tired and never very comfortable, but this has been typical of the first 4 miles or so of all my runs. When I do my long runs, the first loop (4.6 miles) feels harder than it should and then I feel great on the next one.

So what is my max heart rate? I'm still not sure. I played with the oregon team pace calculator, which also gives you a heart rate for a race. If I use 191 as my max (from sprint at end of february 10K) instead of 199 (from end of november 5 miler), use 44 as my resting heart rate (I saw 44 while relaxing in my chair one lazy saturday morning a few weeks ago), and enter my 47:21 10K, it shows 178 bpm for the 10K heart rate, which happens to be the average I saw. 163 bpm seems low for an 8:32 marathon pace though. In my staircase intervals I was at 166 bpm for 8:46 min/mi. On the easy training runs it say 145 bpm for 10:02 min/mi which matches, however. It's also not clear to me what the HR means for a marathon since you'll probably have a 10 bpm rise at an even pace.

Shoes. I think I'm overdue for a new pair of shoes, but am a little hesitant at this stage in the game. I have 445 miles on this pair and have officially never gone over 400 miles without getting injured (although I believe the hamstring injury is a coincidence). I've noticed for a week or two some more soreness in the feet, which I typically get when my shoes are shot. None of the local stores have my size since the shoes have been discontinued. I should be able to make it through 26.2.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

7 miles w/ 2 at marathon pace

Today's training: 6.97 miles, 1:10:57 (10:10 min/mi), avg 143 bpm

Extremely slow, cautious warm-up with beginning with exruciately slow jogging interspersed with frequent walking breaks. Here are the splits
  • 3.87 miles, 42:04 (10:52 min/mi), avg 132 bpm, very slow warm up with walk breaks
  • 0.10 miles, 1:00 (10:00 min/mi), avg 146 bpm, did one lap around to see how close to 10 min/mi I could get and check my heart rate. Got it to the second!
  • 1.00 miles, 9:05 (9:05 min/mi), avg 157 bpm, first marathon pace mile
  • 1.00 miles, 9:01 (9:01 min/mi), avg 160 bpm, second marathon pace mile
  • 1.00 miles, 9:46 (9:46 min/mi), avg 154 bpm, recovery -- assume the high bpm is recovering from marathon pace

I'm always surprised that my average pace seems to correspond with my average heart rate the same way my instantaneous heart rate/pace do. For example, this run has a mix of walking and running at different speeds, but I get 10:02 min/mi and 145 bpm just like my one lap today. I suppose this doesn't say anything more than heart rate varies linearly with your pace if you below your lactate thresholds, but nice to see nonetheless.

Yet another marathon pace prediction method. If you believe in this Maffetone stuff, my Maffetone heart rate is 146 bpm (180 - age). That happens the heart rate I ran 10:00 min/mi today. You can find a table here that says a Maffetone pace of 10:00 min/mi equates to a 3:47 marathon.'s running calculator says 3:42 based on my 10K, so that's pretty close. Hmm.

Weather for Sunday is high of 69, low of 54. Ugh. The average temp is 49 degrees for the date, so I'm feeling a little snakebit. Plus, every Sunday for the past month it's been cold. If I have to train in 18 degrees at least I should get to run the race in it! Weather is another reason not to be too agressive. My 10K was run with the temps in the 30's.

I guess I need to decide on some goals. 4 hours is my "comfortably" attainable goal, 3:55 is my realistically attainable goal, and 3:49:21 (one hour off my PR) is my dream goal. Here are the paces
  • 4 hours is a 9:09 pace
  • 3:55 is 8:58 pace. my plan is to work to keep my pace under 9:00 the whole time. might have to compensate for some hills and make sure I take advantage of the wind when it's at my back.
  • 3:49:21 is 8:45 pace. The only way I see this happening is if I end up running 8:50 pace in my effort to stay under 9:00 and then have enough in the tank to run 8:29 min/mi for the last 10K. Supposedly I can do 8:29 for the whole race, so I guess it's possible.
That sound like a pretty good plan.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Some new books arrived -- Rest

Today's training: Rest

My leg is feeling considerably better. It's still stiff and I my gait still isn't completely fluid, but it isn't that bad. I'll run tomorrow morning, but I'll warm up a very long time, go slow (walk-run if need be), and run at the tenth mile track (flat, crushed gravel). If I feel OK, I'll try a couple of marathon pace miles. 8:30 - 9:00 min/mi is 51 to 54 seconds per lap. I hope I don't regret this.

Some new books from arrived from Amazon: Lila by Robert Pirsig, Heart Rate Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot by John L. Parker, Jr., and Bound for Glory by Woodie Guthrie. I need to make a "what I'm reading" link on here somewhere to remind me to read one thing at a time. Right now I'm reading Database Design for Mere Mortals. Maybe I should blog "Today's reading" to motivate myself.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Schedule? -- Rest

Today's training: Rest
Weight: 170

I'm not sure what to do with this hamstring. The back of my left leg is a little swollen (puffy) and I can't quite walk fluidly. All-in-all I don't think I did much damage yesterday, but I'm seriously considering no more running until the marathon. I supposed wouldn't lose much fitness with a week off, but I don't know. Here's the schedule
  • Monday. Rest.
  • Tuesday. Rest. (Pfitz calls for 6 recovery miles.)
  • Wednesday. Pfitz calls for 7 miles w/ 2 at marathon pace. I'm debating either doing this or resting. Marathon pace here would be no faster than 9 min/mi and done on a track. I almost think I have to do this for my psyche. Need to make sure I take plenty of time to warm up if I do it.
  • Thursday. Rest.
  • Friday. Rest. (Pfitz calls for 5 miles w/ 6x100m strides. No way I'd do strides.)
  • Saturday. Rest. (Pfitz calls for recovery 4 miles, but frankly I don't see how this can help other than psychologically.)
  • Sunday. Marathon.

Marathon goal is 4 hours or a DNF with spectacular visual evidence of hamstring trauma.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

a reprieve -- medium long run 12 miles

Today's training: 12.72 miles, lake loop, 2:07:40 (10:02 min/mi), avg 145 bpm

Today was a day when the stubborn approach worked out. I was pretty convinced that I was going to carry the hamstring pain with me through the marathon anyway and the only question was whether I could run without making it worse. Anyway, I stubbornly did my usual Sunday route around the lake instead of the elliptical at the gym I promised. I added an extra half mile of warm up walking and started running very slowly, mixing in a walk break every 5 minutes or so, which you can see on the graph. After about 4 miles, I mostly ran. Later I got a little conservative and threw in some walking breaks. Although the average was 10:02 min/mi, I was typically around 9:30 or lower when running. There are a few flat places where I'm used to seeing a particular pace and heart rate. I was as good or better than last week at those point, so I was happy about that.

The graph also shows some of the very annoying features of STraM. If it's possible to change the scale for the speed display, I don't know how. As a result, if you ever walk, it skews the whole thing and the region you're interested in is crammed in a fraction of the display. Plus, you can't tell how fast you're going because the number above 10:00 min/mi isn't shown. The scale is non-linear with min/mi, so who know what that is. I switched to mph and it looks like it oscillates around 6.4 mph or 9:22 min/mi, which is what I recall. Early on I was also able to keep my heart rate under 150 at this pace. Since my goal marathon of 4:00 requires a 9:09 min/mi pace I think I'm on track for that.

I got light-headed around 2 hours, which I attribute to the fact it was 2 o'clock and I never ate lunch. (I had a "just plain" Gu and it was pretty tasty.) My heart rate also jumped 5-10 beats. It seems like there's some magical point at around 10-14 miles (depending on the day) where my heart rate just steps up. I'm not sure what it corresponds to (heat, glycogen depletion?), but I can maintain my pace if I just accept the higher heart rate.

Another km-mile conversion datapoint. My watch read 12.79 miles and 20.47 km. 20.47/1.6093 = 12.72 and 20.47/1.6 = 12.79. Again it appears 1.6 km/mi is being used. I think it's "case closed" on the bad conversion factor.

Another km-mile conversion observation. It had always bugged me that the pace on the watch didn't match the total time and distance. Today is an obvious example. 12.8 miles at 10 min/mi takes 2hrs and 8 minutes. I finished in 2:07:40, which is less than 2:08:00 and yet the pace was displayed as 10:02 min/mi. Now I understand why. It appears the correct conversion factor is being used in the min/mi pace calculation but not in the distance calculation. 12.72 miles in 2:07:40 is 10:02 min/mi.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

hamstring injury

Yesterday was the first day I managed not to blog since I started this, so I have yesterday and today here.

Yesterday's training: 3.15 miles, 34:10 (10:50 min/mi), avg 139 bpm

The above time includes walking, stretching, and cursing after I strained the back of my left leg. It's a week from the marathon and I managed to hurt myself. Great. My legs felt stiff from the beginning even though I walked for about 2/3 of a mile before running. I credit having spent a whole day in a plane back from the west coast. I need to swear off attempting to get my running in after a day of traveling.

Another km-miles conversion datapoint. Watch said 3.17 miles. Then switching to kilometers it said 5.07 kilometers. The correct conversion is 5.07 /1.609 = 3.15. 5.07/1.6 = 3.17. It does seem the watch has the wrong conversion factor.

Today's training: 1.22 miles, 15:08 (12:24 min/mi), avg 133 bpm

By last night I was thinking, "It's not that bad." Well, I tried to run today and it's worse than I thought. I really should have taken today off, but I'm worried about losing fitness. I've only "run" four miles in three days. This is very similar to an injury I had with my right leg the fall of 2004. I tried to run through that and ultimately I couldn't run at all for about three months. So, what's my plan? Do as much of my schedule as I can without making it worse and then just head to a big Did Not Finish (DNF) in the marathon. Sounds like a great plan, doesn't it?

I have to find a way to exercise for a couple of hours tomorrow or I might as well hang it up anyway. Tomorrow I'll head to the gym and see whether I can manage the elliptical or bike.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Today's training: Rest

Maybe I was just tired yesterday. Fell asleep before 9 o'clock and slept nearly nine hours!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Miles to km conversion wrong? -- Recovery + speed 7 mile w/ 6x100m strides

Today's training: 6.83 miles (7.00 on treadmill and 6.87 on t6 logbook), treadmill, 1:12:35 (10:37 min/mi), avg 147 bpm

Wow that was terrible. I had very little sleep, the gym was about 80 degrees, and running on a treadmill is boring. Look at my heart rate versus pace. Yikes!

I skipped the strides. Don't know really how you do that on a treadmill anyway.

Out of curiosity, I changed the watch settings to distance in km and viewed the logbook again. It said 10.99 km. 10.99 km x 0.62137 mi/km = 6.83 mi which agrees with STraM. Does my watch just have the wrong conversion factor in it!

Did they just use 1600 meters = 1 mile? 10.99 / 1.6 = 6.869.

Yesterday's run (still on my watch) shows 8.36 in miles and 13.37 km. 13.37 / 1.6 = 8.356.