Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve 5K and 2007 running wrap-up

New Year's Eve 5K

I had no idea what to expect in this race. I did it last year in 21:15 and then later set a 5K PR in May. I feel like I might have even been close to 20-flat shape before marine corps, but after being confined to the elliptical for the last 3 weeks in November and a low mileage December (170 compared to 250-260 in the summer/early fall), I didn't know what to expect. Anything under 21 would be good, but I feared losing ground compared to last year. I even had a dream last night where I was in a race where I could hardly run (like the dreams where you can't get away from the bad guys). That surprised me since I really wasn't anxious about this at all. I took it casually enough that I forgot to unset autolap on the Garmin before the race, which is normally part of the checklist.

I got there pretty early and hung around and socialized with some people before heading out for a warmup. The course is two laps, so I did one lap as a warmup, which is really nice since you can visualize the race. My heart rate was high for the pace, but it always is before a race -- nerves I suppose. I got back to the starting line 10 minutes before the gun. I would have done another quick out and back, but I ran into friends again and chatted with them. The course has some considerable climbs for a 5K. There aren't any up and downs, but there's one long climb per lap. It's basically a tilted saucer. The highest point is 85 feet higher than the lower point.

I lined up behind a big guy and asked him to lead block for me. I was in the 6th or 7th row of people with entire families ahead of me (including kids I'd guess were about 8 years old -- what is wrong with people?). I took off not really knowing how fast I was going. The Garmin said about 6:30 and I settled into that. The waves of children started to come back to me, but my lead blocker was still pulling away. I resisted the urge to follow him. After the climb, I picked up the pace and the Garmin auto-lapped at 6:20. Crap, I forgot to turn it off. When I hit mile 1 less than 10 seconds later, I hit the "lap" button. Actually, I thought I hit the lap button, but instead I hit "start/stop." Double crap. I spent the next five minutes thinking I was running 6:49 pace and wondering how I could possibly be that slow, but I slowly started to pull in a female runner up ahead that was looking pretty strong.

I started the Garmin again and it was reading somewhere around 6:30. My heart rate was also right at 190-191 from mile 1 on. I've never had this much ease maintaining this high a heart rate. In fact, I've never had it feel this easy in a 5K, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't have run much faster.

At the highest point of the second loop, I moved to pass the woman I had been following. We ran abreast a bit and then she picked it up. That was fine with me, so I just stayed behind her again. She started to pull away from me, but I would just pick it up and stay maybe 10 feet back. The garmin auto-lapped in here at 6:28 "garmin" pace, but I had no idea what my time was.

At the bottom of the second loop we started run into the walkers we were lapping. Ugh. They were lined up in rows literally 10 abreast. This forced us to run *very* wide. When the rows of walkers got narrower, we made our to the curb and after a while were generally able to run on the cement part of the curb to get around the walkers. I just stayed behind the woman I'd been following and let her make the decisions. According to Mr. Garmin, we were holding a steady pace and I was at about 190-192 bpm, which is about all I can muster for 5K.

At about 2.5 miles another woman came up behind us and the woman in front of me tried to go with her. I picked it up and stayed with them, but the woman I'd been following faltered and when we reached some walkers who were four abreast, I went right and she went left -- that was the last I saw of her as I was pulled along by a new woman. I was really in cruise control and started to pick it up after we hit 3 miles. Hang a sharp right and we head toward the finish. As I get close, I see the clock. Holy crap, this is going to be close to a PR, so I sprint as best I can, but it ticks 20:33, maybe 20:34 -- I missed a PR by a second or two. I forgot to hit my watch at the finish. Too bad I screwed up the watch or I might have been able to claim a "watch PR" since I must have lined up at least 3 seconds farther back than I did in May (that was a smaller race and I finished 11th).

I ran into the 62-year-old who finished a place ahead of me in May. It turns out I beat him by 10 seconds, so that's a benchmark for improvement I suppose (this was a tougher course I think). After waiting for some friends, I did another lap around for a cool down, and my legs didn't feel beat up at all. They've never felt so good after a race.

I'm not sure why I did so well, but I feel like I have more pure speed than I did before. You might think I'm crazy, but I honestly believe these shoes (Nike Frees) have helped. I can already tell that my right foot that is normally pointed out, points more forward and I definitely have a higher stride rate and heel strike less. If I can get my mileage (and endurance) back up without sacrificing speed, I think I'll have a real shot at 3:15 this spring.

2007 running wrap-up

I set PRs at every distance in 2007.

5K - 20:32 (12 May)
5M - 34:20 (20 Jan)
10K - 43:15 (1 April - 10K split of 10M PR)
10M - 1:09:49 (1 April)
HM - 1:33:28 (16 Sept)
marathon - 3:24:16 (6 May)

The training for the beginning of the year was long slow distance with some races. I had a dramatic improvement in January from a 21:15 5K (6:50) on 12/31 to a 34:20 5M (6:52) on an extraordinarily hilly course. Between those two was the Disney Goofy Challenge where I jogged 39.3 10-minute miles over a Saturday and Sunday.

The goal race for the first half of the year was the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and I exceeded my dream goal in beating 70 minutes. It was the hardest race I've ever run and one I finished with no regrets. I started doing the Benji Durden marathon plan about 4 weeks earlier, which has intervals/hills on Tues, cruise intervals on Th, and a strong long run on Sunday -- the others days are 40 minute recovery runs.

I thought I might parlay that into a stab at a BQ (3:15) at the Frederick marathon. I ran the first 3 miles or so under BQ pace, but quickly backed off. Still, I hit the half at 1:38:54 (a half PR at the time), but struggled through the second half in 1:45:22. There was a wicked wind that day and the last four miles were into sustained 20 mph winds gusting to 30 mph. I was very happy with a 19-minute PR and thought Boston was easily within reach in the fall.

The second half of the year revolved around training for the failed attempt at the marine corps marathon. I was on pace for 3:15 through 17 miles and died at Hains Point, struggling home in 3:27:34. Despite the time, I was in the best shape of my life. Actually, I believe I peaked a couple of weeks earlier when I could suddenly run 6 x 0.5 miles at 3:11 per with no problem, when I couldn't break 3:20 for the life of me.

After that, I got rambunctious and thought I'd double down marathons like I did successfully in 2006. I wound up with an injury (right shin) and 3 weeks on the elliptical for my trouble. I'm still carrying around the after effects, but it doesn't seem to limit my running at this point. I just feel something creepy in my shin.

Tonight I had an unexpected good race to end the year.

2007 stats

running: 2640 miles, 412h 25m, 9:22 min/mi avg pace, 145 bpm avg hr (9/21 - 12/31)
elliptical: 22h 16m, 142 bpm avg

Three weeks of injury really cut into my mileage total. I barely squeaked over last year's 2589 miles, but ran it about 1 min/mi faster.

A while back, I told myself I'd avoid setting race goals and instead focus on training goals. I'm not sure that's the best idea. I'd just be kidding myself. My goal is to qualify for Boston. There's just no way around that. To get there, I need to train. When all is said and done, my total for 2008 should be at least 3000 miles, so I'll call that a goal. If I don't get there, I'll know why I didn't get to Boston.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

week of 24 Dec and the tale of the migrating cold

Happy new year, everyone. Hope everyone had a happy holiday.

We arrived back home last night after a 10.5 hour car ride. The drive back to Virginia was thankfully quicker than the way down Georgia as there wasn't any traffic. We did make an unwise choice to use the HOV lanes and sat for about 20 minutes watching car fly by in the main lanes. (The anxiety was made worse by the fact we were maybe 20 minutes from home.)

I think I'm nearly over the cold, which moved into my chest and was pretty nasty. It's head north to my ears and nose, but I think it's on its way out. Unfortunately, it's also made it to my wife and kids. My daughter gets pneumonia at the drop of a hat so I'm hoping she avoids that this time. My son, however, could be missing an arm and he'd say, "Oh, I'm all right." He never complains, so I'm not sure how sick he is.

I finished reading Running Your Best by Ron Daws in the car on the way back. It's really an excellent book. There are some editing problems (typos), but most of them are obvious and I could have done without some of the physiology, which I believe might be dated. I believe he must have felt compelled to put that in despite having started the book saying it was a "practical guide" and that the physiologists were forever catching up to experimenting coaches. Bob Glover's Runner's Handbook for beginners followed by Running Your Best for those who decide they want to run their best isn't a bad formula. It's too bad it's out of print.

Running Your Best has schedules for 20 weeks and some general guidance for shortening them, which will be necessary for me. My basic plan is to build to my target mileage in January (and maybe a week or two in February) and spend February on aerobic base (includes fast aerobic running). March will be hill resistance training with perhaps a touch of anaerobic running, following by racing in April (Cherry Blossom 10 miler and maybe the GW parkway 10 miler). 4 May is either the Frederick or Potomac River Run marathon.

What's my target mileage and how do I build to it? Well, I think 70 mpw is reasonable and Daws has you run relatively even efforts each day to get there as quickly and comfortably as possible.

The week's training was (miles/pace/avg bpm)

Mo - 8.46/8:52/142
Tu - Rest (xmas)
We - 10.95/9:06/145 (hilly)
Th - 7.50/9:12/139
Fr - 10.60/8:54/149 (I rushed to beat a storm)
Sa - Rest (drove GA to VA)
Su - 10.04/9:24/142 (high HR for the pace -- all the sugar in the car?)

Week - 47.57/9:06/144

I hated to run less miles this week than last, but considering I had to take two goose eggs, I did pretty well to get 47.6 in 5 sessions versus 49.6 in 7 sessions (6 days) last week.

Tomorrow I'm running a New Year's Eve 5K. I ran it in 21:15 last year and then better my 5K PR to 20:32 in May. Given my condition, I'm a little worried I won't even beat 21:15. That would be pretty hard to have worked this hard this year and come into the new year slower than last.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas to me -- Running Your Best by Ron Daws

It was quite a Christmas haul for me and my family. The kids got a Wii, which makes my wife and I Wii widows. We figure we'll see them again when they're teenagers. Rather than annoy everybody by not telling them what I wanted for Christmas, I made an amazon wish list, which works well since books, CDs, and electronics are all I ever want. Anyway, I actually got things I wanted. The real gem is Ron Daws's book "Running Your Best: The Committed Runner's Guide to Running and Racing."

I'd heard that Ron Daws explained Lydiard better than Lydiard and, 115 pages in, that seems to be the case. Of course I have no basis for judging that, but the approach he describes matches what I've gathered from reading what's on the Lydiard foundation web site and reading the Lydiardite's posts on the various running web sites.

It's a little dated (the discussion of winter clothing is pretty funny) but the nuts and bolts haven't changed. The book is also written in a direct style that I appreciate. For example, the mileage buildup section of the mile - 5km "Relative Beginner's" schedule says, "Few beginners should tackle more than 50 miles per week. Much less than 35 mpw isn't training." I'm guessing that last sentence wouldn't go well in Runner's World.

I was a bit surprised by how comprehensive the book is, discussing clothing, keeping a running log, stretching, strength training, plyometrics (he calls "resiliency training"), race tactics, and more. It's more like Bob Glover's book that Daniel's, coming in at about 280 pages, 40 of which are the schedules.

Training so far this week: 8.47/8:52/141, Rest (xmas), 10.94/9:07/144 (quite hilly), 7.51/9:12/138.

Monday, December 24, 2007

week of 17 December -- the "no plan" plan

It started as a scratch in my throat on Thursday night. Twenty-four hours later (12 in the car -- to grandmother's house we go!), I was using my new-found baritone voice to wow disinterested audiences with my Johnny Cash impression. Saturday's run was OK, and on Sunday I was just sick as I ran in the 40 degree rain.

My approach for the week was just to let the pace come to me and run as long as I felt like and time allowed. This resulted in 10.1 miles at 10:07 per mile(!) on Sunday. Anyway, here's the way the week went. (miles/pace/avg hr)

Mo - 5.9/8:58/145
Tu - 4.7/9:22/138 am; 5.9/9:55/146 pm
We - 5.9/9:09/143
Th - 10.5/9:33/135
Fr - Long car ride
Sa - 6.8/9:16/144
Su - 10.1/10:07/133

49.8 miles. Not at the right computer to get hr avg, etc., but it looks like maybe 139 bpm as a rough guess. That's much lower than the 147 from the last couple of weeks.

By the way, note the pm run on Tuesday. I am always much, much slower for a given heart rate in the afternoon. I have no idea why that is.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

great, slow run

If you haven't tried running slowly, you should at least once. Just shuffle your way along and breath in the fresh air, noticing the sights, sounds, and smells of the world around you. When you run fast, you develop tunnel vision and miss the world around you.

This morning, I did what I refer to as a "transportation run" into work. The point is just to get from home to work with the least wear and tear possible. I even took some short walk breaks (gasp).

Why am I in such a good mood? My dog slept through the night! I sound like a new father rather than the owner of a 13.5 year old black lab mix.

10.5 miles, 9:33 min/mi, 135 bpm average.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

25 hours: 3 runs, 16.5 miles, and 4.5 hours of sleep

Let's see. I ran a pretty slow 4.7 yesterday morning although my heart rate was much higher than expected. I ran a very slow (9:55 per mile) 5.9 after work with a group and my heart rate was again high. 146 bpm for 9:55 per mile???? At that pace, I doubt I would have cracked 130 bpm only 3 months ago.

Then I slept from 10:45pm to 3:00am when my #$(@#$#@ geriatric lab mix decide to bark every 15 minutes. First it was to go out. Then it was to get water. Then he slid off his pet bed. Then he wanted to get on the sofa. Then he got off for no reason and when he attempted to get back on, he fell. He can't get up by himself because his back legs are shot. I love him and feel sorry for him, but sleep deprivation has a way of just making you crazy. I was back in bed for good at 4:49am. I slept maybe 15 minutes before my alarm went off at 5:45am and I trudged out for another 5.9 miles.

Tonight I coach basketball for an hour and a half. I'll try not to fall asleep. I've been waking up at least once and often twice a night for the dog, but usually it's "only" for 10-15 minutes. Last night was the worst.

Tomorrow, the alarm will go off at 5:15 (5:30?) for a 10.5 mile run to work. I hope I can sleep tonight.

Thanks for listening to my whining!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Coolrunning -- Active gave angry people a blank page

Just what were they thinking? They take the site down for 5 days and then put it back up before populating it with the old threads. There are only three options when you visit a message board: 1) just read, 2) post a reply to an existing thread, or 3) post a new thread. The first two capture 99% of the board's activity. By putting up a blank board they left people only option 3.

What were they going to post about? If you look at coolrunning, there are actually very few new threads each day and they usually come from whatever is happening in people's lives -- "Help! My heel hurts," "I just signed up for Cherry Blossom -- who's in?" What was happening in the coolrunners' lives over the last couple of days was, "Yuck. Look at this unfamiliar design monstrosity with no posts that messed up my user name and screwed up my running log."

If the old threads were up, this would have been a few new threads where people vented. People would respond to the existing *running* threads in time and eventually the anger would be bumped off the first page. Instead, there was no option to reply to an existing thread on running and talk about running, so it was just about guaranteed that 90% of the threads on the board would be angry complaints. Brilliant.

Also, look and feel matters. You can't just shove people who are used to a new interface and expect people to be happy because it has improved functionality (this is very debatable of course). People are creatures of habit. Look at what google did with blogger. They didn't just create with a completely new look and turn it on one day with a blank page and a promise to eventually migrate your old posts. They kept it the way it was and slowly migrated it to their authentication system and database.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Coolrunning RIP?

Well, it took me a few days to realize is back up. I got an email on Saturday inviting me to log in after the transition, but it didn't work ("C??? authentication server error" or something like that) and the link I used to use -- -- said (and still says) that their still migrating. You can now get there from this link.

They had something like 5 days and didn't manage to move the old posts over. Meanwhile people are jumping ship right and left to other boards. Don't they realize that the archive of posts and the user base is the only thing the web site has? I'm guessing the old system was pretty primitive, which probably complicated the transition, but come on guys!

Anyway, I noticed Nobby (now Nobby063 because I guess active has 62 other "Nobby"s on other active sites?) has posted on the new site, so maybe there's a reason to go back there.

The old board was a little long in the tooth and could have used some improvement like RSS and speed in posting to long threads, but this could have been done with minimal apparent change to the user. I'm guess active really just didn't want to deal with this separate thing called "coolrunning" that they bought and were just looking for a way to shove it into and be done with it.

They could have just said, "Hey guys, we're shutting down coolrunning. Just go to and make an account there if you like it."
Instead they just create a new redundant hierarchy of groups within, create a bunch of new user names there from the coolrunning database, and make a link from (It really took days to do this?)
Look at how stupid this is. They have Mainstream racing (/community/sports/running/racing) and Mainstream racing (/community/coolrunning/mainstreamracing). There are also parallel Newbies and Injuries forums. It's so confusing they had to put an announcement on the front page of the running forums link that said "Looking for the Cool Running forums? Click Here." This should be a case study in how not to handle a web site transition.

So what to do? Maybe the blogosphere is the wave of the future, but how does one recreate the social network that was coolrunning.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

week of 10 December -- Nike Free 5.0

It might seem a little impetuous, but I ran Wed through Sunday in Nike Frees. I did one 40 minute treadmill run in them last week as well. I've had these things hanging around in my closet for probably a year. I bought them when I was battling plantar fasciitis (which lingered for about a year so I had plenty of time to experiment) and decided to move to running in "less shoe." I slowly mixed in shoes with less cushion, going from Mizuno Wave Creation to Rider to Precision, and I believe going to less shoe was one of the things that helped me beat it. I stopped at the precisions and never made it to the Nike Frees.

Thinking about my most recent injury, I realized that the loading (eccentric forces) on my shin occurs when I heel strike and overstriding while doing downhill strides was the straw the broke the camel's back. How could I stop myself from heel striking? The barefoot running crowd will tell you that you can't heel strike when running barefoot. It hurts too much and your brain won't let you. I thought I'd give it a shot.

I could tell from the first step that things were different running in the Frees. Leaning forward for the first step, my first step is short and basically underneath my body (like running in place) rather than long and in front of me. Even though there's less cushion, it actually feels smoother and less jarring. I guess my legs and feet work as pretty good shock absorbers when working properly. I kept my mileage low and have been carefully monitoring how I feel, but I'm surprised at how easy the transition has been so far.

My running this week:

Mo - 3 miles - shin bothered me from previous day's 13 miles (too much too soon); mizunos
Tu - Rest
We - 4.7
Th - 4.7
Fr - 5.9
Sa - 5.9
Su - 9.5

total: 33.8 miles, 4h58m, 8:49 pace, 148 bpm avg

Yes, 148 is a bit high for me again, but I'm recovering fine with the low mileage, so I figure why not. Speaking of the low mileage, I can't believe I ran this little.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

6 miles a little faster

I was probably a little underdressed for the weather, which might have caused me to pick up the pace at the beginning. Anyway, I did the same 5.9 mile route a little more than 5 minutes faster today. My average heart rate was 154 bpm, but that was skewed by bad (high) HRM readings for the first mile.

Friday, December 14, 2007

another day, another run

My right calf was very tight this morning, so I took it very easy. I ran slow enough that I felt like I was recovering during the run. Registered an average of 138 bpm and 9:22 min/mi for 5.8 miles. I'll probably do the same route tomorrow. I'll pick a pace after I warm up.

Is this the mysterious Lydiard "1/4 effort?" Mystery Coach says, "I used to tell my runners that 1/4 effort was a run you could repeat as soon as you came in, a 1/2 effort was a run you could repeat the next day. A 3/4 effort run would need an easy day but could be repeated the day after."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

two in a row

I did the same run today as I did yesterday without any problems except some tightness in my calf. Don't tell Tusca, but I averaged 152 bpm. My mood was up after my run. It reminded me of when I first started running and probably ran too hard everyday. It felt great. Then I got into low heart rate training and building my miles. My race times dropped, but the nature of my runs changed. I felt more akin to the walkers, out in the fresh air taking in the scenery.

Here's the basic strategy
  • get up to 1 hour daily runs
  • work toward Lydiards time-based marathon conditioning schedule by lengthening some of the days
  • incorporate hill resistance training
  • profit
I'll try and listen to my body throughout and progress to the next step when I'm ready.

By the way, I started doing active isolation stretching again (from the Wharton book). This is the only stretching technique that's ever improved my absolutely pitiful flexibility. Yesterday I was actually able to touch my knees with my wrists! Yes, I am that pitiful. My kids mock me. When I'm stretching, my 8-year-old daughter will sit next to me and put her head between her knees as I struggle to reach past mine with my fingertips.

I've also been doing a minimal amount of core exercise (crunches -- regular, left, right, and reverse; "superman;" bridges; and planks (the easy way with the knees). I really feel like I'm a very weak runner muscularly.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"good" run

Well, "good" is a relative term. I ran 42 minutes without any pain and only noticed the shin a couple of times. I didn't have the acute pain I had when I first hurt it though. It was just an occasional discomfort like a tight muscle and not really in the same area. If I keep my mileage low for a while, I think I should be OK. A March marathon looks unlikely. I'll probably use Cherry Blossom as my goal race (closed out in 4 hours!) and run a May marathon as an afterthought. I set a huge marathon PR last spring without a lot of angst beforehand.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

sleep, no run

My dog slept through the night! (Reminds me of when my kids were babies.) I still woke up at 5:25 though, but that means I slept for over 6.5 hours straight!

No run today. I decided I would alway take an off day following any twinges even though it means my last 4 days are 0, 13, 3, and 0.

I'm probably going to have to forget about an early March marathon unless a miracle occurs. Today registration opens for my favorite race -- the Cherry Blossom 10 miler.

Monday, December 10, 2007

bad run

Running this morning was a bad mistake. I thought I'd just go out for 40 minutes. Well the dog kept me up all night and then I thought I'd just bag it and get some sleep, but I couldn't sleep anyway. After my indecisiveness, I was running late and cut it off at 30 minutes. Well, now I sit hear with ice on my shin, because the creepy tendon feeling is back. It feels like I'll never get back in shape.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

week of 3 December -- a week of running

Mo - 3 (9:09/143) - felt a little twinge in the shin and cut it short (planned <=4 anyway); core
Tu - 5.8 (8:31/159) - no pain except to my ego; really huffing and puffing
We - 4.7 (8:53/143) - much better pace/hr; 1st snowfall of the year started during my run; core
Th - 4.3 (9:25/140) - treadmill
Fr - 8.8 (9:10/142) - nice run; hamstring sore, but shin fine; core
Sa - Rest
Su - 13.5 - absolutely no problem with the shin for the first two laps, but felt it some on the last; core

Week: 40.0 miles; 6h1m; 9:02 min/mi avg; 147 bpm avg;

Obviously I'm out of shape. A couple of weeks before the marathon I average 8:45 and 143 bpm. I'm probably 30-45 sec/mi slower than I was then. Hopefully, it will come back quickly.

I'm beginning to think my foot pain is caused by this particular pair of shoes. I know they pinch my right pinky toe (which gave me a nasty marathon blister) and it feels to me like the arch is too high on the left foot, which might be the cause. Has anybody seen variation between shoes of the same model. (This is my 4th pair of mizuno wave precision 7s and they don't feel like the others.)

Monday, December 03, 2007

I ran today

Last week was 50 min elliptical on M, W, Fr, Sa and 100 min elliptical on T, Th, and Su. Really boring. But this morning, I ran! A whole whopping 3 miles. I was slow and it required entirely too much effort, but I ran!

I was totally pain free for the first 2.9 miles. Then my heel hit the lip of a sidewalk cutout (car forced me onto the sidewalk) and I had a *little* pain in my shin. Walking home I could also feel it a little. It wasn't really in the area where I've had a problem, so I think I'm OK, but I'm being cautious.

I'm not quite sure what to do from here. I'll probably run by feel in the morning and then elliptical every other day in the afternoon to keep the volume up.

2.89 miles @ 9:09 min/mi, 142 bpm average. (Hopefully this will rebound quickly.)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

week of 26 November

This last week is pretty easy to summarize: M, W, F, Sa - 50 min elliptical; Tu, Th, Su - 100 min elliptical. I'm going to try running 40 minutes tomorrow. I haven't quite decided where. I might try the treadmill or I might venture outside. I think the leg should be OK, but there's no way to know for sure.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

sleep, finally

My 13.5 year old black lab who has been neurotically barking during the night finally slept until 4:45am! Hey, that's progress.

Got up and did 100 min on the elliptical. There's nothing to say about 100 min on the elliptical. I slowly got my heart rate up to 140 over the first 30 minutes, then up to ~145 by the end, averaging 140 bpm. I didn't run across any deer. I didn't twist my ankle in a pothole. I just used the elliptical for 100 minutes and got off. How boring. (Oh, I did the same core routine.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

no sleep

Barely slept last night. 100 minutes on the elliptical. I'm a zombie. Blech.

I don't think I've mentioned it but I've added some core exercises about every other day. 10-15 each of regular, left/right oblique, and reverse crunches; 3x30sec superman; and 3x20sec easy planks (knees on floor).

Sunday, November 25, 2007

week of 19 November - Patience

Mo: 4.3 miles in 41 min on grass - slow, kinda painful, high heart rate. Caught a cold
Tu: Rest
We: elliptical 100 min - back to the elliptical where I belong
Th: elliptical 60 min
Fr: elliptical 100 min
Sa: 4.4 miles in 39 min on grass - less painful, but not good. Used very short strides. Heart rate pretty high.
Su: elliptical 94 min, bike 6 min - a little discomfort on the inside of my left knee and I moved to the bike

I tried running twice, but it was probably premature. I had swelling later in the day. I also have that disturbing sensation of friction between the tendon and ligament as I plantar- and dorsi-flex my foot. I'm about 90% sure I have tibialis anterior sheath inflammation. I'm not going to run a step this week. Hopefully I can mix in some runs the next week. It's hard to be patient. I can't decide whether or not I should use the referral for an MRI I have. He said to get the MRI if it still hurt after a week (which it does), but on the other hand it's improved a lot and I'm sure the treatment will be the same regardless of what it says.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I'm crying uncle. I haven't recovered as well as I hoped from my four-mile test run yesterday (swelling increased) and I can only imagine what 26.2 would do. It looks like the most direct path to 3:15:59 probably doesn't go through the marathon this weekend. I went 1 for 3 on goals this year (I did sub-70 10 miles, but didn't break 20 in the 5K or BQ in the marathon). I'm thinking of just establishing training goals for next year (like mileage, but trying not to become a slave to it) and let the race times take care of themselves. (Wait, I do have another crack at the 5K on New Years if I recover -- there I go again!)

What to do from here? Do I keep up the elliptical or just get lazy for a while? I'll probably do the former. I'm not sure what kind of training strategy do use after this. I'm considering either something complicated or something simple.

The complicated approach involves core exercises, cross-training, working on power/speed (through hills and intervals) and gunning to get faster before building up fatigue resistance. A lot of this stuff is in Matt Fitzgerald's "Brain Training for Runner's." While I think his justification is weak and informercialish (to invent a word), the recommendations make some sense to me. He starts with speed/power and builds to more race pace specific quality training a la Renato Canova. He recommends doubling several days a week with running and cross-training, which is something I've thought of doing before to bump up the volume without the injury risk. He also recommends core conditioning, which is something I believe I sorely need. (This speaks for itself.)

The simple approach involves just running -- a lot. Run home and to work twice a week (total 42 miles), a long run on the weekend (14-18), and a fill in run or two (5-10) to get to about 70 miles (preferably in 6 days). Something like Mo - off, Tu- 5 am/10.5 pm, We - 10.5 am, Th - 10.5 pm, Fr - 10.5 am, Sa - 5 am, Su - 18 for 70 miles. I like to talk big when I can't even run 10 miles right now! I felt like I improved a lot this summer even though it didn't materialize in any big PRs (I PR'd the half at the end of a big week, but it was equivalent to the 10 mile time). In restrospect, I think it was mainly the mileage and doing 4 10+ mile days per week rather than three. I've done the pm then am thing before and together it's almost like another long run. I'd be getting three pseudo long runs a week (if I survived).

An advantage of the run a lot approach is avoiding the headache of 4 out of 10 commutes a week. I'd save maybe $8 in gas, but the self-righteousness I'd earn would be priceless. The dollars per mile is pretty close on shoes versus gas in the car -- about $0.20 per mile. I figure I probably break even in car service and depreciation costs versus medical co-pays and future knee replacement :-)

Monday, November 19, 2007

first run back

I did my first test run back today (loops around a grass field) and it hurt a lot more than I thought it would. The swelling is nearly gone, but I have pain up in the shin muscle near the bone (anterior side). I was also very, very slow for my heart rate today. 9:35 min/mi @139 bpm average. Looking at the weeks before MCM on the same route I ran 9:06 @ 133 (40 degs) and 9:26@133 (72 deg, 70 deg dew pt). Despite 8.5 hours of cross training, the week off seems to have really affected me.

If this were football, I'd be on the doubtful list. With the loss in fitness, it seems much more likely I'll injure myself than qualify.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

week of 12 November

Mo - <2 min running (physical ouch), 170 min elliptical (mental ouch)/145 bpm avg
Tu - 33 min stationary bike/140 bpm; my hips were so sore after this!
We - 120 min elliptical/143 bpm
Th - Rest, saw orthopedist - x-ray neg, prescription for MRI to use in a week if I still have pain
Fr - 60 min elliptical/forgot HRM
Sa - 121 min elliptical/145 bpm
Su - Rest

My poor "wattage" on the elliptical on Wed and Fri for the same heart rate was mainly due, I think, to the fact they turn the heat down on holidays (vet's day) and weekends. Still Monday seemed considerably better than Saturday.

My shin is feeling a lot better than it was, but it's still swollen compared to the left and I can't do foot circles without pain. The creepy "creaking" sensations as my flex my foot isn't as pronounced though. I'm considering testing it with a short run tomorrow. Maybe I should try the treadmill and then hop on the elliptical if it doesn't work out. If I run at home, I'll do laps on the crushed gravel track to avoid hills. Only 6 days left.

Week: 0.18 miles running, 7h52m elliptical, 33 min bike, 144 bpm avg hr

Friday, November 16, 2007

my legs are itchy

When I haven't run in a day or so, my legs get "itchy" and just need to go out for a run to put them back in their place. Having not run since last Saturday, I'm desperate to scratch, but I know I need to hold off.

My leg has continued to improve and I must be optimistic because I found myself checking the marathon weather: high 54, low 44, and 60% chance of rain. The temps are perfect but rain wouldn't be fun. While it's a very flat marathon, it is a "trail marathon" and I'd be a little worried about the footing. There's lots of crushed limestone sections that would be unaffected, but the packed dirt section might be slick in spots.

I can't believe I'm even considering this. MRI prescription dated 15 November. Marathon on 24 November. Hmmm.

Today was 60 minutes on the elliptical. I had a fantastic 2h50m elliptical at level 3.7-3.8 at 77-78 rpm on Monday. I've stunk since then. Today was eventually level 3.0 and ~80 rpm. I left my HRM at home by accident, but I know I was probably about 150 bpm. How could I sustain level 3.8 for nearly 3 hours on Monday and today not be able to sustain it for an hour? Have I lost that much fitness?

Hoping for a miracle...

By the way, I've started reading Mircea Bogdan's blog. He's a Romanian steeplechaser training for the 2008 Olympics.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

x-rays are negative

My leg was much better this morning but not nearly good enough to run on. I wouldn't have made the appointment if it had felt like this yesterday. It's funny how making an appointment will heal you.

I saw the doctor and it went down like I thought it would. First, I'll say I liked the doctor. He was probably about my age (I'm getting older) and I'd bet money he was a runner based mainly on how thin he was. He also didn't bat an eye at things like 60 miles per week and speeding up on the downhills to work on turnover ("sure, sure"). I told him I was taking 600 mg 3 times a day and icing. "Perfect" he said, although he did say I could go to 800 mg.

So I got an x-ray and he didn't see anything although he did look puzzled and asked me if I ever had a stress fracture or problems with my shins before. "No," I said. He said I had unusually thick leg bones along the front. He thought it might be from running but wasn't sure and said it was pretty unlikely I'd break my leg. That's nice I guess.

The plan is to see if it still hurts in a week. If it does, then I should go for an MRI and follow up with him. If it doesn't then I should slowly mix running back in with the elliptical. Is 26.2 a week from Saturday slow enough? I didn't ask that. I did get one answer I wanted: "If it's not painful then you're not hurting yourself." The plan is vitamin I, elliptical, and ice and hope that I don't feel any pain in a week. I'll have to run some by late next week before I'd attempt a marathon. I'm not sure how many miles I'd need to be confident though. A lot of braggadocio from a guy who's walking with a limp!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Is sugar evil?

It's funny how I log a beautiful run around the lake as "Mo: 8.3 (8:57/138)," but will go on and on about injury and not being able to run. Human nature I guess. If I ever run again, I'll try to be more appreciative.

My hips were incredibly sore after only 33 minutes on the bike yesterday. I notice my quads were a little sore when I started the elliptical this morning.

I have a working theory that sugar is evil. After feeling kind of fried a week after the marathon I switched to slow running and looked to reduce other stress-inducers. I switched to the classical station in the car and stopped pounding the Halloween candy. The runs in the couple of days after I swore off sugar were noticeably better, but not enough to conclude anything. The other thing that happened was I slept through the night rather than waking up at 3am feeling hot, sweaty, and wide awake. Of course, I took my renewed health and blew it on a 13 mile progression run, 8 miles with strides, and 6 "easy" with some faster downhill stuff, which led to my current situation.

Last night we had "homemade" pizza (made from Trader Joe's dough) , which is basically like eating a loaf of wonderbread for dinner. I woke up again at 3am. This is starting to be a trend. My elliptical session much "slower" than Monday also. On Monday I did 2h50m at level 3.7-3.8 and 76-78 rpm, which put the watts in the low 80's. Today at the same heart rates I started at 3.8 and quickly went down to 3.0 at about 75-78 bpm, generating 65-70 watts. What a dramatic difference. I wonder if it could have been hotter in the gym.

Anyway, the results today were 2h0m on the elliptical and an appointment with the orthopedist (I see him tomorrow). I guess I want to rule a ruptured tendon or anything crazy. I know what will happen though (at least this is what I'm hoping for). x-ray negative. MRI says stuff is swollen (ya think?) and you ought not run. Rest, ice, and vitamin I.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I did 33 minutes on the stationary bike today. I planned to do 30 and then midway through thought I'd try for 40, but the boredom was too much. Plus, my butt hurt. How do people do this? I'm sitting there with my legs whirring around at 95-100 rpm and breathing fairly hard while a puddle of sweat pools below me. All the while, I'm going absolutely nowhere. The only saving grace was listening to Highway 61 revisited.

Anyway, my shin is still killing me. It hurts to walk. Pointing my toes is excruciating. The swelling has gone down some and there's actually bruising on the surface of my shin in a couple of places. What the hell did I do? It's not like I had shin splints that I was ignoring. This just came out of nowhere. My guess is that I pulled/strained something. I'd go to the doctor, but I'm 99% sure it's not a stress fracture. All he would do is x-ray (negative), MRI (gee some stuff is swollen), and tell me to rest, ice, compress, and elevate.

The plan is to alternate between the elliptical and the bike until I feel better. Hopefully that will be well before the marathon. If not, I'll just bag it. I wish I knew now if I wasn't going to make it though, because I'd just take a couple of weeks completely off.

Monday, November 12, 2007

hours on the elliptical

I made an optimistic attempt at running and made it 1 minute 53 seconds before I realized I wouldn't be able to tolerate the pain and limped back to my car, wincing. Then I drove to the gym at work and attempted to do my long run there. I'm proud to say I did 2 hours 50 minutes in an empty gym. The last 20 minutes were tough and I started to slow down some. My heart rate slow ed down as well like at the end of a marathon where my legs give out before my lungs. I think it might be due to the resistance of the elliptical creating some muscle fatigue. Average heart rate was 145 bpm, which is a little lower than my usual 148-150 bpm average for a long run, but I'll take it.

My shin is so bad that I've taken to walking backwards downhill. It's hard to imagine how I'll be recovered in 12 days, but since I believe it's a muscle (and not a tendon), I think it's a possibility. I'm planning to elliptical until I can walk without pain.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

week of 5 November

Mo - 8.2 (9:31/136)
Tu - 8.2 (9:18/136)
We - 4.6 (8:53/140) - HRM messed up first mile, more like 138 avg
Th - 13.3 (8:19/151) - progression run, 6 ez then 7:59, 7:47, 7:34, 7:29, 7:15, 7:39, 8:18
Fr - 8.2 (9:06/142) - w/ 10 strides
Sa - 5.8 (8:53/142) - hurt right shin, very painful to walk home
Su - planned long run, but off for injury

Things were going pretty well until yesterday. I was trying to work on my turnover a little on the downhills on saturday and that, combined with the strides the day before, is what I think caused me to hurt my shin. I think I was overstriding on the strides and downhill running and the breaking action strained my shin muscle (tibialis anterior). The marathon is two weeks away and I was hoping to do a long run this weekend (say 18 miles). I only did 13 last week (the week after marine corps). I might be rationalizing, but I think running might be less painful than walking. The other option I can think of is trying to use the elliptical for a long run, but I can't imagine hours on that thing.

week 48 miles, 7h14m, 8:57 avg, 142 bpm avg

Sunday, November 04, 2007

week of 29 October

I'm signed up for another marathon on 11/24. Goal again is 3:15:59 (as it will be until I BQ). Realistically, I might back off earlier that 18 this time if I know it isn't going to happen.

(last Sunday was MCM)
M, Tu, We - Rest
Th - 6.6 (9:13mm/138bpm)
Fr - 8.2 (8:59/139)
Sa - 4.2 (9:30/139) - I'm always much slower on the treadmill
Su - 13.6 (8:42/150)

My pace/heart rate was bad all week. Hopefully it's just recovery. I feel like I lost my mojo and I'd like it back. I have the dumbest thing bothering me now: a blister/callus thingy on my right pinky toe. Ouchy.

32.6 miles, 4h53m, 8:58 avg pace, 143 bpm avg hr

Thursday, November 01, 2007

not hitting the wall

"... the marathon without hitting "the wall"-- I can tell you what it will take to get over that hump as I've been in that exact same boat as you but was able to figure out how to get out: (larger volume/base-- avg. 50-60 mpw for a few months, then Pfitz 70 mpw for 12 week program, add several miles of goal MP running into the mid-week med. long runs, run long runs on "empty", without carbo loading or caloric intake, just water, run easy on recovery days, be honest and do tempo effort the full 7 miles of the prescribed 12 mile workout that day, stay healthy, do approx. 1/2 of long runs finishing the last 3 miles at MP, 1/2 MP, 10k pace. Most long runs can be 17-20. Do one long run of about 22-23 one month prior to goal marathon). Carbo load appropriately (not too much to gain weight), and fuel pre race morning and during race appropriately."

Above is some from advice from an internet board. I've come to most of these conclusions on my own, but have yet to reach others. The 12 w/7 @ tempo just seems impossible for someone of my limited speed and I've never figured out how to "carbo load appropriately" or "fuel pre race morning."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

training strategery

Well, I ran a marathon two days ago and my legs are still trashed. That didn't stop me from signing up for another in four weeks. What to do...

I did the same insanity last year, so let's look back at what I did for those four weeks

Week 1 - 0, 0, 6, 6, 8, 8, 18
Week 2 - 8, 8, 0, 9, 8 , 9, 20
Week 3 - 0, 9, 9 w/6@mp, 8, 9, 18, 0
Week 4 - 9, 7 w/ 2@mp, 5 w/strides, 5, 3, marathon, walk 3 miles

I blamed overtapering for the busted '06 MCM and went on an anti-taper with 18, 20, and 18 milers the 3 weeks between races.

Pfitz has a 4 weeks between marathon schedule that a 15 mile MLR 10 days out as the longest run in between and also has a VO2 max session 14 days out. Pfitz has the first run back as Wednesday (just like I did last year), but I don't think I'm going to run tomorrow.

I haven't quite devised my schedule, but I a few ideas. I'll probably do 60 minutes or so on Thursday (90 was too much on Thursday after my May marathon); an 18 or 20 miler 2 weeks out; and a 13.5 mile progression run to work 9 days out (my marathon is on a Saturday). I probably won't do anything fast until a week from Thursday (maybe a 13.5 miler).

Marine Corps Marathon

I ran the Marine Corps Marathon today. This was my third time at MCM and I've always fallen a little short of my expectations there for some reason. I'm not sure why. Maybe I build up expectations during the summer? Maybe I don't train effectively in the summer heat? Who knows. Anyway today was no different. My goal was to BQ (3:15:59, 7:28 min/mi), which I knew was a stretch based on my 1:33:27 half I ran 6 weeks ago. My marathon pace run (20 w/14 at MP) didn't really support it either, but I had some great long runs and interval sessions in the last few weeks that made me think I was in 3:15 shape.

The short story is that I held onto pace as long as I could even though my HRM and my senses told me it was going to cost me later. Then, I died on Hains Point like many a good man.

00:37:38 @ 5M, Pace 7:31, Predicted 03:17:04
-- hills early, I tried to be smart

01:37:57 @ Half, Pace 7:28, Predicted 03:15:45
-- at the half, I realized I had nothing in the bank, but I couldn't really go faster, so I just tried to run 7:27's as long as I could

01:52:05 @ 15M, Pace 7:28, Predicted 03:15:45

02:15:09 @ 18M, Pace 7:30, Predicted 03:16:38
-- 15 to 18 is hains point. Miles were 7:30, 7:31 (tailwind) and then 7:57 for mile 18 (headwind). A guy in a cow suit also passed me here, which was kind of demoralizing :-)

02:49:08 @ 22M, Pace 7:41, Predicted 03:21:26
-- I was bleeding fast and by 22 knew I had no chance, so I just wanted to finish and didn't really care about my time. Lots of thoughts in here like "Maybe I should race shorter distances for a while?"

03:27:34 @ Finish, Pace 7:54
-- I was done! One important note: I re-passed !#$#@% cow suit at mile 24. He had taken off his cow bell by then.

A little over 3 minutes slower than my PR in May. 29 minutes faster than last year's MCM, so that's something I suppose.

Despite the disappointing time, I had fun today. Mainly because I had my very own spectator! A childhood friend of mine (who's also a runner -- but *much* faster than me) was in town and came to see me. He couldn't have been a better spectator. He was at the start (didn't see him though), at Lincoln's left hand (Lincoln memorial) and then at his right hand -- saw him both times. Then (now this is a real friend), I unexpectedly saw him out on the 14th street bridge! (I thought he was going to be in Crystal City.)

A couple of notes on the new course: I don't like it. I felt like the stretch that replaced Rock Creek Parkway (under construction) was hillier, which delayed buying back time from Rosslyn hills. Also going past Iwo Jima and then having to double back sucks! Please, can I just make a left? You also go downhill on the out and have to go back up some ramp on the way back. You can look up at the runners ahead and know that you're going to have to get up there somehow. Geez.

I'm not sure what I'll do now. There's another marathon I like in four weeks that I did last year after MCM, but 1) I think I'm just not quite in shape to run a 3:15 right now; and 2) I feel like this race took more out of me than last year's. The early steep downhills did a number on my quads and both my calves cramped up in the last two miles (which was pretty uncomfortable!).

[Epilogue: I've signed up for the marathon in four weeks.]

week of 22 Oct

Here's my week that concluded with MCM.

Mo: 4.4 - grass
Tu: 4.4 - grass
We: 7.0 w/ 2 @ MP - 7:29/160 (net uphill), 7:23/167 (net downhill)
Th: 4.7 - road
Fr: 4.7 - road
Sa: Rest
Su: Marine Corps Marathon 3:27:34/172

51.9 miles, 7h9m, 8:16 avg pace, 156 bpm avg

Sunday, October 21, 2007

week of 15 Oct

  • Mo: 4.5 (9:06/133) - grass
  • Tu: 10.2 (8:47/146) - 6x0.5 w/ 0.5 rest: 3:17, 3:13, 3:11, 3:09, 3:11, and 3:11. Way, way faster than I've ever done them. Am I faster or is it just the weather (47 degrees)? I'm regretting that I didn't throw the Benji Durden switch earlier, but hopefully I'll peak for race day. I really felt like 3:15 shape. I still need to not get sick or injured and get lucky with the weather.
  • We: 4.7 (8:46/138) - nbrhd loops
  • Th: 13.4 (8:15/148) - Progression run to work. 6 @ 9:00/138bpm then 8:11/149, 7:49/152, 7:52/154, 7:34/157, 7:07/163 (downhill), 7:24/152 (downhill), 7:37/163 (big uphill).
  • Fr: 4.2 (9:26/133) - grass
  • Sa: 4.6 (8:56/138) - nbhrd loops
  • Su: 13.5 (8:48/145) - lake loops. Bad run. I did exactly the pace I wanted. I planned to run 3 laps just under 40 minutes. They went 39:54, 39:33, and 39:36. My hr was much too high at the end for the pace. Mile 13 was 8:45/155 compared to 8:21/154 last week when it was cooler and 8:31/155 two weeks ago when it was warmer and *much* more humid. This is a reminder that I not only need to have good weather, but I also need to have a good day.

Looked great this week until today. I think I ate too much junk yesterday. Perhaps that had something to do with it?

week: 55.0 miles, 8h1m, 8:45 avg pace, 143 avg hr

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I'm in shape for 3:15

A rare, mid-week post to say I believe I'm good for 3:15 on a good day. The weather was 47 degrees this morning and I did my 6x0.5 miles in 3:17, 3:13, 3:11, 3:09, 3:11, and 3:11 with ease. These were around 3:20 last week (although it was *much* warmer) and weeks ago, I felt like I couldn't go faster than 3:19 if I fell off a cliff. Despite the slowish HM (1:33), I was still almost ready to declare myself fit after my long run last week. In the spring I thought that if I could do <40 minute laps on my long run at a normal effort, I'd be a shoe in. Last week I averaged a little over 38 minutes per lap at an average heart rate of 150. The lack of speed in my intervals was still a concern though until today.

One more workout on Thursday (progression run to work) and then it's time to pray to the weather gods. They aren't being cooperative right now though projecting a high of 75 and sunny. Yesterday they said a high of 54 and raining though, so I'll hope for a better forecast tomorrow.

Friday, October 12, 2007

MCM pacing strategy

The world-famous PacerChris gave me this MCM strategy on I'm putting it here, before I can't find it there anymore.

Paced MCM last year - on a brutally windy day which ultimately caused me to miss my time (3:10:47 - still a BQ, but I wanted to be about a minute faster - had a BAD day!)

Because MCM is a very popular (read:BIG) course with lots of first timers, if you start with 3:20 you may find yourself pretty far back. I'd position yourself in between 3:10 and 3:20, erring on the side of being too close to the 3:10 group before the cannon goes off.

3:15 is ~7:27/mile - last year I was right where I wanted to be through the early miles. My goal time was 7:15 and my first 3 miles up the hills averaged around 7:30 - take it easy up those hills! The 4th mile you'll make up a lot of that time - we made up half of the 45 seconds deficit in that one mile with no effort at all, and the 5th mile is also downhill. Miles 5-8 are less steep but generally uphill - by this time we were warmed up and ran them right around 7:10-7:20.

From 8-10 is a nice gentle downhill so try to get back onto your overall goal time during these 2 miles - you should be fairly close. It's time to start banking a little bit of time - if you're a minute slow at mile 8, you're in decent shape - it should feel easy, you've relaxed up the hills and you can make up most of that time from 8-10. Use that momentum off those hills to keep rolling from 10-20...if you can bank no more than 5-10 seconds per mile from 10-20, you'll have a nice 60-90 second cushion - the bridge to Crystal City is tough, and there's a climb from 25-26, plus the last little bit is uphill as well. If you can get to 20 with that banked time, try to squeeze 1 more mile out at 7:27, and then 1 more, and then another. If you can maintain most of your banked time through 23, you can slow down up those hills the last 2 miles and still make 3:15.

Summary - take the first hills easy, roll down the hill from 3-5, relax from 5-8, pick up the pace from 8-10, try to bank between 10 and 20, hold on as best you can 20-24, and be prepared to give back your banked time from 24 on to the finish. Then go home and fill out your Boston application and have a beer!

Monday, October 08, 2007

week of 8 Oct

Mo: 4.45 (8:53/136) -- on grass field temp/dp 69/67 and foggy. Strange October weather.

Tu: 10.01 (9:00/150) -- 30 min wup/30 min cdn on grass field. 6 x 0.5 miles w/ 0.25 rest on 10 laps per mile track: 3:21, 3:19, 3:18, 3:20, 3:21, and 3:21.

We: 4.67 (9:09/136) -- neighborhood loop. Sped up on downhills to work on turnover.

Th: 13.41 (8:18/149) -- Long route to work. Felt great! It was finally October. 61 degrees, but felt colder: very dry (dp 37) and windy (18mph). Easy first 6 miles (9:09/138), then 8:06/148, 8:04/149, 7:53/151, 7:25/160, 7:08/165 (downhill), 7:17/164 (down), 7:33/171 (*big uphill*), and 7:09/174 (0.41 miles). I was very happy to see paces below 7:25 (goal MP) and heart rates below 172 (expected avg marathon heart rate).

Fr: 4.4? (9:26/136) -- On grass field. Left FR305 at work and used Suunto T6. The distance is a guess. HRM didn't work well for first 5-10 minutes as usual (read high).

Sa: 4.08 (9:10/135) -- Up at 5am on a Saturday and did the 4.1 neighbordhood loop. Had to get up early to volunteer for a race. I strung tags off the bibs of ~750 K-6 graders pulling them out of their grimy hands. It will be a miracle if I don't get sick.

Su: 18 (8:28/150) -- GREAT RUN! 4 laps at lake B. Weather was perfect. 16 secs/mile faster than last week although my avg hr through 18 last week was ~147 bpm compared to 150 today and the weather was much worse then. My poor son was diagnosed with strep today. Did I say it would be a miracle if I didn't get sick?

I am in way better shape than I was in the spring. I'm not sure I'm in 20 sec/mile better shape and I still have a bunch of landmines to negotiate a lot of landmines even if I am. We enter the 15-day forecast from accuweather -- Sunny with a high of 73. I don't like that. Hopefully it will change. The average high for the day is 62 I think.

Totals: 59 miles, 8h35m, avg pace 8:43, avg hr 145 bpm

Sunday, October 07, 2007

week of 1 Oct

The plan was to maximize my rest between workouts to help my foot and calf, so I went back to the Benji way of doing very easy easy days (jog ~40 minutes) and I did it on grass to help my legs.

Mo - 4.2 (9:40/131) on grass field
Tu - 11.1 (8:42/147)
31 min wup on grass field, 6x0.6 mile w/ .2 mile rest (10 laps per mile track). Intended to run 6:40 pace (4:00 per .6). Did 4:08, 4:00, 3:57, 3:59, 3:58, 3:59. First was done without looking at my watch (too dark). I felt like I found my form on the third one. Max HR was 181 and I seemed to recover better than normal. 31 min cdn.
We - 4.3 (8:59/134) on grass field
Th - 13.5 (8:30/146)
Ran to work. This is the route what I was calling 13.35 before I got the FR305. A progression run of sorts. 1st 6+ miles at 9:20, then following miles at 8:03 (147), 8:03 (153), 7:40 (158), 7:36 (163), 7:37 (163), 7:28 (158, -58ft), 7:56(169, +156ft). The plan was to do the last mile at tempo, which I did (or close to it), but it was up a big hill so it was slower. I hit 178 at the end.
Fr - 4.5 (8:57/134) on grass field
Sa - 4.2 (9:29/135)
Field was occupied so ran around the nbhrd. Discovered a new trail along the creek that went for about a mile. Trail was OK, but not all that runnable.
Su - 20.0 (8:42/149) (this is what garmin calls it. Used to call 20.3)
I was smart and got out early before it got too hot. It was still pretty warm though, especially for Oct. Run went just great. I start slow and progressively sped up. My best 20M run in the spring on this exact route was 3:05:23 @148bpm average heart rate. Today was 2:54:19 @ 149 which is 6.0% faster and only 1 bpm higher. Temps then were in the upper 30s compared to 60 warming to 76 degrees todays. 5M splits were: 45:41 (9:08), 43:59 (8:48), 43:00 (8:36), 41:50 (8:22). Calf hurt a good bit throughout. I could feel my foot as well.

Week: 62 miles, 9:06:29, avg pace 8:50, avg hr 143 bpm

Monday, October 01, 2007

week of 24 Sep

Mo - 10.5 easy (9:30 min/mi) - unplanned run to work b/c of car trouble
Tu - 9.7 - Intervals on a 10 laps per mile track. 45 min wup, 6 x 0.4 w/0.2 jog - 2:43, 2:40, 2:39, 2:40, 2:41, 2:39, 15 min cdn
We - Rest
Th - 4.9 easy (9:45 min/mi) -- evening run during daughter's soccer practice
Fr - 7.6 easy (9:21 min/mi) -- nbhrd roads
Sat - 4.5 (9:12 min/mi) -- grass field at elementary school
Su - 6 mile wup at 9:00, 14 miles at marathon pace
Total - 57 miles

Because of traveling for work and a desire to take it a little easier with my aching foot an calf, I ended up coming into the Sunday 20-miler with a semi-taper.

The Sunday run was run in a 20 mile race. I was hoping to see 7:27 per mile (BQ pace) at my normal marathon heart rates (~170-172 until ~15 miles in). Here are the splits of the MP: 7:26 (163), 7:25 (168), 7:14 (170), 7:32( 168), 7:19 (170), 7:14(170), 7:19(171), 7:27 (172), 7:27 (172), 40 (171), 8:00 (172), 7:47 (172), 8:03 (173), 7:31 (177). You have to add 5 secs to each of these. I had a consistent, accumulating error at each mile marker and ended up with an extra 95 seconds. When I ran the 7:14 (really 7:19) at 170 on a flat section, I thought I might just have a chance to qualify. Then it fell apart in the end. The first 8:00 came climbing up a big hill that I had run down with the second 7:14 (170). Not even hitting BQ pace on a flat section at the end despite a heart rate near 180 was somewhat demoralizing.

Looking back to my MP run in the spring though, I think this was better, but it's hard to tell since the pace was so different. Sunday was 7:36 pace @ 171 avg. The spring was 7:26@177 avg. I guess 6 bpm is worth more than 10 sec/mile, so I'd have to say it was an improvement. Conditions were very similar and this was definitely a harder course.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

week of 17 Sep

Mo -4.68
1.5 nbhrd laps. wp7-3?

Tu - 13.35
Ran to work the long way. wp7-1?

We - 11.7
This was tough. Flew to the west coast this morning and ran at 3:30 in the afternoon, but the temp was great. Winds were 20 mph, gusting to 30 though. Did 52:44 warmup. Uncertain of the distance, but for the part was on a marked trail, I was hitting the half mile markers right at 9:10 pace. I figure the first 10 minutes were maybe 10 min/mi. Best geuss is 5.5 miles for that warmup. Then did 6x880 on the track (someone said it was a quarter mile track) shooting for 3:20 per half mile. Did quarter mile rests (2:13 to 2:21). I faded in the intervals: 3:20, 3:19, 3:22, 3:23, 3:23, 3:23. Pretty bummed, especially since Yasso says I should be able to do 3:15 to run a 3:15. Of course, I flew cross country and there were sustained 20mph winds down the straightaway. Jogged ~2 miles for cooldown. 5.5 + 4800m + 2000m + 2 = 11.7. wp7-2

Th - Rest
Should have run in the morning when I had a chance.

Fr - 11.25
8.3 lake a loop, plus 0.02, plus 2.93 nbhrd loop. First run with my shiny new forerunner 305. Distances were spot on with what I've been using. Traveled back from the west coast today and ran at night, which I never do. Averaged 159 bpm for the last 1.1 miles. wp7-2

Sa - 8.3
VERY HUMID. Dew point of 70. I debated doing 1) 40 min easy, 2) lake A loop easy, or 3) lake A loop w/ tempo. I unwisely chose 3. Did first 10 minutes at tempo bagged the second 10 minutes about a minute in. Walk, jogged home. Felt fried. #1 would have been the right choice. wp7-2

Su - 13.56?
I planned to do 20, but after 3 laps felt like crap and wanted to quit, so I did. Nice day. Low humidity and no real weather excuses. The half marathon last sunday, travel, and a string of pretty hard runs left me out of gas I guess. Qualifying is looking very unlikely. gps said 4.52 per lap. A friend biked this and got 4.57 and folklore is it was wheeled as 4.60. I've always used 4.6 before. I can believe the GPS is off because there are some windy parts that I'm sure it cuts through. Close enough though. wp7-3

63 miles, 9h42m
wp7-1: 384 + 13 = 397
wp7-2: 357 + 31 = 388
wp7-3: 261 + 19 = 280

Sunday, September 16, 2007

parks half marathon

I went in thinking I had a shot at 7 min/mi pace. It's a bit of a stretch since my 10-mile PR from the spring is 6:59 per mile and this is a harder course, but I'm counting on improving if I'm going to run 3:15 at MCM and qualify. A 1:10:49 10-miler projects to 7:05 per mile half according to McMillan.

I started out the race with the 7:00-7:15 pacer to make sure I didn't go out too fast. We hit the first mark at 7:13 and I thought it felt slow. I wanted to take advantage of the downhill (he was running even splits off his garmin), so I left him and ran 6:46 on the next downhill mile. Mile 3 was 7:03 -- good -- and then miles 4 and 5 were 7:15 and 7:09 -- not so good. Then I hit a groove: 7:00, 7:00, 6:59, 6:59, 6:53, and 7:03. I was at 1:10:25 at mile 10 (25 secs behind 7mm pace), thinking maybe by some miracle I could speed up and recover the time. Then the steep hill just before 11 broke me and I started to fade (the rest of the course being uphill didn't help). 10-12 was 14:48 or 7:24 per mile (missed mile 11). Last 1.1 was 8:14 (7:24 pace). Well the end of the story is the 7:00-7:15 pacer passed me in the last quarter mile. Ugh.

Heart rates/splits were 174 (7:13 -- HRM was way off for the first mile), 173 (6:46), 7:03 (178), 7:15 (177), 7:09 (178), 7:00 (178), 7:00 (179), 6:59 (179), 6:53 (180), 7:02 (180), 14:48 (7:24, 180), 8:14 (7:25, 180). Somehow the software calls the average 180? I think the HRM's trouble in the first mile screwed up the averaging. My math from the splits says ~178. I averaged 180 and 182 in my previous halfs. I averaged 180 at the 10-miler in the spring though.

It's looking pretty grim for 3:15. 1:33:27 is slower than a 1:09:49 10 miler. Am I really in worse shape? Well, it was a harder course and I didn't push myself quite as hard, but I expected to be farther along. McMillan puts me at 3:17 based on the half, but other calculators still say 3:14-3:15. It looks like there's a good chance I'll finish just out of the money. I'm thinking of going back to what I was doing in the spring -- intervals on Tues and tempo on Thursday -- instead of what I'm doing now -- more mileage but only doing intervals or tempo once a week. With 6 weeks left though, maybe I should just dance with the one (Pfitz 70mpw) that brung me though.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

week of 10 Sep

Mo - Rest

Tu - 8.7

HRM reading looked solid, so I guess I just ran that badly over the weekend. It ran out of memory in the near the end of the warmup though and I had to delete 9/8 (43:28/152) and restart. Ugly humid. At 6am, 73.2 degrees with a dew point of 72.5 (98% humidity). I went to the elem school 0.1-mile track and did a lap. (2.93 + 1.8 + 0.1 = 4.83). Then I did 3 laps for each interval with 1.5 laps jog in between. I couldn't read my watch for the first 2 until I hit the lap button. (5 * 0.3 + 4 *0.15 = 2.1) I was aiming for 2 minutes (6:40 pace). They went: 2:04 (173), 2:02 (178), 1:58 (182), 2:01 (181), and 2:00 (184). The number in parentheses is the bpm at the lap mark. Overall they were pretty easy, but I think they should have been. Did the half nbrhd lap to cool down (1.75). Total 4.83 + 2.1 + 1.75 = 8.68. Unbelievably humid. Temp 73.2. Dew pt 72.5.

We - 13.35
58 degrees!!!!!! Turns out it was still 97% humidty, but 58 degrees! I had to take advantage of this, so I planned to do something like the Pfitz medium long run I was supposed to do. It was dark and I was running with a headlamp, so keeping my pace up early on the trail was tough. I also stopped my watch at the traffic lights, which I don't normally do. Splits were
  • 21:05/~130 (HRM messed up early)/9:22 per mile, 2.25
  • 30:53/145/9:13 (trail, mostly with headlamp), 3.35
  • 21:12/148/8:35, 2.47
  • 23:20/153/8:01, 2.91 (rolling, net dowhill)
  • 3:31/152/:35, 0.41 (half up a steep hill)
  • 16:25/159/8:20, 1.97 (down and up huge hill)
These distance only add up to 13.36 and I always though this was 13.8? Uh oh. If 13.36, the overall pace is 8:42. If 13.8, it's 8:26. Crap. I've been double counting the 0.45 on my "13.8" mile runs to work. Ugh. It should have been 10.45 - .45 + 3.35 = 13.35.

Th - 5.86 am; 4.11 pm
AM - Did two laps in the neighborhood. 9:02 min/mi @141 (HRM read way high first 5 minutes). PM - slogged around in the afternoon heat. wp7-2?

Fr - 4.68
I feel pretty beat up (but not injured) after the last three days. Only doing 5 today and tomorrow before the half marathon. wp7-2?

Sa - 4.68
1.5 nbhrd loops. Felt slow for the HR. HRM was off again for first 8-10 minutes. Last half loop was 16:02/139 compared to yesterday 16:10/136. wp7-3

Su - 1 mile w/up, half marathon 1:33:27
separate post for the race. wp7-3

55.5 miles, 8h1m
wp 7-1: 384
wp 7-2: 333 + 24 = 357
wp 7-3: 229 + 32 = 261

Friday, September 07, 2007

week of 3 Sep

Mo - Rest

Tu - 13.35
Schedule for 15. I just ran the long way to work. Held a pretty strong pace the whole way. Stopped my watch at most of the lights so I could figure out my pace. Squeaked in under 2 hours (1:59:48). 8:58 pace. 147 bpm average. With the weather improving, I'm able to get in more strong runs. Hopefully it will be in time to get ready for the marathon.

We - recovery 5.86 am, recovery 4.11 pm
Two nbrhd loops in the morning. One and the short half loop in the afternoon.

Th - recovery 6.0
Did an out and back to the lake, because I'm sick of the nbhrd loop. Ran to the lake (including >2 minutes at the light), ran about 7 minutes clockwise, then doubled back home. It's two and a quarter to the lake, so I'm calling this 6 miles.

Fr - 10.45 w/ 2x16 minute tempo
The schedule called for the infamous 12 w/7 @tempo. No way was I doing that. I had in my mind that I'd do at most 40 minutes at tempo. I couldn't do it all at once because of traffic lights, etc. I did a straight in run to work (10.45) in 1:29:32 (8:34 pace), stopping my watch if the lights were too long (which I normally don't do). The first tempo portion was 15:56/168 in 2.21 (7:13) pace. I felt like I couldn't get my heart rate up to where it should be. During the second one I felt like did a little better. I didn't really feel I picked it up until the second half though. I was surprised to see 8:05 at a familiar point during the interval, because I remembered that it meant I was on about 7:00 pace (7:03 actually). Overall the second interval was 16:49/176 for 2.39 miles (6:59 pace). It was probably a little better as I kept having to run around cars at the intersection. It happened at least 3 times (all in the second half). Temperature was pretty constant. 69 degrees, 65 dew point (88% humidity). At times it felt like I had a good "swing" going where my arms were smoothly in rhythm with me legs. They probably swung farther in front of me than usual though and I assume that means I was heel striking more? I'm not sure. I think smooth is a good thing though and I'll try to get in that mode again. Perhaps I can increase my cadence and avoid the heel striking.

Sa - 4.68
The HRM reading were way off at the beginning and even after I broke a sweat they seemed wrong. About 5 bpm too high and went way up on small hits (hit 160 jogging). I thought my battery might be going. 43:28/152. wp7-1.

Su - 20.3
Holy cow that was ugly. My heart rate was high, but I ignored it because I thought the HRM was running out of batteries. Now I'm pretty sure it was me. Still at 4 laps (18.4 miles) I was a little ahead of my pace last weak, but it was way harder (and my heart rate was much higher). I stopped at the bathroom though to wash up. (I had a spectacular fall on lap 4 and scraped my knee and hands a little.) After that I didn't have any will except to very slowly trot the last two miles. Overall average was 158 bpm or something crazy.What doesn't kill us makes us stronger? It was about the same temp as last week, but much, much more humid.

65 miles, 9h46m
wp 7-1: 379 + 5 = 384
wp 7-2: 327 + 6 = 333
wp7-3: 185+ 54 = 229

Friday, August 31, 2007

week of 27 August

Mo - 10.07
3 nbrhd loops (3x2.93), plus the 1.11 loop, plus running back to my house (0.17). Had to get to the scheduled 10! I ran this

Tu - Rest
Flew out to California and drove into the desert as is my custom. Couldn't get myself out of bed early enough to run and make it to the airport. I'm really having a hard time getting motivated to get up lately. My flight was canceled and I got there too late to consider running without screwing up tomorrow's VO2max run. Running after flying all day is usually a no-no anyway. (I always pull something.)

We -- 9.0 w/ 6 x ~2min @ 5K w/ 90 sec jog
Jogged from my hotel 2.25 out to the "2-mile square" (a block of roads a half mile on a side). Each side of the square is within 0.01 of a half mile on gmap. Gotta love the desert. Continued another 0.5 down the first side (2.75 in 25:17, 9:12 pace), then did the 6 intervals:
  1. 2:13/169 (peak 176), jog 1:33/164
  2. 2:04/170 (174), jog 1:32/167
  3. 2:07/174 (183), 1:38/171,
  4. 2:04/181 (171 -- HRM graph looks wrong), jog 1:33/169,
  5. 2:19/174 (172 -- HRM graph looks wrong), jog 1:34/170,
  6. 2:09/179 (184).
The six intervals left me in the middle of my sixth "side." I felt like I was going too slow in the first couple of intervals and didn't get going until the third one, where I managed to hit 187. I was just dying in the last two. I didn't really tie up, I just was tired like running the last 500 meters of a 5K. I don't know what the matter with me. I'm also wondering whether my HRM was messed up. The graph only show normal looking peaks for intervals 1, 2, 3, and 6.

I can't quite tell how fast I did the intervals but it felt very slow. 5.5 sides is 2.75 miles. I'm not sure where I was on the side, but I'm guessing I was in the middle to within .1. The total time (including jogs) was 20:53 in 2.75 +/- 0.1 is 7:36 +/- :17. If I exclude the jogs (8m10s) and assume they were 10 min/mi that's 2.75 - 0.82 = 1.93 in 12:43 or 6:35 min/mi. That's pretty funny, because my PR 5K is 5K in 20:32 or 6:37 per mile. It looks like I ran a reasonable pace, but that was too hard for 5K pace probably. It felt pleasant, but looking at the weather it was 79 degrees, which is still pretty warm even if it's dry.

Jogged 12:10 to complete the last 2.5 sides, this jogged back to the hotel really slowly and even took some walk breaks to try and get my heart rate down (2.75 in 27:22, 9:57 pace, 154 bpm average).

I could still really feel my right hamstring from Sunday, but the knee felt fine and the achilles thing is gone.
wp 7-2

Th - 6.5
Ran out to the square, did one lap around, and ran back. Forgot the HRM belt, so I have time only. 9:58 min/mi. I'm a 10 min/mi machine :) It was crazy hot at 5:30 in the morning. The desert is usually nice at this time but not today. It was a dry 84 degrees, but it was still 84 degrees. Still felt the hamstring.
wp 7-2

Fr - 11.0
Compared to recent runs, the weather seemed fantastic and I ran a little faster. I got to lake A in under 21 for the first time in a long time. As I've said, I'm trying to make these medium long runs stronger. I got up to 145 bpm and was feeling great. My heart rate started to climb a little more than expected though, but I kept up the pace and increased it on the way back. It felt harder on the way back and I was wondering if maybe the weather wasn't so great or maybe I wasn't in great shape. The first 41:09 was 141 bpm average and the last 57:26 was 158 bpm average.. The out was about 51 minutes (9:16) and the back was about 47:30 (8:38), but I screwed up deleting the wrong splits and lost the exact numbers. Weather was 71/67 (dew point) the whole time. Overall average was 8:58 @ 151 bpm, which isn't really good at all. A couple of weeks ago I did 20 at 8:51 and 149 bpm average. Ugh. I think I need to improve.

The hamstring thing has spread more over the back of my leg, but is much less intense.

Sa - 8.3 w/ strides
The weather was fantastic. 63 degrees with a dew point of 51! (Warmed just a bit to 66/52 by the time I got back.) Didn't feel the hamstring except at the very beginning. I slightly tweaked the balky left knee stepping off a curb, but it seems OK. Weather is supposed to be good again tomorrow. I'm scheduled for 15, but I'm considering doing 20. Despite the absolutely perfect weather, I was still slow for my heart rate -- 9:19 min/mi, 143 bpm average. I'm really doubting I'll run 3:15 at the moment.
wp 7-3

Su - 20.3
Excited about the dry weather, I tried to repeat my 20-miler from two weeks ago. It didn't go as planned. The run was much harder (average 5 bpm higher!) than two weeks and was only 30 seconds faster. I'm not even sure of the time because I forgot to start my watch again after a bathroom break. I figure I'm +/- 30 secs though. Checking the weather, it still wasn't a spring like day. 72 degrees/ 58 dew point at the beginning and 81/59 at the end. It was dry, but still pretty warm. It's hard to compare to two weeks ago when it was 61 to 71 degrees and I had an off day the day before. I considered abandoning Pfitz and going back to Benji, but I guess I'll stick with it for now.

65 miles, 10h1m
(scheduled 59 -- I was right on distance, but decided to do 20 instead of 15 today because the relatively few number of 20-mile runs in Pfitz's schedule made me nervous)
wp7-2: 312 + 15 = 327
wp7-3: 135 + 50 = 185

Saturday, August 25, 2007

week of 20 Aug

Mo - 6.0 am, 3.8 pm
AM Out to lake hodges (2.4), one lollipop (figure out how to do the loop), and back (2.4). I'm guessing 3.8 miles on the lollipop. I tried to gmap, but I get 3.35 which is clearly way off (I wasn't doing over 11 min/mi). PM. I drove to lake hodges and did one lollipop (3.8). Left knee still very balky tody.

Tu - 9.1 am, 4.8 pm
AM out to lake hodges. One lollipop and a 0.5 mile detour. PM. Did out and back to trail head (It was dark and I ran by moonlight. No chance to run on the trail.) Balky knee again, but strangely it seemed like it improved a little for the pm run. wp7-2

We - Rest

Th - 5.86
2 nbhrd laps. Felt the knee just a little at the beginning but then OK. wp7-3

Fr - 13.0
Overslept and ran in the afternoon on the treadmill. Got up to 6.5 mph (9:14) over maybe 30 minutes and then after 7 miles went to 6.9 mph (8:41) then the last three at 7.2 mph (8:20). Overall average was 9:00 min/mi, average 145 bpm. The knee was completely fine (but of course it was flat). I did something to my left achilles (about 5 inches from the ground) though. Started out as a little niggle and then just got worse. I hate treadmills. wp7-3

Sa - 2.93
Crazy hot and humid at 9:30am. Scheduled for 7, but it was so hot, my achilles was bothering me, and I ran last night. Cutting it short was wise. wp7-2

Su - 14.7
Scheduled for 15 w/12 at MP. Used the annapolis 10-miler as a training run. I did a very slow 4 laps on the path around the stadium (4x1.18 = 4.72 per gmap) in 48 something. I didn't drink any water this and I think I started the race a little dehydrated. Heart rates were 162, 169, 171, 172, 172, 172, 172, 173, and 181 (got impatient). Splits ranged from 7:55 to 8:50(!). Time was 1:23:46. 8:23 pace. Holy crap am I slow. Weather was 73 degrees with a dew point of 72. Holy crap was it humid. Is humidity that bad? Lots of self doubt on making my qualifier this fall.

60 miles, 9h25m (scheduled 66 -- most was shorting Sat run)
wp7-2: 285 + 27 = 312
wp7-3: 102 + 33 = 135

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

week of 13 Aug

Mo - 5.0
SSI. Out and back to corner of demere and frederica on demere side of airport loop. wp7-3

Tu - am 6.0, pm 4.0
AM. Out and back like yesterday but went farther to make it 6.0. 24:30/129 (demere out to frederica), 4:57/136, 5:30/136 (stopped at light), 22:32/142. total 57:28/136. PM same route cut to 4.0. 19:39/133 (demere to stewart), 19:29/145. total 39:08/140. wx was 91/76. Holy crap. I'm glad that's over. wp 7-3

We - 14.0
Ugly, hot, and slow.

Th - 5.0
Easy out and back. I didn't bring water and I think my HR rise might have actually been from dehydration. 23:28/128 out, and 22:22/145 back. total 45:51/137. It seems too fast, but I checked the distance again (roughly) with gmap-pedometer and got 4.96. wp7-3

Fr - 8.5
Counter-clockwise around airport and back. Warmup to Stewart (2.0) miles. Tempo around to beach store (2.24 miles) in 16:28/170 (7:21 pace) and back in 16:39/180 (7:26 pace). It was of course hot and humid. I felt like it was close to, if not, 10-mile race pace. Jog slowly back (2.24 miles). wp7-3

Sa - Rest
Drive back almost 12 hours from beach. Ugh. Wx fantastic in Virginia tonight though. It's supposed to hit the 50s overnight. 20 miles tomorrow.

Su - 20.3
What a day! The weather was overcast with a very light drizzle off and on. The temperature was 66/51 I started according to my local weather station although my car said 61. The wx station said 71/61 when I finished. Car said 72 degrees. 2:59:28/149 (8:51 pace). My last 20-milers before Frederick were 9:07 @ 148 bpm. I'm probably 10+ secs/mile faster accounting for the 1 bpm (yes, I'm anal). I feel I need to be 20-30 secs/mile faster at 148 on these 20-milers and I'll have a very good shot at 3:15 if the weather is as good or better. Today was upper 60s compared to those spring runs in the 30s and 40s, so I think I'm on track. My left knee was puffy again. The week on the concrete seems to have brought back the pain in the medial part of my left knee when running dowhill or taking the first running step (aka the hitch in my gitty-up). wp7-3

63 miles, 9h36m

wp7-1: 379
wp7-2: 285
wp7-3: 39 + 63 = 102

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

week of 6 Aug

Mo -Rest

Tu - 8.3
Pfitz calls for 10 miles w/5 at tempo. I'm still feeling tired even after my cut back week, so I decided just to do my 8.3 mile route. I also did my fast to slow guy conversion. 5 mile tempo = 25-30 minutes. I did 25 minutes warmup, 26:40 over 3.35 miles (7:45 pace), and 24 minutes cooldown. I was probably more at marathon intensity for the first third to half of the tempo, but I was definitely at tempo at the end despite my slow pace. I'm hoping it's heat and humidity. Dew point was 71. wp7-2.

We - 12.0
Scheduled for 14, but there was no way. I couldn't run in, so I didn't have time and it was crazy humid outside. The dew point was 73, which is the highest this year by a couple of degrees. My pace ended up as something like 10:20 per mile and I was just glad to be done. wp7-2

Th - 5.0
Ran on treadmill. Mostly ran slowly, but got up to 145 for a little at the end to see what the pace was -- ~8:30. wp7-2

Fr - 10.66
In Atlanta. From parents to 1-mile loop (2.33), 6 laps around, and back. It actually felt better than DC. Once I got out of the shade though, the direct sunlight made it pretty tough. wp7-3 (new shoes)

Sa - 7.66

Same route as yesterday, but only 3 laps. Got out earlier and beat the sun. Wx felt like the best I've had in a while. 77/68 at 6am. wp7-3

Su - 20.4
Down at St Simons Island, GA. I've been dreading this run for a week and thought I'd have to break it in two (the forecast said 80/76). It turned out to be 77/73. I did an out and back past frederica until the road ends (you loop around a neighborhood) for 16.1 and then tacked on an airport loop (4.3). I took it very slowly and slogged through 10 minute miles. My heart rate was very low for the first 8 miles (less than 133) and kept the pace there. I picked it up a little around the airport. Overall average was 140. I drank a ton: 70 oz of gatorade. Used 3-3 breathing (higher rate helps when it's hot/humid I think). I tried recoverite. We'll see if that makes any difference. Didn't have any problems.

64 (pfitz scheduled 69)

wp7-1: 379
wp7-2: 260 + 25 = 285
wp7-3: 0 + 39 = 39

Friday, August 03, 2007

week of 30 July

Mo - Rest

Tu - 8.3
round the lake with 9 strides sprinkled in there.

We - 12.0
I did an out an back on the CCT. This time I stayed on it and looked to turn around about 4:15 after my usual 11.1 turnaround. At 4:20, I turned around at the beginning of a bridge. Ran back a little faster than I went out. I love out and backs for some reason.

Th - 4.68
nbrhd 1.5 laps. HRM didn't work (I couldn't connect.)

Fr - 11.1
Usual CCT out and back. 9:17 pace out, 8:46 pace back. 145 bpm average.

Sa - 5.05
1 nbhrd loop, to the track, 20 laps around -- MAF test like 2 weeks ago. *Much* slower today. 8:56 1st mile, 9:08 second versus 8:37 and 8:40 two weeks ago. Weather today was 75/67 versus 68/49 then. The dew point is evil. I should do these on the treadmill from now on, but I hate the treadmill.

Su - 13.8
Scheduled for a 14-miler thankfully. Ugly humidity. I planned to start at about 9 min/mi and cut it down each lap, but ended up at about 9:10 each lap. wp7-2

55 miles, 8h57m
I really didn't keep track of my shoes this week, so I'll just split the difference.
wp7-1: 356 + 23 = 379
wp7-2: 238 + 22 = 260

Thursday, July 26, 2007

week of 23 July

Mo - Rest

Tu - 10.45
I ran home from work tonight. 85 degrees when I left, but a little cooler when I got home. Did 9 minutes at near MP and then another 11. wp7-1

We - 13.35
Went to work the long way around the lake. Holy cow, this was not easy. The last two miles felt like miles 17&18 rather than 13&14. PM followed by AM definitely brings some residual fatigue. I'm pretty sure this is good for me. wp7-1

Th - 4.68
1.5 easy around the neighborhood. Forgot to stop the HRM, so it's got an extra minute on it. wp7-2

Fr - 12.0
Not sure this 12, but it's close. I did my usual CCT out and back but went farther. I took a wrong turn and ended up at a dead end after 4m14s. 8:30 was probably short of .9m at my anemic pace (it was pretty hot and humid) but I'll call it close enough. wp7-1

Sa - 4.68
Ugh. My legs are dead. I really want to quit this recovery run. Only 5 miles and I wanted to quit? wp7-1

Su - 18.4
I set out to do 20, but I have a load of excuses. The dog kept me up, I did a lot of miles (for me) in a short period of time this week and it was hot and humid. 79/68 at 8:30 when I started, and 84/71(!) when I finished. My shin really hurts. I could feel it during the first lap and it got progressively worse. It hurts to point my toe. Had a lukewarm bath afterwards. I used all cold tap water, but it wasn't that cold. Ice my shin with an ice pack. wp7-2

Cut back week this week. I desperately need it. Unfortunately, I only get to cut back to 55! I believe I'll bag doing the 5K Saturday unless I'm feeling unusually chipper.

64 miles, 10h13m
wp7-1: 315 + 41 = 356
wp7-2: 215 + 23 = 238

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

week of 16 July

Mo - Rest
Didn't feel like getting up and my legs were stiff anyway (especially my !@##$@!# hamstrings). Also, I believe I'm going to try and pick up the Pfitzinger 18/70 schedule at week 14, which began, easily enough, with a rest day. Now, if I can only survive the rest of the week (14 miles on a Wednesday?). After my lack of improvement yesterday, I've decided that I'll have to do more to get faster and mileage is my best weapon. This means peaking at 70 mpw instead of 60. The difference with Benji's plan is basically that I'm exchange the interval day and an easy day for an 8-10 and a 11-15 mile run. A tempo/interval day is every other week instead of every week.

Tu - 9.08
Schedule calls for 9 miles with 10x100m strides. I did the lake A loop + a Grn-???-Grl loop (.78 miles). I put in 8 strides because I couldn't remember how many I was supposed to do (already off track!) in there with lots of jogging in between to get hr down to 135-138. I also doubt I went 100m. I go until my breathing starts to catch up and the slow down, wanting to avoid generating oxygen debt. I doubt I go more than 70 meters. My hamstrings are still sore from the 5K. wp7-2

We - 13.35
corrected: this route is 13.35, not 13.8.
Schedule was 14 mile medium long run. I went to work but went the long way around the lake. I'm calling this 13.8, which should be within a tenth. I took it *very* slowly and even took 4 walk breaks. I didn't want to do any damage to my already sore legs. That part seems to have worked out. I know I was supposed to do long run effort, but better safe than sorry I think. Ended up at 9:31 pace and 139 bpm average, which actually isn't too bad. My usually long run route happens to have me at 13.8 miles through 3 laps. During my last long run on that route, I was at 2:09:11 at 13.8 versus 2:11:08 today, so pretty close when you include the stop lights. Still my heart rate averaged 143 at that point versus 139 today, so definitely not quite long run effort today. wp7-2

Th - 4.68
1 nbrhd loop plus the long half. I was pretty slow for the heart rate. 139 bpm for 9:27/mi. Makes sense after the last two days. wp7-2

Fr - 11.1
Out and back up the CCT. I got pretty tired just before the turnaround. I hadn't felt that way that early in a run in a while. It looks like the residual fatigue thing is working. 141 bpm for 9:19 per mile. I really feel like this schedule is the way to go if I survive. I feel something on top of my right knee and have lots of tweaks, but nothing terrible. wp7-2

Sa - 5.05
1 nbrhd loop (2.86), veer off to school track (.19 miles), and do 20 laps around trying to hit 145 bpm. Unfortunately, my HRM didn't record the heart rate (read 0 at the start and when I reconnected after the start, it didn't record the data). MAF mile 1 was 8:37 and mile 2 was 8:40. Weather was unbelievably good. 68 deg. 49(!) dew point. wp7-2

Su - 18.4
I set out to do a Pfitz type long run. He says 20% below MP increasing to 10% below and a heart rate range of 73-83%. I did my usual 4x4.6-mile lake loops. I checked real quick before I left and saw that 10-20% above 7:30 per mile as 41:30 to a little over 38. In retrospect, I don't know what I was thinking. I shouldn't have used any better than my 7:47 marathon pace from May. I got a little out of my comfort zone on the first lap, which means not jogging and getting in the 135+ range in the first 10 minutes. This is what I was doing in the spring. Unfortunately, it turns my leisurely Sunday jog into a bit of a workout, but I think that's what it will take. Here are the splits
  • 41:25, 139 bpm, 9:00 min/mi = 7:30 + 20%, 70% MHR
  • 39:53, 148 bpm, 8:40 min/mi =7:30 + 16%, 74% MHR
  • 39:17, 156 bpm, 8:32 min/mi = 7:30 + 14%, 78% MHR
  • 38:20, 170 bpm, 8:20 min/mi = 7:30 + 11%, 85% MHR
Well, it went great except 170 bpm is near my marathon average of 172-173, so that's not good for 8:20 pace. The weather was again incredible for August. The humidity was very low (~40%), but still it was 73 degrees when I started and 81 when I finished. This run is almost entirely in the shade and it actually felt pretty pleasant. If I keep up weeks like this and stay healthy, I should improve. wp7-2

62 miles, 9h30m
wp7-1: 315 + 0 = 315 (where are these?)
wp7-2: 153 + 62 = 215

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

week of 9 July

Mo - 4.1
nbrhd loop. wp7-1

Tu - 10.5
Ran to work. It was very hot and humid. It was 78 with a dewpoint of 70(!) at 6am. Did two tempo intervals. I did the first one two long and probably too hard and had trouble recovering my heart rate, so I ended up running my cooldown at about 160. First interval was 1.86 miles in 14:10 @166bpm (7:37 min/mi). About 9 minutes rest including a minute at a stop light and then 1.14 in 8:38@169bpm (7:35 min/mi). I was shooting for MP, but realistically, this was probably faster than that. On one of the uphills I hit 179. Still my legs didn't get that hardened feeling like they did during the tempo intervals in the spring. Average was 155 bpm, which is very high for one of these runs and the average pace was on 9:09 min/mi. wp7-1

We - 4.1
Cooler, but just as humid. 70 with a dew point of 70. You can't see out our windows because of the moisture on them. HRM was kind of haywire for the first 20 minutes. My right quad still hurts from Sunday. wp7-1

Th - 10.3
Lake A loop with 2 mile spur. Sorta tried 3x8 min faster, but legs felt heavy and only got in the upper 140s in the first and low 150's for the last (except a few hills where it went higher). wp7-2

Fr - 4.1
nbrhd loop. 38:32, 9:23 pace, 134 average. Pace/heartrate is in the ballpark of spring runs I think. wx was cool and not too humid. 64/56. wp7-2

Sa - 0
Slept in thinking I could run after the swim meet, but it was 2pm before we got back and very hot and well I'm kinda tired and...

Su - 8.9
35 minute warmup, 5K in 20:38/187, 17 minute cooldown. I'm calling the wup and cdn 9 min/mi pace so today was 8.9 total. wp7-2

Last 5K in May was 20:31/188. It's hard to compare these. This was a modified cross country course on a pretty humid July morning. I really don't know what the distance was today, but a friend ran this 12 seconds slower than the one in May and I was 7 seconds slower. I think I'm about in the same shape as I was then, which isn't good when you need to drop 9 minutes off your marathon time. I'll know more in 3 weeks when I run a certified 5K. wp7-2

42 miles, 6h20m
wp7-1: 296 + 19 = 315
wp7-2: 130 + 23 = 153

Saturday, July 07, 2007

week of 2 July

Mo - 4.1
ndbrhd loop. wp7-1???

Tu - 11.1
CCT out and back. Missed the turn to the flagpole and turned around at the marker. Might be 11.0, but who cares. Mixed in 3x8min at slower than tempo w/ 4 mins rest. Nice run. At the end of the last tempo it felt like my form clicked, standing tall and having my femurs swinging symmetrically likely pendula below my pelvis while not really thinking about my lower legs. Wx was like a spring day. wp 7-1??? need to keep better track of shoes.

We - 4.1
nbrhd loop wp7-2

Th - 10.66
In Atlana. wx was pretty cool, but a little humid. parents to 1-mile loop (2.33 miles, 22:01). 1 mile easy around (9:29), 1 mile "tempo" (7:26, avg 165 bpm), 0.5 miles easy (4:30, 151), 1 mile tempo (7:22, 167), 0.5 easy (4:39, 152), 1 mile tempo (7:19, 172), 1 mile easy loop (9:37, 153), back home (2.33 miles, 22:18, 147). Very nice run. Tempos were probably a little faster the MP today and slower than 10-mile race pace I'd normally call tempo. wp7-1

Fr - 4.1
nbrhd loop. wp7-2

Sa = 4.1
nbrhd loop. wp7-1?

Su - 16 miles
Did a double out and back on the Bull run trail, which is "moderately strenuous" according to the sign. My watch had 3800 feet ascent + descent and it took 2:45 @ 151 bpm average, so this was about as hard as my normal 18-miler. It was also 86 degrees at 10am when I finished. Thankfully, it was shaded. I felt very good after the run. wp7-1

Good week. Really felt like my form improved over the week and my hamstrings aren't bothering me.

54 miles, 8h33m
wp7-1: 250 + 46 = 296
wp7-2: 122 + 8 = 130

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

week of 25 June

Mo - 4.1
Nbhrd loop and a half.

Tu - 10.3
lake A + spur. Missed the turnoff for the flagpole and guessed the extra. Worst wx all year. 70/69.

We - 4.5
Ridgecrest, CA. 4.5 mile out and back from the hotel. 64/27 (low dew pt. It's the desert!) and about 70/27 at the end. (High that day was 102.)

Th - 11.0 miles
Did the same 2.25 out. Then did three total loops around a block that's right at 2.00 miles around. One of the streets was a gravel road. I did half the block (out + half = 31:24@132) then did a "tempo" of sorts for a full block (16:27/153, 8:14 pace), jogged one street (4:42/144), did another full block tempo but a little faster (15:13/166, 7:37 pace, was low 170s after plateauing), jogged one street (4:28/155), and then went back to the hotel a different route (2.75 miles, 25:27/146).

Fr - Rest
travel back from CA

Sa - 3.46
running late for a swim meet so I added a little extra to one nbhrd loop

Su - 18.4
Felt good to do this. Ran it the way I did in the spring (although not quite as fast). Humidity was low, but it was fairly warm. 70/52 at the start, 76/49 at the end. Felt my hamstring on the 3rd and 4th laps, but it wasn't bad. It seems like the lower mileage, but more intense Benji plan is helping my leg. I also used the 172 bpm podcast for working on my stride during the 3rd lap. I need to do that more often. I swam in the evening with the kids and a few laps. Maybe 15 minutes of getting my heart rate up.

Feel like I'm coming around this week.

51 miles
wp 7-1 234 + 16 = 250
wp 7-2 85 + 35 = 122