Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spring marathons: the contenders

In this corner, weighing in at...

I'm looking toward a marathon as a goal race (read: run as fast as possible) in the late winter/early spring of next year. I'm leaning toward an early race because I'd like to be able to run a good Cherry Blossom and continue my streak of ever-improving April 10 milers. I'm also just itchy to get that 3:19 off the board and replace it with something faster. One option would be Boston (think I'm still qualified), which would be OK with CB, but to run really well there you have to be skilled at downhill running. That would require lots of race specific training and the race itself is expensive and a logistical hassle.

So, here are the contenders.

7 March 7:30AM - B&A Trail Marathon, Severna Park, MD
I'm assuming it's This "trail" marathon is mostly an asphalt bike path from what I understand. You do an out and back to the south and an out and back to the north for a 26.2-mile loop. Looks about as flat as you'll find. There's one 70 foot hill that you go over twice. It's a small race (~250) and 3:10 would be somewhere between 10 and 15 without much company. Temp/wind at 11am on 7 March:
- 2009, 47 deg, 11.5 mph
- 2008, 45 deg, 7 mph gusting to 16
- 2007, 25 deg, 8 mph
- 2006, 39 deg, 8 mph
- 2005, 49 deg, 14 mph
- 2004, 51 deg, 7 mph

20 March 7:00 AM - National Marathon, Washington D.C.
Convenient. Nice size. 2000 means not too crowded but some company at my pace. They have pacers from 3:10 - 4:00. It looks fairly hilly. There's a 200+ foot climb from 4-7 which isn't terrible I guess, but that almost 3 heart break hill miles if you think about it and it looks tough on the course tour video (4:00 - 6:00).
Temp/wind at 10am on 20 March:
-2009, 43 deg, 13.5 mph
- 2008, 46 deg, 23 mph gusting to 33
- 2007, 58 deg, 10 mph
- 2006, 44 deg, 18 mph
- 2005, 48 deg, 7 mph
- 2004, 47 deg, 16 mph gusting to 23

21 March 8:00AM - Shamrock marathon, Va Beach, VA
The course is absolutely pancake flat and I can drive there. I might even have a free place to crash since I know someone with a house there. The weather can be an issue though and especially the wind on the largely exposed course. Temp/Wind on 21 March 12:00PM:
- 2009, 46 deg, 12 mph gusting to 17
- 2008, 55 deg, 16 mph gusting to 24
- 2007, 51 deg, 10 mph
- 2006, 40 deg, 17 mph
- 2005, 54 deg, 11 mph
- 2004, 58 deg, 16 mph


The weather data seems to back up Shamrock's reputation as a windy race. We were just extraordinarily lucky this year. The course is also largely unsheltered (on the coast) which magnifies the effect of the wind. I was really surprised by all the wind in DC though. Six years is a pretty decent sample and half the years are above 15 mph. B&A has the least wind and I'm guessing it's pretty sheltered anyway. It's pretty unlikely to be hot on 7 March. Snow or ice is more of a concern.

Shamrock and the National Marathon are about the same size (2000 and 2500 respectively) and I'd have some company. 22 people between 7:00 and 7:15 pace at National and about 50 at Shamrock. With only 250 at B&A I'd be alone a lot. On the other hand, I don't mind that too much.

I've just about made up my mind to run the B&A marathon on 7 March.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Your age on race day

I registered for the Lawyers Have Heart 10K and wasn't happy that my "age on race day" is now 38! Running has a way of reminding you of your age even if it keeps you younger.

In other news, I've moved from walking to the elliptical. It was good to actually break a sweat.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

already getting itchy

I don't know how I'm going to make it 10 days without a run, although this morning was my second day of walking and I did think, "You know, this is what healthy people do." See, but I timed my walk. Not with a stop watch, but I had to look at the time when I left and when I got back. 41 minutes. A new walking course PR! (I narrowly beat out yesterday's 42 minute effort.)

What did I think about while walking? I was jealous of the two guys I saw running and I already found myself plotting marathon revenge. I wonder if deep down I ran 3:19 just to leave a bad taste in my mouth, so I'd have to run one again. If I'd have run 3:09 say, I might have thought, "Well, I'll never break three, so that sounds like a pretty good lifetime PR." But I didn't even have a good day. To not run one again would be like leaving the basketball court without making your last basket. Maybe I did it to myself on purpose. Revenge. Yes, that's what I need.

I've promised myself I won't run one this Fall although if I broke 40 in September.... No, no. Not enough time. Maybe I'll run a spring marathon. Yeah, I could do that. Could I wait? How about an early spring marathon? Or what about revenge on the same course? I think I'm qualified for 2010. No, too expensive. Too big a hassle. A local, early spring marathon. I'm not sure I'll be able to avoid it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

week of 13 April

MPW 65
-- 32.5 + marathon = 58.7
Monday, April 13
3-4 mile easy run w/5 strides
-- 3.51 @ 9:43
2-3 sets max push ups
-- forgot the push ups and I love doing push ups on Monday night. I'll do these Tuesday.
Tuesday, April 14
7-10 mile total moderate run including 3 x 1 mile @ GMP w/1 min jog recoveries then 2 x 800m @ 10k effort w/2 min recoveries. Finish run w/10 strides
- 7:14, 7:16, 7:12 w/200m rest, 200m rest then 2x800 w/400m rest in 3:18 (slow!) and 3:13 (nailed it from the beginning). Totally forgot the 10 strides. I need to tattoo these workouts on my arm or something. Total 8.70 @ 8:05
core plank
-- did the pushups tonight. 35 and 6. Left lower ab (if there is such a thing) was sore. My right hamstring is also tight tonight. I did the foam roaller.
Wednesday, April 15
6 mile easy run
-- 6.14 @ 9:35
-- did the core plank tonight. Figured the race is on Mon vs Sun, so this was OK
Thursday, April 16
6-7 mile easy run including 4 x 45 sec’s @ 5k effort w/1 min jog rests
-- at St. Louis airport 6.00 @ 9:05 on treadmill. 5k effort was 6:30 on treadmill. I'm not yet used to faster than that on a treadmill -- kinda scary
Friday, April 17 – increase carbs to 70%
5 mile easy run w/6 strides
-- 5.16 @ 9:01 including strides
Saturday, April 18– increase carbs to 70%
3 mile easy run w/10 strides
-- 3.01 @ 9:02 including strides. It was 70 degrees outside. HR was *really* high. Nerves? Heat?
Sunday, April 19 – increase carbs to 70%
2 mile easy run w/5 strides
-- skipped to sleep before leaving at 630 for the airport. I was awake anyway though and probably could have run.
Week of 13 April: 32.5 miles.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Boston marathon report

Might as well get this outta my head...

Alarm went off at 5:10, but I was already awake with other marathoners out in the hall. I actually slept quite well considering. I figure I was asleep by 9:30ish and only woke up 2 or 3 times for a few minutes. Maybe it was the Tylenol PM I took.

I just made it on the hotel shuttle. Another 30+ souls weren't so lucky and had to wait for the next shuttle. Got right on the "T," stood in the line for the school buses, and boarded the next one to Hopkinton. Got there about 7:30 and hit the first porta-pottie I saw. I met up with a 1st corral speedy friend of mine. I wasn't feeling great, but I figured it was just nerves. It wasn't nearly as overcast as it was supposed to be and felt considerably warmer, so I was hoping they goofed the wind forecast, but the flag was flying pretty good and facing directly away from the sun, so I knew the east winds were going to materialize.

About 9:00 we decide to hit the porta-john and the line is at least 30 minutes. Pretty soon they call his bib #s to head to the starting line, then mine. Crap. Hopefully I'll be able to use a porta-john at the starting line. I head down to the start and get in another line. It's about 9:40. I get 4 from the front and they say there's 3'30'' to the start. I have to bail even though, by this time I have to go. Crap. I run down and can't squeeze in my corral, so I have to get in the 8th corral. Seconds after I get in they start walking us forward.

(elevation changes from

1.00, 7:34, 160bpm, -130ft, Hopkinton

I start the first mile and am trapped by where I ended up in the corral. I weave in and out, but try not to expend too much energy, ending up with a 7:34 mile on the precipitous drop.

2.02 7:28 168, -40ft, Ashland
Still trying to pass those thousand people, the next mile is 7:28. I'm surprised to see my HR so high at this slow a pace and on a downhill. I also feel warm and am sweating a lot more than I'd expect. I start to figure this isn't going to be such a good day. Still I had a similar beginning to my marathon last fall and managed to finish well.

3.03 7:25 169, -55, Ashland
Similar to the last two. Not running that fast, going downhill, and it's not particularly easy. I'm pretty sure at this point that I'm going to have to hit a port-a-john.

4.03 7:12 172, -85, Ashland
I pick up the effort and it's downhill. 7:12. Not bad, maybe I can keep this going and get on track like I did at NCR.

5.04 7:36 171, +25, Framington
Or maybe I won't. (a little uphill)

6.05 7:21 172, -25, Framington
This ended on a steep downhill and I can already feel my quads on 6 miles in. I'm thinking if I can miraculously even split that maybe I can run 3:15.

7.06 7:23 171, -25, Framington
Getting really uncomfortable and checking for porta-johns as I go.

8.07 7:53 170, +25, Natick
Include porta-john stop. With the

9.07 7:20 171, -30, Natick
10.08 7:25 171, +20, Natick
11.08 7:26 171, +10, Natick
12.08 7:17 169, -15, Wellesley
Kinda surprised by the low HR, fast split. This was a pretty smooth downhill.

14.10 14:54 172, -20 and -15 = -35, Wellesley
This was a lot of fun. Included the "scream zone" as you went through the campus. Has to be heard to be believed. Included a very brief stop to kiss a Wellesley girl (on the cheek if you're reading, honey). My HR hit 179 at one point. I was starting to wonder whether I'd finish and this was a huge boost.

15.10 7:33 171, +30, Wellesley
16.12 7:18 170, -100, Newton Lower falls
HUGE downhill.

17.13 7:48 172, +55, Newton (as in "Newton hills")
18.15 7:50 172, +30, West Newton
19.17 7:37 170, -15, Newton
20.18 7:54 172, +20, Newton (note these are net, there must be an up and down in here)
21.20 8:11 174, +80, Newton/Chestnut Hill -- aka Heartbreak hill

The famed Newton hills. I just ground it out. I didn't let my HR go nuts, but gave a little extra to get over heartbreak. The wind really picked up from here on in.

22.21 7:30 175, Boston/Brighton, -80
Glad to be over the hump. This wasn't too hard.

23.23 7:41 176, -55, Brookline
24.23 7:31 177, -35, Brookline
I've been passing people since the hills (even though I'm slowing) and finally found a guy to run with/behind here. It was really odd. This felt like jogging. I couldn't go any faster, mind you, but I ran with short, choppy, jogging strides.

25.23 7:49 178, -45, Boston/Back Bay
I'm really running on fumes here. I'm losing power from the pounding and I think I'm running low on gas as well.

26.25 8:05 180 (90%)
26.47 1:46 179 (90%)
Just trying to finish as best I can. Man, you can see that finish line from forever on Boylston.

Total: 3:19:01 172 bpm average

Once we crossed the finish line, it was COLD! The wind was blowing the space blankets over our heads and it was about 45 degrees. It's funny because in the last mile, it felt so warm I thought they must have missed the forecast. I grabbed my goodies and started eating. I instantly felt much better. This isn't an ad (note: my coach is sponsored by powerbar), but that Powerbar recovery bar was like the best thing I've ever eaten.

The volunteers were amazing and the crowds were amazing and all the people congratulating me as I got on the subway were amazing, too. If you want to be a rockstar for a day this is the race for you.

List of excuses/rationale in rough order of importance:
  • I didn't train specifically for this. My goal was a sub-1:30 half, which I did, and then shifted to a sub-67 10-miler, which I also did. Since Cherry Blossom was two weeks ago and I tapered for it, my last real long run was 4 weeks ago. I also didn't do the volume that I probably would have if Boston were my target. Last fall I did a significant number of 70+ mile weeks and loads of long runs. That was the first time I felt prepared to race the full distance.
  • It was an off day. I was a little congested starting Saturday and today (Tuesday) I have a full-on can't-breathe-through-my-nose, foggy-headed cold. I was sweating a lot early in the race and my heart rate was high. I just didn't ever feel right. I definitely have a cold today. I must have had the virus yesterday. Maybe the race killed my immunity or maybe I'd have got the cold anyway. I think people underestimate how much whether you're having an on or off day can affect you and I often wonder if the way to optimize your marathon PR isn't just to run a bunch of them and hope for that magical day.
  • I wasn't motivated to really give it my all. I averaged 172 bpm versus 174 in my PR race. In that race I was 172 or higher from mile 4 on and the last 8 were 176, 177, 177, 177, 178, 180, and 183, which you can compare to the above. That was probably worth a couple of minutes at least.
  • There was a headwind. I don't want to overstate it. It was 10+ for the first half and was manageable with the other runners and the terrain. It was definitely a factor in the second half though and at the end it was 18 mph per wunderground. If you look at the graph of wind direction, it was basically east, so not quite a completely direct headwind but close. Macho guys will discount this and say "hey, Fred ran a PR," but come on, a headwind can't be helping you. It was worth at least a minute, if not more.
  • The porta-a-john snafu cost me 30 seconds and considerable discomfort, plus something for wasting energy (and nice downhills) in those first couple of miles trying to get up with my corral mates.
Anyway, I'm in a rebuilding stage now. I'm going to work on being a better 10K runner. I think improving my efficiency will help me be a better runner in the long run. It's a different kind of base training, if you will.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Goal: run fast

Well, I'm at the hotel and the wind forecasts haven't subsided, so I don't think they're going to. I saw the finish line today when I went to the expo and felt that wind coming straight down Boylston St. Hopefully a few thousand people in front of me should break it up.

The goal my coach gave me was 3:10-3:12 and I thought that sounded about right. Given the conditions, however, I'll just have to play it by ear. Fortunately, I've done this enough that I think I'm pretty good at that.

Wish me luck.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Too few miles and too much food

I weighed 166 today. Yikes! I saw that once last summer, but this time I don' think it's a blip as I've seen a trend lately. I haven't weighed 166 in 3 years when I was running 40-50 mpw, which is, not coincidentally, what I've been doing lately. Ugh. Since I won't be running more than that for quite a while, I guess I need to figure out how to eat less. My diet is atrocious anyway, so maybe this will inspire me to eat healthier.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

week of 7 April

MPW 48
-- 44.7
Monday, April 6
-- check. It's the weirdest thing. My lower abs are sore. This is new.
2-3 sets max push ups
-- 30 and 6 again. I felt strong then before in my arms/shoulders and probably could have squeezed a few more in, but my lower abs are sore from yesterday
Tuesday, April 7
4-5 mile easy jog
-- 4.4 @ 9:43. Legs good. lower abs sore at first, but felt OK after a mile. I progressed from an opening 10+ minute mile to a wicked fast 9:32.
core plank
-- check
Wednesday, April 8
5-7 mile easy run
-- 6.06. Ran to the lake and back. I stopped going when it was too dark and snowy. I only ran about a mile at the lake, but it was nice. I saw a fox twice (same guy - once out and once back) and what I think was an egret. The steep hill up from the lake yielded a 10:32 mile. Abs still a little sore.
-- forgot what I was doing and did the one-leg squats instead, planned to switch with Friday

Thursday, April 9
8-10 mile easy run including 10 x 30 sec's @ 5k effort w/30 sec jog rests
-- 9.3 @ 8:27. Still feeling the abs a little
Forearm Plank w/Alternating Leg Lifts
-- I did these but was cautious because of my lower abdomen

Friday, April 10
5-6 mile easy run
-- 5.2 @ 8:39. Right calf a little tight from the 10x30''. Abs still there.
- forgot

Saturday, April 11
6-7 mile easy run
-- 6.6 on the treadmill (steady rain outside) @ 9:06 pace (60 min). Abs still there. I can feel it when I cough. It's getting better day-by-day though. Nothing painful. Just there. Calf was OK.
100 ab exercises
-- B/c of my ab soreness, I skipped this and did the step ups I forgot yesterday. 2 sets of 40.

Sunday, April 12
11-13 mile moderate run including 20 min progression run beginning at moderate effort and running the last few minutes @ marathon effort. 2-5 min recovery then run 3 x 1 mile alternating every 100m @ 10k effort and marathon goal pace w/2-3 min jog between reps
-- Picked the family up at the airport (in ATL seeing her sister's new baby) at 11pm and my daughter threw up at 1:30am (a little too much fun, food, and excitement), so I wasn't too chipper this morning.
-- 4.3 @ 8:57; 20' progression: 7:57/152bpm, 7:49/158, 4:35(7:22)/167; 8:33 @ 8:40 pace recovery (recovery was too long, but it was hard to work in 20' of clear running room for the progression and then get to track in under 5 minutes).
-- I figured I run 10k on the straights and MP on the curves. 24 sec per 100 happens to be 2400 per 10000m :-) 27 per 100 is 7:15 per mile. Avg should be 6:48 per 1600.
-- It was pretty windy. show 13 gusting to 24 mph and the flag was pointed straight down the straights.
-- First 1600 was very slow -- 7:02/169. I had to dial it up to get to 10k pace and the first 800m was lots of 28s and 25s.
-- 3:15 rest -- 400m + short trip to porta-pottie :-)
-- 2nd 1600 was almost perfect -- 6:44/176. 24 seconds into the wind was probably pushing 5k pace though
-- 800m rest in 4:11
-- 3rd 1600 was 6:44/180 (max 185!). I hit 23 a few times and was probably too fast, especially in the wind. As the HR indicates this was pretty tough.
-- 1.2 home @ 9:16 pace
-- total: 13.0 @ 8:09
-- I was still feeling my abs (maybe it's psoas?). I can now tell it's mostly on the left side. I've been doing lunges (of sorts) to stretch my psoas before I run, which seems to have done wonders for my runners knee, but I can feel a strain on the left side when I do that now though.
-- Finally did the foam roller tonight.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Running-Specific Circuit Drills

My coach has an article in Running Times on circuit drills. These drills as well as more hill work are the main additions to my training and I think they've made a big difference.

How big a difference? Well, I think my recent PRs exaggerate my improvement a little because I didn't race last fall except the marathon and I was really off my peak fitness that day. (I'd guess I was in more like 1:30-1:31 HM and 67-68 10M shape in October versus 1:29 and 66 this spring.) HOWEVER, I was running low 70s mpw last Fall versus low 60s. The way I'm running is qualitatively different now. I don't have any VO2max test to point to but I'd guess my big improvement has been in efficiency.

I thought miles and weight were the only real variables I had to play with, but now I've PRd while running less miles and weighing more (probably because I'm running less miles). I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do once I'm ready for increased mileage (and lower weight!).

week of 30 March

MPW 41
-- did 38.

Monday, March 30
3-4 mile easy run
-- 3.2 @ 9:10. The second mile was 8:53 and I slowed down thinking that maybe my easy days haven't been easy enough. I didn't feel the hamstring at all.
2-3 sets max push ups
-- 35 and 6

Tuesday, March 31
5-6 mile easy run w/10 strides
-- 5.44 @ 8:58. I'm on auto-pilot with Tues easy runs and totally forgot the strides.
core plank
-- yep

Wednesday, April 1
6-7 mile moderate run including 3 x 1mile alternating every 400m between 10 mile goal pace and marathon goal pace. 2 min jog rest between reps. Full recovery then 4 x 200m @ 5k effort w/200m jog rests.
-- 7.8 miles. Couldn't get this under 7 with the track almost 1.5 from my house.
1.6 warmup
1:48/150 (perfect), 1:43/161 (slow!), 1:49/160 (good), 1:40/165 (perfect)
2:08 rest
1:46/156 (fast), 1:42/165 (slow again!), 1:46/165 (fast again), 1:40/170 (perfect)
2:02 rest
1:46/158 (fast), 1:40/167 (perfect), 1:47/166 (good), 1:39/169 (good)
2:05 rest -- suppose to be full rest. I would have done more, but I was already over 5 miles and I didn't feel like I need any more rest (hr got under 150).
:47/162 (perfect), 1:01 rest, :46/164, 1:02, :47/164, 1:05, :47/163
1.4 cooldown

Thursday, April 2
5-6 mile easy run w/5 x 30 sec’s @ 5k effort w/30 sec jog rests
-- 5.1 @ 8:54 (including the 5x30''). Went fine. I ran by a couple of bus stops at about 6:15 pace and felt like a lunatic.

Friday, April 3
3 mile jog w/6-8 strides
-- 3.2 @ 9:08. Could feel yesterday's 5x30'' a little bit in my calves.

Saturday, April 4
2 mile jog
-- I expected to be jumping out of my shoes, but my legs were a little heavy. Still it was 2 @ 9:01, which is probably a little fast for a "jog." Winds were also 20-30 mph. Hopefully it will die down before tomorrow!

Sunday, April 5
2-3 mile warm up w/10 strides @ ten mile race effort then 10 mile race!! Short cooldown.
-- got in 1 mile with no strides. 10 miles in 66:43! 0.25 mile cooldown.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Here's the long race report for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler I ran today.

Left the house at 5:30 and got there around 6:30. It was 47 degrees when I left the house and I didn't detect any wind. No lines (like zero) at the porta-potties all the way up to start time, so thumbs up to the race director! I shivered in my long-sleeve shirt (should have brought a jacket) until the sun came out and I was instantly warmer. It was still 50 degrees or so -- perfect for a 10 miler. The wind was light too, so no excuses today!

I only got a 1 mile warmup in. I started jogging at 7:08 since the race was supposed to start at 7:40, but the announcer kept imploring everyone to get in the corral way early and after a couple of minutes of "final call to get in the corral," I did. Part of the reason for getting in early was that the elite females started at 7:30. You didn't need to get in before 7:30 because they marched everybody forward after the women started. Anyway, I stood there for 20+ minutes before the start.

So, we're off. The new route is the same as last years, but in reverse. This is *much* better because it avoids the funneling into a narrow street in the first mile that we did last year. I found a group to run with and just ran with minimal dodging. The HRM was way off (reading 190+) for the first mile plus. The garmin read ~6:50 at first but settled down and eventually wound down to 6:32 pace (which didn't seem right) by the time I hit the lap button. The was easy enough that I didn't think to look for a mile marker until 12+ minutes in and I looked up and saw mile 2 at the top of memorial bridge. 13:18. Goal pace was 6:42, so 6:39 per mile is pretty nice. I found a rhythm and was going along pretty well. The next split was 6:29. Was it short? No, I think I was going that fast. Looked at my watch at the 5k sign (no pad) -- 20:29. That wouldn't have been a PR this time last year. My heart rate was only 182. I ran the half in January at about that, so I didn't worry. I cruised along for another 6:34 mile and started to think, which probably isn't a good idea. I had an inkling of sub-66, but then I thought I wouldn't goober this up.

Just make sure I hit those 6:40s. 6:41 mile 5. 6:39 mile 6. I had a nice group running an even pace. It started (as it should) to get uncomfortable approaching mile 6. I looked at my watch at the 10k -- 41:10. An unofficial 10k PR. It was started to get harder and my legs were getting a little "lacticy" (to make up a word). It starts to get hard to feel your pace at this point in the race, but I was keeping up with the group and the garmin read 6:39.

Mile 7. 7:06. WTF? I knew it was long, so I say something to the guy next to me expecting an "oh yeah," but he says something like "why do you think so?" Uh, I went 6:40 to 7:06. This was on the spectator-free, lonely part called Hains Point where many a good Marine Corps Marathon race has died, so it was easy to question myself, but still I knew I didn't slow that much, but I figured I did slow and just didn't know how much.

Mile 8. 6:03. OK, mile 7 was long, but 7:06 + 6:03 = 13:09 ~ 6:35/mile. I don't think I sped up. Ah, I'm probably OK. 2 miles left. I decided to look at my elapsed time some time after the mile mark and say 53:35. I'm thinking 13:25 to run two miles. Ack that's 6:42 pace. I've been well under except that last suspect mile. What's going on here. In retrospect, I actually crossed mile 8 at 52:53. Huge difference! Don't try and estimate after you've passed a marker. 2 miles left. Just hang with the people in front of you.

Mile 9. There's a little breeze now as we head north on Hains Point, but not much. My pace reads 6:48 and I can't get it down without hurting more than I feel. I figure the markers were all just screwed and I haven't really slowed yet so I've got a bit of a cushion. Hit the mile marker at 7:00. What? I didn't drop 20 seconds. I now figure that both 7 and 8 were in the wrong place. 7 + 6:03 + 7:08 = 21:11 = ~6:44 pace, which I'll believe. The clock says 61:05 at the mile marker. My watch says 59:53 and I'm figuring if the last mile is reasonably close to a mile then I should make it.

Mile 10. Just hang with some folks and try and run it in. This mile has the only real hill in the course (and it's not *that* bad). It starts just before 800 meters to go. They have a *very* helpful sign there and I figured I could run a 7ish mile and make it at that point. Anyway, we ran up the hill and it hurt and you kind of wind your way to the right, so you get pretty darn close to the finish before you can actually see it. I think I finally saw the clock when it read 1:06:30. For once, I wanted to finish with the clock reading under my goal time (I ran 1:30:01 at carlsbad and 32:0something at the 8k. Anyway, I picked it up and saw 1:06:57 when I crossed. Unambiguous success. Yay, me! I also remembered to stop my watch, which I haven't done in the last two races. It read 1:06:43 (which also is my official chip time).

I planned to run 3 miles to a friend's house, but after stiffening up while waiting 15 minutes for my bag, I ended up taking the train. Here's a note to race organizers. If you assign numbers by projected order of finish and then group bags by bib numbers, you'll end up with a thousand people at two tables while the other 20 sit idle. How hard is this? They could have 10 tables arranged by the last digit of the bib number and serve 10 at a time instead of 2 at a time with half the number of volunteers.

I'm getting nearer one of my long term goals -- a sub-40 10k. If you believe the McMillan calculator this 10 miler was worth a 39:49.

Full splitsahol below.

| mile | split | dist | pace | Avg HR |
| 2 | 13:18 | 2.04 | 6:32 | 185 | -- HRM not working right
| 3 | 6:29 | 1.02 | 6:21 | 182 |
| 4 | 6:34 | 1.07 | 6:09 | 183 |
| 5 | 6:41 | 1.03 | 6:29 | 183 |
| 6 | 6:39 | 1.00 | 6:38 | 184 |
| 7 | 7:06 | 1.07 | 6:39 | 183 |
| 8 | 6:03 | 0.91 | 6:41 | 183 |
| 9 | 7:00 | 1.03 | 6:48 | 185 |
| 10 | 6:50 | 1.02 | 6:42 | 187 |

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

last workout before Cherry Blossom

I can't let Mindi have all the have all the last-workout-before-the-big-race glory, can I? The plan today was 6-7 miles including 3 x 1 mile w/ 2 minute rest and pace alternating between marathon and 10-mile pace every 400m followed by full rest and then 4 x 200m @5k w/2oom rest. I shot for :47 per 200 for 5k (6:18 per mile), 1:40 per 400 for 10-mile (6:42 per mile), and 1:48 per 400 for MP (7:15). Here's how it went:

  • 1.6 warmup
  • 1:48/150 (perfect), 1:43/161 (slow!), 1:49/160 (good), 1:40/165 (perfect)
  • 2:08 rest
  • 1:46/156 (fast), 1:42/165 (slow again!), 1:46/165 (fast again), 1:40/170 (perfect)
  • 2:02 rest
  • 1:46/158 (fast), 1:40/167 (perfect), 1:47/166 (good), 1:39/169 (good)
  • 2:05 rest -- suppose to be full rest. I would have done more, but I was already over 5 miles and I didn't feel like I need any more rest (hr got under 150).
  • :47/162 (perfect), 1:01 rest, :46/164, 1:02, :47/164, 1:05, :47/163
  • 1.4 cooldown

It didn't feel that hard at all (it should though since it's pretty low intensity and low volume) and the heart rates look good. I'm pretty confident for Sunday. My one worry is that my weight has ballooned. I'm at 165.5! I haven't touched 166 in maybe 3 years (after a year of running). Maybe I'll fly if I can dump some weight.