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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Start of distance oriented work-outs

David is reading Advanced Marathoning right now, and when he and I both came up with the same type of workout independently, I felt good about my instints! haha . .. no, but I wanted to do some sort of semi long run with some tempo miles incorporated in there, and he read a workout that was right up that alley. We decided on tackling  a 9 mile run, with 4 miles in the middle at 15k pace.

He has never run a 15k before, and I have only ran one. Last year, I was at 6:15 pace and was probably in a little bit better shape at that point, so we settled on 6:20-30, just to keep it flexible.

Warmed up 3 mile just under 8 min pace (first time in a few days my legs were feeling a little beat up, so this was actually tough). I was a little worried about hitting the target times, but I was ready nonetheless. We decided we would go 6:30 for the first and try and work our way down.

Taking off down Little Sugar Creek Greenway towards Freedom Park, we hit 6:36 for the first mile. Didn't feel too bad. Mile 2 stayed flat, and we hit 6:29. We started going up the booty loop, and climbed uphill for 3/4 a mile, but fought hard and split 6:26. The 4th mile we were just straight shooting down towards Selwyn Pub, and we hit a 6.01. Not bad. After the third mile hill and push, I wanted to negative split and was thinking be in the 6:10-15 range, but alas it was a little quicker.

Cool down ended up being a little longer than expected, but that is okay.

Miles: 9.6
Total time: 1.10.34
4 mile workout: 25.33 (6.23 pace)

Monday, August 29, 2011

shake out from a good weekend

Well, after a pretty good race and a really nice long run, I took Mitchell's advice and ran on Monday. He likes to run after workouts and long runs, so as to get the legs used to running tired, and to shake out the junk. Work had me feeling sluggish, so it was somewhat of a chore to get out the door to run. Nonetheless, once I get going, I started to appreciate the run. I thought about only doing 4, then 5, then I ended up doing about 6.5.

My pace was about 745 in the beginning to probably 730 the second half of the run, if not faster the last mile or two.

No compliants, just getting some work done. Resting on Tuesday, then a longer/tempo run lined up for Wednesday night with David.

Happy running!

Miles: 6.5
Time: 47.31

Sunday, August 28, 2011

a very positive 10 miler

One would think the pace would not be this fast after a race the preceeding day. Yet, running is funny sometimes like that. I'm sure the weather had a LOT to do with it. Low humidity and dew point, and high 60's on the thermomitor.

Hadn't run at McMullen in a while, and it was packed. Just a nice 5 mile out and back. Decline on the long run, as the last 3 weeks were a build up. Next Sunday back to the low teens.

The cool thing too is that the pace was conversational, and we were totally in control the whole run. After the first mile we were warmed up, and just started clicking off 7:10's and faster naturally.

splits: 742, 717, 710, 710, 656, 705, 712, 656, 705, 658

Miles: 10
Time: 1.11.37
Pace: 709

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Race Recap: Greek Fest 5k

Good morning blog readers. Allow me to give you the story of the Greek Fest 5k...

This being my first ever full season of Run For Your Life's Grand Prix series, I can say that just getting through the season healthy is nice, but I had visions of myself breaking the 17 min mark back when I signed up in late winter. With two 4 mile races, the rest of the events have been comprizsed of 5k's. And I can say that the 5k's have been a struggle for me. I have run the 4 mile races at paces better than the 5ks, and just haven't had a good 5k all season. That all being said, I was really geared up to finish the last 5k (This Greek Fest) on a high note. Of course, given my race times this year, sub 17 was out the window as far as goal, but sub 18 was definitly something I wanted to accomplish, along with just competing against the field.

Since the last 5k nightmare, I have put in 3 good weeks of training. I am proud that I stuck to my plan, and stayed focused. I did 3 long runs every sunday morning with company in the morning; accomplished my work outs for the week; and hit my weekly mileage goals.

Now time to race. With the work being done, I needed to make sure I came up with the mental preparation that would allow me to squeez all the juice I could from the lemon. Noticing that I have done much worse when going out too hard the first mile (Blue Pts, Skyline, Twilight) and better when I went the first mile conservativly (Great Harvest, RFYC) I decided I would stay comfortable, and use David as a gauge whereby I would keep him in front of me to make sure I stayed in control. After that, I would try and negative split the second mile, and then give it all the last mile.

The week up to this race, I was in L.A. and didn't get back home until Friday night. Now, this was to be an Easy Week, as I was trying to really be rested after 2 solid weeks of high intensity/volume training, so with me missing my runs Thursday AND Friday I was sort of okay with it, although I would have liked to had a shakeout run one of those days. Along with that, the jet lag had me a little worried, as my body clock would feel like 3:30am when I needed to wake up for the race, since I was adjusting back to East Coast time from Pacific Time.

Pre race dinner: complaints there. Pretty good nights sleep night be fore, can't complain. So the gun goes off...

I feel relaxed as I start off on the race, and happily find David up in front and from here just try and settle in. I felt way in the back, but I was sticking to the plan and would trust I would be passing a lot of these people in the not too distant future. The first mile felt more relaxed like I wanted, but I can't say I was exactly ready to hit it hard once I started on mile 2. My split was maybe still 5-10 seconds faster than I wanted, but it wasn't too bad. During mile two I tried to press the gas, but felt like I was just maintaining. However, I didn't feel like I was slowing at all, and still felt in control. Perhaps I fell asleep a little at the wheel, but David stayed equal distance ahead, and I was just trying to keep it that way until I made a final push. Also, I wanted to see what my second mile split was, before I set off too soon. Since I didn't feel as good as I wanted here, I was focusing on not loosing ground.

mile two was slower, but still not bad, and I started to really gain focus here. I recalled the workouts I have done and tried to get up on my toes more and work on my turnover. My areobic capacity is large, and I felt no trouble breathing. I did feel a little faster than my other 5ks here, but still never felt like I tapped into that next gear, which I still remember so well from my highschool and college days (the kind of gear where you start knocking off sub 5:30 miles). Anyway, I started to reel people in, and David came back to me some, but I could tell he was having a good race too and was fighting hard. The course turned us up East Blvd, and I could see the finish. See, yes, but it was very far away. Kind of a mirage, as you start to instinctivly pick it up, but then realize damn it's far away...I passed a few more people, but couldn't catch David, and tried to hold off the recent passings I just had done. As I saw the clock tick up as I approached, I dug deep and realized I was very close to accomplishing my time goal.

Okay, so, not a bad race, and it looks like the training paid off. Wasn't able to catch my friend/competitor, but was at least satisfied to end these dreadful 5ks with this performance. Very happy about the last 2 races on the circuit: a 10k then a 15k! Let the training continue...

Splits: 5.44, 5.50 (11.34), 5.43 (17.17), .40 (maybe a shade long?) = 17.57

2011 5k PR and 45 sec improvment from race 3 weeks ago.

recap: last couple weeks up to today's race.

Monday 8/15
6 miles, time 44.26. Felt pretty good here, just a regular run. pace 7.24 i think.

Wednesday 8/17 - workout
6.8mi total for the day, 8x600m + 400m jog btw: Target was 2.05 which is 537 pace. Kinda warm, and met David at Marion Diehl track after work. I took the first one, he took the second and so on, until the last few when I felt pretty good and started dropping the time. 7.01 w/u,204,(209 rest),205,(212),205,(215),206,(215),206,(216),203,(220),202,(224),153, 1026 cd

Thursday 8/18 - wilmington, nc
4.2, 32.45, checked into the hotel and just had enough for over 4 miles in humid downtown wilmington.

Saturday 8/20 (hanging tree+trout lake lap)Boone, NC
9,108.32 (up in 31 min) Nice run with Mike Oelz at Hanging Tree (Rich Mtn). Hit it harder the last 2/3 up the mtn. Awesome to be up in the mountains and reliving my old college running days. Pace: 7.30-35 pace

Sunday 8/21
13, 1.36.29
Morning McAlpine run with Mitchell. First five miles were through Old Bell, then Up sardis, and through the Boyce Rd trails. Needless to say given the hills and technical trails where the GPS report is a little on the slow side the pace wasn't that quick. First five miles: 8.10,7.33,7.36,7.55,7.49. Once we hit the greenway we started hitting some solid paces. Here we ran towards Harris, did the course and came back. Last 8 miles: 7.19,7.19,7.12,7.03,7.19,7.01,7.09,6.58 (last 8 miles pace:7.10)

Monday 8/22
4.5, 32.44 - nothing big here, just a light run with David round the hood after work with some 720's last couple miles

Wednesday 8/24 - venice beach, CA
5.2, 40.20 ,7.45 pace - basically an out and back with some beach running thrown in. Legs felt okay.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

keeping my word

I really didn't want to get up to run. I know I say stuff like that a lot, but this blog is my reflection of my running - so I'll keep it honest. It mainly stems from morning running. I just dread it, but I was happy I gave my word to Mike Mitchell the night before because wanting to honor that is what got me out the door. Despite my mind while I wake up in bed, I am ALWAYS feeling better on a morning run as opposed to an evening run (Assuming I didn't party harty the night before).

We met at Old Bell at 8am and started off with the "old bell hill loop." I thought it would be sick to start off with some hills, and cover some ground before we got on the trails in an effort to minimize re-tracing our steps. The pace started off pretty easy, and a few miles in we found a nice rythem. The temp was not high, humidity was still a factor though. We clicked off some nice miles at the end as we kept building our pace.

My legs didn't have trouble in going for the furthest run of 2011, and that is a good take away. After the run though, my legs were dunzo and it wasn't until I napped that they felt better.

Distance: < 12
Time: 1.27.32
Pace: 7.20-25

Accomplished my goal of 35+ miles , with 37 for the week. Off 5 runs. 1 LR and one Track W/O.

Goal for this week: Speed work (800-200s), 40+ week

Saturday, August 13, 2011

taking what's given

The week days were solid, so naturally my legs were kind of beat up.

Thursday's workout really let them have it, and I was still feeling the burn 2 days later. Not running Friday didn't help recovery, but I chose to only run 5 days this week.

Ran after golf, in the heat. Compounded tired.

Miles: 6
Time: 43 min
Pace: 8.20

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Lightning crashed and thunder clapped as I hit the door and took to the streets. The rain had just started, but as soon as I stepped outside, the rain started coming down in sheets. I ran from my house up to Marion Diehl track and as I left my neighborhood, I just tried to see where I was going through the intense rain.

I made it to the track a little fast, with the adrenaline pumping from the storm, and when I got there my shoes were already water-logged. But, as soon as I hit the track my next step was into my first interval. I had planned to start with 2xMile, but with the conditions, I wanted to knock it out with a 2 mile interval. I made up my mind for this about 3 laps in.

The rain was coming down so intense, the drops pelted my skin, and I was swaying down the home stretch as the wind blew, and it was a struggle to see. Still, I hit 606 for the first mile, and dropped a 551 immediately after for a 11.58. I was pretty happy about this as I was running. It was crazy being out there in the height of the storm, but it really got me going, and will be a memory I have for a long time - that perhaps can serve me well as I dig deep in upcoming races.

I wanted to keep the workout going and not stop at any point, so I decided I would go straight into a 400m jog after each interval.

This would give me 26 laps total on the track, continuous, and with warm up and cool down, gave me a good distance for the daily total.

The storm started to dissipate, and the second half of the run was just in rain.

Given my shoes weighed 18 lbs, I am happy with my times. I was spent the rest of the night, and really could feel the deep muscle ache from a hard fought workout.

Splits: (400m jog btwn each interval at 2.05-10)
Warm up: 4.52
3200m: 11.58 (6.06, 5.51)
800m x 2: 2.57, 2.51
400m x 6: 1.21, 1.17, 1.18, 1.22, 1.24, 1.16
Cool down: 5.56

Miles: 7.9

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

regular run

Another day, and my legs were feeling good still. Went shorter, but no problems, and run was enjoyable. Started off in the high 7's and ended in the low 7's for a nice pace to round out the run. Ran from home to David's, did a loop, then back home.

Miles: 4.8
Time: 36.23
Pace: 7.32

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

hot sunny hills

After Monday off, David showed up around 540pm after work at my house and we set out south out of Madison Park/Montclaire and into Starmount. Started off not feeling sore, just not feeling I had much turn over. Still we hit 7.25-30 for my first mile. Basically my legs felt kind of tired. After a mile I guess my legs woke up a little bit, as we hit just under 7.10. Yea we had some downhills but I was still surprised the pace was that quick. I felt fine from here on out. As the second half of the run has a lot of large rolling hills and elevation climbs, I was able to keep the pace despite that, and ended on a solid clip. We got back to my house and I was just under 6 miles for the day, and I wanted to run 45 mins regardless, so I tacked on a little bit while David ran home. Happy about my "performance" for this regualr maintenance run.

Time: 45.53
Miles: 6.4
Pace: 7.10

David's Run: (he started and finished at his house) I was pretty much with him for miles 2-6
The run I did, mapped out. Notice the "add on" at the end. Map My Run

Sunday, August 7, 2011

good morning!

Coming off my new motivation to get the work done so I can see results, I meet David and Mike Mitchell at Old Bell at 8am (early for me!) to get in a long run. David was going longer, so he had done some running as I pulled in, and Mike, he and I took off down the trail. My legs weren't sore, just a little tired, but actually despite all things they felt pretty dang good. As we got going I found a nice rythm. Mike peeled off to begin his long run tempo, and David and I plodded along. Half way through the sun got pretty bright, and the humidity was taking it's toll, but I'm used to it. David finished, and I still had to tack on a mile to get in 10 for the day.

It was nice to hit double digits, and my legs responded nicely. I could have gone faster, but I stayed conservative and let the pace come easily and naturally, as David and I conversed.

Miles: 10
Time: 1.16.05
Pace: 7.40-45

Week: 5 days, 31 miles (pleased)next week's goal, build...35+

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Frustration (Re-cap of Blue Pts 5k)

I'm writing this days after the race, so it's hard to capture the true emotion I felt right after the race.

Had a good speghetti dinner and beers and wine the night before, and was in bed and asleep by 10:30pm. That's good. My legs felt fresh from my most recent easy jog on Thursday. That's good. I got to the race on time, and was able to warm up exactly how I watned. That's good. However, the weather was warm, and VERY humid, as we had a storm blow through the day before. That's not good.

As the gun went off, I found myself try and find my pace, yet I noticed I was in the group of runners who useually are in the low to mid 17s. That's probably not real good. Anyway, I didn't back off too much, and low and behold I hit the fastest 1 mile split I have had this year by 10 secs (5:30). Good, I thought at the time, not good now looking back.

As the group I was just behind started to move on, and I started to back off, I could tell that the first mile was going to give way to a tough rest of the race. I don't know how long I felt "okay", maybe a mile and a half, but as soon as we turned up Morehead (long hill of a road) I already knew I was done for. Having this kind of thought didn't make matter any better. People started to catch me, and pass me. In the last race, when the one person who came up to me got beside me, I went with him and was able to race the rest of the course. Opposite of that was true for this 5k.

Still, I hit 11:30 at the 2 mile mark, and my pace at this point combined put me in good posistion for a seasonal PR, but I knew before I hit that 2 mile split that I was fading. More people passed me, and slower I became.

I wasn't able to fight, and mentally I threw in the towel. It wasn't racing. It was aweful. I would pass people cheering and taking pictures, and would joke arounud with them as I passed. I was not into it after mile 1. Yea, the first mile was a mistake and took out my legs, but I think my up and down training gave way this race, which can't be avoided from time to time. At three miles the clock hit 18:09, and I immediatly thought back to my 3 mile split in the RFYL 4 mile race where I hit 17:30, and realized what a sad performance this was.

Thinking back, at Great Harvest and the RFYL 4 miler a few weeks ago, when I hit the first mile, I knew I had another gear and could start racing. At this race, when I hit the first mile, I knew I couldn't go faster, and could only HOPE to hold on. So, again, I need to learn to be true to my training (which isn't much) and respect that and go out slower, and try and keep it more even. That's part of it. I think the other part is that I was able to skate by and run off fresh legs at Great Harvest and the RFYL 4Miler, because my training during those weeks leading up to it was very minimal.

My training recently has been a little more consistent, with-out bachelor party and 4th of July trips, so my legs might not be ready for peak performances, and when you combine that with too agressive first miles, not to mention some of the worst racing weather we have had with the humidity, it kind of gives reason as to why I couldn't keep my legs going.

But mentally, it was not a good effort. So, I have 3 races left, and I am focused on finishing the series on a high note. Dedication to long runs, and consistant training, and workouts and keeping my mileage higher and still looking to build, as there are still a couple of months to go.

With .1 to go in the race, more people came up to me, and this time I fought them off. I closed in 32 secs, which is my best .1 of the year, so that right there tells me I just folded mentally.

Miles for day: 7
Race: 18.42
Pace: 601 (530, 600, 639, 32)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

i useually don't 2 days before a race, but figured I'd switch things up and run today, and take the day before the race off of running. Again, adhearing to running for time, simply did 25 mins today. My legs felt good, so I had to work on keeping it casual.

Time: 25 mins
Miles: 3+
Pace: 745

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

running for time

When we approach our daily training, most of runners set out to accomplish so many miles, or whatever measurement of choice. But the goal is useually a distance. "I'm going to run 6 miles today", etc. With GPS watches so prevelant now a days, this is the case more than ever, I would surmise. Yet, I read somewhere recently that the body doesn't know distance, as much as it knows time. If you go to run, say, 6 miles, you could be across the board as far as how much time you are out there training - where your time could be really good (short, 36 mins) or really bad (long, 54 mins). And of course completing the goal of distance can give you an aray of time on the feet, and overall, exercise.

So what I was reading was that in normal training runs, it's better, says the author, to run for time. If you go out to say, run for 40 mins, your differentiation will be in distance, where you could have had a fast run (7 miles, quicker pace) or a slower run (say, 5 miles, slower pace). But despite the difference in distance, your body is out there working up to run for certain periods of time, and getting used to being on the feet longer, and becoming more efficient in giving the body oxygen, and working the cardio/pulmenary system for longer periods of time. I think you get the idea.

But he was saying that aligning our training based on time, where the body can get used to being on the feet and running that period of time, and where we can up the time, rather than up the distance...well he was saying that the body is more in-tune in this fashion, and will eliminate some of the vagaries of our upward trending endurance.

It was an interesting perspective, none-the-less. Something I think I might try and implement. It will be easier for me since I don't have a GPS watch, and therefore am not slave to looking down and feeling as if I have to hit certain round numbers of distance.

Anycase, as I ran for 35 mins yesterday on an out and back, I decided to hit my normal neighborhood 4 mile loop, and tack on until I hit 40 mins. I hit one mile in 745, and pretty much stayed right at that pace for the rest of the run. Legs were a little tired, but I could tell my body actually began to feel like it was getting looser and recovered as I clicked off the last 10 mins of the run.

Time: 40 mins
Miles: 5+
Pace: 745ish

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

quality 5 miler

Was aiming to come through in low 7s the first mile and stay there for 35 mins of running. I split 652 my first mile and held on until i turned around at 17.36. So I was doing an out and back. I came back faster until a half a mile to go and i fell off the pace. I split 7 flat, so I was running 650 pace until then. Still a solid run.

Legs felt pretty fresh here, and it was warm and hot but not ridiculous. I wasn't swimming in sweat afterwards.

Time: 35.18
MIles: 5+
Pace: 650-55