Sunday, January 25, 2015

Training update Week Ending 1-25-15

 Ok, it's time for another boring blogpost.

 Well, I must say I am quite happy with the way things are progressing after just completing another great week. My total for the week was 60.5 miles which is the most training miles in a week since last January  ! I am hoping that continued good health and weather will allow me to keep things close to this level for awhile now although I  will probably have a cut down week in a few just before the final push for Wrightsville Beach. So here is how it happened.

 Monday 1-19. This was a great start to the week with a 4 x 2 mile at marathon pace with 1/2 mile recoveries. Actual pace was 8:00 so it was faster than my marathon pr. Total 11 miles for the workout.

 Tuesday 1-20. I was feeling the effects of  3 of the previous 4 days of hard or long workouts so this was an easy 6.

 Wednesday 1-21.  This was another easy 6 but I was feeling a whole lot better than expected  and the pace was a lot better than the day before.

Thursday 1-22. Thought about some Umstead hills but I had a hard workout planned with Laura for Friday so resisted and did another easy 6. First 3 slow and then progressively faster coming back.

 Friday 1-23. Another awesome , hard but fun workout chasing Laura.  8 x 3 minutes at 5k race pace with just 1 minute recoveries. As usual with her, my warmup and cooldown were at or faster than marathon race pace, and the 4 middle miles even with the recoveries were at tempo pace ! Get strong or die !!

 Saturday 1-24.  Easy 6 from home. I was feeling the hard Friday run but still a good pace and a negative split.

 Sunday 1-25. Finished up the week with a strong long run. The greenway  had a lot of tricky sections with black ice from the previous days rain freezin over nite. Plan was to go easy for the first 10 and then hopefully do a progression run the last 8. The ice slowed me a bit on the first 12 but by then the ice was melted in most places  and the workout went even better than expected with the last 4 at marathon pace and faster.

 So another great week and of course I am still doing as much cross-training as I can.  A total of 6 core workouts including double on Wednesday. 2 weight workouts at the gym and one body weight day at home.

 thats it for now and hopefully I can post another good report for you next week.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Training update week ending 01-18-15

It's been two weeks since the last update so lets see what I have been up to lately.

 Mon. 1-5. I was short on time but made the most of it with 5 miles including 4 at tempo pace.

 Tuesday I was able to get in a strong 10 miler.

 Wednesday was an easy 5 and the beginning of my "mini taper" for the race coming up on Saturday.

 Thursday was another easy 4.

 Friday I hoped for an easy 3 or 4 but later at work and then the long drive to North Myrtle Beach so I just rested.

 Saturday was the Ocean Isle Beach  Bridge Run for Food Half Marathon. You can  read the report on the blog if you want to know more but I ran slower than hoped on a very windy day. 1:45:17 and still won my age group so a good day and an idea on how the training is going.

 Sunday I just did an easy 3 mile recovery run at home.

 Weekly total was 40

 During that week I did 5 core and or glute workouts, one body weight day and one weights at the gym for a pretty solid week including a race. Normally i would have backed off more but this was just a test and a part of the training.

 Monday 1-12. I just got in another easy 5 but felt pretty good.

 Tuesday I headed over to Umstead. Wanted easy but wanted some time in my park. Tried to keep the effort easy most of the way snce I am recovering but had a good pace and felt ok on the hills

 Wednesday was a long workday after doing some family duty all morning but i wanted my run fix so I squeezed in 4 easy around Lake Lynn before dark and then back to work.

 Thursday I was still in recovery mode and got in an easy 5 from shelley lake to the mall.
Had a nice massage from Stiner in the morning getting th kinks out from the race.

 Friday was the return to marathon training and my favorite day, getting pushed by Laura The Honey Badger. this week she had cooked up a 6 mile descending tempo run bracketed with 1 mile warmup and cooldowns. Ice on the greenway and bridges made it a lot harder than it would have been but we still pretty much nailed the workout. First 3 were dead on or a couple of seconds fast. A few seconds slow on the last 3 but still each was faster and under the conditions I was thrilled with that although I was about to die on that last 1.5 miles. If she wasn't pulling me I know I would have backed off and bailed on the last one for sure.

 Saturday I had planned on taking it easy but the forecast was for rain on Sunday so I wanted to get in my long run. Wasn't sure how it would go on tight sore legs from the killer friday workout but it ended up going much better than expected. Ran faster than I thought and was nice and steady for 10 and then picked up the pace by about 20 seconds over the last 6 with the lastest fastest !

 Sunday I waited until the rain passed and got in an easy 3 recovery run.

 Total was 47 miles for the week.

And as always back to normal with the cross training with 3 core and glutes, 2 weights at the gym and a body weight day challenge.

 So a solid two weeks and eager to continue with the hard training for the marathon coming up in 9 weeks !

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ocean Isle Beach Bridge Run for Food Half Marathon

  Made my way down to the beach for my 3rd time running this event. My goal was to try and run about 1:40 but I knew things would have to go perfectly for that to happen. Training has been going well but I still don't feel as though I am quite back to the same shape I was pre-injury.

  I arrived about 45 minutes before the start and was a bit disappointed that it was already a windy morning. It was cold too but that wasn't bothering me.   I did an abbrieviated warmup and then lined up where I was able to see and speak to some friends, Bren Crowson, Charles West, Mark Long and Irene Russell.

  I should have moved up a little closer to the front because even though I didn't want to go out too fast I got behind some slow folks and it took awhile to get around them. After the first block we turned directly into the wind, a steady 12-15 mph with gust in the 20's. Combined with running over the bridge the first time it made for a tough first mile. I tried to hold back and was pretty comfortable in 8:10. We made the u-turn and I was trying to check out the competition and see if there were any other old guys in front of me. 

  Headed back up the bridge and tried to keep the effort under control while using the tailwind. Pushed it a bit on the downside and hit mile 2 in 7:42. Soon after that we turned and headed up the beach road and back into the wind. I was just trying to keep up a steady effort without fighting the wind which was coming from the opposite direction from the 2011 race. Mile 3 was 7:46 and mile 4 was 7:51. By now I knew that 1:40 was out of the question and I was thinking more like 1:42 to 1:43. Mile 5 was really tough as it was directly into the wind and a very exposed section of the course and I slowed even more to an 8:04.

 I was very happy now to have mostly a tailwind coming for the next 5 miles. I didn't want to push too soon though so I just tried to re-group and settle in. Mile 6 was 7:47, not quite as fast as I was hoping. I began to put in some 10 second surges at the beginning of the miles but even though I tried to pick it up I was disappointed not to be able to and mile 7 was only a 7:56. I pushed again and although mile 8 was a little better in 7:41 I just didn't have the strength I was hoping for or the push from the wind. Mile 9 was slower again in 7:52 and now my goal was to just hold on and hope for 1:43:30ish.

 Just before mile 10 we turned into a neighborhood with a tight  180 turn and I could just feel my energy wane and had a hard time coming back up to speed. Hit that mile in 7:57. I was passed by a woman, the only one to pass me in several miles and I tried to hang with her and push the last 5k. We made the final u-turn at about 10.5 and now I had that headwind to deal with for the last 2.5 and it was not fun ! The volunteer at the turn did tell me i was first old guy but I had seen a man with a while beard well ahead of me so I was hoping he was not in my age group a least.

 Mile 11 was an 8:02 but I was fading and fighting the wind. Despite my best effort I couldn't hold the pace and was getting a stitch at mile 12 in 8:34. Grrrrrr. Gave it all I had and picked it up just a little for mile 13 in 8:25 and a final time of 1:45:17.

  I walked straight to my car to message Bella and get my coat and long pants and gloves to wait out the awards ceremony. Even though I was way off my time I was still able to win my age-group.

 Despite the slower time, I have to feel pretty good about the effort. I have been training very hard and the previous 4 weeks I had gotten my mileage back up to pre-injury levels along with some killer workouts. The hard work combined with just a 3 day taper and with the cold and windy conditions  make me pretty happy with the progress that is being made. The race predictors put this at close to what I need for my BQ so I have to think that things are on track with 10 weeks of training to go.

 Stay Tuned, more coming soon !

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Training update week ending 1-4-15

 Things are continuing to go  well with the training with the overall focus still on getting a fast marathon time in March.

 Monday I got the week started off great with 11 miles. I  added another mile to the marathon pace stuff that I had done the previous weeks with 2- 3 -2 mile repeats at a bit fastter than goal pace with one mile recoveries.

 Tuesday I decided to take a rest day for the first time in 3 weeks. I did go to the gym for weights and then got a massage at Stiner Massage in the afternoon.

 Wednesday I got in a good 10 mile  hill run from the  Art Museum into Umstead  taking the Turkey Creek option.  Felt ok and had a good pace.

 Thursday was  5 easy miles to start the new year on a late beautiful afternoon. Great pace for the easy miles and very consistent pace too.

 Friday and it was time to run with Laura again. I let her pick the workout. Warmed up two miles which were averaging faster than my marathon pr pace ! Then 5 x 4 minutes with 2 minute recoveries. Planned on 7:15 pace but first was about 7:08 and they just got faster. Last one included a hill and it was the fastest. Boy Howdy it was hard and hurt but very satisfying. We were joined this week by Bill Parquet. Oh and the cool down was ridiculous fast with the last quarter back at tempo pace ! Total was 7 miles at 7:42 average.

 Saturday I just put in an easy 6 at home.

 Sunday was 10 miles on a freakishly warm and humid day for January. Almost 70 F with 100% humidity. Just not used to to those conditions  so it was a bit miserable. Pace was about the same as usual for a long run but I was dying the last few miles.

 So despite the day off I still ended up with 49 miles for the week. I also got in 4 core adn glute workouts, 2 wegihts sessions and one body weight day !

 Gonna cut back a little this week and no fun Friday with Laura since i am racing next weekend. Stay tuned for that !

Friday, January 02, 2015

Looking ahead to 2015

  Normally as I am writing this annual post, I have just about planned my entire year of racing and  have entered most of the events. However this year is a bit different and in some ways a bit strange.  For several reasons which I just won't be going into I have lost my motivation to look forward to a few events and find that I have no interest  now to plan on doing them anytime in the forseeable future.  Don't get me wrong ! I have not lost my motivation for running ! In fact I still have a burning desire to train to do my best and I look forward to my everyday runs and workouts. I still have some serious goals and I am working harder than ever to achieve them. It's just that some changes have occured which I have no control over that  are going to make things a lot different.

  One good change is I have over the past couple of months had some new friends and training partners that are dedicated to helping push and inspire me to be the absolute best that I can be this year and I am looking forward to sharing those miles with them and you can hopefully look for the results in this blog. 

   Before I get into the specific events that I do have planned let me mention a couple of goals I am aiming for. First is to get a Boston qualifier. Actually I think I can get that pretty easily since I can now qualify at the easier 60 and over standard of 3:55. But my real goal is to qualify under the 55-59 standard of 3:40 and if at all possible I still believe I have the pr sub 3:35 in me and that is the ultimate goal. The other big goal is to get my buckle at Western States.

 So here we go.

 January 10th I am returning for the 3rd time to The Run for Food Half Marathon at Ocean Isle Beach.  I will be using this mainly as a test and workout but I do hope to have a good race and hopefully some decent weather. I would like to match the 1:39 that I ran at Tobacco Road last March but will have to wait and see if I am back to full strength yet. Hey, thats what test races are for !

 February 14th I am running the Sweetheart 5k in Rocky Mount. This will be another test to see how the speed is progressing and a marker to plan more workouts in the coming months. I was able to run 22:26 on a hilly course in December so I am hoping to running in the low to mid 21's by this one.

 March 22nd is the big one with  The Wrightsville Beach Marathon. If things continue to go well with the training and I get lucky with the weather then I plan to go for the pr !

  In April my attention will turn back to the ultra's and training begins in earnest for Western States. On April 18th I will get in a good workout at the Run The Rock 50k in Raven Rock State Park. It is a very challenging single track race that will be great training and should be a lot of fun. I used to train many miles in the park in the 80's and early 90's but haven't been back in nearly 2 decades now.

 Training continues for WS in May and I am pretty sure that I will be running in the Gamelands 50k  on the 23rd to get in some more ultra training and have some fun.

 And then in June on the last weekend is the big one, Western States 100. As long as I can stay healthy I am confident I can take the lessons I learned there in 2007 and get myself successfully to the finish.

  Beyond that I really don't have a clue what I will be doing the remainder of the year. A lot will depend on how things go at the two key races. I may be looking at a fast Fall marathon. I do have a few other goals and I may turn my focus to them. I still feel like I have another 100 mile pr in me. I would also like to try and set a 24 hour pr so that may be some options.  Another thing I am mulling over is to start a redemption tour and over the next couple of years go back and finish the 100's that I have dnf'd over the years. And who knows I may just decide to focus for a few months on racing shorter distances.  Well, there is one thing pretty much set in stone and that is a return to Derby 50k ! Whether I go hard or take it easy again depends on how the calender fills up after I see how WB and WS go.

 So thats the plan for now. Thanks always for the support from all of you reading this and stay tuned !