Sunday, February 23, 2020

Three weeks until the Qualifier. Only time will tell.

I got some mixed signals from the past weeks training but overall it was positive. 42.2 miles for the week is pretty good and that included two half marathon distances. The real problem is the lack of the really long training runs which I was afraid of would happen. As race day approaches I'll just have to hope that the overall quality of my running over this past 2.5 months will be enough to overcome that. Here's what happened.

Sun: 13.1 miles in 1:56:55 on the Crabtree Greenway. A great day and confidence boost.
Mon: 5 miles easy  in 44:15 on Crabtree and felt good.
Tue: 5 more easy at Umstead in 45:59. Felt ok but skipped the big hills.
Wed: 6 miles on Smith Creek/Dunn Creek greenways in WF in 53:39. This was a little speed and strength workout I will sometimes do on race weeks. I call it the 444. It's 4 20 sec hill sprints , 4 x 440 at about 5k race pace and 4 x 20 sec strides with and easy warm up and cool down mile.
Thu: none
Fri: none.
Sat: 13.1 in 1:59:21. See the race report for the details.

Still a bit slack on the cross training but my attitude is improving towards that. It would sure help if the shoulder/upper arm thing would quit hurting so I could really do what I want with it. I did get in two bodyweight/calisthenics workouts and  two core workouts of 20 and 25 minutes. I fell off completely with the yoga. That's a bit unsettling because before I started this marathon thing I was doing 5 nights a week of 45 minutes to an hour. Must re-focus.

 I have the Ellerbe Half Marathon next Saturday. The long range weather forecast looks good. Hopefully I'll feel good and get in a few extra miles. Until then lets train !

Saturday, February 22, 2020

That went well until it didn't. The Raleigh Half Marathon.

 A couple of weeks ago I was wondering why I entered this race and wishing that I hadn't. I had already been signed up for the Ellerbe Half which is next weekend and I really didn't need to be racing two weekends in a row this close to my marathon. Somewhat reluctantly, I made the decision to use this race as a workout rather than going all out but exactly what kind of workout I really didn't know until just before the  race started and by mile two I changed that plan.

 Since I wasn't racing and with the 22F starting temperature I didn't do my normal pre-race warmup and planned to just go easy the first two miles. Mile 2 is just over the summit of the big hill and at that point I would do 2 miles at race pace (8:15-8:20) with half mile recoveries at marathon BQ pace (9:00-9:07). Well, with a slight downhill start and getting caught in the flow of runners as we narrowed down onto the greenway at 1/4 mile, I went out faster than planned in 8:39 and even mile 2 up the hill was barely slower than I'd planned for the slow recoveries(9:11).

I took off then and began moving by people. I didn't feel all that good and somehow ran mile 3 in 8:03. Too fast. Already I was regretting wearing a jacket as I was sweating so I zipped it down to allow air flow and decided then to just alternate faster miles with MP miles, Hit mile 4 and failed at that too. Too fast that is in  8:49. Took off again and now I'm sure all the runners I was leapfrogging were probably thinking I was some sort of novice that didn't know jack about pacing ! Next sequence was another fail with mile 5 another 8:03 and mile 6 another 8:49.

 Despite running too fast in each segment I still wasn't feeling all that good. Mile 7 is probably overall the hardest one the course as it goes up to and around Anderson Point Park so I took another easy mile through there. The hills along with a pee break gave me a 9:27 which would have been just about right without the break. I took off again and started seeing runners behind me now on the out and back which is always fun. Saw quite a few friends over the next couple of miles. That mile 8 was 8:17, finally one on pace !  At this point I didn't want to run hard anymore so the plan now changed to just running BQ pace the last 5.

 That went ok for about a mile. 9 was an 8:54, still a tad fast so I backed it down slightly but then by 9.5 I started feeling some stomach pain. I didn't feel like I was going to throw up but the pain was similar. Mile 10 was a 9:21 and then I slowed way down to 9:49 for mile  for mile 11 and couldn't believe how hard it felt. I took a couple of short walk breaks and then walked all of the steep hill so it was a terribly slow  10:26. With  a little over half a mile to go I was passed by the 2 hour pace group and of course they were encouraging me to come along with them.  I wasn't much interested in time but just getting it done without feeling worse. Mile 13 was 9:58 and then finally I was done. That was a lot harder than I planned. I actually ran the course faster last Sunday on an easy training run.

 Looking at the results I was surprised I was still 4th of 11 in the 60-64 age group and even more surprising was there were no 65-69 runners and only 1 over 70 ! But I think that maybe that could be because they don't give awards to age groups? Anyway, they do a great job putting on this event and depending on whats going on next year maybe I'll come back ready to rumble.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Just one more month until marathon day.

 And with just 4 weeks to go I wish I could say what a great week of training was just completed but let's not try and fool anyone, especially myself. Not that it was bad but once again, no long run which is definitely what I need more than anything. I did have 31 miles for the week which isn't terrible and thankfully I felt good on all of them and my average pace is good, right at marathon goal pace. The weather overall continues to be pretty good for the training so no excuses there. Something is lacking in my motivation and I feel a big part of that is lack of training partners. But I press on.

Sun: 7 easy miles on the Neuse in 1:04:59
Mon:  6 easy on the Neuse in 53:39
Tue: 6 easy in Umstead. Really good day in 53:39
Wed: 6 miles on the track in 50:07. Felt great in a workout of 5 x 1K at 10k race pace.
Thu: rest
Fri: 6 easy on the Neuse in 53:48
Sat: Rest.

 This was my slackest week yet in cross training. I've been plagued by shoulder pain for a long time now and it was really bothering me a lot lately so I backed way off on the calisthenics and body weight stuff. Only 1 workout this week. I did two core sessions and only one yin yoga session.

 I'm heading out now for a medium long run if things go well as soon as I finish this. The rest of the week will be pretty easy as I have the Raleigh Half Marathon next Saturday.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Week 8, and then there were Five.

 Wow, time waits for no one. What seemed so far away is barely a month from now. Some days I feel I have this in the bag and others the doubts creep in and I wish there were more weeks to train. But you work with what you've got so I hope to take advantage of the remaining time and continue with some quality running.

This week was not a high mileage week mainly due to the fact that I decided that tomorrow(Sunday) would be better for me to attempt my long run. I still got in a decent 30.5 miles in 5 days. Early in the week my quads were a bit sore but on my track day Wed I could tell during the warmup that it was going to be good. And it was. A real confidence boost. Best of all it's all pain free running.

 So here is what I did.

Sun: 4 miles easy in 37:16 at Crabtree Mall to Shelley
Mon: 5 easy on a freaky 73F day in 46:31on the Neuse
Tue: 6 more easy in Umstead in 55:32
Wed: Yasso 800's on the track. Did 8 averaging about 3:53. Total 7.5 miles in 1:05:17
Thu: Rest after 7 days in a row.
Fri: 8 easy on the ATT in 1:15:02
Sat: Rest again.

 Another decent week of cross training even though both of my shoulders are painful which really puts a damper on the enthusiasm to workout. I pushed through and did four calisthenic/body weight sessions, two core workouts and two 40 minute sessions yin yoga.

 Wish me luck this coming week, especially on getting in a good long run tomorrow. The weather looks great for it. And heads up, I've got the Raleigh Half Marathon coming up in just two weeks now and the Ellerbe Half marathon the following week.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Marathon Training Week 7 update

 And now just 6 weeks to go. In a way I wish I had a couple of more weeks but on the other hand I'm getting excited to race and see what happens. I'm quite pleased with the way the past week has gone. Despite having sore quads from the long run in the Uwharrie mts I felt pretty good all week and ran some decent paces without pushing it. I got in 5 runs for a weekly total of 37.3 miles. Here is how it went.

Sun: Rest
Mon: 5 easy on the greenway in 44:56
Tue: 6 in Umstead in 54:46.
Wed: rest
Thu: 9 miles in 1:17:52. Included 3 x 2 miles at half marathon pace. 16:36, 16:22, 16:34.
Fri: 5 easy on Cary greenway in 45:14.
Sat: Medium long run of 12.3 miles in Umstead in 1:53:48.

 Cross training was ok with  2 bodyweight/calisthenics workouts, 2 core workouts and 4 yin yoga sessions of 40 min to an hour.

 The coming week calls for more work with a mid week yasso 800's planned and hopefully a good long run next weekend. Looks like a warm week ahead so we'll see how that goes. Stay tuned.