Thursday, July 31, 2008
Two things I've learned this month (my first of my second marathon training)...
1. It's never as bad as it seems. Just keep running. Don't worry about missing here or missing there.
2. Year 2 is easier and harder all at the same time. It's easier because I can handle 5 days a week now (where I was only doing 4 days last year). It's harder because I feel like the expectations are higher for this marathon. I wanted to run sub 4 hours last year. But, it was just a "want". This year, I REALLY want to run sub 4 and might have a chance at it. So, I'm definitely putting more pressure on myself.
I also was able to get two good runs in on Tuesday and Wednesday. I ran on Tuesday night after I got home from DC and really put the pedal to the medal.
Run recap Tuesday- 3.07 miles, 26:30, 8:38 pace
Then, Justin and I went for a 6 miler yesterday in the heat and humidity over lunch. Yikes. I wanted to quit at 3, but Justin convinced me to push on. I'm glad for that because now I don't have to run 6 today. Sweet.
Run recap Wednesday- 6 miles, 1:01:00, 10:10 pace
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Anyhow, since I never win anything anyway and I wanted to get back to the fam... I left. Well, doesn't it figure, I actually placed in my age group!! There's a first time for everything I guess. I got third place in the 25-29 age group with a time of 22:53. My wife called me yesterday while I was in DC for work and gave me the news that the award above arrived in the mail! Sweet!
Now all I have to figure out is how to be as obnoxious as possible (I've already started this mission) about winning this. You'll likely be hearing more chatter from me about this award in the near (and distant) future. My apologies in advance.
Monday, July 28, 2008
I am also consistently doing over 100 pushups, 3 times a week now. That's pretty cool in itself.
Plan- 25, 17, 17, 15, max (min of 25)
Actual- 25, 17, 17, 15, 33
Total pushups- 107
Other than that, the run was pretty uneventful. I actually didn't mind the fact that it was uneventful... a couple of my recent long runs have been "eventful" and it hasn't really worked out for me. So, "I got that going for me".
Run recap- 8 miles, 1:18:36, 9:50 pace
Plan- 30, 22, 22, 20, max (min of 27)
Actual- 30, 22, 22, 20, 30
Saturday, July 26, 2008
So, I woke up this morning and took my good 'ole time getting ready. I even gave Sophie a bath because I neglected that chore last night. We got out the door a good 15-20 minutes later than I wanted to and got to the race with about 20 minutes to work with. That might seem like plenty of time, but I'm anal on race day and it kind of messed with me.
Then, I go to pick up my bag of goodies, shirt and chip... I get to the front of the line and they tell me they are all out of anything larger than a medium. Since I'm not a "medium", I basically didn't get a shirt (I did, but I can't wear it). Anyhow, that's frustrating when you pre-register for a race and they guarantee you a shirt.
Then, I handed Meliss my race packet and headed over to the starting area. I ran into a friend from HS/College and chatted with her. I got a little caught up and the race began with me standing there chatting. Not a good start...
I intentionally dialed back on the first couple miles to ease my way into the race. I've been trying to do that a little more lately because of a couple of rough races where I got out too fast. My goal for the whole race was 7:45 miles. I didn't quite do that, but it was a pretty good goal none the less.
I came in the first mile in 7:40 something and the second in 7:50 something. Then, it began to become a little tougher to hold that pace. I kept looking down at the Garmin and despite pushing harder, my pace was not going down (or up, depending how you look at it). So, I resigned myself to the fact that 8:00 miles was the pace to stick to until I pushed at the finish.
With about a half mile left in the race, I saw a guy I work with out in front of me. So, he became my visual. I was slowly reeling him in the whole way. At about the quarter mile marker, I finally pulled even with him. We chatted for a second and stayed even. Then, with about a tenth of a mile left, I really turned it on. I ran the last mile in 7:40 something and ran all the way through the finish.
According to my Garmin (and I didn't stop it immediately), I ran a 39:35 over 5.04 miles. But, after I had the chance to check out the results, they had me chipped at 39:44. The only thing that I can figure is that they just had it chipped at the finish. So, all the time I spent getting to the start was wasted in my total time. Heck, even the time at the finish line on the clock was 39:30 something. I'm confused.
Anyhow, since I went with the calculation for the short race in Hershey for the purpose of PR times, I am going to go with my Garmin time for this one. My official time from the race is 39:44, but I'm going to count it as a 39:35. After all, I'm competing with myself here, nobody else.
A couple race notes... This is usually my favorite race of the year for the give-aways and the food. They didn't disappoint, but the food wasn't as good as it has been in past years. That said, it will still pretty darn good... so no complaints.
But... I'm still a little burned on not getting a shirt that fits me. It was even more annoying to see the throng of volunteers who got free shirts and me (who paid) without one. Don't get me wrong, the race couldn't take place without the volunteers, but I paid for a shirt. Not only that, I got this ugly alternate grey shirt and they had the much nicer green. Enough about that, seriously.
All in all, another good experience and a 5 mile PR!! Woohoo!! I did however, feel like I can/should be running this race faster at this point. I think that I am going to have to lose some weight to start putting in faster times. I'm still improving, but the improvements are small. So... we'll see what I do about that.
Edit to post (09/06/08)- I received a shirt in my size today! What a random and great thing. Check out my post about it here.
It also made it very difficult to get my runs in as well. After having a goofy LSD on Sunday, I didn't want to miss any of my other runs this week (and I didn't). But, I did a 6 with Justin over lunch. That's further than I'd like to go over lunch (for timing reasons). With my schedule the way it was, it felt like my only choice. Then, Justin and I got a fast 3 miler in on Thursday. It felt really good and led me right into the Freshburst race today. Here's the recap for the 6 and 3 milers...
Wednesday run- 6 miles, 57:39, 9:37 pace
Thursday run- 3 miles, 25:59, 8:40 pace
Plan- 27, 19, 19, 15, 25
Actual- 27, 19, 19, 15, 13
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
So, I went out for a pretty quick 3 over lunch and felt much better. No reason to kill myself. I really don't think this is going to have any lasting affect on my training (except maybe for the better). I just can't make a habit of missing my long run, that's all.
Run recap- 3 miles, 26:30, 8:50 pace
Monday, July 21, 2008
Also, this Hundred Pushups thing is sweeping the blogosphere (or at least the running blogs I read). I got caught up in it too, so I guess it shouldn't be a total surprise. But, you can pretty much convince me of anything with a little nudging. Anyhow, it's pretty amazing how many people are doing it now.
Plan- 25, 17, 17, 15, max (min of 25)
Actual- 25, 17, 17, 15, 27
So, at the 2 mile mark, I took a "break" at the golf course along my run. Then, at the 5 mile point, I decided to throw in the towel. Unbelievably, my stomach was acting up again just 3 miles later... On top of that, thunder and lightning were just beginning and it was a fitting end anyway. But, without the storm, I was done anyway. I think it was just happy coincidence and a nice conscience release.
Run recap- 5 miles, 49:24, 9:53
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Plan- 30, 22, 22, 20, max (min of 27)
Actual- 30, 22, 22, 20, 16
Saturday, July 19, 2008
My wife, daughter and I drove up to Boston on Friday night (6 hours of driving). I woke up the next morning and did a 5 mile tempo run before heading out the door for the final 5 hours of driving into Bar Harbor. The driving wasn't that bad on the way there (more about that later).
Then, we arrived on Saturday around 3 o'clock in Bar Harbor and really just had a relaxing first night. The most challenging run of the week was Sunday morning. It's really difficult to fit a long run in on vacation. But, I figured I'd get it out of the way early and then have more time to spend with the family. I did three loops around a shore trail and town to get acclimated with my new surroundings. Check out the view down on the shore trail. This was some easy running as a result of the awesome view.
Then, Monday was an off-day for running and we went and biked the trails in Acadia National Park. They were really pretty, but we picked a really hilly course which didn't work that well for my sister and brother in-law (or me and Melissa truth be told).
Wednesday was an easy 3 miles (supposed to be 5, but I was wooped). Not to mention, I had kayaking to do. Me, Melissa, my sister Kristina and brother-in-law Kevin all went out. My parents took the kids so that we could have a fun day out and about. It was certainly that... We saw seals and got to see a pretty uninhabited part of the island. It was pretty amazing that there was that much wilderness without houses and commercialism. Almost the entire side of the island that we kayaked along was free of anything but trees, sand and rocks. Very cool...
Thursday included a trip to Cadillac Mountain. I've done a bit of traveling in my day and have seen my share of pretty views, but I have to say that this is the most breathtaking I've seen. The pictures don't really do the view justice (do they ever?).
We also spent part of Thursday at Bar Island. It's a neat little island off Bar Harbor that is actually connected by a sandbar during low tide. So, we went out there at about 2:30 when we knew low tide would make the sandbar available. It was awesome. I'm pretty sure that we had more fun then Sophie. Melissa and I were wading in the water and collecting sea items (shells, urchins, crab shells, etc.). Sophie was throwing rocks... which she really enjoys, but I think she could have done that in a lot of places.
We enjoyed that trip to Bar Island so much we drug my sister's family out the next day. We also had a rockin dinner as our farewell to Bar Harbor. We went to a brewery/barbeque place called the Atlantic Brewing Company. I had a Coal Porter and Kevin (my brother-in-law) and I ordered a huge sampler that had chicken, ribs, shredded pork and hot sausage. It was very good (and so was the beer).
Then, finally, we made the trip home on Friday night. We chose to drive through the night so that Sophia could sleep. Unlike the way up, we weren't stopping. So, it was supposed to take 12 hours. A flat tire and crazy tired driving later, it actually took about 15. I was ready to fall over when we got home. But, it was a fantastic trip! So happy to be home, dreading work tomorrow....
Plan- 27, 19, 19, 15, max (min of 25)
Actual- 27, 19, 19, 15, 18
Almost had it. But, I'm repeating this week anyway, so no biggie.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Plan- 25, 17, 17, 25, max (min of 25)
Actual- 25, 17, 17, 10, 15
Friday, July 11, 2008
Plan- 15, 15, 12, 12, max (min of 15)
Actual- 15, 15, 12, 12, 23
I got a 5 and 3 miler in this week. They were both pretty good runs. I also have to figure out how/when to fit in a 5 mile pace workout between two days of driving to Maine. It's either going to happen tonight when I get to the hotel in Mass... Or, tomorrow morning when I wake up.
Wednesday- 5 miles, 46:37, 9:20 pace
Thursday- 3 miles, 27:42, 9:14 pace
At any rate, I wanted to wish you all a great week and I'll be checking in sporadically. Hope you're having as much fun as I will be!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Plan- 16, 13, 11, 11, max (minimum of 15)
Actual- 16, 13, 11, 11, max of 19
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
My contention is that I'm a better short distance runner. I'm built better for it. Or perhaps, I'm not built well for long distance. Others will tell you that you need to "train for the distance". I think that is a funny statement. It seems to imply that I am doing 5k training to run a half marathon. Huh? Really? I'm totally not doing that. I train for the distance.
Also, I'm totally willing to concede the full marathon as a distance I have not trained "well" for yet. So, throw that result out. But, in looking back at my half marathon during my full marathon training (read: trained for the distance), I ran a 1:54:55. If you plug that into McMillan, it gives you a 5k equivalent of 24:52. At that point (in fact well before that), I had already run a 23:15. Well ahead of the equivalent performance.
So, what gives? I don't know. Am I just not at a point where my running has been consistent enough to fall in a good range for McMillan's calculator? Or, am I on to something? Could some people be freaks (read: me)? If you know me at all, you know that I'm a freak. So, that's a definite possibility.
So, what do you think? Am I crazy? Let me first say that I love the calculator. I just wish the results were more consistent for me. Or, I was more consistent for the results.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Did I need to do that? Most likely no... Did I need to do that? Absolutely yes... It's a funny thing about running. There are a million rules and physical limits and injuries and so on. But, what is more challenging to me is the mental fight that is constantly going on. In my mind, there wasn't much of an option this week. I had to run 9 for my own sanity. Call it stupid... but it's true.
So, off I went. I did a 5 mile run on country roads that I am very used to and looped back to my house. Then, I grabbed some Gatorade and did the last 4 in town. It was actually one of the nicer long runs I've done by myself in a while. I did a lot of thinking about the marathon and just enjoyed myself. I can't help but think I'm ready to go.... Here comes the grind. I wonder if I'm gonna feel the same way in 6 weeks. Only time will tell...
Run recap- 9.0 miles, 1:25:10, 9:28 pace
Looking ahead to my plan, it's kinda scary. I have two 20 milers and a 22. The plan has three 20s scheduled. But, I revised it to have a 22 because I fell apart in the marathon at 20 in my first effort and I would like a longer run this time (for my head more than for my legs). I also have three over 50 mile weeks in the plan. For a guy who has never run more than 40, that's kind of imposing.
So, you think I'm crazy? Maybe... But, there's plenty of time to rearrange the schedule if need be. For now, that is the plan. I expect to keep to it... but I'm not so stubborn that I'm not willing to change if it's not working for me.
But, it's pretty clear that is somewhat out of reach at this point. But, another milestone seems achievable. I'm about to start marathon training and my mileage will most likely go way up. So... I think 1000 miles might be possible. I'll have to average 100 mile months from here on out. That will most likely start this month. It's the post marathon month and a half that I'm not sure of. I guess we'll see...
Plan- 12, 12, 9, 7, min of 10
But, here is what I actually did. 15, 15, 12, 12, 15. That is the exact numbers for day 3. That is encouraging because I can obviously do the final day of the week. But not encouraging because I'm a moron. Oh well... I'll count that as day one and do day two and three as if that never happened.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Plan- 15, 13, 10, 10, max (minimum of 15)
Actual- 15, 13, 10, 10, max of 17
Friday, July 4, 2008
I went through my pre-race routine.... You know, pacing around nervously, trying to find a place to go to the bathroom and checking my Garmin a million times to be sure it was working. Then, we went to line up...
I started out strong. And, for the first time, I used the Garmin feature that gives you a running average of the mile as opposed to your pace at that moment. That helped me scale back as I was running too fast and pick up tempo when I was slowing down. The only thing I don't like about it was the constant micro-managing of the race. But, if it helps me accomplish my goal, I guess I can deal with it.
I got out a little faster (but not too fast) in the first mile than I wanted to. I ran the first mile in 7:13. I was actually thinking that pace was sustainable. I was shooting for 7:20s the whole way through... So, as long as I was running under that pace, I was happy.
Then, the second mile came in pretty darn close to goal pace. I was starting to struggle half way through the mile. Despite that, I tried to hold the pace and push through it. For the most part, it worked. I ran a 7:21 for that mile. But, I knew I was in for a fight in the last mile.
The last 1.1 was exactly that. I fought my way through and the pace fell off a bit. But, I still managed to run a 7:39 for the last mile and kick it in at the end. I finished the race in 22:53!! Sub 23, finally! So glad to have that monkey off my back.
The race organizers goofed up a bit by not writing race day registrants names on the pull off piece of the bib. So, as a result, the organization of results was really a mess. I went up and made sure that they had my name with my result and took off. It was going to take far too long to figure that mess out and I wanted to get back to the family. Knowing how bad their web presence was for the registration process, I'm guessing there isn't going to be a web results page. But, I'll keep my eyes peeled. I did manage to find out that I finished 56th. No clue how many total runners though.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Two days from now I will be setting a PR for the ages (ok, for me, until next year). At any rate, I’m really excited to race. In fact, I can’t remember the last race that I had this much healthy anticipation for.
I’d have to say that the reason that I am so hyped up is because I’ve really put some difficult training in and have made it through uninjured on the other side. Don’t get me wrong… I’ve been on some training plan or another for the better part of the last year and a half. But… this one seems to be the most solid (until my up and coming marathon plan, stay tuned). I really felt like I built smart and it was fun to focus on speed instead of distance for a bit.
So.. yeah, I’m pumped. If for some unknown reason I don’t PR on Friday, I would steer clear from this blog for a bit. It’s gonna get ugly :) !!
(For the record... I accept the idea that something might not go right at the race, but I would be very surprised if I don’t set a new PR. Crossing my fingers….)
I also got one last run in yesterday… then today and tomorrow are off days before the race. Here’s the stats…
Run recap- 3.2 miles, 27:00, 8:27 pace
Plan- 12, 12, 10, 10, max (or min of 10)
Actual- 12, 12, 10, 10, 15