Monday, June 30, 2008

June Summary

2008 is half over. June was my post marathon recovery month and it went well (except for 2 sub par short races). Yearly total is now 1,758 miles (9.7 miles/day)

June Plans and Actuals
--Run everyday except 6/23
.....Ran everyday except June 11th
.....37 runs (8 doubles)
.....3 long runs (15, 19, 19)
--Mileage about 265
.....Mileage 282
--Weeks 64,69,64,48
..... Weeks 67,53,71,70
--10k race on 6/21, goal 39-40 minutes
..... Ran the 10k - way too hot, 41:16
..... Ran a 5k - way too hot, 19:59
--Start speedwork for 10k training
..... did 2 speedwork sessions, plus 5k/10k

July Plans
--Run everyday except July 28th
--41 runs (11 doubles)
--Mileage 365
--Weeks 85,88,87,75
--Races: possible 10k at end of July (TBD)
--Continue speedwork (1,200s and 400s)
--Keep up weekly 18-22 milers (20, 22, 18)

Beyond July
the plan is to keep monthly mileage about 350, with 3 weeks at 85-90 followed by a cutback to high 50s. a 10k at the end of August. San Jose half early October. Silicon Valley Marathon late October (semi training run). and Cal International Marathon early December.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fast Friday

Took advantage of school being out to do some speedwork at the track early this morning. Planned for 5x1200 meters, with 90 seconds recovery walk/jog between each. Pace was planned for 6:01 mins/mile, which turns out to be 4:29 for 1200m (or just under 90s/lap).

Warmed up for a couple miles and then set off....
#1 - 4:33 - first lap was slow, next 2 were OK - mHR 160
#2 - 4:29 - spot on - mHR 168
#3 - 4:29 - spot on - mHR 168
#4 - 4:31 - struggling in lap 3 - mHR 169
#5 - 4:33 - struggling in lap 2 - mHR 170

Pretty good overall. I feel a little bit of speed finally creeping into my legs, but running at this pace still seems really fast to me.

Rest of the week has been pretty steady. Mon, Wed and Thur were all about 7:45 pace at 10, 6 and 7 miles. Tuesday was 3 miles at tempo (6:30) and 6 overall. 10-12 planned for Saturday and a 20 miler Sunday.

Coincidentally, today's 1200m repeats were almost exactly the pace for my "not-going-to-happen-but-let's-go-for-it-anyway-2:37-marathon" goal. I am 100% certain than 26.2 miles at that pace is a long, long, long way away for me.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Weekly Update

Finished the week with a good long run yesterday. It was a little cooler (only high 70s at the end) as I got out reasonably early about 7:30 yesterday morning.

Ran 18.7 at an average of 7:37 over a pretty hilly course. Went easy the first 5 and then picked it up for the next 10. Ran the last 2 miles at 6:55 pace. It all felt very good and it was great to be running fast without feeling like the heat was going to kill me.

Weekly total was 71 miles - and those two hot races really hurt.

This week is my final "marathon recovery" week and should be about 70-75 miles also. I will be in Sonoma/Healdsburg thru Wednesday so I'll be running in a new location.
Mo - 7 ez
Tu - 3m tempo, 7 overall
We - 7 ez w 10xstrides
Th - 10 med long, maybe run 5ez too in the PM
Fr - 5x1200 speedwork, 5ez PM
Sa - 7-10 ez
Su - 20 long

Next week is the start of 23 weeks training for California International. The first cycle is 3 weeks in the mid 80's.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Another Hot, Long Race

Ran the SF stadium to stadium 10k this morning. Started late (20 minutes) as the mayor was supposed to showup, but he didn't. It was hot, probably mis 80's at the start and touching 90 at the end. Most of the course was on super hot black roads. Had a 100' hill about mile 3 and a few little lumps. Started near AT&T park and ended in the stadium for the 49ers.

Course was certified, but they ended up moving the finish from the cert so it was about 150 meters long.

Planned to run 6:15-6:20 pace and see what happened (3:53-3:56 per KM). If all goes well that would bring me in 38:50-39:22

Here's the splits.....
KM1 3:49 - fast start, but managed to check myself
KM2 3:58 - slowing - it's hot out there
KM3 4:04 - feeling the hill we just climbed
KM4 3:55 - picked it up downhill a little
KM5 4:04 - bigger hill starts, hurting, but thru 5K at 19:54
KM6 4:14 - over the hill
KM7 3:55 - pick it up downhill
KM8 4:07 - wheels falling off, struggling
KM9 4:14 - in pain
KM10 4:16 - 40:41 thru 10k, where's the F'ing finish?

Extra 150m at 3:57/KM pace. HR up to 182

Final time 41:13 (garmin had me at 6:32 pace)

Not a great race but it was OK given the conditions, the heat completely killed me and I fell apart with 2k to go. It was all I could do to keep up a reasonable pace. Not sure of position etc, the official results aren't up yet.

After this and Thursday's 5K it's pretty clear that I am not good at handling this type of heat for racing, and need to start adjusting my goals when faced with these conditions.

Update with official results...

Official Time 41:16
23rd place out of 900ish finishers
7th in age group

Here's the photo the official photographer took.

Notice how the stadium is packed with supporters who were cheering us to the finish line......

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hot 5k

So yesterday was the Oracle 5k. About 500 runners on a flat out/back course. It was ridiculously hot, probably 90-95 degrees, practically no wind and no shade.

I hoped to run about 19-19:30 (6:07 - 6:17 pace, or 3:48-3:54 per KM) but wasn't sure what the weather was gonna do to me.

Started too fast, as usual. first quarter mile was at 5:41 pace. tried to get under control but still the first KM went by at 3:44.

2nd KM was slower and back on track at 3:52, but it was getting ugly out there.

As we turned around at 2.5K it was even hotter coming back. there was a slight cooling breeze on the way out and it disappeared and the turn. 3rd KM slower again at 3:57. definitely dragging now.

By now I'm hurting and in 6th place. the guy ahead is probably 20 seconds ahead and the guy behind is probably 15 seconds. no-one seemed to be much in the mood for heroics so i just decided to try to keep going at the same pace.

4th KM was 3:57 and 5th KM was 3:58 - bringing my time at 5K to 19:28.
normally at the 5K point 5K races stop, but this one went on for another 140 metres (or in this case, 31 seconds).

I had to throw in a painful sprint the last 100m as I saw that I could just squeeze under 20 minutes, that almost killed me and was the worse finish of any race i';ve ever run. but I made it and my race time was 19:59. (official time was 19:58.7). I would have been pissed with a 20:00.1 time after that last effort.

I came 6th overall , 2nd in my 40+ age group which was OK. Slower than I'd hoped but that sort of heat is just stupid for racing a 5k. the 5K time (by garmin) was 19:28 which is 1 second faster than my previous best 5K so it's a kinda/sorta (well, not really but we can pretend) PR. Garmin pace was 6:14

I felt really horrible for the last 2K, and desperatly wanted it to stop. Way too hot and way too fast for me. I hit a new max Heartrate of 191, previously I had thought that 187 was my max HR, guess I'd never really pushed myself before.

Here's a picture of me finishing - I felt even worse than I looked.....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Good Tempo

Had a good tempo run this morning. Plan was 6 miles at tempo plus 12 seconds (6:42) with a mile warmup and cooldown. Ran my normal tempo course, which has a couple hills (200'). Felt great the whole way and averaged 6:37 for the 6 miles - Heartrate was right where it should have been and I managed a 6:40 for teh last slightly uphill mile. This was my first full normal workout since Edinburgh and it's good to be running hard again.

Yesterday was good too. Ran early morning and early evening - both easy runs with a couple faster miles in the morning. Finally felt that the recent illness was behind me and things were working properly again.

Plan is for 12 tomorrow spread other 2 easy runs.

Thursday is the Oracle 5k. Looking forward to that but I really don't enjoy 5ks. I'm not quite sure what to pace for. Should be able to do something round about 6:10 pace but I haven't done much that fast (other than 4x1100m at 6:01 about 2 weeks ago). I guess I'll start around 6:05/6:10 and see how it goes. Will probably depend on who else is running and how fast they are going. My current PR is 19:29 (6:16 pace), which was on my own on the track. I'll be happy if I can beat that time, but to be honest would like to get down to around 19 minutes (6:07 pace).

Friday will be some more easy miles and then there's a 10k on Saturday. I really need to get a solid sub 40 race under my belt. I feel like I've been doinking around the 40 minute mark for ages. Current PR is 40:24 (6:30 pace) from back in January - I should be much faster than that after the last 5 months of training, plus I ran my tempo run this morning only 7 seconds/mile slower than that so I should be able to easily pull off a 6:20 pace for 10k. I'd like to run around 39 minutes (6:17 pace) but will probably set my goal based on Thursday's 5k.

Sunday will be a long of around 16/17 which will have me doing low/mid 60's for the week. Maybe a little more, depwnding on how much warmup/cooldown I do for thw two races.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Slowly Back to Normal

So this sickness is definitely taking its toll.....

Cold has gone but stomach is still messed up. Without being too graphic I am now mostly in control of timing, but not consistency. The result is that I'm pretty much continually dehydrated - which goes very well with 90+ weather and running.

Thursday I dragged myself through a slow 7 miles - no fun at all.
Friday was worse: I bailed on the speedwork and attempted a long tempo. Managed 3 at reasonable tempo pace (6:45) and then jogged the rest of the 9 miles at 7:45ish.
Saturday was another 9-10 miler but it never really felt good until the last couple miles, and it was all pretty slow at 8:10 pace.

Tomorrow should be 16 with a couple at MP, which will round out the week in the mid/high 50's about 20 under the plan.

Hopefully I'm back to normal next week - if not, I'll be taking it easy in the Oracle 5k on Thursday.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


So despite my best intentions of running even when sick, I have been sidelined. A combination of a stinky cold and stomach flu has made running out of the question.

Felt bad Monday night, and slept terribly. Woke up Tuesday and decided to skip work & the morning run and stay home. Slept most of the day. Got up about 4pm and decided to go for a run. Given that it was 95 degrees this was probably not too smart. At least I had the sense to just run 4 very easy miles instead of running my 7 mile tempo run. But I was totally dehydrated (benadryl will do that) and when I got home I was not feeling that "runner's high".

Stayed home again and slept most of Wednesday and didn't run at all.

Today I feel a bit better, but won't run this morning. I may do a few easy miles this evening if work goes OK and I don't relapse.

Looks like this will be one of those hiccup weeks in my training.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Midrange Goals -> 2008 Replan

I've been doing some midrange goal setting, and have decided that I am going to focus on my marathon time for the next 3 years. My recent race was a huge improvement but I don't feel I'm at any sort of limit. It was just over 7 minutes/mile. I have a crazy goal that I can get down to under a 6 minute mile pace in 3 years. That's a 2:37 marathon. Given the fact that I haven't run a 5k at that pace it is a big, big stretch.

But that's all part of the fun, so the goal is to run a 2:37 marathon sometime in 2011. As such, I'm dumping any other goals like running fast half marathons, 10ks, miles etc and will be doing those only as secondary/supporting events.

I did some research, and polled some people who have made this type of progression at my advanced age (I'll be 45 for most of 2011) and it doesn't seem to be totally impossible. Several years of consistent, big mileage (100+ miles per week) seems to be pretty standard, as does a lot of 20+ mile runs. I also plan to race more marathons, so I can get a better idea of what happens when I approach (and probably exceed) the limits of what my body is able to do

I havent thought more than 1 year out but have a good idea of the next 12 months.....

June will be a recovery month, with no week over 75 miles. Total mileage around 280. Get some speedwork into the schedule and run a couple shorter races (5k, 10k).

July, August and September are all big months at 350+ with 20+ milers most weekends. Trying to focus on consistent mileage vs too many peaks & troughs. So it'll be 80-90 most weeks, with a cutback (high 50s) every 3-4 weeks. Probably run a couple 10k races to assess fitness.

October has a couple races: first will be San Jose half marathon. This will be an all out effort, and will be used to help set my goal time for my next full effort marathon (December). I'd be looking for something solidly under 1:25, ideally closer to 1:23. The other race will be a full marthon (Silicon Valley 10/26). This will just be a training run: first half at an easy pace, and second half at the goal pace for the next marathon.

November is another solid month at 350 miles, with a slight taper for a race on December 7th. I plan to run the California International Marathon as a full effort race. Hoping to get under 3 hours, maybe as low as 2:55 if training has gone well. I'll set the goal based on my result at the San Jose half marathon in early October.

Then it'll be a solid, but not crazy December, followed by January thru March building up mileage with a focus to run Boston on April 20th 2009. Boston isn't the fastest course in the world so I'll be hoping to just run it faster than I ran CIM.

Then, 12 months from now, I'll see where I am and plan out the next year.

This should be fun, and since consistent, solid training is key, I will need to remain somewhat flexible and avoid messing up my body. I don't really know if I'm capable of running a marathon at under 6 minutes per mile, but I do know that there is only one way to find out.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Back to Normal

Normal running has resumed after Edinburgh. Following an unprecented 3 days off, I closed the week running friday, saturday and sunday.

This week is back to a regular schedule, 10 runs over 7 days, albeit lower mileage than previously.
Mon was my first post race double - two easy 5 milers
Tue became another easy 5 miler, instead of the planned tempo run.
Wed - ran the tempo this morning: 3 miles tempo, 8 miles overall. didn't feel very snappy, and ended up a little slow at 6:39 (despite being mostly downhill) vs the planned 6:30. will add an easy 5 this evening.
Thu - plans call for easy 7 with some strides
Fri - speedwork starts. probably something like 10x400m in 84 w 400m recovery jog. may end up doing less than 10x, depending on how they feel.
Sat - easy 5
Sun - long(ish) - 12 miles w a couple quick ones thrown in at the end
Total should be low/mid 60s

This is going to be the standard summer/fall schedule - doubles M/W/F, tempos Tuesday - this may morph into some sort of interval session, strides Wednesday, speedwork Friday and long (up to 18 miles) on Sunday. Building the mileage up from 60s to 80s by the end of July. It's kind of a hybrid 10k/half marathon/marathon training schedule, which is probably not optimal for any of them.

In terms of races, I will attempt a 10k race every 5 weeks or so, with a super-stretch goal of running one in 37:17 (which is 6:00 pace) in September. First one is 6/21 when I am hoping to finally get under 40 minutes, despite my last 2 failed attempts.