Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April Totals

April is over - a pretty big month (not quite as big as March, but close). Dealing with a little achilles issues caused by desert running in Phoenix, but it seems to be manageable and isn't really going to impact my training.

here's the goals and how well I did against them.....

April Goals/Actuals:
--Training paces to 3:00 marathon (6:29 tempo, 6:52 MP)- DONE
--Run 29 days (One day off on 4/7) - DONE
--3 big weeks, 1 cutback - DONE
--Mileage 320-360 (depending on number of doubles) - 340.3 miles
--No races - DONE
--Long runs: 3x20+milers, 1x17miler - DONE 22.4,21.18,20.42, 17.01
--Doubled on 9 days
--Ran all 7 days on vacation, including 2 doubles

May Plans
--Edinburgh Marathon 5/25 - Sub 3 hour is the stretch goal
--mileage of 80,70,55,63 (including race)
--Monthly mileage around 260
--Run everyday until marathon, not sure of week after

Overall April was a good month and I'm in the best shape of my life. As long as I don't fall to pieces before the start or do anything dumb during the race I should be in for a good time.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Long Run

Did a hard long run today. Had Liz drop me off 20 miles away (at 92 and 280 on Canada Road). It was hot to start (65+) and hotter at the end (85), and the course had little water so I took a bottle. The road follows 280, thru Woodside, past Larry Ellison's house, over Sandhill road, thru Palo Alto and into Los Altos. A net downhill of about 250' but a fair amount of ups and downs along the way. Plan was to coast to Woodside (7.5 miles) and then run at marathon pace (6:52) into Los Altos (11 more miles) and then coast home.

First 3 miles are little rollers and they go by at 7:48
Miles 4 and 5 climb 250' so I picked up the effort a little but pace was slower at 8:10
Miles 6 and 7 go down 200' so the speed went up to 7:08
- mile 7 was 6:54 so I started my fast miles a little early
Miles 8-11 were up 100' , down 100', rolly, steep down, 150' climb - not much fun - averaged 7:05
Miles 12 and 13 rolled downhill but on cambered roads, dropping 250' so these flew by at just under 6:50
Miles 14-16 rolled up and down and these were at 6:58
Mile 17, the last fast mile was flat and I did that at 6:52 (right on pace!)
Miles 18-Home climbed up slightly but these were easy miles at 7:48

Overall was 20.4 miles at 7:21 pace (3:12 marathon)

The fast 11 miles ended up at 6:59 pace (3:03 marathon), but included a 7:27 uphill mile (mile 11).

Not a great run, but with the heat, and with not wanting to push hard uphill I feel pretty good about it. Hitting 6:52 for the last flat, fast mile was good, and it wasn't a strain. Heartrate was where it should have been for this run, despite the heat.

So based on this I think if race conditions are good and my various achey pieces are in good shape I will go for sub 3 in Edinburgh. Now all I have to do is survive the next 4 weeks.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

On The Edge, Again....

So my legs finally feel back to normal after the desert running, and I'm feeling strong and my heartrate is looking excellent! That's the good news!

The bad news is that I'm once again right on the edge of achilles problems in my right leg. The soft AZ surfaces buggered things up and this last 6 days of running (80+ m) hasn't exactly helped things heal.

After some research and online discussions I have the following 2 beliefs
1) if I drastically cut mileage now I will lose significant aerobic fitness and not meet my goal
2) if I injure myself and can't start, I will definitely not meet my goal

So now I have to walk that fine line between staying healthy and staying fit for the next 29 days. I also did some more research on tapering and found that my planned taper was a little extreme (I think the mileage I had planned was still based on my original plan where I was only going to run 70 as a maximum, not the 100+ I have climbed to).

So here's the revised plan.....
1) Cross fingers
2) Get off the hills - the root of all evil!
3) Drop today's double and just run a flat, easy 6
4) Do tomorrow's big run - 22 miles with 11 at 6:52 pace
.... this is the key decision point for setting my race pace goal
5) Drop next week's 100 miles to 80 - but keep the tempo and long run (20m)
6) Raise taper week 1 from 60 to 70
7) Raise taper week 2 from 40 to 54
8) Raise race week from 25 to 37

If I'm careful I think this will get me to the start with the best chance of success. Or, it could all go horribly wrong but I guess that is part of the challenge.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Midweek Update

Uneventful week so far, calves feel really tight and my legs feel tired, and it seems to be worse when I run slower. I think the soft surfaces in the Phoenix desert have had an effect. Hopefully it'll sort itself out over the next few days. Only 1 run today, so I have almost 24 hours to rest.

Monday: 5 miles easy at 8:04 pace, No PM run
Tuesday: AM 6 miles tempo at 6:31, 8 miles overall - felt good, HR was OK
.............PM 5 miles recovery at 9+ pace
Wednesday: 10 miles easy at 8:15 pace, with a few fast sections to wake up the legs

Thursday should be 12 in the morning and 5 recovery at night
Friday is 7 in the morning including 5 at race pace, and 5 recovery at night
Saturday is 11 easy in the morning and 5 recovery at night
Sunday is 22 miles with 10 at race pace

Should be about 95 for the week. Bump to about 100 next week and then taper (Just 11 days to go)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Cooler California

It's nice to be back in relatively cool California. Today's long run was a lot easier than all that desert running, even though it was 21 miles and hilly. It was still a lot better at 50-62 degrees. Went pretty easy and averaged 7:54 pace for the run, with just a couple miles down around low 7's. Heartrate was only 144, which was my lowest for a 20+ run.

The week of sand running was a fun change although the lack of hill, and uneven soft surface seems to have really tightened up my calves. Took me a good 5 miles to loosen things up this morning, but I feel really fit apart from that.

Weekly total was just over 88 miles, which is my third highest week ever. Not bad for a vacation week. Two more big weeks to go: 93 miles (11 runs over 7 days) and then 95 miles (also 11 runs over 7 days). That will get me to May 5th when I start my 3 week gradual taper (59 miles, 42 miles, 26 miles) for Edinburgh. If all goes well, I will have run almost 540 miles in a 6 week period, which is pretty silly to be honest, and I will definitely be ready to taper!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Desert Running

I'm in Phoenix this week so am doing a spot of desert running.

First run was Sunday afternoon, about 2pm. It was pretty hot, low/mid 90s and 8 miles at 8:05 pace was a workout. Not enough water and the dry air dehydrates you real fast.

Monday I ran earlier at about 9am. It was still hot, around 90. Ran 11 miles. The hotel we are staying at is on the edge of the nowhere, so I just ran 5 miles out into nothing, truned around and came back. Great running surfaces, dead flat, but again no water.

Tuesday was tempo day so I went early at 7:45. A little cooler, probably only 80. Only did 4 miles at 6:40 pace, 8.7 miles overall.

This morning I did a couple loops on the 2-3 mile trail that runs by the hotel. Started slow and then went down to tempo pace. 6.5 miles overall at 7:40 average. Will probably do an easy 5-6 this evening.

Thursday should be a midweek 12-13 miler, so I'll probably go early and take some water to avoid dying in the desert and being eaten by vultures.

Short tempo Friday, with probably an easy double in the evening.

Easy 7-10 Saturday and then we fly back to cool California for a 20+ miler on Sunday to give me 80 something for the week.

I'm drinking water/gatorade constantly and am still feeling dehydrataed all the time (of course, the beer/wine probably isn't helping too much). In summary I don't think Phoenix is a very good place for a distance runner except for maybe November-February.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Marathon Pace Miles

Today was my long run for the week as I am travelling to Arizona tomorrow. The plan called for 17 miles and I decided to do 13 of them at marathon pace, so effectively a half marathon with a couple miles warmup/cooldown.

Picked a flat course out at Shoreline and Byxbee Parks. Weather was hot, it was 62 degrees at 8:30 and approaching the mid 70's when I finished, and the course had zero shade.

Ran easy to warmup and then at the mile 2 marker tried to settle down at 6:52 pace. Got into a steady pace round about 6:45-6:50 and just kinda kept it there. Got thru the 13 miles of that at an average of 6:47, so 5 seconds/mile ahead of plan. Ran a couple cooldown miles to make it 17 for the day.

So I ran a half marathon in 1:29:09, which was 50 seconds faster than my half in Sacramento 4 months ago, and that race almost killed me. The training is obviously working and today was a nice confidence booster for me. I will probably do a 22 miler with 10 at marathon pace in a couple weeks. If I can do those 10 miles comfortably at 6:52 pace I will be shooting for sub 3 hours in Edinburgh.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Midweek update

Quick midweek update.

Monday was a day off as it's a cutback week.
Tuesday was a short tempo, so did 4m at 6:29 and 8m overall. This was a good run and it felt good all the time except for pushing a little too hard up one of the hills.
Wednesday was 11 miles early and nice/easy at 7:50 pace.

Easy 8 Thursday, easy 7 Friday and then long on Saturday. Plan is 17 miles and I think it's time to throw in some extended fast miles, so the current thinking is 17 w 13 at MP (6:52). Sunday I am off to Arizona so I'll fit in 5-10 when I can.

Next week is back up to 85ish, with Mon-Sat being in AZ. Looks like I can run trails right out of the hotel and I suspect it will be a bunch of early/late doubles since the temp is going to be in the 90's during the day.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Long Run

A nice long run today. Plan was to do the last 4-5 miles at marathon pace (6:52) after 15 or so at some sort of easy pace (round about 8ish).

Picked a hilly course - elevation is the brown on the right. The red line is the rough elevation of the Edinburgh marathon course, so I am perhaps over prepared in terms of hill training!

Ran the first 15 miles with my friend as his last 19 miler in preparation for Boston. Averaged 7:48, with a couple "spirited" miles down in the high 6's but generally just kept things easy, especially on the uphills.

Then we split up and I went for the 6:52 miles. Started uphill and held 6:55 pace for the first mile, then as I started down I got down to 6:20 pace. Did 4.5m at 6:43 and then jogged in the last mile or so.

Total was 22.4 miles at 7:34 pace, which is 3:18 marathon pace. Given how hilly this run was compared to Edinburgh I am feeling very good about 3:10 as a comfortable goal (7:15 pace) and 3:00 as a stretch goal (6:52 pace).

94 miles total for the week, which means over 200 in the last 2 weeks. Day off tomorrow and then a cutback week, which will likely be around 60 miles (Seems weird that 60 miles is a cutback week now!).

Friday, April 4, 2008

Weekly Update

Been very lax on the updates this week.....

Monday: 7m AM, 6.5m PM - both easy runs
Tuesday: 6m tempo AM at 6:31 (plan was 6:41), 8 miles overall.
-- this was a good tempo run and a good jump from last week (6m at 6:41)
Tuesday: PM - 5ish at lunch but fast: progressive run, 7:40 down to 6:10!
Wednesday: 10 miles at 7:49 - uneventful
Thursday: 11.9 AM, 9 PM - both recovery pace (8:20s)
Friday: just one run, 7.3m at 8:10

Plans for weekend
Saturday: 6AM easy, maybe 6PM (I may skip this)
Sunday: 23 with "some" at MP (6:52)

Total will be 93-99 depending on Saturday mileage, so it's another big, big week for me. Feeling OK but am definitely aware that I am on the edge of things crumbling. Fortunately, next week is a cutback, with an entire day off on Monday. Then it is three more big weeks (I'm thinking something like 85,95,95) and then it's taper time (60, 45, 20+race) to Edinburgh.