Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 - A Year in 2 Parts

So the graph above pretty much says it all. The first seven months were excellent, with a big PR in the Edinburgh marathon (3:06) and some solid months of running (peak at 429 in July). If things had continued I would have had a shot of meeting some of my 2008 race goals (all of which I missed, many by a long margin). But that's how it goes. Sports hernias took care of the next 4 months and August thru November saw nothing but painful, slow and finally some recovery miles. December has been much better, and I feel I am getting back on track.

For 2009, I have similar goals to those from last year:

  1. Goal
  2. Stretch Goal
  3. Super Stretch Goal
  1. sub 3 hour [DONE 10/11 2:58:13]
  2. sub 2:55 - not attempted
  3. sub 2:50 - not attempted
Half Marathon
  1. sub 1:27 [DONE 3/16 - 1:25:28]
  2. sub 1:25 [DONE 7/26 - 1:23:47]
  3. sub 1:20 - not attempted
  1. sub 40 [DONE 4/23 - 38:38, 11/15 - 38:22, 11/26 - 38:07]
  2. sub 38 - attempted twice
  3. sub 36 - not attempted
  1. sub 19 [DONE 3/9 - 18:53, 9/27 - 18:23, 12/5 - 18:13]
  2. sub 18 - attempted twice
  3. sub 17:30 - not attempted
  1. sub 5:30 - [DONE 12/12 - 5:02* (downhill!) ]
  2. sub 5:15 - [DONE 12/12 - 5:02* (downhill!) ]
  3. sub 5:00 - attempted once
I have a pretty solid plan laid out to get me though the end of May and the Ottawa marathon (This should allow me to meet most of the first goals for each distance). Beyond that I have a somewhat softer plan, that has me doing either New York in November or Cal International in December. If training is going well and I have a realistic chance to hit my 2:55 or 2:50 goals I expect I'll shoot for CIM as NY is not a particularly fast course. I'll have plenty of chances to do half marathons along the way, not sure exactly when I am going to fit in the 10k, 5k and mile races.

One other thing for training this year is that I am going to take more recovery days. I am thinking that if I do that I can perhaps avoid taking 3-4 months of like the last couple years.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Back to the Track #2

Track workout today.  Time for some more 1200 meter repeats.  3 hard laps then 90 seconds jog/recovery.  Do that 4 times, trying to do the 1200s in 4:45, which is 6:22 minutes/mile.

Perfect weather - no wind, low/mid 40's, bright blue sky.  It was busier than usual, with a couple people walking aimlessly around the track and a couple people running laps but nothing I couldn't dodge around.
  • First 1200 was 4:38 with heartrate averaging 163 and peaking at 174
  • Second 1200 was 4:35 with HRs of 157/175
  • Third 1200 was 4:43 with HRs of 170/180 (started way too fast on this one, and paid for it)
  • Fourth 1200 was 4:38 with HRs of 172/180
Average of 4:39, so I was happy with being 6 seconds faster than plan (and 12 seconds faster than last week).  I always think that if you can't hit the last one on pace then you have screwed up the workout.  Next week I'll add one more repetition so it will be 5x1200 at 4:45.

Overall things are going really well.  I've run the last 5 days thru wind, rain, sunshine and mud and done 2 good workouts (short tempo on Tuesday and today's track session).  Some easy miles tomorrow then a new long run (probably up to 13) on Sunday.  Should bring me close to 50 for the week.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Double Digits!

Ran a hilly 11.5 miler this morning - my first double digit run since early August.  A cold start (for California) at about freezing, but it was sunny and there was no wind so it was still shorts weather.  A Nice gentle climb for the first 3 1/2 miles and it hits the trails of Rancho San Antonio with a pretty silly mile to get up to 1,100'. Then it's a longer downhill down through the reserve before dropping back out onto the roads at about 7 miles.  A beautiful run, with some amazing views of the bay.

The steep mile was much too steep for me to run so it was a run/walk section (which was at a pretty pedestrian 14 minute pace....)

Felt pretty good on the run, but that big hill definitely kicked my butt.  Mind you, I wouldn't have been running all the way up that even when I was fit.

For the first time post surgery I can feel a little ache down below, so I think I may have been a little too aggressive these past 2-3 weeks.  I've run 17 out of the last 19 days and have done a tempo run, speedwork and a long hill run in just the last 4 days.  That would have been tough even when I was in shape.

Time to ease off a little bit I think and plan a slightly easier week over Christmas and then it'll be 2009.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Back to the Track!

First post surgery run at the track today.  Put on my (dusty) light weight shoes and jogged the 1/2 mile down to the high school track.  Perfect conditions: low 40's, no wind and pitch black (so no-one could see me).

Plan was 4x1200 meters in 5:00 (6:42 min/mile) with 90 seconds recovery jog in between.  Back in June I was doing these 1200s around 4:30 (~6:00 min/mile).  I guestimated fitness and pace based on yesterday's tempo run but it was not very scientific.
  • Number 1 wasn't bad, got on pace quickly and did 4:57.
  • Number 2 went a little quicker at 4:52.
  • Number 3 started too fast (1:32 first lap vs 1:40) which hurt, but I held on to come in at 4:53.
  • Number 4 was 3:11 thru 2 laps and then I went for it on the last lap and did a 91 sec lap to finish in 4:42 (or 6:20 min/mile).
Average for the 4 was 4:51, so I am a little fitter than I guesstimated, and it felt great to be running fast on the track.  Although I am about 20 seconds off my pre-injury times.

So next time I will shoot for 4:45 and probably go up to 5x, which I suspect make it difficult for me to get thru reps #4 and #5 on pace.  Then I'll take 1 sec/lap off when I'm able to hit the last one on pace and I'll also up the reps to 6x at some point.  I'm guessing that I should be able to get to 6x1200 at 4:30 by about March (Shamrock) and closer to 4:20 by May (Ottawa).

Next up: my first double digit run this Saturday.

It's good to be back.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

8 Weeks and All Clear!

So I have been set free!  My last visit to the Doctor was this afternoon, and I am officially good to go.  He was still pleased with the progress and as long as I remain sensible in my mileage and speed buildup he expects me to get completely back to where I was.

So now I set my sights on the future.  Big goal is Ottawa marathon which is 23 1/2 weeks away.  I plan to use the next 5 1/2 weeks building up my mileage to about 60, gradually adding more fast workouts and extending the long run to about 15 miles.  Then I can still fit in an 18 week training plan. the Kaiser half and Shamrock half along the way will be useful to assess fitness.  It all looks doable and I have a chance to get into reasonable shape for the marathon.

Now my weight is an entirely different matter.  I was at a low of 143 when I was running lots back in July, I hit a peak of 159 this month.  That's 16 pounds......  I looked back at my weight gain/drop when I was last off running and noticed that it was about 8-9 weeks after I started running that my average weight peaked, and 13 weeks before I was back at the starting weight.  It took 17 weeks to lose 2.5 pounds and then it dropped off pretty consistently at just under 1 lb/week.

So if I lay out last times miles/weight (top chart) and compare with this time (top chart) I can get a projected weight trend (the blue dots).  I should get back under 150 for the Shamrock half, and could be back to the mid 140s for Ottawa. Good news is that I won't peak until Xmas, so I can keep eating!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

7 weeks

Another week of recovery has gone by and things continue to go well and fitness is slowly returning - and I do mean sloooowwwwllllyyyyyy.  

My long run is now up to 7.5 miles, plus I ran a few strides (accelerate for ~10 seconds and then hold that top speed for ~10 seconds) during my run last night and everything felt great.

I am planning to go for 9 miles sometime this weekend, and will probably do a mile or two at a slightly faster pace (7:00 ish) sometime in the next 7 days.

Then it's hopefully my final checkup and signoff by the doc next Wednesday and I'm back!

I should have just enough time to get into OK shape for Kaiser, which is now only 7 1/2 weeks away.  I would love to be able to run somewhere in mid/low 1:30s but I won't know how likely that is until I can get back to running some faster miles and seeing how it all hangs together.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

2009 Race Planning

Now I may be counting my chickens, but since recovery is going well I've started looking to 2009 races.  I won't be fit in time for a good showing at Boston (April) so I'm going to skip that and instead shoot for Ottawa at the end of May.  That should give me enough time to get back into fighting shape to go for a "good time" (exact goal still to be determined.....)

Building up to that full marathon I have two halves planned...
1) Kaiser Half on Superbowl Sunday (2/1) in San Francisco
2) Shamrock'n'Half on 3/15 in Sacramento

I've run both of these before and I like the races.  I'm hoping to not embarass myself at Kaiser and if things go well, set a new PR at Shamrock.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

6 weeks down

It is now 6 weeks since I had my surgery and my recovery is continuing to go very well.  Here's the stats from the last 7 days of running.....
  • Ran 5 out of  7 days, including 3 days in a row
  • Total of just over 25 miles
  • Long run of 6.6 miles
  • 1 very hilly run
  • Ran a mile at 7 minute pace
  • Ran a half mile at 6:35 pace
So it's going well - no pain or problems so far!  I revisit the doc 2 weeks from today, so until then I plan to run everyday unless I feel like taking a day off.  I'll try to stay in the 5-7 mile range althoug I may stretch it a little one day on the weekend, and I'm going to add in a few 100 meter strides once a week.