Saturday, February 28, 2009

February Summary

Feb is done, and it was my first real training month.  Overall successful, witha return to racing and a return to higher mileage.
  • Miles: 241.9 - weeks of 54, 53, 71 (in Hawaii), 61
  • Long Runs: 15, 16, 17, 18 (5 more 10+)
  • Tempos - 4, getting down to 6:22 pace
  • Trackwork - twice, getting down to 6x1200 in 4:29
  • Runs - 25 on 24 days (4 rest days, 1 double)
  • Hills - quite a few towards the end of the month
  • Race - Kaiser Half - 1:29:22 (6:49 pace) - OK
March plans call for about 270 miles, long runs up to 21, continued tempos, 1-2 track sessions, a half marathon of 3/15 (goal is sub 1:27!), and maybe a 5k next Sunday.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Back to the Track #6

After a week without any real speedwork in Hawaii, today was trackday.  Early start, but it was at least getting light when I set out, and it wasn't raining.  Headed to the high school track for a planned 6 x 1,200 meters in 4:30, with 90 second walk recovery in between reps.

My warmup for these is usally a couple miles, and I'll throw in about three 100 meter runs at goal pace (round 6:00).  Things felt fine and I lined up for rep #1.  4:30 makes the numbers easy, as it's 45 seconds for every 200 meters, or 1:30 per lap - easy to remember even when you feel like throwing up.  Here's how it went....
  1. 4:27 - went out fast as usual - first 200 in 41, settled down and ran on pace for the next 2 1/2 laps feeling pretty good - 87/90/90 laps
  2. 4:29 - fast start again at 42 seconds - 88/90/91 laps
  3. 4:29 - better start at 43 - laps of 88/90/91 - stomach started to go in last 100 m (checked to see if the bathroom was unlocked for future reference - it wasn't...)
  4. 4:30 - 44 for first 200 - laps of 89/91/90 - second lap I was hurting - last lap a definite push - very glad these weren't 1,600s
  5. 4:30 - 89/92/89 - last lap was a struggle after a very sloppy lap #2.  considered bagging rep 6 but somehow convinced myself to run it.
  6. 4:30 - 91 first lap, 93 second lap and feeling bad.  managed to pull an 86 out of my ass for lap 3 to make the time.  last 200 was in 42 - it was definitely race effort for last 75 meters
Average was 4:29 which I was happy with.  I have never hit more than 4 at 4:30 pace before, even when I was running 100+ miles per week.  Best I ever did before was 4:26, 4:29, 4:29, 4:30, 4:39 and the last one was ugly.  This chart shows the pace, and you can see the dip at the end of rep #6.  

Between now and Ottawa (12 1/2 weeks) I need to get the time for these down another 8 seconds to 4:21, which is 5:50 pace.  So next week it will be aiming for 4:29 again - hopefully I'll be able to hold it together thru at least lap 4 and only have to push hard for 5 and 6.  Then I get a week off speedwork due to the Shamrock Half Marathon.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hawaii Running

Just ran my last run in Hawaii.  We are flying back to the california rain tomorrow.  It's been great here, sunny and in the 70s everyday - just right for lying by the pool drinking.  A little too hot/humid for running, so it was unfortunate that this week was my first 70+ mile week (according to the schedule...).  Anyway here's how it went.....
  • Mon - easy 8 miles at 7:50
  • Tue - 11 miles w 20 mins tempo and then 10 mins tempo
  • Wed - 7 miles, mostly on the beach (hard sand)
  • Thu - 12.5 miles, thru the lava fields west of wailea
  • Fri - 7 miles on the beach
  • Sat - 8 miles with the last 1.5 miles at 6:50
  • Sun - 18 miles - 10 on the roads and 8 on the beach
  • Total 71.5 miles
Legs feel OK, a little tired bringing that long run home today.  I think the combination of roads, grass and hard sand may have helped spread the pain around instead of it all hitting one place. Next week is something of a cutback week for mileage, aiming for the mid 50s.  

With just 3 weeks to go until the Shamrock half I need to be picking up the paces slightly.  Trackwork on Thursday should be the next test, more 1200s, hoping to get down around 4:30 this time.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Weekly Summary

Ottawa marathon is 14 weeks tomorrow, things are going Ok so far.  This week was a little compressed as I am flying to Hawaii tomorrow.  That meant squeezing my miles into 5 running days VS the normal 6.  
  • Monday - rest
  • Tuesday - tempo 5.5 miles at 6:39 - these are coming along nicely
  • Wednesday - easy 6 miles w 3 x strides
  • Thursday - 6x1,200 at the track in 4:34.  i am hoping these are the big key to getting fast and hitting my half marathon goal in 4 weeks
  • Friday - a wet 12.5 miler.  weather forecast was way off and I got drenched, was not dressed for the rain.
  • Saturday - 17.5 long run
  • Sunday - rest (travel)
So 54 miles in 5 days.  I was feeling a little tired towards the end of this morning's long run.  I think running 12.5 late friday and 17.5 early saturday is not a very good plan.

Next week calls for 7 straight days of running, with over 70 miles.  Should be fun to be doing those in Hawaii.  Forecast is hot (80), humid, windy and chance of showers.  We'll see how good a job I do staying on schedule.  I am not going to do the track work (don't think I am anywhere near a track) but will be doing the tempo and long runs out there.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Back to the Track #5

I always figured that running fast races isn't about the race, it's about the training that goes on for the 6 months leading up to the race.  If that is true then this morning was a key event in my Ottawa race.  I was scheduled for trackwork and I had to be at work for an early meeting.  To fit it in I had to get up in the dark and wet (not my favorite activity).  Woke up 5 minutes after my cutoff to fit it all in, looked at the clock, looked out the window (couldn't see anything, but could hear the rain).  Made the decision to "man up" and go do my workout instead of staying in bed.

Ran to the track thru the rain, thinking "What am I doing this for?".  It didn't help that I stayed up late drinking too much red wine last night with friends.

After a couple miles warmup and some quick 100m strides I was feeling almost human and the rain had stopped and the sky was getting lighter.

Goal was 6 x 1,200meters in 4:33 (6:06 pace) with 90 seconds rest.  This was a little quicker than my last time (4:36 average, plus it was 6x vs 5x).  Here's how it went......
  1. 4:34 - lap times were about 91,94,89 - lost focus in lap 2 and couldnt quite make it up in 3
  2. 4:34 - similar laptimes - I definitely need to work on that second lap
  3. 4:37 - same problem in lap 2 but didnt pick it up for lap 3 - got to nail #4 or this is going to get ugly.
  4. 4:33 - nailed it, felt pretty good.
  5. 4:35 - again, it got sloppy in lap 2
  6. 4:29 - 90,90,89 - solid last rep, but not a lot of fun.
Average was 4:34, which is 6:07 pace (that's a 19:00 5k).  Felt happy with the result and very happy with the decision to get my ass out of bed and do the workout in the first place!

Next trackwork will be probably in two weeks, when I'll see if I can get down to 6x1200 in 4:30.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Weekly Summary

My first real week of marathon training is over.  Officially it is week 3, but the first 2 weeks got messed up by work and the Kaiser half marathon.  No excuses this week!

Here's the plan, and how it turned out...

  • Day - Plan - Actual 
  • Mon - rest - rest
  • Tue - 5m easy - 5m, started easy, but ended up way too fast at 6:06 pace - 7:30 overall - i'm blaming the guy i ran with
  • Wed - 12 miles easy - 9 miles easy - didn't feel like doing the full 12
  • Thu - 7m easy w some strides - skipped due to work, plan to double friday
  • Fri - 6m tempo, 9 overall - AM 6m at 6:46 8.25m overall - PM 7.5m easy (7:45ish)
  • Sat - 8 miles easy - 8.5m easy
  • Sun - long run, 17 miles - 16.5 hilly miles w 3 at marathon pace (6:54 )
  • Total - 58 miles - 54.3 miles 
So a solid week, and the tempo on Friday was pretty good, holding 6:46 with level heartrate for 6 miles.  Next week will be about the same mileage, but on just 5 runs.  I'm resting Monday, and will be flying to Hawaii on the Sunday.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Kaiser Half

So the plan was to get under 1:30, which is 6:52 pace.  There's a pretty generous downhill so that was my buffer, the plan for the rest of the miles was to try and run 6:52 pace.

Here's how it went...
  • Got thru the first 5 in 34:15, so about 5 seconds ahead of plan. Felt pretty comfortable
  • Next 2 included the hill so I flew when I could, and they went by in 13:01, so some money in the bank there. 
  • Miles 8 and 9 were OK at 6:49 - managed to ge back into a steady rhythm.
Then it got tough....
  • Mile 10 6:57 and feeling like crap.  I could see the 1:30 slipping away and realised I needed to pick it up and get back on pace.  
  • Mile 11 was back to 6:52 but it wasn't pretty and I was having no fun.
  • Mile 12 and things were really hurting, but somehow managed to hold it together for a 6:58.
  • Final mile+ .11 includced an uphill.  It was ugly (that picture above was on the final approach at the end of an uphill section - I was feeling even worse than I looked) time was 7:36, which is 6:51 pace - not sure how I did that.
  • Overall ran 1:29:24 which is 6:49 pace.  Came about 240th out of about 5,000. I was happy with the result and the fact that I ran basically according to plan.  I also now have a real gauge of my fitness so I can fine tune my training paces.
It was about 2 minutes slower than my time at this race last year, so I have my work cut out to get into sub 3 hour shape by the end of May.  Next up: Shamrock'n"Half in mid March - daunting goal of under 1:27.......