Sunday, September 27, 2009

Trailblazer 5k

A 5k today, which is probably the softest of my PRs to beat at 18:53 (adjusted to take into account a ridiculously short course when I ran an 18:06).

I had two goals, with the A goal being sub 18 (or 5:47 pace), and the B goal being sub 6 minute per mile pace (18:36). Based on my recent running, A was a stretch, and B should have been fairly easy.

It was a warm day, so I was happy to be doing the 5 and not the 10k.

Start was fast, fueled by the youthful exuberance of half a dozen 10-11 year olds who were off like a shot. Usually they fade after quarter mile but these guys hung together and went thru the first half mile around 5:30 pace. I let them go as I figured they may be young but they are unlikely to keep that up for 5k, and the maturity of 43 years, and the endurance of running 70 miles/week hopefully comes youth and ability.

I went thru mile 1 in 5:47, dead on pace for 17:59. There were 3 runners a good 20 seconds ahead, then 3 of the little guys still hanging in there, and then me. I was feeling the effort from the pace and was pretty sure sub 18 was not happening. I was hoping that the others were feeling it too!

The 3 kids faded a little in the next half mile and by the time we turned I was clearly in 4th place, with no-one really around me. We crossed a rickety bridge which cost a few seconds and mile 2 was done in 6:00. I was hurting, and not enjoying myself all that much. (Note to self - 5K's suck).

Managed to hang on for mile 3, also at 6:00 with no lead changes. I could barely see #3 up ahead and didn't see/hear #5 so just kept going, trying not to throwup or collapse.

Managed to pick it up for the crowd at the end and got down to 5:30 pace for the final .1 mile despite being completely on my own, coming in at 18:22, or 5:55 pace. Took 4th overall, and was fortunately a good 45 seconds ahead of everyone who is in the same school as my kids! 3rd place was over 30 seconds ahead so I'm glad I didn't go all out to try and catch him.

So in between goals A and B which is kinda what I expected. Plus it was my first ever race under 6 minute pace!

So a little over 60 for the week. This week will be 45ish, so that is pretty much it now until Chicago. I'll do a few tempo miles, some pace miles, and maybe some 1600s at the track, but nothing difficult. Hopefully the hay is in the barn as they say.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Chicago Week 12 Training - Taper Time

One day ahead of schedule, but close enough to done for the week. Ran my eight and final 20+ miler this morning taking me into my final three week taper. Tomorrow should be an easy 8-10 miler and then it's off to watch the Niners beat Seattle!

Here's how the week went....
  • Monday - easy 6 miles
  • Tuesday - easy 11 miles
  • Wednesday - 6x1,200 at the track (see last post)
  • Thursday - 9 miles on rolling hills in Napa (7:30 pace)- nice run
  • Friday - silly hilly mountain trail in Napa, turned into a hike when it got to 25% grade
  • Saturday - 20 miles with 2x3 miles at marathon pace (6:47, 6:53) - felt good. I am ready.
  • Sunday - should be an easy 8-10 miler
  • Total - low 70s
So now it's taper time. Mileage should be down to mid 60s this week including 5-6 tempo miles and maybe 3-4 1200s at the track, plus a 5k or 10k on Saturday. However, the weather forecast predicts some crazy temps (>100 degrees) for next week so I am not going to worry too much about miles. If it's hot on Saturday I wont race the trailblazer 5/10k as I know that really hot races suck, and more importantly, I suck at running them quickly.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Track Time

Wednesday morning track fun again today. After last week's successful track workout it was time to see if it was a lucky one-off, or if I could do it again.

Plan was for 6 x 1,200 meters, with easy jog recovery lap. Goal time between 4:15 and 4:18 (85-86 second 400s, 5:42-5:46 mile pace, VDOT 57-56). Weather was low 60s, sunny, no wind.

Ran a couple miles warmup at the track, including 3 100 meter pace sprints in 19s (a little fast, as usual, they should be 21). Off we go....
  1. 4:13 - after fast 200 I got on pace and stayed there - felt OK
  2. 4:17 - lost concentration about 800m into this one
  3. 4:17 - tough closing this one out
  4. 4:18 - told myself if I finished this one quick (4:15) I could quit after 4 - 4:18 not good enough, so #5....
  5. 4:19 - made the same deal as #4 and missed it again
  6. 4:15 - decided to go out fast and see what happened. Well, it turned out that it was too fast (80s for first 400m) and the next 800m hurt like hell, but I ran the time I was shooting for (which was good, as #7 was not gonna happen)
Overall not too bad, with a 4:17 average (5:44 pace). Only one of them was slower than the planned pace range. I am thinking that I should aim for about 5:50 pace for the 5k in 10 days, which would be 18:07, although the attraction of 17:xx will probably cause me to attempt something stupid.....

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chicago Week 11 Training

Alright, 11 weeks done, 4 weeks to go. Ran all 7 days this week (9 runs) and it went well. Feeling in good shape as I get closer to the race. Schedule called for a big week (100 miles) but I knew I wasn't going to go all out as 70-80 seems to be about what I can handle without needing to take some timeoff, and was planning to come in somewhere around 80. Here's how it went....
  • Monday - AM 6 easy, PM 6 easy
  • Tuesday - 5 easy
  • Wednesday - AM kickass trackwork (see Wed's post), PM 6 easy
  • Thursday - PM 7.5 easy
  • Friday - 14 easy
  • Saturday - tempo (ran a 10k time trial with a friend) 6.22m at 6:35
  • Sunday - 21.5 pretty slowly at 8:21
Overall it was just over 79 miles. Things feel good, heartrate is low compared to last training cycle, and Wednesday's track workout was a good confidence boost. I can definitely feel that I am on the edge of pushing too hard but think I am just on the good side of trouble - Cutting the mileage in these big weeks has helped there. One more big week up around 80 next week, and then it's taper time (which will be something like 65, 50, 30+race).

Then all I need is some reasonable weather in Chicago.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bank of America Chicago Marathon Runner Tracking

Thank you for signing up to receive free athlete updates on race day.

So, if technology works on the day, my 10k, half marathon, 30k and finish times will automagically appear on the blog.......

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Track Time (finally...)

After a couple half hearted attempts to do track work I decided it was tme to get serious, and stop making excuses about the weather (although 90+ is too hot for trackwork), or sleeping in. So this morning I went to the track determined to run 5x1,200 meters between 4:18 and 4:25 (5:46 to 5:55 pace).

I looked back over my previous track workouts and found that it was 2 months exactly since I did any real workout, and that was 4x1,200 in 4:24. I should be fitter than I was 2 months ago, but not necessarily faster as I have done very little fast stuff recently.

A mile warmup at the track (drove there instead of running as I was tight on time), and then some 100m pace setting sprints - for once, these were not wildly off pace - goal pace is about 21-22 and i ran them at 19, 21 and 21, so OK.

Weather was pretty much ideal, 58 degrees, overcast, almost zero wind. The plan was for a slow 400m jog between each 1,200. Here's how it went..
  1. 4:20.3 (5:49 pace) - HR max'd at 175 - felt comfortable
  2. 4:15.7 (5:42 pace) - HR max'd at 177 - still felt OK
  3. 4:15.2 (5:42 pace) - HR max'd at 179 - felt that one!
  4. 4:15.0 (5:42 pace) - HR max'd at 180 - felt that one too, but not too bad
  5. 4:10.8 (5:36 pace) - HR max'd at 184 - Decided to push the second 600 and definitely felt it!
Average was 4:15 (5:42 pace), which was 4 seconds faster than my best ever average (and that was just for 4). That final 4:10 was 6 seconds faster than I have ever run 1,200 before. Next week I'll add in a sixth 1,200 and try to keep them at 4:15 or better. Need to do a little research to see how to equate this to a 5k or 10k race but I am feeling good about beating my current 10k PR (38:38 ~ 6:13 pace) or 5k PR (18:52 ~ 6:04 pace) in the coming weeks. I would love to go 37:xx and 17:xx but I'm not sure how realistic that is, especially the 17. Guess I will find out soon enough.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Chicago Week 10 Training

As expected, this week ended up being lower in miles than my aggressive schedule said, but it was an OK week.
  • Monday - took a day off to recover from Sunday's fast miles
  • Tuesday - a 5.5m tempo at 6:28 pace. Was planning to run a few more at pace but bathroom issues stopped that!
  • Wednesday - 2 easy runs at either end of a very hot day
  • Thursday - went to the track in the late afternoon when it was 90+ degrees. ran one 1200 and then just did a few 400's and called it quits
  • Friday - hilly 14 for breakfast, and an easy 7 in the evening
  • Saturday - super hilly 20+ miler
  • Sunday - another day off
  • Total 70 miles
Now I just have 2 big weeks before tapering satrts. Schedule says 100 and 90 for next 2 weeks but I'll keep it down around 70-75 - I do plan on doing the speedwork properly though (need to get out early befoire the heat sets in), and will be doing a 5k or 10k at the end of September.