Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 13th-19th Training

Monday: 4.4 miles (7:12)

Tuesday: 8.4 miles (6:49); 5.6 miles (7:03) with 3xhill blasts at 10.8 average

Wednesday: 4.6 miles (6:48)

Thursday: 9.6 miles with 8x2:00 on/off.  Goal was to ease into this slowly and not kill myself or run really hard really.  Just wanted to get the wheels rolling a little bit. Ended up doing eight and I didn't run under 5:00 pace until the third and averaged 4:53 for the faster portion.

Friday: 8.6 miles (6:42)

Saturday: 6.1 miles (7:47)

Sunday: 16.6 miles with Rock N Roll St. Louis Marathon in 65:51. Good race because I was worried about breaking 67 on this course.  Felt strong and had a lot left in the tank at the end.  I'm behind on some recaps and some other stuff but will have a few non-training posts in the next couple of days.  I've been a busy man.

Week Total: 63.9 miles. Was going to use this as somewhat of a down/peak week and was going to start base training for a few weeks.  While I will still log mostly easy mileage, I will throw in some races here and there until I start structured training in the next six weeks or so.

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 6th-12th Training

Monday: 5.5 miles (7:07); 8 miles (6:56)

Tuesday: 10.6 miles (6:35); 4.5 miles (6:30)

Wednesday: 9.4 miles with attempted workout. Plan was a 6400m progression starting at 5:10 and dropping down 5s per mile, followed by a couple 400s.  Ran 5:07, 5:03 and then came through 1200m in 3:45 before stopping.  The first two were insanely easy but I was getting really dehydrated even though it wasn't that hot. Was going to just add on some extra 400s but I was dumb and didn't realize the increased intensity would make me even more dehydrated, so I stopped after 300m in 48 on the first one.; 5.3 miles fartlek with 4 miles of .15 on/.35 off. Jogged to the 4-way stop (.70 miles) and straight into the workout without any drills or strides.  Wanted to turn it over without pushing too hard to make up for the slack workout a few hours prior.  6:09 pace for the four mile fartlek and averaged 4:12 on the fast portion.  Felt smooth.

Thursday: 9.1 miles (6:39); 6.1 miles (7:00ish)

Friday: 6.3 miles with strides (6:55)

Saturday: 18 miles with half-marathon in 67:29.  Ran The Middle Half and since I'm doing another half next weekend, my goal was to place as well as I could without much damage.  I was hoping to finish second since Patrick Cheptoek was there.  Justus David was there again, as well as a couple other Kenyans, Brandon York and Nashvillian Joey Elsakr.  Festus Chemoi shot out and we all let him go and I hung in a pack with Patrick, Justus and some Kenyan I didn't know. We were pacing machines because other than a 5:02, we ran 5:05-5:06 the first six miles.  I got dropped in the seventh mile but still split 5:04.  I didn't want to go home penniless, so I tried to stay focused and caught back up to the three man pack around 8-9 miles. The tenth mile was the slowest mile yet with a 5:10 and then Patrick surged and the newbie Kenyan dropped.  Justus ran off my shoulder and I was hoping to break him but he was persistent and it wasn't worth killing myself to potentially win a little bit more money and fry my legs for next week.  I let him go the last two miles and finished with a 5:29 and 5:25.  Legs didn't feel very snappy at all today but it was a little humid and the roads were wet from the rain.  The early pace felt really smooth but my legs lost all their pop the last 5k.  Maybe if I ran this flat out, I could have run 66:30 or so, which isn't too bad for where I am right now I guess.

Sunday: 9.4 miles (6:56)

Week Total: 92.2 miles. I'm at an awkward point in training right now.  I'm using these next two races to race and get a little bit of money (hopefully), so it's almost like a mini peak or something even though I haven't really been training that hard or am I very fit.  After the races, I'll go into a high mileage mode before starting to hit it pretty hard in December.  So this week will be relatively light as I freshen up.

I was looking forward to seeing all of the Americans duke it out in Chicago.  I thought for sure, there would be a ton of sub 2:15s, with a lot of guys in the 2:11-2:12 range but a lot of guys struggled home that last 10k.  It was a bummer to see that happen but that's the nature of the beast sometimes.

I had three runners I coach in there. Kevin was shooting for 2:50ish and ran 2:47, Leigh was shooting for sub 3:40 and ran 3:37 and Tom was shooting for a sub 2:50 and struggled home with some cramping in 3:09.


Monday, October 6, 2014

September 29th-October 5th Tranining

Monday: 3.6 miles (7:09).  Could tell that I was getting sick or something because my legs felt abnormally weak.  Woke up that night with a super-jacked up stomach. 12 wake-ups later and the scale was in the 120s.

Tuesday: No running. Stayed home from work and felt fine but still had a jacked up stomach. The only brightside is that when I'm sick, I allow myself to eat whatever I want because I figure the calories will help me or something.  Ate a lot of ice cream, ramen and a doughnut.

Wednesday: 5.2 miles (7:39). Died an ugly death.

Thursday: 5.9 miles (6:54); 5.8 miles (7:12)

Friday: 7 miles (6:43); 5.4 miles (7:06)


Saturday: 10 miles (6:56); 5.4 miles (6:58). 

Sunday: 20.3 miles with 4.72 mile fast finish (5:16 average). Ran a rolling 14ish miles and then ran to the end of LSC and back, followed by up-and-down Bison Way. Was 6:18 average at the start and felt really good during the first 14.  Plan was to hang at 5:20 and ran the first four between 5:17-5:19 without much effort and ran the last .72 at 5:12 pace.  Good run and felt smooth.

Week Total: 68.6 miles.  Super low mileage week again but I couldn't help it.  Everyone around here is getting it, so I had to pay my dues.  It completely stole all of my mojo even though I wasn't feeling badly and I wasn't back to "normal" until Saturday.

The US Marathon Championships were fun to watch even though it was a complete bummer to see Jeanette have to drop out.  She works so hard and is the type of person you root for. Going into the race, I thought the paper favorite was Ian Burrell, my favorite was Tyler Pennel and I thought those two, along with Sergio Reyes would all finish in the top 5.  I wasn't too far off!

You have to respect Scott Smith for making that bold move with such a big pack remaining, especially shortly before the long hill.  I would have been completely scared to do that, but he was an animal and it paid off for him in the end. When he first made it, I expected him to finish outside the top 5 and maybe even finish somewhere around 10th, but he hung on to third. But I can't let another Scott beat me in a marathon, so I will show no mercy at the Olympic Trials if we don't meet up before then.

For some reason, people get so pumped when a guy with super fast 5k/10k credentials moves up to the marathon.  The qualities that make those guys fast in the shorter stuff are the qualities that may not let them get really fast in the marathon  What I get pumped about is when guys with fast half-marathons but "modest" 5k/10ks move up.  Those are the guys that will thrive in the marathon distance.  The Tyler Pennel's, Gabe Proctors and Matt Llano's, etc. have much more upside in my opinion than the Chris Solinksy's and Luke Puskedra's.  Maybe I will eat crow after New York though.

It was also bittersweet seeing so many guys run well and pop off those 2:15s-2:17s when I'm sitting at home, out of shape.  Houston this past year is the only race I've ever had that chews away at me, so hopefully I will get redemption sometime soon. I still don't understand how I died so badly because I was in killer shape.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September 22nd-28th Training

Monday: 8.4 miles (6:38); 6.3 miles (7:21)

Tuesday: 7 miles (6:49); 4.5 miles (7:15)

Wednesday: 10.2 miles with 16x1:00 on/off. Goal was to average about 4:40 on the fast portion and I ended up right at that, starting pretty slowly and easing into it. Quads felt really flat and it was hard to push, so I was happy with the pace because it felt much slower than that. When I'm fit and ready for this type of workout, I can hammer really, really hard and am hating life the second half but today, I wasn't able to push that hard.  But I was able to recover really well and didn't feel very worn out by the end; 8 miles (6:56)

Thursday: 9 miles (6:56); 6.8 miles (7:15)

Friday: 8.4 miles (6:58); 3.1 miles (7:45). I was planning on seven miles but my legs have been absolutely trashed the past couple of days and my body was revolting. Even though I was planning to watch a movie once the fam fell asleep, I was out before 10pm and slept over 10 hours and only got out of bed because of guilt. I guess last week's travelling finally caught up.

Saturday: 11.5 miles with 8000m tempo in 25:51. Despite it warm and a little humid (80/60 dp), it went really well.  I was just going to do 6400m but it felt so easy that I would have felt guilty if I stopped there.  Splits ranged from 4:57-4:59.  Afterward, jogged 1000m and did 2x200m with 200m jog in 29 low but back in the ol' college days, I could finish out in 26s without killing myself. Guess I traded out my old motor for a more fuel efficient one.  Great workout and the only bad thing was the sunburn I got on my head; 4.4 miles (7:21)

Sunday: 15.3 miles (6:18).  I had my 20 mile route planned but around 12 miles, I started getting insanely hungry, so I decided a couple of bowls of Chocolate Toast Crunch and cutting it short was better than bonking.  I don't have a marathon race planned for quite a while anyway, so the long run isn't as important.  But I was happy that I felt really good before the hunger strike and probably would have averaged close to 6:10 by the end; 6 miles (7:18)

Week Total: 108.9 miles.  Decent week for feeling like crap and then much better by the end.  I may enter a marathon as a long run this weekend if I'm feeling ok...most likely, nothing faster than 6:30 pace.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Seotenber 15th-21st Training

Monday: 6.3 miles (7:02); 9 miles (6:36)

Tuesday: 8 miles (6:34); 10.4 miles with 9 mile medium progression. Goal was three miles each at 6:15, 5:50, 5:25.  Ran 18:34 (6:07, 6:13, 6:14), 17:16 (5:45, 5:46, 5:45), 16:14 (5:27, 5:22, 5:25). Hit the times pretty well my it felt like I was running faster than I was...it wasn't particularly hard, it just felt like I was flying and my quads were pretty tired.  Afterwards, my quads were really worn out the rest of the night. 

Wednesday: No running. Spent all day travelling.  Like over 16 hours and I still have a six hour drive tomorrow. 

Thursday: 3.3 miles (8:08). Would have liked more but I was supposed to drive to Tamarindo early in the morning and four hours later, I finally left.  Ran within five minutes of arriving.

Friday: 4 miles with strides

Saturday: 13.6 miles with Tamarindo Beach Half-Marathon in 70:46. Warmed up with Tibor for a half mile literally over 11 minute pace.  Had to get an early spot on the line, so I didn't do anything else, or cooldown.  Race went well.  Hung with the pack through the halfway point and at the turnaround, took the lead and kept it steady for a smooth win.  Super humid but pleased with the time because this felt closer to a 72-72.

Sunday: No running. Had a 6am flight and didn't arrive home until after 13 hours later.  I'm not running after that.

Week Total: 54.6 miles.  About 50% of what would be ideal but I had a ton of travelling to do, which killed my volume. Fun but tiring week. Deena is insane.

Heroes in Recovery 6k

I've never run the Heroes in Recovery 6k because it always falls on the same day as the Commodore Cross Country Classic, hosted by Vanderbilt University.  And also (mainly) because I didn't know it had money.  So while trying to whoop some college kids is fun, I'd rather go home with a little bit of a heavier wallet.


Going into this race, I knew I was way out of shape.  I think I only did like one tempo run since the spring, which was really ugly the second half.  But I still wanted to give a hard effort, so my goal/hope was to hang around 5:00 pace (assuming good weather and a fast course) and gain a little bit of confidence.

After an hour drive, I was finally in Leipers Fork, TN, which is a really pretty place. There's lot of rolling green hills, wide open land and nice houses.  I would love to move there but I'm too poor. After registering, I met up with Jeanette Faber and a guy named Nash to do a little bit of a warm-up. We ran a little over a mile down on the course and while it was pretty, it didn't look like fun.  It was down-and-back and as far as I could tell, the first half was uphill.  At least there was a decent tailwind that would help push me up them.


Before I got back to the car, I noticed a lot of the faster runners in the area were coming out of the woodwork.  First, I saw Ryan Snellen hanging around his 1990s or something Cadillac.  He was a sub 14 guy several years back and gave me a whooping in a 5k in 2011.  Then it was Ryan Chastain who is a talented guy and ran right at 68:00 for his half-marathon debut a few years ago, off of 30 miles a week. Then it was Geoff Musick who ran under 15 minutes a year ago and whooped me in a ten miler in 2010. But I think all three of them haven't been training too hard lately, so I still felt fairly confident that I could win with a good effort.

While pinning my number, I saw my second worst fear at a money race, Justus David (Patrick Cheptoek is #1). Justus was a 14:00ish and sub 29 10k guy in 2013 and is probably about 20 pounds lighter than me.  He's been struggling with an achilles injury over the last year or so, but ran a sub 25 8k in early August, so I knew he was probably getting pretty fit. While I enjoy good competition when I'm in shape, when I'm just chasing dollars, I like the fast guys to stay at home.

I was 90% certain I had no chance to beat Justus but I was going to see what happened anyway.  I tried to get my mind in the right state and get ready and accept that if I destroyed myself, maybe I could pull it off.  As a long-distance runner, I have a lot of trouble with the really intense efforts and embracing that sharp, middle-distance pain.  But today, it would probably be necessary.

Justus normally likes to follow the pace and win at the end.  So my plan was to keep the pace honest and not let him relax.  When the gun went off, I immediately pressed on the gas.  My GPS was saying I was running around 4:50 pace but it was uphill, so it wasn't a big deal.  I was glad to see Justus running behind me, instead of drafting and stealing my tailwind. We went through the mile in 4:53 and I wasn't feeling that bad, despite nearly 70 feet of elevation gain.



The second mile was even tougher with over 100 feet of gain and with a couple little downhills, it had quite a big of climbing.  I noticed Justus was breathing a little bit hard and shortly afterward, he gave me a small lead.  In a one-on-one race, if someone is running with you and then is suddenly a few meters behind, they are either peeing or close to breaking.  So once I smelled a little blood in the water, I started hammering.  At the turnaround, I had about a 100m lead and came through the second mile in 5:03.  I lost over 10 seconds from the first, but it was a tough mile.  With the third mile having a lot of downhill running, with over 130 feet of drop in the last 1000m, I was able to start rolling without much effort. Even though I now had a somewhat tough headwind, I was able to go through the third mile in 4:30 and double my lead.  I don't know if I've ever run a mile that fast in a road race and if the wind would have been reversed, I bet it would have been close to sub 4:20. Maybe I'll go out there in shape one day and run sub 4:00 for the mile if I don't rip my hamstrings first.



The last mile I relaxed just a little bit but kept up a somewhat decent effort.  Sometimes when you're flying nearly effortlessly, the pace feels relaxed and you enjoy the moment.  I ended up crossing the line in 18:10 and according the my GPS, ran the last .77 miles at 4:50 pace and sealed the victory by a minute.  The rest of the local shootout went: Chastain, Musik and Snellen.  Jeanette won the women's race to beat literally one of the top Master's in the world and Nashville resident, Sonja Friend-Uhl.

This race was a really fun event, was run really well and a huge confidence booster on a tough course (580 feet of gain and loss).  For feeling very out-of-shape, hopefully this points to much brighter things to come.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September 8th-14th Training

Monday: 8 miles (6:54a); 6.3 miles (7:13)

Tuesday: 8.5 miles (6:53); 6.6 miles (7:11)

Wednesday: 11.1 miles with 12x.15 miles on/.35 miles off. This is a workout I like to do when I want to get the wheels going but not have a real workout...sort of like doing 200s on the track, except it's on the road with bigger recovery.  During a marathon cycle, I sometimes like to run 10ish miles moderately (90-95%) in the morning and then run 8x.15 in the afternoon on heavier legs.  During a marathon cycle, I feel speedwork is really overrated, so this let's you keep in touch with your speed with some cumulative fatigue built in. Anyway, I avereaged 4:19 on the fast portion which isn't too fast but I was on the greenway and half were into the wind.  So even though I ran slower than I thought, it felt like I was running really fast and I had good power and turnover, so I took that as a good sign; 7.7 miles (7:11)

Thursday: 8 miles (7:09); 9.1 miles (6:46)

Friday: 8.4 miles (6:47); 5.5 miles with strides (7:09)

Saturday: 10.6 miles with 6k in 18:10. I didn't know anything about the course but was hoping to run a hardish effort and run 5:00 pace if I could, assuming it was a flat course.  Well, the course was uphill the first half before coming back down with a good tailwind on the way out and tough headwind on the way back.  And right before the race, I noticed Justus David showed up, which bummed me out because there was some money on the line.  I decided to take it out hardish and we went through the mile in 4:53.  The second mile climbed a lot and when I was given a small gap, I pushed the pace pretty hard to increase my lead and came through in 5:03.  I had about 20s on the turnaround, ran the third mile quick in 4:30 and ran the last .77 on my GPS in 3:44 to win by a minute.  Felt really strong and never really struggled.  Really pleased with this performance and I didn't even struggle on the hills; 4.5 miles (7:30)

Sunday: 9.5 miles (6:33). I was going to do a long run but my legs weren't feeling it all.  Guess I'm fitter than I thought but don't recover as quickly as I would like.  I was going to run more later, but I had an insanely busy day.

Week Total: 103.9 miles.  A little lower than I would like but cutting the long run 11 mile short will do that to it.  Regardless, good week overall and the best I've felt in a while.  My hgb is up to 15.5 now, with a "normal" baseline of about 16.0, so things are looking better.  I'm headed to Costa Rica this weekend for the Tamarindo Beach Half-Marathon.  It should definitely be an interesting experience.  I was also happy to see Ryan Hall finally get a coach, so hopefully he can make a comeback for the Trials.  I wish he would have stuck with Canova but maybe Jack Daniels can bring some consistency.