Friday, December 19, 2014

December 8th-14th Training

Monday: No running. Stayed home sick

Tuesday: 5.3 miles (6:56)

Wednesday: No running. Didn't feel good.

Thursday: 8 miles (6:41); 7 miles (7:08)

Friday: 9 miles (6:42); 6.8 miles (7:15)

Saturday: 9.8 miles (6:33); 5.4 miles with strides (7:12)

Sunday: 4.3 miles (7:01). Was planning on 20 but was feeling really tired and winded.  Maybe the past three days of mileage after the sickness wore me out or something.

Week Total: 55.6 miles.  Hopefully my last week under 100 miles for a very long time, but that's starting to sound like a broken record.  I found out my iron is low, so instead of jumping into a speedwork phase, I'll extend my base.  I notice low iron the most during hard intensities, so trying speedwork now would be disastrous. I'm making a good training plan for the spring and will post it soon.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December 1st-7th Training

Monday: 5.3 miles (6:44); 10 miles (7:01)

Tuesday: 10.2 miles with bombed progression run. Plan was 3 miles at 6:10, then 5:45 and then 3.6 at 5:20 (would finish at the parking lot).  First two sections weren't too bad but anytime I had the slightest hill, I would go out of breath.  Averaged 6:07 on the first and then 5:45 on the second.  On the third, I ran .60 miles at 5:29 pace before calling it quits.  I don't know what's up with this inability to run moderate efforts; 7 miles (6:58)

Wednesday: 8.9 miles (6:50); 7 miles (6:57)

Thursday: 7.7 miles (6:44); Skipped Run. Was going to run but ran out of gas (literally).

Friday: 7.5 miles (6:37); Skipped Run. Rained the rest of the day

Saturday: 9.4 miles. I was going to run an easy session of 6x2:00 on/off but my legs would not go at all.  Just jogged. Skipped Run. Was going to run in the evening but I had some out-of-town company.

Sunday: No running. Coming down with a sickness or something. Again.

Week Total: 73 miles. Another garbage week.  I hate 2014. I'm also 90% sure my iron is low because I get some distinct symptoms when it is and I currently have all of them. I was going to run Rocket City Marathon as a steady long run this weekend but not anymore.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

November 24th-30th Training.

Monday: 6.2 miles (7:19); 9 miles (6:40ish)

Tuesday: 10.1 miles with 5 miles of .15 on/.35 off. Ran the .35 off a little faster than normal and averaged 5:55 for the fartlek with the faster portion in the lower 4:30s. Since I'm coming off a sickness and am in a semi off-season, I just wanted to introduce the legs to a little bit of faster work without having to dig at all.

Wednesday: 9.4 miles (6:42); 6.8 miles (7:17)

Thursday: 9.7 miles with 5k in 16:40. Jumped into a Turkey Trot and won some money and a pair of shoes at the local shoe store, so I ended up getting Ellis a pair.  Felt like crap on the warm-up and the effort was harder than I would have liked.  Granted the course was hilly and I ran "tactically" but running a 15:40 would have been pretty tough today. I was planning on running again but Mary was in the room for the last 10 minutes of a crime show I was watching and she got too scared to stay home alone.

Friday: 9.7 miles (6:40); 6.8 miles (7:25)

Saturday: 20 miles (6:16). Bribed Brock Baker with breakfast if he came to my place to run.  The plan was 10 miles normal and then progress the pace from 6:00-5:30ish the last 10.  I felt really, really rusty on the faster miles and after a little over 6.5 miles at 5:52 average, I sissied out and we ran easily the last few miles. Normally these kind of sessions come really easily to me but it felt like I was running on soggy grass or something and my legs just wouldn't respond. Since Brock ran a solo 24:10 5 miler on Thanksgiving after a 119 mile week, I didn't feel as guilty backing off.

Sunday: 6.3 miles (7:11); 8.8 miles (7:02)

Week Total: 109.8 miles. Not bad for a missed second run.  I'm hoping the rough end to the week was due to my sickness the week prior (which really wore me out) and that my body is in a state of catch-up.  Hopefully brighter things and more volume are ahead this week. I closed out November with 394.7 miles opposed to the 478 in the November of last year, which also included a lot of intensity. But I still have 5.5 months to get in shape.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

November 17th-23rd Training

Monday: 9.7 miles (6:42); 6.3 miles (7:44)

Tuesday: 8.2 miles (7:29); 8.5 miles with strides (6:42)

Wednesday: No running. Started coming down with something…headache, congestion, super-worn out

Thursday: 8.4 miles (6:32); 7 miles (7:08)

Friday: No running. Same stuff as Wednesday but worse and I also lost my voice.  Took a nap and then slept for 11 hours.

Saturday: 17 miles (6:52) +1 mile at the cross country meet (I'm counting that crap). Ran the 11.2+5.8 loops with Brock Baker.  Those loops are insanely hilly and probably Max King approved.  Felt pretty drained and then felt like death afterwards.

Sunday: .8 miles (7:30)

Week Total: 66.9 miles. Was shooting for 115+ but the sickness came for me.  My throat started getting really sore in California, so the travel wore me out or something.  Everyone at work is catching it, so I'm not too much of a sissy.

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 10th-16th Training

Monday: 9 miles (7:04); 6.3 miles (8:07)

Tuesday: 7.9 miles (6:59); 7.6 miles (6:59)

Wednesday: 10.1 miles with 9 mile medium progression. Ran each three mile section in 18:13 (6:04, 6:11, 5:58), 17:07 (5:45, 5:40, 5:42), 15:53 (5:20, 5:16, 5:17).  Felt pretty smooth and had some strong winds but since it was an out and back on only two roads, I had a nice tailwind as well; 6.8 miles (7:20ish)

Thursday: 6.1 miles (7:26); 9 miles (6:40)

Friday: No running. Spent the day traveling and a nap when I arrived seemed more appealing than a run.

Saturday: 19.6 miles with Temecula Half-Marathon in 71:26. The course didn't have certification this year and old faithful marked it as 13.28. Course climbed for four miles, dropped for 6.5 and then climbed the rest of the way.  Ran with Ryan Cosens until about 10.5 miles when I surged some and broke away.  I died on the last mile but was able to hold the victory.  The pace felt really easy on my lungs but my legs never felt good at all and I was flat the entire time.  I guess all of the traveling and racing is catching up with me.

Sunday: No running. Traveled home and sitting on the couch sounded better than running in the pitch black with 35 degrees and raining conditions. 

Week Total: 82.4 miles. Another yo-yo mileage week but not bad for five days of running. And if you take out Sunday, I had 102.4 for the past seven days, with runs on six of those days.  I think all of the traveling and racing is catching up to me, so that's the last long race for a while. Granted I never had a flat out race but running a lot of higher effort and high volume sessions without much of a base catches up with you.

Indy Monumental Marathon Rabbitting Duties

A few months ago, I committed to pacing the 2:18 group at the Indy Monumental Marathon.  I had the same duties a year prior and it went well.  I wasn't too worried because it's a blazing fast course and usually has ideal weather. And if I were in somewhat decent shape, running 20 miles at 5:15 pace would be a great training stimulus.  But after a terrible summer and a dragging butt early fall, I bailed from my duties.  The last thing I wanted was to have to race 20 miles all-out, run too slowly and let the other guys down.  In races, you just run for yourself, so you really don't impact other runners.  But when you're pacing, you hold other runner's destiny in your hands.  And that's not something I wanted to do unless I were pretty confident that I could do my job.

But the Rock N Roll St. Louis Half-Marathon went better than I thought and a couple days later, I received an email from the race staff asking to reconsider.  I'm usually a pushover and after changing my duties to 30k instead of 20 miles (would 1.4 miles really make a difference?), I was back on board.

But with a few days to go, the weather forecast was looking terrible.  Yeah, the upper 20s/low 30s temperature was actually pretty decent, but the strong wind from the north wasn't.  Especially since you run mostly north for 13 miles of the marathon course.  I was really worried that would destroy me, so I emailed back and forth with the race staff acting like a whiny baby.  I had a narrow time range I had to hit in order to get compensated and I thought the wind would be the 2x4 that destroyed this camel's back.  I was now back in my pre-St. Louis scenario in that I didn't want to race 20 miles, come up short and let down other runners in the process.  But I was going to try anyway, even though it seemed like a potentially disastrous idea.

After arriving in Indy, I checked into my room and then was off to the athlete meeting and met the crew of guys who were counting on me to pull them through 30k on pace: Michael Eaton, Tyler Andrews and Brandon York.  They were also worried about the wind but we agreed to re-evaluate things in the morning.  I also met up with Steve Chu, who put a whooping on me at Bolder Boulder and his buddy Nick Purdy for dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery.  I knew I should probably eat something a little carb heavy but the macaroni and cheese was 14 bucks and the brisket stuffed hamburger sounded much better. 

My biggest dilemma on race morning wasn't the weather but what to wear.  I'm a diva with this kind of stuff and I looked around to see what others were wearing since I'm pretty insecure.  I was leaning towards a t-shirt with arm sleeves but everyone else seemed like they were going with a singlet and arm sleeves.  Since I'm easily peer pressured, I decided to go with the singlet as well and was hoping the 18 degree wind chill wouldn't be too bad.

The race plan was to go with 5:15s at the start because we would have the half-marathoners to draft off of.  When they turned off a little over seven miles into the race, I'd slow to 5:20s until the tailwinds arrived.  It seemed like a pretty decent strategy and compromise.

I knew the biggest issue would be the half-marathoners making the initial pace feel too easy, so I was really going to concentrate on the pace and rhythm.  When the gun went off, everyone shot off with the 2:18 crew right on my butt.  If I went out too fast, it'd be hard to slow back down.  But if I went out too slow, the group would be a little antsy, which may result in me yo-yoing the pace.  And to make matters worse, solar flares or the buildings or something was screwing up my GPS because it was reading 5:35 pace.  But alas, the first mile marker arrived and I went through in 5:14.  Not bad!

While I was planning on having a steady stream of half-marathoners to pass/run with, the race developed into two very distinct packs with the group I was leading about 10 seconds behind the front pack after the first couple of miles.  That meant I would have to battle the winds a little more than anticipated.  But while we were downtown, the buildings created a swirling effect, which gave some unexpected tailwinds in some areas. So I will blame running the next four miles between 5:11-13 on that. 

At this point we would run down a struggling half-marathoner every once in a while and were finding our rhythm. Steve Chu was also helping out with pace some, which helped me keep the right rhythm. The first fuel table was going to be somewhere around 10k, so I gave the people behind me a heads up to look for it because last year, they would really sneak up on you.  My only gripe with the race is that they only use one table, so you have about 15-20  bottles on a small, square table which makes it nearly impossible to find your bottle while humming along at race pace.  Eventually I saw the table and after scanning every bottle as fast as I could, I grabbed what I thought was my Tum-E Yummy bottle.  But this one was covered in some lame Frozen stickers, so it wasn't mine.  I asked the group if it was anyone's and since no one claimed it, I took a sip of what looked like water with dissolved gel but my stomach wasn't having it, so I dropped it.  I later found out it was fellow Nashvillian, Joey Elsakr's.  And the worst part is that I was the one who talked him into using those bottles. My bad.

Joey in an egg race?  Now you see what Obamacare has done to Vanderbilt's Medical School curriculum.

When the half-marathoners broke off, we saw a lone Kenyan, who turned out to be Edward Tabut, about 20 seconds ahead.  Over the next few miles, we locked into 5:15-5:16 pace and were slowly reeling him in.  When we caught him, instead of tucking into our pack, he didn't want us to pass and shortly afterwards, threw in a long, hard surge, which put a big gap on us. I didn't have any background info on him but thought he was either going to be a stud at win easily or have that move come back and get him later.

Stolen off Lindsey Hein's instagram. Brandon, ?, Michael, Tyler, myself and gloveless Edward

At 20k, the second fuel table popped up and I decided to not even look for my bottle.  I didn't want to grab the wrong one again and by skipping the fuel, I wouldn't be tempted to finish the race.  Not very logical but it seemed like a good idea at the time.  We went through halfway in 69:03, which was right on pace.  I thought for sure, we would have tailwinds after this and we would click off 5:10s with the same effort but that never happened and we were running the same splits. Bummer.

And at this point, the pack was slowly falling apart until it was just me and Brandon York chasing Edward.  He was getting a little bit antsy and would check his lead after every turn and watch us.  Eventually I decided to give him a friendly wave the next time he turned around and caught him around 16-17 miles.  I crossed the 30k with Edward in 1:38:17 with Brandon five seconds back.  Since my duties were officially over, I stopped and waited for Brandon and then ran with him for a little under a mile.  I could tell he was hurting and starting to crash, so I told him to try to stay as smooth as possible and not try to fight it yet.  When you start to hit the wall, there's no winning, only losing less.  And if you fight against it with over 10k of running left, it will get very ugly.

I jogged the last half mile to the 20 mile mark, where I expected to meet my ride back to the start.  Tyler went by me a little while later, followed by Michael about 200m or so behind Brandon.  At this point, I thought the Kenyan had the easy victory and wasn't sure how the other guys would place because there was still a lot of racing left. 

At the 20 mile marker I saw a bunch of kids in their mid 20s dressed up in costumes and cheering on the runners.  They offered me a beer and since you should never turn down a free beer, I accepted. I hung out/shivered with them for about 30 minutes before I realized I probably missed my ride that was supposed to take me to the finish.  I was agitated that I now had to jog another 6.2 miles to the finish and I went on my way.  That is until I saw Jamie Dial a few seconds later who saved me and gave me a ride back to the finish.  Yeah, I had to sit in the back of a hatchback that wouldn't shut all the way, which included a trip down the interstate but the possibility of death by road rash sounded more appealing than finishing up the marathon.  Even if I got a cool medal.

After making it back, I found out that Micheal Eaton won in a time of 2:19:49 to outkick the Kenyan by eight seconds with Tyler right behind.  I was amazed he rallied back that hard and was also surprised that the Kenyan died so badly.  I would bet nearly anything that cute little surge he did when we initially caught him cost him the race.  I think Michael was bummed about his time, but considering I heard he had a pit stop, and with the weather, I feel like it was easily a 2:18:00 performance.

Overall, I consider it a pretty good day for me.  I ran 30k at just over 2:18 pace without fuel or water and felt like I could have gone to 22 fuel-less miles until I was over 5:20 pace.  I felt bad that no one knocked out the OTQ but it was just one of those days.  Tyler was actually using the race for a long run at just slower than marathon pace in prep for CIM in a few weeks.  I believe the long fast run is an underutilized workout for elite/sub-elite types and is a great way at preparing for the marathon distance, especially 5-6 weeks out from your peak race. Brandon had a first rough dance but that's how the marathon can be.  But I expect to see Michael, Tyler and Brandon in LA in 2016. You can click on their names and ready Tyler's and Brandon's race recaps.

Even though I stole his first fuel bottle, Joey ran a phenomenal marathon debut to finish in 2:24 (which was his goal before the weather went to crap) and he also had the fastest last half-marathon in the entire field even though he was mostly solo.  I was also happy for my friend Wade Oliver who ran a five minute negative split to run a lifetime best of 2:47 at 47 years young.

Even though the weather was rough this year, the race normally has stable weather and you'll have a hard time finding a faster marathon course.  I feel it's the perfect race for the person trying to get a OTQ, BQ or a PR.   And the thing I appreciate about the race is that they do an excellent job of supporting the emerging elite and always make sure there's a competitive race up front.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November 3rd-9th Training

Monday: 9 miles (6:43); 6.3 miles (7:03)

Tuesday: 11 miles with 10.18 medium at 5:39 pace. Wasn't sure how I'd feel after the 30k at 5:16 pace, but it felt pretty smooth and controlled.  Even decided to be a man and run up the 1km hill instead of stopping at the 4-way stop.

Wednesday: 9 miles (6:32); Busy day, cold and raining so I punked out on the second run

Thursday: 10.1 miles (6:08). Decided to run a little faster than normal easy. Super windy; 7.6 miles (6:55)

Friday: 8.8 miles (6:53); 6.2 miles (7:41). Was dragging butt for some reason

Saturday: 8.7 miles with 2.94 miles in 14:58. Jumped into a 5k but it was majorly short.  Windy and hilly, so kept around 5:00 effort as a shortish tempo.  Felt pretty flat today; 6.8 miles (7:04)

Sunday: 20 miles (6:12). Really smooth and easy.  Wore long-sleeves and only checked my watch after every mile split.

Week Total: 109.8 miles. Not bad since I was shooting for around 110.  Happy with how quickly I recovered from last week and trying to get extra sleep and two massages a month has really been helping out.  Next week I'm running the Temecula Half-Marathon, which is my fourth half in eight weeks.