Wednesday, May 30, 2012

April 21st-27th Training

Monday: 8 miles (7:00ish); 6.8 miles (7:15ish)

Tuesday: 4.6 miles (6:56); 13.4 miles with 4x3200m with 400m jog recovery in: 9:54, 9:46, 9:37, 9:14. My original plan was to run around 9:45 average but since it was warm, I decided to start a little slower and work down.  I felt flat on the first one and went through the 1600 in 4:59. On the second, I felt a lot better and went through 1600 in 4:54. I felt like I wasn't running hard enough, so I picked it up again on the third and went through 1600 in 4:47. On the last one, I thought about running sub 9:30 but then I decided to go for sub 9:20 because I was feeling really good. I ran even splits across the board, went through the 1600 in 4:37 and was starting to get tired with 600m to go but hung on well. Really motivating workout because I feel like this shows I have the potential to break 14:00 next weekend. However, it was faster than I expected, so I'll have to make some workout adjustments over the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday: 6 miles (6:56); 8 miles (7:16)

Thursday: 5 miles (7:07); 10.2 miles progression (6:02). My legs were hurting from Tuesday, so I decided to go for a loosely structured 10 mile progression run over hills, where I sped up each mile.  I ended up averaging 5:59 pace for the progression with splits ranging from 6:46-5:08. Felt pretty controlled but the pace was harder than anticipated.

Friday: 8.3 miles (7:53); 3.7 miles (7:15)

Saturday: 9.5 miles.  Ran the Jail Break 5k in Columbia, SC.  My goal was to run around 10k effort and I ended up running 14:47 with splits of 4:40, 4:50, 4:49.  I probably ran this a little harder than I wanted to but felt like I could have broken 14:30 if I hammered.  I took the lead about a minute or two in and ended up winning by 1:00. The course was mostly flat but I forgot how insanely humid it is here.  My old high school/college teammate, Reed Fisher, also busted out a 17:27, with a 5:12 first mile, off just five weeks of training; 5.2 miles (7:09)

Sunday: 10.6 miles (6:53); 3.5 miles (7:50)

Week Total= 102.6 miles. I was hoping to get in closer to 110 miles this week but I adjusted my training because of my South Carolina trip. Overall, it was a good week with some decent balance.A

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 14-20th Training

Monday: 8 miles (7:01); 6 miles (7:31)

Tuesday: 10 mile medium progression (5:44). My goal was four miles, three miles and three miles, averaging 6:10, 5:45, 5:20 . Ended up averaging 6:05, 5:44 and 5:16. Best I've felt on a progression run this season.  Everything was nice and smooth.; 7.1 miles (7:29)

Wednesday: 4.6 miles (7:00ish); 9.4 miles (6:59)

Thursday: 4.6 miles (6:50ih); 11.8 miles.  My plan was two miles in 9:40, 4:00 jog, 1 mile in 4:30, 3:00 jog and then 8x400m with 1:00 jog.  I felt really flat on the first two intervals with times of 9:38 and 4:32.  I was expecting to start hurting pretty early on during the 400s, but I ended up doing 10, with a 63 average and the 10th felt as easy as the first.  I'll take this as a sign that my speed is getting a lot better.

Friday: 5 miles (6:55); 9.2 miles (7:30)

Saturday: 8.5 miles (7:11); 4.5 miles with strides (7:22)

Sunday: 8.2 miles. Bombed workout. My plan was to get in 20 with 16 at around 5:45 average.  My legs were pretty beat up on Friday and Saturday and I decided to end the workout after six miles at 5:51 pace.  It was frustrating because I haven't gotten in any longer, steadier sessions but it's to late to try and keep my head above the water.  If I'm too worn out on a workout day, I need to end the workout. 9.6 miles (7:04)

Week Total= 106.5 miles. The week didn't go as planned but I was happy with how strong I felt on Tuesday and with my Thursday session.  I thought I would be able to recover faster than I did but I guess it shows my aerobic system is stronger than my muscular system.

Key Alliance Run for the Homeless 5k

I heard from my a lot of people that the Run for the Homeless was a good race, a tough course and a great charity.  Because of road construction, they had to use the St. Jude's Row 5k course, which is also a tough course. I didn't know much about it except that the first mile is mostly uphill and the last is mostly downhill.  With that information, I went into the race hoping to run just under 15:00, with a hard, but controlled effort.  I had not been under 15 minutes on the road in eight years, so I figured it was time to get back into the 14s.

Before warming up, I saw my favorite Swiftwick employee, Hunter Hall and we jogged around for a few minutes before he branched off to the neverending Porta-John line while I found a nice, cornered off alleyway, clad with broken beer bottles everywhere. Finding good bathroom spots has turned into a strong talent of mine and I'm now debating making detailed maps to send to each race director, in hopes they are placed on the race application.

The race started out on an long, gradual hill, which made it hard to get going.  I did my best to stay controlled and make it to the top without using too much energy.  Because of the hill, I was hoping to run the first mile under 5:00, but I went through in 5:05.  Knowing I had to make-up an additional five seconds, I picked it up and while the second mile had a few short climbs, it also had some downhills, which let me gain some time.

I went through the second mile in 4:48, which meant I needed to run close to 4:35 for the last mile to run under 15.  With the last mile being primarily downhill and the fact that I was feeling pretty relaxed, I picked it up again to chase those lost seconds.  You finish on the same hill that you ran up in the beginning, so I knew I would be able to make up a lot of time in the last 1/4 mile.  I hit the three mile marker with a 4:35 split and was pretty sure I had the sub 15:00 banked.

I relaxed a bit and when I saw the clock hit 14:50, I knew I was more than 10 seconds out.   I picked it up for a few seconds but realized I wouldn't make it in time and crossed the line in 15:01.  It was a little bit frustrating to get so close to breaking 15:00 but the effort felt good and I felt like I could have turned around and run 15:01 again, so overall, it was a good day.

Despite the difficulty of the course, I enjoyed it a lot.  The course goes straight for nearly a mile, you then run a loop, which is a little over a mile and then you come back in the way you went out. While it's not a fast course, it offers a lot of variety and is probably my favorite 5k course I've run on since moving to Nashville. 

I'm starting to get a feel for the shorter, faster races again and hopefully I'll be ready for a fast 5k in another few weeks at the Music City Distance Carnival on June 2nd.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May 7th-13th Training

Monday: 8.2 miles (7:31); 5.6 miles (7:24)

Tuesday: 8.5 miles bombed workout (6:43). My plan was 10x3:00 steady with 1:00 easy jog, starting at 5:00ish pace and working down to 4:50ish pace.  I ran the first one at 5:05 average and I felt really flat. Since this a session around half-marathon pace, I wanted to be able to hit my times, so I delayed it until tomorrow; 6.3 miles (7:19)

Wednesday: 5 miles (6:40ish); 11.6 miles with 10x1k at 3:05ish with 1:00 jog with seven 3:04s, a 3:05, a 3:03 and a 3:01. I ran this after the track meet with Connor Kamm, which made it a ton easier. We alternated running in lane 1 or 2 and even though I felt like crap at first, this was a really relaxing session and it felt like I could have been out there all day. Glad to have Conner out there.

Thursday: 8.5 miles (6:40); 6.5 miles (7:03)

Friday: 4 miles (6:57); 7.5 miles easy with 6xhill blasts.  I felt a lot stronger than last time on these sprints.

Saturday: 9.3 miles with 5k race in 15:01. My plan was to run just under 15:00, while keeping it around 10k effort. The race course wasn't ready, so we ran on the St. Jude's Row course, which is uphill for the first mile, equally up-and-down for the second and downhill for the third.  I was alone after a couple of hundred meters and ran splits of 5:05, 4:48 and 4:35. Effort felt good and I really enjoyed this course. I felt like I could have run under 14:30 here with some company and with a race effort.; 4.5 miles (7:36)

Sunday: 20.1 miles (6:18). Ran this later in the afternoon and felt really good. It rained the last seven miles, which made it easier because it was really humid before that. I figure I usually feel better on afternoon long runs, opposed to morning ones because I have a lot of carbohydrates in my body, while in the morning, I run on an empty stomach (not counting a cup of coffee).

Week Total= 105.6 miles. Solid week. With how I felt the first two days of the week, I was expecting to struggle but I got in two good sessions, as well as a good long run.  Next week will probably be another hard week.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A few months too late...

With two big races that weekend, I went back and forth between running the Country Music Marathon or the Derby miniMarathon in Louisville. The Country Music Marathon is always a gamble with the weather and it's not a very fast course. In the back of mind, I debated running it as a steady long run and hopefully picking up some money.  But after weighing all of the pros-and-cons, I decided to go with the Derby miniMarathon because the course was fast, which could result in some more travel money for the USA Half-Marathon Championships, and the competition would be a bit better.  Not to mention, I can recover more quickly from an all-out half-marathon compared to a moderate marathon.

Because this was my first "key" race of the season, I wanted to be a little more fresh.  I only ran once the day before the race and tried to get a litlte bit more sleep the week of the race.  As usual, I got moving a little slower than expected and with Louisville being an hour ahead of us, I got there a little bit late.  I'm terrible with directions and ended up going to the wrong place before Chris Herren's brother saved the day and told me how to get to the right location.

After finding a parking space nine blocks away, I was finally on my way to the packet pick-up.  I'm not much of a running expo guy, so I got my stuff and got out of there as quickly as I could.  Chris Herren's grandparents live in Louisville, so I was crashing at their place, along with Chris, his wife and brother.

I woke up at 5am and saw that race time temperatures were going to be nearly ideal despite a 10mph wind: low 50s and overcast.  After a quick breakfast, we were on our way.  I wasn't sure how quickly the starting line would fill up and because I didn't get an elite bib, I didn't want to be stuck behind too many people.  I shortened my pre-race warm-up by a few minutes so I could snag a good spot.  While on the line, I ran into the two guys who beat me at the Knoxville Half-Marathon last month, and saw there were about a dozen Africans in attendance. Even though I was hoping to make a little bit of prize money, I was happy so many good guys were there because my main goal was to run fast and it appeared the conditions and competition were going to give me the oppurtunity to do so.

When the gun went off, a lot of guys went to the front and I stuck to the back of the pack.  I knew I wouldn't be able to fight for the win, but I was hoping they would drag me too a fast time. I was hoping to run between 5:00-5:05 a mile and we went through the mile in 5:00.  Shortly after that, the leaders picked up the pace for a few minutes before backing off again.  I stayed at the tail end of the pack and we knocked out the next two miles in 4:57 and 4:52.  I wasn't expecting to run this fast, and I debated asking a guy beside me if he wanted to work together and shoot for sub 66:00 but I decided to just go with the field.

We continued to roll and every once in a while, the pack would surge and leave me and shortly afterward, I'd catch back up.  I was surprised how smooth and relaxed I felt, despite running much faster than my goal pace.  After training almost entirely alone, I welcomed the oppurtunity to have a pack to try and stick with and instead of completely focusing on my individual race, was just going along for the ride.

In the sixth mile, they surged again, this time, leaving me for good.  I went through the 10k alone in 30:25, which was a new PR and I gave a little chuckle because it felt so easy.  At this point, I knew I had sub 66:00 sealed and I was thinking I could make a run at breaking 65:30.  In the 7th mile, the guys ahead of me REALLY started rolling and they put 10 more seconds on me even though I ran a 4:42 mile.

At this point, I was totally alone and the effects showed with a 5:08 next mile. In the distance, a guy was falling off the main pack, so I was able to run him down and then catch another guy shortly after.  Once we got to the race track, I caught up to Joseph Maina, who appeared to have gone the wrong way and probably lost 10 seconds or so.  In that area there were no course guides or anything pointing us the right in the right directcion, which was stressful, but fortunately, I didn't take any wrong turns.  Once we got back into the streets, we hung together.  I had another slower mile, with a 5:07 split, and did want to start to stringing more of those together.  I was feeling pretty strong, so I decided to try and push a little bit harder.

Joseph and I hung together a little bit longer before he started to fade. WAY in the distance, I could see Daniel and the other guy who beat me in Knoxville. It appeared they had well over a minute on me, so I did my best to focus on seeing how much I could close the gap.  I was running under 5:00 pace again and at 10 miles, I did some rough math in my head because I didn't want to look at my overall time and be intimidated by how fast I had to run if I wanted to break 65. The 4:42 banked me 15 seconds and with several miles under 4:55, I figured if I could keep on running sub 5:00 pace, I'd break 65 minutes.  That time would have qualified me for the Olympic Marathon Trials, held this past January. Qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials consumed last winter, so "qualifying" today would be some bittersweet redemption.

I was slowly reeling in Daniel and with a mile to go, he was probably less than thirty seconds ahead of me.  I had to fight a headwind the entire last mile and I did not want to run a 65:00 or 65:01, so I kept on pressing down and tried to stay focused minute-by-minute.  After making the final turn, I could see a low 64 on the clock, and almost got a little bit emotional. I worked so hard this past fall to prepare myself for a shot at the Olympic Trials and I didn't get to even toe the line.  I wasn't any more fit at this race than I was this past fall, so I knew I could have run that time.

I crossed the line smiling in 64:39 to finish in 7th place. I was really pumped after the finish because I have not been training like a sub 65 guy.  I'm not expecting to be in my peak fitness for nearly two more months and outside races, have only done a couple of hard workouts.  I feel like this time takes me from a good regional type runner to a more competitive one. Some guys who run that fast are working 20-30 hours a week, training with good runners, have access to good facilities and can get as much sleep as they need.  They aren't sleeping 6.5 hours a night, without a coach, training mainly by themselves and working two jobs while cramming in runs when they can.  Then you have the wife and baby factor! With some more focus and some changes in my life schedule, I feel like I can knock off a good bit more time and take it to the next level in the next 1-2 years.

The journey continues and with over about a month until my next bigger race, I'm going to step it up in training so I can be ready to roll for the National Championships.

Mile Splits: 5:00, 4:57, 4:53, 4:53, 4:53, 4:52, 4:42, 5:08, 5:07, 4:58, 4:58, 4:58, 5:19 (1.1)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

April 30th-May 6th Training

Monday: 8 miles (6:47); 6 miles with six strides (7:06)

Tuesday: 10 miles. The goal was a 10 mile medium-progression run, broken into 4 miles (6:10), 3 miles (5:45) and 3 miles (5:20). I could have had slightly faster goals but it was over 85 degrees and since I just ran a half-marathon, I had to adjust the pace.  Ran (6:07, 6:00, 6:13, 6:08), (5:41, 5:44, 5:47), and (5:17, 5:24). I cut it a mile short because my legs were getting pretty tired and with two more hard workouts this week, I didn't want to make this harder than it needed to be; 8.2 miles (7:24). Drained.

Wednesday: 4.6 miles (6:27); 9.4 miles (7:19)

Thursday: 4 miles (7:19); 12.1 miles with 6x1600m with 400m jog rest. Since it was about 75, I decided to shoot for 4:50s and work down.  I ran 27:57 for the whole thing with times of: 4:48, 4:45, 4:40, 4:38, 4:37, 4:29.  I felt really smooth for the first few and while I was tired at the conclusion of it, felt pretty strong during the 4:29. Motivating workout.

Friday: 5.5 miles (7:11); 7.6 miles (7:04)

Saturday: 8.6 miles (7:00ish); 5.5 miles (7:07).  Ran 4xhill blasts and I'm insanely slow, without any power right now.

Sunday: 20.2 miles (6:11). Goal was 14.5 miles under 6:30, five miles under 5:20 and then jog the rest as a cool-down. It was 75 during the run and I could feel the humidity after only a couple of miles. Stopped for a fast water break after 9.5 and started to get a little tired around 12. I really struggled finding my pace for the first 1.5 miles of the "fast" portion but finally got in the swing of things and ran 26:13 for the five miles with splits of  5:17, 5:16, 5:16, 5:15, 5:09. My shoe came completely untied with 3/4 of a mile to go and then started flopping around with a 1/2 mile to go, so that took some focus.  I was happy with the pacing here and this is much faster than the last time I ran this on easy.

Week Total= 109.6 miles. Pretty solid week overall. I was happy I bounced back so quickly after the half-marathon and was able to close out the training week with two very solid workouts. Next week is another really tough week, so hopefully the hot streak continues.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April 23rd-29th Training

Monday: 8 miles (6:44); 6.1 miles with a few pick-ups (7:05)

Tuesday: 10.5 miles with 4 mile fast progression on the ghetto White House track in 20:19 (5:15,5:08,5:03,4:53)and then 2x400m in 64,63.  I felt a little big sluggish in the beginning for felt much better the second half. The fourth mile didn't feel much harder than the first.  I struggled a bit on the 400s, but the track has super tight turns, which made things a bit more difficult.; 7.4 miles very easy

Wednesday: 8 miles (6:55); 6.1 miles very easy

Thursday: 8 miles with 8x30s strides a little faster than 5k pace; 6 miles very easy

Friday: 6.1 miles (7:12)

Saturday: 15.6 miles with Derby Louisville HM in 64:39, to finish in seventh. I was really pumped with this race. My goal was 66:00 and 65:30, best case scenario. I got out with a pack of about a dozen guys and we stayed together for the first couple of miles. The pack would randomly speed up and then I'd catch them a short time later. Shortly before six, they left me for good. I ran the next couple of miles alone, caught a couple of guys and in the 10th mile, I could see another couple of guys over a minute ahead. At 10 miles, I knew I had a shot at sub 65:00, so I tried to stay focused and slowly chase the guy ahead of me. I was slowly catching him but ran out of room and finished 17s behind. I was really happy because this would have been an Oly Trial qualifier in the fall, but it was also bittersweet because I was in better shape then. I actually felt really good at the end and was scared of running 5:00 early on, so I held back a little. I haven't gotten in any really hard workouts yet and ran 68:34 on a flat course six weeks ago, so I feel I still have a lot of room to improve. Splits: 5:00, 4:57, 4:53, 4:53, 4:53, 4:52, 4:42, 5:08, 5:07, 4:58, 4:58, 4:58, 5:19 (1.1)
Sun: 4.4 miles (7:17); 8.4 miles (7:15)

Sunday: 4.5 miles (7:16); 8.4 miles (7:15)

Week Total= 94.6 miles.  This week was a little bit lower because I decided to back off a bit because the half-marathon was my "key" race before the National Championships in June. My time also earned me an extra $200 travel money, so that will help out for sure. I'll probably have to use the first half of the week to get my legs back and with no big races for the next month, I can start going into hardcore training mode.