Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 20-26 Training

Monday: 8 miles (6:35); 6.3 miles (7:16)

Tuesday: 8.4 miles (6:42); 6.8 miles (6:57)

Wednesday: 9.5 miles (6:33); 3.1 miles (7:22)

Thursday: 9.4 miles (6:08). Weird run.  I was going to run nine miles around 5:40ish pace but the road is out-and-back, it was really windy and my legs weren't having it, so after a little over a mile into the moderate part, I decided to just jog.  And since I was pushed for time, I cut it from 10.2 to 8.7 (furthest I could run and be on time).  But I wasn't paying attention and ran down until 4.7 miles, which meant I had to make up over 1000m, so that meant 6:00ish pace.  I started pushing some and was running sub 5:50s and making up time.  But a little under two miles to go, I noticed one of the male boxers of some breeder/puppy mill was out of his cage and staring me down in the middle of the road.  I stopped and looked for ammo but could only find small rocks.  Then the running gods blessed me as I saw a four foot metal chain with a stake attached at the end right by my feet, as well as a square piece of wood that could be a good gladiator shield. I picked up the chain and was doing my best swing and staring the guy down as I prepared for battle.  Eventually he backed down/pitied me and went back to his yard. Before you call PETA, I've stopped my car a few times in the past so I could get out and carry a turtle across the street and a couple of months ago, was even bit by a snake while trying to help him cross the street. But I made it back to school on time, averaged low 5:40s for the 4.7 miles of running and felt ok; 6.8 miles (6:55)

Friday: 7.5 miles (7:00ish); 7 miles (7:15ish)

Saturday: 10.3 miles with four mile race in 21:02.  Ran a low key race and tried to average 5:15 pace.  Felt good.; 5.4 miles (7:05)

Sunday: 20 miles (6:17). Best long run since Houston.  It was effortless and I had to slow down as I wanted to cap it at around a 6:20 average.  Super foggy the entire time and you literally couldn't see 100m ahead of you.  It looked like the setting of The Mist and I either heard one of the Mist monsters or a cow having a baby/being slaughtered/having a seizure. Great ending but it still bothers me.  What a difference a minute makes.

Week Total: 108.5 miles. Decent week I guess considering it had no intensity really.  But I'm in a weird base phase right now, so it's no big deal.  This weekend, I'm being an idiot and rabbiting the 2:18 group at the Indy Monumental Marathon for 30k.  If the weather is good, the first 13.1 miles should be easy at the prescribed 5:15 pace.  Maybe it will get tough the last 5k or so but I will run as hard as I need to in order to run the pace.  Hopefully it's not flat out!

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Middle Half

The Middle Half-Marathon was my first half-marathon race and I ran it back in 2010.  While I was in no-mans land the entire race, I ran really well, even though I was wearing knee length running shorts. It's a great race, which is why it sells out so quickly but the time frame just hasn't worked out for me to run again the past few years.  But since I'm not training for anything in particular right now, I decided to take another stab at it.

Knowing I had the Rock N Roll St. Louis Half-Marathon eight days later, my goal was to place as high as I could without overdoing it.  I knew Patrick Cheptoek was showing up and I knew I wasn't going to try or even could, beat him.  Justus David was also racing, who is a tough dude.  Brandon York was coming for a progression run and was gunning for 68 something.  So my goal was to try and get second if I without killing myself.

When I got to the line, I saw the three I was worried about, along with Joey Elsakr and a couple of unexpected Kenyans. I went from feeling I'd finish in the top three to not knowing if I would be able to win anything. First world problems.

With all of the tough guys now in the field, my goal was to relax in the back and follow the pace and see if I could drop someone late without overdoing it.  When the race started, Festus Chemaoi shot out like a canyon but we all let him go.  I hung in a pack with Patrick, Justus and some Kenyan I've never seen.  It felt like we were going 4:50ish pace so I was surprised to see a 5:06 first mile.  We stayed together (after passing Festus) and got in a good groove splitting 5:05-5:06 with one outliying 5:02 for the next five miles.

I felt a pace increase in the seventh mile, so I let them put some distance on me.  They put on 4-5 seconds on me that mile but I came through in 5:04, so I was still running a decent pace.  I was worried I was going to go home worn out and empty handed but I paid close attention to what was happening in front of me.   I was watching the pack and noticed Justus was watching over his shoulder a lot.  I took that as a sign that he may fall off shortly, so that kept me going.  After being eight seconds behind them at eight miles, I ended up catching them shortly before ten miles.

I then felt confident that I would be second or third and I took my spot in the back of the pack.  At 10 miles, Patrick put in a patient and increasing in intensity surge, so we let him go.  Right away the random Kenyan fell back and it was just Justus and I.  Since I dropped him a few weeks ago, I thought I'd be able to do it again.  I tried throwing in a few surges here and there but the dude wouldn't crack.  My legs were starting to get a little worn and unresponsive and with third place almost sealed, I backed off the pace and let Justus go and went from a 5:01 11th mile to a 5:25 for the next one.  The next mile was closer to 5:30 and I crossed the line in 67:29 with Justus about 15ish seconds ahead and the other dude about the same distance behind.

Justus definitely took me by surprise but that's how racing is sometimes.  While this course is dead flat, the roads were really wet from the rainfall that morning, which also made it pretty humid that last 10k.  Maybe in a best case scenerio, I could have hammered and finished a little under 66:30, which is slower fitness that I thought I currently had, because I felt like I was in sub 66 shape.  Maybe I ran a little bit harder than I wanted but I'll take another stab at it next week.

I was glad to be able come to this race again because it's a great course, run very well and the post-race food is also good.  I also appreciate how deep the awards go as they also award wheelchair, Masters, Grandmasters money, as well as money for the residents who live in that county.  In a sport that is diminishing prize money, it's always nice to see races that still support it. 

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.