Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Finally getting the Garmin set up the way I want it. The pace seems to be very touchy compared to my other Garmin. Wondering if I need to sync the satellites it chooses. The runs have been going pretty well overall. I feel like I might be coming down with something, but doing my best to fight it off. I have been really working on still working myself hard but cutting down the mileage. I want to go into New York City with fresh legs, but that fire that I have developed over this cycle. Nothing less than my best effort will do. Here are the last three runs:

Hal wanted a 30 minute tempo run...but the whole run ended up at 40 minutes. More ghostly pain in odd spots...but nothing two days in a row....rock on! I started fairly slow and tried to gradually build up speed during the second mile.The middle of my tempo I came away with a 7:37 I believe which aligned to being the third mile. Nice to bring up the pace a bit this late in the cycle. I like to remember what it feels like to run fast. It was cold, but very little wind....perfect!

Wednesday run was just a general four mile effort. Today was colder than yesterday, but I am quickly getting used to it. Started having some phantom taper pain down my left leg. Just going to dismiss it for now because it went away very quickly. The run was like most of the four milers, I am trying to hit the last two under my goal overall marathon pace of 8:55. I achieved that goal and feel pretty good about it.

Tuesday was the Mid Long Run, but at six miles, it was quite short compared to weeks past. A cold front has definitely blown in. There was even some white stuff on the grass areas. Run ended up turning into a progression run...which I think has become my favorite. There was another runner making loops in the opposite direction in the park...have seen him a few times....respect. Legs are a little sore, but pretty good. Once you get past those first few cold temp runs the rest of the season gets easier. I like the colder weather running because it feels a lot easier on my muscles. I don't get tired as fast, and I feel tough for always getting out there when it would be easier to sleep in.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Thursday through Monday

Sorry I am behind at the moment. The issues with the Garmin kind of got under my skin. I have the replacement and I am now good to go. Here are my last several runs:

Monday - The wind was pretty wicked today. I was not expecting that. The run was alright beside for the wind. Hit my last two miles under MP. The temps are supposed to really drop this afternoon so we will see how tomorrow goes.

Sunday - Did a relaxed 5.6 mile recovery. Legs are a little sore and they are definitely feeling the miles. It did feel really nice to work out the kinks though. The weather was just about perfect for running. Almost wanted to do some more.

Saturday - Garmin made it 8.66 miles ;-) and I made it the rest. I thought I was over 12 by a bit. Turns out I was just a hair over 11. Very aggravating. I am so glad I have the new Garmin and will be able to use it starting on Sunday. Met the running group for the first 4 and then broke off and did my own thing on the greenway. Paces were pretty good I think. I am tired and sore, but so goes taper.

Friday - 4 miles seems like an odd distance to me at this point. I don't do a lot of 4 mile runs. The schedule is chock full of them next week, but it just isn't something I do much. My Garmin died....but it was a decent run all the same. I was able to get the last mile down under marathon pace. My body is tired so it is probably good that the real taper is beginning soon even though I will start to get a little crazier than I am now.

Thursday - Hill Repeats were on the schedule for today. So I got up early and headed down Pershing and in front of Okie. I needed to do 6 repeats and that hill is just about perfect with the distance and grade for me. Thought the pacing was a little better than it was for each repeat. My strongest was the third which struck me as a little odd. All were close in pace though. I would imagine a sign that I am getting used to the pace for that hill. Need to get stronger in the long run though and take some time off when I start doing hills again after NYC. The run home after was a little tougher than I thought it would be, but it was also a hard workout. Beautiful morning....

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday and Wednesday Runs

Went out with an aggressive attitude today and told myself I wanted to do 3 of the 5 below MP. Went pretty well. Besides for feeling insanely tired, the body isn't doing bad. Nursed the Garmin through the run, but it crapped out on me as soon as I turned off the GPS. Garmin is going to mail me a refurbished one in the next few days, so that is good. They charged me $80 which I believe is quite fair. On an interesting side note, there is a guy from the UK that wants to pace with me for NYC. Not sure anything will come of it but it reminds me about how cool the running community is.

Well the Garmin is still not working. This is a guess. I know I did at least 8. I tried the reset and it didn't work. Just tried the hard factory reset. I hope that works. This point in the cycle I really need it to make sure I am hitting my splits. Didn't have a good sense of pace throughout. Quite chilly!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

5 Mile Monday

The run yesterday was difficult. I am really hitting the point where I need more sleep and I am just not getting it. The weather was cool but not too bad. I headed down Pershing...then up Lincolnway and finally to Holliday Park. I was happy that I didn't have to run through any sprinklers that were on. My focus is now to keep my intensity up while lowering my mileage during taper. I hit the last two miles hard and it felt hard, but good to get through.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

63 Miles Total this week....BOOYAH!

Sunday - Went down to do support for my friend Ria who came out to do the Denver Rock and Roll Marathon. It was so inspiring to see all those out there giving their all. Made me a little envious that I was not out running. But it feels really good to have people seem to genuinely enjoy your support. I clapped like a mad man for about an hour at the 14.5 mark and then some good time clapping at two other spot along the route. My Garmin freaked as soon as I started, but I am guessing I ran 4 miles today. That makes 63 for the week....6....3.....I am shocked I have put up this much mileage. My legs are sore...but really pretty dang good overall. Let the taper begin!

Saturday - All the miles piled up this week took its toll today. I am thankful that the pace is somewhat slower than all the other runs, because quite frankly...I didn't have much in the tank at the end. I did manage to meet up with the running group (notice the sub 8:55 mile in the middle, I saw Devana and she was hitting a faster pace to meet up by 7:00 so I matched her). I was very happy to have them for 8 miles and then Devana ran with me until 19.5. Kept me going. Legs are very sore and tired. I did manage to nail a sub 8:55 on the last brutal mile so I finished strong.

Friday - Hal put a rest day in between the track workout and the pace run today. Taking out that day was one of the changes I made to his plan. I wished I had that day off in between this week ;-) Started off just feeling tired. As the legs started going and I worked pass my first threshold, run started feeling decent. There were woman out walking and running everywhere. Not sure if it was part of a program or what but there were easily 8 times as many people out as I have ever seen at the park. Made me keep focus a little better to avoid getting my lamp light in their eyes or coming up behind them. Started really cooking about mile 5 and just kept roaring from there. Was still feeling strong at mile 7 so I kept pushing a little. Last two miles were kind of tough, but not overly so. Feel like a nailed this run. Tomorrow's 20 will be the ultimate test of how much fitness I have gained in this cycle. I did go back and read las year's blog to see the progress and it did make me feel good.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Track Workout

One of the things I have missed since I moved to Cheyenne are the track workouts. I really like the running group in Laramie, and I always enjoyed getting together for track sessions over the summer. I hadn't done one on like two months. I was a little nervous about how it would go. I woke up at 5:00 and after I got ready headed  out the door and slowly ran towards the track. I wanted to get my legs warm, but not really work them before I got there. When I got on the track I was instantly struck by how dark it was. There was a light on the side of the bleachers that was on...but for 3/4 track it was pitch black with the exception of the stars above. Guessing it was a new moon because I couldn't see that either. I decided to take off the headlamp and just run in that darkness. I have never tried it before and it was an awesome experience. My eyes quickly keyed in on the white lines against the black track. Just kept my legs churning and occasionally just looked up and marveled. What a great way to start a workout.

I wanted to do 5 sets of 3/4 mile intervals with one lap rest in between. The pace was supposed to be 7:40 per mile. By the end of the second interval I was starting to feel it a little, but felt like I could just keep going. Felt really strong through the next two times around the track and finished with my fastest interval by ten seconds. I could have pretty easily done 3 more sets. I felt sooo good. I did feel some soreness as I headed up the hill back to Pershing. I tried not to push too much, because I had achieved what I wanted and just wanted to finish. Got home and stretched a little. Amazing run....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

5 Mile Run

Was really dragging when I woke up this morning. I really need to get a good night's sleep. It will be a little easier once the peak mileage week is over. Also going full tilt at work so it feels hard to get caught up. I did the first two miles very slow, and then tried to speed up a little bit. I wanted to do the last two miles at pace...but I had a dog come running at me during mile four and it really wigged me out. I was able to kick the pace up a bit during the last mile. I am doing a track workout will be my first in awhile and it should be interesting. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

5 Mile Monday and 10 Mile Bad Ass Tuesday

The run yesterday was decent. I was trying to just get some more miles on my base and had no real feeling one way or another on pacing. I like to throw in marathon pace miles in most runs because I want to be comfortable running them, especially when I am tired. I didn't pay attention for the first couple of miles, but did after that. I headed to Holliday Park and did the loop a couple of times and then headed home. I pushed pretty good the last couple of miles. I have had a little soreness in both legs, but I have been spending a lot of time stretching so I am keeping positive that it will pay dividends.

Was really not excited to do this run when I got up and opened the window. It was raining very steadily and was cold. I bundled up and put on my running tights and a vest over my long sleeve shirt. Tucked my Ipod into the vest and headed out. I decided to enjoy the silence for a little while, which is unlike me but was good for a couple of miles. Once I got to the park the airport was pretty loud so I started listening. There was really no one out. It was dark and pretty dreary. The back side of the park loop is trail and was quite muddy. I had to take off my sunglasses to see, even with the headlamp. Slid around a lot. The run required quite a bit of focus to stay on the paths. Mr. Higdon suggested that miles 4-7 should be stretched tempo-wise so I decided that meant MP. After mile 6 I really got into a solid groove. I should have brought the pace back down, but was just really feeling it. I love seeing other runners out and about...but when the weather is crappy and I see no one...makes me feel like a bad ass. Nothing wrong with that from time to time. I am pooped...but that was a fantastic run! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

12 Mile Long run and then 4 Mile Recovery

Was looking forward to an easy Long Run this week. Figured I would take it easy for most of it and then just try to hit Marathon Pace the last four miles. I then decided to meet up with the local running group I ran with last weekend and ended up with a little bit harder effort than I intended.

I did a little over three miles by myself before we met. I took it easy the first 2 miles and just tried to get the legs moving without too much effort. The 3rd mile was a pace mile because I didn't want to be late. When I got to the parking lot they were just about to go. My friend Mark was there and since he was the one that told me about the group I was glad to see him. As usual, he was in a good mood and quite jovial.

We started out just about perfect for a my long run tempo. Right around 9:40 miles...nice and relaxed. The tempo was good until about last three miles with them. I had had mentioned I was going to break off when I hit 8 miles so I could do my last four miles at pace. Mark asked what my goal pace was and I told him 8:55 and he said they could push it a bit. Well....I should have kept my mouth shut...because the pace jumped up considerably on the way back. I had to push a bit to keep where I was at. was a heck of a lot of fun. I will let you look at the Garmin stats for exact paces...but they were good. After we reached the parking lot I peeled off and did 2.4 more and my 12 was done. I had quite a bit left in the tank when I got home, even if the legs were a little sore. A really enjoyable run...

When I woke up this morning (Sunday) I felt pretty worn out and thought I would take the day off. One thing that is a weakness of mine is too much time. I kept thinking about NYC and how I hadn't put in too many miles this week, so I finally went out for 4 miles around 6:00. I did keep it nice and relaxed and used the run to recon how to get into the track per one of the track coaches' instructions. The doors were open but I got the idea which will help on Thursday when I do a track workout. Afterwards I headed home nice and easy. Legs are a little tired but feel pretty good. Next up...PEAK WEEK! Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thursday tempo run and Friday 6 Miler

Got up yesterday and hurried myself out the door. I can tell the miles are starting to add up. The dead leg feeling has become a little more apparent every run. I was supposed to run a tempo run, which is a gradual build up to approximately 10K pace held for a certain amount of time and then slowing to a more relaxed tempo to finish. At least it is according to Hal Higdon. These runs are always a little confusing to me and I generally do a progression run of some sort. It did occur to me that I am probably taking more out of my legs by redlining so much in my training runs. I decided to give this a whirl and it worked out ok. The first couple of miles I tried to build up the pace slowly and did ok. After the second mile I eeked up a little too quickly and held up for two long in my opinion. By the time I hit mile 4 and the cool down I was cooking. Finished the run slowing down and felt a bit tired at the end. So I think I overdid just a bit. I was still a lot closer than I normally am to a tempo run so I am learning.

The run today was a little better than yesterday as far as energy. As I was getting ready to go out I could already hear the wind whipping around. Made me a little nervous. When I got outside it was pretty chilly and there was definitely some moisture in the air. It was quite rain and it wasn't sleet but I didn't think it was cold enough to be flakes. All the same it was a little wet....but not nearly as wet as all the sprinklers going off in the park that the gusts were shooting everywhere. As I headed round the loops a few times the sun starting rising and by the 3rd loop the huge wall of pinkish-orange hue was really something. Like a gigantic wall of fire. It was really cool.

The mile splits themselves were pretty difficult to maintain. I want to finish each run with my two strongest miles and I struggled with that today. A sign my body really needs a break. I will aim to do most of my long run tomorrow at long run pace instead of at marathon pace. I hope that and some recovery miles on Sunday will me where I want to be for my peak mileage next week. Here's hoping!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Monday I rested. Tuesday 6 Miles and Wednesday 5 Miles

I decided to take off Monday. I was exhausted and the legs felt just dreadful. On Tuesday I got up before dawn and headed out for 6 miles of fun. The legs were still having some issues so I took the first 2 miles very easy. I also felt really tired. I think the effort last week and being sick a couple of weeks ago caught up with my energy. I felt a little off most of the run, but I was still able to put up some ok splits so I can't complain. It ended up being more of a progression run and that is always good for the confidence.

I got up today and wanted a better run than I had completed yesterday. I still feel really tired, but the legs were decent as far as the soreness. After the first mile I started to push the pace a bit and found a decent rhythm. I did a couple of loops around Holliday Park and did three miles under marathon goal pace and even broke 8 minutes in my last mile. The run did not feel easy, but it didn't feel all that hard either. I am due a tempo run tomorrow so that should be interesting. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Boulder Half-Marathon

Well...this was quite the half-marathon. It started out with some reminders of how absent-minded I can be at times. I had intended to run 3 miles before the half with lots of time to stretch and talk strategy with David. In reality...I missed the turn for Boulder and ended up taking the tollway to get there. So I was about 30 minutes later than I had planned. I did manage to get 2 miles in as a warm up so 2 is better than nothing.
During the warm-up I noticed that both of my calves were a little twingy, so after David had already found us a nice spot in the starting group I ran back to my car to grab a gel and then put on the compression sock. Here is where the story gets fun! When I was putting back on my socks, the left one started ripping so it took awhile to get completely back on. In my haste to get the shoes and and back to the start....I FORGOT to put my timing anklet back on. So I headed back to the start with a couple of minutes to spare and then waited for the go.
We had run a couple of tenths of a mile, when I looked down and saw my anklet was on. I won't tell you the words that were in my head and some that might have slipped out...but I told David and he said go grab it and I will wait. I felt horrible. I know he wasn't looking to do any serious damage today...but still. So I ran...hard...back to my car...grabbed the anklet and then back to the start and over the timing mat. By that time...we wee quite behind everyone. And David said not to sweat it and we would have fun passing everyone all race long...he was right.
I haven't done a lot of running with other people, and I have never raced with anyone so this was a new experience for me. David graciously took the lead and wove us in and out of people to try to get our pacing for each mile. I had told him I was really wanting to break 1:50 and he had a plan to get us there. The weaving in and out took its toll on our mileage and the Garmins over the long haul I believe but more on that in a bit.
The trail is very similar to the Heart and Sole Half that I did in August. So I was recognizing some things on the way out and that was kind of reassuring. David just kept making the way for us going up and and out...he was really something. I was a little concerned with the pace going out because of the mileage I had already run this week, but go hard or go home was the only thing that felt right today.
At mile 3 we decided to get Gatorade. I will apologize to the woman I accidentally spilled Gatorade on...but...DON'T STOP....I had to reach in to grab a cup and as soon as I took it from the volunteer, the woman was right in front because she stopped drink. I did feel bad...hope it didn't anger her too much...but she should have pulled off to the side...anyway...bad karma...
I was really impressed with how in the moment David was. He would clap for people coming back for the 10K and then the Half front runners. He really has a good spirit and it is contagious. He kept giving me warning of what was coming up and whether we were going to speed or slow down. I just kept packed in behind him and tried my best to keep up.
By the time we hit the turn around, my stomach was really sour. I had taken a gel at my car, but it had definitely worn off. I just didn't feel comfortable taking another at that point. So I just passed the station without taking anything. And David asked if I was ready to get it started...and I off we went. Starting at mile 8 we put in some solid times for the miles. I could already see that the course and the Garmin was off by quite a bit. We tried to hit most the tangents, but I think all that weaving played a roll.
In between 9 and 10 we came up on a guy in probably his late 20s early 30s....we had been cruising by people at a pretty steady clip since the start...but he didn't want us to pass. He charged twice and it just struck me because I hadn't really noticed something like that before so far from a finish. The little devil in my ear just kept saying...go ahead...we will pass you soon enough...and eventually we did. A little bit later we were talking about our pace, and I think a guy was debating try to join us because he thought we were aiming for sub 4...but when David said 1:50 he looked at us with a funny look and I said: "We got a late start." and then the guy asks if one of us forgot the timing was kind of funny at the moment.
We kept trudging and pushing as the the finish line became nearer. I am pretty sure David could tell I was getting to the end of my rope the last couple of miles. He kept trying to pull me along. Right after the final mile marker is where the wheels kind of fell off for me. I just couldn't get any kind of turnover to go faster and there were a couple of hills that just seemed to go on forever.
Finally, David turns to me and says: "Let's finish to 13.1 on the Garmins." I tried to give what I had and after awhile he informs me that we hit 13.1 as the Garmin was going 1:50. I think we might even have been a little better than that based on my splits, but it didn't matter. We were still 3 tenths of a mile from the finish. A few guys were flying by and I don't think David was digging it...he wanted to finish strong the last .1 and I churned me legs as best I could until we hit that final timing mat.
I know sub 1:50 isn't the biggest thing in the world, but I did want it. David did everything in his power to help he get one point turning around and encouraging me backwards. Just couldn't make up the added distance. Truthfully though...on this day...on that course...after this week...I am proud of my effort. It was a great experience with someone that is really becoming a good running friend. So thank you David!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

3 Mile Recovery on Friday and 6 Mile Group Run on Saturday

After the very challenging hill workout from Thursday I decided to take it easy and work the kinks out of my legs on Friday. I very pleasant and easy run because I just kept making myself go slow. I can really tell that fall is coming. Each morning is a little bit cooler than the one before it, but this really is the nicest time of year to run. I am so glad I have had a strong week up until this point with the running. Work has just been very busy and stressful. Feel like I am getting a little balance in my off time to help keep my fresh and sane.

Wasn't sure how much I wanted to do today. I have really spent a lot of time trying to decide what I want to do tomorrow and I am still not sure. So I woke up and remembered the running group I heard about last weekend was meeting at 7. I decided to go meet up with them and just let the chips fall where they would. I was glad I did.

There were 5 other people and they were all very friendly. We headed to where the Hitching Post caught on fire to check it out. The tempo was really quite perfect for my first together group run not on a trail. I am not used to trying to talk while I run, so it took a bit of getting used to. Found my breathing was a tiny bit more labored than normal. After the Hitching Post the group split and three people went to go add on another good chunk of mileage, but since I am doing the half tomorrow I headed back to the parking lot at the UMC fitness center. I enjoy the run back with the two guys that I was with. Nothing too fast, but still enough to feel like the miles were good. I also learned about running at both high school tracks which is something I kept forgetting to call about. So I am pleased about that. Overall a really nice Saturday run. I am still at a loss for what to do tomorrow. I really wanted to hit 20 miles and thought I would run before the half and then do the half at marathon goal pace with David. On the other hand...if I could get a sub 1:50 half time it would help my confidence as well. Last summer RunnersWorld had a marathon goal time article, and the suggested half times have always stayed in my head. I know it is a little silly, but when I read that someone that hits a sub 1:50 has a good shot at break 4:00 in a marathon it is hard to shake. But I will confess that during each marathon when I start getting into the mid teens I have always had a reoccurring thought about wishing I had done a few more 20 mile runs. So I am in a quandary. Sorry to babble on so much today...
Hope you are all having great runs and even better weekends!
Here is hoping tomorrow goes well! Thanks for reading.