Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Another season coming to a close

So this is the second year @ Aloha HS working with the Warrior XC program. Last year was much easier when I wasn't working for 2 months, so juggling work, coaching the kids, coaching my wife, and getting my own running back on track, it's been a crazy last 2 months.

The good news is that I'm running strong again. The new shoes are certainly helping out a lot... yes Marvin, it's gotta be the shoes.

The kids did great this season. We had hopes that the girls could possibly make it to state, which would have made an amazing season for them unbelievable. When the dust settled today, they finished third, which was great... but 3 points out of second place. It was a heart breaker, but they gave it their absolute best and ran their hearts out. That's all we expect out of them. On paper, Westview looked to be the #2 team and we did our best to break them up. Annie will be going on to state along with Alex on the boys side. So, it's back to LCC again to a course that I know all too well having run it multiple times in my day.

Now that time will be a little less hectic I can get my mileage back up and start to think about Eugene. 2:45... we'll see.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Starting over

So after a rather long hiatus, I have started the road back again. Back in May I started to have some problems with my plantar fascia. Ironically it was on the left foot... which didn't make me happy at all. I tried to run through June but quickly realized that I was going to need to shut it down for a while.

A quick trip to the doc confirmed what I already knew. The therapy included lots of stretching and sleeping with a night splint. Do you know how fun it is to sleep with one of those on when it's 100 degrees out and approaching 80 in the house? Not very... but I will admit that it did help tremendously.

Through August I was able to start back up running again but was limited initially to 4-5 miles at a slow pace and could not run consecutive days. Even then I thought that I may need a shot to get through this.

So here we are now... it's September and I've avoided the need for shots, I'm back to being able to run consecutive days, and I've been able to actually test out the strength of my foot. I've lost speed and lots of endurance, but I really can't complain.

I ran a 3k XC race with the kids last night and although I was slower than I thought I could do (probably because I was more focused on pushing Andrea than my own time - she nailed her predicted time!), it went very well. 11:46 for this old phart...

Pints to Pasta is a go! It won't be my best performance, but it will be good to race again.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Boston 2:59:53

So my day started out at 5 am in Sharon, MA. Got up, had my oatmeal, English muffin, and some OJ. Packed the rest of my gear and got dressed. My brother in law took me into downtown to catch the shuttles and the sight of some 25000 runners lining up for the buses was something to witness. I somehow managed to find my co-worker Aaron in all of that madness and after a brief wait, we were on a bus and heading towards Hopkington. I rested a little on the way out, but once we arrived, time seemed to fly - wait in line for the porta-poties, eat a bagel and a banana, GU up, add H2O, and we're walking towards the start in some kind of twisted death march.

At the start once we start going, it is a sight to behold. Boston seeds the runners based on your qualifying time. Out of 26000 runners, I had the 4945th fastest time. Heading down the first hill and watching the 4000+ runners in front of me was amazing. The first mile was slow, but I had expected that. The crowds... wow... lined up the entire first mile. There really were only a few gaps along the entire route where there wasn't anyone on the side cheering you on.

Through the first 5k, everything is perfect. I'm on pace and it feels easy, I don't foresee any problems, so I stay relaxed and keep chugging along. In hindsight, I may have moved through the throngs of runners a little too much in the first 5k. The adrenaline and excitement of the day can do that to you. If anything, I felt like I was trying to hold back the first 15k. Somewhere around the 10k mark I ditch my gloves (so sad) and fortunately will not need them. I pulled down my arm warmers, and kept them on knowing that I'd need them later with the winds and cold air.

Approaching mile 12 I noticed these bright orange signs posted up on telephone poles. "Go Eric! 4945" they said. It was Andy, at least in the form of a sign. He'd gone to a CVS after a Greatful Dead concert, grabbed some paper and markers and put signs up in the wee hours of the morning. Andy being Andy, he did have Sox tickets, but wanted to put his touch on the marathon for me.

At 12.5 you begin to hear "the scream". All the runners know what's coming, but for a half mile, you can hear the screams get louder and louder until you hit mile 13 at Welsley College. The Welsley girls are a tradition. Kiss me, kiss me I'm a senior, kiss me I'm a virgin. For some people, this short stretch has taken them minutes to get through as they work down the line kissing the co-eds. The screams are like the sirens in the Odessy. I have Aaron along with me at this point and we keep on moving through this never ending line of screaming girls. For a moment I felt like the Fab Four...

Halfway through I'm feeling pretty good at 1:25. This is the fastest I've ever gone through 13.1 miles. I try to ease back a little knowing that in about 3 miles I'll start to face some challenges as the course begins to have some hills.

I find it rather ironic that the first of the 3 hills (Heartbreak Hill) starts just as you go past a hospital and a fire station. Prior to this point, I felt a slight twinge on my right IT Band. This is not a good sign, so I dial back the pace knowing that I can pull back and still get in under 3 hours. My old HS coach Steve McChesney said that was a smart move and probably saved the marathon for me. If I hadn't, the last few miles would have been a miserable death march.

As I crest the first hill and begin to recover, I see my family on the side. Beth's mom Betty, sister Carol, and niece Sarah are all there. It was a brief reunion, but a much needed one. The second hill is the hardest physically, the third the hardest mentally. But you know that it's all (relatively) downhill from there. 5 miles to go and time's ticking away...

By this time, the crowds are amazing. The occasional person crosses the course, some with latte's others with a case of beer. In both cases, I'm jealous. I've had to pull back up my arm warmers on the hills. As we get closer to Boston, the wind gusts pick up and it's a little colder out. The crowds over the last 5 miles are sometimes very deep, as you get closer to the last 5k, they are endless and loud, each cheer willing your legs forward to that magical 3 hour mark.

As the CITGO sign grows in the distance you know that soon the pain will be over and you can stop, but for now you must press on. Especially in the group where I'm at. The crowds know that you're close to being under 3 hours and they cheer everyone on. Runners are stopping around you, some walking, some grimacing, I know how they all feel. I've been there before, it's not a fun feeling.

Things are a bit of a blur at this point. I'm exhausted, tight, hurting physically and fighting mentally. With 2 miles to go, I do feel a sharper twinge on the right ITB again, but I must will my legs to keep going. I know I'm starting to lose ground and might be cutting things a little close. I pass Fenway Park, my Red Sox inspiring me and giving me a boost.

I pass a sign that says 1 mile to go. This is it, dig deep and leave nothing in the tank. I approach the last right turn and then the final left turn and now the finish line is in sight. I check my watch and know that I have to forget about the pain and push it. My tank is on empty, all that is left is guts. The crowd is pulling me to the line...

As I approach the line I raise my arms in victory. I have done it. I ran the Boston Marathon. I hit my watch after crossing the second timing mat. The time reads 2:59:57. Officially it was 2:59:53. I can't even begin to process the emotions right now. I just want to keep moving, slowly, painfully for water, gator aide, food, more food, blanket, medal, FOOD...

After I retrieve my bag the first order is getting warm. I'm sure the videos of people trying to get dressed after a marathon have to be entertaining. I finally decide that sitting on a curb might be the smart thing to put on my sweat pants and change shoes. I don't even want to see my feet right now. The right shoe is tighter than normal... yeah, that's going to look pretty.

I call the Buffster. She's so ecstatic! For one, she's glad I'm done and that I'm OK (she really hates this distance), but she's also so happy that I broke the barrier. Sub-zero baby! Our own little joke. She'd been watching online and following my chip timing the whole morning. Mom was very emotional which was to be expected.

Beth, Malcolm, Carol, Billy, Alan, Dan, my BAC teammates, co-workers, family, and in spirit, Dad and Dan W. I know I did all the hard work and preparation for this, but you guys were my support crew, my inspiration, the voices that helped me push through when I needed you.

Thank you all for being a part of this.

The damage is minimal... probably lose 2-3 toe nails, one really bad blister on my pinky toe, an ITB that will require at least a week off. The memories will last a lifetime. I can now say that on one blustery day in Boston that I broke 3 hours and finished 1329 out of 26000+ runners. The top 5%.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

This is it...

So, after almost 16 weeks of preparation, this is it... I fly out tomorrow. There's nothing I can do to improve and lots of things I can do to screw it up. I know what I need to do, my body is ready, it's go time!

This week was the final tune up. Just make sure that the legs were good to go and see if the paces felt good.

Tuesday - 3 mile tempo @ marathon pace. Went 6:32, 6:23, 6:28 - HR after finishing was under 150.

Wednesday - easy 5.5 mile run

Thursday - 3x1k @ marathon pace - perfect splits for 6:30 ave.

Friday - an easy 4 mile run before getting all packed up for the plane.

Saturday - Expo and Boston

Sunday - 2-3 easy miles in the morning


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Let the "taper" begin...

So here it is... the final week. I've been training for 15 weeks now. That's 633 miles to date, about 190 per month, and averaging 45 per week. There's been 3 pairs of shoes (2 were test pairs, one my regular Zoom Elite), one workup race, 6 runs of 15 miles or longer, and lots of repeat 1000m, 2000m, miles, 800m, 400m, and tempo runs.

Somewhere in that mix is a lot of peanut butter, chocolate milk, Enduralites, and H2O. I went in for my tune up massage... all I got to say is OUCH. Hopefully that will take all the knots and muscle tightness out so that I can be relaxed for next weekend.

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 3x800/600/600 @ 2:55/2:10/2:10

Wednesday - an easy 6.5 @ 6:48 pace

Thursday - Nature Park 5.3 miles @ 7:20 pace

Friday - 6.5 miles @ 6:54 pace

Saturday - 5.6 miles up around the zoo with Aloha distance runners, very easy pace

Sunday - a casual 10.8 miles @ 7:30 pace

In 5 days I'm on my way...

Oh, and to cap off March Madness, I won the Nike pool I was in and took 2nd in the Aloha pool. Not a bad year...

Monday, April 6, 2009

March Madness, Opening Day, and 2 weeks to go...

I was *this* close to being in the #1 spot in 2 brackets. Damn those Spartans! UNC baby all the way!!!

Opening day... need I say more? That's ~160 games until Soxtober for those of you who are counting (I am!). Becket's back in good shape. With the 4, 5, and 6 slots, we're deep with quality pitchers this season. Now the bats just need to make it happen!

This is it... 2 weeks to go. There's a lot going through my head as I start to think about everything that I've done and all that is left to do. The hard work is done. There really isn't anything left for me to do that can make me more prepared physically. Now it's just the mental part I need to focus on.

Monday - Rest day

Tuesday - 3 x 2k @ 7:10 w/400m jog recovery

Wednesday - An easy 5.4 miles on the Nature Trail. My right calf is bugging me, so I've been working on it.

Thursday - Hard 8.3 miles @ 6:46 ave pace. Descent workout.

Friday - Moderate tempo 6.5 @ 6:53 pace

Saturday - 8.7 miles with the middle 6 @ 6:35 average pace.

Sunday - Hilly 15 miles, good pace (7:22 ave). Felt tired, but OK.

Nutrition is very important from here on out. No crap food.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

3 weeks and March Madness...

As the Beatles once said, I get by with a little help from my friends...

So the brain trust that inspires me gave me some words of wisdom, a little tongue lashing, and some positive reinforcement. 'Nuff said about the sickness. I got down with the sickness... and am on the road to recovery.

Monday - off day

Tuesday - took one last sick day just to be safe.

Wednesday - an easy 6.3 miles @ 6:53 pace.

Thursday - easy 7.2 through the woods @ 7:21 pace.

Friday - took a recovery day to travel up to Seattle.

Saturday - 8.3 around Lake Union @ 6:48 pace. Crappy Seattle weather... it was pouring.

Sunday - 2 loops around Lake Union for 13.9 miles @ 6:50 pace. At least it didn't rain but damn it was cold out...

Do I feel better, yes. Am I ready, I will be. Race day is in 3 weeks. Cool.

As for March Madness... yeah, I nailed it this year. I'm quite happy with 3 of 4 teams picked for the Final Four, and my 2 Championship teams look to be the right picks for the National Championship. My brackets were lagging, but I knew that a MSU win over Louisville would move me right back into position for the win.

3 games to go!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

4 weeks... and illness

So, I'm trying to keep positive here, but this just bites. 4 weeks to go and I'm sick. Upper resperatory gunk... I'm taking meds and will see how this plays out. If I can't get back into this by Tuesday, then it's off to the doc I go. Not what I want to have happen, but I guess it's better now than to have it happen with 1 or 2 weeks left.

Monday - rest

Tuesday - not bad considering the residual dead legs from the race. 3 sets of 1k, 600m, 400m, with 400 jog recovery between intervals and sets: 3:44, 2:10, 83, 3:33, 2:03, 81, 3:26, 2:02, 74

Wednesday - took it easy and went to the track to watch the kids. Did warm ups and cool downs with them, a light 3 miles thinking I'd get in a solid Thursday-Sunday.

Thursday - 8.7 at a moderate tempo, just under 7 min pace. Felt easy, but I did notice that I'm fighting off a cold now.

Friday - that's it... I'm sick. Taking the day off. Should be 6-8 with a tempo push in the middle.

Saturday - still sick... missed out on what should have been 8-10 at moderate tempo.

Sunday - and I'm sick... and frustrated. This was supposed to be my last hard long run in training, 18-22 with some tempo pushes.

I need to kick this cold ASAP and get back on track... nothing but focus on the day from here on out. 4 weeks to go.

On a side note, I did get to watch 6 NCAA games live this year at the Rose Garden. Very cool, great games! It's all about the Madness...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tune up race and 5 weeks to go...

Shamrockin' it today... I love that race. It's always been a fun one to do. Today, I can't complain, I had a good race in less than favorable conditions. It was flat out miserable by Portland standards with the heavy rain and strong headwinds. The uphills are tough enough, I don't need a headwind on top of it.

This year I made the switch (mostly due to Boston) and ran the 15k as a preparation for the longer distance. It's easy to PR in a race when you've never done that distance before. That said, 15k (9.3 miles) in 57:19 (6:10 ave pace) is a good time for a hilly, wet, nasty day. The salmon were making it upstream faster... the best part though was mile 7-9 in ~11 minutes and catching 3 runners in the process.

For the week - lower mileage due to racing and having some leg issues (tire hammy's):

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - 4x1000m @ 3:35, 400m recovery between, 800m jog before the 4x300m @ 56 w/100m recovery.

Wednesday - 6.8 easy miles @ 7:01 pace

Thursday - 5.4 @ 7:18. Hamstrings were really sore and tight, went on the nature trail to go easy. Did some light strides on the grass to help with recovery.

Friday - Light tempo work: 7.2 miles @ 6:54 ave. Did some hill work, but very light.

Saturday - easy 4.1 miles @ 7:14 ave pace.

Sunday - 1.5 mile warm up, 1.5 mile cool down, 15k race @ 57:19 (6:09 ave). Tough course. 5:55 through the first, then it slowed down over the next 4 miles. I passed through 6 @ 37:40 - slower than expected. I started to pick up the tempo w/5:55, then the last 2 in ~11 minutes.

Good times!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

6 weeks to go...

42 days... wow! That's all that's left to go before race day. Crazy...

As I mentioned last week, there's bad days and good days, bad weeks and good weeks. This week was a good one after recovering from whatever it was that had me down for a day. I'm glad it passed. Now if we'd only get our normal spring weather and not this arctic blast things would be easier.

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Killer workout - 16x400m @ 80-83, 100m recovery jog (35 seconds on average). Last 2 were 78 and 77. Great way to start off the week. Consistency makes me feel good.

Wednesday: Screwy work schedule, but got in 7 up on Fairmount. Was supposed to be easy, but ended up with 7.2 miles @ 6:42 pace. Oops...

Thursday: Easy group run w/BAC. 6.5 miles @ 7:02 pace. Felt a little sluggish, but that's OK.

Friday: Hard tempo work today. Did 9.8 miles, first 8 were at MP, so I was 6:30-6:35 (a little fast), but the weather was great and I had on new shoes... finished with a 6:43 ave pace.

Saturday: Easy 5.8 miles. Shortest run in a while, but needed the recovery after hammering a lot Friday. 6:50 average for a nice short jaunt.

Sunday: Spring forward and lost my group... it's easier for me to slow it down with those guys. Oh well... 15.9 miles at 7:19 ave pace. It felt very easy, and that was my goal.

Next week will have some easy tapering towards the end as I get ready for the Shamrock 15k. This will be my first real test in a long time. It should be very interesting. The goal is to go steady, in control, and hit my pace.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bumps in the road...

One of the things that I teach my runners is that you need to expect the bad days (or weeks) along with the good ones. This goes for races as well. They are facts of life. You will have good days, great days, and not so good ones. I've learned to accept these things, not like I have a choice...

Overall, to put things into perspective, I can't complain about where I'm at physically and mentally (well, maybe a little... it's human nature). I have 7 weeks to go... 49 days. Wow... objects in the mirror are closer than they appear. I hadn't looked at it this way until just now.

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Was supposed to do 3 x 2 mile @ 10k tempo, legs weren't 100%, so I changed it to 3 x 1.5 mile @ 10k tempo. Went 8:13, 8:18, 8:30... meh, I think I was mentally not there as well as not fully recovered from Sunday's long run.

Wednesday: 7.3 miles @ 6:49 ave pace. Felt better, but still a little fatigued.

Thursday: Right leg was bothering me, not sure if it was mild IT band, hip/lower back, or fatigue... so I went easy and did 7.2 @ 7:19 ave on the Nature Trail and Berm.

Friday: Definitely fighting something here. Exhausted, achy, not good at all today. Taking the day off - went home early and slept for a few hours. Got some extra sleep that night too (~10 hours).

Saturday: Error on the side of caution... taking a second day of rest. I don't want to do that, but I'm going to listen to my body on this one.

Sunday: Went 10.4 today and felt good. Not great, but good. I'll take it. 6:49 ave pace over 10.4 and I felt like it was an easy tempo.

197 miles for February, up from January's totals (and also a short month with 2 extra rest days) and only 32 miles for this last week.

I'd like it if my right leg was feeling 100%, but I'll work on it and just watch it daily this week. I should be in the 50-70 range...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Number 9, number 9...

Ahhh... the Beatles. Revolution #9. One really has to wonder about the state of mind they were in when they did the White Album, or at least for a few of the tracks. Perhaps one of the greatest albums of all time.

Which brings me to this week's adventures. The state of mind of a marathoner can be a delicate thing. Full of positive energy one moment, and scattered in the wind the next. It's 20 miles of physical training and 6.2 of mental. Today's run was an example of how the mind is a terrible thing, and it must be stopped.

Monday - the first of two rest days this week. I originally thought that it would be easy this week having that second rest day... yeah, what a novel concept that was.

Tuesday - 4 x mile on the track with a long warm up and cool down. I had to do this on my own this week due to my work schedule, but it wasn't too bad. 5:48, 5:53, 5:57, and 5:44. Mental lapse in the 2 middle miles. It's so much easier to do these workouts when I have someone to trade off the pace work.

Wednesday - 6.3 miles in the Nature Trail. Serenity now, insanity later... saw 2 deer in the early morning mist. Actually a very good run just losing myself in the twists and turns of the trail.

Thursday - originally supposed to be 10-12, but due to a last minute class at work had to swap my rest day over to today. Runners in training don't like it when things out of their control get in the way. Will this come back to haunt me? Mentally... duh... yeah, it will.

Friday - fully rested and time for some harder tempo work. 9.8 miles with the middle 7 @ 6:45 pace. While this seems relatively easy considering other tempo and pace work I do, it had a lot of hill work. I'm pretty sure that my quads will not be happy tomorrow.

Saturday - really wishing that Friday had been my rest day and yes, my quads are tired. 8.2 miles @ 6:50 average pace. I find it ironic that even when tired and thinking that I'm holding back, I'm really not. Go figure.

Sunday - yup, had to force myself out the door today. The last 2 days were hard on my legs and I've got 20-23 on the schedule. I did a 20.5 mile route keeping it as flat as possible. I figured that I needed a break from the hills. Initially trying to hold back as I wanted to be fresh at the end, or at least that was my intent. Through the first 13.1 (checking my half marathon tempo), I was under 1:31. My Boston pace should be about 1:28, so I'm a little fast but feeling OK. I slow it down a little to try and keep things under control. At 14.5, I make the turn back to head into downtown. I had felt little gusts of wind throughout the morning, but nothing that lasted long. Not so lucky this time... the next 4-5 miles had a strong, consistent headwind. It was brutal and it eventually took it's toll on me. The last 2 miles were tough, and although I probably could have continued on, I was back to the car at 20.5. Good enough for today considering what the wind had done to me. I averaged 7:05 pace even with that wind, but it wasn't pretty.

So far I've done two 20 mile runs in tough conditions. This is good... what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. Next week I get a break from the mileage as my schedule has a taper before building back into the next phase of pain.

On my whiteboard at work it reads - "The Marathon can humble you..." - Bill Rogers

Simple but true.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Surviving hell week...

So this last week was a double edged sword. At work we're transitioning some of the desks and I'm starting to combine 2 challenging desks into one... yay team! On top of that, I had one of my hardest running schedules since high school and I stuck with it (it wasn't pretty at times either).

Monday - rest... ahhh...

Tuesday - 8x1000m w/200m (65 sec) recovery. It was supposed to be progressive, but I kept it at 3:33 per km (~5:36 mile pace) within 2 seconds, going 3:30 on the last one. Tough, but I did it.

Wednesday - ran in the late afternoon 8 miles @ 7:11 ave pace

Thursday - group run 6.8 miles @ 7:23 ave pace on soft surfaces (Nature Trail)

Friday - I tried out a new route to get in a 4 mile tempo after warming up. The route didn't work in my favor to make this a good tempo, so I made the best of it going 6:10, 6:34, 6:48, and 6:23. 7.5 miles total for today.

Saturday - Last run on the test shoes (yay), so I did an "easy" 8.8 @ 7:06 pace. It felt slower than it was in reality, so I can't complain. My legs were lead from everything up to this point too.

Sunday - Leif Erickson, group run w/BAC... I'm really out classed by these guys, but they do push me to run harder and stronger. I needed to get in 18-20 and they were only doing 15, so as they began to push the pace, I dropped back only wanting to be 7:20-7:30 pace around mile 4. So my total was 19.4 miles @ 7:23 average pace. This was not an easy run as the terrain is tough, sloppy in spots, constantly going up and down, rocky, but it is a good place to get in a great workout.

Total mileage for the week is about 58 and I've run about 270 miles since my training officially started. Next week I get an extra rest day (yay!), but Sunday will be another 20-23 mile run.

It might be time for a nap...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Week 11... the best so far

Overall this was a great week of training. The new office location has some promising routes which gives me hope for being so far out in the middle of nowhere now.

Tuesday: 4 x 2K @ stamina; 7:20, 7:20, 7:27, 7:28 w/90 seconds rest between intervals. Felt great, could have done one more, maybe 2, but didn't want to push it.

Wednesday: Checking out new routes, 7 miles along the Rock Creek MUT and connecting trails. Averaged 7:13 pace. Good recovery from yesterday.

Thursday: Group run through Oak Hills. 7 miles @ 7:11 ave.

Friday: Puke. Long warm up, then 2x600 x/200 jog recovery (2:00 pace w/60 sec recovery), right into 6x300 w/60 second recovery (jog back to the start); consistent 55-57 second pace on the 300's. This was also done in the heavier trainers (which resulted in a tight calf and sore arches the next day). I'll be glad to be done with product testing next week...

Saturday: Had to pack this one in a little quick; 8.2 miles @ 7:08 pace. Not bad considering how I felt at the start (see above whine). Went to see Coraline after, great movie, highly recommend watching the 3D version. Way cool effects!

Sunday: 16.2 miles, same as last week with an extended wander into and through Mary S Young Park. Billy thought we were out faster, we weren't. Averaged 7:11 pace. From mile 9-11, picked it up to 6:50 pace. I would have liked to add another mile, but nature was calling. Besides, the week had gone well so end it on a high note.

51 miles this week. They were mostly all quality miles too. I hope to continue to have 2 hard days per week and mix in some tempo and hills for the other days. There's a few tight and sore spots, and I could use some core work to help balance things out. I'm weak in the core and it shows on the later intervals and in the last parts of long runs I can feel how weak my core is. I don't need to do anything extensive, just some easy maintenance and extra stretching will help too.

Oh, and A-Roid's a doper, but he was a loser to begin with (although a very rich loser that is/was dating Madonna). Yeah, that's a distraction that will be entertaining the first time they roll into Boston (the weekend after the marathon).

Monday, February 2, 2009

Week 12 is in the books...

This has been one of the strangest winters I've lived in... as if the 2 weeks of being snowed in wasn't enough. Tuesday kicked off the morning with snow accumulation of about an inch. Tuesday is sacred... it's my interval workout. Can't run on the field very well in snow, and the track was useless too. The trace of snow on Sunday was manageable for a long run at least...

Tuesday: 3 mile tempo (should have been 4 or repeats) on the road. Still did 5:55 average, but had to dodge snow, slush, and a truck. Made the best of the weather situation.

Wednesday: 6.2 miles moderate tempo work. Consistent pace, good run.

Thursday: Ran with the kids @ Aloha on the trails. Not the mileage I needed to get, but 4.1 easy is better than nothing.

Friday: Back to the old 'hood. Xmas Tree run with Billy. 6.9 miles, solid hills, great run. Low 7 min ave pace.

Saturday: Zoo run with the Aloha kids. Wanted to go longer, but that didn't work out. 6 miles, easy pace. Probably good to break the runs up since tomorrow would be a long run in the cold.

Sunday: Testing out the new LO route. George Rogers park through Tryon Creek, around Beth Isreal, back into LO and out Old River Rd. 15 miles, 7:22 ave pace. Felt great for that distance.

I need to get more mileage in. The quality runs are there, but not the distances that I should be doing. I'm pretty consistent in the 45 mile range (except for the week where I needed an extra rest day) and should be working up to 55-60 consistently. Patience... if I get there, I get there... if not, make the best of the long runs and interval work.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Notch another week...

One thing is for certain, it was a much better week than the previous one. I have to remember to take it one run at a time, and there will be good runs and there will be some bad ones too. The encouragement that I'm getting is very positive, as well as some great tips from my fellow BAC runners.

Monday: Love the rest day, can't go wrong there.
Tuesday: 4 x Mile on the grass @ 5:50. I slowed down on the last 2 to 5:55 and 6:00, but the grass is slow and I wear down faster on it.
Wednesday: Due to scheduling, had to pack in a shorter run in the late afternoon. Only 4.7 miles, but it was a quality recovery run from Tuesday's interval training.
Thursday: Great run through the Nature Trail, 6.3 miles.
Friday: Death by tempo - the plan was warm-up, then 2 miles tempo on the track out to the berm and grass for the next 2 miles, then finishing up 2 miles on the track. Actual - 2 mile tempo on the track @ 5:55 pace, 1/2 mile recovery (5 minutes), then 2 mile tempo on the track @ 5:55 pace. I was within a few seconds of goal pace @ 2 miles, so it was a quality workout.
Saturday: Wanted to go longer, but had some other commitments to take care of (more on that later). 7 miles @ a nice 7:05 ave.
Sunday: What the #$%#$??? Snow again... but only a trace and manageable. Started out at the MJCC, up to Terwilleger, down Barbur to the Esplanade, back up to Terwillger following the Shamrock 15k route, 2 laps on the Wilson track, and finish @ MJCC. Just under 14 miles and considering the weather and traction at times, a good run.

Life has a funny way of putting things into perspective sometime. This week I dedicate to the memory of Becky West. A young girl that fought so hard against osteo-carcinoma all through high school. She walked with her classmates and graduated in 2007 on time after fighting the cancer for so long. This last Monday night, the day before Obama's innaguration, she passed away. Although I did not know her personally, she was at one time a student of my wife's. She was also a close friend with some of the kids I coached this last fall.

No one should have to lose their child at such a young age. Lance Armstrong has 2 numbers on his Trek Madone, 1275, the number of days he was in retirement, and 27.5, the number of people (in millions) that died of cancer in those 1275 days. I've lost several family members to cancer, and am fortunate enough to have several that have also survived cancer.

This is for you Becky, rest in peace.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Week 14 training

Not exactly what I'd call a banner week. It could have been better, but it also could have been worse.

Monday: Planned rest day.
Tuesday: 10min tempo @ threshold, 2 min rest, 400 fast and easy, rinse and repeat - we did this on the grass field on a nice sunny day. I can now honestly say that running on this surface is hard and sucks. It takes more energy, which makes you stronger... assuming it doesn't also take 3 days to recover.
Wednesday: 5.7 miles, "recovery" run @ 7 min pace. Legs were like lead from Tuesday.
Thursday: 5.9 miles @ ~ 7:05 pace, not bad, but still felt like I wasn't at my normal energy level.
Friday: unplanned rest day. Since it's still early in the training program and I felt like I did not recover well, I took today off so that I could get in 2 solid days over the weekend.
Saturday: 6.3 miles @ ~ 7:05 pace. Good run, took it easy and just enjoyed a new area. Ran down in LO to scope out part of a long run we're planning for Superbowl Sunday. Feeling better. It was cold and windy, but not too bad.
Sunday: Goal was 15 miles, but it was cold and very windy still. Trail conditions were great though on Leif Erickson. Went 14.2 miles @ 7:30 pace. Did 2 miles towards the end pushing the tempo on a gradual downhill section.

Observations: If at all possible, I'd prefer to stay on the track for intervals. If we're doing it on the field, need to slow the pace down. Runs over 14 miles need some fuel. I was more tired that I'd like to be at the end of a run, so I need something about halfway through to keep the energy level up.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

And here we go...

Call me crazy... so this is marathon #4 in 2 years. The training has begun. But this is Boston.
This one is different. So yes, it's time to get serious about the training. The last 2 years since recovering from the surgeries have been, well, interesting. I built up the base, now it's time for some speed. Why so serious? Why not... I think that if I stick to the program, I can have one hell of a race.

Week one of the training has gone very well. I hit my mileage goals and the interval training was better than expected.

Weekly totals: 51 miles
Interval workout: 6 x 1000m @ 3:30 (all were within a few seconds of goal pace, last one was the fastest).
Tempo runs: 3 @ sub-7 pace
Long run: 12.1 miles on Leif Erickson trail (hilly) at a comfortable 7:40 ave

I will break 3 hours, the question is by how much...

14 weeks to go...