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.