Monday, November 30, 2009

Destination 26.2

That's right. Next goal, marathon. The Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach on March 21, 2010 to be exact. This gives me exactly 16 weeks of preparation. I've been looking at training programs for the last few weeks and have decided on using Runner's World Smart Coach.

This program includes 4 days/week running and cross-training, 3 weeks of mileage increase and 1 week of lower mileage, one long run per week, one speed workout per week and two easy runs.

It is interesting to me because it asks questions about your current training, how hard you want to train and a recent race time. If I follow this program it suggests that I will be able to run the marathon in 3:36:32, a 8:15 pace.

We shall see...

I'm hoping to add some upper body workouts, swim at least one day per week and do The Wall bike cross training as well. I know this is a lofty goal, but I've been stuck at this weight for a few months now and would like to see a breakthrough. I will sprinkle in local races as well, and hopefully lower my PR's.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

YMCA Turkey Trot 8K


That's the only way to describe it. I was pumped up for this race. I feel as though I've made a ton of progress this year and thought I'd be able to tear through this one. Sadly, it wasn't to be.

What went wrong? I underestimated two things...

1) The crowd. With a record 12,000 people registered, I planned for a slow start. I tried to get to the front of the group, but still didn't cross the start line until almost 2 minutes after the gun. I didn't start my watch until I crossed the line, but it was still SLOW! Rather than taking this in stride, I got anxious and began to weave my way through the crowd. BIG MISTAKE! This takes up so much energy. Speed up, slow down, quick jerk to the right, jump over the curb, pretty much everything except keeping a straight line. This continued through the first 1.5 miles, until the crowd began to spread out.

2) The pesky little climb. The uphill on Delaware Ave, is much more deceiving than it looks. I've run this race twice before and have run a couple other races this year on this stretch of road and it still surprises me every time. Add this to the weaving, and I was done.

Another odd thing happened during this race. My heart rate went through the roof. I looked down to check it around the 2 mile mark, because it felt as though it was unusually high and to my horror it read 210!! I'm not sure if I was experiencing some technical issues with my gear or not, but I wouldn't be surprised if that was close, because it sure felt like it.

Anyways, again I've been humbled by a race and shown exactly how much further I need (and want) to progress in my quest for a fitter life.

Mileage: 5.01
Time/Pace: 45:23/9:03
Avg HR: 197 (questionable)

So, I guess for now I'll eat my words...and a juicy steak! (turkey is so last decade). Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Trot Plans

Here's my goal for tomorrow's Turkey Trot...38:10/7:41 pace. How will I get there....?

1) Get closer to the starting line. The last couple years have been a nightmare of weaving through people for the 1st mile.

2) Negative splits. Even though my last few races have been successful, I still feel tons of room for improvement. The key is not starting out too fast. I realize that I will still have to deal with the crowd no matter how close to the line a get, so I need to take this in to account. My split times will be (notice I say WILL!) 7:48, 7:48, 7:38, 7:28, 7:28.

3) Avoid overdressing. Because I like my gadgets and gear so much, I want to use them all of the time. In my last 5K I was dressed too warm and really suffered in the last half of the race. I have to tell myself it is good to be cold at the start of the race.

4) Make a Killer (!) race mix. I love my ipod, just got a new Ipod Shuffle. It's really nothing more than a flash drive, so light you don't even know it's there. I will sit down tonight and work out the perfect mix of inspirational tunes, to get me through the tough spots.

5) Have fun. I've really fallen in love with running this year and I can't say how much I enjoy being out on the road with other people that feel the same way.

Today's Run

Mileage: 3.00
Time/Pace: 26:17/8:46
Avg HR: 150
Temp: 44

Friday, November 20, 2009

5 for Friday

Another run with a bit more soreness than I'd like, but last run for the week. I am in a mini-taper mode for the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. I am only running 2 of the next 5 days, enough to keep me loose, but rested.

Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 45:41/9:08
Avg HR: 150
Elevation Gain: 659
Temp: 43

I've started to think about a strategy/goal for the Turkey Trot. I should have no problem beating my best at this distance as I have been running consistently for 8 months now. The previous two Trots were done with little or no prep. So the question is how much can I beat it by. I have found a pace predictor tool that you can put in a time for one race distance and it will predict your pace for another distance. I'm not sure if it works or not, but it is worth a shot! With my recent 23:00 5K it predicts that I should be able to run an 8K at a 7:38 pace. I certainly would be happy with this.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Slightly Different Strategy for Today

In my past few runs, I just went with whatever my body was giving me. I noticed that my avg heart rate was higher as a result. Today I tried to stick with in my target rate (145-155) for the entire run. Easier said than done, especially with all of the rolling hills.

Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 46:19/9:16
Avg HR: 153
Elevation Gain: 675
Temp: 34

I love running in this colder weather. Being a running gear nerd, I love taking out my Under Armour cold gear. Can't wait to try other cool cold gear stuff!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Aching 8

Today's run was tough. My body was quite sore at the start, and didn't get much looser. I fought through it, but it sure did feel good to stop. I know we all have days like this, but it is still frustrating, especially since I have been feeling great about my runs lately. My pace suffered as a result of this soreness, the hills didn't help either. To put the hills in perspective, on Sunday I ran 13 miles and had a total elevation gain of 202 ft, while today's 8 miles had a gain of 418. Don't get me wrong, I'm only partially complaining. I love what I've accomplished so far, and am looking to do even more. I take a twisted joy in punishing my body through these hills and feel great at the top. This struggle, this internal battle with myself, is what keeps me going; that and the fact I blog to all of you out there and I wouldn't want to let you down now!

Mileage: 8.00
Time/Pace: 1:16:33/9:34
Avg HR: 156

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Train Hard, Race Easy

Think about that...Train Hard, Race Easy. Makes total sense, not only in running, but also in life. I have embraced this saying lately. Prime example is this morning. I didn't get to bed last night until 1:30 and I have to be to work at 8. I woke up at 5:30am to get my run in. Old me would use this as a perfectly legitimate excuse to bail on a run today, and I would be justified. Why bail though? Why not use the less than ideal circumstances to push myself harder and longer; after all the theory suggests it will only make me stronger. So, I dragged myself out for a 3-miler. I'm glad I did!

Mileage: 3.00
Time/Pace: 25:27/8:29
Avg HR: 155

Sunday, I also ran 13's the stats...

Mileage: 13.00
Time/Pace: 1:59:35/9:11
Avg HR: 149

This 13-miler was perhaps my most consistent run to date. I was aiming to keep consistent splits through out (target 9:15/mile). For the first 12, I ranged from 9:08 to 9:18. The last mile I kicked it up a notch and logged a 8:42. Very pleased with this run, my body is still aching though. More long runs in my future...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lindsay's Legacy 5K

In my final tune up before the Turkey Trot, I decided that I would be setting another PR for the 5K distance. Yep, just like that, no question, I will do it. I have felt so great all week, tons of energy, could it be that I stuck to some good eating habits? No fast food for over a week.

My plan was to break my previous best, 23:09. I figured I'd shoot for a 7:25 pace. For whatever reason, I got away from my negative split strategy that I started my running "career" with. For the past few races, I have picked a pace and tried to hit each each mile. I think I might go back to the negative split strategy. My splits for this race were 7:22, 7:24, and 7:39 with a 6:09 pace for the last .10. Anyway, still a 23:00, I really wanted to get in the 22's, but still happy with the result.

Mileage: 3.09
Time/Pace: 23:00/7:26
Avg HR: 171

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Running with Energy

I've been full of energy all week. It has been making my runs even more delightful than usual. I had quite the spring in my step, isn't running awesome?!?!

Mileage: 4.00
Time/Pace: 34:01/8:30
Avg HR: 160

Food Check: Going well, slight weak moment yesterday...pounded down some Chinese...but then I ran 6 miles, so probably a wash. I am not tracking formally, just focusing on eating good wholesome foods. The scale awaits....come on fatty you can do it!

Need Some Inspiration? Try This...

I came across the story of a gentleman named Norm Frank. Apparently his deal is to run 1000 marathons in his lifetime. He is currently at 965, only 35 to go. What is inspiring for me is that he didn't run his first until 35. This has me incredibly motivated as I'm only 31. Though I haven't even run my first yet, I have plans to begin my marathon quest in March 2010, when I have just turned 32. That gives me a 3 year head start. The sky's the limit.

Read Norm's here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Because It's There

Several times a week, my travels take me through south Binghamton on Morgan St and Park Ave. Basically, from Binghamton, travelling south towards the PA border, it's one steady climb to the top of the hill. I have often thought about what it would be like to run or bike up it. Today, I stopped thinking about it and just gave it a shot. With a scheduled six-miler, I figured I get about 2 miles or so of climbing. It was a punishing run, but it felt good. I have done quite a bit of reading about trail runs and ultras and it seems the big test in all of these events (other than the distance) is the climbing. I do one day think I may be able to compete in one of these events, so why not give my body a nice little climb? I wasn't really focused on time, just tried to climb for as long as possible. The downhill was quite enjoyable.

Time/Pace: 1:02:35/10:25
Avg HR: 154
Elevation Gain: 1001 ft

Tuesday's Run:

Mileage: 4.00
Time/Pace: 36:08/9:02
Avg HR: 160

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cardic Monday

So do you think you are in shape? I found a new cross training workout I decided to try today. I proved to myself how horribly out of shape I still am.

Here's the basics:

The idea of this workout is to break through the "wall" runners talk about.

Done on an Up-Right Stationary Bike, w/1-20 level settings, do everything seated to focus on quads, hamstrings and calves.

Warm Up
3 min @ Level 6 100RPM
2 min @ Level 8 100 RPM

Work Out (Repeat this section 3 times)
30 sec @ Level 16 100RPM, 30 sec @ Level 8 100RPM (repeat 5 times)
2 min @ Level 6 100 RPM

Cool Down
4 min @ Level 6 70RPM

I got through the warm up and the 1st 3 repeats of 16/30, 8/30 and then crashed and burned. I stepped it back to 12/30, 6/30 and finished the first set of 5. I then took 5 minutes to recover instead of the suggested 2. I started the second set at 12/30, 6/30 but could only get through 2 more repeats and could barely spin for 4 more minutes for a grand total of 20 minutes.

All I can say is WTF!! It kicked my ass. Walking back to my hotel was like trying to balance on two stacks of jello! Yikes. I think I just found a new kick ass off day workout to punish myself with.

I also recommitted to some semblance of a healthy diet. Here's what I have eaten so far:

Breakfast: pineapple and other mixed fruit, quad espresso

Lunch: big salad with tomatoes, walnuts, sunflower seeds, red pepper and some Italian Dressing, more fruit and cottage cheese

Afternoon "Snack": some grapes and a Kashi Southwest Chicken

Dinner: more Kashi and fruit

Evening Snack: TBD, probably more fruit and cottage cheese

My food day at a time....hey is that Taco Bell in the distance?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Has it Been A Week Already?

I'm sure my faithful readers have noticed by now that I didn't post this past week. The simple explanation is that I didn't run. WHAT (!!), you say. Yeah, I know, I was a bit of a slacker, but I have good reasons. Here's my top ten list of how I convinced myself not to run...

10) My shins hurt! Waaahhh.

9) Work was very hectic this week.

8) It was cold.

7) I only packed one glove. (Please refrain from the Michael Jackson cracks.)

6) I was saving my energy for bowling.

5) When it's burrito vs. running, the burrito will win every time.

4) I didn't get much sleep and therefore couldn't find the energy to run.

3) I'm saving myself for the Turkey Trot.

2) I'm sick, sniff sniff, more waaahhhh....

and the #1 reason....

Hey, I'm a fat guy....I don't want to get skinny too fast...

Oh well, I have promised myself not to be a slacker this week. We shall see....