Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Not So Long Anymore

About a year ago, I was practically terrified to see a 7 mile run on my schedule. A year later, looking at an 18 miler, I got out with excitement and vigor. Weird huh? I must be going nuts. I mean, really, who gets excited about running 3 hours non-stop? I do! (insert comments here).

My focus today was to continue my negative split experiment. Goals for today was mile 1-5 @ 10:40, 6-13 @ 10:25, 14-18 @ 9:55. My ultimate goal is to run a 10:00 pace for a marathon, so it is important that I keep pushing my times lower, but at a very controlled pace. So this is what I did....

The weather was brisk, about 38 at the start, but a strong wind from the northwest. Decent running weather, except when heading directly into the wind.

Miles 1-5 (10:40): 10:33, 10:37, 10:38, 10:36, 10:37
Miles 6-13 (10:25): 10:22, 10:24, 10:18, 10:18, 10:24, 10:21, 10:21, 10:20
Miles 14-18 (9:55): 9:47, 9:56, 9:51, 9:50, 9:46

Mileage: 18.00
Time/Pace: 3:05:07/10:17
Avg HR: 153

I felt pretty good throughout the entire run, and was even able to turn my best mile on the 18th. I wore a knee support, which seemed to be huge in helping with that issue. It is sore, but nothing worse and actually feels better than it did after the 16 miler last week.

A bit about my nutrition pre-run and during the run. I ate a bowl of cereal and ate a GU prior to the run. During my run I eat 1 serving (1/2 of a package) of Clif Shots every 30 minutes. This strategy seems to be working well for me.

I'm about 50/50 about running the Grand Island 1/2 marathon, so stay tuned...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Today is officially the beginning of my second year of serious running. What better way than to celebrate with a 16-miler.

Sticking with the negative split theme my goals were: mile 1-4 @ 10:45, 5-12 @ 10:30, and 13-16 @ 10:00.

Here's how I did:

1-4 (10:45): 10:44, 10:45, 10:44, 10:41
5-12 (10:30): 10:29, 10:28, 10:32, 10:23, 10:28, 10:26, 10:24, 10:24
13-16 (10:00): 9:58, 9:57, 9:57, 9:53

Mileage: 16.00
Time/Pace: 2:46:19/10:23
Avg HR: 142

Focusing on this type of pacing is certainly giving me enough reserve energy to finish strong.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thinking Negative

About Splits! I have been emphasizing negative splits in my past few runs. This makes sense to me, I definitely want to finish stronger that I start. I actually, started doing this last year, but got away from it. Here's my results of the past three outings.

Saturday-4 miles, 36:32/9:08 pace, splits: 9:14, 9:10, 9:10, 8:57
Sunday-3 miles, 27:13/9:04, 9:09, 9:08, 8:55
Monday-3 miles, 27:15/9:04, 9:11, 9:08, 8:54

Saturday and Sunday were done on a treadmill, where pacing is much easier. This morning's run was outside, brrrr....34 degrees, and forgot the gloves.

I like this style of running, and am disappointed that I got away from it. This is a lower mileage week, but I have a 16-miler scheduled. In my last long run, I tried to mimic Yasso's instruction of 1st 25% of run +1:15/mile, middle 50% +1:00 and last 25% at pace. I am going to tweak this slightly, as I have been doing more research that suggests the pace needs to be a bit faster at the beginning. I will still use the 25/50/25 model but instead do 1:00, :45 then at pace.

This will layout as follows: Mile 1-4 @ 11:00, 5-12 @ 10:45, 13-16 @ 10:00.

I also have a 5K race scheduled on Saturday and a bunch of cross training. Generally, I'm feeling good, but still being cautious with my aches to make sure they don't progress.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Slow and Steady

With a long run scheduled today and uncertainty about how my body may perform, I turned to the running experts for guidance. I have been listening to Pure Fit Radio, a weekly podcast hosted by Bart Yasso. Last week he talked about the "proper" way to do a long run, with an emphasis on negative splits.

The basic strategy is to do the first 25% of the run 1:15 slower than your marathon pace, the next 50% at 1:00 slower than marathon pace and the last 25% at marathon pace. I figured what the heck and gave it a go.

My marathon pace in March was 10:39, but my first goal to achieve is a 10:00 pace. I used this number as a base.

Miles 1-4: Goal 11:15. 11:15 is REALLY SLOW...I had a very hard time getting close to this, even with some hills. 11:00, 10:55, 10:56, 11:08

Miles 5-10: Goal 11:00. Got in some trail work with a bit of extra hills and also incorporated a few laps on a synthetic track at the local college. 11:10, 10:45, 10:55, 10:53, 10:54, 10:55.

Miles 11-14: Goal 10:00. Quicker turn over with my feet. Definitely tired here, but the slower pace for the first 10 allowed me to complete this section with success. 9:52, 9:52, 10:11, 9:57.

My legs started aching in all of the usual places somewhere around mile 10, but I was able to work through it and finish. I had a nice ice bath (my new favorite treatment) when I was done.

Mileage: 14.00
Time/Pace: 2:29:30/10:40
Avg HR: 148

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Speed work today. Sticking with my plan for the Yasso workouts and my target of 4:00, my splits were 3:51, 3:56, 3:56, 3:57, 3:59. I'm pleased with this.

What I'm not pleased with if my nagging soreness. Hip soreness is dull, left knee responds well for the majority of the workout and gets sore toward the end. I cut one interval off of my workout to err on the side of caution. When I got back, I sat in an ice bath for 15 minutes. This is a new sensation and is both painful and soothing at the same time, if that makes sense.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mind vs. Body

My mind has never been so tuned into exercise and running. I think about all of the different things I want to do. I very rarely have to force myself mentally to get out for a run or to hit the gym.

The body, on the other hand, is not cooperating. I've struggled for the past two months with a hip issue. I started physical therapy this week and I've noticed it felt better. Then yesterday, I put in a 12 mile run and immediately after I experienced knee pain on the opposite leg. It has been pretty intense in the past 24 hours. I am now gimping around with a knee brace.

I guess I'm probably pushing a bit too hard and my body is having difficulty. It's tough mentally. Exercise has made me feel so much better (in general) and it makes me want to do even more. It is frustrating to force rest, especially when I have so many goals.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's a 1!!

I now have a 1 as the first number of my weight! I couldn't even tell you the last time this was. Very excited about this.

I rewarded myself with a nice 12-mile run this morning. It hurt! Not sure why, 12 miles is definitely well within my means, but I struggled during the second half and finished with some wicked left knee pain. Ironically enough, my hip feels fine. Ugh.

I am currently reading a book (this in itself is quite an accomplishment, as I'm not much of a reader) Ultramarathon Man, by Dean Karnazes. In one part of the book he was talking about a coach he had in middle school who's mantra was "If it felt good you didn't push hard enough. It's supposed to hurt like hell." Apparently, this coach's philosophy was to go out and run as fast and hard as you can every time. Quite interesting, and I love the simple, boot-camp like mentality. My body doesn't like it at all and right now it is screaming. I will be enjoying several ice treatments tonight.

Mileage: 12.00
Time/Pace: 1:56:59/9:45

Well of the pace I wanted (9:15), but the elements are partially to blame. the first 6 were with a nice tail wind, but at the turn around I was blasted by wind and rain and by this point in the run I was soaked to the bone. I didn't give up, and it HURT LIKE HELL.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

PT, My Heart, Marathons, Etc

Over the past couple of weeks, I have talked with many people about completing my first marathon. Some people knew I was running it and asked me about it, for others it just came up in conversation. What I found most interesting about these conversations was how many people have no idea about how long a marathon actually is. Even before I ever dreamed of running one, I knew what the distance was. Let me give you an example, I was getting my hair cut, and after the typical "How's your day?", "Where do you work?", etc, the hair dresser/cutter (or whatever) and I began talking about fitness and the topic of running and my marathon came up. "Where did you run it?", etc, and then "Oh, do you do any around here, like the Turkey Trot." For those of you in the area the Turkey Trot is an 8K race on Thanksgiving. I guess I should be impressed that she could name any race, but I wasn't. I think I learned about marathon lengths in middle school, maybe even in phys. ed. Am I becoming a running snob? Anyway...she wasn't the only one, I think I had to explain the distance at least 4 times. Maybe I just shouldn't talk about it with anyone.

The week after the marathon, I had my physical. I have a family history of heart issues, so I got a EKG, which, of course, came out abnormal. Next a stress test and echo cardiogram. Apparently, I have a enlarged ventricle something or other, so I have to go back for a follow up. The doctor says its probably just a result of my increased exercise, but better safe than sorry.

I also started PT for my nagging hip injury. The therapist that worked with me was great! Basically, he thinks it a hip strength issue and gave me some strengthening exercises. Hopefully, that's all it is.

Oh, yeah...this week's workouts...

Mileage: 4.00
Time/Pace: 37:00/9:15
Avg HR: 148
Strength, Core

30min Bike, 30min Aqua Jog

Mileage: 3.00 (treadmill)
Time/Pace: 27:40/9:13

Saturday, April 3, 2010

East Aurora Bunny Hop 5K


My wife tried to warn me. It's hilly. Oh come on, how bad could it be?!? BAD! I suck, I'm slow, I'm out of shape...I felt like I was going to die. I finished over 4 minutes slower than my best 5K time. Ugh...here are the ugly stats.

Mileage: 3.11
Time/Pace: 27:42/8:54 (Blah!)
Avg HR: 211 (YIKES!!!)

What to draw from this? What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I'm not in anything close to good shape, yet, but I am working on it. Running, though I love it, sometimes just sucks!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Awesome day! What a change from Tuesday's sleet and wind. Of course, the first nice day brings everyone out of hiding, including the "crazies". My hotel in Binghamton (where I work during the week) is downtown. I had the streets to myself all winter long, but today was an entirely different experience. There are some nicer section of the city, but those seem to be the exception. There was the guy I passed somewhere around my second mile, cheering as I ran by yelling "You can do it! Only 80 miles to go!" Next the fleet of seniors seemingly racing their HoverRound's down the street. The obligatory mother with small child in tow, baby daddy yelling at her as she walked away. Very entertaining!

On to the run. A bit warm, but I certainly won't complain. My body felt a bit sluggish, a bit because of the sudden temperature increase but also just because of general tiredness. I've been chasing sleep all week, and I will sleep until at least 7am tomorrow! Yes, I know, what a luxury!

Mileage: 8.00
Avg HR: 159
T/W: 77/sunny, wind