Friday, December 31, 2010

A Strong Finish to 2010

40 degrees?!? Sounds like a perfect day for a 20 miler. It's been unseasonably cold here for the last month, and every outdoor run has felt like a chore.

I felt very strong throughout the run, even though I am in full holiday diet mode (i.e. chocolate, beer, fat, sugar, more chocolate, wine, beef and cheese, and a bit more chocolate.)

Time/Pace: 3:06:57/9:20
Avg HR/Max HR: 143/154
Elevation: 384ft
T/W:40's, overcast

Up next, the obligatory end of year summary/goals for 2011. Stay tuned...

Monday, December 27, 2010

A New Gym and Indoor Track

Today, I joined a new gym, primarily because it has an indoor running track. I did 12 miles on said track, only 96 laps!

Mileage: 12.00
Time/Pace: 1:44:45/8:43
Avg HR/Max HR: 141/184

Sunday, December 26, 2010


I really had intended to keep up my usual running schedule this week, but then...yeah right. No big deal though. I'm more or less pleased with my progress this year and the few extra days off will only add to my motivation for the upcoming year.

I did get a hadnful of runs including 5 on the treadmill Thursday and Friday about 6 or so, run/walking with a friend. Back at it next week!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Feeling Stronger

I have gotten back into the eating habits that I had great success with in the Summer and Fall, and as a result I am feeling much stronger. Two runs so far this week, on pace for both.

Today's Run (on treadmill)
Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 39:59/8:00

Mileage: 4.00
Time/Pace: 30:33/7:38
Avg HR/Max HR: 139/151
Elevation: 17ft
T/W: 28 (18wc), cloudy

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Back on Pace

Feeling a bit down after my lackluster performance yesterday, I set out determined to get in a solid run. Thankfully, my body and mind cooperated. It was pretty cold out today with a decent wind, but I got in a solid 10 miles at my goal pace.

Mileage: 10.00
Time/Pace: 1:20:42/8:04
Avg HR/Max HR: 145/159
Elevation: 208ft
T/W: 24, 14wc, wind, cloudy

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Caroler 5K

Still reeling a bit from my sad effort on Thursday, I set out for a 5K race. My body, recovered pretty well from my long run, with only minor remnants of achiness. I may not have made the best decision for lunch. My wife and I went out, I had a garlic pasta dish, while in theory isn't too bad, but it was saturated in oil.

Tonight's weather wasn't too bad, mid 20's, but not as much wind as earlier in the day. I started out on a decent pace, but again felt my energy draining quickly. I also felt some waves of nausea coming and going. Similar to Thursday, each step became increasingly difficult, but at least this time I had people around me that helped to keep me going.

I just hung on as good as I could to the end, crossing the line with a very unspectacular and mediocre time.

Mileage: 3.03
Time/Pace: 21:57/7:14
Avg HR/Max HR: 194/221
Elevation: 61ft
T/W: mid 20's, clear

My last handful of runs have been less than spectacular, which leads me to think about why. Here's what I've come up with.

1) Diet: Throughout the summer and fall, I was eating very disciplined. I had tons of energy and was performing very well. I fell off that train late fall and have also gained a few pounds.

2) Sickness: I am at the end of a cold and still a bit congested.

3) Quick Change in Weather: It seems as the transition from fall to winter here was pretty abrupt this year. Usually the temperature change is a bit more gradual, but it seems to me as though we went from 40's to 20's almost instantly.

4) Additional Layers: To combat the temperatures I have added layers of clothing, which probably would suggest that it takes more energy to move me.

I'm sure my issues are a combination of all of these, but I am going to mostly point to diet. I want to perform at a higher level, and the times when I was at my best were also the times that I was training smartly and eating very well. Let's get back at it.

About this race. 1st time race hosted by the same group that does the Quakerman Tri and Wilson Tri. I like the idea of this race, mid-winter, with a family atmosphere/seasonal theme. Registration was a bit disorganized, perhaps due to the small space for race day registrants or the lack of help/unpreparedness of the number of participants. The race course itself was well maintained, a nice course with one small challenge of a hill, but a helpful downhill. I was mildly disappointed that the course was a bit short, only 3.03, again only mildly though, because I was hurting pretty bad. It took a bit long for awards, but I have found that to be typical of most races these days. They had a raffle of some cool Sabres items and even though the after party was packed it was nice to have a couple of free beers afterwards. The post race food that was advertised, was nowhere to be found. We ate dinner at the host restaurant afterwards, a good meal.

A Run Filled With Dispair

Thursday, I had my scheduled long run of 18-miles. The weather was cold and windy, but I felt comfortable with my cold gear, so I headed out. During the week, I spend my time in NE Pennslyvania, quite hilly/mountainous (for these parts) terrain. I have generally found this running tough, but beneficial.

This long run started out okay. I was moving along at a good clip and maintaining my pace well. However at the 9 mile mark, I turned to head back and this is where the mental and physical beating began. The first 9 were primarily downhill miles, so I was prepared for the 9 back up the hill (about 1000ft climb). What I was not prepared for was the wind in my face, the darkness of the evening, how fast my energy drained as I climbed. Add to this the remoteness of the countryside, I felt alone against a seemingly unsurmountable task.

I have to say this was the toughest training run I've ever done. It was the ultimate test in will power. From mile 14 on, I fought for every step, had to dig deeper and had some very lonely moments where I contemplated giving up. At the steepest climb, I did briskly walk for about .25 miles. My spirit was crushed. The hills, wind, darkness and cold had defeated me.

I finished well below the pace I was targeting, and for what I should have been easily able to accomplish.

Mileage: 18.00
Time/Pace: 2:58:26/9:54
Avg HR/Max HR: 141/158
Elevation: 1430ft
T/W: 20's (wc 6), wind

What doesn't kill you...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Shoes and Some Cold Weather Gear Testing

It feels like we are in the dead of winter now, so when better than now to test out some new gear.

The first "new" item is a pair of shoes I actually bought in October that have been sitting on the shelf patiently waiting for their turn. Well today was their special day...

Saucony Pro Grid Razor: It kind of looks like a basketball high-top, but is a waterproof trail-running shoe with a built in gator. This shoe combined with my Darn Tough wool socks seem to be the answer for this winter's running for me. I ran about 5 miles with no issue, the shoe fits nicely, and give my fore foot a bit more room than the Puma Night Fox's I have been running in.
I've had terrible issues lately with cold hands. I recently purchased a pair of Manzella convertable glove/mittens. These are much warmer than the previous pair of Under Armour gloves that I had used last winter. However, I noticed my hands still getting cold in the longer runs. Today I combined a thin Under Armour glove, I use typically in 40-45 degree range with the Manzella's over them. A tighter fit, but PERFECT!
Today's Run
Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 40:37/8:07
Avg HR/Max HR: 151/163
Elevation: 349ft
T/W 19 (WC 6), light snow, wind
With the full winter gear on, I did notice that I struggled more than usual to keep pace and my avg heart rate was higher. Ah the joys of winter running.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Not So Spectacular Speedwork

I had scheduled 8x800 speedwork, but I barely could get through 4 repeats. I did hit my time goal (3:10/split), but I bailed on the second half. Just wasn't feeling it.

Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace (w/wu &cd): 40:18/8:04
Splits: 3:10,3:11, 3:10, 3:10
Avg HR/Max HR: 149/167

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It Sucks Being Sick!

I felt it Sunday night...the beginnings of a cold. Ugh! I attempted to run through it anyway, successfully completing Monday and Tuesday's run. Then Wednesday, 16 miles?!? Not like this. So I took Wed-Fri completely off. As much as it killed me mentally not to run, my body needed it. Today feeling much better, I got out for about 6 miles outside and another 5 or so on the treadmill. More tomorrow, hopefully.

Tuesday (treadmill)
Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 40:19/8:04
Avg HR/Max HR: 150/183

Saturday (outside)
Mileage: 5.80
Time/Pace: 45:54/7:55
Avg HR/Max HR: 153/166
Elevation Gain: 16ft
T/W: 40's, sun

Saturday (treadmill)
Time/Pace: 42:44/8:06
Avg HR/ Max HR: 152/169

Monday, December 6, 2010

Speed Intervals

I've been doing Yasso 800's for the better part of the year, with good success. Looking ahead, the next handful of races I'm preparing for are 5K's, where I'd love to get under 6:00/mile pace. My current best is 6:22/mile. I've added 400's at 6:00/mile pace into my speed work repetoire, with the hopes that I can increase my foot speed and, thus, get faster!

Today's run was 6x400 @ 6:00/mile pace with 1:30 jogs in between

Mileage: 4.69
Time/Pace (with wu/cd): 37:46/8:03
400 Splits: 1:33, 1:27, 1:27, 1:28, 1:27, 1:28
Avg HR/Max HR: 146/166

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Change of Plans

Short version....bailed on the 5K today in exchange for sleeping in and a tempo run.

Mileage: 7.00
Time/Pace (w/wu/cd): 54:59/7:51
Splits: 7:16, 7:18, 7:15, 7:19, 7:10
Avg HR/Max HR: 150/167
T/W: 31/20WC/Light Snow

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Weird Weather

We definitely have had some weird weather down here today. In a span of about an hour I experienced sun, followed by heavy downpour (actually side pour, if that makes sense), snow, sleet, more snow, drizzle. It was any wonder I actually got outside to run. I split up my long run, 7 miles outside and 7 on the treadmill later in the day. This was out of necessity due to timing for work.

Run 1
Mileage: 7.00
Time/Pace: 57:03/8:08
Avg HR/Max HR: 145/160
Elevation: 483ft
T/W: upper 30's, overcast

Run 2 (on Treadmill)
Mileage: 7.00
Time/Pace: 58:51/8:24
Avg HR/Max HR: 145/198 (brief spike)

Monday I did some speed work, 4x800 at a 3:10 pace. I got as close to puking while running as I ever had, but I did hold it together.

Total Mileage: 4.84
Time/Pace: 39:32/8:10
800 Splits: 3:12, 3:12, 3:09, 3:12
Elevation: 214ft
Avg HR/Max HR: 154/175
T/W: mid-40's, calm, clear