Saturday, February 26, 2011

Grinding Out 20

I'm sick of this weather. Sick of the wind. Sick of the snow. Sick of the cold. Spring, I am BEGGING you to show yourself. I'll take anything above freezing!

Time/Pace: 2:56:52/8:50
Avg HR/Max HR: 138/156
Elevation: 140ft

Friday, February 25, 2011

Just What I Needed

Woke up feeling a bit sore, nothing an easy 5 miles couldn't cure.

Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 38:27/7:41
Avg HR/Max HR: 140/157

Gearing up for another 20 tomorrow, hopefully outside!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

3.5 Hr Run

In preparation for my first attempt at an ultra in April, I have added a timed training run to my weekly workouts. Today was decent enough to get outside too, so double bonus!

I was shooting for a 9:15 pace, which I was able to maintain until the last 3-4 miles, combination of fatigue and hills.

Mileage: 22.33
Time/Pace: 3:30:03/9:24
Elevation: 908ft
Avg HR/Max HR: 139/165

Body definitely sore, but I made it. I'll be adding :15 to this run each week to get as close to 6 hrs as possible before the race.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bike Intervals

A bit of a lackluster performance tonight.

I was looking for 5x4min intervals, getting my HR into the 82-88% (153-160 bpm), but I really struggled getting my HR in this zone. Again, my lungs were fine, but my legs could just not move enough to get my HR up.

1: 147 avg HR/151 Max HR/71 rpm/1.36 miles
2: 147/154/69/1.37
3: 148/154/70/1.36
4: 145/151/70/1.33
5: 147/154/70/1.35

Mileage: 13.01
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 46:01/17.0/23.7
Avg HR/Max HR: 139/155

4 Mile Tempo Run

I've become more committed to speed work this year, making sure that I at least do a tempo run every week, if not also intervals. My base tempo run is 4 miles long at a pace about 20 seconds slower than my best 5K time. Each week I lower my goal time by 2 secs, with the intention of pushing my 5K best even lower. Today's goal was 4 miles @6:37. Needless to say it is definitely getting harder.

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 45:07/7:31
Tempo Splits: 6:31, 6:36, 6:35, 6:34
Avg HR/Max HR: 154/179

Monday, February 21, 2011

10 x .25

Right off of yesterday's race, I jumped back into some interval work. I am really trying to push my times lower each week and am doing a 3 week cycle to hit various interval lengths and keep things fresh.

Today, my goal was 10 repeats of .25 mile at a 5:54/mile pace.

1: 5:52/pace, 149 avg HR, 156 max HR
2: 5:45, 153, 158
3: 5:48, 154, 159
4: 5:43, 153, 161
5: 5:48, 156, 161
6: 5:43, 153, 161
7: 5:46, 153, 160
8: 5:44, 154, 161
9: 5:52, 154, 161 (toughest one)
10: 5:46, 154, 160

Mileage: 7.00
Time/Pace: 53:15/7:36
Avg HR/Max HR: 147/161

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chilly Challenge 5K

My race confidence has been low for the past three months or so. Since my best 5K time in November, my performances have been lackluster to say the least. Once I broke the 20 minute mark, I was determined to stay there, but the past three races were all over 20. The weather was somewhat of a factor in all of those events, but I still felt as though I could have and should have performed better.
This week was a low mileage week, so I was definitely feeling fresh. My wife and I also did a warm up mile before the race (I don't typically do this, but we might be on to something here!) The sun was out and while still cold, dare I say CHILLY (!?!), race conditions were about as perfect as to be expected for this time of year.

I felt strong throughout the race and after finishing the second mile I felt as though I could set a personal best. I spent the 2nd half of the race "targeting" one runner at a time, catching them and passing them, before aiming for the next. This helps me mentally. It keeps me focused on running with good form and gives me a very short term and simple goal. This is huge in distracting me from my body as it screams for me to stop.

Great results, a new personal best by 17 seconds...on to sub-19!

Mileage: 3.09
Time/Pace: 19:29/6:18
Avg HR/Max HR: 160/176
Elevation: 34ft

I came in 3rd in my age group and won this cool mug. Canisius HS organized a very nice event. Fantastic after party as well, the Chili was a perfect post-race party food.

Congrats also to my wife, who broke the 30-minute mark for the first time. She's also training for a 1/2 marathon at the beginning of May. Running has changed both of our lives for the better!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Some Rest

After my less than delightful run on Wednesday, I decided to take the next couple of days completely off. I hadn't had two consecutive days of rest since the beginning of January. I felt a bit guilty about it, but I think my body needed to rest.

Though still cold and very windy today, I was determined to get in at least 10 miles. I finished a solid 12.

Mileage: 12.00
Time/Pace: 1:36:21/8:01
Avg HR/Max HR: 149/164

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


"There's no such thing as bad weather, just soft people."-Bill Bowerman

I set out today for my 20 mile run, chanting this. I really thought I had it all figured out. The weather channel stated that the temperature at my home away from home, in NEPA, was 31. Of course that is measured in the wind sheltered valley and my place is on the hilltop about 1000ft higher in elevation, totally exposed to the wind. Regardless I set out, feeling pretty confident and determined to not be a "softie". For the next 45 minutes, I was beaten down by not only a crushing wind, but also humbled by dirt roads turned ice skating rinks (see picture). 7 miles into it, I caved.

Mileage: 7.38
Time/Pace: 1:07:43/9:10
Avg HR/Max HR: 138/152
Elevation: 615ft

You win today Bill. I'm soft.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

No Excuses

I could have bailed on my bike intervals tonight. My legs were feeling tired, I wimped out on my run intervals (kinda?!?) I really have no excuse to bail on a workout. I want to get stronger, faster, etc. I need to put in good effort, even when I'm tired. I like to walk that fine line of pushing myself and overtraining.

Bike Intervals this evening. 5x4min @ 82-88%MHR (153-162), 70rpm. I am still having difficultly getting into the target heart rate. My lungs are fine it is my legs that are letting me down.

Interval 1: 146 AHR/151 MHR/71rpm
2: 148/154/72
3: 145/153/70
5: 147/161/71

Mileage: 12.93
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp:46:01/16.9/24.9
Avg HR/Max HR: 138/161

Finish What I Started

This morning I bailed on the 4th and 5th interval of my speed work. I felt bad about it all day, so after work I was determined to finish. I did the final two intervals: 6:25, 6:24.

Mileage: 4.50
Time/Pace: 35:03/7:47
Avg HR/Max HR: 135/179

I may even get on the bike this evening for some bike intervals.

Weak Speed Work

On the Schedule: 5x1mile @ 6:25

Only could muster up 3 repeats: 6:26, 6:24, 6:25

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 47:01/7:50
Avg HR/Max HR: 147/165

Monday, February 14, 2011

Long Ride w/Mini Sprints

Today's bike goal: 55 minutes at 70-75% MHR @ 95rpm with 20 second sprints every 5 minutes.

Mileage: 15.92
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 1:00:01/15.9/28.8
Avg HR/Max HR: 132/147

Sunday, February 13, 2011

60 Mile Week

That's right, I just completed my first 60 mile week with a nice little 20 mile run. Even better than that, I was finally able to do a long run outside. With temps in the upper 30's, I was determined to get out, even with the 25+mph winds.

Mileage: 20.00
Time/Pace: 2:58:31/8:55
Avg HR/Max HR: 135/157

Next week is a low mileage week, only 38ish.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dash for the Dome 5K

Another frigid, blustery, bone chilling race in WNY. What else should I have expected. I was definitely wooed into this race by the false advertising of the race organizers (see calm winter day picture to right). Instead we had blowing and drifting snow, 25+mph winds. Wahhhh! I wasn't setting any personal records here today. Otherwise, well organized and a nice party in the warm Botanical Gardens afterwards. Nothing says fitness like beer and hotdogs!

Mileage: 3.13
Time/Pace: 22:57/7:20
Avg HR/Max HR: 184/201 (way too high!)
I finished 2nd in my age group, 10th overall (out of 155). I won 4 guest passes to visit the Gardens, who's in?!?
Oh, it's my birthday today too. (Shameless plug for many online blogger birthday wishes!)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Standard Tempo Run and a Heart Racing Bike Interval Session

Pretty typical tempo run, goal was 4 miles @ 6:41/mile.

Tempo Splits: 6:39, 6:39, 6:39, 6:37

Total Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 44:24/7:26
Avg HR/Max HR: 148/176

Then power intervals on the bike.

Goal: 4x4min, 82-87%MHR, 70rpm

The 1 interval went off fine, avg HR 151, max 161, 71 rpm.

My heart began to race during sets 2 and part of 3, got upto 191bpm and 171bpm respectively, before it settled down again for an avg of 144 for the last set. Weird.

Mileage: 10.09
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 40:00/15.1/23.7
Avg HR/Max HR: 142/192

I've experienced these HR spikes in the past, most noteably at last year's Turkey Trot. It is troublesome, but happens infrequently. I did have my heart checked out last year; i.e. stress test, cardiogram, and everything was acceptable. They found my resting HR of 47 to be curious, but normal for my activity level.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Yes, It's a Donut

So, the short story is that I walked into the office, saw a box of donuts, only one left, eat it, etc, etc, etc....

Anyway, another 10 tonight, so who cares. Kinda disappointed though, because it was jelly filled and I was expecting creme.

Time/Pace: 1:28:14/8:49
Avg HR/Max HR: 135/166

Not Beautiful but Functional

Treadmill, basement, tv, dvr...

These have been my running tools for this winter.

Today my 20 miles will have to be split in two parts, due to some work time constraints. (Damn, having to make a living!)

1st 10

Time/Pace: 1:28:48/8:52

Avg HR/Max HR: 142/166

See you later...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

From Balmy to Brutal

After my scary run one cold December night (read about it here), I made a conscious decision to limit my outdoor running to temps above 25. Of course, this winter has been brutally cold and has not afforded me many opportunities to get out. Yesterday, I got in 3 miles and it was great (if 32 degrees is great), but today back to reality. By the time I was ready to get a run in (about 7pm) it was 10 here (-7 with the wind chill). During the week, I am away from my somewhat urban home and am deep in the "Endless Mountains" of Northeast PA. In addition to the cold, being up high does not give much wind protection and that compounds the issue. Luckily (I guess) I have access to a treadmill so day after day I slog away, the DVR as my only solace.

Today's Workout: 10x800 @ 3:20 (6:40/mile pace) with 3:20 slow jogs in between

Splits: 3:16, 3:18, 3:18, 3:19, 3:17, 3:18, 3:20, 3:18, 3:19, 3:14

Following the Yasso 800's, this would suggest that I can complete a marathon in 3 hrs 20mins. I'll take that!


Mileage: 10.00

Time/Pace: 1:17:28/7:44

Avg HR/Max HR: 148/194

Monday, February 7, 2011

...and Ride...

PM workout....45 min long ride on the bike trainer @ 70-75% MHR.

Mileage: 15.15
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 56:01/16.2/22.5
Avg HR/Max HR: 131/141

During Target: 136bpm (72.3%)

Felt good, no issues.

Shake Out Run

Today was a nice easy 3 miles. Even better, it was outside! I hadn't been out since the Snowball 5K in January. I've been reluctant to go out in temps less than 25, and we haven't had too many days lately above this temp. Today, however, was another story, an almost balmy 32!

Mileage: 3.00
Time/Pace: 22:46/7:35
Avg HR/Max HR: 141/166

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Strong Finish

Nothing like a nice 18-miler to finish out the week. Plus, I was able to "bank" some calories for Super Bowl pizza feast.

Mileage: 18.00
Time/Pace: 2:37:30/8:45

Avg HR/Max HR: 134/177

3x8min Bike Intervals

What better way to work off a Wegmans Peanut Butter Cream Pie?!? 1100 calories, 78g fat, 60g sugar. I only ate half though...
How about some bike intervals?
Today's goal: 3x8min Intervals at 80-82% (150-154) of MHR @ 95rpm. Rest at 60rpm, until 70% MHR (132).
1: 152 Avg HR/ 157 Max HR/96 rpm
2: 151/157/97
3: 151/156/97
Mileage: 10.30
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 38:00/16.7/23.1
Avg HR/Max HR: 141/157

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I substitued today's long run with my speed work, due to some time constraints. I'll get in the long run tomorrow.

Today's goal: 10 x 400 (.25 mile) @ 5:58/mile pace

1: 5:51 pace/152 Avg HR/156 Max HR
2: 5:52/153/158
3: 5:47/155/159
4: 5:51/155/161
5: 5:50/156/162
6: 5:47/157/162
7: 5:50/157/162
8: 5:53/156/162
9: 5:52/158/163
10: 5:50/159/163

Mileage: 7.02
Time/Pace: 51:43/7:22
Avg HR/Max HR: 149/164

Friday, February 4, 2011

Intensive Endurance Ride

Today's Goal: 5 min @ 80% MHR (150bpm), 5 min @ 85% MHR(160bpm) (3.5x)

After the 1st 5 minutes, at 80% I was struggling, so I decided to ride another 5 min at 80%, then do 75% & 80% the rest of the way.

1: 142 Avg HR (75.5%)/ 152 Max HR
2: 150 (80%)/153
3: 141 (75%)/150
4: 148 (78.7%)/152
5: 142 (75.5%)/149
6: 149 (79.2%)/152
7: 144 (76.6%)/154

Mileage: 13.18
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 50:01/15.9/21.9
Avg HR/Max HR: 135/153

Disappointed that I couldn't get up to the 80-85, but was successful with the modification.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Achilles Heel

Meet my friends....chocolate chip cookie, fudge brownie, and, of course, peanut M&M's. My best friends and also my Achilles heel. You see, I spend a great deal of time working out, I try to eat right, etc, etc. However, I have a terrible weakness for chocolate. For instance, I have no problem eating 8-10 servings of the aforementioned M&M's in a 3 hr car ride. This totals roughly 1400 calories. Doing that alone, with no exercise, and you can see how I once let myself get to 260lbs. With the exercise thing working well for me, if I could only cut out the chocolate.... What you see pictured is a breakfast, yes, BREAKFAST, I enjoyed a couple of weeks ago. It was glorious while it was happening, but afterwards....ugh. So, I am taking this chocolate battle head on, one day at a time.
Two workouts today
Bike: EZ ride 70-75% MHR
Mileage: 13.50
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 54:01/15.0/20.0
Avg HR/Max HR: 131/143
Run: 4 Mile Tempo @ 6:43 w/wu & cd
Total Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 44:18/7:23
Tempo Splits: 6:41, 6:43, 6:41, 6:38
Avg HR/Max HR: 148/195

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Treadmill Movie Review: Bangkok Dangerous

Another 20 miles, another movie....

Today's choice was Bangkok Dangerous, the 2008 action movie starring Nicholas Cage. I chose it because I have generally been a fan of cage, though his recent performances have been less than stellar. In this movie, we follow a professional hitman, who breaks all his rules of getting personal with people during a string of "jobs" in Bangkok. He falls for a deaf woman, takes on an ambitious student and as a result puts his "career" and life in jeopardy. An otherwise cool, calm and collected man, Cage's character (and I couldn't even tell you his name, it was that good) slowly unravels, gets a heart and begins to question his own morales. This was a very SLOW MOVING plot, pretty lame action sequences and a highly predictable ending. I would have turned it off before the end, but I needed something to fill the time during my 3 hr trot.

Overall, two very big THUMBS DOWN.

Mileage: 20.00
Time/Pace: 2:59:29/8:58
Avg HR/Max HR: 146/169

Avg HR was higher than I was hoping for. I was shooting for no more than 141, but I did kick up the pace 20 seconds over last week's goals so....

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Long Ride

The only thing that makes a bike trainer bareable is TV (thank God for DVR's.)

Today's Goal: 55 min @ 70-75% MHR, 95rpm
Actual: 55 min, 135bpm (71.8%), 97rpm

Mileage: 17.15
Time/Avg Sp/Max Sp: 1:05:01/15.8/22.1
Avg HR/Max HR: 131/142