Sunday, November 27, 2011

1 Week to the Marathon, 3 Awesome Runs, and 3:20 of PR's

There has been a lot spoken on here about the lack of racing for me lately.  So this weekend I decided to get some racing in since I am off from cross country.  With a trip down to Murrieta, California for Thanksgiving, we found a few races.  I wanted to take advantage of my fitness and time off to race.  Here is my week by breakdown and pictures.

Tuesday-45 min easy. some before practice and some with the girls.
Wednesday-Rest/travel day
Thursday-Oceanside Turkey Trot 5K.  Thats right, Oceanside, California.  It was a gorgeous day at the beach in November.    A few months ago i put out a "feeler" facebook message to the people in the family to see if anyone else wanted to run.  Surprisingly enough there was a large group who decided to run.  There was a bunch of first time 5K ers.  I wrote them a plan and everybody was ready to race.  I ran 15 min easy plus drills and strides.  A total of 2 miles of warm-up.  There was 10 min of wait time with the crowd and all.  The gun goes off and I am pumped.  My race plan was to progressively get faster and with a flat course it should be possible.  With the goal still the marathon I didnt want to kill it but still have a good effort.  I held back and still had a good race.  The plan was for 7:50, 7:30, and under 7:30.  What I actually got was 7:42, 7:28, 7:17, and 42 sec 0.1 mile.  For a total of 23:13 and a pace of 7:28.  I am pumped that I have a new 5K PR with me holding back, a PR by 1:57.  Almost 2 min.  What can I do if I was all out?  My VDOT shifted after this too.  (take it easy Karl, I know) IF I was training this whole time at this fitness it said I can run a 3:41 Marathon and 1:46 half.  WOW.  What a huge change in my fitness in this last 6 months.  Everyone else finished happy and ready to do another one.  It was an awesome experience and the newbies really enjoyed themselves.  Here are some pictures:

this last picture is my wifes cousin tina.  She ran cross country and is excited about her new found fitness.  She was so pumped to be running today, I was pumped to see such an excited young runner.  She has some potential so I hope she continues to run. The other pictures are the group that ran the turkey trot.
Friday-5 miles easy.  I wanted to find a trail to run.  This last 6 months I have really embraced trail running and its a really fun alternative.  Today I fell even more in love with it.  I found the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve and off I went.  I get there and discover there is a huge network of awesome trails.  None of the trails stick out to me so I just decided to see what was what.  Here is the brochure:

 I cant get it to rotate.  If I lived there I would run this place ALL THE TIME.  You can run there a 100 times and not run the same route twice.  Here are some of the pics I took during the run:

Monument hill led to the view you see on the last picture.  It was breathtaking.  I didnt want to leave.  I ran a total of 5 miles and on the way I saw birds, squirrels, flowers, and a mountain lion.  Yes a mountain lion.  It ran across the path and continued down a ravine.  Then it stopped to watch me.  I have video but the mountain lion is not visible.  It was an awesome run and I am so proud to be able to experience such an awesome place.
Saturday-Since the wife and I had a 6 mile run scheduled anyway, why not a 10K?  Besides I could use a 10K PR anyway.  The Temecula Turkey trot was ran on saturday not thursday so I thought why not?  There were no takers except for Tina.  She really wanted to run and had never ran a 10K.  It was so cool to have her with us.  The course was not clear to me until I drove there.  There were gorgeous wineries and the start was no different.  What became very clear was the terrain.  Dirt roads and hills.  Sweet!  But will a PR be possible if I dont want to go too hard and these obstacles were in front of me.  My race strategy changed.  The race was 3 miles out and back and then WAY up for the last 0.2 miles.  SO progression run was going to be difficult.  Can I keep it steady then?  I wanted to finish at about 50 min or so.  That meant 8 min miles.  I ran a one mile warm up and I didnt feel like drills or strides.  While in mile 2 I knew that was going to be difficult so I thought just work on staying tucked onto people, do not get sucked up into what the course is doing and just run, and then do not walk no matter how hilly or steep.  Work on rhythm.  I felt so strong.  I held this back too and took the hill on the end of the run really well.  I am so happy about this aspect of my running coming together.  Here are my splits: 8:07, 8:05, 8:02, 8:29, 8:25, 8:23, and 1:50 for the 0.2.  For a total of 51:19.  A PR by 2:23.  A flatter, easier terrain would yield a much faster time but with were I am at, there was no purpose for that.  It was a strong effort on a terrain that was tough.  The dirt roads were very bumpy, in the motorcross world they call them whoops.  Julie also PR'd and Christina went ahead and won her age group!  Here is a pic of her:
Pardon my thumb.  She rocked it though.  She ran the whole thing minus really training for this distance and didnt walk despite the nature of the course.  WAY TO GO GIRL!
Sunday-Off to rest and travel home.
Stats: Total of 18 miles and 2 PR's totalling 3 min and 20 sec.  3 memorable runs.  Now an easy week of running and hammer this marathon next sunday.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cringing as I think of Goals for the Las Vegas Marathon

As today has unfolded I have been thinking about whether or not to post about goals.  I have been known to set the bar too high for myself.  At times a good thing, at others setting myself up for disappointment.  I have set goals that were unfair to myself.  This concept is a healthy thing.  I think of this problem as a root of failed health all around the country.  People who forget that striving for better pertains to them.  I am constantly reminded at how awesome it is that people with lives and families and things still do speed work, they still repeat hills, and other training that the average person just doesnt get.  I love it.  I love that only a few select people really know what work I am doing.  I love that people out there are busting their butts just to get better and they do not have a "real" competition.  Got off topic.  The goals.

A Goal:  4:15.  That is a 9:43 pace.  My Vdot said 4:15 so that has been my goal.  "A pie in the sky day" is what Karl said.  This goal is gonna take some guts.  Not only will it be at that pace but it means that I cannot walk.  I have yet to prove that to myself.  My training has not really supported this goal but it is close.  I am going to give it my all to keep this.

B goal:  4:23.  That is 10:00 pace.  This would be an hour PR at this distance.  I really, really want that.  It will be tough and again will come down to guts in that last 10K.  We always talk about the 1st race as the race just put in there to get you tired and then the real race begins.  The only "concern" that I have is what I am feeling like when this time comes.  I am practicing mental imagery on keeping my mind clear, and my body calm and rely on the hurt and pain I have endured/overcame to act like I have been there before.  Because I have.

C goal:  No walking/4:30 and beat the time cut off.  I dont think I will get picked up because the times dont add up for the race people.  I know that I can get through the first half in the allotted time no problem...but will they shut it down when they say they will?  Does not make sense.  The amount of turns and the afternoon/evening start time may make for lost time.  I feel like I can run anywhere, anytime, in any conditions, and at any time of day.  Bring it on.  Here is how my week went:

Monday-Rest.  I met all mileage goals and got all my specialty/long runs in so I rested.  It was a hard week anyway.
Tuesday-Rest.  With the start of track season and taper and all I decided not to fight to find time to run.  There is no running with the girls now.  The first 2 day stretch off I have had in a long time.  Kinda nice.
Wednesday-5 mile easy.  Just got a easy run in while the girls went easy.  Sully and i enjoyed sunset park.
Thursday-Rest, I am going to have find a way to get a run in with practice/work in there.
Friday-10 mile under 9.  I thought it would be a fun thing to see what I can do.  While I ran the first mile I thought what if I can do both?  Progression and under 9, keep that real tight.  Here are my splits: 8:59 (under 9 right? lol), 8:54, 8:52, 8:48, 8:45, 8:44, 8:42 (this is where the hill was and the terrain stays slightly more uphill then Las Vegas Blvd), 8:48 ( I was trying to keep this pace up hill, lol), and 8:53.  I was battling and went to the place I know I will be in a few weeks.  I am proud of that but I wonder how long I could have kept that pace.  This is the kind of workout that I need to make more common.  This is a character builder.
Saturday-  Hill repeats.  I have been curious.  I have run this hill on High Mesa in the past and I wanted to see what I got.  I ran it twice.  It is a 600 ft gain in 1/2 mile.  I had mixed success.  Although I ran it twice, which, I couldnt do before, I had to walk some.  Quads and lungs on fire.  I also had some shoes on that were of no help.  My feet were sore.  I got a good rhythm and I am loving that strategy for tackling hills.  A total of 6 miles.
Sunday-Long Run.  A 14 miler was cut short.  I wasnt into it.  I just didnt feel like it.  I got up to run with the girls for practice and didnt feel like it.  My feet were sore and I had other things going on and I just didnt want to put it out there today.  I am on taper and I just cut it short.  It was 8 miles at 9:21 pace.  I was with the girls and with sully and I just didnt have the "thing" to stay with the plan.
Total:  Weekly mileage 29 miles,  supposed to be 37.  I had a good specialty run, I cut my long run short and the weekly mileage was down.  Just a weird week.  Only 1 day of practice next week, off to california for the holiday where I will run a 5K and a 10K.  No worries Karl I will behave.  Quote:

“Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.”

When the first race is over, what do you have left?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

So Much For the Taper....

Coach Krazy Legs emailed and said, "how about another 18 miler."  I said lets do it.  I had a good week.  I thought it was going to be a little boring and all.  A lot of things have been running thought my head lately about what to expect with this marathon.  Here is how my week went:

Monday (last weeks mileage)-Easy 4.  Groggy, sore, and tired.  Get the weekly mileage in.
Tuesday-Easy run.  3 miles with the girls.  Nothing to report.
Wednesday-Training 6.  I found a new road to run with easy gravel.  May be a spot for mile repeats.
Friday-Progression 10 miler.  The weather around stanford was gloomy and moist.  Not rainy, just wet.  It was perfect.  Not too cold.  I had a few hours to kill so I slipped on the kicks and off I go.  I ran past the football stadium, through campus, right by the Game Day stage where ESPN was.  Here are my splits:  9:21, 9:13, 9:10, 9:02, 8:58, 8:43, 8:33, 8:28, 8:34, and 8:31.  The worst part is that the last 2 were way faster.  The road I ran on had a lot of lights.  I must have been stopped by 5 lights.  I think they were 8:15 and 8:10 effort/pace.  I felt awesome.  That is an average of 8:52 pace.  Total time 1:28:38.
Saturday-4 mile recovery.  To Stanford stadium and back.  Sore and tired but got it in.
Sunday-Long Run, 18 miles.  I wondered how much nutrition played a part in the other long runs collapsing.  Today we went for another long run and used some nutrition.  It went much better.  18 miles, 2:56:51.  That is a 9:49 pace.  The hills are bigger than the race.  I started the day sore and tired.  I wanted to run that way.  I even had a 2 min negative split.    Tapered and flatter...what am I capable of come race day?  No issues muscluskeletal.  I used some shot blocks and some Gu's.  The first 9 I carried Sully and water.  The second accelerade.  I felt strong.  A good confidence booster going into the taper.
Stats-45 miles total.  More than the plan but then again we didnt plan the 18 miler.  Got a strong progression run in.  A solid long run.  A great week.  Quote:

“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.”
 Jesse Jackson

What am I capable of come race day?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

This body is starting to OBEY...

I am lucky enough to be a guy that helps people connect with their body.  When we lose what our body means to us, it rebels.  I believe it can be the difference between a happy life and a stressed out aimless existence.  Well that is how it was for me anyway.  Just when I think I have it, I reach another level of awareness of what my body is capable.  I remember the last time I ran 20 miles before the LA Marathon I thought to myself, I hate this.  What am I doing?  Today I felt like a real training run.  I just kept thinking yeah, I do 20 mile training runs now.  I felt great, until it wound down.  The toughness, the willingness to be uncomfortable will no doubt continue to improve but today I started to believe even more. Running is a metaphor for life and life is funny.  I love running and not always during the run.  I run because of the lessons I learn about myself.  I cannot think of something that is so healthy and so educational at the same time.  There are literally no cons, only pros.  Here is how my week went:

Monday-8 Mile progressive run.  Here are my splits:  9:19, 9:15, 9:04, 9:00, 8:45, 8:46, 8:13, and 7:50.  8:46 Average over 1:10.  I started the day dreading the cold and getting out of bed.  When I began to run under 9 I remember why I do that.  I love the feeling of running fast.  I felt like I was efficient and in control of my body.  Awesome.  I would rather go fast.  Today was last weeks miles.
Tuesday-Easy 4.  The girls had practice, I ran.
Wednesday-Easy 7 miles at 9:19 pace.  i felt good, for the most part.
Thursday-Only managed 2 miles with the girls during warmup then had to coach.  Couldnt get anymore in the rest of the day.
Friday-Off.  I fudged it.  I wanted to get a sold 8 or so in and I traded it in for a morning off.  Hang with the dogs and stay off my feet.  Felt funny to not be out there.
Saturday-6 miles with hill repeats.  We met at 6 tunnels.  The hill was on the River Mountain Loop Trail.  It also happened to be at the turnaround of the ITU world championships.  Those folks were flying!  Got me juiced about getting on my bike.  Boy do I miss the bike.  If I wasnt making such huge dents in my fitness I would get on it.  The running work I am putting in is absolutely priceless.
Sunday-20 mile long run.  After running some hills yesterday I wondered how the rhythm would affect the long run.  9:45 felt way. too.  slow.  I physically could not run that slow for the first 14 or so miles.  I saw my half marathon time at 2:05. 9:40 pace.   Trying to go so slow.  Fighting myself to go that slow.  Then the wind, rain, fatigue, and grade got to me.  Oh there is that lack of nutrition thing too.  I started to bonk.  The first 10 mile loop is hilly and the second was flatter.  It does have the slow up grade as does the race course on Las Vegas blvd.  I was 10 min/ mile through 16 and even as low as 9:38 through 14.  I started to get hungry.  No cramping, no trouble though.  Overall, a confidence booster.  I felt very strong and I battled better than I have before.  I have to work on the end mental toughness.  Nourishment will definitely help though.  
Stats:  39 miles without tomorrows easy 4 shakeout.  20 mile long run in, 8 miles under 9 not in.  Overall a good week but could have been managed better.  I ran a total of 150 miles in the month of October.  I suppose the taper is in effect.  Quote:

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Eleanor Roosevelt