Saturday, August 29, 2015

...ain't got a bone in his jelly back

I'm meeting more runners on the Bugline lately.  I've chatted with a few and they are running Lakefront.  It was rainy today and I got a late start at 9am.  It wasn't going to clear up so I got going.  I must have saw a good 20+ runners today and zero bikes.  I am usually out at 6-7am so it appears most people get a later start.  Plus we were out for a retirement dinner last night and I slept in a bit.  You like Junior Mints?  Man I went comanche on 2-4 ounce boxes before bed.  Nothing like a good sugar coma to put you out.

I have 15 more training days and then the 3 week taper.  I'm really considering running Al's Run 8k.  It would come 6 days after my 30k MP run.  I always liked a good barn burner to get the racing vibes going.  Not sure I could break 32:00, but that would be my goal.  I'm not feeling particularly fast, but fairly fit.  I have not been watching the weight, but I did check in yesterday at 170 even which is good.  If I could get around 168 that would work.  Then with the taper I would probably get up around 172.  That was good enough at Lakefront 15 years ago, so it should be now.

8/24 - OFF
8/25 - 6.0 (9:21) easy
8/26 - 8.0 (9:02) easy
8/27 - 10.0 (7:50) moderate
8/28 - 10.5 w/ 5 x 1 mile (6:42, 6:28, 6:30, 6:32, 6:31)
8/29 - 10.5 (7:37) moderate

Lakefront has expanded to a field of 3,500 for the 35th anniversary.  I looked at the top 5 for the 50-54 age group last year and the times were 2:58:38, 2:58:50, 3:03:37, 3:07:19, 3:13:17.   On a very good day I might be that 3:07:19 guy.  The time for the 100th finisher was 3:12:20. I'm in here looking at results the stats for 2013 top 5 were 2:54:10, 2:59:08, 3:04:11, 3:14:47, 3:19:03 and the 100th finisher was 3:12:08.  My friend Rick (2-time overall champ) was 3rd both years in the age group.  Looks like some pretty solid runners show up.  As I will be 55 next year I'm sure the same routine might be tried again.  I'm on my way to get a Cousin's Roast Beef & Cheddar Sub.  Big guys in two's little guys in bunches!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

"C'est La Vie"

Lakefront is 6 weeks from today.  As planned I ran a 25K on the track at marathon pace.  For a change I felt fairly fresh.  Part of the reason is I did take a complete rest day on Friday.  I had tweaked my right hamstring (this is my achilles heel) the day before on Thursday.  I ran a moderate effort (though it was tough) w/ 10.5 miles a 7:57 pace and on the very last step when I stopped I felt that all to familiar pull.  I thought it best to get in there and break up the adhesions and give it an extra day to heal.  Turned out to be a good decision.  Also the rain did not happen as forecasted and I was able to run at 6am with overcast skies and temps in the mid 60s.  There was a bit of wind, but it actually felt refreshing.  The plan was simple; start out slower than the 20k three weeks ago and try and get in a groove.  I thought I did a fairly good job and never struggled.  My slowest miles are typically when I am trying to take in calories or fluids.  My lower legs began to stress rapidly after 20k.  I believe part of that is running in the flats which I am trying to bone up on.  Aerobically it was an effort for sure, but the main item again is getting my legs used to running in less shoe.  Here are the 5k splits: (7:10 pace)


I have one 3 week cycle left and finish off with a 30k on the track in 3 more Sundays.  Then it is the 3 week taper.  I'm going to have to keep an eye on not pushing my legs beyond what they are capable of which basically means don't decide to go Chaka Khan with the Flintstones auto all of the sudden.

8/9 - 11.0 (7:52) moderate w/ 0.5 c/d (train)
8/10 - 11.0 (7:57) moderate
8/11 - 6.1 (9:57) easy, Dewey/Tim at Menomonee Park
8/12 - 11.0 (7:58) moderate
8/13 - 23.0 (8:26) moderate
8/14 - OFF
8/15 - 8.0 (9:54) easy
8/16 - 10.0 (10:57) easy, Dean/Andrea at Minooka
8/17 - 10.0 (8:21) moderate
8/18 - 9.0 w/ 8 x 880y w/ 440y jog
8/19 - 6.5 (9:15) easy, Krista at Lapham
8/20 - 10.5 (7:57) moderate, Tweaked Right Hammy
8/21 - OFF
8/22 - 6.0 (9:54) easy
8/23 - 18.0 w/ 25k in 1:51:23 (7:10)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Steeler Nation

In my opinion, the marathon is the truest test of an endurance athlete.  More closely related to a 10k than any 50k I have ever run.  Perhaps because I treat the marathon as a race and not another 50k just to get a good "training" run in.  Anyone who has laced them up and trained to race a marathon can attest to the fact that the path to accomplishing this can be elusive.  It can also be difficult, so this is why I seldom commit to an all out focus on one race.  Most of us who have been doing this awhile have a good sense of what it takes.  Plus we have friends and the internet to run our "sweet science" ideas past the shade tree mechanics just in case.  It's nice to have someone in the boat with you along the way to offer encouragement or sarcasm even.  The one thing I lack this time is someone to bang the hard workouts with.  There has always been something to meeting someone at 5:45am and knowing they would be there.  Maybe it is a good thing as most of us have a tendency to get a bit competitive on training runs.

I have been generally surprised this time around that my willingness to put the training in has been positive.  Now I have a ways to go, but my attitude has been good.  Being a bit older and wiser I can appreciate that my biorhythms, the weather, or other life stresses can and will impact some training days.  I rely more on the effort at times than that cold hearted retch called "the watch." 

8/2 - HR 60, 16.0 w/ 20k on the track in 1:29:55 (7:14).
8/3 - HR 53, OFF
8/4 - HR 52, 5.0 (10:05) easy
8/5 - HR 58, 5.0 (10:00) easy
8/6 - HR 56, 11.0 (7:55) moderate
8/7 - HR 54, 11.0 w/ 6 x 1mile (6:46,40,45,39,39,25)
8/8 - HR 55, 11.0 (7:42) moderate

Now the one thing I like about training cycles is I can see how they overlay to the previous one.  It helps me coach myself better.  Improvement is obviously good to see, but I'm talking about the tweaks you make to bring about better results.  You know...stuff like a better warm-up, starting out slower, backing off, etc.  The meat of these cycles is really the moderate runs at 10-12 miles.  These runs keep the general fatigue at a level so when you do the "mandatory marathon training crap" you are learning to endure/adapt.  Honestly I was disappointed in the mile repeat times, but I just told myself it is the process.  It doesn't matter how fast I ran these 15 years ago.  The first response to this as I have mentioned before is I need to incorporate more speed/turnover.  I need to establish a cruising speed.  You have to let this go.  On race day the idea is to uncover the exact pace I can carry for 26.22 miles.  For me to run 11.0 miles today at 28 seconds over my 7:14 pace target the day after mile repeats shows me something is starting to work.  Like Terry Bradshaw once said, "When you go to the biggest dance of the year, you dance with the one who brung ya."

Sunday, August 2, 2015

We can rebuild him

1:29:55 for 20k splits 44:48/45:07 (7:14 mile pace)

I started warming up at 5:45am and it was already mid 70s.  I was a bit agressive (anxious) and wheeled through the first lap in 1:40.  I backed her down and went through the quickest of the 1600m in 7:02.  Did well and then just past 4 miles I grabbed two S-caps and a chunk of Power Bar and the act of forcing them down without a drink knackered me.  Past 5 miles I grabbed some gatorade and again this waxed me further as you can see with the 7:21 split.  I had to really concentrate after this and now that I look at it did a pretty fair job in the heat/humidity.  Again, it seems odd not being able to get to top gear.  I feel like I have the aerobic power, but I can't get the legs to the terminate with extreme prejudice level.

My experience is the heat cost me 10 seconds per mile.  Again, I had no business charging out like Dick's hat band, but when the dinner bell rings it is game on!  On the heart rate front it was the highest it has been in the AM at 60.  I took it for grins 9 hours after the run and it was 60.  This is a good sign.  I believe that because I have a governor on now it may be preventing me from over training as much as I like to.  Trust me, I'd go ham all the time if I thought I could get away with it.

I'm going to rest up with some easy running the next few days.  Todays pace of 7:14 is exactly what is needed to break 3:10.  I feel I have a shot at getting under 3:05, but let's be honest here...who doesn't want to go for sub 3?  I've told myself and others that the main objective is to uncover exactly what pace I can run October 4th at Lakefront and execute that.  I'm going to stick with this as it only makes sense.  It just seems like everyday I train I'm trying to will myself into a better version of me. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015


Living in Sussex means lots of training on the Bugline.  I like the paved trail because I live right about in the middle of its 14 mile length.  It's basically flat which is nice when training for a flat marathon like Lakefront.  Surprising how few people are out early in the morning.  I'd give the nod to bikers for getting out earlier than runners.  I guess the serious ones have discovered the less pedestrians the better.  Sound wisdom.

This week I thought about injecting more speed work into my training.  I ran halves this week and I don't have access to the big gear.  One reaches a certain speed and that is it.  After all isn't marathon racing all about finding the cruising speed?  I decided after stepping outside of myself that two things were of issue.  First I would risk tweaking/pulling/injuring a leg muscle.  Second the marathon requires establishing a forbearance against the rigors which set in past 20 miles.  Dancing around the track doing 200/400s didn't seem to fit the logic as well as doing long tempo runs near or at race pace.  Having followed the principles of Kevin Beck before and succeeding there is no reason to adjust plans now 15 years later.  For more on this great read you can search Kevin Beck an all your eggs in one basket marathon approach.  A very good read.

7/26 - HR 53, 10.0 (10:15) Minooka (Dean/Andrea) easy
7/27 - HR 53, 10.0 (7:45) moderate
7/28 - HR 58, 10.0 w/ 8 x 880y w/ 440y rest
7/29 - HR 52, 8.0 (8:54) easy
7/30 - HR 56, 10.0 (7:38) moderate
7/31 - HR 52, 6.0 (7:21) moderate
8/1 - HR 54, 6.0 (10:41) easy

Tomorrow is my first long time trial on the track.  I will do a 20k.  To run a 3:10 you need 7:14s and for 3:05 you need 7:03s.  I suspect I will be in this range.  Half of the miles I ran on Friday were around 7:14.  I'm going to try and work on the pacing and lean towards a slower first couple miles.  I hope to be running no later than 5:30am so I better set the coffee pot up tonight.