Thursday, December 31, 2009

2007, 2008, 2009, & the beginning of 2010

I started training seriously again in 2007. Looking back, it has been a progression in yearly mileage since then. Statistics of mileage:

2007: 1933 miles
2008: 1930 miles
2009: 2376 miles(average 46 miles per week, 6.5 miles per day)

The fact that I have averaged only 46 miles per week for the last year indicates I have a lot of room for improvement, especially once I raise the mileage.

Interestingly, 2007 and 2008 were almost exactly identical in numbers, where 2009 was a bigger jump. I also raced much more in 2009(as shown below)

2007: 2 races(1 Marathon)
2008: 8 races(1 Marathon)
2009: 20 races(2 Marathons)

It seems I have begun to increase the mileage more steadily(as I need to, my overall mileage is low compared to some others on the team). However, I seem to have developed a very strong ability to recover quickly from races. For example, Marine Corps was on Oct 25th, and 3 weeks later I was able to PR in the 10K as well as race 2 MORE 10Ks all within 4 weeks and run 2 MORE PRs. Over the summer, I raced a lot as well, in addition to running 2 back-to-back half marathons in Sept within less than a week in 1:15 & 1:17 respectively. This is progress in becoming a stronger marathoner. Being a good marathoner requires the ability to recover quickly. That's how you race 13 miles, and then run 13 more miles at the same pace.

So I am getting stronger. I ran well in the Frederick Marathon in May. Marine Corps was a disappointment, but I toughed it out. The mileage needs to increase more, but the quantity of races will decrease in 2010. 2010 will all be about quality, setting PRs, reaching new levels. I am projecting around 14 races for 2010. Mileage will increase, how much I don't know, but I'm guessing around 3500, maybe more, maybe less. The point is, I have worked up from 2007, and now I am taking the step to achieve the goals I set out for right from the beginning.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It feels good not to race..but train

It feels good not to race for a while. I have 2 more months of solid training. Yesterday I ran 5 miles in the morning, and another 5 miles in the evening after I drove home from NJ. This morning I ran 8 before helping my Dad clean out the house and then going to work.

Monday, December 28, 2009

December 20-27: 57 Miles/Week

Last week I ran 57 miles. I have been steadily increasing the mileage again. It feels good. On Christmas Day I got fed up with the snow and drove to the Canal at Old Angler's Inn. I ran on the packed snow on the usual loop I run there, it actually wasn't too bad. It was nice running there again. At the end of the loop I picked up MacArthur and ran up the long hill towards the entrance to Great Falls, ran down the hill to the Great Falls Lock, and came back. I got in 8.5 miles. On Saturday, I ran for an easy 7 miles on the Canal, which was sloppy and messy from all the rain and snow melting. But again, it was nice to run on the Canal again. Sunday was 12 miles before driving to NY with Beth, who is awesome =). Today I ran 8 on the hills of Westchester.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Building Up

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I ran with Nate at Seneca Creek State Park on the roads. The runs were 6-8 miles each. The trails obviously have some melting to do. I met Karl today out at his place and ran along Beach/other roads in North Bethesda/Chevy Chase. We also hit the course for the Cardinal 5k. We ran for 60:00, and it was nice running somewhere else for once, even though the paved trails are still covered in snow, so we stuck to the roads. I am slowly getting back into more and more running/mileage. I miss the Canal.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Winter Solstice

I met up with Nate today at Seneca Creek Park and ran an easy 6 miles or so throughout the park. The run was surreal, there were no cars, and with all the snow, it felt like we were running out in Colorado or something. Today was the Winter Solstice.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Afternoon Long Run

I decided to run in the afternoon today since there was a lot of snow I had to remove from my car and driveway. I did a lot of shoveling which was a good workout in addition to the shoveling I did yesterday. My arms were pretty tired afterwards. There is just so much snow everywhere. I did a long run today starting around 3:30pm and ran for just over 90 minutes. By the afternoon, more pavement was showing so it was good I waited to run later in the day. I ran through neighborhoods, on a few main roads, back through neighborhoods and such. It was beautiful out actually, the sun was starting to set and casted very long shadows along the mountains of snow. I guess I got in about 13 miles for the day, 40 miles for the week, not including a pool workout as well.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Snow Storm

There is a certain amount of joy I get when running in this type of weather. It toughens you up, too. I went out starting from my house and ran on some of the backroads where the plows had finally come through. I could barely see at times and the roads had hardly any road showing. I ran on the packed snow and found a decent pace. People stared. I smiled. I ended up running through neighborhoods until coming out to route 28 which is a major road that had only a few cars on going very slowly now. I ran on 28 until turning right into Dufief and ran there for a while, but the snow got deeper. The plows weren't able to keep up. Eventually, after 32 minutes, I had to turn around, only to thankfully see a snowplow coming up the hill that I was about to go down. I used what pavement the plow provided on the road and ran back the way I came. As I came up to an intersection I asked a woman walking "Is Safeway open?", she chuckled, startled to see me running replied 'yes' and I went on my way. By now I was 1 hour into my run and there was snow covering my eyebrows and eyelashes. Again, there were times when I could hardly see. I ran back to my neighborhood where another snowplow was going through. I got in 70 minutes of running, not bad.
When I got home, I shoveled the driveway.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Looking Ahead

On Tuesday and Wednesday I did easy distance runs of 4-5 miles each day. I ran with my dog Mickey on Wednesday. Little guy needs to run, he has waaay too much energy(He is a Chihuahua/Terrier mix). He's a pretty good runner though, actually.

My legs feel really good. Quite the contrary to how I felt in Sept/Oct. I just had this overall achyness I couldn't shake. It seems that the triple 10K attack I had in Nov/Dec really revived me?

It was a great way to end the year, with those 3 10Ks, because they were a little bit of redemption for me after a very dissapointing Marine Corps Marathon. The 13.1 I ran in Va early Sept went OK, 1:15 was a solid time but again, after going through 10 miles in 56:40(5:40 pace) I slowed considerably and averaged over 6:00 pace for the last 5K. But, overall it was still a solid effort, so I can't say it was a bad race either.

I am already looking foward to doing some Marathon Pace Work this weekend. No hard 20 Milers yet obviously, but just something to start from(like 8 miles at marathon goal pace). The Shamrock Marathon is less than 14 weeks away, so it is an ideal time to start preparing. The 10Ks I think(as Dirk wisely said) are really going to help get my Marathon/1/2 Marathon times down to the goals I aim for. I want to break 1:12:00 for the Half Marathon. The bigger goal is to break 2:30:00 for 26.2. That's 5:43 per mile. It is tough, but I believe doable. I need a solid Half Marathon time though, too, to help, just as the 10K helps.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day Off/50:00 Pool Running Workout

I decided to take the day off from running, so instead of the pounding I did a solid 50 minute pool running workout. I like the pool, although boring, can be very therapeutic. Although I am tired, my legs feel good, and I got in a good cardio workout.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Last Race of 2009 Report-JATW

Well the 7:45 AM early start today was a blessing in disguise, since the rain didn't come down that much in the early hours. It was pretty much a sort of mist, nothing more, which was great, since I wanted to run a PR today and end my 2009 year with a positive performance. Beth was so great to come out today in such lousy weather and support me and the GRC team, she continues to amaze me. Kudos to her.
I met the GRC team for a warm-up and met some new faces. It's always nice meeting new people. After trying to find Max for race numbers, I put on my flats, did a few strides, and was ready to go. I went out not as hard this time as my previous 10Ks, splitting 5:16 for the 1st mile. After a mile and a half, I decided to ditch the arm warmers, I was already wearing tights, and I felt it was too much to be wearing the arm warmers as well, so I threw them to the side(after having to take my watch off as well-annoying). I started worrying at the 2mile split: 10:43. Woah. little slow, Chris. This was my slowest 2mile split of my last 2 10K races. Mile 3 split: 16:09. Still the slowest of my past 2 races. But what then I realized was that I was running a more even race this time. The last 2 10Ks I ran, I went out fast the first 5K, then slowed 30-40 seconds for the 2nd 5K. In this race, I was running even. Mile 4: 21:35. Better. I started focusing on Gareth Peters who was not far ahead of me and I was gaining on little by little. Mile 5: 27:02. I started passing Gareth with less than a mile to go, he tried to hang on. By now I was hauling ass. I knew I was negative splitting the last mile, and Gareth hung on my shoulders. Mile 6: 32:20. A 5:18 last mile. Definitely hauling ass. As I neared the finish line, I felt Gareth kicking right by, I kicked as well, and gave him a good fight, but he nipped me just barely to grab 8th place. I was dissapointed I lost, but it was a good fight.

Turns out, I ran a very even race, splitting 16:44 for the 1st 5K, and 16:45 for the second 5K.

Splits today:


I ended the 2009 year with a PR today: 33:29 for the 10K. GRC also took home the team title. I really can't complain. It has been a great year and I have run some solid races. The highlights of my 2009 year are below:

2/07/09 USA Cross Country Championships- 12K 42:52, 93rd place
5/03/09 Frederick Marathon- 2:43:25, 2nd place
9/06/09 VA Beach Rock n Roll Half Marathon- 1:15:32, 29th place
12/13/09 Jingle All The Way 10K- 33:29, 9th place

Now it's time to take a break from racing, and begin training for 1/2 Marathon/Marathon racing for 2010. My next race isn't until February 28th.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The 10K-Round 3-The Final Round

Tomorrow morning, as long as the weather holds up, I will be competing in the 3rd and final round of my 10K racing series for Nov-Dec. This is also the last race for my 2009 year, so I want to end on a high note.

Sub 33:00 is in site. If I am close, I will push to dip under the 33:00 barrier.


Saturday, December 5, 2009


I am very much looking foward to 2010. I've finally got a list of races that I am set on. 2010 is going to be a big year for me in terms of the Marathon. After the Jingle All the Way 10K on December 13th, I am not racing again until the very last day of February(the 28th), when I return to the course where I set my PR in the Half Marathon(1:13:13)-The Colonial Half Marathon, which will be a tune-up for my next Marathon: The Shamrock Va Beach Marathon.

In 2009, I raced a lot, with a total of 20 races. 2010 will be a little bit less, with a much stronger emphasis on QUALITY. I've got 6 major races lined up between February-June.

2010 Spring Racing Schedule:

February 28-The Colonial Half Marathon VA
March 21-Shamrock Marathon VA
April 11-Cherry Blossom 10 Miler DC
April 17-Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon VA
April 25-Pike's Peak 10K MD
June 6-San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon CA

Over the summer I will jump in a few 5ks/8k(Rockville Twilighter is a MUST), and then move on to preparing for what most likely will be the 2010 CHICAGO MARATHON. This is a race I have wanted to do for a long time, but only when the timing is right-meaning when I am ready to run FAST. I want to be on top of my game for this race. I definitely see potential for me to make a major leap in progression in 2010. I think Shamrock and San Diego will be good opportunities for me to improve on my marathon time, get really strong, and get ready for Chicago. April will be a big peak month of racing for me, with 3 different distances within 3 weeks-first the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, then the Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon in Chesapeake, VA, and then the Pikes Peak 10K in Rockville, MD. These 3 races are ALL FLAT COURSES and new races I have never run, so it will be exciting. I'm preparing to run Cherry Blossom as a pre-race tune up for the Swamp Stomp 13.1 less than a week later, so my focus will definitely be on that 13.1. Dropping down to the 10K a week later will be a good set up for a new 10K PR. Then some rest, and less than a month and a half later I will make the trip out to San Diego once again to redeem my poorly run marathon there(in 2008)-it was barely a marathon- I walked 3 miles of the course! San Diego should be a blast, it will be my third time visiting the city. And they have SUSHI everywhere(Beth you would love it.=))

So, for 2010, I have 3 Marathons lined up- it sounds like a lot, but again, I recover very quickly. And, I am racing in fewer races(maybe I'll jump in some shorter races for specific workouts-but that'd be the only reason to do a few more) and the focus is on QUALITY-fast times, PRs, breakthrough performances. The one semi question mark I have is a pre-Chicago Half Marathon tune up race. I was planning on running the NYC half but that got moved to March.
I will most likely run the Rock N Roll Va Beach Half Marathon in Sept again, awesome race.
2010 Fall Racing Schedule(Tentative):

September 5-Va Beach Rock N Roll Half Marathon
October 10-Chicago Marathon

Progression-this is how one's goals are achieved. Slowly but surely, I am confident I can get to where I believe my lifetime potential is. 2010 is going to be a big step towards that.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Nov. 26-Turkey Chase Race Report

Always a great start to Thanksgiving, the Bethesda Turkey Chase is a challenging but fair rolling hills course that starts on Old Georgetown Road, cuts through some neightborhoods, out to Wisconsin Avenue, before turning on Old Georgetown to the finish. I met up with Nate and we did a pre-race warm up.

About 10 or so guys were all around me from the start, and I muscled my way up right behind the leaders. I saw Karl out of the corner of my right eye move his way to the front. Colin pulled up next to me and muttered something about the course.
"Hills are in the first half right?"
"Yes." I replied.
I ran this race last year so I was familiar with the course. For some reason though it seemed a little hillier than I recall. Karl and about 5 other guys were leading the race, with me and Colin drafting behind with another guy in a black jersey. Mile 1: 5:07. We climbed up the hills. As Colin and I worked together, it seemed like I was stronger on the uphills, but he was able to surge on me going downhill. So we kept trading off for a while. Mile 2: 10:27. The lead pack was only a few meters ahead of us. We turned onto Wisconsin. Mile 3: 15:56. By now the lead started to break up, and we started gaining on one guy who was falling off. Colin and I passed him, who I think was Gareth Peters? Mile 4: 21:31. As I made my way up the last hill before turning onto Old Georgetown, I passed Colin, who immediately surged past me once we turned and ran dowhill towards Old Georgetown. He moved ahead, and I tried to hold on. I could see a few more guys in the distance who we could possibly catch. Berhanu Zeleke, who surged to the lead from the very beginning, had dropped to 5th place, so Colin and I began rearing him in. Colin put a little distance on me and passed Zeleke, who couldn't go with him. Very soon after, I began bringing Zeleke in. Mile 5: 27:02. As I came up on Zeleke with less than a mile to go, he went with me, and together we worked the final mile. However, I was also trying to lose him, because(I am pretty sure he is an Ethiopian-correct me if I am wrong though) my chance of outkicking an Ethiopian with less than a mile to go are pretty slim. Colin passed him at the right time-I was in deep trouble however. I tried to push. I surged. But he wouldn't let go. He was just toying with me. With less than 100 meters to go, he sprinted ahead and claimed the 1st age group prize-the same age group I am in.

Despite losing to Zeleke, I ran a PR on a not so PR friendly course. This is a positive sign that my running is going in the right direction. I ended up 7th overall. Which I am pretty sure about, despite the results claiming I was 8th. My time was 33:40, average 5:25 per mile pace.

I feel with a little more work and training I can get under 5:20 pace on a flat course. Perhaps I can toy with the 33:00 barrier next time. Splits below:


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The 10K-Round 2

Tomorrow morning will be Round 2 of the 10K.

The Bethesda Turkey Chase!
..then it's a long drive up to NY.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shorter Stuff

After the 10K Race last Sunday, I took Monday off and just went for a nice long walk. I needed to rest a day to build back up for Round 2 in the 10K(coming up in next week's The Turkey Chase!). I only ran 33 miles this week, and most of my runs were pretty short. The longest I ran all week was with the GRC on Saturday for an hour and 8 minutes. We had a great group of people and some new people as well, and discussed 2010 Spring Racing Goals, which went very well(more on 2010 goals and schedule to come soon). On Thursday I did a moderate progression workout on the track, starting at 8:00 pace and working down to 5:20 (10K race pace) for 3 miles around the track.

I feel fitter, faster. I will do a track workout tomorrow afternoon for some more tune up. My goal for this Thursday's Turkey Chase is to average as close to 5:20 pace as possible. Last Sunday I averaged 5:27 pace for the 10K.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Veterans Day 10K Race Report/45 Miles-Week Nov 9-15

Well first of all, this week felt much better than last week, for sure. I started to do a little more of quality workouts and decent mileage-definitely not high though. My legs felt more recovered than last week after the marathon. Even so, when I awoke this morning I felt a little stiff/tight. As I loosened up though, I felt better. I wasn't sure what to expect from the Veterans Day 10K race today, as last weekend I ran a 17:04 5K as a workout on a hilly course. But deep down I began to feel like I was somehow ready to break 34:00...

The gun went off, and an electric current went through my body with a JOLT. Jesus, RELAX Chris, this is your first 10K in months. A small pack of Africans surged to the lead. There were about 4 or 5 guys drafting off of them, while a big pack came together after about 1/2 a mile, which was where I was in. I had about 10 guys to run with from the start so it helped. Mile 1 Split: 5:00. OH SHIT. Too fast, I thought, but I didn't panic because I felt fine and kept running the way I was running. If I feel fine running 5:00 pace, then so be it! Mile 2: 10:33. Ok, that's more like it, I thought, realizing Mile 1 was a bit short. After Mile 2 the pack started to thin out and I found myself trying to keep contact with 2 guys ahead of me. I keyed off of them, and cannot remember if I passed one of them or not later in the race. We passed an African runner who was having an off day. Then around mile 3 Samia Akbar came up on my shoulder(who I knew was a 33:xx 10K runner) and told myself to stay right with her. She went ahead next to the 2 guys in front of me and I kept my eyes on them. Mile 3: 16:00, 5K Split: 16:36. After the turnaround, I felt a little wind but for Hains Point it was hardly windy today. Mile 4: 21:35, probably the worst I felt, but after Mile 4 I began feeling better, and started calculating in my head what I needed to run to dip under 34:00. At this point, I was running alone and could see Samia and the other 2 guys not too far ahead. Luckily, my teamate Patrick Hughes pulled up next to me and we worked through the 5th and 6th mile. Bart Borghuis was also on our heels. Mile 5: 27:10. Perfect. Now I just had to run solid the last mile, keep working it, I told myself, make sure you PUSH. This was truly racing again, for me. I haven't had an honest RACE in a while, so it felt fresh to push. I felt stronger now. After the 5th mile, Bart surged passed Patrick and I. I began surging ahead of Patrick. At the tunnel I heard and saw Max cheering for me and Patrick. Mile 6: 32:44. I had no clue how long the last .2 was going to take, but as soon as I saw the finish line and glanced at my watch I knew I was going to run a PR. I ended up running 33:53, a 23 second PR, finishing 16th.

At the moment I crossed the finish line, I was HUNGRY for more..

And as always, thanks again for cheering Beth!


Mile 1: ~5:13
Mile 2: ~5:20
Mile 3: 5:27
Mile 4: 5:35
Mile 5: 5:35
Mile 6: 5:34
.2: 1:09

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nov 11: 75:00 Treadmill Workout

Well, the weather was so crappy yesterday that I decided to do a workout on the treadmill at my local gym. It's always this time of year (Nov-Dec) that I'll hop on the treadmill a few times per month. The treadmill is pretty boring, but I guess since I probably only run on the treadmill literally 5 times per year, it's not too bad. It gets boring quick, however. I did a 75 minute workout yesterday, with 8.5 miles at 6:00 pace/about 11.5 miles total distance.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Cascades and Training Update

I'll start off with the Virginia Tech trip with Beth, which was AWESOME. Last Weekend we took a trip to Virginia Tech to escape the Trick or Treaters. We did a long hike up to the cascades, and as long as it took, it was worth getting up to the viewing spot(photo above). The Hike was done 6 days after the Marathon and it definitely helped my legs flush out a lot of waste products. Beth enjoyed it too. We had a blast. The Cascade Falls in Pembroke(about 20 miles from Virginia Tech) are probably the most beautiful natural attractions on the East Coast. The hike easily took an hour and a half to get there, since the path we took was the more difficult one. On the way back, we took the easy path so that took only like 50 Minutes. It rained a bit on the way back, but nothing too bad. I did a couple of easy distance runs to continue to get my legs going again after the marathon. I ran on the trails of pandapas the day before, and the day of the hike later in the afternoon I went for a nice run on the Huckleberry Trail. I used to train in Pandapas and on Huckleberry all the time, so it brought back a lot of memories being there. Pandapas has a lot of good and challenging trails to run on, as well as dirt roads for soft surfaces. The Huckleberry is a paved path that runs from Blacksburg to Christiansburg, it is about 12 miles out and back. On Saturday, we had a really delicious steak dinner at the Texas Steakhouse, really good place as well as a cheap price for quality beef. The trip rejuvenated and refreshed my spirit and soul.
I am surprised how quickly I am recovering from this Marathon, but then again I am not that surprised, because it's not like I ran a 2:31:00 or anything. I think it would've taken me a lot longer to recover if I DID run that fast.
But even so, I am getting stronger and stronger.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

After 3 Days Off, Back Running

After 3 days off, I am back running again. I ran a solo 3.2 miles today on the towpath. It was nice to get out there and run again, even if it was only for 22 minutes.

There is one more part of my 2009 season to complete. The 10Ks. Ah, I like the 10K. It is a good distance for me, a good combination of anerobic and aerobic training. And, it helps my marathon training. I know I have raced a lot this year, but I have also been building back ever since 2007.
Some notible statistics of race Totals for each year:

2007: 2 races: one really bad Marathon, one really bad 1/2 Marathon
2008: 8 races: 1 "off day" Marathon, 2 solid 1/2 marathons, & other race distances
2009: Will be a total of 20 races: 2 Marathons: one was solid, one was an "off day", 2 solid 1/2 marathons, & other race distances

So clearly, I am getting much much stronger. In addition, my total mileage is rising & rising. However, it looks like I will likely race a little bit less in 2010, but more QUALITY racing.

I am feeling a bit more positive about my Marine Corps Marathon run. I felt like the medal I earned deserved to be hung up on my wall of marathon & half marathon medals. The marathon medals I have hung up are all the sub 3 ones: 2:38, 2:43, 2:57. I have come to realize that the marine corps marathon I ran wasn't all that bad, and was still a solid training run. I am building up for something greater. I am building a monster for the marathon distance.

Remaining 2009 Race Schedule:

November 7- Cardinal 5K-Kensington
November 15- Veterans Day 10K
November 26- Bethesda YMCA Turkey Chase 10K
December 13- Jingle All the Way 10K

As for 2010, my race schedule is starting to come together. After I finish up 2009, I likely won't race until March 2010.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Sometimes you fall.
Sometimes life throws things at you.
Sometimes you just need to start over.

Last May, I had a terrific race in the Frederick Marathon, posting one of my best times of 2:43 and placing highest I ever have in a marathon(2nd place). On top of that, it was a really hilly course. I ran some good half marathons this year(1:15 & 1:16). I PRed in the 8K over the summer. I ran 100 miles in one week. I started up running with the Georgetown Running Company. I ran in the USA Cross Country Championships last Feb in arguably what my former highschool coach called the best race I have ever run, placing 93rd out of 168 deeply talented runners all over the country.

I thought I was ready to run a PR in the Marathon this fall. There have been signs of my progression in the marathon. Signs that I can bust out a 2:29 marathon..

I started out a little slow for the first 2 miles(12:20), but picked it up and hit the 5K around 18:28, and the 4mile 23:45ish, 5 mile 29:45 ish, 10K was 36:57. I was right on goal pace. 8 mile-47:xx, 10 mile was 59:16 or something. It was perfect pacing. I hit the half in 1:18:28, a little slower than anticipated. I was slowing down. But it didn't really happen until mile 17 or so. Mile 15 was 1:30:xx, 16-1:36:50. After that, I realized I was slowing down and really couldn't do anything about it. I am a tough runner. I run through pain. I am built for the marathon. This isn't making any sense I thought, why am I slowing down? Usually this is the part where I am strong. In Frederick I was strong. People started passing me left and right, it was really dissapointing. I told my body to go and race, but it didn't. It didn't respond at all. It was out of my control. I had to just deal with it and treat the race as a training run instead. False Alarm. I hate false alarms. I ended up crawling the last 5 miles to the finish in 2:57:30. On an off day 2:57 aint bad. I actually was happy that I still ran sub 3 as an off day. BUT the dissapointment burned deep inside my soul, my heart. I was heartbroken, I really was. I want more than anything in the world to run a sub 2:30:00. But maybe this is part of the patience, and sticking with it. When you have runs like these, you question to yourself, what does this mean? Everything has a reason, and this run surely will mean something I am sure when I look back on it in the future. Maybe I NEEDED to run slow today in ORDER to achieve my goal in the months ahead. After all, the year before I ran Frederick I ran in the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon, finished in 3:29!, walked 3 miles of the course! And it simply was that I knew I needed to do it for some reason, at the time I did not know why and was very frustrated, but I did it for bigger reasons. So, if a 3:29 off day a year earlier brought me a 2:43 a year later, I wonder what a 2:57 off day will bring me..

Sometimes you just need to start over.

This has been a rough month. I lost my job, and I did not run the marathon I had hoped to run. But thats ok. Because sometimes we all need to start over. I will pick myself up, dust myself off, and take this week to recover/relax...get back to a starting point. I am going to VA Tech next weekend to really relax and take a "breath."

For the remainder of the year, I am going to have some fun and jump in a few 10Ks(veterans day, turkey chase, jingle all the way). This will put some new spice into my legs and will be a refreshment of shorter distance. It will be a great new start for the end of the year into the upcoming 2010 season. I am excited for the spring goals meeting the GRC is having in a few weeks. This will really be motivating for all of us GRC runners.

So everything is a fresh new start now. My running, my job search, its all a new beginning for me. I can't thank my girlfriend enough for all the support she brings to me during this time. She and I are going to take a trip to VA Tech next weekend for a mini-vacation. I long to return to the mountains once again.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thurs.-Rest Day

Today, Thursday, October 22nd, was a rest day. It's the first rest day I have taken in about 5 weeks. Went for a nice walk with my dog, Mickey, and did a little strength work, but no running today.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Marathon Plan

I immediately felt the difference in my legs and energy levels as I dropped to 55 miles this week from 100 miles the week before. I am feeling strong and am getting ready to roll. I have one more week until the marathon. Not having to go to work is a plus right now.

The plan for this marathon is to go out strong and finish strong, as I always run well that way(and why I am suited well for this type of race). I want to go out in 1:16:00-1:17:00 for the first half(5:50 per mile), and maintain 1:18:00-1:19:00 for the second half(6:00 per mile). If I do that I will run a 2:35:00. Of course there are some hills in the first half, so maybe a 1:17 1st half, 1:18 2nd half is more likely. I need to run even, that is when I run well. I do not want to run slower than 2-3 minutes for the 2nd half. Who knows, maybe I'll run faster and pop a 2:32:00. As far as placing, my goal is to finish in the top 25. I will not get caught up going out too fast however, I am going to run my race and focus on my splits. As I revived my running again a few years ago, I have set PRs in the 8K and 10K, but I have my sights set on the goal that got me started again: to better 2:38:48. This is my toughest PR to beat, from 2005. I believe I am in the shape now to do it, and on a slightly harder course. This is the barrier that needs to be broken, after 2.5 hard working years to get back in shape, and to begin looking into the future of possibility. Bettering this time will mean a lot to me, because I will finally begin looking ahead at cracking 2:30:00 soon.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oct 5-Oct 11: 100 Miles/week

I hit my peak mileage for this fall's marathon. 100 miles is a lot for me, in fact, it's the most I've ever run in a week, and it has taken some work for me to get up there. But I feel like this is just the beginning, really. I feel that my body is built to handle even up to 140 per week one day, it's just taken time for me to work my way up there. It's an exciting time for my running. I am so happy I started up again in 2007. I feel like this is meant for me, and am looking foward to really pushing the envelop over the next couple of years.

This week's runs:

Mon: 8 miles easy
Tues: 16 miles easy
Wed: 17 miles med long run
Thurs: 11 miles
Fri: 14 miles
Sat: 22.5 mile long run
Sun: 11.5 miles

Total: 100 miles

I am now going to reduce my mileage over the last 2 weeks in prep for marine corps, and turn up the intensity a bit to get my legs fresh and rolling. I feel a PR around the corner..

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The final long run: 22.5 miles

I ran for 2 hours and 29 minutes today, and felt very comfortable, I did not push the pace, since I have an upcoming marathon in 2 weeks. The distance ended up being right around 22.5 miles. It felt good to get the long run out of the way on a Saturday. I ran on a rolling hills course around my hometown and ran from 4:45 pm until dusk-7:15 pm. After tomorrow this week's mileage will be my highest yet, I am already at 88-89 miles after today. After tomorrow, I will post each day's run this past week as the peak of my marathon training this fall.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lots of Running

I am really enjoying the freedom to run whenever I feel like it. It's nice not to have to work the same hours EVERY SINGLE DAY. It gets so old. My dream is to find a job that has flexible hours. It's great to be able to go for a run around 2 pm somedays. Anyway, yesterday I took a drive out to Edward's Ferry and ran on the towpath past whites ferry for a few more miles, turned around and headed back on river road to Edward's Ferry again. I did 16 miles, very slow though. Today I ran from my house out to Seneca Creek State Park and ran around the lake, added a few loops, and headed back. Ended up running just about 17 miles today. It was BEAUTIFUL out. The weather has been so nice lately, if there is any time for me to be layed off from work, my boss couldn't have picked a better time. I know it is a bummer, but I am really starting to look on the positive side of the situation. I am shooting for 110 this week. This is the final push before the taper.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


On Friday, October 4th, at 4:30pm, I got laid off. It's strange how things can change so fast. But this blog is not about work, it is about running. Here is the wonderful thing about running: I can get laid off, but I still have something that is much more fulfilling than work(besides of course my wonderful girlfriend) running. I still have my running. I mean, even if I only run ONE great race in my lifetime...I have it forever. A certain time is forever. No one can take it, or "lay me off". The working world does that to you. You can have one thing, and BAM you lose it without your control. In this period, I am happy that I have kept up my training, because it proves that it is all worthwhile. It always pays off in the end. I ran 78 miles last week, with an 18 mile long run on Sunday to cap it off. Next week will be my highest mileage ever, before tapering the last 2 weeks before the Big Dance on Oct 25th. I am going to use this "layoff" as extra motivation for the marathon. I am going to take advantage of it. Because that's what runners do. They use everything to the fullest.
By the way, thanks Patrick Murphy for giving me some contact names.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Shamrock Marathon and 2:38:48.

"You're moving at a pretty good pace there, sir," a guy standing out on his front lawn said to me today as I ran up the steep aspen hill yet a third time. I was in the middle of a 10 mile run that started from Lake Needwood and was running up aspen hill which is a good hill not far from the intersection of Veirs Mill road. I was actually not moving that fast, at least didn't feel so anyways. It was cool out and it's been nice to run with a t shirt and feel comfortable.

Today I registered for the Shamrock Marathon in Va Beach which is on March 21, 2010. This date gives me 5 solid months to prepare after Marine Corps. This marathon is where I hold my current PR: 2:38:48, back in 2005. I am so sick of that PR. Of course, I am looking to lower that standard in Marine Corps on Oct 25. Breaking 2:40:00 in 2005 was huge for me. I would love to break 2:30:00 on the flat Shamrock course this time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September 28, 29 and the U2 concert

On Monday, Sept 28, I drove to Swain's Lock on the Towpath and ran 10 miles. On Tuesday, I ran 11 miles on the hilly backroads near my hometown. I went to the U2 concert in Landover on Tuesday night and had a blast. It was my Birthday present from Beth, and we had a wonderful time. My brother Jono and his Bandmember and friend Robbie also came. I know this is a running blog but...U2 is amazing live. The Edge's guitar sounded so clear and the band simply lifts you off your feet into the realm of fantastic music. It is truly great for what all U2 and Bono have done for the World. They are not only rockstars, they are a group symbolizing and initiating a global movement of improvement around the world. Obama was also at the concert, which Bono announced his thanks to him. Well, I'm tired now from all the standing, dancing and screaming at the top of my lungs, and on top of that the rising mileage creeping up and up...

Train hard now, rest, then RACE.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Knee pain gone

My knee pain is gone finally. I did 35 miles last week, and I think on top of the previous low mileage week I am well recovered and ready to move up the mileage again and get ready to peak for the marathon. I am hoping to reach very high mileage for the next 2 weeks before I lower it again for the last 2 weeks before the marathon. That's all for now..and my 2010 race schedule is in the works..

Sunday, September 20, 2009

recovering and preparing the body and mind

After last week, on Monday when I set out for my run, I could barely shuffle/jog, and my left knee ached hard. I needed to recover. The two halfs that I ran last week did me in. I did a lot of walking this week, and ran very little(20 miles for the whole week-my lowest mileage since the week after my last marathon in May). It was boring and frustrating with all the walking, but I knew I had to do it in order to recover. I also did a lot of strength training this week. Today I ran 8 miles(the longest I've run all week) and my knee was significantly better, and I feel revived in my training. Rest is essential. Through only rest the body grows back stronger and can jump to a new level. I built a strong body all summer, with all the races I trained through and distance runs. I guess you could say my body finally felt the effects of everything I have been doing, so it was calling for some rest this week. This will gear my body and mind up for the upcoming Marine Corps Marathon in 5 weeks. All I have to do is get in some good quality long runs and mileage and I'll be good to go. The fitness is almost complete. I have thought long and hard about my Marathon goals for Oct, and it comes down to about a 2:34:00 for what I feel I am realistically capable of. I have also been planning my 2010 race schedule, but that won't be posted until after the marathon.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

2 half marathons in a week: 1:15/1:17

The two back to back half marathons I ran within a week were solid workouts in prep for the Marine Corps Marathon in 6 weeks. The first one(Va Beach) was more of a race than the second(The Parks). Today I felt a little of the soreness from Va Beach and ran the Parks at Marathon Race Pace. I would like to think this simulated the marathon in the sense that my legs had already run a hard half the week before and were not very well rested to run another half. I accomplished my goal(I wanted to be right around 1:17:00-ended up running 1:17:19) and felt very relaxed, despite my very achy legs. I would have liked to run faster at Va Beach, 1:15:32 just didn't seem up to my current potential..

I was tired today. I took a loooong nap this afternoon and it was great. I ended up cooling down after the run with Chris Bain who ran 1:16 and change today. I also bought new racing trainers today for the marathon and took a second run this afternoon in them for about 3.5 miles. Ended with 19.5 miles total for the day. The mileage this week was light, however, 45 miles. I am doing no more races until the Marathon. The next 3-4 weeks I am going to train very hard and push the mileage. This is the last push before tapering down for the Marathon the last few weeks.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Easy week and prep for Half Marathon(part 2) on Sunday

This week has been all easy runs. On Monday I took my first day off in over 6 weeks. I needed to recover after Va Beach. Tuesday I ran an easy 3.5 miles with my dog Mickey, Wednesday was an easy 6 miles, Thursday an easy 9 miles, and Friday an easy 7 miles. Half Marathon number 2(The Parks Half Marathon) is tomorrow morning. This is great prep for the marathon. If I can run 2 strong half marathons back to back within a week then it will be a new era of fitness for me. The Marathon is like running a half marathon, then repeating. It is a difficult distance because it is past 20 miles. 20 miles is hard, but the extra 10k calls for exerting some extreme effort and preparing your body to go hard AFTER 20 miles.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Va Beach Rock N Roll Half Marathon

The gun went off, and I felt pretty good. Solid. I went out well and tucked in with a solid pack of 4 guys. One of them, John Piggott, a really good masters runner, would stay with me for most of the whole race. The early miles flew by, we hit Mile 1 in 5:23, Mile 2 in 5:33, and Mile 3 in 5:37. After Mile 4 (5:40), we caught a couple runners who started out ahead. This always feels great. Working together with a pack of guys and picking off runners. I was the leader of this pack for much of miles 1-8 before it broke up. Mile 5 was also a 5:40 split, and I split 5:35 for Mile 6. I hit the 10K in 34:46. The pack was still together. Mile 7 was yet another 5:40 split, and at this point 2 guys surged ahead from the pack, and I tried to stay as close to them as I could, but for some reason my body wasn't ready to push. I settled and found I was still running with John Piggott. I then just held 5:50 pace for miles 8-11. John and I worked together and talked briefly. He told me he was training for the Akron Marathon and I told him I was training for the Marine Corps Marathon. My 10 Mile split was 56:42(5:40 pace average). Miles 12-13 I struggled to maintain 6 Minute pace and John pulled ahead slightly at this point. I felt like I was jogging the last 2 miles, but I did not have anything in me to run hard at the same time. I still ended up fnishing in 1:15:32, a current best time for me since I've "revived" my running in 2007, and was the 29th male finisher.

All in all, I had a great weekend at Va Beach and am not dissapointed with my performance. I have to be patient, as Beth tells me, the times will come, and again the Goal Race is the Marine Corps Marathon. After the race, Beth and I ate a very delicious brunch at Pocahontas Pancakes. If you ever want to eat at a great breakfast place in Va Beach, then Pocahontas is a must. The service is amazing too. It was great Beth came with me and cheered me on this weekend. We both missed Ashwin though, who loves Pocahontas Pancakes.

Decent week of mileage: 63 miles

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Slow and Easy Running

Today and yesterday I ran really slow and easy. I did 9 miles yesterday at Needwood again and today ran only 4 miles. It's good for my legs at this point to absorb all of the training I have been doing and to get super fresh legs for Sunday's race. Beth and I are excited to go to the beach again. I like VA beach a lot. Good food, and the races are always a blast. Although I have run the Shamrock Marathon once(my PR), and the Shamrock Half twice, I have never done the Rock N Roll Half before, so I am way pumped and excited for this weekend.

Monday, August 31, 2009

First Breath of Fall

I love fall. It is most definitely my favorite season. Today I felt the first breath of the season: the air was cooler, less humid, and refreshing. I ran a little under 12 miles today at Lake Needwood. I ran comfortably easy, trying to shake out any waste products in my legs.

I guess I like every season, but I look foward to fall the most. The visual change is the most dramatic with the varying coloration of leaves. I probably dislike summer the most as well, just because running in the heat can get pretty miserable. I think December is the worst month since it is dark by 445 pm and I either run in the dark, or run at the gym on the treadmill. Even running in the morning its dark.

So far it looks like the weather will work out this coming weekend, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I feel like I can run very fast under the right conditions.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Aug 24-30: lower mileage week: 50 miles

I lowered the mileage last week down to 50 and did PLENTY of sleeping as well. I feel more rested and prepared for the Half Marathon next Sunday. On Saturday, I did the CJs C & O Canal 5K as a light workout and it felt pretty good. I started off the first mile in 5:52, then worked down to goal half marathon pace, splitting 5:29, 5:33. I felt comfortable and ended up winning the race, finishing in 17:33. I also did some strength training this week. On Sunday I did a solid 12+ mile loop on the canal and seneca road. I feel more refreshed.

It's now time to gear up for a very competitive half marathon this sunday. The Va Beach Rock N Roll Half Marathon is a race I have always wanted to do. There is terrific competition with many elite international runners in the race. I am hoping to run a big PR of 1:11:00-1:12:00 and to finish in the top 20. I know I can run that fast, it's just a matter of putting everything together in the right race.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Aug 17-23: 89 Miles

Well I knew I was going to be close to 90 miles for the week. This was a great week of mileage. 89 Miles is my highest week since I can remember. It's great to have worked up to this point and seeing that my body can handle the higher mileage. My average mileage for the last 4 weeks has been 71 mpw. Today I did the longest run I have done since the marathon I ran in May. I met Jake, Jake2, Patrick Murphy, Dirk, Max, and Dickson for a terrific loop that started from the Barnes and Noble in Bethesda, down the CCT to the Towpath, through Georgetown, left on Rock Creek Parkway, all the way up to Beach Drive until turning left onto the Georgetown Branch trail back home. I would say the total distance was around 22 miles. We started off easy, then picked up the pace to a solid pace, then stopped for gatorade somewhere along Rock Creek Parkway. Later on the pace picked up some more, and we worked the hills up Beach Drive very well. After 2 hours I ran with Dickson a bit, letting Jake and Dirk go ahead. At this point though, I needed to ease up so eventually I let Dickson go ahead as well. I had a few minor side stitches here and there but they ended up going away, I think it was my body's response that I just needed to finish the rest of the run easy. I still felt like I got a solid workout in on top of the mileage I ran this week so it was a great run. I'd really like to build up to 110-115 miles in prep before the Marine Corps Marathon in Oct. But as for now, the next two weeks' mileage will be less than this week for sure, in preparation for a fast, flat half marathon in VA, the Va Beach Rock N Roll Half Marathon on September 6th. Oh and my girlfriend is awesome.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hard Work

Hard work pays off. Been running good mileage so far this week. Tuesday I ran an 8.5 miles easy, then Wednesday I ran 13.5 miles, and today an out and back 14 miler on MacArthur Blvd. Already up to 46 miles mid-week. It has been humid here and it gets a little annoying sweating so much. I'm tired, yet I feel strong at the same time. I keep taking naps during my lunchbreak at work. This week will probably be the highest mileage I have run all year(perhaps in a very long time). Hoping to hit 90. Next week I will take it down a tad and then the last week before the 1/2 race the mileage will be less as well.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Less mileage last week, more again this week

After my workout last wed, I spent the rest of the week running less in order to recover and prepare for some harder weeks ahead. I lowered the mileage last week down to 50 after going 70, 74 consecutively. This week will be higher again. On Monday I ran 10 miles over some hilly roads off MacArthur Blvd.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Turning Up the Intensity

Today I did my first Marathon/Half Marathon Workout for the fall. After running short and easy for Monday and Tuesday(5 mile runs), I did 8.5 miles today with 7+ at 2:28 Marathon Pace. I felt pretty relaxed and felt good to turn up the intensity a bit. It really didn't feel that hard at all, just new. I feel like I am going to get very very fit really quickly. My legs are feeling stronger and I am getting hungry for workouts. This week's mileage will probably be a bit less than the last week. While my prime goal is the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct, I am gearing up for the Va Beach Rock N Roll Half Marathon in 3.5 weeks. This fall season could really be a big breakthrough for me. We will have to wait and see. Happy training!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Difficult Run and 74 miles for the week

Today I met up with Max, Chuck Moeser, and Justin for a run through the beautiful trails of Difficult Run. Moeser owns a 2:24 in the Marathon to his credit and is still very fast for his age now(he's in his late 50's). I was delighted to meet him. I have never been on these trails before and it made my long run quite enjoyable. Difficult Run flows through Fairfax County, Virginia to the Great Falls Park, on the Virginia side of the Potomac River. The Run has been characterized as "a miniature Mather Gorge and Great Falls. We did the hilly loop of 11+ miles and then I ran more on my own since no one wanted to run longer. I estimate that I ended up doing about 19 miles total. I finished in 2:09:30. I'm glad I got the long run in early today, it was getting pretty hot by the time I finished. Still, it doesn't nearly feel as hot as it was down in NC last week.

Mileage Aug 3-9:

Mon- 12 miles
Tues- 9 miles
Wed- 9 miles
Thurs- 10 miles
Fri- 10 miles
Sat- 5 miles
Sun- 19 miles

Total: 74 miles

It feels good to not be racing and just training for a while. 4 weeks until the half marathon. All of these runs have been solid distance runs. I feel very fit, although I will need to do some fast paced workouts soon to really get my legs ready to run a fast half. The goal is 1:11:00.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

July 27- Aug 2- 70 Miles

Well the Outer Banks was a great vacation, although running there kinda sucked. There is no shade and you either turn right or left onto Duck Road. It was hotter down there, so I ran pretty slow most of my runs. Ran 70 miles total for the week. Body feels good overall. I'd really like to try to get up in the mid 80's next week. Here is a breakdown of the week:

Mon: 10 miles
Tues: 12.5 miles
Wed: 6.5 miles AM, 5 miles on the beach PM
Thurs: 12 miles
Fri: 5.5 miles
Sat: 7.5 miles
Sun: 11 miles

Just getting in solid training now, and higher mileage as well. It feels good not to race. August is all training, no races. 5 weeks until the half marathon. 12 weeks until the marathon.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pushing through to the next stage

Ok, I'm tired, I thought, as I crossed the line of the Crystal City Twilighter-the last of the string of summer races I ran between May and July. For some reason, when driving to the race, I made a wrong turn and drove to Alexandria and had to turn around. I guess that's why I left so early. Thankfully Nate steered me in the right direction and got to the start just in time to pick up my packet and warm up with the GRC team. Right before the start, thunder clouds started rolling in. Uh oh, I thought, Nate cheerfully said "This is going to be fun!" on the warm-up. It ended up raining lightly before the race which actually cooled off the heat a little bit. The Crystal City Twilighter was quite competitive, dozens of guys sprinted in front of me from the start. I paced myself to a 4:57 first mile, just about where I wanted to be, then fell off pace quite a bit. I'm not gonna lie- I was dissapointed to slow down to 10:24 at the 2mile split. I was hoping to run 15:55 but I knew that wasn't going to happen at the rate I was going. I tried to focus and just ran what I could, I split 15:55 for the 3rd mile, and finished up in 16:31. My best time out of the three 5ks I've run this summer, but not what I was hoping for. I hate the 5K, honestly, I have never ever had a good race in the 5K. But I ran it for a reason. After the race, I ran a 20 min cooldown with some of the guys, had a good conversation with Dickson about Marathon training, and found Beth who was waiting very patiently for me. Getting out of the parking lot was a hassle, and it took a long time since Crystal Drive was still closed. As we neared toward home, for some unknown reason 270/495 came to a halt. Apparently something was seriously going wrong, and later would find out the ALL of 270 was CLOSED. There was no sign indicating this as we were merging to 270, so it was one big waste of time. Good thing Beth suggested to go on 495 and loop around, because that's when we saw everyone trying to merge away from 270. Of course, when I finally got home, the power was out. Greaaat.. All right, enough of that..

I think it all hit me at once, all 7 races I did between May and July. I did this for a reason though. We all know I am not a 5k runner. I am a Marathoner. I did this to toughen me up. To get my legs bulletproof. All of these races are geared towards one goal: getting stronger in the Marathon. The results from May-July are below:

May 16-Germantown 5M: 28:02
June 7-Capital Crescent 5K- 16:42
June 13-Lawyers Have Heart 10K- 34:58
June 20-Baltimore 10.2 Miler- 58:02(56:53 10 Mile)
July 4-Autism Speaks 5K- 16:48
July 18-Rockville Twilighter 8K- 26:52
July 25-Crystal City 5K- 16:31

Overall I am happy with the results and my training and fitness are progressing in the right direction. Now I am glad to take off a much needed vacation from racing as well as work. I am going to the Outer Banks to get in a strong week of mileage this week. It will be hot, but again, will get me stronger. I am not racing anymore until September. This will be good, 6 solid weeks of training, then a real good test of fitness at the VA Beach Rock N Roll Half Marathon on Sept 6.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wednesday-16 Mile Med-Long Run

On Wednesday I drove to the Old Angler's Inn Lock, but ran on MacArthur Blvd towards DC. I ran slow the whole time for 1:53:00. I ran until I got to the top of the hill past Maryland Ave, then turned around. It was a nice run, although I was tired afterwards. I'll do some short stuff Thurs and Fri to prepare for the 5K Saturday.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

26:52-PR at the Rockville Twilight 8K

The Rockville Twilight run was a blast. I met up with the GRC crew for a warm up of the first loop of the course. My legs felt good, and the weather was great for this time of year. The race started out fast as usual, I went out strong, with Jake and Wardian right ahead of me(!), then settled into a rhythm. I wanted to go out no faster than 5:10 for my first mile, and I did just that, splitting 5:10 for mile 1. By this point I was working with Murphy, and Billy behind me. After the first loop, the intersection back at the starting line was a pure adrenaline rush. The crowds were roaring, and I heard Beth and Ashwin cheering for me, and a little furthur down I heard a very obvious pelkey yell "GO PUFF, GET TWO GET TWO!" 2Mile split was 10:37. Slowed a bit, but thats ok, I wanted to average around 5:20 pace, so I had to make sure to push it in the upcoming miles. I did push it, and Murphy helped me get there, we worked together through mile 3- 16:03. As we made our way up the hill around Montgomery College, I could see Patrick Reaves not too far ahead. Murphy started to surge ahead, I tried to stay within contact of him. Mile 4 split was 21:28, Murphy had gained some ground on me at this point, I just gotta dig deep in the straighaway to hopefully get a PR, I thought. Neal Hannan came up next to me and we worked together for a few minutes before he started kicking it in, passing me in the last 1/2 mile. I didn't have any kick(lol), I just kept running strong the whole way, hoping to break 27. I had a feeling I would, but I just ran as hard as I could in the final half mile, and right at the end, Billy kicked right by me to edge me by a second, but I was happy to see the clock read 26:52. A 24 second PR. I was happy to take it. I felt strong afterwards too, congratulating other familiar faces who ran as well. I give a big thanks to my awesome girlfriend who has continued to support me in all of my races, no matter how well I do. Thanks so much sweetie!

Sunday I slept in and ran late in the afternoon/evening for a 12.5 mile moderate distance run. I started from Violettes Lock, and ran up past mile 27 to the dirt road...forget the name of it..that lead out to seneca road. I then ran on seneca back to rileys lock and finished the last mile back to violettes. Good run, and 56 Miles total for the week. I am now really pumped for the Crystal City 5K next Saturday.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday: 10.5 miles relaxed

I took a nice afternoon drive after work to Edward's Ferry and ran a loop of the duel ferries. It was hot, I kept the pace relaxed and ran for a total of 1 hour and 10 minutes. Saw a pretty decent sized snake on the towpath about 20 minutes before I finished.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Monday and Tuesday

Monday and Tuesday of this week were distance runs. Monday- 9 miles from Swain's Lock, Tuesday- 7 miles at Old Angler's. I was a little sore on Monday, and the run helped loosen up some of that soreness by starting out real slow and picking it up towards the end. Tuesday I was tired, just getting through another run to flush out some waste in my legs. I felt good afterward, and my soreness is almost gone, just tired.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Solid Week of Distance Running

This week was a good week of distance running for me, putting the miles in my marathon legs. I hit 60 miles this week, the highest I've gone since training for the Frederick Marathon. On Tuesday I did a nice 10 Mile run at Old Angler's Inn, and Friday I did a Mini Track Workout to get my legs going faster again. 2x800meter with jog/run recovery: 2:25, 2:20. Felt nice running a little faster again. Saturday I went to the Capital Crescent with Beth and ran a solid 8 Miles there. Sunday was a long run with the GRC Team. We met up at The Line and ran through Rock Creek Park and other parts of DC/MD that I am unfamiliar with. Ran through the Zoo again which was fun. Drank a lot of water, I wanted to stay on top of my hydration today, it was humid. It was a solid, semi-hilly run of less than 18 miles. I finished up in 1:56:00 total. The first hour flew by. Lots of guys showed up, made the run merrier.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Decent 5K Workout

Saturday I ran in the Autism Speaks Potomac 5K. Warmed up with Dirk and Max. I went out hard(5:00 first mile), then settled in and finished in 16:48. Splits: 5:00, 5:24, 5:46. The course was tough, but not nearly as tough as the Baltimore 10 Miler I ran 2 weeks ago. I am certainly not a 5k runner, but I'd like to run sub-16:00 in the Crystal City 5K in 3 Weeks. I ran an easy 4 Sunday, less mileage least week. This morning I ran an easy 3.5 miles, another easy 4 in the afternoon with Mickey.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday DC Run

Since I had work off today, as well as a bunch of others, the GRC team met at the store for a 10 mile run. Ran throughout the nicer parts of DC and the Mall. Added on a little extra afterwards on the towpath, 12 miles total for the day. 5K race tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer Running

This past Sunday I did a nice run starting from Edward's Ferry down on river road to White's Ferry, on the canal back to Edward's Ferry, this is otherwise known as "the dual ferries run". I added on once I got back and got in about 13 miles for the day, and 55 miles total for the week. This week I have been doing moderate distance runs, with a 5k race coming up on July 4th.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Change of Perspective

So I found out that the Baltimore "10" Miler was a bit longer than 10 miles. Which totally changed my persepctive of my race last week. Apparently, the course ended up being a total of 10.2 miles, which would leave me at 56:53 for the 10 Mile split at 5:41 average per mile. That is a solid performance on a hilly course that I am happy with right now. It means with a few more months down the road, I will be ready to run a fast, flat half marathon in Sept. Very promising.

I met up with the GRC crew at the Georgetown Running Co. store this morning. We had a nice group for a long run, ran from the canal up to Lourborough street down Massachusetts cross to Connecticut, through the Zoo and back down eventually to the store. Some of the guys wanted to go 2 hours~18 miles, I decided to cut it around 14-15 miles or so, finished up in an hour and 41 minutes. Nice running with a group for most of the way. After 2 years of reviving my running and racing on my own, its great joining a group of post collegiate guys to try to get to the next level. I never felt satisfied with my running before I started again in 2007. It's like a whole new me. I always felt like I was able to run much much faster and train better. I am eager to explore just how fast I can run in my lifetime. I just turned 26 yesterday. Now is the time to go for it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Baltimore 10 Miler

Saturday was the Baltimore 10 Miler. I placed 3rd. 58:02. Well actually, I really placed 4th. Since somehow the officials missed the real 3rd place finisher(Joe Lamonte) and put me in the slot instead. The course was hilly, and the last 1/3 was all uphill, which slowed down my time somewhat. The rain in the beginning sucked(it was pouring in the first 10 min), then it tapered down and was manageable. I don't mind running in a little rain, but when it pours, its just miserable. Overall, I cranked out consistent 5:45s, pretty much right where I wanted to be. At the same time I am not satisfied either, I am hungry to run a fast 13.1 in Sept. This marked my 3rd race in 3 weeks. These frequent summer races I have run have been no PRs, but still solid times. I think it will really help my strength for the fall. I get a break next weekend from racing(my Birthday), and then July will roll around for a few 5ks and an 8k throughout the month. That will be my last month of racing shorter stuff before the longer races begin. 42 miles for the week.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


34:58 for the 10K. Not a bad time. But really not great either, considering I ran my PR of 34:16 last December on a windy cold day. The race went out moderate(I was actually almost in the lead from the start), but my pace started to settle into 5:30s. I got frustrated as soon as I saw my 2 mile split of 11:00. Oh well. My wise girlfriend told me that if I was running the race of my life now she would be worried, since my real peak race is the Marine Corps Marathon in Oct. So I guess it was a good training run for me. It certainly wasn't as bad as the 5 miler I did last month. 34:58 was good for 16th place, off of low mileage. I guess not too shabby. Once I raise the mileage this summer, my fitness will get really strong. I really want to run some decent times this summer which will give me more confidence for my concentration races like the half marathon and marathon. 34:58 is good for right now. But I need to improve if I want to be able to run 1:11:00-1:12:00 for the half marathon in Sept. We'll see how the Baltimore 10 Miler goes this weekend. I am excited for it, haven't raced 10 miles in a long time. It's a fun distance.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Capital Crescent 5K

Well one thing's for sure: today was a better race for me than the 5 miler I did 3 weeks ago. I felt like I could actually race this time and compete whereas in the last race someone would pass me and I would not respond. 16:41, good for 4th place. The time wasn't great but an improvement nevertheless. For the little amount of mileage and training I have been doing for the past month(20-30 miles) per week) it is a good indicator that I am capable of running some fast times for the 2nd half of 2009. Mileage will get higher soon. I need to get faster in the 5k, I need to break 16. I am pumped for the 10K next Saturday, it should be fun. Hopefully my fitness will continue to improve and I will break 34min next weekend. I think I can do it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Long Run at Capital Crescent Trail

Other than a few 9-10 milers, this Sunday I did my first semi long run since the marathon. I ran at the Capital Crescent trail on a semi humid day. I felt kinda crappy, but it felt good to run longer again. Ended up being around 13.5 miles. Post marathon, I rested and kept my mileage at 20 miles per week for about 3 weeks, then bumped it up to 34 last week. I ran the Germantown 5 miler 13 days after the marathon, and boy was that a slow race for me. 28:03. But again, it was right after the marathon. Now, I finally feel like I am getting my energy back. Recovery is so important. It is through recovery when the body grows stronger. I have a string of fun races in June coming up, starting off with a 5K this weekend. It will be interesting to see how that goes.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Frederick Marathon Race Recap

Well I guess a good way to start off this blog is with a race recap. So I will recap my most recent Marathon, the Frederick Marathon. The Half Marathoners ran with the Marathoners for the first half of the course, so for the first half I was at about 12th place. I found out I was the 5th place Marathoner around Mile 4 when I saw my girlfriend's Dad cheering for me. Some marathoner running without his shirt passed me around mile 9. 10 Mile split: 1:01:00. Around Mile 11 I started moving pretty well, and passed 2 Marathoners who were right ahead of me for much of the beginning. At one point some kid running the half 10 years younger pulled up beside me, and I encouraged him along before dropping him around mile 11, he looked a lot like me when I was that age, he went on to finish a pretty respectable 1:21. I took a Powergel around mile 11, and I think I was right around 1:20:xx for the Half, and I felt fine.

After the first half, it started to rain. I knew the second half was going to be hilly. Now the real race began. I found out I was in 4th place after the Half Marathoners left. The guy without his shirt was still in front of me in 3rd. I barely saw him ahead of me as we made some turns near mile 14. 2nd and 3rd place definitely had some distance on me. It looked as if I had settled for 4th. Then around mile 16.5, the hills came. The hill looked ominous, but I felt confident I was able to handle it well given the hilly long runs I incorporated into my training, as well as the USA Cross Country Championships race I ran in back in February. The guy without his shirt, 3rd place was in sight, but still had distance on me, I could not see 2nd place. Around mile 17.5 I took a little bit of more GU, then stuck it back in my pocket in case I wanted more later. I knew I had enough fuel now though and probably didn't need any more gel. Didn't take any water, it was raining pretty good at this point.

Around mile 18, before the highest climb, to my surprise, it looked as if I had gained ground on 3rd place. I began to focus on reeling him in. Feeling strong on the hills, I caught 3rd place around Mile 20- 2:03:55. Then, around mile 21, I began to see 2nd place in sight. He was slowing down, I could catch him. I focused and caught him right around mile 22, where he was taking some water. I took no water, simply didn't want any.

Then, my shoe came untied. Oh great, I thought, now I'm screwed, it was raining quite a bit and there was no way my shoe would stay tied with all the wetness. So I kept going, my shoe somehow stayed on, don't asked me how it stayed on, I made a prayer that it would stay on and I could finish the race strong. Funny, I don't consider myself religious, but sometimes I do pray to a higher power for a miracle I guess. 2:20:00 in, I started to feel the pain, but I told myself only 20 min to go, my legs were strong. Mile 23-25 was a stretch, all alone, I could not see 1st place in sight. The runners going the opposite direction around their mile 16 started cheering for me when I was around 23. It was inspiring. I thanked them. Mile 25 split: 2:35:20.

I held onto my second place finish. My time was screwed up since I ended up running 1-2 minutes extra past the finish entrance due to an official's mistake. But at least I didn't lose my place. And my shoe held on. Picked up 400 bucks. I believe my time would have been around 2:43:xx without the extra distance I ran. I know my 26 mile split was something like 2:41:50. Average pace was 6:13 per mile. This race was very comparable to the one where I placed 6th and ran 2:38:48 at Virginia Beach, which was a completely flat course compared to this hilly one.