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.