Sunday, July 31, 2011

Climbing Higher: 7/25-7/31: 112 miles/week

I am climbing higher and higher. I was going to get in 120 miles this week, but I toned it down to 112 by skipping a second run I was going to do on Saturday. The reason being I want to climb in mileage gradually, starting from 103 last week to 112 this week, and then this next week I'll be at 120-125. July is over and I have averaged 90 miles/week for the month. Over the past 10 weeks I have averaged 95 miles/week. I am crushing this mileage and only getting better and stronger. This week I did a couple of faster runs incorporated into the mileage. During my long run for the week(19 miles), I threw in 5 miles at a brisk pace coming back up the Capital Crescent Trail, going UPHILL at 5:45 pace. This was just a small dose of bigger things to come in my training/fitness. My fitness is only improving and I imagine I will gradually be working down my pace over the next several weeks and doing tempo cruise intervals and some faster pacing overall. I do not know what my marathon pace is yet but I will know soon. I am also handling this brutal heat well, and once the cooler weather arrives I'm going to feel fantastic. I have high, high goals this fall.

The BIG training month is coming up: August...I will train farther and more than I ever have. The high week for that month is going to be 140+ miles.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 18-24: 103 Miles/Week

Back to the mileage and working hard. The heat is tough some days. I get up early to beat the worst of it, running at 6:30 am most mornings. I ended up doing mostly singles this week with only one double. It feels good to run more again and not race for a while. I made a really smart decision to not run the Crystal City 5K race. Outline of the week below.

Mon: PM: 5 miles easy
Tues: AM: 14 miles
Wed: AM: 12.5 miles, PM: 4.5 miles
Thurs: AM: 14 miles
Fri: AM: 16.5 miles
Sat: AM: 20 miles, (started out 7:30 pace worked down to 6:00 pace), averaged 6:40 pace
Sun: AM: 16 miles easy

TOTAL: 103 miles

Next week would like to hit 120. I am in good shape and handling the heat well. Although, I've apparently lost weight according to many people who have seen me recently. I cannot help but make sure I am eating enough, since I actually used to have a eating disorder when I was younger-and as a result was not performing well in college. Being skinny can only take you so far. But now, with the way I train and coach myself, it is different, my body is changing in a good way this time, for the positive, and my fitness is improving a ton, and I am becoming more efficient. I feel great, I really do. I feel lighter but strong. People look at me and don't understand how I can eat so much. When running this kind of mileage, the calories are being constantly burned...the furnace is hot. The longer days I bring a 10 ounce water bottle that attaches to my hand. I have also been training myself to drink water while I run...something that I have needed to work on doing more, especially for the marathon. I think I am getting better at it though...I think I am getting stronger.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Schedule Change

As I observe the heat wave in the next couple of days, and look at my goals and race plans, I am making a slight change:


It just makes no sense to do it in this kind of heat, but another reason is because I am back in full high mileage training mode(after 3 weeks in the 75-80 mile range). I will be at over 100 miles this week and have been running very early in the mornings to beat the heat. To throw in a 5k makes absolute no sense whatsoever right now and will just throw off my training. I need to remember what I am really training for this fall: the philly half, and the marine corps marathon. The twilight 8K and the Midsummer's mile were two very nice races for me. A PR in the mile and a competitive 8k finish is enough for my summer races.

For the fall, I have added a good tune-up race for the Philly Half Marathon. I am looking to do the competitive Kentlands 5K which is 2 weeks before Philly-perfect amount of prep time. But more on that later.

For now, I train.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Twilight Runfest 8K Race Report

The Rockville Twilight 8K Runfest is the highlight event of summer racing. The competition is solid, and it's one of the top 20 8k road races in the country. The course is certainly not easy, with its rolling hills in the first 2 miles, as well as a few climbs in the late stages of the race. It can go out very fast, and the heat can be rough. Fortunately the temperatures were more moderate this year. My goal was to compete in this race, not run for time. I just wanted to place well and beat as many runners as I could. It felt good to get out on the road again in my Mizuno racing flats. Besides the track, I haven't raced on the road since April. I wanted this race to be a good, hard effort.

I got to the invited runner room around 7:15 and chatted with some of the other elites. Abiyot Endale, Wilson Komen, Ricky Flynn, Dave Berdan...there were some strong runners ready to race tonight. I met up with Luci and her twin sister Claudin(who wasn't racing but came to cheer us on) and we did a warm-up together. I felt great on the warm-up and my legs felt strong and fluid.

The runner in me only becomes stronger with perserverance.

The gun went off and about 15 runners blazed in front of me. I settled into my rhythm and we made the turn to start our first climb up Martins Lane. I already started passing people. Not to brag but, I have to admit, I am such a strong hill runner. Ever since high school, I was always strong on hills. I have a lower center of mass and it certainly comes to my advantage over taller runners. I chewed up a few more runners and settled myself in position, noticing Neal Darmody not too far in front of me.

I went through my first mile in 4:50 and felt fine. The 2nd mile is much slower since hills are added immediately after the first mile and on Beall Avenue. On Beall Avenue I keyed off of Neal, a D1 college runner and who is my former high school's all time best distance runner Quince Orchard has ever had. Any record I held at QO he had demolished. My former coach, Seann Pelkey, did a great job with him. But he also did a great job with me. I pulled up alongside of Neal and together we hammered on Beall Ave. Neal's a great kid. He's got a good head on his shoulders and he's got a lot of talent. He won his conference title this past Spring in the 10,000m. He doesn't want to seem to move up to longer distances after college but he surely has great potential.

Before the 2 mile mark, Georgetown Running Company's top 2 runners in the race, Paul Guevara and Paul Zwama, pulled up right behind me and Neal along with Matthew Abernathy. Together we rolled through the 2 mile in just over 10:00 minutes and the crowds cheered as we made the difficult turn back onto 355. I heard people cheering my name and recognized voices but could not look in time. I just concentrated on keeping my eyes up ahead and attacking the 2nd half of this race.

We made the turn on Martins again, repeating the uphill and then made a right onto Mannakee, where we flew down into the Montgomery College Campus. I now started to pull ahead of Neal, who I could hear was not far behind me. Both Pauls, however, began making a break from me as well. I could see them just ahead and tried to stay in contact. Matt Abernathy was still with me, and together we ran stride for stride going around the parking lots that zigzagged with U-turns. I hate making 180 degree U-Turns. They throw off your momentum by forcing you to slow down in order to make the turn and then you have to regain your speed as soon as you can to keep your momentum flowing. It hurts to slow down.

I hammered.

Abernathy was with me but I could feel him working. We caught an African runner( Seife Geletu) at a hill we were going up towards the 4 mile mark. I could see both Pauls still just ahead and told Matt to work together to get them. At the same time both Pauls were surging as well..

We made the turn onto 355 going South and it was less than a mile to go. I surged a few times but Abernathy stayed right with me. I couldn't shake him. Less than half a mile to go and I could hear people cheering in the distance. Finally with a quarter mile to go I could see the finish line. I strided out as best I could but I didn't have a sprint(which Abernathy did), and he passed me. Then, the African Seife Geletu sprinted by me and I cursed, "Dammit!!"...the guy came back out of nowhere. I surged to give a good fight but was no match. Still, I came through the finish strong and people I knew cheered loudly in excitement as I crossed the line in 11th place in 25:32, my highest placing and best time in this race by far.

Lucinda ran well too, finishing 4th overall for women in 28:48. We did a long cool-down together afterwards.

Beth, Ashwin, Gary, and Cormic came out to watch and we had a fun night partying at my place afterwards. I got in 80 miles this past week. Next and final race of the summer before I prep for fall is the Crystal City 5K next Saturday 7/23 at 8:30 PM.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Twilighter 8K RESULTS: 25:32, 11th place

25:32, 11th place

Race Report Coming...

Rockville Rotary Twilight 8K

The highlight event of the summer is here. My goal is to compete well and make a statement of what I'm capable of this fall. I'd like to run down some guys I haven't beaten before. The course isn't the easiest so it's hard to have a goal time, so I'm just going to concentrate on competing and running down as many guys as I can.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

MidSummer Night's Mile Race Recap and Training

I ran the mile in a new personal best 4:27.8 this past friday. It's been a long time since I've raced the mile. In fact, technically I haven't raced a mile since high school. I was decent at it

in High School, I got down to 4:35 a couple times...but it never really was my event. I am an endurance guy. The longer the race, the tougher I am to beat. The more suffering I can endure.

Then again, I am also trying to get faster, and Joe's coach, Jerry, make an excellent point about a guy like myself racing a mile. "If you're going to try to run 4:40 pace for a 5k then

you need to run a mile at least in the 4:20's." And as you add the numbers, the faster 5k does the same thing: It translates to a better 10k, on to the half marathon. A half marathon

pace of 4:57 requires even that 5k to be pretty quick. The marathon is a little bit different, but strong performances in distances less than 26.2 do not hurt.

Onto the Race:

Beth wonderfully came to Rockville High School to cheer me on. The heats were 8 deep, and I was in the fastest one, so it was kind of tricky knowing when to warm up. After the

fourth heat I started my warm-up, and was thankful that the weather was holding out. It stormed and rained violently earlier, and I was unsure if this race was still going to be run.

But somehow, the clouds broke up, and even the sun was coming through as it was setting. As I got back I put on my ever so light Nike Zoom Victory Spikes and headed to the track to do some drills and strides.

The Red Fox, Paul, Andrew Jesien...this heat had some fast guys. Little did I know it would be the fastest in its 35 year history of the event.

The sun was just setting as we started. Paul was to rabbit the event and sccording to records he is a great pacer. Since the race was a full mile(1609 meters), we started 9 meters behind the line and were off. I found 6-8 guys with me all in a pack that I clung onto. This race was going to be fast. Jake Klim was right in front of me, Paul surged to the front, and a few other guys and Jesien in between. We came through the first lap in 67(which really was 65 or 66 since it was over 400m), and the crowds started to get into it. Second lap was maintenance and I worked my way to keep my position behind Jake. We came through 800 in 2:13/2:14 and continued our drive. I pushed the 3rd lap with Jake to stay with the pace of the leaders and worked past some runners falling off the pace. I could hear Wiggy yelling splits at 1000m but I couldn't figure out the pace...but I didn't need to...I just needed to stay with Jake. 1200 meters came up and people were really getting into the race now. Pretty awesome for an event that isn't that and these other guys were giving it a new name. Jesien surged to the lead and never looked back...the guy is an olympic trials miler and one of the better runners in the country. By now, Paul was still running-looks like he decided to finish the race after all...he had planned to drop out at 1200 since he was rabbiting. I pulled up on Jake's right hip at 1200 and split 3:20.

He then made a surge and I went with him and tried to hang on. Hang on. Just hang on. 300 to go and I felt the race was on. Jesien was throwing the hammer down, leading, paul second, some other college or post-college guy 3rd...Jake and I passed one runner on the back straight to put us in 4th and 5th respecively. Joe was going nuts cheering as we had 200 meters to go. Do I have a kick? I thought...I've been doing all this long distance mileage...Then, off the turn, I felt the runner we past come up on me and he made a move sprinting by me with just over 100 meters to go...I cursed and saw immediately he was slowing down in front and I blew by him with 50 meters to go with a nasty kick, finishing just a half a second behind Klim.

4:27.8 was my final time in 5th. Jesien won in a meet record 4:19. Paul ran for
2nd in 4:24. Klim 4:27.2

I'm happy with how this went, and it was an 8 second PR. It's a good "spark" to get my legs going again for the 2nd half of 2011-and it was nice to have that kick.

This week was another lesser week of mileage, finishing up at 75 miles for the week. The week before was 80, so having 2 weeks of 80 or lower have allowed my legs to recover a bit and do some intensity. I have a 2nd race coming up for the summer, the Rockville Twilight 8K, which is the most competitive race of the summer pretty much.

After the mile on Friday, we all went out to Matchbox to get pizza, it was a good time and I treated Beth and I to our favorite chicken pesto pizza. We had about 10-12 of us and talked over the race, and other goofball things.

Saturday morning I met up with Luci at Old Angler's Inn for a long run on the towpath. She had planned on doing a pretty solid workout and I was happy to help her out. We started out easy and took to the trails that eventually went out to Great Falls. I felt remarkably good once I got warmed up. It was quite humid as well. We ran down to Great Falls and then agreed to turn back to Old Angler's(just under 40 min in) to grab some Accelerade. After getting some fuel, we went back out to MacArthur Blvd, and ran South for 5 miles before we would turn onto the towpath again. The sun was strong on MacArthur so once we turned back onto the Canal the shade felt nice. As we got onto the towpath we added on some miles before turning around to head back...we both wanted to get in 2 hours or so. We progressed in pace to 6:30s and began to press furthur. I could tell Luci was taking this no problem-her fitness certainly is progressing from last year-qualifying for the olympic trials marathon is a realistic and attainable goal for her. She wanted to work down to 6:15s so we proceeded to do so. Our last mile was 5:58 and the total distance was about 18 miles I would say.

Mileage next week will probably be in the 80-90 range.

Looking foward to the Twilighter.

Friday, July 8, 2011

OFFICIAL: 4:27.8, PR

1 1/95 1/12 2747 Andrew Jesien M 24 Rockville MD 4:19.3
2 2/95 2/12 2754 Paul Guevara M 24 Alexandria VA 4:24.0
3 3/95 3/12 2723 Chris Barnard M 22 Olney MD 4:26.0
4 4/95 1/15 953 Jake Klim M 30 North Bethesda MD MCRRC 4:27.2
5 5/95 1/8 2746 Chris Sloane M 28 Rockville MD 4:27.8
6 6/95 4/12 2757 Kevin Meehan M 24 San Francisco CA 4:29.5
7 7/95 5/12 2758 Will Palmer M 22 Bethesda MD 4:30.1
8 8/95 2/15 2755 Dickson Mercer M 30 Washington DC 4:30.6
9 9/95 2/8 2716 Jason Myers M 25 Alexandria VA 4:35.4
10 10/95 6/12 458 William Orndorff M 20 Rockville MD MCRRC 4:35.9
11 11/95 7/12 2741 Reagan Lynch M 22 Gaithersburg MD 4:37.1
12 12/95 8/12 764 Daniel George M 24 Bethesda MD MCRRC 4:37.1
13 13/95 9/12 702 Alex Booth M 23 Bethesda MD MCRRC 4:41.4
14 14/95 3/15 959 Steven Moore M 33 Kensington MD MCRRC 4:43.5
15 15/95 1/7 2753 Nathan Austin M 10 Rockville MD 4:49.0
16 16/95 1/2 299 Kevin Yates M 39 Olney MD MCRRC 4:56.3
17 17/95 1/13 441 Mark Neff M 48 Derwood MD MCRRC 4:56.7
18 18/95 2/13 452 David Haaga M 49 Rockville MD MCRRC 4:57.1
19 19/95 4/15 730 James Fogg M 32 Kensington MD MCRRC 4:58.1
20 20/95 3/8 948 Quentin Glorieux M 27 Potomac MD MCRRC 4:59.4

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Friday Night Mile

latest news:

Georgetown Running Company will be sending some runners out to the MidSummer Night's Mile tomorrow evening. Jake Klim(the Red Fox) will be there along with Paul Guevara(2:21 marathoner), Dickson Mercer, and a few others rabbiting the race.

Klim owns the record of 4:22. He is returning to form after a year off due to a rough injury. His goal is to break 4:30.

For me to run a mile well, I need to go out pretty strong and run pretty even(or slightly negative split)...I am not a runner who sits back the whole race and kicks the last lap like Jim Ryun did. My plan is to run even and aim to run 66s for the first 2 laps(2:12), and then negative split 65 and 64 the last 2 laps.

Aiming to run anywhere between 4:20-4:25.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

2011 Spring Rankings-DC, MD, VA

The Spring 2011 Rankings are here.

in red is =PR=
blue is Georgetown
and purple is Pacers

Georgetown is the obvious powerhouse with PR and Pacers dueling out second place. A big loss is Adam Condit, who ran with me during much of the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race, who moved recently. Aaron Church, however, who is not ranked, is on a comeback for the fall and has been racing well. This time around I got ranked 24th, which is great since last year I was 39th. There are a lot of good runners in the area and it's been quite a competitive year so far.

1 Endale, Abiyot 24 Silver Spring, MD
2 Nightingale, David* 25 Washington, DC
3 Towett, George** 26 Virginia Beach, VA
4 Berdan, Dave 29 Owings Mills, MD
5 Feysa, Birhanu* 29 Silver Spring, MD
6 Tefera, Demesse* 29 Washington, DC
7 Flynn, Ricky** 23 Lynchburg, VA
8 Dusen, Karl 28 North Bethesda, MD, GRC
9 McDougal, Jordan 23 Culpeper, VA
10 Rodriguez, Bert** 31 Arlington, VA, Pacers
11 Flynn, Brian 27 Weyers Cave, VA
12 Komen, Wilson* 33 Washington, DC
13 Wardian, Michael*** 37 Arlington, VA
14 Megerssa, Gurmessa** 31 Washington, DC
15 Luff, Samuel* 24 Rockville, MD, GRC
16 Hutchinson, Seth** 27 Charlottesville, VA
17 Wiegner, Joe 29 Rockville, MD, GRC
18 Baressi, Matt 28 Falls Church, VA, Pacers
19 De Heer, Dirk 30 Silver Spring, MD, GRC
20 Hurt, Charlie 27 Richmond, VA
21 Burnham, David 26 Arlington, VA, GRC
22 Saunders, Rich 22 Alexandria, VA
23 Condit, Adam 28 Ashburn, VA, =PR=
24 Sloane, Christopher 27 Rockville, MD, =PR=
25 Meeker, Dustin 29 Baltimore, MD
26 Mercer, Dickson 29 Washington, DC, GRC
27 Carr, Allen 27 Washington, DC, Pacers
28 Renjifo, Carlos* 28 Columbia, MD
29 Cherry, Brandon* 28 Washington, DC
30 Miller, David 27 Arlington, VA, =PR=
31 Wertz, David 35 Arlington, VA, GRC
32 Grout, Alexander* 24 Williamsburg, VA
33 Burke, Edmund* 41 Burtonsville, MD, Pacers
34 Foster, Ryan* 25 Arlington, VA, Pacers
35 Belford, Luke 28 Nottingham, MD
36 Sovonick, Andy* 24 Gaithersburg, MD, GRC
37 Wingo, Joey 24 Mechanicsville, VA
38 Henry, James 28 Silver Spring, MD
39 Murphy, Patrick 26 Washington, DC, GRC
40 Viviani, Will*** 29 Arlington, VA, Pacers
41 Whitlow, Dustin 24 Arlington, VA, =PR=
42 Aramayo, Ed 24 Baltimore, MD
43 Buschman, Mark 26 Ellicott City, MD
44 Carroll, Ryan** 28 Portsmouth, VA
45 Hryvniak, David 26 Chesapeake, VA
46 Brown, Karsten** 37 Front Royal, VA
47 Toland, Hugh*** 30 Fairfax, VA, =PR=
48 Fitzgerald, Jason 27 Silver Spring, MD
49 Deak, Ryan** 25 Burke, VA
50 Boyd, Wyatt**26 Washington, DC
51 Wegner, Michael* 14 Columbia, MD
52 Ciarfalia, Andrew 28 Reston, VA
53 Nevarez, Elias 27 Arlington, VA
54 Colaiacovo, Mike 41 Ellicott City, MD
55 Ethica, Kumsa 27 Washington, DC
56 Green, Jake* 26 Reston, VA
57 Logan, Matthew 25 Washington, DC

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

June Summary and July Training

June was a great month of just pure volume and general running with no real workouts. The June weeks were 98, 90, 105, 118, and I averaged 103 miles/week. I have a good foundation set, and now I am adding workouts for July with a little less mileage. Furthur out, August will be the toughest mountain to climb. Last week I hit 80 miles with a 6x400 track workout. The thing that's great about my adaptation to training over the past 2 years is that 80miles/week doesn't seem so high to me anymore. The goal for July is to use the foundation I have built by running reasonable mileage(80-90 mpw) while working on the gears and efficiency by introducing speedwork and formwork. One of the main reasons I am running a 1 mile track race this friday is not because I am a miler(it is stretching the limits of the shortest distance race I can run well at)...but because it will help me improve as a runner-along with track work-improve my form, stride, turnover, and power in my stride. It's all about efficiency, at the end of the day, this will translate to helping me become a better runner, and running well at the events that I excel in.

Today I did a workout of 1x400, 1x800, 1x400, with 3 minute rest, hitting 66, 2:14, and 64 respectively. I wanted the 800 to be faster but I think it was good enough.