Sunday, August 28, 2011

Aug 22-28: Tri-State 24 Miler, 101 Miles/Week

Crazy week of hurricanes, earthquakes and whatnot, but training remained consistent still. I got in 101 miles for the week and a total of 9 runs. The workout on Wednesday morning was great obviously, the 4 miles in 20:20 showed that I am sharpening into half marathon race pace nicely. The rest of my runs were just general aerobic runs, nothing faster than 6:00 pace. On Saturday I got my long run out of the way since the hurricane was on its way. I started down the CCT and ran down towards DC and continued past the Kennedy Center, crossed the Arlington Memorial Bridge, looped onto the Mount Vernon Trail, crossed back over the Key Bridge, poked my head in the Georgetown store to pick up some water, and continued on my way back to the Arlington Bridge to see how my marathoners were doing. They were going 20 miles today and they looked great as I crossed the Arlington bridge a second time. I ran to the end and looped back to run through Georgetown a bit before coming back up the Capital Crescent. At this point I was 17 miles in and had 7 miles to go. Although my pace wasn't fast, (I was running no faster than 6:10 pace and ended up averaging 6:50s for the entire run), it wasn't easy coming back up the long climb on the CCT. But I felt pretty good overall and it gave me confidence for the 26.2 mile distance I would tackle in 2 months. Total time was 2 hours and 45 minutes and the distance was 24 miles. Longest long run of the year so far. This should hopefully help my marathoning improve...just simply running close to 26.2 miles as opposed to running it at race pace first will help me progress to the marathon pace runs later on. I am really excited for the Kentlands 5K next Saturday-it should be a great tune-up for Philly and hopefully I'll snatch a PR as well.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

8/24: 4Mile Tempo: 20:20

I felt awesome during my tempo run this morning...almost too good. I went to the Richard Montgomery Track and did 20:20 for 4 miles which felt comfortably hard. AND it was a day after I ran 16 miles at a decent pace. I split 5:08, 5:05, 5:05, 5:02. My goal was to feel relatively comfortable doing it since it would be close to my half marathon race pace. Speaking of which, I averaged 5:05 pace...which for a half marathon is 1:06:40 pace! But it's probably a little ambitious to say I can run 1:06 in 3 1/2 weeks....probably more realistic is 1:07-1:08...but still...the pace sure didn't feel that hard. The way I look at it, I ran almost 1/3 of the goal distance at 1:06-1:07 pace, and had energy left in the tank. If I can do, lets say 8 miles, at that pace in a training run...then I would be really confident I could run that sorta time. We'll see how the training progresses over the next few weeks. Training tells a lot. But also mentality is a huge part. My mental toughness of running many workouts alone, coaching myself, I believe it makes me a stronger and wiser runner who knows his purpose, and is already self motivated. I know what I need to do. I just need to go out it. I am not totally ruling out the possibility of running 1:06 for the half...but I also need to make sure I know what goal pace is realistic.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I have to admit, if I chose one runner who inspires me, it would be Michael Wardian. Originally a lacrosse player in college, Wardian got into competitive running post collegiately(meaning he never competed in college, and started by just trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I say "just" not to say qualifying for Boston isn't surely is the holy grail for many good runners. But for Wardian, who qualified for the Olympic Trials Marathon this year(running a superb and lifetime best of 2:17 at the age of 37)...qualifying for Boston is cake for him. However, when he first started out, that was a good goal for him. He kept setting higher and higher goals and now is one of the world's best ultrarunners and an elite marathoner. The guy's ability to recover is insane, and he does it with a full time job, wife and 2 kids-many of the runners I coach do this as well. The way Wardian handles everything inspires me. One day I will have kids and will have to learn how to manage all that in addition to a job, and my training. But not yet ;). Wardian inspires me to qualify for the marathon trials, but also in his ultra-running. I never thought I'd say this, but I think one day I may want to dive into ultra running when I'm a bit older-perhaps past 40. Maybe when I'm passed running as fast as I humanly can in less distances, would I try the Western States 100 Miler.

Check out the interview with Wardian on NPR:

But for now, I am focused on that half marathon in 3.5 weeks, and I have a fast workout to do tomorrow morning.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

8/15-8/21: 100 Miles/Week

Mileage was done in 8 runs this week(double on monday) mostly singles. The track workout on Wednesday was fantastic. I looked through my log of previous workouts and there was a 5x1000m I did before I ran 15:13 for the 5K, averaging 3:00 a piece. The workout this week was 6x1200m and I averaged those in 3:36-3:37 each(meaning I went through the 1000s in another 200m and an additional rep at the same pace. Something tells me I can break 15:00 for the 5K right now.

On Saturday I did a 13 miler mostly in the low 6's with the last 3 miles at about Marathon Pace-about 5:30 per mile. Starting to get into the zone of LT pace and Marathon Pace stuff. I did a 20 miler Sunday with the first half slow and the second half steady.

I have decided to do the Kentlands/Lakelands 5K as a tune-up for Philly. It is 2 weeks + a day before Philly so it works out nicely. It would be nice to claim sub 15:00 there.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

8/17: 6x1200

Today I did a solid trackworkout: 6x1200 meters with more rest than last week but faster interval pace. It was more of a 5k-10k workout vs a half marathon workout...BUT it will help my half marathon time in hindsight. I feel myself getting fitter and fitter each week.

3:36, 3:36, 3:37, 3:39, 3:39, 3:33

averaged out to 3:36-3:37(4:48-4:49 pace)

Since I was averaging about 4:48-4:49 pace, a workout like this makes 5:00 pace seem not as fast. Training is going well this week. Looking foward to a good long run this Saturday.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Less is More: 8/8-8/14: 85 miles/week

Ahhh. I relaxed this week a bit, and recovered my body from the brutal buildups of mileage I have been doing since June. It felt good. I even took a day off on Saturday(AND I went out and had a steak for Beth's Birthday). First day off since...(digging through my running log)...July 7. The day before I raced the MidSummer Night's Mile. Over 5 weeks ago. So hitting 85 miles this week seemed like cake(35 miles less than last week).

I also added speedwork back into my training this week. It was a nice 1st workout back at the track which I will be continuing over the next several weeks building towards the Philly RocknRoll Half Marathon. The workout was 8x800 meters with 1-2 minutes rest between each, at slightly faster than half marathon race it wasn't supposed to be anything really fast. My goal was to average 5:00 pace, maybe slightly faster, which is sub 2:30 800s, and hopefully feel relatively comfortable doing them(meaning aerobic vs. anaerobic)...but it also was VERY important NOT to run them too fast! I hit all of them in 2:28-2:30 and I felt like I could do 8 more when I was done. 4:59 pace average. That was my goal. To get familiar with what used to be a hard pace seems almost a tempo pace that I will be able to maintain for a longer duration. What used to be 5k race pace for me is starting to feel more aerobic and towards a longer distance I could maintain. It is incredible how the body adapts.

This week I will up the mileage again to 100+ and will continue the workouts and some tempo/marathon pace runs as well. Quality workouts are certainly being added now, and I will be definitely focusing on them from here on. The mileage base I've been building since June is big and strong enough that I can now add the next layer to the cake.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Over the Mountain...August 1-7: 120 Miles/Week

I feel like I just got over a huge mountain and am going downhill. Last week was my highest mileage week to date and it was fantastic...really I am handling this mileage very well. I am in the shape of my life. A good amount of self massage and stretching are essential at least one day/week. I am becoming wiser, stronger, and I have learned so much about my body and mind. The key to doing more distance is to make sure you get in your slower runs, so I have made sure to get in a few 7:30 pace runs...I even did 8:00 pace average for a run this week. For those of you who want to run more mileage, I advise you to make sure you don't run too fast all the time when raising it...your body needs the easy days. The Kenyans do this. Mileage has its limits among runners, yes, but you'd be surprised at how much you can raise the bar as long as you do it right. I am confident to say I know how to do it, and if any of you reading this have questions, do not hesitate to ask me. Not that I have mastered it or know everything about it either...there is always more for me to learn and I appreciate all of the advice from everyone who reads my blog.

I am 6 weeks out from the Philly RocknRoll Half Marathon, and 12 weeks out from the Marine Corps Marathon. I have gotten a closer perspective on my miles and workouts over the next several weeks, including how much mileage I should run before it becomes detrimental to my training. But first, here is this week's sum:

8/1: PM: 12.5 miles
8/2: AM: 13.5 miles, PM: 5.5 miles
8/3: AM: 15 miles, PM: 5 miles
8/4: AM: 12.5 miles, PM: 5 miles
8/5: AM: 11 miles
8/6: AM: 21 miles, 1st 10 miles: 70 min(7:00 pace), 2nd 10 miles: 60 min(6:00 pace), + 1 mile
8/7: AM: 19 miles SLOW(8:00 pace), stretching, massage

TOTAL: 120 miles

Saturday I drove out to Edward's Ferry to do a Duel Ferries Run. The Duel Ferries run starts from Edwards Ferry(mile post 31 on the C and O Canal) and goes 5 miles on the canal to Whites Ferry before looping back on a lonely gravel road called River Road for another 5 miles on a rolling hills course that looks a lot like Kansas. It loops back to Edwards Ferry, which is just over 10 miles. Repeat the loop again and you got Duel Ferries. I met with Lucinda who happily joined me for the first of my two 10 mile loops. We started at 7:30 pace and worked down to 6:20 pace. The 2nd loop I ran harder while she did an out and back. I got down to 5:38 pace during the middle of the second loop...which felt rather comfortable...this may be close to my marathon pace...but I brought it back up to 6:00 for the rest of the run. Wasn't quite yet ready to tackle race pace effort...especially during the highest week of mileage ever.

I will begin doing targeted race pace workouts this month, and hitting long intervals on the track or on the towpath. My schedule is a bit more refined now(this still may change a bit) and I think my highest mileage week will be about 130(again this may may just stay at 120).....I probably don't see myself going any higher than 130 though. Outline below:

8/8-8/14: 100-110 miles
8/15-8/21: 110-118 miles
8/22-8/28: 120-130 miles

8/29-9/4: 85 miles
9/5-9/11: 80 miles
9/12-9/18: 65-70 miles**1/2 MARATHON RACE WEEK**
9/19-9/25: 90-100 miles

9/26-10/2: 100-110 miles
10/3-10/9: 120 miles
10/10-10/16: 80-90 miles
10/17-10/23: 70-80 miles
10/24-10/30: 65 miles**MARATHON RACE WEEK**