Sunday, October 28, 2012

10/22-10/28: 98 Miles/Week

I view this past week as a week where I "held on" and was able to climb furthur up.  Coming off an Army 10 Miler PR and immediately going into high mileage this past week seemed like a tough thing to do, but aside some expected stiffness, I actually I felt quite comfortable (and good) doing it.  I think partially, because I ran a small amount of mileage when I tapered last week(53), and secondly, it felt good running longer and slower(compared to running fast 10 milers).  I nixed any trackworkouts this week so that I could run longer miles and recover to do a strong long run over the weekend.  On Saturday, I drove out to Pennyfield to do one of my favorite out and backs.  I did 10.5 out and 10.5 back for a total of 21.  I did the first 10.5 in 58:00(5:31 pace), and came back in 60:00(5:42 pace).  I would have preferred the reverse, and I think I got a little carried away and ran a bit hard in the beginning(even though my first mile was just under 6:00).  At the same time, I wasn't completely recovered from running 51:44 for 10 miles 6 days earlier, and on top of all that, also getting in 98 miles for the week.  Indeed, the last 3 miles of the run my hamstrings became stiff and I could feel the lingering soreness from Army.  But I think it was GREAT training this way.  It taught me how to PUSH through fatigue and HANG ON.  It definitely was mentally a good exercise, and one good last 21 miler.  What's next is I just need to do some continued sharpening and shortening the runs...doing between 16-18 for next week's long run, and then completely taper down.  For this training cycle, I have done ten 20+ mile long runs, up to 23 miles for my longest.  Last year, I did a 25 miler, although I am feeling very well prepared this time around and my runs last year weren't nearly as fast as they have this year.

Last week(10/22-10/28) below:

Monday: 17 miles (6:50 pace)

Tuesday: AM: 11 miles (7:00 pace)

Wednesday: AM: 13 miles (7:00 pace), PM: 3.5 miles

Thursday: 10 miles easy (7:30 pace)

Friday: 6.5 miles easy

Saturday: 21 Miles: 1:58:00 (5:37 pace)

Sunday: 16 Miles total(stop and go-cheering for MCM)

TOTAL: 98 Miles

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Army 10 Miler Race Report

TIME: 51:44, PR*
PACE: 5:10
I arrived at the Pentagon parking lot at 6:20 AM.  I chilled out in my car for a bit, and then headed towards the race starting area around 6:45 AM.  Crowds of runners everywhere.  This race was HUGE.  Too many people.  I made my way to the baggage area to drop off some stuff and do a warm-up.  I made the warm-up pretty short(10 min), and did plenty of stretching.  We lined up on the front start line behind the wounded warriors and wheelchair athletes.  An honorable event this is.  There was a moment of silence in remembrance of lost soldiers/fighters/loved ones overseas.  The sun came up quietly in the distance, with a beautiful clear blue sky for it to fill up.  I found Matt at the start and we got ready in position. 
We blasted out on Jefferson Davis Highway.  I went out conservative and felt pretty relaxed.  Plenty of runners started out in front of me.  I hit Mile 1 in 5:10.  We then made our way uphill around the ramp towards the Arlington Bridge.  I then began to pump my arms a bit and pass runners.  I moved up not too far away from Sam Luff(GRC's top runner), up ahead.  We then crossed the Arlington Bridge and the sun was strong.  Should've worn the shades, dammit.  I saw Beth and her Mom cheering at the end of the bridge in front of the Lincoln Memorial.  I also heard the GRC guys cheering for me, then behind me Jake and Dave, who I knew were salivating to catch me.  I hit Mile 2 in 10:20, another 5:10 split.  I surged onto Constitution Avenue and ditched my gloves around Mile 2.5.  We ran on the rolling Virginia Avenue.  Mile 3 was 15:20s(closer to 5:00 split).  I was rolling.  I came up on a runner in red and together we worked back and forth for a bit.  I ended up meeting him after the race-he came all the way from Alabama.  We made another turn and blasted towards the Kennedy Center.  Mile 4: 20:30ish(5:10 split). 

 We went underneath the Arlington Bridge up towards Independence Avenue.  I saw Beth and her Mom again cheering.  I wanted to stop and kiss/hug her.  Gotta keep going though...

Mile 5: 25:35(5:15 split).  A little slow, but I was in perfect position for +/- 51:00.  This course was also not easy, in my opinion.  There were lots of turns, and the inclines were certainly more prevalent than the Cherry Blossom course.  I pushed on through to the second half of the race, where the pain begins to set in...

I continued down Independence...alone.  The runner in red had gone up ahead with Sam and a few others.  I split 31:54(5:08 pace) at 10K.  I kept them in my sight, but it was difficult to reel them in.  I could also hear Jake and Dave and a few others not far behind, which was motivating.  So I ran scared.  Crowds were all over the place as I headed towards our Nation's Capitol.  Racing in DC is f%ckin awesome.  I then made the awkward square loop that had like 4 turns.  That sucked.  I headed back on Independence towards the 14th Street Bridge.  I split a few ticks over 36:00 at the 7 mile mark.  3 miles to go.  Time get tough.

Well, the 14th street bridge was tough.  I could see some runners up ahead, but was still running alone.  I know how to push myself though.  I hammered across the bridge and my endurance was there.  My turnover was still good, and I climbed up the gradual inclines steadily.  I could hear, however, Jake and Dave not far behind.  Mile 8 I split a 5:15, which was a little slow again but also I was going slightly uphill.  I knew I had enough left to finish strong the last 2 miles.  I just had to get across this damn bridge! 

The bridge seemed like it would never end.  I then hit Mile 9 in 46:30(a 5:12 split), but I heard footsteps behind me.  Son of a bitch.  I made the downhill exit off the bridge(thank god).  The runner was close behind.  Who was it?  I immediately guessed it was GRC's #2 man Jake running me down.  Dammit.  I surged as I made a right turn up the freeway toward the finish.  Not far now.  Just hold on!!!

The runner then came up on me and surged in front.  I was surprised to notice it was not Jake.  This guy was a GIANT, easily a foot taller than I(or so it seemed).  He was coming on strong.  He had an American flag on the back of his jersey. 

He would not win that easy.  I am never easy to beat.  I will make it hell for him to beat me.    

I hung on to him and surged to make a move, sprinting ahead.  People cheered as we roared towards the finish.  He then ran up beside me and passed me again.


I didn't have much left.  I surged one last move on him but was no match for his last kick.  He beat me in the last 50 yards and I settled but ran strong toward the finish.

I'm not sure if it was or not, but I have heard rumors of the course being a bit long. Jake Klim, who I find knows many of DC's races all too well, and is not the type of person to question distances usually, writes about the course: check out his blog
At any rate, I am happy with the effort I gave and how strong I felt.  My target was 51:00 give or take, and this was a great turnaround for me from last month's half marathon. I am feeling great.

I am also very proud of Maria who PRed by 2+ minutes(also weaving around slower runners) to finish in 82:00. 
I went right into high mileage again this week, in preparation for the marathon.  The day after the race I actually ran 17 miles.  I did not do a trackworkout this week though so I could recover from the intensity, in anticipation of a hard long run this Saturday.  Should be over 100 this week.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

10 Miles

Photo above: =PR= Store Owner Ray Pugsley(#879) in the 1998 Army 10 Miler, at age 29.  Ray finished second to Olympian Dan Browne(to his right) in 49:12.  Photo Credit: George Banker

I am looking foward to racing again next weekend.  10 Miles is an awesome distance.  I have really grown into it as it is a great mixture of speed and endurance.  I have never done Army before, but I am really looking foward to it.  I hope this race goes much better than the Philly Half(back in Sept). 
I had a good training week and on Tuesday did one of the best interval workouts I have ever done.  The mileage was less this week so I'd get into a taper for Army.  Pretty much after my workout on Tuesday I started tapering.  My long run of 18 miles seemed unbelievably short.  I felt like I could've run another 10. 


Monday: PM: 10 miles

Tuesday: PM: TRACK: 4800m: 15:04, 3200m: 9:54, 1600m: 4:51, 1600m: 4:50, 13 miles total

Wednesday: PM: 3 miles

Thursday: AM: 12 miles, PM: 4 miles

Friday: AM: 9 miles

Saturday: AM: 4 miles

Sunday: AM: 18 miles

Total: 73 miles    

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Things are Clicking

The past 3 weeks have been excellent training.  After going 100, 103 for the 2 weeks post-philly half, I decided to take a day off this week and dipped down to 81 for mileage but the QUALITY of my runs was terrific.  I did 2 really great workouts this week.  The first was 4x2mile at goal 10 mile race pace on Wednesday.  The day was pretty humid so I didn't feel great, but I got the job done.  Splits were 10:02, 10:04, 10:14, 10:20. Average ended up being 5:05 pace.  The second workout was an out and back 17 Miler on the C and O Canal Towpath on Saturday, at Pennyfield Lock(a little less than half a mile from mile marker 20).  I ran a bit furthur than the last mile marker(28) I had to turn around since the mile markers from mile 20-28 are all a bit short(for accurate markers you can go by this website-  The first 1/2 mile was a warm up run but then I quickly fell into 5:40 pace...working down to 5:30 pace.  It felt fine, and I increased the pace slightly during the entire duration of the run.  Turn around point was 48:00 minutes in, and I felt fantastic.  I honestly love this shit.  I love just hammering and running forever.  On the way back, I picked up the pace, continuing in the 5;30s.  My Garmin gave me a 5:15 split at one point...but I'm not totally sure it was right.  Who knows.  Who cares? I was just running by feel anyway.  I think my body feels its best when doing this.   It just gets in that rhythm and takes off, strong, unstoppable, and powerful.  I came back in 47:00, finishing a dip under 1:35:00, averaging a 5:35 pace, or 2:26 pace for the marathon.  This is a great run, and shows my fitness is sharpening at the perfect time.  Running 17 miles close to marathon pace is an entirely different experience than running 17 miles. It's almost a dream...when I finish I'm like, wow, that didn't take very long...yet it seems I traveled so far. It is an ubelievable feeling.  Sunday I did a long slow run of 23 miles, which was tiring the day after the hard 17, but at the same time the pace was easy, so it was all about just getting on my feet for 2.5 hours.  It was actually a very nice loop.  I started at the Georgetown Branch Trail in Bethesda, took that down to the Rock Creek Trail all the way into DC, across the Arlington Bridge into VA, and picked up the Mt. Vernon Trail and headed back over the Key Bridge, and then back towards the Capital Crescent Trail to take that back up to where I started. 

Monday: PM: 6 miles

Tuesday: OFF/Core/Strength/Weights

Wednesday: PM: 4 mile run, 4x2mile @ 10:02, 10:04, 10:14, 10:20. 12.5 miles total.

Thursday: AM: 5 miles/PM: 7 miles

Friday: 10 miles

Saturday: 17 miles @ Marathon Pace: 1:35:00 (5:35 pace)

Sunday: 23 miles: 2:39:00 (7:00 pace)

Total: 81 miles

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Return of The Musha

Left: Mizuno Wave Universe 4....5K/10K
Center: Mizuno Wave Ronin 4....10M/Half Marathon
Right: Mizuno Wave Musha 4....Marathon
The Musha has once again joined my list of primary racing shoes.  Despite me being able to train in nearly every brand(Nike/Adidas/Brooks/NB/Saucony), it is no question that Mizuno are my favorite when it comes to racing performance.
The Universe: 5K/10K
The Wave Universe has served me well for 5K/10K.  I debuted the Universe at the 2012 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, and despite me running a PR and a great race, I learned afterwards it was just a tad too long for the shoe.  I recommend the Universe for runners who are looking for the lightest possible shoe but just enough to get them through a 5K.  I wouldn't recommend using in a 10K unless your 10K time is close to 30 minutes.  It's really not meant to be used for anything longer than that. 
The Ronin: 10 Miles/13.1 Miles
I love the Ronin.  I debuted them at the Philly Half Marathon a few weeks ago and although the race didn't go how I wanted it to this shoe has been awesome for workouts and is a great 10 Mile/Half Marathon racing shoe for me.  I was thinking of using these for the Marathon but decided to go with the Musha.  The shoe is certainly neutral and while I am a neutral runner I was looking for a bit more support for 26.2 miles.
The Musha: 26.2 Miles
This has been one of the best shoes for me.  In 2011 this shoe was used when I PRed in 10K, 10 Miles, 13.1 Miles, and 26.2 Miles.  As I got faster in the 10K, however, I needed something lighter, something more efficient for me.  That's when I went to the Universe, where I ran a PR of 30:56 for this past spring.  I also felt I needed something lighter/more neutral for 10 Miles/13.1 Miles, so I went to the Ronin for that.  But as my decision came this fall for the right Marathon racing shoe, I decided to go with the Musha over the Ronin.  The reason is because the Musha actually has a little bit of extra support(for mild pronation).  Even though I do not pronate(I am pretty much dead neutral), I find that extra muscle the Musha has will get me through those last 6.2 miles of the marathon when my feet begin to tire(thus are prone to pronating a bit).  The idea of racing is actually to make your feet work as little as possible so you can race as fast as possible.  That's why you don't see any elites racing in vibram five fingers, because they actually make the feet work harder(which for some people work well in training when they are trying to achieve that purpose) they are expending more energy.  I guess it comes down to what you are trying to accomplish and what is most efficient for you.  Some minimal shoes serve many runners well for racing(such as the Kinvara).  As I attended the Saucony CE the other night, it was explained that the designers of this shoe looked at the world's most efficient runners and put a lot of thought about that into the Kinvara.  It serves as a great training shoe for many elites as well as a racing shoe for others.
So remember to choose what works for YOU, not what is the new "fad" or the general trend.  Every runner is different and unique!  Define who you are as a runner, and define your strengths, weaknesses.  What are your goals?  What are you trying to accomplish?  For me, well, I'm just trying to run as fast as I can.

Monday, October 1, 2012

9/24-9/30: 103 Miles/Week

Another solid week of training.  15 milers just don't seem very long to me anymore.  Even 20 is starting to feel shorter.  I had a great 20 Miler this Sunday, at duel ferries, splitting 59:00 for the first 10 and dipping to 58:00 the second lap.  I did this same loop the week before in 62:00, 59:00.  I love this run.  Half of it is on the flat C and O Towpath and the other half is on a rolling hills country road(pictured above).  While my long runs are getting quicker, my general aerobic runs are continuing to get faster.  I find I am able to settle into a nice rhythm after the first few minutes of most runs.  On Wednesday I did a 4 Mile Tempo run that was supposed to mimic 10 Mile race pace.  I ran even for the entire run, splitting 5:04, 5:03, 5;03, 5:04.  All other runs were just regular distance runs.  103 for the week.        

PM: 10 Miles 72:00(7:10 pace)

AM: 12.5 Miles 83:00(6:40 pace)

AM: 4 Mile Tempo: 20:14(Splits 5:04, 5:03, 5:03, 5:04), 8 Miles total
PM: 9 Miles 61:00(6:45 pace)

AM: 10 Miles 71:00(7:00 pace)
PM: 5.5 Miles 40:00(7:15 pace)

AM: 13 Miles 89:00(6:50 pace)

AM: 20 Miles 1:57:00(5:50 pace)

AM: 15 Miles 1:49:00(7:15 pace)

103 Miles