Monday, March 29, 2010

Lots of miles, now the taper

This weekend was a good cap to my training for Boston. The Fast Friends Race was great, with a fun and tough course. Ash hill was hard. It was difficult to recover from it so early in the race, and it made the rest of the course a struggle to keep pace. Luckily for me, I was running next to the top woman, and I think we both ran faster because we were fairly evenly matched. Neither one of us could pull away from the other, until about 1/2 mile to go I got about 10-15 feet ahead. Then that last little hill before route 10. It took out whatever wind I had left in my sails, and I didn't have the legs to keep up with her for the last 50 yds or so. I was glad to be in the top 10, and 1st in the 40s. The name of the race was right on, because 5 of the top 6 racers were friends from the Wednesday Baker street/track gang, plus lots of other friends from the local running community. It's really a privilege to train with such a fast group. And the race was very well done. You can tell when a runner organizes a race, because it has all the things you need, it's kinda low key, and it just works well. You could see it in the faces of the other runners. No one was wondering where to go or what to do. Andy did a great job, and he was a welcome sight at the top of the last hill at the end. After the race the group did a cool down of the course in reverse, and it's hard to say which way is more difficult.

Sunday was my last long run before the Boston, and I put in 9 at marathon pace before meeting up with the group. We went down the rail trail to Swanzey for about 5 1/2 miles. I ran a fairly easy pace with Erin, and on the way back I picked it up for the last 4 miles or so, keeping it at 7:15-7:30. I felt a bit fatigued, and I stopped once or twice, but I felt good about the effort. Now the taper begins, and just to make sure I don't go out too hard, I picked up a bit of a cold. A little extra sleep will do me well the next few weeks.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I made it out for my tempo run, and was able to push it pretty hard for me. I had planned on 9 miles, with 7 at about 7:15 or so. I headed out on my usual 5.5 mile loop, and tried to decide what to do to add on a few miles. The first 2 miles were good, with George Street twice, I still kept it to about 7:30. I felt stronger as the run went on, and I kept dropping the pace, till I got to about 7. I finished with a 6:40 for mile 10, and overall average pace of 7:10. Now I'm hoping to keep the Fast Friends race to about 29 or 30 minutes. It should be a fun and challenging course.
Mile splits were:
*George St. miles

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Big Wednesday Group

Lots of people showed up for the Wednesday track workout. New time, sunny weather, spring races coming up. It's great to see everyone out there, doing their own workout. I think the group consisted of Mark, Justin, Greg, Bojo, Andy, Clint, George, Jeff Goupil, Jeff Richardson, Ed, Erin, and me. 12. From early 20's to 50 something. A good span of ages and abilities.
I had planned on doing a 10 X 400, with a 400 rest between. But even though I felt ok, I stopped at 8. Sometimes you have the desire to push out the last couple, sometimes you don't. Andy had a killer workout of mile repeats, all under 5 min pace. I did keep all the reps at about 1:25, so I felt good about that.

My results were:

Today I'll try a long tempo run, about 9 miles with at least 7 at marathon pace or below. I think there a group will be meeting at Brewbakers at about 4:30, for anyone who wants to get together.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Not too big of a week...

I didn't get out too much this week, just the hill work and my Sunday long run. I went out early for 8 miles, before meeting up with the group. I held the pace to about 7:10-7:20, and I felt like I could have gone on that way for a while longer. Maybe not the whole 15-18 miles, but I felt good. Met with the crew at Brewbakers, and ran about 10 with Brad. It was a very enjoyable run on the lower portion of the rail trail. Great to get back on the dirt instead of the roads. We kept about 8:15-8:40 pace, and I picked it up for the last 1 1/2 miles or so, holding it at 7:00 the whole way. I'm looking forward to doing a good tempo run this week, then hopefully some fairly fast 400s at the track, then the Greyhound Race on Saturday. I drove the course this morning on my way into town, and it should be challenging to say the least. Both up and downhill sections look tough. For my long run on Sunday, I plan on 20-22 miles at marathon pace +15. Then the taper begins.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Speed work in disguise

Since I won't be able to make it to the track on Wednesday, I decided to do a modified speed workout today. After 2 miles to the top of Old Concord Road, I set my timer for 3 minutes, cruised down about 2/3 of the hill, and then did a 10X 3 minute hill repeat workout, 3 hard up, 3 coast down. The first few were pretty tough, and at about 5 I wasn't too sure I'd make them all. But thank God for the light at the end of the tunnel. When I made it to 8 I knew I could grunt out the last 2. It's amazing how hard a workout can be, but when it's over, you feel more energized. I think this was comparable to the 'Yasso 800s', and that's what I'm planning for one workout in the next 2 weeks, to check overall fitness. If I can keep them between 3:05 and 3:10, I think that will translate to a 3:15-3:20 marathon.
And a big congratulations to Andy McCarron. Boston Bib numbers came out this week, and he's about 1040 or so, which is about as low as you can get, and about 10,000 below me. Great job.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cold & rainy Sunday

Well the great weather couldn't hold out for too long. It wasn't too bad, but after last week, it was hard to put the long tights back on. I went out early for a 6 mile loop, keeping the pace at about 7:30. Then met up with Rudiger, Jeff and Erin- not quite as many as the usual Sunday crew, but still great to be running with others. We split into two groups pretty quickly into the loop up to the dam, Rudiger and Jeff, and Erin and me. Erin kept a solid pace under 8 for the whole way, and I really enjoyed the conversation on the run. On the way back I asked her if she wanted to pick it up a bit for the last mile down Court St. We were doing about 7:20 with about 1/2 mile to go, and with the last little bit a slight down hill, I let it fly to Main St. I got down to about 6:40. I really like to run hard towards the end of a run. Back on Main Street got me to about 18, so while Erin went in for coffee, I continued on the bike path for another 2. I kept it at 7:20/7:09 for my last two miles, so I feel good about that, especially for running hard up to the dam and back. Rudiger and Jeff had added a bit onto their run as well, and we met back at Brewbakers. A little easier to get a table with such a small group, plus daylight savings time keeps people from getting out too early.
So I made it to 50 for the week, and I'm looking forward to the days being light later next week. Hopefully the weather will be as good as last week.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Jeff's Kinda Quiet but not Boring Fartlek..

Another Thursday afternoon run with Geraldine and Jeff. I did 3 miles beforehand, then met up at Brewbakers to decide what to do. We did the usual 5 1/2 mile loop, plus Jeff's add on up the Washington street extension. There wasn't too much snow past the gate, so we went a little further. On the way back, Jeff wanted to go to Baker St. to do an 800. But first came the sprint up George St. I figured the 800 made up for the one I skipped on Wednesday, and I did it in about 2:52. Total for the day was 10, which is good for me for mid week. I plan to run Saturday for a few easy miles with Randy. And with Sunday, I should be should be about 55 for the week. That's tops for me for marathon training. Two or three more tough weeks, then the welcome taper.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Get in and hold on...

Another tough Wednesday workout, with Justin, Greg, Bojo, Peter, Dan and me. I had thought of doing 10 X 800, but Justin had a pyramid in mind, with a short recovery time, half the previous efforts time. 4/8/12/16/12/8/4. As usual, I started out too fast, I think I was only about 9 or 10 seconds behind those guys. I settled in to a good pace for the next two sets, then came the 1600. The last lap of that round was a killer. When I finished, the others were just starting their second 12. In what seemed like no time, they were done, and I had to hurry and regroup to get mine in. I ended up not doing the second 800, because I didn't want the others to wait too long, plus I was exhausted. The cool down went down to catch the last leg of the Covered Bridged 1/2, about 5 miles or so. I felt great for having done such a hard work out, but I was glad when it was done. It's been great to have such good encouragement from all these really fantastic runners. I am truly thankful to be a part of such talented group, who are both super focused and still lighthearted in their approach to running.

My results were:

400 - 1:18/42
800 - 2:52/1:25
1200 - 4:34/2:15
1600 - 6:13/3:10
1200 - 4:39/2:02
800 - DNA
400 - 1:21

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Road Crew

It was another beautiful day, and first I ran my usual loop around the block, 5 1/2 miles, in about 40 minutes, about 7:15. A few new runners met up on the Sunday Long Run. I ran most of the way with Erin. She's training for the Burllington Marathon, to run as a team with her sister. As it turns out, she ran the Paris Marathon the year before I did. I didn't do quite as many miles as I had planned, but I still totaled about 45, and I feel strong and fairly rested. I'm looking forward to a good week of training next week. The weather should be great till a little rain for the weekend. I hope to put in two solid days during the week, with two easy days. Then a solid 20 for next sunday, with the last 10 at Marathon pace or even a little faster. Should be a good test.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Randy 5

I went out with Randy for a lite run up the rail trail. The weather was great, and even though I usually don't go out for a saturday run, it was too good to pass up. The trail was still a little frozen and muddy in spots, but it was still a nice late morning run.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wednesday workout

I had a good workout today, even though I felt pretty sluggish for most of it. My legs were a little tired from tuesday running. Met up with the Keenyans for the usual warm up. Then to the workout-- 12 X 400, with about 1-1:30 rest interval. As usual, I started out way too fast, then settled in to a good pace, but I struggled a bit towards the end. I was having some timing issues in the beginning. I was wearing my GPS, and it's set up for auto lap. I changed it after the 2nd lap, but it's hard to remember where the settings are when you're huffing and puffing.

The results were:

All were under 1:30, so that's a pace between 5:40-5:50. That's good for me for a quarter mile.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Jeff's Crazy Fartlek

I started the afternoon off with a 5 1/5 mile progression run, starting at about 8, and finishing with the last 2 miles about 6:30-6:45. It felt good after a day of rest form Sunday's 20. Then I met up with Jeff, Ann and Geraldine, for what was supposed to be another easy lap. But Jeff was the leader of the run, and he wanted to see where the marks are for the Baker street 800. So we ran around once, then Jeff wants to run once hard, so we did that. Then it's up around to George street, thankfully down this time instead of up. And of course it wouldn't be a loop around if Jeff didn't add on the Washington street extension. Back up Rule street, then down George, then down Washington to Brewbakers for a total of 7.25, with the day total at 12.75. A little much for the day before running with the Kenyans, but if felt good to get the miles in. But if felt even better to be running is shorts for the first time this season in NH.