Sunday, March 27, 2011

15 Down, 3 To Go

It's coming down to the wire on my Boston training, and while I'm gaining more and more confidence with just about each run, it's hard to crowd out the thoughts of uncertainty. I had a pretty good week this week, coming off a big total last week, even though I had a cold.  I started off Monday with the thought of just wanting to stay loose, and did just a few miles at the gym.  Tuesday I woke up feeling like crap, and bagged it trying to get better to run the track workout.  Wednesday was a small group on Baker street.  Most of the others were doing a 2 mile, mile, 800 kind of tempo thing.  My plan called for 10 x 400, and the only one looking to do something like that was Andy.  I wasn't too sure if I would be able to make the whole thing with my chest cold, but if he was willing to wait for me on the recovery laps, what else could I do but give it a go.  My first 400 seemed easy until just up to the turn, but I knew I was going out too fast.  I was able to recover pretty well, and I kept all the others to 1:24 or so, and I was very satisfied with that.  The cool down wiped me out until about the end when I felt strong and picked it up a bit to catch up to Boj.  On Thursday, Patrick from Turn it Up called and wanted to know if I had a good hill workout.  We headed out to Old Concord Road to do 6 x 3 min hard up with 3 min coast down.  It's a great workout, because like on the track, people of different abilities can be running together and get the same workout with out ending up miles apart.  Plus, you can put yourself in as much pain as you can handle in each 3 minutes of hard running uphill.
Friday was The usual FART group, and an easy few miles to stay loose for Saturday's race.
The Fast Friend's Race is a tough 4.5 miles. It's just hard to fully recover from the hill at the start of the 2nd mile, and the last mile is a slight uphill that seems to take the last gasp of wind out of most people's sails. My time was about 35 seconds slower than last year, but given a fairly tough week and I was still feeling the effects of the chest cold, I was happy with it.  I had pretty good splits for me, 6:25/6:38(hill)/6:21/6:42/3:15. The 6:21 for mile 3 was encouraging, giving me hope to go for 19:30 at the the Sports Medicine Center 5K.
Sunday called for 15 miles as the long run.  I only got in a few early miles before meeting up with the Brewbakers crew.  We headed out for the Chapman loop, and Julie, Jeff and I went pretty hard up the hill. a little more than half way up, I wanted to push it hard, and made it to the top with a very sustained effort for me.  When the others made it to the top, Julie and I went off at another good clip down to Old Concord, then steady back to Brewbakers.  I still had about 5 more miles to put in, so I did the double George loop at a 7:30 pace.  That was a good way to end the week.
Next week will be my final 'hard' week of training, and I am really going to try to push each workout. 8 x 800 on Wednesday, a solid tempo and long run, and a couple of days running at marathon pace.  Then the Blessed Taper.

Week of 3/21-3/27
MON. : 3 mi @ gym
TUES. :-sick-
WED. : 11 mi w/ 8x400 (thanks Andy)
THU. 7 mi w/ hill repeats
FRI. : 6 mi
SAT. : 10 mi w/ 4.5 mi race(29:24)
SUN. : 16 mi w/ hills and last 5 @ 7:30



Monday, March 21, 2011

Big Week

Sunday's long run capped the end of my biggest training week ever, 65 miles.  And there were hardly any 'fluff' miles in there for me to just pad it out.  After the hard run last Sunday, I started out with just an easy 3 or so at the gym to stay loose.  Then Tuesday, I did a long tempo, 10 miles @ 7:03, or about 10 seconds under my goal marathon pace.  Then Wednesday at Baker Street was a solid effort of Mile/2x8/2x4/2x2.  Thursday I did my usual 51/2 mile loop at a pretty good clip, about 7:45. Friday a couple of 7 min miles before meeting with the FART group for an easy 5.  Saturday I intended to go easy, but I felt good on the Double George loop, and I kept the whole thing just under 7 min pace.  I think the fastest I've ever done that loop is about 37:30, so near the end of a big week, I was pleased with that.  Plus, the first mile or so was at a fairly easy pace, so I picked it up along the way.  Sunday called for 20 miles at about 7:45 pace.  The first half was with Julie and Brad on a nice loop around Keene, at a moderate pace.  I pretty much doubled back around for the second loop, going up the rail trail to Whitcombs Mill, then up Felt, and back around on the de Mar course till Court Street and back down to Brewbakers.  I felt pretty strong but not too speedy the whole way.  I'm sure I pretty much depleted my glycogen stores, because I didn't  do any gels or gu, just light gatorade in my pack.  I didn't get much chance to rest when I got back, because the cafe was very busy and I had to jump right in.  By the time I made it back home at about 7:00, I was wiped out.  All in all, it was a solid week, and I am feeling pretty confident about where I am, with 2 more weeks of hard training till the taper.

3/14 - 3/20

MON. : 3 mi am @ gym
TUES. : 11 mi w/ 10 @ 1:10 (7:03)
WED. : 11 mi w/ 16/2x8/2x4/2x2
THU. 5 mi
FRI. : 8 mi
SAT. : 5.5 mi 38:45 (6:58)
SUN. : 21 mi



Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday Workout

The rain and sleet let up yesterday afternoon for the weekly run with the Keenyans, and it was a good workout.  I feel like I am finally putting together a string of good runs/weeks, and it couldn't come soon enough.  After Sunday's long run and Tuesday's long tempo, I wasn't too sure how my legs would hold out on the Baker Street track.  The plan had called for 3x mile, but I knew after the first it was going to be a little too difficult.  Brad was doing mile/2x8/2x4/2x2, and that sounded much better to me.  Clint was there for the first time in a while, and he was a great pace setter.  I know I'm doing ok if I'm just a few ticks behind him for each 200 or so.  I think it turned into an even better workout than what I had originally planned, because the total effort was about the same, but with the shorter reps the intensity keeps building.  On the last 200 Brad started a couple of seconds late, then flew by me trying to catch Clint.  It was close, and he started to fade with the last 50 meters or so, but he still kept it strong.  I doubt if I could count how many times I've said what a pleasure it is to run with such a fun and talented group, all at their own levels, and all working hard for their own improvement.
Boj and Jeff were looking good, running fast and smooth 4s & 2s. And Mark and Greg looked great getting ready for New Bedford, doing a kind of pyramid. Obviously nothing is effortless, but they really looked to be gliding thru their reps.
Armadillo's was fun as usual, but it reminds me of a saying about cars: "Good, fast, cheap.  Pick two." Well, with the $5 burritos, the $2 drafts, the conversation and speed at the Keenyan table, it's 3 for 3.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's been a better week for my running than for my blogging, which is a good thing. Last week had a good 5 mile tempo run at about 6:40 pace, track workout of 2x 1200/800/400, and a really fun Sunday long run of 15 miles with the Keenyans, at about 7:20 pace(except for the snow covered bike path, but the effort there was even more, so I'm counting the whole thing as 7:20).  Yesterday was such a nice day that I ran hard, even though today is Wednesday with the crew.   The plan this week called for a 10 mile tempo at 7:15(MP), and I was just a few miles into it when Andy pulled along side on his bike on Marlborough Street.  He rode with me for a little while, and dropped my average pace for the first 5 down to 7:07.  I was feeling really good, even after looping around George Street for the third time, and I was able to drop the average pace to 7:03.  Not too bad for me after Sunday.  Today my legs feel fine, and I am supposed to do 3x1600, at 6 min pace.  So far I've been able to keep my times at or below what the plan has called for, but this will be a challenge.

Friday, March 4, 2011

ALTAtude Adjustment, then back to reality.

Back in Alta for a few days of skiing with Michael.  This is really an amazing place.  Some little things have changed, but Alta is still Alta.  It is one of the most low key resorts around, with the best skiing imaginable. It looks like we are going to kinda split the storms, with about 30'' the day before we got here, and another storm moving in the day we leave, but the skiing is still fantastic.  Michael is doing very well, and he has an app on his phone that tracks each run, shows your top speed, how much vertical etc... He's into all the gadgets and tricks. Me? I just like to ski. I am definitely feeling the altitude though, 8000'-10,500' will make you huff & puff after just a little exertion.  Not much running this week, but a few runs off the High Traverse, with my thighs burning half way down, is good enough to call it 'cross training'.

Now back in reality, and I am starting to get a little nervous about my training for Boston.  It's coming up in less than 7 weeks now, and I should be in the middle of crunch time.  I just don't feel like I've been able to string together a series of good weeks, with travel, sickness, weather.  Excuses, excuses, excuses.  My times have still been good for the workouts and long runs I've been able to do, and if it were a shorter race I think I would be able to hit my goal.  But training for a marathon is more than just being able to hit splits for 800s or do a tempo or long run at the target pace.  It's about putting in the miles needed over the full training schedule, and I have yet to link weeks together.  The plan I am on has my last 20 miler 3 weeks before the race, and I am already going to push that back to 2.  The taper has always been an important part of the plan for me, and it still gives me 15 days from my last 20, with Boston being on Monday.  I think I will need it for confidence if nothing else.

This week, like most, has been up and down.  I couldn't get into my long run on Sunday with the weather. On Tuesday I did a good 10 mile tempo run at 10 sec faster than marathon pace(7:06). Wednesday was 6x800 with the Keenyans.  The plan had called for 6x1200, but with the wind and back to back workouts, I felt fine with the effort.  Thursday I went to the gym for an easy workout with Roma, 4 mi, with 3 at or below marathon pace.  I still have some lingering ankle pain from when I twisted it 3 weeks ago, and while it doesn't really hurt when running, it bothers me through out the day.  And with the roads the way they've been, I'm trying to stay as focused as possible to not turn it again.   The roads are getting better, except for the potholes, so hopefully it won't be and issue.