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Buck-O-Nine

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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Schuey on Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:11 pm

Nice week Dave with a lot going on and no doubt that was better then the last time you had a trial.

Been enjoying that new home after home?
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Dave-O on Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:47 pm

Pittsburgh Half-Marathon Training Week 7: January 16 – 22

Monday: 5 miles – 38:47, 7:45 pace. 8 miles – 56:43, 7:05 pace. I’d be lying if I claimed that I wasn’t feeling the effects of last weekend’s 15/20 combo, especially since the roads were a little sloppy on the 20. My lunchtime run was a stiff one and the evening didn’t feel a whole lot better….

Tuesday: 6 miles – 43:48, 7:18 pace. 8 miles – 56:52, 7:07 pace. …which is partially why I took a second easy day today. The other reason was the tip-off of the winter basketball league I joined. As I already posted, week 1 was a success, though it was also a serious shock to the muscles not used in slow, monotonous distance running. After 2 runs and an hour of basketball, I slept soundly tonight.

Wednesday: 5 miles – 37:32, 7:30 pace. 12 miles – 1:13:59, with 6 mile tempo – 33:24, 5:34 pace. Given the soreness in my hips, groin, ankles, etc., I was slightly worried about my ability to log a solid tempo today. After the easy afternoon run and the warm-up, though, it was clear the soreness from hoops didn’t affect my stride. Given that this is still my base phase, I was just looking for a steady controlled effort. My splits were: 5:42, 5:38, 5:35, 5:35, 5:30, and 5:25. I can tell I still lack the zip in my legs (seeing as how I didn’t even touch my goal half-marathon pace), but I can also tell my aerobic fitness is getting back to form.

Thursday: 5 miles – 38:13, 7:39 pace. 15 miles – 1:42:58, 6:52 pace. Tonight’s 15 miler was a discipline tester. With snow on the ground and a later night at work, I got to the gym at 7:30. Even worse, since the New Year’s crowd hasn’t abandoned their resolutions yet, I had to get off the treadmill every 30 minutes. Although, I’m not sure that was a negative – it helped break the run into 5-5-5, much easier to deal with mentally when you’re tired and hungry. There’s nothing special physically about the run, but it was one that I was proud to get in the books.

Friday: 5 miles – 37:48, 7:34 pace. 5 miles – 36:57, 7:23 pace. The second run of the day was shortened due to an invite to the Miller-Coors suite at the United Center for the Blackhawks game. I deserved it.

Saturday: 6 miles – 48:31, 8:05 pace. Evening: 10 miles – 1:02:53, 6:17 pace. I don’t know if it was out of boredom or if my legs just felt good, but I ran the 10 miler a little quicker than expected. Regardless, this type of run – 10 miles at a moderate clip – is always a good sign of fitness.

Sunday: 16 miles – 1:45:14, 6:35 pace. One benefit to training for a half-marathon – at least to me – is that it’s not necessary to log 20 milers on a weekly basis. Look, I don’t like 20 milers. That’s why I know I won’t ever be drawn to ultra-marathons. A 16 miler is just a lot more appealing, and I can push the pace a bit without worrying about bonking. Today, after an easy first 4 miles, the next 12 averaged 6:20 pace. For me that’s an enjoyable sweet spot. That’s not to say I won’t log a handful of 20’s in the 13 weeks left of training, because I will, but not having to do them every 7 days? Two thumbs up.

Week: 106
YTD: 298
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Dave-O on Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:05 pm

Pittsburgh Half-Marathon Training Week 8: January 23 – 29

Monday: 5 miles – 37:36, 7:31 pace. I planned on ending my 8-week base phase with a bang, such as 110+ miles. I didn’t factor getting robbed the first day of the week. Dammit. The Police and evidence technician didn’t finish their work in our condo until nearly 10:00 pm, at which point I realized I hadn’t even eaten dinner yet. Needless to say, it was an odd night, and running just didn’t matter.

Tuesday: 10 miles – 1:04:28, with 6 miles – 33:28, 5:35 pace. 6 miles – untimed, to and from basketball. On the one hand, this was a solid, controlled 6 mile tempo. On the other hand, it certainly doesn’t indicate 1:09 fitness, as its 15 seconds per mile slower than goal pace. I’ve been trying my best to eliminate the later from my thought process, instead reminding myself to be patient and that a training cycle is a process which takes time. So with that in mind, this was a solid, controlled 6 mile tempo.

Wednesday: 5 miles – 37:29, 7:30 pace. 8 miles – 57:20, 7:10 pace. Last night during basketball, I was fed up with a certain player’s moving screens. So next time he set up in front of me, I lowered my shoulder and plowed him with a 10 foot running start. Sure I got a foul, but it conveyed the message. I regretted that decision in the morning when my sternum was bruised and I couldn’t take a deep breath without a sharp pain. It made running interesting.

Thursday: 5 miles – 36:32, 7:18 pace. 15 miles – 1:38:15, 6:33 pace. Though I wouldn’t say the last 8 weeks have gone perfectly (they never do), but I have absolutely nailed my midweek long runs. Over the 8 weeks, I logged runs of 12, 12, 13, 14, 14, 15, 15 and 15. And along the way, they became easier and easier, concluding with tonight’s very strong 15 miles at a 6:33 pace. The mild winter has certainly helped, but I couldn’t be happier with how these runs have gone.

Friday: 5 miles – untimed. 7 miles – 50:28, 7:13. After a long week, the Budweisers went down smooth at the Bulls’ game tonight – to the tune of 2 per quarter. That’s a quick pace. After the game, my buddy and I met Britt and a group of friends at Paris Club. Not 30 minutes later, Omer Asik walked in with a girl on each arm. Ah, the life of a backup center in the NBA! Later in the night I was able to shake his hand and wish him luck against the Heat on Sunday, but I’m not sure he understood a word I said.

Saturday: 5 miles – untimed. 9 miles – 1:03:03, 7:00 pace. Hangovers equal untimed runs. And very lazy days.

Sunday: 20 miles – 2:15:35, 6:47 pace. That completes my 8-week base phase. In total, I logged exactly 800 miles. I won’t lie though – I expected more, something in between 840 – 880. In other words, I “lost” about 5- 10 miles per week. Some of these missed runs were caused by work (trial), social life (Bulls games; new condo) and unforeseen events (robbery).

The good news is that the missed runs were all easy runs. If I had been bonking on long runs or aborting workouts, then I’d be worried. Missing a 6-8 mile second easy run or cutting a planned 7 miles to 5 miles? That I can keep in perspective. More than anything, my long runs really came together during these 8 weeks. In week 1 I struggled to finish a 14 miler. This week I banged out 15 at a good pace and effortlessly ran 20 on Sunday. If the goal of these 8 weeks was merely to rebuild my aerobic base, then I’m content to say I accomplished that goal.

And who knows? Maybe the 5-10 miles less per week actually helped keep me fresh. I certainly concluded this week feeling strong and injury free. I’ll find out for sure in the next 6 weeks when I start hammering the speed work.

Week: 100
YTD: 398
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Ben Z on Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:49 am

Nice week Dave.

I wouldn't worry too much about the inability to run your tempo runs at half marathon goal pace, especially during a base phase. After weeks and weeks of easy/moderate miles my legs don't have that pop either needed to maintain much more than a few miles at HMP unless I really dig deep. I suspect that with a few shorter, faster interval workouts under your belt you will regain that pop and bridge the gap to be able to handle goal HMP quite soon.

Best of luck with your speed block.
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  John Kilpatrick on Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:13 pm

Another great week in the books. You crack me up - I know there was just no way in hell you were going to end up last week with a 99. Just wasn't going to happen! Great to have those speed runs go so well too...

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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Dave-O on Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:20 pm

Pittsburgh Half-Marathon Training Week 9: January 30 – February 5

Monday: 6 miles – 45:17, 7:33 pace. The next 6 weeks are devoted to speed, to getting my wheels back. I don’t know if checking my log from last time I trained with this format (spring of 2010) was a good idea because the workouts I hit leading up to my 25:49 8k seem way over my head right now. Yikes. I guess if nothing else it motivated me to work harder.

Tuesday: 4 miles – 31:07, 7:47 pace. 10 miles – 1:01:36, with 16 x 400m. That being said, the first workout is never pretty. Today was no exception. My stride felt downright clumsy during the 16 x 400m repeats. I averaged about 75 seconds, and really, it was never challenging aerobically. My legs just wouldn’t go faster. So let’s just call this one a rust-buster and move on.

Wednesday: 10 miles – 1:01:02, 6:06 pace. Whenever I am fit, I notice runs like this appear in my log. Chicken or Egg? I don’t know. Maybe the faster-paced aerobic run is the result of being fit, or maybe these moderately hard efforts produce fitness. Regardless, in lieu of a long run for the next six weeks, I will be logging a 10-12 miles in the low-6 pace range.

Thursday: 5 miles – 37:25, 7:29 pace. 7 miles – untimed.

Friday: 10 miles – 1:04:34, with 3 x 1 mile repeats. Simply put, my favorite workout. There’s just something so simple yet so challenging about mile repeats. Based on Tuesday’s workout, I had tempered my expectations for this one. But when I split 5:10 for the workout, I realized that the quarters did indeed knock off the rust. I hit 5:05 and 5:02 on numbers 2 and 3. I can say with confidence it’s the first time I’ve felt “fast” in the last 9 weeks.

Saturday: 14 miles – 1:35:54, 6:47 pace. Britt and I were in Lake Delavan for the weekend (in large part to see the Bulls in Milwaukee on Saturday night), but that also afforded me the opportunity for a semi-hilly long run. Of course, “long” is relative when its only 14 miles, but it works out perfectly as 1 loop around the lake. The only blemish on an otherwise beautiful run was the harsh realization that Wisconsin drivers do not like sharing the road with runners. There wasn’t a ton of traffic, but it may become problematic in the summer as I prefer not to play chicken with a pick-up truck flying a Packers flag.

Sunday: 6 miles – untimed. What’s the opposite of fresh? Stale, right? I’m going to start using “stale” as a running term. For example, my legs were as stale as a 2-day half full beer today. The mile repeats + hilly long run combo must have gotten to me, because I certainly don’t expect to feel stale after a mere 72 mile week. Today notwithstanding, I was pleased with week 1 of my speed phase.

Week: 72
YTD: 470
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Ben Z on Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:43 pm

You racing this weekend??

http://www.usatf.org/events/2012/USAXCChampionships/entry/status_Open.asp
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Dave-O on Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:49 pm

@Ben Z wrote:You racing this weekend??

http://www.usatf.org/events/2012/USAXCChampionships/entry/status_Open.asp


I am. Heading down there tomorrow. I'm definitely not in peak shape (just started workouts last week) but we'll see what happens. I was bummed Ritzenhein dropped out.

79 entries....hmm, let's have a contest....
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Ben Z on Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:53 pm

I pasted in to Excel and got 78. So take out Ritz and that makes at most 77.

Think you can make top 70? top 60?

Since I know almost nothing about 95% of these guys I'll completely guess high 50s for a place.

Good luck!
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Dave-O on Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:00 pm

@Ben Z wrote:I pasted in to Excel and got 78. So take out Ritz and that makes at most 77.

Think you can make top 70? top 60?

Since I know almost nothing about 95% of these guys I'll completely guess high 50s for a place.

Good luck!

I really have idea, because like you, I don't know most of these people. Its 5 loops, so my plan is to take it out conservatively, and hope I can pick people off in the last 2 laps thanks to my mileage base.
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  KathyK on Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:01 pm

Good luck!
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Dave-O on Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:53 pm

Pittsburgh Half-Marathon Training Week 10: February 6 – 12

Monday: 8 miles – 57:12, 7:09 pace. My firm started yet another trial today, but thankfully, I am not the lead attorney on it. Nevertheless, I was frantically helping the partner with last second preparations, to the point of not being able to sneak away for a lunchtime run. That’s fine. My plan is only 80 miles this week so logging 8 today shouldn’t change anything.

Tuesday: 4 miles – 30:19, 7:35 pace. 12 miles – 1:14:12, 6:10 pace, with 8 x 800m. Since I am essentially repeating my 6 week speed phase from 2010, I have a tried and tested road map. Tonight was 800’s, which went exponentially better than last week’s 400’s. My pace was nearly identical (5:00) and the effort was lower. If only every week brought such a tangible improvement, right?

Wednesday: 11 miles – 1:05:32, 5:57 pace. Before you say anything – I know, I overdid it on this run. I got carried away. I clicked off some miles in the low 6:00’s, then two under 6:00, and soon I had made up my mind to average under 6:00. I won’t call it a tempo run, but it was a little more than a “moderate” aerobic run. I can get away with this type of run when my mileage is under 100 and I don’t double every day.

Thursday: 5 miles – 38:41, 7:44 pace. 7 miles – untimed. The name of the game today was SLOW. I was tempted to keep the pace at 8:00 in the afternoon, and I left my watch in my desk on the way home from work. With solid efforts on Tuesday and Wednesday, I earned the easy pace.

Friday: 5 miles – 37:03, 7:25 with hill sprints. Just your typical pre-race routine.

Saturday: 2 mile shake-out; Cross-Country Nationals; 13 miles total. I already wrote a race recap, so let me add that the entire weekend was well-worth the trip. On Friday, we went out to dinner at a surprisingly awesome restaurant, Araka. I had the Short Rib Pappardelle and it was fantastic. On Saturday, Jim had a beer ready for me within about 3 minutes of finishing the race. That’s what I call service! Britt and I had another great dinner at Taste Bar on Saturday night. Next, we met Jim at Schlafly Tap Room to sample the local brews; I’ll vote the Oatmeal Stout as my favorite, though the Cider was uniquely delicious too. Other than having to deal with a St. Louis Cardinals geek-fest autograph convention in our hotel, it was a fun weekend.

Sunday: 16 miles - 1:51:51, 6:59 pace. Perhaps a long run the day after a grueling cross-country race (I feel better about myself when I describe it as “grueling,” mmkay?) isn’t the smartest idea. But to my defense: (a) there were about 30 hours between the two runs; and (b) I kept the pace slow. I started the run, on the treadmill to reduce the impact, with the goal of 16 miles but with permission to bail should I feel really fatigued or sore. While I had some muscular soreness, it didn’t affect the run at all.

Though I never expected to place well at Nationals, it did serve its goal to keep me motivated as ever to work towards that sub-1:10.

Week: 81
YTD: 551
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Diego on Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:53 pm

I finally watched "Moneyball," and it occurred to me that all these smart guys have never created a stat(well known, anyway) that considers stolen bases.

You have OPS or Slugging + On base percentage.

Into that equation I think we should add Stolen bases(SB)-CS(Caught stealing) + moving from 1st to 3rd on a single and 2nd to home on a single, first to home on a double, etc. divided by Total At Bats. I also think that GIDP should be subtracted from the OPS because one base is wiped out.

I need to go back and see what Ricky Henderson, Willy Mays and Carl Crawford's's numbers look like with this stat. Guys who steal 80 bases per year might increase their OPS by 0.150-.200.
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Alex Kubacki on Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:37 am

@Dave-O wrote:Friday: 5 miles – 37:03, 7:25 with hill sprints. Just your typical pre-race routine.

Dave, wouldn't the hill sprints the day before a race kind of take some of the "jump" or "pop" out of the legs for the race? Just asking as I don't have a whole lot of racing knowledge.
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Dave-O on Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:41 am

@Diego wrote:I finally watched "Moneyball," and it occurred to me that all these smart guys have never created a stat(well known, anyway) that considers stolen bases.

You have OPS or Slugging + On base percentage.

Into that equation I think we should add Stolen bases(SB)-CS(Caught stealing) + moving from 1st to 3rd on a single and 2nd to home on a single, first to home on a double, etc. divided by Total At Bats. I also think that GIDP should be subtracted from the OPS because one base is wiped out.

I need to go back and see what Ricky Henderson, Willy Mays and Carl Crawford's's numbers look like with this stat. Guys who steal 80 bases per year might increase their OPS by 0.150-.200.

Interesting thought, especially since most "Moneyball" proponents despise stolen bases and sacrifices (i.e. never give away an out because its the only limitation in the game). I disagree to them to some extent and see the value of speed on the bases, especially being forced to watch the incredibly slow and poorly disciplined Cubs teams on the basepath.

GIDP is another tricky one, because typcially some of the best hitters in the league led the stat (I know Pujols has led the league and I remember D. Lee doing so in one of his better years). For one, it requires someone who makes a lot of contact, and usually solid contact. It also requires a team that gets on base a lot. And finally, there's a certain element of bad luck involved. I would be interested to compare GIDP% to BABIP.
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Dave-O on Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:51 am

@Alex Kubacki wrote:
@Dave-O wrote:Friday: 5 miles – 37:03, 7:25 with hill sprints. Just your typical pre-race routine.

Dave, wouldn't the hill sprints the day before a race kind of take some of the "jump" or "pop" out of the legs for the race? Just asking as I don't have a whole lot of racing knowledge.

They should do the opposite, similar to a set of strides. Its a neuromuscular workout to "wake-up" your fast twitch muscles.

To clarify what I mean by hill sprints: I'm talking about 8 x 10 seconds at a 8-10% incline. Its too short to actually cause any fatigue or do damage that would carry over to the next day.
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  mul21 on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:36 pm

@Dave-O wrote:
@Diego wrote:I finally watched "Moneyball," and it occurred to me that all these smart guys have never created a stat(well known, anyway) that considers stolen bases.

You have OPS or Slugging + On base percentage.

Into that equation I think we should add Stolen bases(SB)-CS(Caught stealing) + moving from 1st to 3rd on a single and 2nd to home on a single, first to home on a double, etc. divided by Total At Bats. I also think that GIDP should be subtracted from the OPS because one base is wiped out.

I need to go back and see what Ricky Henderson, Willy Mays and Carl Crawford's's numbers look like with this stat. Guys who steal 80 bases per year might increase their OPS by 0.150-.200.

Interesting thought, especially since most "Moneyball" proponents despise stolen bases and sacrifices (i.e. never give away an out because its the only limitation in the game). I disagree to them to some extent and see the value of speed on the bases, especially being forced to watch the incredibly slow and poorly disciplined Cubs teams on the basepath.

GIDP is another tricky one, because typcially some of the best hitters in the league led the stat (I know Pujols has led the league and I remember D. Lee doing so in one of his better years). For one, it requires someone who makes a lot of contact, and usually solid contact. It also requires a team that gets on base a lot. And finally, there's a certain element of bad luck involved. I would be interested to compare GIDP% to BABIP.

There actually is a stat that takes that into account. It's called WAR (Wins Above Replacement). It takes hitting, fielding and base running into account and is a pretty commonly used thing among the stat heads. Both Fangraphs and Baseball reference have their own formulas (usually referred to as fWAR and bWAR). Common thought is that anything less than a 75% success rate on stolen bases is contributing negatively to your WAR. And GIDP is a good thing to a point. If it's happening a lot with a good hitter, it means there's lots of guys on base for him.
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Dave-O on Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:31 pm

@mul21 wrote:
There actually is a stat that takes that into account. It's called WAR (Wins Above Replacement). It takes hitting, fielding and base running into account and is a pretty commonly used thing among the stat heads. Both Fangraphs and Baseball reference have their own formulas (usually referred to as fWAR and bWAR). Common thought is that anything less than a 75% success rate on stolen bases is contributing negatively to your WAR. And GIDP is a good thing to a point. If it's happening a lot with a good hitter, it means there's lots of guys on base for him.

My issue with WAR is that the defensive metrics are inaccurate, in my opinion. I understand that its a metric used to compare to a replacement level player at the same position, but this has an odd effect on certain positions, such as first base where there are many good power hitting 1b.

When a metric tells me that Ben Zobrist is worth more wins that Prince Fielder, it has limited usefulness.
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  mul21 on Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:09 pm

@Dave-O wrote:
@mul21 wrote:
There actually is a stat that takes that into account. It's called WAR (Wins Above Replacement). It takes hitting, fielding and base running into account and is a pretty commonly used thing among the stat heads. Both Fangraphs and Baseball reference have their own formulas (usually referred to as fWAR and bWAR). Common thought is that anything less than a 75% success rate on stolen bases is contributing negatively to your WAR. And GIDP is a good thing to a point. If it's happening a lot with a good hitter, it means there's lots of guys on base for him.

My issue with WAR is that the defensive metrics are inaccurate, in my opinion. I understand that its a metric used to compare to a replacement level player at the same position, but this has an odd effect on certain positions, such as first base where there are many good power hitting 1b.

When a metric tells me that Ben Zobrist is worth more wins that Prince Fielder, it has limited usefulness.

I agree, but you can parse out the different aspects of it to tell you what part of the player's game is most valuable. Some of the WAR numbers on Fielder I had a big problem with because he was getting dinged for being a first baseman and for being a terrible base runner. However, you just can't find the kind of offensive production he provides out of many players, regardless of position. He's the kind of guy that WAR undervalues and a guy like Zobrist or Darwin Barney get over valued a bit. You can only prevent so many runs and you still have to score some to win.

And I'm not sure WAR does anything based on position played anyway. It's a straight runs prevented type of deal, which is obviously going to be affected by the number of chances you get to make a play on a ball, but it's not doing a comparison by position. Are you thinking of UZR or Dewan's numbers?
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Dave-O on Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:51 am

Pittsburgh Half-Marathon Training Week 11: February 13 – 19

Monday: 5 miles – untimed. 7 miles – 52:21, 7:29 pace. The toll of the 12 km cross country race plus 16 mile long run caught up to me today. I felt trashed – and not in the good “I just drank 6 Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPAs” sort of way. The morning run was painful and the evening run was a drag. I expected to be fatigued, but not to this extent.

Tuesday: 10 miles – 1:00:28, with 20 x 400m. In fact, I felt so bad yesterday that I worried about my ability to log the scheduled quarter mile repeats today. With only a single run scheduled, though, I felt good enough to give it a go. Would I call it a great workout? No, not by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I was counting down the reps to be done from about number 5 on, and that’s never fun when there’s 15 left. But I got them done, mostly under 75 seconds, to salvage a decent day.

Wednesday: 4 miles – 31:08, 7:47 pace. 10 miles – 1:03:55, with 2 x 2 miles. Don’t ask me what changed between Monday morning and tonight. Based on the previous 48 hours, I should have felt terrible tonight. So naturally, I felt fresh and explosive, ready to crush the 2 x 2 mile workout. Set 1 was 10:15 (5:11 and 5:04). The first mile was the first sub-half marathon goal pace that has felt smooth. Even the 5:04 wasn’t too bad. While Set 2 in 10:05 (5:05 and 5:00) was tougher, I found myself thinking, “I could hold this pace for another mile if I had to.” Needless to say, nailing this workout left me really looking forward to my March 10th 5k.

Thursday: 5 miles – 37:19, 7:28 pace. 7 miles – 50:08, 7:10 pace. Logging 7 slow miles when all you want to do is get to the Bulls-Celtics game is….tedious.

Friday: 5 miles – 37:19, 7:28 pace. 9 miles – 1:01:28 with 12 x 200m. If I want to run fast, sometimes I need to run fast, right? 200’s is one of those times. The nearest track isn’t exactly ideal – as it’s more square than circle – but its fine for 200’s. The first two were 34 and 33 seconds, just waking my legs up. Numbers 3 through 10 were all 31 or 32. I let it rip on the last two, hitting 29 and 28. I can’t remember the last time I’ve run that fast. Maybe I’m not so old after all.

Saturday: 8 miles – 1:00:37, 7:35 pace. Initially I planned to get my long run done this morning. When I woke up, I just didn’t feel right. I felt low on energy and generally fatigued. While not ideal, I pushed back the 20 miler to tomorrow and instead set out for an easy 8. The only good thing about today’s run is that I finally figured out how to get up on an abandoned train track that is dirt-packed and runs through my neighborhood. It runs for 2.5 miles straight west and makes for a great place for easy run. It only took me 4 years to figure out.

Sunday: 20 miles – 2:09:13, 6:28 pace. I love finishing a workout being able to say, “Crushed it!” Even more satisfying, I had no right to be in that position today considering I drank for about 12 hours yesterday. After recovering all day, I stepped on the treadmill at 6:00 pm with the simple goal of logging 20 miles, no matter how ugly or slow. Within the first mile, I realized my legs felt great and thus I decided on logging a progression run. The goal was to drop the pace by 20 seconds every 5 mile segment.

Miles 1 – 4: 6:58 pace
Miles 6 – 10: 6:37 pace
Miles 11 – 15: 6:18 pace
Miles 16 – 20: 5:54 pace

Honestly I wasn’t even working hard until about mile 17. It was without a doubt the best long run to date, and considering it came in a week with 3 speed workouts, I left the gym with a smile on my face. I’m actually starting to feel FIT.

Week: 90
YTD: 641
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Matt W on Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:15 am



Nice week, Dave. It's good to see you getting back to absolutely nailing some runs. Once your legs woke up, you really were in a groove. The 2 x 2 was really impressive and finishing the week with a strong 20 miler (not to mention running sub 30 for 200s) shows you've got more than a little life in your legs. Good things are in your future. Keep it up.
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Dave-O on Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:32 am

@Matt W wrote:

Nice week, Dave. It's good to see you getting back to absolutely nailing some runs. Once your legs woke up, you really were in a groove. The 2 x 2 was really impressive and finishing the week with a strong 20 miler (not to mention running sub 30 for 200s) shows you've got more than a little life in your legs. Good things are in your future. Keep it up.

You know the saying: We can build on this!
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Dave-O on Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:48 am

Pittsburgh Half-Marathon Training Week 12: February 20 – 26

Monday: 6 miles – 45:06, 7:31 pace. With my mileage 20-30 miles lower than “normal,” I can afford a single easy run on days following a long run. I have to say – it’s a nice luxury. I’m not ready to concede that two easy runs inhibits recovery, but I definitely felt good heading to bed tonight.

Tuesday: 9 miles – 55:36, with 4 x mile. 4 miles – untimed. And it was important to fully recover, because I planned perhaps my most challenging workout this afternoon: 4 x 1 mile with just a 90 second interval. I was so looking forward to it that I could barely focus at work all morning. The first rep was a smooth 5:04; I even recovered fine before the next. Rep 2 passed in 5:02, a little more challenging but still not emptying the tanks. That happened on Rep 3, which was 5:00. At this point the 90 second interval wasn’t enough. I barely recovered. Though I hit 4:59 on the last mile, it was damn near the equivalent of the last mile in a 5k race. I’m not sure I will run quite that hard again in a workout.

Wednesday: 4 miles – 31:06, 7:46 pace. I made sure to keep it extra easy on this run since I went pretty hard yesterday. I definitely had some soreness. I intended to run again at night, but I didn’t get home from a wake and funeral service until almost 11:00 pm. Eh, life happens. I should still hit my plan of 80 miles for the week.

Thursday: 5 miles – 37:02, 7:24 pace. 10 miles – 1:02:30, with 20:00 fartlek. I’ve been discussing my training with Matt F. on a weekly basis and he suggested I need to incorporate more fartleks for optimal half-marathon fitness. So tonight, as part of my moderately hard aerobic run, I included 20 x 30 seconds on/off. Though the wintery mix and vicious wind from the north affected the run, I think I managed to salvage a decent workout. In total I ran 3.6 miles in 20:00, a 5:33 pace. For the 14 reps into the wind I averaged 5:10/6:20 on the on/off segments; with the wind at my back that dropped to 4:51/6:12, much more in line with what I expected. It wasn’t a gut busting workout by any means, but seeing as how I don’t do enough fartleks, I have some work to do to learn to recover at a quick pace.

Friday: 5 miles – 37:35, 7:31 pace. 7 miles – 49:12, 7:02 pace. Not surprisingly, the fartlek took a lot less out of me than the mile repeats. So I felt quite fresh today and had no issues with logging 12 easy miles over two runs.

Saturday: 14 miles – 1:28:19, with 2 x 3 miles. During the last few weeks, I’ve reminded myself of a piece of advice from Bill Leach: Too many runners don’t run hard enough on hard days. While I don’t agree with “going to the well” on every workout, I do need to pick and choose my spots, especially during 5k specific training.

This morning was one such spot. I didn’t even have a single glass of wine last night. So naturally, I felt sluggish during the 4 mile warm-up. But after some strides, I set off on the first set. I had tentative (but aggressive) targets of 16:00 and 15:30. Something clicked in the first mile and I settled into an awesome rhythm: 5:23, 5:19, and 5:15 for a cumulative time of 15:58. After a longer-than-usual 1 mile interval (6:58), I felt even better on set 2: 5:15, 5:09, and 5:00 for a total of 15:26. Boom!

Now, one caveat: the workout was on a treadmill because the streets aren’t clear of the recent snow. So the splits have to be assumed to be slightly fast. For comparison’s sake, though, I checked my logs from 2008 and 2010, the two times I’ve used this training approach. In 2008 I did the workout in 16:36 and 16:20 – and then ran 15:41 (still my PR, now almost 4 years old pale ). In 2010 I did the workout in the same gym as today in 15:52 for each set. That year I ran a disappointing 15:48.

That’s a long way of saying I have no excuse for not running sub-15:40 in 14 days.

Sunday: 16 miles – 1:46:15, 6:38 pace. I had no intention of running on the faster side of long run pace today. In fact, I told myself heading in that, given 3 hard speed workouts this week, 7:00 pace was more than fine. Maybe it was the perfect 50 degree and sunny weather, but I settled almost instantly into a 6:40 pace. It felt easy, so I wasn’t going to intentionally slow down, and I finished the 16 hours without ever thinking twice about the pace. Good stuff.

Week: 80
YTD: 721
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Matt W on Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:29 am



I would say that you ran your hard days hard enough. Those workouts really show your fitness and I hope give you quite the confidence boost. It seems like you are taking your easy days easy enough to recover as well, so you seem to be covered on both ends of the training spectrum. Keep up the good work and keep building on what you've got going.
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Re: Buck-O-Nine

Post  Dave-O on Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:41 pm

Pittsburgh Half-Marathon Training Week 13: February 27 – March 4

Monday: 6 miles – untimed. This is dangerous. I am getting way too accustomed to only running 6 easy miles on Monday.

Tuesday: 4 miles – 30:52, 7:43 pace. 12 miles – 1:14:31, with 2 mile fartlek. Following my last 30 second on/off fartlek, Matt suggested that next time I shorten it to 2 mile and really try to hammer. Easy enough, right? Well, it was, until my Garmin died. Without any timing device, it’s hard to do such a workout. Even more unfortunately, I was on track for a potentially epic workout. Though I finished the workout after the Garmin died to the best of my ability – by simply counting 30 seconds in my head – I’ll never truly know what paces I was hitting. See, afterwards I checked my paces for the first three reps before the Garmin died. My pace on the On portions ranged from 4:35-4:42 and 5:30-5:40 for the Off portions, resulting in a cumulative pace right near 5:00 flat. While I think I maintained a similar pace throughout, the world will never know for sure. Bummer.

Wednesday: 5 miles – 37:05, 7:25 pace. 7 miles – 49:58, 7:08 pace. The combination of the hard 2 miles plus an hour of basketball with no subs left me pretty fatigued today. I took it easy on both runs.

Thursday: 4 miles – 30:51, 7:43 pace. 8 miles – 56:56, 7:07 pace. Initially, I planned a 1 mile, 2 x 800, 4 x 400 workout today. I had high hopes of crushing a fast mile. Then, on the commute to work, my Garmin somehow fell out of my bag. (I hope the person that finds it at least knows how to use it.) My treadmill doesn’t go faster than 5:00 pace, so instead of running it either untimed outside or slower than I wanted inside, I opted for second easy day. I was due for back to back easy days anyway.

Friday: 7 miles – 45:52, 6:33 pace. 8 miles – 48:02, 6:00 pace. I can’t catch a fucking break trying to get this workout in. My Dad was nice enough to let me borrow his Garmin until I get a replacement, so I was all set to get the run in at lunch. I felt damn good during my first mile of warm-up….but then my legs went numb. The weather had dropped in the morning to about 30 degrees, and to make matters worse, there was a steady rain/sleet coming down. Oh, and the wind screaming from the east was brining waves crashing onto the lakefront path, making for interesting footing. By the time my 3 mile “warm-up” was done, my legs (only covered in half tights) were ice blocks. I tried a few strides to wake them up, but it wasn’t happening. So I aborted the run and hurriedly ran the 3.5 miles back to my office.

But I wasn’t giving up on the workout, even if it meant doing it on the treadmill. Obviously my lunch run wasn’t a normal easy run, and my legs felt like crap just 4 hours later. I finished the mile in 5:00, not breathing particularly hard, but with legs feeling dead to the world. To try and salvage a decent workout, I ran the half-mile repeats at 1% incline and the quarters at 2%. While the workout wasn’t at all what I wanted, I can take some solace that I ran 15 miles at about a 6:15 pace on the day.

Saturday: 4 miles – untimed. I really haven’t felt “good” all week, so today’s 4 mile untimed run with my Dad was more than welcome – even if he tried to drop me in the last 200 yards.

Sunday: 16 miles – 1:50:19, 6:54 pace. After I finished Friday’s run, mentally I switched into taper mode. Thus, I was a bit conflicted as to what to run today: on one hand I wanted a decently long run; on the other, I want to be as fresh as possible for the 5k in 6 days. I compromised on a 16 miler on the treadmill – to save the pounding of outdoors – and at a slow pace. While I still think it was the right call, I never felt good during the run. It was definitely of the “grind it out” category.

For whatever reason, I never really found a groove this week. Both attempted workouts were botched to some extent, my mileage was low, and my long run was tedious. It happens. Not every week is going to be pure running bliss. Besides, it’s normal to feel like crap during “taper,” right?

Week: 81
YTD: 802

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