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This is the year...continued...

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This is the year...continued...

Post  Nick Morris on Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:23 am

So, instead of started a completely brand new blog. I have decided to just continue everything over here...I will start with reposting my intro entry and go from there...


That is what I keep telling myself everyday. This is the year that I had planned out over three year’s ago as the year that I will Boston Qualify. Since this is the year, I decided that I would start a blog to document my year. I have never written a blog before, so this is all new to me. I figure it can’t that hard. You know, like writing a diary…

Let’s start off with a little background on myself. I am a single 30 year old guy living in Madison, Wisconsin. I have lived in or near Madison for most of my life. I have undergraduate degrees in Marketing and Human Resources and a Masters Degree in Business Administration. I have seven years healthcare experience. Four years working in a hospital handling quality and accreditation and three years working for hospitals doing strategic marketing. My current line of work (working for hospitals) allows me to travel all over the United States. On average, I travel about once a month…

When I am not running, I enjoy hanging out with friends and competing in every sport that I can possible play. I am uber competitive and normally go all in when doing something…

I have been running regularly now for about eight years now. I got started after college as a way to get back into shape and really haven’t stopped since. I ran recreationally until 2006, when I decided to try a race. That race just so happened to be a half marathon. I trained eight weeks for that first race and although I was sore and felt a great sense of accomplishment. I thought to myself I could do better. So, I signed up and trained for another half marathon. That half led to another and then another and another…you get the picture. With each race, I was posting faster and faster times. After about six or seven half marathons, I finally talked myself into signing up for and training for a full marathon. It was at this time that I found Hal’s training site and eventually the V-Boards. I started out with Hal’s Novice II plan. I found out that 18 weeks was definitely a lot of commitment. My first full marathon was the 2008 Twin Cities marathon. It was a cool wet day in October. I remember hearing thunder and running through downpours to a finishing time of 3:55 and change. Just like the first half marathon, I felt a great sense of accomplishment and, of course, soreness. But still thought that I could do better than a 3:55. In 2009, I signed up and trained for the Chicago Marathon. I switched my training regimen from Novice II to Intermediate I. The move up in training helped immensely, as I had set a lofty goal of 3:40:00 and a 15+ minute increase from the year prior. The training paid off, as I ran a great race and finished in a time of 3:39:XX…A full 16 minutes faster than the Twin Cities…

Onto 2010…by now, my half marathon times are down to the mid 1:30:00s. Once again, I signed up for the Chicago Marathon with hopes of a 3:20:00 time. I upped my training to Intermediate II and had the best training cycle to date. I added strength training in my legs and found that the pesky patella tendonitis went away. Even though I was training for a 7:38 pace, I was actually running my training runs at around a 7:25 goal pace. All of the hard work was paying off as I half marathon PR’d (1:31:02) during my tune up race in mid September by a full four minutes over my previous PR that I had achieved in the spring. After posting such a great time, thoughts of BQing a year ahead of scheduled plan crept into my head. I mean, it is Chicago that I am running. It is a very favorable course to BQ. I decided to go for it and signed up for the 3:10 pace group even though I had not fully trained for 3:10 and the weather was not cooperating (those that ran the race understand). Race day came and I was feeling great…The gun went off and we were started. The pace was a little fast at first, but I settled in and continued on a 7:15 pace. Then I got to mile 10 and that’s when things started going wrong. I started feeling a pain in my right hip that wasn’t there before. I continued on, knowing that my family would be at mile 13. Things started getting worse, but I was holding pace. I made it to my family just after the halfway point and things were worse. It was at this point that I knew that that day was not going to be my day. I stopped and chatted with my family for a few minutes and decided to carry on. I made it to mile 15 before I had to start walking. I continued on walk running the rest of the way back to the finish. It was very disappointing day, but I finished and got our Fantasy Team (the Tigers…WooHoo!!) a point…

After seeing a specialist, I found out that I had strained my gluteus minimus and medius. After that, I took a few weeks off to heal and get therapy. After about three to four weeks of therapy, I started back to running, of course, taking it slow at first. Then, gradually building up distance and intensity to where I am now. I have been working very hard to strengthen all of the muscles in my legs, including the glutes, adductors, and abductors. I feel great and think I am right where I need to be physically…

This week is the first week of my pre-planned winter running program. The plan is to gradually increase my weekly mileage for 12 weeks before moving to a six speed work/long run plan that will lead to my marathon training program. For my marathon training plan, I am added mileage to my weekly totals, which will allow me to reach the 20 mile plateau faster.

Since this is the end of Week 1 of my winter running program, I thought it was a great time to start a blog and document my running for all to read…After all…

This is the year…



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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Nick Morris on Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:25 am

Pick a Race…Any Race…

That’s where I was a couple of weeks ago. Wondering which race to run this fall. I studied the internet and figured out all of my options or a goal race. Like I stated in my first entry, I have already ran the Twin Cities Marathon and Chicago twice. While Chicago is a fast course and I love the huge crowds, I think that this fall I am going to look for a smaller race. My first Chicago saw cool temperatures (32 degrees at the start) and the second was the complete opposite, with temperatures reaching into the 80s. So, I decided to develop some criteria for my 2011 goal race.

  • Smaller field size
  • Fast course
  • Well managed race


After all of my research, I found three fall races that met the criteria: Mohawk/Hudson, Steamtown, and the California International Marathon. Both Mohawk and Steamtown are on October 9th, while CIM is in December. This got me thinking…I could run one of the two races in October and if I failed to qualify, I could try again in December at CIM. The big question was which race should I run in October?

To help me figure this out, I started a thread on the V-Boards to solicit the advice of my peers. I also researched running reviews, compared race info, and average temperatures. All of this leads me to where I am today. I think that I have finally made a decision on what race to run this fall…

I am going with the Steamtown Marathon for my goal race. The race itself has some great reviews from previous runners. From all of the research that I did, it seems to be a very well managed race. The field size is fairly small at 2,500, but not too small. Average temps over the past 10 years have been ideal for marathon running. Plus, the course is known as one of the faster fall marathon courses.

The California International Marathon will be my fallback marathon and is perfectly spaced out two months from October. Besides, who wouldn’t want to go to California in December? (I’m from the Midwest, so it is definitely an upgrade J)

So there you have it…my plan for this fall!!
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Nick Morris on Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:29 am

5/30 -
And they're off!! Let the training cycle begin. Monday started with a 3.06 mile recovery run @ an 8:38 pace.


5/31 -
On Tuesday I followed up the recovery run with my first easy run of the cycle. I first started with some weight training and stretching and moved onto an easy 4.17 @ a 7:32 pace.

6/1 -
Tonight the schedule called for an easy 6 miles. I ended up running 6.21 miles at a 7:28 pace. I could have stopped at 6.18, but recalled an earlier post from Martin VW and decided to make sure that I got in at least 6.2.

6/2 -
Back agt it again today...4.15 miles at a 7:31 pace...

6/3 -
Scheduled off day


6/4 -
6 miles @ MP...This morning I completed 6.21 miles @ a 6:56 pace. It was definitely a tough workout and the high humidity did not make it any easier. Tomorrow is an easy 12 mile LSD...

6/5 -
Final run of week 1 this morning, a 12 mile LSD. I completed 12.31 miles at a 7:43 pace. My heart rate averaged out at 139, which is nice and low for me. Week 1 is now in the books...I logged 36.11 miles this week. Tomorrow calls for the start of week 2 and a recovery run.

6/6 -
Recovery run...3.07 miles @ 8:38...


6/7 -
4.21 miles at a 7:44 pace on a hot and humid morning. It was 78 degrees at 6:00 am this morning!!

6/8 -
The schedule called for a 6 miler on a hot and humid Wednesday. I put in 6.2 miles at a 7:48 pace...

6/9 -
Week 2 is almost complete...4.17 @ 7:38 pace

6/10 -
Scheduled off day


6/11 -
6.22 miles at a 7:34 pace


6/12 -
13.33 mile LSD @ a 7:45 pace

Week 2 is officially in the books. I completed a total of 37.2 miles in Week 2. Week 3 is a step back week, before moving up in mileage.


Last edited by Nick Morris on Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Nick Morris on Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:31 am

6/13 -
3.08 mile recovery run @ 8:36 pace. I am still a little faster than I would like to be with these recovery runs, but I am sure that by the time I get a few more weeks of training on my legs those times will start to get to where I want them to be.

6/14 -
The beat goes on...I hammered out 4.17 miles at a 7:41 pace last night. Tonight looks like a fun one. The forecast calls for mid to low 60s and rain. Perfect weather for a 7-miler, right??

6/15 -
So the rain held off and I got in a dry 7.28 @ a 7:42 pace. Already on the downward side of Week 3. Before I know it, October will be here Very Happy
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Nick Morris on Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:32 am

So, I think that I am all caught up...

6/16 -
4.18 miles at 7:39 pace...

Did I ever mention how much I love the new site??
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Natalie on Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:57 am

What's great about this new forum is that I get to start fresh with everybody's blog. They're all new! Good luck meeting all your goals Nick!
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:03 pm

Somehow I overlooked the fact that you'll be in the Sacramento area come December. Hopefully it'll just be a victory lap after you BQ in October!
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Nick Morris on Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:38 pm

@Mike MacLellan wrote:Somehow I overlooked the fact that you'll be in the Sacramento area come December. Hopefully it'll just be a victory lap after you BQ in October!

Actually...I am hoping that I will not need to make that trip, because I got the BQ in October!!

But it is nice to have in my hip pocket...
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Kenny B. on Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:42 pm

Glad to see the new/old blog. IT seems you have a BQ in you for your next race. stay healthy train smart and it is yours. Look forward to following your progress!
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Nick Morris on Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:18 pm

6/17 -

My first alteration to my training cycle happened today. I was originally scheduled to have an off day today, but I have some out of town plans for Saturday night and Sunday without the opportunity to get a run in. So, I moved my off day to Sunday and moved up my Saturday to Sunday and will run my LSD tomorrow morning.

The newly updated weekly schedule stated that I should run 7 miles at marathon pace (7:03). I ended up putting in 7.26 miles at a 6:55 pace. It was a tough workout, but definitley a great way to end a busy work week.

Since this week in my first step back week, tomorrow only calls for a 10 mile LSD...
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:21 pm

That's a nice pace run, Nick. And the shorter LSD tomorrow should come as a nice relief for your legs after today's effort.
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Nick Morris on Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:08 pm

@Mike MacLellan wrote:That's a nice pace run, Nick. And the shorter LSD tomorrow should come as a nice relief for your legs after today's effort.

Exactly...That's why I wasn't too worried about moving my off day...

Thanks!!
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Mrs. Schuey on Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:26 pm

Natalie Wolf wrote:What's great about this new forum is that I get to start fresh with everybody's blog. They're all new! Good luck meeting all your goals Nick!

I agree, Natalie!! It's so nice to watch and track the progress of everyone from the beginning...

Nick - it will be great watching your training!
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Nick Morris on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:09 am

6/18 -

10 mile LSD this morning. My legs felt surprisingly fresh, considering that this was my sixth day in a row of running and yester day I completed seven miles at marathon pace. Tomorrow is a well welcomed off day...YAY!!! bounce bounce bounce

SplitTimeDistanceAvg PaceAvg HR
10:07:4317:43130
20:07:4117:41138
30:07:2617:26139
40:07:4017:40140
50:07:3917:39142
60:07:4217:42143
70:07:4717:47144
80:07:3617:36144
90:07:3117:31141
100:07:3317:33146
110:01:550.286:57147
Summary1:18:1610.287:37141


That's it for Week 3...36.25 miles logged this week...
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Mrs. Schuey on Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:26 pm

Great job on that run, Nick! Holy cow, those were some nice splits, especially for coming off of all the consecutive days of running you have. I bet the day off will be very nice! Enjoy it! Smile
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Schuey on Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:31 pm

Nick your training is looking solid! That MP run the other day @ 6:55 is smoking, I bet that felt darn good to do. Yes, you are correct October will be here before we all know it! It's amazing how fast the time goes by.
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Kenny B. on Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:24 am

@Nick Morris wrote:6/18 -

10 mile LSD this morning. My legs felt surprisingly fresh, considering that this was my sixth day in a row of running and yester day I completed seven miles at marathon pace. Tomorrow is a well welcomed off day...YAY!!! bounce bounce bounce

SplitTimeDistanceAvg PaceAvg HR
10:07:4317:43130
20:07:4117:41138
30:07:2617:26139
40:07:4017:40140
50:07:3917:39142
60:07:4217:42143
70:07:4717:47144
80:07:3617:36144
90:07:3117:31141
100:07:3317:33146
110:01:550.286:57147
Summary1:18:1610.287:37141


That's it for Week 3...36.25 miles logged this week...

Nice It seems your running your LSD pace only about 35-40 seconds slower then MP pace. Do you feel as you progress with more mileage etc you might want to move to the more standard 60-90 seconds slower. MP for me should be 7:40 this coming cycle. I try to keep my LSD no faster then 8:30 any lower and my HR is affected ideally 8:40 is where I would want to be. Just an observation.
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Nick Morris on Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:10 pm

[quote="Kenny B]
Nice It seems your running your LSD pace only about 35-40 seconds slower then MP pace. Do you feel as you progress with more mileage etc you might want to move to the more standard 60-90 seconds slower. MP for me should be 7:40 this coming cycle. I try to keep my LSD no faster then 8:30 any lower and my HR is affected ideally 8:40 is where I would want to be. Just an observation.[/quote]

Yes, I have a feeling that as my mileage increases, my LSD runs will fall more in line with the 60-90 second range.

Thanks for the comments!!
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Nick Morris on Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:11 pm

@Schuey wrote:Nick your training is looking solid! That MP run the other day @ 6:55 is smoking, I bet that felt darn good to do. Yes, you are correct October will be here before we all know it! It's amazing how fast the time goes by.

Thanks!!! It felt really good considering it's only week 3...
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Nick Morris on Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:12 pm

6/19 -

Scheduled off day...Tomorrow is the start of Week 4...


Happy Father's Day!!!
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Natalie on Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:13 pm

Very nice splits, indeed. Looks like you were feeling good at the end too!
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Nick Morris on Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:24 pm

6/20 -

The start of Week 4...3.11 miles recovery at 8:38 pace...
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Mrs. Schuey on Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:36 pm

@Nick Morris wrote:6/20 -

The start of Week 4...3.11 miles recovery at 8:38 pace...

Ooof! Nice job on that recovery run. I look forward to the day that I can type, "recovery at 8:38 pace".
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Nick Morris on Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:42 pm

@Mrs. Schuey wrote:
@Nick Morris wrote:6/20 -

The start of Week 4...3.11 miles recovery at 8:38 pace...

Ooof! Nice job on that recovery run. I look forward to the day that I can type, "recovery at 8:38 pace".

It's still a little faster than I'd like, but I am working on it...
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Re: This is the year...continued...

Post  Tom H on Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:43 pm

Nick, I'm envous of your low heart rate at those paces. Have you always had that type of performance, or was that something that just improved as you put in more and more miles?
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Re: This is the year...continued...

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