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No Longer a Fool

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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Chris M on Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:17 am

You remember the whole story about the Hot Chocolate Race coming to DC last year, right? The worst race experience ever. Thousands of people (including my whole family) never made it to the race itself because of road closures, they screwed up the course and had runners go the wrong way and then of course it ended up being short. It made news all around here and that company was basically driven out of town and will surely never look to put on a race in the DC area. So it does not surprise me at all that they have some logistics issues!

I got pumped reading about the plan to get you back to what worked when you got the 1:11. Tempos hurt. That's why they are so good to do! That kind of mileage AND tough tempo runs? That's winning formula.
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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Dave-O on Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:00 pm

JohnP wrote:Dave, I ran that HC 5K a few years ago and it was a disaster. THough the race start was OK because they didn't have those corrals back then, once I finished, I spent over an hour waiting in line for my gear checked bag. They were completely unorganized and didn't have the bags in any grouping. And there was no line. Anyway, that was enough for me to not do it again.

I hadn't realized they screwed up so bad in the past too. How did this race get such a big following? Strange. At least my entry was free, so I can't complain too much.

Chris M wrote:You remember the whole story about the Hot Chocolate Race coming to DC last year, right? The worst race experience ever. Thousands of people (including my whole family) never made it to the race itself because of road closures, they screwed up the course and had runners go the wrong way and then of course it ended up being short. It made news all around here and that company was basically driven out of town and will surely never look to put on a race in the DC area. So it does not surprise me at all that they have some logistics issues!

I got pumped reading about the plan to get you back to what worked when you got the 1:11. Tempos hurt. That's why they are so good to do! That kind of mileage AND tough tempo runs? That's winning formula.

I remember that story but didn't realize it was a Hot Chocolate event. Makes sense now. The weird thing is that, at least here, RAM Racing puts on top notch events. They just completely overextending themselves with HC.

Tempos do hurt. When I reread my blogs from Summer of 2010 and Spring of 2011 (the two times I've run 1:11), the common theme was tempo runs that left me exhausted.
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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:18 pm

Interesting experience with the HC event, and after Chris mentioned it, I remember that. There is a HC event coming up in Columbus and one in Atlanta - wonder how they will go?? Good luck with your half training, starting now is the perfect time - I did the same after NY last year and ran very well (a 50 yr old PR) in Houston. Hit it hard and don't be slowed by winter or holidays and you will nail it.
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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Dave-O on Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:15 pm

Michele "1L" Keane wrote:
Hit it hard and don't be slowed by winter or holidays and you will nail it.

The winter? Not a problem, as I like treadmill running, especially for tempos. I find it relaxing being able to focus solely on my stride and pace and not worry about cars, turns, footing, etc.

The holidays? That will be tougher, but based on Christmas landing on a Tuesday this year, it will be manageable.
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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Diego on Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:35 pm

Dave-O,

I don't know if you are a B1G XC follower, but keep an eye on Matt McClintock(Purdue). He's from our local Maine area and just finished the Big Ten's as the 8th runner and first freshman. He definitely has stud potential!

We'll see how he does at Regionals and the NCAA Finals.
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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Schuey on Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:14 pm

Dave-O wrote:
Michele "1L" Keane wrote:
Hit it hard and don't be slowed by winter or holidays and you will nail it.

The winter? Not a problem, as I like treadmill running, especially for tempos. I find it relaxing being able to focus solely on my stride and pace and not worry about cars, turns, footing, etc.

The holidays? That will be tougher, but based on Christmas landing on a Tuesday this year, it will be manageable.

You know it is funny you say that because I'm amazed that over the years I have come to love the treadmill. When I look back at the last few years for the most part my best marathon races came at Boston after spending the winter on the mill.

One thing that I find great about it is that I feel that I can not only pick-up the intensity but can add more miles to make up for the difference of not having the impact of running outside. Just found that I or anyone can adjust mill training to match the affects of outside running. Just my take.

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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Chris M on Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:05 pm

Michele "1L" Keane wrote:Interesting experience with the HC event, and after Chris mentioned it, I remember that. There is a HC event coming up in Columbus and one in Atlanta - wonder how they will go?? Good luck with your half training, starting now is the perfect time - I did the same after NY last year and ran very well (a 50 yr old PR) in Houston. Hit it hard and don't be slowed by winter or holidays and you will nail it.
Oh yes... I lived through this and it was truly horrible:

http://www.wtop.com/41/2659353/Runners-upset-over-disastrous-Hot-Chocolate-155K-
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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Dave-O on Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:49 am

Diego wrote:Dave-O,

I don't know if you are a B1G XC follower, but keep an eye on Matt McClintock(Purdue). He's from our local Maine area and just finished the Big Ten's as the 8th runner and first freshman. He definitely has stud potential!

We'll see how he does at Regionals and the NCAA Finals.

Oh wow. That's impressive! I will definitely be on the look out. Hopefully he doesn't start showing up to races like the Shamrock Shuffle...
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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Dave-O on Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:50 am

Schuey wrote:
You know it is funny you say that because I'm amazed that over the years I have come to love the treadmill. When I look back at the last few years for the most part my best marathon races came at Boston after spending the winter on the mill.

One thing that I find great about it is that I feel that I can not only pick-up the intensity but can add more miles to make up for the difference of not having the impact of running outside. Just found that I or anyone can adjust mill training to match the affects of outside running. Just my take.


Agreed. And I have never noticed a difficulty transitioning from the treadmill to the roads after the winter. The treadmill definitely allows for a high level of associative running since there are no external factors to worry about.

Like I said in your blog, I would like to get a few tempos on your mill with downhill running.
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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Dave-O on Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:51 am

Chris M wrote:
Michele "1L" Keane wrote:Interesting experience with the HC event, and after Chris mentioned it, I remember that. There is a HC event coming up in Columbus and one in Atlanta - wonder how they will go?? Good luck with your half training, starting now is the perfect time - I did the same after NY last year and ran very well (a 50 yr old PR) in Houston. Hit it hard and don't be slowed by winter or holidays and you will nail it.
Oh yes... I lived through this and it was truly horrible:

http://www.wtop.com/41/2659353/Runners-upset-over-disastrous-Hot-Chocolate-155K-

It's so odd to me, because my experience with RAM racing for every other race has been so positive. For their Half Marathon here, they are really generous with elite entries. And when you get an elite entry, you don't have to go to packet pickup. Instead, your bib and gear is waiting for you in a really nice backpack in the tent before the race.
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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Dave-O on Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:56 pm

Houston Half Marathon, Week 1: November 5 – 11

Monday: 5 miles – 38:44, 7:45 pace. 8 miles – 57:15 7:09 pace (core routine). So, there are going to be some changes from my Chicago training to my Houston training. The first: A return to daily doubles. They work for me, not only physically (i.e. aid recovery), but also for cramming mileage into my hectic schedule. I am going to be sure that my secondary run each day is truly a recovery run by keeping it slower than 7:30 pace. Saying there’s a difference between a recovery run and an easy run isn’t just semantics. Also, on my daily recovery run, I am incorporating some slight hills (1-3% inclines) to work different muscle groups. Finally, for the next 10 weeks, I’ll include my supplemental work in parenthesis to help keep me accountable.

Tuesday: 6 miles – 45:05, 7:31 pace (hill sprints). 10 miles – 1:02:23, 6:14 pace, with 4 x 1 mile. The second change: Pay close attention to McMillan’s suggested training paces for a 1:10 half marathon. For the past year or so, I adopted a “just run” mentality and let the pace fall where it may. That didn’t bring good results. Perhaps it allowed me to be too complacent. Whatever the case, I have the 1:10 chart printed and on my desk. I don’t expect to hit the paces right off the bat (especially with some soreness from Sunday’s race), but I do expect to work towards them and be cognizant of where my pace is landing. The suggested pace for today’s 4 x 1 mile cruise intervals was 5:01 to 5:09. I didn’t want to bite off more than I can chew on my first workout, though, and I started conservatively with splits of 5:15 and 5:13. Feeling strong, I ended with a 5:10 and 5:09 (on 90 second intervals). Going forward I am confident I can hit sub-5:09 on this workout, which I have penciled in a few more times.

Wednesday: 5 miles – 38:52, 7:46 pace (lower body weights). 8 miles – 54:53, 6:52 pace. (core routine). McMillan says recovery runs should be between 6:55 and 7:39 pace and easy runs should be between 5:57 and 6:50 pace. So I’m just a little bit off that guidelines.

Thursday: 6 miles – 44:53, 7:29 pace (hill sprints). 10 miles – 1:00:22, with 6 mile tempo – 5:27 pace. The next change: I will frequently be comparing my workouts to previous cycles, specifically summer of 2010 and spring of 2011 when I ran 1:11. Based on those cycles, my goal today was sub-5:30 pace, and since I had such a specific pace goal in mind, I had no qualms running this on the treadmill. I eased into the pace with a 5:37 and 5:32 but then dropped into the 5:20’s for good: 5:27, 5:25, 5:24, and 5:19. My legs and muscular fitness is still behind my aerobic fitness – I had some achiness in my hamstrings in the last two miles – but I’m happy with the progress I’ve made since the marathon.

Friday: 6 miles – 46:23, 7:44 pace (upper body weights). 6 miles – 45:50, 7:38 pace (yoga). Once per week I’d like to stick to recovery pace on both runs. That’s also a perfect time to fit in my one yoga session per week.

Saturday: 10 miles with Illinois XC Club Invitational – 16:24, 9th place, 1st place team. 5 miles – 37:46, 7:33 pace. Yet another change: I won’t be hesitant to include races as workouts in these next 8 weeks. Today the Evanston Running Club hosted a cross-country meet for all the Chicagoland running clubs. Each team could enter up to 9 runners with the top 4 scoring. Unfortunately, we only had 4 people that could run, so there was no margin for error.

I’m not going to lie, I really wanted the team victory. With some stiff competition, I knew I had to run well. The course was a 5k consisting of four loops with some mud and a few tight turns. I went out hard to establish good position, hitting mile 1 in 5:06. At that point I believe I was in 12th, with our other guys sitting pretty at 2nd, 3rd and 4th. However, the guy in 1st had a blue singlet on and there were three other blue singlets ahead of me. I had to chase the last one down. By the end of the second lap, I had passed 2 other runners and was within striking distance of a blue singlet. I made my move at the start of the 4th lap and didn’t look back. I finished 9th with a time of 16:24, which I was very happy with on a grass and mud course.

Afterwards, I learned that two teams had blue singlets and that no team was close to us. We finished with 18 points (2, 3, 4 and 9) and second place had 32. Domination!

Sunday: 6 miles – 55:37, 9:16 pace. 14 miles – 1:32:27, 6:36 pace. My final change: I am going to get a little more aggressive on my long runs. Since I’m training for a half, I don’t need to run a 20 miler every weekend (though today ends up being twenty with the easy 6 miler in the morning, which was with one of my bosses, who’s been asking me to go for a run for months). Since my long runs won’t always be as long, I can push the pace a tad to ensure I’m improving my aerobic endurance. Tonight I ran consistently between 6:30-6:45 on the first 10 and slightly faster on the last 4.

In all Week 1 went perfectly. Of course, that’s easy when I don’t have residual fatigue in my legs. We’ll see if I’m singing the same tune in another three weeks.

Week: 105
YTD: 3,409

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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Ben Z on Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:56 pm

Hey Dave -

Just catching up on how things have been going for you. Like most runners I too have very weak hamstrings, hips and glutes. So what I have found works best (without a lot of time invested each week) is to shoot for at least two sessions after an easy run where I will do the following:


  1. 6-10 hill sprints
  2. 2 sets of the lunge matrix: http://www.coachjayjohnson.com/2010/04/lunge-matrix-as-warm-up/ (note: I also try to do this before every workout I do where I run faster than HMP for a sustained amount of time or distance)
  3. 2-3 sets of side-lying clams: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc-8G9SZvuc&feature=relmfu
  4. 2-3 sets of side-lying leg lifts (5 reps toes pointed forwards, 5 reps toes pointed inwards, 5 reps toes pointed upwards): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XxYq-ZkUQw
  5. 2-3 sets of fire hydrants: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRLCHUajCps
  6. 2-3 sets of donkey kicks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFykp4b7FFQ
  7. 2-3 sets of donkey whips: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIB7anDEkbw

Note: I'm not always good about doing 6 and 7 Sad (but they really help)
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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  EugeneGreenie on Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:19 pm

Fire hydrants?

Ohhhhhhhhhh! Teehee.

E Greenie <--d'oh
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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Dave-O on Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:07 am

Ben Z wrote:Hey Dave -

Just catching up on how things have been going for you. Like most runners I too have very weak hamstrings, hips and glutes. So what I have found works best (without a lot of time invested each week) is to shoot for at least two sessions after an easy run where I will do the following:


  1. 6-10 hill sprints
  2. 2 sets of the lunge matrix: http://www.coachjayjohnson.com/2010/04/lunge-matrix-as-warm-up/ (note: I also try to do this before every workout I do where I run faster than HMP for a sustained amount of time or distance)
  3. 2-3 sets of side-lying clams: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc-8G9SZvuc&feature=relmfu
  4. 2-3 sets of side-lying leg lifts (5 reps toes pointed forwards, 5 reps toes pointed inwards, 5 reps toes pointed upwards): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XxYq-ZkUQw
  5. 2-3 sets of fire hydrants: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRLCHUajCps
  6. 2-3 sets of donkey kicks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFykp4b7FFQ
  7. 2-3 sets of donkey whips: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIB7anDEkbw

Note: I'm not always good about doing 6 and 7 Sad (but they really help)

Ben,

I really appreciate the links and suggested workouts. I've been doing 3 and 4 ever since my hip injury. As simple as they seem, it keeps my hips loose and has gotten rid of the issue. I have reincorporated hill sprints, and frankly, regret ever eliminating them. So effective. And I just recently started doing lunges. Hello, soreness.

I will definitely incorporate 5, 6 and 7 into my weekly core/hip routine. Thanks again!
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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Dave-O on Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:08 am

EugeneGreenie wrote:Fire hydrants?

Ohhhhhhhhhh! Teehee.

E Greenie <--d'oh

Ha. My exact thought process: "Fire hydrants? What kind of name is that? [clicks link]. Ohhh, I see what you did there..."
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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Mike MacLellan on Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:26 am

Thanks for links 6 and 7, Ben. What a Face
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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Dave-O on Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:01 pm

Houston Half Marathon, Week 1: November 12 – 18

Monday: 5 miles – 37:54, 7:35 pace (upper body weights). 8 miles – 54:41, 6:50 pace (core/hip routine). Target mileage for week 2 is 110, with three workouts planned. Giddy up!

Tuesday: 10 miles – 1:02:49, with 4 mile tempo – 21:24, 5:21 pace. 6 miles – 44:47, 7:28 pace (with strides). Another reason I particularly enjoy half-marathon training is that tempo runs essentially double as pace runs – whereas in marathon training, I have never quite figured out where to include pace runs. Last week I did 6 miles at 5:27 pace, just outside of McMillan’s suggested range, so today I dropped it down to 4 miles with the sole goal of being under 5:22 pace. I wasted no time easing into the pace, and hit splits of 5:24, 5:21, 5:19 and 5:18. Another piece to the puzzle.

Wednesday: 5 miles – 38:12, 7:38 pace. 8 miles – 58:01, 7:15 pace (Core/hip routine). I met up with a group of 5 guys for the second run of the day. Typically I like running alone; it’s my time to decompress from the day. However, now that I’m doubling again, the occasional human interaction is a nice distraction.

Thursday: 6 miles – 44:43, 7:27 pace (with hill sprints). 12 miles – 1:11:44, with 10 x 800m in 2:30. A year and a half ago I did 8 x 800 in average time of 2:21. I couldn’t touch that right now. But two caveats: first, that was after a 6 week “speed” mini-cycle with a lot of hard 400 repeats; and second, I was pushed in that workout by a 4:05 miler. I also laid on the track afterwards for about 10 minutes in pain. Anyways, tonight was a more controlled 2:30 average split. I still feel like my leg speed is lacking, though.

Friday: 6 miles – 45:06, 7:31 pace (lower body weights). 6 miles – 45:36, 7:36 pace. I’d say today was the first time I was truly dragging ass on a run. I wanted no part of the second 6 mile recovery run. To hit my mileage targets, it’s these runs where I need to stay disciplined.

Saturday: 4 miles – 29:43, 7:26 pace. 12 miles – 1:13:23, 6:07 pace, with 3-2-1 mile cut-down. This workout has become one of my favorites. And I think it fits perfectly here as I’m trying to lower my threshold pace to sub-5:20, which to do so, requires logging as many miles as possible at that pace. The workout went according to plan: 3 miles in 5:30, 5:25, and 5:19; 2 miles in 5:17 and 5:12; and 1 mile in 5:02. The more miles I run at this speed, the more comfortable I am becoming. I have a long way to go but it’s nice to feel improvement week to week.

Sunday: 6 miles – 43:40, 7:17 pace (with core routine). 16 miles – 1:50:12, 6:53 pace. I was due for a “this sucks” day, and I got it. I knew on my morning recovery run that my legs were dead. I thought I’d feel better after a day of lounging on the couch watching football, but when I got to the gym at 7:00 pm, I knew I was in for a grind. It didn’t help that the gym was as hot as a Bikram yoga studio either. I don’t expect every run in a high mileage program to go well – and hell, running long on fatigued legs is good for me – but damn, this one was brutal. I was just happy to get it done.

Week: 110
YTD: 3,519

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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Dave-O on Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:46 pm

Houston Half Marathon, Week 3: November 19 - 25

Monday: 5 miles – 37:48, 7:34 pace (with lower body weights). 8 miles – 53:47, 6:43 pace. When I mapped out my weekly target mileage, I knew hitting 115 this week would be tough. Thanksgiving on Thursday and a trip downstate for my brother-in-laws state championship football game on Saturday are going to present some challenges. I don’t want to jinx it, but I think I can still get it done.

Tuesday: 6 miles – 45:04, 7:31 pace (with hill sprints). 10 miles – 1:00:04, with 5 x 1 mile. You know what won’t get me to 115? Skipping 2 cool-down miles. In my defense, I was spent after this workout. I really wanted to average under 5:09 for the splits – as per McMillan’s guideline – but doing so left me exhausted. My splits were 5:10, 5:08, 5:06, 5:07 and 5:06. I could only muster 1, instead of 3, miles afterward.

Wednesday: 6 miles – 47:14, 7:52. 6 miles – 44:47, 7:28 pace (with core routine). I read a tweet from Brad Hudson today about Fernando Cabada, the 2:11 marathoner, doing a 6 mile recovery run at 8:20 pace. It was a nice reminder to keep it truly easy on my recovery runs.

Thursday: 10 miles with North Shore Turkey Trot – 16:24, 2nd place. 6 miles – 44:35, 7:26 pace. Let me be clear: I am not happy with my time this morning. I expected to be under 16:00, and based on my recent workouts, I should have been. I am not, however, going to overreact… for a few reasons. First, my legs were dead from Tuesday’s 5 x 1 mile. Second, the course was hilly and windy, not conducive to a fast time. Last and most importantly, my fitness is an unfinished product right now. I didn’t expect to get into peak shape in 17 days of training. All that being said, my time today is a reminder that I have a lot of work left to do. And yes, I snuck out for a 6 mile easy run between two family Thanksgiving parties.

Friday: 10 miles – 1:08:33, 6:51 pace. 6 miles – 44:09, 7:22 pace (with core routine). When running twice per day, logging the first at 3:00 pm is not ideal. That’s what too many heavy beers will do to ya. The run actually went fine as I extended it two miles to make up for Tuesday’s missed mileage. Motivating myself to head out into the dark for 6 more at 9:00 pm was the first time I contemplated skipping a run.

Saturday: 14 miles – 1:28:33, with 8 miles – 44:55, 5:37 pace. 6 miles – 43:18, 7:13 pace. With the 5k on Thursday, I thought today was the perfect time to log a longer (and slower) tempo run. I am not yet in a position to be overly aggressive on an 8 miler – certainly not in the low 5:20 range – so I set my sights on mid-5:30’s as an average pace. My splits: 5:49, 5:45, 5:39, 5:39, 5:36, 5:34, 5:26 and 5:20. My effort was pretty smooth and controlled for the first six, and after that, I was working pretty hard. I was pleased to log 5:20 – i.e. sub-1:10 pace – as my 12th mile of the day.

Sunday: 4 miles – 31:34, 7:53 pace. 18 miles – 1:57:24, 6:31 pace. The last two weeks my long runs have been a bit of a grind. I’ve gotten them done, but with the high mileage and hard workouts, they haven’t been easy. I expected the same tonight, so naturally, the run went great. Even more confusing? I had a few beers during the Bears game about 4 hours before this run. Seriously, if any ever figures this sport, let me know.

Week: 115
YTD: 3,634

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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Diego on Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:50 pm

Dave-O,

The last two weeks look good. Given the mileage, I really like idea of running the easy miles around 7:20-30(I think that lots of miles under 7:00 is too fast given all the speedwork).

At some point, you need to give yourself a test to see how well you can maintain pace when you're tired. Perhaps a moderate one hour run followed by 3 at HMP +10s, 2 at HMP, and 1-2 at HMP-10 seconds. Maybe you did that Saturday? I wasn't sure by the description if that was one long run or two.

Keep up those hill sprints.
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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Bob on Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:07 pm

I may have missed it in a post above, but wondering if you're still using the coach, or are you doing your own thing?
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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Dave-O on Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:56 am

Diego wrote:Dave-O,

The last two weeks look good. Given the mileage, I really like idea of running the easy miles around 7:20-30(I think that lots of miles under 7:00 is too fast given all the speedwork).

At some point, you need to give yourself a test to see how well you can maintain pace when you're tired. Perhaps a moderate one hour run followed by 3 at HMP +10s, 2 at HMP, and 1-2 at HMP-10 seconds. Maybe you did that Saturday? I wasn't sure by the description if that was one long run or two.

Keep up those hill sprints.

The run on Saturday had intervals between the 3-2-1, but I do like your idea of incorporating tempo/goal pace work on tired legs. Thanks, I will definitely do that in the upcoming weeks!

Bob wrote:I may have missed it in a post above, but wondering if you're still using the coach, or are you doing your own thing?

Yes but on an informal basis. I've designed my training, mileage and workouts, but have been bouncing ideas off him and getting weekly feedback. He's running CIM this weekend and had XC regionals recently so I don't want to take too much of his time.
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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Dave-O on Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:44 pm

Houston Half Marathon, Week 4: November 26 – December 2

Monday: 6 miles – 46:24, 7:44 pace. 8 miles – 54:24, 6:48 pace. Initially I penciled this week in for 120, the 4th straight week of increasing mileage. But as I plotted out the week on Monday morning, it made more sense to step-back this week and hit 120 next week. The reason is that I have a trial starting Monday, December 10th, and I have no clue how much I’ll be able to run for 4 days. (#PleaseSettle.) And so December 10-17 is going to be a default reduction in mileage, I want next week to be high mileage.

Tuesday: 6 miles – 44:48, 7:28 pace. 12 miles – 1:21:18, with 4 miles – 21:21, 5:20 pace. Work from 7:30 – 11:30; Run 6 easy miles; Work from 1:00 – 5:00; Run 12 miles, with a 4 mile tempo, splits 5:27, 5:22, 5:18 and 5:13; and back to the office to work from 6:30 – 8:00. It isn’t a glamorous life right now, but it’s what has to be done.

Wednesday: 6 miles – 47:26, 7:54 pace. 8 miles – 53:53, 6:44 pace. I actually appreciate my recover and easy runs more during trial prep, because frankly, it’s the only time of day when I can clear my head.

Thursday: 6 miles – 45:23, 7:34 pace. 12 miles – 1:14:08, with 6 miles – 32:36, 5:26 pace. Another reason to treat this week as a slight step-back is that nailing 3 workouts per week is not an easy pace to maintain (/pun intended). My legs are definitely happy to “only” log two gut-busters this week. Building on Tuesday’s 4 mile tempo, I wanted 6 lactate-filled miles today. I didn’t get to the gym until late, but when I did, I pounded 6 miles in 5:36, 5:30, 5:26, 5:24, 5:22 and 5:15. With each passing workout, low-5:20 pace is getting more and more comfortable.

Friday: 6 miles – 46:09, 7:41 pace. 6 miles – 43:41, 7:17 pace. Maybe it’s the mileage catching up to me. Maybe it’s the long work hours or stress of trial. Maybe I haven’t been eating healthy enough. I don’t know. I do know that I was mentally and physically exhausted today, and was more than happy to keep the pace slow.

Saturday: 18 miles – 1:56:57, 6:30 pace. The fatigue I felt yesterday carried over into today. I’d say it’s the first time in these first 4 weeks that I’ve felt truly tired. For some sadistic reason, my response to being fatigued was to increase the pace. By the last 8 miles I was running about 6:15 pace even though I was exhausted. I know, I’m strange. And my body wasn’t pleased with me the rest of the day.

Sunday: 6 miles – 46:05, 7:41. 6 miles – untimed. Excluding two taper weeks, my training block for Houston is 8 weeks. So we’re halfway home. In the first 4 weeks, I logged 105, 110, 115 and 106 miles. If I can just slightly add to that, while still progressing in my workouts, for 4 more weeks, I will be in good position to make a run at sub-1:10. Halfway home.

Week: 106
YTD: 3,740

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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Dave-O on Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:31 pm

Houston Half Marathon, Week 5: December 3 – 9

Monday: 6 miles – 44:37, 7:26 pace (with hill sprints). 12 miles – 1:11:33, with 7 mile workout in 37:53. Leading up to my 1:11 at the Indy Mini, I ran an interesting workout with two teammates: 1k-2k-1k-2k-1k-2k-1k. That’s 10k total of fast mileage, and it left me gassed. Tonight I decided on a slightly modified version of this workout, alternating between ¾ of a mile and 1.5 miles, with 5 repeats instead of 7. Accounting for a quarter mile interval between each that totals a 7 mile workout. For the 1200’s, I ran 5:00 pace; for the 1.5’s, I ran 5:20 pace. The result…it was….easy? I’m reluctant to say that since the average pace was quick, but the 3 x 1.5 was really comfortable and the 2 x 1200 at 5:00 pace was smoother than expected. I left the gym feeling damn fit.

Tuesday: 6 miles – 46:33, 7:45 pace. 8 miles – 56:18, 7:02 pace. I usually prefer not to fill my blog with work complaints, but I can’t remember ever being this busy. In addition to the trial, I had an appellate brief due today that I’ve been working on for a few weeks. On one hand, busy means business is thriving; on the other, the mounting stress is not good for training.

Wednesday: 6 miles – untimed. 10 miles – 58:33, with 7 miles – 38:01, 5:26 pace. After how well Monday’s workout went, I wanted to beat the cumulative time of 37:53 on tonight’s continuous 7 mile tempo. I knew it would be a tall task, and I could tell from the start I didn’t have much “pop” in my stride. I muscled out splits of 5:36, 5:33, 5:27, 5:24, 5:25, 5:21 and 5:13 – by all means still an acceptable workout – but not nearly as strong as I felt Monday. Oh, and I skipped out on 2 cool-down miles because its my birthday and I had dinner reservations to get to.

Thursday: 6 miles – 44:55, 7:29 pace. 10 miles – 1:10:22, 7:02 pace. I’m starting to think that trying to run high mileage – and by that I mean over 110 – while preparing for a trial may be biting off more than I can chew. I was mentally and physically exhausted as I plodded through the second run of the day. I’m not bailing on anything yet, but boy, I need to recharge my batteries.

Friday: 12 miles – 1:13:24, with 5 mile time trial – 25:54, 5:11 pace. At 1:30 pm, after 4 hours with the Judge hammering both sides, my case settled. It was a favorable settlement for my client, and it felt like a giant weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was home by 2:30, with no work necessary all weekend, and suddenly a wide-open next week. Based on that fact, I readjusted my plans: Instead of cramming a bunch of miles into the next 72 hours to hit 115 or so, I’ll settle for 105-110, and have much more time for 120 next week. Also, the 5 mile time trial I had originally planned for Saturday afternoon would get moved up to today, since there’s no way I’m staying away from a few celebratory drinks with dinner tonight.

The reason I scheduled a time trial was to compare where I’m at to when I ran 25:49 at the same point in training at the Shamrock Shuffle. After a thorough warm-up, which included hill sprints and a hard 400m to make sure I was ready to go, I reset the treadmill and set off with the goal of sub-26. The first mile – 5:18 – was a little choppy as I worked to find my rhythm. I did, and miles 2 and 3 went great – 5:15 and 5:12. I knew I was a little behind pace but I also knew I had a lot left. Mile 4 was 5:07. Within another minute or two, the treadmill was maxed out at 12 mph as I brought it home in 5:01. That’s 25:54. I guess the whole “weight off my shoulders” thing carried over into this run.

Saturday: 6 miles – 44:50, 7:28 pace. 6 miles – 42:03, 7:00 pace. For the majority of the last 5 weeks, I haven’t been drinking as much as usual around the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still enjoying my glasses of wine after dinner and beers with my friends, but I’ve been doing a good job of cutting myself off before it interfered with the next day’s training. Tonight all bets were off. With the Bulls hosting the Knicks and two parties to go to afterwards, I let loose.

Sunday: 18 miles – 2:03:22, 6:51 pace. And felt it today. Whatever, I deserved it. I spent the majority of the day recovering, which I did, and then set out for my long run at 7:00 pm. Given my three hard workouts this week, I was content to keep the pace in the high 6’s. The entire run was pretty monotonous, but sometimes – especially after the crazy and hectic last 10 days – that’s a good thing.

After 5 weeks, that’s 542 miles. I said I wanted 900 in the 8 week training block. That might not happen, but with a clear schedule the next two weeks, I should come close.

Week: 106
YTD: 3,846

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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Ben Z on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:16 pm

How in the heck can you do a time trial on the treadmill? I'm certain I would 'guess wrong' and either fly off the back after a few miles or feel like I sandbagged it when I finished feeling 'good'.
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Re: No Longer a Fool

Post  Dave-O on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Ben Z wrote:How in the heck can you do a time trial on the treadmill? I'm certain I would 'guess wrong' and either fly off the back after a few miles or feel like I sandbagged it when I finished feeling 'good'.

Based on my tempo runs the past few weeks I had a general idea of what I could run. I mean, I know I can hold 5:10 pace, the question is just for how long. So once I eased down to that pace I think it worked fine.

The only thing you "lose" on the treadmill is being able to go into a finishing kick for the last half mile or so, which is fine. Assuming the treadmill is a touch easier than the roads, I learned what I needed from it - i.e. I'm fairly close to the same shape I was in when I ran 25:49 for 8k.
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