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Fracking the system

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Fracking the system

Post  ounce on Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:38 pm

The verb in this topic came to me about 5 minutes ago and it seems perfect for what I want to do to attain the next level, which is a sub-5 marathon.  Fracking is injecting a lot of water underground and into rock structures in an area where oil has flowed before, but was too expensive to drill again.  The oil and water is then sent through a Nut Shell Filter to separate the oil from the water.

I don't know where I'm going to get the nut shell filter.  Details.  Details.  Pfft.  A 40 page, 2 year blog is long enough.

"Fracking the system" has two meanings.  One is getting more out of me, meaning faster.  And the other is yet another attempt to screw with the conventional wisdom of running.  It's clear that I'm not in the bell curve of traditional running.  I don't carbo load.  I don't stop at 20 mile long runs.  I run long runs at a negative split.

I think the next Houston Marathon is on January 18, 2015.  That is my goal race.  I won't have as much weekend time to train, as I did this cycle.  Plus I might be adding a 4th running day on a consistent basis, rather than as it fit the schedule.

But between now and August sometime, I'm first recovering from Sunday's 21 minute PR and then around February 17, I will return to CrossFit West Houston to workout on MTW, then run on TH-F and maybe Sunday evenings. 

I weigh 183 pounds, which is down from February 2011 at 230 pounds, when I first started CrossFit.  I'm sure I'll gain some weight due to getting more muscle.  That's okay.  It'll be a great addition.  Michele is threatening to come to Houston, next year.  More are welcome.  Someone needs to help break her boredom from running with me.

Time to frack with the system.
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  Mark B on Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:49 am

Heh. You know, I had great hope for this blog, until I realized you weren't thinking about Battlestar Galactica.



Un-fraking-believable.
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  ounce on Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:27 am

Mark B wrote:Heh. You know, I had great hope for this blog, until I realized you weren't thinking about Battlestar Galactica.



Un-fraking-believable.

Um, no fraking way.  I can tell you it will be fraking boring with all the fraking talk about, well, it should be fraking obvious what I'll talk about.  Fracking.  This blog will be followed by people near and narrow who will laugh and call it just fraking unbelievable that I'm still on my fraking feet. 

I'll be here, minding the store long after the remainder of y'all have departed this fledgling message board, posting insignificant figures about piss ant venues in Houston with the unmitigated gall to even suggest, whisper, and try to run a sub-5 hour marathon in one year.  I will be more realistic about my splits, but not my goal marathon pace. 

Well, out of the corner of my eye, I can see the Vaudeville-style hook coming from Stage left. 

Exit, Stage right. clown
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  Mark B on Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:14 am

So, that idea of adding a fourth day to your training?

Probably a good one. Just keep that extra run short to start with.

And 4:XX:XX? Totally possible.

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Re: Fracking the system

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:36 am

I can design and sell you a Walnut Shell Filter - just one of the products we sometimes build.  Generally, we just treat produced water with media, carbon and RO, but that is another story.  Yes, I'm threatening to come to Houston as I do need Texas, and we will see how I run the race (time for me or pace for you).  I'm a bit afraid of pacing you as I'm a slight bit faster still and I might get too over zealous; however, I have paced a 4:40 group before - we will see where you are at by then as a year is along time.
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  ounce on Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:46 am

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:I can design and sell you a Walnut Shell Filter - just one of the products we sometimes build.  Generally, we just treat produced water with media, carbon and RO, but that is another story.  Yes, I'm threatening to come to Houston as I do need Texas, and we will see how I run the race (time for me or pace for you).  I'm a bit afraid of pacing you as I'm a slight bit faster still and I might get too over zealous; however, I have paced a 4:40 group before - we will see where you are at by then as a year is along time.

Funny, we sell one, too.  Odd how the oil just loves that nut media from Missouri.

There's no need to pace me, Michele.  You're much too fast and you might get hurt going that slow.  A 4:40 group is a 10:40 pace, and that's not my target.  I think it'd be really cool if you could pace me, but I think we'll have to settle on restaurants.  And I do appreciate the offer.
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  ounce on Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:17 pm

Today's lunch will probably be the last 'off-the-plan' meal.  It was a Schlotsky's medium Original and 2 chocolate chip cookies.  Love their bread.

We have a Winter Storm Warning going into effect at 9 p.m. tonight until noon Friday for what would be described as the greater Houston forecast area or 75 miles in all directions.
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  ounce on Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:20 pm

Mark B wrote:So, that idea of adding a fourth day to your training?

Probably a good one. Just keep that extra run short to start with.

And 4:XX:XX? Totally possible.

Well, doing a short run between now and August works well for a Sunday evening run.

So if I try to mirror Sunday's pace in relation to the goal marathon pace of 12/mile, then I should target a 11:15 pace for a 11:37 finish.

I'll have quite a few questions, as soon as I can think of them.

I ran 6.66 miles, this morning, the first run after the marathon on Sunday.  My plan was to run 3, unless i felt good.  It was 51 degrees at the start, now it's 32.

6.69 miles, 1:24:11, 12:35 pace, 133 bpm avg, 163 bpm max during the last mile, 1st half pace 13:14, 2nd half pace 11:56.


  1. 13:10, 128 bpm
  2. 13:27, 129 bpm
  3. 13:08, 131 bpm
  4. 12:34, 133 bpm
  5. 12:30, 131 bpm
  6. 12:10, 137 bpm
  7. 10:20 pace, 150 bpm


This was a nice run.  The first two miles had some shin splints going on, but they lessened and I was just bee boppin along to the turnaround point.  I started coming back and I increased the pace, without any problems.
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  ounce on Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:57 am

This morning, it was 27 degrees, north wind at 17 and freezing rain still going on.  Both Intercontinental and Hobby airports are closed to incoming flights until 10 a.m.  'Enough' ice on all the overpasses as far south as just 5 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.  All the school districts are closed.  Let the bumper car videos begin!

It makes for an interesting drive to work.  This would have been interesting if this was marathon weekend.  Reina would've been safe and sound because she would've arrived, last night, before the Winter Storm Warning took effect.

We're supposed to get up to 32 by noon, then 36 and sunny by 3 p.m.  30 degrees tonight and 70 degrees on Sunday.  Doubtful the marathon would've been cancelled, but there would've been a lot of pissed off people who would've been flying in for it.  However, it's still a majority local race.

I'll be transitioning back to LC/HF, today.  And I'll be trying out other foods and combinations over the next few months.
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  Mark B on Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:15 pm

Nice run. Remember to not push too hard, too soon, in your triumphant post-marathon recovery period. I've seen too many runners blow themselves up (myself included) in that critical period.

Sub-30? Ice? In Houston? That's quite difference from the sweatbox conditions you normally have. Be safe!
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  Jerry on Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:44 pm

ounce wrote:Today's lunch will probably be the last 'off-the-plan' meal. 

Highly motivated, huh?  lol! 

You mentioned in another thread about 2016 Olympic Trial in Houston? That's not final, right?
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:56 pm

Heard about the wacky weather down there, and I know what ice storms are like from Atlanta.  Stay safe!

As for some running thoughts - I've been mulling over your reflections from Houston, and I'm not sure that longer run i.e. 24-26 miles are the answer completely, although 22 milers are certainly something I delve into occasionally,  I think you need to look at adding in at least one more day of running in the mix and a bit more "speed".  By speed, I don't mean the track, I mean more tempo runs or Progression runs at distances (7-10 miles total).  You (and I) need to maintain the pace for the whole distance and yes, more miles help, but as we get a wee bit older, I also think that the longer miles just make us more tired, give us less recovery time, and make us slower not faster.  I know that MattM always professes the "Run More" philosophy, but I know I have a few more years on him and you have a couple on me.  I'm finding that I'm combining a bit more quality along with gym work and I'm feeling like I did in 2012.  Of course, it will all tell its tale come April (and I need to remember how not to go into the abyss).  Any way it is a thought.

By the way, who do you work for that makes Walnut Shell filters??
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  ounce on Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:32 pm

Jerry wrote:
ounce wrote:Today's lunch will probably be the last 'off-the-plan' meal. 

Highly motivated, huh?  lol! 

You mentioned in another thread about 2016 Olympic Trial in Houston? That's not final, right?
Correct.  But I asked Brant Kotch, who is the RD for Houston

Brant Kotch3:11pm Jan 24

The $1 million question, Doug! Should be pretty soon. Following the LA and Houston presentations at the USATF annual meeting in early December, the LDR committees voted 5-0 for Houston, but that vote was only a recommendation. Since then, only silence... and some interesting speculation...
Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Heard about the wacky weather down there, and I know what ice storms are like from Atlanta.  Stay safe!

As for some running thoughts - I've been mulling over your reflections from Houston, and I'm not sure that longer run i.e. 24-26 miles are the answer completely, although 22 milers are certainly something I delve into occasionally,  I think you need to look at adding in at least one more day of running in the mix and a bit more "speed".  By speed, I don't mean the track, I mean more tempo runs or Progression runs at distances (7-10 miles total).  You (and I) need to maintain the pace for the whole distance and yes, more miles help, but as we get a wee bit older, I also think that the longer miles just make us more tired, give us less recovery time, and make us slower not faster.  I know that MattM always professes the "Run More" philosophy, but I know I have a few more years on him and you have a couple on me.  I'm finding that I'm combining a bit more quality along with gym work and I'm feeling like I did in 2012.  Of course, it will all tell its tale come April (and I need to remember how not to go into the abyss).  Any way it is a thought.

By the way, who do you work for that makes Walnut Shell filters??
As far as the running, yes, I agree that adding one more day would be advantageous.  If nothing else, it would get an easy run out of the way, so the other 3 running days can target something.

I think the 160 HR during the marathon played a little bit of a factor during the race.  I trained at 140-150 a whole lot, then the race pops me up to 160+.

One idea that I have is called 'Controlled Idle Descent.'  It's a method of fuel management the Navy uses in F/A-18F fighters.  My son explains it as you take the jet up to 42,000 feet and slow down the jet enough to keep it going forward, but slowly descending over a long period.  The idea would be run at a pace that can be maintained for a long time, then at a certain point, slow the pace over the last few miles.  I don't know that we all do a variation of controlled idle descent when running a marathon, but if the decrease in pace can be modulated, then the bleed isn't as bad and the time not as slow.
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  mul21 on Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:15 pm

I will agree wholeheartedly with what Michele said.  I really think the tempo runs make a huge difference in how efficiently your body operates in general and can specifically make MP feel a lot easier after doing a series of tempos during your training cycle.

As for the pacing plan during the race, I think trying to do anything other than plan for a steady pace or a slight fade is an exercise in futility.  My 2 best marathons have involved a pretty decent fade in the last 4 miles, partly due to hills in both cases, but also just due to simple muscle fatigue that's really hard to account for (at least for) in any way during training.  I've used the pacing chart I used for NYC before and just put in a flat marathon and programmed it to build in a fade and that helps give you an idea of how to attack the race.
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  ounce on Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:03 pm

Thanks, Jim.  This is the time to use ideas to form a marathon training plan (which starts in August) and a pre-training plan, which starts now and goes to August.  The pre involves CrossFit and running, each 3 times a week.

What are the different ways to build or keep the endurance and work on the speed, too, based on CrossFit m-t-w and running th-f-sunday evening?  I'm looking at high teens to low 20's per week.  I'm targeting a marathon goal pace of 11:20, my latest marathon pace ended up being 12:22 officially, 12:16 including overrunning.  11:27 is 5 hour flat pace.  I'm factoring the overrunning to get to the 11:20 GMP
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  Mark B on Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:30 am

Well, one thing you could consider doing over the course of year is throwing in a few shorter-distance races of 5K to 10K distance. It'll give you something to aim for -- and permission to pull out all the stops and see how fast you can really go -- while you keep building strength and endurance for next year's marathon.
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  ounce on Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:13 pm

Unfortunately, I don't have many weekends to myself, this year.  I will try to take advantage of the few 5K's that might be on those remaining free weekends in the next couple of months.

This Tuesday, we are in for another round of the possibility of sleet, freezing rain and snow.  Rather than the precip occurring during the night, like last week, it's supposed to happen during the day.  Joy.
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  ounce on Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:12 am

This morning, I had 50 minutes to run and that's what I did.  It was at a very easy pace, both coming and going in the low 14's, overall, and an average HR of around 119.  The temperature was at 60 degrees with 100% humidity.  There was no pain and that's including me wearing the blue 'n green kinvaras, the least liked of the three pairs that I have.

I'm also back on the LC/HF wagon again.  It'll take some time to get a blood ketone level, plus a few weeks to get the muscles to run on ketones.  I do need to broaden my veggie horizon to see if I can get a little more variety.
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  ounce on Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:29 pm

I know it happens, but it just doesn't happen here in Texas much, to my knowledge.  This cold front coming has blown through Dallas and the dewpoint is -4 degrees F.  That's a pretty durn cold air mass.  At this time, it's still 61 degrees with a dewpoint of 50 in Houston.

As far as vegetables, the main three that I'm eating are zuchinni, yellow squash, and spaghetti squash.  They all get some garlic cloves added because once you pour in the cream, it starts taking on the characteristics of an Alfredo sauce, which is rather tasty, and I might grate in some nutmeg. 

I do like asparagus, but only when it's on sale.  I guess I could saute some green beans, even canned, to make some variety.  Milk or cream with garlic is always a great start and almost equivalent to bacon, as far as the flavor quotient.  Cauliflower and broccoli can be fine, but by being cruciferous, it has double the carb grams as the others mentioned.

So, throw me some suggestions and I'll appreciate it and include any spices or herbs, as well.  Thanks.
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  Mark B on Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:40 pm

Hm. Interesting request. I wonder if a curry might work well with those ingredients. If you're using bacon, you might want to try a red curry.

If you're on a garlic-cream-and-white-sauce kick, add in some tarragon. (Not with the curry.)

Can you eat onion? Either a standard yellow onion, or green onion/scallions might give your recipe a nice pop.
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  ounce on Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:52 pm

Mark B wrote:Hm. Interesting request. I wonder if a curry might work well with those ingredients. If you're using bacon, you might want to try a red curry.

If you're on a garlic-cream-and-white-sauce kick, add in some tarragon. (Not with the curry.)

Can you eat onion? Either a standard yellow onion, or green onion/scallions might give your recipe a nice pop.

Well, I've found that bacon grease does not give me the ketone increase like butter, heavy cream or coconut oil does.  That's unfortunate because it sure does flavor like none other.

Spinach can't be the main veggie item as it doesn't really latch onto the sauces, probably because it's all shriveled up, when cooked.  It can support, though.  I have no problems with onions.  And onions could be the main veggie item, maybe along with some mushrooms.

I could bake a butternut squash and adapt my chicken broth based soup into a cream based.

I've never cooked with curry before, which doesn't mean I won't, but the how much and when to add are the questions.

Thanks, Mark.
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:52 pm

What about spinach sauted in olive oil or butter and lots of garlic?  Once of my favorites, but then again, I eat a ton of green veggies as that is where I get most of my carbs.

As for running faster, you do indeed need to add the "speed", but you also need to add in another day of running - get that mileage up.  I know you are doing Crossfit 3x per week and running 3x per week and I get the need for an off day, but I think you need to add at least a 3-4 mile run to one Crossfit day.  

And unlike Jim, I have negative split several marathons including Indy this past November.  No, they were not PRs, but I my marathon PR days are over.  However, you can still PR and I believe in the cut down method especially having crashed and burned so, so, so, many times in the past including my actual marathon PR and my fastest Boston (where I walked over the Fenway bridge and ran the last two miles around 10 min each and still ran 3:03).
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  ounce on Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:52 pm

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:What about spinach sauted in olive oil or butter and lots of garlic?  Once of my favorites, but then again, I eat a ton of green veggies as that is where I get most of my carbs.

As for running faster, you do indeed need to add the "speed", but you also need to add in another day of running - get that mileage up.  I know you are doing Crossfit 3x per week and running 3x per week and I get the need for an off day, but I think you need to add at least a 3-4 mile run to one Crossfit day.  

And unlike Jim, I have negative split several marathons including Indy this past November.  No, they were not PRs, but I my marathon PR days are over.  However, you can still PR and I believe in the cut down method especially having crashed and burned so, so, so, many times in the past including my actual marathon PR and my fastest Boston (where I walked over the Fenway bridge and ran the last two miles around 10 min each and still ran 3:03).

Garlic and I get along real well.  I'll give it a whirl, Michele.  Really, I can just grab what's in season and cook it.  I've heard that enough to maybe actually try it this time.  If the veggie likes swimming in cream, so much the better.

Today was the first run since the 50 minute run on Monday.  Since I don't have to get out in the cold, I've been doing just that.  I ran the 9 mile loop, which is 3 miles to Memorial Park, 3 mile loop at the park, and 3 miles home.  I wanted to test the legs, so I headed out at a fast clip, for me.  I figured I should be able to do faster, since I've been not running so much since the Marathon.

I don't have the splits with me, but the first half was 10:53 pace and the 2nd half was 11:13 pace for the almost 9 miles.  My right groin started a objected to my pace at about mile 4, but he was overruled.  My shins were objecting at mile 2, but I stuffed it and it stopped at mile 4.

Good run
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  ounce on Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:07 pm

A wee bit more information about this morning's run.  It was 58 degrees with a dewpoint of 56.

8.8 miles, 1:37:21, 11:03 pace, 156 bpm, 171 max bpm during the last mile, 1st half pace 10:53, 2nd half pace 11:13.


  1. 11:16, 139 bpm
  2. 10:30, 154 bpm
  3. 10:47, 158 bpm
  4. 10:53, 162 bpm
  5. 10:58, 161 bpm
  6. 11:08, 160 bpm
  7. 11:41, 154 bpm
  8. 11:26, 156 bpm
  9. 10:44 pace, 161 bpm


This was a good run.  The last mile, I flipped on "Freebird" and as soon as the 2nd note played, I was off.  I remember during the marathon, that Freebird came on with 8 tenths to go, but it did nothing.  It was just a good song.

Next year.
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Re: Fracking the system

Post  mul21 on Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:16 pm

Is there any way you could possibly squeeze in 5 runs per week?  Even if 2 of them are only 4 milers, I can guarantee that being aerobically active that much more often will reap huge benefits even if you're not running that much more mileage.  You're losing so much of what you gain between runs by only going 3 days a week that it makes it that much more difficult to make the endurance gains your fitness indicates is there.
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