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"No Pressure"

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"No Pressure"

Post  Nick Morris on Tue May 27, 2014 11:25 am

For the first time in 4 1/2 years, I have no pressure going into a training cycle. Last November I was able to finally put together a BQ after three other attempts failed. So, I head into this training cycle without the pressure of having to break the 3:05 mark. In fact, this year I get an additional five minutes added to my BQ time. I guess sometimes it is good to get older.

After going on the road the last few years to try to get that BQ (Pennsylvannia, Canada, Canada), I am staying closer to home this year. I'll be running the 2014 Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon on October 5th. It will be much nicer to have a little over an hours drive to get to my race destination. Another change this year, is that I am back to an early October race. The weather for early October in the Midwest can always be tricky, but I am trading that for closer proximity. My race goal will depend on how my training goes, but my preliminary goal are: A) sub 3:00, B) sub 3:05 C) sub 3:10.

This thread will be dedicated to my 2014 training cycle. Like I stated in my previous blog, there will still be banter and baseball talk, but there will also be a lot of talk about running and my training cycle. So, I hope you follow me along my journey this year, as I finally have "no pressure". Just put the training in and see what I can do in the fall.
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Nick Morris on Tue May 27, 2014 11:32 am

05.26.14 - Cross training

Day one of the 2014 training cycle had me off to the gym early in the morning to get in some light weight training. I think that weight training is a vital part of training, especially early in the training cycle. I like to build up a little bit of muscle in the off season to help me get through the rigors of training. I put my body through a lot over the course of a training cycle and I believe that weight training helps keep me upright. Lastly, i believe that good core work helps, as well. It allows me to keep good form, even when I am tired, which helps with my breathing. Tuesday is my actual first day of running...
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Nick Morris on Tue May 27, 2014 8:11 pm

05.27.14 - 4 miles

The actual first day of running for the training cycle started today. I got in an easy 4 miles today between some thunderstorms. I managed to only feel a few sprinkles along the route. I like to take it easy the first couple weeks of my training cycle. 19 weeks is just a long time and I want to make sure that I make it through the cycle in one piece. I finished 4.21 miles in an easy 7:47 pace.
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Mark B on Tue May 27, 2014 8:54 pm

A new Nick blog! It must be a weird feeling to already have your BQ in the bag. I wonder it it'll make pushing for a better time later this year easier or more difficult? Enquiring minds will be watching.  cyclops 
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Nick Morris on Tue May 27, 2014 10:36 pm

@Mark B wrote:A new Nick blog! It must be a weird feeling to already have your BQ in the bag.  I wonder it it'll make pushing for a better time later this year easier or more difficult? Enquiring minds will be watching.  cyclops 

We will see. Like I said it all depends on how I feel late in my trying. I have a half marathon a couple of weeks prior to the marathon, so maybe that will tell the tale.
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Nick Morris on Wed May 28, 2014 10:27 pm

05.28.14 - 6 miles

Another GA run this evening and it was a gorgeous evening for a run. 75 and a cool northeasterly 8 mph wind. I felt really good throughout the entire run. In fact, I ran a little faster pace than last evening's run. I ended up finishing 6.25 miles at a 7:44 pace. Halfway through week #1 Smile
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  ounce on Thu May 29, 2014 12:28 pm

Is most of your terrain flat or what?  I'd have to drive at least 30 miles to get in some rolling terrain.
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Nick Morris on Thu May 29, 2014 1:02 pm

@ounce wrote:Is most of your terrain flat or what?  I'd have to drive at least 30 miles to get in some rolling terrain.

It depends on what your definition of a hill is. Most of my training routes have hills in them, with some of them being fairly large. I have a 14 mile loop that has 15 hills (large inclines) along the way. That route can be brutal at times. My house sits towards the bottom of a big bowl, with hills around it every way that you go. All of these hills are not Rocky Mountain type hills, but they definitely make you work.
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  nkrichards on Thu May 29, 2014 3:59 pm

Wow Nick...it seems like just yesterday that we were in Canada celebrating our BQ times...

Hope the training goes well (again).
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Nick Morris on Thu May 29, 2014 9:56 pm

@nkrichards wrote:Wow Nick...it seems like just yesterday that we were in Canada celebrating our BQ times...

Hope the training goes well (again).

I know Nancy...time sure flies by!!! Thanks and I hope that all is well with you...
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Nick Morris on Thu May 29, 2014 10:07 pm

05.29.14 - 4 miles

My last mid week run of week 1 complete. I decided to run my 4 mile loop near my house. Normally, I drive a couple miles from my house to start my runs. This is because I it is where I used to live when I moved to Madison and started my training here. I miles seem to work out better on my long runs when I start from there. I have a 3, 4, and 5 mile loops from my house.

It was definitely a sweating one this evening, as there was not a cloud in the sky and the temps were in the middle 80s. I didn't let it deter me from putting in a good run. In fact, I felt so good that I ran a little faster than I wanted to. I tried to hold myself back, but eventually I fell victim to the run and just went with how I felt. I finished 4.37 miles at a 7:34 pace. A whole 13 seconds per mile faster than the 4 miles that I ran on Tuesday. Tomorrow is the first scheduled off day before a weekend full of long runs.
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Mark B on Thu May 29, 2014 10:41 pm

@Nick Morris wrote:
@ounce wrote:Is most of your terrain flat or what?  I'd have to drive at least 30 miles to get in some rolling terrain.

It depends on what your definition of a hill is.  Most of my training routes have hills in them, with some of them being fairly large.  I have a 14 mile loop that has 15 hills (large inclines) along the way.  That route can be brutal at times.  My house sits towards the bottom of a big bowl, with hills around it every way that you go.  All of these hills are not Rocky Mountain type hills, but they definitely make you work.

Sounds like a great place to run, with a lot of variety. Giant Rocky Mountain climbs are more useful for huge mountain ultras, but they're not so useful for road marathons.
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Nick Morris on Fri May 30, 2014 12:43 pm

@Mark B wrote:
@Nick Morris wrote:
@ounce wrote:Is most of your terrain flat or what?  I'd have to drive at least 30 miles to get in some rolling terrain.

It depends on what your definition of a hill is.  Most of my training routes have hills in them, with some of them being fairly large.  I have a 14 mile loop that has 15 hills (large inclines) along the way.  That route can be brutal at times.  My house sits towards the bottom of a big bowl, with hills around it every way that you go.  All of these hills are not Rocky Mountain type hills, but they definitely make you work.

Sounds like a great place to run, with a lot of variety. Giant Rocky Mountain climbs are more useful for huge mountain ultras, but they're not so useful for road marathons.

Yeah, it is nice to have many different routes with different difficulties to keep things fresh. A lot of times running can be monotonous when you run the same route over and over again.
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Nick Morris on Fri May 30, 2014 3:05 pm

05.30.14 - Scheduled off day

The first scheduled off day of the training cycle is today. I think that I am going to take advantage of it too. I am thinking a dinner date and then maybe take in a movie. 6 miles tomorrow, followed by 14 on Sunday...
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Nick Morris on Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:24 am

05.31.14 - 6 miles

Whew, what a warm morning for a run.  Low 70s and not a cloud in the sky...6 miles and I decided to go with my hilly 6 mile loop.  I kept the pace slow, as I knew that I had a 14 miler on Sunday.  I totaled 6.75 miles at an 8:14 pace.  My legs were pretty tired after the hills and heat...Hopefully I don't pay for it, with the next run.

Also, I am now down 5 lbs. in the last three weeks Smile It's good to have warm weather and regular running again...


Last edited by Nick Morris on Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Nick Morris on Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:44 am

06.01.14 - 14 miles

Holy crap, it's June 1st already?!?! 14 miles on this mornings schedule and with the forecasted high of 86, I was up and at it early this morning. Warm and humid at 6am when I started my run (temps in the middle 70s). With it being warm and my first long run, I wanted to take it slow. So, I team up with my running friends Pete and Jenny. Jenny is an 8:20 - 8:30 pace marathoner and they had a 20 miler planned for this morning. I knew that their pace would hold me back...at least for the first 7 miles, because I planned on running 14 miles out and back and they were running a 20 mile loop.

We started off and I was instantly sweating. My legs felt tired and my stomach didn't feel that well. I really thought that it was going to be a horrible 14 mile run, that May or may not include a bonk. Fortunately, after about 3 miles things started to feel better. My legs began to come back to me and my stomach felt better. I then thought that this run may be alright. We got to the mile 7 mark at a very manageable 8:57 pace. That is when I said good bye to Pete and Jenny and turned around and headed for home. The rest of the run home was not that much of a struggle, but I could tell that I was getting tired with around 2 miles to go. I gutted out the last 2 miles to finish the last half of the run with around an 8:30 pace. I was wringing wet from sweating so much, but finished the 14.12 miles with an 8:43 pace. Not a bad way to finish the first week...of course by Week 15, I will be running 20 miles at a 7:45 pace...

I tried something new for this long run. I recently purchased Salt Stick Plus capsules. I had never used salt caplets before, but was glad that I had them today. I took two before I started, one at the halfway, and one with two miles to go. Not once did my legs feel like they were going to cramp, even with all of the sweating. The salt caplets mixed with drinking lots of fluids kept me hydrated. I think that I will add them to all of my long runs...
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Jerry on Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:20 pm

Good thing will happen when you can set your mind free
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Nick Morris on Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:42 pm

06.02.14 - Cross Training

I was schedule to play softball tonight, but unfortunately the torrential rains that we had this morning made the fields unplayable this evening. So instead of playing ball, the girl asked if I wanted to go for a run with her. I figured that this would be a good opportunity to get in a recovery run and be a good boyfriend at the same time. We ended up running 2.43 miles at a recovery pace of 8:44. Back at it tomorrow...
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Mark B on Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:06 pm

"Recovery" pace of 8:44? I keep forgetting how speedy you are. Smile
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Nick Morris on Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:11 pm

@Mark B wrote:"Recovery" pace of 8:44? I keep forgetting how speedy you are. Smile

If it makes you feel any better, this is only Week 2 of my training. By Week 14, my recovery pace will be in around 8:15-8:20.
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Nick Morris on Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:09 pm

06.03.14 - 4 miles

Back to the grind tonight. And it was actually a little bit of a grind. My legs still felt a little tired from the weekend, so I backed it down a little to make sure that I don't over exert myself and get hurt early in the training cycle. I need up finishing 4.20 miles at a 7:54 pace. Hopefully I will be able to bounce back a little bit tomorrow.
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Mark B on Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:01 pm

@Nick Morris wrote:
@Mark B wrote:"Recovery" pace of 8:44? I keep forgetting how speedy you are. Smile

If it makes you feel any better, this is only Week 2 of my training.  By Week 14, my recovery pace will be in around 8:15-8:20.

 tongue

Oh, and don't hurt yourself. That sucks. A lot.
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  ounce on Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:06 am

@Nick Morris wrote:06.03.14 - 4 miles

Back to the grind tonight. And it was actually a little bit of a grind.  My legs still felt a little tired from the weekend, so I backed it down a little to make sure that I don't over exert myself and get hurt early in the training cycle.  I need up finishing 4.20 miles at a 7:54 pace.  Hopefully I will be able to bounce back a little bit tomorrow.

Good for the legs is rest.  (Practicing Jedi speak)
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Nick Morris on Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:18 am

@ounce wrote:
@Nick Morris wrote:06.03.14 - 4 miles

Back to the grind tonight. And it was actually a little bit of a grind.  My legs still felt a little tired from the weekend, so I backed it down a little to make sure that I don't over exert myself and get hurt early in the training cycle.  I need up finishing 4.20 miles at a 7:54 pace.  Hopefully I will be able to bounce back a little bit tomorrow.

Good for the legs is rest.  (Practicing Jedi speak)

Si senor...That is why I backed the pace down. I will continue to take it easy on them for the next few days.
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Re: "No Pressure"

Post  Nick Morris on Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:14 pm

06.04.12 - 4 miles

I was scheduled for 6 miles, but am moving that back to Thursday night. I once again took it easy, as I was not sure how my legs were going to react. They actually reacted better than I had anticipated, but again, I did not try to pick up the pace at all. I ended up finishing the 4.22 miles at a 7:55 pace. Things are looking good for the 6 mile run on Thursday Smile
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