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Broke 4 hours - what's next?

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Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Tim C on Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:20 pm

So I ‘ve decided to give this blog thing a try.  I’m not much of a writer but thought it would be fun to put into words my journey towards my next marathon, plus many of you have been helpful to me in the past so I expect I’ll pick up some more wisdom this way… maybe even have some fun…
 
I’m a newbie – running 7 years now with only 3 full marathons under my belt.  Not fast like many of you but I enjoy it just the same.  I’ve run 4:22, 4:08 and 3:59 this last August in Santa Rosa.  I run with several strong runners, including multiple Boston entrants, and I’ve always thought how cool it would be to qualify for Boston but also knew that it was far out of my reach.  Well, now that I’m getting really old, the qualifying times are coming back to me a bit and it may not be so far out of reach anymore.  So that’s my goal.  Yup, my wife accuses me of being super-compulsive, and she’s right, but I always need something to point towards…
 
Anyway, once I’m 60, my BQ drops to 3:55, so I’m 5 minutes away.  Now I can’t run that time until September 2015 for the 2017 race (I think that’s how it works) but that’s my goal as of now.  I’ve entered the Los Angeles Marathon which will be run 3/15/15 and my goal race will be the CIM in Sacramento next December.  I’ve run LA twice, since it’s close, and the current course, Dodger stadium to Santa Monica, is pretty cool.  So my plan is to run it in under 3:55 as a test run for CIM in December.
 
I think I can do it but I have issues every time I run 26.2 miles.  First time I wound up in the medical tent severely dehydrated.  The last 2 races I ran easy, just trying to finish in one piece.  Both times I got REAL bad cramping in my groin area, something that has never ever occurred on any training runs, right at mile 23 both times.  So I have to figure that out.  I am not the most flexible guy around… lol… and I know stretching and some core work would help.  Have to get disciplined.  At my last race, I carried Succeed caps, gels, blocks and pretty much the kitchen sink.  Felt awesome thru 22 miles and was doubled over at 23 with my leg cramping.  Lasted about 2 minutes and I was able to finish strong but I have to figure that part out.
 
So my last training cycle went well – no injuries and I literally only missed one run, a 14 miler, the day after my younger sons wedding.  Ran 10 the morning of though…  Running 5 days a week and I feel good with no issues to report.  I’ve had 3 left knee surgeries over the years (football injuries when I was young) but I run with orthotics which seem to work fine.  Also have had 2 relatively minor back surgeries – if ANY back surgery can be considered minor, but I feel fantastic.  I’m in better shape now than I’ve ever been so I have no excuses.
 
Will be following Hal’s Intermediate 1 again adding just a little bit of speed work.
 
   
Thanks for reading and we’ll see where this goes…
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Mark B on Wed Dec 10, 2014 4:52 pm

First off, congratulations on not only going sub-4, but for steady improvement in your first three races. Despite whatever challenges you are facing mid-race, you obviously doing something right. Keep it up!

Second, welcome to blogging! I'm looking forward to following your training as you get ready for your BQ attempt.

Your plan sounds solid to me. And goals are always good.
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  nkrichards on Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:47 pm

Looks like a solid plan to me Tim. This is one instance when it pays to grow older. Very Happy

CIM was my first marathon and is a great choice.

I got my BQ at my 3rd marathon age 56 ...proof that those of us who discover running later in life can be successful.

Enjoy the training and good luck.
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  mountandog on Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:17 am

This is great Tim.  My one early recommendation would be, do as many miles as you can without getting yourself hurt and take time to build up.  You have a year to the next CIM and so can take a long build-up to there.  That will help all your connective tissues, should help with your running economy and therefore fueling and cramping.  You shouldn't have to take the kitchen sink with you.  The easiest way to add mileage without hurting yourself is to add an extra mile of warmup and cooldown at the beginning and end of several runs per week.  Low stress on your body and you can get up to 15 miles extra per week.  

For cycle #2 after LA, you could add some additional strength workouts but lets not get the cart before the horse.  We'll be happy to offer any tips along the way.  3:55 is a very realistic target - but if you want to run Boston you should target 3:52 just to be sure.  Also, I expect there will be some changes for the 2017 race in terms of registration procedure or qualifying times or something, so be mentally prepared for that.
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Tim C on Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:52 pm

@Mark B wrote:First off, congratulations on not only going sub-4, but for steady improvement in your first three races. Despite whatever challenges you are facing mid-race, you obviously doing something right. Keep it up!

Second, welcome to blogging! I'm looking forward to following your training as you get ready for your BQ attempt.

Your plan sounds solid to me. And goals are always good.

Mark,
Thanks.  It's been a slow but steady progress.  There was a day when I thought completing 26.2 miles - let alone in under 4 hours - was way out of reach.  Gotta keep setting new goals....

@nkrichards wrote:Looks like a solid plan to me Tim.  This is one instance when it pays to grow older. Very Happy

CIM was my first marathon and is a great choice.

I got my BQ at my 3rd marathon age 56 ...proof that those of us who discover running later in life can be successful.

Enjoy the training and good luck.

Funny!  Yes, sometimes getting old has it's advantages. Very Happy

@mountandog wrote:This is great Tim.  My one early recommendation would be, do as many miles as you can without getting yourself hurt and take time to build up.  You have a year to the next CIM and so can take a long build-up to there.  That will help all your connective tissues, should help with your running economy and therefore fueling and cramping.  You shouldn't have to take the kitchen sink with you.  The easiest way to add mileage without hurting yourself is to add an extra mile of warmup and cooldown at the beginning and end of several runs per week.  Low stress on your body and you can get up to 15 miles extra per week.  

For cycle #2 after LA, you could add some additional strength workouts but lets not get the cart before the horse.  We'll be happy to offer any tips along the way.  3:55 is a very realistic target - but if you want to run Boston you should target 3:52 just to be sure.  Also, I expect there will be some changes for the 2017 race in terms of registration procedure or qualifying times or something, so be mentally prepared for that.

Thanks for the suggestions and yes, I am aware that I'll need to be a couple of minutes under my BQ time.  Having said that, just running a BQ time will deliver a certain sense of satisfaction, even if it doesn't get me into the race.  I smoked for 30 years and thought anyone that could run that far was super-human...or insane.  I'm certainly not super-human but I may be insane...

I will take your suggestion and add easy miles.  I've known for some time that I was plenty fast enough to go sub-4 given my HM times.  I've needed the endurance to go the longer distance.

Finally, I do fear that qualifying times will get moved again before 2017.  I've joked that I keep getting older and they keep raising the bar but that's ok.  When I started running a few years ago a BQ was well out of reach.  Now I'm at least within spitting distance...
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Tim C on Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:18 pm

So as I mentioned, I only missed one run last cycle and that was because of my sons wedding - no injuries and no other missed runs in 4 months.  So last week was week 5 and I'm finishing an easy 12 miler Sunday when my calf knots up.  Figured it was cramping for some reason, tried to stretch it out, tried running again and no bueno.  Rather than do any damage, I walked the last mile home.  I don't run on Mondays and had to travel for business on Tuesday so I figured another day off would do me good.  Went out Wednesday and within 10 steps it hurt again.  Changed my route as I didn't want to get too far from home but after a mile I had to throw in the towel and walk home.  Hurt all day yesterday so again no running.

I have an appointment with a guy I've seen before that does real deep tissue massage / ART in an hour and am hoping he can break up whatever is going on.  Here's to hoping I haven't really pulled a muscle or something.

Am very bummed at the moment...
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Mark B on Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:35 pm

Eww. Sorry to hear that, Tim. Here's hoping your massage guy can work out the knot.

It's only been a few weeks since your last marathon, and your body probably needs the downtime. I learned the hard way that coming back too soon after a strong race can cause problems that far outweigh any fitness you may lose by easing up.

If you want to keep active and want to keep to a routine, you could always try taking some nice walks rather than running. The lower intensity coupled with rest will give your body the chance to recover.

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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Tim C on Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:44 pm

Thanks Mark.  It's actually been 4 months since my last race and I think I rested / recovered well.  Actually was hiking in the Sierras the week after the race - nice!

Hopefully it's not a big deal.  This is a step-back week but next week I'm scheduled for 14 so I need to get this behind me quick.
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Mark B on Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:29 pm

@Tim C wrote:Thanks Mark.  It's actually been 4 months since my last race and I think I rested / recovered well.  Actually was hiking in the Sierras the week after the race - nice!

Hopefully it's not a big deal.  This is a step-back week but next week I'm scheduled for 14 so I need to get this behind me quick.

Oops! Why did I think you ran CIM? Well, anyway... just take it easy and let the step-back magic do it's trick.
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Tim C on Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:12 pm

@Mark B wrote:
@Tim C wrote:Thanks Mark.  It's actually been 4 months since my last race and I think I rested / recovered well.  Actually was hiking in the Sierras the week after the race - nice!

Hopefully it's not a big deal.  This is a step-back week but next week I'm scheduled for 14 so I need to get this behind me quick.

Oops! Why did I think you ran CIM? Well, anyway... just take it easy and let the step-back magic do it's trick.

Probably because I said my plan was to run CIM next year to attempt my BQ.

Saw Jeff and he showed me some stretches I need to be doing.  He thinks the tightness I have in my hips and hamstrings are causing issues down lower.  All I can saw the visit was painful  What a Face
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Tim C on Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:36 pm

So I ran a total of 1 mile this entire week.  Been stretching and rolling out the calf and it still hurts too much to try running.  Maybe in another couple of days.
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Tim C on Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:26 pm

WooHoo!  Leg felt good yesterday so tried running today.  Ran 4 miles very easy & conservative but no pain or tightness.  Will keep stretching and see how it goes...
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  mountandog on Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:20 pm

@Tim C wrote:WooHoo!  Leg felt good yesterday so tried running today.  Ran 4 miles very easy & conservative but no pain or tightness.  Will keep stretching and see how it goes...
hang in there Tim
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Tim C on Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:39 pm

7.1 easy miles today, even picked it up the last couple of miles. No calf issues. Feeling good and don't really think missing an entire week will be an issue.
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Tim C on Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:20 pm

So I had to skip another run last Saturday due to the calf, partly because I had 14 scheduled for Sunday and REALLY wanted to see if I could get that run in.  No confidence Sunday morning that I could go that far so I stayed near home so I wouldn't have to walk too far if it acted up again.  Got 14.1 in with no issues at all but I think some people thought I was crazy as I basically did 4 out and back loops to stay close to home.

Ran 4 and 8 Tuesday - Wednesday for a total of 1364 for the year.  Would like to get that to 1500+ for 2015 and am gonna get a jump on it with 5 or so this morning.  Unusually cold for SoCal the last couple of days.  38 when I went out yesterday and it's about 33 right now.  Might wait another 30 minutes before heading out....

Happy New Year!  drunken
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Mark B on Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:11 pm

Nice work, Tim! You're doing a good job of being conservative as your calf recovers from whatever happened to it.

Here's to a great and injury-free new year!
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:01 pm

Did you go visit the snow at all?  There were hordes of people in Robinson Ranch (far end of RSM), according to the news.  

Way to start the year off right.
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Tim C on Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:10 pm

@Mike MacLellan wrote:Did you go visit the snow at all?  There were hordes of people in Robinson Ranch (far end of RSM), according to the news.  

Way to start the year off right.

Nope, but the views from the 405 south at 55 were awesome!!!

35 degrees at the start of todays run at the Fullerton courthouse.  Easy 8 on the hills with 15 on tap for tomorrow.  Leg is feeling good...

They're saying temps will be in the low 80's by Monday / Tuesday...  Fortunately I run in the morning when it will be in the 50's.
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Tim C on Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:20 pm

15 turned into 16.1 at a 9:15 pace today, which is a little fast for me, but ran with a good friend and it was nice. 38 at the start but supposed to warm up this week. Wish it would stay cool as I love running in these temps...

Only worked 3 days over the last couple of weeks so reality will set in again tomorrow...
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  nkrichards on Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:40 pm

Wow that is fast for a long run! If you can keep that up your goal will be well within reach!
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Tim C on Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:54 pm

So my plan calls for running a HM this weekend to see where I'm at. Been planning to do a local race in Irvine as it fits my schedule perfectly, of course that was before my calf blew up 3 weeks ago. Had to skip an entire week of running and have been doing zero speed work since. Did 16 on Sunday with no issues so tried to pick up the pace a bit this morning. I was able to hold my HM goal pace (8:20 or so) for 4 miles but it was hard... not at all confident I can hang on for 13 miles.

Guess I should go run it anyway because if I can't I may need to re-adjust my marathon expectations.
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Tim C on Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:58 pm

So I did run the half and did it in 1:48 for an 8:18 pace.  Actually felt pretty comfortable doing it.  Gotta love SoCal, mid-January, shorts and tech tee and totally comfortable.  Got a few raindrops during the run, but nothing to worry about.

So double that and add 15 and I'm well under 3:55 so the confidence is back where it should be.  Calf feels great and am looking forward to ramping up the mileage the next couple of weeks.  Ran an easy 6 miles to keep the blood flowing this morning and it rained - pretty hard - where did that come from???  Can't complain given the weather many of you deal with, but today was one of the wettest runs I've ever done....  Funny, it was awesome.... of course, it was about 55 degrees...  No ice or snow to deal with... alien
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:29 am

Nice half, Tim.  I'd agree that you're looking to be in good shape for 3:55 as long as the endurance is there.  I know you'd mentioned wanting to do more speed work, but I found the most success taking Hal's Intermediate plan and adding mileage to it (to peak at 65-70mpw).  Just my $.02.  

And yeah, rain?  What's up with that?  Talked to my parents last night and they said they were happy for a change in scenery.  I guess bountiful sunshine does lose its luster after awhile...
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  nkrichards on Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:07 pm

Nice half!  California needs the rain.
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Re: Broke 4 hours - what's next?

Post  Tim C on Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:49 pm

Rain is gone and we're back in the 70's. Easy 5 at 9:12 pace this morning which felt good.

I've kind of had a breakthrough as far as cadence goes. I always hear about how a 180 cadence is optimal and all, yet when I first started checking mine I was typically in the low 160's. Getting it up to 170 was really hard and felt like WAY more effort. I thought a faster turnover was supposed to make running easier - not harder.

At any rate my Garmin 220 has a cadence field so I now regularly monitor it, trying to get the turnover up even on slower runs. It's starting to come around as I'm typically finishing runs now with average cadence numbers in the 168-173 range. This morning I kept looking at it and I was running 172-174 and it didn't feel like I was having to work at it.

Cadence for the HM last Saturday was 174 average with the last 3 miles at 178, 180 and 180. Granted those 3 miles were the fastest miles by quite a bit, but it seems to be getting better.
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