Thursday, February 15, 2018

02.15.2018 Recovery Run to loosen the joints

Coming off the 15 miler yesterday, lots of stuff felt rusty and less than smooth today.  I decided to try and get some extra walking in as much as possible early on.  Trying to get the kinks out.  I felt pretty much the same over the course of the day.  This afternoon, I got started on my recovery run and after the first mile, I felt a million times better.  It's always quick work for me to feel smooth again.  Since I have been taking notice of my recovery pace and making sure it's a recuperating run, not a workout, I generally get some real benefit from the recovery run.

I was fluid again by around 9 minutes into my run.  I did briefly speed up once I started to feel good, but quickly reined it in and kept a slower moving time.  Overall, the 6 miles I did today took me 50:57, a pace of about 8:30/mile.

Tomorrow, I am still up in the air whether I want to get in another workout, some speed work on hills or simply get another run in.  I always like getting workouts in, but tomorrow I will break 40 miles for the week, not sure if such a big week for me should have a speed session only two days after a 15 miler.  Still deciding what to do.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

02.14.2018 Squeezed in a long run, no fuel

I don't always get a chance to squeeze in a run before work, but when I do, it makes the rest of the day easier.  I was able to bang out a 15 mile long run today and other than mile 13, everything went great.  After warming up a couple miles around 8:00/mile pace, I started banging out miles around 7:30 pace, nice and easy.  Then, without fuel to keep me going, I ran into a major climb and no energy in mile 13.  F, it broke me and took like 10 minutes.  At the top, I got a second wind and was determined to finish up my 15 and put in a couple more miles at a respectable pace of 8:20ish/mile.  

Important points from today's run:

1. You aren't as strong as you think you are.--  No more long runs of 10+ miles without some fuel.  I don't need to be Superman, I need to get in good workouts.  I need fuel to do that above 11+ miles.

2.  You are stronger than you think you are.--  All I mean is that I really wanted to stop and be done during mile 13, and for get the last coupple miles.  However, I wouldn't do it, knowing what I want 2018 to be for me.  I sucked it up and finished respectably.  

3.  No matter how many times you have done the same route, pay attention to the sidewalk.--  I took a sweet, non-injury fall today because of a nice bump in the sidewalk.  It's a stretch of walkway I have run a thousand times and will run a thousand more.  Hopefully, that is the only time I fall on it.

4.  A Diet Coke after a long run is glorious.--Don't bother telling me how bad Diet Coke is for me.  I don't give a shit after 15 miles.  Yummy

Depending on how tomorrow's recovery run goes, I will either do a second easy day in a row on Friday and end the week with 40-42 miles, or I will do 1/4 mile hill repeats Friday to finish the week.  Right now I am tired so no decisions are being made.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

02/13/2018 Strong 8 miler, windy and chilly

I set out today intending to do a strong 8 miler and that's what I ended up with.  However, when I got out there about a mile or so in, I toyed with the idea of going for 15-16 today instead of waiting for the warmer temps tomorrow.  I went back and forth for about 4 miles and finally decided to stick with the plan and do 8 miles today and 15-16 miles tomorrow.  My pace today was great, but a little quick for what I want to do on a 15 miler.  A 7:29/mile pace is about 15 seconds a mile to strong for my long run pace.  Tomorrow, coming off two decent run days in a row, I will settle for 7:50-8:00/mile on my long run.

If you look at my splits, they are all pretty rockin, except for mile seven.  Mile seven is the mile that includes a 3/4 mile climb of about 5-6% incline.  It's a bitch.  That's why I try to run it as much as possible.  Mile two on the other hand is the downhill version of that, so a nice low number.

Ok, so another strong week off to a good start.  Just to check in, this month I have 54.2 miles in so far.  I plan to get as far above 100 miles for the month as I can.  If this week finishes as I have planned it to, I will be around 80 miles after Friday.  We'll see.

Monday, February 12, 2018

02.12.2018 Quick 7 miler in the wind

Coming off the race the other day, I wanted to get out and start the week well with a strong run.  I got out for 7 miles and kept the pace pretty quick.  After my first mile, warming up a bit, I averaged no worse than 7:26/mile.  Overall, my pace was 7:27/mile.

If you take out the first mile warm up, my pace for the 6 miles to finish was 7:22/mile.  That isn't a huge difference, but seeing a good stretch of miles at a solid pace of 7:22 shows the continued fitness.  

This week will continue strong hopefully, building toward a 40+ mile week.  I have only 30+ days until the half marathon.  If you take out the final week for a taper, it leaves just a couple weeks for building in some miles and some speed work.  The rest of the week, will include a long run, a speed session of hill repeats, and a couple regular runs.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

02.10.2018 Race: 2nd place overall at Cupid's Chase 5K, Glen Rock, NJ

My second race of the year and it's only February.  I went into today not knowing what the last 150+ miles in the last 40 days would do for me.  Cautiously, I was hoping for about a 19:30 today, believing the training would help, but knowing I need more speed work to really get faster.  Also, racing or running in mid 30's temps feels like a win these days as well.

This is the 3rd or 4th time I have done the Cupid's Chase in Glen Rock.  It is a little smaller, with finishers in the 200's probably.  The last time I did it, a couple years ago, it was like 12 degrees.  I hated it.  Also, I have finished over 20 minutes all previous times as it's so early in the year.

The course is pretty flat and it is marked fine.  I wish there were mile split clocks, but it is a small raise, and a fundraiser for special needs individuals in the community and nation.  

Red Shirt 1st, me 2nd, Spartan sweats 3rd
I ran out fast and right away, within 200 meters, it was only three of us.  It was myself in 3rd , a guy I beat in Fair Lawn last month was second, and a guy that beat me last month in the lead.  It stayed that way for the whole first mile.  My early thought was, the guy in the lead would win as he looked strong and beat me by a decent margin on January 1st.  I did think however, that I would be able to get the other guy that I had beaten last month.  He is a bigger guy, with less than optimal form.

Mile two stayed pretty much the same, except all of us got closer together, which was great for me.  I wanted to stay in touch with them as I knew it was a 3 runner race.  I didn't really see or have any contact with anyone behind me when I looked on turns.  Also, mile two provided the only real inclines, which I definitely used to close the gaps.  They weren't big, but I felt strong on them and gained probably 50 feet on first place and about 10 feet on the guy right in front of me.  

During mile three, at some point we were within 15 feet of each other.  Then, the big guy slid into first and the other guy stayed even with me.  The big guy was still within 20 feet of both of us, so it was still a battle for top three.

About .6 miles left in the race, I moved into second place on a decent downhill stretch into a turn to the finish.  I was pretty sure I wasn't going to be able to hold him off, but I did and finished in second.  I ran 19:04, behind the leader by a handful of seconds, and in front of third by around the same.

That was a solid 55 seconds faster than last month in Fair Lawn.  I did forget to mention that I had a shoelace come undone in mile 1, about 4 minutes into the race.  I was really pleased.  Overall though, I couldn't be happier.  I am only 9 seconds off my PR already, and I have several races in front of me.  Training is paying off and I can't wait to put in a big week starting on Monday!

Friday, February 9, 2018

02.09.2018 4 miler, easy jog, easy week

With the snow and ice on Wednesday and remnants Thursday, I took it easy and ran less to avoid ice issues.  The last thing I need is a fall and injury when training is going so well.  I ran a 4 miler inside yesterday and changed pace dramatically on each mile.  First, to make it harder and second to break up 4 boring miles inside.

Today, I ran an easy 4 miler in like 35 minutes, just to get some miles and stay loose.  I have a race tomorrow morning, Cupid's Chase 5K in Glen Rock, New Jersey.  

I have done the race a couple times and it's close to me, a decent course, and any time I can get a race in, I try to.  Maura is humoring me even more than she already does this year as she knows I want 2018 to be a great year and I am really committed :)

I will do a race report tomorrow or Sunday and let you know how it goes.  I am nervous, but excited to see if I can already see some results of the big training I have been putting in.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

02.06.2018 Ugh, an annoying run

I had a 15-16 miler slated for today, but I ended up being short on time.  I decided a quick run of 8 miles would be a worthy replacement.  However, I am an idiot and started way too fast.  I ended up giving up on the fast part of the run at about 6.75 miles in and ran the last 1.3ish at a cool down pace.

The first 6 miles I ran at a pace of around 7:17/mile, but I have no fuel in me and I was in the middle of a 3/4 mile climb shortly thereafter.  I stopped at 6.74 miles.  The last .74 miles were at around 8 minute pace and I was just annoyed.  Consequently, I pulled the plug and jogged in the rest of the way as a cool down.

I was due for a bad day.  In the end, I still got in some quick miles, and 8 total.  Tomorrow, weather depending, I will get in some more and still be on track for crushing February.  It isn't always easy.  If it were, what fun would it be?

Monday, February 5, 2018

02.05.2018 Fast 7 miles on Zero fuel

Jesus, it's cold out.  I hate it.  It's like 27 degrees out, but so windy that it feels like it's 18, at best.  The wind just hurts the face.  I had planned on simply running a basic 6-7 miles to start the week and get the legs moving after the weekend off.  However, after being outside for about a minute, I decided to run a fast 7 miles so I could get the hell back inside as fast as possible.  I'm actually not kidding either.  I only ran fast so I could get it done asap.  The only thing I ate today was a banana at about 8:15 this morning.  Hence, the zero fuel.  I need to eat, but my fat ass is on a major diet for the foreseeable future.  I can dramatically improve my running by losing about 15 lbs.

7 miles in 51:18 total.  I was moving pretty good, considering the conditions.  It's about a 7:18-7:19/mile pace.  I race considerably faster than that, up to the half.  My Goal Marathon Pace, or GMP, will be 6:30-6:40/mile as I work up a little longer and do some more fast workouts.  

Tomorrow, it is supposed to be a bit warmer, but the wind may still suck.  I am running a nice long run of 15-16 miles, hopefully around 6:45/mile pace.  

Friday, February 2, 2018

02.02.2018 Fartlek 6 miler with 200 meter pickups, Feels like....

I ran a strong 6 mile Fartlek today.  A Fartlek is a run that has some speed burst built in.  It can be anything, sprint to a lamp post down the block, fast for a minute, or a specified distance.  The principle is basic, sprint a few times inside of a normal run.  This is meant to give you some speed work during a run and build up your overall speed.  Also, it's good for practicing pace adjustment during races, and running fast on tired legs.

I, as mentioned above, went for the distance specific bursts.  I finished each mile of a 6 miler with a 200 meter sprint.  I liked knowing that when my watch went off for my mile split, that my burst was over.

Overall, my 6 miler took 43:15, which means my overall pace was about 7:12/mile.  I'm super happy about that and my mile 5 was about 6:19.  Running fast is coming back!

I know what sucked today on my run.  The F-ing temps!!  It was 25 degrees out when I looked just before I left.  However, the "feels like," temp was friggin' 11 degrees!  Guess what?  It felt like 11 degrees too.  I am not happy about running in the cold, but I am dealing with it.  I need some shorts weather.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

02.01.2018 Double run day for the start of another big month

Well, just like that, I am back at the start.  January is over, my 140+ miles mean nothing now, and I have to get February going.  I ran twice today, getting in 8 miles total.  The first run of the day was a 4 mile progression run.  I started around 9 minutes for the first mile, then 8:05ish, 7:45ish, and finished big with a 7:05 last mile.  

My second run of the day, I ran a simple recovery run of 4 miles at around 8:30ish pace.  I just wanted to stay loose and get some more miles in without pressing too hard.  Tomorrow, I plan to run a 6 mile Fartlek run with 200 meter pickups.