Wednesday, September 28, 2016

09/28/2016 with fitness, comes quickness

Coming off of 7 miles on Monday and 13 miles yesterday, I expected to be a little tired today, even a little sore.  However, when I started out for my 5 miler, I quickly realized I was in good shape.  Consequently, I decided to bag the easy jog I had planned and to get in some faster miles today.  

I warmed up with an average first mile.  From there, miles 2-5 looked like this:

Mile 2- 7:41
Mile 3- 7:34
Mile 4- 7:31
Mile 5- 7:18

Running faster just hasn't been there for me recently as I have been building a base.  With 20 miles in the tank, running these splits felt good.  I will be able to sink another minute+ off these times in the future, but for now, my fitness is clearly building as my speed comes along too.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

09/27/2016 A half marathon and scheduling 41 days out from NYC

Tuesday is long run day and this afternoon, only one soccer practice.  Thankfully, I was able to get out for 13.1 miles and each week I feel stronger and stronger.  Last week, I finished 10 miles knowing I could have gone 13-15.  This week, I finished 13.1 miles knowing I could have gone 15-16.  

The half marathon today took me 1:51 total.  If I stay on pace for November 6th, I should be able to run the target of 3:40-3:45 that I am shooting for.  Again, my time doesn't really matter, but a sub 4:00 would be good and I would like to shave a couple minutes off last year.

As I ran today, I tried to mentally go over the coming long runs.  I know I wrote it out a couple weeks ago, but I like to keep my ideas organic and ever flowing so my schedule doesn't keep me to regimented.  Based on a three week taper period for a marathon, I have 3 long runs left.  Here they are:

10/04/16----16 miles
10/11/16----13 miles
10/18/16----19-20 miles
**Taper begins**
10/25/16----15 miles
11/01/16----10 miles
11/06/16----26.2 miles

Based on this schedule, even though I came into September seriously under trained, I will absolutely be ready.  Also, as you can see, I have built in a step back on 10/11 as most training programs call for.  This allows the body to catch up a little and regain some rest, keeping you safer from injury.  I will discuss the taper in the coming weeks.

09/26/2016 It's nice to get the legs back after 2 off days

Saturday and Sunday are typically off days as it just makes sense to time it that way so the DePersis family can enjoy the weekend.  It's always a nice treat to get back out on Monday after a little time off.  The legs are fresh again, I feel good to go, and there's always a little extra bounce in the step.

Today was no different.  I ran a solid 7 miles at about 8:20/mile pace in anticipation of 13-15 miles tomorrow at about the same pace or slightly slower.  I am 6 weeks away from the marathon today and I need to squeeze in 2-3 significant long runs to get the time on my feet again.  I can feel my fitness returning and coupled with some gaining mileage, I should be in good shape.

Friday, September 23, 2016

09/23/2016 Miles for the week and mental focus

When I run, like most people, various things go through my head. Sometimes, I am focused on the run/workout. Some of the time I am planning work stuff. There are also some times when I am focused on a topic that is eating away at my brain. Something may be bothering me, and spending a run thinking about it can give me clarity. It may sound like it would be a less than fun way to spend a run, but I find that by thinking it out, I can usually come to a resolution, or an answer, or something I can make work. 

Also, to be honest, the run is often over before I know it when this happens. Today went well, and I didn't know it until I had finished. I ran 5 miles in about 40 minutes without a terrible amount of effort. This gives me a total of 26 miles for the week and having 5 miles at about 8:00/mile pace today is encouraging. I was also able to work through a plan of attack for an issue I need resolved.  Win win!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

09/22/2016 Running and speed stuff

God, I hope this weather sticks around for awhile.  It is just beautiful every day.  Eventually we are in trouble.  However, today is not that day.  I had a nice 5 + miler today.  The third day in a row and no pain or soreness, or even tired legs.  I feel pretty good.  I have 21+ miles in for the week and I look forward to another 5-6 tomorrow.  

As a way of finishing up the workout strong and teaching my legs to move even at the end of a run, I ran 10 sprints at the end of the workout.  After my 5+ miles, I walked about 100 meters.  I then proceeded to sprint 60-70 meters and walk back to the beginning.  When I got back to the start, I immediately started off on the next one.  I did this 10 times.  I started at about 75% and by the end, I was up to about 90% effort.

Running hard on tired legs can help with your focus, form, and getting those legs moving for the end of races/workouts when you are sapped.  Each time I went, I focused on my arm swing, my forward lean, my loose muscles, and my control.  An added bonus it's something different than just going out and running a few miles!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

09/21/2016 Feeling stronger builds motivation

Taken from Run, Selfie, Repeat
As I ran my 6 miler today, I realized that I am starting to feel the fitness again.  It made me realize that at least for me, the reemergence of strong legs and lungs is has a snowballing effect.  As I get more fit, I want to run more, I want to keep after it.  My motivation comes from the feeling that I am achieving more every time I go out.  A couple weeks ago, my first few runs in, were slow slogs of non fitness.

It's important for people to realize that this is not limited to me.  It's also not a novel idea, but it is often overlooked.  Sometimes the end goal of losing weight, getting to a race, or whatever, is too far away.  If you focus on small gains and being self aware, your motivation will actually refuel itself.  

Coming off 10 miles yesterday, my legs were a little tired today, but I was still able to churn out 6 miles at 8:30/mile pace today without a lot of effort.  As I write this, dripping sweat in my eyes, I want more.  I can feel the fire burning even stronger now.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

09/20/2016 A long run worthy of the title

I was supposed to get out for 10 miles yesterday, but my stomach was experiencing epic heart burn.  After settling that with some food and tums, I am back to normal.  This getting old stuff is difficult.  Luckily, I had the time this afternoon to get in 10 miles before needing to get kids here, there, and everywhere for soccer, etc.  This is the first long run I have done in months and although I monitored it with a watch, I simply wanted to be comfortable.  

I popped on the headphones, listened to a couple podcasts from season 3 of Becoming Ultra, and before I knew it, I was on mile 9.  Becoming Ultra is a great reality type show where a everyday runner is chosen, trained by a pro, and hopefully completes an ultra distance race at the end.  I went 10 miles in almost exactly 1:30 and I felt good at the end.  I would estimate that, with a little fuel, I could have gone another 3-5 miles before having to stop.  Although I am closing in on the marathon with a low base of training, I feel like I can safely catch up.  

I have a couple more runs this week, before I get to next Monday and I pop off about a 15-16 miler.  Next week will also be the beginning of some cross training as I add some bodyweight exercises 1-2 times a week.