Tuesday, May 15, 2018

05/15/2018 Still running...to a great book, North by Scott Jurek

I'm still alive.  I have been running quite a bit again, but not writing about it.  As I try to figure out what I want to do with The Daily Fitness Journal moving forward, I have been training hard and moving away from my run updates.  I have gone back and forth about what I want to do on here.  Sometimes I want to move on.  Sometimes I want to turn it into training advice and gear information.  Still other times, I want to move more product based.  What I do know is this, I have gone back to the old school running journal to record my training.  I am glad I have done so as I didn't realize how much I missed it.

Scribbling down mileage, splits, times, etc. makes me feel committed, into it, in the moment.  I guess it's like the difference between emailing a friend or writing a hand written letter.  It's easier to own the words from a pen than a keyboard.

During most of my running the last couple weeks, I have been listening to a great audiobook.  North, by Scott Jurek is a great recount of his quest for the Appalachian Trail record.  It's told in his own word and voice, as well as the voice of his wife, Jenny.

The book is details his adventure, the people that come into and out of it, and his relationships with Jenny and all those, in real time on the AT.  It's a must read/listen if you are into adventure, running, trails, etc. I love hearing it in his and her voices especially.

Monday, April 16, 2018

04/16/2018 Strong 5 miler, fast finish and some NYC marathon notes

Donation Page for Brian DePersis
I ran a strong 5 miles today.  I'm hoping to sneak in another run this evening as well.  On the day of the Boston Marathon, with such horrible weather taking place, I felt the need to hurt a little.  I ran a strong start to my 5 miler this afternoon, hitting about a 7:30ish pace through the first 4 miles.  I decided to run hard for the final mile and my split for mile 5 was 6:30.  I ran the full five miles in 36 and change.  I plan on this and next week being big mileage weeks.  I want to hit between 35-40 miles each week, finishing April as a strong 100 mile month.  I have 61 days until my relay, I need it to hurt a lot before then.

On the plus side, I have had a decent start to my fundraising for the NYC Marathon.  At least I think it's going ok.  Feel free to help out a little :)  The link to my charity page on Crowdrise is here.

I have a few months before any fundraising milestones hit with the charity so I am cautiously optimistic I will reach my goal.  Any little bit helps.  The Charity is called The Armory Foundation.  Click here for more information about it.

As I am offering all my donors, I am very willing to promote pages, or businesses that support my fundraising efforts.  Please reach out to me and I will support you will all I can give back.  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Boston Marathon is here, Patriot's Day 2 days away!

The Boston Marathon is held on Patriot's Day every year and this year could be a phenomenal event.  There are great runners as always, including a number of American runners in the men's and women's fields.  Here are some links to previews from various sites.

Women's Preview from Let'sRun

Men's Preview from Let'sRun

Full Preview from SI

Video Preview from Runnersworld

Boston Athletic Association Preview

Enjoy the race and then go out and get ready for your own!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

04/11/2018 6 miler, slow last few weeks, getting back out

Well, I got out for a nice 6 miler this morning at a pace around 7:38/mile.  It is nice out, sunny, but a little windy.  Over the last few weeks, I have drifted off a little from running.  Ever since the NYC Half, which was awesome by the way, but COLD.  I ran it in a decent, but just ok 1:36.  It was 29 degrees and windy, so yes it was COLD.  

Currently, my kids are participating in 6 teams, with 2 being coached by yours truly.  Also, still trying to sell the house, which means up keep and fixing, clearing garbage out and donating, etc.  Blah, Blah, Blah, right.  I have a ton of excuses. 

However, I just need to commit to kicking some ass.  It boils down to the fact that I, at some point, just began to quit based on the F-ing cold, garbage weather.  Anyway, I am back at it.  Nutrition is also going to be on point as well as I have 66 days until the Franklin Lakes Tri.  I don't want to be dragging my fat butt on the course.  I need to lose weight and run fast.  

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

02/27/2018 Today's run, 98 miles for the month, tomorrow is the day of reckoning...

Coming off the 10 miler yesterday, I felt a little sore and old.  I need some Glucosamine I think.  I might need to lube the joints against, like I used to.  I ran a strong 8 mile run today at virtually the same pace as my 10 miler yesterday.  However, today, the pace was a little more of an effort.  Running on the tired legs took some work, but I made it happen.  It was interesting though that from the first step, through the first couple miles, I had a random cramp in my side again.  I have no idea why.  I didn't eat or drink too close to running, not thirty, etc.

Coming off 141 miles last month, I really wanted to keep the momentum up this month as well.  With last week off, I won't be anywhere near 141 miles, but I have 98 total this month.  Tomorrow is the final day of the month, so I will break 100 again.  By how much will I break it?  I will see how I feel tomorrow :)  I do know I want to go between 6-10 miles, definitely a little slower pace than Monday and today.  March, April, and May will again be big months for me, with mileage and speed work.

Tomorrow is the day of reckoning.  Do you know why?  It is the lottery draw for the NYC Marathon in November.  I got in by lottery in 2015, 2016, skipped 2017 (stupid move), and now I am itching to run again in 2018.  I love it, no race compares to it.  Can I possibly get in by lottery a 3rd time in 4 years?  We'll know soon enough.  Wish me luck!

02.26.2018 Back from a 9 day vacation, a strong 10 miler

I say I had a 9 day vacation, that just means that the fam was off from school for the week and I didn't get out for any running.  That's ok though, I think I am doing a good job, coming off 140 in January and I had 80 in February before the break.  

I was itching to get out for a run by the time the week ended.  I got out for a strong 10 miler after work Monday, keeping my pace at 7:27/mile.  It felt like an effort, but not an exhaustive one.  

For the first 6 miles, the pace ranged from 7:25-7:45/mile.  I then stepped it up to finish, with the final 4 miles being splits of 6:58-7:13.  Roughly speaking, I had a negative split by around 2 minutes.  Coming off a little break, I was satisfied, even though I got a weird cramp for a mile or so during the run.

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.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

01.31.2018 5 mile tempo, 8 total today, 141 miles for January

F, it's cold outside.  I want above 50 temps, now.  I finished the month with a decent 5 mile tempo run today.  It took me 33:58, which is a pace of about 6:47 mile.  It was just ok.  I was cold, it's the final day of my biggest month ever, and frankly, I wasn't into it.  I was into the run, not running a tempo in the windy cold today.  

I need some balmy weather.  I need to sweat in a Tee and shorts, not tights, shorts, base top, mid top, fleece jacket, gloves, and hat.  Jesus, getting dressed to run is an F-ing process.

February, I will get above 120 miles for the month as well.  It's a short month, and I have a week vacation, so I need to commit my miles when I can.  Also, February is losing weight month.  I want to drop between 10-20 lbs, and get lighter and faster.  Bye Bye sugar!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

01.30.2018 First speed session in my Hupana's by @HokaOneOne

As promised, I ran alternating repeats of 200 meters and 400 meters today.  I did 5 of each and rested only 60-70 seconds in between.  The effort was hard and the speed is coming.  I was able to run the 200's around 37 seconds and the 400's were around 80 seconds, give or take.  I can't complain with these splits, especially as I am about 15-20 lbs. heavier than I hope to be in March-June.

This also marked ,y 3rd run total in my new shoes from Hoka One One and I continue to be impressed.  The light cushiony feeling that doesn't sacrifice the feel of a running shoe is great.  The Hupana shoes are a pleasure to run in.  I actually miss them when I am in my everyday sneakers now.

As I stated above, the biggest takeaway is that even though they feel soft and light, they still are responsive under speed and workout paces.  There is a good fit to them and I think they respond well to any type of run, whether it's slower recovery runs, tempos, or fast repeats/Fartleks.

Tomorrow, I will end the month of January.  I have already blown away my top monthly mileage total by almost 40 miles, and I have a 10 miler planned to end the month.  I feel healthy and ready to lay the smackdown to February.  I cannot wait to race and see what I am accomplishing in training.

Monday, January 29, 2018

01/29/2018 Starting the final days of January, slow 6 miles and @AthleteonFire

I am at 127 miles for the month and I am a little tired.  Today, after 3 days off from running, I just didn't feel up to running far or fast.  Since it has been a long month and a long couple days with a sick 2 year old at home, I decided a slow 6 miler would do.  I can make up for it with the speed work I am going to do tomorrow.  I am thinking a work out of alternating 200 and 400 meter repeats with only 60 second rests in between.  

Tomorrow should be quite painful.  I cannot wait.  I am getting a solid base of miles right now and the new piece I need to consistently add, is the speed stuff.

I was listening to a good podcast on Athlete on Fire today.  It was with the founder of the website Run Repeat.  Run Repeat is a website with thousands of shoe reviews by the people that matter, runners.  It isn't brand specific and the site doesn't sell out to a specific brand or marketing campaign.

The founder, Jens, talked a lot about quality training and intervals, hard workouts, etc.  I was happily surprised that the website, Run Repeat, barely came up.  I do think it is a cool site and I may test it out next time I need some sneakers.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

01.25.2018 double run day, 8 miles total

I was a little wimpy today regarding the weather.  It was only in the mid 20's and it was windy.  Feels like teens didn't sound appealing to me so I stayed in for a set of 4 milers, with about an hour or so in between.  The first 4 miler I ran slow in the first two miles and then stepped it up for the second two.  A negative split and overall total of 34:28 for the run.  

The second run, I simply ran a casual jog of another 4 miles with no regard to running quickly at all.  A second run of the day is best kept to a slow jog, recovery style.  I ran this run in about 39:39 overall.

Tomorrow, I plan on running a strong 6 miler and keeping it more of a faster tempo run.  I am looking to run the 6 miles at a pace below 7:30.  That will end my week at just over 40 miles total, my best individual week in a long time.  I have about 6 weeks until the half marathon.  I have more work to do.  February is going to be busy.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

01.24.2018 On a roll, 800 meter repeats done

When you are motivated and on a roll like I am now, it's hard to fathom how I could struggle to get out for a run in the past.  Now, it seems so easy.  I get dressed and go.  I have no wishy washy mentals on whether I will run or not.  I just am.  It's great to be motivated.  

Today, as planned, I got out for my 800 meter repeats session.  It looked like this:

1 mile warm up
6 X 800 meters with 400 meter jogs between

Splits were-


.75 mile-ish cool down for a 6 mile workout

although done on the road, it was relatively flat, with some turns.  I didn't include any major hills at all.  I wanted to run fast.  Next week's speed work will be 10 X 400 meter repeats.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

01.23.2018 A much needed recovery run

Yesterday's long run left me feeling a little rickety this morning.  My ankles and feet were really sore getting out of bed.  It's time, now that I am logging some serious miles, to start rolling my feet and joints around before getting out of the bed in the am.  It does a world of good for those first few steps.

As I headed out for my recovery run this morning, I felt a little tight and rusty, but found some smooth sailing once I passed the mile mark.  I ran about 6.5ish and focused on staying at a slower pace.  I think I finished up averaging almost 8:40/mile.  I'm very happy to run that speed today, no faster.  I am going to push 140 miles for the month and I want it to be done the right way.  Slow runs, fast running, long run pacing, etc.

Tomorrow, the fun will be 800 meter repeats. :)  I can't wait to get after it.  

Monday, January 22, 2018

01.22.2018 A long run and some tidbits of info

Today, in anticipation of some really wet weather tomorrow and maybe Wednesday I decided to get in my long run for the week.  I didn't want to have to do it in pouring rain.  There's something awesome about getting in your long run on a Monday.  The rest of the week is going to be important, but the bulk of the work is done.  I didn't look at my watch, until I finished.  My effort was simply set to be strong, but doable.  When I finished, I wasn't shocked by the results.  My pace was right about 7:43/mile and I finished strong.  A 14 miler in 1:48 is solid.  I'm hoping to keep this pace for all my long runs as I move forward.  While running the long run, lots of thoughts go through my mind.  I plan a lot for my lessons and units I am teaching, as well as running and personal stuff.  Some of today's thoughts include, but are not limited to or in any specific order:                         
1.  Know what sucks more than a shoelace that comes undone on a run?  Wearing a pair of pants that have no drawstring!  I spent the whole F-ing run pulling them up and I had to hold my phone because it would pull the pants down if I put it in my pocket.  F!

2.  Forgetting your watch until the end is liberating.  Also, it can help you maintain mental focus and physically keep your pace.  It tests you to not let your pace fall off.  I have now done it a few times and it has definitely helped me gain more focus over the length of a run.

3.  I am done with my Asics.  I don't dislike them, but after running in my Hupana's, I dislike them.  They are just stiff, and I do not like them.  Of course, I forget them today.  I don't think it is helping my foot soreness either.  I'm tossing those Asics, now!  Hoka One One time!

4.  I cannot wait to see where I go from this training.  I just hit 100 miles for the month, with 7 legit running days to go.  After looking at my running data since the beginning of 2014, I have never been above 94 miles for one month.  I was strong ending November, I hit mid 90's for December and I should hit 130 easy for this month.  

I'm sure there is more stuff, but that's all that came to mind right away.  In almost 2 hrs of running, a lot goes through my mind.  Tomorrow, a nice easy 6 miler to recover before a speed session on Wednesday.

Friday, January 19, 2018

01.19.2018 6 miles today, 23 miles for the week, but the foot feels better

I took yesterday off as I wanted to be smart about the foot pain.  I decided I wouldn't lose anything in a day.  Even with yesterday off, I still got in 23 miles for the week.  I consider anything over 20 for the week to be productive.

My 6 miler today was inside and I kept the pace slow and comfortable so I wouldn't overdo the foot.  I am happy to report that the foot was a non issue.  I didn't feel a thing.  That being said, I am going to move from my older Asics that I have been training  with, to my new, Hupanas from Hoka One One.  I ran only once in them so far, but it was nice, soft, and comfy.  You can read my write up on the Hupana here, from a couple weeks ago.

I am at 86 miles total for the month of January and I have at least 8 days left.  This should end up being one of my strongest months ever, as a whole.  I have just under 2 months before the half marathon.  I am going to stretch out the long run several times and hit some painful speed work sessions.  

Tomorrow, or Sunday, I am going to release my goals for the year.  They are a bit lofty, and I am happy about it.  I want to forget about the lackluster 2017.  I need to get some stuff done.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

01.17.2018 A little foot pain, Plantar? Staying with a 6 miler today

Twice over the last couple days, I have had a shooting pain in the bottom of my foot.  It wasn't when I was running, but I immediately thought of Plantar Fasciitis popping up.  I rolled my feet yesterday after my run and today before my run, noticing some foot pain today.  It may just be because I rolled them with a lax ball pretty deeply yesterday.

As I write here, I am rolling my feet again, focusing on my right one.  I cut short today's run from10-15, down to a solid 6 miles at 7:57/mile pace.  I was running in the snow and slush after this morning's storm, enjoying the warmer temps up at around 30 degrees.  My training is going well, therefore I don't want to overdo it when a little caution could help me in the long run.  

I have kicked up the weekly mileage higher than I have ever consistently, so a little added soreness here and there is to be expected.  However, I don't want to ignore early signs of real problems.  We will see how I feel tomorrow and I plan on keeping to some slower miles over the next two days, followed by Saturday and Sunday off.

Here is a good article about Plantar Fasciitis and everything that goes along with it, from a non running perspective.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

01.16.2018 Mile repeats on the road or the track?

I ran mile repeats this morning as planned.  However, I only ran 3 of them, instead of the 4 or 5 I had planned on.  I kind of forgot how difficult they are, especially on the route I typically run.

Repeats of distances from 400 meters up to 1 mile are generally thought of as a track workout by most.  In fact, that's what most people do, head to the local track, maybe with a club, and warm up and run repeats.  It's a good way to get in a workout.  The distance is set, surface is safe, and for the most part, times are fast.

However, I am a road repeat kind of guy.  I race on the roads, so I train on the roads.  My mile repeats of 6:30ish, with a significant hill up and down, do a lot for my fitness as well as my mental state.  I like the mental toughness I feel from racing up a hill on a repeat and trying to shave a few seconds off when I speed down a hill as well.  Mile repeats hurt no matter where you do them, but on the road with hills, true pain.  Perhaps if I was a track runner, it would make more sense to me to go on the track.

Warmup- .5 mile jog
Mile #1- 6:37
1:30-2 min. jog
Mile #2- 6:32
1:30-2 min jog
Mile #3- 6:31
Cool down- .5 mile jog

I ran a total workout of around 4.5 miles today, including the repeats.  For such a short workout, I am tired.  

With the impending weather, I am hoping it kind of misses us so I can get in a strong run tomorrow of 10-15 miles.  That would keep me on pace for another big week of miles, around 32-34 total again.  I only have 2 months to train before the NYC half marathon.  I need to get in as many runs as possible.

Monday, January 15, 2018

It's lottery time, pick me, pick me! @nycmarathon @tcsnycmarathon

Today, at noon, the lottery opened up for the TCS NYC Marathon taking place on November 4th, 2018.  In 292 days, I hope to toe the line again for my third trip around NYC.  The first two times were much anticipated and did not disappoint me for one second.  

I look forward to hopefully getting to run again and to share my story on here, as well as through the NYC marathon program of sharing your journey.

I included the snapshot of the countdown on the website.  It seems so long from now, but both times I did it, 2015 & 2016, the year flew and I found myself on the starting line almost instantly.
Good luck to all those that apply.  The lottery window is open until February 15th.  You can find it here.

01/15/2018 7 miles on cruise and speedwork to get faster

Today's 7 mile run was at about 7:45/mile pace and that seems to be my cruising speed right now.  I am comfortable there up to probably 12-14 miles, depending on when during the week I am running it.  The weather today is back in the 20's and with a low, "feels like" temp.  However, I was dressed right so no big deal.

Tomorrow's speedwork will be a workout designed to lower my cruising speed and to specifically get faster over the course of a race.  I plan to warm up with a half mile run and then head into a 4-5 X 1mile repeat session with rest periods between each interval of around 2 minutes.  I want to run the intervals between 6:15/mile and 6:30/mile.  Then, finishing up, I will cool down with half a mile cool down.

Here is a good article about the benefits of mile repeats and an easy guide to the reasoning behind them:

Friday, January 12, 2018

01/12/2018 Fast 5 miler to finish the week, 37 miles total #MarchtothePodium

In the pouring rain today, I ran a final 5 miler for the week.  I decided that coming off the recovery run yesterday, I wanted to run it at a good effort.  I finished up in 36:15 for the 5 miles.  A pace of 7:714/mile.

It was about 60 degrees out when I ran so the pouring rain wasn't a big deal.  A 7:14/mile pace was a good way to end the week in my 33-37th miles.  

My #MarchtothePodium is a reference to my race in March, the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon and my training towards another podium finish (hopefully) at the Franklin Lakes Triathlon Relay.  I have 65 days until the half marathon and 154 days until the Triathlon.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

01.11.2018 5 mile recovery run and pacing

Today, I ran a 5 miler as a recovery run coming off yesterday's 12 mile run and 27 miles total in the first 3 days of the week.  I went out with the idea of running a slower, recovery style pace.  However, I finished up and realized I ran at about 8:15/mile pace, about 15-20 seconds faster than I wanted to be.

Most runners and coaches will tell you that running a variety of paces in your training is important.  Recovery pace, threshold pace, long run pace, etc.  I am a big believer as well.  It's important for your body to feel different paces and also at different levels of fatigue. 

As important as fast paces are, slow paces are as well.  Recovery runs need to be slower, and allow for....yep, Recovery.  Although 8:15/mile pace is slower than my other paces, it's not slow enough.  I need to slow down and allow myself to recover.  I am going to hit between 37-40 miles for the week this week, higher than 99% of my training weeks over the last 10 years.  I want to sustain this climb in mileage for the next few months and recovery and rest will be the linchpin for staying healthy and maintaining this high mileage.  Next week's recovery run, 8:30 pace, watch me.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

01.10.2018 Long run on the schedule, done.

I have been itching to get in my long run since I had to abort it last week due to the stomach issues I was having mid run.  I planned for, and thankfully, completed my 12 miler with no issues today.  I purposely ran without taking note of time or mile splits during the run.  I wanted to see what a comfortable, strong pace would leave me at, at the end of 12 miles.

I was pleasantly surprised to look down at the end and see a pace of 7:45/mile for the duration and a completed time of 1:33.  I had an average cadence of 184, with a high of 193.  I want to keep upping the long run obviously, and keep the pace at roughly that same 7:45/mile.  If I can do this, then a 3:20 marathon should be plausible.

With a 27 mile total in the first 3 days of this week, I am looking forward to an easy 5-6 mile jog tomorrow to rest a little bit.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

01.09.2018 Nice outside for a change, 7 miler

I went outside this morning and said to myself, "Hey, it's nice out today."  Then I looked at the temp on my phone and it said 31 degrees.  F. I am starting to get used to cold weather and it's been so cold, that 30 doesn't feel bad.  

I got out in a mix of sun and clouds this morning for a nice, easy 7 miler at a pace of about 7:50ish.  I forget what my watch said at the end.  It felt easy, and I didn't want to push it too much with my 12 miler looming tomorrow.  For a fleeting moment in mile 7 today, I contemplated going the 12 miles today, but decided to wait until tomorrow.  I need some more pre run fluids before a 12 miler.

This week is shaping up to be pretty strong, as long as I stick to the plan.  Next week, I am going to throw in my first speed session in a long time.  I am not sure if it's going to be 400m, 800m, or mile repeats.  I will get back to you.

I was looking at my year in summary bar graph on Strava, the summer is pretty glaring.  A little embarrassing, but I will look forward, not back.  Here is the snapshot:

Monday, January 8, 2018

01.08.2018 Strong 8 mile run, on cruise

Sometimes, after a couple days off, everything just feels right on a run.  Usually, when I get out, Monday runs are my best.  Today was no exception.  I ran with a plan for 8 miles, without worrying about my watch.  The plan was to simply run strong, but not too fast.  I wanted it to feel like a solid effort, but not especially taxing.  At the end, I wanted to feel like I could have gone a couple more miles maybe, but that's it.

When I finished my 8 miles today, the watch said 1:00:43.  That was a great sight.  I ran 7:35 pace overall and hit 7:19 as my fastest mile twice, in mile 5 and mile 8.  The slowest mile was 8:26, which was almost all uphill.  

Tomorrow, I will back it down to 6 miles and then on Wednesday, I will run 12 miles.  I have decided that unless time is a constraint, I won't be running anymore 4-5 milers.  I want all my runs to be 6 miles of more, even recovery runs.  Now, I'm not talking about when I do double workouts in a day, just when I do single runs.  Over the next few weeks, I am going to run some significant miles.  I have 69 days until the half marathon.

Friday, January 5, 2018

01/05/2018 Double up complete, 10 miles for the day and 26 for the week

I finished up the afternoon with another 5 mile run.  This one I did inside my gym, on a small loop.  It kind of sucks, but not as much as the weather.  As a frame of reference, 30 laps around equals one mile.  Yes, it is that small.  I finished in exactly 40 minutes.  

I started slow during the second run, but decided to kick it up so I would finish sooner.  Each mile was faster, and the last mile was around 7:40ish I think.  On a small loop like I was running, that pace feels like an all out sprint with lots of turns.  By the end, I was tired, sweating a lot, and happy to be done.  

Even with a low total on Monday because of the race and a zero due to the weather on Thursday, I am satisfied with the week.  Next week is key to getting back to bigger miles.  It is supposed to warm up to normal temps and I need to stretch out the long run and the total miles again.

01/05/2018 Fast 5 miler in some stupid weather

I knew it was going to be cold today, but god i didn't think the wind would be so constant.  I started
quick and tried to get it over asap.  5 miles in about 37:30 in some snow on the ground and brutal cold, works for me now that it's over.    I was dressed well enough that I wasn't cold except for my face.  

Second run of the day is happening, but inside so I do not die.  I plan to run for about 40 minutes, we'll see.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

01.03.2018 Simple math problem and run derailment, help me #nuunlife

Here you go, yesterday's long run is depicted in the following math problem:

Long Run Planned + (pre-run coffee>pre run hydration) = An Aborted Long Run

If you suck at math or my math problem isn't obvious enough, I will explain.  I had intended for a long run of 12 miles to happen yesterday.  I am coming off a low week, rested, and ready for the distance.  However, I had 3-4 cups of joe in the couple hours before my run and not really any water, Nuun, or any hydrating fluids.  

I was rolling along at a solid pace for the first 5.5-5.75 miles.  During mile 6 at some point, my stomach started to hurt, pain-hurt.  I wasn't sure what it came from as I never have stomach issues during my running.  My best guess is that the over coffee'd state I was in, hurt me.  I suffered up through 8 miles and I was done. 

Garmin Data
As I looked at my running data from my Garmin Forerunner 230, my first 5 miles were in 38:27, a pace of 7:41/mile.  Mile 6, I slowed down to about a 7:55/mile pace and then mile 7 was 8:05 and mile 8 was 8:46.  Mile 8, my guts really hurt.  I was trying to stick it out, but to no avail.

Oh coffee, I adore you and speak well of you, why F me over and steal 25% of my long run?  From now on, I will adjust the coffee intake for a more balanced approach and up the Nuun products pre run/race.  With today off because of the blizzard, tomorrow I will look to squeeze in 2 runs of 4-5 miles each to get in 24-25 miles for the week.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

01.02.2018 Easy 5 miler, race search/plan

I ran an easy 5 miler this afternoon to get the legs going after yesterday's race and the stair climb earlier.  I ran inside because of the pain of yesterday's cold and I kept it nice and easy.  I would call it a recovery run, but I really don't feel like it was recovery, just the slower pace.  

Tomorrow I need to do a long run. Only getting in 3.1 miles on Monday starts the week off slow and I need to get some miles in before Friday.  At this point, I really want to be 30+ miles every week from here until each of my races.  

Speaking of races, one of my goals for 2018 is to get back racing more often.  I have two possible races I am looking at in February.  The Cupid's Chase event on Feb. 10th in Glen Rock, New Jersey is one.  The other is the Purim 5K in Fair Lawn, New Jersey on February 25th.  I will keep you posted.  I have heard good things about the Purim race and I did the Cupid's Chase twice so I don't think I can go wrong.

01.01.2018 Stair Climber and Curb

I decided to hit the stair climber at lunch today for 20 minutes.  I plan to run a simple 5 miles in the bitter cold in a couple hours, but thought I could get in 20 minutes of torture beforehand.  I put on the first episode of Curb your Enthusiasm to keep me sane as well.  I have never watched it, but recently have begun to enjoy some of Larry David's humor.  His movie, Clear History, is a funny one.  Check it out.

The stair machine needs a little outside help so the rider doesn't kill themselves. I think I need something a little different genre wise though, Curb is not what I was looking for.  Anyone have any suggestions?!

On a more specific note, my 20 minutes on the climber hurt and I'm sweating, so goal achieved.  Time for some Nuun tea to recover before my frigid run.  I am down to 3 tubes of Wild Berry hydration so I think I need to restock soon!

01.01.2018 Fair Lawn 1st Day 5K Race Report

My first race report in a long time.  It feels good.  The Fair Lawn 1st Day 5K is a nice, small event to kick off the new year.  It was my 3rd year running it in a row, and my best result.  A relatively flat course, I am now fairly familiar with it and know what to expect.

The race is well organized from the time you arrive at packet pick up and the warm of the middle school gym was needed.  It was a balmy 9 degrees out.  The facilities and food/drink were also easily accessible.  

Fair Lawn 1st Day also represents a team participation event as well.  I loosely belong to a running club called North Jersey Masters.  It's a great club featuring runners of all demographics.  They attend events, hold group runs and training sessions, as well as social meet ups.  2018 is my first year in the club picture too.  I'm the dork on the far right in the red shoes.

As far as the race went, I had no idea what to expect.  I haven't raced in awhile and it was F-ing cold as anything.  I really just wanted to get out and run fast again.  I hit the first mile marker in 6:27.  I wasn't upset, but I didn't know if I could maintain that speed.

The course is well marked, but with the weather being so frigid, there were virtually no spectators.  I was in my head the whole time though.  My goal for mile 2 was to be strong and maintain my pace.  I know that generally, the third mile of a race I can gut it out.  Mile two can sometimes be a let down.  For some reason, there wasn't a person giving splits at mile 2 and my arm sleeves cover my watch, so I just kept running.  The wind was whipping pretty hard so I simply wanted to run and get done.

Mile 3 and the .1 represented a challenge for virtually the whole time.  I caught a couple people during mile 1 and 2, but one tall dude caught me during mile 2.  I stayed with him and we traded position literally the whole time during the last 1.1 miles.  About 200 meters out, he passed me for good and finished 3 seconds ahead of me.  I tried to stay, but he had a little more left than me.  I have to say though, luckily he was there because he definitely helped me finish strong and there is no way I break 20 minutes without his competition.  

My only major letdown was that my watch was set on the "other" setting and because of this I didn't get any run data, mile splits, cadence, etc.  F.  Based on the mile 1 split, I figure that mile 2 and 3 were probably around 6:40-6:45/mile pace.

I finished 9th overall and second in my age group.  Finishing in 19:59 official time in single digits is a major win for me.  Especially since I only had a small warm up because of the cold.

The race ends and there is immediately support for runners with water and the warmth of the middle school.  There was coffee and plenty of bagels and fruit.  

I waited roughly a half hour for the awards ceremony to get my age group award and was pleasantly surprised by a $10 gift certificate along with my medal.  It was a nice race for a smaller event and it was appreciated.

The only complaint I have, if there is one, is that the T Short is short sleeve and cheap cotton.  I am a bit of a race shirt snob.  I like a tech T and in the winter, I think it should be long sleeve.  However, as a fundraiser for a lot of avenues, the Fair Lawn Rotary gets a pass.  They do a lot of good.

It's really a great little race for those that are in the area.  The race registration was only $25 and everything runs well.  Keep up the good work and I will see you on 01.01.2019