31 May 2009

Awesome Run

It has been a week since my last run, and I was a little worried that it would have a bad effect on this morning's run. I wanted to do about 7 or 8 miles, my longest since Broad Street, and usually when I am running on stale legs it turns out to be pretty bad.

I have also had a problem with early morning motivation lately, but was able to get myself out of bed at six this morning. After slowly getting started I got outside. That is the hardest part and once outside I knew it was easy from there.

I started really slow and just tried to keep my pace steady. It was nice and cool out, and a bit overcast. It looked like it could rain at anytime, but I have ran in the rain so much this winter that I did not care. At least today would not be a cold rain.

The entire run felt great and when my Forerunner beeped for the third mile I noticed that I was steadily increasing my pace, and feeling good while doing it.

I passed mile seven and started feeling a little tired. There was a little more than a quarter mile to the intersection of my street, so I continued to the traffic light. I was a little fatigued and really had to push that last bit, but I finished strong.

Before starting I expected that I would need a couple walk breaks, but ended up not needing them at all and not even thinking about walking the entire time.

All in all I did 7.31 miles in 1:21:52 for a pace of 11:12
My splits were 12:06 - 11:44 - 11:28 - 11:17 - 11:11 - 10:37 - 10:23
and the final .31 mile was ran at a 9:55 pace.

I felt incredible after this run, and it really gave me a boost in motivation.

30 May 2009

Sick Week

I have been sick most of this week. I hate that... every time I get into a groove and start building my mileage up, something happens to cut me down.

I am better now and will be doing a great long run tomorrow... and writing about it afterwards.

I also have not been blogging as much as I like. I have been writing though, or at least working on my writing. This blog is not exactly Pulitzer prize material, but I do want to improve my writing and possibly start getting published. This was an ambition of mine many years ago, and while it might have been put on the back burner at times, it did keep brewing in the back of my mind.

So I am going to try to keep up with this blog a little more, and keep up with my running a lot more.

19 May 2009

Speed Work

Today I had a day off work. So the plan was to get up early and go to the track for some speed work. Besides some speed play here and there, I have never really done organized speed work. So today was the day.

When the alarm went off, I was cold and tired and achy. So I turned the alarm off and went back to sleep. My kids woke me up about an hour and a half later and after a little moving around I knew that I needed to get out and run as soon as possible or else it would not happen at all.

I have been wanting to find my mile time, so the plan was to do a time trial and find that. Then I wanted to do three or four Yasso 800's just to see where my fitness is and have something to measure improvement as I get closer to the marathon.

I did not feel like driving to the track so I ran in the neighborhood. I still planned to do the mile but instead of 800's I would do three half mile intervals.

I warmed up as I was making my way to a good street to run on. I got to the corner and I was off. I ran hard and made an effort not to look at my Garmin at all. I just focused on the run and tried to keep my form good. It seemed to take a long time to finish this mile. When my watch finally beeped I was all too happy to slow down.

My mile time was 8:12.

Not incredibly fast, but I remember the very first time I tried to "run" a mile it took me about fifteen minutes and I could not even run the whole thing. In fact I think I walked more than half of it at the time.

So time for intervals. I decided to change it up and do four quarter mile intervals with quarter mile recoveries. I realized after the fact that I would do better with shorter recoveries, but live and learn.

Here are the interval times for those:


For some reason, I think I could have done them a little harder. I do not want to push myself into an injury, so I do not plan on doing speed work every week until I actually start my marathon training program.

But I do enjoy speed work... at least I do as of right now. That will probably change when I am pushing myself even more. I did a total of four miles this morning and mentally is was so much easier than running four miles at an easy pace because it was mixed up so much.

It feels good!

13 May 2009

What Next

It has been a week and a half since finishing the Broad Street Run. Since the beginning of the year my sights have been set on running that 10 miles through the city of brotherly love, and while I had abandoned the structured training plan, I was still running with a specific purpose.

Now it is over.

My next big race will be the Philadelphia Distance Run, but I will not be training specifically for that one. It falls into my training for the Philadelphia Marathon, the race I have been looking forward to since last year.

It is never too early to begin preparation for a marathon, but it is too far out to start a training program. So what to do?

Outline my mileage for the next three months.

I want to gradually increase my mileage and improve my fitness so that I can train hard for the marathon. I have outline the number of miles I will be running each week, and even broke them down into individual runs. I will gradually increase the weekly mileage, with a cutback week every month.

This outline brings me up to the first full week in August, which will begin my training program for the marathon. By that time I will be running 20-30 miles per week, and hopefully doing so comfortably.

A week or two before I come up with a training program, I will find a 5k or hopefully a 10k race that I can use to gauge my running fitness. This will help me develop a 16-week training plan that I will be following.

I want my first marathon to be a strong one, and I think this plan will help a lot with that. I may waver from it a bit, but that is fine. If I follow the overall outline I should be able to improve and train hard for the marathon.

I am still excited to run.

03 May 2009

Broad Street Run Race Report

Well, today's run did not go exactly as planned. I had trouble keeping my pace where I wanted and went out too fast to start. It is hard to not get caught up in the crowd and just run at their pace.

It took me twenty minutes to get across the start line. Once there, people were still packed pretty tight, but they all seemed to be trying to weave in and out to get further ahead. With so many people passing me at the start, I could not help but keep my pace fast.

I was feeling good for all of the first half. I knew I was running a little too fast, but nothing really hurt, and I felt good. At mile five I was still on pace to finish under 1:45, but when we got to City Hall I needed to talk a short walk break. Thirty seconds of fast walking and then I was back into it.

I walked through each water stop after that. My legs started screaming at me and with 5k to go I really had to dig down to keep moving forward.

Seeing the stadiums gave me a little added boost, but it was hard to speed up. My legs wouldn't really go, and the street was still crowded. Those last two miles seemed to crawl by.

With a mile to go I wanted to push the pace and try to do a nine minute mile, but my legs were like lead. To add to that, I had moved all the way to the left, in hopes of seeing my son on the sidelines, and I had run up behind an ambulance slowly creeping down the road. I tried to get around it, but everyone was just so cramped together. It took a quarter mile to finally get in front of the thing.

I ended up seeing my son and yelled for him. He was pretty close to the finish line, and if it was not raining so hard I would have probably lifted him over the fence and had him run with me. He may have been a little scared of the crowd though... maybe next year.

I crossed the finish line and raised my hands... partly in victory, but mainly in praise. It is a blessing to be able to do something like this. People take it for granted. Praise the Lord!

After the finish line, I saw volunteers handing out the medals. For the few short seconds, as I stared at the medal and walked closer to get mine, there was a sense of satisfaction that swept over me. A sense of accomplishment and another true sense of praise.

My body was really feeling it, but I finished!

Here were my splits from my Garmin:

My official chip time was 1:46:45. Just a minute forty five over my goal. I was so close and at the halfway point was still on pace to do it, but I am happy with my finish.

Congratulations to everyone that ran!

02 May 2009

Time For Broad Street

It has been a while since I last blogged. I am going to have to blame Facebook for that. It is addicting, and I welcome anyone to request me as a friend.

It is now less than 12 and a half hours until the Broad Street Run. It seems like yesterday I was signing up and now it is upon us! My first major race and the excitement has been building all day.

I went to the expo this morning with my son and brother. We arrived at Lincoln Financial Field a little after 10 and the line was incredibly long to get in. It moved quickly though.

The expo was pretty cramped, and whoever planned the layout was pretty sneaky. When you got upstairs you had to go all the way to the right to the end and get your BIB. Then you had to turn around and go all the way to the other end to get your shirt and bag. In the meantime you had to pass every single vendor that was set up for the expo.

The only thing I bought was a t-shirt for each of my kids, and a case of GU. The GU was a great deal, only $22 and I was able to mix and match flavors. I got a few I like and some I have not tried yet.

So here is my plan for tomorrow... My goal is an incredibly slow 1:45. I will run the first two miles at 11:00 pace, then the next three miles at 10:30 pace, and the last five miles at 10:00 pace. That will give me a finish time of 1:43:30 and a 90 second margin of error to reach my goal!

I posted that plan on my Facebook page for all the world to see. I risk failing in front of all the Internet world, but if I pull it off I can look like a running scholar. lol

So, I am not as prepared as I thought I would be at this point, but I am very confident that I will have a good run.

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!