March
30
Posted on 30-03-2009
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

I’m still awake – but not for long.  I woke this morning pretty much with a huge desire to go back to sleep.  I slept well – deep sleep with many dreams.  I just wanted that to continue for several more hours.  I seriously considered taking the morning off and enjoying another 2 hours of blissful dreams.  Of course, I didn’t.  After some breakfast and some loud music, I somehow convinced myself to leave the comfort of the house for a series of 1200 m intervals.  I actually wasn’t quite sure I would make it through the warm-up mile, but I made it to the park and started the first interval before I could talk myself out of it.  The plan was 4×1200 m intervals in 4:49.  Here’s how it went:

1200 m in 4:44

1200 m in 4:43

1200 m in 4:47

1200 m in 4:53

So, the final one was slow.  I was just happy to have actually completed it to be honest.  I took a 3 minute walk break after that interval, then continued home for a total workout of 7 miles.

Ahh, but the story today doesn’t end there.  Now that my daughter Alice is finished with track season, we’re building off of that fitness to prepare her for next fall’s cross country season.  So, at about 5 pm, I picked her up at school and we went for an easy 3 mile run.  At her easy pace of 10:24 min/mile, it was very easy for me from the cardiovascular standpoint, but my legs are definitely feeling the combination of workouts.

Still, it’s nice to have 10 miles under my belt only 1 day into the week.  Tomorrow morning, I’m hitting the bike for about 20 min to warmup for my strength training.  Then, it’s off for another 3 easy miles with Alice after work.

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March
29
Posted on 29-03-2009
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

What started out as a good week ended on a sour note.  My intervals on Saturday didn’t go so well, so I finished the 6.5 miles off at easy pace, rested up and headed out Sunday afternoon for my 10.5 mile long run.  That too started out well, but eventually, my body just decided that it didn’t want to run any more and I ended up struggling along and taking a few walk breaks.  On a positive note, I still finished the workout at an average pace of 8:48/mile (exactly my prescribed easy pace).

I really think I need to start watching my caloric intake more closely.  I had lost 3 lbs before the spring break.  Fortunately, I gained them all back over the vacation.  Now I suspect I’m losing them again.  That would explain the sluggishness in the morning and certainly the leaden legs at the end of the week.  Some people need to remember to cross train, or remember to stretch.  I need to remember to eat.  That’s my focus for the week.

Here’s a summary of the week:

Monday: 1200 m intervals at I pace: 6.5 miles

Tuesday: Easy treadmill + strength: 5 miles

Wednesday: 1200 m intervals at T pace: 8.5 miles

Thursday: treadmill +strength: 5 miles

Friday: Off + chiropractor

Saturday:  1200 m interval at I pace + easy running: 6.5 miles

Sunday: Long run: 10.5 miles

Total: 42 miles.

Next week, I’ll be bumping up to 48 miles.  I’ll also be introducing a new twist: 2 workouts on some days.  My daughter Alice’s track season has ended so I’ll be running with her to try to maintain her fitness, then build up for cross country season in the fall.  These should all be easy runs at her easy pace of 10:24 min/mile so hopefully it won’t add a whole lot of stress on me.  I’m definitely counting them in my weekly total.

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March
25
Posted on 25-03-2009
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

I’ve gotta admit that I’ve been pretty sluggish in the morning lately.  I just find it so damned hard to get out of bed and get going.  Of course once I do, I end up having a very productive day.  I just need that initial spark.  No, I don’t drink coffee.  Maybe I should.

Anyway, I hit the gym for 5 sluggish treadmill miles at my easy pace yesterday.  I didn’t want to do any strength training, but somehow I convinced myself o do it anyway.  The good news is that I was able to weight myself and I gained 3 pounds back on vacation.  Now I just have to remember to eat enough to keep it there.

Today, the plan called for 8×1200 m at T pace.  T pace is currently 7:02 minutes per mile or 1200 m in 5:14.  Here’s how it went:

1200 m in 5:02

1200 m in 5:08

1200 m in 5:02

1200 m in 5:03

1200 m in 5:02

1200 m in 5:12

1200 m in 5:11

1200 m in 4:57

I figured this workout wouldn’t be so bad since a typical Wednesday T pace run has been 4×1.5 miles at T pace.  So, this was essentially the same total distance with twice the intervals of half the distance and half the rest (1 minute rest between intervals today).  It was challenging I’d say, but I definitely think I could have done 1-2 more intervals without excrutiating difficulty.  Including warmup, cooldown and rests, my total workout was 8.5 miles in 1:06:05.

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March
23
Posted on 23-03-2009
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

I’m home after a much too short, but very much needed vacation to Walt Disney World.  My average day there looked something like this:

10 am: wake up

10:30 am: get out of bed

11 am: have breakfast

11:30am – 1:00 pm read a mindless brain candy book in a lounge chair by the pool

1:00 pm: have lunch

1:30 pm: stroll to the pool bar for a maragarita

1:30 pm-3:00pm: sip margarita, read book in lounge chair

3:00 pm: stroll to the pool bar for another margarita

3:00 pm-4:00pm: sip margarita, read book in lounge chair

4:00 pm: return to room and shower

5:15 pm: have relaxing dinner

7:00 pm: arrive at theme park

7:00 pm-11:00 pm:  enjoy rides (and fudge) at theme park

11:00pm-12:00 am: watch stupid TV in hotel room

12:00 am: sleep

Yes, I could definitely get used to that.  After about 4 days of my newly adopted lifestyle, things started to catch up to me.  Without going into too many details, I got a bit constipated.  So, I headed out on Thursday morning for a short run just to get things moving a bit.  I felt sluggish, but ran at race pace for about 1.5 miles.  Then, the family rented a four person surrey bike and we biked about 3-4 miles.  I guess that counts as cross training.

I did 6 easy miles after arriving home on Saturday and another 6 on Sunday.  That got the kinks out for today’s speedwork.  The plan was for 4 x 1200 m at I pace (6:24 min/mile or 1200 m in 4:49) with 600 m jogging recoveries.   Here’s how it went:

1200 m in 4:38

1200 m in 4:38

1200 m in 4:43

1200 m in 4:46

Thankfully, I finally convinced myself to hold back at the beginning of the last two, making them somewhat bearable.  I was pretty tired at the end of the last one, but held onto a feeble jog for about 200 m before recovering enough to look somewhat respectable for the mile or so back home.  This workout was eerily similar to my last attempt, so I think it’s safe to say that I didn’t lose any fitness over the vacation.  There are no R pace runs this week (only T pace and I pace) and I even get to repeat this same workout on Saturday!  Woo ha!

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March
14
Posted on 14-03-2009
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

This week was probably the most intense week I’ve put myself through as far as training goes.  Sure, I’ve run more miles ina week, but never have a I done so much speedwork on top of strength training without rest.  I did it as a kind of experiment since I’ll be taking a planned week off now.  It kicked my butt.  After Tuesday, I walked around pretty much all week with legs of lead and felt tired every afternoon at work.  By the time I got home every night, I was ready to collapse in bed.

Today was a final interval session.  It was supposed to be 4×200 m at R pace (44 sec) with 200m recoveries + 3x1000m I pace (4:04)  with 400m recoveries and 2 x 400 m R pace (1:30) with 400 m recoveries.  I got through the set of 200’s just great:

200 m in 42 sec

200 m in 42 sec

200 m in 39 sec

200 m in 38 sec

I was feeling pretty good after a 600 m recovery jog and started into the first 1000 m interval when I felt a sharp stabbing pain in my right buttock.  I ran a few meters, hoping it would go away, but it didn’t.  So, I walked for a while wondering if I should just go home.  I massaged it a bit and decided to see what I could do with it.  I started jogging and basically just went as fast as I could without pain.  I settled on what amounts to my M pace and finished out the 7 miles.  My butt is still a little sore, but I’m sure it will be okay after the time off.

Here’s the week in review:

Monday: Weird mix of  intervals = 6.5 miles

Tuesday: 4 miles Easy Treadmill + upper and lower strength + 2 miles easy treadmill = 6 miles

Wednesday: Threshold interval = 8.5 miles

Thursday: 5 miles easy treadmill + upper and lower strength + 2 miles easy treadmill = 7 miles

Friday: 5 miles easy treadmill + core training class + 2 miles easy treadmill = 7 miles

Saturday: 200 m intervals + M pace running = 7 miles

Total: 42 miles

I was about 8 minutes slower than last week’s 42 miles primarily because of walk breaks during the first and third quality workouts of the week.  I went pretty hard core on the strength sessions, lifting heavy weights to complete exhaustion in every set.  The core class was also pretty demanding this week (or maybe I was just more tired).

It is now officially spring break and I’m off to Walt Disney World for some relaxation.  I’m leaving the laptop and the running shoes at home (though I’m sure the Twitter feed will be active).  I’ll be enjoying myself in various ways that involve restaurants, lounge chairs, margaritas and fast rides.  See you all next weekend.

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March
11
Posted on 11-03-2009
Filed Under (Inspiration) by Brian

Two posts in one day?  I’m feeling very much like Jess today.  As many of you know, my ultimate goal in training for the next year or so is the 2010 Gasparilla marathon.  Well, today I just received the official date – February 21, 2010.  So, my racing schedule for the next year is starting to take shape:

April 11, 2009 – Seminole Stampede 5K (goal = 19:59)

April 18, 2009 – Harvey’s Festival of States Run 5K (goal = 19:45)

May 9, 2009 – Florida Bank Miles for Moffitt 5K (goal = 19:15)

August, 2009 – Charger Classic 5K (goal = 17:59)

October 11, 2009 – Disney’s Race for the Taste 10K (goal=35:59)

January 9, 2010 – Walt Disney World Half Marathon(goal = 1:14:59)

February 21, 2010 – Gasparilla Distance Classic Marathon(goal = 2:59:59)

Obviously the schedule is subject to change and goals will be adjusted based on performance in prior races.  I’ll take a bit of a break in the early summer, then really start ramping up the mileage in the mid to late summer.  I’m going to try to reach 100 miles per week just after the 10K, then follow the Daniels elite marathon plan based on that peak mileage from there.

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March
11
Posted on 11-03-2009
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

Yesterday, I returned to a routine that I developed during my Disney half marathon training.  I ran 5 miles on the treadmill, then completed an upper body and a lower body workout, then returned to the treadmill for 2 more miles.  I pretty much max out at 6 miles on the treadmill, so this scheme allows me to split the time up when I need the extra mileage at easy pace.  So, I ran 5 miles at 8:42 pace then did the following strength workout:

2 sets of leg press with 270 lbs

2 sets of seated calf raises with 90 lbs

2 sets of toe raises

2 sets of decline press with 250 lbs

2 sets of incline press with 90 lbs

2 sets of low row with 140 lbs

2 sets of shoulder press with 140 lbs

2 sets of bicep curls with 40 lbs on each arm.

Then, I returned to the treadmill for 2 more miles at 8:42 pace before stretching.

Today, was my second quality workout of the week.  The schedule called for 4 x (1.5 miles at 7:02 pace with 2 minute rests).  That translates to 1.5 miles in 10:33.  Here’s how it went:

1.5 miles in 10:10

1.5 miles in 10:07

1.5 miles in 10:14

1.5 miles in 10:07

I was aided in the second interval by a dog who chased me for a whole block.  In the end, I outran the mongrel.  The  workout felt good.  It was a nice comeback from Monday’s intervals and nice to put a total of 6 miles together at sub 7 pace.  Including, warmup, intervals, walking rests, and cooldown, the workout was 8.5 miles in 1:06:26 (7:48 min/mile).

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March
09
Posted on 09-03-2009
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

All good things must come to an end and like Denise’s dramatic end to her relationship with her smelly old shoes, I have parted ways with my streak of good quality runs.  I kind of saw it coming when I planned out the week’s workouts last night.  Today was one of those weird, hard to remember interval sessions that looks easy, but always proves to kick my butt.  The Daniels plan was initially based on time at I pace, but I converted his times to distance at I pace, hoping to thwart off poor performance.  The plan was for 6 sets of the following:

0.31 miles at I pace with 0.1 mile jog recovery

0.16 miles at I pace with 0.05 mile jog recovery

0.08 miles at I pace with 0.05 mile jog recovery

On the surface, it all seems so simple.  These distances are at I pace.  Heck, that’s basically my planned 5K race pace.  I regularly slay 1200 m intervals at I pace and the most I have to run here is 550 m?  No problem!

Ahhh, but there is a problem and that’s the lack of recovery time.  When I’m running 400 m intervals with 400 m recoveries, I spend the first 100 m catching my breath from the interval.  The next 200 m involves jogging along easily as my heart rate comes down.  The final 100 m allows me to mentally prepare myself for the next interval.  In the case of the 0.1 mile jogs, I’ve barely caught my breath before the next interval starts.  In the case of the 0.05 mile jogs, there’s not even time to do that.

I understand the purpose of the workout is to kind of simulate a race without the mental stress of maintaining the pace for a long period of time.  The problem for me I think is that there’s not enough time to fall into a rhythm and the recoveries are too short to actually recover anything useful for the next interval.  I almost think it’d be easier to run the whole thing at I pace without the recoveries…almost.

My I pace is now 6:24 min/mile and I did alright.  I took a 1 minute walk break after 3 sets and another walk break after the 4th.  I managed to get the 5th and 6th in without a walk break, so at least I have that.  Including warm up and cool down, the workout was 6.5 miles at an average pace of 7:44 min/mile.

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March
08
Posted on 08-03-2009
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

Yesterday, I had a good time spectating the Disney Princess Royal Family 5K.  My eldest daughter finished in 26:30 and my wife finished in 34:25.  My PR is safe for now.  I felt a little like a tourist pack mule lugging around the still camera and the video camera along with various food items.  Afterward, we hurried home for eldest daughter’s birthday party.  Her birthday isn’t until March 23rd, but she was splitting the party with another classmate and we had the party early.  It was a good time and I had a little too much Maker’s Mark, so when we brought 6 of the party goers home with us to spend the night, I let them write their birthday wishes to me on my head at the stroke of midnight, when I turned 33.

By the time I woke, I had forgotten that it was my birthday and completely forgotten that I had various messages written all over my head in green marker.  I headed out for a 10 mile run.  It was a little iffy thanks to a small hangover, but as I found out in Las Vegas, there’s no better cure for a hangover than a long run.  When I returned home and removed my hat, my wife noted the green streaks all over my head.  It was then that I remembered the previous night’s head writing.

Throughout the run, I kept thinking about my 23rd birthday and how I couldn’t run 10 miles when I was 23.  So, that was kind of cool.  Otherwise, it was kind of an uneventful day.  The older you get, the less special birthday’s become I think.  That is, of course, until you get so old that people are afraid you’re going to die so they throw you big birthday parties because it’s an accomplishment that you’ve survived that long.  So, I guess I’m in the “in between” zone – which is fine by me.  In any case, I finished the 10 miles in 1:21:59 – an 8:12 min/mile pace.

I managed a total of 42 miles this week:

Monday:  1200 m intervals – 7 miles

Tuesday: Easy treadmill – 5 miles

Wednesday: Tempo – 7.5 miles

Thursday: Easy treadmill – 6 miles

Friday: 400 m intervals – 6.5 miles

Saturday: Off

Sunday: 10 miles

Total: 42 miles

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March
06
Posted on 06-03-2009
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

Yesterday’s easy run on the treadmill was not as easy as I would have liked again.  My legs felt tired and I just kind of slogged through 6 miles at 8:42 pace.  Afterward, I did an upper body and core strength training session.  This morning, the weather was beautiful and I headed over to the park to rip out some 400 m intervals.  The plan was for 8 x 400 m in 90 seconds with 400 m recovery jogs.  Here’s how it went:

400m in 84s

400m in 85s

400m in 86s

400m in 85s

400m in 87s

400m in 87s

400m in 85s

400m in 87s

I scared the crap out of a dog today, which was kind of fun.  Normally, dogs see me coming and they pull on their leashes trying to attack me before I get to their owner.  This dog was standing in the middle of the path while its owner was talking with some other people (which I hate, BTW…it’s fine to stop and have a conversation, but please step off the path instead of blocking everyone else) I popped into the grass and it turned just as I zipped past.  The dog actually took off in the opposite direction, dragging its surprised owner with it.

The intervals were a nice end to a stretch of 8 straight days running.  Tonight, I’m heading to Walt Disney World for the Disney Princess half marathon expo.  My wife will be running the 5K tomorrow.  It will be her first competitive endeavor in anything.  She complained to me for about 2 years that she couldn’t ever do more than a mile.  So, even though she wasn’t a couch potato, she finally tried a version of the C25K program and now she can do 3!  I’m very proud of her for sticking  with it and I’m willing to bet she’s going to run the race faster than she thinks tomorrow.  My eldest daughter is also running (her skin is growing back), so she’ll be there to pace mommy if she doesn’t decide to bust out her speed and go for a PR.  I am very much looking forward to a day off from running and a morning along the course as a spectator.  It’s all the excitement of race day without the hard work!

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