December
23
Posted on 23-12-2009
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

With holidays travels looming at the end of the week, the beginning of this week was jam packed with mileage.  It was definitely the toughest week I’ve had in some time and it felt good to complete all the workouts as planned.  Here’s how it went:

Monday AM: 5×1200 m at 6:15 pace (9 miles total)

Monday PM: 4 miles at 8:11 pace

Tuesday AM: 20 miles stationary bike + full body strength training

Tuesday PM: 4 miles with Alice at 9:23 pace

Wednesday AM: 2 miles easy + 2x 1.5 miles at 6:45 pace + 7 miles easy = 12.5 miles total

Wednesday PM: 3 miles at 9:32 pace with Alice

Thursday AM: 16 miles at 8:30 pace

Thursday PM: 8:50 warmup mile before Alice’s intervals

Friday: Off

Saturday: 6 miles at 10:00 pace with Alice at Walt Disney World

Sunday: Off

Total: 55.5 miles

The week was a great confidence builder for me.  I’m in better shape than I thought I was.  Right now, I’m thinking of 1:30 as a goal for the Disney half marathon and tentatively 3:20 as my full marathon goal in February.  We’ll see how the half marathon goes, though.

So far, this week has not started out well.  I had Monday in the car all day and then had a pretty good shakeout 6 miler on Tuesday.  It’s been raining cold rain all day today, though so I doubt I’ll get out.  Tomorrow doesn’t look any better weather-wise.

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December
16
Posted on 16-12-2009
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

With lots of traveling later this week, the early part of the week takes on some serious priority.  I’ve completed both of my “quality” workouts already and they both went well.  The first, an interval workout, fell on Monday.  The plan was for 5 1200 m intervals at 6:15 pace (4:42).  Here’s how it went:

2 miles warmup

1200 m in 4:34

1200 m in 4:35

1200 m in 4:39

1200 m in 4:40

1200 m in 4:41

1.7 miles cooldown

Total: 9 miles (there were 600 m jogging recoveries in between intervals)

The second workout was today.  It called for 2 x 1.5 miles at 6:45 pace followed by 7 miles easy.  Here’s how it went:

2.25 miles warmup

1.5 miles in 9:25 (6:18 pace)

1.5 miles in 9:30(6:21 pace)

7 miles at 8:20 pace

Total: 12.5 miles (including walking recoveries after Intervals)

So, I’ve gotta be happy with two quality workouts faster than prescribed pace.  My legs are very tired and I’ve got a 16 miler tomorrow, so hopefully they’ll hold up.  After that, it’s a day off, then an easy 6 on Saturday and lots of time in the car!

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December
13
Posted on 13-12-2009
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

Finally, a week worth talking about!  I finally feel like I’m “back in the game”.  I did start off the week on the stationary bike as my right foot was feeling a little tweaked, but I managed an encouraging 3 mile race, a solid fartlek run and a nice consistent 15 miler over the weekend.  It looks like there may still be some hope left for a 1:30 half marathon at Disney next month.  Here’s how the week shook out:

Monday AM: 18 miles stationary bike + lower body and core strength training

Monday PM: 4 miles at 10:45 pace with Alice

Tuesday AM: 6 miles at 8:18 pace

Tuesday PM: Put together new sleep number bed – made me sweaty, but Ohhh the reward of a good night’s sleep.

Wednesday AM: 2 miles at 8:45 pace (shake out for the race)

Wednesday PM: Jingle Bell Run (3 miles in 18:58) – 4 miles total with w/u

Thursday AM: 18 miles stationary bike + upper body strength training

Friday AM: 6.5 miles of windy fartlek work.  Threw in 200-400 m fartleks at 6-6:15 pace and a couple of 7 minute miles

Friday PM: Jogged 2 miles warmup with Alice before putting her through a 4x400m workout

Saturday AM: 15 miles at 8:45 pace with Richie, Justin and Steve

Sunday AM: 6 miles at 10:45 pace with Alice

Total: 45.5

I was shooting for 50, but I’m not complaining.  Now that I feel good, I’m willing to take my tentative “injury reigns” off and go full throttle for a couple of weeks (assuming my holiday travels don’t get in the way).

Justin, Steve, Richie and I were going to run a half marathon on Sunday, but Richie tweaked his calf during the Jingle Bell run, so we decided to do an easy 15 on Saturday instead.  We did make cool matching shirts that we all wore during the long run (pictures coming in the future).  I think we got a little more respect from the cyclists because of them.

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December
10
Posted on 10-12-2009
Filed Under (Races) by Brian

We registered for the Jingle Bell run primarily as a bridge for Alice between cross country season and track season.  Of course 3 miles along a waterfront lit with Christmas lights and luminaries with live music every half mile was a pretty good draw as well.

I wasn’t quite prepared for the lack of general organization of the race.  There were no numbers, no clocks and most definitely no awards.  We did get T-shirts and our money went to support the Boley Centers so we can feel good about ourselves.

Alice and I warmed up for about a mile before the race and I caught up with Richie at the start.  Of course, he had to pee first, so he headed back to the restrooms at the St. Petersburg Pier (site of a previous Richie bathroom meltdown).  Of course, the line was too long and he soon returned to the start.  We worked our way up near the front.

“So, you think we should run 6:30’s?” he asked.  This was exactly what I had in mind.

“Absolutely,” I replied.

The mayor said a few words, rang some jingle bells and we were off.  Mind you, I was wearing jingle bells on my racing flats and had a yellow glow in the dark rubber halo on my head.  The Jingle Bell run is all about high fashion.

Richie zips through the rather unorganized crowd.  Within 50 yards, we’re off the road and cruising down the sidewalk.  We run this section of the pier quite frequently in training.  Normally, Richie runs in the middle of the road.  Ironically, the road is now closed – reserved specifically for runners – and he’s running on the sidewalk.  Of course, I’m right there with him.  For some reason, I’m keeping up with him.  He said 6:30’s right?

“We’re a little fast,” Richie says several times, though he shows no signs of slowing down.  We’re weaving in and out of walkers, joggers, dogs, strollers, men dressed like bananas, and people break dancing in the middle of the street.  What the hell?

We pass the half mile mark and I try to look at my watch.  Eventually, we pass under a street light and I read about 3 minutes through the first half.

“We’re 3 minutes through the first half,” I tell Richie.

“Yeah, we’re definitely fast,” he replies.  We run on a few more yards.

“Hey, I gotta go catch those kids,” says Richie.  I chuckle, happy for the excuse not to have to hang onto him anymore and quite amused that I can still chuckle and chat at the pace we’re running.

“Enjoy yourself,” I say as he takes off.  I settle down and start picking off runners, albeit at a much slower pace than Richie.  I lose sight of him after about a quarter mile.

We pass Santa and many merry children ready to sit on his lap, then make a right turn in front of the Vinoy resort.  I pass the 1 mile mark in 6:07.

“Hey, much faster than planned,” I think to myself.  Fortunately I feel pretty good, so I just settle in behind another runner and match his pace for a while.  I run like that for about a quarter mile before taking an inside line on a turn and passing him.  We enter a parking lot with a giant searchlight.  It marks the 1.5 mile mark and the turn around point.  I look for Richie coming back the other way, but don’t see him.  I round the corner and head back for the pier, still feeling great.

Soon, I pass Alice running toward me, heading for the turn around.  I give her a little clap and a “go Alice” before making a quick left turn.

“Yeah Darrow!” I hear from the other side.  It’s Meredith, of Twisted Blister fame.  I let out a yelp and raise a fist – the universal Ragnar Relay symbol of “I’m still alive and running!”.  I’m amazed at how many people are still coming toward me.  The two mile mark is on the back side of the 1 mile mark and it’s kind of comforting to know I’m twice as fast as these people I see in the other lane.  I pass the Vinoy and make a left turn back toward the pier.  I’m starting to feel the pace a little, but hey there’s less than a mile to go and I’m certainly not hurting.

I pass Santa once again and there’s lots of great live music.  I make a left back onto the pier and pass the half mile mark again.  I pick up the pace and cruise down to the end of the pier, passing as many people as possible.  I see Raffi, and Richie’s wife along the side of the course with Richie stretching behind them.  I cross the finish in 18:58, breathing heavily, but feeling great about the run.

It was a 3 mile race, but the pace translates to a 19:37 5K – or 3 seconds off my PR.  The difference is that I felt like I was going to die after my PR and I felt like  just phoned this one in.  Really, it was like a hard workout.  Richie finished in 17:28 – good for 8th place.  He was pumped about all the high school runners he passed – like a little too pumped for the Jingle Bell run, but he was couped up at the office all week and you have to admire when a competitive guy lets the adrenaline flow.

Alice finished in 23:09 and we somehow missed the finish of Meredith and Scott, but they came around and chatted for a while afterward.  Overall, I was quite pleased with my effort.  I’m in much better shape than I thought I was.  My knee is definitely better.  I’m getting over the flu and the only major thing I have to complain about is a little tweak on the top of my right foot that seems to be due to some kind of friction with the tongue of my 5th pair of Adidas Supernova Sequence.

Richie talked me into a half marathon this Sunday.  We’re going to try to pace Justin and Steve to a 1:45.  It should be a good workout – roughly marathon race pace.  It’s nice to be back in the game.

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December
01
Posted on 01-12-2009
Filed Under (Injury) by Brian

If I were a religious man, I’d say God was trying to tell me not to run a marathon.  First it was my foot.  It felt better just as my knee started hurting.  That’s finally feeling better, but now I’ve got the flu.

I was stuffy yesterday, but I got up to run 8 miles with Richie this morning anyway.  I felt great during the run, but almost as soon as we were finished, my entire body started to ache and I just felt like crawling into bed.  Unfortunately, it was one of those rare days where I absolutely could not skip work, so I sat like a zombie all day.  I’m going to bed early tonight and not waking up in the morning until I’m good and ready to wake up.  Hopefully, I can sleep this off.

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