November
28
Posted on 28-11-2010
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

This week began on the road with a pretty tough workout of 2 miles warmup plus 2 x 1.5 miles in 9:55 and 9:45 plus 7 miles for a total of 12 miles running.  My legs were still a little tired from Saturdays 14 miles with Richie and Steve, but they warmed up nicely and the two cruise intervals were much faster than the 10:20 goal.  Once I got those out of the way, everything else seemed slow and much of the remaining 7 miles were run at sub 8 min/mile pace.  Here’s how the rest of the week shook out:

Monday: 2 miles easy + 2 x 1.5 T pace + 7 miles easy = 12 miles

Tuesday: 8 miles easy

Wednesday: 35 minutes stationary bike + core strength training

Thursday: Off

Friday: 1 mile warmup + 10 x 400 w/ 400 jogs + 1 mile cool down = 7 miles

Saturday: 10 miles easy

Sunday: 8 miles easy

Total: 45 miles

This was probably my best week yet.  7:45 pace is feeling fairly effortless lately.  I’m running a half marathon in 2 weeks.  My original goal was 1:35, but Richie thinks I can go sub 1:30 again and he’s signed up to pace me to that time.  So, the next two weeks will be kind of a taper, though not to the extent I would taper for a goal race.

On another note, I found out last night that qualifying races for NYC must be run before January 31, 2011.  That means that a sub 1:23 performance in the Gasparilla half marathon would not guarantee me entry into the NYC marathon since Gasparilla is in February.  It would, however, guarantee entry into the 2012 NYC marathon.  So, it looks like lottery is plan A and charity is plan B again.

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November
26
Posted on 26-11-2010
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

While $2.50 probably got some people a new printer this Black Friday, I slept in and then headed to the park for some 400 m repeats.  I notched myself up a VDOT this week, which translates to one less second on the 400’s.  The plan was for 1 mile warm up, 10 x 400 m in 1:29, 1 mile cool down.  Here’s how it went:

400 m – 1:27

400 m – 1:28

400 m – 1:25

400 m – 1:25

400 m – 1:25

400 m – 1:27

400 m – 1:27

400 m – 1:28

400 m – 1:30

400 m – 1:27

I jogged 400 m in between repeats.  I’m happy with my consistency.  The 1:30 was only a second off and it was into a pretty stiff head wind, so I’m not worried about it.

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November
21
Posted on 21-11-2010
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

Another week is in the books and this one didn’t start out too well.  My calf felt some lingering effects from my encounter with a dog last Sunday, so I spent Monday and Tuesday morning on the stationary bike.  I did make it out for 3 mile afternoon runs with Alice on each day. Wednesday, I was feeling better, so I ran to the gym and completed a strength training session before heading home.  I managed to get my speed workout in on Thursday morning, but experienced horrible night sweats Thursday night and felt rotten on Friday morning.  I took Friday off, then met Richie, Justin and Steve for a great 14 mile run with a few sub 8 minute miles at the end.  I didn’t nearly hit my planned mileage (56), but did hit both my quality runs.  Here’s how the week shook out:

Monday AM: 40 minutes stationary bike

Monday PM: 3 miles easy

Tuesday AM: 60 minutes stationary bike

Tuesday PM: 3 miles easy

Wednesday AM: 4 miles easy + upper and core strength training

Wednesday PM: 4 miles easy

Thursday AM: Difficult to remember workout (7 miles)

Thursday PM: 3 miles easy

Friday: Off

Saturday: 14 miles

Sunday: 4 miles easy

Total: 42 miles

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November
18
Posted on 18-11-2010
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

When I develop a running plan for myself, I typically do so in a nice organized Excel spreadsheet (shout-out to Lindsay).  This morning, I looked at the plan (I moved my speed work to Thursday due to lingering effects of my encounter with the dobermans) and simply saw a brief notation that said, “See Jack Daniels, pg. 244”.  It’s never a good sign when the workout doesn’t fit in the spreadsheet.  I spent about 5 minutes trying to memorize the workout and then another 10 drawing diagrams of the park where I usually run, trying to figure out how to use the mile markers there as guides while completing the workout.

Officially, the workout is 4 x (200 m R pace with 200 m jog + 200 m R pace with 400 m jog + 800 m R pace with 400 m jog).  I grabbed some sidewalk chalk, drove to the park and ran a warmup lap, marking the halfway points between the quarter mile markers at the park based on information from my Garmin.  The workout turned into a somewhat convoluted series of runs, jogs, and 180 degree turns, but I made it through pretty well.  My “R” pace is currently 6:00 min/mile, so that means 45 second 200 m repeats and 3:00 800’s.  Here’s how it went:

200 m – 0:39

200 m – 0:42

800 m – 2:57

200 m – 0:42

200 m – 0:42

800 m – 2:59

200 m – 0:44

200 m – 0:47

800 m -2:59

200 m – 0:39

200 m – 0:42

800 m – 3:00

So, I hit them all except one.  I’ll admit I was loafing a bit on the 0:47 200, but it served as a nice wake-up call.  My calf (presumably injured during my race with the dog) felt pretty good.  It’s healed very nicely everyday since I’ve been exchanging my morning easy runs for equal amounts of time on the stationary bike.  Hopefully, tomorrow morning won’t reveal further damage.  As it is, I managed an easy 3 mile run with Alice tonight sans pain, so I’m pretty confident.

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November
14
Posted on 14-11-2010
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

It was another recovery week and this one actually went as planned (if you can count being chased by Doberman Pincers “planned”).  Here’s how it shook out:

Monday: 6 miles easy

Tuesday: Pyramid workout – 7 miles

Wednesday AM: 35 minutes stationary bike + lower/core strength training

Wednesday PM: 4 miles easy

Thursday: 6 miles easy

Friday: Off

Saturday: 2 miles easy + 5 x 1200 + 7 miles = 13 miles

Sunday: Off

Total: 36 miles

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November
13
Posted on 13-11-2010
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

Since my last encounter with a neighborhood dog about two months ago, I’ve been taking a slightly modified route to avoid “Abbey”, the dog who chased me that day.  This new route takes me through an alley and past three particularly mean dogs who make a point to growl,  bark loudly and do everything possible to vault or break through the 6 foot high chain link fence that separates them from the rest of the world.  There’s a fat one, who is by far the loudest, but quite lethargic and there are two other doberman pincers that can leap pretty high in their attempts to vault the 6 foot fence.  A standard chain link fence would not hold them.  Since I know they can neither vault nor break through the 6 foot chain link fence, I feel pretty safe taking this route.

Today, I began my workout with a light jog 100 meters down my street and made my turn into the alley.  Immediately, the barking started.  I looked over to the fence and saw the fat one in his usual spot up against the fence.  I knew that momentarily, the other two would come bounding through the holes in the screened porch to join him up against the fence.  When they didn’t appear, I knew something was wrong.  I looked to the end of the alley and the two rounded the corner from behind a bush, rushing straight toward me.

I quickly turned on my heels and ran.  I instantly pondered whether this was the best thing to do.  My brief bear training while in the smoky mountains this summer taught me to stand my ground even if a bear charges.  These were not bears, however and the whole thing felt like an ambush.  The fat one was just the lookout.  I tore down the street past Abbey’s house, hoping she’d be out to give chase today.  I figured maybe the Dobermans would be distracted by her.  No such luck.  I was moving pretty fast and I didn’t hear any barking anymore, but I could hear the very fast pitter patter of paws hitting pavement right behind me.  I wasn’t sure, but I think I dropped one of them, but the other one was fast.

I envisioned what would happen if I stopped, turned around and gave it a quick, surprise kick to the head.  I quickly decided against that.  One, I’d have to be sure I connected and two it would give the other dog the chance to catch up.  I went to full out sprint, kicking my pace up to the last gear I had.  Jack Daniels doesn’t have a name for the pace I was running.  It was “running the 40 yard dash, trying to make the football team” fast.  I kept telling myself that dogs are sprinters and the longer I hold the pace, the better chance I have of surviving.  Within seconds, the pitter patter of paws faded into the distance.  The dog couldn’t handle my acceleration and broke off the chase.  I slowed back down to “regular fast” until I made it across a busy street.  I glanced back and saw one dog standing about a block away with its head hung low to the ground.

I looked at my Garmin which showed a 62 second quarter mile.  So much for an easy warmup.

I walked for a while, then continued my warmup at a much, much easier pace.  Today’s workout  was planned as a bit of a hybrid speed workout/long run: 2 miles easy + 5 x 1200m in 5:15 with 1 minute rests + 7 miles easy.  Here’s the intervals went:

1200 m – 5:05

1200 m – 5:02

1200 m – 5:03

1200 m – 5:07

1200 m – 4:59

I started the 7 miles following the intervals feeling kind of winded, but felt better as I went along.  All in all, the workout was 13 miles.  I took a circuitous route back home.  I knew I didn’t have another 62 second quarter in me and the dogs had just had an hour and a half rest.

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November
10
Posted on 10-11-2010
Filed Under (Inspiration) by Brian

This is one of those posts where the Cast of Characters page will come in handy.  Please refer to it as needed.

Over the weekend, Bret ran the New York City marathon.  Richie accompanied him to New York to coach him, feed him pancakes and jump on the course at mile 17 to pace him.  Bret finished in 3:01:17.  That’s a few seconds faster than Richie ran it last year.

Richie sent out an email Monday night congratulating Bret and (among other things) saying quote:

“I’m making it a point to say that I’m looking for a new opportunity to compete and bond with good friends and athletes. I’m in for 2011, its something I need to do – who is with me?”

The email was sent to me, Bret, Justin, Steve and Ken.  Ken is not yet worthy of a paragraph on the cast of characters page, but he is the only one of us who has actually broken 3 hours in the marathon.  The email was quickly followed by a reply from Bret saying he’s in.  Next came the email from Justin congratulating Bret which said (among other things) quote:

“Great effort, race and reward!! And [Richie] is a great motivator; when he’s not calling me fat, disgusting, slow and lazy. So coach; I’m in…”

With that, I was swept up in the moment and applied for entry to the 2011 New York City marathon as well.  Hopefully, Steve and Ken will join in so we can have a nice wolfpack at the start.  I know Richie is shooting to go under 3 and Brett probably will too.  If I can hit my 1:25 goal at the Gasparilla half marathon in February, then I’ll throw my hat into the sub 3 hour ring too.  It would be nice to run it with the guys and break 3 together.

My first chance to get in is the lottery, but if that fails I’ve got a couple of charity options.  It’s awesome to think about it from a year away when I don’t have to train for it yet!

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November
09
Posted on 09-11-2010
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

This week’s edition of speedwork Tuesday featured a Jack Daniels pyramid.  Unfortunately, that’s not a signature set of cocktails developed by flair bartenders in Vegas.  It refers to intervals of increasing distance that reach a peak, then decrease back down to the original distance.  On the menu for today:

4 x 200 m in 45 seconds with 200 m jogging recoveries

2 x 400 m in 1:30 with 400 m jogging recoveries

1 x 800 m in 3:00 with 800 m jogging recovery

2 x 400 m in 1:30 with 400 m jogging recoveries

4 x 200 m in 45 seconds with 200 m jogging recoveries

And here’s how it went:

200 m – :45

200 m – :43

200 m – :48

200 m – :43

400 m – 1:26

400 m – 1:30

800 m – 3:00

400 m – 1:28

400 m – 1:32

200 m – :44

200 m – :40

200 m – :45

200 m – :45

I completed all intervals with prescribed recovery jogs.  This week, I didn’t even walk after the last interval.  I went right into my cool down.  With the warmup and cooldown, the entire session was 7 miles.  I only missed the mark on 2 intervals.  The 1:32 400 is forgivable, but the 48 second 200 is kind of out of whack.  I think I did have to loop around a downed tree on that one, though.  So, it might have been long.

Also, my Garmin no longer uploads to my computer, so mad props to me for remembering all those interval times!  I’ve taken to reciting them during the recoveries.

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November
08
Posted on 08-11-2010
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

The weeks seem to be flying by and it’s hard to believe we’re less than 9 weeks away from the Miami to Key West Ragnar Relay.  That leaves me about 16 weeks away from the Gasparilla half marathon.  This week went pretty well, though the speed sessions have been giving me some aches in my knees.  The sensation is similar to what I had last year at this time with Runner’s knee, but it only hurts for a few hours after the speed sessions.  I’ve been pretty careful about taking it easy after the hard workouts and so far haven’t developed a full fledged injury.  I’m hoping that it’s just my body adjusting to the harder weeks.

Here’s how the week shook out:

Monday: 6 miles easy

Tuesday AM: 8×400 m in 1:30 with 400 m jogs between (6 miles total)

Tuesday PM: 35 minutes stationary bike

Wednesday AM: 4 miles easy + upper body strength

Thursday: 2 miles easy + 2 miles T pace + 2 miles easy

Friday: 6.5 miles easy

Saturday: 12 miles

Sun: Off

Total: 42.5

This coming week is a recovery week, so I’ll be reducing the mileage a bit.  Hopefully, it won’t be like my last recovery week.

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November
04
Posted on 04-11-2010
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

On Tuesday I wasn’t feeling great in the morning, but convinced myself to head to the park for a planned speed session of 8 x 400 m intervals in 1:30 with 400 m jogging recoveries.  After a warmup lap and some stretching, I still wasn’t really feeling it, but I got into the groove after the first interval and completed the 8 in:  1:25, 1:30, 1:21, 1:26, 1:26, 1:27, 1:27, and 1:23.  The recoveries were legitimate jogs between 10:00 and 11:00 min/mile.  I didn’t do any walking until a 1 minute walking rest between the final interval and my cool down jog.  I wasn’t all that pooped during the cool down either so I’m definitely leaning toward moving up a VDOT.

Today, I woke up a little early to drop Alice off at school so she could catch the bus to the cross country district meet.  I then drove immediately to the park where the meet would be held and set off for a short tempo run.  The park borders part of the Pinellas trail, a long “rails to trails” project that offers a pretty uninterrupted course for a tempo run thanks to pedestrian bridges over the major roads.  The goal was 2 miles easy, 2 miles in 14:00, 2 miles easy.  Again, I wasn’t really feeling it, but the workout didn’t seem too intimidating.  I set out on the trail, figuring I’d run two miles easy out and then two miles fast back followed by a 2 mile cool down on the cross country course.

The 2 miles out felt harder than “easy” should.  I encountered only one pedestrian bridge (the only hills we get in Florida) on the route. On the way back, I kicked it up to 7:00 min/mile pace and felt a struggle to hold the pace.  It just felt more uncomfortable than it should have.  About halfway through my fast 2 miles, I hit the bridge and powered up.  I thought the bridge might kill the workout, but it actually built some confidence.  When I reached the top, it hadn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would and I thundered down the other side with less than a mile to go.  I eased off the pace a little, but then found I was lagging again, so I kicked it back up and finished the “fast” two miles in 13:44.  I finished off the workout with 2 easy miles at the park.

So, that’s two pretty solid speed workouts I suppose.  I’m happy with them anyway.

As for Alice, she finished 35th in the cross country meet.  She moves on to regionals by virtue of her team’s 5th place finish.  It’s going to take some extra effort by the whole team to finish in the top 6 next week to move on to state, but it’s very doable.  Should be exciting!

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