Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Training 6/27-7/3

6/27- A.M.- Slept in a bit and I was not about to fight that heat. Easy 3 on the 'mill with a time of 23:24 (7:48 pace). That's about all that I can stand to do on a machine.
P.M- Red flag on the beach and that meant rough surf and tons of fun with the boogie board. Man, I almost forgot how much fun that thing is. Amazingly, after fighting the rough surf all day in the sun and eating dinner, which included a mixed drink, I was able to run fairly well. At 7:30 in the evening, I ran 3 miles in what was still quite uncomfortable conditions with a time of 21:18 (7:06 pace) on the U.S. 98 sidewalk. It was almost tempo effort but not tempo pace. All thinks considered however, I'll cut myself some slack.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=6.0

6/28- Stole an extra hour in the surf before check out then took a side trip to the Flora-Bama lounge for lunch. Flora-Bama is your typical beach lunch fare with a wide variety of drinks. The food is nothing special but what makes it cool is that the establishment is not only on the beach but literally on the Florida/Alabama line. It is also a popular place for live bands in the evening. Drove back to the 'Ham and got in by evening and without even stopping back home, I got out of the car for an easy 7 in 53:28 (7:38 pace). Low 7:30s felt nearly effortless but I still backed off a tad. This run was great but once again, I might pay for it down the road.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=7.0

6/29- Trak Shak 8 at a moderate pace. It was actually 8.04 with a time of 58:46 (7:19 pace) in 90 degree weather. That's the equivalent of a sub-7 in optimal conditions. This was just shy of tempo effort. I did get to run with a buddy today and that was cool. Solid but not stellar performance. I'm racking up the mileage this week. I must back off if I am to be fresh for Peavine. Even pace except for the tough 7th mile and I had something left at the end.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=8.0

6/30- Easy 7 indoors and the cruise control was working well. Time was 53:56 (7:42 pace). Slightly fatigued but I was not struggling in the least. Took about a 15 minute rest then ran some hard 200s at Vestavia. Times were 34-34-32-30 (32 avg-roughly 4;20 pace). I was hoping for a little faster but realistically I was too tired and did not warm up for the sprints. I have run 1,049 miles in the first half of the year and my GPA stands at 2.97 but that's rising fast.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=8.0

7/1- Planned rest day. My body is reeling from the effort this week but it's not exhausted. I want to do more short intervals this coming month. Long and EASY tomorrow and yes, I plan to run with the back of the pack in the group run. I'm in for Peavine on the 4th.

7/2- BAD morning. I slept in and missed the group run but I would not have been able to do it anyway. Planned on 10 miles at 8:15-8:30 and had to settle for Lakeshore 5 in a turtle time of 43:21 (8:42 pace). I'm pretty sure that the problem was the calcium supplement that contains glutamic acid. I tried to pick up the pace several times and each time I was able to do so for a couple of minutes then got stuck back in the rut. This should clear my system by the evening.
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=5.0

PM- Indoor 6 in 47:16 (7:53 pace). Much better but still quite sore.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=6.0

7/3- Planned rest day. Should be okay for Peavine.

Weekly summary:
Saturday's debacle really put a damper on what would have been a very good week overall. The medical report should arrive by the end of next week and I am afraid that I am not out of the woods yet.
Distance=40.0/ GPA= 3.00

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer/Fall racing schedule

Now that summer is officially here, it's time to finalize my Fall racing plans:
6/25- Race to the Courthouse 5K (local)- Doubtful
7/4- Peavine Falls Run (8.2) (local)- Probable
7/23- Twilight Retro 5K-(local) Questionable
8/20- Are U Able 5K (local)-Questionable
9/4- Gatorade Steelers 5K (PA)- In
10/1- Montgomery half (AL)- In
10/16- Louisville half(KY)- In
11/5- Vulcan/Senior Bowl 10K(AL)- Questionable
11/19- White River Marathon(AR)- Probable
12/20- Jacksonville Bank half(FL)- Doubtful
That's a heavy schedule but there's no way that I'll end up doing all of these. One of my goals is to run over 2,000 miles in a calendar year and the more I race, the fewer miles I will train. 2009 was my best running year of my comeback and I only raced twice in the final 3 months of the year. Of course, I want 2011 to be better on all accounts.
5Ks- PRs can bet set alone on a track but I'd like to make it official. Perfect conditions such as favorable weather, close competition, flat course, A+ stuff are hard to come by.

Courthouse- may not be hot but certainly humid. Flat enough course but not usually competitive. Will probably skip it but could change my mind if I feel exceptionally strong when I wake up.

Twilight Retro- Evening race. Got lucky with the weather 2 years ago (below 80 and dry). I set a big PR. Most years however, it's either 95 and dry or 80 and steamy. Pick your poison. That said, it's always competitive and flat enough to be a PR course.

Are U Able- Also flat enough to be a PR course but weather and lack of competition could be issues. More inclined to do it if I skip Retro or perform poorly there.

Gatorade- flat, competitive, probably not hot, finish in Heinz Field.

Monty half- more for fun to see old friends. Fairly hilly and could be a bit warm.

Louisville- PR or sub-1:30 attempt. Flat and cool. First Kentucky race.

Vulcan/Senior Bowl- I'm willing to travel to Mobile if I feel I have a legitimate chance at a sub-40. If not, I can race locally or do a 20 mile training run.

White River- First Arkansas race. Good opportunity to improve soft marathon PR. I've raced the distance 3 times and have never been healthy at the start line. Calculators say I can run 3:15-3:20 but I'll take anything under 3:30.

Jacksonville- strictly a back up in case of a missed race due to injury/illness.

If all goes as planned, I will run 5 halves and 1 full in 2011. I've never done more than 3 halves or 1 full. The focus on distance will continue in early 2012. Austin, TX will be perhaps my best hope at sub-1:30 because it's mostly downhill. Then, after Mercedes in February, I will shift to heavy speed. With every passing year after 30, my sprinting will decline slowly and 59.9 will be extremely difficult. As for marathons, I may not do any in 2012-13 because I'll need a 3:05 to BQ and realistically, I don't see that happening no matter how well I train. When I'm in my late 30s, I will shift back to long distance.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Training 6/20-6/26

6/20- Still a bit of residual soreness in my legs. No real concern. I don't think it's anything more serious than natural fatigue. I was like a pitcher with a sore arm that battled through 6 innings and kept the game competitive despite not having his best stuff. Workout was 7x600 with a goal of 2:00 followed by 3x200 with a goal of 35. That's a average pace of 5:15/mile for 3 miles worth of intervals. I was struggling from the get go and it was on the verge of getting ugly towards the end. I managed to fight through the tiredness and hope that it was pay dividends in the strength area (short distance endurance) that is crucial for the Mile and 5K. The 200s had the objective of keeping my speed sharp for a possible 59.9 attempt in late summer. 600s came in at:
2:01-2:01-2:00-2:02-2:04-2:06-2:07. Then, I showed some life in the 200s (33-34-30). It was good to see that 30 but back in '99, it could have been a 28. Finished with an average pace of 5:19/mile but there's no way I could have done that in a time trial today. R was about 2:15-2:30, which is what I planned.
Grade:B-/2 credits/distance=5.0

6/21- Elective rest day. There will be no penalty for this one because this is a scheduled cut back week. If I complete tomorrow's run as planned, I will pass 1,000 miles on the year. My previous high was 1,993 in 2009. I've got to top 2,000 this year and hope to have time for a week off.

6/22-I slept 10 hours last night and could have stayed in bed even longer. Usual Trak Shak run was rained out so I went indoors for an easy 7.5. Despite the off day yesterday, I still felt a bit stiff today. After a bit of a rough start, I found the zone and set the cruise control between 7:40 and 7:45. For the next 7 miles, I just relaxed and let my engine take over. Finished with a time of 57:52 (7:43 pace) and added a half mile cool down. I have no doubt that I could hold that pace through 20 miles. From that point, even a 9:00 pace for the last 10K brings me home in 3:29.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=8.0

6/23- Cruised another easy 6 in 46:14 (7:42 pace). Found it difficult to slow down but this wasn't the smartest workout. My status for Courthouse has been upgraded from doubtful to questionable. The temp should be 75-78 at the start with a humidity between 85-90%. If it's overcast, I'll consider it if I feel strong when I wake up. If it's sunny, I'm skipping it no matter how well I feel. Felt the same as yesterday, which is good. Passed 1,000 miles on the year a full week ahead of schedule.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=6.0

6/24- Planned rest day. I am hoping to be fresh enough tomorrow to at least attempt a 5K PR. The decision will be made after checking the weather when I wake up. Update: Latest forecast is 76 at the start, near 80 at the finish with sunny skies and high humidity. This course has zero shade so I will most likely skip it and do a quality long run.

6/25- Probably a good call on skipping the race. It's not terribly hot but it's sunny and humid and the course has zero shade. Enjoyed my group run today. Covered just over 11.5 (watch started late) with an average pace of 7:22 and a lot left at the end. I may have raced well but I'm not sure that I was sharp enough to PR at 5K. I'll save it for Peavine on the 4th. Here's the summary:
Short cool down at the end to make it an even 12 and I'm heading to FLA in a few minutes.
Grade:A/2 credits/distance=12.0

6/26- I expected it to be brutally humid down on the Gulf coast but it was worse than expected. I started my run at 6:50 AM and it proved to be too late. Come to think of it, I don't think any time of day is good to run here. The low temp is usually 80 degrees with 100 percent humidity. At 7 AM, it was already pushing 85 with close to 90% humidity. I felt pretty well overall but the humidity eventually did me in after starting too fast. My moving time was a solid 37:52 (7:35 pace) for 5 miles but the final .75 was walk/run intervals. To my credit, I did manage to stay under 8 pace in Miles 3-4 after starting below 7:30.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=5.0

Weekly summary:
Did about what I planned in a cut back week. My body needed it. Next week could be low as well but I want a strong performance at Peavine on the 4th. Nothing less than a B-. I like that.
Distance=36.0/GPA= 23.5/7=3.36

Monday, June 13, 2011

Training 6/13-6/19

6/13- Easy 8 in 60:54 (7:37 pace). 1st mile was 7:22 but after that I was pretty even. 1st half: 30:15, 2nd half 30:39. Very strong performance. I could have gone 13 at this pace and it still would have felt comfy. This is 3:20 full mary pace. Cool down was a tribute to Ochocinco again. This does exceed the speed limit for an easy day and I hope it doesn't bite me later in the week.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=8.5

6/14- Johnny's workout as planned. I expected it to be short and fast but it was surprisingly long. At least I knew what was coming all along. (800-400) x 4. Very consistent splits and never felt terribly uncomfortable. 800s were all 2:43-2:44. 400s were 74-74-74-70. The goal was a 2:45 average in the 800s and a 75 in the 400s and I beat that comfortably. Total time was 15:47 for 3 miles worth of intervals (5:16 pace). Recoveries were generous however so it wasn't as good as it looks on paper. Temp was in the low-mid 90s.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=5.0

6/15- Tempo. Trak Shak 5 in 94 degree weather. Time of 34:03 (6:49 pace) does not include extended drink stops. I'm crazy to push in this weather but I am not stupid. Quite pleased with this workout and I've earned a day off tomorrow. 1 mile cool. Still on track for over 40.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=6.0

6/16- Planned rest day. If I had gone continuous yesterday, my time projects to a PR in optimal temps. I was pushing hard but it was not a "race level" effort but then again, I had 3 fairly lengthy drink stops. I don't feel half bad today but it's a good call to rest. It may very well catch up with me tomorrow. Hoping to restrain myself during the easy miles then run a few sprints at the end.

6/17- Not a surprise. The delayed onset muscle soreness hit me hard today. Struggled through an easy 5 at Vestavia. This was probably my most unpleasant run in the last 2 weeks. Weather conditions were cool but humid. Time was 39:37 (7:55 pace) and my splits were fairly even. I was hoping to get some 200s in after this but with no power in my legs, I had to bag it. Last night, I dreamed that I was hanging out at an arcade with teenagers and I supplied them with alcohol right out in the open. I would not be surprised to have another dream tonight.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=5.5

6/18- Group run in near 100% humidity. Survived a 13.5 mile trek through the hilly streets of Mountain Brook but my body feels like it took a caning. Uneven pace mostly because I followed whoever was leading the group at the time. Some 18:30 5K guys picked up the pace at the end but I got dropped. I don't feel bad about that because I dropped everyone slower than I. Average pace was 7:54. Fastest mile was 7:09, slowest was 8:31. Earlier this summer, I vowed not to go over 10 on a hot or humid day. I broke it today and paid the price. Those last 3 mile were tough. The good news is that my weekly mileage will be high again.
Grade:B/2 credit/distance=13.5

6/19- Slept in a bit and opted for an easy 6 indoors plus a cool down. It was fairly comfortable but not effortless. Time was 46:42 (7:47 avg). Even pace with a mild fade in Mile 5 (23:18/23:24). No complaints about this one but I'm clearly beat up and need a cut back. I dreamed that I was back in high school and had 2 long term papers due the same day, could not get either one done and flipped out on a teacher for piling on the work.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=6.5

Weekly summary:
I reached 45 miles again with very little cut back on quality. Great start to the week but tailed off later and am showing signs of breaking down. I will cut back next week and may enter a local 5K before heading down to the coast if it's not brutally hot and humid. Speaking of which, the first half of June was abnormally hot but at least it was dry. Now, the humidity has kicked in and it's going to be rough. It will only get worse for the next 6 weeks and it may not even begin to subside until mid August. Even after a cooling rain, the decrease in air temperature is nearly offset by high humidity. Still, no need for chromium for an entire month. I DECLARE MYSELF CHEMICALLY STABLE!
Distance=45.0/GPA= 29.8/9= 3.31

Monday, June 6, 2011

Training 6/6-6/12

6/6- AM- Basic easy 5 indoors in 38:57 (7:47 pace). Struggled a bit early but got the kinks worked out by Mile 2 then had to force myself to slow down. Miles 3-5 were all 7:45-7:50. Not too glamorous but I did what I planned and hope to be fresh enough for a hard evening workout.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=5.5
PM- 10x400 at Vestavia with a 2 minute passive R. Even after 6:00, it was still over 90 degrees but at least it wasn't humid. It felt more like Arizona today than Alabama but I'd rather run when it's 95 and dry than 85 and steamy. Very good performance. Times were (80-77-75-77-76) followed by 76-77-77-78-72. Average was 76.5. I'll strive for in the 75s next time and if I can do that, I'll bet I can run a 5:15 mile even if it's solo.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=4.5

6/7- Easy 7.5 indoors in 58:12 (7:46 pace). Even pace, felt stronger as the workout progressed. Hoping to feel a payoff by going consistently longer than 6 in my easy runs. Strong performance. Weight is pretty steady at 155 but I need to increase my calories.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=8.0

6/8- Tempo at the Trak Shak. 90 degree weather and I did 6.5 miles in 45:20 (6:58 pace) on a hilly route. According to runworks, that's as good as a 6:40 pace in optimal temps. Very strong workout. A few college runners (D1 level) passed me in Mile 2 and I pretty much kept with them until the water break after which we went in different directions. This was faster than planned so if I'm not recovered by Friday and my Mile is sub-par, I won't be upset.
Grade:A/2 credits/distance=7.0

6/9- Planned rest day. Not too sore but very tired and worn out. I had a nightmare last night and won't even reveal it. Maybe tonight will be a funny dream. Gearing up for a Mile PR attempt tomorrow.

6/10- Another mildly disappointing time trial. Vestavia Mile in 5:28.4 (best time of the year). It was done after a cooling rain with overcast conditions and temps below 80 so I'm unlikely to get better weather for this anytime soon. 6 seconds better than my previous best of '11 but 8 down on last year's best and a daunting 13 from the goal. I'm afraid that Wednesday's tempo just took too much out of me but even if I'm fresh, I need more work. Next time I do a time trial, I need an easy day and an off day before any PR attempt. Then again, if I do that too often, my mileage will be too low. I just want to hit the goal and be done with it. Splits were 78-84-83-83. (2:42/2:46). What stands out about that is that I had ZERO finishing kick, which is very unusual for me. Even on tired legs, I should have coaxed at least an 80 last lap. It seems like once I knew I wasn't gonna make it, I lost all heart. Though a mild disappointment, this was really not too bad if you put it in perspective. My average before the crash was 5:30 and to break that barrier provides some solace. This is my first sub-5:30 after turning 30 years old.
Grade:B/3 credits/distance=3.0

6/11- Dreamed that I had to travel up a dangerous mountain road that was snow covered to get to a downhill race at high elevation and the weather forecast called for a 100% chance of "golden rain." Don't even ask where that one came from. Workout was a group run starting at 5:30 AM. I went with Brad (sub-3 marathoner) on a 9 mile loop and finished with a time of 67:41 (7:32 pace) then stopped to refuel and ran the Trak Shak 3 loop in 23:43 (7:54 pace) for an overall time of 91:24 for 12 miles, which is a still quick 7:37 average pace. Good job.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=12.0

6/12- Easy 6 in 46:21 (7:44 pace). Even pace, felt strong. No complaints. I could have gone farther and/or faster but considering the quality of my workouts this week, it was a smart call to hold back a bit. I'd like to do some 200s tonight. We'll see how I feel but again, it's probably smart to hold back.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=6.0

Weekly summary:
Very strong week overall. Good mileage and I did not sacrifice quality. Too bad that my weakest performance came in the time trial. If I can make it 4 more days without chromium, it will be a full month and I will declare myself chemically stable though still unbalanced.
Distance=46.0/ GPA= 42.5/12= 3.54