Saturday, June 30, 2012

2012 halftime stats

With the year half over now, it's time to reflect on where I am and what I have accomplished so far and what I'd like to do from July-December.

Here are the stats thus far compared with my history:
2009: 1,993 miles, 2.95 GPA- clean sweep of PRs from 400-marathon
2010: 1,664 miles, 2.56 GPA- PRs in the Mile, 10K and marathon
2011: 2,092 miles, 3.04 GPA- PRs in the Mile, 5K, 10K, half marathon.
1st half of 2012 :1,018 miles completed.  Average weekly GPA stands at 3.12
 PRs in the Mile, 5K, 10K (unofficial), Half and Full with no serious attempt at the 400 yet.

I consider a good year to be 2,000 miles with a 3.0 GPA so I am on schedule for that though the mileage is not crucial for the type of short-term goals that I have especially in the Mile and 400.  Most of the time, the GPA is skewed by 3 or 4 really bad weeks and this year is no exception.  For example, if I miss a workout due to injury or illness, it's an automatic "F."  Also, if I wuss out and don't train at least 5 days on a non-taper/travel week, there are penalties but those times are rare.  The reason 2010 was so low is that I missed about 2 months with injuries.

A terrific 1st quarter with 4 PRs and GPAs above 3.5 in 4 out of my first 6 weeks.  Since then, I've had only one such week and that was at the end of March.  The blame lies with my increasingly unstable Ca/Mg imbalance, which I may have solved by tightening the restrictions on sugars to essentially none allowed and have made yet another quit attempt on the pills.  How long will this one last?  I don't know but I've got to have some faith.

Races ahead:
July 4th- Peavine Falls run (8.2 trail) as redemption of the nightmare last year.
After that, it's pretty open.  I'm actually as concerned about fitting in Mile or 400 time trials every other week until I hit the goals of 5:15 and 59.9.  Much of my summer racing will depend on the weather.  If it's so hot and humid that I won't enjoy the event, I'll back out.   Come September, things get interesting. I hope to get the mileage back up to near 50 but  I want to race another 5K and 10K this Fall as well as 2 half marathons but no full.  I'll decide on Denver (9/22) by the end of next month but if my body chemistry is stable, I'm in.
The second one is between Indy and Detroit and will be done with my buddy Nick.  The chosen race will be determined by his schedule and I'm good with either one.

I have achieved my lifetime goal in the half and tied the 5K and I am oh so close to to the rest of them.  With the exception of the marathon, I am within 5 seconds per mile at everything and when you're that close, it can happen any day under the exact right conditions.  Still, that said, it is pretty obvious to me that I am a lot more talented that my times indicate given what I have been able to achieve in spite of the imbalances.  I really believe that I am capable of a 5:00 mile, 18:30 5K, sub-39 10K, sub-1:26 half and sub 3:10 marathon if I am balanced.  Sure, I trained hard over the winter but yes, it is sustainable over the long haul if I'm not held back by imbalances.  If I achieve those lofty standards, it would be great and would inspire a lot of people but they are not official goals. Anything beyond the stated lifetime standards is a bonus.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Rant: Steroid use among athletes

Justin Gatlin has won the U.S. Olympic trials in the 100 meters with a time of 9.80.  That's just 0.03 shy of his personal record set 6 years earlier and just after he tested positive for steroids. Unless it was a false positive test, I find it very hard to believe that he's clean now.  I'll be rooting for Tyson Gay in London.  Gatlin claims that his positive test came as a result of a vindictive massage therapist who supposedly rubbed cream laced with steroids on his leg.  If anyone buys that one, I've got some oceanfront property in the middle of North Dakota that I'll sell you real cheap.  The denials are all too common.  Since the infamous Ben Johnson scandal in 1988, scores of athletes have tested positive for steroids.  Almost all of them initially deny it though some eventually fess up.  Take a look at some of these explanations that I found online:
Just for once, I'd like to hear the truth: "I wanted to win a gold medal at the international level and trained hard for it but simply lacked the talent so I cheated.  I've disgraced the sport as well as my country and denied clean athletes a spot on the team.  All I can  do is say that I am sorry and ask for forgiveness."
Actually, I would grow to respect a person who owned up their poor decisions.
Let's go back to 1988 and the Ben Johnson scandal.  Johnson blew away the field with a 9.79 just before getting busted 3 days later.  He never broke 10.20 running clean.  That's why I'm so suspicious of Gatlin.  After initially denying that he "knowingly" took steroids, Johnson claimed that he only took them to gain an equal footing because "most world class athletes were taking drugs."  His claim does bear some weight given that 5 out of the 8 finalists did in fact test positive for something illegal at some point later in their careers.  I still don't buy Johnson's excuse.  For example, Carl Lewis took an herbal remedy that contained banned stimulants found in cold medicine.  Johnson took a steroid designed to boost an animal before slaughter and at mega doses.  Not even in the same league!  The testing is so advanced that it can be determined if it was taken once by accident or not.  Also, I do not believe that "most" world class athletes are on drugs.  Rather, it is the exception rather than the rule. Sadly, I would not be surprised if Usain Bolt is dirty but I also strongly believe innocence until guilt is proven.  Bolt has never failed a drug test and until he does, I must believe that he is indeed clean.  EDIT: I believed in Lance Armstrong's innocence until the USADA report came out. Call me naive but I must believe that there is truly a 1 in a billion talent that comes along once a generation that can dominate their event without steroids.

Marion Jones said that she could have won all those medals clean and Mark McGwire said that he could have hit 70 home runs clean.  That's garbage!  If you could win running clean, why didn't you do so?  Of course, I've never tried steroids and I'm only basing this assessment on observations.  Using Ben Johnson as an example, I figure that steroids are worth maybe a 3-5% improvement in your times depending on your drug of choice and your dosage. That said, it won't turn an average Joe into a world beater.  When I was in high school, my best event was the 800 where I was consistently 2:11-2:15.  If I was juiced, I could have run maybe 2:05.  I'd win most duel meets instead of finishing 3rd or 4th but would not do anything in a major invitational.  The point of that comment?  A clean 1 in a billion talent can still crush a WR of a doper.  Baseball players say it can make the difference between a home run and a warning track flyout. It won't turn an infield pop up into a homer.  Issajenko, who trained with Ben Johnson and admitted steroid use, said that you "march through the workouts without fear.  Anything they throw at you, you can do."  While others may need an occasional rest or recovery day, a steroid user can go hard almost every day.  A 3-5% improvement can mean the difference between #1 in the world and the fringe of world class so I really can understand the temptation.  Still, the bottom line is that it is cheating pure and simple and what angers me the most is that clean athletes are missing out on Olympic teams and medals because they took the high road.
   One poster online said that he doesn't care if all athletes are doped, he just wants to see insane WR times.  Are you kidding me?  If all steroids were legalized with no testing, yes we'd see superhuman times but if you want to win, you'd better take mega doses and expect that you'll be dead at 45.  You trade nearly half your lifetime for maybe 8 years of glory.  Pretty sad. 

Training 6/25-7/1

6/25- Day 5 and I took a step backward today.  Another uninspiring 5 miler in a time of 37:35 (7:31 pace).  That's not a bad time for an easy day but I had to put out tempo effort to do it.  When that happens, there's only one grade that is appropriate.  I took an extra Paramin last night and felt HORRIBLE in the morning.  I did improve a bit as the day progressed.  Is there a chance that I can quit this stuff once and for all IF I stick to water only?  Hopes are not real high.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=5.5

6/26- Down to only 1 pill and may make another quit attempt starting tomorrow.  Johnny's workout was laid back.  Ed and Brandon were both absent.  8x400 with generous rests.  Still not feeling the best but managed a pretty good workout.  1st 7 were all 76-78 then burned a 66.8 on #8 (best time of the year). Average was a 76 so I was 1 second slow on 2 fewer intervals.  Far from epic but it's another step forward.  I have clinched a 1.50 for the year and a 3.0 for the first half.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=4.0

6/27- AM.  Moderate 4 miler progression style after not taking a pill this morning.  Time was 28:15 (7:04 pace) with splits of 7:20-7:06-7:04-6:45.  Felt strong albeit a little "weird" probably because my body is adjusting to being off the pills.  If I get a negative reaction to 1 pill tonight, the quit attempt is on.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=4.0

PM- Trak Shak 6.5 in 44:16 (6:49 pace).  Hard, hot and hilly.  93 and dry out there today.  Started too fast by trying to run with Dewayne and a few college XC runners.  Dewayne is 40 now but when he was in college (U. of ARK), he ran a 4:02 Mile and is still good for a 4:20ish.  I hoped to catch him on an easy day but it wasn't.  I was doing 6:30 in Miles 2-3 and it wasn't enough.  Faded in the 2nd half but still managed a sub-7 pace over the last 3.5 miles.  Popped a pill when I got home and my body tightened up almost immediately.  THE QUIT ATTEMPT IS ON.  I've lost count of how many times I've tried to quit these pills but it's lasted more than a 4 weeks only twice.  Forecast is calling for 105 temps this weekend.  I might go to Florida to escape some of the heat.  It'll only be 93 down there.  LOL.  YTD: 998 mile.  I will pass the 1K mark tomorrow.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=6.5

6/28- Struggled today, which was not a surprise.  Hurting as a result of back to back quality days and the pill that I took last night had not fully cleared my system.  Rather weak 5 miler indoors and probably could have gone 6.  Finished in 38:44 (7:45 pace) with splits all over the place.  (7:40-7:30-7:44- 8:10-7:40).  Effort was easy early then tempo towards the end.  The resurgence in Mile 5 may well have been the pills clearing out of my system.  Rather mediocre today but I expect to feel better tomorrow.  Day 1 of the quit attempt, day 7 on water only.  Passed 1,000 miles on the year.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=5.5

6/29- As of today, I am a believer in drinking water only.  Day 2 of the quit attempt was MUCH better today.  Easy 6 indoors (103 temps) in 44 flat (7:20 pace) and yes, it really did feel EASY!
1st half was 22:05, 2nd half 21:55.  Added a half mile cool.  I only need to survive 8 miles tomorrow in the oven to hit 40 on the week.  Excellent training.  The plan is to head to the coast after the run tomorrow morning.  I'll probably end up in Orange Beach/Perdido Key on the Florida/Alabama line.
If I do eat at Flora Bama, I AM NOT DRINKING!!
Grade:A/ 1 credit/distance=6.5

6/30- Gnome run in 80 degree heat with 75% humidity.  I made a poor decision to run with the fast group.  I managed to keep with them except on the last tough uphill.  I wanted 10 miles but finished with 7.5 in a time of 56:02 (7:28 pace) then added a cool down.  Solid performance for the conditions and I've earned a rest day.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=8.0

7/1- Planned rest day.  I expect to be enjoying myself in Flora-Bama.  End of the first half.

Weekly summary:
Nothing overly special on the surface this week but it's good to be back in the win column.  The biggest news is that I am making another quit attempt on the pills. I've made it 4 days now.  It will be serious after a week.
Distance=40.0/GPA= 32.6/10= 3.26

Monday, June 18, 2012

Training 6/18-6/24

6/18- 6 miles indoors at goal marathon pace.  Finished in 43:45 (7:17 pace) with a smooth and comfortable effort then smoked an 82 on the last quarter mile.  As for the Paramin, I took 4 on Friday, 3 on Saturday and I've since gone down to 2 and hope to stay there.  I did not feel very well in the morning but got better as the day progressed.  I've been told that I was too hard on myself after my last race.  My response is that if I can't break 40 because of talent or fitness limitations, I could accept that. If it's stolen from me because of unbalanced chemistry, I'll never be okay with that.  Good day today.  We'll see how it goes for the rest of the week.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=7.0

6/19- Sprint workout at Hoover.  5x200, 6x100 with a 1:1 jog R.  Split decision.  I ran naked as usual so it's all based on feel.  The 200s felt decent but nothing special.  The first 3 100s felt great but at the end of #3, I felt my hamstring tighten up so I just cruised the last 3 at rather slow paces.  Fortunately, the rest of me also felt tight and I may need to up my Paramin to 3.  NOOOO!  I was able to do the mile cool down without a problem so it's unlikely to be an injury.
Grade:B-/2 credit/distance=4.0

6/20- AM.  Indoor mile jog in 7:34 just to ease the injury fear.  I would have done more but didn't want to be late for work.  The hamstring is still sore but likely not injured.  Even pace but body feels very tight.  I had a slip up in my diet last night (caffeine) and hope I don't have to pay a price for it.  Easy Trak Shak run this evening. 
Update: I believe that the Naked juice fruit/veg drink that I've been consuming regularly of late is causing me problems.  It's got over 50 grams of sugar but it's supposedly all naturally contained in the fruit with "no sugar added." Maybe it's harmless but my erratic performances cannot be ignored.  I'm cutting it out and will save money in doing so.  I only need Gatorade on runs longer than 8 miles and other than that, I'll be just drinking water.  Hard but well worth it.  I expect to suck this evening and it could be rough for another 5 days.  I may skip the long run this weekend and hit the coast instead.

PM- 2 mile warmup indoors in an acceptable 15:38 (7:49 pace) followed by a Trak Shak 5 in a torrid 42:04 (8:25 pace).  The only good news is that my hamstring is going to be fine.  I cheated on my diet in almost every way tonight.  I'm already hurting.  What difference will it make?  I will start over again clean tomorrow but could be feeling worse before it gets better.  No panic yet.  If I remain erratic on only water, that is a panic.  With the exception of the flu in April, this may be my worst run of the year.  At least I got some mileage in today.  Thanks for all the likes about my race on Facebook.  In years past, a low 41 would have been a very good performance but not in 2012. 
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=8.0

6/21-  Progress is progress I suppose.  Today's workout was a lame indoor 5 miler in a time of 40:52 (8:10 pace).  That's 15 ticks better per mile than yesterday's debacle.  Day 1 on drinking water only.  I did not expect to improve significantly today after last night (sugar, caffeine and alcohol).  I should be somewhat better tomorrow.  I can't go to Florida tomorrow night because of the rip current advisory.  Another BUST!
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=5.0

6/22- Felt different when I woke up today and it showed in the workout.  Still limited myself to 5 miles indoors but my time is down to 38:02 (7:36 pace).  Even pace as well.  Never went over 7:43 and finished with a sub-7:30.  Under normal circumstances, this is nothing worth celebrating.  My pace was near normal for an easy run but my effort was nearly tempo level.  Day 2 on water only.  I expect to be full strength in 3-5 more days.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=5.5

6/23- Warm and sunny run with the Gnomes.  Finished 8 miles in 63:09 (7:54 pace) on a hilly route.  Not a significant difference from last night but it was only 12 hours after my last run.  Nobody was pushing it so I was at the front of the pack.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=8.0

6/24- AM 5 mile tempo.  Body felt too loose but my time is down to 34:30 (6:54 pace).  I'm tougher on myself on these quality days.  My best time at this distance is a 31:54 so that's 31 off per mile.  I can't call this one any better than average.  Faded in Miles 3-4 but had a lot left in the last quarter mile.  1st half was 16:52, 2nd half was 17:38.  Again, progress is progress.  Day 4.

PM- Naked 2.5 mile junk run at Veteran's Park.  Sole purpose was to pad my mileage.
Grade:B-/2 credits/distance=7.5

Weekly summary:
This ends a winning streak that really should have ended long ago.  Rotten week and it's been a pretty rotten 2nd quarter but my morale is not too bad right now because at least I have an idea of how to fix this issue.  Ran or jogged all 7 days.  God is able to heal but not if I put poison (sugar) in my body.
Update: Relapsed again Sunday night but it was because I took an extra pill.
Distance=45.0/GPA= 22.1/9= 2.45

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Possum Trot 10K RR

  Frustrations continue.  Throughout the Spring, I've gotten red hot for several days then proceeded to lose my form.  I've only had a couple of really bad days but I've often been off enough to significantly inhibit my performances.  Any chance of a sub-40 was lost early in the week when my legs were so sore that I cut out the pills entirely rather than taper down like I should have.  I relapsed pretty bad on Thursday night, felt pretty lousy on Friday and merely hoped to feel decent on race day.  With realistic expectations coming in, I probably ran the best possible race that I could on this day.  In the end, I overshot that balance point by taking one too many pills.  Even if I was balanced, a sub-40 would have been a very tall order today on this course in less than ideal conditions.

  This is my 5th Atlanta race event and 3rd 10K so I have nothing major to report.  It was a smooth trip that included a stop at Sonny's BBQ on Friday afternoon in Anniston.  I arrived at my buddy Nick's place just after 9 PM eastern and just relaxed for an hour.  It would be an early morning with a race start at 7:30 eastern but I was fine with that because we beat the heat.  In the end, the weather was not much of a factor.  Temps were in the upper 60s with 90% humidity and sunny skies.  Not the best for racing but for mid June in the Deep South, I'll take it.  The course was a bit more difficult than was described to me.  It went gradually downhill (about 30 ft. per mile) for just under 3 miles.  Then, we turned around and went back up in the 2nd half then went past the finish line just before 5 miles to climb another steeper hill before heading back down to the finish.  I'd rate it as a 4/10 in terms of difficulty, which is fast enough that it does not preclude a PR.  My training PR set in top form when I was red hot in January (40:14) was not even considered.  I'd be satisfied with a 41:xx and pleased with an official race PR (40:55) set last Spring at Silver Comet.  I felt decent warming up and believed that I had a good chance at a respectable showing.

  The gun went off and I was out at a fast but smart and controlled pace.  The first quarter mile was just under 6:00 pace, which sounds too fast but since we were going slightly downhill, it was pretty appropriate.  I allowed myself to get passed in the next quarter and allowed the pace to slow.  Lactic acid was already starting to build in my calf and I was only a tenth of the way through.  I knew right then that I would not PR.  Okay, just do your best and try to settle into a pace that is sustainable for the next 5 miles then kick it in.  I managed to pass a few runners who had gone out too fast before the end of the first mile and managed to hit the marker in 6:20.  On pace for a sub-40 but I knew it should have been 6:15 given the terrain.  Next, we made a turn onto another road that was also shallow downhill but slightly less steep than the first mile (maybe about 0.5%).  My pace was slipping a bit here.  Do I bank time knowing that I'll have to go back up at the end?  No, just keep a reasonable pace.  I was passed 3 times before the turnaround and came the first 5K around 20:10-20:15.  Not bad.  Even with the hills ahead, I should at least be better than last time (42:07) when I was on pace for the first 1.5 miles then saw the wheels come off abruptly after that.

I showed surprising life after the turnaround and managed to re-pass 2 runners going up the slight incline while increasing my pace by a few ticks.  As expected, Miles 5 and 6 were painful going uphill but I managed to stay in control and avoid a ghastly fade.  According to the watch, my slowest Mile was #5 at 6:52.  When I hit that Mile marker with a time just a hair over 33, I knew that I was looking at a low-mid 41.  With no threat of a PR and a "decent time" assured, it was difficult to find the drive to push myself past that pain threshold.  I simply got through the hill and did not have much left on the way down. I thought about a possible age group award and made sure that anyone who passed me was clearly over 35.   I did kick hard in the closing strides but it was too little too late.  There was some question about my official time.  The gun time is listed as 41:21 and the chip time has just been updated as 41:19 (6:39 pace).  I ended up 21st overall out of some 600 runners. Out of 42 finishers in the Men's 30-34 age group, I came in 3rd overall but took home a silver medal because one the overall winners was over 30.  Congrats to Nick on his first sub-50 at this distance (49:25).
6:20 (6:20)
6:32 (12:52)
6:40 (19:32)
6:37 (26:09)
6:52 (33:01)
6:50 (39:51)

Final thought:
My best of the 3 10K races that I have done this year and I hope to build on it. This was good for a sub-41 on a pancake flat course in 55 degree weather with no sun and low humidity. Unfortunately, it's wait until Fall for another chance at sub-40.  If I can get my body chemistry in line, I have no doubt that I can do it.  I may take a shot in an indoor time trial.  Note to self: Do not try to fix the dosage too quickly.  Taper down gradually and endure the rough day or two until you reach the magic number.  Next race is a low key local trail race (Peavine) on the 4th of July.  I was HORRIBLE there last year and need redemption.

Grade: No subjectivity in a race unless it's a brutally tough course.
 A time between 41-41:30 is a B+ and that's what I get today.
A 5K today would have been 19:40ish and a half mary would be in the 1:32s.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Rave: Masters racing and retired athletes

In recent years, we've seen some phenomenal performances from Master's athletes (over 40).  Here are some mind blowing numbers for y'all:
-2 sub-4:00 Milers at the age of 40.
-sub-15:00 5K at 50.
-sub 35:00 10K at 60.
Most incredible of all is Canadian Ed Whitlock, who clocked a 2:54 marathon at 73 years of age.
Just for fun, I checked out the age graded tables for my Mile time, which is by most tables, my best distance.  The calculator that I used can be found on  The open division is 18-34 then the age grading begins at 35 with the age group record set at 100%.
  My current PR, set at 31 is 5:18, though I firmly believe that I currently capable of better.  I typed in 5:20 at the age of 35, which should be a reasonable target.  The future projections that I found left me pleasantly surprised.
Age 40: 5:31
Age 45: 5:43
Age 50: 5:57
Age 55: 6:12
Age 60: 6:30
I have observed among many runners that performances often decline sharply after 60 so anything beyond that will be a bonus but until then, I should have plenty of good years ahead.
  What strikes me is that from the age of 35-55, I am expected to slow down by 52 seconds over a period of 20 years.  That's an average of only 2.6 seconds per year, which should not even be noticeable from one year to the next.  That's why it really ticks me off when doctors tell a patient in his/her late 30s-early 40s that their chronic fatigue and sudden drop off is merely part of the aging process. 

I recently read a couple of "Where are they now?" articles about Bob Kennedy and Suzy Hamilton, 2 of my favorite American distance runners when I was growing up in the '90s.  Both are in their early 40s and neither is even a semi-serious runner.  Both reported that when running is their job, it loses its fun and indeed there is immense pressure to perform.  Failing to make an Olympic or World Championship team or being ranked outside the top 10 in the world often results in lost sponsorships.  As a result, you must squeeze every last bit of talent out by training upwards of 120 MPW because the difference in making or missing a team could be less than 1 second per mile.  I can understand how easily that could lead to severe burnout.  As a result, very few pros end up competing at the Master's level.  Some stop running altogether.  Hamilton and Kennedy, like most other ex-pros are now merely casual joggers (3-5 easy miles, 3-4x per week, no speed or tempos).  If they were to jump into a race, their results would be rather ordinary.  Above all else, I wish for them to be happy in their many years ahead but to me, it's a little sad to see a man or woman who has given so much to the sport to completely lose their passion for the competition.  The biggest advantage to the sport of running is that it can be done at a high level even at advancing age.  Who ever heard of a 60 year old football player who is even remotely competitive?
As for me, where do I picture myself in 10 years?  I fully expect that my outlook on life will be different at 41.  I hope to be married but am undecided on children. Much of that will depend on how the medical issues play out.  I recognize that within 3-5 years, I will set my last personal record and I will not be able to recover from workouts as quickly as I do now.  I expect to take more rest days and slow the training paces.  However, as the age graded table show, 40 years of age is not a death sentence.  It's no stretch that I will still be capable of 5:30/20:00/42:00/1:32ish, which is still very respectable at any age.

Training 6/11-6/17 (race week)

6/11- Extra rest day because it's a race week.  Early indications are that the Paramin must be discontinued, leaving me with no pills to take.  This is the 3rd time in 2 years that this has happened.  In September 2010, I had 2 imbalances that cancelled each other.  More recently, in March of this year, I developed a magnesium shortage that may have been due to my diet.  Is this the charm?  I'm not getting my hopes up too high.

6/12- AM.  I've had no Paramin for about 36 hours.  I am improving but still feel a little weird.  Calf muscles remain quite sore but the pain has diminished somewhat.  I was not exactly ready to roll this morning but I got up early enough to get in 2.5 miles in a time of 18:28 (7:23 pace).  Put out moderate effort to do it.  Perhaps I will feel more comfortable in the evening.  Race day is only 4 days away.

PM- Indoor 6 in 44:36 (7:26 pace) with pretty even splits (22:14/22:22).  Pace is back to normal and it felt pretty comfortable but the calf is still moderately sore and irritating.  It's expected to be less humid tomorrow and I hope for a moderate challenge at the Trak Shak workout.  Thinking a fast finish easy 5. No pills appears to be the right call for now.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=9.0

6/13- 3 full days off the pills now.  I'm continuing to improve.  The calf pain is almost gone now and should not be a factor on Saturday.  Planned workout was a fast finish easy 5 from the Trak Shak and it did not go as planned.  Finished in a time of 34:08 (6:50 pace).  The plan was to go no faster than 7:30 for the first 4 then bring it home with a sub-6 finish.  Instead, I ran an even 7 flat for the first 4 (7:00-6:50-7:03-7:07).  In mile 5, I was on pace through the first half mile then wilted around .7 and could not make it up at the end. Mile 5 ended up at 6:08 or roughly 5K race pace.  Weather was 88 and sunny but not too humid.  This projects to a 32:48 in ideal conditions.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=6.0

6/14- 2.5 mile junk run in 19:20 (7:44 pace).  Body feels more tired than it should.  Yesterday was pretty solid but it was far from epic.  I did feel a bit better as the run progressed.  Splits were 8:01-7:44-3:35 with a last 100 in 17.  Once again, I called on my top gear and it was there despite being tired.  Still not in tip top form and it seems unlikely that I will be on race day.  I do get a full 48 hours to rest.  Update:Crashed after work and woke up from a 2 hour nap feeling awful.  I need to go back on the pills and I'm fine with that.  Hope it's 2 Paramin just like before.
Grade:Pass/0 credit/distance=2.5

6/15- Planned rest day.  I expect to be fully fresh tomorrow.  Weather is looking very good for Atlanta in mid-June.  Low temp is expected to be in the lower 60s.  If I'm in top form, the heat won't be a factor.

6/16- Unable to fully overcome Thursday's relapse.  Possum Trot 10K in 41:19 (6:39 pace).  3rd place in age group but scored a silver because one of the overall winners was over 30.
Grade:B+/4 credits/distance=7.5

6/17- Lame Trak Shak 7 in 55:25 (7:55 pace).  In the last 2 miles, I was doing about 8:20 pace.  I am disgusted and will not comment further. This was almost a "D"
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=7.0

Weekly summary:
I can't believe I made another 3.0 despite all this crap going on.  Patience is beginning to wear thin again.  If I'm not stable by the end of next week, I'll be officially angry.  On the diet front, I did drink beer with Nick by the pool but not to excess and managed to avoid caffeine and excess sugar.
Distance=32.0/GPA= 24.5/8= 3.06

Monday, June 4, 2012

Training 6/4-6/10

   The above pic is from last Saturday's run, taken to advertise the new BTC singlets.

6/4- Stormy weather forced me inside again.  It was another morning run and went well again.  Easy 8 in 59:48 (7:28 pace) with nearly dead even splits.  1st half: 29:53, 2nd half: 29:55.  Added a cool down tribute.  Nothing too earth shattering to report but I have done 32 miles in the last 3 days.  I may struggle tomorrow but I do get to rest until the afternoon.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=8.5

6/5- Johnny's workout was a split decision.  4x400, 2x800, 4x100.  I felt fresh enough after a good 9 hours of sleep that did not produce a bizarre dream.  The 400s went quite well: 73-73-72-71.  Then, I was out of endurance probably because I went too long without taking a Paramin pill.  The 800s were only 3:05-3:04 but in the last 100, I felt like I broke a pain barrier and motored the final 100 in 16-17 seconds.  The 100s also felt good but as always, I was naked.  I'll call this one average overall.
Grade:B-/2 credits/distance=4.5 

6/6- Trak Shak 8 (easier version) in  58:24 (7:18 pace).  This might hurt me in my sub-5:15 attempt on Friday but it was just too much fun today.  The "easier version" was not really that easy.  It had one less hill, a more steady decline and no gravel trail.  I added a lap around Soho to make it an even 8.  Pace was about as even as you can get on this route.  1st half: 29:15, 2nd half: 29:09.  Only gripe was that traffic was awful. 2 cars turned in front of me and both were talking on cell phones.  Not to worry, I am extra cautious in that regard.  Temp was in the low-mid 80s and dry.  That's as good as can be expected for Alabama in June.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=8.0

6/7- Planned rest day.  Felt okay most of the day except for a very tired spell around 1:30 PM.  In the past, I might have had some caffeine for a quick boost (energy loan) but not so now.  The tiredness passed on its own.  5:15 or bust tomorrow evening.  Dreamed that I was in some type of ultra running event in which teams either got to run or perform manual labor based on finish in a relay.  Details are sketchy but it's still worth sharing.

6/8- Bust!  Hoover Mile in 5:18.8 (#2 since comeback).  Only 3 seconds shy of the goal, which is a 97 on the grading scale.  I really should not be disappointed in this one but I must confess that I am.  I was so sure that I was going to do it during the day.  2 significant mistakes.  Started too fast and trained too hard on Wednesday.  Even for such a short distance, you've got to treat it like a race and taper accordingly.  That means nothing even moderately hard for 2 full days.  Also, I took off at 35.x for the first 200.  Even if it really was closer to 36, that is a 4:48 pace, which is WAY too fast. Overall splits were 74-81-83-80. (2:35/2:43).  In almost all my adult time trials, the first and second halves were very even.  If I had gone out in 77.x instead, I may have done it. (77-80-80-77)= 5:14.  I'll have to take a hit to the weekly mileage but I'm so close and I will keep doing this every other week. I've been stuck at 5:20 give or take 2 seconds for way too long.
Grade:A/3 credits/distance=3.0

6/9- BTC Social Run.  Took 2 Paramin last night which made me feel much worse.  I can feel better about yesterday now.  I underperformed because I was due for an adjustment on my formula.  I really expected to suck today but I managed to get through it.  3 mile warm in 24:18 followed by a hilly 8.5 mile route in 67:33 for an overall pace of 7:59 for 11.5 miles.  Yes, I kicked it in at the end to get sub-8.  Added a half mile cool.
Grade:C+/2 credits/distance=12.0

6/10- Tweaked my calf in yesterday's run.  That can happen when you try to push it when you're out of whack.  It's not too serious and I was able to get a few easy miles in today.  I probably could have gone the scheduled 6 but I called it quits after 3 in 23:17 (7:46 pace) then added a full mile cool at a glacial pace just to hit the quota on the week.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=4.0

Weekly summary:
Another pretty good week overall but it ended on a bit of a sour note.  I obviously need an adjustment, which was not a surprise.  As I predicted, the need for extra Paramin was a healing reaction that faded.  I know that I do NOT need magnesium, which is good news.  The only question to be resolved is whether or not I need low dose Paramin or nothing.  I'd feel more comfortable on low dose Paramin but I don't have a choice in the matter.  I'll get it sorted out next week.  Another squeaky clean week with my diet.  Only had 1 smoothie and a bottle of Gatorade on the run.  As for the Mile, put me out there on fully fresh legs, an even pace and no issues with the pills and I believe I am well under 5:15.  Maybe even close to 5:10.
Distance=40.0/ GPA= 31.4/10= 3.14