Monday, March 28, 2011

Training 3/28-4/3

3/28- Easy 7 indoors in 53:13 (7:36 pace). Pretty solid performance. That's still a little faster than my normal easy pace but I intended to push it a bit. 7:30 was too much of a struggle so I backed off. Weight is down 2 and now stands at 155. I do NOT want to lose any more. 155-160 is my target range. I am still unsure of how much power I'll have in a hard workout. I hope to do Johnny's workout tomorrow if the weather cooperates. March is normally the wettest month here but this is wetter than usual.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=7.0

3/29- Did something I've never done in training before which was an interval workout on a road rather than a track. Soccer game at Vestavia so I headed to South Lakeshore, which is actually a fairly common training ground for intervals. It's a straight stretch of road with minimal traffic but it does have a slight slope to it. My workout was 6x800 with a 2:30 rest. I averaged 2:54 (5:48 pace) with a range of 2:50-2:56. I was surprised by how even my times were given the slope. In fact, I was actually slightly faster on the incline than the decline probably because I had a slight headwind going down and a tailwind going up. Not a bad workout but I "used to could" do this workout at 2:45 so that's 18 seconds slow per mile. 3 mile cool down in which I felt some foot pain that seemed to stem from the nerve. That could be the magnesium inhibiting calcium so I'm cutting that from 2 to 1. Not a big deal yet. Jury's still out on the new formula.
Grade:B-/2 credits/distance=6.0

3/30- Trak Shak 8 mile hilly loop. This time, the Garmin measured it at 8.10 with a time of 55:28 (6:51 pace). Slightly slower than last week's magic but I've proven that it was no fluke. That's 1 second under 1:30 half mary pace. The power is back on and I am more confident in my plan. The foot was okay. I'm sticking with the magnesium but at a lower dosage. Please God, no more chromium dependency! As long as I can tolerate the ADHS, I predict that I will be balanced. Weather was only in the low-mid 50s with wind and drizzle. IT'S RAW, MAN! With a wet shirt and cold wind, it was freezing out there. Fortunately, I had a jacket.
Grade:A/2 credits/distance=8.5

3/31- Planned rest day. I've done a fast MLR, a short GMP (goal marathon pace), an interval and a long tempo since the disappointing 5K. My body is tired and worn out but the muscles are not especially sore. For the first quarter and its ups and downs, I scored 2 PRs, ran an even 500 miles and had a cumulative GPA of 2.91, which was skewed by a bad first 2 weeks.

4/1- Mild disappointment today. Oak Mountain 400 in 64.6. Best time of the year by a healthy margin but that's a full 3 seconds down on last year's best and in the 400, that's a lot. I need 1.2 seconds per 100 to reach my goal. That's daunting. That said, I did not have my best stuff out there. There was no spring in my step and I faced a BRUTAL headwind in the homestretch. In still air, I could have run in the 63s but even that is a long way from a sub-60. Have I lost sprint speed in the last 2 years? I would not think that being 30 instead of 28 would make any difference. It is clear that I need more sprint training. Perhaps, I was not fully fresh even after one day off. Finished the day with a 5 mile jog at the Shak with Chilton at 8:30 pace. Sore muscles have kicked in today.
Grade:C/2 credits/distance=6.5

4/2- Groin was sore today. That's not good. I have 2 more bizzare dreams to report. The first involved urinating in front of a gas station that had an open bathroom. The second involved getting busted for DUI and becoming friends with the arresting officer. I wasn't expecting much in my workout today but did surprisingly well. Trak Shak 8 mile loop twice with a time of 2:07:10 (7:57 pace). 1st loop was just under 64 and the second was just over 63 with a last quarter mile near 5K pace. This was my longest run of the year. Pretty solid performance. Probably good for 7:45-7:50 on Lakeshore. 54 miles in the last 7 days, which is pushing my upper limit. Easy tomorrow.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=16.0

4/3- Still a bit of groin soreness but no worse after yesterday. I really don't want to have to go back for more prolotherapy. Uneventful easy 6 in 46:42 (7:47 pace). Did what I set out to do today and nothing more. Tacked on a cool down mile at junk pace. Weight is still 155.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=7.0

Weekly summary:
Pretty good week overall. I do think that I forced a bit too much quality and if I do want to train for a 59.9, I need to be fresher for the short intervals. Next week probably will not be as intense or as long in terms of distance. The groin/hip area had better improve soon.
Distance=51.0/GPA= 30.7/10= 3.07

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rumpshaker 5K RR

It was a great training cycle until Thursday when I faced yet another shift in body chemistry. This is the 3rd such occurence in as many weeks and something must be done to prevent this from happening on a regular basis. I overcame it 2 weeks earlier in Atlanta but this time, it proved to be too much. My medical report is a bit better than it was in January but I am not nearly as balanced as I had hoped. It was just a matter of time before the symptoms would re-appear. On Friday morning, I felt flat out awful but got better as the day progressed. On race morning, I did not feel too bad so I decided to give it a shot. I was conceding nothing. This was still a PR attempt.
This one is possibly the fastest in the area. It has only one hill to speak of , which is a bridge climb. By the half mile mark in the race, it's over and time to head back down. The remainder of the course was not pancake flat but had just a few minor inclines and declines. There was a chance of rain in the forecast but it held off until the afternoon. Conditions were overcast with temps near 60 and moderate wind. That's not far from perfect conditions for a fast time.
I have a very high tendency to go out too fast in 5Ks and did it again today. This time however, I had little choice. I lined up in the 3rd row but still got stuck behind some slow folks and had to do a quick sprint to find some open space or else I could have been way too slow. I saw how fast I was for the first 200 so I backed off a tad then we hit the bridge climb. I was out around 86-87 so that's a little fast but not a reason for concern. After reaching the top, I saw a 3:01 for the first .50 then picked up a couple of ticks on the way down for a 4:30 split at 0.75. Here, I allowed myself to relax a bit and that was probably a good call because most of my energy would be spent before too long. 6:07 at the mile marker. I need to maintain this pace for a PR. We turned a corner around 1.3 where we ran into a headwind and up a slight incline. It was at this point that I knew this would not be my day. For most of the 2nd mile, I was targeting a runner ahead of me but kept losing ground. I checked my watch again at 1.55 mile and was disheartened with a 9:38 split. No way I can run a negative split so no PR today. I would have to struggle just to get a sub-20 and that would become the new goal. The 2nd mile marker came and I estimated that all I needed to do was hold this pace but I could not even manage that. 2 runners passed me here then another 2 came by just before the homestretch. The 3rd mile seemed to have more declines than inclines but it did not seem to help my pace. My 3rd mile would be slower than my average pace for 10K 2 weeks ago but I still had a chance to secure that sub-20. I tried to sprint and found that there was not much there. As the finish clock came into view, I knew that it was going to be close. I made one final drive. Can I get there in time? No, I just missed it.
20:01 (6:25 pace) 18th overall, 17th among men. 3rd in age group.
Splits were 6:07-6:28-6:40-46 (last .14)
Final thoughts:
This was not horrible and under the circumstances, it's acceptable but I can't be pleased with finishing over 20 even if I just missed the barrier. It is certainly a downer considering how great the workouts were earlier in the week. To put it in perspective, I ran the first half of Silver Comet in 20:15 then hung on for a 20:40. Today, my 3rd mile was about 20:50 pace for a whole 5K. My strategy was sound and I did the best I could but just did not have my "A" stuff today.
Next month offers a chance for redemption.
Grade:B minus.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Training 3/21-3/27

3/21- First long interval workout of the year was a success. 3x1600 in 5:58 (5:59-5:58-5:57) then walked a lap to recover fully. 400 for dessert in 69.6, which missed my best of the year but I was satisfied with the sub-70. My goal for the workout was a 6:00 average and a 70 last 400. I barely made the goal but I get a plus for running each interval on time. ZERO pills today and the excess may not have cleared my system so I may feel better tomorrow. This is my last hard workout before race day. In my current condition, I predict that I will fall short of the 19:13 but barely make the 19:27.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=5.0

3/22- Had to go to the dentist today because of a mild toothache. Fortunately, it was just a cavity, not a root canal. The workout came at 4 PM with temps pushing 80 degrees. There was a headwind in the first half and a tailwind on the back half. The workout was a moderate 6 miler on Lakeshore with a fast finish. 1st 5 miles in 37:02 then closed with a 6:37. It was slightly uphill and just 3 ticks shy of my 10K race pace so that's pretty impressive. Overall time was 43:39 (7:17 pace). Tomorrow's workout will be similar then it'll be rest and junk until Saturday.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=6.0

3/23- Trak Shak 5 at moderate effort for the first 4 then a fast finish. Splits were 7:06-7:12-7:20-7:10-5:46 for an overall time of 34:34 (6:55 avg). Felt unusually strong and yes, this was a very good workout but not THAT good. I had to take a 5 minute break around 3.75 miles in a Mexican restaurant because of an "extreme emergency." I'll spare my readers the details but you can guess what it was. Because of this, I was fresher than normal entering Mile 5. Still, I think I could have pulled out a sub-6 or at least goal 5K pace of 6:10. I'm going for the all time PR on Saturday. I want to go out no faster than 90 in the first .25, be at 6:10 for the first Mile then try for a negative split. Today's grade unfortunately gets a minus because of the you know what.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=5.0

3/24- Planned rest day. Not tired out at all after yesterday's run.
Update: The medical report has been sent and the results are not as good as I had hoped for. If I keep off the pills, a relapse is just around the corner and my body is feeling too loose this afternoon. Screams of frustration!
Felt worse and worse as the day progressed. I must go back to ADHS and down the road, I'll need chromium again. I can't try anything new until after race day. I do know that chromium won't work now. I'll just have to load on ADHS until the gun goes off and hope to hit it on the nose again. I decided that I needed a test so I popped 2 ADHS and hit the track at Mountain Brook for a 400, where I clocked a 67.92 (best time of the year). That's not good. Even on slightly tired legs, I should have managed at least a 64. This may never end.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=1.0

3/25- Rest day. Not feeling well at all and there's a chance of rain at race time. I may just bag it.

3/26- Went ahead and did the Rumpshaker 5K in 20:01 plus warm and cool
Grade:B-/4 credits/distance=5.0

P.M- Eager to see how I felt after taking some magnesium and copper. Of course, I was not fresh enough to put out race effort but a sub-7 pace felt good early. Ended up with a quick 6:25 first mile then rested and ran an easy 6 laps around 7:45 pace then closed with a 33.8 final 200 with no rest. It looks like I've regressed to early February form and the climb back will be slow. I can be patient with slow progress but it must be steady with no massive shifts.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=3.0

3/27- Trak Shak 10 at moderate effort with a time of 75:07 (7:31 pace) with a solid 6:43 last mile. Not a bad showing out there today but it still feels like the power source has been switched off. It may be a while before I show the form I did early this week.
Grade:B/2 credits/distance=10.0

Weekly summary:
Up and down week. Very high quality and a pretty solid distance for a race week. Of course, the medical report is a huge disappointment and it may be a few weeks until I recover from this setback. Let's hope that the progress will be steady with no major adjustments just like January. It was close but just like the race, I fell short on the GPA. The streak of 8 straight weeks over 3.0 has ended here.
Distance=35.0/GPA= 35.8/12=2.98

Monday, March 14, 2011

Training 3/14-3/20

3/14- I wanted to run intervals today but had to postpone that effort until tomorrow because of a storm. Moderate 7 miler indoors in 51:50 (7:24 pace/3:14 marathon). Very strong. Started out at 7:10 for the first 2 miles then backed off to a more sensible 7:30 pace for the last 5. Took no ADHS and 600 mg. of chromium. It seems as if I can't get enough chromium right now so I'm sticking with it until further notice. I hope that sometime soon I won't need it anymore and I also hope against hope that the ADHS dependency will not return. A bit of soreness in the calf and knee is the only reason this is not a solid A.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=7.5

3/15- Johnny's workout. 7x400 all in the upper 70s then he threw in an 800 for dessert. I was hoping for a 2:30, which I missed by 1 tick. Recovered then put out moderate effort in an 80 second quarter to make it an even 10 laps plus warm up/cool down. Hard but measured effort all the way. I want another quality day tomorrow at the Shak for the first daylight savings time run. Overall pace for this workout was just under 5:15. Felt strong and relaxed.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=5.0

3/16- Trak Shak 8.05 in 54:54 (6:49 pace) on a very hilly route. 7 out of 8 miles were below 7.
This is 1:29 half marathon pace. In competition on a flat course with another good 2 months of training, I like my chances. The only irritation was that traffic was very heavy today and I had a bit of a sore knee when I finished. I can rest tomorrow. This is a new course PR by more than 2 minutes. UNBELIEVABLE! This course has been measured before at 8.17, which would be a pace of 6:42.
Grade:A+/2 credits/distance=8.5

3/17- Planned rest day that is well deserved. I am a little concerned about my knee. The rest of me is almost as sore so that's good. I get another easy week ahead of my 5K next Saturday then it's a welcome break from racing. Medical report may arrive by the end of next week. I need lots of chromium and nothing else.

3/18- Mountain Brook speed session. 2 mile warm up in 14:44 which was too fast. 4x200 all out with full recoveries. (32.8-31.6-30.5-29.5). Average of 31.1, which was short of my goal of 29.9 by roughly 10 seconds per mile. It was comforting that each 200 got progressively faster but I am not yet in shape to run 59.9. It would probably be 63 or 64. In fairness, this is my first such workout of the year and I really did not feel my best. I found out today that indeed I can get too much chromium. I took one after the workout and felt much worse. In order to have a shot, I need enough raw sprint speed to run under 28 for 200 and the strength to do 8 of these with an average of 30.0, which would be a 4 minute mile. I'll strive for 5 under 31 in 2 weeks. Finished with a 6 lap cool down.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=4.0

3/19- Interesting adventure. Nobody from the group showed up at the Shak so I went down to Oak Mountain for the start of the 50K then proceeded to run Peavine Falls Road. I did want to do this run sometime before the race on the 4th of July. It's nearly all uphill for 3.75 miles then back down with a short trail thrown in there. The first mile isn't so bad but there's a brutal stretch between about 1.0 and 2.75. I managed the climb at just over 8:00 pace then turned on the speed for a 6:30 mile but could not find the right trail to the finish. The overall workout was 8.75 with an average pace of 7:45. My pace slowed on the trails because some were hilly and rocky plus I wasn't feeling my best. I popped a chromium to see if it would make things better or worse. The answer was worse. I slogged through 3 cool down miles at 9:35 pace. My goal is to run this course (8.2 miles) under 60 minutes on race day. That would be about a 7:21 pace.
Grade:C+/2 credits/distance=11.75

3/20- Easy Trak Shak run without a shirt (70 and sunny). I forgot to charge my Garmin so I ran naked for the first 7 then turned on the watch for the last mile (7:56 at an easy effort) so I figure that my overall pace was near 8, which is okay. FYI, running naked is runner's lingo for no watch in case you didn't realize that. The big news is that I took ZERO pills for nearly 24 hours and survived the workout with an average performance. If I am no longer dependent on them, it would be a MIRACLE. I've been hurt so many times in this area so I will not get my hopes up too high. The medical report should arrive by the end of next week.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=8.25

Weekly summary:
I did what I planned to do this week. This is pretty much what my training will look like in the Spring and Summer. Mileage will be cut just a tad by the intensity goes up for 5Ks. My all time PR is 19:13 and that's the one that I want the most. I would not mind falling short of the trifecta because I never raced longer than 5Ks in high school. This next 5K will give me a good shot. It's a fast course with a competitive field and the weather will not be too warm. Many people believe that it is impossible to come back from adrenal fatigue. I'm already better at longer distances but have yet to beat my high school times though I am comparable from the 5K all the way down to the 400. Beating just one of those times would be a major victory and the 5K is my best shot.
Distance=45.0/ GPA= 29.3/9= 3.26

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Silver Comet 10K RR

I had been coming off an excellent training week and had been fresh off a new half marathon PR. Now was the time to attack the shorter distances. In the 3 days before this race, I faced a massive shift in my body chemistry. I will not get my hopes up too high but there is a chance that I could be free from all pills very soon. That would be a miracle. Without a doubt, I will see improvement in my running as a result.
I have nothing major to report in terms of pre-race adventures. I left work early and headed east on I-20 to Atlanta. I arrived at my buddy Nick's place just after dinner and was soon ready for bed. Unfortunately, Nick could not run because he was getting over a case of bronchitis. I cheered him to a big half PR last year and hoped that he could return the favor. I woke up very early without an alarm and simply went about my normal routine. I felt strong warming up but seemed to get just a bit of tightness just before the start. Probably, it's just last minute paranoia so I would take no action.
Course and strategy:
Very fast course. The first 1.6 miles or so were mild-moderately rolling on the road. There was really only one tough hill and it was early enough in the race that it did not cause too much pain. The last 3/4 of the race was run on the Silver Comet trail, which was almost perfectly straight with no significant hills. In fact, the next 2 miles were all flat-very gently downhill. The final 2 miles had a mix of slight inclines and declines with a slight uphill finish. This has got to be one of the fastest 10Ks in the country and the perfect place for a PR. The plan was to go out near 6:30 pace and try to hold on. If I could hold that pace, I would come through the first half in about 20:10. My pipe dream was a sub-40 but I knew that was probably unrealistic. If I came through the first half with a shot, I would go for it. Most likely, I would be hanging on. Under 41 would be great but I'd settle for a baby PR of 41:14 or under. Based on last year's results, that time might be good enough to place in my age group.
I executed the plan to near perfection. In a good 10K, the pace feels like a hard short tempo for the first third of the race. Sometime in mile 3, I will start feeling the effort and it will be pretty much all out to the line. It was a good clean start and I was able to rein in my energy fairly well. The first quarter mile passed by at about 6:15 pace. That's a little quick but I maintained an even effort and just waited for the pace to slow a bit. The first mile was gently up and down and I passed through the first marker just a hair ahead of schedule. Next, we headed up a pretty significant climb for about a third of mile. It was here that I made up a lot of ground and by the time we hit a downhill that led us onto the trail, I was in 19th place and holding the pace very well. I passed a man who appeared to be my age and set my sights on another runner who appeared to be 10-15 seconds ahead. As expected, the effort began to take a toll in Mile 3. I would be passed by one runner here then another just at the halfway point, which I passed in approximately 20:15. I made a brief attempt to pick up the pace here but I just did not have a sub-40 in me today. Soon, it would become a painful affair with an earnest hope for a sub-41 but a small PR all but assured. The 2 runners, both of whom appeared to be over 35, would gradually pull away over the last half of the race. My pace slowed just a tad over the next 2 Miles but there would be no brutal fade. My breathing was pretty well controlled but I had some tightness in my calves with lots of lactic acid buildup. Actually, since the last 2 miles contained a few small inclines, I'd say that I held the pace pretty well. After passing Mile 6, I tried to get on my toes and sprint but there just was not much there. The sub-41 goal was within my reach and I wanted it badly so I charged up the slight incline to finish banner. Nick was right there at the line exhorting me to "get under 41." I made a last drive for the line to ensure that I made it just before the clock turned. My watch showed that I had it comfortably but I wanted to leave nothing to chance. Yes!
Official result:
Gun time: 40:58, Chip time: 40:55 (6:34 pace). 20th place. 3rd out of 30 in age group.
Final thought:
This is a PR by 19 seconds and I am now within 9 seconds/mile of my lifetime goal of a sub-40.
I will NOT be going to New Orleans in April for another crack at it. If training goes well, my next attempt will be at the Senior Bowl in Mobile in November. Next race is a local 5K with a flat course and good competition. Sub-20 should be a cinch but I'm looking to get close to 19. I will probably need more speed work to get there but I should have a shot at my comeback PR of 19:27, which was set in July of 2009. Time to update that one.
6:29 (6:29) just a hair fast
6:32 (13:01) perfect
6:35 (19:36) starting to hurt
6:35 (26:11) slight downhill all the way
6:42 (32:53) hang on. don't let it slip away
6:45 (39:38) not much left
1:17 (40:55) 6:01 pace for last .22. Yes!
Grade on the day is a solid A.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

More thoughts on road trips

On Memorial Day weekend this year, I'll be racing a half marathon in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho which is located in the northern panhandle near the Canadian border. I'll be flying into Spokane, Washington, which is about 40 minutes west. From CDA, it's only 2 hours to Missoula, Montana and I heard that it is a beautiful drive. After the weekend, I will have visited every state in the continental U.S. Everyone says that's a really cool idea and a few people have asked for tips about how to go about doing it without burning too much fuel. The most important thing is to take small detours from your destination city. Here are some examples:

-Using Boston as your hub, you can quickly sweep through the 6 New England states

-Tour the Gulf coast starting in New Orleans and make a 3 hour drive to Pensacola passing through Alabama and Mississippi

-Take a trip to Chicago and head up and down each side of Lake Michigan crossing into Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan.

-Tour Memphis and cross the Mississippi river into Arkansas and Missouri with Kentucky just minutes away

-See a few shows in Las Vegas then check off California, Arizona and Utah

-Fly into Denver and take in the Rocky Mountain scenery with easy access to Wyoming and Nebraska.

Even if you only take one such trip per year, you could be halfway there within 6 years even if you've never previously left your home state.

Other must see destinations include the following:
Texas, NYC,DC, the Pacific coast highway, the South Atlantic coast (Charleston, Savannah), Blue Ridge Parkway and Smokies, Mount Rushmore, Grand Canyon and Yellowstone.
This would take you up to near 40 states.
Now, which is the toughest state to see?
The most common answer to that question is North Dakota and you could make a case for it. The neareast large city is Minneapolis, 4 hours away and how I got there. Yes, I chose the Fargo marathon in 2009 because I saw little chance of going to ND outside of running. However, it's just 2 hours from Mount Rushmore so that would be an easy side trip.
Most people check off Idaho and Montana by visiting Yellowstone but there are no major airports nearby. If not for the CDA race, I doubt that I would have been to either state.

Other potentially tough options are Ohio, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
Ohio was easy for me because I used to live in a state that shared a border. Cincy, Cleveland and Columbus are all major cities but are not major tourist attractions. There are some good marathons both in Ohio and nearby states.
Kansas and Oklahoma were not too difficult because both are within easy reach of the Ozark Mountains in NW Arkansas.
Only Iowa and New Mexico required me to go very far out of my way.

You could say that I've cheated on few states because I was either too young to remember or was only there for a few minutes. As long as you were awake and aware of your surroundings, you can count a state even if you only saw the highway.
Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island fall into that category. I am most likely to return to AZ, MI, and MA.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Training 3/7-3/13

3/7- Oak Mountain Mile in 5:34.7 (81-85-86-82). No ill-effects at all from yesterday's long run. I was clearly feeling the effects of too much chromium. Just as I feared, I am facing a situation in which the ideal dosage is somewhere between 2 and 3 pills. There has to be a better solution than this. This cannot be as good as it's going to get. I am very interested in my next medical report. My body felt too loose and I was out of breath far too quickly. It felt like riding a bike out of gear. 6 lap cool down at recovery jog pace. There is no subjectivity in grading a Mile time trial. 5:15 is a perfect score and I lose 1 point per second so that's an 81 on the day. Best time of the year and I have split the difference between my previous best and the goal. 19 down, 19 to go.
Grade:B-/3 credits/distance=3.0

3/8- Planned rest day. Good call to run the Mile yesterday. It's supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow morning. I'm feeling quite discouraged. The 5:34 Mile is not that bad but it's the way I felt that mattered. I took 750 mg. of chromium yesterday and my ideal is somewhere between 500 and 750. Is it 600, 650 or 700? I may have to open up capsules and estimate. This sucks and I can't live like this. I'm due to send in my sample to the lab but must wait 2 weeks for the results. I'm sore especially in the foot and shins so it may do some good to take a few slack days this week. Weather looks okay for Saturday.
Edit: 600 mg. is clearly not enough. I did not even have to run to test it. 700 mg tomorrow.

3/9-Moderate effort in the Trak Shak 5. Time was 36:54 (7:23 pace). Mediocre performance. I'm fine with that time but I did not feel well at all. Body was very tight today because I was low on chromium. I took 600 yesterday and 700 today and it wasn't enough. 750 was too much on Monday. Again, I cannot live like this. I am trending up and am still not sure what to do until race day.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=5.0

3/10- Light workout indoors. 1 Mile at moderate effort-7:03. I took 700 mg. of chromium again and felt the same as yesterday (too tight). Then I took about 100 more and felt better. Another Mile at moderate effort this time in 6:35, which is right about the pace I hope to sustain for 10K. I finished the workout with an easy mile in 7:52 as a cool down. One month ago, 700 mg. of chromium would have knocked me out and kept me in bed for the rest of the day. Now, it's not enough! I will load up tomorrow and Saturday morning and hope to hit it on the nose again for the race. THIS WILL BE THE LAST TIME THAT I LOAD ON CHROMIUM! If I keep this up, maybe I'll stabilize, maybe I'll need more and more. Best hope is to reduce ADHS or add more magnesium. Hair sample was sent to the lab today.
Edit: Weight is stable at 157 lbs. and that's right where I want to be.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=3.0

3/11- Planned rest day. No more ADHS, loaded on chromium.

3/12- Silver Comet 10K in 40:55 PR
Grade:A/4 credits/distance=7.0

3/13- Easy 9 on Lakeshore/Trak Shak in 69:57 (7:47 pace). I was out way too fast then backed off to 8:00 pace over the last half. Talked to Johnny for a bit while he was biking. Pretty smooth and relaxed. Good job.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=9.0

Weekly summary:
There has been a massive shift in my body chemistry and I need some more time to sort it all out. Right now, I'm basking in the glory of a shiny new PR. Despite the struggles early in the week, I made my 7th straight 3.0+ and that may be a record.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Going for the Trifecta

Now that I have de-emphasized marathon training, my focus will be hitting my lifetime goals in the 5K,10K and half marathon. I figure that I have about 5 years of potential improvement to do so. I posed the following question on RWOL last year:
Which of these is most difficult to achieve?
19:00 5K
40:00 10K
1:30:00 Half
The consensus was that the 1:30 was easiest followed by the 40:00 while the 19:00 was generally considered the most difficult. The answer to that question depends on your strengths and weaknesses. The sub-19 may very well be the easiest task for me because I have not lost much raw sprint speed since high school. I'll bet that I could beat a lot of sub-3 marathoners in a quarter mile sprint.
This month will provide an opportunity to assess how close I am in both the 5K and 10K since both races are competitive and run on flat courses. As for the half, my online buddies in the Sub-1:30 goal group suggested that I am currently capable of it right now given the perfect circumstances. I like the encouragement and believe that I "might could" eke out a sub-1:31 but just don't think I am quite ready to break the big barrier yet. Maybe by the end of May, I'll have a shot in Idaho.
Let me define what I mean by perfect circumstances:
First, the weather must cooperate. Ideally, I'd like to see between 45-65 degrees with no wind, rain or humidity. In a 5K, I'd rather it be 65 than 45 and in a half, cooler conditions are preferable.
Second, the course must be fast. There may be some small rollers but they must be short, followed by a downhill and relatively early in the race. Of course, flatter = faster but outside of a track, truly pancake flat courses are hard to come by, especially locally.
Third, I must have close competition. In a small race, there is a high probability of ending up in "no mans land" in which no other competitor is within reach, either ahead or behind for much of the race. Pushing the pace is more difficult when running alone.
I've considered my current PRs at all 3 distances and there was no case in which all 3 conditions were met.
5K- 19:27- 75-80 degree weather and course included a gradual rise from Mile 2.5 to 3.0
10K- 41:14- solo time trial.
Half: 1:32:49- significant hills in the last 5 miles.
I almost forgot to mention that in addition to all 3 conditions being met, I will need to have my "A" stuff to do it.
I welcome any comments and points of agreement/disagreement.