Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Training 1/30-2/5

1/30- Well deserved day of rest. Flew back to the Ham, worked a half day then shut it down.

1/31- Getting back to the normal routine now. Easy 6 in 44:12 (7:22 pace). Slight soreness in the IT band but outside of that, I felt great. Slowed down some in the 2nd half but that was only because I intentionally backed off after seeing a 7:13 split for Mile 2 without even pushing. How to train this week? It could be a bit tricky. I have 13 days until I race 26.2 but I am fresh off a half taper. I don't want to push too hard but I feel I could lose fitness if I go too easy. I think mileage near 40 is in order this week. That's solid but not extreme then it will be very little next week.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=6.5

2/1- Sensational performance after a rough day at work. I had to go indoors because I got stuck at the oral surgeon's office. It was just a check up and everything looks good. Easy 7 in 50:32 (7:13 pace). That's a 3:09 marathon if I held it for 26.2. Yes, it really did feel easy. The pace was fast because I am fresh. I did race 13.1 3 days ago but it was the only hard run I did all week.
Tempo tomorrow and I think my Saturday's run will be a MLR. Those 2 will be my only quality sessions before Mercedes.
Grade:A+/1 credit/distance=7.5

2/2- Tempo on Lakeshore. Very good but not a great performance. Finished with a time of 33:05 (6:37 pace) with a fairly even pace. Sloppy form and labored breathing. Felt just a tad off form but there's no need to panic. I won't have A+ stuff every day. Easy tomorrow.
Grade:B+/2 credits/distance=5.0

2/3- Indoor 5 in 37:07 (7:26 pace). Strong performance. Felt just a little bit of effort in the 2nd half but did maintain an even pace. If this one had been an 8 miler, the pace would have slowed. 26 miles at this pace seems daunting. The strain of this week is beginning to take its toll. Fortunately, the weekend will be easy because I'm in semi-taper mode.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=5.5

2/4- Good to see the Gnomes again. Unfortunately, the run was only average. 10 miles in 78:53 (7:53 pace). Pretty much what I planned on doing. Very uneven pace and this run required some effort. It really should have felt more comfortable. In fairness, I'm only 36 hours removed from a tempo and have not had a day off since Monday. Also, I ate nothing this morning. Not a good day overall. Need an easy 5 to hit 40 on the week. Let the taper madness begin.
Grade:B-/2 credits/distance=10.5

2/5- Lakeshore 5 in 36:09 (7:14 pace). Effort was comfortable. One discouraging development is that it appears that I need to take Paramin (blood sugar pill) regularly. That's probably why I didn't do so good yesterday and today felt so much easier even at a faster pace. I'm not pleased about that at all but I still claim healing. In this case, if I miss a few doses every now and then, it won't hurt me. If I take too much of it, it won't hurt me either. Let's hope that it does not progress to X # of pills per day or else! That's a prayer request. Added a mile cool later.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=6.0

Weekly summary:
A decent week of running. Outside of that, this week sucked but that's another issue. One week to go until marathon race day. No matter what the result, I will not run another until at least 2014. I won't be disappointed if it does not go well because my goal race was the 3M half. Still that said, it would have to be a disaster for me to not PR. If I can run 3:20ish on a moderately hilly course, I'd like to think that 3:10 is within reach in a downhill race esp. with 2.5 more years of good health.
Distance=41.0/ GPA= 27.4/8= 3.43

Monday, January 30, 2012

3M half RR

I give all the honor and glory to God.
I wanted to do this race 2 years ago but was forced out by an Achilles injury but this time, I was healthy and had been eyeing this race as my best chance to hit my lifetime goal of 1:30 since the Fall of last year. A turning point occurred in December after receiving prayer at the LIFE retreat. My Thym-Adren dosage began trending down the next day and since the first of the year, I have been freed from my dependence on that stuff. Those of you that have followed me for any length of time can appreciate how much that means to me. I believe that God did it and cannot think of any other explanation. It was by far my best training cycle. I jacked up the mileage but my training paces stayed pretty much the same. I did 5 runs in excess of 15 miles since my last PR including a 20 and 22 miler. I also set an unofficial 10K PR of 40:14 in training. I had only one day of symptoms this entire month and that was only because I took a thyroid pill the previous day. The only irritation that I had was a few stuck up people on the Marathon Race Training forum online that criticized my training in a manner that was downright mean spirited. However, the half marathon forum has always been very supportive of me. In short, high mileage at slow paces simply does not work for me and I do not enjoy it either. I top out between 50-55 MPW with yearly average in the low 40s but my intensity level is higher than most others. I know 2 runners who broke 3:10 in a marathon with a similar strategy. It can be done and I believe that I am talented enough to do it if everything goes right. It won't happen this year but possibly in the near future.

It was not to be an especially relaxing trip outside of the race. In addition to Austin, I had plans to visit San Antonio and College Station. I flew direct from Birmingham to Houston and rented a car. It was probably the quickest way to Austin. Because the flight was delayed, I altered my plans and headed to San Antonio from Houston instead of College Station. I did not see much of Houston though the downtown looked impressive. My biggest gripe was that the traffic was terrible. Birmingham's 280 is mild by comparison. Finally, I got onto I-10 W and it was clear sailing to San Antonio for 3 hours. I parked in a garage and walked around town for about an hour to get a sample of the Alamo plaza and the Riverwalk, which was a cool area under a set of bridges with shops and restaurants along the water. I got a nice Texas ribeye and one Lonestar beer before leaving town. From there, it was less than 2 hours to Austin so I split the difference and stayed in a cheap motel in San Marcos. The trip to Austin the next morning went without much of a hitch. I picked up my packet at a rather small expo then called up an old high school buddy that I had not seen in more than a decade. We had lunch together and he showed me around town for a bit and gave me a tour of some of his running routes. From there, I headed to my hotel near the starting line and had a fairly relaxing evening. After the race, I headed back to downtown Austin for a walking tour of 6th Street and a BBQ pork sandwich for lunch. Next, I took country roads to College Station and toured Bush 41's presidential library for a little over an hour. That was really cool and anyone interested in history would enjoy it regardless of political affiliation. Finally, it was time for another nerve wracking drive back to the Houston airport. I stayed the night there and caught my flight back home without a hitch.

Near perfect weather conditions. Clear skies with light winds and temps in the low 40s at the start, near 50 by the finish. I had targeted this race because it is a blazing fast course. It is point to point net downhill with several bumps along the way. Most of the course was a shallow downhill that was barely noticeable and some miles seemed to have just as much incline as decline. There was a tough stretch early in Mile 10 but more significant downhill early in Mile 13 before a small bump up to the finish. According to the elevation profile, taking into account that you only gain 1/2 as much going down as you lose going up, runworks projects this course to be on par with pancake flat courses such as Mobile and Disney. If I ran a PR, it would not contain an asterisk.
My plan was to hang with the 1:30 pace group for about the first 5K then move ahead if I felt good. My training had gone so well that 1:30 was near the low end of my expectations. I had hopes of a 1:28 or maybe even 1:27 though I never publicly aired my lofty expectations. The first half mile was slightly uphill it felt much too slow. Again, my Garmin would not cooperate. In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, that's it with this piece of junk, I've had it. Somebody asked the pacers if they were on target and they responded that they had started a little slow. Just over 7 minute pace. I ditched the pacers and would not see them again. Some mile markers had clocks while others did not so I had to ask others for the approximate time so here are the estimated splits for the first 4 miles:
6:50 (6:50)
6:40 (13:30)
6:33 (20:03)
6:37 (26:40)
I felt great. Almost no pain whatsoever. At that point, the notion of a 6:40ish pace for the remaining 9 miles did not seem daunting. However, miles 3-4 were nearly all downhill. The next few miles were up and down. By now, my Garmin was working and according to the instant pace, it seemed to matter little whether I was going up or down. My pace seemed to stay about the same. Over the 4+ miles that it actually worked, every mile was between 6:41 and 6:47. According to the results, I passed 10K in 41:40 and saw a clock at Mile 7 that showed a clock time at 47:10. I figured that my chip time was just under 47 flat. I've always had good math skills and that includes during a race. I figured that since 42 is 6:00 pace and 49 is 7:00 and I'm 5/7 or 71.4% in between, my overall pace is about 6:43. From that point on, even if I faded to 7:00 for the rest of the way, I'd hit 13 in 1:29 and barring a collapse in the final 200 meters, I had it.
6:43 (33:23)
6:45 (40:08)
6:47 (46:55)
6:41 (53:36)
6:44 (60:20)
Now, I had no doubt that I would do it. A 7 minute pace would bring me to Mile 13 in 1:28:20 and a decent finish from there would put me under 1:29. I still felt good and was confident that there would be no major fade after 15K like my previous efforts. My Garmin cut off again after Mile 9 and I was unable to get it back on so I had to go naked for the remainder of the race. The course went through University of Texas and finished just outside the capitol building so I saw some cool landmarks. Based on the final results, I can assume that I basically held the same pace all the way through. I'm sure Mile 10 was a little slow because of the incline and Mile 13 was faster. In any event, my clock time was 1:27:43 at Mile 13 so my chip time was approximately 1:27:30. That means that I covered Miles 10-13 in approximately 27:10 (6:48 pace).  I'll list the estimated splits:
7:05 (67:25)
6:50 (74:15)
6:45 (1:21:00)
6:30 (1:27:30)
I knew that I was under 1:29 but I didn't know by how much. I wish I knew how close I was to breaking 1:28 in Mile 12 because I knew that I could not cover the final .11 in under 30 seconds going uphill. I passed 2 just before starting my all out kick but nobody else was within reach. It was a decent kick but nothing spectacular and I raised my arms in triumph as I crossed the line with a chip time of 1:28:12. I got my medal and used another photo op for the purpose of Tebowing.

Final thought:
I smashed the barrier by a full 8 seconds per mile (6:44 pace for 13.11 miles). This was no doubt an A+ performance and I am certainly very excited but I am really not too surprised. It was in line with my high expectations albeit near the upper end. Anyone who has followed my training this month could have predicted a sub-1:30. My buddies on the half marathon forum have encouraged me to strive for 1:25. My answer to that challenge is the same as before. I will continue to train and strive for improvement but anything beyond this is a bonus. I expect to race this distance many more times over the next few years but if this turns out to be the fastest half marathon of my life, I will be well satisfied with it. Texas was state #13 in my drive for 25. On the radar this year are the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Denver and Indy. I plan to add more interval work starting in early Spring. This race predicts a marathon in 3:06, which won't happen this year if ever. However, it also predicts a 10K under 40 and a 5K near 19 flat. Both of those goals should be within reach with interval training if not right now.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Training 1/23-1/29 (race week)

1/23- Planned rest day and it is the right call. If I get the itch this evening, I will do a couple of strides in the parking lot but that's it.

1/24- Stress free tapers are a rarity for me and this one appears to be no exception. Taper paranoia has set in big time and I'm afraid of a relapse so I allowed myself a bit of a test run. Lakeshore 2.5, roughly a 3 minute rest, then another 2.5 going the other way. The plan was to run near tempo pace with a marked pick up in the last 600 meters. I got off to a sensational start but was fading by the end of Mile 2 with a bit of tightness in the calf. 1st half was 16:11. 2nd half was 16:47. Not very good splits but still a 6:35 overall pace. Only managed a 6:27 pace over the final 600 meters. More concerning was the way I felt. I had tightness in my muscles and felt just plain out of sync much like before White River. I panicked when I got home and tried half a thyroid pill. I quickly realized that it was not the answer, which is actually a relief but may have to endure a rough day tomorrow until it clears my system. This workout was not too bad and I'm still 5 days out. Plenty of time to get things right.
Grade:B/2 credit/distance=5.0

1/25- I expected a rough day today and it was a price I was willing to pay to confirm that I do not need thyroid pills. I did not expect it to be THIS bad. Funny thing is that I did not feel too bad during the day but as soon as I took my first stride running, I felt horrible. I hoped to run an easy 3 with a pickup at the end. I ended up doing only 1 Mile from the Shak and finished in 7:55 and I had to hustle at the end just to break 8. This would be an "F" if I was not in taper mode. Now 4 days out, I am still hopeful to get back on track but the brash confidence of a week ago is gone. I need a half decent run tomorrow to get back at least some confidence. I took no thyroid pills today and do not expect to take any more.

2 hours later: Went to the track at Vestavia after taking some Paramin (to regulate blood sugar) and felt an improvement. 1200 in 5:38, on pace for about 7:30. I stopped for about a minute then clocked a 400 in 73.3 (best time of the year). Nothing to brag about but I do feel like I've taken a step forward. 1/2 mile cool.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=2.5

1/26- 5 miles indoors in 35:45 (7:09 pace). Back on track today. Effort was easy and even with a pace of 7:13 through 4.75 miles then stepped on the gas for a 90 second last quarter. With normal volume, the pace would be 7:25-7:30. It was faster today because my volume has been so light over the past 7 days (only 24 miles). Today went just like it should have and I am regaining some confidence. I may be dependent on Paramin but I'm okay with that because if I do miss a day or two every now and then, it won't hurt me. With the Thym-Adren, if I missed even 1 dose during the day, I would suck in a workout. Much better situation.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=5.5

1/27- Planned rest day. Flight to Houston was delayed. Drove to San Antonio for dinner then stayed in San Marcos for the night.

1/28- Spent whole day in Austin. Junk run outside the hotel for 11 minutes. Felt good.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=1.5

1/29- 3M half marathon in 1:28:12 PR. Lunch in Austin, tour of Bush 41's library in College Station, back to Houston.
Grade:A+/4 credits/distance=14.5

Weekly summary:
Sheer exhilaration about my performance. Enough said.
Distance=29.0/ GPA= 3.66

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spring outlook

One month from today, I expect to be basking in the glow of a shiny new marathon PR and fresh off a 7 day period of inactivity to guard against burnout. The first signs of Spring come around the first week of March here in Birmingham and daylight savings time starts on 3/11. Here's the plan for the Spring and Summer:
-Mileage will be cut to the neighborhood of 40 per week.
-More speed sessions.
-Fewer long runs and nothing over 15.
Other training decisions will be played by ear. What will happen to my base training pace on fewer miles? It's possible that it will get even faster. Maybe down to 7:15. On the other hand, the speed workouts could take a lot out of me and my pace could slow. I will do whatever feels comfortable for me. Lately, a basic workout has been in the range of 6.5-8.5 miles. Do I keep it there or drop it back down to the 4-6 range? Again, we'll see how I feel.
I have 5 options for a quality workout:
1. A weekday medium long run (10-12 miles). This is a staple of marathon training and will be phased out entirely. I enjoy this one the least and always have.
2. Weekend long run (12+). On the weekends that I do not race, this will continue to be a regular part of my training. Most will be in the 12-15 range with the fast Gnomes.
3. Tempo run- I like this workout and it will be run at least twice in three weeks. The distance will be varied from 5-8 miles usually from the Shak. Typical paces are just over 6:30 for 5 miles and closer to 7:00 on the 8 miler but paces will slow in hot and humid conditions.
4. Ladders and long intervals- Need more of these for a good 5K. I also anticipate doing these twice every three weeks.
5. Short intervals-Hard, nearly all out sprints from 400 all the way down to 100s with full recoveries. I hope to do one such workout per week. 59.9 or bust!
Reasoning behind the shift:
Since 2009, I have shown a lot of improvement at distances 10K and above. By comparion, my 5K PR has dropped a mere 6 seconds. True, I've been plagued with a lot bad luck at that distance (humid weather, unstable, just didn't have it). My Mile time is down by only 3 seconds while in the 400, I have actually regressed a bit. At 31 years old, time is running out. If I can't break 60 in the 400 within the next 2 years, I don't see it happening. The same is true to a lesser extent in the Mile and 5K.
Race plans:
Rumpshaker 5K in late March- local event. Fast course, competitive field.
Crescent City Classic- New Orleans mega 10K
Kentucky Derby Half- for fun to add another state.
My goal to run a half/full in at least 25 states is not too original. Here are 2 others that some may find interesting:
-5K in 5 states: Already done this (PA,WV,AL,GA,TN)
-10K in 10 states: Only 3 down (SC,AL,GA). Louisiana could be number 4. Three more quick options include a companion 10K on a Pensacola Beach marathon weekend, a Labor Day 10K in the Nashville area and the Gum Tree 10K in Tupelo, MS. That leaves 3 destination races. On the radar are the Pittsburgh Great Race, Bolder Boulder and Broad Street (Richmond, VA).

Monday, January 16, 2012

Training 1/16-1/22

1/16- My critics and cynics do not believe that anyone who has had adrenal fatigue can train like I do. My response is that nothing is impossible. Others doubted that I would improve significantly when off the pills because my condition was simply "a manageable fatigue" not the chemical instability that I describe. I must admit that this latest hot streak is so amazing that even I am speechless. Then again, God is able. I never had any doubt of that. Today, I had the day off work for MLK day and took advantage of the opportunity to do a MLR in the daylight. I took off at 6:50 pace and never slowed down. Well, maybe a little in Mile 8-9 but only because of the hills. I proceeded to bounce back with a 6:30 finish in which I showed no real sprinting form. Final time was 68:20 (6:50 pace). That's a PR with an asterisk. I did stop for a few minutes in Mile 5 after I felt a slight twinge in my Achilles Tendon, which proved to be of no concern. Added a Mile cool down. MUST go easier tomorrow. No more than 5, preferably no faster than 7:30 pace.
Grade:A/2 credits/distance=11.0

1/17- Easy 5 indoors in 37 flat (7:24 pace). Again, that's over a minute per mile slower than race pace at this distance. Very strong, smooth and relaxed. Nearly painless. Even pace. No faster than 7:22 or slower than 7:27. 1st half was 18:30, 2nd half was 18:30. I have capped the mileage at 42 for the week before the race. I am now in semi-taper mode with 12 days until race day. I remain confident and predict a sub-1:30 but won't go any further than that.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=5.5

1/18- Moderate 5 at the Shak followed by a fast finish. Audit assignment enabled me to do this one in the daylight. I covered 5.75 miles @ 6:56 pace overall. First 5 were all in the low 7s then kicked it in for the final .75 @ 5:50 pace and I only showed sprinting form in the final .25, which was run @ 5:20-5:30 pace slightly uphill. Added 2 laps around Soho block for a cool down. Yet again, amazing and unbelievable. 1 workout to go (easy 6) before I hit full blown taper mode. Need to be more careful with race day so close. I am a bit sore but nothing unusual. Just need to survive one more day and I'm golden. I want to shoot for 7:45 pace. Plan to rest Friday with no long run this weekend.
Grade:A/2 credits/distance=6.5

1/19- Easy 6 in 45:52 (7:38 pace). Slight fade. (22:50-23:02) and that ends the streak of "A" workouts. I've now done 58 miles in the past 7 days. That's just 2 away from the "red flag" aka "danger zone." That's why the pace was slower. Once again, if I was running 70+ MPW, my paces would be in line with McMillan but I choose not to subject myself to that for reasons I discussed earlier. I have completed the training. 10 days out now and I am now in full blown taper mode. Dreamed that I ran in a 10 Mile race that ended with an indoor maze going through a building. I surged near the end to take the lead and would have won but could not find the finish line. LOL! I need to rest.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=6.0

1/20- Planned rest day. I will attend the BTC annual party.

1/21- Not good. Even after the rest day, I was still sore and gassed. I cut the run to 4 miles and finished with a time of 30:56 (7:44 pace). Faded badly after Mile 2 (15:18-15:38). Fortunately, there is an explanation. I did not start this run until almost 11 AM and did not eat anything in the morning. Bad call there. No major concern yet. If I do not feel fresh tomorrow, that will be very worrisome.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=4.5

1/22- Moderate 6 in 43:17 (7:13 pace). Even pace, felt good all the way. Yesterday's poor effort proved to be of no concern. Still a bit sore but my energy was back to normal. I admit that I over reached in training the last 2.5 weeks but I've got another week to get fresh.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=6.5

Weekly summary:
Very good week overall despite the hiccup on Saturday. Let the taper madness begin. I plan to rest every other day until race day. It's now been 3 weeks since I was freed from the Thym-Adren. Back in the Fall of 2010, I had 5 weeks of freedom then suffered a nasty relapse. If I can make it 3 more weeks, my fears and doubts will greatly diminish.
Distance= 40.0/ GPA= 28/8= 3.50

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Marathon training vs shorter distances

Since Labor Day or so, I've been in half/full marathon mode and I'm looking forward to the end of this cycle. I still like the short distances better and do not plan on running another marathon until at least the Fall of 2014 when I can get into Boston with a 3:10. If healthy and under the exact right conditons with the aid of a downhill course, I might have a chance. Until then, I will put it out of my mind and focus on where my heart is, middle distance running.

The orthodox philosophy for marathon training is little to no speed, at least 80 miles per week with virtually all of it being a good deal slower than the pace that you will run for 26.2 miles on race day. Despite what everybody says, that approach will never work for me. I am often criticized for my fast training paces and my defense is as follows:
1. After my medical breakthrough, I am now much better than my current PRs indicate.
I don't think there is any doubt about that. I've basically proven that I can run below 3:20 with my most recent long run and had enough left to come back for 5 more @ sub-8 the next day. That would be a PR by more than 15 minutes in the marathon. It meant a lot just to know that I am capable of it. Who knows what will happen on race especially with my history of instabilty?
2. I take sharp cut backs periodically to guard against burnout.
When leading up to a race, holiday weekend or if I feel it's necessary, I've been known to cut my mileage by up to 50%. I always come back fresh and ready to roll. After the full, I get 7-10 days of complete rest before I tackle the next cycle.
3. I do not enjoy long slow distance every day nor do I like how it makes me feel.
Going by the book, I should do a lot of 10-14 mile runs during the week in addition to my weekend long run. Training guidelines such as McMillan are designed for 80 MPW runners. I've never topped 70 MPW but I did sustain 60+ for several weeks in the Fall of 2010 with disastrous results. With the same effort, paces will slow naturally as distance increases and you will never feel fresh. There will always be residual soreness in the legs and a bit of tiredness in the body as a whole. At 50 MPW, I feel fresh but suggested training paces feel much too slow. When coming off a cutback, 7:15 feels easy but 7:30ish has been the norm recently. I'm sure that I'd be more like 8:00 at higher volume. Also, it's too darn time consuming to run long every day. I need 8 hours of sleep. When you run 12+ miles in the evening, decompress, eat and shower, it's almost bed time. Not the life I want and it could put a strain on relationships.
4. The marathon is not a distance that I take too seriously.
It's little more than a fun lark every 2 years or so. I'd get a lot more satisfaction out of a sub-40 10K than a 3:20 marathon so why not train accordingly and do what I think is best to meet that objective.
5. I am improving by training this way
Race results don't lie. PRs at every distance that I raced last year and I didn't even have my best stuff in some of those races either. I know 2 runners in Birmingham than BQ'd on under 60MPW so it can be done.
Many, not all, sub-elite runners (2:40-3hr marathoners) seem to be a bunch of stuck up little pricks. I had a bad experience when I tried to run in college and it seems that little has changed as an adult. Some have suggested that anyone can run a sub-5 Mile or sub-3 marathon if they train hard enough. That's as idiotic as suggesting that a person with an IQ of 85 can get an advanced degree from a top ranked university. There's a little thing called talent that dictates your potential. I respect anyone who makes an earnest attempt to get in better shape by running regardless of their paces. I have no problem with constructive criticism about my training or differing philosophies but many of the comments on RWOL were downright mean spirited. The more I defended my training, the worse it became. I know where I stand with the Lord and I'm not after praise of men or women but to suggest that I only care about myself and my training paces is ridiculous. I've devoted countless hours to help others with chemical imbalances and hope to inspire others with my hope, faith and determination. If that offends you, you've got the problem, not me. I'm done posting in Marathon Race Training. I will stay on the 1:30 Half Thread where the group is supportive and encouraging.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Training 1/9-1/15

1/9- Easy 7.5 in 57:05 (7:37 pace). A little slower than my recent paces but I'm fine with that. After all, I'm only 2 days removed from a monster workout. Don't get me wrong. I did not feel fresh by any stretch but the soreness was manageable. Fast start but settled into 7:40 pace in Mile 3 and it stuck there. Added a half mile cool. Solid performance. Only 1 full week until the taper.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=8.0

1/10- Just as I wrote earlier, as the volume increases, paces will slow automatically. I've now done 43.5 in only 4 days. That's too much for me. I'm so glad that the taper is almost here. Planned on 9 or 10 but ended up cutting it short to 8 in 61:44 (7:43 pace) plus the usual tribute. I have residual soreness and a bit of tiredness in my body as whole. Need a good rest.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=8.5

1/11- Planned rest day to get my implant at long last. Hoping to do a tempo tomorrow. It may have been a mistake to do this before the race. If I had known it would go like this, I would have put it off another month. First, I didn't get the new tooth. It was just another surgical procedure to get me prepared for it. The dentist, not the surgeon will have to do that. More concerning is that I was prescribed antibiotics, perhaps unnecessarily. That can mess up my body chemistry and cause nasty diarrhea similar to the nightmare that I had in the Fall of '09. I'm in the best shape of my life. Please, let's not have another race sabotaged.

1/12- Planned workout was a 6 mile tempo with a fast finish. I came through 1/2 Mile in 3:10 feeling strong so I threw caution to the wind and decided to go for it. I finished the full 10K in 40:14 PR (6:28 pace). 1st half 20:05, 2nd half, 20:09. The former is my best time of the year at 5K. Just 2.5 ticks per mile shy of THE goal and that's the closest I've ever come at any distance. Needed a 78 final quarter. I may have coaxed an 85 if need be but I knew I could not do it and finished with a modest 92. I'm in the best shape of my life.
I may not have even have been at full strength either. This was Day 2 of the antibiotics. I must be cautious from here on out. Yes, I have to take them or there is a risk of an infection that may not be contained to the mouth. I can take less than the suggested dosage. I'm already getting some stomach discomfort. Worse yet, this antibiotic carries a risk, albeit small, of Achilles tendon ruptures. That, my friends, would royally suck! Please pray that I will be protected from that outcome. Easy the next two days and my long run will not be nearly as hard as last week.
Grade:A/3 credits/distance=7.0

1/13- Back to the norm. Finished 6.5 miles in 48:39 (7:29 pace) indoors (cold and windy) plus a half mile cool. Day 3 on antibiotics and I'm doing well thanks to the probiotic use. Only 4 days of that stuff to go. More good news is that the class of antibiotics that I am taking do NOT belong to the family that has been linked to tendon ruptures. Pace felt relaxed and even. Never below 7:24 or above 7:33. I was a full minute slower than my 10K time trial pace on an easy day while covering just about the same distance. That sounds pretty reasonable to me. A guy at the gym told me that slow running lowers testosterone but speed work raises it. I believe it.
I've covered 57.5 miles in the last 7 days. That's approaching the danger zone so my long run will not be as long or hard. Shooting for 16ish tomorrow.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=7.0

1/14- Missed the run with the Gnomes so I opted for a daylight run in Homewood from the Trak Shak. I wanted to get the hills out of the way first so I went with the 7 and 9 er route with a time of 1:56:55 (7:18 pace) with a 6:30 closing mile. That's a 3:10:xx marathon pace. Can I hold that for another 10 miles? No. In another 3 years? Maybe. Even small hills will really hurt you after Mile 16. Not as hard as last week's run but not far off either. Very strong.
My 10K time trial projects to a 1:29:30 half and Self Coached Runner predicts a 19:07 5K.
Grade:A/2 credits/distance=16.0

1/15- SENSATIONAL! Easy 5 in 35:49 (7:10 pace) in the ZONE. I felt no pain today whatsoever. I planned to run 6.5 today but chose to play it safe because the pace was so fast. I plan to do a MLR in the daylight tomorrow for MLK day so it was probably a good call to cut it short. Added a half mile cool at the end and even that was run at a decent pace. I've never gotten an A+ on an easy run before but today, it is appropriate.
Grade:A+/1 credit/distance=5.5

Weekly summary:
I am in the best shape of my life. It feels like there's another gear available to me that I could not access before. That 10K was done only 26 hours after receiving oral sedation at the oral surgeon. Barring a really bad day, sub-90 is as good as mine in 2 weeks. Taper will start in the middle of next week. GPA was 4.0 over the final 7 credits.
Distance=52.0/ GPA= 34.3/9= 3.81

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Training 1/1-1/8

1/1- Not an auspicious start to the new year but it was better than last year's New Year's debacle in which it took more than 9 minutes to cover one mile. In 2010, I began the year with a still standing marathon PR so it's impossible to predict what the year will bring based on its first workout. It was an uninspiring 3 mile run on Wisteria (my neighborhood). The running routes suck here but will suffice for a junk run. Finished with a time of 23:13 (7:44 pace). Even pace but I was struggling because I still have lots of crud in my system. It may take another 5 days before it's gone. Set a new best time of the year in the Mile (7:39). I hope to get back up to the 6 mile range tomorrow.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=3.0

1/2- Another step forward. Typically, when coming off an illness, it's baby steps first followed by a breakthrough. Today was decent progress and a nice improvement over yesterday. Indoor 10K just to get on the board at that distance. My time was 47:11 (7:34 pace). I also set new best times of the year at the 3 shorter distances along the way. Times are nothing special but here they are: 400: 1:42, Mile: 7:19, 5K: 23:33. One good thing about a slow start to the year is that I can show a lot of improvement from one workout to the next.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=6.5

1/3- Back to the grind at work again. A great step forward today. I am still coughing but I am feeling a lot less congested. I actually felt somewhat like myself today. It was the coldest day of the winter thus far so I wisely opted to stay indoors. Comfortable 8 miles in 58:35 (7:20 pace) plus a tribute to Ochocinco. Never hurting. Very enjoyable run. New best times of 2012 in all 4 of the shorter distances. Great.
400- 90, Mile- 6:58, 5K- 22:40, 10K- 45:39.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=8.5

1/4- Trak Shak 5 in 37:17 (7:27 pace). Added a full mile cool down. Solid but unspectacular performance. Still do not need any Thym-Adren pills. Still clearing the gunk out of my system and it's not a pretty picture if you know what I mean. My biggest concern is GI issues again. It's probably related to the virus but I'm taking some pro-biotics and yogurt at least for a few days. I've had worse than this before. Good mileage so far. Slight groin pain. I may or may not do my scheduled prolo appointment. If not, it will be done after Austin. I need to train now.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=6.0

1/5- The negative thoughts from yesterday are gone now. Easy 6 indoors plus a final mile hard. Passed the 6 mile mark comfortably in 43:45 (7:18 pace) then kicked in the turbo with a 7th mile in 6:02. Even that was fairly comfortable and I really didn't feel the effort until the final quarter. Finished with an overall time of 49:47 (7:07 pace). New best times of the year are as follows:
400: 84, Mile: 6:02, 5K: 21:32, 10K: 44:15.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=7.0

1/6- Planned rest day. Hoping the weather will cooperate for my long run.

1/7- Yet another all time great long run workout. 22 miles in 2:43:20 (7:25 pace). That's a marathon pace of 3:14. Passed 13.1 in 1:36:20 (best time of the year). This workout was GREAT but I still intend to err on the side of caution on race day with a 7:30 speed limit until Mile 20. I felt the effort around Mile 13 which is sooner than I would like but fought through it well. Every mile was below 8 but I could not have kept this pace for another 4.2 miles. I'd estimate around an 8:15 pace to the finish, which would bring me home in 3:18. Since my PR is so soft, I'd rather leave 5 minutes on the course than shoot for a 3:10, be on pace through 18, then bonk something awful. Pretty even splits today too.
1st 5: 36:40, 2nd 5: 36:40, 3rd 5: 37:06, 4th 5: 37:49. Mile 21: 7:54. 22: 7:13.
If I average 7:30 through 20 miles, I need a 50:00 last 10K (even 8 pace) for a 3:20.
Grade:A+/2 credits/distance=22.0

1/8- Easy 5 indoors (rain) in 39:49 (7:58 pace). I certainly will not call this 5 miler uninspiring. I felt appropriately tired and sore today. I did fade some in the last 2 miles but slacked on purpose. 8 minute pace was as fast as I could go without pushing but that's just about what I expected. Hit my quota on the week and that's all I will do today.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.0

Weekly summary:
Despite the inauspicious start, it was a solid first week overall. Outstanding long run but outside of that, it was rather ordinary. Barring disaster, I've got a PR coming in the full and a very good chance at one in the half before I shift gears to speed work. I've completed the hardest long run of the cycle so it's all downhill from here.
Distance=58.0/GPA= 26.6/8= 3.33