Thursday, July 30, 2009

July Summary

It's been a great day, I really rocked my last two runs of the month yesterday and today. I had a beautiful run yesterday, I called it my "Caddyshack run" because it reminded me of the scene where Bill Murry is the unwilling caddy for the older gentleman when it is storming out. The old man can't miss a shot and is having the game of his life; that was my run through the rain yesterday. (minus the "rat farts" lighting strike of course)

Today's run was a scheduled 6 miles. I ran a one mile warm up then ran hard for 4 (7:41,7:39,7:31,7:20) and finished with a one mile cool down. Even though I had a very tough run on Sunday my speed has really kicked up a notch. So, we'll see what happens with Sunday's 14 miler.

Monthly Summary: This was a record month of mileage for me finishing with a total of 163.8 miles. Training is proceeding well, I just need to continue to season the legs for the long runs. As of this writing I believe that there are about 65 days until the marathon. That's two months!

I would like to say that my running has become much less off a chore than it was in the beginning. I don't think much at all of going out for a quick 5 or 6 mile run and I look forward to the Sunday long run challenges. The excitement of the marathon is beginning to build as it grows closer.

I found a good article yesterday with some nice tips for first time marathon runners.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

20 Mile Run Day

Today, I reached a new milestone in my training. I ran farther than I have ever run before, that's right, I ran (sort of) 20 miles. I tried to make sure that I was well hydrated the day before and loaded up on some spaghetti last night to make sure that I had some carbs in my system. Saturday evening after work I ran an easy 5 miles, my schedule said to run 4 but I didn't realize that until I had already finished my 5. Watched a the TDF that I had DVR'd earlier in the day and headed to bed at a fairly early time. My goal was to get up at 6am and be running by 7 while it was nice and cool. Unfortunately, due some circumstances beyond my control I was awakened at 2:30am and did not get back to sleep until probably 4. I reset the alarm clock for 7am.

I woke up before the alarm and felt a little groggy but pretty decent and hit the trail at about7:30am. Within the first half mile, I realized that I had forgotten to take care of things with body glide, too late now, I would have to suffer later.

My first 12 miles were a piece of cake actually. I had a nice pace going and was feeling pretty good. But during mile 13 I really started to struggle. My legs were not holding up very well, I am guessing because of the 5 miles that I had run about 14 hours prior (dumb mistake). So, I walked for awhile during mile 13. Then, with just 7 miles to go, I figured I could probably finish out my run, what's 7 miles? I was wrong, it was a long 7 miles of running and walking. I couldn't even force myself to run the entire last mile without doing some walking. :-(

I completed the run in 3hours and 8 minutes, a pace of 9:24. Not bad but disappointing because I was on pace to finish at about an 8:40 pace. Oh yeah, luckily the chaffing was very minimal, that's a good thing!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

When Motivation Kicks You in the Ass

Today I have only myself to blame for my misery. I went out for "a couple" beers with some friends and before you know it, they were taking turns buying the group shots. Of course it would be rude of me to turn these down when they came to the table. Needless to say, the evening was fun, the morning.....not so much.
I was scheduled to run 8 miles today. Luckily I had the day off and was finally able to roll my tired ass out of bed and onto the bike path by shortly after ten a.m. I started off nice and easy with a pace of 8:38 for the first mile, pretty normal for my first "warm up" mile. The next three miles I actually felt good. I was light on my feet and ran a decent 8:15, 8:14, and 8:12. After 4 miles I was starting to wear down a bit, I slowed my pace in order to suck down a gel for some fuel and finished mile 5 in 8:27, then picked it up just a bit, running 8:19 for mile 6. By this time I was really starting to drag and feel the effects of last night. I didn't care what my pace was going to be. I zoned out and decided I would just hang on the best I could for the last two miles, but then it happened. I was jolted out of my running stupor when a young lady in a 2009Twin Cities Marathon training shirt blazed past me. I guessed that she was probably running a little better than 8 minute miles at the time so I figured, what the hell, I'm going to quit feeling sorry for my hung over ass and let her set my pace for the last mile and a half to finish strong.
Somebody had obviously sent her to motivate me! She was moving a little faster than I had originally thought, but I kept up with her fairly well. We crossed over the bridge by the 4 mile marker and rounded the corner. Just up ahead of her we spooked a little white tailed doe next to the bike path and it started bounding ahead of us. It then ran onto the trail and stopped right in the middle, then when it saw us still heading its way, it turned and ran off again, finally disappearing into the trees. Motivator #2, how cool is it to run with a doe?!
Feeling pretty decent and forgetting my hangover pain, I finished mile 7 in 8:10. Motivator #1 turned around and headed back the other way with about half a mile remaining in my run. I was a little disappointed but grateful and somewhat relieved, like I said, she wasn't slacking like I was. I did not push it quite as much the last half mile, but still finished strong with a 7:35 pace on my last mile!
I am glad to be done with my run, but also grateful for the two motivators that were sent my way to help me finish strong.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Yasso 800's

Today was the toughest workout I have done all year. I had decided ahead of time that I was going to run intervals on the track today. There are several training philosophies on intervals, I am sure they all have a positive effect on a persons overall speed, but the one I chose to use is the Yasso 800's.
If you are not familiar with this term, this workout was named after Bart Yasso, the Race Services Manager at Runner's World. The Yasso 800's involve an easy warmup before the intervals, and then you run 800 meters on the track at your target marathon time. For instance, my target time is 3 hours 20 minutes, so I needed to run my 800's at 3 minutes and 20 seconds, then jog the track for the same amount of time in between each interval. You should be able to start with 4 of these and add one per week until you can do ten. Sounds simple right?
The first couple of 800's weren't too bad, and because I did not read directions very well, I just jogged for 400 meters before the next interval instead of by time, thereby shorting myself a good minute of recovery time. The third interval was pretty tough, but I knew I could gut it out and finish. I jogged my 400, stopped my watch and took a break, I wasn't sure I would be able to finish another one. After some procrastination, I got back out onto the track and took off for my last interval. I really didn't try to push it too hard on this one, I just didn't care at this point. All the way around the first lap, I kept thinking that I should just stop after one lap and call it good, my body was trying to convince me that it would be ok because I had ran pretty hard the last three intervals. The body can be very convincing in these situations when your legs feel like lead, your heart is pounding and you are gasping for air. But I refused to give up and mindlessly pushed myself through the second lap finishing the interval in 3:23. I was ok with that time, I was done! I jogged a couple of easy laps around the track and sat down for a couple of minutes before I had an easy cool down run home of about 3/4 mile. But, after running intervals, nothing seemed "easy" about the run home, I was beat!
The funny thing is that I ran by some apartments on my way home and a little boy was standing out front of the building, he had his shorts down to his knees and was trying to see how far and how high he could pee on the sidewalk! It was hilarious and made me forget about my pain and suffering the rest of the way home.
So, to make a long story short, I finished my 4 intervals with times of 3:13, 3:23, 3:20, and 3:23. Pretty darn accurate for the first time out on the track this year. It's amazing how your body just seems to know how fast to run!