Monday, February 27, 2012

Recovery Week Training

Ha ha.  I ran 25 miles on my recovery week.  I love it.  Actually 7 miles of that is walking.  Still, more miles than I did probably the first 2.5 weeks after my last half-marathon. 

Monday - 2.95 miles walking in 55 minutes.  It was a holiday so I had plenty of time to relax.  I went for a walk in my new Vibram 5 Finger shoes while ChocolateDaughter rode her balance bike. 
Tuesday - 4 miles 48 minutes (12:00) plus the walking warm up/down.  I went to the track near my work so I would be on flat and wouldn't have to think about pace or how far to go.  Boring but 2:00/1:00 ratio.
Thursday - 3.9 miles 50 minutes (12:49) plus the walking warm up/down.  87 degrees out.  Ran 2:00/1:00 for the first 40 at the park. Then started feeling hungry/nauseated so I slowed it down to 1:00/1:00 for the last bit. 
Friday - 3.6 miles walking 56 minutes (15:33).  I wore the Vibrams again but with some new toe socks.  It felt lovely.  57 out and beautiful.
Sunday - 9.0 miles 1:56 (12:53) plus walking warm up/down.  I set out to run 2 hours but ended up going slightly longer.  Just after I had turned back toward home my wife called and said could I go to the store. I turned back, climbed an embankment, and did so, then back across the intersection, down the embankment, and home.  It was quite lovely out. 

This week will be less as I already know I will miss my Tuesday run and I'm not sure what I'll do this weekend. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Training Plan for Austin 10/20 - Maybe

I'm undecided about what training plan to use for the Austin 10/20 in April.  I think that the Jeff Galloway Training Plans book has a 10 mile training plan but he doesn't have one on his website.  I'm guessing that the plan is 45 minute run Tuesday, 45 minute run Thursday, easy walk Friday, and alternating long run (probably going up to 13 miles) Sunday with speedwork.  I brought up a training plan on Runner's World Smart Coach online.  I actually had to redo the plan because at first I put in the 2:41 half-marathon time but I felt like that plan wasn't aggressive enough so I changed it to my magic mile pace of 9:46 and reproduced the plan.  The plan looks pretty reasonable with nice target paces including the long runs nearly every weekend.  My biggest problem would be fitting in the Thursday runs.  Most of them are 6 miles and I can't cover that distance in the time I have during my lunch hour.  Still I'm leaning toward trying this plan (starting next Monday) for my next race.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Austin Livestrong Half-Marathon 2012 Recap

I ran the Austin Livestrong Half-Marathon Sunday morning. The weather was perfect - about 48 at the start and 58-60 by the time I finished.  It was clear and Sunny with very little wind.  Last year was very windy so this was better.  I ran a 2:00/1:00 ratio for the first five miles both to allow myself to stretch out and because those first miles are a constant uphill.  I was behind my goal pace in miles 1 (to be expected with the big crowds and 2 right turns), 2, and 4. Strangely I was so ahead of goal pace at mile 3 that I wondered if the mile 2 and 3 markers were in the right spots.  At 5 miles I was under an hour and at 10 miles I was just over 2 hours (including a porto-potty break).  After we turned onto South first (with some downhills) I changed my ratio to 3:00/1:00.  I maintained all my run/walks but ran some extra downhills and walked through water stops.  After mile 10 I returned my run/walk ratio to 2:00/1:00 (this was planned) because I knew we were coming up to more hills including the Enfield hill. 
Running Enfield Hill with the kids

My family was waiting for me at the bottom of Enfield hill and my 2 nephews, 1 niece, and ChocolateSon all hopped off the curb to run with me.  We ran most of the way up and then they went back to the curb and my sister walked the last bit with me.  From there, the remainder was pretty easy.  I already knew that I wasn't going to meet my A goal or my dream goal for time I and I was pretty sure I wasn't even going to break 2:40.  We met up with the marathoners with about 800 meters to go and that was very exciting.  I ran next to (I think) the winning wheelchair (or hand bike?) and the crowd was cheering pretty wildly for him.  I ran the last 4:00 minutes or so because I knew I could and I didn't want to take a walk break. 
2:41:37. (12:20/mile)

That's not my goal but it is a PR by 8:47 in a very hard, very hilly race. According to my Nike+ sensor I ran 14.45 miles (including the last few hundred yards to the start line).  Mile 9 must include my porto-let break and mile 1 includes walking up to the start line and being stuck in congestion.  My overall pace for that recording was 11:43/mile which still doesn't meet my goal pace but is better than 12:20. 

I felt good throughout the race.  I knew my plan and maintained my ratios.  One of the reasons that I'm so surprised that I didn't beat last year's time by more is that I feel like I walked so much less this year.  I lost about 2:30 waiting in line to use a porto-let and then using it but I did the same last year. 
Crowd support was simply amazing.  People had great signs and cowbells and shouted encouragement and called to me by name.  My immediate family and my brother's family and sister's family (coming up from Houston) came to the race course at 3 points to cheer me on.  I wore my Team Livestrong shirt with a tribute list on the back and which my family signed and a few people patted me on the back or chatted with me, particularly saying that there were too many names on my shirt.  Although I did not meet my time goal, I surpassed my fundraising goal and I'm happy with that.  It was a great race and I had a very good time. 
My race shirt with tribute list and family signatures

Waiting for the race to start

After the race - at the Livestrong tent with our team mentor

The finisher's medal

Monday, February 20, 2012

Training Plan Week 11

Training Plan Week:
WeekMonday DateTuesdayThursdayFridaySunday
1102/13/201245 min run45 min runeasy walkHalf-Marathon!

Actual Week:

Tuesday - 4.05 miles 49 minutes (12:05/mm) trail run on my work lunch hour plus .6 walking warm up and down. Very nice run although the trail was muddy. Did a 2:1 ratio.
I missed my Thursday run with a bit of a stomach bug.
Friday - 2.4 miles 45 minutes. Lunch hour walk.
Sunday - 14.45 miles (on Nike+)/13.1 Half-Marathon. 2:41 (11:11/mm or 12:17/mm). More on this in a separate post.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Half-Marathon Goals

I’m really excited about the half-marathon this weekend. Last year I just felt nervous and foolish. I couldn’t believe that I was thinking of running a half-marathon. My longest run had been around 11 miles. I thought I would run/walk but I didn’t have a good plan for that. I tried to do a 6 minute run/1 minute walk and then 5/1 and finally just walked a lot and ran if I could.

This year I have done 3 runs of 14 miles or more in the past 1.5 months. I’ve done others in the past. I have run faster training runs than my half-marathon last year. My goals are:

Goal A – break 2:30 (11:26/mile). I don’t honestly think this goal is very doable in this race but I would be thrilled if it happened. I considered ordering a race pace tattoo. They make a 2:30 HM tattoo but as I was pondering whether it was a good idea for me, I realized that I would probably be wearing a long-sleeve shirt so it would be covered.

Goal B – 2:33:32 (11:43/mile). This is my predicted race pace given my last few magic miles. It would be a 17 minute improvement over last year. I am planning to print out a pace band from the Runner’s World utility.

Goal C – sub 2:50:51 (13:02/mile). In other words, break last year’s PR (and only). I don’t want to curse myself but I can’t imagine only reaching this goal unless something goes very wrong.

Given Jeff Galloway’s walk break ratios, I should use either a 2:00/1:00 or 2:30/1:00 ratio. Right now I’m leaning toward starting out with a 2:00/1:00 to keep myself from going out too hard and fast and getting tired out quickly. I figure that I can reassess at 8-9 miles and see if I want to extend my run portion.

My only worry with the walk/run is that I’m thinking I’ll end up logging a lot of extra feet (which will add up to extra miles) moving to the side to walk and then away from the side when I run again. I would imagine this will be more of problem near the beginning of the race than near the end.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Training Plan vs. Actual

For the upcoming Austin Livestrong Half-Marathon, I used a modified Jeff Galloway Run/Walk to time goal training plan. Over the course I did a few extra walks or runs, missed three (one due to migraine and 2 due to toenail issues). For the most part I was on target with my runs:

I'm pretty happy with my adherence to the plan, particularly given that I dropped my gym membership and trained for a Winter marathon without owning a treadmill.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Training Plan Week 10

Training Plan Week:
WeekMonday DateTuesdayThursdayFridaySunday
1002/06/201245 min run45 min runeasy walk5 miles/MM

Actual Week:

Tuesday - 4.0 miles 47:00 minutes (11:45/mm) plus walking warm up/down. It was a beautiful 59 degree day. I ran over and through the park which I'm really enjoying these days.
Thursday - 4.67 miles 48 minutes (10:16/mm) plus walking warm up/down. This run is so much faster than my usual that I wondered about the measurement but I recalibrated Nike+ to RunKeeper again yesterday and they are very close. The run felt great and fast. I did my last magic mile in case the GPS wouldn't work over the weekend and had a 9:46. Honestly, I was disappointed with that time. I ran hard and felt faster than the last time. I have to trust it though and set my goal accordingly.
Friday – 3.47 miles 58 minutes (16:42/mm) walk. I went down to Book People and to Tea Embassy. It was lovely out.
Sunday – 5.48 miles 1:08 (12:19) includes walking warm up/down. It was only 39 and had been sleeting earlier. I felt sort of tight but enjoyed what felt like an easy 5 mile run compared to every other Sunday for the past few months.

In the morning I posted a request on my FB status that I was $113 short of my $1250 goal for Team Livestrong. I got that donation from an online friend which pretty much blew me away in a good way. It wasn’t until I got a $25 donation from a work friend that I realized I blew the math and was actually $138 short when I posted the first note so now I really did reach the $1250 mark. I raised it to $1500 of course as I still have some people who have told me they will donate.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Final Magic Mile

I ran the last magic mile in my training plan yesterday. It should actually be scheduled for this weekend but since I am never sure if my GPS will work, I wanted to go run it on a track while I could. I ran a 9:46 MM which honestly I was somewhat surprised and disappointed about. My last magic mile was 9:47 and I felt faster this time. I also really pushed myself (much more than you are supposed to do on a magic mile). My HR went to 195 which is perilously close to my max HR. I was hoping for a 9:25-9:32 mm time. I guess the consistency is good.

According to Jeff Galloway’s Race prediction I should run my half-marathon at 11:43 minute miles for a total time of 2:33:32.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ten Things I love about Running

RunChat is hosting a contest for GUs and a RoadID gift certificate. I want to win both! So here's my list of ten things I love about running:

1. Feeling fast even if I’m not.
2. Talking/writing/tweeting with other Runners.
3. Sweat.
4. Eating … more… chocolate.
5. Running with my kids.
6. Knowing there is so much room for improvement.
7. Raising money for causes I care about.
8. The quiet and focus.
9. Discovering my city.
10. Smiling at other runners, walkers, cyclists, kids in strollers, sullen teenagers, and everyone else I pass.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Training Plan Week 9

Training Plan Week:
WeekMonday DateTuesdayThursdayFridaySunday
801/29/201245 min run45 min runeasy walk17 miles

Actual Week:

Monday - Walking 3.59 miles 59 minutes (16:26 mm). Because I did my weekend run on Saturday, I felt like waiting three days was too long so I walked on Monday. It was a lovely day and I just walked when the walk light said to, then turned around and came back to the office.
Tuesday - 3.98 miles 48 minutes (12:03 mm). Plus the walking warm up/down of .52 in 10. Ran 2:30/1:00 on the hills near campus. The hills were a struggle but I felt like I was running faster than this.
Thursday/Friday - I did neither of these runs/walks. I had an ingrown toenail which both hurt badly and which I didn't want to aggravate and make worse.
Sunday - 14.3 miles 2:55 (12:14 mm). At first I thought I would be running between ChocolateWife getting home from a conference and the start of the Super Bowl but her conference time got pushed back so I ran early (out of the house about 6:35). It was 43 and windy and rainy. 1:1 ratio. The run felt great but my face and hands were cold. I forgot my gloves and actually considered calling ChocolateWife to either bring them or pick me up but gave it a little while and my hands got better. I'm really happy with this run. My target pace should have been 13:36 so this was both faster than that and faster than my run 2 weeks ago.

I am feeling very good about the Half-Marathon in 13 days. My last two LSRs have been really positive. I think that I am starting to really use Chi Running to my benefit. I base this belief on the fact that in both runs I had the sensation throughout that I was falling forward. I kept thinking that it's not possible for more than 50% of the run to be downhill (or I guess it could be but the other part would have to be really uphill). The other thing is that I didn't get any blisters on my feet or have to reapply body glide to my feet. On the downside, my running bra is rubbing me badly under one arm and across the front. I need to experiment with some body glide but I don't want to get a new bra 2 weeks before the race.

BTW, a half-marathon at yesterday's LSR pace would be 2:37:51 or breaking my PR by 13 minutes.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January Total - 109!

Yes! For the first time I've run over 100 miles in a month. I believe my previous high was around 97 miles. I blew that away. 109.59 to be exact. Every month I join a 100 mile challenge on NikeRunning and this is the first time I've ever made it.

I don't know about February though. I'll have a 14 mile run this weekend and the half-marathon February 19th but the rest of the month will probably be pretty light with taper week and then recovery week.