Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Marathon Pace Run #1

I woke up this morning feeling pretty much like crap. I had a sore throat and a cough, my chest was all congested and I was tired from being up all night with coughing fits. But... my legs, feet and ankles felt great so I decided to suck it up and go out for my run anyway.

The Good
My run felt great. I started off with a mile warmup and then kicked it up to a tempo pace, or what I thought was my 7:40 marathon pace. I had my Nike+ on, which I had calibrated yesterday to help me hold a relatively steady pace. I had mentally calculated a route to what I thought was going to be 6 miles long as I ran my warmup, and I was pretty close, coming in at 6.33 (longer is always better, I say) and other than my hamstring getting tight at the end, it felt pretty decent. And the hamstring was tight, not painful - no sharp pains like I was having last week.

The Bad
My Nike+ sucked - the calibration was completely off. It basically told me that I only ran 7.5 miles when I ran closer to 8. It told me my pace was around an 8:07 average, when it was more like 7:45. And for my marathon pace piece, it kept telling me I was running an 8:00-8:05 when I was really closer to 7:32. Luckily for myself, I decided to do a couple time checks and hit the lap button on my watch as well as using the Nike+ just to make sure. So I had two sections of 2.7 miles each at 7:31 pace, and the final section of about .9 miles at 7:15 pace (most of this was downhill though).

The Ugly
I still feel like crap right now but need to stay at work because I have a big meeting all day on a project that I am the lead on. Ugh.

Easy runs for the next two days and then a 10 mile long run on Saturday. I am debating whether to drive up to the marathon course to run the 10 miler there or not.

All in all, I was really happy with today's run (Nike+ aside - I may have to splurge for a Garmin. My birthday is Friday so maybe I'll make it my present to myself =)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Calibration Day

I headed over to the track this morning with the Highlanders. They were doing speed work, but today was my rest day so I just jogged a few miles this morning and chatted with them on their rest intervals.

My main goal this morning was to calibrate my Nike+ sensor. I have used the Nike+ a bunch in the past and bought a new one a few weeks ago but never calibrated it. I have found that it is never 100% accurate, but it is at least consistent. So when I go out tomorrow (or Thursday - haven't completely decided yet) for my marathon pace run, it will at the very least allow me to run consistent pace throughout the run.

I do plan to use it for pace, so it needed to be calibrated on the track to improve the accuracy. My goal marathon pace is 7:40 mpm, which will get me my 3:20 marathon time for my Boston qualifier. So I plan to run these marathon pace runs in the range of 7:30-7:40. I figure that with the margin of error that the Nike+ has, this should keep me close enough to my marathon pace for the run.

Calibration only took a couple laps, so the rest of the time was just easy jogging today. Hip still hurt a little but was fine by the time I got back to the gym.

Tomorrow - either 6 mile marathon pace run (with 1 mile warmup and cool down) or a 7 mile easy run.

Monday, June 28, 2010

That's the ticket...

Okay, now that was much better.

Basically this whole morning sucked - from how tired I was when I got up, to my tight hamstring running, to the guy the cut me off on the way to the gym, to work.

But lunch was much better. I got in about 5.4 miles at lunch, which is my regular Horn Pond loop with a small dirt road section added on. The hamstring felt great. The toe felt fine. My right hip was a little tight but nothing bad there.

But man was it hot. It was about 91 degrees and a bit muggy, but the run was good so I didnt even care that it took me 20 minutes of walking around the gym and a really cold shower to cool me off enough to go back to the office.

Rest day tomorrow (1-2 miles easy) and then my first Tempo/Marathon Pace run on Wednesday or Thursday.

Oh Crappy Day!!!

Okay so this morning pretty much sucked. I was exhausted when I got up and didnt really feel like running when I left the house at 5:30. And so I really didnt. I got out the gym door at 6:00 and did a half mile and then turned around and came back.

It was muggy and sticky and hot and gross out so I bailed on the rest of my run. I do plan on heading back at lunch time for another 4 miles or so. The hamstring was tight but not too bad.

I also had some moron that tried to pass me in a no pass zone by the Stone zoo. I sped up to try to stop him but had to let him go because a car was comign from the other direction and I wasn't sure exactly how PSYCHO he was.

Anyway, let's see what happens at lunch time.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Got up this morning and iced my hamstring, but also noticed that it was feeling a lot better than yesterday. The icing really seems to be helping it.

Headed over to Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield, MA for the barefoot running clinic. I decided to get there a few minutes early so I could get my mile in before it started and I finished that up just in time to see the instructor show up and step out of his car (knew it was him obviously because he was barefoot). My hamstring felt a little tight on the run, but nothing like the pain I had yesterday. In fact, I think I easily could have done a 5 miler with no problems and little discomfort, but I opted to stick with the mile and let it heal up more and will start up the plan again tomorrow (no trackwork this week htough, but I will be going for the marathon pace run mid-week).

The clinic was great. I met some really nice people and learned a few good drills and information that I think will help me ease back into barefoot running. And as anxious as I am to get back into it, I do plan on taking it slow this time to avoid the TMTS (Too Much Too Soon) injuries I got last time.

Well, I'm off to ice my hamstring again.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bailed Out

Bailed on the long run today after a mile or so. The first quarter mile just killed - right hamstring is messed up. So for the next few days I rest. I'll skip next week's speedwork and hopefully it will be healed up for Tuesday or Wednesday and then the first marathon pace workout on Thursday.

Injuries suck!

Tomorrow I'll take it easy again, but tomorrow I am heading over to Wakefield for a Barefoot Running Clinic at 10:00. So a mile warmup when I get there and then a small amount of barefoot running (information says no more than a quarter mile or so). Who knows? Maybe running barefoot will be easier on the hamstring - but I dont think so.

When its not one thing its another

Toe feels great.

Left hamstring is healed.

So why the hell is it that now my right hamstring feels as tight as a piano wire and hurts with every step when I run?

I'm still going to head out the door for my 8 miler this morning but if it still hurts I might take tomorrow off to see if that will heal it up a bit. I think it might have happened during the speedwork last week, but I'm not sure. It started hurting Wednesday and going to the hill workout on Thursday was probably not the smartest move in the world.

Out the door in about 15 minutes so we'll see how it goes. Only upside I see here is that at least it is early in the marathon training.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Recovering with friends

Today was an easy day, and actually more of a recovery type run. I went out to run with the Highlanders for their Wednesday 6 miler and we kept a pretty easy 9-something pace. I opted to run a little warmup before the actual run to make up for the two miles I skipped on Monday.

Tomorrow is the Highlanders Hill workout. I havent done it in a while, but it is a great strength builder - looking forward to it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rest Day

Today was a rest day so I just ran a mile in the morning. I realized after yesterday's run that I was supposed to do 9 miles, not 7. I thought about runnign more today, but my legs were a bit sore from yesterday so I'll have to make up the mileage later in the week.

It's supposed to be pouring for the next two days, so that should make the runs interesting.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The need for speed!

Today was my next speedwork in the Hanson Brothers program. Drove over to Winchester and hit the track again. This time it was 8 x 600 done in 2:22. Most of them were right there within a few seconds, so I was happy with the workout, but man my legs are tired now.

At lunch, I did go lift weights.

Tomorrow is a rest day, so just a mile or two. Here is the rest of the schedule for Week 2:

Tue - 1 mile (Rest)
Wed - 6 miles (Easy)
Thu - 6 miles (Easy - though I may do Hills with the Highlanders)
Fri - 6 miles (Easy)
Sat - 8 miles (Long)
Sun - 6 miles (Easy)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers Day

So my kids love makes me tired. I was up late for poker night last night and didnt get to bed till about 1:00. At 6:15 the two little ones crawled into bed with me to snuggle. I was really tired but it always makes me smile anyway.

So I got up and did my 6 miler on pretty exhausted legs and actually held a faster pace than I wanted to, averaging 8:10s. To thank them for my snuggle I stopped and Dunkin Donuts and picked them up a box of munckins on my way home.

Happy Fathers Day to all! And here's to the end of a good week one of the marathon plan.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

First Long Run

Today was the first long run on the program. If you could call it that - only 8 miles, I usually do at least one run a week up near that range anyway. But I am trying to stick to the plan.

In a weird way it actually felt good to be on a training plan and doing a planned long run - knowing that they will get longer and I will get fitter as the weeks go on.

Six miles planned for tomorrow to end off the week then off to the Pawsox game in the afternoon for Father's Day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 900 and a solid 5K

Today I had a 5K. I wasn't really adequately trained. I only did one speedwork session in the past like 6 months, and that was this week. It was a race my company - SBLI - sponsored in Boston.

I figured the course would be flat. I have run a 5 miler in that area of Boston before and it was pretty flat. But they decided to loop the course around the Convention Center, going up and down these huge ramps 3-4 times. But I felt pretty good going in. My leg and toe have both been feeling better. I got a good warmup in and hung out with my coworkers for a bit.

At the start there were too many people ahead of me. I had checked prior years results and figured that I would be around the 20:00 mark and should come in around 50th. I tried to place myself appropriately at the start but the people that were in front of me I could tell were not going to stay there for long.

I ran the first mile pretty comfortably and was a bit disappointed when I came in at 6:33 (because that is not sub-20 pace). I usually lose it in the second mile so I concentrated on picking up the pace just a bit and reeling people in. I didnt let anyone pass me and passed a few more people. The last uphill was at the 2 mile mark and it kind of drained me more than it should have.

I pushed on and kept concentrating on that next person in front of me and trying to catch them - not quickly but slowly catching them and passing them. The last half mile I tried but couldnt catch anyone. We were all in the same pace group it seemed. With what I thought was about a minute left in the race I poured it on - oops, too soon. I passed like 4 people but coming up on the last turn I started to fade. I was able to hold them off, but just barely.

Finish time was 20:06 - wanted sub-20 and maybe it would have been on a flatter course, who knows. It was good enough for 24th overall and 7th in my age group. I was happy with it and it was nice that with no speedwork, I can still throw down a 20 minute 5K.

Just wait till the Fall after I have 2-3 months of speedwork under my belt. I am going to crush my PR in September!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Feeling fried

Literally feeling like a piece of fried chicken today. You ever go to the beach - you get there and make sure that the kids are all sun-screened up and then forget to apply to yourself. Of course, not exactly figuring that you'd be there for 3 and a half hours either.

Now I am toast. Burnt toast that is trying to drink tons of water because I feel super dehydrated today.

Running was an easy day - got my mile in (for day 899 in my streak btw) and hopefully everything feels good (toe and hamstring) for tomorrow's race.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Switched days

So today I was schedule for just a mile or two easy, but opted to do tomorrow's six miler instead. This will give me a rest day tomorrow, so hopefully my legs will be fresher for my 5K on Thursday.

With any luck the speedwork yesterday will be a reminder to my legs on how to run fast again. It has been so long since I ran speedwork that I'm not really sure how I'll do on Thursday.

Today's run actually hurt a little. I was tired and my hamstring was acting up again for the last mile and a half or so. I muddled through and I'll let it rest tomorrow.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 1 - It begins

Okay, today was day one. I rolled my lazy butt out of bed at about 5:15am this morning so I could get out there and do my run. Drove over to Winchester center and ran into Brenda from the Highlanders. She was the only Highlander that showed up for their normal Monday run. I felt a little bad that I wasnt going to be running with her but I needed to head to the track. I invited her along but she declined and decided to do the Monday run by herself since she will be doing track work with the Highlanders tomorrow, but maybe she would stop by the track after.

So I ran over to Winchester High School and hit the track. As per my usual track routine I ran one easy lap before getting started to clear off any crap on the inside lane (which today included a barrel, three water bottles and a lacrosse goal).

And I was off. I took the first 400 out a bit too fast coming in at 1:22 which I knew might hurt me later, but on the up-side it was nice to know I could do a 400 in 1:22 since it has been a really long time since I have done any track work. The rest were pretty much on the 1:30 pace I was looking for, and I even found as I neared teh end of each that I could call my team pretty accurately and knew when I was going to be a second faster or slower than the 1:30 pace. I ran each 400 with a 200 recovery jog inbetween. Here are my splits.

1 0:01:22
2 0:01:31
3 0:01:30
4 0:01:31
5 0:01:30
6 0:01:32
7 0:01:32
8 0:01:30
9 0:01:31
10 0:01:29
11 0:01:29
12 0:01:29

Also, I was happy that I was actually able to do all 12. I thought about cutting it short at 10 but got through the last two.

Update to this week's schedule - I forgot about the 5K that my company is sponsoring on Thursday so my plan now is to do switch the Tuesday and Wednesday workouts so my legs are fresher for the race.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It all starts tomorrow

Tomorrow I start the Hanson Brothers' Marathon Training plan.

Here is my general plan.

I have modified their plan a little, but only by shifting it one day forward. I am going to do my speedwork days on Mondays, My marathon pace runs on Wednesdays and the long runs on Saturdays. But then again, life gets in the way a lot so my days may switch.

The main goal is to have 3 good running days in right before each long run. This goes along with their plan because the whole point of only doing a long run of 16 miles is that you have 3 days of fatigue in your legs before you head out. So that 16 miler should feel more like the last 16 miles of your marathon instead of the first 16.

Their plan has a rest day in the middle of the week. Since I am streaking I will be running a really easy 1-2 miles on those days.

For the runs on the other days I plan to stick mainly to their plan. I may add a mile or two here and there on the midweek runs but I will do no run longer than 16 miles.

Fingers crossed and tomorrow I should get my first speedwork session in.

Update on the hamstring - I ran another 7 miles today and while it felt tight a few times it wasnt too bad. I will guage it tomorrow morning but will definitely get out there for a few 400s, and hopefully the full 12 that the workout calls for.

Workouts for this week

Mon - (Speedword) 12 x 400s at around a 1:30-1:40 pace
Tue - (Rest) 1 mile easy
Wed - (Easy) 6 miles
Thu - (5K race) 5 miles - including warmup and cooldown
Fri - (Easy) 6 miles
Sat - (Long) 8 miles
Sun - (Easy) 6 miles

Total - 38 miles

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Two days to go...

Ran 8 miles this morning with Jeanne - nice and easy. The hamstring was a little tight when we started but eased up after only about 2 blocks and felt fine the rest of the way. It's amazing how the miles just fly by when you run with a friend. She is planning to do the half marathon at Baystate this year, so I might just see if she wants to do all our long runs together because she is probably planning on maxing her long runs around 16 miles too.

I might try to get another 8 miler in tomorrow morning, or I might just take it easy tomorrow and actually try for the speedwork on Monday. Monday speedwork session would be 12 x 400s at about 1:30 pace - havent done anything like that in a LONG time.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Three Days to go

Still having some hamstring issues today. I ran one mile last night after soccer and it was pretty painful. I got up this morning after icing it last night and it felt a little better. I went out and ran with the Highlanders for their Friday Horn Pond Loop (about 4.5 miles) and it felt pretty good. I was actually scheduled for a 7 miler today but decided to opt out of that in hopes of actually getting a good 8 or 10 miler in tomorrow.

Only a few days before the Hanson Brothers' plan kicks in. I may have to forego the first speedwork because of my hamstring, but I will probably give it a go. That will be on Monday so we'll see how it feels.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Injuries suck!

So just when my toe was really starting to feel better, I woke up this morning with a pain running down the back of my left leg. Feels like I just pinched a nerve or something. I ran this morning and it was a little painful and tight, but I stretched afterwards and will hopefully be able to stretch a few times during the day and it should be fine.

But it just seems like it is one thing after the other lately. Kind of frustrating.

On the other hand, I finally figured out how to add my running log to this blog so you can see my workout totals daily now.

Countdown - 4 days till I start the Hanson Brothers' Marathon training program.

Friday, June 4, 2010

One more week

So my training officially starts in one more week. I have been ramping up my miles over the last few weeks trying to keep it in the 40-50 mile per week range. This has all been easy running, but has definitely been more miles than i was putting in earlier this year.

And my legs are feeling it. My hips and quads are tight, though part of that is my own fault. I really need to stretch more often.

On the upside of things, my toe is feeling better and I think that when I do start the plan it will be healed enough to start back into some speedwork. I dont plan to do any speedwork between now and then just to let it heal completely. It's been a long recovery for it and I want it ready for 18 weeks of serious training that is coming. It did hurt a little when I did trails last weekend, but then I sprained my ankle and miraculously I havent thought about my toe much since then. FYI - Ankle is fine, I did a 10 miler the next day with no issues.