Thursday, April 26, 2012

Marathon Training (week 7)

Not much to post about in this week of review...  I guess one exciting piece of information could have been the Albuquerque "Half" marathon on Saturday.  I use that term loosely, as most of the races in Albuquerque tend to be longer or mis-marked.  This is due to the la se faire attitude that Albuquerque has towards road races.  Just show up and follow the group in front of you... although it's problematic when you are leading.  Which was the case at this race.

As to be expected, the half marathon race did not start on time, but that's a good thing as most runners are still gathering to the start and performing their pre-race shakeouts.  The race takes us through the lovely Rio Grande Valley, which are predominately Spanish style homes that weave along the old Spanish irrigation channels (Acequias).  Mubarak and I ran the entire race together, as well as the minor detour that made our 13.1 mile half marathon turn into a 13.5 mile road race.  It wasn't too much of an inconvenience as we tied and split the race earnings equally with a finishing time of 1:10:43.  Of course, I was extremely happy and pleased with the time and the fact that I got to lace up with some Brooks T6* (yes, the old red pair) racers.  And in these types of races, its always good to practice taking in nutrition, which I did, as I slugged down a PowerBar Energy Gel* with the 2x Caffeine content.

*Do you like how I plugged in my sponsors...?

The next day was a leisurely jog to aid in our recovery after running a great workout on the roads.  I promise to write something interesting for next week... The attention of having a long term substituting job this week has cut into writing time.  More to share after the weekend!

Week 7

Mon - am. 6.5 miles
Tue - am 8 miles
Wed - pm. 4x1 mile tempo, 3x1 mile tempo.  Total: 12 miles
Thur - am. 10 miles / pm. 10 miles
Fri - pm. 12 miles
Sat - am. ABQ Half Marathon [5:16, 5:08, 5:03, 5:12, 5:16, 5:13, 5:24, 10:34(2), 5:17, ??????] 13.5 miles in 1:10:43. Total: 19 miles
Sun - am. 12 miles

Total: 89.5 miles

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Historical Running - BOSTON BABY!!! (week 6 of marathon training)

THE BOSTON MARATHON! I'm not running it, but I have been in love with this event for as long as it's allure has captured all marathoners alike. After my debut marathon at Twin Cities in 2009, and a modest finishing time of a 2:24, I was contemplating on signing up for the 2010 Boston race... yet, for some stupid reason I picked a "low-key" marathon rather than the major event with all it's hype and glory. I still regret that decision every spring when Boston fever hits everyone.

In 2010 I actually had a good time on the track that spring and got the unparalleled opportunity to race in the USA Track and Field Championships that June in the 10,000m. However, it was followed by an April marathon, that should've been Boston, but was the lesser known Country Music Marathon... I guess you live and learn. I learned that I wanted to run the major marathon's, so the next one would be Chicago. To summarize the ensuing months; a couple of us signed up, trained poorly for it and when the race came on a warm morning we either dropped out or ran awful! Another lesson learned. And unfortunately for me, I was hurt for a long period of time and wouldn't be in any shape to run Boston that spring.

This year is a different story... After the trials I figured I needed some time to recover and a later spring marathon would be better for me, hence the Grandma's Marathon that I've been gearing towards. But I can't help but think about Boston, the one that got away. It'll always be there every spring, and I vow to race it next year! And to make matters more exciting, a slew of us Albuquerquerans will be doing it next year. So, mark your calendar's for Boston - 2013!!!

As for training leading up to that glorious race, and a few other marathons in-between, I can say that this week has gone by fairly well. One decent track workout and an excellent long run that wasn't tarnished by the gusty winds of the Albuquerque Spring. To juice up my week, I only did 4x1 mile on the track in [4:54, 4:52, 4:48, 4:45]. Nothing too impressive, as it gives me a good indicator of how I am not fast this year, but rather a bit stronger. I guess, more of a marathoner, and less of a 10k runner that I use to be. It's a bit sad, but I'll have to work on my speed at a different time of the year.

My Jack Daniels workout on Sunday went smoothly. Again, it's been a slight challenge to adjust my effort at altitude to the correct paces I want to hit for my tempo workouts. I found that I just have to trust my body, and know that threshold of going into oxygen debt, without crossing it. The effects of altitude have seemed to help drastically when I venture down to sea level to race, especially in the shorter events. If I'm doing proper speed workouts and hitting the goal paces I want with minimal recovery, it tends to correlate to a projected race time.

A good friend, Jay Hyung (pronounced: Young) who is now 41, but owns a marathon time of 2:10 from his prime has been showing up and running some of these workouts with me. The schedule for the day, was 24 miles. About 5 miles warm-up, 4x1 mile at tempo, 10 miles easy, then 3 miles at tempo pace. They were hit in [5:22, 5:17, 5:12, 5:08] & [5:22, 5:16, 5:13]. You can only imagine how your legs feel after 19 miles, and then knowing you have to hit another 3 mile tempo. It's a perfect taste of the marathon, and simulates that feeling. Either way, with a few more of these, I should be in decent shape.

Next up, watching the Boston Marathon Live tomorrow morning, and then the Albuquerque Half Marathon next Saturday! Should be a good week.

week 6

Mon - am. 12 miles
Tue - am. 10 miles / pm. 10 miles
Wed - am. track 4x1 mile total:10 miles / pm. 10 miles
Thur - am. 12 miles / pm. 10 miles
Fri - am. 6 miles / pm. 14 miles
Sat - am. 11 miles / pm. 8 miles
Sun - am 24 miles w/4x1 mile @ tempo, 10 miles easy, 3 miles @ tempo.

Total: 137 miles

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Crescent City Classic (week 5 of marathon training)

Who Dat?!?! Well, for some of you who have been fortunate enough to venture into the Crescent City, you'll know that saying. Last week was something I call, "An Awesome Week!". Training went alright, but the real reward of traveling to New Orleans came at the end of the week, along with a decent 10k road race.

The week started off fine, decent miles being plotted around throughout Albuquerque with an occasional workout along the Rio Grande River Path. This week, I decided to run a moderate tempo workout of 3x2 miles on the path. Let's just say it went well, as I hit them in (5:14, 5:16), (5:09, 5:21), (5:18, 5:10) with 2 minutes rest between sets. A nice effort leading up to the Saturday 10k race in NOLA.

Thursday, the adventure begins. I knew I wasn't in top shape to run a road pr (sub 29:19), but I viewed this weekend as a quasi vacation along with a, below sea level speed-work-session. After an early flight, Loren (my roommate) and I arrive in NOLA and head to Sonya's (Loren's sister) apartment in the Irish Gardens District. A quick run along the famous St. Charles street and our morning run is checked off the day's list of activities. Up next would be: a Po-Boy lunch, a trip to the Swamp Lands, another run, dinner at Dante's Kitchen, Daiquries, and live music along Frenchmen Street. Bedtime was only pushed back until 3:00am.... but who's keeping track?

The next day was a little more historical, as we spent the majority of our awake time running and touring the World War II museum. The day seemed a little more mellow as we had dinner at the Elite hotel suite with the other athletes. At this point, the race director has informed me that I am the only American Elite athlete on the men's side. Loren and I decide to make things easier, we'd stay at the host hotel instead at his sister's place, so that in the morning we'd be right at the start with the other Elite athletes.

Race morning. I get up early for my usual shake-out run. This time I decide to run by Bourbon Street, thinking that at 6am, no one would be there. Well, aside from the cleanup crew and a few gutter punks roaming around, it's still busier than what I'd expect. The morning goes uneventful as we get to the start and begin the race from the French Market to City Park. I decided to take my splits, which were: [4:48, 4:57, 5:01, 4:59, 5:02, ?:??] and a total time of 30:56 for 15th place. It's a bit slower than my fastest half marathon pace, but I'll take it considering the amount of fun I had leading up to the race. I was actually surprised I didn't run worse. I'm not happy with it, but I am definitely not disappointed. New Orleans proved that it is unquestionably a great town, and wasn't going to give me a horrible race for me to discredit the entire weekend! Thank ya'll for a great time in NOLA and for the lovely memories and artwork that I got to take home!!!

So far, any town or place with a "New" in it, has proven to be a great place! I can only imagine how New York will treat me...

Week 5

Mon - am. 12 miles
Tue - am. 8 miles / pm. 12 miles
Wed - am. 3x2 miles total:12.5 miles / pm. 8 miles
Thur - am. 10 miles / pm. 4 miles
Fri - am. 10 miles
Sat - am. Crescent City Classic 10k - 30:56, total: 15 miles
Sun - am. 24 miles

Total: 115.5 miles

Monday, April 2, 2012

Marathon Training (week 4)

What more can I write about in a running blog, besides workouts that leave me with a sense of self-satisfaction? Should I bore you with the weather.... or what about the glorious trails that I've run on countless times, since I don't want to venture off onto new territory with the risk of the unknown. Sometimes, it seems like too much to try and find something new when I've been completely happy running on the same trails, day-in and day-out. The simple notion of trotting around town keeps me happy and entertained through the 100 plus miles a week. Sure, it would be nice to run on some exotic trail, to smell the pine needles in the air, as suppose to the spring barbecue grills that perfume the air. But, to be honest, I just love running and find the most joy just leaving my front porch.

From our house, I was able to get in plenty of the needed, but unvaried running that consumed my weekly mileage, along with a track session, and a pavement-pounding long run along the river. We (Allen and I) lost Kris this week after our track session. I know the track can take many lives; as it has in the past, and it was relentless against the guys who haven't started track workouts. It was a short; 6x1000m workout, and I thought it went well. After the carnage, Kris would be sidelined due to an achilles injury, and Allen cut the workout short from his 12lbs. of lost body weight after his NYC half marathon debacle. Sunday's long run went well, and I was able to get 22 miles in with another Jack Daniels workout in it: 3x1 miles and 2x1 miles towards the end.

All and all, it was a pretty satisfying week. I think I consumed nearly 50 Powerbars and used 1 gel in the long run.

Week 4

Mon - am. 7 miles / pm. 8 miles
Tue - am. 10 miles / pm. 10 miles
Wed - am. 6x1000m [3:18, 3:10, 3:01, 3:09, 3:07, 2:56] total: 9 miles / pm. 10 miles
Thur - am. 10 miles / pm. 10 miles
Fri - am. 6 miles / pm. 12 miles
Sat - am. 12 miles / pm. 8 miles
Sun - am. 22 miles w/3x1 miles @ tempo [5:09, 5:07, 5:05], ~7 miles easy, 2x1 miles @ tempo [5:15, 5:09], ~5 miles cool down.

Total: 134
Year to Date: 1305 (100 miles per week average since the beginning of the week!)