Sunday, September 10, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 3 - Road Race

Another decent week of training and slugging around the roads before ending the week with a 10k road race.  After last weeks long run on Sunday, I eased into this week with a few recovery miles.  I set my goal for the week of 70 miles, but missed that by handful of miles.  In fact, as I write this, I am highly debating getting those 2 1/2 miles in to make it a nice round 7-0 for the week.... but it's Sunday, and I just race a race and made it a 20 mile day.  I also just had a celebratory beer and have been watching football, so I guess I'm not going to hit it... oh well.

Anyways, this week was another good one.  I got plenty of quality miles for the week.  One of which was done in a workout on Wednesday, and the other in the Chips and Salsa 10k today.  My Wednesday workout (W.O.W. as the youngsters on Flotrack call it) was a classic 6x1 mile with 60 sec rest along the river path.  I went back to my old stomping grounds at Kit Carson park and hammered out some respectable paces.  I can tell things are shaping up as these workouts are getting a little faster.  Thank God!  Besides that workout, I just devoted the rest of the week to recovering and getting ready for the 10k.

The race went as well as I expected.  I set a goal that if I can't break 34 minutes, then I need to find a different hobby.... so luckily my body and fitness made that happen.  Chris Valicka and I decided that we should go out comfortable and then work on bringing down our pace.  Well... that didn't exactly happen.  We went out a little quicker than anticipated, but held on an even pace and finished as strong as possible.  I can tell that I need to build my endurance up, not only from my splits, but from my workout on Wednesday; as that workout I ended up with a positive split, but whatever.  So, long story short, I was lucky to take home the victory with Chris right behind me!  Go Dukes!  And speaking of that, the guys in the half marathon crushed it!  We had a bunch of dudes PR and go: 2-8th place, lead by Jesus Mendoza!  Our team is looking mighty good these days!

Week of Training

Mon - am. 6 miles in the foothills
Tue - pm. 10 miles
Wed - pm. 2 mile warm up, 6x1 mile w/60sec rec. (5:32, 5:31, 5:28, 5:38, 5:27, 5:40) 5:32/avg. 2 mile cool down. 10 Total
Thur - 4 miles
Fri - 7 miles
Sat - 10 miles
Sun - 2.5 mile warm up, 10k - 33:44 - 1st place (5:23, 5:27, 5:20, 5:24, 5:30, 5:31), 11.5 mile cool down. 20 Total.

Total: 67 miles

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 2 - Cross Crunchy (aka. Cross Country)

After completely missing my weekly goal mileage to, "rest" with a much needed nap after work; which may only come around as often as that lunar eclipse the other week, I still managed to get in my weekend warrior status!  With some decent miles throughout the week, a baby workout on Wednesday, and a long run, it all culminates into one tired individual.  I honestly don't know how I use to do it in the past, which brings me to my next point.  I am not as young as I use to be, nor am I anywhere near the same person.  I've already slowly learned that I can not do the same workouts I did in the past, so I need to throw out those old running logs and move on.... actually, those old running logs are my pride and joy, so I will never throw them away.  But seriously, I have come to peace with how I need to train in order to accomplish some of those fast times.  For starters, it's already been 2 years since my last stress fracture, and I try to stay away from double days because of that.  I don't know if it really works, since most of the "scientist" out there claim two different benefits from running singles verses doubles, but for my lifestyle, along with some basic math, I can only realistically run once a day.  I'm okay with that.  Also, I only need one workout a week along with a solid long run.  So, that's that.  Let's see how well this training will go.

This week also had me toeing the line of a cross country meet.  The Lobo Invite 5k!  Wow, how wonderful.... except for the fact that I am not in 5k shape, nor am I in cross country shape, nor am I in any kind of shape to be racing.  But it's always awesome and special to race as a team, and the Dukes TC had one hell of a team this year.  We got some young talent, with some freshly minted college graduates that are willing to work harder than ever to chase the Marathon Trials Standard with all their heart.  So, with those guys at the helm, and a few other DTC guys pushing everyone, we did alright at the College Meet.  I was our 6th runner and basically our top 5 guys had a faster average time than the UNM Lobos.  15:56 average to 15:59.  However, we didn't win due to points.  We lost by 1 freakin point!  It took a lot of work to add up the scores, but the final score would have been 37 - 38 with the Lobos beating us by 1 lousy point.... man, I need to run faster!

Here's the results:

Week of Training:

Mon - pm. 6 miles
Tue - pm. 6 miles
Wed - pm. 2 mile warm-up, 4x1 mile w/3min rest (5:28, 5:23, 5:21, 5:20), 4 mile cool down. 10 total
Thur - 0 miles - napped
Fri - am. 4 miles. pm. 6 miles w/strides
Sat - am. 2 mile warm up, Lobo Invite 5k - 16:34, 6 mile cool down. 11 total
Sun - am. 20 mile long run. 2:22:24

Total: 63 miles

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 1 - The First Step Towards the Championships

As summer comes to an end, I find myself wondering where the heck did my training lead me...?  I had a great plan to build up my mileage and utilize the fact that I didn't have to be anywhere at 8:00am.  I plotted out all the "workouts" that I thought I was going to do, and trickled a few races here and there.  And those races are what got the best of me this past summer.  I toed the line of a local 5k on the Forth of July and little did I know I would be hobbling back to the starting line after the first mile with a brand new DNF to add to my running resume.  My calf was being very unpatriotic and decided to quite on me after the first time of a "fun" 5k.  I thought, this was the most Un-American thing you could do on the 4th of July - QUIT? Seriously?!  Well, it was for the better, and I rested up and have been running fine since a mere 2 weeks off in July.  I really got to thinking about how in my entire college career I never once quit in a race.  Then out of all the post-college races I had, I never quit either.  Even after all those crapy felling marathon's, where I was completely off my mark I never decided.... "Hey, I'm just going to step off the course and rally up for another one".  I still think about how I should've quit at Chicago way back when, instead of posting another disappointing time and missing the Olympic Trials Standard.  But, where would that have gotten me?  I always believe that if you're healthy, then finish the damn race.  And I won't even talk about Boston...

So, after healing up and building my mileage to a respectable number, I've decided to get the blog back in action and start posting about the journey to the USA Marathon Championships this December.  The California International Marathon will host the championships, and we have a huge crew of Dukes Track Club runners heading out west to chase some impressive times.  One time that should stick out is the new 2020 USA Olympic Trials Standard.  The men's "B" Standard is 2:19:00 and the "A" Standard is 2:15:00.  Also, if you are top 6 at the Championships, that qualifies as an "A" Standard, so it's pretty neat.  All I know is that there will be another gaggle of dudes going for that standard.  The weather should be good, and the company will be championship class.  As for me, I have a feeling this will be a subtle introduction back to the roads and a journey of chasing that standard

Week of training:

Mon- 2.5 miles
Tue - 7 miles
Wed - 2.5 mile warm up, 4 mile tempo (5:42, 5:37, 5:36, 5:31) 4 min rest, 8x400m w/90sec rest (75, 74, 71, 72, 72, 75, 72, 72) 2 mile cool down
Thur - 11 miles
Fri - 11 miles
Sat - 9.5 miles
Sun - 18 miles

Total: 70 miles


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Waking Up

I It's summer time; hot days, sleeping in, resting, reading, house work, naps and of course - training. I would like to say sleeping in fits into that category of summer life, but to avoid complete dehydration and death, I don't mind getting up earlier than I would for work and hitting the pavement. This summer has already started off on the right two feet. My mileage has safely been increased from where I was last month, and I've already circled all the races I want to run this year in my imaginary calendar. Those imaginary red circles on the calendar will be a bullseye on gauging my fitness and pushing myself towards a fall marathon. I can talk and write all I want about racing, but we all know injuries lurk around each corner. So, I need to be diligent about injury prevention and building my mileage up slowly. 

I miss the weeks when I could climb from 60 to 80 to 120 miles with ease and carelessness. But, I will triumph in small success, like completing a workout or getting in another long run or running on a new trail in the mountains. New peaks shall be conquered and in that process those bullseye will be hit as the summer ebbs and flows. So, it's time to wake up and continue running. 

Last weeks training:

Mon - 5 mile trail run
Tue - 9 miles 
Wed - 2 mile warm up, 4 mile tempo run (5:41 avg.), 3 mile cool down
Thur - 11 miles
Fri - 8 miles w/strides
Sat - 9.5 miles
Sun - 16 miles

Total: 68.5 miles 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Getting ahead of myself - Injuries

We all tend to do this a lot - start planning for races before you are even ready to run.  Circling those far off race dates in the calendar, in hopes that you will be on the starting line, or just day dreaming about the possibility of crossing off one of your bucket list races.  Well, at least I do.  I tend to do this all too often, especially when I am not running.  The unknown of when I "will be training" seems to make the possibility of any race just a registration click away.  My wife can tell you that, when I am hurt, my race options seems to double throughout the season - "Honey, I want to do this race, oh, and then we can do this race.".  I guess the mind moves way faster than the body, but this seems to help with the mental aspect that I am not running.  The hope that I will be back training again is the light at the end of the dark and torturous tunnel.  And with the thought of races, comes the reality of training and getting stronger; running with your friends, and pushing each other to achieve a goal.  Those are definitely not occurring when you are cross-training by yourself, or sitting around waiting for your injury to heal.  Or thinking, "I'm not a competitive cross-training, why am I do this?".  But the fact of the matter is, that you, or I, will be able to run again, and enjoy all the aspects that it entails.  And know that these auxiliary workouts are going to get you healthy and running again.

As for me, I am still cross training with my trainer - Lawrence, twice a week.  My massage therapist - Laura, is continuously making my muscles and tendons feel like rubber, and I have seen a Dry Needling guy/Doctor, named Nick Speegle who will stab me a few more times this week while sending electrodes through those wonderful metal needles.  The goal of all of this is to heal my left achilles and test it out on Friday.  My achilles has been bugging me since forever ago, and it has really flared up recently after the marathon last month.  So I thought, it would be best to fully heal it and start off fresh this year.  I still have plenty of time left (the rest of my life, I guess) to figure out what races I really want to do, and until then, I will focus on the important aspect of recovering and healing.  Once that is accomplished, then I can break out the red marker and start circling all those races dates... or more importantly, all those sunday long run days with the Dukes Track Club.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Post Phoenix Marathon and Onward

After taking a much deserved week off, and this past week of easy trotting around to reflect more clearly on my performance from the 2017 Rock n Roll Arizona Marathon, I've decided I need to jot some things down.  I know my performance of 2:35:37 isn't much to write home about compared to my previous times, but it was an all-out effort and a stride in the right direction as I set my sights on faster times to come this year.  After toeing the line in Arizona and coming across the finish, I was pleased to feel stronger and fitter than the abysmal effort that occurred in Boston last year (I don't even like to mention that marathon).  Honestly, I wasn't ready to run a marathon in Boston, so I set my sights on Arizona as a lower key race to get the wheels back.

As I look back at my training, I know I could have done more... we always think we can do more.  And I feel it was enough for my body at the time.  Now, I know I can start to push the envelope a little more for a spring marathon, and reevaluate the training that proceeds that race.  I am not getting any younger, and perhaps my best marathon days are behind me, but there is still a carrot leading me to accomplish a huge goal, and that would be to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials.  Those standards came out earlier this year and they seem within reach, even for this old man.  It's truly a privilege and honor to be able to just run freely.  I never seem to forget how quickly it can disappear, or how we can take it for granted.  All I have to do is step out the door and enjoy the freedom of being outside.  It's a gift, and I don't want to take it for granted.  And with that gift, comes a small personal goal.

Olympic Marathon Trials Standard (rumored):
Men - "B" Standard 2:19:00 Full Marathon

With the right attitude and smarter training, a sub 2:19:00 is within striking distance.  It sure is easy to talk about, or write about, so in the meantime I'll just focus on improving upon my most previous marathon time and strive for something in the 2:20s this spring.  Right now, I feel excited to train more effectively for a spring race, and hopefully I make another step in the right direction.  As for my training for Arizona, I was able to accomplish the following:

- Over the course of 15 weeks, I only averaged 55 miles a week
- Over the course of those 15 weeks, I averaged 6 miles of tempo runs a week
- Longest run was 23 miles
- Cross trained twice a week for the duration of 15 weeks

After looking at that raw data... there's plenty of room for improvement and more importantly, HOPE.