I hope everyone's holidays went (are going) well. I realized that I have a whole 4 blog posts for the month of December. Not good.
Christmas was fine though it was the first time in a few years that we didn't have a white Christmas, so that kinda sucked. No running related gifts this year, though I wasn't expecting any. Normally, we would have the week off between Christmas and New Years but I have a lot of deadlines in January so I ended up going into work, starting on the 26th. With very few people being around, I thought I'd try and see how much of a beard I could grow. That's a weeks worth of growth. Yeah pretty pathetic. I shaved it off yesterday.
Well i squeezed in 40 miles this week which is what I was hoping to get back to by the end of the year. Almost all of it again at low HR. I haven't been able to successfully keep track of my pace at low HR cause it seems to fluctuate a lot. Today I did 13 miles and my three lap track test had me at a pace of 9:22@ a HR of 150. About a month ago, I was able to do a pace of 9:06 @ 150. Earlier in the week I was just under 10 min/miles for that test, though I'm sure that the Christmas gorging had something to do with that.
As for the year 2006, I managed 1864.9 miles for the year which included 2 marathons, a half marathon, a 30k, three 10k's, and a 5k. I'm quite happy with the progress made this year, being able to set PR's in all the distances on pretty much nothing but marathon training. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to top this mileage in 2007 though, as I found I had very little spare time.
What does 2007 bring? I'd like to try and BQ but I haven't quite decided when the attempt will be. I've pretty much decided on doing a spring marathon on May 13th that will either be Mississauga or Forest City. Not sure which one yet. I'll have to see how the training goes. If I think I have a realistic shot at achieving my BQ time, then I'll do Mississauga which is net downhill and I've run previously, otherwise I'll do the other one. I also plan on a fall marathon, but haven't figured out where yet. It will really depend on whether I can BQ in the spring. I'd also like to meet some goals for the shorter distances,. Ideally ones that match my BQ time according to McMillan or Daniels Vdot tables.The Vdot tables are a bit more conservative for predicting times for shorter distances based on a longer distance so I'll go with them.
3:10:59 - marathon (BQ)
1:31:41 - half-marathon
41:24 - 10km
sub 20 min - 5km
So there it is. I hope everyone's holidays went well and that January 1st will bring you all a prosperous new year and faster race times!
I hope everyone's holidays went (are going) well. I realized that I have a whole 4 blog posts for the month of December. Not good.
I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a festive seasonal greeting.
Some presents for you all:
1) I know some of you are or thinking of doing Pfitz' plan. I download these spreeadshets a while back that have the pfitz plans all laid out with some general guidelines of paces. Since the original site where I got it from no longer appears to have it, I thought I'd post it here. Pfitz' plan
2) For the voyeur in you.
The Toronto Santa Speedo Run
You can see more at http://www.torontosantaspeedorun.com/id10.html
3) Lastly, I thought I'd share my Chicago m'thon dvvd with you all in case anyone was thinking of buying theirs and wanted to know what it looked like or if you're just generally looking for some inspiration for next year. It's very similar to the one that's on the website and in fact I think they recycled the background cheering from last year, but still inspirational. It can be accessed here.
Okay, so i've been a bad blogger. I haven't posted in over a week and though I've been reading off and on other blogs, I haven't commented on any. The only reason is I came out of the woodwork is because I was tagged by Kristi. Weird game. I'm suppose to:
1. Find the nearest book.
2. Name the book & the author.
3. Turn to page 123.
4. Go to the fifth sentence on the page. Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
5. Tag three more folks.
1) Nearest book has been sitting on my nightstand for the past 6 months which I haven't touched in a long while
2)"Reason for Hope, a Spiritual Journey" by Jane Goodall with Phillip Berman.
4) Problem. Page 123 is the last page of a chapter and there are barely 6 lines on the page, let alone 8 sentences. This is from page 122.
"And many scientific experiments have shown that aggressive patterns, at the very least, are easy to learn. In the early 1970s, when I was an associate professor at Stanford, the psychiatrist Robert Bindora was conducting an experiment to test how readily small children learned aggressive patterns. He produced a dummy human figure, set it in front of a group of kids between two and three years old, then proceeded to beat, pummel, punch, stamp on and kick it.
5) I'm not sure who to tag since I'm uncertain who will actually read this, but I'll go with Mike, Steve and Perry. If anyone else wants to get into the game, consider yourself tagged.
Oh yeah I did a little over 30 miles of running, though not all of it at recovery HR. I did some of it at LSD HR. I did 9 miles yesterday and will try to get in another 9 miles tomorrow. I hope to get to 40 miles next week.
Good running to all and thanks for reading.
Just a quick update. I did 9 miles on Tuesday last week and 3 miles yesterday for a whopping grand total of 12 miles last week. That's the lowest mileage week I've done since I came down with the flu in March and skipped a week.
I wanted to do a longer run today and the weather was nice, but I gave blood on Thursday and found that the 3 miler yesterday was real hard. I couldn't drag myself out of bed this morning and ended up skipping it.
My computer crashed last week and wouldn't boot at all. I ended up having to reinstall everything which included my RSS reeder. While waiting for things to reinstall, I discovered the Google RSS reader which I think is a little better than Bloglines.
Did 37 miles last week, all at recovery pace trying to keep the HR below 150. Did a little over 9 miles each on Tuesday and Thursday, did 6 miles on Saturday and did a 13 mile long run yesterday. Weather was pretty good. Last Thursday was downright balmy when I ran outside in shorts and a t-shirt for what will probably be the last time this year.
I'm going to try and track how much I improve running slow. Each week, I will run three laps around a local track trying to keep my HR at just under 150 and figure out what my avg pace was. During my long run this week, I did it 3 times and generated this neat graph of pace vs. HR. (I finally get to use my engineering graphing skills). pretty good correlation between the three paces. Don't know how extrapolatable it is, but if I plug in my recent marathon pace, I get a HR of 170 which is just about right of what it should be, so maybe it's a good predictor. Anyways, it predicts a pace of 9:06 at 150. I was hoping to get that down to 8:30, but that seems like too much of a stretch in 2 months. I will be happy if I can get it to 8:45.
It's also about time for me to donate blood again. I try to do it twice a year. The last time I did it, my runs sucked for about 2-3 weeks. If I do it this week, I should be recovered in time for the new year.
Did 12 miles today and 4 miles yesterday. Total for the week at about 22 miles. I was hoping to get back to about 40 miles a week before the end of the year, but life is just sort of getting in the way and it's been tough to get out. I noticed today that my HR is still way up at a slower pace. I'm hoping that if I put in the mileage that it'll come down eventually.
Okay, about the nasal mucous picture. I'm still not going to post the whole picture as things that get posted on the internet have a way of multiplying and I don't think my ego could handle that, so here is a close up of the nasal area. You'll just have to imagine the rest of me. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I actually have TWO pictures with the stuff hanging out.
I still may end up posting the whole picture, but I'll probably have to be good and drunk first.
I did 6 miles on Tuesday. Don't think I'm going to be able to run again until the weekend due to work commitments.
I did get some Chicago related mailing this week. I signed up for the newspaper delivery at the expo. I kinda got caught up in the heat of the moment and realized after it was a stupid thing to do cause I could just pick up a newspaper the following day. Anyways that came on Tuesday, almost a month after the marathon. Neat seeing my name in it.
I also received yesterday my CD with my race pics and all i can say is that I think I like the small thumbnails from the website better since I now am in possession of what may be the worst race picture ever taken. I think there was only one time during the whole marathon where some nasal mucous (ie: snot) came dripping out of my nose. Yeah, I know it sounds a bit gross. Well let me tell you that I now have that exact moment saved for posterity on CD. I'm running, waving at the camera with a 1 inch string of mucous hanging down from my nose. It is by far the funniest picture I have ever seen of myself. No, I won't be posting it, so don't ask!
Did 6 miles on Tuesday and about 5 miles on Thursday. Did them both pretty late in the evening, after 9pm. Did them both at recovery pace.
I had company for a 12 mile long run today. Ended up having to forego the low HR training for at least today. Ran at my normal long run pace, but the course was quite hilly. Don't know if it was a hill thing or if I'm losing fitness or if it was the chatting and gasping for breath while running, but my HR was WAY up.
I also bought a new pair of shoes this past week. I had to use up a 20% coupon before it expired on Wednesday. I'm still experimenting with shoes and decided to buy a pair of Mizuno Grid Alchemy 6's. I've never tried Mizuno shoes before. Kinda pricey but really light. They're shiny and look cool.
I haven't had a lot of time to read or post as of late. I don't know if it's just me but it seems that there are a lot more people blogging more often. I check my news reader and I'm faced with 50 new posts! I guess people have more time available to them now that it's getting cooler.
I received an industry newsletter that I get every other month yesterday. It sometimes contains interesting articles, but it's mostly just ads and announcements. There are sometimes memorials of people that have passed on. They are normally of people working in my field that have long since retired and have passed on due to old age. I tossed my newsletter out yesterday without really giving it a good look through, but a colleague of mine pointed out to me today one of the memorials which I had skipped right over.
He was about my age and he died after having run a 10km race on July 1. I had actually considered running in that particular race. i don't remember hearing anything about it at the time so I'm kind of stunned that this is the first I've heard about it. An autopsy didn't reveal any inherent heart problems and his death is still a mystery.
I didn't know him, but his death really makes me think. He didn't have heart problems like the man who passed on at the recent Scotiabank marathon and he looks healthy in the pictures. It really makes you reconsider things.
Rest in Peace, Perry.
Did a little under 7 miles on the treadmill at the gym cause it was raining.
Did about 12 miles today outside.
Did a little over 30 miles for the week.
I did both of these runs at recovery pace. With no more races for the year, I've moved into my base building mode for the winter which means I will try to do nothing but recovery runs and trying to keep my HR below 150. I found it worked well for me last year helping me build endurance. I read about this last year at this site. My goal is to try and give a solid 2 months of this low heart rate training. My hope is that by at the end of the 2 months, I will be able to average better than 8:30 min/miles at a HR of 150. Currently I can do a little over 9 min/miles at that HR. Based on my recent marathon time and fooling around with McMillan, that website says I should be able to average 8 min miles at that HR.
I went out for running for about an hour today and yesterday. Did about 7 miles each time. I've been having a hard time getting motivated to get out with nothing in particular to train for. I've decided that I don't want to do a 5k before years end. Though it would be nice to have set a PR for one, I generally find them tough to do. I'll do one next spring.
They posted pictures from the 10k race I did on Sunday and mine weren't so great.
Here's me at the beginning breathing normally and staring at the butt of the person in front of me and yes Sonia if you look closely you can see my collar bone sticking out.
Here's me about 5 m from the finish line with my head down, sprinting about as fast as I can.
Here's a closer shot of me a few moments later feeling like I'm about to have a heart attack.
I did a 10 k race this morning. Finish time of 42:16 (chip) . I signed up for this race cause the last 10k a did a few weeks before Chicago was a bit short and I wanted to take advantage of my marathon training to see what my 10k PR was and to use it as a benchmark for next year. I picked this race cause it was "certified" meaning that it was presumably accurately measured to be at least 10k. Having said that, a part of me thinks the course was short which I'll get to.
I decided to run this with my HR monitor to see what it was like during a shorter race. I understand now why people put tape over the HR reading. It's useful to analyze the data afterwards, but its scary seeing the numbers during the race.
Here is my HR and split times
|Lap||Lap Time||Pace||HR Max||HR Avg|
Based on my recent marathon time, McMillan thinks I can do a 10k in 42:00 but considering I didn't run very much these past few weeks, I thought I'd be a bit more conservative and aim for a 42:30 finish though i would have been happy with a sub 43 minute finish which is what I was hoping for last time. I did the first km at 4:00 min and hit the 1 mile marker at just under 6:30 pace. Whoops. Try to slow down a bit but the adrenaline was still rushing. Km 3 and 4 are about right, but my HR is skyrocketing which was an alarming thing for me to see during the race. During the VO2Max training for my marathon the highest HR I ever hit was 186. During my one Yasso's workout, I topped out at 190. Now here I am just barely half way through a 10k race and my HR is hitting 194 and 195.
I fall into a comfortable pace through to 7 km, at which point I decide to try and pour it on. By the time i hit the 8 km mark, I had developed a nasty side stitch. I try deep breathing and rubbing it, but it ain't going away. I start to slow down and my HR slows down with it. I thought I was going much slower than I was, but it turned out I had slowed down to "marathon pace". I pass the 9 km marker and the stitch isn't hurting so much but I can feel it's still there. I hear some footsteps behind me and decide that I'm not going to let whoever it is pass me, so I pick up the pace. I sprint the last 400m with my stitch growing ever more painful and finish about a second ahead of him.
According to my watch, I ran the last km in 3:11 or at a 5:07 min/mile pace which can't be right so either the course was short (AGAIN) or the last km was mismarked. I'm leaning toward the short course since all of the previous km's looked pretty accurate and the one that was recorded to be slower I knew I had definitely slowed down because of the stitch. Considering that the course was supposed to be "certified", there's also a possibility that the course as a whole was accurate, but that all the markers were off which resulted in the last marker being off by so much.
I came in 13th overall and 3rd in my age group. Since the guy who finished 1st in my age group finished 2nd overall (BTW, I think i went to high school with him; his name looks familiar) and there was no double dipping, I was given the 2nd place prize in my age group which was a little nike tote bag. Sweet!
I may try and do a 5k before the end of the year just to get a PR time for that. I ran the first 5k of this race faster than my 5k PR so that needs to be updated with a true 5k only distance. But barring that I'm done with racing for the year. Time to go into maintenance mode to try keep from losing my gains for the year.
WE treat sore feet. I picked up my race kit for my race tomorrow. Pretty nice collection of things. A red Nike technical t-shirt and a polycarbonate water bottle were included. The shirt has a sponsor logo displayed prominently on the sleeve, but it's free so I can't really complain.
My race kit had a fridge magnet for a foot clinic. If you want to see some disgusting pictures of various foot related problems, that's the site to visit. I don't know how much they spend on advertising, but as far as I can remember, EVERY single race kit I've ever received in and around the Toronto area has had one of these fridge magnets. Here's my collection.
I did a 3 mile recovery run with some strides this morning. Nice slow pace.
I've been spending some time looking at various marathons for the spring. I'd like to do a marathon in the spring but don't like the idea of trying to put in hard training during the winter months. I did winter training for the first time this year and hated it. Granted most of the runs were at the gym and I came down with a virus which knocked out my training for about 2 weeks so my general recollection is that it sucked. I've been thinking of trying the FIRST marathon training plan. It's a 3 day a week plan. The main purpose will be to give me some structure so that I can maintain my fitness gains of the past year. I'm not sure it'll get me to a BQ in the spring, but if it does, that'll be gravy. My real BQ attempt will be sometime next fall where I will have had the whole summer to prepare.
As for the actual spring event, it's a bit tough to say. I'm looking at marathon's in May. I see a lot of RBF are doing the Flying Pig in Cincinnati. I'm leaning towards avoiding travel to a US event so I'm looking at events closer by. I did the Mississauga marathon last year and may do it again but would rather not do a race that I've already done. Two that are looking as possible candidates are Forest City and Ottawa. Don't know for sure yet, but I don't really have to decide until the new year.
I'm just getting over a bit of a cold. I've been sleeping 9 hours a night for the past couple of days and does it ever feel good. No more having to get up at 5am in the morning to head out for a 12 mile run.
I decided to head to the track after work today to get some speed work in prior to my last race of the season this weekend. I guess it will be the last time I run around a track until next year.
I have to say that I'm a bit lost in how to prepare for a 10k a week before the race. There really isn't a one week training plan for a 10k race out there so I decided to just do a 1200m, an 800m and 2x400m intervals at 5k race pace. I threw in a couple of strides afterwards. It was way too dark though.
I've been gorging on chocolate for the last couple of days. I purchased way too much stuff for Halloween and I have about 4 pounds of chocolate leftover. I think I'll try and pawn some it off on my co-workers tomorrow.
So I splurged and purchased a CD of all my photos from the Chicago marathon and the DVD of me running. Oh well, what's another $150? None of my photos were outstanding, but there were about 20 of them taken which is pretty good so i figure it's worth it. I'm really interested in getting the DVD to see what I look like when I running. I've never really seen myself run other than the brief glimpse I may get while running by a reflective window so that should be neat.
I figured that I should get a semi long run in before my 10k race next weekend. So I went out and did a 10 mile long run that was much slower than I normally do. It didn't help that the wind was blowing around like crazy this morning.
If you want to see a HR for a person that has clearly not recovered from running a marathon, you need not look any further.
|Mile||Lap Time||Mile||Lap Time|
Even though these paces were at or slower than my recovery run pace, I had a hard time keeping the HR below 160 which is the upper end of my long run HR. Considering that just two weeks ago, i did a 12 mile long run at a lower HR and a minute per mile faster pace clearly indicates that I'm not any where near being recovered. There's that general rule of thumb that prior to running a race, you should wait at least 1 day for every mile that you previously raced. I should therefore wait 26 days before racing again. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to sign up up for that 10k next week.
Well the clocks were set back one hour this morning and as I write this it's just after 5:30pm and it's almost dark outside. That sucks. On the bright side, there should be some light outside in the mornings when (if?) I go for a run.
Well the quad pain was basically gone by Thursday and I was bounding up and down the stairs like it was just another week. I do have a bit of a sore throat from breathing in that cold dry air for 3+ hours and a nice blue toenail on my left foot which are the only two physical reminders left that I had run the marathon.
I signed up for a 10k race next weekend as a result of my not knowing what my 10k PR is based on the short course 10k from a few weeks ago. The course is certified as a 10k so no short distances this time. Needless to say, I've been itching to get back into things. It rained all evening here and I've been sleeping in as of late, so I headed to the gym for a run at about 9pm. I probably haven't been there since March. It pretty much looked the same as I remember it, but they replaced some of the treadmills with some newer equipment. Nice! I ended up doing only 3 miles. 2.5 were at recovery pace. For fun, i ramped up the speed to 8 miles/hr for half a mile since this was the average pace I had run for the entire marathon. It felt great.
Sorry for the long report. i've had a couple of days to write it and i was waiting to get back to Toronto before I posted it so I could add the split times. So here is the War and Peace version.
Morning of Race
I woke up at 5:00 am to eat a bagel and peanut butter. I had actually brought down with me a bag of bagels and a small jar of PB from Canada. There say nothing new on race day so that's been a bit of a ritual for me in the past. I did do one new thing out of necessity which was to try and hydrate with gatorade endurance which I had picked up at the expo the day before. They don't sell that stuff in Canada yet and so the first time I tried it was at the expo. Though I bit saltier than the regular gatorade that I'm used to, it didn't give me any problems so I figurerd I would be okay drinking that stuff during the race.
I had checked the weather forecast of about 40-44F the night before and had decided to go with a long sleeve technical shirt and shorts. For the start, I was bringing my throwaway fleece pullover and the always fashionable garbage bag in case there was rain. I also had some throwaway dollar store gloves and hat, but as it turns out I ended up wearing the gloves and hat for the whole race.
Left the hotel room at just after 6am to catch a 6:15 shuttle to the start line which I had payed $10 for. The hotel was offering this transportation to us and the $10 seemed a bit pricey considering that the hotel is only 1.5 miles away from the start line, but I figurerd why try and deal with the unknown of hailing a cab on race morning. So I joined a bunch of runners outside of the hotel figuring that there would be a bunch of minivans to pick us up when a stretch limo pulls up to the curb. We all start looking at each other and then we realize that the limo is for us! So we all pile in and ride to the start line in STYLE! Ride over was quiet. No one talked and it was quite clear that everyone was nervous with anticipation.
Arrived at the start line and proceeded to the trophy tent. I had signed up for this at the last minute paying a ridiculous cost of $75, but as it turns out, it was worth every penny. I got to avoid the line ups for the porty potty's, bag check and most importantly, I got to stay somewhat warm while standing around. I was also able to use the bathroom facilities twice before I headed out to the start corrals. Left the trophy tent at about 7:15 and headed to the corrals. I was kinda worried cause they kept announcing that it would take 30 minutes to get into the preferred corrals and they were going to close them at 7:40. So I did a slow jog over there, but arrived with plenty of time. The warm jog had triggered my bladder to want to release more liquid which was weird since I had just pee-ed 15 minutes prior to that. Not wanting to wait in line, I joined the rest of the males that were peeing in nearby bushes. Ahh, it's great to be a man. I was now certain that my system was devoid of all excess liquid.
I entered the corral which was still pretty empty and having reviewed the course the night before, I realized that the first two turns were to the left so took up residence beside the 3:20 pace group on the left side which would mean I wouldn't have to cross over when doing the first 2 turns. Started to idly chat with some other runners about goal times and then chucked the garbage bag and the fleece with about 3 minutes to go and then we were off.
Miles 1 to 5
Stuck with the pace group for the first couple of miles. It was a bit tough though since I was running ahead of them on the opposite side of the street. I had to keep looking back to see where they were. Missed the first mile marker, but hit the second one at 15:07 which was just slightly faster than the target pace of 7:38, but pretty good. Mile 3 was a bit fast at 7:24 and then I missed the mile 4 marker. The split at mile 5 was 14:19 which was WAY too fast (7:10 pace). At somepoint between miles 4 and 5, the 3:20 pace leader realized he was going too fast and yelled out that the 3:20 group was going to slow down. At this point, we were about a minute ahead of 3:20 and I had to make a decision. Do I slow down with the pace group to lose the 1 minute that I'd already "banked" or do I just try and continue running at a 7:38 pace on my own. I decided to continue on without the pace group.
Even though I had left the pace group, it seems that I wouldn't be running alone. There were a few people that had the same thoughts that were wearing a 3:20 pace bib on their back. I had signed up for the pace team, but didn't wear the bib cause I was afraid of failing. In hindsight, I should have worn it as I realize now how much it assists others. I latched on to one guy who had 3:20 Boston or Bust on the back of his shirt and continued with him. These miles were all slightly faster than race pace. I took my first gel at the 6 mile aid station at about the 45 minute mark. The instructins say to take one every 45 minutes and that's what I did from that point on. I hit the half mark at 1:36:53 which means I had banked a little over 3 minutes. At this point, I was staring to worry a bit about having gone out too fast.
I let the Boston or Bust guy go cause he was still going a bit fast and I was afraid I would hit the wall. These miles were pretty much on pace which means I had basically maintained the 3 minutes of banked time. I found myself at various times doing some mental math to figure out how much time I could lose per mile and still finish under my goal of 3:20. At the halfway mark, I figured I could slow down by 10 seconds per mile and finish under my goal. At mile 20, I realized that I could slow down by 30 seconds per mile to a 8:08 pace and still finish under 3:20. This was a great relief to me as baring an injury, I was pretty certain I would be able break 3:20.
I passed Perry the joggler at about the 20.5 mile mark. I was hoping to run into him in the staring corral but didn't. I certainly didn't expect to encounter him during the race. I quickly said "Hi perry", but since he was juggling, I realized he probably wasn't going to be able to talk. These miles were also pretty much on pace. In previous marathons, this is usually at the point where I feel like I need to pee. But this time, there was no feeling of urgency or impending doom which was great. My quads were a little sore at this point, but my calves were fine and my breathing was still steady.
The last few miles went north into a bit of a head wind and I ended up having to slow down. Mile 24 and 25 were at 7:46 and 7:51 respectively. I did the last 1.2 in 9:09 which was a 7:30 pace. I'd been warned about the last little "hill" which I didn't find too bad. Finish time of 3:17:05, with an average pace of 7:31. A PR that was much better than I was hoping. I had run the second half at my expected marathon pace which I'm very happy with.
For anyone interested in stats, here are the splits.
|Mile||Split||Cumulative time under 3:20 ||Km||Splits||5k time|
Crossed the finish line, got my chip removed, grabbed some food, water and some BEER. I don't know why Canadian marathons don't serve beer, but they should as it's an excellent source of carbs. Wondered around a bit, got my picture taken a few times and then headed back to the trophy tent to pick up my gear, get a massage and down some food. I decided to walk back to the hotel which was actually quite good as a cool-down.
So i beat my main goal which was to break 3:20. As a bonus, I didn't have to stop to pee which was always a problem for me in the past. I also ran the entire way not stopping to walk at all which is also a first.
I see a lot of people didn't like the cold, but I thought it was almost perfect marathon weather. Maybe it was just that I had worn the right mix of clothing, but other than the last few miles into the wind and the few minutes prior to the start where I was just standing around, I was never really too warm or too cold.
The fans were great and the volunteers handing out fluids, gels and bananas were great. I kinda wish now that I had put my name on my shirt, as I was getting jealous at all the people around me getting their names called out. For a few miles, I was running beside a guy with a Canada shirt so people would yell out "Go Canada" which made it seem like they were yelling at me.
Pfitz's plan is DA BOMB. It's a lot of mileage and the first few weeks are really tough but it produces results. I knocked off almost 19 minutes off my PR in a little over 5 months of training. If you consider all the other Chicago bound runners who were on Pfitz, Bob, LeahC, Jason, Ryan and Ugly Toes, they all did really well and set PR's, even jason who was sufering with some major pains set a PR. I highly recommend the plan. It works.
Boston? I had this goal that if I could break 3:20, I would consider a Boston attempt of 3:10 next spring. Having been able to reflect on it for a few days, I'm still on the fence about it. Part of me wants to try in the spring just to get it over with, but another part of me wants to try and qualify next fall so that the time would be valid for 2 Bostons, so maybe Chicago is in the cards for next year too.
Showed up at the RBF dinner to finally get to meet some of the people I've been reading about. It was nice to meet you all and put a face to the blogs. Unfortunately I didn't get to chat with everyone, but at least I know what you all look like!
I'd like to thank you all for the support over the past couple of months. I started this blog with the intenion of providing me some motivation and have received it in spades from all of you. I certainly could not have acheived this without you, so thank you.
Since some of you now know my name and it's not too difficult to figure out who I am from my race picture, I suppose that trying to do the "anonymous" blog thing probably isn't going to work. Maybe I'll start using my real name...
3:17:05. Did a little better than I thought and I'm super happy about it!
Race report to come.
I'm in Chicago!
Did 4 miles including 6 strides this morning.
Going to go pick up the race packet tomorrow morning!
Right now, I'm going to try and head off to sleep to get my beauty rest.
No running today.
I'm trying to pack for Chicago and do some last minute laundry. I'm having a minor crisis at work and as it turns out I'm going to have to go in for half a day tomorrow which means I have to finish packing tonight.
I promised myself I would post at least once a day until race day and provided my hotel has reasonable internet access I intend to do that. Anyhow, I hate to cut this post short, but I have a load of things to do before tomorrow.
GOOD LUCK to all you racers out there!!
Did 7 miles this morning with 2@ marathon pace. I did the 2 @ MP around a local track. A 3:20 marathon equals a 7:38 mile or about a 1:54 lap.
I found it hard to know what the proper pace was for the first mile. Overall I averaged 7:37 for the whole 8 laps, but come race day I'm not going to have pacing feedback every 400m.
One issue I've always had during previous tapers is the development of trigger points in my calves. These are basically little knots that form in your muscles that cause little annoying pains. When the trigger points are massaged however, they hurt like hell. I've got one that's developed in my left calf. I know that if I massage it every hour that it will generally be gone in about 3-4 days which is just about perfect in being ready for Sunday. I jsut hope that I don't develop another one.
Please come back after marathon day!
So I've seen conflicting weather reports for Chicago on Sunday. Some say it's going to rain, some don't.
It rained all day today in Toronto and lucky me I had a 6 mile recovery run scheduled for the morning. It wasn't too cold outside and I thought it would be refreshing so I headed out the door but only ended up doing 4 miles. Tomorrow morning has 7 miles scheduled with 2 @ marathon pace. I'm going to head to the track and see if I can get a feel for what a 3:20 marathon pace feels like. About 1:54 per lap.
I came to the realization today during one of my frequent trips to the men's room (damn water drinking) that I have another goal for Chicago that I didn't mention yesterday and that is to run the whole marathon without having to stop to pee. I've always had to stop in my previous marathons at around the 35 km mark to empty the system and I'm hoping to get the hydration thing right this year. Now if it's raining, all bets are off and if I really need to go I may just let the liquid flow as I'm running so there's another reason to pray that it doesn't rain or at the very least hope that you're not running behind me.
No running today.
I've started trying to figure out a game plan for race day. I've decided that I'm going to try for 3:20. My half marathon time says I can do it and Yasso 800's says I can do it. It would represent a 16 minute improvement in my marathon time in a little over 5 months. Pfitz' plan has been great and I've really felt I've improved but is this biting off more than I can chew? No guts, no glory.
I'm contemplating whether I should sign up for the pace teams. From what the website says, you get a pace band and a bib that states your goal time to wear on your back. I may sign up to get the pace band, but I'm afraid of wearing the bib in case I crash and burn and end up having to slow down. I'd hate for someone to be following me with the intention of running 3:20 to be disappointed because of my failure. I may just try to forego the whole sign up thing and just try and stick with the pace bunny for the whole race, assuming he/she doesn't get lost in the sea of people.
They say you should set several goals for a race with one being your ultimate goal and at least one being realistic. So for Chicago, I've set my three main goals as follows in order of preference:
1) Sub 3:20
2) Sub 3:25
3) Sub 3:35
One other goal that I've always had was running a negative split, but in my experience that just isn't possible for me.
On a side, note, as luck would have it, I received two tickets to the Raptor's exhibition game on Sunday against Lebron James and the Cavaliers. That's right, this Sunday. I guess that's one game I won't be going to.
Hurry up damn week! Finish already!!
First of all, I have to give some props to the poetic muse that is Jayhawk for her Ode to the Chicago Marathon Bloggers. Visit, read and be entertained!
Did my last long run today prior to the MARATHON next Sunday. I did 12.1 miles at a little over 8:30 pace. Even though this was quite long for the Sunday prior to race day, it went pretty much without incident. I definitely felt strong. This taper thing is really working. I tried to work on my turnover and my breathing during this run. Yeah it's probably a bit late to try and fix any problems, but the nervous energy in me made me feel like I should have been doing something.
Before doing my long run, I went to see the start of the Toronto marathon. Don't ask me why Toronto has two marathons spaced 3 weeks a part because no one has a sensible answer to that. Toronto really sucks in supporting their marathons. It's nothing like in other cities like Chicago where you get fan support lining almost every foot of the course. I watched and cheered the start of the half and the full. I brought my camera to take some pictures but couldn't get it to work. I had thought that the batteries had run dry. By the time I figured out that the batteries had been inserted wrong, all the runners had gone. :( The mayor of Toronto was out to cheer on the start of the runners and I was able to get my picture taken with him. Notice how I'm bundled up like it's the middle of winter? I'm really paranoid about catching a cold this close to race day.
I did one ritualistic thing today which was to get my hair cut. It doesn't matter if I need one or not, but I always get my hair cut the week before a big race. It probably doesn't make much of a difference but less hair, means less weight which means I run faster. At least that's the theory I'm sticking with.
In the past, I've boughten stuff during the taper that I probably wouldn't normally purchase. Included amongst previous purchases are a dehumidifier, an Orick air purifier, a learn to speak french computer program and Grand Theft Auto:Vice city (a computer game). The dehumdifier, and the software programs are still sitting in their original boxes. I've used the Orick purifier maybe 5 times total.
I glad to say that I've resisted the temptation to purchase anything during the taper except for today. Today I found myself in a thrift store purchasing a toss away sweat shirt. I've heard about the "big toss" where everyone starts pitching their warm-up stuff to the sides of the course right before the marathon starts. If you watch the chicago marathon videos on the shots where they show the start area you can see people tossing the clothes off to the side. It kinda looks like confetti so you may not notice it. These clothes get collected and donated to charity so if you're doing Chicago, bring some along.
I was going to buy something that identified I was from Toronto or Canada, but I starting thinking that if the clothes get donated to someone in the US, they may not want a "I Love Canada" shirt, so I ended up purchasing something red but that looked at least half decent.
Yesterday, Pfitz's plan has 5 recovery miles including 6 strides scheduled. I had intended to get up in the morning and do them, but one look at the thermometer which was showing 2C and I said forget it. I know all you runners in Chicago are suffering through a cold windy spell and that Buffalo had 2 feet of snow dumped on it and that I shouldn't be so much of a sissy in regards to the temperature, but hey I'm paranoid about getting sick.
I got home from work and ended up eating a quick dinner with the intention of heading to the gym at about 9. I haven't been to the gym in a couple of months. I do this every year where I vow to cancel my membership in the early spring since I know I'm not going to use it over the summer, but a part of me thinks that I will and then fall comes with the cooler weather and I come to the realization that I've thrown away $300 in membership fees.
I didn't end up getting to the gym, I tried to take a quick nap and ended up sleeping for a couple of hours. I woke up at about 11pm and quite frankly, I was trying to come up with a good excuse as to why I should skip the run.
It's cold outside
It's only a recovery run, it won't matter if it's skipped.
Because I don't feel like it.
These seemed like lame excuses since others in blogland are suffering through worst conditions. I didn't think I could justify it to you the readers, so I put on my running clothes at 11pm and headed out the door. I'm glad I went cause it wasn't that cold and there was no wind. I've never really experienced the so called "runner's high", but I probably came damn close to it last night. I think I'm going to head down to watch and cheer at the start of the Toronto Marathon tomorrow to further provide me with some motivation.
Thanks all for reading.
8 days and counting!!
Did the last VO2Max workout and it was a doosie. 8 miles including 3x1600m @ 5k pace with 2 minute recoverys. Split times for the intervals were:
This is pretty consistent with what I've been doing for these VO2Max workout that generally co-incide with 1:40 per 400m which translates into 6:40 for the 4 laps, but my secret goal was to try and do these in at least 6:35. I've been using my marathon day shoes for the past few runs and the one problem I ran into was since it was raining a bit today, my not-broken-in shoe-laces were still a bit slippery and kept coming undone for the first two intervals. This ended up screwing up my recovery times since I had to stop to tie them.
Well that's basically it for the hard workouts for this training session. I now feel like the taper is beginning since Pfitz just has recovery and easy miles the rest of the way with a few strides thrown in. So now the taper madness will begin. I can't wait for race day!
Did 7 miles this morning with 8 strides. My quads have been a little sore since Sunday. I think the combination of a race and a long run this past weekend beat them up pretty good. Luckily I won't have to do that again anytime soon.
I got my confirmation kit in the mail today for Chicago! Bib number 8415! I'm not sure why that's of any use to anyone but me, but I see people posting their bib numbers all over the place, so I thought I'd join in.
They posted some race pics from the 10k I did on the weekend. Here are the two they took of me.
I think my eyes are closed in the first one. These with taken with about 30m left to go so I'm panting and breathing heavily and just generally wishing that it would be over. I also checked out the picture of the guy who beat me and sure enough it was the guy who was running the wrong direction on the course! I was ROBBED!!!
Now that's off my chest, I've now started looking for a 10k race to run after Chicago. I really would like to have a PR time that I know is for the 10k. This time I'm going to pick a 10k course that is "certified". There's one about 2 weeks after Chicago. I'm not sure if that's enough time to recover, but right now that's looking as the only possibility for the remainder of the year.
I did a 16 mile long run today based on Pfitzinger's training plan. All my previous tapers, had a 12 mile long run for the first weekend of the taper. I'm not sure why Pfitz thinks it's necessary to do that much especially the day after a tune-up race.
Well i didn't hydrate that well yesterday after my race and I woke up this morning feeling a little dehydrated. I drank some water and headed out the door. I decided to try and run slow, but not quite at recovery pace. The first part of the run, I avergaed a little over 9 min/miles. I did run into a little problem though. About 10 miles into the run, I stopped by the only water fountain in the area for a refill only to find out that they turned it off. Add to that it was starting to warm up and that I had foolishly worn two long sleeve shirts and that pretty much made for a miserable last few miles. I ended up slowing down to a 9:30 pace. I got home and weighed myself and I was down 6 pounds from my normal weight. I going to call this a character building run.
Total for the week was about 39 miles. Next week is looking a little more like a taper week with THREE whole rest days! Pfitz still wants a 12 mile long run next Sunday though. I'm thinking of doing the Toronto half marathon as a training run, but I'm concerned with the longish hilly portions. Since I haven't done much hill training, I don't want to be using muscles I haven't used this training cycle only one week before marathon day.
Tomorrow's turkey day up here in Canada.
2 weeks and counting!
Did a 10 km race this morning. Finished with a chip time of 41:23 which would be a super monster PR. But unfortunately the course was significantly short. Apparently the race was setup to coincide with a local town fair and the last part of the original route was to circle around a bunch of side streets and run through the main street. On race day however, they had booths and picnic tables set up on the main street, so the course was changed. I checked with a couple of people with garmins who all reported the course was short. The shortest I was able to find was 9.8 km, but I think the course is still shorter than that. I didn't run with my HR, but did run with a watch. I missed a couple of the markers, split times were:
I came in second overall and ended up winning a $30 gift certificate. The only problem is that I think I actually finished first. The race started at the same time for both a 5 and 10km. The 10k runners split off at a water station at about the 2.5 km mark. When I hit the split off point, I heard one of the volunteers yell out that I was the first 10k runner at that point. Now she could have been wrong, but I figure at that point, he would have been about 100m ahead of me since I ended up finishing a little over 1 minute behind him. I didn't see anyone ahead of me and didn't see anyone behind me and no one passed me from that point on. I did see a guy with a bib number running in the opposite direction while out on the extra portion of the 10k course which could of been him so I was thinking he might have missed the turn off point and decided to run the 10k course in the opposite direction. The only problem is that by doing that he missed a loop part that the 5km would have bypassed. I did some checking and the guy that finshed ahead of me ran the Scotiabank marathon 2 weeks ago in a time of 3:47 which does not translate into anything close to a 41 minute 10k. But for the moment, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. I did come away with a $30 gift certificate so I can't complain.
I am a tad miffed at the short course though since I was hoping to use my time to figure out what my marathon pace should be. It's probably for the best though. I was having a hard time with the hills on this course so I'm guessing it's best to live in ignorance and find out what I can (or can't) do in Chicago.
BTW, happy thanksgiving weekend to my fellow Canadians!
Someone passed this on to me today and I thought it was hilarious. I thought I'd share with blogland.
Www.ackiest sites on the net
1. Want to holiday in Lake Tahoe? Try their brochure website at www.gotahoe.com
2. Therapists in the US merely wanted to offer troubled souls a shoulder to cry on. Let's hope their advice is not as short-sighted as whoever registered the URL www.therapistfinder.com
3. Welcome to the First Cumming Methodist Church. Their website is www.cummingfirst.com
4. There is one betting site that is way out in front as our favorite. With their name they are bound to attract a lot of people looking for each-way wagers: www.oddsexchange.com
5. "We're not just a printer," claims the American firm Tri-Plex. And they guarantee: "Short runs or long, we can handle both equally well." But it makes you wonder what kind of service they are offering from their website with a name like this: www.triplexbusiness.com
6. If you are looking for a place to download the latest songs you might think this one is a homage to bad digital music. Mind you, the site is flagging up the new Michael Bolton album, so maybe it does what is says on the tin after all: www.mp3shits.com
7. Law firm Morrison & Foerster have more than 1,000 legal eagles worldwide. Surely you would have thought one would have spotted the clanger in their site. They couldn't have been briefed properly that it contains a slang abbreviation for a rather strong swear word that would leave them in contempt in the courtroom: www.mofo.com
8. This drinks franchise has spawned a host of copycat stores around the US as it attracts customers by the barrel-load desperate for a schoolboy giggle and quick slurp: www.beaverliquors.com
9. Some say Americans don't understand irony and a site set up by Ingleside Vineyards of Virginia bears that out. They must be flushed with success if the name they chose is anything to go by: www.ipwine.com
10. The plant-growers of Mole Station Nursery in New South Wales claim to specialise in the production of frost- hardy native shrubs and farm trees. Sounds like they are more into deflowering: www.molestationnursery.com
11. If you need an IT professional to fix your broken PC this could be a great place to start, especially if you are having a problem with your hard drive or interruptions to your AC/DC supply: www.expertsexchange.com
12. Looking for an actor and want to get in touch with his or her agent? Then Who Represents is a database of contact names and numbers. But the site owners may well become brassed off by some of the unsavoury clients it attracts: www.whorepresents.com
13. The official site for Barnet Copthall Masters Swimming Club says it has a 12A rating to warn off young kids. It has all the club?s latest news. So why not a section on how to improve your breaststroke? www.upthebeavers.com
14. A building firm based in Ontario, Canada, promises: "No job too small, or too tall." They have even helpfully included some handy pictures showing exactly how they manage to get it up: www.mammotherection.com
15. Then of course, there's the Italian Power Generator company... www.powergenitalia.com
16. And then there's these brainless art designers, and their whacky website: www.speedofart.com
Did 4 miles with 6 strides today @ recovery pace. Pfitz has a 8-10k tune-up race scheduled for tomorrow. Lucky for me there is a 10k race about a 40 minute drive from me which I'm going to do. I'm quite curious about how well I'll do since during my half-marathon a month ago, my average pace was higher than that which I ran in my previous 10k PR. I'm hoping to average a pace for tomorrow's 10k that is faster than my 5k PR which I set back in June at 21:30 (6:55 min/mile) which means I'm hoping to finish in under 43 minutes. Weather is going to be cool and very little wind is expected which is great. I'm just worried that the course is going to be hilly.
Did 8 miles including 5x600m at 5k pace. Got up in the morning and was out the door while it was still dark. Did a 3 mile warmup on the way to the track. On the way there it started raining a bit and by the time I got to the track flashes of lightning and the crack of thunder were all around me. I decided to do the intervals anyways. I figured that the two goal posts on the infield and the towers in a nearby hydro field would be struck by lightning before my little 5'9" frame would. Even so I was a little nervous about it. I ended up trying to keep track of how long it would take between the flashes of lightning and the accompanying sound of thunder. I think the closest it got was about 8 seconds which means that the lighning struck about 1.5 miles away.. Intervals were:
Had a 5 mile recovery run scheduled today. Today was the day that I wanted to start using my marathon day shoes. I got up in the morning and heard the unmistakeable sound of rain outside. Not wanting to get my brand spanking new shoes wet on their first run, I ended up moving the run to the evening. I did however hold off on the run until after I saw the first 5 minutes of the season premiere of Lost since there's a lot of buzz on how the first 5 minutes is supposed to blow your mind. It didn't blow my mind, but it sure was intriguing. I'm off now to watch the remainder of the show.
18 days and counting...
These were garmin splits which I manually recorded on my HR monitor. I felt kinda silly wearing both the garmin and another watch to monitor my HR. I don't think anyone noticed. It was a great day for a run. Weather was nice and cool. Miles 3, 4 and 5 seemed a bit screwy but that was most likely due to loss of satellite signals. I speeded up for the last mile just to see if I could handle it. Overall pace was at about 8:30.
Though the taper has supposedly officially begun, Pfitz's plan still has a few interesting wrinkles yet to come. He still has a 16 mile long run scheduled for next week the day after a 8-10k tune-up race and a 12 mile run one week prior to the marathon. That doesn't sound like a taper schedule to me! His plan has got me this far with some very encouraging results, so I suppose at this point there's no point in deviating from the plan. I'm "all in" as they say in poker.
21 days and counting...
The cool temperatures are here. I'm waiting for the temperature to warm up before I head out on my 4 mile recovery run this morning. Here's an update for the week.
Did 5 mile recovery run with 6 strides.
Did a little over 10 miles with 4x1200m @ 5k pace. Split times were:
I ran into some HR strap problems at the beginning, but by the time I got to the track, it had sorted itself out. I can honestly say that these VO2Max things seem to be getting easier. Now it could just be that the Yasso 800's that I did on the weekend made this interval workout feel puny by comparison, but I like to think it's because my fitness is improving. I'm looking forward to the 1600m interval workout in two weeks.
Did 10 miles at about 8:30 pace. I tried the garmin today for the second time and it seemed to be off in measuring distance. I usually run the first few miles of my "around the house" route along the same path where I know where the 1 and 2 mile markers are. The garmin has been right on with the distance the last time I used it, but today I ran past the mark and then an additional 30 seconds before the autolap function was triggered. I thought it may be that my HR monitor was interfering with the satelite reception since this was the first time I ran with both. Going to try it again today to see if I have the same problem. It was quite cool during the run at about 8C. By the time I got back home, my fingernails were a nice shade of blue.
4 mile recovery today and then 20+ miles tomorrow and then taper time! I wish all you Chicago hopefuls good luck on your 20 milers this weekend. Enjoy it cause you won't be running that distance again until October 22!
Blogland's very own Joggler Perry!