Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Training Since Mid October 2015

  I'm including the first few weeks here to give you a sense of my baseline fitness and what my training had looked like going back to labor day.  These couple weeks are pretty representative of that time frame.  I had one or two decent weeks mixed in with over 110 miles but mostly this is about what it had looked like. I include the October 11 race to show the fitness that work had given me.

Sunday October 11 raced Great Island 5k, flat but crazy turn 5k- upwards of 50 or so turns on the course, finished 2nd in 15:10, 3rd placer Andrew Huebner is a 2:17:05 trials qualifier though he is not in top form.

October 12 to 18

Monday AM 4.1 mile recovery run 30mins
                PM 4.1 mile recovery run 30 mins

Tuesday AM 4.1 miles
                PM 5 miles in 40 mins

Wednesday AM 4.1 miles
                     PM 3.5 warm up strides, Monaghetti fartlek on Glendale loop, covered 3.84 miles in 20mins, 3.3 cool down total bit over 10 miles.

Thursday AM 4.1 miles 28mins
                  3pm 2 miles with middle school team
                  5:30pm 10 miles in 62mins

Friday AM 4.1 miles in 29mins
             3pm 2 miles with middle school team
             5:30pm 10.6 miles in 68 mins

Saturday off moving day

Sunday AM 5 miles 35 minutes.  had hoped for second run but moving and getting set up prevented it. 

October 19 to 25

Monday AM 4.1 miles 29mins
               PM 5 miles 35 mins

Tuesday 3pm 3 miles with middle school kids
                6pm 3++ warm up strides, moneghetti fartlek around glendale loop covered 3.97 miles in 20minutes 3++ cool down.

Wednesday PM 14. 6 miles in 1:34

Thursday PM 4 miles in 32 minutes

Friday 3pm 2 miles with middle school kids
             6pm 6.5 miles in 48 minutes

Saturday AM Race great bay 5k, 2nd place 14:40, 5k warm up, drills, strides, 37 second hard effort, splits 4:49, 9:32(4:43), 14:13(4:40), got out kicked.  Pushed from front from the mile mark on.  I wanted the time so I went for that and hoped it would get the win as well but it didn't long cool down including some uptempo stuff with 1st and 3rd place finishers. total 13 miles

Sunday AM 15 miles in 1:37
              PM bikram yoga

October 26 to November 1

Monday PM 10. 6 miles in 71:11

Tuesday PM 20minutes easy with Uta and Melissa

Wednesday off due to life.

Thursday PM 3.5 mile warm up with strides, 3 mile hilly tempo 15:24, 1:30 recovery, 4x400m hill repeats with jog down recoveries(~2mins each) reps-1:33, 1:36, 1:35, 1:35, 3+ cool down. This can be viewed as the start of real training from here on I start doing more then just running.

Friday PM 12 miles in 1:17

Saturday 2pm 4k warm up, 32k around phillips fields in 1:47:54, average pace 5:25 per mile.  This needs to be viewed in context.  First I'm an aerobic monster. Second I had done a 30k on the fields at 5:29 pace on October 4.  Third I respond to this type of training like no other so I improve at it very quickly.

Sunday AM 5 miles in 35 mins
              PM 5 miles in 35 mins

November 2 to 8

Monday AM 5.3 miles in 37 mins
                PM 10.4 miles in 68 mins
               later in PM bikram yoga

Tuesday AM 5.3 miles in 37 mins

Wednesday PM 3.5 warm up with strides, Moneghetti fartlek around glendale loop covered 3.94 miles in 20mins 3 plus cool down

Thursday AM 5.3 miles in 38mins
                  PM 8.7 miles in 56 mins

Friday AM 5.3 miles in 37 mins

Saturday AM bikram yoga
                 PM 5.3 miles in 35mins

Sunday late AM Race USATF-NE xc championships, 8th place 31:12, felt strong to about 4.5 miles then just couldn't seem to go. Had that feeling like if I slowed down just a bit I could run all day but as soon as I pushed I was shit out of luck. 3 warm up, strides, 30 second hard effort, splits mile 4:52, 2mile- 9:58, 5k-15:37, 8k-25:05, 4 mile cool down.

November 9 to 15

Monday AM 5.4 miles in 39 mins
                PM 12 miles in 1:17
                XT bikram yoga

Tuesday AM 5.4 miles in 39 mins
                PM 3.5 warm up with strides, moneghetti fartlek on glendale loop 3.95 miles in the 20mins, 3+ cool down

Wednesday PM 16.5 miles in 1:46:17

Thursday AM 5.4 miles in 39 mins
                  PM 3.5 mile warm up, strides, 5k tempo in 15:23, 1:30 recovery, 4x400m hill repeats with jog down recoveries, 1:38, 1:42, 1:41, 1:41 2 mile recovery.

Friday AM 5.4 miles in 39 mins
             PM 12.3 miles in 1:20

Saturday AM 4k warm up, 36k around phillips fields in 2:01:30- 5:25 pace. very windy.  Best long run I have had since the 2007 Olympic Trials.

Sunday AM 5 miles with Melissa and uta in 36mins
              PM bikram yoga

November 16 to 22

Monday AM 5.6 miles in 40mins

Tuesday AM 10k in 46mins

Wednesday PM 3.5 miles warm up, moneghetti 3.97 miles in the 20mins, 3 plus cool down.

Thursday AM 5 miles in 36mins
                  PM 15 miles in 1:37

Friday AM 10k in 46mins
            PM 12.6 miles in 1:22

Saturday AM 4 mile warm up, drills, strides, 8k tempo around phillips fields at half marathon goal pace, 24:33, 2k splits- 6:11, 12:21, 18:29. 1 mile cool down.
                 PM 5.2 miles with melissa including 2 miles in 11:12.

Sunday AM 22.3 miles, first 20 in 2:13 including 6 miles with Melissa, then 2 miles in 10:03(5:01.8, 5:01.2) then 0.3 easy back to house. total time 2:25:33

November 23 to 29

Monday AM 10k in 46mins
                PM 10.2 miles in 68mins

Tuesday AM 10k in 44mins
                PM 3.5 miles warm up with strides, moneghetti fartlek covered 3.88 miles in the 20mins, 3 miles cool down

Wednesday PM 16.5 miles in 1:47

Thursday AM  3 plus warm up, drills, strides, 5k tempo in 15:07, last mile in 4:47, 1:30 recovery then 4x400m hill repeats with jog down recoveries, 1:38, 1:38, 1:39, 1:39, 2 mile cool down.
                  PM 5 miles with a crazy full stomach in 38mins really quite proud I didn't puke.

Friday AM 10.3 miles in 68mins
             PM 6 miles in 42mins

Saturday AM 13 miles including 62mins at 5:30 pace over hilly loop, felt good but really struggled with coordination on slippery roads(it was raining)
                 PM 4 miles in 28mins with Melissa and Uta

Sunday AM 10.2 miles with Melissa in 73mins
              PM 7.3 miles in 47mins
              XT bikram yoga

November 30 to December 6

Monday AM 10k in 47mins
                PM 3.5 mile warm up with strides, moneghetti fartlek around glendale loop covered 4.02 miles in the 20mins, 3++ cool down

Tuesday PM 16 miles in 1:46

Wednesday AM 5 miles in 38mins
                     PM 3 mile warm up on woodway curve, drills, 3 miles of sprint float sprint around 160m indoor track 80 on 80 off, 16:10, 3 mile cool down.
Thursday AM 10k run in 46mins
                  PM 16 miles in 1:44

Friday AM 10k run in 45mins
            PM 10 miles in 66mins

Saturday AM 4 mile warm up, strides, 10k tempo on phillips fields at goal half marathon pace, 30:43. 2k splits- 6:08, 12:17, 18:25, 24:36. 4 mile cool down
                 PM 10k with melissa including pacing her for her 6k tempo in 21:15.

Sunday AM 22.3 miles, first 20 miles in 2:07:38 then 2 miles in 10:00 (5:03, 4:57), 0.3 miles easy back to house

December 7 to 13

Monday AM 10k in 46 mins
               PM 10.1 miles in 67 mins

Tuesday AM 10k in 45 mins
                First hiccup- I tried a new shoulder exercise and it was way too much for me- almost impossible for me to explain how week my mid back and shoulder region- lower traps, rhomboids are. Anyway I threw my upper back into spasm and by mid day I could barely breath.

Wednesday off All I did was go to bikram yoga which didn't fix the problem but made it like 50% better which was awesome because that took it from real pain down to I just couldn't do shit.

Thursday 3:30pm Accupuncture.
                   6pm 4 miles with Uta in 31mins back/shoulders much better.

Friday AM 10k 47mins
             PM 6 miles in 41mins

Saturday AM 13 miles in 1:21
                 PM bikram yoga

Sunday Second hiccup. I was planning to go for a fast long run but I woke up feeling like I was coming down with a cold.  Bad sore throat and a head ache.  If you live in the Northeast you probably know a nasty virus has been going around and laying people out.  I teach and most of us have pretty awesome immune systems but this had been laying people out.  However Melissa had some crazy immune supplement mix of zinc, vitamins A, C and B6 with garlic, ginger and licorice extracts that I had taken earlier in this cycle when started to get sick and it kicked it fast.  This time I was not so lucky.  I got a tough chest cold.  Thing is I didn't feel sick.  I just was coughing something awful.  I took some easy days and off days to try and get healthy if I had it to do over I would just train full miles and strides. I will be taking this supplement whenever I feel sick from here on out.  I really was shocked how good I felt considering I was sick.  
             AM 15 miles in 1:41

December 14 to 20

Monday AM 10k in 46mins
                PM 6 miles in 42mins

Tuesday AM 10k in 46mins
                PM 10 miles in 67mins

Wednesday PM 12 miles from my school in 1:14- parent conferences today so I don't have time to go home and run.  I run from school between the end of the day and the start of conferences. I had hoped to have time for 16 but I had an unplanned early meeting with a parent right after school so I had to settle for 12

Thursday AM 10k 44mins
                  PM 12 miles from school, second night of conferences, 1:15

Friday AM 4.1 miles in 31mins

Saturday AM 4 miles in 28 mins

Sunday AM 7 miles in 53mins.  I had planned to try and sleep a lot and take it easy just running with Melissa for a few days to kick the cold.  I executed the plan but didn't get the desired result.  I think this was a mistake. I should have just kept running full volume.

December 21 to 27

Monday AM 5 miles in 37mins
                PM 10k in 43mins

Tuesday AM 5 miles in 37mins
                PM 10.3 miles in 70mins

Wednesday 1pm- half day at school. 16.1 miles in 1:41
             Went to new chiropractor Melissa knows who is very good with exercises and she gave me new exercise to activate lower trap. Huge help for posture!

Thursday AM 12.1 miles in 1:19, only one run because of family get together for Christmas Eve

Friday Merry Christmas!!! AM 7 miles in 48mins including a 5:24 mile with Melissa
            Noon 11.6 miles in shorts and a T-shirt!!! in 1:12.
I was feeling pretty good by today.  Still coughing but not nearly as bad.  However I was feeling very confused about how to approach training for the next week.  I have a goal race now only 9 days away. I haven't run fast for nearly 3 weeks. I need to get back in the swing but at the same time taper.  I am very good with setting up full cycles but a spot like this I just didn't have a solution.  I must have settled on 15 different plans.  I should have called Gary Gardner. That is my normal fall back.  Gary doesn't use the exact same methods I do but he more than understands what I do and he is one of the absolute best when something goes off plan at figuring out the best way to adjust and balance things.  I can't tell you how many times I have gone to him with a seemingly intractable problem I just couldn't figure out and he thinks for 10 seconds and then has the perfect plan that ends up saving my cycle.  Anyway it was Christmas and I was doing all the family stuff and what not so I didn't call him.  All this is to say I'm not confident in what I ended up doing.

Saturday AM 10.3 in 70mins

Sunday PM 13.7 miles with last two miles at goal half marathon pace. first 11.4 in 1:12 then 2 miles in 9:41.8- bit quick.  I run on the roads so I don't have a lot of splits for these things. (4:54.3, 4:47.5) actually didn't feel that bad considering I have done zero speed for weeks. 


 So there you have it my training for this half marathon.  Not ideal but the course and competition look ideal.  I keep trying to remind myself that I have run a handful of 1:07 to 1:08 halves here in New England off worse or similar training on much tougher course in much tougher conditions.  Also I keep reminding myself of a story from my good friend Tommy Neal.  Tommy was training for the Gary Bjorkland half marathon as a qualifying attempt for the 2012 trials and he joined that group that Scott Simmons put together that was advised by Canova.  The week of the race Tommy gets to sit down with Canova for a while and go over his training logs.  At the end Canova says to Tommy who has best in the mid 29's for 10k, 49 something for 10 miles, and low 2:20's for the marathon that the good news is that he has not been training he just runs a lot.  This means that Canova thinks he can improve in leaps and bounds with a few adjustments because the volume he is running shows he can handle heavy training.  But poor Tommy is panicked his race is that weekend.  He tells Canova as much.  Canova asks what the course is like and what time Tommy needs to run.  Canova says something like 'well it isn't a sure thing but 1:05 isn't that fast and a person could certainly run that sort of time on just a lot of running.'  The result.  Tommy ran 1:04:59 and qualified for the trials.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

What I've been up to and what is next

I'm on Christmas Break this week so I will try to post a few blogs.  If you want the pure training blog that will be next.  I'll give my training of the last few months but for this one I'll just talk about what I have been up to since my dnf at Boston in April.

  After Boston my recovery was pretty quick.  Both physically and mentally.  I think that the mental side was key.  Keeping control of the leg that long was a huge emotional boost and so I got back to some moderate running after a couple of weeks.  However there were some troubles looming for my running.

  Melissa and I had decided to sell our town home.  We bought it as a short sale at the bottom of the market and the condo market where we were was flattening out a bit while the single family home market was showing no signs of slowing.  Our realtor showed us a bunch of comps that told us if we could update our kitchen, very out of date, we could get a much higher price.  To max profit we did a lot of the work ourself.  This dominated our life.  I even had to take a week off from running to get the job done which I NEVER do.  Also during this time frame I was more and more feeling run down and exhausted.  Even after we finished the reno I just couldn't seem to get the ball rolling.  As summer arrived I just was flat as ever.  I only worked part time all summer but I wasn't really able to train at all.  I was running but only 60 to 80 miles a week most of the time with almost no workouts and almost no races.  I ran a 15:17 5k at the York Days 5k on July 26.  That is a flat fast course and I had great competition the whole way and actually lost.  What was worse is that I was surprised I could run that fast based on what I had been doing.  I just kept chalking it up to the stress of selling the house and trying to buy a new one.

  At the end of the summer I got a horrible stomach virus.  Already living at the low end of my race weight, 162.  I dropped 13 pounds in a week.  Obviously some of that was water weight but the point is I was wrecked.  During this time I went to the doctor. I see a doctor in Melissa's office. The two of them had been arguing all summer about my vegetarian diet so he ran some extra blood work when I was there.  It turned out he was right.  I had stripped my body of pretty much all its creatine and was deficient of proteins as well.

  So around labor day I began supplementing with creatine and eating meat again.  Steadily I felt better. Still easy to exhaust but with a little bounce in my legs. I had a couple good weeks of training and then ran a 31:39 for 12th at the cow harbor 10k but given the conditions, hot, and how I had been doing just a couple weeks before this was a big step in the right direction.

  Also by October we had sold our town home and made enough money to pay off Melissa's rather excessive student loans and still be able to buy a single family home complete with fenced in yard for Uta and have less monthly expenses then we had in the town home.  A pretty big win all around.  Over late September and early October we moved twice, out of our place, stayed in Melissa's parents house and then finally into our new place.  Despite this I was doing some decent workouts, though my mileage was low. I raced a few races over this stretch culminating in a solid 14:40 5k, 13 straight years with at least one sub 15, and a 31:12 effort at the USATF-NE cross country championships.

  At this point I was actually happier with my training finally coming around and how I felt in workouts, not totally dead, then I was with the racing which though better than it had been was obviously sub par.  I had originally planned a late fall half marathon but I decided instead to begin looking for a winter one as I needed to actually train for a little bit.

  I found the Jacksonville bank half marathon scheduled for January 3rd.  Richard Fannin was putting together a field for this usually sleepy race so I asked to be added in.

  I didn't have a ton of time but I was already fairly fit.  Most importantly I had been able at this point to do a 25 or 30k fundamental tempo run which was really helping my fitness.  I would soon stretch that out to a very strong 36k, about 22.5 miles, at under 5:30 mile pace.  In that weeks that followed I did a few decent workouts, a monaghetti fartlek where I covered over 4 miles, a 24:33 8k tempo and a 30:43 10k tempo.  Then I got sick and and though I was able to keep running I didn't do any workouts for the last three weeks.  Finally Sunday, now a week out from the half marathon, I did a 13 mile run with the last two miles at half marathon pace.  I was able to run 9:41 without it feeling too bad so hopefully I'll be alright next weekend.  Though in the long run I don't really care if I am or not.  I'm healthy.  I have found a training cycle that I can maintain around my job and with yoga I am healthy.  Also in the last few weeks I have got some exercises that are helping continue the improvement in my posture while running which should continue my progress forward on the coordination front.

  Looking to Jacksonville I am aiming to run with the main pace group which is going at 4:55 a mile. The course is flat and with 60 men entered looking for a sub 1:05 there should be just a huge group to hang in with.  A sub 1:05 from the front on even a 'fast' New England course is a really tough effort but on a super flat course in a large pack running together it is not nearly as high a bar so I am optimistic that despite my poorly timed cold I have a decent shot at qualifying.

  I'm also equally excited that Melissa has had the breakthrough of a career over the last couple of months and I have paced her through some sessions that tell me she is ready for an absolutely huge PB so I figure even if I am not able to slip under 1:05 it should be a good day.

  After Jacksonville if I qualify I will do a few marathon workouts.  I have done enough fundamental tempo's that I should be able to do some good workouts without any problems.  Actually if I qualify I will be quite optimistic about running well in LA.  Being a natural marathoner combined with my training if I can hold coordination for the full race, which seems increasingly likely, I should only slow about 5 to 6 seconds per kilometer over the marathon distance.  For example I averaged 3:08 per k in my tune up half for the Olympic Trials and averaged just under 3:12 per k in the trials on two courses of similar difficulty. So a 1:04:59 would mean targeting a 2:13:30 to 2:14:12 marathon.  I know that sounds crazy but keep in mind the '08 trials was a hilly course.  Had it been flat I would have targeted a 2:10.  Also even with the loss of coordination I think I would have run 2:11 high or 2:12 low on that day had the course been faster.

  Point is I'm not saying I am fitter than I was in the fall of '07.  I am saying the LA course looks faster than the NYC course and it is possible I could run a faster time than I did on that tougher course if I hold coordination the whole way, which I did not in NYC.

  The last part is key.  Based on workouts leading up to the 2008 NYC marathon I thought I could run 10 seconds per mile faster then I had at the trials the fall before.  The NYC course and the trials course were of similar difficulty and I used the same courses and same workouts to get ready as I had the year before only I was running 10 to 12 seconds per mile faster.  Thing is the coordination was getting worse and worse and by shortly after 10k I was peg legging and my day was all done except the crying.

  There are three keys to running a fast marathon. 1. the general fitness to do so. 2. marathon specific fitness-this is the achilles heel of most americans.  You really, even if you are not a natural marathoner, shouldn't slow down more than 5% from your half marathon pace to your marathon pace, if you are properly prepared and the courses are similar. This means a 1:02:14 is equal to a mid 2:10. Think of how many americans run in that range for the half and just how few are sub 2:11.  Before people go crazy on me for this look at the top kenyans and Ethiopians of the last decade since switching to the Italian system in the lat 2000's the 5% slow down is pretty standard.  Also a guy like Meb has a bigger slowdown but on different courses.  He would run 1:01 on a flat fast course then 2:09 at NYC a tough course.  Certainly in an apple to apple comparison he would only slow 4 or 5% and he is quite explosive, 27:13 10k. Of course if you are still judging Meb by his marathon PB and not recognizing that he ran his best efforts on tough courses and in tough conditions your a lost cause.  Obviously if he had focused his career on rotterdam and berlin instead of Boston, NYC and the Olympics he would have run in the 2:05 range at some point along the way and been sub 2:08 many times.
3. you need to be physically healthy enough to mechanically run up to your fitness for 26.2 miles.  This has been my achilles heel. Though over the last 13 months I have begun to see the light at the end of this long long dark tunnel and whether I'll take my first step out of the other side on February 13th or if it will wait a bit longer I feel confident I'll be back in the long race, in a real and effective way, this year.

 Hope your well and I'll try to put together a blog of my training tonight or tomorrow.