Sunday, January 29, 2006

Week #12 Recap - 4 weeks 'til Tampa!

This is my first AND last post of week #12. For whatever reason, it's been a hectic week. It was a nice and much-needed mileage reduction week from the last 3. Total was 33 miles; exactly what was called for from the training plan. And I did it with reasonable ease. Heck, I had 3 days off this week, so how hard could it have been?

Monday, 1/23

I enjoyed a hard-earned rest day. After the long Sunday run, we watched the Steelers demolish the Broncos. What a game. On Monday, I felt my calves; that’s for sure. But I am feeling like I am pretty good shape at this point.

Tuesday, 1/24

2:46 PM – Norwalk, CT

TIME: 28:33 – DIST: 4.0 miles – PACE: 7:09 – AVG. HR: 163

Flew out of the office in the mid-PM. Smokin’ run at 7:09 pace – note the HR was up there to 163.

Wednesday, 1/25

12:22 PM – Norwalk, CT

Today, I was set for a tempo 9-miler. Nothing like a mid-workday 9’er to brighten up your Wednesday.

I took the path from the office up the giant hill to West Rocks along side the Merritt. This was a very good run for me. There is a quite a bit of elevation going from work towards my house and back.

Statistic of the day is that the avg. heart rate was a mere 158. This is reasonably low considering the pace and the elevation I covered.

TIME: 1:07:49 – DIST: 9.0 miles – PACE: 7:31 - AVG HR: 158

Thursday, 1/26

I enjoyed yet another wonderful day of rest. This week is calling for a mere 33 miles, according to my Runner’s World Intermediate Training Plan. This is down from the peak of 40 (of which I covered 55 last week due to an adjustment from the prior week).

Funny, I have been following this plan for my last 5 marathons. Let me tell you this – it is quite a step up in mileage to go to the Advanced. I’m going to let all you Ultra-dudes & Ultra-chicks keep running the 70-100 mile weeks. I still need to leave some time to work, have fun, drink beer and watch sports.

Noteworthy: I sent my Tampa Marathon entry today. It’s official -- the $70 is spent.

To remind myself, the target is sub 3:20 – but I may get aggressive and shoot for 3:17.

Friday, 1/27

5:52 AM CST – Bolingbrook, IL

T-minus 30 days to Tampa Marathon. I was up and at ‘em before 6 AM on this run. OK, it’s a bit easier beat 6AM for a start time when you travel from the Eastern time zone the day before.

My forthcoming, new hometown of Bolingbrook is pancake flat. I ran from the Hampton Inn down Remington Blvd to Veterans PKWY – there and back. 7.0 miles and out – and off to work.

We also had a hockey game at 10:30 PM on Friday night, which we won 9-1. Continuing to play hockey in the late stage of marathon training is a challenge.

TIME: 52:53 – DIST: 7.0 miles – PACE: 7:33 – AVG. HR: 154

Saturday, 1/28

Saturday was a rest day. The hockey game tested the legs. We showed the house once today. Jen's parents were in town. We watched Million Dollar Baby and Flightplan. Now that i am my 30's, I am at a loss with what I should be doing with myself on the weekends.

Sunday, 1/29

10:00 AM - Norwalk - Today was a short long day. It was supposed to be a race pace 13-miler.

I cranked it out as quickly as I could. My legs were a bit fatigued from the late hockey game on Friday. Plus, I just felt a little tired.

Overall, the mileage went just fine. Noticeably, the heart rate was higher as a result of the race pace.

TIME: 1:36:12 – DIST: 13.0 miles – PACE: 7:24 - AVG HR: 166


  • Mon: Rest
  • Tue: 4 - tempo
  • Wed: 9 - tempo
  • Thu: Rest
  • Fri: 7 - tempo
  • Sat: Rest
  • Sun: 13 - race pace
TOTAL: 33 miles

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Strong comeback week #11 - 56 miles

So this week is complete - and it is exactly 5 weeks until the Tampa Marathon. Training seems to be going well, even with all of the personal distractions. Like today, I completed an (almost) 20-miler, jumped into the shower - only to hear the doorbell ringing from strangers trying to see our house that is for sale. It's been quite a busy week, but I am hanging on and staying focused.

Thu 1/19/06

I got up early to run on this day to run before work. Other than that, I don’t remember anything. I know I did it, though. That’s the beauty of the Polar watch to record the workouts.

DIST: 6.0 – TIME: 44:39 – PACE: 7:24

Fri 1/20/06 – I held out to run until 5:00 PM. I left work a little early to get this done. I flew on this run. Very rapid in very unseasonably warm conditions.DIST – 4.14 – TIME: 29:31 – PACE: 7:06

Sun, 1/22/06 - Now the big one...

Today, I set out for my longest distance run since the Houston Marathon one year ago. My plan was to complete 20 miles at a pace of about 7:45 per mile.

What a glorious day to run. Yesterday, the high reached the high 50’s. Today was much cooler, but crisp and clear. When I started my run, it was about 30 degrees with clear sky and sun.

I’ve been having a number of minor challenges with my distance/heart rate monitor as late. Either I can’t get my HRM to read my pulse, or my distance pod battery dies – or I can’t find the HRM monitor – on and on….

Anyway, today, my distance pod battery died after about 7 or 8 miles. I didn’t feel like turning back so I just trudged on. I showed that I was running faster than 7:45 per mile. So I decided that I would estimate the time that I needed to run assuming a 7:45 pace. I figured that I was running pretty consistently and it was safe to project the 7:45 – even somewhat conservative.

I calculated in my head that I needed to run for 1:52:15 to achieve 15 miles at 7:45 pace. Then I would grab a new battery for my pod for the last 5. That’s what I did. However, after reviewing my run, I recognize that it’s not a good idea to try long division while gutting out a 20-miler.

So, if I look back, my math was wrong. I was off by 4 minutes – or just about a half mile. I should have run about 1:56:15 for a 7:45 pace 15-miler. Oh well...

My final 5 miles were quite strong - about a 7:36 pace.

In summary, I estimate my total run today was approx. 19.5 miles – as opposed to my 20-miler that I had planned. No worries, however, I am pretty certain I could have been able to cover that half last mile.

EST DIST: 19.5 -- TIME: 2:30:00 – EST PACE: 7:42

The weekly summary…

Mon – 18 miles
Tue – 5.3 miles – sloppy run at lunch
Wed – 3.0 miles – horrible windy, rainy weather – treadmill at lunch
Thu – 6.0 miles in the AM
Fri – 4.2 miles – FAST at 5:00 PM
Sat – REST
Sun – 19.5 miles

I think that this week was a PR for total mileage in a single week. Granted, I pushed last week’s long run into Monday due to weather. But nonetheless, it was a good week.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Mid-week 11 update - Winter blahs and staying focused

I am struggling to keep up the blogging and commenting this week. It has been quite a hectic timeframe, so I will continue to do the best I can.

Seasonal Affecive Disorder , that condition that many people get during the dark, cold winter months - is something I am curious about. Is it a real condition?? OK, I don't think I have it -but I must admit I feel very "blah" lately. Running is tough due to the terrible weather and the darkness. Work has been challenging - just a lot of B.S., basically. I have felt more irritable and jaded lately. Trying to break out of that rut. The good news is that we're gaining daylight every day and getting close to spring - so I am happy about that.

Also, it's been a distraction that we put our house up for sale - so that's been an interesting personal event. One offer so far - but we turned it down and are waiting on a response for a counteroffer (???).

Monday, 1/16

I was fortunate enough to have MLK day off on Monday this week.

I did make up my 18-miler that I missed on Sunday. I ran for time - as my distance pod failed due to a dead battery after only 3 miles. The weather was still quite brisk on Monday.

I am only guessing on my pace, but I think it is reasonable based on past performance to estimate 7:45 or so. The snow and ice slowed me down, no doubt.

All and all, I am quite proud for knocking this out on Monday AM.

TIME: 2:20:15 - EST DIST: 18.0 - EST PACE: 7:47

Tuesday, 1/17

I went out at lunch to run in the slushy, icy, sloppy leftovers from the weekend storm. The conditions sucked. It was reasonably warm - but a total mess. My shoes and ankles were soaked. I got in approx 5.3 miles at approx 7:40 pace.

TIME: 40:40 - EST DIST: 5.3 - EST PACE: 7:40

Wed, 1/18

The terrible weather continued. The strange thing is that the temps rocketed up to 55 degrees! Sounds good, right? Yeah, well is totally pouring rain and the winds were again 30-50 MPH. What is up w/ Mother Nature?

I stayed inside for a short treadmill workout. I did some strength training and stretching on the machines in the gym.

TIME: 22:22 - EST DIST: 3.0 - EST PACE: 7:27


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Week 10 - Cut short due to weather

ON a non-running note, my wife and I met in Pittsburgh before we moved to Connecticut, and we are rabid Steelers fans. What an amazing NFL Divisional Playoff game today. I need to pay homage to the Steelers. What a tremendous game!!

Thursday, 1/12/06 - 6:48 AM

It's now Sunday night and I don't remember much about this run on Thursday AM. Sometimes, it's like I am oblivious to my runs. I just get up and do them. This was the case on Thursday.

TIME: 44:41 - DIST: 6.0 - PACE: 7:26

Friday, 1/13/06 - 6:11 PM

I remember this run. It was dark, moist and unseasonably warm. I rocketed on this run to a 7:15 pace in the usual Norwalk neighborhoods. Great stuff. Uneventful - but quite dark on Toilsome. Note to self: Invest in reflective vest. What gives... these people live in $800 thousand homes in these neighborhoods, but the town can't afford to invest in a few street lights???


We woke up to brutal weather on Sunday morning. I was set on getting in my long run today, but it simply was not in the cards. It was around 17-18 degrees, but the winds were outrageously intense driving the wind chill below zero. This is not to mention the 8-10 inches of snow that had fallen on the ground ; in combination with the ice that resulted from last night's rain.

I was shut out today due to weather. When The Weather Channel tells me that it's 30-35MPH winds - with 50+MPH wind gusts in some places - it's time to adjust the schedule. The roads were a mess.

Plus, two other major factors: (1) We had an open house (for which two people came), and (2) The NFL Playoffs had the Steelers playing the Colts. I didn't leave the house.

Luckily for me, I have the day off tomorrow and plenty of time to make up the big 18-miler. So, my day is set for tomorrow.

It just was not meant to be for a long 18-miler today. I'm going to bed early and am going to make it up tomorrow. I am not going to write much more in here until I get this done.

BREAKING NEWS... we just got a CALL BACK for one of the two people that came to our open house!! They're coming back to take a second look tomororow. This may be converted to "Ryan's Chicago Burbs Run Blog" before too long. They're coming at noon - so I've got to get the mileage in before they arrive.

Summary of 1/9/06 week
Mon - 3
Tue - 7
Thu - 6 - Repeats on the track - Excellent speed workout!
Fri - 5
Total: 21 miles

Planned Mileage - 1/17/06 week - Aggressive make-up week
Mon: 18 LSD
Tue: 6 EZ
Wed: Rest
Thu: 6 REP
Fri: 4 EZ
Sat: Rest
Sun: 20

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Middle of Week 10 update

It's "hump-day" and time for a quick mid-week update...

Monday, 1/9 - 3-mile EZ - 6:30 AM

After a strong 16-miler on Sunday, knocking out a quick 3 in the morning was a breeze. I sense that it may be easy to become a "distance snob" when training for marathon or longer distances. Some may say... "Three whole miles? Why bother... seems a waste to even suit up." I don't feel that way just yet. I find a 3-miler fun. Plus, it was good that I only had 3 on the schedule, since our hockey team had a late 10:00 PM game and I needed some fresh legs. We won our game 12-4 - and I managed to save enough fuel in the tank for the next day's tempo run.

TIME: 21:56 - DIST: 3.0 - PACE: 7:20

Tuesday, 1/10 - 7-mile tempo - 4PM

I'm fortunate enough to work for a large corporation with faily flexible culture. As long as I get my work done and deliver results, I don't need to be in the office all the time --- AS long as I plan my schedule carefully. I had a dental check-up at 2:45 PM, which afforded me the chance to ditch out of work early. That appt. was over by 3:30, so then I snuck home to get in my 7. The weather was moderately cool. I had a nice sunset run through Cranbury. Some good elevation up Grumman and so shooting back down on the last 3 miles made for some quick mileage.

TIME 51:04 - DIST 7.0 - PACE 7:17

Wednesday, 1/11 - A day of "rest" (and work catchup)

I could have gone today physically. I had a "3 EZ/XT" on the calendar today. However, I've been trying to get my groove at work. With today's schedule and the pouring rain, I decided to opt for some rest.

PLAN FOR THURSDAY - SPEED WORKOUT: Early run - 6:30 AM - 800m repeats - 3:20 target for each 800m - followed by a 400m lap at around 2:10 -- continue until 6 miles (24 laps) total are completed.

I've got an important 18-miler this weekend. I'm psyching myself up yet again.

Monday, January 09, 2006

A look back at week 9 - things are going well


First off, thanks to all of you who commented on the question on how you deal wtih the treadmill vs. the tough winter conditions. Luckily, since I posted that question, we've been blessed with some very mild weather here in CT.

This has been a busy week personally. Since we arrived back from our holiday trip to Denver, we've been working non-stop to get our townhouse ready to sell. We are excited about our plans to relocate to the Chicago suburbs. The challenging part is that we decided to not use a realtor and we therefore are doing all the prep work for showings and listings.

This selling the house gig is quite draining. For example, I finished a strong and tiring 16-miler today, only to be not allowed into the house until our prospective buyers arrived and went through it. (The wife didn’t want me stinking up the place).

It will be a monumental achievement to train for this marathon, sell the house rapidly and keep up with work. So far, I seem to be able to handle it. Here's a look back at my last 3 runs.

Thu, Jan 5, 2006

The Rose Bowl National Championship kept me up rather late on Wed night, so of course I was a slug trying to get out of bed on time. No running in the morning on this day. I wasn't able to get out until 5PM. I ran from work into Silvemine, which is ill-advised after sunset. It was downright too dark and as a result too dangerous. There are few streetlights and the roads are a bit narrow. Cars are whizzing by me in the dark hogging the road. Despite the darkness, I did get it done.

TIME: 38:47 - DIST: 5.2 - PACE: 7:27

Fri, Jan 6, 2006

Despite a busy morning, I was able to break out of work and get my 5 miles in. Very similar course as yesterday in the Silvermine section, but much faster. Glad to get a little speed work in.

TIME: 36:13 - DIST: 5.0 - PACE: 7:13

Sun, Jan 8, 2006 - Start time: 10:21 AM

It was a very pretty winter day here in CT. The conditions were very favorable - about 35-40 degrees and very sunny. My goal for today was to run around 7:40-7:45 pace.

I guess I have never officially stated it, but my goal marathon pace is approx 7:30. This would get me to around 3:16-3:17 (PR is 3:23:55 - Houston 2005). I'm going to work on some speed repeats in the upcoming weeks to help get me there.

Today's run was very successful. I broke it into 3 pieces. I ran a 7.5 mile piece - and came back to GU up and rehydrate. I then ran a 4.5 mile section (which included an unexpected visit to the local McDonald's restroom) - then another quick water break. I then had only 4 miles to go, of which were my fastest 4 miles. Great stuff.

TIME: 2:02:12 - DIST: 16.0 - PACE: 7:38


LASTLY... my mileage YTD for 2006 is... 41

Here's a look at planned runs for the upcoming week...

Mon - 3 EZ miles early - Hockey game @ 10:10 PM
Tue - 7 Tempo late afternoon - after dentist's appt
Wed - 3 EZ or XT
Thu - 6 Rep
Fri - 3 EZ
Sat - REST
Sun - 18 LONG - then our open house at NOON!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Greater nemesis: Treadmill or Ol' Man Winter??

Tue, 1/3/06

I've been reading a number of blogs related to the trials and tribulations of braving this week's Noreaster that hit a large part of the country. This was not a landmark storm by any stretch, but it was enough to throw most of our schedules out of whack.

I had Monday off and spent most of the day preparing the house for our upcoming sale. Unfortunately, my plan to have a short 3-mile run a 4PM was dashed by the pissy, cold rain. So, I wanted to have a good run Tues AM.

Here in CT, we had slushy, wet, disgusting mess of a storm. Tuesday morning, I debated for several minutes if I should try to get out there. I said "screw it" and threw on all my clothes and hit the road. Well, approximately, 500 feet into my run, I was soaking wet to the knee and miserable. I turned around and resorted to Plan B -- go to work and make a date with the treadmill over lunch.

Let me just say that my 5 miles on the treadmill felt like 20 psychologically. My pace was slower, I fatigued more rapidly and I was checking the distance monitor more frequently than ever. It sucked. How could I run 10 miles straight on Sunday outside with a pace of 7:16 -- and then barely muscle through 5 on a treadmill at a 30 sec slower pace?

TIME: 38:45 - DIST: 5.0 M - PACE: 7:43

So, I open the question to all who read this... how bad does it have to be to force you onto the 'mill? Can you brave the 20+ MPH winds? Or even if it's not that cold, are you willing to deal with 18 inches of snow? What are your limits?

Wed, 1/4/06

After yesterday's 'mill run, I did several sets of leg presses and lifts. Well, this caught up with me, I think, because my legs were a bit slow today. That's all right, I got the 7 miles in that I wanted.

TIME: 53:15 - DIST: 7.0 - PACE: 7:36

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Ringing in the new year STRONG...



Please allow me to recap a holiday running weekend of SPEED...

SUMMARY OF 3 RUNS - FRI thru SUN - 19 miles - Avg pace: 7:12
All of this weekend's runs were done in the Cranbury neighborhoods as usual.

Fri, 12/30 - 3:53 PM

I went into work for a little while and it was dead. I left early and came home to do a sixer in the late afternoon. Great pace. I wanted to make this a tempo run to make up for my struggles in Denver.

DIST: 6.0 - TIME: 42:52 - PACE: 7:08

Sat, 12/31 - 3:58 PM

We did a lot of work getting stuff into storage to prepare for our move today. However, that didn't deter me from getting into a New Year's eve trot. The snow started falling with huge flakes right as I began. I wanted to fly through this 3 miles - and I did.

DIST: 3.0 - TIME: 21:09 - PACE: 7:03

Sun, 1/1 - 11:33 AM - HAPPY NEW YEAR!

OUTSTANDING 10-MILER - For New Year's Eve, we had no plan whatsoever for anyany parties, socializing, etc. I'll stand by my firm belief that New Year's Eve is always overrated (may hav to do with a lack of a real social life, some might say).

Anyway, Jen and I ended up going out to the Outback for dinner. I am officially instituting an individual boycott at what I believe is an excessively priced restaurant chain. OK, granted, I tend to have a few beers with dinner, which typically drives my bill up, but still, $79.00 for 2 (before tip) for 2 rib dinners, a fried onion and a few drinks? Not worth it. So, what does this have to do with my run??

The point is that I had a big fat overpriced meal on Sat night ... AND a poor night's sleep. Don't know what happened, but I was up for a few hours.

NEVERTHELESS, I still was able to get out and crank out a seriously great run today. I usually break up my long runs into 5 to 7 mile increments. NOT today - I cruised through 10 miles straight with no pause at a torrid pace. I kept moving through all of the Cranbury streets ; simply choosing a path as I went along and monitoring my distance on my watch. I was flying. Check out the splits...

Mile - Pace
1 - 7:10
2 - 7:11
3 - 7:20
4 - 7:41
5 - 7:32
6 - 7:14
7 - 7:08
8 - 7:05
9 - 6:58
10 - 6:55

DIST: 10.0 - TIME: 1:12:42 - PACE: 7:16

RECAP OF WEEK 8 - Mileage target of 31 exceeded!

Mon - Skiing at A-Basin in Colorado
Tue - 5.1 miles in Littleton, CO
Wed - 8.2 miles in Littleton, CO
Thu - Rest
Fri - TEMP0 6.0 miles
Sat - TEMPO 3.0 miles
Sun - RACE PACE 10.0 miles
TOTAL: 32.3 miles

HEADING INTO MY WEEK #9... This will be my first of 4 "peak" weeks of 40+ miles per week. January is critical month and I intend to stay really focused on proper diet and sleep this month.


I have never documented my mileage for an entire year, and this blogging thing will help me do it for the 1st time.