Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Week 11 update - Yasso me, baby!

First, thanks to all of you for all the birthday wishes you gave. Only 4 more years and I can focus on a cakewalk time of 3:15 to get into Boston. (hardy har...)

I also want to thank my lovely wife, Jennifer, for the great gift she gave. She created a binder with all of my posts printed since I started this blog last October -- which also includes all of YOUR comments. So all your words of encouragement have been captured in hard copy. Not to mention Jamie Cullum concert tickets for downtown next month. Sweet.

I was leafing through the book last night. It's really remarkable to see how far I've come just since last fall. Back then, 25 mile weeks were near-heroic for me. I've not tasted sub-30 in 4 months, but I suspect I would see it as a failure.

He doesn't know it, but it was Zeke who gave me a "gentle push" after I hit the wall towards 3:31 in Tampa in February. (Read Zeke's comment to my Tampa race report). Now, here I am tearing up the Pfitz program. Thanks for the push, Zeke.

OK, on to business...

Monday, 8/28 - 6 mile recovery with 6x100m strides

School is in session and the traffic is crazy! I did six miles recovery. The route was the all-too-familiar up 248th to 119th and back. Ran barely sub-9 pace. Blah, blah, blah...

Tuesday, 8/29 - 12 miles total - YASSO REPEATS

I decided to very slighly deviate from Pfitz's plan because I was unable to get in my VO2 max workout last week. The program called for 12 miles with 7 miles at LT. Since I have already done a couple of races and other LT workouts, I decided I wanted to focus on faster intervals. I had heard a lot about Yasso's and how some swear by them, so I wanted to give them a shot.

The first challenge in doing interval work on the track is actually finding an open track. I drove to Plainfield North HS. Damn... track is locked up. I then drove to Central. F*&#! Locked again. Do they want me to climb fences? I wanted to be civil and respect the property.

Note to self: Call the local Athletic Director to get an explanation and solution. I pay my taxes, dammit!

As I fumed, I headed out on a 5-mile EZ'er on the nearby bike path. I was resigned to the fact that I would need do some guess work to get to LT pace, or just do the speed work with the CARA group later that evening.

Well, as luck would have it, I had just finished my 5 and was getting ready to drive out. Then some dude walked over to the locked gate and opened her up. "Yes... Yasso, here I come...."

I knocked out eight Yasso (800m) repeats with the usual recovery 400m lap in between. Since my MP goal is 3:10, I was trying to make sure I ran the 800m in 3:10 or less. Suprisingly, I was a bit fast. I was running most of them in 3:05-3:07. For the recovery laps in between, I was doing a slow jog/walk thing at just about 2:50.

I was psyched. Amazed, actually, that I could run these splits with relative ease, especially after running a decent 5-mile warmup. I cooled down with an easy four laps on the track at 8:00 pace.

Oh yeah, and I didn't get to work until 8:30.

Wednesday, 8/30 - Rested

Rest of week plan:

Thurs: 12 miles EZ. Fri: 5 Recovery. Sat: 20 miles LONG. Sun: Rest - 55 MILES COMPLETE!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Week 10 complete - Ready to climb to the mileage peak in Week 11

I must say that it was a successful week under the circumstances. I knew that my mileage would be slightly lower this week. However, I set a target of 40 miles and I hit it. I achieved it despite a highly hectic and time-crunched week and lots of foreign territory.

Pfitzinger called for 43 miles this week - and I was able to do 40 despite having 7 plane rides in 6 days and visiting 3 countries for work.

Yesterday's 19-miler back here in Chicago was a gritty performance by all of us that were out there. The humidity was brutal and we could all feel it. We ran 9.5 miles eastbound on the Prairie Path from Wheaton to just past Elmhurst and back. My last 5 miles ranged from 7:30-7:50.

I'm back on the home turf this week just in time to attempt my highest ever weekly mileage target. Time to suck it up. We're about to climb to the peak of the training mountain. The plan is for 55 miles this week.

The beauty is that none of these runs faze me anymore. After all, I've already done runs of 17, 18, 19 and 20 so far. And I've had three 50+ weeks to this point. What's another 5 miles, right? Just an additional recovery run. Big change upcoming will be an strong focus on speed work.

I continue to keep my goal in distant view. 3:10 in Chicago and an April trip to Boston. I received an e-mail blast from our CARA group leader asking for our input on what hotel we wanted book in Boston in April. Seems a bit presumptious, right? I suppose, but perhaps locking down the room will keep me even that much more focused.

A mere 56 days until the marathon, friends. It will be here before we know it. Below is this week's recap and the plan for week #11. Run strong and keep chasing your goal for Chicago.

Recap of Week #10

Mon 8/21 - Landed in Heathrow at 8:00 AM London time - no running
Tue 8/22 - 10-miler - near Stansted airport in Great Britain
Wed 8/23 - No running - Geneva, Switzerland
Thu 8/24 - No running - Holzminden, Germany
Fri 8/25 - 7-miler - 8AM - around Heathrow Airport in London
Sat 8/26 - 19-miler - Eastbound on the Prairie Path with CARA group - strong run despite high humidity levels (2:32)
Sun 8/27 - 4 miles - recovery on treadmill at gym
Total: 40 miles for the week - GOAL REACHED

Plan for Week #11

Mon 8/28 - 6 miles - with 6x100m strides - celebrate birthday
Tue 8/29 - 12 miles - 7 at LT pace
Wed 8/30 - Rest
Thu 8/31 - 12 mile med-long run
Fri 9/1 - 5 miles recovery
Sat 9/2 - 20 miles long
Sun 9/3 - Rest

Target: 55 miles total for the week

Thursday, August 24, 2006

European trek update - Back in the USA tomorrow

I currently am writing this on a flight from Hannover, Germany to London Heathrow. I am pretty tired. Here is a run-down of my week since leaving PIT on Sunday.

Monday 8/21 – Arriving in London

I arrived at Heathrow around 8AM local time at Heathrow. I found my car service and headed up to the Stansted airport Hilton – 5 minutes from our office. Feeling the “body clock time” of 2AM, I napped, showered and hit the office from 1PM to 7PM. No running today, which was planned.

Tue 8/22 – 10 miler around Stansted Airport

I rose at 6:00 AM after a very long day on Monday. I needed to get in decent mileage, as I knew it would one of the few opportunities this week.

I headed out around 6:30 AM from the Hilton Stansted. I must say that this was one of the more dangerous runs I have had. Here’s the scenario: London Stansted airport is some 40 miles north of the city, so it’s quite rural. It’s all country, which is good, right? So I figured I could run along the roadside from the hotel with no issue.

Well, despite the country setting, these streets were windy, narrow and tree-lined – and brought many speeding drivers – not to mention that I couldn’t remember which side the cars would be flying at me. I didn’t like my first 5 miles due to this danger. My heartrate and pace was all over the place as I kept checking my back and my front for inattentive drivers. I ran to the village of Bishops Storford and back – about 41 minutes.

Out of fear, I almost didn’t go back out – until I pressed my self to try the other direction, which was much better – wide streets and side walks. I ran near the airport for another 40 or so minutes.

Total estimate: 10+ miles – 1:21

Tuesday evening brought a late flight to Geneva, Switzerland. I have been eating like crap. Either not enough, or the wrong things. We got to the hotel at 11:30 PM on Tues – and the restaurant was closed. What gives? So we went to the bar and had peanuts and beer, which left me quite unsatisfied. Luckily, I ate 1.5 Clif bars that I had in my case before sack time.

Wed 8/23-Thur 8/24 – No running in Geneva and Hannover - just work and travel

As I expected, getting in any mileage today or yesterday was just not feasible. I have been on planes, in airports, cars, taxis – or in meetings seemingly non-stop over the past 72 hours. Not to mention 6 hours or less of sleep each of the last 2 nights.

Wed – all day meeting at our Geneva-based supplier. The eve brought a two-leg flight from Geneva to Frankfurt to Hannover, Germany. Again, we arrive around 11:30PM to the airport hotel. And AGAIN, the restaurant was CLOSED. No dinner AGAIN. This time I’m a little pissed. So, AGAIN, it’s peanuts and beer for dinner – except, no clif bars to be found. Ugh. Late to bed around 1AM for a 7AM wake-up.

Thurs – Quick breakfast this time as our contact picked us up for the 1 hour drive to Holzminden, Germany our next supplier's headquarters.

Lesson for the day: Running is universal. I met one of our supplier’s sales reps today named Bjorn. I had heard about his remarkable cycling endeavors from my USA-based sales rep. Apparently, this dude bikes all over Germany for days on end and does ultra-biking events in the Alps. He is maybe 27, easily 6’3, ultra lean and super long legs. I see his massive Polar watch (2x the size of mine) and we start chatting.

He’s fairly inexperienced in the marathon but says he ran a 3:29 with very little training last year. He’s now gunning for a 2:59 on 70 MPW. I’ve never seen this guy run, but I’ve got a feeling he’s got a shot. He’ll be running in Geneva in Oct, for this goal – with a warm-up marathon 4 weeks before.

It’s about 8:15 London time as we circle toward Heathrow. I’ll stay at the airport tonight.

I’m wondering what my chances are that I will find a safe place to run tomorrow morning. I’ve got some time before my flight back to Chicago at 12:15 PM and I’d love to get in 7 miles. Worst case, perhaps I can find a treadmill if running around the airport area is unrealistic (which it may be). Keep in mind: The dedicated marathon runner finds a way to train.

The goal for the week is 40 miles, and right now I'm at ten! But 7 on Friday, 19 on Sat and a recovery 4 on Sunday will get me there.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Week 9 complete - Another 50 in books - on to London today

The 50-mile weeks are becoming standard for me. This is my 3rd consecutive 50-mile week. Picking up since Tuesday's post...

Wed 8/16 - 14 miles EZ - I think this is the most mileage I have ever done before putting in a full day at the office. Not bad. I did these in 8's most of the way and finished strong. Total time was about 1:51. I felt decent considering I was still recovering from Sunday's 1/2 marathon race.

Thu 8/17 - Nike Run Hit Remix 5 miler - What an awesomely fun race! Nike sponsored this super fun race downtown right at Balbo and Columbus in Grant Park, which started at 9PM. Really fun environment. I ran by Young MC, Digital Underground, a U2 cover band, bag pipers, some sort of drum corps, Elvis. I could feel that my legs were tired. Conditions were really humid. I warmed with about 1/2 mile or so of running. My time was 34:30 or 6:54 per mile. I ran a half marathon earlier in the week at about the same pace.

Fri 8/18 - Rest. Flew to Pittsburgh in the afternoon

Sat 8/19 - 20 miler at Pittsburgh's North Park - I met up with Steve and another Chicago Trainee named Aaron at 6:20 AM ET (which felt like 5:20 for me). Aaron gunning for 3:10 with me, while Steve has hopes of a 2:59. North Park is a popular running course locally because of its 5-mile running/bike loop and relatively flat pavement.

We knocked out 20 miles with really only short 3 breaks. We did btw 8 to 8:10 pace for the majority of the early miles and our pace crept up to sub 8 for the late miles. This was a very good workout for all of us - and our FIRST 20-miler of the program. Total time: 2:40:00. My average HR was in the low 140's.

So Steve does a 20-miler with us and heads straight to the golf course to start his bachelor party. I told him no way was I going to play golf after the run. I needed to rest. So he plays all day with some other guys. Then we meet up with the extended group later that evening for dinner. He's half in the bag already and the night is just starting. We do dinner at Ruth's Chris, then booze at a Cigar Bar and then onto one of Pittsburgh's finest gentlemen's club -- all with a constant flow of drinks. He's the first person I've known to run 20 miles; play 18 holes of golf; drink all day with probably a min of 5-7 jager bombs in the evening; and also get a number of lap dances -- ALL in the same day.

The miles will drop down this week 10 upcoming. It's a recovery week. I fly to London today and have flights to Geneva and Hanover mid-week.

My hope is to get a total of 16 miles in during my trip - in any combination I can. I just don't know how, when and where I will do them.

I land on Friday 8/25 back in Chicago at 2:40 PM. I will be running with the CARA group on Saturday to do the 19 miler. I figure I'm OK to do this even though I'm supposed to step back slightly on the long run because my mileage will be down mid-week.

I hope to get 40 miles in during week 10. The following week will bringing my all-time high of 55 miles.

Run strong this week all...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Week 9 update - Euro-tour in week 10 ahead

First, thanks to all of you who posted the wonderful comments to my race report. I really feel rejuvenated and more committed than ever before to making my Boston goal a reality. I hope I can provide you the same motivation that I feel when I have reader support. I will do my best to track your progress and keep you focused with comments as well.

Brief update on race recovery

Mon 8/14 - Eased into a 10k recovery run. Didn't have much problem, but could definitely feel the soreness. I was proud of myself to even get out there. Easy 55:00 - ran 8:50's, which is my standard recovery pace.

Tue 8/15 - Originally planned to do 14. But on Monday night, I still felt soreness and didn't want to push it. I was leery and decided 14 too early may cause to much stress on the legs - especially since I want to be sure to have a good 20 on Saturday. I was about to rest completely. Then, around 6:20 AM after waking up, I stretched and saw that it was a marvelous 59 degrees outside. I said, "how about just a short 4 recovery pace?" And so I laced them up and it felt good. Did an easy 4 - or maybe a little longer.

WTD Mileage: 10+ - all recovery

Plan for the rest of the week

Wed 8/16 - 14 miles - 5:15 AM start before work. Excited to get back onto the training ground. These will be steady miles. Not going to push too hard. Want to keep them around 8-8:15 if I can. We've got great weather planned!

Thu 8/17 - Morning will bring no miles for me. Evening: The Nike Run Hit Remix is downtown, right at the very place the CDC was held - as well as where the marathon will be held. (I'm starting to get to know the terrain!) This will be a fun 5-mile run, with tons of music and a whole lotta people. It is a 9:00 PM start, which is kind of neat. De La Soul is the headliner ("Me, Myself and I" - one hit wonder). I won't be running for time here, but I may plan to run 7's just to do a little bit of tempo work this week. Will warm-up with 1 for a total of 6.

Fri 8/18 - Rest. Travel to Pittsburgh for Steve's bachelor party and to hopefully meet my new niece, Haley (who is still unborn and 3 days late and counting!).

Sat 8/19 - Knock out my first 20 miler this program with Steve (the bachelor) at 6:15 AM ET at North Park - the best training ground in Pittsburgh (lots of miles logged here for my first three marathons in '01-03). We're going to do steady 8:00's on the 20. Then get Steve good and drunk later that evening.

Sun 8/20 - Rest - Fly from Pittsburgh to London Heathrow for business travel in Europe through Friday

Mileage target for this week: 50

Next week...

I will be in Europe most of the week on business. I will travel to North London to our Global tech center on Monday and Tuesday. I then travel to Geneva, Switzerland and Holzminden, Germany on Tues eve through Thurs. I have meetings with suppliers in these two wonderful cities in Europe.

With the logistics of flying, driving and then conducting meetings, running will be on pause between Wed and Fri until I get home in the afternoon on Friday.

It's going to be an extremely busy week. I planned far in advance that this trip would fall on my recovery week, so my mileage will be lower.

I will be back in the USA by Friday afternoon next week, so I will make the Saturday AM 19-miler with the CARA group. Initial goal for next week's mileage will be in the range of 36-40. I want to get in at least 13-14 in Europe on two runs if I can.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Beautiful CDC PR! I believe Boston is possible!

"Chicago is a breathtakingly beautiful city." This is what I thought to myself on Mile 9 as I looked for that 10-mile marker along the Lakefront path. I was in fine form. The sun was reflecting off the lake and the cityscape was directly in front of me with McCormick Place to my left. I felt awesome.

This was as close to a perfect race as I will ever run. I trained. I set a goal time. I had a plan by the mile. I exceeded my own expectations.

To all of you who read this blog and have watched my progress, this for me is a great day in running. Thank you for keeping me focused on my goals and giving me a reason to keep trying.

The CDC was extremely well organized. The weather was perfect. The course is beautiful. These races are why I run. Running on the Chicago lakefront for the first time with such velocity and ease today was a remarkable experience.

I wanted to heed the advice I had received from the articles I had read. Don't blow this race by going out to fast, I said to myself. Run a 7-minute first mile. Ignore all else and keep the emotions in check. And I did. I watched my pace like a hawk and exercised great discipline. I felt truly in control of my destiny today.

Here are the splits of my race today - an earth-shattering half-marathon PR for me:

Mile 1 - 7:02 - 166 Heartrate
Mile 2 - 6:48 - 168
Mile 3 - 7:01 - 171
Mile 4 - 6:57 - 169
Mile 5 - 7:01 - 171
Mile 6 - 7:02 - 165
Mile 7 - 6:54 - 169
Mile 8 - 7:03 - 170
Mile 9 - 6:47 - 170
Mile 10 - 6:55 - 174
Mile 11 - 6:50 - 169
Mile 12 - 6:51 - 172
Mile 13 - 6:36 - 177
Last 0.1 - 0:36 - 182

OFFICIAL RACE TIME: 1:30:24 - 6:55 per mile

Here is the official results site.

No porta-pottie breaks. I d
rank at every aid station (10 of them) while keeping the feet turning over at consistent pace. I felt strong for most of the race. The HR was higher than I expected but I didn't feel winded until the last mile (which was 6:36, thank you very much).

My goal was to be at the 10-mile mark with a time of 1:09:45. I arrived there at 1:09:31 and had fuel in the tank. I turned on the jets. I was picking off victims left and right.

I laid out the goal statment and I exceeded it. I am absolutely thrilled with my progress and my performance.

I know that the reason to run in my life is not only about achieving a specific time, but I have to say the personal satisfaction I feel today is wonderful. I feel so fortunate to be able to do this.

When I hit that 13 mile mark, I started waving on the crowd for cheers. I was pumping my fist in the air as I sprinted toward the finish. This is exactly what I want to feel in 10 weeks time.

With this race performance, McMillan's "world famous" calculator is now predicting a 3:10:39 marathon for me. This would get me in to Boston.

Even more interesting to me is that if you look at McMillan's predicted 5k race pace after entering a 1:30:24 for a half marathon, the chart says I should be able to run a 19:33 5k. Guess what I ran less than 3 weeks ago? a 19:32! Guess McMillan knows what he's talking about!

I know that I have 10 more weeks of very hard work left to achieve my ultimate goal, but I am starting to feel like the BQ is actually possible. I always believed I could do it but I have to be honest and say I wasn't sure if I was working hard enough or if I would get there on this particular try. As of today, I am beginning to truly believe.

I did not get my after-race recovery in because I was hanging out with my fellow Wheaton runners and I didn't want to leave my wife alone for more miles. So we celebrated, went to brunch and then headed over to Niketown to pick up the race packet for Thursday's Nike Remix Race 5-miler.

However, I wanted that 50+ for the week and I feel good. So I decided to run a recovery at 12:20 PM after we arrived home. I ran 3.2 miles in 25:40. The only disappointment of the day is that my lovely wife forgot to bring the camera out of the car for post-race pics! :(

Recap of the week:

Mon - 6 mile recovery
Tue - 12 mile general aerobic
Wed - Rest
Thu - 10.5 mile general aerobic
Fri - 6.5 mile recovery
Sat - Rest
Sun - Half Marathon + 3.2 mile recovery = 16.3

Total mileage for the week: 51.3

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Preparing for the Distance Classic - Race goal statement

I reluctantly got out Friday morning for my recovery run. I say "reluctantly" because a piece of me said "rest so you can rock the CDC on Sunday. You need your legs to be fresh!". However, I decided that I needed to focus on the longer term goal of the Chicago Marathon and getting in the recovery miles would be good for me.

Fri 8/11 - Recovery 6.5 miles around Plainfield - 58:00
Today - Resting peacefully
Mileage WTD: 35

Devising a half marathon strategy

I decided to do some research to give me some ideas on how to race the half tomorrow.
I found this article posted on the NY Road Runners site. I found it provided some good advice. Then this one by some dude named Waldo, who seemed to know what he was talking about. Both caution against the fast start, which I will do my best to avoid.

I can't tell if I am ready to run as fast as I want. Do I have the fitness level needed? What about my eating habits, which have been "OK" at best? Yesterday, my legs felt a little sore. Today a bit better. Perhaps it's nerves. I just want this race to go well so I know I am making progress toward my goal of the BQ.

I have no fear of failure - because failure is not possible in this situation for me. All the work I have been putting into this 7th marathon endeavor has been a huge personal success for me. Never thought I'd be knocking out 50 mile weeks with reasonable ease.

Running is about fun, health, competitive spirit within oneself, pride and accomplishment. It gives me confidence and a capability to endure and persevere, whatever my circumstances may be. Now that I've reminded myself of that, it's time to specify my goal for tomorrow's race.

What would be the perfect race for me tomorrow, you may ask?

1 - 7:00
2 - 6:58
3 - 6:58
4 - 6:57
5 - 6:57
6 - 6:57
7 - 6:57
8 - 6:57
9 - 6:57
10 - 6:57
11 - 6:55
12 - 6:55
13 - 6:55
13.1 - 0:39


That's right, 1:30:59. That is my goal time. One second better than 1:31

I'm putting the goal in writing and I will give it my best shot. It's out there. It's a stretch goal but I know I can do it.

The weather is going to just about perfect. Forecast says 64 degrees at around 6-7AM. Lights out is 8:30 PM. Wake up is 4:30 AM. Small mini-meal and then out the door around 5:00 AM.

Best wishes to all fellow racers tomorrow!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Week 8 Update - 28.5 miles WTD - Here I come, CDC!

Reflecting on the plan I posted on this past Sunday, I was targeting 52-54 miles for the week. As I got into it this week, I realized that a reasonable target would be the lower end of that range - actually even slightly less. I've decided the mileage goal is 51 this week. Because of the 1/2 marathon, even this I am concerned about. I am going for 51.

I need to race this weekend and there's no taper here this week. I'm damn near peak mileage for the season (55 will be as high as I go, folks), so I am a little concerned about how much juice I'll have on Sunday AM. I know it's not the Marathon, but I do want to test my speed and fitness.

Mon 8/7 - 6:25 AM - 6 miles Recovery pace - Super easy - nothing sexy about this run -

Tue 8/8 -- 5:35 AM - Super proud of this run. Knocked out TWELVE straight - with no stopping. Yep, that's right. No breaks - not even to hydrate. I ran with my pack, drank on the run and kept my feet movin' . You can check out my 12-miler course at MapMyRun. I rocked it in 1:34:49, which is about 7:52 per.

Wed 8/9 - Rest, rest, rest - no cross training - skipping it won't hurt me, right?

Thu 8/10 - I planned 12 today, same exact route as Monday. The weather looked dicey this AM in Plainfield, IL. Though there was no rain, the lightening was in plain view in the distant clouds. I said to myself, "ah, let's try it anyway... may be it will dodge my route". I started right on schedule at 5:30 AM flat. A half mile in, I was startled by a big super-bolt and some thunder. I hesitated but kept on going. About 2 min later as the sky darkened, I said to myself "it may be time to turn back up here". I hit 1 mile and did a 180 back towards the house. About 3 minutes later, I got hammered on by the rain. It was pouring. I darted back to the house to complete 2 miles and find refuge from the rain.

BUT... patience is key! I took shelter for about 15 minutes and the showers passed. The sky cleared up very quickly and I headed back out. I knocked out another 8.5 miles before I had to come in to get ready for work. I simply ran out of time. I couldn't be late today due to a meeting at a local hotel. Total for the run: Estimated 10.5 miles in 1:26:10 - avg HR 144

Remainder of the week plan...

Fri - 6.5 miles RECOVERY - slow and easy, daddy...
Sat - Rest and mentally prepare - going try to hold 6:55's for 13.1 on Sunday
Sun - Warm up with 0.9 miles - RACE HARD - Add on 2 miles recovery - total 16

This will get me to 51 for the week.

Heading downtown tomorrow evening to pick up that CDC race pack and number. It will be interesting to see how the body responds on Sunday morning for that 6:30 AM shotgun start.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Looking ahead: Week 8 plan and beyond

I believe that one of the key success factors in traning for a positive marathon experience is PLANNING. I have been doing a lot of planning and it has worked out so far.

The biggest challenge is balancing my commitment to follow the Pfitzinger 18-week schedule while dealing with race schedules, different long run schedules with the CARA group than what my plan says, work travel and general life happenings.

Next Sunday is the CDC. "The plan" (i.e. Pfitz) says I am supposed to run 20 miles. But I want to race the CDC . I'm not naive to think that I am going to be able to do an effective 6+ miles after going all out on the half marathon. I plan to leave it all out there -- with one caveat: If the weather conditions are poor, I will likely scale it back and run marathon goal pace.

Below is a snapshot of this coming week with adjustments for the CDC, as well as a look at the following week. The 8/21 week will get real interesting, as I am going to Europe for work. I purposely scheduled the trip during the 8/21 week since it is considered a "recovery" week.

This week
Mon 8/7 - 6-7 miles w/ 6x100m strides
Tue 8/8 - 12-13 miles med-long run
Wed 8/9 - Rest
Thu 8/10 - 11-12 gen aero (no speed, going to save it for Sunday)
Fri 8/11 - 6 miles w/st

Sat 8/12 - Rest
Sun 8/13 - CDC Half marathon - warmup 1 mile before + recovery 2 after = total 16
Targeted total mileage = 52-54 miles

8/14 week
Mon 8/14 - 4-5 recovery
Tue 8/15 - 12 med-long
Wed 8/16 - 6 recovery
Thu 8/17 - rest
Fri 8/18 - 5 recovery
Sat 8/19 - 20 miles in Pittsburgh
Sun 8/20 - Rest - Leave for Europe
Targeted total mileage = 46-48 miles

The 8/21 week will get tricky with meetings and travels that will take me through London, Switzerland and Germany.

PS - Does anyone know what I did to my blog to cause all of the lists to drop way down to the bottom of the page? It's a mystery to me. Appreciate any tips/clues you may have. thanks

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Week 7 Recap - SUCCESS: 50 Mile Week Complete

I'm pleased to report that I have recorded my first "genuine" 50-mile week ever.

I say "genuine" because I did complete 56-mile week during Tampa training early on this year, as my January 21, 2006 post would explain. However, put an asterik next to that one. That was because we had a blizzard the weekend before and my long run was forced to Monday. I did 56 after a week of a measley 21 miles the week before, which had no long run.

This week, however, was genuine since I followed the plan. I scaled back last week to 37. Week before was 46. And this week... the half-century mark!

Thursday - Rested like a champ.
Friday - Knocked out 7 miles with 10x100 strides. Great stuff. Beautifully cool weather. Guessing mileage here.
Saturday - 18 miles: CARA Group - Wheaton - Ran 16 with the group. We headed east on the Prairie Path. Added 2 on my own - Total time: 2:21:00 - 7:50 pace. Felt great.

Nice pre-long run dinner on Friday night:
Spinach Salad with tomato, onion, pepper, raisins, almonds and light rasp vingarette dressing
Grilled chicken sandwich
Rice-a-Roni Pilaif - plenty of it!

I wanted to write down this dinner so I could remember it. It worked well. No upset stomach. Had a Quaker granola bar this morning with some Gatorade. I am steering clear of Clif Bars, as I am theorizing that the 4g of insoluble fiber is sending me to the porta-cans on my run.

NEXT WEEKEND: The Chicago Distance Classic

I need to tweek next week's schedule, as the Chicago Distance Classic Half-Marathon is set for Sunday, Aug 13th. If the weather is like today way, I'm going to go for broke and test my speed. I've wishful thinking for around 1:31, but it scares me to think about the pain I may need to endure to run this kind of race.

Two questions I have:

1. Cross training for me has been virtually non-existent. However, I am getting in ALL the miles and getting them in with good tempo and pace. Will lack of cross-training hurt me on race day?

2. The group long runs have several breaks (2-4 min at a time for Gatorade, etc) . My concern is that my heartrate has a chance to recover. I am fine with this in training, but do these interruptions reduce the effectiveness of the runs? We won't breaking on Marathon day!

I'll post the week #8 plan tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Week 7 update - 25 miles down & 25 to go for the week

Monday, July 31 - 10 miles with 5 miles at tempo pace

6:20 AM CDT -- Track. Running on a track - round and around. In 80+ degree temperatures with 90+% humidity. I ran up to Plainfield North HS (brand spankin' new, never been taught in), which is 2.5 miles from my house. I knocked out twenty, yes 20, 400m laps at tempo pace. Lap averaged ranged from 1:42-1:45. All told, the tempo miles were 6:54-6:59. The non-tempo miles were far slower - especially the last 2.5, which had some walking inter-mixed.

It's worth noting that I have never sweated this much in my life. Sweat, gallons and gallons of sweat. I am typically a low-volume perspirator. Not so any longer.

My return trip of 2.5 miles back home was tough. I felt dehydrated. Sure, I had a water bottle at the track, but I don't think I drank enough. My 24 oz water bottle was empty by the time I completed my 10 miles total.

I went to work satisfied and re-hydrated. Later in the day, I boarded a plane for Atlanta.

Total time: 1:16:50 - est 7:41 pace for all 10 - Avg HR: 156

Tuesday, Aug 1 - Alpharetta, GA - 4 miles recovery

6:40 EDT - Marriotts are so cozy, right? Also over-priced. News to the midwesterners and east coasters: It's also hot as usual in Hot-lanta and other parts of the south.

I decided I would "try" to do my easy recovery 4 in the fitness. The first 2 miles at 8:50 pace on the 'mill in the tight confines of the mini-gym seemed like an eternity, so I jumped off the 'tread and headed outdoors. I guesstimated a one-way mile at 8:55 and headed back to the hotel. Total workout was about 35:20.

Wednesday, Aug 2 - Plainfield, IL - 11 miles Med-Long run

6:00 AM CDT - Out the door at 6:02 AM with much determination to crush 11 miles. I knew right from the get-go this would be a "cover the distance" type run. I did a MapMyRun to plan out the path to hit 11 miles - a minor add-on and deviation from the prior 10 mile trek.

In short, I struggled with the heat and felt fatigued. But, I covered the distance. With no GPS or Pod, I am estimating my distance and using MapMyRun. MapMyRun verified my thinking that I did 11 miles on the nose in damn near 1:28 flat. This is 8 min miles.

Total time: 1:28:09 - Est pace: 8:00 - Avg HR: 155 (pretty impressive, considering!)

Worth noting: Number of stops or walks: Zero. Here's is
this morning's route.

Up next....

Thurs: REST Baby! Cross-training??? Doubtful.
Friday: 7 miles with strides
Saturday: 18 miles
Sunday: REST

I slugged a 20 oz Gatorade in 2.2 when getting back into the A/C of my house.