Friday, June 29, 2007

On track to 50 for the week

First, I need to give props to the organizing committee for the DG 10-miler. I did not even know that I placed third in my age group until the results went up on the web that night. Thursday, I received a nice package in the mail containing my latest piece of running hardware. Excellent gesture for them to send it. Guess I need to start sticking around for the awards presentations.

Ramping up toward the 50-mile target this week has been challenging – mostly because I was pretty spent after a hard race on Sunday. On Monday afternoon, I felt really fatigued.

Although I had planned to take a rest day on Wednesday, I had to take it a day early. My body was sending me signals. I came back reasonably strong on Wednesday AM with an eleven-miler in the morning.

Good news is that I am still on track to hit 50, despite making the aforementioned adjustment. I’ve knocked out 32 miles since Monday.

Despite that this week is my company’s financial close (Read: hectic), I took Jen out to dinner on Monday night, attended a farewell party for a co-worker on Wednesday night and went to the Ben Folds/John Mayer concert last night. I am finding a way to get in the miles and not give up my life.

Recap of WTD

Mon – 7 recovery – 8:26 avg
Tue – Rest
Wed – 11 gen aerobic – 7:55 avg
Thu – 8 gen aerobic – 8:01 avg
Fri – 6 recovery – 8:35 avg

WTD: 32

Plan for weekend

Sat – 18 LSD – 7:45-8:00 pace range

Sunday, June 24, 2007


I ran the DG 10-miler one year ago in 1:11:52 (7:11/mile). My goal going into today’s race was to break 1:09.

I did not think I had enough speed work in me to break 1:08, which is where I wanted to be several weeks ago when planning my training. The Wheaton 10k three weeks ago – a 41:52 in very warm temps - made me question if I could do much better than 1:09. However, the conditions were much better today – mid 60’s and no beaming sun.

In the end, I shaved off 4:09 from last year’s result and broke 1:08. Miles 9 and 10 were 6:25 and 6:12 respectively. The DG course was reasonably hilly as well – especially by Chicago area standards.

I had an awesomely strong second half. It was a killer negative split. I dropped a lot of runners during the last 2 miles.

Downer's Grove 10-mile results - 6/24/07
First 5 miles - 34:35
Second 5 miles - 33:08
Finish time: 1:07:43 (6:46/mi)

Today's run was a real confidence boost. I hoped I would be able to run this kind of race today so that I could be sure I am progressing toward a 1:26 half in August, which is about where I need to be for a 3:00 marathon.

Recap of 6/18 week - 15 weeks to go

Mon 6/18 – 10 miles - 7:40 pace – Pretty strong run – BNL concert
Tue 6/19 – Early flight to NY -- 4 mile eve run – approx 8:00 pace

Wed 6/20 – 8 miler - 7:49 pace - hilly run in Norwalk CT

Thu 6/21 – Rest / Fly back home
Fri 6/22 – 8 miler – 7:40 pace
Sat 6/23 – Treadmill recovery run – 4 miles - 8:35 avg pace
Sun 6/24 – 10 mile race (6:46/mi) – 3 miles recovery 8:38 pace = 13 total


We are seven weeks away to the Chicago Distance Classic, where the new goal will be 1:25:59. I plan to average 55 mpw between then and now.

Good news in that I am not traveling for work this week. I plan to get up to 50+ miles this week for the first time since in March before Boston.

I am torn on when to start the intense speed work on the track. Pfitzinger’s plan only prescribes strides in Mesocycle 1(first six weeks of the 18 weeks). I think I will try some track work to see if I can set my 5k PR on July 12.

Plan for 6/25 week

Mon 6/25 – 7 miles – recovery + gen aero
Tue 6/26 – 10 miles - Speed work: 400m track repeats
Wed 6/27 - REST
Thu 6/28 – 10 miles general aerobic
Fri 6/29 – 7 miles - Recovery
Sat 6/30 – 17 miles long – plan to run 7:40-50’ish
Sun 7/1 - REST


I can run a sub-three hour marathon. There is lots of work to do, but I am making progress toward this amazing goal.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mid-week update

I am a person of reflection and ever-changing priorities.

Running has been a steady presence in my life over the past several years and it seems I continue to try to push the envelope. Also, my career is important to me, and I have found that it is more challenging than ever to try to escalate both at the same time.

Every week, it's a struggle to prioritize. I've learned to put family first, for the most part, or at least schedule runs around family visits when possible. I've gotten pretty good at planning runs around my work/travel schedule, but I think sometimes I do cut corners in my work life to ensure I can get my run on. But I don't want to cheat my career - or my socializing!

What the hell will I do when I have kids?

I'm pretty much on track to plan this week so far.

Mon 6/18 – 10 miles 7:46 pace – Pretty strong run - Barenaked Ladies concert
Tue 6/19 – Early flight to NY. 4 mile run in evening - lots of hills in CT - guesstimate 8 mi pace
Wed 6/20 – 8 miler - 7:49 pace - hilly run in Norwalk CT
Thu 6/21 – Rest / Fly back home

I am looking forward to the 10-mile race on Sunday - just hope the temp's stay in check. My last year's result was a 1:11:52. I should be able to crush that right now - hopefully can run around 1:09. That would be a very good result.

Weekend plan

Fri 6/22 – 8 miles general aerobic
Sat 6/23 – 4 miles easy/recovery
Sun 6/24 – RACE: 2 mile warm-up + 10 mile race = 12 total

On track for weekly goal of 46 miles - 108 days to go
Will go for 51 miles next week

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The miles and temperatures are climbing

I was feeling a bit fatigued today from yesterday's strong run in the heat. I ran with the 7:30 pace group with the CARA Wheaton group (there were three of us) . It was very warm and I feel pretty good about our paces given the 70+'s plus the humidity.

11 miles at 7:28 pace - 5.5 out and 5.5 back on the Prarie Path
4 miles at 7:50 pace - headed back on my own after 11 miles
Total: 15 miles - 1:56

On Friday, I did seven fairly easy miles at around 8:25 avg pace.

Overall, I came up 3 miles short from the weekly goal of 46, pretty much due to the crappy run I had on Thursday.

Recap of 6/11 week

Mon - 5
Tue - 10
Wed - Rest
Thu - 6
Fri - 7
Sat - 15
Sun - Rest

Total: 43

This week again will be very busy. We are going to the BNL concert tomorrow night - then I fly back again to CT early Tuesday morning. Due to travel, evening events and the 10-mile race on Sunday, I will only be able to target 45 miles this coming week. I hope to nail the fifty mark the week of July 2nd.

Week of 6/18 plan

Mon - 10 miles
Tue - 4 recovery
Wed - 8 general aerobic w/10x100m strides
Thu - Rest
Fri - 7 easy
Sat - 4 miles recovery
Sun - 2 warm-up miles + 10 race = 12 total

Target: 45

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Training is heating up

I am trying to regain momentum in training after our wonderful relay - as well as deal with my travel / work schedule which is testing me right now. Work is absolutely crazy right now for our year-end. Not to mention that the in-laws arrived this evening, so the wife has all kind of family activities planned this weekend. Translation: No down time to catch up with work or just relax.

I would be lying if I said the stress didn't get to me a little bit yesterday, but I bounced back today -- even though I had a really shitty run.

Really trying to find a way to hit all the miles I want. Have to go back to CT next week for 3 days. Travel really affects the running schedule.

Isn't life exhillirating when we take on too much and put ourselves in over our heads?

Recap of WTD

Monday - Norwalk, CT - 5 miles - 8:12
Tuesday 6AM ET - Norwalk, CT - 10 miles - 7:45 - excellent hill work and fartleks
Wednesday - Rest
Thursday - Terrible run, poor sleep, major GI issues in the morning, hot weather. Planned on 10 miles - ran 6 miles - 8:05 average.

Total: 21

Here is the planned weekend.

Friday - 8 miles
Saturday - 15 miles

It is going to be a HOT weekend, folks!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

What a long strange run it was...

So, how you was your weekend? Mine you ask? Well I was stuck in a van for damn near 36 hours with a crazy group of runners I really didn’t even know before Thursday night. We rambled through Wisconsin and Northeastern IL in a tandem of Hertz rental vans, and ran our asses off non-stop through the Midwestern countryside and string of towns – ALL the way to downtown Chicago.

Along the way, we cheered, laughed, ate a litany of runner foods, sang, bitched, moaned, swore, stunk, vomited, farted, played cards, got lost, bitched some more and snuck in a only a very few precious moments of shuteye.

All 190 miles of The Great Midwest Relay comprised what I think all agree was an excellent running adventure for twelve of us.

You can check out our team blog, which I am sure will be updated shortly with countless hilarious pics, podcasts, quotes and stories (hint to team captain!) including our heroic finish in Montrose Park on Saturday afternoon.

We all had a blast, even though most of us were pretty ornery at least one or two points throughout the adventure. No major blowouts or instances of personal conflict that I witnessed, which is saying a lot given the range of personalities and our tight quarters. Everyone was pretty cool, and I think we all learned to give space as necessary.

Overall, the race organizers did a very good job of marking the course and providing detailed instructions for each leg. Sure, there were some points where more signposting could have helped us all, but let’s keep in mind this was a 190-mile race.

Most legs were pretty straightforward, provided that you studied the map in advance. It’s not a good idea to go blind into the runs for this event, especially for the night runs. We only had a couple of our runners get lost, one of which claims she had a panic attack after missing a sign.

At one point, around 3:00 AM on Saturday morning while driving the “Dude” Van #2, I felt in my head what I can best describe as a steady resonance of a painful fatigue pounding away at my brain. Said another way, I was f***’ng exhausted and my body was telling me so. I handed off the wheel to mouse, if I recall correctly…but I cannot be sure.

I think my favorite part of our journey was the 90 minutes of sleep I managed to get on the filthy, rock hard floor of a church, which I learned just now is in Racine, WI.

Room #7 in the church appeared to be abandoned librarian’s office that was now a makeshift closet for the toys, books and other stuff that the kids at the church have worn out over the years. We crammed at least 4 or 5 of us into this holy closet of slumber.

My hip is bony, so my typical side position of sleeping caused a little discomfort. Coming from someone who is a light sleeper and requires fairly specific conditions to crash, sleeping here was a testament to my condition at 3:30 AM on Saturday morning.

Here is a recap of my legs:

Leg 9 – Helenville, WI – 6.2 miles – 43:30 (7:09/mile) – 2:47 PM Friday (very warm conditions)
Leg 21 – Oak Creek, WI – 6.2 miles – 46:14 (7:27/mile) – 12:30 AM Saturday (beautiful conditions!)
Leg 33 – Highwood, IL – 5.8 miles – 45:00 (7:43/mile) – 11:10 AM Saturday (TIRED, MAN!)

Special thanks to Jayhawk and OOSG for inviting me on this awesome running journey, doing all the organizing (especially getting those sweet vans) and for being the ultimate cool hosts at their downtown condo.

Now it’s back to base training for the main event of the year. Next race is in two weeks – the DG 10-miler on June 24.

Recap of week

Mon 6/4 – 8 mi
Tue 6/5 – 10 mi
Thu 6/7 – 7 mi
Fri-Sat – 18 mi (GMR Race)

Total: 43 miles

Plan for 6/11 Week

Mon 6/11 – Travel to Norwalk – 6 mi evening
Tue 6/12 – Norwalk – 6:15 AM start: 9 miles w/4 at LT pace
Wed 6/13 – Rest
Thu 6/14 10 mi – General aerobic
Fri 6/15 – 6 mi Recovery
Sat 6/16 – 15 mi long run w/CARA in Wheaton

Target: 46 miles

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Wheaton 10k Report / May 28th Week recap

Wheaton 10k Race Report

Let's just say this first... It was damn hot out there yesterday. I'm pretty sure it was in the high 70's/low 80's in the sun.

This is a community race with about 2,500 participants split between a 5k and 10k. Good thing they had chip timing, since the start was quite narrow and congested.

I started out pretty strong but the heat became a factor early on. I knew pretty quick by my 3rd mile I would not break 41 min. I could tell my legs were spent from the quick mileage build over the past two weeks. Not to mention I have zero speed work in and my VO2 max is not up to par.

The organization was pretty good. Only at two points did I become frustrated because it wasn't clear where to go. I think I wasted a few seconds twice when I was striding in the wrong direction. No big deal...

I was happy with my final 0.2, which was a 1:15. I busted through the finish at 41:52, which, as far as I can remember, a PR for this distance for me. The only other 10k I know of close to this time was a 42:06 back when I lived in Pittsburgh in 2002. And that race was run in cool September and is all downhill!

I placed 5th out of 32 in my age group, which I suppose isn't bad considering I've got lots of training to do. I think most of us gave at least 15-30 sec's due to the warmth. Here's a scary thought... According to McMillan, I need to be able to shave about 3.5 minutes off this to be in sync with a 3:00 hour marathon. Ugh. Let the work begin...


Recap of May 28th week

Mon - 11
Tue - 6
Wed - 9
Thu - Rest
Fri - 5 recovery
Sat - Warm-up + 10k race = 7
Sun - 3 recovery

Total: 41

This week will climax with the Great Midwest Relay running from Madison to Chicago. Yahoo! I will try for 43 miles this week, which will include 18 from the relay. This will be officially week 1 of 18 for the Chicago Training plan.