Sunday, June 25, 2017

Running Log - Week Ending June 25 (4-Mile Race)

Hello Runners!  Summer is here, can you feel it?  I'm getting close to my "melting threshold", but trying to hang tough.

I got buried with work (and work travel) this week - but I'm doing a mini-taper for a Saturday race, so it kinda worked out....traveling the next three weeks as well, gonna take some discipline to stick to my normal training.

Saturday Race 
"Twilight 4-Miler" in Ashburn, VA; a community not too far from the house.  Race is unique for two reasons; it's 4 miles; and it starts at 7:30PM.  Spoiler Alert: I finished in 25:00 (6:09 pace for 4.08 miles) in 84 degrees weather (2nd place AG).  Partied afterward, in that "Runner's Party" kinda way....full report posted separately.


Weekly Mileage: 37
Long Run: N/A
Weight: 140
  Daily Work:
  • Monday:  6.8 mi on WOD including some trail miles.  Fun!  and a little hilly. Core work.
  • Tuesday: 8 mi with 6 x (90" @ 5k / 90" E).  Strength work.
  • Wednesday:  5.5 mi E
  • Thursday: OFF.  Early work start and full travel day.
  • Friday:  4.5 mi E
  • Saturday:  4 mile race (25:00 for 4.08 miles) - 6:09 pace.  6.2 miles with warm-up.
  • Sunday:  5.3 mi Recovery

Race Report: Twilight 4-Miler

Ran my first 4-mile race yesterday.  First race in the afternoon - 7:30 PM start.

It was kind of weird having an afternoon race.  Wasn't sure what to do with myself all day.  Mostly resting and sitting around, watching the US Outdoor Championships, and basically chilling.

With the late race I also had to figure out what to eat all day.  I ate a regular breakfast and lunch, then around 3pm had leftover pancakes from breakfast.  I was still a little hungry, but didn't want to eat anything else before the race.   Worked out okay, no stomach troubles.

Age Groups:  I turned 50 a few days ago, my wife surprised me before the race with my very own, super fancy, "Over 50" race singlet - with all the appropriate sponsors on the back (picture below).  When I started to pin my number on my new singlet I realized I was registered as "49".  Easy fix, the PR folks changed it no problem (Wouldn't be good to have an "Over 50" singlet and be registered as 49). 

Weather:  Weather underground reported the specifics to be 84 degrees with a dew point of 62, and wind from the west at 4 mph.  So, that's kinda hot!  But, not as bad as it could have been in late June around DC.  RunnersConnect says to add 2%-3% to my "base" pace.

Race Strategy: Based on McMillan calculator for 4 miles, and the 2%-3% adjustment from RunnersConnect, I think I can run around 6:10 pace; which puts me at 24:40.  Met a friend before the race (hey Elizabeth) who said the 1st mile is downhill, but the 2nd is up, and the heat will catch up with you around the end of mile two - so don't go out too fast even if you're feeling good.  Noted.

My "Over 50" Singlet with appropriate "Sponsors"

Race detail:

Mile 1:  (6:03).  Slightly downhill.  Got in a group with 4 others, and promptly ignored Elizabeth's (good) advice.  Not feeling bad tho.

Mile 2: (6:12).  I expected the incline here, so slowing down didn't bother me.  Toward the end of this mile, I was dropped by the others I was running with...realizing they were a little too fast for me.  Still not feeling bad, but I also had 2 more miles to go.

Mile 3: (6:22).  Yeah, lost some momentum here.  Was running on my own most of mile - and was "feeling the heat" pretty bad.  During this mile I also lost some focus which probably cost me a few seconds.

Mile 4: (6:06).  Found a "second wind" in the last mile (mostly just got re-focused and wanted to push the last mile), and I was able to chase down a couple guys in front of me.  In the last 200m or so, I was able to put in a pretty good kick and passed my final target about 20m from the finish (turns out he was the 40-44 AG winner).

Last .08 mile: 19 seconds (4:53 pace); "big kick" - maybe some leftover speed from the mile race a few weeks ago.

Total Time:  25:00.  Good enough for 2nd in 50-54 AG (missed 1st place by 9 seconds).  Per Garmin, overall pace is 6:09.

Interesting side note:  I "would have" won the 40-44, and 45-49 AG with my time.  Goes to show, it all depends on who shows up.

Elizabeth, Greg, and Lisa - nice to meet you "O-fficially".  Hope you see you at other races this Summer.

Next up for me - "Firecracker 5k" on July 4th in Reston.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Running Log - Week Ending June 18

Hello Runners, and Happy Father's Day to all those Dad's out there!  (Pets count).

This week I'm gearing toward a 4 mile race and a 5k.  So, instead of a LR on Saturday I did a 5k workout. Son's HS graduation was on Tuesday - so that became an off day.  College locked and loaded (thank you 529 Plan...ooopff!) daughter asked me to run a 5k with her today (Father's Day) - so the emphasis this week is family....and it's been very gratifying.

Since Tuesday is an off day, I increased a my mileage a little on Monday and ran a pretty hilly route, to give me a 'mini-workout', and moved my Tempo workout from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Wednesday's Tempo - Plan was 5 x 6' @ tempo w/ 2' jog recoveries.  Got through 4 repeats and called it quits.  It was really hot and humid.  Still a good workout - I'll call "heat acclimation".

Saturday AFTERNOON workout on the track - since I'm racing next Saturday at 7:30 PM I thought it would be a good idea to do my workout this week in the late afternoon to mimic conditions next week.  I've never run any run at all after noon before - ever.  So, I wasn't sure how my stomach, etc would handle it.  (I had a normal lunch around noon, a small snack around 3p and started my warm-up around 6p).  Despite being really hot and humid, everything was fine.  My workout was 2x1200; 3x800; 1x400; 1x200 w / 400 jog recoveries except after the 400 I did a 200 jog recovery.  The 1200's and 800's were around 5k pace (4:27 / 4:25 / 3:01 / 2:58 / 2:57).  The 400 and 200 I ran faster, almost all out (1:22 / :39).  Happy with the paces considering it was 90 degrees and really humid.

Sunday 5k race (Run with Dad) with my daughter....(jog / place of my normal Sunday recovery walk)  She is getting into running, but still in the jog / walk phase.  Nice to spend the morning with her!  "Before" pic below (butt photo bomb - bonus!).


Weekly Mileage: 42
Long Run: N/A
Weight: 140
  Daily Work:
  • Monday:  10.3 mi around house with lotsa hills.  Strength work, core, ITB rehab stuff.  
  • Tuesday: OFF.  HS graduation.
  • Wednesday:  8 miles with 4 x 6' @ tempo / 2' jog recovery. 
  • Thursday: 5.5 miles easy / recovery.  roll and stretch. 
  • Friday:  60' E on WOD.  7.5 mi.  Myrtle. Core
  • Saturday:  Track.  2x1200, 3x800, 1x400, 1x200.  (4:27 / 4:25 / 3:01 / 2:58 / 2:57 / 1:22 / :39) w/400 jog recovery in around 2:30 (except 200 recovery after 400).  11 mi total with wu and cd.  
  • Sunday:  "Run with Dad" Father's Day 5k.  Jog / walk with my Pnut.  Strength / ITB rehab.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Running Log - Week Ending June 11

Hello, Runners.

 So, this is week 2 or "normal" training - this is a training week with more than two weeks to a race.

 Like last week, I'm doing a MLR on Wednesday and a LR on Saturday.  Difference - last week I did a mile race on Monday - this week I did a tempo run on Tuesday. 

I realized on Monday, that my 15 miler last Saturday took a little more out of me than I realized (I ran faster than planned - and really enjoyed the run - but it had some consequences).  I was still noticeably sore on Monday, and I "think" it had some impact on Tuesday's workout....

Tuesday's Workout - Plan:  2 x 2 mi @ tempo with half mile recovery.  The first 2 mi effort went well, about at pace planned (6:21/6:23), the second time around it was NOT happening - so I decided to break it up into 1 mile efforts, which ended up being around 6:30 / 6:45 with about 0.3 mile easy running between.  Dunno if it was still hang over from Saturday's run, or just a crappy day.  Learning....

Wednesday's MLR -11 miles around 7:40 pace.  Feeling a little better than yesterday's workout.

Saturday LR - 15 miles on C and O towpath.  Kept the pace closer to my goal pace for LRs.  7:26 avg trying for 7:30.

Color Run!  My daughter asked my wife and I to do the "Color Run" at her HS to help raise money, etc.  So...all three of us did it.  I stayed with my wife...walk / jog / walk.  After my LR.  Got good and wet and colorful!

Sometimes the most memorable and rewarding races are not about times or PR's....matchy matchy down to the cool shades!


Weekly Mileage: 54
Long Run:  15
Weight: 140
  Daily Work:
  • Monday:  7.5 miles Easy with strides.  Core work.  WOD.  8:10 pace.  
  • Tuesday: 8.5 mi with 2 / 1 / 1 mi @ tempo with 0.4 / .03 / 0.3 easy running recovery.  Strength work (incl. kettle bell swings / single leg squat / single leg dead lift with kettle bell / single arem rows / dumb bell chest press).  Rolling and stretching.
  • Wednesday:  11.2 mi MLR (7:40 pace). Roll and stretch.  Left calf and butt, still need alittle extra work. 
  • Thursday: 5 miles easy / recovery.  roll and stretch. 
  • Friday:  60' E around the house.  Winery and wooded trails....great morning.  7.5 mi.  Myrtle.
  • Saturday:  15 on C and O tow path @ 7:26.  Color run walk.  
  • Sunday:  2.8 mi walk.  Lotsa rolling and stretching

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Running Log - Week Ending June 4 (1,000 mi in 2017)

Hello, Runners.

This week starts a 'back to normal' couple of weeks for me - as far as running goes.  I have a few more family obligations (all good stuff) for the next month, so no races until end of June or possibly early July.  I'm going to spend the next few weeks building my mileage back up, and just enjoying running as the temps heat up.

Adding an MLR (Medium Long Run) during the week and a LR (Long Run) on the weekend, been a while since I've done these longer runs since I've had shorter (and faster paced) races recently which require "shorter and faster" workouts (at least that's how I do it).  I do my MLR and LR at a slightly faster pace than "easy" - somewhere about 10% to 15% slower than MP.

I'm also getting back to a "full" strength workout a couple times a week, which included kettle bell swings, single leg dead lift (with kettle bell), single squats, pull-ups, and dips.  'Myrtle' hip strength routine added in just for fun, along with a range of core exercises.  All this adds about 30 minutes on to the end of run, but I think it's worth it - especially for injury prevention.

Monday, I ran a mile race (separate post), and afterward didn't feel bad at all.  I mean, I knew I ran, but didn't feel beat up.  Didn't do a cool down or nuthin after the race.  Well, Tuesday morning, I was feeling it - tight hamstrings, left butt "not right", and left calf acting up again.  So....yeah I guess I did race!  Reminder to self: Don't be stupid, do the proper cool down and exercises after a race.

My LR was 15 miles @ 7:12 pace, with the last mile around MP.   Felt good to get out and run for an extended period of time.   Ran faster than intended, but I was really enjoying myself (in that "runner" way).   Sense of accomplishment and all that.....

Highlight:  1,000 mi run so far this year.  Tires rotated.   Oil changed.   Good to go.

Shoe update:  Trying Hokas for the first time this week.  Couple runs in the Tracer.  So far, I like them, they do feel "different", but not overly bulky as I was afraid they'd be.  I'm not "running on clouds" or anything like that, but good option.  I'm learning that more "protection" for easy runs is good for me.  In the past I've run in light shoes for all runs, to feel less "heavy", but I'm now trying for a new "sweet spot" that will help me get in more miles with less aches and pains.  Also, focusing on softer surfaces as much as I can, which for me means the "side dirt paths" on the WOD and the C and O towpath on the weekends (which is all dirt)

Weekly Mileage: 51
Long Run:  15
Weight: ?
  Daily Work:
  • Monday:  4 miles total including warm-up.  Loudoun Street Mile.  5:17.  
  • Tuesday: 8 miles on roads in Reston looking for new routes and getting lost.  Easy pace, just out running.  Extended foam rolling and dynamic stretching yoga kinda' stuff...8:30 pace.
  • Wednesday:  10.4 mi MLR (7:35 pace). Strength work.  Core work.  Extra rolling on hips.  First run in Hoka Tracer.  Not bad, some toe rubbing on right foot.  I'll try different / tighter lacing to keep my foot against the back of the shoe, it seems big enough.
  • Thursday: 5.8 miles easy / recovery.  roll and stretch.  ITB work.  8:15 pace - still learning what "easy" really means.  (ie "let the ego go")
  • Friday:  60' E on WOD - mostly on side dirt path sections. (7.6 mi). 7:55 pace. Light core work
  • Saturday:  15.2 on C and O tow path @ 7:22, last mile @ 6:45.  Strength work.  
  • Sunday:  2.8 mi walk.  Lotsa rolling and stretching

Monday, May 29, 2017

RACE REPORT: Loudoun Street Mile

Happy Memorial Day!  And, to all the veterans out there (my Dad, and both my Grandfathers who served during wars....and saw the "really tough" part of being in the armed services) - THANK YOU FOR YOUR SACRIFICE AND YOUR SERVICE.

Now - on to much less important stuff - I ran my first "Mile Race" today - the Loudoun Street Mile in Winchester Virginia.

 [[Spoiler Alert:  In case you don't want to read the whole post - I ran it in 5:17.4 Official time (I'm rounding down to 5:17...reasons below).  Happy with it - since I was hoping for 5:20 (which is also the McMillan predictor). ]

BIG "Thank You" to my wife for getting up early on Memorial Day to be my personal "storage caddy", and to my mother-in-law (Nana) to coming out to join  us.  Her first time "seeing a marathon" (later she did refer to it as a "mile race" kudos for a super senior getting it right after only one light handed correction).

Getting There
Winchester is about an hour drive from my house - but the men's race wasn't scheduled to start until 9:30.  Women's race start is 8:30.  My plan - get there in time to check-in, get my bib, find a good spot to watch the finish of the women's race, get my wife and mother-in-law situated - then go warm up and get ready for my race.  ALL that, by my calculations and differential math - says leave the house "eh, around 7:00".

We got straight to race - no issues - no traffic - and got a sweet parking spot about 200m from the finish line (thanks Nana for the "Handcap parking placcard - all the way from California).  Got there a little after 8:00 - got my packet, all set for the women to come charging for the finish line and "15 minute delay - police road blocking, or escort, or something not ready...figures.  No biggie - it's a nice morning - just hang tight....what else are we going to do?

Pretty soon though the women did come thru - it was quite exciting - the race finishes on a "pedestrian only" narrow brick walkway - and I got a spot about 100m before the finish - my first time actually watching the winners of a race come thru.  Shout out to Cris (aka Darkwave) for bringing home the Master's title with a big kick at the end, and setting a PR.  Nice!  All in all, it looked like Cris took home between 3 and 7 awards...back up the stage a few times.  And, thank you for the pacing advice!

The course is a straight run down Loudoun Street.  The race start is in a nice quiet neighborhood on a small street.  The race end - as noted above - is on a brick outdoor shopping mall.

Just because it's straight don't mean it's flat - the first quarter mile (Q1) is downhill, Q2 goes back up hill, and levels off at the end, Q3 back downhill, and Q4 pretty much flat - transitioning to bricks about 300m from the finish.

Race Prep
Warm up - So...I've heard, the shorter the race, the longer the warm-up.  Well, this race is pretty short.  So...I ended up doing a couple miles warm-up, then some shorter strides, and finally finishing with strides of about 45 seconds - 1 minute what felt like "mile effort".  Wanted to make sure I was fully warmed up.  No time to "get into the groove".  Once the gun goes off.

Shoes - what would a run report be without a shoe discussion?  I have two pairs of shoes I could wear for a mile race....NB RC5000 (3oz), and Nike Zoom Streak LT3 (5oz).  Obviously I want the lighter shoes, BUT the bricks at the end of the race might be a problem?  Also, I really don't want to warm up for 3 miles in the NB, and my wife is holding my bag by the finish line, so with that I chose the heavier Nikes.  Of course, then I had huge envy when I saw a couple guys in their NB 5000's....damn it!  That's gonna cost me 0 - .783 seconds on my finishing time...I'm SURE of it.

Line up and start - Not a lot of folks in the race - for some reason I thought it was a bigger race - no worries tho.  The one worry I did have was a number of "kids" lined up on the front row - I know what they are going to do - sprint for 200m to 300m, then slow and get in my way...mental note - plan for it and "try" not to knock any over.  When the gun went off, I wasn't ready...I was about 5 rows back, and I didn't hear the "ready, set...".  But, I don't think it hurt me.  I just yelled, "Oh shit!", and started my watch as I started to run.  This is why I'm "rounding down" my race time, I'm sure I lost at least a half second by being five rows back - and the race is timed from the gun (tortured, twisted logic of a runner).

Race Detail By The Quarter Mile....Goal pace is 5:20 (1:20 per quarter mile).

The race organizer was nice enough to put a line across the road at every quarter mile.  Below splits are based on me looking down at my watch as I crossed each quarter mile line.

  • Q1: 1:17 - the first quarter was downhill.  So, after a silly 200m too fast of a start I settled down some.  Even tho I'm 3 seconds faster than plan, I feel okay about was down hill after all.  Toward the end of Q1 I had to do a "swim" move a couple time to get around kids who were now gassed and passing out in the middle of the road..."no kids were harmed during these actions"
  • Q2: 2:38 (1:21).  This quarter was uphill, and I think holding back a "little" in Q1 helped me.  It felt like I ran this Q slower than it showed.  Under control... (thanks again Cris).
  • Q3: 3:57 (1:19).  Downhill most of this Q, but I wasn't really able to pick up the pace...getting gassed pretty good already, and I do want to kick at the end. 
  • Q4: 5:17 (1:20).  So much for a finishing kick!  I'm happy was able to "hold" my pace till the end.  I did try to pick it up a couple times, but it just wasn't there.  A couple teenagers passed me about 100m from the end, which pissed me off, I just couldn't do anything about it.  My legs weren't hurting, but I could tell aerobically/anaerobically I was all out.  Side note: it was really cool to be running on the bricks the last couple hundred meters, the fans were really close and all cheering...all for me I'm sure. 
Overall, 5:17 is a result I'm proud of.  Don't think I had a lot more in me.  I won my AG (45-49). 

Next year - if I run this again - I'll be in the "Grand Masters" category (over 50).  This year, the winning time was 5:02.  So, now I have a great goal to set.  Maybe if I do some speed work consistently, I can get there?  I only gotta take 4-5 seconds off each quarter.  What's 2 seconds per 200m among friends?

Don't know what's next...gotta look up local 5k's....I'm Jonesing to run fast again.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Weekly Training Log - How Do You Taper For A Mile Race?

Hello Runners.

Well....back to work this week (boo), "most" of the relatives gone (yay!).

This week's training was kinda funky - I'm racing next Monday (Memorial Day), so I'm adjusting my taper days differently than I have in the past.  I'm also not sure if /how to taper for a mile race (I'm guessing yes, I should taper - but with fewer days than normal....just sounds right).

I did one proper mile workout on Saturday last week (9 days before the race), and an "I dunno, I'll just run really fast" workout earlier in the week last week.  This week, I've done an abbreviated mile workout on Wednesday on the road (5 days before the race), which went better than last week since I'm starting to get a "feel" for "mile pace" - which actually doesn't feel that much different than 5k pace (I guess that says I really don't know what mile pace feels like...), progress....

Wednesday's Workout

Wednesday's workout included 6 x 1' @ "mile pace effort" with 1' rest.  Since I was on the roads, I went by how the pace felt when I did the timed workout on the track. (on the track the "on" minute was 300m / the recovery minute was 200m).  I've improved a lot since last time I tried "mile pace effort" - I think I'm much closer to what I can actually do for a mile (last week I went out WAY too fast, and crashed pretty good).  Learning....

Taper Strategy
Not a lot of information on how to taper for a mile on the internet.  I did find a local blogger with good information which is really helpful.  I decided to base my taper on what I'd do for a 5k - taking the 2nd day before the race off, and short "shake out" run the day before with (really fast) 20-30 second strides to get the legs moving.  If I was running a 5k I would have cut back more on the 3rd day before the race.  I changed this, and ran a little longer than I would for an upcoming 5k, figuring I won't need as much rest for a mile race.

Race Tomorrow:  Total "mile workouts" is one track day and two "road sessions" - all with 1' @ mile pace, with 1' recovery....basically a bunch of 300m repeats at mile pace with equal amount of recovery time jogging.  Don't really feel "ready" for a mile effort at the "mile pace" I've set for myself.  Ran a 10k a few weeks I think the "threshold work" has been taken care of.  We'll see how it goes.    New kinda' challenge.

Side note:  Last Fall in my marathon build up I got a "strain" on the outside of my left calf.  I figured it was due to the higher mileage, and PT visits solved it.  For the marathon build up, I was running my long runs and faster workouts in NB1500's.  I also ran the race in them.  Since then, I've changed out to different shoes for my faster workouts, and the calf problem has not come back - I figured the lower volume and the extra rolling / stretching I was doing was the cure.  On Tuesday this week, I grabbed my 1500's for a easy run since my "normal" easy run shoes were still wet from a prior run.  And....the calf thing started to come back. Spike Lee would say "It's the shoes" (oh, and these are newer shoes, they aren't worn out).  Just a word to say consider these things if/when you have injuries.  Ordered some Hokas...'cause.

Double side note: I did some kettle bell swings this week during my "strength" workout on Wednesday.  I normally do single-leg dead lifts and squats, goblet squats,dips and pull-ups, along with running specific hip strength stuff (see myrtle routine).  I tried some kettle bell swings at the end of the workout to see how it feels.  Kinda like it, I'll probably add this to the workout...maybe a few more kettle bell well.  Any running specific suggestions?

Triple side note:  Worked from home Thursday and Friday (nice!).  Didn't schedule enough time after my Thursday easy run to do my usual cool down with leg swings / foam roller / dynamic stretching stuff.  I figured - it was an easy day - I can skip it and be fine.  I figured wrong - I got stiff and sore and it took longer an usual on Friday to get moving comfortably.  So...confirmation...this stuff matters (at least for me)

Weekly Mileage: 40
Long Run:  N/A
Weight: ?
  Daily Work:
  • Monday:  8 miles on WOD.  Pace around 7:45...feeling pretty good.  Core work.  Rolling and stretching. 
  • Tuesday: 60' E on WOD w/strides.  Hip mobility stuff.  Roll and stretch.  Legs feeling a little "heavy"
  • Wednesday:  7.3 miles with 6 x 1' @ mile effort pace, with 1' jog recovery.  Much better pacing.  Strength work.
  • Thursday: 5 miles easy / recovery.  roll and stretch.
  • Friday:  7.2 mi winery tour around the house.  Kept the miles easy - few strides.  roll and stretch.   
  • Saturday:  2.5 mile recovery walk around the hood..   
  • Sunday:  4.2 mi. with 4 x :30 strides at close to max (warp) speed.  Rolling and stretching.