Monday, July 17, 2017

Running Log: Week Ending July 16

Hello Runners!

Transition week 2 as I change gears from shorter races to starting marathon training next week.  Not a lot to mention this week, pretty boring.

3 days in Toronto (work trip) - and a busy one at that.  Gonna be challenging to find the time to get some running in Monday - Wednesday.

Monday - Treadmill Running - the hotel "Fitness Center" consisted to two treadmills, one stepper and couple dumb bells.  No floor space.  No music.  No air.  Good view from 11th floor and a golf putting area just outside on the roof.  I pulled the yoga mats from the "gym" onto the putting area and did my dynamic stretching and myrtle work out there.  I was the only one in the "fitness center" and there was LITERALLY no space to even open the yoga mat inside.  Extra credit for effort and creativity?

Tuesday - STUPID 18 hour day running.  It happens.

Wednesday - got in a good MLR with 2 miles at tempo on the Toronto water front.  12.4 miles total.  Really nice run.  Reminded me of being back home on LA coast, sort of.  Nice break from the humidity of DC.

Pic below from dinner Tuesday night at a restaurant that's 1200 feet up and does a full rotation every 72 minutes...

Saturday Long Run - building the mileage back up some....15 miles.  Getting ready for marathon training, starting next week.


Weekly Mileage: 47
Long Run: 15
Weight: Dunno

Daily Work: (Legs swings / Lunge Matrix before every run.  Foam rolling / dynamic stretch after)
  • Monday:  Early flight to Toronto.  6 mile "sweatfest" on hotel TM.  Does the 11th floor of the hotel in Toronto count at "altitude" training?  First time on a TM in a long time - reminds me I don't like it.
  • Tuesday: OFF.  Work sucks.
  • Wednesday:  12.4 MLR on Toronto waterfront.  Avg 7:35 pace with 2 miles at tempo.  Flight back to DC in the afternoon.  Myrtle, and extra rolling and stretching.
  • Thursday: 6 miles easy.  Core/recovery
  • Friday: 8 miles easy
  • Saturday:  15 miles on C and O.  Avg 7:29 pace, evenly paced.  Strength / core.
  • Sunday:  OFF.  Head cold.  Rest and lotsa sleep.
NO travel next week.  Whoo hoo!  First time in over a month!


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Running Log - Week Ending July 9 (5k Race on July 4)

Hello Runners!  Well...July is here, full "steam" ahead (terrible pun intended).

This week includes my last Summer "short" race, and transition to start marathon training in a couple weeks.  So, after the 5k on July 4, cutting back and taking it easy a few days, with a Long Run on Saturday to see if I can remember how to do that...
  •  5k Race (separate report):  18:50 on slightly hilly course in hot / humid conditions.  Feel good about it.
  • Long Run:  14 miles (was planning up 15, but after 14 I was done).  Last mile @ MP.  Feels good to get out on the C and O and put in some miles (love the C and O).  My first "transition" run to longer races this Fall.

Stupid / terrible work travel mid-week which screwed up my sleeping....and messed with 3 days of running....shit happens.  Luckily, this was right after the 5k timing wasn't bad.

Psychology: Interesting note about me, now that I've completed my shorter races this Spring / Summer, my next goal race is a marathon in November.  With this "transition" I'm enjoying my running more.  I'm less focused on exactly how I feel every day, don't have specific workout paces, etc.  I'd like to remember how this couple of weeks feel, so I can enjoy my marathon build-up more.  Really, just "note to self" to stop taking myself so seriously.

Pro Tip: A couple times now, in my shorter Summer races, I've modified the "water station" to the "splash station".  When it's hot, but I don't need water to drink - as I approach the water station I point to my chest and say "Right here!"  Most of the folks at the water station (especially the kids) are more than happy to splash me with the water in the cup their holding.  Caution: if you try this, be prepared get hit with water on all parts of your body and possibly face at near point blank range from 3-4 people.  It does cool me off, and get me completely soaked.  I plan to continue this practice.


Weekly Mileage: 37
Long Run: 14
Weight: Dunno

Daily Work: (Legs swings / Lunge Matrix before every run.  Foam rolling / dynamic stretch after)
  • Monday:  4 miles easy with strides in prep for 5k tomorrow.
  • Tuesday: Firecracker 5k in Reston Town Center.  18:50.  Full race report published separately.  6 miles total with wu and cd.
  • Wednesday:  OFF.  Work travel to Dallas and back to DC.  20 hour day.
  • Thursday: OFF.  Back to work on almost no sleep.  :(
  • Friday: 60' E.  7.3 miles.  Lotsa rolling and dynamic stretching.  Feeling okay.  Need SLEEP.
  • Saturday:  14 miles on C and O, last 1 @ MP.  Overall 7:25 pace.  ITB/Strength work.
  • Sunday:  5.2 mile recovery run.  Core / Hip work.
 Next week's work travel is Toronto.  We'll see how much that impacts running....

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

RACE REPORT: Firecracker 5k in Reston Virginia

First, and most importantly - Happy 4th of July Everyone!  Hope you have a safe and fun time (and wake up tomorrow with all your fingers and toes still attached).

This morning I ran the "Firecracker 5k" in Reston Virginia.  Everyone who's run in the Northern Virginia area probably knows the course that begins and end in the Reston Town Center.  I've done the 4th of July run here twice now - both times a big turnout, almost 2,000 people.

Morning Routine
Set my alarm for 5:45, planning to leave the house around 6:30 for the 8:00 race start time.  By 6:30 I had my usual pre-race breakfast of oatmeal and a small glass of milk, and COFFEE.  Did a quick 1/2 mile jog around the house to get the bloods flowing - rounded up my wife, daughter, and my daughter's puppy - and headed for the race.  Arrived around 7:15, which is fine since we already had our bibs.  Found my wife and puppy a good seat / vantage point to watch the finish and headed out for my warm-up.

Warm-Up and Plan
This course is uphill for the last 0.7 miles or so.  I've run it a couple times before, and I haven't yet paced well - slowed down considerably at the end - being passed by at least a few folks each time.  So, my warm-up today was to run the last part of the course backwards, going down the finishing hill, then turn around and run back up the hill to the finish line.  The idea is to "gauge" best I can, the extra effort I'm going to need to finish strong, and emotionally "prep" for it.  Add in a couple strides and I'm to go.

The weather at race start was 75F and 65 dew point.  Best I can tell, from my on-line search, this is about a 3% "adjustment" from perfect conditions, and similar weather to the 4 mile race is did 10 days ago.  My 5k PR is on this course (in perfect March conditions) is 18:41.  Last week I ran the 4-miler in 6:09 pace, so I'm figuring I can run about 6:05 pace - and if all goes right, get under 19:00.  Last July 4th, I finished this race in 19:15 in fairly similar conditions, if I remember correctly.

National Anthem - usually don't mention the National Anthem, but the recording (traditional set up prior to the race) wasn't working.  The color guard was all set up, we had our hands over our hearts, but when it was supposed to start playing - nothing.  After about 30 seconds, the Potomac River race organizers announced "Okay, WE are going to the sing the national anthem - I'll start" and with that we all sang it together - on the 4th of July.  Pretty cool, actually.  I CAN NOT sing, AT ALL.  But, there was a young woman not too far from me that could REALLY sing!  So, I shut up and enjoyed listening to her rendition - very good!

Okay, so here's how the race went, blow by blow (mile splits from Garmin):

  • Mile 1: 5:58.  I had planned to go out around 6:05 for the first mile.  I even lined up a few rows back to force myself to take it easy at the start, and hold back some on a short down hill about 1/4 mile.  Still out a little faster than plan, but "feel" good.  I'm in a small pack of about 4 cruising along, under control.
  • Mile 2: 5:54.  About the pace I planned, mile 2 is about a 60 ft net drop.  I tried to hold back some, knowing we had "the hill" toward the end of the race.  Around the start of mile 2 a woman passed me, and I let her pull me through the whole mile.  We passed a few folks who were now slowing down....
  • Mile 3: 6:12.  Around the start of mile 3 I let the woman I was drafting go, I felt her pace was a little too fast - another guy came up behind me - and I let him tow me for a while.  I would guess my pace fell off some prior to "the hill" but not much.  Around 2.5 miles we start going uphill, and I'm "emotionally ready", I start to push best I can to hold my pace - I only got 5 minutes to go.  I held up pretty good - I passed 5-6 people (in prior races this is the point where was getting passed).  Around 2.75 miles I made my finishing push and tried to "bring it home".  I was able to drop a couple teenagers I was running with (that always feel good when you're old).
  • Last .14: 50 seconds (5:47 pace).  This section was STILL uphill, and I was pushing hard.  I was able to pass one runner with 100m to go, and almost caught the woman I let go at the start of mile 3.  She beat me by 2 seconds, makes me wonder if I should have hung with her the whole time....
Total Time:  18:50.  9 seconds off my PR.  1st AG (M50-54)

I feel pretty good about the result - only 9 seconds off PR in 75F and 65 dew point weather.  Take off 3% for perfect conditions, that becomes 18:16...which WOULD BE a huge PR.  I know...I know...only calculations, but makes me feel better.

So, that's it for targeting shorter races in 2017.  In a few weeks I start marathon training.  I'll run a few races along the way - but always with the 'A Goal' of the Philly marathon in November.

Shout out to Elizabeth, Lisa, and Mika!  Great to see you all, and hope you had a good race today....


Monday, July 3, 2017

Running Log - Week Ending July 2

Wassup Runners.

Training this week was a little different, as I had a 4-mile race last Saturday, and 5k on the upcoming Tuesday.  So, 10 days between races.  Running this week is "bridging the gap" between the two races. 

I'm also traveling for work, so a couple days in Sacramento CA, and one day in SF.  I'm exactly 2 days too late to see the Outdoor Championships....but not too late the feel the HEAT they were running in! 

I got lucky in that my hotel in Sacramento (actually Rancho Cordova) is only a couple miles from the American River, and I found a paved running path from the back of the hotel to the river.  Sweet.  The American River, at least in this area, has dirt running trails on both sides of the river and frequent bridges (some for cars, some not).  So, I was able to get in some good runs before / after meetings...nice to have the long summer days....

Thursday - I drove to SF, and found a hotel close the airport (early flight back to DC Friday morning).  A quick look at Google maps, and again I got lucky.   Right up the street is a HS track which is good timing as my next 5k is 5 days away, and a "San Andreas" trail only a few miles away that looks promising   Got to the track, and promptly got kicked off as they were re-paving it.  Okay, so new plan...instead of intervals I'll do hill repeats...I am in Frisco after all.  Well...holy crap!   These are 400ft climb per mile hills....but I survived and had a good experience running around the San Andreas in a good (and challenging) 11 miles.

Friday thru Sunday were spent with easy runs, and prepping for the 5k on July 4th.  You know, I kinda' liked the SF weather better than DC.  Actually, a LOT better.  Alas, no job in DC it is.

What I found out about NOT rolling and stretching - so I had some really good runs in Sacramento and SF.  But, I was "squeezing in" these runs and working until I didn't do my normal foam rolling and stretching routine after my runs Tuesday thru Thursday.  Plus, I spent quite a bit of time on planes Tuesday and Thursday.  By Friday, I was really feeling like an old man - stiff and achy from my mid thighs to mid back.  And, when I tried a few strides on Saturday both my "front hip flexor areas" were NOT having it, and hurt / cramped pretty good.  Luckily by Sunday I was feeling "almost back to normal"...lesson learned.

Weekly Mileage: 47
Long Run: N/A
Weight: Dunno
Daily Work:
  • Monday:  60' E on WOD.  7.6 mi.
  • Tuesday: Flight to Sacramento.  American River in the afternoon - SUPER hot.  9.1 mi. on paved and dirt trails.  Nice views.
  • Wednesday:  Sacramento morning (much cooler) different direction on American River.  8 mi.
  • Thursday: San Francisco afternoon run on San Andreas trail (paved and dirt sections) around the San Andreas reservoir.  Biggest hills I've ever run...up and up and up and up.  Then, down and down and down and down.  Ended up being a pretty hard run, 11 miles in 1:30.
  • Friday:  Flight back to DC.  Late afternoon run around the hood.  Is it possible to lose humidity acclimation in 3 days?  I think...YES.  5 miles recovery run.
  • Saturday:  6.3 miles around house to winery with a few strides.  Both "front him flexors" protested any faster speed...from hills on Thursday?  And, quite likely from NOT rolling and stretching.
  • Sunday:  OFF.  Short walk.

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.