Sunday, March 27, 2016

Training Log - Week Ending 3/27

Happy Easter Everyone!  I hope the Bunny came by your house and you got at least one of the things you wanted.

And...for those hard core runners out there...did you still do your Sunday long run on Easter?  Sunday is my long run day, I still did my 15 miles.  It's easier for me than most, because my kids are teenagers, so they don't usually "appear" on the weekends until about 11 me plenty of time to run for 2 hours and not miss any "family time".  My wife is also REALLY supportive, even tho she's not a runner.  We've been married 18 years, so she probably appreciates the "alone time" when I'm out running as much as I do.

So, this is week 13 of my 20 week training plan built by Jason Fitzgerald at Strength Running.

This week is basically the same work as last week.  Jason likes to sort of "establish" an increase is mileage or intensity and then repeat it for a second week before upping it again.  This has been working for me so far, I seem to be getting good results.  And...with my injury history it's a good idea to be more conservative.

This is different from last week though, because this week I'm on VACATION, and no big plans, and better weather.  So...all my runs are outside and I did my tempo and 10k pace work on the local high school track (since school is closed, the track is available).  And, I like running on the track,  it's easy for me to learn how to pace (and a lot of learning I have to do still), and gives me a "level set" of where my fitness is since there's no variables (like hills), and it's "real" effort vs. the treadmill which I don't always "trust" for requiring the same effort as the road.  Plus, all the extra rest and sleep that only vacation can bring.

I really feel like my fitness is coming together, and I've decided to slightly increase my "tempo", and "10k" pace to match the increase I put in place last week for my "5k" pace.

Weekly Mileage:  46
Long Run: 15
Weight:  ?  (I weigh myself at the scale at my work gym...and NO work this week!)

Daily training:

  • Monday: 4 miles EASY.  Hurtin from yesterday's long run (which was quite difficult).  Dynamic warm-up, hip mobility, foam rolling.
  • Tuesday:  6 miles + 4 strides.  Pace about 7:55-8:00.  Feelin more recovered.  Skipped my core work, I have a slight "pull" or something in my lower left abdomen area, not sure what I did, but it's not right, and I want it to settle down.  Not bothering my running.  Foam rolling, dynamic stretching.
  • Wednesday: 10 miles with 3 mile tempo + 6 x 2:00 @ 10k pace.  Did the speed work on the track.  Prior to this week I would have said my tempo pace is 6:35, so I tried it a little faster, I ended up running the 3 miles on the track in 19:38....6:32 pace...and it felt about right.  I tried to run each 400 in 1:34, and for the most part I got pretty close, but a few laps were off pretty I gotta practice at pacing.  I planned each 10k interval @ 6:15 pace, which is 1:34 per 400; 2:00 took me to just about 500m, then I'd jog about 300m in 2:00, and do it again.  I was within :02 +/- for each interval, so that was pretty good.  Feel good about today's workout.  ITB rehab routine, singe leg dead lift, upper body strength, foam rolling and stretching.
  • Thursday:  off
  • Friday: 8 miles with 8 x 200 @ 5k pace.  W&OD trail.  Did the 200's starting at mile 3 (ending at mile 5), at 5k "effort" as I don't trust my watch to be that exact on pacing over 200m.  This is probably good as it required me to "feel" the pace, something I really suck at doing.  Overall pace @ 7:45.  Core work, hip mobility, dynamic stretching.
  • Saturday: 3 miles easy on farm roads around house.  8:25 pace, really easy.  Dynamic stretching and foam rolling.  Just out enjoying the nice day.
  • Sunday:  15 miles on C&O canal towpath.  Overall pace @ 7:35.  Much easier this week than last, still suffering some after about mile 12.  Dynamic stretching, upper body strength, ITB rehab + Single Leg Dead lift).

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Training Log - Week Ending March 20

Week 12 of my 20 week plan.

I'm re-energized with my good result in last weekend's 5k (18:41 - a 31second PR!) - shout out to Jason Fitzgerald and my team at Strength Running for the plan and support.

It's taken a lot of patience for me to stick to the plan in the first 12 weeks - with long and tempo runs, and not a lot of "speed work" / intervals.  But, based on last weeks' race results, it's working!  I only ran at 5k pace twice in the last 12 weeks, and never more than 2 minutes at a time.  And still, a big PR.  So...I've changed my mind about how to train for a 5k.  If left to my own resources (or lack thereof), I tend to run full blown interval sessions of 4 x 1200 hard every week.  That worked for me last year to get to a 19:12 5k (on a much easier course than last week), and injury.  I should remind everyone, I'll be 49 years old in a few months, which was considered when Jason created this plan for me.

On to this week:  Last Saturday night (or is it Sunday morning), we adjusted our clocks to  "Daylight Savings Time", and it kinda' sucks.  It's not so much the lost hour on Saturday night, but feeling like I'm waking up too early when the alarm goes for my pre-work runs (between 5:00 and 5:30 depending on how long my workout is for the day). it's dark again for my morning runs....just when it started to be light for the start of my run...damn it.  The "darkness" is a thing for me, and I tend to hit the treadmill more than if it is light out.  But, I'm still doing it, and not letting is set me back...and in a couple of weeks the change will be forgotten, and I'll be happy it's light so late at night.

Mileage is up this week, with a 15 mile long run, and two...count em...TWO days with at least some kind of speed element (Wednesday and Friday).  The second day of speed work took some pep out of my legs for Sunday's long I slowed the pace some, but did the miles.

This week also felt like I'm "ramping up" the effort.  Especially coming off a race last Saturday.  I'm going to be super vigilant of any over-training or ailments/twinges.  I feel this is the part of the program where I could get injured if I'm not paying attention.

Total Mileage:  46
Long Run:  15 (on the road, since Saturday/Sunday was rainy/snowy)
Weight:  139 - 140 (5' 10")

Daily workouts:

  • Monday -  4 miles on the treadmill @ 8:00 pace.  Legs a little spongy still from Saturday's race.  But not bad.  Dynamic stretching, hip mobility.  (Raining outside, so inside I go!)
  • Tuesday - 6 miles @ 7:50 pace + 4 strides on the treadmill.  Core work.  Dynamic stretching and foam rolling.
  •  Wednesday - 10 miles on the treadmill with mile 3-5 @  tempo (6:35 pace) + 6 x 2' @ 10k pace (6:15 pace) with 2' jog (10:00 pace) in between. This workout actually didn't feel too bad, and I used 1% incline for the faster work.  Funny, after running a 5k a few days ago, 6:35 and 6:15 pace don't really "feel" fast....all perception I guess.  ITB rehab work, upper body strength (cable rows, pull up, chest press machine, dips), single leg squat (body weight), single leg deadlift with 20lb. dumbbell.
  • Thursday - Off.  Foam rolling and stretching.
  • Friday -  Plan:  8 miles with 8 x 200 @ 5k pace with 200 jog between. Actual:  I ran on the treadmill again today, even tho the weather was not that bad.  I just didn't want to do this workout in the dark.  Since my last 5k race was completed at 6:00 pace on a pretty hilly course, I'm "assuming" my 5k training pace is 5:55....I know, big assumption, but there it is.  So, today I did 3 miles at 8:00 pace, then did 8 repeats of 45 seconds at 5:55 pace, followed by 45 seconds at 10:00 pace - all at 1% incline.  This means I did a little more than 200 meters for the 5k pace work, and a lot less than 200 for the recovery portion.  But, I felt pretty good and don't think I was working too hard.  So, all is good, right?  Ended with another 3 miles @ 8:00 pace.  The treadmill turned itself off at one hour, so that's when I stopped.  Total mileage = 7.6.  Dynamic stretching and hip mobility/strength exercises.
  •  Saturday - 3 miles EASY around neighborhood + 4 strides.  No watch (nice).  Core work, dynamic stretching, hip mobility/strength. 
  •  Sunday - 15 miles on W&OD in Leesburg @ 7:35 pace.  My legs were not feeling as fresh on Sunday as prior weeks, I'm thinking because of the speed work on Friday, but it could be the race last week or just the higher overall mileage.  And...the last couple of miles were a real bear, I had to hunker down and focus to get thru it.  ITB Rehab routine + single leg dead lift and single leg squats. Lotsa foam rolling, stretching, and whining.  Followed by,  and "deep couch sitting".

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Training Log - Week Ending March 13

Week 12 of my 20 week training plan that ends in a 10k goal race (Jason Fitzgerald @ Strength Running provided my training plan).

This week is my first race as a build up to my goal race.  This is the first time I've ever had a "non-goal" race, I raced four 5k's last year, my first year racing...and each one was an all-out effort for a PR.  And, since I was new to running, each race was faster.  Don't we all LOVE it when we first start something and it's so easy to get better!

Then, after my PR of 19:12 in September last year....while training for a 10k...I overdid it and hurt my IT Band.  And, I was down for the count.  So, my first race in seven months...and NOT being a goal race and in Week 12 of a 20 week plan...left me less than fully confident of how I would do.  I've also been doing A LOT less 5k pace work this Spring than I did last year...for good reason....but....again not providing any extra confidence in my current ability.

On the other hand, mileage is up (44 mi last week vs 30 mi highest volume last year), my long runs are longer (14 mi vs 8 mi), and I'm doing "real" tempo runs for the first time....all good things...I think... for faster races.

In preparation for the race on Saturday, this is a "reduced volume" week to give my legs some pep for the big event.  My last "speed work" was on Wednesday, with no running on Thursday, and only a "shake out" - very light run on Friday.  Happily, this is pretty close to what I would have done when I was making my own training it felt familiar.

I posted a separate "Race Report" yesterday titled "Lucky Leprechaun 5k" with all the gory details......please take a look!

Weekly mileage: 28  (cut back for the race)
Weight:  139 - 140
Long run:  No long run this week....last week was 14.

The weather turned warm this week...nice!  I was able to run before work - outside - in one layer.  Felt good.  Soon I'm sure I will complain it's too hot.  But right now....great!

Daily detail:

Monday: off.  I was actually quite happy to have this day off after 14 miles yesterday.  I didn't do ANYTHING running related.

Tuesday: 4 mi. easy + 4 strides.  I ran this on the W&OD in Herndon.  The first part of the run I felt really sluggish, and my legs felt heavy.  But, by the end, I was feeling pretty good...overall 8:00 pace.  Core work + dynamic stretching and cool down.

Wednesday:  On the treadmill since I couldn't get to the track.  The plan was 7 miles with 8 x 2' @ 10k pace in the middle.  Since I was feeling a little "insecure" about my 5k pace for the weekend, I did 4 x 2' @ 10k pace (6:15), then 4 x 2' @ 5k pace (6:00), all at 1% incline.  For the speed work I put on my NB RC5000 shoes....first time I've had them on since last September.  Man...I do like running fast in light shoes!  The workout felt good, and helped me "feel" 5k pace and effort.  Dynamic stretching and hip mobility work.

Thursday: - off.  Stretching, rolling, trying to keep the energy and expectation of the race on Saturday down.  Just keep myself busy.

Friday:  3 mi EASY on W&OD...about 8:15 pace.

Saturday:  RACE DAY - PR of 18:41! 31 seconds faster than my last PR.  About 6:00 pace, which I'm really happy about (my watch said I ran 3.12 miles).
2.5 mi warm-up easy pace, dynamic stretching, 4 strides...and line up.  3 mi easy after the race.  A lot of dynamic stretching and foam rolling.

Sunday:  5.3 mi easy around the house @ 8:15 pace.  Focus was to enjoy the run and be outside. Dynamic warm-up and cool down.   Still on a bit of a high from yesterday's PR.  Don't feel that bad...being the day after the race.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Race Report: Lucky Leprechaun 5k

Race Report:  Lucky Leprechaun 5k at the Reston Town Center in Reston Virginia.

Today I ran my first race since last September.  I picked this race because it fell in the right place in my training plan, and it is a short drive from my house.  My family has been to the Reston Town Center a number of times, so I am familiar with the roads, parking, etc.

Emotionally I place WAY too much energy and emphasis on races.  I see them as WAY too important and validating my hard work.  I know this is a "thing" for me, and I try to play it down.  But, deep inside, they mean a lot to me...definitely more than they should.

Even though this race is in the middle of my training plan, and only considered "a step toward my goal race" in 8 weeks...I still can't help but want to PR and win my age group category.  I've been this way since I was 6 years old, playing Little League baseball.

I got to the race early, parked, and had plenty of time to get my shit (physically and emotionally) together.  Did my two mile warm-up, changed into my racing flats (NB RC5000), did a few strides, and was ready to go.  Quite a few folks were at this race, so I was happy to see the signs by the start sorting people by miles/minute.  I slotted myself in front section which said 6:00 - 7:00.

The temperature was in the mid 40's at the start and cloudy.  No rain, but it felt like it could any minute.  I ended up deciding on a singlet and arm warmers...I think the choice was about right.

The race is sponsored/organized by Potomac River Running, which is a chain of running stores around the DC/Northern Virginia area.  The racing series is called "PR Races".  These stores also have a team, and the team members show up in force for these races (as they should).  All nice people, and all pretty fast.  As it got closer to the gun going off, I realized I was somewhat surrounded by the green "PR Running" jerseys.  I've run in PR races before, but it seemed a few more team members were in this race.   "Good" I thought "lotsa' people to follow".

My race "plan" going in was to run the first mile in 6:05, and adjust from there, hoping to finish under 19:00...well here's how it went:

The first mile is considerable downhill, second mile is up and down, and third mile is mostly uphill.  Much more hilly than I plan....try running by feel and forget even splits....which I am NOT yet good at.

  • Mile 1:  5:52 - um, is this too fast?  I didn't know, I was going downhill, so maybe not.  But those PR team members were still within range, which gave me concern.  They are supposed to be significantly faster than me.
  • Mile 2: 5:47 - somewhere toward the end of mile 1 I heard some breathing off my left shoulder.  I didn't turn to look, but knew I had some company.  After a minute of two this runner passed me, a woman in a PR team jersey.  I remembered her from a race last year, and she finished well ahead of me.  But, was a thinking rationally?  Of course not!  So, when she went by, I got on her shoulder and stayed with her through mile 2.  Was mile 2 too fast for me?  YES.  I realized a little too late, and I let her go around the 2 mile mark.   I slowly watched her pony tail move farther and farther away
  •  Mile 3:  6:21: yup.  Crash.  Well, it was uphill, but I know I went out too fast, because about 5 people passed me, I would hold on for a few seconds, and then have to let them go.  In prior races I was the one passing toward the end.....
  • Last bit (uphill):  :41.  Man, I was just hanging and telling myself "Don't quit".  I had no kick at all.
 Total time:  18:41.  A PR by 31 seconds!  Yay!  My training is certainly paying off!  My watch says I ran 3.12 miles and my average pace is 5:59.  I feel really good about that!

I finished 3rd in my age group (45-49), and got a little trophy with a shamrock on it.  Cool.  I was 13th overall of the men, and 15th is you include the women (438 men ran). The guy that won my age bracket finished in 17:15, holy shite!

Oh...and that woman that dropped me in Mile 2?  Finished in yes. staying with her was WAY over my head, and not a smart move.

So, what did I learn?  I HAVE to get better at pacing by feel, and knowing what each mile should "feel" like.  AND, don't get so caught up in competing with someone faster than me.  Let the competitiveness go, dumbass!  I think I could have been a few seconds faster with better pacing.  But, still a HUGE PR, with the the "peaking" part of my training cycle ahead of me.  I'm stoked, and energized to keep working hard.

And, of course, since this is the "Lucky Leprechaun" race, clothing MUST be appropriate.  I found some shamrock shorts online and my wife added some running shamrocks to my singlet.  Nice.

My goal race this cycle is a 10k in 8 weeks.  I'm going to run a couple more 5k's and an 8k along the way...

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Training Log - Week Ending March 6

Week 11 of my 20 week plan that ends May 15. 

The weather is getting a littler better.....I can ALMOST feel Spring in the air!  Even tho we did have a little snow fall on Friday, here in the DC area.

I had a pretty difficult long run last Sunday, but I did my best to shrug it off and push forward this week....and this week was much better.  My mileage is building, and I'm focusing more on sleep and recovery which is helping. 

New pair of shoes this week!  Saucony Fastwitch.  My first impression - they fit my narrow / high arch foot pretty well, but the ride is super firm.  I've only worn them on two runs so far, and I've read they "break in" I'll see....

Total mileage:  42.5 mi.
Long run:  14mi @7:16 pace (1:41:45).   My longest run so far...
Weight:  138 -139 this week. I've dropped a couple lbs as I head into my Spring "Racing Season"

 Planning a 5k race next Saturday....first race since last Sept.....I'm a little anxious but don't have high expectations as this is a "training" race to get some speed work and build toward my goal race in May.

Daily detail:

Monday:  3 miles on the treadmill @ 8:10 pace.  Still feeling fatigued from yesterday's long run.  Dynamic warm-up and cool down.

Tuesday:  4.5 miles + 4 strides on the treadmill @ 8:00 pace.  Dynamic warm-up and cool down + core work.

Wednesday:  10 miles on treadmill.  Miles 4-8 @ tempo pace (4-6 @ 6:40; 7-8 @ 6:35).  Dynamic warm-up and hip mobility cool down + ITB rehab + upper body strength.

Thursday:  Off.  Dynamic + static stretching.

Friday:  8 mi on treadmill in new Saucony's @ 7:55 pace.  Dynamic stretching....

Saturday:  3 mi around hood + 4 hill sprints.  dynamic warm up + hip mobility + core work.

Sunday:  14 mi on W&OD in Leesburg.  Nicer weather, around 40 and dry.  Much better long run than last week on C&O tow path.