Sunday, January 17, 2016

Carlsbad Marathon!

3:35:07 - 1/17/16

Well didn't go exactly as planned - did not need that last 10k.  Felt good until around 14-15ish.  Held on until 19 and then the wheels came off.  Walked for a minute around 22 and 24 - got some side stitches and some leg cramps and oh yeah I was TIRED AS SHIT.
The first half was a blur - went pretty quickly.  Second half was a blur but in a much more uncomfortable way.
My friend ran with me the second half - feel sorry that I totally fell apart on him but he basically dragged me to the finish line so THANKS MIKE!
I had a gu at 7, 14, and 21.  7 was no caffeine, 14 was 20mg, and 21 was 35mg caffeine.  Have no idea if the caffeine did anything or not.  Never practiced with caffeine gus during training.  Just drank water - had pretty much a swig of water every mile the second half.
My calf was totally twitching the last mile couple miles or so and at 26.1, turning the corner to the finish line, it totally cramped and I hopped through the finish line!  The medical staff were all over me but I was able to walk it off - was afraid to sit down as I would never get back up.
I was (and am still) SO WRECKED and can barely move.  Big Props to my wife for totally dealing with me.  Finally about 2 hours after the race I was able to take a shower - walking very slowly and stiffly.
Funny thing I was -really- happy with my pacing the first half - maybe starting going too fast (mile 2 was 7:40) too quickly but I really thought my pacing was perfect - I just couldn't keep it up the entire race so turns out 7:40 was a little too aggressive :)  Funny because when I ran 19 miles at 8:17 my first thought was 'this is a good marathon pace.
Wonder if I had just keep it at 8:00mm I could have gone 3:30 - next time?
I was never really totally out of breath - although I got close several times - it was my legs that were dead.
All in all am very proud of 3:35 - what would I have done differently?  Lots! (well some):
  • More longer runs - ya I know Hansons is all about only going 16 but I died after 18 so maybe I needed more long runs
  • Slow runs probably should have been slower - maybe that's why I died at 19?
  • Never really figured out a marathon pace during training.  Should have nailed that down at the beginning - even if it was something slower than I would have liked and just nailed that.
  • Strength work?  Perhaps having some strength work (vs. none) things would have worked out  better?
Dunno if there will be another marathon in my future - wife certainly doesn't want there to be another one - it took a lot out of both of our lives - all of the training and then dealing with me after the race.
Half marathons are so much more reasonable!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Carlsbad Marathon Week 14

Welp this is IT!  Marathon in 6 days arrahahahghghghahahag!  Must take it as easy as possible this week.

REST - 1/11/16

Had 6 miles on the schedule today - not happening.  Feel like I want to rest after the 8+8 this past weekend.  May go for an easy 5 or 6 tomorrow.

6 easy - 1/12/16

Really challenged myself to run this easy around 9:00mm and did it!  Hope to do the same tomorrow.  Wish all of my easy runs were this easy...

6 easy - 1/13/16

Wanted to get 1 mile in at around MP - check.  Think this is the last run until the marathon.  Scared shitless.

REST - 1/14/16

It's shut down - had a 30 minute massage which I've never had so hoping that'll do something spectacular - felt good.  Glad I had it today so I have a couple days to recover from that!  Oof getting close.

REST - 1/15/16

Friday - 2 days to go - had a nice walk this morning with the wifey.  Right knee feels a bit odd but probably because mentally I'm a basket case.  Think I'm going through the 6 stages of grief or something.  Planning on keeping the feet up as much as possible.

REST - 1/16/16

Thought about going for a short run but as I didn't have time in the morning I just bagged it.  Went to the expo and got my bib and talked to the 3:25 pacer - there's actually two of them - one will take over at 13.1.  Anyway the starter's plan is straight 7:40 miles all the way though - slowing down a bit up the hills and speeding up down the hills.  While I'd like to average 7:40 no way my first mile is going to be 7:40 so I guess (hope) I'll catch up to him eventually.
Anyway that was a little disheartening to hear how fast the 3:25 guy was going to go - he wants to 'bank' time which is exactly what I do not want to do so I guess I'm not starting off with that pace group!
Just need to make it to 13.1 in relatively decent shape where I meet my friend who is going to run the second half with me and try to keep me at 7:40 from that point on.  Sure, why not???
Feel pretty good - eating potatoes and trying to take it easy.  Wish me luck!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Carlsbad Marathon Week 13

Ahh lucky number 13 - the last 'real' week of training - cannot BELIEVE it.  Wow.

8 easy - 1/4/2016

Really REALLY wanted to go slowly - like sane slowly - like between 9:00-9:30mm pace but could not make that happen.  So that's disappointing.  Felt pretty good overall though.

6 strength - 1/5/2016

Last speed workout!!  Was supposed to be 6x1 with 400m RI but turned it into almost 6.5 miles 'fast'.  After last weeks debacle felt good just to get out and run fast for 45 minutes.  Plus was about to start dumping rain so needed to get this done before that.
Felt good, tried to keep it as relaxed as possible.  Wanted to run a bit slower but this felt ok.  Was pushing it but not too much.  Plus REST DAY tomorrow!  Only one more 'big' run on Thursday and then it's time to relax and let the magic of rest take over - I hope.

REST - 1/6/2016

It's dumping cats & dogs here - great day for a rest day.  But really, what day wouldn't be a great rest day?  Tomorrow looks pretty dicey for my final 10 tempo with the rain dumping and all.  Going to be interesting.

10 tempo - 1/7/2016

Well for good or bad, hook or crook, it's done.  Averaged just under 7:20mm for the 10 miles with a warm up and cool down mile.  It was too fast, gawd my pacing sucks.  Pacing was pretty good the first half but sort of just unleashed it the second half of the run.  Maybe just wanted to get through it as THIS WAS IT.  
This run went better than last week's which really sucked the life out of me - for this one I was absolutely more in control and felt myself pushing it towards the end - looking forward to going slower 'for real' race - and the only way that will happen will be to stay with a pace group.
It's now time to taper - 10 days until LIFT OFF at Carlsbad.  Still looking at 7:40mm for the marathon but since I pretty much have never run at that pace it'll be interesting.  However I don't really plan running at that pace - planning on starting slower and speeding up towards the end but really who the hell knows.  For now, REST and RECOVER and stay HEALTHY for next Sunday.

REST - 1/8/16

Ha!  This was supposed to be 7 easy but I BLEW IT OFF!!  Yeah ya heard me!  Right knee a bit sore, but sure I could have done this but I'm taking the day off baby!!!!  Yeah!!!  Woo!!!!  Take that Marathon Training Plan!
Early weather predictions for Marathon day look pretty good - 20% chance of rain and 10-15mph wind - well ok not that great but still 9 days out...

8 comfortable - 1/9/16

Wanted to run a bit on the course but am getting pretty sick of it so went a slightly different path.  And on that path I got 'pulled over' by a copy for jaywalking while I was running!  Very dumb on my part as I ran against a light literally right in front of the cop.  He took my info and called it in but thankfully did not give me a ticket.  I did find out he is working the marathon next weekend so that was fun :|
Anyway made an otherwise uneventful run very eventful!  Got a little confused when I got pulled over so the mile split on mile 2 is goofy but no big - fun run!

8 comfortable - 1/10/16

Wanted to run on trails to reduce knee pounding - trails were nice and soft and felt good even if I went too fast.  ONE WEEK TO GO.  Now need to keep the feet up and REST.


About 42 miles this week - winding it down and taking it easy.  Am now on a strict no booze minimal sugar nothing stupid week.  Can I make it through the week with those restrictions?  
Marathon is LOOMING and I have no idea if I'm ready or what a realistic pace may be.
I've done all of the workouts so in theory I'm ready right?
Need rest and need to be ready to CRUSH it next Sunday!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Carlsbad Marathon Week 12

6 easy - 12/28/15

With a sore right knee definitely wanted to take this run as easy as possible.  Maybe got a touch fast the last mile but overall was pretty good.  Nice and cool out.
But the big story is the sore knee - hoping it will heal up quickly for a fast 6 tomorrow followed by a rest day.

4x1.5 strength - 12/29/15 

Well if was definitely way overdue: a bad workout.  This was supposed to be 4x1.5 at ten seconds faster than marathon pace w/800m recovery.  I had thoughts of course of just running the 6 miles at around 7:20mm straight out.  That did not happen.
I meant to run at lunch at work BUT I had a meeting run long so I couldn't do that.  So I ate lunch and then waited an hour and then went.  I very rarely run at 2:30 in the afternoon after a good-sized lunch and now I know why.
After a mile warm up I kicked it into gear - unfortunately the first 2 miles or so from that point on were uphill and I almost immediately had incredible side-stitches - like I've never had before during this training that's for sure.  Very painful, could hardly breath kind of side-stitches.  I tried to stretch it out and move around but no success.
So after 1.5 painful miles I walked for 2 minutes hoping they would go away.  It did get very slightly better but not by much.  I trundled off on the next 1.5 mile leg and was once again hurting pretty bad.  Somehow I was able to finish the second interval and just started walking again for about 2 minutes. 
I knew the last 2 would be flat-to-downhill and the third one was barely manageable.
After another 2 minute walk I set out on the last interval - it was going pretty good (lots of downhill) until the last half mile - which was mostly uphill - which came extremely close to killing me.
The side-stitches hurt really bad it was ridiculous.  The last 2 tenths were hellacious but I did get it done.
I walked back the remaining half mile or so the office.  I am #proud I did manage to get this done but it was horrific and not what I needed getting close to the end of training.  Of course I ended up going too fast for all 4 intervals anyway because I"m dumb.  They went something like 7:06, 7:11, 7:15, 7:04 for the 4 1.5 intervals.  Should have been 7:20-7:30.
Right knee is still a bit sore but I think it's getting better.
I NEED that rest day tomorrow like you cannot believe.  Ideally I wouldn't even get out of bed but that's not in the cards :)
Oh 10 mile tempo on Thursday is sounding REAL nice, yeah right.

REST - 12/30/15


10 tempo - 12/31/15

This was harder than it should have been.  On the plus side got the run the first 6 miles of the marathon and then turned around and ran the last 6 miles of the marathon for 12 miles (1 warm up, 1 cool down).  On the negative side it was too fast by at least 10s/mile - averaged 7:25 for the 10 miles which felt too fast and towards the end - last couple miles or so - I felt it.  Was no where near as comfortable as the 10 tempo last week.
Other than all of that am very happy to have this behind me and glad I only have 6 easy after New Years Eve tonight :)
Right knee felt fine during the run but felt a bit sore immediately afterwards.  I cannot believe the marathon is coming up - only 2 hard runs left (6 fast Tuesday an 10 tempo next Thursday).  That is pretty scary - can't I just keep training instead?
Anyway this run really reinforced my idea that 7:40mm is hopefully my marathon pace - NOT 7:25.  At the 6 mile turnaround point - which was heading up the one big hill in the marathon I don't think I could have made it up the hill at that pace.
Overall great last run of the month year - going out with a bang I guess!

6 easy - 1/1/16

Happy New Year!!!  Wanted/needed to take this run easy after last night's shenanigans - you'll note I didn't actually start this run until 11:15am - so had some recovery time from too much food & drink ringing in 2016.  This was indeed the recovery of all recovery runs.

10 long - 1/2/2016

Not sure where this came from but went very well.  Felt strong and comfortable at a good pace with lots of elevation.  Maybe it's all the sleep as this run didn't start until 9:30am so lots of lying in bed for a nice change.  Going to be sad when I have to start getting up early again...

10 long - 1/3/2016

A 9am start so slowly getting up earlier :).  This was all on the Carlsbad marathon course except for a change I ran down the hill first and finished coming back up it.  What was interesting was the 'coming back up it part' around mile 6 is exactly where in the actual marathon we start running up the hill - that's about as 'interesting' as things get around here I guess!
As the run progressed I sped up even though I was going UP the hill instead of down it - oh well.  Regardless was happy to have this run (and this week) done and in the books.

RECAP and next week

A touch over 50 miles for the week - considering most of this week was during vacation time things overall went well.
But HOLY CRAP now within 2 week of the marathon - can't I just keep training?  That part seems to be going pretty well and the marathon is scary.
Next week is the last of actual 'training' and even then it's pretty thin.  8 miles on Monday - which I need to take VERY easy after the 2 ten miles this past weekend went too fast.  The last bit of speed work on Tuesday and the Biggie:  the final 10 tempo on Thursday and then it really slows down for the taper.
Holy crap holy crap holy crap.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Carlsbad Marathon Week 11

8 comfortable - 12/21/15

And the beat goes on!  Or maybe 'no rest for the wicked'.  Or something.  Anyway after the first typically-creaky mile it was straight up and down hills so I guess that got me going and by the time of the second half of this run, which is pretty flat, I was just cruising along.
Pace was fast but felt strangely comfortable for a little while at least.  Not sure where this run came from.  Hope I have enough left in the tank to basically do this exact same run tomorrow but maybe a touch faster.  We Shall See.

6 strength - 12/22/15

I had been doing these 6 fast total, but on the schedule today was actually 3x2, but I ended up doing 2x3 with a mile warm up and cool down.  Was going too fast so was happy to take a 2:30 RI after the first block - the second block was tough and was happy to have a couple stops at lights to catch my breath.  Did I mention REST DAY tomorrow???
Oh yeah, it was WET and RAINY for fun too.  That made things slightly more interesting.
But what's SUPER CRAZY is the run today and yesterday were the EXACT SAME DURATION (1:02:22) - WOW!!!  That was totally unplanned - crazy!!!

REST - 12/23/15

Sweet, sweet rest.

10 tempo - 12/24/15

First 10 mile tempo - went pretty good!  Fortunately my friend paced us perfectly keeping us ~7:35mm and was able to get in a fast mile for the last one (6:46mm) and it all went surprisingly well.  All on the Carlsbad Marathon course.  Was very happy with this run.

7 comfortable - 12/25/15

Wasn't sure what I was going to have for this one - no one out on the streets due to xmas morning.  Went faster than I thought I would especially with a lot of elevation - was happy with this but tired.

8 comfortable - 12/26/16

Some needed trail running with my buddy - felt faster than the 8:15mm but need to keep it reasonable for my last long run tomorrow.  Cold out.

16 long - 12/27/16

Did not know what I would have for this as it's been a looong week - lots of running plus xmas and family and eating and drinking.  Did this as a marathon practice - thought I try to take a gu before starting and that didn't work out very well.  Stomach felt no bueno for the first 6ish miles.
Took first gu at 6.5 with a swig of water and then felt much better.  Felt very good from mile 6-10.  Took second gu at 12.6 at a drinking fountain that had NO WATER - bummer!
Was able to finish reasonably strong with no water - the only water I had was one gulp with my gu at mile 6.5 which was unfortunate.
At mile 16 I just stopped (was only supposed to be 16 anyway) but had thoughts of maybe going longer - maybe could have but didn't want to push it as my average pace was already much marathon pace for the 16.
In fact after this run I think 7:40mm (my average for this run) sounds about right for my marathon pace.  If I can do 16 at 7:40mm not tapered I should be able to hold that for a well-rested marathon?  Also was happy to see my average heart rate for this run was 149bpm which is right at what it needs to be for the marathon I think - that's about 80-85% of my max HR and hopefully what I can hold for the marathon.
Welp we are going to find out!

Recap and Next Week

Welp this was the final 'big week' - just a hair over 60 miles this week and it all went pretty well overall.  With 3 weeks (!!!!) to go before the marathon I may have finally found my marathon pace so that's nice!
Next week is 4x1.5 fast on Tuesday, 10 mile tempo Thursday, and 10+10 Saturday and Sunday - sounds almost reasonable.  I need to start recovering and tapering so it's more important that ever to get the paces right for ALL of the runs from here on out.
We Shall See!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Carlsbad Marathon Week 10

6 easy - 12/14/15

After the first couple miles (especially the first one) went by very creakily this run actually felt pretty good.  It was pretty breezy and cool out so that certainly helped plus went a new way for several miles so that may have helped too.
Good to get the blood pumping and hopefully be ready for tomorrow's fast 6.

6 strength - 12/15/15

Probably not the smartest move but just went for it - not quite all out - but went pretty hard.  Thought I'd get close (or best) my 10k PR but did realize is was 41:25 (Dec. 2013) until after I finished and looked it up.  I went 41:40 today - had I known it was 41:25 I might have pushed it further but probably for the best as this was plenty fast.  According to 'the plan' this was supposed to be 3x2 with a 800m RI.
I really need to get my paces right pretty much starting NOW.   I don't think running a 6:42mm 10k is really going to help my marathon in 4+ weeks at this point.

REST - 12/16/15

Wow this is the fastest day of the week.

9 tempo - 12/17/15

The last of the 9 miles tempos - sure going to miss them.  Up in NoCal for this one - nice and chilly outside.  Really tried to keep it reasonable - I knew I was going a bit fast so tried to slow it down a bit miles 7 and 8 but was happy a speed back up a bit for mile 9.  7:09mm average is of course too fast.  SO starting NEXT WEEK with the strength 6 and the tempo 10 (OMG) I WILL cut those times down to something much more reasonable.

6 comfortable - 12/18/15

Went too fast but felt ok and wanted to get it done - STAR WARS this afternoon!!

10 easy - 12/19/15

This was certainly not 'easy' with over 1500' of elevation BUT it was a fun run up and down with a NEW WATCH!  Hanukkah came a little late this year for it but it finally did how up - a shiny new Garmin 235 - no more having to strap on an external heart-rate monitor.  One less thing to keep charged and remember to bring to work - yea!!
So far I think it's more accurate as I haven't had the 'first 2 miles my heart rate is at 100% max' phenomena that I usually have with my Sosche Rhythm strap I've been wearing.
This new watch also has daily activity and sleep monitoring which is pretty cool.

12 comfortable - 12/20/15

This was an interesting run.  Was out at the neighborhood holiday party the night before and ate WAY too much junk and drank WAY too much beer so that was unfortunately.  This was supposed to be 10 but wanted to run a bit more on the Carlsbad marathon course including the 'big 'hill' up and down Palomar Airport Road so this ended up being 12.
Took a gu at 6 - as well as a bathroom break - so the second half of this run was significantly faster than the first half (not to mention the second half is almost entirely downhill).  The last couple fast mile felt ok.
A belated Hanukkah party tonight and then NO MORE heavy eating and drinking until AFTER the marathon!  With one month to go it would be nice to try to eat healthy food and avoid all (most?) of the garbage...

Recap and looking ahead...

Exactly 50 miles for the week.  Now things start getting serious - I think this coming week is THE peak week with 8 Monday, fast 6 Tuesday, rest Wednesday (also known as the fastest day of the week), a big TEN tempo Thursday, some amount of mileage Friday and Saturday with the Big 16 on Sunday.  
So TEN tempo Thursday, did I mention that?  I HAVE to hit reasonable paces for that and then figure something about the Big 16 on Sunday.  Did I mention xmas is Thursday with wife's family in town staying at our house this WILL be an interesting week!!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Carlsbad Marathon Week 9

8 comfortable - 12/7/15

Creaky at the start as usual.  This ended up being too fast - no excuse I just went too fast.  Was surprisingly warm out so not exactly what I was looking for but wasn't bad.  Need some serious rest and relaxation tonight for the fast 6 tomorrow.

6 strength - 12/8/15

Did a mile warm up for this one and I think that really helped in terms of being relaxed during the run and keeping my heart rate down overall.  Even though overall this was too fast and I could feel I was running fast it never got uncomfortable (well at the end going up the hill was not pleasant) and felt very doable.  Was supposed to be 3x2 with 800m RI but as usual so far since I can do the milage best just to do it all in one shot.  
Gloves were a good call this morning.  Did I mention REST DAY TOMORROW????

REST - 12/9/15

Wow these rest days go by WAY too fast.

9 tempo - 12/10/15

This was unfortunately something of a failure.  Went too fast - on a relatively flat course - and just could not get up the final half mile of the final hill at 8.5 miles so turned around and just ran the last half mile downhill.  
I basically just mentally psyched myself out of that last bit - I was pretty tired around mile 7 and starting thinking about the last hill so by the time I got half way up it I was mentally done (not to mention physically pretty beat up too.  So that was disappointing.  
I think the Big Lesson here is I need to slow down and find a marathon pace that is realistic.

6 easy - 12/11/15 

Really tried to keep this comfortable and under control which I think I mostly did.  The heart rate monitor I have is really all over the place lately.

8 comfortable - 12/12/15

Legit elevation on this one but tried to keep it reasonable.  Sorta like the hills better than just flat - certainly keeps things more interesting.

19 long - 12/13/15

This was supposed to be 16 but wanted to better practice goo and water strategy.  Grabbed my local sherpa and really kept the pace totally reasonable until pushing it a little at the end.  Had a 6 minute bio-break at 10.5 but this was a very reasonable run.  Goo'd at 7 and 14 and starting taking a gulp of water every mile starting around 15.  Worked out pretty well - all 19 on the Carlsbad marathon course including the bulk of the elevation (I think).

Recap and next week...

About 59 miles this week - only 5 weeks until the Big Day.  This week is really just the fast 6 on Tuesday and 9 tempo Thursday.  It really is becoming increasingly important to find a marathon pace!  
Although disappointed with the 9 tempo am encouraged that the 19 went pretty good.  On to Week 10!