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!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Carlsbad Marathon Week 8

11/30/15 - 6 easy

Back still sore and stiff and OMG the first couple miles (especially the first half mile) was a total joke.  I must have looked like a puppet or something creaking along trying to loosen up my back and legs and hell my entire body to be running again after the 16 yesterday.  Did not really feel into this run AT ALL until mile 6 when things finally got looser.  Ridiculous.  No idea what's going to happen tomorrow for 6 miles of fast.

12/1/15 - 6 strength

Nice and chilly out - low 40s I think.  Wore gloves.  That was good.  Back slowly getting slightly better - not quite as sore/stiff this morning.  Wanted to stick closer to 7:20mm but it was so cold out I was initially running just to keep warm.  This was hard no lie.  Tried to keep it under control and it was most of the time but I was pushing it for sure.  Did I mention REST DAY TOMORROW??
Was supposed to be 1.5x4 with 800m RI but it was too cold to slow down.

12/2/15 - REST

Sweet glorious rest.  Back still sore and stiff but it is improving slightly each day.  Already afraid of tomorrow's tempo 9.

12/3/15 - 9 tempo

No lie this was tough in spots.  Lots of up and down the first half of this run plus up a legit hill at the end really kicked this one up a notch.  Fortunately running with a friend who did a great job of keeping us (close!) to on pace.  Still a tad quick which was good because I don't think I'd be running another 15 miles at that pace on that route!  As always, glad to have that one in the books.

12/4/15 - 6 easy

This was -not- easy!  The time in strava is off - it marked me for the first mile maybe .2 mile before an actual mile.  Think maybe the rest of the miles are correct as somehow the total milage is correct around 6.4.  Definitely felt this one and did not mean to go fast - was surprised at the paces if they are correct which I don't think they are.  Need to slog through 10/10 this weekend.

12/5/15 - 10 long

The (early) morning after our company Holiday Party wasn't really sure what (if anything) I was going to have to this one.  My friend wanted to run up the local high spot like we did 2 weeks ago but this time the switchbacks instead of the fire road that goes straight up and almost killed me.  When I first woke up hung over I thought 'no way' but 30 minutes later I was out the door.
So this actually turned out to be pretty fun.  The trail up is still plenty tough and needed several stops but the view at the top is fantastic and the run down is really fun.
About 1200' elevation for this one - happy to have survived.

12/6/15 - 10 easy

After yesterday really wanted to do something nice and flat.  So did a boring run along the beach (well you can only actually see the ocean for maybe a mile even though we were running right next to it - there are houses and hills and trees blocking the view most of the time.  Anyway started at the southern most tip of Calrsbad Marathon route and headed south 5 miles and back.  Ponto to the Kook and back if that means anything to ya.

Just about 50 miles for the week - next is week is pretty much more of the exactly the same.  Fast Tuesday, Tempo Thursday, and then 16 long Sunday.  Cannot believe the marathon is like 7 or 8 weeks out.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Carlsbad Marathon Week 7

Really need to come up with more interesting titles for these!

11/23/15 - 8 easy

Calves still sore from last Saturday's nonsense.  Somehow it got warm again so it was touch warmer out than I dreamed it could be.  Also for the same stupid reasons just ran too fast.  After a creaky first mile just sort of fell into a rhythm and that was it.  Already pre-looking forward to a Wednesday rest day this week.  Just gotta tackle tomorrow's carnage 6x1 mile with 400m RI which sounds dumb since I can run the whole 6 miles at pace so not sure what I'm going to do - maybe 3x2 or something.
With the HRM the question is now what should my heart rate zone be for the marathon.  Curious to maybe figure that out.  That would probably also help me pick a pace that's reasonable.

11/24/15 - 6 strength

Ok on the 'plan' this was supposed to be 6x1 mile with 400m RI at 10 seconds below marathon pace.  Since I'm still not sure what marathon pace actually is I just ran this slightly more than comfortably hard and just kept going for the whole 6 miles.  
I was under control (mostly!) and felt ok so just let it fly.  Weather was perfect AND I have my very first Wednesday rest day tomorrow.  Plus I really didn't want to stop every mile and jog for a quarter of a mile when I knew I could just get it done at the semi-proper pace.  Even though this did end up a bit too fast pace-wise it really felt ok.
The Big Challenge will be the tempo 8 on Thursday (Thanksgiving of all days!) to keep THAT at a reasonable pace - aka marathon pace.  Meanwhile rest day tomorrow, which is sort of too bad as I'd rather do an easy run tomorrow and rest on Friday...  Oh well this weekend will be tough enough with the 16 miler.

11/25/15 - REST

First Wednesday rest day - just lazed around Palm Desert eating.  Fun.

11/26/15 - 9 tempo

This was supposed to be 8 tempo, and slower.  Didn't really feel comfortable until around mile 6 - once I got to 8 I was in the groove and just wanted to hit 1 hour even - by then I was over 8.5 miles so thought I'd just hit 9 and be done.  Worked out well other than going too fast.  Was pretty flat and the temp was perfect.  Also it was Thanksgiving and some of my friends were crushing their Turkey Trots so wanted to get into the action too!

11/27/15 - 7 easy

Tried to take this easy - was pretty creaky the first several miles.  Very flat and very rectangle-y.

11/28/15 - 8 comfortable

Woke up and my lower back was SUPER SORE and STIFF.  Holy crap I could barely move.  My wife literally had to put on and tie my shoes and I could not.  Felt ok to stand up straight but any sort of bending over was WAY out of the question.  Was NOT sure if this run was even going to happen.  Had got give it a shot - was hoping if I could get moving my back would loosen up.  The first 200 yards or so were VERY creaky and stiff - kept going and very slowly my back loosened up.  Starting feeling decent around mile 5 maybe and was able to finish with a strong mile.  Very concerned about getting through the rest of the day let alone 16 tomorrow.

11/29/15 - 16 long

Back was stiff and sore all day yesterday but fortunately it was a bit better this morning so just went for it.  Super crazy flat - temps were perfect.  Brought 2 gu's - took one at 7 and the other at 13 - had no water unfortunately.  Gu's really helped I think.  Got into a rhythm miles 2-12 and then a slightly faster rhythm the last 4 miles.  Felt a little tired but pretty good overall the whole run.  Was ready to be done at the end!

Happy to have this week in the books - around 55 miles for the week.  Next week shapes up to be pretty much the same except for 10-10 on the weekend.  Have a feeling will have a lot more elevation.  The highlights will be 6 fast on Tuesday and 9 tempo on Thursday.  Fun!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Carlsbad Marathon Week 6

6 easy - 11/16/15

Biggest news: I rolled my right ankle right at the beginning of this run and felt some things 'twang' in there.  I kept going, hobbling for about 20 yards, and then things got better.  Now several hours later it's sore and I'm hoping a good night's sleep will pull it together as I've got a hard track workout tomorrow (3x1 w/600m RI).  
After that the run went pretty well - felt good - tried to keep it easy.

3x1600 600 RI - 11/17/15

Well wasn't looking forward to this.  Didn't really want to do it.  But just went and did it.  Went pretty well - well, well enough.  Felt ok the whole way through but was pretty tired at the end.  Got it done is about all there is to say I think.  Thinking this was the LAST track workout helped!

6 easy - 11/18/15

Good early morning run on some new paths.  Hope have enough left in the tank for tomorrow's tempo.  Ended up with more elevation than I bargained for at 685'!

8 tempo - 11/19/15

Enlisted the help of a friend to help me try to keep this run at marathon pace (I'm still not sure what exactly that is - but thinking 7:30-7:40).  Well he did pretty good as we ended up at 7:20 average with some nice elevation thrown in (500').  So overall think this went pretty good.  Felt under control the whole way (except that last half mile up hill!) - was definitely comfortably fast - verging on slightly uncomfortably fast.  Felt the best around 6 miles in going slightly downhill for about half a mile.
Wore the HRM to check heart rate - averaged 160bps which is too fast for sure so will need to slow down to make it 26.2 miles - probably need to WAY slow down to make it 26.2 miles!
Tomorrow is the last of the Friday rest days as for the rest of the training my rest day moves to Wednesday.  So over the course of the next week (Thanksgiving!) I'm giving myself TWO whole rest days - tomorrow and the following Wednesday.  Then back to 6 days/week runnin' - fun!

REST - 11/20/15

Just chillin' like a villain.  Sore.  Gearing up for a hilly 10 tomorrow.

10 long - 11/21/15

This 'run' - if you could even call it that, was the longest 10 miles of my life.  We foolishly decided to try to run some trails near our houses up a hill/mountain/ceiling of the world.  Instead of finding the switchbacks up we found the path that led straight up.  There was walking.
The view from the top was spectacular - except for the even higher peak a mile or so off but that would have to wait for another day.  My calves were screaming.
I was pretty much totally destroyed by the end of this run and had no idea how I would walk, let alone run, another 10 tomorrow.

10 comfortable - 11/22/15

Was extremely sore from the previous day's insanity so had no idea how this run was going to go.  We ran on the Carlsbad Marathon course so it was pretty flat (especially after yesterday!).  After a mile or so fortunately I fell into a rhythm and pretty much just cruised the 10 miles.  Felt pretty good and comfortable during the run.  What a difference a day (and 1000' LESS elevation) makes.
Happy to get this run done and 'tackle' the rest of my day at the Chargers game - get it????
The Chargers were beyond destroyed by the Chiefs and lost humiliatingly - so that sucked.  But it was my son's first NFL game and he was pumped.  If he even had a shred of Charger fandom in him this game certainly destroyed that.

And with that just under 50 miles this week.  Happy to have it in the books.


Out in Palm Desert for Thanksgiving - and the word there is FLAT.  Flat flatty flatterson.  Will get in the first two runs on Monday & Tuesday around here and they rest out in flatsville.  Which sounds spectacular to me as my calves are still screaming from Saturdays pounding.
Also hit the by '16' miles this week on the long run AND I'll be switching over my rest day from Friday to Wednesday.  Already looking forward to that! 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Carlsbad Marathon Week 5

8 comfortable - 11/9/15

Forgot my Garmin d'oh!  Maybe a good thing as everyone keeps saying 'forget the garmin and run by feel' whatever that means.  This was just a recovery run/easy run so wanted to take it easy anyway - plus still sore from the previous two runs and have a track workout tomorrow so this NEEDED to be easy.  Also was convinced this was only a 6 mile run until I cruelly saw it was 8 - wasn't mentally prepared for that.  Fortunately is was nice and cool outside and with some sprinkles so it was perfect running weather.
And I think it went ok - it ended up about 8:15mm was overall is too fast but the second half of the run felt good and I got into a good groove for a couple miles probably sub 8:00.  Of course the second half was the downhill half so that makes sense.  Tried to keep it slow and should have gone slower.   As long as it doesn't mess up track day tomorrow it's good. 

6x800 w/400 RI - 11/10/15

Went pretty good.  Bit tougher than I thought/hoped but got it done.  Averaged under 3:15 for the 800s.  Ready to move on from this one.

7 comfortable - 11/11/15

Really tried to challenge myself to run 8:30-9:00mm.  I know a run after a track workout is tough and I have my first 8 mile tempo tomorrow so REALLY wanted to take it easy and relax.  SWORE to myself I would keep it between 8:30-9:00.  DARED myself to do that.  BEGGED myself to do that.  And for the first mile it worked great with a 8:45mm!  I was sore and creaky and just holding that seemed to take about as much effort as I wanted to give.  
BUT slowly, as the run wore on, I got more loose, more comfortable my pace quickened.  Well long story short ended up averaged 8:15mm over the 7+ miles.  DUMB and STUPID.  Will surely pay for that tomorrow and beyond.  I suck.

8 tempo - 11/12/15

The Big Enchilada.  REALLY wanted to lock into a marathon pace for this run.  I really need to find my marathon pace and be comfortable running it.  Knowing there was probably no way I could hold my previous tempo paces for 8 miles I was hoping to average 7:30mm and feel good about it. 
So set the alarm for crazy early after going to bed crazy early and proceeded to have a very shitty night's sleep - was nervous about the run and a bunch of other crap in my life that has pretty much all come to a head this week.  It's very sad when you set your alarm for 5:15am but wake at 4:30am and wonder what to do.  Lie in bed for 45 minutes?  Hop up and out and get the run done and then hang out for over an hour until work time?
Eventually I got up around 5:00am and lazed around a bit and tried to mentally wrap my head around an 8 mile tempo.  Pitch black outside and HOLY CRAP COLD!!  Like FREEZING cold.  I started running without a warmup which is always dumb because it was TOO GODDAMN COLD OUTSIDE.
Set my garmin to for 7:25-7:40mm pace.  Had a strange hankering for Billy Joel on the nano and off I went.  OMG IT WAS COLD.  I literally could NOT feel my hands the entire run and my fingertips were painful.
First mile came in at 7:20mm which I thought was ok because it was a lot of downhill.  Second mile 7:18mm which was mostly uphill but it was SO COLD I was just trying to stay warm.  Third mile - ended up bailing on my original course - I saw the big hill at mile 2.5 and starting going up it but the mind was just not having it so I turned around and went to a flatter way.
My thought process was 'I need to find my marathon pace and the marathon I'm running is mostly flat so I need to be running mostly flat and find a pace I'm comfortable with.'  Did I mention I was freezing?  Actually at this point I think my body was pretty warm but my hand and fingers were numb.  So mile 3 comes in at 7:15 - 
Got back down to 'flatter' road which turned out to be 100' of elevation climb over a mile but that was fine.
Started going back up a hill at mile 4-5 and again didn't want to/bailed/failed on the hill and came back down for the next couple of miles - which went too fast but it was slightly downhill so I trundled on.  Ended up doing those downhill miles at sub-7:00mm pace - ugh.
Miraculously I ended up almost exactly a mile from my house with 1 mile to go.  The last half mile is straight uphill but fortunately managed to suck it up and finish a bit over 8 miles with an average pace of 7:10mm and a respectable ~475' of elevation climb all in 58 not-so glorious minutes.
I pretty much never felt comfortable the entire time.  Don't know if it was too cold or my paces were way off or what.  I never felt out of breath (until the very end) - my breathing was ok - legs a bit sore - but overall is was 'ok'.
Like I said I never got into a 'groove' which was unfortunate.  And 7:10mm is NOT my marathon pace that's for sure.  So this run, unfortunately, was sort of a bust.  I'm happy I can run 8 miles at 7:10mm and happy it's done, but I wasn't able to do pretty much anything I set out to do.
I think my next tempos I want to run on the actual Carlsbad Marathon route - which is pretty close to my house.  I need to see what paces feel comfortable on the actual route.
While there was NO WAY I could have hung that pace for 26.2 miles today, I need to find that pace and maybe the best place to do that is on the actual course.
Oh, and GLOVES!!!

REST - 11/13/15

Sweet, sweet rest.

15 long - 11/14/15

This went well.  A bit too fast but felt good AND was on a very flat course.  Was up visiting family in Silicon Valley (and going to the Stanford vs. Oregon football game!) so it was good to run somewhere else.  It was NOT this flat I promise.  Maybe 100' total elevation at least - impossible to be 0' of elevation amiright???
Didn't have any water or any food so the last couple miles was definitely dragging.  But the weather & temps were perfect.  Felt especially good at the turnaround point around 8 miles - was in a good groove just chugging along.

8 easy - 11/15/15

Ran around the old stomping ground - used to work at Yahoo and Juniper Network and ran by both so that was fun :).  Never would have thought then I'd be running by there on a random Sunday morning years later!  Surprised how fast this ended up - the first couple miles were VERY creaky but things loosened up and it was fun running around a new/different area.
ALSO busted out my old HRM as have been curious what my heart rate has been up to.  As usual the first 10 minutes or so the thing is wildly off - no I did not start the at 180+ bpm!  When it finally settled down I was pretty happy to see it staying very constant between 145-150bpm.  Still probably too fast but was 'heartened' to see my heart rate didn't just keep increasing and instead stayed pretty constant at sub-8:00mm.  It was pretty flat- to flat even.

Week 6

Back in San Diego for week 6.  I actually starting READING the Hansons Method - since I'm following their plan thought I should actually read the book and TURNS OUT the rest day is FRIDAY not WEDNESDAY!!! D'oh!!!
SO I think starting Week 7 I'll make the switch over as that's the week the 'speed' workouts changed into 'strength' workouts.
But the biggest change is no more rest day before the long run!  In fact it will go Strength Day -> Rest Day -> Tempo Day -> Easy Day -> Easy Day -> Long Day -> Easy Day back to Strength Day.  That's going to be nutso.  
Although currently my 'hardest' easy day is the day after a Speed Day - we'll see what it's like trying to run after a Tempo Day.  AND THEN a long run right after an 'easy' day - the point being since the plan has no run longer than 16 miles those 16 miles are supposed to be the LAST 16 miles of the marathon so there needs to be a bunch of miles the day before.  Gonna be interesting...  STAY TUNED!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Carlsbad Marathon Week 4

6 recovery - 11/2/15

Nice and easy.  Daylight Savings Time in full effect - totally light outside the entire run!  Wasn't necessarily planning on doing this run in the morning but was awake so what the hell.  Needed some miles to loosen up a bit.  Running by our elementary school ran into my daughter walking to school at like 7am - "What are you doing?"  I asked.  "I have school today" she said.  "Not for another hour!" I said.  10 seconds of thought...  "You forgot to  change my clock back!".  D'oh!  Sure enough we forgot to change our kids' clock's back an hour so here she is ready to school an hour early!  Classic Parental Fail.  I told her to go home, I finished up my run.  And we started over (and yes we immediately changed her and her brother's clock back one hour!).  However was proud of her pulling herself together and getting herself to school 'on time' by herself.  That will come in handy at some point I'm sure.

3x1600m w/600m RI - 11/3/15

Dumb did not turn off 'auto-lap' so a mile would hit right before I finished each 1600 which was/is semi-annoying when looking at the stats.  Fortunately the stats look good!  Under 6:30/mile for each rep which is great.  Felt tired but doable.  Lots of people out on the track which is nice and ran with a friend from work who got some 1200s in.  2 miles to/from the track for warm up/cool down.  I like running on an actual track at UCI - good times.

6 recovery - 11/4/15

This went fine.  Always a bit stiff after a track workout it seems.  At least it was nice and breezy out.  Sped up a bit the last 2 miles once I loosened up to get the blood moving.  All good at 8:25mm.

7 tempo - 11/5/15

The big enchilada.  After last week not being able to get up the final hill in the last half mile really wanted to be sure that I was going to be able to finish properly this week.  Also really want/NEED to start actually running these at marathon pace (~7:38mm) to get a good feel for it.  
Also read an article on runners-someting-or-the-other about what each pace should feel like.  Said for marathon-paced runs I should be able to say a couple sentences without falling over.  
SO with all of that I turned OFF the pace alerts on my garmin and just tried to run 'comfortably hard' at a pace I could say several sentences out loud at.  What would that pace be???  The suspense was killing me so up at 5:30am after a night out & not going to bed until around midnight with a couple drinks in me.  So not the best start.
Started off I knew I was going a bit fast - I resolved to only look at my garmin at each auto-lapped mile.  First mile went by at 7:21ish so kept telling myself to relax.  The pace was comfortably hard I thought.
Second mile went a bit faster as it always does.  At the end of the 3rd mile the big uphill part of my run as over - my 7 tempo last week at this point I was really out of breath and took a 20s stop to gather myself.  Today felt -much- better, although I was out of breath I figured it was because I ran the entire mile uphill and now had about a mile of downhill.
Sure enough I caught my breath on the downhill and felt ok again.  After mile 4 and then 5 I kept talking out loud to ensure I could indeed say some sentences.  That went pretty well I thought.
I was concerned before the run that I didn't remember how badly/out of breath I felt during those previous tempo runs which would be a very clear sign I was going too fast (not to mention my times which were way too fast).  But for this run, monitoring my breathing closely it seemed ok.
The pace was definitely hard but not unreasonably so.
At mile 6 I knew I had a final uphill mile to finish and hoped I would make it.  The real hill starts at 6.5 - going up that last half mile I was very much out of breath but did finish it!  So was very happy about that.
Final pace: 7:00mm wow!  One of the best if not the best tempo run I've had so far.  I was pretty tired at the end - definitely could NOT say a couple sentences but hopefully that's how it's supposed to be at the end going up a steep half-mile hill?
Well this was the end of the 7 mile tempo runs - starting next week I go up to 8 miles.
Really need to stop screwing around and dial in my marathon pace for these runs.  I do not think I could have done another mile at the end of this run UNLESS I didn't have that last half mile uphill - then -maybe-.  Guess we'll find out next week stay tuned!
Been pretty stiff today - looking forward to not getting out of bed until 7am tomorrow and a REST DAY!

REST - 11/6/15

lovely, lovely, rest.  Am sore.

11 long - 11/7/15

HILL MANIA!  Running buddy wanted to do hills so hills it was!  Over 1100' of climbing - was pretty much all up and down including a super-killer hill around mile 3 and another at mile 7.  Was super dead at the top of them but fortunately managed to recover pretty well when going back down or on the flat.  This was a tough run with some awesome views.

11 comfortable - 11/8/15

Wasn't sure what I'd have in the tank for this one but it turned out pretty good.  All on the Carlsbad Marathon course - up the big hill and back down and the 2 mile out-and-back at the bottom of the hill.  Again the second half felt tons better than the first half after I was warmed up - and running downhill!  Was very happy to get this one in the bank.  Am out of town the next 2 weekends so good to get some miles on the actual course.

And that's a wrap for Week 4!  Just under 50 miles for the week.  Legs feeling very tired but the runs are going well - even tho they almost are all TOO FAST!!  The one thing I wanted/needed to avoid.  Next week for the 8 mile tempo WILL slow it down to 7:30+.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Carlsbad Marathon Week 3

6 miles - 10/26/15

This went fine - too fast but felt good.  Ran it at work during lunch and was a tad warm but felt comfortable.  Concerned going too fast was going to wreck my track day tomorrow.  Averaged 8:03mm yikes.

Ladder - 10/27/15

Was really worried about this one - seemed like a lot of speed work.  So worried in fact I went to bed early (~9pm) and woke up at like 4:30am.  Was originally going to do this at work at the UCI track (like last week) but was semi-concerned about the warm weather (supposed to be in the 80s) so wasn't really looking forward to that.  SO I just got outta bed and jogged to the closest, flattest, longest stretch of road near my house to pound it out on the concrete.
It was nice an cool out (in the 50s I think) and it all went GREAT.  About as good as it could have gone.  My paces were good and it all actually felt doable and not very uncomfortable.  Will sleep early and well tonight!
It went .25 .5 .75 1.0 .75 .5 .25 with .25 rest intervals.  Averaged around 6:30 which was great as I was going for 6:40.  Had about 1.5 mile warm up and a 1.75 mile cool down.  ALL GOOD.

7 miles - 10/28/15

Runs after a track day are tough.  Tired to stay relaxed and pick as flat of a route as possible.  Also tried to stay on asphalt or dirt as my knees were sore after yesterday's workout which was entirely on concrete sidewalk in minimal shoes.  Wore the maximal shoes today and tried to keep to softer surfaces and think it helped.  Ended up at 8:18mm - still a bit too fast.
Now I'm in a desperate race to recover for tomorrow's 7 mile tempo - that should be fun!

7 tempo - 10/29/15

This was ridiculous - way too fast - ended up 7:05mm.  Had about a 15s rest at the top of the hill at mile 3 waiting for traffic and at the end couldn't face running up the final hill so avoided it by running a flatter route.  Was worked at the end.  Now REST!

REST - 10/30/15

Sweet sweet rest.  Stayed in bed until AFTER the sun came up - woo!  Tomorrow for my 14 want to run on the Carlsbad Marathon course up and down the big hill (Palomar Airport Road).

14 long - 10/31/15

Ran along the Carlsbad course - up and down the big hill of Palomar Airport just like I hope to.  Wasn't too nasty but a long way of mostly uphill with about quarter mile of steepness at the top.  Felt  good until the last 2-3 miles then it was just grinding it out.  Happy to get in the full 14 - no stops, unfortunately had no water and no gus.  Future long runs need to starting working on nutrition.

8 easy - 11/1/15

Ok this did not turn out to be that easy-  Mike wanted hills so up and down we went - pretty much no flat - all up and down.  About 800' worth depending on which site ya look it - seemed like a lot more to me :)  Threw in a half mile for speed at mile 7 'for run'.  Was rough going up the big hill for a bit but fortunately recovered pretty good after that.

Ended up close to 52 miles this week - a great week.  Need to slow down!!  Looking forward to a doable week hopefully.  7 mile tempo on Thursday will again be the heavy hitter.  Need to dial in marathon pace.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Carlsbad Marathon Week 2

Week 2

6 easy - 10/19/15
Just cruised - went really well even tho I was pretty groggy this morning - nice and cool outside.  Went too fast but it was going going on a semi-new route and felt good ~8:17mm.  Amazing what can be accomplished w/o setting pace alerts and just cruising comfortably.  Lots of hills on this one which I like - keeps things interesting.

After a nice warmup, I actually ran this on a real, live track!  Was supposed to be 6:40-7:00 for the 1200s but ended up closer to 6:30.  Which is too fast but it was doable, but barely.  Was definitely feeling it towards the end - especially that 3rd rep and the first couple laps of the last one.  Very happy to have this one in the books behind me.  Finished with a cool down which could have been significantly cooler and that's a wrap.  
The track was great - only one other guy out there doing similar to me.  Now just need to commence worrying about the 7 mile tempo run coming up on Thursday!

6 easy - 10/21/15
Had so much fun on this run on Monday ran it the other way today.  Still fun!  Felt good.

7 tempo - 10/22/15
The Big Enchilada.  Woke up crazy early as wife had to go to the airport so this run was done totally in darkness.  Only semi-freaked out once.  Still could not find the correct pace which is troublesome. Other than the hill right at mile 3 and the last half mile uphill which was a killer felt good and relatively relaxed the whole way.  Very Happy to have this in the books more as proof that it can be done and if I can get the pacing down it will be even better.  It really all starts with the first mile which needs to be about 20 seconds slower than goal pace as subsequent miles go faster.

REST DAY - 10/23/15
And working from home today - double bonus.  Want to try to maximize sleep before 10 tomorrow.

10 comfortable
 - 10/24/15
This went really well - first 4.5 was pretty much uphill was very happy to turn around and the second half went a lot smoother mostly downhill.  Ended up a bit too fast but it did feel comfortable after the turnaround.  Ended up 8:08mm

9 comfortable - 10/25/15
This also went pretty well - was supposed to be 8 but mis-calculated and ended up a bit over 9.  Ended up 8:09mm which was too fast but except for the nasty uphill at 2-4 miles it felt comfortable.

With a bit over 47 miles this week it feels good to get the miles back up a bit and still feel pretty good.  Next week will be nasty with a ladder workout, 7 tempo, and a 14 miler!  Toss in Halloween and it's gonna be downright spooky.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Second half week 1

Well that was supposed to be easy!  Not quite unfortunately.

Friday 10/16/15 - REST DAY - slept in until 7am - woo!

Saturday 10/17/15 - 12 long

Wanted to to 8:00-8:30 - WHAT A FAIL!  After 3 miles had to stop and turn off the 'slow alert' on my garmin watch as I just frankly could not keep up.  It felt harder than the 6 tempo I did on Thursday.  So after stopping, resetting my watch, and walking for a couple minutes I started back up. Got about 5.25 miles further before I thankfully hit a light and got to stop for about a minute.  Another 1.25 miles and I was done - that and I had to go to my daughter's soccer game.  So got 9.5-ish miles in and was pretty toast.  Went to the game, sat around for about 30 minutes, and then pounded out the remaining 2.5 miles.  That was as ugly as I run as I've had in a long time.  Wow.  Actually ended up relatively proud of myself for sucking it up and getting the miles in - so there's that.

Sunday 10/18/25 - 6 easy 

Well what a difference a day makes!  Had all alerts off on my watch and just cruised for about 6.25 miles and ended up around 8:23mm - ridiculous.  


Well finished off the week ~45 miles - which is about twice of the previous week.  Other than Saturday's debacle the runs went well.  Never would have imagined several weeks ago that the fast runs would go better than the long run.  Happy to have this first week behind me!

Next Week

Well it doesn't get any easier next week - looks like:
Monday: 6 easy
Tuesday: 4x1200m speed
Wednesday: 6 easy
Thursday: 7 tempo
Friday: rest
Saturday: 10 long
Sunday: 8 easy

On the surface this looks reasonable and doable but that's why we do the runs...  Have GOT to find my correct pace for the tempo run or I'll be toast.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Carlsbad Marathon Training - Week 1

Here is what week 1 training looks like:

Monday: 6 easy
Tuesday: 5x1k (400m recoveries)
Wednesday: 7 easy
Thursday: 6 marathon pace
Friday: rest
Saturday: 12 long
Sunday: 6 easy

NO PROBLEM :)  I have been running only about 25 miles/week so this will be a big jump.  I have run this amount of weekly miles before - so hoping my body will lock in!  Well... here's hoping!

Monday 10/12/15:
Since it's hot as balls and was too lazy to get up early had to do Monday's workout on the treadmill, which I really no not enjoy.  Fortunately it was only 6 miles.  However those six miles took more out of me than I imagined they would.  Maybe because I haven't had a lot of sleep lately but I HAVE had a lot of beer.  Need to cut that out/slow that down significantly for training.
At work we have these super-fancy treadmills - which are way to super-fancy frankly - that have these 'soft' 'outdoor-like' surfaces which I swear make them much harder to run on - and at any given speed they feel way too fast due to the soft surface I think.  Plus they vibrate ridiculously.  So I hate them.  They are Woodway and are allegedly 'really good' but I prefer the old fashioned ones thank you very much.  These first world problems are horrible I know.  Well got the 6 miles done here - a bit over 6 miles around 8:43mm.
Now this is my watch (Garmin 220) attempting to determine distance via my stride.  Which on a flat road works pretty well, but on a treadmill at a 1% incline not so much.  So I didn't actually go that far nor that fast.  Went closer to 8.13 miles so closer to 9:00mm.
Is it only me or do I always like to run an even amount?  In this case stopped at 55 minutes exactly.  Lame.

Tuesday 10/13/15:
2 miles warm up outside - very warm out.  Then 5x1k at 9.0mph with 1% incline on the treadmill.  400m rest intervals at 4mph.  It was doable but was happy when it was over!  Did I mention I really do not like the Woodway treadmill?  So about 4 minutes of running with a 3:30 rest interval.  See the madness here.  Followed by 1 mile cool down outside - which was very hot so not so cool.
Did I mention I'm happy to have this workout behind me?  I really do NOT like speed workouts!  However they are probably exactly what I need.

Wednesday 10/14/15:
7 'easy' - (strava) well that was not as easy as it needed to be.  Went too fast for starters - exactly what I did NOT want to do.  The real test will come tomorrow when I have 6 at MP.  The piper will be paid.  Maybe sushi and beer last night for dinner wasn't the best idea.  Not too warm out but pretty humid.

Thursday 10/15/15:
6 tempo.  Woke up 3 minutes before my alarm was set - that's a win already!  Run went ok - biggest problem was it was too fast and I could not 'find' my pace of 7:38 and ended up ~7:17.  Not sure I could have gone another mile at that pace so I really need to be able to 'lock into' my 7:38 pace.  For me it's all about the first mile.  Whatever I pace I go that mile sets the tone for the rest of the run and I went out too fast and could get not my bearings after that.  REALLY looking forward to a rest day tomorrow!  I get to sleep in until 7am!  Woo!  Strava

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Carlsbad Marathon

After a horrific first Marathon at Long Beach in 2014 I (think) I'm ready to get back on the horse and run another one.  I went out too fast or I overtrained or I just failed - not sure which - probably all three, so this time I hope to learn from all of those mistakes.

At Long Beach after flaming out around mile 13 and walking most of the second 13 miles, along with horrible cramps and watching pace group after pace group pass me by before finally hobbling to the finish, I vowed to redeem myself, somehow in some way!

So here I go again into the abyss of marathon training.  THIS TIME I'm going to follow the plan more closely - for Long Beach I typically ran faster than the plan thinking this was a good idea.  Turns out it wasn't.  For Long Beach my taper wasn't really a taper - and when I toed the line I felt tired before the race even began.  By mile 13 I was done.

I really was a training rock star - exceeding all of the distances and paces and it was all just too much.  Besides I actually like running and it felt good.  Probably also liked to see the results on Garmin Connect and Strava.  But I paid dearly for it on race day.  THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN AGAIN (or will it?)!

So follow along as I try to keep it under control and have an GOOD experience on race day.

That all said my Big Goal this time is to FINISH HAPPILY.   Here are my other goals:

1. Break 3:45
2. Break 3:30
3. BQ (under 3:25)

So Carlsbad Marathon here I come!

I've seen mostly women chronicling their marathon training and I'm for equality so I'm going to post my training log here for the world to see.

I'm going to try to follow the Hansons Plan - since I -just- decided to follow this plan I missed the first 2 weeks of it!  How's that for off to a flying stop?

But fear not dear reader!  I have been running 2 tempo runs (5.5 miles) and 1 long run (10ish miles) a week for the past several weeks so all it not (yet) lost!

Early last week I had a very nice run (5.9 miles just under 7:00mm pace) which has given me confidence so I'm feeling pretty good.  And if there is ANYTHING I have learned while running is confidence, or the mental side of running, is just as important as the physical stuff.  I'm always amazed how much better/faster/stronger I feel when NOT looking at my watch (Garmin 220) vs. when I do.

SO here are my paces for this training cycle:

Goal Pace:  07: 38 /MI
Strength Workouts:  07: 28 /MI
Speed Workouts:  06: 43 - 06: 60 /MI
Easy Days:  8:38 - 9:18 /MI
Long Runs:  8:08 - 8:23 /MI

Pulled directly from the Hansons site to run a 3:20:00 marathon.  Now I do NOT expect to run that fast during the race but I want to train at that speed to give myself some wiggle room during the actual race.  Maybe I'm sandbagging but I do struggle with the mental side of things during races so I want to ensure I have the fitness so I do not have to kill myself during the actual race to hit one of my goals.  It's sad but true I guess.

So follow along!  I will continue to update here as well as Garmin Connect and Strava (they are sync'ed) as to my progress.  I promise to publish at minimum weekly with how the week went and possibly more often as time permits!

This blog is mostly for me - to keep me motivated and share my story with who(m?)ever finds is useful!  Would love to hear anyone else's experience marathon training - thanks for reading!