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.