Thursday, July 30, 2009

On My Way to 5x Runs

I just knew it was going to rain this morning when I stepped outside.  The clouds were thick and gray and I could smell that "rain is on the way" smell too. Well a cool morning Easy Run is cool with me, especially without the precipitation!  Nothing feels better than running when it's about 50º to 60ºF outside.  Isis was tame today, so I almost added a few miles to the run.  But, oh, that would put a damper on this weekend's 8 mile long run (this old man needs his rest).

I will be registering for my next half marathon soon - as soon as I can get my hands on the registration form! I'm looking forward to adding a 5th run to my training program the week of August 10.  The easy runs are great...the feeling after the run is even better.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What? I'm Running Too Fast?

After a brief vacation from my blog, I'm back on the scene recording my running adventures. I took some time off to reflect on some needed changes in my running program. For the past few weeks, I've been running way too fast which made me very tired and unwilling to run a few mornings. Now, that might sound like a problem that's easy to solve: just run slower. However, I have sincerely tried to go slow on my runs with little success.

Once I start running, it seems to be very difficult for me to slow down to 8:30 minutes/mile or higher. That's especially true now that I have new 5K, 8 mile, and 10 mile personal records that are in the 7:30 to 8:00 minutes/mile range! All things considered, I know I can run a half-marathon 15 minutes or so better than my 2:00:44 personal record. After consulting with a triathlete and I've decided to start a new half-marathon training plan with a goal pace of 8:05 minutes/mile.

I've created a 10 week training program using the SmartCoach tool at which technically started the week of 7/20/09 although this will be my first full week (it's a 10 week schedule which ends on 9/27/09.) Today's run was an easy 5 mile run at a pace about 1.5 minutes above my half-marathon goal. I had not run below 8:30 minutes/mile in a long time and believe me when I say that it was a struggle to stay at 9:30 minutes/mile. However, it was well worth the hassle because I felt a lot better during my recovery period and Isis was more willing to run at this pace.

And, yes, I plan to run another half-marathon on 9/26/09. By that time, I should be ready to run a 8:00 minutes/mile or faster!

Last week @WillRunzForFun ran nearly 26 miles in 3:33:06 while averaging 6.4 miles and a 8:23 minute/mile pace per run. That allowed me to burn almost 3300 Kcal again!

Total Time Avg Time Max BPM Avg BPM Avg BMI Dist. (miles) Avg Dist. (miles)
3:33:06 0:53:17 167.3 150.0 24.9 25.7 6.4

Total Kcal Burned Avg Kcal Burned Max Pace Avg Pace Max Speed (mph) Avg Speed (mph) Total Workouts
3266.4 816.6 7:16 8:23 8.3 7.2 4.0

Week 31 Runs
This is the first full week of training for the Calumet City Half Marathon. I feel great already after just running one day of the program:

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
REST Easy REST Speed Easy REST Long
- 5.0 - 5.0 5.0 - 8.0

Tuesday and Friday will be running rest days. And, I'll give Isis a break on Wednesday since she will likely not be interested in running sprints and/or doing speedwork. She will accompany me on the Long Run at the end of the week!

Monthly Goals
I'm at 81 miles this month with just a few days left, so 100 miles probably won't happen. I'll target a hundred for next month!
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Monday, July 6, 2009

Another 5K Personal Record

Saturday, July 4, 2009 marked the beginning of a great weekend for me! The day's agenda included lots of food, family and fun. I was torn between spending time with family and friends and running in the 2009 Homewood Run for Freedom 5K. A few days earlier I decided I had nothing to lose, so I signed up for the race which is held not far from home. Hey, I thought might even run fast enough to win a medal.

When I arrived at the Lions Club on race day, it was wet and rainy. I didn't feel that explosive feeling I had the weekend before when I ran my fastest 10 mile run. Hence, my expectations for winning a medal went awry. I thought perhaps I'd do average for my age group (40-49 year olds) which would be good enough.

After attaching bib #313 to my chest, I began preparing myself with some sounds from the Jacksons (it worked last weekend, so why not now). I ran into a friend Joe Butler, whose son plays ball with my oldest son. He's been running a lot longer than me and I knew he was faster too. I figured I'd try to keep up with him as long as I could and then just cruise to the end of the race. Joe had me convinced I could keep pace with him. I don't blame him for thinking he would run slower than expected because he didn't do any practice 5k runs prior to the race.

When the gun sounded, I sprinted off the line like I was running a 200m race. What the heck was I thinking? I couldn't keep up a 6 minute/mile way, no how! I stayed with Joe for about 1/3 mile and watched my son's 13-year-old team mate pass me by too before I shifted into overdrive. A 7-7:30 minute/mile pace was much more reasonable. The high school'ers and 14 & under runners were long gone. My strategy was to keep my current space and speed up only if someone who looked my age was approaching.

The next thing I know, a guy who looks like he's in his 40's or 50's is running side-by-side with me. When I speed up a little, he speeds up too. I look at my HRM and it says my heart rate is about 165 bpm, so I figure I'm okay. The guy speeds up a little about a half mile later. I'm thinking, "Shoot. I can't go faster than my current pace." But somehow, I'm able to stay with the guy for about 2.5 miles. It wasn't until the last 1/3 mile that he and a female runner took off. By that time, I'm thinking, "That's right. It's time for my kick. What do you have left, Will?"

I began to life my legs and push as hard as I could. To me I was running faster. But, the HRM said, "No, dude. You are agoing about the same pace you were on the last mile!" Oh well, maybe I'd be average as I thought earlier.

I'm now entering the park where the race started and I can see the clock. "If I keep running hard," I thought, "I can finish with a sub-24 minute 5k." Cool, I'll just keep running even though my lungs were starting to burn. I just ignored the pain and cross the finish line at 23:25...pretty good for a guy who started running a little over a year ago. Of course, I wanted to collapse on the grass for just a few. There were volunteers at the finish line who were waiting to recover the timing devices we'd tied to our running shoes. "Cool," I thought, "I'll get my breath back while I take my time trying to figure out how to remove this little piece of plastic."

After the race, I grabed a drink and some pizza. I didn't think I was hungry and the pizza was slightly burnt and bland, but I ate it anyway. A few minutes later, I saw another familiar face: Pastor A, as we call her, one of our church's co-pastors. She's happy just to finish which reminds me I should feel the same way. I give her a hug and a "You go gurl" as I walk towards the equipment tent to see my time.

Man, Joe got 2nd place in our division. He finished about 90 seconds ahead of me. I tell Joe, "Great run, bro" then I scroll down a bit farther and see my name: "William Daniels 23:25.8 3rd". A third place finish and a personal record: a 7:33 minute/mile 5k. I'm all choked up. I finished 36th out of 120 runners; 11 were in my division. When they called my name to get the medal, I ran to the Race Director (yup, I still had some pep in my step). I took a good look at the medal which was also my first top 3 finish in a race.

This was already a great weekend and Saturday was just getting started.

Last week @WillRunzForFun ran 18.2 miles in 2:25:52. I averaged 4.6 miles per run and held an 7:57 minute/mile average - my fastest week on record. Since I didn't do a Long Run, I burned only 2300 Kcal which is ok because I thoroughly enjoyed the 2009 HF Run for Freedom 5k.

Total Time Avg Time Max BPM Avg BPM Avg BMI Dist. (miles) Avg Dist. (miles)
2:25:52 0:36:28 169.8 156.0 25.0 18.2 4.6

Total Kcal Burned Avg Kcal Burned Max Pace Avg Pace Max Speed (mph) Avg Speed (mph) Total Workouts
2305.0 576.2 6:43 7:57 9.0 7.6 4.0

Week 28 Runs
I'm going to try something a little different this week. I've added a short, 3 mile Interval Run on Tuesdays that I'll do alone (without Isis). Isis will be limited to 3 runs per week on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Here's the schedule for next week:

Sun Mon Tues Wed Thu Fri Sat
REST Easy Interval Maint. Fartlek REST Long

Friday and Sunday will be running rest days. Baseball & softball tournaments start on Wednesday, so it will be another busy week or two!

Monthly Goals
I'm shooting for 100 miles in July. I've run 14.2 miles this month. Since I've added a fifth run to my schedule, my goal seems reachable.
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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sleep Magnet

Today's mission for @WillRunzForFun: complete a Fartlek Run.

Getting out of bed in the morning has been a major, major chore for the past few weeks. This morning was no exception. Even though I ate well yesterday and rested for an hour before going to bed at a good hour (10pm), the bed was a magnet when the alarm went off. The thought of not running today was enough motivation for me to jump out of bed again. I feel much better now that the run is over. I wonder how many times I can use that trick to jump start my body in the morning?

I started the run way too fast and most certainly offended Isis. She didn't want to run today and I didn't want to walk her a 2/3 mile back home when she outright refused to go any further. I compromised by allowing her some extended "i-Time" in the woods. I let her sniff around for a few minutes while I defended myself from the mosquitoes (yes, I was wearing OFF! and yes-squared, it was ineffective for the most part). Thank God I have the dog on heart guard medicine or else this could be an ugly, unhealthy summer for her.

The Farltlek Run went well. We did about 8 strides (speed bursts) for 20 seconds or so at ~7 minutes/mile. It's a scaring feeling when you slow down to 8:00-8:30 minutes/mile and feel relieved (I still think of 8:00 minutes/mile is a very fast pace even though it is easier for me).

I signed up for the Run for Freedom 5K in Homewood this Saturday. Normally I would do a long run on a Saturday, but I really need to get in some races if I plan to do a half-marathon this Fall...
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