Sunday, May 31, 2009

Three Mile Easy Run

I decided to just run three miles easy today. I had all intentions of running six miles, but with the race last week, and the jump in mileage and with the help of the call of nature on my run....I cut it short. This week will be a 23 mile week, with 26 miles or so after.

My wife also got the EA Sports Active "game" for the Wii. Now, this game is geared towards women mostly, but if you set the workout for intense, its pretty intense. Some of the exercises are too easy; anything upper body is because the resistance band that comes with the unit is too weak. That could be fixed by getting another one with more resistance. The lower body stuff though is pretty good. The incline skating routine with jumps is a fairly strenuous workout! I could barely finish it the first time, and then it had me do it a second time! While it could in no way be your only workout, its a good addition to a workout routine, and I think I'll be trying to add it in on my easy days (less than 6 miles) and off days.

Lastly, I posted a picture one of the course photographers had taken at I imagine mile 4. (it was after the turnaround and near the last water stop) As you can see, for some reason I am smiling, which must mean I wasnt going fast enough! I think I just passed my mother-in-law at that point when she was out on the course looking for my wife and I.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Three Mile Easy - Oh....changed my mind!

Today was "supposed" to be my easy three mile run as I have another six or so miler tommorrow. I started off with good intentions, and ran the 1st mile in about 9:30. I decided to speed it up a little bit, and ran the second mile in 8:30. The last mile, I still had alot left, so sped up a little more, and pushed out a 6:59 last mile! A 24:59 total! While this is a far cry from high school days, when 7 min miles were a norm (and a whole lot easier), it is quite a bit better compared to my last 5k race. (30:09) This was the kind of improvement I was hoping for over a year, and exceeded my expectations. Although I hope to be able to hold an 8:00 - 8:30 pace over much longer distances, that will come with longer runs I expect.

Disclaimer - There was Korn, Black Eyed Peas and Marilyn Manson playing during this run on my Ipod!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

An Easy 6 miler

Due to my light running week last week, I'm diving right back into my regular running routine. I did 6 miles today in 56:06. Because of the rain today, I ran on the treadmill, and again set the incline @ 2%. I started off at a 9:30ish pace for the first three miles, and then gradually increased the speed as I went along. It was - dare I say it - an enjoyable run! No aches, pains or problems what-so-ever! I plan on a quick 3 miles tomorrow, and then six with my wife on Saturday on the trails.

The rest of our racing schedule is final too and is as follows:

June 27th - Run Charlevoix 10k
July 11th - Cherry Festival 5k
August 1st - Film Festival 5k
September 19th - Harvest Stompede 5k (this is a pretty hard one)
October 10th - VASA 5k
October 18th - Grand Rapids Half Marathon

Monday, May 25, 2009

May 25th - Intervals

I woke up today, ready to tackle an easy six mile run today, when I realized it was Monday. I typically do interval running on Monday's, mainly because it gives me some rest during the week before I do a long run. While I do run throughout the week, its mainly easy runs and maybe shorter tempo runs. I don't especially care for interval running, but know its good for increasing your speed and how fast your body will adapt to faster speeds so I deal with it.

I went out to do 8 x 400 repeats @ a 7:30 pace, or around 1:50 lap time, then walk/jog for half the time in between. (so about 55 seconds) I quickly found out I was probably doing them too slow, and next time will try for a 7:00 pace to see how that goes. I ended up doing 10 x 400 repeats at the 7:30 pace. My heart rate did get up into the 170's but just barely. I recovered down into the high 140's by the start of the next repeat until the last few repeats, when it stayed in the 150's in recovery.

I should note that I like to do my intervals on a treadmill versus a track. To account for the difference, I set the incline on the treadmill to 2%. This is supposed to make up for the lack of wind resistance you have when running on a treadmill, although I still think its easier. My heart rate monitor has a footpod so I can track indoor distances too (outside is GPS). The treadmill is usually within 2.5 - 5%, and it can go either way.

Post race, no bodily problems other than a sore shin, which is expected as I had to get new shoes just before the race. My wife did run into her first issue with chafing, so I'm getting a kick out of that. (I went through it a few times in a couple different places and learned what BodyGlide was real quick) Also, I we did have pictures that were taken about 3/4 of the way through the race; so they should be choice! Ill see if I can get a hold of those and post those later on.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bayshore 10k

Well, the race is complete and although the official time is not in yet according to my HRM, I came in 59:25, just beating the goal I had set! The course was basically completely flat except for one hill coming back into the college for the finish.

The start was veryyy slow due to the amount of runners for the 10k. It felt like I was held back the first mile, but I was @ a 9:16 pace at that point, so I kept it up. I bounced between 9:00 and 9:30 most of way. I ran negative splits the first three miles with mile one @ a 9:16 pace, mile 2 @ a 9:03 pace, and mile three @ a 9:01 pace. The fourth mile and fifth mile were run @ a 9:41 pace, and the sixth mile was @ a 9:55 pace. I knew I slowed down quite a bit after the turn around but I figured I had time to spare to reach my goal, and almost slowed down too much. I wasn't completely wasted at the end, and was able to push the last 2/10 @ around a 6:30 pace. We will most likely run this course again next year. Its nice to have a course that is flat when they say its flat. The last hill I mentioned is more of a minor nuisance than anything. My wife Corey also beat her previous best 10k time from Cincinnati, and came in @ an unofficial 1:08:00. (yea for Corey!) She also wasn't completely spent after this race which usually is an indication that going faster is possible. I feel pretty good about my time. I know I could have probably finished in 55:00 or so if I would have really, really pushed it but could have also gotten hurt. This is my second 10k, and to improve 6 minutes from the last race is pretty good in my opinion.

Our next race is tentatively the Charlevoix 10k run on June 27th. This course has more hills in it, likely exceeding the Cincinnati 10k we ran at the beginning of May. I think we are going to run the Cherry Festival 5k also, just because it's really flat, and we ran it last year.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Three Mile Easy Run

With the Bayshore 10k on Saturday, I didnt want to push it too hard. Being holed up in a hotel in the Jackson, Michigan area, I decided an outside run wasnt what I had been wishing for. I finished the three miles on the treadmill with a 2% incline in 27:03. I started out easy @ a 9:00 minute mile and just kept it going at that pace. I had alot left at the end, but this was just to keep loose.

The weather forecast for the race isnt preferable by any means. There is rain and some wind in it, but its a 40% chance, so its a coin flip. The temperature is supposed to drop to the comfortable range, and not 80 degrees like today. Ill post the results after the run.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

1st Post!

I am creating this blog to document the victories (and probable setbacks) on my quest to run the Grand Rapids Half Marathon in October '09 and eventual Full Marathon in '10, so hopefully this blog becomes something of a story!

To start off, I smoked cigarettes since I was 16 years old. (I am now 37). My wife and I started running to get in shape, but the goal has changed somewhat for myself. I have found it quite therapeutic to run in place of smoking! Being somewhat goal oriented, I have now signed up for the half marathon with the ultimate goal being a marathon. I have run numerous 5k's already and actually, the second 10k of the season is this Saturday at the Bayshore in Traverse City, Michigan. We had already ran the Cincinnati Flying Pig 10k earlier in the month. (time was 1:05; not great but something to work towards)

As I have a race this weekend, I am in a modified taper. I did run 3 miles yesterday in 26:15, which was my goal pace. I do have some soreness in my quads right now due to some weekend work, so am going to lay off running at all for a couple days. I might try an easy 3 mile run on Thursday to stay loose. I am hoping for a time under 1:00, although I hope I didn't jinx it by blogging it. I guess we will know on Saturday!

Like I mentioned, I hope to document this journey, which I would think will take at least a year, since the first goal is the half. I cant be ready for a full marathon by the end of the year with the half in October, so the Bayshore may be my full marathon initiation in '10!

Lastly, as a last edit to my post, I have linked my training program for the half that I start in July. For now, I am going to be running about 25 miles per week on average, depending on race schedules. (we have one 5-10k planned each month this summer) I will be using Hal Higdon's Intermediate training plan, which calls for gradual increases in distance. I have over 12 weeks to prepare for this, so this should ensure I dont end up with some kind of injury.