Monday, September 28, 2009

Another Week Down!

Pretty fair week for running this past one! I missed yet another tempo run during the week but I was proud I got the other run's in. I had some off days this past week with know those unexplained days where you just suck! I had that one on Thursday. I think I took off too fast or something, but I paid for it the entire run.

Anyway, the 10 mile run with Corey was on Saturday. It went pretty good. We set out at a little slower of a pace this time. I didn't want to try and push a 10:30 pace on Corey with another mile to run. We got a little past the 4 mile point, and you could tell she was ready for a break. Ill give her credit, she pushed to the 5 mile point and took a 5 minute walk break. On the way back, she asked me to stick with her to the 7 mile marker, which I did. I then increased the pace to 10:45 - 11:30 for the next 1.5 miles, which is where the lone drinking fountain is. Lo and behold, she kept up with me until that point! The last 1.5, I finished @ the 9:30 - 9:45 pace I normally run longer at, and walked back to run back with Corey. She was a little distraught over her time, which I assured her was ok. The most important thing at this point is just getting the mileage in. I haven't decided what our goal pace will be in Grand Rapids (I'm gonna be the pacer) but I thinking somewhere in the 11:00 - 11:30 range. Ill for sure pace us slower the first half of it, and then try and goose it up a little from there. I know for sure she can keep the 11:00 range pace the entire race if she has a break in the middle.

As a recap, the running this week was as follows:

Wednesday: 4.3 miles @ 8:12 pace on treadmill

Thursday: 4.5 miles on TART Trail @ 9:26 pace...felt like crap!

Saturday: 10 miles on TART Trail @ 11:50 pace. This includes the 5 minute rest break in the middle of the run and a lost 3-4 minutes waiting for traffic lights. If you took off the "lost" time, it would have been finished in 1:50:00 approx, or about an 11:00 pace.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Its Getting Closer!

This week's running went great with the Harvest Stompede yesterday ending with a new best time. I was out of town (yet again) for work, but kept up with running although I did run less than I wanted this week.

The Harvest Run was as expected. We arrived early, with the temp's in the mid 50's. This quickly changed of course with the start of the run at the sweat starting. There were more runners this year, and I felt like the first mile of the run went much slower, due to race congestion. For anyone thinking of running this race, you are not getting a PR on this race; its just a very fun race to run in. After the first mile, I hit "the hill" which really is one kilometer of up. This is a trailish run through a grape/wine orchard. There is minimal footing, rough terrain and no real easy spots, save the first mile of which is usually pretty congested. This year, I ran up 1/4 of the hill, and fast walked up the rest. Last year, I killed myself trying to charge up the hill. Being the first time I ran it, I didn't have anything left for the last part of the race and ended up walking a majority of it. After the top of the hill, I resumed near my normal pace and finished 2 1/2 minutes faster then last year. (30:24). I could have finished it probably in the 29:00's if I would have pushed it after the fill, but miscalculated how far I had left. (will not make that mistake next year)

We have less than one month until the Grand Rapids Half Marathon and have one race before then, the VASA 5k trail run on October 10th. Corey and I ran that yesterday afternoon after the Harvest Stompede as a gauge to see where we were at. I finished that in about 29:00, and that was with a couple slow down/stop breaks because we had the dog with us. I hope to finish that race in the 27:00-28:00 range.

As a recap, the week's runs were as follows:

Monday - 3.5 miles @ 8:50 pace
Tuesday - 4.0 miles easy @ 9:36 pace treadmill
Wend - 4.0 miles easy @ 9:36 pace treadmill
Saturday - 3.1 miles Harvest Stompede - 29:24 finish
3.1 miles VASA run - 29:10 finish

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Another Great Week!

This week was somewhat of a challenge as I was out of town on business, but was able to get in two days of running while gone, and still was ready for the 9 mile run on Saturday.

Now before I recap the week, I feel I should admit to something I'm not proud of. I fell back into smoking momentarily the past couple months. At first, it was a one smoke every day, and eventually progressed back to the point where it was 1/2 pack a day. While it hadn't affected my running up to that point, I knew that it was likely keeping improvement muted. I'm not a spring chicken anymore, and my goal at some point in my life is to qualify for this past week was quit week. (yet again) My wife (who does not smoke) is understanding and supportive. I am using the patch again, which is a little difficult because I don't want to use it anywhere near my run. The morning run (today) was great, but by the time I put the patch on, my body of course went into nicotine craving mode. I fought it off by drinking water, not leaving the house and completing this blog entry! Besides the health issues, the fact that the half marathon is 1 month away and the cost, its just time to kick it for good.

Now this past week went great again! The runs were as follows:

Monday: 3.2 mile hilly run in back fields. Finished at 9:27 average pace.
Tuesday: 4.0 mile flat run @ 8:37 average pace.
Wednesday: 4.0 mile flat run @ 8:34 average pace.
Saturday: 9.0 run w/ Corey @ average 11:30 pace.

Now as for Saturday, I have mentioned it before, but my wife and I are running the Grand Rapids half marathon next month (our first) and have been on Hal Higdon's training plan with some modifications. My wife would appreciate it if I ran this first half marathon with her. I don't have any issues with that, and have been the pacer on these past long runs. (we train the other days on our own) I have been gradually increasing our pace on the long runs from the high 11:00 range to the mid 10:00 range. I haven't told my wife yet, but we lost about 8 minutes total time on the run due to traffic stops, one water break and a break at the half way point. The half way point break was nearly 5 minutes, but was something she needed. (first 9 miler for her) Without those breaks, we would have been at nearly a 10:30 pace. My personal goal for the run is to try and pace her to an 11 minute mile pace, or about 2 hours and 23 minutes. If I really tried and ran hard this first half marathon, its possible I could break 2 hours but that's not important this first race.

Lastly, the Polar is still working perfectly, and is really helping we with my pacing. The Nike Pegasus shoes are holding up great, although its about time I change to a new pair. I have about 400 miles on these and although they still look nearly new, I have noticed increased calf pain on my long runs. I bought two pair on Eastbay for half what I would have paid for at the local running store, so I'm fine for awhile with the shoes. The sprain has alleviated itself (thank goodness!)

Ill post my results next week after the Harvest Stompede 5k on Saturday.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Two Week Post!

This blog entry will be a two week combined entry. I forgot to enter last week, and by the time I realized it, it was better to just combine the two.

Last week went extremely well with the exception of the long run. My runs were as follows:

Monday: 3.3 miles @ 9:21 pace. It was very windy and hot where I was running. I was out of town, so didn't know the exact route, which didn't help matters. The run frankly kicked my butt.

Wednesday: 4.1 miles @ 8:04 pace. This run went much better, and I felt I could have gone quite a bit faster.

Thursday: 4.0 miles @ 7:43 pace. The first 5k I could have pushed the run faster. I let off in the beginning starting at the previous days pace.

Friday: 5.0 miles @ 8:25 pace. Again, this run went extremely well. I could have run faster, but had a long run planned for Saturday so didn't want to push it too much.

Saturday: Rained all day long. Ran 5.0 miles @ 9:14 pace on treadmill. I was not prepared to try and run the long run on the treadmill and couldn't get going. Not tired, just bored.

It had become apparent this past week that my training has been improving my times by a considerable margin in the past couple months. My 5k times are now below 24 minutes, and my 10k times are in the 52 minute or under range.

As for my ankle, it also became apparent that I have been favoring my other leg because of the discomfort. My ankle still is a little sore, but the calf on the same side now will tighten up. I've been doing more of my fast runs on the treadmill because its softer. The Harvest Stompede is two weeks away, so the last thing I want to do is blow out the ankle.

As for this week, the good runs have continued. Today's long run was a little different, but well get to that.

Monday - Intervals. Did 5 x 800 with the interval at 7:15 pace and the cooldown (400 m) @ 11:00 pace.

Thursday - 4.0 miles @ 7:43 pace. Great run. Took break Tuesday/Wednesday due to ankle issues.

Friday - 4.0 miles @ 8:04 pace. Could have run faster and further but long run on Saturday.

Saturday - 8.0 mile TART trail run with Corey. We didn't get out until around noon. During the run, the temp climbed into the high 70's/low 80's. Corey and I ran the run together the first 4 miles, and did it in 46:54. The last 4 miles was actually harder due to the heat, and we had split up at that moment. I ran that 4 mile section in 43:16. If my addition is correct, the time for the total run was 1:30; a pace of about 11:21. Included in this time was a 4 minute rest break Corey took at the end of the first 4 miles.

Next week, the long run goes up to 9 miles. We will be doing this run on a flat course. I have talked to my wife also about doing the runs much earlier in the day, so we don't run into the oppressive heat. We will see how that goes. The following week in the Harvest Stompede so we will have to split up the runs that weekend to reach the long run goal.