Thursday, October 29, 2009

Some Time Off!!

Just an update....I didnt vanish, but work and some much need vacation has intruded. I did not and will not exercise this week. After a week of work and meetings, I'm going on a fishing trip on Lake Erie. Of course, the weather is threatening to not cooperate, but we should get in at least a day of it.

Next week, I plan on restarting my running routine. I do have two weeks off in November where I will be challenged to complete running, but I have to get back into the groove. I'm not in a rut, but life intruded and now its time to take it back!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Post Half Marathon

Well....the excitement is gone, the race is done and now what? I plan to run @ least 3 half marathons and a full next year, but that starts in April! This is Northern Michigan, land of feet of snow! I decided to take some time off from running until my legs loosen up (still a little stiff) and feel like the biggest slug around! I swear to god I can actually feel pounds getting added on day to day. (in weight has not changed by 1 ounce)

My wife has decided at this point she doesn't want anything to do with a marathon, and I'm ok with that. 13.1 miles is one thing....double the distance is quite another! She knows me better then most though. The spring and early summer half's I have scheduled I'm shooting for goal times in the neighborhood of 1:35 - 1:50. Yeah, a pretty wide range, but until I run one for myself, I won't really know what I'm capable of. I know I can break 2 hours without a problem, but each minute off of that will be that much harder. (funny how that works) When I started this, I was creeping up on the 220's. Now, I'm only 5'10, so I was squarely in the overweight category. In my 180's now, according to BMI, I'm still considered overweight by a smidgen but I wouldn't want to lose anymore then probably 10 pounds at this point. I started by not being able to run 1 mile any faster then a 10 minute pace. Now, on a flat course I can bust out 3 miles in 23 minutes. I'm not speed demon, but its a big improvement. I know I can hold a 91/2 - 10 minute pace all day long. It all was done my increments of small steps, gradually increasing my mileage and always trying to run faster at shorter distance tempo type runs.

This winter, I will continue to run about 25-30 miles per week. Instead of long runs on Saturday, Ill probably change to a 4 day 6 mile run or a 5 day 5 mile run. (or maybe mix something similar up) Ill keep the three week on one week light throughout the winter. Also, I'm going to implement a core workout routine. I hate core workouts....with a passion. If I'm not sweating buckets, I don't feel like I've done anything. I love to of those people that actually enjoy it. My wife has the P90x routine, and I might try that out. Something that concentrates on developing the core, which I have just ignored this past couple year. (I'm a runner with a one pack...while I don't expect a six pack, I could do without the mini keg up front!)

Had to get all of this out! Call in post run depression or whatever. I'll keep up my routine, I know that.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Grand Rapids Half Marathon

Corey and I finished the Grand Rapids Half Marathon this morning! We decided that since this was her first half marathon, I would pace her for this race. I figured she could handle a pace in the 11:00/mile range and she did not disappoint. She was hoping for under 2:45 and we finished in 2:34......success.

Now, the race started at 8:00 am. Grand Rapids is in mid Michigan which meant October cold weather and that did not disappoint either. At race time, it was in the low 30's with frost everywhere. My wife was joking along the way about people whose sweat had collected on their hats, and refroze due to the low temps. My goatee was frozen by the time I crossed the finish line.

Mile 1 through 8.4 went extremely well. Grand Rapids is billed as a flat race, and that is no bull. This was one of the flatter races I have run. There were some "inclines" but nothing that would be considered a problem for anyone trying to attempt a half/full marathon. I have to mention this was a well run race in addition. There were more than enough aid stations for the half marathon. Even before we reached the aid station @ 8.4 miles there were people handing out gummy bears. At the 8.4 station, there was not only the normal water and Gatorade, but a full selection of GU. As this is the fuel of choice for myself, it was perfect. The full and half marathoners split at this point, with the half marathoners taking a slightly different route back. The full marathoners kept going and from what I read, the rest of there aid stations had the regular water and Gatorade with another station having GU later on and two nearer the end having orange slices. The support people handling the station were awesome! You couldn't ask for better and it reminded me of Cincinnati....but was even better run and organized believe it or not.

Miles 8.4 to 11 went pretty good too, but I did notice my wife was starting to slow up a little, so I let her. She had pounded out the first 8 miles at just under an 11:00 pace and I wanted her to enjoy the race. At mile 11, she looked at me and says "If you want to go on ahead, you can." Yeah, right! I knew she was at a point where she thought she couldn't do it anymore. She really didn't care if there was only 2.1 miles left....she thought she was done. Of course, I told her no, and we continued on, albeitly at a slower pace. Those last 2.1 miles were ran out, and we saw the finish line about a half mile out. She told me she didn't have enough to hammer it out, and I told her at that point, we were certainly getting a 2:30 something, so that was OK. We crossed the finish line, received out awesomely heavy medal, and proceeded to eat the well stocked post run refreshments. If anyone is thinking of running a marathon or half marathon in Michigan, this is a great one to run! Detroit is typically on the same weekend, but for me, that isn't going to much of a choice. I tend to enjoy the smaller city marathons, and this one is tops.

Now, I don't have the race experience in this particular race to comment on the full marathon. Well....this will be my first full marathon. I can say that without a doubt. Flat course...well temps....what's not to like. I believe I heard the race director (I could be wrong though) say that 20% of runner qualify for Boston on this race. I believe it!

Ill post pics later of the medal and assorted pics that were taken during the race and at the finish.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

One Week Left To Go!!

It was an great week of running....only one injury to speak of! Yesterday, was the VASA 5k race as well as a later 9 mile run we did across town. First off, all day it didn't get above 40 degrees. The race was freezing and the only saving grace was no wind. By the time we decided to run the long run, the wind has kicked up and we were running right into it. We reached the halfway point, and wouldn't you know started to rain....and it was as freezing as the temperature. Actually, as soon as we got back home, it started to snow. During the run, by feet ended up getting soaked. Because they were cold, I couldn't feel any pain and didn't notice until I got near the car that my right shoe was soaked with blood. After I got home, I checked my toes and the only damage I could find was a small cut on one toe. It bled like no tomorrow, that's all I know!

The half marathon is one week from today!! I can say without a doubt that I'm ready for it. It shouldn't be a problem. The only issue I can say that will affect anything might be the weather, but its too far out to see what that might be. Right now it's showing a start in the mid 40's with mostly sunny conditions but it's Michigan...the weather can change day to day no matter what the forecast.

As a recap of running for the week, here it is...this next week will be much lighter, and I will most likely just recap the half for that.

Monday - 3 Mile Tempo - 7:35 pace

Tuesday - 4 Mile of Intervals - 5 x 800 @ 7:00 pace with 3:30 rest in between each.

Thursday - 5.0 Mile On Treadmill - 8:37 pace

Saturday - 3.25 mile VASA run - 30:14 (unofficial) Hilly trail run
8.75 mile TART run w/ Corey - 1:40:00.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Two Weeks to Go!

This week went really good with good in fact, that I ran 3 miles further but that was due to an unforeseen event! Even with the increased mileage, my legs are feeling fine. The next two weekends have weekend is the VASA 5k. This is probably my favorite 5k of the year, so I'm looking forward to it. It is scheduled on the last long run day of the month before the half-marathon (the following weekend). I am planning on just running 9 miles later on in the afternoon. Since it was raining yesterday, I ran my 11 mile run on the treadmill. (it was awful!) I was able to run it at a solid 9:40 pace throughout, and really could have gone around 9:00-9:15 pace. I just wanted to see what I could do on my own with it.

For a recap of the week:

Tuesday: 4.0 miles @ 8:36 pace
Wednesday: 4.0 miles @ 9:13 pace on TART trail
Thursday: 4.0 miles intervals. 5x800 @ 7:00 pace w/ 3:30 cool down in between @ 11:00 pace.
Saturday: 3.0 mile run @ 12:00 pace. This was interrupted long run...Corey got sick!
11.0 mile run @ 9:40 pace. Ran this on treadmill due to weather. Went great!!