Monday, July 23, 2007

Week 1 Recap

Well, Sunday's race got canceled, so I ended up sticking to the official first week of training. For the record, I feel burnt out. I've been running well, but I often don't have the willpower to get out there. (It's not so bad once I'm running.) I've also started to feel some of those aches and pains - although not really too bad. This FIRST training program only has you running 3 times a week, but the runs are tough. By mile 4 they're expecting a 20 miler!

So anyway, this was the week in running:

Tuesday was scheduled for 3x1600m with a 1 min rest interval. The expected time was 7:19 for each interval. I ended up with:

I wanted to run that second one faster, but it was tough, knowing I still had the third one to go. It was also pretty hot. I meant to wake up really early, but I got up late, and paid the price.

Friday was tempo day. 2 miles easy, 2 miles at short tempo (7:51), and 2 miles easy.

Right on for the first one, and a little fast for the second one. But I felt ok, and was able to run the last 2 easy miles without too much stress.

Yesterday, was my long run. 13 miles at marathon pace + 30 seconds. (Supposedly 9:15.)

I started off really slow, but picked it up without even realizing it. At one point I felt I was running fast, and slowed down a bit. But looking at these splits, I probably picked it back up again. My average pace was 8:59.

My left plantar fascia bothered me at the end of the run yesterday. First time that's ever happened to me. I soaked a tennis ball and put it in the freezer. Guess it helps if I remember to take it out and use it on my foot! I'll try that today.

Tonight begins the 9th of Av, which is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. Included in the laws is a 25 hour fast. So basically, today and tomorrow are forced rest days for me. Speedwork is planned for Wednesday.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Another week

A little cooler, but not much. I've tried to wake up early to get in my runs, and I've been partially successful. Here's a summary of my 3 runs this week.

Tuesday was speed work. The schedule called for 6 intervals of 400m. I forgot to look up the pace before I left my house, but I had a feeling it was around 1:45 (actually 1:43). I warmed up for about a mile, and then started my intervals, all with 1 minute rest between them.

1:29 (a little fast)
1:32 (slowing on purpose)
1:35 (this felt ok)
1:33 (ok)
1:32 (ok)
1:29 (well, it was the last one)

Maybe a little fast, but I felt ok. I cooled down for about another mile afterward.

Friday was my tempo run. I really hate these. Last week's was really tough, and I was just dreading this one. I was scheduled for 1 easy, 2 at 7:51, 1 easy, 2 at 7:51, and 1 easy. Here's how it turned out:

1 easy
1 7:31
1 7:26
1 easy
1 7:57
1 7:55
1 easy

I guess I ran the first tempo part a little too fast, and was kind of tired for the second part. But it was definitely better than last week's attempt. As much as I dreaded it beforehand, I felt pretty good about it afterwards.

Finally, today was my scheduled long run. 12 miles at 30 seconds above marathon pace. According to the tables that's 9:14 for me. (I don't really expect to run a marathon at an 8:44 pace, but I'm trying to stick to that for training.) I ran a new route today, or rather a lot further down an old route. (Mostly because I didn't feel like driving into the city and looking for a parking spot!)

My Garmin was all over the place, and I wasn't really sure what my pace was. Most of the time my pace was above 10:00, which didn't seem right because I felt I was going faster. In the second half it was dropping below 9:00, but it was varying so widely I didn't know whether to believe it. Once I was home, I uploaded the data, fixed up the GPS points, and ended up with this:

So as it turns out, I was below a 9 min pace for most of the run. (The average was 8:55.) The whole run I was thinking how there was no way I could maintain the pace they demanded, and it turns out I was doing alright. How about that?

My right knee started bothering me again about 7 miles in. Not horrible, but concerning as I head into marathon training. Although I've been running with increased intensity, I have limited it to 3 times a week, and I haven't been increasing my mileage too fast. (The last 6 weeks have been 16.68, 17.33, 21.56, 21.50, 20.36 and 23.32 miles.) I iced it when I got home. I guess I'll have to see how it goes.

While I'm on the topic of mileage, this Friday's run pushed me passed my total mileage for 2006. That's only halfway through this year, and it includes a sprained ankle! (You can see the details in the "my training log" section of the sidebar.) My weekly mileage isn't crazy, but I have been really consistent. I think it's because I was training for a spring marathon (that I didn't run), and now I'm gearing up for a fall marathon. Hopefully my knee will hang in there and I can keep up this consistency.

This coming week is officially the first week of my marathon training plan (also available in the sidebar), and I'm already going to be deviating. In order to get race number 9 in (for 2008 marathon entry!), I'm planning on running a 5K next Sunday. My thought is to count that as a tempo run, and run my long run on either Thursday or Friday. I don't think it's the best plan for my 5K, but the marathon is my primary goal now. I'll worry about setting 5K PR's over the winter.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A hot week

It was hot last week, and it's getting hotter. On the bottom of my Firefox browser I have an add-on which shows me the weather for the next few days. Usually, on sunny days it shows a sun. For the next two days it's showing a hot thermometer!


As per the FIRST plan I did a "3+2" week. That's 3 runs, with 2 crosstraining days. (I've started to cycle for crosstraining, but I'll talk about that some other time. Still scared as hell on a roadbike, but I'm getting more comfortable. Well actually, not all of me is comfortable...)

Tuesday was speedwork day. As I still have a couple of weeks before official marathon training starts, I kind of made up this workout. 5x800m with 200m rest intervals. According to the tables, I should be running a 3:32 split for 800m. Here's how I did:

3:15 (too fast)
3:17 (still too fast)
3:26 (better)

A touch fast, but I felt comfortable at that level. In a couple of weeks I have a 5K race. If I can set a new PR, all of my goal paces will change with it. (Of course, if the heat stays like it is, all bets are off.)

Friday was tempo day. I was too lazy to run in the morning, and I was then forced to run in the afternoon, in the mid 80's. Again, I made up a workout. 1 easy, 5 at long tempo pace, and 1 easy. My long tempo pace should have been about 8:20. This one didn't go so well.

9:35 (easy)
7:39 (way too fast, but I didn't know it at the time)
7:49 (had to stop. couldn't keep this up.)
10:55 (walking, and then easy)
8:13 (another 3/4 mile at 7:42 pace, at which point my running partner gave up)

Ok, so I still need practice on pacing myself for those middle distances. I have a Garmin, but it wasn't registering well at the time, and I didn't trust it when it was.

Today was the long run. 10 miles at marathon pace + 30 seconds. Again, according to the book that's 9:15. (8:45 pace for the marathon!?) Anyway, I tried getting started early, but ended up being a little late. I ran up the West Side Highway with Akiva this morning, and ended up starting around 8:40. It was already too hot.

The average for the run was 9:27. I started out a little slow, then sped up to about 9:20. Mile 5 had this steep incline which slowed me down, after which I turned around. I slowed down again coming back down the incline, and then returned to about a 9:20 pace. Not bad, considering the heat. The only down sides were a) I was exhausted, and b) my right knee started hurting again at about mile 7 or 8. It's ok now, but it was a little concerning. I haven't been putting in too many more miles, but they have been more intense. I'll have to keep on eye on that.

For those of you that are interested (and I'm not sure why you would be!), I've put my training schedule on my sidebar. It's in google calendar form, and clicking the button will bring up a HTML copy. Clicking on each individual event will bring up the details of that particular workout.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Update post

I'm too tired (lazy) to write a good post, so just a quick update.

I'm still reading that FIRST book, and I really like the ideas behind it. I haven't set myself an official marathon training program yet, but I've been trying out some of the ideas from the book.

Thursday I ran a tempo run. I was supposed to run 2 miles easy, 2 miles tempo (7:50) pace, and then 2 miles easy. I ended up with this:

Pretty good, no? It was really tough for those middle miles, but I really felt like I got in a great workout.

Today was my long run. The first week on the marathon program calls for 13 miles. (Ouch!) I've got a few weeks to go, and Akiva was joining me, so we settled on 10 miles. In the past, I've kind of taken it easy and just put in my long miles at whatever pace felt comfortable. This book has me doing my long runs at set paces, so I tried to follow their plan. I tried to run today's miles at a 9:15 pace. My Garmin wasn't working well, so I just went by feel. I ended up with this:

Probably a little too fast, but I felt pretty good. I don't know if I could have done another 16 miles, but I could have kept going for a little more for sure.

Now back to resting...