Sunday, September 30, 2007


I ran a nice medium-hard progression run yesterday afternoon - 13 miles on the wissahickon trail. Went out in the low 7s, back in the high 6s. Nice day for it.

This morning I decided to mix a low-key 5k in with my long run. It was only a mile from my house, so I kinda felt obliged. My plan was to do a few miles, hit the 5k, size up the competition, and run based on that. If I thought had a shot at winning I would go hard, but otherwise would do a fast tempo.

A young guy took off at the start and I knew right away there was no catching him. He ran 15:40 for the win (Talked to him after the race - he just graduated and his PR is about 14:40!)

So I just ran for place and did a strong tempo at even 5:39s and took second in 17:35. My split at the turnaround was a perfectly even 8:47. It was a nice morning and it is a nice flat out-and-back, so I will have to see if I can drum up some more locals for this one next year. I ran another 3 or 4 while the rest of the race finished up, grabbed my hardware and headed out for a few more, then home.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Went for a nice run with the local running store team. The four of us did about 9.5 or so in 63 minutes. One of the guys had found a back route into a nature preserve, so it was nice to spend some time on the trails. First fast run since the PDR and it felt great.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

For the fall...

One of the problems I run into is that my goal races the past 2 years (Broad St and the PDR) both fall right at the beginning of the spring and fall racing seasons respectively. Thus my training schedules are always a little compressed and I take more risks building up mileage than I should. Plus I taper and peak for an early race. When I'm done with it I have no idea what to do for the rest of the season.

Right now, I am thinking about the following races for the fall:

11/11: Greyhound 5k. I'd really like to get back to this one. First race I ever ran. Worst t-shirt I ever got.
11/18: HM at Philly Marathon
11/22: local Gobble Wobble 5k.
11/24: HS Alumni 5k. I do this every year.

9/29-30 - low profile 5 or 10k
10/21 - Leaf Peeper HM Cortland NY
10/28 - Philly 25K

I'm thinking that once I feel healed up I will plan on running something like this 14 day plan for Oct/Nov and part of December to try to stay sharp for anything from 5k to HM.

M: Off
Tu: 6-9 EZ
W: Mid week fast & long (10ish @ low 6s)
Th: 6-9 EZ
F: LT - 5-6m @ high 5:40s
Sa: 10-12 EZ
Su: 15-17 DP (6:40-7:10)
M: 6-9 EZ or off
Tu: 6-9 EZ
W: Mid week fast & long (10ish @ low 6s)
Th: 6-9 EZ
F: Intervals (8x800 or 4x1600)
Sa: 6-9 EZ
Su: 13-15 DP (6:40-7:10)

A little running history...

My name is Tom and I a 32 year old runner living just north of Philadelphia. I started running in October of 2005 because my wife and I had just had a daughter and I was desperately out of shape. I used to play soccer, but the options for playing got smaller and smaller once I was out of school.

Needing a sport that I could do myself and would keep me from keeling over after carrying my daughter up the stairs, I turned to running. Now I did do some running in HS, primarily as a way to stay in shape for other sports. But I never self-identified as a runner or did any steady training.

This was not the first time since I left college that I resolved to get in shape. There were various mis-fires, including a number of aborted attempts to start running. Why did this one stick? I don't know. Maybe I was just fortunate to be able to start slowly enough to avoid injury. Or maybe having a child made me take it a little more seriously.

Regardless, the running stuck. I started to run a few races. My first 5k was in 10/2005 and I ran just under 24 minutes. Over the course of 2005 & 2006 I steadily ran more miles and more races and drove my 5k time under 20, then eventually under 19.

In the fall of 2006 I put together a training plan and, for the first time, identified and trained for a specific race (a half-marathon - the Philadelphia Distance Run). I started to learn about various training methodologies and put together a schedule based on the multi-pace philosophy of Jack Daniels, and more specifically Pete Pfitzinger. I ran weekly mileage averaging 30 miles with a few in the 40s. I successfully completed my training schedule and hit my goal time of 1:25 for the HM.

I really enjoyed the training and the feeling of setting a goal and succeeding. After a year or so of viewing running as a way to get in shape and lose weight I started to think that I was enjoying the competitive aspects of it just as much and beginning to think of myself as (in my local age group at least) a competitive runner.

Over the winter of 2006 and 2007 I identified my endurance as being the area of my running requiring the most work. I began to steadily build up mileage and run 40-50 miles a week. After just a few months of this, I saw enormous benefits with huge PRs in the 5k and 10 mile distances.

Over the summer of 2007 I spent a while on a dedicated focus on 5ks setting my current PR (16:39) in a race on the 4th of July.

As I headed into the fall I decided to set an aggressive goal for the HM again and setup a similar training plan, albeit with increased mileage, to the plan I ran in 2006. I was able to complete the plan, but struggled with over-training. My confidence in my abilities to do big workouts and high mileage slightly exceeded my abilities. Regardless, I was able to maintain enough fitness and complete enough workouts to hit my goal and set a major new HM PR at 1:16 on 9/16.

Since this race my focus has been on easy mileage and recovering from some of the overuse strains I was feeling. I have a list of races I'm looking at for the rest of the fall, but the only definite at this point is another half marathon at the Philly Marathon on 11/18.

So why blog? And why now?

I think one of the huge advantages that runners have today is that there is an enormous community of runners on the net sharing their experiences via blogs, forums and the like. I've gotten so much from the groups that I read and participate in, and the authors of other blogs that I thought it was time to put another running blog out there, hopefully help other people learn from my mistakes and maybe find suggestions from people who will help me avoid new ones. :)

So there you go.