Monday, November 26, 2007

Where did that come from?

So I thought I would be pretty tired this week after my first dabble with 26 last weekend, but that was not that case. I took it easy on Monday and Tuesday, but my legs felt pretty good so I took advantage of the holiday and some vacation time to get some nice running in. This week ended up about 65 in:

Mon: 4 easy
Tue: 6+ easy
Wed: 9.5 group run, not as fast as usual, but a few miles in the 7s
Thu: Up early for an easy 10, then did a fun 5k with my wife and the kids in the strollers
Fri: 6+easy
Sat: 11 moderately hard on a hilly loop with a fast finish (7 m/m pace)
Sun: 15 progression in 1:38 - out in the mid to high 6's back in the low 6s with the last 3 sub 6

I thought Saturday would be my hard run for the weekend since my legs were a little tired on that run. I was sure Sunday would be just an easy run, and even felt really sleepy in the car on the way to the trail, but when I got out there I felt so good I made it a workout.

It's nice not having a goal race out there right now so I can just go easy or hard or long or short - whatever I feel like on a given day.

Sunday was a particularly nice day to be out running - this route was down Forbidden Drive from Chestnut Hill, then down to Lincoln Drive which is a hilly little mile and a half or so and out along the river to the Falls Bridge and back. The leaves are probably just past their peak and the trail and the path were pretty well covered. The last 3 miles were pretty flat out and a felt like a great effort.

Here's a picture from our family 5k. I made the costumes if you can't tell. The kids refused to wear theirs. And I have no idea where my daughter got that hat.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Week in review and oh yeah, I ran a marathon

This week was a little bit higher mileage than I had planned for a reason that will be obvious in a second. 65 miles in about:

M: 6 easy
Tu: 6+ easy
W: 8.5 relatively fast - first 7 in 44 or so
Th: 6 easy
F: planned 0
Sat: 11.5, last 8.5 at sub 7 pace
Sun: 26.2 :)

On Sunday I had decided not to race since I had not really done any race-paced workouts since late September. But I had a bunch of friends in town for the race so I decided to pace one of them through his first HM. He wanted to break 1:40 and we ran a 1:37 together. We had been pacing with another friend on and off for the first 13 so after I went though the chute I ran back out and decided to see if I could catch up with him and run with him for a bit. He was struggling a bit with some GI issues and seemed like he could use the company.

Of course, the last 13 miles of the Philadelphia marathon is an out and back, so once I had done a few I decided I might as well just run the whole thing with him.

He's a 3:05 guy so when the 3:20 pacer passed us while he was in a porta-john he decided the pressure was off and we just jogged it in just under 3:30.

I have never run over 18 before, so it was a fun experience. I made sure to hit the Hash beer station on the way in and out of Manayunk. :) I also enjoyed the whole crowd experience. Very different from even the HMs I have run.

My knees are a little sore today but other than that I feel great.

Now I want to race one for real. I need to figure out when and where.

Chicago? I've heard it's one of the best fast races with fantastic crowd support, but obviously the weather was a disaster this year.

Steamtown? This is a local race for me and a sentimental favorite. It's fast, but not a lot of crowd support and the family could probably only catch me at the end.

Philly 08? Good course, easy to get family to.

Try to get a BQ in December and run Boston in the spring?


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Week of 11/5

So last week was a nice week of running for me on the recovery path. It is now the unusual day where I feel any soreness in my calf while running or after. There is still some soreness at times, but I'll call it about 95% healed. I'm still sticking with largely easy miles in the 8mm range, but I've started to do one of my long weekend runs at a faster pace. I'm also starting to rebuild the mileage a bit, but keeping it around 10%.

This week was 47 miles in

M: easy 5
T: planned 0
W: brisk 7 with the running store (maybe around 7mm?)
Th: easy 6+
F: easy 6+
Sa: 12.5 moderate (7:15 avg)
Su: 10 very easy

Monday, November 5, 2007

More on the trials

I was just over at runinlaw's and it made me think I should put some more about the trials experience up here.

For the last 2 laps we camped out at the 19/24 mile marker (right after the water stop on that side).

It was right at 19 that Browne stopped to try to stretch out his cramps. I was hurting for him. I think Nate Jenkins went by him at that point?

It was amazing to see it all go down. Hall did not even look like he was straining. Everyone else (cept maybe Ritz) was deep in pain-land at that point but Hall was just pouring it on. When he went by, we went nuts, then we all looked back. And waited. And waited...

We were really lucky to be right across the course from one of the Hansons. When Sell came by at 19 - he was maybe 7th? I think Browne was 3rd, Meb 4th, Khalid was in there. Nate Jenkins maybe? Then Sell.

The Hanson guy went nuts running behind the barrier along with Brian. He was yelling at him HS coach style - 'If you are going to go you have to go NOW!!!'.

And he did! He was getting updates from someone on the phone and shouting them out for us. "Khalid is coming back! Khalid is coming back! He's getting Browne!"

It was wild. Just wild.

He came by 24 and the you couldn't have stopped by with a truck. The intensity in his eyes was just amazing.

I have been ambivalent on the idea of running a marathon since I started running but after that I want one and I want it bad.

Also want to shout out for a local Macharia Yout - he's a Widner grad and got in with a 2:22. He ended up 33rd with a 2:18 and looked strong every time we saw him go by! A 4 minute PR!

Bustin' Out

I was saying last week that my leg has been feeling better and better and a friend commented that I must feel like I was getting out of jail. I had been pain free all week so I decided on Sunday to give it a test and run hard and see how it felt. So I hit the Wissahickon trail. The verdict? Pain free.

13 in 1:22:30 (6:20s). Felt awesome. I repeat, awesome. I wore my Garmin but kept the display off and just focused on running hard. Splits were (6:41,6:07,5:50,6:09,6:14,6:10,6:20,6:18,6:38,6:31,6:27,6:33,6:28).

I was really surprised how good I felt after how long I've been taking it easy and nursing this leg (basically a 2 month taper). I felt the lack of endurance toward the end, I was working pretty hard the last couple miles, and I don't know that I would have been able to drop it down to tempo pace for long, but regardless, it felt awesome.

41 miles in 6 days this week.

Mon 5 easy
Tue 0
Wed 5 easy
Thu 5 easy
Fri 10 easy (5/5)
Sat 3 easy
Sun 13 hard

I think I will take this as a sign that it is time to start the winter buildup. 10% / week. Take it easy , especially if I feel anything from the calf.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

NYC Olympic Trials Marathon

So yesterday I was up in NYC to watch the Olympic Marathon Trials. The course was 5 loops of a route in Central Park, so it was easy to see the runners a bunch of times. We setup just south of the reservoir, and for the first few laps we would run back and forth so we could catch them going up, then coming down.

Later in the race we setup and stayed on the down side since the pack had spread out and we decided that we would rather stay in one place and see the whole crowd go by.

Here are some pictures I took there.

Here's the excitement just before the first runner on the first lap. We were just before the 5k. None of the other early ones I took came out - it was too dark. Michael Wardian was the early leader with maybe 50m at that point. He faded quickly.

Some frontrunners early on. Meb is the leftmost, Hall is rightmost. It's hard to take sports shots with a small point and shoot :)

Another pack, still before 5k.

Abdi and Meb on the right. Hall on the left. I think this was around 9 or 14.

Ryan Hall coming through all alone at 24. The guy was flying!

Ritz going by at 24. Also did not look like he was working that hard. :)

Your Olympic team! We were maybe 20 yards from the podium, but couldn't see.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Good running and off to NYC

So maybe Joseph was seeing more in my log than I was when he commented that I was turning a corner. I tried a faster run last week and a 12 miler over the weekend and had some soreness. Since dealing with a sunning injury is so day to day, that seemed like a setback.

But I took a day off on Tuesday and Wed, Thu and today did 5 easy each day, completely pain and soreness free. Woot!

I'm off to NYC tonight to be a spectator tomorrow at the Olympic Marathon Trials and meetup with some friends in NYC. I'm really excited to see this race in person. I don't really know how to handicap it, I thought Chad has a great preview here. I'll be somewhat surprised if one of Meb or Abdi does not make the team. I think the course favors experienced marathoners, so I'd be a bit surprised to see one of the track guys move up. And who knows, is Sell's 2:10 in the wind, solo in Chicago the equal of Hall's 2:08 in London? We will see.

So I'll venture a fairly mainstream prediciton: Abdi, Meb, Sell.

It should be a wide open and very strong race - so let's see on Saturday how wrong I can be!