Sunday, March 30, 2008

Obstacle Course

First off, best wishes to Joseph. Be well and you're in my thoughts.

This week was 62+ miles in 7 runs.

m: 5 easy
t: 1 @ 5:20 + 4 @ 5:49 + 1 @ 5:20
w: 7.5 easy
th: 7.5 with 2 x (2/5 @ 2:00, 1/5 @ 58)
f: 5 easy
s: 11 with 4x5x440y
s: 16+ at 7:15 pace

Tuesday was a nice tempo workout. I started with a mile at 5:20 to take some of the zip out of my legs. This was a nice workout and really replicated the feeling of a HM pretty well. The tempo pace wasn't too fast, but my legs were a little tired. The 5:20 after the tempo was just gratuitous.

Thursday night was an easy run with a light speed workout on my HS 1/5 mile dirt loop. 2/5 @ 2:00 then 1/5 @ 58 seconds. Then jog for a bit and repeat. Oddly, the second set was easier than the first.

Sunday was an easier long run - 16+ at 7:15 pace. I tired to keep them all over 7:00 pace and only slipped under for one.

Saturday was low 40s and windy. When I showed up at my 440 yard dirt track, I was the only one there. I set about doing a couple warmup laps and making some marks in the dirt for using the 50 yardlines and the football goalposts as my guides for the 110s. As I was doing this, a whole little league team showed up for batting practice on the infield. Watch out.

Then the octogenarian who speed walks in lane 1 showed up. I don't mind him so much, but he does that jaunty old man thing where he swings his elbows real wide as he walks and I've almost caught it in the chin a couple times trying to cut by in lane 2.

Then some other runners showed up.

Then a couple who thought it would be cool to have their 5 or 6 year old daughter rider her bike around the track while they jogged. Ride it the wrong way. In lane one. And swerve out trying to hit runners. And park her bike across lanes 1 & 2.

Really, when you are doing 440s, the last thing you want to see coming down the backstretch, when your eyes are tearing up from the wind, is the Huffy Training Wheel Express bearing down on you.

I was dodging people on every lap.

Regardless, the workout was good. The plan was 4x5x440. Jog 110 after each rep, then 440 after each set.

1 (Goal: 1:24): 1:17, 1:20, 1:20, 1:21, 1:21
2 (Goal: 1:22): 1:21, 1:21, 1:20, 1:20, 1:21
3 (Goal 1:20): 1:20, 1:19, 1:20, 1:20, 1:19, 1:19
4 (Goal 1:18) 1:17, 1:17, 1:18, 1:17, 1:15

I was really happy to nail all my times on this one, and especially with the last set. Somehow I lost count on one set and did an extra rep. Of all things, how do you undercount intervals?

It's the first workout this year that I felt like I really nailed like I wanted to.

On the second to last rep the stunt biker was (finally!) leaving with her parents. Not to be intimidated though, she felt compelled to run back over and jump in front of me in lane 1 and put her hands on her hips. I gave her parents as cold a stare as you can manage when you are in oxygen debt.

Good week. Fun runs. Feeling faster.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fun workouts

So. It's crazy. The new job's time demands and mental energy is pretty high. But I've made it through the first week and that's the hard part. Thanks for the comments and emails! I've been trying to do my easy runs early, and my workouts at night. I just don't usually have the gusto to hit the track early. (Good for you Joseph for pulling that off!).

Thursday night was an easy run, but I swung by the track to throw in 4x440 just to get some turnover. Goal was 72-75. I did 1:13,1:11,1:12,1:15. The track was cold and windy (is the track ever not windy?), but we had an almost full moon and it was fun to run on an almost-lit track for a change. Those reps were just fast enough to get me feeling some fire in my belly. (And few enough that it didn't make me want to cry.)

It occurred to me while I was doing them - and these felt just about as fast as I could go with breaking out into full on crazy mode - that that's how fast you have to run a HM under the new qualifiers for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials (a 1:03). Holy carp that's fast!

Saturday was a big workout - 6x1000. I didn't really feel up for a workout, but after some prodding from my dear wife I went out to give it a shot. The goal was 6 x 1000m in 3:20 with a 1 minute jog. I'm converting everything for my dirt track, so it was really 1100 yards with a 220 jog.

3:20, 1:15 jog (max hr - 179)
3:17, 1:22 jog (183)
3:20, 1:22 jog (182)
3:22, 1:28 jog (183)
3:23, 1:32 jog (183)
3:28, -- (181)

It felt a lot like my 5k from last weekend and I was happy that I held it together. The last rep was tough and I felt like I was running in Fluffernutter. I just went to pieces flailing my arms trying to keep my legs moving for the last 440. But I kept my HR up, so I'd like to think it was honest, and not just showing off for the octogenarians walking in lane 1.

Sunday I felt surprisingly strong, so I snuck out during a lull in the Easter festivities for 15.5. After the first few, I just fell down into the 6:30s and it felt good, so there it was. Low 6:40s pace overall. Hilly course, but I've found a new trail, and a decent way to get there, so that was nice.

So now I just take it 1 week at a time.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Keep it moving

Still trying to sort out the new schedule. Got home later last night than I wanted, so I hustled for 10 miles in 1:06 when the kids were down - warmup, 7.5 miles at tempo in 46 minutes (6:08), short jog, then 3 minutes at 5:30 pace, then a cooldown.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pressing for Time

Sunday was a nice 17 in 1:59. Monday 6 easy.

Monday I started a new job at a software startup here in the Philly area and I'm already in over my head. :) I'm sure there is going to be a period of adjustment as I get time for everything sorted out.

At some point today I'm going to fit in some tempo work. Probably tonight.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Adrenaline 5k

For a nice summary of the race, check out Seebo's summary. Except where he says he surges past Tom in the last 30 meters just substitute "Seebo surges past me" and you've got my view on it. :)

Nice day for racing, first time on this course. As planned, first mile was 5:18, but I didn't drop down from there. Mile 2 was a tiny bit hilly, and a few turns. I didn't think I dropped off pace but ran a 5:29. There wasn't much horse trading going on where I was - just 3 or 4 guys hanging together and moving back and forth. I thought I would be able to drop the hammer a bit for the last 3/4 of a mile or so which was a straight shot to the finish, but there were no more gears there. Last 1.1 in 5:58 for 5:25 pace. 16:47 for 47th overall.

I heard the 'first female' calls as I was heading in and it sounded like there was a race developing so I just drifted off to the left a bit to stay out of their way.

Congrats to Seebo on a nice race - he's setting up for a great Boston. Congrats also to the Jenkintown Running guys who went 1-2. (You had to go sub 15 to crack the top 10 in this one!)

I thought I had more in the can for this one. Don't really know what happened, but it was what it was.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How far we've come

I started running but there's no where to run to
I sat down on the street, took a look at myself
let's see how far we've come (right now)
let's see how far we've come

Saturday - go time. First race. Game plan is to hold back the first mile and try to negative split. I have never successfully done that, but I will give it a try. I will say the goal is 5:20 first mile, 16:20 something overall. Hopefully this plan will survive the first quarter mile. :)


At my dirt track. I'm not a great track runner. I don't really know how to run the turns. Especially on this 1/5 mile track I can feel myself just fighting to keep my speed up and leaning in to stay close to the curb in the turns, then rocketing down the straights.

4 x 1/5 goal 64: 64,63,63,62
1 x 4 mile tempo: 5:54,5:59,5:59,5:56
4 x 1/5 goal 64: 62,63,62,62

Monday & Wednesday - easy.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Week of 3/3

This week was about 57 miles.

M:5 easy
T:10.5 with 30 min at 6:00 and 15 at 5:52
W:5 easy
T:8.5 with 15 x 1/5 mile cutdowns - was too fast on the first, ok in
the middle, struggled to hit 58s
F:5 easy
S:10.5 with 3x(7min @ 5:30,4 min jog, 4 min @ 5:20, 2 min jog)
S: 12 @ 7:30 pace

This was a higher effort week. The 45 minute tempo on Tuesday was further than I normally go. But I felt good after a half hour at 6 min pace, so I dropped it down a bit to the end.

Thursdays workout was 15 x 1/5 mile on my local HS dirt track. Frankly, my pace identification isn't very good.

I ran these without checking a split in the middle, just trying to run by feel. Basically I was way too fast on the first few, hit the 62s and 60s pretty well, and didn't quite get the 58. That's a gear (4:50 pace) I haven't quite gotten to yet and my legs were fatiguing a bit by then. Overall the running was decent, but the pace id wasn't. 5 x (2.m, .1 jog, .2m, .1 jog, .2m, .2 jog)

1 (Goal 66): 63, 64, 63
2 (Goal 64): 63, 62, 64
3 (Goal 62): 62, 61, 62
4 (Goal 60): 60, 60, 60
5 (Goal 58): 59, 59, 60

Saturday was a tough one - 3x(7min @ 5:30,4 min jog, 4 min @ 5:20, 2 min jog). That just really sucked my legs dry.

Next Saturday is the Adrenaline 5k. I'm excited to see where things stand right now.

Also decided this week that I'm taking a new job. I've been an independent consultant now developing software for about 9 years. I've been talking for a couple months to an internet startup and they are just getting underway. So I've decided to hang up the consulting hat for a while and try my hand with them. This should be exciting.

And the fridge is fixed.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Unlocked GSM, Orcas, Fridge Defrost Timer and Thermostat

What do these 3 things have in common? In the past 24 hours I've become a self-styled pseudo expert on all of them.

Sunday I was attempting to wrestle my 18 month old son into his car seat while he practiced resisting arrest. I put the phone on top of the car. You know how that one ends. Thus my research in the unlocked GSM cell phone market. I found a nice one on Craigslist, but when I proposed meeting him at the cell phone store to make sure it wasn't stolen he mysteriously stopped returning my emails. Hmmm... I think I'll order one from Amazon.

My 3.5 year old daughter has developed a fascination with killer whales. Also known as orcas. Adult males can weigh as much as 140 people. The live in pods, which are like families. Except some move around (transient pods) and some stay still (resident pods). They have 4 types of fins. Scientists are still learning many things about orcas. They are mammals. They can eat 500 pounds of food a day. (Now that sounds fun!)

Then my wife calls me at 4:30 and says the fridge isn't cold. When I get home I discover that the freezer in fact is. Destroying my wife's fervent hope that the 12 year old side by side is now deceased I employ my friend Google to learn all about the role of the evaporator coil in the frost free freezer. Apparently I need either a new defrost limit thermostat or defrost timer. Reasoning that both of them put together are 1/3 the cost of a call to the repair guy, I decide to order both. Overnight. Because I'm extravagant like that.

Oh yeah, and 10.5 with 30 minutes at 6:00 pace then 15 at 5:50 pace.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Man:1, Machine:0

Congrats to Seebo on a nice showing this weekend. Good luck at CR next week. i've never run that race.

This week for me was just over 58 miles in 7 runs.

M: easy 5
T: 3 x 2 mile at 5:45
W: easy 5
T: easy 5
F: 5 x (800,400)
S: easy 6+
S: hard 17.75

Sunday's long run seriously kicked my behind. I ran this on a rolling loop course near my house where the only flat part is about 30 feet where you cross over a small dam. Everything else is going up, or going down. I started with an 8, then 7:30 then 7:15 and then it was all 6:30s and 6:40s from there on out. The last 2 miles heading home were flat and I tried to keep the effort level consistent and I dropped down to 6:20 pace, so the the workout was probably around that level if I had run on a flat course.

In the middle of the run, I was coming to the top of a hill on the loop and a couple on their mountain bikes noticed that I was catching up with them. She leaned over to him and said something, and *whoosh* they were off in high gear down the hill.


One of the things I've learned over the years (especially running at the Wissahickon) is that recreational bikers aren't good for much better than 10 mph, especially on rolling terrain. They'll smoke you on the downhill, but you can make up real ground on the up. This isn't the real-deal bikers in their tights and actually knowing what gear they're in. Those riders I can only catch if I sneak up on them at tempo pace on a hill.

But this was a challenge. THey had maybe 80 yards on me at the bottom of the hill, and I could see them start churning up the next one. 6:30. I got within about 20 yards of them by the top of that hill and I could see them looking back again and *whoosh* they were gone again. 6:20. Into a more level part, I could see them pushing the pace pretty hard. 6:10. I knew I had them when I saw them pushing it into a low gear and getting up out of the saddle on a long but relatively gentle hill. 6:00. As I got really close I could see their bikes wobbling side to side, sweat under their helmets plastering their hair to their neck.

And *woosh* I went right by. Didn't see them again.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Back to the track

So I was back to the track last night. There was a forecast of snow (which, fortunately, ultimately came as rain) so I was hoping to get done before the sun went down. The planned workout was 5 x (800, 400) with half distance jog after both. It went pretty well.

Goal: 2:38, 1:18
Max rep HR in ()

1: 2:37(197), 1:17(174)
2: 2:39(180), 1:16(179)
3: 2:38(182), 1:17(177)
4: 2:38(183), 1:18(180)
5: 2:40(182), 1:19(177)

I tried to run the last set by feel without looking at the watch to adjust my pace at the splits and I was obviously feeling the fatigue a bit. This one was mostly in the lungs and I was breathing a little heavy in the 800s. In this workout the 400s are almost like a break :) Overall it felt good - a moderate workout.

Just for an interesting point of reference, I looked up some similar workouts from the past and last March I went totally into oxygen debt during a 6x800 at 2:55 with 400 jog, in June, right before my 5k PR I did one 6x800 in the high 2:40s, and one low 2:40s (both deep in o2 debt by the end). None of them identical, but interesting points nonetheless.

This week is my easier week, I do 2 workouts then a long on Sunday. Tuesday night was 3x2 mile at 5:45 pace with a 2 minute jog. Let's face it, 2:00 isn't much of a jog. By the time you look at your watch the second time it's time to buckle down again. That said, I really kind of groove on LT workouts. I really seem to settle in and they get easier as the reps go on.

2 weeks from today to my first early season race. I'm excited already.