Tucson Half Marathon Training- Week 1

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Sunday September 23, 2018

Over the course of 12 weeks, I will be providing some insight and updates on my training as I work towards the Tucson Half Marathon at the end of the year. Take a journey with me and see how I train. Witness the good and not so good days, but hopefully more good ūüôā

Tuesday– Track day.. 1 mile / 2 x 800 / 1 x 400 which turned out to be 2 x 400

This morning I made my way to Mountain Pointe H.S. track where we do all of our track workouts. After my warmup run and some drills, I took off for my mile which I was aiming for 7:45. I was a little behind the target after 1/2 mile and knew I had to pick it up a little the last 2 laps.

I was feeling a little sluggish and on the last lap, I made a strong surge and hit the mile in 7:46 which is only 1 sec off my target. After recovery my next workout involved 2 x 800 and the goal was 3:30. This is where I struggled. Knowing I needed to hit 1:45 on the 400’s I was down early on the first 400 with a 1:53 and could not get it back. I hit 3:40 for the first set, a whole 10 seconds off pace.

The second 800 was slightly faster at 3:38 but I just did not have it today. I felt a little discomfort in the left side of my chest and I was a little concerned about my heart as I have been getting some tests done. Knowing I only had a 400 to close out, I did a quick recovery and wanted to run this close to top speed. I got out to a quick jump and clocked the 200 around 0:43 which was on pace for 1:26. On the last 100 with the straightaway, I ran as quick as I could feeling every ounce of my body fatiguing. The result, 1:24! I was happy with that.

My day at the track was done but as I was doing a short recovery and Carrie was finishing up her workout, I decided to run with her as she had one more 400 to do. This one was quicker with a 1:23 while Carrie got 1:27!

Afterwards, I was feeling very sluggish and my chest on the left side was feeling a bit in discomfort, not very painful but a little overworked? I was a bit light-headed and did a very easy cooldown as we made our way home.

It was a good morning at the track, I would not say excellent since my 800’s were a bit of a bust but a productive one and a good start to training!

Wednesday- recovery run

The morning run started out on a very humid and sticky day. We are supposed to get rain today and the skies feel like the moisture is there. It didn’t take me long to break into a big sweat. I have been looking at my watch and the HR and wanted to keep it close to 130 bpm regardless of pace. I felt pretty comfortable. Most of all, I didn’t get that pain in my left chest area like I did yesterday which was not fun for most of the day.

Thursday- easy run and Birthday run with Carrie!

Today Carrie celebrates her 40th Birthday, it’s a day she’s been looking forward to for quite some time. For those of you not familiar with what runners identify with when speaking of Masters, here’s what it’s about. When a runner turns 40, he or she is considered to be in the Masters division, a separate category of runners.

Some races have special classifications for Masters and if you’re one of the faster runners, you may win extra money simply for placing in the top of your respective Masters male or female ranks!

So this morning I ran with her for a little as she was running to meet with her friend Kara for their own run. My run this morning was an easy 4 miler but in 92% humidity. Even though the temperature was 73, it definitely felt muggy. I closed with a few strides and had a good run!

Saturday- easy run

Normally my long run day, due to a race tomorrow I’m doing a short easy run as a shakeout run in prep for my 10K race. It was a non-eventful day as I prepare for my race tomorrow.

Sunday- 10K Global Energy race

This was a good and challenging race that had hills, heat, and tons of free food! I set my sights on a good race. My goal I was shooting for was an 8:20 pace which would have landed me near 51:46. I ended up with a time of 52:48 an 8:30 pace. Overall, I was a little disappointed in the fact that I could not seem to get out of the 8:30 pace I was running for the middle part of the race.

The course had some good challenging hills but nothing I would call dramatic or too daunting. Part of me feels a sense of complacency or being comfortable with the pace. 10K’s are a distance I have traditionally shyed away from but it was not always like that. Back in the 90’s there were plenty of 10Ks’ and I used to run them. Until this year, I haven’t done them much if at all.

But it’s a great mix for gauging progress for a Half Marathon race which is my ideal distance race. I was also using this a barometer since I just started my training for the Tucson Half Marathon in December. The race was the end of week 1 in training and it’s also the start of my fitness for training.

In that sense, it was good to get out there and work for the race. It took me a mile or two to really get into a groove and then decide where I could settle in for the remainder of the race. On the last mile which was downhill, I wanted to go sub 8 mins on the last 1.5 miles where it was mainly downhill but I could only get close to 8 mins. It wasn’t until the last .10 where I pushed low 7 mins.

I was gassed at the end but ran a fairly consistent race in terms of pace. More importantly, I know what I need to work on but allow the fitness to come with my training. A good day of racing overall.

 

Week 1 Perspective

The first week is now in the books and looking back, not much feels different from my summer running. It’s only the first week but I know I can improve on my speed and getting in good consistent long runs for mileage.

It is unusual for me to have a race on the first week of training, but I got in for free and used it for a good training run as well. The temperature is still above seasonal norms which made it tougher on race day but I know I’m better off for running all summer in worse conditions.

I need to be good on my nutrition and make some changes and continue with my good strength training and recovery which has been going well with the complement of stretching and rolling.

Looking ahead, another race this coming weekend with a trip to Crested Buttes, Colorado to run Emma Coburn’s Elk Run 5K. Emmas is our favorite women’s Steeplechase Olympian who is from Crested Butte and this is her 2nd year of putting together this race. It’s also part of Carrie’s birthday to celebrate her 40th Birthday which makes her now a Masters runner!

1 down and 11 weeks to go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And so it begins….

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Monday September 17, 2018

Well, its’ that time again for me.. training! This week marks another training session as I aim to race the Tucson Half Marathon in December. I’ve actually never done the Half in Tucson in all my years. I’ve completed several Marathons there, with my best time of 3:39:11. Tucson is also where I ran my first Marathon way back in 1995 where I finished a blistering 4:29:18 which put me in the bottom 12%!!

Tucson is also where I went to the University of Arizona, home of my Wildcats and I will be very excited to be racing with my fellow Wildcats.. BEAR DOWN!!!

For some, training is a bad word that makes them scared. For me, it’s a time I relish and look forward to. Training is a time for hard work, accountability, sacrifice, progress, and growth.

30 years of running and 6 years as certified running coach has enabled me to stay on top of the sport and truly enjoy everything that running has provided me. Over the next 12 weeks there will be changes felt, cooler weather and in my fitness level. There will be tough runs at the track, on the roads, and on the hills.

Over the summer, I made it a priority to keep up with my strength training which I began right after my San Diego Rock and Roll Half in June and have been consistent with my 3 days a week regimen and also keeping a steady 18.4 miles per week of running with the last month in the mid to lower 20’s.

The goal over the summer was to stay moving and to challenge myself with the heat but not overdo it. That has included track workouts once a week and a few sprinkling of races to stay race ready and to know what it feels like to work out hard.

I’ve been through this for many years and know what to expect during the harsh summers and let me tell you, July and August were a bitch! The heat and humidity were extremely tough as it always is in the valley of the sun, but I came out of it much stronger and in better conditioning.

I’m ready to face the challenges again and see what I can do in December. Most of all, I am excited to be healthy and ready to put my body through another round of training and hopefully have a great race when I toe the line in December.

It’s time to have fun and get to work!!!

 

 

4th of July race

Thursday July 5, 2018

 

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Yesterday for the 4th of July, Carrie and I did the Arizona Road Racers 4th of July 4 mile race at Rio Vista Park. This marks my 4th time that I can recall doing the race. It’s always a fun and great atmosphere on a great day as we celebrate Independence Day!

It’s usually quite warm and hot during the race. However, this year was not as bad as years past with the humidity. The temperature was in the upper 80’s with humidity hovering around 25% which really isn’t too bad for early July. I remember last years race being very humid and we sweated a lot, not to say we weren’t sweating after the race yesteray… we were definitely soaked.

The race started off well and I quickly jumped out on the somewhat narrow course that is a rectanglular shaped course. Nothing fancy about this course that runs along the Rio Vista canal on paved sidewalk path. I was running close to an 8 minute mile when this woman ran up to me and said “hey! you’re Carrie’s husband Pete right?” I was a little taken back since I had no idea who she was. She introduced herself as Olivia and said she was friends with Wendy our running friend and neighbor down the street.

So for the next 2 miles, Olivia ran next to me and we chatted which was a little hard to do when you’re racing. Around the 3 mile mark Olivia took off and I kept on running. It was a tough race in terms of the legs feeling like they just couldn’t turn over enough and my breathing was not extremely heavy but it was labored in a controlled manner.

As I approached the bridge which is just over .10 to go, I knew it was time to kick it in. As I made my way down the bridge for the final right turn, I saw Carrie who was encouraging me to kick it in. I did just that and had a nice kick and at one point was running a 4:35 but for just a few seconds. I managed to pass a few people and a young kid which always feels nice when you’re a late 40’s runner!

It was a tough race as it always is this time of year. It was my first summer race in Phoenix this year and I was happy with my effort. Although slower than last year, I was consistent during the last 2 miles and held my ground when the breathing was getting harder as the body was struggling with the heat and effort.

Carrie placed 3rd in her age and had a good run considering she had some shin splints a few weeks ago and has been only running a few days a week. Michelle was also out there racing as well as Paul. We all were slower than what we normally race but when temperatures are in th upper 80’s, you do the best and it’s all about effort. A great day of racing and more importantly, we owe many thanks to our brave soldiers past and present for the great freedom we enjoy to have this opportunity!

 

 

Summer training

 

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Sunday July 1, 2018

June is now behind us and depending on how you view your glass, we only have 3 more months of hot weather :). That being said, there remains plenty of time to get in some hot weather training that has been compared to elevation training.

Believe me, it’s not easy to pound the pavement and move at the same rate as you do in cooler weather. But maintaining even the slightest of fitness during the summer will pay dividends when October and November rolls around and the racing season kicks off!

This past week at track I was the only one putting in a workout. It’s normal to see people drop off and do their own thing, who wants to run in the heat right? I do :). My summer will have some shorter races and I want to have some resemblance of speed on race day and see what I can do in the offseason from distance.

The workout was relatively short as I did a 3 x 4 min @ 5K pace with 2 min recovery. I felt good on the first and on the 2nd, I was feeling the effects of not having much speed workout since my half marathon nearly 1 month ago. I pushed it and crushed the last 2 stages of my workout and felt tired by accomplished while having the track to myself :).

On Wednesday, I got 4 miles in before work and the temps were in the mid to low 80’s… yes it was warm and I broke out into a sweat after the first mile or so but I’m still not feeling as miserable as I should for the end of June.

Over the weekend, I ran both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday I ran with Carrie and Michelle and I did 5 miles. This is the longest distance since my June 3rd Half in San Diego. It was a good run, a little quick in the beginning for the first 2 miles but I slowed it down for the final 3.

Saturday marked the last day of June and it really wasn’t that bad of a month for heat. It’s been milder but looks like the week ahead is going to be extremely hot near 112!

On Sunday which marked the 1st day of July, I ran with Carrie and Michelle as Mom got in a nice walk of her own. We did 5 miles which was the longest distance since my Half Marathon in San Diego nearly 1 month ago! It felt good but I felt a little sluggish as I wiped the cobwebs off for this 5 miler :).

 

 

I’ve got a 4 mile race on the 4th of July which will be a hot one but looking forward to getting to form!

Summer is in full swing and I am too!

Keeping Summer fun!

Monday June 25, 2018

 

Summer is in full swing and 100+ temps are the norm for the next few months. It’s been hot but for me it hasn’t been miserable… yet! In the coming weeks the humidity will definitely be upon us as July inches forward.

With all of the heat, I still look forward to staying up with my fitness and this summer is off to a great start. Over the weekend, I decided to mix it up and do my own version of a short and I mean short triathlon. Why a triathlon you ask? Well, I’m running at this point and have been doing a little swimming several times a week at our lap pool, why not throw in a bike as well?

I figure I need to do some cross training during he offseason from distance running/racing and isolate different muscle groups while having fun at the same time.

And so it began Sunday morning. I headed out for a short easy run of 3 miles which is usually something I do on Sunday mornings. Then I waited for Carrie who had a few more miles on the road. I got our bikes ready and we headed out the door for a nice 10 miler around Ahwatukee. The breeze on the bikes felt good and having some time to coast on the downhills felt like a little reward. We climbed up one big hill near about a mile out from home and powered through.

It was close to 7:15am when we completed our 2nd discipline on the bike before we walked to the lap pool in our neighborhood and put in a little swim. I’m not much of a swimmer but this summer I’ve been having more fun with it and actually able to swim a tiny bit longer. I did 200M freestyle with a few rests as well as 50m breaststroke.

The water was refreshing after being on our feet and wheels. That was it and before 8am, I had completed my own triathlon in reverse order with the run and swim being reversed which was by design. It was fun sharing it with Carrie who had fun as well.

The body felt great and biking was good for me to do since we have great a great community and roads in Ahwatukee. Later in the afternoon after watching World Cup Soccer and Track and Field, I put in my strength training at the gym to complete a health filled day!

It’s summer, but it doesn’t have to be boring and we found a way to stay active and have a great time! Continue reading

San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon Race recap!

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Thursday June 7, 2018

Well, the San Diego Rock and Roll Half Marathon came and went just like that! I was very pleased with the outcome and my training leading up to it. Going into this I was thinking I would like to fall close to 1:55 but definitely under 2 hours. I crossed the finish line in 1:56:18 exhausted and sore on the left foot but so happy with my performance.

I ran a very consistent race with my splits being close at each split. Here are my splits according to the race…

  • Finish Time 01:56:18
  • 3.1 miles 27:20 Pace 8:49
  • 6.2 miles 54:50 Pace 8:50
  • 10 miles 1:28:28 Pace 8:50
  • 13.1 miles- Finishing time 1:56:18 Overall Pace 8:52
  • Overall 2022 / 13073
  • Division 152 / 686
  • Gender 1364 / 5434

 

It was a hot morning as the marine layer clouds quickly dispersed within the first few miles which is rare for the “June Gloom” in San Diego. A lot of runners including my wife and friends also felt the same in their races.¬† I had the complete opposite and felt in control and not overheated. Don’t get me wrong, it was hot and very moist as my shirt was drenched but I was on a mission.

I started out early on by running 8:35 in the first half mile and felt great but I knew I would need to control my pace and gradually brought the pace closer to 8:45. Around the first mile I saw Desi Linden the Boston Marathon winner who was pacing the 2:00 group and I congratulated her as I ran by.

As the miles came and went, I felt good and was staying within myself and not doing anything crazy with speed. My breathing was good and my body felt just the same.

The course had a few more hills than I had researched but nothing that was too steep or for long. There was also a very steep descent as we were leaving Balboa park. It was at this point which was around mile 9-10 that I let myself run quickly rather than hit the brakes and put more pressure on the quads.  In fact, at one point I was running 6:19 at the fastest.

From Mile 10-12, I was feeling the soreness in my left foot on that bottom part like I normally do late in the race but ran an 8:54 pace which is pretty good for me.

As I approached the last mile, I was hurting and my pace was showing it. The last 1.1 miles to close out the race said 9:29 but I made up a little on the last .10 with my fastest pace being a 5:54.

It was a great race overall and I honestly believe I had one of my best training phases in quite some time. Here is the breakdown of my 5K’ splits and last segment right up to the finish. As you can tell, I was very consistent on the splits. The only blemish was the last mile where I was hurting and pulling a 9:15 pace.

mile 3.1 Avg: 8:48 min/mile
mile 6.2 Avg: 8:46 min/mile
mile 9.3 Avg: 8:46 min/mile
mile 12.4-Finish Avg: 9:15 min/mile

 

It was fitting that I had a good race and validation that the training which was extremely solid warranted a great race.

As I reflect on the race, I am happy I was able to get my time back under 2 hours. Last summer when I raced in June and September both in the midwest under far worst conditions with the heat and humidity than San Diego, I had two of my slowest times ever in the half! It was the first time I ran over 2 hours.

San Diego couldn’t have gone any better and the 12 weeks of training leading up to it was one of my best trainings. I made some changes including slower easy/long runs and faster and tougher speed workouts at the track which I believe help prepare me for success this past weekend.

I will now take a few days of rest and try a short run this weekend. My plan for the summer is to focus on training for 5K’s and a 10K in the fall as I prepare for a winter Half Marathon which looks to be Tucson!!!

I’d like to congratulate our friends Paul, Lynette, Meredith, and Anne for completing the race.

My training partner for most of the runs and wife Carrie also ran and placed 8th overall in the women’s field and received a cool plaque!!! Although she did have the best of days, she closed out the race strong and gave everything she had.

Carrie and I ran together during our training for most of the days. It helped having her out there and this was probably the first time we have trained together in those early morning hours. Thanks Carrie!!!

I leave you with some pictures of San Diego!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Diego RNR Half Marathon Training- Week 12…Race Week!!

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Monday May 28, 2018

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Happy Memorial Day to all and especially to all of our Armed Forces Military and to those who served and lost their lives fighting for the freedom that we enjoy today…

Thank you for your service!!!

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Well, I thought I would release the Week 12 blog earlier before the race as the buildup to race day inches closer.

Since the last few weeks is really about maintenance and staying healthy, I thought I would look back on my training and see what the future may hold on race day.

But first, when I take to the streets in San Diego this coming weekend, it will mark 16 years since I last did this very race. It was 2002 when I was a strapping 32 year old runner who was raising funds for the Leukemia Team in Training. I had to raise about $2,500 for The Leukemia Society who then paid for my entry fee, airline tickets, and hotel stay along with a few meals at our pre and post race meetings.

It was one of the best times I’ve ever experienced as a runner but more importantly, as someone trying to help raise funds for a very worthy cause. Little did I know that my stepfather John would pass away from Non-Hodgkins disease a form Leukemia a few years ago.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to take part in such an incredible cause with a group of fantastic people and runners across the country.

Back in 2002 I ran the full Marathon and finished in 4:17:32… not a quick race but when I look back at how I got there it was pretty incredible. One week before the race, I pulled my hamstring doing a track workout which back then I wouldn’t have done that specific workout but knowing now what I didn’t know would have been a HUGE help. I managed to get a massage and make it to the start line. Although with a tender and still sore hamstring, I ran as good as I could and have a great race!

It was also Carries first Marathon which she ran incredibly well and as a result, qualified for her first Boston Marathon!

And now I wait for the next 6 days to come before race day. I am giving my body the rest of it needs and have reduced my mileage.

Overall I feel pretty good and have one more track workout which won’t be extensive but it will consists of quality of course.

I will be updating this blog throughout the week and providing additional insight as the race approaches ever so quickly.

Tuesday– Track workout… 3 x 1/2 mile @ Half Marathon pace w/ 200 recovery

A good workout and finish to my track workouts this morning. Carrie and I along with Meredith all hit the track one final time this training period and hit our targets with a great workout. It was weird having a shorter workout as I inch closer to race day, but a welcome relief. A great morning at the Oval Office!

San Diego RNR Half Marathon Training- Week 11

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Sunday May 27, 2018

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As you can tell, I’m tapering now :). By the time you read this, week 11 is in the books and I’m a week into my taper phase. For some, tapering is a glorious time in training in that it allows us to drop our mileage and get some much-needed rest on the legs and entire body. For others, it’s misery and a time of anxiousness as we wait for race day to final come and put our training into practice.

For me, I look forward to this time as a way to re-energize and gather my thoughts as race day approaches. Sure, the restlessness of the body which has been used to training so hard for 2 1/2 months is at times hard to manage. But, I look forward to a drop in mileage and one less day of running to get some much-needed recovery.

It’s typical for runners to feel sluggish and lethargic, but on race day we will be fresh with tons of energy just waiting to be unleashed!!

This week I also started to get some much needed recovery in the Normatec Recovery boots at my Chiro’s office. The boots inflate air and provide pressure throughout the legs and then releases and compresses again in other areas of the legs. Its designed to increase circulation and help aid in quicker recovery.

It’s Free which is so cool and I plan to use it a few times before the race in hopes of flushing some junk out! Thanks again to all the great staff at AZ Disc Sport and Spine and Dr. Rudd for providing much needed care during my training period!


Monday– Chiro day…

I went in to see Dr. Rudd for my Chiro appointment and got some work done. I got the usual electric stimulation on my glutes and calf, spinal decompression on the table which was turned up more this week which helps to elongate the spine and relax it, then got some A.R.T work done on the table. I finished off with the recovery boots on the Normatec recovery boots for 30 minutes to help flush out the lactic acid. We’re getting close to the wire with race day just 13 days away and doing what I can to stay healthy and the body feeling good!
Tuesday – Threshold Intervals- 3 x 1.5 mile @ Half race pace w/ 200M recovery

This was a little harder than I anticipated. I’m still feeling the fatigue in my legs and the soreness that has been lingering around for the past several weeks. Despite that, I hit my target and ran both of my 1.5 miles in 14:00 and 13:59 with a target of 14 mins so right on pace!

Afterwards, Michelle and I did one 400M and the goal was to run 1:30-1:35… I surprised myself and ran somewhere in the neighborhood of 1:26-7! I hit my watch late and knew the time would not be accurate.. it read 1:11!! of course that wasn’t the correct time but how cool if it had been. A good day at the Oval Office nonetheless!
Thursday – Easy run

After taking a day off on Wednesday since I’m dropping in mileage and by one day, it was time to get the legs moving. It feels anything but comfortable. It’s like running through quicksand. My massage is this weekend and I know I’m going to need some deep tissue and work in several areas… a much needed maintenance. I got some time on the recovery boots at my chiro after work to help flush out the junk!
Saturday– Semi-long run

7 miles on the dock for me and the last of the long runs before the big race next weekend!

It was a very good run I did not have as much of the fatigue as I’ve had in recent weeks.

Afterwards I got a little more of the recovery boot maintenance at the chiro office consisted of deep tissue massage which I definitely needed.
Sunday– Recovery run

I ended the week with an easy run out at Tempe Town Lake. Carrie and I got out just before 5 a.m. to do I run then we volunteered for a 5K race with the Arizona road Racers summer series #1.

We got to see Michelle and Paul and a few other friends doing the race but it was great to give back to the running community and volunteer our time handing out water to all those runners!

Well, 11 weeks of training is officially done! Exactly one week and the big race will take place and I am ready!

San Diego RNR Half Marathon Training- Week 10

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Sunday May 20, 2018

This marks the end of 10th week of training! Coming into this week I had 12 training runs before the Half Marathon race, that number just got smaller by 5. I’m feeling very good where I’m at and seem to be peaking at the right moment. Carrie and I both feel this has been an extremely great training for us. We’ve avoided being injured, sure I have the aches and pains but nothing I would call an injury. I’m doing my exercises and stretches especially after my runs and using all of our tools like the R8, R3, foam rollers, and balls.

Our house looks more like a play room with our exercise gadgets and mats but its a must when you’re an athlete in training. Let’s see how this week turned out!

 

Tuesday–¬†Intervals- 8 x 1000M @ 10K pace w/ 200M Marathon pace

 

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This was the last of the hard track workouts and was it a tough mother! It was another cool morning which we are very fortunate to have in mid May. I started out looking to hit 5:04-5:07 on the 1K’s which would put me on pace for my 10K race splits. The first few went well but I could feel my quads, calves, and hips fatiguing.

I know I’m fatigued from the hard training as I should be but making it tougher was the fact that 3 days ago I ran 13 miles and the week before had a 10K race on a hilly course. I’ve rebounded nicely since then and knew that I needed to close out the tough workout strong.

On the 5th 1K, I was really getting tired and feeling the lactic acid. I pushed on the last 3 and did close out strong. The final tally on the  8 x 1000M came to an average of 5:04 which is spot on for my target! I waited for Carrie who also ran very strong on her speed workouts and we made our way home for our cooldown mile.

10 weeks of hard speed at the track is now over and the last few weeks will be much easier to manage as the mileage starts to drop allowing the body to recover and rebuild. A great day at the Oval Office… a very strong effort!!

Wednesday– Recovery run

Nothing fancy about this one… just get out and get some leg turnover. The legs are tired and sore, definitely getting close to taper.

 

Thursday– Easy run

An easy 5 miler and my body is ready to just hibernate. It feels like running through quicksand, the turnover seems slow and even though I’m not worried about my pace on these days, it seems like I’m barely moving. I did have some company with 1 1/2 to go as I saw a neighbor of ours Wendy who was running with her dog. We chatted and helped keep us running. After a full day of work, I’ll reward myself with a dip in the pool and get some much-needed relief!

 

Saturday– Long run

Today was the last of the double-digit runs. Carrie’s friend Kara had asked if we wanted to run with her and Susan’s group out in Chandler around this nice lake within Jacaranda and the beautiful backdrops of the lake. I started out with the group which _storage_emulated_0_Android_data_com.sec.imsservice_files_received_files_20180519_070329_1526740913039was about a dozen strong. We were doing the 6 mile loop while others were doing the 4 mile loop. I wore my new Nike top that I got at the outlet, with my gift certificate courtesy of work… I finally found something there and it fit very comfortably. Maybe my race day shirt???

 

 

Immediately I knew this was a fast group. I was the back of the pack and I was running 8:45 vs. my goal pace of 9:10. No worries, I ran quick the first 2 miles then settled into a good pace and the pack was out of sight. Carrie and Kara and the rest of the BTB group was running around 7:15 pace!

My legs especially the hip flexors and quads felt like lactic was rushing in early around mile 3. I definitely need to get this flushed out on my next massage as well as work done with my Chiro next week…. the body is in dire need of some maintenance.

My run went good, not great with the soreness but good enough to get 10 miles in. I had an issue with my music skipping and as it turns out the earphones might be going bad but nothing I crazy.

All in all, Carrie and I put in a good workout, she ran incredibly well and closed out her last mile extremely quick which she was trying to do. 2 weeks to go and the taper begin!

Sunday– Recovery run

Oh these recovery runs. Slower but the soreness with each stride is at times daunting. I am feeling the effects of 10 weeks of hard ass training and I mean every word of it.

I did my usual run a mile or so then head to the track to get in my run on softer and flat grounds then ran home to finish up.

I am now over the hard long hard workouts with only 2 more track workouts which will be much short but with some intensity to not lose any momentum.

Aside from my hip flexors, quads, and calf being sore and tight, I am feeling well and looking forward to the much-needed drop in mileage and 1 less running day on these 2 remaining weeks. It has been a journey and one I have done for so many years and love every single one of them!

I’m also proud of Meredith who has been consistent as she usually is on her training session who, recently crushed her 10 miler in Flagstaff in 7,000 elevation at the same pace she normals does her long runs. I feel she is in for a great race and deserves it with all of the hard work and perseverance that she puts into her training. I can’t wait to see how well she does.

Well, another chapter closes in training and 10 weeks is in the rearview mirror. This also signifies the beginning of true taper with one less day of running and drop in mileage. It couldn’t come at a better time as my body is banged up and needs a little tlc!

I have a Chiro appointment this week for some adjustments and spine decompression as well as a nice massage next weekend which I anticipate will be a bit painful but is needed to help get rid of some junk.

I have to make sure I’m getting a good nights sleep and staying well hydrated. It’s been a great training period as I have mentioned in the past for Carrie and I. As athletes, the greatest gift you can give yourself is what you put into each and every training session. I truly mean busting your ass and giving more than you might at times think was even possible. When you do, you walk away with such a feeling of accomplishment which propels you throughout your day and really makes you appreciate the ability to train the human body which allows the mind to open up more possibilities.. I can’t wait for SD!!!

San Diego RNR Half Marathon Training- Week 9

Image result for 2018 san diego rock and roll marathon

 

Sunday May 13, 2018

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there! I’m a lucky to have a mom who has been so great to me and our family! It’s your day to rest or do whatever you like mom!

This was the last of the toughest weeks with a very hard track workout on Tuesday as well as a 13 miler on Saturday. The fact that I am hitting on all cylinders and running extremely well is so motivating and I hope to keep this up right up to race day!

Here’s our the week panned out….

 

Tuesday Track workout 3 x 1 mile @ Half Marathon pace +10 seconds and 1 mile @ 10K pace.

This mornings workout couldn’t have gone any better. Coming into this track workout, I had just raced a 10K two days ago on a tough hilly course. My body felt recovered and I was very much looking forward to hitting my targets.

The plan was to do switch directions on the track every 2 miles or each set. I started out running the usual counter-clockwise direction and in my mind, I was targeting 8:40, not 8:50 which I just realized was my intended goal since I had to add 10 seconds. So I was much quicker. Then I went directly into a 1 mile 10K pace which I was targeting at 8:10 give or take a few seconds. I hit 8:11 so I was right on pace. Then I switched directions and this is where not only I have been experiencing quicker times, but also Meredith and Carrie as well whenever we run clockwise. We can’t explain it and we all have different Garmin watches.

The splits came in much quicker on the Half +10 and 10K splits… in fact, I was 20 seconds faster for them both and I was running either the same effort or just a tick slower. I was trying to keep the effort the same as in the previous set.

On the final set I was getting a little tired with 1.5 miles to go and I as wrapped up my Half segment, I clocked an 8:38! I knew the 10K split would need to be close to 8:10. I dug in and kept working as my breathing became labored. When the watch beeped, I finished with an 8:05! Wow!!! this was a great day and I nailed my workout even if the Garmin pegged me a little quicker.

I have put together 9 straight weeks of track workouts and have hit my goal on each of them. This has been the toughest and longest track workouts to date. I left the track around 6:15 so just over an hour as Carrie and I did our cooldown run home.

Meredith nailed her routine as well and looked strong, Carrie crushed her workout as well and we all walked away from the track with a HUGE feeling of accomplishment. I am feeling so strong and confident about my training. I really wasn’t sure how my body would feel after the 10K race just 48 hours. I figured I would have some residual soreness but I didn’t really feel any of it!

I have one more tough track workout and long run in the next 7 days then I can start the taper. I’m hoping I’m peaking at the right moment. I’ve worked hard and never missed a workout and kept focused throughout my training.

 

Wednesday– Recovery run

Business as usual, good leg turnover and flushed out the crap in the legs from yesterday’s tough track workout. I’m feeling good and positive about where I am at in my training.

 

Thursday– Easy run

I wanted to get out a little early today for my 6 miler and was out the door just after 4:15am. Temps were in the upper 70’s closing in on 80 but didn’t feel that bad. I ran a route that was a hodge podge of in and outs of streets. I was looking to avoid the same old out and back but in the end the 6 miler felt more like a 10 or 12! I felt pretty good and made it home just as the sun was rising which is always a nice time of day. Now I have a little extra time to dip into the pool after work and relax before Saturday’s long 13 mile run… the longest run before tapering.

 

Saturday– Long run

This was my last long run of training and I wanted to go out in style and do it right and do it good. I got up around 3:20am, a little earlier than what I set on my clock of 3:30am. I ate half of a bagel and banana, my morning pre long run meal as of late and a glass of water around 3:45am.

I got all of my hydration bottles out of the freezer that I prepared the night before. Carrie was also getting ready for her 23 miler as she headed out at 4:30am. I soon followed at 4:33am under the dark of night which was cool and a little breezy. My route was set so that I would run at least 7 miles with an option of adding more if I felt like it. Then I could get a refill of hydration fluids and finish my run.

The first 2-3 miles did not feel that great, my legs were a little sore and almost as if lactic acid was setting in much earlier. I didn’t panic and kept a good pace while focusing on effort. My goal for the long run was to keep it around 9:15 and even a 9:20 would be fine.

As the horizon was starting to light up, I was also beginning to run better and kept a good pace even on some of the slight uphill grades. When I got to mile 6.5 I didn’t take the left that would take me home to 7 miles. Instead, I went the long way home and before I got home it was 10 miles. I just felt good enough to go the extra few miles which would be a HUGE mental relief knowing I only had 3 miles.

At home, I refilled my handheld bottle with some electrolytes and made my way towards the track where I would eventually run another 1 1/2 miles on flat and softer grounds. This feels so good on the feet after pounding the pavement for 11 miles.

Before you know it, I completed the goal of 13 miles in exactly 1:59:59! 1 second away from 2 hours. I sat on the track for a minute to catch my breath and take in some fluids. 13 miles and I felt pretty good overall… I wasn’t sure in those first few miles but recovered and stay focused and poised.

At the 6.5 mile mark I took notice of my time which said I was at 1:00:37. If I ran it even on the 2nd half, I would run a 2:01:14. I did stop at the 10 mile mark to get fluids and again for 1 minute at mile 11.5 but other than that, I did not stop. I ran a 59:22 on the 2nd half which I was extremely happy with.

This was a very good run for me and its validation that my training has been paying off. I have not trained this hard in the past nor have I taken the approach of running slower on the easy and long runs by 20-30 seconds in the past. I think my body has responded quite well and I was so happy when I finished.

Carrie came home enthusiastic and feeling great as well. I drove out to see her down the street where she was finishing up the last of her 3 miles or so and I wanted to make sure she doing good and had enough fluids. She crushed her run and also having one of her best training sessions to date!

It was a great day for both of us on our long runs. Combined, we did 36 miles… WOW!!!

Today was also a good day for Meredith who did a 5K and the goal was to take it out quick and push being that it would be her last tune-up race before her Half Marathon. The target was to try and run a sub 9 minute pace and she took it out at a good clip and at the end of the race, held on for a good race a few seconds over but a strong race. She’s been training very well along with her long days with work. She’s injury free and been crushing her speedworkouts! Nicely done Meredith!!!

Sunday– Recovery run

This was very slooooow. Not that I was trying to run fast but yesterday’s 13 miler could be felt on this recovery run. I mixed in some roads and finished with 1.5 miles on the track for some softer footing and flat grounds. The temperature was great with lows in the mid 60’s which is very cool for this time of year. The hips, quads, and calves were definitely sore from the long run but a good day of just flushing out the junk and getting in some turnover.

9 weeks is now in the rearview mirror with the toughest workouts in the books. This also means that the taper weeks are well within view. One more double-digit long run of 10 miles next weekend before really dropping the miles.

I feel really good about this training session and the new workouts at track have been a real game changer along with the slower paces of my easy, recovery, and long runs… something I feel very good about.

Until then!!!