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!

 

 

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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

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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!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Diego RNR Half Marathon Training- Week 8

Image result for 2018 san diego rock and roll marathon

 

Sunday May 6, 2018

 

This was race week… well a 10K at least down in my old stomping grounds in Tucson! It was 14 years ago since I last raced at the Cinco De Mayo 10K… back then Carrie and I did it and weren’t even married, so this is our first Tucson Cinco De Mayo 10K as a married couple!

 

Tuesday– Track workout.. speed Intervals- 8 x 800 @ 10K pace w/ 200M recovery at Marathon pace

This one was expected to be a little bit of a challenge and it lived up to it. Target was 10K pace which I was looking at 8:10. I knew on my 400’s I was going to have to stay close to 2:05 which doesn’t sound that bad, and it wasn’t until.. the 4th and 5th one. What made this a tougher workout was the fact that I had 200M to recover at Marathon pace which I calculated to be closer to 9:10. It was a struggle to run faster on the recovery and kept it closer to 9:30 but I was very  pleased with my 800 speed workouts which averaged 3:58 far under 4:10 or even 4:05 which was my top end.

It was good as always to see others out there including Carrie who was doing 1K’s as well as Meredith who was also working on 8 x 800’s. We all crushed it even though it was a tough hour of speed. This has been the most speed workout I have probably ever done or if not recently, a long time that I can remember! Plus the weather was very nice with lows in the low 60’s and its expected to get lower the next few days :).

I made sure to take some walk breaks at work and was a little sore with the legs and lower back. Will need to do some more rolling and stretching at home as well as some leg workouts.

Wednesday– Recovery run

Carrie and I ran our usual Wednesday route for my 6 and her 8. I felt better than expected coming off of yesterday’s 8 x 800 track session. Good run this morning with lows in the upper 50’s which made my hands feel “chilly”. I’ll take it as we have a few days of a nice cooldown before a very hot weekend.

 

Thursday– Easy run

I won’t lie… this morning was a tough run. Not because it was an easy run, but my body is feeling tired from the training. I know this is normal as I am pushing my body and getting fitter as the days and weeks go by. My left foot and ankle feels stiff and sore. The calf is really tight with knots and I’ve been rolling and stretching.

Fortunately, I’ll be visiting my Chiro Dr. soon and getting a little work done. I’m also approaching a massage with my masseuse which will expose some areas that I know will be painful as she digs in and works out the knots.

Training is never easy otherwise everyone would do it right? My mind is now focusing on our upcoming 10K race in Tucson this weekend. It’s a hilly SOB! That’s putting it mildly but this is an important training race for me to see how far I’ve come in the past 8 weeks.

 

Saturday– Easy run… shakeout run

Got out for an easy 4 miler before we head out to Tucson today for Cinco De Mayo 10K on Sunday!!

 

Sunday– 10K race Cinco De Mayo Tucson

What a way to close out 8 weeks of training with a very tough 10K race in my old stomping grounds of Tucson, Arizona! Wildcat country! This morning with temps in the low 70’s under a clear sky and bright hot sun, it was time to tackle the hills of west Tucson. Let me state that its been 14 years (2004) since I last did this race and was not a married man. Carrie ran back then as well under her maiden name and today we both raced after a 14 year absence as a married couple!

For anyone who has not done the Cinco De Mayo 10K race at Cholla High School that takes you past the world-famous Starr Pass golf course, it is a Bitch! I mean that in the most honest and meaningful way. It tests everyone ounce of your body from start to finish. The course immediately starts with a slight downhill then climbs for about 2 miles with some rolling hills. At the turnaround at mile 3.1, you make your way uphill for another grueling mile before you reach mile 4 and embark on 2 miles of downhill running which does include a few rolling hills.

Personally, I like rolling hills in that it allows your body to gain some momentum and isn’t too severe on the up or downhill portions. Flashback.. in the mid and late 90’s when I was much younger and quicker, I would run the 10K between 44-46 minutes on this course. In 2004, I ran it in 55:13 which is just under 9 mins a mile, nothing spectacular right? Well, my goal this year was to not only beat that time but I’d be really happy with an 8:30 pace.

I have been training very well and working harder especially on the speed workouts on the track but would it be enough to run well. But I will be the first to tell you that 10K’s for me aren’t my favorite and that’s probably why in all my years, I haven’t done too many. I did a few in my 20’s when 10K’s were more popular but tapered away from them. So coming into today’s race, my goal was to treat this as a race but as a strong training run with the hills coming into play.

I felt good this morning as we toed the line, the mexican dinner last night at Tucson’s award-winning mexican restaurant El Charro with its delicious food and chips wasn’t a factor as my body handles it well.. even all the salsa and chips and yes, a modelo negro beer!

 

 

Well… it was a very good race and I feel like I ran the uphills fairly well, I wish my downhills were quicker. The slowest pace was one 9:00 pace on a mile that had a climb of 120 feet with a drop of 16 ft giving an overall net gain of 104 feet in a mile, so I am happy with it. None of my downhills were faster than an 8:01, which I thought I might be able to get somewhere in the neighborhood of 7:50? I’ve looked at the numbers by each mile and the climbs and descents as well and how I responded and how much fatigue there was as well as how much reserve I had.

In the end, I crossed the line in 51:59 which was good enough for an 8:22 pace which is faster than what I was hoping for! I felt good about today’s race and the effort I put forth. I put my hands on my knees and tried to catch my breath… an indication that I worked my ass out there and I know I did.

I saw Carrie with about 100-150M left and I kicked it in for the last .22 with a 6:36 finish which showed I had something left.

Carrie had a very good race and placed first in her age with a strong 42:44 race, which she was happy with. She would have liked to have raced a little quicker but that is faster by 4 mins and 01 seconds! A hell of a race and claiming the top 4 overall female.

I don’t have any pictures of Carrie racing since she came in before me, but took one of her during her warmup run from the hotel to the school before the start of the race. I also got a picture of her on the podium for 1st place in her age and collecting her margarita glass which she says she will fill up with her homemade Kombucha!!!

 

 

Afterwards, it was time for some post race freebie foods! El Saguarito Mexican which is a healthier burro with all types of burros which I tasted, as well as Eegees and donuts and fruit! A huge THANK YOU to the Southern Arizona Roadrunners for putting on an outstanding race and to all the law enforcement officers who were on the course directing traffic and ensuring our safety with vehicles on the road.

This was a great race to re-visit after so many years. I’m glad I did it and I can see myself coming back in the future!

 

I’d also like to share that Meredith completed her 13 mile run this weekend under some hot conditions and also for putting in some long days at the office working for the Education sector.. thanks for your service as and educator! She’s almost done with her tough workouts and soon the taper will come into play!

That’s it for 8 weeks, we are not 2/3’s of the way done with training and one more tough week coming up which I call hell week. A tough 6 mile speed with no real recovery and 13 mile long run next weekend under some warm conditions. Here goes another week!!!!

San Diego RNR Half Marathon Training- Week 7

Image result for 2018 san diego rock and roll marathon

 

Sunday April 29, 2018

 

Monday – Rest day…. Although today was a rest day, the big news was the announcement of the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials (OTM). It was announced that Atlanta will host the trials on February 29, 2020! It also happens to fall on leap day! I have been watching closely for the past 2 weeks for the announcement and Carrie got the news shortly after i got home from work.

We are both excited and planning to take the trip to Atlanta run in the Marathon/Half Marathon which will be held the day after the trials. We have only been to one OTM back in 2012 when it was held in Houston, Texas. What a trip and how inspiring it was to see all of the men and women who qualified to get to the trials as they ran proudly in front of a raucous crowd. We saw a few friends and followers of ours in the race and the noise was deafening as the runners came running by. If you have never been to an OTM, I strongly encourage you to do so and you will be inspired!

 

Tuesday– Speedwork.. Tempo at goal Half Marathon pace

This started out as a day where I thought I would not have the energy to muster the full 5 mile effort. I ran to the track for my usual warmup then hit the track and every mile I would switch directions. I managed to put up good splits and hit my target under 8:40 w/ 8:33 average. It wasn’t easy on the final 2 miles but having Carrie and Michelle who were doing their own workouts helped keep me going.

After my workout, Carrie was finishing up with 2 x 400 to burn it out. I decided to hop in on her last one as she was looking to run sub 1:30. I took off quickly and at the 200 mark I was at 40 sec! I started to die around 150 and didn’t have a strong kick but finished in 1:28… 2 secs faster than Carrie. That was a tough run. A good day!

Wednesday– Recovery run

I headed out after a good nights sleep and put in 6 miles as Carrie was looking to get in 8 miles. It was a nice morning with lows in the upper 60’s low 70’s. I was sweating a little a few miles in but not bad. The weather is still good in the mornings but we know what’s ahead. Afterwards, I did my usual rolling and stretching which is now a regular part.

Thursday – Easy run

This was a very good 6 mile run. I got out a little earlier so I could get to work earlier and also make it home to catch some good track and field streaming online. Normally, I do like to look at the watch regularly but kept it only on the mile splits when it beeped. I was running purely on effort which is what I should be doing. I had a very good run and kept a good pace right where I wanted and afterwards felt pretty good.

I didn’t have any pain in the left food and my breathing was good and relaxed. The only issue I had a coughing attack the first half of the run, perhaps the crap in the air. I was in the zone and enjoyed this run as I finished just after dawn as the sky was beginning to light up. A good stretch and rolling session after my run then I hit the shower and off to work!

Saturday– Long run at South Mountain

 

 

Our morning started out at 5am, well at least for Carrie it did. She was running 21 miles while I had 12 of my own. She was running from Ahwatukee to South Mountain then adding an additional 7 miles on San Juan road to get her 21. I was driving to South Mountain and also running San Juan.

For those who are not familiar with South Mountain, it our very own park with tons of trails and paved roads for outdoor enthusiasts including us runners! The road most traveled for runners is San Juan which from the bottom of the park to the very end is about 6 1/2 miles or 13 miles roundtrip. It consists of hilly roads and at one stretch it goes for a few miles both downhill and uphill.

My run started out with a good 2 mile climb of about 250 feet. This was a good gauge of how our upcoming 10K race in Tucson would look and feel. It also starts out with an immediate climb of 200 feet with several good hills. I ran the first two miles in a relatively good pace of 9:30 then had a few good miles of rolling and downhills.

Then the turnaround and the climb… I shortened my stride and kept my legs moving as I ran the uphills. I made one stop then carried on never relinquishing a pace slower than 9:58 which was pretty good for me. I was getting tired near mile 9 and could feel my left foot getting sore and the legs a little achy.

The hills beat you up both up and down but it does so much for your mental fortitude in building such strength as we move closer to our races. After 12.3 miles, I finally finished in 1:52 with a couple of stops and water intake.

I saw Susan and Wendy and a few others on the route as well as Carrie who finished just ahead of me as I drove the car down to the main parking lot. Carrie had a great run and hit her target and was very thirsty.

Afterwards, we rolled and stretched as we brough our R8 and Roller as we normally do to get a good roll and stretch in. There’s nothing worse for your body than to do a tough run and go directly in the car for the ride home.

We both reflected on our run as we drove home happy about what we accomplished today. Carrie hit her target pace and I was 4-5 seconds off but considering the pounding the body takes with all the hills, this was a very good run for me.

After breakfast, we hit the pool which always feels so good on the legs and the rest of the body. I also hit the jacuzzi for a little and let the jets work on the feet and tired muscles.

We spent most of the day watching some shows and relaxing. Overall, a very good run for us both and only 1 really long run left in training.

Sunday– Recovery run

Ended the week in normal fashion with a recovery run and could I feel the long run effecting my legs today. I was sore like I did something hard yesterday but nothing serious. It was good to get the legs turning over. We went on a new route that took us to a trail we have always seen on our runs or driving by. I went out on the trail with Carrie for a little before turning around since I only had 4 miles and ended up running 4.5.

Weekly cap…

This was another week of at lest 35 miles that included a good track workout and hill workouts on South Mountain. 7 weeks of good honest training is now officially closed and looking back its been one of my best training sessions in a long time.

The weather is definitely heating up but the nice thing about our training is that we really only have a few more weeks of hard training and long runs before the mileage starts to taper. Little aches and pains are still present but I’m doing my exercises and getting chiro and massage work periodically. 5 more weeks to be exact before we toe the line in San Diego… but before then, we have a good race in Tucson next weekend that will be a very challenging course. The race is the Cinco de Mayo 10K which I used to do in the 90’s and the last one being 14 years ago.

The course has some tough climbs but also what goes up, must come down. Carrie and I will be using this as a training run but racing it with the mindset of putting into practice the skills we know and applying it on race day. The key is not to try to go out too quickly which shouldn’t be tough considering the first 2 miles is practically an uphill climb. We’ve run South Mountain a few times as well as running in our own backyard in Ahwatukee which is hilly in any direction we run. I’m looking forward to getting away for a weekend in Wildcat country and a little cooler weather which makes a difference on race day.