Tuesday, October 30, 2012

3 weeks out from the monkey

Big contrast to my last decent marathon performance at this point in time. Some people start to taper at 3 weeks. Think I'll go with 10 days this time. Never did get to 70 miles in this buildup. Pretty hard to get that kind of mileage on 6 days of running. Only got to 57 miles this week. High mileage was 68 miles, the week before last. Still haven't run a 20 miler, no use in doing that this weekend or next. Probably do some fast finish long runs; haven't done any of those yet this cycle.

This weekend's long run was only 16 miles. Planned on 18, but didn't feel like adding another 2 miles at the end. Started early to get some miles before the guys showed up. Only got in 4 instead of the planned 6 miles. Call this a 8 mile marathon pace run sandwiched between a 4 mile warmup and a 4 mile cool down. Probably not as effective as a fast finish long run, but better than just a slog.

I will continue to go out to Saddle drive to do hill repeats. Think this will be my 3rd week back. The guys are training for a fast 4 miler at the Boro Dash. I'll plan on riding the bike or standing on the course with a cow bell. It'll be cool to see the guys in action, they are in different place from the workouts the coach as been giving them.

Did try something different on the long run this weekend. Clif Shot bloks. Only because that's what they had at Target. Never got around to comparing them to my usual Powergel. Coach said one package was equivalent to 2 powergels. I cut the pack in half and stuck it a baggie. Only ended up eating/sucking/chewing/chomping on half. They were cut into bite size pieces but seemed to work best just sitting in my mouth like chewing  tobacco. I bought the caffeinated one. I'll try them again this weekend, before deciding if I'll switch.

 One thing that really is apparent is the base needed before starting a marathon training cycle. Usually I've been doing 30-40 miles per week. This time was from zero starting in July. It wasn't until September that I hit 38 miles for the week. I was riding the bike during the time off from running. That just wasn't enough evidently.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

less than 4 weeks

Yikes, the Monkey Marathon is going to kick my ass this year. My time at the Middle Half equates to about a 3:24 with the old, double your half time, plus 10 minutes. McMillan says 3:25. I'm thinking 3:30 if everything goes to plan. That's 8:00 miles, about where I'm at on the 18 milers this cycle. Gave up on trying to run 20 milers, it just wasn't happening. No use trying to squeeze in a couple now.

Seems like I'm about 4-8 weeks out from where I should be fitness wise in this buildup. But, starting from scratch, it is what it is. I've been back out to Saddle Drive two times to do some hill repeats. Seems like that's helping with the strength on the hills. Still don't have any turnover. I skipped the track workout the guys had this morning. Sure don't want to risk getting hurt trying to keep up with them.

Be interesting to see if I can get any kind of turbo effect from the cooler weather forecast for this weekend. The low is going to be in the upper 30's with a north wind. Marathon weather. I haven't had a successful fast finish long run yet. Last weekend's 18 miler was a slog after running the middle miles at 8:00 pace.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Voted on Thursday after work. Quickest I've ever been in and out. No line. Must have timed it just right, only 45 minutes until the poll closed for the day. This was on day two of the early voting.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Middle Half

The plan was to hobby jog this thing. The end result may have been, but it really was a race effort on my part. I ended up parking across the street from the lot adjacent to the finish. Worked out well enough. Managed to get about a single mile worth of warmup before the start. The temperature was 56, so I planned on wearing a singlet and arm sleeves. I ended up tossing them right before the gun, back at the car. Gave me a nice little strider to get the blood going.

Glad handed lots of folks I haven't seen in awhile at the start and settled back a 100 feet or so from the start. EB and I snarked about some chick who always starts right on the front. ( we passed her at mile 2) Our first mile was a 6:58, so much for a easy hobby jog. The first miles are always easy. 7:08, 7:15, 7:10. The way the course is laid out helps with these early miles as well. Mile 4 is a out and back to Oaklands Mansion. So you get to see everyone in front of you. Instant turbo boost to see the fast folks zooming by. Plus, when you're heading back out, the folks behind you are yelling encouragement. Hard to keep it slow.

Mile 5 was 7:03, damn. Didn't think I had that in me. Really thought a 7:15 pace would be a stretch for the entire race. But this part of the course is probably my favorite. Up around the square and back down East Main. Get to see a miles worth of the runners headed towards the square. Adrenaline rush I guess. Some young chick had settled in with me and EB from about mile 2 or maybe earlier. Pretty cool to get lots of shout outs for the ladies from the bystanders, plus everyone in town knows EB.

Mile 6 is about the point where I decided the ladies were going just a touch to quick for me. Another women had hooked on and I backed off. 7:17 for mile 6. Settled in to my pace and rolled off a 7:31 for mile 7. This is the pace I'd really thought would happen for the entire race. Downed my second gel at mile 8, it was caffeinated. (it did give me the boost I needed) This section of the course is my least favorite, down Mercury and onto Rutherford Blvd. It's also the longest "straight" section of the course. From mile 8 to mile 11, busy road with runners on the shoulder. Got passed by at least a dozen runners on this stretch. The only part that breaks up the straight is a little out and back onto campus. Another chance to see who is within striking distance and to see who is gaining on you. Mile 8 sucked 7:39. Dave T was on his bike at the corner and got me out of my funk. 7:22 for mile 9.

Mentally tried to be strong and stay with runners as they passed but only able to hang for a little while. Big toe cramped up pretty much the rest of the way home. More slow down, 7:27, 7:34 for miles 10 and 11. Made the turn down Lascassas for the final push home. At least the wind wasn't in our face, but these miles were pitiful. 7:43 and 8:01 for the last two miles. Tried to get the feet to turn over but they wouldn't cooperate. Did find one last little burst of something once I got on the track for the final 200 meters to the line. Someone was right behind me and I'll be damned if I was going to get beaten to the line.

1:37:34 8th old guy. (at least in my new age group) What the hell? A full 10 minutes off my PR. About where expected to end up time wise, but some faster old dudes this year, than in years past. EB was the first grandmaster female. BQ1 got his PR, his brother beat the Peeman in the results, but not at the finish. Good times. Surprised when I came thru the chute to see DW and #1 son. That was cool. Another great Middle Half from the Tate family.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

marathon weather

Finally the kind of weather that's perfect for training for a marathon. At least the last 2 days anyway. Dreary, gray skies once the sun rose, even though it never did shine. Temperatures in the upper 40's. Only downside is the wind. It always seems to kick my ass. I'd like to rationalize that eventually it's at your back.(though it never seemed like it today)

Got 62 miles on six days of running this week. Probably will go ahead and start another running streak only because its the only way I'm going to get up to 70 miles per week. It's only 6 weeks out from the Flying Monkey Marathon. Only 5 more long runs. This could be really ugly.

Today's long run was only 17 miles. Planned on doing 18, but only got 2 miles done before the guys showed up. They all seem to be at the peak of their cycle or ready to start a sharpening phase. Another hilly route with me only able to hang for a few miles before the pace was to quick. Hell, I wasn't even done running/slogging before they were driving home. Did take a succeed cap at 7 miles and again at 14 miles, because my foot was cramping. That's the first time in the last 3 weeks worth of long runs that I've taken a succeed. Odd, because it was a cool morning. Must have been the quick pace chasing the guys?

Sure will be nice when everyone is on the same training cycle. Probably won"t be until spring. Most of the guys are going to Boston. That will be a great chance to train for another sub 3:00 attempt. Though realistically we never train for the same races. I'm the only one dumb enough to do the Monkey. The W bro's will get a dose of the hills at PWP this spring. That's always the true test of fitness, the double of the 11.2.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Diesel ?

Ended last week with 53 miles on six days of running. The miles are where I wanted them, just not the fitness. I'm 10 days out from the Middle Half marathon that I know won't be a race effort. The fitness just isn't coming back like I thought it would. Granted I've only been running for ten weeks. Thought the bike workouts would have helped more. Seems like I've been converted to a diesel motor, lots of low end torque, but no speed.

I did manage to get my heart rate down to 35 bpm this morning before attempting a workout with the guys. BQ1 and Peeman did 3 miles worth of  tempo at half marathon pace minus 30 seconds or something that I had no notion of even attempting. Really thought I'd be able to hang with BQ2. Didn't quite work out that way, but still pleased with the effort. Pace was only about a 7:15 average for five miles at 155 bpm. Guessing that means I should be able to run the half marathon at about that pace? 

Or I could just hobby jog the half. Maybe go out at at 8:00 pace for the first 6 miles or so and then pick it up all the way home. I've only done that one other time at the Music City Half . Just hate the thought of showing up at a race and not being able to race.Especially since the guys are in such good shape. I'd really like to try and race them. Tried it in 2010 at the Middle Half when I was better shape and it wasn't much fun the last few miles home.

Bigger goal is still the Flying Monkey Marathon. Maybe a 3:30 is possible.