Sep 28, 2006

Cranking 'em out!

Hills on Tuesday morning went great. We finished in 55:50, which is about 3 minutes faster than our normal time. I believe we'll be able to squeeze in another rep before too long! I had to drive all over the west side last night to find a place to do my planned workout of 6x800's (Yasso 800's). I started at Avon Lake's track, which was occupied... as was Rocky River's. Westlake's track was being repaired so I went over to the Westlake Rec Center and used thier outdoor all purpose trail, which is marked in 1/4-mile increments. With my target marathon time of 3-hours or less, I was aiming to run the 800's in 3:00 or less, with minimal recovery time (400m).

1 mile warmup - 7:38:57
1. 800 - 2:42:46 400 - 2:20:21
2. 800 - 2:50:63 400 - 2:20:64
3. 800 - 2:43:74 400 - 2:31:98
4. 800 - 2:55:85 400 - 2:30:70
5. 800 - 2:46:63 400 - 2:38:20
6. 800 - 2:50:92 400 - 2:31:19
1 mile warmdown - 8:05:79

Pretty good, I think. Followed this run up with an easy 10-miler at 5AM this morning. I'm starting to feel more confident. 17 more days until showtime!

Sep 21, 2006

3, 2, 1....

Getting back to some old school running action, I got out for one of my all time favorite workouts (no sarcasm there), the 3, 2, 1 special! I First discovered this workout last summer on a Thursday night in Strongsville. Expecting only a 5-6 miler as a last minute tune-up for a 4-mile race we were doing on Saturday, Bryce and I went out and did 3 easy miles followed by 3 fast miles, then 2 easy miles, 2 fast miles, 1 easy mile and finally 1 fast (nearly all out) mile to wrap things up. That's 12 miles folks, 6 of which were done at a hard pace. Last summer we ran our final mile in 5:25 or something ridiculous like that. Tonight wasn't quite as fast, but I felt good and I really enjoy the stress of running hard:

Mile 1 - 7:20:96 Mile 7 - 7:39:87
Mile 2 - 7:19:84 Mile 8 - 7:48:67
Mile 3 - 7:37:52 Mile 9 - 6:02:00
Mile 4 - 6:18:25 Mile 10 - 6:01:70
Mile 5 - 6:03:62 Mile 11 - 7:49:84
Mile 6 - 6:02:57 Mile 12 - 5:56:32

Had a great hill workout on Tuesday morning and plan on getting a solid 12-15 miler in this weekend while in the Hocking Hills of southern Ohio. A friend of mine from college is going to be running the 1/2-Marathon at Columbus this year. It's going to be great to see him accomplish this amazing goal. Only 3 more weeks!

Sep 17, 2006

Almost October

As the last days of September expire, I'm wondering what happened to August. There's a tangible bite in the air of late signaling the arrival of yet another winter in Ohio. Running has been really comfortable albeit a little tricky to prepare for. I went outside Saturday morning and was shivering. It was probably 60° but I'm a baby when it comes to anything less than 75°. For my 20-miler, I wore a tight short-sleeved compression top with a light long-sleeved running shirt over it. About 3 miles in I was pulling my sleeves up and by 5 miles I had stripped off the long-sleeved top completely. The sun broke through the clouds at the 15-mile mark at which time I ditched the compression top and was all but naked. I can't believe how much heat I generate when I run. The pleasant weather made for a good run and I felt a lot better during this 20-miler than I did on my last. The last few miles were a little tough but my pace never fell off. I didn't have the opportunity to drink as much as I would have liked and I'm now convinced I should take one GU every 4-5 miles, starting 4 miles in. My breathing became a little more labored at 18 miles, which is a sure sign my muscles need more oxygen to keep going. I don't think I'm in as good of shape as I was last year at this point. I do, however, think I'm a little smarter when it comes to race strategy. Perhaps that's the main reason so many runners/triathletes don't peak until they're in their 30's (or later).

Sep 9, 2006

A Tough 20!

I was way off my game today! The last 5 miles of this run were just gruelling! I made it through in 2:19:40 (6:58/mile), which, amazingly, was in line with what I was shooting for. Maybe I didn't eat right in the morning. Or maybe today just wasn't my day considering that I locked my keys in my car just before heading out. Regardless, I think I can learn something from this one. I have two more 20-milers to go before taper time. My next 20-miler will be slightly more casual (i.e. 7:30 pace) and hopefully more enjoyable!

Sep 5, 2006

Celebrate Westlake

Instead of a long run on Saturday morning, Cathy and I decided to race the Celebrate Westlake 5-miler. I haven't raced at all this summer so I was looking forward to seeing how well my conditioning has held up. I was thinking 30-minutes +/- 30 seconds (i.e. 5:55-6:05 pace). I had no idea whether or not this was realistic but I thought it a good guess since the weather was near ideal and it was a flat course. I shouldn't say the weather was ideal since we were beginning to feel the remnants of Hurricane Ernesto. However, from a runners point of view, 60°F with a light rain is not bad weather. Lined up a few feet back from the start line (behind the local speedsters and the few Kenyans that showed up) and did some light stretching prior to the gun. The start was smooth. I watched the Kenyans fly out at their sub-5 minute pace and wished for the 1000th time that I could hang with them, if only for a mile or two. Once back into reality I punched out the following times...

Mile 1 - 5:52
Mile 2 - 6:11
Mile 3 - 6:12
Mile 4 - 6:08
Mile 5 - 6:06

...for a 30:29 finish. Perhaps I went out to fast or maybe I slowed a little too much after I saw how fast my first mile was. Oh well. Running a hard 5-miler makes me think back to my first 5-mile run and how hard I thought it was at the time. I remember writing in my journal "5 miles ain't no joke!". No it ain't!