Saturday, August 31, 2013

Week 8: 8x800's pace work

Here's my email to Chris.  This pretty much explains what happened this week in my running world. 

Enjoy!  Feel free to leave comments!

Chris,  I wanted to update you on my week.  Overall it was a good running week, but I slacked off on my cross training.  I slept in on Monday, and then I also slept in on Tuesday.  I knew I needed to get my run in Tuesday so I went out after work.  That run went well and it was very hot and humid.  I ran 4.5 miles on Tuesday.  I ran my first mile at 10:05 using a 3:1 ratio.  The funny thing is that was just my natural pace and I was not trying to run a specific speed.  My overall pace for the Tuesday run was 10:38/mile.  It was 88% with a real feel of 90%.
You can find the stats here
I consulted with you and we decided to take Wednesday off and run again on Thursday.  My Thursday run was in the AM, but it was also super humid.  This was a bummer.  I ran my magic mile in 8:42.  Not my best, but I'll take it.  The rest of the run was rough.  It ended up being less than 4 miles for the run and it took over the 45 minutes.  I recognized that any run done is better than one I don't do.  I changed the ratio to 2:1 during part of the run.

Today, Saturday was different than the other two runs this week.  The primary thing that was the same was that it was hot and humid.  Here's how I did with my repeats.  Before I get specific this pace work went much better than the other two times.  I knew what was expected of me and this helped a lot.
1.  First lap 2:22, second lap 2:29 total 4:51.  I thought that this was because I did not compensate for walking for :30 during the second lap.  I fixed this in the rest of the repeats.
2.  First lap 2:20, second lap 2:21 total 4:41.  I'll take that!
3.  First lap 2:20, second lap 2:24; total 4:44
4.  First lap 2:20, second lap 2:20 perfect! :-)!  Total 4:40
5.  First lap 2:19, second lap 2:19 A little too fast, Total 4:38
6.  First lap 2:22, second lap 2:22; a little too slow, total 4:44
7.  First lap 2:20, second lap 2:21; total 2:41 close!
8.  First lap 2:23, second lap 2:18; total 2.41 I compensated for a slow first lap
Overall I am pleased with my efforts on this humid day.

I'm very excited about running the Bird in Hand half marathon next Saturday.  I know that I will be doing it relaxed with no pressure.  Any specific recommendations for the practice race?

As far as I can tell my game plan will be to run the first half using the 2:1 ratio.  After mile 7 or so I can choose whether or not to speed up a little bit?  I"m thinking that by mile 10 if I'm still feeling good that I'll be able to go a little faster.  Bottom line is I want to be smart about this as I would like to get a sub 2 hour half marathon for Hershey on October 20th.
Thanks for your help! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Week 7 - 11 Miles

I'm putting in my email to Coach Chris and then I'll add some more reflections.  If you are wondering why I'm following a different training plan this year it is because I was selected to be one of the participants on the Extra Mile Podcast Galloway Half Marathon edition.  You can find the podcast at  It's been awesome because it keeps me more accountable for my training and not modifying things for my own convenience or because I want to sleep in on a weekday.  Needless to say this has been super helpful in addition to a friend of mine who is also coming back from injury who sends me text/messages to make sure that I'm getting up and getting to the gym or that I'm getting my run done.

I felt inspired and empowered by my marathon training last year, but it took a lot of time and I was sometimes tired as a result of it.  This year with this plan I'm not nearly as tired and my mood is much more positive.

Here's my email that I sent to Coach Chris:
Coach Chris, First off I'm feeling absolutely incredible after my long run of 11 miles.  I did the 2:1 ratio as you suggested.  I kept up an average pace of 11:28/mile.  Effectively using the walk breaks made the run so pleasant.  Plus I got started at 6am which helped a lot.

Let me go to specifics from my week of training. 
On Monday I ran 4 miles using a 3:1 ratio.  It felt good.  Here's the details
Tuesday I did spin.
Wednesday I ran 5 miles.  I went after work and ran in the heat.  I thought this was going to be rough, but I did really well using a 3:1 ratio.  My average pace was 10:13 which in the 80 plus degree heat I felt very good about.
Thursday I did spin.  Felt really good even though I ran the night before.

Friday - completely off
Today - I ran 11 miles using a 2:1 ratio.  As I mentioned earlier in the email I felt amazing during and after it.  I ran the first 7 miles by myself and then met up with friends from TNT for the last 4 miles.  I ran the last mile the fastest and I was ready to run more if I would have had it on the schedule.  I walked about a mile or two after the run to cool down.  I did a cool water bath (did not have time to do the full ice bath).

Very much looking forward to the bird in hand half marathon in two weeks.  I know that it is a training run, but I'll be looking for some feedback about how I should approach the race as a training run.


Ok, so now on to reflections.  I'm very pleased about how my week went.  I did a total of 20 miles which is the most I've done since I had my foot issue.  I'm feeling so strong these days.  As I mentioned I feel inspired and I'm so thankful for how the training is going.

I run for those who can't and I run happy!

Next week I have 8 x 800s and it's my birthday weekend.  Can't wait!  Until next time.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Week 6 Pace work - speed work

Here's my week 6 update.  The first part is what I emailed Coach Chris and the last part are some of my reflections about this.
I took Monday off because I did my long run on Sunday last week.

Tuesday it was storming complete with lightening and thunder so I went to spin class instead.
Wednesday I ran 4 miles with a friend in the morning.  We ran on a softer surface.  Ran at an overall pace of 11:15.  I used a 3:1 ratio the entire time.  I did have to stop to use the porta pot part way through which slowed us down a bit.  Details are here:
Thursday I missed my run in the AM, but was able to get it in after work.  My GPS location was never found, but I ran 45 minutes with a 3:1 ratio and that felt very good even though it was getting hotter.  Don't have the official details.  I ran at least 4 miles.
Friday I took completely off.
Saturday (today) I did speed work.  I did it at a different track than I did the first pace work.  This time my wife and daughter came out to the track to help me and keep the time.  This was very helpful because now I have real information that can be helpful.  Here it goes! 
1.  Lap 1 - 2:15; Lap 2 - 2:29 total for first 800: 4:44
2.  Lap 1 - 2:22; Lap 2 - 2:18; total for second 800: 4:40
3.  Lap 1 - 2:16; Lap 2 - 2:25; total for third 800: 4:41
4. Lap 1 - 2:20 (Nailed it!); Lap 2 - 2:30 (not so much); total for fourth 800: 4:50 - did not feel tired... not sure what happened other than I must have been distracted.
5.  Lap 1 - 2:27; Lap 2 - 2:12; total for fifth 800: 4:39
6.  Lap 1 - 2:11; Lap 2 - 2:22; total for sixth 800: 4:33 - I did not intend to go so fast on the first lap.  I did tell myself "let's do this" and "I feel good, I feel great" and "relax, power, glide."
Here's the information that "big brother Garmin GPS watch came up with for my pace work.

Felt wonderful afterwards and I did a bunch of things for the house after I completed this pace work :-)

What are your thoughts about this?  What can I do during this next week to improve and "dial in more" with my pace?

Ok, so more reflections.  Overall, I'm fairly happy with how this week went.  It felt a little "off" because I didn't do anything on Monday and it meant that I needed to do two running days in a row, but I have no complaints.  My foot still feels great.  I'm looking forward to the Bird-in-Hand half marathon here in a few weeks.  I'm going to attempt to run that as a 13 mile training run.  I know I'll run at least the first 10 miles that way, but I'm thinking that I'll probably want to step it up the last 5K of the race.  I believe that my training is going well enough that I have a good chance to be faster than my current personal record (PR) of 2:18.  My goal for that race/training run will be to run strong and to take all of my walk breaks from the start (even though people will look at me very strange).  The biggest difference with Galloway's run/walk/run is that we take walk breaks strategically from the start and not just later on in the race when we feel fatigued.  The best part of this is that I feel amazing after almost every run I've done.  I'm looking forward to running 11 miles next week.

I miss running with my TNT friends, but it was good to see a few of them today (I wish I would have gotten to Messiah earlier so I could have seen more of those friends).  Saturdays have gotten a lot more busy for me lately and that makes it challenging.  I hope to make it soon so I can catch up with some of those friends.

One story before I finish this post.  First, while I was working on my 800's today the field hockey team was doing mile trials.  I was very sad when I saw one girl who was trying so hard and I'm not sure why she didn't/couldn't finish, but at the end she was literally sobbing... this made me sad because failure is only when we give up.  Also it was interesting that those field hockey players who did complete their mile gave each other high fives and said something like "yeah!  no more mile trials!  and I said to myself something like they are happy they don't have to do it.  This did not surprise me, but I wish that coaches didn't make running a punishment for not doing something correct.

That's all for this week.  11 miles next week.  Very much looking forward to the double digits!

#irunforthosewhocant #runhappy #grateful

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Week 5 - Negley Park

Here's the email I sent Coach Chris Twiggs so you can understand where I've been this week.

I had a great week.  I ran 45 min both Monday and Wednesday.  I sent you the link for my Wednesday run that included a Magic Mile at the end of the run (  Mile 4 for that run was 8:23 which is the fastest I've run since I've been running as an adult.

Tuesday I went to spin and Thursday I took off as that was my actual anniversary.  Friday I did the water running.  Saturday I did more walking than I should on the day before a long run (I walked around fallingwater for our night away).  Sunday, today we walked around a cavern in western pa.  We had fun :-).

Today, Sunday I did 9 miles.  Most of it was at a 2:1 ratio but at one point we must have stopped and didn't realize that we switched it so it ended up being a 1:2 ratio.  This was not intentional.  Either way I finished running the 9 miles feeling strong and I did a bunch of things around the house.  Run/walk/run is great because even though it was over 85 degrees out we both finished with a smile on our face.  Thanks Chris!

Ok, so my full details from this run is

Thanks for reading!  Next week I have pace work on the track.  If you want to listen to the next episode of the Extra Mile Podcast that I'm a part of go to this link:

Thanks for reading and remember to run happy and to run for those who can't.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Speed work: week 4

Week 4 was a little more difficult than normal.  Here's my email to Coach Chris as I'm participating in the The Galloway Extra Mile- HALF MARATHON EDITION.  I had some speedwork on the schedule this week for the first time.

Hi Chris!  Here's my weekly update.  Some of this I might have shared before but I wanted to put it all in one place.

Monday morning I didn't get up for my workout.  I don't have any excuses.

Tuesday I got my for take 2 of Mondays workout.  The weather was perfect for a summer morning.  I tried the 3:1 ratio and did my magic mile but I was very disappointed with my times.  My magic mile was closer to 10 minutes and last time it was 8:50.  I'm not going to let it get me down but that's what happened.

Wednesday I woke up sick and did t go to work.  After getting some more sleep I started to feel better.  Therefore no workout happened on Wednesday.

Thursday I decided I think based on your response to first part of the week I did a water run workout instead of trying to make up the missed Wednesday workout.

Needless to say it was a rough week in the running department.  It was also rough on the work front.  Again no excuses.

Today I bonded with the track.  I was a little worried by the fact that it as raining but I didn't let that discourage me.  I warmed up and ran each 800 at a pace that was slightly faster than what you suggested.  My last lap of the last 800 was closer to 2 min than it was to 2:22.  I finished nice and strong.

Any suggestions or changes to the plan let me know.  Look forward to recording on Tuesday with Kevin and the other two participants.  Thanks! (Ends my email to coach Chris).

As I look back at the past month I see that I have had the most difficulty getting in my Monday AM run in.  August my goal is to be 100% with Monday AM runs.