Friday, April 25, 2014

Week 2 BIH time goal training

As you probably know I'm training to get a sub two hour half marathon at Bird-in-Hand on September 6, 2014.  I ran this race last year as a training run and had a wonderful time.  This year I'm preparing to crush it :-).

This week I had off from work so I was able to get all my runs in before my day got away from me.  I ran about 6 miles in Hershey on Monday and at least 5.5 miles in Harrisburg at Wildwood Lake.  Both of these runs had decent "friends" (AKA hills) that I was re-acquainted with.  Both of these runs went very well and it was awesome to not be rushed.  I need to recreate this atmosphere to help me to be consistent and get these 5-6 mile runs in twice a week along with my long run.

My Saturday run needed to be moved to Friday.  I did 4x800's.  I knew this wouldn't be a problem, but that I needed to make sure that I could regulate my speed and stay at the required speed (4:15/per 800).   I'd say I did a good job and nailed almost all of them.

My 800's time is as follows
1.  2:03 and 2:11 = 4.14 (1 second too fast... I'll take it :-) ).
2.  2:12 and 1:58 = 4:10 (slow first 400 and too fast on the second - compensated too much)
3.  2:12 and 2:03 = 4:15 (perfect overall)
4.  2:07 and 2:08 = 4:15 (awesome balance - ideal time and equal split)

Things I learned?
1 - I love running and it is so important that I am consistent.  When I am consistent I am able to be a more productive worker, husband and father.
2 - My confidence for these repeats is impacted positively by me having previous experience running 800's.  I am 100% certain that I can do this.
3 - It's easy to get the runs in when I have more flexible time.  The challenge comes when I need to handle the busyness of life/work and running all at the same time.
4 - I ran by myself this week, but my best runs or at least my most fun runs are done with friends.

Remember:  "Have a good time and your time will be good"  My friend John W

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Week 1 BIH time goal training

This week was difficult due to allergies.  I was not able to get as often or as long I last week.  However, I did get out for a solid two mile run on Wednesday and I was feeling much better.

Today, Saturday, I had my long run of 8 miles.  It went very well.  I ran with a 3/1 ratio and I was able to chat with two of my TNT friends for quite some time.  My running buddies and I were re-acquainted with some of our dear "friends" that coach Larry placed throughout the course.  These friends are the "hilly" type and I have grown to appreciate them.

The best part of this run was the conversation during the run and after.  I enjoy running for the sake of running, but it's even more enjoyable when I can run with someone.

I received my training schedule from my e-coach Friday night.  I was very excited because this schedule is much more challenging than the one I received last year.  I am ready to step up to the challenging and I know that they only way I'm going to accomplish my goal of a sub 2 hour half marathon is if I do the work required and pay the required price to do that.  I will be doing speed work (800's) every other week and I'll actually go all the way up to 19 miles.  Yes, 19 miles for the half marathon.  The point of this is so that I will have more than enough endurance to run at the required pace of 9 min miles for the entire race.  I'm extremely excited about this and I was ecstatic that this training will still be challenging with this being a half marathon goal race.

Something that is an essential part of the success of this training plan is that I consistently follow the plan and keep my coach in the loop about how things are going.

I need YOUR HELP with this.  Please email me, text me, comment on this to keep me accountable with this.  Thanks!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Training 4/12/14 - 5 miles

This week of training went fairly well.  I made it out for two weekday runs and my typical Saturday run.  On Monday I had a half day at work (because of a dentist appointment) so I took a relaxing 3 mile out and back in the afternoon.  Thursday I did a "at least" 5.5 mile run also in the afternoon due to a random day off.  This run was fantastic because I ran with my friend John.  We used a 4/1 ratio on a familiar route (Negley).  I felt awesome during and after this run.  This has a well known "friend" after about a mile or so (and by friend I mean a hill).  Something that I learned on this run was that I really enjoy running in general, but that it is SO MUCH better when you have someone to run with you.

If you remember last fall I was one of three runners who had the great opportunity to be e-coached by Chris Twiggs.   He is the "right hand man" for Jeff Galloway.  I asked him if he would coach me to a sub 2 hour half marathon.  This is a goal that I had last year, but I KNOW that with effective training I WILL accomplish this goal.  It may not be at my goal race in September, but it WILL happen :-). 

Before you are concerned about me being so focused on time that I might lose the passion for running ... never fear.  My real long term goal is that I run until I'm 100 years old.  This is just a step along the way.  I know at some point in the future I won't be able to get faster, but today is not that day.

As a side note I absolutely love my Altra Zero Drop shoes.  They are very comfortable.  I was thinking during my run this morning that I bought them because of the large toe box, not so much because they were "zero drop."

Ok, back to my specific training.  I received a text from Chris yesterday afternoon asking me when I had run my last "magic mile."  I said sometime last year.  He had me run a total of 5 miles this morning with a magic mile (MM) in the middle.  My MM was 8:03 this morning.  I'll take it because that's only about 20-30 seconds slower than it was when I was training for Hershey last year (when I got my PR of 2:15:13).

I'm super excited to have this plan because I have struggled tremendously to get out of bed in the morning.  My goal this training cycle (and every cycle from now on) is to be CONSISTENT.  I don't want to wait until the evening to run because it likely won't happen... even if it does runs in the evening directly impact my time with my family.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment or ask any questions.  #runhappy #lovespring

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Negley park 9.5 mile run

Today I started my run at 5am.  I decided to run to Negley Park (since that was where my TNT friends would be running later on in the morning.

I decided to use a 2:30/1 run/walk/run ratio.  I ran at about 12 minute miles and it felt really good, aka AWESOME.  The loop was 9.5 miles and I did the entire run in my Altra Zero drop shoes.  I think this is probably the first "at least" 9 mile run where I truly believe I could have gone MUCH farther with no issues.

Obviously this run was very dark for almost all of it.  I didn't mind because I had my Knuckle lights.  I ran down my street to Front street and then ran a few miles down Front Street to the Walnut Street bridge AKA the walking bridge in Harrisburg.  I want around City Island and then across the Market Street Bridge toward Leymone.  The rest of this run was like my first run with TNT about 2 years ago (the day before I signed up to run the Marine Corps Marathon with TNT).  I don't mind this hill and I do consider hills my friends thanks to Coach Larry with TNT.

Overall this run was uneventful.  I do want to point out a few things I noticed.
1.  I saw my first skunk this spring on City Island.  I hope NOT become acquanited any further.
2.  I saw a cat close to the bank of the river.  I don't typically see them on that side of Front Street
3.  It took until almost 6:20am until I saw anyone out of their car (I had been running for 80 minutes by then.  I saw the guy on the Harvey Taylor Bridge.
4.  I did not see any other runners out at that time.
5.  I saw one guy riding a bike and one guy walking his dog.

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to run.  Other than my long run I did get in several runs this week.  I ran Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after work.  My goal this week is to run more frequently in the AM because that doesn't impact my family as much as if I run in the evening.

I'm very excited about how running in the cold and wind for the race last Sunday has positively impacted my ability to get the job done with getting my runs in regardless of the weather.  Thursday evening it was raining fairly hard, but I went out anyway to prove to myself (no one else) that I can and will do what it takes to get out there.

The biggest lesson I learned from all of this that my running is tremendously important for me to cope with the stress in my life due to my job or other stressors.  I know my running buddies "get it" and if you're not exercising then I hope that my testimony helps you to see that it likely will work for you.  Just go out there do your best. 

I hope to see you out there on the roads.