Monday, April 30, 2012

Humbled

Yes, the marathon humbled me....I almost posted my PW but not quite, a 4:30.17. So #6 was not meant to be the PR. Needless to say I was very disappointed and felt defeated. If not for some encouraging words after the race I would probably still be downhearted...thanks Rob for taking my pic and being an encourager.
  I had my mind made up going into the race to do or die....and die I did...It was a tough day. I would really like to blame something yet there is nothing to blame. Oh sure it was a tad humid, my shoes were sloshing by mile 14...don't you hate that!
  I never could get into the flow! Even at the start I had to push to get a 9:10! By mile 13 my quads were toast and by mile 15 I had hit the wall. I felt heavy, slow, and defeated.
  Yet I trudged on believing in posting a good time....but then the deal breaker came! Out of nowhere a charlie horse (cramp) hit me in lower left calf that felt like I'd been shot!
  I stopped! Kneaded it out best I could....tried to resume running....I must've been a site! However, even with thoughts of a DNF floating in my head I pressed on.
  I actually passed some folks and I was passed by four people from here on in....many were walking, slowly! I guess the distance got them, too.
  I had to resort to a walk run program at about mile 24. So at the turn I had a 1:59.10, and a 2:31.07 second half. Wow! Talk about experiencing suffering!
  I finished with my head down and lots of confusion. How come I could never find the flow? I struggled the whole way? How come my HM and the 25K were so much easier? What happened? As I look back I do know I hadn't slept well for several days. I think I over ate....I may not have tapered properly.
  I know I trained hard...did the long runs, and had the two good races. I am very disappointed, yet perhaps I am too old for this......you can hear the negativity I am dealing with!
  So my plan? To break four hours in the Marathon!!!! I am planning on transitioning to the roads full time. I am also going to work on my running form. I noticed two of the best runners and how their form was very similar to one another. Short choppy-like stride that was held the whole way!
   I will take it easy for a while....I am going to pick a race to participate in within the next two months, and I will develop another program. I really think the cramp was due to not training on the roads enough.
  BTW, a friend of mine, who beat me in the HM a while back, was in the marathon, we both had a goal of breaking 4hrs. I thought he would do it but he finished around a 5:22. It was a tough day! Peace!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

God tests the heart!

I read that this morning in my Bible. So that's what's been going on in my life lately!!:)
   I think marathons certainly test the heart, too. I'm ready for #6! A little 4 miler with two @ HM pace. It's 85 degrees outside!!!! It is supposed to cool down some by Saturday. Next post will probably be post marathon! Peace!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Taper week #2

6 miles at base pace-56:26...feel good...sweated good...let the body rebuild! Peace!

Monday Musing

: Rob de Castella:"The marathon's about being in contention over the last 10K. That's when it's about what you have in your core. You have run all the strength, all the superficial fitness out of yourself, and it really comes down to what's left inside you. To be able to draw deep and pull something out of yourself is one of the most tremendous things about the marathon."
  So here I am....in my 26th week of training. 15 pounds lighter. A training schedule of mostly treadmill runs (achilles issues). Two races during the program with the HM being a great confidence booster. 5 marathons already run in lifetime with the first still being my PR-4:05 thirty something....
   I look at my previous races and learn valuable lessons. One is you just never know how you will feel that day. Another is the weather is in charge! I have made it to the start line! I have run some great training runs. I have added new stuff to the program. I believe I can achieve my goal.
  I have been dissappointed several times....Grandmas being the biggest in '05. I have been disappointed in life, too. Yet I keep believing. I guess that's all I have anymore. So I have decided that I will not allow myself to waste all the training and effort I have logged in order to achieve my goal. I will begin to convince myself I am able to do this....I have established three goals: Ultimate a 3:53-Challenging a 3:56-acceptable a 3:59. I have learned how important it is to not lose or try to gain time in the beginning of the race so my plan is to run the first two miles at around 9:10's. Then I will accelerate  and hold onto 8:54's as long as I can.
  I have a hydration and fueling plan similar to my last marathon that worked pretty well. I don't expect a lot of fanfare....probably will make Sandy stay home, she doesn't need to waste her day on me, yet I am serious about leaving it all on the course....can this old man who's always been a front of the mid packer break 4 hours in the marathon? The test will be after 20 miles.....peace!
 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mixed Intervals

So I am keeping speed work in play during the taper. I have lessened the amount however. I did some mixed intervals, 1x2K @ HM 90 sec reco, 1x1mile @ 10K, 90 reco, 1x1K @ 5K, 90 reco, 1x1/2mile @ 3K.....1 mile warm and cool. 5.8 total in 53:13.
   Feeling pretty good. I may wind up taking two days off in a row. No worries. I feel ready to run but I am second guessing my training and taper. Of course that's probably normal. I am confident yet I still wonder how I will respond after 20 miles. I have decided to go out with the intention of breaking 4 hours. According to all the calculators I should be able to break 4. A 1:52.00 translates into a 3:50 to 3:54. So I should be able to do it! It all depends on my strategy and ability to maintain in later miles.
  I am planning on starting 10-15 seconds a mile slower than goal pace-9:20-9:25- then around 2 miles I will kick it in to a little faster than goal pace-8:55-9:05. My hope is to run 20 miles in 3 hours or less then hold on for dear life! Peace!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

10 days and counting!

   Wow how time flies!!! Unbelievable that in just a few days I will attempt my sixth marathon. I am trying to do a smart taper but I have been scarfing food like a starving dog....I have to slow down!
  I managed a pretty good effort today. 9 miles total with 7 @ HM pace (1:19.00- 9.01 miles). I expect at least one more run of at least 7 miles probably on Friday.
   I need to show restraint when it comes to eating. I am hoping for good temps and weather for the race but regardless it is a race against myself. It's an odd motivation we runners have? Hope all is well with you! Peace!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Taper day 1

  So I begin my taper plan. I decided on a two weeker....seeing as last time I did a three week taper and I felt out of shape. So I plan on just three runs this week. Saturday is probably out because of other activities I need to participate in so I'll look at Saturday as a rest day.
  So today was an easy base pace 12 miler. I felt really good! I want to do this taper right and see my body peak for this race. I plan on taking tomorrow off and running a 7 mile  HM tempo run Wednesday. Then Thursday off and a hard effort on Friday. So....off we go! Peace!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Onward to the Taper!

  Well I did it! I have made it to the taper segment of my training program. I have not had a perfect program, I missed some days due to travel and fatigue and I was still able to get in the most important runs. I managed 4 long runs. My last one being 22 miles @ 9:40 pace! I managed several tempo runs with my last one being 8 miles @ HM pace. And today I did the last MP run of 10 miles. I put in 51 miles this week!
  I lost 15 pounds and over the last three weeks leveled off at 171. I guess this is my fighting weight. I worked my plan on the two races I ran in this program; a 25K @ MP which I accomplished, and the all out HM attaining my challenging goal of 1:52.02. I was really surprised and pleased by that time. According to all systems I should be able to break the 4 hr barrier for the Marathon. I guess the only system I can depend on is mine. How well I'm trained and how bad I want it?
  I remember my first marathon. Bunches of friends and family all there to celebrate with me. Trudging up the final rise with my calves undulating with painful spasms, I hit the tape at a 4:05.33. That stands as my PR. The course was extremely hilly, the wind gusty and the temps in the 20's. I had a 2:06 at the turn, as I look back I know I dropped important seconds at the first starting too slow and I dropped minutes in the end because of the calves.
  Over the last four marathons each time I experienced failure in the goal. At Grandmas I bonked right at 20 miles....I was on pace, too! The quads were like concrete.....I was even doing the Galloway method. Finished that one in 4:06. It's been downhill from there, a 4:30something, a 4:19, and my last one a 4:18.
  Each time I'd worked hard yet failed. So will this time be any different? I believe so! I am fit! I have a dream! I will probably go alone...this time no family or friends at the finish to celebrate. I don't care about that, there's something deeper here for me....I can't really explain yet I really want to accomplish this insignificant, useless, non productive goal....
  So onward to the taper! Two weeks of training....hydration, fueling, resting, and dreaming!
  I have a plan for this race which I will relate in forthcoming posts! BTW GO MARLENE!!!!! Peace!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hard Pressed

  Time is at a premium today, not only that but my energy seems to be, too. I wanted to knock off the MP run today but didn't have it in me....so I settled for a recovery run: 63 minutes 6 miles. I will attempt the MP run tomorrow.
  I may reach or exceed 50 miles for this week then I am on taper mode. Man how time flies!!! Peace!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

For Real?

 A blast from the past...the phrase "For real!" But it's usable today...I knocked off an 8 mile HM pace tempo run and I didn't even get in the wheeze zone! I am truly surprised at my current fitness level....10 miles total in 1:28.10 "for real!?"
  So this is my last week of training before the taper....I wonder would a 5k race on Saturday be a bad idea?  I probably will run a short outdoor run tomorrow then a 12 mile MP run Friday leaving Saturday wide open. What are your thoughts? Good idea bad idea? So could a sub 4 hour marathon be for real in my life? I am beginning to believe! peace!

Monday, April 9, 2012

It's all relative!

  Strange that the phrase "it's all relative" came to my mind as I prepared to get in the all important 22 miler. I had prepared very well for the long run by staying VERY well hydrated all day yesterday and being sure I was fueled well, too. I got with it early today, up by 5:30, read my Bible for about 30 minutes, ate my waffles with honey and peanut  butter, got my fluids and gels ready and by 7:37 I hit the start button. My mantra for the day was, oddly, it's all relative! I don't have any idea what that means but it came to mind:)
  My goal was to run a 10 minute warm up then run the rest of the way in base pace range-5.9-6.5 mph @ 1 degree incline.
   So after the warm up I launched into the run and planned on starting at 5.9mph and increasing .1mph every 10 minutes to 6.5mph and repeating until I reached 22 miles. I changed this as I reached 6.5mph I just held that for 30 minutes then decreased .1mph every 20 minutes....I will say I really began to hurt at about 20.5 miles but I held on repeating "it's all relative"....weird! I finished this run in 3:32.50! This is a 9:40 pace! I was surprised that I was able to hold on....I had to work hard and the last 1/2 mile I was in the wheeze zone but I made it!
  One thing I have learned during my treadmill experiment. It works! It is an excellent  way to force yourself to maintain a pace and to learn pacing. I proved this in the half I just ran and I strongly believe in mixing in treadmill training with road work.
  I have never ever run a 22 miler at this pace! I used to run these long runs in the 11's so I am pumped. So it's in the bank! I probably will take tomorrow off and then recovery run Wednesday with a tempo run or MP run later this week. This is the last week before taper! Peace!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Rain!!!

Finally! Rain!! So a good day for some treadmill tempo work. I am trying to ease back into full training mode after a rough week. I really struggled with fatigue so the miles were hard to come by. Today I opted for a 5 mile tempo run. 1 mile warm and cool...I started at HM pace-7.1mph,  and every mile increased .1mph until I'd completed 5 miles. I felt real good and think I can do the 22 miler Monday. 62 minutes 7.05 miles. Happy Easter everybody!!! Peace!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Still iffy

Today I am a little tired again....managed 62 minutes and 6.3 treadmiles. Had to struggle to get it in...up and down up and down. Hope tomorrow is better. Peace

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Some better....

So I have been draggin' tail the last few days. It's either residual fatigue from the race or allergies or both but I have really been tired! Today I feel some better. I am not nearly as sleepy and  I feel a little more energetic. I am concerned that I'm losing fitness what with these baby runs lately! So I decided to stay on the treadmill today and see how I felt. I felt fairly good so I thought I could salvage the week a little by doing some MP miles. I did 45 minutes at 6.7mph with a good warm and cool segment. 70 minutes 7.5 miles.
  I felt real good compared to the last couple of days and do hope I can salvage the week and get one more long run in before marathon! Down to 23 days to marathon! I am planning on a 2 week taper so it's getting down to the wire! I am still regaling in the 1:52 half.....according to the McMillan calculator I should be able to break 4 hrs. I know I desperately need to get the long run done! Peace!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Slow Going

  Back to back outdoor runs. I have only run short distances the last two days. I am running slow! And feeling tired. I guess I need to recover but I sure wish I could recover faster! The last two runs have really been rather pathetic. I mean I have felt so slow and tired. I think the thick pollen in the air is having some impact, too.
  So I will keep recovering and hope to manage some type of quality workout this week.
  Peace!

Water Bugs

    So, the conservation agents are out in full force today! Three trucks...what's up I wonder? They are catching water bugs! This will...