Up the Pace

Today’s Run

Time – 1:22:21
Distance – 9.0 miles
Pace – 9:08 min/mi
Elevation – 269 ft.

Ran outside. Tried to run the miles faster to force the legs to work. I was able to hold around a 9:00/mile pace for the mileage, except for a couple of bigger hill miles. This felt really good, and I surprised myself a little bit with how far I could run hard.

Marathon training starts today

As a part of my Strava membership, I get access to training plans for various distances. Today is supposed to be the start of my marathon training program. The program starts with a Rest Day, which is good, as it coincides with my normal day off. There’s 4 planned runs for this week, along with two additional “Rest Days” that can be converted into easy days if I want. I’ll plan to run on one, and rest the other.

The other point to this is, though, that I’m still torn about changing to the half marathon. It’s a distance that I know I can do well at, I have a PR that I’d like to break, and I want to keep working on speed. I’m worried that full marathon training will keep me from getting faster in a way I would like. I’m also concerned that my winter running didn’t have as much distance in it as I wanted.

My first marathon isn’t going to be a world record debut, this I know. But I would like to be able to hit my goals and make a respectable showing. I also don’t want to get injured because I decided to force the issue instead of working up to the distance.

This feels like a lot of excuses. Maybe, in the end, I’m just scared of the distance. Maybe. In a 100 mile ultra, speed is never an issue because there’s no way to go “fast.” In a marathon, there’s room to be quick. I’m not scared of the 100 mile distance. I don’t know why I would be scared on the marathon.

Advertisements

Today’s Run x 2

Today’s Run x 2

Run 1 – Wednesday

Time – 40:37
Distance – 4.2 miles
Pace – 9:39 min/mi
Elevation – Treadmill at 1%

Treadmill run at the hotel. No TV to watch, just a window to stare out into the evening skyline in Kansas City. Didn’t really push hard as this was a recovery run. Every treadmill brand feels different, and this was no exception. A little stiffer, but not bad on the legs.

Run 2 – Thursday

Time – 1:12:09
Distance – 7.4 miles
Pace – 9:39 min/mi
Elevation – 482 ft.

I wasn’t looking to run hard as this was an outside run from the hotel into parts unknown. I had the cold wind at my back going out, and then it was bitter coming back. Lots of hills in KC, and the sidewalks were a little icy in some places. The run felt great, though, and I was able to put in the miles without much thought. I need to add more effort to some of these runs, though. I’m going too easy too often.

pexels-photo-297642.jpeg

Running while on the road…wait…

Traveling for work makes running more interesting. The running clothes get left in the back of the shower during the post-run rinse to remove the locker room smell, and most runs outside need to be out and back to remove the risk of getting lost. But, new sites are pretty cool, and I got to see thinks that you don’t pick up on from the Uber as you drive by.

When I travel, my blog is going to suffer, I can tell. The hope is to keep putting my runs out there, along with my thoughts, so I can keep it all straight. Time will be the X factor.

In the meantime, I am realizing that I have fallen into the trap of too many runs at the same speed and duration. Lots of 5–7 mile runs at low to mid–9:00/mile paces. This is going to get to be a problem. I need more workouts, and better paced easy runs, to get faster.

What is Productivity?

Today’s Run

Time – 41:16
Distance – 4.3 miles
Pace – 9:27 min/mi
Elevation – Treadmill at 1%

IMG_1743.jpg

One mile warmup, 12 x .25 mile with an increase of 1 MPH on the treadmill every quarter, and then a cooldown. It wasn’t easy at the end, but it felt good to run hard. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, and I had a lot more strength than I thought I had. I want to be a lot faster than this, but to start at 9:30/mile and go down to 8:00/mile on a continous run makes me feel like I can run hard.

Productive Running, Part 2

In my last post, I talked about the Garmin Forerunner and that it is tracking how “productive” my runs are. Garmin’s website has an overview on the subject:

Is your current training intense enough, or long enough, to help improve your fitness? How do you know if you’re working hard enough to make a difference in the long run or if you’re not pushing yourself hard enough? Training status helps you make decisions about future training by automatically taking into account changes in fitness level, your current acute (7-day) training load and any change in training load with respect to previous training. In essence, it tells you the effectiveness of your current training and provides guidance to help you improve your training decisions.

So, effectively, the watch is keeping track of my last 7 days, reviewing the work I’m doing, and judging how that work reflects on my current fitness. The page also talks about how as fitness improves, the amount of work necessary will increase (seems self-evident, but, then again, “Coffee is hot” as the thermal cup from McDonald’s says).

I can’t believe that this is overwhelmingly accurate. It is a good measure, if taken in context. The watch will show the change in fitness relative to it’s own measurements. I can rely on it to rate itself against it’s own baseline. I’ll need to be sure to continue to monitor how I’m feeling on my own. Only I can judge my effort and fatigue. If I’m tired, or sore, or just mentally ready for a day off, I need to take it, no matter what the watch says.

Oh, and according to my watch, today’s workout was “Maintaining.” Grrr…

Productive Running: The Question

Today’s Run

Time – 58:40
Distance – 6.3 miles
Pace – 9:16 min/mi
Elevation – Treadmill at 1%

pexels-photo-356079

One mile warmup, 4 miles at 8:57/mile pace, then cool down. No fast finish. Just running. No news feels like good news.

What is Productive Running?

My Garmin Forerunner tells me that I am “maintaining fitness” right now with my runs. There’s a metric that shows how each run is supposed to affect me. Now it’s time to research this and figure out what that means.

Blogging for Fun and Profit?

Today’s Run

Time – 1:15:12
Distance – 8.0 miles
Pace – 9:23 min/mi
Elevation – Treadmill at 1%

money-coins-stack-wealth-50545.jpeg

Longer run on the treadmill today. 1 mile warmup, then 5.5 miles at 9:05/mile pace. Shifted to 7:59/pace for about a half a mile, then cooldown. It was a good “fast finish” run, and the fast part at the end could have gone on for longer, but I was running out of time.

Finding a Balance

Writing a blog is about finding balance. Not the balance between living life and recording it, or the balance between sitting in front of a computer and spending time with family away from the work. The balance I’m referring to is one of content, or rather, volume of content.

It’s a difficult proposition to write for a blog everyday. I would imagine this is especially hard when you rely on the income generated to provide for yourself and your family. I am not one of those individuals. My content is my own as a collection of thoughts and ideas. I like to go back on occasion and see how I was perceiving my topic (in this case, running), and to let the past help guide my future.

I try to write on anyday that I run. I get to record the stats from the run, and my thoughts on how it went. I also have made a point to include a random collection of thoughts, as much for my sanity as anything else. Some of these posts are so that I can download my brain to somewhere, rather that requiring that The Wife listen to me ramble…

What I write isn’t always Pulitzer Prize material, though. It’s not the best content I could produce everyday, because that is a function of time. I like to give this blog a good shot of my brand of crazy, however sometimes the tank is a little dry. So, you get posts like this.

Regardless of the quality, the thoughts continue to be an extension of what runs around in my head, for better or worse. If I were intending to write for fun and profit, I’d pursue the ideas that Susie Lindau had in her post, “18 Best Blog Tips: New Ways to Promote Your Blog, Increase Traffic, and More!”. She also talks about writing less for better quality in, “How To Be Discovered on WordPress!”.

This isn’t my goal, though. More views would be great. Bigger stats and the ability to monetize would be fun. But my goal remains the same: 100 miles the last Saturday in June…someday.

Flagging Resolve

Today’s Run

Time – 35:03
Distance – 3.6 miles
Pace – 9:35 min/mi
Elevation – Treadmill at 1%

pexels-photo-406014.jpeg
Now THAT’S a look of determination!

Treadmill run set on easy. Just a light jog to work out the legs after the hard group run the day before. The lack of sleep the previous night probably made this harder than it should have been, but the run wasn’t too painful. Just mentally tiring.

Treadmills are for those who want the miles…

Treadmills are exercise for the body and the mind. Mental fortitude is a requirement some days, because you don’t have the luxury of needing to run home to force the rest of the run. I think this is why I get such good mileage when running outside. I’m too stubborn to turn around and run back the way I came, which means I only have to convince myself to start down the next street in order to get some additional mileage.

This is also why I don’t like out-and-back runs most times. If my desire wanes a little bit, I know that I just need to turn around. Doing a loop requires that you keep going in order to get to the end and be back where you started.

Treadmills, on the other hand, just let you step off when you don’t want to do it anymore. This is really difficult to overcome some days. Running isn’t always easy or fun, and the act of pushing through and continuing is sometimes harder than the actual running.

It’s amazing how much can go into accomplishing goals. There’s so much that doesn’t get thought about when planning. Even the simple things, like the willpower to keep going, doesn’t always get added to the checklist. Desire is a huge part of being successful and getting things done. Without it, too many times, activities get started but don’t get resolved.

This is one of my big struggles: the closeout, pushing through till completion. This is also why I like running so much. It teaches me to keep going and get the job done, even when the willpower is flagging.

A Day Late

Today’s Run

Time – 55:33
Distance – 6.2 miles
Pace – 8:32 min/mi
Elevation – 108 ft.

26733369_1309758639128460_1862079506715481259_n

I’m late with the report of the last run due to late night with Baby Girl. Got in a good run with the Runwell crew. Felt really good, ran really hard, and enjoyed the time. My calves are a little sore today, which hasn’t happened in a while, but certainly worth it with the great run.

It was warm…

And then it wasn’t. Running yesterday was nice. Shorts, no gloves, baseball cap, and a comfortable time. I enjoyed it immensely.

Today there is word that we’ll see a lot of ice, a little snow, and a whole lot of danger on the roadways. I might be working from home.