New Longer Run

Today’s Run

Time – 1:06:19
Distance – 7.10 miles
Pace – 9:20 min/mi
Elevation – 243 ft.

Went out a little further on an out-and-back. 7 miles is a good distance. Tried to keep it easy, but the end was a little tougher as I came back into the wind and had the big hill to get home. Nothing too crazy, but it wore me down more than I would have liked. All in all, the run wasn’t bad, and I need to get the mileage back up.

Some runs need to be longer

Before the move, I had a good, standard run route that I would do regularly which was about 6.5 miles. It wasn’t too far, but it made the shorter, faster runs much easier and put a good amount of miles on my legs. Three of those a week at an easy pace, and I would have 30 miles in the bag with my other 2 days.

I’m needing to push to do that kind of mileage again. 30 miles a week felt like a solid amount that would build fitness and keep my weight in check. Frankly, running that much allowed me to eat cookies. Come on, let’s be honest, that’s what it’s all about. The cookies!

Seriously, though, I like runs of about an hour. They fit well into my schedule, I get a good workout, and I feel pretty positive at the end. I’m not too torn up from a lot of distance, but I get a healthy amount of exhaustion from the run. Plus, when I get home, I can use the excuse of being tired so that I can offer to sit and hold Baby Girl for a while.

She’s growing up too fast.

More Workouts, and a Change

Today’s Run

Time – 1:10:03
Distance – 8.00 miles
Pace – 8:45 min/mi
Elevation – 148 ft.

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What are you going to do?!

Hard workout. 1 mile warmup, then 7 hard miles at half marathon effort. i felt like i was really working at this one. it took a lot, but i was really pleased with how it came together. I think that a 1:50 half marathon isn’t out of the question at this point.

So I’ve made a decision

After some deliberation, I’ve decided that I’m going to change from the marathon to the half marathon in April. With the move, the arrival of Baby Girl, Master’s work, and some job changes, time is going to get away from me. I haven’t been able to add to my mileage as much as I would hope, which is a function of life as much as anything else. Rather than go into the marathon just trying to hang on, I’d like to work hard at getting faster in the half and putting up a good number of which I can be proud. My half marathon PR is around 2:20, which I set back in 2005. I think it’s time to make that number look a lot better.

This means a shift to a new workout program through Strava, which will start on Monday. Here’s to getting after it!

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.

Do What Feels Good

Today’s Run

Time – 1:32:45
Distance – 10.0 miles
Pace – 9:14 min/mi
Elevation – 200 ft.

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Found some pot on my run…

I went out to run because the weather was warm (it was over 60 degrees Fahrenheit) and I needed to get in my longer run for the week. I knew that I only wanted to do 90 minutes or so, and I figured that it would be between 8–9 miles for a run that long. 92 minutes later, I ran 10 miles. The leg felt just a little tight, and I was definitely needing food and water by the end, but it didn’t slow me down much. Lots of wind, which didn’t help the splits, either. VERY GOOD RUN!

The other part of this is knowing when to let your legs go faster

Yesterday, I talked a lot about knowing when to slow down. I went out today and, after the first mile, I kept looking at my watching and saying, “Wow! You need to ease off. You’ll never get through 7 more miles at this pace.” Then I went and ran the next three miles sub–9:00 pace, and the three after that between 9:06 and 9:11 (mostly due to starting and stopping at cross streets and for traffic), and THEN I slowed down…to 9:30’s. And that was because I was up the big hill to home and then into the wind.

It was a great run! I felt fantastic. I’m really starting to believe that my goal pace is going to be achievable by the time I get to the marathon in April. I’m wanting to go sub–4 hour, which is going to be fast (for me). It’s also something that I’m sure will be VERY difficult to sustain over 26.2 miles, but I’m gaining confidence. I know that there’s still a few things I need to work out:

  1. Nutrition/Hydration – You can’t go 4 hours without having to refuel. You actually can’t go longer than about 90 minutes before needing to find calories usually, unless your pace is very low and you are running primarily on fat stores. This is how people can run multiple marathons a day, every day, and get across the U.S. in less than 43 days. But even those people still need to eat and drink. I’ll have to work on my strategy and get my body used to consuming on the run.
  2. Working up in distance – Right now my longest runs are about 15 miles. I should get in at least three runs of around 3-hours to get my legs used to the effort. I don’t have to run at marathon pace the whole time, but I have to work on running when tired.
  3. Running distances at pace – The corrolary to long runs are “longer” runs at goal pace. I’ll need to add more runs in the 75–90 minute range around my planned marathon pace. I have the ability to do this because it’s not so far out of my range that I’ll have to over-work to get in the mileage, but it is faster than I normally run. That being said, my “normal” runs are about 5–7 miles at a comfortable pace (9:30–10:30), which has been slowly increasing. I think that it’s possible I’ll be able to get to 9:00/mile pace as a steady run.
  4. Overall aerobic fitness – The biggest part of this is just continuing to get better at running. I know that going sub–4 hour is a goal for now; I don’t think it’s where I’m going to end up peaking. I think there’s a little more in the tank. Does that “little more” get me to a Boston-qualifying-pace (3:10 for the marathon – 7:15/mile)? We’ll have to see. In the meantime, I just want to get faster across the board, and run more medium distance races to add to my aerobic capacity and test it out. Everything that I can do to be more efficient helps with the larger goal – Western States.

Running in Circles

Today’s Run

Time – 1:06:24
Distance – 6.6 miles
Pace – 10:02 min/mi
Elevation – 199 ft.

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Little Buddy is pretty excited!

It was COLD! Did a loop around downtown because it’s the least windy and warmest place to run. Good recovery run, but my achilles hurt on both ankles afterwards. Could be the new shoes, could be that I was on my feet most of the afternoon for the church’s sausage supper. Either way, the run felt good. Made some decisions about the spring marathon and my anticipated race pace.

It feels like I’m just going around and around and around…

When the only warm place to run in about 3 square miles, it can be a little boring to run in circles around the same neighborhood. You also start to get strange looks from the guy sitting by the window in the local bar when you go by for the third time…

I’m going to make a goal for the marathon in the spring. I’m gonna try and go sub–4:00. That’s a 9:06/mile pace. It will be hard to do for 26.2 miles, but I think that I can make it happen. I’ve got that much speed in my legs right now for 10 miles, but I have to see if I can do it for that long. I figure if I hold a 9:00–9:05 pace for the first 20 miles, then the last 10K needs to be sub–1:00:00. That I think I can do.

I’m going to spend the next two months with lots of easy pace runs with the fast Wednesdays with the group at Runwell and reasonable long runs on the weekend. The marathon plan I have starts on January 22 and goes 12 weeks. It has 3 long runs of 3 hours or more, which is where I should be able to get to 20–22 miles. I’ll need to figure out all of my paces for the workouts, but I’m excited to do this!

Countdown to Baby Girl – 15 days to go!