Saturday, June 30, 2007


I did make it out for another 3-miler tonight. Tonight's 3 went a lot better than this morning's. This morning was hot, hot, hot and I went out too fast. The air tonight was heavy but without the sun not beating down on me, I managed a good effort through the whole 3 miles.

This run was just what I wanted with a good negative split from picking up the pace the last .75 miles.

Total distance - 3.0 miles
Venue - Fairfield greenbelts
Mile 1 - 14:01
Mile 2 - 14:05
Mile 3 - 13:39
Average pace - 13:56

If work allows, I'm going to try to get a little swimming in tomorrow for my cross-training day.

Back to Normal!!!

First the good news. Some of you may know that my brother-in-law was murdered last year in his home. This past year has been very difficult for our family and especially for DW. Thank God that this past week we all got a bit of closure as the murderer was found guilty of 2nd degree murder with a mandatory life sentence without parole. This is such a burden lifted from DW and the rest of the family as we have been seeking justice for what seems like so long. I know the verdict won't bring Jason back but it's brought a sense to all of us that the ordeal is over and we can get on in some way with our lives.

Speaking of getting back to our lives, DW is back in town and life is good. It's good having the family back together. This past week has been tough on the blogging front. I'm sorry for not at least posting a quick update or two. I've been up early a lot this week, trying to get some running in during the wee hours before the kids woke up. I was able to get in three 3-milers this week. Unfortunately, I'm on call this weekend so a long run is not in the cards. I did manage to get in 3 miles this morning around the neighborhood. I hate having to carry both my beeper and my phone with me but I did. I'm surprised my phone still works as it was soaked in sweat.

It's been pretty quiet with the beeper and I may be able to get in another 3 in tonight. I guess two short runs in a day is better than not running at all. Way better. The only bad thing is that I've got t-bones on the grill right now and I know after one of those, I'm not going to feel like doing anything but veg on the couch and surf the internet. Maybe I'll put the steak aside for after the run. I hate not eating with the family but a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do.

So, I was looking at the month's miles and IMO, I'm looking pretty good going into marathon training which, by the way, starts Monday for me. Here's my monthly totals for the year.

Well, that's basically an average ~15-16 miles per week for June. Not quite the 20-25 mpw I'd like to be at but June's been a pretty consistent month nonetheless. Monday starts my week one of Hal's 18-week marathon training program. I'm a bit anxious about jumping into 20+ mpw but I think I'll be ok. Here's what the week holds for me.

The red is on call and blue of course is my long run.

I'm off for an evening 3 miles. Let's get it on.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Training, finally

The past few weeks I haven't really felt like I was "in training" mode. Going out too fast, biting off more than I can chew on long runs, trying to run in the heat of the day. Don't get me wrong, I've been really enjoying myself and I feel like I'm sitting pretty good two weeks out from starting my marathon training program. But, to be honest, yes, I've been working out, getting strong, running hard, but I haven't been in that "training groove" where every workout is purposed, where I'm patient but tough, riding that edge between training hard and overuse.

During tonight's 5-miler, I finally felt like I executed a training run. I kept my pace pretty even. The workout was purposed and well-executed. In other words, it was all business tonight and man did I need some of that. It was a good confidence booster.

I completed the 5 miles at ~13:50 pace, stopping for water briefly every time I passed a fountain. I kept conversational the entire run and felt "right" at the end of the workout.

Like June, I've completed my training plan through the Houston marathon. I'm very excited about training for NYC but I won't be able to achieve one of the goals I set for myself this year, to PR at every previous race distance. HARRA XC Relay is out. I have an important long run that day. Space City is out. That's my 20-miler on Saturday, the day before the race. And I won't get to run the Houston Half Marathon. But I will get to volunteer so that's VERY good, right, Barb? I won't be doing the 25K the week after NY but the 30K fits quite nicely into my reset schedule for Houston. I won't be doing the full Tour de Memorial, only 1-2 hours of it but count me in for the full 21 mile Longest Long Run. What an event the Striders put on there.

So that's a brief review of the rest of the year, the good and the bad. Not much bad there. :) It's almost ALL good!!! I'll post my full schedule soon for public scrutiny. I want to commit to the plan but must stay disciplined and conservative to avoid injury while still working hard.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

More Rookie mistakes

I don't know what's up with me but I seem to have forgotten all the things I've supposed to have learned already.

After some good stretching and shaking outany remaining kinks from Saturday's run, I set out for 3 easy miles. It took me two tries to get out of the corral as I ran into SteveS first and then George. Of couse, I had to stop both times to talk trash so I ended up "starting" this run 3 times. All 3 times, I was chomping at the bit. Once I really got going, I felt great. I was loosey goosey and pain-free through the first half mile. I looked down at my watch and I was at ~12:00 pace. I thought to myself, "Self, well, just hold it. You're conversational and feeling good. Let's just finish this 3 in 36:00!" Of course, I was making the rookie mistake of going out too fast. That may be ok in a 5K but not a training run. I shoot for at least an even pace if not a negative split for most of my easy runs.

Needless to say, I kind of crashed by about mile 1.75. Correction, I didn't crash but I definitely felt myself going into tempo effort and that was not my intention for this workout. I was just going to slow down but when I came to one of my Strider friends that was walking, I walked and talked for about a quarter mile, briskly mind you. When I picked back up on the running, I did a little closer to 13 minute pace and finished hot and sweaty but invigorated.

By the way, the knee pain from Saturdays too-long long run seems to have been what I suspected, just a little overuse soreness from overdoing it and not a full-blow injury. The three days rest seem to have gotten everything back to good working condition and all is well. Tonight's 3 miles were asymptomatic.

Monday, June 18, 2007

SMART training


Saturday's run was a lot of things but SMART was not one of them. I've been training pretty well the last few weeks, regaining some of my base, mixing in some short intervals, trail running, and tempo runs, gaining fitness and easing back into longer runs of 8 or 9 miles. In my opinion, I was right where I needed to be going into the weekend.

A prudent long run for this weekend would have been 8-10 miles. Instead, I got greedy and I'm still paying for it on Monday. You've heard the expression, "biting off more than he can chew?" Well, that kind of describes the BIG BITE I decided to take off when I signed up for a 13 miler with Bill on Saturday. The good news is that Bill introduced me to the Kingwood running scene. Except for the over-abundance of concrete, Kingwood is quite a runner's paradise. Miles and miles of greenbelts along lakes, rivers, golf courses, and through thick woods made for an enjoyable run, at least for the first 8 or so miles.

Like I said, a good, safe progression for me would have been a solid 9 or 10 miles, maybe 11 if I'm really pushing it. And sure enough, by 9 miles, I was done. So, one more mile would have been just fine. But, we were doing one of those out and back commitment runs. There were no shortcuts. Once we ran out ~7, we had not choice but to run back 7. The first 8 miles or so went very well. We ran strong and steady despite the heat and humidity and managed to avoid any walk breaks whatsoever. Miles 8-9 were starting to get real tough. By mile 10-11, it was all I could do to run a mile and then walk for good quarter or more. Miles 12-13.8 were mostly walking with an occasional "ok, when we get up to that tree, we're going try and run for a little while" thrown in for good measure.

The bad news is I can still feel it in my right knee. The pain I've felt since the run is not like the "good" pains I've had before. Still, I'm not convinced it's an injury. I think I just overdid it a bit and my weakest link is feeling it. There's been marked improvement from Sunday to today and I am hoping Tuesday morning finds me completely mended. Lesson learned!!!

Thanks Bill for the good run!!! Let's just be SMARTer next time. :)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hmmm, let's see...

...I've averaged about 8 hours per week training over the last couple of weeks. And it took me 5 minutes to post my question on the blog yesterday. So, let's see...16 hours...5 minutes...well, it looks like I did spend more time training than trying to find the answer to my question. Oh, and I almost forgot. I already knew the answer to the question before I asked it. So, really it took no time away from training at all. So, I guess I'm in good company. Still, keep the ass-kicks coming, friend. They're always welcome. :) Oh, and who's looking for shortcuts in training? We should talk.

The subject from yesterday's post came up first for me last year during Katy Fit. As you know, USA Fit divides up into Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue based on your training pace or "ability." Of course, last year, I fit into the Red group, and rightly so, being not only a slowbee but a complete marathon noob. The USA Fit schedule includes hill work, interval training, and tempo runs. It was recommended, though, to the Red group that we not do ANY of the speedwork sessions because we would risk injury. I remember thinking that was odd. It was good advice for ME but what if there were Red group runners that had been running for a long time? And what about the "speedy" runners in the Yellow group who had been running for a very short time? Is it ok for them to do speedwork and risk injury? Didn't make any sense to me.

To me, the question of doing harder, more advanced workouts, increasing mileage, increasing the number of days per week you run is really a matter of ability. And that's what prompted me to ask the question. What is meant by ability? I'm of the thought that beginners (with some exceptions, of course), should concentrate on building up gradually, building both an aerobic base as well as strengthen their muscles, ligaments, and tendons. And I agree with most of the comments in the previous post that it has nothing to do with pace.

Dividing up into long run groups by pace is logistically necessary and frankly the best way to go. But to preclude a runner from doing a hill workout or pounding out some 800's, or to say that a runner should not participate in a more advanced training program, just because he or she is a 5:00+ marathoner makes no sense to me.

Pleae don't read into anything I've posted here. I'm not talking about any particular person or training program or Olympian. I'm just putting some ideas out there for discussion. Oh, and by the way, I waited until AFTER my 5 mile treadmill run this evening to post this. And this post took 10 minutes to nut out. My 5 miler took a little over an hour so I'm still safe. :)

Yesterday's topic was cross-posted to the RW forum if anyone wants to read the responses.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Let me ask a question...

...Take a poll if you will

Who thinks this statement is true? Beginner, intermediate, and advanced runner means slow, moderate, and fast respecively. In other words is ability as a runner based on pace?

If you're having trouble with that question, how about this one. When Lance Armstrong arrived at the starting line of the New York marathon last year, did you consider him a beginner, intermediate, or advanced runner?

Here's another one. If you were the director of a new marathon training program, and you had to divide participants up by ability, how would you do it?

I'll answer after some feedback.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Well, against all odds, this lucky little devil was chosen in the lottery to run the ING New York City Marathon.

When I registered, I had no intention of running the race. Like many, I'm sure, I just wanted to get my first ticket punched in case I wanted to do it 4 years from now since after being refused 3 years in a row, you're automatically in. But you know, that's all fine and good until you're actually chosen and then you just get excited and then you just decide, I'M GONNA DO IT!!!

Funny thing, the actual e-mail must have just gone to my trash because I had no idea. It really hasn't been on my mind. I was chatting with Bill over Yahoo and he said, "Congratulatons!" I was like, what? He told me I was chosen. I think at first, he was more excited than I was but that didn't last long. Once I entertained the thought even slightly, it was a done deal. What clinched it for me was the prospect of making it a family vacation. So, if we can afford it, I think that's what we're going to do.

So, let me go work on my training plan. Later!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Just a thought about training

I've been thinking about a possible different approach to training, given my current pace and how many acutal hours I spend running.

Now if you look at any basic training program, you'll likely see something like "5 miles easy." Whatever you want to call this workout, junk miles, recovery run, whatever, the intention is for an easy day to run from anywhere from 30-60 minutes at an easy, conversational pace. Now for your average 10 minute miler, you're talking 50 minutes to do this workout. Just about right, huh? But for me, I'm well over an hour on this workout. I think this is way too long for an easy recovery run.

So, what's the answer? How can I normalize a published training program to fit my slower pace? What if transform the program from distance to time? Then, instead of doing the 1 hour plus run, I just run easy for 50 minutes. And since my effort at 14:00 pace should be the same as the 10 minute miler, we're in effect getting the exact same workout.

So, a sample workout week with targeted distances would be:

The same workout by time would be:

Of course, if you're training for a marathon, your long run would need to stay the same. After all, you're still going to have to get used to being on your feet for the duration of the race, even at your slower pace.

Anyway, I've been thinking that this approach is sort of an equalizer for folks like me who see training programs with weekly mileage int the 30's, 40's, and even 50's. Even at my pace, this makes even an intermediate program manageable for us speed challenged.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Tonight's attempt at a 5 miler (and I use the term "attempt" loosely) was thwarted by severe heat, humidity, and a total lack of energy. I've experienced a run like this before where you're not really breathing hard. Your not tired in that respect but your body just won't go. You think you can walk a bit but as soon as you recover and start running again, you just can't hold it. Every happened to you?

I think the week got a little disconbobulated with what turned out to be two consecutive tough workouts in a row on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday was speedwork and Wednesday's easy 3 turned into 4 hard trail miles as Matt introduced me to the Ho Chi Minh trails south of Memorial Dr. There was a pretty good turnout of Striders for the run and much fun was had muddin' through the woods and sultry air.

I think my average pace for the trail run did not reflect my effort. Of course, the trails are like that. I heard somewhere that trails basically add a minute to a minute and a half to your easy run pace. Anyway, we weren't racing but I'll tell you what, those trails gave me a pretty tough workout. And after emerging from the forest and crossing back over to the Memorial Loop, I felt pretty frisky and cooled down the last mile or so at around 13 minute pace.

So, I think tonight my body was just telling me to shut it down. Now, a few weeks ago, I would have shut it totally down and just strolled back to the car. But tonight, to show a little bit of guts, I did the run/walk thing, walking mostly, but keeping my walk very brisk. I brought it in with a run for the last quarter mile and finished with 3 total. Tomorrow is a rest day while I get ready for 10 on Saturday.

The weight loss is going well. 6.8 lbs. lost since the competition started. I'm closing back in on sub-300 again. That will sure feel good. I know SteveB says it's hard to concentrate on improving your running and losing weight at the same time, but for me personally, the running really, really helps me focus on the weight loss. I think it's that if I spend a lot of time running, I'm not spending a lot of time wondering what to eat and what not to eat. And after a good workout, I don't want to spoil it by a trip to McDonalds or Shipleys. So, for now, I'm going to just see how it goes. I feel in a good grove this week and intend to keep it going.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A First

Well, running continues to be fresh and new for me as this morning I did my first ever short-interval workout. After a 1 mile warmup, I did 8x30/30, then a 1 mile cooldown. Here are the stats.

Total distance - 2.7 miles
Venue - Memorial Park
Warmup (1 mile) - 13:21
8x30/30 - 10:35 / 10:56 / 10:49 / 11:23 / 10:34 / 10:41 / 10:38 / 10:43 (Average - 10:47)
Cooldown (1 mile) - 13:17

For the most part, I feel like I kept it pretty consistent. The one repeat of 11:23 was on a slight incline. I was shooting for around 1 mile race effort but probably ended up a little above that but definitely shy of 5K effort. I really concentrated on staying relaxed. It was a different feeling stretching out my stride like that. It reminded me that I need to work on my flexibility.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The real plan

I know I've posted a couple of plans the last few weeks as I was trying to find my way "back" from wherever it was that I went to. I took some time this afternoon to plan out the next 8 weeks, trying to make quality workouts, long runs, rest days, and steady weekly mileage fit into my work and on-call schedule. The following is what I came up with. Click on the image for a better view:

The blue denotes long runs. The yellow is quality work. Red are the days I'm on call. The on call stuff is what forces me to juggle stuff around and precludes me from doing the same thing every week like I'd like to do.

Any close scrutiny of this schedule is certainly welcome. It's pretty ambitious but I think if it all works out and I can do this schedule, I will be in a position come the end of July to have some options for marathon training. The only thing I may change is I may try to throw in some trail running in place of a couple of those Tuesday quality workouts. Variety is a good thing IMO.

Now I'm just mad!!!

The weight loss contest that Bill and I have going on has been good. The competition gives me some motivation. Having to wear a dress to Terry Hershey park for the first SMARTie workout...well, let's just say I'd rather avoid that embarassment. But truth is that I want Bill to succeed as much as I want to win. As far as the competition goes, I'm fine either way.

So, if competition isn't as strong a motivator as I need, then maybe getting downright MAD will have some effect on me. And people, I am PO'd!!!

Here's what happened. I took the family to Kemah Saturday night for some food and fun. We ate and then headed over to the rides. The kids were so excited. They wanted to ride some of the "scarier" rides but not without Dad. So, I bought tickets for us for everything. We got over to the Aviator and watched the ride before ours. The anticipation was mounting. DD wanted me to be in the swing behind her. I gave the guy my ticket and got in the seat. Well, wouldn't you know, the dang bar would not go down far enough. Then the guy came over and pushed it down trying to make the light come on, signifying I was locked in. Then, they moved me over to another swing. Same story. I COULDN'T FIT IN THE FREAKIN' RIDE!!! (I hope my kids don't read this. I don't let them say "freakin'") So, I got to watch my kids ride the ride without me.

Well, fine. I'll ride the Inverter, right? We stood in line again. To the kids this was a REALLY scary ride and DD and DS wouldn't even ride it if I didn't ride it with them. We got on and they brought the bar down. I felt like I was in and that it locked but again, the stupid little light wouldn't come on and I had to exit the ride and watch. By this time, I wasn't smiling to say the least. I was embarassed, angry, and sad that I couldn't live my life because of my weight. I missed it. I missed this one opportunity to do this one thing with my kids. That was a memory I'll never get to remember. If I were to die today, God forbid, one of the last memories my kids would have wouldn't be the fun we all had riding those rides. They'd remember how Dad didn't get to ride with them because he was so fat. (Oh, crap, I'm tearing up right here in my office.)

So, yes, I'm mad! I'm pissed. I'm embarassed. I don't want to miss any more moments like that. And, Bill, I'm afraid the contest is over. You may as well pack it in buddy 'cause THE GAME IS ON! If I were you, I'd eat nothing but lettuce for the next 8 weeks because that's what it's going to take to beat me. :)

Isn't this fun?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Peak Performance Nutrition Seminar

I highly recommend that every runner in the world attends this seminar:

Peak Performance Nutrition Seminar

Speaker: Catherine Kruppa

Are you an athlete or fitness enthusiast?

Would you like to eat to fuel your active lifestyle and improve your performance?

This Seminar will:

  • Help you to estimate your energy needs based on your activity level.
  • Develop an eating plan to maximize your workout.
  • Discuss the effects of nutrition on muscle strength, endurance and performance.
  • Provide recommendations for fluid replacement.
  • Advise you on the latest research on supplements.

Date: Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Time: 6 pm

Location: The Houstonian Club Library

Cost - $20

RSVP 713-316-2707

Catherine Kruppa, MS, RD, LD

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Lost in the City!!!

When planning my Saturday run this week, I was faced with a difficult choice. On the one hand, I really needed to get about a 9-10 miler in and the Striders' Big Bear run seemed like the perfect recipe. On the other hand, I've been pumped all week about June's upcoming attempt at a sub-30 5K at the Houston Heights run Saturday morning.

I decided I couldn't pass up seeing June's face after breaking the 30 minute barrier so to have my cake and eat it too (no, Bill, I'm not eating cake. It's a figure of speech.), I figured I'd run from Memorial Park over to the finish of the Heights run via the popular Heights run route. It's a simple route. Leave from anywhere in Memorial Park, jump over to Blossom, up Jackson Hill to Washington, skip over to Heights Blvd and then you're home free. Just run up Heights as far as you want which in this case was the start of the race at 18th street, giving me 4.5 out. Then the return trip, according to my best calculations, would put me at a bit over 9 miles.

Now, the plan was to rendezvouz with June just after the race started, a little after 7:30, and then wait for her at the finish. I really didn't want to get there too soon as I'd be standing around too long and with the 2nd half of my long run staring me in the face, I didn't want to be completely cooled down. But, I wanted to surprise June early in the race and maybe spur her on a bit knowing that I had run all the way over to see her finish at 29:59 or better. This would take perfect planning. I calculated that at between 14:00 and 14:30 pace, it would take me 1:03-1:05 to cover the 4.5 miles to 18th and Heights. So, to reach my waypoint precisely, I knew I must depart the swimming pool parking lot at precisely 6:25 AM.

Guess what. I left late. Who'd of thunk it, huh? I ended up departing 9 minutes later than planned. Oh, well, that just meant I'd see June a little later in the race, probably just after mile 1. Leaving the parking lot out the back, I thought I'd save a little time and try to stay north of Washington. It's not as nice an area as running down Blossom but it might save me 5 minutes or so, I thought. There was only one problem with that plan. There are basically only 2 bridges that cross White Oak Bayou, the Heights Blvd. Bridge and the Shepard/Durham bridge. Of course, I didn't think of that at the time and made the mistake of thinking that as long as I stay between Washington and I-10, I'll make my way over to Heights Blvd. and shave some time off. WRONG!!!

I basically ended up running through the worst part of town and dead ended right into White Oak Bayou and the base of the I-10 overpass. I basically just stood there surveying the situation. To backtrack would have put me even later and that wasn't an option. I would have loved to just billy goat it under the I-10 overpass or run down the side of the bayou but, ugh, that was even too adventuresome for me. Besides, a 12 foot fence was blocking my way. Then I did the unthinkable. I ventured up a driveway in the worst part of town, along the fence that blocked my way, trying to find an opening. The further I walked along the fence, I noticed there was an overgrown sidewalk that paralleled it. I'm in business. The sidewalk opened up and I saw that it took me under I-10. Woo-hoo!! Or so I thought. This was no yellow-brick road. It was truly scary. I thought to myself, I'm sure glad I didn't drag anyone else into this mess but then I thought how it it sure would have been nice to have a running partner on a day like this. The goal at that point was to just not step on any syringes or needles and hope that I didn't run into the middle of a gang fight.

I hopped a couple of poo-poo diapers and finally emerged on some street this native Houstonian never knew existed before today. I still had my bearings and I knew that I was headed in the wrong direction. I had to backtrack all the way to Sheperd, then over White Oak Bayou. When I got to the overpass that goes over the old railroad tracks, I finally made a good choice. I decided to stay on the low road, under the overpass, through the industrial park and to see if I could possibly make my way East from there. BINGO!!! Under the bridge, I was able to hop onto 7th street which was just a hop and a skip over to 8th which goes all the way through to Heights Blvd.

At that point, I just wanted to get to Heights to catch June before the turnaround. I got to Heights and headed north. It was exactly 7:30 when I turned onto Heights so I figured the race was starting. Racers were heading South while I was heading North. It's such a straight shot up Heights Blvd that I could see the flashing lights of the lead escort waaaaaay in the distance. It wasn't 3 or 4 minutes when the lead runners came streaking by and very close to the front of the pack early in the race was butt-kicker Steve Schroeder. Now, Steve is a fast runner but he was looking particularly speedy at that point, early in the race..

In just another 2 or 3 minutes I saw June and Sarah. June looked real relaxed. Sarah did too for that matter. I waved and told June that I had run all the way over here to see her break 30 minutes so she'd better not hold back. They smiled and off they went. I was close at this time to 18th so I put the hammer down a bit to finish off this first leg of my run.

I waited at the finish, cheering on the runners. I watched Schroeder come in FAST with what ended up being a ~30 second 5K PR. Huge congrats, Steve!!! Steve got some water and then came back to where I was standing. He said he was going to go back out and run June in the last bit so off he went. I'm watching the clock and it's 28:00, 29:00, 29:10, 29:15... THERE'S SARAH!!! What? Sarah had intended to just hang with June as long as she could and then let June go on to her sub-30 but here was Sarah, nailing a sub-30 of her own. I figured June would be right behind but unless my eyes were mistaken, no June. My eyes weren't mistaken. Sarah came to meet me. Then, I see Steve walking back towards us. "Did I miss her?" he asked. It's 32, then 33, then 34, and still no June. Something was wrong. I tried not to think the worst but knew that she must have gotten hurt. Then we see June walking towards us, all pink and in tears. It turns out she majorly pulled a hamstring after about mile 2, I think.

After we got June some medical attention and some food, I headed out for my return leg. This time, though, I chose to go back the way I had originally planned. The run felt pretty good. Even though it was basically split up into 2 runs, I still count it as a long run. Here are the stats:

Total distance: 9.2 miles
Total time: 2:10:23
Mile 1 - 14:11
Mile 2 - 14:17
Mile 3 - 14:19
Mile 4 - 14:04
Mile 5 - 13:36
Mile 6 - 14:13
Mile 7 - 14:10
Mile 8 - 14:50 (including a brief walk break across Durham/Sheperd)
Mile 9 - 14:03
.2 miles - 2:37 (13:41 pace)
Average pace - 14:11

It was nice to do a long run again. I feel fine. Sufficiently sore but not incapacitated. Know what I mean?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Dang Right!!!

Barbara and Joe, you know me all too well. Dang right I registered today.



Well, it's 226 days to the Houston Marathon. I know. I know. It's a bit early to start getting too excited but I can't help it. I'm really looking forward to the coming season. I asked Amalia yesterday excitedly, "So, you ready to start marathon training?!?" She looked at me like I had 4 eyes and I didn't even have my glasses on. :) So, I know it's not at the front of everyone's mind but I'm starting to think about it a lot and really getting excited about the coming training season.

Along those lines, I had some good advice from Coach Bill via e-mail the other day and it makes a lot of sense. Of couse I'm hearing the same stuff from Coach Steeve so that just seals the deal. What Coach Bill said is a propos too because his advice addresses not only marathon training but also post-race recovery and even gearing back up for 2009. Hopefully he won't mind my posting what he said here.

What happened after Houston happens to everyone. You just did 6 months of training building and building and toughing it out week after week. You needed a break and you’re body just forced it on you in terms of your motivation.

You are getting back in the cycle to begin again and this year will be better than last…you have experience now.

What we do with our runners is build the break into the training. I cut some of the runners buy as much as 50% in their training and some are Boston Qualifiers.

This year…2007/2008 do your training for Houston the same as you did last year. You have a very good support system in place. Plan to take an active break after the race….two week recovery to the end of January then spend the winter and spring months concentrating on the shorter distance races. Keep your longest run to an hour max. In June start thinking about new fall goals and begin the build up again. This is a healthy cycle that will help keep you motivated and fresh year after year. Fall – long races….Spring short and a possible 5K PR. Stay in this cycle a couple years and watch what happens.

So, here's the plan. I'm going to be joining Houston Fit. I'm not going to go into all the reasons I'm not going to repeat my experience with Katy Fit but suffice it to say, I was not impressed with their program last year. I love the venues on the west side but...well, that's all I'm going to say about that. Of course I'm hanging pre and post race with the Striders for all the warmup races and don't be surprised to find me toughing out one of Miriam's core workouts every now and then. I'll definintely work the SMARTie Hop workouts into my schedule and wouldn't miss the Tour de Memorial and the Longest Long run for anything. So, basically, the plan is the same as last year. Sticking with the Fit'ers, ramping up through the week of the Half at the end of October, running on my own during the week and then playing it by ear through the warmup series and through January, running with the Striders/SMARTies as time and my body allow.

This morning's run was another thriller. The plan was to meet the co-workers at Memorial Park again. We had one no-show so Wendy and I did one loop. She runs 11 minute pace or so and eased out ahead of me after about a quarter mile. I kept her in site through a mile and a half, just because she had to stop 3 or 4 times to tie her shoe. I ran well again today. 3 easy miles at average 12:54 pace. I pushed some bit harder than long run effort but kept conversational nonetheless. Not the kind of conversational where you can recite the pledge of allegiance without pausing for a breath but the kind of conversational where you can speak in short phrases in between breaths. I guess what I'm saying is I was somewhere between long run, easy effort and tempo effort, probably closer to easy effort. Ok, none of that makes sense.

Regardless, I was happy to get in 3 sub-13 miles with moderate effort. Feels like I'm getting a lot of the cobwebs worked out. I'm definitely ahead of where I started last year. I looked at my logs for June 1, 2006. My weight was 334 lbs. I did 3x5R/1W intervals for a total distance of 1.5 miles. My pace was 15:46 average. OK, I feel a lot better now.