Archive for August 2014

5 miles in 33:20 on the treadmill – was not as good a run as it sounds – had to keep forcing myself to stop grabbing the rails.

Today’s post is me tattling on myself for cheating a bit on the treadmill. Consider what is written below as me writing “I will not…” lines on the chalk board…

I was in a training course all day today and my legs were pretty stiff from sitting all day and from the miles I put in on the weekend, but I knew I wanted to really push tonight with the speed.

I started off well – managed to work through the kinks fairly quickly while doing some interval runs – I deliberately started off slower knowing that my legs weren’t going to be top notch. I then got into some good speed intervals started to settle in to push hard. But I found I was not paying attention as I should have been because I was reviewing the course material for the day in my head. There were a couple times I kind of refocused on what I was doing and found I would have my hand resting on the rail to steady myself. Or I would let my hand linger too long on the pistol grip with the speed controls when I would change my speed, taking some of the burden off my legs. Essentially I was cheating. Crap.

Pushing your limits is the whole idea of running or exercising in general but if you are going to cheat there really isn’t much point. In running the only person you are cheating is yourself.

So my lessons for myself here to prevent that from happening again on speed work days:

  1. If I am distracted, either get focused properly and concentrate on what I am doing or move the speed work to another day. If you can’t get over whatever the problem is after a few tries then change your plan – marathon training plans take time and you have some flexibility on how you move things around to suit your needs.
  2. If I find I am tempting myself to hold on a little too long or I am trying to lean on the rails – I need to straighten up and push harder…and if that doesn’t work I need to admit I am not there yet or maybe I am just not there that day. So back off and try again the next time. The only benefit of cheating yourself is a slightly different number on a piece of paper or on a spreadsheet while the benefits of doing it properly are huge.

Now I am not saying I cheated the whole run – because I certainly didn’t. I only caught myself a couple times with probably only a minor impact on my final numbers for the day but it could be a slippery slope and considering the amount of my running I do on the treadmill, even a little bit of cheating here and there will add up. So I want to make sure I nip that in the bud before it gets too far.

I wanted to do this post because part of the whole reason of doing this blog was to keep myself accountable to my training plan and to my goals. I am going to be mighty pissed at myself if I have to come back on the blog and admit I did it again!

With 23.1 miles Sunday + 13.1 on Saturday I would say I am ready for Dopey Challenge – only 5 months to wait…

Just 3.1 miles short of a Goofy Challenge this weekend!  If I extrapolate out my Sunday run it would have been my beaten my 4 official Goofy Challenges quite well. Granted you run the races a bit different when you are actually at Disney World but still that is a nice confidence builder to see the continued progress.

Especially after a failed long run attempt last weekend…

Sunday’s run represented a bit of a redemption!

Last Sunday’s long run fell apart and I had to call for a pick up to get home – so I knew I wanted to get a really good long run in for this Sunday.  The schedule called for 13.1 (back to back 13.1’s with Saturdays half marathon distance run) but I figured I wanted to go further than that.

So Saturday night I loaded up my hydration backpack with Gatorade and a bunch of snacks and put a bottle of water in the fridge. And then was up and out of the house Sunday morning at 6 am with a rough plan of where I wanted to go and how far I would push.

I did the first 2 hours doing run/walk cycles of 15 minutes of running and then a minute of walking making sure to have a couple snacks during the walk breaks and drink water and Gatorade regularly. I kept my speed at around 6.1 or 6.2 mph giving me right around 12 miles at the 2 hour mark – I was making sure to take it easy and conserve energy.  The first 2 hours were done almost entirely on gravel roads and groomed gravel trails.

After 2 hours I was still feeling well but decided to switch the run/walk cycles to 10 minutes run to 1 minute walk with slightly increased snack and liquid intake. I kept up that pacing for about 1 hour 20 minutes or so with pacing a little bit slower than the first 2 hours – at the 3 hour mark I was at 17.7 miles.

At about the 3:33 mark I had made it back to my house but I was under 21 miles and felt that I wanted to push it further than that so I decided that I would push on to the 4 hour mark. Switching from 10-1 to 5-1 at around the 3:20 mark helped restore my energy otherwise I might have stopped at this point.

To hit the 4 hour mark I decided I would run out from my house until I hit the 3:45 mark then turn around and come back expecting that if I ran out 12 minutes it would take me maybe 13 or 14 coming back as I was tiring out. Surprisingly I picked up my pace on the return and it only took me 11 minutes to come back – I contribute that to the 5-1 split giving me more rest time so I could actually do a faster run pace.

This also meant that now I had 3-4 minutes to kill before the 4 hour mark – at this point I just ran up and down my street and it my driveway at exactly 4:00 with a total of 23.1 miles.

A very solid run and my legs felt great and I never once bonked or hit the wall. Interestingly if I extrapolate out to 26.2 miles I would have been my 3rd or 4th fastest marathon. Not too bad considering my walk breaks and the fact that I was deliberately not trying to go too fast.

I definitely learned some things from that run – including that the right solid snacks worked better for me and my system than gels and other liquidy fuels. I was also able to hydrate properly for a change – ran for 4 hours and was only down 3 pounds – for a guy who is 220 pounds that is not too bad a ratio for that kind of run.

I will still be experimenting more with the run walk cycles on the really long runs – I am wondering if switching out to 10-1 run/walk cycles earlier in the run would help even more. We will have to see. Lots of things to try!

13.1 miles in 1:59:12 – strong steady run but could tell I had a hydration issue near the end – have to work on that!

Up and out early this morning to avoid the heat and to get the run out of the way to clear up time later this morning to play taxi driver for some family members.

I figured I was heading out early enough that with the lower temperature I wouldn’t need to bring quite as much water – bit of a mistake there.

I did 3 laps around my neighborhood this morning for a total of 13.1 miles – first lap was just over 39 minutes, second right around 38.5 and last one was a tough push to get 41.5 mostly because the heat was coming up and I could tell I was getting dehydrated. Crap. I basically took enough water with me for 2 laps (generally won’t do anything like Gatorade on 13.1 or less in training) and that bit me.

Have to keep reminding myself to take a bit more than I think I need (especially in the summer)!

5 miles in 33:23 – hard speed intervals – I would think I was dead right now if my heart wasn’t beating so fast

I haven’t done speed intervals in the past couple weeks as I have been trying to build up a stronger steady pace but I knew tonight that I needed to really give a push.

I started out with a minute at 7.5 mph, then a minute at 9, back to a minute at 7.5 and then 2 minutes at 9 mph. I repeated that 5 minute set a second time and then upped the ante. One minute at 8 mph, 1 at 10, 1 back at 8 and then 2 minutes at 10 mph. I then repeated those 5 minute sets with no break until I hit the 32 minute mark – at that point I did 30 seconds at 8 mph and then upped it to 10 to finish out whatever time it was going to take to hit 5 miles. In the end it was 33:23 at 1% incline on the treadmill.

I think I have gotten over the energy drain of the stomach flu…

Rest day tomorrow (well rest from running – I think I have a bunch of painting to do after I get off work tomorrow evening) and then I have back to back 13.1 mile runs scheduled for the weekend.

I am thinking about trying to get in a really long run on Sunday since the one I tried to do last weekend fell apart with a stomach bug. Going to be a very hot and muggy weekend though so I’m not sure how wise that will be.  I guess I will figure it out on the weekend!

8 miles in 58:33 – still fighting stomach bug but had a surprising amount of endurance tonight

I really didn’t know what to expect on the run tonight. I’m still fighting off the last of a stomach bug and I was falling asleep on the couch after supper. Then when I took the kids to the park I could not run very well playing tag with them….man those little buggers are fast!

So I was pretty concerned that I wasn’t going to be able to do much at all but in the end it was a very good run on the treadmill. Not running was not an option though so after I got the noise machines to bed I hopped on the treadmill just hoping it wasn’t going to be a long, slow slog to get my scheduled 8 miles in.

But it was good! I started with 2 minutes at 7.5 mph, 2 minutes at 8, 2 at 8.5 and then 2 min at 9 mph. I would then repeat the cycle. I stopped and did a 1 minute walk for a breather and some water at the 40 minute mark before pushing on.

The run felt very good – no issues with my knee – whoohoo!