05 August 2010

A few days later; a race dissected.

As I sit here three days after my recent 5k PR I am pretty happy. My happiness isn’t because of the PR or the race even; it’s about the prospect for future performances.  It was nice running 23:30; but it would have been nicer to run 23 flat or 22:30. I’m still a fairly new competitive runner so my potential is untapped and it is kind of a hindrance. I know I’m capable of much more, hell I’ve run faster training runs then I did in this race. 

After my 5k (24:15) earlier this year; my coach mentioned that I could probably run a full minute faster soon. Four months later, I did that and I still had more left in the tank. At first look at the splits, it makes the race seem pretty disjointed. I took some time to look at the actual splits broken down in Half Mile and Quarter Mile increments. I was surprised at how even each individual mile was run.

This break down shows me that my race was not fluid and while I can be happy with the breakdown I need to work more on running a continuous, even race. I believe I could have saved some time by just running more evenly throughout the race. I expect the first and last mile to be different as I account for dodging people in the front and ‘kicking’ at the end. This may not affect me to bad now with these shorter races but come Marathon morning I believe that this is the type of the thing that will cause a really bad race and probably an even worse experience all around.


Upcoming workouts:
Friday, Aug 6
5 mile easy run w/4 strides

Saturday, Aug 7
4 mile easy run

Sunday, Aug 8
18 mile with 6 x 5 min hills @ marathon effort. Then 5 strides.

"The essential thing in life is not so much conquering as fighting well"
~Baron De Coubertin

02 August 2010

Almost there…

Today I spent time building my running schedule for the next two months. By building my schedule I mean inputting the workouts that Coach Nicole gave me into my Garmin Training Center. I had to do this at work since the power in my tent (yup back in tent land) has been out for two days. Anyway, I looked thought he workouts when she first sent them to me and I immediately began thinking how awesome these workouts were gonna be. As I entered every detail of every planned workout, I couldn’t help but smile. I know that these challenging workouts will provide me with the tools to reach my goal in October.  I’m particularly happy about my potential as a runner. I think the greatest gains will actually come next year as I work on shorter distances during the spring and prep for the 2011 Fall racing season and whatever it has to offer.

Over the next two months I will focus first on building more stamina and strength (through hill workouts) and that will be followed by my Marathon Specific phase. This is all part of a process called periodization. The stamina/hill phase has workouts such as:

20 mile total moderate run including 3 miles on rolling hills @ HM effort, 5 min jog rest then 10 x 45 sec hills @ 3k effort w/jog down rests then 3 miles run up a hill @ marathon effort

The Marathon Specific phase (which I’m really excited about) will prepare to run the best debut marathon possible. One of the key workouts is:

16 mile run: 

~3 miles moderate then 3 miles @ GMP, 1 miles moderate then 10 x 90 sec’s @ 5k effort w/2 min jog rests, 1-3 miles moderate then 3 miles @ GMP

Again I am very excited about this upcoming training. It makes wonder how Coach Nicole will switch it up during my next couple training seasons. Come 16 October 2010, I know I will arrive to the starting line healthy and well prepared to conquer my first (hopefully of many) Marathon!
The assistance and guidance that my coach provides is invaluable. If I had followed a ‘canned’ training plan, I’m sure that I still would have been successful, but I don’t think it would have prepared me as well for being a lifetime runner. I’ve already seen drastic increases in stamina and speed and I know that there is more to come. Combine all of this with being in the comfortable soundings of the States and it is surely a recipe for success.

Upcoming workouts:
Tuesday, Aug 3
4-5 mile easy

Wednesday, Aug 4
8 mile with 10 x 30 sec’s @ 3k

Thursday, Aug 5
4 mile easy

Friday, Aug 6
5 mile easy run w/4 strides

Saturday, Aug 7
18 mile with 6 x 5 min hills @ marathon effort. Then 5 strides.

Sunday, Aug 8
Rest or 3 miles easy

“It is better, I think, to begin easily and get your running to be smooth and relaxed and then to go faster and faster.”
~Henry Rono

28; my ‘Run for Chiari’ 5k RR

 What is Chiari?Chiari Malformation is a serious neurological disorder where the cerebellum descends out of the skull and crowds the spinal cord.

Shorts at the bottom of the post…
I’m currently in Marathon Training and I am taking any opportunity to race; I’ve just completed my second race of the year, YAH (read: humor/sarcasm)!!! Anyway, I was training through this race but I had a goal of averaging 7:30 pace for the entire race (~23:15-23:30). This would give me a one minute PR over my previous 5k times.  I thought this was doable because I haven’t run many races while actually in training. My current PR was set earlier this year after returning overseas after three weeks of traveling to the States and back here for leave. My next fastest 5k was the fifth race in a 5k series from last year which I averaged about 10 miles a week; including the race.
Speaking of low mileage…One of the reasons I was a little skeptical about the race this morning was because I ran a total 27 miles over the last two weeks, all of which came this week on 4 runs. Two weeks ago I moved from my small base to a bigger one. During that move I didn’t get any running in. Part of it was because I was a little under the weather and part was because I’m a pansy sometime and just didn’t get out the door. Either way, I ran 0 miles for that week. I guess the rest paid off though (or it was a major fail and I could have run much better today?).  This week I ran those 22 miles with one run of 2.5 (Sunday) miles, one run of 5 miles (Tuesday) and two 7-milers (Thursday and Saturday). Not ideal mileage, but it worked.
Race Morning:
I had 16 miles scheduled for the day. The plan was to get up early enough to run 10 miles (plus some strides at race pace) ending near the start of the race. I actually managed to get up in enough time to do 1.5 miles and some strides. I wasn’t exactly warmed up, but I was ok. The strides helped out a lot. The show time for the race was 5:30 with a start of 6:00. I got their right on time and then headed out for the strides and stretches.
After the announcements we lined up to start the race. As I mentioned before, I raced here once before earlier in the year. I had assumed (oops) that this would be the same course with the same course markers and aid stations; nope! Brand new course, no mile markers, one aid station at the half way point (I don’t know if it was 1.5 miles or 1.55 miles); which seemed to be off anyway. 
The Race:
I lined up in the back of the front half of the pack. At this race in April, the winning time way 17.x and the third place time was high 19’s. Because of this I figured I’d line up here and maybe get to run against some low 20 min runners.  This planned didn’t work; when I looked ahead about a half mile into the race, I saw A LOT of Runners ahead of me; oops! I decided I’d play a little game. At the one-mile mark (that didn’t exist) I’d count the number of people I passed to see if I judge my starting place wrong.
The first mile was pretty uneventful; I picked a few people that were a couple hundred meters ahead of me to follow/catch. It worked out well. I started out slow and was able to gradually and comfortably drop my pace to my goal for the first mile. I also caught the people that I was eyeing, but I was passed a lot in this first mile, ugh. Mile 1 split was 7:47 (goal 7:40-7:45).
The second mile is where the fun began, I started to pick up the pace and immediately started passing people. I tried to nod and/or acknowledge most of the people that I got past. I also did something that most other people don’t do; after passing I looked behind me to make sure I was clear before cutting back to the inside of ‘the lane.’ This is where we had the turn-around, which was a hairpin type turn. Right before the turn a guy was handing out bottles of water and right after the turn there were paper cups of water. I decided to go for the cup of water…I was contemplating whether or not to get water. I didn’t need it, but I needed the practice of drinking from cups while on the run… As I went over to the aid table and got some water then veered carefully back onto the course I got into a collision with another runner about 5 meters past the table. He decided to stop (not walk, but stop) to drink his water. Ugh, I’m all for taking a break, but move beyond the table and out of the road! OK, so that after that fiasco, I had to play a little catch up to get back on pace. And I did. Second mile was 7:39.
The third mile was awesome! At the beginning of the race I wondered if I would be able to hold pace because I was kind of nervous and I hadn’t been able to get a good war-up done. Well as I eased into the third mile I felt great. There was a little discomfort, but it was the kind of discomfort that Runners welcome in. I was able to speed up and hold on nicely. I got the opportunity to race a couple guys, as they were fighting me to avoid me passing them. That was kind of nice; I broke the first guy after about 200 meters with a quick surge. The second guy was actually able to get away from me; at first. I managed to catch him about a ½ mile later and passed him for good.
The last .17 went really well. As there were no mile markers, I had to rely on the Garmin and towards the end of mile 3, I kept telling myself ½ mile to go and ¼ mile to go. At the quarter mile mark I was able to pass a few more people. This was nice because I was able to still accelerate. Some of the people that I passed early on was because they had slowed down. Now I was passing people because I was speeding up and ‘kicking’.  Last .17 was in 1:03 (6:07 pace)
Finish Line was a standard chute. I think the course was a little long, and some others agreed. Not really a big deal in the grand scheme because I believe that I still managed a good race and a huge PR. Overall the course was nice, the organization wasn’t too bad. I can’t imagine trying to organize a race, especially not in a combat zone. I’m happy with the result because inspite of the difficulties leading up to the race, I hit all of my goals: I ran 23:30 and finished in the upper half of the race; I managed around ~7:30 pace; I was able to run the entire race on feel and not ‘watch gaze’ the whole race; finally I was able to pass 28 people (hence the title of the thread).  I’m not sure what the winning time was because they didn’t announce it at the Awards Ceremony. My next race is in two week and it is another 5k. Hopefully I can build off of this race.
Upcoming workouts: 
Tonight, 1 August
10 Miles with 3 at Marathon Effort
Monday, 2 August
3 recovery miles
Wednesday, 3 August
6-8 mile moderate run including 10 x 30 sec’s @ 3k effort w/30 sec jog rests
Thursday, 4 August
3-4 miles easy
Friday, 2 July
4-5 mile easy run w/4 strides
Saturday, 2 July
18 mile w/ 6 x 5 min hills @ MP w/90 sec jog rests. Then 5 strides.
Sunday, 2 July
3 recovery miles 

Splits were:
Mile 1 - 7:47
Mile 2 - 7:39
Mile 3 - 7:13
Mile .17 - 1:03
People passed from Mile 1 through the end of the race…28
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."
~ Chinese Proverb