23.17 miles in 3:37:28 (9:24/mile) #twit2fit #running

Sunrise at Seatonville Rd and Shaffer Ln

It's been a long time since I've had the opportunity to actually run at dawn for my weekend long run.  The first picture that you see is at about mile 4.5 of my (planned 22-mile) long run.  I would not recommend running Seatonville Rd during the week, but very early Saturday morning, especially at dawn at the beginning summer, is pretty quiet.  Since sunrise is quite a bit later now, Seatonville Rd was pretty busy until I passed Shaffer Ln.

This is one of the many reasons I do not run with headphones in general.  Seatonville Rd is a two-lane road with very little shoulder, but is completely manageable if you hear the cars coming.

Sunrise at Seatonville Rd overpass over I-265

The second photo you see is a few hundred feet later, as I passed over the Gene Snyder Freeway. I continued on down Seatonville Road until it intersects with Broad Run Road and Brentlinger Lane (before it reaches the end of Billtown Road). I was also able to run down Broad Run Road until it takes a steep curve with a guardrail. Since there's no opportunity to bail off the road at that point, I turned around and retraced my steps back to Bardstown Road.  The rest of my run was slightly less enjoyable, as a little bit of fatigue set in and running along Hurstbourne Parkway and Taylorsville Road wore me down some.

Of course, I managed to run my 23 miles on tired legs a little bit faster that my recent long runs have been.

The route map:

At a medium pace... 5.7 miles in 47:32 (8:22 pace) #twit2fit #running

After weeks and weeks of building mileage and mostly running slowly, I'm ready to start testing the waters a little bit on what my legs actually have in them.

If my mileage stays steady, it looks like my legs currently have roughly a comfortable 8:30 pace in them.  After a mile warm-up (slight uphill for a 1/2 mile), I was able to steadily pace below 8:30 pace.  Pushing tempo slightly got me mostly below 7:30 pace.

The question is, do I have sub-3:30 marathon strength yet, or even sub-20 5k strength?  Race day is such a different animal that training, and feats that you can't get near in training suddenly happen on race day.

RunningAHEAD - Strings_n_88keys's log: View Workout.

8 miles -- 6 mile tempo in 43:05 (finish @ sub 7 pace) #running #twit2fit

Progressive tempo, 6 miles. Started at 7:24 pace, finished at 6:58 pace, with a 6:28 pace kick the last 0.2 miles of the tempo. Didn't feel good going into the run (sinus infection, headache). Don't try this at home, kids. Only an insane man would do a hard workout when he didn't feel well to start with. Surprisingly enough though, I feel okay now.

Planned treadmill settings by mile:
0 - 6.2 mph
1 - 8.1 mph
2 - 8.2 mph
3 - 8.3 mph
4 - 8.4 mph
5 - 8.5 mph
6 - 8.6-9.3 mph (6'28")
7 - 6.4+ mph

1 mile warm in 9:40
6 miles in 43:05 (7'11")
1 mile cool in 9:20

Weight 167 pounds

Suspend doubt #twit2fit #running

Zig Ziglar reminded me of the "fake it 'til you make it" mentality.  Suspend doubt, and trust that the pieces will fall into place later, and that you have the ability to connect the dots. I found this mentality critical when trying to understand calculus.   No, I never had a real problem understanding calculus.  I did, however, have moments where my understanding lapsed.  I noticed some fellow students getting stuck at that understanding gap, yet I would instead accept things as they were stated and allow the gaps in understanding to fill themselves in.

My biggest challenges to date have been because of doubt and not lack of ability. Writer's block nearly prevented me from getting my master's degree.  I always had doubts that what I was looking at was worthwhile.  I had fits and starts with many research ideas because I couldn't believe in myself or the idea.  I finished my thesis, because time constraints forced me to suspend the doubts.

The same goes for my running.  Until age 29, I had a few moments where I attempted to become a runner.  I failed miserably.  I'd get about a week or so into my efforts and give up, because I did not see any progress.  Unfortunately, if you look for progress, it won't happen.

Then something happened.  3 months before my 30th birthday, I started walking 3-5 miles per day, every day.  Without realizing it, I was jogging a little more each time and walking a little less:

  • By June, I had managed to run my first consecutive mile in my entire life.
  • By my 30th birthday, I ran my first 5k (33:44 - 10:52/mile).
  • By that December, I ran my first half-marathon (2:08:23 - 9:49/mile).
  • By the follow November, I ran my first marathon (4:34:06 - 10:28/mile).
  • In six more months, I ran my fastest marathon in 3:39:45 - 8:24/mile.  I began this blog shortly before that race, and let other people know about it after the race.  I believe the only way I can continue to improve is get beyond goals that are reasonable in my mind, as I've already passed all of those goals, anyway.

View all races.

I believe the first thing that happens when doubt creeps in is that we lose focus, and the doubt gives us an "easy out".  Don't take it.  Maintain focus.  Dispel those doubts.

I ran 15 miles at sub-9 pace the hard way #running #twit2fit

(and on the treadmill at 11pm)

I decided that I'd do a progressive workout, starting @ 6.0 mph (10'00") and going to 7.4 mph (8'06"?), by 0.1 mph increments per mile.  I have the speed to run 6'30" intervals, but I'm still hesitant to push for a sub-9 pace long run.

I started off in fits and starts as my splits were pauses stepping off the treadmill:

  • 1.5 miles in 14:55 (6.0 and 6.1 mph - average 9'57")
  • 2.59 miles in 40:03 (6.1-6.3 mph - average 9'43")
  • 11 miles in 1:34:14 (6.4-9.2 mph - average 8'34") - Ok, so the last two miles the treadmill got to me and I ran a 7'30" mile for mile 14 and ran mile 15 at between 6'36" and 6'48" pace.  What I felt in my legs was that I still had a comfortable sub-7 pace after 14 miles.

Why this weird progression?

First...  I get bored on the treadmill, and need to break up the workout to hit "milestones".

More importantly, I thought a progressive pace might help coax that speed out of my long runs again.  I did quite a bit of this when I was training for Flying Pig last year and was stuck on the treadmill for my long runs due to working weekends.  Between these sessions and the progressive race distances of 5k, 10k, and 10 miles of the Louisville Triple Crown of Running every other weekend 5-8 prior to the Flying Pig Marathon, I found an optimal speed and endurance training regimen.

RunningAHEAD - Strings_n_88keys's log: View Workout.

[I Will] Because I "can't"--qualifying for Boston #twit2fit

We all do things because we're supposed to be able to, because we were "born to do it."

I know a lot of runners who were accomplished cross-country runners in high school who have failed in their attempts to qualify for the Boston marathon. Some of them fell out of shape over the college and post-college years. Some of them never made the full commitment to train for a marathon versus shorter races. Some of them just hit upon misfortune during their attempts.

I am not such a runner. My high school fitness test "mile of running" was north of 13 minutes (a six hour marathon time limit is a 13'44" pace). In fact, I never *ran* a consecutive mile until 2006. That mile is still one of the hardest I've run in my life.

After training for my first 5k for 8 weeks, I ran my first 5k at 206 pounds in 33:44--a 10'52" pace. With that sort of 5k time, McMillan running predicts a 5:30 marathon.

Today, I'm at 168 pounds, and my fastest marathon time was 15 months ago in 3:39 and change. Since then, my speed has improved quite a bit, but my endurance has suffered through injuries resulting from trying to push too far, too fast. The race predictors put my current 20:59 5k time as capable of running a 3:20-3:30 marathon (with proper training.)

Until the day I turn 35, qualifying for Boston requires a finish time of 3:10:59 or faster. Up until 40, I still have to beat 3:15:59. My current training plan puts me at 3:17.

To put it simply, I'm not capable of qualifying for Boston. There it is. I'm not good enough.

That's why I'm training to qualify, by 40. It's because I wasn't born to do it. What good is life if you meet everyone's expectations all the time, anyway?

Tempo run 8.04 miles in 65 minutes (8'06" pace)

I run my tempo and intervals on the treadmill (especially as opposed to running in the dark during rush hour).  It's not optimal for training I guess, but I'd rather run the treadmill than miss another tempo or interval week.

Mile point - speed (pace)
1% incline
0 - 6.2 mph (9'41")
1 - 8.1 mph (7'25")
2 - 8.2 mph (7'20")
3 - 8.3 mph (7'13")
4 - 8.4 mph (7'09")
5 - 8.5 mph (7'04")
6 - 6.4+ mph (< 9'22")
7.52 miles in 60 minutes

5 minute cool down at -3% incline
6.2 mph (9'40")

Total: 8.04 miles in 65 minutes (8'06" pace)

Weight: 167.5 pounds

Steak and mashed potatoes

Of course, the following becomes your breakfast after such a workout, when you didn't bother to pack lunch the night before, and you're trying to save as much money on breakfast and lunch as possible.  I grabbed them in a rush this morning, along with four slices of bread for PB&J sandwiches.   My intention was to eat the bread this morning, and then split the steak and mashed potatoes over a couple lunches.

This is yet another reason why you should have plenty of easy run workouts.  Tempos and intervals will leave your body starving for fluids, which your mind will translate to hunger. Inevitably, you'll eat more than necessary after hard workouts.  (I'm going to stop guessing at the calories at 1050.  That's at least a 10 oz steak.   The mashed potatoes are homemade, and the only real benefit is that the skin is still in there for plenty of fiber.)

Cancel your runners magazine subscription #twit2fit

No, I don't mean that, do I? Ok, then, as long as you just read it for the pictures, it's okay to keep it.

Actually, I have nothing against the popular running hobbyist magazines. However, you must realize what a magazine is. Magazines have several new messages every issue. Otherwise, why would you need the next issue?

While some may even take issue with some of the advice presented in the articles, I think there's a greater danger: lack of consistency. Just like you can't chase every mutual fund that a money magazine recommends, or go with the diet that you've obeyed the best that day, you can't change training plans on a weekly or monthly basis.

Yet, that is just what will happen if you take the articles to heart: you'll switch plans. You'll switch because the first thing that will happen is the doubt that you can pull this off, that this plan is right for you. It happens on term papers, on novels, on investments, and certainly on a 16 week training plan. To compound the psychological effects, your body will be giving you feedback through all of the tough workouts, through all the pushing yourself a little further. Your body has to restructure itself to grow, and while that process should not cause excruciating pain, it will probably cause some discomfort.

Whether you're going from couch to 5k, training for your first half-marathon, or taking the plunge for your first marathon, stretching your limits is not comfortable. Stepping out of your comfort zone is how you grow. Revisiting that feeling, again and again, is how you excel.

If you're doing you first training for a specific distance, any plan that increases weekly mileage an average of 5% per week and mixes in different speed runs will work. Go fast once per week, go long once per week, and enjoy all of your runs.

Good luck.

Added from an @runtowin comment:

Some runner's magazines concentrate on local stories and are way better than the national ones anyway (New England Runner)