Negative splits on my 18 miler (streak day 92) #twit2fit

Last week, I ran a 16 miler in which I never got my legs under me.   My expected easy/long run pace is roughly 9:30 per mile, but I'm okay with 10 minute miles given the warmer weather. My result was a 10:19 pace for 16 miles, with the last few miles being a struggle to stay under 11 minutes.

This week's run started off slow (10:30 1st, 10 minutes for each of the next four miles). Starting about mile 8, I started hitting my stride, and finished with a nice, comfortable 9:42 average pace for the 18 mile run -- 2:54:43 for 18.03 miles.

Last weeks' run was roughly the same conditions as this weeks, but I made a few adjustments to get me a negative split (first half/second half):
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Change 1:
Two Fridays in a row with brutal afternoon conditions (~100'F Heat Index). Last week, I ran a 5-miler on Iroquois Hill in that nastiness. This week, I ran a 4.25 mile 2% treadmill run yesterday. Hydration and muscles were much better today.

Change 2:
Added the Camelbak Elixir electrolytes tabs this week... they're lemon-lime flavored with electrolytes but no sugar to mess up the Camelbak liner:

Change 3:
Last week was probably the first run in which I really needed to take in extra sugar before or during the run. I didn't take anything with me, and had to end up taking a detour to Wal-Mart (the gas station part) at mile 11 to get some orange juice.

This week, I got some Strawberry Banana GU and took them at miles 2.5, 6, 10.5, and 14. My normal pick is the Powerbar brand gels, but I thought I'd try the GU since it's a bit thicker. (By the way, this flavor was one of the nastiest gel flavors I've used of any brand, but it did the trick)

Course map:

RunningAHEAD - Strings_n_88keys's log: View Workout.

Using a crutch? Beating limitations #twit2fit

14 mile long run (14.58) in 2:20:20 (9:38 / mile)

A crutch fails:

I had yet another crutch fail on me for part of my run:  My Garmin Forerunner 305 lost signal in a low-lying area in the dense fog this morning.  It was less than 2 miles into my planned 14 mile long run, and I actually considered ditching the run because of my GPS.

Of course, I didn't.  Instead, I let the watch continue to run, assuming that I was just going to have to assume 10 minutes per mile, and run the run that way.  After about 1/2 mile of not having signal, I was back on one of my "normal" routes, and turned the GPS on and off, which enabled it to acquire GPS signal almost instantaneously.  For the next few miles, my watch was showing 5-6 minutes more than a 10 minute/mile pace for that distance would require, so I had to "let go" of where I really was with my run and just run.

I've already been trying to avoid using the watch for feedback during my runs the last week or so, and this experience just reinforces my interest in letting go, at least for planned routes--I need a basic wristwatch/stopwatch instead.

Other crutches of mine:

  • MP3 player (let go, at least for outdoors, due to having dead batteries in the middle of a run, and my wanting to run on more roads)
  • shoes - probably a permanent crutch, but I may barefoot run on a treadmill for extremely short distances to stengthen the muscles causing my feet to be so picky

No excuses:

My summer of running last year was challenging, but some of my worst moments involved blowing up on midday runs in July and August.  Wilting under excessive heat is one thing, but these meltdowns were on reasonably warm days.  My problem?  I had been doing either 6AM runs or running inside on the treadmill just because it was "too hot."  I've decided to tackle this problem head on by making an outdoor run for lunch time runs the primary option.  I not necessarily going to run outside if the temperature is near 100 or storms are approaching, but Louisville is temperate enough to run at midday for at least half of the summer.

Other excuses:

  • Kids (I take my son in the jogging stroller occasionally now, or run on the treadmill in the basement)
  • Time (I dropped out most of what little gaming I did.

RunningAHEAD - Strings_n_88keys's log: View Workout.

Happy National Running Day #twit2fit

Storms were rolling in this morning when I'd normally venture outside, so I hit the treadmill in the basement for 6 miles in 58:30 (9'45"/mile).  After the double runs yesterday (4.6 in the morning and 5.6 in 87 degree weather at lunch), this was a pretty rough run.

I can feel the injury pains finally working themselves out now and only the fatigue of running 40+ mile weeks and ramping up mileage remaining.

RunningAHEAD - Strings_n_88keys's log: View Workout.

Johnny's 5k Race Report #twit2fit

Congratulations to @LouisvilleSoup who broke 24 minutes as well.

I arrived close to 7 am at the Falls of the Ohio State Park, and ran a mile warm-up.  The air had felt chilly all morning until that point at around 60 degrees.

After finishing my warm-up, the air didn't feel so crisp and cool anymore, but it was still comfortable--probably about as warm I could stand for a medium distance race.  I lined up in the second row of people, maybe about 10-12 people wide, and took off like a bat out of hell for the first several hundred feet.  The first km split was at a 6'41" pace.  As far as I remember, from that point on, no one passed me.  I spent the rest of the race trying to catch up with people out in front of me.

By the fourth kilometer, I started to feel some fatigue and lost a little motivation to finish the job.  I tried focusing in on a guy who seemed to be pacing the perfect 5k race, and pushed myself to get past him.

With the finish clock in plain sight, I saw 20:45 heading into the corral.  I sprinted in for the finish at 20:59 (6'46" pace). 2nd3rd (received 2nd place medal) in my age group (30-39) out of 13, and 12th out of 141 in the field (no walkers included). See Overall results & Men's results.

Added: My previous PR was 21:41 (6'59" / mile). Interesting to see my 5k PRs over time.

For my recovery run:  Let's just say that Kao Pad Gra Prow (extra spicy) from Thai Siam is not a good idea the night before a race.

No excuses, legs! Quick two miler #twit2fit

Sunny, slightly breezy, and 71° F.  Seems like a horrible crime to do only 2 miles.  If not for the 5k tomorrow morning, I could have went out for at least 10.

I went out and tested my legs in my Mizuno Wave Rider 11s.  I've been holding back the last two days, to an almost painfully slow pace (11:13 pace Wednesday and 10:46 pace yesterday).  My goal tomorrow is sub-22.  However, with a couple EASY quick pickups, one close to a 6 minute pace, I feel that I can do far better that 22--I just have to convince the legs to play along.

RunningAHEAD - Strings_n_88keys's log: View Workout.

The Iroquois hill run and an 8-week streak #twit2fit

streaky8weeks

I ran the full hill on Iroquois park on Friday afternoon:  Sunny and mid-80s.  I had a sluggish start, but enjoyed being able to run in the near-summer temperatures after missing out on running most of last summer. The "real uphill" to the top never seems to give me any trouble, although it is somewhat tiring.

Distance: 7.54 miles
Duration: 1:11:52.92
Pace: 9:33 / mile

Today's run was back on the treadmill for the first time in 4 days, continuing the streak at 56 days. I added a long sleeve technical shirt to offset the effect of being under the air conditioning vent in the basement.
Distance: 7.35 miles
Duration: 1:11:46
Pace: 9:46 / mile

My new tactic. 1% treadmill run + -3% incline on cool-down #twit2fit

Streak day 51.  7.51 miles in 1:15:00.

For my last two runs on the treadmills at work, I've actually been using the "cool down" as an actual cool down.  I ran 1 mile in 10 minutes, then reset the treadmill (60 minute session limit) for another 60 minute session at 6.1 mph, at a 1% incline.

When the hour was finished, I jogged the cool down at a -3% incline.  Hopefully, this accomplishes two things:  1) actually gives my muscles a chance to cool down, 2) builds a little quad strength from the downhill running motion.  I've haven't had a major problem with my knees so far, so building up quad strength is not a primary concern, but I figure that any strengthening that I do can help keep it that way.

1 mile in 10 minutes at 1% incline (10'00")

6.08 miles in 1 hour at 1% incline (9'53")

0.43 mies in 5 minutes at -3% incline  (11'38")

RunningAHEAD - Strings_n_88keys's log: View course: 1% Precor 966i, -3% cool down.

25 weeks to go #twit2fit

The OBX marathon is on November 8, 2009.  That's 25 weeks away.  That's also a long way to go for someone who has not put 25 weeks of running together in over a year.

I just completed my first 40 mile week in over three months, finishing with a 6.9 mile run with the jogging stroller in in 1:07:53 (9:50/mile).  It was 60'F outside, sunny, and I was running uphill into a headwind for at least a half-mile of the run.

This also marks day 50 of my running streak.  From here on, I will need to increase carefully and consistently to meet my ultimate goal.  My current PR for a marathon is 3:39.  My second best time is 4:30.

RunningAHEAD - Strings_n_88keys's log: View Workout.

Week 7 of the streak and injury analysis #twit2fit

Start of week 7 of the streak

Given the usual madness of holiday weekends, I didn't think the streak would survive this onslaught, but I not only got a run in, I managed to hit my target distance of 6.4 miles.

Challenge #2:  I woke up with a stiff back.  Not a debilitating, keep me from walking, stiff back, but a stiff back and some back pain.  I used several tactics to attempt to work out the pain, and something must have clicked.  By the time of my 8PM run, the stiffness had worked itself out.  It's doing pretty well today.

I'm going for 6.5 miles today and 40 miles for this week.  After this week, I will probably be adjusting the pace of my mileage increase to avoid the injuries I've faced over the last 9 months.

Maybe.

I spent some time analyzing my 6-week and 12-week mileage averages (current week inclusive), compared to both my marathon times and current week's mileage (for injury).

Injuries happened:

  • Over 50 miles in a week when 6-week average was 28.5 mpw and 12-week average was 31 mpw (84% and 68% increase).
  • Over 60 miles in a week when 6-week average was 44.7 mpw and 12-week average was 39.5 mpw (36% and 54% increase).

Injury did not happen:

  • Over 60 miles in a week when 6-week average was 53.2 mpw and 12-week average was 46 mpw (13% and 31% increase).

I believe the answer lies in the average of the weeks 7-12 versus current week.

Marathon results:

  • PR (3:39) at 6-week 44.8 mpw, 12-week 46.1 mpw
  • Second best (4:30 - at Flying Monkey) 6-week 40.2 mpw, 12-week 31.1 mpw.
  • Third best (4:34 - first marathon) 6-week 41.4 mpw, 12-week 39 mpw.
  • Worst (4:42 - Hatfield-McCoy and sore leg muscles going into race) 6-week 35.2 mpw, 12-week 40 mpw.

RunningAHEAD - Strings_n_88keys's log: View Workout.