Sunday, September 24, 2006

Weekly Summary (18-24 Sep)

Next marathon: Charlotte Thunder Marathon (9Dec). That gives me 11 weeks of training, which should be ample time to get the legs used to marathon goal pace (5:59/mile).

I’m at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana and will be here for the next 3 weeks. The good thing is that I’m still able to put in my daily workouts. However, I’m already running out of places to run. The post itself (not the training area) is small. I’ve put in almost 70 miles over the last 5 days and ended up running the same route a couple times. I’m not complaining. I just wish there were some scenic routes or even trails like Fort Bragg. The scenery here at Polk consists of World War II barracks, long stretches of roads with no buildings or cars in sight, grass that probably hasn’t been cut for about 2 months, and if you’re lucky an Army soldier running a couple miles for physical training. But again, it’s Fort Polk.

Since I won’t be able to post a blog too often, I’ll provide a weekly summary of how my training is going.

Monday: 10 miles easy at Fort Bragg. (1:06:36)

Tuesday: Did not run; traveled to Fort Polk, LA

Wednesday: 11.4 miles with 10 x :30 @ 3k pace (1’ recovery). (1:15:37)

Thursday: Easy run. 9.2 miles (1:03:05)

Friday: AM: 12 miles with a couple miles at marathon pace. (1:22:40) PM: easy 6 mile shakeout run (43:21)

Saturday: Easy run; 9 miles (1:02:20)

Sunday: 20.2 miles; long, steady run; (2:15:23)

Total: 77+ miles; 7 runs/6 days

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Richmond or Charlotte???

I've narrowed down my marathon choices to Richmond Marathon (11 Nov) and Charlotte's Thunder Road Marathon (9 Dec). Either one, I'll be prepared.

My fitness has not diminished even though I've missed 15 days of running since August. Actually, I really think it has improved a bit. This morning's 15 miler felt easy and comfortable from start to finish. The first mile was the slowest at 6:56. As the run went on the pace kept decreasing, but the effort felt the same. That's always a good sign. I averaged 6:46 pace for the first 8 miles, 6:30 for the next 6 miles and then finished off the workout with a 5:56 last mile.

Two to three months is a lot of time to put the finishing touch on marathon training. The plan for now is to build strength and stamina. As I get closer to the marathon I'll begin to put in the longer long runs with 40% of it at race pace. The goal is sub-6:00/miles. When that's accomplished I'll become a sub-2:30 chaser like Mike and his crew.

Today's Run: 1:39:47 (15.1M) - 6:36 pace

Saturday, September 16, 2006

It feels great to run again

It's been about 2 weeks since I last posted. It has also been that long since I put in consistent runs. I've been doing a lot of training the last couple weeks, just not the type of training you're thinking of. Instead of training on the roads, track, & trails, I've been doing Army training in the woods. It's been fun, busy, and tiring. No showers for about a week, a few hours (3-5 hrs) of sleep a night, sounds of heavy weapons and artillery, and MREs (Meal Ready-to-Eat) for daily chow..... the fun Army life.

Well, enough of my Army life. This is a running blog. I got out this morning and couldn't believe the weather. Mid-60s... wow! Perfect running weather. I keep forgetting that the fall season is just about here. Since I only put in about 25 miles over the past 2 weeks, the plan this morning was to go for an easy 7-8 miles. I ran on the Cape Fear River Trail, which was filling up with walkers and joggers. It was nice to see people out getting in their exercise. As I stepped off I could feel that the legs were fresh but a bit rusty. The CFR trail has markers at every half-mile, which would give me a good idea of pace. I came across the first mile in 6:54 and thought it might be a little off. I was expecting to hit mile 1 somewhere around 7:05-7:15. The 2nd & 3rd mile was 6:50 & 6:40. Feeling good, I ended up running 4.5m out & back with the last couple miles at 6:00 pace. I was under 60 minutes when I got back from the trail so I ended up running a little more to get to an hour. When my watch read 1 hour I decided to run a bit more to get to 70 minutes. It was a wonderful feeling to run again.

The picture above is the second page of the 2006 Freescale Austin Marathon results book. It was cool to see my picture in it. In fact, the results book has 5 different shots of me in it. No, I didn't pay the camera man. It just must have been my luck day (this was the day of my marathon PR - 2:38:18). The runners behind and on the side of me are the elite females runners. I was able to run faster than all but 4 of them.

Today's Run: 1:10:20 (10.7 miles - 6:34 pace)

Friday, September 01, 2006

Weekly summary

Here's an update of how the week went so far.

Monday: The alarm sounded at 4am and I layed in bed debating whether I should sleep in or get my lazy ass up and run. If I sleep in then I know I'll regret it the entire day. Of course, I ended up running. Went for an easy 7.5 miles. I wanted to run around 9-10 miles, but time wasn't on my side. The legs felt a little tired and heavy, probably from the last couple days. (52:02)

Tuesday: Ran 11 miles with a fartlek workout (10 x :30 w/ 1' recovery) in the middle. It felt great to get in some leg-speed. I always think that this is not much of a workout, but I'm always toast afterwards. Part of the workout is that I don't take the recovery too easy. I usually stay around 7:15-7:30 for the recovery. (1:14:03)

Wednesday: Easy recovery run. I got off from work very late last night (10pm) and only got in about 4.5 hours of sleep. I was feeling very tired so I only ran 7 miles (49:07)

Thursday: I didn't do much because I had to conduct my company's Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT). The APFT consists of 2 minutes of push-ups, 2 minutes of sit-ups, and a 2-mile run. It is a good test of your physical fitness. Since I entered the Army, I have never scored lower than a 365 on the APFT extended scale. The max score is a 300 (100 in each event), but you can score higher if you do more pushups, situps, or run faster than the maximum according to your age group category. You can only score over a 300 if you max each event first.
On my last PT test, I accomplished my ultimate APFT goal of scoring over a 400 (scored a 402). I did 124 pushups, 108 situps, and ran a 10:20 2-mile. That's an average of 1 pushup/second, almost 1 situp/second, and a 5:10 pace. I can say i'm proud to be a part of the 400 club. I'm not sure who are in it, but I know there are only a few. My next APFT goal is to score over 400, but with a sub-10:00 2-mile. Running sub-10 may seem easy, but try running it immediately following 2 minutes of situps. The situps kills your quads that you almost feel like you have no strength.

Friday: Today is the start of a 4-day weekend before going to the field for 10 days. I actually slept in today to catch up for all the lack of sleep during the week. I ran 7+ miles this morning at a comfortable pace and then 4+ miles easy in the afternoon. The weather was awesome, thanks to Ernesto. High 60s and overcast. I plan to run a 7 Mile race (mostly trails & a little pavement) tomorrow in Charlotte (NC). I just feel the need to get out and enjoy the racing scenery again. It's also great just to be around other runners. I will see what my fitness is like tomorrow. I'm not shooting any PR since its mostly trails. I'll let you all know how it goes. (am: 50:32; pm: 31)