Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Cross / 21-27 Dec

Celebrating Boxing Day or what is more commonly known as the 2nd Christmas Day in the Netherlands, I opted to run Kerstcross (Christmas Cross 10K) with my German training partners, Jurgen and Boris.  I intended to run the cross country race as a tempo training run and not at full race effort, because only by Friday I felt that I had recovered from Mescherbergloop.

The race was held in the Brunssumerhiede, which is where Jurgen and I put in most of our runs during the work week.  The course consisted of 2 small loops and 2 large loops.  When the gun went off I immediately found myself in about 15th place. I held back in the first small loop knowing how difficult the course was, and that I'll slowly reel in runners as the race progressed.  I picked off a couple runners on the 2nd loop, but it was the 3rd loop (1st large loop) in which I caught and overtook many runners, mostly on the hills.  On the 4th and final loop I saw the yellow shirt of Dutchman Roger Rousseau and my German friend Boris.  I realized that I had been running fairly good when finally I had these guys in sight.  Unfortunately, their lead on me increased over the last mile as they were battling for 3rd place.  I finished in 5th overall with a time of 36:53, which is irrelevant in a tough course like this one. All in all, it was a good and fun day for our training group as Jurgen, Boris and I took 1st, 3rd and 5th place overall, respectively.

Next race on the schedule is the New Year's Eve 8K race (Trier Silvesterlauf) in Trier, Germany.  I will be pacing Haile Gebrselassie through the first 50 meters of the race. 

21-27 Dec

Mon: 9.2M easy; sore quads - ouch!
Tues: 8.5M easy; still sore
Wed: 9.5M easy; still a bit sore
Thur: 10M easy
Fri: 10M easy
Sat: Kerstcross 10K - 36:53 5th place; 10.5 miles total
Sun: 14.8M easy

Weekly Total: 72.5 miles

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pre-race coverage of Haile Gebrselassie at the 2009 Berlin Marathon

Watch the pre-race video clips of Haile if you have some spare time.  Some great insights of special instructions to his pace makers, what Haile eats the morning of raceday, etc.  There are many clips (click on Menu or let it automatically run into the next clip).

Haile pre-race coverage at 2009 Berlin Marathon

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

14 - 20 Dec

On Sunday I did a trail/XC race (Mescherbergloop 15K) in the snow, which was a first and by far the most difficult and fun race of the year. It's the same race I did last year in which I wore road racing shoes on the muddy course. I certainly did not make the same mistake. This time around I wore the La Sportiva Crosslite, which I highly suggest if you're looking for a lightweight trail or XC shoe that gives excellent traction.

The course itself was grueling with lots of steep uphills and downhills, uneven surfaces (plowed farmlands) and 180 wooden stairs to climb. Throw in the snow and you could only imagine how difficult the run was. I ended up running 5 minutes slower (1:01:50) than I did last year (56:41) and placed 9th overall in what was a very strong field of runners.  The race got the best of my quads and now I'm spending these next few days doing easy running to recover.

Here's the training summary for the week of 14-20 Dec.

Mon: 10M easy
Tues: Noon - 5M easy; PM - 9M including 15 x 300 w/ 100 rec.
Wed: 10M easy
Thur: 10M easy
Fri: 9M with the last mile at half-marathon effort
Sat: 7M easy
Sun: 15K trail/XC race in the snow; 13M total

Weekly Total: 73 miles

Sunday, December 13, 2009

7 - 13 Dec

Check out this running clip. I'm not sure if that's his normal running form, if he was suffering (sure looks like), or if he was psyching himself out. All I can say is that's some unique running style. A 2:16 marathoner....maybe we should give it a try.

7-13 Dec

Mon: Noon - 5M easy; PM - 5M easy
Tues: 9M including track workout 4x200 + 2x400 + 1x800 + 2x400 + 4x200 w/ same distance for recovery
Wed: 9M easy
Thur: 9M easy
Fri: 10M including 2M tempo + 1M easy + 1M tempo.
Sat: 9M easy
Sun: 16M steady easy including 10 x :30 @ ~5k pace w/ 1' easy

Weekly Total: 72 miles

Sunday, December 06, 2009

30 Nov - 6 Dec

Congrats to friend and fellow All-Army runner Kenny Foster, who ran 2:23:04 at the California International Marathon.  It was a 7-minute PR for Kenny.  Wow!!!

Good week of training.  Still working on the base fitness.

30 Nov - 6 Dec

Mon: 8.5M easy
Tues: 9M including 1600 (5:19), 1400 (4:37), 1200 (3:51), 1000 (3:11)
Wed: 9M easy
Thur: 9.5M including 2.5 miles at tempo effort
Fri: Noon - 3.75M easy; PM - 7.25M easy
Sat: 9M easy
Sun: 15.5M steady easy

Weekly Total: 71.5 miles

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

23 - 29 Nov

Here's last week of training. 

Mon: 8.2M easy
Tues: 8.3M easy
Wed: 10M including 6 x (2 x 200 w/200 rec + 1 x 400 w/ 400 rec)
Thur: 9M easy
Fri: 10M including 4 miles at tempo effort; very windy
Sat: 8.5M easy
Sun: 15M steady easy

Weekly Total: 69 miles

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Building some speed

Good track session tonight, my first one in about 6 weeks.  Trying to build some speed and leg-turnover, so I did 200s and 400s.  The workout was 6 sets of 2 x 200 + 1 x 400 with 200 recovery and 400 recovery between sets. 

200 / 200 / 400
:34 / :37 / 1:14
:36 / :36 / 1:13
:35 / :34 / 1:13
:35 / :34 / 1:12
:34 / :35 / 1:10
:33 / :33 / 1:11

Today: 10M including 6 sets of 2 x 200 + 1 x 400
Tues: 8.3M easy
Mon: 8.2M easy

Sunday, November 22, 2009

16-22 Nov

The aerobic fitness is coming back quickly.  This week I put in at least an hour long of running each day.   All runs were at an easy pace with a few strides and a fast-finish to get some turnover in the legs. 

16-22 Nov

Mon: 8M @ 7:03 pace
Tues: 9M including 10 x :30 w/ 1' easy
Wed: 9M @ 6:53 pace
Thur: 9M @ 7:03 pace
Fri: 9M @ 6:50 pace; last 10' at half-marathon effort
Sat: 8M @ 6:57 pace w/ 6 strides
Sun: 14.5M @ 6:55 pace

Weekly Total: 66.5 miles

Monday, November 16, 2009

Just Running

After taking a couple weeks off (okay, not quite a full two weeks, but it felt like it), I'm back to my normal self donning the Asics 2140's and hitting the trails for some easy runs.  No hard workouts or races planned yet, just easy running to establish a good base. 

9-15 Nov

Mon: DNR
Tues: 7M easy
Wed: 8M easy
Thur: 9M easy
Fri: 8M easy
Sat: 8M easy
Sun: 13M easy

Weekly Total: 53 miles

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Taking it easy

I tried to take 2 complete weeks off from running, but that was easier said than done.  However, I did make it to 10 consecutive days of no running.  On days 11-14 I got in 20-30 minutes of very easy running.   With the exception of some tightness and a knotty feeling in the right hamstring, the legs and body feel great.  The plan for now is to slowly build my base. 

Here are some race photos.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Marine Corps Marathon - Race Report

In case you're wondering or if you haven't checked the results yet, I ran a 2:41:33 at the Marine Corps Marathon and Armed Forces Marathon Championship.  Army took 3rd Place.  Air Force (1st) and Navy (2nd) both put together a very strong team.  Air Force had their top 4 runners all under 2:30 (team results here) and Navy had the overall race winner of 2:21. 

It's true when they say the marathon is 2 races, a 20 mile run and then a 10k race.  I put in a good first 20 miles and then just fell apart big time in the last 10K.  I'm not sure what really happened.  The wheels just fell off after I hit the 20M mark.  I never cramped up in the last 10K, but my legs did feel like I was carrying 10 pound leg weights.  It could be either that the few up and downhills early in the race took the legs out, or my body and legs just wasn't fully recovered from Berlin.  Probably a combination of both. 

My race plan was to go out slightly slower than Berlin for the 1st half, about 5:54-5:56 pace, and then slightly increase the pace later in the race if I was feeling good.  I did exactly that.  I reached 10K in 36:54 (5:56 pace), 15K in 55:05 (5:55 pace) and the halfway mark in 1:17:16 (5:54 pace).  I think what went wrong for me is that I increased the pace a little too much following the halfway mark.  I ran miles 14-18 at 5:56, 5:52, 5:46, 5:51, and 5:50 pace.  At 20 miles, my time was 1:57:57 (5:54 pace and on track for a 2:34 marathon).  Not long after I hit the 20M marker, the legs started to feel like bricks.  No more sub-6:00 pace for me.  I ran 6:10-6:35 pace for miles 21-23.  I told myself that if I can just hold 6:30 pace for the last 3 miles than I could still salvage a decent marathon.  Of course that didn't happen.  I struggled through the last 3.2 miles in 24.15 (7:35 pace) and finished with my slowest time since 2005 (not including Grandmas which I did as a long run).  I'm still very happy with my overall race despite the substandard time.  Here are my splits:

Distance / Time / Split
5K 18:16
10K 36:54 (18:38)
15K 55:05 (18:11)
20K 1:13:15 (18:10)
Half 1:17:16
25K 1:31:28 (18:13)
30K 1:49:42 (18:14)
35K 2:09:02 (19:20)
40K 2:30:58 (21:56)
Finish 2:41:33

It's now time to rest and fully recover from 4 marathons in a year's period (Oct '08 - Oct '09).  No running for at least a full week, maybe two. 

Amsterdam Marathon (19Oct08) 2:35:37
Hamburg Marathon (26Apr09) 2:34:33
Berlin Marathon (20Sep09) 2:34:06
Marine Corps Marathon (25Oct09) 2:41:33

Sunday, October 18, 2009

1 Week till MCM

A week from today I'll be running in the Marine Corps Marathon.  It will be my 2nd marathon within a 5-week period.  The number of weeks between marathons is not something I found easy to deal with.  In fact, 5 weeks is barely enough to get in a complete marathon recovery and then get ready for the next marathon.  If I was running the 2nd marathon just to finish, then I'd say 5 weeks is certainly enough.  However, I'm not putting on an Army singlet to stroll through the streets of our capital.  I'm going to give everything I got on raceday, just like I did in Berlin, Hamburg, Amsterdam, etc.....

The week of training/tapering has gone okay for the most part.  After Tuesday night's track session, I started to feel a little pain on the outside of my right knee.  I initially thought I was coming up with an Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), which I experienced back in Spring '06.  I took Wednesday off to give it some rest and then tried running on Thursday.  It turned out that the slight pain was actually just below and outside of the knee on the top of Peroneus Longus muscle, mainly some tightness.  I took the rest of the week easy knowing that there's not much fitness I can gain from here on out. 

12-18 Oct

Mon: 4M very easy
Tues: 9M including 6 x 800 (2:33, 2:30, 2:30, 2:31, 2:27, 2:27) + 1 x 400 (1:11)
Wed: DNR
Thur: 5M @ 7:15 pace
Fri: 5M @ 7:12 pace with 5 x strides
Sat: 5M @ 7:00 pace with last mile slightly faster than MP; 5 x strides
Sun: 13M @ 6:53 pace

Weekly Total: 41 miles

Monday, October 12, 2009

Think positive

If Sammy Wanjiru can still be happy after running 1:41 slower in the 2nd half of the Chicago Marathon, then there's no reason for me not to be happy with my 1:26 positive split in Berlin.  But again, he has all the reasons to be happy.  At the age of 22, the guy has ran 4 marathons, won all 4 of them, ran a record in each of them (3 course records and olympic games record), and received $100,000 bonus for one second.  Impressive! 

Speaking of impressive, my Dutch female friend Inge Van Bergen ran an impressive race at the Eindhoven Marathon on Sunday.  She ran a personal best of 2:44:07 placing 4th overall and was the 1st female Dutch runner.  It was a huge PR for her and great acheivement considering she was injured most of the Spring season.  Looks like my fellow Dutch training partners and I are going to have some cake and coffee from Inge after tomorrow night's track workout.  Oops, I actually still have to bring my share for acheiving a PR in Berlin. 

Today: 4M very easy

Sunday, October 11, 2009

2 Weeks till MCM

Today was my first long run since Berlin Marathon and my first/last one for Marine Corps Marathon.  I ran 17 miles at a comfortable steady pace, averaging 6:43 pace for the run.  There were a few miles in the middle of the run when the pace dropped to 6:30/mile.  When it did I forced myself to back off to ensure I wasn't pushing beyond long run pace.  Two weeks to go for the US Armed Forces Marathon Championship, which is in conjunction with MCM.   

5-11 Oct
Mon: DNR; core exercise
Tues: Noon - 4M @ 7:02 pace; PM - 9M including ladder of 300 to 700m
Wed: 10M @ 6:56 pace
Thur: 6M @ 7:07 pace
Fri: 9M including 4-mile tempo in 23:03 (5:46, 5:49, 5:45, 5:43)
Sat: 6M @ 7:01 pace
Sun: 17M @ 6:43 pace

Weekly Total: 61 miles

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Waking up the legs

I continue to feel pretty good and optimistic about MCM (Marine Corps Marathon), .  Did an easy 6 miles with strides on Wednesday and then 9 miles with the middle 4 slightly faster than marathon pace yesterday.  The purpose of yesterday's workout was to wake up the legs and remind them what faster pace running felt like.  I ran the 4 miles slower than tempo in 23:03 (5:46, 5:49, 5:45, 5:43).  The workout felt quite easy that I considered extending it to 5 or 6 miles.  I was smart enough though and stopped at the planned 4 miles.  An easy 6 today and 16 tomorrow wraps up a 60-mile week. 

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Signs of life in the legs

After taking Monday completely off from running, I did an easy 4 miles during lunch on Tuesday, and then hit the track later that night to get some turnover in the legs.  I did a ladder workout of 300 to 700 (200 rec) with my friend Paul.  The workout went surprisingly well and the turnover felt smooth.  Today, I did an easy 10 miles on trails.  I expected some heaviness or fatigue in the legs, but none at all.  This is not only a positive sign of how quicly my legs recovered from Berlin, but also a confidence booster that the fitness is still high. 

300 - "55
400 - 1:14
500 - 1:35
600 - 1:52
700 - 2:13
700 - 2:14
600 - 1:53
500 - 1:31
400 - 1:10
300 - :51

Mon: DNR; core exercises
Tues: Noon - 4M @ 7:02 pace; PM - 9M including ladder of 300 to 700m.
Wed: 10M @ 6:56 pace

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Week 2 Recovery

Week 2 recovery is complete. I'd say I'm about 85% fully recovered. The legs and cardio almost feel like they're back to normal.  I think by the time I toe the line in DC I'll be somewhere close to pre-Berlin race fitness. Here's the last 2 weeks of recovery.

28 Sep - 4 Oct
Mon: 3.2M @ 7:40 pace; lots of core exercises
Tues: 6M @ 7:14 pace
Wed: 8M @ 6:52 pace
Thur: DNR; cross train and core exer.
Fri: 8M @ 6:53 pace
Sat: 5M @ 7:00 pace
Sun: 12M @ 6:53 pace

Weekly Total: 42.2 miles

21-27 Sep
Mon: DNR
Tues: DNR
Wed: DNR
Thur: 4M very easy
Fri: 3.5M very easy
Sat: 5M @ 7:15 pace
Sun: 8.2M @ 7:25 pace

Weekly Total: 20.7 miles

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Recovery & Next Race

Thanks to all who provided comments on my Berlin Marathon result and race report. A few comments mentioned the temperature and heat as a factor. I agree to a certain extent. However, I wouldn't use it as an excuse or reason for my not finishing strong.

Recovery is going extremely well. All the walking after the race and following day contributed to the legs only feeling sore for a couple days. Last week, I took 3 complete days off from running before going on a 30 minute slow jog. Runs of 27, 36 and 60 minutes wrapped up week 1 of recovery. Today was an easy 6 miles on trails with the legs feeling great. The rest of the week will continue to be easy running with a planned day off on Thursday.

My next race, as listed on the right, will be the Marine Corps Marathon on 25 October. I'll be running in the Army Team as part of the Armed Forces Marathon Championships.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Berlin Marathon - Race Report

Sorry it has taken a while to get the race report posted.  Here it is. 

PreRace: In the early morning I got in a good breakfast and then relaxed in the hotel lobby until I was ready to hop onto the shuttle bus to the start. I watched runners as they all walked by excited to hit the streets of Berlin.  The bus took us on a 20 minute ride from the hotel to the runners drop-off point.  Once out of the bus, I followed the herd of runners to the baggage drop-off tents, which seemed like a mile away.  I found a spot near my baggage tent, where I relaxed, stretched, and pondered at the task ahead.  About 40 minutes till the start of the race I made my way to Coral B, which was designated for 2:20-2:50 marathoners.  It was a good thing I went to my coral early because there were a ton of runners within the range of 2:20-2:50.  (According to the results, there were 502 runners that finished under 2:51 - unbelievable)

Race: When the gun went off I was cautious not to start too fast due to the excitement. I ran comfortably and reached the 1K mark in 3:36 (5:48 pace), a second or two/km faster than my planned goal pace. So, what was goal pace? Well, I decided a few months ago, based on training, that marathon goal pace would be 3:37-38/km or 5:49-51/mile.  The plan all along was to give it my all.  Run a gutsy race with even or negative splits.  Reaching the halfway mark in 1:17 plus, like I did in my last two marathons, was out of the question and never crossed my mind.  With the exception of the 2nd km (3:36), I ran the next 3ks right at goal pace and crossed the 5K timing mat in 18:00 flat.  My 5K split was about 12 seconds too fast, but I was okay with it because I was now running goal pace.  However, that didn't last long because I only slowed 2 seconds over the next 5 kilometers.  10K split was 36:02 (sub-2:32 marathon pace). 

From 11 - 20K I ran tactically.  The pace during this 10km segment was a little inconsistent because I was surging in some areas to catch runners up ahead when others couldn't hold the pace.  At one point, around 12K, one runner who was drafting off of me for a good period of time decided to come to the front to do some of the pacing.  I was fine and happy with that; however, he ended up setting a slower pace.  He knew it when we reached one of the markers and apologized to me.  I told him it was okay and then took off to make up some of the lost time.  My 3rd 5K split (11-15K) was in 18:07 (3:37, 7:26 (12-13K), 3:26, 3:38) and the 4th (16-20K) in 18:16 (3:40, 7:18 (17-18K), 3:39, 3:39).  I crossed the half-marathon mark in 1:16:20 (3:37/km or 5:49 pace). 

After the halfway mark, I was still running strong at goal pace.  I went through the 25K mark in 1:30:34 (18:09 5k split - 5:51 pace) and the 30K in 1:48:40 (18:06 5k split - 5:50 pace).  Following the 30K, I still felt good and was working with another runner.  We clicked off splits of 3:37, 3:35, & 3:38 for the next 3ks (31-33K).  I then began to slow a little over the next couple kilometers with splits of 3:43 & 3:44, which brought me to an 18:17 5k split (5:53 pace) at 35K.  The runner I was working with for most of the 2nd half now had about a 10 meter gap on me.  I told myself that if I can just catch up to him, then he'll pull me at least through the next couple kilometers.  I fought hard and was able to catch up to him with a 3:38 split (36K).  My time at 36K was 2:10:35, which was still sub-2:33 pace. Unfortunately, that last push was all I could manage and my goal of a 2:32-2:33 marathon was about to slip away.

Splits 37-40K were 3:49, 3:43, 3:49 & 3:47. The last 5k segment (36-40K) was 18:46 (3:45/km or 6:02 pace).  When I reached the 40K mark in 2:25:43, I knew I had to dig deep if I wanted to lower my PR.  At 42K, I crossed the Brandenburg Gate, which was an electrifying feeling, and could see the finish line just 200 meters ahead.  With about 100-150 meters to go I saw the clock ticking at 2:33.4x.  I then gave all the remaining effort I had left, but sadly watched the clock roll over to 2:34.  Official net time was 2:34:06. You can view my splits here or below, official results here and video clips here

Also, here is a news article that was published in one of the papers in Guam. 
Here are my 5K splits:

5 km 00:18:00
10 km 00:36:02
15 km 00:54:09
20 km 01:12:25
Half 01:16:20
25 km 01:30:34
30 km 01:48:40
35 km 02:06:57
40 km 02:25:43

Overall: 98
Gender Place: 91
Age Group: 25
Gun Time: 02:34:08
Net Tiime: 02:34:06

Thanks to all who were following my race and cheering me on.  You all rock!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Berlin here I come

Less than 4 days to go and I'm already feeling the marathon nerves.  The good thing is that I'm feeling a lot more confident after my last couple runs.  On Tuesday I did my tune-up workout of 4 x 1K on a dirt track during lunch.  I was accompanied by my good friend and coworker Jurgen, who volunteered to serve as a pacer for the workout.  I told him 3:15-18 was the planned splits for the 1K.  He ended up taking me through in 3:13, 3:11, 3:11, & 3:11.  I felt quite good and light in the legs.  This workout is probably what my legs and body needed after feeling stale on Sunday and Monday's run. Today was an easy 6-miler and the legs again felt good and light. 

All that remains is a couple short easy runs, carbo-loading and lots of rest.  My next post will most likely be on late Sunday.  Thanks to all who continue to follow my blog and provide comments.

Today: 6M @ 7:06 pace
Tues: 9.3M including 4 x 1K w/ 200 rec.
Mon: 4.2M @ 7:18 pace

Sunday, September 13, 2009

One week to go

My legs and body always seem to feel sluggish at some point during marathon taper.  I imagine that this is normal due to the significant decrease in mileage after weeks and months of hard training.  On Friday's tempo interval workout I felt pretty good.  However, in today's 13-mile run with my friend Jurgen, I never felt comfortable and interested in the run.  I'll call it a case of marathon taper syndrome. 

7-13 September

Mon: 6M @ 7:18 pace
Tues: AM - 4M including APFT 2M in 10:32; PM - 6M easy with no timing
Wed: 6.2M @ 7:14 pace
Thur: 6M @ 7:02 pace
Fri: 10M including 3 x 2K w/ 400 rec + 3 x 200 w/ 200 rec; (2K: 6:50, 6:39, 6:34; 200m: 33, 34, 34)
Sat: 6M @ 6:57 pace
Sun: 13M @ 6:39 pace
Weekly Total: 57.2 miles

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


I did an Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) today and realized that I'm in better muscular endurance fitness than what I initially had thought.  I did 116 pushups, 97 situps and ran the 2-mile in 10:32 for a total score of 381.  The 116 pushups and 97 situps were about 3-5 repititions short of my usual average in an APFT.  That's actually not bad at all considering I have not done much muscular endurance training in the past 2-3 months because of the focus on marathon training.

On the other hand, the 10:32 for 2-mile was also sort of an unexpected result.  Before the start of the run my grader/scorekeep asked me what time I expect to finish the 2-mile.  I told her between 11:00 - 11:30.  I had no intentions of running at full effort (and I didn't) because I'm currently tapering for Berlin.  From start to finish I ran comfortably hard and fairly relaxed.  I completed the first loop in 5:20 (course was 2 loops of 1-Mile) feeling very good.  In the 2nd and last loop I might have picked up the pace at some point because I finished 8 seconds faster in 5:12.

Mon: 6M @ 7:18 pace
Tues: AM - 4M including APFT 2M in 10:32; PM - 6M easy with no timing

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Taper/Peak Phase Begins

It's a great feeling to know all the hard work is done.  Now it's time to cut back on training and allow the body and muscles to rebuild to peak strength. 

31 Aug - 06 Sep

Mon: Noon - 6M @ 7:00 pace; PM - 4M @ 7:09 pace
Tues: Noon - 5M @ 7:06 pace; PM - 10M including 8 x 600m+ 4 x 200m
Wed: Noon - 4M @ 7:23 pace; PM - 9M @ 7:00 pace
Thur: 7M @ 7:10 pace
Fri: 14M w/ 10 at MP; 10M - 57:50 (5:47 pace or 3:36/km)
Sat: 6M @ 7:09 pace
Sun: 20M @ 6:39 pace

Weekly Total: 85 miles

Friday, September 04, 2009

16 days to go

With the exception of the sudden change in weather (chilly, windy and rainy), the week has gone very well. I did easy runs on Mon, Wed, & Thur, a stamina/fartlek workout on Tuesday and a marathon pace workout today. To complete this (R-2) week I'll do an easy run on Sat, then my last long run of 20 miles on Sun. From Monday on I'll be tapering to hit the streets of Berlin.

Key Workouts of the week

Tuesday's workout was 8 x 600 + 4 x 200, all with 200m easy for recovery. I had planned to run the 600s in 2' flat, which never happened. Splits ended up at 1:58, :58, :56, :56, :54, :55, :55, & :54. The 200s were in 34, 34, 33, & 32 seconds.

Today's workout was 14 miles with 10M @ marathon pace, or what I think feels somewhat like marathon pace. As usual, I ran on the track to split my mile splits (1600m to be exact). I ran the 10M in 57:50 (5:47 pace or 3:36/km), 2 seconds faster than the same workout 5 weeks ago. Was quite happy with the result of the workout considering the windy conditions. In the last mile I intentionally picked up the pace to simulate a strong finish. Hopefully that will be the case on raceday (highly doubt it though). Here are the splits.

# - Split Time (1600m)
1 - 5:46
2 - 5:49
3 - 5:47
4 - 5:45
5 - 5:46
6 - 5:44
7 - 5:46
8 - 5:43
9 - 5:45
10 - 5:39
- 0:20

10 Miles - 57:50 (5:47 pace or 3:36/km)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

24-30 August; 3 Weeks till Berlin

It was a good week of training with 3 key workouts and 90+ miles. Tuesday was a 10k progression run, Friday was tempo intervals of 4 x 3K at half-marathon pace and today was a long hard 20 miles at about 20 seconds slower than marathon pace.

Friday's run was tough. There was almost no motivation before the warmup and it was very windy. Planned pace for the 3K tempo intervals was 3:27-28/km or 5:33-35/mi. I was right on target for the first two, but a little too fast on the last two. 3K splits were:

10:21 (3:27/km or 5:33/mi)
10:21 (3:27/km or 5:33/mi)
10:16 (3:25/km or 5:30/mi)
10:10 (3:23/km or 5:27/mi)

This morning's long run was also a tough one. 20 miles consisting of a mile warmup, 18 at MP +:20 per mile (~6:10 pace), and then concluding with a cooldown mile. I ran the first 9 (miles 2-10) in 55:29 averaging 6:10 pace. The 2nd 9 (miles 11-19) was in 53:53 (5:59 pace), maybe a little too fast than I wanted. Average pace for the entire run was 6:09.


24-30 August

Mon: Noon - 6M @ 7:02 pace; PM - 5M @ 7:10 pace
Tues: Noon - 5M @ 7:10 pace; PM - 10.5M with 10k progression run in 35:14
Wed: Noon - 6M @ 7:04 pace; PM - 9M @ 6:57 pace
Thur: Noon - 6M @ 7:07 pace; PM - 6.5M @ 7:15 pace
Fri: 13M including 4 x 3K @ 1/2-marathon pace w/ 3' easy rec; splits - 10:21, 10:21, 10:16, 10:10
Sat: 7M @ 6:59 pace
Sun: 20M @ 6:09 pace

Weekly Total: 94 miles

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

25 August

10K progression run on the track this evening. Started out at appoximate marathon pace then slowly accelerated down to around 10k pace. Splits were 5:47, 5:49, 5:41, 5:38, 5:34, 5:25, and 1:20 (400m). 10K in 35:14 (5:40 pace). Mile 2 turned out to be slower than the first, because my mind was somewhere else. I got back on track and had no problems accelerating the pace for the remainder of the workout. The run was good and I felt like I still had a lot in reserve.

Noon - 5M @ 7:10 pace
PM - 10.5M with 10k progression run in 35:14

Desiree Davila's marathon (2:27:53) at the World Championships was very inspiring. Besides Deena and Kara, she is the only American woman to break 2:30 since 2007. Her half splits were 1:14:21 and 1:13:32. The awesome thing about her marathon, aside from the fast time and negative splits, is that she ran her own race and knew what she was capable of running. Now, only if we can all execute a marathon like hers.

Monday, August 24, 2009

24 August

Michael commented on my last post with a couple questions. Instead of answering them on the comments section, I've decided to reply to it as a post entry.

How are you feeling about your preparation?
- I couldn't be happier with the way my preparation and marathon training has gone for the upcoming Berlin Marathon. However, I probably said the same thing in my last two marathon training. It's really tough to say because when I'm feeling fit it'll always be easy to say preparation is going much better than the last time. I think a couple ways to tell is by comparing workouts between this marathon trainup and previous ones, and/or comparing race results. I won't go into the details of comparing workouts and race results, but I'd say that this marathon trainup has shown some improvement in fitness.

- Another reason I'm feeling good about my preparation is that I've been injury-free and healthy during the entire trainup. When I ran my PB (personal best) in Hamburg I came off an injury and decided to run Hamburg only 8 weeks out from the race. It was probably a 12-week trainup because I had a good 4 weeks of consistent training before I decided on Hamburg. Compared to Hamburg, Berlin's trainup is a full 18 weeks with no interruptions from injury or health (knocking on wood).

Do you think this will be a PB run?
For an answer, please refer to the last two sentences of a previous post.

Today: Noon - 6M @ 7:02 pace; PM - 5M @ 7:10 pace

Sunday, August 23, 2009

23 August

Steady 24 miles this morning. With the exception of the first couple miles (body & legs were still asleep), I felt very good and cruised along for 2 hours and 37 minutes. Averaged 6:46 pace for the first 12 miles and 6:19 for the 2nd half. The run ended a 95-mile week.

I watched the World Championship Marathon (Men and Women) the last couple mornings on EuroSport. It was very inspiring, especially seeing and hearing the thunderous cheers each time the runners crossed the Brandenburg Gate. Can't wait to experience it in four weeks.

16-23 August

Mon: AM - 5M @ 7:22 pace; PM - 6M @ 7:07 pace
Tues: 11M @ 6:55 pace including 10 x :30 w/ 1' easy
Wed: AM - 5M @ 7:00 pace; PM - 10.2M @ 6:43 pace
Thur: AM - 5M @ 7:04 pace; PM - 9M @ 6:52 pace
Fri: 13.5M including 10 x 1k (3:21, :21, :21, :19, :20, :20, :20, :19, :19, & 3:18) w/ 200m rec
Sat: 6.6M @ 7:12 pace
Sun: 24M @ 6:33 pace

Weekly Total: 95.3 miles

Friday, August 21, 2009

21 August

The middle of the week here in Holland was very warm compared to the normal summer. Temps reached low to mid-90s on Wednesday and Thursday. Today was a whole lot better with the high only peaking at 75 degrees. It made for a good workout on the track. I did 10 x 1K tempo intervals with 200m easy for recovery. I was initially shooting for 3:22-3:25/km because the legs were feeling a little tired from a combination of Sunday's race and the last three days at 11 miles including a fartlek, 15 and 14 miles. But when I went through the first couple 1k repeats in 3:21 feeling comfortable and steady, I decided to just continue on with the pace. The 10 x 1k splits were 3:21, :21, :21, :19, :20, :20, :20, :19, :19, and 3:18. I think the pace was perfect because I finished the workout feeling like I could have knocked a few more. Tomorrow will be an easy short run and Sunday a long steady 24-miler.

Today: 13.5M including 10 x 1k w/ 200m recovery.
Thur: AM - 5M @ 7:04 pace; PM - 9M @ 6:52 pace
Wed: AM - 5M @ 7:00 pace; PM - 10.2M @ 6:43 pace
Tues: 11M @ 6:55 pace including 10 x :30 w/ 1' easy

Monday, August 17, 2009

17 August

I hope you're all enjoying the Athletics World Championships in Berlin. Thanks to EuroSport, I'm having a great time watching the events. How can you not when you have a superhuman performance by Bolt (9.58 WR), an awesome all-around athlete like Jessica Ennis in the Heptathlon, and Kenenisa Bekele running a 55-second last lap to defend his world title in 26:46.

At the same time, the Americans aren't doing too bad. Some good and noticeable performance include: Tyson Gay running 9.71 for a new American record (he was still a distance back from Bolt....Unbeleivable!). Jenny Barringer continues to run great as she placed 5th breaking her own AR by almost 10 seconds in the steeple. Ritz ran very well with a new 10K PR in 27:22 for 6th. And, we have 3 Americans (Lagat, Manzano & Lomong) that will be in the 1500m final.

Today: AM - 5M @ 7:22 pace; PM - 6M @ 7:07 pace

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Haachtse Stratenloop 10M

Haachtse Stratenloop (Haacht Street Run) 10 Mile: 54:28

At some point I had to run a tune-up race as I normally do leading up to the marathon. On Friday, after looking at the calendar and knowing that I'm only five weeks away from Berlin, I went online to do some race event searching. There were only a few races listed for the weekend in Holland, mostly 5Ks and 10Ks, so I expanded my search to the nearby cities in Belgium. I found the Haachtse Stratenloop 10M (Haacht Street Run) in the Belgian city of Haacht, 1-hour away, to be a perfect fit.

The race course consisted of 4 x 4K loops around the city center. The start was in front of the city church and we made a small U onto the loop course, which I assume was about .095 meters to make it 10 miles. In the 1st loop I ran beside one local runner with another runner drafting off of me. We came through the 2K mark in 6:38 (5:20 pace and a bit too fast). I didn't take down my splits, but I do remember some split times for a few markers (2K, 8k, 10k, 12k) when I did look at my watch or the race clock at the finish. As we started the 2nd loop, the runner who was drafting off of me backed off leaving it to Chris and I to battle for the win. It was obvious his name was Chris because practically all the spectators and some runners we lapped were cheering for him. We completed the 2nd loop (~27:05) still running side by side.

On the 3rd loop at the 10k mark, which we came across in 34:01, I decided to push the pace. I managed to put about a 10 meter gap over the next kilometer. After completing the 3rd loop (12k in ~40:50), I looked back a couple of times hoping to see my lead increase. To my surprise he was actually closing in, and I knew it was just a matter of time till he catches me. This broke me mentally. I then made the decision to let him catch up to me so that we could possibly work together in the last loop. Chris and I were once again running side by side. About midway through the last loop, I started believing that the race was mine to win, because Chris was working and breathing harder than I was to stay with the pace. At about 1k from the finish, I decided to let go of the leash and push hard to the finish. I ended up taking the win by 10 seconds in 54:28, a new personal best by almost a minute.

I am extremely happy with my race today for many reasons.

1) Of course, a new 10M PR. Who won't be happy with a new PR?
2) Overall performance and execution (mentally & physically). I managed to regroup and think positive after being caught to take the WIN.
3) Overall fitness. I ran this race without tapering (does 65 miles on 5 days and one day off consititute as a taper?) and averaging 91 miles for the last 5 weeks.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Back to normal days

I'm finally done with my two weeks of 12-hour night shift duty. Glad it's all over. Training for the week went well. I did one key workout on Wednesday and the rest easy at aerobic pace. I chose to take today off from running and catch up on some well-needed sleep. Tomorrow, I will run a 10-Mile race in Belgium as my tune-up for Berlin. Here's how the week went.

10-15 August

Mon: 10M @ 6:47 pace
Tues: AM - 5M @ 7:15 pace; PM - 10M @ 6:57 pace
Wed: 13.5M including 6 x 1 mile @ ~10k pace with 3' easy; splits: 5:30, 5:28, 5:28, 5:26, 5:24, & 5:20
Thur: AM - 5M @ 7:20 pace; PM - 10.3M @ 6:52 pace
Fri: 12M @ 6:49 pace
Sat: DNR
Sun: 10M Race

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

3-9 August

I was not able to get in a long run on Sunday because of lack of sleep and 12-hr shift, but still managed to total 95 miles for the week. I will do mostly easy running this week as the long hours of work is keeping the body a bit tired.

Mon: AM - 6M @ 7:06 pace; 4M @ 7:06 pace
Tues: 10M including 5 x 1K (3:09, 3:08, 3:08, 3:07 & 3:06)
Wed: 12M @ 6:42 pace with the last 4 miles moderate.
Thur: AM - 6M @ 6:56 pace; PM - 8M @ 6:48 pace
Fri: AM: 6.2M @ 6:58 pace; PM - 10M including 5M tempo run in 27:33 - 5:31 pace
Sat: AM - 11M @ 6:36 pace; PM - 6.1M @ 6:46 pace
Sun: AM - 5M @ 7:03 pace; PM - 11 @ 6:44 pace

Weekly Total: 95 miles

Saturday, August 08, 2009

8 August

I had an oddly good day of running for a Saturday, a day I normally treat as recovery. I did an 11-mile loop in the morning that goes through all the small villages from the municipality of Schinnen. I cruised this run averaging 6:36 pace, which honestly felt quite easy and comfortable. After my run and during the day, I did nothing special. Stayed home, cleaned a little, watched TV and "tried" to get some sleep for my tonight's 12-hour shift. I was unsuccessful in the sleeping part. I laid in bed for a couple hours with the eyes closed, but mind and body still awake. When 5:30pm came around, I went for a second run. I did 6 easy miles averaging 6:46 pace. Writing in my log 6:36 and 6:46 pace, I certainly don't think it was easy. Maybe suddenly there is a slight improvement in fitness.

Well, I'm off to a long night of work. I expect to be very tired come 9am tomorrow.

AM - 11M @ 6:36 pace
PM - 6.1M @ 6:46 pace

Friday, August 07, 2009

7 August

After having the last couple days off from work, I'm back to 12-hour night shift tomorrow night for a full week. I'm dreading it, but sort of looking forward to it because once it's over I'll have an entire week off before going back to my normal work schedule.

Today, I did an easy 6.2 miles in the morning and then 10 miles this evening, which included a 5-mile tempo run at half-marathon pace accelerating to 10k pace. I ran the 5M tempo in 27:33, 5:31 pace. Mile splits were 5:37, 5:32, 5:29, 5:30, & 5:25. The last couple miles really hurt. I thought about calling it quits as I approached 3 miles. However, when I reached 3 miles I told myself "just do one more mile." And then at 4 miles, I told myself "come on, what's 4 laps". I was glad to be done.

AM: 6.2M @ 6:58 pace
PM - 10M including tempo run (5M - 27:33; 5:31 pace)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Bib # 5737 in Berlin

I received my Berlin Marathon confirmation. I'll be wearing bib number 5737 on my singlet in 6 weeks and 3 days.

Today: AM - 6M @ 6:56 pace; PM - 8M @ 6:48 pace
Wed: 12M @ 6:42 pace with the last 4 miles moderate.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

4 August

My legs and body are consistently feeling fatigue and flat coming off of 12-hour night shifts. When I get off from work I'm constantly asking myself whether I should even put on the running shoes. Of course there's only one answer to that question.

Today, I went straight to the track after getting off from work for some quality speed session. I wanted to get the workout done as soon as possible so that I could still have some time for a nice meal and 6-7 hours of sleep. During my warmup, I was considering on cancelling the workout because my body and legs were feeling fatigue. However, I started to feel better once I got onto the track and did a couple strides. I did 5 x 1K with 200m slow easy jogs for recovery. I probably had my best track workout of 1K intervals to date. Splits were 3:09, 3:08, 3:08, 3:07 & 3:06. I came through the 400/800 consistently in 1:15-16/2:31-2. I could not have been happier with the result of this workout, especially following long hours of work.

Today: 10M including 5 x 1K (3:09, 3:08, 3:08, 3:07 & 3:06)
Mon: AM - 6M @ 7:06 pace; 4M @ 7:06 pace

Sunday, August 02, 2009

27 July - 2 August

20-mile long run including some marathon pace pick ups. I ran one hour steady covering 8.8 miles (6:49 pace), then went straight into a fartlek of 5 x 3' at marathon pace with 3' easy. I ended up running the MP section a few seconds faster (~5:40-5:48). After the final set, which put me at 90 minutes of running, I ran the remainder of the workout (6.5 miles at 6:22 pace) steady to complete 20 miles. It was a good long run to end another successful week of training for Berlin.

I expect the next couple weeks of running to be a challenge. I'll work 12-hour night shifts (9pm - 9am) for the next 2 weeks. It'll be tough getting the body adjusted to sleeping during the day. It looks as though I may have to get in the runs before work and after a long 12-hour shift.

27 Jul - 2 Aug

Mon: Noon - 6M @ 7:02 pace; PM - 5M @ 7:20 pace
Tues: Noon - 6M @ 7:17 pace; PM - 9M including 12 x 400m w/ 200m rec.
Wed: Noon - 6M @ 7:09 pace; PM - 10M @ 7:03 pace
Thur: Noon - 6M @ 7:08 pace; PM - 5M @ 7:15 pace
Fri: 16M including 10 miles at MP (57:52 - 5:47 pace)
Sat: 7M @ 7:12 pace
Sun: 20M @ 6:35 pace; 1-hr steady + 5 x 3' @ MP w/ 3' easy + 6.5M steady

Weekly Total: 96 miles

Friday, July 31, 2009

Marathon Pace Workout

Did a marathon pace workout today, 16 miles total with 10 miles at goal MP on the track. This is the same workout (10M @ MP) I did on 3 April, four weeks prior to Hamburg Marathon, where I ran my marathon personal best of 2:34. After comparing the two workouts, I was very surprised to see that I ran today's MP run 50 seconds faster, 57:52 vs. 58:42. That's 5-seconds per mile faster (5:47 vs. 5:52 pace), or 3-seconds per km faster (3:36 vs. 3:39). The effort felt steady and controlled. Average HR for the 10 miles was 167 bpm or 86% of maxHR. Below is the mile splits (1600m to be exact). I continued on for 100 meters after completing 40 laps to make it an actual 10-miler.

# / Split Time (1600m)
1 - 5:48
2 - 5:47
3 - 5:48
4 - 5:46
5 - 5:44
6 - 5:47
7 - 5:44
8 - 5:42
9 - 5:43
10 - 5:42
- 0:21

10 Miles: 57:52

Berlin Marathon is 7 weeks away. I'm really excited and looking forward to it. So, what's the goal? Well, all I can tell you is that I'm looking at taking a big chunk out of my current personal best. I'm going for it!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

30 July

I finally got a massage, my first one in 4 weeks. I was overdue for one as I normally get one every couple weeks during marathon training. My massage therapist stated that my muscles were in better shape compared to my last massage. I agree with her; however, they've been feeling fatigue the last couple runs. Reason being is because of the high mileage in recent weeks. In the last 22 days (8-29 July), which includes a day of no running, I put in 305 miles. I'll finish off this week (27Jul-02Aug) at about 95 miles and then probably make next week a recovery week at 70+ miles.

Today: Noon - 6M @ 7:08 pace; PM - 5M @ 7:15 pace
Wed: Noon - 6M @ 7:09 pace; PM - 10M @ 7:03 pace

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

28 July

I had 6 x 800m repeats planned for tonight's track session, but ended up changing it to 12 x 400m (200m recovery) since that's what the Dutch club had on their schedule. Despite a solo effort, Paul is still injured, I had an excellent workout. I ran the 400 meters faster as I got closer to 12 repeats. My first 400m was 74 seconds and my last one was the fastest at 66 seconds. I was very happy with the result of this workout, especially that my legs were feeling flat during the warmup.

Splits: 74, 73, 71, 71, 71, 71, 71, 70, 70, 69, 69, 66.

Today: Noon - 6M @ 7:17 pace; PM - 9M including 12 x 400m w/ 200m recovery.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Guam on

I was browsing homepage yesterday and was surprised to see "Guam" on the Marathon Challenge Runner of the Week section. It turns out that a female military spouse, who is currently living in Guam, is one of the runners featured in the challenge. She will take on the challenge of running her first marathon. In her interview she was asked "What's it like to run in Guam?" and "What's the Runner's World like in Guam?". I found all her comments about the heat, spectacular ocean views, stray dogs, early race start times, etc. to be absolutely true. One thing she also stated was that "there is 5K just about every weekend". I'd say that this comment may be an understatement because there are many weekends in which there are two 5K races, most of the time on the same day and time. If you have a couple minutes to spare I recommend reading the interview.

Nothing special on today's training. Ran 6 miles during my lunch hour and 5 miles after work, all at an easy pace.

Today: Noon - 6M @ 7:02 pace; PM - 5M @ 7:20 pace

Sunday, July 26, 2009

20-26 July

Ran a 22-mile long run to cap off a 90-mile week on 6 days of running. The run went extremely well as I unexpectedly ran the last 11 miles in 1:09:23 (6:18 pace). The great thing about the run was that I felt comfortable and controlled as I clicked off the miles.

20-26 July

Mon: AM - 9M easy; PM - 6M easy
Tues: 11M steady including 10 x 1' w/ 1' easy;
Wed: DNR (travel)
Thur: AM - 11M @ 6:53 pace; PM - 5M @ 7:10 pace
Fri: AM - 5M @ 7:12 pace; PM - 13M including 3x2M (10:55, 10:43, 10:41) + 4x200m
Sat: 8M @ 7:03 pace
Sun: 22M @ 6:34 pace; out & back course - 1:14:55, 1:09:23

Weekly Total: 90 miles

Friday, July 24, 2009

Back in the Netherlands

I'm back in the Netherlands and enjoying the running weather. It's been raining a lot since my arrival a couple days ago. I don't mind it though because I'll take the rain and mid-70 degree weather over the 90+ degree temps I was running in on Guam. I must say though that the last 2 weeks of running in Guam has improved my fitness, evidence of today's workout.

I wasted no time getting back into training after a DNR (did not run) due to travel. Yesterday morning I did 11 miles at a steady easy pace. That afternoon I did 5 easy miles. Today, I ran another easy 5 miles in the morning and a workout, 13 miles with 3 x 2M @ ~10k pace + 4 x 200m, in the evening. My legs and body felt surprisingly good in tonights workout. The initial plan was to run the 3 x 2M at half-marathon pace. However, when I came across mile 1 of the first 2M in 5:30 and feeling comfortable I decided to run according to how I felt. I ran each 2-miler faster. Splits were

10:55 (5:30, 5:25)
10:43 (5:21, 5:22)
10:41 (5:23, 5:18).

I also added 4 x 200 meters, all in 32 seconds. It was a good workout and a sign of improved fitness.

Today: AM - 5M @ 7:12 pace; PM - 13M including 3x2M (10:55, 10:43, 10:41) + 4x200m;
Thur: AM - 11M @ 6:53 pace; PM - 5M @ 7:10 pace

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

22 July

I practically spent my last day on Guam in the hot sun; celebrated Guam's 65th Liberation Day at the parade with family and then went for a run late afternoon at Tumon Beach. In my run I was hoping to get in 12 miles with a fartlek of 15 x 1' at ~3k-5k pace. I only ended up with 11 miles and did 10 x 1' because I was feeling beaten up from the heat. Running the entire 11 miles on the compact sand (good thing it was low tide), in conjunction with the heat, was probably the reason I had to cut the workout a bit short. It was still a good workout though.

Logging off and will be missing a day of running due to travel. Till then....

Today: 11M steady including 10 x 1' w/ 1' easy;
Mon: AM - 9M easy; PM - 6M easy

Sunday, July 19, 2009

13-19 July

Had a very successful week of training, 101 miles, in tough running conditions. I have two more days on Guam and then I'll be making my way back to the Netherlands. I'm going to miss the family, friends and Guam, but I'll be back soon.

13-19 July

Mon: 10M @ 6:54 pace including 10 x 12-seconds hill sprints
Tues: AM - 6M easy; PM - 11M including 3 x 2-miles @ half-marathon effort; 11:22 (5:43, 5:39), 11:15 (5:39, 5:36) & 11:00 (5:36, 5:24)
Wed: AM - 11M easy; PM - 10M easy
Thur: AM - 9M easy; PM - 6M easy
Fri: AM - 5M easy; PM - 11M including double pyramid workout (1-2-3-2-1-2-3-2-1)
Sat: 12M @ 6:44 pace
Sun: 10M @ 7:14 pace

Weekly Summary: 101 miles

Friday, July 17, 2009

17 July

The mileage is adding up pretty nicely this week, 79 miles on 5 days so far. Yesterday, I ran an easy 9 in the morning and an easy 6 in the late afternoon. Today, I did 5 in the morning and 11, including a workout, as the sun was setting. The workout I did this afternoon was a double pyramid, 1-2-3-2-1-2-3-2-1, with equal duration for recovery. I ran the 1' @ 3K effort, 2' @ 5K effort, and 3' @ 10K effort. The workout was tough, but satisfying.

Today: AM - 5M easy; PM - 11M including double pyramid workout (1-2-3-2-1-2-3-2-1)
Thur: AM - 9M easy; PM - 6M easy

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

15 July

Yesterday I completed my first key workout since I arrived on Guam. I did an easy 6 miles in the morning and then 11 miles, which included 3 x 2 miles at half-marathon effort on the track, in the late afternoon. Because of the tough running conditions, 93 degrees, I decided to focus more on effort than pace. I ended up surprising myself running each 2-mile faster: 11:22 (5:43, 5:39), 11:15 (5:39, 5:36) & 11:00 (5:36, 5:24). I took 2 minute rests for recovery in between the 2-miles. It was a good workout, but I was completely empty and dead-tired afterwards.

This morning I ran 11 miles in the sweltering heat, about 97 degress RealFeel. It was so hot that I took in 40 ounces of fluid (20 oz Powerade & 20 oz water) during the 81-minute run. In the late afternoon/early evening, I ran an easy 4 miles on Tumon Beach (see photo below - 5 July post). Just as I was ending the run, I bumped into my running friend Fred, who ran the length of Japan back in 1983. I tagged along with him for 6 miles chatting the entire run, of course, about running. A total of 21 miles for the day.

Today: AM - 11 miles easy; PM - 10M easy
Tues: AM - 6M easy; PM - 11M including 3 x 2-miles @ half-marathon effort

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wet Runs

It seems that every one of my runs is a wet one, either from sweat or from the pouring rain. Mother Nature has not been very friendly to the islanders lately. We've had heavy showers Saturday, Sunday and today. On my 2nd run on Saturday, I literally was running through water puddles an inch or two high. I'll have to admit though that I felt much better running in the rain than in the hot and humid conditions. In today's run, easy 10 miles with hill sprints, I thought that I'd be able to finish my run just before the dark clouds approached the area. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I got poured on at mile 9 when I was doing my hill sprints.

Today: 10M @ 6:54 pace including 10 x 12-seconds hill sprints


6-12 July

Mon: DNR - travel day to Guam
Tues: DNR - travel day (flight delays & lost of timezone)
Wed: 11M @ 7:10 pace
Thur: AM - 12M @ 7:15 pace; PM - 7M @ 6:57 pace
Fri: AM - 10M @ 7:20 pace; PM - 5M @ 7:02 pace
Sat: AM - 11M @ 7:10 pace; PM - 4M @ 7:05 pace
Sun: 12M @ 7:12 pace

Weekly Summary: 72 miles

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Not enjoying my runs

My travel back home was flawless.....okay, that was a joke. I was delayed an hour in Brussels, two hours in London, and missed my flight to Guam from Japan. The two things that went right were: I arrived safely (which is all that matters) and my luggage was not lost.

I'm enjoying every bit of my stay back home, except for the running part. Words that best describe every run so far include: disappointing, horrible, drenched, bonked, no energy, cancelled workout....I think you get the point. The humidity has been sucking my energy dry in every run. The temperature itself hasn't been too bad, high-70s to low-80s, but with the combination of about 77-80% humidity the realfeel temperature is about low to mid-90s. It may not sound too bad compared to many areas stateside. I think the problem is that my body is still accustomed to the Holland weather, which is excellent running conditions even in the Summer.

In my morning run today, I attempted a fartlek workout of 3 x 3-2-1 at approximately 5k effort. I threw in the towel after my first set. There was no possible way of completing the workout as I was breathing like I was running an all-out 800m. And I wasn't running that fast. My percentage of max HR almost reached 100%. Even when running very easy my HR is consistently at about 75-85%. I learned from my first run back on the island that is almost impossible to run for 60-70 minutes without taking in any fluids. Today, I took some money along with me and bought a gatorade at a gas station on my run back home. It definitely helped and prevented me from feeling like I bonked. I think for the time-being I'm just going to do easy running to put in the mileage. Hopefully the body will get used to the conditions very soon.

Thur: AM - 12M @ 7:15 pace; PM - 7M @ 6:57 pace
Wed: 11M @ 7:10 pace

Sunday, July 05, 2009

5 July

Had a good 20-mile run this morning averaging 6:35 pace for the workout. After 10 miles, which I avg'd 6:49 pace, I decided to pick up the pace a bit to where I was about 10% off of marathon pace, in my case about 6:25 pace. I had no problems doing that as I hit the next 6 miles (11-16) between 6:22-6:27. Feeling good at 16 I increased the pace a couple seconds/mile faster hitting miles 17-19 at 6:17-6:19. Last mile was a finish-strong mile at 6:05.

Friday's marathon pace run and today's 20-miler were good confidence builders in my fitness, especially that there's still 11 weeks to go till Berlin. I'll just have to stay injury-free and continue the hard work.

Tomorrow I begin my long flight to Guam for a 3-week vacation. I won't be able to get the mileage I want to put in this coming week, because I'll lose almost 2 days due to change in timezone and flying.

29 June - 5 July

Mon: 10.1M @ 7:00 pace
Tues: AM - 4M @ 7:17 pace; PM - 8.5M including 10 sets of 300m (52-54") + 200m (34-35")
Wed: AM - 5.4M @7:10 pace; PM - 7M @ 7:04 pace
Thur: Noon - 5M @ 7:09 pace; PM - 7M @ 7:17 pace
Fri: 13.5M with 8M at MP - 5:48,:46,:47,:43,:47,:45,:45,:40 (46:01 - 5:45 pace)
Sat: 5M @ 7:24 pace
Sun: 20M @ 6:35 pace

Weekly Total: 85.5 miles

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July and good luck to those who are racing today. No 4th of July race for me. I spent America's day by doing an easy 5-miler in the morning, attending American Fest during the day, riding my new Giant Boulder mountain bike through the beautiful Holland farmlands in the late afternoon and a 90-min massage in the evening. Very productive day.....leisure-wise that is!

Tomorrow will be an easy steady 20-miler at about 6:45 - 7:00 pace. It'll be my last run in Holland at least for the next 3 weeks. On Monday I'll be taking a long 21-hour journey back to paradise to visit family and friends. It's going to be fun. However, I'm almost sure the running part won't be fun because I'll be complaining that it's too hot and humid.

Today: 5M @ 7:24 pace

Friday, July 03, 2009

MP workout

My body and legs have been feeling a bit tired and drained the last couple days, probably from the higher than normal heat and humidity that has hit us lately. However, today's conditions were a little better, less humidity, low to mid-80s and a constant breeze. The workout for the day was 12 miles with 8 at marathon pace. I ran the meat of the workout on the track so that I could accurately monitor the pace. The goal pace was 5:50-52 pace or 3:37-39/km, which is a 2:32-2:33 marathon. After a 2.5 mile warmup, I was on my way for 32 laps. I checked my 400 meter splits during the first couple laps of the first mile to see were I was at with the pace. I was quite satisfied to see that I was right on track, maybe a second or two too fast, and feeling comfortable. I ended up having an excellent workout. Finished the 8 miles in 46:01, which is about 40 seconds faster compared to the same workout I did in preparation for my last two marathons. Here are the splits:

1 - 5:48
2 - 5:46
3 - 5:47
4 - 5:43
5 - 5:47
6 - 5:45
7 - 5:45
8 - 5:40

46:01 (5:45 pace)

Today: 13.5M with 8M at MP
Thur: Noon - 5M @ 7:09 pace; PM - 7M @ 7:17 pace
Wed: AM - 5.4M @7:10 pace; PM - 7M @ 7:04 pace

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

30 June

It turned out that our relay team lost by 63 seconds despite having a nice cushion lead going into the 6th leg and having the 2009 Netherland's Half-Marathon Champion Patrick Stitzinger (1:02) running the 7th and last leg.

I'd say that we actually lost the relay because our 5th runner ran two consecutive legs, the 5th and 6th leg totaling 32 kilometers (20 miles). Initially, he was supposed to only run the 5th leg, but due to another injured runner someone had to double. In the weather conditions we ran in, high 70s and very humid, it would have been smarter to have him run an early and late leg versus two consective legs (note the two bib numbers below). He ended up totally bonking in the 6th leg running 1:31 for 17.3K. On the other hand, we still should have easily won the race if Patrick (left below) had at least run a tempo run. He ran 57 minutes for 15K, which he normally finishes in 44-45 minutes.

Regardless of the end results, we all still had a lot of fun. The team won 4 of the 7 legs. I won the 3rd leg of the race and was given a trophy at tonight's track session since I didn't stay till the end. Interesting that the results had my time at 59:21, about 30 seconds faster than what I had.

Tonight, I did some shorter intervals with the club. We did 10 sets of 300m (100m rec.) + 200m (100m rec.), total 5000 meters of speed. I'd list the splits but it'll be a bunch of repetitive numbers. I ran the 300 meters in 52-54 seconds and the 200 meters in 34-35 seconds.

Today: AM - 4M @ 7:17 pace; PM - 8.5M including 10 sets of 300m + 200m
Mon: 10.1M @ 7:00 pace

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Vaals-Venlo Estafetteloop (relay race)

This week was a low mileage week. I did easy runs on Wed, Fri and Sat. Thursday I did not run at all because I was very busy with work and also had a function that night. It was probably a good idea to take a complete day off because the legs and body were feeling fatigue the previous days.

I mentioned in my last post that I decided not to run the US Army Europe 10-Mile qualifying race yesterday because it was just too far (5-hour drive). However, what I didn't mention was that I would run one leg in a relay race on Sunday (today) instead. The Dutch running club I train with on Tuesday nights asked me to run Paul's leg because he is injured. I figured that since I wasn't going to run the USAREUR 10M, then I'd run in the relay race. The relay race, 25th Vaals-Venlo Estafetteloop (sorry, it's in Dutch), is a 100 kilometer (62 miles) race consisting of 7 runners. It's a stagger start with slower teams starting at 8am and other teams starting in increments of 5 minutes (total of 55 teams). Our team (Wilma Running Team) started last at 0905 and was the favorite to win.

I ran the 3rd leg, which according to the race program is 17.4Km (10.8 miles) and probably one of the toughest legs with quite a bit of rolling hills. My Garmin 405 measured the course at 10.7 miles, which may be a bit off because the course runs through lots of tree canopies. Regardless, I ran a good leg and felt strong the entire time, especially on the hills. I ran 59:50 (5:32 pace or 3:26/km) and was the fastest in the 3rd leg. I was very fortunate to have many runners ahead of me because it gave me some motivation to catch and pass runner after runner. I'm not sure who won because I didn't tag along for the remainder of the relay due to other committments. However, we were in the lead when I finished my leg.

Here's the weekly summary:

22-28 June

Mon: Noon - 7M @ 7:12 pace including 7 x 10 sec. hill sprints; PM - 5M @ 7:13 pace
Tues: Noon - 3M @ 7:23 pace; PM - 8M including 15 x 300m w/ 100m recovery
Wed: 8M @ 7:03 pace
Thur: DNR
Fri: 10.6M @ 6:54 pace
Sat: 6.6M @ 7:02 pace
Sun: 10.8M @ 5:32 pace (Vaals-Venlo relay leg); 14M total

Weekly Total: 62 miles

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

23 June

I think Friday's 10K and the easy runs of 9 miles on Sat, 18 on Sun, and 12 on two runs yesterday finally caught up to the legs. They felt fatigued, but I still managed to get in a good track workout on a solo effort. Paul is still injured and Emily was a no show. The workout tonight was shorter intervals of 15 x 300m with 100m slow jog for recovery. The last time I did short intervals was a month ago. I remembered that I did some 300m repeats and the splits were around 50-52. I figured I'd shoot for 52-53s since the legs were a bit fatigued and the recovery was slow jogging. I was practically dead on at 52-53 splits. My last repeat was 47 seconds only because I was pushed by Wil (the coach), who tagged along after my first 100m and tried to beat me to the finish. I held him off. Splits were 52, 50, 53, 53, 53, 53, 53, 53, 52, 52, 51, 52, 52, 52, 47.

I will take the next day or two very easy. My next race is supposed to be the US Army Europe 10-Mile in Grafenwöhr (Germany) on Saturday. The 10-miler is the qualifying race for the USAREUR 10-Mile team that will run in the Army Ten-Miler in Washington DC. Grafenwöhr is a 5-hour drive from the Netherlands. With the race at 0800 on Saturday I would have to leave for Grafenwöhr on Friday. Unfortunately, I am unable to get off from work early and do not want to spend the whole night driving. It looks as though there'll be no Army Ten-Miler for a 2nd straight year.

Today: Noon - 3M @ 7:23 pace; PM - 8M including 15 x 300m w/ 100m recovery
Mon: Noon - 7M @ 7:12 pace including 7 x 10 sec. hill sprints; PM - 5M @ 7:13 pace

Sunday, June 21, 2009

15-21 June

I think the effort I put in in Friday's 10K was about right. Besides a little tightness I felt fine in yesterday and today's run. Yesterday I did an easy 9 miles averaging 7:01 pace. I would have liked it to be at a slower pace, but was just following my HR keeping the effort at 68-70% of max.

Today's 18M long run was much of the same and felt good. Overall pace for the run was 6:49 with an avg HR of 147. I averaged 7:00 for the first 9M and 6:38 for the last half. The run capped off an 80 mile week.

Mon: Noon - 11M @ 7:08 pace; PM - 4.2M @ 7:31 pace
Tues: Noon - 4.3M @ 7:17 pace; PM - 8M including 1600 (5:15), 1400 (4:34), 1200 (3:53), & 1000 (3:09)
Wed: 9.5M @ 7:01 pace
Thur: 6M @ 7:22 pace
Fri: 10.2M including 10K Race - 34:19 (5:31 pace)
Sat: 9M @ 7:01 pace
Sun: 18M @ 6:49 pace

Weekly Total: 80.2 miles

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Buffer Run

Buffer Run 10K - 34:19, 2nd Place Overall

I must first admit that I might have exceeded the effort and pace for a tempo run. I ended up running the race at 93% of max HR; average HR was 178 bpm. Despite running the race a little faster than tempo effort/pace, I never felt like I entered the anaerobic threshold area.

At the start, I only saw and knew one runner (Ivan) who is quite fast. I have never ran with him in the same race until this one, but I still knew from previous results that he is one of the top runners in the area. The gun went off and the two of us ran controlled for the first two hundred meters. However, right before the first incline Ivan suddenly surged giving him about a 20 meter lead. I thought it was an odd move to put in a surge that early in the race and considering the amount of gradual incline to come. We descended a small downhill coming across the 1K mark, which I split at 3:18. Ivan must have gone through somewhere around 3:05-10.

The next two kilometers were gradually uphill. At 2K (6:42), I evened up with Ivan just by running the same effort. We reached 3K at the top of the hill together in 10:20 (3:37 split). Ivan then put in a small surge again. About 30-45 seconds later we were side by side again. I think he realized that he wasn't getting rid of me with his small surges while I was running an even effort/pace race. 5K split was 17:06 (5:30 pace). Ivan and I ran stride for stride the rest of the race clicking off kilometer splits between 3:22 & 3:26 (5:25-5:32 pace) with the exception of 9K (3:35) which was uphill.

With 400m to go and still running stride for stride, I knew that I was going to settle for 2nd place. I was fine with it because my thought all along was to use the race as a workout. Another reason was because there was no doubt Ivan had more leg speed than me, probably from the 12 years of serious cycling he did. The way he surged during the race also seemed effortless. With about 200m to go Ivan shifted into another gear and took the win. I had no interest in trying to challenge for the win. I could tell Ivan was extremely happy of the win because he literally jumped in the air and pumped his fist as if he won a million dollars when he crossed the finish line. On the other hand, I was also very happy with my race, specifically the way I executed it. Running 34:19, with the 2nd half only about 6 seconds slower, on that course with a steady effort shows a good sign of fitness. Splits below and results here (click on "Heren 10 km senioren").

Distance / Split / Time

1K / 3:18 / 3:18
2K / 3:24 / 6:42
3K / 3:37 / 10:19
4K / 3:25 / 13:44
5K / 3:22 / 17:06 (5:30 pace)
6k / 3:26 / 20:32
7K / 3:26 / 23:58
8K / 3:24 / 27:22
9K / 3:35 / 30:57
10K / 3:22 / 34:19 (5:31 pace)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

18 June

Only ran an easy 6 miles today because I'm freshening up the legs for tomorrow night's Buffer Run, which consists of a 6K and 10K race. I'll run the 10K as a tempo workout, at approximately half-marathon effort. I say effort and not pace because the course is tough there's no way to run a consistent pace. The course, only a mile from my house, is rolling hills. The first 3K (almost 2 miles) is a gradual incline, the next 5K slightly downhill with the exception of a short hill at 6K, and the last 2K a gradual hill. It should be a good tough workout.

Today: 6M @ 7:22 pace

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

17 June

Easy 9.5 miles during lunch. Could have gone another 1/2 mile to make it a full 10, but wasn't too concern about it. No 2nd run today. Instead, I had my first massage (90 minutes) since 6 weeks ago. I was overdue for one. Leg muscles and back feel much better and loose.

Today: 9.5M @ 7:01 pace

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

16 June

The 15+ miles yesterday, despite it being easy, made the legs feel like I was wearing some ankle weights during my lunch time run. I did an easy 4+ miles around a lake followed by some core exercises and stretching. Five hours later after work, I met my Dutch friends at the track for some speedwork. The workout for the night was 1600, 1400, 1200, & 1000 with 200m recovery (walking the first 100 then slow jogging the 2nd 100). Paul had some issues with his right leg, so it was just Emily and I running together. Emily also ran in the Maastrichts Mooiste 5K this past Sunday, but in the elite race (she ran 16:56), so we both didn't have fresh legs. Her coach and I decided that we should run a little slower than 5k pace, so 3:20/km or 80 second laps (5:22 pace). I chose to do the pacing and Emily had no problems with that. We ended up exceeding the agreed upon speed limit. The good thing is that the pace felt fairly comfortable.

Splits were: 1600 (5:15), 1400 (4:34), 1200 (3:53), 1000 (3:09)

Today: Noon - 4.3M @ 7:17 pace; PM - 8M including 1600, 1400, 1200, 1000 @ ~5k pace; 12.3 miles total

Monday, June 15, 2009

15 June

Did I run hard enough in yesterday's race? I was asking myself this question because the legs felt fine and normal in today's runs. During lunch time I went for an easy run with Jurgen. I intended to run alone until I bumped into him just as I was heading out of the locker room. My planned hour run was stretched to 78 minutes (11 miles) as I accompanied Jurgen on his Monday loop. I did a 2nd run of 4.2 miles after work.

Today: Noon - 11M @ 7:08 pace; PM - 4.2M @ 7:31 pace

8-14 June

Overall, it was a good training week, which concluded with my first 5K race in what seemed like ages. I'm pleased to have get in 70+ miles with the race.

Mon: Noon - 9.1M @ 6:59 pace; PM - 4.2M @ 7:18 pace
Tues: Noon - 4M @ 7:25 pace; PM - 8M including 5 x 1K (3:10, 3:09, 3:07, 3:08, & 3:06)
Wed: 10M @ 7:01 pace
Thur: Noon - 6.6M @ 7:08 pace; PM - 4.2 @ 7:12 pace
Fri: 8M @ 7:09 pace
Sat: 4.2M @ 7:10 pace
Sun: 5K Race - 16:24; 13.1M total

Weekly Total: 71.4 miles

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Maastrichts Mooiste, 1st Place Overall

It was my first 5K race in almost 2 years. I finished in 1st place running 16:24. I accomplished the two goals I set coming into the race: 1) better my 5K PR of 16:37, which I ran 7 yrs ago; and 2) Top 3 finish. I was hoping to run faster than I did, possibly somewhere around 16:05-10, but two bridges with gradual inclines, many turns including a U-turn, and slippery cobblestones (which the course consisted mostly of) made that task a bit difficult. In the end the time didn't matter too much as I was most ecstatic about the win.

The race was very well organized, as they all seem to be here in the Netherlands. When the gun went off I held back because I knew many would go out at about a 5:00/mile pace. I also knew that many of the pretenders would be coming back once we hit the incline of the first bridge, only 300 meters into the race. At approximately 1K (actually never saw or looked for the marker) there was about 12 runners in the front. Shortly after, the group was broken up into 2 smaller groups with a lead pack of 4 and the rest including myself a few meters back. After we crossed the 2nd bridge and made a right turn, I decided to move up to the lead pack. Up front I saw the motorcycle with the race clock reading 8:xx. I figured we were somewhere around 2.5K. I was feeling good and strong at this point, so I decided to make a push. I don't think it was much of a push, but it was good enough to put a gap between me and the other 3 runners. Just before the 3K mark, which is the only marker I saw throughout the race, we made a U-turn. It was my first chance to see how much of a lead I had. To my surprise I had about a 10 meter lead. I tried to increase the lead each time I made a turn. At about the 14th minute of the race I looked back just to see if I was in any danger of being caught. The next runner was about 50 meters back and I knew I had the race in the bag. I made one last turn towards the finish line in the Market Square and was greeted by a loud cheering crowd. I cherished the moment and celebrated by raising the arms as I approached the finish.

I didn't take any splits at all. In fact, I never even looked at my watch, probably because I was following the motorcycle with the race clock. Complete Maastrichts Mooiste race results here. (Note. My last name was mispelled - "Bas" instead of "Blas")