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)