Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Year in Review

There's no doubt that 2010 was my best running year having set a personal best in almost every race distance I ran, even though it wasn't many.  I only ran a total of 9 races (including tonight's New Year's Eve 10K) and recorded a personal best in 4 race distances (5K, 10K, half-marathon, & marathon).  I did not run a 5K race this year, but the time was a PB for the distance as part of a 10K race (2nd 5K split).  I know my 5K PB is a bit modest and I'm sure it would have been much faster had I entered and ran the actual race distance. 

The Jesolo 10K race in Italy, during my vacation trip to Venice, was a huge breakthrough for me. I cut a whopping 39 seconds off my previous PB.  More importantly, it was a confidence booster for me leading into the Munich Marathon.  Three weeks before Munich, I ran the Hoogland half-marathon expecting to run a PB and go sub-1:13.  Unfortunately, mother nature wasn't nice and treated us to some crazy winds.  On the bright side, my girlfriend and I both won our race, so it was a good day after all.  By the way, my half-marathon PB was from the CPC Loop Den Haag Half-Marathon early in the year as part of my tune-up for Rotterdam. In that half-marathon, which was also windy but not as bad as the Hoogland half, I cut my half-marathon PB by 22 seconds, but still came up short of a sub-1:13.  I will run the race again in 2011 as a tune-up for Rotterdam (yes, again) and hopefully break some new ground in the half. 

Munich Marathon was by far the highlight of the year.  I not only ran a new personal best, but I also finally went sub-2:34, a time I should have acheived at Berlin in '09 and Rotterdam last April.  It's a step in the right direction towards that illustrious sub-2:30.  Besides the PB, something I'm most proud of is finishing in the Top 10 (9th overall).  Yes, I know Munich doesn't attract or have the elite runners as big-name marathons like Berlin, Boston, London, etc. does, but hey, it's still a top 10 finish and it's not like Munich is not a well-known city.  Where did Frank Shorter win the 1972 Olympic Marathon?  :-)

Here are some numbers for the 2010 running year:

  • Ran a total of 9 races, 5 different race distances and 4 PBs. Interestingly, I ran 2 races each at the following distances: 10K, 15K, half-marathon, and marathon. 
  • Ran a total of 3700 miles, that's an average of 71 miles/week or 10 miles/day. 
  • Logged 9 weeks at 100 or more miles. Highest weekly mileage was 122 miles, which is also a career high.  Lowest weekly mileage was 4 miles.  
  • Ran a race in 3 different countries - Netherlands, Germany and Italy.\
  • Went through 8 running shoes: 4 x Saucony Grid Tangents, 2 x Asics 2140, one NB 904 and one NB 740. 
Happy New Running Year!!!

Update!!!  I just finished my last run and race of 2010.  Ran the New Year's Eve race (Sylvesterloop 10K) and PR'd by 17 seconds running 32:58 for 5th place.  What a great way to end the year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Runner in Winter

Great running video from Running Times on ultra-runner Anton Krupicka.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Dec 20-26

Mon: 8.2M easy
Tue: 12.5M including 4 x 7' tempo interval (on the mill) w/ 3' rec jog + 3 x 200m w/ 1' rec jog
Wed: 12.7M easy
Thu: 9.7M easy
Fri: 11.5M including 8 x 2.5' w/ 90 sec rec jog;
Sat: 8.2M easy
Sun: 12.5M long run

Weekly Total: 75 miles on 7 runs/7 days
Wasn't the best training week as more snow fell (~18 inches) throughout the week.  My LaSportiva Crosslite became my daily running shoe, except for the tempo interval workout on Tuesday, which I ran on the treadmill.  The 7' tempo intervals felt comfortably hard and good.  On Friday I ran a fartlek workout of 2.5 minutes w/ 90 seconds rec. in horrible conditions. I ran the workout on a bike path that had about a couple inches of snow.  I felt like I was running 5k effort and pace, but certainly not going as fast.  My watch showed that I was running 6min pace.  I'll take it's strength gained in the legs.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dec 13-19

Mon: 9M easy
Tue: 9.3M easy
Wed: 9.3M including 12 x :25 seconds hill sprints with 1:30 recovery
Thu: AM - 6.2M easy; PM - 6.4M easy
Fri: 11.2M including 30 min. steady-state
Sat: 11M easy
Sun: 15.7M steady long run

Weekly Total: 78 miles on 8 runs/7 days
It was my highest weekly mileage since the end of September prior to the Munich marathon. I did easy running the first couple days of the week to recover from last Sunday's 15K cross race.  On Wed I ran 12 x 25 seconds hill sprints. Friday was a 30' steady-state run. I ran the 3M warmup/cooldown outside, but did the steady-state on the treadmill because the roads were slippery with snow/ice and running fast would not be possible. Saturday's easy run was eventful in that I got bit on the elbow by a dog.  Stupid dog owner did not keep his dog on the leash. Luckily though, I only received a scratch and not a puncture from the dog bite. Today's long run went very well, even with some of the roads still covered in snow.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I haven't missed the Mescherbergloop cross race in the three years I've been stationed in the Netherlands.  After all, why would anyone miss it.  Cross country, trails, hills, mud (or in last year's race - snow), stairs, and good competition.

After about a half mile of running on the road, the only flat portion of the course, we turned left into a pasture (picture above) and the runners began to establish their positions.  I was somewhere around 10th place at this point. 

Climbing the first steady hill my British colleague Charlie (white and blue) and I caught a couple of runners, including the Dutch guy wearing blue and red to the right of the picture. At about 1.5 miles we crested the hill and began a descent of about 600 meters. The blue/red runner caught back up to us on the downhill, but Charlie and I would eventually lose him for good on the second climb. 

We had already passed another Dutch runner and approaching the stairs which this race is well known for.  I should mention that at this point I already knew that I wouldn't be able to get away from Charlie or vice versa, even though I would put a 10 meter gap on him on the hills or stairs.  Up ahead about 200 meters there was a Belgian runner who at one point I thought we could catch. That thought and the Belgian eventually faded away.

Charlie and I climbing yet another hill.  Not at all planned, we were glad to accompany and push each other, especially in the latter part of the race.  I remember with about 2K left in the race, Charlie was trailing me and could sense that I started to let up on the pace.  He encouraged me to push on, and we both motored our way side by side to the finish in a joint 6th place.  Here are the results and Dutch news coverage of the race.

I had a blast for the third year in a row at the Mescherbergloop and I'm sure going to miss it next year.  Here is a comparison of my three Mescherbergloop races.

muddy course
snowy course
racing flats on xc/trails

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dec 6-12

Mon: 9M easy
Tue: 9M easy
Wed: 9.3M including 15 x 200m (37s in snow) w/ 200m rec
Thu: AM - 5M easy; PM - 6.3M easy
Fri: 9M with 6K steady state
Sat: 7.3M easy
Sun: Mescherbergloop 15K (Cross) - 6th Place  56:45; 12M total

Weekly Total: 67 miles on 8 runs/7 days
Running conditions for the first half of the week were much of the same as last week - snow and icy. On Tuesday I ran some 200s on the snow-covered dirt track.  By Friday most of the snow had melted and I was able to run in road shoes for the first time in about 10 days. I got in 9 miles with 6K at a steady-state pace in the middle of the run. I kept the steady-state run short (22 min) because of the 15K Cross race today, which was a blast. I finished in a joint 6th place with my coworker and triathlete Charlie. I'll post the race report soon.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Nov 29 - Dec 5

Mon: 9M easy
Tue: AM - 6.2M easy; PM - 6.4M easy
Wed: 9M including 12 x 1' hard/easy
Thu: 9.3M easy/moderate
Fri: 8.4 easy
Sat: 6.2M easy
Sun: Kapellerbosloop 7.2K (Cross) - 7th Place 27:54; 6.5M total

Weekly Total: 61 miles on 8 runs/7 days
It wasn't the best week of training as running conditions were awful; lots of snow, ice, and freezing temps.  The cross race on Sunday was my first in a very long time.  The true cross country conditions (see previous post) made it a fun run, but challenging race.  I'm already looking forward to my next cross race this coming weekend. 

Sunday, December 05, 2010


I ran my first cross country race of the winter season.  The sloppy conditions made it a true cross race.  Slush, mud, snow and freezing cold.  The 7.2K course consisted of 4 loops in the forest with a couple hills, one that's a fairly good climb. My performance today was right where I think it should be this time of the year.  Not even close to peak fitness and feeling like I'm gaining strength.  In the first loop I was in about 10th or 11th place until I passed 3 or 4 runners before the big hill.  In the 2nd loop I was running alone until I heard some splashing steps approaching quickly.  To my surprise it was Patrick Delait, one of the top local Dutch runners who I'm used to seeing disappear in front of me as a race progresses.  My only thought was that he either fell early in the race or is coming back from an injury. I talked to him after the race and it turned out that he just didn't have the power in the legs.  That probably explains why I was able to catch and pass him about 100 meters from the finish to place 7th overall.  This race was again proof of my strength on hills and the lack of speed on the downhills.  I would catch and outdo Patrick up the steepest hill only to get overtaken by him on the flat and downhill portion of the course. 

Here are the results.  Also, below is a video of the race (sorry, it's only in Dutch).  You can see me (yellow singlet) and Patrick running up the hill at 1:35 into the video.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Severe winter weather

Running conditions for the past few days have been harsh with temps in the teens/low-20s and the roads/trails covered in snow and ice.  However, that didn't stop me from getting in my runs.....thanks to my La Sportiva Crosslite.
I got in a good strength run yesterday in the trails of the Brunssumerheide (Brunssum heathland) running a fartlek workout of 1' hard/easy.  Note that I said strength and not speed, despite fartlek meaning "speed play".  I did 12 x 1' on the snow-covered trails.  I felt like I was running on sand, pushing hard but barely moving.  Wearing the Crosslite made a huge difference though, because I would have been doing more skating than running had I not worn them.  The workout turned out good and I felt like I gained some leg strength.

Today, I ran 15K at a moderate pace with my British co-worker Charlie, who recently placed 4th in the 30-34 age group division at the World Half-Ironman Championships in Clearwater, FL.  We had a pretty good run, but in some areas it was a little too slippery.  There was so much snow on the running trails and paths that we could not see where the patches of ice were. I'm hoping conditions will be better and not as slippery on Sunday.

Monday, November 29, 2010

First snow of the winter season

Well, it looks as though winter is here.....and you know what that means....time to hibernate and feel miserable!  Yeah Right!  It's Cross Country time!  A couple inches of snow fell today, so I had my first snow run of the winter season. 
It was an easy 9 miles and I enjoyed every bit of it.  However, I'm sure I won't be enjoying the rest of the running week as temperatures are forecasted to drop to the teens and running surfaces becoming slippery. I hope that I'll be able to get in a speed session tomorrow or Wednesday in preparation for Sunday's cross race (see upcoming races on right side bar).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nov 22-28

Mon: 9M easy
Tue: 9.4M easy
Wed: 9.4M including 20 x :30 w/ 1' easy
Thu: 9M moderate
Fri: 8.4 easy
Sat: 10M including 2 x 2M Tempo
Sun:  15M long run

Weekly Total:  70 miles on 7 runs/7 days
Good training week. Got in some speed play on Wed and a tempo run of 2 x 2M on Sat. I had planned to do 3 x 2M, but decided to cut it short because I felt like I was working harder than I should to maintain tempo pace, might have been the freezing temps. Long run this morning went very well. Despite freezing temps in the 20s, I was cruising at a comfortable steady pace on rolling terrain.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


As I mentioned in my previous post, I ran the Zevenheuvelenloop (Seven Hills Run) "unofficially." I ran with a bib-number, but with no chip for official timing.  (Does this mean I was a bandit runner?)

On Saturday morning I emailed my Dutch friend Fons and asked him whether there were any good cross-country races in the area for the weekend.  He replied back stating that he had an extra bib-number for the Seven Hills Run in Nijmegen on Sunday.  Our friend Inge decided not to run, so I would be able to use her bib.  However, Fons and I agreed that I should not use the chip that came with the number as it would seem suspicious when it registered in the results (would have been 6th female overall using the chip under Inge's name).  Two years ago I ran this same race using another runner's (Herman) bib-number and chip; however, unlike 2-yrs ago, we were not able to officially transfer the registration because we did not meet the transfer deadline.

The goal going into the race was to beat my time (51:26) from two years ago with the same tactic of going out conservative early on the hills and then picking up the pace as the race progressed.  However, this time around I wanted to cross the 5K mark a few seconds faster, which I did with a 17:17 5K split, 7 seconds faster than in '08.  On the steepest hill at 7K I caught up to Aussie Benita Willis (formerly Johnson) and a few other runners.  My legs felt good, but the breathing started to get heavy and could even feel my pace begin to slow.  This was evident with a positive 2nd 5K split of 17:28 and a slower 10K time (34:45), 12 seconds slower than in '08.  After averaging 3:37/km (5:48 pace) for the 11th and 12th km, which included a couple small hills, I knew that a 15K PR was not within reach.  Ruling out the PR I still made the effort to get under 52 minutes, which I did with a 3:13 last km.  Below is my splits comparison for '08 and '10.  Also, you can view some video clips of me here.

Seven Hills Run Splits
200817:2434:33 (17:09)51:26 (16:53)
201017:1734:45 (17:28)51:53 (17:08)

Btw, Leonard Komon of Kenya broke the 15K World Record running 41:13 and smashing the old mark by 16 seconds.  Wow!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Nov 15-21

Mon: 8.3M easy
Tue: 9.4M including 10 x 400 (76, 76, 76, 75, 75, 74, 75, 75, 73, 73)
Wed: 10.3M easy
Thu: 8.3M easy
Fri: 7M including 5 x 200 (36's)
Sat: 7.2M easy
SunZevenheuvelenloop (Seven Hills Run) 15K - 51:53 "Unofficial"; 13M total

Weekly Total:  63.5 miles on 7 runs/7 days
Good week of running, which included an unplanned race today. I "unofficially" ran the Seven Hills Run 15K in Nijmegen today. I'll write about my race and how I was able to get a "bib number" in my next post.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nov 8-14

Mon: 9.3M easy
Tue: 9.3M easy
Wed: 9M including 4 sets of 2x200 w/ 200 rec + 1x400 w/ 400 rec
Thu: 10M easy
Fri: 8M easy
Sat: 9.4M including 3 x 2',1:30,1',:30 w/ -:30 rec
Sun: 13.7M easy

Weekly Total: 68.7 miles on 7 runs/7 days
It was my first normal week of running following post-marathon recovery. It seems that I haven't lost much of my aerobic fitness during the recovery phase because my easy runs are consistently around 6:55 pace.  Wed and Sat were good workouts to get some of my leg-turnover back. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

4-Week Post-Marathon Recovery

Nov 1-7

Mon: 9.3M easy
Tue: 8M including 10 x 1' hard/easy
Wed: 9.3M easy
Thu: 5.5M very easy
Fri: DNR; 30' bike on spinner
Sat: 10M trail run
Sun: 14.5M steady run w/ last km in 3:40

Weekly Total: 56.3 miles on 6 runs/6 days
Post-marathon recovery complete.


Oct 25-31

Mon: DNR; biked to/from work.
Tue: AM - 8M easy; PM - 4M very easy
Wed: AM - 7.5M including 10 x 200m w/ 200m rec; PM - 3.5M very easy
Thu: 8M easy
Fri: 9M progression run with miles 7-9 at 6:26 > 6:00 pace
Sat: DNR
Sun: 11.5M easy with last km in 3:28 (5:35 pace)

Weekly Total: 51 miles on 7 runs/5 days
Week 3 post-marathon recovery. Felt good to get in some leg-turnover.

Oct 18-24

Mon: 5M easy
Tue: 6M easy
Wed: 6.5M including 10 x :30 w/ 1 easy;
Thu: DNR; 30' bike on spinner
Fri: 6M easy
Sat: 8M easy
Sun: 9.5M easy

Weekly Total: 41 mileson 6 runs/6 days
Week 2 post-marathon recovery. Pace for easy runs sort of back to normal.  However, I felt some tenderness in the right shin, same area that was giving me problems the last 2 weeks before the marathon.


Oct 11-17

Mon: DNR
Tue: DNR
Wed: DNR
Thu: 4M very slow and easy
Fri: 7M easy
Sat: 3M easy
Sun: 6M easy

Weekly Total: 20 miles on 4 runs/4 days
First week post-marathon. Legs sore in the first few days but gone by Thur.  Legs felt heavy during the runs.

Marathon History

Updated marathon results. 
Marine Corps Marathon10/26/032:53:221st marathon
Honolulu Marathon12/14/033:09:38ran for fun while visiting family in Hawaii
Boston Marathon4/19/042:59:2385 deg at start; 2nd hottest Boston
Houston Marathon1/16/052:42:14negative splits: 1:21:11, 1:21:03
Marine Corps Marathon10/30/05 2:41:15splits: 1:20:16, 1:20:59
Austin Marathon2/19/062:38:16 negative splits: 1:19:17, 1:18:59
Rocket City Marathon12/09/062:39:21 splits: 1:18:29, 1:20:52
Grandmas Marathon06/21/082:54:08 came off an 8-wk ITBS and 4-5 wks of easy running
Amsterdam Marathon10/19/082:35:37 new PR; splits: 1:17:34, 1:18:03
Hamburg Marathon04/26/092:34:33 splits: 1:17:16, 1:17:17
Berlin Marathon09/20/092:34:06 new PR; splits: 1:16:20, 1:17:46
Marine Corps Marathon10/25/092:41:33 splits: 1:17:16, 1:24:17; 2nd marathon in 5 wks & 4th in a yr's period (Oct 08-09)
Rotterdam Marathon04/11/102:35:46 splits: 1:17:04, 1:18:42
Munich Marathon10/10/102:33:50 splits: 1:16:46, 1:17:04
Rotterdam Marathon4/10/112:35:26splits: 1:16:32, 1:18:54
Boston Marathon4/16/122:36:35negative splits: 1:18:29, 1:18:06

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Munich Marathon - 9th Place Overall

2:33:50 for 9th place overall. It was a PR by 16 seconds. Lost some time and the sub-2:33 in the last 5K.....bummer!!!  Splits below and results here.  My friend Boris had an awesome race running 2:27:33 for 4th place overall.

5 km00:18:0018:0003:3616.68
10 km00:36:1518:1503:4016.43
30 km01:48:4331:5703:3616.72

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Munich Marathon 2010 Training Log

Here is my training log from the start of my marathon training for Munich Marathon.

Oct 4-10

Mon: 9M easy
Tue: 8M including 4 x 1200m w/ 400m rec; 3:49, 3:50, 3:49, 3:46
Wed: 7M easy
Thu: 6M easy
Fri: DNR; rest and travel day
Sat: 4.3M including 1K at MP
Sun: Munich Marathon - 2:33:50, 9th Place Overall

Weekly Total:  61 miles

Bittersweet!!!  I'm not going to lie, I had a successful race, but I'm a little disappointed with my finishing time. I know I was fit to run a minute faster (2:32).  But what can you say, it's a marathon and anything can happen (that's the beauty of the distance). I wanted to go through the half in the low-1:16s (went thru in 1:16:46) - the slightly gradual incline of the English Garden caused me some seconds.  From 25K - 35K I really got going and was running km splits of 3:32-3:35 (5:41 - 5:46 pace), but most importantly, I was feeling good.  However, from 38K to 42K my legs refused to run any faster than 3:40-3:44/km (5:54 - 6:00 pace) and had to settle for a 2:33.  A lesson learned in this race, along with my previous two marathons (Rotterdam and Berlin) is that there's no doubt I have to work on finishing the last 5K of the marathon stronger.  I'm always losing valuable seconds in the late part of the race.

Sep 27 - Oct 3

MonAM - 5.1M easy; PM - 7M easy (12.1 tot)
TueAM - 4M including 2M in 10:36 (5:18 pace) as part of Army Physical Fitness Test which included 116 Pushups and 95 Situps; 
      PM - 8M including 4 x 1K w/ 400m recovery; 3:14, 3:10, 3:12, 3:12   (12 tot)
Wed: 7M easy
Thu: 14.3M including 15K total at MP; 4K warm-up + 8K in 28:41 (5:46 pace or 3:35/km) + 1K easy + 7K in 25:00 (5:45 pace or 3:34/km) + 3K cool-down
Fri: 6.2M easy
Sat: DNR; giving legs a rest as I was feeling some pain on the right leg (shin area)
Sun: 13.4M steady medium long run; 6:46 pace

Weekly Total:  65 miles

Taper week. Did not run the planned 8 x 1K on Tuesday night because of a physical fitness test in the morning.  Felt good on my marathon pace run on Thursday; however, it was probably about 2-3 seconds per mile too fast for MP.  I took my first rest day on Saturday for this marathon training cycle.  My right leg (shin) was in pain. Been feeling a little tender in the area during the week, but the first time with a lot of pain. I'm not too much about it. 


Sep 20-26

Mon: AM - 9M easy; PM - 6M easy (15 tot)
Tue: AM - 6.3M easy; PM - 6.1M (12.4 tot)
Wed: AM - 2M easy, core exercise; PM - 14M including 12-10-8-6-4-6 min. at 5:38 > 5:20 pace (3:30 > 3:20/km) w/ 3' easy (16 tot)
Thu: 19M long run; 6:53 pace
Fri: 6.6M easy
Sat: 14M including 15K tempo in 53:30 (5:44 pace / 3:34)
Sun: 15M steady medium long run; 6:47 pace

Weekly Total:  98 miles

After two easy days of running following last week's half-marathon race, I got in consecutive key workouts consisting of cruise intervals and a long run the following day. The 19-miler on Thu was my last "long" run. Fri was a recovery day and Sat's 15K tempo was a success.  I will now begin my taper/peak phase.


Sep 13 - 19

Mon: AM - 8.7M easy; PM - 6.3M easy (15 tot)
Tue: AM - 6M easy; PM - 16M including 7 x 2K w/ 4' rec; 6:35, 6:34, 6:33, 6:31, 6:31, 6:30 (22 tot)
Wed: AM - 6.5M easy; PM - 6.5M easy (13 tot)
Thu: 10.3M easy
Fri: AM - 9M easy; PM - 5.6M easy (14.6 tot)
Sat: 8.7M including 1K @ tempo pace for race tune-up
Sun: Hoogland Half-Marathon - 1:14:08; 1st Overall, very windy (17 tot)

Weekly Total: 100 miles

Excellent week of training that concluded with a half-marathon win for me and my girlfriend. I was looking to PR at around 1:12 for the half, but strong winds from 8-13K ruled it out. The great thing is that I felt stronger as the race went on. Read the race report here. Also, it's a great feeling that I still ran a good race with 80+ miles in the legs prior to the race. Tuesday's 7x2K was a tough but very successful workout.  I've never done that many 2K's for training. I felt better in this workout than the one I did 2 wks ago, which was only 5 repeats of 2K.


Sep 6 - 12

Mon: 10.6M easy 
TueAM - 6.6M easy; PM - 13.5M including 5 x 2K w/ 3' rec; 6:35, 6:34, 6:32, 6:33, 6:29 (20.1 tot)
Wed: 15M med long run
Thu: AM - 5.3M easy, PM - 12M including 20 x 100m Ins&Outs (17.3 tot)
FriAM - 11.8M easy; PM - 5.6M easy (17.4 tot)
Sat: 14.6M including 12K tempo in 42:32; 5:42 pace - 3:32/km
Sun: 22.5M long run; 6:42 pace

Weekly Total: 117 miles

Good week of quality and quantity. Surprisingly felt good on the 2:30 long run following a tempo run. Nice to have the mileage up after a down week.


Aug 30 - Sep 05

MonAM - 6.2M easy; PM - 6.2M easy (12.4 tot)
TueAM - 10M easy; PM - 7M easy (17 tot)
Wed: 15.5M including 12-10-8-6-4-6 min marathon specific at 5:38 > 5:20 pace (3:30 > 3:20/km) w/ 3' easy
Thu: 13M easy
Fri: 7.5M easy
Sat: AM - 3.7M shakeout run; PM - Jesolo RUN 10K - 33:15 PR (16:55, 16:20), 6th Overall (12.4 tot)
Sun: 21M long run; 7:00 pace

Weekly Total: 98.8 miles

A down week as I'm on vacation in Venice with Lisa. It was my first week under 100 miles, as well as my first race since Rotterdam marathon. Felt great to finally race again. I definitely knew I would run a PR, but I think I was a bit too conservative in the 1st half of the race, probably from a lack of racing. 


Aug 23 - 29

MonAM - 5.6M easy; PM - 10.4M easy (16 tot)8
TueAM - 2.5M very easy; PM - 11.5M including 15 x 400m w/ 200m rec; (72, 72, 72, 72, 72, 73, 72, 72, 72, 71, 72, 71, 72, 71, 70, 69 (14 tot)
Wed: 15M medium long run
Thu: AM - 4.3M easy; PM - 14.5M including 4 x 3K w/ 4' rec; (10:08, 10:14, 10:11: 10:09)
Fri: AM - 5.4M easy; PM - 10.8M easy
Sat: 15.6M including 15K tempo in 53:31; 5:44 pace - 3:34;km
Sun: 26.4M (3 hrs) long run; 6:48 pace

Weekly Total: 122 miles

What a week!!! probably my best training week, both quality and quantity. felt tired on Mon, but good on all the other days. Tue's track session was excellent, 3K cruise intervals on Thu went well, Sat's 15K tempo felt great, and Sun I was really shocked at how good the legs and body felt in the 3 hour long run (covered the marathon in 2:58:34  :) 


Aug 23 - 29

MonAM - 6.9M easy; PM - 10.6M easy (17.5 tot)
TueAM - 8.5M easy; PM - 8.7M easy (17.2 tot)
WedAM - 4.5M easy; PM - 15.5M including 12-10-8-6-4-6 min. marathon specific at 5:38 > 5:20 pace (3:30 > 3:20/km) w/ 3' easy (20 tot)
Thu: 14.3M medium long run 
Fri: AM - 5.3M easy; PM - 13M including 4 x 1K, 3 x 2K alternating w/ 3' rec; (3:16, 6:54, 3:17, 6:52, 3:26, 6:56, 3:18); tough workout  (18.3 tot)
Sat: AM - 8.8M easy; PM - 5.2M easy (14 tot)
Sun: 20M long run; 6:45 pace

Weekly Total: 121 miles

I questioned my friend Jurgen, who did up my marathon training program, about this week being a recovery week with the high mileage. He stated that it is a recovery week quality wise.  It was a good week nonetheless and the legs are handling the high mileage very well. 


Aug 9 - 15

MonAM - 10M easy; PM - 5.6M easy (15.6 tot)
TueAM - 5M easy; PM - 12M including 20 x 400m w/ 200m rec; 73, 73, 73, 74, 73, 73, 72, 73, 72, 73, 72, 72, 72, 73, 71, 71, 70, 72, 71, 68 (17 tot)
Wed: 14M easy
Thu: AM - 5.4M; PM - 14.3M including 15 x 1K alternating 3:20 / 3:50 per km (5:22 / 6:10 pace); splits: 3:55, 3:24, 4:00, 3:20, 4:06, 3:18, 4:03, 3:16, 4:06, 3:12, 4:11, 3:15, 4:05, 3:14, 3:52;  (19.7 tot)
Fri: AM - 5.5M easy; PM - 11.3M  (16.8 tot)
Sat: 15.5M including 15K tempo in 53:59; 5:48 pace - 3:36 /km)
Sun: 17.4M long run; 6:56 pace

Weekly Total: 116 miles

Could not believe I did 20 repeats of 400s.  Felt better and stronger than last Tue's workout when I did only 15 repeats. Thursday workout of alternating 1Ks at 3:20 / 3:50 (5:22 / 6:10 pace) was tough. Never really hit the slower/recovery part of the 1Ks, I was always slower.  Good 15K tempo run on Sat.


Aug 2 - 8

MonAM - 6.1M easy; PM - 6.1M easy (12.2 tot)
Tue: 11.8M including 15 x 400m w/ 200m rec; 72, 73, 74, 75, 75, 73, 75, 74, 73, 73, 73, 73, 73, 73, 73 
Wed: 13.7M medium long run
ThuAM - 4.5M; PM - 13.5M including 10 x 1K w/ 400 rec (3:14, 3:18, 3:18, 3:15, 3:14, 3:16, 3:14, 3:14, 3:13, 3:11  (18 tot)
FriAM - 11M easy; PM - 6.1M  (17.1 tot)
Sat: AM - 12M progression run;  started at 6:58 pace and progressed to 5:38 pace; decreased the pace by 16 seconds every 3K (~1.9 miles); PM - 5M easy  (17 tot)
Sun: 19.5M long run; 7:01 pace

Weekly Total: 109 miles

First week of marathon focus training for Munich marathon on 10 Oct.   Training under my German friend's marathon training program. Highest weekly mileage. Both Tue and Thu's workout were mentally and physically tough. Never did that many 400s and 1K repeats. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Half-Marathon Race

Yesterday, I ran the Saucony Halve van Hoogland half-marathon as my tune-up for Munich. It was only my 3rd race of the year (Rotterdam marathon in April and a 10K a few weeks ago being the other two).  I won the race, but even more exciting, my girlfriend who is visiting also came in 1st.  I went into the race confident that I'll PR based on my training. Unfortunately, strong winds (13mph) from 8K to 13K ruled out a PR. I was still happy with the win despite only running a 1:14:08.

The race was pretty close for the first 3/4 of the race. Me and a Dutch runner practically ran stride for stride up to 15K. We clicked off kilometers splits of 3:25 - 3:30 (5:30 - 5:38 pace) for the first 8Ks until we turned a corner and ran straight into 13mph headwinds through open farmland. The next 5K (9-13K) was the toughest part of the race. We went from running 5:30ish pace to 5:45-6:00 pace. After leaving the open farmland at 13K we were finally back to running 5:30ish pace (14 & 15K were 3:29/km - 5:36 pace). At the 15K mark I was still feeling very good and decided to push the pace. For the next 3Ks (16-18K) I ran 3:25, 3:24 and 3:23 (5:30-5:27 pace) and easily dropped the Dutch runner. I knew I had a great chance at winning with only a couple more miles to go and still feeling strong.  I made sure the win was in the bag with a 3:22 (5:25 pace) last km. The race was a big confidence booster leading into Munich, especially that I felt strong the entire race with 80+ miles in the legs pre-race.  Results here.  

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I did not quit blogging, I just took a break after the Rotterdam marathon as I wasn't motivated to blog after a disappointing race.

To bring you up-to-update, I took a short break from running after the Rotterdam marathon, did base mileage during the summer, and then started marathon training in late July for the Munich Marathon (10-Oct).  I've been training with my German running friends J├╝rgen and Boris, both will also be running Munich.  I will post the last 8 weeks of marathon training in the next few posts.  Brief highlights include a high level of training, both quality and quantity (5 wks well over 100 miles), and a 10K PR (33:15) two weeks ago - the only race I've done since Rotterdam.  I'll be running a half-marathon tomorrow as my marathon tune-up race. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rotterdam Marathon - 2:35:46

Ran 2:35:46 (clock time: 2:35:58) for 73rd place overall. Race report to follow soon.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Race tomorrow

I feel that I've prepared myself very well for tomorrow's Rotterdam Marathon.  Now it's just a matter of execution and running a smart race.  The temperature looks to be good, chilly in the low 40's and sunny. However, I'm a bit concerned of the winds, forecasted to be around 12-14mph.  I know I should stop worrying about it because there's nothing anyone could do about it. The fact is runners train very hard and sacrifice a lot for one big race, but then they encounter things they have no control of.  I guess that's just reality and life. :-)  For now, I'm hoping there'll be a decent group running my pace so we can work together and draft off each other.

What's my goal? run fast, smart and under my PR.....and have fun of course! Wish me luck!

Here's this week's training, or shall I say tapering, leading up to Rotterdam.

5-11 Apr

Mon: 8.3M easy w/ 5 strides
Tue: 10M including 5 x 2K (7:09, 7:09, 7:06, 7:08)
Wed: 6M easy w/ 4 strides
Thu: 4M easy w/ 4 strides
Fri: 2.5M easy
Sat: 3.5M easy w/ 4 strides

Weekly Total (pre-race): 34 miles

Sunday, April 04, 2010

22 Mar - 4 Apr; One Week till Rotterdam

Just one week remains till I toe the line at the Rotterdam Marathon. I feel well-prepared and confident that I put in the mileage and hard training.  My legs are already beginning to feel light from the decrease in overall weekly mileage the past week. 

22 - 28 Mar

Mon: AM - 6M easy; PM - 6M easy
Tues: 11M including 10K tempo run in 35:15 (3:32/km, 5:40 pace)
Wed: AM - 6M easy; PM - 6M easy
Thur: 10M easy with 6 x strides
Fri: 12M including 3 x 2K (6:40, 6:42, 6:53) + 2 x 1K (3:14, 3:11); felt tired
Sat:  9M easy
Sun: 20M with 10K at MP; had planned to run the last 8 miles at MP, but too windy (~25mph)

Weekly Total: 86 miles


29 Mar - 4 Apr

Mon: 7M easy
Tues: 10M including 5 x 1200 (3:57, 3:54, 3:56, 3:53, & 3:54)
Wed: 12M easy
Thur: 8M easy
Fri: 13M including 2 x 4M at MP; 1st: 23:12 (3:38/km, 5:50 pace), 2nd: 22:58 (3:35/km, 5:46 pace)
Sat: 6.5M easy
Sun: 13.5 with last 3.5 miles moderate

Weekly Total: 70 miles

Monday, March 22, 2010

Last 2 weeks of training

Here's a brief summary of the last 2 weeks of training.

8 - 14 Mar

Mon: 7M easy
Tues: 6M easy
Wed: 7M including 4 x 1K (3:10, 3:10, 3:07, & 3:08)
Thur: 6M easy
Fri: 5M easy with 5 strides
Sat: 4M easy
Sun: CPC Loop Den Haag Half-Marathon in 1:13:17 (5k - 17:26, 10k - 34:54 (17:28), 15k - 52:24 (17:30))

Weekly Total: 49 miles

This was a very low mileage week as I tried to taper and freshen up the legs for the CPC Loop Den Haag Half-Marathon.  There's no doubt the legs needed it because I had put in 486 miles over the previous 5 weeks (avg. of 97 mi/wk).  I ran a new personal best in the half-marathon (1:13:17) by 22 seconds in very windy conditions.  Was aiming for a sub-1:13, but I'll use the wind as an excuse. ;-)  Regardless, I'm very pleased with a new PR, overall race performance and my fitness leading to Rotterdam.  You can check out my video clips here.


15 - 21 Mar

Mon: 12.2M easy
Tues: AM - 6M easy; PM - 5M easy
Wed: 8.2M easy
Thur: AM - 6M easy; PM - 6M easy with 5 strides
Fri: 12.6M including 3 x 3K (10:02, 9:59, 9:58)
Sat: 11M easy
Sun: 24.7M (16M easy followed by 10K race (36:03) at MP, then 2.5M cooldown)

Weekly Total: 91.7 miles

Following the half-marathon on Sunday I did easy running from Mon-Thur to recover from the race. The calves and quad were a little sore early in the week, but they were ready for Friday's workout,  3 x 3K.  I did this same 3K workout three weeks ago; surprisingly, I was 5-6 seconds per km faster on this day.
On Sunday, I did a key long run with marathon pace. I ran 16 miles from my house in the Netherlands to a 10K race just over the border in Germany. My plan and timing was perfect because I arrived at the race with just enough time to pin on my bib-number and do a few strides.  I ran the race as planned, running marathon pace and aiming for km splits of around 3:38.  I ran the 10K in 36:03 (3:36/km or 5:48 pace) and finished in 4th place overall.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

23 miles with 4 at MP

Ran 23 miles with 4 miles (18-21) at marathon pace.  It was my 5th 20+miler in as many weeks and the best one I've had so far. I ran the first 17 miles comfortably in 1:58:50 (6:59 pace) ending up at a small pond in the nearby city of Sittard.  I then ran laps around the pond at marathon pace, or what I thought felt like MP.  I ran miles 18-21 in 5:44, 5:44, 5:50 and 5:56.  I forced myself to slow down after hitting both miles 18 and 19 at 5:44, a bit too quick and definitely not my planned MP.  Mile 20 was 5:50 and 21 at 5:56.

The run put me at 100 miles for the 3rd consecutive week.  This coming week will be a down-week, in terms of mileage, as I'll freshen up the legs for next Sunday's half-marathon.  It also works out perfectly because I'll be working long hours at work.

1-7 Mar

Mon: AM - 10M easy; PM - 4M easy
Tues: AM - 3M very easy; PM 13.5M including 15K tempo at MP (15K - 54:22; 5:50 pace)
Wed: AM - 3M very easy; PM - 9M easy
Thur: 10.5M easy
Fri: 13M including 4 x 2K (6:39, 6:40, 6:38, 6:37)
Sat: 11M easy
Sun: 23M with 4 miles (18-21) at MP

Weekly Total: 100 miles

Saturday, March 06, 2010

The importance of pacing

Ran 4 x 2K intervals last night at the track in 6:39, 6:40, 6:38, and 6:37.  In the first two repeats my pacing was a little inconsistent in the early lap(s). I'd go through the first lap in 76 seconds, slow down (not intentionally) in the 2nd lap to about 82 seconds and then hold the remaining 3 laps at 80 seconds for a 6:39-6:40 2K. I decided to approach the last two intervals differently and force an 80 second first lap, realizing that running the first lap a few seconds faster wasn't doing much to the overall 2K time and probably just making myself tired faster.  Amazingly, I was dead on at 80 second laps for 1600 meters (5:20) and felt like I had still had some fuel left in the tank in the last 400, so I pushed on and finished strong.  I ran 78 and 76 seconds respectively for the last lap of the last 2K repeats. 

This goes to show how important pacing is and that running 1-3 seconds too fast early on makes a huge difference.  For proof, take a look at the below marathon splits analysis of my Hamburg and Berlin marathon.  I hope to apply the lessons learned and run a much smarter race, similar to Hamburg, at Rotterdam. 

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Easy running

12 miles easy in two runs today. Ran a very slow 3 miles in the morning to loosen up the legs before work, and then 9 miles in the Brunssumerheide during my lunch hour.  The legs felt tired in the early miles of the 2nd run, but much better as time went on. 

Tomorrow will be another easy run of about 10-12 miles and then a track workout of 4x2K on Friday. 

If you haven't noticed yet, I added the City-Pier-City Half Marathon  (14 Mar) to the list of upcoming races on the right. This is the race where Samuel Wanjiru (2008 Beijing Olympics Marathon) broke the world record in the half marathon when he was only 18 years old. 

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

15k Tempo

Ran a 15K tempo run on the track (37.5 laps) at approximately marathon pace (~3:38/km or 5:51 pace).  I took my split times at each mile (1600m to be exact).  Thinking about it now, I should have split my watch at each kilometer since that is what will be marked in Rotterdam, just like in any other European marathon.  I did take a glance at each km of the mile though.  I ran the 15K (9.3 miles) tempo in 54:22 (3:37/km or 5:50 pace).  The cardio felt very controlled and comfortable, but the legs were heavy by the end of the run. 

Splits for the run were:

54:22 (15k or 9.3M)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Running through a storm

A storm hit western Europe, mainly France, earlier today causing the Netherlands to experience what the news said were hurricane-strength winds. In my opinion, the winds were not even close to hurricane-strength (comparing it with the typhoons I’ve been through in Guam).  However, the winds were definitely strong enough to make it a runner’s worst enemy. 

I ran a route where I would experience most of the headwinds during the first half of the run.  Well, it didn’t matter because it seemed like there was always a headwind.  At one point I was running forward and sideways (if that makes sense) just to stay on my feet and prevent myself from being blown away.  I found out afterwards that the winds were about 30-35mph.  The last 2 miles of the run were at marathon pace (MP).  It was a good long run which capped off the week at 101 miles. 

22 – 28 Feb

Mon: AM – 6M easy; PM – 7M easy
Tues: AM – 5M easy; PM – 11.5M including 10K tempo in 35:23
Wed: AM – 6M easy; PM – 9M easy
Thur: AM – 5M easy; PM – 8M easy
Fri: 13M including 3 x 3K in 10:19, 10:17, & 10:16
Sat: 10M easy
Sun: 21M with last 2 miles at goal MP (5:50 pace)

Weekly Total: 101 miles

Friday, February 26, 2010

3K intervals

I had a successful workout on the track tonight in windy and wet conditions. After a couple miles warm-up and some strides, I tackled the long interval workout of 3 x 3K aiming for a time of 10:15 (3:25/km or 5:30 pace). I ended up running 10:19, 10:17, and 10:16, which I was very satisfied with considering the windy conditions.  The workout put me at 70 miles in 5 days.  An easy 10 tomorrow and 21 on Sunday will wrap up another 100-mile week. 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tired legs

The legs have been feeling like bricks with all the mileage in them lately; 97 miles two weeks ago, 100 last week and another 100 by the end of the week.  On Tuesday I did a 10k tempo run on the track.  Despite the fatigue in the legs I managed to put in a good workout with the right effort and pace.  Ran the 10k comfortably in 35:23 averaging 5:42 pace or 3:32/km.  Tomorrow will be a long interval workout of 3 x 3km.  I'm hoping the legs will be up for the task.

Monday, February 22, 2010

15 - 21 Feb

Mon: 12M easy
Tues: Noon - 11M including 8M at 6:00 pace (47:58); PM - 6M easy
Wed: Noon - 9M easy; PM - 5M easy
Thur: Noon - 9M easy; PM - 4M easy
Fri: 13M including 6 x 1K (3:12, 3:14, 3:11, 3:13, 3:12, 3:12)
Sat: 10M easy
Sun: 21M steady with 1 mile (19th) at MP

Weekly Total: 100 miles

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

8-14 Feb

It was a good last week of training despite the less than ideal running conditions (freezing temperatures and lots of snow).  Got in two quality workouts and a steady long run. 

Mon: Noon - 10.5M easy; PM - 4M very easy
Tues: Noon - 11M including 2 x 1K + 1 x 600 + 3 x 800; very cold; PM - 5.5M easy
Wed: 10M easy
Thur: Noon - 10.6M with 5M tempo; PM - 5.4 very easy
Fri: 10M easy
Sat: 10M easy
Sun: 20M steady easy

Weekly Total: 97 miles

Sunday, February 07, 2010

I'm still here

After 3 weeks of vacation and doing a lot of traveling around Europe (Spain, France, Italy) with my girlfriend, I'm now ready to get back into the blogosphere.  Below is the last 4 weeks of training. 

BTW, next big race will be Rotterdam Marathon on 11 April. 

1 - 7 Feb

Mon: DNR; was not able to get in a run because of work.
Tues: Noon - 10M including 8 x 2' hard w/ 1' easy; PM - 6.2M very easy
Wed: Noon - 10M easy; PM - 6.2M very easy
Thur: Noon - 10M including 2 x 2M at tempo pace w/ 5' easy in between; PM - 6.2M very easy
Fri: 10M easy; core
Sat: 10M easy w/ 5 strides
Sun: 20.1M including 2 x 2M @ MP (11:44, 11:38) an hour into the run

Weekly Total: 88.7 miles


25 - 31 Jan

Mon: AM - 6.2M easy; PM - 6.1M easy
Tues: AM - 13.1M including fartlek (4 x 4' + 3 x 3' + 2 x 2' + 1 x 1' w/ -1' easy for rec); PM - 4.2M very easy
Wed: 10.2M easy
Thur: ~10+M very easy; running to different sites in Rome, Italy
Fri: ~8+M very easy; Day 2 of running around Rome
Sat: 9.2M easy
Sun: 14M steady

Weekly Total: 81 miles


18 - 24 Jan
Mon: Stopped after a 1/2 mile; bad cramp and tightness in right calf
Tues: DNR; giving the right calf a little more recovery
Wed: 11.7M with the last 8 miles steady around 6:20-:30 pace
Thur: AM - 10M easy; PM - 7M easy
Fri: AM - 7.1M including 10 x 1' hard/easy; PM - 9M easy
Sat: 5M easy; road trip to Paris
Sun: 14M easy
Weekly Total: 64+ miles

11 - 17 Jan
Mon: 9M easy
Tues: AM - 4.5M easy; PM - 7M easy;  lots of snow
Wed: 6.2M easy
Thur: 10.6M including fartlek of 5-4-3-2-1 w/ -1' easy
Fri: 16.2M easy w/ 2 miles at 6:10 pace
Sat: 11M easy
Sun: DNR; travel to Spain
Weekly Total: 64.5 miles

Sunday, January 03, 2010

28 Dec - 3 Jan

A good amount of snow fell overnight which made for a nice scenic long run.  I ran mostly on snow-free streets and bike paths, thanks to the early morning snow-plowing crew.  In some areas, such as the tractor trails between farmlands, I could not avoid running on snow.  I actually didn't mind it though because it felt like low-impact running. 
Here's last week's training.

28 Dec - 3 Jan

Mon: 8.5M easy
Tues: 9M including 6 x :30 w/ 1' easy
Wed: 5.5M easy
Thur: 8K race in 27:00; 10M total
Fri: 10.7M easy
Sat: 10.3M easy with core
Sun: 16M easy

Weekly Total: 70 miles

Friday, January 01, 2010

Silvesterlauf Trier - Happy New Year!

What better way to wrap up the last day of the 2009 running year than to be running and spending time with Haile Gebrsellasie.  Yesterday, I ran the Silvesterlauf (New Year's Eve race) in Trier, Germany with friends Jurgen and Boris.  Haile Gebrsellasie ran the 8K race as his final tune-up for the Dubai Marathon on January 22.  I was amazed to be standing within a couple feet and toeing the starting line with the marathon world record holder. 

The goal for the race was to break 27 minutes and not get lapped by Haile twice.  Okay, sub-27 minutes for 8k was more than realistic, but there was no way Haile was overlapping me twice in an 8K race with 1K loops.  My race went fairly well and I had a ton of fun, but I was a bit disappointed with my finish time as I ran 27:00 flat.  I clicked off 3:20 laps and went through 5K in 16:42 (5:23 pace). Approximately 200 meters into the 6th lap, I heard the already deafening noise of thousands of spectators get even louder.  Moments later Haile came flying by me like a cheetah chasing down its prey. Watching Haile run was poetry in motion.  After the race, Boris and I bragged to Jurgen that we were running in front of Haile, which is true except that he was on his 7th lap and we were on our 6th.  My goal of running sub-27 was lost in the 7th lap as I let up a little.  I might have let up a little too much, because I found myself sprinting the last 100 meters as the clocked ticked away.

The race was a lot of fun, but post-race was even more exhilarating. My friends and I attended the invitation-only post-race party, where we got to hang out and dine with Haile and other elites like Kenyan Shadrack Lagat (2nd place and 1996 Junior World Champion in 1500m) and German Irina Mikitenko (2:19 Marathoner and Winner of the 2007-2008 World Marathon Majors). 

Silvesterlauf Trier was my 3rd race in 2 weeks.  Despite that being two races more than I'd normally do in  a 2-weeks period, I'm quite happy with the way they all had gone.  The most important thing is that I gained some fitness running these races.  As of right now, I have yet to decide on my first race of 2010.  HAPPY NEW YEAR and may 2010 bring you some new PRs.