Monday, June 18, 2012

Weekly Summary: June 11-17

Mon: AM - 5M easy; PM - 7M easy; 12M tot
Tue: AM - 8M easy; PM - 5M easy; 13M tot
Wed: 7.5M including 12 x 1' fartlek hard/easy
Thu: AM - 9M easy; PM - 7M easy; 16M tot
Fri: AM - 7M easy w/ 6 strides ; PM - 5.5M easy; 12.5M tot
Sat: 9M easy
Sun: 18M long run

Weekly Total: 88 miles on 11 runs/7 days

It was a week of easy running, in terms of intensity.  On the other hand, I got in some good mileage; 88 miles, the most miles since March when I was training for Boston.  During the week I'd run in the early morning as part of my Army PT (physical training), and then I'd put in another run after work (actually, class). Sunday was a nice 2-hour run on the quiet roads of Fort Gordon.  I cruised along at a 6:30ish pace feeling very comfortable and steady.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Weekly Summary: Jun 4-10

Mon: AM - 5M easy; PM - 7.2M easy; 12.2M tot
Tue: AM - 8M easy; PM - 5M easy; 13M tot
Wed: 6M easy
Thu: 10.3M including 4 sets of 2x200 + 1x400 (35, 35, 72, 35, 35, 72, 35, 34, 71, 34, 34, 71)
Fri: 9M easy
Sat: AM - NEEC's Pioneer 5K Run: 16:35, 1st, 9M tot;  PM - 9M easy; 18M tot.
Sun: DNR; travel

Weekly Total: 68.5M on 9 runs/6 days
I ran easy with a couple double runs early in the week to recover from Hospital Hill.  On Thursday I hit the track for some short intervals, sets of 2x200 +1x400.  I had planned to run 5-6 sets, but only did 4 as it was very hot.  On Saturday, I ran a last minute 5K race (see previous post) as a hard tempo workout.  That afternoon I ran an easy 9 miles making it an 18-mile day.  On Sunday I traveled to Fort Gordon (Augusta, GA), which is where I'm currently at, for a 2-week Army course.  I had intended to fit in a run after arriving in the afternoon.  However, the run never happened because I literally spent my entire day stranded in the Atlanta airport.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Last Minute 5K as a Workout

Hospital Hill half-marathon was supposed to be my last race in Kansas/Missouri. However, I decided to run a 5K race literally the morning of the race. The Pioneer Run 5K was hosted by the Northland Early Education Center to benefit education services for Northland children who have special needs. The race was held in the Parkville English Landing Park, which is where I routinely log my Saturday miles. So, for a good cause, and since the run was being held in the same location I was going to put in my workout, I decided to just run the race. I treated the race as a training run, because I had just put in 9 miles the night before.

At the start line I did not see any familiar faces from previous races (nice rhyme), so I knew that the run would be a solo effort. The course consisted of one small lap and one big lap on the running/bike trail around the park. Within the first 1/4 mile I was pretty much on my own. I'd say that I ran the race at a good hard tempo effort. I finished in 16:35, almost 2.5 minutes ahead of the 2nd runner. It was a good workout and effort.  The toughest part of the run was getting a good push off on the foot strikes as the trail is a little sandy. The Saucony Kinvaras are also probably not the best shoes for traction on a dirt trail course. Regardless, it was a good run. After crossing the finish and getting some water, I continued on for a nice easy 4 miles. I finished the morning at 9 miles and will do another run this afternoon.

Another dust collector, but I'll take the gift cards. 

Monday, June 04, 2012

Weekly Summary: May 28 - Jun 3

Mon: 8.5M easy
Tue: 9.5M easy including 10 x 1' hard/easy fartlek
Wed: 8.5M easy
Thu: 6.5M easy
Fri: 4M easy including 6 x strides
Sat: AM - Hospital Hill Half-Marathon - 1:13:59, 27th; PM - 4.2M very easy; 20M total
Sun: 10M easy

Weekly Total: 67 miles on 8 runs/7 days; 1 race
The highlight of the week was obviously the Hospital Hill half-marathon.  Despite being a race week, I still ended up with some decent mileage.  I headed into the race at 37 miles, and then put in a total of 30 miles over the weekend, including the race.  On the afternoon of Hospital Hill, I went out a short 4M shakeout run.  The shakeout run really helped in flushing out the waste in the legs and contributed to me having a nice easy 10-mile run on Sunday.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

I Conquered Hospital Hill

You couldn't have asked for better weather conditions on an early June morning for Hospital Hill. Mid-50 degrees, overcast with some sun and a cool breeze....Come On! Where was this weather on April 16?

I knew I was ready for Hospital Hill, but honestly I did not know what to expect in terms of a time goal for this race. I thought a 1:14-1:15 would be a reasonable and respectable time considering the hills. At the expo on Friday, Rusty, who is a race director for some of the local races, congratulated me on my win and finishing time at the Five Trails a couple weekends ago. He told me that I'd run well in tomorrow's (Saturday) race, because the Five Trails course was tougher than Hospital Hill. His comment gave me a positive mindset, but I'd still have to see for myself.

When the gun went off I made sure not to go out too hard, as there were also 5K and 10K runners in the race running the same course, at least for the first few miles. I ran the first two miles steady and controlled, hitting mile 2 in 11:23 (5:42, 5:41). The next 3 miles (3-5) were a gradual decline, and I settled into a good rhythm running low to mid-5:30 pace until the steep hill at mile 6 (see elevation chart below). Mile 6 split was my 2nd slowest mile (5:53). My slowest mile split of the day was mile 11 (5:54). The hill at mile 11 wasn't as steep as mile 6, but it was a gradual climb that lasted literally for an entire mile.

At the start of the 12th mile, or 11-mile marker, the half-marathon and 10K runners meet up with cones separating the two races. The half-marathoners ran on the left side of the street and the 10K-ers on the right side. This part of the course actually motivated me to push myself because I not only had a little over two miles to go in the race, but also because I was now running alongside and passing other runners, even though they were 10k runners. In all honesty, the race was a lonely one for me. I practically ran alone with the exception of the first couple miles. Additionally, there wasn't much crowd support in the middle portion of the race. As one of the oldest half-marathons in the country (39th annual), I'd think that there would be more support and spectating from the local residents, especially that the middle miles run through residential areas.

With about a mile left in the race I really began to push the pace (Mile 13 split was 5:09). At that particular point I had no idea what my projected finishing time would be; however, I did know that I'd finish in under 1:15. I made the turn into Grand Blvd and could see the finish line in the distance. I hit mile 13 with the clock at 1:13:26 (believe it or not there was a race clock at the last mile split). With a little less than 200m to the finish I knew that I could go sub-1:14 if I just let the legs go. Thanks to the 200m repeats I've been doing at the end of my track sessions, I sprinted for the finish and just dipped under 1:14 with a 1:13:59. Results here.  Hospital Hill is my 4th fastest half-marathon and also the 4th time running in the 1:13s.  I have yet to break excuse is that I'm always running a half as part of my marathon train-up and never fully tapered for it, or I tend to pick hilly half-marathons.  ;)

In a strong field of runners I finished 27th overall and 3rd in my age-group. I just missed out on some cash in the Top 3 Missouri runners. Actually, I was really the 3rd Missouri runner because the 2nd runner in the Missouri state category was listed in the wrong state (Lawrence is a city of Kansas and not Missouri). No worries though, it was great to be out there and run well in what was my last race in Kansas/Missouri. Later this month I'll be moving to Fort Bragg, NC, where I'll be stationed for the next three years.