Friday, March 30, 2012

Ready to run up and down

Tomorrow I'll be toeing the line at the Monument Avenue 10k, 3 miles out, 3 and a bit miles back. I hope to run faster than last year's slightly disappointing effort and the training block leading into this has been solid. Last few days have gone thus...

M- 6 easy after work
T- 10 including 3*1600 in 5:14/10/11 and 4 400s in 71
W- 7 easy
Th- 6 easy

Drove up to VA yesterday and will run a few miles and strides at some point today before chilling out in advance of the race. Let's do this....

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Monday- off
Tuesday- Miners am (8)/8*1000 on trails pm (12)
Wednesday- Recovery run (4)
Thursday- 13 Long with Dowd crew and a surprise guest in Tim!
Friday- Miners (9)
Saturday- 2 @ 10k pace, mile jog, 5 @ AT (11)
Sunday- Easy 4

A pretty low key week with some ups and downs. Tuesday's workout was solid, helped enormously by the presence of CL. Unfortunately during the last couple of reps my knee started acting up a bit and I was very conscious of it on my warm down. Since then it seems to have stabilized again and wasn't an issue during my long run or yesterday's workout but definitely keeping my eye on it!

Yesterday was a bit of a slog on the sloppy trails and boardwalks of McMullen but I got it done. My legs didn't feel all that great to be honest so hopefully they will bounce back before the race next week!

I definitely don't feel as confident going into this race as I did before the Half but that may be a good thing as a more cautious approach may reap better benefits after my late race struggles at Myrtle! I also received news that Tim is going to be jumping in the 10k too which is awesome!

This week will all be about getting to the start line in the best possible shape. I have a last workout (mile repeats and 400s) on Tuesday, followed by a massage and easy miles the rest of the week. We travel up to Richmond on Thursday, so a nice short and hopefully stress-less work week! Wish me luck!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Redemption Run

After the race on Saturday I was planning on doubling in the afternoon so that I only needed a few miles on Sunday to close out over 70 for the week. However, two hours of yard work (first of the year and it's only early March!) was more than enough exercise for me that afternoon so I decided I would do an easy 5/5 double the next day instead.

So I left my house at 5am on Sunday morning to make sure I had plenty of time to get back to the house before the kids woke up so that Lisa could sleep in (or 'lie in' as we call it!).

2 miles in however I had a decision to make. Either I could turn round soon and get my first 5 miler of the day in or carry on and do all 10 in one fail swoop. Before I knew it I had crossed Providence Road and was committed to knocking out all 10. This gave me a slight problem as now I would be pushing it to get back to the house in time to look after the kids when they woke up. I was feeling good however and clicked off the next mile in 6:40 and carried on rolling progressively until the end, closing with a 6:12 and a smile on my face. The miles had clicked off at a good comfortable clip and at least some sort of redemption for the previous day's efforts had materialized.

I opened the back door and there was no sign of the kids yet either- a second positive development of the day and it was only 6:10! I could feel it was going to be a good day, a feeling subsequently confirmed with news of several friend's successful races coming throughout the morning (including a remarkable 4 minute PR from last week's training partner Jay at the NYC Half) and with Man U winning 5-0 at Wolves to go 4 points clear at the top of the Premiership. Yes, Sunday was a good day....

So 70 miles for the week and a down week ahead. I'm writing this on Monday which will be a no run day and am certainly looking forward to the rest of the week and time before Richmond with more excitement and anticipation than I was at 8:20 on Saturday morning!!

Pauses for thought

There is no doubt Saturday's race was a sub par, disappointing effort. I ran 6 seconds slower than I did on a slightly different course last year. Not much difference then you may think. However, last year's race was run less than 12 hours after I had run a 15:31 PR on the track!

Immediately after the race I was trying to seek some positives from the race but was struggling to find any! I sent off a concerned email to Coach, even questioning whether we needed to reevaluate goals and change the training plan for Richmond in two weeks! The race had definitely given me pause for thought....

By the evening however I had started to look at things a little differently and sent off another, less pessimistic, email and waited for the wise words of my coach to see what he thought about everything.

The race itself went thus...I had a good warm up and was feeling good on the start line. I had spotted and chatted with Bert Rodriguez so knew a win was out of the question but at least I would have someone to chase after. Other than that the competition looked few and far between- taking this race off the Grand Prix schedule definitely had a big impact on the number of racers Saturday morning and the quality of the field.

Immediately I fell behind Bert but was fine with this as he appeared to be running way under 5 minute pace! I went through the 'easy' mostly downhill 2 mile marker in 10:25. I had been running alone the whole way. Given the nature of the course the time was probably just about right if I wanted to attack sub 21 as planned but I was already starting to tire and was just about to start the notorious long climb of mile three. I held it together pretty well on this mile (5:26) but was not able to pick up the pace any during the final mile. Bert was out of sight and I was comfortably ahead of the chasing pack myself. I came home 2nd in 21:25...

So what to read into this? I'll leave it to the rational/detached words of my coach who replied to me shortly after the second email.

1) Absolutely no need to change the schedule with two weeks to go- trust the training!

2) I had gone out at a faster pace than I have been training for. IF I start out at the right/goal pace at Richmond then I will be able to close the race more effectively!

3) I will have people to feed off at Richmond and will not be running solo the whole race!

So all in all a disappointing race but I'm not writing off my chances of a good race at Richmond yet!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bad day at the office

2nd in 21:25. Ouch! Recap/reflection later

Wednesday to Friday

Off to race soon! Looking forward to a tough test of the fitness! The kids also get to 'race' after!

Wednesday- 9 including 8*600 off 1:30 on the roads (av 1:47/48)

Thursday and Friday- 15 miles total with the usual strides and drills on Friday

Feeling pretty good. Two weeks till Ukrops

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Quick update

So yeah I've already fallen behind recapping day by day. Oh well here's what has happened since the Thursday long run...

Friday was the usual second Miners Run of the week. I added on a couple of miles to make 9 and did my strides and drills that I have been religiously fitting in on a weekly basis. For these I basically do 8*strides/butt kicks/skipping/side steps/high knee raises, etc. up and down a stretch of Old Bell Road. I think it is so important to keep in touch with these each week. It helps keep the fast twitch fibers and other neglected muscles happy and firing and definitely has some 'pre hab' injury prevention benefits in my mind too. This is always one of the first workouts I put on the schedule each week.

So I was pretty tired heading into Saturday's highly anticipated workout with Jay. Fresh off his first ever sub 16 posting on a tough course and having the best training cycle of his life heading towards Boston I was excited to be training with my buddy again! I hadn't seen Jay in a while so it was good to catch up with him during the three miles warm up and it would have been nice for this to be longer but we had work to do!

The workout was 2 miles, 4 * 400, 2 miles and we did it at Mcalpine on what was a beautiful cold and sunny morning for training! Jay provides a more detailed review here but suffice it to say we nailed it and worked hard together as we had hoped we would be able to. My training would be 10% better than it is right now if we could run together more often.

After a quick recovery including a splendid visit to Yoforia with Lisa, the kids and Jay and his better half, we laced up our shoes again for some recovery miles through the Providence Road neighborhoods in the afternoon. Aaron also joined for this one, fresh off a 5k victory earlier in the day himself and it was a trip down memory lane for the three of us who had trained together for Richmond Marathon in 2010.

These easy and enjoyable miles closed my week out at over 70 miles and I celebrated that evening by meeting up with Jay (common theme here??) and a bunch of other friends at Selwyn Pub to share some beers and laughs. Michael Jordan just happened to be present at our choice of venue too, although I never actually got the chance to see past his entourage and check if Guinness was his beverage of choice also.

Sunday I was able to take off and spent a great day with Lisa and the kids. Man U rose to the top of the Premier League for the first time since October and after watching that I spent the afternoon at the Schiel Museum of Natural History in Gastonia which ended up being a great choice of venue by Emily who had been on a Field trip there two weeks previously! We ended with pizza at Brixx and any day that ends on this note is a good one!

After Sunday's 'rest day' it was time to get back at it on Monday morning as I intend to hit 70 plus miles again this week, including the Shamrock 4 Mile race on Saturday.

I ran an easy 8/6 mile am/pm double on Monday and another 12 plus miles this am with the other Miners crew to start the week off on a good note. Working out tomorrow (8*600 on the roads), then a mini taper into Saturday's race which should be able to provide a good indicator of what I might be capable of at Richmond, my goal race, in two weeks time.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday 16

And so on to the aforementioned 16. Lately I have started to get my weekly long run in on Thursday rather than at the weekend. Gone are the days when I was able on a weekly basis to knock out a hard race or workout on Saturday without compromising the quality of my 2 hours on a Sunday so this is a good option to have. It means I get at least 9 (and usually more) of the miles in with a great bunch of people and frees up Sundays to spend more time with the family. Win win!

Today was no exception. I left the Dowd at 5am for 7 miles just me and my ipod before circling back for a Gu, dry shirt and a bathroom break to join the 6am group for their miles. By 8am I was showered, re-fuelled and at my desk, long run out of the way for the week. Legs felt very reasonable today considering yesterday’s workout. They’re going to need to be in fine fettle for my workout on Saturday when I actually have a workout partner! That he is merely visiting from New York is by the bye….

I need training partners!

Since Myrtle I have not been able to find anyone to do any of my workouts with me. I’ve done after work, Saturday morning and Wednesday early morning but no takers in spite of the range of hours I have offered. Surely someone else in Charlotte does hard workouts from time to time?? The main problem I have is that most of the local competitive runners who I should be training with have far more flexible or different working hours than me. I seem to be the only 8 to 5 office based runner in Charlotte! My teacher friends often work out after school with their teams and my friends who work from home can usually find a nice slot in their day to get a workout in at a ‘normal’ hour

Anyway, train hard I must (and want) so I’m just getting on with it. Yesterday I headed up to PDS track at 5:30 am and cranked out a workout of 3*1k,4*400,2*1k. Apart from the last k which I was struggling through, I hit all the prescribed times and didn’t feel I had gone to the well like I had on Saturday’s mile repeats so that was satisfactory, although as I told my coach afterwards I think the satisfaction was more down to actually having got another solo workout out of the way rather than with the results themselves. I had spent ten minutes at home thinking of alternatives to doing the track workout before sucking it up and leaving the house but there was no other time. I couldn’t leave it until after work as I had 16 miles planned today and I couldn’t leave it until today as, well, I had a 16 miler to fit in somewhere!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Small Miners' Group

With the temperatures dipping back into the 20s again, it was a small but hardy trio that headed into Mcalpine this morning. Mike B, Jason and I did the usual 6.9 mile loop (7.7 total for me). I sported tights for the first time in ages for this run and am hoping it warms up for tomorrow’s planned track workout!

Monday Double

I’m going to start trying to post my daily runs again. We’ll see how long this lasts.

I took Sunday off so was fresh and ready to start this week off with a double. With 70 miles the aim in 6 days it was good to get over 12 miles in on the day without undue stress on the legs. I ran solo in the am in Mcalpine for just under 6 miles. Nothing to note other than I felt good, the trails had held up very well after all the weekend rain and the only other soul I saw out there was the guy who rides his bike with the brightest light ever shining directly into your face.

After work I headed to the Dowd to attend my first CRC ‘Case of the Mondays’ run with my work colleague Ryan. We joined up with Caleb, Jocelyn, AJ and Jay B for a nice evening’s run around Freedom and Latta Parks for 6.5 miles. On my way home I noted that at 6:30 it was still pretty light out and that next week it would be this light at 7:30. All well and good but not much help for me when I am not an evening runner and the mornings will be darker again for a while.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Back at it

After a recovery week I was able to get back into some harder training last week as the focus builds on a good race at Richmond at the end of the month.

I got 65 miles in including a 15 mile long run and 2 sessions (16*400 with 30 second jog recovery averaging 76-77s plus 5 * a mile on the trails with 400 jog in 5:24,23,11,25,12). Both of the workouts were solo as will be my upcoming one on Wednesday but at least at the weekend I will get some company as my buddy Jay will be in town. Fresh off a brand spanking new 5k PR and deep in training for Boston it will be great to have Jay's company for this!