Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Trying to start back

Since the Louisville Marathon Oct. 19, I've had some health issues that have backtracked my training and racing. My back has been giving me some problems along with some severe headaches and a few other more minimal issues I've encountered. I had an MRI on my head and lower back and they showed that I probably have a cyst on my brain along with some other more complicated problems, and my back has a few bulging discs, one that is pitching my nerve, and I might have some other problem that is a little more serious that I'm not that familiar with. I'm going to see a neurosurgeon this Friday. As you can tell, I'm a little banged up.

With that said, I recently bought a treadmill (which I've been wanting for a long time) and I'm going to start back running and continue running until a doctor tells me I shouldn't, which they have yet to do. But I am cutting my mileage, not running as many days per week and doing most of my running on the treadmill, which to me seems like less strain on my back with the even surface and no twists and turns. I'm not sure what (if any) races I'm going to attempt yet but they will most likely be low-key races around the area. If I get in good training and a few longer runs, I might attempt a marathon in early spring. I'm not sure about that, though. I guess I will just have to wait and see how it all unfolds.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Getting back on the roads

Okay, so I took three weeks off after the Louisville Marathon Oct. 19 and now it's time to get back on the roads. I'm excited to get back to training but I haven't decided on what races to do yet. Right now, I'm thinking about the Otter Creek Trail Marathon Dec. 14 but that's just five weeks away so I'm not sure yet. I might opt to do the 8-mile race or the 16-mile race but would really like to run the marathon if my training is going okay the next few weeks.

I was thinking (actually I already decided) to run the Rocky Raccoon 100-mile race in Texas this February, but after a few days decided not to attempt it for money reasons. With the situation I'm in with trying to sell my Shelbyville house, I don't have the cash to spend on a weekend trip to Texas and a $120 race fee. I guess I'll just have to save those 100-milers for later when I'm more financially stable. If only they had a 100-miler in Kentucky?

Also, I was thinking about running Boston this year since I qualified again — and a few guys I know are running it — but my wife is pregnant with our second child which is due in late April. So that's out of the question.

I'll just see how my training is going and then pick a race to focus on. I'll just see how it goes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Louisville Marathon, 2:58:53

Well, I achieved my No. 1 goal to set a new PR, and I felt relatively good most of the way so I was definitely pleased with my performance in the Louisville Marathon this past Sunday. I finished the course in 2:58:53 chip time (previous PR was 2:59:13 from the Kentucky Derby Marathon 2007), which placed me 8th overall and 1st in the Male 25-29 division. It was a 6:50-per-mile average.

In the week leading up to the race, I did low mileage with nothing but easy runs with light strides. I took off the day before the race to really rest up. I was planning on running a 5K at goal marathon pace about five days out from the marathon, but decided just to run easy when my hamstrings were tight. On race morning, I felt really good after a 5-minute easy jog and one light stride. As for nutrition (for future reference) I ate a large pasta meal two nights before the race, a large breakfast of pancakes, oatmeal and scrambled eggs the morning before the race and a lighter dinner of pasta and meatballs the night before the race. On race day, I ate one piece of toast with jelly, a yogurt and a healthy bar with some powerade at 5:45 a.m. The race started at 8 a.m. I sipped on just water up to the race, but didn't drink as much as I usually do, which I preferred. Too much water makes my bladder hurt for the first half of the race and it's hard for me to drink. During the race, I took water from every water table except for the first one and took two gel packs (at miles 15 and 20), which I carried with me. I liked this approach as this was the first marathon I felt like I had energy to finish strong and wasn't dehydrated.

Okay, now for the actual race. I started out running with Jon Brenenstuhl at 6:30-6:40 pace, which was our pre-marathon plan. I don't really remember many splits but I know the first mile was 6:34 and we had a few (miles 8-10) right at or a little under 6:30s. Jon was feeling good and he started to pull away from me at around 12 miles (which I thought was about right). I ran by myself for a little while then got on the heels of a guy who went past me from miles 15 to 20. I think I passed the halfway point in around 1:27:30 (not exactly sure on this as it hasn't been posted yet). If I remember correctly, I passed 18 miles in 2:00:03, and 20 miles at around 2:13:30. Rewind the race a little, and at 6 miles I started to feel my hamstrings tighten up like they were about to start cramping, but I tried to ignore the pain in fear that I would tense up and cause it to cramp more. At 22 miles, though, the pain started to get worst so I slowed down to try to take shorter strides. When I opened up my stride, I could feel it tense up a little more. I have a history of cramping, and I wanted to get to the finish line cramp-free this time so I backed off even though I wasn't feeling that bad considering where I was at in the race. I'm not sure on my time, but at 25 miles I knew I had to pick it up if I wanted to get a new PR so I really tried to push it in from that point forward. I was still afraid of cramping so I ran 3 1-minute hard surges with short rests (a slower but steady pace) between each one. Then, I really kicked it in the final quarter mile to get under 2:59:00. It was tough, but I made it without cramping.

Like I said, I was pleased with the race. I think if it wasn't for the whole I'm-afraid-of-cramping scenario, I could have possibly ran at least a few minutes faster. By looking back at my training log from the 12 weeks leading up to the race (especially with the setbacks from injuries and sicknesses), it was a great race for me. This was probably the worst training I've done leading up to a marathon, but I was able to run a PR because I didn't cramp — that made all the difference.

A few days after the race, I'm obviously still sore but I'm feeling mentally fresh and ready for my next challenge. I'm not sure what that will be yet. My quads are the main thing that's hurting right now. I'll take this week completely off and might start jogging next week. Then, I'll look at my options and see how it unfolds.

By the way, Jon ran a 2:46:55 for 2nd overall off similar training that I did.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Week of Oct. 6-Oct. 12

In my final week of training before the Louisville Marathon Oct. 19, I got in lower-than-normal mileage but still maintained my fitness in an effort to rest up for the 26.2-miler. I ended up running 35 miles total with one workout on the roads, one steady-hard effort of 60 minutes and one day of speed work that included football.

The workout on the road was run last Wednesday. I measured off a 3-mile course (1.5 miles out and back) on flood road in Cropper, which had some hills and some sharp curves. My goal was to run the first one at marathon effort (6:30-6:45) and the second one at close to 6-minute miles with a 5-minute jog recovery between the two. I started out a little too fast and ended up running the first one in 19:00 (6:20-pace) which felt fine, then I ran the second one in 18:05 (6:01-pace) which was just where I wanted to be. The workout went according to plan. I had to push towards the end of the second 3-miler, but otherwise I felt fine.

On the 60-minute run, I ran mainly on a looped course on the roads so I could work on drinking water out of a cup. I always say I need to work on that before a marathon but this is the first time I ever actually did it. I ran, what I calculated to be, around 7-minute pace for most of the run and really picked it up towards the end. I had six different cups to drink during the run, and I finally figured out the best way to drink while maintaining a pace close to marathon effort. (I won't go into details here.) The run went well. It was my final run this long and at this pace before the marathon.

As for the football game the following day, Saturday, I used it as a speed workout with tons, tons and tons of sprints during the three hours. We started out playing tackle and then switched over the flag. Let me say I am way more sore than I expected to be a few days later. When I play football, I pretty much run hard, all-out routes the entire time, and also run a lot on defense, so I got a very good workout in. I counted it as four miles, but I think I probably underestimated the distance I actually completed. The football game is an annual tradition with some of my friends (we played 8-against-8 most of the time) so I decided to go ahead and play - which might not have been such a great idea the weekend before the marathon. I did get in a good day of speed though, something I haven't done in a while, which could have led to my soreness.

Here is a breakdown of my week...

Monday: 4 miles easy
Tuesday: 6 miles easy
Wednesday: 5 minutes easy, 2 x 3 miles (19:00, 18:05) with 5 minutes jog recovery, 5 minutes easy = 8 miles
Thursday: 4 miles easy
Friday: 60 minutes at sub-7 pace, plus 5 x fast strides with jog between each one = 9 miles
Saturday: 3 hours of football — used it as a day for speed workout = 4 miles
Sunday: DNR. Sore from yesterday's football game.

This week I'm going to take it easy with light runs lasting no more than 30 minutes, light strides and maybe one 3-miler on the roads at 5K pace to keep my legs moving fast. With the marathon less than a week away, hopefully I'll be ready to go this coming Sunday.

Also, I found out today that the Louisville Marathon had to switch its course back to the same one they used last year, which means it will be very flat and mainly run along River Road and through some parks. It also means the half-marathon and marathon runners will be starting together. I was actually looking forward to just running with the marathoners the entire time, but it's all right. I guess I'll just see how I'm feeling Sunday.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Week of Sept. 29-Oct. 5

Just a few weeks left until the Louisville Marathon and I got in decent mileage this week with about 46 miles. I count my weekly mileage from Monday through Sunday, but during a 7-day stretch (Sunday through Saturday) I actually got in 71 so I was pleased with that. Due to a couple of setbacks the last month, I don't feel as strong as I was hoping I would at this point, but I think I'm fit enough to possible PR in Louisville.

I was looking over the marathon's website the other day and noticed a few changes: (1) This will also be the USA Military Championships, which should draw in some faster runners I would think. (2) The route used last year has been completely changed for this year with the race running mainly through downtown Louisville, which might add a few more hills but it still should be a fast, flat course, and more scenic. (3) The half-marathon and marathon runners will be starting at different places but will use the same finish. Actually, I like this change since I usually get caught up in trying to pace off of an inconsistent half runner. Plus, I'll know what place I'm in with the other marathoners from the get-go.

Here's what I ran last week. Sunday I did a 24- to 25-mile long run.

Monday: DNR - rest after yesterday's long run
Tuesday: warmup, 2 x 2 miles on slow, grass course in 12:30, 12:45, cooldown = 6 miles
Wednesday: AM 6 miles, PM 4 miles = 10 miles
Thursday: AM 4 miles, PM 20 minutes, 10 x hill sprints, 10 minutes = 10 miles
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday 16 miles w/ miles 4-14 at sub-7 pace

Decent week. This upcoming week I want to cut mileage back just a tad, get in one "good" workout and a few solid runs. Then, I'll rest up for the actual marathon.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Week of Oct. 22-Oct. 28

Following the 30K race on Sunday, Oct. 21, I decided to take some down time to recover and get ready for a couple of weeks of solid training before backing down for the Louisville Marathon. Of course, with days off, my mileage was really low, but I was able to run the longest long run I've run a long time of around 25 miles (though it was brutal) and I feel reasonably fine heading into another week of training. Here's what the week consisted of:

(Sunday: 30K race in 2:05:00)
Monday: Did not run, very sore!!!
Tuesday: Did not run, still sore!!
Wednesday; Did not run, still sore!
Thursday: 4 miles easy, pushing Emma. Still sore but couldn't take another day off
Friday: 4 miles easy, still sore but feeling better
Saturday: Did not run, decided to do a long run the following day so took off to rest up
Sunday: 3 hours, 40 minutes, 40 seconds = around 25 miles I calculated. Started out at what I felt like was around 8-minute miles, slowed down to 8:30's after about 2 hours, then struggled in the final hour. Ran from my house in Pleasureville to the Game Farm in Frankfort. The last 30 minutes were really brutal, but I worked through it and got in a good long run.

So my mileage for the week was around 33 miles in just three runs. This week, my plan is to do one workout at marathon-pace or faster, one session of hill sprints to work on power and strength, and run one semi-long run at a faster pace.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Louisville Downtown Doubler 30K

Sunday's Louisville Downtown Doubler 30K went according to plan, but I'm a little more sore than I wanted to be two days afterwards. I finished at 2 hours and 5 minutes on the dot, which I think was 5th-place overall (the results aren't posted yet as of Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.).

I started out at a 6:49-mile, ran in the 6:50s for a while, then dropped to 6:40s, then dropped to 6:30s. I think my fastest mile was 6:27 at around mile 14. I felt relaxed but really started to feel it the final two miles. I ran in a new pair of Nike racing flats I recently bought, and I'm glad I did because now I know not to use them in the actual marathon. My feet were burning those last few miles. My pace went above 7 minutes, but I didn't push too hard at the end.

I didn't feel too bad for the rest of the day on Sunday, but when Monday morning rolled around I was definitely feeling it in my legs. It felt about like it does the day after racing a half-marathon all out. Actually, with the limited training I had the two weeks leading up to the race, I might be a little more sore. And I was just as tight Tuesday morning when I woke up.

I'll take two days off following the race, then jog for a couple of days before resuming normal training. I now have four weeks left until the marathon. My plan is to run 6:30 to 6:45 miles, which should be easier to maintain in four weeks. My key runs from now until then will be a 3-hour long run to build the all-important endurance, hill sprints to increase my strength and 2 x 5K on the track to work on pace. Hopefully I'll be ready.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm back...

Man, has it really been more than five months since my last post. I guess I've been a busy, busy bee. Actually, I got stung by a bee last week when I stepped on one trying to pick up Emma's outside toys, my foot swelled up and I had to go to the doctor. I'm all better now though. Hopefully.

As for my running, it's sad to say but I haven't run a race since the 50K in February. I've been training on and off since that time, but haven't felt fit enough to enter any races. My inconsistent training and zero racing during this span is due to some injuries, including a bulging disc about four months ago, lots of illnesses (not sure what that's all about?) and some other nagging problems that have cut into my schedule. After the bulging disc, I took three weeks off and started training again by running just 10 minutes — increasing each run by just one minute each day until I reached 30 minutes of total running. This strategy worked perfect as I was able to shack off my back problems (for the most part), and started feeling fine after the 20 days. Then, I started adding some faster runs but limited my weekly long runs to around 60 minutes. Starting with the running camp I put on at General Butler State Park (I camped out with some guys and ran on some wonderful training trails twice a day from July 30 until Aug. 2), I put together four solid weeks of training that included 50-60 miles. My long runs were 13, 16, 18 and 20 miles. But then I went on a trip to Gatlinburg Sept. 3 until Sept. 7 and got sick once again, so my training has been limited since. With the bee sting happening last Sunday, I ran just twice, totaling 12 miles, in around two weeks.

Currently, I just started back running again yesterday (Wednesday) and I'm thinking about racing the Louisville Doubler 30K (18.6 miles) this Sunday as a prep run for the Louisville Marathon in four weeks. If I do the 30K, I plan to start at 6:30 miles (goal marathon pace), then either continue with that pace or slow it down and just enjoy a longer run. After that, I will re-evaluate my training during the next four weeks and set my goals for the Louisville Marathon. My No. 1 objective is to PR (2:59:13).

For training yesterday, I ran 31 minutes at 6:30 a.m., 32 minutes at 12:30 p.m. (pushing the baby jogger with Emma), and another 30 minutes at 7:30 p.m. (running with my wife and pushing Emma again), which totals around 12 miles. This morning, I ran 40 minutes with 10 1-minute surges. I'll probably run easy tomorrow, take off Saturday and run the 30K Sunday. From there, who knows?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Week of April 7-13

I started commuting to work on my road bike this week, which I guess kicks off my official training schedule that I hope will get me ready for some fast duathlons or an Ironman later in the summer. The commute isn't too long — about eight miles one way — but it's a good chance to get on the bike twice a day for about 30 minutes each time, it wakes me up in the morning and after a long day in the office, and it saves some money in gas. I plan on commuting to work the four days I'm in the office (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday), work on my turnover and one-legged riding on my indoor trainer on Wednesday and get in a longer ride on the weekend. After I feel comfortable on the bike, I'll add swimming into the mix, then work in running.

Here was the week of April 7-13:

Monday: Off
Tuesday: (20 miles biking) 8 to work, 6 to the Eminence baseball field, 6 home.
Wednesday: (12 miles biking) warmup on indoor trainer, 10x 1-minute hard, 1 easy, one-legged drills, cooldown.
Thursday: (16 miles biking, 3 miles running) 8 miles biking to work, 8 miles biking home, followed by 3 miles running right off the bike.
Friday: Played basketball for 3 hours.
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Off

My plan for the next few weeks is to commute to work 3-4 times per week, get in one run per week, work in the water on technique one time per week, and get in two tough rides each weekend. After I feel more comfortable on the bike, I'll add in a few more days in the pool each week to work on conditioning, then add in running a few more times per week as well, mainly right off the bike.

Concentrating on the bike

Well, after taking more weeks away from running that I originally planned, I've decided to train on my bike for a while. I've done triathlons, including a half-ironman-distance triathlon a few years back, and duathlons, but I've never really trained on the bike.

So, my plan is to get a lot better on the bike with commuting to work and riding long on the weekends, and then either focus on duathlons or triathlons. If I can get in the water enough, I might attempt an Ironman this year, too. That's always been a goal of mine.

I've been riding more than normal the last few weeks. I bought an indoor trainer, and I've been working on that when I can't get outside due to the weather or because I'm watching my baby. Plus, I've done a few rides through Bagdad — man, those rides are tough. And I went on a long ride of around 50 miles a few Sundays ago with a new cycling group in Shelbyville. I feel like my cycling is really improving, but I have a long way to go.

Whenever I feel more comfortable on the bike, I'll add swimming to my training. Then, after I feel comfortable with both of those, I'll add running into the mix as well. Then, depending on my training, I'll decide which races to attempt.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Time away from running

Following my 50K trail race, I've decided to take a little down time to give my body a chance to recover from the Louisville's Lovin' the Hills race on Feb. 16. So far, I've taken a week of no running, and I'll probably take off another week or two before I start jogging again.

After the ultra race, I've not decided what to do yet. I might get ready for a marathon or start biking more for either duathlons or triathlons later in the summer. My options are to either do the Louisville Marathon again, train for the three-race duathlon series that Todd Heady puts on in August, September and October, or train for the Headfirst Ironman-distance triathlon in September.

I'll just have to wait and see what happens...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Louisville's Lovin' the Hills

The Louisville's Lovin' the Hills (LLTH) 50K trail race didn't go exactly as planned, but I survived and made it to the finish. When I started out Saturday morning, I had goals of racing close to the leaders, finishing among the top 3 and running close to five hours on the tough trails. But when the going gets tough you keep going, but you adjust your goals. My goals went from staying in the top 5, to staying in the top 10, to just finishing. I finally finished in 6 hours, 17 minutes and 33 seconds, about an hour off from my goal time, which got me 15th place out of the 68 finishers.

I felt really good when the race started - actually, too good. I didn't think the weather was too bad, just a tad chilly without much wind. And once I got running, it felt really good. For trails in February, it was decent weather. The one problem that did give me fits all day was the trails though. I couldn't get good footing at all and the up hills and down hills took a lot out of me. I struggled so much that by the time I reached 10 miles, I was already struggling to keep my pace. I fell down about a dozen times, turned my ankle about five times and did a few dives right off the course. The trails were kicking my butt, and I knew it.

With the 15-miler runners ahead of me, I think I was leading the 50K runners early on. I let some of the 15-milers go on and couldn't see anyone behind me so tried to stay relaxed, running my own pace. Troy Shellhamer eventually went passed me, and at around 10-12 miles (not really sure about this) two other 50K runners joined us to form a 4-person lead line. Russ Goodman was leading the line, followed by Shellhamer, myself, and Tim Barnes a little bit back.

Besides the tough up-and-down trails, what really threw me off was the constant change in pace. I'm more of a road runner that likes to get in a rhythm and pluck the miles away. The other three runners knew exactly what they were doing, they seemed to be pros at long-distance trail running. It seemed like every time we walked up a challenging hill, I would struggle to get back on their tails while they seemed to be floating.

With the slippery ground, the hills and the constant change in pace (all things my body wasn't used to), I knew I wouldn't be able to hold on to these guys for the entire race. I finally started to fall back at around 18-20 miles (not sure on this either), and before I knew it the trio was out of sight. Goodman ended up winning in 5:06:12, while Barnes came in second in 5:13:17 and Shellhamer got fourth in 5:20:08. The first female runner, who was flying when she passed me just before the final turnaround, came up with third overall in 5:18:04.

Meanwhile, I struggled to keep form. And just after the final turnaround, about eight miles from the finish I was told, while I was in fifth place overall, I started to cramp in more places than I could count. And when I started to cramp, I really started to cramp. I felt like I was in decent shape coming into the race, but I knew the differences in my training versus the conditions would get the best of me. My pattern was much of the same for the final eight miles: run until I cramped, walk a little, stop to try to work out my cramp, walk a little more, then run until I cramped again. I actually continued to enjoy the race while I was able to run, but the cramping and stopping is what really bugged me. I just got frustrated. And it didn't help that I went the wrong way a few times and had to backtrack. But that was my fault - I've figured out that trail running is about navigation as well, which is something I'm not very good at.

So, more people went past me than I wanted and more time passed, but I eventually finished. And although it wasn't what I had hoped for, I'm still glad for the experience. I love running on trails, but I definitely need some more work, both in my training and my racing strategy.

Some training changes I would make are adding way more fartlick-style sessions each week to get used to the adjustment in pace, add some walking intervals in my training, and increase my long run from 3 hours to close to 5. As for racing, I would start out even more conservative (even though I felt fine), stay relaxed and maybe walk the early hills a little more.

But overall, it was still a fun race. LLTH does a fantastic job. And I'm sure I'll be out on the trails in no time.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Week of Feb. 4-Feb. 10

Heading down the homestretch of my 50K preparation, I've backed off some this past week but still managed to get in a few quality runs. Now, with one week remaining until the showdown with the tough trails, I'll rest as much as I can while still getting in some easy jogs and light strides. Here's what the previous week looked like...

Monday: 40 minutes progression run, plus 10 100-meter sprints. Finished run strong and felt smooth on strides.
Tuesday: 1:06:00 steady run. Felt a little tired but finished run strong. Ran most of run on side of road in grass to get used to the poor footing on the trails. I think I turned my ankle at least a dozen times.
Wednesday: (on treadmill) 20 minutes easy, plus 5 minutes hard, 4 minutes hard, 3 minutes hard, 2 minutes hard and 1 minute hard with short recovery off treadmill between each hard run, plus 20 minutes steady.
Thursday: No "official" running, but played volleyball for about an hour.
Friday: 400-meter swim, plus eight laps of water jogging.
Saturday: 11+ miles in 1:19:22 with Shelbyville Road Runners. Felt good but didn't pick up the pace until the final three miles. Finished strong. Ran second half much faster than first half.
Sunday: Off

Note: I also did some strength training twice during the week and core training three times. One week out, it was a good week and I actually had to hold myself back from training. Even though I've only trained the previous four weeks for this race, I feel like I'm in decent shape now. We'll see Saturday morning I guess.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Week of Jan. 28-Feb. 3

In my final "tough" week of training during my short buildup to the 50K race, I had a solid week. Now that I'm approaching Feb. 16, it's time to just cruise it in until race day. Here's what the previous week looked like...

Monday: 60 minutes steady on treadmill.
Tuesday: 40 minutes steady on treadmill.
Wednesday: 2:50:00 long run. The first two hours were at a steady pace of 7:30-8:00 minutes per mile, while I really turned it up for the final 50 minutes, running close to 6:00 pace I'm guessing. Surprisingly, I felt really good during the final 50 minutes. I ran from my house in Pleasureville, cut across some back roads to highway 55 just outside of Eminence, ran down 55, through Shelbyville and past Wal-Mart, where Sandra picked me up. It was my longest long run for this race, and my final.
Thursday: No "official" running, but played about 1.5 hours of volleyball.
Friday: 40 minutes easy on cross-country course in versailles.
Saturday: Around 11-mile hard run in 1:08:00. I was running late to meet the Shelbyville Road Runners (actually, I didn't wake up until 7 a.m., the time I was supposed to be there), so I started on my own. I ran the normal (a little over) 11-mile course we do, minus a short section on the way back that does a little loop inside the entrance to the park. It's a course I usually run in 1:18-1:20 and my best was 1:16:00, so to run 1:08:00 (which would have been around 1:09:00) was a solid time that shows my speed for a 50K race is there.
Sunday: Off.

Note: Overall, it was a good week. I really concentrated on the mid-week long run and the weekend hard medium long run, which I think will be very beneficial for me in a few weeks. I also did some strength training a few nights and some core exercises. I'll get in a few solid runs this coming week, including one workout and one longer run, then back down for the race.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Week of Jan. 21-27

I had one of my better weeks of training in a long time, completing 6 runs Monday through Saturday, including a few faster runs and 1 day of 3 total hours of running. Here's what the previous week looked like...

Monday: 80 minutes progression run, getting down to around 6:30 pace.
Tuesday: 45 minutes steady pace with 10 1-minute hard segments.
Wednesday: 41 minutes progression run, getting down to around 6:30 pace.
Thursday: 30 minutes on treadmill.
Friday: No running. Went to the KPA awards banquet that night, where I won seven awards, including first place in Sports Columns, first in News Story, second and third in Sports Feature, and some headlines and page design top-3 awards.
Saturday: Ran from my house in Pleasureville to Shelbyville (to pick up my car I left at Kroger the night before) and ran a few miles with the Shelbyville Road Runners. In all, it was 2 hours and 10 minutes of running at a steady pace. Saturday night I ran 50 minutes on the treadmill at a faster pace, which gave me 3 hours of total running.

Looking forward: Now that I have just 3 weeks until the 50K trail race, time is running out to get in a long run lasting more than 3 hours like I had planned to do. So I might do a mid-week long run of 3-4 hours this coming week, and then run a shorter long run at a faster pace on the weekend. I figure a long run 17 days out will be better than a long run 14 days out (for recovery purposes).
Well, hopefully I will have a solid week of training the following 7 days, then start to back off for the race.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Week of Jan. 14-20

I now have four weeks left to get ready for the 50K trial race. Here's what my second week back into training looked like from Jan. 14-20...

Monday: 30 minutes on treadmill with incline set at 10 percent the entire run which made it very tough. (I prefer treadmill running at times, especially when I don't have many hills to run on outside and I have a hilly race ahead. This was definitely a hard run.)
Tuesday: 5 minutes, plus 12 times 1-minute hard and 1-minute easy. Good workout, ran the hard sessions on pavement and on grass along the road. Felt good by the end of the run, which was a good thing.
Wednesday: 15 minutes, plus 15 by 30 seconds all out on treadmill with incline set at 10 percent, plus 10 minutes. Very good treadmill workout; I could definitely feel it on the lungs and the legs; should provide needed strength and got my leg muscles really firing.
Thursday: No official run but played basketball and volleyball for over two hours. I feel this type of cross-training really helps.
Friday: 31 minutes easy to medium paced, plus 2 sprints.
Saturday: 11 miles easy to medium paced run with Shelbyville Road Runners.

Notes: I also did leg excercises three nights and some strength training that involved core and arms.

Final thoughts: Overall, it was a decent week but I have a ways to go during the next four weeks before the 50K race. I'm going to increase my weekly runs, include a tougher mid-week workout and complete a longer long run this coming weekend. The next two weeks are very important with my limited preperation. This Saturday, with three weeks until the race, I will most likely complete my longest long run.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Week of Jan. 7-13

I've had a few injuries and was sick off-and-on for the past few weeks, so took a little while off from running to regroup. I've ran a few times each week during the past month but nothing serious. This week, six weeks out from my scheduled 50K Race, I started running again. Here's what the week looked like:

Monday: 31 minutes easy run.
Tuesday: 10 minutes, plus 1 minute hard and 1 minute easy 10 times = 30 minutes total.
Wednesday: 34 minutes progression run, starting out at around 8-minute pace, dropping to 7-minute pace around a mile into the run and finishing at 6:30-pace. Plus 10 100-meter sprints.
Thursday: No running (played basketball and volleyball though).
Friday: 35 minutes easy run.
Saturday: 2 hours long run, starting easy and running miles 7-14 at a hard pace of around 6:30 miles.
Sunday: No running.

Notes: So for my first week back, I ran around 40 miles in five days. I had two mid-week hard runs with the 1-1 fartlick and the progression run, and completed a long run of around 17 miles on Saturday - running 11 miles with the Shelbyville Road Runners. I thought it was a decent first week, and with five weeks left until the 50K race, I want to increase my mileage and my weekend long run. I heard that the 50K race has lots! of hills, so that's something I need to work on.