Wednesday, June 30, 2010

06.30.10: Tempo Run!

This morning I headed over to the Rock Creek Trail off of 120th in Lafayette.

After an out & back warm-up on the trail (3.5M @ 26:06), I headed back to my car for a shoe change. I recently picked up a pair of Arch1000 insoles and a couple pairs of metatarsal pads for a new experiment with my feet and shoes. I wore the new insole/metatarsal pad combo in an old (but with relatively little mileage on them) pair of Brooks Racer STs.

I hit the trail for the tempo run at around 6:30, and it went pretty well, with my feet feeling fine.


3.5M (20:35.4)
AHR=145/MHR=157 (:32@HR155+ / 11:14@HR145-155)
Out: 10:38.2 (AHR141)
Back: 9:57.2 (AHR149)

I decided a few days ago to go with a HR of 145-155 for a tempo/lactate threshold guesstimate range (T/LTGR), and that seemed about right. That said, I don’t know how much faster I could run, so maybe it’s a bit high of a HR. I felt pretty solid and felt like I ran pretty evenly. The out & back numbers probably reflect the fact that it’s a net uphill on the way out. I hit 2.5M (just over the 4K race distance for Sunday) at 14:56, and the entire run was worked out to 14:36/4K pace. My early thoughts are that sub 14:30 should be very do-able, and that sub 14:00 might be within reach. More on all that later.

In the meantime, I’m just psyched to be BACK doing quality workout. It’s been a LONG time. Yippee for me!

I put in a 2M cool-down and headed home (9M on the day, a mere 18.9M for the week, but a solid 409.7M for June).

Sunday, June 27, 2010

06.27.10: Done with MAF

Catching up...

Wednesday 06.23.10
Bike to Work (BTW) was fun, except that it fell into my danger zone – free food. Fortunately, much of the free food was food like bars, cereal and yogurt that I could save for another time. Fun time, though – got 32+ miles on the bike for the day.

With BTW in the morning I didn’t get my run in until late: 11.6M treadmill (1:19:52).

Thursday 06.24.10
AM 5M from the house (38:19) – 3M w/ Niwot, 2M solo. All easy.

PM 9.9M (1:34:01) @ Heil Valley Ranch. It was HOT, so I headed to some shade, and even though it was still quite warm and the sweat was pouring, I had a nice run.

Friday 06.25.10
AM 8M treadmill (55:03)

PM 2M easy w/ RG (20:21)

Saturday 06.26.10
AM 3M WU @ Peak to Peak track (22:47)
8K MAF Track Test @ Peak to Peak track (34:38.1) AHR127/MHR132 , 1:58@MAF+ / 32:25@MAF. 1600m splits (AHR):
Avg 1600m = 6:55.62
7.13M WD @ Rock Creek Trail. Measured a few out & back points for upcoming tempo runs.

Sunday 06.27.10
AM 20M (2:44:30) AHR114/MHR129. Started in Superior @ Singletree TH – dirt rd (66th?) – Community Ditch tr – Doudy Draw tr – Flatiron Vista South tr – Flatiron Vista North tr – High Plains tr – Coalton tr – McCaslin Rd – Singletree TH.

Legs were a bit sleepy, and I was concerned about my R hamstring, so I kept this one pretty low key, just putting together a nice loop – even the road section wasn’t too bad or too long. My hamstring held up fine, and seems to be feeling better when I’m not running as well.

Totals: Week 100M / Month 390.8M

So I’m done with MAF for now. I piled up 1218.6M over the past 13 weeks, so 93.7M/week, with the last 8 weeks @ 100M+, and with 20M+ runs for each of the last 5 weeks.

I’d like to be a little lighter (averaging about 177#), but it’s better than 10# heavier where I’ve spent too much time. I’m looking forward to ditching the heart rate monitor for many of my runs, and excited about (cautiously?) kicking things up a bit.

I stopped by the Erie Community Center to see if they had any information on next Sunday’s Firecracker 4K. They had a small flyer for the race, but no map of the race. All I know is that the course is supposed to start @ Erie Community Park and then head to Erie Parkway and Briggs Street. Not sure from that point. I was trying to find out because RG also wants to race, and would be running a race solo for the first time, so I wanted to make sure she couldn’t get lost and would be comfortable enough to do it on her own.

Glancing at the flyer, I discovered a problem. The age groups listed started at “10-12” and towards the top of the flyer it stated “Ages 10+.”

What? Erie Parks & Rec is putting on a race and they’re not going to let runners younger than 10 run a race less than 2.5M? Does RG need to enter as K.Switzer? Now they are supposed to be having free kids races after the 4K, but I’m not expecting much from them. I don’t recall seeing shorter races having that old of an age requirement. I realize this isn’t the Bolder Boulder, but they’ve been letting kids 6 & up run for a long time – for a 10K! I get it for a ½ marathon or marathon. But a 4K?!

I’ve e-mailed the woman in charge of the race, so I’ll see what I hear back. If they don’t adjust things, I’ll be pretty disappointed (RG already said “I don’t think that’s fair.”) and need to do what I can to make sure that changes for the future. But should I go ahead and enter her, listing her age as 8 anyway? Would she be eligible for awards in the 10-12 age group?

Signing off. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

06.22.10: Treadmill miles, long days

Monday & Tuesday (06.21.10, 06.22.10) Training Treadmill: 3 x 8M easy (57:38 @ AHR109/MHR115), 14 hours rest, (55:58 @ AHR112/MHR120), 8 hours rest, (56:40 @ AHR114/MHR120) 

I kept these 3 runs VERY easy, for the first time in awhile not worrying about getting my heart rate up to my lower MAF "limit" of 115, as I was a little concerned about the tightness in my right hamstring, but I didn't feel any problem with it during these runs. I did feel tired, and generally sore from the quickest long run I've done in a long while. Experience tells me I'll feel better as the week goes on.

RG and I are headed over to Teller Farm a little after 8 PM for a nice ~4M evening run.

While I'm sure I'm not maximizing my MAF training, as I could probably keep this up for quite awhile without reaching an aerobic plateau, I'm definitely psychologically ready to move on to something new. I definitely feel like I'm always working to squeeze in enough running to reach 100M+/week. And I'm itching to vary my training. The tempo/AT runs are on the top of my list, and I'd also really like to mix up my long runs. Eventually, I plan on doing some grass/park fartleks and hill work based on how my body responds to the other quality work. I have been pretty happy with consistently running strides at the end of many of my outdoor runs. I don't always feel particularly fast, but I'm curious to see what kind of speed I'll have when I toe the line.
For the tempo runs, I think some of the time I'll be using the HRM, and some of the time just a watch. In the past, the HRM has really helped me slow down. Once I got to my desired HR range (155-161 several years ago), I knew I didn't have to run any faster. Without the HRM, my tendency was to turn my tempo runs into time trials.

My big concern is how my body will hold up as I transition my training. I've been trying to chart out how the training will look, and I'm very concious of not trying to squeeze too much quality into the schedule. Here are my current thoughts, using a 3-week rotation, and not factoring in any specific dates or races:

Week 1: Tempo Focus
  • 2-3 tempo runs (1 of these could be a race)
  • No long runs
  • 2 days OFF* from "my pace" running (easy cross-training &/or easy running w/ RG)
  • Easy running on all other days
  • ~50M?
Week 2: Long Week

  • 1 X-Long run
  • No tempo runs
  • No days off
  • Easy running on most/all other days (an occasional up-tempo or steady run might be worked in based on how I feel)
  • ~90M?
Week 3: Mixed Focus
  • 1 tempo run
  • 1 long run
  • 1 day OFF* from "my pace" running (easy cross-training &/or easy running w/ RG)
  • Easy running on most/all other days (an occasional up-tempo or steady run might be worked in based on how I feel)
  • ~70M?
Other elements to consider as I move forward:
  • I'll make good use of my treadmill. I couldn't run the kind of mileage that I'm currently running (100M+/week) without the treadmill. It just plain gives my body a break. Plus, it works well logistically when working around the big 3 (family, work and sleep), and keeps me from doing too many pounding road miles (as I'd be running a lot more from the house without it). 
  • I'll work in a mix of doubles to my training, as I have been for some time.
  • I'll keep up a decent training volume every week whether it's all or mostly running or not. Most of the time, the additional volume will come from my Precor elliptical machine or my Concept 2 rowing machine. I'll work in some hiking and a little biking into the mix as well. 
  • While I know the value and strength of "sticking to the plan," I also know the downfall of "being a slave to the plan." I need to be adaptable. I need to always be listening to my body. 
  • I'll be experimenting with my shoes and inserts in the coming weeks. I've been wearing orthotics for quite some time, and generally they've worked out OK. I'm currently doing all of my training in neutral shoes and my orthotics. My new thought is to experiment with a couple of new options: #1) In my racing/lightweight trainers, I'll be trying out just insoles with metatarsal pads attached (like my orthotics have) for neuroma protection/control, and #2) I'll be trying stability shoes with full-length arch supports, also with metatarsal pads attached. I'm primarily a forefoot runner, so training shoes and orthotics can only have a limited effect on my footstrike/pushoff as it is.
Tomorrow is Bike to Work Day, so I'll be heading out on the bike around 5:30 AM for the west side of Boulder (~13M?), meeting up with all my co-workers for what they like to call Eat to Work Day as they visit several of the Boulder business with food/schwag giveaways. They've really built up how big this thing is, so I'm looking forward to it. I'll head back home on the bike after work, eat dinner with the kids, and put in 10M on the treadmill later tomorrow night.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

06.20.10: End of spring, long absence, coming soon...

So, another season in the books - summer begins tomorrow. While I haven't been blogging, I have apparently been busy running, and at least by pure endurance standards I'm rounding into some semblance of fitness:

"Official" spring mileage total = 1149M

Backing up a couple of months, I had some trouble with my right shin/ankle right at the start of the year. I immediately took time off, got PT for it within about a week (muscle tears/muscle tearing away from shin bone - nice), but ultimately missed quite a bit of time. Nothing new there. RG actually was instrumental in getting me back into it, as a number of weeks went by without any runs with her. I did a decent job of cross-training in the meantime, primarily sticking to the elliptical machine and rowing machine.

By late March, everything started feeling better, and I got it rolling pretty quickly. I've been very deliberate about sticking to MAF training, which also included all the cross-training workouts. Here's a look at the mileage totals of the past 12 weeks, starting from Monday 03.29:

1118.6M - 93.2M/week

I'm planning one more week of MAF; ideally another 100M+ week. This Saturday I'm planning a final MAF Track Test of 8K. I haven't had a huge improvement in performance during this stretch of MAF training, but we'll see what Saturday holds. I've run 3 MAF Track Tests (HR ceiling of 130), and my times have dropped from 35:32 to 35:20 to 35:01. That said, based on this morning's long run, I'm optimistic I'll show a greater improvement the next time out.

Today's Training
I wanted to run long today, but I wanted to stay relatively close to home, and decided I would do a multiple loop course that I'd been working on:

Start: Erie Lake parking lot - south side of lake - over and around west/south side of Kneebone - an approximately 2.1M loop in Rothman - around the east/north side of Arapahoe Ridge - back to the Erie Lake parking lot via the north side of lake.

This worked out to just over 5.7M per loop. In my head going into the run, I'd thought it was somewhere closer to 7M, and had planned 3 loops. I spent much of the run debating whether I should just run 3 loops, and add some laps around the lake to get my 20M, or if I should run 4 full loops. I ran the 4 loops.

22.85M (2:42:55)
AHR=124. MHR=133
Lap splits: 40:34 (AHR122), 40:59(124), 40:37(126), 40:45(127)

Other than a right hamstring that got a little sore/tight late in the run, I was really pleased with this run. It was a warm and humid (for Colorado) morning (started about 6:20 AM), and while I had a little HR drift, I ran very consistently over a long stretch of time and distance. Also, nobody stole my waterbottles that I picked up and dropped off throughout the run. This loop is definitely a keeper for future long runs, tempo runs, and marathon pace efforts. It's mostly flat with some very mild elevation change throughout.

Later, around 4:30 PM, I headed out for an easy run with RG and Niwot:

2M (19:25)
Home - Thomas Reservoir (1 loop) - Home

We had fun with this one. As I knew it would be hot, I poured a large cup of water over RG's head/cap, and brought a waterbottle along to squirt her with a number of times during the run. Despite just heading out for a casual easy run on a hot day, RG continues to impress me with her recent improvement. She seems to have spiraled upwards a bit in fitness over the past few weeks (starting with the Bolder Boulder).

After this coming week, I'll transition into a post-MAF phase of training, with a primary focus on...well, running faster. I'm still playing around with how I'll structure my training, but I'm planning on initially focusing on tempo runs and varied long runs for my quality work.

While I certainly won't be race ready, I have penciled in a local race to kick things off:

Firecracker 4K

This race and upcoming tempo runs should give me somewhat of a picture of my starting point for racing. For the rest of the summer/early fall, I'm still piecing my "season" together, but I'm leaning towards the Boulder Marathon as a primary race to point towards, and the Coal Creek Crossing 10M a couple of weeks prior. Other races could include: Eldorado Cure 4M, West End 3K, BRR track races, etc.

I'm also intrigued by a new race just a couple of weeks after the Boulder Marathon - the Bear Chase Trail Race. They're having a 10K, 1/2 Marathon, 50K, and 50M. I don't know where my fitness will take me, and how my body will hold up, but I'd LOVE to run that 50M.