Sunday, September 24, 2006

Tough Week

This past week was a tough one. I was pretty pleased with my 5K last Sunday because I was able to run 32 seconds faster than I did in May even though the course was slower this time around. I was feeling the effects of the effort this week and that combined with catching some kind of bug either from work or from my kids made the week tough going from Wednesday onward.

Overall, I ran 75.9 miles for the week with a mid-week long run with some miles at MP, a HM pace session on Friday and 20 miles today. My body is definitely feeling it, but luckily this week shouldn't be so bad with mostly distance and 12 miles at MP next Sunday. In two weeks time I'm signed up for a half marathon and I hoping to run sub 6:20 pace for that one. We'll see. Here a summary of the week:

  • M: 6.05m easy
  • T: 9.7m
  • W: 13.6m with 4.2m towards the end at 6:39 pace
  • T: 7.7m with 8 x strides at the track
  • F: 11m w/6.2m @ 6:18 pace. I wasn't sure if I was going to do this session since I wasn't feeling well the day before. Decided to give it a try and stop if things got too rough. First 4.2m were on the roads and trying to maintain pace around 6:20 was a struggle. Finished with 2 miles on the track and although there seemed to be no extra gear, I was able to stay on pace with final miles of 6:20 and 6:12.
  • S: 7.4m on trail
  • S: 20.45m - The last 4-5 miles on this run were a struggle. Legs were heavy and I really wasn't enjoying things. First half of the run averaged 7:45 pace while the last half was around 7:13 pace.
Although the legs are heavy and I'm feeling tired most of the time, the marathon training is definitely helping me build strength and endurance, which has been sorely needed. I hope this carries over to next year when I focus on the shorter stuff.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Banana Chase 5k and last week's training

After 3 straight weeks in the 70s, I cut mileage down to 60 last week. Most of the reduction came yesterday since instead of a lon run, I ran a 5K instead. The week was still hard as I came off a 21 miler last Sunday and the legs were still feeling it throughout the week with a Tuesday run at half marathon pace and a mid-week medium long run. Here how the week of September 11-17 went:

  • M: 6.5m recovery run
  • T: 10.25m with 5.1m @ 6:20 pace. First 2.85m were on the roads at around 6:23 pace and then finished the last 2.25 on the track with miles of 6:16, 6:12 and the last 400 in 91. A fair amount of the road portion gradually inclined and I had a hard time settling into pace when I hit the track.
  • W: 12.7m
  • T: 7.7m with 8 strides at the track
  • F: 9.7m
  • S: 6.7m recovery run
  • S: 6.6m - ran the Banana Chase 5k in San Francisco. This race is part of the Pacific Association USATF road racing circuit. I came in 76th in the time of 17:29. I was the 25nd master, and 6 fast women beat me including the women's winner, Magda Lewy-Boulet who place 5th at the U.S. Women's Olympic marathon trials. The course is slow so I was happy with the overall result. First mile goes downhill out of Golden Gate Park along the south side of the panhandle and is fast. Tried to hold back and hit 5:26. Second mile heads back to Golden Gate Park on the other side of the panhandle and goes uphill. I pushed this section and hit 5:41 for mile 2. The last 1.1 miles I ran in 6:22. It goes into the park does a 180 degree turn and then has some turns and more inclines before going into Kezar stadium for a short steep downhill before finishing up on the track. I had nothing left at the end and was just holding on. Still it's a 32 second improvement from the 5K I ran at the beginning of May on a much flatter and faster course.
My calves really tightened up after the race from the downhill pounding and my right piriformis is acting up as well. It sucks getting old :-)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Last Week's Training

Finally getting around to posting last week's training for the week of September 4-10. It was the third week in a row over 70 miles, and I got in 75.25 miles last week. I've been trying to throw in some MP miles towards the end of the longer runs whenever I can so I can get use to the pace while tired and I hope it helps.

This week so far has been tiring but I will drop down in miles as I plan to run a 5K on Sunday as part of the Pacific Association USATF road racing series. Here's how the week of September 4-10 went:

M: 7.15m recovery run on fire trail
T: 9.35m
W: 13.55m w/4.2m near the end at 6:36 pace
T: 7.35m recovery run w/10 strides at the track
F: 10.15m
S: 6.7m recovery run on fire trail
S: 21m @ 7:34 min/mile pace - first 10.15m averaged 8:00 pace and the return 10.85m, which more than half of climbed gently 400+ ft, averaged 7:10 pace. Miles 15.7 - 19.2 (3.5m) @ 6:40 pace.

With 11 and 1/2 weeks to go to the California International Marathon on December 3 in Sacramento, CA, my training using a modified Pfitzinger 18 week/up to 70 miles plan has been going well. All the distance and strength work seems to be making a difference and I've already run 2 x 18+ miles and 2 x 20+ mile runs.

My current goal for CIM is to run sub 3 hours in my first completed marathon, but I think my optimal goal would be closer to the 2:55 range, which is around 6:41 mile pace. We'll see how it goes once the Pfitz program calls for the longer MP runs. Plus I plan to run a half marathon in early October which will help gauge my fitness level.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

It's been a long time...

More than 2 months since my last posting during the dog days of summer. At first I stopped blogging due to a lack of motivation. I kept on running but just didn't feel like posting about it. Then life got in the way and time for blogging went with it.

I started a new job in August and my kids went back to school at the end of last month. In order to get in the running and be back in time to get the kids ready for school (my son started middle school and has to leave for the bus at 7:15am), I'm now up even earlier in the morning. I usually wake up around 4:50am and get out the door before 5:30. The days I run longer, I wake up even earlier.

The whole family is trying to adjust to our new schedules as it's the first time we've had both parents working. Just what the world needs is more latch-key kids :-)

Anyway on the running front, training has been going well. In July, I missed 3 days due to travel and sickness and ran 283 miles. In August, I missed 1 day due to a achilles flare up and managed to run 297 miles. I ran a 10K race in 36:59 at the beginning of August, which was a nice sign that my training was getting better.

In August, I also started using a modified Pfitzinger 18/70 plan to train for a possible marathon attempt at the California International Marathon in Sacramento on December 3. For the most part following the plan (and adding some extra mileage) hasn't been too hard. The only difficulty I've run into is the mid-week medium long run that eventually goes up to 15 miles. The distance itself is not a problem, but the logistics of getting the run in is.

A 95-100+ minute run during the week means I need to get out the door even earlier than usual. For example, I ran 13.5 miles this past Wednesday and started around 5:05 am. Even then I got back in time for only a few minutes with my son before he had to jam to the school bus stop.

Once the marathon training is done, I'll have to reassess how much mileage I want to run and how early I need to get up because this current schedule is getting old fast.

I hope I'll be able to update this blog on a regular basis moving forward. Keep up the good running....