Week 1 Complete! I give it a 6.5.

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While I did not blog much this week, I did get quite a bit of running in just a different fashion then my usual, running. I was supposed to do 5 miles on Wednesday, 6 miles on Thursday and then 8 miles today.

I ended up with 5 games IHSA varsity games during the week which gave me about 12 miles total and then popped out 9 U-10's yesterday at a tournament each one is about a mile of running, then I did an older U-17 to top off roughly 12.5 miles.

I am giving the Jacobs vs Huntley varsity game where I did quite a bit of up and down the sidelines in a very fast and competitive game, the data is slightly off because when the game was over I glanced down and noticed I neglected to start the watch for the second half, but it was more of the same so I guesstimated the mileage.

Next week I have 2 IHSA games on Tuesday and Thursday and 2 club (USSF) games on Saturday. Both IHSA games I am in center and should get between 3-3.5 miles in. Plus they are on grass fields so its always heavy going after all the rain.

As well as a programmed run on Wednesday of 4 miles, 6 miles on Friday and 10 miles on Sunday.

The look of the Half Marathon.

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Marathon Training Program starts next Monday

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Been going through my rest period following the half marathon. Mostly shortish jogs and refereeing, yesterday I did the Zion-Benton vs Lake Zurich JV game which was a rout, and I barely moved at all, 2 miles versus the usual 3 in a JV game. I am looking forward to getting my engine going forward to the Marathon in September.

Return to Running

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So I refereed a JV game yesterday, and felt very very good, three days after the race, no residual soreness or pain, so I am very pleased. By the way Lake Zurich won 3-0.

Race Report: The Trailbreaker Half Marathon

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Well I ran it, in 3:07:59 (Garmin time) finishing last in my age bracket and 2nd last among men. The wind was not that bad as it turns out, and it barely rained at all so that was all good. Had a few glitches along the way and before the start but otherwise smooth sailing.

My glitches:
  • My Bluetooth headset for music would not pair with my phone, so at the last minute no music for the race, which was frustrating, no idea what was wrong with it.
  • I was overdressed, had to much on and was hot most of the race until I saw my daughter and gave her some of my stuff. Felt better immediately
  • My Garmin worked fine all race but for some reason would not recognize and download here at home, after about 100 downloads with no issue, the one download I really want, no go! I was able to copy the splits from the watch, but no map of the race route for me.
  • My fueling plan went awry when I ate a Cliff Bar at mile 4.5 which proceeded to give me GI distress until mile 7.5 when I found a rest room. I would estimate this little snafu cost me 15 minutes.
My positives:
  • I was calm at the start plus I felt properly fueled, my hydration was fine, and it remained so throughout the race.
  • At no time during the race did I think about quitting, although the GI distress made me very uncomfortable for about 20% of the race.
  • My first six miles were 12:04, 12:30, 14:00, 14:23, 13:09, and 13:56. A little faster then I would have liked, but I was very comfortable.
  • Mile 12 was 14:07 so I still had something left in the tank.
  • I am writing this about 12-14 hours after the race (insomnia) and while my legs are tight, I have no other issues physically.
 The Trailbreaker  
  • Getting numbers and chip was a breeze, the start was well organized.
  • Race runs the first 2-3 miles and last 2-3 miles on sidewalks in the business section of  Waukesha, which was awkward at times.
  • The trails we ran on were nicely paved and clear so that was fine.
  • I would personally would have liked to see a few more aid stations, there were only 3 for a total of 5 on the out and back race course.
Future plans
  • I start the Fox Valley marathon training on the 22nd of this month, with a slightly different program, three runs a week, Wednesday, Friday and the long run on Sunday. With some weight training in between.
  • Two intermediate goals are out there, the Highland Park Half marathon (June 2), and the run portion of the Wacounda triathlon (July 28th)

Race Day! Half Marathon Style

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Well my 15 week beginners half marathon program is coming to a head this morning with my first half marathon. I have trained quite regularly for the race with about 4-5 runs a week, and over the 15 weeks I have missed maybe 3 of the scheduled workouts for one reason or the other.

My training times suggest I can do somewhere between 2:50 to 3:00 hours, I would be quite pleased with that, however my main goal is to finish, and get a medal, and get that cool sticker saying 13.1 for my car, and be able to walk tomorrow!.

24 hours to go and 23 mile an hour winds in store for me.

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So I made my decision to do the Trailbreaker race on Saturday morning, a couple of days ago and then the moment I registered (non-refundable) the forecast changed to what you see in the picture.

The temperature is fine, the rain is okay, but what really is annoying is the wind S at 23 mph. The race is slightly south west going out and then comes West near the turn around point, then it will be behind me the whole way back. So its a mixed bag. I need to find a slow fat guy to draft off of. Oh wait thats me!

7 or 6 days to the Finish Line?

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I ran a nice 5 miles this morning, very slowly with very little discomfort, and residual soreness.

So today is Sunday and its 7 days before the South Shore Half Marathon at its about 11:15 am and with a 9am start next Sunday I should be about the 10-11 mile mark right about now (albeit 7 days in the future). My goal time is between 2:50 and 3:00 for the half. I been using these marvelous McMillian Running Calculators to approximate my potential times. I have done a variety of runs and translated the pace to them and they are all pointing to a range as low as 2:45 to a 3:05.

I am still keeping my eye on the weather as to which half marathon I am running. The 10 day forecast says sunny and 43 on Saturday and 47 and rainy on Sunday. The wind prediction is about the same. If that were actually set in stone I would switch to the Saturday half marathon. I will probably make up my mind on Thursday as to which race however. I have no desire to run in the rain, cold and a 13 mph wind.

Saturdays workout on Friday

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So I have thought today is Saturday all day for some reason, so when I glanced at my workout schedule I ran Saturdays workout. Doh! Nice day however for a run, had a steady pace, only slowed down to talk to a friend who was driving by and then at Nippersink so I wasn't run over.

Great Shorts are here!

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I ordered some shorts from a company called Race Ready. I went and picked them up from the running store this morning and they are quite nice. The thing I liked about them is they have quite a few pockets on the back for gels and energy bars.

I did my short run in them today on the treadmill and they fit fine, and the stuff in the pockets did not bounce noticeably. I would guess I can stuff about 10-15 gels in there if I needed to, there is also a longer pocket for energy bar sized goodies as well as a sealed pocket for a credit card or key. All in all I am very happy to have them, I can see a marathon in their future!

Long Run Report

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Ran with Randy again today, we did 6.5 miles at 13 minute per mile pace. I felt quite good throughout, had a couple of Charley horses in my lower butt but slightly slower pace for a minute or two eased them. They seemed to occur on the gradual uphills.

Two interesting facts that emerge from looking at the run, are 1) We ran each lap slightly faster then the one before, a very positive progress sign and 2) I had a lot left in the tank.

Although what emptied my tank after that run was the 3 x 1/2 miles I did after a 5 minute recovery. The first one is displayed above, the next two were remarkable for their slowness. 6:34 and 7:03

New Race Focus

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Upon careful reflection I have decided to do the South Shore Half Marathon on the 7th and use the Trailbreaker the day before. Primarily for logistics reasons, its just easier to do it on Sunday rather then Saturday. I do reserve the right to change my mind again based on weather, wind, cold and or other circumstances.

Tuesday's bonks: Explained?

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Since I appear to be turning my body into a science experiment with constant measuring. I can relate one more measurement that I am doing. I read somewhere (can't recall where) about taking your resting pulse early in the morning when you wake up. So I have been doing that with a nice pulse monitor that I have had for awhile.

One interesting thing you can tell from monitoring my morning pulse is that it has drifted down since I started measuring back in early January. My resting pulse rate in the first week of January and has steadily drifted down from the low 70's to the low 50's. Showing as the study said an improved fitness level, which I can tell simply because I can run further faster and easier then I could in Janaury.

But a more interesting fact that you can determine is that for example for six straight days my pulse was in the low 50's in the morning, but two Mondays and Tuesdays in a row, my pulse was in the low 60's. Mondays are my rest days after a long run on Sunday, and then on Tuesday I have had lousy runs. The time frame between runs is as long as I can make (55-58 hours) it to give my body as much rest as I can after the long run. So the last two Tuesdays my workouts have been awful. One workout I actually just broke off and stopped, the other I walked slowly the rest of way. On Wednesday however my pulse has bounced back to the low 50's again.

An interesting indicator I think perhaps and perhaps a way of determining my rest needs. Next week I shifted around my workouts  so I can get some extra rest. I also think it confirms my idea to do the marathon training with only three runs a week. So I can move around my runs to adapt to my bodies signals. Two shorter runs on Wednesday and Friday with a longer run on Sunday. Stretching and weight lifting in between on those days, mostly upper body however.

Nike Free Runner 3.0

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So last year I got a pair of Nike Free Runners 2.0 and I loved them, I used them to referee exclusively in and was always comfortable and had no foot problems. They were black with white soles. I have been using this pair primarily for training, but I could tell things were getting compressed,  diet notwithstanding!

So I went to a very nice running store and bought a completely different pair. I let myself be talked into buying them. Since the store did not sell Nike's (overly corporate for the owners taste apparently) They were a German brand name, and very nice looking, and they felt fine on the stores treadmill, but I ran on my treadmill and my legs hurt after a 30 minute run and my feet. So I went and read detailed reviews and discovered that these were great for people who heel strike and need support. Well since the wear pattern on my shoes pretty clearly show that I land further forward and I supanate (medical word) landing more towards the outside of the shoe. I was sold a bill of goods, so I returned them.

I then looked around and discovered Dicks Sporting Goods in McHenry carries them, and off I went. Sure enough there were two versions one exactly like my old pair black with white trim for $99 then amazingly there was a Livestrong branded pair for $74 with the Armstrong Yellow. So as a massive cycling fan, and one that's always been skeptical of Big Tex I have never gone for the branded merchandise in the yellow. But for a discount, hell yes!

Half Marathon Goal Time?

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So yesterday I was able to sustain a pretty decent pace time of 13:39 per mile for 11.2 miles, which equates to a 2:58 half marathon (13.1 miles). So squinting at the screen, I think I see my goal right there in the distance! Somewhere in the 2:50 to 3:00 hour half marathon range would be a nice accomplishment. Anything below that would be fantastic in my opinion.

With that long run yesterday which was my longest training run of this 16 week training program, I start a slow taper to the race, which is three weeks from yesterday! This weeks long run will be 8 miles, and then the week after that 5 miles, and then its race day!