Archive for April, 2008

Easy after faster …

Six miles this morning – started off easy and slow, 8:50 first mile but then managed the rest of the miles at under 8:20 pace.

Finished the run in 49:55 for an 8:18 average pace at 138 Avg HR.  Not bad.  The tightness in the hamstrings and glutes is still there but seems to be getting better.

I am deciding on going back to a Pfitzinger style program or a Daniels program.  I will talk to my coach about it, but I will try to analyze them and point out the differences for anyone who is interested.

6.0/49:55/8:18 pace/138 HR Avg

Feeling more feisty …

Monday was an easy 7.3 in 58:56; my legs were still a bit tight but felt pretty good overall.

I had a massage in the afternoon and things felt much better after that.  I awoke this morning very early (my wife had to catch a 6 AM flight) so when the kids left for school I had been up nearly 4 hours.  I stretched and went for another 7.3 mile run.  I felt great!  I could lift my knees and the HR felt good.  Needless to say, I decided to run a bit faster and pushed the HR up to the 150-155 range.  I felt smooth and easy as the miles passed by in 7:20, 7:35, 7:37, and 7:28.  I finished up easy with a total time of 55:37 at a HR Avg of 151 for 7.3 miles.

As I said in an earlier post, I think I need to get out of the sub 140 range a couple of times a week.  This is the start of that new phase.

Same run today …

three days in a row but just a tad faster today – 43:21 for 5.3 miles.  Hamstrings are still tight and sore; I have a massage scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.  I hope that loosens things up a bit.  I keep on stretching but it doesn’t seem to do much.

The plan for tomorrow is a slightly longer run, but I have nothing earth shattering planned this week – just want to run about 45 miles.

Back at it …

Friday was 5.3 in 44:30 and today was the same course in 43:50. My legs are still a bit stiff and sore. My hamstrings are also still very tight. I ran very easy – sub 140 HR – for both of these runs and the pace was in the 8:15-8:20 range.

I contacted my old high school coach (who has been head coach at UNH for the past 23 years) and asked for some coaching help to get me to the 2:50 marathon level. He agreed. I figure I need some outside advice to help me get to where I want to go. I don’t expect we will develop a plan for the next couple of weeks – which is just as well, I want to just do some relaxed training. Part of my problem, though, is that most of my training has been relaxed. I think it is time to ramp things up a bit. But, I will see what his input is. I sent him my training for the past six months for evaluation. We shall see.

Of to coach little league baseball on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Recovery days …

taking three days off after the marathon.   I will do a short jog on Friday.  Until then, not much to report.  The next marathon will be the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon on October 5.  I plan to do a lot more racing this summer; hopefully more racing will lead to a better fitness level.

Not so good …

The Boston Marathon did not go so well.  I finished in 3:31:09 – 14 minutes over my qualifying time and about 18 minutes slower than I thought I could run.  I am disappointed, but I survived.  Here is what I learned and how it went.

How it went:

First half in 1:35:55.  I was about 25 seconds ahead of my pace chart.  I was planning on a 1:36:20 and then a second half of 1:36:40 for a 3:13:00.  While the pace was right on, I could tell from how my legs felt that things were not going to go well.

At the downhill before the 16 mile mark my quads were fried and my upperhamstrings were very tight – they were not knotting up like in New Bedford, they were just tight and it was hard to keep the legs going.  The pace slowly slipped from 7:40s to 8:20s to 9:00s to even one 10:00 when I had to walk three times in a mile.  I just could not get my legs to move.  It was a painful experience.  I was surprised by how many other people suffered what seemed like a similar fate.

What I learned:

The first 13 miles are fast but take a huge toll on your legs.  Perhaps going out slower might have helped, but I really was not prepared for how much damage those first 13 do.  Next time I do Boston, I will have run those first 13 a few times and done better downhill prep work.  My legs were toast by the time I got to the uphills – I could not get them going – so all my uphill work was for naught.

There are a bazillion people!  It is really hard to get in a rhythm, especially when you are running mid 3:00 time.  I had never been in a race so large before.

The crowds were fantastic.  Next year I may put my name on my shirt.  That way everyone cheers for you – quite an emotional lift.

I missed my family at the points they were going to be.  This was really psychologically taxing especially around mile 19 when I really needed some kind of lift.

So, a bad day after all that training.  I just need to work a bit harder, get some coaching advice, and put in some more miles.   This is not the end, it is the beginning.

Oh, and I turn 45 today so I now only need to run 3:30.  I think I should be able to swing that.  Next marathon looks to be in Milwaukee in October.  Until then, I think I will do more racing this summer.  A couple of times a month, I hope.

The last day before ….

Boston.  My taper goes well.  I did a two mile jog and felt very good.  The excitement around Boston is really something – Red Sox come from behind to win, Bruins beat Canadiens with a really exciting third period, Celtics begin their championship run, and this morning the Women’s Trials.

I will try to post some video of the trials that I took.  I got a flip video for my wife and kids to use tomorrow at the race.  The last time my wife used a video camcorder there were more shots of the road than me.  This flip video doesn’t have many features – you point and shoot and supposedly the video is acceptable.  Hopefully there will be some video of me during Boston.

Here’s to a wonderful Boston for everyone.


April 2008
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What I am reading:

Again to Carthage, Robert L. Parker

Music I am listening to:

LCD Soundsystem, This Happens Gorillaz, Plastic Beach