One week left till the race, a scare but looking good

September 27, 2009

The past week has been interesting to say the least. I was travelling for work all week, luckily staying in one place … Berkeley, CA. The weather there was great and this was week one of the two week taper. I wanted to try and run between 50 and 55 miles and was doing well. Got my track workout in Monday morning before my flight, then managed 7 miles Tuesday morning and 5 on Wednesday. That left 5 to 7 for Friday, late dinner Wednesday meant Thursday wasn’t going to be an option.

Well Friday wasn’t an option either. I woke up not feeling great on Thursday and by lunch was in bad shape, couldn’t keep lunch down so I took a bite and decided that instead of staying at work for what was a really interesting discussion with a professor at Berkeley I needed some rest. So back to the hotel to take a nap and see if I could get something to stay down. What did stay down was a small pack of pringles and some water. Managed to eat a full dinner which was good and felt better as the day continued on Friday. It’s safe to say that mentally on Thursday night and Friday morning I was a little freaked out given the Portland marathon was just over a week away.

Saturday was a 16 mile long run. Good run, under control and no pushing of pace at all. Today was the Silicon Labs Marathon Relay. Larry wants to compete in the distance challenge and the race is required, the time doesn’t count but you have to run it … so we decided to use the race for our Sunday recovery run. I needed 10 miles so warm-up, my 10k leg and then just run a 5k leg. Pace was consistent and at 7:30 minutes/mile. I wasn’t planning on running hard at all and it was nice that 7:30 minute/mile pace just felt natural, this is on the faster end of what my easy paces have been this season. The legs may be tuning up well for the race in 7 days. Portland … Team Rogue is a comin’!

On another note … Jason ran his race today in Toronto and ran a comfortable 3:09:56 to get his Boston Qualifier!


Portland marthon weather forcast 8 days out

September 26, 2009

It’s a little ways out to trust the weather man and the day before is rainy so the day of has a chance. If the weather is as predicts it’ll be nice to race.

Weather Prediction from

Weather Prediction from

About those less fortunate than us

September 20, 2009

This Friday I had my regular breakfast with the Executive Director of Green Doors, the non-profit I’ve been involved with going on 6 years now. He and the staff took part in a poverty immersion exercise recently in Dallas and he shared some of the things he experienced. I’ll recount some of those things and I’m sure they will be putting together a more comprehensive update.

Of their group of five people each person was classified as homeless or in extreme poverty. The difference was in what you got to keep with you for the 24 hour period. For those that were “homeless” they were only able to keep their underwear, yes that is it, no shoes, no money, no ID. And during the time in the exercise were given tasks to complete. They had to get some clothing, scrounge for food, find somewhere to sleep. This weekend was the weekend there was a lot of rain and the two that were classified as homeless slept outside, as it was described to me sleeping in mud with water collecting in their ears. Out of the 5 of them one looked “scary”, he could only find a wife beater to wear, is 6 foot tall and was dirty with mud so when they begged for money he had to stay out of sight. Those in “poverty” were able to stay in a shelter and had some money to use during the exercise. Their descriptions will be much better as well as the lessons they learned and the thoughts that went through their heads.

Helping those that are homeless already is one thing to focus on. The other is preventing people who are at risk from becoming homeless in the first place.  If you’re curios about who the homeless and at risk of homless are  in the US and Austin are and what types of programs can help them visit the Green Doors web-site.

Travelling so close to the race and keeping up with the training

September 20, 2009

I’ll be out-of-town all week (Mon through Friday) this week, luckily it’s all in one city and at the same hotel so not as crazy as press tours or going from city to city for events during a product launch. This is just two weeks ahead of the Portland Marathon though so it’ll make it interesting. I didn’t plan on Portland being an “A” race originally so I wasn’t really concerned about when I’d be travelling until my plans for Portland changed from it being a “B” race to an “A” race.

I packed my bags today, yes that’s plural. I have a bag for work clothes etc and a bag for my running stuff. That includes:

  • Shoes, shorts, socks, watch
  • GU, recovery drink powder in individual packets,
  • Cliff builder bars, Kashi bars, boxes of raisins
  • NuuN electrolyte tabs
  • Stretching rope
  • TP massage kit
  • Instant ice packs
  • Compression socks
  • Hand-held water bottle

Yes that’s quite a bit, it’ll be tough getting my runs in because of late dinners etc but I think I’ve got my schedule figured out. It would be a real shame mess up the work put in over the last 5 months of training by being lazy this week.

Last Long Run of the Season and Final Race Prep

September 19, 2009

The Team is 2 weeks out from Portland and today was our final race prep and long run. The run was between 23 and 24 miles with 20 miles at a faster pace of 20 seconds per mile slower than marathon goal pace (MGP). For a 2:50 marathon MGP is 6:30 minutes/mile so the goal was 6:50 for the run. I ran with Larry the whole way and we were on pace overall. The course had some up and down hills so a relatively even effort resulted in some faster and some slower miles. It seemed like everybody had a relatively good day, for those racing Portland it’s just two weeks to go and the taper begins. It was a good course, Ruth biked the route yesterday and we had cones every mile to use to lap our watches.

Time for each mile today:

6:45 (10 Mile Average 6:49)
6:53 (9 Mile Average 6:48)
6:17 (10 Mile Average 6:45)

Portland Marathon Race Plan … Take 1

September 13, 2009

Technically this could be take 2 but I wasn’t really grooving to my initial plugging in the numbers into the spreadsheet attempt so here it is. A few overall points:

  • This is the most aggressive goal I’ve ever set for a race. Not just the time but how close to my limit this goal is. I usually race at a pace where it isn’t all the way at my limit.
  • I decided a month ago to go from a 2:55 marathon goal to a 2:50 marathon, I’m hope I’m somewhere in that range.
  • Hills … I don’t really like them so I need to account for the fun between miles 16 and 18 at Portland
  • The paces listed are targets, I’ll be around that but overall I’ll be able to gauge how I’m doing looking at the overall time at each mile.
  • This plan is for me, I didn’t write it as a template for anybody else. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and need to make our own specific adjustments.
  • All of this may go out the window depending on what Steve says 🙂

I plugged in my plan into the Rogue Portland Marathon spreadsheet and here is my current plan … subject to tweaking and/or major changes 🙂 I’ve broken up the race into 5 sections.

Mile 1 through 8

Take it at 2:50 effort (6:30 pace). In some races I’ve felt terrible in the beginning but things pick up. I’m going to rely on my training and stick to this effort and make adjustments at the points in my plan where I’m supposed to. One or two bad feeling miles can quickly go away so it’ll be about the entire 8 miles.

Miles 1 to 8

Miles 1 to 8

I’ll likely lose around 15 seconds in mile 2 and 3 and on the downhill mile 4 to 6 make up 10 of those. That should put me at the end of 8 miles +5 seconds for a 2:50 marathon target.

The plan is the same for A, B and C for the first 8 miles.

Mile 9 through 13

The beginning of mile 9 is the first checkpoint. The decision here is do I think I can hit a 2:50 or not. If I think I still have it in me then Plan A is in force. If not then it’s Plan C, a less aggressive race plan but hopefully still a PR.

Miles 9 to 13

Miles 9 to 13

Plan A & Plan B

If I felt good (relative term) through miles 1 to 8 then Plan A & B are the same for this section. I need to try and shave some time now for what I’m going to lose in the hill between miles 16 and 18, but not all in one mile. My MGP is close to my limit already of what I think I can sustain so I’ll try and go 5 seconds under that for 4 miles. That should shave 20 seconds and put me at -15 seconds overall for a 2:50 marathon target.

Plan C

This is if miles 1 to 8 are a real struggle and breaking 2:50 just doesn’t seem like it is in the cards. I’ll slow to a 2:55 marathon based pace of 6:40 minutes per mile for this section.

Mile 14 through 18

The start of mile 14 is another check point. Since I just pushed a little for 4 miles I need to determine how that went. More than that I need to get back into a rhythm and just run through the hill in this section where I expect to lose 30 to 40 seconds. If things go well I’ll end this section down 10 to 20 seconds from a 2:50 marathon target which I’ll need to make up in the last miles.

Miles 14 to 18

Miles 14 to 18

Plan A

Don’t push from 14 to 16, stick to 2:50 based marathon effort (6:30 min/mile pace) but no faster and expect to give up 40 seconds in the hills.

Plan B

If the shaving of time in Mile 9 and 13 seems to take too much out then switch to 2:55 marathon based paces. Another 10 seconds a mile slower than A.

Plan C

Keep on trucking at 2:55 paces.

Mile 19 through 22

Don’t push … HOLD!!!

Miles 19 to 22

Miles 19 to 22

Plan A

Stick at 2:50 marathon pace of 6:30 min/mile

Plan B & C

Stick at 2:55 marathon pace of 6:40 min/mile

Mile 23 through Finish

This is a downhill section (according to the map) with some rollers according to Ruth and Steve. So plan to hold effort, well it’ll feel more like pushing … it is a marathon after all. So the miles are 5 seconds a mile faster on the 3 miles that are downhill than Miles 19 through 22. And then back to flat effort last 1.2 miles.

Mile 23 to Finish

Mile 23 to Finish

Plan A

3 miles at 5 seconds faster than MGP then at MGP to squeak under 2:50 hopefully

Plan B & C

I hopefully backed off early enough with the checkpoints where I can just run this by feel and push as hard as I can and see where I end up.

Last down week before we taper

September 12, 2009

This was the last down week before the marathon on October 4th. Next weekend is the last race prep after which it’s a two week taper. Long run was right under 16 miles averaging a 7:44 min/mile pace. Leg’s definitely don’t feel snappy but the race is three weeks away so hope they’ll be ready by then.

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