Registered for some races and week 7 in review

July 24, 2010

The last time I registered for races ahead of time during a season I ended up not being able to run any of them due to injury. I’m hoping that isn’t the case this time. For Boston 2009 I entered a few races as prep runs leading upto the race and wasn’t able to run any of them including the Boston Marathon. For this season I’ve registered for all of the races I’ve decided to run except for the IBM 10k.

Tomorrow marks the end of week 7 of training for CIM. I should be around 85 miles if I run the 10 miles planned tomorrow. I looked back at my log and realized that I’ve only run more than 85 miles in a week once in my life before which was a 90 mile run sometime last year. Apart from that I’ve managed two 82 mile weeks and generally have been under 80 miles. So this will be another nice milestone. Increasingly though I think the 75 to 80 miles a week range is what I’ll stick to this season. Had a massage with Lisa, the “unofficial” team Masseuse this week and everything seems to be fine so far. I do need to ice a little more than I have been on my tib and work on some tib strengthening but apart from that no major aches or pains.


Week 6 of training brings me back to week 1

July 18, 2010

This week ends with around 73 miles and I’m back up in mileage after getting sick around the 26th of June. 70 to 80 miles a week seems sustainable for me and I’m not as certain about my original goal of a 90 mile a week base. That’s quite alright with me, 90 was a stretch and I may try and get up there once but 75 a week seems like the new base for this season and I should still be in good shape in December.

I mentioned in my last post, CIM may be the last race for a while I train for with a great deal of focus. It’s a little disappointing to not be able to hit my 90 mile a week target and give it everything for CIM. That’s life though and necessary for me to find some balance and mange my other commitments. Running needs to remain the thing I look forward to doing so I’m sure there will be more adjustments with training, work and everything else in the future.

A mixed bag for the first 5 weeks of training for CIM 2010 leads to a reevaluation of my goals

July 11, 2010

A quick summary of the weeks since training officially started:

  • Week 1 (June 7) – 5 days of running, 71 miles, 7:20 average pace, 18 mile long run
  • Week 2 (June 14) – 6 days of running, 72 miles, 7:30 average pace, 20 mile long run
  • Week 3 (June 21) – 5 days of running, 55 miles, 7:35 average pace, 8 mile long run
  • Week 4 (June 28) – 3 days of running, 33 miles, 7:40 average pace, 15 mile long run
  • Week 5 (July 5) – 5 days of running, 65 miles, 7:30 average pace, 20 mile long run

This is supposed to be the build phase but alas for me it’s been the decline phase. Week 3 is when I got sick.  It started the end of the week which is what left the long run at 8 miles; Asia had to pick me up in the car at the half way point. Since then it’s required some patience to let myself build back up slowly. If it wasn’t for travel I would have been at my 75 mile target for the week. Since getting sick I’ve adjusted by build from my original base phase plan by eliminating the added hill and pace work one week a day and also for the last two weeks favoring sleep over getting drills in before the 5:30 am runs. My log (below) has more red text in it than I would like to.

Training Log from First 5 Weeks for CIM 2010

When this season started I knew I had a lot going on and something may have to give. It looks like my health and running have already. What does this mean for the training for CIM, it’s too early to tell. I know I’m fitter than I have been before. What is uncertain is will I be able to sustain my training and other commitments? In the end the following could happen as far as running goes:

  • I burn out and get slower
  • I maintain my fitness
  • I get a little faster

A little simplistic yes but that’s pretty much where things stand. I don’t think I’ll burn out from running, if I feel poorly I’ll just back off and drop my mileage. Then there’s maintaining my fitness or getting faster. Given the time and effort I’m putting into training I’m not sure if maintaining my fitness is an acceptable outcome for me. The return on my effort would be disappointing. Am I going to quit training right now? No.

It’ll be a couple of months before I’ll know how training and “life” are treating me. Mid September will be a decision making point for my CIM training. It’ll either be ALL IN if I feel I can PR at CIM or I’ll put training into cruise control. I hope the start-up a few friends and I are working on has some legs to it and that will need some attention and backing off of running a little for this is worth it to me. If things work out the push to CIM may be the last one for a while. Putting my training into cruise control may be difficult to mentally manage so there will be some tough introspection and soul searching in-store for me in a few months.

The Saucony Kinvara is here to stay

July 8, 2010

Asia has a great review of the Kinvara on her blog today. I’d mentioned this new shoe as something I decided to try and figured I might as well post an update. My review unfortunately isn’t as well though out as the one Asia wrote today.

The Brooks Green Silence is now off my list of shoes I like to wear, the way the laces dig in just doesn’t work for me. Overall my ranking on shoes I now wear is:

  1. Saucony Kinvara
  2. Brooks Launch
  3. Nike LunarRacer+ 2

I like all three of these shoes. The Saucony Kinvara is very comfortable, responsive but still has some cushion where longer runs are manageable with it. It’s a really tough balancing act that Saucony seems to have managed. I still use the Brooks Launch for most of my runs right now since it’s a “more shoe” and support and with my higher mileage target this season I need all the help I can get. It was the first shoe where the first time I put it on it just felt great, a very different feel from anything I’d tried before. The Nike LunarRacer+ 2 feels pretty good too but seems to pinch my right outer toe a little my personal negative issue. This could be just because of my form and how I push off. From others, the Nike may also not really last very long and I don’t think I can really go with a show that doesn’t give me 250ish miles given a 90 miles/week target this season.

If you are looking for some light weight trainers I wouldn’t hesitate recommending you try all three of these out. They’re all at Rogue so go try them all side by side and see what you think, I’d love to hear your take on these shoes.

Races for the year are decided

July 7, 2010

The race for the season is CIM (California International Marathon) but there are going to be a couple of races leading up to it. Here is the plan for the season:

Unintended shortage of water served as a great reminder on the importance of hydration today

July 6, 2010

This week is a little bit crazy for me since I need to travel out of town on Friday for a wedding. NI, where I work, is closed today I decided to get my 20 mile run in. There was a 16 mile route and I added another 4 towards the end (

The Situation
Team Rogue is an interesting beast. We have people with different base targets and in different weeks or stages of their build. Today for example we probably had people ranging from 6 miles to 16. I had my additional 4 but was able to run with Larry, Jim and Asia for first 15 miles which was nice. This variation in mileage for runs has to make planning of routes and water spots challenging.

The Outcome
There was a 12 mile route and in that route around mile 5 there was a 2 mile adder and then another 2 mile adder around mile 6 I think. We grabbed water at mile 5 and then with our adders the next water stop was about an hour later, I’m guessing 8 miles. For the 12 mile route it would have been about 4 miles I think between water stops so I just assumed it was a forgotten water stop, that’s life. I’m sure we complained a bit, that’s what we runners do. It’s strange how when you assume something will be somewhere you just … well can’t seem to get over why it isn’t.

What actually happen is the water stop was placed a block off the route we ran. It was surprising how much that 8 mile gap in water stops affected me, and I think everybody else with me (Larry, Jim and Asia). We stopped at Quacks and grabbed some water which was nice. For runs I’ve started carrying a small hand held since Rogue is trying to reduce use of paper cups. Apparently we went through 600 one day, which is a lot of paper if you think about it. One of my mistakes was not filling the hand held all the way at the stop at mile 5. Honestly I just don’t like carrying hand-helds so that’s why I just filled it a 1/3 of the way.

The Lesson
When we did get water it was obvious that trying to catch up when you’re behind is very difficult, I ended up with a side stitch at first from drinking too much. You hear the importance of not getting behind with hydration and nutrition but today was a stark reminder. I was lucky that I had the hand-held. At the next water stop I filled it up after drinking some water and then was able to sip on it for a while and get my 4 mile adder in with another water stop (Jester).

This “getting behind” thing isn’t just during a run. With the training load most of Team Rogue is on it’s important to stay hydrated and topped off every day during the week. If you don’t do that then long runs, or any issue will just seem more severe. And then during runs or races, have and stick to your hydration plan. The time it takes to grab a swig at each station is totally worth it in my mind.

A Change in Attitude
That comment I made earlier about hating carrying a hand-held … well I think I’m liking the new smaller hand-held Rogue has on discount for people in the training program. Being able to keep drinking a little bit on the run between stops in the summer heat and humidity is totally worth what could be called the inconvenience of having to carry a bottle. And let’s not forget the trees using the hand-held saves đŸ™‚

There is no absolute “right” answer to many training decisions

July 4, 2010

Training and what an individual needs is extremely specific. Over the years I’ve come to appreciate that benefits of being consistent  with a coach and the people you train with. For one thing how you as an individual react to different types of workloads, stress, mental situations isn’t something you can just write down and give to somebody. It takes a while for a coach and you to establish trust and a mutual understanding. There is no “right” answer for all of us, even all of us training for the same race. With Team Rogue for example, we have a general macro that we’re all using for our training but it’s the individual minor tweaks to our training and race plans that we all athletes have a responsibility to figure out. That is the best thing about the weekly “happy office” hours with Steve. Each of us has an opportunity to talk to him about our specific goals and plans and to listen in to what Steve tells everybody else, and moreover how he differs in advice from one person to another. It takes effort to do this so we can perform and reach our potential as individuals. I think it’s worth the effort, otherwise why not just go online and download some generic macro?

This principle of what is “right” applies to our decisions week to week during our training. Do we run easy? Do we run hard? Do we close? Do we take time off when we’re felling sick or do we push through it when we’re off? It’s evident in every group that our personalities tend to drive these decisions, it’s how each of us is wired. About a week and a half ago I started feeling sick and took a couple of days off from running. Then thought I’d try to run 16 miles last Saturday. After 8 miles into it I decided to stop. I could have run 16 but for me the potential gain versus the risk of getting sicker wasn’t worth it. This week was more of the same, ran one day and that was it. That ended with relatively strong and easy 15 miles yesterday and 8 today. Others might have tried to run 4 or 6 miles every day this week. What’s the right thing to do? For me, using the time as a mental and physical break is ideal. I have to balance my work, personal and running lives and if I’m having issues with my health, forcing my runs doesn’t help it and tends to stress me out with everything else. For others knowing they kept running just a bit and pushing through the illness is what they need mentally.

With marathon training consistency and longevity of training seem like the most important things. As long as all your decisions put together let you train for a few years consistently you can be confident you’re doing the “right” thing. So listen to yourself, and your body. Look at your macro and last two years of training and results and see which decisions were “right” or “wrong” for you. Stick with the “right” ones and try something different with the ones you’d question after reflection. See how that goes after the season, reflect, adjust, put your shoes on and keep on running.

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