October 31, 2010

Dull is not equal to sharp and describes my mental state as far as racing a marathon. We had our 3rd race prep today, similar to the one we do every season. The closest one based on my fitness was the one for Boston this year. In the end, today I just mentally folded on the last part of the workout, no physical reason to do it but just not mentally sharp. 5 weeks to put up or shut up. On the flip side it was an inspiring workout to see with the rest of the team slogging and nailing the workout today, especially the first timers for this workout in our little crew on the team: Brent, Asia, Paul and Chris.

Today’s workout involved a 4 mile warm-up, 2 sets of 5 miles at MGP with a half mile easy between the sets, then 5.5 miles that include some hills (Red bud and Stratford) followed by 6 miles on the track with a cut down (2 at MGP, 2 at 1/2 MGP, 2 at 10k). I did all of it close to plan but folded on the track. After running 4 miles, just decided I was done.

Goal Paces
MGP – 6:18
1/2MGP – 6:00
10k – 5:40

5 Mile MGP Sets
Set 1: 31:25 – 6:17 pace
Set 2: 31:50 – 6:22 pace

Mile 1: 6:16
Mile 2: 6:17
Mile 3: 6:00
Mile 4: 6:00
Mile 5: DNS!
Mile 6: DNS!

No excuses, didn’t deliver. As Steve said today, I just have to get what’s between my ears figured out. 5 weeks till race day and all on me to decide what I want to get out of this season.


A little team ridicule and pride for the week

October 17, 2010

A few of guys from our Team Rogue crew decided to run the IBM 10k today, the results were good so a source of pride but the running of the race was a source of ridicule during the week. First the goods on the results and then I’ll go back to the fun we had over the week ridiculing each other.

Larry, Damon, Andrew, Muz, Corey and Jim decided to run IBM today. Before I write any more, all of these yahoo’s (ok maybe the ridiculing isn’t just kept between us) ran the 2nd Race Prep for the team a week ago which consisted of 2 sets of 10 miles at marathon goal pace. This week is supposed to be a “down week”. Larry did great, finishing in 35:19 to win the Masters division at a pace of 5:41 minutes/mile, and with that time put all of us “younger” folks to shame 🙂 Damon, Andrew, Muz and Corey all finished between 36:17 and 36:53 or between 5:50 minutes/mile and 5:56 minutes/mile. Great times that show they’re on track for a good performance at CIM in December. So that’s the “pride” side of this post, now onto the ridicule.

The group enjoys taking jabs at each other, on our runs or by e-mail. I was planning on running IBM but decided against it given the race prep last week. During the week we exchanged a few e-mails about the sanity of racing IBM a week after a tough workout, you know the standard this isn’t your “A race” don’t hurt yourself on this vs. you pansy. I took more days off this week than intended so got the crap I deserved:

“Do I need to set up an intervention so you can get your freaking head screwed on correctly?
A few things I take issue with:

  • Missed the run today.
  • Not running IBM.  Come on, WTF?
  • Skipping the workout on Thurs.

What’s next, an email about adding a Rogue Galloway Program that you will be coaching in the spring?  :-)”
We missed you today K-man.

P.S. All due respect to the Galloway program, it’s just not for me but is a program that has helped many people succeed in running a marathon.

All the jabs back and forth were taken in stride but it is one of those interesting things that we all have to balance in our training. This balance is really based on the individual. Each of us knows what state we’re in mentally and physically and have to make the decision. Don’t get me wrong, if your idea of training for a fall marathon involves entering a race every weekend in Austin … well you’re just plain old crazy if you expect a command performance at your marathon. You can have a lot of fun racing all the time but if your goal is to PR and to really race the marathon you’re just … well nuts to enter too many races. On the other hand a nicely placed race is a great measure for fitness and a good mental and physical tune up for the goal race. Some of us like to race (I’m on the like to train side) so working a race into the schedule is all good (my previous tirade of on racing every weekend being an exception of course). Here’s to the guys that ran IBM today and to this being a good tune up along the way to their goal race.

So great work out there today Team and thanks for keeping me honest with my laissez faire training attitude lately 🙂

Body says OUCH!!!

October 12, 2010

I didn’t realize it immediately after the race prep on Saturday but boy is my body in need of some R&R. I had a massage yesterday and Lisa found quite a few points of … well pain. There were some aches developing over the last week and the race prep made them all stand out a little more. With work and travel I haven’t been getting a massage as regularly as I used to so that’s one thing that has led to the creeping in of tightness and general funkiness in the legs. I’ve also been remiss is my icing, gym work and stretching of late so it isn’t really a surprise that my body is sending me a not so gentle reminder. So tonight as soon as this post is done the legs get some TLC with an ice cup. No major issues but a good reminder to not get lazy after all the effort put into the season.

Surprise workout post race-prep

October 12, 2010

After the race prep this weekend the team has a “down” week. Today was supposeD to be 10 to 14 easy miles but Steve hAd other plans. We show up and he kindly inforMs us we’re doing a quick track workOut. I must admit my miNd almost went for a Loop. The workout was 6 sets of 800’s alternAting between mgp and half-mgp, 6:18 and 5:59 minuTes per mile, thE warm-up was bRutal as were the first two 800’s, after that though the leg’s seemed to lossen up. We finished 6 800’s and Steve told us that was good for the day. I was surprised at the positive impact the faster pace work had on my legs after the race prep this weekend.

p.s. read all the capital letters that aren’t supposed to be. You’ll know what the post is really about.

Another day, another race prep, another 20+ mile run

October 9, 2010

Today was another key milestone for Team Rogue training for CIM, our second race prep. This was a step up in intensity from our first race prep in September and involved 2 sets of 10 miles at marathon goal pace (MGP). I really don’t know what I was thinking or feeling going into this race prep. I’ve been concentrating on everything except for running lately (work, new business idea, getting engaged 🙂 Coming into the race prep I have to admit I wasn’t mentally engaged, really haven’t been for a while this season. At the start of the race prep I was talking to Steve and we were joking about the busyness of our lives and he just said to run the first set and see what happens. This season has been pretty different for me training wise. I’ve probably run more miles than ever but have been mentally the most disconnected from my training. I decided early on this season that with everything else going on in life running is the one thing that can’t be a source of stress, it’s my “relaxation” … yes running 70 to 80 miles a week is my relaxation.

Guess I should get back to the point of this post which is the race prep. We had a good sized group again and there were 8 or so of us in the 2:45 to 2:50 goal range. A 2:45 marathon is a 6:18 minutes/mile pace so that was the target today. Given the challenging first 5 miles of the course it was no surprise that the first half was off pace, and the second downhill part under pace. Steve put cones out every 2 miles, a 6:20 min/mile pace for 2 miles works out to 12:40 min.

Miles       1,2         3,4        5,6        7,8       9,10       Total     Pace
Set 1      12:47    12:46    12:45    12:31    12:26    1:03:17  6:20
Set 2      12:41    12:58    12:36    12:29    12:15    1:03:00  6:18

From a time based result standpoint the race prep went well. During the first set after we crossed Lamar near Justin and headed down Guadalupe there were many moments when I felt I could pick up the pace but knew there was another set to go and picking up the pace could be risky. The second set started off fine, actually a little faster for miles 1 and 2 than the first set but something blew up on miles 3 and 4 for the second set (running 12 seconds slower for those two miles compared to the first set). That of course results in the “freak out” where I tried to pick it up a little too much, which resulted in miles 5 and 6 for the second set being 11 seconds faster than the first sets. Then it was back in the groove for miles 7 and 8 for the second set. If I kept that effort going I would have come in at 1:03:11, right at the same time as the first set. Brent caught up to me towards the end of the second set and I had plenty of gas left so I figured I might as well push a little bit so that brought me in right at 1:03:00 for an overall 10 miles at a 6:18 pace 🙂

What does this mean for me at CIM? Racing a marathon is so much more than the physical ability to run at a pace. The mental aspect of running a marathon is a critical element. Your mind is what keeps you going when you’re down, when some freak clips your heels, when you drop your GU … you name it, the marathon will mess with your mind every chance it gets. I’m not mentally sharp this, and I’m not sure if I can be. It’s kind of a pity because this is undoubtedly the fittest I’ve ever been and may also be the last marathon I put serious training time into for a year or two. I guess the good thing is a sub 2:50 marathon seems pretty reasonable at CIM this year. I doubt I’d be able to keep training if it wasn’t for all the people in Team Rogue so thank you all for keeping me going … special shout out to Damon-later, Chris and Asia.

Nice Running Times article on the importance of recovery

October 3, 2010

The September issue of Running Times has a nice article on recovery by Julia Lucas. As runners we tend to be very good about knowing where our mileage is and comparing our mileage and paces to each other and the elites of the world. You’ll hear pride in comments like “I ran 90 miles this week” or “I ran my 5 mile tempo and was 10 seconds faster than my target pace”. When’s the last time you heard an excited statement like “I made sure I ran easy this Sunday” or “I iced my legs 4 times this week”? We might hear about peoples recovery and ancillary training but generally we share those stories under our breath.

The article had a few good pointers from elite athletes, things they do to make sure they can hit their workouts, recover and continue training successfully. I won’t go into the details of what the article discussed since you can always just pick up the magazine (I know Rogue has some copies left) but will share some of the things I know many of us in Team Rogue have successfully worked into our training.

  • Recovery Drinks – Right after you get done with the workout. The effort involved is minuscule and the benefit enormous. What can be easier than putting a single serve carton of chocolate milk in your workout bag?

    Easy, Simple and Tasty

  • Hydration – Drink water and get the right amount of electrolytes (nuun, Thermolytes, Gatorade, etc). This helps with muscle tightness, cramping, and reduces the strain on your cardio vascular system … the list is really endless.

    So Refershing

  • Ice Baths – An invaluable 10 or 15 minutes. It helps reduce inflammation and flush the crud our bodies produce in tough workouts.
  • Recovery Runs – If you don’t recover you don’t get faster. Workouts push our bodies physically and mentally, stressing them so they undergo adaptation. Those adaptations include repairing muscles, growing blood vessels and countless other things. When the hell do you expect your body to do that if you don’t take it easy sometime? If all you do is stress your body it’s going to breakdown, you’ll get sick or injured. There’s no if our but about it, it’s a matter of when.

These four things don’t really take much effort. There are lots of other things people do and recommend, rolling, massages, stretching which you can and should work in to your routine. These four are pretty simple for the return you’ll get. If you’re not willing to make this minimal effort you’re cheating yourself and reducing the chance of success of all the work you’re putting into your runs on the roads and trails. So get on with it, see you out on the roads.

September 2010 Training Summary for CIM

October 2, 2010

September 2010 was a good month.

  • 340 miles (300 in 2009 this far from the race, 220 in 2008 same month for CIM 2008)
  • 3 runs over 22 miles including one race prep at 26
  • Spotty on the gym but managed once  week average for the month (not enough)
  • Pace work and leg turnover coming around
  • Sweet Austin weather last two weeks

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