Sunday, June 20, 2010

LIVESTRONG Seattle Marathon training 6 days out - this is a taper?

Hi everyone-

I hope you all had a great Father's Day!  We had an enjoyable time going up to Mt St Helens for a little sight seeing... and even though all we saw is this:

we still had a good time roadtripping in the car and checking out the visitors' center.  Definitely a nice relaxing day.

Speaking of relaxing, my taper has been far too much relaxing - but not by choice!  After my great long run on Monday, I found out that I overdid it a bit.  By Wednesday, I had come down with a cold of the coughing, stuff, very scratchy throat variety.  Initially the plan was to take Tuesday and maybe Wednesday off, then put in a block of 5 or 6 straight days of medium to easy intensity, but keep the body working.  Instead, I took Tues-Thurs off, put in a very light workout on Friday (30 min on the bike, in which I felt like I was going to pass out the whole time) and took another rest day on Saturday.  Fortunately, by today I feel almost normal, and was able to put in 40 min on the bike at a reasonable intensity.

From here on out, the goal is to put in easy to medium effort workouts (of the 30-45 minute variety) at least two out of the next three days, then rest Thursday and Friday.  At that point, my body should be primed and ready to go for the marathon in Seattle.  Oh, and did I mention that my awesome wife and kids bought me some very cool LIVESTRONG swag: a nice t-shirt (shown), another nice t-shirt (blue with LIVESTRONG and "Just Do It") and a great visor.  That means I'll definitely be stylin' when I head up to the marathon as a part of Team LIVESTRONG.

And keep in mind... there's still time to donate!  If you want to make a contribution to the cause, please do donate here.  It's for a great cause!

Depending on how much time I have at work this week, I'll check in a couple more times before race day.  Until then, onward!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

LIVESTRONG Seattle Marathon training 10 days out - finding my mojo

Hi everyone!  Sorry for the late post, but my great training week last week rolled over into this week and I wanted to update everybody after a couple of not-so-great long run experiences.

The first half of last week showed a continuation of the solid trend of workouts from the week before... even translating into my first 6-days-in-a-row stretch since, well, probably college. :)  Sure, the home trainer sessions were on the shorter side (but on the higher intensity side, averaging > 19 mph), but coupled with a couple of runs - one at the beginning of the week and one during a business trip that took me out of town Wed-Sat - it made for a great training week:

  • Cycling: 20.00 miles in 1:02:16.
  • Running: 7.45 miles in 1:03:08.

As I said, not a lot of miles, but good intensity, and it left me well rested for my last "long run", a middle distance tune-up for race day.  After bonking at 11 miles and 11-15 miles during the last two long runs, respectively, so I approached this last tune up with a little trepidation.  I knew it had to be a good run to give me some confidence going into the marathon.  The question was whether to run it at a "race pace" or go out a little slower and just try to make it consistent.  Well, I managed to do both.  After running the first mile in ~9:40, I started taking the pace down.  Mile 5 actually was around 8:55, but overall I managed to keep a steady 9:05-9:10 pace most of the way.  Until the last 3.5 miles, when I started blasting out 8:55 down to 8:33 miles.  The legs were definitely with me!  I managed to run the best 13+ mile run I've ever had:

As you can see, Nike+ says it was a 14.53 miler (with a brief 25 second walking break for a stoplight between miles 3 & 4.  MapMyRide claimed a 14.64 miler.  Either way, it was fast... but since I know my Nike+ isn't perfectly calibrated, I'll follow MayMyRide which puts me at an 8:58 pace for the whole thing. :-D

I looks like I've found my mojo!  I did a couple of things differently (plain Whole Foods O's before my run rather than the honey-nut variety, pre-hydration with Nuun rather than coconut water), and the weather was a lot better as well (~55F).  But that should put me in good shape for Seattle and the run for Team LIVESTRONG.

I'll try to hit 1-2 more updates before race day, but until then, onward!

Monday, June 7, 2010

LIVESTRONG Seattle Marathon training weeks 26/27 - closing in

Hi everyone!  Sorry about skipping a week, but we had an enjoyable three-day weekend for Memorial Day, and blogging was one of the last things on my mind. :)  I hope that you had a great Memorial Day as well and are making a good transition into summer... which unfortunately the Oregon weather is NOT doing.  But after what seems like 40 days and 40 nights of rain, it looks like we might be turning the corner?

Of course, being Oregonians, the rain hasn't slowed us down much... we managed to have a birthday grill-out in the rain yesterday:

But enough complaining about the weather, and on to training!  It was a couple of down and up weeks since I last checked in.  The week of 5/23-5/30 was a low mileage week due to some business travel and seminar prep/presentation.  I managed to get in three sessions on the home trainer, including a 3:15am ride before an early morning flight.  But no running, which was probably not bad for giving the legs a break.  And while not great, I did manage to keep the diet under control while I was traveling.  The week totaled out at:

  • Cycling: 29.65 miles in 1:36:08.
  • Weight: 197.0, down 0.6 pounds.

You'll notice that there was no long run - but in my last post, I talked about getting in a last 20+ miler before the marathon.  Well, it worked best with both the weather and with family plans to run on Memorial Day.  So after a rest day on Sunday, I attempted a 21 mile long run.  I say attempted, because I bonked big time.  The first 7 miles felt good... the next mile felt OK but I could tell I was running out of gas, so I took a walking break at a stoplight... the next two miles felt OK, including the start of a steamy run on the woodchip trail around the Nike campus.  But after that, things fell apart.  Miles 11-15 saw walk breaks of 30-90 seconds every half-mile to a mile, and finally at 15 miles I threw in the towel and decided to briskly walk back home.  What the workout boiled down to was 15.12 miles in 2:29:47 (the first 11 miles were at a 9:30-9:45 pace, so you can see how much I gave back over the final 4 miles) and then a 4.77 mile walk in 1:15:20.

Not a great confidence builder for my last long run.  So hopefully my 12-15 miler coming up a week from now will be a little more inspiring and I can find the legs that I had when I was running 15-17 miles at a time at a 9:10 pace... but those legs might have made a re-appearance in the last few days.  After a couple of rest days, I went out for a sluggish recovery run, but that has triggered five days in a row (including today) of cardio that make me feel that things are getting back on the right track.  That means we're potentially closing in on a successful marathon experience.

Totals for week 27:
  • Running (/ walking): 23.12 miles in 4:12:42.
  • Cycling: 29.82 miles in 1:33:36.
  • Weight: 194.8 pounds, down 2.2 (yes, I got the diet back on track with a lot of healthy greens!)

Before I check out for the week, I did once again want to thank everyone that donated to my Team LIVESTRONG participation for Seattle.  We hit the $1000 goal with a month to spare, but still have an opportunity to do even more.  But if you want a bit of a change, we're also raising money for my century ride in September.  So if you want to donate to that, with the more aggressive fundraising goal of $2,500, you can donate here.

Thanks for checking in everyone... I hope you all have a great week of family, training and work.  Until next time, onward!