Friday, January 31, 2014

Surf City here we come!

The weather has been holding nicely, some clouds, temps below 60F the entire race and trivial winds. 

Done with running until 6:30am Sunday!  

Only 11 miles this week, some MP running in there...:

Date Miles Pace BPM WHR% Elev+ Elev- YPB
2014-01-28 Tue 3.3 8:54 123.7 63.7 23.3 23.8 1.603
2014-01-29 Wed 6.3 8:53 126.6 66.0 50.4 48.9 1.565
2014-01-31 Fri 2.0 9:11 123.5 63.5 7.3 8.6 1.567
Summary 11.7 8:57 125.2 64.9 80.9 81.3 1.57

I didn't mind the taper his week: I enjoy the gathering feeling of strength in my's run was a piddly 2 miles but the 3x10-20sec pickup sprints @5:30m/m felt amazing. A lot of wind by your ears when you run fast! 

I'll be meeting with with blog friend Arthur tomorrow at the expo. Last time I saw him was at CIM in 2011. This is going to be his last full 70+ his back doesn't like the last 6 miles too much and besides he's always been super speedy in the 10k and half marathon, so he'll be back to rocking them....more podium finishes in the 70+ AG no doubt ;) 

And now time for that great tradition...declaring the...

.....Race day goals!

1)  As always HAVE FUN. Rather than getting nervous, focus on how wonderful it is to be toeing the line and getting the chance to enjoy such an intense experience of mind, body and outdoors with 2000 other people. DO NOT TAKE IT FOR GRANTED.

This helps me melt away my nerves on race day..and nerves are BAD: adrenalin burns fuel just standing there!

Yes, I really REALLY want a PR, but there is an element of luck and some guesswork involved, so don't put all my beans on it.

2) Run a smart race: CARVE those tangents, HOLD the Chi form, TRACK the pace (ease off on the one hill, rock the downhill) , FUEL up every 5 miles and DRINK to thirst.

3)  My pace band is cut for a 3:53 marathon. That's an 8:53 m/m pace, which means 8:50 on the Garmin. If I can do that... it's a PR and  I'll be a very satisfied runner. 

Assuming no major surprises, by mile 16-18 it will be clear if this is the day...maybe push a touch faster if possible...leave everything out there...we need to do this again after September for the BQ.

If I don't PR but come in sub-4 I'll still be happy: it will only be the 3rd time that's happened and it's been 2 years since the last time.

If the conditions are good, but the starting pace just suddenly seems too fast or I fade massively during the last 6 miles despite my best efforts, I'll be disappointed. (And be wondering how the heck I could have done better. I may not be in 3:53 condition but I don't think I'm that far off. I'll be very annoyed at myself if I fold up.)

We shall see!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Flu Shot

H1N1 has been in the news a lot and although not as bad as last year according to google flu trends it has been bad enough in California that some of our friends in the medical profession have been bugging us to get a flu shot.

You can get flu shots these days at your local pharmacy, so Toni went to our local Walgreens and got fuss no muss..just pull out your insurance card and it's done and paid for.

Ok, so next morning I go over...Nope.... all out of flu shots. "No problem, we are getting another shipment in this afternoon." no.  I drive to the CVS. ALSO no stock.

Fuming, I drive off to work.

Later than day I get a text from Toni that she's sneezing, nose is running and feels achy.  Hopefully she's all better today..a couple of days of minor crap can happen from a flu shot for some people.

Last year I had no side effects from my shot, but I decide to postpone the shot until after Sunday. 


Weather is looking wonderful for race day: no wind, partly cloudy, 44F at the start.. 55F at my estimated finish time.  Doesn't get much better than that!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

T-1 week to Surf City, buildup comparisons with CIM, Eugene and Tacoma

Only 1 week to go. 

The weather watch begins:  looking good with 40's for the start @6:30am and no higher than 60 for the finish around 10:30am for me.  Some cloud cover would be good but I'm pretty happy with this forecast!

This weeks tapering: some fast intervals / tempos / sprints still in there but mileage down.

Date Miles Pace BPM WHR% Elev+ Elev- YPB
2014-01-21 Tue 4.9 8:59 126.0 65.5 20.5 21.8 1.566
2014-01-23 Thu 5.9 8:52 127.7 67.0 22.5 22.8 1.561
2014-01-24 Fri 3.7 9:00 123.4 63.5 14.8 15.9 1.596
2014-01-26 Sun 9.9 9:04 125.1 64.8 34.9 33.4 1.548
Summary 24.4 9:00 125.6 65.3 92.7 93.9 1.562

Sunday was going to be 12 miles at 125bpm but I just wasn't feeling it...dragging a bit and having to work harder than normal at that HR so I cut it short.

Time to compare this marathon buildup with my previous ones....

Here is CIM vs Surf....I'm light on the miles for this buildup due to travel but it's reasonably close. (and still 14 miles to come this week ;) .  You can see I've done a lot more paces for this buildup (green) between 9 and 9:30 m/m. For CIM I had a lot more slow base 9:50 to 10:30 miles (blue). 

I almost never run slower than 10 m/m now except for interval recoveries and such. Average pace 15s/mile faster and of course HR lower.

Eugene vs Surf shows about the same thing....a bit more 5k-10k pace miles under 8:00 pace for Eugene but way less slow miles and more 8:30 to 9:30 miles for Surf.

 Tacoma vs Surf: Tac had WAY more miles..almost 600. It was a great buildup, but the actual marathon was terrible due to too many hills and hot temps. Just goes to show you that stats aren't everything. Even so lots more slow running for Tac but I did a LOT of fast running for Tac at 8:15 pace and 8:45 paces

On the other hand, I was not very satisfied with my long runs for TAC..I only had 2 20 milers and they were not as solid as I like to see.
                      I'm ready to go.
                      Perhaps fitter than Eugene (which was 2 years ago)?
                      I have new PRs in the HM and 10k that bear this out.

My plan of record is to run a similar race to Eugene: 8:48m/m on the garmin and bank 90sec or so over a 3:55 MP (8:54 m/m garmin pace) during the first 16 miles and then see how it goes from there.  ( At Eugene I gave back the 90s and just squeaked out a 3:54:54). 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

T-2 Weeks to Surf City: last long run and now the taper

Here's a poster somebody put up in my neighborhood at my favorite stretching spot:

A cute joke. ;)

I have to say I have not seen Mr.'s been totally clear for rain here and the Mr Guvner has officially called out the "D" word for California. (drought)

This Sunday the last 20 miler:

2014-01-19 Sun
Split  Miles  Pace       HR% WHRElev+Elev-   YPB

I did this as a progression run: 9:20 for 7 miles, 9:05 for 7 and then MP (8:53) for the rest...managing to do almost 22 miles. Temps were 40-55F with bright sun. I purposefully only ate 3 GUs @ 0, 7 and 14 miles. 

I would have been hard to crank out another 4.2 miles at MP but I may have been able to do it in a race situation. When I started I could tell I was running on legs that were a bit tired from the previous week, even with the full rest day Saturday.

So, I think I'm probably ok for an 8:53 Garmin pace (3:55 marathon, 8:58 real pace), if I'm lucky I will be able to push harder in the 2nd half and eek out a small PR. 

It will be warmer than here in Surf City on race day, probably about 65F at the end of the I will  run a lot mid-day during the taper weeks to get  used to warmer temperatures.

Week summary:

DateMiles  Pace     BPMWHR%Elev+Elev-    YPB
2014-01-14 Tue4.99:13123.763.735.938.41.525
2014-01-15 Wed9.68:40125.565.228.430.31.622
2014-01-16 Thu4.88:49124.764.518.019.41.596
2014-01-17 Fri8.18:50127.967.126.727.11.573
2014-01-19 Sun21.99:05125.865.4136.7135.81.548

My highest mileage week for this buildup. I have found that doing 50 miles a week is about my's not clear to me it's optimal to do that much, as there is a cost in the quality aspect but we did get a lot of fast running in.  

I am looking forward to the taper!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

T-3 Weeks to Surf City (and a White House tour)

It seems like every special Marathon build-up there's always something that requires working around.....a cold, some minor injury (hopefully in no more of these!) or some travel. 

This week I needed to do my half marathon time trial to see where I stand. I also had the chance to get a special tour of the West Wing of the White House!! My bro-in-law's brother has been working there. 

Can't miss out on THAT: I flew out to DC on a Friday and back on Sunday, I took a rest day on Saturday and ran my 13.1 miles on the Washington Lee high school track in Arlington Va, which is  a short distance from the place we were staying. Monday was a rest day  too so it all worked out pretty well. Whew!

On the tour we got to see the Oval office, Cabinet room, West Colonnade (the 45 second commute: residence to Oval office) , Navy Mess etc.  but also the Situation room, including the small situation room where they waited for the news on the Osama raid...yow.  We also got to see the Press briefing room. (see pic ) it is MUCH SMALLER than it looks

Can I have your attention please? Yes, You from have a question about Paul's running?

Toni with the Residence behind. No we didn't spot anybody ;)

You know what that is.

Amazing one-in-lifetime tour...

It was a good week for running too:

Date Miles Pace BPM WHR% Elev+ Elev- YPB
2014-01-07 Tue 6.9 8:46 124.2 64.1 32.1 31.5 1.632
2014-01-08 Wed 9.6 8:31 129.7 68.6 28.9 31.5 1.595
2014-01-09 Thu 4.8 9:47 112.1 54.2 36.3 37.7 1.609
2014-01-10 Fri 3.7 8:42 127.2 66.5 23.2 17.0 1.634
2014-01-12 Sun 13.2 8:19 132.4 70.8 135.5 160.7 1.609
Summary 38.3 8:40 126.8 66.3 256.0 278.4 1.612

Super low HRs ( and tons of fast running. The average paces don't show the details of the intervals but there was plenty of  hard stuff in there and the HM was run after all that!

The HM was at a pace only 3s/mile slower than my PR and the YPB awesome.  yes it was on a track which is always easier but there was a pretty snappy breeze blowing which made things a touch more difficult.  

So, I think I'm pretty fit. I'll look at the final stats to compare with my previous buildups when I'm done this week...this is the crescendo week: the biggest miles happen and Sunday has the last 20 miler where we do a bunch of MP miles. After Sunday it's all taper!

Then it's up to the marathon gods, one of which is the weather god. We haven't had any rain to speak of here (they are mentioning the "D" word). In Huntington beach it's cool mornings but by 10:30 (finish time) it's above 60F and there's often full sun (worth about 10F in heat load). 

We need some clouds but don't look likely. I have a theory that if it's cool in the morning and going to be warm by 2nd half of the race it's actually a good idea to pace faster in the beginning of the race and make hay while the body temp is low.  We'll see if I need to act on that theory!

Thursday, January 09, 2014

T-4 weeks to Surf City

Been a while since a post...just so busy.  My 2nd 20 miler came up and I had to move it to Jan 1 because we'd be visiting friends that have a house up in the Yosemite area over the weekend. (No room to do a 20 miler there..roads narrow and winding)

So I did it on New Year's Day...a Baylands long run, but this time I circumnavigated Moffet field rather than doing the Steven's Creek trail. So, more dirt paths that take a bit more energy but still a decent 20 miler:

2014-01-01 Wed
Split  Miles  Pace        HR% WHRElev+Elev-    YPB

YBP is 7th out of 30 runs I've done from 18 to 23 miles. Not a bad run......9:18 is about MP plus about 30s (assuming my MP will be about 8:50 on the garmin..perhaps wishful thinking)

Here are the runs for the last 30 days:

                          Date    Miles     Pace     BPM   WHR%     Elev+      Elev-      YPB
2013-12-10 Tue 5.8 9:24 126.1 65.7 19.1 23.4 1.528
2013-12-11 Wed 6.7 9:25 121.0 61.4 32.5 31.5 1.558
2013-12-12 Thu 4.0 8:43 126.9 66.3 20.3 18.4 1.563
2013-12-13 Fri 9.7 8:56 128.1 67.3 30.4 31.5 1.552
2013-12-15 Sun 18.0 9:19 126.2 65.7 94.9 96.3 1.506
2013-12-17 Tue 4.8 8:45 130.8 69.5 16.9 18.4 1.556
2013-12-18 Wed 9.0 8:52 126.4 65.9 290.1 289.6 1.601
2013-12-19 Thu 4.8 9:36 113.9 55.7 37.2 39.2 1.616
2013-12-21 Sat 20.6 9:10 123.4 63.4 113.4 115.6 1.541
2013-12-23 Mon 5.5 9:00 131.0 69.7 48.6 48.1 1.517
2013-12-24 Tue 4.2 8:55 118.5 59.4 18.2 20.2 1.655
2013-12-25 Wed 8.1 9:23 144.0 80.3 338.0 338.9 1.337
2013-12-26 Thu 5.3 8:46 0.0 0.0 261.0 254.9 0.000
2013-12-28 Sat 13.1 9:07 0.0 0.0 74.5 63.2 0.000
2013-12-30 Mon 5.9 9:30 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.000
2014-01-01 Wed 20.0 9:18 125.1 64.9 109.8 109.4 1.524
2014-01-03 Fri 4.8 8:28 134.1 72.2 16.8 18.2 1.575
2014-01-05 Sun 5.8 10:18 0.0 0.0 676.7 736.7 0.000
2014-01-07 Tue 6.9 8:46 124.2 64.1 32.1 31.5 1.632
2014-01-08 Wed 9.6 8:31 129.7 68.6 28.9 31.5 1.595
Summary 172.7 9:08 115.7 57.1 2259.4 2316.5 1.543

The run on 12/28 was special: Toni and I went to Puerto Vallarta Mexico between Xmas and new years, and I found a municipal track across the street from our hotel! I got to run 13.1 miles on a very nice rubber track with the locals. It was very fun to see a track team show up and hear the coach yelling at the kids in Spanish. Coaches are the same the world over, aren't they? ;)

The run on 1/5 on Sunday was near Yosemite at 6,000 ft. I ran some loops on the road where my friend's house was. There was quite a little hill on each loop so I racked ~700' of climbing. At that altitude it was a good VO2 max workout!

No HRM for that run and some other runs that have no HRM, they show up as zero YPB. The other older HRM I have fired up  seems to be working fine, esp now that the super cold temps are gone. However, the YPBs are crazy crazy good. 

The last run of 9.6 on 1/8 miles shows this...1.595 is awesome... I have stopped a few times and taken my HR and it checks out.   If I look at runs between 8.5 and 11 miles (~100 of them) this is the third most efficient. All of the top runs in that report are from either NOW or from 2009 when I was 5 years younger. 

The run the day before (1/7) I did 3 miles at 7:55,  7:52 and 7:36 and I still did the 9.6 the next day at a good clip on tired legs.

Perhaps all my hard running has really broken me through a bit? Hard to say..but I'm wondering. We'll see what happens in the last 4 weeks of this buildup!

So far no niggles. I didn't have my foam roller in Mexico or Yosemite and so I needed to do a bunch of it when I got home..lots of trigger points....It's really essential for me.

Some shots from a Yosemite hike:

Yosemite park is really amazing. I still remember last year when I got to do a morning run down in the valley itself. 

This weekend is the 13.1 time trial, and next weekend after that is the last 20 miler before the taper.


Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!

Happy New Year!

First, lets take a look at the total miles per year since I started running:

   Date      Miles    Pace     BPM WHR%        Elev+              Elev-      YPB
2008-01-01 Tue 373.7 10:25 118.0 59.0 8421.9 8277.1 1.464
2009-01-01 Thu 1253.1 10:46 122.1 62.4 25019.3 25990.7 1.470
2010-01-01 Fri 1112.7 10:06 122.6 62.8 11574.1 11662.0 1.473
2011-01-01 Sat 1133.3 10:11 124.0 64.0 30869.6 32805.4 1.436
2012-01-01 Sun 1168.1 9:48 125.8 65.4 21476.9 21639.2 1.454
2013-01-01 Tue 1415.6 9:36 124.7 64.5 17184.6 17540.1 1.492
Summary 6414.3 10:06 106.8 49.9 114546.5 117914.6 1.466

2013 is quite a bit more miles and the pace is faster than any previous year. And as usual a couple of breaks in the running due to trips..but somehow I racked more miles.

My average HR is not higher though.....I've gotten fitter?

Now it's tIme to take a look at the goals for this year and see how I did:

Goals for 2013:
* implement calf strain solutions and have smooth build-up to Tacoma in May. 
Success! switching to a Chi running style has let me train much harder with zero calf issues, the Tacoma buildup was one of the best I've had. The mileage for 2013 is higher partly because no downtime from a calf strain!.

* Run a hard race in Tacoma and leave it all on the course (assuming good weather). 
Success here too..I ran did a hard race ..but alas the hot weather and vastly under-sold hills made the race a slow one. Beautiful views though.

* Enjoy the 10 year MM reunion. 
That was fun! Toni came too and walked her first half marathon and enjoyed herself a lot which was an unexpected plus to the entire trip.

* Run Chicago (perhaps peaked). (Nope. New plan is to do this in 2014)

* Run GG trail marathon again, and pick another new trail marathon to do. 
Didn't do this but instead ran my first double marathon, MM 4 stars now!

* Get around to running some shorter races! 
Major success here: ran two halfs and a 10k. New PRs in both distances!

Biggest setback for the year was swimming, which was not even on my radar last January. I've been having some neck flexibility issues which has but a damper on crawl practice. I need to see a PT sometime to really figure this out.

I also missed having only one fast road marathon attempt in 2013..and 3 marathons isn' t enough for me (esp when two are close together), I seem to like doing 2 fast road marathons and 2 trail marathons per year.

2013 a pretty great year! 

And now, throw down some goals for 2014:

* Run a 5k! (Never have!)
* Run a better 10k course and peak properly to get to 48:xx.
* Run Surf City (Feb) and pace it well. The training has been skimpier than I would like. A lot depends on how the next 5 weeks goes so no idea what pace is doable yet.
* Run Chicago (Oct)  (warm up for CIM, not all-out)
* Run CIM (Dec) attempt to go sub-3:55 again to BQ for 2016 Boston (first year I'll be 60-64 Age group).
* Run a couple of trail marathons.