Monday, December 30, 2013

Week in Review 12.29.13

Monday called for slow hills.  I tried to run slower than normal (which I did) but couldn't run the full minute slower than my goal pace of 11 minutes.  We'll have to see but how I'm running now I might need to lower that a bit.  It also called for 3 miles, but since I was normally doing 5 miles a day I compromised and did 4 since I ran on Sunday as well.  When I stepped outside it was raining (even though the weather channel app said it wasn't), not hard but still it was 34 degrees and raining so I went back inside to get my stuff for the gym.  Then I said to myself "look there are going to be nasty days where you have to run might as well suck it up and start now" so I did.  I did a quick warm-up lap around the neighborhood then 2.5 times down and back up Waverly ave.  To make sure that I got to 4 miles I had to go over Belmont street over into Belmont but I got it done. 4 mi in 43:12 a 10:47 pace.

Christmas eve I headed back to the gym since the track still had a fair amount of snow on it. Interval training on the treadmill isn't much fun.   5 mi in 48:54 a 9:47 pace

Thursday was a tempo run.  At just under 5 hours my pace should be 11 minutes a mile, but the more I can push myself I might be able to take that time down while still being able to enjoy myself!  I headed down towards Waltham and John Brewers and down around there a couple of times minding the slick spots.  The 5 mi in 48:40 a 9:44 pace

Friday I headed back to the gym for some cross-training a spin class with Julie.  After explaining how crowded it was to Julie and how we had to arrive early, this class was much less so with only about 10 people there, but it was still a good workout.  Breakfast a Panera afterwards not so much.  First they couldn't take giftcards (I had a $10 one for like 2 years now) and then our order got messed up.  30 minutes later we were walking out the door with our sandwiches so I could hurry on down to the bus stop.  48:58 minutes on the bike covering 13.7 miles

Saturday was group run number two for Boston Children's.  This week we met over at Wellsley (which I confused with Weston so it was a good idea I looked it up the night before so I wasn't later) at mile 14 of the marathon course.  After a quick warm-up we headed out on the course.  It was a straight shot down 16 which took me through the center of town and then just after mile 2 down a ridiculous hill.  Thankfully at the top there was a water stop because on the way up I would surely need it.  From there the course takes you over 128 where you get to dodge cars coming on and off the highway, and then past Newtown-Wellsley hospital (in case you get hit).  About a mile from there you hit the Newtown brick fire station which was my turn around (coming from the other way) last week as well, and where the marathon course really starts to head up hill.  From there it was back the way we came.  While making my way back I was talking to someone from last year who said she forgot about that hill and hated it just as much as she did last year, but on the good side it's worse than Heartbreak Hill!    8 mi in 1:19:54 a 9:57 pace

Sunday I headed back to BSC for another spin class.  This time with a fill in instructor who looked...OK I'll say it Old, but he was working it even if he did change songs a lot. He was also more structured in explaining beforehand what the percentages of effort should be.  This time my bike computer only worked some of the time so I ended up having to extrapolate how much I really did over the class based on about 20 minutes of data.  Hey runkeeper says it's a new record for distance so I'm going to say it's right!   After another 50 minutes I was ready for some lunch (and a pair of bike shorts, those seats hurt) so we headed back over to try our luck at Panera again.  Thankfully the gift card worked and our orders came out as requested (I hid from the same lady making out food again).  15.5 miles in 50:55 an 18.27 MPH average.

Miles run last week 22

Miles run this year 1025.2

Monday, December 23, 2013

Week in Review 12.22.13

OK seriously, this Sunday it's the Marathon Sports Jingle Bell run in Somerville.

Monday morning was cold and the previous day's snow, sleet and rain made everything from the roads to the un-shoveled sidewalks a complete sheet of ice, so Julie and I headed down to the gym for an early run.  I started off just below the 11 minute per mile pace for the first mile before speeding it up.  I consistently ran less than 10 minute miles for the remaining time at a 1% incline.  I'm not sure if it's the temperature difference between BSC and WoW or just my higher level of training, but this was the first time I actually felt good on a treadmill!  5 mi in 48:58 a 9:48 pace.

Tuesday I made my way back to the gym. With more snow in the forecast I figured getting there on Wednesday morning might be a pain.    5 mi in 51:44 a 10:21 pace

Thursday I headed back to the gym because everything was still covered in snow.  Started off just under 10 minute miles and decided to do negative split training where each section is faster than the next. First miles I did at 9:56, second at 9:55, third at 9:48, fourth at 9:27 and the firth at 9:01 despite the treadmill being at or above the 7 MPH mark the whole mile!  5 mi in 47:36 a 9:31 pace

Friday I headed back to the gym for some training and my second ever spin class.  This one was much more crowded than my first and I had some trouble finding a bike that worked, one had a loose seat, one didn't have a pedal, I finally found one I liked only to find out once we got started that the computer didn't work!  45 minutes of tough hills pounded out to a bunch of 80's hits to get you ready for Christmas! 49:22 minutes on the bike covering ??? hours

Saturday was my first group run for Boston Children's.  We met at their Waltham location at 8 for a running form clinic.  It was great to meet some of the other members of the team who were wonderful people and had some great stories.  The clinic lasted about an hour and after a short group warm-up we headed out.  Some people did less than my 6 and some did more, but for those at my mileage there were a number of people around my same pace.  The rout headed out and made its way to Moody street down towards Newtown and then inbound on 16.  It had some nice hills to contend with to get us ready for the Marathon.  About 30 minutes in I hit the Newtown firehouse I'll be passing in April (coming from the other way and headed back).  It was wonderful having someone to run with and I found myself talking to a number of people along the way.  Also since many of the people were a little faster than me I really pushed it to keep up with them which I think will help on race day!  5.9 mi in 57:27 a 9:45 pace

Sunday's race was a lot of fun.  It was technically a cross-training day for me so I didn't want to push the pace too much, but I couldn't help myself from keeping under 10 minute miles.  I hope to have the race report up soon!  3.1 mi in 30:45 a 9:54 pace.

Miles run last week 24

Miles run this year 1003.2

Miles left to 1K in 2013: None with a week and a half to spare!!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Week In Review 12.15.13

Another week another race!  This Sunday it's the Marathon Sports Jingle Bell run in Somerville, but before that there is some training to attend to.

Monday when I awoke was snowy and nasty so I decided it wasn't worth possibly getting hurt and skipped that day making Tuesday day one for me.  What I didn't know was Tuesday would be worse!  The temp was hovering right around freezing and everything that fell or melted yesterday was frozen up making runny tricky.  I really didn't want to run on the treadmill, but wish I had.  My pace was slow as I had to watch my footing, and I decided to call it quits early after running on the track infield so I could get some traction.  Next time I know.  3.1 mi in 35:35 an 11:30 pace.

Wednesday I hit the gym after it snowed most of the day before.  I put the treadmill at a 1% incline started off at an 10:30(and a half) pace for the first two miles then ran at a pace between 9:31 and 9:40 for 5K to get ready for Sunday's race (if it doesn't snow like its supposed to).  5.1 mi in 50:35 a 9:55 pace

Thursday I headed out on probably the coldest run of the year.  It was about 20 degrees and it took over 2 miles before my hands got warm.  I stuck to the streets around my house after a trip to the track only to find out that it was half covered in a thin coat of ice and snow.  Pace was good and probably would have been better if not for that one slow lap around the track to check it out (you need to be careful on those slippery parts!).  5 mi in 51:35 a 10:19 pace

Saturday I headed out and the thermometer read 11 degrees.  I started early because the snow was supposed to start falling around noon with the plan of running to the gym and meeting Julie at Panera for lunch.  I headed down towards Waltham and made may over to the Charles.  I was planning on taking the trail along the river but found it covered in packed snow and ice so I had to detour out to Nonantum.  The mid-run course change was good in that I wouldn't have to run past the gym to get my 7 miles, but it was bad in that it was certainly less scenic.  It was also about this point that my face felt REALLY cold.  I started taking my hat off every mile or so and holding to my face for a couple of minutes to make sure I wasn't going to get frostbite.  I made my way out and down route 16 to Watertown square where I had just under a two miles to go.  I made may way up towards the gym and arrived with about half a mile to go so I circled the parking lot until my 7 miles were done. When I got to the gym Julie had just gotten there with her friend Archana so I had some time to kill.  I started a bit of strength training which I'm going to try and incorporate into my training including some leg killing lunges.  Overall with my speedy pace and the addition of addtional work I feel really good about my chances of breaking 5 hours in April.  Once done we headed over to Panera for some soup before heading home as the flakes started flying.  7 mi in 1:11:38 a 10:14 pace

Sunday's race was postponed due to the snow so you'll get to hear about it next week!

Miles run last week 20.2

Miles run this year 979.2

Miles left to 1K in 2013: 20.8 (10.4 miles per week over the next 2 weeks down 3.27 mi from last week)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week in Review 12.8.13

Monday was misty and dreary as I headed down to the track after a couple of days off over the weekend.  I started doing some fartleks then turned it into a pace run.  I think I'll do some more speed work tomorrow in preparation of my 5K next Saturday.   5.3 mi in 55:40 a 10:31 pace.

Tuesday I did the same thing as Monday with a warm up down to the track with some fartleks mixed in.  Like I said I'm not really training for anything so no need to push it.  5.3mi in 55:04 a 10:24 pace

Wednesday I woke up a bit late, again I'm not really training for anything so no need to push it, and hit the Waverly ave hill again.  Just two times up and down this week though since I got a late start and have jalapeƱo-cheddar bagels waiting for me at home.  4 mi in 43:38 a 10:55 pace

Thursday and Friday I took off so I can start getting ready for a long run in preparation of my newest race.

Saturday I headed out on my first real long run since the Savannah half back in November.  I had my annual physical on Friday so the doc gave me a couple of stretches to do and told me I should be stretching before and after my run since "35 is when things start to go pop".  After my new stretching ritual, I headed out.  There was a coating of snow on the ground which made for some nice views, but after a while it started to warm up.  I was tight for about the first two miles but after that I felt pretty good as I headed over to Waltham and down to route 20.  The first half I kepts things about 10:30 (ahead of my Boston goal of 11 minutes) and when I hit the big hill just after mile 4 I thought I would slow down but I actually go stronger.  Good sign for the training ahead I hope! 7 mi in 1:13:16 a 10:28 pace

Miles run last week 21.6

Miles run this year 959

Miles left to 1K in 2013: 41 (13.67 miles per week over the next 3 weeks down 1.98 mi from last week)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Boston Marathon Update

So last year after the Boston Marathon I wrote about my experience and desire to run the 2014 edition.  Well apparently anyone who ever thought about running marathon said the same thing so in September when charity registration opened up they were inindated with applications.  It was like I was in high school again applying to colleges but instead of saying “Yes” I got a “Sorry” or wait listed.  I applied to Teddy’s Team, Mass General, Dana Farber, Healthworks, Team in Training, the American Liver Foundation and the Museum of Science, all of which turned me down.  All of these are wonderful causes to which I would have been grateful to support.  I think I was honest in my assessment on how much I could raise and since you have to back up that commitment with a credit card, I didn’t want to overreach and have to donate my entire tax refund check to run the marathon (even though I considered it).  The applications were pouring in so much that the Globe did a story about it.  Throughout the whole process I was getting a bit discouraged that I wasn’t going to be able to run Boston next year.  After the year I had with 10 halfs in 11 months I thought this would be the most logical choice and I wasn’t sure if I would attempt it in the future.

My last ditch effort was to apply directly to the BAA for an invitation for those affected by the bombings last April.  There were only 450 spots (and over 1200 applicants) and I figured there were probably people who more affected than me but it was either this, or watch it from my office again next year.  So I sat there and wrote and re-wrote my essay trying to stay within the 1500 character limit (I used 1493 of them) or about 250 words.  I think this probably helped me as the reader wasn’t subjected to too much of my poor writing.  I wrote about my experience on that Monday and the following Friday at my home.  I wrote about wearing my marathon shirt to all of my halfs this year and setting 3 new PRs along the way.  I submitted my application and had nothing to do until December 6th when I would hear by.

After thanksgiving I started to look at 2014 and what to do, and to change it up I started to think about trying a triathlon.  I would need a new bike (mine is a $100 target special that weighs about 30 pounds) and join either Waverly Oaks Gym or the Boston Sports club in Watertown since they had a pool.  I started to look for races and plan out my transition from full out running to a multisport regiment, and going big as I like to do (see 10 halfs in 11 months) I had visions of a half Ironman dancing in my head.

Then came December 4th.  I hit snooze and woke up late so I had to cut my run short, no biggie I don’t really have anything to train for, just a 5K next weekend and that’s it until St Patty’s day.  Checking out my twitter feed I saw that a new half Iroman was just added in Princeton, NJ and thought “I can already do a half no problem, if I could get my bike soon I could do that!”  Julie to her credit just rolled her eyes rather than try to dissuade me.  I went to work and started my day as normal.  Just after noon as I sat back down at my desk with my lunch I opened up Gmail to check my personal account.  I had a pretty good number of emails to go through.  Nothing on my primary tab, a couple of LinkedIn and twitter updates on my social tab and there on my promotions tab were three e-mails. 

 The first was the Nook daily deal of the day (another book with a guy without a shirt on the cover…pass).  The second, received at 10:59 was from the Mass General Marathon team announcing that they had gotten a number of additional bibs from the BAA due to their work on Marathon Monday and how to apply.  I got excited, I had another chance, but first I had to read e-mail number three which was a form letter from the BAA received at 12:20.  Apparently I read the date wrong and I was another rejection a couple of days early. Wait this worded really weird.  I think I’m being invited to run the Boston Marathon from the BAA.  I read the first paragraph again.  We got a lot of applications, limited number of entries, yada yada.  Then the third and fourth paragraphs and confirm it’s definitely a form letter.  Then the second “Upon careful review by a committee from the B.A.A., your request has been accepted.”  I’m in…I think…I forwarded it to Julie just to be sure, and she confirms I am in!

After the second time I read the letter to confirm that I will be running in 2014 I was ecstatic, shaking I was so happy. I'll be applying again to a charity or two as an invited runner (with a much lower fundraising goal) so I hopefully I'll be back soon with the details on that! 

Race Report: Bucks County 5 Miler

Thanksgiving in PA turned out to be very cold and very windy.  We arrived at the parking lot of the Summit Square shopping plaza just after 8 am to pick up our bibs and shirts.  It was 27.5 degrees outside according to the thermometer at the Pasternak's house to go along with some sustained winds making the wind chill factor about...freaking cold!  We made our way over to the tables set up by last name where volunteers worked to check people in and distribute shirts.  I really felt for them as they all looked frozen and unable to hide it. 

After getting our gear we headed back to the card where we would sit until the start of the race.  No warm up, no stretching just sitting in car listening to the Jimmy Buffet concert on Radio Margaritaville until 8:55 when I got out and headed to the start line.  Julie stayed in the car deciding to do the 1 mile fun run to limit her exposure to the cold.  As I stood there waiting for the race to start the wind continued to whip through the runners until just after 9 when we were sent on our way.

We headed out of the parking lot and took a right weaving our way through a residential neighborhood for the first mile.  At mile 1 I looked down at my watch and was just under 9 minutes, awesome.  As I looked ahead there on the side of the road was spay painted in the road "ICE".  It had rained the night before and as the temperature dropped the puddles had froze.  Julie and I had discussed this in the car during our hour long wait, so I was glad to see they were proactive in calling out areas of ice.

As I approached mile two I entered Core Creek Park and the first water stop was there.  The water was ice cold but helpful in keeping my pace up and as I past it the first runner was already on his way back.  As I approached mile two my watch was just under 18 minutes.  From here the course heads up and down several hills which is where I got this lovely picture.

That's me on the left
 As I approached mile 3, I hit the largest of the hills and I was right on a 9 minute pace but that hill took it out of me.  From there I hit the second water area (the same one going the other way) and headed back to the start where we started.

From here the pace took a hit as we started back fully into the wind.  At one straight part of the course I ran slower than I could so that I could use the person in front of me as a wind break.  The wind was howling through the fields and battering the runners.  At mile 4 I was almost at 38 minutes after recovering from the hill and the wind.  I was able to push it and make good time the last mile, and as I looked at my watch I was at 45:59 (the official results show 46:15 but I think that's total time not my time so I'm going with my watch), over a minute and a half off my time from 2 years ago!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week In Review 12.1.13

Race Week for the Bucks County 5 Miler on Thanksgiving Morning

Monday was freezing.  20 degrees as I made my way outside for a run.  Being own in PA gave me a nice change in scenery, with the downside being many of the roads don't have sidewalks.  I headed out around the development braving the cold, bitter wind and sunglare.  When I was almost done my Garmin decided to restart once mile 5 was done.  I broke out runkeeper for the rest and then stood in front of the fire for about an hour to warm up.  Thankfully Thursday is supposed to be a bit warmer.  5.3 mi in 55:53 a 10:33 pace.

Tuesday was a bit warmer and since i had a race on Thursday I took it a bit easy and only did one of the two laps from the day before.  3.2mi in 34 minutes even a 10:38 pace

Thursday morning, race day!  It was cold and windy (especially the back half).  Look for my race report soon!  5 mi in 45:59 a 9:12 pace

Friday I headed down to the track.  I did a bit of speed work and a bit just trying to keep warm, both of which I wasn't very successful at.  My legs felt heavy from the race the day before but I gutted out to make sure I did more than my 16.28 miles so that I was on track for 1,000 miles in 2013.  5.3 mi in 55:40 a 10:31 pace

Miles run last week 18.8

Miles run this year 937.4

Miles left to 1K in 2013: 62.6 (15.65 miles per week over the next 4 weeks down 0.63 mi from last week)