Wednesday, April 29, 2009

GW Parkway 10 Mile race Report

Crazy...I hear that alot. Feel it too!

So my best friend from high school in Germany - (really, who else would do this?) picked me up out of his way at 5:10am so we could get down to the finish line area so he could take the bus to the start and I could run to the start. After we found the trail (maybe 1.5 miles from the finish), I started off at 6am. Sun rose off to my left at 6:23am and it had to already be 65°. It was a bike trail, 2 lanes that weaved beside the GW Parkway, and back and forth across it/under it. A few boardwalks overlooking the river, saw a nice heron and many birds were out. Just me and them for the most part. Took a couple of photos. Won't get them developed until after Spokane. The city/tour busses taking racers to the start, cops getting to position to close the roads, and me. Wasn't too bad with the heat/hills, and although I missed a few mile markers, I seemed to be doing 9 minute miles and finished, arriving into Mount Vernon after a 1:20 run - with all the weaving, I know it ended up being 9 miles. That and the 1.5 miles I walked after the race - I am calling that 20! So I hung out with Dave and his co-workers (all of whom I had met at the US Army 10 miler back in 2007 - very nice people!). Was not really sure how the 40 minute wait hurt or helped. Still don't know as I have never done that before. Any thoughts??
So the race started with 2 Kenyans taking off, and us about 2 minutes behind in the crowd - over 4,000 strong. It never really opened up - even with 4 lanes open much of the way. The heat didn't get too bad until the last 2-3 miles. Plenty of water stops, and I had Dave bring me another water bottle to the start (like I started my warmup with - and I had 2 Gatorade's the previous evening). Got a little slower as the miles went on...oh - Dave ran with me the whole way - I hadn't expected that - but that was good to talk to him throughout. Lots of jokes about being off my 9 minute pace and busting out a 6 minute mile at the end. Ha. I did get to an 8:50 once, but mile 9 was 9:48 and I was able to pick it up some at the end, even with the worst of the hills, ending with a 9:14. That last "sprint" at the end almost did me in with a calf cramp. Behind my right knee had bothered me a little bit on and off the last 2-3 miles. Iced it later on and it felt fine yesterday and then today on my 4.5 miles. So I finished in 1:32:38. Dave's time was 1:32:37, which is good - he deserves to beat me! Almost 4 minutes faster than my 2nd 10 miles at NYC. Certainly gives me doubts how my body will handle the last 6.2 in Spokane. I know I've done it before and I can do it!
Weather will be immensely different (highs in the 40-50's and lows in the 30's right now) which is great for me, but also no pacer or someone to run with. We'll see - maybe someone will have a similar pace out there.
Tomorrow is 7.7...see how the body is then!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Before GW Parkway 10 miler

So 5 days out. Last weekend I had a short 10 mile run that actually wasn't great. Not bad, but not great. I chalk that up to hitting golf balls on Wednesday for the 1st time in a year (really stretches the inner thigh/groin) as well as 19 miles the previous weekend. Had a nice yoga class Monday and a good 5 miler this morning. Will get one more run in Thursday morning before heading up to DC (via an overnight in Richmond). My current plan for the 10 miler and my scheduled 20 miler the same day...hmm, had a plan but just heard from my HS buddy who is runnign it and he had a thought that sounds good, and is what others have suggested. I think I will run my 10 miles Before the race. My pal (Dave) said I should skip the shuttle and run from the finish to the start (or the 5k to the start) to get my mileage in, but I think I will go to the start and do an out and back and try to get my full 10 in before the race. Shuttle leaves at 6am, will get to the start by 6:20 or so, if I do 1:30 for the 10 (which is exactly what I did in NYC and would love to do here), then I could turn around and run the race to try and finish in 1:30. That would be 6 minutes faster than NYC at 20 miles and would be Thrilled with that.
I doubt I will be posting from DC - so you'll just have to wait until I get back on the following Tuesday (will try ot post Wednesday!).
Side note: Congrats to the Boston finisher's! Don't see me qualifying...I like the term one friend used for himself - a "recreational marathoner". I like that alot...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

a mile short, but happy to have made it that far!

Set out this morning at 6:50am for my long, slow ~20 miler. Wish I could have slept in, but you have to put in the time if you want to do a marathon. I do anyway. Started out fine. GOt talking with a local resident for about 7 minutes after 3 laps, which I hit the lap time instead of stop, so that wreaked havoc on my lap count the rest of the run. Concentrated on my posture (no ipod today...wanted the focus), which seemed to hold up fine. 14 laps in started to feel it somewhere, but for the life of me, can't remember where?! I know my hips felt it a litytle bit later. My right groin felt it for a few laps, then went away. It's funny how things appear, nag at you for a few miles, then disappear quickly, to be replaced temporarily by another. OK - maybe not so funny, but it does happen that way frequently. Had a side stitch for 200 yards or so after 16 laps. Where did that come from? I know I was running faster than I planned, but not enough to get that! No ankle issues. Nothing at all in my hamstrings or calves. Lower back felt good. Oh - wore my newer Asics 2130's (red) and they are officially my current shoe. 450 miles or so on my last pair. No blisters either with only 17 miles up until now on them, so that's pretty good! So...that leaves...the knees. Outside of my right one acted up after 20 laps. 21 laps had me running with a slightly pronounced limp, so I stopped after 22 laps (or about 19 miles). I'll call that close enough! Have not felt the knee since I stopped, so I don't expect it will flare up again at least until another 18+ mile run. Being on my feet for 4+ hours yesterday shopping at Ikea in Charlotte probably had my legs a little tired today also, but I look at that as a positive thing. Dropping back down to 12 or so next weekend. GW Parkway 10 miler 2 weeks away, Windermere Marathon 5 weeks out.
Oh - due to the shopping trip (which was planned as a get together with friends from Durham), I missed running the Furman 5k which Boston Billy ran in (Bill Rodgers). Looked to be a lot of fun!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

planning; cheating miles

So I have reserved my hotel room the night before/after the race, planned out the flights and my stay for work. Now I just need to register. I plan on taking care of that next week. It will not be closing - I've already heard from the race director. It will certainly be interesting doing a race with just a few hundred (I expect) instead of the 35,000+ at NYC. It will be interesting to see how I react to that...the miles of no fans between trail access points, nothing but the fast flowing Spokane River (Note - they had the most snow ever this season; last year was the 2nd or 3rd most ever). Anyway - so my training is fine this week. Got in my two runs, 6 slow miles and 7 miles (including 5 at a good, almost 10k pace). Sunday is my first 20 miler. I got on Google Earth the other day and did some measuring...the lap I have been doing on and off for Years (since I started running in 2000) came out to 0.85mi. I had always used 0.9 as I wasn't exactly sure and it's easier to do the math in my head when I'm on lap 17 or more. So I guess my 16 miler last weekend was actually 15.3 or so, but I don't care./ I used 0.9 last year training for NY and it worked out fine.
Got the latest issue of Runner's World in the mail the other day. Nice excerpt form "Once a Runner" that I have been reading aloud to my 4 month old. Can't say she's paying attention, but I'd like to think she's getting some of it in there!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Long run/marathon advice wanted...

Need some advice...planning to do a marathon in 6 weeks. Had planned on doing it, but work forced me to cancel plans for a few weeks, now it is back on.
Here is my problem...I have a 10 mile race the weekend (Apr 26) of my 2nd of 2 planned twenty milers and am wondering the best options for me. Run 6-10 more after the race? Run another 10-14 the day after? Anyone have this issue before?
I know people do runs before and after 10k's to hit their 18 milers (someone who is doing their 1st marathon in a few weeks!)...but is that as plausible after a 10 miler? I guess it would be. May actually be better training then just my long slow 20 miler....
Of course 16 tomorrow and 20 next weekend will really tell me how prepared I am!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Making a plan - and now changing it!

So – I decided (with the help of work and the current economic downturn) that I would Not try to go out to Spokane for the inaugural Windermere Marathon on May 16th – that was 2-3 weeks ago. I felt off for not having something specific (outside the GW Parkway 10 miler) I was training for, so I found the Hickory Half Marathon in early June, set up an aggressive training plan. Started on it this week with a big change – would now run in the morning Before work instead of at lunchtime. With Spring/summer on the way, and the heat – that was inevitable. 2 runs this week went well, including a nice tempo run in a light rain today at 6:30am.
Today – I find out I have to go to Spokane for work. Of course the best time for me is the same week I had hoped to go out there for the marathon (how great is that!?). So now I have to completely change my running plans (and change the races I had decided to do once the marathon was not an option) and hope to boost my long runs up again. Luckily – I had kept my weekly mileage over 20, but I am missing some long runs. Last 5 weeks had them all between 10 and 13, plus one of 18. So up until race day - I will try to do two 16’s, a 20, and then the 10 miler race plus some extra miles that day as I am supposed to be doing another 20 there. Looking back to my NYC training – the last 12 weeks I had 2-13’s (incl one half marathon race), 2-16’s, an 18 and 2-20’s. I would be at about the same level as back then – which is great!
It’s also perfect timing to break in my new 2140’s (Speaking of shoes – I recently donated 3 old pair of Asics, Landreth’s and Nimbus, 2 pair had hardly any miles on them – just the wrong style for my feet! – Thanks to Fleet Feet for taking them and providing them to the needy!)
I can feel the excitement! Here we go again!!