Sunday, September 25, 2022

Training log - Week ending 9/25/2022

This week was 56 miles of running, 1000 yards of swimming and 18 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

The first half of this week was recovery, and then a few final marathon workouts.  I was hoping marathon effort would yield a slightly faster pace, given the good weather.  But I suspect there was a bit of GPS error due to the multiple 180 turns and bridge underpasses during the run.  [I ran back and forth on the Anacostia River trail rather than going to Hains Point because I thought Hains Point would be flooded.  Judging from other's Strava posts, it wasn't]

I have one more "real" workout next Tuesday, and then it's all half-ass stuff until the marathon.



Monday: 9 "miles" pool-running.   Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 9 miles very easy (9:50) and drills.  Streaming yoga in afternoon.   Foam rolling in evening.

Wednesday: 9 miles very easy (10:16), drills and two strides.    Foam rolling at night.

Thursday: 9 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 10 miles on the track, including a workout of 2x3200 in 13:55 (7:03/6:52) and 13:37 (6:50/6:47) with 5:30 jog in between.   Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 11 miles very easy (9:36), followed by drills and strides and then upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday: 16 miles progressive, split as first 5 miles averaging 9:14 pace, next 5 averaging 8:10 pace, next 6 averaging 7:29 pace.  Then a half mile cooldown jog.  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 meters recovery swimming.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Training log - Week ending 9/18/2022

This week was 52 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 9 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Raced the DC Half as my tune-up for Chicago.  I thought I'd run about 1:32, but ran 1:34.  I'm not that upset about it, because the weather ended up being warmer than forecast and it seemed like most people were a bit off of what they thought their fitness was.  I got a good hard effort in, and that's the most important thing.  I think I can run around 3:15 at Chicago if we get good weather (which admittedly is a big if).  

Dailies:

Monday:  8 miles very easy (10:16) plus drills/strides.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 9 miles, including a track workout of 6x800 in 3:28, 3:25, 3:19, 3:15, 3:14, 3:11; with 2:3x-3:0x recoveries.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.   Foam rolling in evening.
 
Wednesday: 8 miles very easy (9:27) plus drills and strides and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling in evening.

Thursday: 9 "miles" pool-running and upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 7 miles, including a 1600 in 6:54.  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night

Saturday: 2 miles very easy (9:40) and foam rolling.

Sunday: 3.5 mile warm-up, and then a half-marathon in 1:34:05.  1.5 mile very easy back to car after.  Foam rolling at night.




Race Report: DC Half, September 18, 2022

I ran the DC Half Marathon today, finishing in 1:34:05.  This was a personal worst for the distance, and yet I'm OK with it.  Wistful, not upset.  I ran pretty much to my potential today, and you can't do more than that.

I signed up for this race a long time ago as a tune-up for the Chicago Marathon.  I like to race a half-marathon three weeks out from a full, and my choices were this race or the Philly Distance run.  This weekend is usually warmer than optimal with high pollen levels, and I knew I wasn't going to be setting a PR this weekend, so it made much more sense to stay local and not have to spend for a hotel or deal with travel.

(as it turns out, it looks like Philly wasn't that much better weather than DC, so definitely the right call).

Since this was a home race, things were easy - I left home at 6:15 and was parked in Georgetown by 6:30.  It was roughly a 1.5 mile jog to the start area, with a portajohn conveniently located half-way (I didn't know about that in advance - it was just good luck).  

Once I got to the starting area, I did my standard warm-up of 3:00 at marathon down to half-marathon effort, 4x30 seconds at 5K effort, and 4x10 seconds at mile effort (aka as fast as my legs will let me go right now).  It's a bit more than I used to do before half-marathons - I used to just do the 3 minute segment and 2x30 seconds.  But I need every bit of warm-up I can get these days.  I finished that up at about 7:15, which gave me 15 minutes to jog a bit more and then enter the corral.

Like always, I wanted to start this half off conservatively before easing into pace. So I lined up near the 1:40 pacers.  I didn't plan to run with them, but that was the best indication I had of my appropriate place in the corral.  I stood in the corral for about 10 minutes before the race started - enough time for my legs to get really stiff and lock up.  But I decided to try some high knee lifts in place, and that seemed to help keep me loose.

***

At 7:30 they started the race.  I was worried about how I would handle the first few minutes of tightly packed runners, but it turned out to be a non-issue - the course quickly widened enough that I had space to do my own thing.  

The course was a pretty simple one (and fast) - one loop around Hains Point, and then around the Tidal Basin and up Rock Creek Park, before turning around and heading back down Rock Creek Park and back around the Tidal Basin to cross the Start/Finish line.  It wasn't perfectly flat, with some mild undulations, but still a very good course.   On a cool crisp day this could be a very fast course.  

After the first mile, I starting easing the rhythm up slightly (like always, I had my watch blanked so that I couldn't see splits).  I increased gradually until I felt like I was just under my edge, and then held it there and rolled through the miles.

I know most of the course like the back of my hand, which is good and bad.  The bad part is that I'm not used to running the tangents, since I don't usually do so when running here (that whole "stay on your right and to the side thing).  I had to repeatedly remind myself to do that - this was a race!

Other than that, the race just flowed.  I was rarely comfortable in my pace, but I was holding steady and reeling people in, so that was good.  Things definitely warmed up, with the sun shining brightly, as the race progressed, and I was grateful for my conservative start.

The heat did finally catch up to me in the last mile, and when things got really tough I tensed up and my legs started to lock.  So that's something to fix for next time - I always close my races best when I remind myself to relax and flow forward, but I forgot about that trick here.  Next time.

***

Splits were:

Mile 1: 7:26
Mile 2: 7:14
Mile 3: 7:07
Mile 4: 7:00
Mile 5: 7:10
Mile 6: 7:03
Mile 7: 7:08
Mile 8: 7:09
Mile 9: 7:13
Mile 10: 7:09
Mile 11: 7:09
Mile 12: 7:12
Mile 13: 7:19
last bit: 44 seconds.

I would have liked to finish stronger than I did, but I think part of that was the rising temperatures.  Unfortunately, I forgot my heart rate monitor strap this morning, so I don't know what my heart rate was in those final miles - that would have been interesting.  (yes, my watch has a wrist-based heart rate function, but it's so inaccurate as to be borderline useless).

Other notes:

  • I carried a water bottle with me - my plan had been to toss it at mile 11 or so (I could then pick it up when jogging back to my car post-race).  However, I was still drinking from it then, so I just carried it to the finish.
  • My Garmin read 13.30 miles for this one - I suspect that this was mostly due to screwy signal under the Kennedy Center.  Yet another reason never to rely on Garmins for pacing.
  • The race was a bit warmer than ideal - starting temp of 66 with a dew point of 64; ending temp of 76 with a dew point of 65, plus bright sunshine.  After training in dewpoints between 70 and 75 all summer, it didn't feel awful, but it didn't feel great either.  Hopefully Chicago will be better.
  • One big positive is that I averaged the same pace for this half-marathon as I did for the Broad Street 10 Miler in May.  This course, though fast, is not as fast as Broad Street, and Broad Street had better weather.   I am making progress - very slow and hard fought, but progress all the same.
  • I wore my Puma Deviate Nitro Elites for this race - I had been considering wearing them for Chicago.  However, the toe box definitely got too small in the last few miles when my feet started to swell, so that my neuromas started burning a bit.  I think I need a different shoe for a full marathon.
  • It was so good to see my teammates and other running friends at this race, both before and after.  










Sunday, September 11, 2022

Training log - Week ending 9/11/2022

This week was 51 miles of running, ~1000 yards of swimming and 30 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

This was my last week of training for Chicago, and I'm satisfied, in that I'm finishing this cycle better than I started it.  Saturday's marathon pace workout was confidence building - that's a workout that I would have struggled with at the start of the cycle.  Wednesday's workout looks like an outlier, in that tempo effort was not much faster than Saturday's marathon effort, but that was more a factor of the weather (Saturday's weather was much better than Wednesday's).   Had I pushed that workout harder, it would have been counter-productive.

Next week is a half marathon, and then after that it will be a three week taper to Chicago, where I'll cut back the mileage and shorten the workouts, but up the intensity.

Dailies:

Monday: 12 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 9 miles easy (9:36) and upperbody weights/core.  Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday:  14 miles, including 3x3200m at tempo effort plus 2x200m a bit faster.  Splits were 14:24, 14:22, 14:22 and then 49 and 49.   Recoveries of 5:29-5:59 after the 3200m repeats, and full recovery for the 200m repeats.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Massage at night.
 
Thursday: 12 "miles" pool-running.  Foam rolling in evening.

Friday: 9 miles very easy (9:50) plus hill sprints, upper body weights/core, and then 2 miles very easy (9:39) plus strides.   Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 17 miles, including a marathon effort workout of 2x5 miles with 1 mile easy in between (paces were 7:29 and 7:26).  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 meters recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday:  12 "miles" pool-running and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling at night.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Training log - Week ending 9/4/2022

This week was 72 miles of running, ~1500 yards of swimming and 12 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

My mileage looks like a big jump up, but that is deceptive - I did my long run on Sunday instead of Saturday, and so this week had six days on land and one in the pool instead of five and two.  The overall workload was the same.

We had a nice break in the humidity on Friday, and so I stretched out my tempo workout to 8K - 20 laps on the track.  I was pretty happy with this one - the effort felt right and smooth.  As for the pace, it was still slow compared to where I was 18 months ago, but a bit improvement over even last month, so things are definitely continuing to improve.

For this marathon cycle, I've been alternating between marathon effort workouts (17 with 4-3-2-1 or 2x5 at marathon effort) one weekend and a double of a long Friday track workout plus a Saturday long run with surges in the middle hour.  In years past, that second week would have been a Friday tempo plus a Sunday progressive long run, but I intentionally swapped things this year to give me a slightly different stimulus. 

For my last 20 miler of this cycle, I decided to go back to basics - a Friday track tempo and a Sunday progressive long run.  I really wasn't sure how the progression long run would go - to be sure I wouldn't get in my own head and overthink it I deliberately took manual splits at landmarks rather than autosplits.  Since my Garmin doesn't display pace, this ensured that I couldn't be checking pace during the run, and would have to rely exclusively on effort.

I was pleasantly surprised to realize after the fact that on a fairly warm day (temp 81, dew point of 74 by the time I finished) that I held around 7:30 pace for the entire marathon effort segment - the fastest I've run at marathon effort for a while.  Furthermore, the long run felt pretty easy - certainly not any harder than Friday's tempo.  I wasn't expecting that for my first progressive 20 miler in a year.

So that was a big confidence boost.  Judging from this, the change in stimulus has worked, and I've reaped some improvement this summer.

Monday: 6 miles very easy (10:15) plus drills and strides.   Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 11.5 miles, including a track workout of 400/800/1200/1200/800/400 in 1:43, 3:25, 5:07, 5:01, 3:16, and 94.  Recoveries of 75 seconds after the 400 and 2:0x-2:4x after the 800s and 1200s.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.   Foam rolling in evening.

Wednesday: Streaming yoga and 10.5 miles very easy (9:36), drills and four strides.    Foam rolling at night.

Thursday: 12 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 12.5 miles on the track, including an 8k tempo in 34:55 (7:10/7:05/6:58/6:55/6:47).  Full recovery and then six 1:00 hill repeats up a 6% slope (cycling twice through easy, moderate, hard)  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 11 miles very easy (9:39), followed by drills and then upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday: 20 miles progressive, split as first 7.5 miles averaging 9:45 pace, next 6.5 averaging 8:23 pace, next 6 averaging 7:30 pace.  Then a half mile cooldown jog.  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 meters recovery swimming.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Training log - Week ending 8/28/2022

This week was 57 miles of running, 1000 yards of swimming and 30 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Just two workouts this week, but I was happy with both of them.  The Wednesday workout was in decent weather; the Saturday workout less so, but both went well.  I was particularly happy with how my heart rate/perceived effort stayed in the right place on Saturday's run - that hasn't been the case in previous attempts at that workout.  

I'm still a lot slower than I would like to be, but isn't that true for all of us?  At least the trend is the right direction.

Dailies:

Monday:  6 mile fartlek on the track (did a few 200s at about 50 seconds each playing with form) and then 6 "miles" of pool-running.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 10 miles very easy (9:52), drills/strides and upperbody weights/core.  Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday:  12 miles, including 2x(2K, 1200, 1600) at 10 mile race effort plus 400 a bit faster.  Splits were 8:52, 5:13, 6:54; 8:38, 5:08, 6:48; and 97.   Recoveries of 2:3x-2:4x within the sets and 5:14/5:40 after each set.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.
 
Thursday: 12 "miles" pool-running and streaming yoga.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 12 miles (9:42), drills/strides, and upper body weights/core.   Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 17 miles, including a marathon effort workout of 2x5 miles with 1 mile easy in between (paces were 7:37 and 7:34).  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday:  12 "miles" pool-running and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling at night.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Training log - Week ending 8/21/2022

This week was 62 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 30 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Things still continue to progress.  My Tuesday workout is not a typo, btw - I really did run the 1600 faster than the two 800s that preceded it.  I don't have a good explanation for it other than that the longer I run, the better I feel.  My Friday tempo ended up being a bit slower than I had hoped, but the effort/heart rate was exactly where it should have been, so that was that.  For myself, running tempos too hard is really counter productive - better to focus exclusively on effort.

Consistent with my training plan, I did my 20 miler the day after the tempo, so that it was on tired legs.  Because I was doing the two runs back to back, I didn't progress the long run down to marathon pace at the end. Instead, I included a fartlek in the middle hour of what was a 3 hour run.  The fartlek felt better than previous ones - in fact the long run felt much better than previous ones.  So I'm seeing improvement, and that's good.


Dailies:

Monday:  6 miles easy (10:06) and 6 "miles" of pool-running.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 12 miles, including 2x800, 1600, 2x800, 400 in 3:20, 3:20, 6:35, 3:13, 3:11, and 92.  Recoveries were 2:21, 2:41, 5:09, 3:12, and 3:06.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.
 
Wednesday:  12.5 miles (9:33), with drills/strides and upper body weights/core.  Massage in evening.

Thursday: 12 "miles" pool-running and streaming yoga.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 11.5 miles with a 6400m tempo in 28:18 (7:10/7:10/7:04/6:55) and then six 1:00 hill repeats up a 6% incline (two cycles of easy, moderate, hard).  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 20 miles (9:13) mostly easy but with a fartlek of 10x 2 minutes on, 5 minutes easy starting in the second hour.  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday:  12 "miles" pool-running and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Training log - Week ending 8/14/2022

This week was 55 miles of running, 1000 yards of swimming and 30 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

This was a very time crunched and sleep deprived week, hence the short and late report.  

I had two workouts this week.  The first was the Wednesday workout, which was supposed to be 2x(2K,1200, 1600) but got altered since I slept awful and wasn't handling the warm and humid morning well.

The second was a Saturday workout that was a bit of a struggle despite nice weather.   From the start, I just felt short of breath and tired, and the workout was a struggle.   I also can't say that I honestly ran the workout at marathon effort - it felt too hard for that.

That being said, I think there were external, non-running reasons why these workouts went poorly, so I'm just going to write this week off as "at least I did something" and move on.

Dailies:

Monday:  6 mile fartlek on the track (did a few 200s at about 50 seconds each playing with form) and then 6 "miles" of pool-running.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 9 miles easy (9:52), upperbody weights/core, 2 miles very easy (9:39).  Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday:  11 miles, including 2K, 1200, 1600 at tempo, 6 short (20 second) hill repeats and then 2x800 at tempo with 200m jog.  Splits were 8:50, 5:17, 7:05 and then 3:38 and 3:34.   Recoveries of 2:45 within the main set and 1:20 between the 800s.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.
 
Thursday: 12 "miles" pool-running.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 10 miles (9:51), drills, and two hill strides.   Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 17 miles, including a marathon effort workout of 2x5 miles with 1 mile easy in between (paces were 7:33 and 7:36).  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday:  12 "miles" pool-running and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling at night.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Training log - Week ending 8/9/2022

This week was 59 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 30 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Things are still going the right way, so I'm happy.  Tuesday's workout felt good, and was one of my fastest in a while.   I was also fairly happy with my runs on Friday and Saturday - they felt like the right kind of hard, and productive.

Fortunately the weather should cool down next weekend.


Dailies:

Monday:  4.5 miles easy (9:51), 6 "miles" of pool-running, and upper body weights/core.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 12 miles, including 2x(1600, 800), 400, 2x200 in 6:45, 3:18, 6:38, 3:12, 94, 47 and 47.  4:46, 2:42, and 5:34 recovery for the 2x(1600, 800), and full recovery for the 400 and 200s.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.
 
Wednesday:  Streaming yoga and 12 miles (9:54), with drills/hill sprints.  Foam rolling in evening.

Thursday: 12 "miles" pool-running and upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 12.5 miles, including a tempo workout on the treadmill of 7x5 minutes at tempo effort with 1 minute jog.  Speeds of 8.2-8.3 mph for the tempo (7:14-7:19 pace) and 6 mph for the jog (10:00 pace). Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 18 miles (9:27) mostly easy but with a fartlek of 10x 90 seconds on, 6:30 easy starting in the second hour.  Followed with injury prevention work, 500 yards recovery swimming and 3 "miles" pool-running (keeping a friend company).  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday:  Streaming yoga and 9 "miles" pool-running.   Foam rolling at night.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Training log - Week ending 7/31/2022

This week was 56 miles of running, ~1000 yards of swimming and 27 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.

Eh - one good day, and one not so good day. I was decently happy with Wednesday's tempo interval workouts - that was a workout I couldn't have done a few weeks ago. 

However, on Saturday I was banking on a drop in humidity and temperatures for my marathon pace workout, so that I could get a sense of my fitness. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and it was hot and humid for the run.  I did the workout anyway, trying to focus on effort regardless of how slow it was, but I had to really back off and add in multiple water breaks, and the workout was a slog anyway. 

I debated whether to bail on the workout, but decided that I was better off finishing it at whatever pace I could hold to at least get the effort into the body.

So I still don't know what shape I'm in.  I do know things are improving, so I'll give it another week or two.

Dailies:

Monday:  6 mile fartlek on the track (did a few 200s at about 50 seconds each playing with form) and then 6 "miles" of pool-running.   Foam rolling at night.  

Tuesday: 3.5 miles easy (9:22), time team workout, 6.5 miles easy (9:39), and upper body weights/core.

Wednesday:  12.5 miles, including 2x(2K, 1200, 1600) and then 2x200.  Splits were 8:48, 5:17, 6:59; 8:44, 5:14, 6:54, 48, and 47.   Recoveries of about 3 minutes within the main set and 6 minutes between sets (full recovery for the 200s).  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 meters recovery swimming.  Sports massage at night.
 
Thursday: 12 "miles" pool-running and streaming yoga.  Foam rolling in evening

Friday: 3 miles easy (9:42), time workout, 7.5 miles easy (9:38) and then upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 17 miles, including a marathon effort workout of 4, 3, 2, and 1 miles at marathon effort with 1 mile easy in between (paces were 7:45, 7:46, 7:56, and 7:49).  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Sunday:  9 "miles" pool-running and streaming yoga.   Foam rolling at night.