Friday, June 18, 2010

Leaving On A Jet Plane!

Departing for Philadelphia on Sunday to attend the NATA annual meeting and symposium which runs Wed-Fri.

Afterwards, T and I are embarking on a whirlwind tour of the east coast.

A couple of days in NYC, about 4 day in our nation's capital doing all of the touristy stuff.

So it will probably be quiet around these parts while we're gone, but look for a trip recap and pictures the first week of July.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Twin Cities Marathon - Week #2

June 7-13

This was the first really good week of training I've had in at least 2-3 months. Everything clicked this week. Well, most likely clicked because I took a realistic approach to scheduling things this week.

I knew going into the week that Saturday/Sunday (my weeks always go Mon-Sun) would present challenges to getting any kind of run in since we would be in Cincinnati visiting my family. So I scheduled my 31 total miles for the week Mon-Fri. Which meant that I would have to do my long run on Friday before we left. But I'll get to that in a minute.

Mon/Wed/Thurs were just easy runs of 5 miles each. Monday and Thursday I ran my normal downtown route which comes out right around 5.4 miles so I was a bit ahead of my weekly goal.

Tuesday - quality workout of 6x4 minutes HARD pace with 3 minutes recovery with about a 2 mile warm-up and cool-down. The plan was to go about 20-25 seconds per mile faster than my tempo pace since the 3 minutes would allow almost a full recovery between bouts. Executed this workout perfectly and ended up with 8.2 miles for the day.

Friday - long run, with a twist. 2 mile warm-up then 5x5 min tempo pace with 1 minute recovery followed by an hour easy. This run, while completed, was not a ringing success. I struggled to hold my tempo pace (8:45-8:50) for the first two and was nowhere near it on the last 3 - but my HR was in the 180s so I know I was working. Chalking it up to a less than ideal dinner the night before and the temp/humidity. But I got 10 miles done. Then sat in the car for 6 hours.

Total for the week: 34 miles.

Two weeks down, 16 to go.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


From The American Heritage Dictionary (courtesy of

man·tra (mān'trə, mŭn'-), noun.

  • Hinduism A sacred verbal formula repeated in prayer, meditation, or incantation, such as an invocation of a god, a magic spell, or a syllable or portion of scripture containing mystical potentialities.

  • A commonly repeated word or phrase: "Today's edutainment software comes shrinkwrapped in the magic mantra: 'makes learning fun.'" (Clifford Stoll).

  • Now I don't believe that anything I come up with will be scripture or have mystical potentialities but I've landed on what will be my phrase to focus me over the next 17 weeks as I prepare for the Twin Cities Marathon. My theme, if you will.

    Do the work.

    It's as simple as that. I always have a good plan in place. I'll have the running planned out, with the appropriate workouts and paces I want/need to hit. I'll figure out what to modify/drop during the three weeks we'll be traveling this summer. I'll have the ancillary stuff penciled in - the strength stuff, the foam rolling, etc. I'll have a plan to try and shed the 8-10 pounds I need to lose. At times I might have too many plans.

    This year it's not about the plan, it's about executing the plan.

    Do the work.

    No bitching or complaining. It's time to put aside the momentary gratification of just one more beer, or staying up late to finish the movie, or being lazy and not eating at home (which usually leads to the "just one more beer") and making sure I do the work.

    Friday, June 04, 2010

    The Only Way to Start A New Training Cycle

    Is with new shoes.

    They are the Nike LIVESTRONG Lunarfly. Wore 'em for the first time today. Remind me very much of the original Lunar Trainer from 2008. Very light but feel very cushiony.

    Also added a countdown over there -------> for the Twin Cities Marathon in Oct., so everyone will know how little time I have left to get my ass ready for it.

    Wednesday, June 02, 2010

    2010 Bayshore Half Marathon

    As previously mentioned here, I pulled the plug on a race effort during the Bayshore Half Marathon this past weekend and instead ran with T in hopes of helping her to a PR.

    Weekend started off great with an easy drive up north. This was the first time either one of us had been to anywhere north of Muskegon so we were both a bit excited to see if the area would live up to all the hype. It did.

    Checked into the hotel - Comfort Inn, HIGHLY recommended - and sought out a place for an early dinner. Travino's was recommended by the staff at the hotel. Great food, very decent prices. In/out just in time to head over to the expo. The expo may have been the most understated thing ever - would be better to call it a packet pickup and it was roughly the same size as some of the 5ks here in town. Super simple to pick up our stuff though. The race shirt was a great Brooks short sleeve tech shirt: they even had women's versions! and different colors for the different races. First of many high marks.

    With the wake up coming early we set out our clothes and various things we would need in the morning and called it a night. 4:30 a.m. comes early!

    By 5:30 a.m. we were at the hotel next door boarding the shuttle bus to the start/finish area so we could board a different bus and be shuttled out to the half marathon start line. The marathon is a true out/back course and the HM is a point-to-point starting at the turn around. Only drawback is that we made it to the start line with about 90 mins to kill and neglected to dress properly, but that was our fault, and if we ever do this race again won't be repeated.

    7:30 a.m. race start - had the usual national anthem, etc, and we were on our way. There were no signs indicating where you should line up, so it was a bit congested at the start. About the middle of mile 2 I experienced the same problem as during the Riverbank Run: after standing out in the cool air, I had to pee. At least this time I stopped at the porta-potty. I managed to catch up to T just around the 2 mile mark.

    Her goal for the day was to run 11:00 pace for the first 5 miles (hitting the 5 mile mark in 55 minutes) then drop to 10:30-10:45 pace for the next 5 miles (hitting the 10 mile mark at 1:47:30-1:48:45) and then pushing as hard as she could for the last 3.1 with the hopes of being around the 2:20:00 mark, which would be just over a 4 minute PR.

    My plan was to help her with this...a plan which I executed miserably. We were cruising the first 5 miles. 10:30ish pace. Which means we had almost a 3 minute cushion. We went out way too fast.

    The second 5 miles the pace slowed a bit and around mile 9 some physical issues started to rear their ugly head: some IT band problems and some foot pain.

    BUT, we pushed the last mile or so, the temperature started to climb and we were both feeling the effects - only major complaint on the day was that the aid stations were too spread out and the sports beverage, not sure if it was Gatorade, Gu Brew, Powerade, etc, wasn't mixed correctly. I nearly had to resort to draconian motivational techniques when T started walking in the last mile. She thought we were closer to the finish line, was overheating a bit, needed some water. About 100 feet ahead of us was a photographer on the course. I was on the verge of "motherf*cking" her and telling her there was no way we were walking by the photographer when a volunteer on the course beat me to the message. And she did it in a much more positive way. But we started running again.

    Rounded the corner and finished on the track. With the exact same chiptimes: 2:21:31. Just about a 3 minute PR for her. And a PR is a PR. So while I didn't do a good job of helping her meet her goal, I did thoroughly enjoy being out there with her. Every step of the way.

    My reward: This lovely Brooks jacket. That actually says Bayshore Half Marathon!