Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Albany Park, Hello!

Tiffany and I have lived on the Northwest side of the city in Albany Park for over two years. Our neighborhood is one of the most ethnically diverse in the US. There a very nice bike/running path that runs along the Chicago River through our neighborhood, the next neighborhood (North Park) and then continues north into Lincolnwood and Skokie. I'd say 75% of my runs are on this path. It's pretty normal to see other runners and bikers on a daily basis. It's not uncommon to see people walking, pushing their strollers, walking their dogs or anything that you would see on a normal path. Last Saturday, I saw something else.

I think I was in North Park at that point, but that's not that important. I was coming up on a water fountain and I saw a man "using" it. His back was to me, but the path curved a bit. I was really hoping to get a drink because I was about to start my 4 miles at a 6:50 pace. As I approached the water fountain, I saw the man appear to completely washing his arms and hands in the water fountain. And he looked strikingly similar to this:

No bullshitting. Complete with the beard, clothes and headwear. This guy at the fountain's beard was a little more gray though. As I got to within 20 feet of the fountain. I had stopped my run and Garmin and stopped to see what this guy was doing. Sure enough, he was washing his arms, hands and face in the drinking fountain. He then turned and looked at me. Then he turned around and started to catch the water in his cupped hands and throw it around the fountain, almost in a pattern.

At that point, I turned around and started my four 6:50 miles and have yet to drink from that fountain again.
Last Week
I promise not to compare this year year to last year too much, but I think it's appropriate after last week. Last year was the first year of my marathon training that I kept detailed notes on my training log. I still have some old plans from previous years, but not what I actually ran. Anyway, I ran a 16 week plan last year, so I would have just completed my first week. Last year's total Week 1 mileage(16 weeks to go): 30. Yep, that's right, 30. This year's 16 weeks to go mileage: 58.7. And I feel better now than I did when I peaked at 54 miles last year. Here's the breakdown of last week:

Monday- 5.3 Recovery @9:33, 130 AHR
Tuesday - 11 MLR @8:19, 154 AHR
Wednesday - 5 Recovery @ 9:36, 129 AHR
Thursday - 13 MLR @ 8:24, 160 AHR (Hot and Humid conditions made for a very high AHR)
Friday - Rest
Saturday - 8.3, w/4 @ 6:51 pace. 159 total AHR, with the lactate threshold miles at 172.
Sunday - 16 MLR @ 8:11, 148AHR

This Week
Monday- 5.7 Recovery @9:35 pace, 120 AHR
Tuesday - 11 MLR @8:15 pace, 146 AHR
Wednesday - 5 Recovery
Thursday - 9 GA Miles w/10x100m strides
Friday- 18 Mile LR
Saturday - Rest
Sunday-14 Mile MLR
62 Miles total

I also set a new personal record for miles in a month with 220 in June. The previous high was last August with 198.2. Because almost every week and month is a new personal record, I feel like this classic scene in Bull Durham after Ebby Calvin "Nook" Laloosh took the mound for the first time. Here's the manager and pitching coach discussing Nook's performance after the game:
Manager: He walked 18.
Pitching Coach: New league record!
Manager: Struck out 18.
Pitching Coach: Another new league record! In addition he hit the sportswriter, the public address announcer, the bull mascot twice...
[Manager laughs]
Pitching Coach: Also new league records! But, Joe, this guy's got some serious shit.

So, I am headed into July feeling good and looking to continue the momentum of the first three weeks of training. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great holiday!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Historic Event

Strike Up the Band?
This is the 100th post on this blog. Where's the marching band? The parade? The trophy? Oh well, maybe they are waiting until I walk out of work today to fire up. Before I start yammering about running, I'd like to thank anyone who has ever read the blog over the past year. I hope you continue to read and share the blog with your friends and family members. The original intent was and still is to raise awareness of SMA. I am lucky enough to have a forum where 50 or more people come every week and read about my running and nonsensical stories.

Which, by the way, I will try to make sure I sprinkle in as they occur. It's only a matter of time before someone else says I "have a belly" on me, "don't look like a runner," or shares explicit details of the time they ran their 10K marathon. For the record, I weighed in at 175.5 pounds on June 1st. Seeing as how almost every week is a new life-time high for me in terms of miles, I anticipate dropping down down around 165 pound by late September. I think I ended up in the low 170s after training last year, after weighing 185 (maybe 190) at the start.

So again, thanks for reading and I hope you come by to visit once or twice a week and enjoy the remaining 16 weeks of the beast that is marathon training. I am hoping to have some FSMA fundraising details very soon.

The Week That Was
I ended up running 55.1 miles last week. Here's how it looked:
M- 5.33 @ 9:31 pace, 121 AHR
T- 8.05 @ 8:10 pace, 151 AHR
W- 12.16 @ 8:02 pace, 153 AHR
R- 5.25 @ 9:14 pace, 127 AHR
F- 8.25 @ 8:24 pace, 152 AHR
Sa- Rest
Su-16.01 @ 7:58 overall pace, 162 AHR ; I mixed in 8 miles at Goal Marathon Pace (7:15).
Here are their splits:
Miles 5.1 to 8.1 = 7:13, 7:10, 7:21
Miles 9.4 to 12.4 = 7:18, 7:25, 7:25
Miles 14-16 = 7:13, 7:20

I backed it down in the second set because my HR was getting too high. It was pretty humid and my body is definitely still adjusting to the warmer temps. Overall I was pretty pleased seeing as how this was only the second week of an 18 week training program.

The Week That Is
Here's the schedule:
Monday- 5 Recovery (DONE)
Tuesday - 11 MLR (DONE)
Wednesday - 13 MLR
Thursday - Rest or 5 Recovery*
Friday - 9Mi w/ 4 @ 6:53ish
Saturday - Rest or 5 Recovery*
Sunday - 15 MLR
*I'll take either Thursday or Saturday off.
58 total

Monday, June 15, 2009

1 Down, 17 to Go

In case you were wondering, 1/18th is about 5.6%. That puts in pretty good perspective. I always chuckle when I hear someone refer to something like the baseball season being a marathon. So is marathon training the real marathon? I understand the analogy, but the baseball season or things of that ilk are much more forgiving the a marathon. If you don't feel 100% on the day of the marathon, you're pretty much screwed. It's very unusual to be able to suddenly turn things on if things aren't going your way for the first 10 or 15 miles of a marathon. If you don't feel 100% on game day in baseball, you still can piece things together and if things don't work out, you still have 161 other games spread across 6 months.

I ended up finishing week 1 with 55 miles, a new career high in a calendar week for me. I took Thursday off and ran the following on Friday, Saturday and Sunday:
Fri- 9.3Miles, 8:07 pace, 150 AHR
Sat- 5.02 Recovery Miles, 9:44 pace, 129 AHR
Sun- 15.4 Miles, 8:14 pace, 152 AHR

I feel great with how things went last week. My calves are a little tight, but that is more likely attributed to my lack of stretching. I am making much more of an effort to stretch more and have added in some core work a few nights a week as well. I think of how I felt after I peaked at 54 miles last year and I was beat up. There's definitely something to these recovery runs and training smarter. I know there's plenty of time to feel otherwise, but the base-building in the months leading up to training seem to have made a great impact as well.

Here's the week ahead:
  • Monday - 5 Recovery
  • Tuesday - 8 General Aerobic Miles with 10 x 100m strides
  • Wednesday - 12 Miles
  • Thursday - Rest/XC
  • Friday - 9 General Aerobic Miles
  • Saturday - 5 Recovery
  • Sunday - 16 Miles, with the second 8 miles at goal marathon pace.
  • 55 Miles total
I am not sure if running 8 miles at GMP right now is either a good idea or doable at this point, so I am going to do it as close to that as I can as long as I keep my heart range in the area it is supposed to be in.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Week 1 Schedule

Normally, I'll post the upcoming week's schedule on Sundays or Mondays. In the Pete Pfitzinger 18 week/70 mile plan I am using, Monday is normally the scheduled Rest/Cross train day. I will move it around from time to time and felt like doing so this first week, coming off of an 8 and 14 miler over the weekend. Here is what this week was scheduled to look like:

Mon- Rest/XT
Tues- Lactate Threshold Run - 9 Miles, with 4 at 6:53 pace
Wed- 11 Miles Medium Long Run
Thurs - 5 Miles Recovery
Friday- 9 Miles General Aerobic
Saturday - 5 Miles Recovery
Sunday- 15 Mile Medium Long Run
54 Miles total

I know I have some readers who are runners and some who aren't, so I'll try to explain or link some things when necessary. If you aren't familiar with some terminology and wish to learn more, let me know. You'll see most of these terms regularly throughout the 18 week training cycle. Each run has will have a specific pace and/or heart rate to target, so I will add the results in the end of the week recap.

Here's what's in the books so far:
Monday-5.2 Miles @ 9:34 pace, 127 AHR (Average Heart Rate)
Tuesday-9 Miles, 4LT miles @6:50 pace, 176 AHR for those four miles
Wednesday- 11 Miles, 8:10 pace, 150 AHR

Monday, June 8, 2009

Let's Do This!

This will be a quick one, but I wanted to let everyone know that marathon training for the 2009 Chicago Marathon started today. Woo hoo. I'll get some more details regarding my training specifics and the fundraising to raise awareness of SMA as the week progresses.

Today's run was a recovery run - 5.2 miles at a 9:34 pace with and average heart rate of 127. Learning how to run these recovery runs at a slow pace will take some time getting used to, but should pay off tremendously as this 18 week training cycle starts firing on all cylinders.