Monday, May 23, 2011

Marathon Training - Week 3 of 30

Week 2 is now in the books. Last week went well. I got all of my training runs complete, and maintained my target pace of about 10min/mile. I missed my 1hr walk yesterday. I kept thinking I would have time later in the day to work it in, but it just turned out to be one of those days where there was just never time.

Probably the biggest highlight of last week was that we had a kick-off meet and greet for a new running club that we are trying to get going at our church. The response was overwhelming, as we had over 30 people sign up already! 

Today is Monday, which means the beginning of another training week. Here's the training schedule for this week, which is week 3 of the 30-week schedule:

  • Monday - scheduled rest
  • Tuesday - 3 mile run
  • Wednesday - 3 mile run
  • Thursday - 3 mile run
  • Friday - scheduled rest
  • Saturday - 5 mile run
  • Sunday - 1 hour walking

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Week 2 Update and San Francisco Photos

Week 2 of my marathon training program is just about complete. I did a 4.5mi run today, and I still have a 1hr walk tomorrow. 4.5mi felt kind of long today. Not good, because the Saturday runs only get longer from here. But, I feel good that I haven't missed any workouts these first two weeks.

Here are some pics from my San Fran trip last week:

Had a really nice hotel room

Here's the view from my hotel room

Bay Bridge, as seen from the starting point for my runs along the Embarcadero

Another view from the starting point for my SF runs

Something I can't do in Ft. Worth - run out onto a pier!

Looking back at SF from the pier

I also visited the Golden Gate bridge

There's plenty of foot traffic on the Golden Gate bridge. I didn't run it this time. Maybe next time.

A view from the Golden Gate bridge

A Chill Pod - looks like a good place to relax after a run!

My turn-around point at the end of Pier 39. That's Alcatraz Island out there.

Another view from Pier 39. Sea lions like to hang out here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

San Fran trip and weekly training update (Marathon Training - Week 2 of 30)

Last week I traveled to San Francisco for work. So, I got to do two of last week's training runs in San Fran. On Thursday I did a 3 mile run, and then on Saturday I did a 4 mile run. Both runs were along the Embarcadero, which follows the water front around part of San Fran. It's a popular place to run. Both days there were so many runners that it almost felt like I was running in a race. I'm definitely not used to being around so many other runners, it was great! The weather was also great - 50's and 60's and sunny. Pretty cool way to wrap up my first official week of marathon training!

A few observations about running in SF:

  • There are alot of runners!
  • My Garmin takes alot longer to find satellites in SF - several minutes compared to several seconds back home.
  • SF runners don't do the nod/wave to oncoming runners very often (it seems almost expected back home). 
  • SF would be a great place to do hill work - there are some insane hills!
  • There's plenty of room for foot traffic across the Golden Gate bridge, so next visit I will try to plan a run across and back. But BYOB - when I arrived at 5:30pm on a weekday, the only place that sells water and other drinks was already closed.
  • One disappointment was that I missed the B2B race by one day. I didn't find out about it until I was in SF, and by then it really was too late to change my travel plans. 

This week I'm back home. I enjoy traveling, but it's nice to get back to my family. Here's my training plan for this week:

  • Monday - scheduled rest
  • Tuesday - 3 mile run
  • Wednesday - 3 mile run
  • Thursday - 3 mile run
  • Friday - scheduled rest
  • Saturday - 4.5 mile run
  • Sunday - 1 hour walking

Monday, May 9, 2011

Quick Race Recap and training update (Marathon Training - Week 1 of 30)

Just taking a few minutes to write a short post about Saturday's race. According to my Garmin, my finish time was 28:25. Not the time I wish it was, but all things considered it's not bad. I only managed to hit one of my three goals, but better than meeting none of them. At the very least, it's good to have beaten last year's time. So even though I was slacking for a while, at least I'm doing better than this time last year.

Also - so much for rolling with no training plan. Starting this week, I'm back on a program. I'm planning to run my first full marathon in December, so as of this week my focus is on that goal. I found an 18 week training plan (Hal Higdon's Novice II), stretched the first six weeks, tacked on a bit to the beginning to match where I'm at, and ended up with a 32 week training schedule. Basically, I'll be running short-intermediate distances Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, then a long run on Saturday. Sunday is cross-training day. Hal suggests swimming, cycling, or walking. I don't have access to a pool, and my bike is old and in pretty rough shape (plus cycling around here doesn't seem like the safest thing to do), so for now I will do about an hour of walking on Sundays. Monday and Friday are rest days.

That's it for now. Got a run in the morning.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tomorrow's Race

As usual, since today is the day before a race, pretty much all I can think about today is running the race. I'm thinking about target paces, weather, what time to leave the house, how to get there, checking out the parking situation, etc. It's times like this that I really appreciate the fact that I ran this race last year. Not only did I run it, but I wore my Garmin, so I can look back and see my splits, the course map, the elevations, etc. Very nice.

Here's what my Garmin recorded as the course elevations:

Looking at this, I'm reminded of how tough the last mile was.  This year I'll be better mentally prepared for it. One difference this year is that the forecast is for more wind than we had last year. That last mile might be into a 12mph wind if the forecast is right. I think it might be a good idea to make sure I keep a little extra for mile 3.

I'm struggling (as usual) with setting race goals for this. Mainly because I haven't been running as much lately. This past couple of weeks have been pretty good, but before that my running was very inconsistent, and non-existent for a while. But I feel like I've shaken off alot of the rust, and I'm ready to see where I'm at tomorrow. I'm nowhere near PR shape, but I feel like I should be able to beat my time of 28:54 from last year's race.

So, for my three time goals I'm thinking (1) beat last year's time of 28:54 (9:19 pace), (2) finish better than 9:00 pace, (3) finish better than 8:45 pace. Based on those three ideas, here are my three time goals for tomorrow:
1. Finish under 28:54 (9:19 pace)
2. Finish under 28:00 (9:02 pace)
3. Finish under 27:00 (8:43 pace)

My gut tells me that I'll probably finish somewhere around 28. So I feel like goal 1 is very achievable, and goal 2 is a good target. If I hit goal 3, I'll be very happy with that.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011


This weekend I'm running my first repeat race. I'm running the Buffalo Boogie, which is a race that I ran last year.

It will be interesting to see how my time compares with last year's race. This time last year, I had been running consistently for about four months, but before those four months I hadn't run in years. This time around, I've been running for over a year, but I've been very inconsistent during the past few months. I'm hoping that this race will nudge me back into being more consistent with my running.

Of all of the races I have run over the past 16 months, this one stands out as a favorite. The race takes place at the Fort Worth Nature Center, and the course winds through a wooded area along a nice asphalt course. Also, the organizers make a real event out of it. It's like having the expo going on during the race, with lots of vendors and stuff for kids to do, live band, etc. Parking is a breeze, and the weather this time of year is usually pretty nice.