Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Little Speed Never Hurt Anyone...

Plainfield Harvest 5k
7:16 minutes per mile
5th of 35 in my age group (30-34)
61st overall out of 750 runners
A personal record by 34 seconds.

In the blink of an eye.........

One year ago on 9/24/06 I ran my first race, a local 5k. At that time the 3.1 miles was my longest run ever. My time was decent at 24:07 or 7:46 min/mile and I remember feeling like I had plenty of gas left in the tank.

This morning I will run that 5k race again. One week from toeing the line at the Chicago Marathon.

3.1 to 26.2 in one year. That is just crazy when I think about it.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Week In Running

Since my successful 20 miler on 9/16 I have struggled physically and mentally to get back in the game. This is my first go around at Marathon Training and the 20 mile effort was a real big deal. The fact that my longest run ever was an organized race like event added to the build up. I mean I ran freaking 20 miles along the Chicago Lake Front. Pretty cool.

Physically, I have been sore and slow to recover. I got sick with some cold/flu like symptoms that are still lingering. My (and i really mean mine) training plan started the Taper last week. Mentally I was running confused. I slowly struggled through the efforts. I kept thinking "WTF?" this is my Taper and it should be fantastic. Right?

It all blew up on my Saturday run. I just did not want to run 13 miles. I did 20 already! Isn't this long run crap over yet?!@! Nope, I was looking at another 2 hours on the road. I knew that the poor eating and drinking decisions I made Friday and Saturday morning were NOT going to help either. I was right.

Of course, I drowned those running blues in burgers and beer Saturday night. Blah, Blah, Cry, Cry..............I know...........Toughen Up.

I feel better. I think? Maybe? Do You?

This week the running looks easy. It goes 4 - 6 - 3 - 8. I have other issues though. No not that crying crap above. The BFNIC is having their Fall Invitational Ride. These are my guys. I may even be an unofficial founding father of the group. AND I miss them :). The turnout is looking to be a most excellent one. The route options are 32, 62, or 100 miles. So, running world unite and tell me how dumb it is to cycle 32 miles SEVEN days before your first Marathon?


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Joy and Pain........

Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock 's classic hip hop hit of 1988 pretty much sums up my 20 miler. Joy and Pain, Like Sunshine and Rain, Joy and Pain! :)

I am extremely happy that I participated in the CARA Ready To Run 20 Miler. It was like a race, but not a race. An organized training run complete with pacers, bid numbers, a wave start, water stations, porta potties & an awesome route along the shore of Lake Michigan. The run started on the North Side, then down and into the Loop, then past Soldier Field (where Bear fans were already tailgating at 9am for the 3:15pm game), then finally on to the South Side. Some fantastic views for sure. Oh yeah, and 3000 plus participants.

I learned a lot from this run. Simple, but important things like arriving early enough to allow for standing in line for that pre run bathroom stop. Eat more for breakfast and/or bring some Hammer Nutrition Gels along with me. The water stations were just that and stocked only water and Gatorade. About mile 8 I could feel the hunger coming on. I managed to consume enough calories via Gatorade to finish the run, but a gel or two would have been nice.

So, what did this key run reveal about my marathon quest? Cardiovascular wise, or is it Endurance wise, I have the ability to complete a 26.2 mile run. There is no doubt in my mind. That being said, I am not a runner. I do not have miles and miles beneath my feat. I am not logging 5o plus miles a week and never will. The the pounding of the long run can be cruel. It is a different beast. I have been on the bike for 9 hours, climbed 12000 feet and ridden 160 miles in one day, but this is different.

On this run it was around mile 13 where things started to tighten up. The left leg is the culprit. The knee, hammy, and IT band get so tight I have can not bend over. The right hammy and IT band seem to follow the left's lead. This seems to be the norm. I had a message yesterday and will continue to stretch things out on a regular basis, but this does worry me.

I was a Zombie Sunday post race and Monday. The fatigue really got to me. I am even battling a little cold or flu like symptoms. I was in bed both nights by 8:30pm. The rest, gallons of water and some Naked Juice have me feeling better today.

The end of the 20 miler begins the Taper. Mileage is reduced and rest is increased. This should help ease some nagging aches and pains. There was quite a build up to the 20 miler. I mean it's kind of a big deal. I ran 20 freakin miles. THREE hours of running, now that's just crazy talk!

Yet, the ultimate goal is still three weeks out. Time to relax, regroup, and get back to work. I got 5 miles scheduled for today. There are bigger fish to fry. Later.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Ready To Run..........

I hope so. I have this little jog slatted for Sunday Morning; The CARA READY TO RUN 20 Miler. I figured it would be a lot more fun to run with a large group along Lake Michigan then solo through plain fields.

Who am I kidding though. Either way it is gonna leave a mark :) !


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Chicago Confirmed....

Chicago Confirmed
Originally uploaded by aham23.

This little booklet has put a little extra get up in my step this week. Perfect timing for the toughest week (mileage wise) of the training program.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Long Run, The Stats & Story.......

Distance = 16.02 miles
Time = 02:30:27
Pace = 09:23
Avg HR = 146
Max HR = 156
Calories Toasted = 2227

First, Sunday was a great morning to run. It was 60 degrees, sunny and clam. Well, I departed at 6:15am as soon as daybreak hit, but by the end of the run the sun was in full glory. I went without music the first 11 miles and just soaked in the beauty and clam of this morning. Crazy I know.

My plan (which really is my plan taken a bit from Higdon and FIRST) called for 15. For some reason I had 16 on the brain. So, I did 16 miles. I slowed/stopped twice (miles 8 & 13) for my water & Hammer Gel drops and once (mile 11) to tinkle. I think walking through the water stations at Chicago is the way to go. Despite thinking I am coordinated I always miss the mark when attempting to drink while running?!?

I was really tight at the end of the run. Like barely could bend over tight. I spent a solid 30 minutes stretching. Then 10 minutes in a cold bath. Then a cold shower. Then I ate and ate and ate and napped and ate and ate and watched Da BEARS and ate. Today I have aches and pains, some new some old.

The results of this effort were positive. However, I am not sure how the heck I can run another 10 miles. I don't think I could have yesterday. I mean 26.2 miles is a long way. The pounding the body takes is just crazy. Mentally and cardiovascular wise I can handle it. BUT, will one of my legs fall off? Will my hip or knee spontaneously exlode :) ???

OK, done with that and on to this week. This week seems key. The weekend will bring THE 20 MILER. The logistics of the solo self supported 20 miler scare me. So, I signed up for the CARA Ready To Run 20 Miler. It will be an awesome run along the entire Chicago Lake Front. They provide pacers, water stations, the route, shuttle back to your car and food at the end. I just have to show up and run. I like that thought.


Saturday, September 08, 2007

Prep for The Long Run.....

If it goes well it should be a distance PR for me tomorrow morning. I will wake at 5am. Drink coffee & eat oatmeal. I will depart at 6am with iPod Shuffle and my Amphipod Bottle. In tonight's darkness I strategically dropped water bottles and Hammer Gel in two spots along my route.

If it goes really well the PR will be followed up by an afternoon arse kicking in favor of Da BEARS!

Time will only tell. Later.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Black Team

Jillian Michaels is back. Back on the show that gave me a motivating kick in the arse! The show is what it is, but I am actually looking forward to tuning in and seeing her return. Totally cool! Later.

Monday, September 03, 2007

My Week in Running........

Another week of training bites the dust. The past week had me achieving a Personal Record (PR) for weekly mileage, 29.5 miles, and a distance PR with Saturdays effort of 13.88. Sure that distance PR was just a bit more then my previous obtained at the 07 March Madness Half Marathon, but it still counts.

Tuesday = 4 miles at 9 minute pace. Plan was 4. Life had me running late (7pm) and after dinner. It was humid, sweaty, and crappy.

Wednesday = 7.91 @ 9:33 pace. Plan was 8. Ran before work at 8am. Things were sore and tight so I made an effort to run slow.

Thursday = 3.67 @ 8:34 pace. Plan was 3ish. Sore, tight, and tired all day. Then I hit the road and all was good. The speedy effort helped me shake it loose and it felt good.

Friday = 27.88 @ 18.3 mph average. My last Friday half day as Summer Work Hours come to an end. I was surprised how spunky the legs felt. Ended the ride with a 30 mph sprint on a flat road with a slight tailwind.

Saturday = 13.88 @ 9:12 pace. THE LONG RUN. Plan was 15. Well the old plan was that. I needed to get 13 this weekend. Then 16 to 20 to taper time :)! The middle of the run was a toughie. I had some stomach issues at the end.

These long runs can be very emotional. Ups and downs. I think about cutting it short, stopping all together, going longer then planned, feeling like superman, and so on. You gotta love the ups and downs of The Long Run.

August is no more. I ran 101.8 miles (9:06 pace) in August. Guess what? Yep, that's a monthly distance PR for me. About 20 miles more then my previous high I think. I had a fabulous weekend with the family. I rode 35 miles today in perfect 85 degree summer weather, despite fall being around the corner. August ends and September begins.

The 2007 Chicago Marathon is 4 weeks and 6 days away. I am not ready. I am not sure I will be ready. I will run on and continue to Respect the Marathon. Later.