Sunday, March 29, 2009

National Marathon

Okay this post is week late but I've been busy...

Last weekend Anne and I toed the line in front of the Wash DC Armory for the National Marathon. We would tour parts of DC I had never been to and enjoy beautiful clear skies and little wind all morning with 34-45 deg temps. The result? A whopping 9 minute PR for Anne and nearly equal 1/2 splits. SUPER!

We began a marathon build up in January switching Anne from 3 days a week of running to 4 and jumped right in with a 13 miler January 1st. Most of last falls Richmond marathon base was still in her legs so we built quickly with long runs coming every 2 weeks. Runs of 15, 18, 20 , 20, and 22 followed with each consisting of a 30sec walk break at each mile marker with an average pace per mile around 10:00. For race day after reading Galloway's suggestion of a 60 sec walk break I decided to compromise and do 45 second breaks on race day. No pre -determined mile pace was set up and we just ran home she felt. This resulted in us running in the 9:30's with the 45s walk break included. The miles ticked by and her freshness remained. She hit a gel at miles 5, 9, 13, 17, and 20 which allowed her to keep from bonking out. Reaching the half around 2:05 gave me confidence that the sub 4:21 and 4:15 goals were a definite possibility and maybe even 4:10. With a couple pit stops and some tough hill miles in the 2nd half we ended up running a slightly positive split but managed to run the last 10k in under 60min and the last 2 miles at sub 9:25 pace.

Officially we finished strong in 4:12:04 which was fast enough to make my own legs hurt.

The house projects have really geared up and my "one focus at a time-obsessive personality" let those take priority over my running. So I only logged 49 miles last week and a mere 35 this week. :-(

For some reason I always fall in to a 3-4 run days a week pattern and end up averaging like 12 miles per run. Not sure why. I did manage a 4 mile AM ---busy work day--- then 16 miler PM run home on Friday which really wiped me out.

Now with March nearly over it is time to get in shape! Higher mileage, more frequent runs, hill work, and some speedier days to come I swear! Next race Bull Run 50 April 18th.

at least the house is looking better :-)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Elizabeth Furnace 50k

Sunday-off- Painting
Monday- 4 miles
Tuesday- off- painting
Wednesday- 12 mile tempo- 1:26 miles 8-11 in 19:17
Thursday- 2 miles (blah speed KILLS!)
Friday- 4 miles
Saturday- 31miles- 6:32

This week the long run beat downs continued with some specific hilly-rocky- crazy running on the Massanutten mtn trails themselves at the EFA 50k. Unlike last weekend the day stated off cool and cloudy with temps in the 30's and the forecast for rain. Luckily it held off for 5 and a half hours and then only drizzled. Not until the last 10 minutes of the run did I really feel like I was getting wet.

The goal all spring has been to continue to get stronger and keep in touch with the ugly footing of trails without getting too sore, tired, or injured. So far I have managed that, but I have had to back off the mileage during the week. This week was true to that form plus the daylight savings time switch was of no help. I hate getting up in the AM at 4:50 to make it off on my morning 4 mile run commute into work...and when my body feels like it is really just did not happen Monday-Thursday.

Yesterday on the run my hamstrings felt last weekends 50k, but the quads were strong and felt fresh. I think they are finally over the Reverse Ring run of 3 weeks ago. Once Mike Bur had said the "go!" command I went to the front with Sean Andrish, Brian Schmidt and Will Weidman running the orange blaze trail from signal knob parking strongly. Soon I was by myself with Sean, Brian and Will off the front and the rest of the pack stretching out behind. I settled in and soon found myself running with CJ Blagg and Joe Clapper. We would end up staying together most all of the day. All of us are prepping for another go at MMT 100 with dream goals of cracking the 24hr barrier there. Conversation was great and the pace just right. I still fall behind while walking the climbs but am gaining fitness and have no trouble on the flats or downs and am beginning to be able to run some of the ups.

To stay with these guys I had too after a pit stop and missing a turn 23 miles in. I needed to catch up to them climbing up Sherman gap. ugh! Hills are tough! After making our way up Sherman, sure-footing the ridge line and beginning the fun descent we had John and Jack come up and sprint on by with 2 miles to go. None of us felt like giving chase so we didn't and ended up placing 4,5, and 6th in 6:32. Last time I ran this course it took me 8:30! Nice run.

The next phase of training will focus on contueing to gain some speed and fitness. I need to increase the weekly mileage back to the 70 mpw range and really need to make sure I start doing hill repeats at least once weekly. To break 24hrs at MMT you have to run some of the climbs. Plain and simple.

Next weekend Anne and I will be touring the street of DC in the National Marathon

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Seneca-Greenway Trail 50k

What a beautiful DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After a 5 inch snowfall and 16 degree temps Monday and Tuesday, this weekend ends with a 73 degree sunny day of play on great trails in Maryland.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday- off feel crappy and tired
Wednesday- 4 miles am, 11 miles pm
Thursday- off- legs feel day, have head cold- enjoyed the rest by painting in house
Friday- 4 miles AM, 4 miles PM
Saturday- 50k (17th-5:19) ++miles???? seemed a bit long

55 miles for the week on 3 days- 5 runs

After much debate yesterday and even 15 more minutes this morning when my alarm went off at 5am I decided to take advantage of the super weather and head a few miles north to run Ed Schultz's Seneca Greenway trail marathon and 50k. With temps in the high 50's when I woke I knew it was going to be a warm one. After a bus ride from the finish to the start and good conversation with some fellow runners I began my race at 8am running with VHTRC friend Stuart Kern. We settled in to a pretty strong run allowing us to still be able to chat, but at a fast enough pace to gap some of the 200+ other starters (marathon and 50k start together). The minutes rolled by with my legs feeling pretty good. I stopped to walk on a decent rolling hill and then stopped for a pee break only to see my friend Alyssa Godesky striding up from behind. Having only been passed by two other women I figured Alyssa (who is fresh of 3rd placings at JFK 50 and Holiday lake 50k) should be a favorite for the win. I settled in to a steady run with her and realized that the first hour had now passed and the 9:00 miles we were running felt great. This was just what I enough to let me keep my own selected stride, but slow enough to keep from crushing my already tired legs. Today was to be all about enjoying the great course, good company, and fabulous weather.

The marathoners and 50kers split up at a lake.....we would go right and make a counterclockwise loop around the lake, while the marathoners would skip the lake trail and continue on to the left. The aid station personnel were superb all day and the folks here told us we had already completed 15 miles (2:15) and that Alyssa was in 2nd place for the 50k women. The first place girl was in sight just ahead and we would stride off confidently in pursuit. I tried to keep the fluids and salt going in as the temps were now easily in the high 60's. A far cry from the weather we have had recently. As the 3 hour mark rolled by we had closed on the lead gal and managed to get 19 miles in. My legs felt great and I enjoyed each and every downhill. The climbs still are kicking my butt, but I felt more and more comfortable as the day rolled on.

As we began to catch many marathoners a bit of weaving around was in order and soon enough one of the folks we went on by was the women's leader of the 50k. Alyssa held tough and the hilliest stretch of the course was upon us. The occasional cool breezes we had felt earlier in the day were long gone but the 2nd to last aid station seemed to be forever away. Finally at the 4:17 point we arrived at the chocolate lovers aid station. No one was really sure how far the finish was from here (~7 miles) but I hoped it was short. At least the trail was generally downhill to the last aid station. One last big hill and we were almost there. Before I knew it I could see the long line of cars at the finish and our day was done. Alyssa won and we were 16 + 17 overall.

A hot pulled pork sandwich was our reward for a long day. mmmm mmmm

Thanks to Ed and all the volunteers for a great day and a great race! Next up... the EFA 50k

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Week 8

37 miles - on 3 runs

Sunday- Wednesday- off... quads SORE, legs dead
Thursday- 11 miles PM- wow, quads still SORE!
Friday- 4 miles
Saturday- 22 miles with Anne in her last prep run for the National Marathon

A recovery week, with legs feeling okay early on until I ran on them Thursday. Wow that hurt. I had to stop and walk frequently. I did manage to make it through the long run Saturday touring the mt Vernon trail with Anne.

I hope to get the mileage back up for Week 9.

Miles January- 273, February- 263