Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Data Analytics: Best Pace.

I calculated my distance versus pace for all my races this year [blue] and plotted them versus some of my best times [grey]. I didn't include this year's marathon or the 10K [too hilly]. I then fitted the 'best pace' line with and exponential function. If you use the fit - I should've run the marathon in 3:57 - so I actually came out a little ahead!!! You can really tell the races in which I was sick or not trying very hard - they're way off the best-fit.

The y0 = 355.77 - apparently this would be my fastest sprint speed. This is probably a little high, as I'm certain I can do sub-6 min/mile paces for 50 yards or so. "a" is 274.3 and "b" is equal to 0.0461. The R^2 value is 0.9688. The fit is much worse removing the y0 - which makes physical sense. The polynomial fit as good - but would really miss the marathon time by a lot and would also suggest I can't ever, no matter how short the distance, run less than a 6 minute/mile pace.

If only I could channel my energies toward real work today...

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Philly Marathon 2009: Race Review

So #1 is done. Unofficially it was done in 3 hours, 53 minutes and 15 seconds. Race day weather was a perfect 10: high 40s to low 50s most of the race with little wind and plenty of sunshine. The race started great. I had to pee at about mile 3 - but that only took ~30 seconds [yes, I glanced at my watch]. The next 6 miles felt awesome - I was a minute or two back from the 3:40 pace group and the run felt smooth and easy. Things got better at about mile 9 - I saw my family near the Philly Zoo - the highlight of the marathon.

Then, on a perfect day, things took an imperfect turn - at mile 10, I had essentially the same groin cramps I had 3 weeks earlier during my 15-mile long run. Unbelievably, I had to stop and stretch and walk a bit. Things continued to hurt until after the loop past the art museum at mile 13. Then I started to feel a little better. My friend/support Sherpa DaveT met me at mile 14 and I told him I was feeling good. However, soon after he left at mile 15, it hit again.

I'd pretty much lost the 3:40 pace group and had about 2 minutes on the 3:50 pace group which I thought I was doing a decent job holding off. The legs however, continued to hurt in through Manyunk until finally the 3:50 pace group passed me at mile 21. At this point, the cramping was killing me - and I shuffled in at a pretty slow pace - apparently doing about 9:20 miles - ugh. It felt slow - but the groin cramp was too much. DaveT picked me up again at about mile 24 and pulled me along for about 10 minutes - but I just couldn't run fast. The end was bitter sweat. I was proud to get in at 3:53:15 for my longest run ever - considering the pain - but it was a little embarrassing having the crowd yelling me encouragement while poking along slowly and getting passed by other runners.

Nevertheless - the race was a great experience and the crowds in philly deserve a big "thank you". Some top moments: seeing my family along the course is #1a and having a great race sherpa is #1b; high fiving kids and people dressed in odd costumes [I remember a gingerbread man, santa clause, the Drexel dragon], extraordinary weather, pulling through severe cramps for an under 4 hour finish are all positives I'll take away. Knowing damn well that I can run into the low 3:40s is something that'll motivate me as I train for the next one.


Monday, November 16, 2009

It's Marathon Week: Yeah!

I capped week 15 with an (almost) 11 miler to and around GLP. I tried to break down the stretch from rt-215 to GLP-road; GLP through Mumford's cove and the GLP loop to give me a marathon pace run. It felt faster than my 'easy' long runs - but easily doable for the 7.5 miles that I ran it. The main goal was to 'rest but don't rust' - as it was my last real training run of the taper. I'll head out Tuesday and Thursday from work - for 4-5 milers - and then it's ON!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Week 15 - Taper, Glorious Taper

Ahhh. Finally - the easy stuff. I did 4 miles with DaveB and JCoe on Monday - just down to Eastern Point campus and back up in 33 minutes. Dave and JC had me going at a pretty fast pace - relatively speaking. It was a beautiful day to be out. Unlike today. Today I did 5.8 miles with Larry and DaveT in 49 minutes. The pace was pretty easy for the most part - but Larry and I did the "Sneaker's Mile" pickup in 6:58 - pretty good! Rest, don't Rust!

So I have another miscellaneous do whatever run on Friday - then I'll need to do 10-12 miles on Sunday. I'm thinking maybe doing a 8:40 pace 8 miles - with an easy 1.5 warmup and cooldown. The goal would be to practice my marathon pace - since I've neglected to do that. The only tricky part is getting some good mile-markers from google earth - since I'll have to do this one from home.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

Week 14: Done.

One more week of training left. I did 9 miles in the dark - around Groton Long Point last night after the kiddo's were in bed. Easily the best run of last week. In retrospect, I think I should've done something to get recovery after a hard Tarzan Brown race last Sunday - as all my runs hurt last week. The cramping on the long run Friday was a bit of a mental blow, but I'm going to take it as a wake-up call. First, I know anything can happen in the marathon and second I'll make more of an effort to eat and drink better that morning. With that behind me, last nights run felt pretty effortless - 9 miles in 1 hour 20 minutes. The pace felt good and easy - like I could have kept it up a lot longer. I almost wish I had another 18-20 miler left - but I'll have to make due with this week's 12.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Week 14 Long Run

I did my long run yesterday. It should have been an easy 15 miler. Things were going pretty well - I had done 1 hour and 20 minutes - a little over 9 miles - when a groin cramp hit me. The next 5 miles I did a run-walk mix. Initially I was scared it might be something more serious - but it felt fine later in the day. I did have less water than normal - but I'm not certain if that caused it, or if I have some sort of low-grade cold - I was having horrible runs all week. I'll certainly be looking to take it easy the next 2 weeks - hopefully I'll have some better runs along the way. Total run time was 2 hours and 22 minutes.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Am I Still Training for a Marathon Week?

So week 14 has been tough. I always imagined a glorious marathon taper. In reality - I still have to schlep my butt out every day for a run. My quads were pretty toasted after the Tarzan Brown run - so Monday I did and easy 5 miles over 46 minutes. I followed that up with 5 more easy miles on Tuesday [47 minutes this time]. Followed by another 5 'easy' miles today [46 minutes]. I decided my goal was to not get injured and try to avoid getting sick - which I of course have little control over. Anyway - tomorrow is a day off and Friday I'll gun for 15 miles. I realized that next week I also have to cram 31 miles into 5 days of running - so much for glorious taper mode. Yes, it's easier - but it's still a lot of running.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Tarzan Brown Run 2009

Today I ran over to the Tarzan Brown Mystic River Run to run this race for the 8th consecutive year. Since I don't want to look up the history every year I'll summarize this officially in my blog:
  1. 2002 - first race and pretty good considering my training: 41:54 - 7:36 pace.
  2. 2003 - 44:48 and 8:20 pace - disappointing - probably got me training more though.
  3. 2004 - 43:02 and 7:49 - another ho-hum year.
  4. 2005 - 39:14 and 7:08 - first year of Julia's life - first year on the running team - best time yet.
  5. 2006 - 37:27 and 6:48 - a remarkably good run. My best ever, if not for...
  6. 2007 - 37:21 and 6:47 - best run ever? maybe.
  7. 2008 - 37:40 and 6:51 - still pretty good, but starting to float up.
  8. 2009 - read on...

This year I had a lot going against me. First I did 22 miles on Friday and my legs felt a little sore still today. I'll combine this with reason 1a - lots of mileage this week including 3 miles during my race warmup. Second - and probably worse, I went to a Halloween party last night and ended up with 4 or 5 pints of Beamish - not horrible, but not great. Thirdly I haven't done much speed work this year. I really did push the last 2 miles - but really couldn't close past the 7-minute/mile pace. So I ended up doing roughly 38:45 - or 7:03 min/miles. Really not bad at all - but this has always been my best race - so even with all the reasonable excuses - a little underwhelming.