Monday, December 28, 2009

December Spring Run

I took advantage of some unseasonably warm weather to do 9 miles over 75 minutes yesterday. The run felt great - I had pretty good pace the whole way considering it was the longest since the marathon. I also managed a pushup/situp and yoga session - which felt good since I haven't been great about doing those. I did tighten up in the groin area during the run - so I still need to work on flexibility during the off-season.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Best of 2009

This is, of course, just my perspective. There are 2 runs in particular that I love running that, for the first time, won't be in my top-3 list: the Tarzan Brown Mystic river run and the Twilight Trail run. I was sick for the latter this year and I did the former only 2 days removed from a 22 mile training run. My top-3 this year:
3. Philly Marathon. This was my first marathon and the whole experience was very positive. In particular, the crowd support for this race was by far the most I've ever had for any race ever. I'm guessing many of the big city marathons are like this - but it really blew me away. The weather was perfect. I may run 20 more marathons in my life and never again have weather this perfect. I also liked the training for it. 5 days a week was a grind - but the tempo-work was relatively easy and the long runs were hard - but satisfying. Oh, and I PRed - but it's a very beatable PR.
2. O'Niantic 5k. A bit of a surprise. This run is always a cold day in March and the course has changed each of the last 2 years. I ran this after just starting training for a late spring 10K and surprised myself with a new PR. Still counts.
1. Niantic Bay Half. Nothing spectacular - I started too slow for my PR - but I think I was in great shape for this and really enjoyed some amazing negative splits. As far as "feeling good" during a race - and a long one at that - this was the best of the year. I'll take motivation from all races this year - but I think this experience has me chomping for a good half in 2010.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2009 in Races.

I'll start my year-end recap today regarding 2009. It was, in many ways, a difficult year for reasons I haven't really figured out. It brought layoffs and many difficulties at work - along with some interesting scientific advances. It was the beginning of a new presidential administration - yet a lot of that hope seems to have faded. My wife went back to work - also a mixed bag since my kids have longer daycare hours. Yet having said that the kids themselves seem to be adjusting great.

And since sports must always imitate life - my running seems to have mirrored life this year: I technically set an amazing three Personal Records at 3 distances: 5K, 10K and Marathon - yet for some reason - none of them were very satisfying. For starters the 5K was run after relatively little training - almost no tempo/speed work and nothing too long. I'm glad for it - but it was really nothing more than a pleasant surprise. The 10K I did train for - and hard. It turned out to be hilly and hot - and I only PR'd because it's the first one I've done in the last 20 years. The marathon PR was also only because it was the first. Although the experience was awesome - I know I can do better.

So since I'm feeling a bit negative today I'll run through my bottom 3 races of the year. 2009's triumvirate of suck:

3. The third worst race has to be the Misquamicut beach run. I normally love this race - but this year was run mostly on a beach resembling quick sand due to a recent off-shore hurricane; and the awful conditions reflected in my pace [7:35 over 3 miles]. Hopefully this'll get back to rocking in 2010.

2. JP Morgan Qualifier. I ran this race sick and sucked bigtime: 7:16 pace, 3.5 miles. To make it worse, the race championship was canceled for the first time since anyone can remember - melted down like the rest of the banking industry. Since I only run the hot/crowded qualifier for a chance to run in the wonderful fall championship - this made the whole experience worse.

1. Washington Trail 10K. I'll never run this again. Hot and hilly - I finished at a 7:33 pace after training all spring for this suckfest. Fortunately, they get a ton of community support - so they'll be better off without me.

Not all was bad this year - I'll review my favorite races of 2009 and start thinking about goals for 2010 in my next post.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Weak Running

Not sure what it is about the holiday - but I had a real crap run today. I didn't feel like going - and needed about 10 minutes to change into my artic gear. I had to run in snow/ice on the side of the road to start - and went pretty slow. Then proceeded to feel like crap most of the run. Ugh. It's hard to keep sharp this time of year. Ended up covering 4.3 miles [Jupiter loop] in 39 slowww minutes.


Quality not quanitity

I sprained my neck last week which brought my 'training' to a standstill. I literally did nothing from Tuesday to Friday. Saturday I made it out for an 8.5-9 mile run around Groton Long Point. This run felt awesome both mentally and physically - the stress of the holidays just melted away. Then, yesterday, I did my 'ps' workout. I need to get a yoga in soon. Saturday's run was great - and was the longest since the Marathon - 1 hour 12 minutes. So I didn't have great quantity - but 2 quality runs last week with the GLP loop and Lestertown.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lester Town

Lets see if this works. Cool. I always wondered about strike through ability - now I have it. Yesterday I did the Lestertown run with Larry: 6.4 miles of hell. Lots of very difficult hills. It felt good - a little depressing that 6.4 felt so hard - but it wasn't at an lsd pace.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Holiday Charge.

Holiday Charge is the title of a recent Runners World article that claims "Even a minimal amount of mileage keeps you fit, sane and motivated through the silly season." I'm planning on taking the next 2-3 months pretty easy - but I do plan on getting out at least 3 times/week and make an attempt to get stronger and more flexible at the same time. Last week I managed 3 runs of about 4-5 miles each totaling 13 miles over 1 hour and 45 minutes. More importantly I did about 1 hour of what I'll call miscelaneous activities including 3 yoga sessions, one core session and an upper body workout.

This week I'm continuing the "charge". I've done two more runs: 5 miles Monday and a 4x400 today. I tried to do the 400s as fast as possible - add some intensity once a week. I'll try and do hills and blah/tempo runs at some point - along with a goal of one longer run [8+ miles] once every 3 weeks.

Labels: ,

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Light Blogging

End of the year blogging. I'm really not doing much - 2-4 runs/week and only 12-15 miles this week and maybe 16-20 miles/week for the next 2 months. I'm thinking the following runs next year:
  1. O'Niantic 5k [March] - a decent shot at an age group place. This would be my 3rd year in a row.
  2. Providence 1/2 [early May]- or another spring 1/2 following an easy 10 week plan - nothing too intense.
  3. Twilight Trail Run - late May tradition. I actually hope for rain.
  4. Bottone Mile - Track mile in July.
  5. Misq. Beach Run [late August] - worth it just to knock-off work early and spend one more afternoon at the beach with the kids.
  6. CVS 5K [Sept.] - have to do a team race at some point.
  7. Niantic half [late Sept.] - can conflict with CVS - but I enjoyed it this last year.
  8. Memorial Strides 10K [Oct.] - want to nail a 10K.
  9. Tarzan Brown [early Nov.] - Tradition.
  10. Lil' Rhody [late Nov.] - would like to nail this one also.
There are other possibilities - but I'd like to PR at a 10K and a half this year - two very doable goals. And I'd like to kill the lil'Rhody - I'm overdue. No marathon this year. As much as I loved training and doing Philly - it does distract from all the other fall or spring races. Maybe 2011.

What else is going on? With my mileage down, I've been [obviously] thinking about my goals and my shoes. This year I went to a rotation between the ASICS 2140 and the Brooks Adrenline 9. The Asics shoe feels more cushioned, less stiff than the Brooks - but it feels like the Brooks positions the gate a little better. In fact, I went with the Brooks for the marathon and a majority of my long runs because I feel it handles the legs a little better - even if the ASICS has better cushioning. The other thing worth mentioning is I bought a 10.5 size for both - the ASICS feels a little too large, while the Brooks feels a little too small. Finally, the Brooks gets the overall nod for adding the BioMogo to the shoe - this helps the shoe breakdown in the landfill and it's a little lighter.

Anyway - enough rambling - time to watch the Oregon-Oregon State "track meet" football game.

Labels: ,