Progress Report

I doubled up today. I ran 4 miles in the morning and 4 miles in the evening. 30m for each session. I also wore my heart rate monitor for the first time in months. It ever so slightly constricts my breathing, but that is only a problem in races. The second run was on a different course 2000ft above the first run. The perceived effort was greater but my average heart rate was identical. There were a couple of things that were notable.

1.) My average pace was the same for the two of them coincidentally. 7:20 / mile
2.) My average heart rate was identical 169 bpm – this is very high for me considering the pace however-
I drank copious amounts of wine last night on Christmas. The air temperature was uncomfortably cold. I wore too much clothing and was sweating like crazy.
The footing was slippery.

Last week I ran 50.9 instead of the desired 55. I’m not quite sure how I miscalculated by 5 miles. It doesn’t matter too much though for the first week of assigned mileage. I shouldn’t have a problem hitting 55 this week. The legs are feeling strong and want to run faster, I’m throttling back to be at 7:20 and focusing on quick leg turnover and good upper body positioning.

With the new years I will add in the much needed dietary training to go along with the running. I haven’t quite decided what I’m going to do. I’m reading a book called Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. There is an excellent overview of the ideas behind the book in this podcast here, by the economist Russ Roberts. I will either switch to a low glycemic index diet or a gluten free diet. I’ve gone gluten free before just for kicks and I’m not sure I have the will power to do it again. I didn’t feel any different after two months of craving bread. If I go GF at least I will have the solidarity of my triathlon friend who is going to do it and my mother and sister who have been doing it for years.

Oh and I test drove the Nissan Leaf today, Cool!

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Pick Races for 2012… Check!

I have selected a half marathon in March and a full marathon in November. I’m going to run both of these with a triathlete friend of mine. I will also run a 5 mile race in April. All of these are road races. At the moment I’ve only signed up for the half. In 2011 I ran over 20 races. I think that they were spaced too close together to achieve max performance. I want to keep my racing to a minimum so I don’t need to:

1) Taper training every few weeks for a race.
2) Recover from races every few weeks.
3) Abstain from caffeine for so many weeks of the year.
4) Abstain from alcohol for so many weeks of the year.

Yes, I am one of those guys that forgoes caffeine and alcohol for two weeks before a race. Then I have a 5hr energy right before the race and an adult beverages after the race.
It’s not like I drink a lot anyways, or overdue caffeine for that matter. A typical week will have one or possibly two alcoholic beverages and 1 regular cup of coffee every other day. I just get emotionally upset when these things are forbidden 😦

I am also going to sign up for a series of local races. There are about 20 available over the course of the year free with membership. I will run them but not race them. I also want to sign up for some sort of trail ultra marathon (50k – 50m distance). I did really well this fall in a 50 mile and I know I could have done way way better if I hadn’t already raced and won a 10k and PRed in a 1/2 marathon that same week.

The last two weeks I ran 26.4 and 15.9 miles respectively. I’ve run 32 so far this week and I would like to hit the 55 that my training schedule specifies, (this is the first week with a mileage specification). The weather doesn’t seem to be cooperating with me though. Tuesday I did a fantabulous 12 mile trail run with some out of state friends. They are both ultra people, one at my level, the other, one of the best in the USA, hands down. ,,,,,,, Everyone is always telling me I’ve got the body for ultras, but I WANT TO BE A ROAD MARATHONER.

Goodby to a favorite shoe, Mizuno Wave Ronin 2

After 742.2 miles I think I need to recycle them. I wish I had a digital camera so that I could post a picture. The tread is still usable but the upper is more hole than mesh. As far as cushioning goes, I decided after the second marathon in them that I couldn’t use them for long runs anymore because my feet would get bruised. That was many moons ago. I plan to recycle them at my local running store in exchange for $10 off a new pair of shoes. That is what I did with my The North Face Arnuva 50 Boas and New Balance 903s, They had over 900 and 650 miles on them respectively. The BOAs died on a trail run when the sole of the shoe came delaminated from the rest of the shoe. I had a long walk back to my car with only the insole between my foot and the ground. The 903s were actually in pretty good shape compared to other shoes I trade in. I really wish I hadn’t given away my 902s to good will. I didn’t keep track of mileage back and I wasn’t wise to the recycling discount. Those were some awesome shoes!

So as far as elite runner training goes my phase in week was lighter than I wanted. Only 15.91 miles!!! I did a nice group run today 9.76 miles and felt fresh as could be at the end of it. That is good news considering I’m officially in week one of my Daniels plan now. Tomorrow I will swim laps in the early morning. Drop my car off at the auto body shop and run back home to pickup a car that I’m borrowing to get to work. It won’t be many miles but that is ok. Tuesday I pan to do a long run with some out of town friends.

Running Plans are Like Diets

I always seem to fail them on the first day. My plan was to run for 30m at a 7:45 pace, instead I did 1h 45m at a 8:26 pace. The run was with a group, which was fun, especially since I haven’t run with them since Thanksgiving. My original concern was that the group was going to run to slowly, but by the last few miles of the run I felt like I was struggling to keep up. I attribute my low energy to a couple of different things. First, I’ve come down with a case of the sniffles over the last few days. Second, I was wearing Newton MV^2 which don’t have good traction, thus I was slipping a fair amount. I will give a full review of the shoes in another post on another day. Third, despite resting up for a week, apparently I am still not fully recovered from a very intense running season this fall.

You’ve got to start somewhere

My overarching goal for the next four years is to become a professional runner. Yesterday I would have written the goal as “Elite Runner qualified for the 2016 Olympic trials,” but I just finished reading a paragraph on setting goals by Jack Daniels, PhD.

I have chosen four years as a time frame because I expect it to take me two years to reach collegiate competitiveness. I can already run a 2:54 marathon, so I believe that I am starting with a reasonable amount of experience to justify the two year time frame.

I anticipate updating my progress approximately four times a week on this blog. I will start my training next week. For week one I plan 5 days of easy running. This is part of the Daniels’ plan that I have put together. I am not running this week at all, so that next week will be a clean and fresh start.