Monday, August 25, 2008

Vegas '08

Well folks... folk is probably more accurate at this point... it's about 15 weeks out from Vegas '08.

I just finished a 32 mile week, capped off by a 14 mile long run that I ran at an 8:32 pace. That's pretty slow for me now. Last week's 11-miler was run at a leisurely 7:50 pace. My easy runs are generally in the 7:40 range.

I was looking over my old posts from last year, and it struck me how bad my memory is. I was thinking that I was a little disappointed that I haven't gotten much faster since last year, but then I checked my times and realized I'm FLYING compared to 2007. I haven't done any speed workouts, as my running coach seems to be focusing more on high-mileage and tempo runs, but my overall pace has picked up quite a bit. I know that I'll be getting up into the 40+ range for weekly mileage, and if I can just tweak the diet a little it I'll be the leanest and fastest I've ever been in December.

My goal is still 3:30, as it eluded me last year. I think I could probably aim for faster, but I don't want to set myself up to overreach. If I run a 3:25, I'll be thrilled, but if I can just hit that damn 3:30, that's enough for me. I think that a December of 2010 Boston-Qualifying attempt might be in the cards. If I can maintain this volume of running for another 2 years... I think my body might just be able to push itself fast enough for the 3:10.

I will be doing at least one half-marathon in the next couple of months, so that will be a great gauge to see how I might do this December.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Blog is BACK... who am I kidding?

Not that anyone will see this post, but I feel like updating my blog. Here's what's happened since my last post:

I've been working with a running coach at the Boston Running Center. He's had me on a training program since January. I've been logging an average of 28 miles a week, with a high of 36 miles. My running has improved tremendously.

I ran a half-marathon in 1:45 on a VERY hot day... on a cool day I bet I could run a 1:40.

I ran a 5K in 21:04... also on a hot day. I can definitely break 21:00, and I'd love to run with a pacer to see how close to 20:00 I could get.

I ran a 5-mile race at a 7:09 pace... definitely my best race performance ever. I was passing people the entire race, including a lot of guys who looked like they had NO business being passed.

My running is actually fine... my nutrition is NOT. I'm toying with the idea of basically going healthy "cold turkey." I know that I'm addicted to food the way a junkie is addicted to smack... I want to quit, but as soon as I get hungry and there is crap to be had... I have it. I've also been very, very stressed with work lately, and I've developed a habit of having 1-2 beers or a glass of wine probably 4-5 nights a week. I definitely don't get drunk, but I have to admit that I've been using those drinks as a way to de-stress, which is a TERRIBLE idea. I've tried in the past to give myself rules about "1 glass of wine 2 nights a week" or "i can have dessert once every 2 days" or something insane like that, but I always cheat.

I really need some sort of weight over my head. Signing up for a marathon works for running, as does having a running coach I'm accountable to. For eating / boozing... what can I do? Maybe I can bribe myself. One month of no weekday boozing and healthy weekday eating would get me... what?

How about a new desk chair?


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Blog is BACK!!!

Life and other miscellaneous annoyances have caused me to fall out of touch with my beloved blog. I am going to attempt to get back into the habit of posting.

Where to start?

I have started working with a running coach at the Boston Running Center. The biggest change in my running so far is the fact that now I run 5 times a week, no cross-training, no treadmills. I have to say that running outside in the winter in Boston is one of the most character building activities a person can engage in. I can't wait for the temperature to crack 50 degrees and stop raining.

I logged 26 miles last week, and I'm on pace to log another 25-28 this week. I've NEVER run this many miles outside of a marathon training program, so I'm a little worried about burning out my legs, but my coach seems to think they'll adapt. Eventually he wants me to get up to 6 days of running a week, and probably 40-45 miles a week in total.

Why the massive increase in mileage? Weeelllll...

My long-term goal is to run a 3:10 marathon and qualify for Boston. Just how "long-term" this goal is hasn't really become apparent yet. I'm guessing that, at the bare minimum, it will take me 2 full years of hard training from this point on to get that fast. I could see it taking as much as 5 years, though I hope it doesn't.

In order to hit that goal, I need to train specifically for it. My running program that I'm developing with the coach is one that is geared towards one marathon a year in the winter. I will be running many 5K's, 10K's, and a couple of half-marathons throughout the year to push myself and gauge how I'm progressing, but the ultimate goal of each year-long training cycle is to run a marathon in the winter.

From what I've read and heard about from other runners, you need to have a pretty substantial base mileage to get your body in good enough shape to maintain that pace for that long. It doesn't help that I'm 5'6" and stocky either. It seems that most people who can run a 3:10 have a weekly mileage in the 40-50 miles per week range. That seems pretty absurd to me, as the most I've EVER run in one week was 35 miles, which was during a week which had a 20 mile long run. I'd need to average 8-10 miles per run to get that kind of mileage in one week.

So that's that. I've also started doing running drills, which are strange. I've done buttkicks, heelkicks, and striders so far. I'll get into that stuff in my next post. In the meantime, I hope everyone is well, and I promise it won't be a month before my next post.