Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June 16th Pacers - Greenberry Run

Time: 41 minutes
Distance: 5.3
Weather: 80% humidity
Temp: 70
Time: 5:00 AM
Terrain: Flat and dry, no rain today
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/380123906652446749

Comments: I went at a pretty comfortable pace, was able to hold a conversation pace the whole way, until the end when I was heading up the hill pushing hard.

I felt a little sick before the run, felt fine during it, but then felt pretty sick after the run again. I'm sure everything will be fine, just annoying that's all.

Days until MCM: 131 days

Saturday, June 13, 2009

June 13th Pacers - Long Run

Time: 1:37
Distance: 10.8 miles
Weather: Warm, not to humid
Temp: 76
Time: 7:20 PM
Terrain: The route was pretty flat all around, pretty much all paved.
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/dc/washington/461124493687082148

Comments: I went at my own pace and enjoyed the run quite a bit. I was supposed to go 12 miles but made a mistake on the route and only did 10.8, oh well! Did I realized how much further along I am from last year, when I got an e-mail telling me my run should be 5 miles, and last year I was following the virtual trainer pretty closely! The route was also a good portion of the MCM so that's always good training.

Days until MCM: 134 days

Thursday, June 4, 2009

June 4 Pacers - Bagel Run

Time: 48:50
Distance: 5.88
Weather: Slight mist for most of the run, 84% humidity
Temp: 63
Time: 5:30 AM
Terrain: Typical Thursday route, relatively flat, and a killer hill at the end. All pavement!
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/790123945070498975

Comments: We went at what felt like a pretty nice pace, and we kept it consistent through the end. Felt no pain in my foot again, so it seems like I am good to go and to train hard.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June 2nd Pacers - Greenberry Run

Time: 43 minutes
Distance: 5.3
Weather: Dry, but 84% humidity
Temp: 70
Time: 5:00 AM
Terrain: Flat and dry on the paths, it was much nicer then last week!
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/380123906652446749

Comments: We took off at a pretty decent pace and maintained it for most of the run. I started to get a little tired near the end, but pushed hard and still finished with the group.

My left foot has been bothering me slightly so I did go out a little slow, but once I was warmed up my foot felt completely fine. I think it just needed to get warmed up, let's hope no injury arises from it!

Days until MCM: 145 days

Thursday, May 28, 2009

May 28 Pacers - Bagel Run

Time: 47:50 Minutes
Distance: 5.88
Weather: It was dry but very humid, 93% humidity
Temp: 64
Time: 5:30 AM
Terrain: Typical Thursday route, relatively flat, and a killer hill at the end. All pavement!
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/790123945070498975

Comments: I went at a pretty comfortable pace, but as the training continues that pace continues to get faster, which is always great. After my run was over my legs felt a little sluggish and I developed a nice blister on a toe on my left foot, boo!

I also was told by someone much more experienced then me that I need to look into pro-nated shoes, so it's time to switch shoes up again next time around.

Days until MCM: 150 days

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May 26th Pacers - Greenberry Run

Time: 43 minutes,
Distance: 5.3
Weather: Pouring rain!
Temp: 69
Time: 5:00 AM
Terrain: Hill at the end stunk, and flooding everywhere we ran
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/380123906652446749

Comments: I went at a pretty quick pace I felt, but I started to slow as my feet became more and more soaked. By the end of the run I felt like I was running on sponges!

Days until MCM: 152 days

Saturday, May 23, 2009

May 23rd - Long Run

Time: 1:03
Distance: 7 miles
Weather: Cold!
Temp: 76
Time: 7:30 PM
Terrain: The route was pretty flat, a bit of a downhill early and straight up hill at the end...other than that though pretty flat and paved the whole way
Route: To be mapped

Comments: We went at a pretty quick pace early on but when we hit Georgetown we hit massive tourists and got a little tired with the weaving and the heat from all the cars...we relaxed a bit going over the Key Bridge and then tried to pick it back up heading up the hills of Lee Highway but were still pretty tired. When it was over, we did 9 minute mile average and felt great about it!

Days until MCM: 155 days

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

May 19th Pacers - Greenbery Run

Time: 43 minutes,
Distance: 5.3
Weather: Cold!
Temp: 45
Time: 5:00 AM
Terrain: The route is pretty flat, except that stupid hill!
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/380123906652446749

Comments: Today we went on a pretty quick pace, and near the end I was feeling a bit tired. I was able to push hard and really work myself this morning. After the run I had a great protein shake and a 15 minute nap after my shower...that was amazing! No shin pain or any other pain...so I'm back to feeling great!

Days until MCM: 159 days

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 12th Pacers - Greenberry Run

Time: 42 minutes, give or take
Distance: 5.3Weather: Dry...but VERY cold
Temp: 50
Time: 5:00 AM
Terrain: Relatively flat, except the hill at the end, which is slowly becoming a cake walk!
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/380123906652446749

Comments: I started pretty quick and felt like I kept up the pace the whole way through. As we got to the hill at the end I still was full of energy and finished pretty strong. I am getting really good at the short distance runs and am slowly adding some speed onto it, hopefully it translates over to the long runs!

Days until MCM: 166 days

Monday, May 11, 2009

May 9th Pacers - Long Run

Here's saturdays run, just a few days late!

Time: about 90 minutes
Distance: 5.88Weather: Humid!
Temp: 74
Time: 8:00 AM
Terrain: Relatively flat, except half way through going up and down Capitol Hill
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/run/united-states/dc/washington/938833916090
Comments: I started out WAY TO FAST, apparently we were going at about a 7:55 pace for the first 3-4 miles, which I REALLY regretted at the end of the 10 miles. I had to walk a couple times, once at aboug 7.5 and once at 9.5ish...oh well, I will get used to the heat and learn how to pace myself better as the training moves on.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

May 7th Pacers - Bagel Run

Time: 48 Minutes
Distance: 5.88
Weather: Rain stopped shortly before the run, it was amazing!
Temp: 60
Time: 5:30 AM
Terrain: Typical thursday route, relatively flat, and a killer hill at the end. All pavement!
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/790123945070498975

Comments: So I have run now for 3 days in a row, and boy my legs are tired! I went at a quicker pace then I'm used to, but it felt great to go that quick and just cruise, but at the end the hill seemed that much worse! When I am going at a slightly slower pace the hill beats you up but I really feel like I am conquering the hill because I am almost done and I still have energy, whereas today...I was counting the steps until I reached the top of the hill and the end of that run! So tomorrow I get an extra 2 hours of sleep and wake up at 6 rather than 4...CAN'T WAIT!
Days until MCM: 171 days

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May 6th Short Run

Time: 25 Minutes
Distance: 2.8
Weather: No rain...paths were wet but it was dry!
Temp: 56
Time: 5:00 AM
Terrain: The first half is pretty much down hill and the second half is pretty much all downhill...not a flat spot at all!
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/116124160357440198

Comments: I wanted to start picking up my weekly mileage and going to 3 weekdays and a weekend run, and today I finally got out of bed to get it done! I did a short run just to help me build it up gradually, I think the goal is to make this about a 5-6 mile run where I am going as slow as I can, just to help me get out one more day a week but not to injure myself. Today I was going out trying to go as slow as I could...and I ran about a 8:50 - 9 minute mile...I'm bad at the whole "go slow" deal but maybe I'll get better at it and can teach myself to go at 9 1/2-10 minute miles (but I doubt it).

Days until MCM: 172 days

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May 5th Pacers - Greenberry Run

Time: 42:32
Distance: 5.3
Weather: Rain clouds were looming, but not a drop fell!
Temp: 53
Time: 5:00 AM
Terrain: Relatively flat until the end, all pavement as usual
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/380123906652446749

Comments: We ran at what I thought was a pretty quick pace, and in the end it was moderately quick, about 8 minute miles. I don't think I could maintain this pace for a whole marathon, not yet at least but maybe soon. After the run I went right to my chocolate soy and strawberry protein shake and iced my left knee out of precaution for 15-20 minutes. My knees haven't been hurting at all during or after the run, but I'm trying to be cautious and make sure they don't hurt!

Days until MCM: 173 days

Monday, May 4, 2009

Spring Marathons

So now that I'm picking up training for the Marine Corps Marathon, I'm definitely feeling 'out of shape'...yes I know it's stupid that someone running 10 miles and still having plenty of energy can't possibly be out of shape...but I was at a much different fitness level after last years MCM, and I wish I was going into this training, at that level. Therefore I have made a decision that I must run a marathon this spring, but I'm struggling between which two to run. I think I already know which one but if anyone wants to give me some insight, feel free to e-mail me or comment.

Washington, DC
March 20, 2010

This is one that I almost ran last year, it offers a half option as well but I think I would definitely do it as a full, just to force myself to stay in peak shape over the winter. I first heard about it last year but decided against running it, because running in a marathon a month after my wedding would have meant I did not train seriously at all and what's the point of shelling out for a race that your not trained for.

- Located in DC which = no hotel or travel costs
- The hills in the early part of the race will help me learn how to run a smart race
- A small field will allow me to run a race without being surrounded start to finish
- I'll have some friends running the half that might be able to help pace me


- It's a hilly course early on so the chance of a PR is slim to none
- The course is a little further north then the VA Beach marathon, so it's just that much colder!
- It's not the most scenic course in the world (but you do get to run the mall)

All in all I think this is the race I'm going to do if I really do sign up for a spring marathon, but here's the other race.

Virginia Beach, VA
March 21, 2009

I thought about running this one as well last year. I heard about this race (as well as the national) at the MCM Expo and it seems appealing, if I don't do this one this year...I will definitely make sure it makes it onto my calendar in the future. Here's the pro's and con's

- Weather should be a little bit warmer then Washington, DC
- You get to run by the beach!
- It excites me if for no other reason it's in honor of St. Patricks day...my birthday!
- It is apparently a very flat course so it is definitely a BQ course if I train well (hence why I may do it in 2 years not this year)

- I have to travel which creates extra costs - food, hotel, travel
- No one else I know is running it so I would definitely run the whole thing alone
- The beach, though scenic could create a killer head wind

So I don't know which to do, National is also less expensive if I register early (July 4-12)!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

May 2nd - Pacers Saturday Fun Fun

Time: About 85-90 minutes
Distance: 10.1
Weather: A little humid, but I'm getting used to it
Temp: 61
Time: 8:00 AM
Terrain: Felt relatively flat, but their was a little bit of a hill according to the elevation chart. The best part was that most of it was on gravel so my legs were very appreciative.
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/549124130640298310

Comments: I got to run mostly on gravel today which made the run very nice on the legs and I felt no pain. After the run I had a great protein shake with frozen strawberries, a banana, and chocolate soy milk...yumm

Days until MCM: 176 days

Thursday, April 30, 2009

April 30th Pacers - Bagel Run

Time: 52:30
Distance: 5.6
Weather: Cool, but nice
Temp: 51
Time: 5:30 AM
Terrain: Pretty flat until the end, I got the whole hill today!
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/790123945070498975

Comments: Took it all at my own pace and though I felt kinda tired about 3/4 of the way through but at the end as I was going into the 2nd half of the hill, I felt a surge of energy and finished really strong

Days until MCM: 178 days

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 28th Pacers - Greenberry Run

Time: 40
Distance: 5.3
Weather: Very warm
Temp: 70
Time: 5:00 AM
Terrain: Pretty flat until the end, luckily Tuesday means only half of the hill!
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/380123906652446749

Comments: I went at a moderately quick pace but I was feeling a little dehydrated/cotton mouthed about half way through. It was the first day of REAL heat and the humidity I so despise in Washington, DC. I finished the run strong, but definitely felt a little tired after. During the day my right shin area hurt a little, let's hope it doesn't persist.

Days until MCM: 180 days

Saturday, April 25, 2009

April 25th Pacers - Saturday Fun Run

Time: 1:15
Distance: 8.84
Weather: Warm and dry!
Temp: 61
Time: 8:15 AM
Terrain: Pretty flat all around
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/247124067470535475

Comments: I went at what I thought was a pretty comfortable pace but I didn't have anyone running in my pace group. I ran bout 9-9:30, I was supposed to run 10 miles but when I got lost I cut about a mile off of my run accidentally. I felt great all the way until the end, but I definitely was ready to stop at the end because it was a lot warmer then I've been used to lately. I'm looking forward to getting to the double digit miles soon!

Days until MCM: 183 days

Friday, April 24, 2009

Another article on caffeine

I feel like I keep reading why I should be drinking coffee to load up on caffiene prior to a run...here's another one I came across yesterday while reading my twice weekly Runners World e-mail!

From the May 2009 issue of Runner's World

No more coffee guilt—caffeine boosts leg and brain power.
By Liz Applegate Ph.D.

Run Longer, Think Faster
In a study done last year, researchers gave cyclists an energy bar with or
without caffeine (equal to one cup of coffee) before and during a long, hard
ride. They found that cyclists who have caffeine ride farther and think faster
on cognitive tests than the no-caffeine group—useful news to runners in
endurance events and adventure races, where quick decision-making is key.

Increase Sprint Speed
Consider drinking a cup of coffee before your next speed workout:
Australian scientists gave fit athletes a 300-milligram dose of caffeine one
hour before running five sets of 6 x 20-meter sprints. They found that runners
who have caffeine sprint faster than those who don't have caffeine. Researchers
think the stimulant enhances reaction time and running speed.

Recover More Quickly
Runners know they need carbs postrun to rebuild their glycogen stores, but
a recent study suggests caffeine may also enhance recovery. Cyclists rode hard
for two consecutive days to drain their glycogen stores. They then drank a carb
beverage with or without caffeine. Researchers found that having a drink with
caffeine rebuilds glycogen stores 66 percent more than a carb-only drink.

Hydrate Smart
Many people have heard caffeine causes dehydration. Most studies, though,
show you can have up to 550 milligrams of caffeine (or about five cups of
coffee) without affecting hydration levels. That means you can have quite a few
caff einated sports drinks and gels while running without risking dehydration;
more than 550 milligrams will have a diuretic effect.

Keep Bones Healthy
A few studies have shown a link between bone-mineral loss and caffeine—but
a close look at the data reveals that caffeine itself doesn't cause the mineral
loss. Many coffee lovers may drink it in place of beverages rich in calcium
(such as milk), and as a result, decrease their intake of this
bone-strengthening mineral.

Mocha-Madness Recovery

The combination of carbs, protein, and caffeine (about 100
milligrams) in this shake will help boost muscle recovery after a hard run.
2 ounces espresso (or very strong coffee)
8 ounces low-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons sweetened ground chocolate
1 banana
5 ice cubes
Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth
and frothy.
FAT: 6.5 G

Measuring Up
Just how much jolt is in that gel, soda or
CHOCOLATE MILK (8 ounces) - 5 MG
35 MG
BOTTLED ICED TEA (16-ounce bottle) - 40 MG
DIET COKE (12-ounce
can) - 45 MG
CLIF SHOT BLOKS (3 bloks) - 50 MG
- 58 MG
RED BULL (1 can) - 80 MG
ESPRESSO (2 ounces) - 100 MG
DRIP (8 ounces) - 130 MG
STARBUCKS CAFE LATTE (16 ounces) - 150 MG

Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 23rd Pacers - Bagel Run

Time: 48:00
Distance: 5.88
Weather: Dry all around!Temp: 45
Time: 5:30 AM
Terrain: Pretty flat, until the end
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/790123945070498975

Comments: I went a little bit harder than normal today. I tried to keep a slightly faster pace and felt it near the end as I was on the hills. I don't have an exact time but I think I finished about 30 seconds to a minute faster than normal. After the run my legs were a little sore but nothing that won't go away by tomorrow morning, probably should ice tonight. I think it's time to pick it up to 3 days a week Tues-Wed-Thurs and then a weekend run as well!

Days until MCM: 185 days

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Top Boston Qualifiers

So I just read an article about qualifying for Boston, though I have no plans to be able to get a BQ this year...here's a list of races with the top qualfiers, excluding the Boston Marathon itself.

1) Bay State, Lowell, Mass. (34.1%) Oct. 18
2) Mohawk-Hudson River, Albany, N. Y. (33.4%) Oct. 11
3) Inland Trail, Elyria, Oh. (29.7%), Nov. 1
4) Last Chance for Boston, Columbus, Oh. (27.8%), Feb. 14, 2010
5) California International, Sacramento (26.6%), Dec. 6
6) Tucson (26.2%), Dec. 13
7) Newport, Ore. (24.8%), June 5, 2010
8) Tallahassee, Fla. (24.6%), Feb. 7, 2010
9) Run for the Red, Poconos, Penn. (24.5%), May 16, 2010
10) Wineglass, Corning, N. Y. (24.2%), Oct. 4

I'll have to look into which ones I might want to race...or maybe I'll do another one that's somewhere fun!

April 21st Pacers - Greenberry Run

Time: 44:12
Distance: 5.31
Weather: Wet roads but dry weather
Temp: 51
Time: 5:00 AM
Terrain: Pretty flat, until the end
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/380123906652446749

Comments: I took a nice and easy pace throughout the run. As I got to the hills at the end I started to feel tired but someone trailing behind me came up and helped push me along to the finish which helped me finish pretty strong. It was the first day I could comfortably run in shorts and a t-shirt! woo hoo!

Days until MCM: 187 days

Monday, April 20, 2009

Boston Marathon

So today was the Boston Marathon and I got lucky and with my large monitor I was able to watch the whole thing and still do work! How great is that? So a quick recap from what I saw, Ryan Hall set a fast pace early on...as fast as a predicted finish of 2:03 but then it slowed up a bit and he fell off a little at the end, but not because he was dead, just because the Kenyan and Ethiopian up front sped up a bit. He ended up finishing 3rd and I thought it was great for an American to reach the podium! In other news the Women also had an American up front, Kara Goucher, she lead most of the race or was in the lead pack but at the end the two other women (Also Kenyan and Ethiopian) raced for the win while Goucher finished just a few seconds behind. Great race for the Americans this year, here's to hoping next year an American tops the podiums for the men and women!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The legal stimulant....CAFFEINE

Lately I have been on a quest to reduce caffeine from my diet as much as possible in an attempt to use it to my advantage on race days. I just had coffee this morning (my 2nd cup in 3 days) so I figured I should remind myself of why I am trying to get rid of it. Just remember the no. 1 rule, "nothing new on race day"
Personal Best

WELDON JOHNSON first tried caffeine as a performance enhancer in 1998. He was not a coffee drinker but had heard that caffeine could make him run faster. So he went to a convenience store before a race and drank a cup of coffee.

For the first time in his life, he ran 10 kilometers in less than 30 minutes.

“I remember being really wired before the race,” he said in an e-mail message. “My body was shaking.”

From then on, he was a convert.

Mr. Johnson, a founder of LetsRun.com, would avoid caffeine, even in soft drinks, for a few weeks before he competed in a race, wanting to have the full stimulant effect.

“It may have been a huge placebo effect, but I swore by it,” Mr. Johnson said. “Having a cup of coffee exactly one hour before the race was part of my routine.”

Or maybe it was not a placebo effect.

Caffeine, it turns out, actually works. And it is legal, one of the few performance enhancers that is not banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

So even as sports stars from baseball players to cyclists to sprinters are pilloried for using performance enhancing drugs, one of the best studied performance enhancers is fine for them or anyone else to use. And it is right there in a cup of coffee or a can of soda.

Exercise physiologists have studied caffeine’s effects in nearly every iteration: Does it help sprinters? Marathon runners? Cyclists? Rowers? Swimmers? Athletes whose sports involve stopping and starting like tennis players? The answers are yes and yes and yes and yes.

Starting as long ago as 1978, researchers have been publishing caffeine studies. And in study after study, they concluded that caffeine actually does improve performance. In fact, some experts, like Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky of McMaster University in Canada, are just incredulous that anyone could even ask if caffeine has a performance effect.

“There is so much data on this that it’s unbelievable,” he said. “It’s just unequivocal that caffeine improves performance. It’s been shown in well-respected labs in multiple places around the world.”

The only new questions were how it exerts its effects and how little caffeine is needed to get an effect.

For many years, researchers thought the sole reason people could exercise harder and longer after using caffeine was that the compound helped muscles use fat as a fuel, sparing the glycogen stored in muscles and increasing endurance. But there were several hints that something else was going on. For example, caffeine improved performance even in short intense bursts of exercise when endurance is not an issue.

Now, Dr. Tarnopolsky and others report that caffeine increases the power output of muscles by releasing calcium that is stored in muscle. The effect can enable athletes to keep going longer or to go faster in the same length of time. Caffeine also affects the brain’s sensation of exhaustion, that feeling that it’s time to stop, you can’t go on any more. That may be one way it improves endurance, Dr. Tarnopolsky said.

The performance improvement in controlled laboratory settings can be 20 to 25 percent, Dr. Tarnopolsky said. But in the real world, including all comers, the improvement may average about 5 percent, still significant if you want to get your best time or even win a race.

For years, researchers believed that you needed about 5 to 6 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight. An 80-kilogram, or 176-pound man, for example, would need about 400 milligrams of caffeine, or 20 ounces of coffee.

Now, Louise M. Burke, the head of sports nutrition department of the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, reports that athletes get the full caffeine effect with as little as 1 milligram of caffeine per kilogram of body weight. Instead of 20 ounces of coffee, a 176-pound man could drink 4 ounces of coffee, or about two 12-ounce cans of Coke.

It’s also possible to get diminishing returns.

Terry Graham, chairman of the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences of the University of Guelph in Canada, found that at 9 milligrams per kilogram, athletes actually did worse.

Many athletes and coaches are not caffeine fans. Mr. Johnson said he has tried to spread the word and gets frustrated when runners don’t use caffeine — so much so, he said, that when he sees the team his brother coaches at Cornell, he thinks, why aren’t they all going to Starbucks?

Mike Perry, a friend who is a sculler who has competed nationally and internationally, said that, with one exception, the rowers he knew did not use caffeine.

“People would have psychological issues with using it,” he said. “They would see it as against the spirit of the law, even though it’s not against the law.”

Still, Mr. Perry wondered whether caffeine would help him. When he retired from rowing last July, he decided to do a randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled experiment on himself.

He noticed that the 200-milligram caffeine pills look exactly like Vitamin Cpills, allowing him to code the pills so that he would not know which one he had taken. For eight months he tested himself once a week, taking two pills an hour before working out on a rowing machine. Then he worked as hard as he could for an hour, recording the results, also recording his guess about whether the pills he took contained caffeine. Mr. Perry, who also is a runner, said that an hour on the rowing machine is the equivalent of an hour of very fast running on the road.

When he finished his study and broke the code late last month, he was astonished to see how much the caffeine had affected him. He was stronger — his power output was 3 percent greater — and faster. In fact, he said the average speed for his tests when he used caffeine was faster than his fastest speed when he was not using caffeine.

He also guessed right most of the time about whether the pills he took were caffeine or vitamin C. Mr. Perry said he is now sorry that he never used caffeine when he was competing. “It would have been a pretty harmless way to do better,” he said.

Others, including my son Stefan, disagree. I urged Stefan to try caffeine and he did. Once.

He took a caffeine pill before a track workout that involved running a mile very quickly, resting briefly, and running a mile again, repeatedly. Like Mr. Johnson, he was wired and shaking. But, Stefan said, he could not recover between miles. His heart was pounding and just would not slow down. He said he has no desire to experience that again.

Then there is the problem my running partner Jen Davis and I have. We love coffee and probably have caffeine in our blood all the time except during the middle of the night (it lasts for hours).

SO would we do better if we weaned ourselves from caffeine and then took a pill or two before a race?

I asked Dr. Tarnopolsky. It turns out, he said, that you get habituated to two of caffeine’s effects right away. Caffeine can make you urinate, but only if you are not used to it.

“Athletes do not get dehydrated from caffeine,” he added, “contrary to popular myth.”

And caffeine does increase the heart rate and blod pressure in people who are not regular uses. “But after three or four days, that potentially negative effect is gone,” Dr. Tarnopolsky said.

The beneficial effects on exercise, though, remain. Even if you are a regular coffee drinker, if you have a cup of coffee before a workout or a race, you will do better, Dr. Tarnopolsky said. “There is no question about it,” he added.

He puts the caffeine research to use when he trains and competes. Dr. Tarnopolsky is an elite triathlete, ski orienteer and trail runner who has competed at national and international levels. And, he said, he loves coffee: “I love the smell. I love the taste. It’s heaven.”

And before a race? He always has a cup.

So after reading this article again I guess I will revise my strategy just a little bit, I won't be cutting caffeine out completely but I am going to probably go out and get some caffeine pills and experiment with them prior to running. I already stick completely to the GU's with caffeine...my favorite is actually Vanilla, the kind almost everyone else hates! So here's my new equation!
http://www.runclub.com.au/images/products/vanilla_bean.jpg+http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/files/2009/04/starbucks1.jpg= New PR's

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Weekday Run Elevation Charts

I just posted an elevation chart that I managed to get from todays bike ride and figured I would post the elevation chart from my weekday runs...Now you'll know why I hate the end of the runs...especially the Bagel Run

(Greenberry Run 5.31 miles)

(Brooklyn Bagel 5.87 miles)

April 18th - Bridgewater Bike Ride

Time: 45 Minutes
Distance: 11
Weather: Sunny and gorgeous!
Temp: 72
Time: 11:45 AM
Terrain: Pretty flat, until the end
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/nj/bridgewater/938124006823820115

Comments: So I decided yesterday to come to New Jersey since Erin had to come up for a Shower and I figured I could come and borrow her mom's bike and go for a ride. It has been a long time since I've really gone and rode a bike, and the first time that I was doing it to truly get a workout and cross train. After the first mile I had a brand new respect for people that ride bikes as my legs hurt more from just a short amount of time on the bike than when I run 5-6 miles...but I think that has to do with working a different muscle set. I kept on going though saying to myself, if I ran a marathon I can take a stupid bike 11 miles! In all Liz claimed it was a pretty flat route I was taking, but those hills seemed to be insane and I would definitely not say that was the case, but maybe if I rode more often and at a slightly lower intensity maybe I would've done better over the hills! After it was over I was happy to have the workout over with and a nice glass of Orange Juice...but I wish I had a bike to ride more often! OH and if I rode more often I would definitely need a way to get more butt padding...THAT HURTS!

Days until MCM: 190 days
(this isn't the actual bike I used...it was a black Sobe Cannondale)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

April 16th Pacers - Bagel Run

Time: 51:20
Distance: 5.9
Weather: Wet roads but dry weather
Temp: 40
Time: 5:30 AM
Terrain: Pretty flat, until the end
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/790123945070498975

Comments: I took it pretty slow and had the end had plenty of energy and really killed the finishing hill. After the run I had some gatorade and a protein shake...tasty! During the day I started to get exhausted but I think that's mostly just because of stress from work, not so much from a long run. I also ran to and from the run...so add about 1.5 on top of my run!

Days until MCM: 192 days

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 14th Pacers - Greenberry Run

Time: 46:28
Distance: 5.31
Weather: Rainy/Misty...and a little wind
Temp: 45
Time: 5:00 AM
Terrain: Pretty flat, until the end
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/380123906652446749

Comments: I went at my own pace for most of the run, and it felt great to really feel like I'm in control of my pace and not how my knee feels or anything else. I had enough left in my body at the end to really go after the hills at the end...made me feel good

Days until MCM: 194 days

Thursday, April 9, 2009

April 9th Pacers-Bagel Run

Time: 48 mins
Distance: 5.9
Weather: Dry, great running weather
Temp: 41Time: 5:30 AM
Terrain: Pretty flat, until the end
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/790123945070498975

Comments: I started at a comfortable pace but about half way through I started feeling so good I sped up a bit...big mistake by the time I got up Marine Corps Memorial Hill I was DEAD...overall I felt great though!

Days until MCM: 198 days

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My running shoes

So I just switched to a new pair of running shoes last week...I just passed 20 miles on them today, and they feel great so I figured I'd throw in a plug for them.

I used to run with Brooks Defyance shoes but the new model hurt my foot for some reason, now I'm going with the Mizuno Wave shoes

Finishing your race strong

This morning after my run, I got my weekly Runners World e-mail and they had an article about finishing a race strong, and some training to do so that your still strong at the end.

Fatigue Intervals Instead of your normal 15-minute warmup before your long intervals, run 50 to 60 minutes. Your legs will likely feel tired, so don't worry if your interval splits fall off by a second or two per lap. Running fast while fatigued forces your body to recruit muscle fibers that might otherwise go untrained. Do this workout every third or fourth interval session.

Fast-Finish Long Run In the last third of your run, drop the pace by 20 to 30 seconds per mile. Concentrate on holding good form, which will help you stay relaxed as you push the pace. Make every second or third long run a fast-finish workout.

Mile Breakdown Do a two-mile warmup, then a mile at 5-K race pace, 1200 at one second per lap faster than the previous mile, 1000 at two seconds per lap faster than last mile, 800 at three seconds per lap faster, 600 at four seconds per lap faster, and 400 at five seconds per lap faster, with recovery equal to the time of the last interval. Incorporate this workout into your long interval rotation, and do it the Monday or Tuesday before a Sunday race to prime your speed for competition.

Step-Down Tempo Workout Start this 10-mile run at 1:20 per mile slower than your usual five-mile tempo pace. Every two miles drop the pace by 20 seconds per mile (your progression would look something like this: 8:05-8:05-7:45-7:45-7:25-7:25-7:05-7:05-6:45-6:45). While only the last two miles are at your normal tempo pace, the fact that you ran eight descending miles beforehand will make the pace feel more challenging. Replace your usual tempo run with this step-down approach about every third threshold workout.


April 7th Pacers-Greenberry run

Time: 45 mins
Distance: 5.31
Weather: Dry but VERY windy
Temp: 41
Time: 5:00 AM
Terrain: Pretty flat, until the end
Route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/us/va/arlington/380123906652446749
Difficulty: Moderate

Comments: I started off a little fast but then the wind hit me hard so I just slowed up and left my group to run on my own pace. Went through the whole run with no pain in the knees. I also went at the Marine Corps hill hard, and felt great after!

Days until MCM: 200 days

Monday, April 6, 2009

Purpose of this blog

OK, so if you know me I'm not REALLY into blogging, but I am trying to work on a new way to track my running progress and keep some running commentary on how I'm doing. Therefore, the overall goal of this blog is to help me leave some data on my runs to come back to and some commentary on that run HOPEFULLY by the end of the day that I ran said run. So if I felt like crap at the end of the run, I should post that, if I felt great I will obviously put that here as well.

If you decide to follow the blog...great, if not oh well it's not really intended for you anyway :)

Here I am with the Greenberry runners after a 5 AM run

Where I am now...

2008 Marine Corps Marathon (PR)
Chip Time: 4:05:53
Overall Place: 4770 / 18279
Gender Place: 3608 / 11129
Division Place: 362 / 826
Overall Mile Pace: 9:23


Current Goal: 3:45:00 2009 Marine Corps Marathon
Future Goal: 3:10:00 (BQ)