Thursday, November 11, 2010

My 2011 racing schedule

In the past few days I have started to think hard about what races I want to run in the New Year.  I threw around the idea of running the Shamrock Marathon in March but after thinking about it long and hard I don't have the confidence that I will have the time to get my conditioning to where I want it and hit the goals I am thinking are attainable for me.  Instead I'm going to do a spring Half Marathon, which I did last year and really enjoyed, and a fall Half, then possibly the Marine Corps Marathon.  Below are the races I'm thinking I want to run, all but 1 is organized by Pacers Running store which always puts on a pretty high quality race.  Maybe I'll sneak a 5k in a few different places, but who knows.  I'm not very good at getting my self all excited about running a 5k or making it part of my training routine, at the same time if I don't have a big race on my calendar then I am less likely to keep my training up.

April 10 - G.W. Parkway Classic - Tentative
October 30 - Marine Corps Marathon - Tentative

Monday, November 1, 2010

Marine Corps Marathon Weekend Recap

Despite not running in the Marine Corps Marathon this weekend, my life was surrounded with the MCM festivities.  On Saturday I spent the day working at the expo for Injinji and GU which was a great experience and I'll probably make a new post about that in the days to come.  In short though, GU is a company I have supported since starting running, it's pretty much the only gel I've consistently used and have always preferred.  Injinji was a new company to me, they produce 5 finger socks and they're super comfortable and help prevent blisters, I'll likely begin using them for long runs and report back accordingly.

Sunday morning I went to the MCM to cheer on the runners, specifically one of my good friends Ryan.  I met him 3 years ago at mile 23 as we were making the turn in Crystal City, and have been great friends since.  In 2008 we finished the race together and in 2009 we started together, so in 2010 without me running I felt it was a good idea to cheer for him.  I caught him at 10.5, 15, 17.5, and 19.5, and he finished with a 4:40 time, not bad for taking a month off from training!

I think I have figured out my running calendar for 2011, I'll make a post about that in the next couple of days and start training hard to make the goal times!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Getting back in shape

Right now I'm working on getting back in shape, I feel like it's going to be a long road back to feeling like I can handle some of the longer distances.  I had planned on running 4 miles, but I must have hit something wrong in the mapping program and I ended up doing a little over 3. 

The route was on some back streets and it was pretty dark and it had a decent uphill both ways so I wasn't to upset that I went a little short.  I feel no pain in my foot and the only thing I really need to work on is getting conditioning back up and not injuring myself in the process.  Luckily I have some good routes in the area that are nice and hilly, which will provide a nice butt whooping.  I want to try and get another run in sometime in the next few days and start the 5 mile route home sometime next week.

Marine Corps Marathon Medal

The Marine Corps Marathon unveiled this years medal.  As soon as I saw the new logo for this year I knew it was going to be a sweet one, and I was not disappointed, except for the fact that I won't be getting one around my neck this year.  Check it out!

Pacers 2011 Running Series

Anyone living in the Washington, DC area the slate for the best races around was just released.  Check it out here!

One of the great things about the Pacers Running Series is that you get awards and gear depending on how many points you earn, based on how many races you run.  All of their races are professionally run and a great time.  Last year I went to quite a few of the early races and despite the cold weather everyone was having a great time.  My favorite was the Four Court Four, it's a 4 miler that starts on a huge down hill then finishes on a brutal up hill, but the post race party is at a pub...what can be better?  Go to the Pacers web-site for more information on the races!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's been a while!

It's been a long time since I've blogged, mostly because it's been a while since I've run anything near consistently. Around Memorial Day I ran with a really good friend Ryan and I was feeling in great shape, but didn't get around to blogging it. Over the next week the weather started to peak and anyone that knows DC humidity, knows that running at 5-6 PM is unbearable then with all the humidity. The only decent time to run is 5 AM and that just does not work for me anymore. As a result, I was pretty much forced into a break for the summer and now that it's cool I'm back at it.

I ran today though, which is what is bringing about the next bit of rambling about my new training regiment, my goals for the next few months...and whatever else comes to mind in the process.

So last week I got in 2 miles, first time in a while and I felt like I might have hurt myself a little bit, but with the cool weather that is upon us and some new ideas for what I want to accomplish I felt that there was no better day than today to start myself back up and I did a nice and flat 3 miles by doing 6 laps in our apartment complex parking lot.  I was not worried at all about time or how fast I could do a loop.  I was purely focused on how my heart felt, how I was breathing, and making sure I did not have any aches or pains.  I felt great, my left foot has a bit of an injury, I think I hurt it while walking in my dress shoes earlier this week, but it's nothing a little advil can't fix.

Since my wife went back to work after the baby, 5 AM runs are now impossible. I wouldn't get hope from my run until about 6:15-6:20 and my wife needs to leave for the bus at 6:30. Once she's gone I'm in sole charge and need to be ready for work already...not gonna happen in the 10 minutes before my wife leaves. My new routine is to bring running clothes and my fuel belt to work, and run home. My fuel belt can hold my cell phone, ID, and metro card so that I can get back to work the next day, missing is my blackberry so I have to hope that I don't get any time sensitive work e-mails after hours. Running home is a 5.5ish mile run, mostly up hill, and it will help get me in pretty good shape for my next goal.

What is my next goal?
Since I started running I have run the Marine Corps Marathon every year, until now. With the new arrival I new my training was going to fall off, and did not want to get mad at my self or create unnecessary stress when runs were not being made. With the winter rolling around and the cool weather, I know that my runs will become more consistent so now I have entered the goal setting stage. I am thinking I might want to run the Shamrock Marathon down in Virginia Beach on March 20. This race has always seemed really interesting to me, I blogged about it before I knew we were expecting a little bundle of joy but with the due date being that race weekend, I wisely did not pursue it. I have a friend running it this year, and he has some family and friends down there and if I run it, I might be able to find cheap board which would make it an affordable race. It is my birthday weekend and the day after my daughters first birthday, I don't know about you but I cannot think of a better way to spend a birthday weekend! After all, soon she will be calling the shots, I need to take control while I still can.

 Pacers Ambassadors

Despite my lack of running recently, I still managed to get in all of the races requested of me as a Pacers AmbassadorI'm hoping that I get to do it again next year as I think I will have a much easier time getting in races and going to volunteer for races I am not running in.  I started off the year making it to almost every race, but as life got more complicated with the baby, it became a little more difficult to get my running in.  My favorite part of being an Ambassador however, is volunteering at the various 5k races and learning how the race system works and the components that bring a race together.  I will definitely be applying again next year, hopefully they accept me and life won't get to crazy again.

Monday, May 17, 2010

May 17, 2010 - Columbia Pike

Time: 44:15
Distance: 5.4
Pace: 8:12
Weather:  Light rain
Temp: 55ish
Time: 5:30 PM
Terrain: All side walk, somewhat hilly 

Over the weekend I was starting to get antsy to get back out running, last week the only time I really had to run I was still feeling like I was recovering from the half-marathon so I went without last week.  Over the weekend I checked out the weather forecast and realized if I wanted to get a run in, I had to do it in the rain.  The route I run is a direct 5.4 mile route that goes the entire length of my bus route, so my goal is to try and beat my bus home, which is possible because there is a lot of traffic and it takes the bus about 40 minutes to go the 5 miles.
 Today I felt great, I thought I had gone a little bit faster then my pace indicated but I think that was mostly due to the mostly uphill nature of the route.  Going up the first hill definitely had me questioning how I ran 13.1 just last week.  Once I got into the groove though I felt strong, if I noticed a light was about to be changing my goal was to pick up the pace enough to catch it, and I was successful each time.  The goal of this route is to just get this in a couple times each week after work just to maintain my endurance.  Hopefully in the coming months I can get a bike and increase my workout regimen even more.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pacers Running Festival - Half Marathon

Today I ran my first ever half marathon, the Pacers Running Festival Half.  The temperature was about mid 50's which was great for running, but the wind made it very challenging in some respects.  I went into the race today without any real training, so my hope was to just finish without injury and try to break 2 hours.  If I didn't accomplish the 2 hour goal, I wouldn't have really cared it was just a hope and a dream.  My race strategy from the start was to run the first half at about 9 minute miles, assess how I feel and then pick it up if possible.  The problem - I don't know 9 minute miles, I ran the first mile just under 9 minutes and thought 'Wow, I actually am sticking to my plan' but then the crowds spread out and somewhat disappeared which let me just run how I felt most comfortable.  So when I got to mile 2 and hit my lap button on the ipod 8:39 popped up, I sped up without even realizing it.  After mile 2 I started to run with a friend from my running group, she had a hire target pace but was more than willing to just run with me at my pace.  I continued to tick off after that about 8:30's for a good portion of the first half ending the first half in 56:13 with 8:35 as my average pace.  Not the 9 minute miles I was planning, but I still felt really good so I didn't mind.  I then continued on while the runners doing the quarter marathon got to head home, after the stretch on 110 I started talking to a new runner and we ended up talking it up a bit just to help each other get through the final miles.  I felt like I was doing pretty well, but when I got to about mile I saw the most amazing thing...Powerade GU!  I grabbed 2, 1 for now and 1 for the next water stop.  When we got to the final stretch I kicked into a coaching mode, it seems to come naturally during races.  It seems that when I get near the end of almost every race I start coaching whoever I'm with, encouraging them and trying to help them finish.  I think it's partially because it helps me take my mind off whatever pain I'm feeling at that moment and focus my attention on motivating someone else.  Almost every mile in the final half we seemed to be ticking off 8:30 miles, so I knew as I was coming to the finish line that I had 2 hours pretty much broken and it made me feel great that I ran a pretty decent race - even when I pretty much stopped training the past 5-6 weeks.  I crossed over the finish line and my official time came to be 1:51:56, with an average pace of 8:33.

Another goal that I had going into the race was to negative split, something I've never done, and I accomplished that too!  Here are all the stats, probably more than you really care to know, but it's something that helps me break down my race.

Friday, May 7, 2010

May 6, 2010 - Learning my pace

Last night I went out on a short run, just 3 miles, so that I could take some time to test my half pace and just mentally work on preparing myself for the race.

This was my first time doing this, and I did it for 2 reasons.  First, I am a bit paranoid about running 13.1 miles because flat out, I have not prepared myself.  I totally fell off the past few weeks and lost a lot of my training, I'm not looking back and getting annoyed about it - I totally know and understand why - I just look at it as if I need to temper down my expectations and prepare a little differently for the race.  Second, I screwed up in my last race, the Crystal City 5k.  I got to the start line and said, let's run mile 1 in and 8:30, and then what do I do?  I start weaving every which way and was at one point running about a 6:30-7 minute mile and then totally started to feel it at the end.  Last night I focused on just feeling comfortable, and seeing what I think I can do comfortably.

My goal for Sunday's half marathon is to run close to 9 minute miles for the first half - then based on how I feel try to pick it up a little bit for 6.5-9ish then put everything I have into the last 3-4 miles.  I want to run 2 negative splits in the segments I've broken up in my head.  Segment 1 is simple, miles 1-6.5 and 6.5-13.1, the second segment I want to negative split is 6.5-10 and 10-13.1.

Here's to hoping I do well...oh and to hoping I don't get in TOO MUCH trouble for making Erin get up early on her first Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What's Going on at a Pacers Near You?

When I moved to Virginia and wanted to start getting into running I immediately turned to the top running store in the area, Pacers.  The great thing about Pacers is that they are specialists when it comes to what kind of shoe you need for your running style, they have training groups, and they frequently have programs to help you become a better runner.  I would definitely recommend checking out one of their seminars over the coming weeks, they have everything from how to figure out what is causing you pain to a local 5k or half marathon.  Check it out now!
Upcoming Events & Seminars

Wed, May 5, 2010, 7pm
W&L Track
Thu, May 6, 2010, 6pm
Pacers of Alexandria
Thu, May 6, 2010, 6:30pm
Pacers of Arlington (Clarendon)
Thu, May 6, 2010, 7pm
Pacers of Alexandria
Thu, May 6, 2010, 7pm
Pacers of Clarendon
Sat, May 8, 2010, 6am
1301 King St.
Sat, May 8, 2010, 9am
FBI Washington Field Office
Sun, May 9, 2010, 8am
Mon, May 10, 2010, 7pm
W&L Track/Custis Trail
Wed, May 12, 2010, 7pm
W&L Track
Wed, May 12, 2010, 7:30pm
Pacers of Alexandria
Thu, May 13, 2010, 6:30pm
Pacers of Arlington (Clarendon)
Sat, May 15, 2010, 6am
1301 King St.

Monday, May 3, 2010

May 3, 2010 - Columbia Pike

Time: 46:21
Distance: 5.4
Pace: 8:35
Weather:  Humid, very humid
Temp: 80ush
Time: 5:30 PM
Terrain: All side walk, somewhat hilly

Today I began what will become my new training routine!  Waking up in the morning and running just doesn't work for me anymore.  Ever since the little girl came into my life I have not had the ability to really make it out at 5:00 to run with my Pacers group without feeling like I was leaving all of the baby duties to Erin during the early morning shift.  With this dilemma in hand, the past few weeks my training has REALLY suffered (but it's been totally worth it).  After discussing a few things about my running with Erin we came up with a plan where 2-3 times a week I will take my water belt and running clothes with me and run home after getting off the metro rather than taking the bus.  After all, taking the bus if you catch it right, is a 35-40 minute ride - if I run home when I'm in good condition will be about 35-40 minutes...I can save metro money, get my run in, and pretty much get home in the same amount of time!

The route has some good hills thrown in there and is nearly all sidewalk.  When I started out today for the first mile I felt like I was totally out of shape and this was going to be a long trip home, but then I kind of got my groove going and got into a pretty good temp.  I ran a little bit faster than I want to run the half, but I have the confidence that A) I can finish and B) I most likely can break 2 hours despite nearly no training.

Another revelation from today gave me some food for thought as I began my run, I played a game of what if's in my head.  Today I got an e-mail from an old friend from my high school Cross Country team.  Back in High School I couldn't finish a 5k without walking and this guy was one of the top runners in the state.  When I look back on my running in high school I have a few regrets, mostly that I didn't really care about running so I never trained...I did cross country for a series of reasons, mostly that I wanted to be in shape for my indoor hurdle season and I had a crush on a girl on the team!  If I was serious about running though I could have learned quite a bit and I could be at a whole different level of running today.  Anyways...that gave me some food for thought today, he works for Saucony now.  Next time I'm back in New Jersey he wants to go for a run, which I won't lie, I'm looking forward to (hopefully he can give me a few tips on my running).

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon - September 19, 2010

I've done 2 Marine Corp Marathons and I typically would run the Army Ten Miler a couple weeks before the Marathon to prepare and train myself for running in a tight crowd and gaining discipline to not weave and just pace myself.  This year the ATM is the week prior to the Marine Corp Marathon, which means it would be a little tough to do both races this year.  The good news is that Pacers - in combination with Endurance Enterprises LLC, Premier Race Management Company, and National Harbor are planning to put on a great Half-Marathon a little over a month before the Marine Corps and New York City Marathons on September 19th.  I can't think of a better race to use as a prep race, and Woodrow Wilson will be capped at 4,000 runners so act now before it fills up.  More information after the jump!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

2 Mile Run - April 24, 2010

My schedule has been a bit hectic lately and my knee was giving me a little bit of pain, so today I FINALLY made it back out for a run, albeit a very short one.  While Erin was feeding our little girl I took the 15-20 minute window to get 2 miles in, and it felt great.

I have been feeling a bit nervous because I have a half Marathon in 2 weeks and I have done no real training for it.  I decided I was going to do the light run today at an easy pace just to see how I feel.  I kept myself at an 8 minute pace and felt nearly no fatigue when I was done running.  My goal for the next 2 weeks is to get a decent amount of runs in, whether it be a quick 2 mile run or the real goal, a 10 mile run (if I get that much free time) and just go out for the half with the goal of having fun.  I figure I'll start out going an 8:30-9 minute miles and if after the first half is over if I feel like I'm going strong I'll pick up the pace.  Hopefully I break 2 hours!  Yes, I'm THAT out of shape.

Here's the like to the half, entries are still available.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Crystal Run 5K Fridays - April 16, 2010

I ran my first 5K in 2 years and it was one heck of an experience!  For the full recap I need to go through the lead up to the race.  I left work promptly at 5 because my older sister, Rachel, was coming in from Boston at 5:30 into Reagan-National.  She got off the plane already changed for the 5K race and we headed straight over to Crystal City with plenty of time for the 6:30 gun time.  We went for a short warm up jog and then headed to the start line and did some light stretching, then just waited for the gun to go off.

I started off VERY undisciplined, and went WAY to fast!  My original goal was to start at about a 7-7:30 mile and then evaluate how I felt and go from there, with a goal of finishing with the clock still on 21:XX.  Well I felt like I was surrounded by people going really slow so I started bobbing and weaving and going at what felt like a comfortable pace.  At which point I looked at my sister at one point and asked my sister what her Garmin said our pace was, her response, which point I realized I was definitely going at a pace I could not sustain.  I slowed up a bit and thought to myself, well I have gone about 1 mile...I can slow up a little and let miles 2 and 3 come to me, then about 2-3 minutes later it hit me that I was just seeing the 1 mile marker, I was a bit fatigued and was only 1 mile in!

Well I just gave myself a chance to catch my breath with somewhat of an easier pace but tried to keep a decent temp.  Mile 2 came a lot easier then I thought and I was noticing myself still passing people and as I got to mile 3 I just thought to myself, "just hold on" and see what happens.  When I reached the 3 mile mark I did my best to kick it in and passed a couple more people, when I passed the line I had a chip time of 22:16, 17 seconds off my goal, but I was still happy with that result!

All in all I finished in 22:16 which comes out to a 7:10 pace, 123rd overall, and about 99th or 100th of all male runners, not bad for my first 5K in about 2 years!  My only other 5K chip time was in the Crystal City Twilighter where I ran a 22:58.  So I got a new PR and had some fun running with my sister in the process.

My goal is to train, doing some hill and speed workouts over the coming months and enter a race later this year and try to break's to trying!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Crystal Run 5K Fridays - April 9, 2010

I took another opportunity to volunteer at a race this past weekend and it was yet another great experience.  I never would have guessed when I became a Pacers Ambassador that the volunteering I would do, would be more exciting then actually racing sometimes.  This week I got to work alongside the Pacers Race Director, Kathy Dalby, and help solve some problems that came up and then work the finish line area.

When I got to the race I was thrown right into a problem with some of the data coming up wrong in the computer, luckily I am pretty good with excel and was able to fix the problem in no time - saving all of us A LOT of time.  After working with some data and adding runners into the spreadsheet I was sent to the start/finish line to work the clocks. The hardest part of my job was working a keyboard type thing that had me put in the bib numbers and the time that people crossed the finish line.  The hardest part was that my vision isn't exactly 20/20 at all times so I was just praying that I read most of the bib numbers right that I typed in.  I don't think I messed anything up, but I'll know next time I go to volunteer based on where I'm sent!

Next week I will be running the race if everything with my sisters flight coming in goes according to plan.  If I get there early enough maybe I'll be able to volunteer again.

Here's a picture of me working at the line...unbeknown to me

April 11, 2010 - Sleepy Hollow Long Run

Time: 1:33:05
Distance: 9.58
Pace: 9:42
Weather:  Entire course was dry
Time: 9:30 AM
Terrain: VERY hilly route

Today I finally made it back out to get in a distance run and to say it a brutal route is a complete understatement.  At one point during the run I was thinking that whoever came up with this route had to have been sadistic.  In the 9+ miles I ran, it is safe to say that in reality only about half a mile - if that - was flat.  I ran from my apartment over to sleepy hollow road, mostly for the hills on sleepy hollow.  Little did I know that the route I chose to get there, was also very hilly as well, which really gave me no forgiveness.  The one highlight of my run was at the half way point I was going up a pretty steep hill and I managed to pass a bike rider!  At that moment, even though for most of the way I was going at a pretty slow tempo I felt great that after all those hills so far I still had a bit left in me.

Today I also brought out my new shoes, it felt a little strange breaking in a new pair of shoes but it was about time.  They're my last pair of Wave Rider 12's...they have now been discontinued and I'll be moving onto the 13...or just finding a completely new shoe next time.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Marine Corps Marathon Registration - NOW OPEN!

Registration for the Marine Corps Marathon just opened today, and you can sign up here.  I ran this race in 2008 and 2009 and it is very well run, and a great time is had by all.  If you did not get into the lottery for the New York City Marathon, I'd highly recommend registering for this race today.  It will likely fill up fast.

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 5 - Short Easy Run

Tonight a good running friend came over for dinner, to meet my precious little daughter, and then to go on a nice short run just to catch up a bit.  We decided to do a short 3 mile loop and took the time to discuss ways I can improve my training program to meet some of the new goals I'm setting for myself.  Like I've said before, my current training program consists of doing a twice-weekly 5.5 mile run and a weekend long hill workouts, no track workouts, no tempo...nothing like that.

To be honest, half way through the run I broke down and finally asked one of the questions that's nagged me for a long time and said "what in the world is a tempo run???"  I can attribute this to never having a true "coach" and just going with the flow on my running hoping that everything would come together.  I think after my run this evening I have some good ideas on how to change my training regiment and make some serious strides towards my short term goals.  My current focus is on short distances, small races, and once I have a good hold of the speed I want to get to I will move back into the distance races and hope everything translates as planned.

Tonight it was about 83 when we ran, at about 8:15, we went at a nice casual/conversational pace.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Speed Workout of Sorts

Today I made a somewhat decent attempt at doing a speed workout, I ran my parking lot loop and used speed bumps to determine when I should sprint and when I should do a light jog...nothing that was rocket science or really planned out...when I decided I should sprint, I did a sprint, none of the "15 second under your 5K time" or anything like that.  I measured that I did springs for ABOUT .2 of ever .5 mile loop, and I did 1 warm up loop, 4 loops of the sprint/light jog workout, then did 1 loop where I just walked to cool down.  I had all intentions of doing a light jog for the last half mile loop, but my legs had nothing left in them.

I think I'm going to add a weekly (or bi-weekly) track workout to really work on building some good short distance speed and do my best to work up from there.  I probably won't be running any marathons this year but I'm setting myself some goals when it comes to 5K times, when I have myself where I think I want to be I'm going to get myself into a few more races.

Depending on my sisters flight from Boston, on April 16th I may do the Crystal City run, my last 5K was in 2008 (I define the low budget runner) and my time was 22:48...I think I can definitely beat that time, but we shall see.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Crystal Run 5K Fridays

Last night was the start of the Pacers Crystal Run 5K Fridays.  I didn't race but I was there volunteering, and I had a great time.  The past 2 times I worked an event I was at the water stop, which is a pretty cool time but you're at the halfway point so you never get to see the finish or who wins.  This time I worked the finish line area, and made sure people turned the corner to get to the finish line area.  Seeing the finish I was able to see how truly dominant 2 of the Pacers runners are, they easily had close to a 2 minute advantage over the 3rd place runner.  Overall the course is pretty flat and I know a lot of people had a pretty good time, I'll be volunteering again next week and can't wait.  In two weeks when my sister comes to town, as long as her flight isn't late I'll be out there running my first 5K in about 2 years.  If you're free on a Friday night in April, sign up for a Crystal Run 5K today.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sign up for the Army Ten Miler!

Today you can sign up for the Army Ten Miler in Washington, DC. The ATM is America's largest 10 mile race and it is quite a race. If you are thinking of running it, sign up now. The race filled up last year in 6 days, if you decide you don't want to run it you can sell your spot...and they always have a lot of people begging to get in that missed the cut.

If you want to run as a charity, here is an e-mail from a friend about the race.

…To Run for a CAUSE…

As most of you know, the Army Ten Miler (Sunday, October 24, 2010) is my most favorite race…EVER!! It’s a great 10-mile course through our Nation’s Capital, and to me, it’s Army homecoming!

Every year I put together a fundraising team to raise money for Fisher House Foundation, which is the military’s equivalent of the Ronald McDonald houses. These houses are built near major military medical facilities so that families can stay for free and help their loved ones as they recover from their war injuries. You can check our Fisher House’s web site (, but also know that of the $1.4 million that President Obama earned for his Nobel Peace Prize, he gave the most ($250,000) to Fisher House Foundation! Not getting political here, but just sayin’ :)

If I haven’t lost you yet, many are probably thinking “I don’t want to fundraise…that seems like a lot of work…I’m not sure how I feel about supporting the military”, and I completely understand… I’m just casting a wide net to see who might be interested in joining Team Fisher House – for me, it’s not about speed (no recorded run times),but about helping others. We don’t care if you raise $10 or $100. Quite frankly, it makes the training easier because you know you are helping those who might never walk again. I like to think of it as running for those who can’t… and personally, I’m most inspired when I run military races and have men and women pass me on their prosthetics. For me, I think of this as an opportunity to do something bigger than yourself… Fisher House is a GREAT cause, and if you are interested in fundraising for them while running the Army Ten Miler, please let me know. Come join our team!!

If not… Army Ten Miler registration (

If you want more information, send me a message and I will pass on your questions to Allie!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Resistance Training for Runners to Prevent Injury, Run Faster and Further

This morning I was listening to one of my favorite new podcasts, the Runners Round Table.  The podcast from this morning was an old one, about resistance training.   I would recommend listening to it, as it has some advice that I think could become very helpful for runners looking set a PR at their next marathon or half-marathon.  Below is a post from the "expert" on the panel, Amelia Burton, all about resistance training and various exercises you can try to start out.
What’s your training program like? Do you focus on increasing your miles each week, maybe a bit of speed work here and there, and of course a token stretch at the end of each session? Well hats off to you because unlike 85% of the population at least you are doing something! But whether you are an amateur runner or a competitive athlete, adding a resistance session each week might just be the thing you need to take your further, faster and with fewer injuries.  This article looks at the reasoning behind resistance training for runners and identifies the top resistance training exercises all runners should do.
What is Resistance training for distance running?

Conventionally we think of resistance training as weights machines, dumbbells, slow movements and heavy weights (with lots of grunting).  Resistance training for runners is quite different. It’s about loading the muscles in a manner that replicates running to improve their strength power, endurance and most importantly coordination. It’s about identifying the weaker muscles in the body and developing them to prevent injury. It is NOT about building unnecessary bulk or damaging already fatigued tissue and I must stress that incorrect resistance training can tighten you up and slow you down.

What purpose does it serve?

There are four key areas that resistance training will help you with: Speed, muscular endurance, efficiency of running technique, and injury prevention.

  •  Increase strength of your prime movers for speed and distance: The stronger your quads, glutes and hamstrings are the faster your will go and the longer you will be able to maintain your pace. Obviously nothing beats running to strengthen these,  but resistance work involving sprints, uphill and downhill running improve their strength much faster.
  • Prevents injury by Increase strength of your stabilisers: Your prime movers can only work as hard as your stabilisers will allow. It doesn’t matter how strong/fit you are, if you have poor hip knee and ankle stability, you will never reach your full potential in both speed and endurance.
  • Increase coordination: Similar to stability, the faster you fatigue the sooner your coordination goes. Look at a distance athlete and how smooth their running style is. That is good coordination. All muscles, tendons, ligaments and joint actions are working in smooth unison to create effortless strides. The more fatigued you get the worse these actions interrelate creating a less economical stride which slows you down and increases your chance of injury.
  • Increase stride length: As you fatigue, your stride naturally shortens, your muscles tighten and you slow down. By increasing your stride length (within reason) you can maintain a faster pace and waste less energy through excessive foot strikes.

Two Training Programs for Runners

Core Stability for Runners
Click here for a printable program you can take to the park/oval for your resistance session. Ideally you will need a stop watch and a skipping rope, but exercises can be performed without them.

Click here for a printable program for Core Stability and VMO/Glute Activation. You will need a swiss ball and leg extension machine for these.

The below animations will help you understand the exercises in the programs. Familiarize yourself with these exercises before printing out your workout sheets:



Jumping on/off step

Plyometric Lunges


1. Start in a standing position and bend your knees and place your hands on the ground.
2. Extend your legs back into a push up position. Bring your knees back in towards chest and explosively jump in the air.
3. This should be a continuous motion and be fluid.
Walking Lunges (Hand weights optional)

Single Leg Squat (Try not to hold on and I prefer foot to balance in air not across other leg)
What are the best muscle balancing exercises for injury prone runners?

postit2 (2) 
Leg Extension: from 15-30degrees, toes turned out slightly, focusing on VMO activation. Light weight. 3 x 15-20 reps.

Lunges: Focus on the VMO of the front leg and glutes of the front leg. Keep your knees tracking straight and don’t let them internally rotate as you lower.

Core Stability exercises: Click here for a printable program 

1. Alternating Single Leg Bridge
3 x 15 reps
2.Double Leg Pike:
2 x 2 min

3. Alternate Arm Swings and Single Leg Raises
3 x 15 reps

4. Side Raises on Ball
3 x 12 each side
Click here for Printable resistance program. Click here for printable Core and VMO/Glute activation program
For more detailed core stability exercises,  click on my core stability four part series linked here.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Guide to the Boston Marathon

Today we are 22 days until the 114th Boston Marathon!  While I won't be running Boston this year (or likely any year in the near future) I will be watching it on TV and I have a few friends that qualified so I wanted to make sure I shared a course guide that I have.  My sister ran the race back in 2008 as a charity runner, and her company helped train them and gave them a guide to the race.

I joined my sister at about mile 15-16 and helped run her in for the last 10 miles, the one piece of advice that I remember her repeating while I was with her was that you should not look at 13.1 as your halfway point in Boston.  The hills from 16-21 are all pretty brutal and, and don't think you are half way done until about mile 20, might sound a little strange but it seemed to help her.

I hope this guide to the course helps you.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

March 25th - Pacers Greenberry AM Run

Time: 46.37
Distance: 5.82
Pace: 8:00
Weather:  Entire course was dry
Temp: 47
Time: 5:00 AM
Terrain: Pretty flat except at the the end

I ran with Ken again this morning, he has become a really good running partner and we have definitely begun to push ourselves a little harder each run.  We seem to improve our time each run, but it doesn't seem like we are racing each other, we are just pushing each other to really know our ability.

The route starts on a downhill and when we were in Georgetown Ken noted that we were really booking it, our pace at that point was a 7:15.  I didn't notice that we purposely slowed up but we did lower our speed a little bit just so that we didn't kill ourselves.  When we were heading over Memorial Bridge the two of us were talking about pushing each other and trying to add a new test into our runs, doing things like adding part of the National Mall...I tricked him and got him to agree to add the second hill at the end before he realized I was committing him to it.

When we got to the base of all the hills we were at 4.2 miles in a time of 32:35 which is a pace of 7:45, over the next 1.5 miles when we were running purely up hills we killed out time a bit.  At our normal finishing point we had run 5.3 miles in 41:30, a pace of 7:49, not a bad drop if you ask me.  In the last half mile though, we definitely took a hit and lowered our pace to an 8 minute miles overall...although has the route at 5.95 miles which would put our pace at 7:47 a mile.

Want to race in April or May?

If you want to get into a race in April or May check out these great 5K's and even a half marathon!