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).