Monday, September 21, 2015

Oktoberfest 5K and Lung Run 10K

After behaving all all summer when it came to racing I wound up running 2 in a 36 hour stretch. We'll just ignore the fact that breaking my no racing rule was a marathon back in July. To be fair though, my training did call for a race on Saturday and that was the only reason I did the Lung Run.

I've run Oktoberfest on an annual basis so I signed up again like the routine is has become. I had hoped to have a solid showing to see how my fitness has improved since finally cracking 20 back in July. It turned out to not be the best of nights. Heavy storms rolled through the area Thursday afternoon and night. It was drizzling up until race time. It was warm and extremely humid with a solid wind on top of it. I do horrible in humid weather. The course was also all torn up and muddy. Long story short, I turned in a solid, but not great effort for myself of 20:43. I started the race right where I needed to, but faded over the 2nd half as I had trouble regulating body temperature and overheated. It was by no means a goal race so the only goal was really to make it out injury free which I did.

Saturday morning was the Lung Run 10K starting at Montrose Beach. I actually ran the 3 miles from my home to the start as a warm up. The weather was much cooler in the morning, but extremely windy. More rain overnight also did not help the trail conditions. I knew going in that I was a shoo-in for a new PR, but didn't know by how much since it had been 2 years since I really raced a 10K.

I started near the front of the pack since I saw that puddles would cause an immediate narrowing of the course. I was behind about 15 runners at the start, but began passing people almost immediately. About a half mile in I surged past a group of 4 guys and found myself in 5th place. I could still see the lead runners, but they were pretty far ahead already. This meant I now had to take the brunt of the wind myself instead of using other runners as a shield. After another mile I was passed by a female runner. I wouldn't be passed again until over 5 miles into the race.

The course was a bit tough given the wind and the mud, but we were also sharing the path with the CES training groups and normal Saturday morning traffic since the race started later at 8:30AM. I'm sure this cost me some time, but I'm not going to fret about it too much. I fell into a steady rhythm and was running pretty well. I had a slight positive split since I think I lacked a little motivation to really push it in the 2nd half. The runners in front of me were too far away to try and reel in. I wound up finishing in 41:55 and 7th place overall. This was a PR by over 5 minutes for me.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Checking in on Training

It's been awhile since my last post. I've been pretty busy between crazy projects at work and running like a maniac. There has also been a complete lack of racing which is completely foreign for me.

So what's been up? I started August with a bit of an injury scare. My hamstring tightened up and became extremely inflamed. I wound up having to scale back to barely running for a week. I did just enough to keep the streak alive and became very familiar with squats and other exercises to keep up a good workout. I carefully rebuilt my mileage and laid off the speed and was able to close out the month with my highest mileage week ever at 71 miles.

As part of my peak mileage week I also ran my longest ever training run at 22 miles. This run is important in the Pfitz plan since if it is run correctly it should take about the same amount of time as you would for the marathon. This means starting slow a building up until you are running 10% slower than your planned marathon pace. I finished the run in 3:07:30 which would represent another huge improvement if I do finish the marathon in that time. I've had other workouts that seem to indicate the time could be possible, but I'll be ecstatic with anything below 3:15 so I can automatically qualify for Chicago next year. I still think it'd take a miracle to get the 3:03:30 that it would probably take to get me into Boston for my age group.

I've put in crazy mileage this year. I've already blown past the mileage I put in last year. One can hope it will only pay off big time. I'll need the resilience and ability to run on beat up legs to get me through the fall schedule. I'll be running 5 marathons+ in 8 weeks. I say + since one of them will be my first ultra, a 50 miler. I'll basically be going for broke at Twin Cities since the 50 miler is 2 weeks later. I won't be able to recover in time for any of the other races to run for a good time.

I've also started looking ahead to next year. I know that I have to survive this fall, but I've become determined to earn a jacket and a spot in the oldest marathon. Unfortunately my budget will be a bit smaller for travel after all the expenses this year between Disney, Colorado, Vegas, and buying a condo. I may have to settle on more road trip races next year. I already signed up for back to back marathons in Kentucky Derby and Flying Pig to cross off 2 more states. The following weekend I head out with family for a cruise so I'll get to recover in style. I still need to pick a goal spring marathon. It'll probably be in March or April. I wish I could find a cheap way to do Phoenix since that would offer a fast course and cool, dry weather.

Upcoming Races:
September 17th - Oktoberfest 5K
September 19th - Lung Run 10K
September 24th - Sprint and Stride 5k at work
October 4th - Twin Cities Marathon
October 17th - DPRT 50 Miler
November 1st - Milwaukee Running Festival Marathon
November 15th - Rock and Roll Las Vegas Marathon
November 22nd - Route 66 Marathon