31 December 2011


Well, 2011 is almost over. If I managed to get the timing of this post right, it is one hour until the new year in NYc. I have mixed feeling about my running performance this year. Before we get into that, let's look back at the goals I set for myself. 1. 3:05 marathon/ Failed 2. 1:26 half marathon/ Check 3. Sub-40 10K/ Half Check 4. 2000 miles/ Check I only ran one marathon this year, Boston. I took a chance and went after a sub-3 performance. My efforts yielded a blow up of sorts and a 3:21:03 finish. I took that shot because I hit goal two easily. In March I ran a 1:24:36 at the Mercer Island Half Marathon. That is also where I earned my half check of goal number three. My 10K split there was sub-40. So I hit the goal, just not in a 10K race. Thanks to the streak, I crushed my mileage goal. I finished the year with a little over 2200 miles. While I succeeded at shorter distances (also managed 18:59 for the 5K)and overall mileage, I am slightly disappointed with my time from Boston. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change how I ran that race at all. I set a goal, made a strategy and gave it my best effort. I made the Boston-rookie mistake of taking some of the early downhills too quickly and my quads were thrashed for the uphill section in Newton. Since I started running, Boston was always in my mind, even if I never told anyone. So my finish time was a little hard to deal with at first. While I am still upset by it, I have accepted it and layed out a new plan to run sub-3. **********2011 Running Stats********** Distance: 2219.5 Miles Time: 297:34:50 Average Pace: 8:03 Days Run: 302 Average Run: 7.35 miles Now, for the fun part. My goals for next year. 1. Sub-3 Marathon 2. Sub-1:23 Half Marathon 3. 2500 miles 4. Finish a 50K The marathon and half marathon goals will it until the fall. I am spending a good chunk of the first 6 months of 2912 building a strong base. I may throw in some shorter 10K/HM stuff but just for fun. No PR attempts. The 50K goal is conditional. There is a 50k race near where I live on June 2. However, I do not know if I will still be living here then. If I am still close enough (western Washington...maybe northern Oregon) I will sign up and run the race. If DW or myself gets a job out of the area, I will be focused on getting settled in our new home and getting into a new routine. I hope everyone had a great 2011 and has an even better 2012. Run Strong!

Week Three

This week was kind of a down week for me. I had some great runs with my club but my solo efforts were less then stellar. Not that I'm aiming for stellar paces but my paces were not near what I hoped they would be at this point. A good friend of mine who is also going through this heart rate training reminded me that patience is key. In time, this will pay off and I will see improvements. And I still have some speed in these legs. After my one hour run yesterday I ran a one mile time trial. Somehow I pulled a 5:20. I think the track I was on is a little short but it still translates to about a 5:45. Anyhow, I'll leave you with the weeks stats. Later I'll do a December/2011 recap post. ~Weekly Stats~ Runs: 7 Rest days: 0 Distance: 62 (currently at 58 and planning on 4 tomorrow morning) Time: 9:11:23 (plus tomorrow's run)

26 December 2011

Week Two

Week two of heart rate training went well.

~Weekly Stats~
Runs: 6
Rest days: 1
Miles: 55.4
Time: 8:39:09

I had a great long run on Thursday. I got in 15 miles with several members of my running club, including Cat (who did my LR with me the previous Thursday). We ran the entire second half at a faster pace than we did our fastest mile last week! In all our pace was about 30 seconds per mile faster and my HR was lower! I attribute most of this to starting out more conservatively and picking the pace up versus speeding out and slowing at the end. Also, it helps to run with a group.

Saturday's club run went well too. Tom and I clocked a 6:55 last mile. That's the first time I've run that quick since I started HR training. Granted I should have been holding back more, I didn't mind letting my HR go up a little since I had a few easy miles before the club run and a few easy ones ahead of me to get home after the run.

My pace for the week was slightly slower than week one (9:23 vs 9:18). Though this is probably because week one included the initial test. I'm hoping this all pays off. It is taking a little getting use to running one minute plus slower than my average pace for the year. I'm hoping to hit 60+ miles this week. We'll see if that works out.

Santa was nice enough to bring me some new running gear: Asics jacket, a pair of Brooks PureConnect, Brooks nightlife vest, socks and a few running shirts. That makes me one happy runner :)

18 December 2011

Week One

Just finished my first week of HR based training. In all I'd call it a good week. On Thursday, during my LR with a friend from my new running club my heart rate was a bit fast for our overall pace. Other than that everything went great! I thought that I would not like running slower the majority of my runs but my legs feel fresher than they did before. My plan is to jump near 55 mpw next week and 6x mpw the last week of the year. That should set me up nicely to get in a solid base over the first few months of 2012.

~Weekly Stats~
Runs: 6
Rest Days: 1
Miles: 47.3
Time: 7:20:02

13 December 2011

Life and Such

As promised, a post to update on everything since I've been a slacker and not posted consistently in some time. Now that life is somewhat settled down I'll try to be a better blogger.

Lets start with the good. I am now married to the most amazing woman on the planet! Our wedding day was wonderful. We had been waiting for a long time for that day to come (we've been together for eight and a half years). I can not describe how happy it makes me to see her every morning when I wake up. She is everything that I am not and I am a better person because of her. Sadly, she is out of the state for work this week :(

Our honeymoon was amazing! We spent a week in Kapalua, Maui. Of course, we ran a 5k while there. The Xterra trail runs held in junction with the Xterra World Championships (triathlon) just happened to start at our resort. How can you pass that up? I could not think of a better way to start our married life than the same way we started dating: running.

Now, the sort of good. I finally have a job. Its not a permanent position/career job. Just something to pay the bills/student loans (and it barely does that). I will be teaching one precalculus course at a local community college. Still, its experience and something to add to my resume so I'll take it. Plus, only one class gives me time to look for a permanent position and run.

Speaking of running, I believe I need to give an October and November recap.

Miles: 150
Pace: 8:09

Miles: 161
Pace: 7:54

The streak ended the day of the wedding (that day was my last run). In all I ran for 811.8 miles in 125 days. I am currently running 6 days a week. I joined a new running club since it seems I'll be staying put for a little while. Its a great group of runners of all abilities. We have people who have yet to run their first marathon and one person who is competing in the Olympic Marathon Trials next month. I love running with a group!

I have also decided that if I am going to run under 3 hours and get back to Boston, I need to step up my game. For the foreseeable future, I am going to be doing HR based training. I've been studying my race results and have concluded that I have the speed for a sub-3 marathon but nowhere near the endurance I need. To work on my aerobic capacity, I did the Hadd 2400m test yesterday. I suspect my max HR is in the low 200's. However, due to my heart condition I am operating as if it is in the low to mid 190's. The test confirmed my hypothesis, I lack the aerobic capacity to meet my goal. I should be running around 175 bpm at my ideal marathon pace. The test showed that my PR corresponds to this (roughly). Anyway, the results.

Target HR/Actual HR/Pace

Needless to say, I have lost a lot of fitness/aerobic capacity since my HM pr back in March. I'll retest in 6 weeks to see if I am making any progress. I will continue this training method until my current 180 bpm pace is my 170 bpm pace. Then I will find a race and go after sub-3. Hopefully that will be in the fall. In a few hours I'll head out for my first run of the program, 50 min @145bpm.

09 December 2011

Guest Post!

Wow, it has been way too long since I posted. I'll post a few times later this week to catch you all up. Running has been good, married life is great and I found a part time job! More on all that later. For now, enjoy this guest post from Jackie Clark.

Manly Fitness for a Cause
By: Jackie Clark

Joining a group of people who are all running for the same cause, whether it be animal rights, education reform or battling mesothelioma, is an extremely rewarding way to spend your time. You’ll become part of a team and gain an immediate, build-in support system as soon as you sign up to run. Some runs are simply for awareness while others require competitors to raise a certain amount of money for the cause before being able to sign up. The combination of being motivated to meet a goal in order to race and helping others will give anybody a huge wave of satisfaction. Before the run, you should receive a kit that includes information about the charity and training advice for newbie marathon runners.

There are many reasons why someone would opt to run for cancer. You may have battled cancer yourself; you may know someone who is currently undergoing
mesothelioma treatment; you may have a soft spot for children who face cancer way too early in life. Whatever their life experience, most people can find some way in which they’re connected to cancer and a reason to support it. Plus, the earlier you plan, the more you’ll succeed - more time means being able to raise more money or get additional people involved in the run as well. But don’t let a late signup deter you from competing at all - if you don’t think you can raise as much money as the charity expects, don’t assume you’ll be turned away. Simply call the charity and explain your situation - they may make an exception and let you compete anyway. In the end, the purpose of running for cancer is to show your support and spread awareness, and most charities won’t shun that if it’s obvious you’re committed to the cause.

Of course you can always join in on a simple run for charity and cancer. But the uber athlete may want to be more challenged when racing for a cause. If you want some excitement while promoting your do-gooder side, consider getting involved in the Tough Mudder or the Warrior Dash. Not only will you have to run a long distance, but also you’ll have to overcome several obstacles by climbing or literally pushing through them. The Tough Mudder is the longer of the two races, but it has basically the same amount of obstacles as the Warrior Dash. However, the Warrior Dash is competitive, whereas the Tough Mudder isn’t timed - the main purpose is to complete the event. Beginners should kick off with the Warrior Dash and graduate to the Tough Mudder once they think they can handle it.
RoderickMeadows.com has information on both the Tough Mudder and the Warrior Dash.