Thursday, April 29, 2010

Building Up Some Speed

Started with a 2 mile warmup at 9 minute pace.  The goal today was to go through a few distances up to a mile.  Basically, I wanted to do a ladder workout, but only one way.  This was more like a stair workout, except as you will see, I missed the last step.

440 - 1:30, 880 - 3:15, 1320 - 4:52, 1760 - 6:30

440 - 1:29, 880 - 3:08, 1320 - 5:12, 880 - 3:29

I was gassed on the 3 lap interval, so doing a mile next just wasn't going to happen.  On the third leg, my splits were very inconsistent and no where near my goal:  1:37, 3:29 (1:52), 5:12 (1:43).  I didn't want to fully quit after that, but there was no way I had enough in the tank to do a mile.  880 it is.  I had enough to complete it, but not a whole lot more.

My new long term goal...  under 6:00 mile by August.  3 months to cut off about a minute.  It's doable, but will take a lot of work and the hot Florida summer will not be my friend.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Maintenance Run

Maintenance Run: a run to keep your level of fitness.  You put these workouts into your routine to continue working your legs and lungs.  The distance is less than your long run and the intensity is less than your speed workout.

Yesterday, I just had to run.  I had nothing in mind.  I didn't have time for a distance run nor a speed workout.  What's left?  A maintenance run.  Sometimes called an easy run.

As soon as I stepped out the door, it started raining.  It wasn't lightning, so I kept going.  Four miles sounded like a good idea.

I didn't do a warmup due to my time constraints.  I kept my strides very short and my turnover rate very high.  This is a hard way to run, but it keeps stress off your joints.

4 miles in 34 minutes

Saturday, April 17, 2010

440 Repeats and Form Work

The IOA Corporate 5k is over and that is like the finale to the spring runs for me.  Time to start over and get some form work and some speed.  I need to get my mile time down or I'm never going to break 20 minutes again.  And 40 isn't getting any further away and that means Masters Category.  That sounded like something that would never happen when I started running road races at 14.

I jogged down to Howard Middle School to use their track.  That's 1.85 miles for a warmup.  It took me about 25 minutes which included a few stops for traffic.  I kept it slow, so I wouldn't burn up too much energy and my right hamstring was very tight for the first mile.

Today's speed work...  440 repeats in 1:30 with 220 recoveries.

No problem.


Were I capable of putting them together, I would run a 5:32 mile.  With these splits, I should be able to run under 6:30 for a mile.

Then came the form work.  I ran 50 yds plus recovery returns of the same distance.

2 sets of high knees
2 sets of butt kicks
2 sets of bounders

It was a great workout.  I had a hard time getting my thighs level to my waist and my sneakers to my butt the last 10 yards of each set.  The bounders were hard period.  My thighs felt like cement the whole 50 of each set.

Of course, that left me with a 1.85 mile jog home.  That took another 25 minutes, but I needed it to get my legs loose again.

Total workout:  just under 6 miles.

IOA Corporate 5k 2010

Thursday, April 15th.  A sea of runners and walkers.  Central Boulevard in downtown Orlando was filled from sidewalk to sidewalk from Osceola Avenue past where I could see.

The horn went off at 7:15pm.  I was near the front and it took 3 minutes and 5 seconds to cross the starting line.  It reported took 30 minutes to clear everyone through the starting gate.

It was very crowded and I must have run the first quarter mile around 11 minute pace zigzagging.  Trying to be polite and not run into anyone was getting me nowhere fast and I started getting upset.  A lot of walkers start near the front when they should be back further.  There are plenty of newbies that run fast for the first mile or less, because they don't know how far 3 miles is.  I did that once.  My very first practice with the high school cross country team was a run for time to see who would run varsity at the upcoming meet that weekend.  I took off with the lead pack and ran side by side with our number 3 runner from about half mile to the mile marker.  I asked him how much further we had to run before the finish and he laughed at me when he said we weren't even at the first mile.  I just realized what I had done and when I slowed down to a near walk and every single person on the team whizzed by me, coach pulled aside and told me to stop running.  I learned a valuable lesson that day about being prepared and not giving everything you've got in the first mile.  Unfortunately, there are probably four thousand newbie runners at the IOA Corporate 5k every year that make that mistake and you have to run by them to get into any kind of rhythm.

The easy going person started to leave as people whizzed by me on the sidewalks like deer.  I moved to the sidewalks at about half a mile and would have bursts of running and near stopping as people kept stopping and zigzagging in my direction.  A couple of runners went around me at one point and I heard the girl say to the guy, "This is like cross country."

That's when it kicked in.  That's when I remembered running in the pack of a big cross country meet and you felt no kindness for your competition.  Elbows out.  When people move into your running path from the side, you put your forearm into their shoulder and let them know that it is not acceptable.  When two people won't give you enough room to get through after you tell them, "Coming through," you have to put both arms in front of you and create a wedge as you quickly run through them.  I got this.  I remember how to run in crowds.  I heard a few people say, "Sorry," but I wasn't about to turn around and start a conversation.

I hit the mile clock at 11:35, which means I ran an 8:30 first mile.  That was minute off my goal pace.  That sucked and I knew my time was going to be slow.  I would now have to run negatives after putting out way too much energy on the first mile as it was.  I almost gave up in my mind and settled into the pace everyone around me was running and let them dictate my pace.

Nope.  Not this guy.  No way.

I sped up and continued to slip by people.  I had to pay so much attention to weaving and passing people that I completely missed the 2 mile marker and clock.  Oh well.  I just had to keep my speed and guess how far I was on the course based on my training.  I did manage to get into a nice rhythm when we got onto Robinson Street and the police had all the runners on the left side of the road.  I obviously crossed the dividing line and ran slightly in the right half of the road.  It was the only way I could start to open my stride.  There had to be close to a mile stretch like this.  It was nice.  Finally.

I kept gradually increasing my speed towards the finish line.  I crossed at 27:41, so my real time was 24:36.    I missed the 2 mile marker, so I don't know my exact splits.  The first was 8:30 and then the last 2 miles averaged out at 7:40 per mile.  I could have run a good race if I took a minute off that first mile.

It was fun in its craziness.  That's what this race is all about.  A sporting event with a party atmosphere.  And it's a good cause.  Funds go to the Parramore Kidz Zone.  And another thing, our team took first place in the Men's Legal Division.  That feels good, too.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What makes a good pair of headphones for running?

Give me a number between 5 and 10.

That is the question I posed to my girlfriend.  I had seven in my head and thank goodness, she said, "Seven," too.  She asks my why and I tell her that is how many miles I am going to run.

Sunday night run just after sunset.  It took me fifteen minutes trying to map out 7 miles using gmap-pedometer and not using any of my usual lake loops.

I started with my usual slow 2 mile warmup.  Instead of stopping to do a little stretch, I just gradually increased my speed until I was around an easy, comfortable 10 minute pace.  The only change I made around the 2 mile mark was wrapping up my headphones and putting them in my pocket.  I really should have just thrown them in a trash can along the way.

I will never buy a pair of Skullcandy headphones again.  First, the sound is poor.  My pair and someone else I know uses Skullcandy and the sound is "tinny".  Second and most importantly, I had to keep pushing the earbuds back into my ears about every 10 seconds.  That is just slightly annoying and there was no way I was going to make it 7 miles like that.

I had been using an old pair of Sony Walkman headphones for the past 7 years and they finally gave out last week.  I am going to search online to see what other runners prefer before I buy another set.  If nothing stands out, I will go back to Sony.

What does everyone use for headphones?  The sound quality has to be decent and more importantly, they have to stay in your ears while you are running.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Last Speed Workout Before the Next 5k

It is one week until the IOA Corporate 5k on Thursday, April 15th.  Tax Day and a 5k, because sometimes you need a little pressure to perform.  It would be really nice if the Oak trees would completely stop spreading their pollen around in the next week.  I'd love to be able to run the race without the aid of Claritin.  I can just envision a 5k in Central Florida this week if no one used anti-histamines.  The race course would look like a snail trail.

Back to my training blog.  Today was my last speed workout until the race.  I planned on running 2 mile repeats like last time, except I really wanted to hit my target pace.  I went out too fast on the last race and emptied my tank too early, which was completely indicative of my speed work that week.  I ran both 2 miles too fast.  Today, my goal was 2 x 1 miles @ 7:20.  I ran the first one in 7:05.  A little too fast, but not like my last workout when I ran 6:52.  I was really pressed for time, because I had to get to Track Shack before they closed to pick up our corporate team package.  I only used 1 lap for a recovery run.  I got into the repeat mile and met my target pace the first lap.  Second lap was too slow, so I ended up having to pick it back up the last 2 laps.  That was good practice for late in a race trying to keep pace.  I met my target of 7:20 exactly.

All in all, it was a good workout.  With warmup, repeats, recovery, and cooldown, I totaled 3.5 miles.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool's Day Run

I ran 5 miles on Tuesday with the intention of running 7.5.  My legs were just too heavy.  Well, I made up for it today.  I did 3 laps around Lake Ivanhoe and got my 7.5 miles logged.

My mind played an April Fool's joke on my legs.  My legs felt heavy for the first 2 miles during my warmup, but my mind fooled them into running 5 and half more.  I felt really good up until the last mile.

Warmup was 10:30 and 11:00 pace for the 2 miles.  A quick retie of my shoelaces and off I went.  Of my workout mileage, the first 2 miles were 8:30 and 8:45.  I don't know what my times were after that, because of how the loop is and I don't have everything measured.

I died the last mile of my run.  I felt like quitting and walking the rest of the way home.  There was a headwind most of it.  My right foot obviously had a blister and was starting to unnerve me.  Where does the runner's high kick in exactly, because I needed it about then.

It started easy and turned into a hard run.  7.5 miles logged and I feel good about it.  I will take off tomorrow, but I hope the blister (which popped on its own during the workout) heals and hardens into a callous by Saturday.  I would like to log another long run.

Seminole State College 5k - 3rd Place Male 35-39

I ran the first annual Seminole State College 5k on Saturday, March 28th at their Lake Mary campus.  There were only around 150 participants, because it was their first race event.  I liked my odds when the race started due to the small field.

I tried to keep to my pace, but got a little carried away.  I wanted to run 7:40 miles.  My first mile was fast at 7:20.  My second mile was a little fast at 7:25.  That small amount seemed to take its toll, because the third mile was 8:20.  I finished in 23:54.  I was hoping for a little better time, but I took over a minute off my last 5k race in February.  My average pace was 7:43.  Pat on the shoulder.

Next 5k is the IOA Corporate 5k on Thursday, April 15th in downtown Orlando.  My goal pace will be 7:20.  I have 2 weeks to take a minute off that last mile.