Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weekend 7/27 - Feeling good

7/27: 8 miles: 1:33:03: 11:37 pace
2/28 Run for Walk: 4.1 miles: 41:26: 9:59 pace

Excellent weekend for running -- temps in the 60s will do that. I did eight miles with some of the Evanston Running Club members, a nice scenic run along the lake front, past the Baha'i Temple and back. I need to remember to start taking picture along some of these runs.

Sunday I did the Run for Walk at Northwestern University. It started at the the football stadium and ended on the 50 yard line. This was also a really good time and I was very happy with my time on that one and I was feeling really good.

Hoping that feeling continues as I travel this week. Will be running Tuesday -- seven miles -- and Wednesday -- probably around four. All in all gearing up for another 13 miles run next Saturday.

Friday, July 26, 2013

7/25 run - Speed work that doesn't suck

5.3 miles: 59:06: 11:07 pace

Speed work with my running buddy Thursday. The Evanston Running Club does track speed workouts on Wednesday nights and my original plan was to go but I bailed. No excuse other than I didn't feel like it, Rory was coming home from work and I wanted to hang out with her. This is why I like to work out in the morning, less excuses for me to bail. If I don't get up when the alarm goes off I'm just lazy.

So instead I did speed work with my running buddy Terri. We did a one mile warmup and then six 800 meter sprints which were faster than my 5K speed. For the first three we were around a 9:30 mile pace and for the the last three around 9:50 pace. One minute, 30 second breaks in between intervals.

My loathing of speed work is well documented but this wasn't all that bad. I need to go to the track workouts because they have people walking you through different workouts every week which may make it a little better.

Eight miles with the ERC folks tomorrow morning and then the 4.1 mile Run for Walk at Northwestern on Sunday to get my 12 miles in for the weekend. I'm traveling next week but am bringing running gear and looking forward to a change in scenery.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

7/23 run - Recovering

4.5 miles: 52:37: 11:29 pace

It was nice to get out there and loosen up. Ankle is a little tender but loosens up once I get moving. Quads are a little sore too but overall not feeling too bad. Biggest problem was that I didn't have any food in the house when I got home.

Going to check out the speed workout with ERC Wednesday night in addition to boot camp in the morning. Might try to go six on Thursday if I'm feeling up for it.

Monday, July 22, 2013

7/21 - Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon

13.1 miles: 2:40:08: 12:13 pace

First official half marathon race in the books and I wish I was happier. I was almost three minutes better in my training run a couple of weeks ago and I thought the heat and humidity for that run were worst than what I experienced Sunday.

It was muggy to start on Sunday, I was sweating before we even started running, probably low 70s air temp but thick. I was keeping up with the 2:30 pace group up until mile six and that's when I learned a valuable lesson, make sure my Cliff Shot Blocks are open before the race starts. I went to grab a couple before the aid station and couldn't open the package because I was so sweaty.

I otherwise can't pinpoint where things went wrong and maybe they really didn't, maybe it was a combination of the weather and my ability. I fueled appropriately before but was definitely feeling dehydrated during the race and like I couldn't get enough fluids at the rest stops. I was only able to get Gatorade at two of the aid stations but was also taking at least three cups of water and I still didn't think that was enough.

I have three months to get ready for the next big thing and I have some concerns. The marathon will be a race to just finish -- yes, I know I'm lowering expectations again. I also look forward to cooler temps.

On the positive side, I met a number of folks from the Endurance Sports Connection -- the Facebook group that offers awesome encouragement for all types of endurance athletes.

I also ran into some of the Evanston Running Club (ERC) folks I've been going out with and they had positive words too. It's great groups like this that help me get through these tough runs.

When I got home after I ate my face off and then slept. I then ate some more and ended up going to bed at 7 pm waking up at 6 am. Nothing like 11-hours of sleep to make you feel human again. Though I may have an ear infection, my left ear has been clogged since Saturday and I probably should make a doctor's appointment.

Otherwise, I feel pretty good, the ankle is a little tender but not bad. Will probably try to get out for a couple miles Tuesday, hit the speed workout session with the ERC Wednesday night and get some miles in Thursday. Saturday I plan for eight with four following on Sunday with Run for Walker. Boot camp Wednesday and Friday too. Less than three months to the marathon.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

7/18 run - Acclimating?

4 miles: 44:52: 11:12 pace

Another steamy run, but was glad to get out there. First couple miles weren't bad but the last two kinda sucked. Cold front is supposed to come in Friday night and cool things for the weekend. Temps could be in the 60s for the start Sunday, which would be glorious.

Resting the next couple of days in anticipation. Will check out the expo tomorrow afternoon and pick up my packet. After Sunday's run I will also pass 400 miles for 2013.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

7/16 run - Oh, the humidity

3.7 miles: 40:06: 11:10 pace

It was 75 degrees with 80% humidity at 5:30 am. That's really all I have. My plan was to do four to five miles but the group wasn't feeling it and in retrospect once I got out there I wasn't feeling it either.

The forecast calls for cooler temps Sunday but nothing on the humidity. Was contemplating wearing the fuel belt but with aid stations every 1.7 or so miles I don't think it'll be necessary. The weather is going to make this a tough race. One of the woman from the run club who has numerous half marathons under her belt says her goal is to just finish. That's sort of making me rethink my expectations.

I did the 13.1 in 2:37 a couple of weeks ago in awful condition and was hoping for less than 2:30. Between the adrenaline of a race and aid stations to stay hydrated I still thinking it's doable. That's still going to be my goal but I'm not going beat myself up if I don't hit it. Need to listen to my body and keep focused on October.

Monday, July 15, 2013

7/14 - Hometown Charity Run

3.1 miles: 31:03: 10:05 pace

Fulfilled my obligation to run a 5K in a tutu on Sunday for those who have donated to the Wright-Way Animal Shelter. It was a good time, was getting a lot of fun comments from volunteers on the course and afterwards.

The first 5K I every ran in 2008 was at Sox park too, though this one took a much different and better route. It was fun running down 35th Street through Bridgeport and on to the field at the park.

The time is a personal best for a 5K by 13 seconds but I didn't hit my goal of sub-30 minutes. It was a little disappointing but my own fault. The day before we had a birthday party and we were on the deck of this great place in Lincoln Square, the weather was perfect, the beer was cold and the company was fantastic. The beer garden closed early and we then went for Mexican, a cuisine that I don't have a good track record with when running the next day. But I went with the flow and enjoyed myself.

When you train for a marathon you give a lot of things up. Since I typically do my long runs on Saturday mornings, that means no going out on Friday night, no beer to unwind and healthy food. As the training intensifies I know this is only going to become more important and I realized this might be one of the last times between now and Oct. 13 that I get to kick back and relax.

I probably won't be running another 5K until November -- Turkey Trot -- so will have to try for sub-30 then.

Five mile run tomorrow with ERC, boot camp Wednesday, three on Thursday and the rest, rest, rest for Sunday. Cloudy and a high of 79 is the forecast right now, which sounds fantastic. I would love cooler but overcast and the 70s sounds great, hopefully the humidity we're getting this week will abate.

Random notes:

  • Running the 4.1 mile Run for Walker at Northwestern on July 28. Folks from the Evanston Runner's Club were talking about it and it's a block from the in-law's place so should be fun. 
  • Doing the CARA Magellan Ready to Run 20 miler Sept. 22. It's a fully-supported training run for the fall marathons. 
  • Signed up for the Crosstown Classic 10K. Runner's pick north of south side and the average time of the top 1,000 finisher's determines the winner. I'm supposed to run 12 miles that day and will be in the taper but should be fine. Seemed like too much fun to pass up. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

7/11 run - Mixed bag

3.7 miles: 39:17: 10:38 pace
2.4 miles: 28:00:11:49 pace

Had no idea what I should have run yesterday, I'm in a weird training limbo because of the 5K Sunday -- where I want a personal best -- and the half marathon on July 21. The 5K is basically going to be my speed work for the week, I'm going to try and run 3.1 miles as fast as possible without throwing up because I want to break 30 minutes.

At first I was just going to head out and do six easy miles but then I remembered I had the Road Runner Adventure Run in the evening. Instead I decided to do my 3.7 mile loop around the house and just push myself every so slightly more than I would normally. This was maybe a little under race pace considering that I haven't run a 5K race since November.

I was really happy with this run. I felt good but also felt like I had something left in the tank, which makes breaking 30 a real possibility.

As for the Adventure Run -- well, that didn't go as well. I got out there and was not feeling right. Don't know if I didn't eat or drink enough before but I was in a bad place. Turned around early to rehydrate and grab some food.

Which now brings up a new section for Zack Can Run, shameless plugs! Just to be clear, I did receive free products but not because I have this blog, just because I am a sucker for places that give out free stuff.

As I've written before, I've been attending the Road Runner Sports Adventure Runs in Wilmette. These are a lot of fun and it's not just because I have gotten a lot of free stuff -- even though I have.

Last night Honey Stinger was a sponsor and I tried a few of their offerings, some of the best tasting energy products I've tasted. The waffles are ridiculous and the bars are some of the best I've had too. I won't be switching off of my Cliff Shots for now but will keep these in the running.

I previously won a pair of New Balance shoes at the Adventure Run, New Balance is a sponsor. But last night they also had Mizuno out there. I ran in the brand new Wave Sayanora and they were really nice shoes very light but sturdy with a nice wide toe box. With the raffle I also won a pair of Mizuno shoes, though I am giving the certificate to Rory because she needs a new pair and I don't. That said, if she doesn't find a pair of Mizuno she likes I will be getting a pair of the Wave Sayanora.

Rest day tomorrow and 5K in a tutu fun on Sunday. Boot camp Monday and Wednesday, no idea what I'm running Tuesday, figure I'll do an easy two miles on Thursday.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

7/9 run - Adjusting to the humidity

6.2 miles: 1:11:07: 11:29 pace

Ran again with the Evanston Running Club and became a member. It seemed like $25 well spent, I like the Tuesday early runs and will probably take them up on some of the long Saturday runs building up to the marathon. I'm still getting use to running and talking but it's going to be a good thing. I'm curious about the speed track workout they do on Wednesday's too.

The run on Tuesday was a bit slower but it was muggy. Probably high-60s air temp but 100% humidity. They say the more you run in the weather, the more you acclimiate  so I'm writing that run off for acclimation.

Trying to figure out what I'm going to do tomorrow. It's usually my speed work day but that's what I'll be doing Sunday at my 5K. Trying to figure out if I should do another six or so or scale it back. Next week will be six on Tuesday and three on Thursday and rest before the half on Sunday.

Rory is finishing the tutu for Sunday's 5K and I have my Team Wright-Way training shirt. Breaking 30 minutes is going to be tough, especially since we now have events on Saturday.

I also have signed up for another race, because I am a maniac. I'm running the 4.1 mile Run for Walker on July 28. It starts and ends by Northwestern's football stadium. Found out about it from the Evanston Running Club and it will be a nice way to get back to it after the half marathon.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

7/4 and 7/6 runs - Catching up

July 4: 3.5 miles: 41:41: 11:24 pace
July 6: 13.1miles: 2:37:42:12:01 pace

Rough couple of runs. I blame my poor eating and drinking habits around the holiday and summer finally arriving and bringing some warmer temps.

Since Thursday was a holiday I slept in and didn't get out the door until after 9 am. It was already in the mid-70s and made for a rough speed work session. The beers and fried chicken I ate the night before didn't help matters either.

As for my long run, it was in the lower 70s when I started a little before 6 am. I was feeling good, other than a couple of cookies I didn't eat bad on Friday, but the heat got to me. I was pretty good until about mile seven and it was down hill from there.

I'm not hurt, everything is feeling more or less normal, though my left shoulder was bugging me badly around mile 10. It's happened a couple of times before but this was the worst of it. The adventures in chaffing continued, though not as bad. I have psoriasis and those spots are more prone to problems and I have to make sure to use extra Body Glide on those areas.

Fifteen days till the first official half. What was I thinking signing up for a half in July in Chicago? Easing it up the next couple of week, will be my lowest mileage since May. Probably six to seven on Tuesday and three to four on Thursday. Running the 5K Sunday. Might try to do a little longer run the following Tuesday and then really ease off before the half.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

7/2 run

6.7 miles: 1:15:10: 11:10 pace

So much for cutting back mileage, did a whole third of a miles less than what I normally do on a Tuesday. Decided to mix things up this morning and ran with some folks from the Evanston Running Club.

A friend who was in my boot camp sometimes runs with this group and she mentioned it. I decided to check it out and mix things up. I think the run was supposed to be closer to six miles than seven but it still felt good. Change of scenery and running with someone else can be a nice was to change things up.

There were five of us that started off but then it was me and another guy, who will be running his third marathon this fall. It was nice to mix things up and I felt good after the run, I don't know if I'll make it every week but it's a good option to have out there.

Boot camp tomorrow and then speed work before I celebrate the 4th. Big 13.1 on Saturday and then dialing it back a bit.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Lowering expectations

Last week I was having some issues -- I called it runner's malaise -- because of the last few training runs and how slow I have been. People have said with the first marathon -- especially when pushing 40 -- the goal is to just finish.

That is, if course, my primary goal but I also wanted to try and break 4:30. My reason being that is Oprah can do 4:27 than I should be able too as well. I came to the realization this weekend that it's not going to happen.

I need to realize under five hours will be good for me and not try to be too hard on myself. If I readjust my expectations I won't psych myself out and get depressed when my training runs are slow. Five hours is a much more realistic goal for me and anything else is just gravy.

As for the half marathon coming up, I'm hoping for around 2:20, which I think is doable. This weekend will bear that out as I do my first 13.1 mile training run. Glorious running weather for early July, should be low 60s when I head out in the morning on Tuesday and Thursday but it may be a bit warmer Saturday.

Considering cutting back my Tuesday mileage slightly and seeing if I can do them at a faster pace. A friend was telling me about a group that meets along the lakefront in Evanston on Tuesday morning's, debating checking that out.

I did slightly tweak my ankle Saturday, it's been a little tender, but once I get moving it seems to loosen up. Wondering if I should rest it a bit?

Signed up for a 10K during my taper for the marathon. It looks like a fun one and I couldn't pass it up. Go South Side!