Thursday, October 30, 2008

Carbo loading...

Has begun. It's only Wednesday, but I figure I'll be running on Friday also, so it won't hurt. Want to make sure I pack my muscles with as much glycogen as possible for Sunday. I ate enough today to last an entire marathon on Friday. Sara made Chicken Assaggio for dinner. To add to the cookies I had at work today, I bought more baked goods from Amy's Bakery downstairs. I love living in the city. Everything I want seems just a block or two outside my door.

This entire season, I haven't really trained with gels. There were also at least a couple of times when I did 20+ milers without carbo loading and gels and I was able to last through both of them. That said, I know I still have to be smart about fueling during the race. I think the first 20 miles will be relatively easy. It's the last 6.2 that worries me.

On a totally unrelated note, I saw Sara on Lipstick Jungle tonight! She was in the background, but it's still pretty cool to see her on these shows :-)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

4 Days and Counting

The reality of the race is creeping into my semi-conscious. Last night, I had a hard time sleeping because I was thinking about my race strategy. When I finally fell asleep, I dreamed about being in the race! I don't remember exactly since I did not write about it after I woke up, but I have images of running past water stops in my head.

Before I did lose consciousness, I was trying to play out how I would break down the miles. Here's my preliminary game plan:

mile 1 (uphill on the Verazzano Br. - highest elev in race) | 8:30
mile 2 (downhill easy pickup) | 7:15
miles 3 - 6 | 7:25 - 7:30 | consume gel
miles 7 - 10 | 7:25
miles 10 - 13.1 | 7:20 | Consume gel. Body and mental check. Push? Push harder? :-)
miles 13.1 - 20 | 7:20 -7:25
miles 20 - 22.5 | 7:20
mile 22.5 - 23.5 (uphill!) | 7:50
mile 23.5 - finish | 7:00 - 7:20

Those times should bring me roughly at about 3:14:xx, just ahead of 3:15:00 and an official Boston qualifying time.

Besides that, the other thing that kept me up was the growing anxiety. I have not run a real race since my PR in Brooklyn. All signs and training point to a new PR for me, but I still have to execute.
  • Do I feel faster? Yes. Speed classes. Have also dropped about 5 lbs training.
  • Am I ready for the distance? Yes. Avg'd ~200 miles/mo. the last 3 mo's
  • Do I feel stronger? Yes. Core exercises, calisthenics.
Those "yes" answers make me nervous!

Oh yeah, skipped class tonight because of cold and rain, but went for a short 4 miler with bursts.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dum dee dum di dum - 5 days!

Signed up for the athlete alert page today. If you want to track me along the course, let me know. I'll add you on the list. It's not as cool as the USMC marathon's gps live tracker, but it does the job of triggering emails every time I pass certain checkpoints.

My workout for today - 700 crunches and some stretching. Will try to go to bed early tonight to get my rest early in the week.

It's Almost Over

So this is almost it. Did my last long run today. That means training is just about done and all that's left is the marathon itself. I'm always a little sad around this time of year knowing that my training is just about at its end. That's not to say that I'm not excited about the marathon. What saddens me is that I lose my goal. Along with it goes my drive to do something better. But it is what it is. There will always be something else to put my energy towards. I'm hoping it'll be Boston! :-)

This final week before the marathon is mostly going to be a waiting game. Day off Monday and Wednesday, a mild Tuesday night workout, maybe a short run on Thursday, striders on Friday, and stretching on Saturday and lots of crunches up 'til Thursday. Lots of crunches 'til Thursday, and thankfully, lots of eating!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Feeling beat

Still feeling the effects of yesterday's workout. After a pleasant run/walk with Kavita this evening and another hearty dinner (loco moco, anyone?), I fell victim to a cozy nap. I think I bit off more than I could chew yesterday. Found it incredible that my muscles ached more today than after a 20+ miler. Come to think of it, I think I'd rather run an easy 20 than 2x Tabata again.

Anyways, it's now 9 days and counting. It's still early, but I did have some difficulty sleeping last night thinking about the marathon. It could also have been due to yesterday's workout. Regardless, time is nigh and I'm getting very anxious. Tick tock tick tock tick tock.

Let's start already!!

Tonight's workout - 2x Tabata intervals

Tonight's workout was a first for me. I've always done Tabata intervals one set every few days, but tonight I thought I'd try two sets. What a bad idea. The first set of 8 intervals was barely doable. I needed about 10 mins to recover for my next set. Just before the second Tabata set, a group of runners - all girls - came to the Great Lawn 800m lap. I appreciated their supporting applause as I sprinted past them the first time. Right around the finish, they saw me flopping and almost stumbling through my 7th rep. Embarassing. I couldn't hold form any longer so I skipped the last repeat. Needless to say, it was a great workout. Double punishment to make up for my missed workout last night. I'm going to sleep very well tonight.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Taking Precautions

I skipped my NYRR class this evening. I'm starting to feel like I'm coming down with something for the second time in three weeks. I can't help to think that I'm being paranoid, but I definitely don't want to aggravate any oncoming sickness. If I feel well tomorrow, I'll do some speed sessions at the park on my own....probably some Yasso repeats or 6-8x from Columbus Circle to the marathon finish line at Tavern on the Green.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

13 Days and Counting

While I almost always love to go for a nice and easy run in Central Park, it's also nice to come home and know that I can enjoy the entire evening with my wife doing nothing. Briefly, here's what I did to enjoy my evening...

  • dinner
  • play Word Challenge
  • unsuccessfully tried to watch TV
  • 1050 crunches in between some web work
  • more web work
Interestingly, I ended doing more work than I had wanted. Hmmm....have to do this again and spend more time doing the right thing.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Active recovery run

Ran an easy 5.25 miles today, mostly to get to the 80% mark of my mileage from the previous week and for the active recovery. Also did 600 crunches and about 90 leg raises hanging from my pull-up bar. It was a great way to get me out of the apartment and enjoy the slightly breezy but still gorgeous autumn day. Just under 14 days to go now. I'm kind of relaxed right now so I don't feel any excitement or worry about it, but I still have a few "housekeeping" things on my list. Off the top of my head, they are:
  • order Asics Speedstar 3 running shoes - light trainers but good enough for racing. Flats might have been injurious.
  • buy EZ laces from the running shop at 88th and Lexington so I never have to worry about laces becoming undone
  • buy caramel flavored Power Gel
Hm, not as many things to do as I had thought. On the fitness side, besides my scheduled run, I still have to remember to stretch daily, massage my feet, work up to 1000 crunches on days I'm not running. I'll do about twenty miles next week, most of which will be covered Tuesday evening, and I think I'm just about set!

Two weeks and counting

About 17.25 miles today. I say about because in my rush out of the apartment, I forgot my Garmin 405. I relied on Jaime's instead, and we split about 3/4 mile from my place. No log today, but it would have shown that I covered the last 11(ish) miles of the marathon plus about 5 miles in the park and heading home. This was one of the more fun runs because it was all about interacting with other runners and chatting with a bunch of others for about 3 hrs. Time flew right by.

Judging by some of the conversations I had, I think I've set myself up to do a solid lower 3:20's time, and 3:15 a definite possibility. Jaime asked me if I would consider dropping out if I knew I wasn't going to make it. That's never been an option for me until he explained his logic. If I dropped out knowing I would not make my 3:15 goal, I could save myself for the Philadelphia marathon. I haven't signed up for the Philly marathon, and I don't intend to ;-)

Wish me luck!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Tabata Protocol

This evening's workout was a Tabata protocol session. For those that have not heard of it, the Tabata protocol, in short, is 4:00 of high intensity interval training (HIIT). It's broken down to 20 secs max effort and 10 secs rest periods repeated eight times. If you're looking for a lung-burning, head-exploding, spit-thickening, kill-me-now kind of workout, this is at the top of my list.

I hadn't done Tabata protocols in the last few months mainly because I've been distance training, but the last two weeks of marathon mileage involve high intensity short runs. During the first half of the year, these interval workouts helped me to a PR for the Brooklyn half-marathon and a 3.5 mile race in Central Park. I'm banking on similar benefits for race day.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

NYC Marathon Registration

No run today because of my taper. Will probably end up doing some core strengthening exercises instead. A couple of years ago, I did 1000 crunches a day for a week with a friend. I remember my runs at the end of the week and going into the next week felt easier because of a solid core. The best explanation I can come up with is that my torso felt like a strong and sturdy battery pack powering my legs and arms.

The NYC marathon registration card came in the mail today! I've scanned it for those who are looking forward to receiving the same next year. I'll be #12409!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Easy run/walk with Sara

I don't think I'd call this evening's run a workout. It was more of a pleasant run/walk stroll in Central Park with Sara. I felt heavy-legged today and short on sleep, so it was the perfect active recovery. In the end, we covered just under 5.5 miles running and walking.

My tapering concern for the day is that I'm starting to feel a lump in my throat again. Ugh. I thought I got over my cold last week. Maybe I didn't give myself enough time to fully recover before reverting into short sleep patterns and lots of dessert. All the more reason to go to bed.

I'm out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

NYRR Workout - 3 x 1 mile repeats in CP to marathon finish

My main goal for tonight's workout was to get my heart rate up while allowing myself to recover from Sunday's long run. I think the 3 x 1 milers were perfect for allowing me to do that. We started at about 100 St. along Central Park East and made our way to Tavern on the Green, the marathon finish. My legs felt heavy with my warmup jog to the workout so I started each of the miles easy and picked it up the last 600 meters. Surprisingly, I felt fresh during each of the repeats and found the pickups pretty easy. My times were 6:37, 6:01 and 6:11. Needless to say, I was pleased with tonight's results. My HR hit 188 on the last repeat. That was also a nice confidence boost since I did not feel that I exerted that much energy.

Lap Time Distance Avg Pace Avg Heart Rate Avg Cadence Calories
1 00:24:20 2.68 mi 09:04
126 bpm -- 294 C
2 00:18:10 2.28 mi 07:58 130 bpm -- 240 C
3 00:00:25 0.01 mi 31:43 170 bpm -- 4 C
4 00:06:01 0.98 mi 06:07172 bpm -- 99 C
5 00:01:49 0.15 mi 12:20 143 bpm -- 15 C
6 00:06:11 1.01 mi 06:06
177 bpm -- 103 C
7 00:22:27 2.27 mi 09:52 146 bpm -- 240 C

The next eighteen days are crucial for doing the race in the right mental state. My weekend long runs won't be so long (20 & 13), but my midweek runs will be incorporating speed and strength again. This means intervals and hill repeats.

Marathon Countdown Thoughts

Have too much energy to go to sleep so I've been doing some thinking about my training these past few months. I've devoted the most amount of energy and time training this year compared to all other years. A quick list off the top of my head of what I've done differently this year:
  • seven 20+ milers with max 23.57
  • previous yrs - three 20+ milers max 22
  • two 60+ mile weeks
  • previous yrs - 0
  • committed to NYRR weekly speed sessions
  • speed and strength training early in the year - Tabata protocol, weights and stretching
  • committed to setting at least one personal record - achieved @ Brooklyn half with 1:32:09. I feel stronger now than when I set my PR.
Considering the work I've put in, I think it's safe for me to trust my training. But there's a little nagging part of me that's not satisfied. I wish I did not get sick this past week so I could have done more mileage. I wish I had done more races to feel even stronger. My last real long race was the Brooklyn Half - in early May.

Last year, I thought I could run 3:10:xx to qualify for Boston. That was ignorant, arrogant and disrespectful to those who train so hard. I'm trying to avoid that mistake this year. Thank goodness I'm also in a new (wiser!) demographic for an extra five minutes.

I think it's now most important to get my mind straight. I can do the marathon in 3:15:xx, but it will be a hard effort. I've logged ~670 miles since July, so I know my body can take the beating. A 7:27:xx pace for 26.2 miles - yes, more than possible. I think I need to watch Chariots of Fire or something like that to fire me up even more during this countdown period. Boston or die trying!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Off topic: Facebook and Twitter

Since Twitterfeed no longer updates to Facebook status to Twitter, I've been home-brewing a script to take care of this for me so I can be more active on my Twitter account again. Unfortunately, I just found this evening a Twitter application in Facebook that does this. I guess that's the bad news. The good news is that mobile updates on Facebook do not post to Twitter with the same app. That's excuse enough for me to continue working on it. I'll post more info here as I come close to finishing it up.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Last long training run for the year

This was probably one of my more painful long runs for the year. Adding to still being sick, I hit the wall today. Didn't take any gels, relying only on water. I figured an easy pace would make it doable, and for the most part it was.

Below is the breakdown. The first six miles was with Sara. I was lucky enough to find more company with Nicole from approximately miles 11-15. I picked up the pace from miles 18-21, and the rest was a painful cooldown on the way home. It was a solid, final long run given my condition.

Lap Time Distance Avg Speed Avg Heart Rate Avg Cadence Calories
1 00:09:50 1.00 mi 6.1 mph 111 bpm -- 100 C
2 00:10:54 1.00 mi 5.5 mph 121 bpm -- 109 C
3 00:11:19 1.00 mi 5.3 mph 116 bpm -- 104 C
4 00:10:11 1.00 mi 5.9 mph 126 bpm -- 106 C
5 00:09:57 1.00 mi 6.0 mph 127 bpm -- 105 C
6 00:09:33 1.00 mi 6.3 mph 127 bpm -- 108 C
7 00:08:31 1.00 mi 7.0 mph 131 bpm -- 107 C
8 00:08:46 1.00 mi 6.8 mph 137 bpm -- 107 C
9 00:08:37 1.00 mi 7.0 mph 141 bpm -- 105 C
10 00:08:01 1.00 mi 7.5 mph 141 bpm -- 106 C
11 00:08:00 1.00 mi 7.5 mph 151 bpm -- 108 C
12 00:08:14 1.00 mi 7.3 mph 144 bpm -- 105 C
13 00:08:42 1.00 mi 6.9 mph 143 bpm -- 102 C
14 00:08:36 1.00 mi 7.0 mph 142 bpm -- 104 C
15 00:08:34 1.00 mi 7.0 mph 146 bpm -- 106 C
16 00:09:02 1.00 mi 6.6 mph 139 bpm -- 102 C
17 00:11:05 1.00 mi 5.4 mph 129 bpm -- 97 C
18 00:07:51 1.00 mi 7.6 mph 150 bpm -- 104 C
19 00:07:39 1.00 mi 7.8 mph 153 bpm -- 106 C
20 00:07:33 1.00 mi 7.9 mph 166 bpm -- 110 C
21 00:08:30 1.00 mi 7.1 mph 153 bpm -- 103 C
22 00:09:14 1.00 mi 6.5 mph 141 bpm -- 105 C
23 00:10:57 1.00 mi 5.5 mph 136 bpm -- 110 C
24 00:04:48 0.57 mi 7.1 mph 127 bpm -- 58 C

For the most part, I'm proud that mile 20 was my fastest. It was the uphill mile from 110th to 90th. In addition, I'm glad I didn't do the Staten Island Half Marathon today. I don't think I would have been able to keep up a 7:25 pace for the entire race today, and I didn't want to risk anyone getting sick on my account.

For this week, I managed to amble some 55+ miles Well short of the 70 I had hoped, but I did the best I could with a cold. This is the most I think I've trained since I started doing marathons, and I think I can do better next year. See image for my mileage this week.

So now comes the best part of marathon training - the taper. Mileage will reduce drastically from here until marathon day, but training miles will be just a little more intense. Time also to recover from injuries and to sharpen my mental preparation.

Training Interruptions

The biggest obstacle to marathon training? Life. There are many things that I can forgo in place of a long run, but my wife's birthday definitely is not of those things. I chose to enjoy walking all around the city today until dinner, and then stayed up (still up) late to consume a freshly baked red velvet cake and some mini red velvet cupcakes. All good stuff. If I weren't still sick, I definitely would probably get up early to do the race tomorrow because it's always easier to do a long run with company. If I feel well tomorrow, I may actually still get up, but the more likely scenario is that I'll sleep in and do about 22 miles within Central Park.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sick miles

I wish my title meant lots of miles. Unfortunately, it means the last few miles that I've logged have been while I'm still nursing this cold. I did some easy jog/walk with Sara yesterday. Today, I went for a really easy run just to log more miles. I may do another easy jog tomorrow to pick up my race packet for the Staten Island Half Marathon on Sunday, but we'll see since it's Sara's birthday. Regardless, I'll be running on Sunday even if I'm sick. The miles this week are that important. I know I was hoping to do 70+, but that's not going to happen this year. I'll be happy to break 60, and that's only if I run to pick up my packet tomorrow.

Among other things, my knee injury is much better. I still have a little bit of a pain, but it's now dull and bearable, I think, for 26.2 miles.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's As Good A Time As Any To Get Sick

Yep, I think I'm coming down with a cold. It's not full-blown yet, so I'm trying to fend it off today with lots and lots of green tea, vitamin C, Airborne and going to bed early to get lots of sleep. I am also avoiding desserts and most forms of processed sugar.

The bad news about coming down with anything this week is that I want to log 70 miles this week. The good news is that this is happening four weeks before the marathon. I'm thankful it's not happening four days prior.

If I feel like I'm better tomorrow and well rested, I'm definitely going to log some miles tomorrow. I felt good enough to go today, but Sara talked some sense into me. It's smarter to rest up early and try to nip it in the bud.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

NYRR Workout - Fartleks from mile 22.5 to marathon finish

Tonight's workout consisted of fartleks from 110th and 5th Ave. to the marathon finish. This workout was important for us to feel the last four miles or so of the marathon. Especially important was for us to feel the one mile uphill climb from 110th to 90th, which is probably the toughest mile on the course. My lap breakdown before the workout and the post workout mileage is as follows:

Lap Time Distance Avg Pace Avg Heart Rate Avg Cadence Calories
1 00:23:44 2.89 mi 08:12 149 bpm -- 315 C
2 00:16:01 1.64 mi 09:45 123 bpm -- 178 C
3 00:05:37 0.67 mi 08:27 140 bpm -- 71 C
4 00:00:04 0.00 mi 23:02 144 bpm -- 1 C
5 00:02:34 0.31 mi 08:24 147 bpm -- 29 C
6 00:02:31 0.37 mi 06:54 156 bpm -- 38 C
7 00:16:18 2.25 mi 07:15 163 bpm -- 238 C
8 00:28:10 3.13 mi 09:00
149 bpm -- 326 C
9 00:08:17 0.90 mi 09:13 137 bpm -- 92 C

Going into tonight's workout, I was concerned about my knee holding up. It still hurts a little, but I'm actually quite pleased. It's going to continue to get better. I can't believe I only started praying about it last night. Coincidence? Perhaps, but I've had too many things happen in my life that have been "coincidental" after prayer.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Easy run - 6.11 miles

Monday runs are almost always recovery runs from a Sunday long run, and today was no different. I stayed with Sara for about the first mile, then went on my usual easy pace, which I would guesstimate to be about 7:45/min. Here's my lap info:

Lap Time Distance Avg Pace Avg Heart Rate Avg Cadence Calories
1 00:09:08 1.00 mi 09:08
107 bpm -- 104 C
2 00:07:53 1.00 mi 07:53 144 bpm -- 107 C
3 00:08:09 1.00 mi 08:09
151 bpm -- 106 C
4 00:07:40 1.00 mi 07:40 151 bpm -- 106 C
5 00:07:37 1.00 mi 07:37 148 bpm -- 106 C
6 00:09:41 1.00 mi 09:41 129 bpm -- 109 C
7 00:02:11 0.11 mi 20:35 94 bpm -- 15 C

I'm still having an issue with my knee. I took it easy tonight also for this reason. I'm going to continue to hope that it will get better as the marathon approaches.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

10/5 Long run - 4 weeks to go!

Enjoyed a pleasant short long run this evening. The first six miles was a walk/jog with Sara. At about mile 6, I took off to practice my marathon pace. Laps 1-8 were with Sara and laps 15-16 were cooldown. My per mile breakdown is as follows:

Lap Time Distance Avg Pace Avg Heart Rate Avg Cadence Calories
1 00:09:53 1.00 mi 09:53
107 bpm -- 98 C
2 00:00:33 0.06 mi 08:58 135 bpm -- 7 C
3 00:11:15 1.00 mi 11:15 129 bpm -- 100 C
4 00:19:21 1.00 mi 19:21 84 bpm -- 74 C
5 00:09:21 1.00 mi 09:21116 bpm -- 105 C
6 00:09:47 1.00 mi 09:47 132 bpm -- 103 C
7 00:14:20 1.00 mi 14:20 106 bpm -- 89 C
8 00:08:09 1.00 mi 08:09
136 bpm -- 105 C
9 00:07:38 1.00 mi 07:38 157 bpm -- 107 C
10 00:07:22 1.00 mi 07:22 162 bpm -- 105 C
11 00:07:04 1.00 mi 07:04
165 bpm -- 105 C
12 00:07:16 1.00 mi 07:16 168 bpm -- 106 C
13 00:07:07 1.00 mi 07:07 168 bpm -- 105 C
14 00:07:17 1.00 mi 07:16 164 bpm -- 106 C
15 00:03:41 0.45 mi 08:16 157 bpm -- 47 C
16 00:08:38 0.93 mi 09:18 127 bpm -- 110 C

I have a couple of issues after this run...

First, my inner left kneecap pain has not gone away and I'm heading into my longest training week starting tomorrow. It doesn't feel structural, but the pain it's a slightly sharp, nagging pain that grows more pronounced after several pace miles. I'm hoping it'll take care of itself eventually.

Second, I'm still concerned about the effort I have to put out to run marathon pace. I was averaging 88% at 7:07. Luckily, I have about 20 secs of slack from that pace. Based on my pace workouts so far, my heart rate should be about 160-162, or about 82% max heart rate. At that rate, I'll cramp up around mile 20 if I don't hydrate properly.

Lastly, I still have not developed a good feel for the 7:27 pace. I know that Central Park is hilly, but so are portions of the marathon course. I'm 15 secs too fast or too slow. Four weeks to figure that out. I'll also have to figure in the adrenaline come race day. Can't wait!

Anyhow, I logged just under 37 miles last week, but it's been a good recovery week.

Another Off Day!

No running today, but my wife and I did accidentally walk in to a filming of "Make Me A Supermodel" after we had pizza at Grimaldi's. That's the fun thing about living in NYC. Walk around, and before you know it, you're walking by a plastic cube hoisted in the air occupied by REALLY skinny, long legged lingerie clad girls. And on Thursday, Sara and I ran across Ralph Fiennes who was also jogging in Central Park.

Anyhow, I think it was good to give my knee another break. Still sore. Tomorrow I'm planning on about 15-18 miles - a short(ish) long run - after I'm done volunteering at the Central Park Biathlon.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Resisting Temptation

This evening's run was an easy stroll around the lower loop with Sara, and then a larger loop around Jacqueline Onassis Reservoir. I covered just over 8 miles in 1:11:02. It was such a pleasant evening that I had to resist the temptation to run longer. It finally felt like fall, so the air was crisp and cool. The park was relatively empty. I felt I could roam freely physically, mentally...spiritually. No ipod or other distractions. Just me and my footsteps. I've always thought that everyone should have a method of escape. At this point, for me, it's running.

I'm sore from yesterday's weights session. Definitely gave my back and core a solid workout. I feel like just a little bit of extra strength will shave off a few seconds or a minute for me during the race, and I will probably need it.

Tomorrow, I'm planning on another pace exercise around the park, but maybe a 7 mile pace run instead. To meet my reduced mileage goal for the week, I'll need to do another 15 on Sunday. I'm hoping to have Sara's company again for the long run.

Today's workout:
Lap Time Distance Avg Pace Avg Heart Rate Avg Cadence Calories
1 00:09:06 1.09 mi 08:22
107 bpm -- 120 C
2 00:17:27 1.67 mi 10:25 119 bpm -- 179 C
3 00:00:03 0.00 mi 20:27 115 bpm -- 1 C
4 00:36:09 4.30 mi 08:24 139 bpm -- 453 C
5 00:09:05 0.95 mi 09:33 122 bpm -- 105 C

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Today's training: weights

I've read that it's usually not a good idea to do more running after a marathon pacing exercise. I'd usually discard that and go for an easy recovery run, but I had an appointment with a colleague to go to Chelsea Piers Health Club today so it was a good excuse to not go running. It's also an easy, lower mileage recovery week for me, so I guess it was a good idea to skip a run.

Six hours later, I'm glad I agreed to go to the gym, but my body disagrees. I had an excellent back and core workout and also put in time for a good stretch. Usually around this time of the year, I neglect all strength training and get back into it after the marathon. But it was nice to get some weight training in today. In relation to marathon training, I feel like weight training builds a stronger structure for the engine. I'm confident about my engine at this point, I just want to make sure the rest of me doesn't fall apart during the race.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Marathon Pace Training

31 days and 12 hrs to the NYC marathon! That means I have to start getting very familiar with my marathon pace, so that's what I decided to do this evening. I set my trusty Garmin 405 virtual partner to run 7:25/mile and to make every mile an automatic lap. Going into the workout, I needed to my legs and effort level to understand a ~7:25 effort. I also needed to gauge my exertion levels, and how that corresponded to my heart rate. Here are my results:

Lap Time Distance Avg Pace Avg HR Calories
1 00:08:50 1.00 mi 08:50
114 bpm
100 C
2 00:07:27 1.00 mi 07:27 153 bpm
107 C
3 00:07:29 1.00 mi 07:29 156 bpm
105 C
4 00:07:07 1.00 mi 07:07 157 bpm
106 C
5 00:07:32 1.00 mi 07:32 162 bpm
106 C
6 00:07:15 1.00 mi 07:15 158 bpm
106 C
7 00:07:16 1.00 mi 07:16 158 bpm
106 C
8 00:08:43 1.00 mi 08:43 131 bpm
108 C
9 00:00:12 0.02 mi 12:36 131 bpm
1 C

Laps 1,8 and 9 were warmups and cooldowns. I wasn't exactly sure what a consistent 7:25 feels like, and the hills at Central Park did not make it easier to feel the pace. Consequently, I just tried to keep the same effort level after my first mile at 7:27. The good news is that I felt my effort was fairly even throughout, and it didn't feel so difficult. The bad news is that my pace fluctuated according to the the park elevations. I think come marathon time, I'll have to use the downhills to bank some precious seconds.

The other thing about my run tonight is that my lower calf muscles felt like there were on fire. My legs aren't fully recovered yet from the urbanathlon and the 20+ miles the following day. This goes to emphasize how important it is to approach the start feeling physically fresh. I can't wait.