Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Raining, Cool....I Went for a Run

Skipped my speed workout tonight but all for the better. Long day at work and short rest the last few days would have made for a bad quality workout (read: lazy). But I needed to get out tonight to run off some pent up negativity and just enjoy the evening, and what a perfect evening it was to enjoy the park. Temperature in the mid-60's and the sky flooding the grounds below, I had a feeling it was going to be a refreshing jog.

And so it was
. :-)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Nyack Out & Back Ride from Central Park

First time doing this ride and I must say it was quite pleasant. Joined up with friends and colleagues at the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge after a brisk ride from Columbus Circle.

The ride out and back was very leisurely, which is what made it pleasant. Rolling hills and a couple of big downhills provided the necessary rush. And once we made it to the Runcible Spoon about 18 miles later, we downed pastries, coffee and gatorade to refuel for the ride back. I had never seen so many bikers gathered at a bakery.

It took a little longer than expected because we had a mountain bike with us (mad props to DA for toughing it out), but looking forward to doing this ride again.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Strength Training

Suffice it to say that for now, I'm out of running mode. That does not mean that I'm not running. I'm just running to maintain now and not push so much to get faster times. I have about three weeks left in this mode. Until then, I've decided to devote some time to a little bit of strength training. Specifically, some of my colleagues and myself are competing to be able to do 100 pushups straight and 30 pullups straight. I'm about halfway on the pushups and almost halfway to the pullups. I'm hoping that 5 short weeks will help me to my goal. I'll try to document my progress here on a biweekly basis.

My starting point on June 26, 2009:
60 pushups
13 pullups

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Niketown Track Workout | 800/1200/1600/1200/800 ladder

Joined the Niketown training group that meets at Paragon on Wednesday evenings for the first time, and I must say that besides the tough workout, I enjoyed myself. I was also pleasantly surprised that it was not the big group that I had expected.

Tonight's workout was an 800/1200/1600/1200/800 on the track
. I'm not, and never have been a track runner, so I was looking forward to it. Going to the workout though, I wasn't sure how taking last week mostly off and sleeping at 3am last night would affect my workout. I joined with the 6:30 pace group and my splits went as follows:

800m - 3:10
200m easy recovery
1200m - 4:39
200m easy recovery
1600m - 6:11
400m easy recovery
1200m - don't know. forgot to press stopwatch, but I'm guessing about 4:50
200m easy
600m - 2:37

I stopped 200m short on my last repeat. Sickens me to say that I QUIT. FAILED to complete the final 200. But I couldn't go anymore. Gassed. Spent. Out of it.

It was a great workout with amicable coaches, and probably will go back again after my road runner sessions are done.

The best part about the workout was the commute home. It was about a 2mi run home straight up Broadway, through Times Square and left on 47th to 9th Ave. Lots to see and lots of crowds to dodge made it a short commute.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ninja Warrior!

I just discovered Ninja Warrior this weekend. Several years late, I know, but nonetheless inspired. Wow, some of the competitors on the show are the most incredible athletes I've seen. If you haven't seen the show, check out http://www.g4tv.com. Here's one of my favorite demo's:

So what's this got to do with running? Nothing really, but I think I want to incorporate more upper body training to my workouts. I'll be happy being able to do 50 pull-ups and 100 push-ups straight.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

No Hard Workouts This Week

Seems I've been notching down my running the last couple of months. Short miles last month, but intense short miles. That reached an apex at the corporate challenge for me and I just kind of got tired of this hard running. Promised myself an easy workout week, as in no speed workouts this week. Just easy miles. And what do you know...I already feel like doing one tomorrow and it's only Thursday. Can't live with'em. Can't live without'em.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Run For The Sake Of It

I felt physically and mentally drained after Thursday's race. Even though I came up short of my goal, I was pleased with my effort. After digesting the experience, I came to realize that I really missed running. That is, running without the stress of time be it in racing or training. So that's what I did today.

The weather was perfect for a relaxing run; cool with some moisture. I was actually hoping for some rain to enjoy nature a little more :-) Within the park, I settled into a nice and easy pace. One of the best things about running in Central Park is that there's always others running. And that presents opportunities to chat with them along the way. Today, I met a 2:56 marathoner pushing his 17-mo. old twins in a stroller around the large loop. Meeting new people and talking along the miles has been one of my favorite past times here in NY, and I remembered that today because I wasn't training. I think I'm looking forward to marathon training again just so that I can enjoy the pavement again.

Race Report - 2009 Corporate Challenge

I'm a night person, but not usually because I eat late. I can't sleep with food in my stomach, and tonight was the second night in a row I've been out with friends eating late. Definitely enjoy the food, company and the social atmosphere, but I'm not a young buck anymore that can function normally on short sleep.

That said, what better time to write about the 2009 Corporate Challenge while I sip on green tea to ease digestion. My race experience in one word: painful. I wonder if it was a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Here are my splits.

Mile 1 | 6:08
Went out too fast, but I really thought that I could manage. Adrenaline has a way of throwing off pace. At this point, I thought I could slow down just a little bit and ease into a more manageable pace.

Mile 2 | 6:24
Slowed down some as planned, but realized that it was not having the restful effect I had expected. As a matter of fact, I felt pretty bad. 189 HR confirms that. I was not going to have a 2007 repeat, which was to completely shut down and walk a few seconds, but I'm not denying I didn't want it.

Mile 3 | 6:34
This was supposed to be the 6:10 mile, but it was just not going to happen with such a fast start. I kept pushing and trying anyway. Dropped shoulders, relaxed hands, leaned slightly forward, etc etc. I kept thinking, "only 3 more 800's. Only 2 more 800's. 400 at a time." Whatever kept my legs churning.

Mile 3.5 | 3:24 Totally gassed. Max HR of 196! That's the highest I've ever seen in the yrs I've had my monitor. No wonder I couldn't push any more. And no wonder my mouth and right arm went numb. Spirit was willing, but the body was shot.

Total time: 23:33
My Garmin405 read 3.53 @ 23:33, but I accidentally added 3-4 seconds and distance when I was trying to scroll through to the watch history post race. Also stopped it slightly after the finish. I think 23:29 was a more accurate finish, but rounding it up to 23:30.

I was 30 secs off my goal pace. Totally overshot. I did much much better last year at 22:10 when I didn't expect so much.

How did I miss so badly? Here's my reckoning:
  • went out too fast
  • self pressure
  • speed workout two days before wore out legs?
  • speed workout two days before made me expect a little more
And from this huge miss, I get the following:
  • motivation to continue speed work to get faster for the CC championship in October
  • wondering how much more headroom I have for short race speed
Congrats to my friends and colleagues who had a great race, had fun, and made the day a lot of fun. You know who you are.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

One Day to Pain

Anyone that races a 5k knows the pain associated with the short distance. I don't look forward to short races. The 3.5mi JP Morgan Corporate Challenge is one of the most tormenting races I do. This will be the third year I'm doing it. Here's a brief recap of how I did the first couple of years.

Central Park qualifier: First mile (uphill!!) at 5:55. Lord I didn't know I could go that fast, much less climbing to the highest point of CP. As soon as I saw the timer at the mile 1 marker, I hurt all over. My 2nd mile was about 7:00. About a half mile later, I HAD TO STOP and walk, hurting my ego just as much. Finished at about 22:48 if I remember correctly.

Championship: Don't remember the exact time, but it was 22:xx. I remember about 75m from the finish I started to get tunnel vision. Another painful race.

Central Park qualifier: 6:15, 6:17, 6:33. Finished at 22:10. Don't know how I ran that fast, but hoping to repeat the effort tomorrow. Went out fast, tried to stay fast, and hung on for dear life really after 2.5 miles. Didn't field a championship team.

We'll see what 2009 brings. If I were wishing for an early Christmas present, it would be sub 22:00 finish. My goal miles tomorrow are 6:20, 6:20, 6:10, 2:55 (final 800m), but we'll see how the adrenaline flows. I'm still striving to do a final mile in a race at sub 6. Hopefully that'll happen tomorrow as well.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

NYRR | 2 x 1.7mi Repeats (~6:25m/m avg)

Heading to NYRR speed workouts tonight, I was hoping we would get the 2 x 2mi repeats or the 3 x 1mi repeats along the lower loop. I thought either would be perfect for feeling Thursday's JP Morgan Corporate Challenge pace. My wish wasn't fulfilled, but I think our workout tonight was even better - 2 x 1.7mi, or twice Central Park's lower loop.

Here are my workout splits:

Lap 1: 11:06 min @ ~6:26/mi
Lap 2: 11:04 min @ ~6:24/mi

Interestingly enough, I thought the second repeat was a little easier. That should speak volumes for a good warmup pre short races.

My goal tonight was really to feel a 6:30 pace. I went a little faster, but I hope it doesn't affect me Thursday night. I'm a little nervous about the race since I have to try and race against my totally unexpected time of 22:11 last year. I'm hoping for a heavy dose of adrenaline on race day.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Instead of a Run...

Went to watch Up at the Ziegfeld Theatre. Didn't regret it one bit. And when we got home, I ended up taking a short nap. I usually like to do an interval and intense type of workout three days before a race, but I was just too tired. I'll probably stretch and do some core workouts this evening.

And as far as Up is concerned, I give it a two thumbs sideways. The Incredibles and Aladdin are still my favorites.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Kama'aina Potluck

There's nothing like seeing a bunch of Hawaii (or Hawaii spirited) folks transplanted into New York City. It's a great thing that Halawai (http://www.halawai.org) organizes this potluck once a year to bask with others in the aloha spirit, live Hawaiian music and of course the great food. My wife baked some amazing butter mochi and manju sandwiched between a photo shoot and an audition. Not sure how she found the time to do all that.

My favorite part about going to these gatherings is the feeling that I was going to come across someone I knew back home. Sure enough, I came across a neighbor that lived in the same building back home. We'd never exchanged greetings in Hawaii even though we saw each other pretty often. We had to move 5000 miles to get acquainted.

After several hours of mingling and eating, I knew I needed to go for a run to set me straight. I'd had too much sugar. How could I resist all the local treats?? After the run, I had a savory dinner, cup of tea, watched the basketball game, and now putting a good full day behind me.

Training, where have you gone?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

National Running Day!

In honor of National Running Day, I supposed I owed it to the running world to do my fair share of mileage today. Did an easy run around the park with a good friend and had even hoped to see Deena Kastor since she was hosting a group run today. Alas, there didn't seem to be too many people in the park because of the rain and cooler weather. As for myself, I ended up doing 8.22 miles at 1:07. Probably won't run again until this weekend to keep my mileage down. Will need to do at least one more speed workout this week.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

NYRR Workout | 800m Repeats

There's always something joltingly nice about hard workouts after a long day at the office. It was hard to get going, but I've learned that's only in my head. Also still felt a little stiff from Sunday's race, so I wasn't sure what kind of effort I could put in tonight.

Heading out to the NYRR, I noticed it was also really muggy tonight. When I finally got there, I was already soaking in my sweat. The repeats did feel pretty heavy tonight. The first 3 repeats felt harder than the actual pace. I'm guessing it's because of the heat and leg fatigue.

I also decided to try something different tonight - jumped up to the faster group for the last 2 repeats. It had always been sort of a mental block for me to join that group but it actually wasn't that bad. Here were my results:

1 - 3:10
2 - 3:07
3 - 2:58
4 - 2:59
5 - 2:49
6 - 2:52

(forgot to press the lap btn after the 3rd repeat but I remembered the splits)

The other reason I wanted to jump up to the other group was because I'll be running the Corporate Challenge in 9 days. I wanted to feel that a 3:10 pace is easy so that I could do 6:20 for the first 2.5 miles and try for 6:00 the last mile. It's probably aggresive aspirations, but I prefer to shoot for the stars and miss than aim for the gutter and hit.

Monday, June 1, 2009

May 09 Mileage and Recap

Looking at my my events earlier this year, I knew May was going to be busy considering that I had planned 3-4 races: NJ Marathon, Queens Biathlon, Brooklyn Half (skipped), and Japan Day race. It wasn't as bad as I thought it might be because I ended up going light on my miles after the NJ Marathon. Here's a look at my mileage calendar for May 09:

As you can see, my post marathon schedule went really easy. I was just happy to have finally qualified for Boston and have been really relaxing since. This is some of the lowest mileage I've posted in a while and it feels pretty good. Fortunately, I've been able to keep up the intensity and managed to post a PR for Japan Day.

Race Report: 2009 Japan Day 4-miler - Final Thoughts

Post race thoughts always linger to the day after for me and I like to learn what I can in the hopes of getting better. Some of today's thoughts...
  • I'm very happy about 3 straight PR's, but...
  • I could have done the first mile faster with more time to warm-up
  • Even with Cat Hill, I think I could have done mile 3 faster
  • Try to start closer up front to mitigate traffic and weaving. Actual distance was 4.04mi yesterday, which added about 12-15 seconds to the race.
  • Still can't figure out how I ran 6:19 pace for 3.5mi in last year's corporate challenge. Yet, I feel faster this year.
  • Racing down hills to make up time will always hurt more the next day than running up hill
  • Not running 10k the day before as previously planned I'm sure helped keep my legs fresh
  • I'm enjoying taking time off from long runs for now