Wednesday, December 24, 2008

12/26/2008: Top 5 Races

First a really quick training update. Last week didn't go quite as planned. I was traveling for work one day and then got food poisoning on Thursday night. I was doing a treadmill workout running 5:50 miles and realized something was horribly wrong. Luckily I avoided throwing up on the treadmill, though that would have made for an excellent story. I ended up hitting 50 miles for the week, so it could be worse.

This week went much better and was the start of real training again after 5 easy weeks following the Philly Marathon.
  • Saturday - 10 mile trail run, stairmaster, lifting
  • Sunday - 22 mile trail run
  • Monday - 6 miles easy
  • Tuesday - 10 miles easy, lifting and core work
  • Wednesday - 7 miles w/ 4.5 @ 6:30
  • Thursday - 8 miles easy
  • Friday - 7 miles easy
  • Total - 70 miles

I'm also trying to focus more on cross-training and lifting, so I try to include that in my training updates.

So now for my 5 favorite races that I've run. Woohooo!!!

1) Vermont 100 - hands down my favorite race for many reasons. First, Vermont will always have a special place in my heart for the sense of accomplishment I felt with finishing my first 100. It was a tremendous feeling crossing the finish line close to midnight knowing that I had just prevailed in running 100 miles across rugged, mountain terrain. It's a beautiful course with tons of great scenery and amazing volunteers. It was also a lot of fun to have Jen and my parents there. They were an awesome crew, and it was great to run with my Dad part of the way while I was still feeling strong.

2) Diablo Marathon - this was a GORGEOUS course. By far the most scenic race I've done. It's definitely a tough marathon, with 8K feet of elevation gain over the marathon (14% average grade), but I felt good the whole way and really enjoyed the course. This was a race that I didn't want to have end because I was having so much fun and enjoying the scenery so much.

3) JFK 50 - like Vermont, this will always be a memorable race since it was my first 50. It was also unbelievable to be in an ultramarathon with 1,400 other people. Who knew there were so many other crazy people out there!

4) Philadelphia Marathon - I like the Philly marathon for a variety of reasons. First, the race is a really nice size. It's fun to do bigger races, but Philly is nice because it isn't TOO big (18K). When you start having over 30K people, races can be a bit more of a hassle (parking, buses to the start, corrals, etc.). Second, it's a really nice course. The first time I ran Philly, I was surprised at how much of the course goes through parks and cool historic areas. Third, our college friend Roz lives in Philly. It's great to visit with her and staying with her makes the marathon very convenient. Oh yeah, it was also nice to set a PR here .... twice.

5) Flemington Turkey Trot - I've gotta give this race a shoutout. It's been a semi-tradition for me and Steve for 6 or 7 years. Most every Thanksgiving we drag ourselves over and run this race with varying degrees of seriousness. One year I did this just a few days after the JFK 50. This is one of my favorite races mostly for the memories. Steve's motivation for running (thinking running behind cute girls), starting in the very back and seeing how many people we can pass, Steve getting beaten by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the year my dad showed up and posted and age graded time that beat mine, etc. May the semi-tradition continue!

So these are some of my favorite races. What are your favorites?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

12/14/08: Training Log and 2009 Plan

After taking 2 weeks off after Philly, I started building back up this week. I didn't do any long runs, but I did hit the track. The workout actually went surprisingly well given how little I've been running. I seem to be able to maintain speed much better than I used to. Here's the day by day runs:
  • Saturday: Off
  • Sunday: 8 miles easy
  • Monday: 7 miles easy
  • Tuesday: 8 miles easy
  • Wednesday: 7 miles. 10x400 @ 82 with only 100M jogging rest
  • Thursday: 7 miles easy
  • Friday: 5 miles easy
  • Total: 42 miles

I've also been doing some more planning for 2009. On the right I have the current plan listed out. I'll probably add a few more races and may end up not doing a few of the ones listed, but this is the rough plan.

In general I'd like to race a lot more next year. I really enjoy races, soI might as well do them more often. This will mean that I can't peak for all the races, but I can do a lot more of my long training runs as races, which will be more fun than running solo.

I plan to do a lot of 50s with marathons as hard training runs. I'd don't plan to actually go all out in any of the marathons or try for a newmarathon PR next year. I do want to break my 50 mile PR though. I'm excited to shoot for this at the JFK 50 in November. I had a lot of fun there last year and hope to improve significantly on my 7:51.

I hope some of you can join me for some of these races next year!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

12/7/08: Rest and Recovery

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

I don't have too much to report since Philly. I ended up taking the last two weeks off. I've been training hard all year and planned to take a week to recover. However, I got sick on Thanksgiving and unfortunately stayed sick for over a week.

Being sick was no fun, but it did force me not to run for two weeks. I went for a run again today and felt great - fresh and rejuvinated. I'll probably take it somewhat easy for the rest of December (40-60 mile weeks) and then really fire it back up in January.

While I'll keep the mileage lower, I do plan to try to get back out with the Road Runners and do some faster running. Hopefully I can maintain the speed that I built before Philly even when I go back into ultra training.

I've been spending a lot of time figuring out my racing plan for 2009. I'm still thinking through a few things and will post about that soon.