Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon Goals

April 30, 2011 § 1 Comment

This is a training race but I still want to do well and to get a good feel for where I am. The weather is going to be a little rough, about 34° F at race time, 30% chance of snow and windy.

I took a look at my recent runs and my best was the Ron Daws 25k.  In that race, I went through 13.1 in roughly 1:46 so that is the bare minimum I want to run.  My “A” goal is 1:40 (7:38 pace) and a “C” goal of 1:44:48 (8:00)–somewhere between is a “B”.

Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon Scouting Report

April 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

As I mentioned on Tuesday, I am running the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon this weekend. During my long run a few days ago, I happened to run with someone else for a few miles.  When I mentioned to him that I was running Minnetonka, he mentioned that while there is some traffic control on the course, traffic is not completely closed.

“Oh, I didn’t know that, maybe I should do some research about the race,” I thought to myself.

Later, I fired up the Google Machine and did some pre-race scouting.

The race starts in Wayzata and loops to Excelsior–we rented an apartment in Excelsior for a year and a half so I have a general idea of the area.

Pulling up some past race reports, there was a general consensus–Julie (who included several photos), Beth, Kaeti,  Jen, Lindsay, SueBob and Todd all agreed that it was a scenic course with rolling hills.  In 2010, the organizers changed the course so that, as Todd wrote, it finished with “several quick turns and 2 short but steep hills in the last 1/4 mile.”

Kaeti wrote that the “finish line was located just past a fairly steep hill, which did not make me happy”.

A couple of posters also mentioned the wind (uncontrollable) and traffic as other hassles but no major complaints.

I thought of the area as basically flat so the rolling hills surprise me a bit but it cannot be as hilly as the Ron Daws 25k was. It is good to know about the hills at the finish.

Training Update

April 26, 2011 § 2 Comments

Just a quick update on my last two weeks of training.

Two weeks ago was supposed to be my last week of “Phase II” training. But because I struggled the week before, I decided to extend Phase II an extra week.

The third week of Phase II and the bonus fourth week of Phase II both went well. The hill workouts went well and I did 3 miles of tempo (the max I’m allowed) in the bonus week.

One thing I did those two weeks is drop my mileage the last couple weeks–I’ve made some of the easy days completing “off” days trying to give my Achilles some extra rest and they are feeling better.

I’ve now shifted to Phase III training, where the primary workout is Interval training, the secondary is Threshold (Tempo) and tertiary is Marathon Pace training.

I completed my first Interval workout on Monday with 5 x 400 in 1:40 (200 recovery in 1:40). I was a bit anxious over this workout because I haven’t hit the track in a couple of years and didn’t know how my old legs would respond. A bit surprisingly, the 400s came kinda easy–I ended averaging 1:33 with a range of 1:29-1:34. That was encouraging.

Tomorrow I’ll do another tempo workout–3 miles at 7:15 pace. And on Sunday, I’m running the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon . I’m hoping to run about 1:40 but am not overly concerned with my time–I’m using more as an exploratory opportunity than a target race.

That leads me into a topic that’s been rolling around in my mind for a while–the contents of my blog. I consider my blog a pretty boring read, it is mostly training reports. I don’t put a high priority on my blog–my work, family, running, and relaxing all are higher priorities. The blog occasionally gets some attention. When I do give it attention, the easiest and quickest thing to write about is the training.

But it is myopic view of my running and what it means to me. While I know what workout I am running each day and do concentrate on the hard parts, most of my running time is spent taking a mental break. My training schedule provides a structure for my overall runs but I kinda of do them on mental cruise control.

So there is a big disconnect between what I write about on my blog and what I think about while I run. I bring this up for a couple of reasons. First, I have been working on starting a podcast for a couple of months. I think that a podcast, especially one that I record as I run might better reflect my running and be more interesting. However, similar to the blog, I’m struggling to find time to create it (along with numerous technical problems). I’m not sure if I will ever actually get it going.

Secondly, I’ve been listening to some running podcasts and one, The Ruminative Runner, has struck a nerve. Just enjoy Norm’s perspective. We’ve exchanged a few emails and comments. In a recent episode Norm mentioned one of my comments and this blog, he also described my blog as being focused on training (poor paraphrasing) and that’s probably a good summary. But it isn’t really what I want my blog to be. I want it to be more qualitative than quantitative. I want it to be more revealing than rational, to be more right-brain than left.

So right now, I’m debating what to do with this blog. Maybe my limited writing time could be better utilized in some other way because right now, I don’t really like this blog.

Ryan Hall’s 2:04:58, 2011 Boston Marathon

April 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

This is just too cool. I mean, I upload my Garmin data all the time but Ryan Hall uploaded his information from his2:04:58 Boston Marathon at Garmin Connect for everyone to see. Just bleep’n cool.

Grete Waitz, 1953-2011

April 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

First thing I saw this morning when I checked my email was a series of emails with “Grete Waitz” as the subject, fearing the worst, I read the first to see that Grete Waitz, Norwegian Marathon Runner, had passed away.  She was only 57.  Grete is irreplaceable, one of the pioneers of running in the 70s and 80s.  She served as a wonderful ambassador for the sport.  She, similar to others, is part of the fabric that makes up the sport of running.  She will be missed.

The Week That Was 4/4/2011-4/10/2011

April 11, 2011 § 2 Comments

This was the second of three planned weeks of phase II of my half-marathon training for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon in June.  While I completed every work-out, I didn’t dominate them so I’m thinking that I may extend this phase a week.

Looking at this week, on Tuesday, I did a repetition/hill workout and did OK but not great.  I really struggled with my tempo run on Tuesday.  The ideal tempo workout would be 20 minutes at my tempo pace (currently 7:17) but I managed only to do one mile and then a second half mile.  Now, to be fair, this was my first tempo work since last fall so maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on myself but I really struggled with this workout.  My third work-out was a 10 mile long run which I actually over-ran–suppose to do 8:40s but ended up with a 8:28 average.

So overall, I had one bad workout, one so-so workout, and one good workout.  Looking at the schedule, though, Tempo work continues through the rest of the schedule so extending Phase II by a week would really just give me one more rep/hill workout so I’m not sure.  My left hip really bothered me during the disastrous Tempo run.

The good thing is, though, is since getting my Superfeet inserts, I’ve used only my oldest pair of Pegasus and really haven’t noticed an improvement–if anything, they have gotten sorer.  For my long run on Sunday, however, I wore a newer pair and today my Achilles tendons actually feel better than they did Sunday when I work up.  I’ve come up with the theory that new Pegasus provide enough motion-control for me but, as a cushioned shoe, they lose that control more rapidly than a true motion-control shoe.  And as they lose whatever control capabilities my Achilles take the brunt.

That would explain why I get short-term relief from new shoes but it doesn’t last long.  So hopefully switching to a true motion-control shoe will help–maybe I’ll make that more of a priority.  I still have a fresh pair of Pegasus with 0 miles on them that I was going to use before trying something new but maybe that will need to change.

DC Rainmaker Reviews Stuff

April 9, 2011 § 1 Comment

I was listening to the Geeks in Running Shoes podcast and was fascinated by an interview they did with DC Rainmaker (Ray).  Ray is a tri-athlete who does some super in-depth reviews of techie gadgets for athletes.

He gets the product and then uses it during his training and racing until he really knows it.  Only after getting intimate with a device will he write a review.  So the information is good and not just taken from press releases.  Ray now receives items from the companies but he returns them after the review and purchases his own for his use to maintain his independence.

For example, his review on the Garmin Forerunner 405 was almost 3,700 words and included 31 pictures!  He pointed out the same weakness I found–the bezel is gimmicky at best (downright awful in the rain) and the software is a disgrace, thank goodness for Sport Tracks.

If you’re in the market for some endurance-related gadgets, and you know you are, I can’t recommend enough that you check out DC Rainmaker.

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