Sunday, January 28, 2007

Marathon training: week 6 update

This was a back off week, and I managed to get all my training runs in. Tuesday I did a faster pace 3 miler. I will continue to take my short runs at a faster pace to help work on a little extra speed. Wednesday I was supposed to do a 5 miler at planned marathon pace (for me, 10:18 min/mile), but I had to cut it short because I had to pick up Jordan. I cut that to a 3 miler, and then did Thursday's run on Friday, making up the distance by extending to a 5 miler. Saturday was another ski day, then today (Sunday) was my 7 mile long run. After doing a 10 miler, it is really nice to step back a bit and do a shorter long run: you have something to look forward to every few weeks instead of always increasing in mileage.

So far, I've run 92.5 miles as part of my marathon training. According to the program, I should have run 104 miles. I'm off by a bit, but I've never skimped on the long runs, and am back on schedule this week.

Next week is going to be a hard week: I jump up to 24 miles. I'll keep you posted...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Marathon training: week 5 update

Wow, this week was a mess... Monday was a scheduled rest day, which I took. Tuesday, it snowed at early in the morning, and we were basically stuck in our house, so I couldn't run. Wednesday was our team's ski day at Crystal Mountain, so I didn't run that day. Thursday and Friday, I was killing myself trying to get my project shipped, and wasn't able to get away for my runs on either day. Saturday was another ski day, and while I thought it might be possible to run afterwards, that was a crazy idea.

That left today, Sunday, and my long run. I ran 10 miles today, running the railroad trail out and back. As I've said before, running after skiing the day before is pretty difficult. I was beat after about 5 miles, and walked a few times for about 10 minutes of the run. I also had a really slow pace: 11:28. This included the walking, so I guess it wasn't that bad.

I will have to wait until the Saturday skiing is over to see how I really do. That will be in 5 weeks. Then we'll see just how good/bad it really is.

Next week is a step back week: the long run is only 7 miles. I am supposed to do 3 miles, 5 miles, then 3 miles on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. After this past week, I really need to get back into it.

Skiing update

I've been out 3 times so far this season. Twice I've gone to The Summit at Snoqualmie as an Issaquah Ski School chaperone, and last Wednesday we went on a Microsoft team event to Crystal Mountain. I think that I'm really improving, especially now that I'm skiing much more regularly. I can really carve on the blues, and have figured out how to use my poles to help stay out over my skis.

My big update is that yesterday at The Summit, I skied my first black run: Triple 60 face. I had one fall on the way down, but it was one of the fall sideways into the face of the mountain type falls, rather than the fall face first down the mountain falls. It was actually really easy to recover: I just pushed myself up with one arm and I was back on the move. The main issue was getting over the fear factor when standing at the top of the run. You know inside that once you commit by going over the edge, you can't change your mind! That first move was the hardest...

Next week, I have to chaperone at lunch time while the kids eat, but I'm free in the afternoon. I'm going to take a lesson from one of the ski school instructors. I really think that I may be capable of more than I'm doing now, but I need someone to push me more.

Marathon training: week 4 recap

The wierd weather has continued in Seattle, and I was only able to get out and run 3 times this week. I did get my long run in though, and did 9 miles on Sunday. This was after skiing all day on Saturday. For the week, I did 15 miles.

We had a lot of snow (for Seattle) last week, and I did my first long run (or any run) on snow. It was about 24 degrees, and once I was bundled up, it was fine. I did notice that I was extremely tired toward the end of the run. I had to walk 3 times for a total of about 6 minutes or so. I attribute this tiredness to the fact that I'd gone skiing less than 24 hours prior to my run.

Speaking of skiing, it was great to be out after a year off. I got to use my new boots, and they were really good. They still need a bit of tweaking just under the ankle, but in generally they really fit well. I'm renting skis every time I go, so I'll be able to try out a lot of different styles. I hope to be able to buy a pair of skis at the end of the season when everything goes on sale.

Next week is another step up in distance for my long run: 10 miles. This will be the longest I've ever run when it wasn't a race.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Weird knee issue

No, I'm not injured (I don't think), but I have been having some weirdness in my knees for quite some time. Basically, whenever I do something like a deep knee bend, I feel a lot of muscular weakness centered around my knees. This is especially pronounced after running. For example, if I have done a longer run (on the treadmill at the gym, for example), the simple process of walking up the stairs to leave the locker room at the Pro Club causes pain around my knees.

The pain is not in the joints, which is positive (I think), but more in the tendons or muscles around the area. It does tend to go away after a while. I am wondering if, because I am almost exclusively running and have been neglecting my strength training, I am neglecting certain muscles that don't get exercised during running but do get used when doing squats and other leg press type motions. I have decided that I will start doing basic squats and ball squats regularly to see if working on this motion will help the problem to go away. One good thing is that this does not seem to impact my running at all.

If you've experienced something like this, please leave a comment and let me know a) what it was, and b) what you did about it.

Hard(er) run

Yesterday, I ran a bit of a faster run than I've been doing recently. I ran a (gasp!) 9:30 pace for 3 miles. I think that I need to push myself on the shorter runs, use my Wednesday semi-long run for running my planned marathon pace, and not worry about pace on my weekend long runs. This will help me improve my cardio capacity and speed (faster runs), get used to marathon pace (semi-long runs), and build a base of mileage (long runs). This seems like a reasonable approach to me...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Woohoo! I've hit the 10% mark!

To date, I've run 46 miles for my marathon training program, which totals 456 miles. That means I've hit the 10% mark!

No skiing after all

I was unable to ski on Saturday after all. It turned out that there was a big storm on Friday night, and the power at Snoqualmie was knocked out.

Oh well, I guess it will be one more week before I can break in my new boots.

Marathon training: week 3 recap

I finished my third week of marathon training successfully. I felt like I might have a bit of a cold coming on toward the end of the week, and I was kind of run down for my long run, but I got through it. Fortunately, week 3 is a back off week where the long run is shorter than the previous 2 weeks, so that made the long doable.

I ran 15 miles last week, with a 5 mile long run. I did this yesterday at the Pro Club on the treadmill. I really hate running long runs inside, but I had to send my Garmin ForeRunner in for repair and have not received it back yet. As soon as it is back from Garmin, I will be outside for next weekend's long run.

This coming week is where things get much more difficult. My long run next weekend is 9 miles. This is equal to the longest non-half marathon run I've ever done. From here on in I will be in uncharted territory. This is where it gets interesting...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Skiing tomorrow

Unless the weather gets really bad (which could happen), I'll be skiing tomorrow for the first time this season. I'll be chaperoning about 45 kids on a bus up to Snoqualmie for the Issaquah Ski School. When I'm not "on duty", I get to ski for free. I'll get the chance to ski with Nathan in the afternoon which should be fun.

I'm looking forward to it...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Planned marathon pace

I have decided that I am going to set a (hopefully) realistic goal for my first marathon. I hope to finish in 4:30. This may be a little optimistic, but that is my goal.

To finish in 4:30, I will need to run a 10:18 pace. This is a little faster than the pace I ran in the LV Half Marathon, but I expect to be in a lot better shape for this race than the last one.

As part of preparing for the race, I'm going to make Wednesdays my race pace day. This will hopefully get me used to this pace for longer and longer runs. This is a modification I'm making to the Higdon program.

Lots of miles to go...

I added up all the miles I've run so far, thinking I was really getting somewhere. Since I started the training program, I've run 38.5 miles. Three and half of those were additional miles, not officially a part of the program, so I've run 35 official miles of my training plan. I was pretty proud of myself until I added up all the miles in the training plan. The full program consists of 456 miles of training. Therefore, I'm officially 7.7% of the way finished with my training and have 421 miles to go.

That's a lot of miles...

Monday, January 01, 2007

This week's plan

I am off tomorrow, so while I'm supposed to do a 4 miler on Wednesday and a 3 miler tomorrow, I'm going to swap them to fit my schedule better. In addition, I'm going skiing on Saturday (for sure), so I will count that as my cross training and do my long run (sorta long: 5 miles) on Sunday. At least that's the plan, we'll see what the reality is...

No skiing and no Resolution Run

We ended up not doing either. I told Nathan that I would take him to Snoqualmie but did not want to ski, but he didn't want to snowboard by himself. Therefore, we decided not to go. I had a great idea (not that great!) that he and I could run in the Resolution Run together (he's expressed some interest in running). Unfortunately, his running shoes were at school, and I didn't think it was a good idea to do a 5K in skate shoes. We ended up doing nothing today. Truth be told, this was supposed to be my rest day anyway, so I wasn't too bummed...

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