Sunday, August 28, 2016

Training the Marsden Way

Just to bring you up to date.  Last year sucked running wise with achy hurty knees with very little cartilage left particularly on the left side.  Past things happening when I ran faster than 10 minute mile pass.  Lots of exercise physiology and home exercises.  Difficulty adjusting to new gait to minimize further cartilage loss and run more efficiently and breathing while doing so.  Still got in two lumbering half marathons but neither really fun.

2016 a lot better so far.  I did a home-made half marathon in the spring and used the summer to finally get breathing in synch with new gait.  Results are promising so far.  Averaging low 9s in both cool, hot or humid weather with long stretches in the 8s and easy sprints in the mid 7s.  Dropped the hammer this morning on a 4 miler and did a short 6:30 stretch.  If this keeps up, this is more 2006, my only double marathon year, than 2016 as my chrono clock approaches 60.  Main challenge is keeping up my long runs since I haven't done more than 8.5 since my home made half.  Left knee isn't perfect but ice, advil and home exercises should get me to the start line for my September half-marathon.

So how to train?  In the past I have sung the praises of doing it the Rocky Way (wear a hoody and run under the el and up museum stairs) and the Hulk Hogan Way (the training, the prayers, the vitamins and the Hulking up for the big finish) but have switched to the Marsden way (no days off). 

Technically there is a difference between the Marsden Way (#Iruneveryday) and the Waller Way (#nodaysoff) besides the distances and speeds involved.  There are days I don't run, but work out in some significant way like my 10 mile mountain bike in Ojai etc.  And ok, I took off a couple of days when they extracted a tooth under general anesthesia.  Plus there seem to be less farm animals on my daily runs than Phil.  But I completed more than 2 weeks of #nodaysoff and really beginning to enjoy the rhythms of my daily toil.  And as I have learned even a bad day running beats a good day associate dean so the physical gains and stress reductions are both major positives.

Thanks Phil!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Summer training FINDS.

Salted caramel Gu gels.

Nocciola hammer gels.   

Just saying.  

Also in England I would like some sunshine and a light breeze.   

Daily running streak persists.   Amazing gentle feeling of competence inside instead of borderline or actual injury. 

Small field tester local marathon this Autumn in Abingdon.   

Then the madness of the 100 miler Centurion London to Oxford run next April.   

Simple things.   

Oh and work.  

How's the summer going for you?   And what finds?

(Apologies for post formatting - post created while standing in home made ice bath in back yard).  (Scaring the neighbours).  

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Scratch . . .

Well, if I thought the Brooklyn Half was going to be a launch pad into the summer, I was mistaken.  Training wise, things pretty much went sideways from there.  A month of travel (including an epic climb of Mount Fuji) and family matters, led to much eating and very little exercise.  Just as I was getting organized to get serious again, I yanked my achilles, and, well, that's all she wrote.  Yesterday, I formally acknowledged what I had known for a while -- I will not be doing the NYC Tri next weekend.  I have deferred, and will do it next year.  For the last couple of weeks, I have managed to go for a few good bike rides and I've been swimming pretty consistently, but yesterday was the first day in weeks that I have been able to run without pain in my right calf.  So, right now, its treadmill, spin and pool, and not too much of that.

This raises another difficult question.  Is it still realistic to think about the Chicago Marathon?  I have not done a long run in two months.  I have no base, and I'm heavier than I have been in years . . .  I guess it depends on what happens during the next few weeks.  I'll report back . . .  

Monday, June 6, 2016

Make Running Great Again!

It was bound to happen.  This from some random RD who bought my email address from some other random RD:

The XTERRA Big Elk course is the best course you've ever seen. Trust us.

And the medals! The medals will be HUGE. The swag will be so unbelievable, you’re going to say, "Please stop giving me swag, I can't handle how amazing this is!" And we're going to say, "No! We have to make running great again!"
It'll be great. You'll do great. Trust us, we know, we've dealt with this type of thing before. Everyone's going to sign up, believe us.

The Big Elk Marathon & Half Marathon is less than a week away. Online Pre-Registration ends Wednesday so sign up today and help us make running great again!   

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Race Report -- Brooklyn Half

It has taken me a while to get around to doing this, but here's the race report for the Brooklyn Half.
Short version is that it went a lot better than I expected.  Indeed, it went better than I had hoped.  The day was perfect for running (though not the best beach day ever).  I went over with the SBRC gang, and we did a pretty good job of timing our arrival.  The Brooklyn Half is now the biggest half marathon in the world (says the NYRR).  At around 27,000 runners, who am I to argue.  This has led to logistic nightmares in the past.  The last time I ran it, in 2014, we did not anticipate the delay associated with metal detectors, fences, etc. and ended up running to the start, missing the closing of baggage, etc. This time NYRR did a great job of handling the crowds.  Baggage claim was outside security.  This was an interesting choice, but incredibly helpful in terms of timing.  So, we got off the subway, dropped our bags, and then went through the metal detectors.  Because bags were dropped, the security was quick, and we were in our corrals in plenty of time.  The most important NYRR innovation (they've been doing it for a while) is to have the port-o-potties in the corrals.  So, you could line up, take care of whatever, while already lined up.  All, in all, a non-stressful start to the day.

I was toward the back of the first wave (E of A-F), which was fine. NYRR has changed its method for calculating corrals. Instead of using your fastest 5k, they normalize your fastest pace to a 10K, and then use that.  It took me a while to figure out how the they'd come up with 8:08 as a predicted pace, but it was consistent with the 8:30ish paces I ran in Grete's Gallop in the Fall.  Anyway, it worked pretty well.   I started with E's and mostly finished with E's.

The Brooklyn Half starts hilly and ends up flat, so it's important not to blow up in the beginning.  The start line is at the Brooklyn Museum, at the top of Prospect Park.  The first 1/2 mile is downhill on Washington Avenue.  The second 1/2 mile is uphill on Flatbush, then then you turn around and run back down Flatbush, continue around the bottom of the park, run up the same damned hill again, inside the park, and then back down it on the other side of the park.  The mind game is that you carry a lot of adrenaline speed down the first hill, and then have to moderate your pace goals as you head back up.  Also, it's a deceptive hill.  Particularly the second time up, in the park, there's a false summit, and then a steeper pitch to the top.  So you have to be careful not to redline too early.  I did a pretty good job.  I watched my heart rate. It got a bit high near the top both times, but came down nicely once the course turned down again.

First 5 K went by at about an 8:15 pace.  Second 5K a bit slower.  8:50ish, then picked it back up for the last two, 8:35-40.  I had a couple of bad water stops, that cost about 10-15 seconds, but otherwise everything went smoothly.  I felt comfortable the whole way, and, if anything felt like I had a bit left in the tank at the end.  So, 1:53.06 feels great for an early season result.

Big shout outs go to the South Brooklyn Half cheer squad, who gave key lifts at Grand Army Plaza and on Ocean Parkway, as well as Martin and Martha at the top of Prospect Park Hill.

I will post a few photos that will show (1) that I am not in peak racing form; (2) that I have aged a lot this winter; and (3) that, without noticing it, I finished alongside a former student and SBRC running buddy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Fear, Trepidation and Low Expectations . . .

The Brooklyn Half is on Saturday.  I'm going to run it.  I love the race, but I'm nervous.  I'm not nervous about finishing. I've logged a 14 miler and a 12 miler in the last four weeks, but I am nervous about what those runs showed.  I'm not in very good shape.  The winter has been tough.  I lost a big chunk of time to my hamstring, and lost my Fall marathon fitness.  Family logistics have had me traveling most weekends, with limited opportunities for runs.  Also, my class schedule seemed to get in the way more than usual.  Blah, blah, blah. . .   Anyway, I'm heavier than I should be, and the result is that my sustainable pace is, um, slow. . .

What I need to do is adjust my expectations, treat it as a lovely day for a training run that ends at the beach.  We'll see if I can pull it off. . .

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

London Calling

Had a great trip to London last week to do a PhD oral exam for a doctoral candidate at UCL and give different talks at the CMA (thanks Phil) and UCL.  Had the pleasure of an 8 miler with Phil before my talk at the CMA ( see photo of us all cleaned up on Instagram).  We ran through various parts of Bloomsbury and eventually made our way into Regents Park ran up to the zoo and dropped into Regents Canal.  Headed as far out along the canal until we hit a locked gate and then back to Kings Cross and off to our respective hotels and clubs to shower and dress for my morning talk on the legacy of the Apple Case in the US.  All great fun and an honor to join Phil for his "I run every day" goal of 2016 miles in 2016. Thanks Dude!

Topped off my London visit with a solo 7 miler along the Thames heading east on Sunday morning.  Fun to get lost on the way back and somewhere end up at St Paul's Cathedral instead of my hotel near the British Museum,  But a quick consult of a map and a helpful passerby did the trick in plenty of time to clean up for Mother's Day brunch with L at Berner's Tavern.

Just to add an odd note to the trip, ran into a very jet lagged Bill Kovacic on Oxford Street on the way to brunch!