Day 3 CMTP – A60 – 6 Miles

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Day 3 of my Charleston Marathon Training Plan called for running 60 minutes at 70% MHR (150 bpm). Again, I was having a hard time keeping my HR that low without running at an incredibly slow pace. I ended up averaging 155 bpm at a still-slow 10:43 pace.

I ran the three-mile loop twice around my hotel here in Waikiki, starting about 7:15 am which was already pretty warm by then. Without making a conscious effort, I would have found myself running in the mid-160s, at a 9:30 or so pace. I had to force myself to seriously slow to get my heart rate anywhere close to 150.

My knee wasn’t hurting too badly, but the pain was noticeable. Hopefully a few more days of easy runs, and a few more weeks of weight training focusing my my hamstrings and glutes will get that under control.

Overall, not a great 6 miles this morning, but not too bad. And I’m just on Day 3 so I’ve got 117 more days to get it together!

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Day 2 CMTP – No Run

D002-CMTP-weight-liftingToday was Day 2 of my Charleston Marathon Training Plan. The plan called for no running, but I had just finished some strength training in the hotel gym and decided to hop on the treadmill for a half hour or so. Nothing major, but I wanted to get a few extra miles in or this week’s total would barely be in the double digits. I was able to keep my HR below 150, but it was a pathetically slow pace at over 11:00 per mile. Yuck.

I wore my heart rate monitor while lifting weights… just for fun. It’s interesting to see what weight lifting set causes the highest heart rate, and apparently it’s the curl. I think pull-ups are pretty intense as well, but there was no pull-up bar in the fitness center here.

Day 1 CMTP – A30

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I just finished Day 1 of 120 of my Charleston Marathon Training Plan (CMTP). This was a very simple, A30, which means run for 30 minutes at an easy pace, with my heart rate between 65-70%. And 70% for me is still about 150 bpm.

It was kind of hard today- to run slow enough to keep my HR below 150. I ended up averaging 156 bpm which was still a slow 10:00 pace. I’m not sure why I couldn’t keep it down– a couple of factors come to mind. 1) I finished my first half marathon about four days ago, 2) I spent 18+ hours travelling yesterday, and 3) I have a little bit of a cold. Not bad, but enough that I had to take some Nyquil last night and am still a little congested.

I’m still having a bit of left knee pain but I’ve incorporated some hamstring and glute exercises into my weight training with the goal of making my hamstrings and butt muscles a little stronger. Which, if these muscles are weak, could supposedly cause knee pain. I guess we’ll see in a month or so.

Charleston Marathon Training Plan (CMTP) for Jan 17, 2015

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Quick recap of the last three months… I started running in June, doing the Hal Higdon Half Marathon (Novice I) training plan. It’s a pretty low-mileage plan and I can totally recommend it if you’re new to running. My fitness picked up quicker than I thought it would and about half way through the 12-week plan, I decided to increase my effort a bit. I basically decided to change to the intermediate plan, and add a few more runs on my off days. And doing speedwork on Tuesdays and Fridays instead of just Tuesdays.

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Tempo Tuesday – on my new plan

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Everything I’ve read said you really need to take a few days off after a race. The general rule of thumb, Hal Higdon tells me, is one day for every mile of the race. Really?? Do you mean to tell me that Hal took 26 days off after each of his 111 marathons? Maybe not complete days off, but no hard running for 26 days? I still don’t believe it.

So I ran my first half marathon on Sunday. I did take Monday off (from running), but I did do a fairly tough weightlifting set. And I probably should have taken today off too. I sort of did, meaning I didn’t run this morning. But since I’ve done so many Tempo Tuesdays in a row, I didn’t want to break my streak. And it’s Tuesday night… and my Training Peaks page is just staring at me with a big zero for miles run this week. So I did a quick run tonight.

I made a note to myself since I don’t know what the hell I’m doing when it comes to tempo runs, to figure it out and do them right. So I did a little more research and learned that basically, they start with a slow/medium run, work up to near lactate threshold pace in the middle for 20-40 minutes, and then back to slow/medium for a cool down.

Right now I’m approaching this as: run one mile at about 70%, run the next 2-4 miles at near LT (~88-90%) and finish with an easy mile back around the 70% level. Tonight’s run was on the treadmill. The following are my splits:

Mile, TM Speed, Time, Avg HR
1, 6.0, 9:52, 151 bpm
2, 8.0, 7:46, 170 bpm
3, 8.0, 7:28, 176 bpm
4, 6.0, 9:58, 160 bpm

Ideally, to make this a more productive workout, I’ll need to be able to run the middle 4+ miles at very close to my lactate threshold heart rate of 90% or 177 bpm. And from what I have been reading, as I increase the time/distance I can maintain this level of effort, my anaerobic threshold will increase as well as my stamina and overall fitness. I guess we’ll see.

Navy/Air Force Half Marathon 2014 Race Report

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Today was the day. My first half marathon. In fact, it was my longest run to date, having only run over 12 miles once before. It was kind of a bummer how the day started. Hot Wife and I got up around 4:30 am, planning to leave the house as soon as the baby sitter got here at 5am. So 5am gets here and no baby sitter. After a text and phone call wakes her (she lives 45 minutes away), Lisa told me to just go without her. We had no backup and 5:15 is about the latest we could leave and make it to the Metro in time to get to the race before it started. And since Hot Wife has run dozens of these races, and this was my first one, she graciously said I could do it.

So I got to the Metro just before the first train at 6am. I made it to the Smithsonian stop about 6:30, used the porta-potty and dropped my bag at the tent and wandered over to the starting area. I had no real idea how the starting corrals worked so I just got into one with a bunch of people who looked like they were in the same shape as me. It was the 10:00-12:00 min/mile corral. Okay, I’m thinking. I can probably do this thing in a 10:00 min pace so I’m fine right here. This was kind of a mistake, as I think a lot of these folks probably ran slower than that (a fact I learned during the first mile).

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Tempo Tuesday – the last one before the Navy/Air Force Half Marathon

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I think I’ve been doing my tempo runs all wrong. Not surprising since I still hardly know what I’m doing when it comes to all this endurance/heart rate training. Anyway, for the last five weeks I’ve been doing “Tempo Tuesdays” where I simply run one mile at an easy pace, mile 2 slightly faster, mile 3 even faster, and then the last mile back at the starting pace. This roughly corresponds to a 10:00 pace, then 9:00 min, then 8:00, and then back to 10:00.

The good news is that my heart rates have gone down significantly since I started tracking these runs over a month ago. The bad news is that I don’t think these runs are difficult enough to give me a productive workout. So this morning’s run was probably my best Tempo Tuesday run yet. And by best, I mean “easiest” with the lowest cumulative and average heart rates.

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On another note, after next weekend’s Navy/Air Force Half Marathon, I plan to start my marathon training plan in earnest. I mean, coming up with a real plan and following it closely. I’ll have four months to get my marathon pace down to 9:00 minutes. Can I do it? I don’t know. It might be tough.

Day Hike – St. Mary’s State Park

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So this weekend’s fun family outing was a hiking trip out to St. Mary’s River State Park. Actually we had two events– a hike Saturday and the Maryland Renaissance Fair on Sunday. That day is worth an entry all in itself as that was quite a unique experience.

Anyway, we hadn’t done a hike in a few weeks so we thought Saturday would be a good day for one. It was, except it was pretty hot for September. I’m talking in the 90′s and sunny. We wanted to pick a trail we hadn’t been on before and I found St. Mary’s State Park, somewhere in Southern Maryland. There is a river (dammed up about 30 years ago) and a decent size lake with a 7.5 mile hiking trail around it.

So after stopping by Subway for our pre-hike lunch, we made the drive down to, I guess, St. Mary’s County (maybe 30 minutes from Hughesville). There’s a nice parking area at the lake, with a restroom and small playground. We took off with full water bottles and a full hydration pack which was a good thing as a good part of the first mile was not in the shade.

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We made it 1.6 miles around the 7.5 mile lake trail.

We decided there’s no way we would be able to hike the full 7.5 mile loop with the kids in this heat so we thought we’d just walk a couple miles out and back. After about a mile and a half, we stopped for snacks. After snacks, we decided it would be more fun to go to Target. We did see some nice wildlife (and plenty of bugs), and even some catfish fingerlings in a creek on the way back to the truck.

Google told us the nearest Target was about 10 minutes away in California, MD. Yep, a city in Maryland named after a state out west. The kids got a kick out of that. So we went to get Matthew some PE shorts and some stuff for the fish tacos we were making that night. They were great! Not the shorts, they were regular shorts. The tacos were great. And it wasn’t even Tuesday!

Overall, a nice, albeit mostly uneventful family outing. We’re planning to do this hike again (the full loop) sometime in the fall when it’s cooler and we can prepare for a 4+ hour day out. I’ll write about Sunday’s Renaissance Festival later. And oh yeah, will catch up on my running posts soon. I’m still pushing ahead with my running- just have been lazy in logging my runs.

4 Miles at 80 Percent – Tuesday 2nd Run

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I tried something new for tonight’s run. I read today that my half-marathon heart rate should be between 85-88%. For me right now, that’s between 170-174 bpm. There is absolutely no way I could run 13 miles at a heart rate of 170. So instead of doing an entirely easy run, I decided to just see how far I could run at a heart rate of roughly 165. This is just over 80% effort.

Well, I worked up slowly for the first mile and by the second mile I had settled into a nice 7:48 pace on the treadmill which was about 165 (+/-2 bpm).

The good news is that my HR was very flat for miles 2-4. Meaning, no cardiac creep, at least for three miles. The bad news is that I don’t think I could keep this level of effort for 10+ miles. I think I could have done it for about 6 miles or so, and maybe about 8 if I was fresh and running in the morning.

I’ve got to figure out how far I can run at a 165, and if it’s not 13 miles, see what I have to do to increase my distance at this effort. Maybe I can try this weekend’s long run at 165.

Note: I just looked it up and I did my first 10 miler at about a 166 average back on July 13th, on the Indian Head Rail Trail, but my splits for this run started about 9:30 for the first couple of miles, gradually slowed to 10:00+, and were over 11:00 by the last couple of miles. So yes, I can run a fairly long time at this effort, but it’s not very fast.

Week 11 – Tempo Tuesday – TM 4 Miles

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This morning’s run was the easiest Tempo Tuesday yet. I did the same run as last week– on the treadmill with each mile at speeds 6, 7, 8 and then back to 6. For some reason I had an oddly high heart rate for the first couple of minutes,  but the first mile settled down around 140, then 150 for mile 2, then 163 for the fastest mile and then back to 148.

Aside from the first four minutes (an anomaly, I’m calling it), this was a pretty good result. I was fairly well rested having done only 5 easy miles the day before.