Day 71 CMTP – 6 Miles Easy

Easy run today. It was still pretty cold outside so I did an quick six miles on the treadmill. I used one of the pre-loaded iFit programs; this one called “Heartbreak Hill.” It turns out this was the last six miles of the Boston Marathon. Pretty cool. But a couple of miles into it the 4.5-5 percent uphill was a little too much so I backed it down and did most of the run at a 0-1 percent grade.

I just needed to get about nine miles in today and tomorrow to reach my weekly goal (counting the 13 miles for Sunday’s race). I was either going to split it 5-4 or 6-3. I ended up doing six today which is nice that I can do a very easy three miles tomorrow (Saturday) and should go into the Wounded Warrior Half Marathon fairly well rested. We’ll see.


Day 70 CMTP – 8 Mile Tempo (Fast Finish)


Nice run this afternoon. It’s Thanksgiving Day and I should have run this morning but I was holding out for the weather to warm up a bit. It hardly did and I took off about 3:30 pm with it still being about 39 degrees outside.

Since today was supposed to be a tempo run, I decided to run the first four miles at or near marathon/tempo pace and run the four miles back a bit faster. I did the four miles out at roughly a 9:10 pace and the four miles back at about an 8:15-8:20 pace. Total run was at an 8:44 pace with average heart rate of 162. I’m happy enough with this. I should be able to do a half marathon at a 162 HR and an 8:44 pace would be about a 1:52 half marathon time. That would be a full 10 minutes better than my first 13-miler. We’ll see if I can do it in a couple of days!

Overall it was a solid run. My rTSS was 122 and my pace/effort was about where my current level of fitness says it should be.


Day 68 CMTP – 6 x 1/4 Mile Hill Repeats


Tough run this afternoon. It was freezing cold, and as it was my Speedwork Tuesday, I needed to do some type of interval training. I decided on 1/4 mile hill repeats as I can do them close to the house and if I get too tired (or cold), I can quit and come home any time. I jogged a warm-up mile and took off from the bottom of the cul-de-sac in my neighborhood. My goal was to do 6-8 these between a 7:30-8:00 pace and of course I did the first one too hard. Splits for today’s run:

Pace, Max Heart Rate
1) 7:01, 183
2) 7:32, 180
3) 7:34, 184
4) 7:29, 182
5) 7:30, 182
6) 7:22, 185

Overall it was a pretty tough run. I was disappointed that my rTSS was only 86 as I felt for certain it would be over 100. The next time I do this run I’m going to make a conscious effort to run them at closer to an 8:00 pace and try my best to get through 8-10 repeats.

Day 60-66 CMTP – Running Week in Review

This is going to be a weekly recap since I’ve gotten so far behind in logging my runs. I might go back and try to fill in a few of them. I did do all my runs since my last post, just haven’t put them on the blog.

So this week was Days 60 through 66 of my Charleston Marathon Training Plan. I did 44 miles last week and this was a step-back week (goal of 38-40 miles). Basically, I’m gradually increasing my total mileage for three weeks in a row, then step back a week, and then repeat this four week cycle until I’m averaging between 45-50 miles a week. I think that’s probably going to be where I hit my max. Specifics for this week’s runs:

Monday, 6 miles easy
Tuesday, 4 x 1/2 and 4 x 1/4 repeats (6 miles total)
Wednesday, Standard day off, weightlifting only
Thursday, 5 miles tempo, 3 miles pyramid
Friday, 6 miles easy
Saturday, 4 miles easy
Sunday, 8.7 miles, LSD

Tuesday was a pretty decent run. I ran on the treadmill, starting with a mile warm-up. Then I did four 1/2 mile repeats (speed of 8) with a one minute slow recovery. I then did four 1/4 mile repeats (speed of 9), also with a one minute slow recovery. I didn’t do any cool-down. I was pretty worn out.

Wednesday morning was a 5-mile tempo run. I have no idea what my paces were but my heart rate was in the low 160′s. That’s why I need to write my running log entries every day. In the evening I did another three miles on the treadmill. I did half-mile splits at speeds of 6, 7, 8, 7, 6 and 6. Neither of these runs were too tough. And probably not as beneficial as they should have been… other than keeping up with my base mileage.

Sunday was the only other run of substance. I just needed to do 8-9 miles (remember this is a step-back week). I ran the Maxwell Hall loop in the neighborhood. It starts about 0.8 miles from my house and is almost a six-mile very hilly loop. Then the 0.8 miles back to the house makes this a roughly 7.5 mile loop. I did a down-and-back into one of the side roads to get the total run over eight miles. All told, it was 8.7 miles at a pace of 9:30 and average HR of 157. Note, my NGP, which is adjusted for the hills, was a 9:05. I’m happy enough with this.

Overall it was a decent week but my TSS was only 588 and my Performance Management Chart has gotten flat for the last 10 days or so. Yep, I need to pick up the effort after next week’s Wounded Warrior Half Marathon.

MAD Magazine, April 1974, the one with the Middle Finger


This MAD Magazine cover has always intrigued me. So much so, that I bought a copy off eBay a few years ago. When I first saw it I wondered if this gesture, that I’ve always called “shooting a bird,” wasn’t as taboo back in 1974. I mean, I’m sure it was crude even then… but was it as completely unacceptable then as it is now? I don’t know. I’m thinking that maybe it wasn’t. I can’t imagine a cover of MAD Magazine with this on it today.

MAD Cover to Cover

I’ve got a book called “MAD, Cover to Cover,” published in 2000. It’s 48 years, 6 months and 3 days of MAD Magazine covers. Very cool. It’s out of print now but you can probably find a used bookseller on Amazon if you want a copy. If you’re a MAD Magazine fan as I am, I think it’s worth it. Just click the cover image to the left.

Anyway, the entry on this cover says it “started as an in-house joke,” but they don’t go on to say what the joke was. They did, however, say that many newsdealers refused to display the magazine that month and sales fell dramatically. Maybe it was equally taboo back then.

Random Google Image Search – Turtle Tattoos


Just another random Google image search. I’ve been thinking of drawing up another tattoo, and I like the idea of a turtle. I’m thinking more of a cartoon turtle, but I’m not sure yet. So for tonight’s random image search, I typed in “turtle tattoos.” It turns out that most turtle tattoos are all a bunch of lame Hawaiian sea turtles. No way I’m putting one of these sissy turtles on one of my huge biceps. Not a chance.

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Day 53 CMTP – 6 Miles Easy – TM2


Today was a recovery day with 6 easy miles on our new treadmill. I just read where Jack Daniels has a treadmill correction factor (so to speak) where different inclines translate to outdoor speeds on flat ground. I’ve learned from experience that I can run faster and longer on the treadmill than I can outside. It turns out that this is normal. Jack says that a 2 percent incline should even that out and be the equivalent pace/effort for running flat outside.

I think I’m going to make this a benchmark run. One easy mile to warm up (zero incline), then four miles at 2 percent incline and speed of 6 mph (10:00 per mile), and then back to zero percent for the cooldown mile. I’ll track my heart rate for the middle four miles and use these numbers to measure improvements in fitness.

HR Splits for the middle four miles tonight: 163, 163, 160, 160.

It was nice to see my heart rate drop back down to 155 for the sixth mile. Overall it was a decent run tonight. No pain to speak of.

Day 52 CMTP – Sunday Long Run – 13 Miles


Quick note: I did run yesterday, just didn’t log it here. I did an easy 5 miles on our new treadmill. Not hard or fast, but I was running at 11pm after traveling for the last 22+ hours so I was already a bit tired.

Today’s run was solid. I needed to do more than 12 miles to get my weekly mileage slightly higher than last week’s. I did 13 miles (actually 13.1, which was a half-marathon coincidence). I did a similar route as many of my Sunday long runs– out to Charlotte Hall and back. It wasn’t too cold but fairly windy at times.

Average heart rate was 154 with a pace of 9:51. Not too bad. IF was 0.89 and EF 1.18 and rTSS was 190.8. All splits were pretty consistent between 9:34 and 9:50. Except for mile 6 where I had to stop for about a minute and wait for traffic before I could cross the four-lane highway. I used this time to drink several ounces and eat a GU.

No significant pains to speak of. A slight aching in the knees and groin but nothing major. Overall it was a decent run.

Day 49 CMTP – 5 Mile Tempo Run


Very nice run tonight. I was actually very proud of just finishing it. I was tired all day after having slept less than two hours last night, and having to go into the base at 3am. I got back to the hotel at 4pm and didn’t at all feel like running.

But I knew getting my 43 miles in this week would be tough if I pushed this run until tomorrow (with a 20-hour travel day Friday/Saturday). So I set out to run. I told myself to warm up for a mile, and if I was still too tired, just make it an easy 4-5 mile run.

But at the start of mile 2 I went for it. I was thinking no way I could make all five miles at a sub-9:00 pace. So I took it one mile at a time. Each mile I told myself I could quit after finishing it. But after each mile I kept going. I ended up finishing all five of the tempo miles.

With the warm-up and cool-down, I totaled about 6.5 miles at an average heart rate of 162. My pace for the middle five miles was 8:46– slower than my last two 5-mile tempo runs, but I was still quite pleased at the effort as I was running on basically no sleep and having eaten very little all day.

Day 47 CMTP – 4 x 1/2 Mile Repeats


Decent run tonight. The plan called for six 1/2 mile repeats, which I knew I wasn’t going to be able to handle (at any respectable pace anyway). So I set my goal on four with a half mile jog in between. Next week I should be able to get all six.

Stats for the splits:
1) 6:58, probably too fast. Goal pace was 7:45
2) 7:29, better
3) 7:29, okay that was the same.
4) 7:07, yep, I knew it was the last one.

So yeah, if I was better at judging my pace, I could have probably handled all six if I did them at about 7:45.

Overall stats for tonight’s run: 6 miles total, 162 average heart rate, rTSS of 107. Decent, but I should have been smarter and I could have pushed a little harder.