Boston Marathon Thoughts Part 2: New Goals

I am not sure what to think or what to say. I have struggled a bit with a high degree of frustration. I am highly fit and aimed to run the best and by far the fastest marathon ever. That was my thinking two weeks ago; however, that has changed. Monday’s Boston Marathon race will take place on what will be a record day temperature wise. Currently the highs are at 87 degrees, which means the temps will already be in the 70s when the gun fires. Thus, my aim to run in the upper 6:40s per mile pace have changed.

My new goal is to head out in the first half (13.1 miles) at 6:52 per mile pace, which will give me a 1 hour and 30 minute half-marathon time; I will hit the second slower. I am thinking between a 7 min to 7 min 8 sec per mile pace. If I can run faster I will. But, the second half will be a challenge. I am still excited to run this race. I have worked past my disappointment.

Boston Jackets 2012

Last year I greatly looked forward to buying my first Boston Marathon jacket. In running circles, it is like a rite of passage. But I must confess, I did not like the jacket as much as I the ones of old. This year, however, I like the colors. Mine arrived in the mail yesterday. Mediums tend to go very fast at the expo, thus I thought I would order one. I think I wore my jacket 3 times this past winter. I am in Houston. What winter???

 

Thoughts on Boston 2012 Part I

One month from today I will be running my 2nd Boston Marathon. I am looking forward to this event for so many reasons. It is the biggest stage race I will compete on unless I get crazy fast(er) and can qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trails. Even then, much like that of the Boston Marathon, most runners are competing but not to be among the top 10 – 20 finishers. The pros win races like Boston. And, among the pros, the vast majority of them are bystanders to the top 10 like the rest of us. Thus, if one cannot win this race, why bother? Because there are still a number of secondary goals to be had. Case in point: I aim to finish among the top 1,500 runners and to re-qualify with a time between 2:59 and 3 hours. This means that I will need to run in the 6:48 to 6:52 per mile range. I think I can do this; however, the course is pretty tough which adds to the Boston mystique.

It must also be noted that outside of the Olympics and the Olympic Trails, this is the biggest stage. Most people are not knowledgable marathon fans. But, they do know Boston. Even at the level of training and racing that I am at, I will occasionally get asked if I am “hoping to finish” the race (any marathon that is). My response: sure, finishing is a goal (stated with a sarcastic grin on my face). I did learn yesterday that my seed/ bib number is 5970. For the most part, that is a pretty low number. I am happy with that. However, I was hoping for a higher seed. Bid numbers are allotted according to qualifying times. I wanted a number in the 5,000s. Why? Because it is very important that I do not get caught up in traffic early in the race. I do not want to go out too fast, but as I learned last year, it is easy to go out too slow. And that did happen. I hit mile one at a pace of 7 min 19 secs last year. My 5k split was 7:09, though I was running around a 7:03 pace to make up some ground.

The BAA organizes transportation to the start line according to one’s bib number. I elected to pass on the transportation since we got a hotel close to the start (note: Boston is a point to point course). Here is how the BAA organizes transportation and waves/ corrals. I am in the first wave sixth corral based on my seeding. Each wave is denoted by color: wave 1 red, wave 2 white, and wave 3 blue.

 

BIB NUMBERS

WAVES

100 – 8,999

1

9,000 – 17,999

  18,000

3

3M Half-Marathon Race Report

I competed in this event on January 29th; I have been slow to write-up a race report. I was unaware of this race until coach Karl told me about it. In truth, my intentions were to run only one race before the Boston Marathon in April — which is the New Orleans’ Half-Marathon on March 4th. I was a bit concerned about running this 3m race so soon; I was concerned about how well I would perform.This Austin race is very popular and draws a very fast field. Better yet, I am willing to say this was the fastest field I have been a part of outside of Boston.

Things were crazy from the start. Usually when we arrive in town for a race, the first thing we do is hit the expo for packet pick up. Finding the expo was a challenge since it was very small and hidden in a shopping center complex. It was the smallest and quickest expo visit I have ever visited. No joke. I am thinking a grand total of 15 minutes. Too bad that is usually not the case with most expos. Boston was really bad last April when I was clearly warned that the John Hancock Expo for the Boston Marathon is a trap. I found myself there for almost 3 freaking hours. After leaving the 3m Expo, we went to find the starting line. That was pretty easy. Well, so I thought. I failed to realize that a number of the roads to the starting line would be closed come race morning. Yep, and that happened.

So, it took us a while to find the starting line due to road closures; however, we made it with ample amount of time for me to get to the front of the stating line and to get warmed up. Temps were great! As you can see above, I was easily able to get a great position in the front of the pack. It was about 45 degrees at the start — perfect racing weather. I kept my warm ups on until 10 minutes before the gun. The course was a fast one. In many ways, the net down hill course reminded me a great deal of the Boston course. Like Boston, there were plenty of down hill stretches and long flat paths, but there were also some nice steady inclines. Again, nothing like Boston’s demanding course.
The starting elevation was roughly 849 ft with a max elevation of 909 ft. Hence, only an 82 ft gain. As the gun fired, we hit the Austin roads for a quick incline. It was dark (start at 6:45 AM) which made for an interesting run. I do not run with my glasses on nor do I wear contacts. So things tend to be a bit of a blur at first. I was nervous about going out too fast, thus I stuck to the plan and ran a conservative pace. There were a few packs that developed. But their paces were too inconsistent and thus I would either fall behind or run ahead.
Mile 1 6:37 pace
Mile 2 6:34 pace
Mile 3 6:37 pace
Mile 4 6:33 pace
The goal was to drop the pace and hold on to a 6:30 pace until the last few miles. However, I found a bit of comfort in running just a bit north of that pace; in the end, I should have stuck to the plan.
Mile 5 6:33 pace
Mile 6 6:33 pace
Mile 7 6:34 pace
Mile 8 6:34 pace
After mile 8 I started thinking about dropping the pace a bit more. I was feeling good but it was not a wholly comfortable feeling. My paces at the start of each mile was a bit erratic in that I would run half at a 6:10 pace before backing off.
Mile 9 6:34 pace
Mile 10 6:37 pace (Modest hill here that hit me a bit)
I could feel the end nearing. We ran from the out skirt of Austin towards downtown. The finish was a few blocks from Congress and just down the road from the Capital building. Because we were racing down back roads, it was difficult for me to get a sense of location.
Mile 11 6:24 pace
Mile 12 6:23 pace
mile 13.1 6:18 pace
I knew the end was in sight as soon as we hit the campus of the University of Texas; we raced past their football stadium as we hit the final stretch. I did my best to drop the pace for the last 1.1 mile run. As I turned the corner, the clock read 1:25.11. I had to really hit the gas. Once I crossed the finish line, I was happy with my time but quickly started thinking about how I held back at times. It was a favorable course. I think all runners question their efforts once it is all said and down. But, it is always easy to do that when you are not feeling discomfort.
I ran a 6:33 per mile pace; I hit the last 3.1 miles at 6:22 per mile pace. As fast as I ran, this was only good enough for 120th place out of 4,855 finishers — top 2% overall. 22 out of 315 within my division — top 7%.

My Runners

This is a small bit of advice I most recently shared with my distance runners.

Great article below. Remember, we are runners; we are never out of shape; however, we might need to fine tune our body and mind for racing. When I train, I am never out of shape. Even when my miles are reduced from say 80 per week before a big race, to 30 miles a week the month following, I am just maintaining a good solid base and resting as I gear up for the next mesocycle of training. As a runner, you too must have this mentality. It is not the thought of do I have to run, but when can I run. What do I need to do so that I do not miss a workout. Even easy slow recovery runs are essential in building and maintaining one’s running economy. Missing a workout is not bad. But, consistently missing runs and core work does catch up.

Other things to consider, good runners always pay attention to the small things. I would like for you guys to pay attention to these things:

1. Being a leader on a team. We are not individuals with an individual coach. Those runners are running just for themselves and not for the good of the team.
2. Using practice to help others around you get better. Again, this is a leadership issue.
3. Taking the time to fully stretch. If you are injured it is very difficult to improve.
4. Hydration. Knowing what works for you and  always carrying your own hydration to practice.
5. Proper dress for practice (i.e., shoes, tops, shorts, etc).
6. Watch. You cannot get better by running on how you feel. If a runner tells you that, I am not sure if they are “really” getting better.
7. Focus. It is what we do.

Article: http://www.runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=25177

The Pro Field at Boston 2012

The Boston Athletic Association recently released the invited pros that will compete to win the 116th Boston Marathon. You will notice that there are only two men and no women in the pro field. I figured this would be the case with many just competing in the Olympic Trails.

MEN

Name  (Country)                                          Personal Best
Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya)                                2:03:02 (Boston, 2011) CR, WB
Gebre Gebremariam (Ethiopia)                2:04:53 (Boston, 2011)
Levy Matebo (Kenya)                                   2:05:16 (Frankfurt, 2011)
Wilson Chebet (Kenya)                              2:05:27 (Rotterdam, 2011)
Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (Kenya)           2:05:52 (Boston, 2010)
Laban Korir (Kenya)                                    2:06:05 (Amsterdam, 2011)
Wesley Korir (Kenya)                                  2:06:15 (Chicago, 2011)
Bernard Kipyego (Kenya)                           2:06:29 (Chicago, 2011)
David Barmasai (Kenya)                            2:07:18 (Dubai, 2011)
Dickson Chumba (Kenya)                         2:07:23 (Frankfurt, 2011)
Josphat Ndambiri (Kenya)                         2:07:36 (Fukuoka, 2011)
Peter Kamais (Kenya)                                 2:07:37 (Xiamen, 2012) CR
Mathew Kisorio (Kenya)                              2:10:58 (New York, 2011)
Frankline Chepkwony (Kenya)                  2:10:59 (Nairobi, 2011)
Jason Hartmann (USA)                              2:11:06 (Chicago, 2010)
Michel Butter (Netherlands)                       2:12:59 (Amsterdam, 2011)
Antonio Vega (USA)                                     2:13:47 (Boston, 2010)

WOMEN

Name  (Country)                                          Personal Best
Aselefech Mergia (Ethiopia)                      2:19:31 (Dubai, 2012) CR, NR
Galina Bogomolova (Russia)                   2:20:47 (Chicago, 2006)
Mamitu Daska (Ethiopia)                           2:21:59 (Frankfurt, 2011) CR
Caroline Kilel (Kenya)                                2:22:36 (Boston, 2011)
Sharon Cherop (Kenya)                             2:22:42 (Boston, 2011)
Ashu Kasim (Ethiopia)                               2:23:09 (Xiamen, 2012)
Firehiwot Dado (Ethiopia)                          2:23:15 (New York City, 2011)
Buzunesh Deba (Ethiopia)                        2:23:19 (New York City, 2011)
Rita Jeptoo (Kenya)                                    2:23:38 (Boston, 2006)
Agnes Kiprop (Kenya)                                2:23:54 (Frankfurt, 2011)
Caroline Rotich (Kenya)                            2:24:26 (Boston, 2011)
Georgina Rono (Kenya)                             2:24:33 (Eindhoven, 2011) CR
Alevtina Biktimirova (Russia)                    2:25:12 (Frankfurt, 2005)
Genet Getaneh (Ethiopia)                          2:25:57 (Amsterdam, 2011)
Tatyana Pushkareva (Russia)                  2:26:14 (Boston, 2010)
Diana Sigei (Kenya)                                    2:26:53 (Dubai, 2011)
Nadezdha Leonteva (Russia)                   2:31:57 (Moscow, 2011)

Boston Marathon 2012 Weeks 6 – 8

The past two training weeks have gone exceptionally well; I am feeling the training and my body seems to be recovering well. I am not going to list each day-to-day session here since I have already noted it in my training book, but I am going to give a general summation. Week 6 long run went very well. Temps were nice though I was in a rush to get back to the house in order to watch a bunch of over paid men in tights chase a ball. Funny, but the same can be said of week 7. Though I am not 25, I am amazed at how well my body is recovering from hard sessions.

I did a few of my recovery runs with members on my CC/track team. Though I am not much for running in groups, it would be nice to find someone to do those long slow runs with on Sunday — as coach Karl even noted. I have given the idea of joining a running club some though, but in the end, I am not sure I am a social runner. Those runs do allow me to process and think about my week.

With roughly 11 weeks before the Boston Marathon, I am starting to think big. Both coach Karl and coach Pete seem to think that I can perform very well this year after I posted a 1hr 25 min 52 sec half-marathon time this past weekend; however, both also stated that all things will have to go well for me to run under 3 hours. My biggest fear with Boston is the course; it is a net downhill course; however, what goes down eventually must go up. Hence, the fear of running too fast and then bonking. I do not think that will happen. That is what smart training is for.

I hope to write more about my most recent half-marathon race. I am just getting back in town and have yet had time to settle down.

Thoughts on Running and Teaching

CB is a teacher in the great state of Colorado. She and her husband most recently moved from the depths of Houston’s heat to ice town USA. She is a big time runner who not only runs marathons, but races longer than that. I taught CB while teaching at a private school in North Little Rock from 2000 – 2004; CB was easily a favorite of mine. She was a National Merit semi-finalist and she performed very well while taking my AP European History course. We tend to chat a lot about running, politics, and beer. I ran this as a cross post at The Professor, too. Here are her thoughts and questions to me.

CB: What’s the deal with people who want to run just because they like running? September through December I hated it the whole time. The second I signed up for a race, though, boom. Big turnaround in my attitude and big jump in my weekly miles. Were you that same way before you started really working on your Boston goals? I wish I could just be casual about it and maintain enough miles to do a marathon occasionally if I feel like it, but I just don’t enjoy it if I don’t have a specific end in mind.

EC: I started running back in graduate school. Back then it was more to stay in shape and watch my weight; however, after slowly running for a period of time, I could not help but notice the rise of my competitive juices. I still enjoyed running, but I felt that if I was going to run, I wanted to see how good I could get. My initial purpose for running slowly started to change.  I increased my miles and attempted to focus on training and not running. But, that would not come to fruition until 3 years ago. Even while teaching you (CB) at CAC, I was always a step away from injuring myself; I was pretty reckless then. And, sure enough, I did just that. Developed an injury that would not go away.

Today I have discovered that I do not like running for the sake of running. Much like you, I am motivated by a goal. As soon as I sign up for a race, I am focused and ready to train – not run. I like to plot out my races well in advanced. The months of September through December are prime months for me. I try to get a fall marathon and at least 1 half-marathon in during this period. Knowing this forces me to discipline myself and think more about training and less about running. This sounds bad, but there are a number of day in which I just do not like running. I have come to see running as a job at times; it is what I must do not if I want to do it. I have found that this is the primary difference between running and training. It is too easy to quit and not run. That is less of an option when training since each workout build over a period of time. Back in 2008 I aimed to be really good. I am still working toward the point of being really really good. I do believe I will be there.  Getting into Boston is a logical goal for being a competitive runner; I like the changes recently made for qualifying for the Boston Marathon. It means that I cannot get comfortable. Of course I am not too concerned about that. My goals are pretty steep. That is why I train. I must do more than just run.

CB: Second of all, what do your students think about your running? I feel like I’ve connected with kids who might not have liked me as much otherwise, especially at Lamar, where I posted my workouts in the classroom and gave them regular reports. I’ve even had a couple of former students from Lamar who facebooked me about marathons they were training for. One of them was a girl who was overweight in high school, so that was really cool. I would like to see stats on the obesity rate among high school teachers because I would be surprised if it’s not even higher than the national average. I’ve read maybe a few articles about student obesity affecting academics, but I want to know how teacher’s level of physical fitness affects the classroom.

EC: Well, my running is the topic of a number of conversations. Some students are amazed at the time and miles I devote to doing it. I have found my colleagues to be the most curious at times. Many still struggle to comprehend what I do and why I do it. Students, on the other hand, find my running to be pretty exciting. They ask a lot of basic questions about running due to their lack of knowledge; I am sure you get some of that. I do not post my workouts; however, they do have access to my training blog. A few of them swing by to see what I am doing. During the Boston Marathon last April, a number of students followed me via the Internet. The BAA posted times at various points. The challenge faced on my campus is that students have no sense of a diet. Many eat poorly; we do not offer a P.E. class. Credit is earned by joining a gym or by participating on a team for a semester.

Though not runners, I do have a number of colleagues who participate in Cross-fit. They are pretty committed to this task. I am helping a few teachers on my campus train and get ready for up coming races. One of my colleagues could not run 3 miles just a few years ago; she now has a half-marathon time of 2:04. That is very impressive. I have also encouraged them to seek out coaching – as I have done; I am blessed in that I do not have to figure out what to do or how to train. That is taken done for me. My task is to execute my training.

CB: Do you think you are better teacher because you run?

EC: It has helped. In the past all I did was work. I focused on my research, my teaching, and the number of things I had on the stove at once. Now, I feel much more recharged and ready for a new day. Running has added much needed variety to my days. It has slowed that sense of burnout I felt creeping in a few years ago. Then, I started questioning if I should just go get a PH.D and focus on writing or if I needed to change locations. Now, I am happy to be teaching. I enjoy it. Running gives me more time to reflect on what went well and not so well in class; it allows me to edit a paper in my head that I would like to deliver or publish. It also helps me think about a different approach to teaching a particular subject. I think about running a lot. In truth, I like training more than I like racing. I try to limit the number of races I do in a year. I want to spend more time focusing on training for a particular race.

Boston Marathon 2012 Week 5

I liked how I felt this week. I am getting through each with very little fatigue. To my surprise, Thursday’s run proved to be the most difficult. I ended up logging 73 miles for the week, which is 6 miles more than what was scheduled. I am not sure how that happened.

Monday Jan. 2

Rest

Tuesday Jan. 3

Good run this AM. After my 2 mi w/u, I did 3×2 mile repeats at (6:32)(6:32)(6:33). I did a 1.5 mil c/d. for a grand AM total of 10 miles. I

I also did a 6 mile PM recovery run on the mill

Total Miles: 16

Wednesday Jan. 4

8 miles easy

Thursday Jan. 5

Tough workout. I did 8 mile with a 6 x 3 min fartleks @ 6:18 pace. I was amazed at how taxing this workout was. But, I hit it pretty hard. Though, I should have run the slower miles slower than the 8:12 pace.

Friday Jan. 6

I ended up doing a double due to a scheduling conflict on Thursday. I did 6 miles very easy during the AM followed by 7 miles during the PM. I again git talked into this one. I need to do a better job.

Total Miles: 13

Saturday Jan 7.

I had a crushing run here; it was fun and it felt great. I did 10 miles at a 7:01 pace. I ended up running the last mile at a 6:51 pace due to a slower mile earlier in the run. I got out the door by 5 AM in order to get this run in. It was a great confidence run. Temps were set to be as high as 74 degrees. So, I felt like I would do a better job holding pace if I did it earlier with cooler temps. I was right. This was my first tough run in my neighborhood; I tend not to run in my hood due to traffic and the number of turns.

Sunday Jan 8

18 very easy miles; I felt my slow twitch fibers fully operating during this run. The temps were pretty warm to say the least.

Boston Marathon 2012 Week 4

Week four was a good week.

Monday Dec. 26

Rest

Tuesday Dec. 27

3 mile warm up followed by 4 x 1 mile repeats with an 800 meter recovery jog between each one. Mile splits: 6:18, 6:15, 6:17, 6:19. I finished with a 3 mile recovery run.

Total Miles: 10

Wednesday Dec. 28

10 miles easy at 8:23 pace.

Thursday Dec. 29

Good run this AM. After my 2 mi w/u, I did 3×2 mile repeats with each set of 2 at (6:32)(6:32)(6:33). I did a 1.5 mil c/d for a grand AM total of 10 miles. I did a very slow jog for 400 meters between each 3 x 2 mile repeats.

Friday Dec. 30

10 miles easy

Saturday Dec. 31

Most people focused on their New Years’ Eve party, I focused on my training runs for the weekend.

https://i0.wp.com/discoverspringtexas.com/files/2010/12/new-year-celebration-2011.jpg

This was a great workout; I have noted before that running progression runs require some discipline. Running slower at the start when your legs are fresh challenges you to stay focused. Of course, I remind myself that I will have to pick up the pace. I ran a 7:27 pace in total. Here are my progression splits per mile:

Mile 1 (8 min)

Mile 2 (7:50)

Mile 3 (7:40)

Mile 4 (7:30)

Mile 5 (7:20)

Mile 6 (7:10)

Mile 7 (7:03)

Mile 8 (6:51)

Mile 9 (6:31)

mile 10 (8:31)

I also did a 5 mile very easy PM run for a total of 15 miles. This run was not scheduled; I got talked into it.

Sunday Jan. 1

16 mile long run felt great. I love the long run. Besides running a high volume of miles per week, the long run gives me a great deal of confidence. The weather was great, though a bit warm.

Total Mile for Week Four: (67)

Boston Marathon 2012 Week 3 (Recovery)

This was my recovery week. A good week for reduced miles with travels and weather to contend with. I only ran 52.5 miles this week — which is good training. Still, I ran 6 miles more than I was supposed to; I am not sure how.

Monday Dec. 19

Core work and Rest

Tuesday Dec. 20

I started this workout with a 2 mile warm up and concluded with a 4 mile cool down. In between, I hit the track for some interval work. 4 x 1 mile repeats; I hit each mile @ 6:20 and one mile @ 6:19. I did not go too hard during this session. The goal was to keep each repeat under 6:30. I felt great. Legs felt great.

My PM double had me doing an easy 4 mile run. Again, nothing too hard.

Total Miles: 14

Wednesday Dec. 21

10 mile run at an easy recovery pace

Thursday Dec. 22

Rest

Friday Dec. 23

I did 10 miles at an easy 8:11 pace. It was very cold. Doing this run in the COLD state of Nebraska was interesting.

Saturday Dec. 24

I switched Sunday and Saturday’s run. The streets here in Grand Island, Nebraska are too icy for a tempo run. I was able to find a YMCA here, and for a payment of $10, I used its gym to get in my miles. I did all between a pace of 7:03 – 7:13. The last mile I ran at a 6:40 pace. I wrapped up everything with an easy 1/2 mile cool down. Treadmill running is tough. I find it even harder to run fast on the mill. It is easier for me to run faster miles outside and slower miles inside.

Total Miles: 10.5

Sunday Dec. 25

Nice cold very early 8 miles today in Grand Island, Nebraska. In truth, the temps felt better than they have felt all week.

3M Course Half-Marathon and the Boston Marathon Course

Karl suggested that I consider running the 3m half-marathon as a training run on January 29th; I was unaware of this race until he brought it to my attention. It is a good size race with a very competitive and fast field. I must admit that this 3m course, though not as difficult as Boston’s course, are similar with their down hill sections. Boston of course pounds your quads with its roller coaster approach; however, its hills from miles 16 – 21 are killers.

I am spending the entire week in the very COLD state of Nebraska; we left earlier this week. It should be interesting getting my runs in here.

Below 3m course

Below Boston Course

Boston Marathon 2012 Week 2

This was a good running week; it was pretty easy — well except for the track day. They are never easy. I ended running 70.65 miles for the week. Not bad at all.

Monday Dec. 12

5 mile recovery run. This was a nice and very easy run. Legs felt fine.

Tuesday Dec. 13

One of my runners talked me into doing an AM 7 mile run. Way too much for me. But of course I said yes. In the PM, I hit the track for speedwork. Again, I did an easy warm up run of 4 miles before running 6 x 1,000 meter repeats. My splits were:

3 min 46 secs

3 min 49 secs

3 min 49 secs

3 min 50 secs

3 min 51 secs

3 min 47 secs

Finished with a 1 mile cool down

Total Miles: 13

Wednesday Dec. 14

Easy and slow 10 mile recovery run. This was great for my legs. I was amazed at how tired they felt at first, but after this run, they felt rejuvenated.

Total Miles 10

Thursday Dec. 15

I ended doing my first “night” run in years it seems. Once sun goes down — I am done. Late afternoon runs seem to take the energy out of me. So, I hit the Memorial Park 3 mile loop for 8 miles; I ran the first 2 miles @ an easy pace before running the next 4 miles @ 6:42, 6:47, 6:49,6:43. I concluded this run with an easy 2 miles.

Total Miles 8

Friday Dec. 16

Easy 9.65 mile recovery run before classes.

Saturday Dec. 17

10 miles @ 7:15 pace. This run felt pretty easy. I had to force myself to slow down at the start; it was tempting to run this closer to a 7 min pace by then that would not be training. My slowest mile was 7:18 pace while my fastest mile was a 7:12 pace.

Total Miles: 10

Sunday Dec. 18

A medium distance 15 mile long run slow and easy.

Total Weekly Miles: 70.65

3M Half-Marathon

Paper work and fees are now in; I received confirmation that I am set to line up and race the 3M half-marathon on January 29th. This race is a bit of a surprise to me seeing that I was not going to race again until the New Orleans’ half-marathon on March 4th. The January 3M race will allow me to be competitive while getting in a training tempo run. The New Orleans’ race will tell me more about my fitness and how I should assess my goals for April’s Boston marathon. Though I am not in what I would call race shape, I suspect that will change in the next six weeks.

Boston Marathon 2012 Week 1

This week was the first as I start my build up miles — which will eventually put me in the mid 80s per week. This was not a bad week at all. The fast runs were tough in that I did 3 this week; however, I ran my other miles very slow. Getting in 63 miles this week felt good and very easy.

Monday Dec.5

Because I did a long run of 16 miles on the treadmill yesterday, I kept the recovery nice and slow. 5 AM miles @ 8:15 pace.

Tuesday Dec. 6

I hit the track for 4 x 1 mile repeats between 6:10 and 6:20 per mile pace. I felt great; however, the temps were very cold and the head wind running on the North side of the track was tough. It was still better than doing this in July. I did a 2 mile warm up with two of my runners before hitting the repeats. Between each repeat, I jogged for 400 meters as recovery. I concluded the workout with a 3 mile cool down

Splits:

Mile one: 6:04

Mile two: 6:17

Mile three: 6:18

Mile four: 6:20

I clearly got slower as the miles added up. This will not be the issue in a few weeks. I also did some upper body and lower body weights.

Total miles: 10

Wednesday Dec. 7

Though I was only supposed to do 8 miles, I wanted to get a few more in to make up for Monday’s deficit. However, I let one of my runners talk me into doing 8 PM miles with him; we did so at 8:03 pace. Honestly, we ran much of this slower. I think we were ready to be done the last 1.5 miles. The problem with this workout comes from the AM. I did a double — not thinking that I would run in the PM. I ran 6 AM miles at 8:30 pace

Total Miles: 14

Thursday Dec. 8/ Friday Dec. 9

12 x 400 meter repeats between 83 & 86 seconds. I followed them with an easy 200 meter recover jog. This workout included a couple easy warm up and cool down miles.

8 miles @ 8:31 pace

Total miles:12

Saturday Dec. 10

I did a late afternoon progression run of 10 miles. The run went well. However, I did not like the way the last two faster miles felt. I need them to feel easier. Although, the last two miles are pretty much my half-marathon pace.

Splits  per mile:

7:59

7:50

7:41

7:31

7:20

7:10

7:01

6:55 (this mile felt particularly tough today.)

6:40

I finished mile 10 slow as a cool down.

Total Miles: 10

Sunday Dec. 11

I did a very slow and easy 12 mile run (8:30 pace). I did this run on the mill.

Total Weekly Miles: 63