Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Week of 11-19-2012: 23 miles, 2000' climb (last easy week)

Monday: Off
Tuesday: 7 miles.  2 miles in 12:15, straight into 5000 on track in 17:33 (not a race effort, but a good workout), 2 mile cooldown.
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: 9 miles, 3 mile warmup, South Davis Thanksgiving Day Races 5k in 17:29 (150' gain, 130' loss), 3rd place, 3 mile cooldown.  Meh, didn't feel like a super tough effort, but I had a really hard time pushing myself into the top gear.  I was close to 2nd and should've been able to catch him (I was closing in the 2nd half), but just had a hard time really pushing it.  Still, 17:29 isn't atrocious in the off-season on a course that was all uphill in the 2nd half.  Doing a good short workout on the track 2 days before the race this time was much better than 1 day before the last time.  Legs felt snappy and sharp and my difficulty in really pushing hard was mostly a result of trying to race on 4 1/2 hours of sleep (I couldn't get to bed early the night before and I'm used to 8 hours+).  All in all, this is another race with an equivalent of just under 17 flat with the same effort on flat at sea level.  I would hope I'd be worth slightly faster, but for not really being in shape, this is acceptable, at least for now.
Friday: Off
Saturday: Off
Sunday: 7 miles, 2000' gain.  Sessions Mountain (trail on north side of parking lot) with Holly, up a bit past first false peak and back, just a little under an hour.

Totals: 25 miles, 2000' gain.  Last easy week prior to marathon training.  This week was really kind of irrelevant.  I felt like resting up so I did.  I got up to 78 miles with a day nearly off a few weeks ago, so I know I'm ready for hard training with reasonably high mileage, so now that I'm well rested, I'm starting into a cycle of 14 weeks of very high level training for the Phoenix Marathon.

Modern heavy crap that I race to, because I sometimes listen to terrible music and also because I'm the kind of douche that always races with headphones on:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Week of 11-12-12: 35 miles, almost flat (2nd to last easy week)

Monday: a little short of 9 miles, 500' gain, 1:01.  Apartment up to Orchard, up to 500S, down to 89, and back along that.  This felt like a really easy effort for 7:00 pace on moderately hilly terrain.  Good sign.

Tuesday: 8 miles, workout.  Ran on a treadmill at a .5% incline.  Probably should've done this on a track, but it was cold and icy outside when I finally got to run at 7:30 PM.  In any case, I put the treadmill at a .5% incline to hopefully make up for the fact that belt slightly improves your speed (rule of thumb I've heard), although I'm pretty certain it didn't make up for it entirely.  Did mile repeats with .25 mile jog between each.  .25 jog, 5:10 mile, .25 jog, 5:04 mile, .25 jog, 5:02 mile, .25 jog, 5:00 mile, .25 jog, 5:00 mile, with 1.75 mile cooldown afterwards.  At the end of each jogging rest, I brought the treadmill up to speed right before the mile was to start so I wouldn't lose time speeding the belt up.

Wednesday:  Off, in the spirit of not overdoing things and just being in "fun mode" until the week after Thanksgiving.

Thursday: Got home late, took another day off.  Haha.  At least it's supposed to be a super easy week. :)

Friday: 5 miles.  Hit a track for some a little speed the night before the next day's race.  Mile warmup, mile in 5:14 (quite windy, but still didn't feel super difficult.  Felt like I could keep close to it for a full 5k if necessary, but it would be absolutely maxed out for the distance and I would need someone pushing me to hit that pace), 400 jog, 800 in 2:30, 400 jog, 400 in 72, almost 2 mile cooldown.  This was an easy workout, but the goal was just to do something quick and short the night before the race.

Saturday: 7 miles, long warmup + Riverton Holiday Heroes 5k, 2nd, 17:30.  My legs aren't quite in speed shape, so recoveries from fast days are apparently slow and even the easy workout from the night before left them feeling crappy.  A younger kid took it out hard and I figured that kids that age generally run too hard at the start, not to mention that my legs just didn't feel good, so I kept things comfortable and let the kid get a bit of a gap on me in hopes that my legs would come back.  Legs never felt good, he gradually got away and I took 2nd in 17:30.  Lame.  If it was a closer race, I could've eeked out another 15 seconds I'd think, but by the end, the kid had 30 seconds on me and I wasn't feeling it, so I coasted in.  Granted, the course was pretty hilly (150' vertical) and it was quite windy out, so coupled with the elevation, this isn't the worst time imaginable (16:59 flat sea level equivalent with hills and altitude, not sure what the wind was, but I'd imagine it added somewhere in the ballpark of 10 seconds).  Aerobically, the effort wasn't very hard, but my legs just weren't having it.  Oh well.  There goes my 5k  win streak dating back to 2009 (granted, only 5 races).  Haha.

Sunday: 6 miles, 5 miles around NSL, easy, :39, and then an extra mile jogging with Holly.

One more easy week, next week, probably with one more short/fun race mixed in (hopefully not so slow this time), and then it'll be on to high mileage and marathon training.

Music for the week is something that I am extremely excited about.  Sergei Bortkiewicz is one of my favorite composers and I had heard rumors of a possible upcoming recording of a "Russian Rhapsody" that he had written in 1935, which had never previously been recorded.  Well, his music has started to undergo a resurgence in Ukraine and one of their orchestras finally played this piece and made a semi-professional recording of it a couple weeks ago.  Here's the video: 
I simply don't understand how something this outstanding could lie dormant for 70+ years.  This is a true masterpiece and I can't stop listening to it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Week of 11-5-12: 42 miles, 3500' gain.

Monday: 10 miles, 2000' gain. Bosho trail from JCC to nearly City Creek, popped out into the neighborhood, took the roads back.  Don't remember how long it took.
Tuesday: 4 miles, 1000' gain.  Bosho from Bountiful to Towers and back, with Holly.  Nice and easy.
Wednesday: 17 miles, 1:49:14.  Mostly at about 6:30/mile, but picked it up over the last 5 miles or so.  Encouraging run, didn't feel all that hard, on a treadmill, so I locked in the pace and just cruised.
Thursday: Off
Friday: Off
Saturday: 6 miles.  2 mile warmup, Spectrum Academy Turkey Trot 5k in 15:25, 1 mile cooldown.  The course was pretty flat, but I highly doubt that I can run 15:25 right now.  I suspect it was 60-90 seconds short, but that said, I had another gear ready to go if necessary the entire time (some dude was 15 seconds off me for a good chunk of the race), so I imagine I'm actually still capable of running pretty quick on a fast accurate course.  I'm not sure that such a race exists around here before March, but I will definitely be racing "Running of the Leopards" 5k in March, a few weeks after Phoenix, right after hitting my peak, in an attempt to run at least a legitimate new PR.
Sunday: 5 miles, 500' gain.  A couple miles up Orchard Drive and back.

Totals: 42 miles, 3500' gain.  Obviously a reduction from the previous week.  Why?  I've decided that I need to be able to peak appropriately for Phoenix, so I'm taking things easy until the week after Thanksgiving.  This gives me the chance to run a few more for-fun races, if I can find a few that will work for me (no guarantees) and it will also allow me to be well rested for a nice 3 month marathon specific training cycle.  I've learned my lesson about pushing training cycles for too long (culminating with my spectacular inability to train at all for the last 7 or 8 weeks leading up to Wasatch), so I'm doing it smart this time.

Music for the week is the piano concerto that I consider to have, perhaps, the most lush melodies I've ever heard, Bortkiewicz's 2nd.  This is for left hand only and Bortkiewicz is never played, so it's sadly quite rare.  This piece only exists in one place on youtube and it's not available as an embedded file, so you'll have to follow the following links:
The start of the 2nd video is beyond gorgeous.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Week of 10-29-12: 78 miles, 8500' gain

Monday: 6 miles, :5x, 1000' gain.  Nice easy recovery run with Holly.  Southeastern tip of Bountiful along Bonneville Shoreline up to radio towers, then left on the ridgeline for another 10 minutes, then back, finishing right at sunset.

Tuesday: 7 miles, :56, 2000' gain.  From Natural History Museum up and down Mt Wire. 29:59 up Wire, barely squeaked it in under 30 and felt like absolute hell over the last 5 minutes on those last few steep grunts.  Hit the turn-off up the mountain in a little under 3 minutes (didn't catch the seconds), the turn-off out of the gully when the views open up at 9:56, the pass over to the Living Room at 14:0x (I think, not entirely sure, could've been :1x, but I'm pretty sure), mid-22s at the biggest saddle, and 28:40-ish at the last saddle.  Hopefully my memory is correct for all of those as they'll be a nice reference in the future.  My previous best was from a slightly different starting point (within 1 minute, this way being slightly faster in my estimate) in 33-high, so this makes me happy.  Definitely pushed harder than before, but a PR is a PR and a sub-30 on Wire seems really good to me.  I'd be curious to see what I can do on the direct front face route that a couple guys have run 27-ish on, but that route just isn't as fun, so I almost never run it.  Descent was really relaxed, as while I may have backed off a little bit in the middle section, I really destroyed myself for that sub-30 at the end of the climb.

Wednesday: 11 miles, 1:17, 1500' gain.  Roads, loop from my area NSL up and over to upper South Eastern Bountiful, back up to 1900 south (there are some obnoxious rolling hills in this section and I always seem to forget about them...), and back to NSL.  Took it out moderately, but picked it up a bit near the end.  Split the last .53 miles (granted, downhill) in 2:46 (5:13 pace) just for fun, which felt fluid, but is pretty irrelevant and not actually fast due to the downhill nature.

Thursday: 18 miles, 1:56:xx, flat, treadmill.  Alternating between 6:58 and 6:00 pace, no breaks, except a less than 2 minute bathroom break after mile 10.  Last mile in 5:40 instead of 6:00.  Got pretty hard by the end, last mile was basically torture.  Daniels tables give this a 6:10 average pace at sea level instead of 6:30, but I estimate that the treadmill is slightly easy.  If I'm correct that a treadmill might be more accurate at a 0.5% incline, this would make it equivalent to a .5% decline and therefore 75 seconds sfast by Daniels tables, making my average pace at sea level equivalent to 6:14 instead.  This seems pretty accurate I'd think.  Overall, a good workout.

Friday: 3 miles, 23 minutes, flat.  8 laps of the 3/8 mile loop at the park near my house.  Very easy at first, sped up a little bit by the end.  Would have done more if I had more time, but I had to get up to Snowbird for a conference.

Saturday: 12 miles, 1:24, 500' gain.  My apartment up to Orchard Drive, north on there, eventually becoming 400 E, up to Centerville and back.  First half in 44, second half in 40, mostly due to picking up the last quarter of the run, especially over the last couple miles (roughly 5:45 pace for the last 2 miles, which felt fast but surprisingly fluid).

Sunday: 21 miles, 3500' gain, 3:01.  Nice run with a pretty easy effort.  From my place up a winding route through NSL up to Southern Bountiful, up North Canyon to Rudy's Flat, a few minutes going south from there to scout a route to/from the City Creek ridgeline trail that I've had difficulty linking from in the past, back to Rudy's Flat, down Mueller Park Canyon Trail, down the roads from there to Orchard, back to NSL and back home.  Legs weren't outrageously happy in the last half an hour, but this was the longest run I've done in like 2 months (time or distance) and it was also at the end of the biggest week of mileage I've done in about 4 months, so that was pretty expected. I also finished with a minor headache that I developed over the last 20 minutes, which I generally find to mean that I could use more long runs (like I said, this isn't surprising right now).  With that in mind, I do know for sure now that I need to keep hitting some good quality long runs, preferably over 3 hours like today, although I'm planning to keep everything under 4 hours (I'd be very surprised if I felt like doing more than 4 hours in a single outing in the next couple months).

Totals: 78 miles, 8500' gain.  Not quite up to where I want a typical marathon training week to be (I was thinking just a hair more than this), but I could handle a little more than this right now, even with the two quality days, so I think I'm about where I need to be to get in some really effective weeks of training.  I still have no idea what my racing plans are, but I'll figure something out.  I would think February would be ideal, but there's nothing going on during that timeframe that looks like a well-organized race on a good course (ie flat, close to sea level) that is easy to get to, so I'm starting to lean towards waiting for the Phoenix Marathon the first weekend of March.  4 months from now is kind of a long time considering that training is basically almost in full swing already, but if I take a few easy weeks here and there, it should be doable to get my peak lined up for Phoenix.  I guess I'll just play it by ear for a few more weeks before I make any decisions.

Music for the week is Rachmaninoff's massively under-appreciated 4th piano concerto, as played by the maestro himself, along with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy.  If you like this first movement, listen to the whole thing.  It's incredible.  Half of the music I post is Rachmaninoff, which is OK with me.