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  1. No big goal races in the immediate future, I am trying to get into a couple of half marathons in the fall, so that's why I am messing around with running a bit more miles than I usually do right now (but dialing back the intensity of my quality days a little bit). If you saw my strava post for my last run that week, even though it was technically a weekly mileage PR by 2 miles, it was by far a much easier week than the other two times I ran 160+ since I was still running 2-3 long quality sessions those other weeks.
  2. Apologies for not posting in a really really really long time. (although I have been popping my head in once in awhile to see what's going on). Now that I sort of have a few minutes, thought I would share some highlights from the best 19 day stretch of racing that I have had in at least a couple of years, possibly ever. (Warning, pretty long post) Background: After the 2017 Chicago marathon where I overcame a bad patch from mile 14-24 to run a solid 50 second PR to finish in 2:21:02 (including averaging 5:08 over the last 2.2K to avoid getting chicked), I went through a pretty weird 6 month stretch with my running. I took my training to another level, but unfortunate timing with injuries (not that there's ever a good time to get injured) netted me two solid DNFs in Houston and Rotterdam. I took 2 weeks to slowly ease back into running after Rotterdam, and started a half-hearted 8-week training cycle for the Garry Bjorklund half marathon with the hopes I'll at least have some sort of race result to show for my work the past few months. Part 1 of 3 - 5/29 - The 2017 Bolder Boulder Citizen's (Open) Race: The Bolder Boulder is usually the largest or second largest 10K road race in the U.S every year. (the other race is Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta on 7/4). The funny thing about this race is that despite the fact that there is no prize money in the open race and the course actually has net elevation gain of about 90 feet from start to finish, about 80-90% of the top Colorado runners (at least the ones that don't get into the professional race) show up every Memorial Day ready to tear each other apart. I ran this race in 2014 and 2015 as a tuneup race for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon off of a moderate taper. (usually running about 70-80% of my max weekly mileage for the training cycle) For this year's race, I did the same, and it was a cool 48-50 degrees at the start and no wind at all (why can't I get these kind of conditions racing at sea level?), so I definitely felt fairly ready to roll. The first 3 miles of the race featured elevation gains of anywhere from 15-40 feet, with the 3rd mile being the most notorious stretch of the course. The first 2 miles was fairly uneventful with me just trying to run a hard steady effort, with the exception of this Kenyan sprinting by me right at the mile mark (more on this later). I moved up from about 23rd-25th at the mile to about 15th at 2 miles. I got a little antsy as the course started to climb at 3 miles and pulled away from a pack of about 4-5 runners that was with me, and felt surprisingly strong as I came through the 5K in about 15:55-15:56. (first 3 miles, 5:06, 5:06, 5:11). The fourth mile was uneventful and I found myself in no man's land with a pack of 4-5 guys about 50 meters ahead of me, and I was a little annoyed at myself for not taking a chance and going out with them. The 5th mile is almost always the fastest part of the course due to a ~50 feet elevation loss, but I unfortunately found myself unable to run much faster than 5:00 pace on this mile due to a combination of lack of speed work and not being fully tapered. However, I had no trouble grinding through the last mile as the course started to climb again and managed to run about a 5:05-5:06 last mile to run down almost everyone in the pack ahead of me except one person. Unfortunately, the last person I passed owned a PR of 13:56 for 5000m, and even though he was obviously having a bad day he still managed to come back and put 5 seconds on me in the last 200 meters. My goal of finishing top 10 in this race would have to wait at least one more year. 11th place - 31:50 (last 3 miles 5:08, 5:01, 5:04, Strava data - https://www.strava.com/activities/1011331108/laps ) I did manage to finally officially run under my age in minutes (34 years old, sub-32) even though I technically did this 2 years ago en route in a half marathon. I also ran 20s faster in this year's race than I did in 2015, and about 3.5 weeks after this race in 2015 I went on to run my half marathon PR in Duluth, so I was definitely cautiously optimistic even though I was still a good 5-7 lbs over my racing weight, and slightly concerned about how that was going to translate to the half marathon. Part 2 of 3 - 6/10 - The Portland Track Festival 10,000 (Track 10,000 Debut) If I had to list my top 3-5 most impulsive races when it comes to running, the 2017 Portland Track festival would definitely be near if not at the top of the list. In the 24 hours after the Bolder Boulder, I had a couple of interesting discussions with close friends on what my 31:50 might be worth at sea level in a fast race. The rough estimate was 30:20-30:30 (about 60-65 seconds for the altitude adjustment based on some NCAA track conversion charts I saw, and a rough estimate of 15-25 seconds for the elevation change). I knew about this race for a long time, and running a 10,000 on the track has actually been a bucketlist item of my for awhile now, but the race would also be a little less than 1 week before my goal half marathon. I could probably write about 3 paragraphs explaining my thought process for/against running this race, but I basically had a sudden change of heart the day after the Bolder Boulder and emailed the race director to see if I could get into the race. That evening, I got a reply and within an hour I had booked my flight, hotel, and rental car. This was definitely one of the cooler race experiences I have had. Before the race, I went for a ~3 mile warmup jog with one of the guys I was rooming with and two guys who run for Zap Fitness and was trying to hit the USATF championship standard of 28:30 (I knew one of the guys from a race a couple of years ago where we roomed together). When we got back to the track to sign in for our race the women's race was halfway through and Shalane Flanagan had begun taking it to the field. Since there were only about 40 of us racing, we basically had the entire warmup area to ourselves and I hit the bathroom about 5 times in the last 15 minutes. (I really have to figure out this hydrating for a night time race thing for the future). Then after the women's race ended shortly after 9 PM, they brought us out onto the track and the announcer started introducing everyone on the entry list. Starting with Galen Rupp and down to the last 2-3 of us that haven't run under 30 minutes, or run a 10,000 before at all. My original plan was to go right in the back and just tuck in, figuring even the slowest person in the field would be trying to break 30 minutes. That plan right out the window halfway down the backstretch of the first lap when I passed some dude running for Strava TC (he ended up running 31:00). Then, I basically ended up swapping the lead with some other guy through about 4 miles. I originally joked before the race with a couple of friends that if I was on pace at halfway, I would probably throw in a surge just to say I have run under 15 minutes for the 5K. Unfortunately, I was already falling off pace before we were even 10 laps in and I ended up coming through 5000 meters in about 15:03.xx. The last half of that race was a blur, I was basically trying to hang on as well as I could while trying to break the other guy running with me. A little after 4 miles the leaders came by and lapped me and then I was all by myself again. I wasn't thinking clearly for the last couple of miles though and thought that if I don't stop the bleeding I might get lapped again, not realizing that if it took almost 17 laps for me to get lapped once, it probably wasn't going to happen within the next 8 laps. Rough 1600m splits - 4:47, 4:49, 4:52, 4:53, 4:53, 4:52. (then 71.9 for my last 400 "kick") - 30:18. 5K splits were ~ 15:03.8 and 15:14.7. One thing that was sort of fun was that I realized after the race that those were probably the two fastest 5000s I have ever run - I ran 15:07 at a downhill 5K at altitude 2 years ago, but my GPS had that race at 3.07 or 3.08 or something and based on the size of that race I am not even sure if it was a full 5K, as for prior track times that race definitely blew my 15:52 from college out of the water. Part 3 of 3 - 6/17 - The 2017 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon I have run this race for the last 4 years, and I wasn't planning on the streak ending anytime soon. I was slightly disappointed to see the race day forecast - 60-61 at the start and 64 at the finish with about 85% humidity, but it was significantly better than last year. I had also finally managed to feel recovered from my 10,000 last weekend by about Thursday/Friday (I originally thought I might be able to do a 2-3 mile tempo midweek, but that plan went out the window when I still felt like a 10 pound bag of crap on Tuesday). Somehow, I lined up and was optimistic (dumb?) enough to think I had a shot at a PR. The gun fired and two packs immediately formed - there was a lead pack of about 8 Africans and 2-3 Americans, and then the rest of the Americans were in the 2nd pack of about 10 or so running about 3-5s/mi slower, and I tucked myself in right behind the second pack. For the first 10-15 minutes of the race it was still on the cooler side and perhaps running ~5:00/mi pace felt significantly easier after running close to 4:50s last weekend, but I felt pretty comfortable through 5k (4:58, 5:04, 4:57) and even started entertaining thoughts of squeaking out a small PR since I came through 3 miles in around the same time 2 years ago while feeling just a tad more comfortable this year. Then, shortly after mile 4 (5:05) our pack splintered and through a combination of me not responding in time and also knowing a couple of the other guys who had fallen back, I ended up running with the 2-3 guys that fell off the pack and just hoped that it was because the guys in the front picked up the pace and not because we slowed down. About halfway through the 5th mile I realized it was unfortunately the later (the guys that got dropped slowed down) and I put in a surge to try to get back with the pack, but after running the next 2 miles in 5:08 and 5:00 (the 6th mile has a slight elevation loss, so it should have been faster) and watching the pack in front of me pull away I realized I was probably going to have to run the last half of this race on my own. I basically grinded through the next 5 miles (5:10, 5:12, 5:07, 5:12, 5:09) with the hope of at least breaking 67 minutes and putting up a respectable time. Then, when we got into the city of Duluth with 2 miles to go I somehow magically found another gear. I threw in a 5:03 and passed about 2-3 guys. I didn't know what place I was in at this point (top 10 got paid $$$) but I could see too many white dudes at this point and not enough Africans on the side of the road the last few miles, so I knew I probably wasn't in the money. I could, however, see about 3-4 more guys about 50m in front of me with a mile to go and I managed to run every single one of them down except one of the Africans that blew past me with 400 meters to go. (After I crossed the line I saw he had bib number 2, so I felt a little bit better about that). The results initially had me at 13th, but after a couple of hours they put someone back in the results that they had missed and I was 14th, which was still by far the highest I have finished at this race. (Rough mile splits - 4:58, 5:04, 4:57, 5:05, 5:08, 5:00, 5:10, 5:12, 5:07, 5:12, 5:09, 5:03, 4:51, 40 - 66:38). I think the 13th mile was short though and it was closer to a 4:56-4:57. I looked at the times later and realized that even the guys in front of me that ran well were still about 45-90s off of their PRs, and there were some guys right behind me that had run 63:xx-64:xx that didn't run well. So I feel like it was arguably the best/fastest race I have run even though on paper I ran 31 seconds slower than my PR, definitely a bittersweet feeling but I'll find a few more races in the next 6-7 months and hopefully get the time once/if the weather cooperates. Also, still gotta get rid of these extra 5-6 lbs or so and get back down to race weight. (Well, it's more like 8-10 now after my customary post race binge) TL:DR - Ran 3 races within 19 days and put up 3 of my top 5 performances on the VDOT scale.. 5/29 - Bolder Boulder 10K - 31:50 / 11th place - (conservative altitude conversion of 30:30 at sea level) - Vdot 71.4 6/10 - Portland Track Festival 10,000m - 30:18 / 33rd place - Vdot 71.9 6/17 - Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon - 66:38 / 14th place - Vdot 72.1
  3. Hell of an effort and glad the timing worked out for you that your dad was just a couple of miles down the road from when you started having issues. Your short recap also reminded me of another lesson that should be shared - it's not always your original injury that gets you in the marathon. My issue going into Boston 2013 was a severe case of shin splints unlike any other episode of shin splints I've ever had before - but in the end my reward for finishing was a 3-months bout of ITBS (due to my quadriceps/hamstrings compensation for my original issue). Sounds like you may have just saved yourself for another shot at that BQ in the spring.
  4. It depends on how long you were cross-training beforehand and if you are actually sufficiently healed. (and later part only you really know, and you don't really know until you are 20 miles or so into the race). I have done this twice, and it didn't work out particularly well either time. The first time was my first marathon where I was forced to cross train from 28 days out up until the week before with a foot injury. Then 8 days before the race I did a short run (probably similar to your 20 minute run) and felt good, so I went out and did 2x3 miles at 6:00-6:05 pace the next day. I also did a 5-mile tempo run about 4 days out from the race and a 6-miler the day before. (I was young and apparently an even bigger idiot than I am now). I started the race with a goal of running under 3 hours, but by 5-6 miles my 6:45-6:50s turned into 6:20s and I rolled with it up until about halfway when my foot (same injury that forced me into cross training a few weeks earlier) started hurting. I still averaged 6:40/mi through 20 miles before the wheels completely came off and I jogged/walked a 54ish last 10K for a 3:07. The second time I tried something like this was Boston in 2013. The deck was stacked even more heavily against me because I still wasn't healed. I popped about 2-3 ibuprofen pills an hour before the race and off I went. I was okay up until about halfway (1:17) and then everything started tightening up due to changing my form to compensate for my injury. I walked/ran the last 10K again. The only case really famous case I know where somebody pulled this off was Carloes Lopes who won the 1984 LA Olympic Marathon after supposedly not taking a step for at least a week leading up to his race because he got hit by a car 7-10 days out from the race. Nobody really knows how serious his injury was though, and his training was pretty much done anyways and he just missed out on the last week or so of his taper. I actually had a similar case to his where I mysteriously jammed my hip/glutes 5 days before Rock n Roll Arizona in 2012 and couldn't even jog for 3-5 minute without excruciating pain until about 24 hours before the race (and I could still feel it jogging around a 9-minute mile pace the day before). I started the race with the intention of dropping out if things ever got bad and ended up finishing with a 5-minute PR in 2:37. However, I didn't have to cross-train much before this instance either since my mysterious injury came on the week of the race and seemed to have gone away just in time. My only advice if you want to do this is: 1. You are probably still in decent shape if you have cross-trained seriously, but you absolutely want to start at the slowest end of your goal pace range. 2. If your injury has healed sufficiently, your legs are likely going to feel better and more fresh than you usually do for a race - even one when you have fully tapered - due to the fact that you haven't run very much. Don't let this fool you into picking up the pace too early, wait until 20 miles or so at the earliest. 3. Have backup (drop out) plans ready - even if it's just carrying a credit card of some $$$. If you injury starts rearing its head and all your time goals have gone out the window, do not finish. I ended up not being able to run pain free for about 3-4 months after both cases I cited above, definitely not worth it.
  5. Only thing that mattered was that I found another gear to get by the women's winner with a mile to go.
  6. Congrats @ChiefD for the PR! Sorry our timing (expo, pre-race, post-race) keep on being 1-2 hours off and never got a chance to meet up. I got home and just got slammed at work, so I'll try to post a race report by this weekend (well, by Sunday night). That was probably one of the more dramatic and tactical marathons I have ever run, and was glad to get out of there with a PR. I really wish I was able to find another 3 seconds somewhere to dip into the 2:20:xx territory, but given the moderately windy conditions we ran in I am thinking it'll be a moot point after the Houston marathon in January.
  7. @ChiefD - messaged you back man. Looks like there might be a small window that tomorrow could work. (if my travel plans go a bit more smooth or if you guys are running slightly late). I'll keep you updated on where I am at, but don't wait around too long since if I recall correctly you have a bit of traveling after the expo to get to where you are staying.
  8. That would probably work, I am staying with a friend who probably wants to do his pre-race shakeout run early and then I want to go out to get my bib and also get lunch fairly early as well. The only other thing that might throw things off is if I get there early on Friday and just knock out the expo then, but with the way airlines have been lately I doubt that'll happen.
  9. I have been skimming this thread about every 3-4 days for the past couple of months and must have missed this. (I wasn't even signed in, and just got a notification when I did). Shoot me a message when you know when you might head over to the expo, would be up for meeting up if you are.
  10. I wouldn't call myself an expert on it, but I do have messed with it some. To be honest, I personally don't do well on a "3-quality-days per week" schedule. I have been using a 2 workouts per week schedule for awhile. I will make a recommendation on 2-3 modifications you can try if you find the schedule gets too a bit too much: 1. On the intervals day, stick closer to 8K/10K pace instead of 5K pace. The purpose of these workouts is to develop/maintain your VO2max, but your VO2max is about the 4th or 5th most important factor behind stuff like endurance, ability to hold marathon pace, your lactate threshold, etc... So you want to try to run as easy as possible in order to achieve this. 2. Similar idea on the "strength" days later in the schedule. You want to really stick to the prescribed pace because it is very tempted to run HM pace on these workouts, due to the fact that in most other training schedules you DO run HM pace for these type of workouts. 3. If it really gets too much, I would just cut out Q1 the first week and run a bit longer/harder on your long runs. Over the week or so during my time off, I went through my old logs and reflected on what I need to do next. I remember this mini-cycle I did between the RnR Las Vegas half in 2015 and Houston marathon in 2016 that led to a 5:32 PR from 2:28:15 to 2:22:43 within 4 months (although to be fair, on the day I ran the 2:28 I felt I could have run 2:25 or so on a course like Chicago on a good day). The first 2-3 weeks I was still recovering from the half and also somewhat tired for some other reasons, so I only really did 1 quality day a week. My body came around about a month into the cycle here somehow. Week 1 - (first 2 days off to recover from HM) - Then by Sunday I felt good enough to run 10 miles @ MP effort Week 2 - Thursday (12K Turkey Trot @ ~Strength pace effort) Week 3 - Thursday (2 mile tempo), Sunday - Tucson HM (This was pretty much a race effort) Week 4 - Thursday (3-1.5-0.5 tempo) (was supposed to be 3-2-1), Sunday - 23 mile long run (with 5-miles @ GMP from miles 17-22) Week 5 - Wednesday (10 mile MP), Saturday - 23 mile long run (with 8 miles @ GMP from miles 13-21) Week 6 - Wednesday (3x4 miles @ "Strength"), Sunday - 20 miles with 12 @ GMP (workout was 6E - 12GMP - 2E) Week 7 - Friday (6 mile tempo) (last week had two tough sessions that I nailed, but I needed a couple of extra days to recover) Week 8 - Tuesday (6.5 miles @ GMP) (scheduled 10 to be honest, but my body wasn't recovered), Saturday (4 @ MP + 1 @ LT) Wee 9 - Wednesday (3 @ MP + 1 @ LT), Sunday - Houston Marathon, PR by 5:32. I am contemplating doing some faster "speed" work at the beginning of my next training cycle for a few weeks since I have only been doing that kind of work very sparingly over the past 6 months to maintain that system, but once I reach the last 6-8 weeks of my next marathon training cycle I will probably go back to something similar like the above. (2 quality days with a midweek MP + weekend long run with some MP or even "strength" paced work incorporated into it, and every 2-3 weeks replace the midweek MP with a "strength" intervals session) Just my $0.02, but hopefully it at least gives you an idea of how you can modify the Hanson's Advanced plan some. Hopefully the schedule just works for you right off the bat though, I like the mix of workouts it has. It would probably be my recommendation for most runners with your experience level and in your situation.
  11. Just think of it as a half-marathon with a 30-minute bathroom break in between.
  12. Just checking back in to say hi. I took last week off from pretty much everything (running, message boards, strava) to give myself a break physically and mentally, but did drop in a couple of times to see what everyone else was up to. Great race from MAC and some hilarious stories about midrun/race #2s. (I am not going to go into too much detail here, but I owe someone who lives right past the 30km mark of the Hamburg marathon an apology) Thanks again for the support, and looking forward to following everyone else's training for awhile.
  13. Thanks, and yep :). Also need to be one of the first 2 Taiwanese runners across the line since there's already one qualifier. The top 2 Taiwanese entrants have run 2:16 and 2:18, although both are dealing with issues and those PRS are 2-4 years old, so it *should* be a matter of getting the time.
  14. Thanks @MAC My race goes off at 5:20 PM EST on Saturday night. (so 6:20 PM CST, 7:20 MST, 8:20 PST, etc...) There should be a live internet race feed, I think. It'll probably pop up on their website on race day. http://goldcoastmarathon.com.au/ I got bib number 26. Race is pretty stacked with it being the last and only race left for marathoners to try to earn a spot to Rio. Conditions looking great right now though and really hoping it stays that way. (low/mid 50s at start, and high-50s/low-60s at finish)
  15. I read this assessment about heat/humidity training a few years ago, and I think I mostly agree with it, and it goes like this: Humidity/Heat training is most beneficial if you are going to be racing in heat/humidity. However, training in heat/humidity will NOT give you additional benefits over training in cooler conditions if your target race is going to be under cool/good conditions. If you think about it logically, if training in heat/humidity yields additional benefits over training under good conditions, you would see tons of elite athletes going out in the hottest part of the day to do their training instead of going in the early mornings or late afternoons when it's usually a little bit cooler. (The exception is when they are training for a target goal race that they know will most likely be in crappy conditions with SI index north of 150). While it's true that training in crappy conditions and at elevation both slow you down, the biggest difference between the two is recovery. When I go out and run a workout at 6000+ ft altitude and cool conditions, I know I am going to be about 10-13s/mi slower than at sea level. If I were to do the same workout at sea level with a SI in the 140-150s, I know I'll also be about 10-15s/mi slow. However, I can recover from the first scenario much much quicker because my body won't be subjected to the heat and water loss of the 2nd scenario. Unless you know there's a good chance your target race is going to be hot too, I would just try to move your quality sessions to the cooler parts of the day, assuming you have the room and flexibility in your schedule.
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