Thursday, December 26, 2013

Return of the Sciatica

Well crap! It was a great five weeks without sciatic pain. Something went awry while traveling last week. I felt the twinge when I was doing warm-ups on Friday morning. Unfortunately, ego pushed me out the door for five miles at tempo. Should have hopped on the roadie.

So I have had a long roadie ride and two spin sessions this week. The pain is manageable and will pass. Yet it sucks. I was really enjoying the winter running.

The marathon is still on the schedule for April. I'll consider changing the date if I feel the spin sessions aren't building the base sufficiently.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Let's Build!

Sciatica is in the rear view mirror and I'm ready to get busy building!

First stop on the calendar is an eighteen week build to an April marathon. I'm planning a self-supported event on April 12. Since I've been running in Beckley Creek Park, I'll probably start there and head into Louisville for a 26.2 loop back to the park. I've been playing with some routes but haven't reached a final path. Not to worry. I can make changes until April 11. 

My wife told me that I must enjoy pain. She remembers my griping after the last marathon. It's not the pain so much. It's the challenge to overcome the pain. I love putting something out there that is hard to finish. She's going to think that I'm absolutely nuts when I start building in 2015 for a trail ultra.

I've completed the first week of the marathon build. Legs feel tired today after my long run. What would you expect after a 24 mile / 4.5 hour training week? I think they feel just right. I'm using a Hal Higdon plan but utilizing Maffetone zone for most runs. My Friday runs are marathon pace. So, I push into zone 2/3 with a focus on 930-1000 min/mile pace. 

If I didn't know the benefits of slow training, I'd be ready to pitch it. Good gravy has it been boring this week. Fortunately, I fully understand how important it is to fat adapt. So, twelve weeks of Maffetone followed by six weeks of zone 2/4 workouts are on the calendar. I'm going to stick with it! 

If you follow me on G+ or DailyMile, I appreciate the support. Honestly, I wouldn't be on social media if it weren't for the endurance sports community. Y'all keep me motivated!

Saturday, November 30, 2013


Finally! It's been a frustrating fall but I'm finally getting over the injury hump. Quick summary... Sciatica set in Labor Day weekend. I struggled for a couple of months with finding what hurt, what helped and an insane travel schedule. November has been a month of discovery and recovery.
How did I get better? First step was learning what hurt - running the vacuum, riding a boogie board, working at a desk. Basically anything that caused me to flex my back upright or beyond. Second step was finding what helped or felt good - riding the road bike, TENS machine, sitting in an office chair with my feet on the wall (lower back stretch), sitting with my feet on the van dash. All of those let my lower back muscles relax and the disc to recover its normal position.
I've been able to add a run each week to my workout routine for four weeks. I'm confident in saying that I've returned to form. We've spent Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg with my siblings and parents. I've been on the trails for three days hiking and running for twenty-four miles and 3000'+ 4300' of elevation gain. My legs are definitely feeling the hill climbing as I sit and type. However, my back feels fantastic!
Time to get back on track for a spring half marathon, summer bike century and fall marathon! Giddy up!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Training update...

Well amigos, it's been a bummer of a Fall 2013 for me.  After my stairway fall in June, I was well on the road to recovery. July ended up being a great training month. August clicked along with no problems. The wheels came off the training Labor Day Weekend.

Prior to Labor Day Weekend, I did a couple of short bricks with easy bike and moderate tempo run. That seemed to cause some periformis and lower back fatigue. We then hit the highway for a long road trip and I did a lengthy tempo run on Saturday. Somewhere in there a disc slipped in my lower back between L4 and L5. Since that weekend, I've been fighting sciatica.

I took three weeks off with no training. I started adding short runs as I was traveling a lot and didn't have access to my bike. On vacation week of 10.14, I had another setback after playing on the boogie board with my kids. I was nearly crippled again with back pain and sciatica when I returned home.

I took another week of no activity. My work travels changed (driving instead of flying) and I was able to ride my bike. :) I found that being on my bike is very comfortable and allows my back to stretch the right direction without stretching the leg (key to defeating the inflammation).

I've now been cycling three to four days a week for two weeks. I had two days last week that were relatively pain free. I've learned how to get things to relax (gentle stretching, riding my bike, TENS unit) and the sciatica will ease.

I'm going to keep riding my bike until I'm pain free on a daily basis. Hoping to be on the running trails by December. If not, I'll just keep cycling until it happens.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Back in the Saddle - again

This seems to be the year of the non-running injury for me. On June 20, I fell at work while walking down some stairs. Smacked my lower back pretty hard. All extremities were functional at the time but I knew it would hurt the next day. It hurt a lot within the next hour. The next day added the pain of whiplash to the back pain.

Three weeks of mobility and strength exercises and no endurance training was the prescription. Boo. Meh, I survived it. I went for my first run on July 10. Oh did I ever lose my edge. MAF runs were in the 11-12 minute range. Pain was a 1 or 2 but I pressed through it with limited running and cycling. I even loaded the roadie for a trip to Cleveland to keep me from running too much.

I'm still recovering the fitness but my back is fine. I have to push really hard on my back muscles to find any pain. I don't have to push very hard on my pace to find zone 4. However it's getting better too.

Now I'll enjoy a weekend in Pigeon Forge with the wife and kids. Maybe a few miles of running too.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Measuring Stress Levels

What a great week of training (work wasn't too bad either)! The holiday weekend travels messed with my schedule a bit as I ran long on Sunday last week. So, that put Monday as a rest day. Tuesday was strength and core plus a one hour bike ride. My wife and I did a "Burpee Hell" routine. We planned five rounds but only made it through three. It was tough - 1 minute of burpees, 30 seconds rest, 1 minute of core, 30 seconds rest. We'll try again next week. Tempo run on Wednesday and an easy ride on Friday.

Saturday is my usual long run day. I headed into Louisville to meet Andre around 620am. Big black clouds greeted me on the western horizon. Hmm. Didn't check the radar. Oops. That's a lot of rain coming our way. We decided to bail on it. Heh. Barely a light rain came of it. So, I did some chores around the house which led to the need for a trip to the hardware store. After realizing it wasn't going to rain, I hopped on the roadie and headed into Taylorsville for a 20 mile round trip (Yes, you can park without locking!). Decided to hit a 5K run after I got home for the first brick of the year. Can't believe it is already June and I hadn't bricked yet!

So, it's Sunday and that's my rest day. I definitely need the rest day. I've been tracking my stress levels via a heart rate variability app as well as my resting heart rate. I generally try to measure before bed and again when I wake. I've been hovering around 1-2% stress and a resting heart rate of 52 BPM. However, I was at 22% stress and RHR of 65 BPM before I went to sleep last night. I measured again this morning - 14% and 58 BPM. RHR is a bit higher than I like to see but the stress level is certainly in the balanced range. I didn't check the RHR while still in bed. So, it would have probably been a bit lower.

Tracking these keeps me in tune with how my body is really doing. If the data says I'm tired, it's a lot easier for me to check my ego instead of pushing through and over stressing my body. I honestly wanted to run a bit this morning as it's cool and cloudy. However, I know my HRV is usually less than 3%. So, a rest day is needed and I'll enjoy it. Time for a bit of yoga and a little project work in the basement.

If you're interested in the apps that I'm using, they are both by Azumio. The heart rate app is called "Instant Heart Rate" and can be found here: The heart rate variability app is called "Stress Check" and can be found here:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Inspired Miles

Greetings from the mountains of Tennessee. We were fortunate to be able to see my family this weekend and enjoy some relaxation time in Pigeon Forge. The mountains are beautiful and the temperatures are perfect. We were able to drive most of the way to the top of Bluff Mountain. It was just a short hike to the top where there's a fire watch tower. Man, you could see forever and I didn't even go to the top. Here's a shot from a lookout along the roadway.

The week of training was capped with a splendid half marathon from Pigeon Forge's Patriot Park to Sevierville. I wanted to run to the top of Bluff Mountain (6+ miles and 2000' of gain to the top) but I needed to save my legs for the hills of Dollywood. It all worked out as it was raining and cloudy on Sunday morning. So I wouldn't have been able to see the sunrise over the Smokies.

I've talked before about adjusting my heart rate training zones. I used Friel's lactate threshold test and his recommended percentages. This dropped my training zones by roughly eight BPM. Of course, that meant running slower... for a while. Today's half marathon distance was done in Zone 2 with three minute surges every twenty minutes to lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR). This is my usual plan for long runs that I learned from Coach Jeff with PRSfit. It's a great way to stay aerobic and still get some fast twitch training.

The great news from today was the excellent improvement in pace. In February and April, I ran the same distance with AHR of 160-162 and an average pace of 9:45-9:47. I've been increasing the total training volume. So my legs certainly weren't well rested. However, I was able to roll in the new Zone 2 with an AHR of 154 and an average pace of 9:25. Twenty seconds faster with 6-8 BPM lower heart rate. That is heart rate training doing its thing!

I titled the post "Inspired Miles" for a couple of reasons. First, it's Memorial Weekend. I think about my time in the Navy. I was fortunate to not have lost any shipmates but I know many have fallen. This is not about supporting a war or policy but it's about remembering those that have volunteered to protect our nation. Second, I was listening to Run Run Live 3.0 podcast while running. This was Chris's post-Boston recording. He was only a few kilometers from the bomb site when he was pulled from the race. The passion and emotion in his voice was strong. I pushed a hard mile eleven as he read his closing statement and I thought about the victims of the bombings.

Keep moving forward. For Chris, do epic stuff.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Ramping the Volume

It's that awesome time of year. Sun starts rising before 6 a.m. The temperature is still relatively cool. I just love ramping my training right now.

I have been adding a half hour every week for the last several weeks. I am now at a steady 6-7 hours of training.  However, this week we'll have me at eight hours. Eight hours is my happy spot for training.

Also with this great weather, I've been able to ride my bicycle. I bought a road bike last summer. Really enjoy a nice two hour ride even though I'm still not real fast. On a long ride my average speed is 13-14mph. I'm going to start adding some tempo workouts on the bike to get the speed increased.

Last week was a bit of a step back week. I did a 5k race on Saturday. So I dropped the volume with a short taper. I did really well at the 5k race. I was quite pleased with a second place age division and a new age group PR. I ran the race in 23:42. My only disappointment in the race was that I did not run the final mile and a half as fast as I could have. I felt like I had too much in the tank at the finish line.

The 5k race was also my wife's first 5k. She enjoyed the day and did a run walk for 38 minutes. I don't know if she's hooked but I do know that she had a good time. I think we'll do another 5k in the fall.

I have been traveling this week. Fortunately, I was able to bring my road bike. I had a great ride from Independence to South Chagrin reserve on Monday and a nice flat Rails to Trails ride on Wednesday near Elyria. Both of the rides were around 2 hours. Also got in a couple of runs one was a tempo with negative splits and then a really nice trail run yesterday that was definitely not the fastest thing I've ever done. Great day to enjoy the trails!

I'm headed home on Friday with plans for a half marathon distance on Saturday morning. I'm still trying to finish a half marathon every month. This will be an easy pace. Maybe. We'll see what Andre has on his training plan.

Keep moving forward.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Back in the Saddle

Many friends on social media have been complaining about a late winter. However, we hit a stretch of awesome weather in Kentucky before a rainy weekend. I was able to thoroughly enjoy it. My work travels came to an end at the perfect time.

Tuesday was 73F and sunny. I had an appointment near Fort Knox and decided to stop on the way home for some trail goodness at Jefferson Memorial Forest. As usual, JFM didn't disappoint. I have not had the opportunity to run there since last fall. I usually run the Horine section but decided to head to Siltstone. I'd heard it was quite challenging and those folks were right. However I thoroughly enjoyed the hour. (

The trails at JFM are mostly single track and hard packed dirt with plenty of rocks and roots. We have very few of the groomed crush gravel trails that I see in Ohio or the Rails to Trails. You get a great workout of the support muscles in your lower legs and feet. I couldn't certainly tell on Wednesday that I have not been on the trails for a while.

Friday was Oaks Day. For those from any other metro area, this is a holiday in Louisville area. So I took a vacation day and relaxed like any other endurance athlete. I went for a two hour ride on the roadie. I needed to drop a package at the local office but wasn't really in the mood for a half century ride. No problem. I threw the bike in the truck and started from the commuter lot at Southeast Christian Church. (

I had to laugh at myself. Most folks load the bike and head toward my house to ride in the country. Honestly I think it is absolutely beautiful out here. However it's nice to have a break from the hills and ride some flats.
Energy levels are returning after the crazy stretch of travel. Thankfully. I was getting tired and irritable. Plus I missed being home with my family. Glad to be back in the saddle.

Keep moving forward.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Slackin' Blogger

What kind of blogger waits six weeks to post a new blog post? Heh. One that spent eight weeks traveling, training, working and being just too darn busy to think about writing. I did sit down a couple of times to write but just couldn't get the fingers moving. Anyhow, travels have slowed and I've been home for a week. Weeee.

I've managed to keep most of my training on track. I did drop a bit in total volume as I was skipping weights and yoga but the mileage was still there. I'm still hitting a half marathon distance each month. My first quarter half for time was 1:57. Considerably slower than my PR from last September of 1:49. However, the stress of work and life definitely had me running a bit slower. No worries. Just keeping the heart rate in training zones and moving forward.

My wife and I decided to enter a 5K race. If you know me, you know that I'm not big on spending money for races with the for-profit race companies. However, we wanted to support the local spring festival and got registered. We'll be running the streets (well, she'll be walking quickly) of Mount Washington KY on May 11. I'm actually looking forward to laying down some speedy miles. I'm pressing for three 7's. Hoping the energy of other runners will scoot me to a sub 22 finish.

Training will keep steady with another peak mileage for a June 15 half marathon. My running buddy and I will at least start together. His PR is 1:58. I'm going for sub 1:50 this time. We're still working on an exact course. Probably start from the front of Southeast Christian Church and wind through the streets of Plainview and Douglas Hills.

Keep moving forward!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Adapting to Change

Another crazy week of work but I got it done. Mostly. I pulled the plug on one run due to stress levels at work. My body was going through enough as evidenced by my eye twitching after an eighteen hour work day.

I'm still acclimating to the new training zones but I can honestly say they work. My recovery times have been quicker. Even with increased stress at work, I'm able to handle the the training better. Tempo runs are still sub 9. However the zone 2 pace is considerably slower. That's okay for now as I know I'll will get faster.

The adjustment in zones has me thinking about my last marathon in November. My training was right on track for a solid sub four. Somewhere around mile seventeen my body said no. Could it be that my zones were too high? Was I actually pushing too hard too early? All indications are just that. I wish I had tested the zones sooner.

I look forward to progressing through the training over the next few months and years. I'll make sure to add more time trials along the way to make sure I'm staying on track. First up is a half marathon next weekend.

Keep moving forward.


I posted this blog update before my long run this morning. The switch has already flipped. 9:47 pace @ 150 bpm average. Sweet! I was not expecting to see this kind of improvement for at least another month or two.

Garmin data: (disregard the blip on the end. hit my start button inadvertently as I drove down the road)

If you haven't tested your zones lately, I highly recommend it. I know for certain that I was over training. The adjustment in zones has already paid dividends! If you aren't using a heart rate monitor, I hope you will consider using one.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tweaking the Zones

Man, it's been a busy two weeks since I last updated. Two trips to Cleveland with an excursion to Toledo and BFE West Virginia (also known as West Union). I've kept most of  my training schedule intact. With my job and the weather, I do move things a bit but I am able to get it done.

After I wrote my last update, I decided to do some heart rate testing and recalculate my training zones using a methodology explained by Sock Doc. I've read that it's a good thing to do with regularity as our bodies are always changing. It had been more than two years since I had established my heart rate zones.

Using my existing HR zones as my guide, I ran a 6+ mile course with a twenty minute warm up in zone 2, twenty minutes in zone 3, fifteen minutes in zone 4, and five minutes as hard as possible. The zones 3 and 4 portion gave a solid simulated race pace effort that is pretty consistent. As fatigue takes hold, the push into zone 4 is pretty consistent with my earlier effort in zone 3. The final unlimited push lets me see my maximum heart rate. I also monitored my resting heart rate over the next few mornings.

As I expected, new zones were to be established. My maximum heart rate is still there. Oddly, my resting heart rate has come up a bit. Regardless, new training zones have been set. Everything moved down a few bpm utilizing the Sock Doc method (backbone of the method is established by Joe Friel). Sock Doc just makes it simple stupid for the masses.

Zone     Old BPM Range     New BPM Range
1           145-153                 137-147
2           154-162                 147-154
3           163-172                 154-163
4           172-181                 163-173
5           181-186                 173-186

What do the zones mean? Hey, that's another blog post. :-)

Keep moving forward!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Listening to Your Body

Bit of a step back week for me. Two runs, a spin and a weight session. I needed it after last week's travel schedule, half marathon and long bike ride. It's all good. I'm getting better at listening to my body.

Most of that listening is done by utilizing a heart rate monitor. I always exercise with one. Running. Riding. Lifting. It doesn't matter. My heart rate monitor is recording the exercise. I knew a couple days ahead of time before I was getting sick with the flu. I also know when I've recovered and can push things. Love training by HR monitor.

I was introduced to HR training by Coach Jeff with PRS FIT (he also got me into a zero drop shoe and corrected my running form... that's another blog post). Talk about an ego crushing first few weeks. Man, I was a whiner. 11:30-12:00 minute training miles while keeping my heart rate at 145 bpm. I'd been pushing ten minute and faster miles on most training runs. I knew nothing about slowing the pace and letting my body recovery.

However, I persevered. I listened to Jeff and kept withing the zones he gave me. Eventually, he put me through a max heart rate test and set my training zones. I've been using these zones for two years now. I've seen the zone 2 run pace drop to 9:00-9:30 range. Just depends on the day and distance.

I can honestly say that I'm more healthy because of the training. Okay, I'll give some credit to changing my diet. Guess who recommended Paleo Diet for Athletes..... Yep. Coach Jeff. However, I give just as much of the credit of staying healthy to HR training. I keep myself from being over trained which keeps my body from being stressed.

Dr. Steve Gangemi has some great articles on his site regarding heart rate training and healthy living. I credit Jeff with showing me the way, but I give The Sock Doc credit for helping me understand the science behind the training and diet. I highly recommend you visit The Sock Doc's site. He has a second site that I find just as useful. If you want an endurance coach to help you with your training, Coach Jeff is the man.

Keep moving forward!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Running with a View

Sometimes business travel can be a real drag. You're not in your groove. Maybe your schedule is beyond your control. Yet you need to make the best of it.

This was not one of those weeks. Although I was in Dayton, Toledo, Cleveland, and Saint Paul, I was able to rock it. I enjoyed a nice run at home before I left. Weights and recumbent were enjoyable at the hotel on Tuesday. However the best workout was in Saint Paul on Thursday.

This week was to be my first half marathon distance of the year. So I thought I'd make the most of my trip with a run along the Saint Paul riverfront. I was quite surprised with the great views for a run that started downtown. Within the first three miles, I saw at least eight bald eagles. I had never seen one in the wild. The riverfront pathway is really nice.

Anyhow, I'm back home for the weekend. I'm hoping for a nice recovery ride tomorrow to close the week. The next three weeks will be speed and tempo focused to peak for a race pace half.

Keep moving forward!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Juggling Life

I had a busy week with work. Had to a make an overnight trip to Dayton for some client training and several local-ish site visits to assist clients with HVAC issues. That put my endurance training plan in a tailspin. I was able to recover most of it except for a planned run on Tuesday morning. The traffic outside my hotel room let me get a four hour and two hour nap before I had to roll to work. Ugg. The zombie effect didn't hit me until I got home that evening but I didn't run before work. No need to push it on four hours of sleep.

The recovered workout plan turned into rest on Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday. Spin and weights on Wednesday. Nice ten miler on Thursday. Manual labor on Friday. 1/4-mile repeats on Sunday. 

Wednesday's workout was my weekly gym date with my wife. I absolutely love our gym time together. I lead us on a 35 minute spin with hills and sprints. I really get our heart pumping on the hill climbs. Then we finish with 30 minutes of weights. I've been lifting heavy (for me). I'd like to develop more strength. I've also been including a compound exercise every session. This week was deadlifts. Man, my butt hurt the next day. Glutes were activated!

Busy week ahead with travels to the tundra of northern Ohio and Minnesota. While I'm in Minnesota, I plan a 13.1-mile training run along the river in Saint Paul. If you're in the area, you're welcome to join me. I will start around 230 or 300pm on Thursday afternoon.

Keep moving forward!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Road to Recovery

Two weeks of flu crud. Blah. So glad that is behind me. It has been at least five years since I was sick for more than a day. I've been blessed with a healthy immune system. Of course, it could be the healthy diet. Hmmm.

Back on the road this past week with three nice recovery zone runs plus a living room dumbbell circuit. I did the circuit on Wednesday morning after rolling my ankle in the predawn darkness. Stupid road edge drop off. Fortunately (depends how you look at it), my ankle has been rolled so many times that it barely swells and I was back in action within forty-eight hours.

Next week looks like a good time. I'll move my long run to midweek to accommodate my wife's trip and hit the elliptical and dumbbells on Saturday. Can't be leaving the young one at home while I tour the countryside.

Keep moving forward.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Pressing Reset

It's been a week since I've been able to workout. This is the first time in years that I have the flu. It sucks but I'm getting better. Still have some head and chest congestion but my energy and voice have returned.

I'm traveling for business this week and I intentionally left my gym gear at home. I'm forcing myself to take an extra few days of rest. Traveling with no gear is the only way I'll rest. Otherwise I'll find myself pushing through the miles.

So I'll be pressing reset on the training plan. I'm going back to how I started this plan in December. I'll be employing at least a month of 180-Age Heart Rate training. The first two weeks will be an additional -5 bpm. I'll see how I feel after a month and make adjustments from there.

Whatever it takes to get healthy. No pressure from wasted race entry fees. That's the beauty of doing your own thing.

Keep moving forward.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Battle of the Chest Crud

It's been a great week for afternoon running. Upper 20s and sunny in Louisville. Unfortunately, I got hit with a chest cold/flu. It started Tuesday morning with a tickle in my chest. By 4pm, I had my first dose of Nyquil and I was sleeping. Wednesday and Thursday were half days of work with fevers in the late afternoon. Let's hope Friday is a fever-free day. I hate the aches from the fever.

Needless to say that I won't be running a half marathon tomorrow. The good thing about running my own personal races is no loss of money. I'll just push things back a week.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Looking ahead...

Saturday, January 26th is my first half marathon distance of 2013. I usually run after bible study with my buddy, Andre. I wonder if he knows we are going long. Guess he'll learn in six days. :-)

Anyhow, here's the course through Douglass Hills near Southeast Christian Church.

Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRun

It's a little long. I'd rather go a bit long than be short with my endeavor to complete twelve half marathons this year.

If you are local, you are welcome to join me. We start around 8:30am in the C Lot at SCC. I won't be pushing the pace. Andre is a 10:30 miler and I'll run with him for the first five or six miles before he turns for the cars. I'll move to marathon pace after he departs (9:00-9:10 min/mile). This run is about distance and time on feet. I'll taper and push for half marathon pace in eight weeks. Keep moving forward!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Busy but staying on track

It's finally the weekend. Crazy week. Appointments from Louisville to Columbus. Somehow, I still found time for my scheduled workouts.

I'm still in speed and tempo portion of my training schedule. As much as I enjoy running hard, I am liking forward to another base period.

I started with an easy spin on Monday with my wife followed by our full body weight routine. I focus on my legs and core with some upper body. She likes to focus more on upper body and core. Regardless we still stay together for the entire time. It's my favorite workout of the week. Who wouldn't want to hang with their beautiful wife to start the week?

Tuesday is rest day and Wednesday brought sleet and freezing rain. So,  I shifted my running to the right and just did my living room circuit routine after the kids went to bed. It actually worked out just fine. I was able to get the blood flowing later in the day and stay awake for the KState game. EMAW baby!

Thursday was hill repeats. Man, I was really dreading the hill as I did my warm up. I live in a neighborhood that is shaped like a wishbone. My street is mostly flat but the other one is a quarter mile with five percent grade. That thing will get the heart rate into zone 4 quickly. My goal is to rock it at 5K pace. Finally! I knocked out five at 1:45! Boom! I was struggling to hit two minutes last summer. Talk about a breakthrough run. That was a nice boost.

Friday found me in Columbus OH with tempo repeats on the schedule. Dude. It was cold up there. 19°F is quite a change for the winter we've had in Louisville. I definitely felt the drag on my pace. Mile warmup followed by 5x7minutes at HM pace with one minute recoveries. I was able to keep it below 8:15 but it hurt. Character building workout for sure.

Saturday is always long run day for me. I like to completely shutdown my brain and body until Monday. I met my bible study buddy and we took off at his conversational pace. He yaps about slowing my pace but I actually enjoy it. Keeps my heart rate in zone 1/2 and let's my body stay in aerobic zone. He started getting tired about 45 minutes into the run and I still needed another hour. So, he turned for the car and I pumped up to HM pace for three miles. Then pulled back to zone 2 for the remaining 25 minutes. Forgot to check my average HR. Couldn't have been too high. I'm guessing it was low zone 2.

Anyhow, it was great week of training. Last week of speed and tempo on the schedule next week with my first half marathon distance of the year on Saturday. Planning to mix my pace between conversation and marathon pace. Definitely not going to push it but I would like to finish under two hours.

Keep moving forward!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

2013: The Year of the Blog

Decided to start blogging about my endurance training this year. Until April 2012, I was blogging weekly for business but I've sold the company. I've missed finding topics and such. So, here we are for The Year of the Blog.

I've settled on my endurance goals and plan for 2013. Initially, I had planned to run a half marathon distance weekly, but I decided to take it a bit easier. I'll be running a half marathon distance every four weeks with a half marathon at race pace every twelve weeks. It should make for a fun year.

Why the decision to go a little lighter? I had a fatigue setback in early December. I ran a marathon the weekend before Thanksgiving and traveled quite a bit for the next two weeks. On December 1, I ran a Maffetone Test Run and found my heart rate going too high at my usual paces. My resting heart rate was also 8-12 bpm above normal in the morning. I'm pretty good with easy math. I knew that I was fatigued.

So, I took Sock Doc's advice and shifted to a low 180-Age-5 plan for a month. Shoo. That was a mental challenge. I usually training with a set of heart rate zones from my former running coach that are considerably higher. However, it was worth it. I was able to keep the cardio base but still recover and rest. It was a great month of active recovery.

I've finished my second week of training for the month. This week's training included a great whole body weights routine on Monday that was seriously in the pain cave, half mile repeats at 5K pace on Tuesday, 7-minute repeats on Wednesday ten seconds slower than half marathon pace and a nice eight mile run with Andre on Saturday at his conversational pace (10:45). Although, I did finish with a 7:45 pace half mile and 9:30 half mile cool down. Had to shake it out at the end.