Friday, May 31, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
I have thoughtfully decided not to do the Half marathon in June. Instead, I will embark upon a new 16 week training program starting next week. Next race will be my favorite, the Harrisburg Half in September! At least, that is the plan. This will be my 4th year in a row of doing that. I am glad that my actual training starts next week. This week, my running has not been all that stellar. I am battling a cold, and my HR seems higher than normal for slower paces. Is that normal? Well, best wishes to those racing this weekend.
Monday, May 6, 2013
Of course, you have probably done enough Long runs, Tempo runs, Intervals, and Fartleks to even count. Whether you are in training or not, if you are looking for some new runs and workouts to add some excitement into your running, you are reading the right post. I recently found myself frequenting a running site called Competitor. I can virtually spend all day on this site as it has so many posts and interesting things to read as well. But, one thing in particular that they have going on in the line up is their "Workout of the Week". They have more than a hand full of different runs and work outs that you can do to spruce up your training. Everything from the Descending Tempo to the Halftime Fartlek. I have only done a few of these, and have found a new spring in my stride. I know that you will get something from them. Have fun! Click here to get started. **On a side-note, I am glad to see that the word verification has gotten a bit easier to read. haha
Thursday, May 2, 2013
It has been a few weeks since my first race of the year, Flying Pirate Half in North Carolina. I was hoping to break 2:00, but was off 45 seconds from making that happen. I will be racing again June 15th at the Double Creek Half in York, PA. From what I have heard from those who have raced it before, it’s a pretty hilly course. The hills are a gradual ascent and not just one right after another. Guess I will go on over to mapmyrun.com and check out the elevation stats. Best wishes to all of those into their Spring Race Season! Well.....time to go make friends with a hill.
Friday, April 19, 2013
|Wife and I at the Finish! Thanks babe for waiting on me!|
Last weekend, I ran the Flying Pirate Half Marathon in NC.
Time – 2:00:44
I was training for a sub 2 half marathon, but it did not happen this time. Though, I am still proud of my time, and very pleased with the result. I beat my old PR by 13 minutes.
1 – 8:49
2 – 9:19
3 – 9:05
4 – 8:59
5 – 9:00 5 mile split - 45:04
6 – 9:03
7 – 8:58
8 – 9:07
9 – 9:08
10 – 9:18
11 – 9:54
12 – 9:44
13 – 10:05
13.1 - :48
|Flying to the Finish|
Up to mile 10, I was on for something good. I felt strong, and wanted to pick up the pace actually. I had practiced race pace for 3 months now, which is somewhere around 9:09 miling. After the 10th mile, there were some hills on a rocky road surface. I had slowed down enough as to not get too beat up, and have enough time to have to go sub 2. After the 12th mile somewhere we ended up on a single track almost of going straight up and down these sand dune - like hills. On more than one occasion, I had to walk behind people trying to make it up the hills (too narrow). I had made it up the last one and saw the counter with 2:00 something on it and ran as fast as I could. I made it, but not fast enough to turn back time.
Would I have done anything different? Absolutely not! No Regrets! I completed my goal. Although, my time does not read escaped-point.I had a great race, and completed an excellent cycle of build up, training, race specific training, and the race itself. Mission accomplished! Time to relax, but for a short time. I learned a lot from this race. I will take the knowledge that I have gained and use it in the future.
I will say that the course itself is very pretty. Around mile 7 you run around the Wright Brothers National Memorial. I was running faster than a jog, so I didn't really take it in. I just wanted to get around it and go. Other than that, it is an all around great fun course. Mostly flat, BUT, watch out for those last few miles.
This was my first race that I had to do an extensive amount of traveling. We went down (7 hours drive) on Saturday to pick up the race packet, which was mandatory due to no pick ups on race day. We had a fabulous pre-race supper of Sea foods (fried oysters, etc.) Don’t know if that was an optimal choice, but we wanted to take it all in while we were there. Slept well and got up around 4:00 am. Before the race, a veteran sung “God Bless America”, and the race director prayed for the runners’ safety and speed. Then, they started playing an upbeat music, and the director was getting runners to do a dance warm up. lol. The gun went off after a count down and off we go. On Saturday, my wife and I surveyed everywhere we were suppose to go and looked at the course. She wasn't running it, and it was an A-B course, so she drove to the different spectator spots to take pictures and light fires on my pants to go faster.!
|Having fun with the locals! lol Arrrggghhh!|
After the race, my wife and I joined with the small party the organizers put together for runners, shopped a little, went out for lunch, and enjoyed the sights in the OBX. Monday morning we headed down to Newport to spend a few days with my parents. Needless to say, I ate good and recovered great. I am always sad to leave North Carolina, but happy to know that I am welcomed back anytime.
|We enjoyed our trip to the Beach!|
As far as the tragedy that occurred on Monday, my thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this horrific event. Be careful of which charities that you donate to, as there are a lot of scams out there. I thank the Lord every day that I am able to breathe, run, live, and spend time with my wife and family. Live with out hesitation and regret. Treat each moment like it’s the last one you have. For you never know when your last breath is.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
I used to be that guy (the beginner runner that still has a lot more to learn) that thought that hey, if I just keep running and running......and running, I will lose weight and get faster. Did I lose weight? …….yeah, a little, but as soon as I stopped running it would come back. Did I get faster? Hmmmmm, not really! You can run 100 miles a week and if you only run slow, you will always run slow. Since my first Half Marathon in 2010, my times actually got worse, but not by much. This year is quite different. I have an edge over some runners that are self coached, but if you take to heart and mind what is read in this post and others, I hope that you gain something from it. Being coached of course has certain advantages, but it’s the athlete that decides if he or she will wake up at 4am for runs, and what to feed themselves with during the day, and the hours of sleep.
So what did I learn so far?
The act of running in itself is not the one entity that will make you a better runner. It's not about miles 'to an extent'. It's more about HOW you run those miles. Get OUT of your comfort zone! If you never practice Race Pace during training, how will you implement it on Race Day?
|"The trick, Mr. Potter, is not minding that it hurts."|
What you do when you DON'T run counts for a lot of your improvement. Rest and Recovery, Diet, sleep, etc.
As far as the 10% rule, I think it's a good guideline. I don't think it is something that is etched in stone.
You WILL have runs were you feel like a blob! It’s normal.
One of the most instrumental components of the sport of running that will propel you forward is Motivation. Find what motivates you. Use it. Pursue!
This sport is not an exact science. It's about a journey with peaks and valleys. Sometimes things might not turn out the way you have anticipated. You may have trained and everything goes right, and then things do not work out on race day. You have to learn how to be adaptable to changes and be willing to go back to the drawing board.
Sometimes you will succeed. Sometimes you will fail......miserably. You have to accept your failures along with your victories. It doesn't matter if you are trying to break 6 hours for the marathon, or trying to break 2:20. Dig Deep, find what works for YOU! Don't be afraid to experiment! Then attack it with all of your Heart, Strength, Power, and Vigor!
Be the best YOU can be!
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Monday, April 1, 2013
|calm and collective|
|tear it up!|
Monday, March 25, 2013
I have 3 more weeks until my debut Half Marathon, the Flying Pirate Half Marathon in Kitty Hawk, NC. Debut Half Marathon? Let me explain…… In 2010, I did complete my first Half Marathon (Harrisburg Half) in a time of 2:13, and 4 more after that up until 2012. I say debut, because beforehand, I had just managed to merely finish with no real training behind it, along with 2 full marathons. Ok, so I can finish. Yay! This year, I am starting over with new training concepts. This year, I plan to actually race it. My goal is to not just finish, but come in under the 2:00 mark. To make this possible, I had to change things around in my training and over all mindset on diet, rest, and visualization.
The Long Run – Before, I would go out and trudge through the miles. There was no real substance in my running. If I did my 13 miles in 3 hours, great, I did them. Now, I have learned to be 'comfortable at being uncomfortable'. Would going out and running 14-15 miles at 12 minute pacing afford me to run 9:00 miles on race day? I think not. It would definitely help with endurance, but what needs to take place is speed-endurance. Example – Yesterday’s Long Run was 15 miles. The first mile warm up, then 13 miles at 165 HR (ouch), then a cool down mile. What does my coach have me doing here I thought? I took this opportunity to practice what I was going to do on Race Day and to practice running a Race Pace. I wore what I was going to wear; I set up to drink every 3 miles, etc. I took no gels. So I went out, first mile at 9:50 to warm up, then I turned on the ‘go fast’ switch. I immediately thought about all of those previous long runs (knowing that I can complete the distance, 16 just last week and the week before) and combined that with all of the 9-10 mile tempo runs, and other speed training (800s, 1000s, mile repeats, etc.) I ended up running the middle 13 miles at an average pace of 9:05 per mile, a few seconds faster than race pace. I had a bit of a rough patch around mile 8, but came back strong in the 9th. Some miles towards the end of the 13 miles were around 8:50 – 9:00. I actually completed 13 miles in 1:58:50. …………with another fast mile in 8:45 and then a cool down mile to complete the prescribed 15 mile run. *Confidence Booster Indeed. Two years ago, I would never imagine even running one mile below 9:00 pace. I know now that a sub 2:00 Half Marathon is with in grasp. I just have to go out and do it now. Other than the confidence, this run also developed Muscle Memory. Today and tomorrow are definitely easy days. Wednesday, I have another 9 mile run were the first and last miles are warm up and cool down and the middle 7 are at 165 HR. I will probably be running close to 8:30 miles. Recover/Attack, Recover/Attack! I look back to many of the different workouts that I have completed since 01/01/2013 and can attest how they have drastically improved my Running Performance and have made a Long Run such as this even possible. If I were following the same plans as before, I would still be in the same place. Having a Running Coach (rundreamachieve) that knows what it takes to move forward has had a definite impact in all of this. So Nathan Pennington, Thank you! If you train the same, you will stay the same. This level of training also comes with a price. The price of time, commitment, energy. I am hoping that this year will bring a continued momentum. There are peaks and valleys in training over a life time. Right now I am flying down a hill, hoping that the bottom does not sprout out any time soon at least.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
I would hope that the recent posts here have helped or motivated some of you. On this post, I would like to just share some things that have been going on in my life of running. I am happy to report that there has been tremendous improvement. So much, in fact, I was thinking on renaming the title to Overall Improvement instead of just running improvement, but this blog is about running.
So what has been going on here?
At the end of 2012, I was a little over the 200 pound mark. (206) I believe they have a runners category for that? Clydesdale. hahaha. Well, YTD, I am here to report a loss of 22 of those unwanted pounds at 184. A good problem – pants too big!
I have been running based on HR especially on my easy runs to gauge whether or not I am going to fast. The problem in the past is that my easy runs simply were not easy enough and my hard runs were kinda sloppy. So the result now is that through constant monitoring, my HR has decreased by about 13 on average on the same pace.
My form has gotten a lot better. And as an end result, my pace has improved a lot. I can probably reason this off to having a great coach, and that does hold the credibility mark, but I am the one who has put in the hard work, the many miles, and many hours of training. Now, I am logging close to 60 miles or more a week.
Lastly, I would like to make mention of my dietary change. No, I have not turned vegan, vegetarian, fruitarian, etc.., but I have been simply making better food choices and not eating junk all the time. Sustainability is key, and providing your body with the proper fuel is crucial for optimal training benefits. My favorite thing to do is having a nutriblast everyday filled with nutrient rich veggies and fruit. Goji Berries? I have never heard of those before, and now I love em! I use this machine called a Nutribullet. Im sure you have probably seen the infomercial on it by now. I will do a post in the future on it and some of the most delicious drinks you can make from using it. You can also use a good blender too though. Im not doing a review on it for them, so Im not going to hype it up, but I do love using it and recommend it. *I am actually thinking of going to a whole foods, plant based diet though.*
All in all, I am feeling vibrant, alive, energetic, and my recovery times are less. I am learning more and more that being a better runner is not just about getting out there and knocking out mile after mile. That’s just part of the picture.
I’ve got 5 ½ weeks left until I toe the line at the Flying Pirate Half Marathon in OBX, NC. So Far, So Great! Regardless if what time I get, I can say that I have and will be giving it my all. I am actually looking forward to the week after the race of doing nothing (well, a few easy runs here and there). From EOR to you, have a good one, and hope your training is going well.