earlymorningcruzin podcast

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A nice present today

I had a feeling that this run was going to be good.. I felt rested and strong today.. even though I ran a pretty hard 5 mile race pace yesterday.. at an average of 7:06 /mi. 
I got to run with my Saturday running partner (James) today.. that is always good.. James and I have a very similar training pace and we always complement and push each other during our long runs.  He is having a little bit of an issue with one of his knees so he couldn't push the pace hard that last mile but other than that he kept us both pressing the pace.

avg paced was 7:49 - Mile splits: 8:55; 9:00; 8:38; 7:55; 7:52; 8:01; 7:42; 7:50; 7:37; 7:27; 7:24; 7:24; 7:03; 7:13; 7:13

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Like Opening up Presents!

Well, as you know if you have been reading this blog any at all, I am using the Hal Higdon Half Marathon Advanced plan. http://www.halhigdon.com/halfmarathon/adv.htm  

One thing that stands out with this training plan is that I don't feel as many aches and pains as I have with previous workout plans. This is a welcome relief.. plan fact is that I am quickly approaching 50 and I need to adjust my training to meet the thresholds of my body. 

Now, something has happened in the past few weeks that is making this training plan more and more exciting. The plan started off with lots of short distance intervals (1/4 mile and a couple of 1/2 mile days) and short 3 mile recovery runs between the interval, 30 min tempo and long runs on Saturday. 
Well, for the past couple of weeks the intervals have elevated to 1 mile, the Tempo runs are longer and then there are the "Race Pace" runs. These race pace runs are now 5 miles (5 miles at the pace I plan to run in the half marathon).

It's getting exciting to open up these speed training "presents" to see what the results of my training has produced. I can feel my body starting to peak as the day of the race draws near. I have the rest of this week and next week that has some pretty demanding training sessions... but then the week of the race I just cruise thru with some less demanding sessions that should have me a lean, mean half marathon running machine!!

I think it's working.. but the proof will be in the race!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Loooooooong Run..

Well.. long for me anyway... 

The ol higdon plan calls for a 2 hour run today.. just two hours of running.. no special equipment or instructions needed. On most Saturday's I have a training partner, but he was a no show today (as I have been for him before).. So I got myself out of the warm car and got after it.. one minute at a time... :-)

The weather was not to bad.. around 44 degrees but it was blustery w/ foggy overcast skies.. of course when I started it was dark .. I mean.. after all I am the earlymorningcruzin guy so I have to maintain my image..

The run was smooth and to be honest.. it went by very fast.. doing the recording really makes the time fly. Even though there is no interaction with the person(s) listening, it really is like I am carrying on a conversation with you.. but it looks like I am talking to myself. ;-)  Total time on the road was 2:00 hours; 14.51miles.. that works out to 8:16 /mi pace.. I had a couple sub 8:00 miles thrown in there around the middle of the run.. but slowed myself up so I wouldn't be hurting toward the end. Well... I hurt anyway. I haven't run that long in a while.. I have 2 more Saturday runs before the Mercedes Half and they are all 2 hr runs. It will be interesting to see if the third one is easier than this one was today.

I attempted to record a podcast episode, but that didn't quite workout due to the wind. Even with the windscreen foam on the mic, the wind at times was just too much for the recording .. So I will just plan to redu during my Sunday morning easy run... That is if rain doesn' halt that..

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Another good workout.. I need all of them I can get!

Today's training run was a 55 minute tempo run. A tempo run as defined by the Hal Higdon training plan is as follows:

A Tempo Run of 40 to 60 minutes would begin with 10-20 minutes easy running, build to 20-30 minutes near the middle, then 5-10 minutes easy toward the end. The pace buildup should be gradual, not sudden, with peak speed coming about two-thirds into the workout. Hold that peak only for a minute or two.

This is a bit different from the way I have run Tempo runs in the past.  Other training plans say a tempo run would start the same as defined above but after the warm-up the Tempo run would call you to increase your speed to a specified pace range. Example would be to run the tempo miles at 30 seconds per mile slower than your 5K time.

For the run today I ran a 15 minute warm up followed by the followed by the following mile times: 7:34; 7:17; 7:11; 7:09 and I peaked at 6:57.. this was then followed up by a 10 min cool down.

The tempo miles felt good and relaxed... I like feeling that you get after a good quality training run.. ;-)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Today's workout

Had a good workout today! Needed a good workout today.  After consulting with a coach that I follow on Twitter  (speedysasquatch), I was cleared to proceed with some speed training even though I had just run a half marathon two days ago.

The workout:  1 mi warm-up; 4 x 1 mile intervals with a 3 min rest interval between sets; 1 mi cool down.

The results: 6:18; 6:26; 6:20; 6:43

I was more than pleased that the issues I had with my legs on race day were not replicated during the intervals.  I did one thing I did today that is rare for me.. I didn't look at my  GPS watch while I was running the intervals.. normally I will grab glances to see what my pace is during the intervals.. today I concentrated on feel and guts. I have to admit that they were pretty tough, mostly because I haven't done this many 1 mile intervals in a couple of years. I think the BEST preparation training run for the 1/2 marathon is 1 mile intervals.. so although the Higdon plan called for 1/2 mile intervals I substituted.. I will have this same workout next Monday.. will I improve.. we'll see!

Tomorrow.. recovery 3 miler... Ahhhhhh!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

How do I write this?

Well.. I guess the first thing I should say, is that it DID NOT rain at the Auburn Half Marathon. That was good... actually, it was close to perfect weather.. I say "close" because it was windy.. breezy.. blustery.. It's said that a tail wind doesn't aide you near as much as a head wind hurts you. I believe that .. Another good thing for the race was that my Dad was at the finish line of the race. Well.. to say that was "good" is not saying it right.. it was GREAT.. I knew he would be there today and that helped me that final 1/2 mile... when it hurt so much.

I started the race in the back of the pack but within the first two miles had made my way up to a group that I would be around for the next few miles. I knew pretty soon that this was going to be a tough race. The bulk of my daily training runs are on relatively flat roads.  This race was on roads of rolling hills.. with the exception of about 3 or so miles.. it was all rolling hills. The hardest point of the race for me was mile seven. I was really struggling and my mile split shows it (8:03). I refused to let my mind tell me to purposely slow down and catch my second wind, instead I actually pushed myself a little harder on the next mile and that felt good.

The last four miles were the same rolling hills that we faced on the way "out"... with the wind at my face pretty much the whole way..  I ran a good last mile and that was good.. I think I really wanted to race to be over! :-)

splits 7:26; 7:19; 7:11; 7:32; 8:01; 7:25; 8:03; 7:42; 7:58; 8:14; 8:14; 7:46

A wrap-up of thoughts

My Mind:
Acceptance of where I am mentally.
This race was not a goal race. That being said I still want to do my best. My problem is not doing my best it is not finishing with my best time. I know it isn't logical to expect that I will finish every race with a PR but I would like to see improvement. This is just something I have to deal with in my own mind.

My body:
Acceptance of my physical limits.
My body just isn't as young it was in 2007, this was the year when I had my best running and racing year.  However,  I am finding it very hard to come to the realization of an aging body. This struggle is not my own, but one that I am sure that is shared by many runners of my age. I am four months away from my 50th birthday and it is hard to accept that my best years are behind me

My Training:
Am I on the right training plan?
I have to finish the plan. The plan is the Hal Higdon 1/2 marathon Advanced plan. I am hoping that the plan will peak at the time is it supposed to, and I will have a breakout run at next months Mercedes half!!!

I hope that all this isn't received as complaining.. but just me being real with whoever will be reading this...

Thursday, January 14, 2010


So....  Do you see what I see?  Is it raining on the day before the race? No!... is there rain predicted the day after the race? Hardly!  Is there a prediction of rain on ANY day before or after the race? Barely!! Is there a slight chance of rain on race day? NO!!!!.. Is there a 100% chance of rain the day of the race? YES!!!!!!   Please!  Give me a break!

Ok.. that is over and now I can get to the blog.. heck what can you say about this.. I'm just glad that the temps are not what they were last weekend when I think at race time it was around 19 degrees. Looks like it will be in the mid 40s at race time and warming a little as the day goes on.

I'm not even sure what to wear in 40 degree wet weather.. I know I will end up taking a pile of running clothes with me to the race.. a couple of pair of shorts (in case the first pair gets soaked during the warmup).. a couple of long sleeve tops... vest.. rain jacket... hats... gloves.. 3 pair of socks.. 2 pair of shoes (warm up with one pair-race with the other)..and anything else that I might see lying around!! ;-)

I'm pretty excited about this half marathon. Auburn is where I grew up but I didn't really run in this area of the city... I think the course is defined as rolling hills.. but to be honest I don't really remember what the terrain is for the race. It is an out and back so on my way to the registration I will back track the race to drive over the course and see what my homerun will be like.

I don't think I'm brave enough to post a prediction time... mostly because to be honest.. I have NO clue what kind of time I can run.. So I will just go for it. I think the best strategy will be to break the distance up into manageable pieces.. say like mile segments of 5 - 5 - 3 or 7 - 6.. or just 1, 13 mile segment! LOL!

Well.. I wish the chance of rain was not so great.. but what can you say?    Game on!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

OK.. enough is enough

It is still COLD..

I NEVER said in the HEAT and HUMIDITY of Summer that I wanted it to be cold.. I always prefer moderate temps.. So I don't have any guilt is saying that I am REALLY tired of this.. Good news though.. I think this is the last night of temps in the teens.... after tomorrow there will be a warming trend that will start in lows of around 25* and end the week with lows in the 40's.

I think the same aches and pains that are magnified in the extreme heat of summer, present themselves the same with the extreme cold comes around. I have sore thighs from yesterdays long run and there is no reason that they should be feeling this way.. all I can think is that the cold muscles won't allow my natural stride and that the compensation works different muscles.. thus I am sore. I think the same can be said of my Achilles.. all of a sudden it is aching.. for no particular reason...

Well.. on with the show.. because it MUST go on!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

One week till Auburn Half Marathon

 One week away to see were I really am in my training.... one week away to get an idea of how I will do at the Mercedes Half Marathon .. well that is the plan.

The news around here lately has been the COLD weather... as it has been for most of the Eastern half of the United States this last few weeks. For the last week the temps have not been above 40* and has been as low as 16 degrees and that isn't taking into count wind chill.. with that it has gone down to single digits. I have been asked by several of my non-running friends, "did you run today?". My answer of course is, "Yes I did"... I don't see where the low temps should interfere with training.. If you are reading this.. you prolly feel the same.

The weather prediction at this time is supposed to be 41* and right now.. 60% chance of rain.

According to my 10K time-trial I ran last Saturday, I should run the 1/2 in a time of around 1:36. That is about a 7:20 /mi pace. I should be able to maintain that pace... but to he honest.. I want to blow that out of the water... but I will be smart and stick to the plan and ... since it is an out and back.. maybe negative splits will be in the works.. we'll see..

Today James and I ran our training run of 12.7 miles in 1:42. It was a smooth run in the frigid South. We passed the temp sign when the Sun was up and about a mile left in the run.. it read 22*... These kinds of temps in the South are just not right!! 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Brrrrrrrrrrr!!!!! It is COLD!!

OK.. enough already!! It has been cold ALL YEAR!! yeah, I know that it is only the 6th.. but it has been cold everyday this year.. and the mornings have been brutal.... and the real bad news is, it's gonna get worse!!!

For training in this mess, I have managed to run a solo 10K time trial on Saturday. I ran a time of 43:23... just at a 7:00 /mile pace. Not bad for running the entire distance without anyone to pace or push. It was cold on that day too.. and it seemed that the wind was swirling just enough that I had wind in my face a lot of the way. Followed that up with a short three miler on Sunday morning. Monday I ran 1/2 mile intervals in my neighborhood streets. These roads are rolling hills so it was more realistic to racing than running the flat downtown roads I normally use for my interval training. Tuesday is a recovery run... but my body was saying rest when the alarm went off at 3:10. So I slept in for an extra hour. Tomorrow is a 45 minute tempo run!! I can't miss this run.. even if the temp will be below 20*.... Sometimes you just have to man-up and get after it.. It will be these runs that pay-off on race day. Well.. that is my story and I'm gonna stick with it.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Year in Review

Total Miles: 1362
Avg Pace: 8:31
Time in my shoes: 191 hrs
Highest Mileage month: May; 152 mi

Mercedes 1/2 marathon: 1:51:24
Prattville 5K:       21:45
Peach Run 10K:  47:30
Woodland 5K:     22:02
Montomery Half: 1:38:54
Vulcan 10K:        44:13
Turkey Run 5K:  20:57
Opelika 5K:         22:24


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Prattville, Alabama, United States