Monday, August 27, 2007

Marathon Season VI

I wasn't sure how this week would turn out, because of riding the Covered Bridge Metric Century last Sunday. Tuesday was speed work, and I did two sets of 6x400m. I thought I may have problems maintaining a 95 second pace, but I was actually able to do all of them around 85 seconds. My quads didn't seem to be affected by the ride. Wednesday was a cross-training day, and since I don't have any big rides coming up, I decided to put in a little pool work instead of biking. I swam 1000 yards, and then did some drills for a total of about 1500 yards. I made an equipment improvement that I was putting off due to modesty; I invested in a pair of lycra Speedos: the long kind, not short kind. I was amazed at the difference it made in swim performance, specifically the reduction in drag that is produced by wearing a "swimming suit." Thursday was tempo work, and again I had no problems. I ran 2 miles easy then 3 miles at 6:54 followed by 1 mile easy. Saturday was long-run day, and I was set to go 18 miles around an 8:00 min. pace. Started out well enough, and was under 8:00, but the 3 "H's" - hills, heat and humidity - put a hurting on me by mile 11. I managed to hang on to an 8:37 pace, but it was a struggle. The run left my quads in bad shape. I was planning on taking Sunday off, but late in the day I was able to get out for a bike ride. I was going to take it easy, but as I rode, I began to feel good, and ended up going over 18 miles and averaging 18.3 mph. It was a great way to salvage the weekend and make up for the sub par performance on Saturday.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Marathon Season V

I had one of my best weeks of training so far, and am more confident than ever that I can run a 3:30 come the end of October. Tuesday's speed work was 6 x 800 at 3:13. I was able to run all of them under 3:13. I swam on Wednesday instead of riding to give my butt a break for the upcoming Covered Bridge Metric Century (See next Post). On Thursday I ran an 8 mile run with 6 miles of tempo in the middle. The pace was to be 7:44, but again I went well under pace and ran 7:16. Saturday's long run was only 13 miles. It was a beautiful morning and I felt good so I decided to run a little faster than planned. The more I ran, the better I felt, so I pushed to see if I could run a 1:40 half marathon. In fact, I ended up running 1:36. I'm now hoping to go 1:35 at the Harrisburg Half Marathon in three weeks. Finished off the week with the Covered Bridge Metric Century.

Covered Bridge Metric Century

I rode my first century ride this morning - the Covered Bridge Metric Century sponsered by the Lancaster Bicycle Club.

I arrived at the starting point around 7:00 a.m. and was amazed at how many people were already there and riding. I checked in and tried to find a friend and his wife who I was to ride with, but I didn't have any luck. After a few sweeps of the area on my bike, I took off.

I was going to ride at around 14-15 mph pace, because of running a hard 13 miles on Saturday, but I felt good and took off at 18 mph. Around 15 miles into the ride, I was joined by another single rider who's name was Terry and we finished the ride together. Our pace was 18.5 mph, which I felt was good for my first century.

The course was nice and well marked and there were plenty of snack and water stops. We decided to skip the lunch stop, because we filled up at a stop manned by a family who seemingly just enjoyed setting up the stand for the riders. This stop turned out be a mile from the lunch stop, but as this was our first CBMC, we didn't know.

I think I could have done another 37 miles for a full century, but I would have definetely needed a break in there before the final push. Power Gels help, but they can only take you so far.

Now that I have run a marathon and ridden a metric century, I can say there is no comparison between the two. The marathon is far more taxing on the body.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Marathon Season IV

After my poor long run last Saturday, I redeemed myself. I thought Tuesday's speed work was going to be a bust, because of the weather and the fact that I got out of bed Tuesday morning stiff. Even the run to the track seemed a bit laborious, but I actually warmed up and did my speed work, which consisted of 2 x 1200s and 4 x 800s, under pace. Wednesday, I went for a 28 mile ride and averaged over 17 miles per hour despite temperartures close to 90 degrees. Thursday was tempo day, and I ran my five mile run 15 seconds under pace. Later, the boys and I went to Universal and I swam 1000 yards. Took it easy on Friday with some light lifting. Saturday was a 20 miler. I traded in my cloth sweat band for a sweat gutter and went back to Power Gels. I was supposed to run at 8:45 pace, but I ran at 8:16. I'm not sure if it was the sweat gutter, or if it was the Power Gels, but I'm sure temperatures in the 60s had a lot to do with the improved time. Wrapped things up on Sunday with a 40 mile ride. My last long ride before the Covered Bridge Metric Century. I had to purchase a new pair of riding shorts today, because my butt is sore. I'm hoping the new shorts, with better padding, alleviate some discomfort when doing long rides.

Up this week: speed work on Tuesday, swimming on Wednesday, tempo work Thursday, a 13 miler on Saturday (I never thought I'd look forward to having to run only 13 miles) and the Covered Bridge Ride on Sunday.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Marathon Season III

Another injury free week of training. I did 1600m repeats (3 @6:40 w/ a 1 minute rest interval), a tempo run and a long run of 18 miles. The long run this week was my hardest one yet. I'm not sure why. I have run longer and I have run faster, but for some reason my body just wasn't ready for 18 miles @ 8:45 pace. A couple of factors may contributed to this: I wore a headband which seemed to trap heat coming off my gourd; I used GU packets instead of Power Gels, which I normally use; and I was carrying extra water, because of the heat and humidity. Then again, maybe it was the heat and humidity. According to the weatherman, this coming week is going to be more of the same, so I guess I better get ready and hydrate properly. Also, in preparation for my metric century ride I increased my mid-weeek biking mileage to 25 miles and rode 30 miles on my weekend ride.

Up this week: speed work on Tuesday; 25 mile ride on Wednesday; tempo run on Thursday; 20 miler on Saturday and a 40 mile ride on Sunday.

Friday, August 3, 2007


The boys and I spent another fun couple of days in Liverpool. We hit the Liverpool pool on Thursday and then went to Millerstown later in the day for ice cream at Hall's. On Friday morning, I got up early and went kayaking. I took off from the Liverpool access and paddled out to some really neat little islands. Explored the islands for awhile then picked my way through a rocky channel and headed over to the Dauphin County side of the river. Saw a juvenile bald eagle, an osprey and numerous blue herons and kingfishers. Paddled back throught the islands and went downstream a ways and explored what seemed to be the remnants of an old canal. Afterwards, I headed back up to the launch site. The boys and I then went to Little Buffalo State Park and swam and played in the "sprayground."

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Bangles - Going Down To Liverpool

Going *up* to Liverpool tomorrow actually, but the Bangles sing it better than I can.