Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Marathon Season IX

This post is late, but last week was a good week of training. On Tuesday, I ran 3x1600 @ 6:30 pace. Swam on Wednesday, 1500 Yards. 7 miles on Thursday at 7:20 and a 15 miler Saturday at 7:35. I was going to ride on Sunday, but was summoned to Long Level to go boating.

I'm off to a slow start this week, because Tina is out of town, but hope to resume training this evening, or maybe tomorrow. The break has been nice, but I'm getting antsy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Son of a Son of a Sailor

Well, maybe not the son of a sailor, but the sea was in my veins this past Sunday. We were invited by friends at church to spend the afternoon on Long Level. It was a gorgeous day and the boys and I had a great time. Tina, unfortunately, wasn't able to go, because of a business trip to New York.

The skipper gave us tour of Lake Clarke and then we anchored just above Safe Harbor dam for awhile. We swam and took in the day. Afterwards, we went wake tubing and Kyler had the distinction of being the youngest person to ever be pulled behind the boat.

We were certainly glad we had the opportunity to be on the water on an Indian Summer day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Marathon Season VIII

After the Harrisburg Half Marathon, I was shot. My quads were hurtin'. I went out for my run last Tuesday and according to my GPS I made it 78 feet. I then went into the basement and jumped on the eliptical trainer for a half an hour. I did pilates later that night. Wednesday I swam for 1500 yards, which did my legs a lot of good. I was feeling better by Thursday and went for a 10 mile trail run out at mount Gretna. It was nice to just run for fun and not worry about pace. Did a long run on Saturday of 20 miles and would have been under 8:00 pace, but for having to stop and fertilize to cornfields. It's never good to do a long run after an evening at the Leiderkrantz. On Sunday, I went biking and again averaged over 19 mph on a 20 mile ride.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Had the day off school for the observance of Rosh Hashana. Acting upon a tip that I received from someone earlier in the week, I got out the rod and hit some new water. I have been pretty "speciescentric" lately, and I decided I needed to pursue some warm-water fish, so I headed down to Little Chiques Park to fish below the dam breast.

The last time I acted on a tip involving a dam breast I ended up driving over an hour, buying an out-of-state license and catching a 4 inch green sunfish. I was hoping this tip was going to pan out better than the last one. But, to be honest, I'd make the same trip again. Hey, I wasn't skunked.

Walked up the dam, made a cast, and then another and BAM!, Fish on!! turned out to be a holdover brown. Made two more casts and I had a smallmouth. A little after that, I got into rock bass. I was having fun, so I decided to head down to the Big Chiques. I didn't catch any trout there but I did catch a mess of rock bass, sunfish and a smallmouth.

It was a great day to be out, and I have decided that I need to find more spots like the ones today. I miss fishing for smallmouths. Trout and their environs are still my favorite angling experience, but you can't beat a smallmouth for spunk. If I can find a few more productive areas, I'll pretty much have a fishery and an experience (light, fly rod smallmouth fishing) to my self. And, I like fishing when you're never sure what you might catch. Also, with everyone in the household adding to the calendar, it's nice to have some spots to fish other than the Donegal Creek that are within five minutes of home.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Harrisburg Half Marathon


This post will serve as my latest marathon update as well as a race report. This week prior to the race it was business as usual preparing for the MCM. I ran on the track Tuesday, and did 4x1200m at 6:20 pace. My training plan called for six 1200s, but since it was the first day back to school with students I cut the workout a little short. Fortunately, my wife is teaching a Pilates class at our church, so I was able to get in an hour of stretching and core work to make up for the shorter track workout. I wish I could fit more of that type of exercise into my plan. I was going to swim on Wednesday, but didn't, and pretty much took the day off. On Thursday, I did a split workout: 6 miles in the morning at 7:20 and 3 miles in the evening at 6:50. Went for a bike ride on Saturday and used my heart-rate monitor to stay aerobic.

Race Day

Got up at 5:30 a.m. and left the house by 6:15. I used the 45 minutes to get something to eat and to begin the hydration process. Arrived at City Island by 6:45, checked in, then went for a 1 mile run. I couldn't believe it, but for the first time, I had a nagging pain on the outside of my left ankle. I felt relaxed and ready to run, but was a little worried about the pain. Continued to hydrate and stepped to the line five minutes before 8:00.

My plan was to run the first half of the race at 7:30 pace and the second around 7:10. My goal was 1:36, and the Kenyan "outback" strategy seemed to be the way to go. The course, however, was very flat and after I started, I began to readjust and lowered my pace to 7:20. I was feeling good, but cautious because of the ankle and heat, and held that pace for 4 miles. I then decided to step it up a little to around 7:15. By this time, the pack was starting to stabilize. I began to focus on runners in front of me and began the methodical process of picking them off. There were only two small hills on the course, but I was able to pass clusters of runners on each of them.

At mile 8, I decided to speed up again, but I probably should have waited to mile 9 or 10. I went below a 7:00 pace, but the heat and humidity didn't allow me to maintain that and I began to fall off a little. I was worried about runners that I previously passed coming back to pass me, but they didn't. I held onto a 7:20 pace until mile 10, then a saw a group of runners who passed me early in the race. I decided to gut it out and go for them. I caught them around mile 11, and passed a female runner who was with the pack, but the two male runners were hard to pass. It wasn't long until a friend arrived: the last hill on the course. I was able to sprint up it and leave them behind. With 1 mile to go, I dropped my pace again to a sub 7:00 mile, and was able to kick it home and pass about five more runners in the process. There was one runner ahead of me with 100 yards to go, and at first, I thought I would not be able to catch him. With 50 yards to go, I decided to open it up. He heard me coming and took off. Both of us sprinted to the finish line and the winner, by 2 seconds. My legs still possess a little of the fast twitch fibers from my track and field days when I ran the 100, 200 and 400.

I ran a 1:33.40, which was well below my goal of 1:36. I was 61st out 697 runners, and 9th out of 60 in my age group. Overall, I was pleased with my performance and pleased with the Furman FIRST training program to this point.

On a final note, this was the second race that I ran this summer that was sponsored by the Harrisburg "Y" and in both cases they were run very efficiently and were a pleasure to compete in.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Marathon Season VII

After my long run last week, I wasn't sure how I'd do this week. My quads were in bad shape as a result of taking on the 3 "H's". As I mentioned in post VI, I did have a good ride last Sunday which sent me into the week with confidence.

Tuesday's track workout cocnsisted of a 1600m @ 6:31, a 3200m @ 6:47, then two 800m @ 6:26. After a warm-up run I began the 1600 and I actually felt good. I ended up running those four laps at about 6:26. After that, I was fine, but still didn't want to push too hard, because of the brutal long run. I ran the other intervals at around target pace. I swam on Wednesday morning, and put in 1500 yards. I am happy with my ability to swim longer, but I still need to work on getting faster, which comes down to taking some lessons. After the marathon, I may make that a priority. I just hope I can find someone willing to train me at 5:30 in the morning.

Thursday was tempo work: 1 mile easy, 4 miles @ 7:30 and then 1 mile easy. I felt good and pushed a little and averaged about 7:08 per mile.

Saturday was a 20 miler and what a difference a week makes. Well, a week and a 25 degree drop in temperature as well as a drop in humidity. Decided to run a little differently. Instead of strapping on a Camelback and going on a 20 miler through the countryside, I ran seven 3 mile loops. By doing this, I eliminated the weight on my back and was able to turn my house into an aid station. Every time I ran by, I drank and/or ate something. Everything worked well and I was able to average a 7:48 pace. With over a month to go until the marathon, I beleive I'm going to change my goal pace from an 8:00 minute mile to a 7:50. This should have me crossing the line around 3:25.00. The nice thing is, I'll have five minutes to play with to meet the Boston Qualifying time of 3:30.

Today I went out on my bike and set a new average speed PR over 20 miles: 19.1 mph. I have been trying to crack into the 19 mph range for a half of a year and today everything worked out.

I'm going to train moderately this week, because of the Harrisburg Half Maraton next Sunday. Goal: 1:36.