Friday, September 30, 2011

20 Minute Bike - Horner Park

Shins not doing well after runs yesterday.  Maybe 4 separate sub 3 mile runs with icing in-between is not the best way to train on them.  Will focus on biking for the next 7 days or so....

Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Miles - Welles Park

Morning: Easy 18 minute jog around Welles Park.  Icing my shin right now.  May do an afternoon run if all feels well.

Lunch:  Easy 10 minute jog around Welles Park.  More ice.  Shortly followed by 15 minute jog around Horner Park. Ice is the name of the game from here on out.  Will do real rehab the week before NYC.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day(s) Off

Might take the whole week off.  Want to be 90% by the end of the week.  5k on Sunday is questionable.  May have to change the title of the blog to "Sub 3:05 NYC Marathon!"

Saturday, September 24, 2011

First 16 Miler and a Waterspout

The point of only running 16 miles for your longest run on the Brooks Hanson training plan is to simulate the LAST 16 miles of the marathon.  This is possible, since you theoretically have been pounding lots o'  miles over consecutive days.  By the time you do your long run, your legs are sufficiently fatigued to fairly accurately simulate what the last 16 miles of the marathon will feel like.   However, I took the last 3 days off, so is the simulation accurate?

Miles 14, 15 and 16 splits (unknown territory up until now):  7:05, 6:52, 7:02.

16 miles @ 7:08

Analysis:  The last 3 miles were faster than average and mile 15 was actually my marathon goal pace.  Half glass full:  The five toughest training weeks are ahead before the 1 week taper.  Half glass empty: Need to keep the shin issue under control.  Icing my right shin at the moment.

By the way, I think I saw a waterspout on Lake Michigan today.  It looked like a tornado, just much much more stationary.  It was just south of the City, over the lake and then I read this in the Chicago Tribune when I got home:
File:Great Lakes Waterspouts.jpgForecast: Thunderstorms, hail, waterspouts
"Shortly after 11 a.m., numerous reports of waterspouts were received as showers and thunderstorms moved across the North Shore waters, officials said. Mariners were cautioned to avoid these storms."

Since I my run was from 9:45 to 11:45, it is likely that the thing I saw was a waterspout!

Total mileage for the week 48.8.

Friday, September 23, 2011

2.3 Mile Test Run

I was only planning on running a 1 mile test run this morning, but as I got closer to 1 mile, and did not feel too many adverse effects, decided to plod along and go for 2.  I think I will be able to run on these shins for the duration (6 more weeks of training).  However, I now realize why you should not take more than 1 day off unless you can help it:  Your legs get "soft" with that much time off.  Even today's short, easy run made aches and pains in other parts of my legs noticeable.  May take a few more runs to get back to normal.

Miles so far this week 32.8 of 48.8

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Third Day Off

Getting a lot of sleep and eating a lot of food.  That's how my last 2 days have gone.  Still icing my shins and hoping for a Saturday resumption of training.  I am thinking of doing a run/walk combo to test out my legs, if there are any issues, will take the bus home and take a few more days off.  Had a hard shell taco dinner from El Tapatio Cafe on Ashland last night. Mmmmm.....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Two Days Off. Full Fake Taper Mode!

This is the first time I have taken two days off in a row since July 12th and 13th.

It feels like I am in full taper mode!  Most of the soreness associated with my high mileage, run every single day routine, is rapidly dissippating.  I haven't done any tapers for the four races I've run in the last two months, so this is kind of a treat.  It does go against the Brooks Hanson philosophy of constant pounding until the marathon (i.e. never running on fresh legs).  But it is necessary right now.

Just waiting for my shins to get to a point where they will be able to handle the next five weeks before the REAL taper without getting a worse injury.  So, I may not run again until Saturday.  Just need to get them to 75%.  They will likely never get above 90%, unless I change my running form.

For treatment of my shin, I'm using a Runner's Remedy shin compression sock with a pocket for an ice pack to sit directly over the sore area(s) of my shin. 

I'm also using "The Stick" roller to massage the area as well.  Seems to be helping!

And finally, to loosen all of my feet and lower leg muscles, I use this:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day(s) Off

Shins are starting to flare up, so I am going to take 2 days off to nip this potential injury in the bud.  May even take a third day off.  I only have 3 long runs in the Brooks Hanson training program and the first 16 miler is scheduled for Saturday.  So, I want to be at least 75% when I do that one.  Plus, doing a long slow run, shouldn't be as punishing on my shins as speed work (not as much pushing off with the toes).

Monday, September 19, 2011

Marathon Pace - 9 miles

1.5 Mile Warmup
9 mile marathon pace run to Fullerton and home:

Goal: 9 miles @ 6:52/mile
Actual: 9 miles @ 6:53/mile

Analysis: Breaking in new shoes.  Lots o' traffic today and 20 miles and a race yesterday, so not so sad that I missed it by a second (6:53 vs 6:52).  Looking forward to recovery run tomorrow!

Total Miles so far this week:  30.5 of 75.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Navy Pier One Mile Race

Adventure to Navy Pier One Mile Run:

Got up at 5:30am, walked up to the "L" while I drank my coffee and ate a banana.  Took the Brown Line (Ravenswood) to the Sedgwick stop. Started my warm up run from Sedgwick.  I saw this sign (for a pizza joint) as I stepped out of the station, and somehow it fits this blog perfectly (i.e. the New York marathon goes through all 5 boroughs):
Anyway, who knew it was a 3 mile run to Navy Pier from that stop?!  I had to really pick up the pace as I was supposed to be there 20 minutes before my "wave" started.  Was in a whole mess of runners along the lake as today was the CARA official "20 Mile" run in preparation for the Chicago Marathon.  Anyway, I got to Navy Pier right just in time to see the 45+ year old start:

Had a little extra time so I shot a video of the 29 and under female start:

Anyway, the male 30 to 44 year old wave (my wave) was next.  Here are my quarter mile splits:
1) 1:15 - started too fast!
2) 1:21
3) 1:23 - into a headwind and rain on the way back!
4) 1:19

Anyway, I got 2nd in my age group with a 5:22! That equals a 3:00:10 marathon, according to the Running Times Race Equivalent Calculator!  So good confidence boost.

I then ran the 8 miles home with my backpack.  Got home and had a cup of coffee, then went out for another 8 mile run up to Lincolnwood.  Ran around the North Park University track on the way back:

Mileage for the day (20 miles total):
3 mile warm up (from Sedgwick "L" to Navy Pier)
1 mile race
8 mile run home
8 mile river run an hour later.

Miles so far this week: 20 of 75.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Boston Bound!

Got this in the e-mail box today!

"This is to notify you that your entry into the 116th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 16, 2012 has been accepted"


Recovery Run - 2 Days until the Navy Pier One Mile Race

AM: 9.0 miles along the lake and on the trail.  Saw a neighbor biking by to go to work.  Have changed my goal this week to 70.  I want to have three 70+ weeks then scale back for a "break" of 60 to lock in the gains from the extra mileage.

PM: 4.2 miles around Welles Park
Navy Pier One Mile Race is on Sunday!

Miles so far this week 65 of 70.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chicago Half Marathon Pictures

Here are a couple of pictures of me from the Chicago Half Marathon:

Showing good form?  Maybe because I was chasing down a couple of runners before the finish line!

Bad form:  Always checking my splits. Typical!

8 Mile Marathon Pace

Morning: Right along the lake between Irving Park and Belmont...

Goal: 8 miles @ 6:52
Actual: 8 miles @ 6:48

Splits: 1) 7:22 2) 6:36 3) 6:19 4) 6:52 5) 6:49 6) 7:03 7) 6:45 8) 6:29

Analysis: Sunshine with temps in the 40s!  Yeah! Made goal by 4 secs/mile, which may seem too fast, but I am rethinking my target marathon pace and it is more like 6:47/mile.

Evening: 4.75 around Welles Park

Miles so far this week: 51.85 of 63

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Just registered for the 2012 Boston Marathon this morning!  Will see if I am accepted...

Recovery Run - Welles Park

Morning: 5.1 miles around Welles Park. 60 degrees.

Miles so far this week:  39.1 of 63

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chicago Half Marathon Videos - Finishers 1:48 to 1:50

A video I took while wating for my friends about 150 meters from the finish.  Click here to watch it on YouTube.
Other Chicago Half Videos:

First Strength Workout

"A total of 6 miles of intervals at ten seconds/mile faster than marathon goal pace. Intervals should be 1600m (i.e. 1 mile) or longer. "  - Brooks Hanson Marathon Training Plan

So, now begins the strength phase of my training.  It takes longer than doing speed work (6 miles as opposed to 3), is almost as fast, and thus, it is more grueling.  Luckily, the temps are starting to back off a bit as we approach fall.  That is one nice thing of training for a November marathon instead of an October one.

Morning: Ran directly to the track.  It was 65 degrees when I started.  Here are my stats:

1.75 mile warm-up
3 miles @ 6:26 (1.0 mile walk/jog)
3 miles @ 6:13 (.25 walk)
1.7 mile cool down.

Analysis: Did I have a breakthrough at the Chicago Half Marathon?  This is the best I have felt since March, when I was tapering for the LA Marathon.  My goal was to average 6:42/mile and I was somewhere around 6:20/mile.  On top of that, it seemed like a minimal effort.  Also, I ran WITH the sport belt and water bottle, so I weighed about 2 lbs. heavier than I normally do.

Side note 1: Keep it up, but don't over do it.

Side note 2: 70 degrees at the end of my workout. Gotta love September.  Here's hoping it's like this on Sunday with little or no humidity.

Sine note 3: Did yoga for 1.25 hours last night.  Did this help loosen my legs?

Side note 4: Saw one-sided confrontation with an owner of a pit bull chewing out/screaming at the dog(!) of two guys out for a quiet stroll along the river.  I didn't have my phone, but luckily another woman called the cops, but the mean/nuts pit bull owner had left the scene to yell at some garbage men a block away.

Evening Run: 4.8 miles

Miles so far this week: 34 out of 63.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Post Half Marathon Recovery Run

Nice cool morning.  About 63 degrees.  Trying to slowly work out the soreness from the Lake Shore Drive beating my legs took at the 1/2 Marathon yesterday.  Lincoln Ave to Lawrence, back to Welles Park.  4.6 miles.

Miles so far this week: 18.8 of 63

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chicago Half Marathon Results

Got up at 4:45 and did a slow 1 mile loop around Welles Park.  Met up with friends for drive down to U of C campus where we parked on the street.  Was at least a 1.5 walk (which became a run) to the bag check and at that point the corrals were full.  I had to make my way through the corrals and sprint to the bag check.  Once bag was checked and pre-race routine was done, had to climb into my appropriate corral.  Had 2 minutes before the gun sounded to catch my breath!

Analysis: Goal D attained:  1:27:53.  That equals a 3:06:46 marathon.

First 5 mile pace 6:39
2nd 5 mile pace 6:39
Last 3.1 pace 6:52.

1) 6:43 2) 6:40 3) 6:40 4) 6:33 5) 6:32 6) 6:35 7) 6:33 8) 6:37 9) 6:43 10) 6:42 11) 6:51 12) 6:50 13) 6:44 13.1) 6:04  (Notice that I never did get above 6:52, which is a 3 hour marathon pace!)

Side note: First 43 year-old to cross the finish line!  Click here to see the proof!

Conditions were humid, and lots of unprotected sun.  Also, I had relatively no taper as I only went from a 70 mile week to a 62 mile week this week.  Anyway, need to keep up the effort to get close to a 3 hour marathon!

Here is a picture of the winners.  The third place male was not present for the awards:

14.2 of 63 miles for the week.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Shakeout Run and Ferris Bueller

Easy shakeout run for the Chicago Half Marathon tomorrow. 1.95 miles around the empty German American Fest beer tents in Lincoln Square. By the way, the Von Steuben Day Parade, as featured in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, is at 2pm today.

ferris parade

Miles completed this week: 62 of 62.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chicago Half Marathon: Race Goals

Since the Chicago Half Marathon is still 2 months away from the NYC Marathon, it is difficult to use it as a pace predictor, however, it is the last half on my plate before the big race, so some goals are in order:

Goal A: 1:24:41 - According to the calculators a 2:59:59 marathon is equivalent to running a 1:24:41 half marathon.  This would be a HUGE psychological boost to my training if I got near this time.

Goal B: 1:25:59 - This has traditionally been the qualifying time for an "A" corral for the Chicago Marathon.

Goal C: 1:26:16 - This would be my half marathon p.r. for the year

Goal D: 1:28:33 - Beat my previous half marathon time ('11 Rock n Roll Half).

Of course, if the weather is bad (i.e. hot and humid), you can throw all of these out the window!

Welles Park Recovery / Half Marathon Prep Run

3 loops around Welles Park to recover from the track workout yesterday and to get loose for the Chicago Half Marathon on Sunday. 2.4 miles total.

Miles so far this week: 60.1 out of 62

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Last Track Workout before the Chicago Half Marathon

Morning: Ran along the North Branch trail as a warmup to my track workout.  It was 65 degrees when I started.  Here are my stats:

4 mile warm-up
1 mile @ 5:57 (.25 walk)
1 mile @ 6:03 (.25 walk)
1 mile @ 5:59
2 mile cool down.

Analysis: My goal was to average 6:09/mile at the track for my 3 speed training miles.  I averaged 5:59.  A wee bit fast, but it is hard to hold back when you are feeling good. Also, I ran without the sport belt and water bottle, so I weighed about 2 lbs. lighter than I normally do at my track sessions.

Side Note 1: This is my last "speed" session before the New York Marathon.  That means it is all about building strength from here on out.  Instead of 3 x 1 mile fast at the track, I will need to do 5 x 1 mile at slightly faster than marathon pace. This takes longer and isn't as fun as opening it up with speed sessions.

Side note 2: 70 degrees at the end of my workout. Gotta love September.  Here's hoping it's like this on Sunday with little or no humidity.

Miles so far this week: 57.7 out of 62.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

River Recovery Run

Nice cool morning recovery run along the North Branch of the Chicago River.

5.9 miles

Miles this week so far:  48.23 of 62

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Windy and Cool - Marathon Pace

Morning: Goal: 8 miles @ 6:52.  Actual: 8 miles @ 7:02.
Splits: 1) 7:28 2) 7:23 3) 7:27 4) 6:50 5) 7:10 6) 6:40 7) 6:59 8) 6:16
Analysis:Headwind for miles 1, 2, 3, 5 & 6.  Missed goal by 10 secs/mile, considering the wind, I'll take it!

Evening: 4.5 mile recovery run.
Miles so far this week: 42.33 of 62

Monday, September 5, 2011

Windy Lakefront Run

Finally Cool.  The wind was whipping the surf up on the shore.  Below are some of the pictures I took today on my run.  Should also have some video later.  Happy Labor Day!

9.8 miles.

Miles so far this week:

29.8 of 62

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Finally, Somewhat Cool! Bagels, Sculptures and Vietnamese Sandwiches

Morning 65 degrees at 9am!   Yeah! 10.3 miles by the lake and back.  Made stop at Jewel for some Natural Ovens Blueberry Bagels, perhaps the best bagels on earth.  Baked slightly, just so they are hot with a soft center add regular cream cheese and some jelly.  Mmmmm.

Chicago Half in one week!

PM:  9.7 miles along the Chicago River North Branch along "Sculpture Park."  A park about 2 miles long along the river.  Runs through Lincolnwood and Skokie.  Here is a tour of the park.

Sculpture Park Video:

Before the last mile, stopped at the NhuLan Vietnamese (by way of France) Bakery to get some of the freshest and cheapest sandwiches around.  Jogged the last mile with 3 sandwiches in a bag in one hand and 3 baguettes in the other...

Miles so far this week 20 of 62

Friday, September 2, 2011

Last Lakefront Run of the Week

Morning: 83 degrees when I left the house 88 degrees on my return.  Hopefully, the last day of extremely hot weather this year!  9 miles along the lakefront to the Diversey Bridge and back.

9 miles @ 7:58/mile

Evening:  Another 90+ degree run around Welles Park, finishing at Aldi to pick up some garlic bread.  Oh well it was only 2.6 miles, and done for the week (aka, tomorrow is my day off!).  Time for a beer. :-)

Total miles run this week:  70 of 70.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Morning: Track Workout and River Run. Evening: Hot Welles Park Run

Morning: Ran along the North Branch trail as a warmup to my track workout.  It was 70 and humid when I started, so the river trail offered a lot of shade before I hit the mostly unprotected-from-the-sun track.  Spotted an elite runner walking on the trail.  He was probably smart:  Cooling down just having done his daily 20+ miler before the sun rose.  Anyway, here are my stats:

4 mile warm-up
1 mile @ 6:19 (.25 walk)
1 mile @ 6:13 (.25 walk)
1 mile @ 5:53 (.25 walk)
2.5 mile cool down.

Analysis: My goal was to average 6:09/mile at the track for my 3 speed training miles.  I averaged 6:08.  Not bad, almost perfect.

Side note: 83 degrees at the end of my workout. Isn't September supposed to be cooler than August?!

Evening 4.3 miles around Welles Park.  98 degrees. :-(

Miles so far this week: 58.3 out of 70.