Training recap: March

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Wow! Is 2015 really 25% done already? This year is flying by so I think a check on progress and goals is in order. Out of necessity my running mileage is behind schedule. Plain and simple I just ran too many races. I overestimated my ability to recover from longer races and heavy volume. In January I ran 110 miles, but 75 of those miles were during the Dopey Challenge and Celebration Marathon. I only did 8 training runs for the month for 35 miles, and all of them were short, easy runs. In February my Achilles was acting up enough where I canceled two half marathons and a bunch of training. I did manage a 5k and a half marathon at the end of the month, but only 43.75 miles total.

March saw improvement with my Achilles and two more races, both 10-milers, on the first and last Sundays of the month. I managed to get back over 100 miles for the month and got back into some much needed training. I’ve also done a small amount of training on the spin bike (36.5 miles), elliptical (23 miles), and walking (13 miles). Not very much cross-training for three months. I’ve also been slacking on my other fitness intentions: push-ups, squats, and planks. Here’s my actual vs. 2015 goals:

Activity                 Jan-March                2015 goal

Running                  255.13 miles            1600 miles

Bike                         36.54 miles              1000 miles

Elliptical                   23.2 miles                500 miles

Push-ups                     341                         10,000

Squats                         272                         25,000

Planks                    750 minutes              20 minutes

As I said, I’ve been slacking in all of these areas. Some of it is due to the Achilles injury and some of it is the mental state that the injury put me in. This seems really strange to say since I didn’t start running until I was 44, but not being able to run and train really left me feeling like something major was missing from my life.

I have two major running goals this year and it is going to take cross-training and increased fitness to reach them. In the next six months I have only one race scheduled (Echo Half) and I’ll be totally committed to training so that I can reach those goals. Sure, I’d love to run 28 races this year like I did last, but I’d rather have a realistic shot at a BQ time in November. In the past week I have seen two signs that are very encouraging: a PR at last weekend’s 10-mile race and a short sprint where I averaged a 4:42/mile pace at the end of a 4 mile run. Small steps, but progress is being made!

I’m more than willing to check in on anyone who is in need of some accountability to stay on track. I also welcome anyone to check on me.

Race Recap: Storm the Campus 10 Miler

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Running the inaugural Storm the Campus 10 miler at the University of Central Florida last year was one of the best running experiences that I have had. It was only my second race longer than a 10k and first at this distance. I had no idea what pace to run or what time to expect since I had only run 10 miles twice in my life, once in a half that I was completely unprepared for, and once in training 3 weeks before this event. I decided that I wanted to shoot for 90 minutes as a goal. Then I brought it home in 1:23:10 and was completely in shock.

All 10 miles are on the UCF campus!

All 10 miles are on the UCF campus!

Fast forward 52 weeks and it’s time for the second installment of this event. Although I had run a pair of 10 mile races since last March, my PR of 1:23:10 still stood. Just getting back into training mode three weeks ago told me that I really shouldn’t get my hopes up for beating it in this race either. When race morning came I felt rested and up for the challenge, so I decided to give it a go. At the start of the race the sun was about to come up, it was right at 50 degrees with about 90% humidity. Translation: it was cooler than it has been over the past couple weeks.

I chose to run this race without my hydration belt, taking only a That’s It Fruit bar with me. With 8 water stops on the course and only 10 miles to run I was pretty confident that this was a decent plan. My goal was to run the first couple of miles around 8:40 and then get slightly faster every couple of miles, ending a little under 8:00 per mile. As they usually do, my plans were adjusted by my legs as soon as I hit the timing mats. First mile went by in 7:58 and the second in 7:52. By then I knew I wasn’t at a point in my training where I could hold this pace so I began trying to talk myself into slowing down a little.

This conversation with myself lasted until mile 8 where the talk changed to deciding on the right time to speed up again. Sorry, that almost makes it sound like I was successful in slowing down. Miles 3-7 were done in 7:58, 8:05, 8:00, 8:00, and 8:09. I was getting curious as to whether I could hold this pace for three more miles or if I’d crash short of the finish. I decided to walk through the mile 8 water stop, which slowed me all the way to 8:20. The ninth mile was challenging mentally because I was starting to feel like I had overdone it, but the 9th split showed 8:11 so I was holding steady. I held this pace through most of the last mile but had enough left for a sprint to the finish, coming in at 1:20:54. A new 10-mile PR was mine by 2:16.

Post-race at Domino's with my C medal

Post-race at Domino’s with my C medal

I received my “C” medal (three year plan of U, C, and F medals for University of Central Florida). That last sprint left me coughing for a few minutes but some water soon took care of that. Next issue: food! Since Domino’s is a sponsor of this race and their on-campus store is about 500 feet from the finish line, just strolling into Domino’s at 8:30am got me a couple of free slices of pizza. Freshly made hot pizza and a table to sit at. Can I stay here all day?

"C" finisher medal and AG award

“C” finisher medal and AG award

Once I returned to the finish line area I checked the results board and saw that I managed to sneak into the top three in my age group and would be getting an award. Awesome! I had run 11 races since my last PR and 12 since my last AG top 3 so this felt really good, especially since I ran a few of those races when I wasn’t 100% healthy. The first words from my mouth after realizing what this race meant in the big picture: It’s good to be back!

U and C complete. One more year for UCF!

U and C complete. One more year for UCF!

I don’t have any more races planned until the Echo Half in June. I’ll be training hard for this race and then jumping right into marathon training. I’m in the process of putting a training plan together that will give me a realistic shot at a BQ run at Space Coast marathon in November. I’ll be posting regular training updates, but feel free to check on my progress at any time. Inquiries = motivation! #BQinTraining

Hope to have more pictures up once the race photos are released.