August 27, 2010

MGM Half-Marathon Training - Weeks 6 & 7

Week 6 ended with a disappointing finish at the 10K race scheduled on my training plan. I was on my usual race pace, finishing the first half (5K) faster than my previous 5K finish, until mile 4. I hit of a wall of heat, humidity, and sunshine, which stole my energy and motivation to keep running. The bully knocked me down, and I had a hard time getting past him.

My next run on the plan was a 4 mile "race pace" run. I moved that run to Monday morning because of travel plans. The temperatures where I was staying in Northern Alabama were forecast to be in the upper 60's. I woke up before sunrise Monday morning and paced back and forth waiting for enough light to run on the back country roads west of Athens, Alabama. The air was drier, and the temp was around 66 when I finally headed out the door at 5:30 AM. The first part of my run was down a long driveway, then out to the road. It was better running conditions than I've seen in months. Within the first half mile, I was greeted but three big dogs, two of them just barking and growling, but one was a playful Black Labrador Retriever (Sam)which accompanied me for about half of my run. He would run past, then stop and wait for me to pass him, then he'd run ahead of me again. I think this took my mind of of my running, and I ended up with a faster pace than I planned. It was an amazing sunrise run. I fell a little short of my target distance, but with the faster pace, it was a good training run.

We're now at the end of week 7. The weekend plan has a 9 mile long run and 4.5 mile pace run. I haven't decided what I'm going to do. I'm trying to be more spontaneous, people tell me it makes life more interesting. I'll likely hook up with one of the running groups on Saturday, and then make plans for rest of the weekend.

August 13, 2010

MGM Half-Marathon Training - Week Five

I finished week five of the training plan with a little bit of apprehension, the easy part of the training was about to be over, week Six will be the last "easy" week. After this week's 8 mile long run, and next week's 10K race, I will have to start into 40-45 minute tempo runs, and 9 to 12 mile long runs while the heat of the summer is still blasting us, and draining my energy.

I know I need to slow down in this heat, but that is easier to say than it is to do. Running is sort of a meditation for me, I zone out and before I know it, I'm overheated and need to cool-off for a awhile. For this reason, I've been doing more workouts on the treadmill to keep my pace in check, but treadmills are dreadfully monotonous when compared to running on roads or trails. But, we do what we need to do to accomplish the goal.

The high point of the week was the fun diversion of the River Region Runner's (R3) Prediction Run on Tuesday, and the weather graced us with lower humidity and a nice breeze, which allowed me to run faster than I predicted. However, I was honored with winning "3rd Hottest Male" Award. Whatever criteria they used to come up with that label, no one knows. The best part of the night, was the great turnout of runners and supporters which made the event very enjoyable. There were young and old, new and experienced runners, H.S. track athletes and middle-aged road runners, hashers and tri-athletes. Since I've been a member, I cannot recall having such a diverse crowd for this type of club event. Thanks for the great evening.

Weekend Training: I plan to finish an eight mile long with the group who are training for the Montgomery Half-Marathon at 6:00 AM Saturday morning at the Alley Bar, then try and meet up afterward with the Saturday Shakespeare group for the coffee and breakfast. Sunday I will try to get a pace run in (4-5 Miles), probably on a treadmill, since the outside heat and humidity is still stuck on high.

August 6, 2010

MGM Half-Marathon Training - Week Four

I switched weeks 3 and 4 of the training plan I'm following so I could run the 5K race I have planned this weekend. This was a "step-down" week for me. Fewer miles, easier runs, more rest days. We need step-down weeks to allow our bodies extra recovery and healing time from the increased training intensity.

I did my usually strength and stretch day on Tuesday because I ran in the rain on Monday. My total mileage for the week beginning on Monday is only 11 miles. The hot weather also has me hitting the treadmill more than I like. I did last Sunday's 7 mile long run on a treadmill with the A/C and fans on high. I'll be glad when the weather is more tolerable for running.

Saturday: I'll be at the Woodstock 5K (30th Anniversary) in Anniston. I will do 1 mile warm-up and a 1 mile cool down afterward.

Sunday: 4 - 5 miles. Might be out in the neighborhood, might be on the treadmill, it all depends on the heat and level of humidity