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Old 06-03-2014, 09:27 PM   #101
FrogMan
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Pintendre, Qc, Canada
some pics from Sunday's race


Top row
- Nothing to say about the first two, only me running and then taking a bite from that medal
- Third pic: that black/green shirt guy I followed most of the race. I ended up passing him in that long downhill and kept ahead of him, finishing some 7 seconds ahead of him
- last pic: I don't know how far from finish that was but I would eventually pass that kid and finish 0.5 second ahead of him based on chip time...

Bottom row
- first three pics, I told you about pumping my fist, well that's how it was
- last pic, I would never pass that gentleman (#1441 in blue), he would eventually finish 10 seconds ahead of me...

FM
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:21 PM   #102
FrogMan
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yesterday's run was the usual midweek easy run, now 7 km up from the 5 km it was in the previous training cycle. Felt good as I went at it pretty easy, keeping the HR under 125 (actually averaged 122 BPM) the whole time yet still getting a 5:32/km (8:54/mile) average pace out of it.

Today's run was a 40 minutes progression in which I increase my pace every 5 minutes trying to do the last hard 5 minutes at a pace in between 10K and 5K pace before going back to an easy pace for a 5 minute cooldown. Way I get it done is start at about 5:45/km and every 5 minutes I increase the pace by 15 seconds/km. Attached is how it worked out this morning, very happy with the run. Especially happy how the heart rate stayed low. Even though I realize it was only about 5 minutes, to have it stay at about 150 when averaging a pace of 4:09 is encouraging...

I didn't really feel like running today though. Well, didn't feel like waking up after one hit of the snooze button. Went to bed really tired and a bit late last night and would have slept in a bit this morning. Finally out of bed reminding myself that tomorrow is my rest day and I will get to sleep in then, at least for a good 50 minutes. Sometimes you gotta push through...

Will not be easy to fit in the long run on sunday. We have a karate competition that me and my son need to officiate. We are teaching karate from 9:30 to 11:15 before having lunch and heading over to the competition that will start at 1pm and should end around 3 or 3:30. Could do the long run before the day starts or right after, i.e. before dinner. Going early would mean getting up around 6:20 or so, on a Sunday morning...

FM
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:44 PM   #103
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this morning's run also brought me this badge from Smashrun

Dang 168 hours of running in a little over a year, that's one full week of running, non stop! Go me!!!

FM
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Old 06-06-2014, 12:31 PM   #104
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Not all related to running but something I had to share...

I used to always wear XL polo shirts, at least for the last few years and even at one point, was buying XXL t-shirts cause I didn't feel right being too tight in my shirts. Went shopping on the cheap at TJ Maxx with my 17yo son yesterday cause he needed some shorts and I thought, if I could find some decent polo shirts on the cheap, I might get a couple, you know, to refresh my wardrobe a bit. Yup, since losing the weight, I still had to replace the XL polo shirts because, well, some of them I'd bought just before losing the weight and frankly, I just didn't have much money to buy clothes for me. The kids, ok they're growing, but for me, I decided to make do with what I had.

Get to the store and see a couple nice ones but they didn't have any large left on their racks. Large is what I bought for the one polo shirt I bought last Summer. I look at the mediums and go "what the heck, try one on man" and even with my t-shirt under it, it fit perfectly, not tight at all. Man oh man, I'm wearing medium shirt now? When did that happen???

Ended up buying three mediums from three different brands and and they all fit perfectly! I was so ecstatic about the find, I could have bought 9 or 10! Even tried them in for my wife and she confirmed I looked perfectly fine in them.

Now on to hunt some decent 30" waist jeans/pants cause my 32s are getting slack. Not an easy task for a 5'11" man with long legs. Yeah, first world problems.

And no, I'm not trying to lose more, just tightening up the body.

I also ended up buying a nice couple of pairs of Nike dri-fit short shorts. Well not REALLY short short, but shorter than the knee length shorts I used to wear for running. And again, dang, mediums!

I also scored two more running hats so my wife doesn't have to wash my one hat every dang day. Oh, and running sleeves on absolute liquidation price. Never thought I'b buy running sleeves but Nike sleeves for 4 bucks was worth it. I'll eventually have a use for them at some point... I love TJ Maxx for my technical apparel needs. No technical shirts this time around though. With the races and all, I got plenty for a while.

Life is good.

FM
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:02 PM   #105
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Last week was a good first week toward the half marathong. 6 runs, 30.7 miles in 4:40:46 for an average pace of 9:08.

Saturday was an easy 5 km while yesterday, I had my first real bout with hot temperature. Had a packed day yesterday, teaching karate classes from 9:30 to 11:15 and then officiating at a karate competition from 1 to 3:30, I decided against going out early for the long run as it would have meant 90 minutes of running starting at maybe 6:30, before a long day. I hadn't planned for it to be so warm when I got back home from the competition. When I headed out for my run at about 4:20pm, it was about 84F with relative humidity at about 32%. For me, that's hot. I left the house with my two 300ml bottle in my hydration belt filled with water as well as a handheld 600ml bottle in one hand.

That was a simple easy run in which I went by heart rate instead of definite pace, trying to keep the heart rate below 125 BPM at most times. It crept up a bit on a couple uphills but overall it went pretty well...

9.72 miles in 1:30:57 for an average pace of 9:21 per mile, avg HR at 124 BPM with a max at only 131
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/516756501

I got this big crazy race coming up this weekend, a race for which I have absolutely no expectations. It's a staircase challenge, 13.5K in distance or so with soem 1277 steps going up and 648 more going down all through the Old Quebec. Obviously, there's some running in between stairs.

You can see the course here:
Défi des escaliers de Québec 2014 - Google Maps

I'm doing the blue and green course. There's a 19K distance that will do the blue and orange course...

I am not tapering much this week as this is not a goal race. It's gonna definitely be a challenge, but as I got no reference, I'll simply go into this one trying to do my best and pacing by heart rate on the running sections. I do plan to reverse taper next week, depending on how much damage them stairs do to my leg muscles

This week's training plane goes like this:
MON 7 km recovery run
TUE 8x 400m @ 5K pace
WED 7 km easy run
THU 45 minutes progression
FRI 5 km recovery run
SAT rest
SUN RACE DAY!

Funny trivia. I finished 3rd in my age group in that trail race about 3 weeks ago. The guy who won our age group for this 13.5K stairs challenge last year finished 2nd in the trail race, about only 16 seconds ahead of me... The same guy also finished just ahead of me, 13th to my 14th in M40-49, in last week's Royal Descent 10K, by about 49 seconds. That is kind of interesting.

It's going to be a staged start, 6 runners going off every 10-12 seconds, just like it was for the trail race so I won't have a clue where we stand one to the other until the finish line. Will simply try do my best.

FM
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:14 PM   #106
Alan T
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Sounds like you have someone in your age group to target to try to catch up and beat in future races!
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:18 PM   #107
FrogMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan T View Post
Sounds like you have someone in your age group to target to try to catch up and beat in future races!

yeah, a few names I've seen come up a few times that post times close to mine.

He's been running longer than me though as I can see his name on a few other races through sportstats.ca. This explains why I sorta could get close to him on the trail race (more technical and hilly) and he could distance me a bit on the 10K (more straight speed/endurance experience). Gives me hope of getting close to him this Sunday, especially that many straight speed/traditional runners don't seem to take on the staircase challenge... We'll see!

FM
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:29 PM   #108
Alan T
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I don't know if Athlinks works for canadian races or not, but I like looking at athlinks.com

It tells me all of the people I have been in more than one race with as well as how I did vs them.

For instance, there is one guy who is 31 years old that I have been in 6 races with, and he has beaten me all 6 times. (He ran an 18:46 5k, so a bit out of my class).

On the other side, there are a few I am 2-0 vs as well.

(This only gives you the head to head matchup for others that have registered on that site though, not necessarily everyone you have raced against)
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:05 AM   #109
FrogMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan T View Post
I don't know if Athlinks works for canadian races or not, but I like looking at athlinks.com

It tells me all of the people I have been in more than one race with as well as how I did vs them.

For instance, there is one guy who is 31 years old that I have been in 6 races with, and he has beaten me all 6 times. (He ran an 18:46 5k, so a bit out of my class).

On the other side, there are a few I am 2-0 vs as well.

(This only gives you the head to head matchup for others that have registered on that site though, not necessarily everyone you have raced against)

I remember looking a athlinks before and despite them stating they are the biggest race DB "on the planet", they don't seem to have anything in Canada, so heh...

All the races on my current circuit (Courir à Québec) are timed with sportstats.ca and when you click on the name of a runner, it brings a list of all the similar names in their database of race results. It's not perfect but with location, you can figure out who's who.

For the record, here's a link to the results for the 8K trail race:
http://www.sportstats.ca/displayResu...acecode=108416

In M40-49, Patrick Lemelin finished first, then Luc Desmeules second, then me, Steve Gougeon.

Then the results for the 10K Royal Descent race
http://www.sportstats.ca/displayResu...acecode=107318

In that one, Desmeules beat out Lemelin, both finishing ahead of me. I thought Desmeules had finished 13th in M40-49 but he finished 10th...

Then, here are the results for the staircase challenge 13K from last year:
http://www.sportstats.ca/displayResu...acecode=103684

Desmeules is the guy I said won out the division in a time of 1:10:54. Lemelin finished 7th in the division.

If you click on my name in any of these races, you come up to this page:
http://www.sportstats.ca/searchResul...stname=Gougeon

The one race from the guy from Blainville isn't me, obviously, but all others from Pintendre are all mine, starting with my 18K race last Fall.

As a comparison, here's Desmeules' runner page:
http://www.sportstats.ca/searchResul...name=Desmeules

Some of the results are from a Luce and a Lucie Desmeules but you can see he's been at it much longer than me, going back to the Royal Descent of 2005!

I'm still just a rookie next to these guys but I'm bringing the heat!

FM
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:08 AM   #110
FrogMan
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temperatures went kinda down overnight, it was just about 60F for my intervals session this morning. Solid session, very happy with how it went. 8x 400m @ 5K pace which should be about 4:00/km. Ended up averaging 3:50/km (6:10/mile) over the 8 repeats without feeling completely spent. Progression, progresssion...

Can't wait to test out that pace on July 4th

FM
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:06 PM   #111
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I thought this was a fascinating article:
Endurance Fatigue: Perception Is Everything - Competitor.com
==============
Quote:
Endurance Fatigue: Perception Is Everything
By Matt Fitzgerald
Published May. 9, 2014
Is fatigue in endurance sports a form of quitting?

A fascinating study proves that fatigue in endurance is nothing more and nothing less than quitting.

The design was simple, but the results were profound. Samuele Marcora, an Italian-born exercise physiologist at Wales’ Bangor University, and his colleague Walter Staiano brought 10 male athletes into their lab and had them perform a simple exercise protocol. Each pedaled on a cycle ergometer as hard as he could for 5 seconds (a test of maximal voluntary cycling power, or MVCP), and his power output was recorded. Then the subjects rode the same bikes as long as they could at a fixed power output level that corresponded to 90 percent of their individual VO2 max. Immediately after completing this ride to exhaustion, which ended when the required wattage simply could not be sustained any longer (or approximately 12 minutes, on average), each subject then repeated the 5-second maximum power test.

Marcora and Staiano found that, on average, power output in the second 5-second MVCP, performed in a state of exhaustion, was roughly 30 percent lower than the power produced in the first MVCP, performed in a fresh state. Yet the power output in the second MVCP was still roughly three times greater than the power that each cyclist was required to maintain in the ride to exhaustion.

Wait a minute: If the subjects cycled at roughly 242 watts until they physically could not complete another pedal stroke at that level, how were they able to pedal at 731 watts for 5 seconds immediately afterward?

Marcora and Staiano’s answer to this question could not be simpler, yet it completely shatters the concept of endurance fatigue that most of us believe in. In a paper on their study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, they wrote:

It is traditionally assumed that exhaustion during high-intensity aerobic exercise occurs because fatigued subjects are no longer able to generate the power output required by the task despite their maximal voluntary effort…We have demonstrated for the first time that this is not the case… If our subjects were able to voluntarily produce 731W for 5s immediately after exhaustion, they must have been physiologically able to produce 242W for much longer. The most likely explanation for the very high MVCP produced immediately after exhaustion is psychological. Subjects knew that the final MVCP test was going to last only 5s, and such knowledge motivated them to exert further effort after the time to exhaustion test which had a longer and unknown duration.

As intuitively sensible as this explanation is, it is scientifically revolutionary, as it supposes that the true cause of endurance fatigue is perception of effort (i.e. psychological suffering), whereas perceptions are traditionally seen as having no causal force in exercise physiology.

In 2010, I spoke to Dr. Samuele Marcora about the broader implications of his provocative new study. Here is the transcript of that interview:

You propose to replace the conventional model of endurance fatigue, which centers on the muscles and the cardiovascular system, with what you call a psychobiological model of endurance fatigue. Please explain that.

My proposal is actually based on general motivation theory. What we call exhaustion is not the inability to continue; it’s basically giving up. The reality is that the neuromuscular system is actually able to continue. My idea is that it’s basically a safety mechanism like many other sensations. So you have sensations motivating you to take a certain course of action for survival. Think about thirst or hunger or pain. All these sensations are there to make us do something. That is actually beneficial for our survival, and I think perception of effort does the same.

There’s this idea that perceptions are mere perceptions and can be overridden through conscious will in a way that purely physiological limitations cannot. Have you encountered resistance to your model on this point?

My physiology colleagues think that because something is a perception, in some way it is less real and can be overcome. Obviously, it can be overcome to a certain extent, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful. That’s why people believed this assumption [that fatigue is caused by hard physiological limits] for so long, because it feels like that. The perception of effort makes you feel like you can’t continue. You feel, “I am giving my maximal effort. I feel I cannot continue. Therefore I’ll stop.”

If you think about pain, pain is created in your brain based on a certain signal such as a broken foot. If you didn’t feel that pain, of course you can keep going. There are people who genetically don’t feel pain and they usually die quite young. Just because something is a perception doesn’t make it any less powerful in controlling your behavior. If you are very thirsty you might kill somebody for a glass of water. You wouldn’t keep running if you ran over a piece of glass and cut your foot. If you didn’t have perception of effort, you could run your marathon much faster, definitely!

One thing that exercise physiologists are baffled by is that when very high-level endurance athletes do a physiological test, they aren’t very different from each other. They all have very high VO2 max, they all have good economy. You can’t really differentiate between them based on physiological parameters. But there is something extra that makes some of them champions. For example, I’m doing some tests on perceived ability, or what psychologists call self-efficacy, which show that beliefs about personal limits tend to be self-fulfilling. People who wish they can push harder and do more usually can. This phenomenon makes perfect sense in my model. So it certainly gives you a range of flexibility that the traditional model, where you stop regardless of your will, doesn’t give you.

Every perception is associated with a distinct set of physiological events in the brain. So is it really the conscious perception of effort that causes fatigue or is it the physiological events underlying that perception?

So the next question is, “What are the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying perception of effort?” and that’s a very big question. It’s like trying to understand the neurophysiological basis of any other phenomenon. That’s why I’m doing studies in collaboration with cognitive neuroscientists using techniques such as brain imaging and EMG, trying to tease out the neurophysiology underlying perception of effort.

I really want to tease out the mechanisms by actually studying the brain. It’s no different from studying any other perception. Hopefully, after learning more about it we can also modify it and help athletes to improve their performance, although you have to be careful, because messing around with a sensation that is there to protect you may also have detrimental effects.

Think about caffeine. Everybody now agrees that the ergogenic effects of caffeine are 90 percent mediated by the effect on the brain and therefore the perception of effort and not by the metabolic effects. So, if you like, this is the first application of the model that perception of effort is important and I think in the future we will see more and more of these things.

Your study did find evidence of fatigue within the muscles themselves—not enough to explain the fatigue that occurred in the time to exhaustion tests, but muscle fatigue nevertheless. So, what is the role of actual muscle fatigue in your model?

In a previous study, I looked experimentally at the effect of muscle fatigue on endurance performance. So, if I pre-fatigue your muscles before I put you on a bike and ask you to do an endurance test, your endurance performance will be reduced. But the effect was relatively small. It was a 16 percent reduction in time to exhaustion. In a time to exhaustion test, a 16 percent reduction in performance is a small result. In a time trial (it’s unpublished but we did the same thing) we had a 3 percent reduction in performance, which is also a small reduction. That study made me think about whether fatigue is the limiting factor. I reduced muscle function to the same level that people have after an endurance test. So, if muscle fatigue was the limiting factor, they shouldn’t have been able to even start the test. Instead, they latest only a couple of minutes less. So that started to put doubts in my mind.

But if muscle fatigue doesn’t cause exhaustion, why does muscle fatigue reduce performance? The reason is simple. If you cycle with muscle fatigue, your perception of effort will increase simply because, if you have fatigued muscles, in order to produce the same power output [as when your muscles are not fatigued], you will have to recruit the muscles more. The main stimulus for perception of effort is how much we are recruiting our muscles—leg muscles or inspiratory muscles. So if I am forced by having fatigued muscles, or even damaged muscles, to increase my muscle recruitment, I will perceive that as an increase in effort, and that increase in effort will make me reach my maximal level of effort and stop earlier than when I don’t have muscle fatigue. So muscle fatigue does have an effect on performance, but it is indirect. It is not a direct effect as traditionally assumed.

I did another study where, instead of using muscle fatigue, I used mental fatigue. The effect of mental fatigue on performance was the same as muscle fatigue. You wouldn’t think so. Why does playing a video game for 90 minutes reduce your endurance performance as much as muscle fatigue? It doesn’t make any sense according to the traditional model, but it actually makes perfect sense in terms of my model. I don’t know exactly what the mechanisms are, but during the cognitive task, I induced some changes in the brain that made my subjects perceive the effort required to cycle as being higher than in the normal condition. You see, it doesn’t matter why perception of effort is increased or decreased. Everything that has an effect on perception of effort will have an effect on performance.
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:07 AM   #112
FrogMan
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Interesting easy 7 km yesterday. To me now, "easy" is trying to keep the HR at or below 125 BPM. I'd seen on these easy runs last week that I was keeping my heart rate much closer to 122, thus slightly on the slower side. Nothing wrong with that but yesterday I tried to really stick to very close to 125 on most half-K splits.

Overall for the run, 7.43 km in 40:06 for an average pace of 5:24/km (8:41/mile) with an average HR at 123 BPM. HR did spike to 134 at one point but I brought it back down and only averaged 126 in two of the 15 500m splits.

Today's run was a 45 minutes progression that I did a bit differently from my usual way of doing them. I usually start at a fairly easy pace, say 5:45/km, and increase the pace 15 seconds per km every 5 minutes. Today, I decided to work in 1 km increment instead of time, leaving me a longer cooldown at the end. Bascially, I wanted to do 5:45, 5:30, 5:15, 5:00, 4:45, 4:30 and finally 5:15 for the first 7 km and cool down for the remaining time to get me to 45 minutes.

See how it shook up in the attached table...

More important than me being able to hold the different kind of paces, because I know for a fact I can do those paces for longer than one km, is how the heart rate stayed pretty even. I mean I don't remember seeing my HR averaging around 141 (maxing at only 145) when holding a 4:25/km pace (7:07/mile).

That was the last hard workout before Sunday's race. Tomorrow will be a 5 km recovery run and I will rest the legs Saturday...

FM
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:20 AM   #113
FrogMan
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well, that was strange. I said yesterday I had a 5 km recovery run planned for today. That's what my spreadsheet says here. Then I doubted myself and double checked this morning on my iPad but apparently, I have modified my training plan from a "5 km easy" to "5 km recovery" since sending myself a screenshot of the training plan.

Really not that big a deal though as the difference between the two is almost nothing. I headed out in the rain this morning and did a 5 km @ easy HR, i.e. trying to keep the heart rate below 125 BPM. I succeeded to keep the heart rate below that threshold for the first 3 km and then did some fatrleky strides over the last couple kilometers, allowing the heart rate to spike up a bit. Felt very good and relaxed even to a pace around 4:20/km. Surprisingly good in fact...

Overall, 5.16 km in 26:46 for an average pace of 5:11/km and an average heart rate at 126 BPM.

The first three kilometers when I kept the heart rate mostly in check took me 15:48 for an average pace of 5:16/km with and average HR at 122. That's a pretty nice pace for that low of a heart rate...

As I said, it was raining this morning, sometimes pretty hard. This led to this little conversation between me and my wife, after I'd just come in from my run

wife: huh, you went out?
me: yeah, to run
wife: but, it's raining out there...
me: yeah, so, it's not battery acid
wife: huh, okay

I love my wife

This was probably my last run ever with my Asic Nimbus 13. I had last used them for that trail race about a month ago and they'd sit there, all muddy since that race. I wanted to take them out and hose them but the wet streets gave me the chance to get them all wet and then towel them to clean them up. This run puts them at 575 miles or so, a pretty good mileage for any shoe, I think. More so, I can now see how them being 9.5 in size was just really one point too small for me. My Ghosts (6 & 7) are now 10.5 in size and feel just right but the Nimbus really felt tight when running this morning. They will make for a very fine all around type of shoe...

Is it bad that I'm already tinking about my next pair of shoes? Yeah, sigh... I kinda liked the Nimbus for winter running. Felt the sole was slightly stiffer than the Ghost's sole, with a tiny bit more cushion and thought it worked well in the snow. Not too sure if I want to try and find a pair of Nimbus for Fall/Winter running or if I will not instead get a pair of Brooks Glycerin, the Ghost's big brother, a neutral shoe with more cushioning...

FM
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:26 AM   #114
Alan T
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Nothing wrong with thinking about your next pair of shoes

I actually have 5 different pairs of running shoes I use right now, plus a pair of cycling shoes
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Old 06-13-2014, 12:33 PM   #115
FrogMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan T View Post
Nothing wrong with thinking about your next pair of shoes

I actually have 5 different pairs of running shoes I use right now, plus a pair of cycling shoes

yeah, I'm just not sure how this will be accepted by my wife... Your wife is a runner too Mine is a hip hop dancer and while she could have done like most kids into hip hop and bought tons of different sneakers, I think she's changed her shoes only once from her original pair she bought four years ago, and that change was kinda forced this last April when the whole troop changed shoes for uniformity. She always teases me about how I have many more shoes than her.

How's the experiment with minimalist shoes going btw?

FM
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Old 06-13-2014, 01:12 PM   #116
Alan T
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrogMan View Post

How's the experiment with minimalist shoes going btw?



I have been trying to ease into the zero drops shoes slowly. I know plenty of people that had Achilles tendonitis due to a transition that was too fast. I might be going too slowly with it though myself.

I've not had any injuries or additional pains from the new shoes, but not sure that I really enjoy them more than the other ones I wear. They definitely are lighter, but they have less cushioning than I am used to and enjoy too.

I guess the jury is still out, I'm still trying them. I've only run 4 miles at a time at most in them though so far.
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Old 06-13-2014, 02:51 PM   #117
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You guys are definitely much more analytical runners than I am. My eyes start to glaze over when the technical discussions begin. I can rarely be bothered to try to figure out what the charts you guys post mean. Sure, I enjoy breaking PRs and stuff like that, but the deeper tracking stuff like cadences and whatever does nothing for me.

I was never able to get my heart monitor to work, and didn't like how it felt anyway. I think I'm comfortable not totally optimizing everything about my running. At some point, I just want to run the way that is natural to me. Too much running theory and statistical stuff sucks away the fun of running in my world. I do try to concentrate on my form (arms don't cross body because the legs follow the arms), especially when running fast, but in general, I'm just running and using perception of effort as my guide, for better or worse. Back in college, one of the best compliments I ever got as a runner was that I didn't even look like I was trying.

I guess in a lot of ways, I run the way I played FOF. I never wanted to spend time digging under the hood. I would read other people's findings and try to incorporate that into my efforts, but I never wanted to do the primary research myself. I guess that's why I never went on to grad school. At the end of the day, I hate researching stuff.

I did get a running book recently, but have yet to start it: Galloway's Book on Running. Reading the reviews on Amazon, it seemed like a decent choice for a less technical runner.

Anyhow, not trying to detract from your stuff. I love the enthusiasm you guys bring to your running. And if I pick up a little from your technical talk, all the better. Still, I will probably try to run faster than I should when doing speedwork and recovery runs.
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Last edited by Kodos : 06-13-2014 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 06-13-2014, 03:03 PM   #118
FrogMan
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Location: Pintendre, Qc, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodos View Post
You guys are definitely much more analytical runners than I am. My eyes start to glaze over when the technical discussions begin. I can rarely be bothered to try to figure out what the charts you guys post mean. Sure, I enjoy breaking PRs and stuff like that, but the deeper tracking stuff like cadences and whatever does nothing for me.

I was never able to get my heart monitor to work, and didn't like how it felt anyway. I think I'm comfortable not totally optimizing everything about my running. At some point, I just want to run the way that is natural to me. Too much running theory and statistical stuff sucks away the fun of running in my world. I do try to concentrate on my form (arms don't cross body because the legs follow the arms), especially when running fast, but in general, I'm just running and using perception of effort as my guide. For better or worse. Back in college, one of the best compliments I ever got as a runner was that I didn't even look like I was trying.

I guess in a lot of ways, I run the way I played FOF. I never wanted to spend time digging under the hood. I would read other people's findings and try to incorporate that into my efforts, but I never wanted to do the primary research myself. I guess that's why I never went on to grad school. At the end of the day, I hate researching stuff.

I did get a running book recently, but have yet to start it: Galloway's Book on Running. Reading the reviews on Amazon, it seemed like a decent choice for a less technical runner.

Anyhow, not trying to detract from your stuff. I love the enthusiasm you guys bring to your running. And if I pick up a little from your technical talk, all the better. Still, I will probably try to run faster than I should when doing speedwork and recovery runs.

lol, and that's ok that way. Everybody runs for different reasons. I'm a bit OCD in many things in my life, when I dive into something, I usually go all in. Have been into martial arts for a while now and when I was at a peak of interest, I would watch videos and try to incorporate new self defense techniques to my arsenal and such.

I realised why I'm running at some point during the winter time: I wanna see how really fast this 43 year old body of mine can go. The little things I do, that may seem big to you, were all gathered about the same way you gathered FOF knowledge, i.e. left and right from reading about other people's findings.

For now, I find fun in doing this, on top of the liberating aspect of simply going out to run, which I still have, despite checking on my HR every once in a while

FM
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Old 06-13-2014, 03:04 PM   #119
FrogMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan T View Post
I have been trying to ease into the zero drops shoes slowly. I know plenty of people that had Achilles tendonitis due to a transition that was too fast. I might be going too slowly with it though myself.

I've not had any injuries or additional pains from the new shoes, but not sure that I really enjoy them more than the other ones I wear. They definitely are lighter, but they have less cushioning than I am used to and enjoy too.

I guess the jury is still out, I'm still trying them. I've only run 4 miles at a time at most in them though so far.

yeah, I guess better safe than sorry, right... If anything, they probably give your lower legs a different workout, at least making them stronger by having them work different muscles...

FM
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:11 AM   #120
FrogMan
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been not a crazy day yesterday but a crazy weekend overall...

Some quick results before I post a more complete race report

I finished my 13.5K Staircase Challenge, that my Garmin actually reported as 13.9 km, in 1:14:19. Average pace is kinda unimportant cause it doesn't compare to anything else I've done before.

Placements:
37th out of 1165 finishers overall (top 3.2%)
6th out of 111 in M40-49 (top 5.4%)

VERY happy with how it went. That was a tough kind of race in a unique setting. More to come at some point with a report.

FM
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:05 PM   #121
FrogMan
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Pintendre, Qc, Canada
Race Report
Défi des Escaliers, 13K
Sunday, June 15th, 2014
Quebec City

Introduction
Quebec City is a pretty special city and I'm not saying this only because this is were I grew up and where have been living most of my life. It's an old city, with a very European look in the Old Quebec part of town, with many levels to the town, all split with hilly streets and staircases that connect it all and finally some pretty neat military buildings, like La Citadelle. Le Chateau Frontenac is also something you might have seen on pictures of the city...

There was two distances for this race, a 19K Super Challenge, with 3000 steps of stairs, and a 13K Challenge, with 1925 steps of stairs. As part of my season ticket of races, I had originally signed up for the 19K race but after my half marathon DNF back in May, I decided to ask for a change of distance and went to the 13K challenge.

They described the course type as "urban trail" and I think it defined it pretty well.

Here's what my Garmin watch tracked for my race, viewed with satellite map:


As you can see, some of it was on regular streets but some of it was on trails, undercover of trees. Some absolutely amazing path. At one point, we were even running through some tiny back alleys in the Old Quebec section of town, on some old style brick flooring, kinda uneven. That was really something special... As a urban trail race, they said that policemen would be at majors intersections but that the streets were not closed off so while they would try to stop traffic, we could have to wait at some point. I never had to wait, maybe because I crossed all streets trying to run with as best a pace as I could and policemen (and women ) seemeed to recognize my speed. I made a conscious effort to thank each and every policeman I crossed at one of those intersection and every volunteer I met who either gave me water or indicated the way going in or out a staircase. A policeman even replied to my "Thanks!" with a "you're welcome, don't let up!" to which I replied "you neither!!!" that made him laugh.

Expectations, pre-race, start
I was again without my cheer team as this was a loaded weekend for us. Our youngest son had a two day swim meet while my wife was dancing in four hip hop show for her danc school year end show and my older son had to go teach at the dojo.

Given that this was going to be a weird mix of a course, I had no expectations as for time or pace. I knew the winner of the M40-49 finished it in 1:10 or so last year so I thought I could probably do it in anything from 1:20 to 1:30 but otherwise, I really had no clue. Especially, as soon as we'd get to our first flight of stairs... I still had some odd feeling I get close to or under 1:15 since the winner of last year is the same guy that finished just ahead of me in my 8K trail race a month ago, and again just ahead of me in that Royal Descent 10K. I had some reference but really wasnt, sure how I'd handle the stairs.

Furthermore, I got into this race with some sort of odd pain in the back of my right achilles or lower right calf. It started on Friday after my last easy run. Don't know where it came from, if it was because I ran that last run with my older pair of Asics that are now up to 580 mileS or if I tweaked my ankle during the run and didn't realize it, but when I got out of the car on the way to work, I felt a twinge of pain close to the achilles, but a bit more on the side. It bothered me all day Friday, seemed to be better Saturday morning but when I tried to tighten my calf when teaching karate, I could feel it again very clearly. The odd thing is when I tried running straight forward, barefoot in the dojo, it felt "about" fine. Needless to say I'm not taking any chances from now on and will be retiring the Asics from my rotation. Get to Sunday morning and on top of the ankle/achilles, my right knee decided to act up a little. I injured that knee, hyperextending it backward about 12 years ago. Diagnosis at the time was MCL strain. It never came back as strong but is usually fine when running forward with little lateral movement. Thing is, I sometimes get some point when going up on stairs and on Sunday morning, that pain showed up during my little warmup. Both isssues turned out to be non issues in fact, thanfully. The moment the race started and I got into full swing running, everything felt just fine and even though I got a bit nervous when I encountered my first stairs, it was all right.

Start was set for 8 am, with 6 runners going off every 12 seconds so we wouldn't get stuck at the first staircase that was only two person wide. The 19K participants went first, all 600 of them and us, the 13K'ers went after. I ended up finally crossing the starting pad at about 8:40, after lining up at about 7:40. That was one long hour of waiting... It was a nice sunny day though and the waiting line was under the cover of big trees, even almost chilly waiting. The whole race was under a clear sky but not too warm, nor too humid. Perfect race conditions.

As I said, I had no real expectations for overall pace based on the staircase we would face but from the race website, I knew we'd have about 2 km before the first stairs and that these would be going down. I also knew our last staircase would be a monster with about 310 steps going up, followed by about 2.5 km of running to the finish line. For a 13K race, I thought a 4:20 pace was sustainable for the first 2 km so I started off the gate with that pace in mind and was able to keep it going. Average pace over the first two km was 4:17 but there was some very steep downhill toward the end of that second km, just before we hit our first stairs going down.

Had a fun moment just before that downhill. The staged start worked well in spacing people out, especially since we had those 2 kilometers of open road running during which I did a whole lot of passing. At one point, I passed fairly easily a group of 3-4 young women even though they seemed to run at a decent pace. I could hear one of the them tell this to her friends in the middle of their conversation: "geez, that dude is going fa-ast!". Made me feel good, especially as I felt I wasn't really forcing it...

That first stair, even though going downhill was something else. Even though the staged start helped thin out the crowd a bit, that first stair still had quite a bit of people and was only two wide. About 4/4 through it, I got stuck behind a lady hugging the left handrail while a gentleman was walking the right side. There was actually two of us trying to get trough. We eventually got through and that really was the only time I got stuck behind someone.

The rest of the stairs are kind of a blur. Some thigns stick to your mind thought, like how footing isn't easy on stairs, especially the ones made of wood and that are undercover of trees early in the morning. For those wooden steps, going down, you had to be careful not to go too fast or you risked skipping a step and skidding down 10-15 steps on your rear end. Then the ones going up, well, you know how it goes, start up running, then thighs burning, lungs on fire so you slow down and then look at your watch, current pace indicates something like 17:00/km, it becomes a mental struggle more than anything, ouch...

You can see the wildly fluctuating pace here:


As if it was possible, there was worse than going up some flight of stairs. Going up, I kept my eyes on my feet, trying not to trip and hit a shin or drop to my knees. I remember at least a couple of instances where I lifted my eyes just as I came up from the last step, trying to find the orange markings we'd been told to look for on the ground when trying to find your way, then finding the markings and looking up to face a daunting hill. AAARRRGG!!! Suck it up buttercup, I started the engine and started pushing them legs, thighs on fire and all.

As I said, based on the course plan, I thought we'd have about 2.5 km of straight running back to the finish line after the last staircase going up. It turns out it was more like 4 km or so. Not that I'm complaining but it meant managing my pace even more important if I didn't want to fall flat on my face with about one kilometer to go. The first two of those kilometers were on a nice trail under the trees, with some of it going downhill. I've never been to Central Park, NY but from all the pictures I've seen, you could imagine something similar, a green spot in the middle of a busy city. That was gorgeous, a place I've never been to before, even if I'm from the area. Shame on me. We then headed back out of the woods and to the street for about 1.5 km of a slight downhill (from -1% to -3%) that was very welcomed. I had sorta latched on to a young man with a bright red shirt when we were in the woods, keeping him in my sights, trying to stay pace to pace with him. He stayed ahead of me for a long while but as I picked up my pace back on the streets with about a mile to go, I was able to pass him and stayed ahead. I looked over my shoulder every once in a while and could see him pushing hard but not getting closer. He seeked me out just past the finished line to shake my hand, it was a nice moment.

I was very happy with the strong push I was able to muster to finish the race. Averaged 4:07/km (6:37/mile) over the last 1.91 km, and even as fast as 3:51/km (6:11/mile) over the last 410 meters. They'd said the challenge was roughly 13.5K. The bibs were identified simply "13K" (as opposed to "19K" for the super challenge bibs). My watch, started straight from the starting mat, tracked 13.91 km. They have since explained on their facebook page that the course had to be somewhat altered since some of the staircases were being repaired and maybe it was closer to 14K than actually 13 or even 13.5K. Didn't matter to me either way as it's not a standard distance, nor a standard kind of race anyway. It only looks deceiving when you look at their calculated pace on the timing website since they divided by 13 for their "per km" pace...

Overall on the race, I had my hydration belt but I drank from cups at about every water station except one spot where I took it from my belt. I also nearly drowned myself on the first stop. I had planned to walk to drink but didn't slow down enough at the first one and took a gulp through both my nose and throat and seriously, I gagged and was certainl I'd drown and die right then and there... :o It went much better after that. I also took a peanut butter GU after about 40 minutes and it went down quite okay. That's one of those spots where I drank from my hydration belt bottles...

Just read this and yeah, that's what I looked like


Official results:
finish time: 1:14:18.9 for 13.91 km
average pace: 5:21/km (8:36/mile)

That pace comes to 5:43/km if you divide by only 13 km. Again not that big a deal.

Placements:
37th overall out of 1165 finishers, or top 3.2%
36th out of 448 men, or top 8%
6th out of 111 in my category M40-49, or top 5.4%

I don't really set placement goals for myself but I have found that looking these up was a big indicator of how far I've come since I started running. For example, in my very first race, that much smaller 10K back in August last year, I placed 69th overall out of only 247 finishers, or a top 27.9%.

I'm pretty proud of what I've done and yet, I have the feeling there's still so much untapped potential in those legs. I knew the last staircase was abotu 310 steps and I don't know why, but I dreaded it before it even happened. It's only once I was done with it and realized it was the last that I thought I had held back and could have pushed harder. I plan on doing this race again next year but then, I'll know what to expect. I will slowly but steadily still keep on training, for now running 6 times a week. Those recovery and easy 7 km runs on Mondays and Wednesdays are fun and with the weather so nice, summer will be a great time.

Ankle/achilles/calf was fine after the race and remained fine so far. Calves are aching most of all, especially the right one. I probably favored it to compensate for the ankle/achilles. But I ran a recovery run on Monday (7 km) and even did a mini-hills workout this morning, 4x 180m 5% grade @ 5K pace without feeling pain. Life is good.

In the "comparison to others" department, Luc Desmeules edged me again, finishing 5th in M40-49 (25th overall) with a time of 1:11:59. I did finish ahead of Patrick Lemelin though, yay! He finished 10th in M40-49 (54th overall) with a time of 1:16:41.

The overall winner finished in 1:01:41 . Not to say I was within shouting distance but that's not THAT far ahead. Winner of M40-49 finished 3rd overall, in 1:04:14, 10 minutes ahead of me...

Here's a post race selfie for ya all


Next race will be a 5K on July 4th, my first officialy timed 5K. I also got our 10yo to sign up for the 2K event of that day. It'll be his first running race. Even though he is a swimmer and has got a pretty amazing cardio, we'll need to work on his running and pacing a bit...

That was again a long and wordy report. If you're still reading, thank you very much. I had fun racing it, probably just as much fun writing the report as it reminded me of the race.

FM
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:08 PM   #122
FrogMan
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Pintendre, Qc, Canada
More training related, overall last week, I logged 31.9 miles in 4:36:41 for an average pace of 5:23/km (8:40/mile).

As I said, I started this week with my usual recovery run in which I kept the heart rate below 110 BPM. The original week 3 of my Higdon HM plan called for a hills workout today but I had scratched that, given the stairs and hills I knew I'd go through on Sunday. I still went out and did a mini hills workout with 4 repeats of a 180m tiny bit of hills (5% average grade) we have in the neighborhood. Well, it's still 2.5 km away from the house, so I ran easy to it, did my repeats and ran easy back home.

It looks like this for the week:
MON: 7 km recovery
TUE: 7.4 km mini-hills
WED: 7 km easy
THU: 30 minutes progression
FRI: 5 km easy
SAT: Rest
SUN: 90 minutes long run (3/1)

I pushed back my rest day to Saturday since our 10yo son has a soccer tournament Saturday and Sunday and we'll have to hit the road for a 90 minutes drive at 7am on Saturday. He plays 3 preliminary round games on Saturday and he his team qualifies for the elimination round, he'll play on Sunday. If they make it far in the tournament, that long run of Sunday will be hard to fit in since Sunday evening is our 17yo's high school graduation ball. We'd then leave the youngest to come back home with one of his teammates for us to simply be able to make it to the pre-ball cocktail. Sigh, yet another crazy weekend in the Gougeon household. But we love 'em like that!

FM
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:09 AM   #123
FrogMan
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Location: Pintendre, Qc, Canada
Your body knows no limits. It's your mind that needs convincing...

I honestly have no clue who said that. Just read it on one of those fitness/motivation poster and I think it holds some truth. It does resonate true to me as I look forward to my next race, a 5K to be run on July 4th. This'll be my first officialy timed 5K, ever. According to recent race times and most online calculators, I should be able to challenge for a sub-20 minutes time over 5K. Maybe my legs can deliver that kind of performance, maybe not, but for now, it's my mind who has a hard time believing it.

I say that thinking back to this morning's 30 minutes progression run. I'd set it up to go easy for one km, then increase the pace to 5:00 for the next km, then 4:40, then 4:20, then have one kilometer at 4:00 before going back to cooldown at easy pace for the time left until 30 minutes.

Here are the splits:
km 1: 5:34.0
km 2: 4:57.5
km 3: 4:37.4
km 4: 4:19.6
km 5: 3:55.6
cooldown: 5:23.3 pace (over 1.56 km)

Yeah, sure, I hit the pace well enough under 4:00/km (3:55/km over 5K would be an awesome 19:38 time) but it was hard. I guess it should be, right? I mean if it were easy, by pushing just a little I'd be able to go under 19, right?

It's just that the heart rate shot up to 159 toward the back end of the kilometer, averaging 158 over the second 500m, so basically holding steady between 157 and 159. And that was only after one tiny kilometer, only 20% of the way...

It goes back to this: I need to convince my mind I can hold this pace for 5 whole kilometers... Or even for 10 kilometers. I mean I have done it... on a downhill course...

Maybe there's still some fatigue in the legs from the staircase challenge and that caused it to feel harder than it would be with rested legs, we'll see...

FM
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Old 06-23-2014, 12:36 PM   #124
FrogMan
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well, our 10yo's soccer team didn't even make it out of the group round in their soccer tournament but the weekend was crazy. With all we had going, I ended up going out for my long run yesterday evening past 8:30. For a 90 minutes long run, that was a bit late. And it was a grind. I'd had a ham sandwich for dinner at about 7:30 because we were with our 17yo at his pre graduation ball cocktail. I'm used to eating little before heading out for a run and even on race day, I usually eat breakfast a good hours before the start, so when I got running, I felt heavy and had trouble with digestion.

That 90 minute run was of the 3/1 type meaning I was to do 3/4 of it easy and 1/4 at race pace. 3/4 of 90 minutes if 22:30 and I usually do the race pace section toward the end of the long run but will leave myself 5 minutes of cooldown easy running. That means running easy from start to 1:02:30, then race pace from 1:02:30 to 1:25:00 than last 5 back easy.

I'm thinking I could do 4:20/km pace (about 7:00/mile) over a half marathon but with how late it was yesterday and I felt, I decided to shoot for 4:30/km (about 7:15/mile) instead.

As I said, it was a grind, and that race pace part more than the rest, but I pushed through it. Covered 5.08 km in 22:30 for an averace pace of 4:26/km (7:08/mile). I can live with that. It wasn't really pretty though as I kinda let running form go out the window toward the last 8-10 minutes and it shows on my cadence number. Cadence was around 186 or so for 3-4 kilometers but fell under 180 during that last km at race pace. This means I was pushing more like an end of race kick than with the efficiency I usually have in the middle of race miles...

Oh well, got it done, then got home and watched USA-Portugal which I had DVR'ed and was able to avoid getting the score spoiled. Finally got to bed at about 1 AM, sigh. But you know what, I was back up at 5 am to run today's recovery run. 7 km that more than once I told myself I would cut to 5 km, but did them all. I don't recommend running 7 hours after a long run, or on only 4 hours of sleep either for that matter.

Overall last week, 31.38 miles in 4:34:54 for an average pace of 8:46/mile but the average pace means so little anymore, give how I do my recovery and easy runs based more on HR than sped/pace...

The training plan for the week:
MON: 7 km recovery run
TUE: 9x 400m @ 5K pace (300m easy)
WED: 7K easy run
THU: 40 minutes progression
FRI: Rest
SAT: 5K @ race pace (1K WU + 1K CD)
SUN: 90 minutes easy long run

Tomorrow is a Holiday in Quebec so I'll be off from work. I plan on doing my intervals in the morning, before breakfast, and offering my 10yo to go out for a 2 km run around dinner time so he can do at least a few practice runs before he races on July 4th.

FM
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Old 06-26-2014, 03:03 PM   #125
FrogMan
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Pretty solid interval session Tuesday. 9x 400m @ 5K pace, goal split time is 1:36, got all of them done under 1:33...
1:31.1
1:31.8
1:31.4
1:33.2
1:29.4
1:32.3
1:29.6
1:32.5
1:29.7

Average heart rate stayed under 150 for the first 6 then 151, 153 and 156 for the last three. I'll take that. Now I need to convince my mind that I can hold that kind of pace for 20 minutes, or a 5K... Good luck with that buddy

As I said, Tuesday was a holiday for us so I got that session done around 8 am, when the sky was kinda cloudy but still nice. It started raining around noon and kept raining all afternoon. I still had in my mind to get a run in with my boys.

I reminded them of it around dinner time and to my surprise, they agreed to come and run. We got a 2K done in 9:57 with most of the first kilometer of it led by my 10yo. I had to remind him not to slow down during the second kilometer but he still had plenty of juice left for a great kick at the end. Hoping to run another 2K tomorrow, on my rest day, but what's 2 km with my son, right?

For today's run, a 40 minutes progression, I started it at my usual easy pace (5:30/km or 8:50/mile) then cut 15 seconds per km at every kilometer. That way, I was aiming for 5:30, 5:15, 5:00, 4:45, 4:30, 4:15 and 4:00 before finishing it out with the rest of the time back at an easy pace (was going to be about 6:30 left). Here's how it worked out during the run, times for every kilometer:
5:30.3
5:11.6
4:55.4
4:41.0
4:28.5
4:14.7
3:58.1

I'd say I pretty much nailed it, VERY happy with it. Wasn't easy though, took some talking to myself during the first couple kilometers, then again, some VERY big talking to myself in the last couple hard kilometers. Happy to see I was able to get that 7th kilometer in under 4 minutes with the HR maxing out at 158. Again, gotta convince my mind that I got enough of that juice in my legs to last 5 km...

FM
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:49 PM   #126
FrogMan
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Location: Pintendre, Qc, Canada
Ended up running every day of the week last week for a total of 36.4 miles in 5:08:10. Ran a tough 2 km with my 10yo son on my rest day last Friday. It was humid & hot. I didn't mind it but _HE_ had a hard time. It's mostly mental, I mean, it was a 12 minutes run and he's 10, in super shape (he's a competitive swimmer who, in peak season trains 4 times 90 minutes in the pool, lapping close 2800 m in every training) but after about 500m he was whining and ready to start walking. I simply cheered him on, trying to keep him going at a relaxed pace and we got it done in preparation to this Friday's race day where he will race the 2K and I will race the 5K, my first every timed try at that distance.

Highlight of my week was the long run on Sunday, an out and back run from our home to my dojo for 90 minutes. Was a highlight because I used it to compare and reflect a little on my progress in the last year. My dojo is about 7 km away from our house and running out to it and back had been my big distance goal most of all Summer last year. I did that first run out and back on September 1st last year.

The two runs were run very similarly, which is at about the same fairly easy pace.

Last year
Garmin Connect
14.39 km in 1:21:03 for an average pace of 5:37/km (9:04/mile), average HR: 135 BPM

This year
Garmin Connect
16:45 km in 1:31:26 for an average pace of 5:33/km (8:57/mile), average HR: 123 BPM

Pace very similar but last year's run was done in September and started at 7:30 am while this year is end of jun/start of July and done at 8:30 so finishing when the sun is stronger. Still the pace for both run is somewhat similar, this year's being a tad faster yet the heart rate is a good 12 beats per minute less this time around. And last year I even took a 3 minutes break in which I paused my watch to take a couple pictures of the dojo before heading back home.

Based on my HR data in last Thursday's progression run in which I cut 15 seconds per km off my pace every kilometer over 40 minutes, I'd say I could run at a pace around 4:45 to 4:50 with a heart rate at 135. That's between 7:39 and 7:47 per mile or an improvement of 1:17 to 1:25 per mile... Yeah, I'm a data junkie...

I clearly remember a moment on the way back when I felt so free, running easily with the HR showing as no more than 125. I could have gone on for another 5 km easily. I remember last September's run, it was my longest ever at the time and that 14 km was more than enough...

Continuing with some more data, the month of June was a good bounce back month, following the low mileage month that was May. I ran for 140.98 miles in June, for a time of 20:24:09. That's my second best ever, only 2.5 miles less than my best that was April 2014. I'm set to obliterate those numbers in July as my training plan calls for about 160 miles in the month with no races other than this Friday's 5K.

I also finished a plank challenge for June only taking two days of break. started it with 3 minutes, then went up to 3:30 after maybe a week then up to 4 minutes another week later. Never went above 4 minutes, probably my next step, but I did take this morning off from it.

This week's training:
MON: 5.5 km recovery run
TUE: 6x 400m @ 5K pace (was supposed to be hills)
WED: 5 km easy/recovery run
THU: Rest
FRI: 5K Course du Grand Lévis (evening race)
SAT: 5K recovery
SUN: 1:45 easy long run (105 minutes if that's not clear)

Yeah, my half marathon plan called for hills/incline work this morning but I didn't feel comfortable doing that only three days before a race. Sure, it's only a 5K but it'll be my first timed 5K ever and I'd like to do well so I reverted back to 400m repeats at 5K pace to sorta help me get the pace down. Very happy with how it went too. There'll be a lot of mental talks to be done on race day but I felt good with the pace. I'll be trying to hit a sub-20 5K so the split time I was shooting for was 96 seconds. My splits this morning:
94.2
93.7
92.1
89.6
91.0
91.3

Average pace of all 6 repeats: 3:50/km. That'd give me an awesome 19:10 time over 5K. Yeah, riiight As I once said, it's the mind that needs convincing. The good news is that my average HR over the 6 repeats this morning was right at 140 BPM without walking in between, simply keeping an easy jog going over 300m of rest. Way I see it, this HR will probably shot up to 150 after 2 km of that pace and will get close to my usual end of race HR after 3.5 or 4 km... We shall see...

FM
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:19 PM   #127
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This morning, I had my last run before this Friday's 5K. It was supposed to be a simple 5K easy run with a rest day tomorrow and the race on Friday evening but I wanted to test that 5K pace over more than the usual 400m interval reps I've been doing for the last couple months so I set out with 1.5 km warmup followed by 2.5 km @ 5K pace (4:00/km for a goal time of 20 minutes) then some cooldown.

I got the 2.5 km done in 9:56.8 so just about what it would take to get the 5K done in 20.

Before this morning, I thought I could get it done over 5K based on intervals and such, but now I'm fairly confident I can push through another 10 minutes at this pace. What's 10 minutes?

Looking at the data from my watch, I see I will need to work on keeping my cadence a bit higher. Garmin Connect

From close to 200 steps per minute, I gradually let my cadence drop to about 182-184 toward the end of the 2.5 km stretch. To be able to sustain the 4:00/km pace, I think I need to stay at at least 190 SPM, except maybe for the last km or 750m when I'll go into lastkick/suicide pace mode and give it all that's left in the tank. Then, I know my cadence and form will get thrown out the window as I expect to lengthen my stride and go into heel striking...

Heart rate was kinda settling around 158 toward the end of the 2.5 km and I think it'll remain there for at least 1.5-2 km until that last kick where I expect it to shot up to 163 or so. There'll be time to breathe and rest after the finish line.

This will involve some big work on the mental side of it for the last 2.5 km but I can do it. I can do it and I will do it, watch me!

FM
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:36 PM   #128
FrogMan
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Race report
Course du Grand Lévis, 5K
July 4th, 2014


I was very much looking forward to this race for a few reasons. It's as local a race as this can be for me and I'd heard great things about it. It was to be my first ever officialy timed 5K race and finally, my youngest son was supposed to run the 2K that was to be run 30 minutes prior to my 5K.

Plans changed on that last part Friday around noon when I got the news that my son was at the ER with 4 stitches after hitting his forehead at his soccer day camp.

From seeing my son run and having the whole bunch, including my oldest son, my wife and my mother-in-la, there to cheer me on, I went to the race only with my 17yo son who had camera and cheering duty all by himself.

Going into the race I knew little about the course but knew one thing of a certain importance when you want to set a fast time, especially on a 5K: it was gun time only. I'm usually too kind and end up caught behind slower runners because I don't push forward before the start. I was early to the start line after a couple kilometers of warmup which included some "feel good" strides and settled about 5 feet behind the start tape line on the ground. I didn't have the pretention to put myself on the very first line. I had seen the winning time of a year ago, something around 15:40 or so.

That positioning was just about perfect since I ended being right behind the young rabbits. A couple funny "ahah" moments. A couple gentlemen trying to find a good spot asked me what I planned to run for time and when I said "20 minutes" they both looked at each other and said, "ok bye, we'll back off a bit then". Then when I looked at them youngsters in front, them fast rabbits as I call them, I realised I was the only one wearing a t-shirt and not a singlet. I almost felt out of place. Then finally, as the starters began his 10 seconds countdown to start, I saw them all crouch down and, well, not wanting to really stand out, I too put my right hand to my watch and put my left shoulder forward.

If not for where it was taking place, the course would have been boring as hell. It took place on a bike path, going west for 1.5K, then turn around and back to the start/finish point and to the east for 1K and back to the start/finish point. Very linear but as I said, where it was is what made it at least a bit nice. Right beside the St Lawrence river with the whole Quebec City, including Le Chateau Frontenac in full view the whole time.

Here's my Garmin course viewed with the satellite view:


As I said, boring, linear, but the side of the river made it interesting... We actually used that same bike path in my half that I DNF back in May. That spot was at the 15-16 kilometer mark in the HM and I was still going strong at about 4:20/km but I have little recollection of the little park that is near the start/finish area of Friday's race.

To give you an idea, I live in Pintendre, in the Southwest corner of the little map...

They didn't have a course map on the race website, only saying we'd do a loop on the bike path so I had no clue what was going to happen, or even if there would be any elevation gain or loss. Because of that, I had not planned for the course instead going for trying to keep my watch "current pace" as close, or just a bit below, the 4:00 mark.

That worked well for the first 1.5 km as I averaged a pace of 3:52/km going out to the first pylone. Start positioning was perfect as I got passed by a few but also passed a few. More I ran, I kep passing some which felt good.

The next 1.5km brought us back to the start/finish area and I averaged 3:57/km on that stretch. My watch is set to give me split times and average pace every 500m and I kept seeing times under 2:00 per split so I knew I was doing well.

The next kilometer out was my toughest and I got it done in 4:01. Not a catastrophe but only 3.5 to 4 kilometers in and it was time for the final kilometer to happen. I decided to kick it up a notch at the turn after the last pylone, with one km to go. I had my watch showing me total time since start instead of HR and that's probably a good thing. Max HR for the 4th km was 166, something I rarely hit, but then I pushed harder still in that last kilometer finishing with the HR spiking at 169. I crossed a coworker of mine who was warming up for the upcoming 10K on the side of the bike path and to be called by my name was the final push I needed. Lungs and legs on fire, I kept pushing and finished the race with my fastest kilometer, done in 3:44 (equivalent to a 6:01/mile pace).

Garmin Connect

Final official time: 19:26.1,
average pace: 3:53/km or 6:15/mile

Placements:
30th overall out of 369 or top 8.1%
25th out of 136 men or top 18.4%
4th out of 36 in M40-49 or top 11.1%

Needless to say, I'm VERY proud and happy with this time.

An idea of how my 5K PR has change since last Summer:
2013/07/11, self test, 22:50
2013/11/16, self test, 21:38
2013/11/21, first half of Strava's any way 10K, 21:17
2014/03/02, 5K pace test, 20:50
2014/05/04, within HM, 20:43
2014/06/01, Descente Royale's last 5km, 19:45 (mostly downhill)
2014/07/04, Course du Grand Lévis, 19:26

A few pictures but before that, a couple videos.

Start of the race, see, I almost belong with all them fast rabbits
MVI 3968 - YouTube

And the finish line, screw good for, screw them flailing arms, it was all about making it to the line... The last call you hear is my son calling my in-house nickname, Teeeev
MVI 3987 - YouTube

Before the start, I actually look much more relax than what I've been in my previous races


Again before the start, I was trying to find son and I found him


Good shot of the race start from the race photographer, I'm right smack in the middle


Just about 300m to go I think


Next two were from right before the finish line. He's in my age group and will finish 1.3 seconds behind me...



For some odd reason, I didn't really enjoy finishing on the grass. Odd, don't know why...

I stayed around to watch some friends. It's fun now after a few races, I'm beginning to see familiar faces and enjoy staying around after the race is done to cheer them on.

FM
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:38 AM   #129
Alan T
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I've considered trying a singlet several times now because of summer heat, but just haven't gotten around to it yet myself.

As for the grass, I find it pretty fun to run on grass when it is not a race, because it is softer and not as rough on the body to run on.. but when racing, I definitely go slower in grass. It is tougher to keep an efficient motion due to the surface being softer. I'm not sure that I would enjoy trying a 5k race with a finish in grass myself.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:10 PM   #130
FrogMan
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yeah, well, I have a singlet, or maybe it's more like a dri-fit tank top technically, and I thought about wearing it for the race. I decided to go back to my trusted Nike Run shirt that is a lighter kind of technical fabric than any of my other shirt. I really like that one...

About the grass, maybe that's what it was, I kind of felt my form go away even more than it usually does in a race finish. I know I really overstride in my final kick of a race, but here, I can see it in the finish line video that my stride is kinda awkward. It wasn't that long a stretch though but I have seen cross country races with long stretches on grass. Those I really wouldn't like...

FM
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:13 PM   #131
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About training last week, the timing of the 5K race kinda allowed for a kickback week in terms of mileage and time on my feet. 30.6 miles run in 4:24:36.

I had a fantastic long run on Sunday. 12 miles done in 1:45 on a course I had planned during the week. Discovered some new streets I had not visited yet, including a little bike path that ran in between backyards. For a little while I couldn't see any street yet knew exactly where I was, then I emerged to a street I just recognized. It was wonderful...

This week starts the increase in mileage with about 35 miles planned for the week with the following three weeks at about 40 miles each.

MON: 7 km recovery run
TUE: hills/incline work, treadmill (8x [email protected]%/[email protected]%)
WED: 7km easy run
THU: 30 minutes progression
FRI: Rest
SAT: 6.5 km @ HM pace (1 WUM / 1 CD)
SUN: 1:45 long run (3/4 easy, 1/4 @ HM pace)

I did this morning the hills/incline workout I was supposed to do last Tuesday and man was it a chore. I was drenched after doing it... you can see the treadmill workout I did a this link:
iFit - Workouts

I had to drop the pace a bit but 15% incline is hard to sustain...

I have already planned my long run for this weekend. I can't go the same route, or simply extend the route from last Sunday since there's a race taking place on or around that route. Not a race I can even participate in though, it's a women only race, fund raiser for prostate cancer...

FM
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:17 PM   #132
FrogMan
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rough start to yesterday's easy run. Sure, only my regular midweek easy 4 miler, well a 7 km in my books but it's just a bit over 4 miles so you know. I'd had a kinda rough night, woke up 2-3 times, bathroom then the wind blowing hard and making the blinds hit the windowsill, you know. Didn't really have any problems getting up when the alarm clock went off but I felt slow and zombielike in everything I was doing. Then got to reading the paper and just didn't feel like going out to run. I really had to force myself to get out the door.

Then once out the door, legs felt very heavy. I just about turned back at the first half km mark I so didn't care about running today. But I'm not that kind of guy so I didn't and i kept on going. I ran loose, only sparingly looking at my watch to keep my HR at or under 125 BPM. I found myself amused and surprised by the kind of pace I was able to sustain at 125 BPM. I regularly was running at 5:05/km or so and would make the HR jump up a bit by going at 4:50, then as soon as I slowed down my steps to 5:20, the HR would drop down in the 121-123 range. Overall today, 7.12 km in 36:45 for an average pace of 5:10/km (8:18/mile).

I was pretty sure that was the fastest I'd run any of those 7 km easy run since I started going with the 125 BPM max "rule" and sure enough, looking back, it is.

I started training this way after my 10k on june 1st and have done 5 of those 7 km easy runs so far. Here are my average pace for each:
June 4, 05:31/km (08:52/mile), average HR 122
June 11, 05:24 (08:41), 121
June 18, 05:22 (08:38), 121
June 25, 05:19 (08:33), 123
July 9, 05:10 (08:18), 121

The constant progression is very interesting. Even during those so called "easy" runs, if you keep as many of the outside parameters as constant as possible, you can see improvements. All these runs started at about the same time (between 5:28 and 5:32 am) and are all between 7.05 and 7.43 km in distance and their average HR stayed between 121 and 123. If you pay good attention to your numbers, you don't really need to set new PRs at every race to see improvements in your fitness level...

FM
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:32 AM   #133
Kodos
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I can't see rockin' the singlets, myself.

Nice 5K! I have one coming up in early August.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:44 AM   #134
FrogMan
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Today's long run was supposed to last 1:45:00 with 1/4 of it (or 26:15) at HM pace. Went very well then got to the dreaded 20.45 km mark, the distance at which I crashed back in May, and I almost shed a tear feeling great relief. Once there, I HAD TO get to the half marathon distance, definitely crushed some old demons today, I feel cleansed of my doubts. Bring it on world, bring it all on!

21.13 km in 1:47:18 for an overall average pace of 5:05/km (8:10/mile)
Garmin Connect

Even better than the average pace on the whole run, I rocked the HM pace section, 6.09 km in 26:13 for an average pace at 4:18/km or 6:56/mile and that section started after a 73 minutes warmup...

FM
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:46 AM   #135
FrogMan
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Originally Posted by Kodos View Post
I can't see rockin' the singlets, myself.

Nice 5K! I have one coming up in early August.

yeah, and I don't see myself paying the big bucks for a singlet that they are charging at the running store

I mean, I bought most of my technical shirt at TJ MAXX for real cheap and while I have a Nike DriFit tank top, it's not really a running singlet, but I paid something like 16 bucks for it. Not gonna drop 35 bucks on a singlet...

How's training coming for that 5K of yours? You feeling confident in the distance?

FM
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:55 AM   #136
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Yeah. I'm actually doing half-marathon training on RunKeeper. I have one 5K scheduled for early August, and may add another a couple weeks after it. Haven't run anything but that 4-miler back in May. So this will be my first 5K since my twenties.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:02 AM   #137
BYU 14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrogMan View Post
Today's long run was supposed to last 1:45:00 with 1/4 of it (or 26:15) at HM pace. Went very well then got to the dreaded 20.45 km mark, the distance at which I crashed back in May, and I almost shed a tear feeling great relief. Once there, I HAD TO get to the half marathon distance, definitely crushed some old demons today, I feel cleansed of my doubts. Bring it on world, bring it all on!

21.13 km in 1:47:18 for an overall average pace of 5:05/km (8:10/mile)
Garmin Connect

Even better than the average pace on the whole run, I rocked the HM pace section, 6.09 km in 26:13 for an average pace at 4:18/km or 6:56/mile and that section started after a 73 minutes warmup...

FM

Good stuff buddy, great breaking through those "barriers"
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:56 PM   #138
FrogMan
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Ended up with a pretty decent week mileage wise last week but more interestingly in a VERY nice week in average pace. 36.22 miles run in 5:01:18 for an average pace of 8:19/mile, my fastest average pace over a week since the week that ended with my half marathon DNF in early May. And I didn't even sacrifice any recovery run (did 7 km of that with HR<110) or easy run (had a 7 km of that too, with HR<125) and only had a 30 minutes progression run. The hills workout was a grind but not superfast but the two weekend run were at good pace...

I did my usual 7 km recovery run this morning and hit a neat milestone. It was the first time in any of those recovery run that I was able to keep my average heart rate under 110 BPM while at the same time averaging a pace faster than 6:00/km (9:39/mile).

I'd had a some runs getting close but never faster than 6:00/km. Gotta be happy with those little wins that happen in something as simple as a recovery run...

I'm entering week 7 of 12 in my half marathon plan, already half way done... I'll be on vacation from my job starting next Monday so the next three weeks should make for lots of fun running on my own schedule.

Training plan for the week:
MON: 7 km recovery run
TUE: 6x 800m @ 10K pace
WED: 7 km easy run
THU: 45 minutes progression
FRI: Rest
SAT: 8 km @ HM pace (1 WU + 1CD)
SUN: 2 hours easy long run
TOTAL: 40.6 miles

Starting with week 7, Hal Higdon's plan moves away from teh 400m @ 5K pace and the hills session and goes into longer interval work, namely 800m @ 10K pace and mile repeats @ race pace. Had some good back and forth with the runners on the Lose It forums about tomorrow's interval session. A fairly experienced runner over there was talking about his 800m repeats and when he mentioned his split goal times, I figured he was running them way faster than 10K pace, probably even faster than 5K pace. Most of the others said they ran their intervals about the same way, i.e. at least 5K pace for the 800m and maybe even faster.

I've had great success so far with Higdon's plans and while I ran the 400m intervals a bit faster than his prescribed 5K pace, I wasn't running them at mile pace. Based on my 5K time of 19:26, my 5K pace of 3:53/km would predict a 10K pace of about 4:02/km according to Jack Daniels's calculator. Again, the mind needs convincing as I find that mighty fast.

I'll probably try to hit close to 4:00/km or about 3:12 per 800m repeat.

Finally, looking ahead, I see myself running the equivalent of a half marathon for four Sundays in a row.

When I originally devised my plan, I had planned my easy runs to be run at about 5:30/km with race pace at 4:30/km. I've since revised my race pace to closer to 4:20/km and my easy run pace, which is dictated by keeping my HR at or below 125 BPM, has started averaging more around 5:20/km. The easy portion of yesterday's long run was done at an average of 5:24/km.

I got these long runs in the next three weeks...
this Sunday: 120 minutes all easy (@5:30/km that's 21.8 km)
next Sunday: 120 minutes with 30 minutes @ HM pace (should come to 23.3 km)
following Sunday: 135 minutes (2h15min) all easy (about 24.5 km)

Last Sunday wasn't supposed to come to 21.1 km but it felt good to get that out of the way.

Now, had anybody told me just one year ago that in 12 months time I'd be doing half marathon length runs every Sunday over a span of four weeks, I'd have called them crazy. But here I am, who's crazy now?


FM
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:58 PM   #139
FrogMan
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Originally Posted by Kodos View Post
Yeah. I'm actually doing half-marathon training on RunKeeper. I have one 5K scheduled for early August, and may add another a couple weeks after it. Haven't run anything but that 4-miler back in May. So this will be my first 5K since my twenties.

Well, I had NEVER entered a race in my life prior to last year's 10K

When I say I used to hate running with a passion, I mean that...

FM
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:00 PM   #140
FrogMan
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Originally Posted by BYU 14 View Post
Good stuff buddy, great breaking through those "barriers"

Thanks man! Still much training to do to be able to do it at the pace I want to do it, or should I say that I think I can do it, but we'll get there.

Oh, and my wife remains nervous... I do have a free pass to buy as many gels and chews as I want though...

FM
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:02 PM   #141
FrogMan
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speaking of gels and chews, in that 1:45 run of yesterday, I consumed two Gu gels (one lime and one peanut butter) and a pouch of Honey Stinger chews (like one every 10 minutes or so and replacing that one by a gel every 30 or 40 minutes).

I timed it all to take one of the two gels when I had about 15-18 minutes at race pace done in order to test it. It went pretty well.

FM
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:17 PM   #142
Kodos
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Originally Posted by FrogMan View Post
Well, I had NEVER entered a race in my life prior to last year's 10K

When I say I used to hate running with a passion, I mean that...

FM

You've come a long way! Turns out you're quite good at the whole running thing.
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