Monday, October 22, 2012

October 15-22: Now on to Running

Now that I’ve finished my first Ironman and wrapped up the 2012 triathlon season, it’s time to figure out what my next set of goals will be. Of course, I have Ironman Mont Tremblant 2013, but that’s a long time from now, and focused training for that won’t start for quite a while.

So what to do between now and then?

After a little contemplation, I decided that it’s the perfect time to improve my running speed, which was one thing I swore I would do after I ran/walked/limped for 5 hours and 48 minutes at the end of Ironman Louisville. While I loved the Ironman experience, I never, ever, ever want to spend almost 6 hours covering 26.2 miles again, and I want to be able to cover that distance much faster in Quebec next August.

The first chance to check in on my progress in a race situation will be at the Richmond Half Marathon on November 10, which will be my first standalone running race since I ran a 1:59:04 at the B&A Trail Half Marathon in March. After conferring with coach, we've settled on 1:55 as a reasonable goal, and my weekly workout schedules have recently been populated with more pace goals aimed at supporting the 1:55 half marathon target.

For the most part, I’ve been able to hit those pace goals, including a three mile effort in the middle of my long run on Saturday. I initially laughed at the workout that called for me to run nine miles with three miles at 15 seconds faster than goal half marathon pace. Then I saw that it would come less than 24 hours after another long, leg-intensive workout, and laughed harder. But then Saturday morning showed up, and I gave it a shot.

(Isn’t it fun to distort information by manipulating the y-axis?)

Looks like November 10 could be a very good day for a little 13.1 mile run.

Monday: A one hour tempo run, covering just over 10k, with the middle 30 minutes at 9:04/mile. The point was to hit goal half marathon pace (8:47/mile for 1:55), but residual fatigue from the weekend of travel and humid weather combined forces to keep me a little bit off target.

Tuesday: 4300 yards of swimming with DCRP Masters.

Wednesday: Another tempo-type run, this one a 5 miler with four ¾ mile sections descending to goal race pace. Section 1 was 9:04/mile, section 2 was 8:56/mile, section 3 was 8:50/mile, and section 4 was 8:44/mile. Score.

Thursday: More running! A 5 mile shakeout run with no pace tracking in the morning, then a 4400 yard swim with DCRP Masters in the evening.

Friday: A morning session dedicated to leg shredding. First, I got on my bike for the first time since Giant Acorn and did a 45 minute trainer ride. Then, I got to go to the gym for 40 minutes of leg-focused strength training…and came right back home for 45 more minutes on the bike.

Saturday: I was slated to run 9 miles, with miles 5-7 at goal half marathon pace minus 15 seconds and the remainder at an easy pace. This required hitting an 8:32 average for that middle section, and the idea of this was particularly humorous because, first, I’d never split a mile faster than a high 8 on a long run, and second, because I’d done a 2+ hour leg-killing workout the day before. I figured I’d shoot for as close to the goal pace as I could, reasoning that I’d only need to hold the pace for a little over 25 minutes. Mile 4 wrapped up, and I went for it.

8:32 average exactly, even with a gentle incline for 2/3 of it.

To celebrate unexpectedly being able to do the workout as written, I swam 4000 meters with DCRP Masters later that morning. Usually, swimming is a great way to accelerate recovery by promoting bloodflow in the legs. However, our practice involved a bunch of sprints, some 50s off the starting blocks, and finally, the last insult – a lot of butterfly in the last 1000 meters.


Sunday: A 25 mile bike on Beach Drive, with a so-so average speed, probably due to being woefully underdressed for the early morning temperatures and a lack of bike time recently.

Also, in case you were wondering how my dad did in the Detroit Half Marathon yesterday, he finished walking the race in 2:44, which is a 12:30 pace. That's speedy walking.


  1. so jealous you are running that race, can't wait to hear about it. I am still waiting for us to randomly bump into each other one morning when we run.

  2. Look at you getting all speedy! I think 1:55 is a great time goal. And your Dad is awesome!

    P.S. I need help with a time goal for Richmond.

  3. I have always loved your blog...but the love is exponentially increasing with the alpacas :-)

  4. Excuse me while I start stealing all your workouts as I train for my next half. And congrats to your dad!

  5. Every time I see an alpaca in any form I keep getting reminded of you now!

    Your Dad rocks and mine is very jealous ;) He does two rounds of golf per day though so is hardly sedentary, but he thinks your Dad is awesome and he wishes he could do that! Lack of self-belief must be hereditary...

    I'm sure you'll get your 1:55 with the progress you've already shown on your 9 miles. Now if only I could show similar improvement in my swim times (not bloody likely - it's hard enough for me not to just sink!)


  6. I'm amazed you were able to hit 8:32 exactly. Are you some sort of wizard?

    Running 3/4 mile intervals sounds like way too much math for me.

    To your comment regarding information on the x-axis, you and I obviously disagree on what "fun" entails :)

  7. I agree with Jessica. Alpacas wil forever remind me of you. So take that Congrats to your dad, that is awesome. I am actually really curious to see where your training goes. I'm feeling some sort of alpaca sled race.

  8. I'm running at Richmond on Nov 10 too (though I'll be doing the full)! It looks like great course. My wife is running the half, so if you see a tall brunette wearing a yellow "Massey Runs With Me" shirt say hi to her!

    1. Have fun in the full! I ran it last year, the course is amazing. The gospel choir around mile 24 is cool.