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Friday, May 18, 2012

Ready to Go!

Training for the Cleveland Half Marathon is complete.   For the past five months, I've gradually built up my weekly long runs as well as my weekly mileage.   It began in the first week of January with a total of 19 miles culminating with a 5.6 mile run at 12:00 per mile pace.   During that first week I averaged a pace of 12:58 per mile.   Over the next 10 weeks, my average pace steadily dropped 10 to 15 seconds per mile until it had reached a low of 10:13 per mile, then started to slow down into the 10:35 - 10:45 range.     I think this was a signal that I might be over training, so I inserted a recover week where I dropped my mileage in half for the week.

The following week I felt much stronger and had some quality runs but my average time was staying in the upper 10s.     I wasn't concerned about the times though because around this time, Don Gill joined our morning running group.    Don is an 80 year old runner who can still move pretty good in races, but in training he keeps his pace near 12:00 per mile.   Even though these runs were easy paced, they helped get my mileage up and I was getting some quality speed workouts on the in between days with some mile intervals below 9:30.

Mileage peaked at 35.5 miles with a long run of 13.2 miles  at the end of April before starting a four week taper period.

In four and a half months, I've managed to log 467 miles with a peak of 129 miles in April.

Cleveland 10-Miler
April 28th, 2012

It was a cold day in the mid 30's on the shores of Lake Erie at Cleveland's Edgewater Park.   Two weeks before, I had a miserable 5K race when the temperatures rose into the 80's.    I started that race out way too fast (8:29 first mile) and paid the price for it at the end.    I was hoping for a least a PR in this race and at best to break the 30:00 mark.    Neither happened as I crossed the finish line at a disappointing 31:45.

This race I was determined not to make the same mistake and went out slow, hoping to maintain a 10:15 mile pace throughout and finish at 1:42:30.   My GPS was off today for some reason and was giving me all splits in the 9s.    However when it told me I had completed one mile, I was still 75 yards from the Mile 1 sign.     The same thing in subsequent miles.    The GPS would announce that I had reached a certain milestone but the actual mile marker kept getting further and further away.    I crossed the official half way mark at 50:49 (10:10 pace).   When I reached the 9 mile mark at 1:32 something, I thought that with a decent last mile I might reach my goal of 1:42:30..     Fortunately the last mile was to a large degree down hill and I was able to finish strong with an 8 something final mile and cross the line at 1:40:55.

Geneva Community Days 5K
May 12, 2012

In a final tuneup race before the Cleveland Half, temperatures started rising right around race time. Felt if I could keep the pace at about 9:45, I would have enough in the tank at the end and be able to break that 30:00 5k for the first time. I was worried when I hit the mile mark at 8:39 (too fast). When I hit mile 2 at 17:44 (9:05) I was starting to tire, but started doing the math figuring I could hit my target goal of 29:30 by running a mere 10:00 3rd mile. At 3 miles (27:10), I knew I had my 29:30 and might even break the 29:00 mark. Kicked it into high gear for last 100 yards and was really excited to hear 28:50.

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