Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday 2014



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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Final Recap of Twin Cities Marathon


              After missing the Olympic Standard by sixty-five seconds at the 118th Boston Marathon, I set a goal to go after the Olympic standard of 2:18 at the Twin Cities Marathon. Why Twin Cities? The weather is consistently ideal, the course is fast and being a US Championship was an extra bonus.
(un) Lucky bib no. 13
               With this year’s race being a U.S. Championship, the hospitality was superb. The Twin Cities in Motion people sure know how to host runners! With the race being on Sunday,  I arrived on Thursday in order to give me time to relax before all other athletes arrived Friday. I followed though the same tapering phase I had done for Boston. I felt pretty relaxed on the days leading up to the race.  With the way my training had gone, I believed anything was possible on race day. I believed I was capable of not just running under 2:18, but also competing for a top 10 spot. 
             After a traditional pre marathon four-day caffeine depletion, waking up at 4:55am for Caribou coffee was greeted with such excitement. At 6:00am, I joined some three dozen other runners on the elite bus headed towards the Renaissance Hotel, where we would stay until the race. At 7:30am, we made a half mile walk from the hotel to the bag drop-off location which was adjacent to the starting line.  The warm up was short and quick. By 7:55am, I was on the starting line finishing up my last minute strides. Five minutes later the gun went off and it was all business.
8 bottles and Gu (5 water, 3 mixed)
Leading the pack at mile 7 (5:10)
          Unlike Boston, this race was a tightly bunched pack from the start. We went through the 5k at a “pedestrian” 16:27 – maybe the 35 degree start had something to do with it. Soon after, the next 5k was hit in 16:03. I stayed near the back of the pack and several times found myself near the front by accident. The pace varied from as slow as 5:17 to as fast as 5:04 as the pack began to thin out. After hitting the halfway point in 68:08, I made a decision to slightly back off as to not get caught up in the fast pace too early. I worked with another athlete told him “Let’s work together and we will reel them in later”. I found out that athlete was Nathan Martin, who would later go on to finish 5th.
                 We worked together from miles 13 to 16 and were hitting our paces right on. At about 16.5 miles, I felt a sharp pain come from behind my left leg. I stopped immediately as I completely lost my leg turnover. Knowing that the pain felt very sharp, I didn’t mind stopping and taking the time to stretch. It certainly didn’t feel good even after the stretching. I tried to restart the motor one more time and my left leg didn't cooperate. I put my hands on my face and sat down on the grass in disbelief about what had just happened in matter of seconds. Soon I walked to the medical area at mile 17 and was transported to the finish. A day later I would eventually find out that I tore my left adductor muscle. At the time I dropped out from the race, I was still on 2:15:57 pace.  Even without being able to finish the race, there are some positives I will take form this training block: the training program. This was the fittest I've ever been for a marathon and I'm excited to rebuild for the next one. The chase for 2:18 will have to wait until spring 2015...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week 17


This is my last full week of training before the Twin Cities Marathon. I was feeling a bit sick early in the week, but I think I'm finally back to normal. I will have another entry later in the week with a preview of my race plans and goal.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Week 16



Got in two really great workouts this week. It was a busy week at my real job (at UMass Lowell) and I felt a bit tired from non-running related activities. However, I had to get in 2 key workouts this week: the progression run and the 16 mile tempo. The progression run was great. Goal was to run about 90%MP for first half (slightly sub 6:00 per mile) and then run the last 5 miles at roughly Half Marathon pace (about 5:00 per mile for me). I ran about 45 seconds faster than the same exact workout before Boston Marathon 2014. It provides me with a huge boost of confidence knowing and feeling in much better shape. On Saturday, the plan was to run between 5:15-5:18 per mile for 16 miles. I was a bit nervous because of lack of sleep/rest and I had to be done warmed up and start the tempo at 6:30am, a bit earlier than I'm used to work out.. However, I'm glad to say this was by far the best and smoothest MP tempo run I've ever done. It felt great clicking off some sub 5:10. I ended up running about 1 minute 40 seconds faster than the same tempo before Boston Marathon. Looking forward to a "medium" week next week, followed by an easy week.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 15


This was an "ok" week for training. I didn't feel much rested because I had to move some things around my non-running related schedule. I finished 2nd in the 10k race, just getting outkicked in the last 200m. This was a good tune up race that definitely served its purpose. I felt strong with running low 4:50s but didn't necessarily feel "fast". Only 3 weeks left until TC Marathon. Basically 1 more hard week then 2 easier weeks. It will be crucial to make sure I take very good care of myself in the next weeks.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Week 14


Three very good workouts this week. Time to make the final push in training. Starting to visualize the course and the race. Feeling excited for the race.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Week 13


Very happy with the workout on Wednesday, about a full minute overall faster than I did in my Boston block. These type of workouts can really stay in your legs for days. With a weekend race approaching, I took a day off to allow injury prevention, proper rest and recovery. I was happy with my win and effort at the USATF-NE 15k hosted by GMAA in Burlington, VT. Knowing that it was a bit humid and windy, my goal was to sit in the pack through at least 6 miles and make a good move at the end. I closed the last 4 miles at a good pace and felt like I had more at the finish. It's getting close to TC Marathon but I still have some more key workouts to get in. I feel good about where my fitness is right now. Need to stay on top of the little things.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Week 12


This was an OK week that could've been a little better. I wanted to get in another workout mid-week but experienced some slight shin pain. Instead of pushing for the workout, I just stayed smart and listened to my body. Eventually the shin pain went away. I was a bit nervous because it felt similar to the shin pain that cost me 6 weeks of training in May and June, different leg though. On the positive side, very happy with both the 5k effort (goal was about 15 flat) and the 20 mile tempo (goal was about 1:50 flat). Really looking forward to the last one-third of this marathon block. This week I will be racing a 15k race in VT. I will most likely go into the race a bit tired but it will be interesting to see what kind of pace I can hold. Anything sub 5 flat would be solid.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Week 11


Another solid week of training. I had to cut back on racing this weekend to be able to fit in workouts and recover. Feeling very good about where my fitness is at with 7 weeks to go before Twin Cities.