Saturday, June 5, 2010

54:40 or fight

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Hello everyone. Dan here. It's been a while since I've written here last, but let's catch up, shall we?

Nik's doing great -- for now, she's been on a "run whatever I feel like running" running plan, which I can totally get behind. She just started a marathon training plan and is trying out some new options for fueling on the go. I'm planning on writing more about that soon.

As for me, I ran today. It was a speedwork day, and after looking through my running logs for a while, checking the old splits, I realized today I ran my fastest mile yet at 10:39.

Go ahead -- sneer if you must! That's fast for me! I'm a big guy still! Plus I'm lazy! Really lazy! And it was hot out, too.

Since the last half-marathon I ran in early May, I've been fed up with running longer distances in half-marathon training. It's not the distance that gets to me -- it's how damn long it takes.  My usual pace had been nestled comfortably in the bosom of mid-12-minute-miles for a while. I can log decent mileage at that speed, but I spend what seems like the best part of a day out there once you factor in all the prep, the running itself, the logging, and the post-run staring-into-space.

When I come home after an extra long day at the office, the weather sucks, I haven't eaten in hours, and I know I've got a 7-miler ahead of me that will take me just under an hour and a half, it's a pain in the ass -- I can kiss every free minute left in the day goodbye.  I'm a man with many interests that need attention! My Facebook restaurant can't run itself, pal.

After the NJ half, Nik and I decided I wouldn't run any more half-marathons this year. I've proven I can be out there in motion for almost 3 hours, or in the case of the New Jersey half, 3 hours. Instead, I've come up with a schedule of much shorter races to see me through the end of the year -- a bunch of 5Ks, at least one 8K, a 5-miler, and a 10K or two. I even bought myself a copy of Pete Pfitzinger's "Road Racing for Serious Runners" and used it to build myself a nice 5K plan with lots of speedwork built in. Yes, I read a running book. I'm not all the way through it yet, so don't quiz me. I'm getting there, I'm getting there. What, you want a book report? I'm not on trial here!

Go here to see the details of my 5K plan. It's 12 weeks long and takes you up to 21 miles a week.

I'm 4 weeks in, as of this writing. Has it been working? As I said before, I ran my fastest mile ever and didn't even notice it until later. The other week I ran a 5K road race in Berkley (a few towns over) and got a PR -- 33:24, so a 10:44 pace. That's the fastest I've ever run without falling downhill. I'm also now mostly out of the 12s and into the 11 minute-mile range pretty comfortably. With any luck and a little less beer I'm hoping to settle into the 10s somewhere -- anywhere -- this year.

Here's my schedule of races for the rest of the year. These are the ones I've already signed up for, anyway -- there are at least one other 5K, 8K, and 10K nearby I can do, and I may sign up closer to the dates.


  • Next Sunday: Day of Portugal 5K, New Bedford: I haven't decided whether or not I'll run this one in my luchador mask. We'll see if (a) it's too hot to run 3 miles in a wrestling mask and (b) if I know anybody running, in which case I'll leave the mask at home, thank you very much. People I know think I'm weird enough as it is...
  • July 3: Mattapoisett Road Race, the Poi: I've run this race before. Last time I ran it I was still running in 13-minute-mile territory. We'll see how I do this time. Plus, I'll get to run with John From The Poi, which is always a treat.
  • July 4: Harvard Pilgrim 10K, Foxboro: This will be my first 10K race in over a year. I've run easily faster than my 10K race PR in training, so I'm hoping I can do that again. It should be a great race -- you end up in the endzone at Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots play. I hate football, but what the hell. 
  • Oct. 9: ING Hartford 5K, Hartford: It's not the prettiest course, but it allows me an opportunity to try for a course PR. I ran this in 2009 and did pretty well -- we'll see how far I've come in a year.
  • Nov. 20: Rothman Institute 8K, Philadelphia: I've never run an 8K race before. It's practically 5 miles, but not quite. Isn't that interesting? It isn't? I'm going anyway. I've made a personal time goal for this race: 54:40. That's just under an 11-minute mile. My goals are modest. It's 54:40 or fight! Reacquaint yourself with American history if that doesn't ring a bell. Gordon will get it...

6 comments:

CTBamaFan said...

Way to go Dan. Sounds like speed is getting better. Important thing is to be active, and it sounds like you have made some prudent decisions.

Tried going to look at your spreadsheet, but looks like you don't have it set up for public viewing. Either that, or you just don't like me.

Dan said...

Doh! Didn't have the permissions set correctly on that.

Should be fixed now! Thanks.

OasisDouglas said...

What an awesome plan. It sounds like you have a very fun running season ahead of you... and it looks like a lot of PRs are possible too.

Thanks so much for taking the time to share. I'm one of your newer fans (only started listening last week and I'm on Esp 04) that found out about you from (many more that one) other running podcasts. You are legends in the running community and it's going to be especially fun for me as I get to know you from the back episodes and your current exploits in speed.

Have fun!!!

Dan said...

Thanks, Doug! Wow, episode 4. Sorry for the lousy audio quality -- it gets better, I promise, so stick with it...

Alisa said...

Nice work Dan! I have no doubt that you'll settle into the 10's in no time.

Justin and I are still coming out to boston/Maine this summer. We will be in Boston for two short days probably just June 24th and 25th driving to Maine on June 26th. We will then be in Maine (near NH border) until July 2nd though. Thoughts??

keens sandals said...

This is great! Plenty of electrolyte drink to try to. Amazing! I only tried making homemade energy gel. The rest is new to me. Thanks for sharing.
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--Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward. ~Soren Kierkegaad

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