Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Marathon #106...Marquette Marathon...done!

Well I guess you could say that the marathon 'cram' was a success...but I'm not sure if I wanna do that again!
To set the marathon stage, The Marquette Marathon is a small marathon in an even smaller town, my hometown, Marquette, MI.  Race date was Saturday August 31st, 2013.  I ran my first marathon there in 1981, I think in 3:02. 
Jen and I drove to Marquette on Friday.  After a late start, we pulled into Marquette (following a 7 hour drive) at 7:45p local time...shit, expo closes at 9:00...and I still need to register!
Good dinner, good sleep and I'm ready to rumble.
Saturday morning, race day, and I feel grand.  I have a good breakfast (NO Diet Pepsi), and we head to the start.  No Garmin today, I'm going to run off 'feel' and just let my playlist guide me. 
The plan (?) is to run 7:40's from the start, be consistent and run 3:24:59 to hit my Boston time by the 5:01 over mark, allowing me to sign up on week 1.  Well, plans change... 
Favorite shoes, (Mizuno Precision)...check; gel flask full of PowerGel, favorite Brooks shorts and Brooks/BP tech top and a loaded iPod...I'm ready. 
With my gel, as well as my hydration, I stuck to the plan...7 gels total, early and often...I was one of the only runners to take a gel and 2 cups at mile 1.5 :)

Standing at the start line, doubt is heavy on my mind...minimal training, limited quality, sore left calf, family health battles weighing heavy with me... "How am I going to run 26+ miles at 7:40 pace when I have only done 1 run beyond 9 miles in the past couple of months?" ...but at some point, you just need to get it done.  I have years of base, and years of experience...what will be different about THIS marathon?  Nothing...dammit, Derek, just put your head down and push...you need Boston, you and Jen need Boston.
As we begin the 2 loop course in and around Marquette, most of our miles will be run on paved bike trails...a gradual climb from miles 3.5-5/16.5-18...could it be any more beautiful than this?  Marquette really is paradise.  A town of roughly 20,000 residents, situated on the shores of Lake Superior and home to Northern Michigan University and the Olympic Training Center, and apparently, a very supportive community, as we had an endless supply of spectator support on the course.
...Mile 1, 7:02, mile 2, 6:59...mile 3, 7:04...what the hell?  Why did this feel so easy?  "Slow the hell down, Derek!" 7:11, 7:06...10 miles in 1:10:40 and the half in 1:33 and change.  "Hey, toolbox, what about the 7:40 plan?"  Well, the course is fast, weather is amazing...and that playlist...  How long can I hold this crazy pace?  Can I hold on and finish 20 minutes under my Boston qualifying time?
This race is reminding me a lot of the 2006 Baton Rouge Beach Marathon, there I also needed a Boston time after pacing my ex to a Boston time at Chicago only 6 weeks earlier.  I came into that race, as I did Marquette, undertrained, no mileage, no quality, yet ran an opening half in 1:26 and finished 5th overall and as the Master's Champion in 3:05ish, a race that still has me scratching my head.
Mile 14, 7:13, 15 in 7:11...?  In hindsight, my race went South with a strong push on mile 18, an uphill mile that I worked hard...too hard.  7:08 for 18 and then 6:59 for mile 19...and then I was done.
I hit mile 20 in roughly 2:24, 7:12 average...a huge Boston cushion.  The rest of the run was a jog/run/walk through aid stations, keeping a close eye on the watch so I kept my 10:00+ Boston time.
3:17:54.  RESULTS  The time was good enough for 28th overall, 3rd in my age group.  (Pretty sweet AG awards!)
Negative splits?  Ha...1:33:38 and 1:44:16, but looking back, it wasn't that ugly of a finish...with my fitness, I couldn't hold on to the opening pace for 26.2, so by the time I hit 21, it was damage control...so did the wheels really fall off physically, or mentally did I know I wasn't going to hit the 20:00 under time and just shut it down?  A question I can't answer.

A race I highly recommend, and a town you need to visit!  www.marquettemarathon.com

Post race...I need a Pepsi Max.
Next up, marathon #107 at Big Cottonwood Marathon in Salt Lake City, UT on September 14th, 2013.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Training mimics 'life'...

Happy Monday!
Finally, a quick update on the training-cram for the Marquette Marathon.
26 days to go, and things are looking good...no aches, no pains to speak of, and best of all, the scale yesterday said 180.1...perfect, as I wanted to lose these final few pounds before the race...well, they're gone, now I can focus on training!
Friday August 2nd:  Got up early and ran 11+ miles on the trails outside of Long Lake with Jan and Beth...found myself still a bit sore from the beating I took from Brett 2 days earlier on the same trails.
Saturday August 3rd:  Crazy busy day was followed up by another surprising speed workout...surprising in that I'm not hurt yet.  After my 6 x 800's last week, I had a great stretch followed by an ice bath.  This week, time limitations only allowed me 45 minutes, so I did a quick 1.5 mile warm-up followed by 4 x 800 in 2:28, 2:33, 2:36 and a strong 2:28.  I couldn't have done 8 at this pace, but it was perfect for 4 of them.  6.5 miles in 46:08...perfect.  A solid stretch and core, yummy.
Sunday August 4th:  First let me say, I had an amazing weekend with Jen...from Friday night at the lake, to all day Saturday and our incredible Sunday...training mimics 'life.  When life is good, rewarding, and you're head over heels in love, you seem to train with a spring in your step, with purpose.  I'm training hard for Marquette for US, so we can go to Boston together next April...meaning every workout, everything I eat, the core/lifting and stretching...it all has a purpose...and it feels damn good!
For my/our workout on Sunday, we got up and had breakfast before we loaded up the packs and headed out the door on the mountain bikes. "Let's ride to Lake Calhoun" we said...that's not a bad ride from Eden Prairie.  Well, we couldn't leave well enough alone...got to the Lakes and decided to ride to St. Paul for lunch.  45+ miles and 4 hours later, we made it back...just in time for a nappy :)
I followed the night up with a solid lift session at Life Time Cross Town.  I may be sore tomorrow :) 

Stay tuned for updates this week...speed on Tuesday and a 20+ miler with Jan on Thursday!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Don' Be P####

When things get tough, and they will get tough while racing, (and if they don't get tough, you're not racing hard enough) just remember these heartfelt words from the Russian Ski team, "Don't Be P####"...
Couldn't have said it better myself.

Coach D

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dropping out is for pansies...

'If you’re just having a bad day, then grit your teeth and tough it out. You will have a lot more respect for yourself if you finish then if you drop out. Once you drop out of a race, it becomes easier to drop out of another. It is easy to race hard when you feel good...What makes a true champion is someone that finishes the race despite having the “worst day of his life”. Don’t give up on yourself because you think you’re having a bad day. The legs might come around and you might surprise yourself on the next lap. If you quit you’ll never know what might have happened.'  Coach D

Saturday, March 30, 2013

High School

Found this picture last week on Facebook, a picture I posted a couple of years ago and never thought much more about it until an old high school teammate posted a comment on FB about my Senior year in CC and track.
This picture means a lot to me, it was a great day. 1981 UP Championships and I was a Senior at Marquette High School, Marquette, MI. Can you pick me out of the group?  I actually had hair. I am top left. Next to me is Paul Hughes and John Kingston.  Kneeling is Jay Caster and Ron Specker. John and I ran the 880 and 1600 while the other 3 all ran the 3200. I finished 4th in the 1600 and 7th in the 880 in training shoes...I was a young Senior and didn't know what spikes were...my only year in track.
Memories.  ...who would have guessed that 32 years later I would still be running, albeit a bit slower.

Saturday Run March 30th, 2013

...15.25 miles at 7:35-7:40 pace in the cold and rain, thanks for dragging me out, Brett!
Ran in the Brooks Ghost again today, but I'm due for new ones (Hint, hint...)...probably have 400+ on them and the feet felt it this morning.
But what a great run.  Brett had the course mapped out ahead of time, and the rain really wasn't that bad...I'll take the rain and 38 degrees over snow and -15 :)
A quick 4+ miles tonight before tomorrow's loooong ride...I'm feeling like I'm getting fit. (If I could only lose these 10 unwanted pounds, I'd be set!)

Hoppy Easter!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Hoka One One

...ok, so I have 30+ miles on the Hoka One One's, only run at night of course, and I have to say, they still feel great!  The cushion is amazing, and they're a bit more responsive than I thought they would be.
I have worn them 7 times for a total of roughly 32 recovery miles...and so far, so good.  maybe use them on a training run soon? 
...but good golly, they're ugly, hence the only wearing them at night :)

This week...

It's the Friday before Easter, and I've gotta say, I feel more like a runner now than I have since TCM.  Finally, a solid run, one where I felt strong, good pacing and felt great when I was done.  I'm talking about yesterday's 10 mile run from Woodbury to Hudson. 
Ok, I know, it's 9 miles of downhill followed by a killer up, but to clip along at 7:18 pace like it was nothing, followed by a strong UP-hill mile, I'm happy. 
I made it to Life Time today for a quick 45 minute spin along with a nice upper body weight session...I'm hoping to be ready for tomorrows long run.  Brett, easy on me!

Other highlights from this week included a solid 90 threshold ride on Sunday followed by a 4+ mile run in the new Hoka One One's...but more on those in another post.
A great week for core and strength as well.

...biggest concern for the week is my weight.  TCM race shape weight was 175ish...on Tuesday I weighed in at 187.  Holy shit!  Where did those 10 pounds come from?  Am I lifting too much, or is it all the Jack's frozen pizza's?  I NEED to be 179 on May 18th...I WILL be 179 for Fargo, or it's off to shopping in the 'husky' department at Fleet Farm for my next pair of jeans :)

Hoppy Easter, and thanks for checking in!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Designing a workout...

Happy Friday!
6 days after Get Lucky, and I feel great.  Feet might be a little sore, but I think that's because I'm old...
Wednesday I went to Life Time to continue my work on Epic #25...a combination of workouts 13 and 21...so here's how it went:
30 minutes on the bike as written in Epic #21
2 MILES run at 9.2 (6:34 pace)
15 minutes on the bike
1 x 1 MILE at 9.5 (6:22)
15 minutes on the bike
1 x 1 MILE at 9.8 (6:10)
15 minutes on the bike
4 x 2 MINUTES at 10.0, 10.2, 10.0 and 10.4
2 minute breaks at 7.3
20 minutes on the bike...
Ok, not killer or EPIC, but it's a workout in the making.  Eventually I'd like to get this dialed in where the 2 mile leg is run at :10 under HM (Half Marathon) race pace, the 1 mile legs run :20 under, and the 2:00 legs run at :30 under.  ...so given my current fitness level at 1:26, I should be able to roll through the 2 mile at 9.4, the 1 miles at 9.7 and the 2:00 legs run at 10.0... I'll give it another shot in 2 weeks...

The rest of the week?
Sunday March 17th: 75 minutes on the trainer at LT...Z2+
Monday March 18th: 7 miles of easy running at 7:39 avg/Lift at LT
Tuesday March 19th: OFF Day with core
Wednesday March 20th: EPIC 25
Thursday March 21th:  1:40 run outside...averaged just under 7:30 (7:29.98) pace for the run, but brrrr! ...is it ever going to warm up?
Should end up with 40 miles of running and 4.5 hours on the bike for the week...and a lot of core :)

I WILL be in shape when I turn 50 in May!

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Get Lucky Pacing

That was chilly...
Pacing at 1:35:00...and it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.  Cold, windy, slippery...
Next up, Chippewa 50K...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Gonna be brrrrr...

3 days until the Get Lucky Half...forecast is calling for 13 degrees at the start of the race...last year we ran in 80 degree weather...wth?  I am supposed to be pacing a couple guys at 1:35, but how?  I'm such a freeze-baby, I'll have to sport 3 layers of clothing...along with a green tutu, of course :)
Training has been going ok...though I did have a solid run tonight in Woodbury ...8+ miles at a titch under 7:30 pace with Scott from Rachaels house.
7:46 first mile to warm up and mile 8 we were able to roll in 7:11, though it felt like work...
HERE is the course we ran...
Tomorrow I'll spin for 30+ minutes and lift...Friday will only be a few miles with strides...and Saturday, I'm looking to feel good, 17+ total for the morning, followed by a late afternoon 60 minute spin before the big night out.
The big night out...my favorite bar with some amazing friends...though it was only 2 years ago that this bar meant a whole lot more :( 

...also, I am beginning to finalize my 2013 race calender...I'll post it as soon as I can.  Up next after my pacing at GL, a 31 mile trail run/long run, Chippewa 50K, baby!  NOT racing...but I DO need the miles before Fargo/Green Bay!

Happy St. Patricks Day! :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Marathon double...

So here is what I'm thinking...the weekend of May 18th and 19th, not only do I wanna pace at Fargo on Saturday the 18th, I wanna roll at the Green Bay Marathon the next day...
Drive to Fargo on Friday the 17th, pace/race on Saturday at 3:10...relax after the race with friends...maybe a cocktail (?), and then hop in the car and drive to Green Bay...about an 8 hour drive...rest up and run GB Sunday morning...maybe become a 3:40 pacer?

Fun and busy weekend indeed... :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year!

Has it really been that long since I last posted?  What a crazy 3+ months it has been...getting sick right before TCM took it's toll on me.  I was ready to rumble, but it was just not to be last year...so what do you do?  Saddle up and take 'er for another ride...so Fargo Marathon in May, here I come!
I will be pacing at 3:10 on May 18th (3:09:59) which will not only get a group of athletes into Boston for 2014, it will put me in Wave 1, 20+ minutes under (over?) my qualifying time.  Remember, I'm old, as I jump into the 50-54 age group this year, so I think I only need a 3:35 to qualify...

So stay tuned...and Happy New Year!


Happy Thursday...but wow, where did the week/month go? Memorial Day weekend already? I DO like the fact that summer/warmth is here, but it&#...