Rock n Roll, all the way to Savannah!

It’s been over a month since my last post and I’ve had a few ‘blog worthy’ moments since then.  I ran a short 5k in Summerville sponsored by the shoe store I work for, Phillips Shoes.  It was a short 5k due to the wide neighborhood roads.  The group who put on the race claim that it is a USATF certified course, but my trusty Garmin begs to differ.  If the course was mapped in a car then it would be close to 3.1 miles, but runners cut through curvy roads like a school of fish through water.  By taking the inside route on every turn, we shaved off a great deal of the course.  By the end of the race my watch read 2.80 miles and 17:15 which is a HUGE personal record for me. Although that time is official,  there is no way I can mentally accept it.  That aside, it was a fun race for an awesome cause. All of the proceeds went to helping train Phoenix Athletes and to fund the Wounded Warrior Project.  I have mad respect for those guys and gals Click here to see the official results.

I tried to stack as many base miles as I could in June and only took three days off of running during the month.  I averaged around 25 miles/ week establishing a solid foundation leading into my marathon training plan.  Last Thursday I registered for the last race of the Bulldog Breakaway 5k Twilight Series at the Citadel that benefits the Citadel’s track program.  The turn out for those races are pretty minimal and the competition is usually on the lighter side so I decided to use it as more of a speed work/training run. I started the race in front and held my position until I was passed around the 2 mile mark.  My quads were cramping badly and I nearly dropped out of the race completely, but I slowed my pace down and let the guy ahead further his lead a bit but didn’t let him out of my sight.  I was approaching 2.5 miles and by this time I was getting use to the pain. I knew that I had to make my move soon or I would take 2nd place again like so many times before!  I focussed in on the guy in front and tried to close the gap between us.  His form was sporadic and he wasn’t wearing a watch.  That’s when I knew that was getting tired and he had no clue that he ran his first mile at a sub 6min/mile pace on a humid night in Charleston, South Carolina.  That was just the motivation I needed to begin my kick!  I lengthened my stride, focussed on my breathing, and repeated my Caballo Blanco mantra, “Easy, Light, Smooth, and Fast”.  I finally caught him, passed him, and continued to kick all the way to the Finish line without looking back. I looked around as if I’d just won the gold medal at the Olympics in London! Instead I was greeted at the finish line with light golf claps. Nonetheless, it was music to my ears.  I Won. I finally won a damn race! I was ecstatic inside, but humbly hid my emotion from the second place gentlemen who crossed the finish line 10 seconds behind me.   My time was slower compared to my other 5k races, but I have a feeling the heat/cramps had a lot to do with that.  I read that running in temperatures above 70 degrees can make you up to 15% slower. I believe that the heat and cramps, combined with my lack of speed work was the cause for my slow time. But  a win’s a win and it felt damn good!

Although it was a small 5k, I finally chased down my goal of winning one and now I can focus on the larger goal ahead, the Rock n Roll Marathon in Savannah, Georgia on November 3rd 2012! To further challenge myself, I want to complete it in less than 3hrs to qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2014.  Last year I ran the Chicago Marathon in 3 hrs 43 minutes using an 18 week advanced Hansons-Brooks distance project training plan (which was definitely too advanced for me at the time). I’ve come a long way since then and looking back, I’m surprised I made it across the finish line in one piece.  If you’re unfamiliar with a Hansons-Brooks training plan it basically stacks as many miles in the week as possible.  Speed work once a week for the first half, then strength training once/week in the latter half and a lot of miles in between with only one day of rest. Instead of focussing on one long run at the end of the week, the HBDP stacks more mileage throughout the week.  For Savannah I’m taking a different approach.

There is an intermediate training plan in the July 2012 edition of Runner’s World magazine that I believe will get me to my goal in record time.  It’s a 16 weeks plan developed by coach Janet Hamilton for runners who have run a marathon before and log at least 25 miles/week.  It had me written all over it!  When I looked further I noticed that it offered 2 days of rest each week too! Where do I sign up? Also unlike the HBDP, this plan includes hill work in the FIRST 8 weeks to build strength, THEN speed work in the latter half. This is to ensure I stay healthy through the training and have a strong base going into the speed portion of the plan.  Each week including some sort of tempo run at Marathon pace  sub 7min/mile for me and a Long Slow Distance run at the end of each week, this plan sounds perfect for me and I’m happy to put it to the test.  Furthermore, it’s completely adaptable to each person’s goal pace so if you’re in a similar situation with you’re running i recommend checking it out!

There are a few other ‘blog worthy’ moments worth mentioning but I’ll save those for next time!  That is, if you haven’t fallen asleep reading this one already 😉

As always, happy running, walking, cycling, summer blockbuster movie watching, and house moving!

-Michael

P.S. “Like” the page Simply Running on Facebook and gain instant access to advice and information from other runners of all types and backgrounds. You can share your own running experiences while helping to inspire others to live a more positive, healthy, and active lifestyle!

Speaking of healthy,

Michael’s beer of the month:

Foster’s in a big oil can….Australian for: “I would prefer a tasty micro-brew, but this college grad is on a budget”!

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4 responses to “Rock n Roll, all the way to Savannah!

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