9

Week 2
October 21, 2014
12 Days Until TCS NYC Marathon

Today was my last strength interval workout of the Hanson Plan. When I first transitioned from the speed phase to the strength phase of the Hanson Plan, I ran these 6x1s way too fast. I think I averaged around 6:45s. Coming of an incredibly productive speed phase where I saw my 5k time improve by 30 seconds per mile, it was hard to take it down a notch. I re-read that chapter in the book and was determined to be more disciplined as I progressed. Today the goal was to hit 7 minute miles on the button. The Garmin Forerunner was very useful for this. I felt free And easy and felt like I wasn’t going all out to reach and hold the pace…duh..that’s the goal dummy. I came as close as possible and was very happy with the result.
Afterward I compared my results with last weeks 4x1.5 repeats. I remember feeling terrible and having a hard time staying on pace. I felt fatigued still from the Staten Island Half, and I was complaining of some chest pains. Looking at the splits and my heart rate zones paints a telling picture of why my performance was where it was last week. Last week I spent half the work out at max HR. This week, I didn’t spend 1 second in my max HR zone..the HRM reflects how I felt and when you think about it, it makes sense. Interesting stats, I just need to understand why I had to work so hard last week. For lack of further evidence, I’m gonna say it was fatigue from the half. I don’t want to say the chest pains. I had some still today just maybe they were a little more last week.
Anyway..that’s it. 2 more days til taper time

8

November 12, 2014
Week 4
20 Days Until TCS NYC Marathon

Congratulations to all Chicago Marathon finishers. I’m looking forward to all that good information you have to share. The one advantage I have is I get to watch you guys train 3 weeks before me and I get to use all that good intel for my big day. 
Today for me was the Staten Island half and the plan was to run an additional 5 miles after to complete my 18 miles required for the day. My goal for the half was to average under 7 minute miles..that was the primary goal for me. I’ve recently been able to break that boundary over just about every race distance i’ve ever raced in except for the half and full 26.2. Today was the day to finally reach that goal. 

The Hanson Plan really has me at the best I’ve ever been. With the Hanson Plan over the last 15 weeks, I’ve set PR’s in 5k,4 mile, 5 mile, 10k, 1 mile, 10 mile and Half Marathon races. I now set my sights on the big cookie. I feel the Hanson plan has done everything it was advertised to do. I’m faster and stronger. My running efficiency is the best its ever been. I know exactly what I am going to get out of my body over a given distance on any given day. The senses are like spidey sensitive yo! I can find a pace, and pound it for a long time without over exterting myself. The only thing left, before I go singing the praises of the Hanson Method…is to get this NYC Marathon. Today was the penultimate race before the big day. This is it. Just a couple more strength workouts and a couple 10 mile tempo runs…then its taper time. Todays race was as perfect as I have ever run a race at any distance. 

PreRace
Overnight oats with almond milk, water and a gatorade for breakfast. It was real early and I didn’t have much of an appetite but I forced myself to eat a good amount. This is the first half marathon in a long time where I will actually fuel in race. I need the practice for the marathon. I packed a couple of salt tablets, 2 powerbar gu’s and a bag of some energy beans. All things I have used before and don’t mess with my stomach.

5k
The first 5k was methodical. I was in the front pack, thanks to a good time at the Percy Sutton 5k. I was averaging right around 7 minute miles. There were a lot of people that I could just see were going out way too fast. I would look at them and try to guess at what point reality will become a piano for them. It was a fun game to play while the first few miles ticked down and I settled into my groove. I just got my watch a couple days ago, I was using my garmin and endomondo to track the time. The first miles were way off. It seemed that the watch was right on the money with the official markers while endomondo was about a tenth of a mile too fast. I decided at this point to use the watch as my official timekeeper for the race.  The course was nice. No crazy hills yet. Just a few rollers and the weather was perfect so far. It was cool early in the morning, but now the sun was out and it is perfect conditions for running. At this point I had my first fuel stop. It was just 2 gulps of gatorade and a gulp of water.

10k 
I found a groove and I’m just pounding it. Lungs felt great. Like I’m right at the spot I can hold for a long time without losing my breath, and having to recover. I do a quick scan of the legs for tightness, soreness etc and the inventory comes back negative. I start looking ahead and figure that I will hold this 7 minute pace until after the turnaround. On the way back there will be a hill but I can take it hard and still have enough left to get a negative split on the second half of the race. I’m thinking I can drop my pace down to 6:50 and hold it. I’m starting to feel like a machine. I now take my second fuel break. 2 gulps of gatorade, 1 PowerBar Gu and 2 gulps of water. I use the rest of the water to rinse my hands so they won’t be sticky. I barely slow down to get this done and I’m off and running right away. It was easier than I thought. 

15k 
I’ve started picking up the pace a little. My strategy at this point is, since I’m averaging right close to 7 on the dot, I can get a couple of 6:40ish miles and the rest in the 6:50s and I will average a sub 7. There is a hill around mile 9, but I take it strong and average a 6:50ish mile anyway. After this hill comes Mile 10, and I realize I just ran a faster 10 miles than I did in the bronx 10 miler. Two more gulps of gatorade, a few energy beans and a sip of water at the fule station and I’m on my way. 

20k
I am really moving. This was my fastest 5k of the day. I averaged a 6:41 on this 5k. I can’t believe I’m running at this speed so late in this race. I do a quick inventory of the lungs and legs and all systems are go. I feel like I can keep pounding this pace til the finish line and probably beyond if I had too. I’m done with the fueling. I just want to make time. This is when I start looking at the official time and I see that I am not that far off going sub 1:30. If i have a few really fast miles I can pull it off…but no. I would have to go sub 30 for at least 2. Thats my best 5k pace right now. No way I want to try that and end up getting anearobic too early and falling flat on my face. I want to stay in control and take what I can take. I’m closing in on the Staten Island Ferry and I know a sub 7 pace is more than likely. Now I really want to get into those 1:30s. If i can’t break 1:30 I at least want to be less than a minute away. 

21k
I have the finish within site and I am pouring it on. Leaving it all out there. over the last 3 miles must have passed a hundred people. I am cooking with gas. I come down a long ramp right before the entrance to the ballpark. I see the offical time and it looks like I am going to do this. I sprint to the finish and there it is. 1:30:29. If i had known I was going to be so close to a sub 1:30 I would have maybe made my move a bit earlier. But I am super happy with my time. The Hanson Plan has me poised to do what I need to do come marathon day. The fueling was a huge difference. I was able to get stronger as the race went along and I totally felt the difference. When I finished the bronx 10 miler a couple weeks ago i didn’t fuel and I felt it at the end. Then I had to run another 7 miles and they were miserable. Today I felt great after the half. i felt like I didn’t use any muscle today. Like it was all lungs and heels. After the race I hung out with some friends for a bit, ate an apple another gu, some water a gatorade and a half bagel. Then I took off for a 5 mile run home to get me to 18 for the day. Along the way I had another gu. I felt so good I did an extra 2 miles at the end to get myself to 20 miles in 2:30 minutes on the day. 

Brooklyn Half Marathon 2014 Race Recap: Part One

It’s been a few days since 25K+ runners crossed the finished line at the Brooklyn Half. What an incredible race. I’m so grateful that I live in New York City and am able to experience such iconic events. 

I think this race will always hold a special place in my heart. The Brooklyn Half was my gate way drug to endurance sport. Last year, I had a crazy idea to run in it, after never going more than 3 miles all at once in my life. After 10 weeks of training, I was able to finish at 1:57:29

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This year, after having a few more races under my belt; completing both the Ironman 70.3 Timberman and the NYC Marathon, the Brooklyn Half felt different. I trained hard for this race, with a better understanding in running and an actual running coach (Hi, Jess!), I walked up to the start with confidence. I took off 13 minutes from last year, finishing in 1:44:38. 

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It’s funny how your perspectives can change. Last year, I would look at a 5 mile run as a huge ordeal; this year, 5 miles is a standard distance. Last year, I would scoff at any run over an 1 hour; this year, I feel like I start hitting my stride after 60 minutes. Last year, I didn’t vary my running workouts at all; this year, I experimented with tempo, hills, long slow distances and intervals. 

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I say this a lot, but the body is a machine. It will adapt to whatever you throw at it. It will change, for better or for worse, given the circumstances you put it in. It is both incredibly empowering and incredibly scary. It is up to us how we want to condition our body, we just have to decide what we want. 

Brooklyn Half Marathon Training - Tempo Run

I’m typically a morning runner. I like to get to my workout first thing. I feel like when I get to work, I’m so focused at the task at hand that I feel like I don’t want to break my rhythm. Today, it was such a gorgeous spring day, I took an hour after lunch and ran on the West Side Highway. It was beautiful. 

Here was my workout:

tempo run workout

I’ve done tempo runs in the past, but after actually having a run coach, I am now just realizing that all my tempo runs were too slow. I did read somewhere that amateur runners take the slow days too fast and the fast days too slow. You see improvement but you never reach your true potential. That was definitely going through my head as I was doing this run.

Being that it was my first tempo, it was painful. I was happy to hit the stop watch and didn’t go a second over the 25 minutes. 

Tempo

Mile 1: 7:25

Mile 2: 7:39

Mile 3: 7:37

.3 miles: 2:19

I ran slightly faster than the prescribed time partially since I was running with a friend. It did feel a bit fast for my current level. Looking forward to seeing my numbers improve.

2

5/18/13 Coney Island

Coney Island is where the Brooklyn Half Marathon finishes. After running 13.1 miles through Prospect Park and down Ocean Parkway, runners cross the finish line on the Coney Island Boardwalk right in front of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs. It’s a fun course.

My Official Time: 1:53:50 

10

Week 3
October 18, 2014
14 Days Until TCS NYC Marathon

Yesterday I had a10 mile tempo run scheduled. But I wasn’t able to run during work, and by the time I got home it was really dark out. I tried to get it in anyway but I couldn’t see where my feet were landing. Apparently it’s been a long time since my last dark run. After a few miles I gave up and just ran to get the miles out of the way.
On Saturday I tried to get those 10 tempo miles in. It felt hard pushing myself to get in that zone5 heart rate threshold. But my effort was in the z4 got a good amount of time. My pace wasnt where it could be, but that’s ok. Over the last few weeks I’ve proven what kind of tempo I can hold and I feel real comfortable with it. Besides after I finalize things I think I’ll aim for a 7:30 pace for the marathon. I’ve trained for a faster time, but I will probably look to be more conservative and gain some experience, yet still BQ.

Left: 6 am in my hotel room. My mind was racing. My heart was racing. I hadn’t trained as hard for this race as I have others. I had a hamstring issue the week before. I was nervous I was going to let everyone down. I was nervous I couldn’t do it. 

Then I told myself that I could. I told myself that I would do it. I was going to run the Brooklyn Half Marathon as best as I could that day. 

Right: After race photo on the boardwalk on Coney Island. I didn’t know my time just yet, but I had an idea based on the pace clocks along the course. I felt good. I felt strong. I. DID. IT. It wasn’t until after I met up with my friend that I found out my official split and pace times. 

I PR’d. I PR’d BY 7 MINS! Not to mention that 11 and 22 are my lucky numbers! 

A year ago I was at my heaviest, around 215 lbs. A year ago I couldn’t run a mile without stopping. Then I set a goal, to run the Brooklyn Half Marathon.  I ran races for a year, I completed my first half marathon during that time. 

Crossing this race off my bucket list and goals was so emotional. 

The support I get every day and hope that I give to you as well is so strong and important. YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH ANY HEALTHY GOAL YOU SET FOR YOURSELF. 

You know that saying “The body achieves what the mind believes” ? It’s true. It’s very true. We all get down on ourselves, we hit hurdles and plateaus in our fitness. We all do. But we are all here to lift each other out of those hard times. We are here to encourage, embrace and send positive support and love to one another. 

I’ll likely never meet many of you IRL, but this positive fitness and health community we have on here is a family unlike any I’ve known. For that I’m truly blessed and thank you all. Please know that I’m always available to vent to or talk about anything. Be kind to yourself, and mindful to your health.

DREAM. BELIEVE. ACHIEVE! xoxx

5

Week 4
October 10, 2014
22 Days Until TCS NYC Marathon

My first run as a 45 year old dude came and went uneventful. Just another run in an 18 week 6 day a week program. I got a Garmin forerunner 220 for my birthday. I was kind of hoping nobody would buy me a GPS watch because I’ve been meaning to buy myself the latest model but it is all good. I like it, it has plenty of the features I was looking forward to anyway. It was an easy 6 Today. Trying to take it light before the Staten Island Half Sunday. My race starts at 8:30 and I’m upset I’m going to miss much of the live tracking of my Chicago marathoners. After the half I have another 5 miles to run home so I’ll try and find some time during that run to catch up if I can. Anyway, I’ll harp on my goals for this half tomorrow.
I hope all my Chicago marathoners are hydrating and fueling in preparation. Drink lots of water, carb up and throw a Gatorade every once I a while just to build up glucose levels. Don’t wait for race day to hydrate. Whether your gunning for a sub 3, or a sub 5 you are on the same level playing as far as I’m concerned. Just another athlete trying to reach a personal goal. Rest, focus, finalize plans…then it’s Showtime baby.

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