Sunday, July 16, 2006

Who Will Coach Me for 10 Days?

OK, people, this is not difficult. I need a workout schedule for the next 10 days. I'm too busy to think about this for the next 6 days. This is where you come in. Simply come up with a workout schedule for the remaining days. I'll write a haiku for the person who comes up with the schedule I use.

Thank you, so far, to Turnip, Anne and Tammy for suggestions and references.

But I'll make it even easier for you. Just copy and paste the following template into a comment and make your suggestions. I've even filled in some parameters and my last few workouts. Here's what last week looked like (a week in which I worked 80 hours -- next week I will probably only do 60 hours at work -- I shouldn't have to miss any workouts):

Sunday - Medium 10 miles
Monday - Rest
Tuesday - Missed
Wednesday - Intervals: 1 mile warmup, 6 X 800m in 3:20/2 minute recovery, 1 mile cooldown (6 miles total)
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Fartlek (speed-play) 5 miles on trails
Saturday - Missed
Sunday - Medium 9 miles

Here's a template to use:

Tuesday (speed workout?)
Thursday (speed workout?)
Friday [Fly to Phoenix in the evening]
Saturday [On vacation now]
Sunday (speed workout?)
Tuesday (sharpening? strideouts?)
Wednesday - 1 mile race (probably at night)

[Hint: I have not done any intervals shorter than 600m this year -- I probably should now (400's, 300's). Also, last year I ran a 6:53 mile -- I think I can beat that.]

Who will get the haiku?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tough Decision (and) Need Some Help

Wow. It's been a week and a half since I posted. You'll see why as you read.

Life happens sometimes. Things come up that even the best planning cannot avoid. This is one of those things. No, it's not terrible news. But there was a little grieving. And it was a tough decision to make.

Things became very intense at work (read that as - we are under a LOT of pressure). As a result, I am currently in the middle of an 80-hour work week. Next week will be almost as bad. In order to spend what little spare time I have left over with my wife, something had to give.

I am not running the marathon this weekend.

Yes, it is disappointing to be this close and not do it. I really was (am) ready to run a marathon. But it became "not the right thing to do". I'm still sort of getting over it.

I will stand in solidarity with Lara - who exercised great patience in not running a race she really wanted to run, but knew was not in her best interest for her longer range plans. With me as well, this marathon would not have been a fast one. Too hot. And not doing this marathon gives me more flexibility and control in planning for my next one (in the Fall/early Winter). And so I can take a long range view of things. So I lost my entry fee. I'm saving the hotel and gas expenses. [Also, as a very nice bonus, my company is sending my wife and I to a Red Sox game on Sunday afternoon. Not complaining one bit. Go Red Sox!]

So why do I need help? Glad you asked.

Here I am in the last week of the taper for a marathon I'm not going to do. What do I do now? I want to spend the next two weeks sharpening my speed as much as possible, and then race 1 mile on a track. I want to see how fast I can run 1 mile. Two weeks from tonight. The problem is, how do I prepare for it?

I was up to 50 miles in a week and then tapered. I've done intervals once a week, none shorter than 600 meters, and as long as 1 mile intervals (3 X 1m). I want to work on speed for the next two weeks, and then run a 1 mile time trial on a track. And I need your help. The help of all you bloggers and lurkers.

I don't have time to devise a plan. So how about a contest?!

I need you to come up with a running plan for the next two weeks, culminating in the 1 mile time trial. I could spend time researching and trying to figure it out, but I don't have time. I want you to come up with a two week plan and leave it in the comments for this post.

I got the idea this evening. I ran 10 miles Sunday night and then missed Monday and Tuesday -- I was planning a recovery run, but it didn't happen. So today I needed to do something more intense.

I saw what Elizabeth just ran: 1 mile warmup, 6 X 800m intervals/3 min recovery, 1 mile cooldown. So I just decided to do the same workout -- and I didn't have to think about it! I did the 800's at the pace of her slowest one -- about 3:20, and used 2 minute recoveries. It felt great. (Thanks, Elizabeth!)

So here are the parameters for the "contest":

1. I just ran 6 X 800m intervals today, so tomorrow will be an easy day -- 4 or 5 miles on the trails.

2. Workouts, except for maybe a long run on Sunday, need to be less than an hour, at least for the next week and a half. Short, but intense.

3. You know the general guideline: alternate hard and easy.

4. I have access to some cross-training equipment: rowing machine, cycling, some weights.

5. The max speed on the treadmill is 9.0 mph (6:40/mile pace). I discovered that tonight.

6. A week from Friday, will probably have to be a day off -- I work until 4:00 and then I have a flight from Boston to Phoenix. Once in Arizona, I am on vacation, but the heat will require early morning workouts -- and the next morning (Saturday) would be questionable. I'll be recovering from all the work hours.

7. I ran a 6:53 mile last year. I should be able to beat that. But I haven't gone under 6:30 in 10 years.

8. The goal is a 1 mile time trial two weeks from tonight.

9. Leave a 2-week schedule in the comments -- I'll choose one and we'll see what happens in 2 weeks.

10. I'll make the final determination on Sunday (even though I will be a few days into the schedule).

And what is the incentive? What will the submitter of the winning workout schedule receive?

A personalized HAIKU written just for you.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Weekend in the Big Apple

The last time we did this, I missed my long run due to a bizzard that brought everything in NYC to a standstill.

I missed another run. Only the second missed workout since last February. At least this time it was a short recovery run that I missed.

We're in Brooklyn helping our daughter move to a new apartment. We got a late start out of Boston yesterday and by the time we unloaded the stuff we brought down here, and then made two trips from the old apartment to the new one, we were all tired and it was late. No sense in adding a "recovery" run on top of that, when I planned to do a medium/long run the next day.

Today, Sunday, I took the subway up to Manhattan and got off by Central Park. It was 9:00 am by the time I started. I did two loops around the park (not sure how far it is, but I suspect somewhere around 6 miles), plus a diversion to the restrooms, plus an extra loop around the reservoir (the place you always see runners in Central Park -- think Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man -- "Is it safe?"), plus a little extra around the south end of the park, to make a total of about 15 miles. It was quite warm by the time I finished and I was drenched. I waited around for my wife and daughter to meet me. When they arrived, we went and got a bagel and coffee.

Then we proceeded to spend the entire day walking around New York City. First Macy's -- I found a coffee shop, then all around Soho. By the time we got back to Brooklyn, my feet were just aching. After a bit of a rest while my wife and daughter went out to get some groceries, we are now about to make some dinner -- and so I must sign off.