Sunday, April 28, 2013


Saturday's route. Really like it! File away in "good 12 mile routes" folder...
Yesterday I ran twelve miles for my weekend long run. It went really well, I kept a decent clip during the run and didn't feel all that tired at the end. Today my legs are surprisingly spry, a teeny tired, but not bad. It feels pretty nice to be able to run 12 miles at an 8:49 clip and be basically fine the next day.

My route took me toward the Fanno Creek Trail. Down that to George Morlan Plumbing, then back a little different way. It was a great day, sunny and low 60s, so it was nice to have the water fountain at miles 5 and 7. Lots of people out on the trail today, so while I ran alone I certainly didn't feel lonely!

This also means that this week I ran 30.6 miles, only the second time I've ran over 30 since last June. So despite running that much, I feel really good. I have to be careful not to escalate my miles too fast, but I'll keep that in check. I did this week what I've been meaning to do for many, many weeks... three weekday runs of 5-7 miles and then my long run. That will be the staple during my marathon training, so it's good to get into the swing of things.

That leads me into my dilemma... marathon training. I've decided to officially start it a couple of weeks early. I want to be as prepared as possible. I am really trying to avoid the twenty mile "blow up" that hits a lot of first timers. The solution to that seems to be a strong base of miles and many long runs that are pushing 16 miles and venturing towards the 20s (along with proper nutrition before/during race).

I've already decided to do three 20 mile plus runs (one 22er). Maybe I could do four though? Would that help? Is going from 13 to 14 to 15 to 16 too conservative? Should I do 12, 14, then 16? Gah!

That marathon plan that I published a few weeks back has been changed more times than I can count. I keep hemming and hawing. I don't want to push it and injure myself but at the same time I want to be as prepared as possible.

So here's the plan... I think I am going to try 14 next weekend. That would be my second longest run ever. If it goes well, I'll try 16 the next weekend, then take a down week at 10 miles. If 14 proves to be too much, I'll take it easy the next weekend and settle into a more "ease in" plan.

Right now 12 miles is no problem. In a couple months I hope 16 is no problem. Anyways, I'll shut up. I think about this too much.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Reflecting back on the Earth Day Run, I really did have a great race. With the way I was feeling to run that time was pretty dang good. Had I been feeling better and actually trained for it, who knows what I could do a 5k in. I think my ultimate goal will be a sub 20 minute 5k (6:25/mi), but that will certainly be a year or two down the road. Small steps, especially when my focus is on longer distances.

There are two things that really shine through from this race...

1) My average pace was below 7 minutes a mile, the first time that has ever happened in a race for me. While it was only a 5k, that is still a huge step! Now, if I could just keep it up for 23.1 more miles, I could qualify for Boston. Ha!

2) My splits were negative. That NEVER happens with me. I always seem to fall off a little but that didn't happen in this race. By the looks of things I got stronger as the race went on. Now, I certainly didn't feel better as the race went on, but that's not supposed to happen in a 5k. Overall I really like the look of my splits!

My next race is the Rum Run 10k. That is another hilly course, but I intend to set my 10k record on that. After that I'll have a couple of half marathons as I train for the Portland Marathon this October.

The marathon will be my main focus now. I've adjusted the training plan I posted earlier to incorporate races and other "obstacles" this summer. As long as I follow that pretty well I should be relatively prepared for the marathon. The idea of a marathon still terrifies me though... 26.2 miles. Holy crap! I remember when a four mile run made me go "holy crap!" though so it is all relative.

The day after the Earth Day run I decided to haul ass again at run group. Ended up running four sub eight minute miles and 7:58 overall for 7.1 miles. That wasn't smart. I was even sorer on Tuesday and took it real easy yesterday at group. Five miles at nine minutes a mile. That is more like it! I think I am going to go on a 10k run today and I'll take it easy, shoot for 8:45s. One speed run a week is enough!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


The beer garden is right next to the finish line. Love it! Have a couple beers and cheer on the finishers.
The 2013 Earth Day Run didn't get off to the best of starts. The night before I went to a Portland Winterhawks hockey game and had a giant Diet Coke at 8pm (we're talking like 32oz). This after waking up that afternoon at 12:30pm and being excited about the race. Needless to say, when I tried to go to bed at midnight it wasn't happening and I spent most the night tossing and turning.

Biscoff Spread was a weird giveaway but I was happy to try
it... made me think of Runs for Cookies.
All told I got at most three hours of sleep. I could tell as I got up that I didn't have that normal "rested" feeling and my legs even felt a little tired from the warm up run the day before. Combine that along with no speed training at all and being the weekend after a record setting half marathon... things weren't looking too bright.

Expectations lowered, I shuffled to my car and drove to the race. I was able to park at Cook Park and get my bib pretty quickly. I ran a couple of laps around the parking lot to try and warm up but my legs didn't feel great at all. Oh well. After killing a little time on Facebook in the car I wandered toward the start line and watched the 5 Milers take off (the race had two events, the 5M and the 5K).

I worked my way toward the front of the 5K corral as the start approached. Eventally I got too far forward and was like second in line with all the fast people. My shorts weren't nearly short enough to be with them, so I scooted back a little into a more comfortable starting spot. I saw last year's winner (recognizable by his dreadlocks) slip into the corral just in time for the gun to go off.

Volunteer Libbie at the finish later.
After the gun went off I tried to settle into a pace that was quick but something I could maintain for three miles. I turned my phone to silent so it wouldn't read out my mile times... I thought that would probably be too depressing given the way I was feeling. The race went along the same exact course as last year, 3/4 of a mile of flat park before ascending a small hill. That hill was nothing to me this year. Honestly. All my hill training really pays off in these situations as I passed a ton of people.

Once we got to the top of the hill I saw Libbie passing out water (she volunteered for this race). I waved at her as I went by but didn't take water. The water made more sense for the five milers, almost three miles in, who merged with us at this point. Unlike last year, there was no weaving required. Only the fastest of the 5 milers had hit this part of the course yet, so whatever they did to fix the traffic jam worked.

Turns out I did the first mile in 7:13. Considering it included that hill, that wasn't bad at all! After that it was another mile straight down Durham road. Flat as can be. Nothing major to note here, I settled into my pace and began to pass a couple of racers that went out a little too fast. Passed last year's female overall winner about 1.5 miles in (she fell off by two minutes from last year's time). I was actually feeling pretty good at this point. My lungs were burning but my legs felt alright. Not great, but alright. I felt like I could keep it up for another mile. Second mile, all flat, was 7:01.

I like this picture... it makes me look fast.
Subtract 15 min from the 5M clock.
We turned off Durham Road into the neighborhoods and then down that steep hill again. It wasn't nearly as slick as last year but I still shuffled down it carefully, no need to be risky. Everybody seemed to be following suit and I didn't get passed like a year ago. Once I hit the bottom I knew it was less than a mile, so I picked up my pace a little. I passed another person or two here. The "mini hills" that were killing me last year weren't so bad this year.

I thought the finish line was a little closer than it actually was, so I picked up into the "final sprint" a little early. I rounded a corner and saw that I had a whole extra 100 yards or so. Crap. I just made myself keep the same speed though, I didn't want to get caught from behind so by the time I crossed the finish line I was pretty damn exhausted. Final mile turned out to be 6:51, the fastest mile I have ever ran. That was before the sprint too, I probably was going 5:45 or so there.

Unlike last year, I didn't dry heave, but I definitely needed some time to cool down. I ended up walking to my car to get my sweatshirt and photo ID for the beer garden. By the time I walked there and back I was almost back to normal. This year they had a clock at the finish line so I was able to see my time of a "high 22" (as I remembered it) as I crossed. Turned out I was done in 22:33, so it was even a little better than that. Second fastest 5k ever.

The Earth Day Run course is long though, clocking in at 3.24 miles. Even the event website acknowledges this. No problem, I would prefer a more precise 5k, but it is what it is. Last year I ran my ass off only to end up 2 seconds higher than my 5k the month before. So the only problem with this course is that you can run a PR time but not get a PR.

The maths.
 If you extrapolate my average pace and adjust it downward from 3.24 miles to 3.11 miles you get an overall time of 21:39, which just so happens to be a PR by six seconds. Gah! Oh well. I ran my buns off and had a great race, so I won't dwell on it. This is not a PR course anyways, it is semi-hilly and long. I need to find a nice flat actual 5k course if I really care about setting a PR.

Official Results: 22:33 over 3.24 miles, 6:58/mile. 18/322 overall, 18/120 male, 4/17 M25-29.
Splits: 7:13, 7:01, 6:58. 5:38 (!) over final .24 miles.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Quick preview of the Earth Day Run tomorrow. When I signed up for this a few months back I realized it was the week after my half marathon but wanted to do it anyways. I love the location and it is only a 5k. Plus, I have to defend my 13th place overall from last year!

Goals for this race aren't quite as ambitious because all my training has been half marathon focused so I haven't gotten a chance to work on the shorter, faster stuff. It will be nice to have a race last just a little bit over twenty minutes though! It will be twenty some odd minutes of pain and strain though.

My goal is to beat last year's time. 23:41 is what I got last year, so as long as I beat that I'll feel pretty good. I am not going to even shoot for my 5k PR, this course is a little hilly for that. Overall, I haven't really thought much about this race. I ran three miles today as a warm up. I wanted to rest all the way until the race but really wanted to go for a run so I just told myself I would take it easy.

That is kind of scary though... I am almost to the point where I want to run. Yikes!

Thursday, April 18, 2013


I hate this photo company because of their ridiculous prices. $20 for ONE digital copy? They are so stupid. If the photos were $5 a piece I might buy a copy of a good one, but there is no way they will ever get my business with their current business model. These small ones will have to do.
I look sick to my stomach.
Caught me mid-blink. Brilliant.
Wow, just wow. Giving it my all?
Halfway decent! Maybe? Almost to the finish line.
Me crossing. Hallelujah!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


And they're off! The start of the 2013 Corvallis Half Marathon. (photo: Corvallis Gazette Times)
A very successful racing Sunday started at 6:45am when my alarm went off. Groggy, I snoozed until around 7 when I finally hopped out of bed and got ready to go. Libbie came by around 7:15 and we headed down to Corvallis - our fourth time booking it down there in the morning for a race!

Packet pickup was a breeze. I was wearing my short sleeve Rum Run t-shirt but was given the Corvallis tech tee when I picked up my packet. It was long sleeved and it was pretty cold outside (around 44 degrees). Decision time. I switched to the long sleeve t-shirt. Truth be told, I could have gone without this switch as I got pretty hot once I started racing, but I just rolled up the sleeves so no harm.

We timed things pretty well. After packet pickup we headed to the car for about 15 minutes to stay warm and then headed towards the start line. Around 1,500 runners would be racing so I made sure to get pretty close to the starting line, within 15 yards or so. I was not going to be stuck behind hordes of people and have to weave and adjust my pace if I could help it.

Before I knew it the gun went off and the race was on! I settled into a pace pretty quickly that felt challenging yet sustainable. I imagined it was faster than 8:00/mi which is all I needed to have a chance at a PR. Around half a mile in I checked my phone real quick (can be hazardous when running) and saw my average pace to that point was 7:35. Perfect!

Shortly after my phone read out my first mile time of 7:24. Maybe a little fast but it certainly didn't feel like I was struggling to hit that. One thing I did do differently this time around was set my phone to have a "Goal" time. I couldn't set seconds, so I set my goal at 1 hour, 42 minutes. Now at every mile it read out my total time, mile time, and expected total distance. The expected distance was very handy... as long as it stayed above 13.1 miles I knew I was hitting goal.

MILES 1-4: THE HONEYMOON PHASE (7:24, 7:12, 7:21, 7:35)

I already went over the first mile, but needless to say I was feeling good during these first few miles. The course took us east through Oregon State University's campus and then back west through campus along Campus Way. It continued on Campus Way as it turned into a little one lane road, somewhere I had never ventured before.

It was pretty scenic, I think we strolled past the Dairy Center at some point. The highlight was crossing over the old wooden covered bridge that is highlighted in the race's logo. I knew that existed somewhere in Corvallis but when I was in school I never saw it. So that was really cool!

MILES 5-7: MIDGE KRAMER PATH (7:44, 7:25, 7:27)

The next few miles went smoothly as well. These three miles were a repeat of three miles during the Great Pumpkin Run 10k I did last fall. So I was very familiar with the route, the Midge Kramer Path running from the Fairgrounds up toward Bald Hill. The hilly portion of this path was during mile five, and as you can see, my time slipped a little. Once that first little hill was conquered there was some downhill and then just mini-rollers after that. Nothing major.

There were aid stations at the beginning and end of this path and I 'stopped' at both as planned. After nearly choking on my water trying to run through the first aid station, I decided to walk quickly through the rest of them. If you slow to a brisk walk as soon as you grab the cup you can chug the water and get running again in about three seconds. Those 15 total seconds I spent to utilize the aid stations were well worth it and probably resulted in a faster time as I felt hydrated the whole way.

MILES 8-10: THE HILL (8:04, 7:27, 7:36)

Mile eight was the tough part of the course and was the point of reckoning for people who didn't pace themselves enough. The tricky part about this mile is that it was slightly uphill... for a long time. 180 feet gain over an entire mile. While you are running visually it is kind of hard to see the hill, you can tell it is there, but it doesn't look bad. At first your legs don't complain all that much, but eventually the hill starts to add up and it becomes noticeable.

Towards the top of the hill. Told you it's not impressive.
This is the first spot on the course where I started to feel worn. Up until that point I had likely beaten my 10k PR and was feeling great. I reached what I thought was the top of the hill only to be detoured into the nearby neighborhoods. I might have let an obscenity fly as I rounded that corner. The great thing about this race was there were LOTS of people cheering along the course. Definitely a group at every mile marker and then just lots of random people everywhere else. So that helped put a pep in my step.

Credit also has to be given to the Corvallis Half Marathon for completely stopping traffic on Walnut to allow the race to cross the road. Traffic was at a standstill for what seemed like miles. That is a major road and they just completely shut it down unless there was a large gap in runners. So good for them. I think a lot of people were late for church and most people just turned their engines off and watched the runners go by.

Anyways, the miles after the hill were a relief. I was scared the hill was going to wear me down, but once I stopped going up in elevation my legs came back pretty well. I was pretty encouraged at this point that I could PR.

MILES 11-13: ARE WE DONE YET? (7:40, 7:54, 7:49)

Eventually the miles and pace caught up to me a little bit. I remember taking a mental note shortly after the hill that my legs started to complain, but honestly they didn't start back up again until after the mile 10 sign. Compared to my last half marathon, the aches and pains weren't even that bad. Last time running those final few miles was one of the hardest things I had ever done, this time my legs were just annoying.

Finisher's medal. I love it!
As you can see, my pace dropped a little. I knew I had a PR pretty much in the bag and if I tried to press and get back to 7:30s I might risk injury. It wasn't worth it, I could coast into the finish at this point and PR. So I just kept pushing it but not straining myself. I skipped the final water table around mile 12. I didn't want to stop for it because I was feeling decent and just wanted to get done.

Those miles were uneventful in terms of scenery. Just down the length of town in a side residential street. Eventually we ended up back on campus and Reser Stadium was in sight just a blocks away. Like I said in my preview though, they needed to dick around with us to get an extra mile so we did part of the same "campus swing" we ran to start the race.

When my phone read out my mile thirteen time it said "Thirteen miles in one hour, thirty eight minutes." Once the total time goes over an hour it no longer tells me the amount of seconds in my overall time, so I knew I had a chance to get under 1:40. That put a little pep in my step as I tried to power it home.


Finally we ran into the stadium parking lot and then down the ramp into Reser Stadium. The spongy turf felt pretty good after thirteen miles of pavement! I rounded the corner and headed toward the finish line at midfield. Wouldn't you know, the clock said 1:39:50. Shit! I sprinted the final thirty yards or so and rolled past the mat around 1:39:58. My energy depleted mind didn't remember chip times, so my official time ended up being 1:39:49.

Gross pic of me shortly after finishing.
Under an hour forty! HOLY CRAP! I absolutely killed it. I honestly I had no idea I had that in me. I felt like I was slower than last summer and with the more challenging course I didn't think I was going to PR. To then PR by over two and a half minutes is HUGE! I was so happy.

I sat on a bench for a second to recover and then stood up and wandered towards food. After eating some bread and soup I went to my car and grabbed my sweatshirt and then walked back towards the stadium to see Libbie finish. She beat her goal of 2:15 by about 45 seconds. So a super successful day all around. I was so happy to see her round that corner with time to spare!

Afterwards my legs were definitely a bit used and sore but nothing like after my first half marathon. All the long runs I have done have really helped out! I was even able to run the next night at run group, five miles at a 9:00 pace. I am excited that I am able to recover so much faster... after my last half I didn't run for four whole days.

Anyways, there you have it. Totally smashed this race and feel super accomplished! Once the company that took photos uploads them online I'll post a few of mine if they are any good.

Official Chip Time: 1:39:49, 7:38/mile. 147/1489 overall, 20/67 M2529, 120/562 overall male.

Monday, April 15, 2013


I had planned to come home tonight and write up about my race in Corvallis yesterday. Obviously things in Boston changed a lot of people's plans today. What started out as a fun morning tracking my friends in the race turned bad very quickly.

Anyways, I don't feel like recapping Corvallis tonight, probably will do it tomorrow or the day after. For now my thoughts are with those affected by the tragedy in Boston. What a horrible thing to happen. And although it wasn't targeted at runners (I'm sure this wasn't an anti-running terrorist group at fault), you can't help but take it extra personally as a runner.

Boston is the pinnacle of our sport. Unless running is your job and you aspire to be an Olympian, Boston is pretty much the dream of everyone. It is the granddaddy of them all. So to have it marred like this really just pisses me off. Lucky for me, everyone I knew in Boston is okay, but a lot of people can't say that.

At run group tonight it was a little emotional, but we ran as usual. The news was there and interviewed a few of us and also might have caught the run group taking off for our run. I ended up running 5.3 miles on very sore legs. Averaged 9:09 a mile and felt decent considering how sore I was.

To sum up, this sucks. I am mad and sad all at the same time. I did run an awesome race in Corvallis yesterday though, so I will recap that soon.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Traditional pre-half marathon clothes layout.
Half marathon number two is almost upon me. I was really geeked the night before my half marathon last time. This time I am excited and nervous but not as much. I am eager to see how well I can do!

I stopped by Portland Running Company today and bought a pack of Gu Chomps for the race. Normally I don't refuel during my training runs so I haven't tested them out yet, but I am intrigued to see how the "chew" works versus the packet of flavored snot. Can I just suck on them maybe? Then again, I can't really suck because my mouth will be open to breathe. Papa can't run a half marathon just via the nose.

There are eight chewy "blocks" in there and this package is equivalent to two regular Gu packages. I figure I'll break them up and make it fun, so I'll have one block at mile 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. That might be annoying though, maybe I'll just have two at 5, 7, 9 and 11. We'll see - I'm hoping these don't leave me feeling as thirsty as a normal Gu does.

There are six aid stations and I plan to drink at each of them since I won't be carrying water with me. The weather is looking decent... overcast with a chance of showers. If it does get wet, it should be too bad. The temperature in the 40s will be cold when waiting to start, but once I get running, it will be perfect.

I laid out all my clothes in anticipation of the run. Nothing special, just the usual. I am going to band-aid my nipples just for the heck of it. If it does get wet I don't need sensitive nips slowing me down. Also going to use my Shadow Pak which I haven't used in a while. Plan to store my Chomps and keys in there.

Anyways, that's it. Ready to get this thing going! I think I am going to take a sleep aid tonight to make sure I am able to get to bed. Normally I am a fall asleep as soon as the head hits the pillow sort of guy, but when I am excited for something I have more trouble falling asleep. Last thing I need to be doing is trying to PR a half marathon on four hours of sleep.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


This Sunday is the Corvallis Half Marathon in beautiful Corvallis, Oregon. For those of you who don't know, Corvallis is the home to Oregon State University, which happens to be my alma mater. Corvallis holds a special place in my heart, so returning there for a race is always fun. I have done the Fall Festival Run for two years now and also did the Great Pumpkin Run 10k last October.

Fortunately the race starts at 9:30am so it's not super early. I'm still going to have to wake up by 7am and haul it down there, but I'll survive. Just have to make sure to get some decent sleep the night before. I'd like to get a coffee to drink on the way there and hopefully have it exit my body before the race starts, but we'll see if that happens.

This will be only my second ever half marathon. If you remember, I absolutely crushed my first one, so following up that performance will be a challenge. I feel like I was in better shape back then; maybe not to run 13 miles, but to run it fast.

Since last summer I've really increased my ability to run longer distances, but I feel like I sacrificed speed to get there. I've had some really solid training the last three months (spare the two week Vegas disruption) and that should help me out. I did have some higher mileage weeks last summer before the race (high 20s, compared to lower 20s now) so we'll see if that does anything.

The course seems to almost circle the entire City of Corvallis. Not quite, but almost! It should be a pretty fun course, we start by the stadium and then run downtown before looping back through campus and then out through the fields towards 53rd Street and the Fairgrounds. We then run a nature trail that was part of the Great Pumpkin Run before heading up 53rd (turns into Walnut) up toward the north side of town.

There is a small hill there. They mention on the website there are two small hills and of course I had to plot them out and see how bad we are talking. Overall they are gradual climbs of 150 to 200 feet. Nothing too terrible, but they will be noticeable. This will put me at a slight disadvantage since the Run in the Country was nearly all flat. However, running around my house and training runs like Zena and Shamrock have prepared me well. These won't be an issue at all.

We then fly due south back towards the stadium. This should be slightly downhill and will help because at this point everyone will be ready to be done. We'll finally get to finish inside Reser Stadium after they dick around with us for another mile (Reser Stadium will be right in front of us but we'll have to take a dozen block detour, kind of like waiting in lines at Disneyland). That part will be painful.

It will be all worth it though because we get to finish inside Reser Stadium at the 50 yard line. My favorite place in the whole world pretty much! It should be really fun because all the after race goodies are right there as well. They open up the stadium seating for spectators too, so hopefully they'll be a sizable contingent rooting us on.

My goals for the race are as follows:

A Goal: Set a new half marathon PR. This will be 1:42:31 or less. A perfect day and I can do this. If my legs feel fresh and I feel well rested I think I can break this. It's going to be hard though because this course is a little tougher.

B Goal: Less than 1:45. If I can get less than 1:45 that means I did under 8:00/mile and over 13.1 miles that is pretty fucking good. I can be very satisfied with this.

C Goal: Less than 1:50. That is about 8:20/mile. If I am not feeling it for some reason even a hard effort could come in right about here. I just want a 1 and a 4 to be the first two numbers. Anything less than this would be a failure in my eyes barring injury.

Monday, April 08, 2013


My route for my sub 8:00/mile training run of nine miles; the last long run before my half next weekend.
I said my next post was going to be a preview of the Corvallis Half Marathon, but I will publish that on Thursday instead probably. For this post I would like to talk about a pretty awesome training run I had this last weekend.

After struggling with dehydration the weekend before, I was kind of dreading another "long run." However, since it was the weekend before my half marathon I was going to do a "mini taper" so the run would only be nine miles. That, coupled with overcast temperatures in the mid-50s (instead of 80 degrees), made for a really good run.

I set out with a goal to attack the run and almost hit "race pace." This wasn't going to be a leisurely long run, I was really going to push this thing to get myself ready for the half marathon the next weekend. The last couple of group runs I had been pushing the pace and found myself around 8:20/mile. I figured I could run this even faster than that since during those group runs I am still maintaining a conversation at times.

The course was a highly modified version of my normal 10k route to add an additional 2.8 miles. I definitely started out of the gate much faster than I normally do and tried to maintain that pace. It was still relatively comfortable though, honestly I was surprised at how good I was feeling.

When my phone read off my first mile time of 7:05 I thought it was too good to be true. Sure, I was running faster than normal, but I imagined myself doing eight minute miles, not seven. Still, that made me feel pretty confident and I even backed off the gas a little because I knew if I was running that fast I couldn't maintain it for nine miles.

Then my second mile time came in at 5:05. Wow a five minute mile. I rock! At this point I figured out my phone was having issues. I figured out the problem once I was done with the run (and I suspected this during the run). My data (3G) was not connecting at all. The GPS service was fine, but it didn't have the usual "pairing" with the data source. The accuracy with just the GPS is maybe accurate to within 50 meters and it updates your location less often. The accuracy with GPS and data is to within like 5 meters and it updates your location continuously.

My phone will sometimes refuse to connect with data after it has been on for many days in a row without restart or I enter a weird cell zone where I can get phone service but not data service. This is the case for my bowling leagues Friday nights, I can get phone service in that tin box but data is hard to come by. I didn't restart my phone or notice lack of data between the end of bowling league and the beginning of the run the next afternoon.

Needless to say, my times weren't accurate, and at times they were comical. I had a couple sub-six minute miles and overall the phone said I did about a mile more than I actually did. When I got home I traced my exact route (literally, zoomed in with the satellite and traced the sidewalks) it came in at 9.14 miles. I knew my time, that wasn't wrong, so I was able to calculate my average pace. 7:57!

Overall it was a great run. I could tell I was going fast and my body responded well. I was definitely tired and drained afterward but I ran nine miles at near race pace. It gave me a lot of confidence I can do another half marathon around the 7:50/mile pace of my PR. This was a pretty dang hilly course too, so Corvallis being flatter should help. I think I probably did the first five miles at 7:45 or so and the last four at 8:15ish. There are a couple decent hills in those last few miles.

Now a couple solid runs on Monday and Wednesday at group and then I will "taper" until the race on Sunday morning.

Friday, April 05, 2013


Well it's almost time to start my official training for the Portland Marathon this October. I decided to do the 2013 Portland Marathon after the Shamrock Run in 2012. So I gave myself a nice 19 months to get ready. I didn't want to rush anything and really wanted to "build" up to it. I've built up to half marathon shape, but those next 13.1 miles are really going to be a challenge.

Since I gave myself so much time, training for the Portland Marathon has always been something I'd have to start doing in the distant future. The fact that it's almost here is both exciting and scary at the same time. It's time to either shit or get off the pot!

I've flirted with joining marathon training groups like Portland Fit and others. The two drawbacks to these groups are 1) the cost, and 2) the starting times. Most of these training groups head out at 8am from somewhere in Portland. Which means I'd had to wake up around 6:45am on a Saturday or Sunday to participate. That sucks. So I was really wishy washy and eventually I decided I'd just do training on my own. The longer runs on my own will probably suck, yes, but I'll just need to buckle down and get through them. There are also free "Coach Jim" runs that I can join at times if I feel I need company for a particular run.

My training plan.
A training plan is definitely something you need when training for a marathon, so I went ahead and whipped out my own. I drew inspiration from Hal Hidgon and other plans posted online but crafted this one to my specific needs. I probably shouldn't have labeled them as "fast/easy" since I will play those by ear depending on how I feel a certain day. My goal for a week though is two "fast" (tempo) runs, two "easy" runs, and one long run. I expect those paces to be around:

Fast: 8:00-8:20/mile
Easy: 8:30-9:00/mile
Long: 9:00-9:20/mile

Mondays and Wednesdays should be at my group run at Portland Running Company like I'm currently doing. Then all I am adding is a light run on the other weekend day and another 6-8 mile run on a weekday. If I feel I need more rest I can drop that Sunday run though... those 3-5 miles won't make or break things.

Anyways, that will officially start up in about a month. I might modify it to start those longer distance runs at a higher mileage since I am already very familiar with 10-13 mile runs. The faster I can make 14-18 routine, the less my marathon will suck hopefully.

My next post will be about my goals for the Corvallis Half Marathon coming up in just over a week!