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Showing posts from June, 2007

On the Track....

So yesterday I did a 6 mile lunch time jaunt on a terribly hot and humid day. Today, for some strange reason, I did a track workout. At noon. Outside. And it's hotter today.

Some of the guys at work had been talking about doing a track workout and I said, "What the heck." By the time noon rolled around, though, many had bailed and our group was down to just 3.

My marathon plan doesn't officially start for about three weeks, so I decided to do 4 or 5 800's, with a goal time of 3:15 per.

Did I mention it was about 92 degrees?

After a 1 mile warm-up, I did the first one too fast: 3:10
Then a 3:12
Then a 3:15
On the last one, I wanted to die and managed a 3:18.

I wanted to do a 1 1/4 cool down, but cooling wasn't really possible today, so I bagged it after a 400.

Why 3:15? The idea was to do Yasso 800's. According to Yasso theory, if you can do 8-10 800's at the same time (minute and seconds) as your goal marathon time (hours and minutes), you'll be able to hi…

On a Date With Destiny

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In two weeks I officially begin training for the Harrisburg Marathon. This picture shows my weekly running mileage going back a year. It shows that I'm currently running 34-38 miles per week, which is a good place to be to start a marathon program.

The other thing to note is that during the spring I was a lot more active than this graph shows, as I was also biking and swimming in preparation for the triathlon (this graph only shows running), so my dramatic increase in time could be cause for injury alarm if my base hadn't been so strong.

Still, it's cool that May was a 100 mile month, and cooler that I've got a shot for 125ish for June.

I'm also reassured by the fact that this week I followed up a ten mile run on Wed. with a quality run on both Thurs. and Fri. My long run averaged 8:10 a mile, Thurs. was 8:11 and even today was an 8:26. All of which means that I'm in better shape now than I was a month ago when most of my easy runs were around 8:30. So like I sai…

The Diabetic Poster Child

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If you're looking for an insulin pump - and hey who isn't? - you might find me in a propaganda packet from Minimed in the coming months.

I'd traded some e-mails with the company over the previous months and - long story, short - they sent me the final version of my testimonial which - in Minimed legal speak - may or may not be used in literature. Click on the thumbnail to see the full size version of my ohmygodwhatdidIdobeforemyinsulinpump flyer.

Which is actually pretty true. If you're a diabetic and you're not on the pump, get one on. Life is much much easier. Everything is much much easier. And you'll have more energy to do all sort of things with. Like run, for instance.

Trailing Behind...

So last Sunday was Smith's Challenge, one of the nastiest 10k trail races in Lancaster County. This race takes place on Father's Day and is open to men only (hold your complaints, ladies - Mrs. Smith's Challenge (women only) takes place Mother's Day weekend).

Anywho, trail races are funny things. On one hand, I love them because your time is worthless. Throw the clock out the window worthless. The winners come in just over seven minutes per mile and every one else is also around two minutes per mile (or slower) than a typical road race.

On the other hand, no casual runners roll out of bed and go, "Huh, I think I'll find the meanest hardest 10k race I can." Thus, there are no weekend warrior 5k runners. These dudes are hard-core, which means where I finish in my age group is adversely affected.

The course: Up, down, some burn hazel, two water crossings (up to my thighs at one point), 1 snake.

My time: 54:43
My place: 38th out of 148... That puts me in the 26th …

Turning It Up a Notch...

Realizing I'm probably as fast as I'm going to get without turning up the work-out intensity, I've turned up the intensity.

Yesterday, I did a tempo workout. A 2 mile warm-up, which works out perfectly as there's a high school track 2 miles from the office. The Cutting Edge Runner recommends doing tempo runs on a track so that you can maintain a consistent pace. A good tempo run should be 20-40 minutes and my charts from the same book suggested I do the tempo at 6:50 pace. But with a race on Sunday I wanted to make sure I didn't waste myself, so instead I did 2 miles - the first @ 7:00 and the second in 7:06. Then a two mile cooldown back to the office.

I'm looking forward to turning up the intensity and hoping I can do so without getting hurt. All went well yesterday.

In other news, the dog's getting faster. Yesterday (his second day), he was slower, running a 10:39 pace. But today we buzzed along at 9:25 pace. Those dogs sure get in shape faster than us huma…

My Poor Thyroid Never Had a Chance....

A few years ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and went through a several-months long process of finding the right dosage of medicine. Frankly, I found it more difficult than managing diabetes because it would take days or weeks to know if my dosage was right.

At the time, I learned that diabetics are more prone to thyroid problems. But was it only diabetes? A new study indicates that intense running could also lead to thyroid problems. (Thanks to The Final Sprint for the heads-up on this one.)

The study says athletes doing more than 50 miles per week are most at risk. I wasn't running at all during my thyroid problem period, but through high school and college trained at that level (or higher) for several years.

At any rate, all that's required to defeat thyroid problems is patience... hang in there and you'll get the dosage right. Eventually.

What if Your Best Friend Slows Your Runs Down?

First off, I'd like to thank the Academy - or rather Yourrunning, which syndicates my blog and recently awarded me a very cool t-shirt for my post about my bad race. There's an irony there - getting a prize for not winning a prize.

Along those lines, there's a column in this month's Triathlete Magazine which suggests that taking a week off of running results in a 10-15% drop in fitness. If true, coupled with the high mileage week that followed my vacation, that probably indicates why the race went so poorly for me.

In other news:

a. Still ramping up my mileage - currently doing 32-35 miles most weeks - but still feeling a bit sore on it. I'm wondering if cross-training will be the best route for a good injury free marathon. The plan? I've got a 5 mile road race planned on July 4. If my VDOT bumps up, I'll stick with running only. If it doesn't, then there's no reason to risk injury via additional miles. I'll put together a cool cross-training progr…

Pumping Legs - Pumping Insulin

Bicycling's Race Across America is under way. Commonly called RAAM, this is one my favorite endurance events in the country -- awesome athletic event + sleep deprivation + high speeds = major excitement.

One of these years, I'm going to pop into the Georgetown, PA check-point, which is about 30 minutes from me.

In the Team Competition, guess who I'm rooting for? That's an easy 1: Team Type 1, made up of a bunch of diabetic cyclists. Good luck, Team 1!

Finder’s No Endocrinologist, but Rocks as a Thriller Writer

Recent readers of this blog are no doubt saying, “What’s a book review doing on a diabetic athlete’s training blog?” Well, stay with me…
A few years back, this blog was mostly a book review blog. (I realize this is kind of like visiting a restaurant and having the waitress say, “Ten years ago, this building was a pet shop.”) Anyhow, one of the authors I reviewed back then was thriller-writer Joseph Finder, who sent me review copies even after I gave him 1 luke-warm review.
Since then, Finder has always sent me a review copy – I’ve always reviewed him and given him mostly – if not overwhelmingly – positive reviews. In addition, I’m on his Christmas Card list, which always makes me kind of happy. In short, the guy’s a class act.
The man can also write, and at this juncture owns what is best described as The Corporate Thriller. With Father’s Day less than week away you could do the old man a favor by picking up a Finder – Paranoia and Killer Instinct are my 2 favorites but everything Finder…

Various & Sundry

1) A very telling comment on last week's "End of an Era" post... do scroll back if you're keeping up with the USP story.

2) I'm in NYC for a show and hit Central Park this evening for an easy 5 miles... it's really an amazing experience. It's surprising at home to pass more than two runners during a workout. At Central Park, I passed more runners than I race against some weekends. Neat experience, all around.

3) I'm speaking at the show tomorrow morning -- if you're near the Hilton at 8:30am, do stop in. :)

4) Back to running - my foot's a bit sore from last weekend's race. Taking a rest day tomorrow and hoping that does the trick.

You Can't Fake Your Way To A Good Race...

So I learned something last Saturday.

Just because you think you're ready to run a good race, fundamental mistakes don't lead to good results.

Skipping a week of training two weeks before your race doesn't lead to good results. Adding your largest volume week during the week leading up to your race doesn't help, either. And while 80 degree weather and 100% humidity and a course that is particularly unruly aren't my fault, it's not a good breeding ground for a PR, either.

I hit the first mile in 6:34 and repeated that in the second mile. Even though the second mile was 11 seconds faster than I'd planned, it was very much a downhill second mile.

I started to slow soon after the second mile, but still hit mile three in 20:20. So at mile three, I was on pace. From there, I fell apart. 4th mile was supposed to be 6:45 -- did it in 7:45! By then, I knew I'd blown up and finished in 35:34 (35:29 from line to line).

Truth of the matter is --- the week off two weeks …

May in the Rearview....

I've got not no business blogging today, with a trip to NYC next week and copious preparation to complete before I go, but given all that happened in May, it seems if I don't make note of it now, I probably won't.

Historically, May has been a big month from me... this goes back to May of '93, when - during three of the four weekends, I: attended my father's funeral, moved into my first apartment and got married.

I suspect on the fourth weekend, I slept.

This May:

1.) I took my first ever trip to England. It was cool. Awesome experience.
2.) We took the family to Disney. 6th trip of my life (4th with the wife - all in May) and second with the kiddos. Great time had by all.
3.) I ran over 100 miles -- my most since my return 11 months ago.
4.) Did a 12 mile run at 8:08 pace -- almost a half-marathon, almost a minute faster per mile than my half marathon last September.
5.) Skipped a week of running. - my first off since last October. That's right, in my month with my mos…