36 or bust!

I've been slow on this blog lately, but on August 8, I will begin an 8-week training cycle, which will hopefully culminate with a 10K PR and sub-36 performance at the Oktoberfest 10K in Minster, Ohio on October 3. The course is part of the Ohio Grand Prix series and is flat, fast and USATF certified. The program I'm following is a progression of eight 10K-specific workouts devised by Running Times columnist and well-known coach, Greg McMillan. I've pasted the chart from McMillan's article with his comments below:



1 6 x 1M 3-minute jog between 1M repeats
2 10-12 x 400m Run the 400m repeats at 5K race pace; 200m jog between
3 2M + 4 x 1M 5-minute jog between 2M repeats, 3-minute jog between 1M repeats
4 3M Tempo Run or 5K Race One simple prediction method is to double your 5K time and add 1 minute to get your 10K time. Are you on track for your goal 10K time?
5 2 x 2M + 2 x 1M 5-minute jog between 2M repeats, 3-minute jog between 1M repeats
6 20-24 x 200m Run the 200m repeats at 5K race pace; 200m jog between
7 3 x 2M 5-minute jog between 2M repeats*
8 RACE: 10K

You can view the full article here. I plan to do a secondary key workout on most of the weeks as well, plus my usual filler days of easy runs/longer runs etc. Week 4, I'll be doing a 5-mile race instead of a 5K because the best race by far on Labor Day weekend is the Northcoast Challenge, which I've talked about before. At the end of Week 6, I'll also be racing a 5K.

* The editor in me noticed that on the Running Times website they repeated the Week 6 description for Week 7, so I typed in what they meant to say! :-)


Fall Planning

Every year I plan on doing some summer racing, but then I always seem to need to refuel after my July 4 race, so I end up going into a base/strength phase until the fall. This year has proven to be no different. My traditional season opener has always been the Northcoast Challenge (formerly known as Celebrate Westlake). I have done this 5-mile race every year since I started running again in 2005, other than 2006 when we were out of town that weekend. Always look forward to that one. Fast course and really great competition - the prize money draws a lot of fast Kenyans (even masters). I've been feeling pretty strong since the Bay Days race getting in a longer run, tempo/long interval workout, and hill reps every week. I feel like the hills are already really helping. I've never liked doing them, but they definitely pay dividends! I can tell they help my form and they definitely add some power to your game. I've outlined a fall season so to speak that will conclude with the Club Nationals 10K XC race in Charlotte, NC on December 11. Before that I'll be racing a mixture of 5Ks, 5-milers and the Octoberfest 10K in Minster, OH on October 3. I did that race a few years ago when it was unseasonably hot (same day as that infamous heatwave Chicago Marathon race), but if the weather is decent, that's a really fast, flat course and ideal for my first sub-36 as a master. I also plan on running the Natatorium 5K in Cuyahoga Falls this year. I've never done that race but it's USATF certified and I've heard great things about it. Might be a good place to take a sub-17 shot.


A Few Updates

A few life updates listed in order of importance:

1) No Chemo!!!! This is big. A few days ago, we learned that Bella won't have to undergo any chemo treatment. We were relieved to learn that the cancer is only in the isolated spot on her thigh and that it hasn't spread anywhere else.  This week Bella starts on radiation treatments, which will last for five weeks and then the plan is to remove the tumor and hopefully that will be the end of the cancer forever. Just taking this day to day because it's going to be rough for Bella and she will feel tired and fatigued and have some side effects. Thanks a million to all the support we've received from family and friends.

2) Kittens! Last Monday, we adopted two kittens from the Cleveland APL, a two-month old boy named Ike and a four-month old girl named Tina. Tina is on the left and Ike is on the right. It still feels very weird without Milkshake around, but having two energetic kittens running around all day, definitely makes the house livelier.

3) Running The running is going pretty well though obviously taking a back seat in terms of life priorities. I'm not sweating it if I miss a day or two here and there. Strangely enough, I've actually been running better on reduced volume over the last month. I've been trying to focus on staying in tune with the main energy systems for racing well at 5K-10K each week: a) a longer run; b) something strength oriented like a tempo run or mile repeats at 10K/15K effort; and c) something faster like hill repeats. I think I'm going to do a 5K in Independence on August 7 and then definitely start my fall racing season with the Northcoast Challenge 5-miler, which is one of my two or three favorite Cleveland races.


Bay Days 5 Mile Race Report

Had one of my best races of the year at the Bay Days 5 Mile race on July 4, ending up with my best time of the season for that distance with a 29:00. Only regret was that I didn't break 29:00 - I sprinted as hard as I could when I saw the clock near the finish line! My splits were all really even (every mile was between 5:46 and 5:50) and the effort felt strong and controlled throughout even with the high temps, so I'll definitely take it. Next up is a bit of a hiatus from racing as I get in some more strength work like progression runs, mile repeats, hill reps etc. over the coming weeks. I may jump into a 5K or two later this summer, but the first key race will be the Northcoast Challenge 5-miler on Labor Day Weekend.


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