Another Photo from Charlotte

Second Sole Rocky River, 4th place, 2010 USATF National Cross Country Championship Team. Scott Snow is mysteriously absent from this photo, but the rest of us are here sporting the brand new Second Sole Racing Team singlets.


Back in the Saddle Again

This was my first week back after taking a week off, so I've been a little sore everyday as I get back into the routine again. Once I finish this entry I'm going to head to the park to do an easy 10 miler, which will give me 53 miles for the week. My plan this winter is to get comfortable with the 60-70 miles per week range, but also be smart about it. I want to take a down week after every two up weeks. For example, next week I'll hit somewhere between 55-60 but then I'll drop down to 45-50 the week after that to refuel a little bit. I read a good article in the new issue of Running Times by Zap Fitness coach Pete Rea that discussed taking down weeks while building mileage. This is something I've always thought about but rarely did. Starting on Monday I'm going to follow the 10-week pattern that Pete Magill gave me that I used last winter, which emphasizes 3 key workouts each week. On down weeks I'll still do the key workouts but do a bit less on the filler days. I've signed up for an indoor 5K on January 29 which should be a lot of fun and it gives me something to look forward to because winter running in Ohio can get dull in a hurry. Not much more to report. Time for a little more coffee before I head out the door. Merry Christmas!


End of a Long Season

Pictured above is the Second Sole Rocky River Masters team who finished in fourth place in the USATF National Cross Country Championships in Charlotte, North Carolina on December 11. Left to Right is: John Hopple, Ben Szporluk, Scott Snow, Rob Porter, Steven Fenster, Jim Chaney, and Damon Blackford. Last year we were 12th, so this was a huge improvement.

I was pretty happy with how my race went. While not in as good shape as I was last year at this time I ran a very focused and even paced race and just need to use it as motivation to get faster next year. After taking 6 days off post-race and enjoying some downtime in North Carolina with Bella and her brother Andrew, I'm logging in the miles again and looking forward to a very drama free 2011.


Final Preparation

This week has been my last somewhat hard week of training before I ease back next week to get ready for the USATF Club Nationals Cross Country race in Charlotte. Hopefully, I'll be feeling as good as Kenya's Josephat Menjo (above), who ran the fastest 10K in the world in 2010. After my wind tunnel 5K on Saturday, I took Sunday off to recover and then ran a very solid 2 x 20 minutes tempo workout w/ 5:00 recovery between the segments, averaging 6:15 pace (first rep was 6:20 pace, second rep 6:10 pace). I felt really strong and smooth in that workout, which has convinced me that a day off each week is not such a bad idea. Need to let go of that streak mentality. If I were just running easy every day it would be no problem but stress workouts and races do require recovery. On Thursday, I did my second key workout of the week, 16 x 200 w/ 200 jogs. Nothing fancy here, but I did this workout cutdown style where I did the first four in 42 seconds (about 5K effort), the second four in 40 seconds each (more like 3K effort), the third set in 38 seconds each, and finished with 37s. I like doing workouts like this to work on form and efficiency and if you hold back in the first half, it's a pretty enjoyable workout, though I could have done without the sub 30 temps. Weather looks like it will be in the 50s in Charlotte though this time of year there's a good chance it could rain, which seems par for the course for Club Nationals.

Saturday I plan on doing a very easy 10 or 11 mile medium long run and then I'll do something like 2 x 10 minutes @ tempo on Monday. After that it will be easy running and making sure I'm caught up on sleep. I always take a week off after Nationals, but this year I feel more inspired to get rolling for next year. After my rest break I plan to start prepping for 2011 a few days after Christmas. Not sure what my goal races are but I definitely want to do a fast 5K and maybe do some road miles in the summer (I know there's a good one in Columbus in July). The masters national track and field championships are at Baldwin Wallace at the end of July and I know I'd definitely like to do the 5000 but if I can get my legs moving fast, I might try the 1500 too for kicks.


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