Season Opener

My first race of 2013 was the Bogsucker Strut 5K in Twinsburg yesterday. The course has some good rolling hills with a nasty climb in the last mile -- a good early season test and opportunity to shake off the winter rust. I ended up running 17:58 (5:47 pace), which I was pretty happy with. I set 18:00 as a pre-race goal, not really knowing where I was at (too much snow this Spring to get in any of my usual 5K indicator workouts). Having not raced since December, I forgot how much racing hurts. Non-runners will sometimes tell me that 5K doesn't seem very far and why don't I try a marathon since I train so much. As I've said before, I have a need for speed -- running too long bores me. And if you actually race a 5K (i.e. truly redline), the last mile should feel miserable, like you want to drop out. Most definitely not a fun run! Anyway, I'm happy with my season opener. Next up is another 5K on April 20th on a flat, fast course. With a few weeks to get in some quality workouts -- I need to do 16 x 400 w/ 100 jogs a few times -- I should be ready to roll.I'd like to get under 17:40 -- we'll see.

The photo is of me loosening up pre-race with overall winner, Mike Giardina, who crushed it in 17:03. I'm sporting the orange Louisiana Running Company singlet in honor of the famous NOLA Crescent City Classic race that was held this weekend.


Another week, more progress

As I get older, I find that every mile I run needs to have a purpose, so I've been using the heart rate monitor on almost every workout to make sure I'm not going too fast (or slow). My easy run pace has continued to drop while staying in the appropriate zone. Partly a combination of better weather -- less wind, less snow and ice -- but also, just getting fitter. My stress workouts have gone well, too. Last week I did 12 x 400 w/ 100 jogs at 5K effort and managed to average 85's like clockwork in cold and windy conditions (wore sweats). Looking forward to racing again soon.

I've been getting some good feedback on the finished first draft of the novel and have been working hard to make improvements. I've had a lot of fun writing it and visiting ghosts from my past -- I even have some ideas for a sequel set in the mid-90's (my Boston years) but I'm probably getting ahead of myself there.


Good Week

While my mileage has been less than usual this winter, my fitness seems to be pretty solid, especially over the last two weeks. I've been training religiously with my heart rate monitor and my workout pace has dropped significantly over the last month or so. The HRM teaches discipline by forcing you to stay in the correct training zone, regardless of how slow it may be. This was vital when I was coming back from my hamstring pull at club nationals -- forced me to ease back into things. Each week I've been doing a 3 mile tempo run at 85-90% of my maximum heart rate (anaerobic threshold zone), with the other key runs being 9 milers in the aerobic zone (60-70% of MHRR). Over the winter my pace on the easy runs has dropped down to about 7:30 pace give or take and the last tempo I did was at 6:03 pace (one month ago, I could only muster 6:29 pace). I've also been lifting once a week. My friend Matt has a lot of free weights in his basement and I've been doing a pretty solid workout that focuses on the main muscle groups, consisting of bench press, rows, squats, military press, overhead rows and lunges. My first race this year will be a 5K on March 30.


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