8/22/2016 - 8/28/2016

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total

8/15/2106 - 8/21/2016

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total

8/8/2016 - 8/14/2016

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total

8/1/2016 - 8/7/2016

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total


Week Morning Afternoon Other Total


Week Morning Afternoon Other Total

7/4/2016 - 7/17/2016

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total

6/27/2016 - 7/3/2016: Olympic Trials 10km

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 55 55
Tuesday 35 Strides 35
Wednesday 10 min brisk, 4 min up tempo (64's) 45
Thursday 30 Strides 30
Friday 10 Race 10km 70
Saturday 25 25
Sunday 30 30
Week 290 (48mi)

6/20/2016 - 6/26/2016: Stumptown Twilight Meet

It rained the whole meet, maybe ok if you're a steepler, but not so fun for the 800/1500.

The week started with an extended pre-race workout in the heat. 3 miles at 4:55, then 3 x 1k at 2:40-2:42 which I hit for the most part. Not as good at hitting the low 2:40's this year than I have in years past.

As it was pouring when I started my warm up, I opted for inside in the gym which was not as bad as it sounds because there was a nice loop behind the bleachers. The race, well, the race highlighted that I'm a half-marathoner, not a track racer. This was most apparent when the gun went off and everyone exploded off the start...and then half a second later I started moving. 200 was hit around 28-29, 400 at 60 and 800 at 2:00. Not a bad start, would have liked to gone through a second faster as there is no kick for me at this speed, it's a matter of how long can I hang on. The answer to this turned out to be 1200 as I hit it in 3:02 and finished the race in a 48. About what I was expecting with the conditions and where I was physically.

My second workout of the week was on Sunday and is my last significant workout before the Olympic Trials. 4 x 1k starting at 2:45 and working down to 2:40. I hit the times, but the effort level was a little higher than I would have hoped. Might have waited just a little bit too long after having breakfast to run. Also of note, it's difficult finding the right amount of food to eat these days as I'm running 50 miles/week less than my peak and my workout volumes are so low.

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 3 mi (4:56, 4:57, 4:54), flats then 3 min, 3 x 1k (2:41, 2:42, 2:42) 70
Tuesday 50 50
Wednesday 40 Strides 40
Thursday 25 Race Stumptown 1500 (3:50.04) 90
Friday 100 100
Saturday 70 70
Sunday 4 x 1k (2:45, 2:43, 2:42, 2:40), 4 x 200 (30,29,29,28) 60
Week 480 (80mi)

6/13/2016 - 6/19/2016

Gotta hit up the Leaf Erickson trail while in Portland, and Wildwood too when it dries out.

The first place you've gotta run when visiting Portland is Forest Park. It's got many fantastic trails and the one I visited for my long run on Monday was Leaf Erickson, although the ridge trail up to it is a little steep. Wednesday was my first workout and for that I used the track at the high school in St. John's. It's a nice track that not many people show up to, so perfect for workouts. PRK's are normally considered to be a flush out workout and this was no different, just with a little turnover tacked onto the end. The first set in trainers I was feeling a little bootylock leftover from the race and the quads were a little tired. However, the change to flats helped get me going and I was able to move steadily down in pace. Had a bit of trouble breaking 30 for the 200's as I've done a bunch of turnover in the past five days.

The next workout was a quick two days later on Friday. A downward ladder some 400's and then a mile hard to finish. As has been normal this season, I struggled out of the gate with the first mile coming in two seconds slower than prescribed. My hamstring was also tight enough at this point that I was considering pushing the workout back until Saturday but as my coach usually has me do, I went repeat by repeat and was able to get everything but the last mile done. At this point in the season (or all the time) I am prioritizing staying healthy over getting that last little bit of work in.

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 120 120
Tuesday 70 30 Strides 100
Wednesday 2 x 5 x 1k w/1 min rest (2:55, 2:54->2:49), 4 b/t sets. 5 min, 4 x 200 w/2 min rest (31,30,29,29) 80
Thursday 70 30 100
Friday 1600 (4:30), 4 min, 1200 (3:20), 3 min, 1000 (2:45), 2.5 min, 800 (2:11), 2 min, 8 x 400 (~64) w/1 min rest 75
Saturday 110 110
Sunday 35 35
Week 620 (108mi)

6/6/2016 - 6/12/2016: Portland Track Festival

The track is surrounded by trees and the bleachers were packed with fans, a great experience.

First workout of the week was back to normal with a pace run, starting to dip in duration though and it had long strides at the end of it as a consideration for the track. I started a little late which meant that I had to deal with some of the heat, but running on the greenway by the stream with plenty of shade mitigated most of it. The pre-race workout was a standard two miles brisk and then K's. Felt decent enough running low 2:40's which is a big change from last Saturday.

I arrived out in Portland on Friday afternoon and will be staying with a fellow runner, Ryan Vail, for the duration of my stay in Portland. The Portland Track Festival was a great meet, low key, very well run, pacers for all the top heats and perfect weather. In short, you couldn't ask for more to run fast. The race started out quickly for me, 4:20 first mile. There was some pushing and shoving in the first two laps and someone did by the dust hard right at 600 or at 1000 (it was as we passed the finish line). My legs were fine with this pace, however when the lead pack (which I was at the back of) dropped a 63 around 2400, I fell off into no-man's land which is an unforgiving place to be. I slowly started leaking time and went through 3200 in 8:44 for a 4:24 second mile. My legs were starting were feeling the track burn which is quite a different sensation than you feel on the roads or when working out in the heat where the pain is of core body temps rising. I could have dealt with it better, this was a subpar mental effort day, and ended up sliding all the way back to a 4:36 last mile and a 13:56 overall disaster. Obviously this was not the outcome that I was looking for, however, I'm just starting track season and the only race that I really care about is the 10k on July first. The next tune-up in twelve days will be another chance to become accustomed to track pain.

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 75 45 Strides 120
Tuesday 40 min PR (5:02 avg), 4 x 40 sec strides 1:30 rest 85
Wednesday 40 50 90
Thursday 2 miles brisk (5:03's), 3 x 1k w/3 min rest (2:43, 2:43, 2:41) 60
Friday 40 20 60
Saturday 45 Strides 45
Sunday 15 Race 5k (13:56.46) 75
Week 595* (99mi)
*I flipped Friday's run with Monday's long run for mileage counting purposes to keep a long run in the week. As long as the mileage is hit over the two week span, that's just fine with my coach and me.

5/30/2016 - 6/5/2016

The first workout was a zinger. It started with two miles in ten minutes to warm up, put on flats and then was told to see how fast I could go in an 800. Turns out the answer is 1:58.0 at the cost of the tweaking my hamstring. I was able to get through most of the fast part of the workout running 600, 400, 400, 300, 300 but had to cut it before the hamstring regressed even more. The help loosen up we finished with a mile that was supposed to be 5:00, but the hamstring only allowed 5:11. The rest between the fast portions was double the on sections. A workout like this is what I would term a necessary evil. It has to be done to get ready for the quicker aspects of the track, but at the same time the risks for injury are fairly high and that did come into play today. If there was more time in the season this kind of effort could have been integrated over a longer period of time to reduce the injury risk but the opportunity cost there is taking out the road races which I wasn't willing to do.

A drier look at the East trail at the Whitewater Center

The next day I went out to the whitewater center for some trails and shade, which was probably the worst thing I could have done for my hamstring as the trails were slick, quick transitions and up and down. Needless to say, I bailed fairly quickly and turn the day into my easy run for my week. A massage later and there was hope for life in my hammy.

Well this was certainly new, seems as if I caught the hamstring just in time during the workout as I was able to run 18 miles on it two days after tweaking it. We still postponed the workout by a day just to make sure it would be ready to rock and roll. Saturday was the hottest day yet and it showed in the workout. Started with 2 x 1k at 2:50 (2:49.7, 2:50.2) with 3 minutes rest, then 2 x 1k at 66 point (2:45.8, 2:46.6) with 2:30 rest, flats, 2 x 1k at 2:45 (2:46.6, 2:45.4) with 2:30 rest. At this point I was having some asthma issues finish the repeats so we dropped to 800's, 2 x 800 at 2:12 (2:13.2, 2:11.9) with 2:10 rest, 3 min and 5 x 400 with a minute rest at 64 (64.9, 64.8, 64.8, 63.9, 63.3). This was a day where there was no jogging in between reps, it was stumble over to the water after I could move, pour it over my head and try to be coherent for the next repeat. I have no clue what type of shape I'm in as this was just faster than 10k pace and I was absolutely dying, but the heat obviously played a huge factor. We'll just have to see what happens when I step on the track out in Portland and Eugene.

Due to the hamstring tweak, the MR+ was eliminated from the week along with eleven miles including ten minutes off the end of my long run as the hamstring was fatiguing at that point. While I try to hit the prescribed mileage each week there is a point where logic dictates that it's better to stay healthy and drop a few miles than to try and get every step in.

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 40 60 Strides 100
Tuesday 30 2mi brisk (5:02, 4:59), 800 (1:58), 600 (1:31), 2 x 400 (59/60), 2 x 300 (44/46) double rest, mile (5:11) 100
Wednesday 30 30
Thursday 50 60 110
Friday 30 60 90
Saturday 75 25 100
Sunday 125 125
Week 655 (109mi)

5/23/2016 - 5/29/2016

It's the start of my six week long track season and to get the ball rolling I had 300's at the end of my pace run. Got to chase a few guys which definitely helps get a little more out of my legs than normal and surprised myself with a 42 for the last one. That's fairly quick for me as my 400 pr is 55. Still having some asthma issues due to the pollen in the air, aren't we past that stage for the year yet?

Well the heat has arrived in force and I have not adjusted well, neither the body is used to it nor is my timing on runs doing well. Starting a run at 10:30 is no longer a good idea and as with most things, I learned this the hard way twice (especially bad when the water fountain I planned a run around isn't on).

This workout was a repeat of one I had earlier this year that did not go too well, 6 x Mile with 4 min rest and today was no different. There's no question that the heat played a part in my inability to run much faster than 4:30 pace (4:30, 4:30, 4:31, 4:29, 4:29, 4:27), but mentally I was very far off my game as well. Finished the day with 4 x 400 and was quite zonked running 63's.

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 45 min PR avg (4:58), 4 x 300 (45, 43, 43, 42) 110
Tuesday 90 Lift 90
Wednesday 80 80
Thursday 45 45
Friday 6 x Mile w/4 min rest (avg 4:29), 4 x 400 w/1 min rest(63's) 25 100
Saturday 70 40 Lift 110
Sunday 125 125
Week 660 (110mi)

5/16/2016 - 5/22/2016

There was quite a bit of stumbling around in the early portion of this week. But after a 1/2 marathon / 25km double, you take what the body gives you which for me was basically nothing when going up =hill (imagine sprinter shuffle). Tuesday's workout was the 5 on / 2 off pace run / regular run effort again (8 reps instead of 7 this time) and while normally 4:55 isn't killer, being this close to a race made it so. I was wiped after the workout and decided lifting would be safer to do the next day on sore legs.

The next few days my legs rebounded and while it felt like I was plodding the pace was around 5:50, the normal, expected range. While the UNC-Charlotte track is getting replace we traveled up to Davidson to use theirs and it is very nice. Although it does feel like the straightaway’s never end due to the transition from a track with wide turns to one with small turns. Friday was a step-down workout of 3 miles, 2 miles, 1 mile, 2x800. The rest was 5 min, 4 min, 3:30, 2:30. The start of these workouts always seem the worst, when you finish the first repeat and are then faced with a large drop in pace going into the second one while in reality after the second one you've done five sevenths of the mileage. After I got over the two mile hump, it was all downhill although my legs protested loudly whenever I tried to run under 66 per lap.

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 70 30 100
Tuesday 8 x 5 on, 2 off. On 4:55, off 6:30 95
Wednesday 100 40 Lift 140
Thursday 40 60 Strides 100
Friday 3 mi (4:50), 2 mi (4:37), 1 mi (4:30), 2 x 800 (2:12, 2:10)
Saturday 135 Lift 135
Sunday 60 60
Week 720 (120mi)

5/9/2016 - 5/15/2016: 25km USA Championships

Tight pack early in the race. The woods are sheltering us from some of the wind.

Back to another race week so soon! First workout of the week was two sets of five PRK's and I was given a hard cap of how fast to run them even though I was feeling good and found a nice rhythm on the track. A standard pre-race workout followed (brisk run then some K's) with some of the fastest K's of the year clocking in at 2:43 for the second one. (I know, that's not fast, but I've been in base all year!)

Congratulating the newly minted American citizen and 25km champ.

The weather was a little colder than two weeks ago in Columbus, low 40's and a 10 MPH headwind on the way out. This wasn't as much of a factor as it sounds like as the way out is in the middle of a forest so a large portion of the wind was mitigated. After a few mid 4:50's on the way out we slowed down clocking in four miles at or above five minutes to hit 10 miles in 49:34 or ~4:57 pace. Pedestrian in a race like this which is probably what prompted Jared Ward to start opening up. I didn't really notice that we had dropped the pace much as we were on some rolling hills and I was content to stay on Jared's side, so it was a surprise when 4:38 was the next split. Heading back into town it stayed the three of us (Jake Riley as well) and the pace was 4:46/4:42. The plan going into the race was to move with 2-3 miles left to go, so I settled on 13 miles. When we hit mile marker I took off to the tune of a 4:32 mile and was able to hold them off for the remaining mile and a half. This has been a remarkable two weeks for me and I can only hope to stay in one piece and transition well into the track as that's where my next three races will be.

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 2 x 5 PRK's 1st set 2:55, 2nd set 2:55-2:52 40 115
Tuesday 45 45 Lift 90
Wednesday 12 min brisk, 3 easy, 2 x 1,000 w/2:30 rest (2:45, 2:43) 35 90
Thursday 45 45
Friday 35 Strides 35
Saturday Race USA 25k Champs 30 130
Sunday 120 120
Week 630 (105mi)

5/2/2016 - 5/8/2016

Holy smokes am I sore. Doing 26 miles on race day probably didn't help either. Got worked on twice this week in an attempt got get the lower legs under control before they progressed from soreness to problem as they did after 15km USA Champs. The first workout was an pace run fartlek for lack of a better term. It was 7 x 5 min on, 2 off where the on's were at pace run effort and the off's were regular pace. Normally this would be a light workout as it's a 35 min PR with rest thrown in and I'm used to 50-60 min PR's. However, coming a few days after a half marathon it was the perfect workout and not easy by any reach. The downside was that I might have tweaked my left calf halfway through and that will have to be monitored in the next few days.

One of the epically swaying bridges at the Ann Springs Greenway

Well I had to push MR+ back a day to protect my calves, but was able to get it in along with my second workout without any hiccups. The primary was 2 x 30 min PR, with the first one averaging 5:00 and the second one (with flats) at 4:52 pace. I kept the second one on the track as I found a gear right at 4:52 and didn't want to mess with that. I felt that this was a good workout less than a week out of the half marathon, even if the effort level started escalating rapidly over the last mile. The next day I ventured onto trails for the first time in 5-6 weeks (been going flat as possible protecting the calf) and everything survived! That's a load off my mind.

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 50 50 100
Tuesday 7 x 5 on 2 off ~4:55 on's 6:30 offs 80
Wednesday 45 65 110
Thursday 30 100 130
Friday 2 x 30 min PR, 5 min rest, 5:00/4:52 105
Saturday 135 Lift 135
Sunday 45 45 90
Week 750 (125mi)

4/25/2016 - 5/1/2016: Half Marathon USA Championships

The first two days of the week I was still dealing with calf issues going as far as to skip my double on Tuesday after a mid-day massage on it. The upside is that I'm in the 5:30's on all my runs so far without trying to, legs are feeling my excitement for the race apparently. The only workout of this week was on Wednesday because of how far we had to push back the second workout of last week. It was a little heavier than I'd normally do on a pre-race workout three days out, but that was due to not working out on Monday and having only 75% of a workout on Sunday. I ran around mid-day and while it was hot, the legs felt peppy so I attacked the K and came through three seconds faster than was prescribe and I was fine with that.

Barbara Perenic | Columbus Dispatch

Race day was almost perfect weather, low 50's, overcast, with only a slight wind (which ended up playing a part). I normally have mile splits here, but I managed to erase those somehow. We went out in a relaxed 24:14 for 5 miles as no one wanted to push the pace we were bouncing above and below 4:50, upwards of 5:00 when heading into the wind. Around six miles Shaddy put in a surge and I moved up on his shoulder to help him out and see if we couldn't break away, but when I looked over my shoulder we still had eight in the pack and I drifted back out of the lead. Coming into nine miles I decided that while I was feeling good, I didn't want to move with four miles left in such a big pack. Instead I spent the mile ampping myself up mentally for a hard move at 10 miles (note it apparently only takes half a mile for me to do this, so I had to calm down a little in the middle or I would have moved too soon). The move broke me away and I came through in 4:30 and a block up on the pack. All that was left at that point was trying to chase down the lead car.

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 55 65 120
Tuesday 60 Lift 60
Wednesday 5 x 3 on / 2 off in 4:40's, 2 min, 1,000 (2:42) 30 100
Thursday 45 45
Friday 30 Strides 30
Saturday Race USA 1/2 Marathon Champs 50 155
Sunday 120 120
Week 630 (105mi)

4/18/2016 - 4/24/2016

The week started off with a bang (an anaerobic buffering workout). Under Gibby this comes in two forms, either a mile hard (defined as 99% or race effort minus losing control/kicking) or 3 x 800 hard followed by pace run segments. I got the former and started the workout with a no watch 4:14 (63/63/64/63), probably could have gotten a little more out of it, but the purpose was accomplished, my legs were loaded. The meat of the workout is the pace run segments that follow, making your body run on loaded legs is unpleasant but useful ability to have. The segments followed the general pattern of, first mile: holy crap why won't these things move, second mile: of there's life in them after all if I could just concentrate and not zone out, third mile: now we're cooking. Splits were 5:05, 4:59, 4:56 / 5:06, 5:03, 4:57 / 5:00, 4:59, 4:50. I wore flats for the entire workout which was a double edged sword, good in that I need to get used to wearing them for longer periods of time (1/2 and 25k coming up), bad in that my calf was not appreciative of it.

Well the heat has arrived in Charlotte , it was around 90 for my MR+ and while I got water three times during the run, that was not enough. I did end in the run in the mid 5:40's, but it was a sufferfest out there. I also had to stay to the flats after the first half of the run as my calf was bothering me, not so fun either.

Ow. Calf has officially moved from annoyance to affecting my work. I had to push back the second workout of the week twice as it was not ready to go. First time we switched from workout to emergency easy day, the next day changed to a long run, hence the abnormal scheduling of days this week. It was able to complete a 45 min pace run on the track Sunday which puts me back on track for competing in the USA half marathon championships the following Saturday.

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday Mile HARD (4:14), 3 x 15 min PR (~5:05, ~5:00, ~4:56 for all 3) w/3 min rest 30 120
Tuesday 100 Lift 100
Wednesday 40 65 Strides 105
Thursday 30 35 65
Friday 140 Lift 140
Saturday 55 50 105
Sunday 45 min PR (avg 5:04) 30 115
Week 750 (125 mi)

4/11/2016 - 4/17/2016

Tuesday was a painful workout, it's never good when you're redlining on the first repeat of the workout. After three my heart rate was at 200, it's unusual for it to be that high so early in the workout. Flats helped me get the effort under control and I was able to finish off the effort, but the desired steady decline in times was missing: 4:29, 4:30, 4:31 - flats - 4:30, 4:28, 4:29, 4:26. To finish things off and put a little turnover in my legs I got 4 x 400 at the end which wasn't exactly hard, but I would have had trouble carrying that pace for more than another hundred meters at that point. Also of note, it was 2 pm, low 70's with sunny conditions which added up over the course of the workout.

The effort later in the week was a solid 60 minute pace run that I did on a greenway in south Charlotte. Splits averaged 5:02 (and ranged from 5:05-4:55) which while not fast was the right effort for a pace run. Being on a bike path that rolls is different than the perfect tempo of the track and the workout is more about hitting the right effort level than the perfect splits. My right calf started to bug me the last little bit of this workout, just as it did at the end of the mile repeats. It's something I've been dealing with since the 15km back in March.

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 80 Lift/Strides 80
Tuesday 7 x mile w/3 min rest (avg 4:29), 5 min, 4x400 w/1 min rest (64's) 75
Wednesday 100 100
Thursday 30 60 Strides 90
Friday 60 min PR avg 5:02 30 Lift 125
Saturday 125 125
Sunday 65 65
Week 660 (110mi)

4/4/2014 - 4/10/2016

The start of the Capital Crescent Trail

Well I had the pleasure of doing two long runs this week as the race on Sunday pushed last week's back to Monday. The first one started out slowly as the race was in my legs, but once I got on the Capital Crescent Trail and started trying to run down bikers things picked up...probably shouldn't have been in the 5:30's but oh well, I was frustrated at my performance in the race the day before. Was pretty snappy on my runs the next day, but that feeling went away pretty quickly after my first workout. Basically it was a broken up pace run to baby me through it coming off the race and to not push me too much so that I'd be ready to for the primary workout in two days.

The primary on Friday was sets of pace run thousands on a cool, windy morning. The first set at 72's was fairly relaxed, however the second set at 70's I had to make sure to get out and attack to set a proper pace. I got to put flats on before the third set which meant the effort level for 68's was approximately the same, with my legs turning over a little quicker with the decrease in weight on my feet. The last set I was told to work from 2:55-2:45 over the course of four and I did with the effort level jacking up for the last two. I was happy with this workout because I was on top of my game mentally and physically which has not been the norm recently which it should be. Moving in the right direction.

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 120 120
Tuesday 60 30 Lift/Strides 90
Wednesday 30 4 x 5 min, 4 x 4 min, 3 x 3 min, w/1 min rest in mid 4:50's 115
Thursday 100 100
Friday 5 x 1k (3:00), 4 x 1k (2:55), 4 x 1k (2:50), 4 x 1k (2:55->2:45) 3 min b/t sets, 1 min b/t K's 40 145
Saturday 70 70
Sunday 140 140
Week 780 (130mi)

3/28/2016 - 4/3/2016: Cherry Blossom 10 miler

A bare starting line due to high winds

This week was centered around the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, a race I like as I grew up less than ten miles away from the start and have friends and family in the area. The start of the week was no different than any other 130 mile week with high mileage days, but around three days out from the race that begins to change ending in my normal twelve miles in two days before the race.

Race morning was a bit chilly as the temps were in the mid-30's and sustained 30mph winds put a damper on race paces, but not participation as nearly all 16,000 people showed up to compete! Splits were few and far between as all markers on the course were taken down due to the wind, however the timing mats at 5 miles (25:04), 10k (30:50) and 9 miles (43:55) were still down. As evident from the splits, we stayed packed up for first 10k with no one wanting to push the pace into the wind (a fairly suicidal idea). This changed heading out on Haynes Point with the wind at our back shortly after 10k when the leaders dropped a 4:20 (estimated) mile to shatter the pack of nine runners. I tried to stay with the leaders as I knew as soon as we turned the corner to head back to the finish the wind would be in our face for the last two miles and being in no-man's land would be disastrous. Well, I was able to find a few people to run with, unfortunately they were the last three from the pack and I didn't improve from there. Overall I stayed relaxed and in control for the first 6.5 miles, was ready for the move when it happened, but failed to be mentally on top of my game from there on out and it showed in the poor finish. There is work left to be done, it's hard to remember that I'm two months behind in training from where I normally am at this point because I'm peaking two months later than normal. I'm normally ready to wreck shop by the beginning of April!

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 60 60 Strides 120
Tuesday 30 2 x 15 min PR w/5 min rest (4:59 & 4:54 avg) 115
Wednesday 70 45 Lift 115
Thursday 7 min brisk, 3 min, 3 x 1k w/3 min rest (2:49, 2:48, 2:42) 85
Friday 40 40
Saturday 30 Strides 30
Sunday Race Cherry Blossom 10mi 40 130
Week 630 (105mi)

3/21/2016 - 3/27/2016

I rocked the pace run! For the first time in maybe 8 months, I rolled, attacked, and stayed in control of a pace run the whole way through. Splits were 5:03, 2:31, off marked area, 5:03, 4:56, 4:57, 4:50, off marked area, 2:26, 4:50. My right calf which has been giving me some issues since the 15k survived and I was able to do some hills on it the next day.

Faced my nemesis workout again for the primary, two mile repeats. This time we started much faster, 9:20 compared to 9:40, but I wasn't able to hit pace on the first repeat coming in at 9:30. As always there was some wind on the track, however the major player on the day was the heat/sun making the last mile much tougher. After a poor first repeat I got my head screwed on straight and nailed the next two, especially the last 800 of the third one. I'm guessing Gibby called an audible due to the heat and changed the last two mile into a mile as I was told to take my watch off and save something for the last lap. Splits: 64.9, 65.6, 64.8, 61.6, pretty happy with the close, now I just need to be that focused the whole way.

Had to change Friday into my easy day as my calf was bothering me low level the whole time and I didn't want it to get worse. Got it worked on and was able to get in 21 miles the next day and a full long run as well. As long as I'm able to keep it healthy enough to workout on I'm happy.

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 30 50 min PR (5:03 -> 4:50) 115
Tuesday 100 30 Lift 130
Wednesday 60 45 Srides
Thursday 3 x 2 mile (9:30, 9:23, 9:16), 1 x 1 mile (4:16), 5 min rest 85
Friday 75
Saturday 60 70 130
Sunday 140 140
Week 780 (130mi)

3/14/2016 - 3/20/2016

Mile 4.75 on the Four Mile Greenway, Charlotte

Did my pace run on a greenway in South Charlotte hoping to escape some of the 85+ degree heat, I was slow to get out the door and thus unsuccessful. My instructions were to take the first 20 minutes at 5:05-5:10 pace (5:06, 5:06, 5:12, 5:11) which I did after slowing myself down on multiple occasions. That problem went away quickly though as my body temps start to rise from the heat as 5:05 pace suddenly became the right effort level for a pace run. I finished with (5:06, 5:05, 5:05, 5:03, 5:03, 3:45). Good workout coming off a race and in the heat.

The primary was my first tempo of the year. Normally I've done a few by this point, but normally my peak would be the start of May, not the start of July. I was told to go 4:44-4:48, much slower than my normal 4:40ish, but again (frustratingly so) my coach was right on pacing as I was pushing hard (4:43 (fast first lap), 4:47, 4:47, 4:45). My right soleus has started bugging me the day before and was throbbing after the tempo. Figured I'd give the hills a shot and I was able to complete them but I've got to go into full recovery mode to get this thing under control so that it doesn't turn into a setback. The precursor to the soleus problem was both lower legs being incredibly sore and tight following the race and not getting them worked out before the primary.

The day following the primary had to be turned into my easy day as I felt my soleus the entire run and didn't want to run on it again. Over the next two days I was still feeling it at a low level but it would warm up well after twenty minutes.

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 80 Lift 80
Tuesday 50 min PR (5:06 avg) 30 115
Wednesday 50 60 Lift 110
Thursday 100 100
Friday 4 mile Tempo (4:43, 4:47, 4:47, 4:45), 7 min, 12x75 sec hill 30 130
Saturday 135 135
Sunday 50 50
Week 720 (120mi)

3/7/206 - 3/13/2016: 15km USA Championships

The week started off with slightly relaxed pace run, breathing was getting pretty difficult for me the last mile or so due to the amount of pollen in the air. This had been going on for a couple weeks now, and while I haven't had issues in the past in Jacksonville, gasping for breath the entire week prior to a race is always a little worrying. As it turned out I was fine in that department for the race which was a relief.

As it always is, the USA 15km Championships at the Gate River Run was a wonderful experience largely due to the efforts of tireless Richard Fannin. A slightly warm and breezy day lead to no one taking the pace and attacking which resulted in a large pack and splits such as: 4:48, 4:54, 4:48, (15:02), 9:43, 4:49, (15:02), 4:51, 4:57, 4:27, (14:38). It's an unfortunate dilemma someone without a strong kick faces in a situation such as that. If you take the lead and push too early, you're just rabbiting the pack and they'll go by you at the end. If you wait too long then the better kickers will prevail. It's hard to find that perfect point (and sometimes it's not even there) where you can maintain your hard push to the finish, while not dying before you get there. In this circumstance I made my move with about a mile left to go right at the apex of the bridge and found out that a 4:14 last mile was only good enough for third. In retrospect, I should have made my move somewhere around the beginning of the bridge as I was feeling decent there and I might have been able to drop one or two of the people who had a better kick.

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 40 min PR, 5:02 avg 40 125
Tuesday 75 30 Lift 105
Wednesday 2 mile brisk, 2 min, 3 x 1k (2:54, 2:55, 2:53) w/1 min rest 65
Thursday 45 45
Friday 30 Strides 30
Saturday Race 15km 45 140
Sunday 120 120
Week 630 (105mi)

2/29/2016 - 3/6/2016

Holy smokes did I get my annihilated on Monday. First warm day of the year and we tried out a new spot for pace runs. It was a 600 meter gravel oval that was sloping down from one curve to the other with sharp turns. This did not work well for me as I couldn't find a rhythm, was constantly having to attack after every turn to get back to a decent speed. Add in the slippage from the gravel and the heat and that results in a miserable/slow first thirty minutes. To salvage some of the workout I moved down to the greenway for the second half and was way above the normal effort level running 5:04's. Apparently I looked even more ghostlike after I finished a five minute cool down/stumble than I normally do.

I was toast for the Tuesday and Wednesday too coming off the pace run, getting dropped on hills at the Whitewater Center and having to catch back up afterwards. Important to note that I still ran the normal effort levels on these runs, they were just abnormally slow paces as I was abnormally tired, which is ok.

Finally, Finally! I felt in control of a workout, even if I couldn't take a deep breath (pollen). 11 x straight K's (hard intervals, approximately equal rest). After five I put on flats and had to restrain myself from going too fast as I was given a hard floor of 2:45, well except for the last one where I was let loose the last 200.

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 30 2 x 30 min PR (5:08 avg, 5:04 avg) 120
Tuesday 30 100 Lift 130
Wednesday 40 60 Strides 100
Thursday 11 x 1k, 2:45 rest (2:48, 47, 47, 47, 46, 44, 44, 45, 45, 44, 41) 90
Friday 80 50 Lift/Strides 130
Saturday 140 140
Sunday 70 70
Week 780 (130mi)

2/22/2016 - 2/28/2016

So this is one of the workouts that I don't really enjoy threw a mental hissy fit for the first two repeats so while I ran the assigned time for the first one, 9:40, I didn't make any progress for the second one. For me flats make a big difference, not only does it tend to give me ~5 sec / mile, but my quads feel lighter and my turnover naturally increases from the decrease in weight. Well the change into flats helped a lot and I got on track closing well for the last two repeats.

Did hills again this week, but for a change I had people to run with as the team was doing hills too. We weren't going at the same pace but that's easily solved by starting enough behind them that I catch up around 3/4 of the way up the hill. That way I get someone to chase for most of it and then I help them out at the end. After the hills we had a chance to spin our wheels for the first time this season and I was happy with my doing half of mine in 43 with a significant wind on the homestretch.

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 55 55 Lift/Strides
Tuesday 4 x 2 mile w/3 min rest (4:51-9:41, 4:37-9:39, 4:42-9:24, 4:40-9:16) 90
Wednesday 100 30 130
Thursday 75 40 Lift/Strides 115
Friday 30 12 x 75 sec hill, 10 min, 8 x 300 (43-44) 115
Saturday 140 140
Sunday 50
Week 750 (125mi)

2/15/2016 - 2/21/2016

A view of the observatory at Griffith Park

I started off the week still in LA and had the opportunity to go to a Gold's Gym in Hollywood. Let's just say that people were a lot bigger than most gyms and it wasn't fat. I got to run in Griffith Park again and made the mistake of going up a small ridge at the start. The problem is then you don't want to go back down right away as you'll have to go up again later...and then suddenly you've gone up more than a thousand feet, you're on the other side of all the hills from where you started and your run got a lot longer. Totally worth it once in a while.

I made a pit stop on the way in DC to do a promotional event for the Cherry Blossom 10 mile which I'll be racing at the start of April. Flying from the west coast early in the morning and arriving at your hotel at six in the evening is never ideal for fitting in a 1:40 min run. Let's just say I learned my way around the monuments, the Capitol and the Whitehouse very well.

Found out that this exists.

The first workout of the week was pushed back to Thursday due to not arriving back in Charlotte until late Wednesday evening. For this pace run I started a little slower to avoid the death march that happened last week and it went well, slowly working from 5:06 down to 4:54. The primary workout of the week was 12 x 75 second hill that I did on a great section of sidewalk except for the fact it was next to a busy four land road. That was a poor choice and I was having a few asthma issues by the end of a solid workout.

For the long run I drove up to Lake Norman State Park and found about fifteen miles of single track trails. Definitely a place to run more often if it wasn't forty-five minutes away. Also of note was that there was a family of mountain biking unicyclists out on the trail. Sounds like the start of a bad joke, but nope, they were there.

Week Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 80 Lift 80
Tuesday 100 100
Wednesday 45 60 105
Thursday 30 48 min PR avg 5:01 125
Friday 60 60
Saturday 12 x 75 sec Hill 25 115
Sunday 135 135
Week 720 (120mi)

9/29/2014 - 10/5/2014

So the way I can tell that mileage is severely dropping is that it no longer takes me 20 minutes into a run to start feeling good. I can pop out the door and be in the 5:50’s right away, and then I have to focus to make sure I’m not running too fast. Had my last real workout on Tuesday, a short pace run on the track. Everything from that point onward are just efforts to keep my body from going flat. An appropriate saying would be, “the hay’s in the barn.” But I’ve found I don’t like that saying as it seems to imply you don’t have to stay mentally focused even if the physical work has been done.
Week 19 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 35 35
Tuesday 30 40 min Pace Run avg 4:56 100
Wednesday 60 60
Thursday 105 105
Friday 40 40
Saturday 30 5 x 3 on / 1 off in the 4:40's 100
Sunday 70 70
Week 510 (85mi)

9/22/2014 - 9/28/2014

Had my third workout in Charlotte Tuesday morning, averaging just under five minute pace off the track on the Greenway before jumping back on the track and ratcheting down the pace to simulate what will hopefully take place around the twenty mile mark of the race. Overall it was a great morning workout in a light mist just before I got on the plane to fly back to Seattle for the last few weeks of training.

On the plane ride back I managed to catch a sore throat which persisted through the weekend and made the workout on Friday just a tad tougher than it would have been otherwise. And I gotta say, having only thirty seconds rest adds up by the end of five repeats, the break between sets was greatly appreciated.

The last real long run of the season was Sunday, something that I had to be pretty careful with too. With the mileage dropping, the risk of overrunning efforts increases and I found myself in the mid 5:40’s at one point and had to slow myself down. This will only become more of a factor over the last two weeks as the mileage continues to drop in preparation for the marathon.
Week 18 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 65 30 95
Tuesday 60 min Pace Run 8 miles avg 4:59, 4 miles avg 4:51 Flew back to Seattle 90
Wednesday 90 90
Thursday 60 Strides 60
Friday 3 x 5 x 1,000m 30 sec rest, 3:30 b/t sets. Avgs: 2:59, 2:56, 2:54 80
Saturday 65 65
Sunday 120 120
Week 600 (100mi)

9/15/2014 - 9/21/2104

Starting my first full week in Charlotte, I’m getting a sense of the place and how to avoid the spider webs. Got my first chance to run on the greenway (a paved path along a stream) that runs through the UNCC campus on Monday. It is very conveniently marked every 400 meters. Great place to do pace runs (tempo runs) although this one didn’t go exactly according to plan as it turns out the inhaler (I have exercised induced asthma) I’ve been using ran out last week and my replacement one didn’t show up until after the workout. That being said, if you take away the inability to breath, the legs were doing alright in adjusting to the heat.

On Thursday I had the workout that I had been dreading for a while. I use the word dreading because I knew it was a big workout on the horizon and I hadn’t been feeling as recovered as I would have liked the past few weeks. However, after removing the aerobic fartlek from the long run last weekend, I finally got back on top of my game and it showed in the workout, putting up splits that were significantly faster than the previous year while at the same time going further in hot, humid and unfortunately sunny conditions. I didn’t realize how worried I’d been until afterwards when the relief hit me. Probably shouldn’t have built up a single workout that much in my mind, but it’s behind me now and hopefully I’ll learn a lesson from it.

This week also had the last longer than a marathon long run, where I ended up cruising in the low 5:40’s for the majority of the effort after naturally working into the run.
Week 17 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 50 min Pace Run 4:58 avg 40 130
Tuesday 110 35 Lift 145
Wednesday 75 30 Strides 105
Thursday 6, 5, 4, 1 mile w/5min rest. Avgs: 4:56, 4:53, 4:50, 4:43 110
Friday 70 30 Lift 110
Saturday 160 160
Sunday 30 Strides 30
Week 780 (130mi)

9/8/2014 - 9/14/2014

View of Mount Rainer on my long run

On Monday I hit a new PR for number of mile repeats on the track and was quite pleased with the effort as I averaged 4:35 over 12 repeats. I was in flats after the first set which seems to give me a boost of about four seconds a mile, useful that. On the other hand, this workout wore me out again and it showed as by the time I got to the secondary workout early Thursday morning I was not completely recovered and failed to stay at 5:00 pace for the last 45 minutes of the workout, drifting back towards 5:10 where I started.

Leaving Seattle

Later that day I flew out to Charlotte, NC where my coach, Alex Gibby, is now located for a twelve day training trip. The purpose of the trip is to be under the watchful eye of the taskmaster for the last few major workouts so any tweaks that need to be made can be. On a side note, I had forgotten over the past four years since leaving Williamsburg what the humidity can be like in this area of the country…and the amount of spider webs in the area. I’ll be sticking to the wider paths in the morning until other people have had a chance to transverse the thinner trails.
Week 16 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 30 3 x 4 x mile w/1:30 rest & 5:00 b/t sets. Avg for sets: 4:39, 4:34, 4:31 130
Tuesday 35 105 140
Wednesday 65 55 Strides/Lift 120
Thursday 70 min Progression Run 5:10-5:00 Fly to Charlotte 100
Friday 60 50 Strides/Lift
Saturday 140 140
Sunday 40 40
Week 780 (130mi)

9/1/2014 - 9/7/2014: USA 20km Championships

Mid-Race in the USA 20km Champs

The 20k USA Championships kick-started this week. Quick shout out to elite athlete coordinator John Tolbert who’s done an absolutely first class job every year I’ve been to New Haven. However, while there was a quality field assembled for the US Championships, it was the weather that defined the day, low 70 ‘s at 8:30 in the morning with very high humidity and clear blue skies provided a glaring sun. It was going to be a battle of survival.

We started the first three miles, 4:52, 4:58 & 4:52 (15:16), with no one willingly taking the lead. Under normal conditions I would chalk this up to a slow start and expected the pace to pick up shortly. Today though, under the sun and humidity, it proved to be exactly the opposite, the fastest 5k of the day. Throughout the next 5k the lead shifted back and forth with Matt Llano (20) and Ahmed Osman (14) doing most of the leading while I stayed at the back of the front group of eight trying to stay relaxed. Just after we hit the 10k mark in 30:38 (4:58, 4:50, 5:04), we had an unexpected visitor for a block or so (see above photo).

At this point everyone had been taking in water and dousing themselves at most water stops, but the cumulative heat was beginning to take a toll. Mile splits that are more often seen in pace runs on the track 4:54, 5:14, 4:52, were becoming harder to hit with the strain evident in the whole pack as moves were covered at increasingly slower rates. Shortly before we entered East Rock (9th mile), Girma Mecheso made a move going around a corner (corners and turnarounds are always places to pay attention as they are easy places to create separation, especially later in races) that fractured the pack permanently for the first time.

Last straightaway of 20k US Champs. (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

The split up the hill was 5:12, but it felt as if it was the fastest of the day. Cresting the apex Girma accelerated again down the windy hill stringing out the remaining pack. At this point I was hurting and beginning to lose the battle of keeping my right side cramp under control, but I was still determined to not allow myself to be gapped by the leaders. We hit the eleventh mile in 4:53 on Whitney Ave. A side note here, the last two and a half miles are a straight shot on Whitney Ave, the longest finishing stretch on the USARC! By the start of the last mile we were whittled down to three, Girma, Luke and I, in that order. I was bouncing on and off the back of the pack, deviating between giving into my cramp and deciding that “this is not going to be point where I give up and drop off.” Right around twelve miles (4:48) I lost my mental battle and slipped off the back of the front two and saw my chance at a fourth national championship running away from me. Then, with around 400-600 meters left, the road splits and you can see the finish line for the first time. At this point, after seeing Luke looking back frequently, I finally found a little competitive spirit and started to kick. Like a snowball going downhill it was a slow thing in forming, but by the time I caught up to Luke I shot right by him and almost got Girma too, unfortunately, he had a little extra left in the tank to hold me off until I ran out of ground and he reached the finish.

Looking back I am pleased that I was able to resurrect myself and close well enough pick up one spot and almost grab the win. On the other hand, I am disappointed that mentally I made all the right decisions, even on the last stretch where I continually caught back up to the top two many times, until right after twelfth mile and it cost me the win. It’ll take a good race at Chicago to get this one off my mind. Afterwards I won the drug testing lottery which eliminated the chance of a cool down but was a really good way to make sure to get re-hydrated.

Starting my first 150 mile week with a 15 mile day? Sure, why not! I’ll just hit 120 miles in the next 5 days. Not the way I would have planned it, but what can you do with a race on Monday followed by a cross country flight? A mostly successful week as it contained a solid race effort on Monday, a strong workout on Thursday, and a painfully fatigued long run on Saturday.
Week 15 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday Race 20k Champs Fly back to Seattle 95
Tuesday 30 110 140
Wednesday 70 70 Strides 140
Thursday 2x7 mile 8 min rest on track 5:02 & 4:54 avg 45 150
Friday 80 60 Lift 140
Saturday 150 150
Sunday 40 45 Lift 85
Week 900 (150mi)

8/25/2014 - 8/31/2014

This was a down week leading into the 20k US Championships next Monday with the progression run on Tuesday being the only major workout. As has been the trend, this progression run dropped in pace faster than the previous two ending with four miles at or below 4:52 pace on the track.

Going into a race I like to front load my mileage. For example, the first four days are on par with a 140 mile week, while the last three days are on the very easy side, leading into Monday’s race. This is a compromise that has worked out well for me in the past. First it gives me a few days to recover and feel fresh going into a race and second it allows me to keep my training levels relatively even outside of a short period to continue working on my long term goals.
Week 14 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 60 40 Strides/Lift 95
Tuesday 45 70 min Progression Run 5:25 - 4:45 145
Wednesday 120 30 150
Thursday 60 35 Strides/Lift 95
Friday 10 min brisk, 4 x 1,000 w/2:30 rest (2:43, 45, 42, 39) 70
Saturday 40 40
Sunday 30 Strides 30
Week 630 (105mi)

8/18/2014 - 8/24/2014

West Grand Forest, Bainbridge Island, WA

Well back up to 140 miles again this week, and surprise, surprise, is it easier to hit when you don’t have to jam most of the mileage into the first four days of the week. Also, a three hour long run doesn’t hurt either. My first workout this week was three five miles segments on the track with the last set in flats starting at marathon pace and dropping. Throughout all three sets I felt under control and relaxed which left me excited at how my training was progressing. At the end of the week, I had my first three hour long run which I was apprehensive about going in. However, it turned out very well, possibly too well as I ended up running the last seven to eight miles averaging 5:23 pace with an overall pace of 5:38 (2:28 marathon pace). A note about long runs and workouts in general during marathon prep. During the marathon your body needs re hydration and refueling, so it would behoove a person to prepared for this. I set out water bottles (at this point filled with gatorade, use whatever sparks your fancy) about three miles apart for long runs and workouts. This is easy to do at my long run location, a six mile stretch of road, as I only need to set up at two spot. This way my body gets used to taking in fluid and processing it every five kilometers as it will be during the marathon. By personal experience, this also leads to much quicker long runs and I have to reign myself in at times to not over run the efforts as I might have on Sunday.
Week 13 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 60 60 Strides/Lift 120
Tuesday 30 3 x 5 mile avgs: 5:00, 4:57, 4:54 135
Wednesday 110 Lift 110
Thursday 60 50 Strides 110
Friday 16x75 sec hills 40 125
Saturday 60 60
Sunday 180 180
Week 840 (140mi)

8/11/2014 - 8/17/2014

Bugs - From driving through half of North Dakota

I arrived in Seattle Monday evening and by the next morning most of the stuffiness was out of my legs for the progression run. A note about this run, while it looks to be similar to the one I did in week 7, this one dropped the pace quicker leading to an overall faster average pace. On Friday I had a shorter, quicker workout. This was in part due to the impending long run workout on Sunday, as well as to work on my top end gears, something I’ve been having some difficulty reaching in the past few weeks of training. It went very well, easily sliding into the necessary speeds (this is not to say the effort level was not high), and getting a boost from flats for the last three repeats. Overall this was a nice down week in mileage to recover from travel and to get ready for another 140 mile week.
Week 12 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 60 60
Tuesday 60 min Progression Run 5:20-4:45 100
Wednesday 100 30 Lift 130
Thursday 80 40 Strides 120
Friday 30 6 x Mile w/1:30 rest, 4:30, 32, 31, 25, 26, 23 100
Saturday 70 70
Sunday 140 w/10, 10 min segments of med (~5:20), hard (~5:02), easy (5:38) 140
Week 720 (120mi)

8/4/2014 - 8/10/2014

View of I-90 in Montana

Well these were an interesting two interesting weeks as they included my move (driving) from Ann Arbor, Michigan to my temporary training grounds of Bainbridge Island, Washington (right outside of Seattle). To avoid having to do any workouts while driving I squished them into the beginning of the week and held my maintenance run plus and long run for my travel days. While this was nice for the trip portion, I paid a heavy price during the beginning of my first 140 mile week in terms of workload, hitting ~90 miles in the first four days and putting in a sub-par performance in my fartlek pace-wise (even if the effort level was high). On the other hand, that wasn’t anything that sitting on my duff for 9-10 hours a day in a car couldn’t fix and by the time Sunday came around I was ready for a surprisingly good long run in Bismarck, ND. If you ever find yourself in that area, check out the series of parks and trails along the Missouri River for a good run. Also of note driving across the northern United States, besides the beauty of open country, were the number of bugs I ran across. It got to the point where I had to wash off my headlights when I got to gas stations…not something I’ve experienced before.
Week 11 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 70 60 Strides 130
Tuesday 4 x 5 x 1,000 w/1 min rest, 2:30 b/t sets. Set avgs: 2:57, 2:54, 2:54, 2:50 140
Wednesday 70 60 Strides/Lift 130
Thursday Fartlek On: 2 x 8,6,4,3 Off: 2 min. Avg on 4:50 40 135
Friday 110 110
Saturday 45 45
Sunday 150 150
Week 840 (140mi)

7/28/2014 - 8/3/2014

Well back to training in a big way this week with an hour long fartlek, an hour pace run on the track and a second areobic fartlek long run. One thing I like to do once or twice in a week is a pace check on the track at the end of a run (anywhere from 400m-1600m) followed with a quick heart rate test. I’m looking for a result in the 145-160 range, usually I’m around 150. This week I’ve been coming in pretty quickly at the end of the run in the low 5:40’s, including a 5:27 check at the close of my maintenance run plus on Wednesday. While that last one is probably a little fast, a staple of my training is quality maintenance runs (non workouts) which at this point in my career means mid 5:40’s to low 5:50’s.
Week 10 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 75 50 Strides/Lift 125
Tuesday Fartlek 5 x 4,3,2 w/1 min rest Avg on 4:43 40 135
Wednesday 105 Lift 105
Thursday 75 40 Strides 115
Friday 30 60 min PR avg 5:00 120
Saturday 40 40
Sunday 140 w/ 6 15 min segments of med (~5:23), hard (~5:05), easy (~5:40) 140
Week 780 (130mi)

7/21/2014 - 7/27/2014: 7mi USA Championships

Well the 7 mile US Championships (Bix 7) came down to a kick with Sean Quigley and this time I was the one watching someone pull away. This wasn’t the first time I’ve faced Sean in a kick either…I’ll be looking forward to the 20k and a chance to start evening the score.
Date Race Me Sean Note
9/30/2006 W&M Meet 1 0 Rumor has it he started throwing up after I passed him, one of my prouder moments.
9/3/2011 20k USA Champs 1 1 Came out of nowhere in the last 200 meters to blow me away.
3/9/2013 15k USA Champs 1 2 Got me by one second over the last mile.
4/28/2013 Payton Jordan 1 3 Big separation over the last mile.
4/18/2014 Mt. SAC Relays 1 4 I call shenanigans, “someone” took half my shoe off in the this race. Try kicking like that!
7/26/2014 Bix 7 1 5 Stride for stride for the last 1.5 miles until he found one more gear than I had.

Bix 7 Finish. Photo by John Schultz, Quad City Times

Going into the race I was concerned with how I would fare considering the strength of the field, the course not playing to my strengths (short and hilly) and the fact that I’ve been beginning to readjust to higher mileage over the past two weeks.

The race started slowly, 5:15, with Meb Keflezighi in front but that was to be expected as there is a very large sustained climb for a majority of the mile. Understandably, things picked up (4:25) through the downhill second mile going into the hilly turn around portion of the course (4:49). Up to this point I was hanging in the front pack concentrating on staying relaxed while Meb and Stephen Pifer did most of the leading which continued through the fourth mile (4:42). As we started the climb up the long slope that had been the downhill second mile the pace started to flag (5:01) and I realized that I was going to have to make a move if I wanted to break up the pack of five that I had found myself leading. With about a mile and a half to go I increased the tempo and started to pull away with only Sean keeping me company. We continued to run stride for stride down the ridiculous hill that we started the race on. I say ridiculous because I was trying to not give an inch to Sean, while at the same time, not overrunning and falling flat on my face as it’s fairly steep on top of the fact that it seemed to go on forever (as a side note, I cooled down with Sean after the race and he had similar thoughts coming down the hill). When at last the hill ended and we rounded the corner, with 500 meters or so left in the race, I put on another surge and pulled away…for a short time. However, he had another gear I didn’t match and pulled away for the victory. The last two miles were 9:17 for an overall time of 33:32.

Overall I thought it was a successful race. I put my mark on the race, ran it on my terms and just came up one gear short. I’m looking forward to the rematch on Labor Day, as well as another chance to be the first person to win four USARC races in one year.
Week 9 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 40 Pace Segments 15 min @5:10, 15 min @ 5:00, 10 min @4:54 125
Tuesday 70 40 Strides/Lift 110
Wednesday 2 mile (10:05), 3 x 3 on/off 70
Thursday 40 40
Friday 30 Strides 30
Saturday Bix 7 (33:32 2nd) 45 130
Sunday 125 125
Week 630 (105mi)

7/14/2014 - 7/20/2014

Well this week involved something that hasn’t happened in the last four years to my recollection…I had to cut a workout short. On Friday I was supposed to do 2x5xmile, however, after the 6th mile I was going backwards and significantly off my splits. In an attempt to salvage volume from the workout I moved to thousands but those were even slower. It was a difficult decision for me to stop the workout at this point. On one hand, my legs were done and my times were 10 seconds per mile or more off. On the other hand, if you quit once when it gets tough or things aren’t going well, it becomes much easier to quit again which is not a routine I want to get in. At that point the question had to be asked, how did it get to this point? Sure the workout was hard on paper: high volume, low rest, and fast splits, but it was something I should have been able to handle given the past few weeks. My focus was definitely off, I had picked my head up and started to think ahead to next week’s race instead of taking things a day at a time, yet that doesn’t account for everything. At this point, I’ll have to chalk it up to a hard two weeks of training and a heavy lift on Wednesday. All that’s left now is to recover and not screw up again in the future.
Week 8 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 65 40 Lift 105
Tuesday 50 min PR avg 4:58 40 130
Wednesday 105 30 Lift 135
Thursday 65 35 Strides 100
Friday Failed: 2x5xMile, w/1 min rest, only got in 6 50 115
Saturday 150 150
Sunday 45 45
Week 780 (130 mi)

7/7/2014 - 7/13/2014

were my first two weeks of significant mileage as well as my first marathon focused workouts. Combined that with recovering from a road 10k and the lower leg tightness associated with it, I’ll be glad for a few down days heading into the USA 7 mile Championships next week.

This block of training featured my first progression run and aerobic fartlek of the season. The progression run starts slowly, slower than marathon pace, and gradually quickens to threshold pace and finishes beyond it. It’s a useful workout as it eases you into the paces and accustoms the body to becoming aggressive and dropping below marathon pace at the end of an effort, in addition to the aerobic benefits. It’s also a handy post race workout as it’s not as demanding overall as a pace run of equal duration.

Ferry Field, the workplace

For this progression run, I started at 5:20 pace for the first twenty minutes and then gradually worked my way down over the next forty minutes to 4:40 pace for the last thousand. While I was very happy with the workout due to hitting my paces precisely in a relaxed manner, I also came out of it with a slightly inflamed lower distal peroneal which took a few days to rid myself of. Lower leg issues have been my achilles heel (figuratively and literally) in the past, so I take the least bit of tightness or soreness seriously and immediately take evasive actions. In this case it involved a rotation of shoes, icing multiple times a day, heating before runs, getting a couple of massages and sleeping 10-12 hours day.

This week also included my first aerobic fartlek which occurs in the middle of a long run. In this case I had seven segments of twelve minutes for a total of eight-four minutes of hard running in the middle of a 2:20 long run following the pattern of medium, hard and easy. Warm up and cool down are done without break as this is the long run of the week. This is one of the workouts that will gasping for breath and completely exhausted by the end, although I’ve also been known to push the given pace constraints, so it’s probably my fault.
Week 7 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 60 35 Lift 95
Tuesday 40 Progression Run 60 min 5:20-4:40 140
Wednesday 100 Lift 100
Thursday 65 35 Strides 100
Friday Fartlek 6,6,5,5,4,4,3,3,2,2 rest is half rounded up 115
Saturday 30 30
Sunday 140 w/7 12 min segments of med(~5:29), hard (~5:20), easy (~5:40) 140
Week 720 (120mi)

6/30/2014 - 7/6/2014: 10km USA Championships

I flew down to Atlanta early in the week for a confab of all the Mizuno athletes. This was a great event where we got an inside peak at Mizuno’s What If Everybody Ran marketing campaign, shot some quick interviews for social media (and found out some hilarious facts about each other), had a little photo shoot and a great time all around. Below are a few photos from the event taken by a hapless volunteer on my phone.

On July 2nd, I had the opportunity to meet with a great group of kids who participate in the program Kilometer Kids. It’s a program designed to get children active at an early age to promote lifelong healthy habits, which is a great idea. While I was there, with a few of the other athletes, we went though a series of drills and stretches and then a jog around the athletic fields in Piedmont Park. I also got to catch up with them after the race and snagged a few pictures.

After taking a few easy days my legs were starting to come around and I was getting antsy waiting for race day. My plan going into the race was a passive one of staying in touch with the leaders and covering their moves. The first mile is slightly uphill and this was reflected in the slightly slow split of 4:41. Taking exception to this was Girma Mecheso who took off and instigated a small chase pack. Following my plan, I attached myself to the pack chasing him while trying to stay relaxed at the increased pace. This was the course the next two miles took, screaming downhill with 4:23 mile splits until we (Tyler Pennal, Shadrack Biwott and Arron Braun) caught and passed Girma at the start of Cardiac Hill and the fourth mile. At this point, Tyler took over the lead and started pounding up the hills which lead to our pack slowly dwindling to just the two of us by the time we hit five and a half miles. It was at this point where I realized that I had a great shot at winning another national championship and I started thinking about how I wanted to end the race. Once we made the turn onto 10th street (about 800 left, almost all downhill) I decided that I would make a sharp move when we hit the slight uptick with ~600 left as it would be the hardest point for Tyler to respond. The plan went off with only one hitch, on my first acceleration step I scuffed the ground, almost tripped, righted myself, and was able to make a clean break to the finish.

The Atlanta Track Club does a fantastic job of putting on the race and taking care of the invited athletes and people lining the course cheering the whole way, it’s easy to love this race. I’ll be looking forward to coming back next year.
Week 6 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 70 45 Strides/Lift 115
Tuesday 30 min Fartlek:2-3-5-3-2 euqal rest
Wednesday 40 40
Thursday 30 Strides 30
Friday Peachtree 10k (28:25 1st) 30 80
Saturday 45 65 110
Sunday 125 125
Week 570 (95mi)

6/23/2014 - 6/29/2014

One week out from the AJC Peachtree 10k (USA 10k Championships) and I got a chance to step on the track for the first time to get a glimpse of my fitness. Going into the workout I was worried how my legs would respond as they were sore from my work in the weight room the previous day, however, I was pleasantly surprised at the times my legs carried me to. This workout in particular got me excited for the race as I was much further ahead of where I thought I would be and the times were pretty close to the paces I would expect to be required to garner a top five spot. Later in the week, I got a chance to work on some turnover after a pace run which would be handy if I happened to be in a sprint finish.

Another feature in my weekly running is the easy day. This day plays a part in my overall training scheme both mentally and physically. Mentally it’s a day where I get to relax, jog slowly (maybe 40 sec/mile slower) and enjoy the scenery. Physically it gives my body a chance to recover from the pounding I’ve inflicted upon it earlier in the week. Usually I limit the run to an hour and if I’ve been on top of my mileage during the week I’ll get it under half an hour.
Week 5 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 30 75 Strides/Lift 105
Tuesday 6 x Mile w/ 1:30 rest 4:34 avg. 30 100
Wednesday 95 Lift 95
Thursday 35 75 Strides 110
Friday 36 min PR 4:59 avg & 4x300 ~44 35 120
Saturday 135 135
Sunday 25 25
Week 690 (115mi)

6/9/2014 - 6/22/2014

Well it’s usually about this time when I return to training that my legs lose their freshness and realize that it’s time to get adjust to training again, and right on schedule the middle of the week got tough. It also coincided with a vast amounts of hills courtesy of a short trip out to Bainbridge Island (an unreasonably hilly and scenic island in the Puget Sound) to visit the family. At this changeover point in a cycle it’s important to make sure that soft tissue issues don’t creep up on you and that you’re dedicating adequate time to sleep until your body adapts to the training load. To this end, I’ve been incorporating a mid day siesta into my routine and the extra sleep has been paying off.
Week 4 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 30 35 min Pace Run 5:01 avg 105
Tuesday 95 Fly Home 95
Wednesday 55 30 Strides/Lift 85
Thursday 50 50
Friday 6 x 5 min on 2/ min off 40 130
Saturday 65 65
Sunday 130 130
Week 660 (110mi)
Week 3 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 20 60 80
Tuesday Fly to Seattle 25 min Fartlek: 5 x 3 min on / 2 min off 65
Wednesday 90 90
Thursday 65 50 115
Friday 12 x 1 min hill repeats 35 Lift 110
Saturday 120 120
Sunday 50 Strides/Lift 50
Week 630 (105mi)

5/12/2014 - 6/8/2014

Sometimes your body (and mind) need a little time off to recoup and before starting training for a fall marathon was a perfect time for it. To this extent I took ten days with little to no running and then worked my way back into training. I take a relatively cautious approach when starting up a cycle to minimize the chance for soft tissue issues, something that has been problematic for me in the past. The first week of rest started on Monday, May 12th.
Week 2 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 60 60
Tuesday 65 25 90
Wednesday 30 Lift 30
Thursday 30 min Pace Run 5:01 avg 30 100
Friday 40 Lift 40
Saturday 110 110
Sunday 70 40 Strides 110
Week 540 (90mi)
Week 1 Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 60 60
Tuesday 40 40
Wednesday 30 50 80
Thursday 50 50
Friday 75 75
Saturday 50 50
Sunday 90 90
Week 445 (74mi)
R&R Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 25 25
Tuesday 25 25
Wednesday 25 25
Thursday 35 35
Friday 45 45
Saturday 40 40
Sunday 50 50
Week 245 (40mi)
R&R Morning Afternoon Other Total
Monday 25 25
Tuesday 25 25
Wednesday Off 0
Thursday 25 25
Friday Off 0
Saturday Off 0
Sunday 35 35
Week 110 (18mi)

Log Vernacular

Hey guys, welcome to my running log! The terms I use may be different from ones you've heard before or they might refer to something different than you use them for. So for the sake of clarity, here are some commonly used terms in my running log and what they mean to me.
Maintenance Run MR This is a normal run. I look to keep mine in the 5:45-6:00 pace in general, but it all depends on how my body is feeling. This is first day that gets double runs.
Maintenance Run Plus MR+ An extended MR in the range of 90 - 100 minutes for track training and upwards of 110 minutes for marathon training. Not scheduled on a consecutive day with a long run.
Easy Day I get one a week and basically it's a maintenance run day with a slower pace (20-30 sec / mile) and of shorter duration. Should be only one run (I screw up sometimes) and hopefully under 40 minutes.
Long Run LR About 20% of the weekly mileage in duration. Caps around 2:20 - 2:30 in track training and 2:45-3:00 in marathon training.
Secondary Workout SWO Normally done earlier in the week and is usually some sort of threshold work.
Primary workout PWO Normally done later in the week and is usually a fartlek (earlier in the season) or intervals on the track (later in the season).
Tempo Run 4 mile effort on the track, around 15k race pace (or so it has turned out for me).
Pace Run PR Generally in the 40-60 minutes range although it can be shorter when starting up or longer when in marathon prep. Goal here is to run at, but not past my lactate threshold. On normal days I'll operate in the 4:55-5:00 range.
Brisk Run A step back from a pace run, maybe 5-10 seconds per mile. Usually found in pre-race workouts or at the end of a season before shorter workouts. Duration is normally under 15 minutes.
Pace Run Thousands PRK's Pace run replacement on the track. Thousands with a minute rest, slightly faster than a pace run because of the rest involved, but with the same goals. Normally 12-15k in length. This is a secondary workout.
Straight Miles/Thousands Miles or Thousands with approx. equal rest. This is a primary workout. Usually in the range of seven to eight miles worth of work.
Strides 6 x 150m, done on MR days.
Lifting During a normal week, lifting days are Monday and Wednesday. I lift because it helps fill out the muscles that don't get worked when running in a straight line, and because I get hurt when I don't. Mainly that second part.
What a normal week looks like
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
A note on the running log. At the beginning of a training cycle I’ll sit down with my coach and we’ll plan out the entire cycle in terms of mileage, long runs and likely races (if things change such as injuries or races we readjust). Each week I’ll convert the mileage into minutes at 6:00 min / mile and then run that many minutes. I choose this method for measuring miles for a few reasons. First, it’s simple. I don’t have to figure out how far a random collection of trails and roads were, I just add on until I hit the next 5 minute interval and I’m done with my run. Second, it protects me from making err…less than rational decisions on a run. For example, say I’m out for a 10 mile run, it is possible to run faster to be done sooner and running faster is not always the best choice. Now while I love running, there are times when I’m looking forward to the run being done and if I’m running for certain amount of minutes, I can’t speed up to be done sooner. There is also the question of, how accurate is this system? Am I running 6:00 min / mile every step of every run? Obviously not, especially considering my steady state runs at 5:00 min / mile plus or minus are counted at 6:00 min / mile too. But then again, when I’m exhausted after a workout, my cool downs are not quite at six minute pace either. So I, a wholly unbiased source, think it’s accurate enough in the long term and even if I’m (most likely) under counting my mileage a little, I’m doing it consistently from week to week and cycle to cycle so the comparisons of weeks, months and years of training are applicable.