Weekly Summary – 73 miles in 10 runs. A great race and victory at Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon after a serious “down week” with about 50% volume compared to the last block. Time to get back to the grind with less than 8 weeks to CIM!

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Lunes, 2 de Octubre, 2017 – 8:30am: Slept late with recovery block starting today. Easy running for an hour out/back on MVN. Felt pretty good and kept it very relaxed. 5’00->4’10s. Finished at black squirrel and did 6x strides which felt great. New shoe day which is a big boost as my old cliftons had about 900 miles on them and were doot, doot. Total run 13km in 60’.

XT: Back/hips.

PM: OFF. Rec block. Some walking desk time in the PM.

Martes, 3 de Octubre, 2017 – 11am: Ran later – planned to just run in the afternoon but since yesterday felt fine and my brother is here, just went in the AM. Ran on HAR loop 3x and felt good out the door. 18’00, 17’53, 18’05. Over dressed (2x long sleeve, jacket, hat gloves, tights) today as it’s supposed to be warm and humid on Sunday’s race. Finished with 4x strides on crystal drive. Total run 14km++ in 62’.

XT: Climbing at Earthtreks. Great session with Brett and Mariana. Made it up my first 11a and a bunch of 10Cs. Fun afternoon!

PM: OFF – just climbing and walking to ET and back.

Miercoles, 4 de Octubre, 2017 – 7:30am: Up earlier – getting into a good rhythm. Ran with Mariana today to pace her workout. Warmed up 4km easy and then 1km at her race pace to get the pace right ~4’00. Workout was 4km continuous with 1km at race pace, 500m about 30 sec/km slower. She ran very well: 4’03/4’01/3’50 with 500m jog at about 4’30/km. The first two she seemed very comfy and was barely breathing so I pushed her a bit on the last one but it was very even, not kicked in. That was 4km in 16’26. She did some long strides and I did 5x200m in the new tracer 2 which I hadn’t used yet. These felt fantastic. I did 3x very relaxed around 32-33 and #4 hard and surprised myself greatly to run 27.3. That’s the fastest 200m I’ve run in a while! Rec was about 60 sec between each one. Jogged home together after that. Lovely morning and all done by 8:30! Total run 12km in 55’.

XT: Back/hips

3pm: Easy shakeout around CC with a stop at HT. 4x strides on bike path which felt very good. Nice and sunny and 80F. Track jacket and pants and felt good. Should be a bit warm/humid on Sunday, so at least I should be decently well ready for that. Total run 5km in 22’.

XT: Hips

Jueves, 5 de Octubre, 2017 – Sparknotes: 5km in 15’49 w/ 3x[1K @ 3’00-04, 500m @ 1’44-49] + 500m @ 1’23.

8am: Last tuneup before Mohawk Hudson. Easy warmup to 1km loop and 3 laps+ for 4km total. Already warmer around 70F. Drills, strides, 200m in ~35. Ran in new Tracer 2s which felt great.

Workout was the same pre-marathon run I do but with 1Ks at half marathon pace instead of MP and the 500s a bit slower. Last 500m quicker.

Felt good. First rep was relaxed at 3’04 and the next two were a bit quicker 3’00/01. 500s were consistent around 1’45. This felt very comfy. Ran in a long-sleeve and half tights, so got a bit warm, but not bad. Total for 5K was 15’49.

Cooled down 2km easy. No 200s today to rest up a bit and since I did some yesterday. Jumps after. Total run 12km+ in 48’.

Time Split HR
1 km 3’04.0 (3’04.0) 165
1.5 km 4’52.6 (1’48.6) 167
2.5 km 7’53.0 (3’00.4) 177
3 km 9’39.5 (1’46.5) 170
4 km 12’40.8 (3’01.3) 178
4.5 km 14’26.6 (1’45.8) 175
5 km 15’49.6 (1’23.0) 180

XT: Jumps – light session, 10x box jumps, 10x squat jumps, 20x single leg side hop, 10x lunge jump

3:30pm: Easy shakeout around CC with a stop at the Target to get pipe cleaners for race bottles. Warm in the 80s and sunny. Ran in track suit and felt good. No leftovers from this morning. Total run 5km+ in 22’.

Viernes, 6 de Octubre, 2017 – 6:30am: Woke up early but felt very good, no problem. Dark out when we left. Started with Mar slow down to turf and then 5km on the turf in about 20’, legs felt good and peppy. Beautiful morning watching dawn break. Finished with 5x strides on turf that felt good and then jogged home. Total run 8km+ in 35’.

5:30pm: Long travel day on the train from DC to ALB. Finally made it and got our rental car and drove to race starting point as that’s the only part of the course with which I’m not familiar. Pretty stiff to start out but felt very good after about 2km. Running 5’30->3’30 on the way back solo. First 2km or so are a bit odd with a very steep downhill and then a long uphill and then (I think_) about 50m over grass which will be sloppy on Sunday from the rain. Then you’re on the bike path, though, and it’s the same as the marathon. Finished with 4x strides. Beautiful sunset. Total run 6km+ in 26’.

Sabado, 7 de Octubre, 2017 – 8am: Slept very well last night (full O2!) and RHR still very low this AM (38). Good sign! Easy run out/back on bike path from Casa Pagano. Didn’t feel great to start, some sloshy tummy, but better by the end in 4’20s. Did a few strides (in flats) after and about 1 minute at race effort (which was downhill but still about 2’55 avg!). Tracer 2s feel great. Weather looks atrocious for tomorrow. 71F and 86% humidity at the start and a 15-16mph headwind for the entire race. Yay! Total run 8km in 33’.

PM: OFF, just relaxing around the house. Drove to pick up number/drop of bottles, but otherwise lazy afternoon. Dinner of ramen around 5:30pm and some animal crackers after. Bed around 8:30pm.

Domingo, 8 de Octubre, 2017 – Sparknotes. Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon: 1st, 67’33 (3’12/km avg). Awful weather with continuous 15mph direct headwind, rain, 72F and humid! Probably 10sec/km slow. Great effort and great tactics.
8am: Woke up at 4:30am for 8am gun. Black coffee, NV bar, packed up and headed out around 5:30am for Albany. Arrived around 6am and got on the first bus to the start, arriving to the start line around 6:15. Already 71F and very muggy at this point, no rain yet. Hung around until 7:10am for warmup.

Jogged solo out/back on bike path. Turned around once I started feeling good ~1.5km and made it back running comfortably in the 4’30s very relaxed. Changed into tracer 2s and did drills, strides, and used the bathroom a few more times, etc. Got to the line with plenty of time to spare.

Rain had begun and really began to pick up just a few minutes before the start – yay! Wind was very strong coming from the South and the course runs directly north to south for almost the entire time. It was around 72F at this point and 90% humidity as well. I was hoping that the wind would help negate the heat/humidity but whatever happened, I knew it was going to be a SLOW day. I had told Mariana before the race that anyone with a time goal was going to have a bad day. I had completely thrown time out the window and was just running to win today, which is actually kind of fun, but kind of a bummer since this course CAN be very fast on the right day.

Louis took the lead from the gun and the pace felt very fast for the first 200m. I assume he was just trying to run away from the bub-masses behind us and we settled down after a few minutes. The first 2km are odd as we zip around this park-complex on some very winding and hilly paths. The first (3’06) features a steep downhill which Lou crushed and I held back as it was some pretty sketchy asphalt and I didn’t want to eat it, and then we come back up another hill on the other side of the complex, hence the VERY slow 2nd K (3’24). I was in 4th at this point along with Julius Mbugua with Omar Something in 2nd and Lou leading by a few steps as we got to the bike path.

Once we were on the bike path, I quickly rejoined Louis and Omar and we settled into a comfortable rhythm. I took the lead around the 2km mark (as I was getting out ahead to get my bottle) and the wind didn’t feel TOO bad at that point (the bike path is quite forested, so we were probably a bit protected). This pace actually felt very relaxed – like it could have been marathon pace – and I was pleased to see 3’04-09s.

I wasn’t sure who the 3rd guy in our party was, so at 6km, I decided to throw in a surge to test the waters and see if I could split up the pack. We ran a 3’04 and a 3’01 which definitely put a gap on him and then had a big downhill at 7km where we ran 2’59. By the time we reached 8km, we were on the long, flat road stretch and Omar was long gone.

At this point, I actively backed way off the pace. Partly, this was due to the very strong headwind which we were now feeling a lot strong as the road was way more exposed than the bikepath, and partly I wanted to save some energy for a move around the 13km mark, as I knew I’d have to make this a long grind to the finish to beat Louis as he has much strong finishing speed than me.

He and I ran for a while side-by-side, him tucked in behind me, but it was quite slow. This was the slowest section of the race (8-13km only 16’21), but I actually felt pretty good and was trying to be patient.

Finally, we cut under the highway and came up onto the bike path on the other side with less than 8K to go. This was where I’d dropped Kip in the marathon last year and I knew that if I was going to win this race, it would have to be a strength race, a real grinder, and I would have to push from far out. As we were right along the river, the wind was truly awful in this stretch, so I made a strong move somewhere around 14 or 15km but the pace was very slow still. Every km in the 8K between 13 and 21 was between 3’10 and 3’13. So, super consistent, but the effort felt more like 3’00-03.

I knew I was dropping Louis around 15km but tried not to look back for a while. I did look back around 18km and saw that he was still relatively close behind (i.e. within 100m or so and could definitely still catch me if I faltered and he had a lot left), so I kept pushing. This pace was just all I could muster with such a strong, relentless headwind. Really, truly brutal.

Finally looked back around 20km and he was no longer in sight and I knew that – barring implosion – I would win. I still tried to maintain effort but actively didn’t really try to crush the last km as there just seemed to be no reason since the time would be slow anyway (and I’ve gotta get back to work soon anyway!). I allowed myself a tiny kick in the last 200m or so but only 30 seconds for the last 170m (36 sec 200m pace).

Finished in 67’33 (3’12.1 avg).

Grabbed a water and ran back out on the course about 2km to cheer on Mariana who had a solid debut on this most brutal of days to run 1h31 for 6th female.

Came back and got a massage and some food and then met up with Matt Rand who won the full marathon in 2h27. Great to see him running so well.

Overall, this was a very solid run. Obviously the time is incredibly slow (slower than I ran for the 2nd half of the marathon last year on the same course, slower than I went out in Lake Biwa, slower than I ran in a workout like 2 weeks ago), but I knew that the time would be awful. I just didn’t know HOW slow the weather would make it, but I figured that even running under the CR (65’48) would be challenging even though I think I’m in shape to run 63-64’ on a day like last year. The last 8K felt really good effort-wise in comparison with the HMP work I’ve been doing which has been around 3’00-03, so I do think at least those km were 10sec/km slow, which would make the last 8km ~24’20 effort which sounds about right.

I was very pleased with how I ran this race, tactically. I broke up the pack with a nice surge early on, recovered well in the middle miles, and had a long, steady push from 8km out. The way that I felt at each point in the race seemed appropriate and while it was a solid effort, I don’t think I’ll need 7-14 days of recovery like I sometimes do after a very hard, long road-race during a buildup. It makes me very excited to get back to the grindstone and put in two really solid blocks of training before CIM. Obviously, we could also have an awful day at CIM (another point-to-point course), but barring that, I think running 2x what I ran today is definitely in the cards.

More work tomorrow.

Total run 30km.

Time Split HR
1 km 3’06.1 (3’06.1) 166
2 km 6’31.0 (3’24.9) 176
3 km 9’35.3 (3’04.3) 176
4 km 12’43.5 (3’08.2) 176
5 km 15’53.1 (3’09.6) 175 (15’53.1)
6 km 18’58.0 (3’04.9) 174
7 km 21’59.4 (3’01.4) 176
8 km 24’58.9 (2’59.5) 176
9 km 28’15.6 (3’16.7) 175
10 km 31’30.7 (3’15.1) 175 (15’37.6)
11 km 34’44.9 (3’14.2) 176
12 km 38’02.1 (3’17.2) 176
13 km 41’20.8 (3’18.7) 175
14 km 44’33.9 (3’13.1) 176
15 km 47’44.8 (3’10.9) 178 (16’14.1)
16 km 50’58.2 (3’13.4) 178
17 km 54’12.1 (3’13.9) 177
18 km 57’24.4 (3’12.3) 178
19 km 1’00’36.8 (3’12.4) 179
20 km 1’03’50.4 (3’13.6) 178 (16’05.6)
21 km 1’07’02.4 (3’12.0) 180
21.17 km 1’07’33.0 (0’30.6) 182

3pm: Very easy and short shakeout from the train station as we had some time to kill before heading home. Jogged out/back on the sidewalk in two directions. Good to get the legs moving, blood flowing, before a lot of sitting. Total run 3km+ in 15’.