It's a new year, and we're looking ahead to a new challenge. Miss J and I started the year with a walk/run of the Color Vibe 5K, which was a lot of fun, and then I took a much-needed week off from running and the gym. Believe me, it wasn't easy.
But I got back at it pretty quickly; as soon as that week off was over, I went out for four miles and thought about a new goal. We're going to shoot for 1,000 miles this year.
With a week off, that means I can average 20 miles a week and still get another week off, or I can average 25 miles a week for 40 weeks and not force myself if it gets really hot (and if this winter has been an indication, we could be in for a hot, humid summer).
At any rate, there's a widget on the site (on the right side if you're looking on a desktop or tablet) with a marker. I'm using Runkeeper to track mileage and time, and I won't count anything I do on a treadmill. And if, like it did last week, Runkeeper goes wacky and thinks I did a three-minute mile, I'll try to map it out and round down.
Well, a week after I ran my first half marathon, I kept going. I took Sunday off, and Monday, I hopped on a treadmill for 10 minutes or so before hitting the weights, and then the rest of the week I hit it reasonably hard.
My lovely wife J signed us up for the Color Vibe to kick off 2016, and since she's not been training at all, I gave her an interval schedule that keeps her at distance for the seven weeks leading up. Her first week was a minute running, a minute walking, and the route is right about 3.5 miles.
Tuesday, I ran to the gym to lift and back (about 2.5 miles each way). Wednesday, I ran with her. Thursday, I ran four and change, and Friday was going to be a rest day but I was in a bad mood and decided to train with J again to get in some sweat and keep the endorphins flowing. Saturday, I went out for 11 miles.
I'll be back at it this week at least a few times; it's nice to be back in the gym, and 2.5 miles is a great warm-up before the workout and a nice way to keep everything warm after. My birthday is Friday, and I'll try to get a long one in that day and maybe give myself the weekend off.
It was fun, and that's about what I have to say about that. The video has a lot more in it. Some notes:
Time. I trained for 2:20 and came in at 2:21:12, in the top 4,000 of about 25,000 registered. So, right where I expected.
My friend Kelle, on the left there, ran 15 half marathons in 2015 to recover from an injured foot. More accurately, she got her boot off in February and finished her 15 by the first week in November, so basically eight months of running races. Photo by her hubs, Glenn.
Weather. When I finished it was about 75 degrees with humidity hovering around 90%. It was hazy through most of the course. Apparently this was hotter than they expected — they wound up shutting this down early. In race PRSpeak, that's what they mean when they say they "diverted runners along the course." That is, they diverted them to the finish early. I really didn't think it was so bad out; I'd been training in 90-plus percent humidity all summer with another 20 or more degrees on the thermometer.
Water issues. The water stop at the halfway point (in the half) stalled me for a full 45 seconds. There were lots of cups out, but no water in them. By the time I got to the water station around 9.5 miles, they were out of water, and were handing out ice cubes. I wound up carrying a paper cup full of ice in one hand and a handful of loose cubes in the other hand for a good half mile. I guess if there's a next time, I'll carry my own water, much as I hate how that feels on my shoulder.
Overall experience. I had fun. For as challenging as the training was, and as challenging as it was running in a crowd the whole way, it was a fun race. I'm not sure I'd want to travel for a race unless I really knew what I was doing in the location. Maybe I'll make this one an every year or every other year event.
» A runner died during the half. He was 35. The family didn't want his name out there, and we don't know any of the circumstances surrounding his death. I saw three people in ambulances between miles 11 and 12 and another five runners down along the route, so I suppose it shouldn't be too much of a surprise we lost someone.
» You may have already seen this floating around Facebook, but one of Savannah-Chatham's finest helped a runner across the finish after he fell a couple hundred yards shy of the finish line. An EMT cycled behind them and helped him immediately after he made it across.
What's next for my running. While, like I said, I found running with the crowd difficult, I did enjoy the distance, so I'll keep a few long runs a month in my repertoire. I'll likely set a goal for 2016, like 1,000 miles, or something along those lines.
What's next for the running diary. It will go on hiatus until there's something new to say, so probably for the rest of the year — but it'll be back when I'm ready to log some miles again.
Sweaty Josh picture of the week (I'm the one in red crossing the finish line):
These are the last few steps of my final training run before race day Saturday. Couple of slow 4-milers this week (lots of traffic, actually, so fast four milers, with lots of 30-second breaks), and now we just have to not get hit by a car for 40 hours or so and we'll be ready to roll! Thanks for being here with me the last five months. More after the race! Full journey here.
Hooray for taper week. Really. I needed the break. We're now under a week until race day. We'll have a couple of jaunts of four or so miles and then...well, it'll be here. We have a nice relaxing day with friends on Friday, and we'll line up with the 2:20 folks as the sun is coming up on Saturday, and off we go for a couple of hours.
I haven't decided exactly which I'll listen to during (and yeah, I realize there will be plenty of music on the route), but I have a few Joe Rogan podcasts lined up. Maybe I'll save the one with the iceman, Wim Hof.
We'll see you on the other side. Good luck to all y'all who are running alongside us.
It was a physically taxing week, getting the rest of the furniture into the new place and such, but still managed to keep race pace for a 13-miler on Saturday, and really wasn't quite four minutes slower for the week over last week. I do need to clean up my diet for taper week and race week, but that'll be easy enough now that we're in the new place and not driving back and forth at least once a day, trying to squeeze in meals (and sleep) where I can.
I made the final long run before race day as close to race day as possible, sending a backpack to work with my wife, getting up at are-you-kidding-me o'clock, riding my bike to where we'll park our bikes, walking to the start line, and getting started, well, about 15 minutes before race time. I didn't run the course, but I did get distance and time.
Well, with a visitor in town over the long weekend, we kinda ate a bunch of junk food, but I ran faster and managed to maintain just under 150 pounds, which is my goal for race day. The move is almost done, I have one more long run before the race, and I'm excited to hopefully just cruise on toward race day!
On we march. I skipped a rest day this week, but I'll make up for that over the weekend. I made sure I kept my long run to the scheduled 12 miles, though. Best run of the week was four miles that felt like a light jog but came in under 38 minutes, which is about 75 seconds faster than race pace.
We're also in the process of moving, so my resistance training this week has been lifting boxes instead of weights. Things feel a little different, but we're doing all right, apparently.
With the prescribed 20-week training schedule, I would have a taper week this week and then it would be race day, but I started early enough that I'll get a couple of 13-mile runs in and get comfortable at race distance, and then a taper week.
Well, this was an odd week...I wound up having to buy new sneakers, which is awful five weeks ahead of a race, but they're nearly the same as the ones that my toes finally poked through. It was really humid early in the week, and my 6-mile run really was terrible (I actually stopped after 2.5 miles and had a little heart-to-heart with myself and went out and ran another 3.5).
Then Saturday came. I got out early to try to beat the majority of the rain, and I planned what was supposed to be a 12-mile route really poorly. At 10.5 miles, I realized I either had to start running around the block, or just extend it, so I went ahead and extended my route, finishing at 13.2 miles — just a smidge past race distance, and I finished in 2:18:41, almost exactly at my predicted race pace, which was to be 2:20. So, we'll get a couple more in, but I'm comfortable at the distance (I still managed to do some laundry and work a full day afterward). Yay!
Well, last week I thought I'd jumped in speed, and while my shorter runs this week were slower than last week, my long run was 31 seconds a mile faster than last week. I'd been finding my long runs dropping by a few seconds a mile every week, but this was a big jump, and I actually wound up averaging about 5 seconds faster on the week than I did last week.
This was my final scheduled recovery run. My mileage will fall off by a couple of miles for the rest of the training, and my rest will increase. I will have a week that I'll be moving my training up a day, so I may get a short 1- to 2-mile run in so as not to rest three days, but if I do a lot of walking (likely), I might just skip it.
We're 6 weeks out from the race, and I'm getting excited for it, starting to plan the month leading up and the day. I'm thinking, as I write this, that I should change my long run routine a little bit, so that it mimics race day a bit. Right now, I get up, get dressed, pack a bag, drink some water and coffee and take a pre-workout, drive about a half hour and get out of the car running. Race day will be more like a 5- or 10-minute drive, but I need to be parked 90 minutes before race start.