Monthly Archives: February 2016

Half Marathon Training: Week Six

The sore toe problem I mentioned in last week’s post was gone after about five days. I’m not exactly sure when the soreness went away really. I had forgotten about it until I started writing this blog post.

Running in a 10K on Sunday changed my training plan a bit but I don’t think it’s going to harm my overall half marathon training. Everything is going well so far. Every week I push my limits a little further than the last. Here’s my recap of week six:

Monday: Ran 4.22 miles at 10:16 pace.
Tuesday: Rest day (but still did some walking).
Wednesday: 31 minute interval run. 14 minute fast run/2 minute walk/14 minute fast run on a treadmill.
Thursday: 41 minute interval run. 10 minute slow run/1 1/2 minute fast run followed by 2 minutes of walking (x6)/10minute slow run for a distance of 3.61 miles at 11:23 overall average pace.
Friday: Rest day (still did some walking).
Saturday: Rest day.
Sunday: Augusta Half Marathon & 10K. I ran the 10K. I even managed to pull off an old man running 10K personal record. To get the details check out my post, “Go Figure? A New Old Man Running 10K PR

Go Figure? A New Old Man Running 10K PR

I sure wasn’t expecting to post a new old man running 10K personal record (PR) today but that’s exactly what I did. This morning I ran in the 10K event at the Augusta University Half Marathon/10K. The turnout was great. In fact the 10K was sold out for the first time ever. The temperature was a little chilly at the start time but once you got the first mile in you didn’t really notice the cool weather very much.


Augusta University 10K (about five minutes before the start).

The race started promptly at 8 a.m. At the start I was positioned slightly ahead of middle of the pack. Honestly, when the starting horn went off my intention was to just run a relaxed race and not concern myself with my split times.


As usual, I was passed by quite a few runners in the first mile and then things settled down. Even though I said I wasn’t going to concern myself with my mile splits I did look at the first three. I finished mile one in 9:31. The split time did surprise me a bit. I knew I was running a little faster than my usual training pace but it didn’t feel like it was much above it. Mile two I settled down and finished the split in 9:48. By then I had thoroughly warmed up and I’m glad my wife was on the side of the course so I could throw her my upper layer pullover. It was still chilly enough I kept my glove on though. The third mile was brutal! It starts to climb almost immediately as you run up “The Hill” area of Augusta, Georgia. Most of the third mile is uphill and I completed the split in 12:03.


Thankfully, shortly into the fourth mile there was a long decent and this gave me some time to regroup a bit and settle into a pace I could maintain until the finish.

As I reached the five mile marker I started passing runners. Not by large numbers but somewhere around ten runners that I had been eyeing for at least a mile.

The last mile started at a slight incline and this continued until about the last quarter to three tenths of a mile. I just cruised into the last segment and finished with a time of 1:03:16. My goal was to run a relaxed race and I did so I’m very happy with the results. This is 1:28 faster than my previous old man running personal record. That particular course is much flatter than the one I ran today. I’m not sure why I managed to get the PR today. I have lost almost ten pounds since mid-December and that is probably the biggest reason for the improvement. Glad to see my hard work starting to pay off.


Augusta University Half Marathon & 10K

Today is my scheduled long run day but I’m taking a break so I can run in the Augusta University Half Marathon and 10K tomorrow. I’m running in the 10K, not the half marathon. Maybe I’ll do the half marathon next year. Since I’m training for the Half Marathon in Nashville, TN on April 30th I really don’t have any specific goals or milestones for this run. I plan to go out there well rested and just see how I feel after the first mile. I’m not expecting the run to be a personal record. Not even a personal record as an old man and definitely not a lifetime PR.

The temperature forecast is around 40 degrees at start time with little wind. It’s expected to warm up almost ten degrees by the next hour though. Finding the right combination of clothing may be a challenge. If my lovely wife goes along to cheer me on I can rip a layer off just before the starting gun but if she doesn’t, then I’ll have to get a little more creative.

This run changes my training plan but its always good to be flexible and willing to accept changes in your plans. The distance will be shorter than planned but the intensity will probably be higher so that should make up for the lack of distance. It should be all good in the end.

Half Marathon Training: Week Five

I’m starting to notice the difficulty of the training increase this week. From here on out I will be pushing myself harder than I have in the past few months. Not sure how, but I hurt my third and fourth toes on my left foot during my Tuesday treadmill workout. I was pushing my pace and all I can figure out is this caused me to push off more towards my toes and I’ve managed to strain the toe joints. It’s not super painful and most of the time I don’t even notice it. Walking barefoot is when I notice it the most and I never notice it while I’m running.

Monday: 45 minute run. 4.17 miles at 10.45 pace.
Tuesday: Rest day (but still did some walking).
Wednesday: 28 minute interval run. 14 minute fast run/2 minute walk/12 minute fast run on a treadmill.
Thursday: 32 minute interval run. 9 minute slow run/1 1/2 minute fast run followed by 2 minutes of walking (x4)/9 minute slow run for a distance of 2.91 miles at 11:01 overall average pace.
Friday: Rest day (still did some walking).
Saturday: 87 minute run. 7.6 miles at 11:26 pace. (Goal was 78 minutes.)
Sunday: Strength training & stretching.


Workout Playlist Sample 02/21/2016

Stayed with Pop and Dance and here are a few of my workout tunes for the week:

Pompeii (Auden Remix) – Bastille
Good for You (Phantoms Remix) – Selena Gomez
Levels (Skrillex Remix) – Avicii
Stronger (Nicky Romero Club Remix) – Kelly Clarkson
Blurred Lines (Will Sparks Remix) – Robin Thicke

Starting the week of March 7th my workout playlist sample will be done monthly and include approximately 45-60 minutes worth of music. I plan to add BPM info with each song to help you make your own workout mixes.

The Running Gear I Use

I’m expanding my blog a bit and I’ve just finished a page on my favorite running gear. The “running gear” page has a menu link on the blog menu. Just so you know, I’m not getting any incentives or cash for posting the stuff listed. It’s shown here because I really do use the it. Some stuff more than others but if I keep in on hand and use it more than once, it’s shown on my list of running gear. Hope you find My Running Gear page useful.

Half Marathon Training: Week Four

One third of my half marathon training is complete. So far, so good. Doesn’t feel too difficult yet but that will probably change in a another week or two.

Monday: 40 minute run. 3.62 miles at 11:09 pace.
Tuesday: Rest day (but still did some walking).
Wednesday: 26 minute interval run. 12 minute fast run/2 minute walk/12 minute fast run on a treadmill.
Thursday: 32 minute interval run. 7 minute slow run/1 1/2 minute fast run followed by 3 minutes of walking (x4)/7 minute slow run for a distance of 2.86 miles at 11:14 overall average pace.
Friday: Rest day (still did some walking).
Saturday: 76 minute run. 6.83 miles at 11:08 pace. (Goal was 70 minutes.)
Sunday: Strength training & stretching.

Tempo Run: I’m treating my Wednesday treadmill workout as a tempo run. What is a tempo run? I call it running at a pace that is uncomfortably comfortable.

Fartlek Run: Thursday workout is Fartlek training. Anymore I just call them intervals but I couldn’t resist saying “fartlek”.

Workout Playlist Sample 02/14/2016

Dance and Pop music are my favorite genres to listen while I run and here are a few tunes I listened to in the past week:

Confident (The Alias Remix) – Demi Lovato
The Only Way is Up (Original Mix) – Tiesto & Martin Garrix
Boom Boom Boom (DJ Ammo/Poet Named Life – Black Eyed Peas
Live While We’re Young (Dave Aude Remix) – One Direction
Live It Up – Jennifer Lopez & Pitbull


New Nike Free RN Distance Shoes


Nike Free RN Distance

A few weeks ago I heard about the new Free RN Distance shoe from Nike and this couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m a big fan of the Nike Free 4.0 and 5.0 with their lightweight and bare foot feel. From now until the end of April I will have to log much longer runs than I normally do to prepare for the Nashville Rock n ‘Roll Half Marathon. I admit I’m a little concerned about how my body will respond to the distance in the minimal cushioning of the Free 4.0 and 5.0 shoes.

The claim for the RN Distance is it provides more cushioning while still giving you the responsiveness and bare foot feel of the other Free models. This certainly got my attention so I had to get myself a pair. As usual I had to re-lace the shoes to make room for my high arches but other than that they feel great.

Today I had my first test run with the RN Distance shoes. The RN Distance has quite a bit more cushioning in the forefoot area and I was concerned I would lose that feeling of being in touch with the road. The shoe does feel slightly heavier but I’ve been running in the Free 4.0 and 5.0 shoes for two years now so I’m very familiar with their feel. If you are coming from another shoe with more cushion and control I think you will be surprised how light they feel. Even with the added weight compared to the other Free models I didn’t feel weighed down and the extra cushioning felt great. The bare foot feel wasn’t nearly as pronounced as with the Free 4.0 especially and only slightly less than the 5.0. Usually by the time I hit the five or six mile mark my feet are starting to feel a little fatigued. Today this wasn’t the case at all.

I’m very happy with the RN Distance shoes and will likely use them exclusively when my distance is more than 10K. If you want a neutral shoe that is lightweight and still gives a responsive feel you may want to check them out.

Running at a Consistent Pace

I never have a specific pace or distance goal set when I run. Instead, I run with a particular duration in mind. I just get dressed, put on my running shoes and hit the pavement and let my body and mind set the pace. The pace is never the same but once I get started I try to maintain my pace.

Here’s a look at my pace during my long run this past Saturday:


Split Times 02/06/2016

At first glance it might not look like the pace of this run was all that consistent. I’ll admit, I’ve done better but this still isn’t too bad. The first mile was a little fast compared to the other mile splits. It was chilly that morning so I usually start out a little fast to get my body warmed up and after the first mile I’m warmed up and settled in. Miles two through four are slower but what you can’t tell from this graphic is those miles included quite a few hills. All three splits are very consistent time wise though. Miles three and four are exactly the same. Miles five and six are fairly consistent but faster than the previous three miles. I like to finish strong so my pace will frequently pick up slightly on the last mile. It didn’t on this day for some reason but still the pace was consistent with the previous mile.

After every long run I study my mile split times to check my consistency of pace. I say study but in reality the process usually only takes ten or fifteen seconds. No need to over analyze. Just look at the times, think about the course and then quickly decide where and how you could have done better. After that, move on to the rest of your day.