4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

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January 2012 in Review

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Running – 99.5 miles over 16 runs.  January was a stellar running month for me, as it usually is…  Both the number of runs (16) and number of miles (99.5) were my highest since Dec 2010 and therefore beat all the months of 2011!  I started speed training again and did 4 speed workouts.  The month also included one long run in the lead-up to my next marathon, which will be Georgia’s Marathon on March 18.  The clear highlight for me was when I tied my 10k PR last weekend in Prospect Park.

Races – 2 (LIRRC Hangover 5m Fun Run – 45:23; Brrrrrooklyn Hot Chocolate 10k – 52:43)

Biking – 0 miles over 0 rides.  Will kick this off again in March, leading into the March Madness Biathlon 3/25

Swims – 0.  Will kick this off again after my 3/18 marathon is done

Gym workouts – 5

Softball – Offseason

Injuries – Finally, nothing that is holding back my training!

Sicknesses – Just a bit of a stomach bug for a couple of days

Weight – Gained about one pound vs Dec.

Written by SCL

February 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Posted in Month End Summary

October 2011 in Review

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Running – 63.5 miles over 11 runs.  While October started out on a very sour note, namely a really bad lower back spasm on 9/27 which cost me the Ironman 70.3 Poconos race, and 2 weeks of training, I ended the month very strongly.  This was my biggest mileage month since April, and puts me in easy striking distance of 600 miles for the year, which historically had been my marker of a good running year.  I’m training for the Rehoboth Beach marathon on Dec 10, so this month included the first of 3 planned long runs.

Races – 1 (Roosevelt Island 5k – 27:23)

Biking – 0 miles over 0 rides.  Taking time off the bike until the new year

Swims – 0

Gym workouts – Massive month here!  Worked out at the gym 4 times, saw my personal trainer twice, and attended 3 yoga classes – first time ever for yoga!

Softball – 2 wins!  My team was an undefeated 6-0 in the fall season!

Injuries – Severe lower back spasm cost me 2+ weeks of training.  Otherwise, both my turf toe and hip/groin/glute issues have lingered, but improved significantly

Sicknesses – 0 – Zicam continues to serve me well!  Just take it a bit when I feel a cold coming on, and it works every time.

Weight – Unfortunately, up slightly from Sept.

Written by SCL

November 3, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Posted in Month End Summary

September 2011 in Review

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Running – 52.2 miles over 9 runs.  Sept saw a steady progression in training until the bottom fell out in my final preparation for Ironman 70.3 Poconos.  During the month, I finally felt like I was healthy, for the first time in a long time.  I started building the distance as well, with runs of 9.6 and 13.1 miles.  I also competed in 3 races.  The only thing I was unhappy with was my speed.  I’m accostomed to running 5k races in 25-27 minutes, and half marathons in the 2:00-2:05 range, and my races this month were well below.  However, there is good reason for this (recovering from injury), and I know my times will come down next year, once I start speed work again.

Races – 3 (East River Park 5k – 29:56; War at the Shore Triathlon – 2:20:24; Yonkers Half Marathon – 2:17:10)

Biking – 79.5 miles 4 rides.  Good quality rides, and again, good progression in preparing for my race.  Ultimately, I believe it was biking home after the Yonkers Half Marathon that initially aggravated my back, and ultimately causing severe injury.

Swims – 4

Gym workouts – 0

Softball – 1 (win!  And first time I felt healthy in softball all year, due to the hard work I did with my personal trainer to heal my hip / groin / glute)

Injuries – My hip/groin/glute issue is almost all gone!  I worked with a personal trainer all summer, and those injuries are slowly diminishing.  As a result, my running this month was completely pain free!  My downfall though was my back, which started acting up the day after the Yonkers Half Marathon, and ended with a severe lower back muscle spasm earlier this week that ended any hope I had of competing in Ironman 70.3 Pocono Mountains.

Sicknesses – 0

Weight – Down slightly, but honestly, I didn’t take enough measurements during the month to properly compare it to prior months.

Written by SCL

October 2, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Month End Summary

Still here…

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Hey, I’m still here, just haven’t been motivated to write in my blog through injuries I had in the spring and summer. 

I had a very busy winter and spring of training and racing, and after a marathon, half marathon and olympic distance triathlon within a 4 week period in May, I needed a break.  In short, I had hip and groin issues, primarily caused by glutes that ‘stopped firing’.  I’ve been working with a personal trainer and am just now starting to get back to being healthy again.  Summary of the last 4 months:

  • May – 61.2 running; 59.8 biking
  • June – 0 running; 14 biking
  • July – 18.4 running; 40.8 biking
  • August – 39.5 running; 84.4 biking

My runs are a good 60 seconds per mile slower than my typical training pace, but that is OK.  I suspect I won’t be back to full form until I start speed workouts in the winter time, and I hope to be back in PR shape by the springtime.  In my past experience, when injured, it takes a good 12 to up to 24 months to get back to full strength where I feel like I’m capable of PR’s.

The impetus to get back on some sort of track now is that I have the Poconos 70.3 race quickly coming up on Oct 2.  I registered for the race early, and it is quite expensive, so I really want to get it done rather than defer.  While my longest run so far is only 5.7 miles, my longest bike ride only 27 miles, and with no time in the pool in the last 3 months, I know this will not be the race that I was hoping for, but I do think I’ll be able to get it done, and within the 8 hour cutoff.  My biggest fear is not being able to finish the swim before the swim cutoff time, but I think and hope the swim is down current in the Delaware River, which would be a big help.

In the next couple of weeks, I have some big tune up races I’m really looking forward to:

  • 9/10 – a 5k race in my ‘home park’, East River Park.  NYCRUNS is holding a race with East River Park Track Club and I can’t wait to participate.  My running log says that I’ve run in the park 265 times since 1999, and NEVER in a race.  Hopefully all the Irene flood waters will have receded by then. 
  • 9/11 – War at the Shore in Long Branch – middle distance triathlon.  Relatively short Ocean swim, with a bike and run that is close to olympic distance.
  • 9/18 – Yonkers Half Marathon – I plan to ride my bike to the race so that I’ll get a good brick workout done

Then in October, the town where I have my weekend house, Little Silver NJ, and the neighboring town, Shrewsbury, both have small 5ks I hope to be able to run in.  I’m also hoping to convince my 15 year-old to join at least one of them…

I found that being injured was actually not so awful.  First, I Hate (note the capital H) running in the summer and this was a great excuse to take a break in the hottest months of June and July.  Second, it was refreshing not to have to get up early on the weekends for races or training runs/rides, and make my family sacrifice their plans around my races.  Was great to be home more often for my kids.

I’m on the prowl for upcoming marathons.  While I’m not registered yet, I have my eye on Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on Dec 10, which would be my 10th state!  For the spring, I’m tentatively looking at either of Georgia Marathon, Eugene Marathon, or Fargo Marathon – would appreciate any feedback or thoughts on those races.

Anyway, that is my update, and I hope to post more often than every 4 months going forward!

Written by SCL

September 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm

April 2011 in Review

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Running – 70.7 miles over 10 runs.  17 straight months over 70 miles!  I was so obsessed with getting to 70 miles again, that I ran 16.7 miles during the week of the Flying Pig Marathon.  I know this would not be advisable for someone who has only run a max of 19 miles in any of the prior 5 weeks, but I did it anyway, running slowly and carefully planning the running rest days.  My life seems very hectic these days, and since I’ve been adding biking and other things to the mix, and I’ve been a little injured, I’ve had a hard time getting the run miles in.  70 should be easy to reach in May as I have 45+ miles of races planned – marathon, half marathon, and olympic distance tri.

Races – 2 (13.1 New York – 2:04:48; Tough Mudder – time not applicable)

Biking – 68.9 miles over 4 rides.  Still relatively short and flat rides.  Just trying to build up some strength for harder rides when the weather warms up

Swims – 1 (very sad and scary, since I have an Olympic distance tri in 13 days)

Gym workouts – 2

Softball – 2 (both wins – nice start to the season)

Injuries – My injuries haven’t changed since last month.  1 – A sore right foot that is a minor annoyance and does not at all affect my running.  I find stretching my calf makes it feel better.  2 – Sore left groin/hip/adductor.  This has also not gotten any better and I’m starting to get concerned.  It doesn’t affect my running per-se, since it doesn’t hurt when I run and I don’t think it affects my gait, but it does bother me when flexing around.  Sadly, softball, which I love to play this time of the year, seems to make it worse.  Therefore, I’m taking it easy when playing softball and watching the hard cuts and cold starts, and trying to be more diligent to massage, stretch and ice the injury.  I had the same issue on my right side about 2 years ago, and it did go away on its own.

Sicknesses – 0

Weight – unfortunately static.  From last month, average weight was exactly the same and average fat % was down slightly by .3 percent.  I am currently a pound heavier and half a percent body fat higher from my baseline in Jan, which was already way too high.

Written by SCL

May 2, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Posted in Month End Summary

March 2011 in Review

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In summary, I’m not so happy with the efforts put forth in March.  Just didn’t get nearly as much done as I wanted.  There are a bunch of real good reasons why, so I’m not upset about it, but I do feel there was more that could be done.  On the positive side, I had the most hits on my blog in this month than ever before, so thanks!

Running – 70.5 miles over 10 runs.  16 straight months over 70 miles!  Highlights were a 4 mile race PR in LI, and a good 20+ mile long run for Flying Pig Marathon.

Races – 2 (LIRRC 4 mile race – 34:03 PR; March Madness Biathlon – 1:28:09 PW)

Biking – 48.4 miles over 4 rides.  Just a few easy rides, culminating in 20 miles the day of March Madness.  I also got stranded with a flat

Swims – 1 (better than nothing!)

Gym workouts – 3

Softball – 0

Injuries – Sore right foot.  Sore left groin/hip/adductor

Sicknesses – 1 (flu with fever for 2 days, and then a good week+ trying to get back to full strength)

Weight – unfortunately went up again last month.  I am up more than 1 pound and about 1 percent of body fat since January. – WRONG DIRECTION


Written by SCL

April 1, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Posted in Month End Summary

Feb 2011 in Review

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Running – 82.4 miles over 12 runs.  15 straight months over 70 miles! While I have definitely stepped back a little this year from prior years, I had 2 marathon long training runs which boosted the total.  As the weather warms, I expect to get out on my bike more and run less.  At the end of March I have the March Madness Biathlon, and I’ll need to get some solid bike rides in before then.  With a marathon and already 2 long runs for the next one, my average distance per run so far in 2011 is 6.9 miles, which is a half mile higher than any prior year ever.  The highlight of this month was running on my vacation: 1 run in Paris and 2 runs in London including a speed workout led by my friend, who is an accomplished triathlete and trainer!

Races – 1 (Cupid’s Chase 5k – 25:47)

Biking – 0

Swims – 0

Gym workouts – 5 (impressive considering I was away for a full week and Feb is a short month)

Softball – 0 (it is official we will be playing again starting April!)

Injuries – Sore shoulder for a couple of days, probably from the increased activity at the gym

Sicknesses – None

Weight – unfortunately went up a bit since Jan.  Weight up about 1 pound, and body fat up about .5 percent.


Written by SCL

March 1, 2011 at 6:57 am

Posted in Month End Summary