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Potomac Valley Games

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20072008
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Location:

Alexandria,VA,USA

Member Since:

Jun 03, 2007

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Local Elite

Running Accomplishments:

4:34 mile, DC RR Mile, 2007

15:39 5k, Occidental College, 2007

25:52 8k, Rockville Twilighter, 2007

32:54 10k, Shelter Island (tough course!), 2004

49:30 15k, Tulsa Run, 2001

52:21 10 mile, Broad Street Run, Philly (fast course!), 2007

1:08:49 half marathon, Hobble Creek (downhill), 2001

2:28:55 marathon, St. George (downhill), 2006

2:33:04 marathon, Chicago, 2001

Short-Term Running Goals:

15:20 5k

4:25 mile

2:26:00 marathon

Long-Term Running Goals:

sub 15:00 5k

sub 2:22:00 marathon

Personal:

I live in Alexandria, VA, but still consider myself affiliated with Wasatch Athletics in Salt Lake City, UT, and High Noon A.C. in Ithaca, NY. My coach is Demetrio Cabanillas.

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
367.500.000.000.00367.50
Race: Potomac Valley Games (3.1 Miles) 00:15:49, Place overall: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

5:00 AM: 10 min shakeout

8:40 AM: 20 min warm up + 6 strides

9:30 AM: PVTC, Langley H.S., McLean, VA, 5000m "race"... (more like a time trial), 15:49.6, 1st place

1600 splits: 4:58.8, 5:06.1, 5:10.7, 34.2 last 200

Well, obviously not too psyched with the time, but there are some positives to take away from this race. Of course, it's always pretty cool to win. But I need to thank my buddies, Brian Tullock and Joe LaMonte, for coming out to run with me. Tullock is training for Steamtown and is at the end of a 90 mile week, and still traded laps with me for the first half of the race. Joe is also marathon training and decided to try to hit 5:08s as a workout. I think he ended up pretty close to that. Brian was second in 16:01 or so, and Joe was not far behind Brian.

So what were the positives? Well, I felt great for the first mile and I really think that the splits for the next two miles were just due to being complacent and not really racing. I am just not good at pushing the pace by myself. If you look over my 5ks this summer, my times correlate strongly with the level of competition. In CA at Occidental College (Oxy) (15:39), I started in the very back and worked my way up, being in a race the whole time, doing only about half the work in the last half of the race -- and I think most importantly I was in a battle for the last 800... closing with a 68 sec 400. Next, in Albany (15:45), I was all alone for the second half of the race, just as today. BUT, the big difference there was that there was another pack ahead of me to chase.

So, what did I try for this race that did NOT produce magical results?

1. My mileage progression was 100,100,100, 73, 40. In CA, my mileage leading up to the 5k was 100, 107, 72, 92, 67, 75, 70. Just looking at this variable, one might conclude that I race better on consistent 70 mile weeks (after base). My plan is to stay around 70 for XC season.

2. Not to rekindle this debate, but another thing that did not significantly help was abstaining from alcohol for the week leading up to the race. Yes, Sasha, I understand that this does not prove anything about not drinking over the course of a season. But the fact of the matter is that I had a glass of wine the night before the CA race where I PRed. Shouldn't mess with a good thing if it keeps you relaxed.

3. There are also correlations with weather and time of day. In CA it was evening and cool with no direct sun. In Albany and today the race was in the morning and the sun was hot. It was probably 70 by 9:30, which was perfect Labor Day Weekend weather, but still uncomfortable for the race.

4. Another issue is shoes. I raced Oxy in flats and Albany and today in spikes, which I have been training in all season to get use to them. But it is possible that this still is an issue, that it may take several seasons of training and racing in spikes before they become more of a help than a hindrance (but it is just too fun to put spikes on!). Again, this likely has to do with not "being in a race". I think that when I get into a race my form improves and I get out of the "back seat" -- to use skiing terminology. Then the spikes help.

So, in the end I was pretty happy with this result. There just was not an air of "fastness" about the meet. And had I realized there would be not so much competition I probably would not have keyed on it. But I am going to take my lessons from this summer's season and apply them to next year and hopefully get into some competitive races next spring. For now, I think I'm fit and ready for XC.

But if I seriously want to improve I need to understand why my times have gotten slower with more speed work. Obviously, I am doing something wrong and I just got lucky in June. In my ignorance, I thought I was just at the starting point of my training, when really I likely had every bit of aerobic conditioning then as I do now. If I had to point to any one thing, I would say that I was doing more tempo runs back then, and I erroneously thought that hitting the VO2max intervals hard leading up the goal race was the way to peak. Well, it pains me to say so, but in reading the word of the Dark Lord (or the whiskey man -- as my buddy, Boris, calls him -- presumably you can guess of whom I speak), he actually puts the tempo/rep phase just prior to goal race time and a 6 wk VO2max phase prior to that. So, it will be interesting to see as I transition to XC, where I plan to do more tempo fartleks on grass, if I just might have another peak in me in a month or so of some tempo work. Basically, that was all I was doing leading up to Oxy... 4 mile tempos on the weekend at 5:25 pace and race pace reps like 74 sec quarters and 2:30 800s for a mid-week workout.

Other odds and ends of the morning...

I bought a new watch -- the 100 lap Nike, which is basically the new version of the old Nike Triax 120 lap that I have had for about 10 years now. While walking out of Georgetown Running Co. I saw a familiar face from Ithaca running by and so I waved "Tara" down and said hi, with a very surprised look on my face. What are you doing in DC? "Oh, I'm Tara's twin sister, Erin." She was not at all surprised. "It happens all the time," she says... Small world.






Comments(10)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.000.000.0010.50

AM: Very easy run with John McClean. 10.5 from Riley's Lock, 1:26:38.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
17.000.000.000.0017.00

AM: Canal and GW monument and Roosevelt Is., 2:00:12, with Brian Tullock and Kyle Smith.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

PM: Temple 10 1:04:32.  Felt good and just went with it.

Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.000.000.000.009.00

NOON: NIST Muddy Branch Hill, 18 min warm up, 15 min cool down

5 sets of down/up Muddy Branch Hill repeats, with 2 min jog recovery

down, up 

1:22.4, 1:37.1

1:18.8, 1:37.8

1:21.6, 1:36.6

1:21.5, 1:35.7

1:19.7, 1:36.2

 

OK Sasha, here is your sea level hill data.  I decided to use the grass hill at NIST, so that I could bomb the downhills without worrying about getting injured.  I wore trainers.  There was very little, if any, wind.  It was hot, though.  About 90F with 40-50 %RH.  I hope 5 sets is enough.  I was thinking about 6, but was just getting hot and tired, and given that I am sick of leaving my races in workouts, I am not going to be pushing myself to workout heroics in the near future.  This was a great XC workout, so I'll likely do it again in a few weeks.

Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
16.000.000.000.0016.00

NOON: Clopper 10 1:13:37. This is pretty quick for this course, and after hill reps yesterday. I am reaping the benefits of last week's low mileage.

+ weights.

PM: Bethesda 6 40:25.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.000.006.00

PM: NIST 6 44:40.  Sore from weights yesterday.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.000.0013.00

AM: Met Kyle Smith and Erik Olson at Roosevelt for a warm up.  Kyle leaves for Princeton tomorrow.  Bummer to loose a good training partner to a good education...  Made my way over to the canal.  Warm up ended up being about 40 min.  Did 4 striders and started a 4 mile tempo between miles 2-6 on the canal.  It was pretty brutal.  Definitely paying for being over zealous on my "easy" runs and in the weight room this week.  The splits were:

5:33, 5:32, 5:39 (ouch!), and 5:51 (what the?).

I certainly hope that last mile was long.  I didn't feel like I fell off pace that much, but I must confess I was not pushing it, and was not feeling particularly good, so I guess it is possible.  Still, I've never run this section for time before and there are a couple of little jogs in the path that I could imagine would test a surveyor's credentials.

Well, it is a bit of a new leaf for me to be looking on the sunny side of all my failures, but this workout points to a couple of positives: First, it is confirmation that my AT is not what it was earlier in the summer when I was averaging 5:25 for this workout on 100 mile weeks.  Second, I think falling off pace was mainly a result of still being sore from the weight training from Thursday, which points to the fact that I really do need to strengthen these muscle groups.  However, probably best to move weights to Monday, as they seem not to affect intervals as much as threshold runs.

 

Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
17.000.000.000.0017.00

AM: 1:58:23, Capital Crescent Trail from Bethesda to Georgetown.  Did an extra mile in and out of the GT trails to add on some distance.  This ended up being a little bit of a progression run... definitely picked up the pace as the run went on.  Hammys were tight at first, but then loosened up.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

NOON: Clopper 10, 1:15:57. Man, do I have case of the "Mondays". Headache, no sleep, and sick of the heat!

+ weights

PM: Yoga (90 min) 

Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

NOON: Clopper 10 1:16:52. Nice rain to break the heat, finally! Felt ok, footing was a little sloppy, so did not go too fast.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.0014.00

NOON: NIST 4, 30:37, shakeout

PM: Whitman track, 10 total. This was yet another of my mental meltdowns. The plan was to do 3 sets of 1600, 800, 400, with a slightly modified warm up.

It was very strange, because I actually felt pretty peppy on my noon run. Then when I went to warm up this evening my legs felt like tree trunks. Usually in these instances I feel better if I go for a longer warm up, like 4 miles or so. But I got out of work late, and it was already getting dark, so I only jogged two miles and then did 9 sets (2.5 miles) of drills. The modification to the warm up was to add a 200 and then a 400 at pace. This is a JD suggestion. The idea being to get a better feel for interval pace before going out too fast. So, the sad details...

200 in 34.0 (suppose to be 37.5), 200 jog

400 in 74.8 (much better), 400 jog

1600 in 5:02.0 (in the dark), 800 jog

800 in 2:29.4 (felt way too hard!), 400 jog

400 in 73.4, 400 jog

1600 in 5:07.3, done. This felt like 4:50 effort... just not fun at this point, being out on the track solo in the dark. Just no desire to be there. And it's getting old watching my times get slower and slower. Need to get motivated again. Not having a definite goal or plan is hard for me to deal with.

So anyway, step one in my rejuvenation is a trip out to UT. I am blowing into SLC tomorrow (Thurs.) afternoon on my way to a wedding in Moab. Neal Gassmann and I are planning a 90 min trail run starting from the zoo and headed up Dry Creek and Shoreline. We'll head out at 6:15pm. Feel free to join in if you are in the neighborhood. After the run (8ish) we are headed to Ruth's in Emigration. Neal claims it is bbq night on Thurs.


Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.000.000.0011.00

PM: Shoreline from the zoo up past Dry Creek, 1:24:22.

Beautiful run and a great crew: Albert Wint, Neal Gassmann, Carre Joyce, Michelle Simonaitis, and Carol Cabanillas.  The girls ran with us to the base of Dry Creek and turned back.  Michelle had done a tempo that morning.  Carol had a fartlek the next day.  And Carre came back for a few extra miles.  Neal and Albert and I made it up past the top of Dry Creek and turned around at 45 min.  Probably should have gone a little farther considering it was most downhill on the way back... but I was more enamored with the view than concerning myself with such details at the time.  Man, the WA ladies are super fit!  Can't wait to see how they do in there respective marathons in a couple of weeks.  For my part, I faired better than I thought for a hilly run at altitude.  Scott Browning joined us at Ruth's for dinner.  Good times!

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.000.008.00

AM: Progression from Neal's to Liberty and back with a lap around the park, 53:54.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.0014.00

AM: Onion Creek Road, 1:42:48.

Epic run! on Onion Creek Road with John and Jen Gardiner. We were attending a wedding in the La Sals. Onion Creek Road is a few miles up past the start of the Moab Half. It is a dirt road that runs behind Castle Tower. The rock formations are amazing! Jen drove the car out about 10 miles and started running back. John and I started up the road and met Jen on her way down. We went up and picked up the car and leap frogged each other with the car all the way back down to the start of the road. This road keeps going and at 10 miles, where we stopped, you are on top a an incredible mesa and the road is flattening out. I look forward to getting back up there to run further sections.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Off day.  Drove back from Moab.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.000.008.00

AM: 8+ miles, out and back from Neal's, 57:18.

Experiment: "On the compatibility of Tennessee, Canadian, and Irish beverages"

PI: Neal Gassmann

Co-Invstigators: Myself, Trish, Scott, and Michelle.

Hypothesis: That "Irish Car Bombs" may be simulated by substitution of Gentlemen Jack or Canadian Spirits.

Results: The results to the pallet and the stomach were negative. However, the results on the AM run were positive, as we rose at 5 bells to hammer out 8 miles, the beginning of which is mostly up hill.

This weekend really recharged my batteries! Thanks to Neal for his great hospitality, and culinary and brewing skills! He also had some frank words for me about over-analyzing my 5k performances:

"When the gun goes off, run fast. And when you hear the bell, run faster!"

Neal has a 14:08 to his credit.

Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
16.000.000.000.0016.00

NOON: Clopper 10 1:12:17. Incredible weather.

PM: NIST 6 42:26

+ weights 

Congrats to everyone for the nice performances at TOU!!

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
16.000.000.000.0016.00

NOON: Clopper 10 1:15:59. Feeling a bit sore from weights yesterday.

PM: NIST 6 42:45. 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
16.000.000.000.0016.00

NOON: Clopper 10 1:15:40.

PM: NIST 6 44:31.  Pretty tired. 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.000.006.00

PM: Bethesda 6 45:03. WRECKED.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
18.000.000.000.0018.00

AM: Jogged 2 miles from apt to Whitman track. 1 mi of speed changes, then 20 x 200m with 200 rest at approx 32 sec.

32.3, 32.9, 32.6, 32.1, 31.8,

32.5, 31.8, 31.8, 31.5, 31.9,

31.7, 31.9, 31.8, 32.0, 32.0,

31.9, 32.0, 32.2, 31.8, 31.9.

Just wanted something that was not too mentally taxing and that would hopefully wake up my legs from this funk.

PM: Bethesda, CC trail toward Temple, 8+, 56:49.  Humidity = Pea Soup.

Ice bath.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
18.000.000.000.0018.00

AM: 18ish, 2:17:00, one loop around Roosevelt, GT trails to Rock Creek Prkwy.  Took it really easy (not that I had a choice, my legs were dead).

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.000.006.00

NOON: NIST 6 42:28

PM: Yoga 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
16.000.000.000.0016.00

NOON: Clopper 10 1:14:40

PM: NIST 6 43:20 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
16.000.000.000.0016.00

NOON: Clopper 10 1:09:36.  I was feeling ok, so I decided to try to get some quality in on this run.  I did a very unstructured fartlek-type thing where I pushed hard on all the uphills in the run.  There are two long hills getting to the trail, then many short rollers once on the trail.

PM: Harvest moon!  One of the few endearing things about the east...  NIST 6 44:52

+ light weights 

Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
16.000.000.000.0016.00

NOON: NIST 6 43:19

PM: 10 mile swim down Wisconsin Ave., 1:13:27. Somehow this run is never boring. Maybe that's because it's like playing Frogger.

I love it... the two weeks out of the year that I get to be on top of the mileage board!  Hope everyone is enjoying their taper.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

NOON: Clopper 10 1:18:37.  This was a two-snake day on the trail.  Usually, one jolt of adrenaline is enough.  The first one was a black snake, which don't bother me, but the second was fatter and lighter colored.  Didn't get a good look at its head, so not sure what it was, but we have Cottonmouths and Copperheads around here... these I can do without.  They all got smoked out of their holes from the rain last night.

Oh, and another t-shirt bites the dust... my Zeppy's 5k shirt from Ithaca.  It was breezy today, so I can see it getting blown out of the tree, but not too far... someone definitely absconded with it, and within a "secure" government campus no less.  T-shirts aren't safe anywhere I guess.  The fun part was making my way all the way back to the gym (basement hallway of the office building -- with plenty of traffic) with no shirt on.
 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

11 AM: Whitman H.S. track. 2 mile warm up, 2.5 drills (9 sets + 400 jog), 2 mi cool down.

10 x 400m with 400 + 1 min rest (full recovery, approx 4 min rest)

66.4, 65.3, 65.8, 66.5, 67.3,

67.8, 67.0, 67.0, 67.4, 66.0.

Breezy day with a headwind on the back straight.  Still in search of that extra gear.  Having a tailwind (i.e., practically no resistance) on the finally 100 is an interesting situation because you can tell that you are limited purely by mechanics.

Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
18.000.000.000.0018.00

AM: 18ish. 2:15:18. Roosevelt Is., GT trails, Canal.  Beautiful fall morning.  Felt pretty strong.  Kinda makes me wish I was running a marathon next week!

Dutch!  One of these days we'll make it happen :).
 

Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
367.500.000.000.00367.50
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