Today, I ran the 2nd annual running of The Race 13.1. It’s hard not to be biased, but I think we did an even better job than last year. We had people from all over the country attend with registration 25% higher than last year.

I decided to race this year (last year I paced the 1:45 group). My next marathon is next month, and I wanted to used this race as a tuneup. The course is hilly, so it’s a good judge of fitness. I came in 4tho overall finishing behind two of my friends and another guy that I didn’t know.

I wanted to make the podium (top three), but I don’t count this as a failure because I was able to maintain a consistent pace on a difficult course.

Hello people! I’ve run two races in subsequent weeks and PR’d both. I ran 23:45 at the Decatur Dekalb 4-Miler last week and a 17:28 at the Vinings Downhill 5K this week. That official makes 2019 the second consecutive year that I’ve PR’d every distance. My current 5K, 4 Mile, 10K, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon PR’s were all achieved in 2019.

Now, I have a break from racing before a pair of half marathons that I will use as tune ups for my fall marathon in San Bernardino.

Ive been keeping up high mileage and have inserted Tuesday track work with my friend Habib into my weekly schedule. I believe that both have worked to my advantage. I’m looking forward to finishing out the summer strong in preparation for a successful fall marathon attempt.

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For the last several weeks I’ve been base-building, and this is the first week that I’ve gotten back above 100 miles. That said I’m going to start sprinkling in some harder tempo-paced efforts to start the process of getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. My main goal for the year is to get a big marathon PR on a downhill Revel course in November. I’m working on a long careful training block to make that a reality. 

I’m about a week away from the Boston start line, and I feel pretty good. I’ve been working pretty long hours in NY, and I must admit it has adversely affected my run schedule. Somehow though, I’ve still managed to put in 70ish mpw. Though the long work hours in a different city have hurt my mileage a bit, I have benifitted from escaping the pollen and humidity of Atlanta. It has made my outdoor runs much easier, and I’ve been able to run faster paced at a lower heart rate. 

The weather forecast for Boston look favorable, though we are admittedly to far out for me to rely on weather predictions. Assuming the weather holds, though, I think i will aim for a sub-2:50 finish. As we get closer to the race, I will refine my goal as necessary. 

Yesterday I helped pace the 3:45 marathon group for the brand new 2019 Publix Atlanta Marathon course. I debated writing up a full recap on this race, but I ultimately decided against it. I’ve already recapped two Georgia marathons (this was my third), and I don’t think it’s necessary for me to go that deep a third time around. After all, the main reason for this blog is to serve as a repository of my thoughts and experiences as I pursue my goal of 50 sub-4 hour marathons in 50 states. I’ve thus far avoided recapping Race’s more than once and will, likewise, minimize recalling states more than once.

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed my first time pacing a full marathon, and I was truly impressed by the course. Essentially all of the changes we made to the second half, and these changes were all positive. The course now covers a far more diverse slice of the city and include several notable (but previously ignored) sections of our city, namely the Atlanta University Center.

This is Atlanta, so hills are a given; they should be expected and appreciated. My pacing went really well, I met some cool new people and we got in at 3:44:32 - just under goal!

I would definitely run and pace this course again. I had a great time!

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Another quick (and late) race update. Last weekend I ran the Chattahoochee Road Race 10K and won first place overall! ... and I PR’d with a finishing time of 36:28.  This race also tracks and rewards the person with the fastest (downhill) final mile, which I also one with a 4:57 final mile. I was very pleased with this effort, particularly since it was in the midst of a 105-mile week. And I must say, nothing beats the feeling of running directly behind a police escort 🚔 

I’m definitely starting to feel the effects of my higher mileage, and I can tell that I’m teetering on that line. I’m paying very close attention to my body and adjusting my effort based on what I can handle each day. I plan to stay north of 100mpw for a few more weeks before I start a modest taper. 

Next weekend I’ll be pacing the Publix Atlanta Marathon for the 3:45 group. Obviously, I’ll use this effort as my long run for that week. 

 

1at place overall at the CRR 10K

1at place overall at the CRR 10K

Mic check mic check. I’ve been building my base mileage back up, and now I’m back in that 80 to 90 mpw range. Everything feels good, and I’m hoping to roll into a fourth consecutive injury-free cycle.  

This time around I’m only adding one new thing into the mix - cold showers. Random, I know. But I’ve read about some of the benefits of taking cold showers and I figured  hey why not 🤷🏾‍♂️  

Oh I’m also simplifying my run schedule. I’ll be doubling 6 days a week - everyday except for my long run day. I’m also simplifying my approach to the long run - I’ll simply alternate between 20 and 24 milers each week. Tuesday will be track repeats; Thursday will be midlong; Friday hill repeats. All other runs are simply recovery efforts to just get in the miles. 

Just a quick update regarding the Red Nose Half Marathon. The weather was perfect, and I showed up at the start line feeling completely recovered from the Resolution Run 5K. I took the road trip with a few friends and had the benefit of not needing to drive. During the race I was able to stay with a pack for the first half of the race. It was an out and back, and after the turnaround, I was able to break from the pack and negative split the back half of the race. My finish time was 1:19 (8th overall out of 896) which represents a PR for me. Not a bad way to start the year :)

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I was having a pretty good training block leading up to Christmas. I slowly worked my mileage back up to the high 80’s / low 90’s and had Sunday long runs of 20, 22, and 24 in consecutive weeks - each long was 7:30 pace or faster. I was feeling good and then I got smacked with a super strong virus two days before Christmas. It stopped me dead in my track and I could barely move (much less run) for several days. So since then, I’ve been rebuilding my strength and working my mileage back up. Not ideal timing with less than 3 weeks until my next marathon, but I’m glad it happened then as opposed to even closer to marathon week. I feel like I have my strength back and just ran an 18:30 5K on New Year’s Day. The real test will be this weekend’s Red Nose Half Marathon; I plan to use this race as a final indicator of my current fitness and for setting my marathon goal pace.

Approaching the finish line of the Resolution Run 5K, 1/1/19

Approaching the finish line of the Resolution Run 5K, 1/1/19

Last weekend, I ran the super hilly Westside 10Miler in blistering cold, windy, and wet weather conditions. I finished in 1:03:03 (6:18/mile), which was good enough for 3rd place overall. The next day, I got up and ran 20 miles with my friend Patrick at 7:38 pace.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to tweak my training format. I’ve had success for multiple years now. Particarly in 2018 given that I PR’d every distance from 5K to the marathon. Now, I just want to raise the bar for 2019. I’m going to keep the same base program (Pfitzinger) but I’m going to tweak it some more by reducing the distance variance in my log run... no more 18 milers - I’ll keep it 20+. Also, I want to move my longest long from 23 to 24. Aside from that. I’ll pick up the pace on work days and drop the pace on recovery efforts. I’ll also take a long look at my tempo work to see if I could gain by swapping out some of the tempo stuff for longer, slower MP work. We will see; I just wanted to share a few thoughts rumbling through my head as I ponder on how to make 2019 an even better run year than my amazing 2018. 

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Let me go ahead and get these thoughts down now before my busy week ahead. 

i just finished running the PNC 5K in 18:15. It was a nice tuneup for this upcoming marathon. I ran this one in my marathon kit in similar weather to what is forecasted for race weekend. So all seems well.

I have also been inadvertently hitting MP during some of my runs during this taper. That’s a good sign for me; it shows that my legs are feeling primed to go. 

So goals for this upcoming race - I have three: 

”A” Goal - Break 2:50

”B” Goal - Break 2:55

”C” Goal - Break 3:00

i would consider anything over 3:00 to be missing the mark. I think I have a decent shot at my “A” goal... maybe a 20-25% chance and a 75% chance at hitting my “B” goal.  

We will see how it goes. But I’m feeling pretty good about it!  

📸 credit - Garry Wylie

📸 credit - Garry Wylie

In the past three weeks, I’ve run three consecutive 5K’s on three consecutive Saturday’s. These were prescheudled races that I kept on the calendar despite the fact that I’m actually shifting to marathon training and mileage building. I did keep 80+ miles per week during this period and my 5K results were - 18:53, 17:44, and 18:48.

I enjoyed the races, but I’m ready to get back to traditional Marathon training.

 

 

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Yesterday, I completed my sixth consecutive Peachtree Road Race 10k. My goal for the race was to run 37:30 or better. I completed the course in 38:24, missing my goal; nonetheless, I really enjoyed the run. The start time was 30 minutes earlier than normal, and the weather was far better than last year. I had a chance to see some familiar faces and run in one of the most iconic events in modern day road racing.

Now that this 10K is behind me, it's time to officially switch gears. To be sure, I still have a few more shorter distances races on my calendar; however, my attention will now 100% shift towards my fall marathon. I'll race these shorter events, but I will consider them as stepping stones to what I hope to be a breakthrough marathon performance in October.

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Last weekend I ran the Possom Trot 10K, finishing in 37:33, I was able to snag 5th overall, 1st in my age group, and a shiny new PR. This was my final big workout before the Peachtree Road Race. Given that I did not taper for this race, I’m hoping to improve on my time in a couple of weeks at Peachtree. My goal is sub-37. I didn’t do a full recap of this race since I’ve done a write up before when I ran it in 2016. See here for that race report. 

 

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It’s been a while. Just wanted to drop a quick note to mention a few somewhat recent thoughts:  

1. It’s been about a year since I transitioned to a vegetarian diet. Shortly thereafter, I took the next step and moved to a strictly plant-based diet. It was the best dietary decision of my life. As someone who used to get 2 colds per year and suffered from winter allergies/congestion, I find it unbelievable that I’ve gone a full year without so much as a sniffle. I’ve never felt better... I’m recovering quicker, racing faster, and staying injury-free for a longer stretch than ever in history.

2. I’ve been continuing to do 99.9% of my runs alone. However, last week I ran with the Ponce City Market Run crew for Global Running Day. I had a great time, and I had the opportunity to try out some amazing lululemon run gear! It felt good to run with a group, and it was a nice reminder of the best of what run groups offer.

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I’ve been doing a bit of traveling in the last month which has thrown my running schedule off. But I’ve been getting back to consistency. Today I ran a 4-Miler (2018 Singleton 4 Miler) in 23:55 (5:59 pace)... a solid effort considering the limited training I’m coming off. I finished 10th place (out of 827) and 3rd place AG. That’ll be some good points for my ATC Grand Prix efforts. 

The course was super hilly and featured several out and backs with sharp 180 degree turns. I’m curious to see what I can do on a more traditional course that required less Hill and braking to navigate turnarounds. Afterwards, I ran another few miles to cool down. 

three days back into it from my two-week vacation. I haven’t lost any speed, but I can tell that my recovery has taken a bit. I felt a bit tired this morning. When I was at peak fitness leading up to the Run Hard Columbia Marathon, I was running back to back 15+ milers in a 100 mile week with no problem. Today it was difficult to bounce back from a 7 miler on Saturday followed by a 15 miler yesterday. But I’m listening to my body; I have no doubt that the fitness will return quickly.