Sunday, November 30, 2008

Final Speed workout: countdown begins!

I completed my final speed workout prior to next Saturday's 5K road race. Last night, as the sun was setting, and it was too dark to see the readout on my watch, I ran two one-mile intervals, with about a 5-minute rest in between. The lack of ability to see the watch was actually beneficial, because it forced me to run by feel, without any knowledge of splits. With a goal of sub 6:10 for each mile, this was an encouraging workout: 6:08, followed by a 6:04. Both were hard efforts, although I think I was still running in control, and trying to maintain form and posture. Today I plan to run about 5.5 miles, then the remainder of the week is tapering. I may do some very short fartleks a couple times during the week, just to get the feel of race speed. The big question is whether this final exam "cramming" during the last 5 to 6 weeks has whipped this old body into good enough condition to run something close to 19 minutes (6:07 per mile). I may try to run around 6:10 to 6:15 for the first mile to be conservative, then go from there. I typically like to feel good at the mile mark, because it is too tough mentally to already feel bad at the mile, then have 2.1 miles to go.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Where's The FUSC?

Tom, after 30 years (1978) I have but ONE thing to say to you:

Cortland wins Division III Championship

My brother is thrilled.

Of course it means a round of Binghamton bashing, but it's almost worth it to see a SUNY school win.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

2-mile time trial sluggish, but useful

Today I did a warmup mile, then under cold, windy conditions (snow flurries and stiff cross wind), I embarked on a 2-mile time trial, primarily to get used to running relatively fast for a sustained period of time, prior to my December 6, 2008 5K road race. I had a modest goal of 6:30 per mile, given the conditions, and my garb consisting of full sweats, hat, gloves, and training shoes. I ended up at 12:43, or 6:21.5 per mile, probably about 5 seconds faster on the 2nd mile than the first.

I will say that this was not an easy run, and I could not have envisioned running another mile at that pace. Somehow, I have a goal of around 19 flat for the 5K race, which is 6:07 per mile, so there might be a slight disconnect between training and racing. But I've been training hard for several weeks now, and have been doing 2 speed workouts per week, so on any given day, my legs are not fresh. After this weekend, I plan to taper, and do short, quicker workouts next week, prior to the race. We'll just have to see what happens!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Training Heats Up as Weather Cools Down

With less than two weeks before a 5K road race, I have increased the intensity of training to include 2 solid speed workouts per week. Last Wednesday I did another lactate threshold (tempo) run, consisting of 4 miles (1 easy, 2 hard, 1 easy), but my Garmin battery died, so I don't know the pace of the middle two miles. If Iwere to guess, I'd say the middle two miles were at about a 6:50 pace.

Today, I went to the track for two one mile intervals, with a goal of 6:20 per mile each. The first one was 6:18, then about 4.5 minutes rest, followed by a 6:06. I was a bit surprised with the 6:06, as I did not think it was that much faster than the first mile, although I did kick the last 400 meters or so.

Anyway, I'm thinking that I should be ready for somewhere in the 19 flat to 19:30 range by race day. In fact, I may run one more race the following week, on December 13, since I am really just getting into shape, and I don't want to end the season with all my eggs in one 5 kilometer basket, so to speak.

Any thoughts on how I should train the final two weeks? I ran two longer weeks of training (27 a and 28 miles, respectively, then last week was only 19 miles, but better quality runs. I'm thinking of about 20 to 25 miles this week, again with 2 speed workouts, then tapering on race week, but with good quality runs.

Ironically, while at the track, an old guy was running in the reverse direction around the track, just plodding along slowly and happily, not at all concerned, but perhaps mildly amused by seeing a middle-aged man running a speed workout. This, of course, made me start thinking about retiring from competitive running. Why shouldn't I just enjoy running for the sake of running?


Chris Lennon Keeps Striders Alive!

Hello Mark!

My brother did a Google search for Dr. K. Striders and found the "Mark and Eric's Running & Dave's Wisdom" Blog. ( God knows why he was searching for the Striders, but I'm glad he did. I had tried searching for the Striders over the years but always came up blank.

I have lost touch with many of the SUNY Bingo crowd. I have exchanged e-mails with Steve Weintraub, and I have kept in touch with Paul Horn. Last year we went to the Binghamton alumni weekend and ran into Mark Peters. I've carboned both of them on this.

Anyway, I was pleased to see the notes on all of your athletic exploits, and I wanted to make sure that you and Eric knew that I was doing my part in keeping the Dr. K. Striders flame alive. From 2002 to 2005 my wife and I lived on a tiny island in the Pacific called Kwajalein. (See kwaj.jpg)

There is a yearly triathlon there called The Rustman. My wife, myself and a friend, Bill Kemp, participated as a team, and we called ourselves The Dr. K. Striders. I did the swim, my wife, Kim, did the bike, and Bill did the run. Bill, as the runner had the honor of wearing one of the original Dr. K. Striders jerseys.

A picture of my wife riding, and a group photo after the event are attached


I am among the ex-runners (not one but TWO knee surgeries!), but I do bike 3500-4000 miles a year.

Hope all is well with you and all The Striders!

Chris Lennon

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Speed Workout!

Hello folks (well, probably just Eric, and maybe not even Eric):

Today I broke down and ran an official track speed workout, simply to get the legs used to running at or faster than 5K race pace. With the season winding down, and the goal set at a sub-19 5K, time is running out, and speed has now become critical. Here's the breakdown: I warmed up a mile, then ran 3 800s, and 2 400s. Rest between the 800s was roughly 3 minutes, and only 1:30 between the two 400s. Following the speed workout, I ran a mile home at an 8:30 pace.

800s: 3:08, 3:05, and 2:58
400s: 83, 82

Overall, I was fairly pleased with outcome, although in one sense, I didn't feel bad, so I question whether I ran fast enough to gain the desired effect. On the other hand, I was only planning on 3:10 for the 800s, and sub 90 for the halves, so the lower times were very encouraging. A sub-19 5K is about 6:07 per mile, so I still think I have my work cut out for me. I may run a "tune-up" 5K race next weekend, or at a minimum, hit the track for a 5K time trial.


Raybuck Brothers Spotted Running in Woods!

On Saturday, November 8, the legendary Allegany County running legends, Mark and Michael Raybuck, were spotted running through the wooded trails on the outskirts of a small town in Allegany County, New York. In the late 1970s, if you don't count 1984 marathon Olympian John Tuttle, one name dominated the running scene in Allegany County - Raybuck! (or should I say Raybucks).

But here's the question. More than 30 years later, with Mark Raybuck having turned 1/2-century old, and Michael Raybuck nursing an arthritic hip, what were these two former legends doing running on wooded trails, with sharp topographic changes? Could they be in training for a major comeback? Or, were they simply enjoying an autumn jog through the woods, having retired from competitive running? Satellite photography documented this view of their path, although there was no good way to estimate the pace of the run. This reporter suspects something big is about to happen.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mid-week Training Update: Lactic Acid Threshold Run

Hi, folks (well, probably just Eric):

Today I wanted to do a speed workout, and since it was unseasonably warm (60s), I ventured over to Bassett Park and ran a lactic acid threshold run (aka tempo run). This consisted of a continuous 4-mile run on grass and trails, with rolling hills for terrain. The first mile was liesurely, at about an 8:37 pace, followed by 2 middle miles at 6:58 and 6:56, and a final easy mile in about 8:30. I was targeting a sub-7 pace for the middle miles, so was pleased with the 6:58 and 6:56 (as reported by the Garmin watch afterwards).

Still, I feel I should be running faster, so I will probably do another speed workout on the weekend.


Third Generation Strider in Training

My grandson is probably the first 3rd generation Dr. K Strider to join the club. He is pictured here negotiating a steep (for him) downhill section of the cross country course.

In the near future, I plan to do a 100 meter time trial with him (if he will cooperate). He runs a lot each day (probably over a mile), but his training is very informal and dis-organized, unlike the structured workouts we were used to in college. Much of his running occurs while running away from his mom and grandparents around the house.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

MSR Training Update

Training has been improving lately. It took longer than I expected to recoop from the 8.5-mile cross country/trail race, so my training pace seemed to slow down for a while. However, Friday's 4-miler on trails was an 8:12/mile average, and I felt pretty good.

This week was only 17 miles total in 4 runs, but decent quality. And today, I was planning on a track speed workout, but it was so nice, I opted for a longer run. I ended up doing 6 miles, my longest training run of 2008, at 8:29 per mile, including some grass and trails.

This is all leading up to trying for a decent 5K road race in early December. My time last year in that race was 19:28, so at a minimum I would like to beat that, and with some luck, maybe crack 19.

More later.