Sunday, December 30, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Disappointing Mile

First screen only showed top 6, but there were really 10 guys!
After 4 to 5 weeks of training including some speed workouts, I bettered my "season's" mile time from 5:30.7 to 5:21.99 today, in an indoor USATF track meet.  I was shooting for 5:16, but it just wasn't going to happen today.  I felt tired even after 200 meters.  I had trouble memorizing the splits due to fatigue, but as best as I can recall, they were about 79, 2:41, 4:02, then 5:21.99.
mid race in the pack (I'm No. 152)




I was 5th out of 10 guys (all over 40), with the top two guys under 4:53.

I felt like I pushed hard, and had to bend over gasping for breath for several seconds at the end.

Now one silver lining is that using age graded calcs, my time today at Age 54 was slightly better than my 5:17.8 at Age 52 (81.8% for today's race versus 81.57% two years ago).

But, I still like to think in absolute rather than relative age graded terms, so the bottom line is that I ran slower this year than in 2010.

I think in order to run a quality mile, I really need to train in the spring and summer instead of trying to do a single track race on the heels of trail and cross country season.  But unfortunately, clay court tennis season starts mid-May, so I have too many conflicts in the spring and summer, and really only start serious training in September, even October.

But overall, I guess I'm pleased.

Raybuck finishing (fatigued!)
Mark

Friday, December 21, 2012

Mile Prep Update

I ran a good track workout last Saturday, with 6 quarters, averaging about 81 to 82 seconds, and 4 220s, around 37 to 38.5 range.  I followed this up with a tempo run Wednesday night, total of 4.1 miles, with a 1.5 mile tempo segment at 6:44/mile pace.

The plan was to go back to the track tomorrow, for a final speed workout before the December 29 indoor mile run.  However, snow is predicted for tonight and tomorrow, totaling 4 to 7 inches, and very windy.  The track may be covered.  So, will either try to find some bare patches of road and run quarters and 220s on the road, or wait until Sunday and see if the track might clear up by then. 

Stay tuned!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Reindeer Run 5K Results!


Raybuck near start (on left, all black)

My short road racing season (one race, well two, if you count the pre-cross season road race in August) came and went already!  An annual tradition for me, since about 2000, the Reindeer Run 5K is a great race, with a fabulous post-race buffet of Salen's hot dogs, decent local pizza, cake, cookies, fruit, etc.  Oh, and the race itself.


Raybuck at about halfway, face still relaxed (sort of).

A little disappointing, as I ran 18:46 (6:02 per mile average), 18 seconds slower than last year, with better weather, and a new, flatter course than last year).  I did, however, move up from 15th place in 2011 to 12th overall in 2012 out of 788 runners, but I moved down a notch in the always tough 50 to 54 year old age group, placing only 3rd out of about 40, compared to 2nd last year.  However, the top three in our age group were all together, 10th, 11th, and 12th overall, beating ALL the 40 to 44 year olds, and all but one of the 45 to 49 year olds (who was 4th overall in 16:59).  Also, any of us would have placed 3rd or better in ANY of the younger age groups, so overall, not bad for codgers.

Splits:  5:58, 6:06 (slight uphill included in 2nd mile).



Link to the results is here!  (click on the age graded overall link at the top right for fun).

GVH Mudslog Trail Race - Some Uncertainty

Hi, everyone.  This is another VERY late post, a trail race from October 21, 2012, so I'll keep it brief.  I ran in the annual 8.25 mile GVH Mudslog trail race on October 21, 2012, my sixth appearance in the 7-year history of the event.  Last year, I placed 9th out of 223 runners, and this year, although I felt my condition was similar, I only managed 17th out of 272, with a time of 1:12:07, about 2 minutes slower than last year.  The course, which is a rugged cross country/trail/obtacle race, was slightly different this year, and could potentially have been slower, but it is hard to tell for sure.  

Link to results is here!.


My colleague fell in!  His 2nd pond swim of the day!
 However, I did manage to win the 50 to 59 year old age group award for the second year in a row, so that was a bonus, and nearly a necessity, as I paid $40 to enter (forgot to enter early) and the skimpy goody bag was simply  a pair of socks.  The age group award was a $15 gift certificate to a running store, a $15 gift certificate towards a runner's ID bracelet (neither of which I used) and a bottle of wine.  As most of you know, I'm not a wine drinker, but we did break it out for Thanksgiving dinner.  I also won another running hat, which is always useful.


Top of a little hill......
 As it does every year, this race includes a 50-meter swim in a pond at about the 5-mile mark.  After a few years of doing this, I have figured out that "swimming" in 50 some degree water after running 5 miles, and with heavy running shoes and clothes on, is not easy.  Thus, I immediately grabbed the safety rope, and simply pulled myself along, quite efficiently, rather than true swimming.


climbing out of a creek bed

After swamp!

There were many other obstacles, including a set of barrels over another pond (see photo of my colleague and others doing the barrel crossing), fences, swamps (see photo of me shortly after the swamp), mud, hill climbs too steep to run, and even requiring grabbing trees and vines to climb up, fences, and then horse jumps in the corral near the end.


This is not a course for setting PRs, or even worrying about time.  I think I ran somewhere in the high 8 minute per mile range, not particularly speedy.

Would I do this race again?  Yes.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Indoor Track Season Begins!

After running a 5K road race last weekend (more to come on that in a later blog), indoor track season is now underway.  My indoor season will be comprised of a single race, a Masters only mile run at RIT on December 29, an official USATF meet.  Today, in preparation, I did my second track workout of the season, consisting of 8 quarters (not 400s), and 3 220s (not 200s).  Quarters were slower than hoped, as my last workout I averaged around 82ish. This time, it was raining, which might have slowed times slightly, and I only averaged around 83 or 83.5, although I really felt like I was working it.  The 220s were better, in 36.8, 37.58, and 37.55.  I thought it was a good idea to throw in the 220s, so that I get some feeling in my legs of running faster than my target mile race pace.  I'm shooting for around 5:15, which would be 2 seconds faster than I ran in this meet 2 years ago.  That may be ambitious, but we'll see.  I'm trying two speed workouts per week now, with one being on the track and the second something like a tempo run.  More to come!  I'm still behind on an October trail race post and last week's Reindeer Run 5k road race.  Both were exciting!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Autumn Challenge 5K Trail Run Results (late!)

Wow, this is a late post, since this race occurred on September 29, 2012!!  But, I was busy with real life and traveling earlier this fall, so here it is now.

Me holding my "loot" after the race.
I managed a 3rd place overall out of 131 runners in this relatively hilly trail race, and first overall masters.  The time was 19:39, my best time on this course, and over 20 seconds faster than last year (althouth the weather was MUCH nicer this year). 

You may remember that last year, I came in second overall, but because the first place guy was on a father-son team, I sheepishly had to accept the overall male trophy.  This year, the very same guy, who is in his 40s, won the race outright (time of 19:11).  He was battling it out with a younger guy in his 30s the whole way, and I watched with great interest from about 100 meters back (no chance of catching them).  Because the older guy won, that gave me the overall masters trophy!  I like this guy!! 

Autumn Challenge 5k Trail Race Results are Here

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cross Country Season Finale!

On November 18, I ran in the GVH and USATF championship cross country race, an 8K in Black Creek Park, Chili, New York.  It was quite a humbling experience, running 31:37 for 8K, quite fatigued at the end, and only barely cracking the top half, at 68th out of 140 runners, and only 14th in the 50 to 59 age group!  But to be fair, some of the masters and veterans runners in Rochester are not only tops in the state, but near the top in the nation as well, placing in national events.

Raybuck with 1/2 mile to go! (Photo compliments of L. Raybuck)
Anyway, I love cross country, thanks to Gary Truce and my old college teammates, including Eric Kaplan, the Fusc, the Freshman Sensation (Rob Neenan), Fred Lazarre, Neil Schutzman, Kevin Hardwick, and many others.

Results are here at this link.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cross Country Begins!

The official cross country season has begun, on two fronts!

1.  I ran in long sleeves for the first time this fall two nights ago.  It was a great run, with cool temps (thus, the the long sleeves) inspiring me to a 5.5 mile trail run with some rolling hills at an alarmingly fast (and surprisingly easy) 7:58/mile average pace.  Typical runs of late, especially in the summer, have been 8:30 to 9 minute pace.  The surprising thing about this run, although when I started I said to myself "let's see if we can run a bit faster today" was how good it felt.

2. I am planning to run a 5K trail race this Saturday.  This is the same race that I "won" last year, by virtue of the first place guy participating on a Father/Son team, and thus was not eligible for the overall trophy.  Not sure if I'm quite in the same condition as last year, but we shall see!

Mark

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cross Country Season Begins!

I had to turn the heat on in the house this morning, and had a fire in the fireplace yesterday!  What does this mean?  Cross Country season!!

I ran my second longest training run of the year yesterday, 8.0 miles at about 8:42 pace.  This coming Saturday, I hope to run a hilly 5K trail race/cross country race in a beautiful wooded park setting, about an hour from Buffalo.  Last year I "won" this race, by virtue of the first place guy winning the Father/Son team title.  We'll see what happens this year.  I don't feel like I'm quite in the shape I was last year.

Stay tuned!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Alan Webb is living in Charlottesville

Alan Webb just won a low-key 5K race in 14:29, but more importantly, this article says he has been living in Charlottesville, VA!!  Eric, please look for him at the track or on the roads, and attempt to interview him for the blog!

Alan Webb in Charlottesville Wins 5K article

Fall Training Starts

Wow, finally, some reasonable weather for training!  After a long, hot summer, where it seemed nearly every run was under uncomfortable, hot conditions, we finally had some cooler weather this past weekend, inspiring me to start my fall cross country season training.  With that in mind, I ran 8.2 miles yesterday on trails, some of them fairly rugged, averaging about 8:51 per mile.

Paul Ryan's Marathon Time

Just when you thought politics could not get any sillier, it did.  And who would have thought it would involve marathon running?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/05/paul-ryan-marathon-lie_n_1858384.html

Friday, August 17, 2012

Running Raybucks Make Impact in Moonlight Run 5K

Mark and Kaila Raybuck fared well in Wednesday night's Moonlight Run 5K in Williamsville, NY, placing 57th and 167th, respectively, out of more than 1,100 runners.


Race start:  See Mark at arrow.
Kaila, running her first race since high school cross country, ran a very respectable 22:49 (7:22/mile), placing 9th in the women's 20 to 24 age group.  What made this even more impressive was that she played two full sets of tennis earlier in the afternoon!  On top of that, she didn't pay much attention to mile splits, and wasn't really aware of where she was until she noticed the finish line.  "I didn't realize the race was almost over, but I must have picked off 50 people in the final straightaway!" stated Kaila to reporters after the race.  "I really enjoy picking people off!"

Mark ran moderately well also, with a 19:55 (6:25/mile), good enough for 2nd out of 62 in the men's 50 to 54 age group.  After passing one of his age-group competitors with 400 meters to go, the runner sprinted by Mark in the last 50 meters.  However, the results were based on "net" electronic chip time, and Mark was awarded the win, much to the chagrin of the now 3rd place finisher!  To make this story even better, the competitor, one Ronald Prabucki, is reportedly the brother of Bernie Prabucki, an All American from the Gary Truce days, who typically beat Raybuck in NCAA cross country and track and field in the late 70s.

Oh, and there were great hot dogs after the race!

Full results are posted here.  I have not located any race photos yet, but will post later if discovered.


Mark

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

5K Race Tonight!

Tonight at 8 pm, my daughter and I will lace up our spikes (well, flats), and toe the line at the annual Williamsville Moonlight 5K Run.  In the summer, I am usually not in good shape due to tennis and the heat (don't like running in the heat), but my daughter wanted to run a 5K race, so I agreed. 

Now that I'm entered, I'm hoping for something like a 6:15 to 6:30 pace, or 19:20ish to 19:50ish.  This is a very competitive race for a 5K, with about 900 runners, and a likely finish place (if I do well) of around 50th.

Results to come in a blog within the next couple of days!!

Stay tuned!

Coach Dave

Congratulations to our very own Dave Caplin, new cross country coach at Hudson High School in Hudson, Ohio.  Dave joins the growing list of former SUNY-B runners who are now professional running coaches.  Others known to be coaching are Bill McMullen and Mike Raybuck.

Dave writes:  "I've been working with the guys since July 9. It's going well and our first meet is Aug 25. We got a late start b/c of the transition but I'm not worried. Four of my returning runners were at State last year. I'm having incredible fun."

My Aching Foot

The good news:  my foot is not broken.  The bad news:  it is bruised and I need to give serious consideration to not running.

Yesterday I visited a foot doctor who is a good friend who did an exam and took a number of X-rays and showed them to me.  There are no obvious breaks but I'm sure the pain is real.  The thinking is that years and years of supination has put me on a path towards a nasty fracture (quite possibly the eventual result could be the infamous Jones fracture).

There was no particular incident.  All of a sudden, not even after running, I had a lot of pain.  In the fall of 2008 I had a similar thing happen (though at that time the pain started right after a run).  Back then the pain was never as bad as it is now and I never consulted a doctor.  Nor do I think I stopped running.  After about 18 months I was pain free.

I think the sane thing to do is to quite running and get more serious about biking.  Right now, running is out of the question.  I'm not even going to try and bike for a few more days to give the foot some more rest time.

The thought of not running makes me sad.  I started running when during cross country season in 1972 when I was a junior in high school.  That's almost 40 years.  Ever since then I've run most days and on the days that I didn't run I usually felt guilty about not running.

:-(

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Summer Running Update

Hi, folks, I know our global audience has been clamoring for posts, so here we go.  Lots of tennis this summer, so running has been somewhat secondary.  For example, this week, I will have about 4 runs of 5 to 5.5 miles each, and two tennis matches.  However, I'm trying to do quality workouts, including about one tempo run per two weeks.  Thursday evening, I ran 5.25 miles total, with 2 miles at "tempo" pace in the middle, about 7:17/mile average.  This was slower than my 7:01 per mile pace from a couple weeks ago, but this run was on rolling hills in a park, with grass trails, so that may be the difference.

Still hoping to round into shape for autumn cross country and trail racing "season."

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Running Training Tips

Once again, the blog title is more to obtain more hits on the blog than to describe the post.  However, we've had the onset of an early summer here in Buffalo.  Typically, June would be a pleasant month for running, with high temps in the mid 70s, and evening temps, when I'm running, in the low 70s or high 60s. But, we're already into about our 5th or 6th heat wave of 2012, and summer doesn't start until tomorrow!

I have, however, been training fairly well, despite the weather, and the fact that clay court tennis season is in full swing.  Last Friday I played nearly 2 straight hours of tough tennis against a tough opponent (who beat me).  We had many long rallies that left me as tired (or more) than hard fartleks or intervals.  I think I ran 4 times, played tennis once, and then took off the other 2 days, but typically try to lift weights on the off days.

From here on out, summer running is more "maintenance" running for me, until I begin a serious surge in mid-August, to prepare for cross country and trail races.  Where does the mile fall into all this?  I don't know, but Big Steve is expecting a sub-5:20 from me solely based on my increased Vitamin D level (now at an acceptable 47 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter).

Mark

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fartlek on the Beach

Today was one of the better and more fun workouts I've had in awhile.  I walked three miles on the beach all in one direction.  I ran two of the three miles back in a modified fartlek style where I walked the recovery periods.  Running segments were between .1 and .2 miles.  Actual time spent running was 15:19 (7:44, 7:35).  Mark says running barefoot on sand is a bit slower than running with shoes on the road so the times are better than they look.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cross Training Week

Hi folks.  This week was a bit of a cross training week.  Played two hard sessions of tennis on Tuesday and Friday nights, ran Monday and Wednesday.  I did not run at all this weekend, but worked in the yard doing landscaping, sweated like a pig, and felt like I worked.  I also lifted weights 2 or 3 times this week.

With the clay tennis court club now open for the season, this "cross training" pattern may continue for a while.  I still would like to get out for a mile time trial soon, but just need to make the time.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

2-mile Tempo Run Improvement

Yesterday I ran a total of 4.1 miles, including a 1.3 mile warmup at about 8:40 pace, a 2-mile tempo run on the track averaging 6:56/mile (splits of 7:05 and 6:48), and a 0.8 mile warmdown at just under 9 minute pace.  Two weeks ago, I ran nearly an identical workout, averaging 7:06 per mile.  Although I was hoping for closer to a 6:45/mile pace yesterday, this was an improvement over just weeks ago.  Also, I may have been slightly fatigued from an accidental 8.5 mile "offroad" run on Sunday, in which I became slightly lost in a swamp, and had some amount of trouble finding my way out (without sinking in too deep).

I may have a hankering to try another mile time trial this Friday.  The last mile, over two weeks ago, was 5:45, so a reasonable target would be breaking 5:40.  But one never knows what will occur when you actually toe the line! Stay tuned!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

3rd Generation Strider Training

My grandson, a 3rd generation Dr. K. Strider, was caught on film last weekend doing 50 meter intervals!  He said he likes jumping better than running, though, so he may end up being a field event guy!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Training for the Mile Run (breaking 5 minutes)

One reason for the title is to get more blog hits.  When people are searching for tips on training, our titles are in the search, but if they are too general, such as "training update," then a search will be unlikely to bring them to our useful blog.

Moving along, I hope to make a stab at  sub-5 mile this year, although it is not at all easy.  I just ran 5:45 last Friday, and it hurt!  I keep thinking my main problem is low mileage.  I've been averaging about 25 to 27 per week for the last month now, but that is probably not enough, even when I start including serious speed workouts and intervals.  My long runs so far are about 7 to 7.2 miles.  I don't see much reason going higher than 8 miles to train for a mile, though.  Any thoughts?

Mark

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Second Mile!


Today, I ran my first "official" mile time trial, eclipsing my goal time of 5:48 by 3 seconds, with an early season 5:45.1.  Splits were only slightly erratic:  86, 2:54 (88), 3:22 (88), and then about 83 for the kicker.   I warmed up well, then settled in behind the start line, said “Set!” out loud (and there were some people around), then scuttled up to the exact one-mile start line, and said “Boom!”  (slightly quiet, as I was embarrassed).  Although I was technically one second over my goal time at 3/4s, I felt in control, and was certain the Norton barrier (search blog for significance of the Norton Barrier) was in hand.  It was only a question of how much I wanted to kick and how far under I wanted to go.  I even told myself a few times during the mile, that I didn’t want to suffer too much early in the season.

Even after surgery and a long time off this winter, I seem to be almost right back where I was in 2011, when I ran 5:40 for my first mile time trial on April 16.  In fact, I’ve been running a bit more mileage this year, so it’s possible have a better base, but simply not the speed yet.

After I finished, I said “I hate running” and temporarily wondered what it would be like to simply enjoy running and never really race or do time trials again, except for fun.  But that thought quickly passed, and I ran two quarters in 86 and then 83.6 a few minutes after the “mile time trial.”

Mark

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Training is ahead of schedule

Due to the mild winter and early spring (although now we're back to normal temperatures), I'm running more than usual for this time of year.  The past two weeks have been about 27 miles, with long runs of over 7 miles, lots of trail running, and at least one faster workout each week.  This past week, I did a tempo run, where the total run was 4 miles, but within that 4 miles, I ran 2 miles on the track at a 7:15/mile pace.  Yesterday I ran 5 miles on trails at 8:25/mile, the fastest "easy" training run this year.  It felt good!

Toying with the idea of a half marathon in May.

Still Here

Most days I run and/or ride a bicycle (sometimes a real one and sometimes an excercise bike). But I keep getting slower. I am trying to eat such that I can drop some weight because I still believe that were I twenty to thirty pounds lighter I could run a lot faster.

Running on Hatteras Island does need lead to good times because all the running is on the road or the beach, but never on a track. When I run in Charlottesville my times start getting better, but then it is back to Hatteras Island and I start slowing down again.

I'm still not giving up look forward to the day when I can once again run a respectable mile.

Coach Dave and His Team

Dave is in the last row on the left.

One the runners in this photo recently ran 48.75 for 400 meters on an indoor 300 meter track. Congratulations to the athlete and his coaches.

Two Great Runners with Moustaches

Steve Prefontaine and Mark Raybuck













Sunday, March 25, 2012

Timed Mile! (doesn't count)

Hi, folks.  I ran my first "timed mile" of the season Friday in 5:58.3.  However, this does not really "count" and differs from a mile time trial in several ways:  1) I did not wear racing flats; 2) it is pre-season - defined as the time period before high school track starts having meets; and 3) it was an informal start...I simply walked up to the line and started, rather than backing up a few yards, then scuttling quickly up to the line and shouting "boom!" (my usual method for mile time trials.

With that established, I was ok with the results, as my goal for this pre-season mile was sub 6 minutes.  Unfortunately, it did not come easy, and I was forced to run an 85-second final quarter with some element of suffering to dip under 6 minutes.

Today I ran 7.3 miles, my longest training run of the year so far.  Last week I ran 25.4 miles in 5 runs, so things are progressing quite well.

Stay tuned!!

Mark

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Training!

After essentially no winter here in western New York State, Spring has also arrived early.  Last night I ran in shorts and a t-shirt (of course in this modern era, t-shirt means a running "tech" shirt) under sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s.  I ran 5.0 miles on trails, averaging 8:43/mile.  This was a mini "comeback" run of sorts after missing 3 straight days due to illness.  Hope to be back out there tonight for about 4 miles.  I'll keep doing trails if it hasn't rained, and switch to roads when necessary.  With these temperatures, I'm thinking about getting on the track to make sure I can break 6 in the mile before the track season gets formally underway.  Of course, at our age, why are there "seasons?"  We're not on teams anymore, or in school.  Somehow, though, I still think of getting on the track during the Spring, and cross country in the Fall.

Mark

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Training Ramping Up!

With the relative lack of winter, I was able to run 4 miles last Friday, 4.2 on Saturday (new post-surgery record), and 3.8 on Sunday.  Took yesterday off to rest and do weights, 30 minutes on a stationary bike today, and hope to be running again tomorrow!  No real suffering running in the cold this winter, but on the flip side, I miss cross country skiing!  If this keeps up, I may do an early mile attempt on the track in mid-March.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Big Steve Marriage!

"Big Steve" Weintraub is getting married, after all these years!  Most of us have been married for 2 or 3 decades, had kids, even grandchildren.  But finally, Big Steve is tying the knot, within a week or so!

His wife to be is also a doctor (that's right, Big Steve is actually an MD, researcher extraordinaire).  But his wife to be went to Yale AND Harvard!

The link below is an article describing her medical practice, along with a photo. 

Link to Big Steve's fiancee article.




Saturday, February 4, 2012

Well, it WAS winter!

Out skiing at the high school.
Last week we had some great snow, and it really looked like winter.  I cross country skiid two days in a row.  However, this past week, it was mainly 40s and I ran outside with light spring/fall gear.  Today I ran 2.75 miles on trails!



Barberry bush in front yard.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Yet more comeback updates!

Hi, everyone.  I'm continuing on my long road back!  Friday I walked about 1.5 miles, including 2 laps on the track without stopping (1/2 mile).  Saturday I did the same, but with 3 laps on the track.  Sunday I cross country skiid about 1.2 miles (20 minutes or so).  Monday I cross country skiid again in good conditions, powdery snow, about 2 miles, including good rolling hills.  Yesterday the weather changed drastically, and it was about 50 degrees.  I ran 1.5 miles and walked about 1 mile.  I wore my Garmin and averaged about 8:49/mile for the run portion.  Today I did the same, running 1.5 miles but walking a bit less.

Tomorrow will take off, maybe lift weights.  By the weekend I would like to run 2.5 miles.

Will try to post some snow pictures in a future post.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Long Road Back!

Well, folks, after about 5 weeks of no running due to some surgery, I started yesterday....well, sort of.....

During the course of a 1.7 mile brisk walk, I jogged one entire lap around the track, and then added another 150 meters of jogging near the end of the walk.  My doctor gave me clearance on Tuesday to start running and working out again, but said I should build back up gradually.  I still have scars from 6 incisions, and the abdomen is just a bit sore when I try to do pushups.

But regardless, this is exciting.  The hard part is going easy, and building gradually.  I think tonight I may ride an exercise bike for about 15 minutes instead of walking/running, due to predicted rain and mid 30s outside.  By the weekend, I will likely attempt a full one mile of easy running.  By the following weekend, my plan would be to run something like 2.5 miles, after which I will continue on fairly quickly until I am back to 4 to 5 mile runs about 3 to 4 times per week (my usual winter running).

Stay tuned!!!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mid-winter Update: Training Plans

Hello, everyone!  Although I have little to report on training, I will state that my recovery from surgery is progressing very well.  I am walking up to 2.3 miles now, with minimal effort, although even with over 9 hours sleep per night, I'm still fatigued by 9 or 9:30 at night.

We finally received some serious snow here in Buffalo, with about 5 to 6 inches today, blowing/drifting/cold.  I'm not recovered enough yet to cross country ski, unfortunately.  I need to take it easy until about January 24, when I see the doctor.  If I receive clearance at that time, I will slowly start running/XC skiing again, leading into my spring buildup.  In some ways, maybe a 2-month break from running (last run was around December 20) will be good for my body.  I ran quite hard last year, with moderate success:  two 2nd place overall finishes in trail races, one 6th place overall 5K road race (out of 175), one 15th place overall 5K race out of 745 (18:28), and a couple other decent results. 

This year, as stated in a previous post, I have some loftier goals, but reaching those will be almost entirely dependent on the quantity and quality of training I am able to conduct.  I'm going to try to take a different approach this year, do some good cross training (possibly biking), more weights/strength, and as much trail running with hills as possible.

I believe that I can continue to improve my performance (including times) over the next couple of years, regardless of turning 54 this April!!  There are many 50+ year olds in the Rochester area who are well ahead of me, so I know it can be done, with the right type and amount of training.

Stay tuned!

Mark

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Goal Time!

Although, as Eric mentioned in a previous post, some of us have had some health issues recently, I am recovering very well from some recent surgery, and looking forward to returning to training in about 3 weeks.  This year I have some very lofty goals, and would also like other authors and commentators to post their goals for the year.  Although goals are not always achieved, they provide an impetus and encouragement for training, and function as a virtual "finish line."  This year, I have some tough goals, but I think they are all within reach.  Here they are:

1.  A sub 5-minute mile.  In 2010 I ran 5:17 indoors, with minimal speed workout.  In 2011 I only ran 5:33, but that was early in the season, and I did not run the mile late in the fall/early winter when I was in peak condition.  Keys to achieving this goal or getting in a good distance base early in the year, then speed workouts early enough in the fall to make the attempt in good weather.

2.  A sub-18 minute 5K.  In 2011 (December 3), I ran 18:28 in a 5K road race.  Again, this was with almost no track speed workout, although I had done tempo runs and mile intervals on the grass.  One key to this goal will be getting in some good long runs.  This past year I did better with long runs, typically doing a 6 to 7 miler on the weekends, but I should probably be doing 8 to 10 milers.

3.  I love trail racing, and last year I came in 9th out of about 180 runners in the annual GVH mudslog race, roughly 8.2 miles over hilly, muddy terrain, including a very cold 50 meter pond swim in October!  This year, I would love to make top 5, but at least improve on the 9th place.  Time is a bit meaningless in this race.  I ran 1:09:53 this past year.  Some of the hills/terrain was so difficult that I had to walk in parts.

4.  Mix in some good cross training, such as biking, with running.  As we age, it is important to protect our bodies, and I'll be 54 in April!  However, I'm convinced that I can go faster!  In 2011, my 18:28 5K road race was only 7 seconds slower than my time on the exact course 11 years ago!!  We don't fully understand the medical reasons why we slow down with age, but some masters runners are proving that you can run excellent times in your 50s. One 50-year-old in California (his name escapes me at the moment), ran 14:45 at Age 49 just before he turned 50, and is aiming to be the 1st 50-year old to break 15 in the 5k!!!  This is inspiring!

5.  Improve my tennis ranking from 3.5 to 4.0.  OK, what does this have to do with running?  Nothing!!  But I still want to do it.  I took my first private tennis lesson last year at my clay court tennis club, and the instructor said I was about a 3.5  I agreed with this assessment, although I have beaten a very good 4.0 player on occasion, and come close on several others.  One advantage I have in tennis is that I seem to be able to run down balls better than most people.  Almost everyone I play has the same comment:  You've got some wheels!"

I have other goals, but I think these are key, along with one other.  Always enjoy running!!!

Mark

Erik Van Ingen: Sub-4 Miler Creates a Running Film

Erik Van Ingen, Binghamton University's first and only sub-4 minute miler, is a film major, and has produced a film about running, scheduled to be released in late Spring 2012.  The movie is about what it is like to train as a collegiate athlete, with dreams that go far beyond that.  The cool thing is that Van Ingen is a local from Marathon, NY, just a short drive from Binghamton, near Cortland (home school of Harry Beal).  He has run more than one sub-4 minute mile, with a best of 3:57, and one more season of track eligibility this year.

For the full article about Van Ingen, see the link below:

http://racingnews.runnersworld.com/2011/11/a-brief-chat-with-erik-van-ingen-2.html