Monday, July 7, 2008

Back home and back to training

What a great vacation - one of the best ever, even without the race. But, vacation is over and I'm back home and back at work. It's also time to get back to training. I'm afraid to step on the scale right now, so I'll wait until I'm back into my eating and workout routine for a few days before I face the music there.

I'll be pacing at the Vermont 100 in 12 days. That should be a moderate pace 30 miler for me, while pacing a pretty fast runner. I'm guessing he'll be close to 20 hours and he might go sub-19 if he has a great day. I'll also volunteer at the race on Friday and early Saturday before I start my pacing duties.

After VT, my focus will really change for the next few months. I'm going to try to run a Boston qualifier this fall somewhere. Right now, this is my candidate list of races:

Harrisburg, PA on 11/9
Cape Cod on 10/26
Bay State on 10/19
Green Mountain (South Hero) on 10/18
Mohawk-Hudson River on 10/12

I've also got the 100 on 100 relay on 8/16 and Reach the Beach on 9/12-9/13. Both of those days will provide me with speed/strength work, as I race multiple times in each event, for a total of 16-18 miles.

At the moment, I'm leaning towards Harrisburg, because I want as much training time as possible.

Here is the rough template I'll use for my training weeks through the fall:

Monday: lift in the morning, easy 60 minute run after work
Tuesday: Speed work - probably Yasso 800s, building to 10 x 800
Wednesday: Same as Monday
Thursday: Marathon Pace running - gradually building the length of these runs
Friday: Lifting and stretching, but probably bodyweight work rather than moving iron.
Saturday: Long runs, done at MP + 75-90 seconds per mile. I already have a solid base for my long runs, so I may intersperse some shorter MP runs on Saturdays.
Sunday: Rest day

If I run Harrisburg, I'll probably also enter the Mohawk-Hudson race as a training day. I'll probably do 15-18 miles at MP and then either quit or jog slowly to the finish.

Oh yeah, for an old guy like me, I need a 3:30 to qualify for Boston. I tried at the end of the year in 2006, but I hadn't done enough quality work near my marathon pace, and I had a bad race that day. I was uncomfortable with my pace (7:55 or so) by the 10 mile mark, I knew I was in serious trouble by mile 15, I was slowing by mile 17, and at mile 22, I called it a day. My plan had been qualify or bust, so I took the latter option.

There are two primary goals for this decision to race a marathon. First, I haven't run Boston since 1996 and I would really like to run it again as a qualified runner. Secondly, the speed work I do for a marathon should give me a great base to start next year's WS training in good shape.

I guess I should reset my countdown timer to next year's WS100 race on 6/28.


Jamie said...

Welcome home. Wow, you are pacing someone fast! See you at VT. And best of luck with BQ-ing. That's unfinished business for me, but at least you've run it before.

Damon said...


I spent the first 9 years of my running career doing mostly road races and tris. But, in 1994, when I did my first ultras, I had still never broken 3 hours for the marathon, but I had run Boston twice.

I knew after my first few ultras that I really wanted to stick with them, but I still badly wanted a sub-3. So, I spent late 1994 and early 1995 living for that one goal. In May of 1995, I ran a 2:57 and I haven't run a decent marathon since then. In those days, I would have laughed at a 3:30, but it's a challenge now.

Fat Charlie the Archangel said...

I envy your ability to keep training at these intensities and volumes.

I'm finding that I simply can't do it anymore - either intensity OR volume. Both of them seem out of reach; not because I ain't trying, but because I AM trying, and eventually wear myself down into the puddle of pained protoplasm currently typing these words.

Damon said...


I think that you train at a higher intensity than I train, at least most of the time. If you and I raced today, at a distance of 1/2M or less, I'd bet on you to beat me.

I have found that in the past few years that I can still do quality work or I can do high volume work, but I can't do both, at least not the way I could a decade or more ago. There was a time where I could do one hill workout, one speed workout, one tempo workout and a long run as part of a 75 mile training week. Now, I can do 75 easy miles or I can do 2 quality workouts if I stay under 50 miles, but I can't do both the volume and quality as well as in the past.

I think that getting serious about lifting has helped my running quite a bit, but at the very best, I'm simply buying myself a little more time with that strength work.

You lift higher weights than I lift (yes, I know you've taken a break), you train at a higher intensity than I do quite often, and you're pretty stubborn. Maybe you should take up ultras full time. Then, the lack of speed wouldn't be as big a deal!

David Ray said...

I'm impressed with the way you rolled through the WS stuff straight into new goals.

Good to see the timer reset to 2009.

Sounds like the 3:30 marathon might be harder than the WS.

Damon said...


Thanks for the comments. In some ways, I guess I didn't really see a choice about the race. Time spent whining or complaining or feeling sorry for myself wasn't going to help anything. I've been wanting to run Boston again for a few years and suddenly, when I didn't have to re-qualify for WS, a window of opportunity appeared.

In some ways, running sub-3:30 is probably harder for me than finishing a 100. In 2006, I ran the VT100 and then took two months to recover. After that, I trained hard for 3 months, but it wasn't quite enough time. Plus, I think I made two mistakes in my training that fall - not enough MP miles and not enough total miles. I had not run many miles during my recovery from the 100, and my base needed some work.

This time, because I tapered for the 100 but didn't run it, I'm somewhat rested, still fit, and not beat up. I think that puts me in a better position than two years ago, especially considering that I was in much better shape for WS this year than I was for VT100 that year.

Time will tell.