Training Log: 2015 Mini 15,16

=====  Week 16  =====

Comments:  At the Indy 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, up to thirty-five thousand participants will line up in corrals from “A” through “Z” along Washington St from the Indiana State Museum to the Indianapolis Arts Garden.  I’ll line up in corral “E” at West St.  To reduce crowd density during the event, participants will start in five separate waves from 7:48 am through 8:45 am.  I’ll start at the back of the first wave and begin my race at 7:52 am.  The course is White River Pkwy, Michigan St, Holt Rd, 10th St, and Main St to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, once around the track, and different sections of Holt Rd, 10th St, Michigan St, and White River Pkwy to New York St and Military Park.  I’ll end my race sometime between 10:02 am and 10:07 am.

Raw Data:  On 27-Apr-2015, I ran a distance of 3.1 miles at a pace of 9.6 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 29-Apr-2015, I ran a distance of 4.4 miles at a pace of 10.4 minutes per mile in the neighborhood.  I listened to music by Rush. Both of these runs were easy runs, keeping myself fresh for the race.

Analysis:  My long run had a distance of 4.4 miles and my fast run had a pace of 9.6 minutes per mile, with total runs distance of 7.5 miles.  I don’t really have training program goals for the final week, except avoiding fats and fiber and getting plenty of sleep.  My total distance for the entire training program is 285.8 miles.

Noteworthy:  My traditional training program goals have a huge number of miles for other runs distances each week.  The strategy behind the goal was to simply accumulate a massive number of miles during training.  Although I easily achieved most of the long run distance goals, I seldom achieved the other runs distances goals.  My running slowed significantly this year during the peak of training, when I reached total runs distances of twenty-five or more miles per week, and I think my body has a limit that I need to respect.

=====  Week 15  =====

Comments:  I set my race pace goal this week, which is a task that I intended to do last week.  During my long run, I paid special attention to every part of my body, from feelings of muscle fatigue, rates of breathing, and levels of perceived exertion, and decided that 10.6 minutes per mile was my optimum pace right now for a mini-marathon distance,  I ran each of the first nine miles extraordinarily close to that pace, then made a final kick in the tenth mile to bring my average pace for the session to 10.5 minutes per mile.  My plan is to run the first half of the Indy 500 Festival Mini-Marathon at a pace of 10.6 or 10.5 minutes per mile, and then hope the excitement and motivation of the event will let me maintain or even increase that speed for the remainder of the race, once I leave the motor speedway and head back downtown.

Raw Data:  On 20-Apr-2015, I ran a distance of 3.9 miles at a pace of 8.9 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 22-Apr-2015, I ran a distance of 5.1 miles at a pace of 10.1 minutes per mile in the neighborhood.  On 25-Apr-2015, I ran a distance of 10.1 miles at a pace of 10.5 minutes per mile from the suburb where I live to a historic former town and back.  I listened to music by Mickey Hart, Spyro Gyra, and John Mellencamp.  The weather during the long run was breezy with temperatures in the 40’s F, and felt comfortable.  After completing most of my outdoor runs this winter in sub-freezing temperatures, I don’t need warmth to feel comfortable.  If temperatures during next week’s mini-marathon are actually warm, I might suffer.

Analysis:  My long run had a distance of 10.1 miles and my fast run had a pace of 8.9 minutes per mile, with total runs distance of 19.0 miles.  My traditional training program goals for long run and other runs distances in week 15 are 8.0 and 12.0 miles, respectively.  I achieved one of the goals.  I’m still rethinking my traditional training plan goals for other runs distances, as emphasizing speed during my fast runs seems to be having better results than simply accumulating a lot of miles during all my running sessions.

Noteworthy:  As I began to taper this week, my speeds came back, as I hoped they would.  This week’s indoor fast run was tied for my fastest pace of the past several years and this week’s outdoor long run was the absolute fastest pace of either this year or last year.

Training Log: 2015 Mini 13,14

=====  Week 14  =====

Comments:  Technology let me down this week during my regular Saturday morning long run.  My pace at mile one was reported as 9:03, and I slowed down because I knew I cannot maintain that pace.  My pace at mile two was reported as 9:35, and I slowed down more because my most optimistic projections were something like a 10:30 average for the session.  My pace at mile three was reported as 8:57, and I began to realize that something was wrong with the data, because I knew I wasn’t running that fast.  Eventually I began to hope that somehow all my motivation and dedication through the winter combined with great weather conditions were rewarding me with the ability to show some real speed.  Later, when I examined the details of the post run data, I saw that the app wasn’t accurately tracking my path, showing my locations bouncing all around the area instead of directly along the actual course.  The Runkeeper app on my smartphone has had several updates lately, and I’m suspecting there were software bugs creeping into the latest versions.

Raw Data:  On 13-Apr-2015, I ran a distance of 5.0 miles at a pace of 9.8 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 14-Apr-2015, I ran a distance of 4.1 miles at a pace of 10.2 minutes per mile in the neighborhood.  On 15-Apr-2015, I ran a distance of 3.5 miles at a pace of 9.6 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 18-Apr-2015, I ran a distance of approximately 12.4 miles at a pace of approximately 10.7 minutes per mile (both distance and pace are only guesses) in the big Indy park.  I listened to music by Spyro Gyra, Beck, and Public Service Broadcasting.  The long run temperatures in the 60’s F were about 40 F higher than most of the previous outdoor runs in my training program. The Runkeeper app reported that I ran a distance of 13.4 miles at a pace of 9.9 minutes per mile on the last session, but these are clearly in error, and I have only my experience to help me guess the true values.

Analysis:  My long run had a distance of approximately 12.4 miles and my fast run had a pace of 9.6 minutes per mile, with total runs distance of 25.0 miles.  My traditional training program goals for long run and other runs distances in week 14 are 12.0 and 18.0 miles, respectively.  I achieved one of the goals.

Noteworthy:  This week’s long run will be the final run at near race distance before the mini-marathon. It is time to taper.

=====  Week 13  =====

Comments:  Spring weather finally arrived in Indiana this week, with the cold and snow of winter replaced by warmth and thunderstorms.  Being optimistic, I laundered my gloves, hat, fleece sweatshirt, lined pants, and other thermal running clothes and put them all in the back of the closet for next year.

Raw Data:  On 06-Apr-2015, I ran a distance of 3.1 miles at a pace of 9.8 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 08-Apr-2015, I ran a distance of 6.2 miles at a pace of 9.6 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 09-Apr-2015, I ran a distance of 3.1 miles at a pace of 10.2 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 11-Apr-2015, I ran a distance of 13.2 miles at a pace of 11.0 minutes per mile in the neighborhood.  I listened to music by The Flecktones, Yusuf Islam, Mickey Hart, Beck, Rush, and John Mellencamp.  Although the sun rose on Saturday morning to reveal more frost on the ground, I was able to savor a cup of coffee for an hour and wait for the temperature to reach 45 F before setting forth, and the temperature had probably risen further to 50 F or more by the end of my session.

Analysis:  My long run had a distance of 13.2 miles and my fast run had a pace of 9.6 minutes per mile, with total runs distance of 25.6 miles.  My traditional training program goals for long run and other runs distances in week 13 are 11.5 and 17.3 miles, respectively.  I achieved one of the goals.  Ironically, my fast run this week wasn’t either of the designated fast runs; it was the longer tempo run.

Noteworthy:  All my paces slowed way down this week, with some of my runs at paces slower than runs at the beginning of my training program.  This was not intentional, and I’m not sure of the reason.  I’ve had a few slow periods in the past few years, and I wondered then about side effects of prescription medicine or other causes, and I never figured out why I was so slow at last year’s Indy 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.  If my body is simply fatigued from too much exertion over too many miles, then I’ll bounce back during my taper and be okay for this year’s Mini-Marathon.

Training Log: 2015 Mini 11,12

=====  Week 12  =====

Comments:  My new running shoes are now broken in and ready for the Indy 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

Raw Data:  On 31-Mar-2015, I ran a distance of 3.1 miles at a pace of 9.5 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 02-Apr-2015, I ran a distance of 3.1 miles at a pace of 8.9 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 04-Apr-2015, I ran a distance of 11.2 miles at a pace of 10.9 minutes per mile in the large Indy municipal park.  I listened to music by The Flecktones, Beck, and Mickey Hart. Prior to this year, my running routes in the park always adhered to the official certified 10K and 5K courses, but last week and this week I took some detours to learn a few trails and other roads, finding the ornithology center, earth discovery center, northern park entrance, and circle drive.

Analysis:  My long run had a distance of 11.2 miles and my fast run had a pace of 8.9 minutes per mile, with total runs distance of 17.4 miles.  My traditional training program goals for long run and other runs distances in week 12 are 11.0 and 16.5 miles, respectively.  I achieved one of the goals.

Noteworthy:  I scaled back my training program a bit this week, but then I pushed myself to exhaustion on my long run at the end of the week, so much so that I needed to stop the session about a mile from the end and walk the rest of the way. I’m somewhat disappointed I couldn’t run the whole way and didn’t have a faster pace or longer distance, but I’ve got a few more weeks of training until the big event.

=====  Week 11  =====

Comments:  Following my annual tradition, I purchased a new pair of Brooks Glycerin running shoes at Athletic Annex in northern Indianapolis.  In a few days, I’ll break them in during a short running session on a treadmill, then a few days later, I’ll work them hard during a long running session on the roads.  In a week or two, I’ll completely switch to the new shoes, which will be ready to speed me to the finish line of the Indy 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

Raw Data:  On 23-Mar-2015, I ran a distance of 4.1 miles at a pace of 9.7 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 25-Mar-2015, I ran a distance of 3.1 miles at a pace of 9.0 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 26-Mar-2015, I ran a distance of 3.1 miles at a pace of 9.0 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 28-Mar-2015, I ran a distance of 6.1 miles at a pace of 9.8 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 29-Mar-2015, I ran a distance of 10.6 miles at a pace of 11.4 minutes per mile in the large Indy municipal park.  I listened to music by Beck, John Mellencamp, Dar Williams, Kate Tempest, Yusuf Islam, and Public Service Broadcasting.  The calendar shows Spring, but gosh darn it, the weather still is Winter, with winds and mid-morning temperatures of 18 F on Saturday and 26 F on Sunday.  I stayed inside on Saturday, but decided I needed to go outside on Sunday regardless of the weather.

Analysis:  My long run had a distance of 10.6 miles and my fast run had a pace of 9.0 minutes per mile, with total runs distance of 27.0 miles.  My traditional training program goals for long run and other runs distances in week 11 are 10.5 and 15.8 miles, respectively.  I achieved both of the goals.  Although my training program doesn’t have pace goals, I’m totally pleased to be reaching 9.0 minutes per mile in short runs.

Noteworthy:  This was a monster week for my training program, with five running sessions, including two fast runs and two tempo runs.  After accumulating twenty-seven miles in seven days, I wore out, as evidenced by paces of 12:53 and 13:08 in my last two miles of the week.  I’ve been injury-free so far, and intend to scale back a bit next week to stay that way.

Training Log: 2015 Mini 9,10

=====  Week 10  =====

Comments:  I’ve done some serious training this winter, spending hours of weekday evening indoor running sessions in a health and fitness club on boring treadmills, and braving weather of weekend morning outdoor running sessions that would make a sensible person crawl back under the covers and go back to sleep.  This week I decided to reward myself for all the hard work by making a short drive to nearby Eagle Creek Park, one of the largest and best municipal parks in the country and one of the most popular central Indiana venues for runners, walkers, and hikers.  If I keep up the serious training, I’ll return a few more times before the Indy 500 Festival Mini-Marathon for some of the longest weekly long runs.

Raw Data:  On 16-Mar-2015, I ran a distance of 3.3 miles at a pace of 9.2 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 18-Mar-2015, I ran a distance of 3.9 miles at a pace of 9.0 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 21-Mar-2015, I ran a distance of 10.8 miles at a pace of 10.7 minutes per mile in the large Indy municipal park.  I listened to music by Public Service Broadcasting, Yusuf Islam, The Flecktones, and Mickey Hart.

Analysis:  My long run had a distance of 10.8 miles and my fast run had a pace of 9.0 minutes per mile, with total runs distance of 18.0 miles.  My traditional training program goals for long run and other runs distances in week 10 are 10.0 and 15.0 miles, respectively.  I achieved one of the goals.  I’m rethinking my traditional training plan goal for other runs distances, which is all about accumulating a lot of miles, because this year I’m trying to run as fast as possible during every running session, and seem to be making more progress by emphasizing speed over distance.

Noteworthy:  I put forth absolute maximum effort during my designated fast run of the week, trying to match my recent record fast pace that was set three weeks ago of 9.1 minutes per mile, but ended just slightly slower at 9.2 minutes per mile.  Then two days later I felt really good during the somewhat longer distance of my tempo run, and I mean I felt really really good, and kept nudging higher every few minutes the speed of the treadmill, and ended with a new recent record fast pace of 9.0 minutes per mile.

=====  Week 9  =====

Comments:  A local franchise of a national health and fitness chain is opening in the expanded former location of an independent health and fitness club where my wife and I had exercised for years.  Four months ago we switched memberships from the local club to a local franchise of a different national health and fitness chain.  Meanwhile, that local club re-established itself in different location.  All of a sudden, we have choices.

Raw Data:  On 10-Mar-2015, I ran a distance of 3.1 miles at a pace of 9.4 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 12-Mar-2015, I ran a distance of 3.1 miles at a pace of 9.4 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 14-Mar-2015, I ran a distance of 10.1 miles at a pace of 10.7 minutes per mile from the suburb where I live to a historic former town and back.  I listened to music by Spyro Gyra, Rush, John Mellencamp, and Beck.  As winter weather in Indiana goes, conditions for this week’s outdoor run were relatively pleasant.

Analysis:  My long run had a distance of 10.1 miles and my fast run had a pace of 9.4 minutes per mile, with total runs distance of 16.9 miles.  My traditional training program goals for long run and other runs distances in week 9 are 9.5 and 14.3 miles, respectively.  I achieved one of the goals.  I’m not concerned about the distance this week, because I pushed for speed instead, and did well.

Noteworthy:  Several weeks ago, I was feeling good about the speeds achieved in some of my fast runs.  I wasn’t able to match those speeds this week, but I am feeling good about the speed achieved in my long run.  Long runs are about distance, but I ran a bit faster this week than in any of my long runs of the previous calendar year.  I’m finding some of my former speed that seemed to have slipped away.

Training Log: 2015 Mini 7,8

=====  Week 8  =====

Comments:  Several years ago, I listened to a lot of music by Mickey Hart during my outdoor running sessions. There was something about the percussion, electronics, rhythms, and creativity of the music that seemed a perfect accompaniment for long distance running. After cycling through his solo albums, I sort of forgot about the artist, but this week I was exploring unfamiliar music and stumbled upon his new album. Well, actually it’s over a year old, but it’s new to me and I’m not sure why I hadn’t noticed it before. I downloaded this album and a few others to my smartphone and have an infusion of fresh running music.

Raw Data:  On 02-Mar-2015, I ran a distance of 5.0 miles at a pace of 10.3 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 03-Mar-2015, I ran a distance of 3.2 miles at a pace of 9.8 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 05-Mar-2015, I ran a distance of 5.3 miles at a pace of 9.8 minutes per mile on a treadmill. On 07-Mar-2015, I ran a distance of 10.1 miles at a pace of 10.9 minutes per mile from suburb where I live to the nearest rural town and back.  I listened to music by Beck, Rush, John Mellencamp, Yusuf Islam, and Mickey Hart.  The weather at the start of my outdoor run had a 27 F temperature, which was not quite the coldest of my Saturday morning long runs this winter, but the 17 F wind chill probably set a personal record of coldness.  I just couldn’t handle another indoor session on the treaded dreadmill, and needed to run outside for a while.

Analysis:  My long run had a distance of 10.1 miles and my fast run had a pace of 9.8 minutes per mile, with total runs distance of 23.6 miles.  My traditional training program goals for long run and other runs distances in week 8 are 9.0 and 13.5 miles, respectively.  I achieved both goals.  I’m not concerned about the speed this week, because I pushed for distance instead, and did well.

Noteworthy:  With eight weeks completed in my mini-marathon training program and eight weeks to go until the mini-marathon event, I’m at the mid-point.  I’ve not had any injuries or setbacks and I’m happy with my progress so far.

=====  Week 7  =====

Comments:  Even I say that the weather was too cold and snowy to run outside this week.

Raw Data:  On 23-Feb-2015, I ran a distance of 3.1 miles at a pace of 9.1 minutes per mile on a treadmill.  On 25-Feb-2015, I ran a distance of 3.7 miles at a pace of 9.2 minutes per mile on a treadmill. On 28-Feb-2015, I ran a distance of 6.7 miles at a pace of 10.4 minutes per mile on a treadmill. I listened to music by Carrie Newcomer, Spyro Gyra, Yusef Islam, and The Flecktones.

Analysis:  My long run had a distance of 6.7 miles and my fast run had a pace of 9.1 minutes per mile, with total runs distance of 13.5 miles.  My traditional training program goals for long run and other runs distances in week 7 are 8.5 and 12.8 miles, respectively.  I missed both goals.  I’m not concerned about the distance this week, because I pushed for speed instead, and did well.

Noteworthy:  After taking a step back from serious training last week, I was determined to come back strong this week.  I started with my designated fast run, striving to push myself to the absolute limits of my current level of fitness.  I armed myself with the ultimate weapon, the music of Carrie Newcomer, to destroy my recent speed record of 9.3 minutes per mile, unleashing the full force of all Carrie’s top tracks to set a new recent speed record of 9.1 minutes per mile.