Training Log – 2016 Half 17,18

Comment:  Almost 5,500 marathoners and 10,000 half-marathoners will line up around the Indiana State Capitol building at the beginning of this year’s Monumental Marathon and Half-Marathon. The rapidly growing organization that is now called Beyond Monumental has been getting recognition as the operator of one of the best marathons in the country, and this year is expanding the field to admit 1,500 more marathoners and 2,000 half-marathoners than last year. The fastest runners will be assigned to several corrals near the starting line, and I’ll take my place with the remaining runners in a semi-organized crowd and begin my race about four minutes after the official 8:00 am start. This year I’ll run the half-marathon and expect to finish around 10:19 am.

Comments:  When I registered for the half marathon that is associated with the Monumental Marathon, I submitted a predicted elapsed time of two hours and fifteen minutes. I’m sticking with this prediction and creating a race strategy accordingly, but my strategy will be aggressive and set me up to finish even faster if I’m having a good day.  The weather forecast is for good running weather and I had a good training season, so I might surprise myself with some extra speed. I won’t care about my pace in the first mile, as I expect a lot of chaos among mismatched runners until the first water stop. After runners of different abilities get sorted, I’m going to set a pace that is near my 10:15 minutes per mile average of the Indy 500 Festival Mini-Marathon last spring.  If I can maintain that pace throughout the race, I’ll finish with something close to my predicted elapsed time. Around mile 4 or 5 or so, I’ll assess my condition and adjust my pace appropriately, and if I’m feeling strong, I’ll pick up the pace a little.

Raw Data:  The following are the dates, distances, paces, and locations of running sessions. For some sessions, additional information is included. ** 25-Oct-2016, 3.1 miles, 11.0 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** 27-Oct-2016, 3.1 miles, 9.8 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** 29-Oct-2016, 6.35 miles, 10:35 minutes per mile, neighborhood to historic former town and back. I’m tapering for the race, and keeping all my runs short, slow, and easy. ** 01-Nov-2016, 3.1 miles, 9.9 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** The total running distance was 15.7 miles for weeks 17 and 18.

Training Log – 2016 Half 15,16

Comments:  My training programs for the Indy 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in the winter and spring of each year have lasted sixteen weeks. That’s the conventional duration for such training programs and it seems like the right duration for me. For my fall race this year, though, I’ve been training with Indy Runners again, and they started their training program eighteen weeks before the target events, which are the Monumental Marathon and the associated half marathon. So I’m not done yet. There were two bonus weeks in there somewhere. Note that I didn’t train with Indy Runners during this two week period, however.

Comments:  My training has peaked and now it is time to begin a two week taper until the race.

Raw Data:  The following are the dates, distances, paces, and locations of running sessions. For some sessions, additional information is included. ** 11-Oct-2016, 3.1 miles, 9.3 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** 15-Oct-2016, 5.03 miles, 10:43 minutes per mile, vacation neighborhood in Dell Prairie Wisconsin. ** 17-Oct-2016, 4.03 miles, 10:53 minutes per mile, vacation neighborhood in Dell Prairie Wisconsin. ** 18-Oct-2016, 8.06 miles, 10:45 minutes per mile, vacation neighborhood in Dell Prairie Wisconsin. ** 20-Oct-2016, 4.6 miles, 10.6 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** 23-Oct-2016, 11.34 miles, 11:21 minutes per mile, my neighborhood. I was hoping to be fast in this peak long run of the training program, but the session fizzled and I wore out before the end. I’m not sure what went wrong. ** The total running distance was 36.2 miles for weeks 15 and 16.

Training Log – 2016 Half 13,14

Comments:  My most recent weekend long runs with distances longer than thirteen miles had average paces of 11:48, 11:26, 11:08, 11:33, 10:56, 10:19, and 10:30 minutes per mile. There is an obvious trend in these results – getting faster. I am surprised by the magnitude of the trend, indicating that my running pace sped up by a minute per mile in less than two months. My guess at the moment is that there are two explanations. First, there is weather. As summer transitioned into fall, temperatures steadily dropped and sunrise came later. Conditions during the Indy Runners sessions went from 70’s F and sunny at the beginning of August to 50’s F and cloudy at the beginning of October.  Second, there is medicine. Several weeks ago, my primary care physician and I began some experiments with one of my prescription medicines. He asked me to reduce the dose of one of the medicines as a first step and report back in a few weeks with the results, and I complied. My diagnostic results were good enough that he asked me to reduce the dose again, and we are currently in the second step of the experiment. I have always thought that there is an adverse effect of the medicine on my running performance, and now I think that reducing the dose is making me faster.

Raw Data:  The following are the dates, distances, paces, and locations of running sessions. For some sessions, additional information is included. ** 27-Sep-2016, 2.0 miles, 9.8 minutes per mile, treadmill. There was an electrical problem at the fitness club and I didn’t spend much time on the treadmill. ** 29-Sep-2016, 3.3 miles, 9.1 minutes per mile, treadmill. This was my fastest pace on a treadmill this season. ** 01-Oct-2016, 14.01 miles, 10:19 minutes per mile, from Broad Ripple running deck, north on the Monon Trail almost to the Palladium, and back to the Broad Ripple running deck. The weather was perfect for running. I ran much faster than usual today, and was able to keep up with and have conversations with several members of Indy Runners that I normally only see farther ahead of me. ** 03-Oct-2016, 5.41 miles, 10:08 minutes per mile, neighborhood. ** 05-Oct-2016, 3.1 miles, 9.1 minutes per mile, treadmill. This was another fast pace on a treadmill. ** 08-Oct-2016, 13.11 miles, 10:30 minutes per mile, over all the roads of Eagle Creek Park. This week Indy Runners delayed their training session to Sunday so they could support a fall race on Saturday, but I needed to maintain my normal weekly schedule and run on Saturday. ** The total running distance was 40.9 miles for weeks 13 and 14.

Training Log – 2016 Half 11,12

Comments: Runners World compiled and published an ordered list of what they consider the fifty best running cities in the United States. While my opinion is that most such lists of cities are just publicity stunts with no value other than to increase attention on the entity publishing the list, I have a passion for running and I subscribe to both Runners World magazine and their syndicated news feed, so I studied the list. They gathered data to create indexes in five categories, ranked the cities in each index, weighted the indexes, and totaled the scores to create the final list. The categories were called Run, Parks, Climate, Food, and Safety. While the cities near the top of the list make sense as great places to be a runner, some of the cities further down the list are unexpected. Upon close inspection, I see that those unexpected cities made the list by excelling in a single category. My own city of Indianapolis made the list ranked forty-five, solely by virtue of the category Run, in which the city ranked second in the nation, while falling near the bottom of the indexes in all the other categories. In the category Run, Indianapolis got credit for holding one hundred fifty-six races this year, having fifty-six organized running clubs, and having the second highest number of people reporting that they ran in the previous year. Yes, I take advantage of being a member of the running community, as I participate in two of the greatest races in the country, the Indy 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in the spring and the Monumental Marathon in fall, and by training with one of the premier clubs, Indy Runners.

Raw Data:  The following are the dates, distances, paces, and locations of running sessions. For some sessions, additional information is included. ** 11-Sep-2016, 13.12 miles, 11:33 minutes per mile, neighborhood to the next town and back with a few spurs.The weather was absolutely perfect, and I had a great experience, though I don’t understand why I ran slower than previous weeks. ** 13-Sep-2016, 3.3 miles, 10.0 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** 15-Sep-2016, 3.3 miles, 9.3 minutes per mile, treadmill. I was feeling fresh and strong today, so I pushed for speed. ** 17-Sep-2016, 6.0 miles, 10.0 minutes per mile, treadmill. I don’t normally listen to music while running anymore, but today I listened for the first time to the newly released Carrie Newcomer album. ** 18-Sep-2016, 3.20 miles, 9:21 minutes per mile, neighborhood. My out-of-town brother and sister in-law were staying at the house for the weekend, and I decided to go for speed rather than distance so that I could get back in time to eat breakfast with them. ** 20-Sep-2016, 3.1 miles, 9.5 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** 22-Sep-2016, 6.0 miles, 9.9 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** 24-Sep-2016, 13.11 miles, 10:56 minutes per mile, from Broad Ripple running deck, south on the Monon Trail, west on 54th St, a zig-zag through the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood and past the heavily guarded Indiana Governor’s mansion which was surrounded by Secret Service agents, looping around Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary, northeast along the Central Canal Towpath with loops around more of Butler University, the Riviera Club, and 54th St, and back to Broad Ripple. Like many of the Indy Runners sessions this summer, the pace that I record here in raw data has an invisible asterisk, due to my use of the pause button on my running watch during bathroom and beverage breaks. ** The total running distance was 51.2 miles for weeks 11 and 12.

Training Log – 2016 Half 9,10

Comments: The B&O Express has been an event for which I’ve registered each of the past six years, running the five races from years 2010 through 2014 and waiting near the starting line in year 2015 when the organizers cancelled the race due to dangerous weather. The event was a benefit to raise awareness and funds for the construction of a future B&O Trail west of Indianapolis, and I looked forward each year to supporting the cause and running in a race close to my home. I was wondering this summer why the B&O Trail Association had not opened registration for this year’s race, and this weekend I finally saw a notice on their website that the event won’t be held this year. I had thought in past years that the event didn’t have enough publicity and didn’t have enough participants, and now I wonder if last year’s cancellation led to the end of the series.

Raw Data:  The following are the dates, distances, paces, and locations of running sessions. For some sessions, additional information is included. ** 30-Aug-2016, 3.8 miles, 9.5 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** 01-Sep-2016, 4.03 miles, 10:30 minutes per mile, neighborhood. ** 03-Sep-2016, 13.11 miles, 11:08 minutes per mile, from Broad Ripple running deck south on the Monon Trail, west on 52nd St, around the campus of Butler University, northeast on the Central Canal Towpath, and north on the Monon Trail to 86th St and back to the running deck. Finally, we have a break from the oppressive heat and humidity, with temperatures in the 60’s F and humidity less than wet and sticky. ** 05-Sep-2016, 8.25 miles, 11:30 minutes per mile, neighborhood to historic former town and back. ** 07-Sep-2016, 5.0 miles, 9.9 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** 10-Sep-2016, 4.6 miles, 10.0 minutes per mile, treadmill. I didn’t run outdoors or go to the Indy Runners session today because of thunderstorms. I’m thinking about a replacement long run tomorrow, which I’ll count toward next week’s training.  ** The total running distance was 38.8 miles for weeks 9 and 10.