Archive for the ‘Marathons’ Category

It’s been awhile since I shared  a post.  Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.  The culprit is being busy at work and play.

So it’s been a summer of fun – I wish I could race every weekend.  Not possible due to other events and budget (hence the busy with work).  I did enjoy some break-troughs and avoided a near break at Pikes Peak.

  • Enjoyable Havelock 10k with several Freaky Fast teams and a surprise top 3 finish for my team (thanks to a late entry for us who won top overall female!).  Nice to break 48 minutes on that course again.

    Freaky Fast teams dominate Havelock!

  • Lincoln Mile – 1st one since 2000 – snagged a slightly faster time than 11 years ago – 6:16.  Still off my PR of 5:59 in 1998, getting so close!
  • 1st sub 23 minute 5k in a long time at the Thunder Run.
  • Finally broke the 5 year average for the Buffalo Run.  This race is Lincoln’s oldest – a 5 mile hilly course in Pioneer’s Park.  Was battling my 1992-96 self.  Set a “mature” Dave PR of 37:03.

Not all was record setting this Summer and there were some challenges to navigate.

  • Due to budget and time constraints as well as desire for next triathlon to be a 1/2 Ironman, no triathlon this summer.  I was able to volunteer and serve as life guard at the CSG and lend a hand a duathlon.  If not racing, may as well help out – plus I learn a good amount by watching the elites (not that I can replicate it. :-)).
  • Took a bit of tumble at this year’s Pikes Peak Ascent – got up, dusted myself off and finished in 4:57.  A little ahead of last year, but off my own best and 42 minutes off Wave 1.
  • Due to time constraint haven’t been able to pop into my favorite CrossFit spot – CrossFit Lincoln.  I hope to again beginning in November.  Also no gym at all since June.   With strength a component of my training since October of 2009 this has posed a challenge.  The result has been fusing speed, stamina and strength together or what I call S3.  From early July to present, I’ve just used what ever I got – dumbbell, body weight, med ball, kettle bell, picnic tables, jungle gyms, park benches, etc – and rolled those into the run, bike, swim workout two to four times a week.  The result is a fusion of all three.  I’ve researched a bit of the urban or natural workout methods.  It’s not ideal but it can work.  There’s never an excuse now to exclude strength training.

So how did your Summer go?  What’s on tap for Fall?  Watching my kids enjoy Cross Country, Football and Soccer has been at the top my list.  Seeing several cross country meets has brought me back to that grass roots running that hooked my in the early 1980’s – show up, put on a number and run your best.  Not much in the way corporate sponsorship or instant electronic results, but a ton of fun!

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Pikes Peak 2010

Just one big hill, keep on running, keep on hiking, keep on crawling

12 weeks to my second Pikes Peak Double.  Uh-Oh! A shade under of 40 miles of bliss in two-days to prepare for – Saturday Aug 20th is the Ascent and Sunday Aug 21st is the marathon.  Two years ago I was in the midst of preparing for the first Double.  I had a few Ascents and 1 marathon under my belt.  My strategy was simple – lots of running (40 per week), lots of hills.

This year my strategy is a bit different.  I’m planning to run four times per week, cross train with swim/bike/row when possible and kick out lots of CrossFit metabolic conditioning WODs (workout of the day) with lighter Olympic Lifting WOD’s mixed in.  As I shared in a marathon report form two-weeks ago – the CrossFit and cross training approach has paid dividends.  Now the question is how to morph it for the Pikes Peak Double.

From a Fall marathon (Tulsa in Nov of 2010) through the Lincoln Marathon (May 1, 2011) I averaged 19.5 miles a week – tell a running purist you’ve tackled a marathon, right at 4 hours with less than 20 miles per week and they’ll laugh at ya! Game plan now?  Mileage will increase just slightly to 25-30 miles per week, with focus still on running no more than 4 times per week.  I’ll soon hit some prime outdoor swimming workouts (favorite place in Lincoln, NE is Woods Pool’s 50 meter pool).  Plus am enjoying the bike!

I’ll continue the WOD’s at 3-4 times per week.  Metcon will be the focal point – due in part to a budget crunch.  I am deeply attached to our CrossFit Lincoln affiliate but need to pay all expenses through a cash flow basis only (my family has been on a get out of debt campaign, pay as you go and kids’ summer activities need to come first!).

Fortunately I have some equipment at home and have become proficient and discipline enough to work it in.  The CrossFit metcon’s rely on body weight or lighter weight exercises – so hello Murph, Filthy Fifty, Diane, Angie Fran with dumbells, wall walks, retaining wall jumps, outdoor pull up bars/ropes/ladders/squat racks/pistols, etc!  Some in the CrossFit world eschew the metcon and focus more on the Olympic Lifting (with a bit of merit).  But for endurance events there’s nothing like a 20- 45 minute metcon pushing the pulse to 165-175 to ready- set your body!  And there’s a push up contest on Facebook that I’ve got to meet!

Here’s the plan:

  • May 30 – June 5 – 25 miles run, 10 bike, 500 yard swim, 3 WODs* – Hills & all out Havelock 10k.
  • June 6 – June 12 – 25 miles run, 10 bike, 1 mile swim, 3 WODs – Filthy Fifty & 1 mile walking lunge
  • June 13 – June 19 – 35 miles run, 20 bike, 1 swim , 3 WODs – 3 hour max distance run
  • June 20 – June 26 – 25 miles run, 20 bike, 2 swim, 3 WODs – 1/2 marathon in 1:50
  • June 27 – July 3 – 25 miles, 20 bike, 1 swim, 3 WODs – July 4th – short race
  • July 4 – July 10 -30 miles run, 20 bike, 1 swim , 3 WODs – 1 mile walking lunge (hope to return to CrossFit Lincoln too!)
  • July 11 – July 17 – 30 miles run, 20 bike, 1 swim , 3 WODs –  Lincoln Mile
  • July 18 – July 24 -20 miles run, 10 bike, 1 swim, 2 WODs and Cornhusker State Games – Track – 200 – 1,500 & 5k
  • July 25 – July 21 – 35 miles run, 20 bike, 1 swim , 3 WODs – 3 hour max distance run
  • Aug 1 – Aug 7-  25 miles, 20 bike, 1 swim, 3 WODs – Thunder Run 5k – sub 22 minutes
  • Aug 8 – Aug 14 – 25 miles, 20 bike, 1 swim, 3 WODs – 2.5 hours, hills 20lb vest
  • Aug 15 – Aug 21 – GAME DAY(s)

* I’ll pick up the strength/oly lifting and metcon WODs from main, CFL or CrossFit Endurance.  Swim/bike/run will generally follow CrossFit Endurance

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The Lincoln Marathon was ten days ago – May 1st – so was I too beat up to write a blog post?  Nah, just busy, really. :-).

Marathon progress - step by step

Chart your marathon progress - you can do it!

I’ll call this my marathon PR – 4:00:17 by the chip.  I’m still 4 minutes off my 1996 all time best – but after my PR article a few weeks ago – am comfortable calling this the new PR (out of 21 marathons).  I’m also just a sliver under 30 minutes from a Boston Qualifier time for a 45-49 year old male – this changes in 2013.    There are two things that I think might be helpful to share – the race day experience (with weeks leading up to it) and trends over last two and half years – aka shaving 50 minutes off a marathon time!

Race Day

1 month before

In early March I focused on some high intensity strength training and metabolic conditioning.  The two together help push your anaerobic threshold and strengthen those weak areas that play havoc on a marathon (hips, glutes, hamstrings).  I think I had a good balance of run/bike/swim/row and the CrossFit WODs (workouts of the day) .  Had a great 20 miler in mid March, PR on a 10 mile run.  I also followed the CrossFit Endurance aerobic WOD’s closely.  I tapered a bit in April – no Olympic lifting the week before the marathon, mixed in more bike and swim.  I do think another 15 to 20 mile run would have been wise 2-3 weeks prior.  All in all felt ready.

Race Day

Had a good strategy for Lincoln.  Find the 3:50 pace group and hang with them.  The first two miles were slower – 9:40 to 9:10.  The idea is to avoid glycogen depletion early on – smart idea!  Got ahead of the pace group and helped pace a friend to his sub 1:50 1/2 (way to go Dan-O!).  Probably not wisest thing on my part.  Caught back with 3:50 and ran among them until about mile 14.  Times for the 10, 15k and 1/2 were slightly slower than 2010 Lincoln Marathon and Tulsa.

Wasn’t feeling all that “chipper” from mile 12- 16.  Was worried maybe the strong CrossFit WOD emphasis may have come at the cost of good endurance prep.  Felt less confident than on my best longer run in March (20 miles at an 8:58 pace).  Started feeling good again at mile 18 going into Holmes Lake – seeing friends along the way helped (shout out to Andi, Nelson, Jeanne and Barb).

Lincoln Marathon Finish - entering the hallowed grounds of Memorial Stadium

150 meters to go - really difficult to look Freaky Fast at this point

Seeing my family, including a very miffed dog in Heidi, who attempted to break free and join me while howling at me to pick it up, was great at mile 19.5!  Much like the Tulsa Marathon, felt strong from mile 20 in.  A couple of pit stops helped.  No miles slower than 10 minutes (one right at it for a mile 20.5 pit stop).  Picked the pace up from mile 21 on and held it.  Was doing all I could from mile 24 in to bust through 4:00 hours.  The Garmin time and splits looked good, yet, I know the Garmin distance is typically 200 – 400 meters longer than the 26.2.  Some of that is due to large crowds and weaving across streets.  Was on the 4:02 border at mile 25 but kicked in (well relative term) final mile at 8:45 range for final 1.2.

Though it wasn’t 3:45 (or 3:30) was content with the results.  I may never notch Boston but can take comfort in marathoning at a pace that’s closer to my expectations.  Plus, much like after Tulsa, my DOMs (delayed onset muscle soreness) is much less.  There’s nothing like riding a bike, walking, lifting the day after  a marathon with just minor discomfort.

Trends –

As the table above shares – I’ve been able to improve the marathon times.  Bluntly put it sucked. I was ready to punt any notion of another marathon after the Twin Cities in October 2008.  The time was not my worst (4 hours 50 minutes)  but the experience and results were not close to what I wanted.  I figured maybe one or two more shots, but drifting into the 5 hour range was not on my radar – 16 marathons – was enough to prove to myself I could finish one.

To reverse the tend I focused on higher volume aerobic, 85% running, from November 2008 to the May 2009 Lincoln Marathon.  Some improvement there (27 minutes) but still felt like junk from mile 20 in.  So I foolishly signed up for the Pikes Peak Double (40 miles, 2 days, all the mountain air you could hope for).  I achieved a PR on the Ascent (4:43) and held together for the full marathon the day after.  It’s still my overall best aerobic performance.  Some nice PR 1/2 marathons followed and then “ping” on mile 9 of the Omaha 1/2 felt my sartorius muscle (groin area) in my left side scream out.  Hobbled and rested 3 weeks then hobbled through the Des Moines Marathon.  That was a little faster than Lincoln and was just happy to get it done.

That led to the “get fit and get strong” – so 90 days of P90x and then a year plus of CrossFit began.  Saw good results in 2010 – close to PR times – 4:18 in Lincoln, able to recover and do an OK marathon 13 days later at Brookings (4:23) then good close to 2010 at Tulsa with a 4:07.  More importantly than the time at Tulsa was how I felt after mile 19.  The normal “wall’ish” feelings started hitting me around mile 17.  Surprisingly after some salty pretzels and a little stretching felt great from mile 21 in. I had never felt that good on a back 6 (where the marathon really begins, at mile 20).

Shaving another 7 minutes at this year’s Lincoln Marathon was satisfying.  I was targeting a 3:45 to 4 hour event – and came in on the slower side.  Still it was another strong day and finish.  Though running the front 1/2,  2 minutes slower than a year ago, I was able to finish 18 minutes faster.

What next?

Will follow same game plan for a return visit to the Pike Peak Double and one to two Fall marathons.  Time to bust through the 4 hour door and say hello to sub 3:50.  Then shave more time in the 2012 Lincoln Marathon.  I’ll continue with 4 running workouts a week – inching upward the volume to 26-30 miles per week.  I won’t sacrifice speed/stamina/ strength or flexibility.

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PR Running

PRs drive me - how about you?

The PR: Personal Best, Personal Record (PR) – in swim/bike/run/row/adventure race/CrossFit worlds a PR is about your victory over yourself.  Whether you’re a back of the pack, middle of the pack or top dog – it doesn’t matter.  PR’s are celebrated by friends and competitors alike.

As I’ve reprogrammed my training over the last year and a half to a strong mix of strength training and aerobic balance (swim/bike/run/row) I’ve been very blessed to attain some PRs – not ALL TIME PR’s but 12-13 year ones.  So I’m thinking they still qualify.  Plus it still provides some goals to see if my 45-46 year old self can beat the 28-30 year old self.  Of course in the back of mind I’ll think “why in blazes didn’t I train like this in the mid 1990s?!”

Here’s the running benchmarks I’m chasing.  (for validation go to http://www.athlinks.com/myresultsadv.aspx?rid=68436406  and/or http://www.lincolnrun.org/racedbq.asp)

  • Marathon – 14 year best 4:07 (Tulsa in November 2010), all time best 3:55 (Lincoln 1996), Boston Qualifying (3:30 in 2011, then 3:25 from 2012 to 2014 – ugh!)
  • 1/2 Marathon – 12 year best 1:44:30 (Grand Island in August of 2009) all time best 1:41:17 (Lincoln 1997).  I want to measure this again this year and see impact of Strength / Anaerobic Training begun in October of 2009.
  • 10 mile – 13 year best 77:10 (7:42 pace, State Farm in February 2011), all time 76:00 (7:36 pace, Statehood Day 1998)
  • 15k – 16 year best 73:45 (7:54, Governors Cup in October 2010), all time best 71:18 (7:39 pace, Governor’s Cup 1994)
  • 10k – 12 year best 46:32 (7:28 pace, Novartis in March 2011), all time 42:37 (6:52 pace, Omaha Corporate Cup, 1996)
  • 5k – 12 year best 22:49 (front half of Novartis 10k, March 2011), all time best 20:59/ 20:32 (6:45 pace, Bun Run in 1996 and  6:41 pace Public Safety 5k – Omaha – 1996).
  • 1 Mile – 5:59 (Lincoln Mile, 1998), foggy memory of a 5:18 in High School in practice in 1981… but that was a little while ago.
  • Track events – this is going way back – to the early 1980’s.  Back when stop watches had hands on them and distances were in yard 😉

I’m also starting to keep a journal of the CrossFit lift totals – as meager as they are sometimes.  The idea is to track these over time as well. (Numbers below are in pounds)

  • Front Squat (legal ;-)) 155
  • Back Squat – 185
  • Military Press – 135
  • Push Press – 145
  • Split Jerk – 135
  • Deadlift – 255
  • Bench – 185 (all time 205)
  • Fran – 75# – 7 minutes 12 seconds.

This can also be applied to weight, body fat, annual physical results (cholesterol, triglycerides, etc).  Right now my racing weight is at 168-170lbs.  Two years ago before the Lincoln Marathon I was at 183lbs with a nice little marathoner’s belly that men pile on over the years.  My weight was slightly lower at the Tulsa Marathon (164).  One change has been been continued Paleo Nutrition moves (higher protein, animal fat) and heavy strength training cycle from February to early April).

What PR’s do you keep?  What value to you see in them?

I see them not as a wall to bash your head against – but a meaningful measurement to see what your current state is.  And whether you’re an age group winner, trophy sniffer (almost to that age group winner, or where I’m at now), mid pack or back of the pack – it doesn’t matter.  PR’s are all about you! They also can help motivate you when your workouts are hard, progress slips or motivation wanes!

I have a few more opportunities over the next several months to test this out – the Lincoln Marathon next Sunday, Cornhusker State Games in July and Pikes Peak Double (great comparison to my age 40’s peak of  endurance/aerobic fitness in August of 2009).

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The time over distance, speed/strength over LSD (long slow distance) and intensity of effort over “logging miles” has sunk in deeply now.  In looking at January I could feel a few different ways:

  • Down because my running miles were low (67) and almost 1/2 of a year ago.
  • Excited because I had over 300 aerobic miles and several anaerobic sessions (the aerobic miles inflated due to indoor bike/spinning)
  • Steady because I hit a target time goal of 26-30 hours each month or 50-55 minutes each day.

I’ll chose steady.

Daily mile allows a nice quick summary for both time and distance.  I’m hoping to see some drill down ability for

Time

Time is my primary outcome measure now

Rowing and CrossFit/Fitness categories – but I’m not picky.  It’s nice to have a utility that lets me track it all.

Here’s January’s summary

  • Total miles: 301
  • Cycling (trainer, spin, rinse, repeat) – 222
  • Running – 67
  • Rowing – 10
  • Swimming – 2
  • CrossFit WOD’s – 11

February may have a different mix of aerobic miles.  My plan though is a little more swimming, less spinning, running up to 90-100 miles, same row and 12 CrossFit WOD”s.  The idea is flexibility, intensity and consistency.  I would rather hit  rowing/bike/swim at 100% than just log miles on ice (though sometimes I’ll use the mental discipline and crank some miles in -10 weather).

distance

My primary exercise outcome measure from 1992-2009, no longer the case.

Similarly if my shoulders are screaming after a CrossFit WOD (lets say pull up, thruster or wall ball intensive one)  I’ll rest from swimming and rowing for a day or two.  I’ll bike or run instead.  Over the last year I’ve found rowing to be the closest substitute for running in terms of distance and effort.

Quick question for you all, how do you gauge your exercise outcome and success?

TJ Murphy

Brian McKenzie and TJ Murphy - CrossFit Endurance!

Some love for CrossFit Endurance.  Running competitor shares and update of T.J. Murphy – 2:28 marathoner and his jump into CrossFit Endurance.  His mentor is Brian McKenzie, founder of CrossFit Endurance.  T.J. began a slow adoption process of CrossFit in 2011 to overcome an aerobic only induced knee injury.  I’m eager to see his results and discoveries.

http://running.competitor.com/2011/01/features/burning-runner-first-steps_20980

 

 

Did you set some overly aggressive goals in fitness, your career, life for 2011? Wondering if you can accomplish that seemingly far away mountain top?  Is something holding you back?

CoachDaveK is a resounding believer that fitness is a mind/body/spirit effort.  Watch and hopefully be inspired!

Farewell 2010.  Hello 2011!

Challenges, opportunities, failure, success, valleys and mountaintops – I encountered a mix of those as well as everyone who reads this post (and like  every year before).  For the exercise side of my life, the opportunities and successes jump to the front of my mind. The change-up in exercise and nutrition was sustained and significant.

Miles 2010

Miles and Donuts Burned!

What began as an experiment in P90x in October of 2009 to improve core strength (part-time effort of course) evolved into a full on embrace of a more rigorous strength/metabolic conditioning program in CrossFit.  I’ve tried to record both efforts as accurately and faithfully as possible warts and all.  There’s a couple of weeks to go to make one full year of CrossFit.  As shared in the Proof positive of training change post, the results of the training shift have been dramatic.  12-14 year personal bests (PR’s) from 5 mile to marathons are the tangible results with improved strength, weight loss and decreased joint pain the unanticipated benefits.

Comparing the data from 2009 to 2010 reveals a shift in running only dominance for both hours and miles.  Overall miles were 2,002 in 2009 and 1,631 in 2010.

CoachDaveK_2010to2009_Miles

Total Miles - 2010 versus 2009 - less miles, faster results

The overall hours were close in 2010 and 2009 – in the 280 to 300 hour range or about 5 and 1/2 hours each week.

What was accomplished in that time was more in 2010 for less time because of a higher intensity level for each training session and variety.

  • Intensity – Since I run less and focus on speed/strength/stamina rather than sheer “miles”, I can do so at a faster pace.  Speed builds on speed.  In 2009 my average training pace per mile was a little over 10 minutes.  Last year it was in the upper 8 minute range with workouts in upper 7 minute to low 8 minute range.  Equally important, improving my stride technique – from heel to toe to midfoot / Pose strike introduces much less stress on my body.  An added bonus was discarding my orthodics in June.
CoachDaveK_2010to2009_Hours

Hour comparision - variety and intensity increase in 2010

  • Variety – the following chart, based on total number of workouts, shows the variety of workouts.  It also is another slice on how time is spent.  In 2009 81% of exercise hours were devoted to running, in 2010 it was 60%.  Total number of workouts were over 80% running, in 2010 that dropped to only 45%.  The variety and introduction of rigorous strength training has left me injury free, healthier and instill a sense of excitement – never the same dull workout!

    Workouts 2010

    Workout distribution - variety is fun!

2011 Goals

Keeping my goals simple this year.  My 2010 goals were exhaustive .

  • Continue workout mix of end of 2010(number and hours) – 40% run, 20% CrossFit WOD, 15% bike, 15% swim, 10% row to reach 1,500 to 1,700 miles in 2011.
  • Continue growth of Freaky Fast crew!  Nurture, nudge, hug em!
  • Run 2-3 marathons with focus on sub 4 hour, work to 3:30.  Continue PR trend for sub 22 5k, sub 37 – 5 mile, sub 46 – 10k and sub 80 minute 10 mile.
  • Complete half iron man and Olympic triathlons.
  • Attain CrossFit bests/competencies: kipping pull up, muscle up, WOD’s scaled at 80% instead of 50 to 70%, wall balls with 20lbs, 75 push and situps in 2 minutes, body weight bench x 20, etc.
  • Improve cycling and swim technique: flip turns (swim that is) and acceleration (bike).  Compete in 1-2 open water swims and cycling competition.
  • Explore kayaking and wall climbing.
  • Train to the season – was fun this year to have high weeks in running (March and late October), biking (July), swimming (late July and late December).  I like training year round – sometimes it’s better to train to the season and swim inside  than slip on ice!
  • Nutrition – continue to explore and apply Paleo!
  • Weight – maintain weight of 160lbs.  Was at 180lbs in May of 2008 before Lincoln Marathon.  No desire to lose more, do want to cut another inch or two off waist to get to 30″ (currently 31.5 waist, was 34.5″ in 2008).  Be thoroughly shredded by year’s end!

I shared a catharsis in my post Tulsa Marathon recap a few weeks ago.  Since then I’ve ramped up my CrossFit intensity at home and the Y, am saving some valuable coin to return to the CrossFit Lincoln box and have picked up some swim, row and bike miles!  Fun way to end the year.

Five Week Stats 293-328

Week ending 11/14 11/21 11/28 12/5 12/12
Running 11 34 9 14 15
Walking / Hiking 0 3 0 0 0
Cycling/spinning 6 6 11 6 14
Swimming 0 .14 .75 0 0
Rowing 0 0 0 1.25 1.25
CrossFit WOD’s 3 1 2 3 3
Total miles, Time. Workouts (WODs), Highlights 22 miles 3:22 hrs
8 WODs
Taper Week
43 miles 6:58 hrs
8 WODs
Tulsa Marathon – 14 & 1/2 year PR!  4:07:49!
21 miles
3:03 hrs
7 WODs
Fran under 7 minutes and best post marathon feeling!
21 miles 3:26
9WODs
20 miler – Holiday Run 5k – 23:55 with Heidi.  Pretty good for the course
30 miles, 4:32
10 WODs
Final outdoor track workout for a while – 56 deg in Dec!

Summary

If you’re an aerobic athlete (runner, swimmer, cyclist, triathlete) who’s reached a plateau, has found more miles does not translate into success and wonders if strength training might help – please read. I’m not offering a quick fix, food gimmick, shake, or simple  trick.  Over the last year I’ve ventured into a different way of getting to a goal – it may not be for everyone.  But I have found an incredible payoff from it and embrace it.

It’s a few simple things

  • Incorporate the right kind of strength training (read more in this blog) 2-4 times a week
  • Cut back your miles for miles sake
  • For your existing mileage look toward performance, speed and stamina
  • Chart your progress over 12 months and see what happens!

Detail

Proof.  Data.  Trends.  Statistics and data gathering can mislead and interpretation of results requires wisdom as well as raw analytic power.  That clarification and limitation declared, I do think there’s enough evidence that a combination of Strength Training + Aerobic Training is far more powerful than Aerobic Training alone.  Modify that aerobic training to focus on stamina, speed, flexibility and burst, and alongside the strength training, your results will be strong.  Hone that further with improved nutrition and those strong results become powerful.

Two years ago, during one of my worst marathon experiences (4:52 at Twin Cities), I thought about punting it.  Pack it up.  Give it up. It was miserable weather day, but I had endured worse.  It seemed though a goal of getting to Boston (or 1 hour and 22 minutes faster) was an impossible hope. Rather than give up I decided to push it harder.  So in 2009 I ramped up the training.  I knocked off a Pikes Peak Double and some “ok” marathon times (4:30 range).  The price of that ramp up was high: a strained, torn sartorius tendon.  By October of 2009 I was hobbling at the start of the Des Moines Marathon.  Sure, lots of miles in the bank, toward 1,500 running for 2009.  But hobbling still.

That began my entry into cross training – had done that in triathlon terms for several years.  But serious cross training, or more properly strength training, nope, nada, avoided it.

P90x was Stage 1.  It was perfect for torturing my aerobically fed and strength dead body into shape.  All the Tony Horton’isms, pull ups, sneaky lunges, gut cracking ab routines, yoga twisting/humbling sessions and push ups a guy could hope for.  I saw some nice results.

A chance encounter with a surly but dedicated athletic trainer, Mike Livergood, at Bellevue University in January of 2010 led to Stage 2 – CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance.  Similar in many regards, the difference between the Beachbody DVD fed programming and organic CrossFit approach was significant. CrossFit is a better fit for my performance goals.  Step by step, coaching from a great box and set of trainers at the Lincoln CrossFit box (Cole, Jeremy, Kelsey Phil and Tanya) and staying with it on my own have led to the best fitness base in my adult life.

Stage 3 involved extending a wonderful speed group of like minded, er like age, friends to a group of Freaky Fast Runners I had no business trying to chase.  From June until present, this group has been an evolving network of fast people who have fun.  Not quite the same every time, but always putting the hammer down for speed, hills or a Saturday run.  Love you all!

So what does this mean?  Big deal?

I’ve been blessed to achieve 15 year PR’s in 5 mile, 15k and marathon races.  This has been my best year of racing since 1996-98.  There’s been some learning curve and minor injuries: a hamstring pull in late May from performing too many deadlifts a day before a 5 mile race and calf pull in July as my body adapted to move towards a “pose” esque running style, lots of hills, etc. From beginning to end – I’ve been pleasantly surprised or more apropos, shocked!

While a 3 hour 30 minute marathon for Boston or a Full Ironman triathlon are not a sure thing, I can at least place those in the realm of possibility.  I’ve been able to shave 24 minutes off my aerobicly training injected marathons of 2009, and now have only 37 minutes to go.  The table below lists the results for marathons.

I’ve also cut 15lbs, from 176 to 161, increased muscle strength and burst across a variety of tests.  My “vitamin I” (ibuprofen) fix has been cut dramatically (not pounding the body and actually strengthening muscles, ligaments and connective tissue).  I am to do things I didn’t image possible – a kipping pull up, jumping up with confidence to a 8′ pull up bar height, over 250lbs for deadlift, 40 unbroken knees to elbows. This still a ton of other goals to still drive me; for example, why not try to attain the Navy Seal standard for 40-50 age males?

More distinctions:

  • In 2010 I will run 66% the amount of running miles compared to 2009  (1,000 to 1,500) with the same biking and swim miles.  Total aerobic miles will nudge 1,550 to 1,600 versus 2,000 in 2010.  New aerobic miles have been introduced through rowing.
  • In 2010 that 66% running miles will have been done at much more efficient and faster pace.
  • In 2010 my anaerobic training (CrossFit) will reach 140 Workouts Of the Day (WODs), not including the aerobic oriented WOD’s.  Overall training hours will be the same as 2009.
Marathon State Date Place Overall Place % Pace Time PR +/-
Route 66 Marathon – Tulsa
Marathon
OK 11/21/2010 422/1648 25.61% 9:27 4:07:55 P.R.
Lincoln National Guard Marathon & Half-marathon 2010 – Run -Marathon NE 5/2/2010 667/1154 57.80% 9:51 4:18:29 +10:34
Brookings Marathon – RUN – Marathon SD 5/15/2010 119/203 58.62% 10:02 4:22:57 +15:02
Lincoln Marathon – Run :: 26.2Mi NE 5/4/2003 523/785 66.62% 10:02 4:23:14 +15:19
Siouxland Marathon And Half Marathon – Marathon SD 10/20/2007 107/166 64.46% 10:07 4:25:11 +17:16
Scheels And Adidas Fargo Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5K – Marathon ND 5/19/2007 819/1191 74.81% 10:18 4:30:02 +22:07
IMT Des Moines Marathon 2009 – Run*Marathon IA 10/18/2009 922/1374 67.10% 10:21 4:31:27 +23:32
Lincoln National Guard Marathon & Half Marathon 2009 – Run -Marathon NE 5/3/2009 768/1142 67.25% 10:26 4:33:23 +25:28
Go! St. Louis Marathon & Half Marathon 2008 – Run-Marathon MO 4/6/2008 1106/1617 68.40% 10:36 4:38:00 +30:05
Lincoln Marathon 2006 – RUN – MARATHON NE 5/7/2006 775/959 80.81% 10:44 4:41:28 +33:33
11Th Annual Gobbler Grind Marathon,Half-Marathon, 5K & Marathon Relay – 26.2Mi Run KS 11/18/2007 175/244 71.72% 10:54 4:45:46 +37:51
Oklahoma Marathon 2003 OK 11/22/2003 205/308 66.56% 10:57 4:47:15 +39:20
Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon & Medtronic Tc 10 Mile 2008 – Run-Marathon MN 10/5/2008 6172/7967 77.47% 11:04 4:50:09 +42:14
Pensacola Marathon And Half Marathon – Marathon FL 2/17/2008 175/263 66.54% 11:09 4:52:24 +44:29
Community First Fox Cities Marathon WI 9/24/2006 510/706 70.96% 11:13 4:54:10 +46:15
Pikes Peak Marathon 2007 CO 8/19/2007 551/773 71.28% 18:28 8:04:03 +3:56:08
Pikes Peak Ascent 2009 – Marathon CO 8/15/2009 668/711 78.48% 21:31 9:23:49 +5:15:54
Lincoln National Guard Marathon – 1995 NE 5/1/1995 NA NA 9:38 4:12:22 +4:27
Lincoln National Guard Marathon – 1994 NE 5/1/1994 NA NA 9:03 3:57:11 -10:44
Lincoln National Guard Marathon – 1996 NE 5/1/1996 NA NA 8:59 3:55:36 -12:19