Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Month in Running

September was a touch month. The training got much more serious, the mileage piled up. I ended up running 26 out of 30 days in the month, covering 261 miles. I'm entering the last month of hard training before tapering for the race begins in early November. So where am I? Well, I think I'm in alright shape. Physically, I'm hanging in there, dealing with an assortment of injuries, including the Achilles problem, a touch of plantar fasciitis and, oddest of all, a slightly strained abdominal muscle. It sounds worse than it is.

Still, maybe I shouldn't be complacent. I ended Sunday pleased with how I did. I finished the race in 2:03, running the last 12 miles at an average pace of 6:47. (That's 2:58 marathon pace.) Alas, Barney of 2:35 fame piped up on Facebook that my overall race time actually nets out to a 3:04 marathon. Technically, yes, but I really didn't run all out on Sunday, particularly in the first five miles. It was also humid and a hilly course, not to make tons of excuses. I came away happy with how I felt at the end, finishing with a 6:41 18th mile and hardly gutted, and placed: 72nd overall (out of 3,900) and 14th in my division. The guys I finished with were guys running under three hours -- many of them are farther into their training. This is all to say that I believe I'm on track. Yes, I need to improve my speed, probably eat, sleep and recover better, but I'm getting there. I'd rather it not be close. Race day, I want to be between 6:40 and 6:45. A taper, flatter course, cooler weather, and I'd have run those easily on Sunday for all 18. Maybe I'm overly optimistic.

10 miles, 1:13:37

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Week's Miles

At some point last week, I hit a bit of a wall. It was building up for some time, just the accumulation of the extra miles and inadequate recovery. My Achilles was hurting, I was just sorta exhausted. I adjusted a couple runs down a few miles and muddled through. The focus of the week was getting to Sunday in good shape for the 18-mile race. That meant stretching out my week by running eight days in a row. I don't like to do this, but I played around with switching from morning to evening runs to squeeze in extra rest at the end of the week. I'm hopeful I've turned the corner on my Achilles soreness. On Saturday, I wielded The Stick on it. Seemed to break up a lot of stuff and get better blood flow. This morning, after a pretty tough 18, it feels alright. I've made it to a recovery week. I'm taking it for real, adding in an extra full day of rest, and probably not topping out at 50 miles.

Miles: 64.25

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I'm a big believer that running is a great mirror of other things in life. Confidence is critical. To run well, you need to be confident that you can do it. The marathon is a long way. There's no worse feeling than getting eight or nine miles into the race, then realizing that you were kidding yourself. I've been there. I ran Boston in 2003, thinking I could run under three hours. I'd done 3:02 the previous fall, but I wasn't nearly in shape. By mile 10, I was cooked. The last half of the marathon was the worst running experience of my life. I ran a half hour slower than the first 13 miles, getting passed again and again. Even subsequent to that, I've had too many failures to count. The only way to confidence is preparation. If you're prepared, you can handle whatever happens. There are always tough times during a long race, and knowing you've trained hard is the best way to overcome them.

This morning, I took an important step to gaining the confidence I need in Philly. I'm halfway through my training. It's gone well, but there have been times where I wonder why I'm running 15 miles on a Tuesday morning at a slow pace. I have a better idea why now. I ran the 18-mile NYC Marathon Tune-Up in Central Park. Going in, my idea was to run the first loop of the park (6 miles) at a relaxed pace, then do 12 miles at marathon pace (6:50). With no taper and on a hilly course, that's pretty tough. What's more, it was 90 percent humidity this morning. Starting out, I felt terrible. This always happens to me when I'm deep into marathon training. The first five miles are a chore. I felt severely out of sorts. It was made worse by the admirable new NYRR corral system. I was placed in the first corral, along with some frankly faster dudes. I realized that when the guy next to me talked about "maybe running at 6:00." Gulp. The first few miles were faster than I planned. By mile four, I was a little depressed, wondering what was wrong with me as people went by me.

But then, I started to feel normal. By mile five, I was running much more relaxed. I can tell how I'm running by whether I'm loud or quiet. The early part of the race, I was too loud -- my feet were smacking the ground. But then I began to run quiet. I started to get confidence by passing people going up the Great Hill the second time. The rest of the race was pretty uneventful. I mostly hit my pace goals, with one or two miles a bit slower, one or two a bit faster. Overall, the 12 miles were exactly where I should be to run under 3. I got a stitch at mile 13, which really hurt and frustrated me, but I thought about those 15-mile midweek runs. Soon I was back on pace. That's what training does: I knew I'd get stronger. I did struggle a bit during the last loop, but I got through it and overall had a quite solid run. Would I prefer those 6:50 miles be 6:45? Of course. Still, I'm eight weeks out from the marathon. A good way to tell how strong you are is the final mile. Barney told me he did something like a 5:20 final mile at the London Marathon. I'm not in that league, but I outkicked a guy named Jorge for a 6:41 mile 18. Not bad. Final result: 2:03:18, 6:50 pace. 71st place out of 3,928.

Here are the splits.

1: 7:05
2: 7:02
3. 6:56
4: 6:54
5: 6:56
6: 6:46
7: 6:49
8: 6:48
9: 6:42
10: 6:45
11: 6:42
12: 6:42
13: 6:50
14: 6:56
15: 6:50
16: 6:51
17: 6:52
18: 6:41

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dealing With Injuries

There's an inevitable reality about running lots: injuries will happen. There are plenty of steps you can take to minimize the risk, but from time to time the pounding will take its toll. What then? Gina Kolata, a New York Times science writer and workout junkie, has a cool story today about her own fight with injuries as she prepares for the New York City Marathon. Gina's foot injury, it turns out, is a stress fracture. She's tried, it seems, nearly everything to deal with it: pool running, the elliptical, even an ultrasound machine. Her article comes with the incredible lengths Paula Radcliffe went through to deal with her own stress fracture.

I'm glad the Times wrote about this. Coping with injuries is a frustrating reality of running. The worst part is figuring out a course of action. Pain is inevitable in running. It's simply part of the deal. But when do you stop ignoring the pain? My current injury situation is a little plantar fasciitis and, more worriesome, an achey Achilles. For the latter, I'm relying on a lot of stretching, ibuprofren after most runs and some icing. It seems to help, but I'd by lying if it doesn't hurt most of the time, although the pain is manageable. I've been told sports massage could help, even taking some time off from running since I have enough time before Philly on Nov. 23. Right now, I'm in a wait-and-see mode. Tomorrow, I'm doing an 18-mile race with the idea of running the first six-mile loop at an easy 7:30, then doing the last 12 at marathon pace, 6:50. Next week is a recovery week. I'm going to take it as a true recovery week. The schedule still calls for 59 miles. I'll probably do less, maybe even through in a second rest day altogether.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Running in the Dark

Earlier this week, I ran into a work contact from the West Coast who I've known for years. Rich is also a runner, so he asked about my training. That day, I'd gotten up at 5:30am to run 15 miles before work. I told him about the extra miles and feeling a little worn out. "I know exactly what you're talking about," he said. "And nobody really understands it."

I thought about that quite a bit. Distance running is such a solitary thing. Getting up early on a Tuesday and knocking out lots of miles well before the sun comes up is an odd, nearly irrational activity. Often I've found when people talk about the "marathon experience," they mean the day of the race. In many ways, the race is nearly besides the point. Those 15 miles, seeing NY wake up along the way, are what the real experience is, not a few hours of running along the streets of a big city with tens of thousands of strangers yelling at you. (I sometimes find this almost unsettling, to be honest.) No crowds, no medals, just some chocolate milk at the end and the self-satisfying feeling on the subway that you've already accomplished more than everyone else around you.

11 miles, 1:27:15

Monday, September 22, 2008

Glamour + Pigdog

I can't say I ever thought a women's magazine would link here, but the Web's a strange place. Glamour had a blog post on Friday with five tips for new runners. One of them is my advice to stick to a routine. What's more, Glamour credits the advice to a "running guru." Wow. Thanks, Sarah.

7.5 miles, 57:13

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Beat Up: The Week's Miles

At some point in training, I wear down. The hard part is figuring out what are normal aches and weariness from signs to back off. This week kinda tested me. The first part was a 14-mile run on Monday done without fully recovering from my long run. By the middle of the week, I felt crappy, but turned the corner with a great tempo run. I hit 6:30 for six miles. Then came the pain. My Achilles is sore. It's nothing terrible, but it certainly aches. I ice it as much as I can, gobble Advil and work on stretching. Yesterday, I had a great long run. The Achilles was tender at the start, then pretty much was fine, although it bothered me a bit at the end. This morning's recovery run was the same thing. I woke up pretty gimpy, started off sore, then felt alright. This is tricky. There's a reason Achilles is synonymous with "weak point." It can easily lead to tendonitis and a chronic injury. Overall, I had a great week training, but this soreness concerns me. My schedule calls for another tough week before a recovery week. I'm also aiming for an 18-mile race on Sunday that I'll run as a progression run that includes 12 miles at marathon pace. This week, I might take an extra rest day. I usually allow myself one wildcard rest day during the month. Might be a good time to use it.

Miles: 63

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Knowing When to Sleep In

There's always the balance in running between structure and flexibility. To train hard, you need to follow a schedule and sometimes be a wet blanket about it. Even more important, you need to know when to push through and when to hold back. Last week's trip to Washington, along with the festivities there, took their toll on me. I ran 69 miles in the week, then never got enough sleep. This was exacerbated by going on to watch football with college friends on Sunday. Even Monday was a late night because of the Eagles game. It all added up to exhaustion and the stuffiness of a cold by Tuesday. What's more, my Achilles started to ache. Last night, I got to bed before 10pm. When my alarm went off at 6:30, I was still tired and stuffy. So I skipped and went back to sleep. I got another hour and felt a lot better at work today. It wasn't too much of a loss because I brought my stuff to work and ran home, doing 11 miles and finally hitting my tempo time of 6:30 over six miles. It was good to run fast. The rest did me good. The Achilles is a little achy, but it'll be fine. I also experienced one of the more unfortunate "signs you're a serious runner."

11 miles, 1:19:03

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Apple vs Runners

Nike+ is an interesting product for a lot of reasons. But it's frustrating. The system is closed: you need Nike shoes and an iPod. You're steered to the Flash-heavy Nike+ community site. The Sportband was a way to get around needing the iPod, although it broke when I ran with it in the rain and wasn't all that accurate to begin with. The shoe requirement was always a myth. There are pouches and other things you can use on your Asics, Brooks or whatever sneaker you want. (When I went to the Nike store in Manhattan, the salesman insisted it was impossible to use without Nike shoes. Nike should either train employees better or encourage them not to lie.) Now comes word from a Twitter friend, via GeekSugar, that Apple has filed a patent to make it illegal to put the Nike+ sensor in other shoes. Why does Apple care about this? Its filing presents the gravity of the situation.
Some people have taken it upon themselves to remove the sensor from the special pocket of the Nike+.TM. shoe and place it at inappropriate locations (shoelaces, for example) or place it on non-Nike+.TM. model shoes.
Heavens. This is very ironic to me because Apple (and obviously Nike) has a huge consumer base of runners with those earbuds dangling. What does it say about the company that it's willing to give them the middle finger because they want to use Nike+ differently? And yes, this again makes Nike look bad that it's partner is cracking down on people who won't completely give themselves over to Nike merchandise.

A side note: I'm officially worn out. I haven't been getting enough sleep, and it's caught up with me. I woke up groggy with a sore throat and Achilles tenderness, then had a forgettable recovery run. The schedule calls for another this evening. Don't think that will happen.

5 miles, 39:23

Monday, September 15, 2008

Nike's Revenge

Ok, so I've had some constructive criticism of Nike. One thing I've always praised is the Runner Station, a little hut on the West Side Highway that has gels, water, Gatorade and group runs. It's a great idea, and it saves me in the winter, when the water fountains are mostly turned off. This morning, I stopped into the Runner Station for Gatorade because watching football and drinking beer is not an ideal way to prepare for a 14-miler. The guy took a while giving me change for a $20. I gulped down the Gatorade, then shoved the money back in my shorts when he finally gave me back a wad of ones. Only later did I realize he'd given me this gross, probably unusable bill. I went into my bodega after the run to get chocolate milk, the guy refused the Nike money. "That gross," he told me. "Who gave you?"

14 miles, 1:47:02

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Week's Miles

Coming off the recovery week, I began the lactose threshold and endurance phase of the Pfitzinger plan. After six weeks of endurance training, I feel like I have a good base. As I wrote after my long run Friday, those 12-and 14-mile runs are paying off. Speed-wise, I'm not quite there, but the next several weeks are what hopefully will get me there. It was my most miles so far of training, made a little more complicated because I traveled to Washington to see friends. That made me mix up training a bit and move up my long run. The real test is an 18-mile race in two weeks. I'd like to race it to see for sure how I'm doing.

Miles: 69

Friday, September 12, 2008


The long run is something that unites all marathoners, no matter what speed. In order to train for a marathon, you need to go long. It's a little ludicrous to non-runner, the idea of going out for 20 miles. Plenty of friends have asked me why I don't just run another six and be done with it. When I first started running, I would dread the long run. Then it became something I'd look forward to, mostly because it gave me an excuse to eat a ton afterward. (Ideal post-long run meal: bacon cheeseburger. Sometimes two.) From a training perspective, I realize now that I put too much stock in the long run. Instead of getting in the miles, I'd focus my training around it. Now, I'm following Pfitzinger and doing more tempo runs and the medium-long runs during the week. The one part of training that's confused me a bit is the midweek 14-and 12-mile runs. I wasn't sure what they were doing, other than making me sleepy at my desk. Now I know. I went for a 21-miler this morning. Odd as this is to say, it wasn't really hard. It was probably the 100th time I've run 20 or more. It's a long way, and I there are bound to be tough parts. But today's sailed by with the pace at about 7:45 or 7:40. I didn't run the last mile slower than the first, and I felt like I could easily keep running. Those midweek medium-long runs have given me a nice endurance base. My one concern is a little hamstring soreness in my right leg. I had a persistent hamstring injury two years that lasted forever, just a dull ache that stayed around for many months. My recovery plan is a bit unusual: I'm taking a four-hour bus ride to Washington, DC, to see friends. I hope there's no knife-wielding maniac onboard.

21 miles, 2:43:18

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lance's Return

The news came out officially yesterday in Vanity Fair: Lance Armstrong is coming back. I usually stick to running, but I'll make the exception for this. Jay (aka JPS) wrote an interesting post about the mixed feelings (to be kind) he has about this. Jay's a real cyclist -- I got tired driving up the hills he rides in California -- so his perspective was pretty interesting. His argument comes down to cycling moving on the Lance era, which brought tons of casual fans to the sport but also marked the height of the doping era. Like Jay, I have my doubts Lance was clean while everyone else was dirty. It's pretty understandable, and it doesn't take away from what Lance accomplished.

The question remains why. He seemed to be having a pretty good time raising money for his foundation, getting people to seriously think of him as a politician and struggling through marathons in respectable but not outstanding times. (A 2:50 is a nice time, but the guy's got such incredible lung capacity that I'd expect faster. At least he said ) I have a theory that all the commentators are wrong when they say athletes want to go out on top. I don't believe that. I think athletes don't want to leave while they still have something left. Lance still has something to prove. He loves doubters, and now he actually has them instead of making them up. I'm not a cycling purist, so I'll find it interesting, particularly as a 35-year old watching Lance trying to race at the highest level at 37. Lance thinks it's nothing:
Ask serious sports physiologists and they’ll tell you age is a wives’ tale. Athletes at 30, 35 mentally get tired. They’ve done their sport for 20, 25 years and they’re like, I’ve had enough. But there’s no evidence to support that when you’re 38 you’re any slower than when you were 32.
11 miles, 1:26:32

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Signs You're a Serious Runner

To even things out, there needed to be a list for serious runners. At first, I was going to do one for runner snobs, the people who frankly take things too seriously. But I'll start with just what qualifies someone as a "serious runner." I cannot check off each point. I'd hazard to say if you identify with five you can consider yourself a "serious runner." There is no membership card, sadly.
  1. You have a watch that gives splits
  2. Your nipples have bled
  3. You've qualified for Boston or if you haven't yet would never get a number another way
  4. You have relieved yourself outside before a race (BrianG wants to require No. 2 for the boys; I find this a high bar.)
  5. You've taken an ice bath
  6. You've been hospitalized because of dehydration (I want desperately to think this is some kind of badge of honor. Something. Please.)
  7. You canceled your Runners World subscription because it's all about getting great abs
  8. You've said "only 14 miles" when describing a run
  9. You've lost a toenail
  10. You think running with an iPod is missing the whole point
14 miles, 1:51:05

Monday, September 8, 2008

Signs You're a Casual Runner

While out running tonight, I started thinking some about the serious vs casual runners post from last week. I honestly think it's great that anyone runs, whether it's once or twice a week, whether it's 6-minute miles or 10. Don't get me wrong, I respect everyone who does it. But it is true the larger the running community gets, the more pronounced the divide gets between serious and casual. I decided to come up with a (tongue-in-cheek) list of signs you might be a casual runner -- with the Seinfeld caveat that "there's nothing wrong with that." I'd say anyone ticking off three qualifies as an official casual runner. (I'm going to do a companion post later this week of signs you're a runner snob.)
  1. You've taken or made cell phone calls while running.
  2. Your iPod is as necessary as your sneakers.
  3. You prefer treadmills.
  4. You don't run when it rains.
  5. You won't drink out of public waterfountains.
  6. You say "never again" after a marathon -- and mean it.
  7. You admire Jeff Galloway and/or John "The Penguin" Bingham.
  8. Your favorite spot to run in NYC is the Reservoir.
  9. You wear cotton shirts and/or the race t-shirt during the race
  10. You enjoyed The Nike Human Race. (Kidding, sorta)
10 miles, 1:13 (5 miles at 6:40)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Week's Miles

Recovery week. When I saw it on the schedule, I had visions of lounging around a hammock and eating cheeseburgers. Not so much. It basically just involved a shorter long run. Overall, the runs went well. I had a good speed workout, 10 x 100-meter strides after an 8-mile aerobic run, and the other runs went fine. Yesterday's 14-mile medium-long run was an ordeal because of about 90 percent humidity. Runs like that make me feel out of shape, even though I know it's just the lack of oxygen. The end result was a recovery run this morning that I did too fast. Maybe it was because Central Park was so packed with the nice weather.

Miles: 55

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What's a Serious Runner?

A whole lot of things came up in the comments in the last post. For now, I'm going to leave it there and get back to running. One interesting point made was the difference between "serious" and "casual" runners. I struggle with this. It's not attractive to be a running snob. Yet I do think there's a divide. Running has changed quite a bit over the years. The marathon has gone from something only "crazy" people do to another box to check off on a life experience. There's been plenty written about how slow marathons have gotten, why Oprah is to blame, the charity rackets, expensive big city marathons, etc. I'm not going to rehash those.

So what makes a serious runner? To me, it certainly isn't speed. There are many people who are athletically gifted. Is it miles? I think that's part of it. More to the point is commitment -- breaking through from a couple times a week to a training regimen with goals in mind. I don't care if the goal is a 3-hour marathon or completing a 10k. What I find so great about running is anyone can do it. Thin, fat, fast, slow, young, old. I have just as much respect for people who train diligently to run the marathon in five hours as the guys doing 2:30. The other month, I passed an older woman a few times during a run in a driving rain in Central Park. She couldn't have been going any faster than 11-minute pace. I see her all the time, grinding out miles with her face twisted in a look of fierce determination. That night was no different. I was doing like 12 or something, totally beat. There was an unspoken bond because we were dealing with the same stuff.

The idea for this blog sprung from the idea that runners fight the same struggle. The serious runner embraces the struggle; accepts pain as part of the deal; and knows the real achievement is the training, not the race itself. My favorite running novel is "Once a Runner," a sometimes schmaltzy story of Quentin Cassidy, a mythical miler. The author summed up his ethos this way: "It was all joy and woe, hard as diamond; it made him weary beyond comprehension." There's truth to that.

11 miles, 1:24:30

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Nike Human Race Fiasco

Yesterday, I wrote about the Nike Human Race, the 10k Nike organized worldwide. At the time, I wondered why New York City was so slow, ranking a dismal 16th of 26 cities. I ended up getting messages on Twitter and in the comments that the race was a total fiasco. A blog search turned up much of the same. The main complaint: Nike chose an awkward course on Randall's Island that caused many runners to walk, not run. All the pictures on Inside Nike Running show smiling participants, all eerily dressed in the same t-shirt like they were in the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. It doesn't show the frustration some runners felt at the late start and poor organization. The problem seems to start with the size of the race and location. Nike's a big company that wants to do big things, so it registered 10,000 people for the race. In Central Park, 4,000 is a recipe for disaster. But Nike held the race on Randall's Island, incredibly on a loop course that had runners crossing a narrow foot bridge. In NY, there was apparently even booing as runners came to an abrupt halt. (London might not have been much better, at least going by one commenter on Brandflakes for Breakfast.) These things happen. All runners have been in poorly organized races, and it's no surprise that this one would be disappointing. After all, Nike's main goal is in marketing, not organizing a race.

This fits with a pattern I've noticed with Nike's attempts to regain its prominence in running: it focuses so much on the mass of casual runners that it ignores "serious" runners. I try to avoid the runner divide of slower runners versus faster ones. By serious I mean runners who have goals and train to meet them, not those that commendably jog for health and well-being. Running is great in that everyone faces the same obstacles, which are mainly a battle with self. Nike hasn't impressed me as a runner. The Nike+ system was originally only for use with iPods. Now most competitive runners don't listen to music when running. (It's also dangerous, but that's another story.) Then, I tried out Nike+ Sportband. The calibration was off, then it simply stopped working when I wore it during a workout in the rain. Who doesn't run sometimes when it's wet out?

When I line up at marathons and look down, I see mostly Asics. I'm trying to run under three hours, so maybe that's not representative of all runners, but it shows to me that Nike, for all its inspirational commercials, doesn't really connect with competitive runners. And by putting on a 10k I've heard described as "chaos" and "a disaster," it reinforces this disconnect. Nike's blog unintentionally sums it up: "On 8.31.2008, 10,000 people stood together on Randall’s Island while thousands stood around the world for the same purpose. Where were you standing?"

5 miles, 40:23

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Why Is NYC So Slow?

New Yorkers like to pride themselves on how fast we are talking and walking. I would think that would encompass running. Overall, I think of New York as a great running city. Central Park is full of fast runners, and the races here always draw quick people. So I was a little disappointed when I visited Nikeplus.com to do a little research for a work piece. This past weekend, Nike held "The Human Race," a series of 10k races in major cities around the world. Showing the cool things that can be done with data, Nike posted the average times from each city. New Yorkers were pathetically slow at an average of 1:02:04, an Oprah-like 9:59 pace. That placed the Big Apple in 15th place out of 26 cities. Compare that with Portland's 58:33, Vancouver's 58:22 and Madrid's blazing fast 56:34. The last one really surprised me. Madrid had the lowest average time of any city. Many Euro cities beat us, even Warsaw. I lived in Poland: everyone smokes. What gives? The good news is NYC beat the pants off LA (1:05:20) and Austin (1:11:51). Check out the results for lots of cities worldwide.

12 miles, 1:33:25

UPDATE: Emily and Michelle put the blame on Nike. It turns out the course on Randall's Island, where I've never run, included a narrow bridge that slowed most to a several-minute walk. "Runners started booing," Michelle reports. Tsk-tsk, Nike. NYC wants a rematch.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Week's (and Month's) Miles

I'm now into the sixth week of Pfitzinger's 18-week program. There are 12 weeks until Philly. At this point, I feel pretty good. There were some initial worries about injuries, and I still experience knee soreness on top of the usual aches, but I've held up pretty good. This week, I hit 64 miles, the most I've probably ever run in training. The best part is it wasn't that hard. My 20-mile run Saturday went well. I mixed things up by heading north along the Hudson, up through Harlem to Washington Heights. I turned back at the George Washington Bridge, then continued south to Tribeca before coming back up to the Upper West Side. I tested my pace during the run a few times: about 7:45-7:50. This is my ideal for long runs. I know some will say slower is better, but I disagree.

Looking back at the month, I ran 265 miles and 26 of 31 days. The only real deviation I made from Pfitzinger was throwing in an extra rest day a couple weeks ago. I was traveling and really just needed it. I'm going to keep that option open during the next phase of training. Once a month replacing a 5-mile recovery run with total rest seems like a good idea. That should be particularly true for the next phase of training. I'm in a recovery week right now before beginning the hard part of the program: lactate threshold + endurance. This first endurance mesocycle has been good, but I wish there were more 8-10 mile aerobic runs. Maybe that's what I'm used to, but the second 11-mile slow run in the middle of the week is a drag. I felt great after doing 8 miles today at 7:20 pace, then 10 100-meter strides to cap it off. This next phase has some tough runs. Hopefully, work won't intrude too much as the summer ends.

8 miles, 58:50