Today's Mighty Oak


The Philly half was my A race for the fall. Read more after the break for a full race report and pictures!

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Race week! Here we go!

  • Monday: 7 miles: 4x100m strides, 2 miles at race pace (9:35)
  • Tuesday: Rest.
  • Wednesday: 5 miles.
  • Thursday: 3 miles: 3x100m strides
  • Friday: Rest. Travel to Philly via Amtrack. Left 30th Street Station and walked to the Convention Center then south past Rittenhouse Square to our Airbnb. When friends got into town, walked back to the Convention Center and back before turning in for the night.
  • Saturday: Race day! Full race report coming up as a separate post. Also did a two mile warm-up run from the AirBnB to the start area, which was awkward running with our gear bags, but still glad we did it!


Ugh, work has been awful, NaNoWriMo is keeping me super busy and I feel like I just need a break. My left leg is giving me some issues, so I’m working through that. I know I’m beat up from this plan, but in a good way, but I also feel like I’m just skirting that line, and I need to hold out until Saturday before something breaks.

Either way, I’m at least hoping to enjoy some time away (after yet another trip to Cleveland on Thursday), and hopefully just relax a little bit. My last long run went really well, and it gave me back a little confidence that (barring crowds), I have a shot at setting a new PR. But I’m also trying to remind myself that even if I don’t, I’ve gotten faster and I can be proud of this training cycle.

  • Monday: 6 miles: two sets, 6x200m strides
  • Tuesday: Rest.
  • Wednesday: 9 miles: VO2 max: 2x1200m, 2x1000m, 1x800m, 5k pace
  • Thursday: Rest.
  • Friday: 3 miles. Was up at 3:30 to drive to Cleveland and back, then sat in traffic both ways to a Write-In, but got my miles in between events.
  • Saturday: 4 miles. Much like the detours on the roads the day before, detours on the trails.
  • Sunday: 10 miles. Ran on a new (to me) trail, the Westmoreland Heritage Trail from Monroeville (Bel-Aire) to the Cozy Inn Cutoff. I loved it, and I want to go back when I have some more time and I can stop and read all the history signs and whatnot and take pictures along the way!
  • Strength: No time this week to do any workouts. Need to get back into this habit, although I’m proud of myself for staying with it longer than I ever have before! Planning on it after the half.
  • Stretching: Lots more stretching, so that’s a good constant at least.


Late update, but still wanted to get this down. Work and NaNoWriMo have me pulled in about 1000 different directions, and Uncle Pete is still trying to kill me.

I’ve also come to accept that I may not hit my goals in Philly. Or maybe I’m just hedging my bets. The last time I ran a training plan specifically to get faster at a distance, it was a much, much smaller race. I know Philly is a huge race, and because of that, it may not be really condusive to setting a new PR. We’ll see how it goes, I’m still going to try, but I also know that a lot of the jostling and crowds are not going to help.

My goal is still sub 2:10. I’ve gotten faster from this training, and I probably have a faster time in me, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to go much faster on race day due to the crowds and the environment. Either way though, I’m excited to go see a new city and get a few vacation days in!

  • Monday: 4 miles: 5K pace (9:25) two sets of : 4x150m.
  • Tuesday: Rest.
  • Wednesday: Rest.
  • Thursday: 4 miles. New (to me) shoes! Got a pair of Ghosts 11’s off eBay and they were in great condition, only a little bit of red on the bottom from running on a track, otherwise, couldn’t tell they were used!
  • Friday: PRANK Run! 14 miles. Joined Mike, Mike and Fox and we ran “My Little PRANK Run: Friendship is Magic,” centered in the neighborhood of Friendship. We headed to Highland Park, Bloomfield, Oakland (where we got some great comments) and others, was a blast, as always!
  • Saturday: Rest.
  • Sunday: 10 miles.
  • Strength: No time this week to do any workouts. Need to get back into this habit, although I’m proud of myself for staying with it longer than I ever have before!
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine. This plan has really beat me up, and that helps, but my legs are really feeling the accumulated soreness, so I’m looking forward to bit of a break.


I was talking with some of my teammates about how I really feel worn down from this plan, even moreso than when I was training for the 100K earlier this year. But looking back and seeing how much of this plan is really quality miles, focused on speedwork, it makes sense. That and Uncle Pete is trying to kill me.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 11 miles.
  • Wednesday: 8 miles.
  • Thursday: Rest. Gave out Halloween candy!
  • Friday: 10 miles. 5k pace (9:25), two sets of: 2x1200m, 2x1000m, 1x800m.
  • Saturday: 11 miles: 4 miles in the morning doing the Zombies, Run Virtual Race and 7 in the afternoon. Shuffling miles around to make my travel schedule work. I did get complimented at the gym, one of the trainers says I make running look effortless. We chatted a bit about training and ultras, so that was a great confidence boost!
  • Sunday: 14 miles.
  • Strength: No time this week to do any workouts, back at it in the future, promise!
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine after every run (except the first run on Saturday, had to shower and quickly get to my church bazaar).


Another week of training complete, lots of things moved around so I ended up running every day!

  • Monday: 4 miles. Made up missed miles from a run the week before and joined the Frontrunners on a run to Southern Tier brewing!
  • Tuesday: 7 miles.
  • Wednesday: 7 miles: 2 sets of 4x150m strides.
  • Thursday: 4 miles, 3x100m strides.
  • Friday: 10 miles. Headed down to Schenley and did some loops which took me (unknown until it happened) through Phipps’ trick or treating and Pitt’s homecoming.
  • Saturday: 10 miles.
  • Sunday: 700m. Corndog League event 3: Fare and Back Again! Running with a stuffed cat, pumpkin and bedsheet (ghost costume) and generally confusing the other people at the track.
  • Strength: No time this week to do any workouts, back at it in the future, promise!
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine after most runs, but do need to do better at it.


Late getting this out, sorry about that!

  • Monday: Rest. Travel day back from Sleepy Hollow.
  • Tuesday: 9 miles.
  • Wednesday: Rest.
  • Thursday: 10 miles. Ran both Frontrunners courses and the two mile mini loop around the Cathedral of Learning for a lovely evening.
  • Friday: 4 miles: 10x100m strides. Was supposed to do 8 miles, but my stomach was not cooperating, added this miles in next week.
  • Saturday: 13 miles, progression run. Really proud of this run! Nailed the last three miles at 9:25, 9:02 and 8:52 paces, and a total of 2:10:12. My goal for the half is sub 2:10, so I’m hoping that with dropping the hammer earlier, as well as race day energy, I’m setting myself up nicely to hit that goal!
  • Sunday: 5 miles.
  • Strength: No time this week to do any workouts, back at it in the future, promise!
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine after each run, although I did miss two this week, but I’m getting back into better habits!


Another crazy week, and that train is not slowing down anytime soon, but here we go!

  • Monday: Hills and strides: 4 miles, 6 x 12 second hills, 6 x 100m strides. Was supposed to do 8, but stopped after the speedwork portion since it was such a busy week and I needed the extra time to packed for Sleepy Hollow.
  • Tuesday: Rest.
  • Wednesday: VO2 Max: 9 miles, 6 x 1000m, 5K pace (9:25). Was really proud of myself for hitting this workout!
  • Thursday: 5 miles. Ran most of the first training mission for the ZR Halloween virtual race around my neighborhood.
  • Friday: Rest/travel day.
  • Saturday: 25 miles. Paced friends at the Sleepy Hollow Hourly Ultra in Canton, Georgia. Will possibly write up a race report, but had a great time helping friends crush their goals!
  • Sunday: Rest.
  • Strength: No time this week to do any workouts, although I was complimented on some progress my arms have made, so that’s good! I also like to think all the crewing and rearranging of our tent site was a good workout too!
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine after each run, although I did not after my pacing at Sleepy Hollow (even though I was yelled at for it), and I’m paying for it.


Another crazy week, and that train is not slowing down anytime soon, but here we go!

  • Monday: LT Run: 20 minutes/4 minutes recovery/16 minutes 9:31 pace
  • Tuesday: Rest.
  • Wednesday: Rest.
  • Thursday: 9 miles.
  • Friday: 7 miles, strides: Strides 10x100m 8:35 pace.
  • Saturday: 4 miles: Happy Matt Virtual 5K!
  • Sunday: 12 miles, progression run: last 3 miles at LT pace (9:31)
  • Strength: Just one BWF workout on Friday.
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine after each run.


A lot was going on this week, so things were moved around, including a workout moved to the previous week. But thankfully, this was a down week, so I was able to get everything worked in and only had one speed workout to do!

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: Rest.
  • Wednesday: Rest.
  • Thursday: 8 miles.
  • Friday: 7 miles, strides: 2 sets of 5x150m.
  • Saturday: Rest.
  • Sunday: 10K: The Great Race. Always a fun time running through the city of Pittsburgh, it was really humid and significantly warmer than last year, so I’m super happy with being about a minute slower than my PR!
  • Strength: Two BWF workouts, Friday and Sunday.
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine after each run.

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