Monday, April 18, 2011

Boston Marathon 2011 & Matt Larsen's Final Boston training blog

We check in with Matt Larsen for his final training update before the 115th running of the Boston Marathon today.  You can follow the live action of the race today on Universal Sports.  Good luck to to everyone racing today, the Boston weather is predicted to be amazing with a tailwind on top of it.

I don’t have any exciting workouts to post about as I get closer to Boston but am excited to race as I get closer to the big day.  My intent in training was to put three solid weeks of running in once the track season started. The final three weeks leading up to Boston would be down weeks, less with the intent of tapering and more with recognition of the fact that I would take days off if time was unavailable on meet days.  I’ll give you the rundown of the workouts/runs that I ran and I’ll give you my mindset heading into race day.

4/02- Trail Breaker half- My intent was to run marathon pace (6:00 per mile) early and close a little more quickly as from about three miles out.  Well, things did not go well, and I only got about 4 miles in at marathon pace.  I did not find a groove and shut the race/workout, whatever you want to call it, down early.  I warned you in my first post that you might see this as a theme surrounding my mental weakness.  The fact was that I did not have it on this day and pulled the plug pretty early.  I’m not going to lie and say that this did not shake my confidence, but at the end of the day, I’ve always been pretty good at justifying rough days, and historically, I have shaken them off and bounced back relatively well.  I hope that is the case this time around.  The final time was about 83 minutes for the half or about four minutes slower than I plan on going out for the first half on the big day.

4/03- 10 miler with Mr. Thull- Our intent was to run easy, feel good, and dodge the bad weather- Mission accomplished.  The legs felt very good on this day, and there was no evidence that I had done anything remotely close to racing the day before.  I took that as a pretty good sign. 

So that is about all I have for workout related stuff.  I am very excited and also a little nervous for my third marathon.  The other marathons that I have run have gone completely differently.  In 2002, I was very fit for me coming off of a summer of 70, 80 and up to 90 mile weeks.  I ran the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee, went out hard, and faded badly…. really badly and finished in 2:47.  Man, did I feel good early, and then everything went bad from blisters, to nipple chaffing, to me having a pity party and throwing an 8 minute mile in there somewhere.  Anyway – I wasn’t mentally prepared for and didn’t know what to expect in the race.   

More recently, in 2009, I ran the Chicago marathon.  I was coming off of a summer of 40 mile and 50 mile weeks and had to start the race toward the back of the start line.  In this marathon, I also raced with a training partner, Bart, and things went about as well as I could have hoped.  I ended up negative splitting to a finishing time of 2:50.  This race went so much more smoothly because I respected the pace and didn’t get ahead of myself.  Heading into Boston, I don’t have the same type of fitness that I had in 2002, but most of my training is well ahead of where I was in 2009. If things go smoothly like they did in 2009, I think this can be a very positive experience.  The plan is to be patient.  We’ll see how it goes. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Featured Runner of the Week - Dave Romano

ThunderDome Running works with runners of all abilities all over the United States.  Each runner has their own awesome story within a story getting to the starting line of their goal races by the way they balance work, family, and training.  This week the ThunderDome Running featured runner is Dave Romano from Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Dave just passed his one year running anniversary beginning jogging 1-2 miles on the treadmill last March/April 2010!  He has raced several shorter distance races but had not tackled the half marathon distance. I have no idea if Dave planned it this way, marking his one year running anniversary;  but Dave jumped right into the fire by racing a half marathon over the weekend the Garden Spot Half  in New Holland Pennsylvania.  Dave raced to a 58th overall place out of a field of 506 runners in a time of 1 hour 43 minutes and 40 seconds.... over a crazy hilly race course.

Dave is a perfect example of how runners make their own breaks and racing opportunities by putting in the work. Dave's typical training schedule has (4) total weekly runs ranging from 4-6 miles with a long run being built back up again to 11-12 miles on cross training days he is in the pool.  With the 4 running days and 2 days of swim work Dave's total mileage is currently around 25-30 miles a week with summer plans of working towards a long run of 14-15 miles and total weekly mileage climbing to 40+ total miles.

Having the opportunity to coach and work with Dave has been great and a lot of fun. I think we can all learn from each other in how to approach race week and finally stepping to the line race day and wanted to share with everyone Dave's first half marathon experience. For everyone our race days play out like mini movies each time we all make that journey to the starting line for a key race. Dave's keen perspective and prep for his race makes up for only being in this running game for about a year. Check out Dave's race journal.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Best of All -Time Races (Martian Invasion of Races)

The ThunderDome Running racing team took a little field trip to Dearborn, Michigan this past weekend for the 6th annual Martian Invasion of races.  Over the years I have probably raced more times in Michigan than in Wisconsin. The racing community and the road race scene in Michigan is amazing.  This weekend I jumped into a 10k.

Running Fit presented the Martian Invasion of Races with the opportunity to race a 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon relay, or full marathon Saturday April 2.  To pull off that sheer number of races on a single race day morning takes a ton of work and organization, but the Michigan racing community did not disappoint.  The race organization was top notch from the police dept, to the race volunteers, to the support from the city of Dearborn. There were aliens all over town!

I think the best part about the Martian racing weekend is that the race organizers realize there can be something for everyone that raced from beginners, to seasoned veterans, to elite runners.  That is what I love about Michigan races.  The race had the charity arm but also had a prize $$$ purse. The race host hotel had a pre-race/post-race breakfast that had more food than many finish line spreads. I cannot think of anything better than finishing up a tough race and getting to reward yourself with a huge Belgian Waffle.

If you get a chance jump on and checkout the menu of Michigan road races, and hopefully you can make the quick trip to try a race outside of your home turf.  A big thank you to Running Fit for putting on  the Martian Invasion of races and to Ian Forsyth the elite race director.