2014 mid year update

carter mill 10k 2014 rain
minutes before the gun of the Carter Mill 10k

The summer months are close to my favorite time of year for running. I love the heat, the sweat. The pace is usually slower due to this, so for me it’s a good base building period. When the fall rolls around, temperatures come down and with it the times. Fall is race season and it’s always exciting to see how things have progressed up to then.

July milestones

July was the first full successful training block this year. The spring was hampered by the flu and an injury. It’s been good to get back into the swing of things.
first 7 day running streaks
I’m not one to care about streaking. It’s not something I focus on specifically. But there’s some beneficial training effects that come out of running multiple days in a row, so I’ll likely be running more streaks. I won’t keep much track of them though. I still believe the body needs a rest day here and there. Whether it’s one day a week or two, that’s for the individual to decide.
200 mile month
It’s been over 25 years since I managed a 200+ mile month. It feels good. For august it would be nice to push the total mileage up to 250. I’ll see how my body can handle the current load and go from there. Again, like the streaking, I’m not focused so much on a specific number as I am on improving over time. At some point an increase in mileage will not result in an increase in performance and risk of injury starts to set in. Where that ideal spot is for me is unknown. Could be 50 miles a week, could be 120. Finding out is all part of the journey.
Training does feel different lately. I’m pushing through more miles. I’m kind of getting better at suffering. Although suffering is probably the wrong word. If you suffer by choice then it’s more of a joyful pain. That probably doesn’t make sense to most people, but oh well.

Stalk your quarry 10 mile trail race

A fun sweat fest through the Ijams nature area in south Knoxville. Not a flat section on the whole course but managed to run through all but a small steep section near the end. It’s been awhile since my last shorter faster run through the woods. I tend to run my long slow runs on the trails at a pedestrian 12-15 minute mile pace. It was fun to push the pace and really zip through the woods. (well zipping for me that is)

Carter mill Splash road 10k

3rd year in a row for this race. I use it as a yearly gauge of fitness. It was a wet one, soaked from the start. Shaving 3 minutes from last years time is not too shabby. I’ve got the sub 40 minute 10k in my sites.

MAF test – 18 months of data

maf test chart
blue line is the latest test, pushing it to new lows

A year and a half later and I’m still doing these tests. They are a good gauge of overall fitness, although only one variable of many. I’m finally down below the 8:00 min mile mark with my MAF heart rate zone of 137. For a sub 3:00 hour road marathon (6:52 pace) I’ll probably need to push my MAF closer to the 7:30 area. Only 3 months left before my next goal marathon. We’ll see if I can make it.

maf test chart over time
MAF tests since early 2013. Back under 8:00 min miles after the spring set back.

I’m a little surprised over how quickly it’s come down. Proof that being consistent pays off. I’m going to try my best to avoid the slump I had last winter. Amazing how fast the progress can melt away after a month or two of “meh” running. I’m hopeful that 50 mile weeks and weekend long runs of 20-22 miles will get me close to the 3:00 hour marathon mark.

Garmin fitness and race predictions
My watch is giving me a V02Max of 56 and race predictions that are overly optimistic. It already projects a sub 1:30 half marathon. Not sure I’m capable of it, but it is possible. It’s off by 3 minutes for the 10k, so I’m taking these readings with a large grain of salt.

Knee tweakage
My left knee is the weakest link in the chain at the moment. My quad and IT band have been less than happy with the mileage, but still holding up. Strengthening exercises help, but I’ll admit I’m lazy with going to the gym for those things. It’s not a full blown injury like it was a few months back, but it’s something to keep a close eye on.

It’s been a busy summer with little time to post on here. I’m
considering reevaluating having a blog open to the public at the moment.
This thing is meant mostly as a personal log of my journey, but at
times it seems a little self indulgent. I’ll probably keep it up, but
may post less frequently.