Running with the sub-3s: redux (Read 387 times)

    Good luck on your quest, I'm in the same boat (first marathon was 3:06) but as one faster runner has described it:

    "Don't get so hung up on the phrase 'sub-3' as really it's just a 6:50/mile pace for 26.2 miles. Just go and run and then run a little faster - you might surprise yourself of what you're capable of when you're not making invisible barriers for youself"

     

    T-12 weeks for me, here's hoping I can dial into that 6:45-6:50 range and just hold it for the whole race! Smile

     

    I like this thought process.   I too am shooting for sub 3 next month with a current PR of 3:09:17, and I have to admit, I seem to be fixated on "sub 3" and at times it seems like a wall too big to climb, however, when you put it into this kind of simple perspective, suddenly it just seems like a continuation of the training that I have been doing the past few months.   Thanks for the post, lets hope this works. Smile

      The thought process (and confidence, etc) can be VERY important.  At one point in my running 'career' I had one (1) sub-3 marathon in 20+ marathons.  An older runner for whom I had much respect told me that it was hard to believe I had only one sub-3 marathon, he said he thought I should have a whole string of sub-3's.  Guess what?  My next marathon was sub-3 and I have a nice string of 7 sub-3's now, broken only by a 3:22 in there that I ran as a training run.  The last two of those were run in my 50's, including my all-time PR.  I was so encouraged by him saying those things about my running that I was able to kick my training up a couple notches and, maybe, give myself permission to think of myself as a sub-3 runner.  Amazing that such an insignificant, offhand comment can spur us to improve so much.  Go get 'em guys.


      Interval Junkie --Nobby

        tl;dr: go right to the last paragraph

         

        NYCM-12: The last few weeks have been a roller-coaster.  After my near blow-up in the NYCM-13 18mi long run (above) I decided to revisit 18mi by myself the next week, rather than do the tempo with the team.  This was a confidence building challenge.  My confidence sucked, so I was just looking to complete the run -- so I set out at a purposely slow 8:20 pace, and even dipped into 8:50 for a few hills.  I didn't even want to run and considered quitting from mile 4 on.  But at mile 15 I considered doing 1 mile at MP (7:10).  And now I REALLY wanted to quit.  But I took a little self assessment: injury-pain?  no.  cramps?  no.  inordinate fatigue?  no.  So, I asked myself, well what's your excuse then?  Didn't have one.  So I ran another mile at MP and ended at 19mi -- spirits lifted.

         

        NYCM-11: the weekday workout was more hill fartleks.  I did okay.  I joined Kenny and Sarah for the 20mi long-run at around 8:00 pace.  Ran naked (w/o watch).  Felt good until mile 15, then the work started.  Kept up with Kenny for 3 MP miles at the end (7:00-7:05).  Felt pretty good about my performance until Sarah showed us the chigger plague she was sporting.   I thought I felt discomfort during that run!

         

        NYCM-10: Kenny has suckered me into pool-running.  I figure it's an easy way to bump up my mileage w/o re-injuring my achilles.  I started training with a very low base, so while last year I was doing ~75mpw,  this year I can't ramp up to that mileage w/o risk.  So, 1hr 40min in the pool the Tuesday before the track workout sounded like a good way to pad "10miles" into my training.  But really, pool miles?  They don't really count; later that day I decided to get in an easy 6.  Heh.

         

        That was the worst track workout (3xSteepHill, 3x800 @ 10k pace, 4xSteepHill, 2x800m @ 5K pace) I've had in a long time.  I was embarrassingly behind the guy who was trailing the pack by 5seconds.  Like about 10seconds behind him.   I would have considered it a complete fail except that I completed the workout.  Totally spent.

         

        Saturday was another tempo run, which I put off for 'cooler weather' until Sunday evening.  But it just didn't get any cooler.  Again, I dreaded going out.  I was tired even after taken a 2hr nap that day.  But, drank some pre-game gatorade, filled a bottle with go-juice, laced up, ran down to the training trail.  I did 2@MP . . . and the desire to quit was overwhelming.  Too hot.  Too tired.  Complete loss of willpower.  I paced back and forth for 3minutes trying to call-up the will to continue -- right to voice-mail.  I ran 2@MP back to the start and then walked home.  Failure -- I think the "16miles" on Tuesday and the labored attempt on Wednesday were still working their way out of my system.

         

        NYCM-9: Okay, after the terrible last week my mission was to put in a good showing at the Wednesday track workout.  Took Monday off.  Hit the pool for 10mi on Tuesday.  Rest.  Rest. Rest.  5am -- get to the track.  In the workout (4x40sec easy hill. 3x1200m @ 10m-10K. 3xSteep hill. 2x1200 @ faster) I turned it around.  The goal was to keep up with Rick (former holder of the sub3s' PR, now aging out).  I had no trouble in the Spring -- we were pretty evenly matched in track workouts.  First 1200m we came in at 6:00 pace.  Too fast.  We took turns out front of our slow pack and kept getting faster.  I was able to hold until after the steep hills.  Then I lost contact with the pack.  They kept getting faster and I was barely able to hold onto 6:05 pace.  Still, a huge improvement over last week.  Quite a boon to my morale.  Even Coach noticed, "looks like [stadjak] is back."  Exhausting workout, yet revitalizing.

         

        So, that night -- still feeling tip-top -- I decided to go out for another 6.  Nice and easy.  Returning home on Main Street, I looked at my watch and saw 7:00pace.  Wow.  Felt great.  I'm really moving!  Just then a UVA running-back, a black man with basketball shorts, white cotton-T, headphones and a scullcap, blew by me.  Well, shit.  So, I tucked in his six.  He didn't notice until I took him at the bridge.  I called back, "Come'on, man; I'm 40 and this is mile 6.  Let's go!"  The pace really heated up.  We were sub-6 -- flying down Main Street in the semi-dark of street-lamps and head-lights.  I held that for about 600m, not really knowing if he was still back there.  Right about then we passed a place were lots of black folk hang out and people-watch.  That's when he smoked me.  Nice powerful strides.  Muscular w/o lumbering.  A powerful chest steaming forward over forceful knees.  Legs jetting back the long strides in total control.  Another 100m and he wound down, looking at his iPhone and the end of his workout.  I tapped him on the shoulder while passing and shouted, "great workout man, thanks."  I ran at a good clip until I turned the corner out of sight.  Then I huffed and puffed to get my breath back.  Beaming smile on my face the entire jog home.

        2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

        Current Status 06/19: Pelvic stress-fracture = 6-weeks of no running.


        Interval Junkie --Nobby

          NYCM-9: Our fearless leader tricked us (read: me) into running Fox mountain this weekend.  Okay "tricked" is unfair.  He told us he had an "adventurous" alternative route planned that included a bunch of roads I never heard of before.  Okay okay, maybe one of the roads is actually named "Fox Mountain Road", but that's besides the point.  I didn't realize we were going to run a mountain until half way up one of two quad-crushing hills.

           

          I kept with the sub3s until mile 6.  Then closely trailed them until mile 13.  Somewhere in there an unleashed demon in the form of a boxer almost chewed me like a squeaky-toy.  I lost sight of them on the first hill around mile 13.  At the base of the second hill a 250lbs country woman in what looked like a pink tutu asked me:

           

          Tutu: You climb tha' whole mountain?

          Me: [pointing up the hill] Not yet.

          Tutu: [eyeing the hill in front of me] Well, that next hill . . . it'll git ya.

           

          It sure did.  I ended up walking for a time.

           

          Still, best 20miler yet.

          2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

          Current Status 06/19: Pelvic stress-fracture = 6-weeks of no running.


          Interval Junkie --Nobby

            NYCM-8: Oh, what a difference a little change in weather makes.

             

            I'm up to ~65mpw, with 10-20 being pool miles to keep my achilles happy.  Feeling strong.  Actually, I could have sworn I've been tapering; just bursting with energy.  On Saturday I ran a 5K PR (18:03) (progression run was the training-plan, but I couldn't pass up a chance to run a almost flat-5K . . . unicorn around here).  Then on Sunday I ran 19mi at about 7:20 pace with ease.  Mile 13 ended up being 7:01 by accident while going up some "hills".  The other 3 MP miles weren't too tough.  No Gu, a little gatorade -- that was it. I even felt energetic after the run.

             

            50F and my legs come alive.

             

            6:52 pace (3:00 marathon) still looks daunting, but 7:00 doesn't.

            2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

            Current Status 06/19: Pelvic stress-fracture = 6-weeks of no running.

              I know there is a big difference between a 5k and a marathon, but McMillian predicts a 2:55 off an 18:03, so that is at least another little positive sign Smile

               

              --

              Nashville, TN

               

                stadjak...great work.  nice progression from a slow midsummer ramp up.  i agree with jaxn, that race projects well.

                 

                btw, you inspired my to join a running club here in NJ.  i've done about 5 runs, including a great track workout was today.  running my first club race this weekend...hopefully training with them is the edge i need to join you in the sub-3 winners circle.

                  NYCM-8: Oh, what a difference a little change in weather makes.

                   

                  I'm up to ~65mpw, with 10-20 being pool miles to keep my achilles happy.  Feeling strong.  Actually, I could have sworn I've been tapering; just bursting with energy.  On Saturday I ran a 5K PR (18:03) (progression run was the training-plan, but I couldn't pass up a chance to run a almost flat-5K . . . unicorn around here).  Then on Sunday I ran 19mi at about 7:20 pace with ease.  Mile 13 ended up being 7:01 by accident while going up some "hills".  The other 3 MP miles weren't too tough.  No Gu, a little gatorade -- that was it. I even felt energetic after the run.

                   

                  50F and my legs come alive.

                   

                  6:52 pace (3:00 marathon) still looks daunting, but 7:00 doesn't.

                   

                  Monster weekend.  Great stuff.

                  "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus


                  Interval Junkie --Nobby

                    btw, you inspired my to join a running club here in NJ.  i've done about 5 runs, including a great track workout was today.  running my first club race this weekend...hopefully training with them is the edge i need to join you in the sub-3 winners circle.

                     

                    Nothing better than doing a track workout with a buddy and trading who leads this lap.  Keeps everyone on pace; keeps pushing because you don't want to let your buddy down on your turn.

                    2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                    Current Status 06/19: Pelvic stress-fracture = 6-weeks of no running.


                    Interval Junkie --Nobby

                      NYCM-7: Sooo . . . the "nice" thing about your body: it will auto-correct your ego for you.  Got a dollop of humility Saturday.  While my Wednesday track workout was 'easy', the 20miler was impossible.   I hung with the guys for 8miles, but quickly started losing pace after that.  Even ended up walking a few times to my embarrassment.  It was a little warm.  And the hills (which were just par around here) started chewing on my endurance.  But really no excuse other than I just failed to complete the workout as prescribed.

                       

                      I think 3 weeks of 20milers, was just too much for me.  And maybe I over-did it last week (though I was hoping to get an indication of that on Wednesday, not on Saturday).  At least, I hope this is the case.  NYCM-6 is a recovery week -- I certainly need it.

                      2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                      Current Status 06/19: Pelvic stress-fracture = 6-weeks of no running.


                      Interval Junkie --Nobby

                        NYCM-6: After the previous week's 20miler fail, and the general inability, with accompanying trepidation, to complete a Tempo run this season, I nailed this week's tempo workout.  Exactly hit all paces.  Even did a little more than I was supposed to because I confused two workouts and ended up just adding them together.  Still, felt really good.

                         

                        NYCM-5: The biggest change over the last month has been this: where track workouts were a real struggle, now they are bit easy.  Kinda.  Rick (2:54PR) and I (3:08PR) establish a pace ahead of time and take turns leading the lap.  This is probably my favorite thing about running with these guys.  When you're leading there is a lot of pressure to not let the guys down.  It keeps you focused even in the more challenging laps.  In fact, following might be harder since the pressure is off.  Rick and I are often joined by others in our pace-zone.  They take turns leading; inevitably on the second turn (where a track has 4 turns) the new pacer burns hot, not quite feeling the pace but definitely feeling the liberty and pressure of being out front.  Without looking at a watch you can tell when it happens.  Everyone does it.  Second in line calls out the 200m split so the pacer can self-modify to hit the 400m pace mark before passing-off.

                         

                        Deric is the devil on our running shoulder.  He's always goading us into doing something we're not supposed to.  On Wednesday, he joined our pace-group.  Whenever he leads he pushes.  On the last lap of the workout, Kase had the lead.  In the 80m straightaway to the finish it's common to run shoulder to shoulder with the leader.  So I pulled up next to him.  But behind me I heard the hard breathing of a finishing kick.  I knew who is was.  Deric, who was last in line was going to blow past us all -- not for any egoistic reason, but because the implied challenge was there.  But I wasn't going to let that happen -- not for any egoistical reason, but because the explicit challenge was there . . . and it was fun.  The faster pace group (turned in a 5:21 last mile) was whooping and fist pumping.  Coach was trying to hide his smile behind ostensible scorn.  I nosed him out: 5:51 last mile.

                         

                        The Time-On-Feet run this weekend didn't go nearly as well.  It was a bit warm, and I seem to suffer in anything >65F.  But really I think the problem is that while my speed has come back, my endurance has not.  I'm already queuing this up for my taper freakout.

                        2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                        Current Status 06/19: Pelvic stress-fracture = 6-weeks of no running.


                        Interval Junkie --Nobby

                          So, there are a bunch of Army guys that do PT on the track where we have our Wednesday morning track workout.  They usually show up toward the end; there's rarely any conflict or traffic problems.  But this week the head Army-guy comes over to Coach and says, "I'm going to have to ask you guys to stay out of lanes One and Two; we have some guys running seven minute miles here."

                           

                          I told Coach he should have replied that we have some runners who can do ten push-ups.

                          2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                          Current Status 06/19: Pelvic stress-fracture = 6-weeks of no running.


                          Interval Junkie --Nobby

                            Created a report from my RA log to go over with Coach this morning.  I voiced my concern about my speed being back, but my endurance hasn't returned.  He took a look at the log and zeroed in on my 3 weeks of back to back 20milers.  Basically doffed me on the head and told me I was still probably digging my way out of that.  Also, he was happy to see my track-workouts going so well, but cautioned me to cool it, since the taper is coming up.

                             

                            Advised me to trim my miles a bit more aggressively for the taper to help mop up any residuals from my 20miler trifecta.

                             

                            This weekend is the Buck Mountain half-marathon, which he's recommended as a progression run.  It's a hard course to keep a pace on, because of the elevation changes, but effort should be the goal.

                             

                            Note to self: go see Coach more often; the man understands a hell of a lot about this sport and can stop you from doing dumb things.

                             

                            Note to self (2): don't avoid seeing Coach just because you want to do dumb things.

                            2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                            Current Status 06/19: Pelvic stress-fracture = 6-weeks of no running.


                            Interval Junkie --Nobby

                              NYCM-4: We ran the Buck Mountain Half-marathon as a progression run.  It was warm, muggy and the air was oppressive.  The idea was to do 9mi @ MP and 2mi @ HMP.  But that didn't happen.  As the name implies, it's a hilly course.  All I could manage was 7:20 up, and 7:05 down.  1:34 total, and if a race I have only knocked a minute off that.  As soon as I finished, the first thing Rick said to me was, "Don't worry about your splits; nobody made pace."  We added on 4 more miles to turn it into a 20mi long run . . . though the recovery miles were at 9:00+ pace.  We were knackered.

                               

                              NYCM-3: Rick approached Coach about substituting a 11MP miles for the scheduled 20miler during our Wednesday track practice.  It was a hoot that Rick broken the news, because Coach got upset at the lack of communication and the audible Rick called the week before -- it wasn't the plan.  The funny part was, Kase and I had just been in to see Coach the week before and were bathed in an admonishing story about how Rick is really the only one who listens to him.  The intervals went very well.  My legs felt a little tired on 800s leading to the 2miler, but I was easily able to push through.

                               

                              On the weekend we did our 11MP at the same location where I bombed a 8:10pace run earlier in the training.  This time it was 7:05 pace up hill (about a 2% incline for 3 miles) and then 6:50 downhill.  I want to see if I could keep a 6:55 pace, which could indicate I'd be ready for a 3:00 at NYCM.  Uphill was work.  Downhill was a pushing glide.  Finished the last mile at 6:40.  Felt pretty good.  This was a real confidence builder and exactly what I need.

                               

                              If the weather is good on race day (mid-40s) I'm going to shoot for 2:59:59.

                               

                              Now all I need to do is talk to Coach about a race-plan and to make sure my 2:59:59 goal is not completely hairbrained.

                              2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                              Current Status 06/19: Pelvic stress-fracture = 6-weeks of no running.

                                If it helps with the confidence, I ran a 3:07 a couple of weeks ago and I can't even imagine hitting 19 for a 5k, never mind a low 18.  If you stamina is there (and it looks like it should be with the recent 20 milers), you should get under 2:59.  Good luck!

                                2014 Goals

                                Weight - 200 lbs (stuck around 211)

                                2000 miles (1190 as of July 1)

                                Work on stretching and flexibility (doing so much better at this!)

                                Stay healthy for Boston 2015 (have a BQ -9:00 time) - check!

                                Marathon - 3:10 (Goal Race in October)

                                HM 1:29:59 (Goal race in July)

                                10k - 39:59 (no goal race yet)

                                5k - 19:30 (goal race July 4)