2024 Advanced Training and Racing Thread (still competitive jerks) (Read 277 times)


    Welcome to the 2024 Advanced Training and Racing thread.


    Thanks to our 2023 leader CommanderKeen who also motivated and led us with his excellent perfomances over the last year.


    Here are the general guidelines:

    • Introduce yourself.  Name, age, location and brief running history would be great. What's your favorite distance/race and what are you training for now? What are your goals for 2024? Don't be afraid to provide a reach goal.   
    • I'll post a race calendar and keep it updated with goals, results and observations.  Send me as many of these as you know now and I'll add them.  As new races come up during the year you can post them in the thread but please also send me a direct message so I make sure to get them added.
    • Be Involved!! Post and comment frequently. Post your weeklies, this isn't a competition and no one will be judging your weeks. I've found it super helpful to read others weekly training.  It helps to illustrate that there are MANY paths to the same goal.  The way to find what works for you is to watch others and try.
    • Banter, disagreements and sometimes agruments do happen. Try to be respectful and not take anything personaly. Also don't personally attack others.  Let's keep the trash talk on the course!!
    • Please post in miles as well as KMs, post weigth in pounds and stones....I still have no idea what a stone weighs
    • For those using Strava (highly reccomended) Flavio created a very cool and simple way to extract your weekly to post here.  https://strava-weekly.herokuapp.com/ 
    • Realistic goals are great.....sandbagging is frowned upon and will be called out when observed

    Notable Quotables:


    “We runners are all a little nutty, but we’re good people who just want to enjoy our healthy, primitive challenge. Others may not understand running, but we do, and we cherish it. That’s our only message.”
    – John J. Kelley, two-time Boston Marathon winner, U.S. Olympian


    “Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda


    My favorite quote and inspiration provided by JMac


    Fishy - there's one solution to your problem: get faster  

    5K 18:36 (2023), 10K 39:40 (2022), 1/2 1:24:37 (2023), full 2:58:36 (2015) 


      Race Calendar


      Runner Date Race Goal Result Notes
      MarkyMark January 20 The Goat    3:07:55 Finished and didn't need a chiropractor after!
      Dktrotter January 28 Miami Half Between PR- 1:37  1:49:06 Injuries...injuries
      Dktrotter February 10 Barrier Free 5K PR    
      Darkwave February 10 By George 5K 21:30 (or faster)  21:59  
      MMerkle February 10 By George 10K   35:56 1st place overall!!
      MarkyMark February 11 Coatsville Half   1:17:24  3rd overall course PR!
      MarkyMark February 11 Coatsville 2K   13:14 The real "goal race"
      SteveChCh February 25 Motorway Half    1:29:55  
      MMerkle February 25 MD-DC club challenge 10 miler Sub 60 min.  1:00:03 4 seconds away...
      Darkwave March 2 One City Half-Marathon Sub 1:33:20 and/or top masters placing  1:34:05  
      AndyTN March 9 Germantown Half Sub 1:36  1:34:48 Yes! goal achieved.  New PR for ANDY!!!
      Flavio March 10 Bienwald marathon Stealth Mode 2:58:42 Sub 3 with time to spare!!! Superman on a unicorn does it!
      Running Problem March 17 Leprechaun Chase 1 second faster than Keen  18:51 Solid! 
      MarkyMark March 10 Maraetai Half    DNF Sick/Sick/Sick
      Darkwave March 30 Easter Classic 10K tbd    
      MMerkle April 6 Salisbury Marathon Sub 2:50  2:57:03  
      MarkyMark April 7 Waterfront Half      
      DarkWave April 15 Boston Marathon      
      Darkwave April 15 Boston Marathon Win women's T35-38 division    YES! YES! YES!
      Fishy April 15 Boston Marathon Sub 3  3:00:41  Just missed it.  Heat and hills LOL
       Hashiritai  April 15 Boston Marathon      
       SteveChCh  April 21 Christchurch Marathon      
      AndyTN April 21 Germantown Schools 5K Sub 20:00    
      Dktrotter April 28 Glass City Marathon 3:25    
      Marby April 28 Ballarat 3:45 (pacer)    
      DavePNW April 28 Eugene Marathon 3:14    
      Andy TN May 26 Conquer the cove 25K Stay upright-No falling    
      Darkwave June 22 Garry Bjorklund (Grandmas) Half-Marathon Top Age-Group placing    
       SteveChCh  September 15 Dunedin Half      
       Marby October 13 Melbourne Sub 3:10?    

      5K 18:36 (2023), 10K 39:40 (2022), 1/2 1:24:37 (2023), full 2:58:36 (2015) 

      Running Problem

      Problem Child

        Name Running Problem

        Age 39. I act my shoe size.

        Location Best Coast

        Brief Running: As a young child I ran around backyards (some call them gardens), and possible front areas as well, chasing whatever I could find. Due to my age I was exposed to Andrew Agassi early on and was drawn to the 2 in 1 shorts and recently shifted from a 7" model to the 5" for more speed and exposure of the brief. No company has attempted to match Andre's flare for color even with the resurgence of 1990's fashion.

        Favorite Distance marathon

        Training Distance currently 5k

        2024 Running Goals 5k PR (Sub-18) and a marathon PR (2:55:22)


        I'm looking forward to 2024 right now and have some irons in the fire with a few more pounds laying in a pile ready to be warmed up depending a lot on how 2024 plays their cards. I just wanted to be the first so people know I'm competitive and take this thread seriously.

        Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.

        VDOT 53.37 

        5k18:xx | Marathon 2:55:22


          Name: Mark

          Age: 42

          Location: Auckland, New Zealand

          Brief Running History: Discovered running kind of by fluke in 2015 after a bad knee injury.  Also discovered I enjoyed it and was quite good at it.  Got quite serious about it.  Won NZ Masters half marathon and 10,000m titles in 2019 and 2020.  Now getting progressively slower, but still enjoying racing, discovering new events (especially trail ones), and doing events with my 6 year old daughter (the 6 month old isn't quite there yet lol).

          Favorite Distance: Probably half marathon but very partial to a 10k also.

          Currently training for: Auckland half marathon series races in Feb, Mar, Apr.  Will figure out the rest later.

          2024 Running Goals: Have fun. Don't get injured. Do new races.


          I don't have any grand plans for 2024. Just have fun. IDK maybe that's against the ethos of this thread... although when I'm racing I'm still competitive as hell (just maybe not quite as quick as I used to be).  But I guess my attitude these days is do the training and the results will be what they will be.


          Still retired from marathons because in the past they've consistently resulted in breaches of goals (1) and (2).  But in 2024 I'd like to give back to running a bit too, since it's given me a helluva lot over the past 9 years.  I'll definitely try and get a sub-1:30 HM pacing gig at Auckland Marathon, and may do some parkrun volunteering and other stuff too.

          3,000m: 9:07.7 (Nov-21) | 5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20)  

          10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) | HM: 1:09:41 (May-21)* | FM: 2:41:41 (Oct-20)

          * Net downhill course

          Last race: Runway5 / National 5k Champs, 16:22, National Masters AG Champ!

          Up next: Still working on that...



          Part of TLC

            Hi, my name is Josh. My last lasting online appearance was on RWOL which I left when I was chronically injured and couldn't stand my own whining anymore. I said I'd be back after my first painfree run of over 60 minutes. A few weeks later RWOL was shut down and life took over.


            Now I'm 57, married, three sons (aged 7, 11 and 14), and still chronically injured – but I've learned to live with that. Pain is shifting around my right AT, PF and heel bone. Some days are good, some are a little bit harder (anybody get the reference?), but I'm running.


            My time zone is UTC+1 (whatever that's in EST) which might complicate communication, my native tongue is German (which might complicate communication as well - please pardon any hiccups you may notice in my writing). I've been lurking around here for a long time, posting has been spotty. As a result I feel that I know some of you quite well (or ar least your RA persona), while you hardly know me. Don't let that irritate you, it will change soon enough.


            Prehistory (TLDR: I'm not the runner I was thirty years ago):


            Played badminton competitively in my youth. Took up running in 1987 to stay in shape whenever I couldn't train properly due to various reasons. Running took over quickly. YTD from 1987 to 1993:


            1987 – 186 / 115,6

            1988 – 897 / 557,4

            1989 – 2889 / 1795,2

            1990 – 4170 / 2591,2

            1991 – 4571 / 2840,4

            1992 – 3855 / 2395,5

            1993 – 5180 / 3218,8


            Lifetime PRs that year: 3K 10:34, 5K 18:22, 10K 38:14. Ran 43,5K in 3:14Tight lippedx. Still the family records but I expect our oldest son to break the 3K and 5K this year or 2025 (if he works on his endurance).


            Never got faster than that. In hindsight I guess my training was too endurance oriented, no drills, no sprints, no hills, almost no intervals, lots of threshold and an almost weekly long run of 32 to 35 kilometers. Self “coached” with no clue, I did what I was (more or less) good at.


            After 1993, life took over and made me set other priorities (or forced other priorities on me) – exams, time abroad, work, family, unpleasant family stuff, illnesses – you name it. I never stopped running completely, at times I simply needed it to stay sane, but YTD varied very much over the years (in the last 22 years the highs were around 2.100 km / 1.300 miles (2006 and 2014), the lowest at 286 km / 177 miles in 2013 with most years between 630 / 390 and 1360 / 850).


            Fast forward to the last twelve months: January was fine, February was fine until I got Covid. Next “run” was 600m in June. Except for neurological / cognitive issues I have since recovered enough to run every other day. I'm still 30 to 40 seconds per K slower than before but considering that this is already around 30 seconds faster per K than in August I'm probably on the right track. If only some medical profesional could help with my foot … .


            Goals for 2024:


            A - No further injuries. If A → B - YTD of 2102 kilometers


            Things I should do to facilitate reaching my goals: Eat and drink better, sleep better, start a prehab routine. Buy new running shoes.


            Goal for 2025: Shorten the introduction.

            Don't hurry - next AG will start 2026


            Hot Weather Complainer

              Welcome to 2024 everyone.  I'm Steve, based in Christchurch, New Zealand.  I've been running for 20 years but only consistently (and properly) for I'd say the last 5 years.


              I've set new mileage PRs in each of the last 4 years and got the pay-off in 2022 and 2023 with PRs in every distance (5km, 10km, Half and Full marathons).  Until 2021 my main distance was the half - I chose a bad time to enter marathons with many cancelled before I ran one and what felt like a never ending cycle of marathon training.  Since then my focus has been the full - all the regulars here know how that has gone with major issues with cramp.  More details are in the yearly wrap up in the 2023 thread.


              I'm heading into 2024 with my main goal currently to get through the Christchurch Marathon with no or minimal cramp issues - if I do that I think I can get a Boston qualifier which is sub 3:20, so in reality probably more like sub 3:14.  I have a longer term goal of running either New York or Boston.  I have a New York Qualifier for 2024 but as we all know, that still makes it a long shot as an international entrant.  If I do get an entry and Christchurch goes well I will use it either in 2024 or 2025, depending on life etc.  A good race in Christchurch will put Boston 2025 on the table too.


              An even longer term goal is to try and make the Canterbury team (the province in which Christchurch is the main city) in 2027 when I tick over into the next age group and my current 10km pace is enough to get selected for Nationals.  Whether I can maintain that level for 3 years is a major unknown but no harm in trying.


              I'll also have a crack at PRs in the 5km, 10km and Half again this year.  I think the 5km and 10km are there for the taking, while the Half feels like a stretch goal because when I set my current PR in September it just felt like the perfect day and that doesn't happen often.

              5km: 18:34 11/23 │ 10km: 39:10 8/23 │ HM: 1:26:48 9/23 │ M: 3:29:54 6/24


              2024 Races:

              Motorway Half Marathon February 25, 2024 1:29:55

              Christchurch Half-Marathon April 21, 2024 1:27:34

              Selwyn Marathon June 2, 2024 DNF

              Wellington Marathon June 23, 2024 3:29:54

              Foster Park Run July 20, 2024 19:02

              Dunedin Half Marathon September 15, 2024

              Timaru Ten October 26, 2024




                Mother of Cats

                  Darkwave - female and 49 years old. I live in Arlington, Virginia, which is the part of Northern Virginia that is essentially Washington DC without the negatives of living in DC proper. About 50% of my weekly mileage is run in DC or Maryland, not Virginia.


                  I started running 17 years ago, at the age of 33, so I'm an adult onset runner. My previous sport was horses - hunter-jumper to be exact.


                  Outside of running I'm a lawyer with the federal government, specializing in all the ways that law and IT interact (think information governance, policy, privacy, ediscovery, electronic legal research, cybersecurity response). I mostly telecommute (go in one day a week) and live very close to a track and an indoor pool - very convenient for training. If you're wondering how I fit stuff in - that's how.


                  I live with my boyfriend/partner of a decade plus and three defective cats (one has severe allergies, the other two are visually impaired). I also have a treadmill called Fluffy.


                  In February 2023 I was officially diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinsons Disease (yes, I know this is new information - I was sitting on this info for several months for a few reasons, including wanting to have personal conversations before I posted on social media).  It's frustrating, since my body no longer works the way it used to.  But OTOH, marathon running combined with yoga and strengthwork is the best possible thing I could be doing for it (high intensity aerobic exercise is currently the only way to slow or stop the progression), so now I have a medical team who wants to help me run a lot and fast.


                  Other positives - the 3:20:29 I ran in Chicago this fall is apparently the fastest marathon ever run by anyone (male or female) with Parkinsons Disease (I think I can get that lower).  And I'm now a late entry to Boston 2024 - they've expanded their para-athlete competition for 2024 to include a division that I should qualify for (T35-38) with substantial prize money to the top 3 finishers in each gender.


                  The BAA is holding a spot for me in the para field contingent on getting "classified" for the T35-38 division (which will hopefully happen a few days before Boston).  If for some reason I don't get classified, they'll very nicely let me run anyway in the regular field rather than go up to Boston for nothing.


                  Besides the above, I also have asthma and ulcerative colitis (mild), so I manage both of those. I have not yet been diagnosed with hypochondria.


                  My lifetime PRs (all run at ages 43-46) - Mile: 5:25 (2017); 5K: 18:51 (2017); 10K: 38:56 (20:17); 10M: 1:02:28 (2019); Half: 1:24:08 (2019); Full: 2:57:42 (2018).


                  Post- Parkinsons PRs: 5K 21:45, 10M: 1:10:19, Half: 1:33:20, Full: 3:20:29


                  I eat a lot of Chipotle before races.

                  Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.


                  And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.


                  Are we there, yet?

                    George here, the old man of the group at 77.  Not sure I belong here as I'm competitive only in my own mind. Most of my races don't have age groups, but if they did, the only reason I might place in the top 3 is because there are 3 or fewer runners in my AG.


                    After a less than stellar high school running career as slowest on the team all four years, I took a 4 year break, then returned to running at 21 and have been running ever since.  Something weird must have happened during those 4 years, because my running improved dramatically. In just 2 months I dropped my mile PB from the 5:22 I ran in HS to 4:56.4.  By my mid-30s these were my PBs:
                    800m - 2:07, mile - 4:41, 5K - 16:22, 10K - 35:10, HM - 1:19:03, Marathon: 2:54:56
                    Those early days were before courses were certified, so the 5K and 10K times may be off a bit, also the mile since it was a road mile. My PB on the track is 4:45.9 indoors (1500m equivalent 4:24.3).


                    I'm here mostly to provide a historical perspective and add my two cents (with inflation shouldn't that be more like 50 cents) to topics of interest to me.


                    I also now run mostly fixed time ultras and 50Ks.  After dealing with a series of medical issues the last half of 2023, my 2024 goals realistically are very modest, 40 miles/ 65 km for 12 hours and 7:45 for 50K.  I may even try a 24 hour race late in the year.

                     2024 Races:

                          03/09 - Livingston Oval Ultra 6-Hour, 22.88 miles

                          05/11 - D3 50K, 9:11:09
                          06/17 - 6 Days in the Dome 12-Hour, 35.82 miles
                          10/12 - Hainesport 12-Hour





                    Part of TLC

                      DW, Steve - what I said on the other thread.


                      Flavio - "suffer horrible consequences from falls, especially after 55" - that's a typo, right?


                      George - Of course you belong here - or else I should leave immediately. I'm not competitve now and I won't be for the rest of the year. But I have to restart somewhere and planning to be competitive again in 2026 is reason enough to post in this thread. Besides, "advanced training" probably includes training at an advanced age anyway.


                      Happy and healthy new year, everybody!

                      Don't hurry - next AG will start 2026




                        Part of TLC

                          Josh - I have edited it to remove my usual hyperbole. But yeah, strength training is super important for general health.


                          Thanks - I felt sooooo old when I read that. But of course I feel old at other times, too. Maybe I am .

                          Don't hurry - next AG will start 2026




                            Are we there, yet?

                              DW - getting a diagnosis at least lets you set up a proper course of treatment.  That would be great to be able to compete for prize money at Boston if all the necessary approvals are made.


                              Flavio - maybe your example for strength training will finally get me back to doing that.  It probably was a significant factor in my youth when I had ready access to equipment and trained regularly.


                              Josh - I don't remember you from RWOL, at least not under that userid, but then I spent most of my time in the Beginners Forum.

                               2024 Races:

                                    03/09 - Livingston Oval Ultra 6-Hour, 22.88 miles

                                    05/11 - D3 50K, 9:11:09
                                    06/17 - 6 Days in the Dome 12-Hour, 35.82 miles
                                    10/12 - Hainesport 12-Hour




                              Running Problem

                              Problem Child

                                Wcrunner I laughed at your comment about inflation.

                                darkwave good luck on the life competing as a para-athlete. This explains all the unexplainable health issues of 2023. Are you still on lots of medications, or are they all gone? Las I read you were finally on one you like and didn’t throw off your balance.

                                Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.

                                VDOT 53.37 

                                5k18:xx | Marathon 2:55:22