Competitive Jerks Racing and Training - 2023 (Read 498 times)


RIP Milkman

    mmerk - I do understand what others are saying about you getting better at marathoning by running more marathons, but I do think you are a different case because that’s all you’ve done the past year, i.e. only run 2 marathons. It’s also true you get better at racing by running more races, and in your case, I think you need to race more and do fewer big “test” workouts. Fishy and Dave have run so many marathons and races, for them, they’re going to get better at marathons by running marathons. You are a different case: you haven’t raced enough in general in the past few years.


    At a bare minimum, if you run a marathon in April, you should be running at least 2 other races before then. Run a 5K/10K, maybe two, before starting a 12 week block. Then run a half marathon tune up anywhere from 3-5 weeks out from the race (DW likes 3 weeks out, I like 5 weeks out, but it’s totally a personal preference).


    Either way, running another 18 week block with zero races in it besides the marathon is the worst choice.




    I’ll catch up on others later this week.

    5K: 16:37 (11/20)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:14:57 (5/22)  |  FM: 2:36:31 (12/19) 


    Next Race: NYC Half (3/19)


    Running Problem

    Problem Child

      First off....HOLY SHIT RYAN ROOT!?!?!?!?!?!!?!??!!!!!!! WOW MAN!



      more detailed introduction:


      I'm Scott (39 this year), I live in Reno with 2 kids (5 and almost 2). I grew up wrestling as a teenager, switched to body building, then stopped all activity for a variety of reasons. I hit 195 lbs (88.45 kg) and at 5'8" tall I was filling out size 34 pants. I stopped stepping on the scale because I'd always considered 200 lbs as GROSS fat. I met a guy at a party with my now wife who had just done a Tough Mudder. I told my wife "I'm doing that next year" and she laughed. It was the challenge I needed. Both from her and the physical aspect. I followed the tough mudder training plan, and conveniently my wife's friend took up running so I entered a few 5ks. My first one I almost died, and my wife asked how I'd run 13 if I died at 3. I acquired a Garmin 410 for Christmas with HR monitor and just started doing 3-6 mile runs. 6 was a long run and I'd literally start walking as soon as the watch beeped. It didn't matter how far I was going. I finished TM and actually qualified for Worlds Toughest Mudder, felt great, and did 2 more. I found a local running series to keep in shape. I also completed my first half marathon ever. I set a goal of under 2 hours with the logic "well a sub 4 hour marathon is supposed to be a big deal so I should do a sub 2 half marathon." I run portions of the half marathon course as training now. I vividly recall using the Nike training app and a song by Jurassic 5 for about 3 miles to just keep my cadence going. I finished around 1:58.

      Randomly one day I was on the page of faces and saw CIM advertised. IT was a $99 rerun special (remember those days?) and I was stupid enough to say "I'll do ONE. Just to say I did it and answer the question everyone asked." My wife told me to run the local one "before we spend all this money." By "all this money" she means a half tank of fuel/petrol/gas, and a hotel for $200. We WERE kind of broke having just bought our first house. So i jump into a marathon 4 months away with nothing more than a Garmin training plan, and I paid for CIM. The local marathon went so well I crossed half way around 1:56 and thought "I'M ONLY HALFWAY DONE?!?!?!?" I will never forget the volunteer (Juan) at the mile 23 aid station, or my mother coming out with "smart water for all you dumb runners." I'll also never forget texting my wife "I'll be there in 30 minutes" and running to the finish. I actually passed a guy I saw earlier and said "come on lets go man." We ran it in together.  I'd completed my first marathon in 3:56. I made the most logical decision anyone makes at this point. "I have to get better or I'm going to DIE at CIM." You know, instead of considering the $100 a loss and telling people I'd finished.

      I found a local training group for long runs, found RWOL forums, and read books (I don't read books) to figure out how to get better. I ran a 3:23 at CIM, don't remember any of it being hard, ran Chicago in 2018 with the goal of getting my first BQ, and blew up before halfway. Stomach issues. I'd told my wife when I STARTED running I'd quit when I ran the Boston Marathon. After Chicago I went for the "massive downhill marathon" qualifier at Revel Mt. Charleston. It was miserable and is the only time I'd ever considered blatantly quitting a race. I didn't, crossed the finish line with heat stroke AND.....A BQ PLUS 24 SECONDS.  I'd actually hit a point I'd never thought I'd hit when I started running. My dad was at the finish, said he was going to buy me a BQ shirt, and I told him I didn't make it. I also told him "I'm RIGHT THERE. Like RIGHT THERE. I'M SECONDS AWAY." Come September BQ times changed again. Since I didn't get in with my BQ-2 attempt at Mt. Charleston I never stopped training. I told myself "I'm going sub-3 at CIM." I had NO idea what I was doing besides marathon training. Sub-3 was ELITE level runners in my mind and it was the only guarantee I knew (BQ-5) to get into Boston. Checkers or Wreckers became the approach going into CIM, where I first met Cal (also another member from Oakland who paced a blind runner to a first place), and had my first ever sub-3. I received a text message AS I crossed the line from my mother in law (thank you Garmin/Bluetooth/Brooks running shorts with cell phone pocket) and rang the bell I'd wanted to ring. I botched the video.

      Covid canceled Boston so I went for another BQ at CIM (Sub 3) and PR'd. Again. Without any sort of pains or agony or anything. It was a beautiful marathon and set me at a level I'd again never thought I'd be reaching for.


      After my first CIM I'd actually grown to enjoy the hour daily runs marathons had me doing and it just because enjoyable to put in 40 mile weeks.


      All my stories from races are here. They're "stream of conscious" and contain some profanity. Yes, I talk to myself and my body parts when I run/race.


      MY week has sucked. Work has sucked, weather has sucked, and I've NOT gained the motivation I actually expected to have to train for my first Boston marathon. I tried to do 6 miles at 6:50/mi pace and my stomach was NOT having it. Today my garmin is telling me my heart rate puts me at unbalanced, so I'm probably sick. Mother Nature brought me about 8" of snow on New Year Eve so I spent some time sledding with kids, and the sidewalks aren't cleared for running here. Neither are my paths I do speed work on. Today is the start of the week, I was going to do a 12x400m run, and I'm losing the motivation to do it. It sucks. I don't know what to do about it either. "It's all mental" as Cameron Hanes says just isn't cutting it. Boston is 15 weeks away and I'm not in the shape I THOUGHT I'd be in. Life is just piling on a bunch of things and it's killing my motivation and training passion. I probably went out too fast (targeting 6:40-45/mi pace) for where I'm at right now combined with not eating lunch (1:30 workout) but it just hurt me emotionally to quit the workout while struggling to keep a 7:00/mi pace at mile 4.


      Weekly for period: From: 12/26/2022 To 01/01/2023

      <caption>Weekly Grid</caption>
      Date Name mi km Duration Avg/mi Avg/km Elevation Gain
      in ft
      12/28 25-65 in less than a minute. 0.82 1.31 00:00:54 01:06 00:41 16
      12/28 That time it was πŸ—‘ 7.30 11.74 00:54:46 07:30 04:40 148
      12/29 That time it was Coors light with organic gluten free and vegan options. 16.01 25.77 02:12:48 08:18 05:09 1224
      12/30 That time I there is a difference between CAN’T and WON’T. 9.10 14.63 01:13:45 08:06 05:02 226
      12/31 That time it was a wet cold. 7.25 11.67 01:01:55 08:32 05:18 184

      Total distance: 40.47mi


      MMekele Awesome you declared war on the marathon. It's the one thing I did and it made me improve. As for do you. My last race was a Turkey Trot and I'd forgotten how much I gain from races. It is much different than a workout for me and I can pull some speed and UMPH from somewhere. Marathons have a much longer recovery period for me as well. If you can run a marathon, not get the time you want, then start training again in 2-3 weeks that's awesome. I'd probably take a month off just because of the time commitment to marathon training, and I can take race results really hard. 


      Keen what is up with not putting ANY races up there?


      dk I ran the entire 2019 CIM thinking "please don't snap" about my ankle. I'd rolled it holding a 45 lb kid at a trampoline park about a month before. Sometimes the "injury" is more of a pain than an actual injury.


      fishy WOW! amazing time. I was expecting to say you blew up, and apparently you're much faster than I expected.

      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 55.2

      5k18:xx | Marathon 2:55:22


      Hot Weather Complainer

        I've enjoyed all the intros, catching up on new/forgotten info.


        Fishy - Beautifully done!  PR and first place already on this thread.  Starting as hopefully we will continue.

        5km: 18:40 9/23 β”‚ 10km: 39:10 8/23 β”‚ HM: 1:26:48 9/23 β”‚ M: 3:34:49 6/23


        Upcoming Races:

        Christchurch Marathon April 21, 2024


        Mmmm.... toasty

          Hey everybody - Happy New Year! You all and the thread are off to a roaring start (temporary bouts of illness and lack of motivation aside, which I know won't keep you all down for long).


          Me: So... due to lack of time, I've decided to revert to lurking for now. I really appreciate the support you all gave me Oct-Dec: it did make a difference! I hope to pop in here occasionally and perhaps crash any Boston Marathon meetups that occur  . Fine to PM me or log-lurk.


          Fishy: "break 19:18" my butt. Congrats on a huge PR + OA win!



          Chinese-learning sentence of the day:

          ζˆ‘ηš„ζ‰‹ζœΊι‡Œζœ‰δΈ€εƒδΊ”η™ΎεΌ ηŒ«ηš„η…§η‰‡: There are 1500 cat photos on my cell phone


          Mother of Cats


            Me: So... due to lack of time, I've decided to revert to lurking for now. I really appreciate the support you all gave me Oct-Dec: it did make a difference! I hope to pop in here occasionally and perhaps crash any Boston Marathon meetups that occur  . Fine to PM me or log-lurk.




            Well, at least I'll still get to see you around!  And I do hope you'll pop in when you are able to.


            Merkle - I'm going to totally agree with JMac on the racing thing.  I know you are a fairly experienced runner, so you don't necessarily need to learn how to race.  But racing breaks up the training cycle (which is a good thing) and prevents you from becoming stale.


            Personally, I don't think it's too tight a turnaround to do Salisbury.  I think 12-14 weeks between marathons can be sufficient, as long as you don't try to shoehorn a massive training cycle in between.  Instead, you take a break after each marathon, and then do a shortened training cycle with 1-2 shorter races included.


            RP - that was a wall of text and I read it all and enjoyed it.  (I am sorry about the sucky week)

            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.


            Mother of Cats

              Also, thread-dictator CK - when you get a moment, can you put me down for the Houston Marathon on January 15.  Thanks.

              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.


                Keen - races for the front page for me:

                5 Feb - Clevedon Country HM (1:17: xx)

                2 Apr - Waterfront HM (tbc)

                6 May - Southern Lakes HM (tbc)


                I've set a pretty conservative goal for Clevedon HM given the temperatures and humidity at that time of year are likely to be rough, even with a 7am start time, plus there's a couple km on trail (plus my training was crap for most of December and the body only seems to be starting to come right now).  How that goes will probably set the agenda for the races that follow.

                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: Xterra Riverhead, 3 Sept, got super muddy.

                Up next: Devonport HM, 1 Oct, goal: course PB.

                "CONSISTENCY IS KING"

                Running Problem

                Problem Child

                  Darkwave I’m usually a man of few words.

                  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 55.2

                  5k18:xx | Marathon 2:55:22


                    Yikes falling behind here.


                    Steve and Fishy I'm very happy to see those PRs, excellent job!


                    I've been reading the input from Dave, FishyDW and others. Thanks for the insight. I'm going to see how the next few weeks pan out before making any official decisions, and I will be weighing all of your inputs.


                    Also thanks for telling me about that website and looking up races for me Dave. 


                    JMac I'd be happy to hop into a 5k or 10k or two, and especially a HM. I agree I didn't race enough the last two cycles, putting too many eggs in the marathon basket. But recall I did run a 10k half way through my cycle for NCR. And I did do the summer race series so I spent some time working on speed in between the marathon cycles. Anyway, I'll start looking for a local 5k or 10k to do soon and see how it goes.


                    edit: For the record I think that last 20 miler I did may have been overkill, and may have hurt me more than it helped me for NCR.


                    RP Sorry to hear training isn't going the way you like at the moment. But 15 weeks out is enough time to get lots of work in. Bailing on workouts happens to us all. I wouldn't give up yet. I've had days where a pace felt faster than it should have, and then about two weeks later I'll try again and often it goes better.


                    RIP Milkman

                      Flavio - do you have COVID again? It definitely sounds like it based on your description. Plus, I know talk of COVID will get Mikkey out of his cave.


                      Fishy - a new PR and winning the race??? Wow. What a start. Congrats.


                      mmerk - that's right I did forget about that race, but I still think the ideas hold.


                      Steve - if you qualify by 1 second, you have the qualifier. The only thing that does suck about NYC is it's first come, first serve, so you do have to sign up ASAP.



                      I have a rust busting 10K coming up, just because I need some sort of idea what fitness I'm in for VDOT before starting this training cycle for 5K/10k. I've run 2 tempo runs in 2 months, and that is it on training. No runs longer than 90 minutes, no speed work, nothing, and I've cut mileage back to 20-30 MPW on average. So the race should be fun!

                      5K: 16:37 (11/20)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:14:57 (5/22)  |  FM: 2:36:31 (12/19) 


                      Next Race: NYC Half (3/19)



                        Not sure I'm going to be competitive but I've been known as a jerk so I'm 50% ok to post here.




                        Ian from the UK,just turned 50 so another age group moved up.

                        Started running at 43 after doing nothing for 25 years,managed to get my marathon to 3:07 in 2019,but a combination of injuries and CBA has stopped me improving.

                        Had a good 2022 considering,with Boston in 3:14,then a 3:10 and 3:11 in Autumn,my 3:10 is actually my age grade best if that counts?

                        Targets for 2023 are to actually run, and finish my 6 stars with Tokyo in 9 weeks time,then got London as a fun run.

                        Ps-My ultimate highlight of 22 was obviously meeting Darkwave and Dave in Chicago.

                        5k 17:35,10k 36:43,10m 61:55,HM 1:24:03,Full 3:07:39


                        Cobra Commander Keen

                          Fishy - Stellar performance to start off the year!

                          Flavio - Sorry you've come down with something. Hopefully you bounce back quickly and can still make a run at that PR.


                          Merkle - I'm with you on really enjoying training - sometimes it seems like those pesky goal races get in the way of quality training.
                          I definitely think you can go sub 3. I took me about 4 years of seriously training to do so, though a couple attempts were thwarted by an illness hitting mid-race. When I finally did it I focused on a HM in the spring and only ran the one marathon in the fall. Yes, that does put your eggs for the year in a single basket, but it allowed for lots of consistent training without the need to taper and recover for the marathon. Bonus points: I ran several shorter races and felt like I finally got the hang of actually racing, which helped.
                          Do you have ready access to two fast marathons with good weather in a single year?

                          Ryan - Welcome, and wow. I thought I logged a bunch of miles.

                          Dorothea - The random weirdo who just requested to follow you on Strava was (likely) me.
                          That's an absolute monster of a workout, too. How's the foot doing now?

                          DWave - Nice week, and brava on the adjustments for various non-running things.
                          I'll be in your area for a work for a couple days next week!

                          RP - DUDE! I've been traveling and haven't even been able to check the forum, give me a minute! lol.
                          Sorry about the sucky week. I enjoyed the wall-o'-text - it added a bit of time-related context for me.

                          Steve - I'm looking to get my NYC qualifier at a HM this year as well, and I'll take off a bit of work to make sure I'm at a computer when registration opens if I have to.

                          Thursday my right ankle popped while I was getting out of bed (when it was in the air, no weight on it at all). It didn't swell noticeably, but was very stiff and I couldn't even walk on it until after noon. It did loosen up and I was able to get in a very easy run without any pain or adjustment to my stride (the run streak lives on), and it got better over the next couple of days and has been completely fine since Saturday (though I still cut my running short this day).
                          Training will start to ramp up a bit again from here, though I've yet to sign up for any races this year. Speaking of races, the front page should be updated now.

                          5k: 17:58 11/22 β”‚ 10k: 37:55 9/21 β”‚ HM: 1:23:22 4/22 β”‚ M: 2:56:05 12/22


                          Upcoming Races:


                          Wurst Race Half - Oct. 7
                          Heartland 100 - Oct. 14

                          Half 'n" Half Half - Dec. 3


                          Intl. correspondent

                            RP - It looks like you were a UNIT back at Uni.
                            Also, motivation won't help you much. It's discipline that brings the results.


                            Ch17 - Sorry to see you go back to lurking, this thread will be lacking Chinese learning cats.


                            Jmac - No, it's not covid and I actually tested twice cause the symptoms are quite weird.
                            Well, to be fair, the 2nd test was because I wanted to see how the saliva test worked.
                            It's good old throat infection. I had a strong allergic crisis early on that caused damage on my throat, and then some sort of virus or bacteria seized the opportunity to bring it all down.
                            Since we are on the theme of enticing Mikkey back to the thread, (and triggering people online), the doctor told me I can do some IG E blood tests for various types of allergies (especially pollen and dust mite). Then based on that I can decide if I want to take a VACCINE for the specific allergy. I will of course jump on it, as I have near constant sore throat and am constantly having my training interrupted/impacted due to this. FYI I think this information might be useful to more people on this thread. I know the allergies are setting me back since around 2019 when they got worse.
                            This one is the whole package with early on full sinus blockage, ear inflammation on both sides and throat inflammation.
                            That progressed to Saturday where I could barely taste things and was nearly mute. Then I had blood coming out with the secretion, probably because I had been blowing my nose for so many days already.
                            Then on Sunday evening I had pus coming out of my eyes, I probably developed a pink eye as well.

                            Then yesterday evening the cough started.
                            So I went to the Otorrino yesterday and he got me started on antibiotics + ibuprofen for the inflammation, then an antibiotics eye drop for the pink eye (which is much better already), and then a strong anti histaminic to contain the allergies. It should work out.

                            It's more of an annoyance since I don't have any body aches, head aches and stuff. Still I don't feel confident running with this kind of infection going around, better to wait it out.

                            PRs: 1500 4:54.1 2019 - 5K 17:53 2023 - 10K 37:55 2023 - HM 1:21:59 2021

                            Up next: 

                            2023-10-01 - Köln half marathon

                            2023-12-03 - Valencia Marathon

                            Tool to generate Strava weekly


                              I also dream of running my own marathon! But as soon as I get ready for it!!


                              RIP Milkman

                                Then based on that I can decide if I want to take a VACCINE for the specific allergy.


                                I think we start trolling Mikkey by inserting random things into our race repots, like "The last mile was really tough, I swear I thought I saw Anthony Fauci riding a pink unicorn on his way to the Wuhan labs"

                                5K: 16:37 (11/20)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:14:57 (5/22)  |  FM: 2:36:31 (12/19) 


                                Next Race: NYC Half (3/19)