Saturday, April 29, 2006

Today's Run - 2006-04-29

Pretty decent 19 miles on the towpath today with Amy, Dave, Brian. We started slow, but the last 6+ were at about 7:30 pace. I was fairly tired by the end.

Dave Jill and Mario stopped over in the afternoon. We ate too much - and I was doing so well...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

work and today's run

So busy with work that I don't have a spare minute. 15 hours yesterday, 10 the day before.

I do have time to run though. 15 along the river today in 1:51 - pretty durn good with a strong 2nd half.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Today's Run - 2005-04-25

Really good treadmill run today. It was cold (30s) outside, so I stuck to the hotel mill. Pretty good going - 12 in 81 minutes with 8 x 1600 averaging 6:20.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Today's Run - 2006-04-24

I'm in a different hotel (Courtyard at the Depot) so I went exploring today. Then I wound up at the U of Minn. track. I'm about a mile closer than I was from the City Center Marriott. Of course this means that it's a mile or a bit less to walk to work every day. Oh well.

I hadn't expected to do any speedwork, but once on the track, I decided, what the heck? So I did some 200's. Wound up with 8, averaging a pretty-durn-fast 36 seconds. Altogether I did 10 in about 83 minutes.

Since I need some longer speedwork, I'll probably head to the track either tomorrow or Wednesday. Problem is, it'll be colder - today was nice: about 50.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Today's Run - 2006-04-23

Great long run today with the Vertical Runner group. 20+ miles in 2:37 or so. Felt good and strong the whole way. Ran with Eileen Meisler, some other familiar, and some new folks. We did the towpath, bike and hike, and old carriage trails. Best I've felt since Boston.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Today's Running and Some Other Stuff

Other stuff first:

Kathy and Mike came over for pizza yesterday. Debbie is done with their tiller, but they'll take it back another time. Debbie's been working hard to prepare that garden. I've been busy with work even though many of the hours aren't billable. Last minute trip arrangements took up a good deal of Friday's time.

I ran 3 on the mill and then did 11 with Dave and Amy on the towpath. Sure was nice to run on that towpath again. Nice spring morning. I'm starting to almost feel human again, but still sore, tired and slow.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Today's Run - 2006-04-21 - and other stuff

On the Lester Rail Trail for the first time in 5-6 months. Very nice. And I got under 9 mpm! Wow.

Went to see Mom the other day. She sure liked the spring blossoms.

I'm re-directed to go to Target next week vs Bellsouth. Causing a lot of work to line it up.

Barry got into Columbia for a master's program. Good news.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Today's Running - 2006-04-20

Very slow going this morning. I did the same 11-mile route as a week ago, but MUCH slower. Doesn't bother me too much, but I do need to begin to get into shape for Cleveland, and this is the time I need to do it.

I went out again in the late afternoon. That one was REALLY bad - 2 miles was all I could do. I had planned to get some warm (70s) weather running in. Bleh.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Dan Horvath's Adventures in Beantown: The 2006 Boston Marathon

There were only a couple of random reasons for making the pilgrimage this year. Friends Brian and Eileen Peacock invited me, I had a free airline ticket that needed to be burned soon, and I had written in Marathon and Beyond about this being the 10th anniversary of the 100th anniversary running of the Boston marathon, and thus felt somewhat obliged to make an appearance.

Still having it bounce around in my head that I absolutely cannot run my fastest in Boston, I wasn't going to go all out. I was going to use this as a stepping stone to Cleveland, where I was going to really rock and roll. Yes, Boston was going to be a "training run". With this in mind, I ran hard at a half marathon the previous weekend, and planned to just take it easy and go with the flow for Boston Weekend.

And for the most part, go with the flow I did. Saturday the Peacocks had a small gathering at their place that included neighbors, some local runners and my daughter Veronica and son-in-law Barry, who drove over from Connecticut. Easter Sunday we hit the expo for a short time - it was nice to be there before the crowds. Then we went to dinner at their friends' place. Lots of good food and conversation.

On race day Monday, Brian and I got on the New Bedford running club's chartered bus to Hopkinton. For $15 each, the bus dropped us at the start and picked us up at the finish to bring us back. This was as low-hassle a deal as can be had at Boston.

The temperatures were in the low to mid 50s all day, and it was mostly cloudy and somewhat breezy. Darn! This meant I'd have to run fast... or die tryin'. It was not going to be a training run.

So here was yet another contrast to last year - besides the low-hassle vs high-hassle logistics, this time I just couldn't get warm while waiting around the athletes village whereas last year I was soaking up that hot sun. This year I went into the school to get a pre-race massage. Not because I thought I needed one (never tried one before a thon before), but just to get out of the cold for a while. This year there was a 2-wave start, and the athletes village was split into two parts. I learned that whereas the 12-noon start area had very long porta-john lines, the 12:30 start area had no lines at all. Gotta remember this if I ever return for my 10th Boston in 2021 or so. I mention 2021 because that will be the 125th running, and I'm sure I won't be able to resist the hoopla and perhaps even write about that great 110th running. I also bumped into training partners Dave Gajewski and Brian Gittinger in the village. We tramped down to the start together, but were all in different corrals.

My number this year was 5448, my highest ever. The 5000 corral didn't get to the starting line until 2:40 or so after the gun went off. The first mile was slow just because it was still so crowded. But the weather was holding - it still felt cool and breezy, with almost no direct sunlight. I felt great. The next several miles went by very easily as I kept the pace between 7 minutes and about 7:10.

Obligitory Wellesley Report: Wildly enthusiastic gals as usual, but I don't think there were as many as other years. My theory is that since this was Easter weekend, a lot of them were at home for a visit. Best sign: "Flash Us", then in smaller letters: "(Men only, please)". I kept my shorts on, but I felt like I was now running faster again.

Only I wasn't. Here are the mile splits for the 1st half:
1) 7:22
2) 7:06
3) 7:05
4) 7:00
5) 7:09
6) 7:07
7) 7:09
8) 7:12
9) 7:05
10) 7:16
11) 7:15
12) 7:16
13) 7:21

I think my half-way split was something like 1:34 and change. If I could run even splits, I'd have a great day, but I didn't like the trend of those mile splits. My effort level seemed to be constant, but the times were steadily slowing. I've been here before. Many times.

I did still feel pretty good though. Last year, everything hurt for the whole run. This time I was only hurting a bit, and I definitely was not over-heating or dehydrated. I knew there were some more steep downhills coming up, and made up my mind to hit those fast. I also knew that the Newton uphills, including Heartbreak, were looming.

Miles 14-20 were like this:
14) 7:18
15) 7:15
16) 7:00 - big downhill
17) 7:30 - the start of the Newton Hills
18) 7:30
19) 7:06
20) 7:23
21) 7:59 - Heartbreak Hill

I was somehow holding my own through the hills. Of course the uphills were slow, but I wasn't crashing and burning altogether. I still felt like I had something left. I hit the 20-mile mark at about 2:24 and a half. I could still run a decent time if I could only pick the pace back up to the very low 7-minute range until the finish. The only problem was that Heartbreak Hill was next. And yes, it was tough, and my slowest of the bunch.

After the crest of Heartbreak Hill, there are some more steep downhills, and no other major uphills until the finish. So it was hammer time. And somehow, hammer I did:

22) 7:00
23) 7:16
24) 6:49
25) 7:08
26.2) 8:21 for last 1.2 - I think this works out to a 6:57 pace

For those last 5 miles I knew I could finish fast. I didn't think I could - I knew I could! Felt great to be passing so many runners. It was a little tough to get around them at times, but I managed.

I crossed the line in 3:09:14. My best since 2002, and my best Boston since 1997. I'm extremely happy that I was able to finish so strong. That cool weather was *wonderful*. Another factor: I took a Gu at about mile 17, and then others at about miles 20 and 23. This time, they really seemed to help.

After a long wait, I got another massage (an excellent one) afterwards. I then lumbered back to the bus to finally get into some warm clothes.

I placed somewhere in the 2000's. That's understandable at a big race like Boston. But how in the world did 78 50-year-olds beat me?? Oh well, I'll still take it. There are so many races, especially marathons where I fail to meet my own expectations, usually after starting out at a fast pace, that I'd better savor this unusual situation where I actually met my tough standards.

Now that this "training run" is over, I'd better start training for Cleveland. I fear that I may have jeopardized my chances of a sub-3 there by running this one so hard. I may just do my best at Cleveland and really hit one hard in the fall. We'll see.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Today's Running - 2006-04-13

I did the 11-mile course through the new subs once again today. Wanted to do better than Tuesday. I did! Much better. I really shattered the course PR this time. (82.5 minutes vs 84.5 the other day, including my first ever, I think, tempo run on Sleepy Hollow.) Even so, I should still be able to run it faster. But I'll take it for now.

I did another 3 at lunch time. I was real nice - sunny and in the 60s. I did the Presidents run in a near-tempo 21:13.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Recent Running and Other Stuff

I did 3 on the mill and then 10 on the roads on very tired legs on Sunday. Twas my slowest in a while, but I just wanted to get the miles in. These early spring runs have been enjoyable, with the birds singing, the cool crisp air and the early sunrises.

Today I tackled my 11-mile route through the new subs. I did 84.5, which isn't real fast, but it's by far my best on this course. Still couldn't manage to get down to tempo pace even when it felt like I was flying. Towards the end when I was slowing down, it wasn't quite as bad as I thought.

Yesterday I got down to 151! Today I was back to 152, but that ain't bad either.

Been real busy with work - 14 hours yesterday. I'm starting at 7am through Wednesday, so that puts a damper on running.

Debbie went to see newly-returned Mom yesterday, and Carol met them as well.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Today's Race

I always like races that have a lot of words in them. Today's was the Cleveland West Road Runners Club Spring Classic Half-Marathon and Five-K. The plan was to run the first 7 miles easy - maybe about 7 minute pace, and then hammer the last 6.1, bringing the pace down to about 6:30, and completing the whole thing in about 89 minutes.

Didn't happen. I felt like I was running very slowly, but those first couple miles were in the 6:30 to 6:40 range. After about 3 1/2, we turned back into the cold wind. And I do mean cold - it was 33, but that strong westerly wind brought the wind chill well into the 20s. So the 2nd quater of the race was tough. I went through the half-way point in this double out and back course in about 43:40 or so. About 2 minutes faster than I had planned. What would this do to my 2nd half hammering?

I did manage to pick up the pace just a bit. Most of the 2nd half miles were right around 6:30, even those going into the wind. I powered away from a group I was running with at about mile 8, but one guy came back and passed me at about mile 12. I still did finish fairly strong - my last mile was my best - a 6:21.

I came in at about 1:26:40. So I did manage to do those last 6.1 in just under 40 minutes; at least this went according to plan. I think it was about 10th place overall and 1st in my age group. They gave me my award as I crossed the finish line - I like that. This may be the fastest I've ever run this course, and I've done it many times. It's also my best half in about 5 years or so. Still not quite where I want to be yet though.

Now I gotta rest/recover, train and then taper in the 9 days between now and Boston.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Yesterday's Shopping and Today's Running

Last night Debbie made stuffed tilapia for Kathy and Jessy, and then we all went to Mustard Seed for the ingredients to today's concoction, and then to Staples for a new camera for Jessy.

Today's running was ok. 5 outside in 40 minutes, and then 10 on the mill with 7 at marathon pace. So so... Trying to recover for the 1/2 on Saturday, so I took a cold bath. Could only stand 4 minutes! It just hurt too much. Don't know why I could stand it in the summer but not now...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

today's run and busy

2 on the mill today. weight back down to 152 - that's good.

Been real busy with work lately - hard to keep up with all that as well as other life stuff. Been reading the DaVinci Code and watching movies in the spare time I do have.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Today's Run - 2006-04-04

After some so-so runs and one stinker, I was starting to lose faith. Also working against me today was the cold (30F with some cold wind) and the fact that I ran some treadmill intervals late yesterday afternoon. Since Dave didn't run, and since the weather wasn't too awful, I decided that today would be the serious speedwork day.

Glad it happened the way it did. Like last week, I did 8 x 1600, averaging about 6:22 (6:25,6:23,6:23,6:20,6:22,6:23,6:20,6:14). Actually a bit better than last week. Excellent!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Recent Running

Some decent, but not great running in Connecticut, in some decent (40s, low 50s):

On Saturday I did about 21 in about 2:54. Most of the miles were rather slow - about 8:30 pace, but then when I finally found the 5-mile race course (after looking for it for most of the first 13 miles), I picked it up some - perhaps 7:45 or so pace.

I was tired on Sunday - excuses include Saturday's 21, Saturday's walking in NYC, and daylight savings time. But it really wasn't that bad. Half of the miles were slow again, until I once again wound up on the 5-mile course and managed an 8-minute pace there. Altogether 10 in 83.5.

Then came today. The weather was good (low 50s, very windy) but I wasn't. I did my 11-mile loop that includes the new subs, and it was my biggest stinker in a long time. 96 minutes - pretty much of a death march.

To atone, I stepped on the mill in the afternoon - 4 in 27 and a half with 8 x 400M averaging 90 seconds. A little atonement goes a long way.

Weekend In Connecticut

It was tough for me to break away from work, but Debbie and I spent a whirlwind weekend in Connecticut to visit Veronica and Barry. Not much happening Friday night, but Saturday we spent the day in "the city". Stood in line at TKTS and wound up with tickets to "The Producers" at 35% off - still about $300. Then we walked a long way to the Candle Cafe, a vegan restaurant that Veronica liked. It was yummy - Debbie and I bought their cookbook. The play was really great fun - extremely funny. The only bad thing was the ridiculously uncomfortable seats. Ate again at Friday's and took the train back to their joint. A long but fun day.

Barry got the bad news that evening - he wasn't accepted at Case for his PhD quest. They're going to have to decide what to do now.

We're planning to return in a few weeks for his graduation.

Hinckley is Back

Okay, okay. Hinckley never really left. But a lot of us did; we hadn't been meeting there for our Sunday morning runs for quite some tim...