Akron Marathon Pacer Report

1& 2) Performance and Group

A's all around this time. I really feel I did a good job at Akron this year. Other than the downhills producing two quick miles at the end I was really on all day long. While I am a bit disappointed my perfectly paced day was foiled by those downhills at the end (but glad they were there for my runners to come in quicker) I don't think those two miles broke anyone in my group and I was able to get a few of the girls in a little quicker than they might have gone otherwise.

I wore my garmin just so I could have the data after and just used it to see each individual mile. I wore my timex and set a timer for 8:24 each mile and used that all day to tell the group how far off total time we were. This worked out well, although I noticed towards the end that the marathon guide pace band for 3:40 actually has some 8:23 miles mixed in and I had a little bit of a mix up at mile 25 and 26 looking at my timer versus the time on the pace band. (Should have stuck with the timer since those downhills were a bit too quick!)

I love this race, but I must admit doing 26.2 for this first time since May I was nervous and didn't sleep a wink the night before. My mind was just racing and all it was full of was paces, oddly enough not my paces ;) I was glad to be leading the 3:40 group since my training has been going so well this year 3:50 would have been tough for me, but I must admit I was nervous that even 3:40 was going to be an effort since I am in shape to run almost 90 seconds per mile faster than that in a few weeks for my own race. I practiced the pace all week to make sure I would be on.

I was up early and got to the race in time to chat with some locals before getting to the start around 6:20ish. I had a huge group at the start. I went through my spiel at least twice in full and tried to talk to individual runners until the group got too large. I had a lot of half marathoners, quite a few full marathoners, and even a handful of relay runners with me.

We started off our first mile just a hair slow and given the net downhill and crowded start I was happy with the effort. My neighbor Neil was in the group and entertained us with his relay's "Crazy for Swayze" Team shirt and negative morning attitude. I introduced a few of my other local friends to the group and asked around to see where everyone was from, how many first timers we had, and how many gals I had aiming for a BQ.

The group wasn't too chatty but they did chime in every now and then. It became apparent to me quickly that just like last year humidity was going to play a major role on every ones day. I tried to make sure runners were taking in fluids and sports drink throughout the day as well as keeping their upper bodies and breathing relaxed. The weather was very misleading because it was obviously cool, but my humidity radar is pretty good since it affects me so strongly.

My group was very complimentary and commented frequently about me being inhuman as we were really nailing the pace all morning. I just tried to keep them entertained and on task. I did a much better job this year with the rolling miles and not letting the pace get far off overall at any point. At mile 11 before we split from the half marathoners we were about 10 seconds ahead of pace, As they split off I let them know they were likely 20 seconds ahead of pace from the steep descent before the marathoners headed right to the towpath. I know at least one of my local friends made the 1:50 time and when they split off there was at least a handful with him. I am sure the 20 second buffer was appreciated as I heard the hill they had to run up before mile 12 was pretty brutal.

I made sure the full marathoners settled back into our pace as we headed onto the towpath. A lot of people tend to pull forward with the momentum from that steep downhill at 11 but we got back on pace quickly and we were just 2 seconds under at the half marathon mark.

I knew last year I lost a lot of runners through Sand Run. This year I tried to get the group prepared mentally to work the hills. I gave them my tips for keeping strides short, relaxing the breathing, focusing on a spot just a few feet ahead of them on the ground etc. I think this really helped. I still had at least 10-15 with me as we crested Sand Run, and many stayed close to us even if they fell back. And a few were even able to pull back to us once they crested the top. That said I started to lose runners, many due to cramping which was obviously a trend for people that day. At mile 15 I spotted a local friend who has planned to run 3:10 walking backwards, her day thwarted by cramping/trashed quads. I also spotted the 3:20 sign in a trash cash at some point during this stretch which led me to believe the day was even taking it's toll on pacers.

I kept advising my group to take sports drink and gels where available. The area before Garman hill seemed to be the last straw for many. I was down to a small group of 4-5 by that point. I picked up a friend who had run the 4th leg of the relay and introduced her to the group. As it was getting windy I had her run next to me so we could block some wind for those still with us. I lost my last male from the group near the last gel station. His stomach was revolting a bit but he really had done a fantastic job all day (and didn't finish far behind me). At this point we were down to one girl right with us, one close behind, a few we had picked up, and a few within 60 seconds of us.

We were close to right on at 24 and I let the group and those behind us (yelling back) that we could use the downhills to ensure an on time finish. Only one of the girls stayed right with us. Her breathing had become ragged around mile 22 but I encouraged her to relax and she did a great job sticking to us like glue and pulling ahead in the finish chute. I got a little caught up in seeing her finish and got carried away at the end on the pace. (Too excited!) I crossed the finish line and turned back to cheer on the 4 girls behind us that all made it under 3:41 clock time. A glance at the results confirmed that 5 gals that ran with my group all day or at least some of the day made it to Boston. Very exciting.

The chute workers tried to shoo me through but I let them know I wouldn't be moving until the time went over to 3:41. I made my way slowly through the chute so I could chat with those that came in just behind me. Quite a few from my group that I thought were lost came in within 2 minutes which was great to see.

I gave my sign to Ky who I had met at Buckeye half two weeks ago. She did a great job all day and even though I lost her around Garman she gritted it out to get in under 3:41 and was very excited with her performance.

In addition to my group I spotted a few runners who I had chatted with at the expo after the race who were very pleased with the day. A couple first timers who let me know they had gone against my conservative advice and gone out too fast, but who were still very excited to have completed their first marathon.


mile split (off from total time)

1- 8:26.19 (+2)
2- 8:21.34 (-1)
3- 8:24.00 (-1)
4- 8:15.40 (-10)
5- 8:21.73 (-13)
6- 8:29.97 (-7)
7- 8:25.83 (-5)
8- 8:28.99 (0)
9- 8:13.08 (-11)
10- 8:24.40 (-11)
11- 8:24.47 (-11)
12- 8:25.38 (-10)
13- 8:30.20 (-4)
1:49:58 at the half
14- 8:16.70 (-11)
15- 8:22.92 (-12)
16- 8:36.15 (0)
17- 8:08.98 (-15)
18- 8:29 (-11)
19- 8:21.10 (-14)
20- 8:21.98 (-16)
21- 8:23.32 (-16)
22 -8:35.23 (-5)
23- 8:23.19 (-6)
24- 8:31.23 (+1)
25- 8:01.62 (-21)
26- 8:09.95 (-35)
26.2- 1:32 (-38)

3) Marathon Suggestions-
Top notch race as always. My only complaint was the weird surface at the finish. If I had been trying to sprint in I wouldn't have liked it, it seemed like it was loose and you could easily trip over it. Other than that this is a first class event. The expo was great, the pasta dinner was great, and the volunteers were great.

One other nitpicky note, I was on the line early and made a game time decision on where I should position myself. Around 6:45 or so they put up signs for time suggestions and they were way off from where we were placed as pacers. If those signs are going to go up late they should adjust them to match us because once we are in place with 30-40 runners it is really hard to get them all to move :)

4) Pacer Suggestions-
Loved the booth placement this time.
I think maybe that our mantra for this race needs to be to preach conservatism. This is the second year in a row here that humidity played a factor, and this course is not easy to begin with. I really thought about what my approach would have been here if I had been racing it and I think I would have backed off my personal goal by 4 minutes and really tried to go for even split day with even pacing through mile 16 allowing for a slight drop in pace through 19 and a strong finish from 24 on.

I think so many people would have had more pleasing days had they gone out slower. I think it is tempting for people to bank time here but I just don't think that strategy works, I think if you bank it is just going to leave you too trashed to do anything after the climb at Sand Run.

I think perhaps a reminder to the pacers that we shouldn't be banking any time here either would be good. I know it would have been really easy to go way too fast on some of those early downhill stretches. I am glad I was right on at the half, while obviously many were not ready for the course on the day I think it ensured I had many with me at the top of sand run. Many who might have fallen off earlier if I had done one or two miles too quickly early on.

As always thank to Jim for organizing and for having me on the pace team. It is really rewarding to give back to the running community and help other runners. I know next year my pace jobs will be limited by my own racing and training so I am grateful for all the opportunities I had this year.

Week 20

Just a quickie here of the stats. Felt good this week but that isn't too surprising since I had to do a mini taper for pacing and our "track" workout was more of a tempo effort with rest.

September 21st through September 27th- 66 miles

Monday-7 miles easy, 8:46 pace
Tuesday-8 miles with track workout
Wednesday-8 miles 8:20 pace
Thursday-6 miles 8 minute pace (Yoga PM)
Friday-3 miles 8:20 pace
Saturday-26.2 miles 3:39:22
Sunday-8 miles 7:40 pace

Track Workout:

Just 3*1600 with 3 minute rests at half marathon pace 6:29,6:29,6:26

Pacing Akron 3:40 Group This Weekend

Last years Faux Hawk

Looking forward to seeing many friends out at the Akron Road Runner Marathon this weekend!

I will be pacing the 3:40 group and hoping to help a lot of young women (as well as some older men!) make it to Boston!

Probably have too much hair to go with the Faux Hawk again this year but I promise to bring enthusiasm and high spirits for the duration of the race!

Stop by the expo and sign up for a pace group! It is going to be a lot of fun!

Meep Meep!

Last years Akron Pace Team

Air Force Recap In Photos

Photo credit: Brightroom Photography

A big Happy 1:40 Group

More Happy Halfers

Group still holding strong

Happy Pace Leader Right on Target

Group is starting to feel it a bit

Hey I'm Still happy, but there's some wind now

Starting to send those with legs ahead now and starting to lose some of the group

Heading into the finish

Yeah this has got to be closest to the pin worthy

What the heck?

Did you see that?

Oh my god I went over!


A review of the others pacers confirms that only one pacer was under the goal Saturday. Just goes to show we are only as good as the mile markers. Having the mile 13 marker at 12.9 caused all of us to go a bit over the goal. Thankful I was still within 30 seconds and the two ladies I pulled into the finish with me were still ecstatic as well as many that pulled ahead or fell a little behind.

Week 19

This week was mostly easier paced running to recover from the Buckeye half, get fresh to pace the air force half Saturday, and to mentally recharge. My stomach has been upset since Wednesday the 9th and I am hoping I am finally getting over it, let's just say it hasn't been pleasant and came to a real head Friday night when I topped that off with a migraine at the pasta dinner and pacing meeting.

Last Saturday I purchased the Garmin 310XT, so happy to not have to guesstimate my mileage anymore after several months without the Garmin!

After feeling pretty toasted doing the push up workout Tuesday night I decided to back off on the challenge until after the marathon. Winter seems like a better time to try and work on my upper body and core.

Thursday night I finally got back to yoga after an almost 3 month hiatus. We did a lot of hip openers and boy did I need it!

September 14th-20th- 65 miles
Monday- 4.2 recovery miles 8:52 pace
Tuesday- 7.55 miles track, 90 push ups
Wednesday-7 miles easy at lunch 8:38 pace, 6 miles easy on the towpath in the evening 8:46 pace
Thursday- 8.21 miles including tempo and pacing practice, evening yoga 60 minutes
Friday- 7 miles easy 8:31 pace
Saturday- 1:40:30 pacing at Air Force Half Marathon
Sunday- 12 miles 7:41 pace

Key workouts:

Tuesday Track:

Track workout was a little up in the air depending on how I felt post race, we decided to do 4*1200 with a ladder effort. Goal last time we did this workout was 4:35, 4:30, 4:25, 4:20, this time just go by how I felt. Well I didn't feel all that great so it didn't go as well as I would have hoped but still a good hard effort.

4:37.75 (3:00.43)
4:33.45 (3:00.87)
4:28.00 (2:59.35)


Instructed not to do anything under 7:38 the rest of the week after Tuesday's workout except for 2 miles at 7-7:10 pace followed by 3+ at 7:38 pace to practice on Thursday. My legs were absolutely thrashed Thursday even though they felt fine Wednesday night. Paces weren't an issue, but my legs were definitely not happy.


Saturday Pacing:

Legs felt absolutely fantastic, I am chalking it up to yoga and Friday's ice bath.

Sunday Medium Long Run:

What a difference a day makes. It was a struggle to hold 7:40 pace this morning for sure. Just did not feel fresh despite the beautiful weather. Had to make an emergency stomach stop at Bob Evans around mile 11 and a glance in the mirror confirmed I looked like death warmed over. Feeling much better after a post run breakfast and ice bath. Now time to put my feet up for a bit and rest before another week of training!

Air Force Half Pacer Report

A direct copy of my pacer report for pacerjim@hotmail.com

I had a blast pacing today and had a great group! Please email pacer jim if you have any suggestions for me or just want to send positive feedback! Thanks to everyone who ran with me today, sorry I was off at the finish! My first finish over the pin :( 1:40:30

1. Your performance

A+ For enthusiasm, A for pacing, C for finish time. wore two pace bands to avoid a loss this time and wore two watches. I was set on keeping track of pace!

Very even effort day, I felt great and did a great job of encouraging runners throughout. I decided to wear the new garmin since we had been told markers were off here before. Typically the garmin gets behind so I figured I'd just keep an eye on it as an extra point of reference. First few miles seemed to line up pretty well. We were on pace until we hit the incline before mile one, as typical garmin pace was right on but we were about 10 seconds behind at the mile marker. I knew we would be slow but would make it up on the downhill that followed and we did. Very even effort all day, got a little behind on the hills and a little ahead on the downhills. I missed the 11 mile marker and so I never realized that mile 12 and 13 we were actually behind (since 11 was not actually 11, but closer to 10.9, and therefore neither were 12 or 13) when I thought we were ahead, this caused me to be 30 seconds over when I thought I was going to be 20 seconds under. Completely shocked when I looked at the clocks from a distance and realized I was over and had to look at the splits to figure out what the heck happened.

Splits for analysis as well as the garmin mileage for a point of reference. I believe the mileage as I probably added extra at aid stations and not running tangents early in the race and as you can see mile 11 and 12 were short, likely shorter than the Garmin indicated as I definitely was weaving at the aid station around 11.

Split (mile pace off, total pace off) garmin distance

1- 7:50.40 (+12, +12) 1.02
2- 7:23.45 (-14, +2) 1.00
3- 7:34.90 (-4, -2) 1.00
4- 7:45.08 (+7, +5) 1.00
5- 7:30.12 (-8, -3) 1.00
6- 7:46.85 (+8, +5) 1.01
7- 7:37.98 (0, +5) 0.99
8&9- 15:27.22 (+9, +14) 2.01
10- 7:33.23 (-5, +9) 1.00
11&12- 14:48.15 (-28, -19) 1.96
13- 7:38 (0, -19) 0.99
13.1- 1:35.55 (+50, +30) 0.22

garmins average pace was 7:36 so I thought I was good to go as it is usually about 2 seconds fast for me compared to the actual race pace.

2. Your group

I had a large group throughout the day, so large I had runners comment to me after that they decided to run ahead or behind because they felt too crowded. I had many PRs and quite a few runners go ahead at mile 12 (Thank goodness!) and earlier. I had a lot of first timers that came in ahead or close to me. One lady with headphones that ran right next to me through about mile 10 but lost her at the hill. Since I thought I was ahead at mile 12 around mile 12.5 I started running backwards and calling back to runners to reel me in and get under 1:40, I managed to get quite a few to go by me and two women who thanked me at the finish for it despite being a little over 1:40. Had I known I was over I obviously would have dialed it in and told everyone we needed to hammer, ideally I would have slowly got us back on from mile 11 when I should have known we were behind.

3. Suggestions for the marathon

Expo needs to be more streamlined. The way it was setup was forcing "cross traffic" Runners want to get their stuff, then peruse the expo. The way it was setup runners trying to get their stuff were walking against the flow of traffic of those heading back to check out the expo, felt very crowded.

Loved the outfits!

Fix mile marker 13. It shouldn't be too hard to measure .1 from the finish line backwards. I can understand other markers getting off, we are all only human, but .1 and .2 are very different at the finish.

4. Suggestions for the pace team

Better directions for getting around the base. Those of us that are navigationally challenged were a bit stressed getting lost and getting stuck n crazy traffic that could have been avoided.

Cell numbers on a list for everyone. would have helped with some of the last minute changes.

Buckeye Half Marathon Race Report

I feel like I am behind on a lot these days, but better late than never! Need to get this typed up now before pacing the Dayton Air Force Half Marathon on Saturday and Akron full Marathon next Saturday! 1:40 group in Dayton and 3:40 group in Akron! Pace Team details here: http://www.marathonpacing.com/

On to the report.

I don't know why but I got it in my head that I needed to crush this half. A little birdie suggested I should try to hold the same pace as perfect 10 and sure enough Tuesday coach announced that was the goal. My legs have not been feeling perky and as posted here tempos haven't been going so well the past few weeks, but I was optimistic since we were backing off the weeks mileage and cutting out the tempo that I'd be relatively fresh on Sunday.

Race morning dawned and weather was perfect. Nice and cool. I've never run this race but the course has changed from the past anyways. I drove it and it seemed pretty mild other than a few false flats and a lot of winding. It was a two loop course with one decent hill you did twice and one mild roller. Other than the course being open to traffic I was a fan, though I would prefer one large loop. It was hard to run the tangents with all the winding and having to avoid the occasional car, but it was shaded and mostly flat.

I warmed up with my SERC buddies and changed into my flats in time to stop at the bathroom twice before heading to the start, nervous much? I lined up right at the start line since this was not a chip race. Said hi to BW and told her to get her butt up at the line too.

Goal was 6:30 pace and I went out right on pace. I picked up the new Garmin 310 XT on Saturday and decided to try it out during the race. I didn't look at it except to see if my total time was on at the mile markers, but I like to have the data post race. It worked pretty well and was right on for the first 5 miles. After that I got a bit sloppy on the tangents because I ended up with a little extra mileage. Not too surprising, any race I have ever run that is legit the Garmin is always longer. The ones that are short you need to worry about!

I went out at what felt doable and tried to ease into the pace but be aggressive if that makes sense. There were about 8-10 guys that took off then SG was in front of me and 3 other runners behind him. I worked on following SG and trying to stay relaxed, I slowly passed two young guys and just worked to try and keep the gap between SG and myself small. He had mentioned before the race he would be around my pace (Yeah Right!). After mile 2 I was caught by a group of three guys. We all ran together for a few miles when one of the guys asks if we are planning to negative split the race. I said no I was aiming for even pacing. Then he took off up the mild roller and we watched as he screamed past the two guys up ahead of us. Guess he had a lot left for the second half because I never saw him again!

I lost some time on the hill around mile 6 and one of the guys fell behind us. I tried to stay with KM and we both were making an effort to get back on the pace. Around the hill Ultra friend GR passed me, I didn't recognize him at first and asked him if he had brought any women along with him, he said nope, though they were all trying to stay with him ;) He had a near miss with a car at the next intersection that made me a bit nervous. (He went on to have a great race, nice to see him getting speedy on the roads!)

By mile 8 I was behind the overall time at least 30 seconds and was thinking my prospects weren't very good. Coach was there with some encouragement. I just tried to tell myself to relax and stick to KM. I lost him at the next water stop and my gait was starting to get off. I couldn't get comfortable. My left hamstring has been sore and it was speaking up a little bit and I started to berate myself a little for not trying harder to stay with KM. I know my body though and I am fairly confident I couldn't have picked it up any.

Around mile 10.5 one of the guys who had fallen back caught back up to me. He passed and then decided he would rather pull me along with him. He did his best to motivate me to do a better job at the tangents and pick up the pace. I have seen him at races before and he just seems like an all around friendly guy. I stayed with him through mile 12 but couldn't hold on after the last aid station.

Two more guys caught me just before the hill and I again asked if they had any women with them. At this point I knew the goal time was out the window so I was hoping to at least hold onto the lead, but was sure BW was going to eat me up before the finish line, talk about paranoid. They said nope and congratulated me on the win, I wasn't counting my eggs yet though! The one guy joked that he hadn't been gender tested yet. Good to have some humor in the last mile.

I chugged up the hill getting ready to turn on whatever kick I had left to try and at least come in 1:26 something. Coach was screaming at 200 to go. Of course this was on a gravel path and then we turn to finish on grass. I didn't want to bite it but upped the effort. Saw the clock and knew it would be tight to clinch a one minute PR over Cleveland and made it just in time at 1:26:52.

Had a bit of a hacking fit at the end that was killer and my stomach was off for the rest of the day (and is still off, grr). I was happy with the effort, glad to clinch a win, but disappointed I didn't have a little more oomph in me. Looking at the times afterwards I realized that this really isn't too much out of line with my Perfect 10 time and given I felt a lot better going into Perfect 10 I am happy I was able to crank out a similar performance.

This race was a bit mentally tough for me and physically it was rough. I guess they all can't feel good! I am used to feeling a bit better the longer I go, so having this feel more like a 5 mile effort than a 13.1 mile effort was a little disappointing! I am sure being by myself most of the race and never seeing another female didn't help, but I don't think I could have run much better on the day either way. The good news is this time still lines me up for a significant marathon PR if my fitness stays the same, and hopefully with a good taper I will be feeling a lot fresher than I did on Sunday!

Link to my Garmin splits, after mile 5 they didn't jive with the course, so tack on a little to each mile after 5 and that should be about right for 6:38 pace average.

On a mental note I think I was a little too serious leading into this race, built up my expectations a bit too much. Perfect 10 I was definitely more relaxed about the goal and just looking to run a good time. I am thinking I need to take the pressure off for Columbus and just go with the flow. I run a lot better when I think about it a little less and enjoy it a little more!

Week 18

Only 5 weeks to Columbus and I am starting to get my "crazy" on mentally. I've done a lot of hard work the past 18 weeks and I am really hoping it pays off at Columbus. Self doubt is starting to creep in. My past two marathons (Boston and Richmond) haven't gone quite as planned so obviously it would be nice to have a great day at Columbus.

The good news is that I have significantly taken down my PRs in every distance I have raced this year so even if Columbus doesn't go as planned I won't be as let down as I was after Richmond last year when that was the only focus.

I feel like I am in a similar position as I was before Boston this year though. My long runs have been going well, my track workouts have been going well, my short races have been going well, but the tempos are this big question mark. We haven't been setting very aggressive paces on these and although all of them had gone well up until the past few weeks, those few poor workouts and the fact that the pace isn't really my half marathon pace have me doubting my ability to hold my desired marathon pace the whole race. But I still have 2-3 more weeks of quality training before taper so let's hope I get it together and get mentally (and physically) pumped up for the marathon!

This was a back off week to try and rejuvenate my wrecked legs and be at least semi fresh for Buckeye Half.

*At my massage appointment she mentioned my psoas muscle is weak. In an effort to try and strengthen that I have been taking the stairs at work two at a time. Not sure if it is doing anything but leaving me winded as I get to the office :)

I also have been trying to get in at least one ice bath a week now since obviously I am needing a bit more recovery. On top of that I am ordering some Endurox so that I can hopefully do a better job of replenishing nutrition more quickly after my track workouts. Hoping all of these little extra things will keep me healthy for the next 5 weeks and that I can keep up the mid week quality work.

September 7th-13th 56 Miles
Monday- Rest (26 push ups to determine push up program for the week)
Tuesday-Track 9 Miles, 80 push ups
Wednesday- 10 miles 8:44 pace
Thursday- 8 miles, 100 push ups
Friday-6 miles 9 minute pace
Saturday- 4 strides and 3 miles easy 8:40 pace
Sunday- 2.63 mile warm up, Buckeye Half Marathon, 4 mile cool down, 120 push ups

Key Workouts

Tuesday Track

2* (2*800, 2*400) followed by one mile at half marathon pace

2:56.50 (2:00.35)
2:54.82 (2:01.71)
1:25.49 (1:28.95)
1:24.36 (2:04.98)
2:53.96 (2:04.57)
2:54.03 (2:03.79)
1:23.20 (1:32.79)
1:21.80 (3:06.21)

Thursday "Tempo"

I was still feeling ragged at the start of this week so I asked coach to back it off, do a mini "taper" for the Buckeye Half on Sunday and I originally wanted to bag the tempo all together. Instead I got an email to do only 5 miles at 7:10-7:20 pace, and then a bit later coach decided to revise that to 7:20-7:30. Here is where I realize how crazy I am. Beginning of the week I don't want to do a tempo at all. By the time the tempo rolls around I am thinking what is the point of running 7:20-7:30 when that isn't even desired marathon pace. I end up screwing up my starting point and don't realize what I did until a little over a mile in. I was aiming for a mildly aggressive effort figuring that would be the right range. Turns out it was closer to 7:10 and so I just went with it. Blatantly ignoring the goal and knowingly running closer to 7 and 7:10.

6:35.60 (screwed up starting point tack on last 33 to this for mile)

Buckeye Half

This may be my last "long" fast effort since this weekend will be pacing Air Force Half 1:40 group (7:38) and the following weekend pacing Akron Full 3:40 (8:24 pace) so I really wanted to make this effort count.

I'll follow up with a race report shortly. Short story A goal was to hold the same pace as I did at perfect 10. Didn't reach the goal but still managed to better my Cleveland time by one minute and that is in line with the same fitness level as Perfect 10. If you can't have improvement it is at least good to stay at the same level rather than fall back! Given how ragged I have been feeling I am happy with it.

Week 17 with the coach

AKA holy crap I haven't had a down week in a long freaking time!

Work was stressful last week and my body started to turn on me again Thursday just in time for my tempo run. Rather than another dismal tempo like two weeks ago I bailed when I realized it was a lost cause. Took Friday off, went in for a "massage" AKA torture, took it easy Saturday and once again had a great long run Sunday.

Talked with coach after the long run and this week will be a bit of a back off week. Cut out some of the junk miles and bag the tempo. I am racing the Buckeye Half Sunday and would like to do well so I am considering this a recovery week/half taper. Not exactly what I would like only 6 weeks out from Columbus, but my body is begging for a break so I will listen. Better to be under trained than over trained at this point since Columbus is more of a gauge to see how I am doing with this training. Next year and the following year are when the hard work will really start to pay off.

Rundown: 68 miles for the week

M- 7 miles easy 8:33 pace
(68 push ups)
T- 8.5 miles Track
W- 7.5 miles easy 8:35 pace
(75 push ups)
Th- AM- Attempted tempo 6 miles, 7:49 pace
PM- Easy medium long run 11 miles 8:24 pace
(83 push ups)
F-Rest and Massage
Sat-8 miles easy 8:35 pace
Sun- 20.5 miles 7:31 pace

Key Workouts:

Tuesday Track:

My legs felt thrashed going into this and I was surprised I was able to run the desired pace ( under 3:45 for 4*1000) The last mile was a sucker punch though and I was toast by the end.

3:40.67 (2:29.91)
3:38.84 (2:36.73)
3:39.39 (2:30.77)
3:38.09 (2:57.91 + bathroom)

1600- 6:17.37

Thursday Tempo: I was supposed to run 8 miles in 7:10, 3*6:50, 7:10, 3*6:40. Felt absolutely thrashed and after upping the effort and still not hitting 6:50 I bagged it and ran back to the office to either save the effort for later or bag it in favor of recovery.


Sunday Long Run:

Another 20 miler with 5 miles at marathon effort. Given that I was feeling thrashed coach just said 20 at 7:45-8 pace and only pace work if I was feeling up to it. I ran most of the miles a little quicker than two weeks ago and was a little slower on the pace work but still very happy with the result.

Last 5 before a mile cool down:

Massage AKA Torture:

Truth time I have been a little beat up. Anytime I up the miles I tend to get mild PF in my right foot and some nagging soreness/pain in my left calf. It never gets "worse" so I generally don't worry about it and don't talk about it. But in light of feeling just mentally and physically exhausted I decided I should finally get a massage and perhaps have her work on those two problem areas. Well I guess they were more of a problem than I thought because most of the hour session was spent just on my feet and calves and we never did get to the relaxing stretching lengthening my muscles part of the massage. What really surprised me was that my left foot and right calf weren't that much better than the right foot and left calf once she started in on the pinpoint work it was obvious I had some scar tissue in both. Apparently they are just as thrashed, but just not showing the same signs. To say the work was painful would be an understatement, but I am glad I did it. I am thinking about going back one more time to have her work on my feet and calves again two weeks out form the marathon and one week out to get a more relaxing stretch out the muscles type massage.

Pacer Report-Spirit of Columbus Half Marathon

More details to come but this is the brief summary (forgive the spelling errors, lack of sentence structure etc) I sent to Pacer Jim on my performance. If you ran the Spirit of Columbus Half be sure to send Pacer Jim some feedback, especially if you used the pace groups! PacerJim@hotmail.com

1. Your Performance
1. A for Effort, A+ for Enthusiasm, C for execution

Mile-Mile splits, (total time), how far off overall pace
Mile 2 14:56 -20
3-7:45.67 (22:41) -13
4-7:44.72 (30:26) -6
5-7:53.39 (38:20) +10
6-7:43.51 (46:03) +15
7-7:43.70 (53:47) +21
8-7:33.95 (1:01:21) +17
9-7:37.72 (1:08.58) +16
10-7:18.35 (1:16:17) -3
11-7:37.37 (1:23:54) -4
12-7:44.41 (1:31:39) +3
13-7:05.90 (1:38:44) -30
52.95 (1:39:37) -27

Never saw mile 1, was around 7:33 according to others around me. Just saw mile 2 and despite same effort this mile was fast thanks to the downhill. I eased it off to get back on and just about when we were getting close I lost my pace band around mile 5. For some reason I lost my mind and could not do any sort of math after that. I knew we were a bit behind pace with the hills and a few slow miles, but got it in my head we were around 40-60 seconds behind. Just worked on picking it up a hair and using the downhills in mile 10 to get back on pace. Really poor math skills on my part at mile 12 resulted in a fast last mile. I thought we were still behind and that we would need to push the final mile. I was wrong! If only I had trusted my pace. The good news is that everyone that was with me at mile 12 either beat me to the line or came in close enough behind me to still get under 1:40. I had one pacee let me know that he heard me yelling back to him in the last mile and that it really helped.

2. Your Group
2. My group was great. After backing it off in mile 3 I lost a lot of people who went ahead and stayed there for good. This was just a good course to run better than your goal and it was no surprise people were listening to their legs and pushing forward. Those that stayed with me were chatty and fun. I had a few people mingle in and out of the group but had a core group of 5 or 6 who were with me the whole race. I had a first timer that came in right on time. The course was a little narrow for a big group so I am not sure how that affected pace group dynamics but it felt like we were a small bunch the whole way, but those around me commented after that they could hear me the whole way and that it was helpful.

3. Suggestions for the Race Director
3. Organization, Organization, Organization.

My guess is for everyone under 1:40 this race was probably just fine, but for everyone over that this was unacceptable. Running out of water on such a cool day is not good.

Promising all kinds of nutrition (that was not needed imo) is only good if you follow up on it. I never saw anything but water, gatorade, and heed on the course.

The finish needs to be streamlined and next year give out the shirts ahead of time. By the time pacer Kristen was in line they had about 3 small shirts left and no xs. Giving the shirts out ahead of time gives better assurance that you will get the size you ordered. Next year I would advise medals right away as you cross the line, and hats a bit further down. Don't do all the give aways in one place. You need more volunteers handing these out and you need them spread out. Having to find shirt sizes just slowed the process way down.

More signs to make it clearer where things are located. Especially the food and shuttles since that wasn't in line with everything else.

If you are going to have bag drops you need to provide stickers with race bib number with the bags and clear instructions, and volunteers to watch them and hand them out.

need to have consistent mile markers throughout the course. having the first two miles marked only on the ground is unacceptable.

website needs to be updated much earlier, final instructions should go out in an email to all runners, not just available in a pile at the expo and not even pushed/directed to runners. people had a lot of questions at packet pickup and it was obvious there was confusion about the shuttles, start/finish location, and relay shuttles/locations. as of Friday when i checked the website the pdf instructions about the course were still not up.

great course. awesome if you are looking to pr.

great support of the elite runners.

Traffic control was great! There was an officer at the road when we headed onto the paved path at Griggs and he was screaming at cars to slow down and get off their cell phones. Very good to see a cop taking his race duties seriously as many times they seem to just stand around.

4. Suggestions for the Pace Team
4. I thought this was a tough course to pace, especially given the first two miles were not clearly marked and were downhill. if we pace here again need to emphasize the first two miles here are fast and that there are some rolling miles in the middle.

nix the 8:30 group, Paul didn't have anyone with him because all the runners wanted to go under 1:50

i thought the pasta dinner was great and staying with pacer Kristen was nice. she was extremely close to the race start and it worked out well. although it would be nice if the race had provided us all with a place to stay, it is fun to have all the pacers in one place.

for future races where we pace a half Pacer Brett had an awesome idea for the predicted pace time chart, to add in the new york qualifying times for avoiding the lottery system for each age group to the bottom. The half qualifiers are actually relatively easy compared to their marathon standards!