Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 comes to an end

The last 20 miler of this training cycle is now in the bank. It certainly wasn’t my best run, but at least it’s behind me. I got started at 7:00 AM this morning, well before sun-up. The temperature was 40F(4C) and for some reason I decided to take off wearing only a long sleeve jersey over my short sleeve shirt and shorts. After 100m I realized, of course, that gloves would have come in handy this morning. But I tucked my numb fingers into my jersey and kept running around the 5 mile loop waiting for the sun to come up and warm up the air a little.

I completed the first 5 mile loop at an average pace of 9:05/mi, but starting to warm up in my long sleeve jersey, so I ran by my house and dropped off my black lab and the long sleeve shirt; but forgot about the gloves again, which I regreted after 100m of running in the cool morning air. Oh well.

I had fully intended to pick up the pace on the 2nd loop to bring my average down to the 9:00/mi. Miles 6 and 7 went by fairly well, running a little below 9:00/mi, but I started to fad on mile 8 and finished up the 2nd loop at an average pace of 9:07/mi.

At the start of the 3rd loop, I knew I wasn’t going to increase the pace any time soon and just tried to hang on at a 9:10/mi pace. I kept up a running dialog with myself about my lack of ability to accelerate. I know it’s all mental. It wasn’t as if I was cruising along at a VO2max pace and trying to push harder. I was just running at a comfortable general aerobic pace, but I couldn’t convince the legs to put out any more power. At one point, the various fibers in my legs got in an argument concerning which ones weren’t pulling there weight. After a few miles of argueing, they all went silent and I just plodded down the road.

Finally, on mile 20, another runner turned onto the same street as me about 200m in front. After nearly 3 hours on the road, I finally had someone to chase. As always, the poor woman in front of me had no idea that she had instantly become my muse, and mysteriously, the legs started moving faster and I quickly closed the gap between us. Where was this goddess an hour ago? At least I had someone to run with for 3 minutes. It didn’t do much for my overall time, but at least I knew I had some life left in the legs.

5 mile loop avg paces: 9:05/mi, 9:09/mi, 9:14/mi, 9:19/mi

Training for the week:

Mon – Rest Day
Tue – 5.0 miles w/6x100m strides; 9:05/mi avg pace
Wed - 10.6 miles w/4x1200m @7:00/mi pace
Thr – Slacker Day
Fri – 11.0 miles, medium-long; 8:56/mi avg pace
Sat – 4.1 miles, recovery, 8:42/mi avg pace (too fast)
Sun – 20.1 miles, long, 9:12/mi avg pace

Total Mileage for the week: 51.0 miles
Total Mileage for the month: 237.8 miles
Total Mileage for the year: 1,860.5 miles

2006 in Review:

In terms of running, I hit PRs in every imaginable catagory in 2006 (thanks in no small part to you folks). I accomplished very little otherwise, but the running was great!

Highest Mileage PRs – Week (53.9), Month (237.8), Year (1,860.5)
Race PRs – 5K (21:36), 8K (35:41), 10K (44:40), 10M (1:23:20), ½ Marathon (1:49:52), 30K (2:33:46)

2007 Goals

My goals for 2007 are straight forward:

- Dramatically improve my flexibility (if I get any tighter I won’t be able to walk down stairs by the end of 2007)
- Run 2000 miles (need to stay in shape)
- Improve general aerobic pace to 8:30/mi (need to continue to improve core conditioning)
- Run 2 marathons (look at me, I haven’t even completed one and I’m setting objectives to run two)
- Lower ½ marathon PR to 1:45:00 (Current PR was set before I started blogging)
- Lower 10K PR to 44:00 (this will take some work)
- Stop using the phrase – “at my age” (simply sounds stupid)
- Improve financial investment performance (I left way too much money on the table in 2006. With two kids in college and an other starting up in 3 years, I need to start paying attention to my investments again.)
- Keep the checkbook balance (personal problem)
- Improve French proficiency (Je suis suck! I could really use some help from a few of you that speak French. Since I don’t go to France more than once or twice a year now, I’ve lost whatever proficiency I once had. If any of you are interested in writing in French, let me know. It won’t be pretty, but it will be lively)
- Begin basic Spanish (It’s incredible that I live within 200 miles of the Mexican border and can’t speak a word of Spanish … again, anyone interested in helping me learn Spanish, let me know)

I wish you all a very happy New Year and all the best in 2007. Thanks for all the help this year.


Nicole said...

Those are awesome goals. Can't wait to hear how you do.

Neese said...

Happy New Year Phil :o)

Dusty said...

An amazing year and some great goals! I look forward to watching you knock them out! :)

Happy New Year!!

J~Mom said...

I went out at 7:45 and my hands were cold as well. The rest did fine but it took my hands a good 30 minutes to warm up. I have yet to buy winter gear and I am hoping I can make it through January now.

Great goals for the new year!!

Happy New Year!

Feminist Runner said...

Great goals -- particularly the one about using "at my age." I hate when I catch myself using my favorite rote phrases again and again. Perhaps you can substitute with some fancy French phrase!
Congrats on a year when much running was accomplished.

StumbleGuy said...

Phil, I think the muse-effect gets us all at one point or another - although I've only experienced it with someone passing in the other direction. Certainly helped my posture recovery after a short hill climb! :)

Looking forward to reading you trump those goals in the next year.


angie's pink fuzzy said...

happy new year; love your goals.

loved the sentence about the leg fibers arguing :) great job getting it done!

Ann Ewbank said...

Phil, you totally rocked it this year! 2007 will be even better.

It sounds like you are in the best shape of your life right now!

Yvonne said...

Happy New Year Phil. Good luck with all those goals!!! And thanks for reading my blog.

olga said...

Getting 10k, 10M and 1/2 lower shouldn't be a problem - I've got same 5k-5M and did (back when) 1:43 half and 1:20 10M. You got it covered. Doing 2 marathons is an awesome goal, in fact, I think you should find 3 in a raw (in 3 months) and use your training to draft into each with little rest and become a Maniac:)
For French visit, his email from his blog is and he loves to chat, though he likes to practice English:)
If you ever need Russian, stop by!
Happy New Year and good luck with finances! You are right - age should never be a problem when you have a passion!

Ewen said...

From your recent training I think you'll get your half closer to 1:40 Phil. By the way, there is a typo in your 2006 10k time.

I'll follow your progress towards your goals - esp the two marathons!

Adiós y buena suerte :)

Deene said...

i only know the kind of french after which you say "oops, excuse my french". that probably wouldn't be helpful.
best wishes on all of your goals.

Josh said...

A chilly 20 miler with no gloves... You're a better man than I.

Awesome job in '06. I anticipate big things this year. Perhaps you can post your 43:20 PR in the 10k in Spanish!

carmen said...

I am so excited for you because your marathon debut is getting closer and closer! It was nice following your progress up til this point. You've done stellar!

Kudos on your 20-miler.