Tuesday, September 16, 2008


It's a new day and I've come to grips with my less than stellar performance this weekend. Obviously, I'm not in the best of shape and nothing I've done since I ran the San Diego R&R Marathon in June 2007 has improved the situation. Change is definitely in order, but before I get to that, I need to add one more significant event to my tale of woe.

After I got done whining and published my race report on Sunday, I got thinking about my friend Bill. I've known Bill for a very long time. We work in the same industry. We are the same age and the same height. We do similar work and he travels as much, if not more, than I do; in other words, we match up evenly in terms of external stresses. Two years ago, we even matched up fairly well on the race course. I beat him in a tough race up Mingus Mountain over Labor Day weekend in 2006 and then two weeks later we raced again in the same 10K as the one I raced on Sunday.

We traded places for the first 5 miles and ran well together until mile 6 when he was able to out-kick me to the finish.


Bill - 20th overall; 45:55
Phil - 21st overall; 46:09

Bill and I ran the same race again this weekend, but the results were a little different.


Bill - 24th overall; 42:39
Phil - 85th overall; 53:48

No excuses, I'm heading the wrong way. So what am I going to do about it?

RESOLVED: Set a goal. I set my club's little marathon on 30 January 09 as my next big race goal. This marathon is an out and back over a very pretty desert course. It's hill, but no too hilly; loosing 350 feet over the last 9 miles. Last year 45 people competed; but fortunately there are lots of people finishing in the 3:50 to 4:00 range, so I'll have plenty of company. If any of you want to run with me, let me know.

RESOLVED: Establish a plan. I've had great luck with Pete Pfitzinger's basic 55MPH Plan; however, I know I'm not in shape to give this another go as written. But I really like week over variety, as well as the way Pete layers one element of training on top of the next. I took the plan as an outline and scaled the distances back to something I could handle now. I even typed the whole thing (all 20 weeks) into my on-line log to remind me what I need to do day over day. I think this will work.

RESOLVED: Return to the basics. I know how to get in shape, I've done it and I've written; heck, I've even pontificated on your blogs by leaving lengthy comments to address simply questions. I will return to the basics, starting with Base Building 101A.

RESOLVED: Run Recovery Runs as recovery runs. I shall slow down and run recovery runs at a HR<135. No more cheating. No rushing to finish just because it feels good. I will stick with the right run at the right time.

RESOLVED: Run general Aerobic Runs as aerobic runs. Right now, I can't run sub 9/mi and stay in an aerobic range and trying to do so only leads to frustration and injury. I will rejoice as my avg pace slowly improves over the next several months as my cardio-vascular condition improves. I shall keep my HR between 130 and 145 BPM

RESOLVED: Manage training load increases. Do not increase training load too quickly. I shall not increase my mileage by more than 10% per week, nor shall I increase my weekly "long" runs by more that 10% per week. I'm very familiar with the drill, just need to live it.

RESOLVED: Be honest about my progress. I've never written anything untruthful in this blog, I've just chosen to not write at all when things haven't gone well. Ironically, one the great powers of blogging is the knowledge that a few of you are out there reading and expecting results. I shall not disappoint you.


MON: Rest
TUE: 5.2 miles, Aerobic: avg pace=10:20/mi, avg HR=135, peak HR=144


Jamie said...

Sounds like you're on your way. Best of luck and go get'em!

Ewen said...

Some excellent resolutions there Phil. I hope the 55 MPH plan isn't too fast ;)

The recovery runs as recovery runs is a big one.

Good luck. I'm expecting results - not sure if you can catch Bill though - he's running amazingly well!

david said...

Sometimes I think the resolve to make a change is the hardest part. Looks like you are well on your way.

BTW, thanks for the reminder about recovery runs.

Thomas said...

I hope this will work out for you Phil.

But you have neglected to add "lose some weight" to your goals. I guess you're hoping that the running will melt the pounds off your frame, but I think you should take deliberately care of that business as well.

Grellan said...

Good luck with your goal Phil. There's noting like telling everyone what, when and how you're going to do it for a bit of motivation.

Runtime said...

Phil... I know how you feel... I just ran a 10k that was slower than the exact same race two years ago... but that race was just a few months after I started running! I think you have a good plan to get back to where you want to be... and the weather sould be a lot nicer for you to run there soon. Best of luck and run strong.

mindy said...

Sounds like a plan, Phil. You know what to do and now you'll be putting it in action. Great advice for all on not powering through things and building a strong base - you're going to rock out that marathon!

Gotta Run said...

I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!! Nothing like putting it all in writing.

You said: Run Recovery Runs as recovery runs.

I need to do this and love that you pointed out how important it is to sometimes SLOW DOWN.

Love your goal. Keep moving Phil.

Anne said...

Phil, you never disappoint your readers. You're just keepin' it real. I've fallen victim to the same comparisons with people I once ran ahead of and now trail far behind. And, like you, I'm going back to what worked -- developing and executing on a plan. Stick with those resolutions and January might turn out to be a banner month for you.

J~Mom said...

You have given so much to the running community that you could never disappoint us. We are here cheering for you because we want you to be happy with your results! You can do this!

You know I have so much trouble with keeping the runs in the right zones so I feel your pain with that! It will come back together quickly for you if you stick to it!


Amy said...

Good goals and resolutions!

Maybe I can heed some of your advice...

Love2Run said...

Great plan Phil! You've got all the bases covered including the blogosphere all set to keep a close watch. Good luck and good running!