Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon Countdown

So my fall marathon in now less than 24 hours away.  I stopped by my running store on Thursday to replace the sunglasses that got stepped on accidentally. As usual, the owners ask what I was training for and they go out of their way to make customers happy.  I snagged a new pair of Tifosi Saxons.  When I checked out they gave me some Shot Blocks on the house and Pom told me I look a little bit like Dick Beardsley?!  I don’t see it but I hope I run like him in three days. After all his PR is 2:08 something.  Thanks for the ego boost.

Where does the time go?  Work, work travel, coaching flag football, etc have all conspired against me writing my blog.   Anyways….I am in full taper for Milwaukee.   I have averaged 64 miles over the last 8 weeks.   I was using Pfitz 18/70, the same plan from my PR.   My training has been pretty solid except missing a day here or there for non-injury reasons.  I am hoping the second year of Pfitz 18/70 will give me some benefits and make me stronger.

Here is the thing though, I have ZERO races to gauge my fitness.  My last race was a trail half on tired legs at the end of July (1:41:0) so I can’t use that. Or a 4m race on 7/4 at 27:56?  Or a 5k race on 6/14 at 21:04? Or a 10m race on 4/10 at 1:12:39?   I’m flying blind so I only have to point to last year’s training and race.  My longest MP run on 9/6 was 18m w/ 15 at MP. A really good run, buoyed by the cooler temps.   Average was 7:53 pace but most of it was at 7:51.   The weather will be cold (high 40’s F and dry) so there should be no excuses there.   The course runs north to south and the predicted wind will be out of the west.

I did my final 5m run yesterday before Sunday’s race.  I make it a point never to run the day before a full because my legs feel much fresher.   My training paces have been equivalent to last year.  My hope is to PR.   My goal is to run between 7:49 (3:25:00) and 7:53 pace (my PR).   The weather will be cool the entire way with a an 11:00 AM finish at 49F.

I would love to hear your wild guesses on my time tomorrow.

In other confidence boosting news, I am officially accepted into the 2015 Boston Marathon!   I got my confirmation a couple of weeks ago.  It will be my first after qualifying last year in Milwaukee.   I have have been chasing the Super Bowl of marathon racing since 2009 and it’s been a long term goal of mine.  I don’t think I’ll run Boston in 2016 but I would love to qualify again. 

Lastly, a little bit of motivation.   Yes, I’m a sap and running geek but this trailer has always been my pre-game pep talk.   


A Win, A Cold and High Miles

Despite my running for health and lifestyle reasons, I am still a competitor above all else.   Race time comes and I want to do my very best.   At the very least blow the doors off everyone in my age group.   So to give you an idea how I think, in order to beat the population at large I should at least be the best in my own neighborhood.  

I entered the Strive for 5k which was renamed to the Super Strive for 5.  The twist being it had a super hero theme. Great for the kids, meh for me since I was more into sports than super heroes as a kid.  Sign up was clunky at best.  Instead of signmeup or you needed to sign up through the park district website.  Then you get an email from the RD who emails you a consent form to complete.  Awkward.   Anyways, I’ve run this race before and got second and thrid in separate years.  The only goal this year was to win the AG.   I had just PR’d two weeks earlier and thought I could do it again AND break 21 minutes.

This is not a chip timed race but an old fashioned chute finish.   I lined up at the line and took my best shot.   I ran even splits but failed to record my mile splits.   I ran pretty much on my own and was only surrounded by a few runners.   I hit the finish and found myself with a new PR by a slim 1.5 seconds at 21:06.5.   The quest for sub 21 continues.   However, I succeeded in a neighborhood AG win.   I’m not sure where I go to conquer after the neighborhood.  Frankly, I’m not fast enough to crush anything else really.

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll never qualify for Boston.   So I am taking that advice to heart and upping my game using Pfitz 18/70 plan.   My only fear really is injury.  However, in week 15 of the plan I managed to get sick.  A one day fever which reached 101F and subsequent head cold put me on the shelf for a few days.   I skipped three days of running including a long run.  So to avoid upping the mileage too quickly, I treated it as a cutback week.  When I resumed running after four days, I simply repeated week 15.   This works on more than one level.  The actual Pfitz cutback week of 55 miles will be during my vacation week since I delayed it.   I love it when a plan comes together.


On the higher miles, which means getting up really early before work.   Like 5AM early.   This is that part of sacrifice you hear athletes ramble on about.  I hit 58 miles last week and the build-up continues.   This week I aim for 62.  I fully intend to do my long run on a softer surface.   Today’s run of 13 rainy  miles was at a leisurely 8:57 pace.

Finally, the 4th of July holiday is here.   Tomorrow, I will run the Elmhurst 4 on the 4th for my club.   Yes, I aim to PR in my sixth year running this CARA circuit race. Speed work in disguise.  I am really hoping to go under 28 minutes for the four miles since it will not be hot this year as it has been every other year.  

Have a terrific holiday and if you are out of the US have a terrific Thursday.