How?

>> Sunday, October 31, 2010

In the workouts that Coach Jen gave me, she often had pretty specific time goal for me to hit. It was never a "total run" goal, but they were always "mile-by-mile" goals. And I got good at hitting them on the head. When I got home from those workouts, I'd tell Pharmie my times and how they corresponded with Jen's goals for me, and we were both shocked.

How could I do this so consistently?

I did it again on Tuesday during a long run. (If you're a local, you remember that Tuesday was the stormy / windy day with 60+ mph gusts - running in that was an ad-ven-ture!!) I told myself this: "2 WU miles, 1 mile at 6:30, then build: 6:15, 6:00, 5:45 (or at least sub 6). Then a 2-3 mile CD."

Here's what I actually did: 2 WU miles (6:58, 7:29), then 6:30, 6:13 (swirling wind at my back), 6:02 (running more into wind), and 5:43 (which felt smooth and ALMOST easy). Then 3 CD miles. (I spent my first CD mile throwing big downed branches off the trail along the Mississippi - good way to cool down!)

So the first "building" mile was right on, the next was 2 seconds fast (but with some wind at my back), the next was 2 seconds slow (but into the wind), and the final mile was 2 seconds fast. So overall for those 4 hard miles, I was 2 seconds faster than I had hoped. (And I only had mile splits during that run - I had no way of checking my splits every 1/4 or 1/2 mile.)

Here's my Tip of the Week: If you don't give yourself specific time goals DURING a run, I think you should try it sometime. Don't just try it once - you've got to get used to doing it. Try it for a month or 2 to get used to running at a certain pace that you dictate for yourself ahead of time. AND HERE'S WHY: At some point, you can say, "I learned that can do 8:00 and 7:50 for the last 2 miles of my tempo run. Next time, I'll shoot for my last 2 miles to be 7:50 and sub 7:45."

And guess what? You'll be able to get those numbers.

You'll be able to run FASTER than you ever have before. And it's because you've told your body to run a X:XX mile and it knows what that feels like. And then you told it to run a FASTER mile, and it knows how to do that.

But you have to spend some time TEACHING yourself what it feels like to run a X:XX mile. In the middle of a run, tell yourself to run 3 miles with the first at X:XX, the next one 10 seconds faster, and the final one at least 10 seconds faster yet.

And then watch your running improve over the next few months!

Happy Halloween everyone!!


Our 2010 jack-o-lanterns

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Friday Funny 126: Ironman Access

>> Friday, October 29, 2010

By now you've all heard about the controversial (and subsequently shut down) program called "Ironman Access." If you haven't heard, here's the gist: Ironman announced the program called "Ironman Access" a few days ago where triathletes could pay $1,000 PER YEAR to have preferred registering for Ironman events. For that fee, you'd get to register for Ironman events 1 week ahead of everyone else, plus a DVD, a magazine subscription, and a few other things.

Facebook and Twitter EXPLODED with hate for Ironman.
"Money grubbing" was the tone behind everyone's thoughts. And I agreed. Yet, when the Ironman Access program opened, it filled up quickly. But soon after, Ironman rescinded the program (and promised to return payments to those who took advantage of the plan). They heard everyone complaining. LOUDLY. Behold the power of social media...

Anyway, before the program was canceled, there were a pair of funny videos that hit the net. They don't have the cleanest language, but check these out. This falls under "funny 'cause it's true." I think the first one's a little better.

"Welcome to Ironman Access:"


http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7478523

"A card? Is it made of Unicorn skin?" Priceless. And I love the final sentence. ;)

And here's the second video.

"Ironman Access - Day Two:"

http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7490925

Suddenly, he's British...

"Yes.... everybody wins." Nice.

p.s. I currently have 1 entry for the "Bootyshaking Bike-Off." If you can make a video by Sunday at 3 pm, you can be entered for you shot to win around $250 in sweet bike gear. Check out yesterday's post for the prize details.

Happy weekend!

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Friday Funny 125: Halloween Cards

I figured it was time to stop by someecards.com to see what was new. I hadn't been there in a while. I found some GREAT Halloween cards full of sass:



























So check out someecards.com for awesome e-cards. (If you're lazy, click here to go straight to their Halloween cards.)

There's just over 48 hours left to enter the "Bootyshaking Bike-Off" contest / giveaway! Scroll down to yesterday's post for more on the rules and prizes! Make a video and win some gear!

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Prizes for the "Bootyshaking Bike-Off"

>> Thursday, October 28, 2010

Last Friday, I posted the rules to the Bootyshaking Bike Off. Basically, you have to make a funny / creative / crazy video of you dancing on / with your bike, put it on YouTube, and send me the link. The public will vote for the best videos, and the winner will win some sweet gear!! (Click here for the post that has all the rules.)

So today's post is more on those 4 sweet prizes the winner will receive! And, as of this moment, I still have NO ENTRIES, so there's a good chance you could win if you entered!! Enter now through 3 pm on Sunday the 31st (Halloween)!!

Anyway (finally), on to the prizes:

SUGOI'S RPM BIKE SHORTS: The SUGOi RPM (Revolutions per Minute) uses compression technology and an 8-panel contour that gives the rider optimal mobility with superior fit. Made of mositure-wicking P3 fabric, which features a sleek surface combined with a buttery texture for maximum comfort, the 20% Spandex content allows for 360 degree range of motion and complete recovery, providing the muscle stability necessary for high energy output activities. Using SUGOi's venerated chamois technology, the PRM are not only comfortable, but stylish, too; Riders have a choice of seven colored logo styles for an individual look, and so that cyclists can match their shorts to other cycling apparel.

My 2 cents: who DOESN'T want "buttery" fabric on their bike shorts?! Mmmm.... butter. The winner get's to pick their size of Sugoi RPMs:


Sugoi RPMs

RYDERS SEEKER: Brand new for 2011 and ideal for the cycling and running crowds is the Seeker. It is lightweight and has an optically-correct lenses that offer 100% UV protection. The semi-rimless design provides superior road vision whether on a bike or pounding the pavement. The photochromic technology allows the lenses to automatically adjust to the current light conditions. Hydrophilic temple tips and nosepads ensure that the frames will not move, nomatter how sweaty you get.

My 2 cents: I love my Ryders "Drills" and "VTX." I haven't tried the "Seekers" yet. The winner of this contest gets to choose from white or black:


Ryders "Seekers"

GU CHOMPS: Chomps contain a balance of complex carbohydrates from maltodextrin and simple carbs from tapioca syrup and cane sugar, as well as a balanced formulation of electrolytes. Like GU Energy Gels, Chomps also have ample portions of antioxidants in the form of vitamins C and E to accelerate recovery from hard workouts. Chomps contain essential branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine and histidine) to provide extra energy, maintain concentration and aid in the recovery process.

My 2 cents: I've used these, and they're a nice break from gels now-and-then. In fact, Chomps have this great quote: "Sometimes, you dont want to suck down another gel. We get that. Chew on this." The winner of this contest get's a box of 16 Strawberry Chomps:


Gu Chomps

ROAD ID: If you are a runner, cyclist, triathlete or just a person who doesn't sit on the couch all day, Road ID is for you. This awesome piece of gear not only looks good but it could save your life. In the event of an accident, if you can't speak for yourself, your Road ID will. Available in 6 different styles. It's not just a piece of gear - it's peace of mind.

My 2 cents: You NEED one of these! I have a Wrist ID in yellow, and Pharmie has one in pink. And if you already have one, giving a Road ID to a loved one is a GREAT gift. The winner of this contest gets a gift card for $31.50 which covers the cost of any Road ID product (like the wrist ID, ankle ID, shoe ID, "dog tag," etc.) AND the cost of shipping. Here are some Road ID options:


The NEW Wrist ID Elite


The Wrist ID


The Ankle ID


The 9 colors of the Wrist ID Elite

So make a fun video of you dancing on your bike (dancing on your bike while it's on the trainer is completely legal [for you safety conscious athletes]), and you could win these SWEET prizes! Click here to see all the "official" rules. (I put "official" in quotes because come on... how "official" am I? Not very.)

Make your video, throw it on YouTube, and send me the link!! I'll respond as soon as I get the link, so look for a response to make sure I got your entry.

Go!
Make a video!
Now!


;)

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My Next Race

>> Wednesday, October 27, 2010

So it's nothing big, but a few members of the "CVA Triathlon Club" and I are going to do another indoor triathlon at Lifetime Fitness. It's November 14th in a suburb of the Cities.

It's been a while since I've mentioned the CVA Tri Club - we kinda took this year off after our big year in 2009. In case you don't know the background story, one of the schools where I teach is the College of Visual Arts (CVA). In the spring of 2009, some students asked me to start a "Tri Club," and we got a group of interested students together. We talked training, necessary gear, and did some group workouts over the summer - including runs, bikes, bricks, and their first OWS. The big day was when 4 CVA students did their first sprint tri in July of 2009! That was a GREAT day! Anyway, we're going to start doing a little more over this winter, and hopefully get a few students into a duathlon or 2 next spring. Then it's tri season!!

So back to this next race.... there might be a FEW more students signing up, but right now it's just Hannah, Katrina, and I. Here's photos of those 2 doing events with the tri club - Hannah's been BY FAR the most active member!


March 2009: Indoor tri: Katrina in the middle, Hannah on the right
(this is before the CVA Tri Club officially existed)


July 2009: Hannah doing her first sprint tri


Sept 2009: Katrina finishing a duathlon as a relay


Nov 2009: Hannah and I doing another indoor tri


March 2010: Hannah, Erik, Ben, and I doing yet another indoor tri

This indoor tri had a NEW challenge that I signed up for! All the LTF Indoor Tris have been a 10:00 swim, 30:00 spin, and 20:00 run. But this one has a new "90 minute challenge," and I was able to get into that final, longer wave. So Hannah and Katrina will be starting in the the wave before me, and they'll do the normal 60:00 indoor tri. And I'll be starting in the final wave which is a 15:00 swim, 45:00 spin, and 30:00 run. Should be a fun new challenge! The 3 of us should have a GREAT time!

(Still NO entries for the Bootyshaking Bike Off!" Click here to see the rules and to enter! You'll have a GREAT shot at winning!)

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4 Runs and 3 Rides in a WEEK? And During the "Off Season?"

>> Monday, October 25, 2010

Yep, that's right. I've REALLY been letting my swimming slide, and I need to hit the pool soon (maybe even this afternoon between tutoring and class). Anyway, this is what my last week of training looked like:

• Monday, 10/18: easy run with the "Flash Run" gang. Just a casual 3.1 miles with friends:



• Tuesday, 10/19: 1:25 of strength work, and an 8.1 mile run. I've been getting back into my "old ways" with more strength work. But, I THINK I've found that working on building strength over the off season helps to keep me injury-free during the summer. So hitting the gym regularly this winter is a goal of mine.

For my run, I wanted to go around 8 with 2 harder miles in the middle. I defined "hard" as 6:15 and 6:00 pre-run. I ended up going 5:54 and 5:45. Nice. My legs felt GOOD.

• Wednesday, 10/20: nothing.

• Thursday, 10/21: 7.5 miles of fartleks. I warmed up for over 2 miles, and then I did 3:00 hard, 2:00 easy, 2 h, 1 e, 4 h, 2 e, 1 h, 1 e, 5 h, 3 e, 3 h, 2 e, 2 h, 1 e. My "easys" were just that: not "medium," but not SUPER easy either. Mapping it out afterwards, I did 5.13 miles of fartleks over those 32:00. SOLID RUN! I'd only done fartleks once before working with Coach Jen, and now I feel like their something I'll be doing around every other week.

• Friday, 10/22: 20:00 of core, and TWO 14.65 mile bike rides. That's right: TWO!! I biked out to help Steph and Borsch (Pharmie's sister and her hubby) re-roof their house. I knew that was a good way to help family AND get in my workout! So I biked there with a little backpack of "roofing clothes" on my back, threw my bike in their basement, and lent a hand for about 5 hours.


Bike in basement, having just changed into roofing clothes


"I'm Steve Stenzel, and I approved this message hole in your roof."


Old roof decking torn back a bit, attic exposed, ready to add
some 2x4s to create a nice overhang over the back of the house.

It was getting dark by the time we patched everything up, re-decked the roof, and got the tar paper put on. I bolted out of there to take the Gateway Trail back towards St. Paul before it got COMPLETELY DARK. It was a little too late. I DID have a reflective vest, but I had no light for the trail. I was riding blind for about 5 miles until I got closer to downtown.

Still, I was happy that I biked and got in nearly 30 miles on the day!

• Saturday, 10/23: 25:00 of upper body (strength) and 4 easy miles with Pharmie. We had a "date run" after work. We're cute like that.

• Sunday, 10/24: 1 hour on the trainer. Pharmie and I hit the trainer while watching the Vikes game last night.


Our view


Pharmie and I about halfway through out workout


My sweaty boobs after about an hour of torture watching the
Vikings get beat-up by the Packers


Reminder: If you missed the rules to the "Bootyshaking Bike Off" on Friday, click here to learn about that! (Basically, make a SWEET video of you showing us your best moves on a bike, and the public will vote on the best video. The winner gets around $250 in great gear!) And if you're not interested in making a video, send this link to your creative / funny / outlandish friends so THEY can submit a video! Thanks!

Back soon with my next event that I'm training for. I need SOMETHING on the horizon or I go a little crazy.....

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Remember to Look FAR Enough Back...

>> Saturday, October 23, 2010

I wrote about this issue around a year ago. And it's "that time of year" when I need to keep reminding myself of this.

Two weeks after the TC 10 Mile, I felt like I had lost ALL the speed / endurance / training that Coach Jen had given me. I started thinking those thoughts of "well, I can already feel myself going downhill, and I'll never be that fast again. Oh well....."      *deep sigh*

The problem was I was only looking 2 weeks into the past. I was missing the bigger picture. And I need to remind myself of some of this now and then:


 DATE DISTACE and TIME PACE
 Nov 2007 5K PR of 19:11 6:10.5 / mile
 March 2008 5 mile PR of 30:30 6:06.0 / mile
 Oct 2009 10 mile PR of 1:02:43 6:16.3 / mile
 March 2010 5K PR of 17:11 5:31.8 / mile
 Oct 2010 10 mile PR of 59:05 5:54.5 / mile


Here's my point: in the fall of 2007 when I raced my 19:11 5K PR, if you had told me that within a few years I was going to run 10 miles at a pace that was 15 seconds faster PER MILE than that 5K, I would have punched you in the face. Then stolen your wallet. Then rented some DVDs from the "RedBox" at McDonalds with your credit card without ever returning them.

Bottom line: I would have thought you were nuts.

But I DID just that. (Not the "punching you in the face" part, but the "running a 10 mile race at a pace 0:15 / mile faster than my 2007 5K PR pace" part.)

So when I start getting slightly depressed that my running speed is leaving me, or my biking power is "taking the winter off," or I haven't been to the pool for a while, I just start looking FARTHER back. In the past 4 years, I've come a LLLOOOONNNNGGGGG way. I can't lose sight of that.

I don't know how much longer I can expect this speed to continue. Whenever I look back, I just feel SUPER lucky / blessed that I've been able to throw down numbers like that.

Stop and look at where you've been. No, not over the last month (because maybe you've "let yourself go" over the last few weeks). But look "long term." I bet you're better off now than you were a few years ago. Maybe you've got a better level of fitness. Maybe your career's coming along. Maybe you've grown in your family life. Maybe you've been doing a few small house projects that have really done a lot to your home, but you've been too focused on each little project to be able to enjoy the "real" view of what you've done.

Step back, take a long look, and enjoy your accomplishments.

Where will you or I be in another 4 years? Who knows. But I'm excited to find out.....


My 2007 5K PR and my 2010 10 mile PR

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Friday Funny 124: The "Bootyshaking Bike-Off"

>> Friday, October 22, 2010

Time for another fun contest / giveaway.

This is the "Bootyshaking Bike-Off!"



3 STEPS:

Step 1: Cut a hole in the box. Take a funny / awesome / amazing / stupid video of you showing your best dance moves on a bike. It can be on the road, in your yard, or on the trainer. (I feel like the trainer is the easiest idea.)

Step 2: Put your junk in that box. Put the video on YouTube and send me the link.

Step 3: Make her open the box. Tell everyone to vote for your video so you can win sweet prizes.


3 IDEAS:

Idea one: Find a partner and do this:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9mJ2hXryGc

Idea two: Show your skills on a BMX bike:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgR0aNMdtRc

Idea three: If you are like me and have no skills, just throw your bike on the trainer, apply some "Bowie" inspired makeup, and just go nuts hoping to get the "oh-man-that's-crazy-and-hilarious" vote. Sorry, I didn't actually make a video like this to show you, but it would have been pretty good. Ooohh, this just popped into my head... what if you threw on an old Jazzercise VHS and follow along on your bike. Sweetness.


4 PRIZES:

- Sugoi RPM Bike Shorts. I haven't even seen these yet! They're BRAND NEW! They have some built-in compression technology for stretch comfort and muscle support.

- GU Cafinated Chomps. Afterall, you need the energy to keep the sweet dance moves coming.

- Road ID of your choice. These are just smart to have. If you already have one, getting one for a loved one is a GREAT gift. You'll get a gift card for Road ID, so you can choose from any of the models / colors.

- Ryders Shades. You see me in mine ALL. THE. TIME. Nice sunglasses.

That's around $250 in sweet, sweet gear! I'll have more on these prizes in the next few days...


6 RULES:

- Contest open to US and Canadian residents only. (Unless you know someone in Canada or the States who can accept your winning prizes...)

- The video can be of any length, but note that the public will be voting on this. So if you submit a 5:00 video that only starts getting good at the 4:40 point, know that people might will be bored by then, so it might note get many votes. I think an AWESOME 15 seconds might be a lot better than a mediocre 5 minutes. (Coincidently, that's also my "bedroom theory.")

- Upload the video to YouTube. Make sure that it's viewable by the public and able to be embedded. (Don't make it a "private" video - we ALL want to see your moves!)

- Send me a link (comment on my blog or use the "Contact Steve" tab at the top of the page) to your video.

- Do all of this before 3 pm on October 31st. Yes, Halloween. So you've got 9 days! Go! Make some booty-shaking, bike-riding magic! NOW!

- Voting will take place over the first week in November. The videos will be voted on by the public, and the video with the most votes will win! (If there are TOO many videos, they will be narrowed down to a more manageable number before voting begins, but I don't know how many people are going to take the time to make a video, so your chances might be pretty good....)

Oh, sorry for the deleted lines in the "steps" at the top. Whenever I say "Step 1," it gets me thinking about something else. My apologies.

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Friday Funny 123: Reasons to Not Wash

He makes a good point.....



Giveaway news coming in a few hours....

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TC "Flash Run" and Kona Reports

>> Thursday, October 21, 2010

Monday night, Twin Cities in Motion (the organization that puts on the TC Marathon and 10 Mile) hosted it's second ever "Flash Run." They started putting clues on Facebook a few days before, and everyone was to meet at Moscow on the Hill (a local restaurant) and wear their mittens.

Get it? Mittens and a place referencing Russia? Cute. ;)

I figured that since I'm not training for ANYTHING right now, it'd be fun way to get me out for a run and to meet new people. Unfortunately there was only 1 person there who I DIDN'T know.

I got there a few minutes late because I was finishing up class, and they had already snapped this group photo:


Small group. But they're working to get them bigger...

As soon as I showed up, we all took off on a 3+ mile loop in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood of St. Paul. I snapped this photo of all of us headed up to Dale on Summit Ave:


Matt, Katie, Todd, Ben, and Carla [maybe?] - I'm bad with names...

It was a great little run!! If you want to be kept in the loop on future "Flash Runs," become a fan of Twin Cities in Motion on Facebook. I'd like to try to make it to more of their runs.

In other local news: I've been sharing a number of Ironman World Championship race reports from fellow Minnesotans on my Examiner page. I enjoy reading race reports, and when it's "the big show," it's even more exciting. Here are links to some: Alex Hooke finished in 9:30 and got a photo with Conrad Stoltz (both are nearly nude). Andrew Turner fought off stomach cramps and finished with a half-hour PR. Pam Nielsen had to finish before it got too dark so her Dad (who's eyesight is failing) could see her cross the line. And Catherine Lee kicked some ass on the bike to place 10th in her AG! (Oh, and this isn't Kona related, but my swimming buddy Julia recently placed 11th in the "Best of the US Triathlon" in California! Congrats Julia!)

If you want to get local swim / bike / run / du / tri updates in your Facebook feed, become a fan of the St. Paul Triathlon Examiner on Facebook. I post links to my articles as well as links to outside sources that might interest "people like us." (Other people can post there too.)

New contest / giveaway announcement tomorrow! Check back!

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Beer Mile?...

>> Monday, October 18, 2010

...what beer mile?

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Amazon.com Is Siding With My Wife

>> Saturday, October 16, 2010

Look at the e-mail that was in my inbox this morning:


(Yes, the subject line is "Amazon.com: Nair")

That makes 2 things very clear:

1. Amazon.com has picked its team, and it's teaming with my wife.
2. Even the internet knows triathletes shouldn't be as hairy as I am.

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Friday Funny 122: Beer Mile

>> Friday, October 15, 2010

Tomorrow night, I've been invited to participate in my first "Beer Mile." Here's a great little video that shows what it's all about that was part of the invite:


Direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bxG_D_ha-0

Since I've only had about 4 beers in the last 2-3 years, chugging 4 within a few minutes of each other COULD get a little interesting. Not to mention the hard running with the carbonated booze in my belly. Should be a good time. (I've been told to expect a fair amount of projectile vomiting...) I hope to be able to draw on my experience in my Doughnut Run victory.

A lot of the Metro area's best triathletes (and me) have been invited to St. Paul to take part. This should be a grand time! Pharmie's coming to take photos, and rumor has it that Curt will be there taking video. (He's the one who made the sweet Gear West Duathlon video and the fun Mosquito Man Duathlon video. In fact, I think a lot of people in those videos will be at the Beer Mile.)

Should be an interesting Saturday night. I'll be back with photos on Monday. Happy Weekend!!

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Friday Funny 121: Nerdy Things That I Want





The Periodic Table. It's a flippin' table. Love. It.






Spock Socks!


If I were I girl, I'd wear this every Friday.


Cheat Pencils.


OK, this isn't really nerdy, but I'd LOVE this cake!!
(Even though my name's not Andrew.)


Y. E. S.




Must. Have.

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UNcoached vs. SELF-coached

>> Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In the past, I've considered myself to be "self-coached." For the 8 weeks leading up to the TC 10 Mile (which was 10 days ago) I worked with coach Jen Harrison. Now that I'm training "on my own" again, I realize that in my pre-Jen days, I was NOT "self-coached." I was "uncoached." And there's a big difference.

Let me explain.

Here are a few thoughts from my "pre-Jen" days:

- In the past, if I were going for a hard tempo run, my thoughts while running were "just go fast."

- Intervals on the track were just to be "hard." No specific time goals, just "hard."

- If I was headed out for a 35 mile long ride, I could be part way in when I'd say "I'm going pretty fast, and I'm a little short on time - I'll turn this into a 20 mile hard tempo ride."

- If I wasn't holding a fast speed on the bike, I might say, "Oh, you can stay out here for another 30 minutes to an hour - ease up a bit and call this a 'long ride.'"

THIS. WASN'T. RIGHT.

Those things made me UNCOACHED, not SELF-COACHED.


If I were self-coached, I'd be saying something like "Today's ride will be a tempo ride. You'll WU for 5 miles. Then sustain an average pace of XXmph for 25 miles which will include 4 x 5:00 all-out efforts. Then ease it home for a final 10 miles." I would NOT veer from that plan mid-workout.

If I were self-coached, I'd be saying something like "Hit the track for 4x1600. Start at 5:45 and drop 5-10 seconds for each interval. Last one is ALL OUT and fastest by 10 seconds or more. Stretch well afterwards."

If you are SELF-COACHED, take a good look at how you train yourself. I bet more than 50% of you out there will find holes where you are just UNCOACHED. I'm not trying to be an ass - I'm not trying to say "You're all FOOLS and I've got this ALL FIGURED OUT!" You read my blog - you know that I'm full of shit and have NOTHING figured out. ;) I'm just trying to highlight the fact that all of us self-coached people could probably be better coaches for ourselves. And I'm a prime example.

This idea of me previously being UNcoached instead of SELF-coached popped into my head on Monday evening during my first long run since the 10 mile (and my first workout with any effort since I stopped working with Jen). I started by being SOOOO proud of myself. In the past, I'd just go out and run 9 miles hard. That led me to some major over-training issues a year ago, even though I was only running 15-22 miles per week. So I was going to do this run RIGHT: I was thinking like Jen, and I told myself "WU for 2 miles, HARD for 5, and CD for 2." That was NEVER something I'd do on my own in the past. I thought Jen would be proud.

Super! I was being my own coach! Right?........

No. Not quite. When I hit those "hard" 5 miles, I had not previously defined what "hard" was going to be. Was I to build and keep getting faster? Was I to maintain sub-6s? Sub-5:50s? Just run "hard" and see what the times are? I NEEDED TO DEFINE THIS AHEAD OF TIME, NOT DURING THE WORKOUT.

So during that workout, I just ran "hard," and felt a little lost as to what I was doing. I realized I REALLY need to better define my workouts to be able to get the most out of them. I ended up running WU miles of 7:59 and 7:44, followed by "hard" miles of 6:10, 6:01, 6:18, 6:20, and 5:45. That super fast last mile is "old Steve" coming out to play. That's me taking it TOO easy in the middle for fear that I won't have enough left in the end. (Remind you of this post?) I CAN'T revert back to that. On hard runs, I need to define my pace in those middle miles to get the most out of the workout.

So here's my plan:

I need to WRITE DOWN my workout plans ahead of time. I think I'll work backwards from whatever races I plan on doing and define what I want to do (roughly) each week. I'll try to well define the 2-3 months before next year's "A" races. Then, before each week begins, I'll nail down the specifics for each workout.

Note: I won't be THIS structured on ALL of my workouts. I don't want to burn myself out. For my run tomorrow, I'll just do an easy-ish medium distance run. So don't think I'm going TOTALLY "Type A" on my training. Many of the thoughts above will be for workouts a few weeks before a race - NOT for everyday winter training.

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"They Don't Just Put ANYONE'S Name in the Paper..."

>> Tuesday, October 12, 2010

... that's what the head of the Photography department at one of the colleges where I teach told me last week when he saw my name in the newspaper. I just laughed. Here's what he was talking about:



Notice I highlighted the results of my arch nemesis racing buddy Jenny Wilcox who laid down a GREAT time! She told me she'd be "near the back of the pack." Yeah. Right. If 1:04 is the "back of the pack" for a 10 mile race, then I don't want to be running it! ;)

And I also highlighted Michelle (Lilienthal) Frey on the results. I thought I saw her walking towards me after the race, so I did that awkward "I'm-not-staring-at-you-I'm-trying-to-figure-out-if-you-are-who-I-think-you-are" thing. Suddenly she smiles big, and I knew I had the right person. We talked for a minute, and she introduced me to Meghan who had just gotten 4th (55:20!) in the Women's Championship 10 Mile. Michelle had just laid down a FREAKISHLY fast 57:37, and she was OK with that - although she said she HAD hoped to be about 2 minutes faster. Michelle works for the ART Doc that I sometimes go see. If you've got a GREAT memory, you'll remember that I had her sign my Runner's World where she appeared on the cover:



The TC 10 Mile and the TC Marathon showed an interesting "factoid" in the results. It showed how many people YOU PASSED in the final 10K and how many people PASSED YOU in the final 10K. Here's how mine looked:



Yeah, that's about right. Here's Jenny's, which show she was hurting a bit:



In the marathon, here's Pharmie's last 10K, which shows she was running pretty strong!



Here's the funniest / saddest "last 10K:" a professor friend at one of the colleges where I teach ran the TC Marathon. I don't know if it was his first marathon or not (it was definitely one of his first). He C.R.A.S.H.E.D. at mile 20. He actually laid down on the grass just off the course with 3 miles left and texted his family that he was "taking a little rest," and he'd be heading to the finish shortly. He had a good attitude about it the day after the race as he was laughing as he was telling me about this. His first 20 miles took him just a little longer than his last 10K!! Don't believe me? Check his last 10K numbers:



Ouch. That's rough.

I sent him this video the next day:


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