Tag Archives: Vermont City Marathon

Week in Review 5.19.14 to 5.25.14 and a VCM Half Report

This was a really solid training week and my first above 60 in a long time.

Monday: 7.7 mile recovery run with a still-broken Garmin.

Tuesday: 9.15 miles with 4 strides at the end. (4 by 60 meters at a pretty-darn-quick pace).

Wednesday: Best workout post-surgery!!! 8 mile structured fartlek on the Causeway. 2 mile warmup, 5 minutes at slower tempo effort, 5 minutes recovery, 4 at faster tempo effort, 4 minutes recovery, 3 at interval pace, 3 minutes recovery, 2 at interval pace, 2 minutes recovery, 1 all out, 1 minute recovery, 30 seconds all out, 30 seconds recovery, 2 mile cooldown. Felt awesome the whole time which was a miracle given that I did this at 1 pm in 75 degrees and sunny. So encouraging to have a good workout. Hipcore after.

Slow Tempo: 6:45

Faster Tempo: 6:35

Interval: 6:10

All Out: 5:40

Thursday: Scheduled Off Day, prorated 7.5

Friday: 8 mile run with Annie, extremely humid out.

Saturday: 4.5 mile run with Will and Annie with 4 strides after.

Sunday: 20 miles. 2 mile warmup, 13.1 at tempo effort in 2-person Vermont City Marathon relay, 5+ miles of jogging around the course afterward.

Total: 64.9 miles

Finally feel like I’m hitting my stride this week. I still need to be better about the extras, in particular lifting, drills and core, but things are starting to feel better and I don’t feel so clunky all the time. I see Dr. Kevin on Wednesday and am hopeful he can help me keep working on improving my form/getting back to pre-surgery form.

VCM Half Marathon Race Report

Giving Laurel her singlet pre-race.

Giving Laurel her singlet pre-race.

I was really happy to only be running the half this year. It started off as a very humid morning and progressed to just plain hot by the time the second half of the race rolled around. It was reminiscent of 2011 when I led the pace group and people were just dropping like flies. I saw multiple pace leaders drop out yesterday and many experienced runners come in far off goal times. The weather really is getting too darn unpredictable at VCM recently.

I ran a full volume week so this race was intended to be a big workout for me and another opportunity to get back into racing. My only hope was to pop up a VDOT level with my performance and get through it without hurting myself or ruining this coming week of training. I’m glad for that, as I was drenched with sweat by mile 2 when I am not typically a heavy sweater. I didn’t wear a watch but remember a few splits from the course clocks. We went through mile 1 in about 6:45 pace and then Katie took off. I spent the rest of the run working through the pack (people went out SO fast) and just focusing on keeping good form. My pace was between 6:40 and 6:50 for the whole run and the only negative was that I felt like I could never get into a groove. My higher gear felt too fast and the 6:45 pace felt too slow. I was in the process of beating myself up for my second slowest half ever but corrected my attitude as we went through Church Street the second time when I reminded myself to be grateful that I was running a half 5 months after surgery. I finished the half in 1:29:05 (6:47 pace) which pops me up a VDOT level. Mission: successful!  Even after hours in the sun and lots more miles, my legs felt fresh. I’m happy to find that although my quads are a little tired today, everything else feels great and I’m ready for another week of training.

I have 2 weeks until the Causeway 15K and am looking forward to another opportunity to race the 15K on a flatter course with a few more weeks of fitness.

How was your weekend? Anyone race? How do you monitor your progress?

Kara Goucher…again, a massive hurdle pileup and an ethical dilemma

It’s getting a little old (in a good way) to write about Kara Goucher every week. This week, she, Nick Symmonds and Alysia Montano all signed with Soleus, which is a watch and GPS company. I actually checked their product line out after the announcement and am really interested in trying them out. They have a nicer aesthetic than Garmin and since mine is totally and utterly broken, maybe now’s the time. This most recent announcement is another awesome example of the quiet shakeup occurring in professional running. Goucher, Symmonds and Montano were all Nike runners at one point but all now run for shoe companies that allow them more latitude in other apparel and gear contracts. It’s also interesting to me that Goucher has a young child and is currently injured while Montano is pregnant and not competing this year, but Soleus was still happy to sign them. In the world of professional running, non-performance punishments are part of the business, but it seems that some of the smaller companies are starting to realize that elite runners are human too.

In more local news, an amazing story about a Vermont runner who had Guillain-Barre this winter and came back to be able to run half of VCM. We just did GB in a case study this week, so this story was about as timely as possible. My only objection to the story was the mention that the flu vaccine was a plausible cause of his GB. While the influenza vaccine can cause GB, it is FAR more common for a diarrheal or upper respiratory virus to cause GB (although GB is not at all common).

In another collision of my worlds, an interesting editorial was published on KevinMD this week, written by a resident who was running Boston and taking pictures for the Boston Globe to commemorate the experience. When a medical emergency occurred, she stopped to help and took a picture of the first responders. She also inadvertently got a picture of the victim and took considerable criticism. Her situation is somewhat unique but brings up both the interesting experience of the physician-runner and of social media rules for physicians. Every year at VCM, there are medical issues along the course and friends/colleagues of mine have to stop their races to provide medical care. It’s part of our job; whether we’re on duty or not, we have an obligation to help. I’m still getting used to that responsibility/requirement.

Rogue Running posted another great training article this week, this time on de-training and re-training. I know way too many people who go from marathon to marathon to marathon, only to have results stagnate or even get worse. This article is a simple explanation of why this happens.

Finally in “newsy news,” one of the most epic hurdle crashes I’ve seen in a long time. Hurdles and Steeple make for fantastic spectator fodder, but this almost takes the cake. I was never a great hurdler, but it seems like the guy in the lead fouled a few times, kicking through his hurdle instead of over it. You can clip a hurdle without a DQ, but not if it is intentional or impedes the progress of others. I don’t know about the former, but the ramifications of his clip clearly impeded (impressively) the entire heat.

What new equipment/gear companies are you loving? Do you use periodization in training or are you guilty of jumping from cycle to cycle? Best race related wipeout you’ve been a part of or witnessed?

I’m off to pick up our bibs at the Expo. Seems strange to have it be VCM weekend and not be preparing for a big race but also nice to know that I get to stop at Oakledge Park tomorrow.

Have a great weekend!