Weekly training review - October 1st-7th

What an amazing week of training! This one was filled with personal records (PRs) of all sorts, as well as amazing fun with and support from my Team Chances teammates - and super-awesome coach, Susan!

Monday was meant as a medium run, 8mi. I was still sore from my longest run ever on Saturday, so I took it a little easy. What was especially cool about this run was that I run-commuted to work! I live about 7.5 mi SE of ASU. Having dropped off a change of clothes in my locker at the SRC on Sunday, I left home with just some fluids and headed north on McClintock before finding the canal and heading east and then north up to campus. I'll admit that it wasn't a great run: 105mins for 7.5mi. But it felt pretty good.

Tuesday was my first day in the gym with my new online coaching plan. It was, admittedly, not a huge success, in that I really don't know what I am doing. For instance, I couldn't figure out the "pronated bat wing", even with the help of Google and two smart friends. And I was SORE afterward, suggesting that I might not have particularly good form. But this week was really about running, and so I took it in stride and went from there.

Wednesday was supposed to begin with track, but I had a meeting downtown so saved track for the evening, with Tricia and Lisa. They really pushed me and it was amazing! The workout and my times were as follows:

Short w/u

2 x 1200m at 10k pace/effort (9:47/mi) + 90s rest after each interval

800m at 5k pace/effort (8:34/mi) + 90s rest

4 x 400m at faster than mile pace (7:18/mi, 8:32/mi, 10:25/mi, 8:26mi) + 60s rest after each interval

Suffice it to say, I was bloody thrilled with these paces. I know, I know, real runners run much faster. But I compare myself only to myself, and these were some fast paces for me. Wanda and I wrapped up the evening with a visit to the dog park.

Thursday was meant to include a short recovery run, but I had a very long day at work and just couldn't do it. On top of that, I inadvertently slept in on Friday morning, and so missed the yoga to which I had been looking forward all week. But, apparently, the rest did me good, because Saturday began with THE BEST RUN OF MY LIFE!

Saturday's run was a 10mi time trial around the Lakewood Loop. Susan wanted us to start out at our 1/2-marathon pace for two laps, and then pick it up for the final two laps (each lap was 2.5mi). I had on my cute new running outfit, matching shirt and shorts, and was raring to go, so much so that I started off at much quicker than my 1/2 marathon pace. In fact, I did exactly the opposite of what Susan wanted (which means I still have a lot to learn!): I positive split my laps, which means each one got progressively slower. But there was some variation in there: Mile 1 = 10:05, mile 2 = 10:16, mile 10 = 10:19, with various miles in between from 10:36-11:19. For me, this is fast. In fact, this day included a 2-year PR for 5k, a PR for 10k, a PR for 15k, and a PR for 10mi. I was overjoyed, jubiliant, and totally ecstatic about this performance. I ran 1:47 for the 10mi - almost exactly the same time as I ran for 7.5mi on Monday!

The rest of Saturday involved basking in the glow of achievement, and sleeping. My feet felt really good, and still do. We had a lovely meal with some wonderful people on Saturday night, and then I did an easy 40mi with Mark and Max on Sunday to spin out my legs and enjoy the gorgeous slightly cooler weather. We ended the day with a tasty Belgian Blonde at Flanny's and a spectacular meal at Nourish. Best. Training. Week. Ever.




Weekly training review - September 24th-September 30th

I can't believe we're in the final throes of training before the NYC Marathon! Race day is 5 weeks away! This was an excellent training week in which I worked hard on two key things: 1. Eating very well so as to maximize proper fueling of workouts, and 2. recovery, which is absolutely critical if a guy my size is going to run 26.2mi.

After last Sunday's run up to TTL, my feet were quite sore. Coach Susan wants me to have them looked at by a foot doc, so I will try to do that this week. I suspect it might be the shoes, or my girth/weight/heft/whatevs, but it's a good idea to have them checked out. Last week was also ridiculously busy at work, such that I did the minimum number of actual workouts and wasn't able even to ride my bike or go to yoga. Boo.

But... "track" workout on Wednesday was hill repeats, and I managed two more than last time, for a total of five. My glutes were SORE on Thursday, but in a very good way. It was awesome to see my Team Chances teammates tear up and down that hill at what is for me a dizzying pace. I love being inspired by them. Even better, Wanda and Lola came along, and walked around the park for an hour while I did the hill; I love when they join me for training adventures!

And Saturday was the best day of all: the day I set a personal distance record of 15 miles! I know that's still a far cry from the 26.2 I'll have to put in in five weeks. But it was amazing to have that in the bank and to know I could have gone further. The best part about this mid-volume training is that I am now basically running a half-marathon every second weekend or so. I remember when I started running that even a mile seemed daunting! Now, 13 times that is not a huge deal, even though I am slow and plodding.

FYI: Ben Greenfield's fitness podcasts help pass the time (if you haven't already, check them out here: - they are both informative and entertaining).

The upcoming week of training looks great, beginning with an 8mi run to the office this morning, track on Wednesday, yoga on Friday, and some other goodies mixed in. And this week is also the week I start my Born Fitness online coaching / training program with fitness guru Adam Bornstein. This guy knows his stuff. Follow him on or When I was most successful at weight loss and performance improvement, I was doing either bootcamp or crossfit. This time around, I haven't done either, and my progress has been slower (though my running endurance has increased via running-specific training). Born will rectify this situation, such that I am leaner, stronger, more flexible, and maybe even a little faster for my upcoming races. Yay!



Weekly training review - September 17th-September 23rd

It's hard to call it a "weekly training review" when I did exactly one training session. But, I did a training session last week, and I will review it here, so "weekly training review" it is!

What interrupted my training schedule was a business trip to the UK. I left on Sunday for Glasgow, arriving Monday morning. On Wednesday, I took the train the Manchester. And, on Saturday, I flew back home, arriving at 8pm. It was an excellent trip, business-wise. But it was cold, and rainy, and I'm a weather-wimp now that I live in Arizona, and I was super busy, and ... how many more excuses do I need? 

In any event, I did hit the ground running (haha) when I got back, as I was up at 4am on Sunday to prepare for a run from my house to Tempe Town Lake (9mi) to cheer on my friends and Tribe Multisport Triathlon Club teammates at the Nathan Red Rock Co. Tempe Triathlon. The run felt really good. Tempe Town Lake is more or less adjacent to ASU, where I work. I've never run from home to work before. While it is not a particularly efficient form of commuting, in that it took almost 2hrs at my current relatively pedestrian pace (haha), I will definitely be including this run in my rotation moving forward. I was able to listen to some excellent podcasts (via Ben Greenfield Fitness, thank you very much), clear my head, and get some much-needed sunshine - with SPF 30, of course - after my time in the UK. 

Aside from Ironman Arizona and a few events where I have volunteered, this is the first time I have shown up at an event mainly as a spectator and athletic supporter (haha). It was, in a word, inspirational. I LOVE to feel the energy of the crowd, and to watch athletes of every shape and size attempt to achieve their personal goals. There were both Sprint- and Olympic-distance races, and some of my favorite people were competing: Stacy B, Jon, Jon, Tommy, Lanny, Jozef, Mollie, Karleen, and many others. Tribe Multisport was well-represented, and our athletes rocked. Wanda and Lola joined me to cheer everyone on, and it was a perfect morning all around.

Now, back to reality. Running tonight, and then a bunch of other workouts all week long, means that next week's training review will be way more action-packed. Thanks for reading. 


Weekly training review - September 10th-September 16th

Coach Loken sure knows how to ramp up the volume after a cutback week! I was a little 'off' at the beginning of the week, though - my work schedule made it impossible for me to run on Monday, and then I was sick on Tuesday. So I wasn't able to get in my scheduled 7 miles before heading to the track on Wednesday morning. That expression about things not killing you making you stronger appeared to hold some truth for me; after a day of pounding Immodium and dramamine on Tuesday, I felt great on Wednesday. 

If you've been following this blog, you know I LOVE track workouts. This week was a ladder, and though I started out slow to get my feet under me and to test my intestinal status, I ended strong and felt terrific. This was the workout:

15min warm up

10min drills

1600 @ 10k pace, 400 recovery walk/jog

1200 @ 5k pace, 400 recovery walk/jog

800 @ mile pace, 400 recovery walk/jog

400 @ sprint, 400 recovery walk/jog/warm down

I managed 1600 @ 11:05, 1200 @ 10:40, 800 @ 10, and 400 @ 8:20. I think I paced myself too slowly at first, as I ended up with plenty of energy left, so I will try harder next time! I feel really inspired by Ari ( and others, who are able to START at an 8:20ish pace, and ramp up from there. Much work to do, I am enjoying every minute.

Tricia and I were up early Thursday to put in a 3mi recovery run around the 'hood. Usually we prefer to run with Sole Sports Tempe on Thursday eves, but this semester I teach every few Thursday nights, and this was one of those days. The recovery run felt good, though my hammies and glutes were super sore all day at the office!

On Friday, I managed to wake up in time for Ai's super amazing energizing yoga at The BAR Fitness - so glad I did. Only five of us were there, and so Ai was able to work with me to help nail my form. Though my flexibility is really sub par, yoga is certainly helping. Afterward, Mark and Max and I enjoyed some hills in Ahwatukee before I headed into the office, by which I mean Cartel Coffee Lab and then Starbucks and then Smashburger, for meetings with some awesome people. 

Finally, Saturday. Long run Saturday. Up at 4am. Showered to loosen my muscles. At Tricia's at 4:50. And at Sole Sports Scottsdale by 5:15. We had originally been scheduled for the San Juan Trail at South Mountain, but Coach Loken moved us to the canal in Scottsdale, instead. I was hoping this would be my longest run ever. It wasn't. But it was one of my best ever long runs. Coach had us beginners scheduled for 17mi or 3hrs, whichever meant less time on our feet. For me, that was 3hrs = 13mi. It was a gorgeous morning to run (see pic!). And it felt really good for the first 10mi. I slowed down a lot in the final 3mi as I am still carrying too much weight and my forefeet were getting very sore. I probably should have worn my Brooks PureGrit instead of my Brooks PureFlow, for a little more cushioning on the slightly uneven terrain. No matter. A little ice afterward, and some TLC from lovely Wanda, helped a ton. (I also experienced serious nipple chafing for the first time ever. Really painful and, as it turned out when I got home, bloody. A badge of honor, I know, but one I'd rather hear about that earn. They're still very sensitive today, and I've received lots of advice on how to avoid this issue in the future!)

Today I am heading to the UK for the better part of a week. I am looking forward to running in Glasgow tomorrow and then in Manchester later in the week. I will miss track workout and the group long run on Saturday, but I will put in my long run on Sunday. I am thinking that I will run from my house to O.H.S.O. Brewery in Phoenix, an awesome dog-friendly place where Wanda and Lola can meet me for brunch. And I'll be sure to stop on the way to cheer on my Tribe Multisport Triathlon Team teammates at the Nathan Tempe Triathlon!




Weekly training review - September 3rd-September 9th

Ahhhh, a cutback week, training-wise. Probably others deserved it more than I did, but I appreciated it as much as anyone. 

Once again, I enjoyed spin+yoga with Ai, a very fun track workout, and some miles in the saddle with Mark. Once again, Ai put on a great spin class followed by a very relaxing yoga session that really helped to open up my hips. I tend toward tight hips, not least because my job is fairly sedentary and I do a lot of cycling. Yoga helps tremendously. Now, if I could only train myself not to sleep through my alarm and miss her Friday morning yoga class...

Track was excellent once again. Hard work, but rewarding. After a 15-min warm-up and some drills, we did mile repeats with 400m recovery intervals. I am not fast on the track (but, spoiler alert, since I am writing this blog post after my next track workout, you'll see next week that I am getting faster!). But I really, really love the track. I think I will keep track workouts, along with hilly runs, as staples in my training year-round.

Saturday's long run was limited to 2hrs (as distinct from 2:45 last week and 3hrs this week). I ran slowly with Tricia, talking the whole way. We managed 8.25mi in that time. So I guess we ran really slowly! This weekend we are back at South Mountain, and I am hoping to get a solid 12.5mi (or more!) in during the allotted 3hrs. Tune in next week for the update!

Finally, on Sunday, Mark and I rode up through Tempe into Scottsdale, and played in the hills on the south side of Camelback Mountain. In particular, we took on the very challenging hill along 56th up Camelback Mountain. Then we went down the other side, to Arcadia, and came back up to the top. Craziness. I'll admit, near the very top on the way back, I had to dismount and walk about 20m. But otherwise I felt really good. The last time I tried this hill, I quit about 2/3 of the way up Camelback. This time, that prospect never crossed my mind. Sunday ended with a lovely birthday dinner with Wanda. Now we're both 40!