I am one with the levee and the levee with me

Houston Half Marathon

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Location:

New Orleans,LA,

Member Since:

Dec 12, 2007

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

800m - 2:02.4h (2014)

1500m - 3:59.9h (2014)

3k (indoor) - 8:45.79 (2009)

5k - 14:53.45 (Portland Track Festival 2014)

8k XC - 25:09.86 (Sundodger 2011)

10k XC - 31:31 (WWU Invite 2011)

HM - 1:10:19 (Houston 2018)

Marathon - 2:29:15 (Kentucky Derby 2018)

Short-Term Running Goals:

1) sub-2:25 at Houston Marathon 2019

2) 1:08 half

Long-Term Running Goals:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Personal:

Married, working, training. While my wife has nixed all future attempts to grow glorious mustaches, she has been supportive of my crazy running dreams. Life is good.

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 170.00 Year: 2163.66
Mizuno Ekiden Lifetime Miles: 202.70
Lunaracer 3 Lifetime Miles: 506.80
Triumph 3 Lifetime Miles: 798.30
Streak 6 Lifetime Miles: 329.50
Saucony Zealot Lifetime Miles: 298.00
Boston 6 Lifetime Miles: 36.40
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
220.008.0026.114.61258.72
Launch 3 (black) Miles: 8.00Triumph 3 Miles: 94.00Streak 6 Miles: 54.60Launch 3 (Red) Miles: 78.00Lunaracer 3 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

AM - It was 27F and blowing about 20 mph. Happy New Year. I got out for a short 6, and then started my antibiotics. This sickness has been ongoing for 8ish days and getting worse. Lodged itself in my chest and I'm worried about it developing into bronchitis.

PM - 4 easy.

Launch 3 (black) Miles: 4.00Triumph 3 Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.500.004.000.509.00

Fitness maintenance workout. 2 x 2 mile + 4 x 30s fast. The antibiotics are doing their job and I feel 100x's better today. It was 23F and windy this morning, so I got home early for my workout at around 3:30pm when temps were 33F and the winds were down to almost nothing.

10:40 (5:22, 5:18)

10:33 (5:18, 5:15)

4 x 30s

Felt great. I'm still getting used to the Streaks. My right foot keeps falling asleep, and I'll need to figure that out before the race. Either need to loosen the lacing or go up half a size. They fit more snug than the Lunaracers, which already were a tight fit at my usual 10.5.

Streak 6 Miles: 9.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

10 easy. Legs are a little bit sore from yesterday. It always amazes me how taking just 2 days off always leads to muscle soreness once I get back into it. It's like my body atrophies at 10x's the normal rate.

Launch 3 (Red) Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

10 easy

Triumph 3 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.000.000.001.0010.00

8 easy + 8 x 40s levee sprints

Streak 6 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

12 easy

Triumph 3 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.000.008.00

AM - 4 easy

PM - 4 easy

Launch 3 (black) Miles: 4.00Launch 3 (Red) Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.000.003.000.008.00

3 x mile + 2 x 30s

Final tune-up run.

5:18

5:15

5:26

Felt great, relaxed a bit on #3 (maybe too much) but all is done. Just rest now before Sunday (and fingers crossed I stay healthy).

Interestingly, I found out recently that I am imunoglobin-A deficient. Seems like I always happens before big races, and this might help explain it. 

Streak 6 Miles: 8.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.000.008.00

8 easy. Foggy and cool morning. My legs still have muscle soreness. I'll never understand how I can be >2000 miles into a season and still get muscle soreness. Especially during a taper.

Launch 3 (Red) Miles: 8.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.000.006.00

6 easy

Triumph 3 Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.000.006.00

6 easy including 4 x 30s sprints.

Launch 3 (Red) Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.000.000.000.004.00

4 easy and then drove out to Houston.

Triumph 3 Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Race: Houston Half Marathon (13.109 Miles) 01:10:19, Place overall: 67
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.500.0013.110.0017.61

I had a great experience in Houston. It's a 5ish hour drive from New Orleans, and I took my wife and kids with me for this one. I'd like to travel a little more for races, and this was a test run for how the kids would do. They passed. Erica gave the green light for more. My 10-week old even gave us a late Christmas present by sleeping through the night. 

We booked an Airbnb apartment in Midtown and arrived with just enough time to hit the packet pickup and make our dinner reservation. I've discovered that my body responds really well to sushi with the plus side that sushi restaurants don't get overcrowded with runners. 

Morning of the race I had to adjust my usual warmup routine. I was in the ADP corral, and I had to be in the corral 25 minutes before the start. The corral offered almost no room for additional warmup. So I ran from the apartment to the start line at 5:45 and did my best from there to stay warm. It was about 35F, and that wasn't easy. But when the gun went off I found that I felt pretty good, and the poor warmup turned into a non-issue.

I was wanting to run 5:20ish from the start and ratchet up the pace as the race went along to try to get to sub-1:10, hopefully as low as 1:09:30. I met a friend who planned to start at the same pace, and from the gun we worked together through the first 6 miles before he dropped back. The start was crowded, and the first mile ended up a little slow as a result (Garmin showed 5:24), but from there we settled into several sub-5:20s.

Miles 1-6 Garmin splits
5:24 5:18 5:17 5:21 5:18 5:21

I felt fantastic. Plenty of spring in my stride, breathing was easy. There was a little discomfort starting to show in my legs, but things looked really good. And even though my pace buddy had dropped back, there was another guy with us who moved up and continued to push the pace. He was taking water at most of the stations, so I figured he had to be in the marathon. And sure enough at 8 miles the courses split and we wished each other luck.

At that point I found myself completely alone. There wasn't another body for what looked like 400m. I still felt good and wanted to push hard from 8 to 12. I kept my foot on the gas, trying to maintain what my marathon pal and I had done from 6 to 8. I hit 5:16 on miles 9, though cracks were starting to show.

Miles 7-9 Garmin splits
5:16 5:17 5:16

Heading into mile 10, I could feel my body trying hard to slow down. My turnover started to feel sluggish, and I didn't have another runner to gauge my pace on. I tried flipping my watch to instant pace mode, but it wasn't holding a steady reading. I was sure I'd reach mile 10 in 5:40, but was relieved to see 5:22. I can live with that. I felt like I'd banked some time to sub-1:10, and holding low-5:20s would still give me a chance.

Mile 11 had a slight downhill, but I only managed 5:23. A little discouraging, especially with mile 12 heading up a gentle hill. It was a very gentle hill, but it lasted the entire mile (and a little beyond). It felt like an eternity, and I was really hurting. I was relieved to see 5:25 flash at mile 12.... I was sure I'd bled off much more than that.

I finally caught the runner I'd seen in the distance during that long uphill mile. I invited him to hang onto me, which he did for about half a mile. Huge help having him there. Other than him, I'd only passed one other female runner in the last 4 miles. Once he dropped again, there were no other bodies in sight.

Mile 13 was a fight for survival. I kept urging my turnover to quicken and my legs kept rebelling. With a half mile to go I made another attempt to surge. Ultimately I reached 13 in 5:23 and finished the last 0.2 (by my watch) in 5:05 pace.

Miles 10-13 Garmin splits
5:22 5:23 5:25 (hill) 5:23

Funny thing is, all the way through to the finish, until the clock came into view, I still thought sub-1:10 was possible. In reviewing the timing mat splits, it looks like my paces on the course were a little slower. 5k splits from the course were:

5k 16:38 5:21 avg
10k 16:36 5:21 avg
15k 16:32 5:19 avg
20k 16:54 5:26 avg

Which teaches me a couple things:

1) Run tangents better

2) Don't rely on GPS for splits

Things I should know by now.

really wanted to at least crack 1:10, but obviously the fitness isn't quite there. I'm satisfied I ran the best I could, and I'm glad I was a little bit aggressive through mile 9. The fade in the last 6k is fixable.

This was my goal race for this training cycle, and in thinking back on how the buildup went, I rate myself a C on preparation. Not being overly critical, but I had a big drop in volume from October on (expected, enouraged even, with a new baby in the family), and then the illness over the last month or so has kind of nuked the last few weeks of prep. The drops in volume showed up.

I'm pleased with the race, and am looking forward to beginning a marathon prep cycle and trying to lower my half PR en route.

Streak 6 Miles: 17.60
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(5)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.000.008.00

8 mile recovery. No watch, but estimate 7:20-7:30. Felt surprisingly good despite sore everything.

Triumph 3 Miles: 8.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

10 moderate/easy. 7:01 average. My illness that never totally went away has reared its ugly head again. Houston seems to have stoked its anger. I don't think it affected Houston, but the sore throat and congestion lingered through that week. I woke up today with a nasty cough and a pounding headache. Going through a second round of antibiotics for it.

On the plus side, New Orleans got some freezing rain and a light dusting of snow last night, which is enough to literally shut the city down. I got to stay home, sleep in, and run in the relative warmth of the afternoon (~30F). Despite my chest feeling like poo, I otherwise felt pretty good on the run.

Launch 3 (Red) Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.000.000.000.004.00

Whatever bug I got was nasty enough to take me out for the last couple days. Might've been the flu, not an extension of whatever I had in December. Either way, I got out for an easy 4 pushing Rylie, and it was not kind on my chest. Lots of coughing. Otherwise it was good to be out.

Triumph 3 Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.000.008.00

8 very easy. 7:50 avg. Lungs felt like my 2-year old daughter was sitting on them.

Launch 3 (Red) Miles: 8.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

10 easy. 7:45 avg, felt a little better at first before absolutely tanking the last several miles. 8:31 final mile.

Triumph 3 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

12 miles @ 7:23 avg. Aside from a few coughing breaks, I'm feeling closer to normal.

Launch 3 (Red) Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.000.006.00

6 w/ Rylie. 7:21 avg, not bad for pushing the stroller.

Triumph 3 Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.006.000.0012.00

6 x mile @ T pace w/ 1:00 rests + 2 x 30s fast. Perfect weather with 44°F and almost not wind. I'm still coughing a bit, but my runs have been feeling better and I figured I'm in good enough shape to try a workout.

5:18

5:21

5:21

5:20

5:19

5:18

AVG 5:19.5

I wanted to work on running more by feel, so I checked myself at halfway on the first rep and then didn't glance at the watch aside from the final split. That first rep felt a little hard (always does), but then I felt very much in control. Felt a little fatigue going into #5 and #6, but nothing beyond the fatigue I want this run to stimulate. Very happy with how it went.

I'm having some runner's knee post-Houston, so I pulled out the knee sleeve post-run. Will wear it most of the day, and maybe for a few easy runs until things feel better.

Lunaracer 3 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

AM - 8 easy. 7:18 avg, 7:42 first mile. I'm keeping a watch on my easy runs for a few weeks. I like making my easy days easy, but I think I was starting to take that to an extreme. 7:20 is fine. 7:50 should only happen on pure recovery days. I saw a lot of 7:50s in my Houston buildup. I'm not looking at it during the run, just using it afterwards to gauge my pace.

PM - 4 stroller miles w/ Rylie. Of course after the watch comment I forgot to bring it on this run. No matter. It started raining on us, so I averaged a pretty quick clip to get the little girl inside. Estimating 7:15 average.

Triumph 3 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.008.000.000.0016.00

Long run at City Park. ~60F and breezy. Warmed up 6 then went into a 10-mile tempo-ish effort. A little slower than marathon pace, though honestly I'm not really sure where my marathon pace is. Since I went hard Thursday I wanted to keep this under control.

I stopped twice in the first 2 miles. Once for bathroom, then I stopped by my car to ditch the shirt and swap the Launches for my Lunaracers. I couldn't stand trying to run faster in the Launches. Doesn't feel good. The rest of the run was uneventful.

I found a great loop in City Park that's just over 3 miles and has one of the few runable hills in New Orleans. It's an overpass over the interstate. I'll take what I can get.

6:15

6:12

6:04

6:03

5:59

6:01

5:59

6:04

5:55

5:51

 

Lunaracer 3 Miles: 8.00Launch 3 (Red) Miles: 8.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.000.000.000.004.00

AM - 4 recovery miles, 7:53 pace. Legs are a little sore. I did some squats with Rylie on my back, and as embarrassing as it is to admit, that did my legs in. I need to lift more.

Triumph 3 Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

12 on the levee including 6 x strides. Hammies are a little sore from the Rylie squats, and the quads are a little sore from the other work last week. Otherwise this felt pretty good. 7:11 avg. The monotony of the levee got to me before I headed out. Every time that happens I remind myself of my goals and how satisfying it will be to reach them. Some mornings that's what I need to get out the door.

Launch 3 (Red) Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

12 easy. The wind was blowing pretty good, so I moved the workout to tomorrow. 7:20 avg.

Triumph 3 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.000.003.1114.11

AM - Medium 5k workout today. I registered for a 15k in Pensacola this weekend, so I kept this to just 5k of total volume. I rolled out of bed at 4:10 AM and was out the door just after 4:30. I'm finding that the faster the workout, the harder it is to do this early in the morning. All through my warmup I was grumbling about having to do this on the levee instead of a track. But so it is. Maybe I can work a way to get to City Park early. There is a track less than 2 miles from my house, but it's buried in a drug lord neighborhood. I'd rather suffer on the levee than venture in there in the dark. 

Officially 45°F according to wunderground.com, but there was frost on the grass and it felt closer to freezing to me. Or maybe I've just gone soft. Not a breath of wind, which made me feel validated in waiting a day.

I only have a couple of dedicated 5k workouts on my schedule before the marathon. I'm clearly underdeveloped in this area, and this workout was uncomfortable right from the start. I did my 3 miles of warmup, a few drills and strides, and then got into it. 5 x 1k w/ 3:00 rests. Targeting 3:02-3:03. 

3:02

3:03

3:03

3:05

3:08

Pretty close to target. #5 was due to lost focus rather than fatigue, and I could tell by feel before the watch beeped that I went too easy. Not a big deal. I figure on the track in better flats or spikes these run 3 seconds faster, so overall not a bad workout.

Also as I was finishing up the workout I looked up and had a great view of the eclipse in progress. I must've missed the headlines for it, because it caught me by surprise. Pretty cool.

PM - 4 easy miles w/ Rylie -- ~7:30 avg.

Streak 6 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
220.008.0026.114.61258.72
Launch 3 (black) Miles: 8.00Triumph 3 Miles: 94.00Streak 6 Miles: 54.60Launch 3 (Red) Miles: 78.00Lunaracer 3 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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