Pre-training week 3 – (Race #3)

This week was pretty straightforward.  I finally was able to get in a run longer than 3 miles.  The 5.3 miler felt great, and as always, after around 3.5 miles, my body just started to let go, and I felt like I could go for another 5.  The theme continues to be slow and steady.


I am thinking about signing up for the Lawyers Have Heart 10k here in DC.  The race is in June and it usually is a good course through Georgetown.  The course has moderate hills, and I have found it to be fairly challenging, even when I’ve been in decent racing shape.


One of my runs was in Austin this week, the other two in DC.  That’s about it to report.

Miles this week (4/19 to 4/24):  9.3 miles

Goal for next week:  10.25 miles




Pre-training week 2 (Race #3)

I’ve realized this week that I’m caught in the shitty distance zone for running.  I don’t know why, but for some reason, no matter how far I’m running, the first 3 miles are always so painful to get through.  It’s why, I think, so many people hate running, because they never break through the 3-4 mile barrier where your body starts to let go.  Given my current training regiment, I’m still at a very low mpw level, and so all of my runs right now are between 2 to 4 miles.  Can’t wait to start getting longer runs in there.


Anyway, not too much to report.  The runs felt fine.  I picked a new path, heading to the White House and back (around 2.75 miles) instead of down to Capitol Hill and back, which is usually about 3 miles.



Here’s how it went this week (4/11 to 4/17)–8.16 miles, longest run was 3.01 miles.  Still have a long ways to go.  Goal for next week is 8.9 miles.




Pre-training week 1 – (Race #3)

I guess you could say that this is the first full week of my “pre-training” for the Baltimore Marathon, which is on October 15, 2016.  Here’s the conundrum that I am in.


I want to train seriously for the Baltimore Marathon, with a goal to finish with a sub-4 time.  I know that in order to do this, I have to put in the miles.  No way around that.  But I also have learned from my prior training that the one of the biggest weaknesses in marathon training involves a runner’s over enthusiasm.  That is, if I get too confident and end up increasing my miles per week (mpw) too quickly, I risk getting injured.  Having gone through that for the Marine Corps Marathon last year, it sucks.  Big time.


So here’s the problem:  this week I ran only 7.2 miles, and that was kind of pushing it from where I’m at from a baseline perspective, given that I haven’t run much recently.  Most running literature recommends not increasing your mpw by more than 10% per week.  I’ve wanted to use an 18 week advanced training regiment (pulled from my copy of Pete Pfitzinger’s book “Advanced Marathoning”), which requires around 40 mpw before getting started.  In other words, I need to “pre-train” to get to 40 mpw before I can really start my advanced training.


If my current baseline is 7.2 mpw, at a 10% weekly increase it will take me around 19 weeks to get to 40 mpw.  19 weeks of “pre-training” means my real training would have to be on the week starting August 14, which is only 9 weeks away from the race.  This is untenable.


So, what to do?  There is a 12 week plan that I could follow.  And though this isn’t ideal for me (I’d rather have 18 weeks of actual training than 12), I guess I’ll live with it.  So the plan is for me to use my 7.2 mpw baseline, increase by 10% every week until July 23, at which point I will start my 12 week plan.  By then, I should have a base of about 30 mpw.  This is workable, since the first week of the training requires around 35 mpw.  A little bit of a jump from the 10% rule, but only for one week.



So basically I’m doing my pre-training between now and July 23 to ramp up to my real 12 week training plan.  I’m starting at a base of 7.2 mpw, working up to 30 mpw by July 23, and starting the 12 week plan at that time.



Here is my summary for this week.  Note the 6:47 min/mile pace for the 4.1 run.  This has got to be the best pace I’ve ever had in my life!  I’m not exactly sure how I did it.  I kind of just put on my shoes one Friday and took off.  I think it was a cathartic response to everything related to my mom’s diagnosis.  We’ve recently found relatively good news that her cancer is limited to her brain (which we treated via surgery and gamma knife) and her kidney.  It’s a very good prognosis given that this is stage iv cancer we’re talking about.  I found out this news on Thursday, and went for my run on Friday, so maybe that’s how I put this time out there.




Money trees

On my latest run, I had an idea for how I would raise money in a manageable way. Here’s my plan. I’m going to group marathons into sets of five, and for each race in the group, I’m going to increase the amount I raise by a constant multiple, starting at a base number for the first race in that set. Confused?  Me too, but I tend to over complicate things. Here’s a nerdy, but simple formula to figure it out:

Money = B x F (N-1)


N = race number (1 to 5);

B = base for that sequence of five races (seed dollar amount);

F = race set exponential factor.

Yeah, this is the shit I think about when I run.

The idea here is that I can plan my fundraising in five race increments. If I’m feeling slow or less ambitious, I choose a low base number, B, and a low factor, F.

As I do more races, I choose a higher base number and factor.

For the first five marathons, I’m selecting a base of B = 100 with a factor of F = 2, which means my fundraising goals for the first five races are $100, $200, $400, $800, and $1600 respectively. For the next five I might do B = 200, F = 2 or maybe B = 25, F = 3.

Hopefully you see where I’m going with this. It allows me to mentally chunk races together. The first five are going to be a “100, 2” round. The next five may be “200, 2” round or a “25, 3” round. It’s a way for me to tailor my training intensity and match my fundraising ambitions to it. I apologize for the math and analytics.  It’s the electrical engineer in me coming out.

So all of this nonsense was a long way of saying, my goal for the Baltimore race is to raise $100. Totally manageable, I can even just self-fund it myself.

Let’s get it started

I’m thinking more about how to structure this blog. I think I’m going to stick to five main categories: training; race info/prep; fundraising; race reviews and results; and personal/misc stuff.

Also, full disclosure.  I work as an attorney for Under Armour, so you’re probably going to see UA gear splashed all over here.  Everything I say here is coming from me, and all opinions are my own.  It’s not just a matter of loyalty to my employer though.  Regardless of that, Under Armour has a suite of Connected Fitness products and apps that are just made for taking on a project like this, and it’s really cool to be a part of that on both sides.

So, I’ve started to begin my pre-training routine. My plan is to start off low and slow, running around 3 miles per run a few times a week and then work my way up to around 40 miles a week. I signed up for marathon number 3 the Baltimore Marathon on October 15, 2016. My thought is that it will take me around 14 weeks to work to 40 mpw and then I’ll have 14 weeks til the race to train using more intermediate training regiment. It’s kind of a rule in the racing world that you don’t increase you miles per week by more than 10%, so I will be following that philosophy.

Basic stats

3.8.16 to 4.2.16:  20.87 miles

Below are some screen grabs with workout data from mapmyrun.



As you can see, I’m starting up, but got a long way to go before I’ve ramped up adequately.