Thursday, June 30, 2011

Birthday Week!

            This has been a pretty fun week for me so far. My family planned a trip out from California to visit family friends down in Phoenix, and then joined my FiancĂ© and me in our new home up in Flagstaff. This is the first time, outside of races, that my family has come to visit, and the first time that I had a place for them to stay, so it is quite a new experience for me. Being in charge of what is going on around the house, telling them to wipe their feet, and wash certain dishes in the sink. I am finally feeling grown up.

            Today is my Birthday, which is one of the main reasons my family made the trip out here, and so far it has been nice. I got a new cookie jar as a ‘house-warming’/birthday gift from them, filled with about 100 assorted homemade cookies. SWEET!
            Yesterday we took a trip out to the Grand Canyon, and spent quite a bit of time walking around, climbing various rocks, and taking tons of pictures of various views and landmarks. This has been one of the more eventful birthdays/weeks that I have had in a while. The past few years I have usually just chilled out at home or gone out to a small dinner with friends. A nice change from the normal.

Here are some pictures from yesterdays trip to the Canyon:

Carolyn, Sam, and Me viewing from the South Rim.

Trying to throw Carolyn over. Lucky for her I’m weak and do not know the correct form.

Mom, Carolyn, and Me Posing

Sam, squatting on a Phantom Granite Rock from 1.2 Billion years ago.

Dad trying to do a push-up and kiss his soon-to-be age in Millions of years. (54)

Victory as Carolyn and I climb up a steep rock standing 200+ feet above another 1000+ ft. drop.

So there were some fun times. After our Grand Canyon trip we headed back to town to get dinner and play some UNO, which I almost won. Then, I got a good nights rest before this morning’s workout. Hopefully the next few days will be just as fun. It’s nice having a lot of family visiting. It is much better than my usual day of lying in bed.

Questions Answered:

In my last blog Meggie asked, “That sounds ungodly hot -- will you all like slow down or run slower? Is that factored into your race planning?” and Samblackbones asked, “Hey nick - how do you replace carbs during long runs/the marathon? Do you use a customized drink? Gels?”

I figured I would address these together, since they are on a similar topic. It will more than likely be ‘ungodly hot,’ like Meggie said. As I train throughout this summer I am going to do a lot of warm weather runs, with my extra layers to try to simulate the conditions in Daegu. I will do long runs, tempos, intervals, and easy runs to try to get my body used to running in conditions like Daegu. If the pace is quick during the race, then hopefully my acclimatization will have prepared me enough to go with the leaders. However, I do not plan on setting the pace, I will be racing to finish as high as possible, and the race is likely to start off at a much slower pace than my previous marathons. I plan to be prepared for either situation.

During the race, as with all marathons, I will be taking multiple gels and lots of fluid to replace the amount that I am running off and sweating out. I generally have taken gels at 25k and 35k to give my body extra calories, carbs, sodium, potassium, and caffeine I need to finish the last half of the marathon strong. With the temperature in Daegu, I plan on taking more than just the two gel packets I have normally used.

I will also be consuming a lot of fluids to help replenish the amount of salt and water I will be sweating out. There will be 8 fluid stations throughout the marathon course where we can provide our own concoctions, mine will be a mixture of Gatorade Endurance Powder and Water, pretty simple, but its been proven to work for me. I will drink 8-10 ounces of fluids at each station and will be grabbing other cups of water to sip periodically throughout the course and to pour on my head to cool off.

Everything that I plan to do during the race (gels, fluids, pacework), I will be practicing throughout the summer so that my body, especially my stomach, will be able to handle the rough conditions in Daegu. Thank you guys for the questions, let me know if there is anything I missed or could elaborate on.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Training Update: 6/26/11

            Another decent week of training has gone by, with a lot of exciting races and event this weekend. The week started with a solid workout on Trina’s Loop in Flagstaff, then an early run on Tuesday before traveling out to Eugene for the US Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Wednesday was a pretty light day, prerace routine and packet pickup, then Thursday I raced in my first Outdoor Championship, the 10,000m. The race turned out to be very much like a fartlek run for me as our lap splits varied from 67 to 73 seconds every other lap. I was in great position with 1200m to go, however, I ran that 1200m in about 3:17, and that was only good enough for 14th place.

            Looking back I kind of wish I had gone all out with 800m to go. It would have been unlikely that I would have finished in a podium spot, but I mostly likely could have finished higher in the field. That is something that I will hold onto and remember for future championships. Brauny and Scott had similar results as myself, they were 7th and 10th, respectively, neither was a spectacular result, but they weren’t terribly disappointed either.

            The rest of the week has been very exciting. I got a lot of nice runs in and have been able to watch the championship races. Being a part of this Championship weekend has been something that I’ve dreamed about since I was in college. I finally made it eight years later.

Monday:            AM: Workout at Trinas on my own. 1.5 miles in 7:33, 1 mile in 4:47, 1/2 mile in 2:15, 1/2 mile jog after each, 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d. 10.5 miles total.
                        PM: Easy run on my own from home. 4.5 miles in 29:55.

Tuesday:           AM: Easy run from Home before traveling to Eugene. 8.5 miles in 57:03.

Wednesday:       AM: Easy run (pre-race) with Scott and Brauny. 6 miles in 41:13

Thursday:          AM: Shakeout Run. 3 miles in 20:21
                        PM: USA 10,000m race. Finished 14th in 28:57. 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d. 12 miles total.

Friday:              AM: Ran with Adidas/Flotrack High School Group Run, South Eugene High School showed up. 5 miles in 32:58.

Saturday:          AM: Ran with Adidas/Flotrack Girls Run (Run For Grete), 5 miles with them, then added on 7 miles with Danny Mercado. 11.5 miles in 1:20:35.
                        PM: Ran on my own after the races on Amazon trail. 6.5 miles in 41:43.

Sunday:             AM: Ran on my own on Amazon trail, then out to Pre’s Trail. Ran in to Ryan Hall mid run. 12.5 miles in 1:20:35.
                        PM: Ran with Reneau, Shamus, and Megan out and back on Amazon Trails again. 7.5 miles in 47:25.

Week Total: 87 Miles with 4 doubles.

USATF Daegu Summit:

This past Friday morning, after my run Greg and I met with Team USA Officials, Team Coaches, Medical Staff, and Dr. Randy Wilber. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss travel to Daegu, altitude training, heat and humidity training, and strategies for running the marathon course in Daegu. Other athletes and coaches there were Mike Morgan, Kevin Hanson, Keith Hanson, Zoila Gomez, and Pete Rea.

One of the main topics covered was travel to Daegu. Most of us will arrive in Daegu, after 15+ hours of travel about 10 days before our event. We need to know how to avoid jet lag and how to make sure that we get on a regular schedule once we arrive at the World Championships. The most important thing that we can do during our flight is stay up the entire time. If we can do that, then we should be all set to sleep the night away once we arrive.

The Altitude studies that were being discussed and that were recommended for us to take into consideration, didn’t apply to me. The studies were mainly done on participants who live and train mostly at sea level and then go up to altitude periodically to get the training effect. I was told that there have not been any studies done on people who live and train year round at altitude. With so many Elite athletes training up here I would think they would try to get some studies going for that.

Next we talked about the course, which you can see from this map. It is a 3-loop course (2 x 15k, 1 x 12.195k) and has some rolling hills which are not very major. The highest point on the course compared to the lowest point is on 150ft. difference. It should be pretty nice for viewing as well as racing, with fluid stations every 5k, and mist stations 3 times each loop.

Lastly, we discussed in depth the importance of acclimatizing to the hot humid weather in South Korea. Typically during the time period in which the World Championship will be held it is between 82-98 degrees and 80-90% humidity, which gives it a heat index of over 110 degrees. That is hot, much hotter than I am typically going to train in. Since I view being at altitude more important than being in a hot and humid climate, I will be wearing multiple layers of clothing over the next 2 months to try to simulate what I will feel like in Daegu. I also will need to make sure I am sweating as much as possible and refueling all of that sweat I lost. Sounds like fun, yes?

Thanks for reading, see you next time!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Training Update 6/19/11

    Another solid week of training, although it started out pretty rough as I didn’t make it through my workout on Monday but it only got better from there! Monday was a short workout, but I was still beat up from running poorly at the US 8k I suspect. After Monday, however, I have been feeling great on every run, and running them fast. I am pretty excited going into USAs this week. Thursday night I will compete along with teammates Aaron Braun and Scott Smith in the 10,000m in Eugene. This is my first USA Outdoor Track and Field Championship, and first time ever racing in Eugene. This is easily the biggest track race that I have ever run. So Exciting!

    Training: I hit 96 miles this week, with 5 doubles. Workout Monday, was short and rough, but the workout Saturday went very well. Most of my runs this week I wore extra layers to start acclimatizing to the warm weather that I expect Daegu to have during the marathon. I also am starting to carry a water bottle with me on distance runs to rehydrate myself.

Monday:            AM: Workout at Sinagua Track with Brauny and Scott, Mile tempo in 4:46, 600 in 1:38.2, 400 in 66.3, then done. 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d, 8 miles total.
                        PM: Easy run with Brauny after Core from YMCA. 4.5 miles in 30:05.

Tuesday:           AM: Distance run from Trinas with Brauny and Scott, 11.5 miles in 1:21:05.
                        PM: Easy run from Scott place, 4 miles in 29:36.

Wednesday:       AM: Distance run from home by myself, 11.5 miles in 1:10:22. Felt great, average under 6:00 pace on the way back.

Thursday:          AM: Distance run with Brauny and Scott at Bagel Run, added on 30 minutes after they finished, 12 miles in 1:19:43, felt great.
                        PM: Easy with Brauny after core and before massage. 4 miles in 29:25.

Friday:              AM: Distance run with Brauny and Scott from home, 9.5 miles in 1:04:00. Felt good.
Saturday:           AM: Workout at Buffalo Park by myself, 6 mile steady state run in 30:58, splits were: 4:58, 5:17, 5:10, 5:13, 5:09, 5:11. 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d, 12 miles total.
                        PM: Easy run on own from home, 4.5 mile in 30:16.

Sunday:             AM: Distance run on own from home, 10.5 miles in 1:10:29, felt good.
                        PM: Easy run on Ft. Valley Trails, 4.5 miles in 29:02.

Questions Answered:

In my last blog, Anonymous said...  Snick,
At what point in the day do you consume Grandma's Mac and Cheese? And, what is the recipe?”

For those of you who don’t know, Snick is a nice nickname that many people like to give me since I apparently don’t make ‘s’ sounds correctly. It sounds fine to me, but some people find it amusing for some reason.

Anyways, Grandma’s Mac and Cheese is a huge staple in my weekly diet. I make it about once a week and usually have enough leftovers for a 2nd meal later in the week. I learned this recipe from my Grandma, she just called it Macaroni and Cheese, but I felt that she earned a place in the name. ‘Gma’s’ for short is a baked dish, composed with elbow macaroni noodles, 3 layers of cheese, tomato sauce, and topped with breadcrumbs.

Recipe: Boil Water, add 2 cups of noodles, boil until tender. Drain water and mix noodles with 15 oz. can of Tomato Sauce. Begin to layer macaroni with sliced cheese(your preference, I use Colby Jack, Pepper Jack, and Cheddar) in 1.5 quart baking bowl. Make 3 layers, alternating macaroni mixture and cheese. Layer top of dish with breadcrumbs, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

A simple and cheap recipe depending on what kind of cheese you choose. Goes well as both a main dish or side dish.  One time I added meat to the recipe, but it just didn’t go well. I probably used a poor choice of meat though. I have heard of people using pepperoni. I may have to try that next time.

Thanks for your questions,


Monday, June 13, 2011

Training Update 6/12/11

Another week has gone by and I am glad that it is behind me. The week started off with a bang, as I woke up Monday morning and did a 6 mile workout on my own in the howling winds of Flagstaff. It wasn’t too difficult though, just a fartlek. Then Wednesday I had some 300s, which I did with the rest of the guys who were heading out to the US 8k with me, and I got destroyed. I ran what I thought was fast, but those guys put the hurt on me.
Then Thursday I left for Carmel, Indiana for the US 8k Championships and once there I went to the Tom Wood Jaguar Volvo Landrover showroom for the Carmel Marathon Championship Weekend State of the Event Address Cocktail Hour. There I met with Race Management, City of Carmel Officials, Event Sponsors and Partners, and other elites; Steven Haas, Josef Ghebray and Laura Farley. It was a nice social gathering, one of the first I have been to, and it was a pleasure to talk with the people behind the scenes and event sponsors, without which, we would not have a race to run.
            Saturday was race day, and that went nothing like I had hoped. My legs and body felt bad from the first strides of the race. I only was able to stay with the lead group through a mile and a half, before slowly fading back to 18th place by the finish. I ran a 24:36, which was a minute and a half behind winner, Bobby Mack, who ran a very impressive race to get his first US championship. I was also glad to see teammates Aaron Braun (2nd), Scott Smith (9th), and Jordan Horn(12th) run well. As for myself, it was disappointing, but I’m still building toward bigger goals, so I just need to brush it off and train for the next one.

Training Log:

Monday:            AM: Workout, Fartlek, 15 x 1 min on, 2 min off; 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d. 12 miles total.
                        PM: Easy run after core from YMCA. 4.5 miles in 30:06.

Tuesday:           AM: Easy run with guys from Greg’s House, 8.5 miles in 59:52.

Wednesday:       AM: Workout: 6 x 300 at 85-100%, 4 minutes between each. Times = 45.82, 45.31, 43.25, 43.13, 42.43, 45.68. 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d. 9 miles total.
                        PM: Easy run from home. 4.5 miles in 30:16.

Thursday:          AM: Easy run before flight to Indiana. 4.5 miles in 30:36

Friday:              AM: Easy run, prerace in Indiana with the guys. 5 miles in 35:41

Saturday:           AM: Race Morning – 10 minute shakeout at 5:30am. 3 mile w/u, Race at 8:30 am – 8k in 24:36 for 18th place, 3 mile c/d. 12 miles total.

Sunday:             AM: Distance run, Lowell Mesa by myself. 12 miles in 1:16:05.

Week Total: 72 miles

Questions Answered:

In my last blog Maru asked: Hi nick,
very good training blog.

Questions: typical daily routine?

My typical routine, is pretty simple: wake up, eat, run, eat, sleep, eat, run, eat, sleep. On a given day those are the major points. But here is a more detailed breakdown of how things go:
6:45am – wake up, make light pre-run breakfast
8:00am – Drive to meet the team for practice
8:30am – Run (MW - workout, TuThF - distance run, Sa - Workout or Long run, Su - on own)
10:30am – Return home, make breakfast
11:30am – Relax and/or Nap
1:00pm – Lunch
3:00pm – Monday and Thursdays only core work at the YMCA
4:00pm – 2nd run
6:00pm – Dinner
8:00pm – Dessert
10:00pm – Get to bed.

That is the general breakdown of the main tasks that I find important each day. Throughout the week I will spend a lot of time relaxing and recovering. I also will get out each day and run whatever errands I have and will clean up around the house. I just moved in to my new place, so there are still quite a few things that need to be done and straightened up. I do not have a job outside of running, so I have a lot of free time, which has been very nice.

I hope that answers your question. Let me know if there is anything else you would like me to share.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Training Update – 6/5/11

Training Update – 6/5/11

            Training this past week has gone pretty well overall. I ended with 88 miles, which is up from 50 last week. My body and legs are taking the increase pretty well, feeling fresh and ready to do more next week. Wednesday, I had my first workout of the season; a 4 mile Steady State with Scott at Buffalo Park. Then on Saturday I did a longer run with Jordan, both went by pretty smooth and easy. Only 3 doubles this week, I’ll be building into those pretty gradually. Here is a look of how my week broke down:

Monday -           AM: Distance Run alone at Cameo Shores, 11 miles in 1:12:35.

Tuesday -          AM: Distance Run in Huntington Beach with Dyson and Jake, 9.5 miles in 58:30

Wednesday -      AM: Steady State Run with Scott at Buffalo Park, 4 miles in 21:09, 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d.
PM: Easy Run at Kickstand Kafe, National Running Day Community Run, 4.5 miles in 33:07

Thursday -         AM: Distance Run at Bagel Run, 9.5 miles in 1:05:04
                        PM: Easy Run from Home, 4.5 mile in 29:53

Friday -             AM: Distance Run from Kickstand Kafe w/ Jordan and Brett, 10 miles in 1:07:48.
                        PM: Easy Run from home, 4.5 miles in 30:18

Saturday -          AM: Longer Run with Jordan from Lowell Observatory, 13.5 miles in 1:31:33

Sunday -            AM: Distance Run from Home to Ft. Tuthill, 11 miles in 1:10:09

            Next week will be heading out with my teammates, Jordan, Scott, and Aaron to Carmel, Indiana for the US 8k Road Championships. It should be a good time, the field is looking pretty decent right now and I’m excited as always to go out and race. If you would like to check things out Runnerspace will be showing live coverage of the race, plus plenty of interviews from your favorite US runners.

And now on to other things:

Questions Answered:
In my previous blog Mike asked: Nick,
What types of workouts will you do during your base phase? Longer tempos? Intervals? Etc?
And what kind of warm up do you do prior to a run? Personally, I don't like workouts in the AM because I never feel as warmed up if I just crawl right out of bed, but sometimes life requires them to be done first thing.
Mike: I will do a variety of workouts during my base phase. For this marathon in particular I will have a long base phase since I will be running 100-140 miles per week for the next 10 weeks and have a small 2-week taper before the big race.

The first 5 of those 10 weeks with consist of short track or hill workouts on Mondays to get leg turnover and power (something we don’t want to lose even during heavy mileage training) and Wednesdays will be longer steady state runs of 8-12 miles at 10-15 seconds slower than race pace. Saturdays will be 20-22 mile long runs at a comfortable pace, some having 5-15 minutes close to race pace at the end.

The next 5 weeks will have longer track or hill intervals on Mondays to get faster pace work and strength in and Wednesdays with be Short Tempos Run of 4-8 miles at race pace. Saturdays will alternate from 22-28 mile easy long runs and 15-18 mile steady state runs.  Keep in mind that all of this is being done at altitude, so some times and efforts may be adjusted by about 10-15 seconds per mile.

For each workout I will do about 20 minutes or 3 miles warm up and cool down, with loosening drills and stretches before the workout. As far as doing AM workouts, its something that I have done since high school and then everyday during college, so I am quite used to rolling out of bed and working out half asleep at times. And like you said, life does require them especially being that most races that I run start just after the sun comes up.

Thanks for the questions and thanks for reading! Keep up the training!