Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Weather in Karaganda, Kazakhstan according to
December 26, 2007:
-31 C / - 24F
Feels Like -45C / -49F
Bitterly cold. Mostly cloudy and windy. Scattered snow showers this morning. Dangerous wind chills may approach -45F. High -17F. Winds SW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 30%.

Aggghhhhh ...

P.S. Had a nice, small Christmas party with my friend and former teacher Jasin Mihlbauer who taught me English 9 (!) years ago! This time he plans to stay here in Kazakhstan for 5 years.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Training Week #02

Su, 12/9, pm: 7.50 mi, avg.pace 8:15
Mo, 12/10: rest
Tu, 12/11, am: 4.50 mi, avg.pace 8:13
We, 12/12, am: 3.01 mi, avg.pace 8:20
Th, 12/13: rest
Fr, 12/14, am: 4.00 mi, avg.pace 8:27
Sa, 12/15, pm: 3.00 mi, avg.pace 8:11
+ 2 Uphills as 1.00 mi, avg.pace 9:47, max.HR 163 (!) more hills - better max.HR

Total mileage: 23.01 mi at average 8:21 pace
(Click on the link for more details)

I do not have much to report.
I gradually increase the volume of work.

Merry Xmas and Wow almost a week to New 2008 Year !!!

P.S. Yes, I didn't run 3:15 race this year and I didn't hit anything better than 5:57 mile.
You know what is a part of my personal Xmas wish list now :)

I talked a lot to coach, Mystery Coach recommended me couple Lydiard's books, talked to other Great guys... and Gals from the Beautiful World of Running

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Training Week # 01

Here's my short report on my first week after Shanghai race.
All runs were easy. Felt good and comfortable.

Week #01,
December 2007
Sun 02 - Sat 08

Su, 12/2, pm: 3 mi, avg.pace 8:53
Mo, 12/3, pm: 2 mi, avg.pace 8:53
Tu, 12/4: off
We, 12/5, am: 4.50 mi, avg.pace 9:12
Th, 12/6: off
Fr, 12/7, pm: 5.50 mi, avg.pace 8:25
Sa, 12/8, am: 4.00 mi, avg.pace 8:50
+ pm: 1 Uphill as 1.00 mi at avg. 9:29, max.HR 160

Total mileage: 20.00 mi at average 8:51 pace
(Click on the link for more details)

P.S. I do plan to run Almaty, Kaz (Half?) marathon in June 2008 (hope they will organise it) which is 50% "uphill". In connection with this I try to add hills into my program.
Haven't agreed on this subject with Coach yet, just added 1 uphill run in the end of week.
Just wonder: How about adding 1 "hill" each week?

I can't answer for a simple question: "What do I train for?"
Could be
- Almaty Half or Full race in June 2008
- Omsk, Russia in August 2008
- Hangzhou, China in early Nov 2008

Also have plans for shooting a documentary for my races. One Great High Definition Camcorder is almost here.

- Shanghai? I'll be tired after Hangzhou, so will stay somewhere there on Shanghai streets to shout a cheer to runners.
Money is an issue when you try to pick out a race somewhere, as No Decent Races in Kaz, so I will run most of races again (Almaty, Omsk and China).
The only difference - Results will be better.

Thank you guys for comments!
I am still new to marathon running and therefore shall learn a lot.
Happy running to Everybody!!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

New Period

Have started new Training period. Week after race on Sun, Nov 25 had no running at all. I started to run and am glad to feel this feeling of training again, despite of creepy cold and snow. Do I need to put a balaclava on?
I am doing 20 or so miles in Training Week #1 now.
Think of gradually increasing mileage +5 or +10 miles a week. As I remember from my last winter experience - 60 mpw feels like getting 80 miles in "April - October" period.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Jiayo 2007. My Shanghai Marathon

Report. First of all I’m sorry for the delay. It took some time to finish financial report, report on the business trip itself and now I’m writing here my story of Shanghai 2007 race.
I landed in Shanghai airport on Thu, Nov 22nd having the work I had in China done. My only concern was to get to Organizing Committee to get a chip, bib number and to buy a new pair of shoes. I did it all on Friday only.
In the sport shop with brand shoes and catalogues I wrote a note to a salesperson: “Saucony Fastwitch 2” (Coach recommended me this name or any other shoe with a good brand name). As I understood – they can deliver me the shoe I wanted, only a week later. “Xie Xie” (Thanks). I better choose something available in the shop. I started to read their catalogues in English / Chinese (all I know in Chinese is 20 characters :) and suddenly I pointed at “I want this one”. It was Asics Gel-DS Racer VII. Catalogue price more than 100 bucks turned into 65 or so due to some discounts…(indicated price was in RMB, 740 Chinese yuan, I only “translate” into dollars). In the hotel I made some quick Inet research on my purchase, some reviews I read said that my choice (most expensive I ever had) wasn’t bad at all. OK, I want to try it.
With a plan to “work a little bit” with my new Asics I gave them a trial run of 6 easy miles on Fri pm, while doing this I found that this pair is SO-o-o Light and good that I pushed myself to average pace 7:50 or so for all 6 miles. As a result, on next day, Saturday I felt my right quad is slightly uncomfortable. Did I overwork being excited about new Asics? Could be.
Ahh, and last (but super important) thing to buy – running shorts!!! I forgot mine in Kazakhstan. My fault.
I have a friend in Shanghai and actually without her I wouldn’t be able to do everything in time… We visited about 7 stores including a Huge “Sport City” where I found Basketball shorts, perfect for Yao Ming or Shaq, not for me. No shorts!
I even had this dialogue in one shop:
Sales: Season for shorts is over, so we have no shorts to run in.
R: No shorts! But tomorrow, there’s a Race in Shanghai!
S: What? Is there any running in Sh. Tomorrow?
R: Oh man, forget about it.
It’s ok, I have my old running trousers and I will cut it off.
And I did it. Not perfect, but I can run in it, though some internal lining is getting out. I don’t really care. I’m going to run marathon.
I remember I had soup in KFC + all their “junk food”. This is better for me than to go to traditional Chinese restaurant with a risk of having something my stomach couldn’t bear. Don’t get me wrong, I love miscellaneous Chinese dishes, but there’s no time for experiments before the Big Day. So KFC and Pizza from local Pizza Hut on Sat night.
Slept from midnight till 5 am. The length of the sleep could’ve been longer.
Sunday morning. 7 AM. Here we are at the Century Square of Nanjing Road. Personally love to walk there in the evenings. Nanjing road is the same what Arbat street in Moscow is or Broadway in NY.
But now I look at Nanjing road not as at shopping center which is nice and expensive. My running battle will start here soon. Finally I’m here, physically and mentally prepared. I’m ready. I see a lot of “Laowai”. I myself is Laowai here. Korean speech, German, English, Chinese … You can see my video, part 1 to feel the whole atmosphere.

We start SLOWly. Narrow streets with Too many people and it’s too crowded and I feel can’t move my butt any faster.
Mile 01: 8:05 avg.HR 142
Mile 02: 8:05 avg.HR 142
Mile 03: 8:02 avg.HR 142
My heart and me calm and even relaxed. Gimme some space to run.
Thousand people cheer for us screaming JIAYO, from time to time they beat into traditional Chinese drums.
We dive into a narrow street which is covered by roads above us constructed in several levels up there. Add numerous numbers of skyscrapers close to our “path” – I seriously worry about my Tool. “Please Mr. Garmin, I’ll show you a clear blue sky soon”.
My plan at the moment was to keep closer to 8:00 / mile, as close as possible. I remember some great races made in Ireland and Canada. But I keep no illusions – I’m doing my PR, not 3:30 race.
Mile 04: 7:58 avg.HR 142
Mile 05: 7:59 avg.HR 140
Our way is still covered with roads and other constructions, poor Mr. Garmin – I seriously worry; we see some sky from time to time though.
Mile 06: 7:33 avg.HR 141
Mile 07: 7:59 avg.HR 141
I noticed that one Laowei is having about 8:00 pace, so theoretically I can stick to this “aim” in case I have any GPS problems.
Now in post race period I understand that it was funny – I cared a lot about getting a signal from satellites, I even took my hand to the right or left, so to provide my Garmin a chance to get something from heavens. I sign relaxing old song “Under the boardwalk”, have no idea why…
Mile 08: 8:00 avg.HR 142
Mile 09: 7:50 avg.HR 142
Mile 10: 8:07 avg.HR 143
Finally all bridges, roads and constructions above us over. Clear blue sky is here. I look at the tool. In 2nd window I have “Average Pace” not for last mile, but the whole distance. I see 10.0 miles I’ve done @ average 7:57 – 7:58.
Good. Perfect.
But I keep in mind that this is Marathon.
I run almost effortlessly, breath naturally, look at device: distance I passed 10.04 mi, and it is still. 10.04 a min later, two minutes later still 10.04. BUMMER! Mr. Garmin
– Please!!! Wake up!
(If you decide to look at my Garmin’s route I made in Shanghai – it looks good, Data I have from Garmin – I can trust only first 10 miles and may be some last miles, let me explain why).
I run under the open sky and I know what it means. GPS work is over, now it’s time to listen to my own body (I am not good at that!). Where’s that Laowai who kept perfect 8:00? Ah, I see that guy 20 meters ahead of me. We keep running. I just said to myself that the guy would be a perfect pacemaker as our road divided into 2 ways and I found that marathoners go to the left, those who run half go to the right and the 8:00 Laowai goes … to the right. Half marathon at that pace is not my case. No pacemaker around me, only my Garmin screams something like “Lost satellites … – Enter”. Ok, I push Enter as I have no alternative. I heard and read many times that with all those GPS devices we’re sort of Data slaves. Ok, I listen to my own body only, I breath naturally, I’m close to 20k mark. I never seen toilets on the way, it was shown on the map though. Small “call of nature” made me think of joining 4 runners who stands close to bushes… Also I want to restart the tool. Restarting didn’t work, so I decided to turn it off and then on again. Instead I see info on the screen about software version, current voltage, smth else… One minute for turning my Tool correct way, one minute for my deal in bushes, while Garmin on the grass 1 meter away from me is catching satellites. One old Chinese pedestrian bowed down above my tool mumbling something in Chinese. “Man, Don’t, don’t touch it please!” Another Chinese joined! They want to take it away! I’m a little bit busy but “You Stay away from my Garmin!”. I’m done, I see tool caught satellites, I grab it and RUN.
I pass Half Race mark. Feel good.
The only problem – I do not like what I see on device. It shows my HR, shows Current pace. But it is not synchronized with time, for instance if I keep closer to 8:00 pace it has to look like:
xx.00 mi ~ 0m00s
xx.25 mi ~ 2m00s
xx.50mi ~ 4m00s
xx.75 mi ~ 6m00s so I adjust my running to get pretty close to 8:00 min / mile.
Usually 0.01 mi is equal to 5 sec at that pace.
“Unsynchronized” means that the tool shows you something like:
xx.00 mi ~ 4:26
xx.25 mi ~ 6:32
xx.50 mi ~ 0:14 seeing this I even tried to understand “some logic” in the data I see. And every mile the data is different!
I gave up, Ok what I have to see is my HR and current pace, pace at the moment. I just ignore anything else.
Before the Race I agreed with my friend that she would meet me at 35 km mark . Also I decided that I will use my “secret weapon” at that point. Secret weapon from Paul, running pal from Astana (Kaz capital) is a PowerGel he brought for me in October. Thank you Man for the Gel and a bottle of Gatorade will wait for me after the finish line. It’s impossible to get Gatorade in Kaz, never seen it in China either.
Pass 30 k mark and I hurry to meet my friend soon. Very soon.
Somewhere around those places we ran into a 60 meter tunnel (my Garmin can bear anything) and there was water leaking down from the ceiling – nice shower.
I remember 32 k mark, why they put it there? May be to remind that there are only 10 k left to go. Tall Lawoai with strong American accent stands at this mark screaming and rooting for us:
… doing Good, you’re looking strong, going to finish it soon …
I know I’ll finish the race. I am slower than 3:30 but it’s gonna be my PR. I did think at that time about sub 3:40.
So, here we have couple real long bridges and we run it “uphill”. Tough inclines but I do not attack. I try to take it easy.
Approach to 35 km mark. Open the Gel and “consume” about 70% of that.
Remember Dallen’s story that his stomach couldn’t bear anything on the run, even water? I felt like I could be close to that condition so made 1 sip of water and I run further.
Where’s my friend? She’s not here. Must have been waited for me… This is a real Bummer.
You must heard it many times that a Marathon doesn’t really begin until mile Twenty. I am here and I guess even closer to the finish line. I did hold back in the first half, I had about 2 min rest in the middle, so I don’t really care about Super tough final miles. Not this time. I do not feel any hardness of situation. I think about anything but running a marathon: about hardware I saw in PC Pacific Mall, or How to pay for my Skype account? It’s not easy in my places. Or about unclocked iPhone I had in my hands there (Sales: Yes, it is smuggled, we unlock it here but will give you a guarantee for this model. Price about ~ $ 650 for 8 Gb model). I think of … marketing from Apple / AT&T which force us to crack closed models.
If you tell me that they start selling iPhone in France, GB and Germany since Nov 2007 – OK, but what about us, former USSR with about 0.5 – 1 million potential customers (I am here :) or surely more than 1 million in China. I do think they could sell it unlocked with 200 – 300 bucks higher price.
Let me join thoughts of hardware and passion to running here. Add a hardware twist to my marathon story.
I wasn’t going to buy iPhone this visit to Shanghai but I made up my (crazy IT : ) mind to following:
– If I run any marathon faster than 3:30 I will buy it, iPhone to crack or Googlephone based on OS Android (1Q, 2Q 2008?) or anything else from that class;
– Sub 3:15 marathon, I will buy Nintendo Wii (pretty sporty console, still actual for 2007-08);
– If I run marathon faster than 3:00 I will buy Sony Play Station 3. Yes.
You heard that. And as I really really want to get a decent game console + Blu-Ray player in one device or to change my cheap budget phone for what I mentioned above – I have no choice. But run faster.
Man! Did I said that? 3:30 is possible within 6 month, but Play Station 3 ($ 700+ in my city, Kaz) …, do I buy it in 2009?
Enough about Awards, my race is not finished yet.
5 k to go and yes – I admit I am tired. Remember my last training run in Karaganda, Kaz. Early November, 6 am I jog on 5 inch layer of snow. So cold and so much snow, but my task is easy – 3 miles only, 3 laps in the park covered with Snow; snow produces such a specific sound when you put your leg on it. I will have it again, so soon…
JIAYO!!! 3 more miles to finish Shanghai marathon, I run among green grass, bushes, palms! I see flowers. That is so beautiful. And bad, bad thought crawl into my mind:
“I can have some rest actually. I can stop to drink some water, I already PRed, so relax …” I keep on passing people, I don’t think anybody passed my after the Half way mark. I also play a game I took from one Thomas’ race, game called “Choose a Victim”. This game is a pure fun now: That guy in yellow.. now that fat lawoai, those five runners… May be they didn’t trained as hard as I did. Finally 90 miles a week is a hard task, or may be I turn into a more experienced marathoner. Someone calls me: I see my friend on moto cycle!!!
And you can see me now on the Run

In fact it gave me some boost because I’m being recorded on my budget photo camera. I have to look better : ) my running is “not that shabby” now.
If you ever decide to run Shanghai, remember – there are many crossroads on the way and Police stand there trying to stop cars and pedestrian from crossing your marathon way. But sometimes they can’t. Too many Chinese in China! So don’t be surprised seeing a hundred cyclists and dozen buses from the left and from the right on the way to cross your road of International Marathon. I never stopped due to that but I saw guys behind me who had to stop! I did speed up on such crossroads; I even showed one finger (not good in American interpretation) to the bus driving on me from the left. I won’t stop and I won’t slow down. There’s one big cross road 100 m before the finishing line. I read in Internet that several years ago one leading Kenyan was hit on this road by bus, he lost about 20 seconds and chances to win a race. He got second place. But I’m lucky here.

I cross the line and see something about 3:4x:xx. I don’t really care. I did it. My placement is (now I know it from Internet web site) #424 out of about four thousand runners I guess. I meet my friend. I get my certificate and “award” stuff for a finisher.
Do not feel any super pain, my neck is good (oh, Omsk), I feel some pain in my quads but it’s quite normal. Even next day, flying to Kaz I felt good without limping walks and with no serious pain stepping downstairs as it usually happens.
I love Shanghai and I’ll be back to this marathon.
To make a better race… … and to buy better gadgets.

P.S. No running this week Sun, Nov 25 – Sat, Dec 1st. Coach provided me one week to have a rest.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Shanghai is my PR

Woo hoo! My Dear Reader - you have to see it.
I did it in such a smooth way, it wasn't super hard at all.
Shaved almost 20 min off my record and just Happy about it.
I don't used to write those great race reports as some of my favorite running bloggers do, but I will try to make detailed (more or less) description of the whole process soon. Let me get to Kazakhstan. 3 (or 4) days later I will post it with decent video of me doing km #40, 41. (Something wrong with my notebook here, so I will edit those materials at home).
Pre-race and post race photos available (warning you - sometimes I look Ugly:) here.

Thank you so much everybody!


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ready to Go

Ha! Bad bad blogger is back. My business trip is over, I visited too many cities, too many provinces and companies, had too much information... and finally I'm here.
I do like Shanghai best!
After my 90 mpw PR followed by absolutely strange Taper of - 23.01 mi, - 29.88 mi and yesterday I just put into my deposit net 17 miles for the last week.
Now is a Big Day.
3 days ago bought this shoe and pretty Happy. Never had anything like this. Let's see how it works.
My tool is ready to show me:
Current Lap / Pace
Distance / Hear Rate
I'm ready.
Got to Go.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

90 mpw as my personal peak and a bad taper

Sat, November 10
Almaty, Kazakhstan:
Hi from Super expensive Almaty Internet cafe, i is 400 tenge per hour which about $3!
I'm on the way to China and tomorrow / day after tomorrow I'll be there, in places where similar cafe provides you the same services for 2 Yuan ~ $0.3.
So, I had an insane week:
Sun, 10/28 - Sat, 11/03
7 days, 8 sessions, 90.02 miles at average pace 08:51 - so slow, but glad I did it and glad I have Taper now...

Monday, November 12
Urumqi, China (spent more than 50 hours to get here by train Karaganda - Almaty - Urumqi)

Doing 90 miles feels like you're sort of Zombie...
My best running week consists of
- no days off
- 20 miler on Sunday
- 15 miles on Friday.
The week is pretty close to what Andrew prescribed me.
I have to mention here that we were lucky to have a warm autumn here this year. But just as I've done my PR week the weather turned to normal conditions - snow, wind etc.

This week finished with Ugly result - about 25 miles or so!

Hard to explain or find any decent excuse... I took 2 days off after i got 90 mi mark ans since Friday, Nov 9 I'm on business trip to China so things are different from the plan now.

I didn't want this scenario - but my bosses asked me to have this business trip.
Originally I planned to take a 2-week leave (vacation) and to visit Shanghai by myself. But with the trip to our suppliers in China, first of all I have to visit about 10 companies - from Beijing down to Shanghai. Then I can run a marathon on Sun, November 25.
This is Mad and Brutal.

Tonight have to be in Beijing, tomorrow would be different city ...
P.S. My Bib # is 1023, all sporty shoe I wore out and will have to buy something decent in Shanghai 3 days before marathon. I know, this is not good but I had similar situation before my first marathon, I bought new shoe a week before the Big Day, had 10 miles in them only and those (as Salesperson said) "sort of ASICS" were not bad (I have it with me actually with a hope to have some run here, but I consider the pair as Officially dead, I mean, I still can run but it is not for the Race anymore).
I do not think they sell any brand sporty shoe in Kaz so have to explore this in China.

Hope to be on the plane in 1 hour and
Happy Running to everybody!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

60 miles last week. Closer to Taper

Week #12, Sun 10/21 - Sat 10/27 60.17 mi
There's nothing to report from my places. Sixty ordinary miles last week after my cold and sickness. I did tried to make a Twenty miler or any long run but simply didn't have enough guts.

We already have frost on the grass ...
and I do realize that any high weekly mileage is simply impossible in the coming winter, even serious long runs is a big question in my Snowy / Windy conditions, so I am closer to Taper (this is SCARY!) and I do realize that this time is my last chance to get a better mileage this year, till next Spring...
Now I'm good and fully recovered.
Probably I've started best week in my running life now

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Success Then Failure

The closer I am to the Big Day, the more I doubt about the Race. But there’s no turning back for me. I go there. Here’s my condensed story about highest expectations of getting high mileage. And failing twice:

Week Sun 10/7 – Sat 10/13
– Su, 10/7, PM: 20 mi at 7:53. Read my previous post about this PR, that run made me simply more confident about my abilities in real race. At that time I was mentally and physically ready to hit 90 miles a week. Didn’t happen though.
– Mo, 10/8, AM: 5.01 mi @ 8:52;
PM: 3.00 mi @ 8:12.
– Tu, 10/9, AM: 10.40 mi @ 8:44;
PM: 3.00 mi @ 8:10. I am “authorized” by coach to have doubles, but my second run has to be no longer than mere three miles. Whatever, at that point I felt that everything is great and I’m in the middle of my best week.
– We, 10/10, AM: I’m doing 10 or 11 easy miles, it suppose to take about one and half hours. I remember dawn already broke in and it wasn’t dark anymore and I passed 9:50 mi mark when suddenly in one unlucky moment I twisted my right ankle. I limped a little bit trying to estimate situation. It was serious. That’s all. Wednesday morning, I have Total 50 + miles on my deposit but it’s All Over!

I consumed a lot of ice. On Fri eve I walked a quarter on my stadium trying to jog, but actually limping at 10:30 average pace. Next day an old marathon buddy – Mr. Paul (3:25:05 in Boston, April 16th, 2007) visited my industrial city. I have a running blog here, so I skip foreigner’s adventure on the way from Astana to Karaganda. (Just in case if you’re visiting these places, let me give you some advice: try to know elementary Russian, some Kazak would be good and get ready to have 10% those conveniences you used to have :) Paul brought me some running stuff – special socks for marathoners – surely they do not produce it here in former USSR, Running Times (Sep 07) magazine – Love It! Also now I have a DVD copy from Boston 2007 – this one is a Great motivational thing. Thank you Paul!
Recently he finally bought Garmin 305 so I showed him couple useful (imho) options for displaying more info. It is better to read Garmin manual anyway, finally I don’t think I use more than 60% of all running features in my Tool. I never used “retracing route back” to the starting point cause I know my places.
I discussed a possibility of delivering one advanced hardware thing from the States soon, as he goes there in November. Can’t tell you what is that, I think it can be used in registering running process.
OK. I was off work on Thu, Fri & Sat. Man, it is more than enough to make you feel real bad…

Another week and one more attempt to hit magical number of miles per week,
Sun 10/14 – Sat 10/20 – unfortunately I got a serious cold and had to take 2 days off..
– Su, 10/14, PM: 20.10 mi, 3:06:49 at avg. 9:17 – tough twenty miler. I was sort of jogging and hobbling. It is hard to have real long run after 3 days of inactivity.
– Mo, 10/15, PM: 12.00 mi @ 9:17. Watch out – Andrew gave me a plan which I tried hard to fulfill. The plan was 20 miler on Sunday, then 12 mi on Monday. This was the first time I ever was able to have 12 miles after grueling 20 miler. 9:17 is a sluggish pace but glad I did it.
– We, 10/16, PM: 8.00 mi @ 8:34.
– Th, 10/17, AM: 4.00 mi @ 9:23 I think I was faster but Tool started to lose satellites and I was almost sick..
– Fr, 10/18: OFF and recover
– Sa, 10/19: easy 6 miles at 8:15.
The only thing I can be glad is that both weeks I managed to get 50+ miles. Detailed summary available at Work with Andrew. Part II.
P.S. I’m getting closer to the Taper and Shanghai.
P.P.S. Non running life:
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard released yesterday on Friday, October 26. This OS is still out of my reach.

Happy running to everybody… and Do Not Get Injured.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I've been toying with the idea of reaching 90 mpw one lucky day. Here I am fully ready to get this aim.
Sunday, October 7 - time to do another 20 miler.

Couple days before that, I read this post by Ryan and was pretty amazed with his plan for 20 miler. Plan was to make 10 mi sub 7:20 + 10 mi sub 7:00! And plan was done. Wow!!!

It made me think of simple thing: Ok, Ryan's plan is surely not for me, but How many consecutive miles I could run keeping sub 8:00? I made some guess trying to understand this way: I did Half at 7:38 average so I can survive 13 or 14 miles. What about fifteen or more making 20 miler within this experiment? If I will do it, that would be my Best twenty ever, plus I will gain some experience for the real Full race. With all those thoughts in mind I started on my stadium:

Mile 01: 7:41
Mile 02: 7:44 be conservative pls!
(translation: try to keep 7:50 - 8:00)
Mile 03: 7:56 good
Mile 04: 7:56
Mile 05: 7:52
Mile 06: 7:55 I think about Ryan's formula
Mile 07: 7:47 couple homeless doggies watch me,
homeless doggies here are not aggressive at all
Mile 08: 7:55
Mile 09: 7:57 I taught myself to drink without a stoppage,
grab little bottle, 1-2 sips on the run, leave the bottle in the field, no one will take it
Mile 10: 7:56
Mile 11: 7:52
Mile 12: 7:53 ok I am almost here !!!
The tool is on the left wrist and gas spray ("prudential measure") is in right hand. I see a man and two ladies approach to my places and.. here's why I have this tiny gas in my hand for.. Little super aggressive dog chasing me, owners only enter the stadium - I spray and say couple *** words - I guess correct name for the dog. Attack #1. I keep on running the lap and a man and company cross the place - Oh yea, I am supposed to meet the doggy again and am pissed off with this situation. Grab 2 stones (recommendation from books) doggy attack me again and I throw it on the run - I didn't really want to hit the dog, just show 'em that the whole situation is stupid. In fact I found that it is almost impossible to hit the dog by a stone being on the run. Attack #2 - I run backward saying "good" words about doggy and trying to spray right in the muzzle. B*stards, Attack 1 was enough to understand that it would happen again. "Ok, ok, stop spraying, I will hold it" - screams lady grabbing dog. I run away screaming what I think about all of them:
- You are such a Mambo! (Kaz untranslatable phrase :)
So, Mr. Garmin - what do we have? I run 12.50 mi and current mile time is 4:06 !! Holy cow and ***ing dog - I'm seven seconds behind the plan. Gradually increase the speed but this is tricky work, you can get this mile as planned time but "destroy" further miles, it can "play havoc" with other 7 miles.
Mile 13: 7:53 I am lucky (see my HR for this mile - thanks to Doggy for HR and some boost)
Mile 14: 7:54 I am good but it hurts
Mile 15: 7:56
Mile 16: 7:54 I entertain myself croonin' different songs:
Don't stop me now, I'm having such a good time... (Queen)
Mile 17: 7:55
Lord Have Mercy on me, "Sinner's Prayer" by Eric Clapton
Won't you please have mercy ... My neck, back aghh but I keep going
Mile 18: 7:53 three miles only, sort of EZ 5k
Mile 19: 7:53
Mile 20: 7:52

20.00 mi, 2:37:42, avg.pace 7:53, avg.HR 150, max.HR 170 (cute doggy)

This is my Biggest achievement in this distance and it was such a nice experience. Full race soon and I will try to stick to this plan: first mile would be slower, it is crowded in Shanghai and here's my own formula - "conservative" sub 8:00 for twenty and one mile. Then let's see.

Coach has race in 4 days?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Lowest mileage recently

Sep - Oct 07
Week #07, Sun 30 - Sat 06 45.01 mi

Su, 9/30: I am OFF after mile repeats on the day before
Mo, 10/1: 7.01 mi at avg.pace 8:49 sluggish
Tu, 10/2: 8.00 mi at 8:49 shockink fight with gusty wind and snow on AM run, did regret that I didn't take my gloves. It is too soon for early winter attack.
We, 10/3: the same "inviting" weather - No Thanks
Th, 10/4: 13.00 mi at 8:47
Fr, 10/5: 11.00 mi at 8:25
Sa, 10/6: 6.00 mi at 7:42
I was supposed to get to 50 miles so had to run 11 miles.
It didn't happen cause I decided to make sort of Good Old Tempo this way:
1 mile: no target
1 mile: sub 7:00
1 mile: sub 7:20
1 mile: sub 7:40
1 mile: sub 8:00
1 mile: sub 8:20 + 5 miles no target.
Did all what i planned but those 5 miles left would bring me into a bad condition.
Save energy.
I've made up my mind to make Best-est week since Sunday, October 7th and actually I'm doing it now.

P.S. Bad news from Chicago, good news from Scotland and Minneapolis.
P.P.S. I was right on Sat eve, just made fantastic PR in 20 miles on Sunday but now too tired to write about it. Will be back soon.

Good Running & Recovery to Everybody!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Seven Weeks to Go

This is what I have in stock before the Big Day.
Recently I've put some decent mileage into the log:

Total mileage for
Aug 07:
118.72 miles @ avr. 8:28, 16 hours on open air... including full marathon.
Sep 07:
260.08 miles @ avr. 8:32, 37 + hours on open air, this is good.

Water outage (which we had for one day "only") worked well in September:
Sun 16 - Sat 22 72.07 mi
Sun 23 - Sat 29 73.01 mi
I do appreciate weeks which include twenty miler, so now I have two and as my target to hit 6 or 7 "real" long runs, I'm supposed to make 4 twenty milers in October + 1 in early November.
The only highlights of those 2 weeks besides 20 milers was Mile repeats workout which I did intend to make somewhere in the end of the month. Originally Andrew recommended me this workout somewhere in June and as I did like 'em, I decided to make mile repeats once per month. This type of intervals are excited but frankly speaking takes much, so much out of me.
Half physical, half mental requires some concentration on the process:

Sa, 9/29, 2007:
7 x 1 mile, Target: Sub 6:37 each mile. Rest time 11:30

There's a phase in extremal running (let's say last miles in marathon) when I say to myself: "I hate, hate doing this". That's what I thought doing seventh mile interval, I physically felt that this must be my limit now. All repeats i did with conservative pace sub 6:30, last repeat was 6:10 with HR in good zone 154 - 155 max. Now I wonder - am I able to make 8 x 1 mile, I think I will postpone this experiment for the future.
Next day I was not able to make any long run at all, slept 14 hours as a baby, missed the whole day and didn't even think about running.
This is what running to your own limits is all about.

Hope coach doesn't read this : )
Recently Andrew was critical about all intervals so I had to ask - Please, only one interval workout in September. Didn't get any positive reaction.
Andrew is right, main concern now is keep doing long runs and higher mileage, No PRs.

This week in running was poor in aspect of mileage as if I was doing a Taper, in fact I do not. No time for Taper yet...
Two days with gusty wind, rain, hail and snow (just think SNOW! on Oct 2 & 3rd) crashed my running work this week:
Sun, 9/30 - Sat, 10/6
expect to get only 50 miles mark for the week. Read on.

My regards to:
Thomas & Mike
both have Race tomorrow, Dallen to run Chicago then.
And how could I forget "Chinese"-Chicago runner Ryan who will try to break 3 hour barrier in Chicago tomorrow. Good Luck!!!
Those guys are real Fighters.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Champing at the bit

Sun, 9/16:
15 mi, 2:27:02, avg.pace 9:48 (!), avg.HR 141, max 155
There's a Steppe plateau - a place which is located much higher than my stadium or park. My hills lead to the plateau, real tough and stony place. 9:48 is a result received on a cold windy day with hot sun. Such a confusing weather is possible here in Central Asia.
That tough run made me think I shall get back there couple more times, no chance to be there in the winter due to at least 1m snow layer up there.

Mon, 9/17: Rest

Tue, 9/18: this one was a real blast. Wake up at four and forty minutes later I walk towards the park. Couple more hours before a dawn, it is dark and bright shining stars, at least couple hundred visible stars above you promise some fun:
01: 8:24 (140)
02: 8:26 (142) still warming
03: 8:25 (143)
04: 8:06 (146)
05: 8:10 (147)
06: 8:04 (146)
07: 8:14 (145)
08: 8:10 (143)
09: 8:12 (145)
10: 8:12 (143)
11: 8:11 (144)
12: 8:15 (144)
13: 8:22 (144)
14: 8:14 (145) Here comes the Sun :)
15: 8:23 (145) getting warmer
16: 8:51 (142) drink water
17: 8:27 (145) drink again
18: 8:02 (147)
19: 7:58 (148)
20: 7:49 (150)
21: 7:42 (152, max 156)

21 mi, 2:52:46, avg.pace 8:13, avg.HR 145, max 156
My first twenty miler this period,
ordinary result for some runners but my Sweet PR for twenty one mile. It makes me always think if I can make mere twenty one mile in 2h 52min, am I able to "put" mere 22 miles in 3 hours time? There are only 4 miles left and 40 minutes is just what I'm willing to allocate to finish Full Race. Naivety? Could be.
Stay tuned.

P.S. September 19 & 20 no water in Karaganda city. Wow! I've been dreaming a lot about it! I wanted it so-o-o-ou much and finally my dreams came true. Planned outage (the reason for doing that is to check all water supply systems and get ready to winter) for the whole city, instead of doing it "district by district" - this is another brilliant decision of our authorities. Thank you so much. Actually i know what it means - it is time to make better week in run :) I always hit more miles when there's a water outage.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Just Love them. Started to run quarters couple weeks after SIM, Russia.

Sat, 8/25, 2007
3 x 0.25 mi, Target: Sub 1m:40s, rest time 5:00
avg.pace 5:57, avg.HR 142, max.HR 159

Tue, 8/28, 2007
4 x 0.25 mi, Target: Sub 1:39, rest time 5:00
avg.pace 6:02, avg.HR 145, max.HR 161

Tue, 9/11, 2007
5 x 0.25 mi, Target: Sub 1:38, rest time 4:50
avg.pace 5:55, avg.HR 144, max.HR 167

Sat, 9/15, 2007
6 x 0.25 mi, Target: Sub 1:37, rest time 4:50
avg.pace 5:51, avg.HR 138, max.HR 155
Note: surprisingly low HR, was I tired that day and finished week with fairly low mileage.

Work with Andrew. Part II.

Aug 07
Week #01, Sun 05 - Sat 11 3.00 mi
Week #02, Sun 12 - Sat 18 10.02 mi
Week #03, Sun 19 - Sat 25 40.35 mi
Aug - Sep 07
Week #04, Sun 26 - Sat 01 40.75 mi
Week #05, Sun 02 - Sat 08 60.50 mi
Week #06, Sun 09 - Sat 15 44.51 mi
Week #07, Sun 16 - Sat 22 72.07 mi
Week #08, Sun 23 - Sat 29 73.01 mi
Sep - Oct 07
Week #09, Sun 30 - Sat 06 45.01 mi
Week #10, Sun 07 - Sat 13 51.10 mi
Week #11, Sun 14 - Sat 20 50.09 mi
Week #12, Sun 21 - Sat 27 60.17 mi
Oct - Nov 07
Week #13, Sun 28 - Sat 03 90.02 mi
Week #14, Sun 04 - Sat 10 about 25 !!! miles
Week #15, Sun 11 - Sat 17 ... mi
Week #16, Sun 18 - Sat 24 ... mi
Sunday, November 25, RACE

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

60 miles a week and more

Reached Sixty. Some might be afraid of this volume, for me it is a good sign - I'm entering a good quality work. To hit my Sixty having had 1 day off, ought to make about 10 miles per day. All details of my running work here.
3 days I made workouts with 10+ miles.
3 days I divided my work, therefore made it easier:
8 + 2.50 mi
3 + 5.0 mi
3 + 7.0 mi.
I do consider it as pretty ordinary work, the only "hard" running was 8 miles I did at 7:45 pace - relatively "hard" running for 1+ hour . There are guys from my sidebar who make it at 6:45 and call it Easy.
Next task to make 70 this week. This is tough, I know what it feels like.
Working on it.

Thank you Steve Jobs!
Non running life:
It's been more than 2 month since iPhone was released in the States. Yes I read prerelease info, info about 60 bugs they found after release, at least dozen "full" reviews. Thanks for recent Price cut - 399 bucks now, this is sweet. And say Bye to 4Gb version, good!
Here's a famous Steve's "open Letter". Let's read
"...I am sure that we are making the correct decision to lower the price of the 8GB iPhone from $599 to $399, and that now is the right time to do it. iPhone is a breakthrough product, and we have the chance to 'go for it' this holiday season. iPhone is so far ahead of the competition, and now it will be affordable by even more customers".
Bravo Steve!
Yes I read a lot about How to crack god damn AT&T defense - finally I'm from the other side of the Earth, it has to be much more harder to activate such device here. We have Russian-Turkish-Kazakh mobile providers. Will try my best to crack it, at least I will use it as 399 bucks 8Gb flash player. To crack iPhone for me is a real challenge, whether I can do it on the level of software or hardware or both.

Here's another Steve, MS CEO jerk and ignorant Steve Balmer laughs at iPhone. Personally LOVE most of the comments people made to the video.
Laugh sucker, laugh...

Back to running - I work on 70 miles this week - 10 miles tonight.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Good to Be Back!

Hello Running World!
Thank you Confucius for entertaining my Reader all this time, while I've been busy.
I was not that Fury as I wanted to run like.
But I am back to running long & winding ...
I got my precise results for Omsk, Russia marathon published.
Thank you Paul for the link!
The document is in Russian, anyway you can see me there with Official result 3:57:22
Placement 271 out of 687 men who finished.
"Not too shabby"? hmm.

Recently I have talked a lot to the coach and here's a short summary (as I got it hopefully right) for future running work:
- concentrate more on long runs;
- a week with less qnty of "sessions" with decent mileage better than a lot of AM/PM short runs through the week;
- "Longer & slower" better than "faster & shorter";
- 80 - 90 miles a week diet prescribed by Doc.

And here's how we plan/planned to get it:

Aug, Sun 05 - Sat 11: ~3 mi; 3.0 @ 9:52 !
Aug, Sun 12 - Sat 18: ~10 mi; 10.02 @ 8:38
Aug, Sun 19 - Sat 25: ~40 mi; 40.35 @ 8:25
Aug, Sun 26 - Sep, Sat 01: ~50 mi; 40.75 @ 8:11
Sep, Sun 02 - Sat 08: ~ 60 mi
Sep, Sun 09 - Sat 15: ~ 70 miles
Sep, Sun 16 - Sat 22: ~ 80 miles - Here we are
Sep, Sun 23 - Sat 29: ~ 80 miles
Sep, Sun 30 - Oct, Sat 06: 90 ??
Oct, Sun 07 - Sat 13: ~ 90 nutty miles?
Oct, Sun 14 - Sat 20: ~ doc's diet?
Oct, Sun 21 - Sat 27: ~ still alive ?
Oct, Sun 28 - Nov, Sat 03: TAPER !!!
Nov, Sun 04 - Nov, Sat 10: this is a trully blessed time
Nov, Sun 04 - Nov, Sat 10: more snow with little running.

Lately I didn't do anything special, ran mostly in pm time, which is not good considering early start in Shanghai. 7:30 AM in Shanghai equal to my 5:30 AM local kaz time.
Highlights of post race period:
I started real bad right on a week after the marathon, made only 3 miles with sub 10 min(!) pace and the only idea that "those legs do not listen to me, do not feel they are mine". 2 weeks later it was getting better and better. Then I made longer and longer runs, added uphills and even easy intervals 3 x 400, 4 x 400.

August 31, 2007, Fri: I go on with this "Mile repeats strategy"
decided to make serious Mile repeats and didn't really believe that I'm able to hit 6 fast miles within the limited time:
6 x 1 mile, Target: Sub 6:38. Rest time 11:40.
All details of this Core shaking workout (for me, only for me :) here.
Last day (unofficially) of the summer 07 and I run mile by mile faster and faster.
Doing mile #4 I only realized that I can finish all 6 repeats. My time is 6:00 for a mile. "Make it slower and do not be that jerk, no need to crash your own PR here. These are only mile repeats".
I did such repeats a long ago but never had six of them within such time.

Next day I dragged 10 miles (instead of planned 20!) so such Intervals are real core shaker for me. Guess I shall make it once per month, could be twice.

Total mileage for Sep 07: 118.72 lowest mileage "ever" :(

Fr, 8/31 Six fury mile repeats :)
Sa, 9/01 pm, 1:27:08, 10.0 mi, avg.pace 8:43, HR 137
Su, 9/02 pm, 1:26:30, 10.0 mi, avg.pace 8:39, HR 138
Mo, 9/03 REST
Tu, 9/04 am!, 1:37:17, 11.01 mi, avg.pace 8:50, HR 143

Summer is over and feels like tough time ahead. Whatever -
Happy Running Everybody!!!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Been There, Done That


Omsk, Russia. Sat, Aug 4, 2007
My Dear Reader, I’m terribly sorry for this delay. Here I am with a Bad but True story of my first marathon race, which I accomplished in the Heart of Russian Siberia, a place where thousand people had been sent to meet their death. I survived, but with truly disappointing final time.
Garmin time: 3:56:58
Net time is not clear yet, but I bet it's +/- 3 seconds, we used so called ChampionChip there, so I pushed start button on the Tool as I passed starting line, almost 4 hours later i pushed Stop.
So, after all those qood quality weeks of training, Who has a name of Rubbish Runner now?

We are – me and Paul, American diplomat in his late 40’s from Astana, capital of Kaz made a tough trip to Omsk, Russia. Got there right the day before the Big Day. Paul is experienced marathon runner with PB time 3:14! We registered, got our bib-numbers, T-shirts, some materials about Siberian International Marathon. The whole atmosphere were excited, we even saw, met some people from Spain, Germany, States. We were told that there would be good Pacemakers for those whose Target time is: 3:30, 3:45, 4:00, 4:15.
Of course I choose 3:30 pacemakers – those guys will run with Red balloons.
2 Red Balloons as eluding hope to get to a decent time.

This is going to be a Good day. I have to show my best; finally I’ve been working on this several past months. Dinner in the restaurant, eve before the Big day was a good “Fuel my stocks” event. Paul made a good prayer and here it is – Luxurious Russian sturgeon – Man, was it so good. Heavens, would it be useful for me tomorrow? Let’s see.

Mile 01: 8:27 crowded, we just started the biggest race in Siberia
Mile 02: 7:45 passed Big bridge and follow 2 Red Balloons
Mile 03: 7:45 feel good, Red Balloon pacemakers are obviously faster than they have to, I don't really care about it, they are ahead of me but any time I can reach them
Mile 04: 7:27 combination of hills / downhills made it faster
Mile 05: 7:31 not that fast! You already "compensate" first slow mile
Mile 06: 7:50 this is what I need,
somewhere here we "attack" hills ("i won't let this hill beat me!") - this is one of mistakes. Coach told me to take 'em easy
Mile 07: 7:45
Mile 08: 7:47 steel feel good.
One of fun entertainments we did on the run was making “High Five” slapping someone’s palm from the cheering crowd. People stand on both sides, some of them applause, some acclaim. I scream in reply: “Spasibo Omsk!”(Thank you Omsk!). Paul wants to learn and practice in his Russian, so he repeats. I would say that no more than 20% from the crowd were optimistic about hitting High Five. Paul tried to learn local people and did it well, keeping in the same time sub 8:00 pace and cheering me up too! Thanks a lot! Some people obviously skeptical about High Five. Children – those are Great Creatures with pure and open hearts – they Love to make High Five, they scream and yell and jump as they are excited that men from the Race need they support.
Mile 09: 7:58
Mile 10: 8:03 still good, but catastrophe is almost here
Mile 11: 8:13 do not see Red Balloons anymore
Mile 12: 8:08
Mile 13: 8:14 I started to whine here:
R: Paul, I have to walk
P: Keep on going
R: I can’t. I really need to walk to that water spot. Man, I can’t.
P: “Can’t” is a Four Letter Word.
Never forget it: “Can’t” is a Four Letter Word.
Mile 14: 8:27
Mile 15: 8:50
Mile 16: 10:24
Mile 17: 9:38
Mile 18: 8:58
Mile 19: 8:38 I drag to get to 20 miles mark
Mile 20: 12:14
Mile 21: 9:31
Mile 22: 9:34 I didn't hit the Wall
Mile 23: 10:18 I knew I would finish
Mile 24: 10:23 here I tried to concetrate to make last 2 miles non-stop. Failed.
Mile 25: 10:37 left quad is slightly spasming, nothing serious
Mile 26: 11:13 pain in left toe
+0.6mi!: 5:06 @ 8:31 pace.

I pass the finish line, 2 sec later Paul did.
This nightmare under the hot Siberian sun is over.
This is my exaggeration, not a nightmare at all, it wasn't that hot on the race day, avg.temps were about +26C/79F or so.

Totals (Mr.Garmin):
3:56:58, 26.59mi, avg.pace 8:54, avg.HR 155, max.HR 173
More details from Garmin software center are here.
Bad, Bad and Ugly. It just blows!
Man, next time I’ll be better.
Week Su 7/29 - Sa 8/4: 40.59 miles (including marathon).

5 days after the race, my left thigh muscles still hurt and not recovered. I already passed this comical period when walking downstairs or getting off the bus is a real problem and you walk down just as an invalid. My left big toe still blue as it was right after the finish line and I just let it go to see if I loose the nail on it. Need some time to recover. Ready to keep on running. Soon. Very soon.

P.S. Ran today (Thu, 8/9) actually I walked and jogged to the lake without anything, no HRM, nor GPS. Still my left hip stinks - need more time to "repair" it. Swam and felt that my nail on the left toe is absolutely dead and ready to be torn off soon. Do not judge me strict and let me take two weeks off.

- Thank you everybody for Great Support!
- Thank you Coach! I wasn't good this time, hope I have a chance to make it better next time.
- KamsahamniDa Paul! Unforgettable race and trip to the Heart of Russian Siberia.
- Happy Running to Everybody!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Summing Up

My work with coach Andrew. We started in March 2007, we've been working hard and here's what we have in stock (as of Garmin stats):
Mar: 236.62 mi
Apr: 201.94 mi
May: 276.26 mi
Jun: 271.87 mi
Jul: 232.92 mi
We had 3 main training periods, First one was real good, second was slightl spoiled by Almaty Half marathon. Also there are workouts to remember:1 hour sub 7:15 and then another hour with sub 7:00 pace I did in spring were good. My sort of weak part was Tempo - I'm not pleased with them at all. I'll take it seriously, after this Race. Twenty milers - made only six of them with recently described best one. I do not think the Long runs were good nor bad. I tried to improve them. Hope succeed.
So, here I am, typing this stuff in the Inet cafe in the downtown of Karaganda city. Leaving now to Astana to meet Paul. Then Kokshetau, Petropavlovsk and Russia, Omsk! Some people say that Omsk is a capital of Siberia. Could be. Never been to that city.

P.S. I got final instructions from Andrew.
P.P.S. Took a little vacation at work, three days only, Aug 1st, 2nd & 3rd. Ready to Omsk. Nervous.
Happy Running to everybody.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Three Days to Go

Short update for last week
July, Sun 22 - Sat 28:

After the sucky Tempo run on Sat I didn’t feel good enough to make a decent 20 miler, the last one in this training period.

Sun, 7/22 – Day off!!!
Mon, 7/23. There are guys, whose running work is a great sample for me. Andrew – can wake up at 3 am to start doing his 20+ miler before work! This is a funny moment – can you imagine a Kazakhstani banker to wake up early in AM and start doing long run? Forget about it. Another maniac springs to mind – one Not Rubbish runner, Ireland who did his “doubles” 20 + 20 two consecutive mornings as a prep for an ultra competition. As for me I never did 20 miler “before working day”. But now I forced to do it – this is my last chance to make it, Sunday missed. You will do it now or no more before the race, you can’t postpone it to the next weekend.

4.57 AM I push start button, the earliest time ever. Always did 20 milers on my stadium which is pretty boring. Running in the park is much more fun but didn’t feel real good right from the start and convinced myself this way:

"OK, I will do this Damn 12 miler or 15 miler, well I can drag to get to 17 mi mark.."
It’s a little bit cold in that time of day here so it got me thinking of my hat. So early and I forgot my sunglasses. Rising sun makes my shadow shorter and shorter every mile I pass, heating all things around up. First half of the distance I even asked myself:

- Do I owe this 20 miler to Andrew? – No.
- Do I have to get it to my own satisfaction? – Nope.
Running at average pace 8:00 – 8:15 which I consider a little bit slower than my planning Marathon pace I finally came to a simple conclusion that “I must do it last time as a simulation model of the Race, I do it as an integral part of training cycle, as basic essential and all that stuff. I don’t owe it to the Coach, there’s a real thing as responsibility I bear here. Finally not only Andrew is interested in a good last 20 miler, I myself want to finish it. As soon as possible.”

I kept on entertaining myself that way and got those miles, which unexpectedly turned into my best 20 miler:

Mile 01: 7:59
Mile 02: 8:00
Mile 03: 7:59
Mile 04: 7:59
Mile 05: 8:02
Mile 06: 8:56 two bottles with water hid in the bushes, it takes some time to be hydrated enough
Mile 07: 8:01
Mile 08: 7:57
Mile 09: 8:58 again
Mile 10: 8:04
Mile 11: 9:12 and again
Mile 12: 8:38
Mile 13: 8:04 run close to those horses from
Mile 14: 8:08 the previous post
Mile 15: 8:13 they inspire me, a lot
Mile 16: 8:08
Mile 17: 7:59
Mile 18: 8:07
Mile 19: 7:49
Mile 20: 7:20

So, this is my best long run for which I spent
2:43:46, 20.01 mi, avg.pace 8:11, avg.HR 140, max.HR 157.
Yes I felt bad at work, but I worked and worked good. And felt happy.

Tue, 7/24:
3.0 mi at average 8:09

Wed, 7/25:
4.01 mi, at 8:12. I felt much better, had some fluctuating pain in the legs though.

Thu, 7/26: REST

Fri, 7/27:
7.0 mi at 08:09. Made an ordinary ladder with target splits: 9.00 – 8.30 – 8.00 – 7.30 – 8.00 – 8.30 – 9.00

Sat, 7/28:
3.0 mi at 7:45, avg.HR 142, max.HR 149
Easy 2 x 800’s with a target time sub 3:30, rest 6:00

0.5 mi – 3:27 (pace 6:55), avg.HR 140, max.HR 148
0.5 mi – 3:28 (pace 6:57), avg.HR 140, max.HR 149
OK. Here I have to explain something. As for last 2 weeks before the race, I was Strictly Prohibited to do any Hard Work (besides last 20 miler). This is clear.

Why I did 2 x 800’s? I felt pretty nervous exactly 1 week before the Big Day. So decided to make sort of EZ intervals just to cool myself down. Also I remember definition from the Training Period #1: runs with HR 150 and higher we consider as a Hard work; 140 – sub 150 is an Easy work. These 800’s I made easier than regular mile repeats I usually do on Saturdays.

Andrew, do not hold a grudge against me. Please.
+ 3.0 mi at average pace 8:01, avg.HR 136, max.HR 150

Week is done. July, Sun 22 - Sat 28: 41.01 mi @ avg.pace 8:06.
All details on this diagram

Now I know what is the Taper : )
I’m on the way to my first, hopefully successful marathon. Thank you everybody. Love you guys all.

P.S. Tomorrow me (Karaganda) and Paul (Astana, new Kaz capital) take Paul’s car and go to Omsk, Russia. We’ve been doing some research on logistics. Couple weeks ago I even visited Astana where met Paul at a railroad station just to find out that all tickets to Omsk are sold out. Actually there was 1 “platskart” ticket. That means 1 seat in one real poor Soviet type railway wagon. Paul never had a trip in Soviet trains over here, so the whole process of searching tickets on the station was sort of fun for me. He was just wondering Why we can’t book tickets over the Internet here? This is hard to explain but in fact we can’t do that. Another factor is that it’s a Hot Summer time. People have vacations and travel wherever they want to: Russia, Turkey, Europe, China and Thailand… World is open, don’t forget to open up your purse!
P.P.S. I have some time for one more post tomorrow and I guess there are a lot of things to summarize.

My Places to Run





I made those shots recently in the Ethno park and this is me on my "stadium" - feel pretty good ...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Taper Zone

People gave a simple name for preRace weeks. TAPER.
This is an arguable point – when to start the Taper. Thomas made a comment that one week is not enough. Correct. What about two weeks? It makes sense almost for every runner.

July, Sun 01 - Sat 07: 80.37 mi @ avg.pace 8:20
July, Sun 08 - Sat 14: 52.26 mi @ avg.pace 8:17
July, Sun 15 - Sat 21: I post it here, read on
July, Sun 22 - Sat 28: unseen future :) about 50 mi I guess
Su 7/19 – Sa 8/04: less than 30 mi?? + Race?!

Since my body “refused” to run any more high-mileage weeks after the first week of July, I’ve made 2 weeks I actually not pleased with. What about the promise I made – to hit 5 consecutive weeks with 80+ miles. Look at my side bar, section called “best ever weeks” 3 of them done.
Man, was that tough!
Never wrote about it – in the middle of each that week – we had some “water pipe lines repair works” in my city. It means you have No Water at all during 24 up to 48 hours with no preliminary announce! Born in Soviet Union, therefore pretty accustomed to this, anyway – How do you feel if after hitting 12 or 14 miles (don’t dare sweat) in the eve or pm time you get home and have no ability to take a shower?? Funny, huh? For this case you always have (you ought to have!) a stock of some drinkable water and you can even pour some water on your face and neck. That’s all. Go to sleep. :)
Next morning – run again, run to the lake 3 miles from the place I live or.. wait for some water in pipes. Am I whining?? Nope. Not at all. Such little things make your life interesting :) get you feel like running water in pipes is a real fiesta in the middle of tough week.

OK, back to my promise – I admit, I finally declare that overestimated my abilities. I broke that promise, yep. During last two weeks I had water twenty four seven and made don’t really mentionable running work. But, would I have a time to hit better weeks next time, before Shanghai? Absolutely Yes. Coach said that we do not chase a “perfect week”. Our aim is a race. The Race.
So, don’t expect me to change my Top 5 week section of the side bar soon. May be in the end of August, could be September.
Q: What would it take for me to hit 90+ mpw?
A: Another water pipe repair works, 24 hours, once per week. Just once. :)

July, Sun 15 - Sat 21. Here’s how my last running week went:
Sun, 7/15:
21 miler, 3:02:55, avg.pace 8:42, avg.HR 146, max.HR 155.
Hate, hate running under direct hot sunlights, temps were about 30C/86F. Kept first 10 miles sub 8:00. Afterwards, I frequently drank a lot sitting under a tree, stretching. Second part was a drag.

Mon, 7/16:
Day Off. After tough mile repeats on Sat and 20+ miler on Sun I was truly sore.

Tue, 7/17:
3.03 miles, 24:09, avg.pace 7:58, avg.HR 137, max.HR 145.
Don’t remember details now, just lazy.

Wed, 7/18:
8.0 mi, 1:04:59, avg.pace 8:07, avg.HR 141, max.HR 153
I made experimental workout here. I guess it’s called “Ladder”.
Mile 1: sub 9:00 – actual 8:50
Mile 2: sub 8:30 – 8:17
Mile 3: sub 8:00 – 7:49
Mile 4, bottom: sub 7:30 – 7:27
Mile 5, again: sub 7:30 – 7:19
Mile 6: sub 8:00 – 7:54
Mile 7: sub 8:30 – 8:25
Mile 8: sub 9:00 – 8:56.
This is fun and you feel like it’s not a regular routine run.

Thu, 7/19:
6.0 mi, 50:47, avg.pace 8:27, avg.HR 135, max.HR 145
Routine after work.

Fri, 7/20:
5 mi, 40:18, avg.pace 8:03, avg.HR 139, max.HR 153
It was sort of a ladder.

Sat, 7/21:
AM: 5.0 mi, 43:23, avg.pace 8:40, avg.HR 145, max.HR 162 !!
Heart Rate 162! What happened? One little doggy, real bitch viciously attacked me, had a gas spray – so this 10 sec attack didn’t hurt me. I made a little experiment, while approaching at 8:00 pace to an old lady and her dog (earlier she always controlled her doggy shall me or any other running type rolled on the trail in the park), had a photo camera in right hand, Mr. Garmin on the left wrist and Damn it, where’s my gas spray, hum, not sure if it works, here it is – look at my HR, it was 143, this is normal for me. After attack (sprayed twice right in her muzzle 50 cm in front of me, e-nuf; lady just screamed: “Veta! Veta! Stop it!” – “Get your … Veta off the runners’ trail”. I didn’t say anything; actually it is officially prohibited to walk in the Park with any dog.) I run and look again – low 160’s! My heart works – Good reaction!
PM: Feel tired and an inevitable Tempo work scares me. Was it my choice for a speed work, I’d make what? Mile repeats! Love them. But I work with the coach, Tempo was scheduled and here’s what I did before main work:
1 mile warming @ 7:38, avg.HR 135, max.HR 141
I decided to make mere 400m. I programmed Dist/Time 0.25 mi / 1m20s and switched to “Virtual Partner” window. If it’s white – you’re ahead, it turns black – you’re behind. It’s really simple to compete with “this guy”. Went off – 70% of the run it was Black!!! I am shocked but I still fight and push myself to get to this 80 sec guy. Last 100 meters it was black-white-black, 0.23 and 0.24 and I’m not sure I can finish sub 80sec! Beep. “Workout finished. You win!” 1m19s, avg.pace 5:18 (Wow! So-o-ou sweet), avg.HR 130, max.HR 155.
This is life – when you’re teenager, 1m10s – 1m15s for this distance is not a problem at all. But in the mid 1990’s I couldn’t run 1 or 2 hours.
2 miles @ sub 7:30, ok – no suck, 7:24 & 7:25
2 miles @ sub 7:00 (yes, I already did such tempo once and decided to repeat, not mention that I made 1 hour at sub 7:00 somewhere in the spring once) perhaps this particular time it was a mistake – 7:03! & 6:56. Stop.
I had scheduled + 5 miles sub 7:30 but smth went wrong.
Total for tempo:
4.0 mi, avg.pace 7:12, avg.HR 143, max.HR 153.
Week is over. 53.28 miles (planned about 60). Average pace 8:20.
Today is Sun, 7/22 I have to make The 20 miler and guess this one would be the last one, before the race.
If I kick my butt to run in the morning, I hit the trail here, in the Ethno Park.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Mile Repeats Evolution

Here I will try to summarize Mile repeats - one of my favorite type of workouts.

Sa, 6/30, 2007:
5 x 1 mile, Target: Sub 6:40 each mile. Rest time 12:00

Sa, 7/14, 2007:
5 x 1 mile, Target: Sub 6:39 each mile. Rest time 11:50

Fr, 8/31, 2007:
6 x 1 mile, Target: Sub 6:38 each mile. Rest time 11:40
Love this one. Tough & Hard Final note for Summer 07.

Sa, 9/29, 2007:
7 x 1 mile, Target: Sub 6:37 each mile. Rest time 11:30
Super Tough! Probably I reached my limits as of Autumn 07.

Flickr Tag for all mile repeats.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Three consecutive weeks with 80 mpw took toll on me. I'm not a super athlete - just a mortal runner. The week July, Sun 8 - Sat 14 was nothing special.

My body and muscles simply refused to work hard, it was a real unofficial strike. 52.26 mi, details on the flickr diagram.

Highlights of the week:
Mile repeats I did on Sat, see details.
Last time I did it, had sub 6:40 and 12:00 min rest.
Plan - to hold each mile sub 6:39, rest now 10 seconds shorter, 11 min 50 sec.

6:30, avg.HR 149, max.HR 155
6:23, avg.HR 150, max.HR 156
6:30, avg.HR 149, max.HR 154
6:26, avg.HR 147, max.HR 153
6:25, avg.HR 146, max.HR 153

I know that pro guys never spend that much time to restore, they just jog a quarter or two. But this "rest mode" was recommended by coach, even longer one, so I don't feel bad about "extended" rest time.

I love mile repeats - mostly because of such a solid rest. Almost 12 min is more than enough to completely restore and just walk around the track. The only bad thing - it takes about 3 hours to get it done! Next time I will cut rest time till 11m40s. Will it help to save some time? Well, about 1 min.

P.S. I shall be better blogger, I know. Though I feel like keeping my blog updated is a boring thing, reading about adventures and routine works of those Great guys (and gals) from my side bar, makes me work harder on my running track or on the trail in the park, steppe and finally on my blog, as a reflection of my running life.

P.P.S. Olga! Yes, I did wanted some compliments - Thanks a lot, Muchas Gracias & Xie Xie (this is from China). Do you remember marks we had in Soviet schools - 5, 4, 3?? Just in case if you forgot :) it's equal to A,B,C.. So, last time when I did Tempo (which I consider harder than mrepeats) I wasn't super disappointed by couple seconds slower than planned - I just got my mark 4+. Not 5. This week I have Tempo workout - scared to death!

One more, Let me paraphrase you question.
Running came to our life as a reason, a season or a lifetime?
As for me, the answer is clear.
No obvious reasons, no seasons. It's Lifetime.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Some Totals

Tempo on Sat 7/07:


2 mi sub 7:30

2 mi sub 7:15

40 min sub 7:30


15:03, avg. pace 7:32 Suck!

14:25, avg. pace 7:14 good TEMPO

40:00, avg. pace 7:27 no problem with that

1:09:32, 9.36 miles, avg. pace 7:25, avg.HR 144, max.HR 152
and 3 miles to Cool down at average 8:25. Week is over.
As usual, it happened to be the best week again (anybody knows if it's damn possible to make better and better week? as of now this was the third consecutive week):
80.37 miles, avg. pace 8:20

Almost forgotten:
Total mileage for June: 271.87 miles
Actually I expected this month to be better then May (276.26 miles). It didn't happen due to my Almaty race. No regrets. I'll get to 300+ miles zone in July. Hope so.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Halfway there

3rd Week, July, Sun 1st - Sat 7th,
with planned 80+ mpw. Almost over. Here's a short update:

Sun 7/1: Off

Mon 7/2
AM: 1:37:32, 11.26 mi @ 8:39 pace, avg.HR 134
PM: 22:11, 2.75 mi @ 8:03 pace, ran at lunch time, forgot HRM

Tue 7/3
AM: 1:25:14, 10.0 mi @ 8:31 pace, avg.HR 139, max.HR 147
PM: 31:23, 4.00 mi @ 7:50 pace, avg.HR 137, max.HR 145

Wed 7/4
AM: 1:27:51, 10.26 mi @ 8:34 pace, avg.HR 141, max.HR 152
PM: 30:40, 3.75 mi @ 8:10 pace, avg.HR 131, max.HR 140

Andrew asked me to avoid Doubles, so

Thu 7/5
PM: 1:45:26, 12.0 mi @ 8:47 pace, avg.HR 131, max.HR 140

Fri 7/6
PM: 1:54:40, 14.0 mi @ 8:11 pace, avg.HR 137, max.HR 150

Total for incomplete week 68.01 miles and I have One ahh, TEMPO! tonight.
I will hit 80+ anyway, even if I fail with TEMPO.

P.S. Coach asked me about a Marathon Pace for Omsk. I haven't decided yet, guess my MP range would be somewhere around 7:30 - 8:00.
If I got it right from Thomas' post here, he's planning to get 7:15 in October.
Time will tell.

P.P.S. Mark from Canada turned 40 !!!
I always compared his results with mine and even sort of competed with him. I didn't know Mark was almost forty so do not feel good about it. Also with a little help from Mark's blog I found Andrew, my personal coach, mentor and even Dr. Phil! Hope I'll be that lucky runner with kids and family several years later. So,
Happy Birthday Mark!
Happy Running to Everybody!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

80 mpw. One more week

June, Sun 24 - Sat 30.
Ahh, this is tough.
Another week with 80 miles. I always thought that only super athletes are able to make those mileage, but since I've been reading some running blogs, listed on my sidebar, I was assured that reaching that magical number is not an impossible work or something to frighten me off running hard.

Highlights of the week:
20+ miler on Sun 6/24

Mile 01: 07:23
Mile 02: 07:22
Mile 03: 07:21
Mile 04: 07:26
Mile 05: 07:24
Mile 06: 07:38
Mile 07: 07:57
Mile 08: 07:57
Mile 09: 07:53
Mile 10: 07:57

Mile 11: 09:20
Mile 12: 08:03
Mile 13: 10:11
Mile 14: 08:26
Mile 15: 12:44
Mile 16: 08:22
Mile 17: 08:22
Mile 18: 08:30
Mile 19: 09:00
Mile 20: 08:26
Mile 21: 07:56

Total: 21.0 miles, 2:55:51, avg.pace 8:22
That was so sweet. More details here.

Other workouts were truly ordinary, no need to mention.
Another bright workout was on Sat 6/30. My week was almost over and I had to make 15 miles that evening to end up with 80 miles.
5.11 mi warm up @ avg. 8:22
Mile Repeats (workouts - interval with the Tool)
Rest = 12 min
1. 6:38
2. 6:34
3. 6:27
4. 6:29
5. 6:34
Cool down 5.0 miles @ 8:03

Mile repeats took me about 1 hour 30 min.
Add about 40 min for warming up and 40 min for cooling down. I spent 3 hours on the track! Finished cooling 5 mi at 11.58 PM!
Ain't it a Great thing to feel like midnight runner or a Cinderella who has to make job done by 12:00 PM?!

Happy Running to everybody!!!

P.S. After hard Sat mile repeats I felt like real crap, couldn't do anything on Sunday and took off my running life the whole day Sun, 7/1. Missed 20 miler, Sorry Andrew. I know this is Super important but wasn't sure if I'm dead or alive.
On the positive (?) side, finally watched Borat movie and even laughed a lot. Life Goes On.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

80 mpw

Continuing on.
I made what I planned for a single week – 80 mere miles, slow miles, some of them tough (oh that Long on Sunday) and some of them fast. It transpired as follows:

Fr, 6/22, PM: 5.8 mi, 49:12, pace 8:28. Ordinary routine, just put more miles into my account; I have financial manager up there, in the state of Maine, he manages my deposit well;
Sa, 6/23, AM: 5.4 mi @ 8:24. The same;
Main work in PM time, Andrew recommended Mile repeats or Tempo.
I do Mile repeats.
Sa, 6/23, PM:
2.02 mi @ 7:43 warming up; then decided to make sort of PR

suddenly met a guy who was an “unknown pacemaker” on one dark eve a month ago or so, the guy who helped me to make 1 hour at sub 7:00 pace. Really young Kazakh guy (I guess seventeen) hardly can speak Russian. Shame on me – I know no more than 200 Kaz words. We talked using both Rus & Kaz words, he’s a light (54 kg) fighter and runs from time to time.

- I work here to prepare to a marathon, do you know what is Marathon?
Negative, he shook his head.
- Ah, it’s about 42 km or
here at the stadium it would be around 105 laps.
He reasked me in Kazakh, One Hundred Laps?
So amazed and surprised! What for??!
- Have no idea what is it for?! Just madly long distance. Ok, young guy – will you run 4 fast laps with me? Please be a pacemaker.
Gave me approving nod.
1.0 mi – Mr. Garmin's history says I did it in 5:56
actually when I finished (I used “Workouts – Quick mode” and ran watching “Virtual partner” who ran at 6:00 pace) I saw result 5:57. I’m a little bit confused, so let it be 5:57. My 1 mile PR.
Yes, 10 years ago I did sub 5:50, but it was 1600 meters.
1.0 mi @ 6:53
1.0 mi @ 6:52
2.0 mi Cooling down @ 7:49
Total for the Week: 11h:45m; 80.04 miles, avg. pace 8:48
So Slow! One of my slowest week at all. Finally the main thing here is pumping up the mileage and I really pleased with this magical mark.

One more.
I didn’t make uphills and really miss them, also there’s absolutely no chance for doing uphill runs in winter here. Too much snow .. uhmm, I better quit talking about coming winter. Enjoy summer!
My work with Andrew goes on and pretty soon we will discuss a strategy for the Race. Then we’ll think about Taper.
Yes, I can smell the sweat, sorry I mean Sweet Taper :)