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.