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Quick Introduction

TheSpeedydave’s first blog post and introduction

Hi there.

I’m David, aka TheSpeedydave. I created this blog as a place to post about some of my running tips, reviews, experiences, goals, and achievements. I’m hoping the topics I write about will be interesting for others, so I decided to make this a public thing.

I’m a 2:54 marathoner, looking to go sub 2:48 at the Marine Corps Marathon in October. That’s what I’m focusing my training on, and I’ll be sharing my progress towards that goal here.

I’ve got a more thorough introductory post planned, but I want to wait a little while before I post it. For now I’ll start with some quick tip posts on things I’ve picked up on, and maybe some reviews that I think may be helpful for other runners as well.

Looking forward to sharing with you!

2017 Marine Corps Marathon Race Report

Summary of the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon

Intro

The Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) is one of the biggest marathons in the country and a huge celebration of all things running and all things America. This was my third marathon, my first being almost exactly one year prior (3:09 in Baltimore), and I had high hopes for this one. My aggressive goal was somewhere in the 2:46-2:48 range, but leading up to the race I wasn’t very confident in my training so I decided to shoot for that in the first half and play the second half by feel.

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The morning went according to plan. I got to the starting area in plenty of time, ditched the hoodie and sweatpants I was wearing to keep warm (that I got from Goodwill the week prior), and when the gun went off it was ON.

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Race Recap

0-5k|Net Time: 20:00|Section Pace: 6:26|Overall Pace: 6:26

Part of this section I took a little faster than I should have because I spotted Mike Wardian (legendary marathoner / ultra marathoner) and wanted to hang with him for a little while. I wish I said hi to him but keeping up with his pace at the time was a struggle and he eventually pulled away from me. After crossing the 5k mark I felt good and was happy with my pacing.

5k-10k|Net Time: 39:33|Section Pace: 6:17|Overall Pace: 6:22

Much of this section was downhill and I threw down some fast miles. I could tell going downhill at the speed I was would be something I’d be feeling later in the race, but it felt so good at the time that I couldn’t slow down.

10k-15k|Net Time: 59:03|Section Pace: 6:16|Overall Pace: 6:20

Still feeling strong, still feeling fast.

15k-20k|Net Time: 1:18:38|Section Pace: 6:18|Overall Pace: 6:19

Still feeling good but pace is slipping a little.

20k-25k|Net Time: 1:38:31|Section Pace: 6:19|Overall Pace: 6:20

I passed the halfway mark here in 1:23. I knew that was fast, and since I could tell my pace was already starting to slip my aggressive goal of 2:46 was out of the question, but was hopeful 2:48 was still in the running.

 25k-30k|Net Time: 1:58:48|Section Pace: 6:31|Overall Pace: 6:22

The pain and suffering has begun…

30k-35k|Net Time: 2:19:47|Section Pace: 6:45|Overall Pace: 6:25

I think this part of the course went around some of the monuments in DC. Couldn’t take any pictures but I tried to soak it all in as my legs were screaming at me. It also started warming up by this time, but I was doing my best to stay hydrated and cool at each water station.

35k-40k|Net Time: 2:41:47|Section Pace: 7:05|Overall Pace: 6:30

My hopes of 2:48 were gone by now, I was just hanging on for dear life. The internal struggle of whether to throw in the towel and do some walking was growing as the pain in my legs grew stronger, but I’d regret it if I did so I kept marching onwards.

40k-Finish|Net Time: 2:51:30|Section Pace: 7:07|Overall Pace: 6:32

Towards the end there isn’t much crowd support which made the pain even worse. The finish line is at the top of a short but significant hill, and I did my best to run up it as fast as I could. I high-fived a marine and limped across the finish line.

(Strava Data)

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Reflections

I know I was capable of a better time. The temperature towards the end probably played a factor (it was up to the 70’s by the time I finished), but there were a couple of things I think I should have done differently for this race that would have helped my performance.

  1. Not start out as fast. This was is obvious but worth stating. It’s always better to start a little on the conservative side. I knew that but stupidly didn’t follow it.
  2. Wear better shoes. This was another dumb mistake I made. I’m long overdue for a new pair, the shoes I ran in have about 600 miles on them and I could tell early on that they’re best days were long behind them.
  3. Focus on training 3-5 weeks out. Right when my training should have been peaking I started changing things up and not putting in the quality workouts I should have. This probably affected my performance on race day but also my confidence.

Summary

Overall I still managed to get a PR and I’m happy with that. The course had some really beautiful sections which were nice to see along the way. Despite feeling awful by the end of the race I gutted it out and didn’t get injured, and for that I’m grateful.

For the next week or so I’ll be recovering but I can’t wait to ramp the training back up and start prepping for the next race.

Boston is only 6 months away!

Quick Check-In: Heading Up To Boston

Short post about my recent absence and upcoming events.

I haven’t posted in a while and I wanted to check back in here.

It’s been a pretty stressful few weeks. I’m in the process of planning a big running trip (which has been one of my many recent stressors), but I don’t want to jinx it by talking about it much.

I’m technically in taper mode for the Marine Corps Marathon but it hasn’t been going great. Legs have been stiff from overtraining, and none of my runs for the past couple weeks have left me feeling confident. Hopefully more rest will do me some good.

I decided to take a mini mental health vacation and head to Boston tomorrow (Friday) night. No real plans except relaxing and eating good, maybe running along the Charles River and checking out the finish line / part of the course of the Boston Marathon.

Sometimes when life starts feeling overwhelming taking a step back from it can be the best thing for you.

I’ll try to post again before the MCM on the 22nd, and I’ll definitely post a race recap afterwards.

Thanks for reading!

PS: I have so much respect for people who manage to continue posting regularly despite life taking its occasional downturns. When I get stressed the last thing I want to do is something optional that requires brain power like writing does, but hopefully it’s a skill I can develop.

Running Summary: Week Of 9/11/17 – 9/17/17

Running summary of the past week of training for the Marine Corps Marathon.

General Reflections: This week I officially registered for and was accepted into the Boston Marathon! As for training, I planned to cut back on mileage but I wound up putting in more miles than I wanted to.

  • Monday: 8 easy miles
  • Tuesday: 12.2 with track intervals | 4 easy miles | Tennis
  • Wednesday: 10 easy miles
  • Thursday: 13 miles with a few at Marathon Pace to NYC | 2.6 | 2.5 | 2.4
  • Friday: Easy 8
  • Saturday: Easy 13 | Easy 2
  • Sunday: Easy 10

Weekly Totals: 88 miles. 3,199 ft of elevation gain

Favorite Workout(s): Tuesday’s track workout

On Tuesday I had my first track workout in a while (Strava info). This was also the first track work I’ve done for months where the temperature was fairly mild. It’s crazy how much of a difference the cooler weather made.

My heart rate was able to recover much quicker than in the past on sweltering hot days, which led to being able to keep my pace up on the intervals. My intervals / times were:

  • 8x800m ~2:48
  • 4x400m ~1:18
  • 4x200m ~0:37
  • 1×1 mile ~5:40

Each rep had a recovery jog of half the previous rep’s distance between them (besides the final 1 mile rep). Normally I check my heart rate between reps to see what it recovers to, and for these intervals I found it getting to about 10 bpm lower than it usually gets.

Biggest Issues: I spent all day Saturday in NYC, and the new cable I brought to charge my phone with my portable battery wound up being a dud and not working. The only way I was able to keep my phone juiced was to go to two different Apple stores to plug it into the cables they used to charge the products on display… That was a stressful experience. I did a couple other runs and long walks that day but couldn’t track any of them because of my phone being in a constant state of low battery.

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Lessons learned: Test everything before relying on it.

Next Week: Lower the mileage a little more and but have a good long run. 5 weeks till the Marine Corps Marathon!

Running Summary: Week Of 9/4/17 – 9/10/17

Running summary of the past week of training for the Marine Corps Marathon.

General Reflections: I was in Los Angeles for half of this week. I set a new weekly mileage record, topping 100 miles for the first time, and a new weekly elevation gain PR.

  • Monday: 4 easy miles | 4.5 easy miles
  • Tuesday: 17.8 trail + road miles
  • Wednesday: 1 easy mile | 18 trail + road miles
  • Thursday: 7.6 easy miles
  • Friday: 10.1 mile workout | 5 easy miles
  • Saturday: 20.3 miles
  • Sunday: 13.2 miles

Weekly Totals: 101.8 miles. 5,883 ft of elevation gain

Favorite Workout(s): My Wednesday long run

On Wednesday I took a train to Hollywood, and did a trail run up and around Griffith park (Strava info). The views were phenomenal and fortunately it was a more frequently trafficked trail system so I didn’t get really lost (like I did the previous day).

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Biggest Issues: On Tuesday’s trail run I got dangerously lost.

Lessons learned: Bringing an emergency little flask of water (I have a 7oz one I used) on runs that may be longer than planned is a good safety precaution to take.

Next Week: Lower the mileage and get back to more speed work

Los Angeles August 2017 Final 2 Runs

The 8th and 9th days of running from my August 2017 trip to Los Angeles.

All good things must come to an end. Here’s the story on my last 2 runs in Los Angeles.

On Wednesday I decided to take a train into Hollywood and run / hike up to the Hollywood Sign.

I started with a steep climb up to the Griffith Observatory, which is gorgeous and a place I definitely want to check out again.

After that initial ascent, I followed a trail to the peak of Mt. Hollywood. I was confused when I couldn’t find the Hollywood sign from the peak, but I realized that the sign and “Mt. Hollywood” are two separate things…

I felt pretty silly, but decided to make the best of it and followed a different trail from where I was that connected to where the sign was. It was only an extra couple miles, and it was totally worth it.

After navigating my way down the mountains and back into the city, I made my way back to the my friends’ apartment.

Wednesday totals: 18 miles – 8:47/mi avg pace – 1,428 feet of elevation gain. (Strava info)

Thursday was my last day in LA. I woke up a little extra early, and ran down my favorite bike / running path one last time. It was a perfect day, and the views from my favorite beach spot were phenomenal.

Beach Spot Panorama

I then met my friends for breakfast (burritos and smoothies on the beach). It was a perfect morning.

Beach Burrito

Reflections: I’m sad to be leaving, but there will be more trips to look forward to. I accomplished most of what I wanted to while out there.

One major thing I took away from this trip is how important it is to travel. I may not have the money to travel the world, but this country is a good place to start, and I think I’m going to start doing a lot more of that.

Los Angeles August 2017 Day 6 and 7 Runs

The 6th and 7th days of running from my August 2017 trip to Los Angeles.

Monday was a pretty active day for me. I did a morning 4 miles, and an evening 4.5 miles, with a 3 mile hike in between.

Tuesday though.. Tuesday was a big one. I ran from UCLA to attempt this hike. Getting there went fine and the first half of the loop was great. I managed to snag some pictures:

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Somewhere along the way I got mixed up (they really need to have some trail markings out here). There was a lot of climbing and looking around, and then I lost phone service. I brought emergency backup water this time though, which wound up being needed.

After panicking for a while and second guessing every decision, I found a road which led to another road which led to civilization.

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17.8 miles 10:22/mi average pace, with 2,015 feet of elevation gain (Strava info).

Hooray for mid-week long runs!

Running Summary: Week Of 8/28/17 – 9/3/17

Running summary of the past week of training for the Marine Corps Marathon.

General Reflections: Most of this week I’ve been in Los Angeles, just in time for a little heatwave.

  • Monday: 12.5 easy miles
  • Tuesday: 6 easy morning miles (before flight)
  • Wednesday: 13.4 progressive miles
  • Thursday: 12 easy miles
  • Friday: 5.3 easy miles
  • Saturday: 10 easy miles
  • Sunday: 16.6 mile long run

Weekly Totals: 76.2 miles. 3,340 ft elevation gain

Favorite Workout(s): My Wednesday and Sunday runs.

Wednesday was my first run in Cali, and I had a great progressive run to the beach (Strave info). I felt fast, and timed it well so I caught the sun setting:

LA Sunset Beach

Sunday’s run was the long run (Strava info), and while the heat was exhausting, I climbed a mountain and enjoyed taking in the sights.

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Biggest Issues: It was way hotter than I expected, and while climbing the mountain my water supply got dangerously low.

Lesson: Don’t be stupid on hot days when in a new area, make sure you have enough water!

Next Week: Miles. Lots and lots of miles.