Looking Back at March 2013

It is the end of March 2013 and I get to do a quick look back and think about the progress I have made for getting ready to run the Marine Corps Marathon in October.


It is hard to believe that not that long from now I will be running a marathon again.

The biggest thing that happened during March was that I didn’t have to go through the registration process for the Marine Corps Marathon on the 27th!

I didn’t have to stress out last Wednesday whether I would get in or not. Earlier in the month I was notified that I had been selected to run the Marine Corps Marathon as part of Team – Red, White and Blue and that they are taking care of my MCM registration.

To say that was a big relief was/is an understatement.

So I will be going to the Marine Corps Marathon on October 27th – I hope to see you there 🙂

The other big thing was that on the 29th, I ran 18+ miles at just under a 9:00 minute pace, which gave me an idea of how much work that I have left to go to meet my goal of a sub 3:30:00 MCM in October.

In other words – I still have a long way to go to be where I need be, in order to run that fast during the Marathon.


What I learned in March

That I didn’t enjoy blogging on my self-host WordPress.org blog site and moved back to Blogger full-time earlier this month. The only issue I have been having is the comment section and getting this right has been a struggle. I have tried a couple of different systems, but went back to the stock commenting system this afternoon. Other than this glitch, I am very happy with the results of my move back to Blogger and am sure that I will get this part figured out soon.

That running slower on my recovery days is working! Before I used to see slow running as a sign of weakness and poor training, if I ran slower than an 8:30 to 8:40 pace on my “easy” days. I have learned that this isn’t really the case and that when I run slower on my recovery days that I have more pep on my harder days. The other part of this was that it was hard to run a 9:30+ pace when I first started to do it and it still is at times. I whined and complained about how it felt and that it didn’t feel right – well guess what? I was wrong and am finding out that it is something I should have been doing right along. Now I strongly believe that I used to run too fast on my recovery runs and that running slower this month has allowed me to be more successful in my training this month.

On the other hand I found that I need to run faster on my hard/quality days. I was doing my training at my current race pace or or my planned half marathon race pace and didn’t feel like I was improving very much. My St. Patrick’s race pace of 7:08/mile, was a lot slower than I wanted for a 5K time. My last 2.0 miles were closer to 7:30 than 7:00 pace, which is not the direction or speed that I wanted to be running for that short of a distance. So since that race I have been working on running faster for shorter distances and even did a 5K time trial on the treadmill and hit a 19:59, so I know the speed is still there.

Now I just have to get my treadmill times to translate to outdoor running times. In other words, I need to get outside and get on a track 🙂

I will find out next weekend 4/6 for my next 5K race, if the training works or not.


Top Ten Posts this Month

  1. My 2012 Running Shoes – Way too Many
  2. Altra Superior – 50 Mile Review
  3. The RW Complete Guide to Minimalism and Barefoot Running
  4. My Modified for Me Hanson Method Half Training Plan
  5. Running is not all Roses or Sunshine
  6. Sometimes You Have to Run Slower to Run Faster
  7. January 1, 1979 – A Humbling Memory
  8. Trust Your Training This Spring and Get Some Rest
  9. A Challenge For Other Runners
  10. Great Treadmill Interval Workout! – 3/11/13


I haven’t had any major aches or pains this month, but I have also been listening very closely to my body and backing off when I should and pushing when things seem right. It is all about listeining to my body better and training smarter.


Here is a quick review of my March Stats

  • March Total Miles Run: 220.62
  • Miles Walked: 58:8
  • Days Run: 28
  • Days Off: 3
  • Longest Run: 18.12 – Home-Church Hill Road-Mary’s Work
  • Fastest Run: 3.1/7:08 Lucky Leprechaun 5K
  • Time Trial: 5K Treadmill – 19:59 on 3/20/13
  • Best Week: 55.26 week ending 3/31/13
March Summary


Shoes Run In

I did a lot of running my Altra Superiors and love the way that they fit and feel, but they are just a little too minimal for me on my longer runs. I ran 18+ in my Instinct 1.5’s and didn’t feel bad at all, if I had run in the Superiors, I have a feeling that my legs would have lodged a few complaints.

Also after finishing my 5K a lot slower than I thought I would, I looked at a few things I was doing and one those things was the shoes I wore. The Superior’s are not a short road 5K race shoe, they are designed as a trail shoe that I have been using a hybrid road/trail shoe.

So I researched and ordered a pair of running shoes specifically for racing shorter distanced – the Mizuno Ekidon. I have had great luck with Mizuno’s in the past, but even they are a little higher drop (6MM) than my Altra’s, I seem to run fine in them. They are definitely a light and fast shoe, however, after wearing them a couple of times, I don’t think that I would want to race much beyond 10K in them


  • Altra Instinct 1.0 – Personal Purchase – 271.73 miles.
  • Altra Instinct 1.5 – Free Media sample from #RWHalf – 186.92 miles
  • Altra Superior – Personal Purchase – 96.91 miles
  • Mizuno Ekidon – Personal Purchase – 14.11 miles

Even though I seem to have a lot of Altra running shoes, I am not affiliated with Altra Running Shoes, other than being a big fan of their, because it works for me and the way I am running now. I am very happy with my current running shoe rotation, but want to try the 3-Sum, it is supposed to be on the Superior’s last and slightly more cushioning, working on that :-).

Running Goals

This year my holistic goals are:

Keep running fun – It is not a job. I am enjoying my running, even if I do push myself pretty hard every so often – challenging myself is a part of running that I enjoy, as long as I don’t over-do it.

Listen to the words of advice in my current tagline.

Do Not Go Quietly Into the Night

I don’t want to let my getting older, become the reason that I get old and boring! I want to live life and enjoy it, not become the old grouch down the road. Doing pretty good on this one!

Be Me: I am who I am and I am not trying to be something that I am not. I want to keep smiling and enjoying life, like most people I get off course from time to time, but right now I feel pretty good about who I am.

I will not sweat the small stuff. I am sweating some things that won’t matter a year from now, but now they do seem important, so I need to work on this one, this is just part of life,

I will control my social media presence. I have found a good balance and plan to maintain it.

Improve my running form. I strongly believe that what style of running shoe you wear does influence your running form, irregardless of what some out there believe or say, especially if you do not have perfect running form – because my running form is definitely a work in progress. For me the 4MM drop or lower shoes are helping to make me think more about how I run and focus on a mid-foot/forefoot landing that I want. When I am running my recovery runs, I really focus on my form, so it is getting better. Now I have to start incorporating some drills into the mix.

My measurable 2013 Goals

  1. Run at least 2,013 miles in 2013 – 544.79 miles so far
  2. Run at least 300 days in 2103 – 76 so far.
  3. Run a sub 20:00 5K at the Joseph’s 5K in Fairfield in April – Ran a 22:08 on 3/17
  4. Run a 10K sub 45:00.
  5. Run a sub 1:35:00 at the Rail Trail Half Marathon in Augusta in June
  6. Run a sub 3:30:00 at the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. in October.
  7. Run at least 13 races in 2012. Ran 2 so far

I finished the 1983 MCM Marathon and to finish Marine Corps again 30 years later will be very cool and would be even more fantastic, if I could qualify for Boston that same day.

As you can see March 2013 has been a month where I have continued to learn a lot about my training plan and listening to my body. Returning to blog at Blogger was a big decision, but so far I feel very comfortable with the decision, I am not worrying about all the “little” back-end management stuff that was bothering me. Now that I have gotten what I am going to bring forward uploaded to Blogger, I have been focused on my writing and running a lot more, which is what I wanted.

What do you think?

How was March for you?

What Did I Learn This Week – 3/30/13


What did I learn this week?

  • That I can run above my race pace on the treadmill, but that duplicating it outside is a lot tougher. Two great treadmill workouts, but not any fast outside ones.
  • That I like to run a LOT more in shorts and a long sleeve top or t-shirt, than I do all bundled up.
  • That I still have a lot of running shoes and I like light-weight trainers better than other models or styles.
  • That I can run farther than I thought I could and the best part is that it didn’t bother my knees, legs other than being tired, which they are supposed to be after 18 miles.
  • That my body is adjusting to running 50 mile weeks pretty well – 3 out of last 4.
  • That I was glad I didn’t have to go through the MCM registration process last Wednesday – Thank you Team RWB!!!
  • That I had the opportunity to reconsider a very important decision and decided to stick with my original choice.
  • That I am still working on my moving my foot landing to more of a midfoot landing, especially on my recovery runs, when I can focus on what I am doing.


Training is going well, no major aches or pains that are worth writing about. I have increased the intensity of my training during this week for my SOS workouts. Instead of using my current race pace, I have been using my planned race pace as my speed work training pace. It definitely increased the difficulty level of the workouts, but I just have to believe that if I want to run a certain pace during a race, that I have to be able to run that pace during my harder training runs.

I am really starting to listen to my body better than I have ever have and when I do a hard day, I run harder than I have been in many years, but at the same time when I do my recovery runs, I run them slower than I ever have – they have become true recovery runs, not just another middling workout.

This week has been a really good example of this Monday was a tough interval session, Wednesday was Long Interval day (I even added in some fast quarters) and Friday I was feeling really good (even though it was a tougher course) and changed my run from 13.0 to 18.0 and felt really good! However, on my other 3 running days, the pace was close to 9:00 minute pace or slower and that included a day off, which meant that I did my recovery runs correctly.

Using my adaptation of the Hanson’s Half Marathon training plan is working for me. It is giving me a good basis for my training plan and what I need to accomplish and a progressive load increase.

I finished the week over 55.0 miles and feel really good, I don’t have that “I’m tired” all the time feeling, that I had last year when I was doing this kind of mileage.

The one thing that was less this week was the amount of walking that I have been doing, I purposely decreased this with the increase in running mileage and it has helped. I will incrementally increase the walking a little more, but will monitor the total of the two carefully.


Top 10 posts this week:

  1. A Combo Long Tempo and Interval Workout 3-27-13
  2. Where are You on the Running Shoe Spectrum
  3. My Google Reader/iGoogle Replacement – Netvibes
  4. Getting Better at Going Slower and Some Signs of Spring
  5. 18.12 Miles in the Books!!! Quite a Surprise
  6. Monday Means Intervals and a Little Extra
  7. Thinking about My Forrest Gump Run
  8. What Did I Learn This Week – 3/24/13
  9. Pushing My Pace on Today’s Long Run – 3/22/13
  10. Mizuno Ekidon Initial Impressions & First Run

Gear of Note:

Altra Instinct 1.5 (free media sample from Altra) – I ran 18.12 miles on Friday in these shoes without any problems or issues, which is great, since I have been having lots of problems with my right foot lately. This was a big step.

Mizuno Ekidon (personal purchase) – I ran my Monday Intervals in these shoes and did very well, but I think that this week I will try to wear them without socks to see how they feel on the treadmill.

Overall, I have made some decisions this week to:

  • change my Start page/RSS feed read to NetVibes – is working well for me.
  • change my task manager to Google Tasks – more to come on that.
  • make the hard runs hard and easy runs easy.

What did you learn about yourself and your running this week.