In running and in charity, the challenge starts long before you toe the start,
and the work doesn't end when you cross the finish.


26 July 2009

Week 32 Status Update

Sunday: 6mi (recovery run)
Monday: 7mi (track workout)
Thursday: 7mi (tempo run)
Saturday: 15mi (long run)

Total: 35mi


The week ahead - Two down, 14 to go. I'm having some trouble with my knee after this week's long run, so I'm gonna have to be careful this coming week. Here's what I've got on tap for week 3:

1 - Recovery / 5-6mi total
2 - 1200-1000-800-600-400-200 / 200m rest / 7mi total
3 - 5mi tempo @ 7:42 per mi / 7mi total
4 - Long run @ 8:43 per mi / 17mi total


Fundraising update - I've now raised $4,355 for Robin Hood, getting close to my $5,000 goal. Spots are going fast, so get your donations in now before it's too late!


If you like what you're reading, get it in your email!
And don't forget to take action against poverty!

- Jake

21 July 2009

Stolen Motivational Quote #4

It is important to keep the marathon in perspective. Running does not have to be the controlling element in your life, but if you become a marathon runner it probably will be, for a while.

- Marc Bloom, The Runner's Bible

picture borrowed from here until the cease and desist arrives


Yes, hi, Life? Hey, it's Jake... yeah, I've been thinking... ummm, we should take some time off. Like give it a few months, maybe until November or something?

Sorry, it's not you, it's me...


If you like what you're reading, get it in your email!
And don't forget to take action against poverty!

- Jake

19 July 2009

Week 31 Status Update (Run for Central Park)

Sunday: 6mi (recovery run)
Monday: 7mi (track workout)
Wednesday: 13mi (long run)
Saturday: 5mi (warmup + race)

Total: 31mi


Race recap - Despite the heat and the humidity, I managed to run the 4mi course in 28:06. I know I should be focusing on longer races at this point, but since last year's Run for Central Park was the first race of my adult life, I can use it as a fitness test and easily compare results over time. This time last year, I hadn't yet broken 30min, so I can point at yesterday's result and say I've come quite far!


The week ahead - One week down, 15 to go. And since I raced yesterday, I have a much better idea of how fast I'm currently running and can more accurately plan out my training paces going forward. Here's what I've got on tap for week 2:

1 - Recovery / 6mi total
2 - 4x800 @ 3:12 / 2min rest / 6mi total
3 - 5mi tempo @ 7:58 per mi / 7mi total
4 - Long run @ 8:43 per mi / 15mi total

Not gonna lie, I'm a little nervous about that last one...


Fundraising update - I've now raised $3,875 for Robin Hood, within eyesight of my $5,000 goal. On one hand, I'm only a handful of donations away from success, but on the other hand, I've exhausted a number of my potential donors already, so I can't get lazy. If you're reading this and haven't chipped in yet, skip the new Harry Potter and give me your $13... I heard it sucked anyway!


If you like what you're reading, get it in your email!
And don't forget to take action against poverty!

- Jake

The Things I Do For Money

I was just issued a challenge.

One of my donors, who has been following my humble little blog since day one, has come up with a creative way for me to earn a little extra donation money while becoming a stronger runner. He's dared me to take my recent infatuation with the Queensborough Bridge and turn it into a vomit-inducing workout.

One of these summer nights, now that temps are approaching 90 degrees, I'm going to fight my way up and down the bridge ramp a dozen times. Each repeat will cover at least 400m (a quarter mile), and when you add in the downhill jogs, warm up, and cool down, it's likely to be between 8 and 9 miles in total. For this, I'll earn an additional $100 donation for Robin Hood. It won't take too many more $100 donations for me to reach my goal, so of course I'm going to take a stab at it.

While I'm working on that, does anyone else want to revel in my pain in exchange for some donations? You come up with the challenge, you come up with the money, and I'll try to keep down my lunch...




If you like what you're reading, get it in your email!
And don't forget to take action against poverty!

- Jake

13 July 2009

Week 30 Status Update (And It Starts)

Sunday: 5mi (easy run)
Monday: 7mi (2x2 mile tempo run)
Thursday: 7mi (QB bridge run)
Saturday: 12mi (long run)

Total: 31mi



Today was Day One of "official" marathon training. I put that word in quotation marks because yes, the miles I've already run were intended to ready myself for the marathon; but no, before today I had not actually begun the 16-week period of corporal punishment that will get me race-ready.

For the next four months, I'm borrowing a training plan from the Runner's World book Run Less, Run Faster, which focuses on doing three quality runs each week - tempos, intervals, and long runs. The key to the plan is that you perform these workouts at higher intensities than most plans would recommend, but then you crosstrain two days instead of running so your body can recuperate from those workouts. I'm mixing it up a bit by squeezing in a recovery jog in lieue of one of those crosstraining days, so that I meet my own mileage goals (and so I don't die of boredom on a stationary bike). I'm also going to do every other interval workout on hills, since that's become my new favorite form of masochism.

For week one, I have the following workouts scheduled:
1 - 3x1600@6:40 / 1min rest / 7mi total
2 - Long run @ 8:30 per mi / 13mi total
3 - Run for Central Park @ race pace / 6mi total
4 - Recovery / 6mi total

In other news, I've raised $3,250 so far for Robin Hood! I'm still far from the cut-off and already 65% of the way to my goal. I think the right way for me to commemorate the beginning of "official" training is to pay out the next part of my own pledge, so I'm going to push that number up to $3,500...


If you like what you're reading, get it in your email!
And don't forget to take action against poverty!

- Jake

Burning Rubber

I've recently discovered a part of me I would've never thought existed - a Mr. Hyde-like beast that feels uncannily drawn to the track.

I should preface this by saying that my short high school track career was marked primarily by embarrassment. While I loved the freestyle feeling of running cross country, I hated the grueling conditioning of track practice and the monotony of 8 to 16 lap races. It certainly didn't help that I was slow - I was often lapped in the 3200m. Nonetheless, I hammered out the practices and dragged my ass to meets, primarily to hang out with my running buddies and stay in shape for cross country.

borrowed from Gowanus Lounge

But recently, with the weather warm, my legs healthy, and race training first and foremost in my mind, I made a trip to the rubberized track at McCarren Park for some 800m drills. And I absolutely loved it.

Maybe it's because there was no coach breathing down my neck, or maybe it was because I have an unconscious desire for redemption, but I flew around that track like my life depended on it. Envisioning myself as a budding Quenton Cassidy, I chewed through five 800m repeats, picking up the pace on each, getting high on the growing oxygen debt. Had dinner not been waiting for me, I would've done it all again. I walked off the track wanting more.

So when piecing together my marathon training plan, I made sure there were plenty of track workouts to feed my delusions of grandeur. To complete the image I picked up a new pair of go-fast shoes as well, making sure they were appropriately loudly colored (it works for Usain Bolt!). And now I'm heading out to take these new wings for a test run - 3x1600 is the first quality workout of my marathon cycle. Where the old me would've cringed at the thought, the new me is itching to fly...




If you like what you're reading, get it in your email!
And don't forget to take action against poverty!

- Jake

08 July 2009

Week 29 Status Update (Independence Day)

Monday: 6mi (easy run)
Tuesday: 7mi (3 mile tempo run)
Wednesday: 6mi (5x800s, aka Yasso 800s)
Saturday: 11mi (running around the Potomac)

Total: 30mi


I got to do something different with my long run this past weekend, since I was celebrating the 4th in Washington, D.C. (of all places). Turns out that our nation's capital is home to quite a few runners and cyclists, and has the trails and the scenery to keep them busy. Here's a selection of some of my favorite photos from the weekend:


The Potomac was a different experience from the rivers of New York - note the greenery.

My support crew hamming it up while I get a head start.

Jefferson Memorial from across the water.

Running past the Pentagon is more than a little weird.

Water stops. Good day to be a runner.

And road blocks, of sorts. Runners - 2, Cars - 0.

The C&O canal in Georgetown is another good running route, but you have to be a local to navigate the criss-crossing paths and bridges.



Thanks for reading! Be sure to check back often, or click here to get updates via email!
And check out my fundraising page to help Robin Hood take on poverty!

- Jake

Here's A Thought

According to this article in the WSJ, the best way for me to run a fast marathon is to quit my job.

Hmmm...



Thanks for reading! Be sure to check back often, or click here to get updates via email!
And check out my fundraising page to help Robin Hood take on poverty!

- Jake