Thursday, December 01, 2011

A month in review (November)

After a productive Oct month, I was very motivated to log 3 more quality weeks of training for CIM. Goals for this month were
1. Race Half Marathon:
This race was held in Coyote point park on Nov 5th, with 4 weeks away from CIM 2011, it was a perfect reality check. Based on my training I was hoping to run a 1:31, and decide on my goal pace at CIM. Race started out fine with a good sub 7 min effort for 1st 6.5 miles. It was all along bay trail(Oracle Trail) in San Mateo. On the way back it was total surprise, strong headwinds made running 7:30 seemed a hard task, I felt I was hardly running. I managed to keep running hard but couldn't manage any mile faster than 7:30 in the 2nd half except for last mile. Overall time of 1:35:40 was disappointing and it was clear I wasn't in 3:10 shape this time. But 3:15 or 3:20 seemed more in my range for this time.

2. log around 55mpw before starting a good tapering period.

3. focus on VO2 max workouts:
Until this month my main focus was lactate threshold workouts, now I wanted to fine tune my speed workouts and added 1200M repeats(6-8) and added few 100M strides and 400M repeats as well for last 4 weeks.

Overall in Oct and Nov I logged about 365 miles in 7 weeks with 5 quality long runs of distance 18/20miles. This was a excellent training session I had in quite a few years, infact this was my best focused marathon training since my 1st marathon in 2003.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Run with Jets Half Marathon

Run with Jets Half Marathon
Nov 5th, 2011
San Mateo,CA

Intersting after logging about 13,700 miles, this turned out to be my 1st half marathon, so my goal was clear, 13.1K miles of training runs, 13.1 mi race within 1:31. It wasn't planned that way, I did register for a half marathon in Jan 2003 in SF golden gate park. But I got lost and didn't reach the race on time :). Instead did a 10mil run close to my apartment complex.

I was looking forward to this race, the course profile was flat, promised a fast time. It was rightly placed 4 weeks before CIM and was a perfect race predictor.

Race Day:
It was suposed to be rainy day, so I was overly dressed, after my morning ritual, drove to Coyote point park. It was jam packed at the race start. my plan was a to run a even race, a 7mim pace. Race started couple of mins late after the confusion over direction of the run :). Finally we started the run towards Oracle bay trail.

Conditions were perfect got into a good rhythm and enjoyed my run towards san mateo bridge(CA92) on the far side. It reminded me of the hot training run some of us did in 2003 as part of our training for Long beach marathon. That was a hot tough day. Mile 5 was just under CA 92, I incidently passed Vinod, " still shooting for 1:31" I waved and said not sure. As I reached turn-around (6.5miles) It was 45:30, I thought s far it seemed like a perfect run, I was in range of a sub 1:31. But as I started my run on the other side, I could feel pretty strong head winds, I could barely run 7:30 pace. Infact untill the last mile didnt run faster than that. I think most of the runners had similar split coz I saw only 2 runners pass me and I passed 2 as well. Finally turned into coyote park for the last half a mile, crossed finish in 1:35:30.

It did'nt go as expected from a time perspective, but it was a pretty hard workout from training perspective. I did a small jog and took some goodies at the post race booth. It was a well organized race, I was surprized to see a huge turnout for a new race. Monte and team from A runners mind did a very good job.

A month in revew(October)

After a low mileage month in September due to my surgery and flu, I had a very good month training in October. main highlights of the month were
- A strong 50M race
- Consistent 50mpw runs
- Good LT runs
- Good long runs

Overall it was a very rewarding month, Almost executed my training plan, totaling about 220 miles in total. By end of the month it was pretty clear I was not in shape for a 3:10 marathon but I can get pretty close, I wanted to decide based on my performance at Run with the Jets Half marathon. That race did strongly indicate chasing 3:10 was'nt a realistic goal so did shift my goal for CIM to 3:15.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

My Review of Merrell Trail Glove Cross-Training Shoes - Men's

Originally submitted at REI

The Merrell Trail Glove cross-training shoes are tough enough to handle light hiking in wet or dry conditions. Their light weight and innovative design let feet work as if they're not in shoes at all.

Perfect Minimalist shoes for wide feet.

By AnilRao from San Jose,CA on 11/3/2011


5out of 5

Sizing: Feels true to size

Width: Feels too wide

Arch Type: Average Arch

Pros: Lightweight, Comfortable, Minimalist, Wide fore front, Good Traction

Best Uses: Gym, Walking, Strength Training, Pavement, Running

Describe Yourself: Avid Athlete

Was this a gift?: No

I have a wide feet, usually wear 4E from either brooks or new balance, after many different minimalist shoes for wide feet including Vibram's, NB Minimus, I love Merrel Trail Glove.

It does have slightly wider fore front, which helped my wide feet, moreover after about 2-3 weeks of running rubber expanded to my feet's form. I have great time running 8-12 miles in them. I have found running trails little tough when encountering rocks, feet hurts.

great shoe to practice toe and midfeet striking. Also with 6+oz it is one of the lightest shoes.


Friday, October 21, 2011

My Review of Amphipod Airflow Endurance Waistpack

Originally submitted at REI

With a comfortable, breathable and bounce-free design, this waistpack carries all of your small essentials for leisure and training outings.

By from on 10/21/2011


out of 5


Monday, October 17, 2011

Running treat at Firetrails 50m

Firetrails 50m,
Oct 8th, 2011
Lake Chabot, CA

Since the beginning of the year I was hoping to do a late fall Ultra (once we settle into baby schedule), since I wasn't sure about my training, I was hoping to log at least 2 long runs before commiting to signup for FT 50m. I was blessed with two beautiful runs at Missions peaks.
  • Tripeat Mission peak, Fremont,CA.
  • Double Mission peak, Fremont,CA.

I felt strong both of the runs and I was confident of completing FT 50M. I signed up in August, hoping to do a sub 11 and probably signup for WS100 2012. my motivation for signing up as always been some form of a trigger to go out and train, sometimes during odd hours. Especially with little Ahana around I have been more flexible with my runs and happy to work around her schedule.

I got some very good training until middle of September, then things got very busy, we had family visiting us, I had cataract surgery, work got busy and icing on the cake we all got flu/cold. All 6 at home. It was one of worst and took forever t recover. It was very tiring to say the least.

As the race got closer I got nervous to start a 50M, a distance which seemed to be in my comfort zone seemed daunting the previous week(partly my illness, partly lack of ultra specific training). easy to loose confidence when you take a break from a regular activity. I was wishing race was another week away. But time waits for none and race was at my doors right on time. I hardly got sleep the previous night with all the coughing.

Race day:
Race day, starting point was hustling and bustling with activity, new RD Juli Fingar was busy with last minute instructions, day promised to be sunny and low 70s, ideal conditions for a good run. I met few of my running friends, Karen Bonnet, Nattu, Jim Mcgill, Chuck Wilson, uber fast Jean Pommier. I decided to just jog along Jim as long as I can. Its always fun chatting with him. We settled into a good pace, enjoying east bay hills and beautiful open vistas as the race progressed north. We managed to tackle Wasp stings along the way, my wasp count was 3 this time and it still itches after 2 weeks. Thanks Jim for taking the lead, I owe you one. I reached 26mi AS in 4:55hrs and after a quick refueling, headed back up on a longest climb of the race.

On way up ran with Adam Blum we shared our experiences past summer and plans for future runs. caught up with Jim running down, apparently he took a wrong turn and got few bonus miles, but he did look like a happy camper. At that point I felt very strong and was planning for a sub 10, considering last 20miles is mostly downhill. I met up with Vinod almost at the top, he had rolled his ankle so was unable to run downhill, he called it a day. He seemed quite contended with the effort and was in good spirits.

After about .5 a mile from Sibley AS(mi 33.5) I got into a nice rhythm running downhill a set of switchbacks, all of a sudden I saw a black and white snake crossing, I was quick enough to stop about 5 yards away from it and let it cross the trail into forest, one of the runners mentioned it was Cal King and non-venomous. It was a breather to know that !

I reached Skyline gate AS (37mi) in 7:37hrs. I was getting slower and given up on sub 10 by then. Next 8 miles fatigue set in and my lack of long runs caught up with me, I just sloughed through and hit Bart meadows AS in 9:25hrs. Last few miles by the lake went by very quickly I could sense the finish and started planning for a good soup overloading, which is one of my favorite part of the race. As I got closer I felt so lucky to be running at such a beautiful place, I was thanking my family(Rashmi, MIL) for their support. It must have been a very tiring day for them.

Crossed the finish line in 10:34:40, quite a surprise, I was contended with the effort. It was sweet to get a WS qualifier. Ultra goal for the year achieved and now I am focusing my energy on a PR race at CIM on Dec 4th.

It was a superbly organized race by Julie Fingar and Mark Giligan. Thanks to all the volunteers made this race a memorable one. Race swag was one of the coolest around. Post race was mainly spent catching up with Diane, Karen and Nattu, they shared all the gory details about UTMB 2011, that sounded like one must do race, probably in next 5yrs. I got home very tired, had a quick dinner and after few chores got into bed quitely. Rashmi was extremely patient and supportive, I am sure she had a very long day her self with 2 kids. I owe this race to her. Hats off girly.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

A month in review (September)

my peak training for CIM was supposed to begin in September, giving me 12 weeks to the race. 1st 2 weeks I was able to log good quality miles, totaling 105 miles, but due to my Cataract surgery on Sep 14th and Cold infection during the last week, I had low mileage during last 2 weeks. I still think overall had a pretty decent month, I would have liked more lactate threshold workouts, but given the various commitments I got the best possible training. As a bonus had a good race during the last week, which is encouraging,plan is to log 350 miles in next 7 weeks of training. Hope is still on for a goal race a CIM, excitement for the race is building up.

Up next is Firetrails 50M on Oct 8th, my goal is to run a even race and possibly do a sub 11 there allowing me to apply for WS100 2012.

Stevens Creek 10k

Stevens Creek 10k
Sep 25th 2011
Mountain View, CA

As part of training program for CIM 2011, I had set out few races to ascertain my conditioning for the race and decide on my goal time. Though 3:10 was my initial goal I am not sure if I am in that pace range. Stevens Creek 10k was one of the Goal races, I was hoping to do in 41-42 mins, but I had to schedule my Cataract eye surgery on Sep 14th, hence I decided to run a conservative race.

At the start met up with Soumya/kiran/padma before start of their 5k walk. I would have liked a better warmup before the race, but since I was planning to run a easy 10k on a beautiful trail.

But as the race progressed things changed, I got into the zone and started running at a good tempo, 6:45 seemed like a good pace to hold and run, had a steady good run through stevens creek trail, shoreline lake and back to stevenscreek trail, quite a pretty course and weather conditions of late 60's was perfect. I was pleasantly surprised to hold that pace until last few miles, without hurting my recovery.

During the last mile I realized I have a chance to break 43, so had a good last mile to finish the 10k in 42:40. my jog turned out to be a PR. interestingly I was surpposed to run this race as part of training in 2003, but lost my way and couldnt make it to race :). finally it took another 8 yrs to run this race :).

It was great day and perfect running condition, my hope of hitting 3:10 has been invigorated, planning to slough next 8 weeks towards CIM.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Marathon Pace Estimator: Rao's 1200 (Modified Yasoo 800's)

Yasso 800's is quite popular amongst marathoners for determining potential marathon times. It is a simple workout which says if your goal marathon pace is 4:00hrs then you can reach that goal with 800m repeats done at 4:00 min pace(i.e 8mns per mile). More specifics on the workouts is listed here.

I tried Yasso 800's during my 2010 CIM marathon, I solely did the workouts for 8 weeks , my speed workouts were mainly (8-10)X800M in 3:30 and I did feel good improvements in my VO2 max. I PR'ed in that race time: 3:38 hrs.

But based on my current training for 2011 CIM and experience of few of my running friends I have seen it to be little optimistic predictor by say 5-10 mins. i.e if one does 10X 800m workouts in 4mins, more likely runner is capable of doing marathon in 4:10.

I suggest a simple enhancement to this workout, to prolong these workouts to 1200m instead at the same pace. which I have found be much closer estimator, provided your long runs are inline with your recommend pace.

how it works:
For a goal marathon time of 3:20, your 800m time would be 3:20 mins, 1200m in 3:20 x 1.5 = 5:00. Try doing each of the 1200m run in 5:00mins. After every 1200n, do a recovery 400m lap in about the same time it takes to do 800m. Repeat this for 6 to 10 times during the last 8 weeks of your marathon training . I think this would come much closer to your goal marathon time. Also one would maximize on the benefits of VO2max training by doing for such a duration. According to Pete Pfitzinger to get benefits from VO2max workouts, each of the repeats should be done for 2-6 mins and a distance of 1200m seems more optimal.

Try this on your next marathon and see how close you get to your marathon.

If target marathon time is not known then a average of 8 X1200m should be able to indicate your target marathon time. i.e if 1200m is done in 5mins 30secs (800m in 3:30mins), one is capable of a 3:30hr marathon.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A month in review (August)

Past month my main focus was to build a good base had some good tempo runs and have a structured training upon which I can build my training going forward. It was very good month for the most parts, I logged 177 miles, but my speed workout times where not in line with my goal. I am little suspicious about my goal, I am not able to log lot of miles.

So far I am still in the 3:20 pace range, don't see that additional 15 seconds trimming. I will continue to do tempo runs for month of September and meantime try to loose another few pounds which might help get to 3:10 or 3:15 range.

I had a fantastic labor weekend run at Mission peak, got a Tripeat there. Another long run and I am ready for Firetrails 50m.

Friday, July 29, 2011

18 weeks to CIM

Time to get serious about CIM training, a perfect 18 weeks away and time for a good structured training. I have adopted modified 18 week 55mpw training schedule listed by Matt Pfitzinger(Advanced Marathoning).

July was a good base building month, got about 35 mpw and regular 3 good runs per week. going forward my plan is

Aug: Aerobic base building month
log 35-40mpw, with 3 hard runs per week, 2 weight training, 1 Xtraining.
Sep: Lactate threshold month
log 45mpw, with 4 runs per week, 2 weight training
Oct: LT and speed month
log 45-50mpw, with 4 runs per week, 2 weight training, 1 X training
1 Race (Firetrails 50m Oct 8th)
Nov: Tracks and Taper month
log 45mpw
2 Races(US Half Nov 3rd and 10k)
Dec 4th: CIM

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A quest for BQ

2011 being a year of low mileage training, I have decided to pep up my running with shorter running faster races. Since my consistent speed workouts with Akamai colleagues in mar 2011, I have seen significant gains in my pace, which encouraged me to try some quality runs on shorter distances.

On may 23rd I tried a Treadmill half marathon, my goal was to break 1:35 and with a consistent pace of 7:10ish miles I was able to go under that time. This was quite encouraging and motivated me to shoot for a Boston qualifier at Dec 5th CIM 2011. my BQ for 2013 is 3:10 and my goal would be to train for a 3:08, I am sure last 4 miles will easily consume any additional time I can piggy back.

Since being a new dad on May 29th 2011 I have significantly cut back on my mileage, focus is to do more with less. rely on in house workouts like core strengthening and spinning. Going forward I plan to run 3 quality runs

Tuesday: Tempo run 7-11mi
Thursday: 7-10mi Interval workouts (combination of 800,1200 and mile repeats)
Sat or Sun: A Long run 15-22 miles.

I will mainly follow 55miles, 12 week training schedule listed in Advanced Marathon Training, Along the way my intermediate check point races will be
1. Diablo marathon Sep 18th
2. Firetrails 50mile run Oct 8th
3. US half marathon Nov 6th

Since my main training won't start until Sep, I will continue to build base and spend more time with Ahana/Zoey and slowly start runs with Zoey(4legged buddy) and Ahana in baby jogger.

After several years of slow long distance running, I am motivated to train harder and shorter distances.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ski Class at Bear Valley 2011

Took a ski class to address level 4 and 5 typer skier.

Main pre-req
- ability to do blue runs comfortably
- ability to do wedge turns / wedge cristies

- learn parallel turns

Instructor addressed following issues
i) reduce weight on the uphill leg on the turn, to improve doing that I am doing lift turns
ii) snow plowing
iii) improve muscle memory by skidding downhill.
iv) short fast S turns
v) body positions kneeling front

Rest of day I practiced mainly parallel turns for about 12 runs. Great day.