Well, I was doing good there on posting for a little while and have fallen off again. I'm still running although I don't really have a new goal set yet to train for.
I've been doing a lot of reading on running and I'm starting to work on building my aerobic base using a method designed by Phil Maffetone. It's pretty simple, you take your age away from 180 and that's the heart rate that he thinks you should be doing most of your base training at. When I first got my heart rate monitor back at the end of December, I did some calculations and came up with 149 bpm as my "easy" heart rate that I was training at. This takes it even lower as 180 - 44 = 136 bpm, also referred to a my MAF. I had just gotten to where I was able to jog at about a 10 minute per mile pace at a heart rate of 149 bpm, and then I end up deciding to slow down to 136 bpm which put me all the way back to the paces that I was running in early January, around 11:20 - 11:30 per mile. The difference is that at this new heart rate I'm supposedly building my aerobic engine even stronger with even less chance for injury from overtraining.
I've only been working on it for a couple weeks now so not much of a chance to see much improvement, especially as the temperatures are climbing, but it should be interesting to see as the summer goes on if I can bring my pace at MAF down to 10:30 or 10:00 per mile, a general rule of thumb is that you should be able to race shorter distances (10K, etc.) as much as 1:30 to 2:00 per mile faster than what your MAF is. So if I'm running a 10:00 mile with my heart rate at 136 bpm, then the theory is that with a little speed work before getting back to racing that I might be able to run as fast as 8:00 per mile in a race allowing my heart rate to climb as high as I can stand. In my last 11 mile race, I ran the last 7 miles with my heart rate at or above 180 bpm so I should have quite a bit of buffer to give up when I start running hard. Of course this is all theory and each person is going to have different abilities and reaction to picking up the pace, but my goal is basically to get faster by running slower. Seems counter intuitive, but we'll see if it pans out.
I did run the Horseshoe Bend race put on by the West Texas Running Club a couple weeks ago. The start/finish line is only about a mile from our house and I've always wanted to run in it, but never been in even close to good enough shape to attempt it before. It was just a couple weeks after my half marathon and I didn't do any specific training for it, but I finished it in 1:41:53 for a 9:16 avg pace and was pretty happy with that. It was actually slower per mile than my half marathon time, but the course was harder and I hadn't realized how much of a boost the thousands of cheering fans along the course gave me in the half marathon race. On this course there was 7 folks cheering us on over the course of the 11 miles and they were all volunteers working the water stations. Quite a difference from a couple weeks earlier with bands, cheerleader squads and literally thousands of folks cheering for you.
I'm up to 476.1 miles of running and 78.8 miles on the elliptical for a total of 554.9 miles so far in 2012 so I'm on pace for over 100 miles a month so far. I've already gotten more miles in 2012 than I did in 2011 for the entire year and that was the most miles I'd ever run in my life so I'm feeling like I am getting in pretty good shape. I've lost a little over 20 pounds in the last year and would like to lose 15 more this year if I can watch my diet a bit.
That's pretty much what I've been doing lately. Work is slowing down and I'm trying to get a few other things done as well. Still working with our new puppy on retrieving and obedience, but need to start spending more time on that as well. Seems like time is at a premium all the time anymore.
With that said I guess I better get back to something productive.
Have a great day! Nathan